Pick your poison …..

Pick your poison …

The NFL season has proven to be a great deal more than many would be willing to admit and now the consensus and debate is whether or not Carolina Panthers’ quarterback Cam Newton is a deserving winner of this year’s NFL League MVP. From my standpoint , with Newton having led the Panthers to an unbeaten 14-0 season , with two games left to be played . It would take an idiot to bet against the player and his possibly leading them as only the second franchise in NFL history to go unbeaten during the NFL’s sixteen-game regular season schedule. There might well be a sense of foreboding , with the fact the last team do so, the New England , having gone 16-0 , would then fall to the New York Giants in the Superbowl .

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Ron Rivera and his coaching staff have the team playing some explosive football, with Carolina being impressive all season-long with their statistics bearing this out. Yet, this has all been a collective effort from just about every player on the roster. From the rookies to the seasoned veterans , everyone has somehow played a part in what has become a historic run for the Panthers. With two games left to the regular season schedule, it will be very interesting to see how Carolina continues to navigate their season. Singular glory asides, I believe Cam Newton would rather lead the Panthers to their first appearance and victory in the Superbowl ! Newton has performed admirably throughout the season , having set career-bests and now placing himself as a dual-threat and not what one would deem to be the NFL prototypical quarterback .

Passing league or not , the NFL is in need of a player to assume the mantel soon to be relinquished by the likes of Tom Brady, Peyton Manning and Drew Brees . Granted , Aaron Rodgers to my mind , has been the best quarterback in the league over the past six seasons has proven himself to be among the elite players at the position and is slowly carving out a career which will likely see him inducted into the Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio upon his being eligible.

Having gotten the better of the New York Giants in their most recent game , the Panthers defeated the Giants in a close and highly contested contest . The two NFC stalwarts gladiatorial in the contest with it being highly physical. Though Carolina Panthers were victorious , the game will certainly be remembered for the thug-like antics of Giants’ wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr , whose infantile behavior and lack of maturity , is showing him in a negative light. Throughout much of the game , Beckham was constantly under pressure from Panther’s defensive player Josh Norman and with the receiver having dropped a number of passes thrown his way by teammate Eli Manning, it was easy to understand Beckham’s frustration. However, what was totally abhorrent, was Odell Beckham’s attempt in trying to decapitate the Panther’s defensive back during the game.

While we all know taunting is prevalent during games between opposing players during NFL games , what is now becoming a regular occurrence. is the continued taunting and unsportsmanlike conduct. Beckham was given one-game suspension for his conduct , while Norman went unpunished for his conduct. If the league hierarchy cannot deal with such issues aggressively and adequately, then the type of behavior shown will continue to be a pattern within the game.

Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers will seek to keep their fourteen-game winning streak intact when they face the Atlanta Falcons in a divisional road game on Sunday evening . This is a game, which I believe will a lopsided contest favoring the road team , one which could end up rather embarrassingly for the Falcons. Though the Atlanta Falcons leads the series 27-14 with the two teams having met forty-one times over the two decades during which the contests have taken place. In their most recent meetings , it was Carolina winning both games in 2014, with Cam Newton prevailing over his divisional rival.

Matt Ryan , the Atlanta Falcons’ quarterback will be expected to lead his team with authority. Something, I now believe he is incapable of doing with any degree of certainty , given Atlanta’s rapid decline this season. Thomas Dimitroff’s position as the general manager is certainly being scrutinized by team owner Arthur Blank and I also believe Ryan’s own long-term future with the franchise is in jeopardy. Granted , the Falcons have a considerable sum invested in their quarterback, who has failed to deliver when it has mattered the most and his dismal season , has only further emphasized the issues which continue to dog Matt Ryan as a player.

If there is a “ call to arms “ , which players are most likely to meet the call and lead by example ? It’s said to be the quarterbacks’ duty to lead and his teammates will likely to follow. Of late , I have a great deal of idiocy surrounding, how Brock Osweiler was meant to be the face and future of the Denver Broncos , much of this having been based one game , where Osweiler led the Broncos to a victory over a disheveled New England Patriots’ team. In the past two weeks Peyton Manning’s understudy has shown the NFL he is not yet ready to actually take over the reins from the future Hall of Fame bound player. Denver for its part , has been struggling in recent games , though their postseason aspirations are not necessarily in jeopardy. One has to wonder , if Brock Osweiler has the temperament to lead the Denver Broncos on a deep playoff run, much less Gary Kubiak being able to show real signs of coaching acumen. Kubiak’s postseason record can be best described as mediocre .

This weekend with the teams lining up for their penultimate game of the regular season schedule , it will be interesting to see the end results will be . The San Diego Chargers will kick off this part of the schedule with a divisional game against the Oakland Raiders , in a contest during which both teams will be looking for some form of salvation. Brock Osweiler and the Denver Broncos will have a tough game on their and quite possibly be in for a rude awakening, when they meet the Cincinnati Bengals a formidable conference foe . Tom Brady and the New England Patriots will be the guests of the New York Jets in what is likely to be seen as a “ must-win game” for the Jets. There is a very meaningful game taking place on Sunday afternoon, when the Washington Redskins take on the Philadelphia Eagles , with the victor likely in the driver’s seat concerning the destination of the NFC East divisional title. All that you might well need to concerning the division, is that it remains one of the worst in the entire NFL.

Chip Kelly as the Philadelphia Eagles’ head coach has presided over the steady decline of the franchise since his being introduced as its head coach . A lone postseason appearance coming in 2013, saw the Eagles fall in the wildcard round of the NFL postseason in a game against the New Orleans Saints led by their quarterback Drew Brees.

A Philadelphia Eagles’ loss and we might as well begin to ask how long before team owner Jeff Lurie makes the decision to fire both Chip Kelly and general manager Howie Roseman ? Clearly, the two inspire about as much confidence as a blind man playing hopscotch in the middle of a mine-field. We know stuff gets blown up , but Roseman has countenanced every dumb move made by Kelly , allowing the head coach unparalleled latitude with his decision-making concerning the team’s roster . Chip Kelly on his best day couldn’t spot NFL talent , much less coach it , if he were given the proper tools to do so. Kelly’s teams in the NFL have lacked finesse and they certainly have no propensity to play defense , but yet there are moronic fools repeatedly jumping to defense, believing him to be a very good NFL head coach. That is about as inspiring as suggesting Roger Goodell has been a great asset to the NFL as its top executive. Goodell has presided over a popular league , but he remains weak and indifferent when dealing with a litany of issues facing the NFL.

Among the top contenders of candidates for this season’s NFL Rookie of The Year , the consensus appears to be Todd Gurley , Marcus Mariota and Jameis Winston are the best of a really bad bunch of NFL rookies in 2015. All three have had their moments this season in the NFL, but the trio also play on very bad teams who are not even in contention for even their divisional titles much less a postseason berth . I would also throw in Amari Cooper of the Oakland Raiders , but again as before, he is playing on an exceptionally bad team. While I get the fact the award to reward a player for their season-long contributions achievements within the league during their rookie season. I can’t help but feel, rewarding so-called excellence when your team just happens to be bad , is nothing more than giving a child a lollipop after they have finished in the bottom-half of a Spelling Bee Competition !

Would you also like to have some cheese with your wine and continued whining ? There has to be something said when three NFL quarterbacks, having signed multi-million dollar deals have put together a string of performances this season that have you feeling depressed and the thought beyond their being overpaid, you could actually do better. Joe Flacco , Colin Kaepernick and Jay Cutler are three such quarterbacks, where the blame can be in part be laid for the abysmal seasons of the Baltimore Ravens , San Francisco 49ers and Chicago Bears . Obviously , all three teams will be in action during week sixteen with the Ravens taking on the Pittsburgh Steelers , the Forty Niners facing the Detroit Lions and the Bears taking on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. All of these games given their status, should prove to be eventful and at the samepoint last season teams were in the waning moments of their respective schedules.

Head coaches in some cases are coaching with job-survival being on the line and there is no doubt in my mind , we are likely to see several coaching turnovers during the off-season. Jim Caldwell is likely on the “outs “ with the Detroit Lions and similar fates could also await Mike Pettine, Bill O’Brien , Chip Kelly , Jim Tomsula and Sean Payton . It remains to be seen whether or not , Jerry Jones will finally admit the Jason Garrett era must finally come to an abrupt end after another disastrous season by the Dallas Cowboys .

Jason Garrett will prepare the team for their road game against the Buffalo Bills , where Bills’ head coach Rex Ryan is facing an internal mutiny among his players after their lackluster season and not understanding Ryan’s often blurred coaching strategies. It seems almost nonsensical to suggest the number of stories written concerning the calls for Jason Garrett’s dismissal or calls simply for Jerry Jones to relinquish his position as the Cowboys’ general manager. The loss of Tony Romo due to injury , simply added to the Dallas’ woes for the season and essentially place the team on their current path to one of their worst finishes in franchise history in recent seasons. . Jerry Jones is unlikely to be forced to heed the calls for Garrett’s firing , as it would simply prove his mistake in hiring the incumbent head coach as the successor to Bill Parcells .

For Sean Payton and the complacency shown by the New Orleans Saints, is slowly emphasizing what we already knew , having won a Superbowl and the aftermath of ‘ Bounty-gate Scandal’ , there was nothing left in the tank and Payton’s coaching acumen was indeed slipping. Take into account the departure of several key players over the last three seasons and you now have to wonder where the Saints can now go from here . The New Orleans Saints are no longer a match for the Carolina Panthers’ and Cam Newton has to be considered the best quarterback in the NFC South , not just based on this season , but also over the past three years. His ascent while Drew Brees’ steady decline seems to be providing us with a stark reality of what is now happening within the division. Sorry Matt Ryan , but you were never going to be part of this equation as you are soft , softer than a baby’s ass a matter of fact ! Brees and the Saints will seek to redeem themselves when they face the Jacksonville Jaguars this weekend, as the two teams meet at the Mercedes Benz Stadium in New Orleans , Louisiana , on Sunday afternoon.

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As the regular season comes to a close, which teams do you feel have been a failure and which teams do you believe will be in the hunt for the Superbowl ?

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To want, to “ be the man” , you have to “ play like a man” …

To want, to “ be the man” , you have to “ play like a man” …

There is a case to be made the two best quarterbacks the NFL have seen in the league over the past two years are Russell Wilson of the Seattle Seahawks and Andrew Luck of the Indianapolis Colts. Wilson guided the reigning Superbowl champions to the franchise’s first title in his second season in the NFL , having won more games as a starting quarterback than any other player at the position through their first two seasons in league history. Luck for his part as the number one overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft had the weight of the world placed upon his young shoulders , in being asked to succeed Peyton Manning as the Colts’ quarterback. Other than Johnny Unitas , there has not been another player in the franchise’s history who has made such an impact on the Colts as an organization , other than these two famed quarterbacks. Andrew Luck is slowly writing his own legacy with the Indianapolis Colts , having led the team to a playoff berth in each of his first two seasons in the NFL.

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As the NFL season opens up its schedule this weekend with a full legacy of games , it will be interesting to see how both of these young players set about cementing their success for their respective teams. The Indianapolis Colts are likely to be the presumptive favorites within the AFC South , likely making a successful defense of their divisional title. Question however, is this a team , coached by Chuck Pagano , are they capable of beating out perennial stalwarts the New England Patriots and the Denver Broncos , where Peyton Manning has now breathed fresh air into what had become a lifeless franchise? The former Stanford standout has already had his fair share of success against his predecessor and he has certainly shown himself to be the equal of both Manning and Tom Brady when it comes to playing under pressure and where a game is actually on the line .

The Seattle Seahawks will begin the defense of their title with a home game against the Green Bay Packers when Aaron Rodgers brings his teammates to Century Link Field , Seattle , Washington , looking to add a couple chinks in the armor of last season’s top defensive unit in the NFL . I am sure that Russell Wilson and his teammates will likely use this opportunity to show the rest of the NFL , last season’s accomplishments in the regular and postseason were no mere flukes. As we all know, it is extremely difficult to make a successful defense of a Superbowl title, with it being over a decade since the feat was last achieved by an NFL franchise . Superbowl XXXIX (SB39) was the last of the New England Patriots’ three triumphs with Tom Brady at the helm of a Patriots’ team. Two further visits to the NFL’s showcase finale proved to be fateful for the franchise with the Patriots being on the wrong side of two demoralizing losses , both to the New York Giants under the quarterback leadership of Eli Manning .

The Indianapolis Colts will take their show on the road when they visit the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field in Denver , Colorado , in the late evening televised game on Sunday evening . This game, will further provide Andrew Luck with the opportunity to gauge his progression against his predecessor , Peyton Manning and the Broncos, where he has had considerable success during the regular season

While I believe players need to be rewarded on merit for their productivity and success , it is hard to equate how the likes of Jay Cutler and Tony Romo can now find themselves almost at the top of the “ food chain “ in terms their quarterback contracts in terms of compensation. Granted , the prestige of being a starting quarterback in the NFL makes the position , the most prestigious in the league, it cannot explain the idiocy behind the decisions of Phil Emery and Jerry Jones to simply offer up the contracts now parlayed into a deal that hangs around the necks of Cutler and Romo like a millstone. Jay Cutler’s seven-year $126.7 million deal makes him one of the highest paid players in the NFL as well as one of the highest paid quarterbacks in the league. Tony Romo’s deal , only slightly less than Cutler’s, is just a case of Jerry Jones being delusional and without a clue , as to his belief in Romo’s worth. These two NFC quarterbacks , might just be two of the most overrated players at the position along with the Atlanta Falcons’ passer Matt Ryan.

Tony Romo will lead the Dallas Cowboys in their season opener being played at Cowboys’ Stadium against the San Francisco 49ers , where Colin Kaepernick will be looking to take the focus off the team’s failings off the field and place them back on the field of play,, where no doubt their fans feel things belong . The lackadaisical attitude of the front office and head coach Jim Harbaugh concerning the troubles of Ray McDonald , does leave a lot to be desired, but the NFL still remains behind the times when it comes to dealing not just with many of their own inherent issues , but also social ills, concerning racism within the game , acts of domestic violence by the players and dare one suggest , the widespread use of marijuana , but also several banned substances prohibited by the league ? Both teams are need a of victory in this season opener as a morale booster , but the game itself, could come down to the coaching acumen shown by the respective coaching staffs , and the play of the opposing quarterbacks in question.

Jay Cutler and the under-achieving Chicago Bears begin their quest for another shot at regular and postseason glory , when they open up their home schedule facing the Buffalo Bills , another franchise in need of life support and extreme attention. Donald Trump’s ego and perhaps his unwillingness to pay in excess of $1 billion ($1,000,000,000) to buy the state of New York’s only NFL franchise may well play into the hands of the other alleged suitors of the team. An NFL without Trump being a franchise owner is a great deal better than having him within the NFL owners’ fraternity ! Imagine the owners’ meeting that would take place , while the egos of Donald Trump , Jerry Jones , Dan Snyder , Jimmy Haslam , Jim Irsay and Zygi Wilf were all in the same room ? What an almighty cluster-fu#k that would be, beyond the idiocy of Roger Goodell being a part of the scenario.

It is the same old story , wunderkind who proves be impressive early in his career only to then fade when placed under a great deal more pressure and scrutiny than usual . In the case of the Atlanta Falcons’ quarterback Matt Ryan , he is now looking to redeem himself while hoping to keep the dogs at bay , who seeking are the demise of not only Ryan , himself , but also head coach Mike Smith and GM Thomas Dimitroff. CEO & Team President Rich McKay , who now heads up the Business Operations for the Falcons as well as overseeing the new $1.55 billion stadium which will house the franchise for the 2016-17 NFL season, handed the keys to the Ferrari to Dimitroff , who simply drove it off the road causing untold damage to the vehicle . A 4-12 record last season, simply epitomized what the Falcons were all about . They were certainly among the worst teams in the entire NFL and it seems remarkable that Mike Smith was still able to hold onto his job after such a disaster. Failure this season and Smith is likely to be shown the door along with his entire coaching staff along with several members of the team . Matt Ryan’s position doesn’t yet seem to be in jeopardy , but I do believe Arthur Blank’s patience might well be growing thin with the six-year veteran of the league !

The Atlanta Falcons won’t have to wait that long to see how their season is likely pan out, as their first game of the season will be stern test and match of wills against divisional rivals the New Orleans Saints, in what could turn out to be an aerial contest or a full-blown thundering herd in terms a ground game for the majority of the contest. Drew Brees will not be afraid to air the ball out and it will likely prove lucky for the Saints, if there is a mix of a passing and rushing attack to take advantage of a Falcons’ secondary still learning its trade. The Georgia Dome will be packed as the home fans will be hoping to see the Falcons get off to a winning start

This is the year, we are meant to see the Oakland Raiders take flight. Personally, I believe the wings of the franchise have been clipped so often , taking flight would be as comedic as watching an episode of “The Big Bang Theory “ or having John Kerry explain the US’s foreign policy in the Middle East , now that ISIS, Al Qaeda and the Taliban have essentially began to run amok in Afghanistan , Iraq and Syria . Drone attacks have not only enraged the terrorists groups in question but it has now become a rallying cry for Muslims abroad to join an Intifada , seeking to bring down the West. As to the Raiders’ own position , well let’s just say their fans are just as perplexed by organization’s moves as the rest of the NFL world. GM Reggie McKenzie , team owner , Mark Davis and head coach Dennis Allen are not entirely sure which quarterback on the team’s roster guarantees them the best chance of winning . The choices of Derek Carr , Matt McGloin and veteran Matt Schaub are not glaringly obvious, but these are the choices in question. Schaub being the elder statesman and veteran of the trio , was brought in and seen as the presumptive starter , but his preseason showings were less than encouraging. Matt McGloin simply showed us that in the preseason against second and third stringers you can look really impressive when the opposing players on defense are missing their assignments . Carr a rookie and part of the Oakland Raiders’ 2014 draft class has outshone his more experienced teammates but yet, it would be foolish to think him being thrown into the lion’s den assures the team of instant success. While the rookie may well be able to call on the advice of an elder sibling, whose experience of the NFL was simply littered with more lows than highs . I seriously doubt, David Carr will be able to provide his younger brother with any constructive input, that would be of benefit to the rookie quarterback !

In a division where the Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs and San Diego Chargers proved to be so effective last season , it is hard to see how the Oakland Raiders mount a serious challenge against a trio teams, while looking to win the AFC West this season. Neither the Broncos or the Chiefs will be pushovers and a resurgent Chargers’ team will be chomping at the bit to take a bite out of Oakland as well as the Denver Broncos and Kansas City Chiefs . So where will that leave Oakland this season ? Will they once again, be holding up the rear of the division as they have so often done over the past eight season? Your guess is as good as mine , but I do not believe it will be an encouraging situation to watch unfold ! As good as the team is said to be , with a number of prognosticators giving the Raiders an outside chance of gaining a postseason berth. I simply do not believe the team is good enough , nor do they have the erstwhile leader ready to step up to the plate. Charles Woodson is on the downside of an illustrious career and Justin Tuck’s best years can now be seen in a year view mirror . Experienced and canny veterans as they are , Tuck and Woodson are likely to be used sparingly at times by the Raiders’ coaching staff and it remains to be seen how the Raiders are likely to deal with Geno Smith and the New York Jets when the two teams meet on Sunday afternoon at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford , New Jersey.

Year in and year out, so much is made of the fact, the NFL will begin a new era of quarterbacks especially as it relates to the players who have won the Heisman Trophy while playing the position at the Collegiate Level . Carson Palmer a recipient of the award in 2002 , was one such player, having had a great deal of success while playing for the USC Trojans under the tutelage of Pete Carroll. Palmer’s career in the NFL however, has failed to ignite, much less live up to the expected hoopla some believe he would provide. If anything, his play has been nondescript and the now much traveled journeyman finds himself at the crossroads of his eleven-year career , having been a first round draft pick in the 2003 NFL Draft when he was taken as the number one overall pick by the Cincinnati Bengals. To suffice, all you need to know are, his two Pro Bowl appearances ( 2005 & 2006 ) have been meager returns for a less than moderate career. Palmer, now with the Arizona Cardinals , where he has led the team as their starting quarterback since 2013.

A 10-6 season last year in the NFC West, where the Arizona Cardinals narrowly missed gaining a postseason berth , has led to great deal of optimism this season. Add in the fact, Bruce Arians is on-board as the head coach , along with a very good draft class and some prudent acquisitions during the off-season and there is every reason to believe the Cardinals can contend this season in the NFL.

Arians will be reliant upon Carson Palmer to provide the leadership needed on a team looking to stake their claim in what is now a highly competitive division where both the San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks reside. An injury to the Sam Bradford of the St Louis Rams, may well negate the effectiveness of the Rams over the course of this season. Arizona will begin their quest in week one with a home game against the San Diego Chargers at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Tempe , Arizona. Philip Rivers and the Chargers will be hoping to blunt the appetite of the Cardinals in this particular contest and start off their season with a victory.

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As the NFL regular season gets underway , what are you hoping to see in the first week’s contests , which players and teams do you believe fans will have to place a great deal of scrutiny in watching ?

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(1) Russell Wilson (3) and Andrew Luck (12) , two of the league’s brightest young stars in the NFL , with both quarterbacks having been drafted by their respective teams in the last two seasons. These two young quarterbacks enter week one f the NFL season hoping to replicate the form seen in week one of 2013 and then continue on with that consistency throughout this season . Courtesy of NFL Properties all rights reserved @ copyrighted material …

(2) A Philadelphia Eagles’ fans holds up a sign expressing his opinions on both Jay Cutler and Tony Romo . These two NFC quarterbacks will be looking to rebound from disappointing seasons in 2013. Getty Images ….

(3) Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (9) and Chicago Bears’ quarterback Jay Cutler (6) meet on the field after an NFL football game, Monday, Oct. 1, 2012 in Arlington, Texas The Bears won 34-18 . Both players in 2014 will be seeking to prove they are still to be regarded as two of the best quarterbacks in the NFL . Considered to be very good during the regular season the postseason records of Cutler and Romo combined , are very much demonstrative of the fact , how overrated both players are , in spite of the praise heaped upon the pair. AP Photo/LM Otero ….

(4) Matt Ryan quarterback of the Atlanta Falcons . Time could very well be running out for the player to truly justify his status with the franchise in spite of the six-figure contract invested in the starter by team owner Arthur Blank. The owner is said to be dismayed in the lack of progress by his franchise quarterback and also with the coaching acumen shown by Mike Smith over the past two seasons. A playoff berth is imperative for the team , or it is likely the roster will have to be gutted at the end of the season . AP Photo/ John Ames …

(5) Derek Carr , younger sibling to the former San Francisco 49ers’ starting quarterback David Carr . The rookie quarterback with the Oakland Raiders is said to be the best hope the franchise has of winning this season, but it would seem head coach Dennis Allen is likely to side with the experience of veteran, Matt Schaub when Oakland opens up its regular season schedule against the New York Jets . ESPN / Mike Albers … .

(6) Arizona Cardinals’ head coach Bruce Arians is seen here with Carson Palmer who was acquired by the franchise in trade with the Oakland Raiders in April of 2013 in exchange for a sixth round pick and a conditional pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. Palmer joined an offense which was extremely potent in 2013 and likely to be so again, with Bruce Arians placing a greater emphasis on that facet of their game along with bolstering their defensive capabilities. AP Photo / Mark Rogers …
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“If you wanna be a secret agent man, you have to roll like a secret agent man. It’s code ” Quote from the Pierre Morel directed action thriller, ” From Paris With Love” . Movie produced by Luc Besson .

We love our records ! Not vinyl, but sports’ records

We love our records ! Not vinyl, but sports’ records

In light of Peyton Manning’s demise alongside his teammates of the Denver Broncos in their now historic loss , in which they suffered defeat at the hands of the Seattle Seahawks . It is now my belief, that was the last appearance that we will see of Manning in a Superbowl contest! One victory in three Superbowl appearances and one could surmise that the window of opportunity for the quarterback to join a select few of his peers with at least two Superbowl victories and rings to their name, has now actually closed . This kind of makes me wonder if there is a sibling rivalry between Peyton and his younger brother Eli Manning , who has captured two victories in the NFL’s postseason finale, along with an Superbowl MVP award to adorn his trophy cabinet .

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As the quarterback of the Denver Broncos , Peyton Manning had an extraordinary year, having smashed the single season passing yards’ record, as well as the single season passing touchdowns’ mark. As spectacular as those feats were , the disappointment of that Superbowl loss , has left a bitter taste in the mouths of the Broncos’ players and leaving the front office of the organization completely bewildered as to the magnitude of the defeat. Let’s just say, that team owner, Pat Bowlen and John Elway , President of Football Operations, himself being no stranger to the postseason disappointment of a Superbowl appearance. Elway, as a member of the Denver Broncos , made five appearances in the Superbowl, but rode out on a career-high, having won the last two , on his way to a Hall of Fame induction in Canton, Ohio, at the culmination of his career.

Now we could start to prognosticate as to where Peyton Manning ranks amongst the best quarterbacks to have ever played the game, but with his career, yet to come to an end . Would it be remiss to suggest, that he no longer has what it takes to win at the highest level? With the right weapons around him, Manning was able to achieve success this past season , in the regular and postseason , but we all saw , that the Superbowl contest , clearly showed that the Denver Broncos were not ready to play and they were simply overwhelmed by the Seattle Seahawks . This off-season could prove to be an eventful one for the Broncos’ front office with John Elway , Matt Russell , Tom Heckert in conjunction with John Fox assessing the player personnel needs, with the likelihood of several players on the roster not likely to return for next season .

Peyton Manning within the next two years , should he make the decision to return for the 2014 season , is likely to make a full assault on the career touchdowns’ passing mark of 508 held by Brett Favre as well as the career yards’ passing record also held by the former .. Green Bay Packers’ quarterback. At present the Broncos’ quarterback leads all active players in terms of passing yards, passing touchdowns , pass attempts , completions , career comeback wins , and interceptions , Manning I believe having been on the wrong end of two defeats in the Superbowl, would like nothing better than to redeem himself and that of Broncos’ teammates in making one last attempt to win a second title . As I alluded to earlier, I do believe that Superbowl 48 was indeed the last time we will have seen the five-time league MVP having appeared in the NFL’s postseason finale.

Elway and John Fox will likely spend part of this off-season with behind the scenes closed-door discussions with their heralded quarterback, seeking his input on the weapons he feels best needed, in order for the Broncos to take that next step to a Superbowl victory . Contemplating the future of free agents, such as Knowshon Moreno, Domonique Rodgers-Cromartie, Eric Decker, Dan Koppen, Zane Beadles, Trindon Holliday , Michael Huff and others may well prove to be difficult . Yet the likelihood will be , the team will have to forsake a number of these free agents in order again to their advantage , while also preparing for the NFL Draft and the prospective litany of free agents that will hit the market during this off-season . The Broncos will be in a significantly advantageous position, as their cap figure will not be to their detriment , where they will have in excess of $11 million of cap room available the front office make deals as they see fit.

As talented as Dez Bryant is said to be, his career is still in its infancy , and with his off-the field behavioral issues beyond team owner , Jerry Jones coddling him like a child . I find the player to be an ingrate and someone with a lack of respect of others as well as for the game ! Bryant, a wide receiver with continually overrated Dallas Cowboys , during this past season, made the claim that he was good enough to be placed alongside both Calvin Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald , two of the best wide receivers to have entered the NFL over the past eight years. . Johnson has already cemented his legacy in NFL history having surpassed the single season receiving yards’ mark of Hall of Fame legend Jerry Rice , the greatest wide receiver in NFL history and perhaps one of the top-five players to have played the game at any position within the NFL . Fitzgerald has consistently proven to be a top-ten at the wide receiver, since his entrance into the league , having played his entire career with the Arizona Cardinals , a team who this past season proved to be possible future threat to the f supremacy within the now all so competitive NFC West , which over the past seasons seems to have been a two-horse race between the Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco Giants.

The Cardinals’ wide receiver now ranks fifth amongst active players in terms of receiving yards, with 11,367 yards on his career resumes’. In terms of career yardage , he has a considerable way to go before surpassing Jerry Rice’s mark of mark of 22,985 yards. The one NFL record , which I believe is unlikely to be surpassed , because of the consistency and longevity needed ! If both Calvin Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald continue at their present pace , both are likely to be a “lock “ for induction into the Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio , upon the end of their respective NFL careers. If Dez Bryant truly wants to be seen as one of the elite wide receivers in the NFL , then beyond the ongoing woeful ineptitude that exists with the Dallas Cowboys , he will have to prove also that he can be a game changer and lead by example , not just from a playing standing point, but also as a vocal leader on the team. Because in reality , the presumed leadership skills or qualities, have never been shown by Tony Romo or perhaps the best player on the roster , tight end Jason Witten , who has carved out an exceptional career playing career for the franchise, without having a Superbowl ring to show for his stellar efforts.

I have written with depth and at great length, concerning the woes of the Dallas Cowboys and do not wish to add much more to that content within this site ! Except that, if you so wish , you are welcomed to peruse the articles in question and add your input on the points raised.

Say what you will for this past NFL season, in terms of the season highlights , the game reigns supreme, as it still resonates with the masses . The events of the Superbowl notwithstanding, the fans will now await to see further stories are likely come to the fore , with the upcoming NFL Draft .

Another supreme career within baseball is about to come to an end , once the regular season reaches its finality . With Derek Jeter of the New York Yankees, making it known that this season will be his last in Yankees’ Pinstripes. One can perhaps now begin to ask where the player ranks amongst the all-time greats to have adorned the team’s uniform as well as gauging his contributions to the franchise . A five-time World Series’ champion , Series’ MVP , AL Rookie of the Year but having never won the AL MVP , as well as a multiple time All Star , the player’s resume` is littered accolades and accomplishments , that his departure from the ball-club , will be the last vestiges of the corps of players who alongside then manager Joe Torre , won four World Series , having made six appearances in baseball’s postseason finale between 1996 through to 2005. The short-stop’s last championship game in 2009 , with Joe Girardi helming the team as the manager , with the Yankees’ win over the hapless Philadelphia Phillies in a 4-2 series’ win.

With noted Hall of Famers from the New York Yankees’ rich baseball history , such as Lou Gehrig , Babe Ruth , Reggie Jackson , Micky Mantle , Wade Boggs , Dave Winfield, Jim ‘Catfish’ Hunter , Joe DiMaggio and Phil Rizzuto. In trying to assess where Derek Jeter would rank amongst those players would take a great deal of deliberation . The game has undoubted changed over the course of the last eight decades plus. Yet, the statistics cannot lie when trying make a case for the soon to be retired Yankees shortstop. If there is one thing that truly stands out concerning Jeter’s stature in terms of personal statistics , it may well be his on-base and slugging percentage (OPS) .

With all of the acquisitions made by the New York Yankees during the off-season , which is likely to push the team’s payroll slightly northwards of $200 million . I cannot now help but wonder, how the organization will seek to market the farewell of one the franchise’s and baseball’s most beloved figures over the past two decades. Former teammates, Andy Pettite and Mariano Rivera bowed out last season , in what was jointly their last years with the franchise. Rivera, the all-time career saves’ leader, for the New York Yankees, as well as in Major League Baseball, that may well stand the test of time given the present environment within the game. Pettite’s career can simply summed with the words, most postseason wins in baseball history as a starting pitcher, and five World Series’ titles tend to bolster a career resumes’ as well. A great deal will now be expected of this New York Yankees’ lineup , given the fact that Derek Jeter will start his farewell tour in 2014 and no doubt the team’s season series against the Boston Red Sox and Tampa Bay Rays , the franchise’s most celebrated rivalries in recent years, will likely take on a whole new meaning. As visitors to the venues of the Red Sox and Rays, Fenway Park and Tropicana Field are likely to be sold out for each of those series’ games.

Issues asides , brought on by the Alex Rodriguez saga , with the player now having to sit out the entire 2014 schedule. How the Yankees now acquit themselves under the guidance of Joe Girardi and his staff will tell us a great deal about the mindset of this team and also whether or not Derek Jeter will be back to his very best after a season, in which, 2013 saw him sidelined and limited a handful of games as the team missed the postseason foray . As I alluded to earlier , with this announcement of the player’s departure the expectations are likely to be high , with the view that the Yankees are to be viewed as a favorite for the World Series. What better way, for the heralded shortstop to bow out, than his winning a sixth World Series’ title. Fourteen other teams, within the AL, are likely to have a different perspective on the issue , no doubt.

With the NBA season having reached its halfway point and about to have their annual All Star Game break . It will be interesting to see what behind the scenes moves are made as teams seek to make use of the break to engineer trades that will likely make or break their seasons , when the regular season calendar schedule resumes. From my own perspective , the first half of the NBA schedule was something of a blur , with the Eastern Conference in particular, offering the fans , the usual incompetent displays , with the actual play, now beyond mediocre . The top two teams within the conference , the Indiana Pacers and Miami Heat , seem bound for another conference finals’ series match-up. One that could clearly go in favor of the Pacers , if Frank Vogel’s players continue at the present pace in terms their play and perform as a cohesive unit.

It may not feel like a lifetime ago, since Carmelo Anthony almost single-handed, exploited a bad Charlotte Bobcats team on his way to a career-high sixty-two points in the New York Knicks’ win over their conference rivals within the East. Subsequently , the Knicks have continued to throw in some rather tawdry performances , and yet their fans continue to make all types of excuses for the team’s mundane play . If at this juncture , Carmelo Anthony , still remains unconvinced that his best options lay elsewhere , concerning his ambitions to win an NBA title , then to my mind he is not deserving of the opportunity to move on elsewhere ! He is being asked to carry way too much a burden, night in and night out , while his teammates simply look on , without rarely coming to his aid and contributing positively . Head coach, Mike Woodson for his part, now seems completely out of his depth , along with an unimaginative coaching staff .

Coming off two consecutive losses to the Oklahoma City Thunder and Sacramento Kings , respectively , it is becoming increasingly easy to understand why the Knicks remain a moribund franchise , ran by an unimaginative front office and owned by James Dolan , who remains simply clueless, as to what it takes, to run a successful sports’ franchise. Madison Square Garden , one of the NBA’s most venerable venues , might as well be an elephants’ graveyard , because in terms of competitive and entertaining basketball , it is definitely not on view there by , way of the performances of the New York Knicks . The press within that New York media market, may well try to spin the idiocy of what takes place with the franchise , but in reality , mediocrity cannot be disguised for anything else , than for what it really just happens to be. Steve Mills , general manager of the Knicks , may well be have to consult with James Dolan and Mike Woodson concerning Carmelo Anthony’s immediate future, because should he make the decision to opt out of his contract and seek to test the free agency market , the Knicks could up with nothing in return . They can either, seek to trade the player or gamble, that he might seek to return and re-sign with the team.

Through the first half of this season, the two most dominant players in the NBA , have been , Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder and LeBron James of the Miami Heat , currently the reigning NBA champions. One might seek to add, the Indiana Pacers’ swing-man, Paul George , as stock has risen , along with that of the Pacers and their conference leading mark within the East. In terms of the NBA Most Valuable Player race, James with his four titles , joins a select group of players to have won the award more than twice . Durant, seeks to add that piece of silverware to his trophy cabinet, having already won multiple NBA scoring titles . Yet this season, Durant , is driven , I believe, by the fact that last season , but even more so, the team’s efforts of the 2012-13 season , were to end so disappointingly, with a series’ loss in the NBA Finals to the Miami Heat. That I believe, has been the driving force behind Kevin Durant’s year and that of his teammates , as led by head coach Scott Brooks and his coaching staff .

If Durant and the supporting cast of the Thunder, are to prevail this season, which I believe that they are quite capable of doing! Then a possible match-up in this season’s NBA Finals, against either the Indiana Pacers or Miami Heat could very well a postseason finale well worth watching. What better way for incoming Commissioner Adam Silver to celebrate his elevation to the league’s highest ranking executive position !

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Picture gallery .

Do you believe that records long revered within professional sports , still mean something to this day , even with the growing trend within some areas , for athletes to circumvent the rules and cheat ? Chime in, with your thoughts on this and anything else you believe to be pertinent to the subject matter.

🙂

Picture and slideshow details below .

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(1) Five-time NFL League MVP , Peyton Manning leaves the field after the Denver Broncos’ humiliating loss to the Seattle Seahawks in the Superbowl . The defeat was one of the largest margins of victory (48-3) in a the NFL’s postseason finale. For Manning , it was his third appearance the even and his second loss in an NFL title game. AP Photo / Reed Martin ….

(2) Hall of Fame quarterback John Elway and Denver Broncos owner Pat Bowlen , left, gather for a photo during an NFL football news conference at the team’s headquarters Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2011, in Englewood, Colo., where Elway was named the team’s executive vice president of football operations. The former Broncos’ quarterback made five appearances in the Superbowl all with the franchise , having won two titles in his five visits to postseason event. AP Photo/ Ed Andrieski ….

(3) Brett Favre , now retired is the NFL all-time leader in career passing touchdowns as well as career passing yards . Should Peyton Manning return for the 2014-15 NFL season, then the career passing touchdowns’ mark is likely to be broken at some point during the regular season . Favre’s career passing yards’ mark of 71,838 yards ranks first all-time , leading the second placed Manning by over 6,874 yards . Peyton Manning’s career yardage total of 64,964 ranks first amongst all active quarterbacks now playing in the NFL . Getty Images North America / Richard Hart …..

(4) Dallas Cowboys’ wide receiver Dez Bryant (88) is seen here with teammate Tony Romo (9) prior to the start of an NFL game. Bryant, believes himself to be the equal of experienced receivers Calvin Johnson of the Detroit Lions and the St Louis Cardinals’ Larry Fitzgerald . A first round draft pick by the Cowboys in the 2010 NFL Draft , the player has proven to be talented , but also something of a malcontent when things do no got go his way . AP Photo / Marc Carson …

(5) Calvin Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald (11) right , are seen here meeting on-field at the end of NFL game between the Detroit Lions and Arizona Cardinals . The two players represent a new breed of athletic and speedy wide receivers to have entered the NFL over the past eight seasons . Matt Farmer / Engle Inc archives ….

(6) Derek Jeter of the New York Yankees is seen here addressing the convened press . The player has made it known that this will be his final season in baseball , after a two-decade career which has seen him win just about every individual honor that the game has to offer with the exception of the AL MVP award. Jeter will leave the game ranked in the upper echelons in a number of offensive and defensive categories with the baseball franchise.

(7) LeBron James of the Miami Heat is seen here alongside Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder. Both players are currently seen as the frontrunners for this season’s NBA MVP Award with their being no other serious contenders for the game’s highest individual regular season award. Durant and James are respectively the leading scorers for the Heat and Thunder as well as being amongst the leading scorers within the NBA this season . Both players also , have each won an NBA scoring title . A Finals’ title and Finals Series’ MVP award are the only things currently missing from Durant’s already extraordinary NBA career . AP Photo / Matthew Clarke ….

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🙂

tophatal ……………

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