All good things must come to an end , eventually ….

All good things, must come to an end eventually

With NBA season still in its infancy , perhaps /the biggest story to hit the league has been the loss of NBA All Star point guard Derrick Rose of the Chicago Bulls . In one fail swoop , what appeared to be an innocuous contact with an opposing player led to Rose losing his balance , twisting his knee and tearing his right MCL (meniscus cruciate ligament). The Bulls prior to this unforeseen injury, were thought to be one of the teams within the Eastern Conference , deemed good enough to challenge the defending NBA champions , the Miami Heat . With Rose now out for the remainder of the season , for the second time inside of eighteen months , the player has been lost to the franchise for what appears to be an indeterminate length of time. The ramifications for the Chicago Bulls at this juncture are incalculable and any thought of them being able to mount a serious challenge within the conference , now appears to be doomed for failure.

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Bulls’ head coach, Tom Thibodeau will now have to assess, how best to utilize his roster , and somehow replace an invaluable asset such as his point guard , Derrick Rose. Try to imagine the Miami Heat without LeBron James , Oklahoma City Thunder without Kevin Durant , Chris Paul missing from the Los Angeles Clippers’ lineup or the Los Angeles Lakers , without Kobe Bryant , albeit, that at present the Lakers do appear to be competitive within their conference. Such has been the magnitude of the loss, that it has been evident with the team’s first game without Rose, which resulted in an 89-83 loss to the Utah Jazz . Chicago’s next game will be on Wednesday , 27th November against the Detroit Pistons at the Palace of Auburn Hills , in Detroit Michigan ,. How the Bulls now acquit themselves in terms of their resilience, will be predicated upon which players on the roster seeks the desire to adopt the role a leader on this team. Be it, Carlos Boozer , Luol Deng or Joakim Noah , someone now has to step up to the plate .

One of the more unlikely situations that now arises comes out of Derick Rose’s loss to the Bulls for the season , has to be how the front office now contemplates the franchise’s long-term future. A year away from the game , and the lengthy recuperation process leaves now leaves GM Gar Forman , owner Jerry Reinsdorf and the entire front office with a number of decisions to mull over. Is it worthwhile competitively playing out the remainder of the season or as some have suggested , would it be best for the organization to seek to rid themselves of a number of the large salaried contracts and impending free agents , thereby freeing up a great deal under the league salary cap and just rebuild , by way of the next NBA Draft and simply adding a veteran presence on the roster ? Clearly, the long-suffering Bulls’ fans would not like to see any of these scenarios being raised , but definitely something has to and must be done . Rose’s own contract has left the organization in almost untenable situation and the league hierarchy simply does not provide for a situation or solution as the predicament that the Chicago Bulls now finds itself in . Granted, the insurance rider carried by the franchise, will allow for any monetary loss by way of the contract , but I cannot help but wonder if this is likely to be the road that the Bulls would like to go down , in simply abandoning the player by buying out his contract at a high premium .

It certainly has been a long time, since anyone spoke about the Portland Trailblazers (13-2) in glowing terms . Yet here we are, and the franchise has gotten off to a tremendous start to the season . A great deal of the credit has to go to the coaching staff , led by head coach Terry Stotts , but also the two leading players on the roster , LaMarcus Aldridge and Damian Lillard , whose maturity and growth as a player from his rookie season in 2012 , has been very impressive this season, with his playing a leading role in the Blazers’ progress. Only the San Antonio Spurs (13-1) have a better record than the Trailblazers within the Western Conference , and the Indiana Pacers (13-1) within the East , overall .

It may well the early stages of an arduous NBA schedule , but consider the fact that more prominent teams within the league are currently struggling , who are alleged to have even greater depth to their rosters and also a better coaching staff. To my mind, it is best to adjudge the makeup of a team not just by the talent , but also by the coaching acumen on display. And to date, nothing I have seen exhibited by either the Brooklyn Nets (3-10) or New York Knicks (3-10) has given me the impression that either franchise knows what the hell they are actually doing ! Knicks and Nets’ fans can gesticulate and show their angst , because in reality, they tend to delve far more in the past , having not learned a damn thing to actually realize , what is going on in the present , only too willing to make excuses for the omnipresent mediocrity of the respective franchises in question.

Portland has simply been playing high intensity basketball, showing a great deal of aplomb in transition and a defensive mindset. Coming off the team’s almost willful destruction of the New York Knicks , during which Carmelo Anthony in a post-game tirade, directed a great deal of anger and venom towards his teammates , in stating that they sucked and were an embarrassment to the fans watching such a display. Only further emphasizing and reiterating my earlier remarks about the Eastern Conference based franchise and their continuing woes! New York’s almost $90 million payroll in comparison to their Monday night opponent’s $62.6 million cannot be considered to have been money “ well spent “ . The biggest obstacle now for the Portland Trailblazers, will be to maintain the momentum currently in their possession , as they approach the second half of the regular season . Next up for Portland will be a visit to Phoenix , Arizona , as the guests of the Phoenix Suns in a game to be played at the US Airways Arena , in Phoenix , Arizona ,. The team, will be seeking their twelfth consecutive win and eighth road win in their last nine games . While I believe the Portland Trailblazers to be a very good and well coached team , I am not so sure that during a seven game playoff series , they are capable of defeating notable conference foes such as the Oklahoma City Thunder , San Antonio Spurs , Los Angeles Clippers or the Houston Rockets . Yet, these are only my observations, as to skill-set of the teams in question !

With Kobe Bryant now being re-signed to a two-year contract extension, paying the guard $48.5 million over the next two season and essentially assuring the franchise’s fans and the player that his career will end with the Los Angeles Lakers . As to what this says about the Lakers’ intent for its long-term future , is simply, that they are seeking a smooth transition from Bryant ,as he hands over the reins of the team to the next marquee free agent that is likely to be acquired by the franchise . Obviously , Dwight Howard was not the right fit , in spite of the rather ridiculous pleading by senior members of the Lakers’ team, as well as many of the Hollywood A List celebrities , who all were willing to ” sell their souls “ , in order for the noted center to remain a Lakers’ player. Clearly, many of these individuals as well as members of the coaching staff led by Mike DAntoni , as well GM Mitch Kupchak and team owner Jim Buss , chose not to see the flaws in Howard’s game well as his demeanor when faced with a great deal of adversity on the court . Never mind the fact, that so-called knowledgeable Los Angeles Lakers’ fans were trying to point out that the player had the game to complement the team. If Mike D`Antoni , who at the time, was unable to figure out what his best starting lineup was meant to be during the 2012 schedule . I would hate to think what the hell, they the fans actually thought that they were able to witness from the team last season !

While Kobe Bryant may well have taken umbrage to the fact , that the Lakers were placed as no better than the twelfth best team in the conference and as a playoff contender . In truth , the team based on its current makeup, might only be two or three places higher better than many of the analysts have the Los Angeles Lakers. A 7-7 record now have the Lakers a half-game behind the eighth placed Denver Nuggets (7-6) , with the team now sitting in the eleventh position amongst the Western Conference based franchises . The revelation for the Lakers this season, with Bryant still sidelined and recuperating from an injury , has been the play of Jodie Meeks , Nick Young and Xavier Henry . With Pau Gasol , leading all players, from an offensive standpoint , the Lakers will seek to find some consistency , while waiting the imminent return of Kobe Bryant.

A recent victory over the Sacramento Kings , during which the Los Angeles Lakers give one of their best performances of this young season , added to the angst., but also delivered some excitement for the fans, though not negating the team’s plight. Even with the return of Kobe Bryant , and the expectations always high , it is difficult to comprehend how anyone can believe that the team will be good enough to not only gain a playoff berth , but also to be likely looked upon as a credible contender for the NBA title . Bryant and Gasol are aging veterans, whose best years, are now behind them . Two-time league MVP , Steve Nash , can no longer be relied upon to give the team anything more than perhaps twenty minutes per game , wherever possible. The “smart money” says that the Lakers will be hard pressed to make the postseason and if they do , it is highly unlikely , that they will be able to take down one of the more highly ranked teams within the conference.

Michael Carter-Williams , Victor Oladipo and Ben McLemore , are certainly justifying the faith shown in them by the teams who acquired these rookies during the 2013 NBA Draft . In light of that fact , their 2012 predecessors are still finding their way, with the exception I believe of Damian Lillard , who is now proving to be a very special player . As to whether or not this season’s rookies, are likely to make their respective franchises an impact this season, remains to be seen . Yet, it is clear, their early season productivity , has given the general managers in question , a great deal of satisfaction and relief, by way of their play. . Decidedly, the Rookie of the Year will come from one of the trio of aforementioned players or possibly from one of the more than fifteen players now viewed as likely contenders based on their productivity .

I mentioned this in an earlier post , because I felt it necessary given the fact that not only has the NBA hierarchy and union (NBPA) become ambivalent as to the use of performance enhancing drugs (PED’S) s , but it would appear that David Stern has a lackadaisical attitude on the whole issue, altogether . He pretty much towed the line of bumbling idiots such as Roger Goodell and Bud Selig , when all three as well as NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman each addressed a congressional committee on the use of steroids within their respective sports . As we know the NFL has yet to adopt a policy voted on and ratified by the NFLPA (Players’ Union) as far back as 2010. Major League Baseball finds itself in the midst of what has now become a farcical arbitration process involving Alex Rodriguez . In the NHL what common sense there is to be actually found , is not being imparted by anyone within the game itself, but from outsiders.

With the recent statement made by Dallas Mavericks’ owner Mark Cuban that he would like to see the use of performance enhancing drugs within the NBA , strictly to aid a players’ recovery process . I would like to know why Cuban believes that action to be of actual benefit to the game ? While steroidal medicine does have its use within the field of medicine, specifically amongst those suffering from muscular atrophy. Yet, by the widespread rampant misuse within the NFL as well as baseball, it has now become a pandemic . Mark Cuban , much like his arch nemesis Donald Trump , likes to be the center of attention , no matter how ridiculous the statements that he tends to make , which are with ever-increasing regularity . When broached on the subject, as how the league would actually monitor a players’ usage of a PED, Cuban’s response , was that should be a decision, best left to the league itself. And one wonders, why no one takes either Mark Cuban or Donald Trump seriously , on a wide variety of issues ? The Mavericks’ owner is simply buying into the idiocy, that the use of a PED is the fastest way to assist a player suffering with a bad injury, without ever truly acknowledging the dangers its misuse can bring . Also , Cuban failed to acknowledge that there are other alternatives, beyond the use of what is already a banned substance by the NBA , unless a medical waiver has been obtained from the league . Either, this was overlooked by Cuban, or he has some type of asinine , nonsensical point to make. I simply believe it to be the latter at this juncture !

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(1) Chicago Bulls’ head coach Tom Thibodeau , left is seen with point guard Derrick Rose , center and GM Gar Forman . With the player being lost to the franchise for a second consecutive season , the damage done to the moral and psyche of the team , could very well be irreparable . A prognosis of the player’s injury, would suggest that another twelve to fifteen month layoff could be on the cards for league MVP in 2011 . Chicago Sun Times / Joe Cowdrey ……….

(2) Damian Lillard , left , and LaMarcus Aldridge are two of the primary reasons why the Portland Trailblazers currently have the second best record in the Western Conference behind the San Antonio Spurs . AP Photo / Tom Steward …….

(3) From left to right , Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers , in the foreground , head coach Mike D’Antoni , point guard Steve Nash and far right , center Pau Gasol . All three players this season and last have had their share of injury woes . Bryant is currently sidelined by an injury and hopes to make a return to the Lakers starting lineup at some point within the next two or three weeks , dependent on medical clearance from the team’s chief physician . Getty Images / Randall Carter …..

(4) LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – OCTOBER 10: Ben McLemore (16) a of the Sacramento Kings shoots against the Los Angeles Lakers in a preseason game played at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on October 10, 2013 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Photo by Garrett W. Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images

(5) Two egotistical idiots, whose combined net wealth exceeds $ 4.3 billion dollars . Mark Cuban and Donald Trump are two individuals who are said to have a dislike of each other . Yet , there is a common thread between the duo , it remains their outsized egos and penchant for making outrageous statements , without ever having the facts to back up their often ridiculous premise . Gunther Barnes / Telefoto Spa ….
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I don’t want to break the bank ,simply just be able to deposit money in it

I don’t want to break the bank ,simply just be able to deposit money in it

With the NFL season about to reach the quarter mark of four games into a sixteen game schedule , the fans have already witnessed a cluster of games that one could define as being thoroughly entertaining or just extremely bad. As a fan of the NFL , I have to confess that I have not been completely surprised by what I have witnessed. There are some very good teams at present , but there now seems to be a preponderance of really bad teams and really bad coaching from the head coaches and their respective staffs. Nonetheless, this will be what the fans are asked to endure over the remainder of the season.

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There will be a Thursday night game that pits the San Francisco 49ers (1-2) against the St Louis Rams (1-2) in a conference and divisional match-up of self-styled offensive minded teams. Jim Harbaugh and his shell-shocked squad , I believe are out to avenge their week three shocking loss to the Indianapolis Colts . Bear in mind two successive losses to open their season , came as something of a shock to most analysts and fans alike, who expected this team to be atop of the NFC West and running away with the division , in spite of the rise in prominence of the Seattle Seahawks . For the moment, however, the season remains in its infancy with still a great deal to play for .

Speaking teams with real issues , it now looks as if the Josh Freeman era in Tampa , is now over, with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ head coach Greg Schiano coming to the decision that the four-year starter is no longer the team’s best option to win as a quarterback. In demoting Freeman, the fans will see the introduction of Mike Glennon as the Buccaneers’ new starter at the quarterback position. As to how long this new experiment is likely to take place will be dependent upon how Glennon responds in his first NFL game as a starter in the NFL. The Buccaneers will play host to the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday afternoon as this 0-3 team seeks to regain its composure and gain their first win of the season. How this all plays out will be dependent upon the mindset of the Buccaneers and the resolve shown during the game and whether or not this team can play with some semblance of cohesion .

Freeman has done himself no favors with his lackluster displays and a real lack of leadership on the field of play. Furthermore, his teammates have lost any real faith in the player , as well as the quarterback having lost his captain’s role on the team. Josh Freeman is now in a contract year , seeking to perhaps get that long-term contract that undoubtedly his agent Erik Burkhardt seeking that long-term deal . Should a trade, be a way for the Buccaneers to entertain the idea of ridding themselves of the now disgruntled Freeman, that premise could very well now be dependent upon the number of teams willing to enter into a deal with the NFC South division based franchise.

Despair , despondency , conceitedness and a great deal of drama engulfed the New York Yankees over the course of this season . The team is likely to miss the postseason , with the Boston Red Sox having sewn up the AL East as the division’s new champions and the Tampa Bay Rays , now likely to be one of the two AL wild-card representatives in the baseball’s end of season soiree . Needless to say, the Yankees’ fans may well be aggrieved that they will not be seeing the team embark attaining their twenty-eighth World Series title. Yet this off-season promises to be one filled with a great deal of melodrama and intrigue . With Robinson Cano set to become a free agent , the Yankees’ front office will have to quickly come to a decision, as to whether or not they intend to re-sign the player to long-term deal. Cano is currently represented by upstart agency RocNation Sports and their main proprietor , founder , rapper and entrepreneur Jay-z . If the rumors now swirling are to be believed, then the numbers now being bandied about would make Robinson Cano the highest paid player in the baseball , with the second baseman seeking a ten-year $305 million deal .

Courtesy of USA Today

Why Robinson Cano seeking $305 million only sounds crazy

Yankees second baseman is about to get paid.

By Ted Berg , USA Today

With the Yankees now officially out of contention, some have turned their attention toward the team’s negotiations with All-Star second baseman and pending free agent Robinson Cano.

That report produced a lot of snark, but it’s certainly true. Cano, who turns 31 in October, like almost all free-agent athletes, will seek as much money as he can get. Even if he’s personally and secretly dead-set on staying a Yankee for life, why shouldn’t he try to secure as much of that sweet Steinbrenner cash as he can in the coming decade? Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Cano did not reveal much about his plans.

“I want to take my time, go on vacation and relax,” he told the Journal News. “And then when the day gets closer, that’s when I want to sit down with my family and decide what we’re going to do. But don’t get me wrong, I love this team, you know?” The reported figure, $305 million, seems to be eliciting the most shock from baseball fans, but it also doesn’t seem terribly far off. Free agents of Cano’s caliber just don’t hit the open market at a reasonably young age very often anymore, since teams have trended toward locking up young stars to long-term contracts that buy out and add-on to their arbitration years.

After the 2011 season, a pair of slugging first basemen hit the market. Both Prince Fielder and Albert Pujols wound up with contracts worth more than $200 million. Both were coming off several successful seasons, but neither was more valuable to his team in 2011 than Cano was to the Yankees in 2013.
And since Cano’s Yankees and the big-spending Dodgers, among others, could both use a second baseman and he’s by far the best available talent, he could benefit from a bidding war.

As for those convinced Cano won’t see as much money because he’s Jay-Z’s first baseball client with Roc Nation Sports: C’mon. Jay-Z is an expert at making money, for one thing. For another, do you really think Jay-Z is going to just go in and sign whatever idiotic contract some team puts in front of him without running it by an army of advisers and lawyers? Cano plays every day at a premium defensive position and is one of the Top 10 or so best hitters in the game. He’s an extremely valuable player and he’s about to be an extremely rich one. Maybe he won’t get the full $305 million he’s reportedly seeking, but he’ll get paid.

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The New York Yankees will have some serious problems to contend with beyond the Cano issue , with the retirements of Andy Pettite and Mariano Rivera , it is plain to see that this is a team that is getting up there in age and the very fact that their farm system have not produced the players sought over the past few years that consistently made this organization a perennial contender . Going into 2014 , it is how hard to see or suggest how the Yankees how they can contend, even with the resources now at their disposal . The team’s lead managing partner and owner Hal Steinbrenner is likely pare down the team’s salary of $228.3 million , an all-time high to considerably below the $200 million threshold he sought at the beginning of 2013 .

At a time, when Bud Selig is selling the fans and public alike, that baseball’s financial well-being is as healthy as it has ever been. It begs the question , if that said to be the case , then why would the Yankees as powerful and as wealthy an organization as it happens to be , why would they of all the teams , now be the ones , seeking to reduce their payroll ? Granted , we are now finding out, that owners such as Hal Steinbrenner , David Montgomery , Mark Walter and Michael Ilitch believe that the luxury tax has served its purpose , but for the most part , it has been nothing more than a tool for the hierarchy to use , penalize the big spending teams. Baseball , and specifically Bud Selig continues to live in his own delusional world of make belief and sheer ignorance , with a number of fans willing to buy into a great deal of the idiocy that he continues to sell them , with his main protagonists being MLB’s broadcast partners , notably ESPN and Fox Sports . In reality, no one should really be surprised by that at all . I mean it is not as if the two outlets in question, ever sought to question the commissioner’s haphazard handling of the steroid issue or Frank McCourt’s questionable reign as the owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers . Nonetheless, those buffoons will continue to be, at his beck and call, being a mouthpiece for his continued buffoonery .

Salaries have continued to escalate under Bud Selig’s watch , as too have the game’s revenues , yet in the midst of this all the commissioner fails to indicate that almost one-quarter of the league’s thirty teams continue to struggle to eke out a profit without an assist being provided by way of the luxury tax sharing scheme . Now in the midst of this all, the game of baseball could very well be on the cusp of seeing its very first $300 million player . The Yankees may not feel that they are being pressured to up the ante in the Robinson Cano sweepstakes, but one thing is clear , the organization can ill afford to lose a player who is a lifetime ,300 hitter and who has been amongst the most productive players his position in baseball as well over the past five seasons. Consider also , that Cano is now in the prime of his career , and with the likelihood of Derek Jeter’s departure from the franchise not that far off , this ball-club needs a figurehead that the fans can identify with . Alex Rodriguez’s stay in New York has provided the Yankees with nothing more than a great deal of ongoing embarrassment , that is likely to be further fueled , once his appeal’s process begins , concerning the alleged use of a banned substance . Rodriguez’s image has been tainted once again and the Yankees’ name has been dragged through the mud along with the reputation that George Steinbrenner simply considered only having players with character on the roster . The now deceased patriarch must be mortified and spinning in his grave with the incompetence now being shown by Hal , Hank Steinbrenner and Jennifer Steinbrenner-Swindahl . Let’s not leave out the poor showing of the team either out of this whole comedic mishap , along with the lack of leadership shown by Joe Girardi and his managerial assistants . Personally, this season for the Yankees has been in which all of the team’s detractors can enjoy , in spite of the retirement of Mariano Rivera. The game’s all-time saves’ leader , has been one of the few bright spots on an otherwise mediocre team .

The NBA season tips off on the 29th October ,2013 and all eyes will be on the Miami Heat , as they seek to repeat or Heat “three-peat” as NBA champions, as it will become to be known , should they pull off that feat during the 2013-14 season . Adding a few residual pieces to their core group of Ray Allen , Chris Bosh , LeBron James and Dwyane Wade , has quite possibly made the roster more formidable than last season’s championship winning team . Pat Riley and team owner, Micky Arison are intent on adding to their respective legacies . Meanwhile, Riley’s young protégé head coach Erik Spoelstra will seek to not only make his mark, but also add to the legitimacy that he is perhaps the best coach in the NBA and that is with due respect to both Doc Rivers and Gregg Popovich .

Now while, there remains a great deal of speculation that last season’s MVP and Finals’ MVP LeBron James , will seek to opt out of the final year of his contract in 2014. It must be said, that it would take a great deal of bravado and conceitedness by the player to subject the fans to another moment of self-adornment and narcissism on his part . In the aftermath, of the staged and rather insidious piece of journalism, promoted by ESPN and the player , in his naming Miami as his chosen destination , having left the Cleveland Cavaliers as an unrestricted free agent. A second installment of that idiocy, would certainly not be in LeBron James’ best interest. Besides, James knows that he can certainly earn a great deal more by simply remaining in Miami , never-mind the fact that his off-court earnings through endorsements , simply dwarf his current salary with the Miami Heat . Financial rewards, I do not believe will play a part in this decision , should it ever take place , as I believe what now drives the player is the chance of surpassing both Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson in terms of the NBA championships won as a player. Bill Russell may well have won eleven title as a player and coach with the Boston Celtics . No one, will ever come close to matching that feat as a player. So we can now start to adjudge James on what he ow has to achieve to be mentioned in the same breath or sentence as Johnson and Jordan , as two of the best to have ever played the game or to have graced a basketball court with their athleticism . Only time will tell and the feats achieved can best tell us reality how great LeBron James is likely to become , but for the moment incessant chatter will remain as many from varying fields of the diaspora will discuss and debate the issue.

Miami, will begin the defense of its crown with a home game at the AA Arena against the Chicago Bulls and hopefully a fully recovered and rejuvenated Derrick Rose . The former league MVP was sorely missed last season by his teammates and fans alike and his presence on NBA court is far more welcomed than seeing him on the sidelines merely cheering on his team . The fans themselves, having waited long and hard for this event, will most certainly be looking to see what the talented point guard will have to offer the fans after his long absence away from the court .

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From my own perspective, it will be interesting to see whether or not LeBron James and his teammates can join a select group of teams and players to have won three consecutive NBA titles . It is a feat, that is rarely accomplished in any of the four major team sports. Yet , when it does happen , it should a feat that should be acclaimed and lauded for its uniqueness , if nothing else , because these are the feats that separate the great athletes from many of their peers and gives credence to their greatness. As to those who feel to the contrary, then by all means , use this forum to state your reasons why . Thanks as always, for the continued support of this site and its broad-based content , as it is greatly appreciated !

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(1) Sep 26, 2013; St. Louis, MO, USA; San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick (7) hands off to running back Frank Gore (21) for a 34 yard touchdown during the first half against the St. Louis Rams at the Edward Jones Dome. San Francisco defeated St. Louis 35-11 . Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports …

(2) Rams’ tight end Jared Cook catches a pass that was tipped by Donte Whitner during the second quarter of a game played at the Edward Jones Stadium , in St Louis Missouri ,. The Niners would go on to win the game 35-11 , pushing their record to 2-2 , while the Rams’ record is pushed to 1-3 within the NFC West . AP Photo / Tom Gannam …

(3) Quarterback Tom Brady (12) of the New England Patriots talks to receivers Aaron Dobson (17), Kenbrell Thompkins , Julian Edelman (11) and Michael Hoomanawanui in the huddle during the second half of their 23-3 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Gillette Stadium on September 22, 2013 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. Getty Images North America / Winslow Townson …

(4) Josh Freeman (5) of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers reacts after throwing an incomplete pass in the second half against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium on September 22, 2013 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. The Buccaneers’ starting quarterback is the only player at his position with a completion rate of below fifty per-cent (50 %) in the NFL with a completion percentage rate of 45.7 % and a QBR of 59.3 a which ranks the player at the bottom of the league (NFL) of the quarterbacks ranked through week three . Getty Images / Jim Rogash ….

(5) Josh Freeman (5) of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers throws down-field against the New England Patriots during the first half at Gillette Stadium on September 22, 2013 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. Getty Images / Winslow Towson …..

(6) New York Yankees’ closer Mariano Rivera acknowledges the crowd at Yankee Stadium during the eighth inning of a game played against AL East divisional rivals the Tampa Bay Rays , played on Thursday evening the 26th September . This would be the closer’s final appearance as a player at Yankee Stadium as a player for the venerable organization . Tampa would come away with a 4-0 victory . AP Photo / Kathy Willens .

(7) Fans at Yankee Stadium hold up a sign to show their appreciation of Mariano Rivera and what he meant to them and their appreciation of his career. AP Photo / Kathy Willens ….

(8) Alex Rodriguez grimaces as he watches a play from the dugout during a game played against the New Tampa Bay Rays on Thursday evening at Yankee Stadium . Rodriguez faces a very uncertain off-season , as he now awaits a verdict in his appeal’s process in front of an independent arbitrator Ken Horowitz and the allegation of his use of a banned substance , a claim which Rodriguez denies . AP Photo / Kathy Willens …

(9) Robinson Cano (24) of the New York Yankees drives in a run and slides safely into second base with a double as Kelly Johnson (2) of the Tampa Bay Rays is late with the tag during the first inning of their game on September 25, 2013 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City. The Yankees’ player seeks a new long-term contract , with the figures being suggested __ a ten-year $305 million . It is of utmost urgency that Cano be re-signed by a team whose aging core now seems past their prime . As to whether or not Hal Steinbrenner and Brian Cashman are likely to meet the demands of Cano and his agent remains to be seen, as the team owner has suggested that he would like to reduce the team payroll below $ 200 million to avoid having to pay the luxury tax . A tax that a number of team owners now feel has outlived its use , while MLB Commissioner Bud Selig still believes serves a purpose. Al Bello / Getty Images ……

(10) LeBron James (6) of the Miami Heat sits on the court and reacts in the second half while taking on the San Antonio Spurs during Game Six of the 2013 NBA Finals at American Airlines Arena on June 18, 2013 in Miami, Florida. Getty Images / Karl Powers …..

(11) Ray Allen (34), Dwyane Wade (3), LeBron James (6) and Mario Chalmers (15) of the Miami Heat celebrate from the bench in the fourth quarter while taking on the San Antonio Spurs during Game Two of the 2013 NBA Finals at American Airlines Arena on June 9, 2013 in Miami, Florida . Getty Images North America / Christian Petersen ….

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