Blood In Blood , Blood Out ……..

Blood In , Blood Out ………….

By tophatal

We’re constantly being told that the NFL is more a business than anything else and the brand itself as a form of entertainment is solely a way for the respective parties to derive their revenues and a profit . The league hierarchy in conjunction with the team owners and union (NFLPA) in conjunction with one another , all have a common interest in making sure that the league is a smooth running , viable and profitable business concern . This being a $ 7 billion a year industry that has now seen its tentacles spread not just across North America but now into burgeoning markets within Europe , the continent of Africa and the Pan Pacific basin . And with the league now scheduling not only preseason games but also regular season games abroad , I would dare say that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is now seeking world domination , in line with the sport of soccer !

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Now while the NFL has returned to full action after a near five month layoff due to the hierarchy enforced stoppage not all of the major problems that we were seemingly told had met with an equitable agreement has been mutually beneficial for all. For the retired veterans of the league in particual those who retired during the late eighties and prior are now having a hard time dealing with many of the issues that the league itself and the union tried to suggest was always on their radar. It is clear when veterans such as Dave Duerson and Mike Webster die under such needless circumstances wherein they have had to go into debt merely to pay for their medical necessities it is a clear indication that the NFL and union have and are still letting their players down . But then again anyone who would profess to the fact that the league or union has actually cared for the retired veterans would be naive . It is the furthest thing from the truth and it this can be candidly proven by the statements attributed directly former NFLPA Executive Director Gene Upshaw who once had the temerity to suggest ….. that his only concern at the time was with the well being of the players now currently playing in the league rather than those who had retired years before . A clear slap in the face to many of the former NFL great’s peers . Upshaw’s successor DeMaurice Smith has said little about what he and his executive committee’s intentions are concerning many of the issues raised by retired veterans such as Carl Eller and other who are being denied certain benefits rightfully due to them . But the very fact that in the waning moments of the collective bargaining agreement deliberations and negotiation somehow $1 billion was set aside in a now sealed document as part of the deal has me now wondering what the league and union are not only hiding from the fans but also from the retired veterans , themselves !

US Federal Court Judge Arthur Boylan who presided over the hearings between the NFL and NFLPA sided with the league rather than the retired veterans on the issue of the details being sealed but somehow the so called NFL writers who cover the league saw nothing dubious or surreptitious in this arrangement . But such has been the machinations of all of the parties concerned it is only reasonable to presume that the league would rather not only continue to keep the fans in the dark but also many of the very individuals from the past who in essence made the NFL what it is today . Perhaps the league , the union and owners aren’t overly concerned as to the plight of these former NFL veterans ?

Monday night will pit the Chicago Bears (4-3) against the slowly resurgent Philadelphia Eagles (3-4) in a game that could very well in part ultimately give us an indication as to the direction that both teams appear to be heading in . The Bears and Eagles now find themselves adrift within their respective divisions with the Green Bay Packers (7-0) running away with the NFC North , while the New York Giants (5-2) are having one of their better seasonal starts under their coach Tom Coughlin within the NFC East .

Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia , Pennsylvania will be the setting for this clash between these two NFC teams . At this juncture it would be safe to say that after the Eagles’ annihilation of the Dallas Cowboys —- 34-7 the fans are perhaps no longer calling for the head of coach , Andy Reid . The players and the coaching staff still know that they have a steep hill to climb if they are to fare well over the remainder of their season . And it goes without saying that all eyes will be upon the team’s quarterback Michael Vick , because as he goes , then so does this team .

For the Chicago Bears their season has been engulfed with the continued deliberations as to whether or not the team’s running back Matt Forte is due a big payday . He has been the team’s most productive offensive weapon since being drafted by the team in 2008 . And this season has proven to be no different for the young running back as he looks to make himself invaluable to the team and the organization as a whole . Certainly , GM Jerry Angelo and senior managing partner Ted Phillips know that they can ill afford to mistreat the team’s most prized asset and not run the risk of making the player feel aggrieved and perhaps demand a trade. For the moment Forte has simply stated that he’s there to be a team player but I am now beginning to wonder how long that will last ! Especially in light of the fact he’s now seeing players such as Adrian Peterson and Chris Johnson being richly rewarded for their productivity . And needless to say with the Eagles’ LeSean McCoy simply running amok around the league it’d be safe to say also , that he too will be looking for a contract that is commensurate with his talent .

It is clear that if the Bears are to be successful they will need to be at their very best if they’re to have any chance within their division but much of the team’s aspirations will rest squarely on the shoulders of Jay Cutler . We know that the defense of this Bears’ team can be very good when they set their minds to the task at hand . And I am thoroughly convinced that Andy Reid’s offense will be looking to test that much vaunted defense of the Chicago Bears . .

As I alluded to earlier it will be interesting to see what moves may well be made by the Bears’ front office as it concerns Matt Forte . Does Jerry Angelo reward the player or simply look to use the franchise tag once again simply to underscore Forte’s undoubted talent , and at the same time deny him market value in terms of his true worth ? Clearly, this use of the ” tag “, simply as a ploy that benefits the teams rather than it simply being about being a bargaining chip that has some altruistic benefit for a player .

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

What thoughts if any do you as it concerns Matt Forte and his impending contract negotiations ? And how do you view Chicago Bears as quite possibly a legitimate NFC contender this postseason ? As to the NFL lockout as a fan are you wholly satisfied by the negotiations that took place and the way that both the league and unions conducted themselves during their deliberations ? Simply chime in with a comment as you deem fit .

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Picture and slide show details below .

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(1) Lovie Smith head coach of Chicago Bears talks to officials during the NFL International Series match between Chicago Bears and Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Wembley Stadium on October 23, 2011 in London, England. This is the fifth occasion where a regular season NFL match has been played in London. The Bears defeated the Buccaneers 24-18 . Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images …

(2) Johnny Knox (13) of the Chicago Bears is tackled by Corey Lynch (41) of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Aqib Talib (25) of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the NFL International Series match between Chicago Bears and Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Wembley Stadium on October 23, 2011 in London, England. This is the fifth occasion where a regular season NFL match has been played in London. Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images ….

(3) A general view of play during the NFL International Series match between Chicago Bears and Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Wembley Stadium on October 23, 2011 in London, England. This is the fifth occasion where a regular season NFL match has been played in London. Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images …..

(4) Matt Forte (22) of the Chicago Bears attempts to gain ground during the NFL International Series match between Chicago Bears and Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Wembley Stadium on October 23, 2011 in London, England. This is the fifth occasion where a regular season NFL match has been played in London. Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images …..

(5) Matt Forte (22) of the Chicago Bears runs with the ball during the NFL International Series match between Chicago Bears and Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Wembley Stadium on October 23, 2011 in London, England. This is the fifth occasion where a regular season NFL match has been played in London. Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images ….

(6) LONDON, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 23: Quarterback Jay Cutler(6) of the Chicago Bears in action during the NFL International Series match between Chicago Bears and Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Wembley Stadium on October 23, 2011 in London, England. This is the fifth occasion where a regular season NFL match has been played in London. Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images ……

(7) DeSean Jackson (7) of the Philadelphia Eagles stiff arms Orlando Scandrick (32) the Dallas Cowboys during a game at Lincoln Financial Field on October 30, 2011 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Eagles defeated the Cowboys 34-7 . Photo by Rich Schultz /Getty Images ……

(8) LeSean McCoy (25) of the Philadelphia Eagles crosses the goal line as he scores a touchdown against the Dallas Cowboys at Lincoln Financial Field on October 30, 2011 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Eagles defeated the Cowboys 34-7. Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images ….

(9) Michael Vick (7) of the Philadelphia Eagles shakes hands with head coach Jason Garrett of the Dallas Cowboys after the Eagles defeated the Cowboys 34-7 at Lincoln Financial Field on October 30, 2011 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Photo by Rich Schultz /Getty Images …..
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NFL News

NFL Standings by division

NFL Week 9 schedule & results

NFL injuries

NFL transactions

Chicago Bears’ news

Philadelphia Eagles’ news

Top paid quarterbacks in the NFL

Top paid running backs in the NFL

Top paid wide receivers in the NFL

Top paid player in the NFL

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Lucy Pinder/

The delectable Lucy Pinder . For more stunning pics of the buxom blonde merely click unto the link provided

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Lucy/

Hello my lovely !

You Know It’s Been A Bad Day At The Office When………… Insert Your Own Thoughts Here ……………..

You Know It’s Been A Bad Day At The Office When………… Insert Your Own Thoughts Here ……………..

As much as I love the world sports and everything as such of interest that happens within it. I can’t but see the fun side of it all when I either see that the past and present meet head on in terms of a brooding controversy. Or even when it’s amongst the peers of today within a certain sports arena .

Having seen the ballyhoo made over the Chicago Bears acquiring Jay Cutler from the Denver Broncos via a trade that sent Kyle Orton to the Broncos in the opposite direction. It was felt that the Bears would improve exponentially and become a serious threat to the apparent dominance of the Minnesota Vikings in the NFC North . By the way has Brett Favre come to a decision as of yet ? I mean I’ve not heard from those loyal band of followers of his, from ESPN report on anything concerning on him as of late , including his bowel movements throughout the day and the mere fact that his wife Deanna has apparently been refusing Brett his conjugal requests . But that’s another story for another day.

Coming off another disappointing season within the division and posting a record of 7-9 , can we essentially say that the Bears have been a profound disappointment to their fans and their owners alike ? Much was made that Cutler a “Pro Bowl caliber” would provide this team with the thing it was said to be missing. Personally , to me the Pro Bowl means absolute s_it in the greater order of things when you consider the game itself is essentially a bus-man’s holiday. I mean when has it meant anything to a player other than the fact that he can become “fat” in his wallet by way of his meeting certain productive targets on the field of play as part of his contract ? It’s not as if “his peers” actually vote him in to be part of the event itself. It’s left to a bunch of NFL writers casting their ballots , who for all sense and purpose show about as much common sense and intelligence as some members of Congress . And as we all know common sense , intelligence and ” Congress” shouldn’t necessarily be mentioned in the same sentence.


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This upcoming season Bears’ coach Lovie Smith will be on the “hot seat” and if he and his coaching staff fail to deliver then he’s bound to be shown the door ! Bears’ GM Jerry Angelo and Director of Player Personnel Tim Ruskell the architects of this “team” know full well that the fans will not tolerate much more from this team and the organization itself cannot think that they will. That’d show their complete and utter stupidity if they were to allow things to carry on as they are.

Three years removed from a Superbowl __(SB XLI ) appearance and their subsequent 29-17 loss to the Indianapolis Colts . The reverberations from that loss can still be felt to this day. It was the sense of embarrassment to the fact that they severely underperformed and it certainly did not help that the one player on this team often thought of as their vocal leader was nowhere to be seen. Brian Urlacher over the years can either be described as a great player or quite possibly one of the best defensive players of his generation. That being said over the last few years , his play and skills have diminished to the point where one can no longer look at him as a real threat. Whereas, the ever present Ray Lewis of the Baltimore Ravens still strikes fear into opposing players . Need I say anymore on the matter ?

Courtesy of ESPN.com in conjunction with ESPN Chicago

Ditka backs Sayers vs. Urlacher

Mike Ditka joined the chorus of Chicago Bears Hall of Famers who have come to the support of Gale Sayers in his controversy with linebacker Brian Urlacher.

The war of words started May 4, when Sayers criticized quarterback Jay Cutler’s performance in 2009, questioned the future of coach Lovie Smith if the Bears struggle again this season, and wondered how well Urlacher will come back from season-ending wrist surgery.

Urlacher responded in a Chicago Tribune article Thursday by ripping Sayers for criticizing the Bears and questioning Sayers’ credentials because the Hall of Fame running back never won a championship, or even a playoff game.

“I like Brian Urlacher a lot, I think he’s one heck of a football player,” Ditka said Friday on “Mike & Mike In The Morning ” on ESPN Radio. “It’s unfortunate to have this in the Bears family. I don’t like it.

“I don’t think Gale was being that critical, honestly. I think somebody asked him a question. They asked him about the state of the Chicago Bears. He answered very honestly what he thought about Cutler. He answered very honestly what he thought about the coach. Brian’s coming off an injury. Brian’s a great football player, he has to stay healthy, there’s no question about that. Nobody can play when they’re hurt.

“So I don’t know where it was so inflammatory. I didn’t see that. And I understand, your feathers get ruffled here and there. When somebody sees something they think is wrong, I don’t think it’s wrong to say it. Sometimes criticism pointed in the right direction can help you.”

Sayers played from 1965 to 1971, exclusively with the Bears. Ditka played from 1961 to 1966 with Chicago, and he said criticism that Sayers never won a championship is misguided.

“[Dick] Butkus never won a Super Bowl,” said Ditka, who coached the Bears to the Super Bowl XX title. “Was there a better linebacker? I don’t know. I don’t think there’s a better linebacker.

“Super Bowls are won by great teams, not necessarily by great individual players.”

Butkus backed Sayers, and he said he’s also been frustrated by the Bears, who haven’t made the playoffs since losing to the Indianapolis Colts in Super Bowl XLI.
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And there’s no denying that Cutler and the Bears failed to live up to expectations last season. From a results’ standpoint with each passing week it were as if we were witnessing the gradual regression of this team. Lovie Smith for his part seem to play this all down as if it were nothing more than a team having made one or two slip ups along the way. Clearly he’s overlooked the fact that the fans aren’t so patient with his or the players’ predicament. And now with Hall of Famers __ Dick Butkus , Gale Sayers and even the team’s former coach Mike Ditka now weighing on the team’s plight. The triumvirate in question at one point or another have contributed greatly to the history and legacy of the Bears. So anything that they ma well have to say on the matter cannot be overlooked or met with just another matter of an outsider looking in and just giving the press a proverbial sound byte. However, it appears that Urlacher takes umbrage with the fact that the team and Cutler in particular has come in for a great deal of criticism from Gale Sayers. And former Bears’ great has directed his criticisms squarely at the team’s quarterback. Some might say that the criticism is unjustified whereas others may well feel differently. One thing is clear however time is running short for the team , its coach and in particular for Urlacher. He has spent more time gaining headlines for his off the field sightings with socialites , catwalk models and actresses, rather than for his work ethic and play on the field. At the end of the day it has to be asked what profession does Urlacher , himself believe that he’s in ? Is he a professional athlete or a celebrity wannabe ? In doing so he becomes fodder for the press and paparazzi alike .


If Urlacher wants to prove the criticism to be without merit, then this season he and his teammates had better set out to prove those naysayers wrong. Otherwise he might as well shut the hell up and accept the fact that he and this team simply aren’t good enough to win a Superbowl or much else for that matter.

So after all of the denials and asinine excuses as how his tests came up positive for illicit banned substances. Now disgraced and former Tour de France winner Floyd Landis has admitted what many of us had known all along. The disgraced former Tour winner who has since had his Tour victory rescinded has admitted that he has been using anabolic steroids and “HGH” as part of his regimen for years . He’s also reiterated that the sport of cycling is profligate with the abuse of both substances. Be that as it may , here are the facts as we know it, Landis is a liar and a cheat ! And for all of the xenophobic supporters of Landis at the time. How’s it now feel to find that this bastard lied like the p_ssy that he now comes across being ? Not fully content with accepting and being held accountable for his own actions. Landis now takes aim at 7 time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong , claiming that the cyclist also has taken many of the substances in question. In making those claims also Landis states that he has no categoric proof that Armstrong took anything illicit other than mere rumors and conjecture . I guess when the sh_t rolls downhill and hits you right in the face the only thing you can do to fend off even more ridicule is to misdirect the public to look elsewhere.

Armstrong having overcome brain and testicular cancer was always bound to be the center of attention once he started to win cycling’s most prestigious event an unprecedented seven successive times. But the fact of the matter is , having been tested by WADA and by UCI (Union Cycliste Internationale _[sports international governing body]) there has never been any concrete proof that Armstrong has taken anything illicit , nor has he ever tested positive in or out of competition. So what if anything is Landis trying to prove ? He’s an even bigger ass than first thought ? Armstrong for his part has tried to stay above the fray concerning this. But given the fact that the sport of cycling has been rife with cheating for a number years and the fact that it was only until recently that the sport’s governing ( UCI ) body decided that they would be proactive and address the issue head on . We would still continue to look at and treat the sport with a great deal of disdain. The sad fact is , what we’re now seeing in the sport is no different than the multitude of sins that were being exhibited and perpetrated in the sport of baseball and the prolific use of both steroids and HGH by the players. And even now with the MLB ____ hierarchy and MLPA __(union) working in conjunction to have a strict , coherent and cohesive drug testing policy in place. We are still seeing a number of major league ballplayers testing positive for banned substances. Kind of makes one wonder what we now deem to be acceptable within the world of sports ?

As the NBA’s postseason unfold we could be on the verge of seeing both conference finals turn into uncomfortable blowouts. The Boston Celtics have a rather commanding 2-0 lead over the listless Orlando Magic . And in the Western Conference Finals the Los Angeles Lakers has kept its home-field advantage in tact by opening up also a 2-0 lead over the Phoenix Suns .

In the midst of this all the Suns’ Amar`e Stoudemire has seen fit act like a petulant child by stating that the Lakers’ Lamar Odom was simply lucky in playing the way he did in game one of the conference finals. Stoudemire fails to indicate that with Odom coming off the bench to ignite the Lakers with a double-double of 19 points, 19 rebounds , it has in essence all but doomed the Suns’ postseason ambitions. And we beg the question can the Suns save grace by at least trying to eke out one win in this series ?

It is becoming abundantly clear that the Suns’ coach Alvin Gentry is being outmatched and out-coached by his divisional counterpart Phil Jackson of the Lakers. And having shown some semblance of defense in the earlier rounds. Now for all sense and purpose the Phoenix Suns simply haven’t an answer for Kobe Bryant or anyone else on the Lakers’ roster who just happens to show their offensive capabilities during this series . To put it bluntly, this is like taking candy from a baby !

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

Game two provided us with all the evidence we need to know that when the Lakers make the NBA Finals they will go into the series as an overwhelming favorite against the Easter Conference’s representative . The Lakers “dusted” the Suns in such a commanding way that it probably has most among us believing , are either the Celtics or Magic capable of stopping this Lakers’ juggernaut ? The Lakers’ 124-112 victory was about as emphatic as one would come to expect from such a dominant team.

Well those are just my thoughts as it concerns the subject matter in terms of the title ……..”You Know It’s Been A Bad Day At The Office When………… Insert Your Own Thoughts Here ……………..
. What specific sports issues that have caught your attention as of late has you thinking along these lines ? By all means chime on in with a comment and as usual I’ll look forward to responding in kind. Stay safe and have a great weekend !

Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals was won by the Lakers 128-107 .


Alan Parkins aka tophatal ………………

Joe Budden ……………….“Pump It Up”

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50 cent feat’g Lloyd Banks …………………..“On Fire”