Squawkers and gawkers …..

Squawkers and gawkers

Just when we all thought to be a great sports’ weekend, across the panacea of that landscape , one or two oddities , idiocies and great moments are witnessed. In the NFL , week twelve provided us with some scintillating play from the players and one or two moments of dubious firsts . Chris Long and his brother Kyle Long appear to get into what was said to be a shoving match on-field , in a game played between the Chicago Bears and St Louis Rams . Brotherly love in the NFL, may well have a new face to it, beyond the typical loves-fest between perhaps the league’s two most active and famous siblings , Peyton Manning and Eli Manning . That asides , Peyton and the Denver Broncos may well have provided us with the best game played on Sunday afternoon , as the team surrendered a twenty point lead to the New England Patriots , as Tom Brady led the Patriots in a rousing come from behind win in overtime .

A minor incident this past weekend in the NFL between Chris and Kyle Long , that in some cases set the NFL world abuzz .

With losses now suffered by the Denver Broncos and Kansas City Chiefs , the AFC has now become a wide open race with four games left to the regular season and the top two berths in the conference still up for grabs . It certainly sets the stage, for an interesting race to finish line over the four remaining games of the regular season schedule.


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Somehow, both the Jacksonville Jaguars and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, are now having something of an astonishing turnaround to their respective seasons. Both teams have now sauntered to a one and three-win streak respectively, suddenly lifting themselves both, out of a position of mediocrity within their respective divisions . As to what this might suggest about the quality of the opponents faced on Sunday has to be also tempered by the quality of lack thereof now being witnessed in the NFL . No amount of enthusiasm a by a group of former NFL players , now on air analysts , singing the praises of the league’s teams , can now excuse the fact that the league has now become a rather bland product !

The Buccaneers’ 24-21 victory over a very overrated Detroit Lions’ team, says as much about the two combatants and the very fact that this Greg Schiano coached team along with their three-game win streak have now become the focus of attention , with their being a great deal of speculation as to whether or not the beleaguered head coach would in fact survive the season . As Matt Stafford continues to put up impressive annual stats , one has to now question the fact, that Jim Schwartz seems to have forgotten that defense is also very much a prerequisite in today’s NFL game.

Speaking of teams, who appear to show no desire to actually play with a model of consistency , beyond now losing with alarming regularity . Are there any remaining fantasy geeks out there, still willing to put their trust in Matt Ryan , much less the Atlanta Falcons as a team? The Falcons in their divisional contest with the New Orleans Saints , sank to a new level of mediocrity , with their fifth successive loss of the season , dropping the team to league low 2-9 record and at the bottom of the NFC South and the NFC , respectively . Who would have thought that at the beginning of the season for a team coming off a league-high 13-3 record in 2012 , along with a divisional title and having made it into the postseason ? Injuries asides , beyond the loss of Julio Jones , the Falcons are now indicating why this suggestion of their being ” parity in the NFL ” is simply nothing more than an urban legend . It comes down to coaching , but above all , talent on the field of play . Yet the hyperbole created and the notion of parity , it begs the question is this merely a matter of creating a ” water cooler topic ” to discuss all season long ? I will leave you, to be the judge of all that !

Last season’s NFC champions the San Francisco 49ers , are proving to be human after-all. Colin Kaepernick in particular , no longer impervious, has shown himself susceptible to being inconsistent in terms of his play , and what was said to be one of the league’s most stymieing secondary’s are also proving hype doesn’t necessarily allude to greatness .

. A two-game losing streak has placed the Niners in somewhat of a precarious position as the league enters the final quarter of the regular season schedule . Tonight’s , Monday night contest at Fedex Field against the Washington Redskins could to prove to be a very interesting game between these NFC rivals . A victory, is a necessity, for both teams, as each seeks to add their legitimacy as a playoff contender . To think that the Redskins, with their record of 4-7 , are not completely out of their divisional race , does seem to be mind-boggling . Yet consider the fact, that NFC East joint divisional leaders the Dallas Cowboys (6-5) and Philadelphia Eagles (6-5) are barely above.500 adds even more credibility behind the rationale , that not only has the play this season been abysmal , but the quartet of teams within this particular division are just not that good .

The return of Derrick Rose , this season to the NBA and the Chicago Bulls , was seen as a tremendous positive not only for the franchise , but also for the league itself. Barely a month , into the NBA season and the fans have witnessed the loss of the point guard to what first appeared to have been an innocuous injury. News’ updates, have suggested that Rose has a torn the meniscus cruciate ligament (MCL) in his right knee and is now likely out, for the remainder of the season. Having not appeared at all, in any games during the 2012 season , Derrick Rose , now being sidelined , is as big a blow to the Chicago Bulls as it will be for the rest of the NBA , without fans being able to witness one of the best point guards in the game , as well as one of the best players overall in the entire league. The team’s chances of making the postseason, will have diminished, but not to the extent where they are likely to be written off as a non-contender as an Eastern Conference titlist .

Rose’s loss for the season , came in the team’s lopsided defeat to the Los Angeles Clippers . While fans and analysts alike, continue to gauge that loss , it is the points guard’s injury and the possible long-term effect on his blossoming career that now comes into question . The Bulls as an organization has a large monetary investment in the player and how they now deal with that issue will be now be predicated upon the decisions that are likely to be made jointly by Tom Thibodeau , owner Jerry Reinsdorf and GM Gar Forman . The team will now have to refocus their efforts and rally behind the play of Luol Deng , Carlos Boozer , Kirk Hinrich , Jimmy Butler , Gibson and Joakim Noah . If the players can exhibit the type of effort and resilience shown during the 2011 postseason , then any doubts that some observers are likely to have , could be overlooked .

Chicago will get their first opportunity to perform without their All Star point guard , when they face the Utah Jazz , as these two teams meet on Monday night in an infra-conference match-up. How the Bulls perform in that contest might not be enough of a guide to indicate how they are likely to fare over the remainder of their season , but might clue us in, as to the temperament of the team as a whole , as they seek to go on without Derrick Rose .

The Dallas Mavericks’ owner Mark Cuban , self-styled narcissist and publicity seeking hound , the majority of the time, can also be a pompous ass ! Granted , with the Mavericks having won their lone NBA title in 2011 , he may well feel that gives him the luxury of pointing out the woes of NBA Commissioner David Stern as well as criticizing that executive , as to what he still believes to be wrong with the game . Certainly , I cannot question Cuban’s wealth , but the so-called business acumen that many seem to be under the impression that he currently possesses , should be tempered by the fact he recently ran afoul of the SEC (Securities & Exchange Commission) and US Justice Department for ‘ insider trading’. Cuban’s premise, that he was a victim of a political witch-hunt , was about as asinine as his latest comments , attributed to the Mavericks’ owner ” that performance enhancing drugs (PED’s) should now be allowed in the NBA” , with its use being strictly monitored by the league hierarchy . Educated or not , Mark Cuban’s continued stupidity and outlandish persona, is simply another reason why a great deal of the time why he has never been taken seriously by a number of his peers in and outside of the game. As to this latest statement by Cuban , it begs the question, since when was it appropriate to counteract and violate league rules in order to make a diluted product , even less attractive than it already happens to be ? Cuban may well have been acquitted of the charges , and once again , the incompetency of the prosecution (US Attorney’s Office) in the presentation of the government’s case allowed the defendant to walk .

Mark Cuban’s belief that by using performance enhancing drugs to strictly aid with a player’s recovery from an injury , would be of benefit to the league . Perhaps, the Mavericks’ owner has yet to view the pandemic created by the misuse of PED’S in baseball, and the very fact that the MLBPA (union) , much like the NBPA (Players’ Union) , have both been completely disingenuous in dealing with the issue. Cuban’s concerns, if anything, should be about the long-term future of the Dallas Mavericks and where they are likely to be, upon the retirement of Dirk Nowitzki , the franchise’s leading scorer in their history . It is not as if this team , is now likely to get any better , as Nowiztki’s career has now plateaued , and where he is no longer a force to be reckoned with, as he was during his prime.

Currently at 9-5 , fourteen games into the season the Dallas Mavericks sit in second place behind instate rivals the San Antonio Spurs (12-1) within the Southwest Division of the Western Conference . That mark is good enough for fifth place within the conference overall and sixth place within for the NBA as a whole . The Mavericks led by aging veterans , Nowitzki and Shawn Marion , could very well struggle during the latter part of their season , when health and attrition will play a great deal in what this team is likely to achieve . Coming off a two-point loss to the Denver Nuggets , the two teams will meet again on Monday night at the Pepsi Center in Denver , Colorado.

Now losers of five straight and eight of their last ten games , it is becoming extremely difficult to justify the hire of Jason Kidd , to coach the Brooklyn Nets . Furthermore, Kidd now at his worst by way of his coaching record, appears to be is no better than when Avery Johnson coached this franchise, but was summarily dismissed because of a player revolt. Nets’ GM Billy King and team owner, Mikhail Prokhorov , I believe will soon see the error of their ways , with this asinine and ridiculous hire. Take into account the team’s payroll and the rather asinine belief by anal retentive fans, that the Nets can spend their way out of trouble will actually make them a credible force within the NBA, this season . The Nets as a team, have no defensive presence and the contributory efforts of Paul Pierce , Kevin Garnett and Jason Terry , has bordered on being anemic to say he very least.

As if to further emphasize how bad the Brooklyn Nets just happens to be , only the lamentable Milwaukee Bucks (2-10) have a worst record in the entire Eastern Conference . Sunday’s twelve point home loss by Brooklyn to the Detroit Pistons , should be seen as a reverberating wake-up call for entire Nets’ front office , but with the recent announcement that both Billy King and Mikhail Prokhorov will continue to back their embattled head coach to the hilt . I guess, it will be only a matter of time , before we will either see Kidd fall on his sword and summarily re-sign or at the behest of the fans, King makes the decision to relieve the coach of his duties . No use , dressing up a pig and trying to suggest that it is a sow , because that in essence , is what the fans were asked to believe when Jason Kidd was hired to coach this team . His playing credentials were never in question , but his lack of coaching acumen has been on full show , a lack of discipline , and his not being able to communicate with his players, effectively shows this to have been an extremely poor hiring choice to begin with .

This baseball off- season, has been, one of a great deal of speculation and some rather surprising moves. The ongoing “dramedy ” of the Alex Rodriguez hearings , have taken on a life of their own and as a fan of the game , I do believe that this whole process, will not change a damn thing , as it pertains to the landscape within baseball ! The league hierarchy remains incompetent , the union simply overpowering , the owners greedy , and the vast majority of the players are simply disingenuous and under the impression that they still uphold a wonderful tradition , and nothing could be further from the truth .

In one of the more surprising moves , the Detroit Tigers sent Prince Fielder and the remainder of his gargantuan contract off to the Texas Rangers , in exchange for Ian Kinsler . Two under-achieving AL teams simply swapping juju beans, while Jack is still climbing to the top of the Beanstalk. From my own perspective, the Tigers have now reached their zenith, and their recent postseason forays under former manager Jim Leyland , suggests that this team, has nothing left to offer beyond, being very good during the regular season. While this move can be simply seen, as GM Dave Dombrowski seeking to get Fielder’s contract off the books , in order for the team’s pursuance of pitcher Max Scherzer and a contract extension , now seems one that might not be that costly , but it is still likely to leave Detroit with one of the highest team payrolls in all of baseball .

With no one being able to explain the financial mindset within the game of baseball, I believe that during this off-season , we are likely to see the game’s first $300 million player by way of long-term contract ! Some might deem this to be ludicrous, but consider the following, Alex Rodriguez is still on track to have career earnings from the game of $ 500 million , having signed two contracts exceeding $250 million apiece . No one has yet faulted the rationale behind any of the deals in question , but now with Robinson Cano and Clayton Kershaw being the two off-season marquee free agents , although the pitcher’s situation comes by way of his arbitration status . It would appear, that the Los Angeles Dodgers are eager to res-sign the pitcher and have all but promised to make him the highest paid pitcher in the game.

For Robinson Cano and his ubiquitous agent, Jay-z , it is his desire to be seen, as a legitimate conduit, able to “seal a deal” for his client. The New York Yankees can ill-afford to lose a player of Cano’s caliber, but at the same time with Hal Steinbrenner seeking to reduce the team’s payroll below his desired $200 million threshold , it will be a daunting task for GM Brian Cashman to re-sign the slugger and not actually “ break the bank “ .



Picture gallery.

From the outside looking in , this past sporting weekend has been an interesting but strange paradigm as a number of events have played themselves out on a very public scale for the sports’ fans in general . I cannot help but wonder, what now waits at the very next turn! What observations have you witnessed or would hope to see in the coming weeks within the world of sports ?

Picture and slideshow details below .


(1) Quarterback Tom Brady (12) hands off to running back Stevan Ridley (22) of the New England Patriots against the Denver Broncos during a game at Gillette Stadium on November 24, 2013 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. Brady would engineer a fourth quarter comeback for the Patriots , with the team defeating the Broncos 34-31 to win the game in overtime . Getty Images North America / Jared Wickerham ….

(2) Running back Montee Ball (28) of the Denver Broncos fumbles the ball in the third quarter against the New England Patriots during a game at Gillette Stadium on November 24, 2013 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. Getty Images / Jared Wickerham …..

(3) Quarterback Drew Brees (9) of the New Orleans Saints is pressured by outside linebacker Paul Worrilow (55) of the Atlanta Falcons during a game at the Georgia Dome on November 21, 2013 in Atlanta, Georgia. Getty Images / Kevin C Cox ….

(4) Chicago Bulls’ point guard Derrick Rose , who for the second time in three years has seen his NBA career curtailed by an injury . The player will be lost to the team for the entire season having torn an MCL in his right knee . The diagnosis , as we now know it to be , will be his having to receive arthroscopic surgery and then a long recuperation and rehabilitation process of possibly between twelve to fourteen months . AP Photo / Kerry Anderson ….

(5) Dallas Mavericks’ owner Mark Cuban seen here on the set of the ABC reality show ” Shark Tank” . Cuban in a recent statement believes that the NBA should allow the use of performance enhancing drugs within the game, to aid a player in the recuperative process after having suffered an injury . Failing to acknowledge the ongoing issues now facing baseball (MLB) , the gregarious owner still stands by his statement. courtesy of ABC/Disney Television …..

(6) Los Angeles Dodgers’ pitcher Clayton Kershaw seen here in the team’s dugout from a game earlier this season will be seeking a healthy pay increase . All signs are pointing to the fact that the player who is in an arbitration year will see his salary increase considerably , with the front office also offering the player a long-term deal , likely to make him the highest paid player on the team’s roster . AP Photo / Mark Todd …………

(7) Brooklyn Nets’ GM Billy King (left) is seen here alongside the team’s head coach Jason Kidd. With the team off to a horrendous start to the season , the front office has issued a public statement backing the beleaguered rookie head coach. NY Daily News / AP Photo/ Jose Figueroa ……






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NFL results week twelve

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NBA results 24th November 2013


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We tend to see what we want to see , and not what has actually taken place ….

We tend to see what we want to see , and not what has actually taken place

In light of the recent events taking place in the NFL and this constant insinuation that everyone is entitled to their right say whatever they want as a way of expressing themselves . At no time in any of the recent debates on the incident , have I read or actually heard the words , “ decency “ , “ common courtesy “ much less “ respect “ . And all of this built upon this still rather asinine premise, that this country being greatest on the planet , built upon Christian and moral values, can and should be seen as a beacon of light for the rest of the world .

I find it now hard to believe that anyone who has seen in print, the words of Richie Incognito directed towards his teammate Jonathan Martin and at his mother , can now view this as a place where everyone can see seen or treated as equals . If racism was meant to be tolerated in the workplace, then why not have it as a statute ? Clearly, not the case, of the charade that has been created in the NFL as a fraternity of brothers . Never mind the asinine idiocy of on air analysts, opining that this matter should have been dealt with as an internal issue or where a player walking out on his teammates after a racial epithet has been directed at him , cannot be trusted once he has opened up to press and public on the matter . Yet , this is now the idiocy that we are now seeing as the league hierarchy and NFLPA (union) begin to “circle the wagons” in seeking to defer and deflect the now mounting criticism directed at the NFL and its lack of oversight and its initial handling of this incident .


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Miami Dolphins’ GM Jeff Ireland did the right thing in suspending Richie Incognito without pay , and in ordering an immediate in-house inquiry , rather than having left it to the team’s now beleaguered head coach Joe Philbin to deal with the matter and whose job is likely to be on the line given the poor performances of the team this season and his own handling of the incident in question, and those initial public statements, claiming that this was nothing more than an isolated incident , when it now seems , it was quite the opposite , with their being what appears to be a mounting feud between the two linemen on the team .

If it was known amongst many of the players on the roster , that there was some type of feud going on between the two players and with it escalating to the point of a physical altercation and now , an uncalled for rationale in Incognito’s behavior , then what should that now indicate to us about the NFL as a league where the players simply are allowed to run wild, have no respect for the law and who then often hide behind their wall of high-priced attorneys to fend of charges of a criminal act or intent . Yet excuses are now being made for this type of behavior, without a thought, about how this is all viewed by outside world . Especially one , where the league tries to sell its brand to the consumer and seeks out corporate partners willing to part ways with countless millions on an annual basis to increase this already $7 billion a year corporate entity with ever increasing revenues , which keeps the team owners , players and league hierarchy salivating at the prospect of ever increasing profits .

If you thought that this has been the only incident that placed Richie Incognito under the microscope in recent weeks , then you would be sadly mistaken . In an incident that is alleged to have taken place at a charity golf tournament , the player is said to have sexually harassed a female patron at a public in view of several members who then took it upon themselves to call in local law enforcement . Yet, here we have another incident of a player on the Dolphins’ roster having ran amok, albeit action was said to have been taken , there seems to be no record of a monetary fine or disciplinary action having been taken against the player subsequent to that particular incident . Now what has anyone got to say about the issue, other than to continue with their usual apathy disinterest ?

For the Miami Dolphins and their own impoverished t season , one where the team is in a circling motion as it awaits the call to land . It does seem, as if this conflict or saga is more likely to pull the organization apart , rather than hold it together. There is not one player amongst this lineup , who one can look to and call that individual the team’s vocal leader and with the constant struggles of quarterback Ryan Tannehill on display each week during this season . Is anyone actually surprised that at this juncture, the talk is not about what the Dolphins have failed to achieve in 2013, but the fact the team now has a possible racist within their mix, with no apparent formal apology yet to have been offered by Richie Incognito for his behavior ? Obviously a microcosm of society , where some have no wish to be held accountable for their actions, but who then would choose to play the “victim” instead , as has been the case in the first public interview granted by the player. Meanwhile, Jonathan Martin has hired himself high-powered criminal attorney David Cornwell , in what is likely to be a situation where some type of civil suit is likely to be brought against either the Miami Dolphins, or Richie Incognito , himself . And clearly, this has been the reason why NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith has summoned both players to the union’s headquarters to seek a resolution in this matter, before it becomes a rather unsavory legal issue . Bear in mind also , that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has also hired an outside investigator head up the league’s own investigation as to what took place between Richie Incognito and Jonathan Martin . Corporate litigator, Ted Wells , has been the individual hired by the league to head up the investigation in this matter .

With all eyes now on the Miami Dolphins , for the team, their urgency will actually evolve around how they acquit themselves on Monday night , when they meet the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-8) , as the two teams get underway in a contest at Raymond James Stadium , in Tampa Florida . While the Dolphins have their own off the field issues , for the Buccaneers their problems this season , have been longstanding as the team has struggled throughout the entire year , with nothing of note coming by way of head coach Greg Schiano or his coaching staff . The game itself, is likely to be one of the less intriguing contests taking place during week ten of the NFL schedule. So make of it what you will and enjoy whatever you believe to be some of the more intriguing contests on the NFL menu for the weekend

There is no denying that a team’s season can be made or broken in one moment of what appears to have been a rather innocuous incident in terms of an injury . In the case of the Green Bay Packers , the loss of quarterback Aaron Rodgers to a broken collarbone , could very well bring their season crashing down around their ears . The alternatives for Mike McCarthy in terms of a substitute for Rodgers can best be described as having a Ferrari in your driveway and then in comes in a 84 Dodge Pinto alongside a ’91 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme . Far be it for me to make this suggestion , but Packers GM Ted Thompson must now have realized that his office made a monumental mistake in the waiving of Vince Young at the end of the preseason , after the player showed a great deal of promise during the team’s exhibition games . Which is a great deal more than can be said of Seneca Wallace and Scott Tolzien combined , who are in fact the number two and the three players behind Rodgers on the team’s depth chart at the quarterback position

When Green Bay play host to the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday afternoon at Lambeau Field , in Green Bay , Wisconsin , Seneca Wallace will be making his first start in an NFL game since playing for the Cleveland Browns in contest against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the 2011 NFL season . That asides, a great deal is being asked of player, whose NFL career can best be described as spotty in part or moderately average . A win is certainly needed by the Packers if they are to maintain their slender but slight lead over the Detroit Lions (5-3) and Chicago Bears (5-3) within the NFC North . In what is now turning out to be a tightly contested division , the three aforementioned teams will be fighting out until the end of the season with their divisional games likely to be the “make or break” that could prove to be the real pivotal factor decider within the division

In what is now turning out to be a disastrous season for the Atlanta Falcons , it is becoming increasing difficult each week to explain how a team that was originally seen as a favorite alongside the New Orleans Saints (6-2) as the duo thought to be fighting it out for divisional supremacy within the NFC South . Instead, but for the win-less Buccaneers, Mike Smith’s Falcons would now be finding themselves at the bottom of the division with their mediocre record of 2-6 , a mark that would also place them in the bottom half of the conference (NFC) . As of now , it looks as if the Falcons are not only playing for pride and self-respect, but also to determine perhaps their draft position for the 2014 NFL Draft . The real issue Atlanta this season, has been the inconsistency of their defense alongside under-achieving players on both sides of the ball . As to their being leadership on a team that has several seasoned veterans and perhaps one the league’s more consistent passers in Matt Ryan . An explanation has to be sought, as to why the Falcons have been a miserable failure . Mike Smith serves up very little, beyond the usual diatribe of platitudes and a great deal of rhetoric . GM Thomas Dimitroff , is now viewed with a great deal of contempt by the fans , as he is viewed as the architect of the roster over the past two years , with an abundance of draft picks and a number of questionable off-season acquisitions .


As Atlanta prepares for the visit of the Seattle Seahawks (8-1) to the Georgia Dome in a conference match-up this Sunday, it would be safe to say, a defeat here and there may well be questions raised as to whether or not Mike Smith has taken this franchise as far as he can , in spite of the recent postseason appearances , where once again his teams have failed abysmally , along with Matt Ryan, and his multi-year , mult-million dollar contract . I have no doubt that the quarterback will remain the centerpiece of this team , but there are several players on this roster , who are now past their “sell by date” in terms of their dwindling productivity . We will either find out a great deal about the temperament of the Falcons this Sunday or we are likely to witness a team who has lost the appetite to win.

The façade long-held up that the NFL cares , and specifically about the health of their retired veterans continues to take repeated hits . In recent breaking news , Hall of Fame running back Tony Dorsett was recently diagnosed with chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) , along with the early onset of Alzheimer’s Disease. Repeatedly, I have heard and read comments by fans and analysts alike stating that these players know the risk of participating in a physically demanding and full contact sport. Yet what seems to be missing in this ongoing debate , has been the years of research that was in the NFL’s possession on the studies conducted by a well-qualified medical team conducting studies in blunt force head trauma and other neurological disorders associated in playing professional football. A great deal of the of findings when published was never entered into the public domain , with that evidence remaining in the NFL’s possession . with both Roger Goodell and his predecessor Paul Tagliabue refusing to acknowledge the “cause and effect ” of CTE and blunt head force trauma. Excuses from all around, came from veterans , current players, coaches and fans alike . But it was not until the recent deaths of Junior Seau , and previously that of Dave Duerson , both from self-inflicted gunshot wounds, recorded officially, as a homicide, that the fans and public alike started to take note . Congressional Committees were convened, all to no avail , with the usual perfunctory answers being proffered up by Roger Goodell, and DeMaurice Smith .

Courtesy of USA Today

Dorsett among former players showing signs of CTE
Dorsett admits suicidal thoughts

By Maggie Hendricks

Chronic traumatic encephalopathy is as familiar to football fans as a torn ACL or ruptured Achilles. It’s the degenerative brain disease that has been blamed for the suicide and untimely deaths of players including Junior Seau, Dave Duerson and Chris Henry. Some researchers have linked CTE to football head trauma and cited long-term effects such as depression and dementia. The unfortunate truth of the disease was it could not be diagnosed until after death.

However, UCLA researchers have preliminary results on a test to diagnose signs of CTE in living former players. Among those diagnosed in the initial sample group is Tony Dorsett, the Hall-of-Famer who is now 59 and struggling with depression, emotional outbursts and memory loss.

He spoke to ESPN’s Outside the Lines about how it’s affecting his life.

“It’s painful, man, for my daughters to say they’re scared of me. I’ve thought about crazy stuff, sort of like, ‘Why do I need to continue going through this?’” he said. “I’m too smart of a person, I like to think, to take my life, but it’s crossed my mind.”

The report said researchers notified Dorsett Monday. In an appearance Wednesday on ESPN, Dorsett acknowledged he had been tested at UCLA and received results.

“I’m trying to be proactive rather than reactive,” he said.

Joe DeLamiellure and Leonard Marshall are going through similar problems, and were also diagnosed with signs of CTE. The NFL recently settled a lawsuit with former players over ongoing health issues from concussions (including a Dorsett), so these men are likely not alone.

While it’s heartbreaking that these men are dealing with this diseased at such a young age, it’s also good news that researchers are getting closer to diagnosing, and possibly treating, CTE in the living.



A recent civil suit settled in the US Federal Court has not really done anything to actually absolve NFL of their responsibilities , as they simply patted themselves on the back along with fellow defendants the NFLPA, in avoiding having to make a multi-billion dollar payout, as the plaintiffs (4,300 retired NFL veterans) in the case settled for a $1 billion settlement , that will be used for further medical research , as well assisting players such as Dorsett and many of his peers, who now find themselves in a similar position from a medical standpoint. That settlement figure will hardly make a dent in the NFL’s annual $ 7.4 billion in revenues , especially when one considers that the payout will not be a lump sum. . The fact of the matter is, the more it is alleged that the NFL cares, there is very little evidence to actually substantiate the actual claims being made . In truth, the NFL hierarchy has hidden behind a great deal of deceit and along the way, sought to throw out many of the original legal suits filed against them in the various courts around the country at the varying levels within the legal system. Now with the various medical articles published from accredited medical institutions within the field neuroscience and gerontology , it begs the question, why is it , that at every turn , the NFL so willing to discredit the findings of these esteemed practitioners in the field , when their own research and findings bore out and came to the very same conclusions from academic establishments such as Johns Hopkins , Stanford University School of Neuroscience , Harvard School of Medicine & Neuroscience , UCLA Dept of Neurology , Sloane Kettering and the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) ? It seems incredulous that many are now trying to acknowledge that the NFL has become proactive , after so many years of denial on their part. The only reason that Roger Goodell and the league hierarchy chose to do an about-face on the issue , was clearly , because of the adverse and negative publicity towards the NFL and the public relations’ hit that the league itself continued to take , because of their poor handling of the issue

Tony Dorsett has joined a growing list of players recently retired as well as many of his peers who now face a very uncertain future in terms of their well-being. Advances made in the field of neurology have been considerable , but there are no cutting edge breakthroughs that have come to the fore. Unfortunately, for the likes of Bernie Kosar , Jim McMahon , Dorsey Levens and the aforementioned Dorsett , their years will be ones where memory loss chronic headaches and numerous other medical ailments associated with Alzheimer’s and CTE will play an even greater part in their daily lives , more than they would each care to acknowledge. In the midst of this all, Roger Goodell’s only public statement on this issue has been that the league set aside $1 billion as a settlement , yet what he also failed to state , that to date less than $50 million has been used to assist the numerous plaintiffs who sought the league’s help. Somehow the alleged caring we are so often told about as it relates to the NFL , has simply been for show and not much else. Good deeds within a community is one thing , but the greater disservice by the NFL has been their continued deceit and the mistreatment of retired seasoned veterans . .



Picture gallery.

Your thoughts if any on the points raised in this article and anything else you believe pertinent to the subject matter at hand . Simply leave a comment as you see fit, and thanks as always for the continued support !


Picture and slideshow details below .


(1) Beleaguered Miami Dolphins’ head coach Joe Philbin who has come in for a considerable amount of criticism of the Richie Incognito scandal that has cast a giant shadow over
the organization . Unsubstantiated sources, now state that Philbin was not made aware of the alleged abuse or any physical altercation that was alleged to have taken place at the team’s training facility in Davie , Florida or in the team’s locker room at Dolphins’ Stadium , in Miami , Florida between Richie Incognito and Jonathan Martin. Either the head coach, simply does not keep himself abreast of problems amongst his players or he simply chooses to ignore them until something rather drastic has happened . Miami faces the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in a Monday night game at Raymond James Stadium , in Tampa , Florida, on the 11th November , 2013. With a great deal on the line for both teams , a victory is of the utmost priority for each franchise. AP Photo / Mark Carter …..

(2) In a yet to seen interview that will be shown on the Fox Sports Channel (Fox Sports 1) and various affiliates Richie Incognito of the Miami Dolphins will sit down with Fox’s Jay Glazer to discuss his side of what has now become a very unsavory story. Incognito states that he feels betrayed by teammate Jonathan Martin , in his going public much of what has gone concerning an apparent altercation and Incognito’s racially insensitive tweet , which speaks of the player and his mother in racially derogatory terms , Perhaps someone should remind a buffoon such as Richie Incognito (right) that once you use a social media platform such as ‘ Twitter ‘ , it is extremely difficult to disprove the fact that you did not make those statements , if it is your own personal account used and then you have made a number of your own teammates aware of your actions . @ copyrighted photograph all rights reserved .

(3) Miami Dolphins’ defensive linemen Richie Incognito (68) and teammate Jonathan Martin (71) are seen here on the sidelines for the team during a game earlier this season. In what is said to have been an incident that allegedly took place within the team’s locker room , Martin was said to have left the Dolphins’ headquarters to make his way back to California to be alongside his family. For Incognito , he now has to explain to the world why he used racially derogatory terms aimed at Martin as well his teammate’s mother. Richie Incognito’s intelligence does not appear to be that high, along with the Miami Dolphins’ own intellect on the field of play this season . Getty Images / Gabe Potter …

(4) Seneca Wallace of the Green Bay Packers will replace the injured Aaron Rodgers when he starts for the Green Bay Packers in their Sunday afternoon game against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lambeau Field in Green Bay , Wisconsin ,. This will be the backup’s first game as a starter since a 2011 regular season contest against the Pittsburgh Steelers when playing for the Cleveland Browns . With the Packers at 5-3 jointly sitting atop of the NFC North alongside the Chicago Bears and Detroit Lions , a win for the will be of their utmost priority on Sunday . Getty Images / Ryan Hart ……

(5) Atlanta Falcons’ head coach Mike Smith is seen here on the sidelines talking to team quarterback Matt Ryan (2). A disastrous season in terms of the team’s season has left them clinging for dear life with a 2-6 record lying in third place within the NFC South and likely to miss the playoffs . GM Thomas Dimitroff during this upcoming off-season will have to make several tough decisions concerning the team’s roster and its makeup as a precursor to next season . AP Photo / John Raoux ……

(6) Hall of Fame running back Tony Dorsett recently diagnosed with CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy) , a neurological degenerative disorder brought on by repeated hits and a bye product of concussions after repeated hits to the head, causing the brain to become swollen and bruised . A further bye-product of this also, can be long and short-term memory loss and the early onset of Alzheimer’s disease. Dorsett whose playing career was highlighted by his tenure with the Dallas Cowboys , was one of the NFL’s greatest rushers in the league’s history . Getty Images North America / Helen Richardson …..


tophatal ………………. 2013/10/2013


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Let The Fun And Games Begin ……….. When You’re Ready Please NFL ?

Let The Fun And Games Begin ……….. When You’re Ready Please NFL ?

It’s been pretty much an offseason of discontent within the NFL with the owners , players and league hierarchy suddenly realizing that the start of the season is merely around the corner . Never mind the fact that teams haven’t really been able to conduct their OTA’s at their respective training facilities . In that respect the whole preseason and initial start of the regular season due to begin on the 8thd September could very well offer the fans a product that could be so bland and meaningless that it might have us wondering whether or not it wasn’t worth completely abandoning the season altogether . No one wants to see an on field product that by three or four three that could be so out of sync and mediocre that given the fact that the fans will be asked to pay a sizable sum to witness this all . And if as is being proposed we could very well see a preseason that will have to forgo two of the four scheduled games then any sort semblance of cohesiveness could very well be something that the fans are not liable to see at all .


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Slide show for your perusal .

With that in mind of all the teams that I witnessed over the course of last season none more so than the Atlanta Falcons had me wondering how good could this team really be . Granted , their postseason foray ended somewhat abruptly but I put that down to more inexperience more than anything else . The team’s coach Mike Smith and his coaching staff seem to have found that semblance of cohesion and consistency that many teams yearn for in the league but so few are able to find it . Having won the NFC South rather comfortably, posting a 13-3 record within the league . Many felt that the team led my their Pro Bowl quarterback Matt Ryan could very well have pulled off a major surprise during the postseason. This season if anything a great deal is expected from this team and in particular by their erstwhile fans . The era of Michael Vick is long gone and but a distant and quickly fading memory . Team owner Arthur Blank and the front office headed by GM Rich McKay know that they were fortuitous not only in the hiring of Mike Smith as the team coach but also in their drafting of Matt Ryan .

I’ve no doubt that this season could very well see this team prove to be dominant but that being said I also believe that the NFC South could very well be a highly competitive division. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers , alongside the New Orleans Saints should prove to be formidable and with the Carolina Panthers no doubt looking to their overall number one pick from this year’s draft Cam Newton to simply show the Panthers’ fans what he’s made of . Who knows where the season could very well take us ?

Rich McKay and the scouting department made some prudent choices in the NFL Draft that will prove to be productive for the Falcons’ organization as a whole . And with those selections being strategically rendered with there being an assortment of offense and defense to bolster the needs of the team . The prize pick was wide receiver Julio Jones who will no doubt compliment what is already a formidable offensive presence alongside Michael Turner , Roddy White , Tony Gonzalez and Brian Finneran . And from a defensive standpoint this team can only get better as they being to gel more as a cohesive unit . But in retrospect it does all come down to have a balance on both sides of the ball and here too the Falcons aren’t necessarily lacking as the offense when having found its rhythm can be as good as any within the league .

Now would it be remiss to suggest that the Atlanta Falcons are not good enough to be considered amongst the NFC favorites for the Superbowl ? I think that perhaps not given that no one could really have foreseen the Green Bay Packers coming out of the NFC as conference champions much less wining the title itself . If anything all eyes were perhaps on the New Orleans Saint or Chicago Bears from last year as it related to the postseason. I read with interest where a fellow blogger within this medium suggested that the next young quarterback within the league who is on the cusp of leading a team and actually winning the Superbowl will be the Bears’ Jay Cutler . Yes the that Jay Cutler who essentially baulked and walked away from his team when they needed him most . For all of Brian Urlacher’s traits , facing reality doesn’t seem to be one of those , especially in light of the player coming to his quarterback’s defense by saying that ‘…..Cutler was a warrior and one of the hardest working players in the league as well as one of the best players at the position in the entire NFL’ . Obviously Urlacher hadn’t been taking much note of what happened in the Bears’ meltdown and their subsequent 21-14 loss to the Packers much of which could be squarely placed on Jay Culter’s shoulders for the team’s demise in the NFC title game .

As to the ongoing impasse between the league and NLFPA I would certainly like to be optimistic with regard to what I have been hearing via the various news sources . But given the fact that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has handled this situation with about as much precision as a one armed individual being asked to juggle an explosive device . I think that it’s pretty safe to say that this episode is far from over as it relates to the present work stoppage . For all of the pontificating , finger pointing and in the end so called accord that we are now seeing from all sides with Goodell and his union counterpart DeMaurice Smith of the NFLPA issuing a joint statement focusing on the two sides close to reaching an accord , I for one won’t believe it until I hear that an agreement has been reached , a binding contract signed and we are told the league will indeed begin its regular season schedule on time . Anything short of that I will still deem to be a complete failure !



Picture gallery for your perusal .

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

Picture and slide show details below .


(1) FILE – This May 24, 2011, file photo shows Atlanta Falcons rookie receiver Julio Jones, left, greeting quarterback Matt Ryan before an informal football workout, in Buford, Ga. Ryan and Jones haven’t let the NFL lockout stop them from beginning a new friendship. AP Photo/David Goldman …..

(2) NEW YORK, NY – APRIL 28: NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell (L) poses for a photo with Julio Jones, #6 overall pick by the Atlanta Falcons, holds up a jersey on stage during the 2011 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on April 28, 2011 in New York City. Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images ………

(3) Carolina Panthers’ Cam Newton, rear, looks on as teammate Steve Smith, center, calls a play at his youth football camp in Charlotte, N.C., Friday, June 17, 2011. It was another bonding experience for what will be one of the most scrutinized quarterback-receiver combinations in the NFL _ if Smith stays in Carolina. AP Photo/Chuck Burton ……

(4) Robert Kraft, owner of the New England Patriots, right, talks with Jerry Richardson, owner of the Carolina Panthers, as they arrive for meetings in Rosemont, Ill., Tuesday, June 21, 2011. Owners gathered to discuss the status of negotiations with the players for a new collective bargaining agreement. AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh ……

(5) Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy shows off his Super Bowl ring Thursday, June 16, 2011, in Green Bay, Wis., after the NFL football team’s ring ceremony at Lambeau Field. AP Photo/Mike Roemer …..

(6) NFL commissioner Roger Goodell with team owners and legal counsel for the league . Getty Images/ Hannah Foslien ……

(7) Sam Shields (37_ of the Green Bay Packers intercepts the game’s final pass and runs for 32-yards to seal the 21-14 victory for the Packers against the Chicago Bears in the NFC Championship Game at Soldier Field on January 23, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois.
Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images North America ….

(8) Quarterback Jay Cutler (6 ) of the Chicago Bears celebrates his six-yard touchdown run with Devin Hester (23) against the Seattle Seahawks in the second quarter of the 2011 NFC divisional playoff game at Soldier Field on January 16, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. Johnathan Daniel / Getty Images …….

(9) After a failed coaching experiment four years ago, Falcons owner Arthur Blank, left, is thrilled with the job Mike Smith, right, has done with the team. Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images …..


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NFL Schedule 2011 subject to change

Atlanta Falcons

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Atlanta Falcons’ schedule 2011

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You Were Told Not To Do It So Why Disobey ……….?



The Boston College  Eagles  saw fit  to fire  their football coach Jeff Jagodzinski .One could question the  temerity of the  AD  Gene De Fillippo to  fire  the  head  coach. But  he  was implicitly told  not to interview  for  the  vacant  head coaching position with the  NFL’s  New York Jets.





And  as much  as one could  view this  a restraint  of  trade.  The AD  was  quite  within  his rights to act in such a way. But what ought one  to  make  of  Jagodzinki’s own desire to coach within the  NFL.  It’s every  college coach’s  ambition  to aspire  to  coach in the professional ranks.  As it now stands  the  Jets  are  still in their  search  process  for  what  they deem to be  the  right candidate.   They’re  holding  interviews   but  as  of  yet an  official announcement  has  yet  to be  made.    With the fallout that  has taken  place  since the abrupt firing  of   Eric Mangini and  the  apparent  abrupt end  to their  season.   One can only  surmise  that  the Brett Favre  saga ,  trials and  tribulations  may  well  be over  with the  franchise.   He’s stated that  it  is  his  intention  to  think  over  his  decision  carefully.    If  it’s  anything  like  those of  the  past  concerning   his  on  and  off   decision  making  as  to  his  career.  We  may   well  be  in  for  the  sort  of  idiocy  not  seen   Gov Sarah  Palin sought  to  allay  us  with the  fact that  she was  ready  to  serve  as  Sen. John McCain’s  vice  Presidential  running  mate  when seeking  the  presidency.






Boston College  AD Gene De Fillippo makes the announcement  that head  coach  Jeff  Jagodzinski  would be fired ................




Boston College  AD Gene DeFillippo makes the announcement  that  head  coach Jeff  Jagodzinski had  been fired after the  coach  interviewed for  the  vacant  head  coach’s position with the New York Jets.  DeFillippo  had warned  his  coach  that in  seeking  the  position  he  would  be  fired  with  cause. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Steve  Savoia …………………………..






As to Jagodzinki’s  future  it is wholeheartedly felt  that he  may  well  find  his way  back  into the  college  ranks.  From the  NFL  standpoint  it’s  hard  to  say  whether or  not he’ll be hired a franchise  within  the NFL.  Bearing  in mind  that Jagodzinski is  still  under  contract  having signed  a five year  deal  which he was just  two years into.  It  begs  the  question  where’s  the  loyalty ?   Players  have  to  sit out  a year  should  they  seek  to  leave  a Division 1-A program for  elsewhere.  No such  thing  when it  comes  to  a coach  who  eschews  such  things.  Perhaps finally  this  is the  sort  of  thing  whereby  when  you’re  obligated to a  contract you honor  it.




Jeff Jagondzinski  the now former coach of  the Boston College  Eagles ..................
Jeff Jagondzinski the now former head college football coach of the Boston College Eagles ................


Jeff Jagondzinksi the now  former  coach  of the Boston College  Eagles.  Jagondzinski sought to interview  for the  vacant position  with  the  New York Jets. Having  been  warned  by the  AD that he  would  be fired  were he to  go ahead with  and interview  for the vacancy.  picture appears  courtesy of  ap/photo/ Adam  Hunger………. 




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