Looking for all of the right answers in all of the wrong places

Looking for all of the right answers in all of the wrong places

In all the fallout leading to the ongoing criticism of the NFL and its league hierarchy, it seems remarkably strange that not one owner has spoken out in criticising Roger Goodell for his handling of the Ray Rice affair . Baltimore Ravens’ owner Steve Bisciotti has been somewhat naive in his belief , he was misled in how the league would deal with the situation , albeit , he and GM Ozzie Newsome would have been within their right to suspend the running back , rather than leaving it to league to mete out its form of punishment . In light of the issue and the back and forth between the NFL and the beginning of an investigation by the NFLPA (Players’ Union) , the belief remains, the commissioner and many of his subordinates made a horrendous mistake in their handling of this affair. It also goes to the question, if the league can now ban Rice for his actions , but belief no such action is warranted after the San Francisco 49ers’ defensive player has readily admitted in an interview, he beat his pregnant girlfriend , it leads me to believe the NFL and Roger Goodell maintains a “double standard” in spite of the changes about to be made concerning player misconduct as it relates to domestic violence and spousal abuse.

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As a face-saving exercise and makeover the NFL has called upon two former federal civil servants , Robert S Mueller and Louis Freeh to conduct an investigation , start a policy to be adopted by the league and its teams , seeking to address the conduct of players and specifically the issue of domestic violence. Given the fact it has taken numerous incidents for the league to reluctantly pull their collective heads out of their own asses . I simply do not believe any measure now being taken will likely force a player to rethink their pattern of behavior . No deterrent set by the league has stopped players when it comes to misuse of a banned substance , and then collecting misdemeanor charges for DUI , or a felony for having an unlicensed firearm , but rather with a great deal of naiveté on the part of the NFL , the commissioner and a number of rather apathetic fans things are now about to change. Roger Goodell , has never looked himself in the mirror and simply address the fact he has been a poor leader and executive for the NFL , not unlike the poor stewardship seen during the final years of David Stern’s leadership of the NBA .

Three weeks into the NFL and there are few positives be taken away, as the league enters week four and then close out the first quarter of the season. The divisions have not yet provided us with a clear picture as to the likely contenders for the Superbowl , but there have been one or two surprises concerning the play of a number of players through the first three weeks of the season.

Rex Ryan head coach of the New York Jets has begun to mull over whether or not Geno Smith remains the team’s best option to win at this level within the NFL , with the quarterback already showing signs of the traits which plagued him for much of last season with his errant plays , fumbles and proclivity for throwing interceptions . Through three games for the Jets this season , Smith has now become more of a liability rather than an asset for the franchise.

A sloppy and indifferent performance against the Chicago Bears in a home loss has pretty much summed up why Rex Ryan may well seek to sit Geno Smith , given the team’s woes in terms of the offense and their passing game . Defensively , the issues for the Jets point the fact the average points per game being given up by the defense. The alternative for Rex Ryan would be to insert seasoned veteran Michael Vick into the starting lineup , but I seriously doubt at this stage of his career , Vick has very much to offer to the team , while simply seeking to enhance his status as one of the elder statesmen in the league currently playing the quarterback position.

On Sunday afternoon the New York Jets will play hosts to the Detroit Lions Lions and it will be interesting to see whether it will be Smith or Vick lined up to take the snap in the contest.

In the aftermath of the Miami Dolphins’ dour lack of competitiveness in 2013 and the franchise’s off the field issues . It seemed only natural to think the Dolphins would show signs of improvement in 2014 . Instead head coach Joe Philbin has been left wondering , how could things remains so awry , with the team still playing without any passion which is reflected in the Dolphins’ record (1-2) and their standing within the AFC East as well as the AFC .

Ryan Tannehill the starting quarterback for the Dolphins has been far from consistent for the team this season , and it places the head coach in something of a dilemma as to what he should do with the incumbent starter. Matt Moore is Tannehill’s backup , but Moore’s career in the NFL has simply been , one of not too many top-notch moments or what could be described as exhilarating plays. It has been several years since the Dolphins had an offense that would pose a threat to anyone in terms of passing or rushing game and it has to be said , neither Ryan Tannehill or Matt Moore would evoke such a memory or pose such a threat.

Dennis Allen’s …. Oakland Raiders will have the Miami Dolphins as their guests this Sunday in an all AFC clash which will both teams overlooking to overcome their very indifferent starts to the season . For the Raiders in particular , this might well be Allen’s last season as the head coach of a team which has underpeformed with their being barely any signs of life from this roster , even in spite of the spirited play of rookie quarterback Derek Carr . Team owner , Mark Davis and GM Reggie McKenzie , this off-season will likely assess the merits in keeping Dennis Allen based upon how the season pans out as well the retention of certain players on the roster . I firmly believe , we will see another merry-go-round, as another head coach is sent packing from a franchise where their average tenure over the last decade and a half has been less than three seasons.

The expectations were high but the returns now being seen have been an extreme disappointment as Lovie Smith , his coaching staff and this Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ team have performed poorly , getting off to an 0-3 start within the NFL , a record shared with the Oakland Raiders , making the two teams the worst in the league from a record standpoint . I believed Smith would have brought some discipline to a team sadly lacking in that last season , but it has become abundantly clear , the players lacked not only a great deal of discipline and there seems to be no vocal leader , much less a great player on the team willing to lead by example . Vincent Jackson no longer poses the offensive threat as one of the better tight ends in the NFL and the Buccaneers' pass attack can best described as simply mediocre. Neither Josh McCown or Mike Glennon have proven to be the answer this regular season and the signs were there to be observed during the preseason. The Buccaneers were a walking disaster in their 56-14 loss to divisional rivals the Atlanta Falcons , and it was somewhat fortunate for Tampa the Falcons missed several opportunities to build a wider margin of victory in their big win .

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are a poor excuse for an NFL franchise and the issues which plague the team covers just about every facet of their game . I do not believe the team can become competitive enough where they are likely to be seen as a credible challenger within the NFC South . Tampa is certainly not good enough this moment to be defeat either the Carolina Panthers or New Orleans Saints and their return visit whereby they will play host to Atlanta Falcons in week ten could very well likely provide us with a similar result as I do not believe the Buccaneers can make that much of an improvement , given their dire situation at present.

Week four will see the Tampa Bay Buccaneers pit their wits against the Pittsburgh Steelers (2-1) at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh , Pennsylvania , this upcoming Sunday. Pittsburgh for its part will be looking for the win and place themselves into contention for what has now become a tightly contested AFC North division where the Cincinnati Bengals (3-0) maintain a slender lead.

Ben Roethlisberger is not yet back at his very best , but as long as the Steelers have a great running game and a top-five defense then this team can be considered a legitimate contender within the AFC and quite possibly for a deep run in the postseason and to the Superbowl title, itself.

I don’t know what it will take for the Jacksonville Jaguars to be taken seriously as credible NFL franchise . Years of indifference, through poor coaching and needless to say an owner who did not seem to be all that ambitious when Wayne Weaver owned the team. Now with Shahid Khan owning the Jaguars the management has been put into place with a view to making this Jaguars’ organization a legitimate concern within the NFL. Other than the era of Tom Coughlin as the franchise’s head coach, there has been little to cheer about concerning the Jacksonville Jaguars. Mark Brunell and Tony Boselli became synonymous with the franchise but over the past eight seasons , things have been very lean for the organization . With Gus Bradley on board as the head coach and
several
changes
having
been made in terms of free agent acquisitions and the drafting of Blake Bortles , the belief seems to be, things are about to change for the better.

Chad Henne the Jaguars’ starting quarterback for 2014 has proven to be very ineffective and some might say a waste of space and cap money for the franchise. Bortles was seen as a project , and likely at some point to be the team’s starting quarterback next season . Off to a win-less start , with an 0-3 record shared alongside the Oakland Raiders , Tampa Bay Buccaneers and it is now easy to understand why Bortles had his baptism of fire during the closing stages of Jacksonville’s week three game against the Indianapolis Colts , which ended in a 44-17 loss for the AFC South based franchise.

Philip Rivers and the San Diego Chargers will host the Jacksonville Jaguars at Qualcomm Stadium this Sunday , where the Chargers will be seeking to prove their impressive start to the season was no mere fluke. Given what Rivers has been working with over the past few seasons , it has come as something of a surprise to see the Chargers off to such a very good start. In what will likely be a very competitive AFC West division , not including the woefully inept Oakland Raiders . I believe the division could very well become a three-horse race if Andy Reid and Alex Smith can actually figure out what is wrong with the Kansas City Chiefs . The Denver Broncos remain as competitive as ever , with Peyton Manning leading the way for the team .

With a bye-week in Week four , the Denver Broncos can rest their injured players while gauging what their divisional rivals are likely to do. Andy Reid and the Kansas City Chiefs have a potentially tough game against the New England Patriots at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City , Missouri on Monday night , part of the season of scheduled games for the Monday Night Football. A win is very much a must , for the Patriots after their labored and non-too too convincing victory over the Oakland Raiders in week three , where Tom Brady had one of his less memorable games against Oakland .

At the start of the 2014 season , many believed the New England Patriots were capable of having a thirteen win season. My only belief , was that the Patriots would not be severely challenged within the AFC East , where they have been the dominant force within the division of the past decade. I see no reason for the premise to change given the issues of the Buffalo Bills , Miami Dolphins and New York Jets. Bill Belichick remains the ” Mad Scientist” , self-absorbed, over-confident and often abrasive with the press and at times with his players with the exception of his renowned quarterback. Brady and Belichick are joined by an umbilical cord , but the cord will likely be severed in the next two or three years. The departures of Ryan Mallett and Logan Mankins shocked not only Tom Brady , but the fans of the New England Patriots and definitely members of the media . And as good as the team might seem to be , there still remains a number of deficiencies which Bill Belichick has clearly failed to address during the off-season . Jimmy Garoppolo might well be waiting in the wings to take over from the franchise’s all-time leader in a number of offensive passing categories, but I do not believe this rookie will have the type of impact seen with Brady over the past decade.

I have always maintained if you cannot provide the consumer or fan with anything insightful , then it is best to say nothing at all . ESPN /ABC has become a behemoth and monolithic sports’ broadcast entity that leaves it competitors in its wake . In terms of its content and on air presence, there are few if any real bright spots to the medium , but yet , there it is filling the airwaves and the television screens with a great deal of banality , while being hypocritical , misogynistic , sexist and without any real moral virtue. However, what makes the outlet simply tick is its economic clout as a billion dollar money-making entity for parent company , Walt Disney Company . The three other major network outlet pale into comparison as money-making entities and yes folks , that includes the upstart NBCSports Network and Fox’s almost redundant FS1 Fox Sports Network (FS1) , whose content might be just as mediocre and convoluted as its broadcast relative Fox News . CBS Sports remains something of an archaic and dated embodiment of the broadcast network in terms of its appeal and demographic skewered towards those aged fifty-five and over .

ESPN made the decision today , to suspend on air personality Bill Simmons for being critical of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell Granted , the league remains one of the outlet’s primary broadcast partners with whom they have a multi-year, multi-billion dollar contract . Hate to say , but ESPN would rather not bite the hand that feeds it but would willingly kiss the ass of the NFL , even when the league is known to have acted egregiously and erroneously. In reality , some fans couldn’t give a #hit much less really care what Bill Simmons might have to say about anything, given his rather clown-like dexterity for making a complete @sshole of himself , when offering up commentary on issues concerning the world of sports. Simmons’ suspension is something of a non-story but in many ways it simply reflects the ongoing hypocrisy of a network and its willingness to cow-tow and remain in obeisance of a paymaster (NFL) which is just as complicit with its behavior and lack of morals . Unfortunately , there seems to be no one with the balls to say it about ESPN or the NFL , but I am ready to do so and will continue to do so without fear of being sought out by their blow-hard cronies or like-minded representatives.

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Picture gallery .

Where and when did you feel the league erred in dealing with the Ray Rice affair and do you believe the NFL can get its house back in order , much less regain the confidence of its fans and many of their commercial sponsors ? Three weeks into the NFL season and what has been the biggest surprise to you concerning the games and the teams ? Your comments as always are very welcomed and by all means do feel free to chime in with your own thoughts concerning not only the NFL but the world of sports in general .

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(1) Steve Bisciotti troubled owner of the Baltimore Ravens, who in the past few days has faced mounting criticism of his and the franchise’s handling of the Ray Rice affair. Getty Images / Greg Parsons …

(2)Quarterback Geno Smith (7) of the New York Jets speaks with head coach Rex Ryan before a game against the Chicago Bears at MetLife Stadium on September 22, 2014 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Getty Images North America / Elsa Martinez …

(3) Miami Dolphins’ quarterback Ryan Tannehill (17) whose record with the franchise as a starter is not impressive (16-19-0) , going into week four where the Dolphins will face the Oakland Raiders in an all AFC match-up at the O Coliseum in Oakland , California , on Sunday afternoon . Miami Herald / Hector Nunez …..

(4) Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ head coach Lovie Smith , center, watches his players stretch after returning from a lightning delay during NFL football training camp in Tampa, Fla., Friday, July 25, 2014. The Buccaneers have gotten off to an awful start to the season with Smith in his first year as the team’s head coach . AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack ….

(5) May 9, 2014; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Blake Bortles (Central Florida) poses with his family after addressing the media at the Upper West Touchdown Club at EverBank Field a day after being selected as the third overall pick in the first round of the 2014 NFL draft by the Jacksonville Jaguars…. John David Mercer / USA Today Sports
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(6) Tom Brady , left , of the New England Patriots is seen here with his back-up , rookie Jimmy Garoppolo . The youngster has been learning all the tricks of the trade from the franchise’s career leader in passing statistics. As a college player, Jimmy Garoppolo had a distinguished career . AP Photo / Martin Kline

(7) Bill Simmons an editor in-Chief at Grantland.com , columnist and on air personality of with ESPN has been suspended (three weeks) by the broadcast outlet for his profanity laced rant , accusing NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell of being a liar . The San Francisco 49ers suspended their television broadcaster and analyst Ted Robinson for his rather idiotic criticism of Jenay Parker-Rice , wife of Baltimore Ravens’ running back Ray Rice . Robinson is his opinionated criticism of Parker-Rice suggested she was in part to blame for the abuse suffered at the hands of her then fiance. Clearly , Robinson has no clue or common sense when it comes to the issue of domestic abuse or domestic violence. UPI / Ross Mitchell …. …

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Do The Bears Still Suck And Is A Roll of Charmin Really As Soft As We’re Led To Believe ?

Do The Bears Still Suck And Is A Roll of Charmin Really As Soft As We’re Led To Believe ?

There’s no denying that after Jay Cutler’s mea culpa in the postseason a great deal of questions arose about the player’s credibility and mindset . Chicago Bears’ fans and a number of his teammates sprung to the player’s defense in suggesting that the NFC Championship game loss to the Green Bay Packers and Cutler leaving the game simply wasn’t the prime reason for that defeat. I’ve long held the contention that Jay Cutler while being a good player simply isn’t a great player ! Well , not the player I think is capable of leading a team to a Superbowl victory !

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Jay Cutler’s talents are undeniable but there seems to be something lacking from within , as to what that might be I can’t be totally be sure . He may well have the arm to launch the ball 60 yards at the drop of a hat but that if anything is the primary flaw in his arsenal . That pass is just as liable to be intercepted by the opposing defense as it is to end up in the arms of one of his receivers . Head coach Lovie Smith a staunch supporter of his beleaguered Pro Bowl quarterback has even suggested that Cutler was the main reason for having a successful 2010 season. That in ofitself may well be true but few if any truly believed that the Chicago Bears would be deemed one of the best teams in the NFC last season . Granted , we saw a number of teams within the conference fall by the wayside due to inconsistency and in part more so through injuries but that becomes a mute point because isn’t that why teams have depth to their rosters ?

The challenge for the Chicago Bears isn’t one of not being good but simply playing well on a consistent basis and that to my mind has always been the knock against the team. You simply cannot trust the Chicago Bears to go out and play four consecutive quarters of high quality football much less two but yet somehow there are fans out there who believe that because of Jay Cutler , this team should now be viewed as a legitimate contender for the Superbowl ? Granted , the team now has a solid blend of veterans and youth with Brian Urlacher leading the charge . And it should be remembered it was Urlacher amongst the players who leapt to the quarterback’s defense when it was suggested that Cutler simply bailed on his teammates to hide from his own insecurities and somewhat lackadaisical performance during the NFC championship game. That asides , it once again all boiled down to the fact that this teams lacks resolve to close out a game when they have it within their grasp.

Head coach Lovie Smith’s philosophy has been to build his team around a miserly defense that allows the opposing team almost nothing. If anything that was taught to him by Tony Dungy from who he gained much of his knowledge as a coordinator , which he now puts to good use. But you should not discount the offense of the Chicago Bears where their primary running back Matt Forte can be counted on to be productive when given the means to do so. Certainly the Bears’ offense is more than capable of putting points on the board but with that also comes the expectations of wins , divisional titles , conference championships but most of all the Superbowl victory. And it is these expectations that cast a giant shadow over this whole organization and the fact that there are some who have questioned whether or not Lovie Smith is the right man for the job and above all whether or not Jay Cutler is the quarterback is the guy to lead this team to that ultimate goal.

Beyond Matt Forte the complementary pieces for the offense seem to be in place with Devin Hester , Johnny Knox , Chester Taylor , Earl Bennett and the newly acquired Marion Barber . And with the defensive presence of Brian Urlacher alongside Julius Peppers , Lance Briggs , Charles Tillman and Danieal Manning there is a belief that the team could very well be favored to do something special this upcoming season .

As I alluded to earlier if the Chicago Bears are to be successful then Jay Cutler to my mind will have to show me a great deal more than I witnesed last season and in particular after his performance in the NFC championship game . There are those who suggested that his injury was indeed far more serious than it was as first presumed to be. Others will detract from that by saying that the player simply opted to bail on his team when he realized he had nothing to offer. I’m of the opinion that it was little of both , Cutler was injured but I doubt injured enough to the point where it warranted him sitting out the vast majority of the game. It may well have sat well with some of his teammates on the day but I do believe that many of the Bears’ fans at Soldier Field saw an unacceptable side of a player whose maturity level isn’t where it needs to be. And as for Brian Urlacher’s assertion that Jay Cutler is a warrior , well we know that the defensive stalwart has been known to play through pain when his team needed him most . But this falsehood that he now lives under that his quarterback is a player he’d run through a wall for seems all so laughable given Urlacher’s own displays of courage and bravado on the field.

The NFC North apart from being home to the reigning Superbowl champions the Green Bay Packers also has residing there the Minnesota Vikings , Detroit Lions as well as the Chicago Bears . And for the respective coaches Mike McCarthy , Leslie Frazier , Jim Schwartz and Lovie Smith , they are all looking for their teams to acquit themselves well this year. I personally believe that of the cadre of coaches mentioned Smith may well be the one with the most to lose . If his team should fail to make the postseason at best then I certainly believe that in spite of the contract extension granted he could be shown the door by either team GM Jerry Angelo or Tim Ruskell the Head of Football Operations for the Bears’ organization. There can only be so much that the fans can be be subjected to and be asked to endure . To be repeatedly asked to witness a team come up short is not one of them and at this juncture it’s pretty safe that’s what the fans of the Chicago Bears have actually beared witness to.

The Minnesota Vikings have their own issues and with the team’s acquisition of Donovan McNabb it may arguably be seen as something of an upgrade from the quarterbacks on the team’s roster of last season. When one bears in mind that the throngs of Brett Favre fans were simply wiling their time away as the self aggrandizing veteran was showing his age , with his best days are so far behind him that it couldn’t be seen from a rear view mirror. Now the Vikings’ fans will be subjected to the travails of Donovon McNabb over the coming season . Let’s put this way McNabb didn’t help his cause any last season with a number of horrendous displays but at the same time one has to remember he was playing for the Washington Redskins which has Mike Shanahan as the head coach with his son , Kyle Shanahan as the offensive coordinator . There hasn’t been such an inept duo front and center e for the public to view since Ross Perot and Vice Admiral James Stockdale were running as independents , seeking to win the US Presidential election . The less said about that event and likewise with the Redskins’ 2010 season the better !

I believe that the Detroit Lions are still a work in progress but how much longer will the fans be patient with the often injured Matt Stafford ? I am not saying that he’s brittle but there are leukemia patients with more moxie and strength than the player is said to possess . Alas , the Lions will live and die by the play of their quarterback . For the Green Bay Packers it’s all about looking to make a successful defense of their title . Quiet in the offseason no doubt obviously due to the lockout the team stood pat not making any serious moves in looking to add to the roster . However , you can be sure that the team of last season along with their draftees will be looking to make some waves and show that their triumph of last season wasn’t an aberration. And Superbowl MVP Aaron Rodgers will most certainly be out to show that he’s now rightfully assumed the mantel once held by his predecessor Brett Favre . And for those who’d suggested that the team couldn’t win without the legendary quarterback ___ how’s that dose of crow tasting right about now ?

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

What thoughts if any do you have with regard to the upcoming season for the Chicago Bears and in particular for their quarterback Jay Cutler ? And also do you see the Green Bay Packers quite possibly making a successful defense of their Superbowl title ? Chime in with any pertinent thoughts you might have on the points raised within this piece and as always thanks for the continued support !

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

Contact tophatal @ rapptu@gmail.com

Picture and slide show details .

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(1) Chicago Bears wide receiver Devin Hester stretches during NFL football training camp Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2011, at Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais, Ill. AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh …..

(2) Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler, right, looks to a throw as offensive coordinator Mike Martz looks on during NFL football training camp Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2011, at Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais, Ill. AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh ……

(3) Chicago Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher watches his teammates practice during NFL football training camp Monday, Aug. 1, 2011, at Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais, Ill. AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh …….

(4) Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler wipes his face during NFL football training camp Monday, Aug. 1, 2011, at Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais, Ill. AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh …….

(5) Chicago Bears coach Lovie Smith watches his team during NFL football training camp Monday, Aug. 1, 2011, at Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais, Ill. AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh …….

(6) Chicago Bears general manager Jerry Angelo watches his team during NFL football training camp Monday, Aug. 1, 2011, at Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais, Ill. AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh …….

(7) Chicago Bears offensive coordinator Mike Martz, center, talks with quarterbacks Jay Cutler, left, and Caleb Hanie during NFL football training camp Monday, Aug. 1, 2011, at Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais, Ill. AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh …….

(8) Jan 23, 2011; Chicago, IL, USA; Green Bay Packers defensive tackle B.J. Raji (90) returns an interception for a touchdown past Chicago Bears quarterback Caleb Hanie (12) during the fourth quarter of the 2011 NFC championship game at Soldier Field. Rob Grabowski-US PRESSWIRE ……..

(9) Green Bay Packers wide receiver Greg Jennings (85) is tackled by Chicago Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher (54) during the first half of the NFC Championship NFL football game Sunday, Jan. 23, 2011, in Chicago. AP Photo/David J. Phillip ………

(10) Quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) of the Green Bay Packers dives into the corner of the endzone for a one-yard touchdown run against Danieal Manning (38) of the Chicago Bears in the first quarter of the NFC Championship Game at Soldier Field on January 23, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. Getty Images / Jamie Squire ……..

(11) Quarterback Jay Cutler (6) of the Chicago Bears attempts to avoid a sack by Cullen Jenkins (77) of the Green Bay Packers in the first quarter of the NFC Championship Game at Soldier Field on January 23, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. Getty Images North America / Jamie Squire ……
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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”

The Sad Things Is The Chicago Bears Are What I Thought They’d Be Just Another Average Team Behind The Arm of A Much Overhyped QB ‘nough Said !

There comes a time when you’ve got to call a spade , a spade and a shovel , a shovel. And as the old adage goes “……….if it walks like a duck and quacks like duck . Then it has to be a duck. It can’t be anything else now, can it ” ?

So what are we to make of the much hyped Chicago Bears (4-4) and their equally over-hyped and their said to be talented star quarterback , Jay Cutler ? Much has been made as to what the Pro Bowl caliber quarterback would bring to the table for this Lovie Smith coached team. And the truth of the matter is, not one of those much heralded claims has yet to pan out for the Bears this season. If anything, Cutler and the Bears have been average at best. And for the likes of the talking dunder-heads and paeans within Bristol, Connecticut at ESPN , who hyped up the Bears after the acquisition was made for Cutler in exchange for Kyle Orton being shipped to the Denver Broncos (6-2). My question would be , who’s eating crow now ?

Arizona Cardinals' running back Chris Beanie Wells breaks away  from  the  Chicago  Bears'   Danieal  Manning  in  an  NFL  game played  at Soldier  Field , Chicago , Illinois,.  The Cardinals  would  romp to a   41-21 rout  of  the   Chicago Bears .   picture appears courtesy of  getty images/  Johnathan Daniel ...........

Arizona Cardinals’ running back Chris ‘Beanie’ Wells breaks away from the Chicago Bears’ Danieal Manning in an NFL game played at Soldier Field, Chicago, Illinois,. The Cardinals would romp to a 41-21 rout of the Chicago Bears. picture appears courtesy of getty images/ Johnathan Daniel ……….

And when looks down the roster of the Chicago Bears , one can’t help but ask. Why is a team, said to be laden with so much alleged talent continue to struggle the way that it does ? It’s not as if Smith and his coaching staff are mediocre. Clearly the problem with the Chicago Bears, lies in the fact that this team has yet to find its rhythm and play with consistency. Furthermore , there appears to be an apparent lack of leadership on the field of play. And if Cutler, as has been often pointed out wants to be seen as an elite quarterback in the NFL. Then it doesn’t mean just being able to toss the ball like a gunslinger in a shootout. It also demands that he leads a team with presence and authority. And that’s something that he’s yet to do, despite his time spent in the league.

Bears' coach  Lovie Smith  watches as  his  defensive players  leave the  field late in the  game  against  the  Arizona  Cardinals.   picture appears courtesy  of getty images/ Johnathan Daniel .............

Bears’ coach Lovie Smith watches as his defensive players leave the field late in the game against the Arizona Cardinals. picture appears courtesy of getty images/ Johnathan Daniel ……..

It is tough enough that the Bears have to go up against a rejuvenated Minnesota Vikings’ team led by that ageless wonder Brett Favre , with the league’s best running back Adrian Peterson in tow. And what with the lackluster performances by the Green Bay Packers and the underwhelming Detroit Lions. It was thought that the Bears would pose some sort of threat to the Vikings within the division. Well, that hasn’t been the case , nor is it likely to be ! The Chicago Bears have been so diabolically atrocious, that if the situation continues to get any worse, then Lovie Smith’s own future might be in danger. And this coming from a franchise ,barely three years removed from its appearance in SBXLI. Where the team would go on to lose to the Peyton Manning led Indianapolis Colts (29-17). Manning would go on to named the game’s MVP. And the Colts’ coach Tony Dungy would become the first African American to coach an NFL team to victory in the Super Bowl. From that historical high where the two coaches in Super Bowl XLI happened to be of African American ethnicity. We’ve seen the fate of the Bears , seemingly take a nose dive into the abyss of mediocrity.

And while the fates of Cutler and Kyle Orton seem to have gone in opposite directions. One can’t help but notice how the Bears’ fans must now be feeling. As much as they may well have derided their former player. To seem him go on to play for the Broncos in the way that he has. Well, it has to have led those very same fans to question who got the better end of the deal ? Broncos’ coach, Josh McDaniels has to be happy with the play of Orton and the fact that he commands the respect of his teammates, there in Denver. Can the same thing be said of Cutler at this present moment in time ?

Jay  Cutler of  the  Chicago Bears   as  he  scrambles in the  backfield  while  looking  for  a Bears'   receiver to  make a  pass  to.   In  the  game  played at Soldier  Field ,  the   Bears   would  suffer their  worse  loss  of the  season   being  completely  outplayed  and  annihilated    41-21 by the  Arizona  Cardinals .   picture  appears courtesy of getty images/  Johnathan  Daniel ..........

Jay Cutler of the Chicago Bears as he scrambles in the backfield while looking for a Bears’ receiver to make a pass to. In the game played at Soldier Field , the Bears would suffer their worse loss of the season being completely outplayed and annihilated 41-21 by the Arizona Cardinals. picture appears courtesy of getty images/ Johnathan Daniel ………

Statistically the Chicago Bears aren’t where they need to be as a team. On offense they rank 16th in (22.5pts-ppg),18th in total offense (332.4 yds-per game),11th in passing yds (241.9 per game), 28th in rushing (90.5 yds per game). On the defensive side of the ball things don’t actually get much better in the relevant categories either. They’re merely seem to be average at best ,with them allowing 23.9 pts per game(rank 22nd), 326 yds of total defense (rank 15th), passing yds allowed 206.5 yds per game (rank 12th), rushing yds allowed 119.5 per game (rank 21st). And overall as a team they barely register a blip on the charts as a mainstay in the pertinent categories.

One might question the coaching of Lovie Smith and that of his coaching staff . Wherein, he’s assisted by Defensive Coordinator, Bob Babich and on offense by Ron Turner , who oversees the offensive duties as the team’s Offensive Coordinator. There appears to be no real unison between the contingents on either side of the ball and how they apply themselves to the task at hand. And this may well be one of the inherent problems for the team, as a whole. As to how they’ll go about remedying the factors that have arisen. Well, that’s down Smith and his staff.

 Kurt Warner of  the  Arizona  Cardinals  makes  his way out of the  pocket as he's  pursued  by the   Bears  Anthony  Adams .  Also  assisting  on  the  play  for   the  Cardinals  is   Reggie  Wells  seen to the  left  of  Adams.   picture  appears  courtesy  of  getty  images/  Johnathan  Daniel  .............

Kurt Warner (13) of the Arizona Cardinals makes his way out of the pocket as he’s pursued by the Bears Anthony Adams (95). Also assisting on the play for the Cardinals is Reggie Wells, seen to the left of Adams. picture appears courtesy of getty images/ Johnathan Daniel
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Courtesy of Associated Press and NFL.com

Bears’ Harris apologizes for punching defenseless player

Associated Press

LAKE FOREST, Ill. — Saying he was embarrassed and that he has to control himself, Chicago Bears defensive tackle Tommie Harris apologized Monday for throwing a punch at Arizona Cardinals offensive lineman Deuce Lutui.

Harris was ejected on the fourth play from scrimmage of Sunday’s game after he and Lutui wound up on the ground on a run play. Harris apologized to teammates, Bears fans and to Lutui.

“I was embarrassed, especially for my actions,” Harris said. “I apologized to him yesterday, called Larry (Fitzgerald) and had a chance to apologize to him. I just wanted to apologize to my fans first off, and the little kids out there that saw that action. I shouldn’t have behaved in that manner, and I apologized to my teammates, and I’ll make up for it.”

The Bears’ defense has big problems following a 41-21 blowout loss to the Cardinals and they start with Harris. The three-time Pro Bowl player could be suspended by the league.

“No excuse,” coach Lovie Smith said. “Whenever you do something to get kicked out of a football game, a tough game like that where you need everyone, it’s never a good thing. Tommie realizes he screwed up.”

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The loss of middle linebacker, Brian Urlacher , who’s viewed as the heart and soul of the team. It has meant that the Chicago Bears have had to make use of players such as Hunter Hillenmeyer and Nick Roach to fill that immense gap, that Urlacher proceeded to fill on the Bears’ defense. And with the ten year veteran being lost to the team for the season. Well, filling that gap has proven to be something of an immense problem. It was felt that they might have pursued Derrick Brooks, formerly of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as a stop gap , for the position. But it would appear that it wasn’t necessarily a direction that they wanted to pursue. A tell-tale sign, if ever there was one. Replacing an often injured veteran with another it’s known is on the downside of his career. It never seems to work out and that was the primary thinking behind not pursuing Brooks.

Ron Turner as the team’s offensive coordinator , has at his disposal, the talents of Devin Hester, Matt Forte , Garrett Wolfe , Earl Bennett and Greg Olsen. But either through the accompanying injuries or the mere fact , that there seems to be nothing going right for the Chicago Bears. As they labor under the pressure of having live up to expectations of the Bears’ fans and the community at large. These are some very trying times for the franchise,the fans and no doubt for Lovie Smith ! The team’s offense is anemic and Jay Cutler hasn’t shown anywhere near the perceived form that many believe that he has. And in Cutler’s case, when much of that hype, comes from the mere fact that you felt you were in the same class as former Broncos’ great, John Elway. You can well understand why it is now, that some are of the belief that the Bears have been sold down the river, in acquiring the player.

Much has been made, that Jay Cutler is a Pro Bowl caliber quarterback. And while that may be true , what in essence is the Pro Bowl anyway ? I mean, there’s nothing at all tangible in making an appearance there. The game itself is meaningless and the accolade, though thought to meaningful , isn’t really acknowledgment by one’s peers. It’s merely the NFL’s idea of throwing a party , once the regular season has ended and also rewarding the players . As if they’re not already well rewarded financially,to begin with ? Cutler , to my mind is everything that personifies what’s wrong with a player who believes that he’s capable of leading a team. But in essence, he has yet to show the qualities that are needed in achieving that success. Time and time again, he’s mentioned as being amongst the elite quarterbacks within the NFL. To my mind, that’s akin in trying to ascertain that Rosie O’Donnell shares the same beauty traits of Halle’ Berry or Megan Fox for that matter ! It just ain’t gonna happen ! And Jay Cutler is not amongst the elite quarterbacks within the NFL ! ‘nough said !

NFC North Divisional Standings :

NFC North Team W L T Pct PF PA Net Pts TD Home Road Div Pct Conf Pct Non-Conf Streak Last 5
Minnesota Vikings 7 1 0 .875 244 174 70 29 3-0 4-1 3-0 1.000 5-0 1.000 2-1 1W 4-1
Green Bay Packers 4 4 0 .500 215 172 43 25 2-2 2-2 2-2 .500 3-3 .500 1-1 2L 2-3
Chicago Bears 4 4 0 .500 180 191 -11 21 3-1 1-3 1-1 .500 2-3 .400 2-1 1L 2-3
Detroit Lions 1 7 0 .125 133 237 -104 14 1-3 0-4 0-3 .000 1-6 .143 0-1 5L 0-5

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Megan Fox

Megan Fox of ‘Transformers’ fame.

And given the choice between Megan Fox , Halle’ Berry and Rosie O’Donnell. I think it’s pretty safe to say that the majority of guys’ll go with Halle and Megan over Rosie !

The delightful  Halle' Berry

The delightful Halle’ Berry !