Witnessing the good , the bad and the ugly ….

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Witnessing the good , the bad and the ugly ….

Twelve weeks into the NFL season and in reality there is not a great deal to rejoice about , as several teams have simply failed to live up to expectations. Needless to say at the end of the regular season or perhaps the postseason, a number of head coaches are likely to be dismissed along with their coaching staffs. Topping that list is likely to be the New York Jets’ head coach Rex Ryan who has led his team to a 2-9 season, with the Jets firmly rooted at the bottom of the AFC East .

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To realize how bad the New York Jets have been , you simply have to look at their performance against their divisional rivals the Buffalo Bills. The fans were subjected this monstrous perversion as being great football in the NFL. Laughable to say the very least when you consider the team’s two quarterbacks combined for a performance that would make an NFL fan cringe in revulsion, as to what they had just witnessed. Geno Smith and Michael Vick together went for seventeen of thirty-one in their completions , with 165 passing yards and one interception . If this is what the Jets insist upon selling to their fans and the rest of the NFL in what turned out to be a 38-3 blowout and travesty of a game . Then we need not lament the loss of Rex Ryan , Geno Smith or Michael Vick at the end of this season. As to the idiots, who believe Smith can still become a serviceable quarterback in the NFL , then my answer to you all , bring back Mark Sanchez . Even at his worst , Sanchez was never as incompetent as we have witnessed with Smith this season and last year in particular .

From a defensive and offensive standpoint the New York Jets have been woefully inept and the very fact Rex Ryan and his coaching staff have failed to address those issues have led to their present predicament.

In week thirteen the New York Jets will play hosts to the Miami Dolphins in a home game played at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford , New Jersey. I am not so sure that the Jets’ fans will be there to cheer on their home team or simply boo them , while welcoming the Dolphins with open arms ! In all honesty , all this team has provided their fans all season long , has been nothing but never-ending heartache and little else beyond that . Ryan and the Jets will look to seek their third win of the season, while seeking to make up for a disastrous three-quarters of the schedule having pass the Jets’ fans by .

A five-game losing streak can tell you a great deal about a team and the direction they are said to be heading in. Perhaps no other franchise epitomizes that fact than the Carolina Panthers . They may not be rooted at the bottom of the worse division in the NFL at present . Yet there is little to suggest last season’s NFC South divisional champions can now equal that feat in what has been a disastrous season for the team . Head coach Ron Rivera has to be at a loss in explaining how things could have gone so ” far south” for a team where a great deal had been expected from them in 2014. Were it not for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-9) and their mediocre showing , we might be discussing which of the quartet of teams within the division might just be the worst. All four teams within the NFC South bear a sub. 500 record a and it seems a travesty, the likely winner of the division will have the privilege of being a part of the postseason at the expense of a team likely to better record overall within the conference (NFC). Such are the vagaries of the system and rules put in place by the NFL.

A bye in week twelve gave the Panthers a chance to recuperate while injured players could regain their active status but their their loss in week eleven to the Atlanta Falcons provided us with litany of reasons why the Carolina Panthers’ season has been so woefully inept. Panthers’ quarterback Cam Newton seems to be off his game for a variety of reasons . Without a passing game to assist the team and a running game barely consistent there seems to be nothing left in the tank for this team.

Carolina will be on the road in week thirteen when they face conference rivals the Minnesota Vikings in a “must win game ” if they are to have any chance of making inroads on the divisional lead of the Atlanta Falcons. The Falcons for their part will be taking on the best team in the NFC this season, when they host the Arizona Cardinals (9-2) , the surprise of the NFL this year. A win for Bruce Arians’ Cardinals guarantees them a playoff berth and leaves the three remaining teams beneath them within the NFC West scrambling to make good on the remainder of their season. As to what might this suggest, specifically for the San Francisco 49ers (7-4) and the Seattle Seahawks (7-4) with their being so much at stake , will likely lead to one, if not both of these teams quite possibly missing a postseason berth.

When Lovie Smith succeeded Greg Schiano as the head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers , it was thought he would bring a great deal of discipline to the franchise , something lacking in his predecessor. Granted, for the one season Schiano was in charge of the team , they played hard , but unfortunately , playing hard does not equate to wins or success for that matter . This season Smith has failed to instill discipline into this team , a fact borne out by their record , fumbles and penalties accumulated throughout their entire schedule. The one bright spot one might care to acknowledge, has been the play or their rookie wide receiver and best player this year , Mike Evans . Anything else can simply be viewed as being downright mediocre .

Coming off a ham-fisted loss (21-13) to the Chicago Bears, it easy to understand why the Buccaneers have been so inconsistent this season. At no time during this game , were you ever given the impression they had the chance to win the contest . Certainly not in the second half of the game , where they could only muster three points and that was solely through a field goal attempt. It certainly does not paint a pretty picture of this team from an offensive standpoint , let alone delving into the fact their defense has been mind-bogglingly absurd and inefficient. We are likely to see more of that ineptitude when the Buccaneers entertain the Cincinnati Bengals (7-3) at Raymond Stadium in Tampa , Florida this upcoming Sunday. A game which is likely to be used as a springboard for the Bengals as they seek to maintain their slender lead in the AFC North .

As a precursor to Sunday’s games , as is usual at this time of the year, the traditional Thanksgiving Day rollout , has the customary participants the Dallas Cowboys (8-3) and Detroit Lions (7-4) vying for the privilege of making the fans’ festivities on the day seem that little bit more special . Yes, the Cowboys might be in the midst of a competitive battle with the Philadelphia Eagles (8-3) for divisional supremacy in the NFC East. A division to my mind which has been brought back down to earth by the ineptitude shown of the New York Giants (3-8) and Washington Redskins (3-8) or whatever they are likely to call themselves at some point in the future, pending their litigation in US Federal Court . The fact of the matter remains Tony Romo is one hit away from having his season come to a debilitating end. Equally as important to his team , Matt Stafford has to know his game has to be played at more rational pace rather than helter-skelter, as has often been the case.

When the Dallas Cowboys take aim at knocking off the Philadelphia Eagles at Cowboys Stadium on Thursday afternoon, it will be part of a three-game trilogy on the day. The Detroit Lions will host the Chicago Bears at Ford Field in Detroit , Michigan , with the final game on the Thanksgiving Day schedule being a match-up between the Seattle Seahawks playing the San Francisco 49ers at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara , California , . All three games promise to be highly competitive divisional contests and likely to add a great deal more intrigue to the season with so much being at stake for all six teams involved.

Sunday’s games will also also likely to provide the fans with their fair share of suspense, but we can also count on several of those contests to be bone chillingly lopsided affairs or worse . One game likely to have the fans on the edge of their seats will pit Tom Brady and the New England Patriots (9-2) as they go on the road to face Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers (8-3) at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin,. This game will pit two of the NFL’s best quarterbacks over the past five seasons as these two titans of the game square off for the for only second time in their careers . Hard to believe, given the legacies both Brady and Rodgers have established for their respective franchises. In that first meeting in 2006 , where the Packers were on the wrong end of a 35-0 humiliation at Lambeau Field, something ideally the Packers’ quarterback and his teammates are not likely to forget . This contest I believe, will be a great deal closer and it is my opinion , the visiting team will come away with the victory , purely from the standpoint they are a more well-balanced team and their defense has been very consistent over the course of this season , and specifically over their last five games where they have managed to shut down their opponents with consummate ease.

Perennially bad teams in the NFL are not uncommon, and this season the Jacksonville Jaguars (1-10) and Oakland Raiders(1-10) seem intent on making it a reality of upholding that longstanding tradition which embodies ineptitude. These two teams are a combined 2-20 , and 1-4 in their last five games. The fact they possess the two worst records in the NFL should not be looked upon with deference at all.

It is clear what ails the Jaguars and Raiders goes far beyond ineptitude and has everything to do with bad coaching and some whimsical and often asinine notion by fans and analysts alike , that teams can simply create their success by spending big , acquiring talent via free agency , often overrated and they will be well on their way to success. It has not worked for the Raiders over the past six seasons and it definitely has not worked for Jacksonville since Shahid Khan assumed control of the Jaguars’ franchise. From a draft standpoint , both teams have failed miserably bolster their respective rosters to be competitive enough this season , let alone last season. Yet, he we are once again watching both the Jacksonville Jaguars and Oakland Raiders swoon while both franchises have seen a precipitous drop in their attendance levels in comparison to 2013. With both teams now subject to relocation rumors it begs the question, which municipality would really try to endear themselves to a losing NFL franchise solely on the basis of the perception of it all making sound economic sense ?

As popular as the league( NFL) is said to be on the North American landscape and with the NFL now having global tentacles .The he fact of the matter remains , the greater Los Angeles area has no wish for an NFL franchise , where the city itself will be on the ” financial hook” for a venue to house that team. No matter how anyone tries to spin it , the NFL is now being ran by a by a bunch snake oil salesmen . Roger Goodell , is simply leading the charge , while pulling the wool over the eyes of everyone . with a diluted and mediocre product, where he can simply point to the increased revenues of the NFL and not much else.

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The popularity of the league’s marquee players will remain popular , until their retirement, but what then happens when the cupboard is bare and there is no one yet deemed ready to step into the shoes of a Tom Brady , Peyton Manning , Drew Brees , Aaron Rodgers , Larry Fitzgerald or Reggie Wayne for that matter ? Care to have take on it all ?

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Picture and slideshow details below.

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(1) Scott Chandler(84) of the Buffalo Bills scores on a nineteen yard second quarter touchdown as Jaiquawn Jarrett (37) of the New York Jets defends during the game at Ford Field on November 24 , 2014 in Detroit, Michigan. The Bills would go on to defeat the Jets 38-3 in a lopsided contest. . Getty Images North America / Leon Halip …

(2) Quarterback Geno Smith (7) of the New York Jets throws against the Buffalo Bills in the fourth quarter at Ford Field on November 24, 2014 in Detroit, Michigan. Buffalo defeated New York 38-3. Getty Images/ Jamie Sabau …

(3) New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith (7) and New York Jets quarterback Michael Vick (1) on the sideline in the first quarter of their NFL preseason football game in East Rutherford, New Jersey, August , 22, 2014. Reeling at 2-9 this season the Jets are firmly rooted at the bottom of the AFC East with the duo quite possibly the worst tandem in the AFC and the league this season, with no signs the Jets’ passing game is likely to improve over the remainder of the season. AP Photo/ Ray Stubblebine …

(4) New York Jets’ head coach Rex Ryan is seen here on the sidelines during a regular season game. The beleaguered Ryan is seeking to save his job as well as the team’s season , but it is beginning to look as if he is in the last throes of coaching this franchise , along with a roster of players who have greatly underperformed this season. No formal statement has been made by anyone from within the front office , as the belief seems to be the coach will be fired at the end of this season. AP Photo / Paul Hobbs …

(5) Cam Newton (1) quarterback of the Carolina Panthers is seen here during a game played against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia , Pennsylvania. The Eagles would defeat the Panthers in the contest and prolong their losing streak . AP Photo / Amy Hughes …

(6) May 9, 2014 – Tampa, Florida, U.S. – DANIEL WALLACE | Times.Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Lovie Smith , left, listens to wide receiver Mike Evans as he answers questions after being introduced to local media at One Buc Place on Friday, May 9, 2014. Evans was named the Buccaneers 2014 NFL Draft first-round pick on Thursday night. . Evans has been a revelation for the Buccaneers this season and one of their most productive players on a consistent basis all season long. Credit Image: © Daniel Wallace/Tampa Bay Times/ ZUMAPRESS.com copyrighted material all rights reserved ..

(7) Matt Stafford (9) ,left, of the Detroit Lions and Tony Romo of the Detroit Dallas Cowboys will lead their respective teams into this season’s Thanksgiving Day games against divisional rivals . Both players are hoping to be as productive for their teams as they were last season at the same point of the 2013 schedule. Getty Images / Adam Holmes ..

(8) Tom Brady of the New England is seen here with his Green Bay Packers’ counterpart Aaron Rodgers , basking in the revelry of the Kentucky Derby . The two players will be on opposite sides of the field when their two teams meet on Sunday afternoon at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin ,. This will be only the second professional meeting between these two much heralded quarterbacks , with Brady coming out the winner in that first contest and a Patriots’ 35-0 victory over the Packers. Sunday’s contest is unlikely to be that lopsided a game between the two franchises. AP Photo / Matt Holcomb …

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Tophatal …. 11/26/2014 02:45 AM EST

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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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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 .

I don’t like Mondays …

I don’t like Mondays …..

Well it’s Monday and in the aftermath of an excellent sports’ weekend we can look back and assess the damage done by way of the results. Major League Baseball and the mystifying play of the teams was beyond bewildering. Two of the series were uncompetitive with the Baltimore Orioles sweeping the Detroit Tigers with immense ease. In the other ALDS contest, the Cinderella story continues with Ned Yost and the Kansas City Royals continuing their march through the postseason after downing the Los Angeles Angels. As to what this might say about a team whose payroll exceeds the Royals’ almost “two to one “ , has me now believing , it’s not about the pay alone , but the quality of the players and their commitment to pursuing the same goals .

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For Angels’ manager Mike Sciocsia , this might have been his last season in charge as the manager of Major League team. Executives , Arte Moreno and GM Jerry Dipoto are likely to make the decision relieve Sciocsia of his managerial duties , with several of the players on the current roster likely to be shown the door .

The two remaining series still ongoing, have now become the best of a three-game series, with the Los Angeles Dodgers and St Louis Cardinals’ squared at one game apiece (1-1), with the Washington Nationals and San Francisco Giants also squared one apiece . Game three for the four teams will take place on Monday 6th October , 2014 with the home teams in both cases seeking to take a 2-1 advantage in their respective series.

Say what you will about the College Football season with the now defunct BCS seeking re-image itself as a more concerned entity and its perceived image by the fans. With intelligence , it is said comes clarity and a sense of purpose, but for collegiate athletics as it relates to football, it is business as usual , with money being the preeminent reason for the game to exist . Where else can you witness such brazen greed among the major conference, with the programs themselves and conference commissioners playing an active role in how the tens of billions of dollars in revenue are disbursed ? I guess the word “shamateurism ” is well represented , with the NCAA playing their part in making sure the fraud continues , albeit the all too naive fans of the game and college athletics believes there still remains some endearing principles being upheld.

If nothing else, with a new playoff format now set to unfold the results one would hope, will play some part in how the empaneled body will seek come up with their premise upon which teams are likely to be playing for a national championship in College Football. Week six’s results were somewhat surprising , with Alabama falling to conference rivals Ole Miss in a very extraordinary result .

We all know how competitive the SEC will be this season , with several teams within the conference likely to be vying for one of the playoff berths. With Alabama’s loss , things have not only been shaken up within the conference , but also among the collegiate landscape and the national rankings . How five weeks into the schedule , Nick Saban’s team can still be ranked inside the top ten having suffered a conference loss while noted unbeaten teams are ranked lower, remains as mystifying as the play of the players during their game against the Rebels.

I am not about to suggest Nick Saban and the Tide’s hopes have been dashed after this defeat, but it is unlikely to be an aid to the team and their long-term goals. Next up for Alabama will be a game against Arkansas (Razorbacks) in a contest likely to be a competitive match-up between these two teams.

It seems rather idiotic the talk within certain circles happens to be the future of Florida Gators’ head coach Wil Muschamp after an indifferent season in 2013 and a rather tenuous start to 2014 . AD Jeremy Foley has stated Muschamp’s job is safe for now and there will be no changes made until the end of the season. Florida (3-1) are a good team , but they are not a great team and while the expectations are always high for a program known for the success gained with Urban Meyer as the head coach. It must be said, the Gators became very complacent after their two most recent national title championships. A great deal of the blame rests squarely on the shoulders of Meyer prior to his abrupt departure from the program.

The Gators’ defeat came in their week four loss to Alabama in what was to be a reflection of their season so far . If you thought things would get any easier, then consider the fact Florida struggled in their next game eking out a 10-9 win over Tennessee (Volunteers) in a terrifically bad exhibition of football by both teams on the day within the SEC .

Gators’ quarterback Matt Jones was the starter in the game against the Volunteers who struggled constantly as did his backup , Jeff Driskell , but the issues of the team are not just on the offensive side of ball but also defensively which suggest Wil Muschamp and his staff have a great deal of work do before their next game . That contest will be against another SEC behemoth , where Les Miles and the LSU Tigers will be the guests of Florida this upcoming Saturday , 11th October, 2014 at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, Florida.

Heisman Trophy winners often viewed as the best player in College Football for the year they won the trophy or simply for the body of their work during their college career. In recent seasons we have seen winners such as Cam Newton , Robert Griffin III and now Johnny Manziel take the step from the college ranks to the professional level. In 2014 , the front-runner for the award appears to be Marcus Mariota of Oregon (Ducks) , a program simply known for their offensive prowess while showing very little guile on defense . Such are the ways of the programs within the Pac-12 , that it remains easy to understand why those teams have continued to struggle in recent seasons to make inroads in winning a national title.

Mariota and the team were off to an impressive start to their season before being recently upended by conference rivals Arizona (Wildcats) in a lively contest where the two opposing quarterbacks let loose with their array of talents . This was a game which told us a great deal about Mariota, but also likely may , well have forestalled his chances of winning the Heisman this season . I believe he remains the front-runner , where last year’s winner Jameis Winston because of his off-field antics will be overlooked as a repeat winner and where the other likely candidates may well have inched closer in closing the gap on the presumed leader . Todd Gurley , Amari Cooper , Ameer Abdullah , Kenny Hill , Dak Prescott , Everett Golson and Melvin Gordon are seen as the players still in with a chance of claiming college football’s most prestigious individual trophy.

Week seven will see Oregon led by head coach Mark Helfrich lead his team against the UCLA Bruins (4-1) in what is sure to be a lively contest.

You have to wonder how much longer fans of the NFL can endure the idiotic antics , rhetoric and pragmatism of New York Jets’ head coach Rex Ryan . At the start of the season Ryan was extolling the virtues of his team and in particular his quarterback Geno Smith. Five weeks into the NFL season and Smith remains one of the least productive quarterbacks in the league and his frailties and tendencies are still being exposed .

Coming off the wrong side of an embarrassing defeat, where no real explanation could be offered up by anyone on the Jets’ coaching staff or roster . It easy to now understand why everyone might want to hide their heads in shame . Not only did Philp Rivers and the San Diego enjoy exploiting the New York Jets’ secondary, but I got the impression had the Chargers not made a number mistakes the margin of victory certainly would have exceeded fifty points instead of the end result of 31-0 , in a rout of the Jets.

There are few alternatives for Rex Ryan with regard to demoting Geno Smith and then calling on a veteran such as Michael Vick . The former starter with both the Atlanta Falcons and Philadelphia Eagles is now on the downside of a less than stellar career . Things are unlikely to get any easier in six when the New York Jets host the Denver Broncos who are coming off the demolition of the Arizona Cardinals this past week . Needless to say , Peyton Manning is likely to revel in the task of shredding the Jets’ defense throughout this contest.

In week seven the Jets will lock horns with the New England Patriots in a game which will likely have a bearing determining the AFC East , where the play has been less than impressive from the teams within the division.

New England have been far from convincing through their first five games , A> with some now questioning the consistency of Tom Brady’s play and of the defense and offense in particular . A great deal of the blame rests squarely on the shoulders of head coach Bill Belichick and his coaching staff who seem to be showing complacency in a number of areas. A case could be made that Josh McDaniels and Matt Patricia are failing in their respective duties without pointing blame at the Pro Bowl quarterback . And while the Patriots lead the AFC East , the division is by no means sewn up , albeit, it remains a poor division in terms of the overall play witnessed this season.

Policy or no policy , the idiocy of the league as well as their front office executives remains bewildering and rather self-absorbed . Who are the NFL trying to protect , if not themselves ? Clearly, neither Roger Goodell or the owners have the faintest idea about reality and the world they conduct business in, other than to make money at the cost of consumers , and the legions of female fans of the league. As for the insistence of the league, it remains conscious of their duties in fighting off all stereotypes of their image, concerning player misconduct, consider the negative stories which have engulfed the league recently and the response from the NFL , certain members of the hierarchy without the failure of the NFLPA (union) and its executive committee to step up and issue an official statement. Instead there has been a great deal of rhetoric , pragmatism but above all , a great deal of goddamn hypocrisy and apathy on the part the traditional male fans , who seem to be Neanderthal in their nature and thinking .

Colin Kaepernick and the Forty Niners have been indifferent in terms of their performances this season . Having landed a multi-year , multi-million dollar contract which makes the quarterback among the highest paid players in the NFL . It would be true to suggest through five games, Kaepernick seems a mere shadow of the player who took the franchise to their most recent playoff successes , albeit they failed in their ultimate goal of claiming a Superbowl victory.

Kapernick and the San Francisco 49ers(3-2) will be in for a tough battle with the Seattle Seahawks(3-1) as they each seek divisional supremacy within the NFC West this season . The divisional games between these two teams this season should tell us a great deal about both teams as well as the two opposing quarterbacks , Colin Kapernick and Russell Wilson . Wilson for his part almost single-handed took apart the woefully inept Washington Redskins(1-4) in the latest chapter of another bad Monday Night Game this
season
.

With there being a great deal on unrest now said to be ongoing within the San Francisco 49ers’ locker room and the adversarial approach now taking place between head coach Jim Harbaugh and his players , it remains to be seen whether not the coach last the season or the possibility he might be fired by Trent Baalke .

It’s still early days yet , but with a new owner in tow , Tom Benson of the New Orleans Pelicans has to be hoping the franchise he purchased will one of the teams likely to be very competitive this season . With Anthony Davis coming off a FIBA World Cup medal tournament win and the player being the centerpiece of head coach’s Monty Willams’ ambitions for this team . It will be interesting to see how the players fare once the regular season gets underway.

While I believe the Pelicans to be a good team , they are not yet a great team and they have no real pedigree or body of work to show they will be one of the better franchises within their division much less their conference this upcoming season. What we are aware of, is the very fact they have a young core group of players quite capable of excelling at the highest levels when coached by a very good staff . Dell Demps has assembled a roster he believes will be good enough to make a competitive challenge within the Southwestern Division and Western Conference this upcoming season .

Anthony Davis , a supporting cast of Jimmer Fredette , Tyreke Evans , Luke Babbitt , Eric Gordon , John Salmons and Austin Rivers are likely to provide Pelicans’ fans with a number of highlights this season. In the preseason the team has already had their way with an experienced Miami Heat team , that may well appear to be still shell-shocked after their rather shocking display in NBA Finals last season.

The Pelicans will open their regular season schedule against the Orlando Magic in a game where the home team will have a distinct advantage. Regular season meetings between the two teams over the past four years have been entertaining and wild, with the emphasis placed on offense over defense. Anthony Davis will be viewed as the focal point of the team, but I believe it will be Tyreke Evans who will prove to be one the primary mainstays for the Pelicans over the course of this season . Games against the San Antonio Spurs will be of particular interest , as it will be a way for the Pelicans to test the merits of the team .

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Picture gallery .

In the aftermath of this sports’ weekend , what do you feel was the biggest story to unfold and which event do you think was simply over-hyped and merely the media looking to make something out of nothing ?

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Picture and slideshow details below .

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(1) Baltimore Orioles designated hitter Nelson Cruz gestures after hitting a two-run home run during the sixth inning in Game 3 of baseball’s AL Division Series against the Detroit Tigers, Sunday, Oct. 5, 2014, in Detroit. Cruz was one of the primary reasons why the Orioles swept the Tigers in three games to make it to this season’s ALCS where they will face the Kansas City Royals with the winner representing the AL in this year’s World Series . AP Photo/Carlos Osorio …

(2) Baltimore Orioles’ Nick Markakis , right, and Nelson Cruz celebrate after Baltimore defeated the Detroit Tigers, 2-1, in Game 3 of baseball’s AL Division Series Sunday, Oct. 5, 2014, in Detroit. Baltimore won the series 3-0. AP Photo/Paul Sancya …

(3) Kansas City Royals’ Eric Hosmer , right, celebrates his two-run home run with Alex Gordon in the 11th inning against the Los Angeles Angels in Game 2 of baseball’s AL Division Series, in Anaheim, Calif., Friday, Oct. 3, 2014. AP Photo/Gregory Bull …

(4) Kansas City Royals manager Ned Yost, right, celebrates with Mike Moustakas after the Royals’ 3-2 win over the Los Angeles Angels in 11 innings during Game 1 of baseball’s AL Division Series in Anaheim, Calif., Thursday, Oct. 2, 2014. Moustakas hit a home rum in the 11th inning. AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi …

(5) Trae Elston (7) of the Ole Miss Rebels celebrates after a kickoff against the Alabama Crimson Tide on October 4, 2014 at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium in Oxford, Mississippi. Getty Images/ Joe Murphy …

(6) Serdius Bryant (14) of the Ole Miss Rebels tackles T.J. Yeldon (4) of the Alabama Crimson Tide on OCTOBER 4, 2014 at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium in Oxford, Mississippi. Mississippi beat Alabama 23-17. Joe Murphy/ Getty Images ..

(7) Marcus Mariota quarterback of Oregon Ducks , seen as this year’s Heisman Trophy front-runner , but with the team suffering their first loss of the season against Arizona , the feeling is the player has now fallen in down the list of favored candidates for this season’s award. AP Photo / Michelle Ward ..

(8) Geno Smith of the New York Jets whose performance against the San Diego Chargers was among the worst of week five among the starting quarterbacks in the NFL on the day . The Jets would end up losing the game 31-0 , with head coach Rex Ryan having to insert Michael Vick in the early stages of the contest. It remains to be seen whether or not Smith will be the team’s starter for week six . Getty Images / Richard Parsons …

(9) Anthony Bennett(42) of the New Orleans Pelicans is seen here with Pelicans’ head coach Mont Williams during a team workout session for Team USA in their preparation for the FIBA World Cup Basketball Tournament held in Barcelona , Spain this year . The team took home the gold medal after a very tough and competitive competition. Getty Images / Phillipa Law …

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tophatal 2014/10/06

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Make that ‘two ‘ to go , with a side order of tits and @ss .

I told you so !

I told you so!

Now into week three of the NFL preseason and a troubling trend has already began to arise and that now is the number of season ending injuries that have been suffered by a number of players around the league . With teams, now having to trim their rosters to seventy-five players, by no later than 4:00PM Eastern Standard Time on Tuesday afternoon . Coaches around the league must be praying that they can enter the first full week of the regular season with fifty-three able and fit bodies. Between Tuesday and the final week schedule of preseason games , the final cut will be made as to the final roster are for the NFL`s thirty-two teams .

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Several teams have been presumptuous enough to make their first initial cuts , with no real outright major surprises. However, in light of that , it was with a great deal of comical relief that I read of the signing of Matt Leinart , the 2004 Heisman Trophy winner by the Buffalo Bills . I can only assume that with Kevin Kolb having suffered another concussion , the fifth of his career. Leinart was brought by head coach Doug Marrone to provide an able backup for the team`s presumed starter and first round draft pick E J Manuel . From my own perspective seeing Matt Leinart being taken as a first round draft pick in the 2008 NFL Draft , to now becoming a journey man quarterback in the NFL , all in an astonishing five years , has been truly astounding .

Another of Leinart`s contemporaries from that season`s draft, was former Tennessee Titans quarterback Vince Young . The once troubled player seems to have rededicated himself , gotten over his psychological disorders and found his way back into the good graces of the league. Young was able to beat out Graham Harrell , to become the backup quarterback to Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers , for the upcoming season . Now whether or not, Young will get to see any regular season playing time , will ultimately be left to Packers` head coach Mike McCarthy . Mop up duty in the latter part of a game, is better than, no duty at all.

Now we can now all attest to the idiocy of what took place with the New York Jets in 2012 . A disastrous season for the team and their complete failure to live up to the fans and organization`s expectations . Head coach Rex Ryan was even bold enough to make the prediction that the team was good enough to win the Superbowl . Well, no such guarantees this season , and it might well be prudent to add that Ryan`s position is now under a great deal of scrutiny by the general manager John Idzik . Truth be told, a great many of the outside observers felt that the coach should have been relieved of his duties, along with his entire assistant coaching staff. Instead, the only person amongst the staff to have been let go, was the assistant head coach and offensive coordinator Tony Sparano .

Tim Tebow`s departure from the New York Jets , came as no great surprise, with the player being given relatively little playing time with the team during the regular or preseason in 2012. If anything, the circus sideshow and the indulgence of the New York print and television media in showing their complete stupidity, simply added to the comedic elements of the Jets season, along with Rex Ryan`s own self-indulgence and exuberance. Throw in the fact that the team`s starting quarterback Mark Sanchez became a walking nightmare, more prone to being a liability rather than an asset , and it was easy to understand why 2012 had to be looked at as a disaster for the franchise.

Having witnessed Mark Sanchez’s failures in 2012 and regression as a player, the front office came to a decision that the drafting of a quarterback was necessary , if the team was to succeed in every aspect of its offensive game. As to who that quarterback should have been, did come as a surprise, when it was finally made. Geno Smith was said to be the most accurate of the college quarterbacks declaring their eligibility for the 2013 NFL Draft , but the opinion that he was the best fit for the New York Jets will now come into question. While Smith gave solid performances at West Virginia , questions were raised concerning his maturity level and leadership skills. If there is one thing that we have come to know about the NFL and it is that, above all, beyond the quarterbacks` skill-set , their greatest attribute has to be to be the ability to take command and lead. I certainly do not believe that Smith possesses any of the traits in question ! Does he have the capability to learn ? Well that will be dependent upon the player`s willingness to listen and at the same time learn from the mistakes made by Mark Sanchez not only as a player, but the very fact that the incumbent starter, now seems to genuinely lost the confidence of his teammates , as well the coaching staff and front office . This much is certain, if Mark Sanchez is made the opening day starter for the Jets` regular season , then his reign will be entirely predicated upon his performances and the number of wins attained by the team. Anything sort of that, and he is liable to be demoted and in all certainty see his NFL career taking an abrupt change, to the point of him now becoming backup or a journeyman around the league.

Geno Smith for his part has done himself no favors with his lackluster displays during the Jets` training camp or in his first preseason start in a starting role for the team. In a game against the New York Giants . The rookie quarterback lacked composure, became errant in is throws and lacked the accuracy needed to advance the team down the field. Three interceptions (before the end of the third quarter) and a safety does have a way of making a player look bad and blotting out whatever positives were said to have come out of the game for Smith . Granted , the New York Jets came away with a narrow victory in overtime , where the only positive thing one might say, is that Matt Simms can actually throw a pass. Mark Sanchez came on during the game, was injured and casting another doubt about his ability and whether or not he should still be made the opening day starter in week one .

Inasmuch as I am an avid fan of the New England Patriots and with all of the drama that has surrounded the organization during the off-season and preseason . The fact of the matter is, head coach Bill Belichick and GM Nick Caserio will have a lot riding on this season . I still believe them to be the best team within the AFC East and were they are most likely to be challenged by the Miami Dolphins , if form actually holds true . The departures of Wes Welker and Danny Woodhead were meant to be offset by the acquisition of Danny Amendola . Yet Amendola is no Wes Welker , and no amount of backtracking by the head coach and owner Bob Kraft can defray the fact that they made a monumental mistake in allowing the player to leave . Tom Brady may not have voiced his displeasure, but having given up personally , $9 million for the team to pursue re-signing of the utility wide receiver, . how can Belichick now come back state that the reason for Welker`s departure had nothing at all do with money ? As to this idiocy that the receiver and the head coach did not get along, if Wes Welker was able to endure all of Belichick`s foibles and idiosyncrasies in five years of playing for the Patriots . Then what could have happened in 2012 to really have allegedly soured their relationship ? Much ado about nothing, and in reality simply the press not being intelligent enough to actually do their jobs intelligently to begin with !

The loss of Aaron Hernandez , now under indictment, having been charged with the murder of Odin Lloyd , as well as several weapons` charges, leaves the New England Patriots without its entire leading tight-end receiving corps of last season . Factor in also , that Rob Gronkowski is unlikely to return before week five of the regular season . And it easy to understand why there is now even greater concern for this Patriots` team and what the fans ought to expect this upcoming season . Fueled by a group of young receivers as well as a very talented running back in Stevan Ridley , the offense of the New England Patriots will be asked to reproduce the form shown in 2012. Easier said, than done, and it is unlikely to be the case where the team in its current guise will be able to surpass those achievements.

Tim Tebow, remains an enigma, with the player stating simply, that he will try his best to contribute to the team . Pardon me for saying this, but that sounds like a player with a defeatist attitude and who knows that his time is running out , to prove himself to be a valued member of the Patriots` , much less a contributor to this team on any level . I certainly do not believe that Tim Tebow has done anywhere near enough to remain a member of the Patriots` fifty three man roster, going into the start of New England`s regular season schedule ! And it remains debatable whether or not he is likely to remain a part of the team as of Tuesday afternoon`s deadline for teams to cut their rosters to seventy-five players . What is likely to happen , will be Tebow making the team`s practice squad and not much more beyond that . Merely calling it , like I see it!

If there is still such a thing, as fool`s gold as it pertains to the NFL. Then simply look no further than the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and unabashed stupidity now being shown by the local beat writers in the franchise’s market-place . Ric Brown , a writer of some note within the Tampa Bay area and who covers the NFL franchise for The Ledger , a Polk County paper. Brown continues to sing the praises of the team and most notably the Buccaneers` beleaguered quarterback , Josh Freeman . The Buccaneers at present are 1-2 in the preseason and although the schedule does not mean a thing, one should consider the fact that Freeman has continued to struggle in the starting role as the team`s quarterback . The player is in a contract year , becomes a free agent in 2014, and will no doubt be seeking to gain a long-term contract from the Buccaneers` organization. GM Mark Dominik and head coach Greg Schiano , no doubt wary of the player`s issues will be reluctant to offer Freeman the type of contract he and his agent Erik Burckhardt may well be seeking .

The Buccaneers obviously seeking to make even greater inroads in the NFC South during this season , will be in for a tough time , in what is sure to be one of the most competitive divisions in the NFL . The three other divisional occupants are certain to have gotten better and from an offensive standpoint , it could well be the Buccaneers who are the weakest of the quartet made up of themselves , the Atlanta Falcons , Carolina Panthers and the New Orleans Saints . Though Tampa Bay came away with a 17-16 win over the Miami Dolphins, in what turned to be an unevenly paced game . Once again, it was Josh Freeman casting doubts in everyone`s mind, as to the makeup of his psyche as an NFL quarterback. Ric Brown tried to suggest that the Bucs` incumbent starter is learning and has made great strides in terms of his overall play. The statistics simply do not bear this out from the game or for much of the preseason concerning Freeman.

If there is another issue a that most definitely needs to be dealt with by the Buccaneers` coaching staff . Then it is the continued non-appearance this preseason of the Buccaneers` defensive back Darrelle Revis . I understand that the player has yet to regain full game fitness, but to have him sitting on the sidelines garnering further rust, adds noting to what Greg Schiano believes it is that he is doing to protect the player or the alleged monetary investment , albeit that Revis was signed to a six-year $96 million non-guaranteed contract . Acquiring the player was one thing, but then to sign him to such a deal, based upon the supposition that he passed a team physical and then not having Revis suit up at all for a play in the preseason , simply makes no sense whatsoever and only adds to the lack of credibility of Mark Dominik and Greg Schiano concerning this issue . Revis , himself does not seem overly concerned by this as of yet , but clearly there has to be some sort of frustration setting in for a player whose last regular season game came in September , week three of the 2012 regular season , in a Jets` 23-20 victory over the Miami Dolphins. Revis would be lost to the New York Jets for the rest of season to a quadriceps` injury having only been a starter in two of the team`s sixteen regular season games from last season.

Greg Schiano and the Buccaneers will be the guests of the New York Jets, when the two teams meet at the MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford , New Jersey in their regular season opener . Darrelle Revis will hope to be a starter against his former team. As for the two opposing quarterbacks, be it Josh Freeman against either Geno Smith or Mark Sanchez , it is certain to be an interesting season for both signal callers , as each seeks to take their respective teams to postseason glory .

This season a number of milestones are likely to be reached by a number of players seeking to add to NFL history as well as their own respective legacies . New Orleans Saints` quarterback Drew Brees needs only 4,081 to reach the 50,000 career yards` plateau . Peyton Manning of the Denver Broncos having already accumulated 59,487 career passing yards , needs a mere 413 to pass 60,000 yards for his career , with only Dan Marino and Brett Favre now ahead of him in the career passing yards` total amongst quarterbacks. Manning and Brees are the active number one and two leading passers in the NFL in terms of career yardage , with both likely to be Canton bound , having met the criteria upon their respective retirements, for induction into the Hall of Fame . Yet, I believe that for both Brees and Peyton Manning, the singular achievements are only the bye-products of individual success, as each would prefer to lead their respective franchises to another Superbowl victory .

Away from the field of play in the NFL, as the league enters the final week of the preseason. The 1,000lb gorilla in the room remains and that is the league`s yet to be adopted policy of in-season testing for human growth hormones and steroids . The league hierarchy and NFLPA (Players` Union) remain at odds on the issue, even though it was agreed to, voted upon and certified by the union in their last collective agreement in 2010. NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith and union President Dominique Foxworth have become avuncular, when questioned on the matter, simply that until there is an uniformed testing protocol in place, that is totally in accordance with the league and union`s agreement, they cannot proceed in a positive direction . NFL Roger Goodell , in his continued vein of appearing even more of an imbecile than we already know him to be, issued a statement proclaiming that it would be his intent to see some form testing, beginning with recently retired players and then proceed to begin the active testing of current players in the league. It is this sort of stupidity, why the NFL commissioner and the union itself, cannot be taken seriously on any issue that relates to the safeguard of its members .

At the same time in Congress, both the House Commerce Committee and House Government Oversight Committees seemed nonplussed by the responses of the league and union , after both bodies issued statements to each of the legislative committees that a policy would be in place no later than 2011. It now 2013 , and we have yet to see any concrete evidence that the NFL will ever get around to begin testing for either HGH or any form anabolic steroids, banned under the league`s policy. Even more worrisome is the very fact that the NFL is now holding up MLB (baseball) as what they wish to avoid in a case as it relates to the gathering of evidence for use against a player charged with violating the league`s policy . If the league (NFL) is now seeking to use the ongoing incompetency of baseball as an excuse , then it simply shows another sport`s hierarchy completely lacking in credibility .

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Picture gallery .

What thoughts if any, do you have concerning the points raised within this article ? By all means, do take time to offer up a comment as you see fit .

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Picture and slideshow details below .
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(1) Buffalo Bills quarterback Kevin Kolb (4) looks to pass during the first half of an NFL preseason football game against the Minnesota Vikings on Friday, Aug. 16, 2013, in Orchard Park, N.Y. The veteran quarterback was injured during a preseason game against the Washington Redskins , suffering a concussion and is likely to miss number of the Bills` initial games of their regular season schedule . AP Photo/Gary Wiepert …

(2) FILE – In this Aug. 13, 2012 file photo, Oakland Raiders quarterback Matt Leinart (7) passes against the Dallas Cowboys during the second quarter of an NFL preseason football game in Oakland, Calif. Free-agent quarterback Leinart signed with the Buffalo Bills on Sunday, Aug. 25, 2013. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed. AP Photo/Tony Avelar ….

(3) Vince Young (13) of the Green Bay Packers is seen here rushing for some additional yards in a preseason game against the Seattle Seahawks played Lambeau Field , in Green Bay , Wisconsin . The player was signed by the Packers as the immediate backup to Aaron Rodgers . AP Photo / Marty Cousins …..

(4) New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez (6) reacts to an injury during the second half of a preseason NFL football game against the New York Giants, Saturday, Aug. 24, 2013, in East Rutherford, N.J. He left the game with what appeared to be a shoulder injury. AP Photo/Julio Cortez ….

(5) New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith (7) reacts after throwing his third interception during the first half of a preseason NFL football game against the New York Giants, Saturday, Aug. 24, 2013, in East Rutherford, N.J. AP Photo/Bill Kostroun ….

(6) DeAndre Levy (54) of the Detroit Lions forces a second quarter fumble during a run by Brandon Bolden (38) of the New England Patriots during a preseason game at Ford Field on August 22, 2013 in Detroit, Michigan. The Patriots would go on to lose the game 40-9 against the Lions. Getty Images /Gregory Shamus ….

(7) New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) is sacked by Detroit Lions defensive end Jason Jones (91) in the second quarter of an NFL preseason football game in Detroit, Thursday, Aug. 22, 2013. AP Photo/Rick Osentoski ….

(8) Josh Freeman of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers is sacked by the Patriots Brandon Spikes in a preseason game played at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts ,. New England came away victorious in a 25-21 victory against the Buccaneers . Freeman was erratic in the game and followed up that performance with a sub-par showing against the Miami Dolphins in a remarkably average preseason game . Freeman has been inconsistent throughout much of the preseason for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers . Getty Images / Paul Simmons ….

(9) Buccaneers` defensive back Darrelle Revis , center , is seen here alongside GM Mark Dominik ,left and team head coach Greg Schiano . Revis has remained sidelined for the past year recovering from a quadriceps` injury. The player has yet to play a minute of the preseason for his new team and is likely to be used sparingly in the Buccaneers` final preseason home game against the Washington Redskins . Once again , the game will be blacked out , for televised coverage in the local area market , due to remarkably low ticket sales .

(10) NFLPA President Domonique Foxworth, left is seen the Players` Union Executive Director DeMaurice Smith. The union and league hierarchy are now in something of a contentious battle as to what type of testing protocol should be in place for the league`s mandatory in and out of season testing for anabolic steroids and human growth hormones . Having agreed to begin testing for the substances as part of the collective bargaining agreement in 2010 . Neither side has yet to instigate a start , much to the annoyance of two federal committees during which bot NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and DeMaurice Smith agreed that a policy would be in place by no later tan 2012. Three years later and tat policy as yet to be initiated .

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tophatal ________ 08/26/2013
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NFL news

NFL results preseason week 3

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NFL regular season week one

The ties that bind ….

The ties that bind ….

The toil and troubles we create and then seek to blame others for the mess created. In the world of baseball , the game`s hierarchy is now seeking to prove to the fans that they can be proactive in dealing with steroid cheats . Meanwhile, the NFL, the commissioner , Roger Goodell continues to act like a buffoon, while team owners continue to sit quietly, as players simply run amok. That being said , it is to be expected when the two unions in question the MLBPA and NFLPA are powerful enough to make the respective hierarchies in question , simply quiver in their boots .

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Much of this NFL off-season has been encapsulated by the events in New England , with the arrest of Aaron Hernandez of the New England Patriots . With no exact timetable set for the player`s murder trial, . he remains incarcerated , without bail and having not spoken to law enforcement in any great detail, as to the allegations of he and his two accomplices and their implication in the death of former associate Odin Lloyd . With Patriots` owner Bob Kraft and head coach Bill Belichick offering the family of the victim , their condolences as well as stating that this was a tragedy that could not have been foreseen . I would like to know what was it , that could not be foreseen as it related to the behavior of Hernandez, when it was widely known that the player had serious behavioral issues whilst in college, as well as a juvenile ? Furthermore, with the NFL hierarchy now suggesting that they will now conduct far more wide-reaching research into the backgrounds of the players drafted each season . It also begs the question, what were they actually doing prior?

The NFL pre-season is now merely less than a week away and a number of players will start their seasons in a new environment and with their new teammates. Before the actual seismic eruption within the Patriots` organization , the big story was the acquisition of free agent quarterback Tim Tebow . The fact that Bill Belichick has sought to take a flier on the player, either has more do with the coach’s ego or the fact that he truly believes that he can make a successful reclamation project out of the now infamous player. And as much as Tebow is beloved by fans and the public alike , I truly believe that this season with the Patriots will be nothing more than mere titillation, without anything of note being achieved by Tebow on the field of play.

Last season for the New York Jets can be best described as comedic in its tragedy and the very fact that Rex Ryan was lucky enough not to join the list of coaches fired at the end of the regular season . Poor 2012 performances , poor coaching and lack of leadership , all played a part in the Jets` downfall . Quarterback Mark Sanchez has now gone from being the face of the franchise to the now down on his luck and a besieged player with a great deal to prove not just in the pre-season , but most definitely in the regular season , as well. After a lackluster year in 2012 , with a string of woefully inept performances . It easy to understand why GM John Idzik took it upon himself to draft a quarterback , as well as revamping the roster from last season. If nothing else, turning over to a new page and chapter , is perhaps the best way forward for this beleaguered franchise .

For rookie quarterback Geno Smith , his being drafted by the Jets did not exactly come as a complete surprise, but what was undeniable was the player`s lack of maturity and due reverence shown for the whole draft process . Granted , Smith would then seek to defer that melodrama, by stating that his presence was not required after the first round process . Then again , the player , one of a slew of high-profiled athletes signed to the sports` management agency of rapper and entrepreneur ,Jay-z , has single-handedly gotten off to a bad start within the industry . Roc Nation Sports in conjunction with CAA Sports will now have a presence within the NBA , WNBA , MLB and the NFL . The company founder also found himself in a great deal of hot water, when it was noted that he had yet to be certified as a licensed agent by both the NFL , MLB and NBA. Yet , this is now the type damn incompetency being repeatedly being shown on an annual basis by the hierarchies in question. There are those who see these issues as being rather minor . With the matter now resolved , concerning Jay-z`s certification , it will be interesting to see the growing appetite of the entrepreneur and his agency.

Geno Smith for his part , will have a great deal to prove and with their being a growing call for the young rookie to be the starter for the Jets` regular season opener at home against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers , rather than fans having to endure and witness the problems that repeatedly beset Mark Sanchez in 2012. It must be said, that Rex Ryan and John Idzik on the face of it , may well have a tough decision to make .

This season I believe, as it relates the fortunes of the New York Jets , will be predicated on the play of Sanchez and whether or not he can overcome is foibles of last season. Their division, AFC East could very well be up for grabs, with all four teams now in transition , vying for divisional supremacy , and no clear and distinct favorite to be spoken of. This much we were certain of , before the off the field problems of the New England Patriots hit the headlines. One might easily have suggested that they would once again have the division to themselves and with everything at their beckoning . With the upheaval from within and no apparent certainty of what the fans should expect , we could very well be in for one or two surprises, in determining the likelihood as to whether or they can make a successful defense of their divisional title . Or perhaps we could very well see the most unlikeliest of challenges coming from either the Jets , Buffalo Bills or the Miami Dolphins ?

Though his figures are not all consuming , for James Loney of the Tampa Bay Rays (62-43) , this might well be looked upon as his most productive season from a team a standpoint . Loney , along with the pitcher Matt Moore , are two of the reasons why the team has been able to keep abreast with the Boston Red Sox (63-43) and Baltimore Orioles within the AL East for much of this season . Six weeks ago , I would have been one of the first to suggest that their season might well have been over . Yet the guile, with which Joe Maddon and his staff have kept the Rays relevant and their recent run of having won twenty of twenty-tree games , has put the ball-club of not just contesting the division, but also for an AL wild-card berth .

Having taken two out of the three games recently played at Yankees Stadium against a beleaguered New Yankees` team. It must be said Tampa`s fate now rests in their very own hands . No excuses can now be made at this juncture , as to any reason why the organization cannot seek to win their second divisional title over the course of their history . The fans now seem to willing the layers on , and they are now answering those calls with their play . Pitching and defense have always been the cornerstone behind the Rays success and this season is proving to be not different .

Monday, pits the Rays against divisional rivals the Boston Red Sox , in a game to be played at Fenway Park Boston , Massachusetts. With only a half game separating the two teams at the top of the division, both ball-clubs are fully aware how pivotal and meaningful this contest is likely to be . Taking the mound for the Red Sox will be Felix Doubront(7-4, 3.78 ERA) against David Price (5-5, 3.75 ERA) .

Perhaps I am mistaken , but I was always under the impression the reason behind having a coach or manager was one of instilling into the players a love of the game as well as preparing the for the day-to-day rigors of an elongated season . Also the expectations are , that the coaches and coaching staff will be able to impart their wisdom unto the younger and less experienced players on a roster . If the allegations are to be believed , then recent incidents between Miami Marlins` hitting instructor and batting coach Tino Martinez are to be believed . Then the former Yankees first baseman`s behavior was reprehensible and beyond disgusting. Martinez is said to have lost his temper,physically and verbally assaulted several of the younger players on the team on more than one occasion .

In light of that fact , manager Mike Redmond , GM Michael Hill and team owner Jeffrey Loria , are all said to have wanted the coach to remain within the organization . It was only after the players made their views public on the matter , Martinez offered his resignation to the organization and then issued a public apology to the players and fans alike . If it took Tino Martinez over a month to take this action , to my mind, it simply showed a complete lack of respect for the players under his tutelage . Also , what should the fans and public alike make of a situation, where the front office and manager collectively , stand behind the coach after such disdainful behavior ? Then again , the Marlins are going through a pitiful season where absolutely noting has gone right for a ball-club, where their competitive level is at an all-time low, as well as possessing one of the worst records in the Majors (MLB).

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Picture gallery .

At a time when the image of baseball is said to be in tatters and with Bud Selig and the league hierarchy commanding about as much respect as one might hold for a current seated member of Congress . Is it any wonder why the fans and public alike, no longer have any faith or respect for the game`s leading officials , never mind the very fact that the players themselves lack any integrity whatsoever ? By all means, chime in with your thoughts on this and anything else you believe pertinent to the subject matter as you deem fit .

🙂

Picture and sideshow details below .
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(1) New York Jets coach Rex Ryan speaks to the media at their NFL football training camp Monday, July 29, 2013, in Cortland, N.Y. The beleaguered head coach will be under a great deal of pressure to succeed this season. AP Photo/Bill Kostroun …

(2) New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith throws a pass at their NFL football training camp Monday, July 29, 2013, in Cortland, N.Y. AP Photo/Bill Kostroun …

(3) Tampa Bay Rays’ James Loney follows through on a three-run home run off of New York Yankees relief pitcher Adam Warren in the seventh inning of a baseball game at Yankee Stadium on Friday, July 26, 2013, in New York. AP Photo/Kathy Kmonicek …

(4) Miami Marlins hitting coach Tino Martinez looks from the dugout during a baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates in Miami, Sunday, July 28, 2013. Martinez has resigned after players complained he verbally abused them. AP Photo/Alan Diaz …

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tophatal ……..

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NFL news

NFL pre-season schedule

Week one pre-season schedule

New England Patriots news

New York Jets news

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MLB news

MLB standings

Miami Marlins news

Tampa Bay Rays news

As one door closes , another one opens . For Christ’s sake , keep the f##king door shut !

As one door closes , another one opens . For Christ’s sake keep the f##king door shut !

Well the idiocy of the NFL Draft has come and gone , in spite of this high-profiled event , nothing will really be learned until many of these rookies get their first taste of the NFL , during week one of the upcoming season . And to hear many of these draft geeks and on air personalities speculate and prognosticate , you would’ve thought that all thirty-two teams in the NFL were in sheer dire straits . In reality this draft had more to do with personalities , lack of real talent in a vast array of areas , in spite of the recommendations being made by members of the media .

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Now Tim Tebow having been cut from the organization at the behest of GM John Idzik , speculation still remains as to the future of the team’s beleaguered quarterback , Mark Sanchez whose performances in 2012 , were amongst the worst in the AFC and NFL throughout much of last season .

Courtesy of Pro Footballtalk.com

Testaverde disappointed Tebow didn’t get a chance

By Darin Gantt

While just-released quarterback Tim Tebow hasn’t had much support today, at least one former Jet is disappointed he didn’t get a chance to stay.

Former quarterback Vinny Testaverde had worked with Tebow recently in Florida, and he said he saw significant mechanical improvement.

“I was kind of disappointed because I was hoping he’d get a chance to show the coaches what we worked on,” Testaverde told Rich Cimini of ESPNNewYork.com. “I think they would’ve been impressed if they had compared this year to last year ” .

Testaverde spent a week with Tebow, concentrating on his footwork. In layman’s terms, Testaverde said Tebow “was stepping in the wrong direction when he was throwing the football.”

Testaverde also consulted with IMG instructor Chris Weinke, saying they “speak the same quarterback language” because they both played under Dan Henning.

“Chris and I looked at Tim careful and we were both amazed,” Testaverde said. “Everybody has been focusing on his throwing motion, trying to fix that, but nobody had picked up his footwork. His footwork was all screwed up. Chris and I looked at each other after about four or five throws, and we saw the same thing. We got his footwork fixed. His throwing motion is now a non-issue.

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Sanchez is owed in excess of $12.8 million for the upcoming season , but it seems that in all probability , John Idzik will seek a trade of the player, rather than retain him for the entire season while still having to make the financial outlay . He is due a roster bonus of $4.1 million due on the 1st June , and a possible trade partner , if anything would rather seek to only pay a nominal sum with regard to the player’s salary , and then assuming the remainder of Mark Sanchez’s contract from 2014 through to 2016 . This upcoming season for the Jets will be very interesting to see how they fare in their season opener against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on the 8th September 2013 ,

It seems that fans , agents and analysts alike were simply surprised that a quarterback was not taken in the top ten of the first round of this NFL Draft . The fact that it was the Buffalo Bills , with the sixteenth pick in the first round taking EJ Manuel , made that whole premise all the more surprising . That being said , now consider the franchise’s options at the position , when you consider that Kevin Kolb is meant to be the Bills’ starter for the upcoming season . Shit , I’d rather walk on hot coals , rather than seeing Kolb quarterback any franchise within the NFL , as he simply does not possess the talent needed to be a starter in the NFL . Yet somehow, Bills’ head coach Doug Marrone and the front office believe the veteran to be their man . It is my belief , that sooner , rather than later , Manuel will be a starter in the league , quite possibly this season , if Kolb’s recent performances are anything to go by.

The AFC East , if nothing else , should prove to be a great deal fun , considering the antics of the teams from within the division and their performances from last season . Among the teams seeking redemption from last season’s nightmare , just happens to be the New York Jets , whose head coach , Rex Ryan barely escaped from the franchise’s purge of a mediocre coaching staff from 2012 . Out went , offensive coordinator , Tony Sparano , whose ides of team offense bordered on being absurd . And the very fact , that he has now joined the coaching staff of the Oakland Raiders , further enhances the notion , that coaching in the NFL , is no longer about creativity in terms of coaching talent but simply the “ rehashing” of “ mediocre coaches” “ , whose ideas are in essence , from a bygone age “ ! How else can one simply explain the fact that Sparano and Ryan were simply so how out of touch reality , while being allowed to ruin the franchise , and with asinine belief that Tim Tebow would be able to contribute to a team that was lacking in talent and creativity , never-mind poor coaching from every layer , within a considerably inept organization. Yet boneheaded individuals swayed by their emotions, continued to call for Tebow’s inclusion either as a starter or in some other capacity for the franchise . Fantasy geeks were either that blasé or simply that goddamn stupid, throughout much of 2012.

Sanchez is owed in excess of $12.8 million for the upcoming season , but it seems that in all probability , John Idzik will seek a trade of the player, rather than retain him for the entire season while still having to make the financial outlay . He is due a roster bonus of $4.1 million due on the 1st June , and a possible trade partner , if anything would rather seek to only pay a nominal sum with regard to the player’s salary , and then assuming the remainder of Mark Sanchez’s contract from 2014 through to 2016 . This upcoming season for the Jets will be very interesting to see how they fare in their season opener against Tampa Bay Buccaneers on the 8th September 2013 .

With this draft I expected the New England Patriots to do a great deal more than they did , but once again I believe they have failed miserably with this particular draft class . To try and suggest that Jamie Collin s , Aaron Dobson , Logan Ryan , Duron Harmon , Josh Boyce , Michael Buchanan and Steve Beauharnais . These are the players drafted by the organization with view redeeming itself after a monstrous postseason foray , which was best summed up in the team’s embarrassing loss to the eventual Superbowl champions , the Baltimore Ravens , in the AFC championship game . Given the team’s malaise during the game itself and the very fact that Bill Belichick was out-smarted and outmatched by his opposite number John Harbaugh .

I firmly believe that Belichick failed to address the concerns of this team on defense , albeit , that they made a few off-season deals that would suggest that he , GM Nick Caserio and the coaching staff have addressed the team’s failings over the past three seasons. ( 2012 , 2011 & 2010 ). This season if this team in its present guise is unable to address those woes , then the Patriots’ 2013 regular season foray is likely to be an extremely tough one . While fans and analysts alike will point to the potency of the team’s offense over the past few seasons . One should also remember , defense wins championships , and the offense is simply there , as the mainstay of the regular season .

With the NBA postseason now in full swing with the opening round series in some instances , all but established . It seems somewhat unbelievable to believe that the league’s two most renowned franchises are about to be or have been eliminated the first round of the NBA Playoffs . The Boston Celtics have fought back from the cusp of being eliminated in game four , but still find themselves with an almost insurmountable issue in having to still erase a 3-1 deficit in their first round series against the highly regarded New York Knicks .

Having watched this series unfold , to say that I am disappointed in the lack of commitment being shown by the Celtics , would be a tremendous understatement . The core of this roster simply is not good enough , nor has there been any leadership shown by seasoned veterans such as, Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett . Granted , while Doc Rivers does not have the privilege of having the team’s best player on the court , It must be said , that as surely as Rajon Rondo is missed, it should not be made or seen as the primary excuse for the team’s poor play in this series . Knicks’ head coach Mike Woodson has simply instilled into this team a real “killer instinct” , not often witnessed with the Knicks’ teams from the franchise’s recent past .

It would be fair to suggest that the Boston Celtics and the franchise’s front office will have to reassess the makeup of this roster and look to build around either Rondo or seek to bring in a marquee free agent during the off-season . Certainly , GM Danny Ainge and senior managing partner Wyc Grousbeck will have to come to a decision , sooner , rather than later as it relates to the immediate and long-term future of this renowned franchise .

This series may well be far from over in the eyes of the Celtics’ fans and players, and it does seem highly unlikely that the team will be derail what now appears to be a focused Knicks’ team obviously looking towards that perceived showdown with the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals . Alas , it is my belief that after all of the in-fighting within the Boston Celtics’ locker room and the animosity that allegedly lingered between Rajon Rondo and Ray Allen wasn’t quashed by the coaching staff , head coach or by the Kevin Garnett , the perceived leader of this roster . Instead , Garnett chose to show his immaturity , by berating his former teammate , haranguing him , after his departure , but even more so , when it was announced that Allen had signed with the reigning NBA champions , the Miami Heat.

These are certainly the twilight years in the careers of Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce , certainly , two players that are likely to be enshrined in the Naismith (Basketball) Hall of Fame , having met the eligibility requirements upon their retirement .

Despite their value and profitability , it would be fair to say that the Los Angeles Lakers are the most storied franchise in NBA history alongside their most heated rivals the Boston Celtics . With the two franchises accounting for over thirty of the NBA Finals competed for in NBA history .

In what wasn’t seen as a strange turn of events, when the Bryant-less Lakers met the San Antonio Spurs in their opening round series , expectation were high. Instead lackluster … performances , an injury riddled roster and the growing immaturity of Dwight Howard shone through , in what can be best described as piss poor performances all-round from every participant on this Los Angeles Lakers roster during the series. And you simply know things are bad for the franchise when one of the Lakers’ most celebrated fans , actor , Jack Nicholson offers his congratulations to Gregg Popovich and the entire Spurs’ roster , while ignoring several members of the Los Angeles Lakers’ playing staff.

With the Lakers being swept 4-0 in the series , it was the franchise’s earliest exit in the postseason , where the Lakers has a lost series , in such an embarrassing fashion , with that coming in the 1967 Western Conference Semi-Finals to the San Francisco Warriors (Golden State Warriors) .

Mitch Kupchak and SVP Jim Buss now have the unenviable task of assessing the roster and making a number of far-reaching decisions as it relates to the makeup of this team . In my m honest opinion , the general manager and team owner have erred in so many decisions as it relates to this franchise in recent years , that it has been a constant comedy of errors , watching the Lakers as their season came to an abrupt end. Suffice to say , with Dwight Howard showing a real lack of commitment and his getting into foul trouble in the third quarter of game four (103-82) , the fate of this team was sealed as the Spurs came away with a rather lopsided victory , as they now await the victor of the series between the Los Angeles Clippers and Memphis Grizzlies .

The Los Angeles Lakers, are now left on the outside looking in , as their season has simply gone up in flames . In all likelihood, with the Lakers’ bloated payroll ($100.1 million) , and no semblance of financial rationale for the never-ending stupidity to simply overpay for marginal talent , much as it would appear to be for a number teams around the NBA , while David Stern inexcusably tries to make the claim that the franchises of the NBA are financially responsible . Perhaps the NBA Commissioner could indicate the transparency of the claims he continually makes ? Once a boneheaded asshole , always a boneheaded asshole ! Nothing more , nothing less as it relates to David Stern !

ESPN’s David Aldridge is reporting that there will be a stay of execution as it relates to the sale of Sacramento Kings by the Maloof family to a consortium led by billionaire venture capitalist , Chris Hansen and Microsoft Chairman Steve Ballmer . In what is said to be a last-ditch attempt by the city of Sacramento mayor , Kevin Johnson , it appears that the NBA hierarchy and its Board of Governors have vetoed the sale of the franchise , and the consortium’s bid of almost $600 million is now likely to be overruled ,with the commissioner having been left with egg on his face , as initially he welcomed the pursuant bid of Hansen and Ballmer .

Courtesy of ESPN

In shocking twist, the Kings will likely stay in Sacramento

By David Aldridge

The NBA has all but officially decided to keep the Sacramento Kings in Sacramento.

In a unanimous vote of the league’s combined Relocation and Finance committees Monday afternoon, 12 NBA owners recommended that the league’s Board of Governors vote to deny the relocation of the Kings to Seattle — and, in doing so, deny the sale of the team from the Maloof Family to a Seattle-based group led by hedge fund manager Chris Hansen and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.

The recommendation will be taken up by the full Board for a formal vote the week of May 13. But it is almost certain that the full Board will go along with the recommendation and vote to keep the Kings in Sacramento, at least for another year.

Relocating a team requires a majority, or 16 of the league’s 30 teams to vote yes. As 12 teams have already voted no, that means the Seattle group would have to get 16 of the league’s remaining 18 teams to vote yes, a near-impossibility. And once relocation is voted down, the sale of the team to Hansen’s group would follow, for Hansen has consistently said he was only interested in buying the Kings if he could move them to Seattle.

“I’ve never been prouder of this city,” Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson Tweeted Monday afternoon. “I thank the ownership group, city leaders, but most of all the BEST FANS IN THE NBA!!!”

While the Maloofs are not obligated to sell the Kings, they will now be under incredible pressure to do so, after Sacramento put together a group led by software magnate Vivek Ranadive, who would be the first majority NBA owner of Indian descent. Ranadive’s group submitted a formal bid to the NBA earlier this month that NBA Commissioner David Stern said was comparable to the Seattle bid, and which the league considered binding.

It is not clear what steps the league could take if the Maloofs opt not to negotiate with the Ranadive group or sell to it. Stern reiterated earlier this month that the league does generally allow owners to sell to whomever they want, provided the new owners’ finances are in place, even though the league decides whether teams will be allowed to move.

The league also knew that its owners’ decision would rip the heart out of one city or the other. There was no solution that could make both happy.

“It’s not exactly comparing two cities,” a source with knowledge of the discussions said Monday. “It’s been hard to leave a place that’s been good to the NBA. Leaving a team, leaving a city, leaving a bunch of fans when they stepped up. That’s what it is.”

The decision caps an incredible comeback by the city of Sacramento, which looked doomed to lose its team after Hansen and the Maloofs announced in January they had reached a binding deal for the Maloofs to sell 65 percent of the team to Hansen, or $341 million, on a franchise valuation of $525 million. Hansen gave the Maloofs a non-refundable $30 million deposit as part of the agreement.

Ranadive’s group, according to an April 17 letter from the Maloof Family to the league that was leaked to the media, agreed to match the $525 million valuation for the team, but wanted to give the Maloofs a $15 million non-refundable deposit instead of $30 million. The Maloofs claimed that entering into an agreement with the Sacramento group would constitute a breach of contract with the Hansen group and would reduce the family’s leverage to negotiate in case the league vetoed the sale to the Hansen group.

Hansen had meticulously put together a plan over two years, purchasing land near Major League Baseball’s Safeco Field on which he wanted to build a new arena for an NBA and National Hockey League team. He reached an agreement with the city of Seattle for construction of a $491 building with up to $200 million in public funds.

But Sacramento, led by Johnson, came roaring back, putting together its own arena deal and ownership group, first led by supermarket mogul Ron Burkle and 24-Hour Fitness founder Mark Mastrov. But Burkle had to drop out of the team and arena plans after a conflict of interest with one of his businesses, which represents NBA players, was discovered.

Burkle was replaced by Ranadive, a minority owner of the Golden State Warriors, who quickly became the face of the Sacramento group. The city and the Ranadive Group reached agreement on construction of a $447 million arena, with Sacramento contributing $258 million toward the costs.

The Board of Governors postponed a final vote on whether to accept the Seattle or Sacramento plans when it met earlier this month, with NBA Commissioner David Stern citing the incredibly complex issues the league faced. Could it vote to leave a city whose fans had been incredibly loyal over the years, and who had reached agreement with the Maloofs last year on a new arena deal, only to see the family walk away?

On the other hand, Seattle had famously lost its team, which became the Oklahoma City Thunder, in 2008, and the NBA had lost a potentially dynamic market. The Hansen bid for the Kings wildly inflated the value of all other NBA teams, and the potential revenues from a regional sports network and other corporate dollars made Seattle an enticing city. In addition, Hansen’s group went about its business quietly, as the NBA prefers.

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For the last eight years the Sacramento Kings have been one of the least supported franchises in the NBA , along with being one of the least profitable of the NBA’s thirty teams . Why in the world Johnson would seek retain a loss making concern that is barely supported with anemic attendance level seems somewhat idiotic , but for the life of me I cannot understand the reasoning behind the mayor’s madness when his city has its very own budgetary woes to deal with . As with any asinine politician, who ill-serves his electorate, and the citizens who have entrusted him to lead. It does beg the question , will he now seek to use public resources to aid millionaire software magnate Vivek Ranadive and his last-minute bid for the Western Conference franchise ? Ranadive stepped into the fray , the moment this consortium hastily put together by Kevin Johnson , when billionaire real estate magnate , Ron Burkle dropped out the syndicate citing personal and professional reasons . In reality, Burkle’s concerns lay elsewhere , as he is one of the lead developers of the downtown Los Angeles area, seeking build a commercial and private real estate development , that will potentially house a 85,000 to 100,000 seat stadium with the view of luring a relocating or a new NFL franchise into the nation’s second largest ad market and its second most populated city. Be that as it may , my question for commissioner , if he is now prepared be mindful of the Board of Governors’ wish in such an instance . Then what in essence is now so different here from the same situation that arose when the Seattle Supersonics’ sale to Clay Bennett , when that franchise was then relocated to Oklahoma City ? Clearly , the league hierarchy , in this instance, has never acted with any real transparency , as it relates to their decision-making .

Many of you will know by now, that there were allegations made that the NBA acted with a great deal of subterfuge as they simply sought to relocate the Sonics’ franchise because of the advantage tax breaks that would be received by the Oklahoma City Thunder , from the municipality of Oklahoma City . Over the first five years of the residency within their new home (Chesapeake Energy Center) , the franchise was able to receive in excess of $65 million in tax breaks and other lucrative benefits for the state of Oklahoma’s only professional NBA franchise , much less its only professional sport’s franchise. It now begs the question what benefits will the city of Sacramento offer to the new ownership group of the Kings and their wish to remain in the California state capitol ? Is this really how Kevin Johnson and his fellow city commissioners wish to spend the goodwill and the resources of the city, while the NBA once again profits from this all. Most of all, the biggest benefactors from this all will remain the Maloof Family , and the lead siblings, Joe and Gavin Maloof , who preside over the sports’ interests of the familial holdings .

If Vivek Ranadive’s bid is now approved , and the Maloofs walk away with their newfound cash haul of $600 million to aid them in now ailing business interests as it relates to the family’s beverage , hospitality and transportation interests , their departure from the ranks of owners within the NBA fraternity , cannot come around quick enough in some circles . Joe and Gavin Maloof’s alleged business acumen as it relates to the Kings , has been at best , mediocre and a complete farce . The very fact that GM Geoff Petrie has also presided in and over this fu#king mess , makes it all the more asinine , that David Stern continues to make these dubious claims as to the league’s continued financial health and well-being. Meanwhile, anally retentive fans, continue to buy into the commissioner’s continued bull$hit ! The sooner the commissioner departs from his post , the better off NBA will be ! Unfortunately, Stern’s heir-apparent , Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver will assume his role in February 2014 and will follow in the same vein, as his predecessor. What else could the NBA ask for, at this juncture ? Simply one more reason to see the NBA for what it has simply become , a brand and business template completely devoid of character , integrity but above all , real leadership from anyone with a position of authority. Does anyone actually believe that David Stern has always acted in the best interest of the league?

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What thoughts if any do you have concerning the points raised within this piece ? By all means do leave a comment as you deem fit , concerning the subject matter and anything else that you believe to be pertinent .

😉

Tophatal ……….. 2013/04/29

🙂

Picture and slideshow details below .

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(1) In this Sunday, Dec. 30, 2012 photo, New York Jets quarterback Tim Tebow (15) warms up before an NFL football game against the Buffalo Bills in Orchard Park, N.Y. The New York Jets say, Monday, April 29, 2013, they have waived Tebow. AP Photo/Gary Wiepert ….

(2) Tim Tebow (15) is seen here alongside his now former teammate, Mark Sanchez(6) , after the former Heisman Trophy winner was waived by the franchise . The New York Jets still have 5 quarterbacks remaining on the roster . There now seems to be mounting speculation that Sanchez is likely to be traded by the Jets , should they be able to find a suitable trade partner willing to undertake the remainder of the player’s sizable contract . GM John Idzik and head coach Rex Ryan have refused to speculate on Mark Sanchez’s immediate future at this juncture . AP Photo / Richard Carter ….

(3) Jets’ front office executive John Idzik, left, sits next to New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan while waiting to be introduced as the Jets new general manager on the Jan 24th, 2013 . AP Photo / Mark Ruffo …..

(4) West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith is seen here making his first public appearance as a member of the New York Jets . The quarterback was drafted as in the second round by the AFC East franchise . Smith hopes to make an immediate impact and contribution for the Jets this upcoming season . Yet it appears unlikely that he will be the starter in week one , as the common belief is , that veteran quarterback David Garrard will be the starting quarterback in that game , their season opener , against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers . Getty Images North America / Paul Windham …..

(5) Veteran quarterback David Garrard, pictured inset , is likely to be the team’s starting quarterback during the regular season , but he is likely to face stiff competition from newly drafted rookie Geno Smith , as well as the other passers on the roster seeking to become the primary quarterback in the team’s depth chart . AFP / Ricardo Marchiallo ….

(6) New York Knicks’ Raymond Felton (2) gets a high-five from a teammate as Boston Celtics’ Doc River s walks onto the court after calling a time out during the second quarter of Game 3 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series in Boston, Friday, April 26, 2013. AP Photo/Winslow Townson ….

(7) New York Knicks’ Iman Shumpert (21) tries to control the ball as Boston Celtics’ Paul Pierce (34) struggles with Knicks’ Kenyon Martin , far right, during the second half in Game 4 of a first round NBA basketball playoff series in Boston, Sunday, April 28, 2013. The Celtics won 97-90 in overtime. AP Photo/Elise Amendola …..

(8) Los Angeles Lakers forward Pau Gasol (16) , of Spain, knocks the ball out of the hands of San Antonio Spurs forward Tim Duncan during the second half in Game 4 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series , Sunday, April 28, 2013, in Los Angeles. The Spurs won 103-82 and swept the Lakers in four games to bring the Los Angeles’ franchise’s season to an abrupt end . AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill ….

(9) Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard , right, looks on along with San Antonio Spurs guard Gary Neal , left, after receiving a technical foul during the first half in Game 4 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series, Sunday, April 28, 2013, in Los Angeles. Howard scored seven points before getting ejected early in the third quarter for arguing . The Spurs won 103-82 . What we have seen from Dwight Howard in recent years has been the player’s growing immaturity and complete lack of leadership skills , but there are those who stand by the claim that he remains the best center in the NBA , and that may well be the case from a defensive and offensive standpoint , but it has to be said that he lacks the leadership qualities as such revered centers as Shaquille O’Neal , David Robinson , Hakeem Olajuwon , Kareem Abdul-Jabbar , Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain . AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill ….

(10) Indian-American software mogul Vivek Ranadive who is now showing an interest in purchasing the beleaguered Sacramento Kings . In the aftermath of 12 of the NBA’s thirty owners voting against the sale and relocation of the franchise , it now leaves the road clear for Ranadive’s bid to be accepted by the league hierarchy and Board of Governors . Getty Images North America / Bill Parker ……….

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Hot chic pic of the day Jordan Carver .

More of Carver on the move , just as you may well like it , or not .

Take it from me , those puppies of Carvers’ need to be sucked and played with a great deal , if only in fun !

Somewhere to hang one’s hat …….

Somewhere, to hang one’s hat

By Tophatal …..

In amidst the craziness of the NFL season, the biggest story of year , remains the fall from grace of the New York Jets , and this goddamn asinine notion that Tim Tebow is entitled to the chance of being a starter with the Jets . In many of the articles I’ve read within this forum , nowhere have I read , where anyone has stated that the player’s game has simply regressed . Instead , it has been the cries, that he’s being mistreated by the Jets’ coaching staff and the organization as a whole . Has anyone, seen this team’s play over the last eight games , at all ? The truth of the matter , this is not a very good team , one which is simply devoid of leadership both on and off the field of play , and no one , in their given prognostications has been acutely intelligent enough, to state in print, within this forum .

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As I alluded to , fans are simply seeking out a feel-good story , especially as it relates to Tim Tebow , Heisman Trophy winner , and a nice guy . Look , in the “real world” , you have to earn the right to be afforded the respect due , and so far in the NFL , Tebow has yet to earn that amongst his peers ! If he cannot cut it at this stage of his career , then his immediate and long-term future is not all that bright .

While Tebow had a stellar career with the Florida Gators , his career in the NFL can be best described as marginal at best. And but for a few fleeting moments in 2011 , with the Denver Broncos and the postseason of that year , has there been anything memorable about Tim Tebow’s career, that now merits his succeeding , Mark Sanchez , as the team’s starter this Sunday and the Jets’ final game of the season ? Ask yourself that , before proffering up a succinct answer .

During , a six game stretch during 2011, for the Denver Broncos, Tebow’s quarterback rating was amongst the lowest in the entire NFL , yet even the most knowledgeable of supporters of the player , somehow chooses to overlook this all. Oh, to be so naïve , and show such a great deal of bias , without trying to lay out an argument either way as to the pros and cons , concerning the player. If a player , in the NFL , was merely playing in the league because of his likability , then everyone , who has ever shown the propensity to aspire to play in the NFL , would be afforded that privilege . Yet , the fact that of the matter , just happens to be, a player succeeds in this league , based on his ability , and not because the fans, merely , want to see a nice guy, get his due . This is not how the NFL operates , where image , power but above all else , money counts for everything . And as marketable as Tebow , just happens to be , his star , is now on the decline , while the luster also has diminished .

The fate of the New York Jets over their final two games , may well rest in the hands of their third-string starter Greg McElroy. And the fact that Tebow , now having recovered from a rib injury , was overlooked by head coach , Rex Ryan for the upcoming game against the San Diego Chargers , speaks volumes as to his and the coaching staff’s lack of faith

in the player’s abilities . Ryan , has tried to suggest and play this all down , by stating that the trade for Tim Tebow was a misjudgment on his part, and the fact that they have been unable to utilize his talents in any phase of their game strategies . When a head coach makes a statement of that magnitude , then you simply know that the future does not bode well for that player . Rex Ryan’s own future with the New York Jets , now comes under a “ cloud of conjecture” and a great deal of speculation .

Clearly , the front office of the Jets’ organization , has to be at odds with the coach staffs’ handling of the team’s malaise this season, and the very fact that they will miss the postseason for the second consecutive year . Team owner , Woody Johnson and GM Mike Tannenbaum must now come to a decision , as to the immediate futures of not only Mark Sanchez , Tim Tebow , but also the entire coaching staff, led by Rex Ryan . The drama on the field of play, was outshone by the sheer ridicule to be found , of the three-ringed circus acts , that unfolded over the course of the Jets’ season , and the idiocy to be found within the Jets’ organization .

Whatever fate now holds for the main characters in this melodrama , the season cannot end soon enough for the success starved fans of the New York Jets . Surely , they deserve a great deal more from the franchise , than they have been subjected to , this season ? And for those asinine ingrates , who felt that the criticism by Joe Namath leveled not only at Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow but also at the Jets’ coaching staff , was undue. My advice would be , isn’t it right about now “ that you should be eating crow” ? Better yet , seek life elsewhere , because in the real world where criticism is valid, one looks at all sides of the argument objectively, and not through a paradigm of favoritism and likability.

There may well have been a rush to judgment in the belief that the New York Giants would be on their way to another postseason berth after last season’s triumph in the Superbowl . This season , the 8-6 Giants, are in the middle of a three-way dogfight for the NFC East , with the two teams who fall short , likely to miss the postseason . Joining the New York Giants in the midst of this drama and intrigue are the Dallas Cowboys (8-6) and Washington Redskins (8-6), which clearly creates even more suspense than even Eli Manning and his teammates would have wished for at this juncture . They will once again come under the microscope , with questions arising as to whether or not they can make a late season surge and garnering a postseason berth. In their last five games , Tom Coughlin’s players are 3-2 , and with m those losses , their hold on the division is now essentially up for grabs .

The Giants will face a stern test when they meet the Baltimore Ravens , a team with struggles of their own ,as they seek to rebound from a set of rather indifferent games . Suffice to say, a defeat, for either team , would effectively seal their fate , as they each have postseason aspirations . This was not meant to be part of the scenario that Tom Coughlin had envisage for his team , as the knock against the Giants over the past two seasons , was their insistence at making their run for the postseason in the latter half of their regular season schedule . The fallout for the team, should they fail to garner that much-envied berth , could very well be catastrophic. . From, hereon-in , one could speculate where this leaves the Giants and their season should this chapter prove to be disappointing .

I’ll repeat this again and again , the Chicago Bears might just be the most be the overrated 8-6 team in the NFL , bearing that mark within the league . And therein , lies the misnomer as to why they are being viewed as a contender for the postseason . A great deal of the issues facing this team have been the very the fact that rush offense for the Bears has been a constant struggle , and most definitely erratic . Given the caliber of the team’s running back Matt Forte, this could very well be seen as misleading , but much of this falls on the shoulders of Jay Cutler , and the very fact the quarterback has proven to be a major disappointment throughout much of the Bears’ season .

Cutler’s entrance into the NFL were lauded , simply because of his exploits , while attending Vanderbilt (Commodores) . As the eleventh overall pick from the 2006 NFL Draft was enough to suggest that the Denver Broncos might well have been unto something, as they sought a successor who could simply replicate the feats of Hall of Fame inductee John Elway, the franchise’s all-time leader in several passing categories for the Broncos.

The Bears’ 23-16 loss to divisional rivals , the Green Bay Packers at Soldier Field , in Chicago , Illinois , could very well be the defeat that either sends a signal to the front office that changes will have to be made this off-season. GM , Phil Emery , may well seek to discuss the team’s problems with President & CEO Ted Phillips , and Chairman , George H McCaskey, as to the likely moves that can be made . Certainly , Lovie Smith’s position as the team’s head coach may well come under even more scrutiny , than he has been accustomed to , in recent years. Moreover, it is my belief , that Jay Cutler’s position will become even more tenuous with many questioning whether or not he can actually lead this team deep into the postseason.

Up next for the Chicago Bears will be a conference match-up against the woefully lamentable Arizona Cardinals. For Cardinals’ head coach, Ken Whisenhunt , a win is of the utmost necessity, if only to stave off, the now fomenting discussions as to his immediate future and that of several members of his coaching staff , as well as a number of players on the Cardinals’ roster.

Whatever , you may well feel about the Chicago Bears , the undeniable question has to be , what will it take for this team to make the next step into the upper tier of the teams seen as the amongst the elite within the NFL ? From my own perspective , there have been no truly dominant franchises within the league this season , and that is in spite of the ongoing records and several of the results over the course of the 2012 regular season schedule !

The Atlanta Falcons (12-3) may well be riding high , and for Matt Ryan, a possible candidate for league MVP , he knows better than ever , that the time is now , for this team to truly show the fans of the NFL that they are a force to be reckoned with . I have my own misgivings about this team , because the team’s quarterback has yet to indicate to me , that he has the wherewithal to lead a his franchise to their desired destination , a berth in the Superbowl.

Falcons’ head coach , Mike Smith , has a team built around the explosiveness of his offense led by Tony Gonzalez, Roddy White , Michael Turner , Julio Jones and with a defense that gives up 18.5 ppg and 354.4 total yards per game this season. It may well be enough to cede the ball club to their desired destination . Whether or not that will be enough , it remains to be seen at this juncture . Having secured the #1 seed in the NFC , the Falcons will face the fast declining Detroit Lions in a Saturday evening game being played at Ford Field , in Detroit , Michigan,. Given the woes of Lions’ franchise this season . I get the impression that they could very well be on wrong side of a rather lopsided defeat !

Nothing , absolutely nothing , has gone right for the Detroit Lions (4-10) over the course of this season , as the franchise seems to have regressed back to the team , that we all witnessed , have one of most infamous seasons in NFL history , in posting an 0-16 record in 2008. There’s nothing else , that needs to be said left to be said at this juncture !

A disappointing season all-round for the Lions but most notably , I believe for Matt Stafford , after having a breakout season in 2011! His erstwhile teammate , Calvin Johnson , just seems to be nonchalantly going about his business while cementing himself as the NFL’s best wide receiver by quite a wide margin over the rest of his peers .

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Picture gallery .

With one week left on the NFL regular season , after Saturday and Sunday’s slew of games , it will be interesting to see how a number teams fare, as they seek to make that final push for a playoff berth . With seven spots already secured there still remains, seven places up for grabs, and it remains to be seen which of these ball-clubs will be up to the task. Chime in , with a comment , as you see fit , on this, and anything else, you feel pertinent, as to the subject matter .

😉

Picture and slideshow gallery below .
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(1) FILE – This Nov. 11, 2012 file photo shows New York Jets’ Tim Tebow on the field before an NFL football game against the Seattle Seahawks in Seattle. Rex Ryan acknowledged Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2012 that he had higher expectations for the seldom-used Tebow in the Jets’ wildcat-style offense. And, so did the NFL’s most popular and maligned backup quarterback. AP Photo/Elaine Thompson ….

(2) Tennessee Titans running back Chris Johnson (28) runs for a 94-yard touchdown against the New York Jets in the second quarter of an NFL football game, Monday, Dec. 17, 2012, in Nashville, Tenn. AP Photo/Wade Payne …

(3) New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez (6) passes against the Tennessee Titans in the second quarter of an NFL football game, Monday, Dec. 17, 2012, in Nashville, Tenn. AP Photo/Wade Payne …

(4) New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez (6) passes against the Tennessee Titans in the second quarter of an NFL football game, Monday, Dec. 17, 2012, in Nashville, Tenn. AP Photo/Wade Payne

(5) New York Jets quarterback Tim Tebow (15) is sacked for a 2-yard loss by Tennessee Titans linebacker Zach Brown (55) in the second quarter of an NFL football game, Monday, Dec. 17, 2012, in Nashville, Tenn. AP Photo/Wade Payne ….

(6)New York Jets Head Coach Rex Ryan (C) Owner Woody Johnson (R) and General Manager Mike Tannenbaum pose for a photo at a press conference naming Ryan as the new Head Coach of the New York Jets at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center on January 21, 2009 in Florham Park, New Jersey. Johnson’s involvement with the company that bears the familial name Johnson & Johnson Inc is now at a bare minimum , but it is strange to see the pharmaceutical giant be successful , yet an NFL franchise , where Woody Johnson is the CEO is ran with such poor decision-making , which seems to be reflected in the team’s play this season and their standing in the AFC East . Photo by Andy Marlin/Getty Images …

(7) Chicago Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall (15), second from right, sits on the bench in the second half of an NFL football game against the Green Bay Packers in Chicago, Sunday, Dec. 16, 2012. The Packers won 21-13 to clinch the NFC North division title. AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh …

(8) Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler (6) is sacked by Green Bay Packers linebacker Clay Matthews , left, in the second half of an NFL football game in Chicago, Sunday, Dec. 16, 2012. At right is Packers linebacker Dezman Moses . The Packers won 21-13 to clinch the NFC North division title. AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh …

(9) Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) works against the New York Giants during the second half of an NFL football game on Sunday, Dec. 16, 2012, in Atlanta. The Falcons would go on to defeat the Giants 34-0 . AP Photo/Rich Addicks …

(10) Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson (81) cannot pull in a pass as Arizona Cardinals corner-back ,Patrick Peterson (21) defends during the first half of an NFL football game on Sunday, Dec. 16, 2012, in Glendale, Ariz. AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin ….

(11) Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) is pressured by Arizona Cardinals defensive end David Carter (79) during the first half of an NFL football game on Sunday, Dec. 16, 2012, in Glendale, Ariz. AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin …

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Jaime Edmondson the quintessential Patriots’ fan

For whom the bell tolls , it tolls for thee …..

Tophatal

And when the dust settles there will be a number of casualties laying prostrate on the ground as part of the debris of this NFL season . Week thirteen will come to a close after Monday night’s game between the New York Giants and the Washington Redskins to be played at Fedex Field in Landover , Maryland ,. That match-up will pit Eli Manning of the Giants against the dynamic rookie sensation , Robert Griffin III of the Redskins.

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And the game between the two NFC East contenders, should prove to be one of the highlights of the weekend’s slew of games . With three games left to the regular season , it must be said there’s still a great deal to be played for in terms of the divisional and playoff berths still up for grabs .

Meanwhile , within the NFC East , another potentially telling divisional match-up , is that of the Dallas Cowboys taking on the Philadelphia Eagles . A win, for the struggling Dallas Cowboys is imperative , if they are to have any hopes of making the postseason . For the Philadelphia Eagles, and their beleaguered coach , Andy Reid , and quarterback, Michael Vick , this might just be the lead-up to the beginning of the end for both of these individuals . Reid has steadfastly, stood behind his veteran quarterback , in spite of the player’s poor play throughout the majority of the games in which he has played this season. Backup quarterback , Nick Foles hasn’t yet showed that he has a great command of the offense, but given his productivity in comparison’s to Vick’s , it has to be said that the younger player has shown a great deal more than his much vaunted , and more experienced counterpart .

With the Cowboys coming away with a 38-33 victory , which leaves Jason Garrett’s team with a mark of 5-6 within the NFC East , and dropping the Eagles to 3-8 in the division. From my own perspective , I believe that the Dallas Cowboys will be hard pressed to beat any of the top contenders within the NFC , much less the entire NFL . In spite of what team owner, Jerry Jones , may well believe about this team, they are simply not good enough to be taken seriously as a legitimate contender for the Superbowl . There are far too many flaws on this team , beyond the nonsensical game plans and decisions being made by an overrated coach , in , Jason Garrett .

It’s not “easy being cheesy “ but someone has to do it , and who else is better , than the much maligned Chicago Bears ? For a team that is 8-4 , and sitting second within the NFC North , the Bears are simply showing that a record doesn’t accurately represent a team, and who they say they are . The Bears in their last five a games , are a hapless 2-3 , but yet the constant throng of support thrown the team’s way , simply isn’t justified . That is unless you’re more focused on the fact that Jay Cutler, is now said to be playing at a higher level than most of his counterparts within the NFC . Clearly , there’s a misrepresentation not only about Cutler , but also apparently , on how good the Chicago Bears , are said to be. The Bears might just be one of the weakest teams in the NFL to hold a record of 8-4 within the league , and that is with due respect to the aspirants with a similar mark . Yet when it’s all said and done, you’re either what your record says you are , or you are not ! Which is it to be , for Lovie Smith’s , Bears ?

I’ll say this only once but the AFC West and its counterpart , the NFC West, in my honest opinion , are the two worst divisions in the entire NFL ! From a competitive standpoint , the brand of football being played by the occupants there , borders on being farcical, and at times, a complete embarrassment to the league. Yet this is what the NFL has been selling the fans and consumers as entertainment for the past several years. Could it simply come down to bad coaching ? Of which there just happens to be great deal of, within the NFL at present ! So much so, that at the end of the postseason , if not before there are likely to be several coaching changes around the NFL .

The highly touted Chicago Bears , somehow came up short, against a rookie quarterback , in the Seattle Seahawks’ —- Russell Wilson , a possible candidate for NFL Rookie of the Year. Inexplicably , on their home ground at Soldier Field , in Chicago, Illinois, the Bears somehow managed to embarrass themselves in a game played against the Seattle Seahawks , but also further point out the fact, of why it is Jay Cutler is simply overrated . Arm strength asides, what if anything , has Cutler proven to the Bears’ since his acquisition by the franchise in a trade several years ago ? He has yet to win a meaningful game in the postseason , and it has to be said that when faced with real adversity , the quarterback simply doesn’t have what it takes face such an incident head on , especially in light of the NFC championship game from the 2010 season . Doubt my word , then simply look at Cutler’s postseason record as evidence of that fact ? Sunday night , for want of a better word . the Bears simply pissed away their chance of taking a stranglehold within the NFC North, by succumbing to Russell Wilson and the Seahawks, 23-17 . And as for that much vaunted defense of the Bears , well let’s just say their greatness lies somewhere in between the aspirations of Mitt Romney’s failed Presidential campaign and the “wonderment” of the idiots , who believe Jay Cutler to be one of the “ better or “ elite quarterbacks” now playing in the NFL ! In other words , repeated failure, is a damn option , for both Cutler and Romney ! How’d you like them apples ?

It wasn’t meant to be , and off course there’s no quarterback controversy , as the San Francisco 49ers’ head coach , Jim Harbaugh went with the “ hot hand” and you somehow knew that Colin Kaepernick’s recent heroics would find a way of bringing him back to earth , and teach something of a lesson in humility. As to the fans and bloggers , out there , looking to make something out of nothing , the case is now closed . Kaepernick , has played well in his first three professional games for the Niners , but this being the NFL , the great players , as well as the rookies, can have their good days, as well as some extraordinarily bad days. And Sunday, was no exception for the young rookie quarterback , in which Harbaugh showed his faith in, Kapernick may well have come up short, but in no way should he bear the sole responsibility for the team’s 16-13 overtime loss the St Louis Rams.

The loss itself, doesn’t place the 49ers out of the running for the NFC West divisional title ,as it merely brings the team back closer amongst the pack of the only other real aspirant within the division , which just happens to be the 7-5 Seattle Seahawks. Up next for Jim Harbaugh’s team will be a home game against the Miami Dolphins , in week fourteen. For Seattle, they face something of a less sterner test, when they take on the lowly Arizona Cardinals at Q West Field , in Seattle , Washington,.

I for one do not know what it may well take for either Roger Goodell , or those seated on the board of the NFL’s Fair Play and Rules’ Committee to wake up ,and smell the coffee , when it comes to premeditated actions and the play of the Detroit Lions’ —- Ndamokung Suh ! Fresh off last week’s act of raising his feet while he was on the ground , and deliberately kicking the Houston Texans’ quarterback, Matt Schaub , in the groin. It would appear , that even with the referee’s report and all of the visual evidence , NFL Commissioner Goodell , has yet to render a verdict as to whether not what sort of penalty , if any, Suh will face for that despicable and unsportsmanlike conduct. And for all of the inane stupidity we have come to expect from the bumbling , fumbling Roger Goodell , can someone answer me this , has Goodell got a backbone or has he simply become a complete moron, in wake of the continued embarrassment that he’s suffered because he has been made to look the complete asshole in his handling of the New Orleans’ Saints’ scandal ? The commissioner’s office , has yet to issue any type of penalty to the player , but only to offer a public statement , stating that a full and in-depth investigation will be needed , before any verdict can be rendered , which will be based upon Ndamokung Suh’s prior acts.

Courtesy of NFL.com

Ndamukong Suh’s dance upsets Colts’ Mike McGlynn

By Gregg Rosenthal , NFL.com

It wouldn’t be a Detroit Lions game without a fresh story of someone being upset with defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh.
After Lions corner-back Don Carey made an interception with 6:40 left in Sunday’s 35-33 loss to the Indianapolis Colts, Suh hammered right tackle Winston Justice. Suh and his teammates reportedly stood over Justice, laughed and danced. Justice left the game with a concussion.

Colts right guard Mike McGlynn was furious after the game. He was seen jawing with Suh after the Colts’ game-winning touchdown.

“Totally ignorant on their part,” McGlynn told Bob Kravitz of The Indianapolis Star. “Just childish stuff. We’re all battling out there; I don’t know if the hit was legal or not, but clearly he was hurt, and they’re out there dancing and pointing at him and laughing. Just blatant disrespect. They’re good players, but there’s no room for that. It’s disgusting, really.”
Suh wasn’t flagged on the play, and the broadcast of the game didn’t highlight what happened, but we’re sure the NFL will look at what happened.

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What might be even more intolerable, is the mere fact that Lions’ head coach , Jim Schwartz or any senior executive from within the Lions’ front office have seen fit to issue a public statement on the incident , much less the organization suspending the player for conduct unbecoming of the NFL and bringing the Lions’ franchise into disrepute. Well , if ever there was a case for the NFL to act swiftly , then Ndamokung Suh’s actions in the Lions’ loss (33-35) to the Indianapolis Colts , should now be enough of an indicator that something has to and should be done to disbar and suspend the Lions’ defensive player without pay for a minimum of three games. As for the mother fucking ass wipes out there who carry on, with this asinine premise that “football is a man’s game and the players should play with reckless abandonment” . When I last looked , kicking a player in the groin, wasn’t a part of the game , nor were Suh’s alleged actions in Sunday’s game when the player and several of his Lions’ teammates danced around and laughed over the concussed body of Colts’ player Winston Justice , after Suh delivered a “ vicious hit “ to the downed player during a play. If Suh’s intent is to prove that he’s not a dirty player , then , he sure has a fucking unintelligent way of showing it ! Justice had to be carried off the field of play , with a mild concussion and was not able to return to the game.

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Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh (90) walks off the field after the Lions lose 35-33 to the Indianapolis Colts in an NFL football game at Ford Field in Detroit, Sunday, Dec. 2, 2012. AP Photo/Paul Sancya ….

Inside the space of a week , the Detroit Lions have gone from the bumbling oafs of the NFL after their Thanksgiving Day loss , suffered at the hands of the Houston Texans , to “persona-non-grata” and perhaps now , the “ dirtiest team “ within the league. Never-mind , the fact that , Matt Stafford now appears to be a caricature of the player , who last season was amongst the best quarterbacks in the NFL. This season , as he has continued to disappoint , and so too , has the team under , head coach , Jim Schwartz .

At 4-8 , lying at the bottom of the NFC North , to describe the Detroit Lions as a major disappointment this season , would be akin to stating that their play was simply an aberration , and that they are capable of doing better. In this I don’t believe that they can , as they have simply played down to the level of their opponents , rather than playing at a higher standard . The talents of wide receiver, Calvin Johnson , have been wasted this season , and the team’s defense is not as good as was being first advertised and lauded over , by several NFL analysts and fans alike . It’s now safe to say , that the Lions are back to ways of old , as evidenced , by the mess served up by franchise on Thanksgiving Day.

Some coaches in the NFL , are on to a good thing , while others having had a sampling of success , believe that they’re untouchable , because who they are , and that their sheer persona , as it towers over the franchise they just happen to coach . It’s pretty much safe to say that those traits, mirror the New York Jets’ head coach Rex Ryan . Now consider the season that Ryan’s team is said to be having that the asinine premise behind what can be the best described as the biggest side of sports’ failure this side of Michael Jordan trying his hand at professional baseball, was to have to Tim Tebow was to acquire the player via a trade ,merely to put same additional faces in the stands at MetLife Stadium . And while the Heisman Trophy winner has his supporters, let’s be real, Tebow now has more detractors, in terms of his footballing talent , that’s said to equal those now rallying against amongst the Jets’ coaching staff and front office staff who suborned this idiocy ! Tim Tebow is nothing more than affable guy , who is now , simply out of his depth as an NFL professional football player. He does not possess the football IQ , under which he is capable of learning in order for his game to improve . And the statements attributed to head coach Rex Ryan that the young backup quarterback is one of the hardest working players he has had under his tutelage , doesn’t really say a great deal when you consider the fact that in 2011 and now in , 2012 his teams have failed miserably . And perhaps , none more so than the team’s starting quarterback , Mark Sanchez , whose game has steadily declined over the past two seasons , but yet the coaching staff ,led by offensive coordinator , Tony Sparano , head coach Rex Ryan and quarterbacks’ coach , Matt Cavanaugh have been pretty much adamant and insistent , all season long that Sanchez was “their man “ , to be the signal caller for the hapless Jets. Well now that the tires have become deflated on this motionless New York Jets’ vehicle , it would appear that the coaching staff and GM Mike Tannenbaum are firmly in line behind , a change at the quarterback position. And no , it is not going to be Tim Tebow taking the snaps under center, it will be the third-string starter , Greg McElroy.

In what can be best described as a game between two mediocre teams , certainly lived up to that expectation , with both the Arizona Cardinals and New York Jets serving a main course for national broadcast viewing that if anything should have run the wrath of the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) . I know that this governmental agency is meant to monitor the public broadcast airwaves , paying close attention and monitoring for the use of explicit language and graphic gratuitous violence and explicit sexual acts . but hell, what about saving the consumer from the events that took place at Met Life Stadium , in East Rutherford , New Jersey, as both the Cardinals and Jets simply struggled to put points on the board ? Goddamn it, it is not as of both teams offered much of making the game a defensive chess match to begin with ! Ken Whisenhunt and the Arizona Cardinals are taking on water faster than the Titanic in the midst of the Atlantic Ocean , having hit an iceberg and the Jets are not that far behind.

Greg McElroy may well have been the starter for the Jets on Sunday , but nothing he did , would have given you the impression, that he was ready assume a starting role as the quarterback for the Jets’ franchise , and the very fact that Rex Ryan had to revert back to the hapless , Mark Sanchez , whose game stats (10/21, 97 yards , 0 TD’s & 3 INT’s ) read like a failing test score, was scary enough to now make you wonder , where the Jets now go from here ? Tebow has two fractured ribs that sidelined him from the game , and if , as it has been stated , his participation would affect have affected throwing motion and running motion. , then the team is simply up a creek , without a paddle. No pun intended , but Tebow’s throwing motion to begin with , was always suspect , so a rib injury wouldn’t made a difference at all, where he available to suit up for the team. The end result for this monstrosity of a game , was 7-6 Jets’ victory

, and to go into depth , to merely describe a worthwhile play during this crap , would be akin to listening to either , Mitt Romney or Sarah Palin during a debate . You simply know that nothing at all productive would come out of such an event , and therein , now lies the story of the New York Jets’ season , nothing , anywhere near productive or positive, has come out of the team’s season at all ! Certainly , not on the field of play , or anything that can be vaguely described as being intelligent from the coaching staff or front office, has taken place off the field , for that matter ! At the end of the season , there has to be some major upheavals within the organization , from the front office , down to the coaching staff , and player personnel. This is simply a franchise that has been mismanaged and whose head coach , has his head so far up in the clouds , that back on earth , the Jets’ fans have to be wondering how much of a clueless asshole, is Rex Ryan to begin with .

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Picture gallery .

Were you at all happy, with any of the NFL games that were broadcast this past weekend ? And which specific game do you believe provided the most excitement during the week thirteen schedule ? Chime in with your thoughts , as you see fit .

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Picture and slideshow gallery details below.
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(1) New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning (10) watches his team play during the second half of an NFL football game against the Green Bay Packers, Sunday, Nov. 25, 2012, in East Rutherford, N.J. The Giants would go on to defeat the Packers 38-10 in a lopsided match-up of these two NFC teams. Monday night Eli will lead the New York Giants when they face the Washington Redskins in an NFC East divisional …. game . AP Photo/Bill Kostroun ….

(2) New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning (10) is sacked by Green Bay Packers’ Dezman Moses (54) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 25, 2012, in East Rutherford, N.J. AP Photo/Kathy Willens …

(3) Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III (10) watches from the sideline during the second half of an NFL football game against the Dallas Cowboys, Thursday, Nov. 22, 2012, in Arlington, Texas. The Redskins won 38-31 . In what is seen as a highly anticipated match-up Robert Griffin III leads the Redskins on Monday night at Fedex Field , in Landover , Maryland , against the New York Giants . Griffin and the Colts’ Andrew Luck are seen as the two front-runners for the NFL Rookie of The Year . The pair of quarterbacks were taken as the top two players and quarterbacks in the 2012 NFL Draft , and have led their respective teams to great records in the NFL this season , and have been amongst the most productive rookies and quarterbacks in the NFL this season. AP Photo/The Waco Tribune-Herald, Jose Yau ….

(4) Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III (10) and Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (9) greet each other after their NFL football game, Thursday, Nov. 22, 2012, in Arlington, Texas. The Redskins won 38-31. AP Photo/Matt Strasen …..

(5) Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant (88) scores a touchdown from a pass by quarterback Tony Romo during the second half of an NFL football game against the Philadelphia Eagles, Sunday, Dec. 2, 2012, in Arlington, Texas. Romo set a Cowboys record with his 166th touchdown pass , breaking a tie with Hall of Famer and three-time Super Bowl champion Troy Aikman . AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez …

(6) Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick (7) adjusts his helmet after being tackled in the first half of an NFL football game against the Dallas Cowboys, Sunday, Nov. 11, 2012, in Philadelphia. The veteran quarterback has since began to question the front office’s intent to have him removed from injured reserve list having suffered a concussion in week 12 . Vick is due a roster bonus of $3 million , due in 2012 based on the player being 77.5 % of the team’s offensive plays as detailed in his contract. However, it is being rumored that the front office may well seek to trade the player in the off-season , if at all possible . The player is due $45.5 million through to 2016 , upon which be becomes a free agent in 2017 . Vick had signed a 5 year $80 million contract prior to the start of the 2011 season with the Philadelphia Eagles , but in light of his troubled 2012 season . it seems unlikely that those contractual obligations will be met by the franchise . AP Photo/Michael Perez ….

(7) San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick is sacked for a 7-yard loss by St. Louis Rams outside linebacker Jo-Lonn Dunbar (58) and defensive end William Hayes, right, during the first quarter of an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 2, 2012, in St. Louis. The Rams defeated the 49ers 16-13 . AP Photo/Seth Perlman …

(8) New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez (6) is sacked by Arizona Cardinals corner-back William Gay (22) during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 2, 2012, in East Rutherford, N.J. The Jets’ lone touchdown in the game came by way of a touchdown pass from backup quarterback , Greg McElroy , in the team’s 7-6 triumph over the Cardinals Rams . AP Photo/Kathy Willens …

(9) Indianapolis Colts tight end Coby Fleener (80) , defended by Detroit Lions free safety Louis Delmas (26) and linebacker DeAndre Levy (54) , falls into the end zone for a touchdown during the second quarter of an NFL football game at Ford Field in Detroit, Sunday, Dec. 2, 2012. The Colts would come back from a double-digit deficit to defeat the Lions 35-33 late in the fourth quarter of the game played at Ford Field in Detroit , Michigan . AP Photo/Paul Sancya …

(10) Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh (90) walks off the field after the Lions lose 35-33 to the Indianapolis Colts in an NFL football game at Ford Field in Detroit, Sunday, Dec. 2, 2012. AP Photo/Paul Sancya …

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Wayne Wonder , feat’g Buju Banton ……….. Bona fide Love “Like Glue ”

Times are a changing but not necessarily for the better …..

Times are a changing but not necessarily for the better

By Tophatal

Well as we now enter the final week of the 2012 NFL preseason , there is not a lot that the NFL fans have learned . The league hierarchy remains the idiotic mess we have come to expect during the tenure of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell . There seems to be no real conciliatory effort on the path of the league sort out their differences with the NFLRA (Referees’ Union) . The league enforced lockout , reminiscent of their actions against the NFLPA (Players’ Union) simply indicates how out of touch with reality the hierarchy remains , whose backing by the franchise owners seems equally ridiculous . Continued blown calls by the replacement referees brought in from the D2 and D3 levels of Collegiate Football and the NFL expects the fans to be completely satisfied with this premise ? I think not !

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Slide show for your perusal .

I will say this for the beleaguered New York Jets and the brave face that’s now being put on by starting quarterback Mark Sanchez , all the explanations in the world , simply cannot hide how woefully inept this team has been over the course of their preseason schedule to date. The much-hyped tandem of Sanchez and his backup Tim Tebow , between them the duo have yet to throw a touchdown pass in the preseason . Never mind the fact that the team’s offensive coordinator Tony Sparano continues to express his implicit and binding faith in the abilities of the duo. Personally, I would like to know what Sparano bases his premise on ! If there is said to be an NFL coach that will be more under the microscope other than Jets’ head coach Rex Ryan and perhaps Norv Turner of the San Diego Chargers , then I would be pleasantly surprised !

Given the results of the Jets this preseason their standing (0-3) within the AFC East and the very fact that both quarterbacks have performed poorly , I believe that Rex Ryan has a number of things to feel worried about . The 2012 NFL Draft and the selections made by the Jets’ management led by GM Mike Tannenbaum would suggest that they feel that this season , the organization is about to turn the corner . Quinton Coples , Stephen Hill, Demario Davis, Josh Bush , Terrance Ganaway , Robert T Griffin, Antonio Allen and Jordan White are the players sought to make a major contribution to the team this season . As the draftees taken in this draft by Jets , they each have a great deal to live up to , when based upon their predecessors from last season .

Coming off a lackluster performance in 17-12 loss to the Carolina Panthers , the Jets final preseason game has them meeting the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field , in Philadelphia , Pennsylvania , this Thursday evening . With teams having to cut their rosters down to 73 players before having to whittle down to that mandated figure of 54 players , it will be interesting to see the choices that will no doubt be made by the New York Jets , as well as the other franchises around the league. This much is certain for players picked after the 5th round in the NFL Draft and the non-roster invitees left on the player personnel rosters , the final preseason games of 2012 will now mean more , than ever before .

Chris Cooley of the Washington Redskins may well have been one of the more understated players in the NFL but there was no doubt what he brought to the Redskins as a player. After eight years of service with the only professional franchise he has played for , the tight-end was cut by Redskins’ franchise on Tuesday afternoon. Drafted in the third round of the 2004 NFL Draft , Cooley has been one of the corner-pieces in the franchise in his subsequent eight years with the Washington Redskins. I have no doubt that he will prove to be a valuable asset and pickup for any franchise in the NFL looking for a very good blocking tight-end and slot-receiver . With the departure of Cooley , the Redskins are left with just three tight-ends on their roster , who between them have a combined eleven years of experience in the NFL. The trio is led by Logan Paulsen , Richard Quinn and Fred Davis , and it remains to be seen which of the three will be one the main receiving targets for Redskins’ incumbent starting quarterback Robert Griffin III .

Wednesday night’s game at Fedex Field between the Washington Redskins and Tampa Bay Buccaneers , may well go a long way in telling us how the three aforementioned players might fare against a Bucs’ secondary that has yet to truly establish itself this preseason. For both of the young quarterbacks facing each other tonight , Josh Freeman and his counterpart Robert Griffin III. This will give both players that much-needed final tune-up before they each embark of on their respective 2012 forays into the regular season .

Oh the thought that once again baseball finds itself within the morass of more players being caught within the net cast of the league hierarchy’s drug testing policy. Heaven forbid , that Bud Selig still feels that the edicts in place have actually dampened the players’ ardor to cheat. In truth , it simply has not because at the minor league level , more players than ever before , are still being caught . A fifty game suspension while supposedly having to undergo a mandatory drug counseling program , proves to be , about as useful as handing a newborn baby a pacifier while not feeding that child for the next twenty fours . It’s not going to stop that child from crying and it certainly will not abate the cheating that has , and will continue to take place within the world of baseball. Anyone who believes that to be to the contrary has to be that naïve or not willing to accept the fact that the MLB hierarchy simply has no answer for the “monster “ that they created !

Pitch count , innings’ count , call it what you will but the jig is up, concerning the Washington Nationals and GM Mike Rizzo’s stance on the team’s starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg . This continued idiocy by the organization that it is their intent to shut-down the player for the season , once he has pitched anywhere between 160 to 180 innings for the year , sounds just as asinine today , as when it was first considered by Nationals’ front office and coaching staff ! With the team now in the midst of a tight divisional race within the NL East , one has to wonder what the mindset has to be with the Nationals’ general manager.

In continuing with this premise , this undoubtedly sends a disingenuous message to the Washington Nationals’ fans but also to Strasburg’s own teammates . Far be it for me to suggest that this maneuver indicates that the Nationals are bailing on the most successful year in the franchise’s history . I get the feeling that the feeling that Mike Rizzo has not put a great deal of thought into his proposed decision. Team manager , Davey Johnson continues to be diplomatic on the matter , simply reiterating much of the front office spiel concerning this issue .

In light of the Nationals’ recent record , if this move is countenanced and Strasburg is indeed shut-down . I would hate to see what bearing this might have on the team should they fail to make the MLB postseason . One thing is abundantly clear this is team is better off with Stephen Strasburg as part of their pitching lineup , than they are without him . Suffice to say, that if they throw away what appears to be a unique chance to make a legitimate run to the World Series , then the burden of blame for this blunder , will rest squarely upon the shoulders of Mike Rizzo and absolutely no one else ! Coming off what can be best described as something of an 9-0 drubbing at the hands of the Miami Marlins . Strasburg had one of the worst performances of his career .

Next up for the Washington Nationals is the second of a two-game set against the Miami Marlins at Marlins’ Ballpark , in Miami , Florida . On the mound for the Nationals will be Ross Detwiler (3-2, 3.25 ERA) who will face Jacob Turner (1-2, 6.87 ERA) of the Marlins . This game should be something of an indicator as to whether or not the Nationals have fully recovered from the previous night’s events . Awaiting the Nationals at the culmination of this series will be the reigning World Series champions , the St Louis Cardinals , who themselves are seeking to place themselves into playoff contention for an NL wildcard berth. The Washington Nationals will play host to Mike Matheny’s —– Cardinals in what is sure to be three pivotal games with a great deal of bearing on the divisional races , as well as the aforementioned wildcard standings .

With so much on the line for a number of teams at this juncture , it will be interesting to see which ball-clubs will be making the moves and which will fall by the wayside.

Now unless I am mistaken the blockbuster trade that essentially indicated to us all that the Boston Red Sox felt it necessary to jettison themselves of $275 million in payroll, merely to show that they sought to stand behind their beleaguered manager Bobby Valentine . Throughout the year, this Red Sox team has been lackluster , lacking in passion but above all there seems to be absolutely no leadership from anyone on the roster. There are those who may well have felt that the player dissent was justified but a great deal of the underlying issues to the Red Sox’s malaise does have a lot to do with the performance of Bobby Valentine and his staff . Uninspiring , unimaginative but above all , we are seeing a manager that in spite of his alleged experience , it does look as if the game has passed him by .

The departure of Carl Crawford , Nick Punto , Adrian Gonzalez and Josh Beckett to the Los Angeles Dodgers , now gives the NL West ball-club the added credibility they well have sought , as they seek to chase down the division leading San Francisco Giants . The Dodgers have not been part of the postseason since 2009 and a World Series appearance for this revered franchise last came in 1988 , which ended which ended with a 4-1 series victory over the Oakland A’s .

Undoubtedly, with the new ownership in tow led by Magic Johnson , Peter Guber , Mark Walter , Todd Boehly and Stan Kasten . At the heart of Johnson’s intent , is to see this venerable club back to where he believes they rightfully belong . And that is, as perennial contenders challenging a for a pennant and World Series annually , with a high-caliber team at the heart of it all.

In the aftermath of Frank McCourt’s mismanagement of the franchise, it has to be noted the sale of the team for an astounding $2.156 billion was seen as a breath of fresh air. The ringing approval from the fans notwithstanding , baseball’s handling of this entire episode should be used as a business management tutorial , as what not to do in the case of a crisis. Now with a multi-billion television contract in tow , the financial resources now at the front office’s disposal might be on par , with that of the New York Yankees . Guggenheim Baseball Partners , the holding company and proprietary owners of the franchise are the sports’ management arm of the venture capital firm Guggenheim Partners LLC . With assets exceeding $125 billion , it must be said the Dodgers’ current payroll of $ 169.8 million would be viewed a blip on their scale and it is here , where there now seems to be a diverging path between the haves and have not’s within the game of baseball . Beyond the idiocy baseball’s now apparent drug policy while netting its share of cheaters , in no way has it slowed the trend of the players seeking or using PED’s . The penalties that the league hierarchy now has in place , has not slowed the pace of the misuse and with the league now conducting an investigation into the actions of former clubhouse manager and fitness instructor Kirk Radomski . It has to be said why now , and not when allegations first came to light concerning this individual ? .

Courtesy of MLB.com

MLB explores agents’ alleged link to PED dealer

By Paul Hagen , MLB.com

Major League Baseball is investigating whether agents Sam and Seth Levinson acted as liaisons between former All-Star catcher Paul Lo Duca and admitted steroid distributor Kirk Radomski, MLB.com has confirmed.

The story first appeared in USA Today.

A well-placed source noted that, while both Major League Baseball and federal authorities are looking into the matter, this is an ongoing investigation and no conclusions have been reached at this point. The source also said this recent development stems from a story in the New York Daily News on Aug. 19 that said Giants outfielder Melky Cabrera, who had just been suspended for use of performance-enhancing substances, tried to escape punishment by creating a fake website advertising a non-existent product to indicate that he unknowingly took a banned substance.

Cabrera also is represented by the Levinson’s ACES Inc. Both agents have adamantly denied any involvement.

According to USA Today, Lo Duca alleges that he was introduced to Radomski by the Levinsons. When the Mitchell Report was released in December 2007, it documented copies of three checks to Radomski for $3,200 each. USA Today reported that it has a copy of one check from a joint account between Lo Duca and Sam Levinson imprinted with the address of the agent’s Brooklyn offices.

Radomski is a former Mets clubhouse attendant; Lo Duca played for the Mets in 2006 and ’07.

The Daily News reported that federal agents have been looking into Cabrera’s associates to try to determine the source of the synthetic testosterone that was detected in the urine sample of the 2012 All-Star Game’s Most Valuable Player.

One Cabrera insider, Juan Nunez, allegedly paid $10,000 to set up the bogus website. Nunez has been described as a “paid consultant” of Aces Inc. He told the Daily News that the agents had absolutely no connection to the scheme.

USA Today further reported that MLB’s probe also is focusing on a former Venezuelan bodybuilder named Cesar Paublini, who is now Cabrera’s Miami-based trainer. Paublini told the paper that he had not been contacted by investigators at this point, but added that Cabrera had introduced him to Juan Nunez.

Finally, the paper said, MLB would like to question Lo Duca to determine whether he was a paid consultant for ACES Inc.

Paul Hagen is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Baseball has continued to do the fans the greatest disservice possible and granted , Bud Selig’s most recent public statement has simply been to talk about further television contract extensions , while not addressing the most acute issues that the game now has within its midst as an adversarial object . It simply has been the commissioner’s way of dealing with problems, that he has simply been unable to solve or has any idea how to deal with succinctly . In all reality , should we have expected any less from perhaps the most imbecilic executive in all of professional sports ? Your thoughts on the matter please ?

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Picture gallery .

In light of the ongoing problems within the game of baseball , what do you feel are the game’s biggest issues ? As the NFL preseason meanders to its finality, is there a chance that the NFL hierarchy and the referees’ union will come to a satisfactory conclusion that will be amenable to both parties ? Or are we likely to see the replacement referees adjudication regular season games deep into the NFL calendar ? By all means do leave a comment as you see fit .

Picture and slide show details below.
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New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez (6) reacts as the Carolina Panthers defense celebrates a sack during the first half of a preseason NFL football game, Sunday, Aug. 26, 2012, in East Rutherford, N.J. AP Photo/Bill Kostroun ….

(2) Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (1) avoids a tackle by New York Jets linebacker Aaron Maybin (51) during the first half of a preseason NFL football game, Sunday, Aug. 26, 2012, in East Rutherford, N.J. AP Photo/Bill Kostroun …

(3) New York Jets quarterback Tim Tebow throws a pass against the New York Giants during the second half of a preseason NFL football game on Saturday, Aug. 18, 2012, in East Rutherford, N.J. AP Photo/Rich Schultz ……

(4) Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III dives for a first down during the first half of an NFL preseason football game against the Indianapolis Colts on Saturday, Aug. 25, 2012, in Landover, Md. AP Photo/Richard Lipski ….

(5) Chris Cooley (47) of the Washington Redskins watches a game against the New York Jets at FedExField on December 4, 2011 in Landover, Maryland. The player was cut by the Redskins’ front office after eight years of service to the NFL franchise . Patrick McDermott/ Getty Images North America …

(6) MIAMI, FL – AUGUST 28: Pitcher Stephen Strasburg (37) of the Washington Nationals against the Miami Marlins as catcher Kurt Suzuki and pitching Coach Steve McCatty walk off at Marlins Park on August 28, 2012 in Miami, Florida. Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images …

(7) DENVER, CO – AUGUST 29: Pitching coach Bo McLaughlin (40) of the Colorado Rockies visits the mound to talk with pitcher Will Harris (48) and the rest of the infield during the eighth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Coors Field on August 29, 2012 in Denver, Colorado. The strategy visit proved unhelpful as Harris gave up a grand slam to the next batter as the Dodgers went on to defeat the Rockies 10-8 to avoid the three game sweep . Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images ……

(8) Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Joe Blanton (56) challenges Colorado Rockies’ Josh Rutledge during the first inning of a baseball game , Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2012, in Denver. AP Photo/Barry Gutierrez ….

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A Tribe Called Quest & Midnight Marauders —– “ Award Tour “

A New York State of Mind …………….

A New York State of Mind …………

By tophatal

5th September and the NFL season kicks off its regular season with a slew of games that augurs well for the upcoming season . The defending Superbowl champions the New York Giants will be looking to make a successful defense of their title . Moreover, more likely than not , they will be the prohibitive favorites within the NFC East . Tom Coughlin knows that if the team are to repeat , then their play this season will have to be at a heightened level over the course of their schedule .

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The Dallas Cowboys , Philadelphia Eagles and Washington Redskins . Each , will be looking to usurp the dominance of the Giants . Personally , I believe that the Cowboys have far more issues than their fans , coaching staff and the front office are willing to clearly admit . One of the reasons why I believe this to be true , comes from the mere fact that the team’s starting quarterback Tony Romo is not good enough to lead the Cowboys where they need to be ! He has yet to win a , meaningful game over the course of his career. If anything he has been the “model of inconsistency “ . Overrated, but somehow the gullible tv pundits are always in awe of the player. That may well come from the fact that may well be enamored with the Cowboys’ legacy , rather than anything that they have achieved that can be seen as tangible . It would be safe to assume that Romo , along with Eli Manning , Michael Vick and presumably Robert Griffin III will come under close scrutiny this season . Griffin , taken as the second pick overall , taken by the Washington Redskins , may well be under the microscope the most , of all the rookie and sophomore quarterbacks , over the course of the season . The 2012 Heisman Trophy winner has come into the league riding on the waves of expectation . And for Mike Shanahan and the team’s offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan , this could very well be the season during which both coaches will either sink or swim as Robert Griffin has his “baptism” of fire within the NFL.

The Redskins have been an enigma wrapped up in a conundrum , each time failing with ever-increasing signs of ineptitude . Last season was no different and the telling sign was the sheer incompetence shown by the starting quarterbacks who started for the Washington Redskins in 2011 . John Skelton and Rex Grossman could not “cut it “ and now the expectations are that RGIII , can , or will be viewed as the savior of this franchise .

Jeff Lurie as a team owner has to be gullible in simply going along on the premise that Andy Reid is deserving of one more season with the Philadelphia Eagles . He and team President Joe Banner have chosen to allow the head coach, one more season to turn things around , for a team that was a gigantic letdown last season . There were the repeated excuses that a number of injuries simply waylaid the ambitions of the franchise . As productive as LeSean McCoy was said to be in 2011 , the team under the apparent leadership of Michael Vick was nowhere to be seen when it mattered most .

In addition, as crazy as this might seem , even with the Eagles’ off-season transactions and their draft choices . There is the feeling that they are likely to struggle once again this season . The idiocy of the situation that because the Eagles they closed out their season on a winning streak . It meant that in 2012 we should expect that same sort of consistency , should be viewed with a great deal of skepticism . Reid , to my mind has outstayed his welcome in Philadelphia and the Eagles have now become a mundane and ordinary NFL franchise . Now while the team remains a valuable concern , it goes without saying that value alone is not the only thing that drives this franchise alone .

Now while no one is denying the unprecedented years of success , during which Andy Reid and famed quarterback , Donovan McNabb guided the Eagles to divisional titles , NFC championship games , postseason appearances and the franchise’s second Superbowl appearance. That single postseason finale event ended in an emotional loss (24-21) to the New England Patriots . The defeat reverberated not only within the city of Philadelphia but also within it made the fans aware how completely out their depth they happened to be, as an opponent of the Patriots . The infantile behavior of then teammates , Donovan McNabb and Terrell Owens left a great deal to be desired , as the two bickered and cast some rather insidious and asinine comments against one another while seeking to apportion blame in so many areas . On that day, the Eagles’ offense was anemic and the play , in particular of the team’s wide receivers , was atrocious . Thankfully , “Fast “ Freddie Mitchell , whose hands of butter and grease , just happens to be no longer in the NFL . Mitchell’s bravado and the fact he is never lost for words , on that day he had nothing to say for himself or his rather mundane performance .

McNabb is no longer in the NFL but he is seeking to make a return to the league with a contender . Whether or not that materializes remains to be seen but it will also dependent upon a team’s needs for a veteran quarterback . It now seems ironic that neither McNabb nor Owens is currently in the NFL . Many fans would prefer that to be by design , rather than it simply being from the fact , neither player has caught on with a franchise at this stage . Given both veterans’ declining skillset and their advancing age , it is extremely difficult to see either of the players in question on an NFL roster by week one or week two in the NFL .

The New York Jets’ ….. LaDanian Tomlinson made it official today having formally announced his retirement from the NFL officially having signed a one-day contract to leave the game officially as a San Diego Charger . The player leaves the game as one of the as the > active rushing leader in the NFL , rushing touchdowns . But Tomlinson’s greatest disappointment may well be having to leave the game without a Superbowl ring . The player’s nine years with the Chargers and then two years of unfulfilled expectations , with the New York Jets . Where in 2010 and 2011 the team simply imploded under head coach Rex Ryan , and his coaching staff .

Inasmuch , as Tomlinson was brought in to provide some much-needed veteran leadership and stability to that roster . The lack of maturity shown by a number of players and the lack of progression in Mark Sanchez’s game eventually played its part LaDanian Tomlinson’s decision to leave the game under his own steam , and perhaps to the dismay of his most loyal fans . Clearly, one may well question where the Jets go from here this upcoming season . All of the bally hoo with the signing of Tim Tebow means absolutely nothing , when you consider the overwhelming evidence on display from both the backup and incumbent quarterbacks , that would suggest that the New York Jets have a number of issues that the organization simply has no wish to address . The sound-bytes from Tebow have now become mundane and rather asinine . Everybody is happy , well for the moment they are . But imagine how Tebow and Sanchez , the perspective for both should Jets’ season implode again ? Care to chime in with a comment at this juncture ?

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I know it is still early days yet but what significant moves do you foresee will take place once the NFL gets underway this season ? And where would you rank LaDanian Tomlinson among the great running backs over <a the last decade and where would you position him among the all-time greats in the NFL ?

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(1) New York Giants running back Ahmad Bradshaw answers a question as he sits as his locker after NFL football practice in East Rutherford, N.J., Thursday, June 14, 2012. AP Photo/Mel Evans

(2) New York Giants head coach Tom Coughlin answers a question after NFL football practice in East Rutherford, N.J., Thursday, June 14, 2012. AP Photo/Mel Evans …

(3) Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones , left, talks with this son Stephen Jones during NFL football practice at Cowboys Stadium Thursday, June 14, 2012 in Arlington, Texas. AP Photo/LM Otero ….

(4) Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (9) lines up during NFL football practice at Cowboys Stadium Thursday, June 14, 2012 in Arlington, Texas. AP Photo/LM Otero ….

> (5) Philadelphia Eagles chief operating officer Don Smolenski , left, and owner Jeffery Lurie , center, listen to team president Joe Banner speak during a news conference at the NFL football team’s training facility, Thursday, June 7, 2012, in Philadelphia. Banner is stepping aside from the team’s day-to-day operations and taking on an advisory role, to be succeeded as president by Smolenski. AP Photo/Matt Rourke …

(6) Philadelphia Eagles coach Andy Reid walks off the field after practice at the team’s NFL football training facility, Monday, June 4, 2012, in Philadelphia. AP Photo/Matt Rourke …

(7) Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick practices at the team’s NFL football training facility, Monday, June 4, 2012, in Philadelphia. AP Photo/Matt Rourke …

(8) New York Jets quarterbacks coach Matt Cavanaugh , right, watches as Mark Sanchez, left, and Tim Tebow throw during NFL football practice in Florham Park, N.J., Tuesday, June 12, 2012. AP Photo/Mel Evans

(9) New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan answers a question before NFL football practice in Florham Park, N.J., Tuesday, June 12, 2012. AP Photo/Mel Evans …

(10) FILE – This May 11, 2012 file photo shows former San Diego Chargers running back LaDainian Tomlinson gesturing during a public memorial service for the late NFL football player Junior Seau at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego. Two years after leaving under unhappy circumstances, Tomlinson returns to the Chargers to sign a one-day contract and then announce his retirement after 11 mostly brilliant NFL seasons. AP Photo/ Gregory Bull …
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Try as hard as I can it sometimes come down to complete idiocy when I hear a former player of a team being critical of current players on a franchise ! Ridiculous as it may seem we now have a once great quarterback in Joe Namath being critical of Rex Ryan and in part the team assembled in his guise and that of the front office of the New York Jets . From my own perspective anything that Namath has to say on any subject be it on the subject of the NFL or domestic or foreign policy is simply not worth listening to ! Beyond the fame and accolades the player’s greatest accomplishment in recent years was to embarrass himself in front of the public whilst in a semi drunken stupor by suggesting to ESPN on air reporter Suzy Kolber that he would like to kiss her rather suggestively . . Can someone remind me beyond his achievements in the organization’s lone Superbowl win , is there anything else that Namath has achieved that has been notable in his professional career or beyond that ?

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With the New York Jets off to an inauspicious start to the season at 2-2 within the AFC East the team and its coach now find that they are being questioned as to the competitiveness of the players ans whether or not they lack the will to win. For the past two season the New York Jets made the AFC championship game 2009 and 2010 . Clearly many felt that this team was finally ready to stop the dominance of the New England Patriots and the apparent stranglehold that they have had on the AFC East. And as dominant as the Patriots have been the New York Jets have been the Achilles’ Heel and the irritant in the ointment , that of the fans and their divisional foe . The swagger of Rex Ryan was exemplified by the attitude of several players on this team , most notably Darrelle Revis , Santonio Holmes and to a lesser extent Mark Sanchez .

Like many of the teams during the NFL lockout the New York Jets sought to be competitive through the usual free agent acquisitions one would usually be accustomed to seeing . And most certainly through their draft choices from the 2011 NFL Draft Rex Ryan and his assistant coaches are now looking to make this team a cohesive and competitive unit .

As I alluded to earlier , the Jets’ start to the season was an inauspicious one and the very fact that the team now finds itself sitting above only the Miami Dolphins within the AFC East. Things are not about to get any easier this weekend as the New England Patriots play hosts to the New York Jets at Gillette Stadium , in Foxborough , Massachusetts. Bill Belichick knows that his team needs to answer more than a few questions especially with regard to the defense . The Patriots rank dead last within the NFL in total defense AND within the AFC overall things simply embodies the real problems that they face altogether. And as combustible and prolific as the offense is , there is no denying unless the New England Patriots can shore up the defense then they will be in for a great deal of trouble once the postseason comes around .

There is an animus between these two teams ___ the Jets and Patriots that I don’t believe is typified by any other current rivalry in the NFL today, with the exception of a meeting between the Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers ! If there is currently as combative a match-up beyond these two rivalries existing within the league currently , then I have yet to witness it . Sunday afternoon should give us a peek into the mindset of both teams , with Tom Brady , Wes Welker , Rob Gronkowski , Steven Ridley and Benjarvius Ellis-Greene will be looking to stamp their authority on this division as well as sending a signal to the rest of the NFL that they are a team to be reckoned with .

Now while I’m not under the pretense that the New England Patriots will have this game all to themselves I do believe that if they are not complacent then they will prevail over their most hated foe . During the playoffs last season when the two teams met the Jets under Sanchez’ leadership made a mockery this Patriots’ team . In order for the New York Jets to win I think that it will be incumbent upon Mark Sanchez to get his passing game at his optimum level to take advantage of the Patriots’ very suspect secondary . This will become a test of wills between the two teams as well as the respective coaching staffs of the New York Jets and New England Patriots .

I have no doubt that Bill Belichick would like get this game over and done with , placing the Jets in his rear view mirror and take advantage of putting his team at the top of the AFC East with there being some separation between themselves and co-leaders the Buffalo Bills who are off the a surprising start to their season (3-1) under their coach Chan Gailey . The Bills for their part will play host to the surprisingly lax Philadelphia Eagles who at 1-3 clearly are defying all logic in terms of being viewed as the early prohibitive favorites in the NFC for the Superbowl . Clearly Andy Reid , his coaching staff and the team have great deal to worry about . ” Dream Team” or not the Eagles are currently the ” laughing stock” of the NFL . And with the demise of the Philadelphia Phillies in the NLDS at the hands of the St Louis Cardinals do you get the feeling that things could very well erupt within the city of ” Brotherly Love” this weekend should Philadelphia Eagles also meet the same fate as their baseball counterpart ?

While Andy Reid now has to be looking over his shoulder while the Eagles’ front office staff assess not only his performances , that of the coaching staff as well as the team . Clearly in the case of Chan Gailey for now, all appears to be right in the world for he and his players . Well that’s until they face their first sense of real adversity and since the start of their season the team has been playing with the heart and passion not seen from the organization in a number of years. If the Buffalo Bills are truly back as their fans now believe them to be then this will be the season for the team to truly show that they belong amongst the elite within the game. If not , then they will be considered what we have all contended that they are meant to be ………….. an also ran .

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

Which of the weekend match-ups within the NFL are you most enthralled by ? And which game or games you least interested in ? Leave a comment as to your thoughts and anything else you believe to be pertinent on the subject matter.

Alan aka tophatal …………

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(1) BALTIMORE – OCTOBER 2: Head coach John Harbaugh of the Baltimore Ravens shakes hands with Mark Sanchez (6) of the New York Jets at M&T Bank Stadium on October 2. 2011 in Baltimore, Maryland. The Ravens defeated the Jets 34-17 . Photo by Larry French/Getty Images ….

(2) Head Coach Rex Ryan of the New York Jets hugs head coach John Harbough of the Baltimore Ravens after the game at M&T Bank Stadium on October 2. 2011 in Baltimore, Maryland. The Ravens defeated the Jets 34-17. Photo by Larry French/Getty Images …

(3) LaQuan Williams (5) of the Baltimore Ravens runs the ball against Jim Leonhard (36) of the New York Jets at M&T Bank Stadium on October 2. 2011 in Baltimore, Maryland. The Ravens defeated the Jets 34-17. (Photo by Larry French/Getty Images …..

(4) Mark Sanchez (6) of the New York Jets hands off against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium on October 2. 2011 in Baltimore, Maryland. The Ravens defeated the Jets 34-17. Photo by Larry French/Getty Images …….

(5) New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick listens to a reporter’s question during an NFL football media availability in Foxborough, Mass., Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2011. AP Photo/Charles Krupa …..

(6) OAKLAND, CA – OCTOBER 02: Wes Welker (83) of the New England Patriots tries to run away from Chimdi Chekwa (35) of the Oakland Raiders at O.co Coliseum on October 2, 2011 in Oakland, California. Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images …..

(7) Tom Brady (12) of the New England Patriots celebrates after the Patriots scored a touchdown against the Oakland Raiders at O.co Coliseum on October 2, 2011 in Oakland, California. Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images ……..

(8) Kevin Boss (87) of the Oakland Raiders is tackled by Gary Guyton (59) of the New England Patriots at O.co Coliseum on October 2, 2011 in Oakland, California. Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images …….

(9) Heartfelt commiserations to the Oakland Raiders’ fans and the untimely death of the team’s owner Al Davis at the age of 82 . Davis seen here looks on from the sideline as he watches the Raiders 32-27 pre-season victory over the New England Patriots on August 25, 1995 at Stanford Stadium in Palo Alto, California. Davis the long time owner of the Oakland Raiders was reported as passed away on the team’s website. Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images …

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The Silly Season Has Begun ………. What Else Is There Left To Say ?

The Silly Season Has Begun ………. What Else Is There Left To Say ?

Well with the NFL lockout having ended all that was now left is to witness the mayhem as teams summarily jettisoned players superfluous to their needs. One has to wonder whether or not this was the madness envisaged by the fans , team owners , league hierarchy and the general managers ? The $120 million salary cap has somehow got teams envisioning themselves as Imelda Marcos on a shopping spree looking to fill their shoe closet . How much does a pair of Bruno Magli cost nowadays ? And if so did OJ Simpson auction off his infamous pair on E-bay ?

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Somehow with all of these cuts made and then with players being acquired by new teams there had to be one or two surprises that would leave the fans in shock . As a New England Patriots’ fan I was completely taken aback with the moves made by Bill Belichick and the front office staff in acquiring both Albert Haynesworth and Chad Ochocinco . I can only surmise that Robert Kraft , GM Nick Caserio and senior consultant Floyd Reese had to have given this all their blessing ! Unless hell had frozen over in the forty eight hours since the lockout ended this to me was something that not even I had seen coming . Anyone who has witnessed the play of Haynesworth during his tenure with the Washington Redskins will know that like a clock that has stopped chiming he will only be right twice during the day . That has essentially summed up the player’s ability and commitment to being a team player . As for Ochocinco, he like Haynesworth must be viewed as another reclamation project by the coach and his assistants .

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FOXBOROUGH, MA – JULY 29: Tom Brady (12) of the New England Patriots chats with teammate Aaron Hernandez (85), who wears the number that new teammate Chad Ochocinco wore as a Cincinnati Bengal, during training camp at Gillette Stadium on July 29, 2011 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images …

For the life of me I’m beginning to wonder whether or not Bill Belichick really believes that he can turn around the career of any player who just happens to be considered on the downside of their career . First came Randy Moss who would then chose to basically talk his way off the roster in midseason like any other self serving individual . And if that wasn’t enough we then had Adalius Thomas thinking that he could simply act the fool by simply not being part of a team . If there’s one thing that’s made clear when it comes to the Patriots , the egos are simply left at the door as it’s business as usual with a view to acting like a professional. Granted , Bill Belichick belies that at times with something of a rather conceited attitude but with him , it is what it is !

Last season was something of a tremendous disappointment from my own standpoint seeing this team fall flat on its face when it mattered most during the postseason in their loss to the New York Jets . It is at times like this when I wonder whether or not if this team has become completely complacent or is it more down to the lackadaisical approach of Bill Belichick and his coaching staff ? This season however with the acquisitions made and that of the draft picks added to bolster the existing roster has me now believing that the New England Patriots’ window of opportunity is slowly closing but now more than ever before they will have to acquit themselves rather than thinking that they can merely stroll their way into the postseason.

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Tom Brady (12) and Chad Ochocinco of the New England Patriots chat during training camp at Gillette Stadium on July 29, 2011 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

If the Patriots are to be successful this upcoming season and make inroads not just within the AFC East but across the league as a whole , then the likes of Wes Welker , Deion Branch , Aaron Hernandez , ;Danny Woodhead , Rob Gronkowski , Devin McCourty , and others will have to step up to the plate and be held accountable . The signing of both Albert Haynesworth and Chad Ochocinco would suggest that Bill Belichick believes that the duo are indeed the pieces needed to make this team much more formidable but from my own standpoint this is such a gamble that if things don’t work out , then given the mindset of Haynesworth and Ochocinico , that when things simply are not going their way they are both inclined to be truculent and to act infantile . But this all can be allayed if Tom Brady and the senior members of the Patriots make it clear that nothing short of their best efforts on the field will be accepted . If that situation can be broached then there’s no reason to believe why they can’t be successful . But as of now that has to be viewed as a big “if “ given the egos of the two players in question !

Consistency has never been the real issue with the New England Patriots , if anything it has been those momentary lapses at the most inopportune of times that has ultimately led to their demise . Repeatedly we have seen this happen when the team has a game within its grasp only to see them let it slip away. Now comes the hard part for the organization and that’s to prove that as perennial contenders they are justified as being viewed __ as just that !

The AFC is as strong as ever with the teams we have come to expect who will be vying for dominance within the conference. With franchises such as the Baltimore Ravens , Indianapolis Colts , New York Jets and San Diego Chargers looking to vie for the honor of being the AFC’s representative for the Superbowl it certainly will be interesting to see what transpires as the season unfolds.

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Nate Solder the Patriots’ number one overall pick seen here during the NFL Scouting Combine at the Indianapolis Colts’ facility in Indianapolis , Indiana . AP Photo/ Ryan Walters ……..

This season is now fraught with danger in so many ways as I do believe that a number of teams could very well stumble out of the gate . Much has been made of the fact that during the offseason the players were unable to practice at their training facilities under the auspices of their respective coaches . And I am sure that with newly installed members Pat Shurmur , John Fox , Jim Harbaugh and Ron Rivera all looking to acquit themselves well with their respective new teams as this season has the makings of one being literally full of surprises in more ways than one !

Curiously enough given the fact the New England Patriots seem to be prudent in their draft assessment and the choices they make . I for one will be looking forward to see what possible contributions can be made by the rookies on the team . Ryan Mallett is no doubt being groomed as the possible successor to Tom Brady down the line and the team’s number one overall pick (17th in the first round). Defensive lineman Nate Solder along with DB Ras I Dowling have to be viewed as the players who are likely to make an immediate impact should they be given the chance to perform. But it’s still early days yet and one simply cannot take it as written in stone that these players will matriculate into something special . We have seen along the way that with highly prized college talent many of them simply have fallen by the wayside failing to fulfill the expectations first thought . Simply look no further than the likes of Vince Young and Matt Leinart for the answer as to the high praise heaped upon two players that failed to live up to the perceived hype !

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

In this off-season what moves as such have simply comes as either a momentous shock or surprise to you ? And how if anything do you feel that the players in question will fare this upcoming season ? Simply chime in with a comment as you see fit and thanks as always for the continued support .

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

Picture and slide show details .

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(1) New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick smiles at a news conference during NFL football training camp in Foxborough , Mass., Friday, July 29, 2011. AP Photo/Charles Krupa …..

(2) FOXBOROUGH, MA – JULY 29: Tom Brady (12) of the New England Patriots chats with teammate Aaron Hernandez (85), who wears the number that new teammate Chad Ochocinco wore as a Cincinnati Bengal, during training camp at Gillette Stadium on July 29, 2011 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images …

(3) Tom Brady (12) of the New England Patriots participates in training camp at Gillette Stadium on July 29, 2011 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images ……

(4) Tom Brady (12) and Chad Ochocinco of the New England Patriots chat during training camp at Gillette Stadium on July 29, 2011 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images ……

(5) Defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth (92 ) of the Washington Redskins stands on the sidelines during preseason NFL game against the Arizona Cardinals at the University of Phoenix Stadium on September 2, 2010 in Glendale, Arizona. The Cardinals defeated the Redskins 20-10 . The player was obtained in a trade by the New England Patriots this offseason after the NFL lockout had ended . Getty Images / Christian Petersen ……

(6) FOXBOROUGH, MA – JULY 29: Quarterbacks Jonathan Crompton (7) and Ryan Mallett (15) of the New England Patriots participate in training camp at Gillette Stadium on July 29, 2011 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images ……

(7) Nate Solder the Patriots’ number one overall pick seen here during the NFL Scouting Combine at the Indianapolis Colts’ facility in Indianapolis , Indiana . AP Photo/ Ryan Walters ……..

(8) San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh shakes hands with a well-wisher during an NFL football press conference in Santa Clara, Calif., Monday, July 25, 2011. AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez ….

(9) Cleveland Browns’ President & Head of Football Operations Mike Holmgren is seen here as the formal introductions are made of Pat Shurmur as the new head coach of the team . AP Photo/ Matthew Jennings …..
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I Love My Sports …………… Hoo Hah ! And The Military Ain’t Bad Either !

I Love My Sports …………… Hoo Hah ! And The Military Ain’t Bad Either !

Well the Superbowl 45 (SBXLV) was somewhat anticlimactic to my mind a game (31-25) which was essentially beset by the mistakes made by both teams . I think that much of that came down to the fact that both teams never really settled down to the cavernous atmosphere of the stadium and the expectations that many felt was there to be had. The Pittsburgh Steelers were looking to win their seventh Superbowl title and cement themselves in the annals of the game. The Green Bay Packers not without a legacy themselves were looking to win their fourth Superbowl in the team’s history .

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The respective coaches in this case Mike Tomlin and Mike McCarthy have been the epitome of class throughout much of the season . We’ve had the bombastic attitude of Rex Ryan and we all saw how quickly the bottom fell out of the New York Jets’ season and their and languid their performance was in their loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC championship game played at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. That game pretty much summed up the Jets’ season and how overrated they actually were. I even remember one patron trying to suggest that Jets’ quarterback Mark Sanchez wasn’t a player that was being asked to do too much by Ryan and his coaching staff . Those of us who witnessed that game saw a player who struggled in large part and a player that was simply let down by his teammates as well.

The Superbowl itself was a game which I watched with several of my work colleagues at a local VFW as a number of them are former military vets or members of the Florida National Guard . We all vary in age from 35 to 65 and having served in the British military as a member of the Royal Marines in various parts of the world for a nine year stint ( Northern Ireland , Eritrea , Cyprus and the Ivory Coast ) . Along with my cadre of colleagues it goes without saying that others in attendance were obviously former service members. The USMC, US Army , US Navy and Air Force were all well represented. Many of them there had their allegiances to the teams participating or one should say specifically to the conferences. I simply wanted to see a game that was competitive and in some ways it actually fell short of that . It may well have been that this was the highest rated Superbowl in television history with an estimated audience by all accounts of 115 million viewers domestically. For Fox and their advertising partners this was a ratings’ bonanza and with ad rates said to be in excess of $150,000 per second a thirty second spot during peak viewing time would garner the network $4,500,000 . It’s pretty safe to say that not only was the network making a great deal of money but so too was the NFL .

I’ve got to admit being around these guys and watching the game was very much in essence like being around some of my former military buddies I’d served with. Now don’t get me wrong attuning myself to the sports’ landscape here and aligning myself to many number of teams once this country became my permanent home. Two decades on and I can categorically say that my allegiances are with the San Antonio Spurs , New England Patriots , and Duke (Blue Devils) Basketball . Admittedly at one time I was also an avid fan of the Florida Marlins and the USC Trojans but that all fell apart one I saw that the front office of the Marlins led by owner Jeffrey Loria couldn’t be trusted to tell the truth as to the team’s financing and viability. Let’s just say that team’s plight and anything that’s now said to be coming from Loria publicly can’t be trusted as being factual.

The same can be said of the Trojans’ athletics program and the mere fact that the university’s former AD Mike Garrett took winning to heart even if it meant doing so by unscrupulous means as a way of gaining untold riches and notoriety . At the center of it all was the behavior by former coaches Pete Carroll , Tim Floyd , athletes Reggie Bush and O J Mayo . And as we now know what transpired there was enough to indict everything that’s wrong in collegiate athletics today and the mess that the NCAA itself has created and condoned in many respects with the idiocy of their actions.

In the UK I still follow religiously my two favorite soccer teams Manchester United and Chelsea of the Premiership (EPL) . And not a day goes by when I’m no online checking on both teams’ progress in their various competitive endeavors. As many of you know also I’m somewhat passionate about the sport of boxing and there my alltime favorite boxer is Marvin Hagler perhaps the most underestimated middleweight champion in history. But with the sport now becoming something of a misnomer and with there now being a complete lack of credibility in many of the weight categories I now find myself more interested in MMA and specifically the promotions of UFC . As a martial arts practitioner I’ve got to admit that watching these bouts unfold now gives me greater pleasure than what’s now being served up in the world of boxing by the sport’s most prominent promoters such as Top Rank Inc , Don King Promotions and Golden Boy Promotions Inc . That triumvirate in large part along with the multitude of boxing’s international governing bodies have brought the sport to depths it’s now at , completely lacking in any credibility at all !

While watching the game I couldn’t help but wonder where many of us might be were it not for the circumstances that’s led us to where we are at present. A number of the veterans in attendance were also young vets who’d served in both Afghanistan , Iraq , as well as older veterans who’d served in the the first Iraqi conflict , World War II , Vietnam and Korea . However it also pained me to see number of the vets who’d recently returned from both Afghanistan and Iraq , who having served their country gallantly are having difficulties acclimatizing themselves back to civilian life. The Dept of Veterans Affairs as well meaning as it is overwhelmed with way too much bureaucracy and the fact that in some cases the facilities at which some of these veterans are treated at can at times best described as deplorable and outrageous. Having worked in conjunction with a number of organizations such as the PVA (Paralyzed Veterans of America) and charities specifically that deal with the well being of former vets I have to say that the conditions I’ve witnessed first hand as well as through some of the work that some of my work colleagues have done as pro-bono work as lawyers , has simply indicated to me that the US government does treat their veterans deplorably ! A lot of the time the utterance coming from members of Congress and the Senate is simply a sound byte merely to be politically correct and to seek empathy from the electorate.

To see a military veteran who’s now confined to a wheelchair having because of an IED and the fact that in many cases these incidents could have been avoided had former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld seen fit to plan with some insight and not utter the rather asinine sound bytes while the propaganda war being waged came to a grinding halt as repeatedly this conflict has become completely out of control. Two wars , $1.6 trillion ($1,600,000,000) has been spent and there’s no sign that there’s light at the end of the tunnel ! . We’re told that the US troops will be leaving Iraq in an orderly fashion once the Iraqi security forces are able to secure their borders and the civilian population. Unfortunately what President Obama , Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton now seem to be forgetting is that the Iraqi government has become so corrupt where the rule of law has become non existent . The less said about Afghanistan and the government led by President Hamid Karzai the better as that’s another cluster fuck that’s getting worse by the minute , and the fact that coalition lives are being sacrificed for no other reason than the pomposity now being shown by the US government and its allies. Democracy as always , there’s a steep price to pay but when the cost is that of US men and service women’s lives with there being nothing tangible to show for it at the end of the day has me now asking what is the stance of the US and its diplomacy as it relates to the Middle East ?

Superbowl MVP Aaron Rodgers having led the Green Bay Packers to their first Superbowl win in almost fifteen years . It has to be said that this was a long time coming for the fans in Green Bay . Mike McCarthy had this team playing with a great deal of resolve and it showed throughout much of the preseason , regular season and into the playoffs . And statistically the team led by Rodgers simply more than a pleasant surprise . And it augurs well for the prospects of the organization as a whole . A chance of a successful defense isn’t out the realms of possibility if they’re able to show the same sort of attitude shown throughout the 2010 season. But as we all know winning is the easy part the hard part is to successfully defend a title as everyone places a target on your back aiming for that bullseye, with the intent of knocking that team off their pedestal.

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

Spending time with my colleagues in such a way was nurturing on a number of levels merely because I felt at ease around many of these individuals with whom I had something in common with. We’ve shared stories about our experiences in the military but we’ve also formed a bond over love of sports and all that it brings . What else could one really ask for and how else would one want to spend a Superbowl Sunday ? Unfortunately the event itself from my own perspective had been something of a downfall with the fact that during the pregame ceremony you had 5 time Grammy winner Christina Aguilera butcher the National Anthem and then the halftime show headlined by The Black Eyed Peas was a complete cacaphony of noise that if anything sounded like lead singer Fergie was unsure what the hell she was doing on stage. I’ve got to wonder wasn’t there a sound check instituted before the group took stage and if anything was the original sound check conducted by Hellen Keller ? The game itself while entertaining in part did leave a lot to be desired but then again it met the expectations with the fact that it was once again a monumental and financial success for the NFL . And as we all know the NFL has simply about their image and the money because nothing else really matters to the hierarchy !

What impressions if any did you have on the event itself and how did you feel about the entertainment that was provided throughout ? Simply chime on in with a comment as you see fit .


Picture and slide show details below

(1) Green Bay Packers fan John Magnin celebrates after the NFL football Super Bowl XLV Sunday, Feb. 6, 2011, in Arlington, Texas. The Packers beat the Pittsburgh Steelers 31-25 . AP Photo/LM Otero ……

(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 ……..

<p (3) Green Bay Packers cornerback Charles Woodson (21) talks with the media after winning Super Bowl XLV over the Pittsburgh Steelers 31-25 at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas on February 6, 2011. Gary A. Vasquez/NFL ………

(4) Green Bay Packers’ Jordy Nelson, right, celebrates with teammate Andrew Quarless after scoring a touchdown during the first half of NFL Super Bowl XLV football game against the Pittsburgh Steelers Sunday, Feb. 6, 2011, in Arlington, Texas. AP Photo/Charlie Riedel ….

(5) U.S. Army medic SGT Tyrone Jordan (top) of Charlotte, NC attached to Dustoff Task Force Shadow of the 101st Combat Aviation Brigade works on Marine LCpl. Michael Staley aboard a MEDEVAC helicopter after Staley suffered a gunshot wound to the shoulder September 18, 2010 near Marja, Afghanistan. Task Force Shadow is responsible for evacuating wounded Afghani and Coalition forces as well as local nationals throughout southern Afghanistan. Scott Olson/Getty Images AsiaPac ……….

(6) Afghan President Hamid Karzai holds a press conference at the Presidential Palace on February 8, 2011 in Kabul, Afghanistan. Karzai called on his Western allies to close down civil-military provincial reconstruction projects (PRT’s) that have served their purpose, likening the PRT’s to a ‘plumber’ whose services were no longer required. Majid Saeedi/ Getty ImagesAsiaPac ……….

(7) US Air Force Senior Airman, Lisibeth Payano closes the door of a mortuary vehicle during a dignified transfer at Dover Air Force Base on December 3, 2009 in Dover, Delaware. The dignified transfer was for US Marine Lance Cpl. Jonathan Taylor of Jacksonville, Florida and US Army Cpl. Kenneth R. Nichols, Jr. of Chrisman, Illinois, both killed in Afghanistan while supporting Operation Enduring Freedom. Getty Images North America / Mark Wilson ….

(8) Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) (L) thanks U.S. Army Specialist Eric Edmondson (C) and his father Ed Edmondson (top) during a news conference about Democratic efforts to pass an omnibus veterans? health bill at the U.S. Capitol November 10, 2009 in Washington, DC. Specialist Edmondson, who suffered severe traumatic brain injury in an improvised explosive device attack in October 2005 while serving in Iraq, is cared for by his parents. Democrats indentified Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) as the sole Republican holding up the passage of the bill designed to help Iraq and Afghanistan combat veterans and family caregivers of the seriously wounded. However since this bill became law what many veterans are now finding out is that the VA (Veterans Administration) hasn’t been all that quick meeting their obligations in facilitating the expedition of the paperwork . The agency itself is undermanned and being mismanaged never mind the absence of well trained medical professionals needed . Getty Images North America / Chip Smodoville ……….

(9) A marine checks a weapon as eighty Royal Marines of Zulu company 45 Commando prepare to leave their base RM Condor for six months tour in Afghanistan on October 2, 2008 in Arbroath, Scotland. A total of 500 Royal Marines from 45 Commando are going to Afghanistan, Whiskey Company left last week, and the rest of the marines will leave in the next two weeks. Jeff Miller / Getty Images Europe ………….

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[ In my military active service I saw action while being on the front lines of the troubles in N Ireland as the troubles there and where the violence actions of the IRA who in essence were a para-military organization _____ a precursor for what we now see in Al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations such as Hezbollah and Jeemah Islamiyah . ]

😛

Alan aka tophatal ………………..

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John Legend ……………….feat’g Andre’ 3000 …….”Green Light” Music as it should be with actual instruments and vocals !

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News With A Twist ……………….. And The Ridiculous

News With A Twist ……………….. And The Ridiculous

It may not help but it’d now appear that with the plea agreement accepted the world for former NFL great Lawrence Taylor has come full circle. His lust for still wanting to be part of of the spotlight having retired from football has now landed right back in front of the camera for all of the wrong reasons. In order to avoid jail time the player accepted a plea deal wherein he admits to adding to the delinquency of a minor and sexual solicitation for pecuniary gain and needs. Taylor will now become a registered sex offender and be subjected six years probation. And while the prosecutors are entirely happy with this verdict it doesn’t say enough about what took place behind the scenes concerning this case. As we now find out the player also assisted Federal authorities (FBI & Justice Dept ) in the tracking down and subsequent arrest of several felons who’d been involved in the trafficking of young females across state lines for the procurement of sex . This is now a growing epidemic that has swept across the nation and has led in many cases to the sexual assault and death of several underage teens. What might be even more striking is the fact that this type of crime doesn’t only involve young girls but now young boys as well.

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Slide show for your perusal .

Now it goes without saying that Taylor’s life and troubles inside and outside of football have been well chronicled . From cocaine and drug abuse to allegations domestic violence Lawrence Taylor’s life has been one big maelstrom and hooplah of ups and downs. A Hall of Famer and two time winning Superbowl player to a now convicted felon and sex offender . How the mighty have fallen and with all this come the embarrassment to his wife and children. This simply goes to show fame and fortune has its peaks and troughs but in the case of former Giants’ great his head never left the trough .

Not wanting to make a complete ass of himself as if the “The Decision Interview” co-opted with Jim Gray wasn’t enough Miami Heat player LeBron James tried to explain to the fans and public that a < 'tweet' sent from his ‘Twitter’ account and directed at Cleveland Cavaliers’ owner Dan Gilbert in which stated ………………”Karma is a bitch” ! Well those very words now seem to have come back to have bitten James and his teammates in the ass. Having lost a recent game to the Los Angeles Clippers at the Staples Center . The team , albeit without James were routed by the Denver Nuggets in their subsequent game at the Pepsi Center —— 130-101 .

Now one might ask if after all of this James with his rather immature behavior will now finally get it into his head that for all of the empathy he seeks he will not be forgiven by the fans there in Cleveland because of his betrayal. It’s agreed that both James and Gilbert could’ve handled the situation better with regard to his departure without a doubt. But now it appears that this pristine image that the player tries to purvey has become burdensome for him and he’s now beginning to like a complete ass some of us took him to be after that ludicrous self aggrandizing interview conducted by Jim Gray coming courtesy of ESPN . If anything it shows how far both sides in this case , the network hand player have gone to overhype a non-event for what they believed it to be worth at the time.

James if anything having taken the night off due what we’re told is an ankle sprain had better get back on court because it looks as if teammates Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade are mere microcosms of themselves when he’s not on the court with them. I’ve always maintained that Bosh was along for the ride on this roller coaster while James and Wade would simply supply with all of the highlight reels and entertainment the fans sought. Now this team along with the coaching staff led by coach Erik Spoelstra will have to put things right back on track .

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

So the New York Jets’ Antonio Cromartie believes Tom Brady to be a spoilt unsportsmanlike individual after his gametime demeanor during the Jets’ 45-3 loss to the New England Patriots earlier in the season . Brady’s antics it’s believe infuriated Cromartie and his teammates after he gesticulated and pointed towards the New York Jets’ fans in attendance after the Patriots had scored a touchdown , one of many I might on their way to that now infamous rout.

If Cromartie wants to be seen as a professional shouldn’t the question that he ought to be asking himself is why he and the team played so badly and were unable to defeat the Patriots on the day ? Instead in his recent interview concerning this weekend’s divisional matchup between the two teams he went into an expletive driven tirade against the Pats’ quarterback which has since been defended to an extent by Jets’ coach Rex Ryan who states that this is merely two teams showing their dislike for each other . I hope he’s of the same opinion should his team be on the losing end of this game ! Cromartie on the other hand should count himself lucky that he’s still able grace the NFL stage given his off the field issues , his 9 children with eight different women including his wife are as such in dire need of financial support but yet here sits a player who’s only means of attention is denigrate one of his peers because his team was simply made to look bad while all Brady was simply doing was celebrating a touchdown during a game. What’s wrong with this picture ?

Well Cam Newton has declared for the NFL Draft ? Who didn’t see that coming down the pike ? I guess all that’s left now is for his father Cecil to now represent his son at the professional level as an agent because in essence that was what he has been essentially doing at the collegiate level. With that being said it should come as no surprise that NCAA President Mark Emmert now wants to tighten if not close the loopholes which have allowed Newton , Terrelle Pryor and several of his Buckeye teammates to basically flout NCAA rules without so much as a mere hint of punishment being levied upon the players for their transgressions. This coming from what I believe to the most corrupt organization in the country besides that of Mafia and US Congress and Senate . The NCAA has and always will be considered a joke never mind the ‘ idiots’ who oversee the BCS ! Trying to figure out what it is these bodies have to offer the public at large much less the sport’s fan in general is like trying to count the grains of sand on the beach while the tide comes in and there being a gust of wind blowing !
Is there a real reason behind their existence other than to look completely stupid and bereft of any intelligence whatsoever ?

What thoughts if any do you have on the topics raised within this piece ? Simply chime on with a comment as to your thoughts and as alwauys thanks for the continued support !

NB: Picture and slide show gallery details .

(1) This May 6, 2010 file photo shows Pro Football Hall of Famer Lawrence Taylor leaving the Ramapo Police Department in Suffern, N.Y. Taylor pleaded guilty Thursday, Jan. 13, 2011 to sexual misconduct and patronizing a prostitute, misdemeanor charges that carry no jail time but require him to register as a sex offender. AP/ Kathy Willens ……….

(2) Former NFL Players Dieon Sanders and Lawrence Taylor talk on stage during the 2010 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on April 25, 2009 in New York City. Getty Images/ Jeff Zelevansky ……

(3) Taylor (left) is seen here with his defense attorney Arthur Aidala at his arraignment hearing in May of 2010 to hear the charges he faced on statutory rape the solicitation of a prostitute and adding to the delinquency of a minor. The hearing took place in New City , New York. AP/ Rod Carpenter ……

(4) Taylor is seen here with his lawyer Arthur Aidala at his trial and hearing as to sentencing at Federal court in New City, New York . AP Photo/ Mark Walls ………….

(5) New York Jets coach Rex Ryan , center, reacts near the end of the Jets’ 28-21 win over the New England Patriots in NFL divisional playoff football game in Foxborough, Mass., Sunday, Jan. 16, 2011. AP Photo/Winslow Townson ….

(6) New England Patriots tight end Alge Crumpler (82) delivers a stiff-arm to New York Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie (31) during the first half of an NFL divisional playoff football game in Foxborough, Mass., Sunday, Jan. 16, 2011. AP Photo/Stephan Savoia ……

(7) Los Angeles , Ca,. January 12 th 2011 . LeBron James (6) of the Miami Heat warms up before taking on the Los Angeles Clippers at Staples Center on January 12, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. Players are wearing special warmups recognizing the one year anniversary of ongoing efforts of recovery from the earthquake in Haiti on January 12-13 2010. Copyright 2011 NBAE Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images …..

[8] LeBron James (6) of the Miami Heat is fouled by Blake Griffin (32) of the Los Angeles Clippers during a 111-105 Clipper win at the Staples Center on January 12, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. Photo by Harry How/Getty Images ….

(9) Chris Bosh (1) of the Miami Heat grabs a rebound away from Al Harrington (7) of the Denver Nuggets as Mike Miller (13) of the Heat watche the action at the Pepsi Center on January 13, 2011 in Denver, Colorado. The Nuggets defeated the Heat 130-102 . Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images ….

(10) In this Dec. 11, 2010, file photo, Auburn quarterback Cam Newton holds the trophy during a news conference after winning the Heisman award, in New York. Newton will forgo his senior season and make himself eligible for the 2011 National Football League Draft. AP Photo/Craig Ruttle …..

Alan aka tophatal ……………………….

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Amy Leigh Andrews

Eye candy of the eye popping kind . Playboy stunner Amy Leigh Andrews

It’s your duty to want to tap this booty.

Amy isn’t afraid to show her softer side as we can all see.
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Outkast ………..“Hey Ya”

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Since When Did Mediocrity In The NFL Become Synonymous With The State of New York And In Particular New York City ?

Since When Did Mediocrity In The NFL Become Synonymous With The State of New York And In Particular New York City ?

I sat and watched three NFL games over this past weekend and in doing so I saw all three teams within New York State literally fall apart at the seams. The Buffalo Bills , New York Giants and New York Jets have respectively seen their seasons simultaneously come apart at the seams. The Bills were ripped apart like a hyena feasting on the carcass of a dead animal. So much so that Tom Brady and the New England Patriots weren’t at all tested by the lowly Bills in an AFC East divisional matchup. Suffice to say that by the second half the result of this game was a foregone conclusion .

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