It’s not Rocket Science , so why turn it into something it is not ?

It’s not Rocket Science , so why turn it into something it is not ?

Was there really any doubt that the Houston Texans were not going to make Jadeveon Clowney to the number one pick in the 2014 NFL Draft ? The South Carolina Gamecocks’ linebacker was a consensus top pick among general managers , analysts , draft geeks and even those, who were not even intense football fans. It is pretty much safe to suggest, that had Texans’ GM Rick Smith chosen to forego the choice of Clowney , then there would have been a number of questions raised concerning the inner workings within the front office of the AFC South based NFL franchise. We all know what Clowney brings to the table as player, even where there have been questions concerning his maturity level.

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The first round of the Draft played out with a little drama, but the greatest surprise of the night might well have been the fact , highly praised Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel had dropped to become the twenty-second pick of the first round , when he was taken by the offensively challenged Cleveland Browns , who were most definitely in need of dynamic passer and someone who could bring back fans to Paul Brown Stadium , in Cleveland , Ohio. Brandon Weeden’s short stay with the franchise was not a memorable one , with the quarterback rarely achieving anything of note during his two-year stay with the franchise. Whether or not Manziel can engineer something of a rebound will be completely dependent upon how quickly the player can acclimatize himself to the rigors of playing in the NFL . Head coach Mike Pettine is likely to use his rookie quarterback throughout much of the Browns’ preseason schedule and then into the regular season .

Johnny Manziel will also have to prove his doubters wrong , many of whom believe that the player because of his size, will not be an overall resounding success in the NFL . My take on it all, we will never know, until Manziel steps unto the turf and makes that first successful pass and his then being able move on from there. One game , is such a small step to take , but it could end up being the first of many , to the level of success that is likely to be achieved . Well, that will be dependent upon the player, his teammates and the coaching staff of the Cleveland Browns.

If the shock of Johnny Manziel not being taken as the first quarterback in this year’s NFL Draft was not enough of a surprise. Then Blake Bortles being the first passer announced, was stunning, given that , the UCF Golden Knights’ passer plays in a newly established conference where the play is still being assessed , are the teams that now make up the American Conference . Blake Bortles has been placed in the not too enviable position, being asked to succeed Blaine Gabbert of the Jacksonville Jaguars and to lead that franchise to some semblance of success.

Gabbert’s tenure , as the starting quarterback, for that particularly moribund franchise, can be best described as being mediocre , if not downright incompetent. Yet for some reason, it was felt that he still offered the best opportunity possible for the Jaguars to win throughout much of last season . Jacksonville’s year-end record was enough to suggest that they are nowhere near where they needed to be and quite possibly team owner , Shahid Khan may well be overreaching and overly ambitious, in suggesting the team would be capable of winning a Superbowl title within five years of his taking ownership of the franchise . The owner now entering the third year of his tenure and I would to think, that Khan’s strategy and plans are now being revised.

Teddy Bridgewater was the second quarterback taken behind Blake Bortles and he too , will be asked to succeed another failing quarterback , in Christian Ponder , whose tenure with the Minnesota Vikings has been a unique failure , beyond the incompetency shown the successive general managers of the franchise and the very fact that Zygi Wilf’s efforts in recent years , have been strictly been about strong arming the state legislature in Minnesota to finance the building of a $ 1.4 billion venue for the franchise , further endangering the state’s precarious financial situation , where they now have a burgeoning deficit and a number of municipalities are having to choose to cut much-needed services within their communities or simply seek bankruptcy reorganization protection. This is now a situation that several cities around the country are now facing, as they are being asked by the hierarchies of the NBA , NHL , NFL and MLB to finance what those bodies claim are newly required venues , while the revenues and profits within football , baseball and basketball are now on the rise . In the case of hockey , Garry Bettman and his teams still find themselves behind the “black ball “ , as well as between a rock and a hard place .

Bridgewater may well be just what is needed for the Vikings and for the team’s long tenured running back , Adrian Peterson , a player of Teddy Bridgewater’s ability could be the make or break decision for the franchise’s most revered player over the past six seasons . It has long been rumored, that Peterson would have sought a trade, if the front office was unwilling to bolster the Vikings’ roster . The departure of Jared Allen may well have been seen as a prudent move, but I cannot help but feel that GM Rick Spielman still has not done enough to make the team in its current guise a legitimate contender within their own division, much less the rest of the NFC as well and the league , itself !

The Minnesota Vikings will open their regular season schedule with a game against the St Louis Rams at the Edwards Jones Dome Stadium in St Louis , Missouri . on the 7th September , 2014 . As what we ought to expect , could very well be determined by what we are likely to witness by the rookies on show that day, when these two teams face each other .

With the first two rounds of the NFL Draft now having passed, the remaining four rounds now become about , teams simply doubling up by way of players they now feel perhaps, may well meet a need , in terms of a third or fourth depth choice on their respective rosters.

Offensive players were said to be in abundance in this particular NFL Draft, by way of the running backs and wide receivers said to be in play. I have no doubt, that players such as Sammy Watkins , Mike Evans , Marquise Lee , Odell Beckham and Kelvin Benjamin will find their way onto the rosters of teams who are in need of very good receivers . The same can be said also , for the running backs seeking to make their mark in the NFL this upcoming season and whether or not they are capable of taking advantage of the situation that they are likely to be placed in. The first running back taken in this particular draft, the Ohio State Buckeyes’ rushing sensation Carlos Hyde , albeit, that there are those who believe that there were number of players at the position with far greater productivity than Hyde has shown over the course his career. Yet, clearly Jeff Fisher , the St Louis Rams’ front office and the Rams’ coaching staff saw something in the player that they believe will be to their advantage , as they set about their season in 2014 , with their preseason and regular season schedule . Hyde will no doubt, be given every opportunity to prove himself a worthy successor to many of the franchise’s great running backs in recent years , most notably the Rams’ all-time leading rusher, Steven Jackson . A tough act to follow indeed, but Jackson no longer part of the franchise, and their being little power to the franchise’s rushing game last season , something is needed to reignite the team and Carlos Hyde may well be the player, in this case.

Trent Baalke , general manager of the San Francisco 49ers , having seen the franchise’s failed attempts in recent years, to add a sixth Superbowl trophy to the Niners trophy cabinet and to bring some joy back to the faces of the fans. Well, the front office executive , is now seeking to stock his team roster, with an abundance of offensive players by engineering a number of trades without yet , delving deep into the NFL Draft. The additions of Brandon Lloyd and during this draft process, in obtaining Buffalo Bills’ receiver Stevie Johnson might on the face of it seem a debatable risk , but clearly, Baalke , team CEO Jed Yorke and head coach Jim Harbaugh believe the moves worth taking. San Francisco’s divisional rivals the Seattle Seahawks reached the pinnacle of NFL team success in winning their first Superbowl , by bulldozing the highly rated Denver Broncos and along the way making five-time League MVP and Broncos’ quarterback Peyton Manning seem like a rookie in his third Superbowl appearance , in what has been one of the great NFL careers of recent years within the league.

Baalke fully realizes, that the NFC West has now become by far the best division in the entire NFL , with the likes of the San Francisco 49ers , Seattle Seahawks , Arizona Cardinals and St Louis Rams now jockeying for divisional supremacy. Take into account also the caliber of the quarterbacks within the division and you can now understand why that claim is now justified beyond the overall play of the quartet of teams in question. .

Colin Kaepernick the Forty Niners’ starting quarterback has proven himself to be a worthy successor to Alex Smith , who himself, now appears to have made a name for himself with the Kansas City Chiefs . Kaepernick’s failings , if there are said to be any, may well be derived from the fact that he comes across as too brash and arrogant . Yet, he cannot be faulted for the team’s loss to the Baltimore Ravens in Superbowl XLII(SB47), a game that still remains clouded by the incompetency of the league and host site, the New Orleans Superdome , home to the New Orleans Saints . That debacle still has not been explained adequately by the league office , in spite of the post-game comments made , to the resounding success in the staging of the event . A showcase for the NFL’s biggest game of the season was something of a shambles, with the organizing committee fully aware of the ongoing problems concerning site’s electrical infrastructure and an hour-long interval, as repairs were made to the electrical power generator supplying power to the Superdome.

Over the past two seasons , the New England Patriots have proven themselves to be the class of the AFC East twice succeeding to defend their divisional title, but it has been their postseason forays in 2012 and 2013 , that have many questioning whether or not Bill Belichick and Tom Brady have lost their “magical touch” when it comes to the postseason. The window of opportunity for both to add a fourth Superbowl title to their respective resumes’ seem to be slowly closing , in spite of Brady’s ongoing zeal to seek perfection with each postseason game , and the performances thereof. The Patriots’ quarterback remains one of the most successful passers in postseason history, over the past fourteen years and his three Superbowl victories are unmatched by any of his peers currently playing.

Tom Brady has never been outspoken or demonstrative in making demands of the Patriots’ front office , having placed his trust in the coach , the coaching staff and GM Nick Caserio to do what is in the best interests of the franchise. This draft could very well be the one, where the organization chooses to load up on both sides of the ball , while also availing themselves of the best available free agents on the open market . Caserio has sought to be prudent, in terms of the cap room , in the buildup to the NFL Draft and once the contract negotiations begin for the rookies, you can be sure that he will drive a hard bargain with their respective agents , representing those clients.

Finally , all of the gloating and self-righteous hypocrisy of the NFL remains on show , with the league’s drafting of its first openly gay player. Michael Sam will become of a member of the St Louis Rams , having been drafted in the sixth round by the NFC West based franchise. Head coach Jeff Fisher in addressing the issue , has stipulated that he does not want the actions of organization of the Rams to be the sole focus of this season. Also, he has stated, Sam will be made available to the press to discuss his place on the team and not the social relevance about his sexuality and what this all means to the NFL . Yet , for all of this hyperbole, to the importance of the decision by the Rams , one simply hide the fact the league remains not only homophobic , but it has to be said there still remains a great deal of racism hidden and obviously open in the aftermath of the Richie Incognito “ affair” within the Miami Dolphins’ organization .

In the aftermath of his being drafted by the Rams , Michael Sam was given a congratulatory kiss by his partner of several years , when Vito Cammisano , kissed the player on live television, with countless millions watching nationally and millions more globally . Now, while there has been some public outrage, about the act, and the fact there may well have been children watching the NFL Draft. It begs the question, if children can witness hours of gratuitous violence, during prime-time hours on national or syndicated programming, never mind the fact they also witnessing acts of war where victim’s global conflicts are sometimes being shown. Then why now, of all the situations possible, is there such outrage to the act of Sam kissing his partner ? Political correctness or not , unless one can either be respectful one’s right to freedom of expression , but dare I say it, show an ounce of common decency , rather than allude to the fact that this country remains without an ounce of bigotry . Those espousing such beliefs simply have no goddamn idea in actuality , concerning what is happening in the real world , much less realizing that times have changed , be it for the better or the worse . Common decency and respect ought to overshadow , intolerance and bigotry . Obviously, there are fans of the NFL , who remain ignorant and bigoted , while trying to behind some falsehood created in their own psyche .

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Picture gallery.

Do you believe there were any major surprises, during this NFL Draft? Which teams in your opinion may well have pulled off a coup, in terms of the players drafted and likely to be seen as a legitimate contender for the Superbowl this upcoming season?

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Picture gallery and slideshow details below .
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(1) Jadeveon Clowney of the Houston Texans is seen here with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodel , after the defensive line was taken as the number one overall pick in this year’s NFL Draft by the Texans. Getty Images / Loyd Carr ….

(2) Jadeveon Clowney makes his arrival for the 2014 NFL Draft alongside his Mom, Joseanna , to the prelude for the night’s events . AP Photo/ Dinesh Patel ….

(3) Johnny Manziel , thought to be everyone’s consensus pick as the first quarterback taken in this draft , the player was taken as the twenty-second overall pick by the Cleveland Browns. Team GM Tom Heckert hopes that the Texas A&M and Heisman Trophy winner can show the type of form that made him one of the dynamic players at the collegiate level during his tenure with the Aggies . AP Photo / Tom Johnson ….

(4) Blake Bortles is seen here with Roger Goodell . The player was taken as the first quarterback in the draft by the Jacksonville Jaguars and is deemed the likely successor to Blaine Gabbert whose tenure with the franchise has been somewhat sporadic and uneven since being originally drafted in the 2011 NFL Draft by the AFC South based franchise. AP Photo/ Tom Johnson …….

(5) Teddy Bridgewater now of the Minnesota Vikings . The former Louisville Cardinals’ quarterback will be hoping to make a successful jump from the collegiate level to the NFL ranks for the Vikings’ organization. AP Photo / Phil Devlin …..

(6) Michael Sam is seen here in a congratulatory embrace, as he shares a kiss with his partner Vito Cammasino after the announcement was made that the SEC Defensive Player of the Year had been drafted in the sixth round by the St Louis Rams . Sam is the first active and openly gay player to be drafted in the NFL . As to whether or not this will be met with a “seal of approval” by ardent Rams throughout this season remains to be seen , but that first preseason home game , as well as regular season contest , should prove to be an indication , as to whether or not the fans will be supportive of Michael Sam. Already those within and outside the NFL have begun to voice their disapproval of the player’s embrace and the kissing of his partner on live television. Courtesy of ESPN @ copyrighted material all rights reserved …………

(7) Michael Sam is seen here addressing members of the convened press as takes questions concerning his thoughts on the upcoming NFL Draft. Sam was taken in the sixth round of the Draft by the St Louis Rams and hopes to be a productive member of the team as they embark upon their season in the NFL . AP Photo / John Pettite ….

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So what? What have we really learned about the NFL this season ?

So what? What have we really learned about the NFL this season ?

With three weeks left to the end of the NFL regular season , we have one post-season qualifier , with the Seattle Seahawks having all but secured the NFC West divisional title . Meanwhile , the Houston Texans have fired head coach Gary Kubiak, after eight seasons of inconsistency and relatively little success. Mind you , if you believe that two playoff appearances where the team simply failed to show anything of a competitive nature is something that the franchise can actually take pride in . Then clearly , your thoughts about the organization might well be clouded on so many levels. The off-season for the Texans, will begin with an in-depth managerial search for a competent successor to Kubiak and I believe that team owner Robert McNair and GM Rick Smith , will take a look at the prospective teams , that are likely to make the post-season, and then seek to gauge the interest of any potential candidate amongst the assistant coaching staffs , of the teams in question .

One early and likely contender for the vacant Houston Texans’ coaching position , would appear to be Lovie Smith , formerly of the Chicago Bears whose firing from that position remains almost inexplicable as the asinine answer given by the front office , that the organization now needed to head in a new direction . The fact of the matter remains , as long as Jay Cutler remains in a Bears’ uniform the franchise is unlikely to win a Superbowl , no matter who head coach happens to be . Marc Trestman succeeded Smith, and has been able to do little of real note . Albeit, that the team, might appear to be on the cusp of gaining a playoff berth by default , after the Green Bay Packers lost Aaron Rodgers for a number of games, is simply one more pointer as to not only the weakness of the division , but also how dire, the play has been within the NFL this season. . On Monday night the Bears will get the chance to try and enhance their status and standing, when they play host to the Dallas Cowboys at Soldier Field in Chicago , Illinois in another of the games the NFL felt will likely entice the fans to watch . Given the unevenness, in the majority of those match-ups this season . This is a game , that I am likely to give a pass to , simply because of a contest between two highly overrated teams is simply one of the many idioms and idiocies of the proponents, who are still trying to suggest that “parity” has now become a part of the NFL. It’s not parity , but simply bad football and the vast majority would rather buy into what the NFL and their broadcast partners are selling, rather than coming to the conclusion that the NFL’s product is no longer an exciting brand .

Speaking of an unexciting brand and specifically the glamor that surrounded the game and a franchise having a one thousand yard rusher for the season . In an era, where a sixteen game schedule , means a running back simply has to average just over sixty yards a game to achieve that mark, that feat no longer seems at all relevant . Never mind the fact that the NFL has now become “a pass first league” , “pass happy league ” , where offense is simply predicated upon the yardage amassed and accuracy of a teams’ quarterback and that players’ propensity to amass the yardage needed in terms of a potent offense . Nothing more and nothing less!

The NFL has become an annual $7.55 billion industry and that business is presided over by perhaps the league’s most incompetent Chief Executive, since the league came me into existence. Don’t get me wrong , there may well be some admirable traits about Roger Goodell , but I have yet to see any of them exhibited during his tenure as the NFL Commissioner . To my mind , Goodell like his predecessor Paul Tagliabue are simply individuals too easily led and who have shown no intelligence whatsoever on a wide variety of issues that have affected the league over the past decade ! The primary concern of Goodell ,that of the team owners and union alike , are that of increased revenues leading to even bigger profits , and offering the fans little in return by way of a tangible on field product .

While the value of the franchises are now at all all-time high , and the owners are now corralling themselves to seek out even bigger revenue streams domestically as well as internationally . One now has to wonder the direction that the league will now seek to take, as it looks to compete on the global front . The North American market has now become saturated and with their being no real urgency by the NFL to have a franchise in the nation’s second largest advertising market , in spite of the continued overtures being made by several noted luminaries in the greater Los Angeles area. Before anything gets done, before an NFL franchise comes to that city, it will have to get its fiscal house in order . God knows , the state of California remains not only a mess from a financial standpoint , but also politically and it has become abundantly clear that its state legislature is simply a microcosm of the nation and the turmoil that still continues within Washington , DC , by way of the lack of political leadership and common sense being shown from either political party .

The Minnesota Vikings (3-8) are in a quagmire and I firmly believe that head coach , Leslie Frazier will be on his way out the door at the end of this season. As to the belief that the team’s quarterback Christian Ponder at any stage of his . NFL career was capable of leading this franchise to any semblance of success , has to be treated with a great deal of question . Ponder had moderate success while a player at Florida State , but even at his very best with that particular program , it was extremely difficult to view him as one of the top college quarterbacks in the nation upon his departure for the NFL. Minnesota has struggled this season and that has been reflected in one of the league’s poorer records this season . At best , all the franchise can simply hope for, is a respectable showing at the end of the season , with a year-end rousing string of positive results. . The first of those remaining five tests , will come when the Vikings are the guests of the defending Superbowl champions the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, Maryland on Sunday afternoon. For the Ravens, this is a last gasp attempt as the team seeks to play itself back into if not divisional contention , well at last a last ditch attempt at a playoff berth within the AFC , at this stage of the season.

Ponder, might not have been the best quarterback taken or available to Minnesota during 2011 NFL Draft as the twelfth overall pick . As to what, the Vikings fans may well have thought about the choice, I firmly believe, that they now regret the fact that the choice was ever made to begin with. Though the issues are not merely about Christian Ponder’s playing ability , there are also numerous other factors that have now brought the franchise to where they currently are . Namely, the team’s defense is poor and beyond Adrian Perterson , the offense remains at best , simply inept and the very fact that Leslie Frazier’s coaching staff have been repeatedly out of their depth during the head coach’s tenure , weigh further into this continued debacle . The longer Peterson remains with the franchise , the less likely , he is to fulfill his ambition of winning a Superbowl , as gauging the franchise on its current pace , they are at least three years away from a competitive enough team to be even remotely thought of as a legitimate contender within the conference, much less the NFL . With neither Jared Allen or Adrian Peterson traded at the trade deadline, I can only assume that it remains GM Rick Spielman’s wish to build a contender around the two seasoned veterans . If that is likely to be the case, then franchise will either seek a quarterback good enough to lead this franchise from the crop of free agents that will become available or from amongst the college quarterbacks likely to declare their eligibility for the 2014 NFL Draft .

One of the more pleasant stories to come out of this NFL season, has been the assured-ness shown by Peyton Manning during this year. The four-time league MVP is still on pace for a record-breaking season , if he continues on his current streak , which has been at a splintering pace . Through twelve games , Manning has thrown for over four thousand yards , an astonishing forty-one touchdowns, with only nine interceptions . Any thoughts, that there are any serious competitors or challengers to Manning for the league MVP this season , would be as asinine as suggesting that Usain Bolt , the men’s 100 meter Olympic champion , two-time world champion and record holder is likely to be challenged by Richard Simmons at the champion’s chosen event, with Simmons being given a thirty meter head start.

Manning and the Denver Broncos remain the clear favorites within the AFC to make a clear and distinctive run towards the franchise’s third Superbowl victory. As to whether or not this team is capable of emulating the teams that won back to back victories with team Executive Vice President John Elway leading his teammates in both triumphs. Could the same be ever said of Troy Aiken and Tony Romo , were Aiken to leave his current position in the commentators’ booth to take a similar role with the Dallas Cowboys ? I guess not , given Jerry Jones’ reluctance hand over the reins , but to continually micromanage every damn aspect of the Cowboys as an organization and with the franchise having not achieved anything of note in the last ten years .

It may well be deemed unkind, to make comparisons between organizations and what they have achieved over their respective historical legacies . Yet each season, I peruse the Dallas Cowboys and their list of accomplishments for that actual year, all I ever see , is the continued ineptitude of not only the team , but also the coaching staff and front office executives ! I would dare say, that if 2013 , ends with the Cowboys missing the playoffs or even making it for that matter . It is very unlikely that Tony Romo and his teammates will actually possess the mindset to defeat any of the contenders within the conference in spite of what has been a very mediocre season for the team within the NFC East by way of their overall record .

Dallas’ remaining schedule of four games , will begin with their Monday night clash with the Chicago Bears, which I earlier alluded to earlier , as being a contest of two highly overrated teams , looking to make headway this season within the NFL.

This season’s NFL rookies , have not been overly impressive , if measured against their predecessors in 2012 and 2011 . Yet, these observations, are merely my own and not from anyone’s observation on the issue . Your thoughts on this matter, are more than welcomed, as a healthy debate is better than no deb ate at all. The hype over Geno Smith as being one of the better quarterbacks in the college ranks of 2012 that was drafted and deemed good enough to succeed Mark Sanchez has bordered on being an unmitigated disaster beyond what now appears to be an even poorer season for Rex Ryan from a coaching standpoint. . This could very well prove to be the head coach’s last year with the franchise , unless he is able to pull off something extraordinary in terms of the New York Jets’ end of season run as it relates to their schedule . A welcomed triumph over the continually woeful Oakland Raiders , would be something of a genuine start , but not much more beyond than that .

Just when I thought, I could think no less of Bill Belichick and his continued antics as a head coach . He once again, proves me wrong with a coaching performance that defies all logic , as places the New England Patriots in a position to almost lose a game against the Cleveland Browns , that in essence would have killed their chances of gaining the number two seeding within the AFC at the end of the regular season. Belichick remains a self-absorbed individual who may well have the respect of his peers and his players , but he continues to viewed as an obnoxious and abrasive individual by the vast majority of fans , who have no binding allegiance to the Patriots. As a diehard fan of the franchise , I will continue heap praise on the team when necessary and when needed , be the first to also be one of the team’s biggest detractors, when I believe that they are simply not doing good enough , as adjudged by the franchise’s own lofty standards.

As the NFL season now winds down, having not reached its culmination by way of the regular season schedule. What to your mind has been the biggest surprise as well the biggest disappointment during this year? Chime in with your thoughts as you see fit and thanks as always for the continued support of the site, as it has always been greatly appreciated !

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Change We Can Belive In …….. Uh , Uh !

Change We Can Belive In …….. Uh , Uh !

With Barack Obama , Joe Biden having defeated Senator John McCain (R-Az) and former Alaska governor Sarah Palin in the Presidential elections of 2008 ___ we were force fed the rhetoric of …… ” change we can believe in ” . Some two and half years later and let’s just say it’s simply been business as usual . Unemployment is at an all time high and the country’s economy is now in a tailspin that neither political party has an idea how to deal with the problems at large . Suffice to say, the lunatics are still running the asylum and there’s not much that the electorate are able to do about it ! .

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Long time coming but somehow the NCAA under its new president Mark Emmert would like to bring about change within the collegiate athletics landscape . One of the changes Emmert would like to see and initiate is where all college programs would have to meet an academic eligibility criteria as it relates to postseason play . The bench-form requirement being proposed is the APR (Academic Progress Rate) of 930 measuring how well teams keep players in school , their overall graduation rate and not merely failing to fulfill their four years . After-all isn’t a scholarship as such a promissory and contractual agreement of which an athlete is being asked to make an obligation to that institution covering those four years ? Somehow with the expense involved the driving force as always for all of the parties concerned isn’t about education at all but simply about dollars and cents ! Both sides profit greatly from this all and in some cases where an athlete tends to contravene the rules it is the college that tends to get punished with impunity . Such has been the case with Jim Tressel and Ohio State . And there as we know both the school , athletes and the coach himself has profited financially to measures that we have yet to really quantify . And anyone who believes that the punishment to meted out by the NCAA will end up acting as a deterrent to the schools nationwide are sadly mistaken .

Inasmuch as Mark Emmert would like to bring about these changes , I do believe that he faces an uphill battle in trying to initiate those proposals. Granted , after meeting with the AD’s , school presidents , coaches and a number of professors of education to gauge their insight on those measures. In the proposal if agreed upon in principal by the board of governors and schools in general the initiative would be phased amongst the schools. However , at the D1 level they would take effect right away with schools being notified formally of the introduction. Education Secretary Arne Duncan , a former athlete himself , stated that he’d like to see all schools entering postseason play at the D1 level meet a requirement of having graduated not less than 45% of their student athlete body from the previous year in order to meet eligibility the criteria he would like to see. Frowned upon by a number of coaches , university presidents as well as boosters up and down the country , this only further indicates how corrupt and the amount of collusion there is going on within collegiate athletics at the highest level . It has been money that has driven the desire of not higher academia but all parties involved including the broadcasters covering collegiate athletics .

If one had worked under the premise that Arne Duncan’s initiative had been put in place by the NCAA then more than 56% of the schools participating in the 2010 Men’s NCAA Basketball Tournament would not have made it . And within the BCS System and lower tiered bowls that statistic would have been far higher at 62% of all teams making the postseason. I am not so sure that this is a figure that inside the NCAA or anyone for that matter within collegiate athletics would at all be satisfied with ! But therein lies the caveat of the mess created not just by college athletics governing body but the whole cabal within this entire landscape . This is a sad indictment of what we know to be wrong collegiate sports and the very fact that university presidents , athletics directors and even the coaches themselves are so averse to any real change that would somehow lessen the financial windfalls of the schools .

Somehow , after reading where ESPN would now align itself in a business deal with the University of Texas in co-owning Longhorns Sports Network a new broadcast outlet that would cover all of the college programs’ athletics activities in a deal that’s said to be worth as much as $3 billion to the school over the next two decades in revenues . With that sort of financial clout at the school’s disposal it is now becoming increasingly clear the school will hold sway over all of its rivals . At the same time does anyone now view this as a conflict of interest on the part of ESPN ? How will the sports program provider be able to show any type of impartiality when it comes to the coverage any sporting event that Longhorns (University of Texas) is said to be involved . Can you imagine a football game that is being covered by the outlet this season ? I sure as hell can’t see there being any form of impartiality being shown in such a case ! And for Mack Brown when he grants that initial interview there’s no doubt that his first port of call will be to go straight the school’s own in-house broadcast provider .

I doubt that over the past five years in the NFL there has been as prolific a wide receiver in the league as the Houston Texans’ wide receiver Andre Johnson . The player’s stats over the course of his career speaks for itself and last year for the Texans he was perhaps the primary reason for watching the team beyond the talents of running back Arian Foster and Steve Slaton .

To see the Houston Texans repeatedly underachieve season in , season out has become an exercise in abject futility. Gary Kubiak and his coaching staff have reached the end of their tether but yet somehow for some unknown reason the team’s owner Bob McNair has seen fit to retain the coach . Inconsistency has been the underlying tone of this organization as could be seen last season over the course of their schedule .

Matt Schaub may well be a proficient quarterback the failings of this team has been magnified by his inability to lead it with any great authority . One could surmise that much of this comes down to poor coaching by Kubiak and his staff who have let down the fans in their expectations of the organization.

Beyond the moves made by the organization in the off-season and their draft choices I am not so sure that they are now heading in the right direction ! The AFC South goes through the Indianapolis Colts and about the only way things fall apart under which the premise that the Texans are in with a chance of usurping Peyton Mannging and his teammates put up the white flag of surrender. Within the division I certainly cannot see the Jacksonville Jaguars , or Tennessee Titans bearing down on the Indianapolis Colts, either ! There are things one sees in a team that would indicate that what on appearance looks great , isn’t what it first appears to be. And the guise of the Jaguars , Texans and Titans certainly fit that bill.

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Houston Texans coach Gary Kubiak, left, talks with cornerback Johnathan Joseph (24) during NFL football training camp, Thursday, Aug. 4, 2011, in Houston. AP Photo/David J. Phillip …..

If Gary Kubiak is unable to have the Houston Texans in their current guise playing at a consistently high level over the course of this season and at least gain a playoff berth , then it is my believe that the coach will be sent packing by team owner Bob McNair .

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If the proposals being discussed by NCAA President Mark Emmert are enacted do you believe that it will be of great benefit to college sports overall ? Or do you feel that somehow the educational establishment will be able to circumvent any initiative that comes into being ? And what thoughts if any do you have on the upcoming season for the Houston Texans ? Do you feel that the talents of both Arian Foster , Steve Slaton and Andre Johnson are being wasted on this Texans’ team ? Please leave a comment as to your thoughts on the points raised within this piece and as always thanks for the continued support as it is greatly appreciated !

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

Contact tophatal rapptu@gmail.com or via

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Picture and slide show details below .

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(1) NCAA President Mark Emmert address the media during a press conference before the second round of the 2011 NCAA men’s basketball tournament at the Verizon Center on March 17, 2011 in Washington, DC. Getty Images North America / Nick Laham ……….

(2) Education Arne Duncan who has proposed changes in the criteria concerning eligibility for collegiate athletics’ postseason play . The response has been muted from across the academic landscape , in large part because the schools oppose the changes being suggested by the education secretary . AP Photo / Paul Malcolm ……

(3) Longhrorns men’s AD Deloss Dodds , left, is seen here with NFF President Steve Hatchell (center )and Mack Brown (right) . Both Dodds and Brown in conjunction with the university’s board of regents are thought to be the driving force behind the $3 billion deal wherein the university and cable broadcast outlet ESPN are joint owners in a business venture that gives the program provider proprietary rights in the the broadcast programming content of the University of Texas’ athletics program . Courtesy of NFF ( National Football Foundation ).

(4) Houston Texans quarterback Matt Leinart (11) joins teammates Kevin Walter (83), Matt Schaub (8) and T.J. Yates during NFL football training camp Thursday, Aug. 4, 2011, in Houston. Leinart was allowed to practice with the team for the first time after the collective bargaining agreement was ratified Thursday afternoon. AP Photo/David J. Phillip ….

(5) Houston Texans coach Gary Kubiak, left, talks with cornerback Johnathan Joseph (24) during NFL football training camp, Thursday, Aug. 4, 2011, in Houston. AP Photo/David J. Phillip ……

(6) Houston Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson wraps a towel over his head as he wears a bandage on left index finger during NFL football training camp, Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2011, in Houston. Johnson did not practice with team after dislocating his finger during Tuesday’s practice. AP Photo/David J. Phillip ………..

(7) Houston Texans running back Arian Foster (23) stretches with teammates during NFL football training camp Thursday, Aug. 4, 2011, in Houston. Foster was allowed to practice with the team for the first time after the collective bargaining agreement was ratified Thursday afternoon. AP Photo/David J. Phillip …

(8) Houston Texans running back Steve Slaton (20) carries the ball during an NFL football training camp practice Friday, Aug. 5, 2011, in Houston. AP Photo/David J. Phillip ….

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The NFL Has A Zero Tolerance Of What ?

The NFL Has A Zero Tolerance Of What ?

While the NFL has its off-season , the stories that come to the fore never cease to amaze. From former NFL great Lawrence Taylor’s assignation with a young teen and his choosing to having solicited sex from this female , to the very fact that he now causes embarrassment to his wife and immediate family. To top it all with his lawyer professing his client’s innocence we now find out the player confirmed to law enforcement _ members of the Ramapo Police Dept that he did in fact have sex with the teen and paid her for the act . It appears that LT isn’t one to heed his lawyer’s advice.

Former New York Giants L-R: Carl Banks, Lawrence Taylor and Harry Carson on the sidelines before an NFC wildcard game January 8, 2006 at the Meadowlands. The Carolina Panthers defeated the Giants 23 - 0. Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images ..........

Carl Banks (left), Lawerence Taylor (center) and Harry Caron (right) are seen on the sidelines before an NFC wildcard game at the Meadowlands against the Carolina Panthers. The Panthers would go on to defeat the Giants 23-0 . Getty Images / Al Messerschmidt ….

Courtesy of the New York Daily News

Lawrence Taylor’s arrest on rape charges saddens his New York Giants family


By Gary Myers New York Daily News

This was in December of 1998 and I was sitting with Lawrence Taylor in his house in Upper Saddle River, just more than a month before the vote on his election to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. It had been a bumpy five years following his retirement and LT was aware voters could stray from the rules and consider his drug arrests and long list of off-the-field problems when considering his candidacy.

LT was in a talkative mood that day – part therapy and part campaigning for votes.

“I’m quite sure, as long as I live, there is always going to be some controversy with me,” he said. “People must think I get up in the morning and say, ‘Let me see what I can get into now.'”

He has rarely given reason to think otherwise.

Although it had been pretty quiet on the LT police blotter since he was inducted in Canton on Aug. 7, 1999, that all changed this past week after he was arrested for allegedly raping a 16-year-old girl and soliciting a prostitute. LT has two daughters from his first marriage older than the girl he is accused of raping.

It has left the Giants community saddened and stunned.

“LT is like a brother to me,” Harry Carson told the Daily News. “I consider it a family matter and far be it from me to speak about my brother or my family at this time. What generally happens is you circle the wagons and support one another. It’s not about communicating with the world, it’s not about me running my mouth. It’s about trying to be as supportive as I can to someone I am very close to.”

Carson and Taylor had a falling out in the late ’90s after LT’s drug arrest in Florida. He said Carson was saying negative things about him and he was tired of it. They didn’t speak for the nine months before Taylor entered Canton, but Carson broke the ice when he showed up for LT’s induction. Taylor then gave a special mention to Carson in his speech.

“We’ve always been buddies,” Carson said. “There was a period when there was a rough patch.”

Taylor went from the NFL draft at Radio City Music Hall on April 22, where he was honored as one of the 10 best draft picks of all time, to St. Kitts, where he met up with Carson to play in Bruce Smith’s golf tournament. “Everything was fine,” Carson said.

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Click on link to read details in full.

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Now having been indicted , Taylor a trial awaits with all of the paparazzi and mayhem that one expect would occur when it comes to a fallen NFL idol. Should we at all be surprised by the sheer stupidity that emanates from the NFL and from its current or former players ? It’s not as if the league’s hierarchy or the NFLPA- (union) is overly concerned with its image to begin with ! Not only unless it adversely affects the monies coming into its coffers. Roger Goodell merely chooses the battles he sees fit to intervene in but rarely has he been proactive in dealing with many of the underlying issues that affects the game and its image adversely. And it is the same with his union counterpart NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith .

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As reigning Superbowl champions you’d expect that the New Orleans Saints would now be basking in the glory from its 31-17 defeat of the Indianapolis Colts in Superbowl (SBXLIV) . Well low and behold, nothing could be further from the truth. The organization has now become embroiled in a rather nasty civil suit that could very well send shock waves not just within the front office hierarchy of the Saints , itself. But the tremors from those very waves could well be felt across the bows and within the front office of NFL hierarchy itself. Saints’ owner Tom Benson is steadfastly sticking behind team GM Micky Loomis , coach Sean Payton and assistant coach Joe Vitt .

Courtesy of Associated Press

Saints’ coach Payton deflects lawsuit questions

Metairie , Louisiana — Saints coach Sean Payton says this weekend’s rookie camp is the wrong time to address accusations that the club covered up prescription drug thefts and abuse at team headquarters.

Payton says he cannot discuss the matter while a civil lawsuit filed by former team security director Geoffrey Santini is pending.

The suit claims linebackers coach Joe Vitt was caught on video stealing Vicodin from the team’s drug locker and that the Saints tried to keep it quiet. It also claims Payton was allowed to take excessive amounts of Vicodin from team supplies.

Both coaches are going about their normal duties this weekend.

Payton says Vitt deserves as much credit as anyone for last season’s Super Bowl championship.

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What is now unfolding from within the New Orleans Saints is either a wantoned act of sheer stupidity and desperation by several senior executives or just complete deniability or culpability by those embroiled in the alleged theft of property from the Saints. The allegations are that Joe Vitt is said to have removed excessive amounts of the drug Vicodin from the club’s property without authorization. And given the fact that under federal law the drug’s use has to prescribed under prescription from a certified medical professional. Former team security and liaison officer Geoffrey Santini is said to have been asked to conduct an investigation into the missing medication. However, it has been alleged that upon having culminated his investigation , Santini states that GM Micky Loomis conducted a cover up as to what took place and the very fact that Vitt was the actual perpetrator of the criminal act of removing the drugs in question. It is also being alleged that Payton , himself , is also embroiled in this from a standpoint that he’s said to be an alleged abuser in the use of Vicodin. Though there have been denials from both coaches concerning the matter. It has to be said that trying to question Santini’s credibility might well be a tough thing to prove. Geoffrey Santini is a former decorated and seasoned veteran of the FBI .

With Santini having been fired and bring about this suit , the Saints and their legal counsel have made it clear that they intend to challenge this suit vehemently and add this suit itself is without merit and frivolous. However, the landscape of this all could well be altered from the fact that Santini states that he still has within his possession evidence that supports his findings. And much of that evidence stems from the fact that he says he has videotaped recordings of Vitt removing the ‘said items’ from the Saints’ property. If this proves to be true then the cat and mouse antics that’s now taking place between the two sides will be for nought. Federal investigators aren’t yet involved in the matter but one can be sure that they’re watching this all with a great deal of scrutiny. And should they intervene and then become involved in this all, then it could very well spell disaster for a number of high ranking officials within the Saints’ organization. At this moment in time , it is nothing more than a civil suit brought about by an ex-employee of the New Orleans Saints with the organization as defendants and Geoffrey Santini as the the plaintiff.

You’ve either got to be the dumbest “son of a bitch” on the face of the planet or you simply don’t give a f_ck once you become a much vaulted player within the camaraderie of the NFL ! That’s simply the only reason I can now describe ormer USC defensive player Brian Cushing . The player has been drafted by the Houston Texans and was seen as a fulcrum for a very porous defense within the AFC South .

The AP NFL Rookie of The Year will now spend the first four games of the 2010 NFL season having violated the NFL’s substance abuse policy, having tested positive for an illegal substance. Though this isn’t the first time that the player has had such a problem as there had been suspicions as to his use while under Pete Carroll’s program there at USC . And one was under the impression that the only real problem there with the program may well have been flouting the NCAA rules ? Hell no , you name it and more likely than they’d have found a way to circumvent the rules as long as it benefited the program. Never mind the morons within the NCAA hierarchy. Those as_holes couldn’t find their own rear ends were they given a mirror to assist them. And as for USC Athletics’ Director Mike Garrett . Well let’s just say his idea of remaining within the guidelines have become somewhat skewered. As for Pete Carroll , his ass fled from USC faster than sprinter Usain Bolt slips from the starting blocks in a 100 meter sprint. You’re not going to blame him for any of the mess that befalls the program. That s_it will land firmly in the lap of his successor Lane Kiffin .

Courtesy of Associated Press & Yahoo Sports

Texans owner: More info needed on suspensions

By Barry Wilner AP Sports Writer

New York (AP)—Houston Texans owner Robert McNair says he’d like more information to be provided to the team when a player has a league suspension pending.

McNair said Monday he knew during the 2009 season that linebacker Brian Cushing(notes) had “an issue” with the NFL. McNair was given no details by the league of what it concerned.

Turns out, it concerned Cushing using a banned substance, for which he was suspended last week for the first four games of the 2010 season.

The Associated Press NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year admitted taking a non-steroid banned substance, which is still considered performance-enhancing by the league. He did not identify the substance he took.

Cushing won the end-of-season honor as part of the AP’s annual awards for outstanding on-field performance by players. As a result of the penalty and admission, the AP is taking a revote for the defensive rookie award plus for All-Pro outside linebacker. Cushing received five votes in that category and made the second team. He is still among the nominees in the revote.

All ballots in the revote are due by early Wednesday afternoon.

Cushing was a runaway winner for the rookie award in balloting by a nationwide panel of 50 sports writers and broadcasters who cover the league. He received 39 votes, easily beating Buffalo safety Jairus Byrd(notes), who had six.

“This is the first time we’ve encountered an issue like this,” said Lou Ferrara, AP’s managing editor for sports and entertainment. “Because these awards are based on on-field performance, we consider it necessary to review the matter and allow for a re-vote, especially after concerns were raised by many of our voters.”

McNair criticized the suspension and appeal process.

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Click on link to read Wilner’s article in its entirety.
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Texans’ owner Bob McNair feels aggrieved that Cushing will have to undergo the four game suspension. Did I miss something here ? But this is a mandatory suspension that was agreed upon by all parties concerned , the owners the NFL hierarchy and that of the , NFLPA as laid out in the collective bargaining agreement. Brian Cushing for his part hasn’t been forthcoming as to what he tested positive for but one can surmise that it could either be for marijuana or a steroid. McNair on the other hand is crying foul for all of the wrong reasons. Could an owner be more asinine in his resolve ?

You don’t bend the rules simply because you’re not happy with it ! Especially given the fact that the player’s character has come into question prior to his joining the NFL. I am of the opinion that the NFL at times , feels that it is above the laws of the land ? Never mind the fact that its players act like a bunch of primadonas the vast majority of the time ! Clearly there’s something awry here when an owner feels that the hierarchy of the game ought to be answerable to him and not the other way around. After-all , it is a player that is in the Texans’ employ that has flouted the rules here . And as such if there’s proof of guilt then the punishment ought to fit the crime.

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Here it appears that McNair is merely trying to make the situation as it concerns his player somewhat more beneficial to himself and his organization. As to the NFL under the tenure of Roger Goodell , as its commissioner . I am still at a loss what to make of him not just as the game’s highest ranking official but also as a human being ! The vast majority of the time he comes across as none-plussed and clearly out of his depth . And at other times even when trying to be succinct you can’t be sure what it is that he’s trying to communicate to us all en masse`. Pardon for saying this but what is the NFL’s actual tolerance level and policy ? Does anyone really know ? If you have an answer or the answers , then by all means submit them as part of your response to this very article . It ought to make for an interesting topic of discussion !

Alan Parkins aka tophatal ………………………..

Nelly …………………. “Country Grammar”