Horton Hears A Who ….


Horton Hears A Who ….

In the aftermath of the mental breakdown ,which took place during the waning moments of the Superbowl (SBLXIV) leading to the New England Patriots’ dramatic win. The real cause-celebre’ has been Seattle Seahawks’ head coach Pete Carroll’s explanation as to the reason behind why and his last minute change of play .

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With running back Marshawn Lynch having caused the Patriots’ secondary all kinds of problems through large segments of the game, the defending champions needed only a red-zone rushing play to guarantee themselves a successful defense of the title won last season. Instead, as millions of us witnessed, inexplicably , Russell Wilson rifled a pass meant for Seahawks’ wide receiver Jermaine Kearse, only for rookie defensive player, Malcolm Butler to make the game-saving interception, leading to New Englands’ historic win and their their placein Superbowl history. As to what this now means for and to the psyche of the Seahawks’ players and the fact, Carroll’s explanation in his post-game interview seems somewhat unconvincing, leads me to believe a great deal of blame for the loss rests squarely upon his shoulders, as well as that of offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell for the play-calling and specifically, this one play, likely to be repeatedly shown on television and become a bone of conjecture and debate among fans across the NFL.

Feb 1, 2015; Glendale, AZ, USA; Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch (24) carries the ball for a touchdown in the second quarter past New England Patriots outside linebacker Jamie Collins (91) and Brandon Browner (39) in Super Bowl XLIX at University of Phoenix Stadium. Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Even to the uninitiated, this maneuver by the Seattle Seahawks made absolutely no sense, but somehow the head coach and offensive coordinator felt it the right thing to do at the time. The ramifications of this loss will be far reaching without delving into the fact as to where the blame ought to be apportioned for this mea-culpa and undeniable mess. There have been games in Superbowl history with a great deal of controversy, but never one where within the blink of an eye , victory was simply snatched away because of the sheer idiocy of a decision made by the coaching staff of a team. Seahawks’ players never one to shy away from their own self-belief and specifically, their defense known as the “Legion of Boom”, must now be wondering how and why things got so out of hand, when they played to the best of their ability in keeping the offense in the game, only for the coaching staff and offensive players to have irrationally choked away this contest through their sheer stupidity.

“Deflate-Gate “ and whatever idiocy, else comes out of that particular storyline , leaves the league hierarchy in an impossible situation. Allegations,being what they are, the real blame does lie with the game officials(referees) who oversaw the AFC championship game between the Indianapolis Colts and the New England Patriots, staged at Gillette Stadium , Foxboro’, Massachusetts, on the 18th January, 2015.

Colts’ owner Jim Irsay and GM Ryan Grigson have said very little on the issue, leaving it instead for the ongoing league investigation to take its full course, with their findings and outcome yet to be made public. For the Indianapolis Colts the abrupt end to their postseason foray, was epitomized by the loss to the Patriots, but where the highs of the postseason, was represented by their complete annihilation of the Denver Broncos and what was said to be one of the best defenses entering into the postseason and for much of the regular season. That was clearly not evident in their divisional round contest played at Sports Authority Field-Mile High Stadium in Denver , Colorado on the 11th January , 2015.

Tom Brady now joins Hall of : Fame quarterbacks , Joe Montana and Terry Bradshaw as the only players to have won four Superbowl titles, while being the quarterback for the very same team. Bradshaw achieved that feat with the Pittsburgh Steelers, while Montana’s success was borne out of his career with the San Francisco 49ers As to where Brady might now rank among the all-time greats to have played the position will be the subject of many debates and obvious conjecture. Now as a three-time winner of the Superbowl MVP . Tom Brady’s postseason legacy has been set, with an indelible mark left on NFL postseason history play among quarterbacks . Needless to say, the player will still have his critics, borne out of jealousy and the ongoing allegations of cheating which continues to surround the Patriots’ franchise. My question for the naysayers out there, if Brady were the quarterback on the team you allegedly support, would the feelings of hatred still remain the same ?

From my own standpoint, while the adjudicators felt Brady was worthy of the Superbowl MVP, my own choice would have been the team’s wide receiver Julian Edelman, whose performance was scintillating to say the very least. New England’s head coach Bill Belichick may well have won the plaudits’ praise ,but defensive coordinator Matt Patricia has now found his niche among the league’s top coordinators. The Patriots’ defense was very good and negated the best the Seahawks had to offer.

Away from the field of play, it will be interesting to see what steps are likely to be taken as the New England Patriots seek to defend their title next season. The first step likely to be taken by GM Nick Caserio and the impending free agents on the team’s roster and the cap obligations the franchise will face. Darrelle Revis , Devin McCourty , Shane Vereen , Stevan Ridley and Jonathan Casillas are among the list of players who are free agents, where the team’s cap figure will be in excess of $152 million and the projected cap for next season at an estimated $160 million , leaving the franchise with very little wiggle room should they seek to retain many of the aforementioned players.

Tom Brady’s ‘window of opportunity’ for possibly a fifth Superbowl victory at present doesn’t seem beyond the realms of possibility , not when you consider the tandem of he and his head coach Bill Belichick continuing their quest for NFL ” immortality” . Certainly , we know with the ongoing claims as to the veracity of several of their seasons continually coming into question , what cannot be denied, is the very fact the success achieved has been astounding , if not incredible , six Superbowl appaerances , four wins , six AFC conference championships as a coaching quarterback tandem , twelve AFC East divisional titles , of those twelve , six have been consecutive , since 2009, with the duo along the way, having won just about won every singular regular season award possible for their respective fields. What is likely to dictate this pursuit, will be the willingness of Brady’s teammates to follow his lead, while at the same seeing the challenges ahead, acquiescing to the need for not only to continuity, but also to make necessary financial sacrifices and resources available to GM Nick Caserio for that pursuit. It is not often something done in today’s NFL, when far too often, the real issue among far too many of the players is that real ‘need to get paid’ , and to be paid what they believe to be commensurate to their talent-level , skill-set.

Somehow , I am beginning to wonder if Jay Cutler , with the “yoke around” his neck of his seven-year, $127 million contract, wouldn’t trade that all in for another appearance in the Superbowl and an actual victory, rather than the continued notion of his being an overpaid and talentless buffoon, as he’s now deemed to be and ridiculed in NFL circles ! The same I might add, has to be true of Tony Romo and his continued mediocrity witnessed during the postseason, albeit, with his group of supporters, they , very much like the player , continue to apportion blame elsewhere for his failures, rather than acknowledging his lack of leadership and the very fact the Dallas Cowboys are not only overrated, but the mere fact, de-facto GM and team owner , Jerry Jones over the past eight years, has simply been allowed to run amok, unchallenged, with a number of his personnel decisions, far too often coming into question. Yet, those Cowboys’ fans remain ever-royal, showing an unwillingness to question the authority of the owner and those recent failures by Jones or Romo. I guess apathy remains strong, alongside stupidity, as has often been the case with ” America’s Team ” and their vapid fans .

It never ceases to amaze, the apathy shown among fans of the NFL who seek to overlook the bad behavior the players while like the league’s commissioner Roger Goodell , all they simply point to, are the ever-increasing revenues, the popularity of the game, while Goodell’s glaring incompetency is being embraced by these anal retentive fans and the franchise owners alike. Pornography remains popular, but not everyone subscribes to it as a wantoned piece of pleasure and the same should be said about the league in its present guise. The Players’ Union (NFLPA) remains a constant joke, with their proxy, the commissioner oversteps his boundaries , however the Executive Committee of the NFLPA and its Executive Director DeMaurice Smith have failed miserably, in addressing the repeated misconduct of their members throughout the years, while pointing to what they believe to the autocratic and dictatorial rule of Roger Goodell. I am suppose to believe the popularity of the NFL, far outweighs the glaring issues , that besets this league each season ? One postseason finale , does not make the NFL an ideal league or the game itself, at its zenith, but yet that remains the asinine proxy lame @ss fans are prepared to adhere to. Being anal retentive, seems to have found its niche among the majority of NFL fans !

With so many teams having failed their fans miserably during the NFL regular season this off-season, becomes more about rebuilding and throwing mis-assembled pieces placed together to make up many of last season’s rosters . Nowhere was that more glaring than with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, whose season was one big mess , with the team setting out on what appeared to be a predetermined desire to be viewed as not only incompetent, but also without a clue in any aspect of their game . Head coach Lovie Smith and his coaching staff were brought in to instill discipline, a defensive mindset , consistency to the team and to a franchise, long lacking in those very same traits. Instead, beyond the injuries , what their fans witnessed , were the repeated prat-falls and the continued idiotic post-game rhetoric so often associated with a head coach, when they are at a complete loss for words, when his players are continually incompetent.

Statistically, the Buccaneers’ league-worst 2-14 record was a true reflection of the team and all of the vagaries therein. Not once, was their any real semblance of urgency and the two regular season victories eked out, may well have been seen as a god-send, but in a number of ways, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers should have considered themselves extremely lucky their season did not mirror that of the Detroit Lions’ win-less season of 2008.

For the privilege of having the NFL’s worst record of last season, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will be the occupants of the top spot in the 2015 NFL Draft and where the question will be , will they make Marcus Mariota their choice , or go with a position player ? The Buccaneers are in need of so many pieces, but the common thread of thought appears to be they would be stupid, to forgo a player of Mariota’s abilities , when they are definitely in need a dynamic passer on the field. Neither Mike Glennon or Josh McCown could supply the team with what was needed last season concerning a passing offense.

With Tampa’s needs, being so glaring at a number of positions, on the current roster and with the defense being so poor, it would not surprise me if Lovie Smith and GM Jason Licht traded down in the order, giving up the top pick for an abundance of second, third and fourth round picks, for a player many believe to be the best quarterback in College Football this past season, although those signs were not seen in Oregon’s national championship loss to Ohio State , where Cardale Jones’ play for the Buckeyes in their fantastic victory over the highly favored Ducks, made it seem, he ought to be the player NFL head coaches should be salivating over.

In recent seasons, the Buccaneers’ draft picks have proven to be more misses than outright hits . While it is too early to truly assess the talents of their top rookie draft pick of 2014 , one might conclude Mike Evans barring injuries could be around for a long time serving the franchise’s best interests. He may well have been the sole reason to watch the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2014.

This off-season will prove to be a difficult one for the Buccaneers , with their being several decisions likely to be made concerning the future look of the team’s roster and what transactions the Buccaneers’ front office deems to be necessary to secure the long-term ” future success” of the NFC South based franchise. The NFL Draft alone may not predetermine the future of this organization, but it will indeed play a significant part in a strategy now being hatched up by Lovie Smith and Jason Licht as they look to secure some semblance of success.

Zygi Wilf and his fellow executives within the Minnesota Vikings’ hierarchy have managed to finagle a publicly financed stadium out of the Minnesota State Legislature with Governor Mark Dayton (R-Mn) having done about- turn, far more than John Kerry is said to have done during his presidential run for the White House. Dayton for his part, is now seeking to suggest his stance was brought about by Wilf’s commitment have this venue be of benefit to the state and its residents. Personally, I believe the governor has shown his naivete’ in believing the Vikings’ owner has any thoughts about the well-being of the fans, much less the state’s residents. The NFL’s franchise owners’ remains the image of the league, the overriding wish to reap billions in profits while, Roger Goodell continues to wax on lyrically about the league , not ever truly addressing the continued social issues currently engulfing the NFL .

Cynicism suggests the NFL hierarchy has never cared what the hell the fans think, while the apathy of the fans, is the response of, the NFL is is simply a business and not much else . The league’s moral compass was lost long ago and the idiotic rhetoric, forthcoming from the league, owners and union,simply shows it to be bereft of real leadership. If the fans who continue to point to the idiocy of the popularity will be the lone concept which will benefit the NFL’s long-term success will sooner, rather than later be rationale, which will begin to have major corporate sponsors shy away from the NFL. Consider, Roger Goodell’s response concerning the fallout of the Ray Rice affair and how it was viewed by women, who in shape or another make up a large portion of the NFL’s fan-base, without acknowledging the fact they are also mothers, daughters, without also acknowledging the fact, female victims of sexual abuse and assaults are victimized not just by their assailants, but also the entire legal process, from its start to not necessarily what is deemed to be a just ending to the legal process.

The NFL with Goodell’s asinine comments and response, shows him to be without a clue and most definitely no idea , what a woman has been subjected to , after a sexual assault, without his ever acknowledging how poorly he and the league have dealt with the actions of the players and their continued misconduct, especially where allegations of assaults have taken place. What more now needs to be said ? Oh, your response remains, the NFL is really popular and can withstand this type of negative publicity ? Only a complete idiot would continue to hide behind this premise.

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Picture gallery .

What were your impressions of the events, that unfolded during the Superbowl and do you believe the Seattle Seahawks will be able to overcome the psychological aspects of the loss suffered at the hands of the New England Patriots ? Also, if there is blame to be apportioned in the defeat, where it should it lie ? Is it with Pete Carroll and Darrel Bevell or the Seahawks players ? Finally, with the disastrous season of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, having just passed , do you believe the front office should draft Oregon quarterback, Marcus Mariota as their number one pick in the first round of the upcoming NFL Draft , or should trade the pick and move lower down the order , seeking multiple picks in the latter rounds ?

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Picture and slideshow details below.
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(1) GLENDALE, AZ – FEBRUARY 01: Malcolm Butler (21) of the New England Patriots intercepts a pass by Russell Wilson (3) of the Seattle Seahawks intended for Ricardo Lockette (83) late in the fourth quarter during Super Bowl XLIX at University of Phoenix Stadium on February 1, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona. A pass play involving Seahawks’ running back Marshawn Lynch was thought to be the strategy for the team in the red-zone , but head coach Pete Carroll and offensive coordinator Darrell Revis went with “the pass “ leading to the game-winning defensive interception and play by Butler. Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

(2) Feb 1, 2015; Glendale, AZ, USA; Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch (24) carries the ball for a touchdown in the second quarter past New England Patriots outside linebacker Jamie Collins (91) and Brandon Browner (39) in Super Bowl XLIX at University of Phoenix Stadium. Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

(3) Russell Wilson (3) of the Seattle Seahawks looks on after his pass is intercepted by Malcolm Butler (21) of the New England Patriots late in the fourth quarter against the New England Patriots during Super Bowl XLIX at University of Phoenix Stadium on February 1, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona. Getty Images North America / Kevin C Cox

(4) Russell Wilson (3) of the Seattle Seahawks makes a pass in the second half against the New England Patriots during Super Bowl XLIX at University of Phoenix Stadium on February 1, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona. Getty Images / Andrew Lyons

(5) Feb 1, 2015; Glendale, AZ, USA; New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman (11) catches a touchdown pass in front of Seattle Seahawks corner-back Tharold Simon (27) during the fourth quarter in Super Bowl XLIX at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

(6) New England Patriots’ quarterback Tom Brady is seen here alongside head Bill Belichick after the team’s triumph in Superbowl 49 over the Seattle Seahawks, the franchise’s fourth triumph in their seventh Superbowl appearance . The tandem have won four Superbowls together, joining Chuck Noll and Terry Bradshaw for the most titles won together. Brady also joins Bradshaw and Joe Montana as the only quarterbacks in NFL history with four Superbowl victories. Brady may well seek to win an unprecedented fifth victory if franchise can keep this current roster together with Belichick remaining as the head coach , Matt Patricia and Josh McDaniel as part of the Patriots’ coaching staff. GM Nick Caserio has been the architect of the franchise’s most recent appearances and successes in the postseason. Getty Images / Grant Wilson

(7) Patriots’ GM Nick Caserio , left, is seen here with head coach Bill Belichick at the team’s practice facility in Foxboro, Massachusetts ,. Caserio in conjunction with Belichick , have been the main architects of the franchise’s most recent success as well as the ongoing rebuilding of the roster over the past six seasons. AP Photo / Mark Howard

(8) Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Josh McCown (13) is seen here congratulating teammate Mike Evans (13) from the sidelines after Evans made decisive play during a preseason season game against the Miami Dolphins played at . Seen in the background is Buccaneers’ head coach Lovie Smith whose first season as the head coach has been an unmitigated disaster . AP Photo/ David Ross

(9) Marcus Mariota , left, of the Oregon Ducks is seen here congratulating Jameis Winston of Florida State after a game between the two teams . Mariota and Winston are the last two winners of the Heisman Trophy and considered to be the consensus top-two picks in the upcoming NFL Draft as well as being the two best quarterbacks in College Football . Buccaneers’ GM Jason Licht will be making a decision which is likely to have far-reaching consequences for the franchise as well as the whole draft process this off-season . AP Photo / Amy Douglas

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Seattle Seahawks’ offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell , left is seen here alongside head coach Pete Carroll on the sidelines talking to the team’s quarterback Russell Wilson .

Big game , no shame ….

Big game, no shame …..

As the big game is merely four days away and with the countdown clock clicking down hours, minutes and seconds to the NFL’s postseason showcase event of the Superbowl . The two teams in preparation have been the center of attention for an event through the usual media thrust, which has attracted the world’s press as well journalists not normally associated or known to cover the NFL and specifically the Superbowl. Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks will be viewed as the home team when they take to the field fend off the quest of the New England Patriots seeking to gain their fourth Superbowl victory in fourteen years and their sixth appearance in the event , all coached by Bill Belichick , who alongside quarterback Tom Brady will be seeking their fourth postseason victory and the raising of the Lombardi Trophy.

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The NFL will know that their showcase event will be the most watched televised program nationally, with an estimated viewership exceeding 105 million viewers and a global audience in excess 1.4 billion watching this sport’s spectacle. With advertizing revenues exceeding $4 billion and major corporations willing to pay $4 million for a thirty-second slot , this averages $130,000 per second and most televised ads for the Superbowl are no longer than two minutes, it easy to understand why the Superbowl has become so lucrative for the league , as well as an economic impact worth tens of millions of dollars, national and worldwide exposure for the city staging the event. The University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale , Arizona will be the venue staging Sunday’s game , with Pete Carroll seeking to win the Seattle Seahawks’ second Superbowl and making a successful defense of the title they won with a great deal of ease last season in defeating the languid Denver Broncos with a lopsided 43-8 victory. last season

This season’s Superbowl provides us with two evenly matched teams, where both their defenses and offenses have proven to be extremely resilient. The opposing running backs LeGarrette Blount and Marshawn Lynch have had their fair share of success during this postseason, postseason with Blount being spectacular in New England’s 45-7 victory over the Indianapolis Colts where the running back claimed three touchdowns in the game.

For team owners Paul Allen, billionaire entrepreneur owner of the Seahawks and Robert Kraft of the New England Patriots this gives both of these high-profiled individuals a chance to make themselves visible to not only fans of the NFL but also the global recognition perhaps they would not be usually accustomed to , but it should be noted, Allen was one of the main driving forces behind the inception of software giant Microsoft , whereas Kraft, is the owner of The Kraft Group of Companies , a privately owned and held conglomerate. Bragging rights are on the line for both of these NFL franchise and where for the second time in two seasons we have the two best teams contesting the right to be called a Superbowl champion. With the word ” dynasty” being so often being thrown about to describe teams who have aspire to attaining success winning multiple titles within a specific time-frame, it must be said the Patriots and Seahawks are genuinely seeking to have their names placed among the elite of the NFL’s most successful franchises during the Superbowl era .

With Russell Wilson, now seeking to achieve what no other NFL quarterback with less than sixteen postseason games to their resume’ has been able to do, in winning a second Superbowl. It could be said the 2012 third round drafted quarterback is now well on his way to NFL immortality. Tom Brady for his part, his regular season and postseason resume’ speaks volumes as to what he has been able to achieve. A fourth Superbowl victory would place the famed Patriots’ quarterback alongside Hall of Fame inductees Terry Bradshaw and Joe Montana , with four Lombardi Trophy wins to their name . With both of these quarterbacks likely to be at their very best, I believe this game could be one of the very best in recent NFL Playoff and Superbowl history !

Richard Sherman and his opposing counterpart Darrelle Revis will also be center-stage, as the Seahawks’ corner-back looks to justify his claim of being the best in the NFL, whereas the Patriots’ Revis, after his great season will simply be looking to aid his teammates in their historic quest.

The 2015 NFL Combine will provide teams and their coaching staffs with the opportunity to assess the college players who have declared their eligibility and looking to be a high draft prospect for the 2015 NFL Draft. With the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-14) who have the top draft pick in this upcoming draft will be hard pressed to overlook the talents of Oregon (Ducks) quarterback Marcus Mariota the 2014 Heisman Trophy winner . The Buccaneers had a slew of woes, which cast a giant shadow of the course of the team’s regular season and obviously explained their dismal regular season record. Head coach Lovie Smith, his coaching staff and GM Jason Licht will be facing a tough decision, do they forgo Mariota, trade down and gain several additional picks or take a player who many believed to be the most dynamic in College Football during 2014 ? With neither Mike Glennon or Josh McCown being able to provide the Buccaneers will a passing game competitive enough to compete within the league and a defense which was simply mediocre at best , it has to be said the NFC South based franchise is caught between a rock and hard place .

Where the Buccaneers seek to go in terms of their draft choices will be based upon the needs Lovie Smith and Jason Licht best fits the needs of the franchise. Several free agent players on the team’s roster will likely be jettisoned , as both the head coach and general manager seek to avail themselves of even more cap space for the upcoming season. With their being several marquee free agents looking for a big payday , Tampa may well seek to obtain to make a big splash in the free agency market by way of an acquisition. From this point forward , it will be interesting to see what rumors are likely to emanate from within the organization as they they seek to position themselves for the NFL Draft.

Jerry Jones may well have been satisfied with the fact the Dallas Cowboys won the NFC East and made the postseason for the first time since 2009. Yet, for all of the bravura by the lugubrious owner, this team still failed miserably. I can only surmise apathy remains the norm for a franchise and a fan-base, who believe it preordained that beyond a rite of passage, they are meant to be in the postseason each season. Tony Romo’s playoff record is simply one of the many reasons why the Cowboys are unlikely to win a Superbowl in the near future beyond the fact Jason Garrett is simply a lousy big-game head coach, especially during the postseason , never mind the regular season, when all is said to be on the line. Other than the Philadelphia Eagles’ , a team whose head coach Chip Kelly remains clueless when it comes to the fact that defense is needed when it actually comes to winning games. The the Cowboys were never seriously challenged within the division throughout the season, with the Eagles simply throwing away the opportunity to win the NFC East outright.

This off-season the biggest obstacle face Jerry Jones as the general manager of Dallas Cowboys , will be decision of retaining either DeMarco Murray or Dez Bryant , two of the primary reasons why the franchise was so successful this season by way of their record . Bryant and Murray as highly prized free agents at the running back and wide receiver positions will certainly be looking to be offered contracts commensurate with their standing in the NFL .

Having to make the decision between the choice of Bryant and Murray , will not be tough, even with the salary cap likely to exceed $156 million for 2015, it does not leave the Cowboys with a great deal of wiggle room, unless Tony Romo is willing to redo his contract and lower the sum of $27.7 million he is due in 2015 . It remains the only way Jerry Jones can retain both players, unless he is willing to jettison several members of the current roster he believes to be superfluous to the Cowboys’ needs. I would hazard a guess, Jones will keep his cards close to his chest , rather than letting on what his final decision is likely to be !

The fallout this off-season, with the customary managerial firings witnessed, should not have really come as a big surprise. Marc Trestman , Rex Ryan and Mike Smith were either complacent or simply did not do enough to motivate their respective teams . Just looking at the poor performances of the Chicago Bears, New York Jets and Atlanta Falcons provided us with enough of an indication how poor a season all three teams had during 2014.

The fallout this off-season, with the customary managerial firings witnessed, should not have really come as a big surprise. Marc Trestman , Rex Ryan and Mike Smith were either complacent or simply did not do enough to motivate their respective teams . Just looking at the poor performances of the Chicago Bears, New York Jets and Atlanta Falcons provided us with enough of an indication how poor a season all three teams had during 2014. Jay Cutler , Geno Smith and Matt Ryan , it could be said they led the NFL by way of their inconsistency over the course of the season.

While it seems highly unlikely the Bears , Falcons and Jets will pursue a quarterback in the NFL Draft or via free agency , one way or another these teams will have to address the issue and the reasons why, all three players failed so miserably, beyond looking at their respective salaries and value of their contracts . Former Bears’ GM Phil Emery must have been in a drunken stupor or was he was actually cajoled into making Jay Cutler among the highest paid players in the NFL with his seven-year $126.7 million deal ?

The more things are said to change , the more they tend to remain the same. Not much has changed for the Oakland Raiders over the past three seasons in terms of their play or seeking to improve their divisional record . Another season and yet another coaching change, with Jack Del Rio succeeding the departures of Tony Sparano and Dennis Allen who were at some point during 2014 season the head coaches of the Raiders. If the situation , which unraveled leading to a 4-12 season was not enough of a disaster , then consider the fact some fans of the franchise tried to suggest Derek Carr was the future of the Raiders in terms of having a quarterback who could lead this team. The Raiders proved to be no more of a challenge for their opponents during their season than their record would suggest. Those four victories if nothing else, simply suggested how mediocre this season just happened to be , without delving into the fact that neither Tony Sparano or Dennis Allen brought anything new to the table by way of their coaching acumen.

Del Rio will assemble his own coaching staff , while having to deal with GM Reggie McKenzie and team owner Mark Davis have shown a propensity to make the most asinine of decisions concerning the player personnel for the franchise. There is likely to be another rash of “in-house cleaning” as McKenzie seeks to cut away the “dead weight” from the roster. There are more pieces to be found on the Raiders , than a patch-work quilt, but at least a quilt , is likely to have its uses . In the case of the Oakland Raiders, they were about as useful as a bucket filled with holes and used as a receptacle to hold water.

This NFL postseason has seen its fair share of controversy , highs and lows . Yet for all of the drama which has unfolded, we will still be drawn to the spectacle of the Superbowl. Whatever the outcome might be, the best the league can now hope for is a competitive game, rather than another blowout, as was the case in 2014.

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Picture gallery.

Of the two teams participating in this season’s NFL showcase event, which franchise do you believe will prevail on Sunday evening ?

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Picture and slideshow gallery.

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(1) Russell Wilson (3) greets Tom Brady (12) of the New England Patriots after a game which took place at Century Link Field in Seattle, Washington , on 14th October , 2012 . Wilson engineered a come from behind win defeating the Patriots 24-23 on the day. The two teams will meet again this Sunday in Superbowl 49 , where the Seahawks will be looking to make a successful defense of the title they won in Superbowl 48 , defeating the Denver Broncos with ease in a lopsided victory . Seattle Times / Dean Ruiz .

(2) Tom Brady , left and Russell Wilson . The two quarterbacks will both be seeking a another win of the Superbowl, while possibly looking to add their name to the Superbowl MVP . Something of which Brady has done before as a player for the New England Patriots . Wilson was among the Seahawks’ nominees when his team won Superbowl 48 . AP Photo / Paul Brooks

(3) The opposing head coaches of Sunday’s big game are Bill Belichick , left, of the New England Patriots and Pete Carroll of the Seattle Seahawks . Carroll preceded Belichick as the head coach of the Patriots where he spent three years in his capacity at the position of head coach of the AFC East based franchise. USA Today Sports/ Joe Nicholson

(4) Robert Kraft , billionaire and team owner of the New England Patriots. Kraft will be looking for the franchise to win their fourth Superbowl this upcoming Sunday , becoming only the third ownership group with such a distinction . The Rooney family, owners of the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Bartolo’s of the San Francisco 49ers are the others with the honor of achieving the feat in question. AP Photo / David Murray

(5) Paul Allen , owner of the Seattle Seahawks and one of the wealthiest individuals in America and among the richest people in the world . Allen is often seen at the home games of the Seahawks played at Century Link Field in Seattle , Washington , where he is known to be extremely passionate about the franchise he owns . Getty Images North America / Bill Patterson

(6) Darrelle Revis (24) and Richard Sherman (25) , considered to be among the two best corner-backs currently playing in the NFL today , with both players being outstanding defensive players for their respective teams . Sherman will be looking to add a second Superbowl ring to his list of accomplishments , while Revis seeks the first of his career. Courtesy of ESPN .

(7) Teammates , Dez Bryant (88) and DeMarco Murray (29) of the Dallas Cowboys , had outstanding seasons for the franchise breaking single season records , while leading the Cowboys to their first playoff appearance since 2009 . Bryant and Murrary are free agents during the off-season and it is not known if Jerry Jones will be able to retain both players , signing them both to long-term contracts. The only possible way for the situation to work in the Cowboys’ favor would be a restructuring of Tony Romo’s contract where the player is due to receive $27.7 million for 2015 or the franchise cutting several other players from the roster thought to be superfluous to the team’s needs. A decision is likely to be made in the run-up to the NFL Draft . AP Photo / Chris Jones

(8) Jan 16, 2015; Alameda, CA, USA; Jack Del Rio (center) with Oakland Raiders’ general manager Reggie McKenzie (left) and owner Mark Davis at press conference to announce his hiring as Raiders’ head coach at the Raiders practice facility. Del-Rio becomes the franchise’s ninth head coach in the last eleven seasons . USA TODAY Sports/ Kirby Lee

(9) Dec 13, 2014; New York, NY, USA; (left to right) Alabama Crimson Tide wide receiver Amari Cooper and Wisconsin Badgers running back Melvin Gordon and Oregon Ducks quarterback Marcus Mariota pose with the Heisman Trophy during the pre-announcement Heisman finalists press conference at the New York Marriott Marquis . All three collegiate players are likely to be first round draft picks in the 2015 NFL Draft . The question remains to be seen , who will become the number one overall pick in the first round. USA Today Sports / Brad Penner

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The Lombardi Trophy .

Cronyism , alive , kicking and damn well doing well in the NFL and in being part of our daily lives

Cronyism , alive , kicking and damn well-doing, well in the NFL and in being part of our daily lives …

After yesterday’s rather embarrassing display in the NFL , I am beginning to wonder how the league hierarchy and in particular NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell will try to suggest that the game itself was a rousing success , as a branding and marketing of the NFL for a global audience . An expectant worldwide audience of over 1.3 billion people were in fact subjected to one of the most lopsided Superbowl games in NFL history , from what were we informed were two of the best teams in the league all season long . Perhaps , we ought to have really read more in the week two preseason meeting between the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks , as Russell Wilson and his teammates subjected the Denver Broncos to a 40-10 mauling . Rightly or wrongly, we are told that we should never read much into the preseason and whatever takes place there, as the games are meaningless . If that appears to be the case, then can someone explain to me , how in the most important game of the season , the Superbowl , an experienced quarterback such as Peyton Manning and his accompanying teammates can once again manage to lay a goose egg with another inept performance of such gigantic proportions ?

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Slideshow .

Sunday’s thirty-five point margin of victory in Seattle’s staggering pounding of the Denver Broncos , where the Seahawks’ defense simply steamrolled and outplayed the Broncos’ offense , was not the largest winning margin in Superbowl history ,but by all means it may well have been the most embarrassing , when one considers that we were led to believe that the two combatants were the best that the NFL had to offer all season long in 2013. Pete Carroll and the Seattle Seahawks, in their 43-8 victory , gained the NFC West based franchise their first Superbowl victory of their existence. For owner , Paul Allen this was indeed vindication in hiring the former USC Trojans’ head coach .

Pete Carroll can now go off into the off-season , knowing that his previous experiences within the NFL can now be cast aside as he joins growing throng of head coaches to have won a Superbowl. For opposing head coach , John Fox , this was once again a season of missed opportunities and questions will certainly abound as to what went wrong, and why things went wrong and so abysmally for the Denver Broncos and their presumed to be, high-octane offense. Broncos’ owner Pat Bowlen and the team’s President & Head Football Operations John Elway , have now seen the team falter two years in succession , after a great deal of anticipation in both 2012 and then again this past postseason . It is pretty much safe to say, that the two lead executives will go about reassessing the roster and the team’s needs overall , as they prepare for the upcoming NFL Draft.

What seems eerily strange throughout this contest between the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks , was the very fact that John Fox and his coaching staff appeared be at a loss in how counter Seahawks’ every move . Perhaps , it was me , in expecting far more out of Fox as a head coach , given his pedigree in that role !

For a team that might not have been seen as an odds on favorite over the Seattle Seahawks in this Superbowl title match-up , the Denver Broncos were certainly expected to make this game a competitive one. Instead, it became a lopsided affair, with only one team , seemingly eager to display their all-round talents. Something that was effectively done and continually on display thought the game by the Seattle Seahawks , in particular from a defense that was hell-bent on showing why they were the best defensive unit in the entire NFL over the course of the regular season . Russell Wilson, in only his fifth postseason start , can now be called a Superbowl champion. His teammates, Richard Sherman and Superbowl MVP winner Malcolm Smith , are not likely to rest on their laurels , as they seek to make a successful defense of their title at the start of next season. . Seahawks’ GM John Schneider having succeeded John Idzik , has assembled a roster of veterans , as well as a group of young and versatile players at several positions amongst the team’s depth chart . It bodes well for the Seahawks, if they are able to keep the greater part of the team’s roster, as they seek to embark on the defense of Superbowl 48. Granted, they are likely to lose a number of players through free agency and attrition , but with . the salary cap possibly kept in line with the 2013 figure of $124.8 million. It could well lead to the front office being a significant player during the off-season , in seeking retain players , as well as signing a couple free agents to meet the team’s needs.

With the postseason having come to a close within the NFL and stories having been written , with differing plot-lines having been envisaged at the start of the preseason as well as the regular season. It must be said, that the arrogance shown by Roger Goodell and the league hierarchy has simply been nothing short of astounding. Several teams as we know, failed to live up to expectations and with a postseason finale that bordered on being so abysmal, by way of the lack of competitiveness. Any type of postscript to be made by the commissioner that concerns the Superbowl and his selling the game as being a tremendous success cannot be seen in any type of positive light .

The economic impact of a Superbowl can lead to anywhere between $2 and $3 billion being infused into a local economy , and it is understandable that the state of New Jersey harbored the ambition to host this event at the NFL’s newest venue , at MetLife Stadium , in East Rutherford , New Jersey, which just happens to be home to the New York Giants and New York Jets . John K Mara , President & CEO of the Giants went so far as to suggest that no matter what the outcome of the event , it was his belief that MetLife Stadium should now be placed on the list of venues that should be hosting future Superbowl games. Mara, off course, is quite within his right, to make such a suggestion, as is his wish. Yet, were it not for what we know to be the fact that the league and specifically owners such as himself, making outlandish demands of the governmental agencies repeatedly , while a great deal of the time offering them little in return, other than the so-called privilege of stating that they have an NFL franchise within their locale.

Roger Goodell professes his wish to see the NFL grow on a global basis and for the past several years , the fans have seen preseason and regular season games being staged in Mexico City , Toronto and London , England. Yet, for all of that un-abashed gimmickry by the league, in selling the game in spite of annual revenues exceeding $8 billion , the NFL still faces an uphill battle to compete against the likes of the NBA and soccer on the global stage. One factor that hinders the league’s process, comes down to the fact that the NFL’s most highly visible players are not known on a worldwide basis as of yet, in spite of the league’s slow but growing profile in Europe , the Far East and on the African continent.

It will be interesting to see the direction taken by the Cleveland Browns after another inauspicious season , with the firing of Rob Chudzinski and his being succeeded by the newly appointed Mike Pettine , a first time head coach in the NFL. Team owner , Jimmy Haslam , having narrowly escaped being imprisoned , for what he now tries to suggest were actions by subordinates within his company , that were completely unknown to him , now has to convince the fans and players that he is indeed an owner , who will take a great deal of interest in the franchise and its future ambitions . The singular biggest issue for the franchise, may well be, whether or not they can keep faith with Brandon Weeden as the team’s starting quarterback . The player, since his elevation to the role, has been wildly erratic , in not being able put together consistently efficient performances , leading many to now believe that the front office will likely draft a quarterback , while also possibly acquiring a free agent during the off-season.

Having finished with a 4-12 record , afoot of the AFC North and barely being competitive throughout this past season . It is easy to understand why the Browns are now said to be seeking a new direction. If nothing else , it may well give the fans hope, but in reality , it just about creating the perception that the organization is seen to be trying in earnest , in seeking some semblance of success. If Weeden is not the answer for the Browns at the quarterback position, then I expect Mike Pettine to seek out an alternative , for that specific role !

Well, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers made the decision to cut short Greg Schiano’s reign as the head coach of the team. A lackluster season and the idiocy of claimants that with the players putting together a three-game winning streak , it meant that Schiano’s position was safe, because of that streak . What, they seemingly failed to realize, the very fact the head coach was ill-disciplined in terms of his coaching style and defensively the team was simply bust . Finishing just ahead of the bottom of the table Atlanta Falcons within the NFC South was a further sign of a lack of progress made under Greg Schiano , after all of the pageantry at his being made the head coach.

Schiano and ousted former GM Mark Dominik simply failed to acquire the players needed, to foster some semblance competitiveness over the course of the season. Add in the fact, that amongst the playing staff, there were few memorable moments for the fans to feed off , as well as their being a complete lack of leadership from anyone on the roster over the course of the year. The apathy of the fans of the franchise, remains , with some trying to point to the fact that this is still a very young team. I guess, having seasoned veterans such as Vincent Jackson and Darrell Revis , simply counts for nothing in their eyes ? And it remains a constant , amongst the fan-base of this franchise.

The hiring of Lovie Smith , a disciple of the Tony Dungy coaching philosophy, it will be very interesting to see the type of dialogue that takes place between Smith and Mark Dominik’s successor , Jason Licht , a former front office executive within the Arizona Cardinals’ organization. If the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are to have any semblance of success , then both Licht and Lovie Smith will have to be on the same page and off the same mindset as to what is needed to improve the team and make them competitive and a perennial contender within the division and NFC. No use crying over spilt milk, as the Josh Freeman era with the Buccaneers has now ceased to exist. As serviceable as Freeman was said to be , he simply did not appear to be a player who had honed his craft or learned from his numerous and repeated mistakes over the course of his reign with the franchise. The drafting of Mike Glennon and the ability of the young rookie to make plays while being efficient with the “rock” impressed Schiano during last season. Alas, where Glennon succeeded , his offense at times, simply let him down and was repeatedly the source of many of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ woes this past season.

During the off-season, as Jason Licht and Lovie Smith prepare for the NFL Draft , the team’s will be predominantly on offense, where at least one or two productive wide receivers are needed along with a tail-back and a tight-end. Seeking out that type offensive weaponry via free agency could prove to be expensive dependent upon how Licht views the market in terms of the aforementioned positions ( wide receivers, running back , tight-end).

In the aftermath of what has been a tumultuous season for the Glazer family as owners of two professional sports’ franchises in Manchester United of the English Premiership League and their floundering fortunes within the Premiership (EPL) , to be concluded with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ infamous soiree in 2013. I must now ask the question, are the sons of Malcolm Glazer, completely clued in as to what is needed to either create or simply continue the success of a professional sports’ team? As the patriarch of the family , the now rarely seen Glazer must be shuddering to think that both of these franchises are likely to sink or swim , with the decisions made by his offspring .

As if to emphasize and further reiterate, why the Tampa Bay Buccaneers now appears to be a franchise. without a clue . It is being widely reported that the franchise , are keenly interested in acquiring seasoned veteran quarterback, Michael Vick. With the exclusion of an twenty-two month incarceration at a federal penitentiary, for his involvement in an illegal gambling and dog-fighting ring that he presided over through a company that he was directly involved (Bad Newz Kennels) with . While, the player has served his sentence, for the crimes committed and his league mandated suspension for his conduct. It has been the gradual decline of the Michael game since his return to the NFL in 2010 , that have many wondering, if he is still capable of being a starting quarterback in the NFL . Andy Reid’s implicit and undying loyalty to the then Philadelphia Eagles’ quarterback proved to be fateful for the head coach in 2012 , leading to his dismissal at the end of the season, with fans also calling for the release of the player. Last season, while it proved to be a success for the Eagles, Vick played no major role in the franchise’s resurgence under Chip Kelly . Nick Foles proved to be effective throughout much of the season , leading the team to the NFC East divisional title and playoff berth in the postseason.

If the Buccaneers are interested in signing Michael Vick , who becomes an unrestricted free agent this off-season , it simply makes no sense to have a player , who over the last two seasons has not been productive or provided any type of leadership skills , where necessary. Even if merely acquired, as a backup to Mike Glennon, there are far better options than Vick , amongst the quarterbacks who will become free agents during this protracted break before the 2014 NFL season comes into being. This has me wondering, what are the apparent motives behind a possible move like this ! Desperate times, may well call for desperate measures , but this is not one of them, for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. If anything, it can be seen, as an act of utter idiocy, from a franchise still seeking some semblance of consistency! .

This past Superbowl may well go down as the most watched and the highest rated in NFL history, as well as being the most watched program in US history, by way of the official figures revealed by the league hierarchy and Fox Television. Yet, the question that has to be asked , how many of those viewers nationally , switched channels , once it became inevitable that this contest was simply going to be a “blowout”, rather than a compelling and gripping game , between what was said to be the two best teams in the NFL?

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Picture gallery.

With the NFL season having reached a conclusion with the determining of a Superbowl champion for the year . Which event during the regular or postseason, in your opinion do you believe to be the most memorable? Also, with John Mara deeming the staging of Superbowl SBLVIII a monumental success, do you think it right, that another postseason finale contest should be staged MetLife Stadium within five years, at the omission of another venue ahead of the scheduled return that proposed stadium ? The NFL hierarchy we know , tends to pander to the more powerful of the owners within the league at the cost of less vocal of the franchise owners. What thoughts, if any, do you have with regard New York Giants owner’s suggestion? Simply leave a comment on this and anything else you believe pertinent to the subject matter.

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Picture and slideshow details below .

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Peyton Manning (18) of the Denver Broncos is caught off-guard, as the ball sails over his head during the first quarter of the game of the Superbowl contest between the Broncos and the Seattle Seahawks . That play was a sign of things to come as the Seahawks won this lopsided contest in a rout 43-8. The game would prove to be one of Manning’s worst in his postseason career. AP Photo/ Mark Cameron …

(2) An aerial view of MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford , New Jersey as clouds hang over the venue that was the scene for Superbowl 48. In the stadium filled 80,000 fans , this was the first Superbowl to be played in an outdoor stadium in a cold weather city. Getty Images / John Moore ….

(3) Seattle Seahawks’ wide receiver Percy Harvin (11) returns a kickoff for a touchdown during the second half of the game against the Denver Broncos during the Superbowl played at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford , New Jersey. The televised event broadcasted by Fox ,was the most watched sports’ program and non-sports’ televised event in US broadcast history , from the figures released by the NFL . AP Photo/ Matt York ….

(4) Russell Wilson (3) of the Seahawks looks to evade the Denver Broncos’ Danny Trevathan (59) while making a playing during the first half of the Superbowl contest played between the two teams on the 2nd February , 2014, at MetLife Stadium, in East Rutherford , New Jersey. In only his fifth postseason start , Wilson can now be called a Superbowl winning quarterback. The player was selected by the Seattle Seahawks as part of the rich crop of quarterbacks that were part of the 2012 NFL Draft class. AP Photo Paul Sancya ….

(5) To the victor belongs the spoils. Russell Wilson is seen here with the Lombardi Trophy after the Seattle Seahawks’ triumph over the Denver Broncos . It was the franchise’s first victory in only their second appearance in the NFL’s most prestigious game. AP Photo/ Julio Cortez …..

(6) Superbowl MVP Malcolm Smith celebrates the Seattle Seahawks’ victory by laying on the ground amongst the confetti while creating a snow angel . REUTERS/ Shannon Stapleton …..

(7) New York Giants’ owner John K Mara having seen MetLife Stadium host the Superbowl would like to see the event return to the venue within the next five years. Whether or not this will be amenable to the league hierarchy and many of the other NFL owners remains to be seen. AP Photo / Paul Harris …..

(8)New Tampa Bay Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht, right, smiles as he poses for a photo with new head coach Lovie Smith during an NFL football news conference Thursday, Jan. 23, 2014, in Tampa, Fla. Licht becomes the fifth general manager in team history. He takes over a team that hasn’t made the playoffs since 2007 . AP Photo/Chris O’Meara …

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Oops Upside Your Head I Said Oops Upside Your Head !

Oops Upside Your Head I Said Oops Upside Your Head !

Well week one of the NFL season came about with a bang and in some cases something of a whimper given the rather morbid performances of some noted players. Anyone who witnessed the performance of Donovan McNabb in the Minnesota Vikings loss 24-17 to the San Diego Chargers . And though Chargers’ fans may well feel that they can take a great deal out this victory , in truth the team’s performance wasn’t really something to be desired . A seven point win but it was simply the woefully inept performance by Donovan McNabb that surely indicates that the player’s best years are behind him . Anyone who simply felt that McNabb would be the answer to the team’s woes has to be now rethinking that premise .

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Slide show for your perusal.

From my own perspective , Zygi Wilf and the entire front office of Vikings clearly were sold a “bill of goods” in terms of the McNabb acquisition . As for Minnesota Vikings’ coach Leslie Frazier if he has pinned his hopes on the veteran quarterback leading this team to unprecedented heights then he clearly hasn’t learned anything in the aftermath of the Brett Favre fiasco under his predecessor Brad Childress and then last season with himself at the helm as coach of the team. And with the team’s quarterback Adrian Peterson having signed a multi year multi million contract this looks as if it could be a season of discontent for the Minnesota Vikings . McNabb’s stats from this season opener might just be the most anemic a performance of any quarterback in the league over the past five seasons . 7/15 , for 35 yards 0 TD’s and 0 INT’s and you have to wonder what happens next for the now beleaguered player. .

For those of you out there who are intrigued as to who Leslie Frazier may well choose to step into McNabb’s shoes . If not Joe Webb or Christian Ponder then you might as well say that the Vikings’ goose has been cooked . Without an adept quarterback to lead this team then there’s not a cat in hell’s chance of the Minnesota Vikings having a legitimate chance doing anything meaningful within the NFL this season .

From winning the AFC West last season and then garnering a postseason berth the Kansas City Chiefs had sought to improve on their showing last season . Todd Haley and his coaching staff along with quarterback Matt Cassel were looking to bolster their claims that they could be viewed as a legitimate contender within the AFC . Offseason acquisitions and a draft class thought to be the best amongst the teams within the conference and there might have been every reason to believe the claims made by the staff. Well if you have ever seen an anvil being dropped from a great height then the Chiefs’ 41-7 bludgeoning by the Buffalo Bills . If anything we can all attest to the fact that the Bills might well have been one of the worse performing teams in the NFL last season.

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Matt Ryan (46) of the Atlanta Falcons fumbles the ball against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field on September 11, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bears defeated the Falcons 30-12 . Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images ……

In this game the Bills’ quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick had the type of performance that cast him as the second coming of Jim Kelly the Buffalo Bills’ Hall of Fame signal caller . There’s nothing to suggest that this Chiefs’ team possessed anything that was the equal of their conference opponents this past Sunday .

Care to suggest how the Kansas City Chiefs are likely to fare over the course the remainder of the season ? But simply base that thought upon the team’s woefully inept play against the Buffalo Bills . If you believe that the Chiefs are liable to improve then simply say “yes” , if not then obviously you’ll say ” no ” .

Mike Smith as coach of the Atlanta Falcons if he’s improve the goal of this organization . Smith over the past two seasons has seen gradual improvement not only in team’s play but also in the leadership qualities of his quarterback Matt Ryan . The player for his part is seen one of the bright young players at the position within the NFL . The Falcons for their part often regarded as a very good regular season team but come the postseason they simply floundered under the weight of great expectations .

In the Atlanta Falcons’ season opener against the Chicago Bears , wherein we saw an onslaught that the Falcons simply had no answer in a completely lopsided loss that not even most NFL fans would could have envisaged . Jay Cutler and his Bears’ teammates mauled the Atlanta Falcons 30-12 leaving the team in a complete daze. I have to admit that of all the games that took place this past weekend the result that I found to be the most surprising happened to be the lopsided defeat of the Atlanta Falcons .

One could surmise that the entrenched battle . between the Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers and the absolute bloodbath in terms of the adversarial demeanor between these two heated NFC North foes had to be seen to be believed . Seven turnovers and a slew of mistakes by Steelers’ quarterback Ben Roethlisberger amongst others on what is usually well disciplined Steelers’ team coached by Mike Tomlinson .

To suggest that anyone could have foreseen the Baltimore Ravens laying waste to the Pittsburgh Steelers 35-7 would simply be a complete lie . The margin of victory was one thing but for the Steelers to be so thoroughly outplayed had to have come as a complete surprise . Joe Flacco , Ray Rice , Terrell Suggs , Ray Lewis and Anquan Boldin simply had a day at the office that they could all be pleased with . And for Ravens’ coach John Harbaugh this might be just the evidence needed to suggest that gutting of the roster from last season and the subsequent offseason moves that coincided with the draft picks was a vindication for the Ravens’ front office and coaching staff that the decisions made were simply the right ones at the time.

It is pretty much safe to say that the NFC West might just be the least competitive of all the divisions in the NFL . Anyone of the belief who simply belief that a team that wins its division with a sub .500 record should be viewed as a team with a legitimate chance of winning the Superbowl must be either satisfied with that type of mediocrity or they simply view those teams as viable within the NFL .

Each season the more I simply take in the events of the NFC West it is the more I feel that the appropriate action to take would be get a paper bag and simply begin to regurgitate the food I may well have ate earlier ! To describe the football being played within the division as mediocre would be to describe a painting by Van Gogh as average . Simply put , it’s diatribe being served up on a silver platter for the fans’ edification , not that the NFL fans should be subjected to this over the complete NFL regular season schedule by the teams within that division. But that’s ….. c’est la vie !

The Seattle Seahawks’ Pete Carroll is amongst the highest paid NFL coaches in the league earning in excess of $7 million a year . Granted , team owner Paul Allen is amongst the wealthiest individuals on the planet but I’m sure that even he and GM John Schneider could have imagined wherein the team would simply have regressed rather than taking a step forward . I have never really thought Pete Carroll to be a very good NFL coach as his previous tenures has proven that coaching in the NFL isn’t within his wheelhouse . But this where the front office executives and team owners simply become at times too enamored with a college coach who’s said to have attained unprecedented success. Nick Saban and Steve Spurrier should have been a clear indication that ………. all that glitters isn’t clearly gold .

The Seahawks were hosted by the San Francisco 49ers this past weekend and the effort put forth by Pete Carroll’s team can be best described as being anemic and completely devoid of any aggression . Funny how a team who made the playoffs last season can now be looked upon as quite possibly one of the worst performing franchises in the NFL , on both sides of the ball. The Niners came away with the bragging rights in the divisional game clearly laying waste to their opponent 33-17 . With the loss of Matt Hasselbeck to the Tennessee Titans as a free agent somehow the coach felt that former Vikings’ quarterback Tarvaris Jackson could be seen as an adequate successor to the seasoned veteran . Given Jackson’s performance in that game I somehow think that Pete Carroll’s problems have now increased immeasurably ! The coach’s options at the position are not that great beyond Charlie Whitehurst and Josh Portis , so it is hard to view this team as a viable contender within the NFC much less the league as a whole .

It has to be said that there would be no doubt that the Indianapolis Colts would suffer this season with the long term loss of their celebrated quarterback Peyton Manning . You simply knew that this team wouldn’t be the same with his loss. GM Bill Polian and the front office may well have felt that acquiring seasoned veteran Kerry Collins would indeed make a difference but in reality the Colts are not a team that play on par with a nemesis when they simply haven’t got their best offensive weapon at the helm as the signal caller and in truth you cannot expect them to be .

Colts’ head coach Jim Caldwell and the coaching staff may well now have to keep the playbook simple for Collins and the team to have any semblance of success this season . Given the experience and the shock to the system of their season opener I am inclined to believe that the Indianapolis Colts are likely to struggle over the course of this year . The humiliating defeat the Colts suffered at the hands of the Houston Texans was enough to suggest that we might well be seeing the decline of a team who having the lost its leader has now become a rudderless vessel about to be capsized at sea. That 34-7 loss more than suggested how devoid of leadership this team becomes , without Peyton Manning but even more so , when you realize that there was no one willing to step up to the plate and assume the role as a leader . Say what you will , but if they are to fare well this season then someone has to be seen as the new leader on thus team .

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

The NFL lockout may well have played its part in the rust we have seen from the teams in their performances in this first regular season scheduled game . But if anything it has to be said the coaches and their staffs had more than enough time to prepare their squads for expectations of what is always expected to be an arduous season . Simply put some of the teams in question may well have performed badly , much of it from their own doing and complete lack of preparation . If nothing else this could well be what we could very well expect over the next few games . But from my perspective these teams on the wrong side of these lopsided losses must have felt that they had been hit upside their heads ! What thoughts if any do you have from this first week of the NFL schedule ? Do you expect to see more of the same or could it be that this was merely a minor blip on the screen for many of the franchises in question ? Simply chime in with a comment as you deem fit .

Alan aka tophatal …….. https://tophatal.wordpress.com

Picture and slide show details below .

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(1) SAN DIEGO, CA – SEPTEMBER 11: Donovan McNabb #5 of the Minnesota Vikings in the huddle with his teammates against the San Diego Chargers during their NFL Game on September 11, 2011 at Qualcomm Stadium in San DIego, California. Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images ….

(2) Donovan McNabb (5) of the Minnesota Vikings in action against the San Diego Chargers during their NFL Game on September 11, 2011 at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, California. Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images …….

(3) Adrian Peterson (28) of the Minnesota Vikings is tackled by Donald Butler (56) and Takeo Spikes (51) of the San Diego Chargers during their NFL Game on September 11, 2011 at Qualcomm Stadium in San DIego, California. Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images ……….

(4) Quarterback Matt Cassel (7) of the Kansas City Chiefs reacts after a turnover during the game against the Buffalo Bills at Arrowhead Stadium on September 11, 2011 in Kansas City, Missouri. Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images …….

(5) Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (14) of the Buffalo Bills in action during the game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium on September 11, 2011 in Kansas City, Missouri. Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images …..

(6) Matt Ryan (46) of the Atlanta Falcons fumbles the ball against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field on September 11, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bears defeated the Falcons 30-12 . Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images ……

(7) John Abraham (55) #55 of the Atlanta Falcons sacks Jay Cutler (6) of the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field on September 11, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bears defeated the Falcons 30-12. Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images ……

(8) Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) of the Pittsburgh Steelers scrambles while being pressured by defender Arthur Jones (97) of the Baltimore Ravens during second half of the season opener at M&T Bank Stadium on September 11, 2011 in Baltimore, Maryland. Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images …….

(9) Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll walks the sidelines during their season opener against the San Francisco 49ers at Candlestick Park on September 11, 2011 in San Francisco, California. Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images …….

(10) Tarvaris Jackson (7) of the Seattle Seahawks drops back to pass against the San Francisco 49ers in the fourth quarter of an NFL football game at Candlestick Park on September 11, 2011 in San Francisco, California. the 49ers won the game 33-17 . Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images ……

(11) Quarterback Kerry Collins (5) of the Indianapolis Colts is blind sighted by linebacker Mario Williams (90) of the Houston Texans on September 11, 2011 at Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas. Texans won 34-7 . Photo by Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images …

(12) Head coach Gary Kubiak talks with quarterback Matt Schaub (8) of the Houston Texans during a time out against the Indianapolis Colts on September 11, 2011 at Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas. Texans won 34 -7 .(Photo by Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images ……..

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He’s Not In It For The Money Simply For The Glory But With Pete Carroll Which Is It ?

He’s Not In It For The Money Simply For The Glory But With Pete Carroll Which Is It ?

If ever there was a coach the in NFL that truly needs to prove their worth with their salary at $7 million a year then the Seattle Seahawks’ Peter Carroll has to be that candidate. Having left USC under a cloud of suspicion , the coach quickly made that return to the NFL , with that exorbitant contract , much to the delight team owner and billionaire mogul Paul Allen , co-founder of Microsoft .

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Slide show for your perusal .

With Matt Hasselbeck leaving as a free agent to join the Tennessee Titans the first major task at hand for Carroll was seek a replacement for the player. The individual chosen was former Minnesota Vikings’ backup Tarvaris Jackson . Though not deemed amongst the elite players at the position but he’s deemed capable enough to lead this team . From my own perspective Pete Carroll and his coaching staff will have a tough season ahead of them within the NFC West .

It would be naive to think that based on last season’s standings and results within the division the Seattle Seahawks can be considered the favorites once again to successfully defend their title . All of the teams within the NFC West appear to be better and with the NFL Draft having taken place it goes without saying that each of the teams in question will seek to profit greatly by the choices that they have made. The Arizona Cardinals , St Louis Rams , San Francisco 49ers and the Seattle Seahawks will seek divisional supremacy over the course of the season. I am not so sure that the division is as competitive as many might claim it to be . But we shall see over the course of schedule how each of the teams acquit themselves on the field of play.

Given Pete Carroll’s successes at the collegiate level and dare one say those are now coming into question ? I am not so sure that given that this will be his second bite of the apple as an NFL coach , I do believe he will be in for a rough ride . Last season with the team having made the postseason once beyond the wildcard round the Seattle Seahawks never seemed to be capable to prove that they belonged in the NFL playoffs . It seems ridiculous to think that with a 7-9 record within the monstrous NFC West that the Seattle Seahawks won the division and made the postseason as a divisional winner . But yet there teams within the conference who had won more games but failed to granted a berth for the right to be part of the NFL’s gala .

I cannot believe that fans are entirely happy with such a scenario where a team having won a division with a sub .500 record can be viewed as worthy of a playoff berth but as such one has to make do with the rules of the game as it stands. From my own standpoint in such a case I do believe seeding system that actually rewards the teams not just solely on the winning of a division as I also believe that a team that has a better record than that of a divisional winner ought be considered for a berth . But such are the rules of the game and at the end of the one simply has to make do with what is offered .

The NFC West I believe is up for the taking and given the performances of Sam Bradford this past season I do believe that the St Louis Rams might just be the team to beat within the division ! Pete Carroll for his part with the players taken in the NFL Draft and the offseason moves by the Seahawks , we will get the chance to see if he can make this team a legitimate contender for the Superbowl . Much of that however will be based on the play of Tavaris Jackson and whether or not he had the leadership skills and the belief of his teammates in leading the Seattle Seahawks. The jury is still out on both Jackson and the Seahawks given their performances during the preseason .

With teams making the mandated cuts of their rosters this Saturday it will be interesting to see the player finally making the team’s roster and those failing to make the grade. The veterans on the Seattle Seahawks will be looking to make the rookies feel welcomed and at the same assist them in being productive . The preseason gives precedence to that fact but it will be the regular season that really matters !

Not exactly overly impressed with the Seahawks from a competitive standpoint , I do believe that the team is simply there merely to make up the numbers within the NFL ! The rookies taken in the NFL Draft , it is hoped that they can be productive for organization . Certainly the coach , his staff and with the ambitions of the front office led by GM John Schneider one could arguably understand why it is that the organization feels there’s an urgence to attain some success for their fans. This is a team that has seen its fair share of highs lows but in reality previously suggested the Seattle Seahawks while vocally being well supported they’re merely viewed as a franchise within the NFL , there to make up the numbers .

James Carpenter , John Moffitt , K J Wright , Kris Durham , Richard Sherman , Mark Legree , Byron Maxwell , Lazarius Levingston and Malcolm Smith will no doubt hope that their baptism of fire within the NFL is a successful one . For these draftees after their collegiate careers the league will prove to be a real eye opener . And I am sure that at team’s season opener (11th August 2011) , that will be when realization for them that their journey has really begun ! The opening game against divisional rivals the San Francisco 49ers at Candlestick Park will prove to be very interesting as it should be an indicator of as to the apparent direction that both teams believe themselves to be heading in.

I certainly don’t prescribe to the fact that the NFC West is said to be that competitive a division within the NFL ! If anything judged by the play of the teams there this might be one of weakest divisions in the NFC if not the entire league . But is plain to see that the teams will try as best as they can to compete , even if it means more often than not they’re viewed as an afterthought within the NFL .

One things that’s sure to be on the minds of the Seahawks’ fans as the team embarks on this season , will be whether or Tarvaris Jackson is the player capable of leading this team ? If not , then his backup Charlie Whitehurst will be entrusted to takeover and prove himself worthy of the starting position . Certainly from an offensive standpoint Pete Carroll has put the weapons in place for a half decent quarterback to lead the team to some semblance of success . But would anyone be of the opinion that either Tarvaris Jackson or Charlie Whitehurst could be described as being moderately decent ? It’d be remiss however to suggest that the team’s frailties are simply only about the effectiveness of the quarterback play as from a defensive standpoint the Seattle Seahawks have had their struggles as well.

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

Alan aka tophatal ………. https://tophatal.wordpress.com

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Picture and slide show details below .

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(1) Running back Thomas Clayton (45) of the Seattle Seahawks is tackled by Bani Gbadyu (48) and Jamie Cumbie (73) of the Oakland Raiders at CenturyLink Field on September 2, 2011 in Seattle, Washington. Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images …..

(2) SEATTLE – SEPTEMBER 02: Head coach Pete Carroll of the Seattle Seahawks calls instruction during the game against the Oakland Raiders at CenturyLink Field on September 2, 2011 in Seattle, Washington. The Seahawks would go on to defeat the Raiders 20-3 . Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images ….

(3) Wide receiver Golden Tate (81) of the Seattle Seahawks is greeted by head coach Pete Carroll during the game against the Oakland Raiders at CenturyLink Field on September 2, 2011 in Seattle, Washington. Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images ….. …….

(4) SEATTLE – SEPTEMBER 02: Running back Thomas Clayton (45) of the Seattle Seahawks rushes against the Oakland Raiders at CenturyLink Field on September 2, 2011 in Seattle, Washington. Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images ….

(5) Quarterback Kyle Boller (7) of the Oakland Raiders is tackled by Pep Levingston (93) (R) of the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field on September 2, 2011 in Seattle, Washington. Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images ……

(6) Oakland Raiders head coach Hue Jackson , right, is greeted by Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll after a preseason NFL football game, Friday, Sept. 2, 2011, in Seattle. The Seahawks won 20-3 . AP Photo/Elaine Thompson …..

(7) Seahawks’ owner Paul Allen (left) talks with coach Pete Carroll after a recent practice at the team’s VMAC facility in Renton, Washington ,. Elaine Thompson/AP photo ……

(8) Running back Thomas Clayton (45) of the Seattle Seahawks scores a touchdown in the second quarter against the Oakland Raiders at CenturyLink Field on September 2, 2011 in Seattle, Washington. Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images …… ……
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It’s Fair Game This Weekend …………………… Triumph Or Go Home !

It’s Fair Game This Weekend …………….. Triumph Or Go Home !

The wildcard rounds of the playoffs begin this weekend and with a number of games set to get the fans salivating at their outcome . No game might be more intriguing than the NFC match-up that pits the Philadelphia Eagles against the Green Bay Packers . To my mind these are two evenly matched teams that are well coached by Andy Reid and Mike McCarthy respectively. Furthermore even with the advent of the play of Michael Vick I for one don’t believe this is by any means a foregone conclusion ! There’s enough here to suggest even with their records and play late in the season this game could go either way just like the flip of a coin.

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As good as Michael Vick has been playing, his counterpart Aaron Rodgers in spite of his injuries appears to be as tough as they come and willing to do battle in order for the Packers to win. And not only that it’d appear that the Lambeau faithful have taken Rodgers to their heart while onetime hero Brett Favre now remains a distant memory. He may well be still beloved in certain parts of Green Bay but I’m not so sure that holds through for the entire state of Wisconsin much less the rest of the country. This Packers’ team has shown a great deal of resiliency in spite of repeated adversity and when many may well have felt all was lost , they’ve risen to the challenge and this may well be one of the reasons why they could upset the apple cart as far as this match-up is concerned .

Defensively at times both teams have struggled but the Packers might well have the edge in that department . Where the advantage lies is in the fact that McCarthy’s coaching staff will have to deal with the mercurial and enigmatic play of Michael Vick . And as we know given his play this season a game can be turned at the drop of a hat. And I’ve no doubt that both defenses will be rigorously tested by the respective offenses at game time. This may well also become a game of attrition if neither side can find an opening but if it isn’t, then look for it to be something of a one sided affair with the winner showing the tenacity needed to seek out a win.

While many of us will have no doubt question the merits of a 7-9 team making the playoffs the Seattle Seahaws as winners of the NFC West are now there by right. And given what we’ve come to expect from that division within recent years I’m not entirely surprised. Sadly this is now what the league and to an essence the competitiveness of that division has now become where mediocrity is immediately rewarded rather than substance. How else can you explain when teams such as the New York Giants and Tampa Bay Buccaneers finished the season with better records but failed to make the playoffs ?

The Seahawks will have the privilege of hosting Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints this weekend and it remains to be seen whether or not the reigning Superbowl champions have overcome their recent slump of late. Both teams come into the postseason with a great deal to prove …….. the Saints in proving that they’re worthy champions and looking to make a successful defense of their title . Whereas Pete Carrolls’ team is simply looking for respect and a chance to upset the apple cart .

This game will certainly down to as the stealth of the Saints’ potent offense and how good this Seahawks’ defense is presumed to be. And given what we’ve seen from that defense this season they will have to be at the very top of their game . Having been ranked in the lower echelons of all of the defensive categories this season it remains to be seen whether not they will be able to counter act whatever the New Orleans Saints will be able to throw at them . What the Seahawks will have to their distinct advantage will be a home crowd of raucous fans at Q West Field in Seattle , Washington who will essence become the team’s twelfth man. If Matt Hasselbeck can rise to the occasion and lead this Seahawks’ team with any semblance of competitive instinct then this game could be a great deal closer than most would expect it to be . Discerning a victor from the midst of this all will come down to who has the greater appetite for the win.

With all of the off the field antics and some might say the overbearing personality of the New York Jets’ coach Rex Ryan one can’t help but wonder what the coach will do next. Apart from one time proclaiming the Jets the best team in the league this season Ryan has repeatedly put his foot in his mouth with some of his rather outrageous statements. Needless to say fans far and wide have either ridiculed the coach or supported his claims in part. Now comes crunch time for the team as they meet the Indianapolis Colts in a highly anticipated game that’s a rematch of last season’s AFC championship game .

Ryan and his team are certainly looking for redemption and the same can be said too for the Peyton Manning led Colts after their immense letdown in last season’s Superbowl against the New Orleans Saints . Many believed that the Indianapolis Colts would have the better of that Saints’ team on the day but that was clearly not the case as the defense of the Colts was exposed as flawed and extremely slow. Brees simply shredded that team almost at will and nothing could hide the disappointment from Manning’s face at the end of the day. To top it all off we then had the rather asinine claim by Colts’ GM Bill Polian that the reason for the team’s loss was the fact that the offensive line didn’t play well. This was a collective loss on all parts as the Colts were simply outplayed in every facet of the game and nothing can hide that fact not even the infantile rants of the team’s general manager.

It will be interesting to see how this Jets’ defense measures up against the Colts’ offense and how in fact they’re able to deal with Peyton Manning . One thing is sure this game won’t be short on drama whichever way you look at it and if Mark Sanchez is keen to prove that last season’s form was no fluke then now will be the time for him to prove that fact. As he goes so does this team and if he’s not performing at the highest caliber then the Jets’ postseason ambitions could come to an abrupt end once again at the hands of the Indianapolis Colts.

In this season of surprises within the NFL perhaps none could have been more of a surprise than the turnaround initiated by Todd Haley and the coaching staff of the Kansas City Chiefs . Having handily won the AFC West where many had expected to make the San Diego Chargers to make their normal late season charge the Chiefs simply held on whereas the Chargers fell by the wayside . Can someone please remind the Chargers that the NFL season is one played of sixteen games and not eight or nine as they and their fans have now come to expect ? Sooner or later it had to catch up with them and it’s safe to say that even with the exploits of Philip Rivers this season way too much was being asked of the player to lead this team into the postseason.

The Chiefs will have the privilege of hosting the Baltimore Ravens and somehow I get the feeling that Ray Lewis and Ed Reed of this Ravens’ team will be baying for blood as they look to seperate Matt Cassel’s head from his shoulders . I’m not suggesting that this won’t be a baptism of fire for this Chiefs’ team but I just hope that there are several fire engines and marshals in attendance at Arrowhead Stadium once this game begins. There’s liable to so much heat brought to this party by the Ravens that I’m not too sure that the Chiefs might be able to withstand the onslaught.

On the flip side of this , the Chiefs offense led by Cassel has a number of offensive weapons that could waylay the ambitions of John Harbaugh’s team. Thomas Jones , Jamaal Charles and Dwayne Bowe are liable to give the Ravens’ defense all that they can handle if they’re left to their own devices as they’ve become the main threats on offense this season for the Kansas City Chiefs. And the trio are one the main reasons behind the success of the franchise this season in convergence with the team acquiring both Charlie Weis and Romeo Crennel to take over the coaching responsibilities of the offense and defense respectively. If the Chiefs are to endure then it will come down to the coaching strategies put into place by Haley and his staff and how his team goes about executing that plan.

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What thoughts if any do have with regard to the wildcard round of the playoffs and which game do you anticipate will be the most entertaining to watch ? Simply chime in with a comment and as always thanks for the continued support as it’s gratefully appreciated !

NB : Click on the link shown to view the latest news in the NFL .

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Teams receiving a bye are the New England Patriots , Pittsburgh Steelers , Atlanta Falcons and Chicago Bears .

Alan aka tophatal ………………………………………….

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Continue reading “It’s Fair Game This Weekend …………………… Triumph Or Go Home !”

The NCAA Is An Archaic System That Has Outlived Its Usefulness

The NCAA Is An Archaic System That Has Outlived Its Usefulness

Once again it appears that another collegiate coach has overstepped his parameters as a coach by flouting the rules of the NCAA by violating a number of ordinances that govern college recruiting and that might also cover academic fraud. Tenneessee Volunteers’ basketball coach Bruce Pearl has admitted lying to members of the NCAA’s Infraction’s Committee after the college’s athletics program is said to have committed several recruitment violations. Pearl is said to have not only obstructed the investigation of the committee but at although the findings there are not yet complete and ready for the public’s notification he firmly believes that he’ll still be able to retain his position as the Volunteers men’s basketball coach.

It has to be said that Tennessee and the faculty there has yet to take any action against the coach even though Pearl admitted that he made a profound error in judgment and awaits clarification as to what action will be taken by the university. My question is that the NCAA seems to be quick to act with impunity when a student athlete violates an NCAA rule that governs collegiate athletics. But yet when a coach is involved in such an act they’ve effectively chosen not to punish the coach. And what action if any one would have thought appropriate wherein the college themselves would take necessary a stance to countermand those transgressions. In the case of former USC Trojans’ basketball coach Tim Floyd who knowingly gave cash to a recruit , O J Mayo and then denied any wrongdoing before leaving the program by choice without any admission of guilt. The school at the time while conducting its own internal investigation and audit clearly overlooked the coach’s actions but would then seek to nullify the charges made by the NCAA when they found that not only were Floyd’s actions clearly a transgression of the NCAA rules but that there was a vast cover-up enacted to hide the actions of both coach and player. But the actions of the athletics’ department just didn’t stop there but it also covered the actions of former football players at the school most notably that the 2005 Heisman Trophy winner Reggie Bush.

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Slide show gallery.

The fallout from what has transpired at USC has led to the school undergoing severe NCAA sanctions of which they won’t be able to make a postseason appearance for two years as well as losing numerous athletics’ scholarships . But what might be even more unbelievable is the mere fact that former Trojans’ football coach Pete Carroll claims that he was completely unaware as to what was going on within the program at the time. Carroll’s departure prior to the sanctions being announced and then the abrupt action by Reggie Bush to return his Heisman Trophy to the Heisman Trophy Committee would suggest that there was a great deal that the public and alumni of the college were never completely made aware of . Once again a coach walks away ‘Scot-Free’ , with some questionable actions on his part and that of a former player who’s said to have profited financially while attending the school and all this happening under the nose of the then AD Mike Garrett who has since re-signed to be replaced by Pat Haden.

Stories such as this have been cropping up with alarming regularity around the world of collegiate athletics and a number of the programs in question are prominent schools that are synonymous with collegiate athletics excellence. Now under the microscope is U-Conn mens’ basketball coach Jim Calhoun and once again his actions that of several compliance officers and coaching staff are being questioned as to what they knew and did concerning the recruitment of a number of players to the school’s basketball program. Calhoun has repeatedly skirted around the issue stating that there’s been no wrongdoing on his part and that he knows of no incidents where he or any of his staff have acted inappropriately. However the NCAA’s findings have suggested that not only may Jim Calhoun known about the violations in question but he may well have played a part in its orchestration. What surprises me in all of this has been the fact that the NCAA chooses to punish only the schools for the actions that are knowingly perpetrated by coaches and staff members and then make it known that the athletes are the ones who are also complicit in this all. I’d like to know why it is that no action can be taken against the coaches themselves ?

OK so the coaches are in the employment of the schools that have hired them but then again their remuneration packages are such, that they’re being paid not only to bring success to the program but also the prerequisite talent to those respective sports. And any action taken wherein a coach is fired without due cause can lead to a wrongful dismissal lawsuit. If those actions by the coaches are egregious and they bring about sanctions even if the main cause has been the undue acts of an athlete then it’s my belief that if the violations have a veracity to them then the coaches should be either fired or suspended. In the real world where an employee has broken a rule or committed a criminal act then the employer is quite within their right to dismiss that employee. Why not in the world of collegiate athletics ?

The NCAA is also is just as much to blame in this all because of their lack of oversight in not doing what I believe would be appropriate and that is to conduct a regular audit of schools on a regular basis. Much like independent audit can be conducted on a public company by the SEC when they feel that there’s been misconduct by its board of directors. But then again we tend to make comparisons of some institutions and that of the Federal government and how they go about dealing with misconduct. As way too often excuses are made by the institutions in question when they’re asked to undertake an investigation. Idiocy abounds when repeatedly we’re told that they have found no wrongdoing when it’s clear that there’s been egregious actions on the part of a company. However with the NCAA, it’s a case where they tend to pick and choose who they are prepared to make an example of . For a body that has to oversee collegiate athletics the bureaucracy within the institution is archaic and cumbersome . It’s also reflected by the complete lack of transparency that’s shown by the NCAA . A multi billion dollar institution that in essence rules over its kingdom like a third world despot leader but who tries to give the impression to the world that there isn’t a problem at all within its domain because they have it all under control.

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Picture galley for your perusal.

What if anything do you feel ought to imposed upon a coach when it’s clear that there has been an egregious NCAA violation where he or she has played a part in that transgression ? Do you feel that the coach ought to be suspended or fired where the act is egregious and he has played a part in the violation ? Also how do you view the NCAA under the new tenure of its President Mark Emmert ? Do you believe that there has been enough transparency by the NCAA since Emmert took over from his predecessor Myles Brand ? Make your thoughts known felt by simply leaving a comment as you’d deem fit and thanks as always for the continued support as it’s great appreciated .

NB: It has since been announced that U Conn imposed sanctions against itself after admitting that they had in fact violated rules concerning contact between recruits and coaches . Also that there’s tenuous actions with regard to academic fraud at the school.

Alan aka tophatal ……………………. 🙂

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Nikki_B

Eye candy courtesy of Low Rider Magazine . Nikki B video vixen who’s also a staple of XXL Magazine.

Deny Deny Deny It Wasn’t Me

Deny  Deny   Deny      It  Wasn’t  Me

So   Tennessee   Volunteers’   basketball   coach Bruce Pearl   has seen  fit  to   lie to  NCAA  investigators concerning   recruitment   violations   and   a  slew  of other  actions  that  may  garner the SEC  school  a number of  violations that   could   well  lead to  severe  actions  being   meted out  by  collegiate  athletics’   highest  governing  body. What  I  find   somewhat   strange  about  this all  is the mere  fact  that  the    conference  itself    doesn’t   monitor the  actions  of the   athletic programs   under  its   tenure.    You’d  have  thought that  would   be   something that  the  SEC would  seek to   monitor   judiciously  ?  But  instead   it  is  now  left  in  the  hands   of the   NCAA to deal  with  a  matter  that   at  the  end  of  the   day the  message  sent   will  either be  one,  where  they   will  punish  the   school  with   impunity  or  merely  give  them  a  slap  on  the  wrist.

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Furthermore   in  the  case  of   Pearl  it  is   highly   unlikely  that  he’ll  be    punished   unless  the  AD Mike Hamilton   chooses  to  either  suspend  the coach or   if  the   charges  are   deemed   to  serious   enough  that  they  will  choose to  fire  him. And given  what  we  tend  to  know  with  coaches that  have  brought  about  a  winning  program  and   esteem  to  a  school we  do  tend  to  find  that  the school will  more  often than  not  choose to take    a  soft   approach   to  the allegations   and any punishment  that  they might  seek  to mete out.

Courtesy of USA Today

Bruce Pearl: ‘I hope that the things we did don’t rise to the level of termination’

By Tim Gardner & Erick Smith

We knew Bruce Pearl was in hot water over the NCAA probe looking into his Tennessee basketball program.

It appears the coach is aware, too, that more fallout may lie ahead.

Pearl spoke with Luke Winn of SI.com after speaking at a coaching clinic this weekend in Brooklyn, N.Y., and his words offer a glimpse into his worries moving forward.

“We did what we felt like we needed to do, to take steps proactively to penalize ourselves. I think the penalties were unprecedented in some scope. But we made mistakes. We provided false and misleading information to the NCAA.

“I should be made an example of, and I am — I’m embarrassed. But I hope that the things we did don’t rise to the level of termination, because we run a clean program. We got investigated in a lot of areas.”

Pearl’s lies to the NCAA came back to bite him in more ways than one. For starters, it brought out this response from Jimmy Collins, a former assistant coach at Illinois whom Pearl turned in to the NCAA nearly 20 years ago.

After that episode, Pearl was knocked by many in the coaching community for his actions.

“As a result of what I went through before, I had a responsibility to run a clean program and do it the right way,” he said to SI.com. “I’ve been doing this for 28 years. And I wished I could’ve not run afoul of the rules my whole career. So obviously, I’m disappointed in myself.”

Tennessee expects to receive a letter of allegations from the NCAA by the end of the year — and Pearl’s future on the sidelines in Knoxville will strongly depend on the severity of the allegations levied.

So, yes, Pearl will be sweating it out for several months. Now the question is will it affect his current Vols team, which should be able to contend with Kentucky and Florida in the SEC East.

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Bruce   Pearl  for  his  part  has  yet  to  issue  a   public   statement  as  to what  the  the  allegations are   about   and  the impending   investigation.  Why is   it  that  more  often  than  not when  an  athlete  falls  afoul   of  a   transgression  they   tend  to  the   ones  who  become  a  pariah  and  then  the   school is    punished . But  rarely  is it that a   coach   whose   failings   are  questioned when they  come to the   fore. I mean  Pete  Carroll flees   like  a  thief  in  the  night   from   USC   when   under   his  watch the most   flagrant  of    violations  took  place  at  the  school. All of  which  took  place  under  the  alleged  watchful  eye  of  then  Athletic  Director  Mike  Garrett who  would then  step   down  from the  position  rather   than  being   pushed  out  the  door. Former  Trojans’ basketball coach  Tim Floyd  whose pleading of ignorance   when  handed  over  cash  to O J Mayo  and   his   subsequent  riposte that  his  actions were  above  board   is   was as ludicrous and  asinine  to  say  the  very  least. Clearly  there’s   something wrong with these   coaches  and  their   undoubted   self   righteous   actions.

University  of  Florida (Gators)  football  coach Urban Meyer  is   either  that   gullible  or   he  knows  exactly  how rife his team  is literally filled with  a bunch  of  violent   buffoons.    Players   on  this  team  have   now  been  arrested and  charged  with misdemeanors  to   far  more    serious   allegations  ranging     from   possession  of   narcotics,  DUI sexual  battery , theft   and also  in amongst  that ,  are  allegations  of  academic  fraud.  Meyer   chooses  to   placate    himself   from  all  of  this  by   stating  that he  runs  a clean   program and  that his responsibilities  is  simply  being a football  coach.  Perhaps  I’m  mistaken but his responsibilities go far beyond  that ? After all he goes  into  the  homes  of  these   players  to recruit   them  by  speaking to  a  parent  or parents   and   implores  them to send  their child the his school  , where   he  assures them that they’ll  be  able  to  get a   good   education.  Now we  know  that  much  of  this  is  all  hogwash  as  the   real  reason  this  is all being done to  intensify the  prestige  and   success  of  the   school. Rarely does a  coach show  any  real interest  in  that  of  the  students under  his  tenure.  I  personally would   like  to  know what  the   graduation  rate  is  amongst  the  student  athlete  body of  the  university?

Prior  to the 2010 NCAA   Basketball  Championships Education  Secretary   Arne  Duncan  stated  that  he’d like to  see  it  where  a criteria  is  set where  the  teams  qualifying   for  the   tournament  must  have  graduation  of   rate of   not less    than   48%   amongst  its    student  athlete  body.   Not   excessively   high  but  when   looked  at   and  measured  against   the   schools who  participated  in the  tournament   more than  75%  of  the   schools   involved  would  not  have  met  that  the  threshold called for  by the Education Secretary.  If  that’s  not  enough of  a shock to most  then  consider   the  production   line  that collegiate athletics  has  become  and   the   lengths that   schools are   now going  to, merely to  have    repeated  success   at  whatever cost  possible.  Collegiate athletics   is   no  longer  about  the  student  athlete  gaining  an   education  and  becoming  a   model   citizen.  In   essence it  is  now  a   multi-billion   dollar  business  where the  few  reap  the   rewards  and  those  at  the  lower  rungs  of  the   ladder  are  left to  fend   for  themselves  once  they’ve  been  of  service to  that   establishment.

It  is  easy  to   suggest  that   many  of  these   athletes  will   profit financially beyond   their wildest dreams once  they  enter  into the  professional  market place of  either  the  NBA,  NFL, MLB and NHL , it  all  becomes  about how much  money  that they will  be able  garner  that  first  initial  contract  for. But  that tends to  only happens to  those considered to  be  amongst  the  elite within  their chosen  athletic endeavor.  And   when  one  considers  the  tens  of  millions of dollars  that  the programs garner and  you  have to  wonder the  lengths  that the  coaches  and  schools  are   prepared to go  to  make  sure  that  there’s continued  success  and  the  money  keeps rolling  in. Unfortunately  for  the   student  athletes  the   resources  at their  disposal isn’t what  you  would  commonly  expect  especially when   compliance  officers ,  athletic directors  and   in  some cases faculty  members choose  to  turn  a  blind  eye.  And yes one could  opine  to  the fact that  the  student should  be  responsible  for  their own actions and  that  they  owe  it  to the educational   establishment  to make the best  possible  of  the   opportunities   made   available  to them.

The  coaches  for their  part bask  in  the  glory  and   acclaim  while they lead  their  respective teams  to  success. Now  when  I  hear the   likes  of  Nick  Saban   talk  about the agents   who  hover around  a  school’s  program  and  the  fact  that they  feast  off the  athletes as  if  it’s   vulture   eating  off   the   carcass of  a  dead   animal.  I’ve   got   to  ask  myself  who  the   hell is  Saban  kidding  and  is  he  actually  listening  to  what  he’s   saying ?  Here’s  a  guy  who  simply  doesn’t   know  how  to  be honest  if  it  were  his  last   day  on  earth  ! One simply  has  to   recall  his  actions  when  he was  a  coach of the Miami Dolphins .  When   asked   at  the   time whether  not it  was  his   intention to  remain  with  the   Dolphins  after it’d  been  speculated  that  he was about to abruptly leave the  organization.  Saban  simply  stated to  the  convened  press  that  he would  honor  his  contract but  as well  know  that  wasn’t  to  be,  as  he   walked  away  from the team  without  offering  statement  to  then  owner H D Wayne  Huizenga .

Jumping  back to his   old  stomping   ground   Saban  has   found  success  with  Alabama,having led  the team to their most  recent  national championship  and  where  they’re   now   heavily  favored  to  repeat  again  as   SEC  and   national  champions. Disingenuous  or not  clearly, some  of the   collegiate coaches think  that  they’re  above   reproach  but I find  it somewhat  superfluous  that  the NCAA  would  always  seek to punish  only  a   school  when a coach    knowingly   places  that   school  in  a   precarious   position, whereby  they  can   lose  not only   scholarships   but  also to an  extent the  esteem of  the  school.  If   you   don’t  believe  that  to be  the  case  then   simply  look  at  the  fall from  grace  of  USC  ?  If  honesty had  been  shown  by the  parties   there ,  who knew  full  what was  going  on , then  surely what  transpired  could have have  been  abated !   Obviously  not,  because no  one  there  thought  that  they  could  be  caught   and  the   asinine  notion  that  the   school  and   certain  principals were without  fault  clearly  shows  how  far that school  was prepared to go.

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Picture gallery for your perusal .


What  thoughts  if  any  do  you have  concerning  the allegations  concerning  Bruce Pearl and  that statements   attributed  to  Urban  Meyer  that  he  runs  a  clean football  program  ?  Is  he simply  being    naive  or  is it because he’s  had undoubted   success and   feels   that  he can   get  a  free  pass ?   And   in  the case  of   Saban  are  his  actions that  of   a  person  whose  statements  are  valid ? If agents  as  he   puts it should  be   corralled   then  why   not  the  boosters   who surreptitiously do  a  number of   questionable  things  that  the coaches  and  faculties  would  tend  to turn  a  blind  eye  to ? Clearly there’s  an  argument  to be  made  where  their  actions   can  be   just  as  questionable as that  of an  out of control  athlete or agent ?  Chime  in with a  comment  as   you  see   fit  and  thanks   once  again  for  the  continued  support   as  it’s always  appreciated   !

Alan  aka    tophatal              ……….    🙂      * 🙂       *  😦

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Joie Chaves . A hot piece of Nubian a_s that any man would definitely want to tap !

I’m No One’s Bitch But My Own …… !

I’m No One’s Bitch But My Own !

OK so someone explain to me what was so noble about what was done by Reggie Bush ? Giving up his Heisman Trophy after the cheating that took place when from the outset as he lied as to the fact that he took nor did he licit any gifts from an agent or boosters from within the US Trojans’ organization. From start to finish this has been one complete charade and much of that may well have been done with the knowledge of his former coach Pete Carroll and no doubt former athletic director Mike Garrett. Pat Haden who as successor to Garrett has thanked the former Trojan for his actions and stated that…”it was a commendable thing to do”. Now as the Heisman Board of Trustees makes a decision as to whether or not to award the the trophy to runner up Vince Young or to completely vacate verdict of 2005 one has to ask what sort of a deterrent will this be seen as to other athletes ?

Clearly Bush has profited from the award financially not just from his draft status in 2006 but also from the commercial endorsements garnered by the player. The NCAA in their dealings with USC found that the program there was rife with numerous infractions stemming from 2005 and prior. In pronouncing their findings they sought punish the program with impunity. The loss of multiple scholarships and none appearances in BCS bowl games for two consecutive years. We may think that the punishment was too severe but when one considers that the program sought to hide behind this subterfuge without an admission of guilt. And the idiocy shown by former USC students in trying to negate the wrongdoing by saying that the cheating didn’t take place on the field of play was as asinine as it comes !

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The NCAA doesn’t stipulate as to how cheating is prescribed as it concerns on the field endeavors because they simply state infractions of any kind aren’t tolerated. If that’s not a clear enough definition for those individuals then the education that takes place on the campus of USC isn’t all it’s cracked up to be ! As to Young being the recipient of the award, well it may not viewed as the right thing to do but to my mind it would not settle a situation that the Heisman board members and the NCAA were in some ways fully aware as to ongoing inconsistencies going on within the Trojans’ athletic program. But the idiocy here was that they all chose to turn a blind eye to the actions that had been rumored to have taken place. ere it not for the investigative journalists who sought to seek out the truth then much of what came to light would’ve remained hidden.

The NFL season is but a week old but already injuries could well become the culprit that waylays the year for several teams . It could play a great deal as to what transpires for numerous teams. So far the New York Jets , New England Patriots , Indianapolis Colts and are but a slew of teams that has lost players to season ending injuries. And it will become a test of wills for their coaches to see if the players plugged in to fill those gaps will prove to be sufficient to keep their seasons intact .

Did I miss something concerning the San Diego Chargers’ loss to the Kansas City Chiefs ? I’m no great admirer of Norv Turner as a coach as I don’t view him as someone who knows how to handle real adversity within the NFL well. The Chargers’ defense was about as resolute as the passengers on the Titanic as they sought to save themselves. In the case of the Chargers there was nothing to be saved here other than the reputation of several veterans. The upheaval that there has been within the team where we’ve since seen the departure of future Hall of Famer LaDanian Tomlinsion and the discord between wide receiver Vincent Jackson </a? and the organization . GM A J Smith and team President & CEO Dean Spanos while looking towards the future seem to be unsure as to the what direction that they want the team to be heading in.

The AFC West long seen as the Chargers’ own personal backyard but this season could turn out to be somewhat different as the Chiefs now seem to be more resolute with the addition of Charlie Weis and Romeo Crennel as the offensive and defensive coordinators for the team . The two experienced veteran coaches will provide a great deal of assistance to head coach Todd Haley . We may well also get to see how much growth there will be quarterback Matt Cassel’s game as he seeks to more cohesiveness with his team and in particular with the offense. The defense showed depth and signs of maturity in their season opener but it was special teams that brought about the victory for the success starved Chiefs.

Say what you may about the Oakland Raiders but I now get the impression that many of their fans aren’t always willing to deal with reality. And if they are, they’ll tend to wax on lyrically about past achievements rather than the reality of what’s happening at present. Can a Raiders’ fan simply explain to me how from one moment to the next this team simply plays as if they’ve no sense of acceptance or responsibility to their fans ? And from a coaching standpoint Tom Cable just hasn’t instigated any sort of discipline into this team. If there’s a Raiders fan out there who believes that he has then I’d like to hear your ideas as to where there’s evidence of that ? Two years on and it could well be that should Cable and the team not have a winning season then we could see the organization part with the coach and the ever revolving door of coaches departing from the team once again commences. It’s strange to see how far this organization has fallen from grace all under the tenure of owner Al Davis . And as storied as Davis’ legacy as been there comes a time when the keys to the kingdom has to be turned over to someone who actually knows the hell what they’re doing.

As week two approaches a number of things may well fall into place as a number of teams will actually begin to find their footing as the season progresses. My biggest concern is how realistic the league will be in the declining attendances across the NFL. Granted the cavernous edifices of Cowboys Stadium and Meadowlands Stadium may not initially reflect that given that both venues are still in their infancy but it remains to be seen whether or not the teams who call it their home can fill the venues without the anticipated success. Overall revenues are now on the decline for the NFL and so too has been game attendance although television viewership appears to be on the rise. The economic recession has played its part in this all but now with the uncertainty of a possible labor stoppage and the mere fact that there’s an impasse between the league and players’ union. And one could ask whether or not Commissioner Roger Goodell and DeMaurice Smith of the NFLPA are actually making a concerted effort to reach an amicable agreement that would curtail a lockout ? What we’ve heard from either side would indicate that the chasm between the two sides appears to be wider than first thought . And neither side it appears wants to be seen as the villain of the piece but clearly neither side wants to be seen as the culprit that brings about a strike within the NFL. The good faith and will built between the league and its patrons , the fans , will suffer should the league shutdown for the entire upcoming season. Chances are if that scenario were to arise then we all might as well take up needlepoint as a replacement for watching or attending NFL games.

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What thoughts if any do you have with regard to the points raised in this piece and how do you view things panning out specifically with regard to the league ?

Alan aka tophatal 🙂 * 😦

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Bria Myles’ 22’s but I’m sure headlights and rims are far bigger than that ! And who wouldn’t want to polish Bria’s headlights ?

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Cassidy … feat’g Swizz Beatz ……..“My Drink-N-2 Step”

What In The Wild World of Sports ?

What In The Wild World of Sports ?

It’s been such a misnomer to see the start of the college football season and the thinking in the first few games we’ll see the major programs that are part of the BCS simply come out and dominate. Considering that before they undertake their divisional schedules they’re essentially playing a number of powder puff teams merely to get of the curve in the rankings. Personally I find the whole college makeup a complete farce to begin with ! Essentially it comes down to the fact that the major BCS conferences and the criteria set by those who set the rules have made it nigh on impossible for none BCS schools to be considered for a shot of playing for the national championship.

And considering the asinine notion that this ultimately is the best step forward in determining a national champion is such a farce ! The only way to have a national champion, is to make the whole championship makeup all inclusive to BCS programs as well as none inclusive programs and the divisions thereof.

OK so the Atlanta Braves and San Diego Padres are having a meltdown that could end up being so cataclysmic that it could prove to be scary for their fans and for those who are now witnessing the fallout from this all. Both teams had sizable leads within their respective divisions. And it says a great deal that both Philadelphia Phillies and San Francisco Giants are now making the divisional races within NL East and NL West so exciting. Who’d have thought that we would be now seeing the two teams who have in essence have been two of the biggest surprises of the baseball season ? Should both the Braves and Padres fall out of contention for a postseason berth then we can say that much of his came about from their own inconsistencies down the stretch runs of their respective seasons.

And for Bobby Cox of the Braves and Bud Black of the Padres they can rest assured that with this season having been filled with surprises.It has to be said that for the raves and Padres should their season fall apart the window of opportunity will most certainly haven’t left either organization. Both teams seem to be building for the future and that has to be a refreshing theme for both ballclubs.

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Before the NFL season has even began it’d appear that the silly season has started. Matt Leinart has been cut by the Arizona Cardinals. And for the former first round draft pick his fall from grace has been truly amazing. But then again for a player who’d set out to show his worth he’s been a failure in the NFL. Now Leinart having been cut he has signed a one year contract with the Houston Texans where he’ll be a backup to the incumbent number one quarterback Matt Schaub . And for Leinart this just might the last chance for the player to actually prove himself . And if you thought Leinart’s situation was bad well consider the situation concerning the Seattle Seahawks’ T J Houshmanzadeh ? The player having signed a five year $45 million contract contract with the team in 2008 Houshmanzadeh now finds himself without a team having been cut by Seattle’s coach Pete Carroll .

The Seahawks are now looking for a new direction as Carroll seeks to give this team an identity.And for a team that has seen its window of opportunity slowly close over the past few years from inconsistent play and the lack of a real coaching pedigree since the departure of Mike Holmgren from the organization. The departure of Houshmanzadeh from this team may not be the only thing that’s needed to resurrect its fortune as Carroll has certainly got to prove himself upon his return to the NFL where lack of success left him beaten and a lost soul within the NFL ranks. His sojourn within the collegiate ranks has proven to be cathartic and an unprecedented success with the USC Trojans . But now we’re finding out that the real truth as to what was taking place inside of the program and to an extent the part ultimately played in it all by Carroll. His departure from the program was akin to a thief fleeing in the night from the scene of his most recent crime. And for those Trojans’ fans still smarting out there and who’ve blinded by the successes , merely look at what has transpired under his regime and ask yourself has it all been worth it ? And one has to ask what was the part of the athletics department in all of this ? Surely a number of those there were aware as to what was going on ? Or are we to believe that this all was solely down to the behavior of the athletes involved in the subterfuge ? Somehow those within the athletics department and the faculty new about this but would rather turn a blind eye to it all essentially because of the money that there was to be made. And made money they did ……..millions if not tens of millions of dollars.

What to make of the constant whining within the NFL at present and the mere fact that both Commissioner Roger Goodell and his union representative counterpart DeMaurice Smith seem intent on wrecking any chance of coming to an agreement with regard to the ongoing collective bargaining agreement. Allegedly this has all become about who ought to have the biggest slice of the pie and how each side seems to be pleading poverty ? Nothing says bullshit than that of a bunch of multi-millionaire owners and players acting like a bunch of primadonas ! But to make things even appear all so much worse is the mere fact that neither side seems to be taking into account that goodwill that has now been lost with the fans. If both Goodell and Smith think that they can now win back the fans after all the idiocy that has been taking place between both parties. Then these two now make the partisanship between the Democrats and Republicans seem like the congregation of a church gathering where everyone seems to be enamored with everyone. In the case of both the NFL and NFLPA we’re seeing both parties act like the ongoing feuding between the Israelis and Palestinians. And as we now all know there’s been no love lost between the feuding groups over the decades. Similarly here, there has been little trust between the league (NFL) and the union(NFLPA). And while there has been no major labor unrest in over a decade this all could all very well change within the next few months should things not change and an impasse remain.

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

What if anything has you wondering about the situation within the NFL as well as that of the two races mention within the NL East and NL West as they now proceed down to the closing stretch of the season ? Chime on in with a comment as you deem fit and as always thanks for the continued support as it’s appreciated !

NB: Having been cut T J Houshmanzadeh signed a one year $850,000 contract to play in Baltimore this upcoming season with the Baltimore Ravens .

🙂

Alan aka tophatal ………………… 🙂

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UB 40 …… “Rat In My Kitchen “

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Kelly Brook

Lingerie model Kelly Brook

I’m Not About To Lie Down And Take One For The Team ………

I’m Not About To Lie Down And Take One For The Team ………

Do you get the impression that in Southern Cal all is not right with the world ? The much storied athletics’ program of the USC Trojans is seemingly under siege not just from within but also from the outside. The findings of the NCAA’s Infraction Committee has yet to be made public. But there are ominous signs coming down from up above at the highest levels within the university. University President Steven B. Sample is stepping down from his position in his capacity as its President. And there are now “cries” for the current AD Mike Garrett to follow suit and simply step down.

Former Trojans' football head coach Pete Carroll is seen here alongside University President Steven B Sample. The university President is set to vacate his position later on this year. The are now calls for the AD Mike Garrett to do likewise. photo appears courtesy of upi.com/ Roland Sharvelle ............
Former Trojans' football head coach Pete Carroll is seen here alongside University President Steven B Sample. The university President is set to vacate his position later on this year. The are now calls for the AD Mike Garrett to do likewise. photo appears courtesy of upi.com/ Roland Sharvelle ............

Questions have been asked and raised about the University’s athletics program that have yet to be fully answered by either Garrett or Sample in any real capacity. And if anything the controversy that has continued to surround the school with regard to both its basketball and football programs has left something of a unsavory taste in everyone’s mouth not associated with the program and the school. What might even be more bewildering to some has been the snail’s pace in terms of the investigation undertaken by the NCAA into the allegations that’ve concerned both sports within the school’s Athletics Department. It does make you wonder who has been minding the store while much of this went on ? And certainly in the case of both men’s football coach Pete Carroll and Tim Floyd the Trojans’ former basketball coach, there are a great many questions that have gone unanswered. Carroll has since departed from USC to take up the head coach’s position of the Seattle Seahawks in the NFL . I guess “he” may have seen some of the ominous signs coming his way as the ” writing may well have been on the wall” ! And they talk about rats deserting a sinking ship ? The quickness of the departures of both “Carroll” and “Tim Floyd” only adds to the intrigue and the suspense. Never mind the aspects of ” …….. who knew what , where, when and why ? No one and I mean absolutely no one wants to talk about this “bitch” at all ! The silence is so deafening that you’d be under the impression that we were indeed investigating the murder of either Cripps or Blood gang member ?

Tim Floyd

Beleaguered former USC Trojans’ coach Tim Floyd takes questions from the convened press. There was a great deal of speculation involving Floyd’s association with known felon Rodney Guillory and a close personal friend and confidante of O J Mayo a former player on Floyd’s Trojans men’s basketball team.

One thing is becoming abundantly clear from this whole escapade and it is that USC is now covering its very own “ass” as it looks to stave off the wrath of the NCAA. Any punitive act on their (NCAA) part in terms of the suspensions of athletics’ scholarships , forfeiture of games and quite possibly of a the rescinding of whole competitive season and the results therein means absolutely nothing at the end of the day ! Especially when the program and the university have simply made tens of millions of dollars while the “alleged malfeasance” has gone on Simply put , the NCAA’s hierarchy are a bunch of oafs, if they think that the suspensions and forfeiture will have done enough to make USC learn its lesson. Hell , the boosters , alumni and no doubt senior members of the faculty are in fact laughing their asses off ! They might appear to be showing a great deal of concern but only insomuch as to how they will go about plotting their next ascent to the top of collegiate athletic. Do you get my point , you piss in the ocean and make a ripple but does it actually stir up the waves ? That’s about as much “damage” that will be done to the program when it’s all said and done !

Ever since the days of Reggie Bush’s ascent to stardom as a member of the Trojans’ football team , questions were being asked of the player and his close ties to an agent . Garrett for his part, acted none plus by this all, as if it were all news to him. But that has been the norm within the Trojans’ athletics’ program for years, that has been left unchecked by an administration that simply hasn’t cared , just as long as the “tangible success attained” remained consistent and was prolonged ! And would it have really made any difference to know that then men’s head basketball coach Tim Floyd knowingly gave $1,000-00 to an intermediary by the name of Rodney Guilllory, who was an associate and confidante’ of O J Mayo, the “the highly sought after prized recruit” on the Trojans men’s basketball team. One and done , Mayo was soon off to the NBA to make “his” fame and fortune . Can I get an amen, here ? I mean where else can you make a complete mockery of a system that is so corrupt that it is beyond belief. But yet we’re being told by all sides that what is now in place is of benefit to the student athlete .

Carroll (left) is seen here at a college basketball along with USC Athletics Director Mike Garrett game at Galen Arena , home to the USC Trojans men's baskeball team . The $200 million venue was joint fund raising effort initiated by Garrett in conjunction with boosters , alumni and local businesses within the greater Los Angeles area. photo appears courtesy of Getty Images North America / Rafael Dominguez ............
Carroll (left) is seen here at a college basketball along with USC Athletics Director Mike Garrett game at Galen Arena , home to the USC Trojans men's baskeball team . The $200 million venue was a joint fund raising effort initiated by Garrett in conjunction with boosters , alumni and local businesses within the greater Los Angeles area. photo appears courtesy of Getty Images North America / Rafael Dominguez ............


I can only surmise that the likes of David Stern , Roger Goodell , Bud Selig and Gary Bettman are happy with their lot ! Never mind the joy that is being felt by NCAA President James Isch , colleges and the major athletics conferences across the nation are of a similar like mindedness when it comes to collegiate feeder system to professionalism that’s in place. The NCAA makes its money , the conferences , universities
, coaches, athletic directors and agents make theirs . At the end of it all more often than not the student athlete hasn’t even got a pot to piss in and a window to throw it out of . What is wrong with this picture I ask ?

And while we wait for the findings of the NCAA and the punishment to be levied, if any against the University of Southern California (USC) . Ask yourself this, whose best interests is now being served by this all ? Is it the USC (Trojans) ? Or is it the NCAA or quite possibly the professional governing bodies of MLB , NFL , NBA and the NHL ? If you believe you do indeed have the answer then by all means leave a comment as to the reasons why. I’ll look forward to reading them each and responding in due course. As always, thanks for the continued support , it is greatly appreciated as usual ! >

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Bob Marley ……… “Don’t Worry Three Little Birds”

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Jessica Biel


Actress Jessica Biel
. Who wouldn’t want grab a hold of her “melons ? I know that I certainly would !

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Who’s On First ………….?

Who’s On First ?

Well it appears to be a certainty that the USC Trojans’ long time coach , Pete Carroll will be leaving the storied program to take another shot at the NFL . And it appears the lure has been billionaire owner , Paul Allen’s wish to have Carroll coach the Seattle Seahawks. Carroll will be given autonomous control over all player personnel decision making and no doubt as in line with the control given to Washington Redskins’ coach, Mike Shanahan , the soon to be installed coach will be paid commensurate on a scale befitting his worth.

In this Sept. 5, 2009 file phot, Southern California coach Pete Carroll watches his team warm up before a NCAA college football game with San Jose State in Los Angeles. The Seattle Seahawks fired head coach Jim Mora after just one season on Friday, Jan. 8, 2010. The Los Angeles Times reported Friday that Seahawks chief executive officer Tod Leiweke flew to California this week to interview USC coach Pete Carroll for the job. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Chris  Carlson  .........
In this Sept. 5, 2009 file phot, Southern California coach Pete Carroll watches his team warm up before a NCAA college football game with San Jose State in Los Angeles. The Seattle Seahawks fired head coach Jim Mora after just one season on Friday, Jan. 8, 2010. The Los Angeles Times reported Friday that Seahawks chief executive officer Tod Leiweke flew to California this week to interview USC coach Pete Carroll for the job. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Chris Carlson .........

Chris Mortensen initially broke the news , as he’s a close personal friend of Pete Carroll and their relationship goes back to the days when Carroll was a coach of the New York Jets. That being said stories such as this, more often than not when broken from this outlet tends to be filled with ‘truths’ and ‘half truths’. How many times before have we heard the likes of Mortensen and his cabal of colleagues come to the fore with a ‘ breaking story’ only in the end to find out that there was no substantive evidence that the story was in fact true ? Nor in the end does the outlet have the decency to apologize for the faux -pas. But then, we now live in the age where the news cycle of stories isn’t about bringing you a story. It has in essence become about sensationalism and the gravitas of seemingly making a story up only to garner attention .

For the Seattle Seahawks to describe this season as a disappointment would be to greatly underscore the fact that the team and its coaching staff were extremely poor in every facet of preparation when it came to this NFL season. Jim Mora Jr, is no more an average NFL coach than Sarah Palin can be considered to be a great politician. In essence both play the part but there’s no quality or substance behind the persona’s in question. Mora has been abject failure in Seattle and it’s not due to the fact that there injury problems with the team. In terms of real coaching ability his skills are line with that of a drunk being asked to handle high end explosives. You know for a fact that ‘no good ‘ can come from it all ! As to why Mora’s predecessor, Mike Holmgren named Jim Mora his successor, is as perplexing to some as the mathematical equation when asked to list pi beyond fifteen places. Mora’s success as a coach is tempered by the fact that as a coach in Atlanta , he had Michael Vick as the centerpiece to a team. But in terms of success and leadership the Atlanta Falcons had little, if anything tangible to show for it all in the end. And Vick’s own off the field troubles were certainly of no help to the organization. But what might be even more exacerbating was Mora’s own demeanor prior to , during and after the whole debacle went down. At no time did he show any type leadership or the qualities therein that would lead you to believe that he could handle any type of adversity thrown his way. So it should come as no surprise when he was fired Falcons’ GM Rich McKay.

This Jan. 13, 2009, file photo shows Seattle Seahawks head football coach Jim Mora, left, talking to reporters as Seahawks CEO Tod Leiweke, right, looks on during a news conference at Seahawks headquarters in Renton, Wash.  The Seattle Seahawks fired Jim Mora after just one season, leaving the former NFC West champs without a coach, general manager and president less than four years after they appeared in the Super Bowl.  picture appears courtesy  of ap/photo/  Ted  S Warren ..........
This Jan. 13, 2009, file photo shows Seattle Seahawks head football coach Jim Mora, left, talking to reporters as Seahawks CEO Tod Leiweke, right, looks on during a news conference at Seahawks headquarters in Renton, Wash. The Seattle Seahawks fired Jim Mora after just one season, leaving the former NFC West champs without a coach, general manager and president less than four years after they appeared in the Super Bowl. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Ted S Warren ..........

Mora’s handling of the Seahawks this past season has been about as exhilarating to watch as having several teeth pulled without the use of a relaxant . Painful is one word that comes to mind , so too are several others. But the use of those words aren’t such permitted or appropriate for such a forum.

Courtesy of The News Tribune

Carroll hire done deal, report says

Seahawks: Pete Carroll reportedly quits at USC, accepts Seattle job; his role, beyond coaching team, remains undetermined

By Eric D Williams , The News Tribune

Pete Carroll is headed to Seattle.

The University of Southern California head coach submitted his resignation Sunday evening and accepted an offer to become the eighth coach of the Seattle Seahawks, according to a report from the Los Angeles Times.USC players and coaches learned the news from a text message sent out by an assistant coach, according to the report.

Although the Seahawks have not said the deal is final, an announcement could come as soon as today.
Carroll built an impressive résumé during his nine seasons at USC, winning 84 percent of his games, seven Pacific-10 Conference titles in a row and two national championships. But Carroll reportedly longed to return to the NFL to prove he could win at the highest level.

He compiled a 33-31 record as a head coach in the league, including one season with the New York Jets and three with the New England Patriots, making the playoffs twice in four seasons.However, Carroll’s tenure in the pros, which ended in 1999, is viewed as mixed at best.

The Seahawks created a head coaching opening by firing Jim Mora on Friday after he finished with a 5-11 record in his first and only season in charge in Seattle.

The Seahawks may be calling for Carroll at the right time, with the Trojans facing the possibility of NCAA sanctions and Carroll’s relationship with USC athletic director Mike Garrett becoming strained.

The Trojans reportedly were interested in bringing back former USC assistant Steve Sarkisian, now the head coach at Washington, but Sarkisian said he’s not interested and that Washington is his dream job.USC has another target in Oregon State coach Mike Riley, according to reports in Los Angeles-area papers.

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As to whether or not Pete Carroll can resurrect this Seahawks’ organization would be based on whether not you believe that coaching philosophy and style can be converted from the college game and transplanted into the NFL. Particularly the traits that there were part of the success that led to USC Trojans’ dominance of college football. If you believe that, then there’s no reason to think that he cannot have success with the team. If on the other hand you’re of the opinion that the format used by him can’t work in the NFL, then you’d have a valid argument to think that he’ll have as difficult time readjusting to the environment we know as the NFL. Carroll’s foray as an NFL coach could hardly be described as a success , with stops in New England with the Patriots and in New York with the Jets. There was barely any success attained and one easily understood why after having to relinquish both positions, he became disenchanted with the NFL. That being said his return to the NFL must have something to do with Carroll now believing that he’s now capable of attaining success at the highest level possible.

Personally, I’m treating it all with great deal of skepticism. I merely see this all, as Paul Allen merely throwing his millions around, in order to try and solve a problem that neither he or the Seahawks’ executives actually have an answer for. What a number of people seem to forget is that at the height of his success is that Carroll had former assistants Norm Chow and Steve Sarkisian. In Seattle, he won’t have that luxury at all , simply put, Carroll will have to establish a complete staff of his own and then work in conjunction with a new general manager. Easier said than done, don’t you think ?

The biggest problem here for the Seahawks might not be whether or not this is a successful maneuver but what should happen at the first sign of adversity, the disenchantment of the fans should things not live up to everyone’s expectations. This is exactly the same scenario that came about with both Nick Saban’s move from LSU to the Miami Dolphins and Steve Spurrier’s move from Florida to the Washington Redskins. Can we now say that in both cases those moves were abject failures and an unmitigated disasters of the ‘highest order’ ?

Microsoft co-founder and Seattle Seahawks’ owner , Paul Allen seen here at an NFL game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers played at the Seahawks’ home venue of Qwest Field in Seattle , Washington. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Ted S. Warren ……..

Seahawks’ fans and no doubt Paul Allen may well feel that this gives the franchise some legitimacy as a contender for the upcoming season. But he ought to contend with the fact that the franchise over the past five years have been little more than cannon fodder for the rest of the NFC and NFL as a whole. Much like with the Emperor who has new clothes. Dressing up the Seattle Seahawks and adorning them with a ‘big named coach’ does not make them look all the more alluring as a contender in the NFL. All that it will essentially do, is to garner a great deal of attention for the franchise and the publicity that comes with it in tow. What Pete Carroll will have to do and must do , is to reassess the whole organization from top to bottom … deciding who’s on first , who’ s on second and who the hell needs to be thrown out. An aging roster , lacking in leadership, lacking in competitiveness and most of all they were lacking ‘a coach who could actually coach’ ! If Carroll can turn things around with some immediacy then it augurs well for the franchise but if there’s nothing to show for it within two years, then don’t expect to see him still a coach of this team. More likely than not, either he’ll once again become disenchanted or he will in fact meet the same fate as his predecessor. Which is it to be ?

When Practicing Safe Sex It’s Always Best To Wear A Trojan

When Practicing Safe Sex It’s Always Best To Wear A Trojan

It’s said to be 99.444 % safe when wearing a prophylactic during sex but then there are times when it proves to be fruitless. Well on Saturday night the USC Trojans played the Oregon Ducks in a PAC-10 game. The result was a 47-20 shellacking that the USC Trojans (6-2[3-2]) took at the hands of the Oregon Ducks (7-1[5-0]) . At this time of the season every game is essentially a must win for a team , especially those with postseason ambitions as far as a BCS Bowl appearance is concerned. But for Pete Carroll and his Trojans , a Bowl appearance is but a half measure. Season in season out theirs is the ambition to be part of the BCS national championship landscape.

Trojans' coach  Pete Carroll   on  the  sidelines  of   the   game  against  the   Oregon  Ducks   on  Saturday  .   The   Trojans   would    go  on  to  suffer  their    worst   loss  under   Carroll   in  a  rather   lopsided  and   humiliating  47-20  defeat  at  the  hands  of   Oregon .   picture  appears  courtesy of   ap/photo/ Mark  J  Terrill  ..............

Tojans’ coach Pete Carroll on the sidelines of the PAC-10 game against the University of Oregon. The USC Trojans would go on to suffer a humiliating and lopsided 47-20 loss to their conference rivals. It was the largest such defeat suffered by Carroll as a coach of the Trojans. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Mark J. Terrell ………

Well unfortunately, for Carroll and his Trojans their divisional match up against the Ducks prove to one of the experiences that were it one of sexual nature it would’ve proved to be one that the Trojans would want to forget. Let’s just say the condom burst for some inexplicable reason. In this case it stemmed from the fact that it wasn’t properly fitted to the appropriate appendage. How else can one explain USC’s largest game defeat under the tenure of the coach , Pete Carroll ? To say that they played badly would be to suggest that they had a bad day at the office. Here literally, they just didn’t turn up.

Carroll’s defense gave up over 600 yards of complete offense, against a team that in essence has played somewhat inconsistently throughout the season , thus far. And the humiliation of this defeat will certainly not be lost on the detractors who’ve suggested the Trojans are an overrated team. If anything, they’ve proved this season that this has been the case.They were completely outplayed in every facet of the game by Oregon . And as the game went on ,the more one could see that there was literally no way that USC could play their way back into this game . And even if they were able to play their way back in , then there was always the thought that they would still relinquish any advantage that they’d built up.

Courtesy of Los Angeles Times:

Trojans are knocked defenseless ……..

USC gives up 613 yards and suffers the worst loss in the Pete Carroll era.

By Gary Klein

Welcome to their nightmare.

USC’s hopes for a berth in the Bowl Championship Series title game are over.

So, almost certainly, are the Trojans’ chances of winning an eighth consecutive Pacific 10 Conference title.

Both ended Saturday night at Autzen Stadium when 10th-ranked Oregon handed fourth-ranked USC its worst loss of the Pete Carroll era, a 47-20 pounding before a delirious Halloween night crowd of 59,592.

On a cold night in the Pacific Northwest, Oregon quarterback Jeremiah Masoli and running back LaMichael James chilled the Trojans to the bone with outstanding performances for the Ducks, who are in complete control of the Pac-10 race with designs on a BCS bowl game bid.

“That was a real mess,” Carroll said outside the Trojans’ locker room after the Ducks manhandled a Trojans team that was fifth in the BCS standings.

USC players appeared stunned after the Ducks rolled up 613 yards, the second-most ever yielded by the Trojans.

“They hit us in the mouth and kept hitting us in the mouth,” senior safety Taylor Mays.

The Trojans, who fell to 6-2 and 3-2 in the Pac-10, had no answer against an Oregon team that is 7-1 and in the Pac-10 driver’s seat at 5-0.

After being exposed in the second half of victories over Notre Dame and Oregon State, USC’s defense went from bent to broken.

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The Trojans had absolutely no answer whatsoever against the Oregon Ducks at any time during the four quarters of play. They were not blindsided by this team but if anything, the Trojans were ill prepared for the demands placed on them by Oregon. They were ran ragged by a team that merely wanted the win more than USC could have wanted. And as to USC’s PAC-10 ambitions ? Well it’s gone in the wind, much like their national title ambitions. A two loss team is essentially a dead man walking. No one wants to be in their shoe ! And should USC make to a postseason bowl berth , what are they are going to say ? Oh we made it ! Well considering the USC program and the heights and achievements attained under Carroll. This loss equivocally makes a dent in their ambitions and recruiting wise ,it may well be make a potential recruit think twice . But that’s unlikely to happen as the USC program is still viewed as one of the better collegiate football programs out there.

Ducks' quarterback Jeremiah  Masoli  (8)  evades  the  tackle  attempt  made   by   USC linebacker Malcolm  Smith  during  the  first  quarter  of  their   game  on  Saturday   .   picture appears  courtesy  of  latimes.com/ Wally  Skalij  .................

Ducks’ quarterback Jeremiah Masoli (8) evades the tackle attempt made by USC linebacker Malcolm Smith during the first quarter of the game on Saturday played at Autzen Stadium in Eugene, Oregon. picture appears courtesy of latimes.com/ Wally Skalij ……………

The reverberations of this loss will be felt right across the football landscape and it may well also taint the luster of the USC program . The loss was one thing but the margin of the loss ? Well that would to suggest that it was a mere slight and one could overlook it as nothing more than an aberration. But realistically, the nature of the loss was so embarrassing that I have to ask what direction is the Trojans’ program now heading in ? Is the talent there – that the Trojans are said to be recruiting ? Or better yet, is Carroll now merely thinking that Trojans’ name alone will be enough to get an athlete to peek inside the world that is the University of South California football program and be impressed what there is to see ? If that’s the case then he’s clearly misjudging the situation and quite possibly the magnitude of what this loss may well suggest.

Damien  Williams  of  USC  dives   into the  endzone  for  the   score  in  between  Ducks'   players    Talmadge  Jackson  III  and   John  Boyett   during  the   second   quarter  of  the   PAC-10 conference   played  between  the  two divisional  rivals  .  picture  appears   courtesy of   latimes.com  / Wally  Skalij  .................

Damien Williams of USC makes it into the endzone diving between Oregon Ducks’ players Talmadge Jackson III and John Boyett during the second quarter of the PAC-10 conference game played between the two divisional rivals. picture appears courtesy of latimes.com/ Wally Skalij ………..

There’s also one thing that I’ve always thought about the PAC-10 and in particular the schedule that UCS affixes for itself . It’s littered with games that are absolutely meaningless when they’re playing the likes of ’The Little Sisters of The Poor And Downtrodden ’. Games such as this are tawdry and are of no benefit – when they’re essentially non competitive . They , in no way test the players of USC. And what’s even worse, is the fact that many of the Trojans ’ fans look upon those games as having some meaning. But perhaps the biggest faux pas might the fact that the analysts and the idiots of the BCS actually pay attention to these games and actually think that they’re of some benefit to a program. In essence however, the BCS and its polling system is nothing more than another money making aspect of collegiate football and its already flawed system. But that’s a topic for another day and time.

USC cornerback  Kevin Thomas (15) lands   awkwardly  after  breaking  up  a  pass  intended   for  the  Oregon Ducks'   wide   receiver  Jeff  Maehl    during  the  game   between  the   two  PAC-10   conference  rivals  played  at Autzen  Stadium  ,  in  Eugene  , Oregon.    picture  appears  courtesy of  latimes.com/  Wally   Skalij  ..............

USC cornberback, Kevin Thomas lands awkwardly after breaking up a pass intended for Oregon Ducks’ wide receiver Jeff Maehl in a game played between the two PAC-10 conference rivals at Autzen Stadium , Eugene Oregon. picture appears courtesy of latimes.com/ Wally Skalij ………….

Bear this in mind ,what took place on Saturday would either suggest that the Trojans’ program is on the decline . Or it may well be,there’s a lesson to be learned for Pete Carroll and his team. I for one,think it may well lie in between the two scenarios mentioned . But that’s just merely speculation on my part, nothing else mind you ! As for your own thoughts by all means chime on in with a comment. I’ll most certainly look forward to reading them and responding in kind.

Poll rankings :

Bowl Subdivisions Polls

AP Top 25
1.Florida (30) 2.Alabama (23) 3.Texas (7) 4.USC 5.Cincinnati 6.Boise St. 7.Iowa 8.TCU 9.LSU 10.Oregon 11.Georgia Tech 12.Penn St. 13.Oklahoma St. 14.Virginia Tech 15.Houston 16.Pittsburgh 17.Ohio St. 18.Miami (FL) 19.Utah 20.West Virginia 21.South Carolina 22.Oklahoma 23.Arizona 24.Mississippi 25.Notre Dame

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l

USA Today Poll
RK TEAM RECORD PTS
1 Florida (50) 8-0 1463
2 Texas (4) 8-0 1395
3 Alabama (5) 8-0 1390
4 TCU 8-0 1182
5 Boise State 8-0 1176
6 Iowa 9-0 1161
7 Cincinnati 8-0 1150
8 Oregon 7-1 1079
9 LSU 7-1 1062
10 Penn State 8-1 966
11 Georgia Tech 8-1 934
12 Ohio State 7-2 730
13 USC 6-2 729
14 Pittsburgh 7-1 694
15 Houston 7-1 672
16 Utah 7-1 567
17 Miami (FL) 6-2 549
18 Oklahoma State 6-2 371
19 Arizona 5-2 320
20 Oklahoma 5-3 313
21 Notre Dame 6-2 281
22 Wisconsin 6-2 204
23 California 6-2 197
24 Virginia Tech 5-3 193
25 Brigham Young 6-2 106

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It Still Has Its Dangers Be It On The Field Of Play Or Off It ………….

One of the most staggering stories that I’ve heard in a long time came about the USC Trojans’ running back Stafon Johnson. The tragic accident that has taken place and has now left the player in a critical but stable condition, should remind us of the dangers of sports as a recreational passtime. Be it on the field of play or off it.

USC tailback  Stafon  Johnson  (13)  seen  here   on the  sidelines  during  a   Trojans'   practice  .    picture  appears courtesy  of    latimes.com/sports/   .............
USC tailback Stafon Johnson (13) seen here on the sidelines during a Trojans' practice . picture appears courtesy of latimes.com/sports/ .............

Johnson, a junior with the Trojans , is a highly competitive and exceptional player. He does nothing by half measures and that’s perhaps one of the reasons he’s so well liked by his fellow teammates and by his coach Pete Carroll. The incident as it occurred is something of a mystery. What we do know is that while working out in the campus gymnasium with the team’s strength and conditioning coach, an unfortunate accident took place. Johnson at the time was said to be bench pressing weights when his hand slipped and the bar-bell came down across his throat , crushing his larynx. Assistance was sought and the player was rushed to the California Hospital Medical Center. He’s had to undergo several hours of intricate surgery to repair whatever damage had been sustained . But the belief is that the player will survive the injuries sustained and make a full recovery. As to what form that will take , is clearly open to intense speculation at this moment in time.

It came to be known as ‘The Drive’.

If one remembers Johnson was an invaluable member and contributed greatly in USC’s 18-15 defeat of Ohio State in week 2 of the 2009-10 college season. Joe McKnight and Johnson made the victory all the more poignant for Trojans’ fans over their arch rivals.

While we can all appreciate that incidents such as this, though rare. It gives us all a sense of our own vulnerabilities and that of the athlete at play, be it on or off the field of play. At this moment in time , my thoughts goes out to the player , his immediate family and that of the program.

Courtesy Yahoo Sports and Associated Press

USC’s Johnson has throat surgery after accident

By Greg Meacham AP Sports Writer

LOS ANGELES (AP)—Southern California tailback Stafon Johnson is unlikely to play again this season after a falling weight bar crushed his neck and larynx.

The senior who scored the No. 7 Trojans’ go-ahead touchdown against Ohio State two weeks ago was bench-pressing when the bar slipped from his right hand and fell onto his throat.

Johnson was in critical but stable condition late Monday night after more than seven hours of surgery, said Katreena Salgado, a spokeswoman for California Hospital Medical Center.

He was treated for crushing injuries to his neck as well as severe injuries to his larynx, said the hospital’s trauma medical director, Dr. Gudata Hinika.

It’s unlikely Johnson will be able to play again this season, but his prognosis is good and doctors expect him to make a full recovery, Hinika said in a statement released by the hospital.

Johnson is the Trojans’ second-leading rusher with 157 yards, and he leads USC (3-1, 1-1 Pac-10) with five touchdowns. He led USC in rushing last season with 705 yards and nine touchdowns, but has become into the Trojans’ short-yardage specialist this season behind starter Joe McKnight.

“It hit him with a lot of force, and it hurt him,” coach Pete Carroll said after the Trojans’ brief practice Monday night. “No broken bones as far as I understand, but he’s got some damage in there somewhere, and they’re working it out, trying to figure out what it is.”

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Any sporting endeavor has its dangers and for the fans in attendance who are there to watch their teams do battle . It can’t be lost on them ,that a player is only but one hit away from being seriously injured. While the dangers are there and the players are willing to subject themselves to those inherent dangers. It’s also not lost on them how grave those dangers can be. But yet like the gladiators of ancient times they’re prepared to do it for the glory and the willingness to sacrifice themselves for the team .

Teammates  James  Wilson, left  and  Matt  Patchan  look  over  Tim  Tebow   as  he  lays  on  the  ground  motionless  having  been  sacked.    The  player  was   unresponsive  for  several    minutes  and   had  to be   led   from    the  field  having     incurred  a  concussion.       picture  appears  courtesy  of  ap/photo/   Ed  Reinke  ....................
Teammates James Wilson, left and Matt Patchan look over Tim Tebow as he lays on the ground motionless having been sacked. The player was unresponsive for several minutes and had to be led from the field having incurred a concussion. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Ed Reinke ....................

For the #1 ranked Florida Gators and their Heisman Trophy winning quarterback , Tim Tebow. They face a dilemma of a different sort. The player coming off yet another resounding defeat of another non-descript program,in Kentucky 41-7. During the game , Tebow in the third quarter was tackled and sacked by Wildcats’ defensive end Taylor Wyndham . Having fallen with the full weight of the defensive end on top of him. Tebow’s head came in contact with that of his teammate’s Marcus Gilbert’s leg, sending his neck back violently upon contact. In the ensuing incident , Tebow suffered a concussion and lay motionless on the field for several minutes unresponsive.

Tebow is   helped  off  the field   as  a  stretcher  lies  in the  background.   The  player  was  determined  to  have   suffered   a  second   degree  concussion     during   the  game.     picture  appears  courtesy  of ap/photo/  Ed  Reinke  .........................
Tebow is helped off the field as a stretcher lies in the background. The player was determined to have suffered a second degree concussion during the game. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Ed Reinke .........................

Courtesy Yahoo Sports and Associated Press

No.1 Florida wins but Tebow injured

By Will Graves AP Sports Writer

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP)—With one scary hit on Tim Tebow, the fate of No. 1 Florida — and really, the entire complexion of the college football season—could have changed.

The Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback was knocked out of Florida’s 41-7 victory against Kentucky after a hard shot to the head in the third quarter, and taken by ambulance to a hospital.

“I don’t know, I think it’s a concussion,” Florida coach Urban Meyer said. “I think he’ll be all right.

“He took a pretty good shot.”

Tebow was scheduled to stay overnight in the hospital, Florida spokesman Steve McClain said.

The Gators were leading 31-7 and driving deep in Kentucky territory when Tebow was sacked by Kentucky defensive end Taylor Wyndham on a vicious but clean hit. As he fell back with Wyndham on top of him, Tebow’s head struck teammate Marcus Gilbert’s leg, violently bending his neck forward.

Tebow, a tank of a quarterback at 245 pounds, lay motionless for several minutes while Commonwealth Stadium fell silent. He sat up with some help then slowly made his way off the field to a loud ovation. Florida’s medical staff attended to him on the bench and his parents came down from the stands to join him.

He was eventually carted off the field with concussion-like symptoms, vomiting several times.

Florida is off next week, then plays at LSU on Oct. 10. It’s probably the toughest game on Florida’s regular-season schedule and would be even tougher without Tebow.

A third national title in four seasons for Florida, a second Heisman for Tebow, all that becomes iffy if his injury causes him to miss games. Oddly, Saturday started with questions about Tebow’s availability because of a respiratory illness.

Meyer said Tebow had just one question after the hit.

“He asked me ‘Did I hold onto the ball?”’ Meyer said. “I told him he did and he winked at me and said ‘It’s great to be a Gator.”
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The player it is said after the incident wasn’t completely aware of his surroundings. Though his initial response to a question asked of him , was ……” did I hold unto the ball ? ” Thereafter , he was taken to a nearby hospital in Lexington, Kentucky to undergo a battery of neurological testing for the concussion sustained. As it is , with any concussion it can’t always be determined how serious they are. Especially one of the variety that was sustained by Tim Tebow. Second degree concussions do have a tendency of lingering or they can just as quickly disappear.

But already questions are being asked of the Florida Gators’ coach , Urban Meyer , as to whether or not the player will be available to play in their next scheduled game. If anything the utmost priority ought to be concerned health and well being of the player. Rather than whether or not he’ll be ready to play in their next game. It’s not as if he’d just sustained a sprained ankle or a pulled groin muscle. Those type of injuries can be easily overcome through the usual efforts. In the case of a concussion they can have a lasting effect-long after his career has come to an end. And though no one at this juncture would suggest that the player’s collegiate career is about to come to an abrupt halt. Missing a game or two mightn’t be out of the question , as to what’s best for his long term future.

Would that sacrifice be too dear a price to pay for the program at this juncture ? Well for the Gators’ fans and the program that just might be the case. As to the player , himself , only he can answer that question at this juncture.
The chances are that he’ll be prepared to take that risk should he be given the all clear by the medical staff to do so. But then again , we’ve seen cases where the medical profession have made mistakes concerning incidents of this nature.

In this case do you feel it’s worth the risk for Tebow to make an immediate return to the field of play ? And if so why do you feel that way ? And in the case of Trojans’ running back Stafon Johson . Have you ever heard of an accident of this type ever taking place under such conditions ? Your comments on this topic would make for an interesting discussion . So by all means do leave a comment. I’ll look forward to reading and then replying to each .