I Spy With My Little Eye ….

I Spy With My Little Eye   …..

So last night within the world of sports  the big  news’  story  was  that of the  NBA Draft   and  the  Lottery  Pick , with  the   New  Orleans Pelicans obtaining  the  top  pick  in the  2019  NBA  Draft  Class  , with the franchise  taking    Duke   player  Zion  Williamson  as  the  number  one  overall  pick.  Williamson   is  seen  as  the  best  player among  the draftees  and  his  case was  made  all  the  more  emphatic,   with  the  statistics  seen during  the NCAA Tournament  , even though   the program’s  appearance  was short-lived.  With  the  drafting rights   of  Williams  ,  there  is the belief that the front office  of the  Pelicans  might now  be  in a strong  position to  convince  their   All  Star  forward   Anthony  Davis  to  re-sign  with  the  franchise rather   than  pursue free  agency .

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Zion Willliamson , second from the right is seen here as the announcement is made that the New Orleans Pelicans will have the number one overall draft pick for the upcoming NBA Draft .

All signs do seem to be pointing to the fact that Anthony Davis’ seven-year career with the New Orleans Pelicans will come to an abrupt end as the player wishes to seek new challenges elsewhere. There would be a litany of teams certainly interested in a player of Davis’ prowess, with his all-round undoubted skill-set . Davis is not due to become a free agent until 2021 and with his apparent unwillingness to remain with the Pelicans, it would be in their best interest to trade the center to another franchise , who could perhaps offer something of merit in return.

Anthony Davis and LeBron James just happen to share the same agent and sports’ management company with Rich Paul as the CEO of Klutch Sports . It is widely known that during the season , James sought out Davis as a potential teammate , with him joining the Los Angeles Lakers . With Magic Johnson still having some influence within the organization , albeit , that he’s no longer Head of Basketball Operations. It remains to be seen if Johnson can still persuade the Pelicans’ forward to join the Lakers’ franchise , with them having to give up a considerable amount of talent in order to acquire the All Star in a trade.

The NBA Playoffs are now in full swing and the respective conferences are now set with their Conference Finals now underway. Within the East , the top two seeded teams will meet with the Milwaukee Bucks playing host to the Toronto Raptors in the best of seven-game series. In the West , reigning NBA champions the Golden State Warriors will meet the surprisingly resilient Portland Trailblazers , who will be led by their talented point guard Damian Lillard . His performances throughout this postseason have been scintillating to say the very least.The game-one opener saw the Warriors overcome the Blazers to take a 1-0 lead, winning the contest, 116-94 . Game two of the series will take place once again at the Oracle Arena , in Oakland , California on Thursday night, 16th May , 2019 . The Eastern Conference Finals Series’ opener will be on Wednesday evening as previously stated and it will be interesting to see how these two teams will fare .

Away from the NBA Playoffs, other than the Draft Lottery Pick having taken place, the surprising news which made the headlines , was the hire of Michigan Head Coach John Beilein as the latest hire of the Cleveland Cavaliers , to succeed Tyronn Lue as the franchise’s latest Head Coach. It is being revealed , Beilein will be signed to a five-year deal , with Cavaliers’ GM Kobe Altman set to make the formal announcement . This also seems to have the blessing of team owner , Dan Gilbert . Beilein’s ascension to the position would make him also one of the oldest Head Coaches in the NBA , while also being a rookie in the position. Suffice to say , as the Cavaliers seek to rebuild , the learning curve for the coach will be a considerably tough one .

Call it cynicism or just plain awkwardness , but when an athlete believes himself to be something special , while having not having proven themselves in the field of battle , you just have to wonder what is going on in their mind ? Josh Rosen the recently acquired Miami Dolphins’ quarterback is aggrieved that his former team’s GM Steve Keim , failed to offer him the opportunity to prove his worth with the Arizona Cardinals . Rosen claims, he wasn’t consulted by Keim , as the general manager chose to take Kyler Murray as the number one overall pick in the recent NFL Draft (2019) . Last I looked , it wasn’t Steve Keim’s position to consult a player over personnel decisions for a team , much less the fact , Rosen’s play for the Cardinals was far from overwhelming .

Josh Rosen should consider himself lucky , that he was given the chance to move on to the Miami Dolphins , where he will succeed another failed quarterback , Ryan Tannehill , whose tenure with the franchise , proved to be a very unsatisfactory one. From my own perspective the Miami Dolphins will need all the help they can get this upcoming season , as too will the Arizona Cardinals , as each failed miserably last season within their respective divisions and conferences .

When it rains , it certainly does pour and for the New York Jets , this franchise is now beset by a deluge, as the Jets fire their GM Mike Maccagnan , with his being replaced by Adam Gase , current Head Coach , who for the moment will be fulfilling both roles within the Jets’ organization. It is abundantly clear that after last season, the Jets were in need of some radical changes within the front office , coaching staff and among the player personnel. Well the NFL Draft took care of their needs , as did some timely trades. Yet the belief remains , Maccagnan’s tenure and the failure in 2018 , played a big part in his ouster. Far be it for me to suggest, but the Jets are still a long way from where they need to be and they will be in a for a long haul if they’re to make it back to the NFL postseason , given the fact that their last appearance
came
during the 2010 season , when they reached the the conference championship where they faced the Pittsburgh Steelers .

From here-on in, it will be interesting to see how Adam Gase seeks to improve the fortunes of the New York Jets.

The next couple of games within the world of baseball could prove to be very interesting to say the least. I’d like to think at this point of the season should be very interesting in the lead-up to the 2019 All Star Game . With the divisional standings being what they are , the teams are now gearing up to really play with some zeal. . Wednesday and there are several games of real interest to the fans who will be in attendance .

While I believe that the New York Yankees are capable of winning the AL East this season , there are still some doubts as to the veracity of this team and manager Aaron Boone . Since ,2009 when their last World Series’ victory came about , it would be prudent to suggest that team ownership are somewhat exacerbated , having not added to their tally of world championships. The New York Yankees will be in action today when they are due to face the Baltimore Orioles at Yankee Stadium in The Bronx, New York. This will be part of their regular season meetings during 2019 , with their meetings over the last decade being very eventful.

New York Yankees’ veteran pitcher CC Sabathia , having been the most recent starting pitcher to have hit the plateau of 3,000 strikeouts . Sabathia’s next projected start could take place on the 17th May , when they are due to meet divisional leaders the Tampa Bay Rays . His record against the Rays is a commendable one , since his debut in the Majors came in 2001. If CC Sabathia is to become a Hall of Fame bound player , it will be interesting to see how his statistics will match up against a number of his peers and contemporaries .

It’s hard to fathom how embarrassing the state of baseball continues to be within the State of Florida . Attendance at the Miami Marlins’ Ballpark as well as Tropicana Field , home to the Tampa Bay Rays continues to be truly appalling , by anyone’s standards . Both of these teams will be in action throughout this week and their weekend series will see the Rays face the New York Yankees, whereas , the Miami Marlins will be matched against the New York Mets at home . The Miami Marlins and Tampa Bay Rays will continue their in-state series as of Wednesday, with a game being played at the Marlins Ballpark in Miami, Florida . Between now and the All Star Break , I believe that Derek Jeter as the Head of Baseball Operations for the Miami Marlins in conjunction with Michael Hill will have some serious decisions to make concerning the long-term and short-term direction of this franchise. This season certainly hasn’t helped with the Marlins currently sitting at the bottom of the NL East , with one of the worst records in all of baseball. The future does seem bleak for this baseball franchise, given the real absence of competitiveness.

Another loss was suffered by the Miami Marlins , further making their season all the more plausible, as their being on the way to another losing season. At no point during their game against the Tampa Bay Rays was there any sense of urgency by the players , seeking to make this match-up competitive even from the fans’ viewpoint. Instead , the team wasted a chance to show any form of resilience. The Marlins will be back in session for their next game when they face off off against the New York Mets in a divisional game this Friday , as part of their regular season meetings , with this being a home-based series. The opposing pitchers in this contest will be Jacob DeGrom of the Mets against Trevor Richards of the Marlins.

Cody Bellinger of the Los Angeles Dodgers is certainly proving himself to be a player of value and all the more so, given the salary being paid to the player . He has a become a staple for the Dodgers’ fans this season, as the team blusters into their schedule , slaying many of their opponents with ease in many cases. The Dodgers will be in action over the next few days and it will be interesting to see how they will fare through the month of May as exhibited last season by this Dave Roberts’ managed roster. Roberts and his players will prepare for a weekend series against the Cincinnati Reds on the road , in the three games to be played at the Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati , Ohio . The first game of this series will take place on Friday evening with the opposing pitchers being Rich Hill of the Dodgers and Anthony DeSclefani of the Reds.

If the Los Angeles Dodgers are to make it back to another postseason appearance, then their play will have to rise to even greater heights than previously seen over the last eight years.

With it still being early in the season , but there are grumblings that several teams might be seeking the upgrade to their rosters , with the MLB Postseason being their clear main motive and the chance of winning the World Series . One player considered to be atop of every contenders’ list, might well be starting pitcher Dallas Keuchel . The pitcher who’s yet to make to make his debut for the Houston Astros this season. His wish is to sign with a big-market team , of which is the New York Yankees, might be the one ball-club with an inside track to land the starter , Also said to be in the mix among starting pitchers who might well be with a new team at the trade deadline , Craig Kimbrel . This season will be an interesting one during the upcoming months as witnessed during 2018.

What are the big stories which you believe will be front and center during the upcoming weeks and months within the world of sports ?


Tophatal ……….


NBA news ……..

2019 NBA Playoffs

NBA salary cap (2019)

NBA free agents (2019)

Salary cap players (2019)


NFL news …

2019 NFL schedule (regular season)


MLB news …

MLB schedule three days at a glance (15th May to 17th May)

MLB standings (division)

MLB Important Dates …


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Continue reading “I Spy With My Little Eye ….”

Take A Walk on The Wild Side ….

Take A Walk on The Wild Side ….

In their frustration to get back to winning ways the Philadelphia Phillies , all but broke the bank in signing Bryce Harper to a thirteen year , $330 million contract . That deal certainly makes Harper the highest paid player on the Phillies’ roster as well as well as the highest paid player in all of baseball by way of a contract. His deal surpasses the one paid to Giancarlo Stanton of the New York Yankees whose original contract was structured by the Miami Marlins . Many believe the game of baseball to be in a healthy financial state due to the continued profitability of the teams by way of revenues and their income. In reality however, with the salary cap in place instituted by the Major League Baseball hierarchy. It’s safe to say the level playing field envisaged by baseball’s s governing body has been anything but that.


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Major League Baseball , much like the NBA and NFL are continually looking for various ways to stream their content to an even wider audience by way of the internet , broadcast television and even on the international scale. The game itself remains popular in Latin America , the Caribbean and within certain Asian countries. Unfortunately, Bud Selig and his successor current MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred eschewed their chance to have baseball remain forefront on the international stage by failing to come to terms with the conditions laid out by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) . With the sport no longer being part of the Summer Olympics , it’s now left with the less than celebrated World Baseball Classic to provide that international stage for the sport to be more widely recognized. To date, it would be fair to suggest that the WBC (World Baseball Classic) has been far from being a resounding success.

This upcoming season could be a very important one for the Philadelphia Phillies with both Bryce Harper and Pirates’ veteran Andrew McCutchen looking to place this ball-club back among the elite teams within the game. Within the National League , it’s going to be hard to suggest which of the teams will rise to the occasion while looking to usurp the dominance shown by the Boston Red Sox , who many now believe to be the best team in all of baseball. There is no doubt in my mind that they have the deepest roster in all of baseball , with several All Stars at various positions on the depth chart of the roster. The Phillies’ acquisition of Bryce Harper might well be one of the most active off-seasons in recent baseball history , with Manny Machado having been signed by the San Diego Padres to an extraordinary deal and then we had Nolan Arenado remaining with the Colorado Rockies , having been signed to another gargantuan deal.

We’re now just over three weeks away from the start of the regular season within baseball, but for the moment , the Spring Training schedule remains active. There are several games scheduled for Monday afternoon , 4th March as teams seek to find a rhythm before embarking on the Opening Day Schedule, 28th March , 2019. From my own perspective , I don’t believe the teams will actually find their full rhythm until mid-May , early June , with their having several games under their belts.

The NBA has entered the last month of the regular season and there are still a number of spots up for grabs , most notably , only one division appears to be all but decided , while conference berths for the NBA Playoffs are from being decided. It’s strange to see the Boston Celtics struggling along with fellow Eastern Conference representatives the Philadelphia 76ers . Inconsistency as well has injuries, have at some point plagued both teams. Boston for their part have played much of the season without the use of veteran point guard Kyrie Irving , and with their being continued speculation, that Irving might consider leaving the franchise to rejoin former teammate LeBron James who’s now playing for the Los Angeles Lakers . It remains to be seen, how that whole scenario will actually play itself.

The roster of the Boston Celtics was built to win now , with both Al Horford , Gordon Hayward and Irving being the seasoned veterans on the roster. GM Danny Ainge had the blessing of team owner Wyc Grousbeck to do whatever it takes to make the Celtics a competitive force within the league this season. Add in the coaching astuteness shown by Head Coach Brad Stevens and there can be no denying the team has not met expectations sought for this season. However, I do believe, if Irving is back in the lineup , given the team’s experience , they have to be considered among the favorites within the Eastern Conference to reach the Conference Finals for this season.

If there’s a question concerning the Philadelphia 76ers , then it comes down to the lack of coaching acumen of Brett Brown and the use of his players during games and their lineups at certain points during a contest. While point guard Ben Simmons has been lauded for his play there have been times where questions have arisen concerning his being unable to take over games and stamp his dominance in those contests. Joel Embiid , might well be considered the best all-round player on the roster, but again his inconsistency has continued to be questioned and the same can be said of
JJ Redick .

At this point last season , things were very contrived as the teams were seeking to parlay their season into something meaningful. Defending champions , the Golden State Warriors remain the team to beat and as a burgeoning dynasty , I seriously doubt they’re going to be overthrown anytime soon. Kevin Durant and fellow Warriors’ teammate Steph Curry might well be the best one-two combination in the league in terms of their combined offensive prowess.

Make no bones about it, Los Angeles Lakers’ fans might well have felt with LeBron James coming to the City of Angels , things were about to change , but the Los Angeles Lakers have been far from convincing this season. A sub .500 record was not expected of this team at this point of the season and it’s my own belief having not landed Anthony Davis at the trade deadline, has only further solidified the fact that the Lakers are from being the desirable destination , even with the four-time League MVP being there to attract a big name. Should the Lakers miss the NBA Playoffs, then the repercussions could very well be truly damaging and damning for the organization.. The remainder of the Lakers’ schedule is a very tough one and it will be interesting to see how the team fares as they wind down their regular season schedule. The team will be in action this week and their next game will be against the Denver Nuggets at home , a conference rival within the West.

Gonzaga are now back atop of the NCAA Men’s Basketball rankings and it will be interesting to see how this team will fare during their conference championship and in particular within the NCAA Tournament , which begins on the 19th March . While much of the talk in recent weeks has been the loss of Zion Williamson , the player many believe will be the consensus overall number one pick in the NBA Draft. Gonzaga now takes center stage as they seek to win a national title.

OK , with the NFL simply a year round news’ cycle within the North American sports’ market panacea . All eyes now will be set on the upcoming NFL Draft , with the New England Patriots having landed their sixth Superbowl victory within the last eighteen years. One now has to wonder what is now left for the coaching and player tandem of Bill Belichick and Tom Brady . Both are sure first ballot Hall of Fame bound for Canton , and I’d dare say that team owner Robert Kraft will likely join that illustrious duo , pending his current legal status. The Patriots are a dynasty in spite of what naysayers will have to say, Cheating asides, we all know that it’s something that is widespread within the NFL and professional sports in general.For the puritans out there , it’s time to just shut the fuck up and face facts, professional sports is no longer about playing fairly , but making sure you just don’t get caught.

The upcoming NFL Draft could prove to be very interesting along with the current batch of free agents likely to hit the market within the next few days. With teams having until the 9th March to put their affairs in order with regard to retaining players guaranteeing roster and incentive bonuses , this off-season could prove to be a very interesting one , just as it was at this point in 2018 in the lead-up to the 2018 NFL Draft. The consensus appears to be that either Nick Bosa or Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray will be one of the two players taken as the number one overall pick for this Draft. . There is a glutton of quarterbacks who have declared their intent , and it will be interesting to see if Murray’s name is announced as the number one overall pick, joining a long list of passers having been taken in the first round as the overall number one pick. As to the success the player is expected to have , it’s going to be dependent upon where he lands and the coaching acumen shown by the coaching staff involved. The Arizona Cardinals will be the team with that first pick and it’s my belief Kyler Murray will be that player taken by the franchise as their first overall pick .

It’s time for the New York Giants to move on from Eli Manning in spite of the player’s achievements for the franchise. In the last three years alone , Manning has proven his best years are now indeed behind him and that this present Giants’ roster is far from equipped to compete with the best that the NFC has to offer much less the rest of the NFL for that matter.

From my perspective , it’s not in the best interest for the New York Giants to seek a free agent quarterback when they have to their future on the line and to stick with Manning, would be absolutely nonsensical at this juncture. The veteran can best serve the franchise in nurturing the talent of his heir-apparent , rather than continuing not to be held accountable for his own poor play and the lack of real leadership on the field . Much of that blame also lays squarely on the shoulders of the coaching staff led by Pat Shurmur . The coach will seek to put some resilience back into this lineup through the upcoming NFL and most likely through some worthwhile off-season acquisitions .

Eli Manning is not due to become a free agent until 2020 , but has a high cap value of over $23 million for 2019. Whatever the New York Giants now seek to do , it will be every interesting to see what transpires.

Jon Jones with his latest victory in the defense of his UFC Light Heavyweight Title , has now cemented his legacy within the sport of Mixed Martial Arts. Many purists believe him to be, perhaps the greatest fighter the UFC has seen within its history . I think Jones is by far the best fighter of his generation within his weight class and among the top-five UFC fighters of all-time !!! Jones’ clinical dismantling of challenger Anthony Smith might well have been the best fight of the champion’s career in the last four years. Jon Jones to my mind can now name his own price , by way of his own destiny , because I firmly believe he is now the face of this sport and not an ass wipe such as Conor McGregor .

From my own standpoint the UFC is now at a crossroads as the President of the company , Dana White has to place more of an emphasis on the real stars within the sport, rather than his own personal choices as to whom, he best believes fits the bill to become the face of the UFC.

Which have been the main stories over the past few days within the sports’ that have you enthralled ?


Tophatal …………………..

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MLB news …..

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NBA news

This week’s NBA schedule

NBA standings (division) and conference standings
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NCAA Men’s Basketball

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MLB news …

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NFL news …

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UFC news
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USA Today Sports …..

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Dumbing it down for the fans ……….

Dumbing it down for the fans ….

By Tophatal

Well to save himself from further embarrassment , Lance Armstrong agreed to what is being called an in-depth interview , by none other than Oprah Winfrey , on her, self –titled broadcast network OWN (Oprah Winfrey Network). The two-night event, encompassing four hours is meant to be hard-hitting. Far be it for me to suggest , but Winfrey hasn’t conducted a hard-hitting in-depth news’ story or interview in decades , much less conducted an interview that will have the nation riveted . Granted , the bye product of this story will be Armstrong seeking the nation’s empathy, much of that to my mind is totally undeserving , but somehow this idiocy will continue as the lowly ranked and viewer starved cable outlet will be seeking a ratings’ bonanza from this all. Oh , Tom Cruise , jumping down on a sofa declaring his undying love for Katie Holmes , his former ex-wife , to whom he was married to , for a mere four years is not riveting television , unless , you just happen to be enamored with the Hollywood actor . .Oh yeah , those are the stories, that a dumbed down nation will truly appreciate . I think not, unless of course you just happen to be anally retentive.

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Armstrong used his notoriety to raise tens of millions of dollars for cancer research and to aid victims in need , from this debilitating disease . But herein lies , my question , this ungrateful asshole hasn’t the God-given fucking intelligence to consider that as a cancer survivor himself , he would then resort placing steroids and other illicit substances within his system ? So for all the bold-faced idiots out there, still pitying this dumb ass ! Can you explain Armstrong’s motives , other than it not being about the financial reward ? With an estimated $100 million fortune, the now disgraced athlete in the ensuing months , could now find himself as a defendant in several upcoming lawsuits , and deservedly so ! Was it , really worth it ?

Thursday night was a bile inducing piece of idiocy , self-indulgent and that had no merits, in terms of journalistic integrity! As for Oprah, her ratings’ challenged network will continue to suffer, unless the programming content is greatly improved.

Microsoft billionaire, Chairman, Steve Ballmer , and his erstwhile fellow. Washington State native, Chris Hansen , co-founder of venture capital firm , Vanguard Capital Inc , have agreed in principle to purchase the beleaguered Sacramento Kings’ franchise . The presumed sale price will be somewhere between $300 million to $375 million for the loss making concern. The city of Sacramento led by its mayor , Kevin Johnson , has sought some compromise from the Kings’ ownership group , led by Joe and Gavin Maloof have essentially duped the municipality and its residents , that it had been their intent to remain in the city , playing the aging Sleep Train Arena , in downtown Sacramento .

This once proud franchise , in recent years has become anathema , starved of real support ,with fans seemingly apathetic to the woes of this team. Head coach, Keith Smart , along with his coaching staff have been entrusted in guiding the Kings back to former glories past . It is hard to say where this team now goes from here, as the common feeling is , the sale of the Kings would be in the best interest of the Kings , long and short-term , rather than the continued neglect and lack of real authoritative leadership coming from anyone within the organization , on or off the basketball court. At 15-23 this team is on a two game win streak but yet that might not be enough to simply get through this current drama as there is a continued distrust of the Maloofs.

The irony in all of this , as the city yearns the return of an NBA franchise within their locale , I am not so sure that the fans in Sacramento are truly appreciative of Kings being within their midst . Clearly , there has to be some apoplexy , because if they were diehard fans of this team , then they would be turning out in droves to support this NBA franchise wholeheartedly. Instead , it has been continued bitching and whining about the city council being ready to spend tens of millions of in public funds , for the rebuilding of new state of the art venue . The infrastructure of the municipality remains a mess , yet the fans who are support of this project are seemingly showing, a great deal of short-sightedness . I guess when you reside on the West Coast, and the political leadership is about as uninspiring as a Sarah Palin speech, on any given subject matter! Apathy is definitely in the house !

I don’t know if it is appropriate to lambast Notre Dame’s Manti Te`o any further , after the football team’s embarrassing loss in the BCS national title game . The young man has now set his sights on a career in the NFL , and no doubt he will be drafted in the first round of the upcoming NFL Draft . That being said , with the latest web of deceit , and what appears to be a considerable amount of continuous falsehoods by Te`o , this story of an imaginary girlfriend whom me apparently met online , is now getting weirder by the second . To complicate things even further , Notre Dame’s AD , Jack Swarbrick has openly come out having issued a statement in support of the 2012 runner-up in the Heisman Trophy voting . Good God , how lucky are we, that Te’o didn’t capture enough votes to win the most prestigious collegiate award in College Football ? My advice for Manti Te`o , at present , before you can put on your big boy pants , how about actually trying to have a real live relationship with a female that is physically in your presence ?

So let me get this straight , the still financially impoverished New York Mets , while seeking to improve their roster , after last season’s debacle , have sought to go about spending money like a drunken maritime sailor on furlough ? The signing of David Wright to a seven-year deal , financially irresponsible to say the very least , seems to be a sign that Mets’ GM , Sandy Alderson will continue with the inane stupidity shown by his predecessor Omar Minaya . If the signing of Wright was not to be viewed as an act of desperation , then how should any Mets’ fan view the front office’s acquisition of former Giants’ closer, Brian Wilson ? The player spent the entire 2012 season on the disabled list with the San Francisco Giants , as they triumphed in winning their second World Series in the past five years.

Now there is no denying that at his very best Wilson can be an overpowering and dominant closer , but the very best those traits were last seen from the player in 2010 , when he led all closers within the game in terms of saves , while the San Francisco Giants were triumphant in winning baseball’s biggest prize. It is hard to envisage Brian Wilson regaining that sort form this season for the New York Mets, on a team that will be hard pressed to compete within the NL East . Coming off “Tommy John “ surgery has never been easy , and it is extremely rare for a player having undergone that medical procedure to completely regain that form . It is a really big gamble , on the part of Sandy Alderson, manager, Terry Collins , and the manager’s coaching staff in taking a chance on the player . How this will all play out , is dependent upon the resilience shown by the team over the course of their season.

The New York Mets will begin their regular season schedule with a three game set beginning on the 1st April , 2013, when they play host to the San Diego Padres at Citi-Field, in Flushing , New York . A season of hope lies ahead for the Mets’ fans , one they no doubt hope , will end in some form of measured success .

The NFL postseason is now down to the conference championship games , with what are now arguably the four best teams in the league, based not upon divisional standing but the play of these teams over the course of the entire regular season schedule and their respective postseason forays . Franchises, that were expected to contend , fell by the wayside like leaves descendingg during “ The Fall “ . And the players thought to be leaders on their teams , were simply nowhere to be seen . What can one say, about those teams considered to pre and early season contenders ? Well , it was enough to suggest that “Black Monday” was a damning indictment of the coaches who failed miserably and who were subsequently relieved of their duties by the front office executives and owners of those beleaguered teams. Andy Reid , perhaps the biggest of the names to fall , has found himself in a position to succeed Romeo Crennel , as the new head coach of the Kansas City Chiefs .

Reid’s former team , the Philadelphia Eagles , found a way to induce Chip Kelly to leave Oregon ( Ducks) , a program he built into a perennial powerhouse within College Football . From my own perspective , I believe Kelly’s departure had more to do with the fact that the NCAA’s ongoing investigation of Oregon , had not yet concluded , but with ever wide-ranging culture of rumors fomenting , as to the scurrilous deceit and wrongdoings , all of which has happened during Kelly’s tenure. It simply made sense for the coach to make a quick departure rather than being subject to questioning by the NCAA’s Infractions’ Committee , as to his actions and those of his players, and the lack of accountability from the program’s compliance officers and the lackluster efforts of AD, Rob Mullen’s , to try to systematically clean up the image of a sullied athletics’ program.

Kelly’s biggest problem in Philadelphia , beyond fomenting a relationship with GM , Howie Roseman , will be to make a decision as to the impending future on the declining skills of Michael Vick , who in 2012, had his worst season on record . Vick’s days as a starter in the NFL are numbered , and his ego might not permit to become a glorified backup to a less experienced player, who the veteran may well feel that he has a far superior skillset , than the incumbent. We have seen it before , and we will see it again within the NFL. The 2013 NFL Draft , should prove to be a great indicator as to the direction that will be taken by Kelly and the Eagles’ front office , as they seek to write a new chapter in the franchise’s legacy.

Another of the NFL head coaches, upon a which guillotine came down on , happened to be the now departed Ken Whisenhunt of the Arizona Cardinals . Suffice to say, when you offer a player a ludicrous contract , as to the one offered to Kevin Kolb , you had better fucking well , make sure that he can play with the position effectively ! Let’s just say that chicken shit” , tastes nothing like ” chicken liver “, and essentially Kolb and John Skelton , combined , served up a whole lot of chicken shit, as it related to the Cardinals’ offense and passing game throughout 2012.

The Cardinals’ front office made what I believe has been the best hire , of the newly hired head coaches , in acquiring Bruce Arians to succeed Ken Whisenhunt . Anyone , who had the pleasure of seeing the former Steelers offensive coordinator and Colts’ assistant, interact with Andrew Luck while leading the team on their improbable run during the regular season ,while the franchise’s off-season woes dealt with the health issues of head coach , Chuck Pagano . Arians, was able to steady a team whose nucleus was primarily made up of rookies and second year starters . That may well have been the trait that was easily recognizable by the franchise’s newly installed GM , Steve Keim, as the Arizona Cardinals seek to move on from another disastrous season . If Bruce Arians is able to get half as productive an output from the Cardinals players on the current roster , by comparison than what he achieved with the Indianapolis Colts last season , then it bodes well for the team in 2013.

The NHL, is back ? So who, gives a shit? A regular season schedule of forty-eight games in the space of the three months is meant to enliven a disheartened apparent dwindling fan-base . Yet , the NHL hierarchy are still trying to sell the fans and public this time around they have got it right . I’ll pose this question, what in hell’s name has convinced Commissioner Gary Bettman that this time a ten-year negotiated deal, which sees an even split the NHL’s revenues will lead to a long-term peace accord ? Is this not the same sport , that in the space of two decades have forced their fans to endure four league induced work stoppages ? Not the self-destructive AFL-CIO , or the UAW have been as inept as the NHL and NHLPA combined , and have been able to wreak as much financial damage to their sport . Bettman’s , union counterpart , Donald Fehr , held a similar position with the MLBPA , within Major League Baseball (MLB).

Hockey has now become a sport of diminishing returns , for a vast majority of the teams within the league . A $2.5 billion ( $2,500,000,000) a year industry still remains on life support and the idiocy remains , that neither league hierarchy, team owners or the players themselves , have learned a god damn thing after this labor dispute ! They’ve learned nothing from their first , and nothing from the last stoppage to have derailed the sport ! Their heads remain up in the clouds , and in no fucking way, are their feet firmly in the ground , as this sport , is now being ran , as if it were a corner-shop convenience store, that barely carries the essentials needed to captivate the fans’ attention . Sparse attendance , a dwindling television audience , and there just happens to be the fact that the NHL ,still pays NBC Sports , to carry its content, in terms of a hockey broadcast in the United States . If that’s not a recipe for a continued economic disaster , then can someone explain to me what in their eyes , would not be another sure-fire way of seeing this sport completely disappear off the sporting landscape ?

The NHL regular season drops its puck on Saturday afternoon with a slate of thirteen games , whereby the teams will have to race out of their starting blocks and maintain a break neck speed over the course of this truncated season. Whether or not the fans will be appreciative of this all , remains to be seen, because the postseason could very well be , just as frenetic and misleading .

After Manny Pacquiao’s most recent loss to Juan Manuel-Marquez , a fight in which the eight-time titlist was relentlessly punished by his opponent , suffering the most humiliating loss , of his illustrious career . Many felt , it was time for the fighter to call it quits , and simply walk away under his own steam , while he had all of mental and physical capacities about him . A relentless fighter in his prime, he marched through each of the divisions where he reigned supreme , winning eight world titles in five different weight categories . However, the biggest fight of his career and the one that every fight fan yearned to see , proved to be elusive , and is unlikely to ever take place . Diminishing skills , and the very fact that his greatest nemesis , Floyd Mayweather Jr , now simply “ talks a good fight “ rather than being a willing participant in a bout that everyone wishes to see .

Courtesy of ESPN UK

Pacquiao given Parkinson’s warning

The possibility of retirement for Manny Pacquiao was raised on Thursday after neurologist Dr Rustico Jimenez speculated as to whether the Filipino was showing the first signs of Parkinson’s.

According to reports Jimenez, president of the Private Hospitals Association of the Philippines, said he was concerned about the health of the fighter, who suffered a brutal knockout at the hands of Juan Manuel Marquez at the end of 2012.

Parkinson’s disease is a degenerative disorder of the central nervous system, which affects Pacquiao’s world-renowned coach Freddie Roach. Dr Jimenez is concerned he can see the first signs now creeping into the physiology of the 34-year-old welterweight.

“Even though his reflexes are quick, I noticed the movement – it’s just another view, my personal view – but it seems like there are early signs,” Jimenez told radio dzMM.

“There are some movements that you will notice with his hands. It’s in the hands, and not the head, where you can easily see this. It twitches a little bit. Although I haven’t seen it up close, I think I am seeing that there are some signs.”

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Allegations of doping , an unwillingness to meet each other’s contractual demands , has in essence made this super mega-fight a nonstarter . A guaranteed multimillion dollar gate in receipts , and in excess of 2 ½ million pay per view buys, has not been enough to get Pacquiao’s or Mayweather’s representatives together , to work out the finite details of such a bout . So all that the most ardent fans can ever wish for , is what might have been , or the idiocy of several computers programmers getting together and inputting all of the fighters’ stats into a purpose-built program , to decide upon who a fictional winner might be . Floyd Mayweather’s business partner and closest confidante , Leonard Ellerbee, in recent weeks has suggested Manny Pacquiao’s promoter , Bob Arum , has rebuffed all of his calls . Personally, I believe that Arum , now has “ bigger fish to fry” , as his biggest and most lucrative client , is no longer the “ major draw” he once was. Two now punishing losses , the first of which was a highly debatable but yet justifiable result was the loss of the Filipino fighter’s WBC welterweight title belt to the then , lightly regarded , Tim Bradley. A proposed rematch with Bradley , is now unlikely to take place , so make of it , what you will.

One of the more tantalizing stories to come out of this saga , since Manny Pacquiao’s defeat, are claims by a renowned neurosurgeon that the fighter is clearly showing early signs of dementia and what could be the onset of Alzheimer’s disease . If that were the case , then it is clearly the time for the fighter to step down and save himself from further injury or a major catastrophe occurring in the ring. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize what such a major loss of this magnitude might mean for the sport . Yet , nowhere is there any common sense being shown on the part of Bob Arum or his client , who seems reluctant to walk away from the ring . Manny Pacquiao has career earnings, in excess of $ 200 million , a lucrative business empire in his native Philippines , as well as being a congressman representing his constituents of Sarangani , a highly impoverished district in the Philippines. Pacquiao’s marriage is now threatened by his reluctance to walk away, as the angst shown by his wife , Maria Geraldine Jamora (“Jinkie”) , and their four children, is etched upon her face, when she states …… “ my children would rather see their father alive , than laying dead , in a casket “. If those words are not strong enough a cause for Manny Pacquiao to now rethink his future , then it would be best for his wife to walk away , than subject her and the four children to further emotional trauma .

And while there has been no real evidence to suggest that Pacquiao has suffered any major loss of neurological functions , it would take an eternal optimist to not believe that the fighter’s two losses to Tim Bradley and Juan Manuel-Marquez hasn’t done any damage to the Filipino fighter’s psyche . After-all, who is he going to fight next, in order to convince the public that he is still relevant in the world of boxing ? Any suggestions ?

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Do you as such, have any comments that you wish to make concerning this article ? Then, by all means give us your insights, as you see fit . Continued thanks always for the support of this site and the enlightening and illuminating comments received !

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(1) Lance Armstrong is seen here with talk show host and entrepreneur Oprah Winfrey , as the former athlete confesses to doping, which he denied while an athlete . The interview conducting on Winfrey’s OWN Network came across a bile inducing apology from Armstrong , who is now essentially seeking the public’s forgiveness after the years of deceit and lies . Winfrey herself , failed to ask any really pertinent questions , primarily because the field of sports’ journalism isn’t her expertise , whereas fawning over a guest , has her appearing as matronly individual you could somehow trust to get the truth. Well in this case , there is Armstrong’s truth, as he sees it . And the truth , as the whole world now knows it to be . So who would you rather believe at this juncture ? Courtesy of USA Today /Matt Hinchcomb …. .

(2) A pensive Lance Armstrong searches for answers during an interview with Oprah Winfrey . The host on her ratings’ challenged network hopes to get a boost in the ratings for this two night four-hour expose` . The Guardian UK / Paul Wilson ….

(3) Sacramento Kings fan Gloria Bailey lets her feeling be known as the Kings played the Cleveland Cavaliers in an NBA basketball game in Sacramento, Calif., Monday, Jan. 14, 2013. The Kings won 124-118 . The Maloof family, owners of the Kings, are rumored to be in negotiations to sell the team to a group headed by investor Chris Hansen who would relocate the team to Seattle. AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli …

(4) Clockwise , from left to right , Chris Hansen, Steve Ballmer , Erik Nordstrom and Peter Nordstrom are the four lead investors seeking to purchase the Sacramento Kings and relocate the franchise to Seattle Washington , where they would play in the newly refurbished Key Arena , in Seattle , Washington ,. AP Photo / Mark Mason …

(5) James Frazier, right, holds a sign alongside his mother Karen Roth before an NBA basketball game between the Sacramento Kings and the Dallas Mavericks in Sacramento, Calif., Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013. Word of the possible sale of the team to investor Chris Hansen who would move the franchise to Seattle has Kings fan showing their support with hopes they will remain in Sacramento. Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson is now petitioning NBA Commissioner David Stern and the NBA Board of Governors , a body made up of the league owners and league hierarchy for an emergency meeting in seeking to retain the franchise within the city. However, Johnson has not been able to suggest how he seeks to have the Kings remain in the state capitol. No vested purchasers have come from within the greater Sacramento area , although the situation is being monitored by several parties , although no counter offer has yet been made . AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli ….

(6) Arizona Cardinals owner William Bidwill , right, talks with new head coach Bruce Arians , left, and his wife Christine Arians after Arians was introduced during an NFL football news conference at the team’s training facility Friday, Jan. 18, 2013, in Tempe, Ariz. The Cardinals bring in Arians after he had a storybook year as the Indianapolis Colts offensive coordinator-turned-temporary coach. He filled in for head coach Chuck Pagano while he was treated for cancer and helped get the Colts to the NFL playoffs . AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin ….

(7) New Jersey Devils goalie Martin Brodeur blocks a shot during the team’s first official practice since the NHL hockey lockout ended, Sunday, Jan. 13, 2013, in Newark, N.J. AP Photo/Julio Cortez ..

(8) Juan Manuel Marquez , left , is seen here fighting Manny Pacquiao in the fourth of their now epic four fight quartet . Many are pressing for a fifth fight between the two , most notably Pacquiao’s promoter , Bob Arum of Top Rank Inc . AFP /REUTERS …..

(9)(L-R) Manny Pacquiao throws a right at Juan Manuel Marquez during their welterweight bout at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on December 8, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada. But it would be Juan Manuel-Marquez who would end up being the victor in landing left hook and right cross that lead to the knockout of Pacquiao in the sixth round of their WBC welterweight title fight . FRI Mathe` Regency S.A. / Anton Pasquale … @ copyrighted material all rights reserved .

(10) Manny Pacquiao is seen here with his wife, Maria Geradine-Jamora Pacquiao (“Jinkie”), and three of their four children. Jinkie as she is more commonly known , has pleaded with her husband to now step aside and retire from the sport that he has graced over the past decade, requesting that he do so for the sake of their family, and ultimately his long-term health. The boxer has yet to make a decisive decision concerning his future, with promoter , Bob Arum pressing for a rematch against Juan Manuel-Marquez. Picture appears courtesy of BBC Sports ….

(11) Bob Arum , veteran boxing promoter and CEO of Top Rank Promotions Inc , is seen here with Manny Pacquiao , publicizing his third fight against Juan Manuel Marquez in December of 2011 , that took place at the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino Resort in Las Vegas Nevada ,. AP Photo / Richard Harper ……

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50 Cent …………. ” Many Men “( Wish Death ‘pon-me)

I’m sorry , but what part of I don’t care , don’t you understand ?

I’m sorry , but what part of I don’t care , don’t you understand ?

By Tophatal

Well the divisional round of the NFL postseason came and went , with one or two surprises along the way. This just in , Denver Broncos’ Head of Player Operations , John Elway will be purchasing Bulova watches for the entire roster , as well as John Fox and his coaching staff . Clock management, clock management , you co#k-suckers . The Broncos hosting the Baltimore Ravens at Sports Authority Field in Denver , Colorado , had their game all gift-wrapped merely awaiting delivery to their fans . Somehow , Peyton Manning , Fox and the entire Broncos roster , simply let this game slip from within their grasp , and thereby sending the Ravens to their second AFC Championship game appearance, in two years.

I’m sorry , but what part of I don’t care , don’t you understand ?

By Tophatal

Well the divisional round of the NFL postseason came and went , with one or two surprises along the way. This just in , Denver Broncos’ Head of Player Operations , John Elway will be purchasing Bulova watches for the entire roster , as well as John Fox and his coaching staff . Clock management, clock management , you co#k-suckers . The Broncos hosting the Baltimore Ravens at Sports Authority Field in Denver , Colorado , had their game all gift-wrapped merely awaiting delivery to their fans . Somehow , Peyton Manning , Fox and the entire Broncos roster , simply let this game slip from within their grasp , and thereby sending the Ravens to their second AFC Championship game appearance, in two years.

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For John Harbaugh , he becomes the first coach in NFL history , to take his team to four playoff appearances in his first five seasons ,with two conference championship appearances , coming along the way. Ironically enough , Harbaugh’s brother, Jim Harbaugh will join his brother in accomplishing a similar feat , but his accomplishment might be even more impressive , as the San Francisco 49ers’ head coach will be making his second successive NFC championship game appearance , which will have come in his first two full seasons, as the head coach of this illustrious franchise. And if the subplot plays out , as a number of fans hope , a Harbaugh rivalry at Superbowl (SB XVLII) , could await us all. However, their respective opponents , the Atlanta Falcons and New England Patriots , will no doubt be seeking to upset the apple cart and topple that whole scenario , altogether .

There are some intriguing plotlines to both conference championship games , taking place this weekend at Gillette Stadium , in Foxboro, Massachusetts and at the Georgia Dome , in Atlanta ,Georgia . For Ray Lewis and the Baltimore Ravens , they will be seeking to redeem themselves after last season’s disappointment in the AFC championship game. That loss , left a bitter taste in the mouths of the Ravens’ players as they will undoubtedly seek to exact revenge on their conference rivals . On the flip side of that equation , Bill Belichick and his team will be seeking to make their sixth appearance in the Superbowl , in the last ten years , with Tom Brady , and the head coach , each seeking their fourth Superbowl victories , in their respective positions within this organization.

Well, the exploits of Colin Kaepernick has simply raised the crescendo level , as to what the San Francisco , and the front office led by Trent Baalke , may well seek to do with Alex Smith , the incumbent six-year year starting quarterback for the Forty-Niners , before his dethronement by Kaepernick , earlier this season . And while it has come as a surprise as the poise and presence shown by the young quarterback , it certainly now does give credence to the decision by Jim Harbaugh , to thrust the young quarterback into the limelight . An easy win, of the NFC West, for his second successive divisional title , adds into the astuteness of Harbaugh , as a head coach. It was certainly there for all to witness, while he rebuilt the Stanford program , and made them a force to be reckoned with , within the Pac 12 . Having ascended to the professional ranks of the NFL , Jim Harbaugh has proven to be a more than worth adversary for his peers .

The continued “ knock” against Matt Ryan was the very fact that he had yet to prove himself in the postseason. Well , now that he has finally accomplished the feat of having won his first playoff game , a much loftier task awaits , and that is to lead the Atlanta Falcons pass a very hungry San Francisco 49ers’ team . That being, said it’s not as if, the Falcons are without a thirst of their own , and most certainly after the impoverished years and the years during which Michael Vick may well have brought a great deal of attention to the franchise for good , and some very infamously bad reasons . There is no denying that , Mike Smith and GM Thomas Dimitroff , team President Rich McKay and owner Arthur Blank , have brought back a sense of consistency and presence to the once beleaguered franchise.

With a season’s and league best 13-3 record , the Falcons have simply gone about their business in a thoroughly understated way . . Atlanta for its part , was never seriously challenged within the NFC South , in spite of a spirited effort from Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints . Matt Ryan and his teammates , led by Michael Turner and seasoned veteran , Tony Gonzalez , will seek to derail the hopes of Colin Kaepernick and the Forty-Niners , in what I believe might be, one of the better NFC championship games in recent memory !

Jim Harbaugh, has what might be one of the most balanced of the quartet of teams, now left at this point of the postseason . There can be no denying that the Niners’ defensive unit is amongst the very best in the league , having been extremely efficient , all season long . And it would be a tremendous slight to their offense , if they were to left out of the equation , as well . Now all that awaits is four quarters , rough and tumble all-out football, with the victorious garnering all of the “spoils” , and off-course a final berth in the Superbowl , to be played at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome , in New Orleans , Louisiana on the 2nd February , 2013 .

With the ouster of Romeo Crennel and former , GM , Scott Pioli , it has to be said that it should have come as no surprise that Kansas City Chiefs’ COO Clark Hunt would come to such a decision to “clean house” with such veracity. The failures of the team were well chronicled , with a 2-14 record , in the end , to show for it all. The biggest issue, for the team , it must be said , was the poor play from the quarterbacks on the Chiefs’ roster . Matt Cassel and Brady Quinn , simply showed that they have an aversion to playing with any semblance of consistency , and that was clearly mirrored in team’s results in 2012.

Beyond the Chiefs’ absolutely poor offensive play , it has to be stated , that the team’s defense was just mediocre, and often at times, downright insulting , for the Kansas City Chiefs’ fans and the NFL fan in general to watch. And it certainly did not help that a number of the team’s rookies drafted in 2012, failed to live up expectations , and the same I believe, can be said of their draftees from 2011 ! Newly installed , general manager, John Dorsey , has entrusted to return this franchise to its former glory. Dorsey, Andy Reid, and his coaching staff will certainly be assessing the roster, to certainly see what may well be superfluous to the team’s needs.

Reid’s record, while stellar with the Philadelphia Eagles , it has to be said that 2012, may well have been the worst of his distinguished career. A listless and often impoverished Eagles’ team in 2012 , simply did not put up much of a fight , but what might be even more improbable was Andy Reid’s implicit faith in the clearly declining skillset of Michal Vick , as the veteran , labored throughout much of the season . It wasn’t until the player, suffered a concussion, that Reid relented , with rookie Nick Foles being installed to replace the injured veteran. A 4-12 season , was simply a reflection of the Philadelphia Eagles in 2012, in an NFC East division that could be best described as being rather mediocre . When all said and done, 2012 was a season that the Eagles would rather forget , and specifically for Michael Vick and Foles , as their joint productivity for the team was somewhat sedentary to say the very least !

The interview process for the Philadelphia Eagles is still ongoing with GM , Howie Roseman still perusing and interviewing an ever-growing list of potential candidates , as he seeks a worthy successor to Andy Reid . As to the impending future of Michael Vick , there has been no formal statement , as to whether or not the veteran, remains a part of the franchise’s long or short-term future .

As seasons go, I don’t know that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ season could ever have been more disappointing ! What should have been one of growth and improvement , simply whimpered out , through sheer lack of conviction by the Buccaneers’ players , and a complete lack experience on the part of first year coach , Greg Schiano . Excuses asides , concerning a litany of injuries to players , but the truth of the matter comes down to a complete lack of preparation , immaturity by the rookies, as well as the seasoned veterans on the roster , along with their now , rather asinine excuses for a season of all too inept performances ! If there was a bright spark to be found on the team, then it came by way of the play of rookie running back , Doug Martin , and that of tight end , Vincent Jackson . Other performances of note, were all too fleeting , with perhaps none more so than that of starting quarterback, Josh Freeman , with another year of unfulfilled dreams.

Schiano tried to instill a robust sort of discipline , one which reverberated around the league and made the head coach and his players , the subject of a great deal of ridicule , as well as the target of a lot of defamatory remarks concerning the lack of sportsmanship on the part of the Buccaneers’ players. Yet , I feel much of that came down to the poor lack of execution , on the part of this team , and Greg Schiano’s wish to prove to opponents that his players would be “ no pushovers” . Well in retrospect , they were very much pushovers , having lost four of their last five games to end the regular season , wherein they posted a 7-9 record within the NFC South. Definitely , not much to celebrate, given the earlier expectations of Schiano and his coaching staff , prior to the beginning of the regular season.

Courtesy of NFL.com Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ official site

Greg Schiano hints at Buccaneers’ quarterback competition

By Marc Sessler , NFL.com

<u< Greg Schiano's biggest to-do this off-season ? Determining if young ,Josh Freeman goes forward as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ franchise quarterback.

The team’s first-year coach told reporters Monday he believes Freeman someday will win a Super Bowl, but he hinted the Bucs (7-9) might bring in new bodies at the position in 2013.

“The one thing I do believe in is competition at every spot, including the quarterback, so I want to have as many good players on our football team as we can at every single position,” Schiano said, per the Tampa Bay Times. “It’s a little different in the NFL.”

Pressed on if he was “all-in” on Freeman, Schiano stopped a few yards short of full support.

“That’s a question that, again, I’m not all in with myself yet, so how could I me all in with Josh Freeman or any other player?” Schiano said. “I’m not side-stepping you, but I need to evaluate.

Track the rookie QBs:
For the first time in league history, five rookie quarterbacks earned starting jobs. We’re keeping track of their performances and progress on the field throughout the season.
More …

“What I can say is, a 4,000-yard passer, a touchdown record — there’s a lot of things you say, ‘Wow.’ Are there things that frustrate you? Yeah. There are things that frustrate him, too. And I’m not ducking the question, because quite frankly, I really like Josh Freeman. But I want to make sure I don’t get ahead of my skis at all here and really evaluate every single thing to what’s best for this organization.

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With Greg Schiano having conducted his own postmortem, as to what went wrong in 2012, the Buccaneers’ head coach has sent a defiant message to all of his players , that all positions will be up for “grabs” in the 2013-14 season . Furthermore , he has become non-committal , with regard to Josh Freeman being offered a long-term contract with the franchise. There now seems to be , a gathering storm , that will be hovering above the head of Josh Freeman , and his own future with the Buccaneers’ franchise . A sense of foreboding , that , if Freeman is unable to show any signs improvement , given his alleged off-season conditioning and workout regimen , then there is the likelihood , that at the start of the Buccaneers’ OTA’s and mandatory workouts prior to next season, Josh Freeman could either be on his way out , or find himself down the pecking order for the starting role as the team’s quarterback.

The fact that the Detroit Lions’ head coach , Jim Schwartz , escaped the postseason culling , now known as “Black Monday “ , is all the more remarkable , when you consider that one of his divisional peers , Lovie Smith was summarily fired having guided the Chicago Bears to a 10-6 record within the NFC North, only to narrowly miss a playoff berth . Now while I understand , the Bears’ reasoning behind Smith’s dismissal , I do feel that GM, Phil Emery , was naïve in simply suggesting that the brunt of the blame lays primarily with the fired head coach . It must have escaped his notice , that the often coddled and overrated Jay Cutler , simply doesn’t have what it takes to lead a team , much less win a series of meaningful games in the postseason .

Matt Stafford having thrown for a career best 5038 yards in 2011. The four-year starter for the Detroit Lions , while falling short of another 5,000 yard season in 2012 , simply provided the Lions with an aerial attack , and little else by way of leadership . And while Calvin Johnson set his sights on , and having surpassed the single season receiving yards’ mark , beyond that, there was very little to suggest , that this season that the Lions were remotely in with a chance of doing anything worthwhile in 2012. And that was clearly mirrored in the team’s final standing within the NFC North , in posting a 4-12 record . At no time throughout the Lions’ season , did it ever appear that Jim Schwartz could corral this team into playing with any discipline or resolve , yet somehow he remains in a position to return next season , under the premise that injuries played a great part in derailing the team’s aspirations in 2012. . Lions’ GM , Martin Mayhew , and team Vice Chairman , William Clay Ford Jr , will seriously have to assess the performance of their head coach his coaching staff and several of the players on the roster , who simply came up short in 2012 . Both front office executives are deeply in denial , if they felt that, Jim Schwartz wasn’t part of the equation, that led to such a disastrous season for the Detroit Lions .

Inasmuch as 2012 , has been a successful season, off the field, the governance of Roger Goodell , still remains in question , as his power-base , has diminished greatly , because of his sheer contempt and conceit. The commissioner’s handling of the New Orleans Saints’ bounty scandal , the league hierarchy’s almost nonexistent handling of veterans’ issues, as it relates to their denial of rightfully earned benefits , speaks greatly , to Goodell’s complete lack of understanding of the position which was bestowed upon him , by the team owners and the NFL’s Board of Governors . The commissioner simply glosses over those pertinent issues , only heighten the league’s ongoing economic growth, but when pressed to address the aforementioned problems that still ensnare the NFL , he is unable to give a succinct and comprehensive answer . It is almost as if , Roger Goodell , does not care , just as long as he believes his image remains intact , while still being able to cling to power. It is at this juncture , that the fans must ask , do we not deserve a great deal more from the NFL as paying customers and loyal fans ? Your thoughts on this ?

Inasmuch as 2012 , has been a successful season, off the field, the governance of Roger Goodell , still remains in question , as his power-base , has diminished greatly , because of his sheer contempt and conceit. The commissioner’s handling of the New Orleans Saints’ bounty scandal , the league hierarchy’s almost nonexistent handling of veterans’ issues, as it relates to their denial of rightfully earned benefits , speaks greatly , to Goodell’s complete lack of understanding of the position which was bestowed upon him , by the team owners and the NFL’s Board of Governors .

It has been almost two years since the league hierarchy and NFLPA (Players’ Union) came to a firm agreement , ratified in their most recent CBA (collective bargaining agreement) , wherein the league would now begin mandatory testing for HGH (human growth hormones). Now in light of Lance Armstrong’s admission of guilt as to his rampant use of HGH , EPO and other illicit substances , the union led by NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith , still tries to hide behind the idiotic notion that there is no concrete testing protocol that can fully detect these substances , and that until there is , he does not feel that the NFL has the right to begin blanket and mandatory testing of his members . Unless I’m mistaken , in 2007, Smith before a congressional committee did in fact give testimony , that he was not opposed the league , testing the players within the NFL , just as long as those tests were carried out by a reputable body , and that there would be safeguards to insure that mistakes were not made . Pardon me for saying this , but Smith , much like his predecessor , Gene Upshaw , just seems to be intent on blowing smoke up everyone’s ass , while hoping to see the subject of testing for HGH simply disappear from within the NFL’s midst ! It is unfortunate , that DeMaurice Smith should take this stance , while many of his current and retired members , are besieged with a litany of health issues, that are wide-ranging . Yet , it does appear that the union , much like the NFL hierarchy , simply operates, on the basis of collateral damage , and the fact that , the NFL is , now more about economic power , wealth and not much else beyond that !

Courtesy of USA Today

Bell: NFL falls further behind on HGH testing

By Jarrett Bell , USA Today Sports

The pressure just went up a notch for the NFL.

What’s the delay in implementing an HGH testing program?

We know. We’ve heard it before. The NFL Players Association (NFLPA) isn’t convinced that there is a reliable test, regardless of what anti-doping experts maintain.

Yet Major League Baseball players don’t dispute that there are valid tests, so MLB beat the NFL and its players to the punch in announcing Thursday that it will implement random, in-season blood-testing for human growth hormone.

HGH: MLB to begin in-season testing

So, despite that great photo-op on the steps of the Pro Football Hall of Fame 17 months ago, when NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith announced that the NFL would become the first U.S. pro sports league to implement HGH testing as part of a new labor deal, Major League Baseball takes the honor.

Of course, this did not go unnoticed on Capitol Hill. The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, which has held hearings and written letters aimed at nudging the players union toward an agreement for testing, issued a statement Thursday.

It was predictable. In part, it read, “Other professional sports leagues, including the National Football League, must also implement their own robust testing regimes. Major League Baseball’s announcement increases the pressure on the NFL and its players to deliver on pledges to conduct HGH testing made in their collective bargaining agreement that was signed (nearly) two years ago.”

There was silence on the matter from the NFL players union on Thursday, although it did mention the House Committee in its statement about findings that the late Junior Seau, who committed suicide in May, suffered from a degenerative brain condition, chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). The NFLPA called on Reps. Darrell Issa, chairman of the House Committee, and ranking member Elijah Cummings to look into issues related to health and safety beyond HGH testing, including its desire to have independent sideline concussion experts and revisions in the workers compensation system.

MORE: Is new drug policy sufficient ?

“We hope the MLB players' union will inspire the NFLPA to stop its stalling tactics and fulfill its commitment to begin testing for HGH,” NFL spokesman Greg Aiello wrote in an e-mail to USA TODAY Sports. "If the NFLPA stands for player health and safety, it should follow the lead of the MLB players union and end the delay."

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The commissioner simply glosses over those pertinent issues , only heighten the league’s ongoing economic growth, but when pressed to address the aforementioned problems that still ensnares the NFL , he is unable to give a succinct and comprehensive answer . It is almost as if , Roger Goodell , does not care , just as long as he believes his image remains intact , while still being able to cling to power. It is at this juncture , that the fans must ask , do we not deserve a great deal more from the NFL as paying customers and loyal fans ? Your thoughts on this ?

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Picture gallery .

What if anything , has stood out for you , this NFL season ? And how do you see the AFC and NFC championship games playing out as a scenario ? Furthermore , what are you hopes during the off-season for your respective team or teams , by way of a change in their fortunes ? Chime in on this , and anything else you believe to be pertinent on the subject matter .

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Picture and slideshow gallery details below .

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(1) Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh speaks during a news conference at the team’s practice facility in Owings Mills, Md., Monday, Jan. 14, 2013. The Ravens are scheduled to face the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship game on Sunday. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky) …..

(2) Baltimore Ravens inside linebacker Ray Lewis , left, watches as Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning calls a play at the line of scrimmage against the Baltimore Ravens in the second quarter of an AFC divisional playoff NFL football game , Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013, in Denver. The Ravens would go on to defeat the Broncos 38-35 in overtime . AP Photo/Charlie Riedel ….

(3) Baltimore Ravens inside linebacker Ray Lewis shakes hands Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (18) after the Ravens won 38-35 in overtime of an AFC divisional playoff NFL football game, Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013, in Denver. Lewis , a perennial Pro Bowl player , made the formal announcement statement that this would be his last season with the Ravens , with the intent of retiring at the culmination of the team’s postseason foray . AP Photo/Jack Dempsey …

(4) New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick waves to spectators following an AFC divisional playoff NFL football game against the Houston Texans in Foxborough, Mass., Sunday, Jan. 13, 2013. The Patriots defeated the Texans 41-28 . AP Photo/Elise Amendola …

(5) San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh celebrates with quarterback Colin Kaepernick (7) ,after Kaepernick’s 56-yard touchdown run , against the Green Bay Packers during the third quarter of an NFC divisional playoff NFL football game in San Francisco, Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013. AP Photo/Ben Margot …..

(6) Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach , Greg Schiano ,left, is seen here with the team’s GM , Mark Dominik at the franchise’s training facility , One Buc Place .. The two members within the franchise’s hierarchy have come to the conclusion that incumbent starting quarterback , Josh Freeman is now in need of stiff competition , if the team , is indeed to get better . Last season proved to be amongst the least successful for the former ….. Kansas St quarterback . Drafted 17th overall in the in the 2009 NFL Draft by the Buccaneers , Freeman’s struggles have been well chronicled in the local and press . It would appear that 2012 , seems to be the year which things have come to a head , with Greg Schiano now at his wit’s end concerning his starting quarterback . Tampa Bay Times / Scott Hughes …

(7) Martin Mayhew , left , Detroit Lions’ general manager , is seen here with the team’s head coach Jim Schwartz , on the sidelines of regular season game played at Ford Field , in Detroit , Michigan. Having made the postseason in 2011 , the team fell back to earth , with disastrous thud finishing at the bottom of the pile within the NFC North , with a 4-12 record in 2012. Many were surprised that Schwartz retained his position with the franchise , but Chairman , William Clay Ford Jr and the general manager were in agreement that Jim Schwartz should be asked to return for next season. Detroit Free News / Daniel Mears ….

(8) NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell , left is seen here alongside NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith , as each wait to address to members of the House Oversight & Government Reform Committee , up on Capitol Hill , Washington DC , in October of 2010. The pair , were also joined by MLB Commissioner Bud Selig , MLBPA Executive Director , Michael Weiner , David Stern of the NBA , as well as Gary Bettman of the NHL . The congressional committee convened a hearing to address the issue of performance enhancing drugs within four major professional sports . However , senior members of the committee took umbrage with both Goodell and Smith , and their reluctance to enact their initiative , which had been ratified by the NFLPA in 2010, to start testing for the use HGH (human growth hormone) by the NFL players . Three years later and the NFL is no closer to starting their testing protocols , whereas baseball has begun testing not only HGH , but a wide substances by MLB , but also designated a felony , wherein , a player is known to have obtained such a substance without medical approval and that of a prescription by a licensed medical professional , specifically for medical use. AP REUTERS / David Rogers …..

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’Maino’ feat’g Roscoe Dash ….. ”Let it Fly”

This is not what I signed up for !

This is not what I signed up for !

By Tophatal

The NBA season is moving along nicely, but for a new of teams , it now looks as their seasons could very well be over before we have reached the midway point of the 2012-13 NBA calendar . The plotlines to the season are now being played out , with Charlotte Bobcats , Cleveland Cavaliers and Washington Wizards , all three teams are seeking to redefine mediocrity , and now the fans have been witnesses this all.

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Slideshow.

In the Eastern Conference , the three teams that seem to the setting the pace , are the Miami Heat(23-11) , New York Knicks (23-12) and the surprisingly resourceful Indiana Pacers(22-14) . While the reigning champions, the Heat are looking to make a successful defense of their title. Yet on the face of it, this team do seem to be trying to make things extremely hard for themselves with their rather inconsistent play. The NBA season, having had the first of two coaching casualties, with the dismissals of Mike Brown of the Los Angeles Lakers , five games (1-4) into their season , with a rather asinine explanation coming from GM , Mitch Kupchak , as to the reasons for the improbable decision .

The other casualty to fall , was Avery Johnson of the Brooklyn Nets , and whether or not this is pertinent , but it would appear that Nets’ point guard , Deron Williams , is now becoming known , as something of a “ coach killer” . It should come as no surprise , with the evidence being there for all to see , first with the Utah Jazz , and the departure of Jerry Sloan, albeit the famed former head coach resigned , rather than being forced out , but the tell-tale signs were there for all to see . An underperforming star , continually, complaining about his team’s play, without ever once, showing any form of leadership to his teammates . I’ll say this for Deron Williams , in spite of his play , his lack of maturity far outweighs anything that he is said to have achieved at this point of his career .

The Brooklyn Nets , with P J Carlesimo , now coaching the team on an interim basis , have made a hard push to lure famed and future bound Hall of Fame coach , Phil Jackson , out of retirement , literally offering him a King’s ransom and a rumored minority interest in the Nets’ franchise . Part ownership of a listless team, that is also without a leader , much less having any real character , is not I believe, a scenario where Jackson would be lured back into coaching ! And the same situation can now be applied to the idiocy that has now befallen the Los Angeles Lakers , another aging , uninspired franchise and team . As Kobe Bryant , recently stated, we’re getting old and heading nowhere fast “ . It is now beginning to look all the more probable that the franchise could very well end up missing the postseason , should the team continue with their ongoing season of ineptitude and inconsistency. It has now left many fans and NBA analysts wondering , how could things spiraled so out of control, so fast , without their being any inclination at the start of the season , that , it would be one , of sheer ridicule of the ownership and management ?

The hiring of Mike D’Antoni to succeed Mike Brown , is befuddling to myself , as to this ongoing belief and fascination with the paparazzi, that the career of Lindsay Lohan , still remains relevant when she has done absolutely nothing of merit over the past five years. As to D’Antoni’s resume` , well let’s just say , there’s not a great deal that one could truly say , is altogether inspiring ! I truly believe, that Mitch Kupchak and Lakers’ SVP, Jim Buss , have now erred twice in their most recent managerial hiring! If you believe my statement to be a mistake, then do take the time to explain your reasons why?

The makeup of this Lakers’ roster pivots around the play of Kobe Bryant , and as he goes , then so does the rest of the team, Granted , Bryant can go off , for forty-plus points , and inevitably given their play of the team, and they still end up losing . Yet the enigma, here , is that the team either choose not to , or has no idea , how to play a lick of goddamn defense , when it matters most ! As things now continue , with the winners of four of their last ten games , it begs the question what is the perceived direction that the team , is said to be heading in ? The Lakers now sit 12.5 games out of first place , within the Pacific Division behind the surging Los Angeles Clippers (28-8).

With Blake Griffin leading the way alongside one of the NBA’s premier point guards , in Chris Paul , it has to be said that the Lakers’ task is becoming all the more unenviable , especially when the Clippers are now seen “ as the best story happening , in the city of Angels” . Failure at this juncture , and we could very well see the franchise go through their second managerial change inside of a calendar year . Something, I would have said , was impossible at the start of the season . And this is a franchise known for its semblance of continuity , albeit , that the glitterati and paparazzi make the organization the center and focus of the NBA landscape , and that is with due respect to the residents of the “Big Apple” and “ Brooklyn” .

Now unless I’m mistaken, we were led to believe that the NBA is a brand that has become world renown , yet, I seriously doubt David Stern would have expected three teams within the Eastern Conference subjecting the fans of the league , to such abject futility! The Charlotte Bobcats (9-26) , Cleveland Cavaliers (9-29 ) , and the Washington Wizards (5-28) , this season have given a whole new meaning to the words , “ futility” and “mediocrity” , which is clearly reflected in their respective records and play.

Inasmuch , as I have admired Michael Jordan’s career as an NBA player , it has to be said his successes as an NBA front office executive is now “peppered” with a “ litany of failures” . Anyone who would now suggest that Jordan is at the forefront of his present career, as owner and de-facto general manager , should now begin to acknowledge that he might now be the NBA’s answer to Jerry Jones of the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys . I am not about to suggest that Michael Jordan doesn’t accept the input of his fellow executives , in particular that of GM, Rich Cho . Yet it has become , and will remain abundantly clear, that Jordan is prepared to things his way , and is not truly prepared to accept any criticism leveled his way. And the Bobcats for their part , are not making the situation any more acceptable with the ongoing futility of this team . If there is a silver cloud to this nightmare , then it is the fact that , the organization is unlikely to end up with the worst record within the NBA at season’s end , especially when one bears in mind , the franchise’s 7-59 mark of last season , in reduced schedule of sixty-six games , from the customary eighty-two game schedule the NBA is naturally known for.

I’ve called it , and the anally retentive idiots who sought the retention of the Sacramento Kings in the California state capital , clearly have no fucking idea as to what is happening within their very midst , let alone within the front office of the Kings , altogether. I suppose that all comes down to the apathy of those fans , and what they feel is their all-knowing belief, that the NBA eats , breathes and shits , by the events take place on the West Coast, and shapes this league as a whole ! In what should not be seen as a surprising turn of events the ownership group the Sacramento Kings , led by the Maloof family , of Joe and Gavin Maloof , have agreed in principle to the sale of the NBA franchise to a Seattle-based consortium that will relocate the Kings to Washington State. For the better part of two and a half years, the city’s mayor , Kevin Johnson , himself a former NBA player , has judiciously negotiated with the Kings , primarily with GM, Geoff Petrie , but also with, Joe and Gavin Maloof.

Courtesy of USA Today

Sacramento Kings’ possible move uneasy for players, fans

SACRAMENTO (AP) — Aaron Brooks has been in an awkward spot since news surfaced that the Sacramento Kings could be sold and moved to his hometown of Seattle.

The Kings guard has no answers for family and friends who have been calling and texting for information. Even the excitement his brother, Alvertis, had when he showed up for a visit evaporated once he realized those in Sacramento might feel the same sorrow as when the SuperSonics left for Oklahoma City in 2008.

NEARING DEAL: Seattle group negotiates with Maloofs

“Seattle does need a team. But you would hate to have a team leave a city you know wants a basketball team,” Brooks said. “It’s unfortunate.”

For Sacramento players, coaches and fans, this is not an easy time.

In the first game since the latest — and perhaps most serious — round of relocation talks began, the Kings lost to the Dallas Mavericks 117-112 in overtime Thursday night, with chatter around the aging arena seemingly centering on everything but basketball.

GAME: Mavericks come back from 17 points down

Newspaper and television reporters from Seattle showed up along with an increased local media presence. Fans contemplated whether they should keep supporting a team they love. Ushers and parking attendants who depend on the team for work approached reporters wondering if they knew what might happen.

Even players and coaches admitted all the attention made it difficult to focus on the game.

“It’s definitely going to be a distraction,” said Kings coach Keith Smart. “But we’re pros. We’ve got to figure out a way how to separate the two and then get ready to play.”

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However, it has been intransigence of the franchise’s owners and the very fact , that David Stern has failed to act as a willing intermediary and peacemaker , that has led to this actual debacle . From the very outset, it was my belief that Johnson was negotiating from a position of weakness! And this continued idiocy by a number loyal but misguided Kings’ fans that it would be in the city’s best interest to use public funds in conjunction with that of private enterprise within the city’s locale , presently shows why the state and city remains a “complete cluster fuck “ , politically and economically , with no apparent leadership or the capacity to do what is ethically right , and that is to walk away while you have the option , instead of being made to look like a complete asshole ! As of now, that can be the only way to view Kevin Johnson and the Sacramento City Council. When will these municipal politicians, learn that continually kissing the ass of a billionaire or millionaire professional sports’ franchise owner , rarely benefits a city in the long-term !

Courtesy of USA Today

Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson says he’ll save Kings

By Sam Amick , USA Today Sports

SACRAMENTO — Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson swears he still has a shot to save his hometown team.

Johnson, the native son and former NBA point guard who has spent recent years trying to keep the Maloof family that owns the team from taking it elsewhere, told USA TODAY Sports on Friday night that Seattle hasn’t won this game just yet. Asked if his window had closed in light of a Wednesday report that the Maloofs and the Chris Hansen-Steve Ballmer group were finalizing a deal to bring the NBA back to Seattle and more reports on Friday that the deal was done in principle for $525 million, Johnson spread his hands wide and smiled. The window, he swears, remains open.

“(NBA Commissioner David Stern) knows that I’m going to make a request to speak to the governing board (before any Seattle deal is formalized),” Johnson said, noting that the deadline to file for relocation is March 1.

NBA A-Z: Sacramento turns out to support Kings

Stern said Thursday night that potential buyers who might keep the team in Sacramento deserve a shot, even naming billionaire supermarket mogul Ron Burkle as one candidate.

“This will be decided by a committee of owners and the NBA’s board of governors with the advice of me but not leading the way,” Stern said on Thursday night.

As was the case when he made an impassioned and ultimately successful pitch at a board of governor’s meeting in New York to keep the team from going to Anaheim, Calif., in April of 2011, Johnson — who had an agreement in principle with the Maloofs and the NBA for a new arena last February before they backed out — is confident Stern will give him the time necessary to organize his effort.

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A web of lies, and deceit , have been built around this whole sale , and it is clear that the Maloofs simply sought vested parties willing to take a beleaguered and an unprofitable franchise off their hands . Now comes the hard part , how will the fans act with regard to his monumental betrayal by the ownership group , and their malfeasance ? The irony here , has been the apathy of the fans who bought into this fucking bullshit , with regard to Joe , Gavin and Robert Maloof’s intent of keeping the franchise in Sacramento . I’ve always maintained before you run , you have to learn how to walk , and before you start to talk about the economic sports, at least have the goddamn temerity to know what the hell you are talking about , and that has been the stupidity of the Kings’ fans at this juncture !

At 13-23 , there does not seem to be a great deal that the Kings seem to be offering their fan at present , no matter how you view the situation. Coming off to a tough 117-112 loss to the Dallas Mavericks at the archaic and impoverished Sleep Train Arena , one of the NBA’s more dilapidated venues , for which the Maloofs, offered no assistance in refurbishing, when this whole negotiating process began . From the very outset it was abundantly clear , that neither Joe or Gavin Maloof, intended to negotiate in good faith , yet Kings’ fans in their continued bewilderment and sheer stupidity , held out hope that an amicable agreement could be reached between the city of Sacramento and the owners of the NBA franchise. It was merely the blind, and the blissfully stupid, being led down the garden path by the Maloofs . At the end of the day , one simply knows that David Stern in celebratory mood will commending the new owners of the soon to be relocated franchise , while the city of Sacramento , are left egg on their face and a white elephant , whose only use will be to stage a number of concerts and perhaps , a number of business expositions .

Next up for the Kings, will be two consecutive home games , with the first being tonight against the Miami Heat to be followed by a meeting against the Cleveland Cavaliers , on Monday night . There is not a great deal that can be said in terms of a positive for head coach Keith Smart and his coaching staff . The team’s best player remains Tyreke Evans , who’s ably assisted by Aaron Brooks , John Salmons and the troubled enigma that is , DeMarcus Cousins , whose exploits off the court , have now become the sole reason to even take an interest in the troubled player , who just doesn’t seem capable of harnessing his abilities and being truly productive for this beleaguered franchise . Beyond that, there is not much left, that can be said !

While, I am impressed with the growing stature of the Los Angeles Clippers , and their body of work this season . There can be no denying that if this franchise is to prove itself a success , then their efforts against the top tiered teams within the league will have to be amplified and maintained over the course of the season , and Vinnie Del Negro cannot be complacent in settling for half-measures in terms of his team’s productivity . If anything , while having the league’s best record , the continued “ knock” against the Clippers , will be , until they have proved themselves in the postseason , they will just be looked upon as a very good regular season team.

If the Clippers based upon their record are deemed the best team in the NBA at present , then surely , the Oklahoma City Thunder must pose an ominous threat , along with the San Antonio Spurs , within the Western Conference ? ? The “ dark horses” within the conference are the Memphis Grizzlies , a team capable of beating the very best within the NBA when they apply themselves to the task at hand .

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Picture gallery .

The NBA this season , we have been privileged to seeing the ascent of the New York Knicks , Los Angeles Clippers and Memphis Grizzlies . Players , LeBron James , Carmelo Anthony and Kevin Durant , continue to be dominant , yet why do I get the feeling that I am likely to be continually disappointed by the league in so many ways ? What, if anything has proven to be the biggest surprise and joy to your mind, while also witnessing, the very worst that the NBA has to offer? simply, leave a comment as you see fit.

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Picture and slideshow gallery details below .
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(1)Indiana Pacers’ George Hill (3) drives against Charlotte Bobcats’ Ben Gordon (8) during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Indianapolis, Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013. The Pacers defeated the Bobcats 96-88 . AP Photo/Doug McSchooler …

(2) Denver Nuggets’ Kenneth Faried , right, shoots over Cleveland Cavaliers’ Kyrie Irving , left, during the first quarter of an NBA basketball game Friday, Jan. 11, 2013, in Denver. AP Photo/Barry Gutierrez …

(3) Michael Jordan , the Charlotte Bobcats’ owner , is seen here with fiancée’ , Yvette Prieto , watching the Bobcats in a game played at the team’s home venue at the Time Warner Cable Arena , in Charlotte , North Carolina . Jordan and general manager , Rich Cho , have yet to get the Bobcats heading in the right direction , and it appears that their struggles have been on ongoing over the past two seasons . Team acquisitions as well as the draft have yet to be fortuitous for the franchise . AP Photo / Suzy Marshall …

(4) Phoenix Suns’ Sebastian Telfair (31) drives the ball past Brooklyn Nets’ Deron Williams (8) in the first half of an NBA basketball game on Friday, Jan., 11, 2013 at Barclays Center in New York. AP Photo/Kathy Kmonicek ….

(5) ” Clueless in Sacramento ” , Seattle Mayor , Kevin Johnson is seen here Sacramento Kings’ owners , Joe and Gavin Maloof are seen here in attendance of a Kings’ game in 2011 . It is now being widely being reported that the franchise will be sold to a Seattle-based consortium , for a yet undisclosed, sum for which the Maloofs have agreed in principle to the sale . Johnson, has vowed to use every available means within his power avert the ” sale” and to retain Sacramento Kings within the California state capitol . AP Photo/ Paul Pennant …….

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Dior Keyshia

Keyshia Dior , a hot piece of ass that’s worth watching , up close and personal !

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James Brown ……. ” Papa’s got a brand new bag ”

Being, self-absorbed doesn’t offer dignity, it simply proves you are an ass

Being, self-absorbed doesn’t offer dignity, it simply proves you are an ass

By Tophatal

Well, after a rather meaningless gathering, the less than flattering body of the BBWAA (Baseball Writers Association of America) more commonly known in my circle as the Baseball Writers Association of A$sholes , came to a decision that the 34 players on the 2013 the Hall of Fame ballot was not worthy of being inductees in this celebratory ceremony . Now as many of you may know, that among the list of candidates were, three of the most prominent players associated with the “steroid era “ of baseball.

Roger Clemens , Barry Bonds and Sammy Sosa were part of that list of players , where the adjudicators would have to make the decision to vote those candidates in , by a margin of no less than 75% of the tallied votes .

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Not wanting to make light of this all , but celebrated columnist and journalist , Bob Nightengale of USA Today , wrote a <a href=”http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/mlb/2013/01/07/barry-bonds-roger-clemens-hall-of-fame-fred-mcgriff-steroids-sammy-sosa/1812111/”&gt; column stating why he would in all likelihood vote for all three of the aforementioned players to be enshrined . Nightengale suggests that on pure stats alone , the triumvirate were worthy of that accolade . It should be noted , the writer is also a voting member of the aforementioned BBWAA , a body , which I believe, no longer has any credibility or integrity ! Much of that is based on the non-committed stance of that group when the subject of “rampant steroid use” was prevalent within the game , and the very fact that this journalistic body , essentially chose to obfuscate their responsibilities as journalists , only seeking to write salacious tales or what was at the time , essentially the “ tainted feats “ of Bonds , Sosa and Mark McGwire . Needless , to say , legal actions , subpoenaed testimony in front of a congressional committee has done nothing to lift the credibility of the players involved , or raised the integrity of the BBWAA , altogether .

The BBWAA does not seem to possess the journalistic aptitude to even seek out the stories within the game that resonate with the fans and public at large , never mind the odious and often at times banal pieces that can be found within this forum on the subject matter of the illicit use of PED’s and other prohibitive substances within the game of baseball. However, it is simply not just the print media that should also bear responsibility for this apathy, because the sports’ broadcast outlets and the major television media, have essentially remained quiet on an ever </awide ranging list of topics associated with the </aseamier side of the game. Usually, it is not until a story has started to gather a great deal of steam that we tend to see all parts of the news’ media outlets start to scurry and give their perspective , one that is skewered uninformed and at times poorly written and without any real focal points, to that piece at all ! .

Courtesy of USA Today , Bob Nightengale

Barry Bonds was the first name I checked on my Hall of Fame ballot.

Roger Clemens was the second name I checked.

Sammy Sosa was the third.

There was no hesitation. No moment of wavering. Didn’t even blink.

Bonds, a seven-time MVP, might have been the greatest baseball player since Babe Ruth. Clemens, a seven-time Cy Young Award winner, was one of the most dominant pitchers of the last 50 years. Sosa, the only man to hit 60 or more homers in three seasons, was one of the most prolific home run hitters we’ve ever seen.

Oh, the steroids debate?

None ever failed a drug test after Major League Baseball implemented testing in 2004. They were never suspended by MLB for steroids, human growth hormone, amphetamines or any other performance-enhancing drugs.

Clemens was exonerated on perjury charges for lying about steroid use in federal court. Bonds also beat perjury charges and was convicted only on an obstruction-of-justice charge that he’s appealing.

Do I still believe they cheated? Absolutely.

Do I have proof? No.

Do I have strong suspicions that Mike Piazza and Jeff Bagwell cheated after witnessing their colossal changes in body type and performance? Absolutely.

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Thankfully, Bob Nightengale and his cabal of idiots for once , may well have done the right thing , in not voting anyone in , from among the list of candidate on the 2013 list of prospective inductees. Craig Biggio came the closest , garnering 68.3% of the necessary 75 % of the votes needed for enshrinement into Baseball’s Hall of Fame. However, he may well face an stiffer task in 2014 , when the list of candidates will include among those notables , Greg Maddux , Tom Glavine, Edgar Martinez , Frank Thomas , Mike Mussina , Luis Gonzalez , Kenny Rogers , and Hideo Nomo , among in the category of eligible first time candidates due for induction. And one would be hard pressed to state that neither Greg Maddux or Tom Glavine are not worthy for induction into the Hall of Fame , in Cooperstown, New York .

One of more patronizing side of the BBWAA is that self-righteous belief that is espoused is as such , as knowledgeable historians of the game , their “printed word” is sacrosanct. In all honesty , given the institution to simply sidestep controversy , merely to stay in the good graces of baseball’s hierarchy . I am beginning to wonder , whether or not it would simply be more beneficial to have a body of current and retired players along with managers and front office executive to be arbiters for a players’ induction into the Hall of Fame . Can anyone say that there is any real credence in the way the baseball writers conduct their voting process ? Who better than the players , managers and general managers to make such a decision , rather than a bunch of doe-eyed word and often times gregarious idiots be left to make such a decision. The purists and traditionalists out there may well think otherwise . Yet more often than not those are the very same imbeciles , who will make a case for the argument that the actions of Bonds , Sosa , Clemens , McGwire and Rafael Palmeiro did not do irreparable harm to the game. If they have profited financially from their actions while defrauding the fans and public alike , then off course irreparable damage has been done to the image of baseball . Only, an anally retentive asshole , would seek to suggest otherwise !

Beyond the rhetoric proffered up by baseball’s writers within their own little sphere of influence , and who have never really delved with any great depth into the financial imbalances within the game , other than to report who just happens to be the highest paid player in the game , or to remind us that the New York Yankees still carries the highest team payroll in baseball . It has been the very fact that they feel it obligatory , simply to not fall afoul of Bud Selig and his subordinates. And for the commissioner for his part , with his mind numbingly low IQ , simply offers up such banality , that is now hard to take him seriously as the game’s highest ranking executive . At $25 million a year , as a salary , I would have to say that Selig has done an extremely piss poor job through the majority of his tenure ! His handling of the “ steroid era” notwithstanding , it has been his lack of foresight and insight shown , along with not fully comprehending the malfeasance of Frank McCourt, in almost bringing about the ruination of the Los Angeles Dodgers ,

Needless to say , while Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz , fiddle , while the embers are still aglow around the New York Mets , Bud Selig will suggest to us, that there is due diligence and oversight being shown as to the franchise’s ongoing financial difficulties . Albeit , that a patron of my site has pointed out the fact , that the organization has been able to obtain financing from a number of financial institution, and that a glowing report has been written about the Mets’ “ alleged” improving financial status, by none other than Standard & Poors . Suffice to say , the once proud financial markets and investment research firm has about as much credibility as Lindsay Lohan’s acting career. These are the very same ,bumbling buffoons , who with their vast research resources were not able to spot the horrors on the horizon , short-term and long-term , when it came to the major financial institutions’ use of the derivatives’ ,markets to send not only banking sector into a downwards’ tailspin but also the vast majority of the residential mortgage industry as well. Yet because a patron points to a report , I should be assured that the Mets are heading in right direction from a financial standpoint ? This being the same baseball franchise that showed a $41 million loss , and is still projected to lose approximately $65 million for the upcoming fiscal year . But also , do bear in mind , Mets’ GM , Sandy Alderson , recently offered an exorbitant contract to David Wright , an eight-year deal worth approximately , $134 million .

Now I could go on to lambast Sandy Alderson for this apparent idiocy , but what good would it do ? I mean , given the Mets’ dreadful record last season , and their continued propensity for making such outlandish personnel moves , while considerably overpaying for moderate talent . .It is increasingly clear why the franchise has been such an incredible mess . COO & CFO , Jeff Wilpon , has taken to running and ruining the franchise , as if it were a child’s toy , that will soon outlive its’ usefulness !

The New York Mets may well have dodged a bullet when Irving H Picard , the plaintiffs’ lawyer, in a multibillion dollar lawsuit that sought the return of $1.225 billion in monies received by franchise and siphoned through another Wilpon family-controlled and owned business entity , Sterling Equities Inc . These funds were said to be the returns on the investments made, in the now infamous “Madoff Ponzi Scheme” over the past two decades , which saw in excess of 8,000 clients lose $57 billion , through the misdeeds of now incarcerated financier , Bernard “Bernie” Madoff . And for some inexplicable reason Irving Picard, would reach an out of court settlement the defendants , the New York Mets, that would see his clients receive a little over 16 cents on the dollar , netting the plaintiffs , slightly less than $100 million. Far be it , for me to suggest , but if I were one of the plaintiffs , and that agreement were reached , there would be no way in hell, that Irving Picard would still be alive today ! I would be on him “ like white on rice “ , beating his ass , to within an inch of his life ! Lawyers , just as disingenuous as a congressman , with perhaps, slightly less morals? I’ll leave it for you to be the judge of that !

If there were a team in baseball that needed to succeed , rather than being continually be looked upon as an “also ran” , then it would have to be the Los Angeles Angels . Team owner, Arte Moreno and GM , Jerry DiPoto made the “big splash” last season obtaining C J Wilson and Albert Pujols , while paying out the “big bucks” in terms of the contracts offered to both players . Yet , for all of that financial commitment , the “ best player “ on the Angels’ roster over the course of 2012 , was rookie sensation Mike Trout , who literally blew the “ door off its hinges “ , while seeking to keep pace with Miguel Cabrera as the most dominant offensive player in the AL during 2012.

And while from a competitive standpoint within AL West , the Angels simply were not up to scratch . Inconsistent pitching became just one of the many problems that Mike Scocsia and his staff had to face , as the team struggled to find their way throughout much of 2012 . A disappointing third place finish, behind the revelation of the season , the Oakland A’s , surprise winners of the division and a postseason entrant from the AL. This left Jerry DiPoto and Arte Moreno , asking , what else might be needed to bolster the team ? Money , off course was no object , given Moreno’s wealth and a financially viable franchise in the nation’s second largest ad market bodes well for the organization . Yet , having to play “ second fiddle” to the Texas Rangers for divisional supremacy over the last few years has proven to be arduous .

Adding into the frustration for the Angels, was seeing the sudden resurrection of the Los Angeles Dodgers , under the ownership of two financial “ big hitters “ and a Hollywood mogul . Throw in an NBA legend as part of ownership group that paid an astonishing $2.155 billion for beleaguered franchise , and with the ensuing talk by minority stakeholder and “ hype-man” , Magic Johnson “ that money would be of no object , in chasing after success” . And one could well understand why Moreno and company might feel like he is on the outside looking in , on a a party that he had been invited to , but somehow security will not relent , and allow him , to enter the party in question .

As I alluded to earlier , pitching was a problem for the Angels during 2012 , but it should also be noted , that a once potent offense suddenly started spluttering for all of the wrong reasons during the most untimely of situations , at times befuddling Mike Scocsia , drawing his ire. The decision was made to acquire free agent slugger , Josh Hamilton, whose final year with the Texas Rangers was filled with highs and lows through much of the season. Hamilton and his agent, Michael Moye, sought a long-term commitment from GM, Jon Daniels of the Rangers. But, team President, Nolan Ryan did not believe it prudent to acquiesce to the player and his agent’s demands, which is said to be a ten-year $275 million contract. Those demands , clearly, could only be met by a select few teams within baseball. DiPoto , at the behest of Arte Moreno swooped in , and a five-year $125 million offer was made to the slugger. Hamilton , will certainly add to the potency of this Angels’ offense, but the greatest concern , would have to be , Josh Hamilton’s health , but more importantly , his well- known sobriety problems. A recovering drug addict and alcoholic , Hamilton, has repeatedly “fallen off the wagon” , much to the angst of his family , but also drawing a certain level of criticism from the Rangers’ front office. I would certainly like to think that Josh Hamilton can keep his sobriety in check while contributing greatly to the aspirations of the Angels this upcoming season !

The Angels will open their regular season schedule with a three-game series against the Oakland A’s , beginning 9th April, 2013 , at Angel Stadium , in Anaheim , California ,.

The AL West will have a new addition to its stable with the relocation of the Houston Astros from the NL Central to its counterpart within the AL. Somehow, I do believe that Astros will be in for a long and arduous season , and for manager , Bo Porters , 2013 , might just be a year he would rather forget. Simply based on the Astros’ record (55-107) in 2012, this is not a team , that I believe will be able to compete their fellow cohabitants within the AL West , much less the rest of baseball ! Sound off , with your thoughts on this particular point raised.

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Picture gallery .

In light of the decision made by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America to not have a 2013 candidate inducted in , for this year’s ceremony , do you believe it to be the right decision made ? Or are you of the opinion , that no matter who the nominee might happen to be , he should be voted in , based on the association’s criteria , whether or not they are tainted by the steroids era ? Chime in, with your thoughts on this and anything else you feel pertinent to this topic. Do you believe, that the Los Angeles Angels will be able to mountain substantive challenge within the AL West this season ? And finally, do you believe columnist Bob Nightengale’s article , gave you a much clearer picture as to the mindset of the other adjudicators within the BBWAA ?

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Picture and slideshow details below .

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(1) USA Today columnist , Bob Nightengale, seen here being interviewed by veteran sports’ anchor Bob Costas of NBC Sports . Nightengale a featured with the national daily , is the paper’s featured writer on baseball along with Hal Bodley . Bob Nightengale’s most recent column for the paper, gives us his unique opinion , on why , he will vote for Roger Clemens , Barry Bonds and Sammy Sosa to be enshrined from the class of 2013 into Baseball’s Hall of Fame , in Cooperstown , New York .

(2) From left to right , Barry Bonds , Sammy Sosa and Roger Clemens . All three were part of the class of 2013 enlistees eligible for the adjudication process for Baseball’s Hall of Fame . The trio having been stained by “steroid era” within the game , failed to obtain the necessary warranted votes (75%) to be enshrined into the Hall of Fame. AP Photo / Ellis Parsons ….

(3) MLB Commissioner , Bud Selig , left , is seen here , with now former Los Angeles Dodgers’ owner , Frank McCourt . The beleaguered businessman was forced to take the famed ball-club into bankruptcy proceedings whilst in the midst of an acrimonious divorce from ex-wife, Jamie McCourt. Bud Selig presided over this , but it was widely known that McCourt had been contravening the bye-laws of the game by using the franchise as business collateral for several of his surreptitious business deals . The league hierarchy was forced to send in an outside authority (C Thomas Schiffer) to preside over the ball-club on a day-to-day basis , much to the dislike of the owner , who stated that he was being a scapegoat for baseball’s own deficiencies . The Dodgers were auctioned off in what was said to be a sealed “bidding process” for the sum of $2.156 billion . However , a number of team owners were dissatisfied with the process , especially after it was revealed that Bud Selig interjected himself in the midst of the deliberations , and is said to have favored the winning consortium’s bid , prior to the whole endeavor’s commencement . AP/ Getty Images / Paul M . Metcalf …

(4) (L – R) Saul Katz, CEO of the Mets, Fred Wilpon, president of the Mets, Sandy Alderson and Jeff Wilpon, chief operating officer of the Mets pose for a photo during Alderson’s introduction as the general manager for the New York Mets on October 29, 2010 at Citi Field in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. Getty Images North America / Andrew Burton …

(5) Los Angeles Angels owner Arte Moreno joins free-agent outfielder Josh Hamilton, right, for photographs at a news conference, Saturday, Dec. 15, 2012, in Anaheim, Calif. Hamilton, a five-time All-Star and l2010 AL MVP, joins the Angels MLB team after signing a $125 million, five-year contract . Clockwise from Moreno is his wife Carole, Hamilton’s wife Katie, holding daughter Stella, Hamilton; with daughters Sierra, Michaela, and Julie. AP Photo/Chris Carlson …

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Actress Kerry Washington

This wasn’t the way it was meant to be , but I’ll take it

This wasn’t the way it was meant to be , but I’ll take it

By Tophatal ….. 01/08/2013

There’s something to be said for teams playing themselves into contention as the postseason approaches , and one could also attest to the fact that a team without a veteran presence on it , will tend to come up short in the initial round of the NFL playoffs . Clearly, that was the case, when the Baltimore Ravens played hosts to the Indianapolis Colts , led by their rookie sensation , Andrew Luck . And against the backdrop of the stories that surrounded the franchise over the course of the season , it seemed that nothing was about to go right for the team.

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it was revealed before the Sunday afternoon kickoff, that Colts’ assistant head coach, Bruce Arians had suddenly taken ill , having collapsed in his hotel room , suffering from dizziness and nausea . Considering, the health issues that befell Chuck Pagano earlier on , with his recovery from Hodgkin’s Lymphoma , having undergone several rounds of debilitating chemotherapy .One has to wonder, if this was simply a rather unjust way of getting back at the Colts after their on-field success this season?

From 2-14 in 2011 , to double-digit wins and a postseason berth in 2012 , to alongside the exhilarating play of Andrew Luck and his teammates . What no one would be in doubt with , was that Ravens’ veteran linebacker , Ray Lewis was not about to let this game be his final swan song with the Baltimore Ravens . Over his illustrious career, Lewis has racked up accolades, the way, Warren Buffett has seen his wealth grow immensely . Lewis has the respect of his peers, past and present , as well a great many number of fans across the NFL landscape. And while he made the formal announcement stating that this would be his last season in the NFL , I seriously doubt that Ray Lewis’ wish was to ride off into the sunset, with a postseason loss to the upstart Indianapolis Colts .

The Colts did their leveled best to keep this game close , but errant plays , missed opportunities , and as I alluded to , the lack postseason experience , with only a few such veterans on the roster who could provide a minutiae of what was sought , Indianapolis would in the end come up short , on the wrong side of a 24-9 loss to their AFC counterparts .

As a New England Patriots’ (12-4) fan, simply knowing that they had garnered a top two seeding in the AFC was enough of respite knowing that the team’s defense still remains a work in progress, this late into the season . Now, far be it, for me to suggest, that Bill Belichick , a defensive “guru” , simply does know what he is doing , but at times there does seem to be a reason to his madness and that of his coaching staff . As to what that might be , only the venerable head coach and his staff would clearly know what that might be .

All season long , the deficiencies in the Patriots’ defense were highlighted , with their inconsistent play , albeit that came away victorious in many of those games . Charged with making the defense a great deal stealthier , well that has been placed in the hands of Matt Patricia , while the offense is left in the hands of Josh McDaniels. While the defense has its ongoing woes, the offense of the Patriot has simply been clicking on all cylinders . Leading the way for the Patriots is the franchise’s three-time winning Superbowl quarterback and league MVP , Tom Brady , who simply goes through the motions during the regular season, but once the postseason comes around , he simply becomes a cold-hearted assassin .

The Patriots will host the Houston Texans . This will be the second successive season, in which the Texans have made the postseason . For Texans’ quarterback, Matt Schaub , he will be given the chance to redeem himself after the team’s lopsided 42-14 defeat in week fourteen to their venerable AFC East counterparts. And much of the hype that surrounded the Texans during the early part of the season wasn’t at all justified , as the team came into the final five games of the regular season , going 2-3 in those scheduled match-ups . Hardly, what one consider to be noteworthy for a franchise with Superbowl aspirations. And though one can’t really put much store in one game , I do feel however, if you gauge that by looking at the series between the two combatants , it can at times provide us with something of an indicator , as to how these games can go !

The Houston Texans have proven to be a formidable force this season , and as one of the three best teams </u in the AFC from a record and offensive standpoint , it is easy to understand why the team was seen and remains as such, one of the favorites within the conference for the Superbowl. Running backs , Arian Foster , Stevan Ridley and Danny Woodhead , should be able to provide the fans in attendance at Gillette Stadium , in Foxborough , Massachusetts with a great spectacle in terms of a running game . A stern test of both defenses will be part of the recipe , in what is hoped to be a scintillating game . If there is a victor to come out of this match-up , then it will be all predicated upon time of possession , and whomever controls the ball in that specific category will come away the winner , in this divisional round duel.

I don’t know that there will be a more highly anticipated game this upcoming weekend , than the prospective match-up between the Seattle Seahawks and the Atlanta Falcons ! For a seventh round draft pick (2012 NFL Draft) , Russell Wilson might just prove to be the invaluable and prophetic player taken that late in the NFL Draft over the past decade , since Tom Brady as was drafted by the Patriots a sixth rounder in the 2000 NFL Draft by the New England Patriots . As we know Brady’s career has been illuminated by his on-field accomplishments , his career earnings , estimated wealth , conservatively said to be between $75 million to $120 million , and the fact that he and Peyton Manning might just be the most marketable players in the NFL, and that is with the idiocy that surrounds the “marketing” of Tim Tebow , as one of the “up and coming faces “ within the NFL ! Affability as a sales’ tool when it comes to consumer branding and marketing amongst heterosexual males , might just rank up there alongside using Clay Aiken as the next spokesperson for Louis Vuitton. It just doesn’t work .

In a game that will see Matt Ryan , of the Atlanta Falcons , once again try to get off the “Schneid” in terms of garnering his first postseason victory in what will be his fourth attempt indicates the struggles the player has in terms of his postseason performances . Ryan , forever the consummate professional is a great regular season performer , yet all of his troubles tend to arise in the postseason. As to whether or not he will be able to lead the Atlanta Falcons past a self-confident and driven Seahawks’ team , well that remains to be seen .

Russell Wilson’s accomplishments this season have simply been extraordinary, and the very fact that he joined Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin as the only rookies to have taken their respective franchises into the playoffs in their very first season, speaks volumes as their play. What cannot be denied in 2012 , and it is that we may well have seen the best year amongst NFL rookie quarterbacks in well over a decade .

Whether or not he wins Comeback Player of the Year or adds to his tally of four League MVP’s , there is no denying that Peyton Manning had an astonishing season in 2012 . He led the Denver Broncos to a conference best 13-3 record , and the fact that they steamrolled their way to the AFC West divisional title , simply indicates to me that the , Kansas City Chiefs, Oakland Raiders , and San Diego Chargers , are in all likelihood , going to be playing catch-up to the Broncos for quite a few years to come !

And for the Broncos they now have a home date with the Baltimore Ravens , to be played at Sports Authority Field , in Denver , Colorado ,. The two teams met earlier in the season , in week fifteen , with the Colts coming away with a 34-17 victory over their conference rivals . It was very much a game , that pivoted around the proficiency of both offenses and defenses during a great deal of the scheduled match-up between these two teams. For quarterbacks Peyton Manning and the Ravens’ Joe Flacco , this should be an event , that will provide us with an aerial assault , as well as , a great deal of productivity on the ground , by way of a running game from both the Colts and the Ravens.

Getting beyond the travails of Alex Smith , for whom consistency has been worrisome , considering over the course of his career, it wasn’t until 2011 that we saw some growth , maturity and leadership from the seven-year veteran quarterback, drafted out of Utah State as the # overall pick of the 2005 NFL Draft. With Smith’s regression in 2012 , it has been his backup Colin Kaepernick , who has stepped to the fore to take this Niners’ team into the postseason. Head coach Jim Harbaugh , had shown all the faith he had in Smith , but once the player became injured , he was left with the backup , Colin Kaepernick. He has grasped that opportunity and relished being the incumbent starting quarterback . On Saturday , we will get the chance to see Kaepernick make his first postseason start and assuage his progress as player within the ranks ranks of the NFL .

The prospective match-up between the Green Bay Packers and San Francisco 49ers , in a game to be played at Candlestick Park , in San Francisco , California, should prove to be eventful , with an all too weary Packers’ team seeking not to be duped into that false sense of security . And with Packers’ quarterback, Aaron Rodgers, looking to further cement his legacy , after another exemplary season . This game has all the makings of becoming an instantaneous classic, in more ways than one .

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Picture gallery.

What , if anything , has been the most surprising to you , in terms of the playoff games that have taken place ? And in the divisional round of the postseason , what do you hope to see from the teams participating at that juncture? Chime in, on this, and anything else you believe to be pertinent to the subject matter .

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Picture and slideshow details below .
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(1) Baltimore Ravens inside linebacker Ray Lewis celebrates after an NFL wild card playoff football game against the Indianapolis Colts Sunday, Jan. 6, 2013, in Baltimore. Lewis has said he will retire at the end of the season, and the Ravens won 24-9 . AP Photo/Gail Burton …

(2) Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice (27) runs with the ball and gets away from Indianapolis Colts inside linebacker Jerrell Freeman (50) , for a 47 yard gain , during the first half of an NFL wild card playoff football game Sunday, Jan. 6, 2013, in Baltimore. AP Photo/Patrick Semansky …

(3) New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski faces reporters in the team’s locker room at Gillette Stadium following NFL football practice in Foxborough, Mass., Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2013. The Patriots host the Houston Texans on Sunday in an AFC divisional playoff game . AP Photo/Steven Senne …

(4) Houston Texans quarterback Matt Schaub (8) reacts to throwing an interception to Cincinnati Bengals’ Leon Hall during the second quarter of an NFL wild card playoff football game Saturday, Jan. 5, 2013, in Houston. Left is Cincinnati Bengals defensive tackle Geno Atkins . AP Photo/Dave Einsel …

(5) Denver Broncos coach John Fox , left, and quarterback Peyton Manning (18) watch from the sidelines against the Kansas City Chiefs in the fourth quarter of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 30, 2012, in Denver. Denver won 38-3 . AP Photo/Joe Mahoney ….

(6) Head coach Jim Harbaugh talks to Colin Kaepernick (7) of the San Francisco 49ers in the second quarter against the Chicago Bears at Candlestick Park on November 19, 2012 in San Francisco, California. Getty Images North America / Thomas W Henderson …

(7) Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson waves as he leaves the field after an NFL wild card playoff football game against the Washington Redskins in Landover, Md., Sunday, Jan. 6, 2013. The Seahawks defeated the Redskins 24-14 . AP Photo/Matt Slocum …

(8) Five quarterbacks who failed to deliver in 2012 by way of a playoff berth for their respective teams . From left to right , Eli Manning , Tony Romo , Ben Roethlisberger , Philip Rivers , and Jay Cutler . All are hoping to rebound in 2013 . …. @ copyrighted material all rights reserved …

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Wale & … Gucci Mane “Pretty Girls”

And so the idiocy continues ..

And so the idiocy continues ..

Tophatal …..

Just when you thought you’d heard the last of the Penn State “ scandal “ , it now appears that the state’s governor Tom Corbett will seek to challenge the NCAA’s $60 million fine penalizing the educational establishment in light of the heinous actions of former assistant coach , Jerry Sandusky, who is now incarcerated , having been sentenced to 60 years imprisonment having been found guilty on forty-five of forty-eight counts of sexual assault , battery , sexual battery , lewd and lascivious acts . What, we have now been made aware of, concerning all of the parties embroiled in this sordid affair. The now deceased, former head coach, Joe Paterno , has seen his legacy diminish , with it now being in tatters , with allegations in part that ,he failed to monitor the actions of Sandusky, even in light of other allegations of sexual misconduct , after the famed coach reported an incident not just to the campus police but also to the board of trustees of the now disgraced university.

And so the idiocy continues ..

Tophatal …..

Just when you thought you’d heard the last of the Penn State “ scandal “ , it now appears that the state’s governor Tom Corbett will seek to challenge the NCAA’s $60 million fine penalizing the educational establishment in light of the heinous actions of former assistant coach , Jerry Sandusky, who is now incarcerated , having been sentenced to 60 years imprisonment having been found guilty on forty-five of forty-eight counts of sexual assault , battery , sexual battery , lewd and lascivious acts . What, we have now been made aware of, concerning all of the parties embroiled in this sordid affair. The now deceased, former head coach, Joe Paterno , has seen his legacy diminish , with it now being in tatters , with allegations in part that ,he failed to monitor the actions of Sandusky, even in light of other allegations of sexual misconduct , after the famed coach reported an incident not just to the campus police but also to the board of trustees of the now disgraced university.

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The “Freeh Report” was a damning indictment of the school , and their lack of accountability shown , where it showed that at all levels of the hierarchy of the academic facility , they were complicit in a widespread cover-up that was so egregious , that this now makes Corbett’s actions , all the more inconceivable . Tom Corbett, a former , state attorney general , is now himself a seated member of the board of trustees , and it begs the question , what if anything, might well have been known , their actions , and how it all played out , as law enforcement and journalists alike uncovered the magnitude and egregious of Sandusky’s actions .

Courtesy of ESPN


Penn State’s failure of power

By Howard Bryant , ESPN

Even now, as the heartbreaking details emerge, pages of grand jury testimony are absorbed and parsed, and a seamy picture of alleged child abuse and the subsequent failures to act comes into clear, indefensible focus, the reflex of the Penn State hierarchy involved is one of tone deafness.

That focus revolves not around the children who most needed the adults to be grown-ups but around protecting the power: the big, untouchable football program with its legendary coach with the big name and the big reputation, the do-gooder charity with the board of directors with the big names on it.

Surrounded by so much bigness, virtually everyone in a position of authority at Penn State has, thus far, seemed to come up very small. Jerry Sandusky might not be innocent, but, as of today, he is legally not guilty. He was charged with 40 counts of felony sex abuse against minors. Despite anger and public opinion, Sandusky deserves the due process of the court of law as well as the presumption of innocence until his case is complete.

But Penn State president Graham Spanier, athletic director Tim Curley, vice president for business and finance Gary Schultz and coach Joe Paterno should be held to a higher standard. So should The Second Mile, a charity that was founded to help children. Whether or not Sandusky is convicted, each was faced with a critical choice with damning information and chose to protect the program. This is what power has become. More accurately, it is what power has always been, in existence to protect itself.

There is no defense for the number of people in positions of authority who had an opportunity to stop Sandusky and did not.

The university, responding to information provided by a graduate student in 2002 that he witnessed Sandusky performing anal sex in the shower on a boy about 10 years old, did nothing. The university did not call authorities and did not ever sever ties with Sandusky, allowing him to maintain an office on campus for years.

The entire edifice of the Penn State monument is crumbling, yet no one involved seems capable of producing the most obvious, and decent, response, to acknowledge that each of these men failed to uphold his responsibilities spectacularly. They failed their communities, and they failed the eight young boys the state is accusing Sandusky of sexually abusing.

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Tom Corbett, is a buffoon , if he now feels that the proposed legal action is likely to be an outright success . It should also be noted , that there are several other parties , who as a bye product of this subterfuge have been indicted , and who now await trial on a litany of charges , ranging from perjury to the obstruction of justice . Graham Spanier , Gary Schultz and Tim Curley await their trial dates , whereas , Mike McQueary seeks damages in a $ 4 million whistle-blower lawsuit lodged against Penn State. This whole sordid affair , simply won’t go away , and those now embroiled in the drama, seek recourse and financial reward . Meanwhile, the victims , so often overlooked , will still be left with their lives in ruins , albeit that the university states , that they will provide the victims with whatever assistance they seek to reclaim their lives .

As I alluded to earlier , Governor Corbett , a former state attorney general , has not been able to downplay his often imbecilic actions during his agency’s investigation of the infamous “Hersey School “ sexual abuse scandal and the indictment and prosecution of a former school employee involved in sexual assault and battery on the students at the school . Corbett as the District Attorney was said to have handled this prosecution “ so haphazardly “ that it made a mockery of the legal system within the state of Pennsylvania . Yet somehow we’re now to believe, he is trying to morally and ethically appropriately do the proper thing , to “ right an egregious wrong” ? A procedural hearing and trial will be heard within the US Federal Courts in Philadelphia , Pennsylvania,.

There has yet to be a formal response from NCAA President, Mark Emmert on the pending legal action by the state of Pennsylvania , in seeking to have the fine and action reversed , but there is this a growing suspicion that this is simply being done to save face by Tom Corbett and further reduce the impact and damage done to Penn State’s already tarnished image .

The Dallas Cowboys’ 28-18 loss to the Washington Redskins in their final regular season scheduled game , has not yet led to repercussions for the franchise , but it has clearly expressed the futility of the Cowboys’ year . Team owner , Jerry Jones , and the team’s beleaguered quarterback , Tony Romo are off once again , now doing the rounds , and making excuses as to the reasons why the franchise has once again came up short . Repeatedly , year in and year out , claims are made , that , this will be the season in which the Cowboys will reign supreme , and it has now become “ a broken record” which no one , longer wishes to hear !

Granted , the ones who disavow common sense within the ranks of the pundits of the broadcast media , would rather make their bold predictions , rather than being insightful with their prognostications. And it has to be at this point , that we need to ask , what else is needed by the Dallas Cowboys , to make that team a great deal better ? A Pro Bowl quarterback , who has clearly failed to meet expectations , is being handsomely rewarded by the team and league standards

. Yet somehow, for all of those regular season statistics , Romo has nothing to show for it all . In a game, that was of equal importance to both teams, it was the Cowboys’ quarterback who blindsided the fans with his errant plays , leading to three costly interceptions in the game against the Washington Redskins. What also exacerbated , this whole situation , was that Romo’s opposite number , Robert Griffin III, was having a less than exemplary game , when one considers his exploits over the course of this season .

With the Dallas Cowboy being unceremoniously dumped , and missing the playoffs for a second successive year , one has to wonder where Jerry Jones , now goes from here . Draft picks asides, the Cowboys’ offense can be bewildering , one minute being the model of consistency , to the next , being completely incompetent and simply being devoid of creativity. The ramifications for the Cowboys , are twofold , one , in missing the postseason , it’s another missed opportunity for a lucrative payday , and two , with each passing season , failure by this team simply places an even greater burden upon Jason Garrett , to prove himself worthy of being a head coach in the NFL . Alright, so he wasn’t plucked from obscurity by Jerry Jones to become the head of the franchise , having succeeded Wade Philips.

So let me get this straight , a team that finishes 10-6 , having missed the playoffs , because a divisional rival , the Minnesota Vikings secured a victory in their final game of the season . In essence , it meant that Lovie Smith deserved to be fired , thereby sealing his fate and that of the Chicago Bears for the season ? Bears’ general manager , Phil Emery , has to be either the most gullible of individuals , or he simply has to no wish to apportion blame where it rightfully belongs , and that is upon the shoulders of not only Smith , but the entire roster of the Chicago Bears . It was primarily upon Emery’s insistence that the franchise acquired the highly inconsistent quarterback , Jay Cutler , who in his six years in the NFL has yet to win a meaningful game for either of the franchises where he has played.

Cutler’s propensity for simply wanting to pass the vast majority of the time, simply doesn’t assist in the play of the Bears and if anything , the quarterback becomes even more of a liability, as he has a propensity for turnovers , interceptions and need I say being sacked , numerous times throughout the season? Jay Cutler spends more time laying on his back, in a prostrate position, than a female porn star has been known to , on a film set , when asked to do a retake , simply because the director isn’t at all happy with the aesthetic imagery he is said to be seeking . Here’s a thought, perhaps Jay Cutler should give up playing in the NFL and ply his trade in the adult entertainment field. A quarterback, who can spend that much time on his back, has to be good for something , don’t you think? He may well give a whole new meaning to “taking one for the team” . Lovie Smith, is likely to fill a coaching vacancy elsewhere in the NFL , after Monday’s purge of the coaching positions around the NFL , with seven head coaches being relieved of their duties , all in a single day.

There is no denying that the Jacksonville Jaguars had a monstrous season in 2012 , with the team only being able to muster two wins over the course of their sixteen game schedule . Team owner, Shahid Khan , subsequently , has fired general manager , Gene Smith , and it would now appear that head coach , Mike Mularkey’s future could very well be in jeopardy . For much of the season the team , played without their running back , Maurice Jones-Drew , due to the player’s injury issues . Yet, that alone, cannot account for the team’s woefully inept performances over the course of 2012 . Continued poor play from both of the quarterbacks on the team’s roster became an ongoing recipe for disaster “. Suffice to say , that Blaine Gabbert and Chad Henne , will not be atop anyone’s list of the most sought after quarterbacks should either be placed on the free agency market , this off-season. And now for the comical side to this all , with widely speculating rumors that the New York Jets may well seek to jettison one , if not two of the three quarterbacks now on their roster .

With Shahid Khan, showing a distinct interest in bringing Tim Tebow back to the Jacksonville area , as the city has now become the familial home for the Tebow clan. One has to speculate, is this simply being done, more for show , or is Khan really of the belief that the much maligned three-year player has something to offer the franchise by way of his play ?

Personally, after Tebow’s season with the New York Jets , I am not so sure his departure from a franchise that had more in common with a lunatic asylum , and where indecision at every point in the New York Jets’ thought process became the norm , might not be considerably better , than a franchise where having gone 2-14 , there is even more indecision within that organization (Jaguars) , than can be found with a virgin , unsure that the prom would be the best night for her to be deflowered , by her so-called steady boyfriend , who she’s only gotten close to , over the past three months. A little bit of “petting “ but not allowing him to get to third base may well seem fine , but now it’s all in (pardon the pun) , as everyone seeks to be gratified . There is no guarantee that such a move for Tim Tebow, will give him the opportunity he seeks. And in all honesty , the Jaguars are a hell of a long way off from where they need to be , to even mount a serious challenge in the AFC South , against all three of their rivals within the division . And last I looked, God , himself , had not bestowed upon Tim Tebow any miraculous traits , that would in essence , turn him from being a mediocre player, into one of the most sought after and gifted athletes currently playing in the NFL. You heard me right , Tebow isn’t gifted , nor is he that great a player , he is simply an affable guy , and the sooner fans realize that fact , the better off the NFL will be , without the ridicule of having to discuss his merits as a player, and where he should stand on any franchises’ pecking order as a quarterback .

The NFL is not a governmental welfare agency handing out food stamps , or in this case giving a player a chance to play , merely because he is on a team’s roster . Tebow’s current coach , Rex Ryan apart from admitting that the staff made a mistake in their usage of the player , has gone on record in stating that the quarterback has a fantastic “ work ethic” . My question is for Rex Ryan and for all of the fans who called for the player’s installation as Mark Sanchez’s successor when the incumbent starter , had his on-field issues . Why was it that Tim Tebow, was unable to dethrone Sanchez for that starting role , if as alleged by the head coach that the player was said to be working so hard ? If all of that hard work had been paying off , then would it not be a fact that Tim Tebow would have had at least one , if not two or three regular season starts for the New York Jets ? Yet fans who are clearly are not using the damn intelligence given to them , would rather make the asinine statement that Tebow is simply not being given the chance to start in the NFL . A few fleeting moments in 2011 , doesn’t make you an overnight sensation or a Pro Bowl caliber player . Suck it up guys , Tim Tebow is human , and I repeat not the second coming of Joe Montana or Johnny Unitas for that matter . Get over it, once and for all, and get on with your lives.

So finally , after three years of misinformed judgment , another season of infamy was needed for the Spanos family to come to the decision to relieve both Norv Turner and AJ Smith of their duties within the San Diego Chargers’ organization. There had to have been not only sighs of relief , but also tears of joy for the long-suffering Chargers’ fans . Far be it for me to suggest ,much less pose the question but would Dean Spanos have waited one more year and wasted another sixteen game schedule for a repeat of the diatribe served up by the head coach and the now former general manager ? The two having worked in conjunction , collectively ,they have had more misses than hits in assembling a competitive roster and identifying the needs of the franchise during their reign.

In light of his dismissal , Norv Turner has been vociferously critical of the Spanos’ family (owners of the Chargers) for their actions . Yet somehow , he has failed to acknowledge his own contributions that led to his being fired . In the last three seasons, Turner has gone a combined 24-24 (0.500) , and during which the Chargers’ last winning season came in 2010, and prior to that in 2009, with his best season, being that very same year. As a head coach of the San Diego Chargers , Turner took the team to the playoffs on three occasions , where they managed an appearance in the 2007 AFC championship game , which ended in a loss to the New England Patriots , who would themselves go on to the Superbowl of that year.

It has been a complete travesty having to witness the Chargers play at Qualcomm Stadium , in San Diego , California , and there can be no denying that Dean Spanos would like nothing better than to relocate the franchise to the downtown Los Angeles area . For the moment, the Chargers will remain a tenant at Qualcomm, subject to the existing lease agreement, with the city and its expiration date. . Meanwhile, veteran Chargers’ quarterback , Philip Rivers labors under the burden of a heavy yoke around his neck , with a team that is lacking in zeal and one which possesses not an iota of leadership from anyone on the roster . One lay the blame at Rivers’ feet , but he is not the only person on the team , who should be held accountable , beyond the ineptitude shown by Norv Turner and his coaching staff . Everyone fell asleep at the wheel, while the Chargers simply careened out of control over the past few years . Had they gone over a cliff, would anyone have noticed? I guess not!

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With the postseason beckoning , this off-season will see a great deal of activity from a number of teams , specifically those who have made the moves to change their coaching status . Last season , we did not see any major coaching upheavals amongst the coaching staffs .However, we were witness to a number free agency moves across the NFL landscape. Do you believe that we are liable to witness any major moves this off-season and which teams do you think will be among the “major players” in such a scenario ? Tom Corbett’s decision, to rescind the NCAA’s fine of Penn State , do you think it a prudent decision by the Pennsylvanian governor ? Merely state your thought on this and anything else you believe pertinent to the subject matter .

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(1) Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett speaks at a news conference following a night of rioting in response to the firing of head football coach Joe Paterno in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky “scandal ” on November 10, 2011 in State College, Pennsylvania. Corbett is the former state attorney general who launched the investigation in 2009 that eventually brought criminal charges against three former Penn State officials this week. As governor, Corbett is now an ex-officio member of Penn State?s board of trustees. Paterno was fired amid allegations that former Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky was involved with child sex abuse. Mario Tama/ Getty Images North America …

(2) Penn State Board of Trustees member John Surma listens the board holds an open public meeting in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky scandal at the Nittany Lion Inn, November 11, 2011 in State College, Pennsylvania. Penn State’s interim president Rodney Erickson was introduced at the meeting. Head football coach Joe Paterno was fired amid allegations that former Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky was involved with child sex abuse. Getty Images North America / John Smith …

(3) Penn State president Graham Spanier , left, and athletic director Tim Curley , center, celebrated coach Joe Paterno’s 409th win . Both Curley and Spanier , having been forced to resign or having taken early retirement, now face charges within the state’s court system , as to their actions in the “alleged ” cover-up that took place at Penn State . The former high-ranking officials at the university vehemently deny any involvement in a cover-up and have promised to shed light on the details they say were details overlooked in the ” Freeh Report” . AP Photo/ Gene J. Puskar ……

(4) Penn State assistant football coach Mike McQueary (L) leaves court following a preliminary hearing for former Penn State athletic director Tim Curley and vice president Gary Schultz on December 16, 2011 in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Both Curley and Schultz are charged with lying in a grand jury investigation about Jerry Sandusky’s alleged child sex abuse. Getty Images / Robb Carr …

(5) Dallas Cowboys coach Jason Garrett , left, greets Washington Redskins’ coach Mike Shanahan after an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 30, 2012, in Landover, Md. The Redskins won 28-18, securing a playoff berth . AP Photo/Nick Wass …

(6) Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (9) pauses during a media availability after an NFL football game against the Washington Redskins Monday, Dec. 31, 2012, in Landover, Md. The Redskins won 28-18 , securing a playoff berth. Romo failed to deliver once again , when his team needed him the most , with questions now arising as to whether or not he is indeed capable of leading the franchise deep into the playoffs , let alone a Superbowl victory . AP Photo/Evan Vucci …

(7) Lovie Smith , foreground, is seen here with Bears’ GM Phil Emery , background at the Chicago Bears 1st summer camp practice Thursday at Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais, Illinois, on the July 26, 2012,. Emery made the formal announcement that Smith had been fired , having guided the Bears to a winning record (10-6), only for the team to miss out on a playoff berth , after the Vikings’ narrow victory over the Green Bay Packers . Phil Velasquez/ Chicago Tribune …

(8) Jacksonville Jaguars’ owner Shahid Khan , is said to be keenly interested in acquiring disgruntled Jets’ quarterback Tim Tebow , and have him compete and earn the starting quarterback role with the franchise. Both Blaine Gabbert and Chad Henne have failed miserably this season in guiding the team , who ended the season with a 2-14 record and will be afforded the right of having the number one overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft . AP Photo/ Charles Howard ….

(9) Former Chargers’ head coach Norv Turner is seen here addressing members of the convened press at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego , California . The coach of six years was dismissed by Dean Spanos , COO of the NFL franchise , who also terminated the services long-serving front office executive GM , A J Smith . Turner voiced his disapproval of the timing of dismissal , suggesting that the Spanos’ family had reassured him that he would be brought back to coach the San Diego Chargers for the 2013 season . AP Photo / Olivier Pacheco …..

(10) Chargers’ COO Dean Spanos, left, is seen here with Norv Turner center-field at Qualcomm Stadium , prior to a home game during this season . AFP/REUTERS/ Paul Rutland …

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If at all interest do take time participate in the above poll.

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Penn State Football news

NCAA/ BCS Bowl games 2012-13

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NFL news & news from around the league

NFL news archived stories

NFL results week 17

NFL postseason schedule & wildcard round games

NFL standings by division

NFL standings by conference

NFL player stats week 17 & year-end players’ stats

NFL team stats

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Meek Mill & Kirko Bangz ……. ” Young & Gettin’ It “

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Gloria Jiminez . Ay caramba !

Did I miss something ? Culling baby seals was meant to be compassionate , not so the case , when it comes to the NFL

Did I miss something ? Culling baby seals was meant to be compassionate , not so the case , when it comes to the NFL

By Tophatal

The fallout, in the NFL has begun, with teams now looking to rid themselves of their head coaches and staff . As their horrendous seasons , poor performances of the teams, and that of the players , who are being paid a King’s ransom for their services , which sent these franchises crashing back down to earth. To date, and counting, there have been five NFL head coaching firings , with quite possibly more to come , down the pike .

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As if the fans needed any further evidence, to emphasize the fact that the New York Jets remains a franchise heading in the wrong direction , after a season of inept performances , and the continued cry for Tim Tebow to be installed as the team’s starting quarterback . Haven’t we seen enough ineptitude over the past four years by this Presidential administration and Congress , without wanting to add this idiocy ? However , it would appear that apathy is now the acceptable norm , for such fans , rather than their intelligence being shown.

Five NFL coaches , have now been relieved of their duties and there is the belief that there could very well be a few more names added to that list . Andy Reid has been fired as the head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles . No great surprise there , considering the fact that , the players simply quit on their head coach , rather than giving the best of themselves over the course of this season .

With the postseason schedule now being set , with the twelve participants from the two conferences , now waiting to get this part of the NFL’s schedule off and running . It will be interesting to see which of these teams will now be viewed as the prohibitive favorite for the Superbowl . Over the course of the regular season , there has not been one dominant team, where you could categorically state that , such team/franchise should undeniably be viewed as an outright favorite . Gary Kubiak and the Houston Texans , having looked like a well-deserving number one seed in the AFC , have within the past three weeks , played as a team, whose playoff inexperience and lack of authority, could very well make them a first round casualty during these playoffs . They have essentially slipped down the pecking order within the AFC , to become the number three seed , who will now have to play host to the Cincinnati Bengals, and sophomore quarterback, Andy Dalton , and his fast charging teammates , who will be looking to acquit themselves well, this postseason.

On Sunday night , in what was a vastly entertaining game , during which , a great deal was said to be on the line for both teams. The Washington Redskins , seeking to win their first divisional title (NFC East) since 1999, that scenario played out like a riveting suspense thriller , for merely a quarter . And for all of this asinine assertion that Tony Romo , being a great regular season quarterback, while the stats may well bear this out , when it matters most , the Cowboys’ quarterback , simply has “no stomach “ for a real down in the trenches ____ full-blown out fight . Truth be known , Romo , is vastly overpaid , in terms of what he has offered the franchise , in terms of a dividend . In contrast , Romo’s counterpart , in last night’s event , rookie quarterback , Robert Griffin III, indicated why it is , that for much of the season , he has been the main focus behind the success of the Redskins’ extraordinary season. Add in the play, of rookie , Alfred Morrisand wide receiver , Pierre Garcon, and you can understand why the fans in and around the DC area, feel that they have a great to be excited about . There is a sense of urgency to the Redskins, and that something special is now on the horizon .

With the Redskins coming away with a decisive 28-18 victory and pretty much putting an end to another season of sheer ineptitude by the Dallas Cowboys, which pretty much shuttered whatever hopes that they might have had for the postseason. There will now be decisive questions being asked of not only head coach , Jason Garrett and his impending future , but also whether or not Tony Romo is indeed the quarterback needed to lead this team , long-term . Team owner, Jerry Jones , can continue to make all the excuses he wants , but even he , must now come to the realization for the money being paid out in payroll , the dividends reaped have been miniscule , to say the very least .

If the Cowboys are viewed as one of the major disappointments of this season, then one would have to place the under-achieving Chicago Bears alongside their NFC counterpart. Far be it for me to suggest , but if you are placing your hopes on Jay Cutler to lead you anywhere , then you would be better of shoving your finger up your own ass , removing it, and then sniffing, to see if the bouquet is just as rancid a stench, as served up by the Bears over the course of this season. Brian Urlacher, fit, or not, is now on the downside of what one could describe as a moderate career. Future Hall of Fame inductee , well that remains to be seen , but given what we’ve seen from Urlacher over the years , he is a possible candidate , once having met the criteria .

In order for Lovie Smith’s players to have made the postseason , a victory was necessary over the Detroit Lions . God knows, the Lions, have been equally as abysmal , and that is with Calvin Johnson having surpassed the single season receiving yards’ mark , a record held by the illustrious Jerry Rice . Having secured, a narrow 26-24 victory , the Bears also needed assistance , with both the Seattle Seahawks and Minnesota Vikings needing to lose in their respective games on Sunday afternoon. That would not be the case, with the Seahawks defeating (20-13) the St Louis Rams , and the Vikings pulling off a surprising victory (37-34) over the Green Bay Packers . Those two wins , pretty much sealed the fate of the Bears for the season, and with it all leading to the dismissal of Lovie Smith, as the head coach of the franchise.

While there seems to apoplexy , with the firings of five coaches in the NFL , it has to be said while the blame is being placed upon their shoulders . One has to ask , of the so-called players thought to be leaders on the teams that have failed so miserably, who are highly paid , yet when it mattered most , they were nowhere to be seen.

During the off-season , you can be sure that there will be a major upheaval of the player personnel rosters around the league , as a number of high-priced and overvalued free agents will be placed on the market . The likelihood will be , that a number of teams will be foolish enough to acquire those players , as they seek to revamp their rosters.

With College Bowl season now underway , a number of the likely coaching candidates that may well viewed as potential hires in the NFL , will be on view for the front office executives and team owners seeking a new head coach. Atop of that list , is said to be Nick Saban , along with Brian Kelly , Chip Kelly , Mark Richt , Mike Nolan and quite obviously the former NFL coaches now on the sidelines as NFL analysts , Jon Gruden , Bill Cowher and Brian Billick. To my mind however, one of the potential possible hires , has to be Indianapolis Colts’ coaching assistant Bruce Arians . While , head coach, Chuck Pagano underwent chemotherapy for cancer , it was Arians who led the Colts to some highly unlikely victories during 2012. Yet , while praise has to be heaped upon Bruce Arians , you simply cannot overlook the “ astonishing “ rookie season of Andrew Luck , who was asked to step into the larger than life shoes of Peyton Manning . And the rookie did not fail to deliver , with the Colts garnering double-digit wins , on their gaining a postseason berth and a potential blockbuster game against the Baltimore Ravens in the wildcard round of the playoffs.

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As to what the postseason now holds for the teams now eager to get this part of the season underway , it makes for a great deal of suspense for the fans and analysts alike , who view this part of the NFL season as one of the most exhilarating facets of the NFL calendar. Your thoughts, on this all, and what deem to be the most fascinating time of the year within the league ? Simply leave a comment as you see fit and thank you for what has been a highly insightful year within this community . May you all, have a prosperous and peaceful New Year !

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(1) Norv Turner speaks during an NFL football news conference, Monday, Dec. 31, 2012, in San Diego. Turner was fired as head coach by the Chargers Monday, along with general manager A.J. Smith , after missing the playoffs for the third straight season. AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi …

(2) FILE – In this Dec. 23, 2012, file photo, Arizona Cardinals head coach Ken Whisenhunt appears before an NFL football game against the Chicago Bears in Glendale, Ariz. The Cardinals fired Whisenhunt Monday, Dec. 31, after six seasons that included the long-suffering franchise’s only Super Bowl appearance. AP Photo/Paul Connors …

FILE – In this Dec. 30, 2012 file photo, Buffalo Bills head coach Chan Gailey walks off the field after his team’s 28-9 win over the New York Jets in an NFL football game in Orchard Park, N.Y. Gailey has been fired by the Buffalo Bills after three losing seasons, the team announced Monday, Dec. 31, 2012. AP Photo/Gary Wiepert ….

(4) FILE – In this Dec. 2, 2012, file photo, New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan, left, stands with general manager Mike Tannenbaum , center, and owner Woody Johnson before an NFL football game against the Arizona Cardinals in East Rutherford, N.J. Ryan insists he’s a Jet all the way and wants to coach the team for the “next 15 years.” He dismisses as “untrue” a report that says he would welcome being fired if Johnson doesn’t upgrade the offense. Tannenbaum was summarily dismissed by Johnson , and it was felt that it was “something of a warning” to Ryan , as to how close , the coach himself , came close to  being fired    , by the beleaguered owner . AP Photo/Kathy Willens ….

(5) The ” not so magnificent seven ” . Seven NFL head coaches fired on what has come to be known as ” Black Monday” . From top left, to bottom right , Chan Gailey, Norv Turner, Pat Shurmur , Lovie Smith , Ken Whisenhunt , Romeo Crennel and Andy Reid . AP Photo/ Reid Harper ….

(6) Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III (10) runs away from Dallas Cowboys outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware (94) during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 30, 2012, in Landover, Md. The Redskins won 28-18 . AP Photo/Richard Lipski ….

(7) Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (9) greets Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III after an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 30, 2012, in Landover, Md. The Redskins won 28-18, securing a playoff berth. AP Photo/Evan Vucci …

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NB: It is now official, that the number of head coaches fired , on what is now being described as “Black Monday” has risen from five to seven head coaching officials .

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NFL news & news from around the league

NFL news archived stories

NFL results week seventeen

NFL results 2012-13 regular season

NFL standings by division

NFL standings by conference

NFL postseason schedule 2012-13
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Alicia Keys …. “I’m ready ”

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Selena Star offers up a cornucopia of eroticism with her wiles . Are you going to be one of the complainants in such a case ?

Come on, you have never had it so good , we are providing you with entertainment, sports’ entertainment , so suck it up, you son of a bitch …

Come on, you have never had it so good , we are providing you with entertainment, sports’ entertainment , so suck it up, you son of a bitch …

By Tophatal

With the NFL regular season now coming to a close , Sunday brings about week seventeen of the sixteen week schedule for 2012 . In large part, the divisions have been decided , but some playoff berths within the AFC and NFC , have yet to be settled, but Sundays’ results will bring about closure for the teams . One of the most intriguing games on this weekend’s schedule , will be the NFC East match-up , between the Dallas Cowboys and the Washington Redskins. It is a game that will be played at FedEx Field , in Landover , Maryland . This, is a last ditch effort for the Cowboys, to make their way into the postseason. A win, guarantees them, the divisional title and some semblance of redemption after a somewhat disappointing season.

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The opposing quarterbacks in this divisional match-up will be Robert Griffin III of the Redskins, facing off against Tony Romo of the Dallas Cowboys. And for the Cowboys’ quarterback , this may well be the last chance made available to him, as he seeks to lead this team back into the postseason.

Now there’s no denying that Robert Griffin III , has proven to be one of the exceptional rookie talents to have exploded unto the NFL stage this season. The Redskins’ rookie along with freshman players , Andrew Luck and Russell Wilson , have simply been exceptional throughout much of 2012. Luck and Wilson, have led both their teams to double-digit wins for the season , as well having secured a playoff berth for the Indianapolis Colts and Seattle Seahawks , respectively. A truly astonishing feat , when one considers the inexperience of both players at the highest level of the game. There will be a great deal of intrigue and suspense to be played for the fans over the course of this weekend’s NFL schedule .

While the NFL regular season schedule seeks a finality , its NBA counterpart , is now a mere twenty plus games into their own long and arduous schedule . The season has already had its very first managerial casualty with the summary firing of the Brooklyn Nets’ head coach, Avery Johnson. Would it be appropriate to suggest that Nets’ point guard , Deron Williams , has now become a “ coach-killer “ ? It would appear that whenever the superstar becomes unhappy , with his environment or the level of his teammates’ play , he tends to cast a veiled displeasure and an indirect threat at his head coach. That was certainly the case, when Williams was formerly a player with the Utah Jazz , which ultimately led to the resignation of Jerry Sloan , and it certainly appears that Williams played his part in the firing of Avery Johnson. The idiocy of this whole situation cannot be underscored by the formal statement made by Nets’ GM, Billy King , in stating that the star point guard had nothing to do with the decision made by the front office that led to the dismissal of the beleaguered head coach. Kind of makes you wonder, if not for the player’s displeasure , would the franchise have “pulled the trigger “ and fired the head coach?

If the Nets’ general manager would take a single step back , and simply review his statement, he would suddenly realize that he cannot blow smoke up everyone’s ass, while trying to keep a smile on his face . And with the dismissal , it’s now hard to see how anyone can take the front office of the Brooklyn Nets all that seriously, never-mind their rather unenlightened and idiotic fans who proclaimed, that this team would be a worthy challenger to the likes of the , Miami Heat, New York Knicks , and Boston Celtics within the Eastern Conference. There was no body of work to suggest that this team was ready to even challenge the aforementioned trio , so now , those idiots , can sit back , and begin to eat crow , and deservedly so !

It is somewhat asinine to think that the Brooklyn Nets have sought to make such an exorbitant outlay , by committing in excess of $88, 257,129 for a team that now sits with a 0. 514 mark of 15-14 within the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference. Deron Williams and Joe Johnson account for almost 41% of the team’s salary commitment for 2012-13, with the two combining for just under $37 million of the eighty-eight million plus in the Nets’ 2012 salary outlay. Team owner, Mikhail Prokhorov , the Russian multi-billionaire entrepreneur , made it known , that money would be of no object , as he sought to make the Nets not just a competitive force within the NBA , but also a global brand, fittingly with a presence in Eastern and Western Europe , but most notably in his native Russia . With that commitment from Prokhorov , has come the billion dollar outlay in buying the majority stake in the Barclaycard Center/Atlantic Yards Development , which houses the Brooklyn Nets , as well as a commercial and residential complex . As of now, that investment, does seem extremely costly , with barely any dividends , being shown on-court , by way of anything being remotely competitive from this team . I firmly believe that Deron Williams lacks the leadership qualities to make the Brooklyn Nets a resounding success , and this idiocy that Joe Johnson , would be a player capable of supporting the skill-set of Williams , as diminishing those returns now appear to be ! PJ Carlisemo has now been installed as the interim-head coach , with rumors that Billy King , at the behest of Mikhail Prokhorov is said to be seeking out Phil Jackson , to gauge his interest in coming to Brooklyn , to coach the newly relocated franchise . There are only two coaching positions within the NBA , that are likely to pique the interest of the famed head coach , and at present , as neither the Knicks or Lakers’ coaching positions are vacant . One can only speculate , and in all likelihood, it is my firm belief that Jackson will turn down the approach from the Russian billionaire owner ! And even , if Jackson is offered a reputed five-year $60-$75 million contract , there is no guarantee of success , for a team that at present is in complete disarray .

Now while there are now those seeking to thrust the New York Knicks further into the limelight , and God knows that franchise needs to be relevant once again, after years of ineptitude in the wilderness , with the mismanagement by team owner, James Dolan , GM Glen Grunwald and his predecessors , Donnie Walsh and Isiah Thomas . While the NBA franchise remains the “ jewel in the crown” in terms of value and profitability as the most valuable NBA team in the league . There can be no denying, that were it not for the fact , that the New York Knicks are domiciled in the nation’s largest ad-market , New York City , and that it is part of a vast array of sports and entertainment interests owned under the umbrella of the privately held business entity, MSG Entertainment Inc. . , a wholly owned company, shrouded in secrecy , and presided over by James Dolan, and his family. One seriously doubts that the franchise would be in its present position, of being to lavish itself with such luxuries , with the salaries afforded to the likes of Tyson Chandler , Carmelo Anthony , Amar`e Stoudemire , Jason Kidd and J R Smith.

The Knicks , coming off a narrow one-point 106-105 loss to the Sacramento Kings , are now 21-9 , while seated atop of the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference . And while that record is impressive , let’s not kid ourselves into believing that this team is the most dominant franchise in the conference , while they are 6-4 on the road and impressive 12-2 within the conference. It begs the question, what is the true measure of real dominance within the NBA and specifically with regard to the Knicks ? Yes , they do possess one of the most forceful and naturally gifted scorers in the game , with Carmelo Anthony , who has been ably abetted this season by JR Smith . However, my position is that, until there’s a body of work , by which this team can be adjudged , there cannot be an assertion that this team is , or has been one of the more dominant franchises within the NBA this season !v . The team’s longest winning streak over the course of their schedule is one of six games , during the month of November, but they have been able to maintain a consistency by not having anything more than a two-game consecutive loss streak during their 2012-2013 sojourn .

Knicks’ head coach, Mike Woodson , has been able to mold together an aggressive cohesive unit that has proven to be an effective offensive corps of players . The team at 102.27 points per game lies seventh in the NBA in that offensive category , and second within Eastern Conference, behind the Miami Heat (103.4 points per game) . Defensively , in allowing 97 ppg , the Knicks are the ninth within the conference , and fourteenth within the NBA , of the of the league’s 30 teams.

In determining the margin of victory , at 5.3 points per game , Mike Woodson’s players sit comfortably in fifth place within the NBA , where the high-flying Los Angeles Clippers lead the way. For their part , the Clippers , led by Blake Griffin and Chris Paul , have been on an impressive run , having won a franchise best sixteen straight games , the best run in the NBA this season . Vinny Del Negro , and his coaching staff , has this Clippers’ team playing with a great deal of resolve and commitment , while ” overshadowing” their more illustrious rivals and namesake , the Los Angeles Lakers .

And for the Lakers , the infancy of their season has been a tumultuous one , with the firing of Mike Brown five games into their schedule (1-4) and Mike D’Antoni being brought in by GM , Mitch Kupchak and SVP, Jim Buss . The hiring of D’Antoni , was bewildering to fans NBA analysts alike , as front office had sought Phil Jackson , to gauge his interest in returning to the franchise he guided to five NBA titles while coaching the Lakers over two separate terms. And while Jackson had sought time to make a decision, it would appear that Kupchak and Jim Buss approached D’Antoni, offered him the position and then made the formal announcement that the once vacant position had now been filled by the former Knicks and Phoenix Suns’ head coach.

Injuries, and inconsistent play from the Los Angeles Lakers , with no clear sense of a real coaching strategy has simply played its part , in defining the under-achieving Lakers. Take into account , that Kobe Bryant is being asked to provide the bulk of the team’s offensive output , with an aging Steve Nash , and a rather lackluster showing , in a number of outings from Dwight Howard , and a recipe for disaster has now been created , as the franchise’s record (15-15) and standing reflects their continued poor showing .

While the Lakers swoon , the Oklahoma City Thunder are riding high , and they’re no doubt seeking to make a quick return to the NBA Finals , and redeem themselves after last season’s poor showing in the postseason finale . Kevin Durant and his erstwhile teammate , point guard Russell Westbrook , are the most prolific combination duos , now playing in the NBA , and such has been their productivity , that it should come as no surprise why there are and still remain the prohibitive favorites to repeat as the Western Conference champions this season. If there is a serious challenger within the conference , to the Thunder’s present supremacy , then that challenge may well come , jointly from, the Los Angeles Clippers , Memphis Grizzlies and four-time NBA champions , the always dangerous San Antonio Spurs . Gregg Popovich, a former coach of the Year award winner , coach of all four of Spurs Finals’ triumphs , places the illustrious coach in a select group of NBA coaches to have won multiple titles . Adding a fifth , would cement Popovich’s legacy, and further enhance his status as a future Hall of Fame inductee , alongside current players and likely future occupants , Tony Parker , Manu Ginobli and Tim Duncan , the elder statesman on the current Spurs’ roster , and the lynch pin for much of the franchise’s success , since his being drafted , as the number one pick in the 1997 NBA Draft by the San Antonio Spurs.

If the Spurs are to be a collective force , then beyond the productivity provided by Tony Parker , Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobli , then players such as , Kawhi Leonard , Danny Green , Gary Neal , Tiago Splitter , Stephen Jackson , and Boris Diaw , will have to step up and answer the call, as and when needed .

Saturday night’s schedule offers the fans eleven games of note , but essentially Sunday , is when the nation will be watching , if they are not transfixed by the NFL scheduled games being televised by the broadcast networks. The Spurs will be part of the afternoon’s four game sortie , when they face the Dallas Mavericks in a game to be played at the American Airlines Arena in Dallas , Texas. The team leads the season series 1-0 , having met on the 23rd December in San Antonio , when the Spurs came away with a lopsided forty-eight point victory in defeating the Mavericks 129-81 , a loss that sent Rick Carlisle’s team reeling , with many questioning whether or not the current rebuilding process now being undertaken , is actually working . At this juncture , I think it’s pretty safe to say that Carlisle and the Mavericks’ front office will certainly have to look at the underlying issues the team now faces. Team owner, Mark Cuban , saw fit make a radical decision upheaval of their roster and rebuilding afresh. GM , Donn Nelson , entrusted with this task has seen fit to also reduce the team’s payroll considerably from last year . A considerably sharp decline, from when the Mavericks’ carried a payroll that would place them among the highest in the NBA .

In 2012, with the league’s “soft salary cap” of $58.044 million , it would appear that the teams would rather ignore that plateau , as they seek all-out success and glory , no matter what the financial stake may well be, and the morass that such extravagance might bring about . And for this idiocy , we have the league hierarchy to thank , led by NBA Commissioner, David Stern , and the lackadaisical attitude of the team owners , who plead poverty , . but who still choose not to rein in their costs .

The commissioner would rather have us believe that the NBPA (Players’ Union) bears the responsibility for the league’s financial malaise , but nothing could be further from the truth , as this all comes down to the lack of restraint being shown by all sides , as it relates to curtailing financial costs and the league’s own response to the criticism being leveled at them by the fans , television and print media .

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Picture gallery.

What do you believe has been one the high points of the NFL season ? In your opinion, what should we expect to see over the course of the postseason ? With all of news now unfolding within the NBA , rightly or wrongly , what if anything gives you the greatest cause for concern for the league still in its infancy of its schedule , this season? Simply , leave a comment as you see fit , and thanks as always for the continued support of this site , as it is gratefully appreciated !

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Picture and slideshow details below .
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(1) Washington Redskins’ Robert Griffin III passes in the second half of an NFL football game against the Philadelphia Eagles, Sunday, Dec. 23, 2012, in Philadelphia. Washington won 27-20 . AP Photo/Michael Perez …

(2) Washington Redskins coach Mike Shanahan , left, and Philadelphia Eagles’ coach Andy Reid meet after an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 23, 2012, in Philadelphia. Washington won 27-20 . AP Photo/Michael Perez …

(3) Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (9) leaves the field after overtime play of an NFL football game against the New Orleans Saints, Sunday, Dec. 23, 2012 in Arlington, Texas. The Saints won 34-31 . The Cowboys’ quarterback and his well chronicled postseason experience has been more ” hyperbole “ , rather than anything productive for the player and the Cowboys , since he became the full-time starting quarterback for the franchise . AP Photo/Sharon Ellman …

(4) Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (9) passes the ball as New Orleans Saints defensive end Will Smith (91) moves in during the first half of an NFL football game on Sunday, Dec. 23, 2012, in Arlington, Texas. AP Photo/Brandon Wade …

(5) Brooklyn Nets’ Deron Williams looks to pass away from Cleveland Cavaliers’ Kyrie Irving , right, during the first half of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Dec. 29, 2012, in New York. The Nets would go on to defeat the Cavaliers 103-100 . PJ Carlesimo since his being installed as the interim head coach the team is off to a 2-0 start in his tenure , in the position . AP Photo/Frank Franklin II …

(6) Brooklyn Nets interim coach P.J. Carlesimo calls out to his team during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Saturday, Dec. 29, 2012, in New York. The Nets won 103-100. AP Photo/Frank Franklin II …

(7) FILE- In this Dec. 17, 2011, file photo, New Jersey Nets head coach Avery Johnson , right, talks with assistant coach P.J. Carlesimo during the first half of an NBA preseason basketball game against the New York Knicks in Newark, N.J. The Nets fired Johnson on Thursday, Dec. 27, 2012, and Carlesimo will coach the team on an interim basis, starting Friday night with a home game against Charlotte. AP Photo/Mel Evans …..

(8) SACRAMENTO, CA – DECEMBER 28: James Johnson (52) of the Sacramento Kings is congratulated by teammates after he made a three-point basket at the buzzer to beat the New York Knicks 106-105 at Sleep Train Arena on December 28, 2012 in Sacramento, California. Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images ….

(9) San Antonio Spurs’ Tim Duncan (21) works the ball around Houston Rockets’ Marcus Morris, left, during the first quarter of an NBA basketball game on Friday, Dec. 28, 2012, in San Antonio. AP Photo/Eric Gay ….

(10) San Antonio Spurs’ Manu Ginobili (20) , of Argentina, is fouled as he drives to the basket against Houston Rockets defenders Cole Aldrich (31), Daequan Cook (14) , James Harden (13) and Chandler Parsons , right, during the fourth quarter of an NBA basketball game, Friday, Dec. 28, 2012, in San Antonio. San Antonio won 122-116 . AP Photo/Eric Gay ….

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NFL news & news from around the league

Dallas Cowboys news

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All time head to head match-ups between the Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins

NFL standings by division

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NFL schedule week seventeen

NFL stats weekly leaders week 16

NFL team stats

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NBA news & archived news

Brooklyn Nets news

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NBA standings by division

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NBA team salaries & NBA soft salary cap of $58.044 million for the 2012-13 season

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NBA team values – revenue streams & profitability

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Analicia Chaves , picture comes courtesy of King Magazine

It wasn’t meant to be this way , as we had such high hopes ….


It wasn’t meant to be this way , as we had such high hopes ….

By Tophatal

So the final week of the NFL season is upon us and pretty much it all comes down to these final games , with a great deal still being up for grabs by way of divisional titles as well as a playoff berth for the postseason . And in the midst of this all the rancor within the New York Jets’ organization continues . Please , the team and the ongoing Tim Tebow , “ woe is me , you promised this , but instead I got that “ , is now beginning to wear thin and become a real pain in the ass ! Common sense, ought to now prevail , but fans are now literally _____ have been blinded by emotion , rather than using their sheer intelligence ! .

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Slideshow .

The Jets’ season has spiraled out of control , and Rex Ryan is seeking to apportion blame elsewhere , but the “ mean-spirited “ Evil Queen , repeatedly uses the mirror, and magically places it , in front of Rex , in order for him to fully appreciate where the real blame really does lay . Personally , from the moment the trade was made for Tebow , with the organization acquiring the third year player from the Denver Broncos , I simply knew that a sideshow was about to begin ! The Jets’ coaching staff simply lacked the intelligence to know how best to use the young quarterback , and this continued idiocy , that he was good enough to be a starter in the NFL , merely because of a few fleeting moments in 2011 , was enough to indicate Tebow was a worthwhile backup to Mark Sanchez , was asinine and a real insult to those who claim to knowledgeable about the NFL . The Kool-Aid must now be the ” new elixir of life “ , either replacing 5 Hour-Energy or Viagra ? Fans , are now letting their emotions rule , rather than simply using common sense and logic in their decision-making . However, it doesn’t really come as a surprise when you read the statements being made by the fans . I wonder how many of them , with a game on the line , with their team needing a score would actually have Tim Tebow as their quarterback at such a crucial time or pivotal moment ? Chime in, with your thoughts on this .

If there’s a real story to be had in the NFL in 2012 , then it would have to encompass the play of three rookie quarterbacks this season , who have literally turned the NFL upside down, on its ear. Andrew Luck and Russell Wilson , have pretty much guaranteed their respective teams a postseason berth , whereas , Robert Griffin III , will seek to add the Washington Redskins in amongst the mix , by defeating the Dallas Cowboys in a crucial divisional game that will have a great deal more than the result riding on the outcome . A win for either for either team guarantees the NFC East divisional crown and a coveted playoff berth. Defeat , and it comes down to a season of missed opportunities , and questions arising as to where “ did we go wrong “ ?

The game itself, between the Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins , will be perhaps be the most eagerly anticipated of all the games taking place during the final week of the regular season schedule.

In the AFC , the picture is essentially clear, as to the makeup for the postseason , however, what still remains undecided , are the top two berths and descending order , as three teams are seeking at least to claim one of the two spots , that guarantees a bye in the first round of the postseason . At present the Houston Texans (12-3) , Denver Broncos (12-3) and the New England Patriots (11-4) , are each vying for the two berths in question. The Texans face a daunting task, as they meet divisional rivals the Indianapolis Colts , in what is a “must win “ situation for either team .

Denver will play host to the Kansas City Chiefs at Sports Authority Field , in Denver , Colorado , and the Patriots host the fast-sliding Miami Dolphins . And as interesting as those games are likely , the buildup and the games themselves will provide a great deal suspense .

Disappointment also, can come in many guises , be it through a team’s record or the injuries sustained over the course of the season . Yet , nothing can hide the fact that in large , many of the problems suffered by the franchises , came by way of their inept play over the course of the 2012 schedule. Say what you will , but to my mind , while the jury may well still be out on the Chicago Bears (9-6), Detroit Lions (4-11), New Orleans Saints (7-8) , Pittsburgh Steelers (7-8) , Philadelphia Eagles (4-11) , and last but not least the San Diego Chargers (6-9) . It now has me wondering which head coaches , and how many will be relieved of their duties this off-season ? There’s no denying that waiting in the wings are the likes of Jon Gruden , Bill Cowher , and amongst the college ranks , Brian Kelly , Chip Kelly and dare I say it, the ubiquitous Nick Saban ?

The return of Nick Saban to the ranks of the NFL wouldn’t necessarily be a shot in the arm , but given his experiences on his first go-around , is there anyone with of the belief that he would prove to be a success at the helm of a franchise as an NFL head coach ? The asking price would be considerably high, given the success attained by Saban at the college level , but therein lies the dilemma facing an organization who might care to pursue the Alabama head coach. There is however , the belief that the coach will be one of the names atop of the list of a number of teams that will undoubtedly cast their nets afar , as they seek a replacement for a beleaguered incumbent head coach .

There now seems to be conflicting rumors as to whether or not Norv Turner will asked to return to the Chargers’ franchise in 2013. Chairman & team President , Dean Spanos , seem to be sending out mix signals concerning the head coach, as well as the future of general manager , A J Smith . I’m of the opinion that both should be relieved of their positions , once the season is over , with the organization seeking to fill both positions , in the lead-up to the 2013 NFL Draft ! A disastrous season mixed in , with some rather unbelievable decision-making by Norv Turner during the Chargers’ season , pretty much summed up the ineptitude of the team’s play over the course of 2012. And as admirable, as Philip Rivers may well have performed , I now get the feeling that the veteran quarterback’s days with the franchise are now numbered ! I truly do not believe, that the player wishes to remain with the Chargers , but demanding a trade would prove to be futile , unless a team came in with a rather generous offer for the player.

For the Philadelphia Eagles the plight of their season has been well chronicled and it now seems all but certain , that this will be the last fans will undoubtedly see of head coach Andy Reid and the team’s veteran quarterback , Michael Vick. From Vick’s indifferent play this season to the injuries that have befallen the roster , things have simply spiraled out of control for Reid and his coaching staff . The veteran will replace Nick Foles , who having started his first game for the franchise , the rookie is now on the team’s injured reserve list , having suffered a broken hand. Vick will be asked to lead the team in when they face the New York Giants at Met-Life Stadium , in East Rutherford , New Jersey. And for Eli Manning and the Giants , it is now time to put up , or shut up , as this now seems to be a team that has lost its sense of direction and purpose , Tom Coughlin’s players seek to make a late postseason charge , as they seek to claim a playoff berth. How many times must the Giants’ fans have to endure the late season antics of this franchise ?

So, what if Calvin Johnson has broken Jerry Rice’s single season receiving yards’ mark ? Given the Lions’ record this season , is that that the sole reason to laud and applaud this team ? Jim Schwartz has lost control , and the roster of players have become ill-disciplined lackluster , never mind the antics of Lions’ defensive player Ndamukong Suh , who is being given every excuse possible by the NFL hierarchy to carry on with his disgusting on-field antics ! Anyone who believes to the contrary clearly has to watching the Lions through rose-tinted glasses. Matt Stafford may well be able to sling the ball all over the field , but when the team isn’t winning , those stats simply counts for nothing .

Mike Tomlins’ Steelers played themselves in and then out of contention, and now they’re on the outside looking in. Ben Roethlisberger , the two-time winning Superbowl quarterback has been erratic throughout much of 2012 , but the biggest issues concerning the roster has been the aging core of the team and the mere fact that the rookies from 2011 and 2012 have not proven to be productive enough to put the Pittsburgh Steelers in a position to win. And for franchise that built its reputation on having a staunch defense and a decisive running game , those two facets have been missing at times throughout much of this year.

Thankfully the asinine saga of the New Orleans Saints has come to pass and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s image is now lower than an invertebrate . Being such an asshole , Goodell can step back stage , rather than come up with another lame ass suggestion to curry favor with the fans and public at large . The commissioner’s latest notion, is to increase the number of playoff teams in the postseason . As if that’s really going to heighten the interest of the fans at large , a buffoon such as Roger Goodell really needs to make a cursory exit , stage left, and remain there ! Drew Brees and the Saints’ plight can be best summed up by stating …. “ the us against the world bullshit just didn’t cut it this season” , and the team was simply deserving of its fate this season !

The fact that, the best the NFL hierarchy could come up with in this rather disgusting episode was to state that there was an environment of deceit, lies and lack of overall accountability from within the Saints’ hierarchy , pretty much sums up how out of touch with reality the NFL just happens to be ! Never-mind , the fact that Paul Tagliabue , who rendered the verdict , overturning the suspensions of the four players ( Jonathan Vilma, Anthony Hargrove, Wil Smith & Scott Fujita) embroiled in the saga (Bounty scandal) , was very much a conduit for much of what we have witnessed in terms of a lack of real leadership within the NFL hierarchy. Not unlike the current President , his administration and the shoveling of shit , that he and the US Congress would rather pile into a hole of fecal matter , that they themselves , have dug and continue to fill with their platitudes rhetoric . The NFL at present , is simply bereft of any goddamn intelligence and common sense , and the owners and the union are not that far behind , in those aspects , either !

Tagliabue , Roger Goodell’s predecessor , has been a commissioner who showed little authority , and likewise , his successor in his current role, as commissioner , has shown himself to be a considerable ass , of the highest order !

While I live within the Central Florida area , it has to be said that the three NFL franchises within the state , have proven to be a profound disappointment . The always inconsistent Tampa Bay Buccaneers(6-9) , alongside the Jacksonville Jaguars (2-13) , and the equally abysmal Miami Dolphins(7-8) , has me wondering , if the state is meant to be such a “hotbed of superlative talent” , then how the hell is it , that we can never see any semblance of consistency , much less success from either of these three instate franchises ? Your thoughts, on this, by way of a response ?

I am not about to suggest that Greg Schiano , a first-year coach , or Mike Mularkey , and Joe Philbin should be relieved of their duties as head coaches for the franchises in question ! Yet the futility shown by all three teams must make you wonder , is the state of Florida really a place that’s amenable to the NFL , in spite of apparent fervor that is said to be shown for all three teams ? In terms of home attendance, the Jaguars rank thirteenth (519,872) , amongst the NFL’s thirty-two teams , Miami Dolphins (22nd) , with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (25th- [440,819]) bringing up the rear. . Perhaps, those figures are not necessarily the best way to gauge the fan-base of the teams in question, but even if you judge by the average attendance per home game , these figures do remain paltry .

Granted , the Miami Dolphins , remains a work in progress , with a rookie helming the team at the quarterback position . Ryan Tannehill is being asked to accomplish a great deal in his first season with the Dolphins , and it is clear that while he appears to be a competent player , he is not going to set the world alight , in spite of some the idiotic prognostications that came by way of the NFL analysts and like-minded fans within this forum and at large .

The Jacksonville Jaguars are aimlessly heading nowhere , and the mildly amusing chatter , suggesting that the franchise acquire Tim Tebow , while being laudable , and trumpeted by a cacophony of “ Tebow supporters “ , this is all becoming so asinine that it is beyond belief ! Since when has the NFL become an entitlement league ? Is there a welfare check to be had ? Fuck , where is this idiocy coming from, amongst the fans ?

Josh Freeman , the Buccaneers’ first round pick (seventeenth overall) from the 2009 NFL Draft, has once again proven to be a profound disappointment in 2012. Whatever , is being taught to Freeman by Bucs’ quarterbacks coach , Ron Turner , just doesn’t seem to be sinking in with the three-year starter , as his in-game decisions have become wildly errant and bewildering to say the very least , and that is especially true with the Buccaneers this season , as evidenced by his play . If there’s said to be a bright spot with regard to the team’s play , then based upon the resounding evidence , rookie running back , Doug Martin , has proven himself to be one of the more pleasant surprises in the NFL this season . Amongst the cotillion of rookie running backs from this year’s draft , only the Redskins’ Alfred Morris , has statistically shown to be better than his NFC counterpart. Something for the Buccaneers’ fans to pin their hopes on , alas , the issues will still remain concerning the lack of a potent passing offense and a good enough defense, to be truly competitive in the NFL , for this particular franchise.

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Picture gallery

As the NFL season is about to come to a close , which team , teams or players to your mind has provided you with the best performances of 2012 ? And who in your honest opinion has proven to be the biggest letdown of the season , by way of a player or team ? Simply leave a comment as you deem fit , and continued thanks, for the overwhelming support of this site throughout 2012 , and my heartfelt wishes to you all , for a prosperous and successful 2013 ! Thanks, as always !

😉

Picture and slideshow details below .
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(1) New York Jets quarterback Greg McElroy , bottom, is sacked by San Diego Chargers defensive end Corey Liuget , front left, during the second half of an NFL football game on Sunday, Dec. 23, 2012, in East Rutherford, N.J. The Chargers won 27-17 . AP Photo/Bill Kostroun …

(2) New York Jets quarterbacks Mark Sanchez , left, and Tim Tebow stand next to each other during the second half of an NFL football game against the San Diego Chargers, Sunday, Dec. 23, 2012, in East Rutherford, N.J. AP Photo/Kathy Willens …

(3) New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan reacts during the second half of an NFL football game against the San Diego Chargers, Sunday, Dec. 23, 2012, in East Rutherford, N.J. AP Photo/Kathy Willens

(4) FILE – This Nov. 11, 2012 file photo shows New York Jets’ Tim Tebow on the field before an NFL football game against the Seattle Seahawks in Seattle. Rex Ryan acknowledged Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2012 that he had higher expectations for the seldom-used Tebow in the Jets’ wildcat-style offense. And, so did the NFL’s most popular and maligned backup quarterback. Now when I last surveyed the NFL , I wasn’t made aware that the player was owed anything, much less that the NFL had become a ” welfare program” for the underprivileged and less talented ! . So unless Tebow is expecting a ” welfare check” , he should keep his damn mouth shut , and set about honing his goddamn game , and stop whining like a little bitch ! AP Photo/Elaine Thompson ….

(5) Far exceeding expectations, the three top performing rookie quarterbacks from the 2012 NFL Draft . From left to right , Andrew Luck , of the Indianapolis Colts , Robert Griffin III , of the Washington Redskins and Russell Wilson of the Seattle Seahawks . RGIII seeks to join his rookie counterparts in gaining postseason berth for the Redskins . Add into the mix, the play of Andy Dalton , sophomore quarterback for the Cincinnati Bengals , who has now guided that franchise to their second successive postseason appearance in two years . Courtesy of the NY Daily News / Getty Images ….

(6) After making a field goal to win the game , New Orleans Saints kicker Garrett Hartley (5) joins teammates Chase Daniel (10) , Mike Higgins (81) and Jermon Bushrod (74) in celebration during overtime play at an NFL football game against the Dallas Cowboys, Sunday, Dec. 23, 2012, in Arlington, Texas. The Saints won 34-31 in overtime . AP Photo/Sharon Ellman …

(7) NFL Commissioner , Roger Goodell, left, is seen here with his predecessor , Paul Tagliabue , now a corporate lawyer, in private practice, with the nationally renowned law firm , Covington & Burling LLP,. of which Taglibue is a senior partner and co-founder of the D.C. based firm. Goodell , recently recused himself from hearing the appeals’ process for the four players embroiled in the Saints’ bounty scandal. Those suspensions of Jonathan Vilma , Scott Fujita , Anthony Hargrove and Wil Smith were overturned by Paul Tagliabue , who presided over the appeals’ hearing at the behest of Roger Goodell. The commissioner was not entirely happy with the verdicts rendered , as he felt the decision undermined his authority as the NFL’s highest ranking executive , which Goodell believes gives him unlimited powers , and a wide latitude to deal with regard to players’ behavioral conduct . AP Photo / Max Glover ….

(8) St. Louis Rams corner-back Janoris Jenkins (21) runs into Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman (5) after intercepting Freeman’s pass and returning it 41 yards for a touchdown during the second quarter of an NFL football game on Sunday, Dec. 23, 2012, in Tampa, Fla. Rams is Robert Quinn (94) blocks. AP Photo/Reinhold Matay ….

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NFL related links :

I did it may way

Somewhere to hang one’s hat

Hits , misses and a bye your leave

The year of the young guns

And clearly we’re about to agree to disagree

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NFL news & news from the around news

NFL archived news

NFL week 17 schedule

NFL standings by division

NFL standings by conference

NFL weekly leaders week 16 & week sixteen results

NFL teams stats

Jacksonville Jaguars news

Miami Dolphins news

Tampa Bay Buccaneers news

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Hot chic pic of the day Draya Michelle . No bra , just panties , and a few droplets of water in running over all of the right places , simply leaves nothing to the imagination . Wouldn’t you agree ?

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Kickin’ it with some good ol’ R&B …. Miguel ……. “Adorn”

Just Kick the fucking can down the road , as it’s how you deal with the issue or issues ….

Just Kick the fucking can down the road , as it’s how you deal with the issue or issues …..

To read on merely click on to the link provided below .

Just kick the fucking can down the road as it’s how you deal with the issue or issues

Tophatal ………

Just Kick the fucking can down the road , as it’s how you deal with the issue or issues ….

Just Kick the fucking can down the road , as it’s how you deal with the issue or issues ….

By Tophatal ….

It has not come as a surprise to see the ongoing incompetence of a Congress and Presidential administration that remains so damn clueless ! President, Barack Obama having been returned to office for a second successive term , he still remains a powerless individual . And while I believe him to be the better of the two candidates ,, who sought the nation’s highest political office , in no way should that be viewed as an outright ringing endorsement of Obama the man . His failings on a number of political issues across the political panacea have been mounting and still show no signs of abating.

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In the aftermath of the tragic events of Newtown , Connecticut , and the loss of twenty six innocent lives , of which 20 of those were students under the age 12 , at Sandy Hook Elementary School . The nation angered by this latest atrocity , and it has once again been left to the idiocy of the Democrats and Republicans to argue over “gun control” , and what might be seen as an effective policy and far-reaching statute that would keep multi-faceted automatic weapons out of the hands of criminals but also individuals with mental health issues . Once again, in comes the NRA , and their overzealous and often insidious Chairman Wayne LaPierre . LaPierre , would have us believe that his organization’s lobbying to have strict and effective gun control policy basically “watered down” effectively assisting the arms’ manufacturers even greater profits than even they could have possibly imagined . Over the years , whatever “teeth” there has been to any effective mandate as it relates to gun control , has had the heart ripped out of it completely. And the statutes now on the books simply does not go far enough to negate the violence now within our midst that takes the lives young innocent children among us .

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The names of the twenty six lives lost in the tragedy of Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown Connecticut ,. … @ copyrighted material ABC news all rights reserved …

Mass killings and the hundreds of lives that have been lost on the streets of Chicago over the past eighteen months , should be enough of a horror to make even the most hardened amongst us repulsed . Yet , somehow these harrowing statistics , that places the United States atop of the ladder of developed nations with regards to homicides per capita and per 10,000 remains the highest in the industrialized world . This is not something that the country can take pride in at all. It’s now open season on children and women in terms of the violence now taking place , and these fucking politicians now seem to be intent on sitting on their ass ,while not doing anything positive or proactive on a variety of issues, and the uninitiated masses who offered up their synopsis on this election seeming glossed over so much , merely because they haven’t a fucking clue as to the issues that now affect the country domestically and internationally !

With that in mind , what else should the can the electorate now look forward to ? The economic malaise we’re now told is a “ fiscal cliff” has become a cluster fuck that stinks to high heaven , and at no time over the past four years , has either side sought to deal with this , the most acute of the issues the country now faces . The Democrats and Republicans the ” two bumbling ” and more prominent of the political parties , are now behaving like children fighting over a new toy in a sandpit . House Leader , John Boehner , has all but made sure that there will be no clear-cut solution or compromise before the Congress takes their winter recess . The President for his part remains a toothless tiger without the leadership traits many felt sought in him, as a political leader and statesman . Basically , it’s back to kicking the can down the road as relates to dealing with the nation’s problems . Nothing ventured, nothing gained as they say.

The NBA season is now up and running , and a mere third of the way through its eighty-two game schedule . Leading the way within the Eastern Conference , as well the Atlantic Division , are the New York Knicks (19-7) , the team with the best record within conference , but the fourth best record in the NBA , behind the Oklahoma City Thunder (21-5) , San Antonio Spurs (20-8), and the Los Angeles Clippers (20-6) .

Now while Mike Woodson’s players are off to an impressive start to the season , one could attest to the fact that for the moment they might just be the best team in the conference. Yet the reigning champions the Miami Heat , in spite of their recent hiccups , LeBron James and his teammates do have something to prove , as they seek to make a successful defense of their NBA title .

Now while many might feel that the Heat’s start is somewhat indifferent , it has to be said , if anything this team is simply pacing themselves for the long haul of an arduous season. The NBA schedule , much like a marathon , is not a sprint , but an attrition sapping course of events that simply takes its toll upon the players . So while the Knicks and their fans feel something to excited about at present , let’s not get ahead of ourselves , especially in light of that ugly ….. loss to the Chicago Bulls at home , while playing at Madison Square Gardens, in New York City , New York . Riding high , behind the play of Carmelo Anthony , undoubtedly one of the early season candidates and leaders for the league MVP . Behind some resolute defense and an equally imposing offense , the much maligned Knicks now have the rest of the NBA sitting up and take note.

From the good to the bad , and oh yes , it is really bad , as the woefully inept Washington Wizards (3-20) , either are unknowingly wanting to look bad , or the Wizards’ players are simply that horrendous . Far be it for me to suggest that I can’t spot bullshit when I see it , but the NBA hierarchy should now be investigating whether or not there is a real intent by the franchise to play competitively . If not , then I guess their record and play is indicative how bad they just happen to be. Personally, I just can’t see any light at the end of the tunnel for this laboring franchise ! They are simply not a championship caliber team by any stretch of the imagination

You can build a team around a number one draft pick but you’d better sure as hell have the players to go alongside him to match his skill-set . Two years removed from being the number one pick in the 2010 NBA Draft , John Wall remains something of an enigma , while his teammates , are simply lackluster and dispassionate . Head coach , Randy Wittman , may well be in for an arduous season with his young team . as they try to find a way to remain relevant within the NBA this season .

In the Western Conference , everything has been encapsulated by the might of the Oklahoma City Thunder , led by their All Stars , Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook . And for Westbrook, who might just be the most electrifying talent at the point guard position currently playing in the NBA , and that is with due respect to Chris Paul, Deron Williams and Rajon Rondo .

In the midst of this all , Kevin Durant remains the lynch pin that holds this team together , under the erstwhile coaching abilities of Scott Brooks and his coaching staff . . Thunder GM , Sam Presti , a former front office executive with the San Antonio Spurs has simply molded the franchise using a similar template , by drafting judiciously over the years , garnering , Durant , Westbrook, James Harden , and in 2012, it appears another bumper crop of talented players that Brooks can enmesh into this roster , with them making contributions in assisting the franchise’s aspirations.

Harden , in the midst of contract negotiations with the team could not reach an agreement wherein his contributions with the Thunder have made this franchise a force to be reckoned with over the past two seasons . The negotiations between James Harden and Sam Presti broke down , with the front office deciding to trade the player being traded to the Houston Rockets , in exchange for Kevin Martin and several role players. Harden , for his part having joined the Rockets , he has made more than a solid a contribution for the team , and outshining Jeremy Lin , the “supposed face of the franchise” in the wake of esteemed career of Yao Ming .

The Rockets (14-12) sits third behind the Memphis Grizzlies (18-7) and the San Antonio Spurs within the Southwest Division . From his “hot start” with the Rockets, both Harden and the team

seem to have cooled down with the franchised on a three-game winning streak, but 6-4 over their last ten games .

While there seems to be a new chapter being written in burgeoning career of Blake Griffin and Chris Paul , as the duo lead the Los Angeles Clippers to new unprecedented heights of recent success. The team is now on a twelve-game winning streak , the longest such streak in the NBA this season . Griffin and his teammates have simply been the story in LA , while their more celebrated neighbors the Los Angeles Lakers are struggling under the wealth and weight of expectation . The firing of Mike Brown after a 1-4 start , and the hiring of Mike D’Antoni as Brown’s successor has left the fans of one of the NBA’s most heralded franchises asking what the hell just happens to be going on.

DAntoni for his part is having a hard time in trying to win over the die-hard Lakers’ fans , whose wish it was , was to see either the return of Phil Jackson or the vacant position at the time , be filled by Jackson’s former assistant , Brian Shaw. The decision for the hiring of Mike DAntoni was made by general manager , Mitch Kupchak and SVP Jim Buss , the son of team owner, Dr Jerry Buss .

I have never been a great admirer of Mike D’Antoni as an NBA head coach , as I believe coaching to be fundamentally unsound , especially in light of the fact he has never been avowed teacher of defensive fundamentals , with regard to coaching in the NBA . Dantoni’s teams throughout his coaching , are not known for their defensive prowess. And that is now clearly the case at present, as it relates to the Lakers . And the idiocy is that the fans are now meant to believe that D’Antoni will adjust his coaching style to make such a thought a reality , is simply beyond belief .

Kobe Bryant is the lone constant on the roster of the Lakers , and their primary offensive source , as well as a defensive stalwart for this beleaguered franchise. With Kupchak and Jim Buss having made the decision to hire D’Antoni , it should be noted that they team’s roster also was revamped with the acquisitions of Steve Nash and Dwight Howard to complement to skill-set of Bryant and Pau Gasol. From my own standpoint , with injuries already sustained to Howard , Gasol and Nash , there seems to be a lingering concern as to the overall health of three players. In part, this has played a role in the ongoing owes of the team and the sub .500 record (13-14) now held by the franchise within the Pacific Division of the Western Conference.

The Lakers in their most recent game , came away with a hard-fought 118-115 victory over the Golden State Warriors . On Christmas Day , when to my mind , it gives us a clear-cut picture as to how the teams are faring , as by now we should be witnessing the well-formed intentions and their chase for a playoff berth .

Beyond the off the field issues facing the Sacramento Kings under the connivance of team owners , Joe and Gavin Aloof , there can be no denying that this franchise remains a work in progress both on and off the field of play. Head coach , Keith Smart , still has to deal with a malcontent in DeMarcus Cousins , player with a great deal of talent , but the attitude of a pig , and who lacks the maturity to be seen as a genuine leader of this team. I was once told by a patron, who just happened to be a Kings’ fan , he wasn’t at all concerned about a player’s issues , just as long as he came to play the game. Well, that sort of attitude is so typical of the vast majority of sports’ fans in general today , as they would rather excuse the gross misbehavior of an athlete as being part of the “norm” . Well, it no longer becomes the norm when a player chooses to disparage his head coach and indirectly his teammates . Cousins has been suspended indefinitely by the franchise, for conduct detrimental to the team and organization . Anyone within front office who didn’t see this incident coming has to be either naïve or convinced that DE Marcus Cousins had in fact turned over to a new a leaf.

Cousins remains an enigma , malcontent , talented and a conundrum all rolled up into one human being. The fact that he cannot be quelled and that his off the field antics have been tolerated for so long , speaks volumes as to the incompetence that has been shown by the Kings’ front office as well as the NBA hierarchy as a whole . Repeated infractions by the player, and he has simply been coddled by the Kings’ coaching staff , until this latest incident . Highly sought after , Cousins , as a player, while a player at Kentucky (Wildcats) under John Calipari, a coach whose idea of making players under his tutelage be productive citizens , is akin to seeing Al Capone choosing not to profit from the era of prohibition . And if you sincerely believe that Calipari has ever had the best interests of the players to have been under his tutelage , then simply peruse the minutiae of coaching resume` in detail to see the trail of trouble and NCAA investigations conducted at the programs where he has been a college coach. NCAA champions or not , albeit that the coach is well-respected by his peers and Wildcats’ fans alike , there remains a distasteful stench surrounding anything associated with John Calipari and much of the success he has attained .

As to Cousins impending future and whether or not he remains a player with this franchise in the future , it now remains to be seen .

As I alluded to earlier , Christmas Day becomes the point at where we can truly gauge the progress of the teams. In 2011 , that was certainly the case , as it has always been during previous seasons within the NBA and their usual festivity appealing schedule . Five games are on schedule for the 25th December , of which the “ marquee match-ups” are the Boston Celtics facing the Brooklyn Nets at the Barclays Center , in Brooklyn , with the other game in question, being the New York Knicks facing the Los Angeles Lakers at the Staples Center , in Los Angeles , California, . Hopefully , a genuine treat will be served up by the teams in question in those five scheduled games .

What thoughts if any do you have with regard to the NBA season , and how the year has progressed so far ? And do you feel that the right action has been taken by the Sacramento Kings in the suspension of DeMarcus Cousins ? Merely leave a comment as you see fit on this and anything else you believe to be pertinent on the subject matter in question .

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Picture gallery

To the patrons of this site and the first-time observer my sincerest wishes is for you all to have a wonderful Christmas and a prosperous New Year , with the same sentiment to your immediate families !

Picture and slideshow details below
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(1) U.S. President Barack Obama (R) shakes hands with Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) during a meeting with bipartisan group of congressional leaders in the Roosevelt Room of the White House on November 16, 2012 in Washington, DC. Obama and congressional leaders of both parties are meeting to reportedly discuss deficit reduction before the tax increases and automatic spending cuts go into effect in the new year. Source: Pool images /Getty North America ….

(2) U.S. President Barack Obama (C) speaks as Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) (L) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) looks on during a meeting with bipartisan group of congressional leaders in the Roosevelt Room of the White House on November 16, 2012 in Washington, DC. Obama and congressional leaders of both parties are meeting to reportedly discuss deficit reduction before the tax increases and automatic spending cuts go into effect in the new year.
Pool Images/ Getty North America …

(3) National Rifle Association Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre calls on Congress to pass a law putting armed police officers in every school in America during a news conference at the Willard Hotel December 21, 2012 in Washington, DC. This is the first public appearance that leaders of the gun rights group have made since a 20-year-old man used a popular assault-style rifle to slaughter 20 school children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, one week ago. Either LaPierre is that much of a cynic if this is the best suggestion , he believes is necessary to stem the tide of violence now encompassing the fabric of our society . Clearly, he feels the gun manufacturers has no place to be a part of the wider debate , as it relates to “gun control” . Getty Images / Alex Wong ….

(4) The names of the twenty-six lives lost in the tragedy of Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown Connecticut ,. … @ copyrighted material ABC news all rights reserved …

(5) New York Knicks’ Carmelo Anthony (7) ) drives the ball around Minnesota Timberwolves’ Ricky Rubio (9) in the first half of an NBA basketball game on Sunday, Dec., 23, 2012, at Madison Square Garden in New York. The Knicks won 94-91. AP Photo/Kathy Kmonicek …

(6) Washington Wizards point guard John Wall talks with the news media following a team practice at the Verizon Center in Washington, Monday, Dec. 17, 2012. Wall, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2010 draft, has been recovering from a stress injury to his left knee cap. AP Photo/Susan Walsh …

(7) Los Angeles Lakers’ Kobe Bryant (24) dribbles next to Golden State Warriors’ Klay Thompson (11) during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Oakland, Calif., Saturday, Dec. 22, 2012. AP Photo / Paul Parsons …

(8) Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins , right, drives to the basket around Golden State Warriors defender Festus Ezeli during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Sacramento, Calif., on Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2012. The Kings won 131-127 . Cousins has been suspended indefinitely for conduct unbecoming and detrimental to the organization . Kings’ head coach Keith Smart and Geoff Petrie , general manager have yet to state whether or not the player will be reinstated and length of the suspension will take . AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez ….

(9) Sacramento Kings’ GM , Geoff Petrie is seen here with the team’s 2012 NBA Draft pick (5th overall in the 2012 NBA Draft) , Thomas Robinson ,alongside head coach, Keith Smart . AP Photo / Matt Marsh ….

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Hot chic pic of the day a very sexy female Santa , spreading some Yuletide joy.

Somewhere to hang one’s hat …….

Somewhere, to hang one’s hat

By Tophatal …..

In amidst the craziness of the NFL season, the biggest story of year , remains the fall from grace of the New York Jets , and this goddamn asinine notion that Tim Tebow is entitled to the chance of being a starter with the Jets . In many of the articles I’ve read within this forum , nowhere have I read , where anyone has stated that the player’s game has simply regressed . Instead , it has been the cries, that he’s being mistreated by the Jets’ coaching staff and the organization as a whole . Has anyone, seen this team’s play over the last eight games , at all ? The truth of the matter , this is not a very good team , one which is simply devoid of leadership both on and off the field of play , and no one , in their given prognostications has been acutely intelligent enough, to state in print, within this forum .

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As I alluded to , fans are simply seeking out a feel-good story , especially as it relates to Tim Tebow , Heisman Trophy winner , and a nice guy . Look , in the “real world” , you have to earn the right to be afforded the respect due , and so far in the NFL , Tebow has yet to earn that amongst his peers ! If he cannot cut it at this stage of his career , then his immediate and long-term future is not all that bright .

While Tebow had a stellar career with the Florida Gators , his career in the NFL can be best described as marginal at best. And but for a few fleeting moments in 2011 , with the Denver Broncos and the postseason of that year , has there been anything memorable about Tim Tebow’s career, that now merits his succeeding , Mark Sanchez , as the team’s starter this Sunday and the Jets’ final game of the season ? Ask yourself that , before proffering up a succinct answer .

During , a six game stretch during 2011, for the Denver Broncos, Tebow’s quarterback rating was amongst the lowest in the entire NFL , yet even the most knowledgeable of supporters of the player , somehow chooses to overlook this all. Oh, to be so naïve , and show such a great deal of bias , without trying to lay out an argument either way as to the pros and cons , concerning the player. If a player , in the NFL , was merely playing in the league because of his likability , then everyone , who has ever shown the propensity to aspire to play in the NFL , would be afforded that privilege . Yet , the fact that of the matter , just happens to be, a player succeeds in this league , based on his ability , and not because the fans, merely , want to see a nice guy, get his due . This is not how the NFL operates , where image , power but above all else , money counts for everything . And as marketable as Tebow , just happens to be , his star , is now on the decline , while the luster also has diminished .

The fate of the New York Jets over their final two games , may well rest in the hands of their third-string starter Greg McElroy. And the fact that Tebow , now having recovered from a rib injury , was overlooked by head coach , Rex Ryan for the upcoming game against the San Diego Chargers , speaks volumes as to his and the coaching staff’s lack of faith

in the player’s abilities . Ryan , has tried to suggest and play this all down , by stating that the trade for Tim Tebow was a misjudgment on his part, and the fact that they have been unable to utilize his talents in any phase of their game strategies . When a head coach makes a statement of that magnitude , then you simply know that the future does not bode well for that player . Rex Ryan’s own future with the New York Jets , now comes under a “ cloud of conjecture” and a great deal of speculation .

Clearly , the front office of the Jets’ organization , has to be at odds with the coach staffs’ handling of the team’s malaise this season, and the very fact that they will miss the postseason for the second consecutive year . Team owner , Woody Johnson and GM Mike Tannenbaum must now come to a decision , as to the immediate futures of not only Mark Sanchez , Tim Tebow , but also the entire coaching staff, led by Rex Ryan . The drama on the field of play, was outshone by the sheer ridicule to be found , of the three-ringed circus acts , that unfolded over the course of the Jets’ season , and the idiocy to be found within the Jets’ organization .

Whatever fate now holds for the main characters in this melodrama , the season cannot end soon enough for the success starved fans of the New York Jets . Surely , they deserve a great deal more from the franchise , than they have been subjected to , this season ? And for those asinine ingrates , who felt that the criticism by Joe Namath leveled not only at Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow but also at the Jets’ coaching staff , was undue. My advice would be , isn’t it right about now “ that you should be eating crow” ? Better yet , seek life elsewhere , because in the real world where criticism is valid, one looks at all sides of the argument objectively, and not through a paradigm of favoritism and likability.

There may well have been a rush to judgment in the belief that the New York Giants would be on their way to another postseason berth after last season’s triumph in the Superbowl . This season , the 8-6 Giants, are in the middle of a three-way dogfight for the NFC East , with the two teams who fall short , likely to miss the postseason . Joining the New York Giants in the midst of this drama and intrigue are the Dallas Cowboys (8-6) and Washington Redskins (8-6), which clearly creates even more suspense than even Eli Manning and his teammates would have wished for at this juncture . They will once again come under the microscope , with questions arising as to whether or not they can make a late season surge and garnering a postseason berth. In their last five games , Tom Coughlin’s players are 3-2 , and with m those losses , their hold on the division is now essentially up for grabs .

The Giants will face a stern test when they meet the Baltimore Ravens , a team with struggles of their own ,as they seek to rebound from a set of rather indifferent games . Suffice to say, a defeat, for either team , would effectively seal their fate , as they each have postseason aspirations . This was not meant to be part of the scenario that Tom Coughlin had envisage for his team , as the knock against the Giants over the past two seasons , was their insistence at making their run for the postseason in the latter half of their regular season schedule . The fallout for the team, should they fail to garner that much-envied berth , could very well be catastrophic. . From, hereon-in , one could speculate where this leaves the Giants and their season should this chapter prove to be disappointing .

I’ll repeat this again and again , the Chicago Bears might just be the most be the overrated 8-6 team in the NFL , bearing that mark within the league . And therein , lies the misnomer as to why they are being viewed as a contender for the postseason . A great deal of the issues facing this team have been the very the fact that rush offense for the Bears has been a constant struggle , and most definitely erratic . Given the caliber of the team’s running back Matt Forte, this could very well be seen as misleading , but much of this falls on the shoulders of Jay Cutler , and the very fact the quarterback has proven to be a major disappointment throughout much of the Bears’ season .

Cutler’s entrance into the NFL were lauded , simply because of his exploits , while attending Vanderbilt (Commodores) . As the eleventh overall pick from the 2006 NFL Draft was enough to suggest that the Denver Broncos might well have been unto something, as they sought a successor who could simply replicate the feats of Hall of Fame inductee John Elway, the franchise’s all-time leader in several passing categories for the Broncos.

The Bears’ 23-16 loss to divisional rivals , the Green Bay Packers at Soldier Field , in Chicago , Illinois , could very well be the defeat that either sends a signal to the front office that changes will have to be made this off-season. GM , Phil Emery , may well seek to discuss the team’s problems with President & CEO Ted Phillips , and Chairman , George H McCaskey, as to the likely moves that can be made . Certainly , Lovie Smith’s position as the team’s head coach may well come under even more scrutiny , than he has been accustomed to , in recent years. Moreover, it is my belief , that Jay Cutler’s position will become even more tenuous with many questioning whether or not he can actually lead this team deep into the postseason.

Up next for the Chicago Bears will be a conference match-up against the woefully lamentable Arizona Cardinals. For Cardinals’ head coach, Ken Whisenhunt , a win is of the utmost necessity, if only to stave off, the now fomenting discussions as to his immediate future and that of several members of his coaching staff , as well as a number of players on the Cardinals’ roster.

Whatever , you may well feel about the Chicago Bears , the undeniable question has to be , what will it take for this team to make the next step into the upper tier of the teams seen as the amongst the elite within the NFL ? From my own perspective , there have been no truly dominant franchises within the league this season , and that is in spite of the ongoing records and several of the results over the course of the 2012 regular season schedule !

The Atlanta Falcons (12-3) may well be riding high , and for Matt Ryan, a possible candidate for league MVP , he knows better than ever , that the time is now , for this team to truly show the fans of the NFL that they are a force to be reckoned with . I have my own misgivings about this team , because the team’s quarterback has yet to indicate to me , that he has the wherewithal to lead a his franchise to their desired destination , a berth in the Superbowl.

Falcons’ head coach , Mike Smith , has a team built around the explosiveness of his offense led by Tony Gonzalez, Roddy White , Michael Turner , Julio Jones and with a defense that gives up 18.5 ppg and 354.4 total yards per game this season. It may well be enough to cede the ball club to their desired destination . Whether or not that will be enough , it remains to be seen at this juncture . Having secured the #1 seed in the NFC , the Falcons will face the fast declining Detroit Lions in a Saturday evening game being played at Ford Field , in Detroit , Michigan,. Given the woes of Lions’ franchise this season . I get the impression that they could very well be on wrong side of a rather lopsided defeat !

Nothing , absolutely nothing , has gone right for the Detroit Lions (4-10) over the course of this season , as the franchise seems to have regressed back to the team , that we all witnessed , have one of most infamous seasons in NFL history , in posting an 0-16 record in 2008. There’s nothing else , that needs to be said left to be said at this juncture !

A disappointing season all-round for the Lions but most notably , I believe for Matt Stafford , after having a breakout season in 2011! His erstwhile teammate , Calvin Johnson , just seems to be nonchalantly going about his business while cementing himself as the NFL’s best wide receiver by quite a wide margin over the rest of his peers .

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Picture gallery .

With one week left on the NFL regular season , after Saturday and Sunday’s slew of games , it will be interesting to see how a number teams fare, as they seek to make that final push for a playoff berth . With seven spots already secured there still remains, seven places up for grabs, and it remains to be seen which of these ball-clubs will be up to the task. Chime in , with a comment , as you see fit , on this, and anything else, you feel pertinent, as to the subject matter .

😉

Picture and slideshow gallery below .
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(1) FILE – This Nov. 11, 2012 file photo shows New York Jets’ Tim Tebow on the field before an NFL football game against the Seattle Seahawks in Seattle. Rex Ryan acknowledged Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2012 that he had higher expectations for the seldom-used Tebow in the Jets’ wildcat-style offense. And, so did the NFL’s most popular and maligned backup quarterback. AP Photo/Elaine Thompson ….

(2) Tennessee Titans running back Chris Johnson (28) runs for a 94-yard touchdown against the New York Jets in the second quarter of an NFL football game, Monday, Dec. 17, 2012, in Nashville, Tenn. AP Photo/Wade Payne …

(3) New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez (6) passes against the Tennessee Titans in the second quarter of an NFL football game, Monday, Dec. 17, 2012, in Nashville, Tenn. AP Photo/Wade Payne …

(4) New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez (6) passes against the Tennessee Titans in the second quarter of an NFL football game, Monday, Dec. 17, 2012, in Nashville, Tenn. AP Photo/Wade Payne

(5) New York Jets quarterback Tim Tebow (15) is sacked for a 2-yard loss by Tennessee Titans linebacker Zach Brown (55) in the second quarter of an NFL football game, Monday, Dec. 17, 2012, in Nashville, Tenn. AP Photo/Wade Payne ….

(6)New York Jets Head Coach Rex Ryan (C) Owner Woody Johnson (R) and General Manager Mike Tannenbaum pose for a photo at a press conference naming Ryan as the new Head Coach of the New York Jets at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center on January 21, 2009 in Florham Park, New Jersey. Johnson’s involvement with the company that bears the familial name Johnson & Johnson Inc is now at a bare minimum , but it is strange to see the pharmaceutical giant be successful , yet an NFL franchise , where Woody Johnson is the CEO is ran with such poor decision-making , which seems to be reflected in the team’s play this season and their standing in the AFC East . Photo by Andy Marlin/Getty Images …

(7) Chicago Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall (15), second from right, sits on the bench in the second half of an NFL football game against the Green Bay Packers in Chicago, Sunday, Dec. 16, 2012. The Packers won 21-13 to clinch the NFC North division title. AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh …

(8) Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler (6) is sacked by Green Bay Packers linebacker Clay Matthews , left, in the second half of an NFL football game in Chicago, Sunday, Dec. 16, 2012. At right is Packers linebacker Dezman Moses . The Packers won 21-13 to clinch the NFC North division title. AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh …

(9) Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) works against the New York Giants during the second half of an NFL football game on Sunday, Dec. 16, 2012, in Atlanta. The Falcons would go on to defeat the Giants 34-0 . AP Photo/Rich Addicks …

(10) Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson (81) cannot pull in a pass as Arizona Cardinals corner-back ,Patrick Peterson (21) defends during the first half of an NFL football game on Sunday, Dec. 16, 2012, in Glendale, Ariz. AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin ….

(11) Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) is pressured by Arizona Cardinals defensive end David Carter (79) during the first half of an NFL football game on Sunday, Dec. 16, 2012, in Glendale, Ariz. AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin …

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Jaime Edmondson the quintessential Patriots’ fan

They haven’t got a pot to piss in , much less a window to throw it out of ….. ideas of grandeur , baseball style .

They haven’t got a pot to piss in , much less a window to throw it out of ….. ideas of grandeur , baseball style .

By Tophatal

Well the MLB off-season is proving to be just as thrilling as teams seek to shed payroll , while others seek to increase payroll , with the ultimate goal of glory , success , and all that it may entail . No need to guess , who the big winners are at this juncture before the season has even started . Both the Los Angeles Dodgers and Los Angeles Angels have sought to make their “big splash” , while north of the border , the Toronto Blue Jays have sought to revamp their roster and increase their payroll .

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The biggest acquisition made by the Blue Jays has been that of Cy Young Award winner R A Dickey, from the New York Mets , and given the franchise’s ongoing precarious financial position , of which their idiotic fans seem to fail to comprehend , it is my firm belief that the front office will continue on , with its own self-styled fire sale . Granted , the Toronto Blue Jays were made privy to the Miami Marlins’ fire sale , where the South Florida franchise has once again embarked upon divesting of the big-money contracts they were handing out out to those free agents like “ cotton candy”. A hellacious season of inept performances , the firing of a manager and the Marlins’ foray in 2012 can be best described as an almighty cluster fuck of “gargantuan proportions” .

In the midst of this mess , the “so-called in-depth investigation “ that Bud Selig has stated would take place , has actually failed to materialize , with no one having been empaneled by the commissioner to even remotely ascertain how and why team owner, Jeffrey Loria , and other Marlins’ front office executives, team President, Larry Beinfest , GM, Michael Hill and EVP ,Dave Sansom , have been allowed to simply wreak havoc upon this franchise, while at the same time giving the team’s fans false hope. It has been this sort of mismanagement that continues to take place around the game , under premise harsh economic times . Personally , I believe it to be “ one great big fucking lie” being suborned by the team owners and countenanced by the MLB hierarchy !

And lo and behold , it is this sort of apathy by the fans who buy into a franchise’s premise that because they have failed to meet certain goals , then they have to divest themselves the “ burdensome salaries” on their books. Unless I am mistaken, these self-styled executives and owners went into these negotiations with the players and their agents with their eyes wide open , did they not ? Furthermore , a close acquaintance patron of this site suggested to me that the Tampa Bay Rays , a franchise , who only in recent years has found a modicum of success has been profitable , due to the erstwhile financial expediency shown by GM Andrew Friedman . That might be the “biggest crock of shit “ within the Tampa Bay area , other than the continued stupidity being showed by the local politicians within the locale. The only reason the Tampa Bay Rays have been financially sound , has nothing at all to do with the accounting acumen of Friedman , because it has more to do with the fact that the franchise like several others , are the recipients of monies , made available to them by way of the league’s tax sharing revenue scheme . In the last seven years alone , the Rays as a ball-club has benefited to the tune of some $146 million . Given the menial profits attained by the franchise , a $20 million off-balance sheet boost can make that final earnings’ mark quite alluring to any fan merely glancing over a pro-forma spread-sheet detailing the Rays’ finances .

Yesterday, another stalwart of the Rays’ franchise in recent years allowed to leave with first baseman , and former Gold Glove winner , Carlos Pena , who signed a one year deal to become the newly designated hitter (DH) for the Houston Astros in 2013 . Pena and his new team will be part of the new league realignment, that sees the Astros making the move from the NL Central to the AL West . Pardon me for saying this , but given Astros’ woes in 2012, I am not so sure that their league mandated move will truly be of benefit for the franchise . Once there , they will have to face off against Los Angeles Angels , Oakland A’s , Seattle Mariners and Texas Rangers . And given the resurgence of the A’s and the likelihood that we will continue to see improvement in the play of the Angels and Rangers , there has to be a team within the division, that will end up being the “ whipping post” and “ bitch “ that everyone else gets to “ ravage” . So why not the moribund Astros ?

Astros’ owner , Jim Crane , with the then record amount of $775 million paid to purchase the franchise . He has to know, that he faces an uphill battle in getting this team in a competitive