I don’t like Mondays …

I don’t like Mondays …..

Well it’s Monday and in the aftermath of an excellent sports’ weekend we can look back and assess the damage done by way of the results. Major League Baseball and the mystifying play of the teams was beyond bewildering. Two of the series were uncompetitive with the Baltimore Orioles sweeping the Detroit Tigers with immense ease. In the other ALDS contest, the Cinderella story continues with Ned Yost and the Kansas City Royals continuing their march through the postseason after downing the Los Angeles Angels. As to what this might say about a team whose payroll exceeds the Royals’ almost “two to one “ , has me now believing , it’s not about the pay alone , but the quality of the players and their commitment to pursuing the same goals .

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For Angels’ manager Mike Sciocsia , this might have been his last season in charge as the manager of Major League team. Executives , Arte Moreno and GM Jerry Dipoto are likely to make the decision relieve Sciocsia of his managerial duties , with several of the players on the current roster likely to be shown the door .

The two remaining series still ongoing, have now become the best of a three-game series, with the Los Angeles Dodgers and St Louis Cardinals’ squared at one game apiece (1-1), with the Washington Nationals and San Francisco Giants also squared one apiece . Game three for the four teams will take place on Monday 6th October , 2014 with the home teams in both cases seeking to take a 2-1 advantage in their respective series.

Say what you will about the College Football season with the now defunct BCS seeking re-image itself as a more concerned entity and its perceived image by the fans. With intelligence , it is said comes clarity and a sense of purpose, but for collegiate athletics as it relates to football, it is business as usual , with money being the preeminent reason for the game to exist . Where else can you witness such brazen greed among the major conference, with the programs themselves and conference commissioners playing an active role in how the tens of billions of dollars in revenue are disbursed ? I guess the word “shamateurism ” is well represented , with the NCAA playing their part in making sure the fraud continues , albeit the all too naive fans of the game and college athletics believes there still remains some endearing principles being upheld.

If nothing else, with a new playoff format now set to unfold the results one would hope, will play some part in how the empaneled body will seek come up with their premise upon which teams are likely to be playing for a national championship in College Football. Week six’s results were somewhat surprising , with Alabama falling to conference rivals Ole Miss in a very extraordinary result .

We all know how competitive the SEC will be this season , with several teams within the conference likely to be vying for one of the playoff berths. With Alabama’s loss , things have not only been shaken up within the conference , but also among the collegiate landscape and the national rankings . How five weeks into the schedule , Nick Saban’s team can still be ranked inside the top ten having suffered a conference loss while noted unbeaten teams are ranked lower, remains as mystifying as the play of the players during their game against the Rebels.

I am not about to suggest Nick Saban and the Tide’s hopes have been dashed after this defeat, but it is unlikely to be an aid to the team and their long-term goals. Next up for Alabama will be a game against Arkansas (Razorbacks) in a contest likely to be a competitive match-up between these two teams.

It seems rather idiotic the talk within certain circles happens to be the future of Florida Gators’ head coach Wil Muschamp after an indifferent season in 2013 and a rather tenuous start to 2014 . AD Jeremy Foley has stated Muschamp’s job is safe for now and there will be no changes made until the end of the season. Florida (3-1) are a good team , but they are not a great team and while the expectations are always high for a program known for the success gained with Urban Meyer as the head coach. It must be said, the Gators became very complacent after their two most recent national title championships. A great deal of the blame rests squarely on the shoulders of Meyer prior to his abrupt departure from the program.

The Gators’ defeat came in their week four loss to Alabama in what was to be a reflection of their season so far . If you thought things would get any easier, then consider the fact Florida struggled in their next game eking out a 10-9 win over Tennessee (Volunteers) in a terrifically bad exhibition of football by both teams on the day within the SEC .

Gators’ quarterback Matt Jones was the starter in the game against the Volunteers who struggled constantly as did his backup , Jeff Driskell , but the issues of the team are not just on the offensive side of ball but also defensively which suggest Wil Muschamp and his staff have a great deal of work do before their next game . That contest will be against another SEC behemoth , where Les Miles and the LSU Tigers will be the guests of Florida this upcoming Saturday , 11th October, 2014 at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, Florida.

Heisman Trophy winners often viewed as the best player in College Football for the year they won the trophy or simply for the body of their work during their college career. In recent seasons we have seen winners such as Cam Newton , Robert Griffin III and now Johnny Manziel take the step from the college ranks to the professional level. In 2014 , the front-runner for the award appears to be Marcus Mariota of Oregon (Ducks) , a program simply known for their offensive prowess while showing very little guile on defense . Such are the ways of the programs within the Pac-12 , that it remains easy to understand why those teams have continued to struggle in recent seasons to make inroads in winning a national title.

Mariota and the team were off to an impressive start to their season before being recently upended by conference rivals Arizona (Wildcats) in a lively contest where the two opposing quarterbacks let loose with their array of talents . This was a game which told us a great deal about Mariota, but also likely may , well have forestalled his chances of winning the Heisman this season . I believe he remains the front-runner , where last year’s winner Jameis Winston because of his off-field antics will be overlooked as a repeat winner and where the other likely candidates may well have inched closer in closing the gap on the presumed leader . Todd Gurley , Amari Cooper , Ameer Abdullah , Kenny Hill , Dak Prescott , Everett Golson and Melvin Gordon are seen as the players still in with a chance of claiming college football’s most prestigious individual trophy.

Week seven will see Oregon led by head coach Mark Helfrich lead his team against the UCLA Bruins (4-1) in what is sure to be a lively contest.

You have to wonder how much longer fans of the NFL can endure the idiotic antics , rhetoric and pragmatism of New York Jets’ head coach Rex Ryan . At the start of the season Ryan was extolling the virtues of his team and in particular his quarterback Geno Smith. Five weeks into the NFL season and Smith remains one of the least productive quarterbacks in the league and his frailties and tendencies are still being exposed .

Coming off the wrong side of an embarrassing defeat, where no real explanation could be offered up by anyone on the Jets’ coaching staff or roster . It easy to now understand why everyone might want to hide their heads in shame . Not only did Philp Rivers and the San Diego enjoy exploiting the New York Jets’ secondary, but I got the impression had the Chargers not made a number mistakes the margin of victory certainly would have exceeded fifty points instead of the end result of 31-0 , in a rout of the Jets.

There are few alternatives for Rex Ryan with regard to demoting Geno Smith and then calling on a veteran such as Michael Vick . The former starter with both the Atlanta Falcons and Philadelphia Eagles is now on the downside of a less than stellar career . Things are unlikely to get any easier in six when the New York Jets host the Denver Broncos who are coming off the demolition of the Arizona Cardinals this past week . Needless to say , Peyton Manning is likely to revel in the task of shredding the Jets’ defense throughout this contest.

In week seven the Jets will lock horns with the New England Patriots in a game which will likely have a bearing determining the AFC East , where the play has been less than impressive from the teams within the division.

New England have been far from convincing through their first five games , A> with some now questioning the consistency of Tom Brady’s play and of the defense and offense in particular . A great deal of the blame rests squarely on the shoulders of head coach Bill Belichick and his coaching staff who seem to be showing complacency in a number of areas. A case could be made that Josh McDaniels and Matt Patricia are failing in their respective duties without pointing blame at the Pro Bowl quarterback . And while the Patriots lead the AFC East , the division is by no means sewn up , albeit, it remains a poor division in terms of the overall play witnessed this season.

Policy or no policy , the idiocy of the league as well as their front office executives remains bewildering and rather self-absorbed . Who are the NFL trying to protect , if not themselves ? Clearly, neither Roger Goodell or the owners have the faintest idea about reality and the world they conduct business in, other than to make money at the cost of consumers , and the legions of female fans of the league. As for the insistence of the league, it remains conscious of their duties in fighting off all stereotypes of their image, concerning player misconduct, consider the negative stories which have engulfed the league recently and the response from the NFL , certain members of the hierarchy without the failure of the NFLPA (union) and its executive committee to step up and issue an official statement. Instead there has been a great deal of rhetoric , pragmatism but above all , a great deal of goddamn hypocrisy and apathy on the part the traditional male fans , who seem to be Neanderthal in their nature and thinking .

Colin Kaepernick and the Forty Niners have been indifferent in terms of their performances this season . Having landed a multi-year , multi-million dollar contract which makes the quarterback among the highest paid players in the NFL . It would be true to suggest through five games, Kaepernick seems a mere shadow of the player who took the franchise to their most recent playoff successes , albeit they failed in their ultimate goal of claiming a Superbowl victory.

Kapernick and the San Francisco 49ers(3-2) will be in for a tough battle with the Seattle Seahawks(3-1) as they each seek divisional supremacy within the NFC West this season . The divisional games between these two teams this season should tell us a great deal about both teams as well as the two opposing quarterbacks , Colin Kapernick and Russell Wilson . Wilson for his part almost single-handed took apart the woefully inept Washington Redskins(1-4) in the latest chapter of another bad Monday Night Game this
season
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With there being a great deal on unrest now said to be ongoing within the San Francisco 49ers’ locker room and the adversarial approach now taking place between head coach Jim Harbaugh and his players , it remains to be seen whether not the coach last the season or the possibility he might be fired by Trent Baalke .

It’s still early days yet , but with a new owner in tow , Tom Benson of the New Orleans Pelicans has to be hoping the franchise he purchased will one of the teams likely to be very competitive this season . With Anthony Davis coming off a FIBA World Cup medal tournament win and the player being the centerpiece of head coach’s Monty Willams’ ambitions for this team . It will be interesting to see how the players fare once the regular season gets underway.

While I believe the Pelicans to be a good team , they are not yet a great team and they have no real pedigree or body of work to show they will be one of the better franchises within their division much less their conference this upcoming season. What we are aware of, is the very fact they have a young core group of players quite capable of excelling at the highest levels when coached by a very good staff . Dell Demps has assembled a roster he believes will be good enough to make a competitive challenge within the Southwestern Division and Western Conference this upcoming season .

Anthony Davis , a supporting cast of Jimmer Fredette , Tyreke Evans , Luke Babbitt , Eric Gordon , John Salmons and Austin Rivers are likely to provide Pelicans’ fans with a number of highlights this season. In the preseason the team has already had their way with an experienced Miami Heat team , that may well appear to be still shell-shocked after their rather shocking display in NBA Finals last season.

The Pelicans will open their regular season schedule against the Orlando Magic in a game where the home team will have a distinct advantage. Regular season meetings between the two teams over the past four years have been entertaining and wild, with the emphasis placed on offense over defense. Anthony Davis will be viewed as the focal point of the team, but I believe it will be Tyreke Evans who will prove to be one the primary mainstays for the Pelicans over the course of this season . Games against the San Antonio Spurs will be of particular interest , as it will be a way for the Pelicans to test the merits of the team .

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Picture gallery .

In the aftermath of this sports’ weekend , what do you feel was the biggest story to unfold and which event do you think was simply over-hyped and merely the media looking to make something out of nothing ?

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Picture and slideshow details below .

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(1) Baltimore Orioles designated hitter Nelson Cruz gestures after hitting a two-run home run during the sixth inning in Game 3 of baseball’s AL Division Series against the Detroit Tigers, Sunday, Oct. 5, 2014, in Detroit. Cruz was one of the primary reasons why the Orioles swept the Tigers in three games to make it to this season’s ALCS where they will face the Kansas City Royals with the winner representing the AL in this year’s World Series . AP Photo/Carlos Osorio …

(2) Baltimore Orioles’ Nick Markakis , right, and Nelson Cruz celebrate after Baltimore defeated the Detroit Tigers, 2-1, in Game 3 of baseball’s AL Division Series Sunday, Oct. 5, 2014, in Detroit. Baltimore won the series 3-0. AP Photo/Paul Sancya …

(3) Kansas City Royals’ Eric Hosmer , right, celebrates his two-run home run with Alex Gordon in the 11th inning against the Los Angeles Angels in Game 2 of baseball’s AL Division Series, in Anaheim, Calif., Friday, Oct. 3, 2014. AP Photo/Gregory Bull …

(4) Kansas City Royals manager Ned Yost, right, celebrates with Mike Moustakas after the Royals’ 3-2 win over the Los Angeles Angels in 11 innings during Game 1 of baseball’s AL Division Series in Anaheim, Calif., Thursday, Oct. 2, 2014. Moustakas hit a home rum in the 11th inning. AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi …

(5) Trae Elston (7) of the Ole Miss Rebels celebrates after a kickoff against the Alabama Crimson Tide on October 4, 2014 at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium in Oxford, Mississippi. Getty Images/ Joe Murphy …

(6) Serdius Bryant (14) of the Ole Miss Rebels tackles T.J. Yeldon (4) of the Alabama Crimson Tide on OCTOBER 4, 2014 at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium in Oxford, Mississippi. Mississippi beat Alabama 23-17. Joe Murphy/ Getty Images ..

(7) Marcus Mariota quarterback of Oregon Ducks , seen as this year’s Heisman Trophy front-runner , but with the team suffering their first loss of the season against Arizona , the feeling is the player has now fallen in down the list of favored candidates for this season’s award. AP Photo / Michelle Ward ..

(8) Geno Smith of the New York Jets whose performance against the San Diego Chargers was among the worst of week five among the starting quarterbacks in the NFL on the day . The Jets would end up losing the game 31-0 , with head coach Rex Ryan having to insert Michael Vick in the early stages of the contest. It remains to be seen whether or not Smith will be the team’s starter for week six . Getty Images / Richard Parsons …

(9) Anthony Bennett(42) of the New Orleans Pelicans is seen here with Pelicans’ head coach Mont Williams during a team workout session for Team USA in their preparation for the FIBA World Cup Basketball Tournament held in Barcelona , Spain this year . The team took home the gold medal after a very tough and competitive competition. Getty Images / Phillipa Law …

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tophatal 2014/10/06

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Make that ‘two ‘ to go , with a side order of tits and @ss .

The Who Dat Boys …… Can They Make A Quick Turnaround ?

The Who Dat Boys …… Can They Make A Quick Turnaround ?

One year removed from having won the Superbowl the New Orleans Saints had the inauspicious privilege of being hoisted on their own petards during the wildcard round of last season’s NFL playoffs by the Seattle Seahawks . That untimely exit left many wondering whether or not the New Orleans Saints had in fact become complacent in light of their triumph . The loss in of-itself was simply one where what you see is what you get as complacency simply had set in with this organization .

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Heroes in the wake of the post ‘Hurricane Katrina’ disaster the Saints set out to bring pride back to the Crescent City and its residents . The 2010 regular season for the team showed that while they still possessed that offensive prowess there was something lacking in Sean Payton’s team. It was never properly addressed by the coach and his assistants in spite of the belief that this organization was looking to be once again a part of the postseason. Team owner Tom Benson loved being the center of attention after the years of ridicule being portrayed as disinterested NFL franchisee . But the tide turned after the team was able to secure the trade that would bring Drew Brees from the San Diego Chargers to join the New Orleans Saints . And the rest as they say is history as things gradually progressed to the point were the quarterback would simply bring about changes in the fortunes of the organization.

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New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landriew , second from right, speaks during a tour and dedication of the newly renovated Louisiana Superdome, home of the New Orleans Saints NFL football team, in New Orleans, Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2011. The $85 million in state-funded upgrades were a key part of the state’s agreement with the New Orleans Saints to ensure the team remains in New Orleans through 2025. From left are Saints owner Tom Benson, Superdome Management Group senior vice president Doug Thornton , Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and Saints owner and executive vice president Rita Benson LeBlanc. AP Photo/Gerald Herbert …..

This season however , with changes made by the front office led my general manager Mickey Loomis the loss of Reggie Bush notwithstanding the organization sought to make the necessary moves through the draft and via free agency make this team considerably better and a serious challenger within the NFC South , the conference as a whole and a legitimate contender for the Superbowl once again.

With the former Heisman Trophy winner now making his home with the Miami Dolphins like a former Saints’ predecessor , Ricky Williams ___ it has to be said that Bush’s undistinguished career with the Saints was simply one of ups and downs. Never truly acclimatizing or living up to the hype the player will now try to prove himself worthy of Dolphins’ trust in him. Dolphins’ owner Stephen Ross , general manager Jeff Ireland and coach Tony Sparano may well be going out on a limb in acquiring the player but given Dolphins’ woes of last season within the AFC East of this organization leads me to believe that not only is this an act of desperation but Sparano’s very future will rely upon Reggie Bush leading this team with some authority on the field of play.

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Darren Sproles (43) of the New Orleans Saints works out during practice at the New Orleans Saints training facility on August 5, 2011 in Metairie, Louisiana. Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images) ………

The New Orleans Saints at this point through attrition and the moves made via free agency and the draft should be considerably better. The team added Alex Barron , Aubrayo Franklin , Olin Kreutz , Will Herring , Darren Sproles , Fabian Washington and Shaun Rogers . Players one would still deem that they have something to offer the organization and will ultimately be of benefit to the team. The defense needed to be shored up and it should now bode well for the Saints over the course of the regular season. The Saints having drafted Mark Ingram to complement a receiving corp that might just one of the most potent weaponry of any team within the NFC and league as a whole .

As I alluded to earlier the season could very well give a great insight into how the New Orleans may well acquit themselves . And given the competitiveness within the NFC South , a trio teams in the Atlanta Falcons , Carolina Panthers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers ___ each of whom will be looking to prove their dominance within the division. From my own perspective I believe that the Carolina Panthers will have their struggles as Cam Newton looks to acquaint himself to the rigors of the NFL as rookie coach Ron Rivera also has his own baptism of fire within the league.

The Falcons with their Pro Bowl quarterback Matt Ryan and Mike Smith the team’s coach will also be looking to gauge their own competitiveness within the NFL this upcoming season . I can’t say that the Atlanta Falcons are not a team to be feared but given the inconsistency shown by the team they may well struggle to prove themselves truly worthy consideration as a Superbowl contender .

For what is now a resurgent Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ organization led by coach Raheem Morris and general manager Mark Dominik . This will be a team looking to make even further strides than beyond what was achieved last season . The Tampa Bay Buccaneers narrowly missed the postseason by failing to notch an eleventh win which would have secured them a berth in playoffs. That lone misstep pretty much summed up a lost opportunity for the team which was gallantly led by their quarterback Josh Freeman .

Coming off a stellar season Josh Freeman will be out to prove to his doubters that he’s quite capable of taking this current roster to the next level. Certainly those who have witnessed the play of the young quarterback will know that he has a great deal of poise about him and that his maturity level is way beyond what many believed capable of a the third year starter. Raheem Morris, his coaching staff have a great deal of faith in the player and under the tutelage of quarterbacks’ coach Alex Van Pelt one can see the strides taken to improve Freeman’s play.

Ever resourceful , this organization will be looking to usurp the perceived supremacy of both the Atlanta Falcons and New Orleans Saints as their season unfolds. Their first task will be gauge themselves during their first outing of the preseason against the Kansas City Chiefs . Rookies and some starters will play a number of series as Raheem Morris and the coaching staff get the chance to assess the players under a game scenario , albeit that is merely a preseason game. It will be interesting to see how the fans will view the chances of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers over the course of the season and whether or not they are in fact credible contenders within the NFL. The disappointment of last season may well still linger but if this team can put that behind them , then there’s no reason not to believe why they cannot have a chance to prove themselves worthy opponents over of this NFL calendar .

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Raheem Morris, center, takes a break from practice to sign autographs for fans during NFL football training camp on Friday, July 29, 2011, in Tampa, Fla. AP Photo/Brian Blanco ….

The NFC South is not often considered one of the glamor divisions of the NFL . But when one considers that a sole loss was all that deprived the Buccaneers of finishing with a 11-5 mark and making the postseason as a wildcard entrant leads me to believe that this team won’t be making the same sort of mistake again. They have learned their lesson and most certainly that seems to be now showing during which we are now seeing Freeman taking much more of a leadership role on this team alongside seasoned veterans Kellen Winslow Jr and Ronde Barber .

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

What thoughts if any do you have concerning the New Orleans Saints and in your opinion are they viable contenders within their division and perhaps the Superbowl ? Or do you in fact see either the Tampa Bay Buccaneers or Atlanta Falcons proving to be a better team this upcoming season ? Simply leave a comment as to your thoughts .

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

Contact tophatal ………. rapptu@gmail.com

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Picture and slide show details below .

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(1) New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landriew , second from right, speaks during a tour and dedication of the newly renovated Louisiana Superdome, home of the New Orleans Saints NFL football team, in New Orleans, Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2011. The $85 million in state-funded upgrades were a key part of the state’s agreement with the New Orleans Saints to ensure the team remains in New Orleans through 2025. From left are Saints owner Tom Benson, Superdome Management Group senior vice president Doug Thornton , Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and Saints owner and executive vice president Rita Benson LeBlanc . AP Photo/Gerald Herbert ….

(2) Head coach Sean Payton talks with Defensive Coordinator Gregg Williams of the New Orleans Saints during practice at the New Orleans Saints training facility on August 5, 2011 in Metairie, Louisiana. Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images …..

(3) Quarterback Drew Brees (9) talks with center Olin Kreutz (50) of the New Orleans Saints during practice at the New Orleans Saints training facility on August 5, 2011 in Metairie, Louisiana. Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images ……

(4) METAIRIE, LA – AUGUST 05: Mark Ingram (28) of the New Orleans Saints works out during practice at the New Orleans Saints training facility on August 5, 2011 in Metairie, Louisiana. Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images …..

(5) Darren Sproles (43) of the New Orleans Saints works out during practice at the New Orleans Saints training facility on August 5, 2011 in Metairie, Louisiana. Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images ………

(6) TAMPA, FL – JULY 29: Quarterback Josh Freeman (5) of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers signs an autograph during the team’s first pre-season training camp practice July 29, 2011 at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images …

(7) Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Raheem Morris, center, takes a break from practice to sign autographs for fans during NFL football training camp on Friday, July 29, 2011, in Tampa, Fla. AP Photo/Brian Blanco ………

(8) TAMPA, FL – JULY 29: Tight end Kellen Winslow (82) of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers runs up-field with a pass during the team’s first pre-season training camp practice July 29, 2011 at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa, Florida. Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images ….
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The NFL Has A Zero Tolerance Of What ?

The NFL Has A Zero Tolerance Of What ?

While the NFL has its off-season , the stories that come to the fore never cease to amaze. From former NFL great Lawrence Taylor’s assignation with a young teen and his choosing to having solicited sex from this female , to the very fact that he now causes embarrassment to his wife and immediate family. To top it all with his lawyer professing his client’s innocence we now find out the player confirmed to law enforcement _ members of the Ramapo Police Dept that he did in fact have sex with the teen and paid her for the act . It appears that LT isn’t one to heed his lawyer’s advice.

Former New York Giants L-R: Carl Banks, Lawrence Taylor and Harry Carson on the sidelines before an NFC wildcard game January 8, 2006 at the Meadowlands. The Carolina Panthers defeated the Giants 23 - 0. Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images ..........

Carl Banks (left), Lawerence Taylor (center) and Harry Caron (right) are seen on the sidelines before an NFC wildcard game at the Meadowlands against the Carolina Panthers. The Panthers would go on to defeat the Giants 23-0 . Getty Images / Al Messerschmidt ….

Courtesy of the New York Daily News

Lawrence Taylor’s arrest on rape charges saddens his New York Giants family


By Gary Myers New York Daily News

This was in December of 1998 and I was sitting with Lawrence Taylor in his house in Upper Saddle River, just more than a month before the vote on his election to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. It had been a bumpy five years following his retirement and LT was aware voters could stray from the rules and consider his drug arrests and long list of off-the-field problems when considering his candidacy.

LT was in a talkative mood that day – part therapy and part campaigning for votes.

“I’m quite sure, as long as I live, there is always going to be some controversy with me,” he said. “People must think I get up in the morning and say, ‘Let me see what I can get into now.'”

He has rarely given reason to think otherwise.

Although it had been pretty quiet on the LT police blotter since he was inducted in Canton on Aug. 7, 1999, that all changed this past week after he was arrested for allegedly raping a 16-year-old girl and soliciting a prostitute. LT has two daughters from his first marriage older than the girl he is accused of raping.

It has left the Giants community saddened and stunned.

“LT is like a brother to me,” Harry Carson told the Daily News. “I consider it a family matter and far be it from me to speak about my brother or my family at this time. What generally happens is you circle the wagons and support one another. It’s not about communicating with the world, it’s not about me running my mouth. It’s about trying to be as supportive as I can to someone I am very close to.”

Carson and Taylor had a falling out in the late ’90s after LT’s drug arrest in Florida. He said Carson was saying negative things about him and he was tired of it. They didn’t speak for the nine months before Taylor entered Canton, but Carson broke the ice when he showed up for LT’s induction. Taylor then gave a special mention to Carson in his speech.

“We’ve always been buddies,” Carson said. “There was a period when there was a rough patch.”

Taylor went from the NFL draft at Radio City Music Hall on April 22, where he was honored as one of the 10 best draft picks of all time, to St. Kitts, where he met up with Carson to play in Bruce Smith’s golf tournament. “Everything was fine,” Carson said.

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Now having been indicted , Taylor a trial awaits with all of the paparazzi and mayhem that one expect would occur when it comes to a fallen NFL idol. Should we at all be surprised by the sheer stupidity that emanates from the NFL and from its current or former players ? It’s not as if the league’s hierarchy or the NFLPA- (union) is overly concerned with its image to begin with ! Not only unless it adversely affects the monies coming into its coffers. Roger Goodell merely chooses the battles he sees fit to intervene in but rarely has he been proactive in dealing with many of the underlying issues that affects the game and its image adversely. And it is the same with his union counterpart NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith .

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As reigning Superbowl champions you’d expect that the New Orleans Saints would now be basking in the glory from its 31-17 defeat of the Indianapolis Colts in Superbowl (SBXLIV) . Well low and behold, nothing could be further from the truth. The organization has now become embroiled in a rather nasty civil suit that could very well send shock waves not just within the front office hierarchy of the Saints , itself. But the tremors from those very waves could well be felt across the bows and within the front office of NFL hierarchy itself. Saints’ owner Tom Benson is steadfastly sticking behind team GM Micky Loomis , coach Sean Payton and assistant coach Joe Vitt .

Courtesy of Associated Press

Saints’ coach Payton deflects lawsuit questions

Metairie , Louisiana — Saints coach Sean Payton says this weekend’s rookie camp is the wrong time to address accusations that the club covered up prescription drug thefts and abuse at team headquarters.

Payton says he cannot discuss the matter while a civil lawsuit filed by former team security director Geoffrey Santini is pending.

The suit claims linebackers coach Joe Vitt was caught on video stealing Vicodin from the team’s drug locker and that the Saints tried to keep it quiet. It also claims Payton was allowed to take excessive amounts of Vicodin from team supplies.

Both coaches are going about their normal duties this weekend.

Payton says Vitt deserves as much credit as anyone for last season’s Super Bowl championship.

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What is now unfolding from within the New Orleans Saints is either a wantoned act of sheer stupidity and desperation by several senior executives or just complete deniability or culpability by those embroiled in the alleged theft of property from the Saints. The allegations are that Joe Vitt is said to have removed excessive amounts of the drug Vicodin from the club’s property without authorization. And given the fact that under federal law the drug’s use has to prescribed under prescription from a certified medical professional. Former team security and liaison officer Geoffrey Santini is said to have been asked to conduct an investigation into the missing medication. However, it has been alleged that upon having culminated his investigation , Santini states that GM Micky Loomis conducted a cover up as to what took place and the very fact that Vitt was the actual perpetrator of the criminal act of removing the drugs in question. It is also being alleged that Payton , himself , is also embroiled in this from a standpoint that he’s said to be an alleged abuser in the use of Vicodin. Though there have been denials from both coaches concerning the matter. It has to be said that trying to question Santini’s credibility might well be a tough thing to prove. Geoffrey Santini is a former decorated and seasoned veteran of the FBI .

With Santini having been fired and bring about this suit , the Saints and their legal counsel have made it clear that they intend to challenge this suit vehemently and add this suit itself is without merit and frivolous. However, the landscape of this all could well be altered from the fact that Santini states that he still has within his possession evidence that supports his findings. And much of that evidence stems from the fact that he says he has videotaped recordings of Vitt removing the ‘said items’ from the Saints’ property. If this proves to be true then the cat and mouse antics that’s now taking place between the two sides will be for nought. Federal investigators aren’t yet involved in the matter but one can be sure that they’re watching this all with a great deal of scrutiny. And should they intervene and then become involved in this all, then it could very well spell disaster for a number of high ranking officials within the Saints’ organization. At this moment in time , it is nothing more than a civil suit brought about by an ex-employee of the New Orleans Saints with the organization as defendants and Geoffrey Santini as the the plaintiff.

You’ve either got to be the dumbest “son of a bitch” on the face of the planet or you simply don’t give a f_ck once you become a much vaulted player within the camaraderie of the NFL ! That’s simply the only reason I can now describe ormer USC defensive player Brian Cushing . The player has been drafted by the Houston Texans and was seen as a fulcrum for a very porous defense within the AFC South .

The AP NFL Rookie of The Year will now spend the first four games of the 2010 NFL season having violated the NFL’s substance abuse policy, having tested positive for an illegal substance. Though this isn’t the first time that the player has had such a problem as there had been suspicions as to his use while under Pete Carroll’s program there at USC . And one was under the impression that the only real problem there with the program may well have been flouting the NCAA rules ? Hell no , you name it and more likely than they’d have found a way to circumvent the rules as long as it benefited the program. Never mind the morons within the NCAA hierarchy. Those as_holes couldn’t find their own rear ends were they given a mirror to assist them. And as for USC Athletics’ Director Mike Garrett . Well let’s just say his idea of remaining within the guidelines have become somewhat skewered. As for Pete Carroll , his ass fled from USC faster than sprinter Usain Bolt slips from the starting blocks in a 100 meter sprint. You’re not going to blame him for any of the mess that befalls the program. That s_it will land firmly in the lap of his successor Lane Kiffin .

Courtesy of Associated Press & Yahoo Sports

Texans owner: More info needed on suspensions

By Barry Wilner AP Sports Writer

New York (AP)—Houston Texans owner Robert McNair says he’d like more information to be provided to the team when a player has a league suspension pending.

McNair said Monday he knew during the 2009 season that linebacker Brian Cushing(notes) had “an issue” with the NFL. McNair was given no details by the league of what it concerned.

Turns out, it concerned Cushing using a banned substance, for which he was suspended last week for the first four games of the 2010 season.

The Associated Press NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year admitted taking a non-steroid banned substance, which is still considered performance-enhancing by the league. He did not identify the substance he took.

Cushing won the end-of-season honor as part of the AP’s annual awards for outstanding on-field performance by players. As a result of the penalty and admission, the AP is taking a revote for the defensive rookie award plus for All-Pro outside linebacker. Cushing received five votes in that category and made the second team. He is still among the nominees in the revote.

All ballots in the revote are due by early Wednesday afternoon.

Cushing was a runaway winner for the rookie award in balloting by a nationwide panel of 50 sports writers and broadcasters who cover the league. He received 39 votes, easily beating Buffalo safety Jairus Byrd(notes), who had six.

“This is the first time we’ve encountered an issue like this,” said Lou Ferrara, AP’s managing editor for sports and entertainment. “Because these awards are based on on-field performance, we consider it necessary to review the matter and allow for a re-vote, especially after concerns were raised by many of our voters.”

McNair criticized the suspension and appeal process.

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Click on link to read Wilner’s article in its entirety.
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Texans’ owner Bob McNair feels aggrieved that Cushing will have to undergo the four game suspension. Did I miss something here ? But this is a mandatory suspension that was agreed upon by all parties concerned , the owners the NFL hierarchy and that of the , NFLPA as laid out in the collective bargaining agreement. Brian Cushing for his part hasn’t been forthcoming as to what he tested positive for but one can surmise that it could either be for marijuana or a steroid. McNair on the other hand is crying foul for all of the wrong reasons. Could an owner be more asinine in his resolve ?

You don’t bend the rules simply because you’re not happy with it ! Especially given the fact that the player’s character has come into question prior to his joining the NFL. I am of the opinion that the NFL at times , feels that it is above the laws of the land ? Never mind the fact that its players act like a bunch of primadonas the vast majority of the time ! Clearly there’s something awry here when an owner feels that the hierarchy of the game ought to be answerable to him and not the other way around. After-all , it is a player that is in the Texans’ employ that has flouted the rules here . And as such if there’s proof of guilt then the punishment ought to fit the crime.

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Here it appears that McNair is merely trying to make the situation as it concerns his player somewhat more beneficial to himself and his organization. As to the NFL under the tenure of Roger Goodell , as its commissioner . I am still at a loss what to make of him not just as the game’s highest ranking official but also as a human being ! The vast majority of the time he comes across as none-plussed and clearly out of his depth . And at other times even when trying to be succinct you can’t be sure what it is that he’s trying to communicate to us all en masse`. Pardon for saying this but what is the NFL’s actual tolerance level and policy ? Does anyone really know ? If you have an answer or the answers , then by all means submit them as part of your response to this very article . It ought to make for an interesting topic of discussion !

Alan Parkins aka tophatal ………………………..

Nelly …………………. “Country Grammar”