A Simple But Somehow Dangerous Mind …..

A Simple But Somehow Dangerous Mind …..

Perhaps no one should be surprised by this at all but NFL wide receiver Terrell Owens while recuperating from knee surgery has seen fit to proffer up some advice to Philadelphia Eagles’ player DeSean Jackson . The Eagles’ running back is in the midst of a contractual dispute with the organization but he has chosen not to become a holdout but herein lies the caveat with regard to the issue . Owens has stated that he believes the Eagles are demeaning Jackson by not meeting the player’s demands. For Terrell Owens , choosing to intercede in this matter simply stirs up emotions long held by the player who felt he was mistreated by the Philadelphia Eagles. If one recollects , the player had a short tenure with the team that made a Superbowl appearance eventually losing (SBXXXIX) to the New England Patriots in the league’s showcase event.

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Owens has always sought to be the center of attention and it certainly goes without saying even with his eponymous VH1 reality show entitled “The TO Show” . Now sorely missing that center stage and no doubt aggrieved that after last season the Cincinnati Bengals chose not to offer the retain the player for this season . The more Owens offers an opinion on any topic with regard to the NFL , the more of an ingrate he’s thought to be by the fans. And the player himself represented by agent Drew Rosenhaus , who still believes that a roster spot will open up for his client . Somehow , given the gravity of his injury , a torn ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) in his right and the time needed to recuperate , it remains a remote possibility that Owens would simply be healthy enough to given be available for an NFL team in the need of a productive veteran wide receiver . Owens’ best years are indeed behind him and at this point of his career even though he craves that final bid to obtain that elusive Superbowl ring , one can’t help but feel that his last shot has gone !

From my own perspective I do believe that Terrell Owens simply cannot stand to be left out in the cold , standing on the sidelines watching many of his peers being productive. No longer considered to amongst the elite at the wide receivers in the league , albeit that the hunger is still there does anyone truly now believe that he has anything else left to offer ? It’s now time for Owens to take his show off the road hang up the cleats and perhaps do something else that gets him the attention he craves ! As to what that might be ……… who the hell knows or simply cares ?

Before the NFL season has even started the biggest story of the year has to be the very fact that Indianapolis Colts’ starting quarterback Peyton Manning while recuperating from neck surgery may well have undergo a further operation that could very well put the player out for team’s lineup for at least three months . Hardly the situation envisaged by the coaching staff or front office of the Colts’ organization with the loss of the four time league MVP .

The Indianapolis Colts have signed Kerry Collins to be the team’s starting quarterback and with good reason as neither of presumed backups to Peyton Manning have proven to at all productive during the Colts’ preseason schedule . Curtis Painter if anything, has proven that he’s simply not yet ready for the rigors of the NFL or to be viewed as the heir apparent to Manning.

With the loss of Peyton Manning, this now throws the AFC South wide open as to the aspirations for the teams within that division. Certainly the Jacksonville Jaguars , Houston Texans and Tennessee Titans all now feel that they can vie for supremacy and usurp the Colts as the division’s new champion this upcoming season . A loss of this magnitude for the Indianapolis Colts cannot simply be quantified but if you really want to deem a player’s value to a team then look no further than what Manning has meant to this team since he entered the NFL . His record start of 227 consecutive games apart from being a four time league MVP and the active leader in TD’s thrown (399) and yardage amassed ( 54,828) and you can well understand his value to this organization. For team owner Jim Irsay and GM Bill Polian this has to be gut wrenching for both executives but no more so than what it must now mean to the
beleaguered Colts’ fans.

One could subscribe to the fact that with all the talk of the rookie quarterbacks taken in the NFL Draft there’s bound to be talk what we should expect from these players this upcoming season . We may well get to learn a great deal about the aspiration of Cam Newton , Andy Dalton , Blaine Gabbert , Christian Ponder and Terrelle Pryor as they seek to make a name for themselves in the NFL .

I don’t know about you , but I feel that of all the federal government agencies within President Barack Obama’s administration have shown clear ineptitude but it has been the sheer idiocy shown by the Justice Department overseen by Attorney General Eric Holder that has me perturbed ! His office presented the government’s case against Barry Bonds that over its elongated time-frame swallowed up some $25 million of taxpayers’ money , countless hours of investigative man-hours all to prove that the player committed perjury and was found guilty in the obstruction of justice . Pardon for saying this , but when the government can burn through $25 million like it’s “Monopoly money” it begs the question ……. what type of idiots are there now seated within highest positions of power not just within this administration but also within the Senate and House of Representatives ?

Having been found guilty and then seeking a US Federal Appellate Court ruling to overturn to his verdict which was denied and Barry Bonds now awaits sentencing by the judge who presided over his case. That phase will take place early next year but it is felt that the player may not face any jail time but he could well be placed on probation .

At what point did Roger Clemens’ lawyer Rusty Hardin deem it appropriate for one of his subordinates to confer with the jurors after the player’s trial , that ended with the judge declaring a mistrial ? It has come to our attention that although reasons behind the judge’s decision stemmed from a US Attorney discussing the case with a congress member on camera , we are now finding out that upon that judicial verdict a an defense attorney/ investigator , part of Hardin’s defense team saw fit to question a juror to discern their thoughts on whether or not they thought Clemens guilty of the charges he faced . Amongst the litany of charges faced by the seven time Cy Young winner faced were the obstruction of justice , perjury in lying to a congress member having been sworn under oath to be tell the truth.

The judicial facade of the Clemens’ case has rested upon the player’s staunch belief that he has done nothing wrong . But with the sworn testimony given to the House Oversight Committee by Roger Clemens as well his former teammate Andy Pettite and personal trainer Brian McNamee —— questions still abound as to the player’s veracity and his claims that both McNamee and Pettite have misconstrued his statements. Brian McNamee whose own integrity and character has come into question and his own claims that he supplied his then client as a personal trainer with steroids including HGH as well as numerous prohibitive substances. That asides , this idiotic episode seems to be far from over as countless thousand of dollars of taxpayers’ money will be wasted on a judicial procedure that has made a mockery of the system which has shown the public that ……… justice as we know it , is not equitable for all !

Though I have felt all along had the hierarchy of Major League Baseball (MLB) had the backbone to stand up to the MLBPA (union) we would not be at a point where we still question the integrity of the game itself and the ongoing accomplishments of the players. Instead we’re now having to listen to Commissioner Bud Selig talk about his initiative in seeking divisional realignment and adding to the premise of the playoff system with two extra teams per league for the wildcard berths . At this point , I would like to pose the question to the commissioner at what point will he pull his finger out of his own ass and address the real issues that the game faces in terms of the teams’ financial stability ? Somehow , I don’t believe that Bud Selig or any senior league executive within the MLB head office would be willing to provide us all with the answers we seek .

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Picture gallery for your perusal.

Do you have any thoughts on the points raised within this piece ? By all means do take the time to leave a comment on these and any other that you may well are pertinent to the subject matter . Thanks as always for the continued support as it is greatly appreciated !

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

Picture and slide show details below .

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(1) Terrell Owens (81) of the Cincinnati Bengals walks off of the field following the Bengals 23-17 loss to the Indianapolis Colts in the NFL game at Lucas Oil Stadium on November 14, 2010 in Indianapolis, Indiana. The Colts won 23-17 . Getty Images North America / Andy Lyons …….

(2) DeSean Jackson (10) of the Philadelphia Eagles warms up before playing against the Baltimore Ravens during their pre season game on August 11, 2011 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images …

(3) INDIANAPOLIS, IN – AUGUST 26: Peyton Manning (L) and Kerry Collins #5 of the Indianapolis Colts look on during the first half of an NFL preseason game against the Green Bay Packers at Lucas Oil Stadium on August 26, 2011 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images ……

(4) Baseball pitching star Roger Clemens put on his jacket as he arrives at the U.S. District Court, on August 30, 2010 in Washington, DC. Clemens was charged with making false statements, perjury and obstructing Congress when he testified in a February 2008 inquiry by the House Oversight and Government Affairs Committee on his alleged use of performance enhancing drugs. Getty Images / Mark Wilson …..

(5) Baseball pitching star Roger Clemens (R), walks with his attorney Rusty Hardin (L) as he arrives at the U.S. District Court for the start of his perjury trial July 12, 2011 in Washington, DC. Seven-time Cy Young Award winner Clemens is on trial for making false statements, perjury and obstructing Congress when he testified in a February 2008 inquiry by the House Oversight and Government Affairs. The proceedings itself would become null and void after the judge declared a mistrial . Getty Images North America / Mark Wilson …….

(6) Former Major League Baseball pitcher Roger Clemens (4th L) leaves the U.S. District Court after the judge declared a mistrial, on July 14, 2011 in Washington, DC. The judge presiding over Clemens’ perjury trial declared a mistrial over statements introduced to the jury by the prosecutor that were not suppose to be heard. The seven-time Cy Young Award winner was on trial for making false statements, perjury and obstructing Congress when he testified about steroid use during a February 2008 inquiry by the House Oversight and Government Affairs . Getty Images / Mark Wilson ……….
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NFL news

NFL week 1 schedule

Indianapolis Colts’ news

Philadelphia Eagles news

MLB news

MLB standings 8th September 2011

MLB wildcard standings 8th September 2011

MLB Standings 8th September 2010

MLB wildcard standings 8th September 2010

MLB results 8th September 2011

MLB results 8th September 2010

MLB schedule 3 days at a glance

MLB probable starters 9th September 2011

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.

Hey Did You Hear The One ’bout the NFL ? It’s Back

Hey Did You Hear The One ’bout the NFL ? It’s Back

Well the NFL season unofficially kicks off this weekend with the Hall of Fame game between the Dallas Cowboys and the Cincinnati Bengals . Suffice to say, that with the Hall of Fame induction of seven legendary stars of the gridiron and then the commencement of the game we can truly say that ….. “football is back ” ! And hopefully it’ll be as good as ever ?

Now given what we know about the NFL and all of its machinations the possibility of seeing a repeat champion might not be out of the question. But as we all know the successful defense of a Superbowl championship is such a hard thing to achieve. For the New Orleans Saints , their fans and the entire organization this will be uppermost in their minds. Sunday’s game pits two of the league’s more exuberant teams and the mere fact that a great deal is expected of both this upcoming season makes it something of an intriguing match-up. Granted, as usual the Cowboys are continually feted as America’s team which to my mind is like viewing Rosie O’Donnell as the best looking female you’ve ever come across in your life . But unfortunately there are some out there who can continue to jump on this Cowboys’ bandwagon even when they’re traveling on three wheels with a busted tire . Ugly ! Really ugly !

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We know that the Bengals have somehow seen fit to offer Terrel Owens somewhere to lay his head and call home but in the cold light of day what happens when Owens aind the rest of this roster faces real adversity ? Never mind how he and Chad Ochocinco feel that they’ll grace us with their presence. Now they’re trying to come cross as the NFL’s answer to Martin and Lewis ?

Let’s stop for a moment of silence while we pray for Brett Favre . To Jenn Sterger if the text image of Brett’s “crank” was such a shock to you then why did you not make law enforcement aware of what he’d allegedly done ? Let’s hope that for the Vikings’ sake this season Brett’s showing less of his crank and more of his prowess on the field of play the team . But that of course would be predicated upon the player making an announcement of his full intent to return to the NFL. Once again he’s playing us all ,thinking the entire fan-dom of the NFL awaits upon his every word. Perhaps that’s the case for the dundering idiots within the ESPN who hang unto his every word as if he’d become Jesus Christ incarnate upon his return to earth ? But to them isn’t Brett , Christ __ himself ? Now Brett ranks up there with LeBron James being a very close second in all things futile when it comes to related sport’s journalism within that particular bastion of idiocy !

One good season doesn’t a great player make but were you listening to New York Jets’ coach Rex Ryan speak he’d have you believe that Darrelle Revis is by far the “best player” in the NFL ? He might be bordering on becoming one of the better players at his position but by no means is he the best at his position much less the best player in the NFL. It’s as one patron once tried to suggest to me because certain Pro Bowl player had been lauded by NFL coaches and analysts across the NFL it made him a legitimate player of with credence within the game. Being feted means nothing in the NFL when you can’t play with consistency week and week out . Unfortunately, this came from someone who because he felt he’d coached the game at a certain level , it made him ever so qualified to come up with his diatribe. Well I view that , like asking Sarah Palin her views on world peace , the US Constitution and the reasons behind the US Supreme Court and the reasons behind its very existence . Listening to Palin to try say something intelligent on a subject, is akin to listening to a drunk tell you that he’d been abducted by a UFO . Which begs the questions are crop circles possible within the state of Alaska ?

This season for the Jets could either be something to relish or they could be in for something of a letdown. Either way within the AFC East the division could become something of a two horse race between themselves and the New England Patrtiots . And for both teams this may well season where we’ll find out a great deal about their psyche’s and makeup in terms of their resilience and performance on the field of play.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell still hasn’t come to a decision concerning whether or not the six game suspension of Steelers’ quarterback Ben Roethlisberger will be reduced or remain intact. Well that’s as he peases concerning the player. Upon his return to the team’s training camp in Latrobe , Pennsylvania, it looked as if the short lived memories of those fans had taken the stance of “forgive” and “forget” as the player was welcomed back with open arms by his teammates and fans alike . Which begs the question in light of an Indianapolis Colts’ defensive player still awaiting the league’s own adjudication as to his conduct concerning sexual battery upon a female . How is that Goodell has yet to make statement on that very matter , much less he’s yet to suspend the player ? The player conduct policy gives him the right to suspend a player for any action deemed to be conduct detrimental to the game and is in complete agreement with the collective bargaining agreement hammered out between the league and the NFLPA. Somehow isn’t Goodell now coming across as something of a hypocrite as to how he seeks to reprimand players when it comes to their conduct ?

When the NFL Draft came about this year the thinking was that there was a rich crop of talent to be had . And that may well have been the case but somehow I do feel that we’ll see a number of players struggle in within their freshman year in the league. This much we do know is that the NFL is extremely brutal and if there’s indeed a flaw in a player’s game then they will be found out. There are no if’s or and’s about it come to play or get the hell of the football field ! I just hope that EPSN’s Mel Kiper is now taking this to heart because his opinions on players such as Jimmy Clausen wherein he pronounced that the player had what it takes to be an immediate impact in the NFL must’ve fell on deaf ears. Claussen slipped so far down on everyone’s charts that you’d have needed not only a periscope to find the guy but also sonar . Be that as it may the player now finds himself or Carolina under the auspices of John Fox and the Carolina Panthers . Something of a comedown one would think from his days under Charlie Weis and the beleaguered “Fighhting Irish” program , where we were told the player was being coahed in an NFL type of an environment. Anyone who’d witnessed the play of Notre Dame under Weis can attest to the fact that their play was nowhere that of an NFL team much less a really bad NFL team . Suffice to say that shit would refuse to be seen in the same vicinity of anything said to be resembling football coming out of Notre Dame while Weis and his staff were coaching there ! It was that bad , if not worse !

If ever there was a time for Matt Leinart to prove to the fans in Arizona and around the NFL that he’s matured then this season with the Arizona Cardinals would be it. With the retirement of Kurt Warner this is now Leinart’s team to lead. And now we’ll see whether or not he’s mature enough and he’s shown signs that all of the coddling he’d received at the hands of Pete Carroll and the coaching staff at USC is a thing of the past . Certainly, if he’s not shown signs that he’s learned anything as the backup to Warner while still learning the nuances of the game from Ken Whisenhunt’s —- coaching staff then the Cardinals and Matt Leinart could be doomed for a bumpy ride and distinct failure in the NFC West this upcoming season. But then again this is the NFC West we’re talking about where mediocrity and barely above average is such a thin line that anything could happen and will no doubt happen. So inept and mediocre has been the play within the division that the consensus has been that whoever turns up on the day in uniform within the division ready to play could be considered to be the favorite to win the division outright. If you don’t believe me then consider the make up the division and the rosters of the teams therein ?

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What I for one am hoping for from this NFL season is an exhilarating one where the teams are eager to play and the stars of the game are ready to show us what they’ve got. I can only imagine that the TO , Ochocinco show on the road should be something of a blast . However, if the Bengals aren’t fairing at all well within the AFC much less the AFC North then look for the roadshow to implode with that bitch simply turning into a circus and freak show all rolled into one. It’ll make the antics of the guidos and guidettes of the Jersey Shore seem like academia in one form or another . What thoughts if any do you have on the kick-off the upcoming NFL season ? Chime on in with a comment as always . Thanks !

NB: Click on the link provided to see who the 2010 NFL Hall of Fame inductees due for enshrinement in Canton , Ohio. Russ Grimm , —- Rickey Jackson , _—- Dick LeBeau , Floyd Little , John Randle , Jerry Rice and Emmitt Smith .

Inductees due for enshrinement in 2010

🙂

Alan aka tophatal …………………………………. 🙂

House of Pain …….. ………. “On Point”

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House of Pain …………..“Jump Around”

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“I got to see Brett’s crank because he text me a picture of it . What have you got show for yourself ” ? Jenn Sterger .

Genie of the Lamp

Genie of the Lamp

I am not the genie of the lamp nor will I be providing any outright prognostications but will however say this concerning the reminder of the baseball season. Many things are expected of the Tampa Bay Rays and their dispassionate fans will be hoping that the team can really make it to their second World Series in three years and perhaps win their first title.

This Joe Maddon managed team is playing some great baseball and though the fans haven’t turned out in droves to support the team there’s still a hardcore base there that comes out to see the home team when they play at Tropicana Field in St Petersburg , Florida. We can attest to the fact that this team is very good it cannot be hidden that the Rays are no longer team that is easily intimidated. What we do know however is , if the support isn’t forthcoming from the community at large then this may well be the last hoo-rah for baseball within the community and Tampa Bay area as a whole. The front office of the organization have tried as they might to make it a going concern within the area but it all now seems to be for nought. Furthermore , the political and economic uncertainty still doesn’t make it a foregone conclusion that a new ballpark will be built for the team at some time in the future. And most certainly no one at this juncture is prepared to state who will end up financing such an endeavor . All we’ve tended to hear have been the sound bytes and not much else.

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Courtesy of St Petersburg Times


New stadium talks will wait until after the season ends

By Micheal Van Sickler , Time Staff Writer

ST. Petersburg — The Tampa Bay Rays and St. Petersburg officials have scrapped negotiations for a new stadium until after the last pitch of the World Series, sometime in November.

From the way negotiations have unfolded so far, they don’t agree on much.

Mayor Bill Foster said Wednesday that his offer last week to permit the Rays to leave Tropicana Field for a stadium anywhere in St. Petersburg and the greater Gateway area “was my best and final.”

Yet on Tuesday, Rays president Matt Silverman rejected this offer and said the club needs to consider all sites in the region, including Hillsborough County — which Foster said is off-limits.

“We’re really in uncharted territory,” said Rick Eckstein, co-author of the 2003 book Public Dollars, Private Stadiums. “If there’s going to be a standoff, it would be unprecedented.”

When it comes to Major League Baseball, cities cave and let teams out of iron-clad leases all the time, Eckstein said.

“The politicians see teams as huge trophies,” said Eckstein, a Villanova University sociology professor. “They don’t want to be associated with losing one. So if (St. Petersburg) holds to this, it would be revolutionary.”

Foster and City Attorney John Wolfe are relying on the city’s contract with the Rays, signed in 1995, to settle the conflict. The contract keeps the Rays at Tropicana Field through the 2027 season . If the Rays leave early, the contract says the city would be compensated for the economic loss.

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Now as we come down to the trade deadline __ 31st Julythere’s no sign that the team will be involved in any trades and at the same time they’re financially constrained by a budget that is meager the to say the very least. So much of what the fans will expect will come about from the resilience shown by the team on the field of play. Here’s hoping the Tampa Bay Rays can attain some success in the postseason .

Perhaps we’re all under the impression that having both TO and Ochocinco on the same team is a bad idea ? Now pardon me for saying this but Marvin Lewis and Carson Palmer are either in need of psychiatric help or they my well be unto something , with the combination of the two productive but lugubrious wide receivers. My guess and question would be , will there be enough balls on the field for two of the most bombastic and self promoting characters in the NFL ? Question who’s balls are actually bigger ? TO’s or Chad Ochocinco ?

To say that the Cincinnati Bengals have underperformed over the last few seasons certainly wouldn’t be stretching the truth. More to the point would be ,how it that Lewis is still an NFL coach is simply beyond me ! Let’s just say his idea of success when measured against the failures of his peers has me wondering what indeed is wrong the Bengalis’ hierarchy (front office) to begin with ? I can only surmise that team President Mike Brown woke from the midst of a nightmare and thought to himself what else can we as an organization can do to bring fans back to Paul Brown Stadium ? Hell if signing Owens was “his first” and “only option” then I’ve got several thousand acres of prime real estate in the Middle East that I’d like to sell to him …….. Kabul , Afghanistan to be more precise.

Courtesy of Associated Press & Yahoo Sports

T.O. misses flight to Bengals camp

By Joe Kay, AP Sports Writer

Georgetown, Ky. (AP)—Terrell Owens missed his flight but got his number.

When he finally makes it to town—a little late—he’ll be wearing his familiar 81.

The Cincinnati Bengals’ latest addition missed his overnight flight from the West Coast and had to take a later one on Thursday, delaying his debut at training camp.

The Bengals had planned on him arriving early in the day, taking his physical and signing his one-year contract while the rest of the team held its first workout. They scheduled an introductory news conference after the morning practice.

The news conference had to be rescheduled for after the evening session. Coach Marvin Lewis wasn’t sure whether the 36-year-old receiver would arrive in time to work out.

On his Twitter account, Owens posted a note Wednesday night saying he was headed to see a movie. He didn’t explain why he missed his flight on Thursday, but confirmed that his news conference had to be rescheduled.

“My Press conf about my “Decision” 2 take my talents 2 Cincy will b held 2nite after 7pm practice!!” he tweeted, playing off LeBron James’ one-hour television show announcing his decision to leave Cleveland.

Owens also misspelled Cincinnati in one of his tweets and was quickly corrected by a follower.

“Okayyyyyy I got it now, 2 n’s & 1 t! CINCINNATI!! LOL!” he tweeted.

He’ll have to make a donation to keep his favorite uniform number.

Receiver Antonio Bryant got No. 81 when the Bengals chose him over Owens in the offseason, giving him a four-year deal. Bryant said after the morning practice that he had already talked to Owens and agreed to give up his number.
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The upcoming season with regard to the Cincinnati Bengals should go a long way in telling us about the team and the mindset of its management. Failure at this juncture and both Chad Ochocinco and Terrell Owens’ days in the NFL could very well be numbered.

Having worked in the field of high finance within the city of London , the “Square Mile” often known as the financial heartbeat of the world, as there are more trades done there than any other financial center across the globe. Two trillion dollars ($2,000,000,000,000) a day wouldn’t be beyond the stretch of one’s imagination concerning the volumes of the trades being worked through each day. Specialists in those fields were highly sought after and their expertise was richly rewarded. There was a gentleman’s agreement that when seeking to hire from beyond one’s domain common courtesy was sought in approaching a perspective hire by first seeking the approval of that person’s employer for making an approach. The same such situation now applies to the NFL . But it’d appear that USC’s __ Lane Kiffin doesn’t believe that such rules apply to him when it comes to the hiring of his coaching staff .

Kiffin in hiring the Tennessee Titans former assistant running backs’ coach Kennedy Pola did so without first seeking the team’s permission with an approach to an initial interview . At the time of his hiring Pola was still in contract negotiations with the Titans. Now we could make a case for the argument that with Pola’s negotiations were not going to well with the organization and it led to his leaving the Tennessee Titans. But what might prove to be more unacceptable was that while Pola was still in negotiation with the Titans , he was talking through back channels with Kiffin and the Trojans. This doesn’t stretch the credibility of Kiffin’s stance that this was merely an unfortunate turn of events as it only muddy’s the waters in trying to ascertain the real truth as to what went on. And clearly at this juncture no one from within the Trojans’ athletic department is prepared to make a public statement on the matter. Most certainly Kiffin, himself, has now become somewhat docile in giving a taciturn response. Whereas, within the Titans’ front office and that of the team’s coach Jeff Fisher there is a great deal of anger and disgust by Lane Kiffin’s actions and that of Kennedy Pola. With there being no outright action that can be taken the NFL , the Titans have seen fit to seek their right of recourse through the legal system.

Courtesy of Associated Press & Yahoo Sports

USC’s Kiffin irks Titans’ Fisher with Pola hire

By Greg Beacham , AP Sports Writer

Los Angeles (AP)—Add Titans coach Jeff Fisher to the list of people Lane Kiffin had ticked off in Tennessee.

Kiffin hired Titans assistant coach Kennedy Pola on Saturday to be his offensive coordinator and running backs coach at Southern California, irking Fisher by failing to follow the usual protocol in courting another team’s assistant.

Fisher voiced his displeasure with his alma mater’s new head coach to the Tennessean newspaper, saying Kiffin hadn’t made the customary contact to tell the NFL team he was interested in Pola, a former USC player and assistant coach who joined the Titans after last season ended.

The move also left the Titans without a running backs coach one week before training camp opens.

“I am very disappointed in Lane Kiffin’s approach to this,” Fisher told the newspaper. “Typically speaking when coaches are interested in hiring or discussing potential employment from coaches on respective staffs there is a courtesy call made from the head coach or athletic director indicating there is an interest in talking to the assistant.

“So I am very disappointed in the lack of professionalism on behalf of Lane, to call me and leave me a voice mail after Kennedy had informed me he had taken the job. It is just a lack of professionalism.”

Kiffin attempted to rectify the damage later Saturday, finally reaching Fisher and discussing the abrupt move. Kiffin then issued a statement that didn’t exactly deny he had breached protocol, saying he first spoke to Pola on Friday, and then called Fisher on Saturday after Pola called him back, apparently to accept the job.

“I have spoken with Coach Fisher and he now has an accurate understanding of the timeline of events,” Kiffin said. “We realize the timing of this isn’t perfect for all parties, but this is a great opportunity and promotion for Kennedy.”

The state of Tennessee hardly needs another reason to dislike Kiffin, who infamously bolted from the Volunteers last January after just 14 months to take his self-described dream job at USC, leaving an angry mob in Knoxville.

Kiffin’s brief head coaching stints with the Oakland Raiders and Tennessee have been filled with minor missteps and conflicts, including an ugly feud with Raiders owner Al Davis and twice being reprimanded by the Southeastern Conference while he was with the Volunteers.

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Monetary compensation may well be the only satisfactory compensation that the Titans may well find from this all should there be an adjudication in their favor. As for Lane Kiffin and the USC Trojans , given the unwarranted publicity garnered from the sanctions brought down by the NCAA upon their heads. One would’ve thought that this would be last type of adverse publicity that they would want at this juncture. And Kiffin , given his predilection for being less than forthright when it comes to his honesty. I can only surmise that USC’s newly appointed athletics’ director Patrick Haden along with University President-elect C. L. Max Nikias will be looking to sit down with Kiffin for a somewhat prolonged tete-a-tete with the coach. Given the recent upheaval within the athletics department the last thing the university now needs is more egg on its face. But given the maneuvers of Lane Kiffin since his hiring by USC what other conclusions can one draw from this all at this juncture ? It’s not as Kiffin has gone out of his way to do everything by the book to begin with. He’s become more of a one man wrecking crew with his asinine remarks and his gung-ho attitude. And supposedly this is the guy the school actually sought out to succeed Pete Carroll ? Let’s just hope that he only brings along only half the controversy created by his predecessor for the university’s sake . If not then they could be in for a bumpy and unpleasant ride once again.


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Picture gallery for your perusal .

What thoughts if any do you have on the various subject matters raised within this piece ? By all means chime on in with a comment and I’ll look forward to responding in due course. Once again thanks as usual for the continued support as it is greatly appreciated !

Alan Parkins aka tophatal …………………… 🙂

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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What thoughts if any do you have on this subject ? Chime on in with a comment.

tophatal ……………………….. 🙂

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

Takes And Sporting Takes â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦..

Takes And Sporting Takes ……………..

There’s not much else that can be said about the life of John Wooden that hasn’t been said. His life is an open book and his achievements are legendary . But if anything what may well have been this coach’s greatest achievement was the fact that not did he turn out so many outstanding players but also so many outstanding human beings who turned out to be productive citizens . If that isn’t enough of an indictment as to Wooden’s stature and greatness then simply put I don’t know what is !

Well the NBA Finals have started and based on the evidence that we’ve all witnessed so far it looks as if the Boston Celtics may not be around all that long. The perception that this would be a very entertaining series doesn’t seem to be materializing at all. The defending champions the Los Angeles Lakers have all but made the Boston Celtics look like an aging quartet of geriatrics . And for Ray Allen , Kevin Garnett , Paul Pierce and Rasheed Wallace this all seems to be coming to fruition. The more athletic Lakers have simply taken it to the Celtics and put them in their place. And it could well be that the Phil Jackson coached Lakers are looking to avenge their defeat at the hands of the Celtics from the 2008 NBA Finals .

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Should the Lakers prevail in the series then it would garner the team its sixteenth NBA title and gain Jackson his eleventh NBA title as a coach. In doing so it would place the illustrious coach in the same stratosphere as the “Wizard of Westwood”, John Wooden, as the two most successful coaches in team sports. Wooden won ten NCAA basketball titles as a coach and one as a player.

Now call me naïve but much has been made as to the travails of Tiger Woods as of late and his poor showing in The Players’ Championship (Ponte` Vedra Beach,Fl) was about as bad a performance as we’ve seen from Woods in years. With his private life awry it appears that Woods’ world is now upside down. And with Phil Mickelson’s win at The Masters , we now might have a rivalry worth following in the world of golf. But then again I may well be wrong. Woods for his own part hasn’t necessarily made things easier for himself as of late having parted ways with his swing instructor Hank Haney .

With the US Open (Pebble Beach Golf Club, Pebble Beach, California ) now but a few weeks away, it appears that Woods is at a crossroads in his career. And things are now spiraling out of control and it appears that Tiger Woods has no real answer as to his dilemma.

Whatever your take on the baseball season it has to be said that the surprises and disappointments have been profound for a number of teams . The Baltimore Orioles are mired in a mediocre season have fired their manager Dave Trembley and replaced him with Juan Samuel . And for all sense and purpose based on the team’s first display under their new manager , things aren’t likely to take a turn for the better. This is still a poorly performing team that is lacking confidence and whose owner might just be in a situation where he has all but given up hope of having anything approaching what one might deem a successful season. Owner Peter Angelos and GM Andy MacPhail have shown a preponderance of simply turning from one disaster to the next , as the Orioles continue not only to disappoint their long suffering fans. But the idiocy of the announcement being made by the executives that they’re about to turn the corner, shows about as much hope as trying to ascend Mount Everest with but a pocket knife and string. Things are continuing to get worse for the Orioles and there’s no sign that they’re about to get any better anytime soon.

With Ken Griffey Jr’s announcement that he has retired from the game that he’s graced for two decades, seems to have brought us to a moment where we are still in awe as to the player’s abilities. To my mind , Griffey was simply the greatest player” of his generation !. That’s with due respect to the now infamous steroid enhanced Alex Rodriguez. Multiple All Star and Golden Glove winner as well as the AL MVP in 1997 . Ken Griffey Jr has given us moments to savor. Watching Griffey’s swing of the bat was and still is one of the sweetest in the game and his prowess in the outfield was second to none. With Jr’s retirement, it now leaves us with perhaps only Albert Pujols , Derek Jeter and Ichiro Suzuki as the three players from this past decade whom we might look at and say ……….”well they’re clean” . But then again in this day and age in the era where under Bud Selig’s custody the game of baseball has been a complete fraud in terms of many of the players’ performances. You simply can no longer look at a player’s achievements without questioning those accomplishments.

The biggest joke may well the less than honest observations on the game made by so called journalists covering the game. I personally have no respect for the likes of Buster Olney or Peter Gammons . They’re self serving lap dogs who’ve done the sport a great disservice but this is merely my opinion on the matter. As they’ve never shown the perspicacity to even cover the “steroid era” in depth and state their own thoughts with the readers or fans as to the shame and dishonor that certain players have brought to the game. But then again what would you expect from two individuals who are about as superfluous as they come . While Gammons and Olney come across as insightful and as authoritative a duo on the sport as one would hope to find. It appears that both of these writers would prefer not to bite the hand that feeds them in terms of the hierarchy of MLB . And when you observe signs such as this , then for all sense and purpose you can take it to the bank that their thoughts on the sport are about as worthwhile as a piece of fecal matter found on a sidewalk.

Well it appears that the NFL season though just months away. It appears that free agent wide receiver Terrell Owens has yet to find a home. And you can bet your bottom dollar that Owens’ agent Drew Rosenhaus will be doing his level best to find his high profiled client a home. And for Owens, whose best years are now behind him rather than ahead of him. It’s becoming increasingly clear that there might not be many takers for the now declining skills of Owens . But yet somehow the player still believes that he can contribute to a team given the right environment.

Now as you know the closer we get to the start of the NFL preseason the more ramped up the stories will become concerning ESPN’s fodder and staple over the entire preseason. If Brett Favre has a problem with flatulence , you can be sure that ESPN will be reporting it. OK , so I might be going a bit overboard concerning that the cable network might be reporting on Favre’s flatulence. But then again, when hasn’t the network known to sank to lowest common denominator ? The network’s lust for the former league MVP borders on being idolatry . But then again, what’s a bit of idolatry when at any given moment at your choosing you can afford to take down that deity should you choose to ? But that would be the last thing on ESPN’s mind at any juncture ?

Now don’t get me wrong Brett Favre in his glory years was a player of extraordinary gifts and a passion for the game. But Favre’s passion while unabated , his gifts have declined. Doubt my word , then simply look at his performance in the waning moments of last season’s NFC championship game against the eventual Superbowl champions the New Orleans Saints . And while it has to be said that Favre is clearly a better option than that of Sage Rosenfels and Tarvaris Jackson of the Minnesota Vikings . One now gets the impression that if Favre can’t take the Vikings to the “promised land” this upcoming season , then more likely than not this will be the last time that we’ll see the player helming a team as its quarterback. That being said Favre’s preponderance for playing the fool and holding a team ransom as he ponders his future is about well intentioned as the Taliban’s wish to commit to a peace deal with the United States.

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Well these are but a few of my takes and sporting takes as it relates to the world of sports. Has there been anything of late that has you wondering what’s happening in the world of sports that quite possibly is for the betterment of the game as you see it ? By all means do chime on in with a comment as always thanks for the continued support as it’s greatly appreciated !

NB: At the original time of my writing this piece the result of game two of the finals was not yet known. But in light of the Celtics attaining a 103-94 victory in game two the series is now leveled at 1-1 .

Alan Parkins aka tophatal ………………..

Santana ………………. “Samba pa ti”

Intriguing Questions That Need To Be Asked And Answered In The World of Sports ………….

Intriguing Questions That Need To Be Asked And Answered In The World of Sports ………….

If LeBron James as he’s now stating , having been interviewed by that elder statesman of menial tv journalism, Larry King . Wherein , James stated that the Cavaliers’ organization stands a better than even chance that he’ll remain with the team . The question I for one would like to ask did his mother force him to make such a statement , bearing in mind that it’s been alleged that she (Gloria James) has been having a sexual relationship with James’ teammate Delonte’ West . Could it be that Gloria James will miss Cleveland more than LeBron will ? And two, what does that say about the players of some of the potential teams that are said to be interested in luring James to their organizations ?

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In the Bible we’re led to believe that it took God six days to create the Earth and on the seventh day he rested . The question I’d like to ask if it can the “Supreme Being” such a short time to create this world . Then how is it that it has now taken the NCAA in “excess of three years” to conduct their investigation into the basketball and football program of USC ? I mean with all of the evidence that has come to light and the fact that the likes of Reggie Bush , Matt Leinart , O J Mayo , Pete Carroll , Tim Floyd and the US Trojans’ AD Mike Garrett have been less than forthright in answering any questions as to any transgressions concerning the program. Is it a matter of mere perception and we’re completely misjudging what has gone on within the school’s athletics program ? I guess that $1,000-00 paid to Mayo by Floyd , was a mere oversight at the time ? And the fact that Bush’s parents were living in a residence that at the time was way beyond their means was a mere faux-pas and nothing untoward was happening between Bush and an interloper acting on his behalf at the time.

Well the 2010 NBA Finals are upon us and the series commences on the 3rd June , 2010 . The game’s two most storied franchises are set to meet for the the eleventh time in the game’s showcase event. Between them the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers have won 32 NBA titles and have made a combined 51 appearances in the NBA Finals. It’d be remiss to suggest that it does make the other teams within the NBA irrelevant because that’s most certainly not the case. But in this era where we’re always being told that there’s parity in sports . The dominance of the Celtics and Lakers of the NBA does make the case for that argument seem somewhat mute. But in reality when either of these two teams are making an appearance in the finals , then it augurs well for the viewing figures for the event and it most definitely brings a smile to the face of David Stern and the entire NBA hierarchy .

As a more than avid fan of the NBA I just hope to see a very entertaining series. But above all I’m hoping that the officials don’t interject themselves into each and every game and event when there’s a tinge of controversy. More than often than not the real reason why a series can be bad or becomes bad isn’t necessarily because of the poor play. But more so, it has to do with the poor officiating. I know that David Stern says that he trusts these officials implicitly . But would he actually trust them with his life or perhaps to be in the accompaniment of his wife or daughters ? I mean if he trusts them that much then he shouldn’t have a problem with a referee spending a night with his wife I would’ve thought ! Squash that , Tim Donaghy suddenly springs to mind .

Apart from seeing future Hall of Famers , in , Kobe Bryant , Ray Allen , Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett . We’ll also get to see the burgeoning talents of such young players as Rajon Rondo, Andrew Bynum and Jordan Farmar . As to whether or not the careers of these players will aspire to be as great as that of their peers mentioned , it remains to be seen over the course of time.

Ben Roethlisberger has returned to the fold and is now allowed once again allowed to undertake team activities with the Pittsburgh Steelers . I for one still feel that the player got off lightly ! But given the fact that he’s said to be on a tight leash and he’s still under a six game suspension that can be lowered to four games should NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell see fit. The scrutiny under which Roethlisberger will be followed will most certainly make him feel as if he’s rat on a wheel undergoing a watchful social behavorial experiment. I just hope that the player understands the implications should he screw up again . There have been players within the NFL who haven’t been afforded a second chance that has been given Roethlisberger. So the slightest inappropriate act on or off the field and he can essentially kiss his career goodbye.

My buddy Sportschump suggested that many of the problems that came to the fore under Goodell’s watch were inherited after his assuming the position of his predecessor Paul Tagliabue . But that was most certainly not the case. From the Plaxico Burress affair , to Donte’ Stallworth to Ben Roethlisberger . All of this has happened under Goodell’s watch and the commissioner hasn’t necessarily always been proactive in his handling of these matters. He at times placates the situation by saying that many of the cases in question should be dealt with after legal ramifications are sorted out. However , under the collective bargaining agreement with the NFLPA , he has the power to suspend a player for conduct detrimental to the sport and that includes any matter that might also tarnish the image of the NFL.

My question to Goodell and Sportschump , should “Big Ben” be caught once again, whereby a 20 year old female college co-ed should suddenly find her lips around a certain part of the player’s genitalia. Can we believe Ben if he states ……………” she tripped and fell and her mouth suddenly found itself around my member ” ? More to the point how is it that it is always the fault of the other person in the incident ? Isn’t Roethlisberger mature enough to be now held accountable for his own actions ? Or is this what a football college scholarship now gets you at Miami of Ohio ?

Still no word as of yet but with Terrell Owens seeing his buddy , Chad Ochocinco appear on Dancing With The Stars . Is there now a possibility that “TO” will lean more towards retirement as he remains an unsigned free agent within the NFL ? That’s not to say that his agent Drew Rosenhaus won’t be making overtures on the player’s behalf to see if he can be signed by none other than the Minnesota Vikings. That way the organization and the the team can then have “two of the biggest and most self absorbed narcissists” ever to have set foot within the NFL. Don’t forget now boys and girls , Brett Favre still hasn’t made us privy to the impending decision as to his NFL future and that perceived comeback , “yet again” !

If you think it not audacious situation for Rosenhaus to approach Brad Childress and his coaching staff to quite possibly gauge their interest in the veteran wide receiver. Not so long ago the thinking was that Favre would be the player to put the team over the top and guide them to a Superbpowl . Well one year on and one year older and the Vikings were about as close to the Superbpowl as Sen. John McCain (R-Az) was, in gaining entrance into the White House as the 44th President of the United States. C’mon now , please don’t use the excuse that Brett got ’em to the NFC championship game. Brett also cost ’em an appearance in the Superbowl with his capricious play in the closing stretch of the loss to the eventual Superbowl champions __ New Orleans Saints .

So what do you think is there a remote possibility that we could see that Favre Owens’ tandem gracing us within the NFL as part of the Vikings’ team looking to be not only dominant within the NFC North but also within the entire NFL ? Or will me merely see the return of Favre to the Vikings with Owens toiling away elsewhere within the NFL with some none descript team ?

Well now that we’ve more than got a quarter of the way through the baseball season . A number of teams are trying to jockey themselves into position for the mid-stretch of the season. To my mind this is the one part of the season that will go a long way in telling us the resolve and determination of a team. You simply have to look at the standings to see which teams can be taken for real and which cannot. Sorry Baltimore and Houston but there’s always next year I hope !

I can’t for the life of me understand how two teams such as the Chicago White Sox and Detroit Tigers of the AL Central tend to under achieve. As good as both teams appear to be on paper , up close and personal once they begin to play it’s like looking at an abstract painting and trying to understand what the subject matter is all about. The White Sox are simply are simply an embarrassment and for Jim Leyland and Tigers , I’m not about to suggest that the team is spiraling out of control. But were they an airplane, I’d be looking for the nearest emergency exit just as a precaution.

GM’s Dave Dombrowski of the Tigers and Kenny Williams of the White Sox know that in Leyland and Ozzie Guillen they have two very good managers. But the problems now facing both managers are that their respective teams either aren’t listening as to what they and the coaching staff are trying to instill. Or quite possibly the teams just aren’t as good as first thought. By my way of thinking it has to be the latter but if things don’t change as to both teams’ fortunes . Then quite possibly before at the culmination of the season both managers could very well be fired by their respective organizations. I’m not about to suggest that they should both be deserving of such a fate. But as a last resort that’s always how the executives and owners tend to alleviate the problem to quieten the angst of the fans.

I’m not a big NASCAR or IRL fan but I’ve got to admit that I made the rare peek to watch snippets of the Coca Cola 600 and parts of the Indy 500 . The latter race I’ve been led to believe is said to be “the best auto race in the world” . Someone must be friggin’ kidding if they’ve never witnessed the Monaco Grand Prix from Monte Carlo and the nuance of F1 Grand Prix Racing. OK , so Indy Car has female drivers Danica Patrick and Milka Duno . But unless they’re about to let those ladies race in nothing more than two piece bathing suit , then quite frankly I’m simply not interested ! However, with Dario Franchitti happening to be the victor of the Indy 500 , we all got to see that rather “hot wife” of his Ashley Judd . But good God almighty, was it me but what the hell was she wearing ? I thought it was Franchitti’s mother at first until the cameras drew in for a close up shot . Then I realized she still looks as hot as ever ! ‘nough said !

Ashley Judd please don’t give the legions of male fans around the world such a scare again ! We all love it when you look exceedingly hot and chique`. We’d prefer for you to not to look so dowdy as it belies your sensational looks . As to Franchitti , I can only surmise that once he and his wife returned home all bets were off as to how they’d end up celebrating his second victory of America’s most prestigious race. A great deal of intimacy was no doubt called for I’d dare say ! So we know that Ashley Judd is hot but can someone answer me this, when will Danica Patrick win her next race ? And two, are we ever liable to see her adorning a stripper’s pole ? Because by my way of thinking the circus has but left town with regard to her alleged ambitions within both NASCAR and IRL. Making excuses for Danica Patrick now is very much in a similar vein in excusing why it is that Dale Earnhardt Jr can’t find the winner’s podium but yet he’s being paid an exorbitant amount of money for merely being average at best. Can I get an amen here ?

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Well these are but a few of the questions that I think in some ways we can find amusing and in some cases serious in the world of sports. What questions if any would you want to pose concerning a certain are of the sporting landscape. It doesn’t necessarily have to be serious at all. So feel free to chime on in with a question and perhaps we can all debate it in the appropriate manner ? Thanks as always for the continued support !

Alan Parkins aka tophatal …………………………

David Bowie ……………..“Heroes”

Two Wrongs Don’t Make A Right ….. TO & OchoCinco In The Same Room …….. What Next ?

Two Wrongs Don’t Make A Right ….. TO & OchoCinco In The Same Room …….. What Next ?

Now don’t get me wrong as much I view ESPN as being the go ahead leader when it comes to sports broadcasting and their programming content. Every once in a while even I’ve got to question the veracity of their reporting. More often than not the likes of Chris Mortensen or John Clayton known for ‘their alleged inside sources’ within the NFL will feed us a story that in the end has not one iota of truth about it. And rarely, has a reporter or the network proffered up an apology if they’ve somehow misreported a story. But I guess next to the paparazzi and gutter press , some might think of ESPN being likened to a rose in terms of the essence of its bouquet and the smell emanating from it ? But how does one measure the essence of manure against that of a sweet smelling rose ? And who’d be stupid enough to do that in the first place ?

Cincinnati Bengals receiver Laveraneus Coles (11) catches an 11-yard touchdown pass against New York Jets cornerback Dwight Lowery (21) in the first half of an NFL wild-card playoff football game, Saturday, Jan. 9, 2010, in Cincinnati.
Cincinnati Bengals receiver Laveraneus Coles (11) catches an 11-yard touchdown pass against New York Jets cornerback Dwight Lowery (21) in the first half of an NFL wild-card playoff football game, Saturday, Jan. 9, 2010, in Cincinnati. photo appears courtesy of Associated Press/ David Kohl .............

The Cincinnati Bengals coming off a rather disappointing 10-6 season within the AFC North had hoped to acquit themselves well in the playoffs. As a divisional winner they would face the New York Jets in the divisional round of the wild-card NFL . Favored to win, this Marvin Lewis coached team played some uninspired football as the Jets’ rookie quarterback Mark Sanchez led his team with a great deal of aplomb , thoroughly routing the Bengals 24-14 in a somewhat lopsided victory. It wouldn’t have been such an embarrassing loss had the game been played anywhere else . But this was in front of a packed soldout home crowd at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati , Ohio. The disappointment of the fans as well the front office and owner Mike Brown wasn’t lost on anyone who had come out to support the team.

 Quarterback Carson Palmer #9 of the Cincinnati Bengals looks down at his helmet late in the fourth quarter against the New York Jets during the 2010 AFC wild-card playoff game at Paul Brown Stadium on January 9, 2010 in Cincinnati, Ohio. photo appears  courtesy of  Getty  Images/ Jonathan Daniel ....
Quarterback Carson Palmer #9 of the Cincinnati Bengals looks down at his helmet late in the fourth quarter against the New York Jets during the 2010 AFC wild-card playoff game at Paul Brown Stadium on January 9, 2010 in Cincinnati, Ohio. photo appears courtesy of Getty Images/ Jonathan Daniel ....

Courtesy of NFL.com

Agent: Bengals indeed interested in T.O.

From NFL.com …. Staff Writers

Chad Ochocinco has ‘pleaded’ for Terrell Owens to become his teammate. Evidently, the Bengals have listened.

Owens’ agent, Drew Rosenhaus, confirmed Friday night on SIRIUS NFL Radio that the Bengals are interested in the six-time Pro Bowl wide receiver.

“Right now, I would say that everyone knows that the Cincinnati Bengals have expressed some interest in Terrell, and they have spoken with him and myself,” Rosenhaus said. “Where we go from here, I’m not sure, but I think it’s at least a positive dialogue. … And we’ll just see how that plays out. But certainly that’s something that is a possibility. I guess that’s about the most I can say right now.”

Rosenhaus also represents Ochocinco, who hasn’t made it a secret that he wants Owens to give Cincinnati a 1-2 receiving punch. Owens is an unrestricted free agent after spending one season with the Bills, who decided not to offer him a contract.

UPDATE: Bengals QB Carson Palmer told the team’s official Web site he’d be willing to reach out to Owens and that he’d also like Cincinnati to look at WR Antonio Bryant, who had a strong 2008 season with the Buccaneers. Bryant suffered through injuries last season.

Bengas’ wide receiver ‘Chad Ochocinco’ looks up at the scoreboard in the waning moments of the fourth quarter of the AFC wildcard berth playoff game against the New York Jets played at Paul Brown Stadium , Cincinnati , Ohio. photo appears courtesy of Getty Images/ Johnathan Daniel ……

It’s been clear that the loss of T .J. Houshmanzadeh to the Bengals was somewhat profound. But having acquired Laveraneus Coles . It was felt that he’d have been the ideal replacement for the now Seattle Sehawks bound Houshmanzadeh. Nothing could have been further from the truth , as Coles struggled to acclimatize himself with the Bengals’ system and playbook. After one season the team has let the player go and they’re now looking to replace him. On assessing the Bengals’ roster , one would’ve thought that there would be a player the ready to step up to the plate that would be able to complement Chad Ochocinco on the other side of the field ? But alas, ‘the pickings there are bare’ and the somewhat troubled Matt Jones has been about as productive a player as the entire programming schedule of NBC’s primetime lineup !

With former Bills’ wide receiver Terrell Owens now an unrestricted free agent , it is being widely reported that the player’s next port of call will be with the Cincinnati Bengals. Over the last couple of years Owens has had more stops within the NFL than Brett Favre has in his entire NFL career thus far. By the way, are there any imminent rumors going on concerning Favre’s return ? I’d have thought that by now either Clayton , Mortensen or Mark Schlereth would have been able to tell us that ? Given the fact that all three seem to keep their noses as close as is humanly possible to Favre’s sphincter, that one would have though that they’d each be able to lick his prostate. But then where would they be if they had nothing to talk about in the NFL off-season, if it weren’t for the upcoming NFL Draft this April ? I can only surmise that Vikings’ coach Brad Childress will continue to keep the ESPN guys in the loop as to the day to day goings and comings within Minnesota Vikings’ organization !

Owens’ agent Drew Rosenhaus , never one not to be known not to pour kerosene or toss a lit match unto an already burning fire, has already been front and center extolling the virtues of his client and stating what a wonderful addition he would be to the Bengals’ organization. Don’t get me wrong but if Rosenhaus weren’t a sports agent, I could very well envisage ‘him’ being a ‘pimp’ on the streets of any major metropolitan city in the US , purveying his whores to any ‘John’ willing to purchase their services for an hour or two. Who in their right mind can really envisage seeing Ochocinco and Owens being on the same team with their egos, sharing the same ball ? Isn’t that almost as ‘combustible a mix’ as to the so called warm relationship that Owens was said to have had with Jeff Garcia , Tony Romo and Donovan McNabb ? He’s pis_ed off more players alienated himself within more NFL organizations than even I’d care to remember !

Terrell Owens #81 of the Buffalo Bills looks to run around Mike Adams #20 of the Cleveland Browns at Ralph Wilson Stadium on October 11, 2009 in Orchard Park, New York.
Terrell Owens (#81) of the Buffalo Bills looks to run around Mike Adams (#20) of the Cleveland Browns at Ralph Wilson Stadium on October 11, 2009 in Orchard Park, New York. photo appears courtesy of Getty North America / Rick Stewart .............

With Owens now almost 36 , it’s hard to see this player still being productive, given his demands salary wise and lack of real productivity. That may well be the deciding factor in all of this. In 2009 , he was paid $ 6.5 million for what one could best describe as an abysmal year by Owens’ standards. But Terrell Owens, much like his agent Drew Rosenhaus , they both love the glare of the spotlight and any publicity that can be derived from it all. However Rosenhaus tends to spin his clients lack of productivity on a woefully inept Bills’ team. There’s no denying that if he doesn’t produce in Cincinnatti , then the knives will be out from the fans as they look to place their blades between Owens’ broad shoulders. But that’s all predicated upon whether or not it’s the Bengals’ wish to indeed sign the player. The team’s Pro Bowl quarterback , Carson Palmer seems amenable to the idea of having Owens as a teammate. But as of yet we’ve yet to really hear anything concrete emanating from within the Bengals’ organization and the overtures being made by Drew Rosenhaus on his client’s behalf.

Given the travails of Owens in recent years and the way that the Bengals succumbed the Jets in the playoffs. I find it hard to believe that he’d really be able to improve the chances of the Bengals within the AFC North ,against what will be an improved Baltimore Ravens’ team and with the Pittsburgh Steelers looking to regain some semblance of respectability. And when adjudged against of the AFC , does anyone believe this to be a maneuver that will be truly of benefit to either party ? This move has to be one done out of necessity, rather than it being merely done to be capricious. If it all goes kaput , then we all know where a great deal of the blame will be apportioned !

While the pairing of Ochocinco and Owens seems great with Palmer passing the ball to either of the wide receivers. What then happens at the first sign of adversity or Owens imploding and then denigrating his teammates ? He’s done this every place that he has been within the NFL and who’s to say that we won’t see a repeat performance should he be signed by the Bengals ? Never mind Marvin Lewis and his coaching staff would have to deal with both players’ egos. Like I’ve stated in the title of this piece “……………Two Wrongs Don’t Make A Right TO & Ochocinco In The Same Room …What Next ? I’ll leave it for you all to be the judge of that ! But given what we’ve seen from Owens over the past 5 seasons , what should we really expect ? Success or failure ?

Alan Parkins aka tophatal …………………….


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Junior M.A.F.I.A feat’g Notorius Big ……… ‘Get Money’ </strong

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Edyta  Sliwinska  .   more  widely known  for   appearing  on  the  ABC  hit   show  <strong><em>  'Dancing  With  The  Stars' </strong></em>  (DWTS) .    photo  appears  courtesy   of   Maxim  Magazine .
Edyta Sliwinska . more widely known for appearing on the ABC hit show 'Dancing With The Stars' (DWTS) . photo appears courtesy of Maxim Magazine .

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

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

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

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

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

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

Courtesy of USA Today

Countdown to ’10: Top sports breakups

By Reid Cherner, USA Today

‘Don’t take your love away from me

Don’t you leave my heart in misery

If you go then I’ll be blue

‘Cause breaking up his hard to do’ —Neil Sedaka

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Round Up Of The NFL Sports Weekend & Other Pieces Of Triviality

Well, the NFL weekend is all but through, with the exception of Monday night’s scheduled game between the Pittsburgh Steelers (5-2) and Denver Broncos (6-1) from Invesco Field , Denver , Colorado.

Buccaneers quarterback  Josh   Freeman  hands the ball  off  during the   game  played  against  the  Green Bay  Packers at  Raymond  James Stadium  in  Tampa Florida .  The  Buccaneers   would   go  on to  defeat  Green  Bay  38-28  and  being  ensured    of  their   first  win  of the  season.   picture  apears  courtesy  of  getty  images/ J Meric .............

Buccaneers’ quarterback Josh Freeman hands the ball off during the game played against the Green Bay Packers at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. The Buccaneers would go on to defeat Green Bay 38-28 , being ensured of their first win of the NFL season. picture appears courtesy of getty images/ J.Meric ..
….

And as evidenced from Sunday’s slate of games for Week 9 , we now know more than ever, that the NFL is still in something of a diabolical state when it comes to several teams. There’s the good, the bad and the downright ugly ! Based on what took place between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-7) and the Green Bay Packers (4-4) at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa , Florida. It was hard to extrapolate which was indeed the winless team and which team was indeed the one with ambitions of quite possibly making the postseason. Suffice to say that the game was filled with a litany of errors from either side. And the quarterback play of both teams left a great deal to be desired.

Buccaners'  defensive players  Torrie  Cox (27)  , Geno Hayes (54) and  Tanard Jackson (36)  set  about   tackling  Packers'  wide  receiver  James  Jones (89)   during  the  game .    picture  appears  courtesy  of  getty  images/  J  Meric ..........

Buccaneers’ defensive players Torrie Cox (27), Geno Hayes (54) and Tanard Jackson (36) set about tackling Packers’ wide receiver James Jones (89) during the game.
picture appears courtesy of getty images/ J Meric ….

Buccaneers’ rookie quarterback, Josh Freeman did just enough to garner his first professional win in an NFL uniform. Which was much to the delight of the home fans there in Tampa. As to what this may well mean down the lines for the Buccaneers and their coach , Raheem Morris. Well, for now let’s just say with that first win of the season in defeating the Packers 38-28 . It leaves the Buccaneers with something to smile about. As to what this means for the Mike McCarthy coached Packers’ team ? Suffice to say , it’s back to the drawing board for McCarthy and his coaching staff. Their offensive line couldn’t protect quarterback, Aaron Rogers from the Buccaneers’ defensive play , much less from the H1N1 strain of the swine flu. That’s how awful the Packers’ offensive line were on Sunday !

Eagles' head  coach  Andy  Reid  and  his  opposing   number   Wade Phillips of  the   Dallas Cowboys   meet  centerfield  after  the  game to  congratulate one another .

Andy Reid ,coach of the Philadelphia Eagles and his opposite number Wade Phillips of the Dallas Cowboys meet centerfield at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia after the game. The Cowboys had just defeated the Eagles in an NFC East divisional match up 20-16, to sit atop of the division with a one game lead over their rival. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Craig Gentry ……

Image is everything , hype means nothing ! If that were really true then how can one explain the seemingly endless media frenzy concerning the Dallas Cowboys (6-2) and everything that this team is said to represent ? Unlike any other team in the NFL the attention paid to this team in the print format as well as on television and radio borders on the insane. Granted , that $1.5 billion monstrosity built in Arlington, creates the desired facade that this is an NFL franchise that has a great deal going for it both on and off the field. Truth be known, the Cowboys are simply nothing more than a well ran cash cow. Making money for the organization is the sole existence for Jerry Jones. And anything beyond that is considered to be a bye product of it all. The franchise seeks to get back to winning ways in terms of a postseason berth with the ultimate goal of landing a sixth Superbowl title. But that would be predicated upon them placing a winning team on the field of play. Something of which they’ve failed to do in almost a decade.

Cowboys'  wide  receiver  Miles  Austin (19)  takes  it to  the  house  with a  49 yd  touchdown  reception  run  against the  Philadelphia  Eagles  in  the  fourth quarter  of the   game.  Eagles' defensive  player   Quintin  Mikell (27)  missed  his   coverage  assignment   of the  receiver  in  allowing  the  score  .   picture  appears courtesy  of  getty images/ Al Bello  ............

Cowboys’ wide receiver Miles Austin (19) takes it to the house , with a 49 yd touchdown reception run against the Philadelphia Eagles in the fourth quarter of the game played at Lincoln Financial Field , Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Eagles’ defensive player Quintin Mikell (27) missed his coverage assignment of Austin in allowing the score. picture appears courtesy of getty images/Al Bello ……..

Today the Cowboys faced their arch rivals the Philadelphia Eagles (5-3) in an NFC East divisional match up, that sought supremacy within the division. And while there’s no doubt that the winner of the division has an outside shot to garner one of the top two seeds in the NFC pecking order ,come the postseason. Whether or not that team from the division can acquit themselves well enough in the playoffs, is clearly open to a great deal of speculation. Of late ,these two teams have played some great football but at the same there’s been a great deal of inconsistency to their play. Hence the reason for the statement made concerning their post-season ambitions.

Whenever the Eagles and Cowboys tend to meet. It is either under the best or worse of circumstances as to the scenario placed within that specific environment. For both coaches it has come to be the norm for gauging their teams and the coaches , themselves. At the start of the season the speculation had already began as to whether or Wade Phillips would still be in a job, were the Cowboys to have an unsuccessful season. From week to week , even during the preseason that talk was being fomented in all avenues of the press. And for the Eagles’ coach , Andy Reid , the talk there was whether or not he and veteran quarterback , Donovan McNabb were still an asset to the team and the franchise in general. Well , considering their legacy with the franchise and the success that they’ve brought during their tenure. Those who were trying to make a claim that both ought to be released clearly don’t remember the years when this team was in the doldrums.

Sunday’s game between these two stalwarts reminded us why it is that the NFC East is considered to be the best division with the NFL. The Dallas Cowboys and the Philadelphia Eagles provided us with an allout air assault with a passing game that was replete with some spectacular plays by both sets of receivers on either team. And if anything Cowboys’ quarterback, Tony Romo may well have now overcome the loss of Terrell Owens. Not that anyone is now the slightest bit concerned that he was once a former Cowboy. Now the thought is , when is the proverbial meltdown going to place in his new place of residence ? As of yet, there hasn’t been a seismic shift to indicate that Owens is about explode and unleash a tirade against the Buffalo Bills‘ organization and his Bills’ teammates. But rest assured, if the downward slide in Buffalo continues. Then you’ll definitely be hearing it , loud and clear. It’s just the way TO is !

The Dallas Cowboys managed to get their sixth win of the season in defeating the Philadelphia Eagles 20-16 , outscoring their rivals in the fourth quarter (10-3) of a relatively hard fought game. And Romo had his best game of the season so far. He was able to find 7 different receivers on the way to the team’s victory over the Eagles. And they now hold a one game lead over their closest rival , as they sit atop of the NFC East. For both the New York Giants (5-4) and the pitiful Washington Redskins (2-6). Well, things at present aren’t looking too good for either team. The Redskins are in deep turmoil and the Tom Coughlan coached Giants , now can’t even obtain a win, even if they were spotted 7 point advantage.

As we’ve now reached the midway point of the season. We’ll begin to see a push, where the legitimate contenders for the postseason will try to separate themselves from the pretenders. And the also rans , well they’re now essentially out of it. Though they could very well play ‘spoilers’ for a number of teams who still feel that they’re in with a shot of making the postseason.

Titans'  running  back   Chris Johnson  (28) is  tackled  by the  San  Francisco  49ers'  defensive  player  Patrick   Willis  (52)   during  the   game  played   at   Candlestick  Park  ,  San  Francisco  ,  California.

Titans’ running back Chris Johnson (28) is tackled by the San Francisco 49ers’ defensive player Patric Willis (52) during the game played at Candlestick Park , San Francisco , California. The Titans would go on to defeat the 49ers 34-27, to win their second consecutive game of the season , pushing their record in the NFL to 2-6 . picture appears courtesy of getty images/ Ezra Shaw …….

And for the claims being made by Titans’ running back Chris Johnson , that his team is quite capable of reeling off 10 straight wins to place the team amongst the thick of things. Well, it’d be a whole lot easier Chris , had you made those predictions earlier . Rather than after the Tennessee Titans (2-6) hadn’t gotten off to an 0-6 start to the season. Now you’re setting yourself and your teammates up for an even greater fall in the event of another loss. And that my friend is no laughing matter.

Whatever happens throughout the ensuing run to the end of the regular season. We will probably all remark as to the ups and downs for many of the teams in the NFL . But even more so , I think that the conversation will be about how bland and bad so many of the teams were. Parity is now being used as a misnomer for the inadequacies that’d been sought within the league. One of the problems is however, the lack of on-field talent but what’s even becoming more so, is the lack of depth in talent amongst the coaching ranks in the NFL at present. Take a look around and scrutinize the rosters of the teams with regard to the coaches and their staffs. Non too impressive to begin with , now is it ?

Click here to see the the NFL divisional standings …………………

Week 9 Results ……..

Washington Redskins 17 Atlanta Falcons 31

Arizona Cardinals 41 Chicago Bears 21

Baltimore Ravens 7 Cincinnati Bengals 17

Houston Texans 17 Indianapolis Colts 20

Kansas City Chiefs 21 Jacksonville Jaguars 24

Carolina Panthers 20 New Orleans Saints 30

Detroit Lions 20 Seattle Seahawks 32

San Diego Chargers 21 New York Giants 20

Tennessee Titans 34 San Francisco 49ers 27