Pressed to report a story even when it has no merit , sports’ journalism is getting from bad to worse …

Pressed to report a story even when it has no merit , sports’ journalism is getting from bad to worse …

Well the big story in the NFL as the teams were mandated to cut their rosters by 4.00 PM Saturday afternoon, was the decision by the St Louis Rams to cut their much heralded seventh round draft pick defensive lineman Michael Sam . As the league’s first openly gay player, a great deal was made of the fact, leading to a rather unsavory story reported by cable sports’ broadcast and programming outlet ESPN as to Sam’s showering habits and his not being allowed to shower alongside his now former teammates . What this has to do with NFL football can only be addressed by what the outlet believes to be relevant to the game , but in reality , it simply points to the fact ESPN would rather create a furor, rather than reporting on stories that actually has their viewers enthralled. Simply call it, “gutter journalism” at its lowest , as espoused by the broadcast outlet. The fact of the matter is , ESPN remains unchallenged in an arena , which it has dominated for years and will continue to reign over , because their competitors are not much better and that includes the print media.

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With Sam being waived by the NFC West based franchise , it seems unlikely the player will be picked up by another franchise before the regular season begins. Teams in need of an offensive lineman will likely take a look at Michael Sam even if his productivity with the Rams during the preseason was said to be no more than adequate. A great deal may well have been made of the player being the first openly active gay player seeking to make his debut in a regular season game , but the constant microscopic view the lineman was placed under , may well have proved to be too much for the former Missouri player to bear.

One of the more surprising deals that took place prior to the roster cuts was the New England Patriots’ decision to trade Logan Mankins to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers , a team definitely in need of defensive line help. As unpalatable as this was said to be for Patriots’ fans , the excuses now being proffered up by Bill Belichick and GM Nick Caserio seem ridiculous and insulting to the fans and to the player who was caught off-guard by the trade. Tom Brady , quarterback for the team was said to be angered by this deal, but has not voiced a public statement on the matter. Bear in mind, Brady in 2012 made $12 million available to the Patriots for them to keep the services of wide receiver Wes Welker , only for Welker to then sign with the Denver Broncos , after the incompetency shown by the front office.

New England will be seeking to make a successful defense of their AFC East title, while also seeking to make another return to the postseason. For Brady , his old and teammates , this will prove to be a tough task , as undoubtedly they will be seen as a target with a bulls’ eye on their back. A great of that will come from their divisional rivals where the Miami Dolphins and New York Jets are viewed as to two teams likely to prove to be New England’s biggest challengers during the season and their regular season meetings. The first of New England’s regular season tests will come in week one when they face the Miami Dolphins to open their schedule at Sun Life Stadium in Miami ,Florida,.

Logan Mankins will begin his career anew with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and for Lovie Smith and the Buccaneers’ acquisition of the player can only be of benefit to the younger defensive players on the team’s roster . Mankins can provide the type of leadership so lacking on a franchise for several players , something I believe Buccaners’ fans have not always been intuitive enough to acknowledge, because of their real lack of understanding what the NFL is actually about , beyond their belief if it simply being about the best or highest paid player on the roster.

Lovie Smith in his first season as coach of the Buccaneers, will himself, face as a stern test as he leads his team into the season and a NFC South division where the Carolina Panthers , New Orleans Saints and Atlanta Falcons will be looking to prove themselves the best in the division. Tampa’s first game of the regular season will see them face Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa , Florida,. Ron Rivera and Newton will try to prove the Panther’s season in 2013 was no mere fluke , with the quarterback having his best season in the NFL since being drafted by the franchise in the 2011 NFL Draft . I believe the Panthers can prove to be a success this season within the NFL , but a great deal of that will be predicated on their play, but even more so upon the growing maturity level shown by Cam Newton , as he has become the visible and vocal leader of the team.

OK, so we know the NFL to be a league bereft of any real intelligence among the players, union (NFLPA) under the leadership of DeMaurice Smith , the NFLPA’s Executive Committee , Roger Goodell and the league hierarchy in particular . With the league now taking what they believe to be a tougher stance on the issue of domestic violence involving the players. It begs the question, why has it taken so long for the NFL to act with such action without the statement forthcoming from Smith , stating due process has to be followed concerning players charged with domestic abuse and violence? Perhaps, I am mistaken but the Players’ Union has done little to discuss the issue over the years or since DeMaurice Smith succeeded the late Gene Upshaw to become the union’s highest ranked executive. As to Roger Goodell’s own mindset concerning this matter , it would be fair to suggest the commissioner’s own lack of communicative skills , beyond making himself look an imbecile , anything he now says concerning the issue , would seem to too little and far too late in spite of the league’s actions in dealing with Baltimore Ravens’ running back Ray Rice . The NFL remains homophobic, misogynistic ,racist in many respects, but with it most definitely being clouded in secrecy , something the league would strongly deny.

With the news now coming of the arrest of San Francisco 49ers’ player Ray McDonald , who was arrested at his home and has now been charged with domestic abuse and violence . The Niners as a franchise this off-season have faced several issues concerning the behavior of several players on their roster , of which the ongoing issues of Aldon Smith seem to be something which simply will not go away and which has been poorly handled by Jed Yorke , team CEO and GM Trent Baalke .

Smith will be lost to the 49ers for the first nine games of the regular season, after the punishment meted out by the NFL , but it remains to be seen how they will now treat the issue of Ray McDonald , pending the legal process being played out within the Californian Legal System.. The NFL has the right to suspend a player for conduct harmful to the league , something agreed to by the Players’ Union in their last collective bargaining agreement , but it would seem to be an issue the executive committee and the players’ representatives believe allows the commissioner far too much latitude , in dealing with punishing their members , concerning misconduct . It is my belief the players in the NFL, are simply looking to weaken a rule , while ignoring the misconduct of their members !

LeBron James made his surprise return to the Cleveland Cavaliers , leaving the Miami Heat in sheer turmoil , with a much weakened roster and Heat President Pat Riley in sheer apoplexy concerning the upcoming season . The Monster Riley created was never going to be a dynasty even with four appearances in the NBA Finals , eking out just two series’ victories . Poor price to pay for teams upon which, fans and analysts were heaping far too much praise without looking at the rosters of both teams at the times of their triumphs and defeats.

Away from the happenings of the Cleveland Cavaliers, the latest NBA star said to be dissatisfied with his current situation is the Boston Celtics’ point guard Rajon Rondo , who is said to have demanded a trade, formerly lodging a request with Celtics’ GM Danny Ainge . The general manager and lead managing partner , Wyc Grousbeck will have to look at and take Rondo’s demands seriously. A disgruntled player on a young roster seeking leadership is likely to prove disastrous for Brad Stevens and his coaching staff , if there said to be no sense of leadership coming from a seasoned veteran, without Stevens’ inexperience coming into question..

In a season of sheer mayhem , the Boston Celtics were simply abysmal on all fronts with Rajon Rondo having a poor season alongside his teammates , as they endured defeat after defeat, with their being rarely a series’ win for the young team. Stevens proved he is still learning on the job , while Danny Ainge has done little in seeking to bolster the roster this off-season , last season or even by way of this past NBA Draft .

The real signs of the Celtics’ struggles were long seen, prior to Doc Rivers’ departure , with neither Ainge or the head coach seeking to build for the future after the team’s last triumph in the NBA Finals. Instead, there was this idiotic belief the team then built around a core of Kevin Garnett , Paul Pierce , Ray Allen and Rajon Rondo. They may well have won the highly contested finals , against a Kobe Bryant led Los Angeles Lakers’ team but , in reality , the series was over before it started, because Rivers out-coached his opposite number, Phil Jackson, was something of an uneventful chess match.

It will be tough season for the Boston Celtics with or without Rajon Rondo, because the team has no real depth or a proven scorer , with the team’s top scorer last season being , Jeff Green , while Rondo was sidelined for much of the year seeking to recover from an injury . Green’s 16.9 per game average would be meager when adjudged against the top scorers within the Eastern Conference let alone the rest of the NBA and from an offensive standpoint the Celtics’ productivity was menial to say the very least. To state how dire the Boston Celtics have been , you simply have to look at how the team performed defensively and their season record (25-57) which was simply a reflection of the team.

If Danny Ainge does agree to Rajon Rondo’s request , then there are likely to be a bevy of suitors for one of the league’s best point guards, of which the player is of a proven pedigree in terms of his productivity. Among the top of the list among the teams seeking to acquire the Celtic’ point guard would be the Houston Rockets as they seek to replace the recently departed Jeremy Lin . Not to be counted out of this scenario are the Sacramento Kings , Miami Heat, Indiana Pacers , Charlotte Bobcats , Memphis Grizzlies , Phoenix Suns, New York Knicks , Denver Nuggets . Dallas Mavericks and the Milwaukee Bucks . Rondo has made it known to the front office , were he traded to the Sacramento Kings , he would not sign or be part of any part of a sign and trade deal with the franchise, limiting the Celtics’ wishes on that front. Rondo is not due to become a free agent until 2015 , and his $12.9 million salary for this season does not seem to be that much of an impediment for any of the teams pursuing the point guard. Boston will begin its their schedule against the Brooklyn Nets when the two teams meet at the TD Banknorth Gardens Pavilion in Boston , Massachusetts, on the 29th October , 2014.

I will say this repeatedly , if you write a story and give it the teeth in terms of context , then you will have the world believing the article . Nowhere is this more representative than with regard to the coverage afforded to politics and the stories that emanate from the White House , House and the Senate. Before you know it , the nation buys into the bull#hit and the idiots who call themselves Conservatives and Liberals try to dissect and disseminate the fecal matter emanating from the government without the on air political hacks trying to make sense of it all. The same can be said of how MLB and the NCAA seeks to ingratiate themselves with the fans and media alike, with the stories from both sporting edifices . Baseball with their informing the fans and press alike that Rob Manfred in succeeding Bud Selig will bring about a new era within the game , is somewhat like suggesting we have seen bipartisanship within the Congress during the Presidential terms of Barack Obama . Baseball remains distrustful of the MLBPA , while its ongoing incompetency in dealing with a number of issues shows no signs of improving.

Meanwhile, the NCAA and the FBS programs within college football is seeking to persuade the public and fans they have finally got it right in terms of their proposed format for a playoff system to decide a national champion in football. The truth of the matter remains , unless the money is shared evenly among the college conferences rather than the majority of it going into the coffers of the major college conferences and institutions , then the fans of the game will continue to be defrauded with a system , that is simply a joke . As to this idiocy of an empaneled committee being the best arbiters of determining how a system can be used to decide a national champion. Perhaps, I might suggest those behind that folly simply watch an episode of American Idol or any one of the other litany of inane talent shows now deemed to be a reality show finding their way onto the nation’s broadcast outlets

Mark Emmert and the educational institutions presided over by the NCAA need to be doing more , concerning not only the widespread allegations of academic fraud on campus, but also the criminal and felonious behavior concerning the sexual misconduct and sexual assaults that take place on college campuses across the nation , on a daily basis , Somehow, this all gets overlooked because the only thing deemed important is whether or not the defending national champions Florida State (Seminoles) can possibly make a successful defense of their national title . One ought to bear in mind their Heisman winning quarterback from last season Jameis Winston still remains a person of interest in a sexual assault, while the school itself is under investigation by the Department of Education and by US Justice Department and how they deal with their in-house investigation of such crimes. Dr Garnett S Stokes Ph.D, President of Florida State has not issued a public statement on the investigation by either of the federal agencies in question and it begs the question if he is unable do so , then why has there not been any type of statement by the school’s athletics department much less from the AD Stan Wilcox ? Yet sources close to the school have speculated on the fact , they will be taking some form of action against Jameis Winston and his not having upheld a code of conduct, as expected of student athlete of Florida State. So let me get this straight ,

Winston and his legal representatives , whose stories have changed far more often than a newborn baby’s diapers, concerning the alleged sexual assault , but somehow the athletics department , institution can see nothing wrong at all concerning the player’s conduct ? Never mind the fact of the incompetency shown by the Tallahassee Police Department in their original investigation of the incident and where there are said to have been allegations of collusion between the athletics department and the law enforcement agency . Something, which has been clear from the days when Bobby Bowden coached the football program and where many of the players under his tutelage ran afoul of the law, but were left untouched . Coincidence, in such an instance, where it concerns the police and the committal of a crime by a Seminoles’ athlete ? I think not !

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The stories remain for all to see and to bear witness to, but how many of us are really interested in getting at the truth or does it come down to the fact the attention span of most sports’ fans comes down what is the next big event to take place and the likely result ? Chime in with your thoughts on this and anything else you believe worthy to discuss concerning the article.

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(1) Michael Sam , a seventh round draft pick of the St Louis Rams . Sam was cut by the organization and can be resigned by the team as a member of their practice squad , but there has been no statement by head coach Jeff Fisher addressing the matter. AP Photo/ Rick Farrell …

(2) St. Louis Rams head coach Jeff Fisher, left, and general manager Les Snead hold a pre-draft news conference at the team’s practice facility, Tuesday, May 6, 2014, in St. Louis. The Rams are scheduled to have two picks in the first-round of the NFL football draft on Thursday. Snead and Fisher made the decision jointly with the coaching staff to release their seventh round draft pick Michael Sam in the lead-up to the regular season . AP Photo/Jeff Roberson …

(3) Logan Mankins of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers watches from the sidelines as the Buccaneers take on the Washington Redskins during a preseason game this exhibition season . Mankins was traded by the New England Patriots in a surprise move in August . Getty Images/ Paul Fowler …

(4) DeMaurice Smith , often an outspoken critic of the NFL and in particular of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell , who he believes acts outside the limits of his jurisdiction, in meting out punishment to players who contravene the league’s rules . Smith insists that the league’s new mandate concerning players involved in allegations of spousal abuse and domestic violence should be dealt with judiciously within the legal system . However in light of the growing issue , Smith and his members have done very little to discuss the matter head on . AP Photo / Hannah Mitchell …

(5) Boston Celtics’ general manager Danny Ainge ,left, is seen here with the team’s point guard Rajon Rondo . A member of the team which won the 2008 NBA title , Rondo has requested a trade from away from the Celtics and it remains to be seen how the matter will be dealt with by the franchise’s front office in granting the player’s request. AP Photo/ Michael Howard ..

(6) Aldon Smith (99) and Ray McDonald (91) of the San Francisco 49ers are two players on the team to have fallen afoul of the law in recent months . Smith has been suspended for the first nine games of the regular season for repeated violations of the league’s conduct policy . McDonald was arrested at his home on charges of domestic abuse and violence against his pregnant fiance’ . Neither the NFL or anyone within the Niners’ front office has issued a statement concerning Ray McDonald’s arrest. Team CEO Jed Yorke and GM Trent Baalke are being kept abreast of the legal ramifications through the team’s Chief Legal Counsel, Hannah Gordon and the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Department . Getty Images / Paul Hughes …

(7) NCAA President Mark Emmert who presides of collegiate athletics’ governing body seems to be more focused on increasing the NCAA’s revenues estimated to be in excess of $1.65 billion annually from licensing and marketing agreements which does not include television rights fees for the broadcast for the sports which fall under their umbrella. Emmert only recently has begun to discuss the issue of on campus sexual assaults of which 50 schools are now under investigation jointly by the Education Department and the US Justice Department concerning the lax investigating rules of many of the academic institutions. AP Photo / Hazel Groves …

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If we build it they will come ,but what happens if we don’t ? Who gives a fu#k?

If we build it , they will come , but what happens if we don’t ? Who gives a fu#k ?

The NFL yearns for an NFL franchise back in the city of Los Angeles, but here lies the continued idiocy of the issue. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell knows the very fact , the city has severe financial budgetary woes, but still, as usual, the league will try to suggest the addition of a franchise would be of benefit to the municipality and the state . California and its legislature are odds over how to deal with the state’s fiscal issues and Governor Jerry Brown has yet to come up with a satisfactory solution and both legislative chambers in Sacramento , continue to bicker among themselves as who is ultimately to blame for the financial morass. Brown’s predecessor former Hollywood action star Arnold Schwarzenegger was like a ” bull in a China shop” during his tenure as the state’s top elected official, having, not come up with one economic solution for the state’s economic crisis. If that were not enough, the debt has increased, along with a litany of other growing issues for the state, with several municipalities statewide facing severe budget crunches.

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California might well be one of the most populated states in the country and the city of Los Angeles might well have the nation’s second largest advertising market behind New York City , but the underlying issues are , teams that were once domiciled within the city chose to leave for a litany of reasons. Clearly , if those reasons have not been addressed and clarified by the league hierarchy and the primary political leaders at the municipal , county and state levels , then the likely return of a franchise to the city of Los Angeles will not come about for the foreseeable future. Teams such as the San Diego Chargers , St Louis Rams and Oakland Raiders are said thought to be the likely franchise that would benefit from brought to the city , because of the uncertainty concerning their various stadium issues .

The Chargers are currently playing in the archaic Qualcomm Stadium and were team owner, Dean Spanos to uproot the team to move the franchise , then the organization would be subject to a large financial penalty , having broken their existing lease with the city of San Diego, who are the owners of the municipally owned venue. Mark Davis , owner of the Oakland Raiders , long dissatisfied with the O. Coliseum in Oakland, California , would like nothing better than to return to the city of Los Angeles where the Raiders’ name and franchise still resonates with reverence among some NFL fans. Yet, it is my belief, there still remains a deep hatred of the franchise by a large sector of Los Angeleans, because of the antics of Davis’ father the late Al Davis , and how he left Los Angeles, when he took the franchise out of the city under a cloud of suspicion. The Raiders still have a long and passionate fan-base across the nation , but their greatest stronghold remains among the greater Los Angeles area and within the city of Oakland . Whether or not, that would prove to be enough of a lure for the envisioned return of a franchise back in Los Angeles, remains to be seen.

The St Louis Rams had a presence in Los Angeles, when they were known as the Los Angeles Rams , but their later move, to St Louis Missouri, brought about a name change and then the change in ownership, with the franchise now owned by billionaire businessman Stanley Kroenke . His other sporting interests also include the Denver Nuggets , Colorado Rapids , Colorado Mammoth and Arsenal FC of the English Premier League (EPL) , with retailers Dick’s Sporting Goods , also being a part of Kroenke’s other business and sports’ holdings , through his Kroenke Sports Enterprises holding company.

If the NFL can continue without an NFL franchise being within the city of Los Angeles for over a decade , then I see no reason why they cannot continue to be without a team for the foreseeable future ! It is not as if the fans of the league within Los Angeles, have made an impassioned plea to the league hierarchy for the return of football to the nation’s second most populated city . This whole issue has been driven by the NFL , the team owners and specifically of late, by Roger Goodell , who saw his predecessor’s attempts failed miserably , with Paul Tagliabue in the end acknowledging , the time simply wasn’t right for the return of an NFL franchise to the city . What has brought this issue back into focus, have been recent events surrounding the pending sale of the Los Angeles Clippers , which now seeks the approval of the NBA Board of Governors and com league hierarchy before billionaire Microsoft co-founder and former Chairman Steve Ballmer becomes the NBA’s newest franchise owner. Ballmer , if nothing else, now becomes the wealthiest owner in the NBA and perhaps the wealthiest of owner in all four major professional team sports . I guess that when the Clippers meet the Brooklyn Nets during the 2014-15 regular season, both Steve Ballmer and his opposite number Mikhail Prokhorov , can compare notes, concerning the size of their respective fortunes and which of the two franchises , does indeed have the better team ?

The NFL sees the city of Los Angeles as providing a revenue windfall, with what they believe to be untapped resources and the tens of millions of dollars that can be provided as an extra revenue stream . The likelihood also, would also bring about a rise in value of any franchise now residing in the city. That however is purely speculative in nature , with the basis for that coming from this unprecedented value in the sale of the Clippers . Granted, we should not have been really surprised by this all, when in 2013, a private consortium led by Mark Walter , Todd Boehly , Magic Johnson and Peter Guber , paid over $2 billion for the Los Angeles Dodgers , with many suggesting that MLB Commissioner Bud Selig , pulled strings behind the scenes, to insure that the winning bid, would be extortionate high and absolutely preposterous . The NFL, like any other business entity, is simply about making money for themselves and their known associates, in this case, the owners and adjunct , joint interests . With billions, reaped annually, in revenues , the league has almost reached its zenith, in terms of exposure with regard to the North American marketplace. And where, there are said to be untapped streams , it is hard to see how the league can actually have a major presence there, without their being a franchise or a large following of fan-base within close proximity. In the case of the city of Los Angeles , the choices within the state, beyond the college programs within the Pac 12 , the craving for the NFL at the professional level is not necessarily hard to gauge, but the question one might have to ask, are the fans ready to accept the alternatives ?

It is hard to put Philip Rivers’ career in the NFL into context , as I believe he was dealt a lousy hand . Were it not for selfish attitude of Eli Manning and the connivance of his father Archie Manning , during the events of the 2004 NFL Draft and the aftermath of the behind the scenes backdoor dealings that were said to have taken place . Manning found himself with the New York Giants and Rivers, having been taken by the San Diego Chargers as Eli’s replacement and the rest as they say , “ is history “ , with the New York Giants going on to success, with their two Superbowl victories and Peyton Manning’s younger sibling leading the franchise to those triumphs. Philip Rivers for his part, has labored over the years , with repeated changes in the team’s lineups , changes in the coaching philosophies of the coaches he has played for and the complete denial of the Chargers’ front office that the supporting cast that surrounded Philip Rivers was never truly good enough. At the same time , when you have the likes of Antonio Gates and LaDanian Tomlinson, as part of your offensive artillery and you are still failing miserably , there has to be something wrong either with the play calling or there just doesn’t seem to any type of real vocal leadership on that team .

Coming off a 9-7 season , in what was a highly competitive AFC West division , the San Diego Chargers’ third place finish might well have been extremely disappointing , but it was not without merit in 2013. Consider the teams within the AFC who made the postseason , but who were nowhere near as competitive as the Chargers showed themselves to be over the course of last season .

Chargers’ head coach Mike McCoy and GM Tom Telesco will seek to have this team for the 2014 season ready to play, with their main aim likely to be, dethroning the Denver Broncos as the divisional champions , with a mindset also in making the postseason . That task is likely to be a very tall order with the Broncos certainly having gotten better with their off-season acquisitions, but also by way of the NFL Draft . The same claims can also be made of both the Kansas City Chiefs and the Oakland Raiders , albeit , that the bone of contention remain that the Raiders are likely to find a way to make a complete mess of their season , as they have done for last the decade . Mark Davis GM Reggie McKenzie continue to mystify not only the franchise’s fans but also, the majority of fans and analysts, who cover the NFL. The Raiders’ draft history and trades , still remain a source of ridicule and amazement , with many of those players becoming complete busts in a short space of time , while the franchise has paid out millions in terms of bloated contracts . Oakland will enter into their season with a number of expectations, of which the biggest is likely to be , not to repeat last season’s form or performances that resulted in another last place finish within the AFC West.

While I believe that the AFC West will once again provide the fans with a great deal of excitement this upcoming season . I firmly believe, that the San Diego Chargers could very well pull off a major surprise by making things extremely tough for both the Broncos and Chiefs during 2014 ! As great as Peyton Manning and his teammates were said to be last season , that Superbowl defeat , suffered at the hands of the Seattle Seahawks , was damaging psychologically , as well as physically for the franchise. Seen as the consensus favorites, to waltz through the postseason, that match-up against the Seahawks was further proof , how overrated the Broncos were said to be , with that lasting impression of a downtrodden Peyton Manning exemplifying how disappointed he and his teammates were , with their overall performance against Pete Carroll’s players.

Week one of the regular season, will see the San Diego Chargers pitted against the Arizona Cardinals in a Monday night game played at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Phoenix , Arizona . The Oakland Raiders will be the guests of the New York Jets , in an AFC contest played in East Rutherford , New Jersey . Denver will host the Indianapolis Colts, in a game, where Peyton Manning will renew old acquaintances, with his former team. Andy Reid and the Kansas City Chiefs will host the Tennessee Titans at Arrowhead Stadium , in Kansas City , Missouri , in what is sure to be an intriguing contest on the first Sunday of the NFL regular season .

With the teams around the NFL now conducting preseason practices with their organized team activities (OTA’s) , it will be interesting to see how the franchises and their rookies acclimatize to the rigors of this upcoming regular season. In 2013, we were asking, which players drafted , would be making a sizable impact on the season . In 2014 , it is likely to that very same premise arising along with, will this be the last opportunity for seasoned veterans such as Peyton Manning , Tom Brady , Philip Rivers and Tony Gonzalez to have one last opportunity to add to achievements to their illustrious careers with some postseason glory ? This is likely to a season where those questions are likely to be answered , with other areas of drama likely to be thrown in for good measure . What thoughts, if any do you have concerning this topic ? Also, do you believe, that the NFL is in need of a franchise within the city of Los Angeles for the fans there to still show an interest in the league ?

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(1) California Governor Jerry Brown (D-Ca) is being pressured by certain state and Los Angeles’ dignitaries to have a bill introduced within the state legislature that would see the state finance in part the building of a venue that would house a potential NFL franchise within the city of Los Angeles. Efforts , concerning private enterprise have either stalled or are bogged down by bureaucracy or have simply no real interest in the project. Meanwhile , NFL Commissioner is still pressing ahead with his efforts to bring about his bold ambition to succeed where his predecessor Paul Tagliabue failed . LA Times / Ernesto Torres …..

(2) Dean Spanos of the San Diego Chargers is seen here at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego , California , home to the franchise that he owns . AP Photo / Mark Thompson …..

(3) Mark Davis , owner of the Oakland Raiders , whose season in the NFL will come under a great deal scrutiny by fans and analysts in general . AP Photo / Tom Monroe ….

(4) Eli Manning ,left, is seen her with Philip Rivers . The two players were part of the 2004 NFL Draft class , with the pair of quarterbacks creating a great deal of drama during the draft process that year . AP Photo / Mark Fisher ….

(5) St Louis Rams’ owner Stanley Kroenke , seen here alongside the team’s head coach Jeff Fisher as the two discuss with the convened press their hopes for the team’s aspirations in 2013 . It is being reported that Kroenke would indeed be opened to the idea of relocating the Rams elsewhere., if he cannot get a new arena built for the franchise within the state of Missouri . The state’s legislature is not in a position to make the funds available for such a project in spite of calls, that monies can be raised , with small incremental increases in some state fees and services . Something that the state’s governor , Jay Nixon is set against and would likely veto , if he felt that this were not in the best interests of his state. AP Photo / Richard Hart …..

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Swimming With Sharks ……………

Swimming With Sharks

By tophatal ……

Well it would appear that the NFL coaching carousel has now reached unimaginable heights of ridicule with the latest victim being Indianapolis Colts’ coach Jim Caldwell who was summarily fired by Colts’ owner Jim Irsay . With the Irsay having already made the decision to jettison former team president Bill Polian and his son Chris Polian , two former executives within the organization . Now as we all know the team had its worst season in the NFL finishing at the bottom of the AFC South and they did in fact bear the worst record in the league , posting a 2-14 mark.

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FILE – In this Dec. 11, 2011, file photo, Indianapolis Colts head coach Jim Caldwell, left, speaks with injured quarterback Peyton Manning before an NFL football game against the Baltimore Ravens in Baltimore. The Colts fired Caldwell on Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2012. Caldwell just finished his third and worst season as head coach of the Colts, who stumbled to a 2-14 finish without Manning. AP Photo/Gail Burton …

And though the Indianapolis Colts shared the same record with the St Louis Rams by virtue of better conference record it will be the Colts who will have the privilege of taking the first pick in the upcoming 2012 NFL Draft . The consensus appears to be that the front office will stake Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck number one overall. Now the firing of Jim Caldwell has struck me by surprise as I felt that he was not the problem concerning the woes of this team throughout the course of the season ! The loss of Peyton Manning prior to the start of the season was one of the many issues that faced the team . But herein likes the real issue the team acquiring Kerry Collins and then with aged veteran performing poorly it was left to backups Curtis Painter and Dan Orlovsky to steer this team over its schedule. Suffice to say , that all three were a shadow of what Manning on his worst day would appear to be .

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Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay, left, speaks during a news conference as general manager Ryan Grigson listens at the NFL football team’s headquarters Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2012, in Indianapolis. The Colts announced the firing of coach Jim Caldwell. AP Photo/Darron Cummings

Jim Caldwell and his coaching staff tried their level best to get this team to play with any amount of resolve and zeal that it might possess. And the team’s cause certainly wasn’t helped with the very fact that their secondary was amongst the worst performing in the league and the offense lacked real penetration. From my own perspective the firing of Caldwell along with what now appears to be the ever-growing uncertainty as to the immediate future of four-time league MVP Peyton Manning . The player is owed a $28 million roster bonus that is due by 8th March 2012 . Manning will of course have to prove his fitness but at the same time should the team choose to cut the player they are still liable for a great part of his salary due for 2012. The 96 million five year contract signed by the player in conjunction with input provided by his agent Tom Condon says a great deal about the willingness of the front office to secure the player to long term future with the organization. But it would now appear that Jim Irsay in light of the mea-culpa by Bill Polian, now looks to rid himself of the last remnants of Polian and it might now include the quarterback that his guided the franchise to a great deal of success over the past decade . One should note , that prior to his being drafted by the Indianapolis Colts in 1997 , success for the organization was rarely seen and there were scant rewards for the fans.

In the fifteen years that Manning has been with the franchise he has simply rewritten the franchise’s record books as well as number of NFL records along the way as a quarterback.

Now any search that is said to be taking place that will no doubt be overseen by Polian’s successor will have to be done with a great deal of expediency . Granted , the postseason prohibits any approach to the coaching staffs of the teams still involved in NFL playoffs . So for now teams such as Baltimore Ravens , New England Patriots , New York Giants and San Francisco 49ers their coaching staffs remain off-limits until the culmination of the postseason on 5th February , the night of the Superbowl (SBXLVI).

Names that will no doubt be a matter of conjecture and speculation as it relates to this particular vacancy will doubt have the likes of Jon Gruden , Bill Cowher , Mike Sherman and perhaps Brian Billick interested . The Indianapolis Colts know that if they are to make a prudent choice that it would have to be a coach with name recognition and some who can be a lure to potential free agents . One can either view this decision as a monumental mistake by Jim Irsay or simply a situation where the owner felt it best to clean house . Given the sheer and utter irrationality of the firing of Hue Jackson by the Oakland Raiders’ front office led by team owner Mark Davis and the team’s newly installed GM Reggie McKenzie , it begs the question are the NFL coaches now swimming in shark infested waters , wherein the team owners are liable apportion blame elsewhere for the misjudgment made themselves and that of their general managers ?

It should come as no surprise that former Tennessee Titans’ coach Jeff Fisher is back amongst the coaching ranks of the NFL , with him having accepted the position to coach the St Louis Rams . Team owner Stanley Kroenke made the announcement public and it will now be left to Fisher along with his new coaching staff to assess the merits of the team as they move forward. Jeff Fisher succeeds Steve Spagnuolo whose three years at the helm of the Rams the team’s former coach guided them to a 10-38 record , a meager return over that period of time .

Fisher may well have more to work with in terms of the talent on hand with the St Louis Rams with 2009 top draft pick …… Sam Bradford at the quarterback position. Apart from Bradford the team also can call upon the talents of running back Stephen Jackson who seemed to have re-found the form that made him one of the most potent running backs in the NFL . Granted , this season we have seen the rise of Ray Rice and LeSean McCoy and Maurice Jones-Drew simply lighting up the NFL this season with their prowess.

The biggest issue facing Jeff Fisher may well his concerns the health of Sam Bradford with the player having recurring injuries throughout much of the St Louis Rams’ season along with a concussion which obviously has to be a major concern for the front office of the Rams and the league hierarchy as a whole , given the misplaced stupidity shown by the Cleveland Browns and their dealing with the same issue concerning the team’s quarterback Colt McCoy . I will continue to maintain that something that borders on being the incapacity of player such as one of the league’s major quarterbacks before they will actually do something proactive concerning the treatment of players suffering a concussion during a game . So ridiculous has the situation now become that they now see fit to have only a physical trainer up in the booths where adjudicating officials preside over calls that are not cleared by the sideline officials. One would have thought will the millions of dollars spent on team salaries the very least that could be done by the NFL is to have a neurosurgeon on hand up in the booth , rather than a mere physical trainer who may not be able be truly cognizant of the game time effects of a concussion on a player at the time.

Added to this whole charade by the NFL hierarchy has been the very fact that there has been clear evidence that points to the cause and effect of blunt head force trauma caused by repeated helmet to helmet hits during a game . Punitive fines to players certainly hasn’t deterred the actions of a number of players . What is even more asinine is that the players themselves are not too clear as to what is said to be legal in terms of a legitimate or illegitimate hit . It has been this sort of lack communicative skill from NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell , who to my mind at times is simply posturing to the owners , rather than doing what it is the best interest of the game and the safety of the players. Never mind the fact that the players’ own representative the NFLPA led by DeMaurice Smith has truly done little over the years to abate this glaring crisis within their midst . Instead , both Goodell and Smith have spoon fed the public a great deal of fecal matter for their consumption and unfortunately the fans have actually bought into the feces being shoveled their way !

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

With the NFL postseason now in hand what thoughts if any do you have concerning the firing of Jim Caldwell ? And are the Indianapolis Colts capable of resurrecting their fortunes without Peyton Manning at the helm as the team’s quarterback ? By all means do take time to leave a comment on this topic and anything else you feel to be pertinent to the subject matter .

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(1) Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay , left, speaks during a news conference as general manager Ryan Grigson listens at the NFL football team’s headquarters Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2012, in Indianapolis. The Colts announced the firing of coach Jim Caldwell. AP Photo/Darron Cummings ….

(2) Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay, left, speaks during a news conference as general manager Ryan Grigson listens at the NFL football team’s headquarters Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2012, in Indianapolis. The Colts announced the firing of coach Jim Caldwell. AP Photo/Darron Cummings …..

(3) INDIANAPOLIS, IN – FILE: Jim Caldwell the Head Coach of the Indianapolis Colts watches the game action in the Colts 17-3 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars at Lucas Oil Stadium on November 13, 2011 in Indianapolis, Indiana. It was reported that the Indianapolis Colts have fired coach Jim Caldwell who was 2-14 this season, 2 weeks after firing vice chairman Bill Polian. Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images …..

(4) FILE – In this Dec. 11, 2011, file photo, Indianapolis Colts head coach Jim Caldwell, left, speaks with injured quarterback Peyton Manning before an NFL football game against the Baltimore Ravens in Baltimore. The Colts fired Caldwell on Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2012. Caldwell just finished his third and worst season as head coach of the Colts, who stumbled to a 2-14 finish without Manning. AP Photo/Gail Burton …

(5) Jon Gruden could the former Bucaaneer’ coach and present ESPN NFL analyst be atop of the list of candidates that the Colts’ front office will seek out to gauge his interest in their vacant head coaching position ? Courtesy of US Presswire ……

(6) St. Louis Rams’ team owner Stan Kroenke speaks during a news conference where Jeff Fisher was officially introduced as the new head football coach of the St. Louis Rams NFL team, in St. Louis, Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2012. AP Photo/Tom Gannam ….

(7) St. Louis Rams quarterback Sam Bradford and teammate James Laurinitis watch a news conference where Jeff Fisher was officially introduced as the new head football coach of the St. Louis Rams NFL team, in St. Louis, Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2012. AP Photo/Tom Gannam ……

(8) EARTH CITY, MO – JANUARY 17: (L TO R) St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke, new head coach Jeff Fisher and Executive Vice President of Football Operations & Chief Operating Officer Kevin Demoff take questions from the media during a press conference at the Russell Training Center on January 17, 2012 in Earth City, Missouri. Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images ………

(9) Cleveland Browns general manager Tom Heckert , left, talks with team president Mike Holmgren during practice at the NFL football team’s training camp in Berea, Ohio. After a tumultuous 4-12 season and at the start of a critical off-season, Holmgren and Heckert have to decide who will be their quarterback and what else they can do to fix the Browns. AP Photo/Tony Dejak ………

(10) FILE _ In this Oct. 23, 2011 file photo, Cleveland Browns head coach Pat Shurmur , left, talks with quarterback Colt McCoy during the second quarter in an NFL football game against the Seattle Seahawks in Cleveland. After going 4-12 in his first season as Cleveland’s coach, Shurmur said McCoy improved in his first full year but would not commit to the 25-year-old as his starter for 2012. AP Photo/Amy Sancetta …….

(11) Colt McCoy (12) of the Cleveland Browns lies on the ground while speaking to athletic trainers after a helmet to helmet hit from James Harrison (92) of the Pittsburgh Steelers during the game on December 8, 2011 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images ……..

(12) Colt McCoy (12 ) of the Cleveland Browns lies injured after being hit by James Harrison (92) (not pictured ) of the Pittsburgh Steelers during the game on December 8, 2011 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Steelers won 14-3 . Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images ….
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Who’s Your Daddy …. ?

Who’s Your Daddy ?

By tophatal

Week nine of the NFL season and all the furor concerning the sporting weekend seems to be the college game this weekend between LSU (Tigers ) and Alabama that has the two top collegiate teams in an SEC matchup . Coaches Les Miles and Nick Saban , two coaches who between them have three BCS national titles . That being said , there’s a great deal at stake for both teams with each looking to keep their unbeaten records in tact.

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With this game being viewed as such a special event it’s hard to say how the fans should observe it , merely from the fact this won’t be for a national title . But herein lies the caveat , the loser may well have their hopes dash of quite possibly playing for the BCS championship . The pressures placed upon the college coach at the D1 level is unprecedented because apart from winning , a college football program and that deemed success, literally brings in tens of millions of dollars each year . And for the likes of Notre Dame , Ohio State , Texas Longhorns , Nebraska (Cornhuskers) , Penn State (Nittany Lions) , Michigan State (Spartans) , Oklahoma (Sooners) , Oklahoma State (Cowboys) , Michigan , Miami ( Hurricanes ), Florida State (Seminoles) , USC Trojans and Stanford .

Now with there being divisional realignment in the offing the college game now has more to do with money than ever before , rather than the competitiveness of games and the teams. Subverting this all has been the behind the scenes maneuvers specifically by ABC/ESPN and their commercial tie in with Texas in a joint venture to be known as the Longhorns Network . The purported revenues to be gained by the school will net the program an annual sum anywhere estimated in the region of $30- $55 million annually for the next two decades . Longhorns’ coach football Mack Brown and the school’s AD DeLoss Dodds are said to be the main architects behind the negotiation of this deal .

The Longhorns’ football program by itself nets the school in annual revenues, in excess of $120 million but the thought now the university will have its very own broadcast outlet televising all of the school’s athletics schedule has me wondering how they ( ESPN ) will be able to show any form of impartiality towards the school. Never mind that the fact that what the broadcast outlet purports to sports’ news journalism simply scours the bottom of the barrel in terms of integrity . The four letter network now appears to be giving MSNBC , CNN and Fox News a run for their money and that’s saying a damn lot at this juncture !

Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa , Alabama should see a hybrid of activity this weekend with this game . Players such as Trent Richardson , John Baites , A J McCarron and their teammates will put their prowess on display in front of a national television audience. For their part the LSU Tigers’ players this match-up will determine whether or not the rankings (AP) are at present justified . Certainly , Tigers’ coach Les Miles know that players such as Jarrett Lee , Spencer Ware , Michael Ford , Rueben Randle , Brandon Taylor , Eric Reid and Ryan Baker will be looking to prove that not only are the equal of their SEC counterparts but if anything far superior than the perceived preconceptions might well be .

The talk has been , with the Alabama playing at home the team will have a distinct advantage . But it’d be remiss to think that Les Miles and his coaching staff will not have prepared his players for this intriguing match-up of two very offensive minded teams . This much I do know this should be a highly competitive game between what I believe are a duo that are fairly evenly matched . The hype has been over the proven offense of Nick Saban’s team and the play of Trent Richardson , a noted Heisman Trophy candidate for this season . And the candidates there are quite formidable when you simply view the list of the prospective hopefuls in question.

Whomever , amongst this cavalcade of players on display at Bryant Denny Stadium this Saturday has an exemplary performance will undoubtedly see their name being quietly discussed discussed amongst the candidates in question , if not see their names fly up the ladder of nominees . Never mind being viewed as a first round draft pick for the 2012 NFL Draft .

I have to admit that there have been a litany of damn awful games this season and this Sunday unfortunately the NFL will once again throw one or two of them by way of the television scheduling. In all honesty , does anyone really want to see two ( 1-6 ) teams face off against each other ? When the St Louis Rams take on the Arizona Cardinals at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale , Arizona . The fans will be asked to subject themselves to a game that in one form or another could take on a life of its own in terms the depths of mediocrity or highs of superlative performances . Given the fact that both of these two NFC teams rank in the conference and divisional standings I am not so sure that this game can actually live to any perceived expectation beyond being perhaps average at best !

Both the Arizona Cardinals and St Louis Rams are defensively challenged and rank near the bottom of the NFL in that specific category . Coaches Ken Whisenhunt and Steve Spagnuolo face a litany of problems concerning their respective teams . Injuries asides , it has more to do with getting their franchises to show some heart and play with a great deal more resolve . And that simply has not been evident with either team over the course of this season !

I am not so sure that the fans in attendance at Tempe Stadium can take pride in what they’re likely to witness but somehow there will be fervent support for the Arizona Cardinals by their fans . And no doubt the fans of the Rams are likely to make their presence felt . But herein lies the caveat for me this game with the two quarterbacks taking the stage could very well serve up a real clunker in terms of a performance . John Skelton and if healthy Sam Bradford are likely to suit up for the Cardinals and Rams , respectively. In the unlikely event that Bradford is likely to go then starter’s backup A J Feeley is like to take his place . For the St Louis Cardinals I found it somewhat unbelievable that the organization brought in Kevin Kolb and then signed him to what I truly believe to be a ridiculous contract (5 yrs $63 million [$21 million guaranteed]) ! GM Rod Graves may well have been under the mistaken belief that he was getting a bargain when obtained the player from the Philadelphia Eagles . But Kolb has shown little if anything this season that would have anyone believe that he is indeed to thought of as a very good starting quarterback .

In terms of this game being a contest between two equal teams of compared ability , it would appear that the Arizona Cardinals might have a slight edge over their divisional rivals . With the added fact that Whisenhunt’s team has Larry Fitzgerald lining up on offense would give any team a distinct advantage . But such has been the mediocrity of the play within the NFC West on both sides of the ball that I think that this game could be a harbinger of the real inherent problems that the fans have seen throughout much of the season , in terms of the poor play within the NFL, amongst many of the mediocre teams !

As an avid fan of the NFL , I prefer to see competitive games within the league as a whole ! Now there seems to be this misnomer that there is now parity within game , but I for simply do not view it that way ! In reality what we do have however are some very good teams , some ordinary teams and than those that could be best described , as simply stinking up the joint ! And nowhere is that more representative at present that within the NFC West . Albeit , that the San Francisco 49ers (6-1) are laying claim that they are in the midst of a resurgent revival under first year coach John Harbaugh . The other occupant within division beyond the Niners , Arizona Cardinals and St Louis Rams are the woefully inept —- Seattle Seahawks (2-5 ) . The front office of the organization for the present under GM John Schneider and billionaire owner Paul Allen are still of the belief that the five year $37.5 million contract offered to head coach Pete Carroll will ultimately lead to success . If the Seahawks’ season this year is representative of that under the coach and his staff is indeed a sign of things to come , then they’re grossly overpaying for the privilege in retaining the coach .

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

What thoughts if any do you have with regard to the scheduled college and NFL games taking place this weekend ? Are there any that you believe that truly stand out on either schedule ? Simply leave a comment as to your thoughts and thanks as always for the continued support as it greatly appreciated !

Picture and slide show details .

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(1) Let’s get ready to rumble ! Alabama takes on LSU in Tuscaloosa , Alabama this weekend at Bryant Denny Stadium . AP Photo ….

(2) LSU fans arrive at the Tuscaloosa, Ala., train station on Friday, Nov. 4, 2011, for Saturday’s NCAA college football game between No. 1 ranked LSU and No. 2 ranked Alabama. AP Photo/The Tuscaloosa News, Michelle Lepianka Carter ….

(3) FILE – In this Nov. 6, 2010, file photo, Alabama running back Trent Richardson (3) rushes during the first quarter of an NCAA college football game against LSU in Baton Rouge, La. Second-ranked Alabama are slated to host No. 1 LSU on Saturday, Nov. 5, 2011, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File ….

(4) TUSCALOOSA, AL – OCTOBER 22: Head coach Nick Saban of the Alabama Crimson Tide reacts after his defense stopped Tennessee Volunteers on fourth down at Bryant-Denny Stadium on October 22, 2011 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images …

(5) Justin Coleman (27) of the Tennessee Volunteers breaks up a pass intended for DeAndrew White (2) of the Alabama Crimson Tide at Bryant-Denny Stadium on October 22, 2011 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images …..

(6) (6) FILE – In this Nov. 3, 2007 file photo , Alabama coach Nick Saban, front left, and LSU coach Les Miles, front right, shakes hands after LSU defeated Alabama 41-34 in an NCAA college football game in Tuscaloosa, Ala. Second-ranked Alabama are slated to host No. 1 LSU on Saturday, Nov. 5, 2011. AP Photo/Rob Carr, File …

(7) Kenny Hilliard (27) of the LSU Tigers scores a touchdown during the game against the Auburn Tigers at Tiger Stadium on October 22, 2011 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images …

(8) BALTIMORE – OCTOBER 30: Beanie Wells (26) of the Arizona Cardinals runs the ball against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium on October 30. 2011 in Baltimore, Maryland. The Ravens defeated the Cardinals 30-27 . Photo by Larry French/Getty Images …

(9) Kevin Kolb (4) of the Arizona Cardinals fumbles the ball after being tackled by Haloti Ngata (92) of the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium on October 30. 2011 in Baltimore, Maryland. The Ravens defeated the Cardinals 30-27. (Photo by Larry French/Getty Images) …

(10) Steven Jackson (39) of the St. Louis Rams hurdles Tracy Porter (22) and Scott Shanle (58) both of the New Orleans Saints at the Edward Jones Dome on October 30, 2011 in St. Louis, Missouri. The Rams beat the Saints 31-21 . Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images ….

(11) A.J. Feeley (4) of the St. Louis Rams fumbles the ball after being sacked by Malcolm Jenkins (27) of the New Orleans Saints at the Edward Jones Dome on October 30, 2011 in St. Louis, Missouri. The Rams beat the Saints 31-21. Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images …

(12) Head coach Steve Spagnuolo of the St. Louis Rams directs his team during a timeout against the New Orleans Saints at the Edward Jones Dome on October 30, 2011 in St. Louis, Missouri. The Rams beat the Saints 31-21. Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images …..

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If Curiosity Killed The Cat Then Who Led The Cat There In The First Place ….. ?

If Curiosity Killed The Cat Then Who Led The Cat There In The First Place ….. ?

Well now that there’s a peace accord within the NFL and all parties appear to happy the preseason is under way questions will abound as to what we the fans ought to expect from the teams this upcoming regular season as well as what we have all witnessed so far in the preseason ? And as such it’s pretty much safe to say we will have our contenders and pretenders within the league this year.

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Certainly questions will abound as to the lofty expectations for teams such as the San Francisco 49ers , Carolina Panthers , Denver Broncos , Cincinnati Bengals and Cleveland Browns . The Forty Niners come into this season with a new coach in Jim Harbaugh along with new coaching assistants and once again the onus will be upon Alex Smith to prove that he’s capable of leading this team . Far be it for me to suggest but the player has had his gamut of criticism over the course of his career , much of it valid ! . But then again, consider what he’s had to endure since his introduction into the NFL ? A coaching carousel , several changes in offensive coordinators and the very fact that the front office of this organization led by John York and his wife Denise DeBartolo York have never really had the presence of mind to even give this team their undivided attention. Instead they’ve simply paraded it around as a bauble for their socialite friends to gaze upon .

In the NFC West where the San Francisco 49ers reside their regular season schedule dictates that they take on their inhouse rivals the Seattle Seahawks , St Louis Rams and Arizona Cardinals . Given the impressions of last season within the division you get the feeling that the quality of football played there won’t be up to the usual standards one would come to expect . Albeit , that last year the Seattle Seahawks would make the postseason , go on to knockout the then defending Superbowl champions , New Orleans Saints in the wildcard round of the playoffs.

This season if I had to pick a team to come out of the NFC West to make the postseason then I might have to go with the St Louis Rams ! Steve Spagnuolo has proven to me that he’s a good coach who can get the best out of his players. And in Sam Bradford he has one of the young rising stars in the league who may well go on to do some great things in the NFL if given the prerequisite tools , in being surrounded by a very good team . That being said this season the Rams will have to give it their all and show that the progress made under Spagnuolo hasn’t all gone unheeded . Certainly from an offensive standpoint you would expect this team show signs of progress based on last season’s figures . Most certainly with the offseason moves made and the draft choices you would expect to see some solid contributions from the likes of

Defensively if this team can hold its own and take heed of the lessons being taught by defensive coordinator Kevin Flajole then they ought to fare well over the course of the season . Certainly there’s reason to believe that the St Louis Rams can have and make this division truly competitive . Granted , the NFC West has never really been highly looked upon as one of the more competitive divisions within the NFL as it has its detractors as well as supporters across the nation. That being said every division within this league has its highs and lows , some more so than others .

If there’s one thing that Jim Harbaugh has to deal with and make it an absolute priority , then that will be settling upon of a starting quarterback for the regular season . Other than Alex Smith the coach has Colin Kaepernick and McLeod Bethel-Thompson but it is being rumored that the coach will be bringing in seasoned veterans Josh McCown and Daunte Culpepper . This may merely be a backup plan should things not work out concerning Harbaugh’s insistence that Alex Smith is the team’s starter but given the player’s inability and lack of productivity in preseason opener against the New Orleans Saints where the team was simply outplayed in a rather lopsided 24-3 defeat . If anything , the coach had to have been perturbed by what he saw from his starter but he’s prepared to show his implicit faith in Smith until all else fails. Given that display , I’d say that scenario is likely to happen sooner rather than later !

The Forty Niners have been prudent in the draft seeking to bolster the roster with prudent choices that will complement this team overall. Along with their offseason acquisitions it is thought that Harbaugh and coaching staff will seek to progress with this squad systematically looking for improvements over the course of the season from their rookies as well as greater contributions from the veterans on the team. And for the likes of draft choices Aldon Smith , Colin Kaepernick , Chris Culliver , Kendall Hunter , Daniel Kilgore and Ronald Johnson .

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ST. LOUIS, MO – AUGUST 13: St. Louis Rams head coach Steve Spagnuolo talks to quarterback Sam Bradford (8) during the first half of the NFL preseason game against the Indianapolis Colts at Edward Jones Dome on August 13, 2011 in St. Louis, Missouri. Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images ……..

We certainly know what the San Francisco 49ers are capable of from an offensive standpoint given the right set of circumstances as can be seen from their play over the course of last season . But it has been the defense that has been as such the team’s Achilles Heel apart from the inconsistent play of Alex Smith over the course of last year.

Clearly this will be a season of can we , or will we be able to overcome all forms adversities placed in our way as far as Jim Harbaugh and his team are concerned . The task ahead for this rookie NFL coach will be an arduous task but the faith shown in him by GM Trent Baalke and team President & CEO Jed York must have been fortified in the success achieved at Stanford as a college coach .

As much I believe that the St Louis Rams are capable of winning the NFC West outright, my choice is predicated upon there being an immense contribution from seasoned veterans on this team such as Steven Jackson , Jerious Norwood , Brady Poppinga and Josh Brown to lead this squad throughout the season . Last season these players played their part contributing to the success of the team which narrowly missed the postseason by failing to win an additional game that would have guaranteed the St Louis Rams winning the division , thereby toppling the Seattle Seahawks .

The moves made by GM Billy Devaney in conjunction with Steve Spagnuolo and the coaching staff sets this organization up for the future and the immediacy of now. Most certainly with the draft choices and the existing roster in place there’s a very good reason that we ought to see real progress throughout the course of this season . It is clear that the organization now feels that they have found their man in Sam Bradford as the franchise quarterback to lead this team well into the future . And if the player shows the growth and maturity already exhibited then we are liable to see this team reach excel once again . The fans yearn for it and so too do Bradford’s teammates at this juncture after some pretty languid years , ensuing their Superbowl ( SBXXXIV) triumph .

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

What thoughts if any do you have concerning the upcoming NFL season and in particular with regard to the teams within the NFC West ? Simply leave a comment as to your thoughts and anything else you believe to be pertinent .

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

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(1) FILE – This Aug. 12, 2011 file photo shows San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh prior to an NFL football game at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans. Before he transformed Stanford from a laughingstock to a powerhouse and achieved his goal of being an NFL head coach tasked with rebuilding the floundering San Francisco 49ers, Harbaugh got his full-time coaching career started across the bay in Oakland AP Photo/Bill Feig …..

(2) In this Aug. 12, 2011 photo, New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) calls for the snap from New Orleans Saints center Olin Kreutz (50) during an NFL preseason football game against the San Francisco 49ers at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans. Drew Brees is coming to grips with the fact that a couple familiar faces will be missing from the table when he takes the offensive line out for dinner each week. New Orleans lost their starting center of the past three seasons when Jonathan Goodwin opted to go to San Francisco in free agency and then head coach Sean Payton released starting right tackle Jon Stinchcomb. AP Photo/Bill Feig …….

(3) San Francisco 49ers quarterback Alex Smith pulls back to throw during NFL football training camp in Santa Clara, Calif., on Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2011. AP Photo/Jeff Chiu …….

(4) San Francisco 49ers quarterbacks Jeremiah Masoli (3), Alex Smith (11), Colin Kaepernick (7), and McLeod Bethel-Thompson practice during NFL football training camp in Santa Clara, Calif., Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2011. AP Photo/Jeff Chiu …….

(5) St. Louis Rams quarterback Sam Bradford drinks on the sidelines between drills during NFL football training camp Thursday, Aug. 18, 2011, at the Rams’ training facility in St. Louis. AP Photo/Jeff Roberson …..

(6) FILE- The July 31, 2011 file photo shows St. Louis Rams running back Steven Jackson runs with the ball during NFL football camp at the Rams’ training facility in St. Louis. The Rams have planned to get Jackson on the field for the second preseason game. Jackson missed much of Tuesday Aug. 16, 2011 practice, though, with a hip flexor issue . AP Photo/Jeff Roberson …….

(7) ST. LOUIS, MO – AUGUST 13: Robert Quinn (94) of the St. Louis Rams gets past a block by Anthony Castonzo (74) of the Indianapolis Colts during the NFL preseason game at Edward Jones Dome on August 13, 2011 in St. Louis, Missouri. The Rams defeated the Colts 33-10 . Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images …….

(8) St. Louis Rams head coach Steve Spagnuolo, left, shakes hands with Indianapolis Colts head coach Jim Caldwell at the end of an NFL preseason football game Saturday, Aug. 13, 2011 in St. Louis. The Rams won 33-10 . (AP Photo/Tom Gannam ….

(9) ST. LOUIS, MO – AUGUST 13: Mardy Gilyard (81) of the St. Louis Rams looks for room to run on a punt return against the Indianapolis Colts during the NFL preseason game at Edward Jones Dome on August 13, 2011 in St. Louis, Missouri. The Rams defeated the Colts 33-10. Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images ….

(10) ST. LOUIS, MO – AUGUST 13: St. Louis Rams head coach Steve Spagnuolo talks to quarterback Sam Bradford (8) during the first half of the NFL preseason game against the Indianapolis Colts at Edward Jones Dome on August 13, 2011 in St. Louis, Missouri. Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images ……..
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St Louis Rams’ team statistics 2010

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San Francisco 49ers’ team statistics 2010

San Francisco 49ers’ preseason schedule 2011

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NFC West divisional standings 2010

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What’s A Sure Fire Thing In The NFL Nowadays …….. ?

What’s A Sure Fire Thing In The NFL Nowadays …….. ?

Well the finale to the NFL postseason is almost upon us with the staging of Superbowl 45 (SB XLV) when the Pittsburgh Steelers hosts the Green Bay Packers in the Superbowl at Cowboys Stadium , Arlington , Texas.

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Slide show for your perusal.

The postseason was an eventful one with a numbers of players stepping to the fore and doing what was asked of them by their various coaches and coaching staff . If nothing else it has been the talent that has dictated the ongoing heroics that we’ve seen throughout much of the postseason. Aaron Rodgers and Ben Roethlisberger have simply been proof of that as they’ve led their teams through to their respective paths to the game’s showcase event.

I’ve already read a number of patrons’ site wheres they’re now trying to assess the talent that will be available in the upcoming NFL Draft that will take place this April . Now don’t get me wrong but there’s a premium on the talent that actually comes to the fore. And for the likes of ESPN’s Mel Kiper and Todd McShay they’re there state their opinions as to who they think will be a worthwhile option for a number of teams . Valid or not I’ve never been totally enamored by the neatly coiffured rug of Kiper or his assessment of college talent on their way to the NFL. It galls me even more when it became known that he’s consulted with the agents of a number of college bound players and after having spoken with them he’s now stating a case can be made that the players in question are NFL ready. How’s that showing his knowledge much less impartiality ? Kiper is a joke and so has been numerous of his assessments over the years ! His assessment of the Carolina Panthers —– Jimmy Claussen had me wondering what the hell he’d been watching in college when it came to the player ? I’m still waiting for Kiper to acknowledge that Akili Smith , Ryan Leaf , Chris Weinke and Eric Crouch failed to live to his own lofty expectations ! But that’s Mel Kiper , ESPN’s answer to Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck all rolled into one !

Now this upcoming NFL Draft I’ve no doubt that there’ll be a number of players who’ll stake a claim that they’re amongst the best that the collegiate level has to offer the NFL. Well with Andrew Luck the presumed number one draft pick now having chosen to remain in college for his senior year at Stanford the talent level may well have dropped off somewhat. Now there were those felt that Luck should’ve forgone his senior year in college and go after the big bucks but consider this for those who’d taken the time to do some research Luck comes from an extremely wealthy family and his father Norm is a self made multi millionaire. So why in hell’s name at this juncture would he want to make that jump to the NFL especially when if after the snap of a ball his NFL career could end in one fail swoop , signing bonus guarantee or not ?

With the mess that is now the NFL and the impasse between the league hierarchy and the NFLPA has become a complete joke ! There are many bones of contention to which the league and players are contesting , namely a ceiling on the rookies’ salaries . Who in this day and age is willing to pay an unproven athlete at times in excess of $40 million in guaranteed money based solely on potential alone ? That’s the idiocy that has now become the NFL and one of the main reasons why the league now finds itself in the mess that it is now in ! I thought the mess of MLB and the idiocy shown by Commissioner Bud Selig , baseball’s owners and their financial template was bad enough !

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

There’s no denying that over the years there have been some boons and busts coming out of the NFL . This past two seasons alone for all sense and purpose we’ve seen prodigious college talents such as Vince Young and JaMarcus Russell all but play themselves out of the NFL . Collectively the two have received in excess of $ 65 million alone in guaranteed money from their former employers . And in return they’d contributed not a damn thing to the teams that they played for. A patron of mine once made the comment that he’d rather have Young play for him at the quarterback position rather than having an aging and experienced quarterback. Vince Young systematically drove himself out of a career in Tennessee with the Tennessee Titans . And it certainly didn’t help that Titans’ owner Bud Adams whose own recent behavior bordered on being repugnant and repulsive ! But what should we have come to expect from an owner whose about as cognizant of what’s happening around him as Charlie Sheen would be on a drunken binge ?

Sam Bradford of the St Louis Rams in his first season in the NFL almost led the team to the NFC West divisional title and on the cusp of the playoffs. Were it not for the team falling apart in the latter part of the season they may well have made to the playoffs instead of the Seattle Seahawks . Bradford proved himself to be the real deal and perhaps justify the faith shown in him by coach Steve Spagnuolo , his coaching staff and Bill Devaney the team’s general manager.

Over the years the NFL Draft has been kind and also elusive to a number of teams who’ve chosen to gamble by taking a prime pick in the first round of the draft . And while that may sometimes to be fortuitous for a team that has the number one overall pick that’s not necessarily always the case. The right player in the right environment can be prove to be a success when the choice has been a prudent one and where the assessment made by the scouts , coaching staff and general manager are all in unison. Then and only then even with the player’s alleged talent can one truly be able to assess how good they may or may not be.

For the Detroit Lions their season fell apart with the loss of their franchise quarterback Matthew Stafford and as now of the player having repeatedly shown that he hasn’t the physical attributes to withstand a long and arduous 16 game season , nevermind the fact that the league under Commissioner Roger Goodell wants to now lengthen the season to an eighteen game schedule. Given Stafford’s frailties and the fact that he seemingly can’t withstand a full season in the NFL I for one seriously doubt that he could lead Jim Schwartz’s —- team through an eighteen game schedule ! That $72 million contract signed by Stafford doesn’t seem to have been worth it now does it ? But then again is the jury still out at Ford Field on the quarterback ?

Ndamokung Suh whose impact as a defensive tackle for the Lions showed why he was the envy of a number of teams around the league upon declaring for the draft. He was viewed as an elite player at the position and he’s proven to be that and a great deal more. Now if only the rest of the team had been able to manifest themselves in the way that Suh has been able to do so over the past season .

This upcoming NFL Draft to my mind will have a good pedigree of players but I wouldn’t say that it’ll be one of the best in recent years . Cam Newton , Andy Dalton , Jake Locker , Nick Fairley and with a slew of prospects to be assessed . Talent rarely takes off in the way that some feel that it can wherein a player in their rookie year at the professional level simply blows everyone away. It’s my own belief that if a player by their mid-second to third year hasn’t learned the nuances of the game then they’ll not about to make it in the NFL and contribute greatly to their respective teams. Hence the reason why I believe that the rookie salary contract as an inducement is simply and always will be a bad investment for a team . One only needs to look at the careers of Leaf, Smith , Russell and dare one say the Niners’ Alex Smith to prove what overpaying for average talent can do ?

What thoughts if any do you have on the upcoming NFL Draft and do you feel that the agents while inducing the general managers are actually more inclined to take hype up their clients far more than is needed ? Chime in with your thoughts and thanks as always for the continued support !

Picture and slide show details .

(1) Green Bay Packers’ Clay Matthews, left, and Aaron Rodgers joke around during practice, Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2011 in Dallas. Green Bay will face the Pittsburgh Steelers in the NFL football Super Bowl XLV Sunday. AP Photo/Eric Gay ………

(2) Fort Worth Tx,. February 2nd 2011 Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) of the Pittsburgh Steelers talks with the media on February 2, 2011 in Fort Worth, Texas. The Pittsburgh Steelers will play the Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl XLV on February 6, 2011 at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images ………

(3) Jeff Pash , NFL Executive Vice-President and General Counsel, discusses the collective bargaining agreement negotiations with members of the press at the Super Bowl XLV media center on February 2, 2011 in Dallas, Texas. The Green Bay Packers will play the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XLV on February 6, 2011 at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images ……

(4) ESPN College Football analysts Mel Kiper, left and Todd McShay. They continue to agree to disagree . Could there at all be a “Brokeback Mountain” kind of relationship between the two ? AP Photo ………….

(5) Matthew Stafford of the Detroit Lions sits on the sideline during the game against the Chicago Bears at Ford Field on December 5, 2010 in Detroit, Michigan. The Bears defeated the Lions 24-20 . Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images …..

(6) Quarterback Sam Bradford (8) of the St. Louis Rams signals to his teammates during their game against the Seattle Seahawks at Qwest Field on January 2, 2011 in Seattle, Washington. Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images …..

(7) In this photo taken, Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2011, South squad quarterback Andy Dalton of TCU is pictured during Senior Bowl NCAA college football practice in Mobile, Ala. AP Photo/Dave Martin ………..

(8)This Nov. 7, 2010, file photo shows Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh rushing the line during the fourth quarter of an NFL football game against the New York Jets, at Ford Field. Suh was the only rookie named to the AP All-Pro Team. AP Photo/ Carlos Osorio File ………

Continue reading “What’s A Sure Fire Thing In The NFL Nowadays …….. ?”

NFL Season At A Glance ……………….

NFL Season At A Glance ……………….

The NFL —– season has been one of surprises and a great deal of disappointment and if anything the off the field stories have been just as suspenseful as the intrigue on the field. Brett Favre’s downward spiral into mediocrity has been one big hoop-lah after the other. And it would appear that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell would rather suborn the player’s behavior and hide behind the fact that quite possibly Favre’s imminent retirement will circumvent him having to suspend the player if his verdict is in fact a positive one that finds the player guilty any wrongdoing in his alleged sexual misconduct concerning a former New York Jets’ employee.

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On the field we’ve seen the fall from grace of the Minnesota Vikings and Dallas Cowboys the presumptive favorites to make it to this season’s NFC championship game. And as much as I’d like to say that it all came as a surprise to me but in reality nothing pleased me more than seeing both of these over hyped and underachieving teams fall like a lead balloon. Foolhardy management, inadequate coaching and players who simply were complacent essentially played a part in the soap opera that has encapsulated both teams’ season. For owners Jerry Jones and Zygi Wilf they’ve seen their year fall apart and that of any ambition they had professionally as well as from a financial standpoint. In Wilf’s case it was also the prospect of having the upper hand in terms of persuading the state legislature in their upcoming vote for a new stadium for the Minnesota Vikings. Jerry Jones’ ambition of not only hosting the Superbowl as the NFC representative has been shot to hell .

Coaching changes are abound with two firings have taken place Wade Philips , Brad Childress and it’s clear that with the Cincinnati Bengals —– Marvin Lewis choosing not to return to the team next season we may well be in for a slew of coaching upheavals with there being speculation as to whether or not the likes of Jon Gruden , Bill Cowher and Tony Dungy will be making a return to the NFL. They are viewed as the top three desirable coaching free agents on the market and it’d be asinine to think that a number of teams around the NFL won’t offer the trio an interview for any vacancy that may well arise.

Now while a number of teams are now in the mix for a playoff spot as well as those divisional titles that have yet to be settled . It goes without saying that for those teams who could end up playing spoiler and put an end of those postseason desirables. In the AFC West where I’ve always maintained that the football being played there borders on being mediocre, I’m still at a loss to understand the explanation and excitement that’s foisted upon the San Diego Chargers because they go on late regular season run as they strive to make the playoffs. For me if you simply can’t be consistent throughout the season then it simply doesn’t augur well for any ambition that they might have as the month of December and January approaches . As it is Norv Turner’s —- team is now in the fight of their life just to win their division and perhaps gain a postseason berth in the playoffs as a wild-card entrant. The division is now simply the Kansas City Chiefs to lose and as I alluded to earlier with the ineptitude being shown as to the form within the division just about anything can happen and actually has happened during the course of the season.

The NFC West has been no different as there we could well see a division winner with a sub .500 record make the playoffs. Clearly there are many fans in general, as well several team executives who feel that this is something that shows why many feel that they’re ought to be a change in the playoff format as it relates to the postseason seedings. But with there being no outwardly directly calls vocally as of yet other than the murmured rumblings for the moment the format is unlikely to change.

Steve Spagnuolo’s —- St Louis Rams appear to be in the driver’s seat with regard to the NFC West and their game against the San Francisco 49ers being a titanic matchup of two teams looking to make their bid. Guided by Sam Bradford , the Rams could be the surprise team of the playoffs as no one could’ve foreseen the strides taken not only by the team but also by Bradford in his rookie season . In terms of the 49ers this has been something of a tumultuous season as from one moment to the next Mike Singletary seems to have lost control of this team . And it would appear that he can’t make up his mind as which quarterback is his best option to lead this team. Alex Smith still remains an enigma despite his five years in the league and with Troy Smith this season has simply seen him placed into his cauldron for his baptism of fire with the 49ers .

The AFC and for all of the drama that has taken place there it seems that Bill Belichick has the New England Patriots riding high and Tom Brady would appear to be now the odds on favorite this season for league MVP. Brady’s year has been an exceptional one with this high scoring offense and a plethora of offensive weapons . But if there’s a cause for concern then it has to be this young defense that has been somewhat inconsistent but then at times they give you a snap as to what they might be potentially by showing their athleticism .

The AFC South now seems to be up for grabs and it appears that the Jacksonville Jaguars may well have played themselves out of contention for the division. A week ago you’d have been hard pressed to have bet against the Jaguars but it now appears that Jim Caldwell and the Indianapolis Colts led by Peyton Manning are is in a fight to make this division theirs once again. The Houston Texans who came out of the starting gates like a stallion seems to have fallen off the track and it now looks as if Gary Kubiak’s tenure as the team’s coach could very well be coming to an abrupt end. With that type of high powered offense it’s easy to see the appetite that the analysts may well have had for the team . But offense alone simply doesn’t win games the Texans’ defense this season has been as porous as a sponge giving up points like a child gives up his or her lunch money having been bullied by an elder child. Let’s just say that the Texans have been extremely philanthropic when it comes to losing.

The Jacksonville Jaguars should they fall at this obstacle it’s hard to see how these players and in particular Jack Del Rio can look the the fans in the eye and state they tried their best. Their best has never and was never good enough , enough it was marginally above average , if that at all !

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Now while many have made the comment that the Cleveland Browns have finally began to show some signs of life playing with a great deal of bravura it has to be said their divisional rivals the Cincinnati Bengals have been an immense disappointment . And despite the outward looking optimism shown by some team members Chad Ochocinco and Carson Palmer have shown little to suggest that they have what it takes to lead this team. The only positive to come out of this all may well have been the play of Terrell Owens who seems to have had a year that shows that he’s got a great deal to play for. Beyond that trying to salvage anything from this mess would be like shoveling manure and then suggesting that some real use can be made of it when you know that the flowers in a garden that have already blossomed.

As to what the remainder of the season portends for the NFL and these teams it remains to be seen what will transpire. But this much is certain with all of the drama that has taken place both on and off the field we do still have the intensity and the thrill of the postseason yet to avail itself to us. Make of it what you will . What thoughts if any do you have as to what you’ve witnessed this season within the NFL and what thoughts if any do you have with regard to the playoffs ?

Alan aka tophatal ………………………………..

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Laura-XXL Magazine

Eye candy …………….. Laura looking chivalrous, something to get your appetite up and running.

Not Twenty Questions Can Count That High But Don’t Want To!

Not Twenty Questions Can Count That High But Don’t Want To!

So herein lies the dilemma Terrell Owens is still without an NFL home . Does he or is he deserving of one with an NFL “team” ? More to the point if you were a general manager would you be inclined to sign him for the long or short term? Teams now said to be interested in the player , the St Louis Rams amongst others . Why ?

Courtesy of ESPN.com News service

Rosenhaus confident T.O. will sign soon

Terrell Owens remains unsigned, but that might change soon, according to agent Drew Rosenhaus.

Rosenhaus texted ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter that he was “very confident” that Owens, who played for the Buffalo Bills last season, will have a new team “within the next few weeks.”

In an appearance on ESPN’s “NFL Live” last week, Rosenhaus said five teams were interested in Owens. However, the San Diego Chargers aren’t one of them, despite Vincent Jackson being suspended three games by the NFL and threatening to hold out over his contact situation.

“We’re all set right now with our receivers,” general manager A.J. Smith told the San Diego Union-Tribune.

The Seattle Seahawks are also out of the picture.

“No, you know, I go way back with T.O.,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll told 710 ESPN Seattle on Monday. “I was there [as an assistant coach] when he showed up with the 49ers when he was a rookie and nobody knew he had any initials or anything. And I really liked Terrell. But we won’t be able to do that this time around. I think at our time in our program development, we’re going to continue to work with the guys that we’ve got and go in a different direction than that. … We’re really looking to get the young guys going as much as we can.”

Owens said recently that he believed teams are swayed by the perception he’s a troublemaker. It’s a perception he believes he disproved with his agreeable behavior in Buffalo during a disappointing season in 2009.

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Owens has had his shot and essentially wherever he’s been he’s simply outstayed his welcome for one reason or another. If Owens can’t cut it with any of his four previous teams , then who’s of the belief that he’ll be successful with a fifth at this stage of his career ?

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tophatal ……………………….. 🙂

Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes ………………………………………. Don’t Leave Me This Way

Worlds Apart, Then There’s The AFC West And The NFC West ……..

I think that it ought to be abundantly clear and plain for all to see that the NFL’s two western divisions might just be the worst that there is, in all of football. If you can categorically state to me what other divisions in the NFL are worst than that of the AFC West and NFC West. Then I’d be quite happy to listen to the arguments that you’re prepared to put forth to justify your claim or claims, as the case maybe.

Arlington, Tx,. December  13th, 2009.Chargers' offensive lineman Larry English (#52) gives  chase to Cowboys'  quarterback, Tony Romo (#9) in a  game played at   Texas Stadium  in  Arlington  , Texas.  The  San  Diego  Chargers  would  go on to  defeat  the   Dallas Cowboys  20-17 .picture appears   courtesy of Getty Images/ Ronald  Martinez .....
Arlington, Tx,. December 13th, 2009.Chargers' offensive lineman Larry English (#52) gives chase to Cowboys' quarterback, Tony Romo (#9) in a game played at Texas Stadium in Arlington , Texas. The San Diego Chargers would go on to defeat the Dallas Cowboys 20-17 .picture appears courtesy of Getty Images/ Ronald Martinez .....

While on the face of it, one can allude to the fact that within those divisions the standout teams are perhaps , the Arizona Cardinals (NFC West) and the San Diego Chargers and the Denver Broncos (AFC West). One could perhaps attest to the fact also that the other teams that make up those respective divisions are essentially at best, no more than average , given the lack of quality and inconsistency of their play.

Broncos’ wide receiver Brandon Marshall seen here playing against the Indianapolis Colts , on his way to an NFL career record. The player would complete 21 receptions during the game , while attaining 200 yards and scoring two touchdowns in a losing effort against the Colts. The single game reception record had been previously held by Terrell Owens, as a San Francisco 49er. Indianapolis remained unbeaten with their 28-16 defeat of the Denver Broncos. picture appears courtesy of Getty Images/ Andy Lyons ……

The same ‘old mantra’ is still being used that there’s ‘parity within the NFL’ and that on any given day, an extremely good team can be beaten by a bad team. That may well be the case, but based on the evidence of this season . It has been something of a rarity , albeit that we’ve also seen the likes of Pittsburgh Steelers get upended by the woefully inept Cleveland Browns. That being said , I’m of the opinion that much of the malaise we’re now seeing within the AFC West and NFC West, comes from the utterly poor coaching from within those divisions. The long suffering Oakland Raiders and their fans have had to put up with the continued ridicule of the franchise. Never mind that this time around one can’t really solely apportion blame upon their owner, Al Davis. This time around the brunt of the blame rests squarely on the shoulders of Raiders’ coach Tom Cable and that of his entire coaching staff. One could also argue that the team’s quarterback, JaMarcus Russell has led to a great many of the team’s woes from the outset. Whoever , was behind the scouting of Russell and the final decision to draft the player, clearly needs to have their head examined. And it appears that might come back down to Al Davis, again intervening and make a decision that has set the franchise back at least two three years. Nothing ventured nothing gained. Well , here the Raiders have gained one monumental headache in Russell, whose football IQ might just be slightly lower than that of Paris Hilton’s actual intelligence quotient.

The troubling thing for the Oakland Raiders now , is that with an injury to the newly installed starter at quarterback,Bruce Gradkowski. The team and Cable will now have to reinstall Russell back into the starter’s role. Gradkowski , has done everything asked of him in leading this team with due diligence and not making the mistakes that came with Russell’s nondescript and haphazard game. Cable for his part, seems to be at a loss for words in describing the franchise’s malaise. But therein, he was thrust into the position that he was ill equipped to handle from the very beginning.

The Kansas City Chiefs under coach, Todd Haley continues to struggle and much that comes down to sheer youth and inexperience on this team. And with former Patriots’ GM, Scott Pioli, now overseeing the personnel and development of recruitment for the franchise. It’d be safe to say that their future appears to be in safe hands. But for now, it is the immediacy of winning, learning how to acquire those traits and put them into practice in a competitive form. And for a team that is now 3-10 within the AFC West. Every win that they attain, is something to pin their hopes on and to the very fact that they’re learning something along the way.

San Francisco, December 14th, 2009. Running back Frank Gore (#21) of the San Francisco 49ers rushes with the ball against the Arizona Cardinals at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, California.   picture appears  courtesy of Getty Images/  Ezra  Shaw  ................
San Francisco, December 14th, 2009. Running back Frank Gore (#21) of the San Francisco 49ers rushes with the ball against the Arizona Cardinals at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, California. picture appears courtesy of Getty Images/ Ezra Shaw ................

In the NFC West where the Arizona Cardinals seemingly now have the division to themselves. The likes of the San Francisco 49ers , Seattle Seahawks and St Louis Rams, while eager to put up something of a challenge. They have either been all too inconsistent in their overall play or just exceptionally mediocre to begin with.

Last year’s NFC representative in the Superbowl , has played with a great sense of urgency. But more often than not, there have been slip ups made by Ken Whisenhunt’s Arizona Cardinals’ team. Monday night’s 24-9 loss to the San Francisco 49ers, leads us to believe that the margin between the top team within the division and that of its other domiciled teams might not be as large, as first thought. Somehow, the Cardinals were inexplicably outplayed by a resurgent and resilient team, coached by Mike Singletary. You’d have been hard pressed to guess which was the team had an 8-5 record and a 6-7 record. Such may have been the disparity in terms of their overall play on the night.

Houston , December 13th, 2009.  Quarterback Matt Hasselbeck (#8) of the Seattle Seahawks is sacked by linebacker Brian Cushing (#56) of the Houston Texans in the third quarter at Reliant Stadium on December 13, 2009 in Houston, Texas. Houston won 34-7.   picture appears  courtesy  of  Getty Images/ Bob Levey .......
Houston , December 13th, 2009. Quarterback Matt Hasselbeck (#8) of the Seattle Seahawks is sacked by linebacker Brian Cushing (#56) of the Houston Texans in the third quarter at Reliant Stadium on December 13, 2009 in Houston, Texas. Houston won 34-7. picture appears courtesy of Getty Images/ Bob Levey .......

Make of it what you will but I’m of the opinion that Mike Holmgren should not have been allowed to name his successor in waiting while he was the coach of the Seattle Seahawks. As great as a coach, as he has been over the years. Over the latter part his career with the Seahawks , the game essentially had begun to pass him by and personnel choices with regard to the Seahawks’ roster hadn’t paid any real dividends. Upon his retirement from the team, the reins were handed over to Jim Mora Jr.. To my mind they might as well have handed the reins over to Attila The Hun , for all of the good that it has done. Jim Mora Jr, is no more an NFL coach than Britney Spears can be considered to be a great singer. But yet somehow Mora has been entrusted with coaching this team ? Far be it for me to suggest but in Mora’s foray as an NFL coach , once he met with real adversity there in Atlanta with the Michael Vick saga. His apportioned blame elsewhere faster than a typhoon hits land. And when it was all said and done he still saw fit to denigrate the organization for the apparent way that he’d been treated. But then again, this was the same individual who when asked by Falcons’ owner , Arthur Blank, whether or not he’d been looking elsewhere for another coaching vacancy, he had the temerity to lie to the owner’s face.

Seattle Seahawks' coach, Jim Mora reacts to a play during the second quarter of an NFL football game against the Houston Texans, Sunday, Dec. 13, 2009, in Houston. picture appears  courtesy of  ap/photo/  David J. Phillip .........
Seattle Seahawks' coach, Jim Mora reacts to a play during the second quarter of an NFL football game against the Houston Texans, Sunday, Dec. 13, 2009, in Houston. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ David J. Phillip .........

Mora , now in position as the Seahawk’s coach. He has shown about as much perception and keenness for the position as a blind man being requested to play hop-scotch in a minefield. He has brought absolutely nothing at all to the table. And the Seahawks have fallen faster from grace than a meteor falling from the sky. No excuses ought to be made about the team being replete with injuries and the apparent loss of Pro Bowl quarterback , Matt Hasselbeck , due to prolonged injuries. Had Holmgren to begin with and then Mora seen fit to attain a backup for the aging quarterback. Then in some ways their problems would not be as acute as they now are.

Steven Jackson (#39) of the St. Louis Rams looks for room while running with the football against the Tennessee Titans at LP Field on December 13, 2009 in Nashville, Tennessee. The Titans defeated the Rams 47-7.  picture appears  courtesy of Getty Images/ Joe Robbins  ............
Steven Jackson (#39) of the St. Louis Rams looks for room while running with the football against the Tennessee Titans at LP Field on December 13, 2009 in Nashville, Tennessee. The Titans defeated the Rams 47-7. picture appears courtesy of Getty Images/ Joe Robbins ............

From being anointed ‘The Greatest Show on Turf’, to now being bogged down in quicksand and their own mediocrity. The St Louis Rams have become a team that is about as welcoming to watch as catching a strain of the H1N1 virus. Let’s just say that the scary thought is that, there’s still no cure for the virus or what ails the Rams as an organization. In spite of it all Rams’ coach, Steve Spagnuolo tries his level best to coach this team to some level of competency and competitiveness. He’d better of coaching ‘Pop Warner’ football at this juncture. This is a team that has no real guidance or any semblance of leadership on the field of play. And the talents of the team’s running back , Steven Jackson, are being sadly wasted on a franchise that has no apparent guts for a fight or the will to win.

Nashville, Tn,  December 13th, 2009.  Head coach Steve Spagnuolo of the St. Louis Rams looks on against the Tennessee Titans at LP Field in Nashville, Tennessee. The Titans defeated the Rams 47-7.   picture  appears courtesy of  Getty Images/  Joe Robbins   ............
Nashville, Tn, December 13th, 2009. Head coach Steve Spagnuolo of the St. Louis Rams looks on against the Tennessee Titans at LP Field in Nashville, Tennessee. The Titans defeated the Rams 47-7. picture appears courtesy of Getty Images/ Joe Robbins ............

With each passing effort of an NFL game , one can slowly see how moribund that the Rams’ organization and the team has become. And there appears to be no end in sight as to the malaise that the team is now within. They, alongside the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are fighting for the record in futility for this NFL season. Both teams have a record of 1-12 as they both seek to at least attain one more win before the regular season reaches its climax. But that might allude to the fact that both teams don’t want to eschew the fact of missing out on taking the number one overall pick in next year’s NFL draft. The choices are a quarterback or a defensive player ? The Buccaneers have their needs, as do the St Louis Rams. But it’s safe to say that at this juncture none of us really knows what either of the two franchises will do in terms of a choice.

AFC West Divisional Standings

Team W L T Pct PF PA Home Road Div Conf Streak
San Diego Chargers 10 3 0 .769 362 259 4-2-0 6-1-0 5-1-0 7-3-0 Won 8
Denver Broncos 8 5 0 .615 256 230 4-2-0 4-3-0 3-1-0 6-4-0 Lost 1
Oakland Raiders 4 9 0 .308 155 316 2-5-0 2-4-0 1-4-0 3-6-0 Lost 1
Kansas City Chiefs 3 10 0 .231 206 342 1-6-0 2-4-0 1-4-0 2-7-0 Lost 3

NFC West Divisional Standings

Team W L T Pct PF PA Home Road Div Conf Streak
Arizona Cardinals 8 5 0 .615 306 258 3-3-0 5-2-0 3-2-0 6-3-0 Lost 1
San Francisco 49ers 6 7 0 .462 269 242 5-2-0 1-5-0 4-1-0 5-4-0 Won 1
Seattle Seahawks 5 8 0 .385 250 301 4-2-0 1-6-0 3-3-0 4-6-0 Lost 1
St. Louis Rams 1 12 0 .077 146 361 0-6-0 1-6-0 0-4-0 1-9-0 Lost 5

When Is The Wildcat Offense Not A Wildcat At All ? Pardon Me But You’ve Been Punk’d …………….!

When Is The Wildcat Offense Not A Wildcat At All ? Pardon Me But You’ve Been Punk’d ……..!

For all of the hype and ballyhoo concerning the Miami Dolphins and their offensive presence and the ‘wildcat offense’ . It’d appear that when you live and die by the sword and there’s not much creativity beyond that one offensive strategy . Then the cupboard becomes bare . All of a sudden the Miami Dolphins are beginning to look very ordinary. Much of what we’d witnessed from the team last year was surprising. But this year the teams around the NFL have seen this team for what they really are. What’s even more surprising are the analysts who are still buying into the idiocy that this is still competitive. And in large part, they were against the New Orleans before their sails were caught in the bluster of the winds of Drew Brees and the offensive presence and play of the Saints.

New Orleans  Saints'  cornerback  Tracy  Porter (22)  runs for  the  score  in the   fourth  quarter   against  the  Miami  Dolphins   in a  game  played  at  Land  Shark  Stadium   in  Miami,  Florida.   The  Dolphins   would  give  up  a   24-3  lead  to the  Saints  and    ended  up   losing  46-34   .      picture  appears   courtesy  of  ap/photo/  Jeffrey   M.  Boan      .......................
New Orleans Saints' cornerback Tracy Porter (22) runs for the score in the fourth quarter against the Miami Dolphins in a game played at Land Shark Stadium in Miami, Florida. The Dolphins would give up a 24-3 lead to the Saints and ended up losing 46-34 . picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Jeffrey M. Boan .......................

The New Orleans Saints started off as if they were asleep at the wheel . And it wasn’t just midway through the game that they suddenly realized that they were in with a good chance of being one of the unbeatens within the NFL who could be in for a fall. From being 24-3 down, Brees and the Saints rallied back to defeat the Dolphins 46-34 . For Sean Payton and this Saints’ team , they now move to 6-0 within the NFL and sit atop of the NFC South. And with the fall of the Minnesota Vikings and Brett Favre , who fell to the Pittsburgh Steelers,27-17.

Dolphins'  wide   receiver   Ted Ginn Jr.(right)  can't  hang  on  to  the  ball   causing an   interception  that   would  be   returned   for  a  touchdown    by the  Saints'  cornerback    Tracy  Porter  (22) .      picture appears  courtesy  of  ap/photo/ Jeffrey  M.  Boan   ................
Dolphins' wide receiver Ted Ginn Jr.(right) can't hang on to the ball causing an interception that would be returned for a touchdown by the Saints' cornerback Tracy Porter (22) . picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Jeffrey M. Boan ................

Well, can we now stop with the hoorah, as to the indomitable play of the veteran quarterback ? It’s become an irritant, much like a pain in one’s rear end ! And at this moment in time, it’s very much how I feel about Favre and his traveling circus. Clown school must be out, and one would expect the likes of Mark Schlereth , Merril Hoge and Ron Jaworski must be declaring their profound disappointment with the Vikings’ loss. I trust they’ll be replacing their Brett Favre posters with pictures now, of Clay Aiken ?

Vikings'  quarterback  Brett  Favre (4)  watches  as the   Pittsburgh  Steelers'  Keyaron  Fox  (57)  returns  a TD  interception   for   82 yards   in  the  fourth    quarter   of  the   game  played  at  Heinz  Field    in  Pittsburgh   Pennsylvania,.     The  Steelers   would    go  on  to   defeat  the  Vikings   27-17   inflicting them  with  their    first   loss  of the  season.        picture appears  courtesy  of   ap/photo/Star Tribune/   Jerry   Holt   ........................
Vikings' quarterback Brett Favre (4) watches as the Pittsburgh Steelers' Keyaron Fox (57) returns a TD interception for 82 yards in the fourth quarter of the game played at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania,. The Steelers would go on to defeat the Vikings 27-17 inflicting them with their first loss of the season. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/Star Tribune/ Jerry Holt ........................

For the Miami Dolphins and their coach, Tony Sparano , they now have to show their fans and those of the NFL in general. That they can play with a great deal more than what they’ve shown us. But what else , can we now expect from a team that has fallen short of expectations to begin with ? So much was promised but so little has been delivered by this team. The AFC East is now back to the way it ought to be ! Cream always rises to the top and so it has done so, once again. Need one say anymore on the subject ?

Buccaneers'   quarterback  Josh  Johnson  (11)  is   sacked  by   Patriots'  safety  Pat  Chung  (25) and  linebacker   Tully  Banta-Cain  (95)   in   an   NFL   game   played   at   Wembley   Stadium  ,  London  ,  England .,   The   New England  Patriots   would  hand the  Tampa  Bay  Buccaneers  a   demoralizing   35-7  loss   .  Leaving  the  Buccaneers  still  winless  at   0-6   within  the  NFL.    picture  appears  courtesy  of    ap/photo/ Matt  Dunham   ....................
Buccaneers' quarterback Josh Johnson (11) is sacked by Patriots' safety Pat Chung (25) and linebacker Tully Banta-Cain (95) in an NFL game played at Wembley Stadium , London , England ., The New England Patriots would hand the Tampa Bay Buccaneers a demoralizing 35-7 loss . Leaving the Buccaneers still winless at 0-6 within the NFL. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Matt Dunham ....................

Well is there anything else that needs to be said when the St Louis Rams, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Oakland Raiders still are mired in so much putrid mediocrity ? If there has ever been a triumvirate of teams to have played so badly within the NFL ? And their fans don’t appear to be indifferent as to the sheer ineptitude being displayed by these teams. Personally, when I see fecal matter in the street , I tend to avoid it. There’s no way I’d want to intentionally step in it. Which essentially is what we’re seeing from a number of these teams and their fans. They’re quite prepared to keep on supporting the team through thick and thin , without questioning the ineptitude being shown by the team. I’ve even had a Raiders’ fan try to tell me that this team was disciplined. Well , if that’s dependent upon how one defines the word discipline ? In the Raiders’ case, under the tenure of Tom Cable, it’s akin to playing with the aplomb of a bunch of effeminate transgendered males. And if this is an affront to the transgendered males out there . Then, please accept my apologies as it’s not meant to offend at all. Merely, to make you feel that there are guys out there who are beneath you in the social pecking order. So for Raiders’ fans out there, get your players to man up and act like they’ve got a pair ! And the same applies to Tom Cable as well. Acting tough and assaulting an assistant coordinator is one thing , but it only proves what a fool you really are to begin with. Now, the question that one needs to ask …..is Al Davis still cognizant of what’s going on- on the field of play, as well as off it ?

Oakland  Raiders' quarterback   JaMarcus  Russell (2)   sits  on  the  bench  in  the  waning  moments  of  the  team's   38-0    loss  to  the  New  York   Jets  in  game  played  in  Oakland  Alameda  County  Stadium,  Oakland   , California,.      picture  appears  courtesy  of   ap/photo/  Tony  Avelar    .........................
Oakland Raiders' quarterback JaMarcus Russell (2) sits on the bench in the waning moments of the team's 38-0 loss to the New York Jets in game played in Oakland Alameda County Stadium, Oakland , California,. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Tony Avelar .........................

NFL Scores Week 7 ….

Green Bay Packers 31-3 Cleveland Browns
San Francisco 49ers 21-24 Houston Texans
San Diego Chargers 37-7 Kansas City Chiefs
Indianapolis Colts 42-6 St Louis Rams
New England Patriots 35-7 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Minnesota Vikings 17-27 Pittsburgh Steelers
Buffalo Bills 20-9 Carolina Panthers
New York Jets 38-0 Oakland Raiders
Chicago Bears 10-45 Cincinnati Bengals
Atlanta Falcons 21-37 Dallas Cowboys
New Orleans Saints 46-34 Miami Dolphins
Arizona Cardinals 24-17 New York Giants

Raiders'  backup  quarterback  Bruce  Gradkowski  (5) is  about  to  be  brought  down   for the  sack by   Jets'   linebacker  Calvin  Pace    in  the   third   quarter  of the  game.   picture appears  courtesy  of  ap/photo/  Ben  Margot  .....................
Raiders' backup quarterback Bruce Gradkowski (5) is about to be brought down for the sack by Jets' linebacker Calvin Pace in the third quarter of the game. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Ben Margot .....................

Monday Night Football encapsulates the game being played between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Washington Redskins. This NFC East match-up pits the beleaguered Redskins and a somewhat pedantic Eagles’ team looking to rebound to from last week’s stunning 13-9 defeat at the hands of the Oakland Raiders. The Eagles’ , Donovan McNabb was doing his level best to make the statements made by Rush Limbaugh, seem to have some veracity to it. His play was so inept that he made his Raiders’ counterpart JaMarcus Russell seem like a Pro Bowl caliber player. Which in essence, if it were possible then I’m sure that the Raiders’ quarterback coach, Paul Hackett would have Russell enrolled in such a program, were it available to begin with. Because Russell has yet to prove that his game has matured to the level where one would deem him even an NFL ready quarterback. And most certainly, it would provide Hackett with something of a respite at this juncture.

I’ve stated this already but in the sixteen plus years that I’ve been following the NFL . Since I emigrated to this country , I can’t remember having witnessed such an abundance of horrendous NFL teams. I know there’s always been talk of parity -whatever they allege it to mean. But at this juncture in time, you can tell , when which teams are good, which are marginal and the ones who are infinitely bad . It’s not rocket science and I certainly don’t need Ashton Kutcher to be about to provide me with a playful prank to begin with ! Seven weeks into the NFL season and I’ve been already provided with enough of them to make a scrapbook of it all. Have you been watching the NFL lately ? How much worse it is liable to get ?

Frankly I Do Give A Damn Just As Long As My Reputation Remains Intact !

Frankly I Do Give A Damn Just As Long As My Reputation Remains Intact

Well it’d appear that Rush Limbaugh’s wish to become an owner within the NFL has been scuttled. It has been reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter that Dave Checketts and the rest of the syndicate(consortium) felt it best that Limbaugh was no longer a part of this syndicate’s bid partnership for the NFL’s St Louis Rams .

Limbaugh ,left   , shown  here   with  then   potential   partner  Dave   Checketts .      picture  appears  courtesy  of   ap/photo/ Mark   Robertson    .......................
Limbaugh ,left , shown here with then potential partner Dave Checketts . picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Mark Robertson .......................

Limbaugh for his part is said to be on the warpath , as she seeks some sort of restitution for what he believes to be a gross misjudgment and exaggeration of a statement made by him. He states that there was no basis in fact. Now hear comes the alarming part, Limbaugh may well seek recourse through the legal establishment . Possibly seeking a slander or libel action against anyone whom he feels at fault in this all. Those said to be a target for his wrath are , the Reverend Al Sharpton , the NAACP and certain news broadcast establishments. Whilst I’d be the first to admit that I’m no admirer of either Sharpton of Reverend Jesse Jackson. Neither, has ever really been a true custodian of serving the African American community , as best befitting them. Instead , they’ve gone out to seek the glare of the public spotlight and at times besmirch the reputation of a number of individuals – for the wrong reasons . Doing this wholly for self advancement and aggrandizement.

Commissioner Roger Goodell addresses the media on the subject of Limbaugh while offering no immediate support.

Courtesy of ESPN and Associated Press :

Limbaugh: Checketts approached me

ST. LOUIS — Conservative radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh is blaming others for being dropped from the group trying to buy the St. Louis Rams.

On his syndicated show Thursday, Limbaugh said he was approached by St. Louis Blues chairman Dave Checketts earlier this year about participating in a Rams bid.

He also said Checketts assured him his involvement as a minority investor had been vetted by the NFL.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay both expressed misgivings this week about Limbaugh’s involvement. Late Wednesday, Checketts said Limbaugh had been dropped from the bid.

Limbaugh says he believes he has been made an example by a players’ union seeking leverage in talks over a new collective bargaining agreement. And he says he believes what happened to him was an illustration of “Obama’s America on full display.”

Now we can only await to see what transpires from this all but as we all no doubt know , is that Limbaugh will use this as some sort of Liberal conspiracy to besmirch his reputation. To top it all an idiot, such as Bill O’Reilly has come to Limbaugh’s defense. O’Reilly , a subject of controversy himself , given his sexual proclivities for making unsolicited sexual advancements towards a young female intern on his staff who was working for Fox News at the time. Something of which even he acknowledges was a gross error in judgment but he failed to publicly acknowledged when first asked to address the subject. But then that’s the ‘faux-pas’ of many who seek no countenance when they feel that they’ve done no wrong but would blame others rather than not wanting to be held accountable for their own actions and indiscretions.

Stephen A Smith lends his support to Limbaugh. He makes a valid point -but at the same time Smith shows his ignorance as to the social issues raised by those players, whom he’s denouncing.

Much of the opposition has come from players past and present within the NFL. But clearly also the NFLPA under its Executive Director DeMaurice Smith felt that Limbaugh’s involvement as an owner within the league would be a detriment to the NFL and what it stands for. At this moment I can’t fault him on that , but at the same time the league has been somewhat lax in seeking out a minority owner as a major or majority stakeholder within the NFL. Celebrities asides, there has yet to be a minority owner in the NFL who’s viewed as high profiled.

Courtesy of ESPN

Smith sends e-mail detailing opposition

By Chris Mortensen , ESPN Analyst & Reporter

NFL Players executive director DeMaurice Smith on Saturday made a move to solidify the union against a bid by conservative talk show radio host Rush Limbaugh as part of a group that aims to purchase the St. Louis Rams.

I’ve spoken to the Commissioner [Roger Goodell] and I understand that this ownership consideration is in the early stages. But sport in America is at its best when it unifies, gives all of us reason to cheer, and when it transcends. Our sport does exactly that when it overcomes division and rejects discrimination and hatred.
— DeMaurice Smith, in an e-mail to the union’s executive committee

In an e-mail to the union’s executive committee on Saturday specifically addressing Limbaugh’s bid, Smith said, “I’ve spoken to the Commissioner [Roger Goodell] and I understand that this ownership consideration is in the early stages. But sport in America is at its best when it unifies, gives all of us reason to cheer, and when it transcends. Our sport does exactly that when it overcomes division and rejects discrimination and hatred.”

Limbaugh and St. Louis Blues owner Dave Checketts are among six potential ownership groups that have discussed buying the Rams. League sources say the current sale price has ranged from $700-to-$750 million but that there did not appear to be an imminent transaction.

On Sunday, Smith briefly elaborated, “This communication is more about what we stand for than the reality of our role in any franchise sale. While it’s true the subject matter was related [to Limbaugh’s bid], I do understand that the NFL does not present ownership bids to me or the NFLPA. I encourage our players to express their views.”

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Limbaugh has his supporters as well as his detractors and as is his right. He should be able to meet his accusers. But when your own actions have been so egregious in moments past – then I for one think it totally absurd that you now choose to take a stance to denounce others merely for pointing out what most have now come to acknowledge as to what you really are. He sees nothing wrong in labeling minorities as lifeless and unambitious and who have no propensity for hard work. As well as using derogatory terms to describe them. Well thanks Mr Limbaugh, but the wealth of this county less you forget , was built on the backs of minorities who weren’t afforded a right to freedom. Another of the things I find ironic from someone who’ll flout the law if it enables them to speak with a great deal of hypocrisy.

ABC news coverage of the Limbaugh situation prior to him being dropped from the consortium.

I trust that the legal establishment will see this for what it is . And that , it is nothing more than a selfish act from an individual merely seeking to further fill his pockets and at the same time preaching his hideous ideology of nothing more than we’re not all equal. Somehow, I don’t feel that is what the so called ‘Christian doctrine’ that he (Limbaugh) sometimes espouses, is all about. But then again , when religion is thrown into the mix. It has never really served a purpose to extol of any ideal, other than to perpetrate another injustice.

Courtesy of Media Research Center ;

NBC and CBS Morning Shows Ignore False Limbaugh Quotes and Failure of NFL Bid ….

By Scott Whitlock

NBC and CBS’s morning shows on Thursday completely skipped any reference to the false quotes that forced Rush Limbaugh to be dropped from a group bidding to buy the St. Louis Rams. Only Good Morning America had any coverage at all. News anchor Chris Cuomo simply recapped the development and added, “[Limbaugh] had been criticized for past statements about black players.”

Cuomo made no mention of the untrue quotes, such as Limbaugh supposedly having said in the past that “slavery had its merits.” Wouldn’t it be only fair for Good Morning America, NBC’s Today and CBS’s Early Show to at least discuss how false statements derailed the conservative’s attempts to own a team?

The Media Research Center has called upon the cable outlets that ran the fake quote to retract. So far, MSNBC has refused. CNN’s Rick Sanchez asserted that Limbaugh has denied the remark. (Anderson Cooper admitted the falsity on Wednesday’s AC360.) The MRC has also produced a special report on the liberal media’s attacks against the host.

On Tuesday’s GMA, the program’s host and reporters danced around the inaccurate comments attributed to the radio host. Correspondent David Muir played a clip of Limbaugh complaining, “They have to go somewhere to find concocted quotes, which are now bordering on slander, libel, whatever it is, that I never said.” But, Muir didn’t describe the false information. Instead, he mysteriously referenced “actual quotes” that Limbaugh made about the sports media’s touting of Donovan McNabb.

Wednesday’s Nightly News on NBC and ABC’s World News both had brief items on Limbaugh no longer being part of the bid to buy the Rams. CBS’s Evening News did not file a report.

A transcript of Thursday’s Good Morning America anchor read, which aired at 7:07am EDT, follows:

Chris Cuomo ;

“Rush Limbaugh has been sacked in his bid to help buy the St. Louis Rams football team. An investment group has dropped Limbaugh, saying he had become a distraction. He had been criticized for past statements about black players.”

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The statement that many feel that the NFLPA is up in arms over was Limbaugh’s remarks in which he states ……”watching the NFL is akin to watching a battle between the ‘Crips’ and ‘Bloods’ . But it’d be asinine to think that this is the primary reason why the NFLPA would be against Limbaugh in this regard. As many of the arguments being made against him go way beyond this one statement alone.

What now are your thoughts on the matter ? And if anything does Limbaugh really have a right of recourse to quite possibly seek damages from those , whom he feels has soured his reputation , merely because he’s no longer part of a potential purchaser’s consortium ?

We Didn’t Land On Plymouth Rock …Plymouth Rock Landed On Us ………….. Limbaugh Will Make His Mark Felt There In St Louis

“We’re not Americans, we’re Africans who happen to be in America. We were kidnapped and brought here against our will from Africa. We didn’t land on Plymouth Rock – that rock landed on us.” quote by Malcolm X .

Businessman  ,  entrepreneur   ,  Pres & CEO of  SCP Worldwide Inc     a sports   management   holding   company  and   prospective    bidders   for the  NFL  franchise   ,   the    St   Louis  Rams.     picture appears  courtesy  of   ap/photo/   Phil   Dourber   ........................

Business entrepreneur and mogul Dave Checketts . Already an owner of the NHL’s St Louis Blues and Real St Lake of the MLS . Checketts through his company SCP Worldwide are seeking to pursue a bid to become the owners of the NFL’s St Louis Rams. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/Phil Dourber ….

As no doubt many of you may well have been made aware , conservative radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh and former New York Knicks Executive Dave Checketts are teaming up together to make a bid for the NFL franchise , the St Louis Rams.

Conservative   radio   talk  show  host  Rush  Limbaugh.     Rush  and   former  New  York  Knicks'  executive   Dave  Checketts   are     part  of  a   group  said  to  be  viewed  as  one  of  a  number  interested  parties   wanting  to  acquire   the  St Louis  Rams  franchise.     The  franchise   is   said  to be  worth   in the  region  of   $900 - $ 975  million  ,  as  a given  estimate.   The  current  owners  are  the Frontiere   family   , who   are   said  to  be   looking to offload  the  franchise  as  the  family  is   no  longer  interested  in  owning  the  franchise.        picture   appears  courtesy  of   getty  images/    Chris  Patterson  .........................
Conservative radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh. Rush and former New York Knicks' executive Dave Checketts are part of a group said to be viewed as one of a number interested parties wanting to acquire the St Louis Rams franchise. The franchise is said to be worth in the region of $900 - $ 975 million , as a given estimate. The current owners are the Frontiere family , who are said to be looking to offload the franchise as the family is no longer interested in owning the franchise. picture appears courtesy of getty images/ Chris Patterson .........................

Now, I won’t condone Limbaugh for his political views and thoughts on a number of issues in or outside his so called profound realm of knowledge. Of this I’m certain however , having Limbaugh as in owner in the NFL , will be akin to having a closeted racial bigot in the midst of a group of minorities. With the antagonist now telling you that he’s merely a businessman looking to make a buck. The NFL and its board will no doubt have a great deal of thinking to do on the matter , should Limbaugh’s and Checketts’ bid come up for final consideration as to meeting the criteria set for becoming an owner of an NFL franchise. And though the two are part of a partnership group looking to purchase the team from the Frontiere family. They are by no means the only parties with a vested interest in purchasing the team. It’s been said that there are as many as five potential bidders interested in acquiring the franchise.

Delanie   Walker (46) of the  49ers   evades  the  vain  attempt  to  tackle  him  made   by the  Rams'  Justin King (31).   The   San  Francisco   49 ers   would   go  on  to   rout  the   St  Louis  Rams   35-0   in   the  NFL  game  played  at  Candlestick  Park  ,  San  Francisco  ,  California.   The   49ers  are  the  surprise  team  in the  NFC  West   this  season  having   started  off   3-1  and   they  now  sit  atop  of the   division.       picture  appears  courtesy of   getty images/ Jed  Jacobsohn   ............................
Delanie Walker (46) of the 49ers evades the vain attempt to tackle him made by the Rams' Justin King (31). The San Francisco 49 ers would go on to rout the St Louis Rams 35-0 in the NFL game played at Candlestick Park , San Francisco , California. The 49ers are the surprise team in the NFC West this season having started off 3-1 and they now sit atop of the division. picture appears courtesy of getty images/ Jed Jacobsohn ............................

When one considers that the makeup of the NFL with regards to its playing personnel and in part its coaching personnel is in large part represented by a specific racial minority. It does beg the question what will a number of players think of the potential of having an owner such as Limbaugh within their midst ? I’ve no doubt that some players will have no problem with it. But at the same time there are bound to be those who’ll feel that the talk show isn’t wanted within NFL. But given the fact the NFL is first and foremost a business and then a sports entertainment format . One doubts that there will be very much that those dissenting voices can do about it all, at the end of the day. This could well be the calm before the storm , or it could well amount to nothing in the end. As it is the NFL has yet to have a minority owner within its midst. And it’s not something that the game’s hierarchy has seemingly fought hard to address. But then again the NFL has always marched to the beat of its very own drum on certain issues.

Stephen  Jackson  (39)  of the  St  Louis  Rams sits  on the  bench   during  the  waning  moments  of the    team's  loss  to  the  San  Francisco  49 ers.   The  Rams   (0-4)   remain   winless  in the  league  and    having  been  playing    some  really  bad   football  as  of late.          picture  appears  courtesy  of   getty  images/  Jed Jacobsohn  ........................
Stephen Jackson (39) of the St Louis Rams sits on the bench during the waning moments of the team's loss to the San Francisco 49 ers. The Rams (0-4) remain winless in the league and having been playing some really bad football as of late. picture appears courtesy of getty images/ Jed Jacobsohn ........................

Courtesy of NFL.com and the Associated Press :

Limbaugh, Checketts ‘continuing the process’ in bid for Rams

Associated Press

ST. LOUIS — Green Bay Packers fans are known as cheeseheads. Could fans of the St. Louis Rams soon be dittoheads?

Conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh said Tuesday he is teaming up with St. Louis Blues owner Dave Checketts in a bid to buy the Rams, owners of the NFL’s longest losing streak at 14 and just 5-31 since 2007.

In a statement, Limbaugh declined to discuss details, citing a confidentiality agreement with Goldman Sachs, the investment firm hired by the family of former Rams owner Georgia Frontiere to review assets of her estate, including the NFL team.

Limbaugh also declined to discuss other partners that might be involved in the bid, but said he and Checketts would operate the team.

“Dave Checketts and I have made a bid to buy the Rams and we are continuing the process,” Limbaugh said.

Forbes magazine has estimated the Rams franchise has a value of $929 million.

Frontiere’s children, Chip Rosenbloom and Lucia Rodriguez, inherited 60 percent of the Rams when their mother died in January 2008. Columbia, Mo., billionaire Stan Kroenke owns the remaining 40 percent. It wasn’t clear if the Limbaugh/Checketts bid was for 100 percent of the Rams or just the share owned by Rosenbloom and Rodriguez.

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Rams'  coach  Steve  Spagnuolo   looks  on  as  his   team  plays  the  San  Francisco  49ers   in  an  NFC  West   divisional   match  up.    The  Rams   would   go  on  to  lose  the  game  in a  lopsided   rout   35-0    the   Forty  Niners.   picture appears   courtesy  of   getty  images  / Jed  Jacobsohn  ........................
Rams' coach Steve Spagnuolo looks on as his team plays the San Francisco 49ers in an NFC West divisional match up. The Rams would go on to lose the game in a lopsided rout 35-0 the Forty Niners. picture appears courtesy of getty images / Jed Jacobsohn ........................

The fate of the St Louis Rams (0-4) as it now stands, is a rather precarious one. The team hasn’t been of relevance since they were customarily known as the ‘Greatest Show on Turf’ and were led by Dick Vermeil to their lone Superbowl triumph over the Tennessee Titans 23-16 in Superbowl XXXIV. From those lofty heights the franchise has fallen into an abyss of mediocrity and despair. Much to the heartache of their many loyal and most discerning fans. And the malaise that the franchise now finds itself in has come from the mismanagement and the apparent neglect of the team by the Frontiere family. Their internal familial bickering and un-wantoned concern for the franchise in many ways was indicative of the lack of attention shown by the management as well. And in the midst of it all things just spiraled out of control.

A  forelorn   Rams'  starting  quarterback   Kyle Boller   sits  on the  ground   against  the  San  Francisco  49ers.   The  player  much  like  the  often  injured  player   he'd    replaced   Marc  Bulger   has  been    very   anemic and   unproductive   in  his  play  for   the  team.          picture  appears   courtesy   of   getty  images/  Jed  Jacobsohn    ..............................
A forelorn Rams' starting quarterback Kyle Boller sits on the ground against the San Francisco 49ers. The player much like the often injured player he'd replaced Marc Bulger has been very anemic and unproductive in his play for the team. picture appears courtesy of getty images/ Jed Jacobsohn ..............................

This season the team has started off in a similar vein as to how their season culminated last year. And with new coach Steve Spagnulo now on board and looking to change the identity of the team. To state the the task he now faces isn’t one littered with immense obstacles would be an understatement. There are but a few players on the Rams’ roster that any other NFL franchise would at all find desirable. The talents of Stephen Jackson , Donny Avery , James Butler and Laurent Robinson are being completely wasted.

Courtesy of USA Today :

Bart Scott, Mathias Kiwanuka: No possibility of playing for Rush Limbaugh-owned team ….

Calling the suitor of the St. Louis Rams a “jerk,” Jets LB Bart Scott said he would never play for the team if Rush Limbaugh is successful in his bid to buy the NFL franchise.

Scott and Giants DE Mathias Kiwanuka, in comments to the New York Daily News, said Limbaugh’s racial insensitivity and his controversial comments about black people are gamebreakers that would keep them away from the Rams.

Their criticisms add to a long list of people who say they don’t want Limbaugh in the NFL. Liberal MSNBC host Keith Olbermann has been one of the lone voices defending Limbaugh.

From Scott:

“I know I wouldn’t want to play for him. He’s a jerk. He’s an —. What he said (about Donovan McNabb) was inappropriate and insensitive, totally off-base. He could offer me whatever he wanted, I wouldn’t play for him. … I wouldn’t play for Rush Limbaugh. My principles are greater and I can’t be bought.”

Limbaugh resigned as an ESPN NFL analyst in 2003 after suggesting the media wanted Donovan McNabb to succeed because he was black.

Kiwanuka’s former coordinator, Steve Spagnuolo, coaches the Rams. The Giants defender said even though he admires Spagnuolo, he would rule out playing for him if Limbaugh buys the team.

His comments to the Daily News:

“All I know is from the last comment I heard, he said in (President) Obama’s America, white kids are getting beat up on the bus while black kids are chanting ‘right on. I mean, I don’t want anything to do with a team that he has any part of. He can do whatever he wants, it is a free country. But if it goes through, I can tell you where I am not going to play.”

“I am not going to draw a conclusion from a person off of one comment, but when it is time after time after time and there’s a consistent pattern of disrespect and just a complete misunderstanding of an entire culture that I am a part of, I can’t respect him as a man.”

— Sean Leahy

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Rebuilding or not, this franchise is a long way off from being competitive. And within the NFC West , where there resides the San Francisco 49ers(3-1), Seattle Seahawks (1-3) , Arizona Cardinals (1-2) as well as the hapless Rams. We can in essence say , that not only is it the weakest division in the NFL. But the brand of football being played there is amongst the most putrid that an NFL fan could ever wish to witness. The surprising thing is that fans are still bothering to turn up and watch it all.

Forty Niners' wide  receiver  Josh  Morgan (84)  catches a  24 yard  toucdown  pass  during  the  game  as   he's  surrounded   by  Rams'   players   cornerback    Justin King (31)  and   safety   Oshiomo  Atogwe (21)   during  the   fourth   quarter  of  the  game .          picture  appears  courtesy  of ap/photo / Paul  Sakuma    .......................
Forty Niners' wide receiver Josh Morgan (84) catches a 24 yard toucdown pass during the game as he's surrounded by Rams' players cornerback Justin King (31) and safety Oshiomo Atogwe (21) during the fourth quarter of the game . picture appears courtesy of ap/photo / Paul Sakuma .......................

As to the pending situation and the future of the franchise. One can only but take it but one step at a time. Whether or not Checketts and Limbaugh as joint suitors in the bid to acquire the team is successful. We’ll have to await the decision of the NFL and the vote that will no doubt take place. Limbaugh may well have his supporters out there and also his detractors as well. But never let it not be said that he doesn’t know how to draw the ire of those . Especially when he takes the stance of being the all knowing guru that he makes himself out to be. Whether or not his knowledge does indeed stretch as far as to the running of an NFL franchise . Well that remains to be seen. Chances are whatever transpires , it won’t be the last that we’ll hear from Limbaugh on the subject matter , whatever the outcome may well be. There’s a great deal of discord already within the NFL – without the thought that adding Limbaugh into the mix , just to see where the chips will end up falling .

NB List of other noted Malcolm X quotes can be found at the following site. ……. http://malcom-x.org/quotes ……………. Click here to view.