Let The Light Be Your Guide …… But If You Just Happen To Be In The Dark & Clueless ……. Then Your Ass Is Grass !

Let The Light Be Your Guide …… But If You Just Happen To Be In The Dark & Clueless ……. Then Your Ass Is Grass !

By tophatal ………. 05/09/2012 …. 10:50:32 PM

Well now that the NFL Draft descended upon us with the expectations of awe and surprise , we now get the see the players drafted acclimatize themselves to the professional ranks. With Andrew Luck going to the Indianapolis Colts and Robert Griffin III to the Washington Redskins . It has to be said that these two highly prized and gifted athletes will be under the microscope , while the eyes of the NFL analysts and fans will place them both the glare . For coaches Chuck Pagano and Mike Shanahan ., their very careers will be determined by how both of these quarterbacks fare over the course of this season . The expectations are undoubtedly high , given the performances of the Carolina Panthers’ Cam Newton over the course of last season .

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It should come as no surprise that once inserted into the Panthers’ lineup , the former Auburn Tigers’ quarterback simply lit up scoreboard for his new team. For the front office of the franchise their choice in making Cam Newton the number one overall pick from the 2011 NFL Draft was indeed justified . Now there’s no denying that this year’s draft seemed to be ” all about the quarterback ” and the fact that several players at the position , appeared to be a proven commodity. From my own perspective I am not so sure , as I feel that beyond RGIII and Andrew Luck , there’s no real guarantee as to what the fans should expect from the quarterbacks in question. Quarterback’s don’t a dime a dozen and the truly great ones in the NFL are something of a rarity . Granted , over the last fifteen years the players drafted at the position , we have been graced with the presence of Tom Brady , Peyton Manning , Drew Brees , Alex Smith , Eli Manning , Matt Stafford , Matt Ryan and Ben Roethlisberger . All of the players in question with the exception of Ryan , Stafford and Smith have yet play on the grandest stage of them all , and that is in the Superbowl . It is every NFL players’ dream to play on that particular stage and undoubtedly be part of the team that raises the Lombardi Trophy .

The Miami Dolphins it would seem had the presence of mind to take Ryan Tannehill as their first round choice and as the eighth overall pick in the first round . Head coach Joe Philbin and GM Jeff Ireland , with the quarterbacks already on their roster in David Garrard and Matt Moore will equate with Tannehill being a backup to the two seasoned veterans , as he gets to learn the ropes over the Dolphins’ upcoming season . It should come as no surprise that the Dolphins’ quarterbacks from 2011 , they were amongst the worst performing quarterbacks within the AFC East as well as the league as a whole.

Trent Richardson was the first running back taken in this draft and it has to be said that the former Alabama (Crimson Tide) player this past season showed us why he was one of the very best at the position within College Football . Richardson knows that if can be productive for his new team , the Cleveland Browns , then it may well set the fans’ minds at ease . . God knows , last season the Browns had their issues on both sides of the ball and then some . This season however , it’s envisaged that the coaching staff led by Pat Shurmur will see a marked improvement in this team , over their accomplishments of 2011 .

Now while Browns’ President Mike Holmgren seemed to be under no illusion in drafting Brandon Weeden , I get the impression that this his way of sending a clear message to his incumbent starter at the position …. Colt McCoy ! Barely two seasons into his NFL career , having been drafted in the third round of the 2010 NFL Draft , the player now finds himself at a crossroads in his tenure with the Browns’ organization . A budding quarterback controversy or not , there’s something amidst behind this whole scenario that is about to be played out during this off-season as well as over the entire regular season schedule of the Cleveland Browns. Weeden , no doubts wants to impress upon his teammates that he’s ready to start , while McCoy simply wants to prove to everyone that he’s capable of playing the game at a high standard and in leading the team to great success. Hell, within the NFC North , as good as Browns appear to be on paper , I think that they are going to have problems not just within their division but also across the whole panacea of the NFL as the season comes into focus for the organization !

Mike Holmgren may not have intended to initiate a quarterback controversy but he’s going to have one on his hands , and it will not augur well for the franchise should things plummet into sheer immaturity , by either one of these players.

Last year , may well have been ” the year ” of the quarterback but to my mind the most impressive players over the course of the season were the wide receivers and tight ends ! Hell , without that staple of receivers , the likes of Manning (Eli) , Stafford , Brees , Brady and Rodgers wouldn’t have looked that good . And this draft has provided us with several players who could prove to be just as successful at the aforementioned positions ( TE & WR ) under the right set of circumstances . Justin Blackmon and Michael Floyd were viewed as the elite , amongst the wide receivers , with Coby Fleener and Dwayne Allen being seen as perhaps the best of the tight ends taken in this draft. With the success achieved by Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez last season for the New England Patriots , it could well be a mixed bag of blessings and disappointments for the rookie receivers and wide receivers , and for their respective coaches . And as prolific as the teams’ offenses were this past year I am inclined to believe that we will be in for more of the same in 2012 ! One simply hopes that the teams’ defenses can with-hold such an onslaught . The defensive coordinators and offensive coordinators around the NFL will be fighting a battle of wits against their strategic counterparts , over the course of the upcoming season , no doubt . Care to guess who’s likely to be viewed as the winner in such a scenario ? Not the coaches but the fans , I kid you not ! Isn’t this why we all love the NFL to begin with ?

Other than the gut-wrenching loss (21-17) by my beloved Patriots in the Superbowl to the New York Giants this past season , for me the biggest disappointment was to see how inept the San Diego Chargers had become ! Now for the life of me, in the wake of the fallout from their season where the team fell to a miserably and inconsolable 8-8 record within the AFC South I am still trying to figure out how Norv Turner was still retained by the organization ! GM A J Smith and COO & owner , Dean Spanos either had to be in awe of the ineptitude shown by Turner and his coaching staff or they simply felt that one more year with the head coach at the helm would suffice . Pardon me for saying this , but either premise seems to suggest that Smith and Spanos are two of the dumbest as_holes in the NFL today ! Your thoughts on the matter , especially if you just happen to be a San Diego Chargers’ fan ?

The off-season saw within the Chargers’ organization an upheaval in the roster , with several players departing elsewhere. In their place, a number of free agent signings were made along with the draft choices deemed a necessity from this NFL Draft . The “window of opportunity “ for Chargers’ quarterback Philip Rivers has diminished greatly and this off-season with the acquisition of Peyton Manning by the Denver Broncos , does anyone truly believe that Rivers’ task will now become any easier ? The two teams will meet over the course of their divisional schedule in weeks’ six and eleven and both of those match-ups should go a long way in determining the direction that the teams are said to be heading in at that time .

On paper this Chargers’ roster , possess some very talented players but I am not so sure that the cohesiveness sought will be there , in order to for them compete at a high-caliber throughout the course of their season ! Week one sees the team taking on divisional and in-state rivals the Oakland Raiders at the Oakland Coliseum , Oakland , California , in-front of what is sure to be a packed crowd , with millions more watching the televised event nationally . The Raiders themselves , have something to prove after another season of turmoil in 2011 , with firing of Hu Jackson and simply the jettisoning of players whom the front office felt were superfluous to their needs . Has there been a season over the last five years where the Raiders simply haven’t sought throw the baby and bath water out the door as far as their ambitions are concerned ? Simply watching the Oakland Raiders’ fans suffer the indignity of seeing repeated failure , then apathy and sheer stupidity sets in with them lamenting about years gone by when the reality is all about the “here and now ” ! Have you ever witnessed such pomposity and bleeding heart from a group of fans who simply feel that their team is genuinely superior to everyone else ? The Oakland Raiders haven’t been of any relevance within the NFL in almost a decade . Ah , those poor fans but then again , should we expect anything but a bunch of whining from the Raiders and their legions of fans ? No , and that’s an emphatic no !

Now inasmuch as one might admire the legacy of the Raiders , you simply know that things have to be going downhill when the franchise considers the signing of Matt Leinart in the off-season to add their already burgeoning bunch of cast-off quarterbacks. Carson Palmer has yet to fulfill his potential in the NFL since being drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals seven years ago as a first draft round pick . I’m not so sure , whether or not Terrell Pryor still remains a work in progress for the Raiders’ coaching staff because one thing is for sure , the franchise now has two self-absorbed and coddled ingrates on their roster. Leinart and Pryor , what else is there now left to be said at this juncture ? You what ? You don’t give a flying #%ck about the Raiders ? Ah well , I guess that answers my question !

The one thing where do I believe that the Raiders will have a distinct advantage over their divisional rivals this upcoming season , it is that the team’s rushing offense is better than that of their main foes within the division. If Darren McFadden can withstand the rigors of a sixteen game schedule and come through unscathed . Then I believe that this team can win the AFC West outright ! If not , then it’s simply back to the drawing board once again . they’ll simply be

I personally , am not relishing anything on offer from the teams within the AFC West this upcoming season , as I have always felt that this is one of the poorest divisions in the NFL in terms of the overall competitiveness of the franchises playing there . An 8-8 record more often than not guarantees you a playoff berth while teams with better records within the conference are simply left on the outside looking in at season’s end. Thanks NFL , perhaps when you simply are fully prepared to address the issue of “player safety honestly ” then you and the a#sholes who preside over the league’s in-house Competition’s Committee can then deal with the re-seeding of the teams for the postseason based on the teams’ record rather than rewarding ineptitude based on a divisional record and standing ?

As the idiocy continues within the NFL in light of the ongoing soap opera that has now become the Saints bounty scandal . Can we all stop , sit back and take a deep breath and realize the fact that the actions of the NFL has bordered on being egregious and comparable to that of the tobacco companies as they sought to hide the dangers of smoking in light of their research and evidence provided by accredited world-renowned establishments of academic medical research . What has come to the fore is than more than 65% of the retired veterans who have subjected themselves to medical testing have some form of CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy) often seen as a precursor to Alzheimer’s disease and dementia in geriatrics . But yet somehow the constant denials by the NFL continues and senior members of the league hierarchy . And if that hasn’t been enough of a warning , we now have the NFLPA Executive Committee carrying on as if they now care about their members ,specifically the seasoned retired veterans of the NFL . DeMaurice Smith has called the evidence now in the league’s hands as none-exculpatory and without any veracity to it at all. That cuts against the grain, when one delves further and realizes that Anthony Hargrove one of the four players implicated in this mess , stated that he was asked to lie to the league’s investigators about the scheme initiated by former Saints’ defensive coordinator Gregg Williams , suborned by head coach Sean Payton , assistant coach Joe Vitt and team GM Mickey Loomis . Vitt, himself , it has been revealed lied to the league’s investigators , as well as to team owner Tom Benson . Call me naive but where the fu_king hell do the members of the Saints’ players get off as it relates to this whole scandal ? When asked to give their testimony to the league hierarchy the players involved ( Jonathan Vilma , Scott Fujita , Hargrove and Willis ) initially refused to answer questions on the grounds of self-incrimination and they only did so after , it was noted that they had a player rep and legal counsel for representation at the meetings . We should also be reminded , that DeMaurice Smith now comes across looking like a complete ass , who during the course of the union’s league deliberations at the time of the labor lockout , simply negotiated away his union’s rights , in order to simply gain a greater share of the NFL revenue pie . Now he and his union (NFLPA) want to come across looking like the “good guy” ? Not that anyone comes out looking good in light of this god-damn mess ! Roger Goodell , god , judge and jury . Was there anything that I missed in the use of those adjectives ?

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In light of this piece , what thoughts if any do you have concerning the salient points raised ? By all means simply leave a comment as you see fit .

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(1) INDIANAPOLIS, IN – MAY 4: Andrew Luck (12) of the Indianapolis Colts looks on as he listens to offensive coordinator Bruce Arians (left) and quarterbacks coach Clyde Christensen during a rookie mini-camp at the team facility on May 4, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images …

(2) Head coach Chuck Pagano of the Indianapolis Colts talks to the media following a rookie mini-camp at the team facility on May 4, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images ….

(3) ASHBURN, VA – MAY 06: Robert Griffin III (10) of the Washington Redskins speaks to members of the media after a practice during the Washington Redskins’ rookie mini-camp on May 6, 2012 in Ashburn, Virginia. Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images …

(4) Ryan Tannehill (17) of the Miami Dolphins talks to the media after the rookie mini-camp on May 4, 2012 at the Miami Dolphins training facility in Davie, Florida. Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images ….

(5) Cleveland Browns running back Trent Richardson , left, listens to quarterback Brandon Weeden during a news conference at the NFL football team’s headquarters in Berea, Ohio Friday, April 27, 2012. Richardson was the third overall pick and Weeden 22nd overall in the 2012 NFL draft . AP Photo/Mark Duncan ….

(6) Browns’ team President Mike Holmgren (right) is seen here with quarterback Colt McCoy during the team’s mini-camp at their training facility in Berea, Ohio , prior to a mid-season game in 2011 . With the drafting of Brandon Weeden , beat writers are now suggesting that a quarterback controversy is about to raise its ugly head prior to the start of training camp for the 2012 season for the Cleveland Browns between these two young quarterbacks . AFP/Photo/ Matt Horner ….

(7) San Diego Chargers head coach Norv Turner speaks during a news conference alongside Chargers owner Dean Spanos, left, in front of the team’s headquarters, Wednesday, May 2, 2012, in San Diego. Former NFL football star Junior Seau was found shot to death at his home Wednesday morning in what police said appeared to be a suicide. He was 43. AP Photo/Gregory Bull …

(8) Head coach Norv Turner of the San Diego Chargers talks to quarterback Philip Rivers (17) of the San Diego Chargers during their game against the Oakland Raiders at O.co Coliseum on January 1, 2012 in Oakland, California. Getty Images North America / Ezra Shaw …..

(9) Oakland Raiders’ third-round NFL football draft pick …… Tony Bergstrom , right, holds his jersey with general manager Reggie McKenzie during a news conference at the team’s headquarters in Alameda, Calif., Saturday, April 28, 2012. AP Photo/Paul Sakuma ….

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Hot chic pic of the day …….. Jordan Carver . And a small montage of Carver for your edification and pleasure . What’s not to like !

Carver-Jordan/

Nice !

Jordan's  fun bags/

Looking to not quite keep a firm grasp on things and for that we all thank you Jordan !

I’m Not Buying Into It But Someone Has To …. The NFL Where’s The Sanity ?

I’m Not Buying Into It But Someone Has To …. The NFL Where’s The Sanity ?

By tophatal ………. 12/04/26 00:35:21

The NFL Draft staged at Radio City Music Hall , New York City , New York , is here for 2012 and we are now about to see the front executives of the NFL’s 32 teams simply gauge the talent to be on display . A formal announcement has been made by GM Ryan Grigson of the Indianapolis Colts that they will after-all make Andrew Luck the #1 overall pick in this year’s Draft. No surprise there , eh ? I mean in reality the Colts couldn’t really lose , either way . It was either take Luck , or the 2011 Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III out of Baylor . Robert Griffin III will be the second pick taken by the Washington Redskins , and there goes the neighborhood , because RGIII now has to deal with Kyle and Mike Shanahan . Believe me , better the “Devil” you know than the one you don’t ! . But bear in mind how god damn awful the Redskins’ quarterbacks have been over the last two seasons ( 2011 & 2010 ) within the NFL ! Please , Daniel Snyder and GM Bruce Allen don’t mess this all up , I beg of you please !

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Now while the whole world simply stops to see this three-day extravaganza simply become a bore , it has to be said the seventh and final round , after 200 plus picks , well , it gets me on edge . If last season’s NFL Draft was anything to go by , once we got beyond the second round , was there really anything else to really get excited over ? Come on now , at least be honest with yourself , it not with me then at least be honest with yourself . Cam Newton last year’s number one pick reveled in that role , excelling in that the position , as he led the Carolina Panthers on an improbable run in the NFL and thereby justifying the front office’s faith in his undoubted abilities .

As to what the upcoming season holds for the Carolina Panthers , I can only assume that Ron Rivera and his coaching staff will be looking complement the existing roster with players who will be able contribute greatly to the in light of the contributions made last season . And given what we have witnessed by way of the decisions made by the Panthers it has to be said the coaching staff hopes to be fortuitous with their picks in the 2011 NFL Draft .

With the continued uproar and the ongoing embarrassment irreparable damage done the image of the NFL . It has to be said the ongoing debacle concerning the New Orleans Saints and the “Bounty-gate” scandal has now taken on a life of its very own. With NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell not choosing to overturn his original decision as to the punishment meted out to Sean Payton (full year suspension) , Joe Vitt (eight regular season games ) , GM Mickey Loomis ( six games) and an indefinite suspension of former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams . It now begs the question in light the decision rendered , what else could exactly exacerbate the situation even further ? Well , it would appear Loomis is now embroiled in a further controversy , wherein allegations are now being made that the general manager is said to have used a listening device to eavesdrop on the offensive strategies of games played by the Saints against their opponents in 2002 , 2003 and 2004 . The team’s head coach at the time was Sean Payton’s predecessor Jim Haslett . Joe Vitt , has been quick to jump to Mickey Loomis’ defense , stating that his colleague is a man whose integrity and honesty should never be in doubt and in no way would he have stooped such depths . Now unless I am mistaken , the evidence and factual as we now know them to be indicates that Vitt , Loomis , Payton and Williams all lied to the NFL commissioner , the NFL’s investigators conducting their inquiry in the allegations as they were at the time concerning the original scandal . And furthermore, all four individuals also lied to team owner Tom Benson . If Loomis has lied about that , then why would anyone now take him at his word ? Because he now is telling us the truth on this specific allegation ? It has become a pattern of behavior in terms of the determined conceit and lies . So why would anything , now change as it relates to the New Orleans Saints ? Your thoughts ?

Now unless Joe Vitt is trying to be a sanctimonious bastard , I can only surmise that he’s simply trying to alleviate the ongoing problems that the franchise is now said to be facing ! From Superbowl winners in 2010 to now , ” the pariahs “ within the NFL , with about the franchise’s only firm support now coming from their die-hard fans . The Saints in the year since acquiring Drew Brees via free agency have seen a rise in their overall support and attendance for games at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome , New Orleans , Louisiana . And the quarterback’s production in the ensuing years since becoming a member of the franchise has been nothing short of amazing . And 2011 , may well have been his most prolific by way of the statistics accumulated , and the very fact that he was named NFL league MVP . Brees’ own integrity might now come into question , given his own ongoing support of his beleaguered head coach. For the life of me , I simply cannot fathom the mindset of the Saints’ players as they still come out in support of Sean Payton , even in the aftermath of his admission of guilt and his repeated lies ! As to their denials , really , innocent until proven guilty ? Oh yes , let’s continue to go ahead that with that premise shall we ? And who hear still believes that ‘ O J’ …. was innocent ? C’mon now !

As Roger Goodell has made it clear that he seeks to punish the Saints’ players involved in the scandal will be punished with impunity . While this should come as no surprise the actions of the NFLPA under its Executive Director DeMaurice Smith , and their executive committee under newly installed President Dominick Foxworth may well face something of an uphill battle in seeking to defend their members involved in this issue while not wanting to show partiality to members who may well feel that the New Orleans Saints’ players certainly at the center of it all should in some way be punished for their actions , even if they were financially rewarded as an incentive for their involvement in the scheme . Vitt maintains , that it was never his or the players’ intent to seek to go out and cause any harm but herein lies my thought to this all , why proceed with this rather asinine and infantile scheme to begin if it was their intent not to cause any harm to an opponent ? The coaches’ stance in this matter reeks of inanity but also culpability and in no way should these players be allowed to use the premise that they were under orders by their coaches to proceed with the actions in question. The financial incentives may well have been a ” means to an end ” but in all honesty and reality, they proceeded in that context of their own volition and ” free will “ . Only an ass , would now proceed to dry and defend the players and suggest that they should not be punished ! Your thoughts on the matter ?

The loss of NFL Draft picks might not really hinder the New Orleans Saints that much given the first round status within the process this year . However , I will continue to maintain that the financial punishment of $500, 000 was simply inadequate and a mere slap on the wrist for a franchise whose revenues in 2011 ran into ” tens of millions of dollars” over the course of their 2011 schedule . Goodell , and his chief legal counsel Jeff Pash have yet to convince me that their actions could not have been far more severe ! Instead , all it has indicated to me is that Roger Goodell, simply has no stomach for a real fight when pressed into action. His adversarial battle against the union (NFLPA) in the labor strife and lockout , had the commissioner coming off looking like an inexperienced novice . DeMaurice Smith , an experienced former corporate litigator with DC law firm Patton Boggs LLC as well as former US DA & prosecutor with the US Justice Department , made his NFL counterpart look completely out of his depth and looking very much the ass whose head was stuck up his own rear end ! The NFL owners may well feel that they came out winners at the end of this lockout but in reality there never was , and has been no outright winner after this particular debacle . Ten years of peace , according the NFL hierarchy and union ? That’s akin to saying that the lightly ongoing truce between the Palestinians and Israeli’s will last beyond a lifetime . And as we all know, the countless negotiations either led by the UN or the US State Department and the successive Presidents from Jimmy Carter on down has shown that , they have no real idea of the underlying issues at hand concerning the Middle Eastern crisis as it relates to Palestinian statehood . The ongoing skirmishes , loss of life and there’s no signs of a lasting peace between the two parties . And it is clear, neither have the NFL or the NFLPA as to their own ongoing problems that they are far from actually being at peace , never mind the truce that is said to be within their midst. What they have simply done is to use a Band-Aid to cover a gunshot wound to the abdomen that has bled profusely , hemorrhaging countless pints of blood in the process .

Now while ESPN will provide us with almost gavel to gavel coverage of the draft process with host Chris Berman , the analytical advice coming from Todd McShay, Mel Kiper Jr , Chris Mortensen and Adam Shefter . I would certainly like to think that they will provide the fans and draft geeks alike with something informative , rather than their continued bloated opinions that in large part at times does tend to be asinine . Someone needs to remind Mel , that Akili Smith was never going to be the next ” big thing” in the NFL and Ryan Leaf became a ” bust “ and was simply never good enough to lace up Peyton Manning’s boots , much less assist him in putting on his ” protector cup “ . Oh, the shame , and the mere fact that these analysts never come acknowledge their prognostic mistakes . Now what ?

As die-hard New England Patriots’ fan seeing the team blow their lead in the Superbowl , once again reminds me why Bill Belichick still annoys me like a fly hovering around the ominous signs of death , when there’s a dead animal carcass in sight ! Wearing a ‘hoody’ or not , there’s something remarkably disconcerting with regard to the head coach . God knows, I respect the man but his continued tinkering with the defense led me to now understand why they failed so miserably in the game against the New York Giants ! I can only hope that in spite of the team’s off-season acquisitions and their undoubted draft choices .

The needs for the Patriots remains on defense but also the fact that there’s a need for a very productive productive …… running back . Team statistics would suggest team had numerous problems over the course of the regular and postseason . If Bill Belichick and GM Nick Caserio can address the issues in question then I would like to think that Tom Brady will have the weapons that will complement his proficiency and produce another ultimately rewarding season for the New England Patriots ! Another shot at the Superbowl would be nice but I am not sure that this might be their season given the evidence this postseason . Two bites at the same god-damn apple and it’s if the team performed like aging geriatrics in need of periodontal work . Holy shit , does the team really seem that old ? Tom Brady isn’t yet ready for a hospice is he ? Or could it be that he’s laying the “wood” to Giselle Bundchen far more often than needed ? What do you think ? Man cannot live by bread alone , and he sure as hell can’t live without sex that’s for sure ! Brady , lay “the wood” because I would , and will continue to do so !

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

What if anything are you most anticipating as it relates to the upcoming NFL Draft ? And how do you see your team faring ? Also in light of the ongoing debacle as it relates to the New Orleans Saints do you believe the initial punishment fitting as rendered by the league hierarchy under Roger Goodell ? Chime in with your thoughts as you deem fit .

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(1) NEW YORK, NY – APRIL 26: Andrew Luck (R) from Stanford greets NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell after Luck was selected #1 overall by the Indianapolis Colts in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on April 26, 2012 in New York City. Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images …

(2) Robert Griffin III from Baylor greets NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell after Griffin was selected #2 overall by the Washington Redskins in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on April 26, 2012 in New York City. Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images ….

(3) NEW YORK, NY – APRIL 26: Shea McClellin (R) of Boise State holds up a jersey as he stands on stage with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell after he was selected #19 overall by the Chicago Bears in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on April 26, 2012 in New York City. Photo by Chris Chambers/Getty Images …

(4) Cam Newton(1) of the Carolina Panthers runs away from Dominique Franks (24) of the Atlanta Falcons during their game at Bank of America Stadium on December 11, 2011 in Charlotte, North Carolina. Getty Images North America / Streeter Lecka …..

(5) Joe Vitt (left) and Sean Payton of the New Orleans on the sidelines of a game last season . The coaches along with GM Mickey Loomis (right) are under a league suspension for much of the 2012 regular season . Matt Moore / AFP Photo ….

(6) New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick speaks at a news conference at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., following the Patriots’ first-round NFL football draft selections, Thursday, April 26, 2012. The Patriots selected Syracuse defensive end Chandler Jones with the 21st overall pick and Alabama’s Dont’a Hightower with the 25th overall pick. AP Photo/Michael Dwyer …

(7) NEW YORK, NY – APRIL 26: Dont’a Hightower of Alabama holds up a jersey as he stands on stage with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell after he was selected #25 overall by the New England Patriots in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on April 26, 2012 in New York City. Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images ……

(8) GM Nick Caserio of the New England Patriots speaks with the convened press at Gillette Stadium , Foxboro ‘ , Massachusetts . The general manager and front office staff undoubtedly hope to see the team make great strides this season , with the hope of seeing the franchise claim their fourth Superbowl title . Boston Herald / Nick Mason …..

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It’s Good To Know But Someone Has To Have Your Back …. Or Do They ?

It’s Good To Know But Someone Has To Have Your Back …. Or Do They ?

By tophatal ………..

The NFL Draft is a mere week away this upcoming Thursday ,26th April , 2012 . Three days of unadulterated eternal bliss for the Draft geeks out there and it gives the chance for Todd McShay and Mel Kiper to once again regale us all with their insight of the collegiate talent that will be part of this three days of apparent suspense . Given what were able to witness from last season’s draft it has to be said if the expectations are to be believed then the likelihood of a surprise seems remote at best . The Indianapolis Colts as the team making the number one overall pick which is likely to be the Stanford Cardinals’ starting quarterback Andrew Luck . Seen as the preseason favorite in 2011 for the Heisman Trophy , that accolade would be won by the Baylor’ Bears’ standout signal caller Robert Griffin III after the team’s outstanding season and Griffin’s own spectacular exploits in leading the Baylor Bears to an impressive 10-3 mark .

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There’s no doubt that Colts’ Jim Irsay has to assess the best fit possible for his team. Ryan Grigson having assumed the position of former general manager Bill Polian . The new incumbent will certainly have to make his mark , either way , his choice whatever it may well be can’t be viewed as a failure given the athleticism and talent of both Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III. Now once we get past that number one pick it seems almost a certainty that the Washington Redskins having moved up in the draft order will undoubtedly take the second of the two aforementioned quarterbacks in question. If it is Griffin , then it certainly makes the Redskins an impact-full factor and quite possibly an outside favorite to win the NFC East . Given the quarterbacking talent on display the division , I am not so sure that even with the talents of Robert Griffin III at the helm the fortunes are likely to be as fruitful as envisioned . But most certainly it has to be better anything on offer by way of the quarterbacks on display last season for the Washington Redskins in 2011. If Rex Grossman and John Skelton got your “juices flowing” then I can only surmise that as a possible fan of the Redskins you were liable to have started the day with a lively libation of hard liquor . God knows, the Washington Redskins were extraordinarily god-damn awful this past season.

Mike Shanahan and that highly overpaid but extremely mediocre coaching staff has to bear the brunt of the blame for the mediocrity on display from the team. Bruce Allen the general manager and directly answerable to owner Dan Snyder but in reality he has to defer all personnel decisions to Mike Shanahan , as they both will be hard pressed this upcoming season to overcome the blunders that have been made by the franchise in terms of the draft picks made by he and Shanahan during their joint tenures in their respective capacities .

When it comes to prognostications concerning the NFL Draft , NBA Draft , MLB Draft and that of the NHL Draft . Well let’s just say , if you go by the norm , it’s strictly for dummies ! There’s no real all-out certainty unless the picks in question show outstanding ability and a great deal of maturity . That has been the sort of maturity shown by Peyton Manning in 1998 as the number one overall in that specific draft . And one would have to admit that Cam Newton came out of nowhere announce his presence with an outstanding and explosive season with the Carolina Panthers . Having been taken as the number one overall pick in 2011 , Newton simply announced his presence within the NFL with a string of games that displayed his prodigious talent , showing that all of bravado and skill-set shown with Alabama (Crimson Tide) was not a one and done deal .

If there’s one team that has something to prove this upcoming season then it would have to be the New York Jets . Over the past two seasons Rex Ryan and his coaching staff have simply failed to live to the perceived hype and this continued idiocy of his proclamation that this franchise has been the best in the AFC simply hasn’t been matched by results attained over that time span. In light of another obviously disappointing 2011 foray , does anyone actually believe that Rex Ryan now needs to simply shut the f_ck up and let the deeds of his team simply speak for itself , rather than continuing to make these rather asinine excuses ! Starting quarterback Mark Sanchez simply regressed during 2011 as the team became languid and simply not up to the task of being looked upon as one of the best teams within the AFC , much less the NFL as a whole .

Well we all knew that the New York Jets wanted to make something of a major splash this off-season . But hell , who knew it would take an actual act of sheer desperation to show the depths to which this organization would have sunk ? Oh , so a number of you are now of the belief that the acquisition of Tim Tebow will now make this roster simply better ? Please get a damn dose of reality and realize the fact that Tebow’s skill-set are marginal at best and the coaching staff of the Denver Broncos simply weren’t interested in improving the player’s abilities . If that were the case , then we would have seen a marked improvement in Tim Tebow’s play during 2011 with the Broncos. All of this talk of oh , what an outstanding season by the former Gators’ former starting quarterback . Has anybody simply looked at Tebow’s body of work in terms of his overall statistics for 2011 ? Plainly , while the player showed a great deal of heart , he had become more of a liability for the Broncos , rather than asset . Now there’s talk amongst those with apparent insight as to how Tim Tebow will be best used by Rex Ryan’s staff. “Wildcat anyone ” ? Oh that worked ever so well for the Miami Dolphins for the better part of one season before they were simply exposed as team without any real character , much less a coach of any standing . Tony Sparano on his best day couldn’t find his asshole with the aid of flashlight and a cattle prod , much less coach a team with a degree of certainty !

The issues for this current Jets’ roster is one of a lack of leadership and that is even with seasoned veterans such as LaDainian Tomlinson , Plaxico Burress and that infantile sniveling piece of excrement Santonio Holmes , who has simply become a plague and pariah in the latter part of his professional career within the NFL . Holmes is simply a classless individual , who rather than show that he possesses the leadership abilities , has shown that he’s no more a leader than one could consider Rex Ryan being someone who possesses a great deal of etiquette. Neither of those traits can be seen on display from either of these two individuals , be it on or off the field of play ! With Santonio Holmes signed to a long-term contract it would prove to be extremely difficult for the Jets’ front office to off-load the player at this juncture given the intricacies of his existing deal .

Let’s be clear , Tim Tebow was brought in to provide a kick in the ass to Mark Sanchez ! The New York Jets’ incumbent starter has proven to be that he hasn’t been able to fulfill the expectations , given the fact that he has been coddled throughout his collegiate and NFL career . Can someone explain to me what has been so exceptional about the quarterbacks who have played for USC (Trojans) over the last eight years , that upon their entrance into the NFL that they have simply sucked to such a degree that you simply wonder that while being good at during their careers under Pete Carroll , they have all of a sudden forgotten how to play the game ? In large part we now know that many of Carroll’s achievements at that storied program was simply built upon so many falsehoods and an environment of none compliance and to NCAA rules . Once a cheat , always a cheat , so suck it up , “bitches ” !

The needs of the New York Jets may not appearance seem like to be numerous but it is clear that this roster is far from the composite that Rex Ryan feels that he can build into a championship caliber team . From my own perspective , the leash on Mark Sanchez will have to be loosened , with the player playing to his alleged strengths whatever they may well just happen to be. If he should fail then Tim Tebow will be entrusted to lead this team , miss-targeted passes and a completion rate that may well border on statistics that the statisticians would rather not make available for the NFL , much less for the fans at large . And Tebow’s stats have been amongst the worst recorded in recent NFL history . If the New York Jets truly believe that they can ride on the coat-tails then so be it but I for one don’t see this all being as smooth a transition as the fans and NFL beat writers within the “Big Apple” and the surrounding vicinity are hoping that it will be . Granted , everyone loves an underdog , Tebow and his management will continue to ride this flea-bitten dog until it drops , because in large part they simply know this means millions of dollars for the player by way of endorsements , even if his talents are simply marginal at best . Now what for the New York Jets and their duo of competing quarterbacks ? Get the feeling that Greg McElroy will now be left on the outside looking in , as he sees himself slowly slide the team’s depth chart at the position ?

If I were to suggest to you that last season Mark Sanchez was the highest paid quarterback in the NFL would you have believed me ? At the end of the season the front office saw fit to sign their quarterback to a five-year contract extension paying the player $58.5 million ($20.5 million in guaranteed money [and with an $8 million signing bonus]) . Pardon me for saying this , I can only surmise that Mike Tannenbaum and team owner under Woody Johnson were easily induced or quite possibly seduced by the less than gaudy figures put up by the player last season that they simply said to Sanchez’s agent , his brother, Nick Sanchez …. “simply have your client sign along the dotted line ” . Based upon that assumption , it would be easy to suggest that Mark Sanchez is now in “hog heaven” with that amount of “bacon ” having just been placed on his plate . God knows, at present there are a number of quarterbacks within the NFL who are vastly overpaid , and who have simply done absolutely done nothing to be deserving of such rewards . But this is the premise upon which the NFL now seems to based in large part . ‘ Pay me now , or simply pay me later , whether or not I am an infinite success ‘ . And let’s just say a number of teams over the years have been simply burned by this process . Needless, to say the names of JaMarcus Russell , Matt Leinart , Carson Palmer and Vince Young comes to mind ! Four players who have yet to prove their worth within the NFL , in spite of the success attained by the quartet at the collegiate level . “Dough Boy” aka as JaMarcus Russell longs to make a return to the NFL but I for one doubt seriously that there would be an NFL franchise dumb enough to sign the player even to a one year contract ! Why the hell would they ? Your thoughts ? The Oakland Raiders over the years have proven that when it comes to actually assessing talent they’ve had as much success in gauging the merits of a good to moderate quarterback as Stevie Wonder would be able to , in trying to find a needle in a haystack . My thoughts here , and no one else , just saying that’s all !

With the NFL schedule for 2012 being formally announced as of 5:00 PM EST, yesterday , eagerly awaiting fans must have been thrilled by the match-ups that would be on offer for the season . For fans of the New York Jets that anticipation was answered in more ways than one with a number of games that are bound to wet their appetites . Their regular season opener sees the Jets take on their divisional rivals the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium , East Rutherford , New Jersey on the 1st September , 2012 . Before the season comes into focus the NFL Draft and the Jets’ war room will become the scene for what may well be in part the determining process as to how the team’s progress will be gauged through the year. History would suggest that the franchise will be prudent in their draft picks that has seen them in recent years come up with some rather bold choices . Some have worked out , while others simply fell flat ! GM Mike Tannenbaum , along with Rex Ryan and his coaching staff will be looking to acquire the players they believe can contribute to the organization as a whole , immediately and for the long-term .

Tim Tebow may well be viewed as a backup to Mark Sanchez for now but should the wheels under the bus start to deflate . Then simply look for the Jets’ fans to be calling for the jettisoning of the incumbent and for the former Broncos’ starter to assume that starting role at the position. Tebow for the moment , has been saying and doing all of the right things. But don’t for one moment , let that syrupy ” Goody Two Shoes ” ……………… aw shucks persona fool you ……… Tim Tebow is out to become a starter with the New York Jets and that will become an earnest fact . Not a presumption , assumption or any other slightly off-kilter premise . If he has to , he may well get down and dirty to simply prove the point that he is ready . This is Sanchez’s job to lose , even if he is being paid a king’s ransom in comparison to his understudy . Mark , my words , Mark Sanchez this upcoming season can no longer afford to fool around , and think that he’s still on campus being coddled by the coaching staff , and as he has been by the Jets , ever since his entry into the NFL in 2009 , taken as the 5th overall pick in the first round by the Jets’ organization . If he screws up now , then he has no one to blame but himself ! Your thoughts on the matter ?

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

Whether or not you’re a New York Jets’ fan what expectations do you have for the organization this upcoming season ? And how do you seem faring within their division (AFC East) ? Simply leave a comment on this , and anything else you believe to be pertinent as it relates to the subject matter .

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Picture and slide show for your perusal .

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(1) INDIANAPOLIS, IN – MARCH 07: Peyton Manning (L) listens as Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay speaks at a press conference announcing Manning’s release from the Colts at Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center on March 7, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana. The Colts’ organization made the announcement that Manning would no longer be a player for the franchise . The renowned quarterback would sign with the Denver Broncos . Photo by Joey Foley/Getty Images …

(2) Quarterback Andrew Luck of Stanford runs the 40-yard dash during the 2012 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 26, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Getty Images North America/ Joe Robbins ……

(3) Quarterback Robert Griffin III of Baylor looks on during the 2012 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 26, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Getty Images North America / Joe Robbins

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

(5) Dan Snyder, owner of the Washington Redskins, Mike Shanahan the new Executive Vice President and head coach, and Bruce Allen Executive Vice President, before a press conference welcoming Shanahan to the Redskins on January 6, 2010 at Redskins Park in Ashburn, Virginia. Mitchell Layton /Getty Images North America …..

(6) General manager Mike Tannenbaum of the New York Jets (L) talks with Head coach Rex Ryan and owner Woody Johnson during the afternoon practice at NY Jets Practice Facility on August 7, 2011 in Florham Park, New Jersey. Getty Images / Patrick McDermott …….

(7) New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez talks to reporters in the Jets’ locker room in Florham Park, N.J., Monday, Jan. 2, 2012. The Jets season ended without a playoff game after a season filled with inconsistent play, some in-fighting and lost opportunities. AP Photo/Seth Wenig ….

(8) New York Jets quarterback Tim Tebow speaks at the Easter service of Celebration Church in Georgetown, Texas, Sunday, April 8, 2012. AP Photo/William Philpott …..

(9) DENVER, CO – JANUARY 08: Quarterback Tim Tebow (15) of the Denver Broncos receives high fives from fans after defeating the Pittsburgh Steelers in overtime of the AFC Wild Card Playoff game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on January 8, 2012 in Denver, Colorado. It was reported that the New York Jets have traded a fourth-round pick for quarterback Tim Tebow of the Denver Broncos March 21, 2012. Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images …

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Ludacris ……….. feat’g Shawnna ……………….. ” Stand Up ”

It Was Meant To Be The Year of The Quarterback And In Many Ways It Was And Then It Wasn’t ….

It Was Meant To Be The Year of The Quarterback And In Many Ways It Was And Then It Wasn’t ….

By tophatal ………..

There’s no denying that this past season was the year of the quarterback and that can be seen from the statistics of runner-up in the MVP race . Drew Brees and Superbowl MVP …. Eli Manning and Aaron Rodgers but if anything the supporting cast of the offensive weapons that complemented the talents of the celebrated trio as well as Matt Stafford and Tom Brady to make this a year to be remembered .

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Slide show for your perusal .

Brees and one other quarterback ( Brady) surpassed the long-held single season passing yards’ record of Dan Marino set in 1984 . Tight ends Jimmy Graham , Aaron Hernandez , Rob Gronkowski and Jermichael Finley made this NFL season one of astonishing highlight reels that will be long remembered for years to come . Not to be outdone also are the wide receivers who also held sway with their own with Mario Manningham , Wes Welker , Hakeem Nicks and Marques Colston all adding to the NFL experience of explosive offense seen throughout much of the season and postseason during 2011.

With what we now know to be a near certainty Ryan Grigson the general manager of the Indianapolis Colts will be drafting Stanford (Cardinals) quarterback Andrew Luck as the #1 overall pick in the upcoming 2012 NFL Draft . Baylor Bears’ quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III is likely to go second overall but with the St Louis Rams unlikely to take player it is envisaged that the front office and team owner Stanley Kroenke will entertain any teams wishing to move up in the draft order to have that second overall pick but only if they are prepared to themselves offer a flurry future picks or possible talent superfluous to their needs .

Washington Redskins’ owner Dan Snyder never one to not know the meaning of excessive spending or make bold decisions as it relates to personnel moves and the organization’s draft choices may well make the move and take Robert Griffin in with the hope of making him the team’s quarterback of the future. That doesn’t bode well for either Rex Grossman or John Skelton at this juncture given their woes this past season for the Redskins over the course of their 2011 schedule .

Mike Shanahan and offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan are now on a tight leash because in light of the Donovan McNabb experiment that went South no sooner the season started , it has to be said if the duo of coaches who are being compensated to the tune of $ 7 million a year combined , this might well be the last chance for both coaches to prove their worth . The Washington Redskins much like the two of the residents within the NFC East who were not part of the postseason excitement have become essentially the laughing-stock of the NFL ! God knows , what was being served up jointly by the Philadelphia Eagles , Dallas Cowboys and Redskins , no way in hell can it be described as high-caliber football that one would associate with the NFL and its brand !

Now while there may well be a slew of top-notch talent on display at this past weekend’s NFL Scouting Combine where a number of players impressed the coaches , their assistants , general managers and owners who were said to be on hand . The consensus appears to be that once you get beyond the top ten to fifteen picks of the first round of this upcoming the cupboard becomes bare in terms the talent that is said to be on hand . Something of a far cry off from last season’s NFL Draft (2011) While its way too early to start to make those sport of prognostications I would tend to agree that were they may well a definite drop-off in terms of the tight ends who have declared their eligibility for the Draft !

Now while there has always been a love-fest and leaning towards the college quarterback , wide receiver , running back , offensive tackle and dare one say a great defensive pass rusher ? It is these players in particular that the coaches tend to yearn in terms building a franchise around . Granted, every coach has their own idea and opinion as to how they would like to build successful franchises and this is certainly borne out by how the likes of Bill Parcells , Jimmy Johnson , Chuck Noll , Bill Belichick and Mike Holmgren have gone about successful organizations over the course of their careers within the NFL .

I’ve never been one to be inherently bogged down by perusing the statistics in order to assess a college player’s ability ! Because to my mind , at the end of the day they are either ready to take that step to the next level and ply their trade in the NFL or they’re not ! The failures at the next level are magnified to such a degree that they become ever so glaring and there’s no way that excuses can be made . Certainly , there are going to be hits and misses in this upcoming Draft but in reality we tend to see the best come out in a player normally after years two to three . There’s always the exception to the rule , because could anyone have foreseen the explosive impact that Cam Newton would have on the Carolina Panthers this past season ? And but for a defense that had some issues amongst other problems and with the usual tally of injuries then perhaps the Panthers could have challenged the likes of the Atlanta Falcons and New Orleans Saints within the NFC South in 2011. Because it sure hell wasn’t going to come from the woefully inept ….. Tampa Bay Buccaneers and that piss poor squad of players !

Now while Messrs’ Kiper and McShay will be regaling us with their ” big draft board ” , their likes and dislikes , let’s remember one and make that abundantly clear these two individuals have rarely stepped up to the plate and actually stated why so many of their prognostications have blown up in their proverbial faces .

For players such as Trent Richardson , Morris Claiborne , Justin Blackmon , Matt Kalil , Michael Floyd , Whitney Mercilus , Reuben Randle , Dont’a Hightower and Dre` Kirkpatrick it will be interesting to see if their careers at the next level will matriculate into something that on appearance alone can be deemed a resounding success .

Certainly if last year’s NFL Draft was anything to go by then beyond Cam Newton we saw players such as Von Miller , Marcell Dareus , A J Green , Patrick Peterson , Julio Jones and Aldon Smith contributed greatly for their respective teams . As I alluded to earlier, my thoughts on the prognostications as it concerns these young players aren’t relevant , not at this time . Perhaps a year or two down the line , then we can really assess their contributions .

It takes a man with strong convictions to stick with a decision no matter how controversial or meaningful it’s said to be . I’d recently stated that the Pittsburgh Steelers would consider cutting their Pro Bowl wide receiver Hines Ward . Well it appears that the decision has been made by the front office to jettison the fifteen year veteran whose contributions are an example that if you apply yourself to your craft then success will surely follow .

Steelers’ GM Kevin Colbert and head coach Mike Tomlin obviously had to have thought long and hard before coming to the decision . But I can’t help but feel that Ward could well be resigned to a lesser contract in order that the organization can have the leeway sought to offer their wide-out Mike Wallace a revised contract. There’s no real loyalty or love lost within the NFL between player and team owner as it all comes down to money , profits and not much else beyond that ! I’d be equally surprised given the idiocy that took place within the Colts’ organization this off-season if Peyton Manning still is on the team roster beyond the 8th March , 2011 . Manning is due a $28 million roster bonus pending a clean ” bill of health ” . Team owner Jim Irsay is said to be the consummate businessman , at this point , this just doesn’t come down to merely business but what is actually in the best interests of the Colts franchise . The franchise does have some extremely important decisions to be made as it relates to the roster and the impending fate of a number of the players. Suffice to say , beyond the decision to be made concerning their esteemed quarterback . we could well see a few other players leaving this organization.

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

What if anything as a fan do you expect to see during the NFL Draft ? Also during this off-season with the apparent turmoil that’s now said to be taking place what move or transaction to your mind will be or has been the biggest surprise to you overall ? By all means do take time to leave a comment as you see fit and thanks as always for the continued support as it is greatly appreciated !

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Picture and slide show details below .

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EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – FEBRUARY 07: Justin Tuck (91), of the New York Giants laughs with teammate Eli Manning (10) at a rally to celebrate the New York Giants’ Super Bowl victory at MetLife Stadium on February 7, 2012 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Giants defeated the New England Patriots 21-17 in Super Bowl XLVI at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 5, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images …

(2) Aaron Rodgers (12) of the Green Bay Packers looks on in the fourth quarter against the New York Giants during their NFC Divisional playoff game at Lambeau Field on January 15, 2012 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Photo by Scott Boehm/Getty Images … …..

(3) Head coach Mike Shanahan of the Washington Redskins watches from the sidelines during the second half against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field on January 1, 2012 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images ….

< (4) Heisman Trophy-winner and former Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III poses for a photo on the Baylor campus, Monday, Feb. 27, 2012, in Waco, Texas, for the EA Sports NCAA Football 13 video game to be released in July. AP Photo/Waco Tribune Herald, Jerry Larson ….

(5) Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward (86) walks off the field after the Steelers lost 29-23 to the Denver Broncos in overtime of an NFL wild card playoff football game Sunday, Jan. 8, 2012, in Denver. It is being widely reported that the wide receiver was let go by the Steelers’ front office as a cost cutting exercise . AP / Getty Images / Eric Schneider ……….. ….

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Gemma Atkinson . Lovely !

Gemma 2/

Another reason why one might love Gemma are those rather beguiling assets of hers . What do you think ?

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A Tribe Called Quest ……… ” Check The Rhyme ”