It’s the economy and this time also, it’s the NFL, stupid …

It’s the ‘ economy ‘ and this time also, it’s the NFL, stupid .. ..

When George H W Bush succeeded Ronald Reagan to become the country’sforty-first President, it was felt he inherited an economy and a bright prospective era to lead the US to even greater prosperity. Unfortunately, Bush’s economic template set forth and his own ideas as to the direction the country ought to be heading, went South with, such rapidity that it was beyond belief, but of no real surprise to those who had their doubts as to the merits of his legacy as President. While he served the country with dignity , which is all one can really ask of the Commander-In-Chief, the question also has to be what accountability is there when we have an executive who skirts the Constitution and the laws of the land for political and personal gain ? These questions are most certainly being asked of and aboutBarack Obama , the nation’s forty-fourth President.

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Roger Goodell succeeded Paul Tagliabue and it was seen as the mentor handing over the keys to a Ferrari to his protege’. In the subsequent years , Goodell has managed to force this vehicle the NFL right off the road and into an abyss of sheer ineptitude both on and off the field of play. Image-wise, the league is now at an all-time low and with the recent reinstatement of NFL running back Ray Rice, many have now began wondering whether or not Goodell can remain in his position as the league’s highest-ranking executive. The commissioner for the moment, still has the backing of some of the most prominent franchise owners in the NFL, namely Jerry Jones, Robert Kraft, Steve Bisciotti, Jed Yorke, Arthur Blank, Dean Spanos, Jim Irsay and Woody Johnson.

While many now question whether or not the NFL can withstand another high-profiled incident, we should be reminded the league has withstood a great deal more and manage to survive, but what has brought this moral blight into the spotlight, has been the league’s mishandling and lack of understanding concerning the issue of domestic violence and spousal abuse. I mean hell, you simply have to look at the idiocy of Roger Goodell’s statements in the aftermath of the Ray Rice incident, the lack action from Steve Bisciotti and the Baltimore Ravens’ front office executives, never mind the coaching staffled by John Harbaugh whose own actions were not only troubling, but also, his lack of candor on the matter.

Ray Rice’s arbitration case found in his favor, leads to his automatic reinstatement, but now comes the question as was to which NFL franchise will likely sign the player to their roster, knowing full well they are most certainly going to face a backlash by some fans , the press , women’s groups (NOW) and most certainly a number of the league’s corporate sponsors. We have seen the financial loss and cost to Adrian Peterson as well as the Minnesota Vikings , and with that franchise’s season already in tatter and no signs of real leadership amongthe playing staff, you have to wonder how they will go into their inaugural season in their new multi-billion dollar stadium and the likelihood of being without the best player in that franchise’s history. It seems inconceivable team owner, Zygi Wilf will seek to retain Peterson’s services when fans , corporate sponsors and certain areas of the press are calling for his dismissal from the team once and for all. His current suspension ongoing until the end of the season might not be seen as harsh a punishment for his transgression, but one has to also bear in mind that this was not the first such incident involving the player , but the first where he was charged by law enforcement and the act of child abuse for which Peterson pled guilty and now has to undergo parenting classes , probation and financial penalties , beyond the legal costs of his case.

The results this season in the the NFL, have not been unlike any other year and with it comes the poor coaching , lack of real playing ability among the teams and the players , in many ways I believe to the over expectations of the fans ! Prognosticators making predictions as to who the best teams are likely to be, are purely doing so to create a debate which will be ongoing throught the season and let’s be honest, that debate certainly doesn’t hurt the odds-makers in Las Vegas whose lines are used to lure in the bettors like insects being drawn to an incandescent light. The “house always wins” and they generally, do with a greatdeal of ease .

Coming into week fourteen there is still a great deal to play for , with several divisions still up for grabs as well as the conference berths determining which teams will be added alongside the two top seeds from each conference as well as the divisional winners. Being brutally honest, the NFC has now become a minefield, with far too many of the top teams showing not only their inconsistency, but alsotheir vulnerability in so many ways.

Opening up this week’s schedule will be an all NFC clash between the Dallas Cowboys and Chicago Bears when these two teams meet at Soldier Field in Chicago, Illinois on Thursday night , 4th December , 2014,. Marc Trestman and the Bears are as much as in need of this win as are the Cowboys. The opposing quarterbacks Tony Romo and Jay Cutler are at the point in their careers where looking ahead doesn’t seem to be as advantageous or beneficial when you consider what they have achieved up to this point, during their tenures in the NFL.

From my own perspective, this game between the Dallas Cowboys and Chicago Bears will be either highly entertaining or a complete eyesore. Contests between two teams have either been exhilarating just understated and a great of that has been predicated upon the play of both Romo and Cutler during those games. With the Bears and Cowboys coming off losses in week thirteen, trying to determine winner between these two teams, will be like trying to separate soiled diapers from the rest of the family’s dirty laundry . Not an enjoyable prospect at all .

You can either choose to harangue Eli Manning and the New York Giants (3-9) for for a forgettable season and the fact that the two-time winning Superbowl quarterback has been just as responsible for the team’s poor play as his teammates and the entire coaching staff of head coach Tom Coughlin who should consider himself extremely lucky if he asked to return for next season. All the signs seem to be pointing to the fact, he will join a list of at least four NFL head coaches likely to lose their jobs at the end of this season, if not sooner.

As of seven straight games the New York Giants have not endeared themselves to their fans or the analysts covering the NFL and if anything, they have now become the butt of so many jokes , that it has become extremely hard to try and justify how anyone can still consider Eli Manning to be among the best quarterbacks playing in the NFL. Without his postseason record the player has very little fall back on to even remotely justify those previous claims. This being a team , coming off a loss to one of the worst teams in the NFL when they fell the lowly Jacksonville Jaguars (2-10). In watching the Giants play has become a constant reminder why the NFL can at times be exacerbating as well as overrated by means of the alleged quality of the teams. New York has become a complete anathema unto itself , with a defense sorely lacking> and an offenseas incompetent as any to be found in the NFL today.

Eli Manning and the Giants will be seeking to gain their fourth win of the season when they go on the road to face the Tennessee Titans (6-6) at LP Field in Nashville , Tennessee,. The odds might narrowly favor the home team but at this juncture that is about anyone’s guess as to the outcome of this game. The hype surrounding Giants’ wide receiver Odell Beckham may well be great, but when measured up against the team’s incompetency witnessed this season, can someone explain to me what it all means at the end of the day ? Comments at this juncture are more than welcome !

New York Jets’ Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Namath believes there will be sweeping changes be sweeping changes made to the Jets’ roster as well as within the front office at the end of this season. Duh ! That has to be blatantly obvious to anyone with an ounce of damn common sense , but then again we are talking about the New York Jets, where common sense and intelligence have not necessarily gone hand in hand when it comes anything concerning this organization has tried to achieve over the last two seasons. Let’s just say, this franchise has become an affront to anything one might have found decent concerning the NFL . Has there been any time over the last year and a half when Rex Ryan’s position might have been in more jeopardy ? His coaching ability has come more into question this season than at any other time during his tenure and that is without his belief in second-year quarterback Geno Smith , whose play this season has me now wondering why the franchise was in such a haste to get rid off Mark Sanchez , simply because of the infamous ” butt fumble ” incident and his apparent lack of command in securing the ball during a game. By comparison Smith’s play makes Sanchez look like the second coming of Joe Montana. The Jets’ starting quarterback and his back-up Michael Vick just might be the worst tandem and that is with due respect to the teams who are equally as inept as the AFC East franchise.

A Monday night loss to the Miami Dolphins has sealed the Jets’ fate and almost certainly made them among the teams likely to have first round pick among the top ten in the 2015 NFL Draft . As to whether not the New York Jets will make the choice of a quarterback their primary pick remains to be seen but given the evidence on display with Smith and Vick , it is my belief that is the likely route to be taken by whoever the general manager is likely to be. John Idzik’s position is just as much in danger after just two seasons as the lead personnel executive for the franchise. That situation is likely to become even more dire should the Jets fall to the Minnesota Vikings when the two teams meet this Sunday at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis , Minnesota ,.

How the mighty have fallen and the fall from grace for Washington Redskins’ quarterback Robert Griffin III might be the most unexpected thing we have witnessed this season. Often injured , performing poorly and now head coach Jay Gruden has seemingly lost all faith n the franchise quarterback and the face of this organization on the field of play. The fact that back-up Kirk Cousins has been just as inept. It has been left to the team’s third-string quarterback , Colt McCoy to lead this franchise to two of their three wins this season, all of this by a player whose salary ranks him among the
lower echelons of the NFL’s quarterbacks.

Having no wish to be dismissive of Jay Gruden and the Redskins , this mess was of their own making , right from the beginning, from the very moment Griffin first went down injured and the very fact there was an extreme rush to have the player back on the field, but at the same time the quarterback has done himself no favors with his sporadic play and lack deference to his teammates and coaching staff while believing himself privileged . Now that he has been humbled, it also appears his career with the Redskins could come to an abrupt end. Rumors are now circulating the franchise might be prepared to listen to offers for their beleaguered first round draft pickfrom the 2012 NFL Draft . However, before that scenario comes into being Griffin and the team will have to play out their season schedule, hoping to gain some semblance of consistency over the time-frame in question.

Fedex Field will be the scene of the crime when the Redskins play host to the St Louis Rams in week fourteen. The Rams for their part will be looking to make things more difficult for their opponents in a “statement game” for both NFC franchises .

Ex NFL players tend to have a high regard for their insight on the game, even when N their own careers tend to be nondescript and offering very little by way of success. Such as been the case, with Shaun King, former quarterback in the league and whose own career failed to provide any memorable highlights on his stops around the NFL.

King in a rather blatant statement, the former Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ quarterback has been candid in his belief Johnny Manziel will be a ” complete bust “ in the NFL . Right or wrong, Shaun King has provided little clarity as to his reasons why, Manziel will be a failure, other than to declare his love-fest for Teddy Bridgewater the second quarterback taken in this season’s NFL Draft . The initial calls were for Manziel to be inserted into Mike Pettine’s lineup from the very start , but I believe the over-zealousness came from everyone thinking Manziel would be an instant “smash” leading the the Cleveland Browns to instant success, merely because of his college career. Pettine chose instead to go with Brian Hoyer as the Brown’s starter this season, with the team having a great deal of success while in the divisional hunt for the AFC North crown. The Browns face a tough conference game when they play host to Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts in what is sure to be one the highlight games during this weekend’s schedule.

Have I missed something, but this constant idiocy of there being a need for an NFL franchise outside North America seems to be taking on new tones stupidity by fans without a damn clue as to what is exactly entailed in acquiring a team from its very start-up , never-mind the underlying costs ? So much so, that when I hear this bull#hit being g be reawakened and talk of a team in London , England. I have to ask myself which imbecile will be prepared to stump up the half-billion dollars ($ 500,000,000) or more needed to make this all a reality ! No one seems prepared to answer the question, but many , are all too willing to offer up where a new franchise outside North America ought to be. Well, if there’s yet to a renewed interest from vested parties in the topic, other than Jerry Jones offering his laughable ideas on the subject . given the fact his franchise might be on the cusp of missing the postseason. Is it possible Jones is seeking to take the spotlight off Jason Garrett and Tony Romo, even if it is momentary ?

The wealthiest individuals in the United Kingdom have shown little interest in owning an NFL franchise and if anything, they know they can derive even greater revenues from owning an English Premiership soccer team than a franchise an NFL team. Profitability might be skewered, but the global exposure is far greater from Premiership soccer than their being calls for the NFL across the globe.

Proponents of the issue will continue stir the pot on this matter , issue while being able to offer little of note to the ongoing debate. The one thing we are able to gather from this all and it is , there is less appeal for an NFL franchise in the city of Los Angeles at present, even when you have the likes of Magic Johnson and the Los Angeles Dodgers’ ownership group seeking that to be their next goal, beyond bringing a World Series’ crown to “City of Angels”. For two years in succession the Dodgers have failed miserably in that particular quest and in reality , their concentration should be centered on what ails the team, rather than their egos being massaged by another commercial sports’ endeavor outside of baseball. Los Angeles may well house the nation’s second largest ad-market, but its appetite NFL franchise does not appear to be all that palatable at present. Certainly not with the city having to deal with its fiscal woes, even with the local political dignitaries trying to convince their residents this would be in the best interests of their city.

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Picture gallery.

Throughout this NFL season what do you feel might have been the biggest obstacle overall the league had to overcome ? Was it the adverse publicity because of continued player misconduct ? Or was it, the lack truly entertaining games over the course of the schedule at present ? By all means take time to offer up your thoughts on the matter as you deem fit.

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Picture and slideshow gallery details below.

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(1) George H W Bush, the forty-first President of the United States of America . His Presidency has often been ridiculed, as one , lacking in depth and stature. Bearing in mind , those who have succeeded him , one can see it as high praise or simple ridicule .

(2) Left , Barack Obama , President and the current occupant of the White House. Right , Roger Goodell , NFL Commissioner and the NFL’s highest ranking league executive. Both men have been rounded on by the press and public alike for their autocratic rule and lack of communicative skills . It is difficult to suggest, which of these two executives might be viewed as the most incompetent in their respective positions. Washington Times / Keith Cardell …

(3) Arthur Blank , owner of the Atlanta Falcons and one of the most prominent backers of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. This season , Blank has seen his team falter within the NFC South and there seems to be an ongoing feeling thought, head coach Mike Smith will not be asked to return next season . Getty Images / Darren Woods …

(4) Adrian Peterson(28), left and Ray Rice (27) , perhaps two of the most despised athletes professional teams sports at present.. Rice having won his arbitration hearing hopes to sign on with a new team before the end of the season . Something that on the face of it seems unlikely , but given the propensity of this league to routinely overlook a player’s egregious behavior the former Ravens’ running back could on a roster before the end of this season. Peterson has been suspended by the league hierarchy in adherent to the NFL Personal Conduct Policy . His return to the NFL this season seems unlikely and it remains to seen if the Minnesota Vikings will cut all ties with the player. AP Photo/ Ed Harper …

(5) Tony Romo (9) of the Dallas Cowboys and Jay Cutler (6) of the Chicago Bears . The two players will lead their respective teams in the Thursday night game which opens the week fourteen of the NFL schedule. This will be the third career meeting between Romo and Cutler over the course of their professional careers. Dallas Morning Star ….

(6) Eli Manning (10) of the New York Giants reacts after throwing an interception in the third quarter against the Dallas Cowboys at MetLife Stadium on November 23, 2014 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Dallas would go on to defeat the Giants 31-28 . Getty Images / Al Bello

(7) Eli Manning(10) of the New York Giants throws a pass against the Dallas Cowboys in the first quarter at MetLife Stadium on November 23, 2014 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Getty Images / Al Bello …

(8) Robert Griffin III (10) is seen here on the sidelines with Washington Redskins’ head coach Jay Gruden during a game against the Houston Texans . The Texans would go on to defeat the Redskins 17-6 inflicting another loss for Washington . AP Photo/ Sarah Aldridge …

(9) Shaun King former NFL quarterback with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Arizona Cardinals . King is now an NFL analyst with NBCSports and covers the league, offering his insight on the game. Courtesy of NBCSports …

(10) Johnny Manziel,left , is seen here with his Cleveland Browns’ teammate Brian Hoyer. It has been Hoyer who started the season taking the majority of the snaps with the rookie contributing sparingly this season for the team . USA Today / Tim Fuller …

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You can fool the people some of the time but the anal retentive just deserve to be fooled and embarrassed all of the time ………..that is why the NFL exists .

You can fool the people some of the time but the anal retentive , just deserve to be fooled and embarrassed all of the time ………..that is why the NFL exists .

The NFL season is over two months away but the preseason begins in earnest in August with the Hall of Fame game between the Buffalo Bills and New York Giants to be played at Ralph Wilson Stadium in Orchard Park , New York. With that would come and then the induction of the latest batch of NFL greats and their eagerly awaited enshrinement in Canton, Ohio,. Meanwhile , we have NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and New England Patriots’ owner Robert Kraft , still trying to sell the public on the merits of having a franchise in the city of Los Angeles. Also at some point in the immediate future, it is their wish to see a franchise in the United Kingdom , specifically in London , the financial heartbeat of the nation and one of the world’s financial centers.

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I have always found the NFL to be a behemoth, whose only concern has been to make money, where the owners are nothing more than parasites , the union (NFLPA-Players’ Union) lacking compassion and understanding. Roger Goodell remains a poor choice as the league’s highest ranking executive , but that in part was initiated with his being chosen as the heir-apparent to Paul Tagliabue , with Goodell’s predecessor, rubber-stamping the decision before a final vote was taken by the league hierarchy.

It would seem , neither Roger Goodell or Robert Kraft are concerned with the financial imperilment of the nation’s second largest city and where the officials within Los Angeles seem incapable of making a decision showing financial restraint. Perhaps, it is the main reason why the NFL would like the return of a franchise to the municipality under the ruse of the financial windfall to be claimed in the nation’s second largest advertising market. When broached on the subject, about who will actually finance the building of a venue to house this new or relocated franchise, neither NFL executive has been able to offer up a concise answer. I can only surmise, it is their wish to see the city offer up billions to make such a venue possible. Earlier endeavors to build a stadium venue in the greater Los Angeles area , have either failed , because of political infighting or because the proposers of such a deal did not have the financial backing or show the wherewithal to get the project off the ground.

One of the latest entrants in a bid to get the NFL back within the confines of the city of Los Angeles, just happens to be Magic Johnson , part owner in the Los Angeles Dodgers , whose primary owners, Guggenheim Baseball Properties LLC . The company is backed by the multi-billion dollar assets of venture capital firm Guggenheim Partners Inc , led by Todd S Boehly and Mark Walter. . The company is also reputed to be interested in making an unsolicited bid for AEG Worldwide , the entertainment and sports’ concessions company owns several pieces of prime real estate in the downtown Los Angeles area . Philip Anschutz , owner of AEG , is known to be interested in selling the company ,but not unless the proposed suitor is ready to meet a price believed to be in excess of $9 billion . I would rather see Johnson and his partners concentrate on bringing back a World Series’ title to Los Angeles than their seeking to reestablish the NFL back in the Los Angeles area. Besides professional sports within the city is almost at an all-time low with the NBA bedeviled by the ineptitude of the Los Angeles Lakers and the Los Angeles Clippers’ ongoing incredulity , which has been handled with about as much foresight as a blind man playing with an explosive device. I would say the Los Angeles Kings has brought back a sense of pride to the city having won the Stanley Cup , but the NHL piques about as much interest today as a debate being conducted within the confines of the US Congress.

If the NFL is to return to the city of Los Angeles , then the matter will have to be dealt with as joint partnership between the league and the city. More often than not , such arrangements have been made with the NFL profiting from these type of arrangements , with them giving little in return to these municipalities nationwide . If you wish to see how acute the situation just happens to be , then simply look at the issues now being faced within the cities of Chicago and Detroit as a pointer about how dire things can become. Detroit remains in a state of financial disrepair , albeit, they are now seeking to resolve their financial woes though bankruptcy reorganization . Chicago is now bedeviled by a crime wave not seen since the days of Prohibition and Al Capone , with incumbent city mayor Rahm Emmanuel blaming the increasing gang violence on the perpetrators of the crimes in question , without acknowledging like a number of his recent predecessors , he has cut the budget of the city’s police force to try and solve Chicago’s budgetary woes.

I have read numerous pieces by patrons and contributors within the blogging world who claim the NFL is a for profit business without them actually failing to realize the league itself is set up as a not for profit entity , afforded antitrust status as well as tax exempt status in its dealings. What returns indicated to the IRS will clearly show miniscule profit if there is one to be shown , but their franchises are not afforded such luxuries. How little one knows , when only seeking to proffer up an opinion without ever taking time to do an ounce of research.The NFL leads and their fans will continually follow their lead , by eating up every morsel of garbage they are likely to serve up on a silver platter as an appetizing meal.

As the NFL has gained popularity abroad , you have to wonder why NFL Europe was such a bust . Millions of dollars were lost by the teams who sought to invest in the experiment with nothing tangible being gained in that very first sortie. The second time around through a media blitz and having regular season games scheduled in Europe, a small shift has occurred. Yet for all of the hopes and the dreams of not only Roger Goodell , Bob Kraft and even the rambunctious Jerry Jones , the league has not seen the traction they believed could be obtained . Seventy thousand fans packing Wembley Stadium in London might seem impressive, but consider the fact , the staging of such as game was not done to coincide with a Premierleague game scheduled within one of soccer’s elite leagues in Europe. You can always to try to turn a pig into a sow by dressing it up , but you cannot turn a sow into a pig . The NFL is seeking to do just that and is failing miserably on all counts. Having reached saturation point in terms of marketing the real issues that dogs Roger Goodell and the league hierarchy are the quality of the games, little real understanding of the markets where they are now seeking to reach , as well as the cultural differences they have to face in exposing the NFL to new markets and a new consumer.

Other than being remembered as the most popular NFL Draft in recent NFL history and exploits of sixth round draft pick Michael Sam , there would not have been anything memorable about the NFL’s staging of an event where the fans got to see the latest graduates to the world of professional football. Johnny Manziel had his dreams go up in smoke when he was not the first quarterback taken in this past draft. Perhaps, ” Johnny Football” can now join LeBron James in learning some humility, rather than always seeking to make themselves the centerpiece of a story. Sooner, rather than later, the fans tend to get sick and tired of it all.. I guess the city of Cleveland will now have something to look forward to , as both James and Manziel fight to be the top story on the sports’ pages of the newspapers within the city and state as well as nationwide ? That premise seems also likely as the television sports’ broadcast outlets, now begin to fawn over two, of perhaps the most polarizing figures in professional sports today.

The drafting of Johnny Manziel has provided the Cleveland Browns with some much-needed publicity, but yet team owner Jimmy Haslam remains the one NFL franchise owner whose custodianship of a team does not seem in jeopardy , in spite of the misdeeds of Haslam’s company and their being found guilty of defrauding many of their clients out of hundreds of millions of dollars . The slap on the wrist proffered up by the Justice System is another continued knock a legal system bereft of intelligence at the judiciary level. One should also take into account at the time of the legal undertakings against Haslam , he was in the midst of purchasing the Cleveland Browns and actually received the league’s blessing with their seal of approval. Whether or not the league itself sought a thorough investigation of Jimmy Haslam’s finances, character and acumen to own an NFL franchise is open to great deal of conjecture and debate.

The Browns will enter their season looking to put the era of Brandon Weeden in their rear view mirror. Cleveland’s loss is said to be Dallas Cowboys’ gain as they acquired the free agent quarterback during the off-season. I would like to once again thank Jerry Jones in fortifying my continued belief why he remains a blithering idiot ! Now head coach Jason Garrett can look across at his depth chart at the quarterback position , look to both Weeden and Tony Romo to lift the Cowboys out of their continued doldrums.

Johnny Manziel will have a great deal to prove as he seeks to make his mark in the NFL, but he is not likely to be the Cleveland Browns’ opening day starter in their first regular season game against the Pittsburgh Steelers in a contest to be played at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania ,. These two franchises have a great deal of history behind them , with their match-ups tending to be either eventful or a complete letdown. With the AFC North likely to be up for grabs this season it will be interesting to see how things play out for the teams within the division as the season unfolds.

Paying on potential or paying on merit, which is said to be the more prudent thing to do? To try and figure that out one might need to call on a senior member of MENSA because your sure as hell cannot rely on an NFL general manager or an owner to give a you a clear and concise to such a question. During the off-season the Chicago Bears in their infinite wisdom , saw fit to give their veteran quarterback a multi-year deal, that now makes Jay Cutler one of the highest paid players in the NFL in terms of annual salary and contract value ($126 million) . All this for quarterback whose postseason exploits seem envious when compared to those of Tony Romo’s but that is a discussion for another day .Now in light of Cutler’s reward there were those who questioned San Francisco 49ers’ general manager Trent Baalke offering the team’s quarterback Colin Kaepernick a comparable deal in a similar vein to salary pack of the Bears’ quarterback. Kaepernick has twice taken the team to the NFC championship game as well as a Superbowl appearance in his short time in the NFL. Having succeeded Alex Smith , the consensus appeared to be the player did not possess the level of maturity or skill-set needed to lead the Forty Niners. Colin Kaepernick has proved his doubters wrong , now the question remains , can he lead the franchise to their sixth Superbowl title ?

The Forty Niners and their fans would like nothing better than to drown out the ongoing memories of their loss to the Baltimore Ravens in Superbowl 47 , and most definitely overhaul their divisional rivals the Seattle Seahawks as the best team in the NFC West as well as the NFC . Encounters between these two teams over the past three seasons have now taken on epic proportions and with the Seahawks’ annihilation of Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos in last season’s Superbowl , the stakes have now been raised even higher between the two NFC West franchises.

Both the Forty Niners and Seahawks have made considerable moves to bolster their respective rosters, beyond utilizing the NFL Draft and the free agency market. What their regular season meetings and scheduled games may well come down to , is the determination of Jim Harbaugh and his opposite number Pete Carroll in guiding their teams. We all know how tough it just happens to be for a team to make a successful defense of their Superbowl title and it has been over a decade since the feat was last accomplished. . The meetings between the San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks in weeks’ thirteen and fifteen , could very well provide us with a precursor concerning who the best team in the NFC and NFL might just be.

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Do you believe the upcoming season in the NFL can surpass the events of last season? Also is it necessary for the NFL to have a franchise in either Los Angeles or London to remain viable in the eyes of their fans? Your comments on this and anything else you believe pertinent to this article is most certainly welcomed.

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Picture and slideshow details below .
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(1) New England Patriots’ owner Robert Kraft, left, is seen here alongside Roger Goodell as the two answer questions from an array of NFL journalists, having just attended a safety clinic concerning NFL players . Both Goodell and Kraft are asking for a concerted effort to be made to reestablish an NFL franchise in Los Angeles. The NFL Commissioners has repeatedly stated that the city’s council members are amenable for the return of the NFL to the city , but he has failed to show who would bear the brunt of the financial obligation for a new stadium for the franchise. AP Photo / Greg Jones …

(2) Los Angeles Dodgers’ co-owners Mark Walter left and Magic Johnson , having spent $2 billion to buy the baseball franchise, now seem to be intent on either buying an NFL franchise or perhaps seeking to start a new NFL team within the confines of the greater Los Angeles area. a . The duo are also believed to be interested in buying AEG Worldwide and are willing to make an unsolicited bid for the concessions and entertainment company. UPI/ Getty Images / Chris Palmer …

(3) Cleveland Browns’ head coach Mike Pettine , far left, is seen here alongside Justin Gilbert , Johnny Manziel and the Browns’ general manager Ray Farmer . Gilbert and Manziel were part of this season’s draft class for the Browns. AP Photo/ Penny Wilson …

(4) Jay Cutler (6) of the Chicago Bears is seen here with his counterpart Tony Romo (9) of the Dallas Cowboys at the end of game with Bears defeating the Cowboys 34-18 in an NFC contest in 2012. The two quarterbacks have yet to taste a Superbowl victory with only Cutler having appeared in the NFL’s postseason finale which resulted in a lopsided loss for the Bears . Getty Images North America / Rafael Henriques ….

(5) San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick , left, talks with head coach Jim Harbaugh during the fourth quarter of an NFL football game against the St. Louis Rams in San Francisco, Sunday, Nov. 11, 2012. Having replaced Alex Smith as the starting quarterback Kaepernick cemented himself as the team’s starter and has accomplished a great deal since his first game in the NFL …

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Got Yourself A Headache ? Try Being An NFL Player ?

Got Yourself A Headache ? Try Being An NFL Player ?

It’s often said ………’it takes a tragedy to happen before we truly understand or appreciate one’s mortality’ and truly that saying hits home every time. Sadly last night while having a drink in a bar with friends after work it was reported that former NFL star , two time winning Superbowl player and Pro Bowler Dave Duerson died from a self inflicted gun shot wound. Unfortunately this tragedy doesn’t encapsulate the whole facet of the player’s life after his retirement from the NFL. The player had taken his life this past Thursday at his South Florida home in Sunny Isles .

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Slide show for your perusal .

Duerson lost his wife to an acrimonious divorce and his post professional life saw him lose his business to financial mismanagement and bankruptcy. Dave Duerson was also a rights’ advocate for current and former NFL players , specifically those who’d suffered from mental health issues related to chronic head traumas . In his will the player left specific instructions that his brain be donated to science for research into blunt head trauma injuries and chronic traumatic encephalathopy ( CTE). Neuro surgeons and Research Fellows at Boston University will be the recipients of the player’s brain and it has been there within the university’s School of Medicine and Neuroscience where research will and has been conducted into head traumas and other neurological health related injuries and diseases as it relates to the NFL. Duane Duerson during his career had suffered repeatedly from chronic symptoms of concussions on the field of play which saw him win a Superbowl with that heralded Chicago Bears’ team coached by Mike Ditka. His second triumph was gained with the New York Giants coached by Bill Parcells .

Courtesy of NFL.com wire reports

Ex-NFL safety Duerson found dead; police await word on cause

Dave Duerson, a four-time Pro Bowl safety who played on Super Bowl winners with the Chicago Bears and New York Giants, has died. He was 50.

The Bears released a statement Friday saying they were “stunned and saddened” by the news and called Duerson “a great contributor to our team and the Chicago community.”

“Today is a difficult day for all of us who loved Dave,” the team said. “We’ll miss him. Our prayers are with his family.”

Miami-Dade Police Detective Robert Williams said the body of a Dave Duerson was found Thursday in Sunny Isles Beach, Fla. Computer records show that the Duerson who lived at the address was born the same month and year as the player.

Investigators haven’t determined the cause of death. Williams said detectives are awaiting the medical examiner’s report.

Duerson’s ex-wife, Alicia Duerson, told NBC Chicago that the former player “loved and cherished his family” and was “extremely proud” of Notre Dame and the Bears.

A native of Muncie, Ind., Duerson was a third-round draft pick by the Bears in 1983 out of Notre Dame and became a key figure on one of the greatest defenses ever assembled.

Who can forget the 1985 Chicago team mauling opponents while shuffling all the way to the championship with Hall of Famers such as Mike Singletary, Dan Hampton and Richard Dent up front? With Todd Bell sitting out the entire season, Duerson played a big role in the backfield with five interceptions that year and made the first of four consecutive Pro Bowls.

“He was a great player for us,” former Bears coach Mike Ditka told The Associated Press. “He stepped in and did a great job. It’s very sad.”

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With all that’s now going on concerning the NFL , the NFLPA and their ongoing collective bargaining agreement . It goes without saying that this issue may not be a part of the two parties’ ongoing negotiations. And with the two parties now said to be hard at trying to eke out and reach an amicable agreement as both NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell , NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith , union President Kevin Mawae have met with a US Federal Court appointed and mandated mediator to mediate and address the issues brought up by both sides. In spite of the league’s and union’s appearance in front of the House Congressional Oversight Committee and their investigation into head traumas , their cause and effects with regard to the concussions and other neurological injuries. What we’ve now come to know is that the NFL and the union have never taken these issues seriously and that’ s in spite of the statements attributed to Goodell, Smith and members of the union’s Executive Committee .

Sadly, it may well have to take such tragedies as this , Duerson’s death, before the whole world wakes up the acute problems that players current and former face when they put their very health at risk all in the pursuit of excellence and wealth on the field of play. Granted, the life span of an NFL player on average is no more than six years at best but for those who’ve been involved in th game even longer the long terms effects of repeated injuries be they head trauma or some other inury, the aftermath at times can be catastrophic ! We now have players who’ve been retired no more than two years now suffering from early onsets of Alzheimers’ disease , debilitating and chronic head pains and other far more acute neurological disorders. Dave Duerson was a victim of repeated chronic head pains in the aftermath of the repeated concussions suffered over the course of his career. I’ve often heard the idiotic comments by fans and members of the public alike who state ….‘ let them play because this is a man’s game and they know the risks’ . Well one of the risks isn’t as such to end up in a damn wheelchair and then not knowing who members of your family are or what day of the week it is . This is the sort of asinine , idiotic statement that one would come to expect from someone who’s completely undeducated and without about as much common sense as an invertebrate !

If there’s to be an in depth study into these medical issues by independent as well the NFL’s own medical professionals then it ought to be a concerted effort by all of the parties concerned. Goodell and his predecessor Paul Tagliabue had repeatedly and it certainly hadn’t help that Smith’s predecessor Gene Upshaw were about as contrite in dealing with these issues as former Iraqi leader Sadaam Hussein had been before he decided to gas several hundred thousand Kurdish refugees in Northern Iraq as a precursor to the first Iraqi war. In realiy it has only been in recent years that the NFL and NFLPA have been proactive in dealing with this issue. Goodell and the league’s own inhouse medical professionals have long held the view that injuries suffered by players within the game , many of them at times have been or were pre-existing . Now they’ve begun to change their tune and shown a change in their attitude but they haven’t yet been completely swayed. Goodell’s counterpart , DeMaurice Smith has merely given the public sound bytes but in reality his stance hasn’t been any different than that of Gene Upshaw.

And Upshaw as a player has been someone who I’ve admired but as a union representative he has my complete and utter contempt ! His primary concern has always been how much money came rolling into the NFLPA’s coffers by way of the league’s collective bargaining agreement. His concern , if any , was never for any of his peers or the retired players and there have been public statements that can be attributed to the late union chief executive. Meanwhile the fans out there continue to be completely in awe by what they see on the field of play but rarely do they show any real wish to view after the after life of an NFL player and many of the problems that they face. I liken it how the VA (Veterans’Administration), the government and public at large say that they stand behind the troops in their support but most days they wouldn’t give a soldier the time of day much less say hello . Doubt my word ? Then ask yourself this, when was the last time you offered some form of assistance to a returning veteran much less having spent some time with one either at a military facility such as a hospital or VFW lodge ? Go ahead give it a try and let me know what the experience was like ? It may well change your mindset as to how you actually view their plight. I mean the whole world felt aggrieved with the loss of former NFL star Pat Tillman even in the advent of his death being due to friendly fire but you’d be hard pressed to hear anyone say what happened in the aftermath as to the coverup concerning his death by the Defense Department and the US Army itself ?

The NFL has long maintained that it cares about the players and their well being but you’d be hard pressed to actually believe that statement . And I do believe that the league as a whole as well as the owners as a fraternity are a bunch of conniving and greedy bastards ! Nothing that they’re liable to say as it relates to the health issues of current and former NFL players can be taken with any type of veracity and the NFLPA for their part will merely act as if their concern has always been that of their union members. What I find galling by this whole travesty has been the utter contempt shown by the league in treating this matter with the seriousness ad dignity it deserves. But instead it continues to sweep the matter under the carpet until the next crisis or incident catches the public’s and media’s attention and then it tends to act in something of a diplomatic manner.

I’d certainly like to think at this juncture some common ground can be found where both the NFL and union can work in conjunction with the medical community as well as academia in thoroughly investigating and looking to safeguard the well being of current and former NFL players not just neurological disorders but also all forms of life threatening injuries that can and are suffered over the course of a player’s career. Rather than then seeing a player being pushed aside then left to fend for themselves and more often than not being egregiously denied benefits that’s rightfully due to them. At present there’s a civil suit filed by current and former players against the NFL as the sole defendant that charges them with gross malpractice , fraud and grand larceny in the denial of benefits due to the plaintiffs , in this case a collective of seventy five current and former NFL players. The suit has been filed within the US Federal Court System in Los Angeles for which a trial date has yet to be set. The plaintffs seek unspecified as well as punitive damages . The NFL and owners for their part haven’t as such issued a public statement concerning the matter but I’ve no doubt that the league’s general counsel in all due time with gave that rather perfunctory statement saying that …..” the plaintiffs’ case is without merit”.

In light of Duane Duerson’s death and the health problems that the player is said to have sustained during his professional post NFL career do you firmly believe that the league and union has done enough with regard to safe guarding the well being and health of the players ? Or do you believe that they’ve simply obfuscated their responsibilities and would rather see the players simply deal with their own health concerns themselves ? Bear this in mind the rate of neurological health issues suffered by NFL players is far higher than the general population at large and when compared to the geriatrics (elderly) the actual rate is almost 33% higher . Cause for concern don’t you think when players in their late thirties and forties in some cases are suffering from the early onset of such afflictions as ALS , Alzheimers’ disease , Parkinson’s disease , epileptic seizures, or CTE or an abundance of other life threatening maladies ? Say what you will but at this juncture but this is no longer an issue that can be swept under the carpet as it has been repeatedly done by both the NFL and NFLPA over the years . It’s time for them to do what’s morally and legally right rather than hiding behind that veil of ignorance and complete stupidity !

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

Simply chime in with your thoughts on this matter and any other issue you feel is pertinent as it relates to the NFL and this topic . Thanks as always for the continued support as it’s greatly appreciated !

Picture and slide show details below
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(1) Dave Duerson (right) is seen here testifying before Congress in June of 2007 . In the background seated is former Dallas Cowboys’ player Darryl Johnston . Duerson’s testimony to Congress dealt with the issues of neurological disorders suffered by current and retired players. He was a stauch advocate also for the rights of players with regard their medical plight , denial of benefits and numerous other health related issues. He was only 50 years old at the time of his death. AP/ Malcolm Warren ……….

(2) Duerson seen here during an game for the Chicago Bears playing against the Dallas Cowboys at Soldier Field in Chicago , Illinois . AFP/Reuters / Phil Pressman ………..

(3) Chicago Bears former safety Dave Duerson holds up his drivers’ license during a public tribute to his teammate Walter Payton at Chicago’s Soldier Field in this November 6, 1999 file photo. Duerson, a key member of the team that won the 1985 Super Bowl, has died, police said on Friday. Duerson, 50, was found dead this past Thursday night at his home in Miami, said detective Robert Williams, a spokesman for the Miami Dade Police Department. No immediate cause of death was given. REUTERS/Sue Ogrocki …..

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NFL news

Alan aka tophatal …………………

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DMX ………………. “Slippin”

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No Habla Espanol …………….

No Habla Espanol

Surprising enough listening to the NFL Commissioner , Roger Goodell address the House Judiciary Committee recently,was like listening to a Caucasian trying to have a conversation with a Spanish speaking native in their native tongue. Goodell’s command of the English language was a hideous embarrassment. With his double-speak and the fact that the NFL hierarchy has become so secretive that it makes Opus Dei seem like the transparency shown by the Klu Klux Klan. But in essence, we should expect no more different from an individual tries to appear to be all things to all people. The commissioner’s appearance up on Capitol Hill was to address a very acute issue, that somehow the commissioner and the NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith have been averse to deal with it head on. And that is the issue of players current and past, who’ve suffered from repeated numerous concussions on the football field. And if that wasn’t enough with the country in apparent uproar of health-care reform and the fact that the government is about to change the parameters of that very issue. By possibly pursuing a public option, it will bring about a situation wherein the government essentially enters the health-care market. What people seem to forget, is that they already are doing so. Now if the question being raised is whether or not they can operate better in this field than the private enterprises . Then, there you have the veracity of a case for an argument that can be made.

Goodell meets with Congress in a scheduled meeting with the House Judiciary Committee, on Capitol, Hill, Washington D.C.,.

The NFL and the NFLPA would have you believe that they have the players’ best interests at heart on this very issue. But the fact of the matter is, that both parties have failed odiously on this very issue to address it head on. Over the years there have inexplicable situations where former players have been unable to attain benefits due to them and what is even more incredulous has been the undeniable fact the NFL appears to be oblivious to the issue. They’ve skirted around it for years even when former players have made numerous calls to Goodell and his predecessor Paul Tagliabue. Their failures , have made this very issue all the more transparent that the NFL’s sole goal is the chase after the ‘Almighty Dollar’ and the expense of their players and very little else. Inasmuch, the same thing was stated by Smith’s own predecessor Gene Upshaw and his odious rant that’ ………the players then, aren’t my concern but today’s players are! As they’re the ones making the money for the NFL’ . If that’s not a damning indictment of the league and the union. Then can someone tell me please what is ?

Courtesy of The New York Daily News :

Congress slams NFL commissioner Roger Goodell about NFL’s head trauma policy …..

By Wayne Coffey Daily News Sports Writer

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Like a quarterback facing a game-long blitz, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and the nation’s richest professional sport absorbed a barrage of hits on Capitol Hill Wednesday, when a hearing on football head injuries produced sharp questioning and a finger-jabbing accusation from Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.).

Waters, whose husband played in the NFL, was particularly incensed when Goodell refused to acknowledge a direct link between football and brain-trauma injuries.

“I believe you are an $8 billion organization that has failed in your responsibility to the players,” Waters said. “I know that you dearly want to hold on to your profits. I think it’s the responsibility of Congress to look at your antitrust exemption and take it away.”

The league’s antitrust exemption, established in 1961, cleared the way for owners to reap billions in television revenue.

The hearing – convened by the House Judiciary Committee, chaired by Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) – was held before an SRO crowd in the Rayburn Office Building, among them two NFL Hall of Famers, Willie Wood and Jim Brown.

Wood, the former Packers defensive back, was in a wheelchair. Brown, perhaps the greatest running back in history, walked with a cane.

The hearing was called in the wake of a recent NFL-commissioned survey that revealed that retired NFL players may suffer from such irreversible brain diseases as Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE), and dementia, at rates far greater than the general population. Conyers said it was time for the committee to do “an expeditious and independent review all of the data.”

The league has steadfastly downplayed the validity of any studies indicating a connection between playing football and the incidence of brain disease, maintaining that its own recent survey was widely misinterpreted.

Christoper Nowinski, a former Harvard football player and professional wrestler, is the founder of the Sports Legacy Institute and co-director of Center For the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy at Boston University. He testified about his own years of concussion-related problems, while his colleague, Dr. Ann McKee, reported that she found “severe” brain damage in all 11 of the postmortem studies she has made of former pro and college football players.

“I am constantly surprised by the NFL’s reaction to evidence that is overwhelming that we have a serious public-health crisis on our hands,” Nowinski said.

Goodell repeatedly defended the league’s actions and policies, saying he had spent more time and attention to the issue of brain injuries to NFL players than any issue in his time as commissioner.

Click here to read further ……………….

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In order to read Wayne Coffey’s article in its entirety just click on the text link shown
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The league has conducted its own investigations into concussions and head traumas suffered by NFL players and the their aftermath. But as of yet , they’ve yet to make their findings public. However, a number of universities have conducted similar studies their own investigations into the issue at the behest of former NFL players and a number of insurance concerns. Much of which had repudiated earlier claims that were being made by the NFL. The real issue however , may well be why the NFL has failed to deal with this very acute issue ? The thought would be that the health of its players would be paramount to the well being of the game and its viability ? But then again, when the feeder system for your non ending talent pool, is that of the collegiate game. Then one would guess that this sole issue would be not be of paramount importance to the league.

Much of what Goodell and Smith have stated here has only recently enacted done in the last ten months . What of prior to this period in time ? As I alluded to earlier, it’s been nothing more than mere double-speak on both of their parts.

The indifference shown by the league has been incredulous and what has proven to be even more exacerbating has been the very fact that we’ve not heard any current NFL player come out openly and comment on the issue. It’s as if they’re of the opinion that this doesn’t concern them . Moreover , it’s unlikely that they’d ever suffer such a trauma on or off the field of play. One of the bye products of a concussion suffered on the field is the very real possibility of there being long suffering and lingering long term problems for the victims. The possibility that down the line there’s a chance of possibly a player being in the first early stages of the onset of Alzheimer’s disease is a very disturbing scenario. Anyone whose seen the result of this very debilitating disease ,surely knows that the suffering is a constant one . And most certainly, it leaves its victims in a place of not being cognizant of what’s happening around them. Much less, being able to hold an oral line of conversation with anyone and then being able to respond with some semblance of clarity.

Courtesy of USAToday.com:

Goodell grilled by Congress on head injuries, won’t admit link

WASHINGTON (AP) — NFL commissioner Roger Goodell would not acknowledge a connection between head injuries on the football field and later brain diseases while defending the league’s policies on concussions before Congress.

Under sometimes-contentious questioning from lawmakers — and suggestions about reconsidering the league’s lucrative antitrust exemption — Goodell sat at a witness table Wednesday alongside NFL Players Association head DeMaurice Smith.

Both men agreed to turn over players’ medical records to the House Judiciary Committee.

Chairman John Conyers, D-Mich., asked Goodell whether he thinks there’s an injury-disease link. Goodell responded that the NFL isn’t waiting for that debate to play out and is taking steps to make the game safer.

“I just asked you a simple question. What is the answer?” persisted Conyers.

Goodell replied by saying a medical expert could give a better answer than he could.

Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., whose husband played in the NFL, asked Goodell how the league was addressing the welfare of retired players during current collective bargaining negotiations with the union.

Goodell said that it’s a “priority for the owners and players to take better care of our retired players,” but Waters cut him off, demanding specifics.

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In order to read USAToday’s article in its entirety just click on the link provided
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So what now , you may ask ? Will the NFL and the NFLPA be proactive on this issue ? Or will they just cast it aside as so often has been done , with them issuing the statement that they will address it at some time in the future ? Much like any other business entity where image is everything. The NFL is no different than any other – other than the fact that in their field of operation they’re the only game in town. And they will continue to act and do as they please because they’ve no opposition within their field of endeavor. Or from the federal government as a matter of fact as they too have been culpable in ignoring the plight of present and former players in the NFL , in this regard. Now being the only game in town and with this issue being of a very delicate nature. There has to be something that the NFL can do at this juncture ? Rather than hiding behind that veil of secrecy and outright denial.