Taking It To The House ………

Wednesday, 02 May, 2012 …. 20:24:46

Taking It To House ………………..

By tophatal ……….

It’s not rocket science but all of a sudden it seems the NFL now has more egg on its face in the aftermath of the ” Bounty-gate scandal “ which has systematically embroiled the New Orleans Saints organization and led to the NFLPA (union) “running ” for the hills while Executive Director DeMaurice Smith seeks to deflect whatever damage is heading his way and directly in the face of what the fans see as hypocrisy by the union and its executive committee . Smith has issued a public statement defying the NFL hierarchy to produce the evidence that indicates that there was intent on the part of the New Orleans Saints’ players named in the league’s investigative report , which in effect indicts them in terms of the acts , now well chronicled . Coaches Sean Payton , Joe Vitt and former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams have been suspended . Along with the coaches , GM Mickey Loomis will also serve suspensions ranging from 6 games to a full year , to Williams’ indefinite suspension . That pretty much ends Williams’ career in the NFL and casts him as a “pariah” amongst his peers .

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Slide show for your perusal .

To my mind Roger Goodell has been far too lenient with the punishment meted out and draft picks asides does anyone truly believe the Saint won’t find a way rebound from this all in some form ? The New Orleans Saints had to forfeit a first round pick in the 2012 NFL Draft . Rounds two through seven saw the Saints simply go with what they felt was best suited their needs in supplementing this team’s roster . And the New Orleans Saints’ schedule this season will truly test the mettle of this coaching staff and the now beleaguered Saints’ players. A “giant shadow” has been cast over this organization and it may well take at least two or three more years before the fans and public alike …… see this Saints’ franchise in a totally new and positive light . In reality , the longer the ball-club is simply looked upon as a bunch of nefarious cheats , the better off the game will be ! . With that in mind the NFL , the league itself , is not without any responsibly for this mess . Its slow and bumbling investigation has made the “Mitchell Report ” within baseball seem like a fabled child’s story .

As contentious as the NFC South has been over the past few years , it has to be said that 2011 raised a whole new awareness as to how good this division just happens to be . That being said , the Tampa Bay Buccaneers took mediocrity to a whole new level over the course of their 2011 schedule . Ten straight losses to end their season , which subsequently led to the firing of Raheem Morris and the jettisoning of several players during the off-season. Morris’ successor Greg Schiano and his coaching staff in conjunction with GM Mark Dominik saw fit build their roster through free agency and obviously the draft . Schiano and his coaching staff made Michael Barron their pick in the first round of this past NFL Draft as the organization’s choice to bolster their secondary . And as we all know the Buccaneers’ defense was one of the worst performing in the NFL during 2011. As we know the Tampa Bay Buccaneers legacy has always been built upon the efficiency of their defense and the achievements under their former coach Tony Dungy . The ” Tampa Two” as it has come to be known has been adapted and re-engineered to meet the needs of other NFL franchises around the league . And Dungy’s legacy to the NFL , just like that of the West Coast offense” devised by Hall of Fame …… Bill Walsh . Needless to say, Greg Schiano now has a great deal to live up over the course if this season with the Buccaneers.

Mark Dominik has been aggressive in the formulation of acquiring free agents that will complement this roster and strengthen their overall competitiveness . Vincent Jackson the former wide-out with the San Diego Chargers was quick to join the Buccaneers and it is hoped that his play will be a big boost in the reaffirmation Buccaneers’ quarterback Josh Freeman . And it has been well chronicled how sub-par Freeman’s performances were during last season for the Buccaneers. And if the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are to fare well then it will be incumbent upon Josh Freeman to perform like the franchise quarterback the franchise believes him to be . Going up against the likes of Cam Newton , Matt Ryan and Drew Brees will be no easy task , given the proficiency of the quarterbacks in question and the very fact that they are among the very best within the NFC , as well the NFL .

In light of the postseason and the San Francisco 49ers’ postseason heroics. For John Harbaugh and GM Trent Baalke and the loss in the NFC Championship game to the Eli Manning led New York Giants left a gaping hole in the Niners’ season . For the players this loss proved to be something of an epiphany for the coaching staff and no doubt Harbaugh . The team’s 13-3 record within the NFC West was no fluke as the Niners proved that their resurgence was for real . And from a defensive standpoint the San Francisco 49ers proved to be one of the stellar units within the NFL . Shoring up the defense was one thing but Harbaugh and Baalke were aggressive during the off-season in acquiring Mario Manningham , Randy Moss and Brandon Jacobs . Manningham and Jacobs were part of the Giants’ Superbowl winning team that triumphed over the New England Patriots in a memorable game .

I’ve long maintained that the NFC West much like their AFC West counterparts , are two of the weakest divisions in the NFL from a competitive standpoint . And it should come as no surprise how weak those divisions just happen to be . Barely , an above .500 record by all accounts garners the division winner postseason berth in the postseason . But what might be even more astonishing is the mere fact that the NFL hierarchy hasn’t thought to change this archaic system that is now in place . Would it not be in the best interest that for the league to simply re-seed the teams based upon their divisional and conference records and then by their standings thereafter for the teams who are not divisional winners ? Much of the time , all we appear to witness from the league’s Competition Committee has been to simply soften the image of the game in so many aspects. But it’d be remiss also to overlook the fact of the idiocy of Goodell and the team owners to try and subvert the course of justice as the NFL now finds itself as the plaintiff several judicial proceedings lodged against it by current and former NFL players as they seek recourse concerning the very fact that the league has done little to protect and assist players who suffered concussions during the course of their NFL careers . With players now suffering the early onsets of Alzheimer’s disease , CTE , seizures , long and short-term memory loss . One has to wonder what it is that Goodell and also the NFLPA are trying to hide ? Puzzling as this may seem , even with in-depth medical studies conducted by several world-renowned academic establishments and hospitals , it would appear that the NFL and union have sought to ignore those findings . Can someone please explain to me , how anyone truly believes that Goodell or the NFLPA has one god-damn ounce of credibility at this juncture ? Unless you happen to be an anally retentive as#hole and such a dumb son of a bitch , you surely cannot believe that Roger Goodell really is trying his utmost , to do right by these seasoned veterans ? If that were the case then why in hell’s name would the league hierarchy and union have the details of the $1 billion ($1,000,000,000) set aside in the aftermath of their recent collective bargaining agreement be ” sealed ” by the presiding judge during their mediation process of the labor negotiations ? No details have been forthcoming by either side and it might be correct in surmising that this sum may well be used by the NFL in paying any punitive damages in any judicial verdict leveled against the NFL as part of a settlement . A billion dollars seems a small price to pay , considering the years of suffering by seasoned retired NFL veterans who have been and are still being denied their rightful benefits by the league hierarchy union . WTF !

Having worked in conjunction with current US veterans who’ve served in the theaters of conflict in of Afghanistan and Iraq , only to see them being denied much-needed assistance from the US Dept of Veterans Affairs as well local state agencies because the mountains of bureaucracy and the sheer incompetence of the agencies in question . I can only surmise that the NFL much like the US government simply doesn’t care enough about those who have served with distinction and honor !

The tragic loss of Junior Seau , the former NFL defensive lineman whose near two-decade career saw one of the game’s most prolific defensive players. The player made his name with the San Diego Chargers but also played for the Miami Dolphins and New England Patriots . And while the player’s death is now currently under investigation by the local law enforcement agency there is a great deal of speculation as to the surrounding the death of Seau . Widely differing aspects as to the circumstances concerning the former NFL player’s death from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to the chest . However, unconfirmed sources , state that the death is being treated as a suicide , that if proven to be case , dependent upon the coroner’s findings from the autopsy . Then this would indeed be a sad end to the life of another NFL player. There were no apparent signs that Junior Seau may well have been conflicted or said to be suffering from bouts of depression or any other psychological disorder but in this day and age where we view the NFL player as gladiators, who needn’t show their emotions . Then when such an incident like this arise , it begs the question how should the discerning NFL fan view this all ?

There’s very little help provided by the league or union to aid the players beyond their mandatory programs as it relates to players who have violated the NFL’s drug or steroid policy . God forbid , that a player should the fans much less the analysts that they have some emotional problems because I alluded to earlier these players are viewed as gladiators on the field of play. It’s what the NFL sells and will continue to sell for the blood-hungry fans who in large part couldn’t give a flying-fuck as it relates to player safety . One simply has to read the inane and idiotic comments rendered by patrons all across this forum to actually see how damn well disengaged and out of touch they really are on this most acute of issues . Needless to say that this will continue because of the sheer ignorance of the individuals in question !

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

The New Orleans Saints may well be under a great deal of pressure but it now appears that they may well have an unexpected supporter indirectly with the NFLPA coming to their aid. A number of players in part now suspended by the league hierarchy will appeal their suspensions and they will be aided in thorough veracity by their player representative and legal counsel . It remains to be seen how the NFL and in particular Roger Goodell will address those hearings as judge and jury in those upcoming proceedings . What thoughts if any do you have with regard to the New Orleans Saints and the recent announcements concerning the player suspensions ? Also how do you view the upcoming season panning out for the San Francisco 49ers ? And as such what were your first thoughts when made aware of the death of Junior Seau ? By all means simply leave a comment as to your thoughts and once again thanks as always for the continued support of this site as it is greatly appreciated !

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Picture and slide show details below .

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(1) NFL Players Association Executive Director DeMaurice Smith speaks during a press conference held by the NFL Players Association at the Super Bowl XLVI Media Center in the J.W. Marriott Indianapolis on February 2, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Smith has been very critical of Roger Goodell and the suspensions rendered against several New Orleans Saints’ players. The union leader believes that the NFL commissioner far overstepped his mark in the decision. But DeMaurice Smith should know that he and the union hierarchy , . and player representatives signed away (negotiating ) ” their rights “ during the last collective bargaining agreement (CBA) in terms of a process as it relates to his members transgressing the league’s mandates . All this from a former US Justice Dept attorney also practiced with noted Washington , DC law firm Patton Boggs , LLC . One has to wonder during his academic years which classes and lessons in contractual law did Smith more than likely miss ? Win McNamee /Getty Images …..

(2) FILE – From left are NFL football players Jonathan Vilma , in 2011; Anthony Hargrove , in 2010; Will Smith , in 2011; and Scott Fujita , in 2011. New Orleans Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma was suspended without pay for the entire 2012 season by the NFL, one of four players punished Wednesday, May 2, 2012, for participating in the team’s cash-for-hits bounty system. Defensive lineman Anthony Hargrove, now with the Green Bay Packers, was suspended for the first half of this season; Saints defensive end Will Smith was barred for the opening four games; and linebacker Scott Fujita, now with the Cleveland Browns, will miss the first three games. All of the suspensions are without pay. AP Photo/File …..

(3) Sean Payton (left) and Saints’ GM Mickey Loomis share something of a lighthearted moment with the press at the team’s training facility in Metairie , Louisiana ,. Nick Goss /AP Photo …..

(4) (4) Alabama’s Mark Barron poses for photographs with loved ones after being selected as the seventh pick overall by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the first round of the NFL football draft at Radio City Music Hall, Thursday, April 26, 2012, in New York. AP Photo/Jason DeCrow ….

(5) Bucs’ general manager Mark Dominik, far left, and coach Greg Schiano introduce their first-round picks, Alabama safety Mark Barron (No. 7 overall) and Boise State running back ; Doug Martin (No. 31). Courtesy of The Tampa Bay Time/Daniel Wallace …..

(6) SEATTLE – DECEMBER 07: (FILE PHOTO) Junior Seau (55) of the New England Patriots jogs on the field before the game against the Seattle Seahawks on December 7, 2008 at Qwest Field in Seattle, Washington. The Patriots defeated the Seahawks 24-21 . Former linebacker for the San Diego Chargers, Junior Seau, was found dead at his home on May 2, 2012, one of eight former team members of the 1994 San Diego Chargers to die . According to reports, Seau had died from a self-inflicted gun shot wound to the chest. Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images …. …..

(7) Defensive end Chris Mims (94 ) of the San Diego Chargers watches the action from the sidelines during Super Bowl XXIX against the San Francisco 49ers at Joe Robbie Stadium on January 29, 1995 in Miami, Florida. The 49ers won 49-26 . Mims died of an enlarged heart on October, 2008, one of eight former team members of the 1994 San Diego Chargers to die. Former linebacker for the San Diego Chargers, Junior Seau, was found dead at his home on May 2, 2012. According to reports, Seau had died from a self-inflicted gun shot wound to the chest. Photo by George Rose/Getty Images ….

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