Chicken soup for the soul isn’t always good for the masses ….
The print and television media within the sports’ world tends to stoop lower than their counterparts within mainstream media , especially when it comes to the role of domestic politics. In recent days ESPN , the self-righteous and eponymous cable broadcast outlet continues to create the stories which they purport to be newsworthy. Nothing more can be putrid , than their prognostication of this season’s NBA standings and what can only be called a salacious diatribe of an interview between Los Angeles Lakers’ SVP Jeanie Buss and her views on the league’s recent free agents not choosing to sign with her team. In truth , the interview Colin Cowherd was simply looking to create another tidbit for his low-rated show on the ESPN’s radio network and cable outlet.
If nothing else can be said about ESPN , it is while they represent what the network believes to be sports’ related content, their main being, is to simply push the envelope as far as possible on news’ content while cow-towing to their paymasters , the , MLB , NBA , NCAA , NFL and NHL . With billions of dollars in revenues , the sports’ broadcast outlet remains a cash cow and perhaps one of the most profitable units of the Walt Disney Company .
The broadcast outlets own reputation in recent years has come in for a great deal of criticism, with the behavior of many of their analysts, allegations of sexual harassment, in a number of cases proven to be true , leading to the firing or demotion of known personalities , yet the show must go on with ESPN.
The NBA for its part enters the final stretch of the preseason before the league begins its regular season schedule on the 28th October, 2014. The defending champions the San Antonio Spurs will seek to win their sixth title in the franchise’s history. The biggest story in the NBA beyond Jeanie Buss’ diatribe remains the ongoing ambitions of the Cleveland Cavaliers , with the acquisitions of LeBron James and Kevin Love , two of the biggest off-season acquisitions seen in the league .
James’ departure from the Miami Heat might well have the biggest surprise , but in reality , the Heat’s lack of competitiveness shown in the NBA Finals proved to be the final straw for the four-time League MVP , who was inadequately aided by his teammates in those now well chronicled Finals . Those favoring the Miami Heat clearly had no faith in the San Antonio Spurs simply based on the NBA Finals of 2013, with many of the Spurs’ critics coming from the less than reputable analysts of ESPN . I believe much of that , comes from their sipping from the cup LeBron James chooses to defecate and urinate in. With the less than knowledgeable NBA fans not too far behind with their at times idiotic , prognostication of the most recent finals.
Cavaliers’ head coach David Blatt and his coaching staff will lead a team that will be looked upon as the prohibitive favorites for the NBA title this upcoming season , with their likely challengers within the Eastern Conference coming from the New York Knicks , Chicago Bulls, Atlanta Hawks , Brooklyn Nets and lost but not least the Miami Heat , if Erik Spolstra can get his revamped roster up and running , playing with a degree of consistency . In the West the challenge will likely come from the San Antonio Spurs , Los Angeles Clippers , Oklahoma City Thunder , Houston Rockets and Portland Trailblazers .
Jeanie Buss’ gripe, comes from the very fact she is unwilling to point an accusing finger at her brother Jim Buss , lead managing partner , co-owner of the Los Angeles Lakers, GM Mitch Kupchak and the poor job done by the duo over the past two seasons and the Lakers’ poor play during the time-frame in question . The coaching tenures of Mike Brown and Mike D’Antoni were clearly coaches who simply did not fit in with the Lakers’ way of doing things. Buss’ criticisms of players while idiotic, was tepid in terms of the criticisms of Jim Buss and Mitch Kupchak by former Lakers’ players Magic Johnson , James Worthy and Kareem Abdul Jabbar , players who have known considerable success with the franchise. If that wasn’t a clear sign of the missteps taken by the front office executives , then clearly the ownership group and their anal retentive and apathetically delusional fans have no real knowledge of how far the franchise’s descent has been . The failure of Dwight Howard to acclimatize himself as a player with the Lakers much less show any real signs of leadership was a clear pointer as to how self absorbed the franchise had become , without delving into the idiotic coaching process and strategies being shown by Mike D’Antoni.
The Lakers’ recent draft class though not overly impressive the team in its current guise will clearly have to follow in tow under the guidance of Kobe Bryant , the player whom Jeanie Buss seems to be placating, rather than seeking to be constructive in assessing the real issues within the franchise where she is a senior executive and co-owner. Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers will begin their schedule against the Houston Rockets at the Staples Center in Los Angeles California. Last season’s series between these two franchises proved to be quite entertaining. Jeremy Lin , formerly with the Rockets in now a point guard with the Lakers and likely to be the team’s starting point guard for much of the season , with the now year-long departure of Steve Nash, who will have to undergo back surgery for a recurring and long-suffering malady.
If the Los Angeles Lakers are to fare well this season , then the likes of Nick Young , Julius Randle , Carlos Boozer , Jeremy Lin , Robert Sacre and Kobe Bryant will have to be at their very best and show a great deal more consistency than seen during last season’s schedule . Granted , Bryant was unable to contribute with his being sidelined due to an injury . For the fans and the NBA in general Kobe Bryant being the on the court is a great deal better than his being away from the spectacle of the game , even with the ever present criticism which has been associated with the player throughout much of his career.
Baseball’s World Series for this season is proving to be a thoroughly entertaining series , far more exhilarating and thrilling than than last season’s postseason spectacle between the Boston Red Sox and St Louis Cardinals . The Kansas City Royals , this season’s Cinderella Team and story are proving to be the ” real deal” as they seek to upend the San Francisco Giants and stop Bruce Bochy and his team from winning their third World Series’ title in the past five seasons.
In the era of the long ball, it is great to see two teams willing to play “small ball” , so creatively and efficiently as evidenced in last night’s game four thriller at AT&T Park in San Francisco , California , in front of a raucous and sold-out venue of rabid fans. With the series now even at two games apiece (2-2), with the Giants coming back with an emphatic game four win in defeating the Royals 11-4 , with sixteen hits in comparison to their opponent’s twelve hits with only one error committed in this game . This contest pointed to the stoutness and ability shown by these two teams and the managerial acumen of Bruce Bochy and Ned Yost . Hero of the night might well have been the Giants’ Pablo Sandoval who was the World Series’ MVP in the San Francisco Giants’ last triumph in the Fall Classic which took place in 2012.
In what will be a pivotal game five both Kansas City Royals and San Francisco Giants will be looking to their starting aces this Sunday evening when when James Shields of the Royals faces off against Madison Bumgarner of the Giants . Both pitchers have been heroes for their respective teams over the course of the postseason. A win for the Gaints places them in the driver’s seat , with the series then heading back to Kauffmann Stadium in Kansas City , Missouri for the final two games of the World Series. Should the Royals prevail , then heading home back to their home ballpark will have the players and their fans relishing the prospect of closing out the series on their way to the franchise’s second title , with the last coming in 1985.
Away from the spectacle of the World Series, baseball’s most successful franchise the New York Yankees are looking to rebuild their lineup as well saying a final goodbye to Derek Jeter who after a two-decade long career leaves the game as one of baseball’s most revered players of the last twenty years. Missing the postseason and never in contention for the AL East divisional crown .
Yankees’ GM Brian Cashman and lead managing partner , Hal Steinbrenner will now have to assess the current lineup and then seek to try and gauge whether or not this will be another year of a exceeding $200 million , without any guarantee of success as was the case this season with the team. The Yankees have not really shown any faith in their farm system over the past four years even with their being initial praise being heaped upoin the shoulders of players such as Joba Chamberlain , Phil Hughes, Austin Romin and Jesus Montero no longer with the franchise. Call it failure on the path of the front office or simply the fact Joe Girardi and his coaching staff have not really shown the managerial acumen thought, in spite of his lone triumph in the World Series of 2009 .
The talk seems to be in a number of circles , will the New York Yankees make a huge splash in the off-season by signing a major free agent or make a trade for a pitcher , big league bat or stand pat with their current lineup ? With Brian Cashman now said to be in discussion with Alex Rodriguez and his return in 2015 and the role he is likely to play for the team, leads me to believe the organization remains bereft of creativity, let alone their being a belief that a number of players waiting in the wings will be able to contribute for the ball-club this upcoming season . Alex Rodriguez , I do not believe is a player capable of leading a team and certainly no longer good enough to produce at a high level without their being doubts as to the legitimacy of his achievements . These are the things the New York Yankees are likely to encounter over the course of 2015 as the franchise enters a year of hope , while looking to make themselves be viewed as a contender for the World Series .
If last Thursday night’s game between the San Diego Chargers and Denver Broncos was anything to go by as the week eight opener of the NFL season . I would like to think Sunday’s games will provide a great deal more excitement than we have seen over the course of the year so far. Philip Rivers and Peyton Manning put on an exhilarating display of passing as the Broncos got the victory needed to place the team among the elite of the AFC franchises and the NFL .
Week eight of last season and the games were somewhat pedantic but yet they provided us with some insight about the players and the teams at that point of the year . On Sunday’s schedule of games, the best of the bunch might be the clash between the Arizona Cardinals and the Philadelphia Eagles as both teams seek to make some inroads into their divisional title challenges . Bruce Arians and the Cardinals have turned the NFC West upside down as both the San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks appear to be struggling . As to what this might suggest about both NFC West occupants can be predicated upon whether not you believe the Cardinals are good enough to win the division outright.
Call me naive, but I am not yet convinced I can jump on board the wagon carrying the hopes of either the Dallas Cowboys or the Detroit Lions ! Dallas has been playing great football this season with DeMarco Murray on course to shatter the league’s all-purpose yardage from scrimmage for a single season. And while Tony Romo seems to be back at his very best , can you really believe the quarterback can carry these displays seen into the postseason ? The Cowboys will entertain the woefully inept Washington Redskins in the Monday night game at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
Jim Caldwell and the Detroit Lions for their part have a one-game lead over the hard charging Green Bay Packers (5-2) led by Pro Bowl quarterback Aaron Rodgers . The NFC North appears to be up for grabs and adds a little bit more excitement for the fans of those teams and the NFL . Caldwell and the Lions eked out a narrow one point victory over what now appears to be a soulless Atlanta Falcons’ team and it now certainly adds to the mounting speculation, whether not Mike Smith can last the remainder of the season?
As the season has progressed it has been interesting to witness the issues the New England Patriots have faced. Tom Brady appears to be not at his very best , based on own expectations. Yet at the same time , the usual offensive weaponry expected on field to bring out the best in the Patriots’ quarterback has not been there this season. Josh McDaniels for all of the belief of he is one of the most acute minded offensive coordinators in the game , simply plays second fiddle to head coach Bill Belichick and Brady, himself, when it comes to the team’s offensive play-calling and schemes.
New England took apart the Chicago Bears in a high scoring contest , thrashing the Bears 51-23 in a lopsided game. Perhaps the offensive onslaught we have come to expect from the Patriots is now back and rolling ?
If there were any doubts the New York Jets are having an abysmal season a then Sunday’s game was proof of the very fact. Rex Ryan’s days as the head coach of the team can sand should last much longer . He has the confidence of this team and anymore reasoning as professed to by Ryan , Geno Smith is still learning his position as a starting quarterback should now be put to rest, along with Smith’s career with the franchise. New York’s embarrassing 43-23 home loss to the Buffalo Bills put an end to the Jets’ hopes of a postseason berth. GM John Idzik cannot continue to allow Rex Ryan remain as the team’s head coach after this defeat, not with the fans’ anger now at an all-time high. No explanation from the head coach or the players can excuse excuse such a poor display by the Jets in this home defeat .
Where the New York Jets now go from here will be determined by what the front office feels, is now in the best interests of the franchise. Replacing Geno Smith with Michael Vick simply adds more fuel to the fire , given Vick’s lack of productivity first with the Philadelphia Eagles and now with the lowly Jets . It’s pretty much safe to suggest the New York Jets’ wounds this season have been self inflicted and one which is proving to be a complete embarrassment for the NFL franchise.
The NHL season has begun and though I have never been admirer of the game , much less the belief Gary Bettman and the NHL’s executive committee finally believe they are finally over their malaise in terms their labor disputes with the NHLPA (union) and franchise owners. Stanley Cup defending champions the Los Angeles Kings will be looking to make a successful defense of their and have begun to make that a reality . Off to a winning start the Kings under head coach Darryl Sutter and his coaching staff will seek to guide the franchise to their first Stanley Cup title since the 2012 season . Moving ahead , it will be interesting to see if the Kings can make it a third title in the last three seasons. An eighty-two game schedule tends to bring out the best and the worst in the teams as well as the players .
Picture gallery .
What if anything, do you find the most annoying with the regard to the sports’ media market by way of the television broadcast or those within print media ? If the NBA is to have a great season which teams do you think will have to perform at their very best to make this season a great one ? As week eight in the NFL comes slowly to a close it would appear the league is no better off this season than it was at the same point last year . Finally , are you of the opinion this postseason in baseball has exceeded your own expectations and specifically the current World Series’ contests ? Chime in with your thoughts on this and anything else believe pertinent to this article and thanks as always for the continued support of this site as it is greatly appreciated !
Picture gallery and slideshow details .
(1) Jeanie Buss is seen here alongside her brother Jim Buss who along with a younger sibling are the co-owners of the Los Angeles Lakers . As a senior executive with the franchise Jeanie Buss has been extremely critical of the free agents during the off-season who chose not to sign with the Lakers , referring to them as ” losers ” . . Unfortunately , she failed to indicate the fact last season the Los Angeles failed miserably to make the NBA Playoffs. AP Photo / Michael Archer …
(2) Dwight Howard (12) is seen here with teammate James Harden (13) during an NBA game this past season. Both will be seeking to guide the Houston Rockets to a divisional title as well as a playoff berth within the Western Conference. Howard’s tenure with the Los Angeles Lakers was less than stellar . AP Photo / Matthew Charles …
(3) San Francisco Giants’ Hunter Pence scores during the sixth inning of Game 4 of baseball’s World Series against the Kansas City Royals Saturday, Oct. 25, 2014, in San Francisco. AP Photo/David J. Phillip …
(4) From left, New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman , Yankees managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner , Senior Vice President and Assistant General Manager Jean Afterman , and executive vice president Felix Lopez, listen as pitcher Mariano Rivera , who holds baseball’s all-time saves’ record , announces his plans to retire at the end of the 2013 season during a news conference at Steinbrenner Field Saturday , March 9, 2013 in Tampa, Fla. AP Photo/Kathy Willens …
(5) Preston Brown (52) of the Buffalo Bills celebrates with teammate Marcell Dareus (99 ) after making an interception in the first quarter against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium on October 26, 2014 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Getty Images North America / Alex Goodlett …
(6) Quarterback Michael Vick (1) of the New York Jets looks to pass against Kyle Williams (95) of the Buffalo Bills in the first half of the game at MetLife Stadium on October 26, 2014 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Getty Images /Al Bello …
Tophatal’s Blog on Facebook.com
NBA teams , team by team schedule
This month in NBA history .
On this date in NBA history