Let’s go by the numbers ……

Let’s go by the numbers …………

As the NFL enters week ten of its sixteen week regular season schedule , with the plethora of stories that have made up the season thus far. Perhaps no one story, than the one currently fomenting will have a lasting effect on the league as we know it to be at present . No matter how anyone now tries to spin what appears to have been an unsavory incident between Miami Dolphins’ teammates Richie Incognito and Jonathan Martin , there is absolutely no way that one can justify the stance that racial intolerance or abuse should be part of anyone’s work environment . As to this downright idiocy , that a code of conduct amongst a brotherhood was broken by Martin, after he made it public, as to an incident that took place between he and Incognito, speaks to the damn stupidity of former NFL player Damien Woody , that with Jonathan Martin having broken that code , it now makes him “ a marked man “ who is likely . to distrusted by a teammate .

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Personally , I believe Woody to be entirely wrong, due to what appears to be ignorance and the fact , that as an African-American , I seriously doubt that he would have chosen to simply walk away, were a racial epithet directed at him or a member of his family , as appears to be the case with the online evidence of the “tweets” that were directed at Jonathan Martin and his mother in derogatory racial terms . As to those who simply want feel-good stories in a world where we have corrupt politicians , businessmen and violent crimes being perpetrated against women and children , simply add this episode, in another chapter in country spinning out of control , where common decency and respect no longer prevails .

With no formal statement from NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on the matter, from an incident, that is now almost a week old. It begs the question, is the commissioner simply an executive, who cherry picks the issues where he feels it is simply another area where he can be seen in a positive image , albeit that the NFL brand is now once again coming under fire for all of the wrong reasons and a great deal more ? In appointing an attorney Ted Wells , to conduct an in-depth investigation , that will seek input from both of the players involved in this matter , as well as head coach Joe Philbin and the Dolphins’ general manager Jeff Ireland . It now remains to be seen, if there will be parameters set, as to whether or not this matter will be given greater latitude by way of an even greater investigation not just solely of the Miami Dolphins’ organization , but also of all of the thirty-one other teams that make up the NFL . Philbin, originally tried to suggest that this was an isolated incident , but clearly the head coach is now at a loss to explain how an environment of racial intolerance was acceptable within the Dolphins’ locker room , with a makeup of players of different ethnic backgrounds . Clearly, the matter was taken seriously enough by Jeff Ireland to suspend Richie Incognito indefinitely , without pay , while the organization now conducts its own in-house inquiry .

NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith has summoned both Richie Incognito , his agent and that of Jonathan Martin and his own legal counsel to meet at the Players’ Union headquarters to meet and deal with and discuss d this matter in some clarity . To my mind, this is simply the union trying to line up all of its ducks in a row, in order to abate any possible public outrage over the matter that has blown up over the past forty-eight hours ! The NFLPA , has done little to monitor or dissuade the often criminal or outrageous behavior of its members who have often deemed themselves above the law. Need we also be reminded, this is the very same union that has continued to hide behind the matter of it being a privacy issue , as to why they have yet comply with the league’s request with the commencement of in and out of season testing for anabolic steroids as well as human growth hormones , even after a vote ratifying testing to begin . All this in accordance with a promise made to a US Congressional Committee in 2010 , for which this policy has yet to be instituted three years later . Such hypocrisy , not only from the executive committee of the union, but also the entire NFL hierarchy , led by Roger Goodell.

For a league, where the player personnel makeup extends beyond 65% of players, who are of African-American descent, and other ethnic backgrounds. One has to ask , if the so-called family friendly and all-inclusive atmosphere created and marketed towards its consumers by the NFL , has simply glossed over the at times and often overlooked behavior of the players . Player misconduct is one thing, but where racial bigotry has now become part of the environment , not where a fan has been directing racially insensitive remarks at a player , but that of a player directing those remarks at a fellow teammate and directly at a family member . Should we really be now asking , what else has the NFL chosen to tolerate within its own insular world of the male testosterone driven bastion of the league’s locker rooms and practice field environment ?

This season in the NFL, there have been several terrible games that the fans have been subjected to , on not only on Monday Night Football , but also on Thursday night . Tonight, should prove to be no different , with the Washington Redskins (3-5) as the guests of the Minnesota Vikings (1-7) , in what could prove to be a ” make ” or ” break game ” for both teams, with their respective seasons said to be on the line. In what has turned out to be a monstrously bad season within the NFC East , only the Dallas Cowboys (5-4) currently possess a record above .500 . As to what this actually indicates about the division as a whole , can be best summed up by how one views each of the four teams and their respective records and play over the course of this season . Suffice to say , the New York Giants (2-6) , the Washington Redskins , Philadelphia Eagles (4-5) and the divisional leaders , the Dallas Cowboys have given us a perspective as to what truly bad football is said to be about , at this point of the season. It would be terrible to think or witness the fact that a team with a sub .500 record is likely to win the division and a guaranteed berth in the postseason. Yet , this is what the fans could be facing over the remainder of this season , as I simply cannot foresee either of these four teams showing the type of consistency needed to end up with a winning record by week sixteen !

Greg Schiano , head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-8) , came in with a blaze of glory , having been hired by general manager Mark Dominik to resurrect the fortunes of the franchise after a dismal 2011 foray , which in the end led to the firing of Schiano’s predecessor Raheem Morris . Now win-less, with an 0-8 record , which they jointly share with the Jacksonville Jaguars (0-8) for the worst in the NFL . The countdown is now on to see whether or not the Buccaneers can gain their first victory of the season , as things continue to spiral out of control for Greg Schiano , his coaching staff and the entire team . And I use the word “team ” loosely , as there seems to be no desire from anyone on the roster to show any passion , much less leadership or to be held accountable for what is now turning out to be a truly miserable season by any stretch of the imagination.

The Buccaneers will play host to instate neighbors the Miami Dolphins in a game that will have a bearing on both of their seasons and quite possibly determine the fates of both Joe Philbin and Greg Schiano , and their long-term futures as NFL head coaches in the league .

Early season in the NBA and it would appear, as the Indiana Pacers (5-0) remain the lone unbeaten team in the NBA , sitting atop of the Central Division in the Eastern Conference . On Wednesday night the Pacers played host to the Chicago Bulls in one of ten games that was on NBA schedule for the day. Frank Vogel has this team playing at a high level with Paul George giving the sort of performances that was most notably seen in last season’s highly contested and competitive Eastern Conference Finals against the Miami Heat . While I have no doubt that the Pacers are good enough to make return the postseason this year , beyond their being joined by the defending champions . It is difficult to state, which six teams within the Eastern Conference will join that duo and what that determining order is likely to be !

On Friday evening, Indiana will seek to stretch opening season run to six straight unbeaten games , when they play host to the Toronto Raptors (2-3) at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indiana , Indianapolis,. With the Pacers having the upper hand in the regular season meetings between the two, twee this game is likely to prove to be somewhat uncompetitive . Frank Vogel’s players , but it would be rather impudent to simply think that , because the opponent just happens to be a team with a two-game winning streak , they should be taken lightly , because they have never been part of a competitive season , much less a part of the NBA’s postseason soirees . Chances are, this contest is likely to be close, based on the current disposition of both teams and the mindset of the Indiana Pacers’ players and how they will actually approach the game .

New ownership , same old story , as the Sacramento Kings continue to under-achieve , while their fans remain forever optimistic. From my own perspective, the loss of the Maloof family from the ranks of the NBA owners , should not be seen as that great a loss ! Consider the fact, that they continued to mismanage the franchise and almost brought them to the verge of bankruptcy , speaks volumes as to the lack of oversight that continues to be shown by the NBA hierarchy led by David Stern and his continued abstinence in insisting that the teams are and will remain financially solvent . Either, the NBA commissioner lives in the world of make belief , or he is of the opinion that creative accounting continues to be the best way to inflate the value of the franchises and their profitability .

Sacramento is off to a 1-3 start placing them at the bottom of the standings within the Pacific Division of the Western Conference . For rookie head coach , Michael Malone , beyond having to deal with a completely new hierarchy led by owner Vivek Ranadive , general manager Pete D’Alessandro , special consultant Chris Mullin and Shareef Abdur-Rahim as Director of Player Personnel . It is difficult to see how Malone will seek to navigate the waters of the NBA along with an untested coaching staff and a team led by the talented , but always temperamental DeMarcus Cousins . Already , the mercurial center and his coach are off to rocky start with the two seen clearly angrily gesticulating with one another after Malone sought to substitute the player during a game against the Golden State Warriors that ended in a 87-98 loss to their conference rivals . As to what this say as a precursor for the rest of the Kings’ season , will clearly be determined by the mindset of Cousins and how he views his head coach . Things are obviously not that great in terms of the long-term relationship between the two and it now defies logic as to any reason behind the franchise’s decision to re-sign the player to a four-year $62 million deal . Yet, it was felt by Chris Mullin , Shareef Abdur-Rahim and Pete D’Alessandro to retain the player and make him the centerpiece of any future development of the franchise and its long-term future. Unless DeMarcus Cousins can show signs of maturity as a player , rather than the petulant individual seen in college and repeatedly shown in the NBA when adversity looks him squarely in the eye , then in all likelihood his days in the NBA could very well be numbered as a starter in this league .

It would be fair to suggest that four years into his NBA career , in spite of the hype surrounding a collegiate career with the Kentucky Wildcats that brought about numerous highs and lows . It has to be said that with his being drafted as the fifth overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft by the Sacramento Kings . It would be fair and enough to suggest that the Kings’ center has simply failed to live up to the perceived expectations and that John Calipari believed that DeMarcus Cousins would prove to be an immediate success in the NBA because of his undoubted skill-set .

In spite of being overwhelmed in the NLCS by the St Louis Cardinals , it now looks as if the Los Angeles Dodgers are prepared to reward manager Don Mattingly with a new contract, extending the current deal , which the manager intends to honor , as he enters into its final year. If the rumors are to be believed Mattingly and his agent Ray Shulte have met with Dodgers’ general manager Ned Colletti and team President Stan Kasten to hammer out the finite details of a deal , that is likely to make the former New Yankees’ player one of the highest paid managers in Major League Baseball . Kasten’s wish to have Mattingly sign a five-year deal, with the option of an additional year on top of that, shows the intense belief of this front office in their manager and his abilities . In what turned out to be an astonishing year for one of baseball’s more venerable organizations, although the heightened expectations were there , with the expectations that it would be the Dodgers facing off against the Boston Red Sox in the World Series . The team’s failure to cool down the Cardinals’ pitching in the NLCS pennant series , was a clear indicator that there were and remained flaws that were often overlooked , because the Dodgers were a team capable of showing momentary flashes of brilliance. Instead , what was really needed , was in fact a great deal more consistency from the entire team , rather than those momentary showings of brilliance .

With the certainty that Don Mattingly will be retained, along with his managerial staff intact for 2014. The front office, will now look to assess the entire roster and review what they believe their most urgent needs are said to be. The pitching staff was amongst the best in the NL during the regular season , with their starting ace Clayton Kershaw having one of the best years in franchise history as well as in the game’s history , posting figures that were simply astonishing .

With a team payroll that already exceeds $200 million , with only the New York Yankees this past season having a larger salary obligation . This upcoming season could very well be the year where we could witness baseball’s first team with a payroll commitment close to $235 million annually . Certainly , with the ambition of team owners Magic Johnson , Peter Guber , Todd S Boehly , senior managing partner Mark Walter and the financial backing of Guggenheim Baseball Properties LLC and that of holding company Guggenheim Partners Inc , as well the $ 8 billion twenty-year television deal with Time Warner Inc . It begs the question , if the Dodgers simply want the best free agents available , will they simply outbid their opponents at the drop of a hat ?

With Clayton Kershaw as the team’s most urgent priority in terms of re-signing the player to a long-term multi-year deal , rather than losing him to free agency in 2014 . The question remains whether or not Ned Colletti will now make the player the highest paid starting pitcher in the game, with a deal thought to be in excess of $275 million over ten years . The Los Angeles Dodgers currently have some of the highest paid players in the baseball , me with notables such as Zack Greinke and his compensation package in the upper echelons of the starting pitchers in the game . Kershaw and his agent J D Smart will likely seek a deal commensurate with what is being earned by the top pitchers in the game ,albeit that salary arbitration in 2014 , will not prove to be that great a hurdle with Stan Kasten Ned Colletti eager to sign the pitcher to a long-term deal . And if Magic Johnson’s statement are to be believed “ that money will be of no object “ as the Los Angeles Dodgers seek to bring the franchise its first World Series’ title since 1988 . A quarter of a century has passed since that achievement came into being , so next season ought to portend to something special for the franchise , as they seek to make winning baseball’s biggest team prize a reality for this upcoming year . Is this team capable of doing that , given the makeup of their present roster , without seeking to delve amongst many of their prospects within their farm system to bolster that lineup ?

We have yet to know the fate of Alex Rodriguez , as he awaits the date to be set for his arbitration hearing in front special arbitration adjudicator Fred Horowitz . Rodriguez , denies any wrongdoing on his part in what he feels are scurrilous accusations and claims being brought by the MLB hierarchy that he was a customer of the defunct supplements’ company Biogenesis Inc, whose founder Anthony ‘ Tony’ Bosch claims that the Yankees’ third basemen purchased anabolic steroids from the company for his own personal use. The company founder, will be baseball’s chief witness in the proceedings against the player along with what is said to be detailed factual evidence now in the league’s possession . As to the veracity of MLB’s case against Rodriguez , without any evidence for the public to view , this all remains speculative in nature. Yet , to my mind, Alex Rodriguez when questioned on the matter , has sought defer the questions claiming that under advice of counsel (his lawyers). he cannot answer any questions pending a legal matter. Clearly , with the hiring of two noted criminal attorneys , Alex Rodriguez is now seeking another avenue to refute the charges being leveled against him and what better way to do that , than by legal means , in seeking to bring about a civil suit against Major League Baseball as well as the New York Yankees’ chief medical physician . Muddy the waters of the case against you, and then also seek legal recourse with attorneys David Cornwell and Joseph Tacopina as the conduits in pressing ahead with your civil suit in the New York City , US District Federal Court .

Should the arbitration not go in Alex Rodriguez’s favor , one of the more likely premises to arise out of this all, will be that the New York Yankees , will have Rodriguez’s future salary obligations taken off their books , allowing them instant relief and wiping away in one fail swoop the approximately $43 million owed to the player , which would cover the two hundred and fourteen game suspension that the baseball hierarchy leveled as a verdict for Rodriguez’s alleged wrongdoing . With that financial burden taken off the books of the Yankees , it would allow them to pursue their likely target amongst the free agents sought , none other than Carlos Beltran of the St Louis Cardinals, whose postseason productivity has been consistent , as well as his regular season performances , during his career with the Cardinals. A number of front office executives around the league as well as a number of owners are simply dumbfounded that once again the New York Yankees are in a favorable situation , in spite of what appears to the misdeeds of a player known to be disingenuous and most certainly deceitful , given his actions of March of 2010 , when Rodriguez gave his less than contrite public apology for lying about his not having been a user of performance enhancing drugs (PED’S) . Less than two years after that apology, the player’s name was again linked to another establishment and producer of anabolic steroids and other prohibited substances banned under the league’s policy, but no investigation was called for by Bud Selig , even in light of federal prison sentence handed down to now disgraced Orlando , Florida medical doctor Anthony Galea . Which once again begs the question and strains the ongoing credibility and claims now constantly being made by Bud Selig that baseball has the most stringent testing procedures in all of professional team sports . My question for the commissioner , if the claims you are making has any veracity to it all , then where is the evidence and what about the investigative side of the league’s actions ?

The Biogenesis scandal was not uncovered by any work done by league investigators and the league hierarchy itself , who we now know to have purchased a great deal of the evidence said to be in its possession from Biogenesis for use as evidential proof against twelve of the thirteen players suspended this past season . Once again, the bumbling incompetency baseball’s hierarchy and the now less than credible and soon to be outgoing MLB Commissioner, have taken a monumental hit from an image and intelligence standpoint . As if we needed any further proof, that baseball is being ran by a bunch of supercilious buffoons, whose intelligence and credibility have repeatedly come into question over the past decade and a half, without anyone ever being held accountable for the stupidity that has been on display ! Pretty much sums up not only MLB at present , but also the NFL , if those with any discerning interest would care to look at the tenure of Roger Goodell.

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In light of the topics raised in this article , what if anything do you believe to be or find anything disturbing as to the veracity of the content ? Also , are you of the opinion that the NFL can deal with this unwanted story concerning Richie Incognito of the Miami Dolphins appropriately without their being further damage done to the image the league ? With the New York Yankees quite possibly being in an advantageous position should the suspension of Alex Rodriguez be upheld , with the ball-club not having to pay any luxury tax, are you of the opinion that this situation has become too advantageous for the organization ? By all means do leave a comment on this and anything else you believe to be relevant the subject matter at hand.

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(1) Richie Incognito (68) and Jonathan Martin (71) of the Miami Dolphins . A furor over racially insensitive comments posted by Incognito has created a firestorm within the NFL , that has led for an in-depth investigation to be called for by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell ,which will be headed by noted corporate litigator Ted Wells . Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland thought the matter serious enough to suspend Incognito indefinitely without pay , pending the team’s own in-house investigation . Meanwhile , NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith has summoned both players to the union’s headquarters to discuss the alleged incident that took place between the two players . AP Photo / Ricardo Gutierrez ….

(2) Damien Woody , formerly a player with the New York Jets , now an ESPN NFL analyst went on record in suggesting that Dolphins’ defensive lineman Jonathan Martin was wrong in making his incident with Richie Incognito public and bringing to attention what apparently goes on inside of NFL team locker room . It is clear that Woody simply does not get it , if he feels that “racism ” and racial bigotry somehow belongs within the environment of the NFL, which he duly failed to acknowledge concerning the actions of Richie Incognito . The former Jets’ player has yet to respond to comments calling for an explanation as to what he meant in stating that Martin was wrong to address the media . However, when pressed on the issue of Richie Incognito’s now viral “tweet” and the player’s depiction of Jonathan Martin and his mother , Woody was non responsive . @ copyrighted material courtesy of ESPN …

(3) From left to right , NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith , center former union president Kevin Mawae and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell are seen outside of the NFL headquarters in New York City , New York . The two lead executives are now caught up in a firestorm , which further casts the image of the NFL as an entity that appears to have a code of conduct wherein reprehensible behavior is tolerated and kept out of the media and public’s view. Both Goodell and Smith have failed miserably in dealing with repeated player misconduct and the fact that the league’s athletes now run afoul of the law with alarming regularity on annual basis . The incident now widely being reported in various media formats centers around the behavior of the Miami Dolphins’ Richie Incognito and his racially insensitive remarks about his teammate (Jonathan Martin) and that player’s mother , both of whom were depicted in racially derogatory terms . Getty Images North America / Paul Mason …..

(4) Native Americans protest before the Minnesota Vikings and Washington Redskins game on November 7, 2013 at Mall of America Field at the Hubert Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Many of those protestors were not only protesting the use of the word ” Redskins ” and that of its use by NFC East franchise the Washington Redskins , but also the incident now being widely reported in the national media that took place within the Miami Dolphins’ organization . Getty Images North America / Adam Bettcher …..

(5) Robert Griffin III (10) of the Washington Redskins, Adrian Peterson (28) of the Minnesota Vikings and Trent Williams (71) of the Washington Redskins pose for a photo on November 7, 2013 at Mall of America Field at the Hubert Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Getty Images / Adam Bettcher ….

(6) Washington Redskins’ quarterback Robert Griffin III (10) looks to gain some yards as he evades the Minnesota Vikings’ defensive lineman Jared Allen . Minnesota gain a well-deserved victory in erasing a double-digit deficit to beat the Redskins 34-27 . AP Photo / Ann Heisenfeldt …

(7) From left to right , Tampa bay Buccaneers’ general manager Mark Dominik , team wide receiver , Mike Williams and head coach Greg Schiano . The Buccaneers are off to a miserable start this season , win-less and bearing an 0-8 record , placing them firmly at the bottom of the NFC East division. The team will play host to instate rivals the Miami Dolphins this Sunday at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa , Florida , as they seek to earn their first victory of the season . There are now growing calls for the firing of Schiano as well as the removal of Mark Dominik in his current role with the organization . The Tampa Tribune / AP Photo / Keith Morris …..

(8) ) Indiana Pacers’ Paul George, right, talks with head coach Frank Vogel speaks during a news conference Tuesday, April 23, 2013, in Indianapolis. George has been honored as the NBA’s Most Improved Player . This season the Pacers are off to an excellent start and presently the NBA’s only unbeaten team . They will put that five game start and unbeaten run to the test when they face the Toronto Raptors on Friday night in a match-up of these two East Conference teams . AP Photo/Darron Cummings ….

(9) Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins, left, is walked off the court by head coach Michael Malone after he was called for a technical foul during the fourth quarter of an NBA basketball game against the Los Angeles Clippers in Sacramento, Calif., Friday, Nov. 1, 2013. The Clippers won 110-101 . AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli …

(10) Alex Rodriguez ,right , is seen leaving a limousine alongside his lawyer Joseph Tacopina as he arrives at the MLB headquarters for a preliminary meeting with league investigators to answer questions concerning his suspected use of performance enhancing drugs (PED’s) . The player denied any wrongdoing or the accusations that he has once again begun to use any type of illicit substance prohibited by Major League Baseball . Not a far cry from Rodriguez’s original claims in both 2006 and 2008 , before finally admitting publicly in 2010 , that he had indeed used anabolic steroids supplied to him by a family relative , his cousin , Yuri Sucart . NY Daily News / Mark Hall ……………

(11) Los Angeles Dodgers manager Don Mattingly, left, checks on starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw, center, during the ninth inning of a baseball game against the Colorado Rockies Tuesday, July 2, 2013 in Denver. The Dodgers won 8-0 . Mattingly is likely to be rewarded with a lucrative contract extension , a five-year deal , with the option for a sixth , that is likely to make him one of the highest paid managers in Major League Baseball. Likewise , Clayton Kershaw , who is in an arbitration year with the franchise in 2014 , is seeking a long-term deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers , having met informally with team President Stan Kasten , GM Ned Colletti , along with his agent J D Smart to begin the initial talks, concerning a new deal that is likely to make the pitcher the highest paid player in the game in his current role . The Dodgers’ ace also highly favored to win NL Cy Young Award and is also seen an outside favorite to perhaps pull off the ” double ” of also taking home the NL MVP Award to adorn his own personal trophy cabinet , after a tremendous season in 2013 . AP Photo/Barry Gutierrez …

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Related topic on this subject in part : No sleep ’til Brooklyn

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tophatal …………………. 11/07/2013

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If at all interested, do take time to participate in the above mentioned poll.

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Jordan Carver and a montage below of Carver, again.

Nice , real nice !