It could well be a contest for the ages , if everything goes to plan

It could well be a contest for the ages , if everything goes to plan

The sporting weekend within the NFL brought us the divisional games within both conferences with the prize at stake being the four berths available in the AFC and NFC championship contests that will take place on Sunday the 19th January , 2014. For quarterbacks Tom Brady and Peyton Manning their meeting in the AFC contest will be the fifteenth meeting regular season or otherwise , between these two highly regarded and future Hall of Fame players . On each occasion, where the two have met on the field of play, the margin of victory has been fewer than seven points. Which sets up this contest as being one of the more intriguing, with now a Superbowl berth . being at stake?

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Manning will be seeking to his third Superbowl appearance, whereas his opposing number , Tom Brady will be seeking to make his sixth appearance , in the hope of winning a fourth Superbowl victory and ring. Other than Joe Montana and Terry Bradshaw , as quarterbacks , have been the only two players to have led the same franchise to respective titles in the Superbowl era.

Throughout much of the 2013 regular season , both the Denver Broncos and New England Patriots have proven by far that they were the two best teams within the AFC . Granted, the Kansas City Chiefs could have laid claim to that very fact , had the latter part of their season not span out of control and then to fall by the wayside in their wildcard round loss to the Indianapolis Colts , whom the New England Patriots handily disposed of in their divisional round contest this past Sunday. . If there was said to be a hero in that game between Indianapolis and New England, then by rights, the Patriots’ running back LeGarrette Blount would have to be regarded in that light. A cast off, by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers , Blount was acquired , primarily as a backup to Stevan Ridley and for short yardage use as and when determined by head coach Bill Belichick . However, in 2013, Blount has proven himself to be not only to be productive and worthy backup for Ridley. Yet, it has now created something of a dilemma for the Patriots’ head coach , as to whether not the running back should now supplant Ridley as the featured back on the team for the postseason . Personally, I believe that things should be left just as they are , with both players being utilized to their best of their abilities as the coach sees fit .

As an avid New England Patriots’ fan, my singular issue all season long has been the inconsistency of the team’s defense and the very fact that Bill Belichick and the coaching staff, have never truly felt comfortable with the makeup of the secondary as a whole . The postseason has done little to dissuade of me of that , even in spite of the ease of the victory over the Indianapolis Colts , as I know that team will be in for a much sterner test when they face the Denver Broncos led by Peyton Manning and that high-octane offense .

While, the most recent meeting between the two teams was an instantaneous classic , with Tom Brady and the Patriots getting the better (34-31) of Manning and his teammates . You somehow, get the feeling that this contest is unlikely to be like their previous meetings , especially with so much now being at stake with regard to this particular game. It would be fair to surmise, that both Tom Brady and Peyton Manning have been by far the most successful quarterbacks in the NFL since 1998 , the year Manning was drafted , then to be followed by Brady in the 2000 NFL Draft as a sixth round pick by the New England Patriots . In terms of their longevity and the unprecedented success achieved by both Tom Brady and Peyton Manning , wherein , both are now viewed as the positive and preeminent faces of the NFL .

The NFC championship contest , between the San Francisco 49ers as the guests of the Seattle Seahawks at Q West Field in Seattle, Washington on Sunday afternoon, in what is likely to be a highly competitive game. For the respective teams’ young quarterbacks , Colin Kaepernick and Russell Wilson , this will be a chance to renew not just a divisional rivalry , but something of budding competition between of the league’s up and coming players in the league at the quarterback position, who entered the NFL less than a year apart .

Seattle’s head coach Pete Carroll and his opposite number Jim Harbaugh this opportunity affords both head coaches the change to gauge the progress of their respective teams over the past three seasons , since each assumed control in their positions. Harbaugh will seek to reverse this season’s regular season away loss to the Seattle Seahawks. . The two teams have evened their divisional meetings in 2013, with both sides coming away with rather convincing victories. .Both the Forty Niners and Seahawks are viewed as well-balanced teams, capable of play making on both sides of the ball . Opposing running backs Frank Gore of San Francisco and Marshawn Lynch of Seattle, are seasoned and wily veterans, who still remain productive at this stage of their respective careers. For Colin Kapernick and Russell Wilson , it will be interesting to see how both of these young quarterbacks acquit themselves in what is likely to be the most important game that either has played at this stage of their young careers. . This contest between these two divisional rivals, could prove to be something big, or simply a one-off , by way of the lack of a truly dominant team within the NFC over the past two seasons. I believe we shall see, as this encounter unfolds on Sunday afternoon whether or not my assumptions come to fruition !

Away from the postseason schedule , fans might not have been completely taken aback by the coaching dismissals that took place within the NFL . Greg Schiano’s firing by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers along with GM Mark Dominik’s contract not being renewed was not that much of a surprise . Schiano, brought absolutely no discipline whatsoever to a team , that was lacking creativity and guile , in spite of idiotic analysis and claims being made by observers . A three-game win streak , was the best, that the Buccaneers achieved all season long . The team’s defense , was an abject failure and a sign what not to strive to achieve, if you happen to be a defensive coordinator in the NFL .

The Buccaneers have yet to find a successor, albeit, that the organization is rumored to be showing an interest in getting re-acquainted with former GM Rich McKay , who now happens to be the team President of the Atlanta Falcons and oversaw the successful attempt by that particular franchise in their obtaining the financing and soon to be finished billion dollar edifice that will house the NFC South based franchise. It may well take a great deal more than reminiscing about old times to lure McKay back to Tampa , after the way he was treated by the Glazer family during the Jon Gruden tenure , in which the former head coach and his sidekick Bruce Allen won a Superbowl , only to then hamstring the Buccaneers financially for the next several years, during which the team’s fortunes, fell with alarming speed . Yet, the moronic fans and the idiot on air personalities, simply lacking the intelligence to realize what the hell was going on or the very fact that during Gruden’s tenure, few players were developed that have become mainstays with the franchise. Idiocy begets idiocy and nowhere, is this more prevalent than with the fans within Central Florida and as it relates to all things concerning the Buccaneers , Tampa Bay Rays and Tampa Bay Lightning .

Former Chicago Bears’ head coach Lovie Smith has been brought in to resurrect the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ fortunes and make this franchise competitive enough within the NFC South , where the two dominant teams at present would appear to be the New Orleans Saints and the Carolina Panthers , who are likely to become considerably better next season , with the not so stunning maturation process shown by Cam Newton this past season , and where Ron Rivera has brought about a resilience to the franchise not seen in several years. I believe that Smith can be a success, but that will be predicated upon the latitude provided him by what remains a clueless ownership group . Anyone who believes that Joel and Avram Glazer have any idea how to run a professional sports’ franchise, need only to look at their handling of the family’s other sporting interest , the now declining …. fortunes of Manchester United and the fact that the board of directors and that team’s manager David Moyes are besieged by the fans and press alike for the club’s rapidly falling fortunes and the absolute inept hire of Moyes to succeed Alex Ferguson , soccer’s most successful club coach.

The NFL Draft is a little more than two months away and a number of decisions are likely to be made by Lovie Smith and the coaching staff that he will have assembled, as they seek to gauge makeup of the current roster and then judge which players they believe superfluous to the franchise.

For a team coming off a 4-12 season , there was little that anyone could feel pleased about concerning the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and yes , that includes the play of rookie quarterback Mike Glennon . Granted, he has to be considered a major upgrade over a failing Josh Freeman , a player with issues both on and off the field , and whose complete lack of maturity was continually on display along with the asinine behavior of his agent Erik Burkhardt , whose claims about his client’s medical condition were leaked to the press in order that the Buccaneers could jettison the player. Burkhardt has been known to make outlandish statements, simply to garner the press’ attention , but when finally pressed to answer who else had information concerning Freeman’s mental health issues , the agent could not give a succinct answer. Begs the question , was Erik Burkhardt seeking sympathy for a player who over the past three seasons has failed to live up to the hype . Freeman was not that great a player at the collegiate level and he certainly showed no real signs of progress once he made it into the NFL .

The future of the Buccaneers may well seem to be bright with Lovie Smith at the helm, as the franchise’s head coach , but as I alluded to earlier , unless the ownership group takes more of an interest in the franchise , and has an experienced front office executive working in conjunction with the head coach. Then, we are likely to see a repeat of the same missteps being made, as witnessed with Bruce Allen and Mark Dominik.

Mike Munchak’s dismissal as head coach of the Tennessee Titans was more out of a rush to judgment by a franchise, that has completely lost its way. The late CEO & owner , Bud Adams remained clueless, and he much like fellow NFL franchise owners , Jerry Jones , Dan Snyder , Mark Davis , Woody Johnson and Steven Ross are individuals who treat those franchise as mere baubles while wanting also display their ostentatious-ness and considerable wealth . I have become sick and tired of hearing idiots such as Chris Mortensen , Adam Schefter , Tm Hasselbeck , Stephen A Smith , Skip Bayless and John Clayton describe these owners as highly intelligent individuals , simply because they made their fortunes elsewhere, outside the realms of the NFL . With as great a business acumen as the individuals mentioned are said to possess , consider the fact that the Titans , Dallas Cowboys , Washington Redskins , Oakland Raiders , New York Jets and Miami Dolphins as franchises, have only three playoff appearances between them over the past six years . A meager return, when one considers the esteem in which a number of those franchises are said to be held.

Munchak’s firing , simply came by way of the lack of success of the team during this past season . Moreover, the loss of quarterback, Jake Locker to an injury , early into the Titans’ season after the player’s great start , simply sent the franchise spiraling downwards , unable to regain that early momentum. With that decline, came the mounting losses , the questionable decision-making during games and the lack of a real competitive fight from the Titans’ players. Yet, the responsibility for the franchise’s woes should not be placed solely on the shoulders of the dismissed head coach, because he was never given any real help by way of a general manager Ruston Webster , whose experience in the position since 2012 , was something of a clear indicator, as to what the fans and franchise should have expected. Fractured decision-making, by way of assessing and the drafting of personnel , never-mind some rather off-kilter acquisitions , simply summed up the franchise. Bud Adams’ relinquishing of his role as the Chief Executive, with his children, Suzie Adams Smith , Amy Adams Hunt and son-in-law Thomas Smith now assuming control , taking the franchise in a new direction. As to the course, now being traveled , that destination has yet to be determined

Ruston Webster hired former Arizona Cardinal’s head coach, Ken Whisenhunt to succeed Mike Munchak. It will be very interesting to see how the new coach proceeds, as he seeks some semblance of success with a team that lacks veteran presence and a real vocal leader on the field of play.

What happens in Vegas they say , usually “stays in Vegas “ . In terms of the Minnesota Vikings’ season. Well, , that is something, that reads like a badly written comedic piece. Suffice to say, with all of the assembled talent , in terms of the roster. The coaching mindset of Leslie Frazier was simply nowhere to be seen, along with this long considered belief that either Christian Ponder or Josh Freeman would be placed to lead this franchise to a divisional title , much less a postseason berth . To top it all, Zygi Wilf, the team’s owner, during the season was found guilty , in a civil suit of defrauding several former business partners of monies due from a commercial real estate deal. Somehow, these problems, are overlooked by the league hierarchy and in particular by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell , whose continued idiocy , simply knows no boundaries . Adding insult to injury , was the fact that the commissioner thought nothing of the actions of Cleveland Browns’ owner , Jimmy Haslam in seeking to settle out of court in a monetary payout of several millions, sought to avoid federal prosecution for grand larceny , fraud and theft , all resulting from his company , Pilot J Flying Inc’s business practices, in defrauding clients of monies rightfully due them. Ah , the joy of being a team owner in the NFL , where there is no damn leadership and where Roger Goodell, is more concerned with player misconduct , their sullying of the league’s image , rather than his being worried by the illegal and reckless activities of a number of team owners. Could I have put it any more succinctly than that?

Frazier was relieved of his duties as the head coach of the Minnesota Vikings , having posted a record of 21-32 (.396) in four seasons with the franchise. The vacancy remains unfilled , with GM Rick Spielman , now seeking a suitable replacement for the deposed former head coach. From my own perspective, a team that has the league’s best running back , but fails to utilize him properly , has to pay the price for that type of stupidity . One which, we have seen repeatedly, with this Vikings’ franchise over the past three seasons, and are likely to see in the future, with their atypical approach and lack of what is needed in terms of success within the NFL. Adrian Peterson, may well be racking up the yards , on his way to a Hall of Fame career, but at the end of the day , his enshrinement may well mean a great deal to the player in terms of his accomplishments. In essence , the fans tend to only remember the players who have won a Superbowl , because it is the ultimate sign of team success , rather than just looking at the player’s singular achievements , as a way of assessing their greatness.

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This off-season, will see a great many changes not just amongst the Minnesota Vikings and its staff, but there is likely to be a preponderance of changes around the entire NFL , as the coaching merry-go-round begins , as teams seek fill the voids within their coaching and playing staffs. What thoughts, if any, do you have with regard to this NFL postseason? Also, which of the four remaining participants, do you believe to be the favorite and victorious during this playoff season?

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Picture and slideshow details below .
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(1) Tom Brady (left) and Peyton Manning (18), seen here , after the duo’s most recent meeting , during which the Patriots’ quarterback prevailed in the encounter , the pair’s fifteenth overall over the course of their respective careers. Manning entered the NFL in 1998 as the number one overall pick by the Indianapolis Colts , with Brady taken in the sixth round of the 2000 NFL Draft . Tom Brady and Peyton Manning lead the NFL in certain offensive passing categories amongst active quarterbacks now playing in in the NFL . Getty Images North America / Philip Miller ….

(2) 18 Apr 1998: Quarterback Peyton Manning displays an Indianapolis Colts jersey during the 1998 NFL Draft at Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York. Alongside Manning is NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue . Mandatory Credit: Ezra O. Shaw /Allsport ….

(3) Tom Brady(12) and England Patriots’ head coach Bill Belichick are seen here on the sidelines during a game. The combination of head coach and player are amongst the most successful in NFL history . Belichick and Brady have combined for five Superbowl appearances and six AFC championship games during their thirteen years together. Brady, this postseason hopes to join a select number of quarterbacks with at least five six Superbowl appearances, while seeking to win his fourth Superbowl ring. Already a two-time Superbowl MVP and NFL MVP . All that now awaits the Patriots’ quarterback upon his retirement, will be the call formally announcing his induction into the Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio,. AP Photo / Chris Woodson ….

(4) NFC quarterbacks , Colin Kaepernick of the San Francisco 49ers is seen here with Russell Wilson of the Seattle Seahawks . The two players will meet on Sunday afternoon in the NFC championship game when the Seahawks play host to the 49ers at Q West Field in Seattle , Washington . The winner of the contest will be the NFC representative in the Superbowl , where they will face the winner of the AFC game between the Denver Broncos and New England Patriots . Getty Images / Mark Fisher ….

(5) Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Chairman Joel Glazer is seen here speaking to Buccaneers’ head coach Greg Schiano . After a 4-12 season the franchise and coach parted ways . Also leaving the Buccaneers, GM Mark Dominik whose contract was not renewed after 5 years as the franchise’s front office executive in charge of player personnel decisions. The team has yet to hire a successor to Dominik , but the hiring of Lovie Smith is seen as a positive step in the right direction. All rights reserved copyrighted material @ Tampa Bay Tribune ….

(6) Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ head coach Lovie Smith is seen here with members of the Glazer family , owners of the NFL franchise. Seen here from left to right are Ed Glazer, Bryan Glazer, Smith and Joel Glazer . Will Vragovic / The Tampa Bay Times ….

(7) Minnesota Vikings GM Rick Spielman is seen here addressing the convened press at Vikings’ headquarters in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The franchise fired head coach Leslie Frazier , but have yet to hire a successor to the departed Frazier. There now seems to be a great deal of speculation concerning Spielman’s own future with the team , with several of the partners with the Vikings questioning the general manager’s handling of the franchise this past season and many of the personnel decisions made . AP Photo / Hunter Matthews …..

(8) Cleveland Browns’ owner, Jimmy Haslam , whose tenure as the team’s Chief Executive has come under a great deal of criticism after it was revealed that Haslam’s company Pilot J Flying Inc and the executive himself , faced charges of grand larceny , theft and fraud . The NFL franchise owner and the Justice Department reached an out of court arrangement but with a fine having been paid by the company . However. several other clients of Pilot J have lodged a civil suit in US Federal Court seeking unspecified damages against the company and its executives . Further embarrassing the NFL as this episode unfurled , were the claims that the monies used in Haslam’s purchase of the Browns were derived from the fraud perpetrated. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s failure , in having the league’s investigators carry out what was said to be an in-depth investigation of Jimmy Haslam’s finances , would have uncovered the ongoing action of the Justice Department at the time the sale of the franchise, actually took place. UPI/ REUTERS/ Keith Thompson …..

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tophatal ………………. 01/14/2014

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I yield to no man !

I yield, to no man!

Over the weekend, the NFL opened up its postseason with the wild card round series of games . As usual, the summary surprises came with games that resulted with a number of unwanted endings . Suffice to say, in spite of the huge television ratings one comes to expect , it is by no means a guarantee that the contests themselves are necessarily outstanding.

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All the hype earlier in the season, concerning the coaching acumen and in-genius mind of Chip Kelly and the Philadelphia Eagles came to nothing , as the Eagles succumbed to the New Orleans Saints in a highly entertaining contest . From my own perspective, I simply could not buy into an Eagles’ team whose head coach has never been known for his propensity for his teams to play an iota of actual defense. That was the case with Kelly as coach of the Oregon Ducks at the Collegiate Level and it has most certainly been the case with the Philadelphia Eagles throughout much of this past regular season and then coming into this contest against the Saints .

Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints, now go on to a divisional round contest against the Seattle Seahawks , at Q West Field in Seattle , Washington, with the winner gaining a berth into the NFC championship game . . As to the other NFC contest, that pitted the San Francisco Forty Niners against the Green Bay Packers in a game played at Lambeau Field in Green Bay , Wisconsin. Colin Kaepernick and the 49ers were being asked to take on not only a Packers’ team , but also a raucous and vociferous home crowd in a game that lived up to all of the hype and a great deal more. . San Francisco came away with a well-deserved three-point 23-20 victory , and now move on to play the Carolina Panthers in what is likely be a real slug-fest between two of the more entertaining teams within the NFC over this past regular season.

The contests within the AFC , were no less riveting than their NFC counterparts , but all in all, the lesson to be learned , has been , all that glitters is not necessarily gold as and when it came to teams, who showed a great deal of dominance early in the regular season , but somehow over their last five games , they seemed to falter and showed no signs of being able to play themselves back into contention, with any type of consistency.

Andy Reid and the Kansas City Chiefs made quite a splash early in the season , with the Chiefs actually challenging the Denver Broncos for divisional supremacy within the AFC West , as well as who ought to be looked upon as the best team in the AFC altogether. Unfortunately, for Reid and his team the script was flipped , as Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts summarily hoisted the Kansas City based franchise unto their own petard . In what turned out to be, a completely wayward performance, the Chiefs were found wanting in all areas of their game. . A twenty-one point lead, by the Kansas City Chiefs, was slowly erased, as Andrew Luck showed why he is one of the best young quarterbacks now playing in the entire NFL. As to the abrupt end to the Chiefs season , it all comes down to what might have been and the missed opportunities.

To say, I expected more from Marvin Lewis and the Cincinnati Bengals this postseason would be an understatement ! However, in light of that premise, I have to say in all honesty their contest against Philip Rivers and the San Diego Chargers ,was about as lopsided a postseason game that I have seen in some time. A 27-10 shellacking by the Chargers, not only indicated how bad the Bengals just happened to be, but quite possibly how overrated the AFC North may well have been over the course of this season. . I certainly felt that Andy Dalton and the presence he has shown since entering the NFL would be able to lead a Bengals’ team , that over the past two seasons under Marvin Lewis, has shown a great deal of progress, as Dalton’s own game itself, has shown a great deal of promise.

With Greg Schiano’s dismissal after two seasons of rather pedantic football by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers . Nothing actually delighted me more, than also seeing Mark Dominik’s firing by the franchise’s owners led by Avram Glazer and the rest of the Glazer family . Truth be known, the family has shown all of the alleged business acumen in dealing with the franchise as of late , as the collective intelligence of the House Finance Committee and that of the Senate Banking Committee when dealing with the economy and the financial sector of the country. Suffice to say, this is a Buccaneers’ franchise that has lost complete direction , so much so, that their fans would be none the wiser , even in light of their apparent apathy and complete lack of understanding as to what they have witnessed over the past four seasons under Schiano and his predecessor , Raheem Morris . As to this idiocy, that , Dominik himself, was a great assessor of talent. One simply has to look at the fact that the Buccaneers’ play under both of these coaches , was simply lackluster , unimaginative and completely lacking in guile .

Greg Schiano’s successor , Lovie Smith , the former Chicago Bears’ head coach and a disciple of the Tony Dungy coaching philosophy may well be seen as the right candidate for the position , but unless the Buccaneers show the actual wherewithal to hire a knowledgeable front office executive. Then the franchise is likely to witness more of the same incompetency that has been witnessed in the last five years , without any major strides, having been made by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Mike Glennon might be viewed as a more than apt successor to Josh Freeman in the quarterback position ,but in all honesty the franchise has not had a player of note in that particular position in well over a decade and that includes their Superbowl winning quarterback, Brad Johnson . You may well disagree with my summation in that context , but please do go ahead and proceed to change my mind on the matter !

The travails of the NBA season and there still remains the banality of a league , where a highlight reel of a slam dunk, simply, is now meant to dictate the actual prowess and the game now being witnessed in the league. Far be it for me to suggest, but if things get any worse in the Eastern Conference , then the division leaders , should be handed their divisional titles by default , because the fans should not have to bear witness to such ineptitude ! Hell, at times, I would rather watch paint dry , than having to witness a game in the NBA , when teams have wish to play defense and where the talent that is said to be on show, is the best that this league is said to have on offer . There remains but a handful of truly gifted and talented players currently in the NBA, and the rest are simply playing a game that no one actually wants to see and where the coaching has truly become downright awful.

The Golden State Warriors may well be the “hottest team” in the NBA ,while currently on an eight-game winning streak . Yet , don’t be fooled into thinking that as they now stand , they ought to be seen as a legitimate candidate for the NBA title . While, head coach, Mark Jackson and his coaching staff have begun to instill a great deal of resilience into a team led by Steph Curry, Klay Thompson , David Lee and Harrison Barnes leading the roster in scoring . Golden State’s sixteen-point destruction of the Washington Wizards , shows the team’s offensive prowess , and also the weakness of the Eastern Conference as a whole. The less I see of the conference , with the exception of the Miami Heat and Indiana Pacers , the more comfortable I am likely to feel about the league in general , as it now stands !

In general, if someone is going to opine on a subject , it does pay to at least use some facts to bear out your case . Nothing can be more asinine at present than to merely suggest that the issues that currently encompass both the New Jersey Nets and New York Knicks , simply comes down to the fact that they would rather spend money on their teams. In reality, it comes down to a litany of issues, that both franchises have failed to address in recent years. Coaches that are simply not good enough , owners who have no damn idea what it actually takes to place a competitive product on the field of play and finally a front office made up of general managers , whose acumen, is simply minute and where their knowledge can be debunked. To top it all, you have the undoubted stupidity of the respective fans in question for both franchises , whose ideas can simply be summed up by stating that , apathy is now acceptable , when it comes to professional sports within the state of New York and the surrounding areas , where the majority of the fans are domiciled. Need we be reminded of by the ineptitude shown by the Buffalo Bills , New York Giants and New York Jets this past season without having to look at both the pitiful Knicks and Nets ?

The Warriors will be on the road on Tuesday evening, when they are the guests of the Milwaukee Bucks in Milwaukee Wisconsin , in a game that could push the team’s franchise’s record streak and further enhancing their reputation. While I believe the Golden State Warriors to be a competent team, there remains doubts as to whether or not they are good enough to take on the might of the San Antonio Spurs , Oklahoma City Thunder , Los Angeles Clippers and Portland Trailblazers . All teams I believe to be better than the Warriors not just on merit , by way of their respective records , but also because of each of the teams in question are better balanced, with coaches who show a great deal more awareness as to the nuances changing tendencies with a game . Mark Jackson , has been able to instill confidence into his roster and given them the wherewithal to play the game with abandonment , but the Warriors’ reliance on three-point shooting is likely to be their Achilles’ Heel when adversity stares them in the face. . If the Golden State Warriors are to prove themselves as legitimate candidates within the Western Conference , then theirs will be a task, where they will have to prove themselves a competent unit defensively , when facing a far more experienced adversary within the conference.

Times are changing and with the recent move by the Orlando Magic to waive Hedo Turkoglu and move ahead with a young roster . Head coach Jacque Vaughn with his coaching staff are seeking to resurrect the fortunes of a franchise that has been languid and without direction for a number of years, even with the drama that surrounded the departure of Dwight Howard , from the franchise to then join the Los Angeles Lakers , where Howard’s stay was less than satisfactory to say the very least.

. Turkoglu , a long-time mainstay of the franchise and someone who was viewed as the elder statesman on the team and perhaps a leader for several of the younger players on the roster , has seen his minutes decline , as well as his productivity . GM Rob Hennigan and Jacque Vaughn came to the decision to waive the seasoned veteran , without their being a great deal of controversy arising out of the move . In all likelihood Turkoglu will find a place with another franchise within the league seeking a veteran presence or simply to add to the productivity of a team looking for a streaky player .

At 10-24 , the Orlando Magic are firmly rooted at the bottom of the Southeast Division of the Eastern Conference . They are 4 ½ games behind their divisional rivals the Charlotte Bobcats (15-20) and a distant sixteen games behind the division’s leaders , defending NBA champions the Miami Heat (26-8) . A four-game losing streak has pretty much summed up the Orlando Magic’s season , which has literally been filled with inconsistency , with the sole bright spot coming with the play of Victor Oladipo , the franchise’s rookie taken in the 2013 NBA Draft . . In that draft, Oladipo was joined by Romero Osby , who at some point in the season is likely to see some playing time should the front office believe it necessary to simply start now looking towards the franchise’s long-time future.

Orlando last night, as guests of the Los Angeles Clippers at the Staples Center in Los Angeles , California, were simply no match for their Western Conference opponents . To put this contest more succinctly , were the Magic spotted a twenty-point lead , they would have still found a way to lose the contest , while looking abysmal in every aspect of their game. Such have been the woes for Jacque Vaughn this season , that it is my belief that team President Alex Martins and Rob Hennigan are likely to consider a coaching change by the midpoint of the season , or allow the beleaguered head coach fulfill the year in terms of his contract. Vaughn’s hire, was nonsensical to begin with, his having very little coaching experience and merely a bystander, on a staff where he may well have been no better than a janitor. Yet, this has simply been the utter stupidity shown by the Magic hierarchy and that has been continually exhibited by owner Rich de Vos .

The Orlando Magic, is being ran by a bunch of simpletons, who have proven that alongside the political environment within the city, just about any type of stupidity can take place. Wherein, a political savant, such as Mayor Buddy Dyer thought it prudent to spend tens of millions of dollars on a needless venue the Amway Center , merely because he felt it was in that city’s best interests to have a new stadium built for the NBA franchise , when there were far more urgent needs within the city of Orlando . Though, the Orlando Magic are now domiciled in one of the NBA’s most expansive and expensive arenas , one should consider the fact that, the NBA franchise over this past season and now in 2013 , have rarely played in-front of a sold-out crowd.

As the NBA season meanders through its eighty-two game schedule , it will be interesting to see which teams rise to the challenge not only within the ,divisions, but also the Eastern and Western Conference , and how the determination of the playoff berths will be met , as the teams in question, make themselves ready for what is likely to be a grueling postseason.

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Please feel free to chime in with your thoughts on the points raised within this article and anything else you believe to be relevant to the topic in general .

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Picture and slideshow gallery details below .

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Nick Foles (9) celebrates as LeSean McCoy (25) of the Philadelphia Eagles scores a 1 yard touchdown in the third quarter against the New Orleans Saints during their NFC Wild Card Playoff game at Lincoln Financial Field on January 4, 2014 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Getty Images /Al Bello …

(2) Nick Foles (9) of the Philadelphia Eagles talks with head coach Chip Kelly and teammate Michael Vick (7) on the sidelines against the New Orleans Saints during their NFC Wild Card Playoff game at Lincoln Financial Field on January 4, 2014 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Getty Images / Elsa Martinez …

(3) Andrew Luck (12) of the Indianapolis Colts runs with the ball during the NFL Wild Card Playoff game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Lucas Oil Stadium on January 4, 2014 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Getty Images /Andy Lyons ….

(4) Quarterback Andrew Luck (12) of the Indianapolis Colts scores a touchdown in the fourth quarter after recovering a fumble against the Kansas City Chiefs during a Wild Card Playoff game at Lucas Oil Stadium on January 4, 2014 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Getty Images /Rob Carr ….

(5) Former Buccaneers’ head coach Greg Schiano and the team’s general manager Mark Dominik are seen here having a discussion . Both individuals t were relieved of their duties this off-season after a disastrous season within the NFL. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers finished with a 4-12 record within the NFC South , barely beating out the Atlanta Falcons for the worst record within the division as well as one of the worst in the NFC and the entire NFL . Former Chicago Bears’ head coach Lovie Smith has been hired to succeed Schiano , but a general manager has yet to be hired to replace Dominik , who bore a great deal of the responsibility for the franchise’s failures during his five-year tenure with some rather lackluster and uninspiring draft picks , especially during 2011, 2012 and 2013. AP Photo Marcus Hendricks ….

(6) Golden State Warriors’ head coach Mark Jackson is seen here with Steph Curry as they discus a play during a game this season . Curry , Jackson and the Warriors’ organization are seeking to make even greater strides this season , which saw the franchise make the postseason in 2012 , before bowing out to the San Antonio in the Western Conference semi-finals with a 4-2 series’ loss. Currently lying in second place in the Pacific Division a 1/2 game behind division leaders the Los Angeles Clippers (24-13) the Warriors are hoping overtake their instate rivals atop of the division and further enhance their position within the conference and a guarantee themselves a playoff berth. The team is on pace for a 53-29 record , if they are able to maintain their current pace and their next scheduled start will be a game against the Milwaukee Bucks in Milwaukee , Wisconsin, at the BMO Harris Bradley Center . AP Photo / Matthew Hall …..

(7) Steph Curry. left is seen here alongside teammate Klay Thompson, during a game . The duo, are the leading scorers on the Warriors’ roster this season and are also one of the top offensive combos in the Western Conference and one of the primary reasons why many believe them a legitimate contender within the West this season . AP Photo / Mark Clarke …..
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tophatal …………

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Chicken soup but not necessarily for the soul.

Rub a dub-dub , two breasts in a tub .

I’m sorry , but Dwyane Wade couldn’t get an erection., because Gabrielle Union (actress ,picturedabove) wasn’t desirable or had no desire to ” rock the mic” ? LOL,LOL,LOL, !!!