I’ve Got A Pot To Pi_s In And My First Task Would Be To Pour It In The Direction of The Following …….

I’ve Got A Pot To Pi_s In And My First Task Would Be To Pour It In The Direction of The Following …….

I don’t know about you but I found this past weekend to be something of an uneventful one sports-wise. OK, so it was Valentine’s Day weekend and the girlfriend brought me a puppy as a gift. I’ve decided to name him ‘Buster’. And hopefully he can get me some ‘play’ when she’s out of town away on business or visiting her family on the West Coast ! And the one thing that Buster had better be is domesticated, in the fact that he won’t be urinating all over the home. That’ll be an ongoing thing no doubt. !

As I stated , I found the weekend’s noted sport’s activities to be one big monotonous bore ! And my interest in the Winter Olympics rates up there somewhere alongside my interest in Sarah Palin’s thoughts on the economy. Her knowledge of it, when matched against that of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers is essentially like measuring the difference between night and day. She ought to stick with what she knows best and that’s placing lipstick on a pig and making a complete ass of herself . Any other utterances out of her mouth just isn’t worth a damn !


The NBA All Star Weekend was the personification of exuberance and ostentatiousness . And even thought the events were staged at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington , Texas. One had the feel that everything about the event was superficial and lacking in real substance. There, you had Mark Cuban as host of the event , as the game was meant to be originally set at the Dallas Mavericks’ home venue. But what better way for David Stern , Jerry Jones and Cuban , himself , to show off everything that’s meant to truly gaudy, while still at the same time trying to appease the fans of the NBA ? And it wouldn’t at all surprise us to know that each of the trio has never been known to shy away from the prying eyes of the media. As each craves the press almost as much as a junkie craves a hit of their next fix. They’ll essentially whore themselves out to the highest bidder if it gets them the print or tv coverage that they desire.

Dallas -February  15th ,2010. New Dallas Mavericks player <strong>Caron Butler </strong>(l) and Mavericks' head coach Rick Carlisle appear at a news conference at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. photo appears  courtesy  of  NBAE/Getty  Images/  Glenn James  .........
Dallas -February 15th ,2010. New Dallas Mavericks player Caron Butler (l) and Mavericks' head coach Rick Carlisle appear at a news conference at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. photo appears courtesy of NBAE/Getty Images/ Glenn James .........

Well, what was meant to be ‘NASCAR’s showcase event’ of the season , their ‘Superbowl’ , essentially became a comedy of errors. And no one other than NASCAR is to blame for the events that took place at Daytona International Speedway for the Daytona 500 . And though the race was won by Jamie McMurray with Dale Earnhardt Jr finishing a close second. One can’t help but feel that the race and the events in the midst and subsequently surrounding it made it all more of an afterthought. And no amount of PR hoopla that was forthcoming could actually stave off the warranted criticism of the event and of the officials presiding over Daytona , itself. ISC , the holding company and umbrella operation of NASCAR , which owns the track, doesn’t even have the decency to apologize to the fans for the debacle. But then again what would one come to expect of a a hierarchy that has literally lost touch with its fan-base over the years. Brian France as CEO and Chairman of NASCAR alongside Mike Helton , NASCAR’s President , have about as much insight and intelligence as that of a mentally challenged child. But the belief is that as custodians of the sport they have it now going in the right direction. With the loss of several major corporate sponsors and the still acute situation of the domestic auto industry. These are still some very acute times for the sport in general and financially as well as competitively it is becoming extremely tough to remain competitive as well as financially viable. A number of the smaller teams operating within the upper echelons of the sport will either cease operations , scale back or leave the sport altogether . It’s not just the economy that’s playing a factor in this but the mere fact that the rules within the sport isn’t consistent and is forever changing. Hardly an emphatic endorsement for a sport that is meant to be fan friendly.

Team owner Chip Ganassi, left, and NASCAR driver Jamie McMurray are interviewed after winning the Daytona 500 auto race at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla.  photo appears  courtesy of  Associated  Press/ John  Raoux .......
Team owner Chip Ganassi, left, and NASCAR driver Jamie McMurray are interviewed after winning the Daytona 500 auto race at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. photo appears courtesy of Associated Press/ John Raoux .......

Much of the pre-hype leading up to the race itself was the official baptism of fire Danica Patrick. She will now drive in the sport but in the lower level of the Nationwide Series for the Jr Motorsports team, co-owned by Dale Earnhardt Jr and Rick Hendrick . Now considering the hype over Patrick , who has but one win in the Indy Series . I find it somewhat asinine the attention that she’s now getting, when in Jimmie Johnson , the sport has its first four time consecutive NASCAR champion. The PR that NASCAR has used their champion for, borders on being insulting. It has been minimal at best and on a national scale the print media hasn’t shown little evidence of supporting the NASCAR champion. But that’s something that’s best left for their erstwhile fans to discuss. I mean if Jimmie Johnson’s feats aren’t worth discussing then why the f_ck are they falling over themselves concerning Danica Patrick ? When last l looked she wasn’t racing stark naked , nor was she adorning the front of her vehicle scantly clad. So why all the hype ?

 Jamie McMurray, driver of the (#1) Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats Chevrolet, crosses the finish line to win the the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 14, 2010 in Daytona Beach, Florida.  photo appears courtesy  of Getty Images/  NASCAR/ Jason  Smith ..................
Jamie McMurray, driver of the (#1) Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats Chevrolet, crosses the finish line to win the the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 14, 2010 in Daytona Beach, Florida. photo appears courtesy of Getty Images/ NASCAR/ Jason Smith ..................

Can the travails of the New York Knicks get any worse at the moment ? Here you have a team that is so inept and lacking in overall talent. That one has to wonder why they’re simply not playing in the developmental league of the NBA . That way the alleged players on this ‘so called Mike D’Antoni coached team’ can hone their talents. Having posted a 19-32 record within the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference . It’s hard to see what direction that D’Antoni is trying to lead the team in. Young and naive at heart this team doesn’t even possess the natural ability to play as a cohesive unit. But yet I’m being told that they have some rather good young players on their roster.

 Nate Robinson (#2) of the New York Knicks celebrates his third dunk title during the Sprite Slam Dunk Contest on All-Star Saturday Night as part of the 2010 NBA All-Star Weekend at the American Airlines Center on February 13, 2010 in Dallas, Texas. photo appears courtesy  of NBAE/Getty Images/  Nathaniel  S.  Butler ...................
Nate Robinson (#2) of the New York Knicks celebrates his third dunk title during the Sprite Slam Dunk Contest on All-Star Saturday Night as part of the 2010 NBA All-Star Weekend at the American Airlines Center on February 13, 2010 in Dallas, Texas. photo appears courtesy of NBAE/Getty Images/ Nathaniel S. Butler ...................


Courtesy of Yahoo Sports

Knicks in serious talks for McGrady

By Adrian Wojnarowski and Marc J. Spears , Yahoo Sports Writers

The New York Knicks are getting closer to reaching the Houston Rockets’ demands for Tracy McGrady(notes) and his $23 million expiring contract, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.

The Knicks and Rockets have designed the framework of a deal that would unload New York’s Jared Jeffries, Jordan Hill and either Al Harrington or Larry Hughes for McGrady, Joey Dorsey and Brian Cook.

As talks stood on Monday, the price of dumping the burdensome contract of Jeffries – who is owed $6.9 million next season – comes with the Knicks and Rockets exchanging 2011 first-round picks and the Knicks’ 2012 first-round choice going to Houston. New York also might include a 2010 second-round pick.

The Utah Jazz own the Knicks’ first-round pick in 2010.

The discussion on potential draft picks changing hands remains fluid.

The completion of the deal isn’t imminent, but sources involved in the discussions are increasingly confident that after months of back and forth, which intensified over All-Star weekend, an agreement is within reach. TNT’s David Aldridge first reported that talks between the teams had picked up.

One of the hang-ups in the deal, sources said, could be the Knicks’ inclusion of either Harrington or Hughes. There are slight variations of the trade that would change depending on which of the two veteran Knicks’ expiring contracts are included. With Harrington over Hughes in the deal, the Rockets wouldn’t need to include Cook.

For the Knicks, the trade would accomplish two important things: First, it would get Jeffries’ salary cleared out, something general manager Donnie Walsh has tried to do since taking the job. This would give the Knicks even more flexibility to be a major player in this summer’s free-agent market. Also, the Knicks want to take a good look at McGrady and let him play as much of a role as he can handle the rest of the season. They may consider re-signing him for next season, based on his performance.

Rockets GM Daryl Morey would get Hill, the untested eighth pick in the 2009 draft, and first-round picks that could prove valuable. This will get the Rockets a significant measure of value for McGrady, who they exiled in December. McGrady, sources said, is excited about the possibility of joining the Knicks.

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And when the claim to fame of your so called best player is that he’s a three time NBA Slam Dunk champion that doesn’t exactly set the opposition running for cover. But that’s what we see as the evidence in watching Nate Robinson play. For all of his posturing, I seriously doubt that he’d even make it on the bench of the New Jersey Nets the one team in the conference that is considerably worse than the Knicks ! And for my buddy the sportschump , who simply lives to breathe and gush over anything that’s worthy of mentioning, concerning a Florida Gator athlete. I won’t disappoint him, by saying that although David Lee is having a solid year for the Knicks. On any other team he might well be a backup. But for the New York Knicks , he’s the lone star on this seemingly dysfunctional team !


Were the playoffs to start today the New York Knicks would miss that scenario entirely. In fact being some 5 1/2 games behind the 8th placed Chicago Bulls (25-16) in the seedings, indicates how dire the situation is at present for the organization. And with the conference actually now showing signs of competitiveness. It comes as something of a surprise to find the top eight teams playing .500 ball . As to whether or not that will be the situation at season’s end remains to be seen. But raises hopes that within the Eastern Conference there’s signs of life beyond the Cleveland Cavaliers, Boston Celtics , Orlando Magic and the surprisingly resilient Atlanta Hawks. Never mind the fact that the Charlotte Bobcats might just now be the ‘surprise team’ within the Eastern Conference.


Knicks’ Vice President and Head of Basketball Operations Donnie Walsh has his work cut out for him in the off-season. It certainly doesn’t make sense for him at present to enter into the fray in terms of acquiring a player before the trade deadline. And even if it amounts to a salary dump in order to clear the way for a full fledged assault on landing LeBron James , as part of the ‘free agency’ sweepstakes that may well take place in the off-season. What will Walsh be surrounding the player with, in the terms of a complementary roster to begin with ? It’s not as if any of the parts of this current team is moderately good to begin with ! This has been a team assembled from ill fitting pieces that essentially hasn’t understood what it takes to play as a cohesive unit and win as a team. And all this, coming from the tutelage of Mike D’Antoni, whose effective communicative skills when it comes to basketball , borders on that on that of a mute !

Now if the rumors now sweeping NBA circles are true , then the impending departure of the Rockets’ guard , Tracy McGrady to the Knicks would come as a great surprise to many. Rockets’ GM Daryl Morey would like nothing better than to rid himself of the player , who of late has become nothing more than a whining prima-donna. And who if anything, his best days as a once ‘elite player’ is no longer visible on the courts, in terms of his play or his desire to win for that matter ! The thoughts of McGrady being on a Knicks’ team while not necessarily enthralling, brings about as much desire, as being forced to see Rosie O’Donnell naked and her acting provocatively, while enticing you to have sex with her . Not a pleasant sight at all ! And for the devoted Knicks’ fans out there who immediately think that the addition of McGrady will automatically make them a legitimate contender within the Eastern Conference. Think again , as nothing could be further from the truth. Having McGrady on board is essentially like, having Sarah Palin being added to John McCain’s Presidential ‘election race ticket’. On appearance, it was thought to be quite attractive and a winnable prospect. But when the evidence arose that Palin was nothing more than an unintelligent buffoon. Then all bets were off and it’ll be the same scenario with Tracy McGrady and the New York Knicks ! He’ll bring absolutely nothing to the table other than a player with a declining skills and an attitude that still borders on being narcissistic. And any aspirations that the Knicks might still possess with regards to obtaining a playoff spot are somewhat remote at this juncture.

Did I miss something during the college football season ? Can someone help me out please ? Unless , I’m mistaken Notre Dame had a woefully inept season and their coach Charlie Weis was abruptly fired after four lackluster years of sheer ineptitude . Why the school’s AD, Jack Swarbrick didn’t possess the ‘balls’ to do this sooner , is still beyond me ! But given the fact that NBC is by far in a way, the school’s biggest donor in terms of their tie-ins with the establishment and the ongoing relationship between NBC’s Head of Sports Programming, Dick Ebersol . This may well have been one of the primary reasons that it took Swarbrick so damn long to come to a decision. Ebersole as a graduate of the school, has shown far too much obeyance and partiality to the establishment. But when one considers how poor the station has been doing as of late, as a producer of quality programming. It’s easy to understand the reason why they continue to pin their hopes on crap such as ‘Notre Dame football’ and their continuous coverage of the Winter and Summer Olympics . Is there anyone actually still showing a keen interest in either ? With their coverage of the Vancouver Games said to be bringing the station losses estimated that will be in excess of $300-$400 million. One wonders who the hell has the common sense to be over bidding for the so called privilege of covering the games ? Only an idiot, without the business acumen would continue to wonder down this path while continuing to see the mounting losses and diminishing viewership for the spectacle to begin with ! But NBC is no longer being ran by sane people , more like it’s being ran by a bunch of brainless, moronic zombies !

Notre Dame head football coach Brian Kelly talks to reporters after his press conference about prospective student-athletes who have signed and submitted their letter of intent to Notre Dame on national signing day, Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2010 in South Bend, Ind.  photo  appears courtesy  of  Associated  Press/ Joe Raymond ......
Notre Dame head football coach Brian Kelly talks to reporters after his press conference about prospective student-athletes who have signed and submitted their letter of intent to Notre Dame on national signing day, Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2010 in South Bend, Ind. photo appears courtesy of Associated Press/ Joe Raymond ......

Courtesy of Yahoo Sports -Blog ( Shutdown Corner)

Combine Watch List : Quarterbacks

By Doug Farrar , Yahoo Sports


With the 2010 Scouting Combine coming up next week, it’s time to take a look at the potential stars at every position in this year’s draft class. Yours truly will be in Indianapolis to cover the event (it will be my fourth), and we’ll start with the five quarterbacks who will be on most minds.

Sam Bradford (Oklahoma): Bradford might have been the first overall pick had he declared for the draft after the 2008 season, but he stayed to see if he could win a national championship with the Sooners. The departure of four offensive linemen from what had been the NCAA’s best line showed its effects in the 2009 season opener against BYU, when Bradford was slammed to the turf and suffered a shoulder injury. Another injury against Texas ended his season. Bradford has the arm strength and accuracy to make any NFL scout drool, but there are questions about his durability at 6-foot-4 and 223 pounds, his ability to adapt to pro-style offenses. Notre Dame’s Jimmy Clausen (pictured) is now seen by most to be the most pro-ready quarterback. Bradford, however, is the pick with the most potential over time. Scouts already know about his arm, but it will be good for Bradford to prove that it’s all still there and ready to go.

Jimmy Clausen (Notre Dame): Clausen declared for the draft after the firing of head coach Charlie Weis — he had gone to Notre Dame specifically to learn under a coach who had NFL experience. He doesn’t have a rocket arm, but in a slightly depressed class at the position, Clausen’s probably the most interesting to those teams who need a franchise quarterback now. He’s the one draft-eligible quarterback with specific NFL-ready tools, extended experience in the kinds of offenses he’ll work at the next level, and the kind of intangibles that will endear him to his new teammates. As such, he’s a good bet to go first among the quarterbacks, especially if he does well in the throwing drills.

Colt McCoy (Texas): He fell short of a BCS Championship after a shoulder injury took him out against Alabama, but McCoy is an interesting prospect for certain kinds of teams. His high efficiency and favorable touchdown-to-interception ratios tell a story of an offense predetermined to shorter throws, but the Saints just won the Super Bowl with a 70 percent completion rate and a lot of screens and quick outs. McCoy’s toughness and intelligence aren’t questioned, but like Bradford, he’ll do well to answer questions about his shoulder with his throwing session.

Tim Tebow (Florida): No draft prospect causes more division among scouts, analysts and columnists than Tebow. There are those who believe that if the NFL can’t find a place for him, it’s the NFL’s problem. And there are those who believe that Tebow will never make it in the NFL as a quarterback. His experience in option offenses and super-slow delivery are precedents which seem to relegate him to the NFL scrap heap as a quarterback, but his intangibles have some willing to take draft chances they probably shouldn’t. No player will benefit more from a great session on the turf of Lucas Oil Stadium — if Tebow shows a buggy-whip release and an ability to zing 30-yard post-corner routes, he’ll have a lot of draft boards scrambling. Still, he’d probably be wise to catch passes with the tight end group as well…

Tony Pike (Cincinnati): Another guy with size and injury concerns (6-6, 212), Pike blew it up for the Bearcats in 2009 and really impressed during Senior Bowl practices. But he missed three games during 2009 with an injured (non-throwing) forearm, a year after a six-inch plate was inserted in that same arm. Pike met with Ben Roethlisberger before the Senior Bowl to get some tips on the next level, but he’ll certainly want to avoid Big Ben’s tendency to attract sacks.

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Irish QB Jimmy Clausen has never seen the type of attitude in Notre Dame's players that they are showing at this year's spring practice.
Irish QB Jimmy Clausen has never seen the type of attitude in Notre Dame's players that they are showing at this year's spring practice. photo appears courtesy of Getty Imges/ Christian Petersen ............

If the machinations of ESPN’s NFL Draft guru, Mel Kiper Jr, is anything to go by . Then it’s likely that the Irish’s quarterback Jimmy Clausen may well be taken as the first quarterback picked in the upcoming NFL Draft in April. He’s viewed by many as the best NFL ready college quarterback available in this upcoming draft. Now don’t get me wrong it’s Kiper’s and others’ own assessment of Clausen and their belief in the player’s worth. And while I admire what it is that Kiper does. Let’s just say his idea of blowing smoke up everyone’s ass, differs from mine, in the assessment of Jimmy Clausen as a player and most definitely as one of the better college quarterbacks on display last season and for his entire college career. He’s a solid player but he’s nowhere near the player that Kiper and others are making him out to be ! At best he’ll be a mid first round or early second round pick for an NFL team in need of a quarterback . When judged against the body of work and the abilities amongst his peers such as , Sam Bradford , Colt McCoy and Tony Pike, Clausen does leave a great deal to be desired. But then again, I get the feeling that when the likes of Kiper and Kirk Herbstreit assess the talents of Jimmy Claussen. I somehow get the impression that they’re swooning over a busty young female while they’re seemingly enjoying their respective erections ? Oh damn , both Herbstreit and Kiper have both shot their wads at the same time. Talk about premature ejaculation ? These guys are stark staring mad !

Golden Tate #23 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish runs the ball past Blake Carter #1 of the Navy Midshipmen on November 15, 2008 at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, Maryland. Notre Dame defeated Navy 27-21.
Golden Tate (#23) of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish runs the ball past Blake Carter (#1 ) of the Navy Midshipmen on November 15, 2008 at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, Maryland. Notre Dame defeated Navy 27-21. photo appears courtesy of Getty Images North America/ Jim McIsaac ................

The sole reason why Clausen looked so good may well have been the fact that he had Golden Tate as a receiver on his team, while he was Notre Dame. If Tate couldn’t catch it, then it couldn’t be caught by anyone else within college football. Because of his sheer athleticism ,Tate was able to make the impossible happen when it came the passes of Clausen. And it wasn’t as if Clausen was all that accurate a passer to begin with. Never mind as a player he lacks leadership skills and his character at times has come into question. The great quarterbacks within the NFL possess a number of these traits , and those are leadership, accuracy , being able to adapt under pressure but most of all being able to lead by example. And that’s something, Clausen clearly hasn’t exhibited over the course of his college career. And I’m to believe that an NFL team will be prepared to invest anywhere between $45million-$60 million in his abilities as a player ? Can someone please throw this pot of pi_s I’ve got at both Herbstreit and Kiper, before I do ? These two buffoons are about as insightful on the college game , as Pat Robertson is on the tenets of the bible and Christianity. And given Robertson’s asinine outbursts and his denigration of the Haitian people , I’m inclined to believe that fuc_ing racial bigot wouldn’t know his ass from his elbow, much less what time of the friggin’ day it is !

There you have it guy my pot of pi_s and who I’d now be squarely aiming it at. Is there anyone or any team that you’d be directing a pot of pi_s towards because the sheer stupidity that they’re said to be showing ? By all means vent by leaving a comment on this particular subject matter. I look forward to reading and then responding to each of your comments accordingly. Thanks as always for the continued support. It’s most definitely appreciated !

Alan Parkins aka tophatal …………

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The Family Stand gives you ‘Ghetto Heaven’. Feel the beat , it’s a great deal better than a lot of the crap that’s been espoused as good music nowadays !

And for the young guys out there who’ve never heard of or even appreciated what Rosie Perez was about . Then sit back and watch as she lays it out all on the line. The ‘original ‘Fly Girl’ who created and choreographed the dance troupe that appeared on the Fox satirical comedy show ‘In Living Color’ . Appreciate also Public Enemy’s socially conscious track ‘Fight The Power’ . This is the theme to the Spike Lee joint ‘Do The Right Thing’ . On a side-note , this is where Jennifer Lopez first came to our attention, as she was an original ‘Fly Girl’ .

Apathy Comes To NASCAR …………….

Apathy Comes To NASCAR …………..

I’ve never really an ardent fan of the sport but for the life of me I cannot understand the apathy of the NASCAR fans. They’ve witnessed greatness in front of their very eyes. But yet the accomplishments of the now four timeNASCAR Sprint Cup champion, Jimmie Johnson is treated with such disdain that it has become downright disgusting. It were as if Johnson has become public enemy # 1 and persona non grata. But then again here’s a sport that’s allegedly built upon tradition and the legacy of its forefathers. Names such as Dale Earnhardt, Davey Allison, Darrell Waltrip,Bill Elliott, Richard Petty and other greats of the sport.

New York November 24th 2009,  Jimmie Johnson 2009 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion poses for a photo at the top of the Empire State Building on November 24, 2009 in New York City. Jimmie Johnson is celebrating after winning his forth consecutive NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship.   picture appears courtesy of Getty Images/NASCAR/  Mike Stobe ....................
New York November 24th 2009, Jimmie Johnson 2009 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion poses for a photo at the top of the Empire State Building on November 24, 2009 in New York City. Jimmie Johnson is celebrating after winning his forth consecutive NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship. picture appears courtesy of Getty Images/NASCAR/ Mike Stobe ....................

The post modern era has brought us Johnson, Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart, Kyle Busch, Kurt Busch , Joey Logano, Juan Pablo Montoya and the still performing elder statesman Mark Martin. Jimmie Johnson has achieved a feat not accomplished by any of his peers or predecessors as champion and that is repeat as champion for four consecutive years. The feat has been embraced by fans of Johnson and those who wholehearted fans of Hendricks Motorsports. But amongst the widespread NASCAR fan, it’s as if this is much ado about noting. While, I won’t rebuke the fans of the sport I do find it somewhat incredulous that for a sport that’s said to embrace its traditional core values and which has now reached its zenith in terms of popularity and audience participation – which is now on the decline. If this is the fans’ idea of showing support for the sport. Then, ahead lies a wasteland of discontent and abandonment. If they’re not prepared to embrace the accomplishments of such a feat. Then what the hell are they actually prepared to do when things start to go downhill ?

OK , so the season itself became something of an anti-climax once Johnson led the Sprint Cup standings. It was felt that once ahead it would be difficult for anyone to erase the lead and come out on top over Johnson. And even though Mark Martin gave a spirited effort at the end of the day he fell short in his quest. But even that was something of a misnomer because everyone it’d appear is a fan of Dale Earnhardt Jr, or a close follower of his travails within the Sprint Cup Series. And that’s well and good but for Dale Jr, his presence on the Sprint Cup circuit this season, has resonated about as much as a ripple in the ocean. His failures have been magnified by the success of his teammates within Hendricks Motorsports . But yet his fans will continue to make the most asinine excuses for his continuing failures. I recently had a fan of his explain to me the success that Dale has had within NASCAR and the fact that in total he’s won over thirty races. Thirty races ? Who the hell cares when little more than half of those races have been in the lower echelons of NASCAR. After-all isn’t it the races in the Sprint Cup that matters ? What he was suggesting is akin to stating that given the choice of taking Halle Berry or Rosie O’Donnell to the prom as his date, he’d have been stupid enough to have taken O’Donnell. But then again I think it was merely naiveté on this individual’s part !

Homestead ,Fl ,.  Jimmie Johnson, driver of the (48) Lowe's Chevrolet, poses with all four of his championship trophies after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2009 in Homestead, Florida. Johnson becomes the first driver in the history of NASCAR to win four consecutive championships since the sports inception in 1949. picture appears courtesy of  Getty Images/ Sam Greenwood ....................
Homestead ,Fl ,. Jimmie Johnson, driver of the (48) Lowe's Chevrolet, poses with all four of his championship trophies after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2009 in Homestead, Florida. Johnson becomes the first driver in the history of NASCAR to win four consecutive championships since the sports inception in 1949. picture appears courtesy of Getty Images/ Sam Greenwood ....................

As to the season itself, well it was one filled with a great many firsts, With Johnson’s feat of repeating as champion to Joey Logano becoming the youngest race winner in NASCAR’s top echelon to the sport having witnessed the breakout success of Juan Pablo Montoya. And Montoya along the way has had his share of fans as well as enemies and detractors. He may now be as unpopular as Kyle Busch . The latter who fashions himself the sport’s bad boy and anti-hero. Busch like Montoya, holds nothing back on the track , nor does he , when he chooses to be critical of a fellow competitor. But the sport tends to create the scenario of the hero and the villain for its theatrics. And though it doesn’t possess the orchestration and choreography of the WWE. NASCAR may well be the closest thing that there is on the North American sports landscape and that’s with no disrespect to the guys of MLS.

As I alluded to earlier though I’m no great admirer of the sport I have to admit that when it comes to admiring greatness from afar. What I’ve seen from Jimmie Johnson over the past four years has to rank up there alongside the feats accomplished by Red Auerbach’sBoston Celtics , John Wooden’s amazingly successful run with the UCLA Bruins, Phil Jackson’s Chicago Bulls’ 6 titles in 8 years, the New York Yankees’ run of five consecutive World Series’ triumphs (1949-53).Somehow, the NASCAR fan is either unappreciative greatness when it’s thrust upon them and placed within their presence. Or merely the fact that view Jimmie Johnson as too vanilla , clean cut and not what they really want ? And as asinine as concept appears to be that may well be the primary reason why the Californian doesn’t seem to resonate with the vast majority of NASCAR fans.

The 2009 season for NASCAR an eventful one but in many ways it went through the upheavals that many of the high profiled sports having been going through from the NFL,MLB,NHL, NBAand MLS . Attendance has been down, viewer-ship down but even more troubling for NASCAR has been the fact that many of their major corporate sponsors have either been withdrawing from the sport or lessening their commercial sponsorship due to budgetary constraints and uncertainty of the economic climate. And it certainly hasn’t helped that the each of three domestic auto manufacturers have had their problems, uncreative designs, over dependency on gas guzzlers, vehicles with low mileage economy, lowering auto sales to the overall mismanagement of the respective companies by its executives.

Then we have the government bailout, of which we the taxpayers have seen in excess of $ 85 billion dollars given to GM and Chrysler. And less we forget, Ford has seen fit to leverage itself to hilt, whereby has borrowed in excess of $ 35 billion in order steer itself through the current economic crisis. But don’t be fooled by the fact that it recently turned a profit of close to $ 1 billion for the last quarter. Though much of it came via government’s clash for clunkers’ deal. A great deal of that came via the cutbacks , union concessions , closure of plants and loss tens of thousands from Ford’s employment workforce. Needless to say a balance sheet never really gives you the true picture of the health of a company. But yet industry analysts would have you believe that all is well with Ford, GM and Chrysler. In reality all three are literally clinging by the tips of their nails for sheer life. If you doubt my word then look at the sales pitch being made by each.

Little Falls , NJ -  Four-time Nascar champion Jimmie Johnson presents a model of his #48 Lowe's Chevrolet to  Baseball Hall of Famer Yogi Berra at a tour of the Yogi Berra Museum and and Learning Center on November 23, 2009 in Little Falls, New Jersey.  picture appears  courtesy of Getty Images/ Jeff  Zelevansky  .....................
Little Falls , NJ - Four-time Nascar champion Jimmie Johnson presents a model of his #48 Lowe's Chevrolet to Baseball Hall of Famer Yogi Berra at a tour of the Yogi Berra Museum and and Learning Center on November 23, 2009 in Little Falls, New Jersey. picture appears courtesy of Getty Images/ Jeff Zelevansky .....................

NASCAR has its problems and it’d appear that it goes way beyond not just the apathy of the fans but also that of the sport’s governing body . NASCAR has been slow to realize the changing climate and even less proactive in dealing with the issues that it now faces with a dwindling attendances for its events and viewership as a whole. Television viewership is down by over 8% on year on year basis for the last four years and attendance for NASCAR’s Sprint Cup schedule is down by 15 % for the last two years alone.

So as of now, one can only attest to the fact that what we’re seeing within the sport from many of its fans and how they view Johnson and his feat with just apoplexy. Somehow I’m not so sure if the sport can survive in its present state. Not with this sort of apathy being shown by the fans ! What are your thoughts on the matter ?

Final NASCAR Sprint Cup Standings 2009

RANK +/- DRIVER POINTS BEHIND STARTS POLES WINS TOP 5 TOP 10 WINNINGS
1 — Jimmie Johnson 6652 Leader 36 4 7 16 24 7,339,630
2 — Mark Martin 6511 -141 36 7 5 14 21 5,279,000
3 — Jeff Gordon 6473 -179 36 1 1 16 25 6,476,460
4 — Kurt Busch 6446 -206 36 0 2 10 21 4,991,480
5 +3 Denny Hamlin 6335 -317 36 1 4 15 20 5,478,040
6 -1 Tony Stewart 6309 -343 36 0 4 15 23 6,836,150
7 — Greg Biffle 6292 -360 36 0 0 10 16 4,811,510
8 -2 Juan Montoya 6252 -400 36 2 0 7 18 5,274,190
9 — Ryan Newman 6175 -477 36 2 0 5 15 5,010,310
10 — Kasey Kahne 6128 -524 36 0 2 7 14 5,760,140
11 — Carl Edwards 6118 -534 36 0 0 7 14 5,607,550
12 — Brian Vickers 5929 -723 36 6 1 4 13 4,731,590

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Likes And Dislikes When It Comes To Sports …………….

Some sports I could watch to my heart’s content ! Whilst others , I just can’t stand in any shape or form . Much as I can’t stand the NHL ,as seemingly the action all gets caught up in the fact that the players in essence are either out there at times,trying to decapitate each other. Or they’re ready start a fight at the drop of a hat. Penalty minutes and all of the so called brouhaha that’s associated with the sport. I simply, just don’t get it !

Alexander  Ovechkin (#8) of the  Washington  Capitals  often  described  as  the  best player  in the  NHL battles  for  the  puck  against  the  Columbus Blue Jackets'  Jason Chimer  (#25) in  game   played the  Verizon  Center  in  Washington  DC.    picture  appears courtesy  of   getty images/ Greg  Fiume  ..............

Alexander Ovechkin (#8)of the Washington Capitals battles the Columbus Blue Jackets Jason Chimera (#25) for the puck in a game played at the Verizon Center in Washington DC. picture appears courtesy of getty images/ Greg Fiume ……..

But also, is it me ? A game goes into overtime after both teams are tied at the end of the regulation period and both teams attain a point because of that ? What sort of incentive is that for a team anyway ? Nonetheless there are fans out there who eat ,breathe and live for the sport of hockey. Not I , said the fly ! As physical as the game is , I still believe that when compared the game of rugby , it fall short in terms of the real physical aggression and the imposing of your will on an opponent. And besides the guys playing wear nowhere near as much protection as the guys playing professional hockey. What’s more the rugby players are just as physically imposing as the hockey players of the NHL, if not more so.

The Lowes' Chevrolet (#48)  of  points'  leader  Jimmie Johnson  pits  during  the  NASCAR Sprint  Cup  event   Amp  Energy  500  from  Talladega  Superspeedway , in Alabama ,.     picture  appears  courtesy of getty images/ Chris  Graythern  .............

The Lowes’ Chevrolet (#48) points’ leader Jimmie Johnson pits during the NASCAR Sprint Cup race , the AMP Energy 500 from Talladega Superspeedway , in Alabama. picture appears courtesy of getty images/ Chris Graythern ………..

For all of the vagaries of the sport of NASCAR and the throngs of fans that are entirely devoted to watching these monstrous metallic beasts encircle an oval track repeatedly. Unless, I’m mistaken there’s something inherently awry with the sport. Granted , it’s a grand spectacle, if watching a race live at the venue , then it becomes a scintillating exercise to be a part of. Especially when these vehicles are traveling in excess of 200 mph down a straightway before having to make a right turn and brake hard with the precision of a locomotive having to come to an almost immediate stop. The adrenalin rush that it creates for the driver and the fans , can be quite exhilarating . Never mind the fact that it’s said to the crash that draws the fans to such an event. And for the super fast tracks such as, Daytona and Talladega Super Speedway . Well, these are the tracks where the most excitement can be obtained and in essence more bang for your buck . Pardon that , but there’s meant to be no pun intended.

I feel compelled to watch some of the races but honestly , I’m not a big devotee of the sport ! I can tell you the names of several of the drivers within the top ranks of the sport , which happens to be the Sprint Cup Series . And along with the very fact that for much of the time many of the races seem unendurably long and tedious. More often than not , that’s because for some needless reason there tends to be one pile up after another with ever increasing regularity. And when in essence it’s merely 43 high powered vehicles repeatedly making left turn , left turn , one after another. Let’s just say , that the momentum from the perceived excitement, just isn’t there. It’s simply akin to watching grains of sand fall through an hourglass. Tedious or what ?

Formula 1 World  Champion  Jenson Button  celebrates  his  third  place  finish    at the  Abu  Dhabi  Grand  Prix  as the  Yas  Marina  Circuit  in Abu  Dhabi     .       Button   is   a  first  time  winner  of  the  world championship   and  has become  the  second  consecutive  British   driver  to win  the  championship  in the  last  two  years.   He succeeds  Lewis   Hamilton  who  became  the  first  black  driver to  win  the   prestigious   title.       picture  appears   courtesy  of  reuters/  Steve  Crisp  .........

Formula 1 World Champion Jenson Button celebrates his third place finish at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix at the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi,. Button is a first time winner of the championship and has become the second consecutive British driver to win the championship in the last two years. He succeeds Lewis Hamilton who became the first black driver to win the prestigious title in 2008. picture appears courtesy of reuters/ Steve Crisp ……..

For myself , the thrill of watching motorsports came from watching the races on the Formula 1 Grand Prix Circuit . And even though the races there are favored road course events. The prerequisite skills required by the drivers are very much in a similar vein to that of their counterparts within NASCAR. And with the sport’s governing body Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) being of the a disposition to make their events much more popular and internationally relevant. This is the primary reason why I tend to veer towards the races that take place within this genre of racing. It’s fast , it’s exciting and most of all the races aren’t always convoluted with the spectacle of repeated crashes or stoppages for cautions from pieces of debris falling from a race car. That’s something that tends to be the norm within the realms of NASCAR, more often than not.

Pele`  seen  here  as    member of    the  New  York  Cosmos   of the  NASL

Pele`seen here as a member of the New York Cosmos of the NASL. The league at its inception in 1968 lasted for 17 years. But then folded in 1985, with its last champions being the Chicago Sting in 1984. picture appears courtesy of espn.com/archive/soccer ….

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Love it ,or hate it, soccer is the predominant sport played on the planet. That being said, I have to ask myself what is it that makes the vast number of US sports’ fans so oblivious to the sport of soccer ? I understand America’s proclivity for wanting to be competitive and be dominant in every international sporting event that it participates in. But given the fact , that its desires upon the sport stems from the fact that if they’re not dominant in it. Then, it bears no interest to them or to the social graces that comes with being an ardent fan of the sport. Perhaps , much of this stems from the very fact that at the height of the seventies , when a number of international soccer stars were lured stateside for vast amounts of money. Well , the game and what it represented , the U.S was place to be seen. And at the height of the euphoria surrounding the game here in North America. The venue to be seen at was at the home venue of the New York Cosmos , with its litany of world class international superstars. At that time, no star was more widely known than that, of Brazil’s Pele’ . In many people’s eyes, the greatest soccer player the world has ever seen, or will ever see.

The  New  York  Cosmos  line up  prior  to an  NASL  match  held at  Giants  Stadium  , East Rutherford ,  New  Jersey .   At  the  time  Pele'  was  one  14 international   players on  the  Cosmos  roster.   There  weren't   any  rules  in   place   limiting  the  number  of  international  players  a  team  could  have  at  its  disposal   for  a  game.    picture appears  courtesy  afp/  Paul  Wright  ...........

Pele’ seen here the sixth player from the left is lined up alongside his New York Cosmos teammates prior to an NASL match played at Giants Stadium, East Rutherford, New Jersey. picture appears courtesy of afp/Paul Wright …..

With the inception of the North American Soccer League (NASL) and the governing board’s proclivity for wanting the brightest and the best that the game had to offer by way of international talent. No stone was left unturned in terms of money to lure the likes of Pele` , Giorgio Chinaglia , Franz Beckenbauer , Johann Cryuff , Graeme Souness, Hugo Sanchez, Gerd Muller , Rodney Marsh , Marinho` and a slew of other world class , who all inked their name on the dotted line. And the financial rewards for the top stars ? Well it was immense .

Fast forward to today and with the demise of the NASL . We now have the MLS and its sundry of players , primarily native born . But amongst them also are a number of international stars and some nationalized citizens, who’ve made the US their home. But nowhere is there the dearth of world class stars that once graced soccer here, as of now. OK , so fan favorite David Beckham of the Los Angeles Galaxy was lured here to try and make the sport relevant amongst a certain type of male demographic. But as of yet that hasn’t really been parlayed into anything of significance. Granted , at first the curiosity factor was there. And inspite of it all , the Galaxy have still struggled to fully live up to expectations. As too has Beckham to some extent. But now with the team in the MLS playoffs, great things are expected of them.

The Los  Angeles  Galaxy  team  seen  here   prior  to the  MLS Western  Conference  Semi-finals  match  against  Chivas  USA  in  game   played at the  Home Depot  Center  in  Carson,   California,.   The  game  would  end  in a  2-2 tie  .   picture appears  courtesy  of  getty images/  Victor Decolongon  ..................

The Los Angeles Galaxy team seen here prior to their MLS Western Conference Semi-final match against Chivas USA in a game played The Home Depot Center in Carson, California . Also in picture is David Beckham in the back , first player on the left. In the front row is Landon Donovan, 2nd player from the left. The game would end in a 2-2 tie. picture appears courtesy of getty images/ Victor Decolongon …..

For the sport to really make its presence felt . Much of that success will not only stem from the league’s chance to resonate with its fans. But also much of that success will also be predicated by the amount of success that can be attained by the men’s national squad. Inasmuch, as the women attained a great deal of success at the international level and then sought to follow that up with the creation of its own professional domestic league. The success there was only fleeting and much of that was derived from the fact that they took far too long in setting up a league in the first place.

For MLS and its hierarchy under the guidance of Commissioner Don Garber. . He’s entrusted with seeing that the game flourishes around the league through its franchises. And at the same he also seeks the maturation of such homegrown talent in Jozy Altidore , Landon Donovan , Marvell Wynne and a slew of up and coming players with the wherewithall to make their presence felt at the domestic level. And then all the way at the international level, if the game is to truly resonate with the fans here. And then, and only then, can the game consider to have been a success domestically as well as at the international level. Albeit, that the quality domestically doesn’t rival that of their European counterpart. The rise of US soccer has been incremental. And it is to the credit of template set by MLS and USA Soccer !

In parting , the thoughts made here within this piece are purely my own as to my likes and dislikes, when it comes to sports. If as such, there are certain sports that you consider to be mundane , either in part because they’re too monotonous to watch. Or perhaps in your eyes they just don’t elicit enough fervor and excitement . Then by all means, feel free to pass judgment by leaving a comment.