I Don’t Do Politics …………… I Really Don’t !

I Don’t Do Politics …..I Really Don’t !

Crazy as this seems, having been part of a military (UN) peace keeping force (UNCyrpus, Ethiopia , Eritrea) in the military. I’m bewildered to see the devastating remnants of the earthquake in Haiti . The loss of an alleged ‘175,000 lives or more’ and the instantaneous making of quite possibly tens of thousands of orphaned children. And it’s almost impossible to encapsulate the complete despair and bewildering catastrophe in this tiny nation .

As the disaster is being reported on from around the world.

Thankfully, the caring heart of countless millions across the nation participated in a telethon that was shown on a number broadcast and cable outlets. This shows the caring side of a nation, that in the most acute of moments is always willing to ‘step up to the plate’. But then again there are insipid idiots such as Rush Limbaugh and Pat Robertson who’ve sank to the ‘lowest common denominator’ by showing what complete asses they are. What’s even more insidious is the fact that both of these oafs have supporters out there , who follow both Limbaugh and Robertson religiously. Have I missed something here ?

A Haitian child  suffering  in  pain   and  silence   have  lost the  entire members  of  his  immediate  family.   photo  appears courtesy  of guardian.co.uk/  AFP/ Getty  Images/  Logan  Abassi  ..................
A Haitian child suffering in pain and silence have lost the entire members of his immediate family. photo appears courtesy of guardian.co.uk/ AFP/ Getty Images/ Logan Abassi ..................

As a bye note on this , I’m just happy to know that the ‘political blowhole’ known as Bill O’Reilly, has decided this time around to shut the fu_k up and not opine on the fact, as to how much of the money raised by the telethon, in order to assist Haiti and its residence will be going directly to aid the afflicted there. This ‘pompous ass’ has about as much credibility, given his sexual proclivity in sexually harassing female interns in the employ of the Fox News cable outlet. The 250,000 lives lost in the Indonesian tsunami catastrophe, I’m sure that they welcomed your intent. But the more I think of those who survived that disaster, were more appreciative of the assistance given to them. For all of your political pontificating, at least have the humility to show that you care about those who are indeed in need of help and assistance ? Or is that too much to ask of your self absorbed pontificating ass ?

Hey Bill , a word of advice, if you want a piece of ass, don’t sexually harass the victim you desire over the phone. Better yet you oaf, make sure that if you’re going down that route, make sure that there’s a reciprocal wish on the part of the other person you want to lay down with. What another douche-bag, who offers up commentary but shows about as much common sense and intelligence as a gnat !

President Obama   seen  here  in  the  Oval  Office  with  former   Fed  Chairman  Paul  Volcker .   The   Obama  administration   with   Volcker  as  its  main   spearhead   will  initiate  a  number  of  reforms  meant  to  rein  in  the   financial   industry   strategically  aimed   at  the  banks  and   credit  card    companies  and  the  way  that they   go  about   conducting  their   business.  Volcker   also   sits  on  the  President's   Economic  Advisory  Board  and  offers   up   cursory  opinions   on  the   state  of  the   economy to the  President  and  Cabinet .  White  House Staff  photo/  Gerald  Martineau
President Obama seen here in the Oval Office with former Fed Chairman Paul Volcker . The Obama administration with Volcker as its main spearhead will initiate a number of reforms meant to rein in the financial industry strategically aimed at the banks and credit card companies and the way that they go about conducting their business. Volcker also sits on the President's Economic Advisory Board and offers up cursory opinions on the state of the economy to the President and Cabinet . White House Staff photo/ Gerald Martineau

I’ve been reading with interest that President Obama now intends to go after the banking industry with a venom . In what amounts to be what one cannot now consider to be a bluff. It is his administration’s as well the Congress’ wish to go after the banks and impose a $90 billion one time major tax hike on several of the banks , who were part the stimulus package that benefited the industry. Well that’s all well and good but since when did first rewarding these financial institutions in the first place and then wanting to punish them as an act of retribution is said to be a deterrent ? If I’m not mistaken, it was the President’s Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, who pretty much in his prior position as an assistant Deputy Chairman at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York , New York City, oversaw that institution’s gross misconduct in the financial derivatives markets with some errant decision making that in large part assisted in the financial meltdown. Of which AIG was one of the main instigators through their London office, through a subsidiary known as AIG Financial Products (AIGFP). Total worldwide losses for major financial institutions and corporations are believed to have exceeded in excess of $2 trillion ($2,000,000,000,000) .

President Obama with Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner , discussed the insurance company American International Group . The company would become the recipient of tens of billions of dollars of taxpayers' monies in completing a financial bailout of the US insurance and underwriting giant. Geithner would later be implicated in the fallout of insurance bonuses doled out to high ranking executives and employees of the company. Senate Banking & Finance Chairman , Sen Chris Dodd (D-Conn) would later deny that he had any knowledge of the committment to pay the bonuses. But some 48 hours prior to the announcemen he had met with Geithner to discuss the vary same topic and how to go about that it wihout creating an uprorar . picture appears courtesy of New York Times/ Doug Mills .........................

There mere fact that this precipitous , grossly egregious mishandling and capricious acts in an already volatile marketplace only adds to the craziness that’s now being instigated by the Obama administration and the Treasury. And if I’m not mistaken the Federal Reserve under Chairman Ben Bernanke’s custodianship, will essentially sit idly by and act like a docile mouse. The name calling and asinine notion that Barack Obama is now to blame for this calamity , is about as sound as listening to anything that the Republicans have to say about the subject. Pretty much consider this as a retort to the very fact that Obama’s predecessor, George W. Bush was about as well versed in the domestic and economic issues as Paris Hilton would be in reciting Einstein’s Theory on Relativity . Wasn’t he (Bush) a graduate of Harvard with an MBA ? Holy sh_t ! The dumbing down of America wasn’t a myth after all then ?

Now in spite of this all, I’m supposed to think that these changes will change the mindset and the attitudes of the bankers on Wall St ? These are the same banks that were in receipt of in excess of $50 billion of taxpayers’ monies as part of the ‘TARP’ program . And with the $787 billion stimulus package and an additional$1.6 trillion ($ 1,600,000,000,000) to the national debt . Can I now ask how the administration intends to pay for the largess of the spending that has been undertaken ? I was under the impression that the stimulus package would be an investment in the nation’s infrastructure and as a way of creating jobs in the private and public sector ? But alas given the inner workings of the House Appropriation’s Committee , the Senate Finance Committee and the partisanship between the Democrats and Republicans. The administration would be better off throwing sh_t up against the wall to see what sticks !

Principal  partner   in  the  ownership  group  of  the  NHL's Tampa  Bay Lightning   ,  Oren  Koules  (seated left)  is   seen  here  with  one   time   partner   Len  Barrie.   photo  appaers  courtesy  of  Associated  Press / Chris  O'Meara .......................
Principal partner in the ownership group of the NHL's Tampa Bay Lightning , Oren Koules (seated left) is seen here with one time partner Len Barrie. photo appaers courtesy of Associated Press / Chris O'Meara .......................

Here in the Tampa area, the bottom seems to have fallen out of the professional sports franchises , as to their ongoing stability not only as a competitor but also financially. The NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning under the ownership of Oren Koules, is struggling to maintain their competitiveness as well as financial viability. So acute is the situation for the franchise that this past month the organization had to make a request of the NHL for an advance of its residuals, in order that they could meet their financial obligations in paying the players’ salaries as well as that of their administrative staff. How fu_ked up is that situation ? It wouldn’t surprise me at all if at some time in the near future the organization either files for bankruptcy protection or Koules seeks to sell the team and try to recoup what no doubt will be some of his losses.

The ongoing rumor on the airwaves within the sports talk show market is the possible trade of the team’s most recognized playe , Vinny LeCavalier. Can we salary dump ? And then in the foreseeable, future ‘fire sale’ ?

Joel Glazer, left, Bryan Glazer, center, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers team owner and president Malcolm Glazer, right, at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Washington, Wednesday, May 25, 2005. Malcolm Glazer appointed his three sons Joel, Bryan and Avram, to the board of English Premier league soccer team Manchester United, on Tuesday, June 7, 2005, extending his control over the world's richest soccer club. Malcom Glazer, became majority shareholder of Man United on May 16, 2005. photo appears courtesy of Associated Press /J. Scott Applewhite ....................

The ongoing soap opera that is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, is now beginning to read like a comedy of errors. The team’s coach, Raheem Morris is an inexperienced novice and the GM, Mark Dominik, while showing a great deal of insight, is showing that for all of the sound bytes given the print and tv media. They’re about as unencumbered in their present situation as a death row inmate awaiting execution. After a 3-13 season, Domini , Morris and the most ardent of Bucs’ fans are now beginning to find out how disingenuous the Glazer family are, as owners of the franchise. The organization was $60 million under the NFL mandated salary cap but somehow they weren’t active in the free agency market. What might be in ever more troubling however, is the fact the Glazers as owners of the Premiership soccer club Manchester United , are now facing a major financial obstacle in meeting their financial obligations to their bankers, as well as several of their creditors. The club is laden with a $1.15 billion debt.

Raheem  Morris  (second  from the  right )  and   Bucs'  General  Manager   Mark  Dominik  (left) are  seen  here  with  members  of  the  Glazer   family  , owners  of   both  the   Tampa  Bay  Buccaneers  as  well   English  Premier  League  soccer club  Manchester United  .     photo  appears courtesy  of  Getty Images  / Paul  Mason  ..............
Raheem Morris (second from the right ) and Bucs' General Manager Mark Dominik (left) are seen here with members of the Glazer family , owners of both the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as well English Premier League soccer club Manchester United . photo appears courtesy of Getty Images / Paul Mason ..............

Now in order to meet some of those obligations, the Glazers want to initiate a bond offering to raise between $150 million to $250 million. Herein lies the rub, they’re now trying to enlist the players on the team to buy the bonds as an act of good faith and also to entice not only the devoted United fans but also the general public and public institutions as well. The Glazers are pretty much what I would call wannabe sports owners, showing about as much business acumen as the former board of directors of Enron. Am I suggesting that they’re now fuc*king over the fans here in Tampa as well as in Manchester , England ? Well hell yeah and then some ! Joel , Avram , Edward and Malcolm Glazer now making the laughable assertion that they’re striving for success for both of their sports’ franchises , are about as credible as Congress’ intent to rein in the powers of the banking industry. Given the fact that the lobbyists representing the financial industry, are only third in line as to the sums paid out to members of the House of Representatives and Senate. The tens of millions of dollars doled out each year is only behind that of the defense and pharmaceutical industries. Give me fuc_ing change that I can believe in please !

Despite what could be viewed as a credible 2008-09 season. The Tampa Bay Rays fell back to the pack as they fell out of contention for a playoff berth last season. We saw the resurgence of the New York Yankees and the very fact that the Boston Red Sox are still viewed as perennial contenders in the AL East. It would suggest that the Rays are back to playing catch up once again, in pursuing the Red Sox and Yankees. A ‘three horse race’ they say is far better than that of a two horse race. But where does that now leave the Rays in the whole pecking order when you consider their financial stability ? They can’t seem to lure prime free agents to the area in spite of the fact that the team is considered to be a competitive one.

Joe Maddon  (left)  coach of  the  Tampa Bay  Rays  is  seen  here   with  Team  Snr  Vice  President  of  Operations  and  General  Manager   ,  Andrew  Friedman  .   The two  individuals   have   built  the  Rays  into a  formidable  and   competitive   organization  within the  AL   East .   picture  appears  courtesy  of  Sports   Illustrated / Associated  Press/  Tim  Dyson  ......................
Joe Maddon (left) coach of the Tampa Bay Rays is seen here with Team Snr Vice President of Operations and General Manager , Andrew Friedman . The two individuals have built the Rays into a formidable and competitive organization within the AL East . picture appears courtesy of Sports Illustrated / Associated Press/ Tim Dyson ......................

Rays’ GM Andrew Friedman and team manager, Joe Maddon now face something of a daunting task. Outfielder, B. J. Upton is now up for salary arbitration and it would appear that the Rays’ $4 million dollar to the player is viewed as derisory. Upton it has to be said, is one of better outfielders in MLB but at the same time his precocious talent is inconsistent. His offensive prowess can be exhilarating but more often than not, he can also prove to be an immense disappointment. Now if the Rays want to be viewed as a serious and perennial contender , is it best to let go one of the best all round players on their roster ? I’m not one to suggest that they they should retain Upton but given the organization’s struggles with their payroll. What else can they now do at this juncture ?

Rays’ principal owner, Stuart Sternberg is seen here receiving the William Harridge trophy after their defeat of the Boston Red Sox in the ALCS of 2008. The team would then go on to lose the World Series to the eventual winners , the Philadelphia Phillies .

Principal owner , Stuart Sternberg wants the team to be viewed as fan and family friendly organization and they’ve done their very best give the fans something to cheer about and appreciate. But with a hardcore fan base approaching no more than 12,000 to 14,000. It’s hard to see how much longer that the organization can continue to exist within a diverse market, where in large part the majority of the fans within the area are New York Yankees’ supporters. Uphill battle or what for the Rays in order to gain recognition ? All the image making in the world can’t change the fact that baseball in this town is about as wanted a ‘dengue fever’ pandemic. Can’t put it anymore succinctly than that ! Even with a winning product on the field of play, the Rays’ fans are about as appreciative of the team as if they were being told that their income tax rate was about to be raised.

We can opine about the fact that the organization wants a new state of the art venue built in Pinellas County , either in downtown St Petersburg or across county lines in Hillsborough County and the city of Tampa. It may or may not happen but for now the Rays’ organization will have to live with their present situation.

I’d made a suggestion to a fellow blogger, sportschump, a friend of mine who resides in the Tampa area and whose knowledge of the marketplace is well known. I asked him , who is his mind past or present , is the worst sports franchise owner that the city has known ? Amongst those up for consideration are Hugh Culverhouse , Vince Naimoli , Bill Davidson , Oren Koules, the Glazer family , headed their by patriarch , Malcolm Glazer and, Stuart Sternberg . Now he’s yet to leave me a response but I’m sure that he’s got a say as to he thinks it ought to be. As to my own thoughts on the situation, like the title says …….‘I Don’t Do Politics..I Really Don’t ‘!

Rihanna provides us with ‘Hard’ feat’g Jeezy . She’s a long cool glass of water that I’d certainly take a drink from and enjoy the extraordinary pleasure of doing it !

There's  nothing   like  seeing  a  woman  bending  over  suggestively   while  pretending  that  their  mind  is  elsewhere .  What  do   you   think  ?
There's nothing like seeing a woman bending over suggestively while pretending that their mind is elsewhere . What do you think ?

It Should Never Have Happened But It Did ………..Breakin’ Up Is So Hard To Do

Well 2009 is about to come to a close and the decade as such , has been filled with a litany of sporting events and some heart warming stories. Others however, haven’t been so endearing or comforting to our psyche.

We’ve reveled at the exploits of many of our sporting heroes and at the same time we’ve been reviled by the actions of others. But such is the dichotomy of the sports panacea that we’ve got to take the good with the bad. We simply have no other choice.

As an avid reader of the one US national daily newspaper that I find gives me a great deal of insight on a broad based and a wide variety of topics. I’ve got to admit that I’m enamored with the USA Today and in particular its sports coverage. And today of all days one particular article stood out above all others . And that was an article written by Reid Cherner, entitled ‘Countdown to 10’: Top sports breakups since 2000. If ever there was an article to make you think and about a subject matter in depth. Then this was it. And his picks in some ways, do pack a punch, as the veracity for a case can be made for each. And those picks are wide and varied in terms of the gamut of sports wherein he suggests that the breakups were indeed bad.

Tiger Woods is  seen here  with  his  former coach  , Butch Harmon .  The two  split  in what was  said to be  at  the  time under somewhat  acrimonious  circumstances.  Something  now which  both parties  deny.   picture  appears courtesy of  ap/photo/  Eric  Richsberg .............
Tiger Woods is seen here with his former coach , Butch Harmon . The two split in what was said to be at the time under somewhat acrimonious circumstances. Something now which both parties deny. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Eric Richsberg .............

And amongst the storylines where Reid made his picks there were the following. Tiger Woods’ split from his long time golf coach, Butch Harmon. Well, bearing in mind that Woods now has far more on his plate to handle as of late. I think that the split with Harmon might seem somewhat trivial to Tiger at this juncture. The fact of the matter is, despite the split, Woods would continue to win and steadily amass a fortune that now makes him one of the richest, if not one of the ‘richest athletes’ in the world. But I do expect Elin to have something to say about that ! ‘ I want half, Tiger ‘ ! Need one say anymore on the matter ?

Courtesy of USA Today

Countdown to ’10: Top sports breakups

By Reid Cherner, USA Today

‘Don’t take your love away from me

Don’t you leave my heart in misery

If you go then I’ll be blue

‘Cause breaking up his hard to do’ Neil Sedaka

If the past decade has proved anything, it is that sometimes love will not find a way. There were plenty of bromances started in after 1999. Not all of them made it to 2010. The top sports breakups since 2000:

Tiger Woods and Butch Harmon: It seems so quaint now. After all, no back windows were smashed and the Florida Highway Patrol was never called. The notion of being a great swinger was something we all wanted to emulate then. But when Woods fired Butch Harmon as his coach after 10 years, it broke up one of the most successful partnerships in golf history. The two won a hunk of hardware together. There is no question that Woods would be the world’s greatest golfer whether Harmon or Hank Haney was giving tips, but some of his best years came with Harmon. “I loved the 10 years I had with Tiger,” Harmon told reporters. But he also said he enjoyed “being away from that circus — the media, the cameramen, the people running after you, always asking questions.” Harmon had no idea how prophetic he would be.

Bobby Bowden and Florida State: No marriage is forever, no matter how happy you were in the salad days. When the Seminoles hired Bowden 34 years ago, it was with the hope that he would build a football program where none existed. Bowden brought his homespun wisdom and his sense of humor. Oh, and he brought a little bit of coaching and recruiting know how. He exits the stage with the two national championships and almost 400 lifetime victories. Bowden, who once said “I guess I’ll retire some day, if I live that long,” says he now plans to see the world with his wife Ann. Bowden wanted one more year but seemed resigned to his fate. He leaves Penn State’s Joe Paterno, who faced his own firing squad earlier in the decade, as the grand old man of college football.

Roy Williams and Kansas: When Williams turned down his alma mater to stay at Kansas he was a hero in the state. When he changed his mind a few years later and agreed to re-establish the program that Dean Smith had built, Williams became a public enemy. Even after the Jayhawks won the 2008 national championship, destroying Williams and his Tar Heels in the Final Four, there were many who grew nauseous at the mention of his name. This for a man who took the team to a couple of national championship games and won almost 80% of his games. Williams writes in his new book Hard Work that one of his closest friends told him “Whatever you do I’m going to be with you” didn’t speak to him for 1½ years after he made the decision. Williams tried to remain loyal, even wearing a Kansas sticker during the ’08 title game, but the Jayhawks didn’t want to remain friends. Some might think that Williams can keep himself warm on cold nights but watching the tape of his two national title teams at UNC.

Brett Favre and the Green Bay Packers: Tom Hagen, the consigliere of the Corleone Family says in The Godfather “your father wouldn’t want to hear this, Sonny. This is business not personal.” The Packers thought Favre was in the late afternoon of his career and Aaron Rodgers was ready to become the bright new shiny penny at quarterback. This was a divorce between Packer management and one of its players. There are still Green Bay fans who proudly wear their No. 4 jersey and talk of the glory days when Favre took them to two Super Bowls. If any of these tales can have a happy ending this one may be it. Favre has new life with first the New York Jets and now the Minnesota Vikings. The Packers are among the league’s hottest teams. Will everyone ever vacation together? No. Will they be meeting in Minneapolis for the NFC title? Well, wouldn’t that be interesting?

Roger Clemens and Brian McNamee: Isn’t it always sad when drugs, or in this case the talk of drugs, comes between two people who seemed so right for each other. Clemens is one of the greatest pitchers in baseball history. McNamee is a trainer who helped Clemens keep his 40-year-old body in 20-year-old shape. Then came allegations of performance-enhancing drugs and blood encrusted gauze and syringes. Everyone can benefit from third-party consultation but when that third party is Congress nothing good is going to grow out of the shards of relationship that are left. The lawsuits between Clemens and McNamee may remain alive for decades but the marriage is nothing but shambles.

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In order to read Reid Cherner’s article in its entirety just click on the text link shown
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This Feb. 13, 2008 file photo shows former New York Yankees baseball pitcher Roger Clemens, left, listening to the testimony of his former personal trainer Brian McNamee, right, on Capitol Hill in Washington during the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on drug use in baseball. Clemens broke his silence Tuesday, again denying that former personal trainer Brian McNamee injected him with performance-enhancing drugs in his first public comments in more than a year. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Susan Walsh ......
This Feb. 13, 2008 file photo shows former New York Yankees baseball pitcher Roger Clemens, left, listening to the testimony of his former personal trainer Brian McNamee, right, on Capitol Hill in Washington during the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on drug use in baseball. Clemens broke his silence Tuesday, again denying that former personal trainer Brian McNamee injected him with performance-enhancing drugs in his first public comments in more than a year. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Susan Walsh ......

Of all the splits mentioned by Cherner in his piece. For me, the standouts were Roger Clemens’ split from long time personal trainer, coach and close personal friend ,Brian McNamee. What that tells you about friendship and alleged betrayal, is all that you need to know. Never mind the fact there was and still has been a web of deceit and lies from both of these individuals. And the story and the acrimony between the two ,still hasn’t died down.

And Roger Clemens for his part , still maintains his innocence of any wrongdoing over the steroid abuse allegations made against him. And he somehow saw fit to throw his ‘wife under the bus’ when he gave testimony to the House Oversight Reform Committee up on Capitol Hill, Washington,D.C.Nothing says ‘coward’ when you choose a member of your family as a pawn in a game that has some very serious ramifications of all involved. Even though his name appears in the ‘Mitchell Report’. It’s just Roger being Roger. Yet another story that MLB could’ve done without. But there again just look who runs the hierarchy of the game ?
.

In happier times  former  San Francisco 49ers'  teammates  Jeff Garcia (5) and  Terrell  Owens .  picture appears courtesy  of Sports Illustrated  /Getty  Imagrd/  Doug Miralle .......
In happier times former San Francisco 49ers' teammates Jeff Garcia (5) and Terrell Owens . picture appears courtesy of Sports Illustrated /Getty Imagrd/ Doug Miralle .......

If Terrell Owens feels aggrieved about anything , should we at all, believe him ? Or is it that the player seeks our sympathy ? Here is a player who knows of more ways to outlive his welcome with an NFL franchise, quite simply more than porn star, Jenna Jameson knows how to disrobe and perform a plethora of sex acts right before your very eyes. Not that there’s anything wrong with Jenna Jameson performing a sex act. To each his own and whatever floats your boat.

McNabb  and  Owens seen  here  as  teammates  for  an  official  picture  of  the  duo  .  After of something  of  a short lived career in  a Philadelphia Eagles'  uniform   . The  player  still  part of the equation  with the  Eagles  and  they've sent  him  packing to  the  Dallas Cowboys.  picture  appears  courtesy of  Al  Tielmans   ...............................
McNabb and Owens seen here as teammates for an official picture of the duo . After of something of a short lived career in a Philadelphia Eagles' uniform . Thr player still part of the equation wwith the Eagles and they've sent him packing to the Dallas Cowboys. picture appears courtesy of Al Tielmans ...............................

Owens over his storied career has seemingly found ways to alienate teammates , self destruct and lay waste to any franchise where he has been professionally. From the San Francisco 49ers, to the Philadelphia Eagles to the Dallas Cowboys. In his path there has been left turmoil and disruption. If he’s not questioning a teammate’s sexuality, then he’s questioning their physical abilities and integrity. One wonders how he’s ever called himself a teammate to the likes of Jeff Garcia, Donovan McNabb, Tony Romo and Jason Witten ? But then again, the narcissist that is TO , will always be TO, no matter what ! That’s the way it is and always will be ! I’m just waiting around for the first tremors to be felt up in Buffalo , once the Buffalo Bills have decided that he’s no longer of any use to the team or the organization ?

Bret Michaels of Poison and the hit ‘Every Rose Has Its Thorns’ sums up the relationship of Owens and Romo, when they were teammates with the Dallas Cowboys.

These are but a few of the stories that I for one found somewhat interesting of the ten mentioned by Reid Cherner in his article. You’ll no doubt have your very own thoughts on a story that was ripe for this topic of discussion. So by all means feel free to offer it up for discussion within this forum.

A young Neil Sedaka sings his hit ‘Breakin’ Up Is Hard To Do’.

This is but a tidbit of the sports’ breakups that’ve taken place over the decade. So feel free to chime on in with one of your own. And by all means do leave a comment.

Get By…….Got To Get By ………..

‘Get By’ …. Talib Kweli

Being socially conscious and aware are well meaningful things that one can aspire to be. But it at all falls into anonymity if you act the fool. Creating an image just to get by does no one any good at all. But unfortunately too many of today’s athletes simply fall into that trap in order to create that falsehood in terms of an amenable PR image and persona for the public to gravitate towards to.

Woods first came to prominence, catching the public’s attention with an appearance on television with his father, Earl Woods on ‘The Mike Douglas Show’ in 1978.

Failings such as this , are what essentially brought the likes of Kobe Bryant and now Tiger Woods to their very knees. A complete lack of self control and being led by an entourage of what was thought to be well meaning friends and acquaintances. One tends not to go looking for trouble but when one tends to find it. Then the ramifications can be far reaching and seismic in proportions. A fellow blogger and correspondent has essentially said that the troubles that Tiger Woods has now found himself embroiled in , will blow over in time. Unless I’m mistaken , it has been two weeks and all that has happened , has been the never-ending saga of a multitude of women coming out of the woodwork to parlay their lurid stories of clandestine meetings and illicit sexual encounters with the golfer. Far be it for me to suggest to this person but Woods is far from out of the woods, as of yet. Pardon the pun there ! He (Woods) has yet to fully accept responsibility for his actions.

The once amazing , Woods shows his dexterity ,amazing shot-making creativity and ability around the golf course.

Instead of being themselves , both Bryant and Woods eschewed what was natural for them and sought to create an image that neither could ultimately live up to. Be it through sheer naivete’ or just narcissism and being condescending . Their fall from grace has shown us not only what the media can do to a celebrity when they’re on top. But what it can also do and will continue do when a celebrity or major sport’s star steps out of line and crosses the lines of moral decency. With age comes maturity but it’d appear for Tiger his actions have borne out the fact that this particular individual is still very much immature. Hiding behind the veil of secrecy and ignorance does nothing but infer those very traits. And seemingly not wanting to be held accountable for his own actions and apportioning blame elsewhere , rather than looking at the reflection coming from the mirror indicating, who , he really is.

An apologetic Kobe Bryant protests his innocence over the allegations that he sexually assaulted a female hotel employee in Eagle , Colorado. Though the case never went to trial , the player did settle out of court with the alleged victim.

Suddenly, that luminous presence that was once Tiger Woods and whose very essence, shone so brightly. In all but a few fleeting moments, that brightness has in fact become a dud. And all of this was done as a means for an end . Essentially just for him to get by. And get by , by his own means and needs . Never actually once heeding the damage that would be done to his image and that of shame that he’s brought upon himself and his immediate family. Woods now seeks the public’s empathy and sympathy. But in reality, once again it’s now about trying to resurrect that now, tarnished image in order to get by !

Lyrics in part to ‘Get By’ by Talib Kweli


‘Yeah.. my Lord.. yeah

[Verse 1: Talib]
We sell, crack to our own out the back of our homes
We smell the musk at the dusk in the crack of the dawn
We go through “Episodes II,” like “Attack of the Clones”
Work ’til we break our back and you hear the crack of the bone
To get by.. just to get by
Just to get by, just to get by
We commute to computers
Spirits stay mute while you eagles spread rumors
We survivalists, turned to consumers
Just to get by.. just to get by
Just to get by, just to get by
Ask Him why some people got to live in a trailer, cuss like a sailor
I paint a picture with the pen like Norman Mailer
Me Abuela raised three daughters all by herself, with no help
I think about a struggle and I find the strength in myself
These words, melt in my mouth
They hot, like the jail cell in the South
Before my nigga Core bailed me out
To get by.. just to get by
Just to get by, just to get by
We do or die like Bed-Stuy through the red sky
with the window of the red eye
Let the lead fly, some G. Rap shit, “Livin’ to Let Die”

Click here to read on further for the lyrics to this song…..

Flattering Or Unflattering I’ll Let You Be The Judge Of That ………

They say that ‘justice is blind’ and meant to be ‘impartial and fair to all’ of the parties involved . From the defendant who seeks his acquittal for a crime. And for the prosecution working on behalf of the state and primarily for the rights of a victim or victims as the case may be.

And as much as we’ll take pride in our judicial system with its scales of justice presided over by a judge and a jury of one’s peers. There are still some flaws to a system where in some cases the rights of a defendant far outweighs those of the victim. And especially those where the victim is one of a violent crime.

New Jersey Nets  ....Jayson Williams ...........

Williams seen here in happier times alongside his then New Jersey Nets’ teammates. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Eric Metcalfe ……………..

You all know doubt remember the circumstances behind the case of former New Jersey Nets’ star Jayson Williams ? Five years ago he was charged aggravated manslaughter wherein he shot and killed his former limo’ driver Costas ‘Gus’ Christofi on the estate of his palatial New Jersey mansion in the Alexandria Township. A rather upscale community of luxury built abodes .

Continue reading “Flattering Or Unflattering I’ll Let You Be The Judge Of That ………”

ESPN Acronym Entertainment Sports Programming Network …………………

ESPN Acronym Entertainment Sports Programming Network

The title says it all…ESPN. It’s no longer a sports broadcast network. It’s merely a network that happens just to broadcast sports. It’s main shtick is to get an assortment of former jocks coaches and journalists whose best days are behind them to give us their insight on a number of sports events.

Now to say that they actually provide us with any insight, is to say that you’d be able to understand any one of the numerous legislative documents that’s passed as a bill in the US Senate. As we all know there’s more legalese in those precise documents than anyone would care to acknowledge.

To listen to the likes of Chris Berman, Mark Schlereth,Desmond Howard, Lee Corso, Rece Davis, Kirk Herbstreit, Mark May, Lou Holtz, Jesse Palmer and others within what is meant to be a professional programming establishment. Well, it’s reminiscent of listening to a bunch of drunken old farts talk about the days when they were actually very good jocks in high school. Of late, ESPN has become as controversial as some of the athletes that it covers. What of the reports of sexual harassment by certain analysts against female employees ? And one can well understand why it is that they’re saying that ESPN has become similar to that of a male oriented adult club. And the network itself, has been less than forthright when it has come to light when one of ‘their esteemed’ on air personalities gets caught in a plot of sexual intrigue. And now the idiocy of listening to Lou Holtz opine of the merits of Notre Dame as an esteemed football colossus. Well, it now borders on being asinine, given the fact that the Irish’s football program is about as relevant as a piece of dog excrement that’s stuck to the sole of your shoe.

Once again the asinine and incessant rants of Lou Holtz. And his justification in stating that Notre Dame is still a relevant collegiate football program.

My biggest gripe however, is listening to the paeans within ESPN try and legitimize the BCS system as being fair. One man, one vote is fair ! The BCS system most definitely , is not fair !And what does it say about the system wherein, it denies the right of lesser programs to be part of the national championship process ? But yet for certain members of the BCS conferences, a chance to play in a Bowl Game game if they meet the criteria of winning 7 games as a benchmark. To me, that’s preposterous and lessens what the BCS ought to be about. But considering that the six major conferences that essentially makes up the system is rife with graft. And the fact the only incentive for which the BCS stands -that’s essentially to make money for those conferences and it major partners. None more so than the networks that carry the games. They, if anything have more to gain, if the current system stays the way that it is and for the scenario to play itself out.The deck is stacked right from the start, as too is the veracity of what it is that ESPN purports to portray to us in terms of their coverage of college football and a wide variety of other sports that they broadcast.

What is now becoming even more telling, is that the network doesn’t try to be impartial as to the way it provides its analysis for the viewer to consume. One can appreciate that the viewer wants to hear the insights of the analysts. But they also want to be informed and be informed with insightful information. And not essentially anecdotes from their playing or coaching days. If that was what the fans desired, then they would be clamoring for it. That doesn’t appear to be the case at present for the viewer when ESPN’s analysts decide to regale us with their alleged insight and anecdotes.

Jesse Palmer discusses his career in the NFL , or lack of one as the case maybe

Thankfully, as the regular season of college football comes to a close. I for one just hope that the championship games that we’ll be privileged to see by way the respective conferences are a great deal better than that of the major Bowl games, themselves. God knows, more often than not, they‘ve either tended to be competitive or just downright abysmal, in terms of the quality of the play between the two teams.

Corso gives it to you straight from the horse’s ass – in other words, his mouth.

ESPN and the BCS system , two peas in a pod. Essentially flawed from the outset and it’ll continue be flawed until radical changes are made , in order for there to be some perception of fairness. It’d be a great deal better than what we’re being offered at present. But then again one doubts that either set about to be perfect or fair to begin with. It’s been essentially about the chance of making money and not much else beyond that. Both the BCS system and ESPN , whatever it all entails are merely there to entertain us, nothing more nothing less. What both ESPN and BCS conferences have been failing to realize , is that they’ve failed to deliver on both counts. And it’s not as if they were concerned to begin with. Had they done so , then perhaps there wouldn’t be the outrage we’re now seeing ?

Week 12 College Football Results

(6) Boise State 52-21 Utah State


Colorado 28-31 (12) Oklahoma State


(9) Ohio St 21-10 Michigan


(1) Florida 62-3 Florida Int’l


California 34-28 (14)Stanford


Too see the complete Week 11 College Football results in their entirety click here ………………

Just Because The State Is In A Mess It Doesn’t Mean They Can’t Have Another NFL Team In Southern California …………..

It has been opined on long enough and as we all know there’s nothing better that the NFL would like to see than an NFL franchise being placed in the country’s second largest media market. And that market is ……the greater Los Angeles area. That’s even with the populace there quite possibly being dead set against it. It is obviously a long term goal of the league to have a team bestowed once again in the Los Angeles market. But appearances can be somewhat deceiving , given the fact that Oakland Raiders‘ owner Al Davis feels that Oakland and the encapsulated surrounding area inclusive of the Los Angeles market is his , with the regard to the existence of the Raiders.

And while there’s no battle that the NFL isn’t willing to take on in order to safeguard its brand . The fact that there’s still some consternation between Davis and the rest of the league may well have something to do with the reticence of those who’d like to see an NFL franchise back in Los Angeles. The NFL under Roger Goodell‘s predecessor Paul Tagliabue had envisioned seeing a franchise back in Los Angeles before he stepped down as commissioner of the NFL.

Courtesy of the Los Angeles Times :

An NFL stadium for L.A. …

By Tim Rutten of the Los Angeles Times

Building a facility in the city of Industry at private expense would benefit the region.

In Southern California, property development is a full-contact sport, and nobody plays the game with quite the brio of Industry-based Majestic Realty Co.

Its chairman and CEO, Ed Roski Jr., is an ex-Marine who turned the successful commercial real estate brokerage that his father founded into one of the nation’s biggest industrial property developers, making himself a billionaire in the process. Along with Denver billionaire Phil Anschutz, Roski developed Staples Center and the successful L.A. Live project that adjoins it. He retains a minority interest in both the Lakers and the Kings.

Roski’s current passion is bringing professional football back to the Los Angeles area, and to that end, he proposes building a privately financed, 75,000-seat stadium as part of a 600-acre mixed-use development in Industry, which is located near the junction of the 60 and 57 freeways in the southeast San Gabriel Valley.

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It now appears that something might be afoot that could bring a franchise back to the Los Angeles market. And it has been said that the party involved has already been in contact with several teams around the league whose leases are close to the end of their agreements with their leaseholders. Those negotiations if as is being rumored , are being kept confidential. In order to not to breach any league regulations in that regard . The teams being courted no doubt know that a relocation to Los Angeles could provide something of a windfall for them. But in light of the present economic climate that mightn’t be the case. The state and the city itself has been hit hard within this downturn. Even if on the outside the wealthy elite are putting on something of a brave face . As they fight to keep up the ostentatious persona.

Ed  Roski Jr  ,  billionaire   commercial  real  estate   developer  and   mogul.  Roski   has  a  desire   to  see  an  NFL   franchise   firmly  entrenched   back   in  Southern  California  , within  the  greater Los  Angeles   market.    He  has a   proposal  in  place  to   build  a   75,000   capacity   seated   stadium   on the   outskirts   of  the  city  of    Industry  ,  California.    Gov.  Schwarzeneggar   has   recently  signed  into  law  a  bill  that   clears  the  first   hurdle  in this  endeavor.    As  to  whether   or  not  this all  will  be   privately   financed   or  whether  it   will be  a   joint   endeavor   remains to  be   seen.        picture  appears   courtesy  of   ap/photo/   Mary   Matheson   .......................
Ed Roski Jr , billionaire commercial real estate developer and mogul. Roski has a desire to see an NFL franchise firmly entrenched back in Southern California , within the greater Los Angeles market. He has a proposal in place to build a 75,000 capacity seated stadium on the outskirts of the city of Industry , California. Gov. Schwarzeneggar has recently signed into law a bill that clears the first hurdle in this endeavor. As to whether or not this all will be privately financed or whether it will be a joint endeavor remains to be seen. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Mary Matheson .......................

Behind the move to bring the NFL back to Los Angeles is commercial real estate mogul , Ed Roski Jr., and his company Majestic Realty Co., a developer of commercial real estate. Roski has proposed the building the building of a stadium as well residential and commercial property on the outskirts of the city of Industry, California.

Dean  Spanos (center) President  and  CEO  of  the  San Diego  Charger   is  seen here  with  first  round  draft  pick  Antoine  Cason  from the  2008  NFL  Draft   to  his  immediate  left.   Right  is   Chargers'  coach   Norv  Turner  and   far  left  is  Chargers'  GM   A J Smith.   Spanos   now  deals  with  the  day   to   day   operations   of  the  fanchise   due to  his   fathers     Alex's   ill  health.     Any  decision  that  will  be  made    as  to  whether   or  not  the  franchise  embarks   upon  leaving the  city  will   be  ultimately    made  by   Spanos.   As  of  now   no  decision    has   been   forthcoming  as   the franchise  and  the  city  are   still  in  discussions.            picture  appears   courtesy   of    ap/photo/  Mary  Caldwell   ........................
Dean Spanos (center) President and CEO of the San Diego Charger is seen here with first round draft pick Antoine Cason from the 2008 NFL Draft to his immediate left. Right is Chargers' coach Norv Turner and far left is Chargers' GM A J Smith. Spanos now deals with the day to day operations of the fanchise due to his father, Alex's ill health. Any decision that will be made as to whether or not the franchise embarks upon leaving the city will be ultimately made by Spanos. As of now no decision has been forthcoming as the franchise and the city are still in discussions. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Mary Caldwell ........................

Legislation has been passed by the state and it would appear that with the blessing of the city and the state . Roski, now can start the ball rolling on his plans. But not everything is as clear cut and dried as hoped for. Mayor , David Perez of the city of Industry hopes that the groundbreaking ceremony can start forthwith. And of this we can be sure that should a facility be built then a great deal of persuasion will be in place in pursuing and luring a team to the area.

And at present it is widely being speculated on that the San Diego Chargers and its owner Alex Spanos might well be persuaded to move the franchise to the new venue once it’s built. But that would predicated upon the lease agreement that it now has in place at Qualcomm Stadium – that is home to the Chargers as well as to San Diego State University (Aztecs) . The venue itself, (Qualcomm Stadium) is owned by the city of San Diego and it is thought that the city would not be willing to allow the franchise to leave the city in breach of its existing agreement. But there has been constant consternation between the two parties as to the refurbishment of the stadium and who ought to be pay for those renovations as seen fit. The Spanos family as owners of the franchise , it has been said is reluctant to do so. And it has been mentioned that if there is a way whereby they can leave the city of San Diego without there being any litigation between it and the city , then they would seek to do so. But at this moment in time negotiations are taking place to avert that. The city of San Diego views the franchise as a desirable commodity to have within the community.

Courtesy of Pasadena Star News :

Governor expected to sign bill clearing way for stadium to be built in Industry

By Frank C Girardot , Staff Writer

A spokesman for Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said Thursday he expects the governor to sign legislation paving the way for billionaire developer Ed Roski Jr. to begin construction of an NFL stadium in Industry.

The bill could be signed anytime in the next 12 days, officials said. State Sen. Gloria Romero, D-Los Angeles, said she hopes it takes place in the San Gabriel Valley.

“We want a bill signing here,” said Romero, who represents much of the east San Gabriel Valley. “Do it right there at the site. That will be our asking of (the governor).”

The state Senate approved the exemption to the California Environmental Quality Act authored by Assemblyman Isadore Hall III, D-Compton, 21-14 on Wednesday. Approval came despite objections from senators representing the San Diego area and those concerned about the state’s environmental laws. The proposed law would grant the 75,000-seat stadium project a CEQA exemption and toss out a remaining lawsuit against the project.

Los Angeles County Supervisor Gloria Molina said Thursday she will welcome the stadium with open arms, but questioned the wisdom of granting the environmental exemption.

“I’ve never had a problem with the stadium – that’s not the issue for me,” Molina said. “I’m very disappointed in the CEQA exemption. It’s unfortunate that the legislature had to go this route.

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As I’d alluded to earlier in this piece , Roski and his company are sifting through and seeking out any interested parties that might be willing to relocate to the area. But it would be predicated upon their circumstances under which their lease agreements are enacted or willingness to make the move to the greater Los Angeles area. At the same time with the state running a deficit , there are bound to be questions asked as to what are the ultimate benefits in having an NFL franchise within the area ? As it now stands , there hasn’t been an NFL franchise within the city of Los Angeles T-since 1994. And there are no signs at present that the citizens of the city would welcome the return of an NFL franchise. Though the city’s Mayor, Antonio Villaraigosa hasn’t let that stop him from making a commitment to see the NFL return to the greater Los Angeles area. But then again, a politician of Villaraigosa’s proclivity will do anything to curry favor , if he feels it will ultimately prove fruitful in staying within his citizen’s good graces. But given the stark economic realities facing the city and the state itself. I for one feel that his attention should ideally be drawn elsewhere in dealing with many of city’s underlying problems.

Courtesy of USA Today ;

Schwarzenegger: $42B deficit weighing down California

Posted 01/15/09

SACRAMENTO (AP) — California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Thursday called the state’s massive budget deficit a “rock upon our chest” and said the crisis must be resolved before other policy issues are addressed.

“The truth is that California is in a state of emergency. Addressing this emergency is the first and greatest thing we must do for the people,” the governor said in his State of the State address before a joint session of the Legislature. “The $42 billion deficit is a rock upon our chest and we cannot breathe until we get it off.”

California’s budget deficit is expected to soar past $40 billion over the next year and a half, the financial and construction industries have been decimated by the housing collapse and unemployment is on the rise.

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Legislators have been at odds for months over how to close the gap, and state financial officials say California will have to start sending IOUs to state contractors and taxpayers expecting refunds next month if the budget is not fixed.

In that climate, the Republican governor’s annual address was more austere than usual. Such speeches often are lengthy, filled with new policy ideas and held in the evening; this one took less than 20 minutes and was over before 11 a.m.

Schwarzenegger warned that California, which would be the world’s eighth-largest economy if it were a country, faces insolvency within weeks if lawmakers fail to close the widening deficit.

Schwarzenegger said the state’s financial problems are so pressing that no other issue — including education, water policy or health care — can be addressed until its budget problems are resolved.

“Let me tell you, I have big plans for this state. They include action on the economy, on water, environment, education, and health care reform, government efficiency and reform, job creation, and the list goes on and on,” Schwarzenegger said. “But our first order of business is to solve the budget crisis.”

Closing California’s deficit will require billions in spending cuts. Schwarzenegger has ordered state workers to take two days off a month without pay, starting in February, while departments have been asked to take 10%, across-the-board cuts.

Public works projects have ground to a halt because the state no longer can pay for them, and teachers in some school districts have received layoff warnings as the state runs low on cash.

The sticking point in budget negotiations has been raising taxes. Schwarzenegger and Democrats have proposed raising a variety of taxes, but have not agreed on the form those should take. Legislative Republicans — a minority in both houses but powerful enough to block tax hikes — have refused any tax increase but have yet to show how they would cut $42 billion over the next two fiscal years to balance the budget.

The governor’s latest budget plan proposes $17.4 billion in spending cuts, $14.3 billion in tax increases and $10 billion in borrowing to close the deficit through June 2010.

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As the saying goes “……… sometimes you can’t win but for losing “. And at this juncture even if an agreement isn’t reached for an NFL franchise to be placed within the area. One can attest to the fact that no stone will be left unturned by the NFL and its hierarchy to ensure that a team will be placed within the greater Los Angeles area, sooner , rather than later. As there’s a great deal of money to be made by all of the ensuing parties involved.

So what say you on the matter ? An NFL franchise within the greater area of Los Angeles is ultimately of benefit to the area and the NFL ? Or it is not at all of benefit to either party ?

Clueless In Sports ………What Does It Say About Those Who Run It ?

There has to be a staggering amount of stupidity shown by the various hierarchies that run or should one say have in some way ruined each of the four major high profiled sports ? Those being jointly, the NBA , NHL, MLB and the NFL . Over the last decade , in their eager pursuit of money and apparent image as far as their corporate sponsors are concerned . Each of these respective governing bodies has lost sight of perhaps their most important patron. And that is off-course the fans. They’re the ones who follow their teams earnestly throughout the season and cheer on their heroes.

It’s bad enough now that with these uncertain economic times their sense of urgency as to doing the right thing seems to be lost on the fact that they’d rather meander down the path of self destruction. One needs look no further than the utter stupidity that’s now being shown in the NHL by its hierarchy and the ongoing saga of the sale of the Phoenix Coyotes. The franchise which is now in Federal bankruptcy proceedings is at the center of a bitter battle between the NHL themselves and the only private bidder for the franchise , in billionaire entrepreneur, Jim Balsillie. The NHL it seems is not prepared to allow Balsillie should he tender the ‘ highest winning and acceptable outright bid’ the right to relocate the franchise back to Canada. The NHL on the other hand feels that they can still make the Coyotes a going concern as a franchise in the city of Phoenix . And when one considers that the franchise since its inception has failed to meet any of the criteria’s sought by the then owner- in terms of on-field success and that of sold out attendances for games. It begs the question ‘…. what the hell is the NHL thinking to begin with ‘ ?

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman must feel that the NHL can do a much better job of running an NHL franchise than someone of Balsillie’s caliber , who clearly feels otherwise. And has made it clear from the outset that it was his wish to purchase the franchise and relocate it to Ontario, Canada.

Courtesy of Yahoo Sports and Associated Press

Bankruptcy judge rejects both bids to buy Coyotes

By Bob Baum , AP Sports Writer

PHOENIX (AP)—The NHL could claim a partial victory on Wednesday after a U.S. bankruptcy judge rejected bids by the league and Canadian billionaire Jim Balsillie to purchase the Phoenix Coyotes.

Judge Redfield T. Baum rejected outright Balsillie’s offer to purchase the team and move it to Hamilton, Ontario, which the NHL had vehemently opposed. The judge upheld the league’s right to decide who owns its teams and where they play.

Although Baum also turned down the NHL offer, he left the door open for the league to go ahead and purchase the franchise if it amends its bid to treat Coyotes owner Jerry Moyes and ex-coach Wayne Gretzky more favorably.

“In hockey parlance, the court is passing the puck to the NHL who can decide to take another shot at the sale net or it can pass off the puck,” Baum wrote.

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The NBA not content with the very fact that year in and year out there continues to be controversy surrounding the officiating of its games. And the questioning of the quality and of its officials. It’d appear that they will seek to start the upcoming season and that of their preseason with replacement officials . They’ve chosen to lock out the qualified and seasoned officials because of their rancouring over labor issues concerning pay and expenses. That being said if the league were of a mindset to deal with many of the other issues with regard to the perception as to how their officials are viewed. I doubt that at present there would be immediate cause for concern. But on the brink of the preseason to lock out 62 officials . Merely because the two parties cannot come to an agreement , smacks of idiocy on the part of the NBA hierarchy and the the body said to represent the officials. Never-mind the impression that this now creates for the fans.

Courtesy of Yahoo Sports and Associated Press

With refs locked out , NBA confident in 62 backups

By Brian Mahoney AP Basketball Writer

With its regular referees locked out, the NBA is confident in its roster of replacements—even the two it previously fired.

The NBA begins preseason play Thursday night with 62 referees. The league said more than half have officiated in the NBA Development League, and all but five have worked the summer league.

It also said the two with league experience, Michael Henderson and Robbie Robinson, were some of the best replacements available.

Realizing the scrutiny the backups face, the league reminded teams Wednesday about its rules against publicly criticizing the officials. But senior vice president of referee operations Ron Johnson believes the teams won’t have much to complain about.

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The officials that Commissioner David Stern is prepared to use for not only preseason games but also the regular season, once it starts. They well in-fact come the NBA’s Developmental League.One can surmise that the NBA not only thinks it appropriate to give us something of a watered down product as well as Stern in his own words “…….. officials that I implicitly believe in with regards to their integrity”. He’s now prepared to now give us officials who in many cases have never officiated a regular season NBA game. And he’s also prepared to throw them into the fray. I suppose many of these officials have hopes of aspiring to be like Tim Donaghy , in part ? Well if not Donaghy , then definitely someone Stern , himself, can view as unimpeachable and above reproach ? With what little experience that they do have at the lower level in terms of their officiating. Are we expected to see that any glaring mistake that’s bound to be made by one of these officials can be overlooked because of their inexperience ? And what are the players , coaches and fans to think of this all ?

The biggest knock , I for one have always had against the NFL has been their treatment. Or should I say their mistreatment of retired players. Especially those veterans of the pre Superbowl era. Not much has gone right for many of these players who find themselves languishing on the outside looking in. Bereft of any of the financial rewards that is now being earned by their successors of today. What may well be even more distasteful and disdainful is the total lack of representation by their own union- the NFLPA . First by deceased union executive Gene Upshaw and now even more so by his successor DeMaurice Smith.

Courtesy of nfl.com and Associated Press

Ex NFL players report higher-related disease

NEW YORK — Retired professional football players might have a higher-than-normal rate of Alzheimer’s disease or other memory problems, suggests a preliminary study that provides more fuel for concerns about long-term risk of concussions.

Experts said the work wasn’t definitive but that it fit in with other studies suggesting a long-term risk from head injuries in sports.

In the new work, 1,063 former players were asked if they had ever been diagnosed with dementia, Alzheimer’s disease or other memory-related disease. About 2 percent of the former players ages 30 to 49 said yes. That’s 19 times the rate for the same age group in the general population.

For retirees over 50, the rate of about 6 percent was about five times higher.

The study, which hasn’t been published in a peer-reviewed journal, was done for the National Football League by researchers at the University of Michigan.

The results show the topic is worth further study, but they don’t prove a link between playing football and later mental troubles, lead author David Weir said.

NFL Statement

“The survey found that playing in the NFL was a very positive experience for most retired players and that overall they are in very good physical and financial condition. Their history of physical fitness shows up in lower rates of diabetes and cardiovascular disease. On most other health problems they are similar to or healthier than the general population, the survey noted. We are carefully reviewing the information and sharing it with others to assist our work on behalf of retired players.

“Regarding the two graphs (page 32) on memory problems in this 37-page survey, its acknowledges significant limitations of the survey in this area. The survey did not diagnose dementia but relied on self-reporting or family proxy reporting on a retired player’s memory, and it also noted that diseases of memory are rare in both the general population and NFL retirees. Despite those facts, the study recommends further research based on the reported numbers (1.9 percent of NFL retirees ages 30-39 and 6.1 percent of NFL retirees 50 and above), and that already is underway. Memory disorders affect many men and women who never played football or other sports.

“We are trying to understand it as it relates to our retired players. The survey makes no link between concussions and memory disorders. Concussion as one of many potential factors in memory disorders is being studied throughout the medical community, including our own study on the long-term effects of concussions on retired players.

“Meanwhile, our focus is also on the proper prevention and treatment of concussions in today’s game. We do this through rules changes and enforcement; education of players, their families, coaches and team personnel; and ensuring that our players have the best medical care available. Our medical staffs take a cautious and conservative approach to managing concussions, including expanded use of neuropsychological testing and return-to-play guidelines.”

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Over the years many of these players have had to fight tooth and nail to even get their voices heard . Much less be afforded the right to obtain rightfully what is theirs by way of medical assistance and benefits. For a sport that says it cares about its very own. The NFL and its union counterpart has done little to suggest for to us to believe that to be a fact. If anything it’s the contrary. They’ve steadfastly refused to even recognize many of these players and their grievances and have hid behind the subterfuge that the players of today are far more important than their predecessors. What has become even more glaring is that the present NFL commissioner , Roger Goodell and his predecessor Paul Tagliabue did very little to address those very issues and others that have cropped up over those years concerning the players. But yet it takes a commissioned report by the NFL to make us aware of something the vast majority already knew. So unless the hierarchy of the game is really that naive , then they’ve just to be downright plain stupid ! Over the years the NFL and the NFLPA has stalled not only in this regard when dealing with this issue but several others concerning the assistance and payment of benefits due rightfully to retired veterans of the game.

The league commissioned a report looking into head trauma and concussions suffered by players and the cause and effect that it has on the recipients. Now pardon me for saying this but for those of who’ve ever been hit on the head during any sort of endeavor . It does tend to hurt , so one can imagine what a hit on the head has to do to an NFL player traveling at a high velocity of speed head on into an opposing player . And then imagine that being done repeatedly during a game . Now unless I’m mistaken, this sort of thing once it becomes repetitive , then it does have a tendency of having repercussions to a player’s health in the ensuing years. Not only over the course of their career but also upon their retirement. The AMA (American Medical Association) and others within the medical establishment have long held the view that repeated blows to the head , no matter how innocuous that they might appear to be at times. It does have a lasting effect on an individual. We’ve seen this with regard to other athletic endeavors. None more so than within the sport of boxing. Where there, the poster child for head trauma , albeit that he’s said to have Parkinson’s disease -is none other than Muhammad Ali .

Associated with this all now , is the occurrence of Alzheimer’s disease amongst former players and other forms of dementia.And this has also led to the seemingly untimely deaths of a number of players. Autopsies carried out – evidence has shown amongst that there’s a preponderance of blunt force trauma caused by repeated blows received to the heads of these players. One can surmise that this may well have been caused during their careers or quite possibly merely from repeated falls. But that wouldn’t equate what we already know to be factual when it comes to this issue. However, it appears that the NFL and NFLPA seemingly wants us to believe that much of this happens outside their sphere of responsibility as it concerns their members. Something is very much awry here and it does appear that the NFL in collusion with the Players’ Union would rather not deal with this situation , quite possibly because of the inherent financial implications and what it might well mean for the league.

And while this isn’t primarily the only issue where the league and the union has fallen short on . When it comes to dealing with current as well as former players. It does create the illusion the NFL and its union counterpart has become nothing more than a self serving organization . Purely concerned in portraying an image that’s none too real when it comes to the veterans who once graced the game. As to the impression it’s prepared to create for us , the fans. Well I think it’s plain to see for all of us who care to witness it .

As the regular season for MLB (Major League Baseball ) winds down. We’re seeing the last grasps being made by two teams to attain a postseason berth for the ensuing playoffs. The Colorado Rockies (91-68) having claimed a berth , now fights to run down an pass the Los Angeles Dodgers (93-66) and win the NL West. The two teams meet this weekend in the three game series that will determine the outcome as to who wins the division. It wasn’t that long ago that the Dodgers’ lead within the division was deemed to be insurmountable. But what we knew then and what we know now are completely two different things.
The Dodgers’ offense has become silent and their pitching invariably has become somewhat inconsistent. Hardly what the team’s manager , Joe Torre had envisaged down the stretch for his team.

If the Dodgers are to prevail then they’re going to have to picks things up. Because any sign of continued inconsistency at this stage and their postseason ambitions are liable to go up in smoke.

In the AL Central the Detroit Tigers (85-74) aren’t out of the woods yet. As their plight , once seemingly in their own hands is now playing out like an unwanted nightmare. They’re also in a dogfight for the division with their adversary being the Minnesota Twins (83-76) . Albeit, that the Tigers need only win one of their final three games to be assured a share of the division. They do need to win their final three games to put the division beyond the reach of the Minnesota Twins. But their play as of late has been not up to the expectations of their manager Jim Leyland . And the calming influence of Leyland may well be all that’s needed for the team to make this all a reality.

Inasmuch , as many of us are now looking forward to the postseason. One can’t but help notice that the figures are down in terms of attendance for the ballgames across the league. Both the New York Mets and the New York Yankees, having moved into the spacious environments of vastly expansive and ostentatious ballparks. Both teams have struggled to fill both venues to capacity. And though we can agree upon the fact that the current economic climate has made it somewhat more inconvenient for many when it comes to attending a ballgame. It has to be said that MLB has been somewhat myopic in its view of the overall economic climate and how it conducts its business by way of its template.

As salaries continue to escalate , it makes it all the more apparent that many of the small market teams will never be in with the chance of competing on the same level as many of their big market rivals. Teams such as the Tampa Bay Rays , Kansas City Royals , Pittsburgh Pirates, Toronto Blue Jays and the Oakland A’s struggle to remain competitive amongst their big name rivals.

Though at times the illusion is there of a fairy tale being created . More often than not it becomes short lived. The triumphs of last season’s AL pennant winners , the Tampa Bay Rays (82-77) , all came falling back to earth this season with almighty thud. Within the highly competitive AL East they have to deal with vast financial resources of the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees. For whom it can be said spending anywhere between $15 million and $20 million for player’s services for a year isn’t much of a stretch. However , for the likes of the Rays , they would have to be lifting up the cushions of a sofa to find every plug nickel and cent available to them to spend that sort of money on a player , just to secure his services for a year.

Seemingly MLB and the players themselves through the MLBPA (Players’ Association) are under the impression that the game can withstand the onslaught of ever increasing salaries. While the brand and product becomes watered down. And this also paved the way for even unproven rookies via the game’s own draft to be receiving what one might deem to be a ludicrous amount in terms of a mere signing bonus. Much of this we can allude to the fact than agent acting on the behalf of his client will try and garner the price possible for that particular commodity. And unfortunately this is sometimes where the utter and sheer stupidity of a GM comes into play. As they’re of opinion that in order to achieve that price of success -one has to pay through the roof to attain it.

MLB would have us believe that the tax revenue sharing that it has in place to assist many of the smaller market teams overcome the hardships that they proclaim. But more often than not , when the money that’s doled out to those teams isn’t being used to strengthen their rosters. In order that a better product is placed unto the field of play. But it instead finds its way into the pockets of the owners. One has to ask the question what it is that in-fact that the fans are indeed getting out of this at the end of the day ? And it certainly hasn’t helped that a number of these teams have been able to cajole , manipulate municipal , county and state governments for tax incentives and then have them also use taxpayers’ monies to facilitate the building of ballparks. But yet their financial accounts are out of the eyes of public scrutiny when it comes to transparency and how they conduct their business.

The hierarchy of the game under the leadership of Bud Selig as its commissioner and Bob DuPuy as its President and Chief Operating Officer would have us all believe that the game is very much in a healthy financial state. Merely because their revenues are said to be increasing. But in effect that in of-itself doesn’t paint all that clear a picture to begin with. Because they’ve never clearly shown us at the end of the day the profit and loss for each of the major league franchises . That’s something that if anything would give us a much clearer indication as to the health of the game. Rather than the words of Bob Selig or Bob Dupuy being echoed as to what’s right with the game at present.

2009 MLB Payrolls for the Top 5 and bottom 5 teams

Top 5
New York Yankees $201,449,189
New York Mets $149,373,987
Chicago Cubs $134,809,000
Boston Red Sox $121,745,999
Detroit Tigers $115,085,145

Bottom 5
Oakland A’s $62,310,000
Washington Nationals $60,328,000
Pittsburgh Pirates $48,693,000
San Diego Padres $43,734,200
Florida Marlins $36,834,000

What are your thoughts on each of the topics raised within this piece ? And how best do you feel that each of the governing bodies can go about addressing the issues raised ?