The Learning Curve ….

By Tophatal

There seems to be a disconnect in the world of sports at present with so many stories now ongoing. The NFL provided fans with its usual litany of events which have blotted the horizon. Off the field, the saga of Adrian Peterson has taken center-stage.The league hierarchy has seen fit to pursue the Minnesota Vikings’ running back and his refusal to meet with the league to discuss their ongoing issues as to what they believe fitting a punishment. Adrian Peterson plead his case within the legal system in the state of Texas, where Peterson and the District Attorney’s Office agreed to a plea deal. The running back has already sat out nine of the Vikings’ ten games this season , leading to their miserable standing within the NFC Northand conference.

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Coming off a road loss to the Chicago Bears,dropped the Minnesota Vikings to a 4-6 recordwithin their division, with little to suggest Mike Zimmer and his coaching staff have any idea how to take theteam out of their present rut. The league’s handling of the Peterson saga has left many wondering how Roger Goodell’s inconsistency in dealing with player misconduct can be so incomprehensible. This whole saga along with the Ray Rice episode casts a dark image over the NFL and the league’s continuous misguidance and the statements now coming from their head office. Rice is in the midst of an arbitration hearing where he seeks his reinstatement back into the league may well be the last straw for the commissioner, as he seeks to resurrect his own standing among the fans. Goodell is still backed by the team owners, but one more misstep by the commissioner could lead to calls for his ouster by at least one senior franchise owner , if they feel the NFL’s image has been dragged further into the dust.

The Vikings’ fate now lies in their own hands with their being no sign of an imminent return of their Pro Bowl running back , well at least not by week twelve of the NFL season. In their upcoming game the Minnesota Vikings will play host to Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers. Rodgers has been on a blistering pace this season as he and his teammates seek to sow up the NFC North with a number of the leading competitors suddenly falling by the wayside. Green Bay for its part , took care of the Philadelphia Eagles with a robust 53-20 victory , inflicting the Eagles with their biggest loss of the season. Somehow , I get the feeling Chip Kelly and his team have yet to learn the meaning of the word defense , let alone playing conservative football. The “gung-ho” attitude seems to be prevalent with the Eagles.

Kelly and the Philadelphia Eagles will certainly get their chance to hop back into the saddle when they face a disappointing Tennessee Titans’ team in week twelve of a home game at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on the 23rd November, 2014,. With Nick Foles currently sidelined due to injury Mark Sanchez will continue in the role as the team’s starting quarterback.

The Oakland Raiders’ (0-10) season continues to no avail with the team on a ten-game losing streak, showing no signs of life as the season has progressed. Raiders’ head coach Tony Sparano could very well in the throes of his last gasp of coaching the franchise, with team owner Mark Davis and GM Reggie McKenzie likely to make the decision to fire their head coach at the end of the season. The futility shown by the team has been comparable to the Detroit Lions’ season of 2008 when during their sixteen-game schedule, the Lions failed to win a game.If there is fault to be apportioned , concerning the ineptitude of the Raiders , then it rests squarely on the shoulders of both Reggie McKenzie and Mark Davis , as they have repeatedly squandered the opportunities offered to make this franchise competitive. It is hard to believe the last time the Oakland Raiders won a divisional title , the AFC West or made the postseason came in 2002, the year in which they also won the AFC championship , only to then lose to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the Superbowl. In the aftermath of the postseason appearance, things have steadily gone downhill for the franchise, with their fans simply reliving the past of a bygone era of the Raiders.

It is difficult to suggest there are any bright spots to be found on this current Raiders’ roster. Quarterback Derek Carr has struggled to maintain a presence for the team. Defensively , the Oakland Raiders find themselves in a familiar position and with defensive coordinator Jason Tarver struggling to get this secondary going it has become abundantly clear to understand the many reasons why the Raiders have been so inept, without also pointing an accusing finger at Tony Sparano and offensive coordinator Greg Olson .

Darren McFadden , Maurice Jones-Drew, Andre Holmes , Denarius Moore , Sio Moore , Khalil Mack and the veteran Charles Woodson have floundered for the Raiders over the course of this season. When the Raiders play host to the Kansas City Chiefs at the O.Coliseum in a Thursday night game , there will be a great deal riding on the contest. Oakland will be seeking to gain their first win of the season, while Andy Reid and the Chiefs will be looking to get a leg up on the Denver Broncos , as these two teams fight it out for divisional supremacy within the AFC West. I would dare say, the San Diego Chargers (6-4) have no wish to be left out of the equation, as they remain a game behind both the Broncos and Chiefs for the divisional lead.

The Arizona Cardinals (9-1) keep on winning even with the sidelined Carson Palmer not being able to contribute a great deal to the team’s success this season. Head coach Bruce Arians, I believe is a justified front-runner to win the NFL Coach of the Year Award , but a great deal may well be predicated upon whether or not he can lead this team to their first divisional title(NFC West) since 2009 . You can either make the assumption the Cardinals are doing it all with “smoking mirrors” or state the San Francisco 49ers (6-4) and Seattle Seahawks(6-4) have been very inconsistent. The fact of the matter remains neither 49ers or the Seahawks have been able to match the consistency of the divisional rival , all season long.

Inasmuch, as the San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks were dominant last season within the NFC West and the NFC as a whole, this season , both teams have played “second fiddle ” to the upstart Cardinals, who are a mere two gamesaway from clinching themselves a postseason berth within the conference. Peter Carroll and Jim Harbaugh can only hope Arizona slips up over the remainder of their schedule , allowing either of their teams an entrance into the postseason. Arizona will hope to inch closer to that goal when they play the Seattle Seahawks at Century Link Field on Sunday afternoon in one of the best games scheduled during week twelve of this season.

Nothing in life is ever deemed to be fair, unless you happen to be privileged, by way of social status and wealth. The same might be said of the NFL seedings as the postseason beckons. Unfortunately, the league hierarchy under NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has never seen fit to revamp the system in order to allow teams with a better record than a divisional winner to be given a higher seeding. Looking at the prospect likely to unfold within the NFC South and we could very well see a team with a sub .500 record make their way into the postseason and at the same time deny another franchise a higher ranking (seeding) a berth. Granted, the wildcard entrants allows the the next four teams below the top two seeds within a conference , their chance of advancing further . I cannot help but wonder, how a number of these teams are likely to feel, should a 7-9 or 8-8 team from within the NFC South make it to the playoffs ! To say the the quality of football seen within the division where the Atlanta Falcons (4-6), Carolina Panthers (3-7), New Orleans Saints(4-6) and Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-8) reside gives credence to the fact the NFL is urgently in need of a dearth of talent as well as several really good head coaches would be an understatement. All four teams do not possess a winning record and for head coaches, Mike Smith , Ron Rivera , Sean Payton and Lovie Smith , this might be the worst season of their collective careers as a head coaches within the NFL .

The Buccaneers coming off their second win on the season , defeating the lowly Washington Redskins embodied the sheer ineptitude seen all season long within the NFC South. Perhaps, the lone bright spot on the Buccaneers’ season has been the play of their rookie wide receiverMike Evans who provided a scintillating display of speed and maturity beyond his years. How the Buccaneers go about resurrecting their season will be determined by the mindset instilled into the team by head coach Lovie Smith.

Smith will take the Buccaneers on the road to Soldier Field in Chicago , Illinois to face his former team the Chicago Bears whose season now seems to be spiraling out of control , with quarterback Jay Cutler being harangued from all quarters for his lack of leadership and dire performances this season. Marc Trestman might now be emerging as one of the leading candidates among the coaches whose heads are likely to be on the ” chopping block”. Trestman and GM Phil Emery could very well be on the outs once this season is over. Lovie Smith was fired in his last season with the Bears , having narrowly missed the postseason in 2012. A winning record (10-6) that year seemed to be lost on the Bears’ front office and the admirable effort made by Lovie Smith and his coaching staff that season. All signs now seem to be point to the fact the Chicago Bears may well seek to trade Jay Cutler rather than retain his services . His tenure with the Bears has seen more lows than highs and it must be said his contract with the team has not proven to be a prudent investment.

There is no denying Washington Redskins’ owner Daniel Synder has continued swinging for the fences , making audacious moves either via free agency or through the NFL Draft. Having acquired both Robert Griffin III and Kirk Cousins in the now heralded quarterback class of 2012. Things now seem to have taken a turn for the worst with neither Griffin or Cousins being able to perform adequately for the team this season. Injuries asides, with both quarterbacks having been sidelined at some point during their schedule. Jay Gruden’s faith in third string quarterback Colt McCoy was short-lived in spite of the player leading the Redskins to two of their three victories on the season. Neither side of the Washington Redskins’ offense seems to be clicking . On the wrong side of a lopsided defeat suffered at the hands of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, has embodied the Redskins’ season and justifiably shows why they remain at the bottom of the NFC East.

Washington will head West to face the San Francisco 49ers and Colin Kaepernick, as the host team looks to keep abreast with the Seattle Seahaws while still trailing the Arizona Cardinals by three games within the NFC West. This particular division was orginally viewed as a two-horse race between the San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks but this season along come the Cardinals to upset the applecart and turn everyone’s world upside down . There is a reality beginning to set in, either the Seahawks or Forty Niners could quite possibly miss the postseason if things continue as they are. In a recent discussion with an acquaintance , he made the statement that he felt San Francisco were still capable of notching double-digit wins and still make the postseason . Given the inconsistency shown by the team , their possible failure in missing the NFL’s end of season showcase spectacle, could come back to to haunt Jim Harbaugh and his coaching staff.

Pete Carroll and the Seattle Seawhawks are the defending Superbowl champions and their quest to make a successful defense of their title doesn’t yet appear to be in jeopardy , but there has to be a cause for concern for a team which has been sporadic with their performances over the course of the season. Russell Wilson has continued with his progress and now seems to be on his way to joining the elite players at the position within the NFL . Century Link Field in Seattle, Washington will be the ” place to be” as the red hot ticket game of the day on Sunday when the Seahawks host the Arizona Cardinals and it will be interesting to see how opposing quarterbacks Russell Wilson and Drew Stanton will fare in this highly anticipated contest with their being so much at stake for both teams.

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Picture gallery.

With the NFL season almost three-quarters of the way through its schedule, what do you feel has been the most disappointing event to have taken place during the year ? Also , which teams are likely to make a spirited push to gain a postseason berth as the schedule now becomes more suspenseful for the fans and the franchises with so much at stake ? It has been a learning experience not only for the rookie head coaches in the NFL this season but also for the rookies and sophomore players seeking to make their presence felt in the league. Simply chime in with your comments on this and anything else you believe relevant to this article and thanks as always for the continued support of this site as it has always been appreciated !

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Picture and slideshow gallery below.
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(1) Minnesota Vikings’ running back Adrian Peterson pictured here , has been reportedly suspended without pay for the rest of the season as the league hierarchy continues with their own investigation and possible further disciplinary action against the player for conduct detrimental to the league. Peterson reached a plea agreement with the State Attorney’s Office in Texas, after his being charged with child abuse . It was not the first time the player had been investigated for such an action. However, this latest incident was the first , in which law enforcement and Texas Dept of Child Welfare saw fit to file charges against Peterson . The league’s handling of this matter has come in for a great deal of criticism , with much of it being leveled at Commissioner Roger Goodell . Getty Images / Hugh Parker …

(2) Matt Forte (22) of the Chicago Bears runs past Sharrif Floyd (73) of the Minnesota Vikings during the third quarter on November 16, 2014 at Soldier Field in Chicago, Illinois. The Chicago Bears defeated the Minnesota Vikings 21-13. Getty Images/ David Banks …

(3) Jay Cutler (6) of the Chicago Bears tries to score on a run but is stopped by Xavier Rhodes (29) of the Minnesota Vikings during the third quarter on November 16, 2014 at Soldier Field in Chicago, Illinois. Speculation has began mounting the Bears will seek to trade the quarterback after a troubled season with the franchise. GM Phil Emery has not issued a public statement on the matter but there appears to be mounting speculation a trade is likely . Cutler is still owed $16.5 million of his original $126.7 million deal signed in 2012 of which $54 million was guaranteed . Getty Images /David Banks …

(4) In the foreground Oakland Raiders interim head coach Tony Sparano and the team’s GM Reggie McKenzie . The Raiders are off to a dismal start this season , having gone win-less and they are now 0-10 , still seeking their first victory of the season . McKenzie and team owner , Mark Davis recently traveled to San Antonio to visit with local politicians , with a view to gauging their interest in having the franchise relocate to the city . No details were imparted by the franchise and the NFL have not made their thoughts known on the issue , where league approval would be sought before such a move could take place. AP Photo/ Philip Davis …

(5) Arizona Cardinals’ quarterback Drew Stanton (5) attempts a pass during a game against the St Louis Rams . With Carson Palmer still sidelined, Stanton has been inserted into the lineup stepping up from his backup role on the roster . The Cardinals have the best record (9-1) in the NFC and the league overall. Arizona seeks to upset the apple cart by dethroning the Seattle Seahawks the NFC West champions for this season . AP Photo / Matthew Osgood ….

(6) Washington Redskins’ quarterbacks Robert Griffin III(10) , Kirk Cousins (8) and Colt McCoy (16) . McCoy has accounted for two of the team’s three wins this season, but for some apparent reason Jay Gruden does not appear to have any implicit faith in the third-string quarterback . This off-season there is likely to be a major upheaval of the playing roster with a number of players being traded or simply waived . GM Bruce Allen and Gruden will be left to make the decisions but there is likely to be a great deal of input from team owner , Dan Snyder . Getty Images / Matthew Robbins .. .

(7) A.J. Green (18) of the Cincinnati Bengals catches a pass as Rafael Bush (25) of the New Orleans Saints defends during the second half at Mercedes-Benz Superdome on November 16, 2014 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Cincinnati defeated the Saints 27-10 in the contest . Getty Images / Kevin C Cox …

(8) Drew Brees (9) of the New Orleans Saints calls an audible during the first quarter against the Cincinnati Bengals at Mercedes-Benz Superdome on November 16, 2014 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Getty Images / Kevin C Cox

(9) Wide receiver Mike Evans (13) of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers is tackled by corner-back Bashaud Breeland (26) of the Washington Redskins late in the third quarter at FedExField on November 16, 2014 in Landover, Maryland. The Buccaneers beat the Redskins 27-7 in a lopsided game . Getty Images / Patrick McDermott ….

(10) Colin Kaepernick (7) of the San Francisco 49ers meets his opposite number Russell Wilson (3) of the Seattle Seahawks center-field after a game between the two teams. This season both the Forty-Niners and Seahawks are having to play catch-up to the Arizona Cardinals who lead the NFC West by a three-game margin heading into week twelve of the NFL season. AP Photo / Mark Harris

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tophatal … 11/17/2014

Tophatal’s Blog on Facebook.com

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Where’s the soap ?

The 0-10 Raiders have been the butt of so many jokes this season , but here’s a butt and two boobs , I for one am not laughing at ! Round and juicy , and pleasing to the eye.

It’s not over ’til it’s over or is it ?

It’s not over ’til it’s over or is it ?

Well, week six in the NFL gave the fans a reason to believe this league has indeed decidedly taken a turn for the worse in terms of the play of the teams. Dire consequences were seen in the losses suffered by the New York Giants, New York Jets , Miami Dolphins , Jacksonville Jaguars , Tampa Bay Buccaneers , Minnesota Vikings and Pittsburgh Steelers . As to what this might suggest about these teams can be best judged by their respective records within their division, conference and league.

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As troubling as these results are said to be, other than the firing of Dennis Allen, formerly of the Oakland Raiders , there has yet to be second dismissal of an NFL head coach this season.The Raiders remain win-less and it is hard to imagine where their first victory is likely to come from , given the continually poor play of the team . A narrow three-point loss to divisional rivals the San Diego Chargers dampened the hopes of Oakland getting off the and so now we have a situation, where, there once again seems to be, lack of leadership on the roster and coaching acumen from the coaching staff led by interim head coach Tony Sparano .

In week seven the Raiders will face a tough test when they take on their former quarterback Carson Palmer and the Arizona Cardinals in a home game at the Oakland Alameda County Stadium (O Coliseum) in Oakland, California . If Oakland are to save their season much less redeem themselves, then a win is of the utmost priority for Tony Sparano and his team. This is not a game, which the Cardinals are likely to take lightly, even if they are seen to be the prohibitive favorites among NFL analysts and fans alike. I would dare say, the odds-makers in Las Vegas are licking their lips , savoring what they seem to be the outcome of a game that on paper would </aappear to be lopsided and favoring the visiting team.

I’ll say this for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers , they are increasingly finding new ways to embarrass themselves as players, their fans and the franchise as a whole. Lovie Smith has inherited a mess , but it now appears , he and his coaching staff are now piling on even more ineptitude with each passing week. A week four victory over the injury riddled Pittsburgh Steelers has been the sole bright spot for the, team but it should be noted the win was then followed by two consecutive losses, with the Buccaneers being outscored 85-48 in those defeats. Sunday’s loss was as embarrassing as the score suggests (48-17) , with fans at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa , Florida already leaving the venue before the beginning of the second half of the game , in their totally lopsided defeat, suffered at the hands of Joe Flacco and the Baltimore Ravens</a>.

<a href=”http://pro-football-reference.com/players/McCoJo01.htm”> Josh McCown has not fared all that well as a starter this season and with the insertion of Mike Glennon into the lineup, things have gone from bad to worse , with absolutely no one on the team showing any signs of life. So much for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers being seen as a likely challenger within the NFC South this season. About the only thing the Buccaneers might be on the road to challenging, has to be , who is actually the worst team in the NFL , not just by record but also in terms of sheer incompetence ?

There are several players on this current Buccaneers’ roster who are overpaid and not worth the salaries being paid out . GM Jason Licht may well have some serious decisions to make by the trade deadline and at the end of the season. In the short-term the team can be thankful , week seven is a bye-week , where they can lick their wounds and recuperate before proceeding to take on their next opponent the Minnesota Vikingsin week eight, a home game for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Kirk Cousins and Robert Griffin III are two players who are likely to becomean enigma for Washington Redskins’ head coach Jay Gruden as he seeks to coach and guide the team this season. With the Dallas Cowboys and the Philadelphia Eagles now locked in a tight divisional race within the NFC East , I can only surmise the Redskins’ chances have all but disappeared , likewise also, for the New York Giants.

Daniel ‘Dan’ Snyder may well be one of the wealthiest owners in the NFL , but the acumen now being shown within the front office of the organization he owns, can be best described as imbecilic and impetuous. Redskins’ GM Bruce Allen and his decision making has to be a cause of real concern, beyond the all too obvious inexperience of Jay Gruden as an NFL head coach. The Washington Redskins (1-5) are now firmly rooted at the bottom of the division and coming off their 30-20 loss to the Arizona Cardinals, the question has become , where does the team now go from here ? Up or down ? Taking their their play, I am inclined to believe the worst is yet to come !

Fedex Field, in Landover , Maryland, scene to some of the Washington Redskins’ greatest regular season triumphs will seek to add to that famed legacy when the team plays host to the Tennessee Titans this upcoming Sunday,19th October , 2014. With a great deal at stake , both teams will be seeking a much-needed victory. The contest could go either way but a great deal will be predicated upon the resolve shown by the opposing quarterbacks, likely to be Kirk Cousins and a fully recuperated Jake Locker , or whose backups on the Titans’ depth chart are Charlie Whitehurst and Zack Mettenberger.

Last season , Eli Manning made the statement , he believed , he remains one of the elite quarterbacks in the NFL. Granted, as a two-time winning Superbowl quarterback he has every right to believe it to be the case, Yet, his statistics do not bear that out in 2013 or this season as we enter week seven of the NFL schedule . The New York Giants (3-3) are laboring under a great of pressure and with the loss of wide receiver Victor Cruz the team’s issues are now further exacerbated by his season ending injury.

Tom Coughlin head coach of the Giants’ most recent Superbowl successes is likely to be under the microscope over the remainder of the season. The front office are acutely aware of the team’s issues and the likelihood the head coach could be fired , there is a thought GM Jerry Reese could make the decision to fire the head coach. Coughlin appears to have lost the confidence of the team beyond the fact of the team’s injury woes and lack of consistency shown this season, borne out by the Giants’ 3-3 record . What may well push the front office to take some action could be the lack of determination shown when the New York Giants lost their week six contest , a 27-0 blowout loss to Nick Foles and the Philadelphia Eagles . The game itself, was simply horrendous to watch from the standpoint of being a Giants’ fan as the team could do nothing right from the first snap of the ball until the final whistle was blown to end the match-up in the fourth quarter.

Eli Manning’s own future with the New York Giants could come into question, as there seems to be a belief the player lacks the drive and determination to lead this team. He has to my mind, simply rested on his laurels, because of the two Superbowl victories, rather than seeking to improve his play and set future goals and priorities . Not due to become a free agent until 2016 , Manning could become a sought after commodity should the Giants not seek to re-sign the player, but it appears highly unlikely he will be cut by the franchise, with the team having few alternatives as a backup to Eli Manning. The Giants will be the guests of the Dallas Cowboys at Cowboys Stadium, in Arlington, Texas, on Sunday, in a divisional contest where the Cowboys will be seeking to increase their lead within the NFC East over their divisional rivals.

In the contest, it will be interesting to see whether or not Cowboys’ running back DeMarco Murray can make it seven straight games of rushing for 100 yards or more , something achieved only by Hall of Fame running back Jim Brown when he ran for seven consecutive games of over one hundred yards in 1958 . This is a feat never achieved at all by legendary Cowboys’ rusher Emmitt Smith over the course of his career.

The Dallas Cowboys are playing like a team on a mission, with Tony Romo having his best start to a season in quite a long time with the team on a five-game winning streak which places them atop of the NFC East as well as having the best record in the NFC and league overall based on their streak . In this match-up against the New York Giants , I firmly believe the only way the Cowboys can incur a loss , is if they become complacent and simply believe they can look at this contest as a cakewalk . Over the last three seasons these divisional match-ups with between the two divisional rivals have brought the best and the worst in both teams. DeMarco Murray , alongside Philip Rivers and Peyton Manning are considered to be the front-runners for the AP League MVP, a title wonby the Broncos’ quarterback a record five times since 2003.

The more things change the more they remain the same and it could be said the call for the departure of Mark Sanchez from the New York Jets , where the final two years of his career with the franchise saw highs and many lows, brought about the call for change. The Jets’ drafting of quarterback Geno Smith was seen as a step in the right direction, but who could have foreseen Smith’s career with the Jets could be described as an unmitigated disaster. Smith has yet to show the alleged talents which made him a star at West Virginia .

Rex Ryan and his hapless coaching staff have led the team to a 1-5 start to their season in the AFC East. All of the rhetoric and pragmatism in the world cannot hide the fact the Jets are a very mediocre team with their being no vocal leaderon the roster, much less among the coaching staff. As if to emphasize the problems of the New York Jets this season , consider the fact in their most recent outing against the Denver Broncos , the team was blown out 31-17 , with their being no signs they were in a position to score a point , through a field goal attempt , passing or rushing touchdown. Defensively , the team was found wanting and Geno Smith’s performance was among the worst in week six of the starting quarterbacks on the day.

For the Jets their season, is now mired in mediocrity and there seems to be little sign, either Smith or his backup Michael Vick can lead the team out of their abyss. Things will not get any easierin the New York Jets’ next game when they are scheduled to meet AFC East divisional leaders the New England Patriots. With Tom Brady and the Patriots coming off their decisive win over the Buffalo Bills , this game against New England could place Rex Ryan’s job in a great deal of danger, should the team come away from this game with a loss. Jets’ GM John Idzik will have to make a long-term decision concerning his head coach and the coaching staff at the end of the season , because it has become abundantly clear , the coach has no real solution for the team’s ongoing woes.

The shakeup has begun and what was meant to be a two-horse race within the NFC West , is becoming a story of resurrection, though not necessarily redemption for Carson Palmer, as the Arizona Cardinals are riding high in the division , where last season it was something of a lottery pick, as the San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks toughed it out it out for divisional supremacy. The Seahawks came away with the Superbowl , with Russell Wilson having a spectacular postseason for the team. This season, both the Forty Niners and Seattle have faltered , allowing the Cardinals to take advantage of a division in the midst of what appears to be a shift in dominance.

If Bruce Arians can lead lead the Cardinals into the postseason, then there is the likelihood, he would be seen as a clear favorite to win the NFL Coach of the Year Award . I don’t believe there are any other close candidates, albeit, some might want to suggest Jason Garrett of the Dallas Cowboys is worthy of a mention because of the team’s early season start , but the season having already entered the second quarter of the season, there still remains a a great deal to play for , starting with week seven. Arizona will be the guests of the Oakland Raiders, who still seek their first win of the season, something I cannot see happening in this upcoming game , as I believe the Raiders are simply lacking in confidence, with Tony Sparano not being a great motivator of players, given his past head coaching experience and record .

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Picture gallery .

Through the first six games of this season what do you believe has been the biggest highlight of the year and which team or teams would you say have been the most disappointing ? Of the players said to be at the forefront of the League MVP race , which performance or set of performances have stood out the most ? By all means, do take time to leave a comment on this and anything else you believe is content related to this article and thanks as always for the continued support of this site !

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Picture and slideshow gallery details below.
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(1) Head coach Tom Coughlin of the New York Giants cheers on his team as they warm up before the start of a game against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field on October 12, 2014 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Giants suffered a 27-0 loss to the Eagles for one of the most lopsided defeats suffered by the team in a match-up between the two teams over the past eight seasons. Getty Images /Rich Schulz …

(2) Quarterback Eli Manning (10) of the New York Giants throws a pass during a football game against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field on October 12, 2014 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Getty Images / Evan Habeeb …

(3) Quarterback Eli Manning (10) of the New York Giants is sacked by Trent Cole (58) of the Philadelphia Eagles during the first quarter in a football game at Lincoln Financial Field on October 12, 2014 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Getty Images / Rich Schulz

(4) Torrey Smith (82) of the Baltimore Ravens celebrates after a nine-yard touchdown reception in the first quarter of the game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium on October 12, 2014 in Tampa, Florida. Getty Images North America / Joe Robbins …

(5) Mike Glennon (8) of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers looks to throw a pass in the first half of the game against the Baltimore Ravens at Raymond James Stadium on October 12, 2014 in Tampa, Florida. Getty Images / Joe Robbins …

(6) Quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) of the Washington Redskins talks with head coach Jay Gruden after defeating the Jacksonville Jaguars at FedExField on September 14, 2014 in Landover, Maryland. It was one of the few times during the season where the Redskins have played with some consistency , albeit , it was against a rather dull Jaguars’ team . Getty Images/ Patrick Smith …

(7) Washington Redskins head coach Jay Gruden talks with his quarterbacks, Robert Griffin III (10) and Kirk Cousins (8) during a first half timeout against the New England Patriots on August 7, 2014 in Landover, MD. Getty Images / Mark Hart ….

(8) Free safety Barry Church (42) of the Dallas Cowboys celebrates after breaking up a pass intended for wide receiver Doug Baldwin (89) of the Seattle Seahawks in the end zone during the first quarter of the game at CenturyLink Field on October 12, 2014 in Seattle, Washington. Getty Images North America / Steve Dykes …

(9) Running back DeMarco Murray (29) of the Dallas Cowboys celebrates with wide receiver Dez Bryant (88) of the Dallas Cowboys after scoring a touchdown during the fourth quarter of the game against the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field on October 12, 2014 in Seattle,Washington. Steve Dykes / Getty Images …

(10) Demaryius Thomas (88) span> of the Denver Broncos runs the ball in the first quarter during a game against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium on October 12, 2014 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Getty Images / Elsa Martinez …

(11) Geno Smith (7) of the New York Jets and Peyton Manning (18) of the Denver Broncos on October 12, 2014 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.The Denver Broncos defeated the New York Jets 31-17 . The two opposing quarterbacks had differing results on the day , borne out by their respective statistics . . Getty Images/ Elsa Martinez ….

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tophatal ……

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She comes baring some delightful fruits .

” The Tampa-Two Defense” now a takes on a whole new meaning , when Wendy Fiore comes into focus, unlike the Bucs’ defense which was nowhere to be seen this past Sunday .

Pick your poison ……..


Pick your poison

A very dire time in the world of sports, with the continued stupidity of athletes on exhibit on a daily basis , with fans simply seeking to excuse their behavior by using the premise of freedom of speech and the right for one to express themselves as they so wish . In a decade, where this country has sent off young men and women in a war of futility, with regard to Iraq. And where those members of the military upon on their return at the end of their deployments or careers , are treated more often than not as an afterthought , but an athlete without the decency to know the difference between right and wrong, is still given a “free pass ” for their venal behavior .

Incognito   &  Glazer
Richie Incognito is seen here in his first televised interview with Fox Sports’ Jay Glazer , as the player seeks to explain his side of the controversy that has exploded within the Miami Dolphins’ organization , leading to the player’s suspension without pay. NY Daily News @ copyrighted material …

Personally, I am of the opinion, that this country, simply has no damn morals or a right to cast itself as light of moral beacon or acceptance of all ! Venal and outright displays of racial intolerance coiled as a joke, shows nothing , but insensitivity and downright stupidity, and anyone seeking to condone that , in any form , is simply an ass ! Never mind the fact, one could ask, is the workplace an acceptable place to display that type of behavior ? I find it somewhat ironic that Fox Sports’ journalist Jay Glazer failed to ask that question of his interviewee, Richie Incognito of the Miami Dolphins , when the two sat down for an in-depth interview to be shown on the now overrated Fox Sports Network (FS1) !

Jacksonville   Jaguars
From left to right Jacksonville Jaguars’ general manager , David Caldwell , head coach Gus Bradley and team owner Shahid Khan . The front office for the moment appear to be showing their utmost confidence in the rookie head coach . Yet there are already cries for his firing by the fans after what has now turned out to be a disastrous season for the Jaguars. AP Photo / Rick Mason

In the NFL , as the league enters the final quarter of its season , a number of teams are simply thinking about next season and preparing for the upcoming NFL Draft . For the Jacksonville Jaguars and Tampa Bay Buccaneers , the two teams with the worst records in the league are now plummeting to even lower depths of mediocrity than anyone could have imagined this season . There is likely to be some type of major upheaval during the off-season, within the respective teams’ rosters as well as with the coaching staff. Gus Bradley’s position with the Jaguars now seems almost untenable and I believe that the Jaguars’ GM David Caldwell is likely to “call it a day” for the beleaguered manager with his being properly compensated , with the franchise honoring the remainder of his contract. In the case of Greg Schiano and the continued slump of the Buccaneers , dependent upon who you believe , he will either be retained for next season or he and general manager Mark Dominik are likely to meet to discuss his and the team’s long-term future.

The Buccaneers (1-8) find themselves at the bottom of the NFC South and they face a dire task when the play host to the equally abysmal Atlanta Falcons (2-7) this Sunday at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa , Florida. It would be fair to suggest that a win is of the utmost priority for both teams. Atlanta’s season has simply been one of repeated pratfalls by the team and the play of the team’s quarterback this season could be best described as understated. All this for a player who recently signed one of the most lucrative deals in NFL history in terms of guaranteed money for the player , that came by way of this deal . While Matt Ryan has proven to be a great regular season quarterback, the postseason and 2013 in particular , have simply been, not that kind.

Gus Bradley and the Jaguars are now simply bereft of talent , as the team’s best player, wide receiver , Justin Blackmon has been suspended indefinitely by the team , having violated the league’s substance for second time in two years . Given the fact, that Blackmon entered the league in 2012 as a first round draft pick and thought to be one of the most coveted wide receivers entering the NFL that season . It begs the question , is the player’s career now at an end after less than five years in the NFL, without his departure not being from a career ending injury, but because of a substance abuse problem ? Teams may well be inclined to give the player a second chance, but I am not so sure that Justin Blackmon is deserving of that chance , much less , having not shown any signs of maturity after his indiscretions and willful transgression of the league’s rules !

Matt   Ryan  and   Mike    Glennon
Matt Ryan of the Atlanta Falcons and Mike Glennon , right , of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers . The two opposing quarterbacks will meet this weekend in a week eleven contest between the two NFC divisional foes . Both teams are having lackluster seasons with their respective head coaches viewed as being on the “hot seat” . Courtesy of ESPN.com ….

Jacksonville has a scheduled contest with the Arizona Cardinals , this Sunday at Everbank Field in Jacksonville, Florida . That game could very well prove to be an indicator of the front office’s intent, should the match-up end in defeat for the home team , with David Caldwell perhaps making the decision earlier than anticipated in forcing Gus Bradley to relinquish his duties as the head coach of the beleaguered franchise.

At the trade deadline this season , there were not as many trades as many analysts had predicted or even suggested would actually take place. The common thought appeared to be that both Adrian Peterson and Jared Allen might be on their way out of after a disastrous season to date where the NFC North based Minnesota Vikings (2-7), who have not even been remotely competitive within the division or conference . It is becoming increasing difficult to see how either Leslie Frazier or GM Rick Spielman can conceivably retain their positions at the end of the year. Neither has shown a propensity with any clarity to suggest that the franchise is now on right track or that they know which players will best serve the Vikings for the future . The Minnesota Vikings are 2-7 and currently reside at the bottom of the division and having won only one of their last five regular season games and at this juncture it is difficult to envisage the team defeating the Seattle Seahawks when the two teams meet at Century Link (Qwest Field) in Seattle , Washington, in a Sunday afternoon contest.

Both Jared Allen and Adrian Peterson remain the most enticing pieces of trade bait on the Vikings’ roster and it is my firm belief that one , if not both of these players are unlikely to be with the franchise at the start of the 2014 NFL season ! Petersen to my mind, the best running back in the NFL , has this season been ill-served by team rendered meaningless , and with the ongoing health issues that surround the team’s starting quarterback Christian Ponder . The former Florida State Seminole quarterback since his entry into the NFL , has yet to have a game that would have you believing , he can be the answer for the Vikings short and long-term future needs at the position. In other words “ failure to launch” !

Allen    &   Peterson
Minnesota Vikings’ Adrian Peterson and Jared Allen (right) after a game played at Wembley Stadium, in London , England . The two players have been a part of the franchise for over six years with both having contributed greatly to the franchise. However, this season , without the recurring injuries the team has failed to meet the expectation of the fans and NFL analysts alike. Andrew Matthews/PA Wire ..

With five weeks remaining in the regular season , we are likely to find out a great deal about the teams thought to be in with a real chance of challenging for a postseason berth . Teams, such as the New York Giants , Green Bay Packers , Baltimore Ravens , Pittsburgh Steelers , Atlanta Falcons and Washington Redskins have proven to be a resounding disappointment this season . Injuries asides, there has to be a decisive reason, why these teams have failed abysmally. From my own personal standpoint, I simply believe that the talent level within the NFL is not all it is cracked to be, alongside a great deal of mediocre coaching coming from experienced and inexperienced NFL head coaches !

As the NFL season winds down , what are you most hoping to see from the remaining games on the schedule ? Also which teams do you believe have the best chance of making a deep playoff run ? Simply, leave a comment, on this article and anything else you believe pertinent to the subject.

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Ours is not to reason why , it is merely to …………

Ours is not to reason why , it is merely to …………

With NBA season having just begun and with the MLB season all but having reached its climax . It is good to know that the fans still have the NFL season going in earnest , even if the fans and those in attendance have been witness to some terrible performances this season . Speaking as a fan of the New England Patriots (6-2) , my loyalty is not in question , but my willingness to see this team ebb and flow in terms of their play this season has simply kept me wondering why I continue to endure such pain !

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As Bill Belichick continues to tinker with the defense alongside coordinator Matt Patricia , one can understand why even at this juncture things have simply not fared as well as they should ,. because of a lack of leadership within the secondary . The loss of Vince Wilfork cannot be made up by thinking that a number of first and second year players are ready to step into the fray . Never mind the fact that even with the return of Rob Groknowksi , this offense is far from the one witnessed .in 2012. Aaron Hernandez’s ongoing legal problems notwithstanding , the receivers on the team are nowhere the caliber of their counterparts of 2012. Danny Amendola is proving to be as soft as a baby’s backside and any type of innocuous injury has to be a cause of concern for the coaching staff as well as the front office , given financial outlay made to the player .

This upcoming Sunday , New England will play host to the struggling Pittsburgh Steelers (2-5) , as they look to make something of what is turning out to be something of a forlorn season . A loss in this game and questions may well be raised concerning the future of a number of players on the roster and quite possibly of the head coach Mike Tomlinson . To my mind , his dismissal would not be in the best interests of the franchise or that of the players . The real issue with the team has been a lack of depth in a number of key areas both on offense as well as defense . And the outcome of this contest may well come down to which team has the desire to win and also by way of time of possession in controlling the clock .

Can a clearer picture now be painted of how bad the Minnesota Vikings (1-6) just happen to be ? The longer the fans have to bear witness to this atrocity , the more one has to ask whether or not both Leslie Frazier and GM Rick Spielman should remain in their current positions. Having gone through their roster of struggling quarterbacks , this has become a team totally devoid of any substance or leadership , with the talents of both Jared Allen and Adrian Peterson being wasted this season . Hard to believe that this is the very same running back who came within a couple of yards of breaking the single season rushing mark of Eric Dickerson .

Now firmly rooted to the bottom of the NFC North the Minnesota Vikings are now playing for pride self-respect at this juncture . And even with the so called light at the end of the tunnel by way of an almost $1.5 billion facility expected to house the franchise for the 2016 NFL season . Does anyone really believe that by then this organization will be able to turn things around based on the current environment within the franchise ?

Leslie Frazier will take his team on Sunday to visit the equally abysmal Dallas Cowboys , a team that has continually underachieved over the past eight seasons , in spite of comedic and outlandish statements made by team owner Jerry Jones . Not far behind that context now appears to be wide receiver Dez Bryant , who recently proclaimed himself just as good a wide receiver as the Calvin Johnson of the Detroit Lions . Somehow Bryant’s statistics were not the equal of his opponent in the Cowboys’ inexplicable loss , where they led for almost three quarters of that contest . . It would be safe to say , that there will not be a great deal of interest in the contest between the Cowboys and Vikings this upcoming Sunday , other than for the fantasy geeks, seeking to gauge how their players acquitted themselves during the games in question .

The Boston Red Sox were able to pull off the victory (6-1) needed to secure that franchise’s third World Series in the past ten seasons . Manager John Farrell’s influence was clearly seen in the team’s play throughout this series and it was a great sense of achievement after a 2012 season that was filled with the comedic revelry and incompetence provided by Farrell’s predecessor Bobby Valentine > . If there is any justice to this 2013 season by way of the awards given , then Farrell should be a consensus favorite to win the AL Manager of the Year Award .

Game six was simply about the performances of two Red Sox players , most notably their starting pitcher John Lackey and the DH David Ortiz , whose legend with the franchise has now grown to legendary status , simply because of his career with the ball club. Anyone, who now feels that there will be a fall off from this team as next season approaches , his clearly misjudged the mindset within this organization . Farrell and his managerial staff along general manager Ben Cherington will undoubtedly seek to fortify the roster making the changes where necessary , while promoting from within . It is my belief that the Boston Red Sox will start as the clear favorites to retain and make a successful defense of their AL East title . I simply cannot see an aging New York Yankees’ roster or the cash starved Tampa Bay Rays or Baltimore Orioles making any inroads on a team who simply made a mockery of the division along with the rest of the AL , by way of their play and domination of the opposition throughout the season . The postseason pitching and offense of the Red Sox was very resolute and the managerial acumen of John Farrell was unquestionable .

For the St Louis Cardinals who came up short in this series , they can simply take heart from the fact that they acquitted themselves well , but during the six games of this best of seven series they were simply outplayed .

The NBA year tipped off on the 29th October , that for 2013 has begun a little earlier than usual . Yet for all of the nuances sought by David Stern to create an even greater allure for the fans and corporate endorsers alike . The league and its brand can only be sustained by the game’s elite stars and many of the more popular and successful teams . With the Boston Celtics having gone the through a major upheaval during the off-season with the departures of Kevin Garnett , Paul Pierce and Jason Terry as well former head coach Doc Rivers . It remains to be seen as to whether or not Brad Stevens as Rivers’ successor can lead a newly revamped Celtics’ roster to any type of success this season . It may well be a year or two before Rajon Rondo and his teammates can aspire to reach the level of success attained under his former coach .

An opening season 93-87 loss to the Toronto Raptors was not a cause for concern for Boston , but it may will certainly punctuate what it is likely to a season which will be gauged as something of a learning curve for this young and inexperienced team along with Stevens’ coaching assistants . Next up for the Celtics will be a home game against the Milwaukee Bucks as they seek to obtain their first win of the season within the Eastern Conference as well as the Atlantic Division .

So now, there is no chance of the Miami Heat going 82-0 , and I do believe that 81-1 is also unlikely ! As a reminder to ESPN’s contributors Skip Bayless and that proverbial fool Bill Simmons , who are of the opinion that the Heat will march unchallenged to another title . This team led by LeBron James , Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh will undoubtedly have a very good season and are likely to be dominant during their regular season schedule . Yet , they cannot and should not be placed in the same pantheons of those great Lakers , Celtics or even the Bulls’ teams that were so dominant during their impressive reigns . Granted , on paper this is a very good team , but beyond the mainstay of their big three and the sharp shooting Ray Allen , is there anyone who feels that there is a really great deal of depth to this roster ?

Out of the gate with a 1-1 record , it should be noted that while there should be no cause for concern as of yet . An opening night victory , against the Chicago Bulls at home, as the defending NBA champions was to be expected. However , what followed in their next game against the Philadelphia 76ers , on the night that Allen Iverson formally announced his retirement from the league , came as a jolt to many , as the Heat put on what can only be seen as a lackluster performance against a Sixers’ franchise that the champions have simply had the better of during their regular season meetings over the past few years . Erik Spoelstra need not be worried , as he is unlikely to lose his job this early in the season and his mentor Pat Riley is likely to see this as only a mere blip on the radar screen, as the team goes about their season . Yet to my own mind, I believe that this defeat came more out of a sense of complacency , more than anything else , with this team , as they were still busy celebrating last season’s triumph . The Heat, will look to rebound from that loss when they take on the Brooklyn Nets at their palatial venue the Barclays Center , in Brooklyn , New York on Friday night . With a combined payroll in excess of $215 million on display , one can only hope that the two teams will offer up something that can be deemed as being a highly competitive and entertaining game .

In the aftermath of the sale of the Sacramento Kings by the Maloof family to tech entrepreneur Vivek Ranadive . It will be interesting to now see where the franchise goes from here . Certainly not the league hierarchy, never mind David Stern’s failure to acknowledge what mismanagement of the franchise by the team’s then primary partners Joe and Gavin Maloof . To my mind , the NBA commissioner in spite of his alleged business acumen , is simply an opportunist, who prefers the glare of the spotlight upon himself and his achievements , rather than seeking to deal with many of the acute issues that currently affect the NBA . Stern was quick to originally back the plan of the sale of the Kings to Microsoft Chairman Steve Ballmer and venture capitalist billionaire, Chris Hansen , who planned to relocate the Kings to Seattle, Washington , thereby bringing back an NBA franchise to the city , after the hasty and surreptitious departure of the Seattle Supersonics . As if that deal was not underhanded enough, it should be noted that the commissioner promised the city that he would do his utmost hasten the return of NBA team back to the Northwest . Yet in the time, since the Sonics’ departure , very little has been done by the league hierarchy to assist in that venture .

Ballmer and Hansen’s original bid to purchase the Kings was considerably more than with the winning bid of Ranadive’s whose insistence that the franchise would be retained in Sacramento finally won the day with the NBA’s Board of Governors and with the city’s mayor Kevin Johnson , himself a former NBA player . It should be noted also , that Johnson also seeks to use public funds to aid the new ownership in making upgrades to the Kings’ current home , before seeking to finance the building of a new venue for the team. All of this while, his own city has steep financial budgetary concerns and a fiscal deficit , not uncommon across the state of California or at the state level , where Governor Jerry Brown and the State Legislature are at loggerheads as to how best reduce their debt and fiscal anomalies brought on by years of largess and no financial restraint being shown by both legislative chambers and with Brown’s predecessor Arnold Schwarzenegger , hardly putting a dent in the deficit and debt crisis that he promised he would be able to deal with , through proper fiscal constraint and the cutting of a number of state ran programs .

Away from this all , the Kings’ first year head coach Michael Malone has to get this team all on the same page , while having to deal with the often mercurial and temperamental talent of DeMarcus Cousins . If the franchise is to have any type of chance at success over the course of this season , then the often criticized center will have to raise the level of his play while leading by example . And if there is one thing we know to be true concerning the player it is that he remains immature and someone who often seeks a confrontation with an official , if things don’t necessarily go his own way on the court of play.

The Kings started off the season with an impressive victory over the Denver Nuggets , where it was an all-round effort by this young team . On Friday , it should be a true test of their mettle where they are due to face conference rivals the Los Angeles Clippers in a contest which should prove to be a very good match-up of teams with postseason aspirations .

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At the halfway point of the NFL season , we can now look to a second half where there will be a great deal to play for amongst those seeking to make themselves a serious playoff contender . With the MLB postseason , now having come to an end , the only remaining issues are that of the individual awards and that takes place by way of the legal overtures now in play . A successful season overall ? I believe it only appropriate to let you be the judge of that ! With the NBA schedule in its infancy , I certainly do not believe that the teams will begin to find their rhythm until we are at least three weeks into the year’s calendar of games . By all means do leave a comment as you think fit on this and anything else you believe pertinent to the subject matter .

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(1) Patriots’ head coach Bill Belichick , right , is seen here with the team’s defensive coordinator Matt Patricia , as they discuss a defensive scheme during a game this season . Off to a 6-2 start after eight games, the team’s defense still remains a work in progress and has proven to be inconsistent . Belichick delved into the market at the trade deadline looking to shore up and fortify a still struggling secondary. AP Photo / Paul Ross …..

(2) Former Catholic High School star Harrison Smith, second from right, stands with Minnesota coach Leslie Frazier, from left, No. 3 overall pick Matt Kalil and general manager Rick Spielman at the Vikings’ facility in Eden Prairie, Minn., on Friday. Smith and Kalil were both taken in the first round on Thursday in the 2012 NFL draft. Getty Images / Elsa Martinez …

(3) World Series’ MVP David Ortiz celebrates , pointing to the appreciative Red Sox fans after the team’s 6-1 rout of the St Louis Cardinals in game six of the World Series . The series’ win would be the franchise’s third in the past ten years and their eighth overall . For manager John Farrell this would be his first title in his first year with the franchise as its manager. Ortiz’s stats were franchise highs in the World Series for the ball-club. MLB.com all rights reserved copyrighted material ….

(4) WALTHAM, MA – JULY 5: New Boston Celtics head coach Brad Stevens (R) is introduced to the media by President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge July 5, 2013 in Waltham, Massachusetts. Stevens was hired away from Butler University where he led the Bulldogs to two back to back national championship game appearances in 2010 and 2011 . Photo by Darren McCollester/Getty Images ….

(5) Sacramento Kings’ owner , tech entrepreneur Vivek Ranadive is seen here with the city’s mayor Kevin Johnson . Ranadive and his group bought the Sacramento Kings for an inflated price of $535 million . An apparent higher bid from a consortium led by Steve Ballmer and Chris Hansen was turned down by the NBA Board of Governors , who voted against the relocation of the Kings to Seattle after a long-held promise by the commissioner that he would seek to secure the return of an NBA franchise the city in Washington State.
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Working out with Elle Alexander never looked so good !

Bottoms up , bottoms down

More jiggle and wiggle to make jello seem so proper .

Don’t worry there can never be too much junk in the trunk ! Your thoughts on that ?

Aye Mamacita

The Luck Of The Irish …………

The Luck Of The Irish …………

Granted week 5 of the NFL season comes about and there seems to the considered belief that a number of teams now simply struggling to stay alive . Four winless franchises and as pitiful as these performances have been for the ball clubs I am not so sure what to now expect !

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The Miami Dolphins are complete mess on both sides of the ball and incumbent starting quarterback Chad Henne now injured has been lost to the team and it would appear for their entire season . Henne’s backup Matt Moore is clearly not the answer as to the organization’s most dire need. Coach Tony Sparano and GM Jeff Ireland now have a decision to make as what is the Dolphins’ best interest as they seek to move forward without a true starting quarterback on the roster. David Garrard as a free agent remains unsigned but the player’s asking price may well be too high . In what now appears to be an act of desperation on the part of the Dolphins’ front office they have signed Sage Rosenfels . The less said on the matter , it is essentially for the better !

Now rooted firmly rooted at the bottom of the AFC East and there seems no apparent signs that things are about to change for the better as the team embark on their schedule . Team owner Stephen Ross might now have to make take a closer look at his coaching staff and the decisions that have been made the coaches. With the influx of draftees and offseason acquisitions the thought that these players would be able to make an immediate contribution has not materialized . As to what now awaits the Miami Dolphins over the remainder of this season remains to be seen.

If there has been a surprise to this season then it must be the fact that the St Louis Rams remain one of the quartet of teams that are winless . Injuries have plagued Steve Spagnuolo’s roster and the fact that incumbent starting quarterback Sam Bradford has suffered what seems to what many thought to be an innocuous injury but it has somehow affected the quarterback’s play and the team’s overall effectiveness.

The NFC West remains a division of where the quality of play can be best described as being anemic . And with Stephen Jackson simply having somewhat of an indifferent start to his season it certainly doesn’t bode well for the fortunes of this team at present.

There’s not much more that can be said about the Minnesota Vikings that hasn’t been said about this team already. Poor play and a coach in Leslie Frazier who appears to be out of his depth and who has a coaching staff that simply brings nothing to the table by way of their coaching acumen. With Christian Ponder about to be thrown into the fray after Donovan McNabb playing so ineptly the time was ripe for Ponder to be given the chance to prove himself to the Vikings’ fans. If the former FSU Seminole can by any measure showcase his college ability then this team certainly will be better off than having McNabb quarterback the ball club. .

Everything about the Minnesota Vikings would suggest that ” the window of opportunity” for the team has been slammed shut and is not about to open again anytime soon. For years the franchise has sought to be relevant during the modern era of the NFL . Now in the midst of this malaise there seems to be no sense being shown by anyone within the organization from the upper echelons of the hierarchy down to the players themselves.

We are all aware as to the issues now facing the Indianapolis Colts and the loss of quarterback Peyton Manning for the forseeable future . Such has been the conjecture and speculation regarding the future of the player that the statements from the front office of the Colts seemingly changes from one moment to the next . Perhaps none more so than the retraction of a “tweeted statement “ made by owner Jim Irsay . Now with the team off to an 0-4 start to their season and the inconsistent play of Kerry Collins and Curtis Painter one wonders how much worse things can now get for the organization . It is not as if the team is in a position to run off four or five consecutive wins and make themselves a contender within their division much less the conference as a whole .

Jim Caldwell and his coaching staff will now have to coax and cajole this team to play with a great deal more aggression than they have been exhibiting . And with the fact that there seems to be no one on the roster who is looking to assume the role of a leader , it leads me to believe that the Colts will be in for a tough time over the course of this season !

With the problems that the Colts now seem to be having at the quarterback position and there not being what one might deem an abundance of talented free agent quarterbacks available it will be interesting to see what maneuvers will be made by GM Bill Polian in conjunction with the team’s head coach in order to remedy the situation .

At the end of the regular season schedule all eyes will be on the postseason and the teams that have garnered the respective berths for the NFL’s season finales. Those left by the wayside in terms of the teams will be looking to the 2012 NFL Draft and the talent available amongst the declarees . With what appears to be an abundance of talent at the quarterback position the consensus will be that Andrew Luck will be the number one overall pick. The Stanford quarterback has had an outstanding collegiate career and it bodes well for any of the teams in question with the desire to make Luck the face of their franchise . Alongside the Stanford player there’s also Denard Robinson , Kellen Moore , Case Keenum , Landry Jones , Brandon Weeden , Robert Griffin III and Nick Foles to name but a few who may well declare for the NFL Draft.

Given the uniqueness of the situation for a number of NFL franchises and their situation it certainly will be interesting to see the choices being made by the respective head coaches and that of general managers when the time comes to make their draft choices . But as of now we will just have to see the season pans out for the teams mentioned within this article .

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What thoughts if any do you have with regard to the immediate future of the four franchises discussed within this piece . Which of the quartet do you believe if possible may well end up taking that number one pick overall ? Furthermore , do you believe that the choice in question has to be a quarterback taken by that prospective team ? Simply a comment as to your thoughts anything else that you believe pertinent with regard to this piece .

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

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(1) SAN DIEGO, CA – OCTOBER 2: the Miami Dolphins the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium on October 2, 2011 in San Diego, California. The Chargers won 26-16 . Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images …..

(2) ST. LOUIS, MO – OCTOBER 2: Sam Bradford (8) of the St. Louis Rams playing with a nagging injury passes the ball against the St. Louis Rams at the Edward Jones Dome on October 2, 2011 in St. Louis, Missouri. The Redskins beat the Rams 17-10 . Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images …….

(3) Quarterback Donovan McNabb (5) of the Minnesota Vikings reacts after throwing for a touchdown during the game against the Kansas City Chiefs on October 2, 2011 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images ….

(4) Quarterback Donovan McNabb (5) of the Minnesota Vikings is hit by Tyson Jackson (94) and Tamba Hali (91) of the Kansas City Chiefs as he scrambles during the game on October 2, 2011 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images ……

(5) TAMPA, FL – OCTOBER 3: Defensive lineman Michael Bennett (71) of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers tackles quarterback Curtis Painter (7) of the Indianapolis Colts October 3, 2011 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images …..

(6) Quarterback Curtis Painter (7) of the Indianapolis Colts throws the ball against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium on October 3, 2011 in Tampa, Florida. Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images ……

(7) Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck (12) waves to crowd after Stanford defeated UCLA —- 45-19 in an NCAA college football game in Stanford, Calif., Saturday, Oct. 1, 2011. Luck threw for 227 yards and three touchdowns. AP Photo/Paul Sakuma …. ….

(8) Landry Jones (12) of the Oklahoma Sooners passes against the Florida State Seminoles at Doak Campbell Stadium on September 17, 2011 in Tallahassee, Florida. Oklahoma would go on to defeat FSU 23-13 . Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images ……

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Oops Upside Your Head I Said Oops Upside Your Head !

Oops Upside Your Head I Said Oops Upside Your Head !

Well week one of the NFL season came about with a bang and in some cases something of a whimper given the rather morbid performances of some noted players. Anyone who witnessed the performance of Donovan McNabb in the Minnesota Vikings loss 24-17 to the San Diego Chargers . And though Chargers’ fans may well feel that they can take a great deal out this victory , in truth the team’s performance wasn’t really something to be desired . A seven point win but it was simply the woefully inept performance by Donovan McNabb that surely indicates that the player’s best years are behind him . Anyone who simply felt that McNabb would be the answer to the team’s woes has to be now rethinking that premise .

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From my own perspective , Zygi Wilf and the entire front office of Vikings clearly were sold a “bill of goods” in terms of the McNabb acquisition . As for Minnesota Vikings’ coach Leslie Frazier if he has pinned his hopes on the veteran quarterback leading this team to unprecedented heights then he clearly hasn’t learned anything in the aftermath of the Brett Favre fiasco under his predecessor Brad Childress and then last season with himself at the helm as coach of the team. And with the team’s quarterback Adrian Peterson having signed a multi year multi million contract this looks as if it could be a season of discontent for the Minnesota Vikings . McNabb’s stats from this season opener might just be the most anemic a performance of any quarterback in the league over the past five seasons . 7/15 , for 35 yards 0 TD’s and 0 INT’s and you have to wonder what happens next for the now beleaguered player. .

For those of you out there who are intrigued as to who Leslie Frazier may well choose to step into McNabb’s shoes . If not Joe Webb or Christian Ponder then you might as well say that the Vikings’ goose has been cooked . Without an adept quarterback to lead this team then there’s not a cat in hell’s chance of the Minnesota Vikings having a legitimate chance doing anything meaningful within the NFL this season .

From winning the AFC West last season and then garnering a postseason berth the Kansas City Chiefs had sought to improve on their showing last season . Todd Haley and his coaching staff along with quarterback Matt Cassel were looking to bolster their claims that they could be viewed as a legitimate contender within the AFC . Offseason acquisitions and a draft class thought to be the best amongst the teams within the conference and there might have been every reason to believe the claims made by the staff. Well if you have ever seen an anvil being dropped from a great height then the Chiefs’ 41-7 bludgeoning by the Buffalo Bills . If anything we can all attest to the fact that the Bills might well have been one of the worse performing teams in the NFL last season.

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Matt Ryan (46) of the Atlanta Falcons fumbles the ball against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field on September 11, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bears defeated the Falcons 30-12 . Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images ……

In this game the Bills’ quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick had the type of performance that cast him as the second coming of Jim Kelly the Buffalo Bills’ Hall of Fame signal caller . There’s nothing to suggest that this Chiefs’ team possessed anything that was the equal of their conference opponents this past Sunday .

Care to suggest how the Kansas City Chiefs are likely to fare over the course the remainder of the season ? But simply base that thought upon the team’s woefully inept play against the Buffalo Bills . If you believe that the Chiefs are liable to improve then simply say “yes” , if not then obviously you’ll say ” no ” .

Mike Smith as coach of the Atlanta Falcons if he’s improve the goal of this organization . Smith over the past two seasons has seen gradual improvement not only in team’s play but also in the leadership qualities of his quarterback Matt Ryan . The player for his part is seen one of the bright young players at the position within the NFL . The Falcons for their part often regarded as a very good regular season team but come the postseason they simply floundered under the weight of great expectations .

In the Atlanta Falcons’ season opener against the Chicago Bears , wherein we saw an onslaught that the Falcons simply had no answer in a completely lopsided loss that not even most NFL fans would could have envisaged . Jay Cutler and his Bears’ teammates mauled the Atlanta Falcons 30-12 leaving the team in a complete daze. I have to admit that of all the games that took place this past weekend the result that I found to be the most surprising happened to be the lopsided defeat of the Atlanta Falcons .

One could surmise that the entrenched battle . between the Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers and the absolute bloodbath in terms of the adversarial demeanor between these two heated NFC North foes had to be seen to be believed . Seven turnovers and a slew of mistakes by Steelers’ quarterback Ben Roethlisberger amongst others on what is usually well disciplined Steelers’ team coached by Mike Tomlinson .

To suggest that anyone could have foreseen the Baltimore Ravens laying waste to the Pittsburgh Steelers 35-7 would simply be a complete lie . The margin of victory was one thing but for the Steelers to be so thoroughly outplayed had to have come as a complete surprise . Joe Flacco , Ray Rice , Terrell Suggs , Ray Lewis and Anquan Boldin simply had a day at the office that they could all be pleased with . And for Ravens’ coach John Harbaugh this might be just the evidence needed to suggest that gutting of the roster from last season and the subsequent offseason moves that coincided with the draft picks was a vindication for the Ravens’ front office and coaching staff that the decisions made were simply the right ones at the time.

It is pretty much safe to say that the NFC West might just be the least competitive of all the divisions in the NFL . Anyone of the belief who simply belief that a team that wins its division with a sub .500 record should be viewed as a team with a legitimate chance of winning the Superbowl must be either satisfied with that type of mediocrity or they simply view those teams as viable within the NFL .

Each season the more I simply take in the events of the NFC West it is the more I feel that the appropriate action to take would be get a paper bag and simply begin to regurgitate the food I may well have ate earlier ! To describe the football being played within the division as mediocre would be to describe a painting by Van Gogh as average . Simply put , it’s diatribe being served up on a silver platter for the fans’ edification , not that the NFL fans should be subjected to this over the complete NFL regular season schedule by the teams within that division. But that’s ….. c’est la vie !

The Seattle Seahawks’ Pete Carroll is amongst the highest paid NFL coaches in the league earning in excess of $7 million a year . Granted , team owner Paul Allen is amongst the wealthiest individuals on the planet but I’m sure that even he and GM John Schneider could have imagined wherein the team would simply have regressed rather than taking a step forward . I have never really thought Pete Carroll to be a very good NFL coach as his previous tenures has proven that coaching in the NFL isn’t within his wheelhouse . But this where the front office executives and team owners simply become at times too enamored with a college coach who’s said to have attained unprecedented success. Nick Saban and Steve Spurrier should have been a clear indication that ………. all that glitters isn’t clearly gold .

The Seahawks were hosted by the San Francisco 49ers this past weekend and the effort put forth by Pete Carroll’s team can be best described as being anemic and completely devoid of any aggression . Funny how a team who made the playoffs last season can now be looked upon as quite possibly one of the worst performing franchises in the NFL , on both sides of the ball. The Niners came away with the bragging rights in the divisional game clearly laying waste to their opponent 33-17 . With the loss of Matt Hasselbeck to the Tennessee Titans as a free agent somehow the coach felt that former Vikings’ quarterback Tarvaris Jackson could be seen as an adequate successor to the seasoned veteran . Given Jackson’s performance in that game I somehow think that Pete Carroll’s problems have now increased immeasurably ! The coach’s options at the position are not that great beyond Charlie Whitehurst and Josh Portis , so it is hard to view this team as a viable contender within the NFC much less the league as a whole .

It has to be said that there would be no doubt that the Indianapolis Colts would suffer this season with the long term loss of their celebrated quarterback Peyton Manning . You simply knew that this team wouldn’t be the same with his loss. GM Bill Polian and the front office may well have felt that acquiring seasoned veteran Kerry Collins would indeed make a difference but in reality the Colts are not a team that play on par with a nemesis when they simply haven’t got their best offensive weapon at the helm as the signal caller and in truth you cannot expect them to be .

Colts’ head coach Jim Caldwell and the coaching staff may well now have to keep the playbook simple for Collins and the team to have any semblance of success this season . Given the experience and the shock to the system of their season opener I am inclined to believe that the Indianapolis Colts are likely to struggle over the course of this year . The humiliating defeat the Colts suffered at the hands of the Houston Texans was enough to suggest that we might well be seeing the decline of a team who having the lost its leader has now become a rudderless vessel about to be capsized at sea. That 34-7 loss more than suggested how devoid of leadership this team becomes , without Peyton Manning but even more so , when you realize that there was no one willing to step up to the plate and assume the role as a leader . Say what you will , but if they are to fare well this season then someone has to be seen as the new leader on thus team .

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The NFL lockout may well have played its part in the rust we have seen from the teams in their performances in this first regular season scheduled game . But if anything it has to be said the coaches and their staffs had more than enough time to prepare their squads for expectations of what is always expected to be an arduous season . Simply put some of the teams in question may well have performed badly , much of it from their own doing and complete lack of preparation . If nothing else this could well be what we could very well expect over the next few games . But from my perspective these teams on the wrong side of these lopsided losses must have felt that they had been hit upside their heads ! What thoughts if any do you have from this first week of the NFL schedule ? Do you expect to see more of the same or could it be that this was merely a minor blip on the screen for many of the franchises in question ? Simply chime in with a comment as you deem fit .

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

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(1) SAN DIEGO, CA – SEPTEMBER 11: Donovan McNabb #5 of the Minnesota Vikings in the huddle with his teammates against the San Diego Chargers during their NFL Game on September 11, 2011 at Qualcomm Stadium in San DIego, California. Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images ….

(2) Donovan McNabb (5) of the Minnesota Vikings in action against the San Diego Chargers during their NFL Game on September 11, 2011 at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, California. Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images …….

(3) Adrian Peterson (28) of the Minnesota Vikings is tackled by Donald Butler (56) and Takeo Spikes (51) of the San Diego Chargers during their NFL Game on September 11, 2011 at Qualcomm Stadium in San DIego, California. Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images ……….

(4) Quarterback Matt Cassel (7) of the Kansas City Chiefs reacts after a turnover during the game against the Buffalo Bills at Arrowhead Stadium on September 11, 2011 in Kansas City, Missouri. Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images …….

(5) Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (14) of the Buffalo Bills in action during the game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium on September 11, 2011 in Kansas City, Missouri. Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images …..

(6) Matt Ryan (46) of the Atlanta Falcons fumbles the ball against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field on September 11, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bears defeated the Falcons 30-12 . Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images ……

(7) John Abraham (55) #55 of the Atlanta Falcons sacks Jay Cutler (6) of the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field on September 11, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bears defeated the Falcons 30-12. Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images ……

(8) Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) of the Pittsburgh Steelers scrambles while being pressured by defender Arthur Jones (97) of the Baltimore Ravens during second half of the season opener at M&T Bank Stadium on September 11, 2011 in Baltimore, Maryland. Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images …….

(9) Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll walks the sidelines during their season opener against the San Francisco 49ers at Candlestick Park on September 11, 2011 in San Francisco, California. Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images …….

(10) Tarvaris Jackson (7) of the Seattle Seahawks drops back to pass against the San Francisco 49ers in the fourth quarter of an NFL football game at Candlestick Park on September 11, 2011 in San Francisco, California. the 49ers won the game 33-17 . Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images ……

(11) Quarterback Kerry Collins (5) of the Indianapolis Colts is blind sighted by linebacker Mario Williams (90) of the Houston Texans on September 11, 2011 at Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas. Texans won 34-7 . Photo by Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images …

(12) Head coach Gary Kubiak talks with quarterback Matt Schaub (8) of the Houston Texans during a time out against the Indianapolis Colts on September 11, 2011 at Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas. Texans won 34 -7 .(Photo by Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images ……..

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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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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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Take Two …………. Say What ?

Take Two …………. Say What ?

Former NFL running back Robert Smith who’s now a college game day analyst for ESPN on the network’s show College Game Day was discussing the improprieties surrounding his alma-mater Ohio State . A running back for four years with the school the player excelled with the program before becoming a highly prized and productive player in the NFL with the Minnesota Vikings .Now to my mind if there’s anyone who could provide the public with inner workings of that program then it would be Robert Smith . A highly intelligent individual who if he hadn’t become a player in the NFL I have no doubt that he would have become a medical professional , as the player studied medicine at Ohio State with a view to becoming a pediatrician specializing in neo natal medicine.

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Smith in his analysis suggested that as the NCAA is in effect powerless and has no legal powers to to negate the actions of the schools or players and that perhaps the best thing to do would be for the Federal government to be involved with the IRS being given additional powers to investigate any wrong doing where there is monetary gain that’s not reported as income by any students athletes at the collegiate level. He further suggested that state agencies as such could not be truly thought to be impartial in such an endeavor as there would most certainly be a conflict of interest were they placed in a position where they would have to conduct an investigation into a state ran university. Though I don’t fully agree with Smith’s premise I do fully understand that he too like many other fans of collegiate athletics are completely angered and dissatisfied with the malfeasance that is now rampant within collegiate athletics , seemingly at all levels. You have the ongoing situation with Ohio State itself , wherein the actions of Jim Tressel are merely written off as a mere child being caught with his hands in the cookie jar and the punishment exacted upon him by AD Gene Smith at the insistence of university President Dr E Gordon Gee comes across as nothing more than a slap on the wrist .

Another player on the 2010 team is wide receiver Ray Small who in a recent interview went so far as to suggest that a number of Buckeye players had been selling memorabilia and that the coaching staff were fully aware of their actions. However , Small would recant the statement saying that his statement had been in fact been misconstrued by the journalist conducting the interview. Small would state that he and no one else that he knew of had in fact sold their memorabilia for financial gain. I can well understand the change in the player’s statement after his statements had been reported in the college’s own in-house news publication , much to the annoyance of his former teammates . Smalls we would later be advised had failed a drug test and was thrown off the team in late 2010 causing him to make a none appearance in the Buckeyes’ postseason. Insomuch as this is nothing new, what we are finding out is the very fact that the actions of Small is very much widespread. The player himself stated that he knew his actions contravened NCAA rules but he simply didn’t care . And should anyone be surprised by the player’s claims at this juncture ?

My own view is that any form of intervention by the government never serves a real purpose merely because the government cannot be trusted to act with any expediency let alone with any real sign of competence. Be it the Justice Department , IRS or for that matter any a governmental committee which in this could be either the House Oversight Committee or Senate Judiciary Committee . The idiocy of this all however may well be a statement attributed to Big 12 Commissioner Dan Beebe who suggests that the NCAA and the schools can adequately police themselves but the real problems stems from the actions of sports agents , boosters and other outside influences. Unfortunately Beebe completely ignores the actions of Tressel and the lies he told not only to the faculty but also to journalists and members of the public. And for certain ESPN analysts to suggest that Jim Tressel is still a man of honesty and integrity is akin to suggesting that the late Osama bin Laden would somehow seek a peaceful resolution in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Jim Tressel is no more a man of integrity or honesty as his most actions all along have belied those statements . Tressel’s less than contrite apology and the idiocy of both Smith and Gee in not firing the coach smacks of their own and innate stupidity ! If anything, their actions have been simply about greed and the very fact that because of the financial gain because of the countless million brought into the football program by Tressel because of his notoriety over the course of his tenure and the team’s success derived thereof.

The chances are that we will never see any of the suggestions made by Smith could ever come to fruition merely because both the NCAA , BCS and major college conferences would rather keep the status quo as is !

Am I mistaken here in thinking that the unfortunate injury suffered by San Francisco Giants’ catcher Buster Posey in a collision with the Florida Marlins Scott Cousins during the game in which the Marlins would defeat the Giants 7-6 . That in ofitself isn’t the real story but the real issue is now the number of fans who are now stating that they feel that baseball’s hierarchy should be doing more to protect its catchers . Well considering that MLB simply has never done enough to protect the players in lieu of the steroid era . I mean, who here is of the opinion that during that period in which Commissioner Bud Selig the MLBPA knew of the inherent dangers from the abuse of steroids and the health concerns in the aftermath of its abuse . Cardiac problems , neurological disorders and the obvious harm to the reproductive system but somehow this isn’t something that the league hierarchy , union or the team owners would actually care to address. And we now have idiotic fans wanting to protect a catcher because of the inherent dangers posed to him during a game ? Granted the injury to Posey , a broken leg and the fact that he will be lost the team for the rest of the Giants’ season . But there are far more grave dangers that the players face during a game beyond a home plate collision . Anyone yet within baseball’s hierarchy care to address those issues as of yet ? I guess not !

The San Francisco Giants are on a three game losing streak and are 5-5 in their last 10 games but lead the NL West by two games over the Arizona Diamondbacks (25-24). Now it goes without saying that the loss of Posey to the Giants will be a tremendous to this team as he provides a great deal of offense . Bruce Bochy and his coaching staff will most certainly be looking to boost the moral of the team with the loss of their All Star catcher . Curiously enough with the loss of Posey I do feel that the Giants are still capable of winning their division but at the same time it will come down to how prepared they are in terms of their mindset.

The likes of Aubrey Huff and Aaron Rowand as seasoned veterans on the Giants will now have to assume the mantel of being the leaders for this team if they are to really fare well over the course of the season. If they can show the leadership which I believe that they can , then they they can claim the division outright . I certainly don’t believe that the wildcard entrant will come from the NL West or NL Central for that matter ! That scenario more likely than not will arise from the competitiveness within the NL East . That division with teams such as the Philadelphia Phillies viewed as the presumptive winners of the NL pennant as well as the division will be in a tight race with the Florida Marlins and Atlanta Braves is liable to become highly contested three horse race. At present a mere 3 1/2 games separate those three teams atop of the division with the Phillies (31-19) holding a one game lead over the Marlins with the Braves in third place .

The month of June could very tell determine how these teams will fare. It promises to be a very exciting nonetheless.

On much more somber note I found it heartwarming to read that former Giants’ slugger Barry Bonds has made a magnanimous gesture in stating that he’s prepared to meet all future expenses in the education of Giants’ fan Brian Stow’s children. If you remember Stow was the victim of a heinous assault by three assailants at Dodgers Stadium in a game earlier this season between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Francisco Giants . One assailant is now in custody and the LAPD through Police Chief Charlie Beck
has asked for the public’s assistance with any information that will lead to the apprehension of the remaining suspecrs in this ongoing investigation. The three remaining suspects , two men and a female are believed to be of Hispanic origin. The suspect in custody is a known felon to the LAPD who also happens to be a member of one of the most prominent Hispanic gangs within the city of Los Angeles . Giorgio Ramirez a convicted felon has a long and varied arrest record . I’ve no doubt that the city Los Angeles DA’s office will prosecute those responsible to the full extent of the law given the viciousness and barbarity of this crime .

Hopefully, this will be something of a wake up call to the league hierarchy , the team owners and in particular the fans . This sort of violence cannot be tolerated under any circumstance but that in ofitself might not be enough to deter a repeat action of this magnitude. The victim’s family has filed a lawsuit against the Dodgers’ organization seeking compensatory and punitive damages in light of the assault on Brian Stow. As to what course such a legal matter may well take remains to be seen given the present circumstances of the Dodgers and their financial well being. There are some fans in the game who feel that it would be in the team’s best interest to settle the matter out of court rather than there being a trial but as I alluded to earlier we can only speculate as to the outcome of this matter for now .

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What thoughts if any do you have with regard to the points raised within this piece ? Simply leave a comment as to your thoughts on this matter as you would deem fit .

Alan aka tophatal …………………………………..

https://tophatal.wordpress.com

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(1) ESPN College Football analyst Robert Smith seated right discusses the Big 12 with his co-host. ESPN/ABC …..copyrighted material all rights reserved ….

(2) University President E Gordon Gee, Jim Tressel (center) and AD Gene Smith (right) on the podium as they address and take questions from the convened press . It is now being reported that the once embattled coach has since resigned his position as coach of Buckeyes’ football team . AP Photo/Gene J Puskar ….

(3) Former Buckeyes’ wide receiver Ray Small discusses his own improprieties as a players with Ohio State . His interview with ESPN was conducted in conjunction with the network’s magazine program Outside The Lines . Small offered plenty of evidence of misdeeds but would not openly name names as to the cast of characters involved. However in light of an earlier interview given to a school campus journalist it’s hard to know what is in fact the truth and where the lies come into play. courtesy of ABC/ESPN …..

(4) Big 12 Commissioner Dan Beebe whose opinion it is that the NCAA and major conferences are quite capable of policing themselves without any outside intervention by the federal government or state governmental agency. Somehow Beebe has overlooked the actions Tressel and that of senior executives of the Fiesta Bowl . Political donations that have contravened state federal laws as well as in some cases payments made to a numerous escort agencies that were found to be the committee’s way of payment for the hiring of prostitutes allegedly for entertainment purposes. AP Photo/Chris Carlsson …..

(5) Florida Marlins’ Scott Cousins, top, collides with San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey (28) on a fly ball from Emilio Bonifacio during the 12th inning of a baseball game in San Francisco, Wednesday, May 25, 2011. Cousins was safe for the go ahead run and Florida won 7-6. AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez ….

(6) San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey (28) is carried off the field after a collision with Florida Marlins’ Scott Cousins during the 12th inning of a baseball game in San Francisco, Wednesday, May 25, 2011. Cousins scored the go-ahead run on the play as Florida won 7-6. AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez ……….

(7) Milwaukee Brewers second baseman Rickie Weeks (23) leaps overt San Francisco Giants’ Pat Burrell (5) to turn a double play on a ball hit by Cody Ross during the eighth inning of a baseball game Saturday, May 28, 2011, in Milwaukee. AP Photo/Morry Gash …

(8) San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Jonathan Sanchez throws during the third inning of a baseball game against the Milwaukee Brewers, Saturday, May 28, 2011, in Milwaukee. AP Photo/Morry Gash ….. ……….

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The More You Know ……….. In Reality It’s The Less You Know

The More You Know ……….. In Reality It’s The Less You Know

As the NFL lockout looks as if it’s running its prolonged course I find it all the laughable when I hear fans stipulate that there’s nothing that’ll be lost for some of the teams from a financial and economic standpoint. Well as things now progress we’re now learning that a number of teams are gravely struggling to even sell preseason game tickets much less season tickets for the upcoming season . Amongst the teams looking to stave off the problems now besetting them are the Oakland Raiders . In light of the fact that during the 2010 season the Raiders in terms of their attendance for their home games were amongst the lowest in the NFL . Team owner Al Davis as an added incentive to his staff at all levels within the organization has requested that they each try sell no less than 10% of their salary in terms of ticket sales . This is something that he’s not only asking of the sales staff but all employees within the Raiders’ organization. If the front office is on board in terms of this then it can only benefit the Raiders’ organization as a whole .

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There’s a feeling that as the lockout shows no signs of an accord being met between the parties concerned in terms of the damage done to the NFL’s image is now beyond irreparable . NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell along with the team owners now find themselves trying to how best spin this situation wherein in order the premise of the situation is in their favor.
The fans however don’t actually see it that way and if anything they do feel alienated by this whole situation. The NFLPA for its part along with its members are looking to challenge the NFL’s antitrust exemption status within the Federal Court System . Signees to this civil suit are some of the most prominent players in the NFL , each are Superbowl winning quarterbacks Tom Brady , Drew Brees and Peyton Manning . The trial itself is still ongoing and it looks as if it will be a while before the judge renders a verdict in this particular case.

We all can look back on the fact that the 2010 season was quite an enthralling one with the Superbowl itself turning out to be quite an exciting spectacle with the Geen Bay Packers finally hoisting the Lombardi Trophy in their defeat of the Pittsburgh Steelers . Superbowl MVP Aaron Rodgers stood tall in the saddle and has pretty much eradicated the memory of Brett Favre amongst the Packers’ fans at Lambeau Field . And given Favre’s antics in the past few years with the New York Jets and Minnesota Vikings I feel that it’s a great thing that the player has since walked away from the game under his own steam !

In light of Favre’s retirement I must say that in the latter years of his storied career I found the player to be self serving and an ingrate ! If nothing else I have to admit the longer Brett Favre stayed in the game thinking that he could in fact bring a championship to any franchise willing to meet his asking price like a mercenary for hire simply showed what a narcissistic asshole …… Brett Favre had become ! What might be even more comical was the mere fact that the idiot analysts covering the game within ESPN and Fox Sports clung unto Favre’s every word as if he were a deity rendering his thoughts on the NFL and his own aspirations. Statistics asides it’s almost certain that Favre will become a first ballot Hall of Famer having met the criteria for his induction .

I’m not so sure that the Western Conference Finals of the NBA postseason is all that enticing . Granted , we have two offensively minded teams in the Dallas Mavericks and Oklahoma City Thunder . Defense seems to have gone out the window as both teams are intent in merely showing us their offensive prowess . In this series we also have two of the most prominent scorers in the game with Kevin Durant and Dirk Nowitzki .

With the series tied at 1-1 , game three’s resumption of this series in Oklahoma City with the Mavericks looking to take the upper hand in the series by taking a 2-1 lead in this best of seven playoff match-up. For Scott Brooks as the coach of the Thunder can ill afford to go down to 2-1 at home in this series knowing full well that they will have dug themselves int a hole. Brooks will have to emphasize to his players that they need to step up their game and be fully aware as to the dangers that this series brings if they continue to remain complacent. Durant in conjunction with Russell Westbrook will have to be weary of what their contributions must be throughout this series . Anything short of their regular season performances and this series will end up being beyond the Thunder’s retrieval .

Mavericks’ coach Rick Carlisle has in large part instilled a workman like commitment from his players in doing what’s best for the team from a collective standpoint and we’ve seen that in the contributions from a number of players on this roster . Asides from Nowitzki we’ve seen aging veterans Jason Kidd , Jason Terry show their guile . But if anything it has been the play of the bench players such as J J Barea , Tyson Chandler , Shawn Marion and Brendan Haywood that have played their part in the Mavericks’ success this season and in the playoffs. Now that the success is now being replicated in this series it augurs well for the Mavericks and their ambition to win their first NBA title .

Mark Cuban as owner of this franchise has long sought to bring success to the organization. Now it may well be finally be within his grasp . The fact that in the organization’s sole appearance in the NBA Finals they came up short to an enlivened Miami Heat team that simply outplayed them in every facet of that particular series . A humbling 4-2 series loss was enough to send the Mavericks packing their bags home and back to the Lone Star State.

I’d like to think that the Dallas Mavericks in their endeavor to make it to the NBA’s showcase event can actually redeem themselves. In the aftermath of that NBA Finals series’ loss I felt that the window of opportunity may well have closed on this organization. But now I know that to be oh so false as the Mavericks have shown me that they finally possess some grit and determination . As this series plays itself out it will be interesting to see how both teams will acquit themselves knowing that there’s a great deal on the line for both of these organizations.

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In terms of the NFL’s continued lockout what remedies do you feel would best bring the two sides together in reaching an amicable accord ? And as you observe the NBA Playoff series has there been anything that has come a complete surprise to you as it’s about to reach its latter stages ? Simply chime in with your own thoughts on the points raised within this piece and as always thanks for the continued support .

Alan aka tophatal …….

Picture and slide show details below .

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(1) New Oakland Raiders coach Hue Jackson (L) looks on as Raiders owner Al Davis (R) speaks to reporters after introducing Jackson as the new head coach of the Oakland Raiders on January 18, 2011 in Alameda, California. Hue Jackson was introduced as the new coach of the Oakland Raiders, replacing the fired Tom Cable. Getty Images North America / Justin Sullivan …..

(2) Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) celebrates winning Super Bowl XLV over the Pittsburgh Steelers 31-25 with his family at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas on February 6, 2011. Kevin Terrell/NFL) ….

(3) Minnesota Vikings quarterback Brett Favre leaves the field after warmups at Ford Field before their their NFL football game against the New York Giants in Detroit, Monday, Dec. 13, 2010. Favre is inactive for the game with the New York Giants, ending his record consecutive starts streak at 297, dating back to 1992. The Giants would defeat the Vikings 24-3 AP Photo/Paul Sancya …..

(4) James Harden (13) of the Oklahoma City Thunder goes up for a shot against Jason Kidd(2) of the Dallas Mavericks in the second half in Game Three of the Western Conference Finals during the 2011 NBA Playoffs at Oklahoma City Arena on May 21, 2011 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The Mavericks would go on to defeat the Thunder 93-87 to take 2-1 lead in the best of seven Western Conference Finals . Getty Images / Ronald Martinez ……

(5) OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – MAY 21: (L-R) Jason Terry(31) , Peja Stojakovic (16) , Brendan Haywood(33), Dirk Nowitzki(41) and Jose Juan Barea (11) of the Dallas Mavericks celebrate on the court in the second quarter while taking on the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game Three of the Western Conference Finals during the 2011 NBA Playoffs at Oklahoma City Arena on May 21, 2011 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Getty Images / Ronald Martinez ………

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Dumb , Dumber And Dumbest …………

Dumb , Dumber And Dumbest …………

Broke, devoid of creativity and ideas , I guess that could best describe the Congress , Senate and Barack Obama’s first two years in office and the performance of his Cabinet overall ! But no this piece isn’t about but that but the continued mediocrity of the Minnesota Vikings and in part that of the New York Knicks . But before I delve further into the sporting topic of the day I’d like to continue on the path of idiocy of the nation’s politics at present . Is anyone of the opinion that both the FAA ( Federal Aviation Administration) and Department of Transportation can be trusted to allay the fears of the public as it concerns air traffic safety when we’re being informed of air traffic controllers falling asleep in the control towers when there are flight departing arriving from the nation’s regional and major international departure airports ? Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood says … ‘ the situation can no longer can be tolerated and that there will be much stricter enforcement as well as an adoption of new rules as it relates to working hours of the air traffic controllers on all shifts’ . Am I missing something here ? But in light of the volume of travellers that take to the air each year , that figure is approximately 500 million passengers flown domestically and internationally within US air space I find LaHood’s words of little comfort !

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As many of you may well have been aware several incidents have come to light in the past few weeks where there have been multiple mistakes due to fatigue and human error by air traffic controllers . Consider this also in a recent domestic travel of First Lady Michelle Obama’s flight into Andrews Air Force Base had a near miss with a military cargo transport plane as both were in close proximity of each other . The C 137 was less than three miles from that of the flight carrying the first lady which had to be delayed in its landing while allowing the military cargo transporter to land . Aviation rules call for planes of such size to be no more than no less than 5 miles apart when in flight and close proximity of each other during pre landing rules. This error concerning this incident wasn’t down to the military air traffic controllers but again due to the lax attitude shown by several controllers at a regional airport in Maryland who’d mistakenly allowed both planes into the same air traffic lane and space . Needless to say though there wasn’t a serious mishap the situation could have been much graver . Consider this also what might have been the domestic and international political fallout had the President been on board and Air Force One collided with that military transport plane ? Suffice to say that the country would be in turmoil and we’d be talking about this tragedy and questioning why it happened .

Given the season that the Minnesota Vikings had in 2010 and the ineptitude shown by the team with Brett Favre under the helm is it any wonder why that the team’s season flamed out the way that it did ? Having posted a mediocre 6-10 record within the NFC North any hopes that Brad Childress’ had of making the postseason before his abrupt firing went the way of Favre with a whimper . Childress was succeeded by Leslie Frazier but the team’s improvement as such can be best described as being marginal . With Favre being forced to sit out several games down the latter part of the season it was left to his backup Joe Webb to provide the team with any impetus that there was to be had .

In light of what Leslie Frazier and his coaching staff now has to work with in terms of the quarterbacks available to him on the Vikings’ roster , names such as Webb , Rhett Bomar , Tarvaris Jackson and Patrick Ramsey can either be viewed as journeymen or essentially players that can be relied upon to be good during practice but you simply wouldn’t want on an NFL field during a regular season game unless it was under dire circumstances . That being said if as is being rumored the Vikings front office led by Director of Player George Paton assisted by Rick Spielman are said to be seriously interested in seeing whether or not seasoned NFL veteran Donovan McNabb would indeed be a good fit for this team . Pardon me for saying this but McNabb’s best years are indeed behind him and even when he showed faint glimmers of his skillset at its best , it wasn’t as productive as one would have thought. OK, so he was playing on a Washington Redskins’ team that on a good day couldn’t sniff a out win in the NFL if they were handed a three touchdown lead with less than five minutes left in a game as they’d somehow find a way of fu_king things up , completely ! The fact that the team was coached by Mike Shanahan with his son Kyle as the Redskins’ offensive coordinator may well have a had a great deal to do with it . But in some respects much of the blame had to be laid at the feet of McNabb as well !

From my own perspective I think that Vikings’ owner Zygi Wilf is caught between a rock and a hard place knowing that this team greatly underachieved over the past two seasons , each time when the team was considered amongst the favorites for the Superbowl . Wilf’s will to win is only exceeded by the dire need for the Vikings’ organization to try and lure Minnesota State Legislature to pass a legislative proposal to pay for a new stadium for the organization replacing what Wilf and his co-executives feels is an archaic and out of date facility in the Metrodome (Mall of America Field) in Minneapolis , Minnesota. At an estimated cost of between $600- $800 million the proposed new venue for the team would be paid for largely in part through a bond issue and state funds at the state residents’ expense . Needless to say with the state now facing a budget deficit any such proposal within the legislature is now being placed on the backburner . Albeit that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and the league hierarchy could assist the Vikings in their endeavor by loaning them part of the costs to aid in the building of such a facility . But as of now the NFL lockout very much takes precedence over any such problems that the Vikings are said to facing on or off the field.

I can’t possibly see what advantage that there would in the Vikings acquiring McNabb as a free agent when they already have four quarterbacks on the team’s depth chart . But it either shows us that the Vikings are in such dire straits and the fact that Leslie Frazier has no implicit faith any of the quartertabcks on the roster. That being said Joe Webb was able to show that under the right set of circumstances that he’s quite capable of <l leading this team. But herein lies the caveat as it relates to the Vikings , as potent an offense as they’re said to have their defense had become porous and indeed an aging one that had showed signs of deterioration throughout much of last season . If the team is show signs of improvement this upcoming season should there be one then there choices will have to reflect bolstering their defensive line and looking via free agency to add any other pieces that they deem suitable to their needs . I certainly don’t believe that adding McNabb to this roster would make them any better given what I’ve seen from this team over the last two seasons !

The upcoming NFL Draft set to take commence on the 28th April , 2011 , being staged at the Radio City Music Hall in New York City , New York . And with the Vikings having the twelfth pick in the first round , eleventh pick in the second round (43rd overall) there’s bound to be an abundances of choices and picks that can be made I feel that can be envisaged being made by the Vikings organization ! I certainly don’t believe it prudent either for the team to take a quarterback in the first round no matter how good they’re presumed to be when it’s clear to see that the team’s immediate needs have more to do with its defense than anything else ! But whatever the choices that are to be made by the organization one can only presumed that it will be done in order to bolster their competitive needs and requirements .

So the New York Knicks are said to be relevant once again having made the postseason . And having to face the third seeded Boston Celtics , their task hasn’t now been made any easier with the fact that they now have to overcome a 2-0 deficit against the Celtics . That being said Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire have stepped up to the plate in leading the team into the postseason . But as good as this team is no doubt perceived to be , there remains flaws that coach Mike DAntoni has failed to address or quite possibly he and his coaching staff are actually too ignorant and unwilling to address . And that is the very fact that the Knicks simply cannot play any form of resolute defense . It has been one of the many flaws on this Knicks’ team that has and will ultimately need to their downfall should they not come to the conclusion that this situation needs to be addressed !

Throughout much of the regular season the New York Knicks struggled to make their presence felt . And even having made the playoffs as the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference you simply knew that they’d have their work cut out for them no matter which of the top four teams that they would have to face in the playoffs. If anything their 42-40 record reflected greatly where they sat in the pecking order of the Eastern Conference. Albeit that their fans undoubtedly feels that their record doesn’t justify their actually competitiveness as a team within the NBA . I do believe that most Knicks’ fans under the misapprehension that this team is far better than their regular season record reflects .

At this juncture when the series resumes at Madison Square Garden the Knicks will be hard pressed to not only try and derail Doc Rivers’ team but I believe that they would very well bow out of the first round of the playoffs in the most decisive of ways and that’s quite possibly being swept by the Boston Celtics . Game two saw the Celtics eke out a three point victory (96-93 ) even with the advent of with a 42 point offensive output coming from Carmelo Anthony who was ably assisted by Toney Douglas . But as I’ve alluded to earlier in this piece if you’re coach and his staff aren’t prepared to ingrain it into the players that they’ve got to play defense then you’re bound and will be doomed for failure !
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Game three and it’s all to play for and with that raucous home crowd to be found at MSG showing their support for the home team . One would expect for the Knicks to rise to the occasion with the fervent support of their fans . But I do know this , if they continue to allow the Celtics to dictate the pace and rhythm of this game and series then they will end up losing it all too decisively . They have to play defense and negate the perimeter shooting of Ray Allen and Paul Pierce in particular . And needless to say it’d also help if they were able to put a damn body on Rajon Rondo , rather than allowing him to continue to run wild being the architecture of much of the Celtics’ play and offense . I kind of get the impression that these minute details seems to have escaped not only the Knicks’ players but also their dumb and lame assed coaching staff ! .
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Picture gallery for your perusal .

To your mind do you believe that the Minnesota Vikings would be making an immense mistake in acquiring Donovan McNabb as a free agent at this point of his career ? Or do you believe that he can still offer the team something by way of his veteran leadership and in some form still be productive ? Moreover which of the quarterbacks on the Vikings squad is best equipped to lead this team should they not sign McNabb ? And what thoughts if any do you have on the outcome of the playoff series between the Boston Celtics and New York Knicks ? Simply leave a comments as to your thoughts on each of the topics raised within this piece .

Alan aka tophatal ……..

https://tophatal.wordpress.com

Picture and slide show details below .

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(1) U.S. President Barack Obama makes a statement in the Rose Garden of the White House regarding support for infrastructure development October 11, 2010 in Washington, DC. Obama was joined by members of his administration and members of local governments around the nation including (L-R) former Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood (far right). Getty Images / Win McNamee ……….

(2) Obama Departs White House For Columbus Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood (L) talks with U.S. President Barack Obama as they walk across the South Lawn before departing the White House aboard Marine One June 18, 2010 in Washington, DC. Obama is traveling to Columbus, Ohio, to mark the 10,000 road construction project paid for by the Recovery Act getting underway in downtown Columbus. Chip Smodevilla / Getty Images North America …….

(3) Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson (28) is tackled by Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh (90), linebacker Bobby Carpenter (59) and defensive tackle Corey Williams (99) during the first quarter of an NFL football game in Detroit, Sunday, Jan. 2, 2011. The Lions would go on to defeat the Vikings 20-3 AP Photo/Carlos Osorio …….

(4) Minnesota Vikings quarterback Brett Favre (4) comes out of the tunnel before an NFL football game against the Detroit Lions in Detroit, Sunday , Jan. 2, 2011. AP Photo/Rick Osentoski ………

(5) Minnesota Vikings quarterback Joe Webb (14) looks downfield during the first quarter of an NFL football game against the Detroit Lions in Detroit, Sunday, Jan. 2, 2011. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio) ……

(6) Donovan McNabb (5) of the Washington Redskins greets DeSean Jackson (10) of the Philadelphia Eagles prior to their game on October 3, 2010 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Jim McIsaac / Getty Images ……..

(7) Head Coach Mike Shanahan (R) of the Washington Redskins talks with his son Kyle Shanahan (L) offensive coordinator for the team during Redskins training camp on August 6, 2010 in Ashburn, Virginia. …

(8) In this photo taken Tuesdauy, April 19, 2011, Boston Celtics center Shaquille O’Neal , far left, whistles from the bench during the first quarter against the New York Knicks in Game 2 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series in Boston. Celtics head coach Doc Rivers announced Wednesday, April 20, that O’Neal will miss his third straight playoff game with a right calf injury when they meet the Knicks on Friday night in Game 3. AP Photo/Elise Amendola ……….

(9) BOSTON, MA – APRIL 19: Ray Allen(20) of the Boston Celtics shoots a three point basket against the New York Knicks in Game Two of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs on April 19, 2011 at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. The Boston Celtics defeated the New York Knicks 96-93 Getty Images /Elsa Martinez ……..

(10) Carmelo Anthony(7) of the New York Knicks tries to shoot over Jermaine O’Neal (7) of the Boston Celtics in Game Two of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs on April 19, 2011 at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. The Boston Celtics defeated the New York Knicks 96-93. Getty Images/ Elsa Martinez ……

(11) Toney Douglas (23) of the New York Knicks tries to pass as Rajon Rondo(9) of the Boston Celtics defends in Game Two of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs on April 19, 2011 at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. The Boston Celtics defeated the New York Knicks 96-93. Elsa Martinez/ Getty Images ………

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They Shoot Horses Don’t They So Why Did Goodell Simply Not Put Us All Out Of Our Misery?

 

They Shoot Horses Don’t They So Why Did Goodell Simply Not Put Us All Out Of Our Misery?

Well by now you will have all heard the news that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has chosen to fine Minnesota Vikings’ quarterback Brett Favre $50,000 after conducting what he says has been an arduous investigation into the allegations made concerning the player’s misconduct . In a public statement after handing down the fine to the player the commissioner made it known that Favre , his agent and legal counsel were non cooperative in assisting him in anyway whatsoever. Which to my mind is of great concern given the player’s behavior and also that of the league’s image as it relates to the players’ conduct not only on but also off the field of play. What sort of message is Goodell trying to send by fining a player who this year alone will make in excess of $12 million this season ? At the same time were this not Brett Favre and some lesser light in the midst of these allegations and that player’s response were the same as the future bound Hall of Famer , I think that player would be now looking at a greater financial penalty as well as some sort of suspension. It appears that Goodell simply like the rest of the drooling buffoons who are still enamored with Favre simply haven’t had enough of him . How else could you explain the commissioner’s actions ?

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I’ve always maintained that Goodell as a commissioner has never truly been balanced in the way that he treats players concerning acts of misconduct . Instead he merely waffles and shuffles the life jackets on board his vessel as he sees fit. Favre for his part still comes off looking like a complete buffoon, albeit that he alleges that this will indeed be his last season in the NFL . Where have I heard that before from this imbecile and ingrate ? Ah well one more game I hope and then he can ride off into the sunset and completely away from the NFL . As to the plight of his team ___ the Minnesota Vikings their season has been a clear effort in futility . What organization do you know who would operate under such conditions where they’re at the beck and call of a player whose passion for the game is like a candle blowing in the wind ? I’ve heard it often being said that because he knew the playbook and the offense of the Vikings he needn’t be there with his teammates prior to the start of the season, because he’d simply be in sync once he was back in his cleats and simply throwing the ball. Well there’s a vast difference between working up a sweat throwing a football to a bunch of high school kids and being hard at work getting your timing right during preseason workouts with your receiving corps <at the NFL level . Perhaps someone should have reminded Brett Favre of that ?

Courtesy of The Toronto Sun in conjunction with Reuters Tim Shaffer

NFL fines Favre in sexting case

NEW YORK — The NFL fined Brett Favre $50,000 on Wednesday, though it did not find the Vikings quarterback violated the league’s personal conduct policy.

The ruling ends the league’s investigation into allegations that Favre sent former Jets employee Jenn Sterger improper voice mails and several graphic pictures.

The NFL’s statement said the sole focus of the investigation was on whether Favre violated league policies regarding conduct in the workplace, which generally do not extend to private conduct or personal relationships.

But the league was not able to substantiate that Favre violated those rules, given the available information.

“On the basis of the evidence currently available to him, Commissioner [Roger] Goodell could not conclude that Favre violated league policies relating to workplace conduct,” the statement said. “The forensic analysis could not establish that Favre sent the objectionable photographs to Sterger.”

The statement said the NFL interviewed knowledgeable people — including Favre and Sterger — analyzed public reports, and reviewed available communications between Favre and Sterger as part of its investigation, which began in October. The league also employed an independent forensic analysis of electronically stored material.

However, because the actions occurred in 2008, when Favre played for the Jets, the league said the unavailability of some records and individuals limited the investigation.

Goodell did find that Favre did not cooperate in “a forthcoming manner,” resulting in a longer investigation and the $50,000 fine. The NFL’s statement said Goodell told Favre he would have imposed a “substantially” higher level of punishment if he found a violation of the league’s policies.

The league said it reviewed another media report about allegations involving other women working at the Jets’ facility in 2008, but could not substantiate any claim about Favre’s conduct because people who might have had relevant information did not cooperate.

Goodell reiterated the league’s stance on conduct in the workplace in a memo to teams on Wednesday, saying that Favre’s fine will help fund the league’s new training program.

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Clearly the ruse under which which Favre led this organization from team owner Zygi Wilf to the coaching staff on down and to many of his teammates was simply more to do with the money than him simply wanting to play football. He may well have wanted to play and win as he says but consider this ………. how has that situation now turned out ? Brad Childress the team’s former coach showed no backbone when dealing with Favre and many of the players who through much of the season questioned his authority . But then again once you hitch your wagon to a broken down old mule what else would you come to expect ?

With Childress’ firing , Leslie Frazier has become the interim head coach , a job I feel won’t be his for long given the prospective list of candidates who may well be interested once the season has ended. And inasmuch as Frazier insists that Favre will suit up for the final game of the season I can’t help but wonder how Joe Webb must now be feeling having engineered the team’s victory (24-14) over the high flying Philadelphia Eagles in Week 16 . Ah well Joe, welcome to big time where your dreams can be dashed in the blink of an eye especially in the case where everyone still seems to be kissing Brett Favre’s ass !

Vince Young may not yet have outlived his welcome in Tennessee but he’s sure as hell driven a wedge between himself and his coach Jeff Fisher . With his petulant behavior of simply calling out his coach and then leaving the stadium abruptly after a recent league game smacks sheer stupidity on his part and shows that he simply doesn’t have the mindset do what’s necessary in the interest of his team or teammates . As things now stand either Young goes or Fisher goes . The player’s so called apology for to his coach for his actions wasn’t done personally , instead Young sent a text message to Fisher in his less than tactful act of contrition. If Titans’ owner Ken ‘Bud’ Adams is as dumb as I believe him to be then his apparent fixation on Vince Young instinctively leads me to think that Fisher will be the one who’ll either be shown the door or he may well indeed resign from his position as coach of this team. Not only are the lunatics running this asylum but I do believe that Adams and Young now share the same straight jacket !

The Tennessee Titans’ season has been overwhelmingly disappointing and it’s pretty safe to say that a player such as Chris Johnson can’t be entirely happy with this situation. There are litany of problems on this team and it all starts with the fact that there’s no leadership on or off the field of play. Obviously Young can’t step forward as he’s simply not bright enough nor does he show that he’s mature enough. One good season in his tenure with the Titans simply proved that while there was a great deal of promise those jaw dropping moments in that BCS National Championship game for the Texas Longhorns against USC was simply nothing but a mere aberration. Truly what has Young really done to suggest that he can actually be the face of this franchise and actually lead them to the Superbowl ? Is there anyone out there with a simple answer to this question ? Or better yet does someone have <a href=”http://espn.go.com/melkiper/s/kiperbio.html&#8221; Mel Kiper’s number on speed dial ?

And while this Titans’ vessel runs adrift in this ocean of mediocrity what now become of Randy Moss ? Good God , how can someone literally waltz themselves off a playoff contender such as the New England Patriots , make their way to the Minnesota Vikings and within the mere blink of an eye for all sense and purpose where he’s now with a third team ___ has become a much maligned and is now thought of as nothing more than a festering cesspool of ongoing turmoil. Three NFL teams in one season and Moss’ productivity therein has been about as significant as that of a legislative session that’s held in the partisan cloisters of Congress . Neither of these two entities are doing enough to give anyone hope that there are better days ahead , as Moss can’t seem to do anything right at the moment for the Titans .and the members of Congress merely gesticulate while achieving nothing of great concern. If there was a time for the NFL postseason to start then that time would be now !

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Picture gallery for your perusal by clicking on individual frame you can view that
picture in its original formatted size.

What thoughts if any do have on the issues raised within this piece ? Simply chime in with a comment .

Alan aka tophatal ……………………………


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Summer Walker
Eye candy for the patrons . Summer Walker a season worth waiting for don’t you think ?

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NFL Season At A Glance ……………….

NFL Season At A Glance ……………….

The NFL —– season has been one of surprises and a great deal of disappointment and if anything the off the field stories have been just as suspenseful as the intrigue on the field. Brett Favre’s downward spiral into mediocrity has been one big hoop-lah after the other. And it would appear that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell would rather suborn the player’s behavior and hide behind the fact that quite possibly Favre’s imminent retirement will circumvent him having to suspend the player if his verdict is in fact a positive one that finds the player guilty any wrongdoing in his alleged sexual misconduct concerning a former New York Jets’ employee.

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On the field we’ve seen the fall from grace of the Minnesota Vikings and Dallas Cowboys the presumptive favorites to make it to this season’s NFC championship game. And as much as I’d like to say that it all came as a surprise to me but in reality nothing pleased me more than seeing both of these over hyped and underachieving teams fall like a lead balloon. Foolhardy management, inadequate coaching and players who simply were complacent essentially played a part in the soap opera that has encapsulated both teams’ season. For owners Jerry Jones and Zygi Wilf they’ve seen their year fall apart and that of any ambition they had professionally as well as from a financial standpoint. In Wilf’s case it was also the prospect of having the upper hand in terms of persuading the state legislature in their upcoming vote for a new stadium for the Minnesota Vikings. Jerry Jones’ ambition of not only hosting the Superbowl as the NFC representative has been shot to hell .

Coaching changes are abound with two firings have taken place Wade Philips , Brad Childress and it’s clear that with the Cincinnati Bengals —– Marvin Lewis choosing not to return to the team next season we may well be in for a slew of coaching upheavals with there being speculation as to whether or not the likes of Jon Gruden , Bill Cowher and Tony Dungy will be making a return to the NFL. They are viewed as the top three desirable coaching free agents on the market and it’d be asinine to think that a number of teams around the NFL won’t offer the trio an interview for any vacancy that may well arise.

Now while a number of teams are now in the mix for a playoff spot as well as those divisional titles that have yet to be settled . It goes without saying that for those teams who could end up playing spoiler and put an end of those postseason desirables. In the AFC West where I’ve always maintained that the football being played there borders on being mediocre, I’m still at a loss to understand the explanation and excitement that’s foisted upon the San Diego Chargers because they go on late regular season run as they strive to make the playoffs. For me if you simply can’t be consistent throughout the season then it simply doesn’t augur well for any ambition that they might have as the month of December and January approaches . As it is Norv Turner’s —- team is now in the fight of their life just to win their division and perhaps gain a postseason berth in the playoffs as a wild-card entrant. The division is now simply the Kansas City Chiefs to lose and as I alluded to earlier with the ineptitude being shown as to the form within the division just about anything can happen and actually has happened during the course of the season.

The NFC West has been no different as there we could well see a division winner with a sub .500 record make the playoffs. Clearly there are many fans in general, as well several team executives who feel that this is something that shows why many feel that they’re ought to be a change in the playoff format as it relates to the postseason seedings. But with there being no outwardly directly calls vocally as of yet other than the murmured rumblings for the moment the format is unlikely to change.

Steve Spagnuolo’s —- St Louis Rams appear to be in the driver’s seat with regard to the NFC West and their game against the San Francisco 49ers being a titanic matchup of two teams looking to make their bid. Guided by Sam Bradford , the Rams could be the surprise team of the playoffs as no one could’ve foreseen the strides taken not only by the team but also by Bradford in his rookie season . In terms of the 49ers this has been something of a tumultuous season as from one moment to the next Mike Singletary seems to have lost control of this team . And it would appear that he can’t make up his mind as which quarterback is his best option to lead this team. Alex Smith still remains an enigma despite his five years in the league and with Troy Smith this season has simply seen him placed into his cauldron for his baptism of fire with the 49ers .

The AFC and for all of the drama that has taken place there it seems that Bill Belichick has the New England Patriots riding high and Tom Brady would appear to be now the odds on favorite this season for league MVP. Brady’s year has been an exceptional one with this high scoring offense and a plethora of offensive weapons . But if there’s a cause for concern then it has to be this young defense that has been somewhat inconsistent but then at times they give you a snap as to what they might be potentially by showing their athleticism .

The AFC South now seems to be up for grabs and it appears that the Jacksonville Jaguars may well have played themselves out of contention for the division. A week ago you’d have been hard pressed to have bet against the Jaguars but it now appears that Jim Caldwell and the Indianapolis Colts led by Peyton Manning are is in a fight to make this division theirs once again. The Houston Texans who came out of the starting gates like a stallion seems to have fallen off the track and it now looks as if Gary Kubiak’s tenure as the team’s coach could very well be coming to an abrupt end. With that type of high powered offense it’s easy to see the appetite that the analysts may well have had for the team . But offense alone simply doesn’t win games the Texans’ defense this season has been as porous as a sponge giving up points like a child gives up his or her lunch money having been bullied by an elder child. Let’s just say that the Texans have been extremely philanthropic when it comes to losing.

The Jacksonville Jaguars should they fall at this obstacle it’s hard to see how these players and in particular Jack Del Rio can look the the fans in the eye and state they tried their best. Their best has never and was never good enough , enough it was marginally above average , if that at all !

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Now while many have made the comment that the Cleveland Browns have finally began to show some signs of life playing with a great deal of bravura it has to be said their divisional rivals the Cincinnati Bengals have been an immense disappointment . And despite the outward looking optimism shown by some team members Chad Ochocinco and Carson Palmer have shown little to suggest that they have what it takes to lead this team. The only positive to come out of this all may well have been the play of Terrell Owens who seems to have had a year that shows that he’s got a great deal to play for. Beyond that trying to salvage anything from this mess would be like shoveling manure and then suggesting that some real use can be made of it when you know that the flowers in a garden that have already blossomed.

As to what the remainder of the season portends for the NFL and these teams it remains to be seen what will transpire. But this much is certain with all of the drama that has taken place both on and off the field we do still have the intensity and the thrill of the postseason yet to avail itself to us. Make of it what you will . What thoughts if any do you have as to what you’ve witnessed this season within the NFL and what thoughts if any do you have with regard to the playoffs ?

Alan aka tophatal ………………………………..

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Laura-XXL Magazine

Eye candy …………….. Laura looking chivalrous, something to get your appetite up and running.

Who’s Going To Protect The Players If The NFL Itself Can’t Do Its Best To Protect Them ?

Who’s Going To Protect The Players If The NFL Itself Can’t Do Its Best To Protect Them ?

It’s becoming extremely difficult to find some reason to give credence to the events that took place on the sidelines of the game between the Miami Dolphins and New York Jets . The actions of Jets’ strength and conditioning coach Sal Alosi and that of a number of players who are on the teams’s injured reserved list . As the Dolphins’ Nolan Carroll raced down the sidelines Alosi made sure that his leg was there to impede Carroll causing him to fall to the ground. Now while an apology has been forthcoming from Alosi , one could clearly see that the move was intentional and not an accident as he was trying to suggest at the time. What might be even more unconscionable is the mere fact that Mike Westhoff the assistant coach to Rex Ryan is now coming to the defense of the beleaguered Alosi and suggesting that the incident was unfortunate mistake by his associate. The question I’d ask of Westhoff would he be of the same opinion were that a Jets’ player and the player in question were Mark Sanchez ? I guess we’ll never know but somehow I do believe that Westhoff and the Jets’ organization would be asking for their pound of flesh with the offender’s head being served up and placed on a silver platter !

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Alosi has since been suspended by the Jets’ organization indefinitely and the NFL is now conducting its own investigation into the incident. Roger Goodell and his office have to do more to stop this sort of irresponsible behavior and furthermore for the players who were on the sidelines at the time of the incident and stated this is done by them all the time, it begs the question why didn’t they speak out at the time of Alosi’s stupidity ? Two of the players who were on the sidelines at the time of the incident have stated that Sal Alosi asked them to be on the sidelines during regular game-time play and to be there as a way of depriving the opposing player room while in motion. Now what I’d like to know is what would have been done had Nolan Carroll been seriously injured during his fall after Alosi’s idiocy ? It’s bad enough that with the repeated injuries such concussions being suffered by a number of players after rather dubious plays in some instances we now have the NFL coming and imposing fines upon the players who are actually enacting these hits. To date the Pittsburgh Steelers’ ____ James Harrison has been penalized to the tune of $125,000 and it’d be fair to say that before season’s end that sum could rise exponentially.

Those of us who may well have seen the game between the Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles will have witnessed the mind numbingly physicality of the game between the two teams and there were several hits aimed at Eagles’ quarterback Michael Vick . The player who has been having a tremendous season to the extent that he’s now the top vote getter in the NFL for the Pro Bowl . That asides those hits and the fact that they were not called leads me to believe that Vick was fair game for the Cowboys’ defensive players . Were that say, Tom Brady , Peyton Manning , Philip Rivers or Drew Brees I do believe that the referees officiating the game would have called the penalties …….. roughing the passer ! But invariably the calls were not made even in light of the fact that many of the hits were most definitely after the play. It’s now being left to the league and certain officials after a game to determine what’s fair concerning a hit by a player on another player on the opposing team . If there’s no consistency by the officials officiating during a game then how can anyone believe that a decision made after the result has been determined makes things right ? If anything by perception alone this smacks of incompetency and sheer stupidity on the part of the NFL . But as Goodell’s office now determines what they deem to be appropriate then I guess that the focus and mindset within the game somehow changes in terms of the competitiveness of players and how to some extent a game will be determined.

We all know that the NFL is a ‘star driven league’ that’s essentially about the pre-eminent faces there and in this case those stars are inevitably the highly prized and well known quarterbacks around the game . As I alluded to earlier, the likes of Brady , Manning , Rivers and Brees are well protected by the officials and I’ve no doubt that this is being done at the behest of the commissioner’s office. The Green Bay Packers’ ___ Aaron Rodgers has now suffered his second concussion in as many months this season and is probable for the team’s —— game against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts . That being said without Rogers at the helm the Packers’ season could very well go up in smoke as they’re fighting for not only a playoff berth but also with the possibility of winning the NFC North . Things are tightening up within the NFC and it could very well be that the Green Bay Packers who were heavily favored as a playoff contender will now be on the outside looking in.

Speaking of quarterbacks isn’t it now time for Brett Favre to put an end to this farce and the possibility of him now returning to play the final three games of the Minnesota Vikings’ season ? As bad as things have been for the Vikings this season much of it has come about as Favre has seemingly fallen apart not only professionally but also privately , as there’s still an open ongoing investigation into the allegations that the player had sent sexually explicit pictures to Jenn Sterger a former New York Jets’ employee. If that wasn’t enough Favre has admitted to sending explicit messages to Sterger but states that pictures allegedly of him are in fact of someone else. Commissioner Goodell has stated that he’s close to making a decision concerning the player’s actions and that it will be in line with the league’s personal conduct policy. At best Favre would be looking at a suspension and perhaps some form of rehab which to my mind is all too little, too late considering the nature of the player’s actions and the fact that he’s married man, a father and grandfather. The league is all about its image but the fact of the matter is when it comes to doing what’s appropriate they continue to come up short repeatedly. It’s as if at times the league condones misogyny and acts such as this which are so egregious and unlawful. It now begs the question also why weren’t law enforcement officials brought in to investigate this matter when it first came to the fore ? This has been one story that Favre and the NFL wishes would go away.

The season itself now has come down to a number of teams looking to remain consistent and those looking for a backdoor into the playoffs. I’d recently suggested to a patron of my site that I felt it was ludicrous that we could very well see a team from either of the AFC West or NFC West win their division with a sub .500 record . And far be it for me to suggest but when that happens and a team with a much better record within the conference is denied a place merely because of a divisional winner’s record that to my mind smacks of stupidity ! And inasmuch as the league deems it a fair system there is nothing at all on appearance that is really fair. It’s all a matter of perception and what the league itself wishes as a proponent of the present format.

Rich McKay who’s the President of the Atlanta Falcons has proposed that the league re-seeds the teams once the regular season is over and wherein teams with a better record than those of a divisional winner within their respective conferences are given a higher seeding and home field advantage. This isn’t as complex as it might first sound but there are a number of detractors of McKay’s proposal and the fact that those teams who’d be affected aren’t entirely with these changes. But to my mind these changes would be far more beneficial to the league and for the fans but as we know the league has an aversion to change in a number of ways. Change is normally seen as being good but somehow I feel that at this moment in time the NFL would rather be at a standstill as it deals with a number of other obligations. Case in point they are no further along in their negotiations with the NFLPA and DeMaurice Smith the Executive Director of the union. And one would have thought that speeding up the labor negotiations and coming to an amicable agreement would be a great deal easier given the things at stake and possible loss of goodwill amongst the fans. In many ways I view the NFL hierarchy , owners and players as top heavy bureaucracy that’s laden with a group of idiots at all levels from the top on down.

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

What thoughts if any do you have on the NFL , the season and how the direction that things seem to be going for a number of teams around the league ? Chime in with a comment on your thoughts and views .

😛

Alan aka tophatal …………………… 🙂

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Sasha-XXL

Eye candy ………… Sasha . The month of June’s eye candy from XXL Magazine.
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Kimbella

The delectable Kimbella !. Is there anymore that needs to be said about her at this juncture ?

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Fu_k You And The Horse You Rode In On !

Fu_k You And The Horse You Rode In On !

Having been away from contributing pieces within this forum I must admit that work as of late has me working to be productive alongside my colleagues (economics research analyst within the corporate office of a law firm) on a multiple of tasks for a major corporate client . And the same has to be said amongst the players within the NFL and teamwork has to e prevalent and of the utmost if the goal is to achieve success . Having witness the maelstrom and the enigma and the NFL season that has become a complete misnomer one can’t but help ask the question as to what has taken place over the first three quarters of the season. The Buffalo Bills have become a complete parody and wide receiver Steve Johnson now blames God by ‘tweeting’ for his big mistake in dropping the ball in the endzone when he was on the cusp of winning the game for his team in their most recent outing. Pardon me for saying this Steve ………. but you’re the weakest link and a complete fu_king asshole for blaming your mistake on a ‘supreme being’ (deity) when it’s clearly you who’ve been at fault in the Bills’ resultant loss .

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Courtesy of The Wall St Journal

You Never Know Who’s on Twitter

By Jason Gay

Dear Steve Johnson,

Dude, what’s up with blistering me on Twitter? Do you think I have time to respond to everyone on that crazy thing? Last I checked, I have somewhere north of six billion Twitter followers. That’s at least 43 more than Ashton Kutcher.

But OK, let’s address your complaint. It says here you’re a wide receiver for the Buffalo Bills. That’s, let’s see…a rest-stop steakhouse in Wyoming? No, OK, sorry: It’s a professional football team in upstate New York. And this past Sunday, you apparently dropped a sure-thing game-winning touchdown pass in overtime against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

All right, we’re watching the replay now on the DVR. You’ve just torched the Steelers secondary, the pass lands softly in your hands, you stride into the end zone, press the ball to your chest, and…oh wow, Steve, how in heaven’s name did you drop that? Sorry, don’t mean to laugh, but: R2-D2 could have pulled that one down.

Apparently you think I’m responsible. After the game you logged onto Twitter and pecked out this tweet:

I PRAISE YOU 24/7!!!!!! AND THIS HOW YOU DO ME!!!!! YOU EXPECT ME TO LEARN FROM THIS??? HOW ???!!! ILL NEVER FORGET THIS!! EVER!!! THX THO…

First of all, what’s with the ALL CAPS, STEVE? Don’t you know that’s tantamount to yelling at me? Next time, unlock the caps-lock key, OK? And take it easy on the exclamation points—you’re not at a Katy Perry concert.

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Now as the season progresses and Week 13 awaits us what else can actually be said as to what the fans have witnessed over the past few weeks ? The hype still still seems to be there concerning the Minnesota Vikings and as far as I’m concerned that particular story for me creates about as much interest as the political aspirations of Sarah Palin ! The less said about the two parties the better off the country will be at present .

Now when it comes to the BCS system and the fallout that now seems to be taking place I’ve got to ask myself what is it that about Boise State that hasn’t already been said ? You either put up or simply shut the fu_k up ! Can we get a kicker in here please ?

OK so LeBron James and his teammates of the Miami Heat are about to placate themselves by laying blame for the team’s malaise on coach Eric Spoelstra . Now pardon me for saying this but if the players aren’t executing and the coach simply isn’t able to communicate with the players on the roster then clearly there seems to be something awry for the Miami Heat. The real problem here concerning the Heat is that this isn’t a team but simply a trio of egos assembled together by ‘Professor’ Pat Riley for his own vanity in the pursuit of another NBA title. If one remembers the last time a team had this many egos assembled together in such a way it was with the 2004 ______ Los Angeles Lakers and as we all know what befell that roster of future Hall of Famers led by Shaquille O’Neal , Gary Payton, Karl Malone , Kobe Bryant and Derek Fisher . Idiocy abounded there and here also in the present roster of the Miami Heat. LeBron James , Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh have shown little respect for their coach and it appears that while all this foments for the public’s consumption it shows clearly that Riley and the fans are clearly not entirely happy with the present situation. Now we have ‘Bumpgate’ and that in ofitself could lead with the possible demise as Spoelstra as the coach of the Miami Heat. Say it ain’t so …… but Riley coming down from his executive suite could very well be a distinct possibility.

So New York Yankees’ GM Brian Cashman and team ownership led by Hank Steinbrenner have essentially stated to team captain Derek Jeter that he’s quite welcome to seek out other teams’ offers as he’s about to become a free agent. The face , heart and soul of the franchise over the last decade plus , now finds himself the unwanted child and persona non grata within the Yankees kingdom. Does anyone truly believe that the Yankees would be stupid enough to allow the face of this ballclub to leave and create a maelstrom of discontent amongst the fans ? A fool and their money are easily parted but as we know nobody spends money as lavishly and as foolhardy as the Yankees have been known to . Can I hear $30 million for Alex Rodriguez whose postseason productivity this past season was about plentiful as a speech given by Sarah Palin as she speaks about the malaise of the country and what ails it. Simply put that wasn’t money well spent but the idiotic Yankees’ fans will continue to regale us with the fact that they’ve won 27 World Series titles . Who really gives a fuck when your last postseason appearance showed simply how overrated and what a complete mess the team was this past postseason. Could I have put it anymore succinctly ? I guess not !

The sporting weekend and all that it has brought us has been simply nothing more than we ought to expect. In some circles specifically the NFL, the ensuing weeks will be about how a number of teams will fare as the season progresses. A number of teams are sure to be under a great deal of scrutiny in particular the San Diego Chargers and how they’ve fared over the season. Phillip Rivers and the Chargers are on a mission and it’s finally to allay the fear of those who feel that the team aren’t capable of winning a postseason game much less make it to the Superbowl . And until this team actually shows me in particular that they are capable of doing that I’m not thoroughly convinced that they’re the team to beat ! As good as Rivers has been this season until he and head coach Norv Turner can prove to us all that they can be great in the postseason I’m not thoroughly convinced that they’re the ones to watch this upcoming postseason within the AFC !

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

What sporting events if any this past weekend was something that you felt was something of a surprise for you as a fan ? Once again for me it was the fall from grace of a team in the BCS collegiate football standings . If you can’t stand the heat in the kitchen then simply get the hell out of the kitchen !

😛

Alan aka tophatal …………………… 🙂

Video vixens on parade for your pleasure and edification so do enjoy.

Kianna Lynae . Lord have mercy upon my soul .

Less is never better than more because it’s a fact that we guys are simply ‘horny bastards’.

Press Play Or Rewind ……….

Press Play Or Rewind ……….

Well the NBA ___ season though not yet in full swing has given us a great deal to contend with and to discuss. Washington Wizards’ rookie point guard John Wall has already set himself apart from the rest of this season’s rookies with a grand entrance by posting a triple double in the team’s first win of the season. And if the player’s exhilirating displays are anything to go by then fans attending the Verizon Center in Washington DC will be in for a treat for much of the season.

Wizards’ coach Flip Saunders has got to be encouraged with the effort put forth by the young rookie who seems to be showing a growth and maturity far beyond his young years. And indeed the front office of the organization led by team President Ernie Grunfeld, VP of Basketball Operations Tommy Sheppard and VP of Player Personnel Milt Newton must feel a sense of justification in making Wall the number one overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft . And while there can be no denying that the team will undergo some growing pains as the team tries to acclimatize itself with the offseason changes made within the organization it has to be said that this start may well augur well for the Wizards and the faith shown in John Wall .

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Now as we all know with the recent moves that took place within the Eastern Conference of the NBA wherein everything seemed to have revolved around the acquisitions of Chris Bosh and LeBron James by the Miami Heat made everything else pale into insignificance. So much so, that even with the New York Knicks acquiring Amar’e Stoudemire with Shaquille O’Neal and Jermaine O’Neal now finding a home with the Boston Celtics. All the fervor and furore seems to be about what happens within the conference and whether or not the Heat can seemingly led what many NBA analysts will be a ceremonial romp and anointing of the team as NBA champions .

With Gilbert Arenas due to make an imminent return it will be interesting to see how the seasoned veteran deals with his new teammate and who takes the reins of the team. And given what we know about Arenas as a player and the fact that he’s still under close scrutiny of not only the NBA hierarchy led by NBA Commissioner David Stern but also the entire front office of the Wizards’ organization. He’s now on something of a tight leash and any major transgression could see his career with the Wizards come to an abrupt end. The player has already fallen afoul with his coach this preseason having lied to him having faked an injury in a preseason game to facilitate the entry of rookie Nick Young into the game played against the Atlanta Hawks. Even with a public apology to the organization and the fans it has to be said that Arenas just doesn’t seem to have that instinct as knowing what’s right from wrong. Being armoral would appear to be the norm for the player and his mindset would appear to be if …. I screw up a less than contrite apology will suffice .

I’m under no illusion about the expectations of this team and although I can foresee them making the NBA playoffs I don’t fully expect them to challenge the likes of the Atlanta Hawks , Boston Celtics, Chicago Bulls or Miami Heat for overall supremacy and dominance within the Eastern Conference. At best should they qualify from within their conference I can’t see them being any higher than a fifth or sixth seed at best . Much of the team’s fortunes this season will be dependent on how much cohesion is shown by the team and obviously upon the coaching prowess shown by Flip Saunders and his coaching staff . If they can play with any type of consistency and maintain that level throughout the season then the bye product by way of an above .500 record and the garnering of a playoff berth would be viewed as tremendous bonus by the organization.

If you thought that the bloodbath of the midterm elections were bad wherein the Tea Party essentially corralled in not only what appears to be an intransigent Republican Party that gave the Democrats an ass kicking which its leadership will long remember well into the future. It has to be said that President Barack Obama , Senator Harry Reid and House Representative and former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi have to be licking their wounds and perhaps now see the error of their ways ? You simply cannot expect to always govern from a position of strength without showing civility and at the same time be willing to listen to an opposing view no matter how idiotic you might think it to be. Well that’s now what seems to have happened as the President has come out and accepted the blame for his party’s disastrous showing in these elections. Consider however , what now seems to be going on within the organizations of the Dallas Cowboys , Minnesota Vikings and Washington Redskins ? Comedic farces simply don’t get any better than this and it would take an extremely creative writer to script something far more riveting and funnier than what we’re all now witnessing . I’d dare say that should this ever hit the big screen there’d be a plethora of Hollwood A-listers willing to take on and play the lead roles of the main characters in question ?

Cowboys’ owner Jerry Jones has offered his profound apologies to the team’s fans and the fact that he hadn’t envisaged things getting so out of hand . I beg to differ as this team simply wasn’t as good as advertized ! And in coach Wade Phillips , Jones possesses a coach who seems to be way out of his depth , never mind the fact that the coach himself and his coaching staff have been about as efficient as the use of a sponge would have proven to be on the Titanic . Suffice to say that Phillips couldn’t coach or find his way out of a wet paper bag ! To suggest that Phillips ought to be viewed as a lame duck coach would be something of an understatement but the longer this charade goes on the worse it becomes for the entire organization never mind the team itself. Not one of these players on the team has a sense of pride or purpose as they systematically seem to be “mailing it in” each successive week while the team’s owner continues to look like the proverbial buffoon ! I can only assume that the Cowboys’ fans will continue to attend in droves at Cowboys Stadium to witness the diatribe now being served up by team right through to the end of the season . In retrospect the Cowboys’ season is already over but I’d like to think that the Green Bay Packers can simply add another in that coffin when the two teams meet at Lambeau Field Green Bay , Wisconsin this upcoming Sunday !

I’d like to think that the farce also on display with the Minnesota Vikings will soon come to an abrupt end . But unfortunately anything that seems to involve Brett Favre seems to be prolonged and can be as painful to endure as a bad tooth ache. Suffice to say that with the fallout over the Randy Moss affair and Brad Childress’ rather innocuous explanation that the trade for the player was a mistake gives one the impression that the club has now become a legitimate asylum for the legally insane. Could this been what team owner Zygi Wilf envisaged for his team at the start of the season ? I certainly don’t think so ! But then again this is the Vikings we’re talking about and whose every move has been placed under the microscope this season as if we were all witnessing some kind of lab experiment taking place . God this petri dish just seems to be going rancid and personally I don’t think that I can stomach much more of this crap !

Well it appears that Redskins’ owner Dan Snyder for all of business prowess simply can’t hire a coach who seemingly possesses and ounce of intellect. With the recent hiring of Mike Shanahan and an entirely new coaching staff which also includes Shanahan’s son , Kyle Shanahan . It would appear that no sooner had things seem to have calmed down within the organization a full blown maelstrom seems to be back within the team’s midst. Now at the midpoint of the team’s season Mike Shanahan seems to be questioning not only the fitness of his starting quarterback Donovan McNabb but aslo the player’s skillset as it surround McNabb’s comprehension of the “two minute drill”. Not only that but Shanahan would then proffer up the comment that McNabb’s backup Rex Grossman would be better suited to lead the team in such moment’s during a game. Given Grossman’s lack of dexterity having replaced McNabb in the waning moments of team’s game against the Detroit Lions and their subsequent loss 37-25 .I’ve got to ask myself what the hell was it that Shanahan and his son were watching ?

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Picture gallery for your perusal . By clicking on each frame you can view an individual picture in its original formatted size.

There’s the suggestion that parity within the NFL makes the game a great spectacle but given the display of the teams within the NFC I’m not so sure that’s exactly what we’re now seeing at present. If things get much worse I think that the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) ought to intervene and fine the NFL in order to protect the consumer (fans) from fraud. Because to my mind that’s what is now being perpetrated by the NFL at present !

What thoughts if any do you have concerning the fate of the Washington Wizards this season ? Also how do you see the turmoil now unfolding for the Cowboys , Redskins and Vikings ending up ? Simply chime on in with a comment . From my own perspective I’d rather see this all play out rather than there being a complete rewind of the whole charade we’ve all witnessed so far !

😦 * 🙂

Alan aka tophatal …. 🙂

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Bria Myles

Eye candy ……. Bria Myles

Bria's ass split

More of Bria is what I’d personally like to see and feel !