Make Up To Break Up ….

Make Up To Break Up …

So to round out week seven of the NFL regular season the New England Patriots faced their AFC East divisional rivals the New York Jets. It was a master-class as these two teams were divergent with regard to their aspirations for the season.

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Adam Gase the current Jets’ Head Coach is a former assistant with Bill Belichcik , Head Coach of the Patriots for the last twenty-three years during which he’s coached the franchise to eight
Superbowl
appearances, winning on six occasions with the Patriots . Tom Brady , the quarterback for New England during each of those triumphs, continues to be as consistent as ever. Last night’s performance by the player was once again a work of art , where he clearly outplayed his Jets’ counterpart Sam Darnold , a first-round pick among the quarterbacks from the 2018 NFL Draft . This game was a complete rout with the Patriots’ defense coming away with several interceptions and the sacking of Darnold on multiple occasions. Patriots’ defensive player Devin McCourty , a seasoned veteran might well be having his best year ever as a player with New England . With the result being a 33-0 beating of the New York Jets and New England now moving to 7-0 . The question now being asked is there a team within the AFC capable of beating the New England Patriots at this juncture ?

With the New England Patriots now having acquired Mohammed Sanu from the Atlanta Falcons for a future second-round draft pick , this bolsters the receiving corps of the Patriots and provides them with additional depth on their roster . In week eight , the half-way mark of the regular season the New England Patriots are set to meet the Cleveland Browns in a conference road game .

Say what you will , but injuries have begun to plague the teams around the NFL , causing dire situations for many of them. The Carolina Panthers remain without Cam Newton , albeit , that his back-up , Kyle Allen has shown a great deal of maturity, as the Panthers continue to surprise many in the absence of Newton being on the field. Kyle Allen has proven to be an exceptional understudy , while leading the Panthers to a very good start to their season in 2019. Up next for Allen and the Carolina Panthers will be a game against the unbeaten San Francisco 49ers in an NFC conference match-up . If will be interesting to see how both of these opposing quarterbacks will fare in this contest.

Tuesday, 22nd October and it is the Opening Night for the NBA regular season schedule. Defending NBA champions , the Toronto Raptors will begin defense of their title , which they won convincingly, defeating the Golden State Warriors last season. Toronto will tip-off against the New Orleans Pelicans , who will be without their rookie sensation Zion Williamson . The former Duke star will be sidelined for the next six to eight weeks as he recuperates from surgery, having torn his meniscus. In his absence, it is expected that Lonzo Ball will be expected to lead this team alongside veteran player JJ Redick . Though they’re not expected to be in contention within their division , it will be interested to see how the Pelicans will fare through their regular season schedule and especially within their conference . . Williamson’s first game back, if everything goes to schedule , his first professional season game will see the player and his teammates face the Detroit Pistons on the 9th December .

Anthony Davis has found a new home having left the New Orleans Pelicans to join LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers . The trade which brought Davis to the franchise , saw Lonzo Ball and players superfluous to the Lakers’ needs head East to the Pelicans. Davis was seen as one of the marquee players moved during the off-season , and the one who’s expected to have the greatest impact of all. Yet to mind , that will not be the case , as I expect both Kawhi Leonard with having joined the Los Angeles Clippers and Russell Westbrook , whose departure from the Oklahoma City Thunder to play alongside James Harden of the Houston Rockets , could very well prove to be major factors, as to who poses the biggest threat within the Western Conference and in all likelihood be seen as the prohibitive favorites for the NBA title this season.

The Los Angeles Clippers and Los Angeles Lakers will meet on Opening Night and their regular season series over the course of this season should prove to be very interesting if last season is anything to go by.

There is no denying in my mind , that the New York Knicks are likely to be once again among the worst teams in the league this upcoming season. Team owner James L Dolan and the entire front office remain completely bereft of intelligence in terms of knowing what it takes in building a successful NBA franchise. David Fizdale , Head Coach enters another season with a roster , that will be hard pressed to succeed within the Eastern Conference this season. The opening month will see the Knicks play five games against varied opponents . Fizdale and the team open up their schedule with a match-up against the San Antonio Spurs and it will be a marked surprise by way of the expected match-ups. It will be interesting to see which player steps up to the plate for the Knicks this season, whereas last season it was Tim Hardaway Jr , who this season will be with the Dallas Mavericks .

Jose Altuve once again proved why he’s been so invaluable to the Houston Astros , as his postseason heroics continued apace for the ball-club. Altuve sealed the Astros’ postseason performance in the ALCS against the New York Yankees , guiding the team to their second World Series’ appearance since 2017 .

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Carlos Correa , left is seen here with his Houston Astros’ teammate Jose Altuve .

Tonight , Tuesday, 22nd October will be the opening game of the World Series with the Houston Astros playing in front of their home crowd at Minute Maid Park in Houston , Texas as they face the Washington Nationals . Opposing pitchers for this game will be Max Scherzer of the Nationals facing Gerrit Cole of the Astros . Cole for his part will be a highly desired free agent , this off-season with his being viewed as the marquee player among the crop of free agent starting pitchers.

Gerrit Cole is a native of California and with the Los Angeles Angels , having acquired Joe Maddon as their manager. It is widely believed that GM Billy Eppler and owner Arte Moreno will seek to acquire the player and likely make him the highest paid starting pitcher in baseball , by way of base salary.

This series between the Houston Astros and Washington Nationals could very well be the most anticipated Fall Classic in recent history, with two teams, with pitching staffs considered to be among the best in baseball .

The world of sports has it’s many issues and the stories as they unfold will make for an interesting spectacle for the consumers and fans alike.

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What now brown cow or you piece of turd ?

What now brown cow or you piece of turd ?

I have repeatedly been told that Roger Goodell is a smart individual , but in all honesty , his tenure within the NFL since succeeding Paul Tagliabue as the NFL Commissioner has been a complete embarrassment. The Ted Wells’ Report encompassing the Deflate-Gate Affair was filled with potholes and it didn’t take a legal scholar to prove that Wells and the league were simply in the midst of a witch-hunt , with the absurdity of the claims without actually have in substantive evidence beyond the allegations and claims.

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Ted Wells for his part, must be embarrassed with the fact his investigation was looked upon with little credibility by US Federal District Court Judge Richard Berman . The judge for his part was disdainful with the lack of cooperation from both parties as Tom Brady sought to have his suspension overturned in US Federal District Court within the Southern District of New York State. With the news emanating that the league’s action was overturned within the legal system , it now leaves Brady to pursue his career as well as the New England Patriots having their starting quarterback ready as they kick off their regular season schedule with their week one game against AFC rivals, the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Brady and the Patriots will be looking to get off to a winning start to the season as they seek to make a successful defense of their AFC East divisional title. From my own perspective, while New England will remain under the microscope for the entire season, the league itself will and specifically Roger Goodell will continue to be questioned as to his leadership and the direction the NFL is said to be heading in. Goodell, has repeatedly failed with his leadership, lack of communicative skills and the very fact the fans have lost faith in his ability to lead. The team owners will continue to support the beleaguered executive , but I do believe it is now time to jettison the league’s highest ranking executive and for the hierarchy to seek out a successor with the ability to lead while having the best interests of the game at heart. Roger Goodell remains a paradigm and his relationship with NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith continues to be an adversarial one on so many levels.

As if the preseason for the Washington Redskins hasn’t been a controversial one with their now being doubts about the future of the team’s 2012 first round draft pick , quarterback Robert Griffin III. Now comes the news that Jessica McCloughan , wife of the Redskins’ general manager Scott McCloughan has suggested that an ESPN reporter Dianna Russini offered sexual favors in order to get a news’ scoop on a story featuring the beleaguered quarterback and his fall from grace within the organization. The general manager’s wife has since apologized for her statement and the fact it went viral through social media (Twitter) , then to be picked up by various news’ organizations around the country. This all suggests for the Redskins this season, will be equally as controversial off the field as it has been on the field with Jay Gruden and his coaching staff yet to find any semblance of consistency much less any real effort from the players to succeed.

The preseason for Robert Griffin III has been one of missed opportunities for the player and injuries once again look as if they are likely to plague his season. Griffin has been less than confident during the preseason and it should come as no surprise Jay Gruden has gone with the decision to make Kirk Cousins his starting quarterback for the Redskins’ regular season opener against the Miami Dolphins at Fedex Field in Landover , Maryland on 13th September , 2015. The Washington Redskins will need to get out to a fast start to their season , because I believe there will be a great deal to fight for within an NFC East division which I believe to be the most puerile in the entire NFL based on last season’s performances from the teams within the division. Aberration or not , the Dallas Cowboys’ overall record was buoyed by the fact its divisional and conference rivals were just mediocre in 2014.

Jay Gruden out of deference to Cousins will hope the player can prove to be far more of a success than his draft class counterpart of 2012 , with both players having some semblance of success for the franchise since being drafted three years ago. Offense will be one of the issues plaguing the Redskins but I also believe their defense will have a role to play if this team is to have any type of real success this upcoming season. Final rosters are not yet set for teams as they enter the regular season, so with their being jobs on the line and roster spots due to be finalized to fifty-three players . It will be interesting to see what steps are likely to be taken by the coaching staff and front office of the Washington Redskins concerning the final list of players likely to make the team.

Gruden will get the opportunity to assess his roster as the Redskins join the league’s thirty-one other teams to close out the preseason with game four of the exhibition schedule of 2015. That contest will be against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Everbank Field on Thursday , 3rd September. The proposed starters will likely play several series in this game with those said to be on the cusp of making the final cut being given a final chance to prove their worth. For Robert Griffin, this will likely be the last chance for the player to resurrect his career with the franchise , as I believe he could very well be jettisoned by the franchise , in their last ditch attempt to save face.

Billionaire businessman Terry Pegula having purchased the Buffalo Bills will be seeking to bring back the former glory of this once proud franchise. Granted, the heyday of the Bills were long ago under the guise Marv Levy, with both Jim Kelly and Thurman Thomas reigning supreme for the AFC based Buffalo Bills. Unfortunately , the lean years for the franchise have been unending and now with Rex Ryan taking over the reins as head coach along with a revamped coaching and playing staff , leads me to believe to Bills are likely to be in for another bumpy year and ride . Ryan’s last two seasons with the New York Jets were simply awful and there is nothing to suggest, his taking over the Bills will lead to a quick turnaround for the AFC East based franchise.

Listing the issues Rex Ryan had with the Jets during 2013 and 2014 , are easy enough to sum up , his coaching abilities were simply nowhere to be seen and quarterback Geno Smith was simply an eyesore in terms of his of ability and continued ineptitude. A case could be made , the Bills’ head coach will face the same issues he left with the Jets , having now taken over the reins from his predecessor Doug Marrone.

Though I don’t place a great deal of emphasis on what the NFL preseason has to offer . As I believe it simply a way of the league hierarchy and the owners wanting to have their way with the fans, by having them pay for an inferior on-field product during the exhibition season ! Not that the regular season tends to be any better by any stretch of the imagination, but the league and some fans in general as well as the NFL analysts believe it something we ought to salivate over.

Three weeks into the preseason and the Buffalo Bills have posted a 2-1 record , a mark they share jointly with the New England Patriots and New York Jets , as the three teams share the AFC East divisional lead during the preseason. Rex Ryan will take Buffalo Bills on the road to face the Detroit Lions at Ford Field in Detroit , Michigan to close out their preseason schedule. It affords Rex Ryan the opportunity and final chance to assess his roster , as he seeks to cut the figure down to his final spot of fifty-three players for the regular season.

Week one of the regular season will pit the Buffalo Bills against the against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis , Indiana in a game which will likely give us some indication about how the Bills seek to gauge their season against one of the AFC’s best teams over the last three seasons and in particular since Andrew Luck entered the league in 2012. For Rex Ryan the preseason has provided the problematical issue of having to sort through a group of quarterbacks not really deemed to be among the best in the league let alone being average. Having to choose from among E J Manuel and Matt Simms is not something one believe to be envious for an NFL head coach would accede to. Tyrod Taylor and Matt Cassel are two of the four quarterbacks that Rex Ryan will have to make his ultimate choice from, as to who his starter will be for the regular season. As a passing offense the Bills have been one of the poorest teams in the NFL over the past three seasons and I seriously doubt that scenario is likely to change over the course of this season.

Odell Beckham in his rookie season with the New York Giants may well have had a breakout year, but when it was all said and done , neither he or the Giants can conclude 2014 was a tremendous season for the team. They failed to make the postseason and Eli Manning simply did not live to much less meet perceived expectations sought by fans and the front office . In spite of the idiocy one particular patron and something of an infrequent visitor to this site with his idiotic claims Eli Manning now has the best receiving corps in the NFL . I would like to know where and what this idiot might actually be thinking.

For Giants’ head coach Tom Coughlin and Eli Manning this might be the last season the two in tandem will be given the chance prove their self-worth. Manning will be hoping to have a successful year in order to fortify himself with a highly lucrative contract . If the rumors are believed to be true , Eli Manning will be seeking to become one the highest paid quarterbacks in the NFL by way of annual salary as well as by his presumed contract , likely to be a six-figure , five or six-year deal . Eli Manning is now thirty-four years old and a twelve-year veteran of the NFL and I am not so sure he has it within him to guide Giants to a third Superbowl title during his tenure with the franchise.

Far too many people still remain in awe of the Eli’s two singular moments with the Giants’ triumph over the New England Patriots in Superbowl’s XLVI and XLII , but they tend to overlook his failures of late during the regular season. More so, they have overlooked his lack of leadership ability and willingness to admit to those failures. Signs to my mind, indicating conceit and a willingness to apportion blame elsewhere ! . Something often associated with players who are narcissists . A trait I believe Eli Manning also shares with fellow NFC quarterback Tony Romo of the Dallas Cowboys in several instances.

With no real challengers to his position as the Giants’ quarterback heading into the regular season , it is clear that Tom Coughlin will have to ride with Eli Manning until he sinks or swims . Many believe it will likely be the latter , but there remains this prevailing belief Peyton Manning’s younger brother is now in the waning years of a very good career , viewed in many areas of his being possibly a borderline candidate for the Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio,. With the Giants closing out their preseason with a contest against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough . Massachusetts,. The team’s regular season opener will certainly provide the fans with something to look forward to and likewise for their opponents the Dallas Cowboys who they will face at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas in week one of the 2015 regular season schedule .

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In light of Judge Richard Berman’s findings, favoring Tom Brady in the US District Court, do you believe an appeal in US Federal Appeals’ Court will overturn the decision or should the NFL simply accept their failure , having not prepared their case with any real veracity and the very fact Roger Goodell and Jeff Pash as the NFL’s Chief Legal Counsel were simply negligent in their zeal to win ? Finally, with the preseason having come to an end , did you find any of the contests to be meaningful on any level ?

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Are we not amused ?

Are we not amused ?

Well the sports’ world is now abuzz after it was revealed New England Patriots’ quarterback , four time Superbowl winner and three-time Superbowl MVP , Tom Brady was uncooperative and unwilling to aid the NFL inquiry into Deflate-Gate . Further exacerbating the matter was the fact Brady is said to have destroyed his cellphone , rather than turn it over to the league’s investigators . Personally, I believe Brady to be an ass in such an instance,because surely he must have understood the league would still have been able to access his texts sent to certain individuals said to have involved in this whole sordid affair. His pleading his innocence all along, has fallen on deaf ears , with only his faithful and loyal followers still thronging to his support.

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The Ted Wells’ Report into Brady’s actions covering the events of the AFC Championship game against the Indianapolis Colts was said to be very in-depth , leaving no stone unturned as to the player’s actions. There has yet to be a formal statement made by anyone concerning the player’s four-game suspension and his possibility of appealing the suspension either through a tribunal or through Federal District Court of Appeals . The likelihood of that now happening does seem remote, but yet Tom Brady and his legal representation might not be willing to go down without a fight. The evidence against him is not vague and he actually risks a great deal more than his legacy, should be lose in this legal process.

Brady’s own teammates may well still come out in support of the player, but we have yet to hear from the likes of Chandler Jones, Rob Gronkowski , Julian Edelman , Malcolm Butler , Rob Ninkovich , Devin McCourty and the array of other players from the Patriots’ Superbowl winning roster. Bill Belichick, GM Nick Caserio and team owner Robert ‘Bob’ Kraft will now seek to do some damage control, but it is hard to imagine how this organization can now seek to deflect any of the negative image done to the Patriots , as well as the NFL in general .

For his part, Roger Goodell, might well have come off as an executive finally exuding some intelligence and authority, but it has been his unwillingness to act proactively, which more often than not, has led to the continued negative image and view of the NFL by the fans as well among some of their major corporate sponsors. While the league does remain popular, the off and on the field antics of the players by way of their conduct continues to affect the brand and sport and adversely. Unfortunately, among the players and the leadership of the union (NFLPA), there has been no one willing to take a stance and address player misconduct and the lack of genuine sportsmanship among the fraternity of players. Inasmuch, as the fans continue to point to the popularity of the NFL and Roger Goodell’s insistence that the growing revenues of the league makes the brand more popular than ever , along with the ratings. One has to question the goals of the league and the direction it is said to be now heading in.

With the likelihood of Tom Brady missing the first four games of New England’s regular season schedule, it will be left to Jimmy Garoppolo to lead the team during the preseason and regular season as the second-year quarterback gets to prove his worth to the coaching staff of Bill Belichick. The head coach I believe has implicit faith in Brady’s understudy and it will be interesting to see how the player fares in his first professional in regular season game. His baptism of fire last season was relatively mild , and Garoppolo showed himself to be capable , though not spectacular. If he is unable to prove himself adept enough to lead the team , then problems will arise for the Patriots over the course of the preseason and regular season schedule. With only Tom Brady and Jimmy Garoppolo on the quarterbacks’ depth chart, an injury to the understudy would prove to be alarming and a catastrophe for the team. There is the likelihood, Belichick will seek to secure himself a veteran free agent quarterback as insurance, should that premise arise.

The NFL kicks off the preseason with its annual Hall of Fame game and for 2015, the contestants will be the Pittsburgh Steelers facing the Minnesota Vikings in a game to be played on 9th August, 2015 at Fawcett Stadium in Canton, Ohio,. Ensuing games for week one of the preseason schedule will take place on 13th , 14th , 15th and 16th August and 16th August, encapsulating sixteen contests during the first of four consecutive weeks of exhibition games. New England will open its preseason schedule with a contest against the Green Bay Packers at Gillette Stadium , Foxboro’, Massachusetts, in what will be Jimmy Garoppolo’s first preseason start of 2015, where his backup will be Matt Flynn , signed during the off-season by the Patriots. Other games on the schedule, will offer fans the chance to see the Detroit Lions playing host to the New York Jets , the Dallas Cowboys on the road against the San Diego Chargers , Washington Redskins facing the AFC’s Cleveland Browns at Paul Brown Stadium , in Cleveland Ohio.

This year’s Hall of Fame inductees among the players , will be Jerome Bettis , Tim Brown , Charles Haley , Junior Seau, Will Shields and Mick Tingelhoff . Granted, with the death of Seau, this season’s recipients of one of the game’s highest accolades will be tinged with a great deal of sadness.

With the revelation by the Hall of Fame and NFL jointly , whereby they will not allow or grant access to the members of Junior Seau’s family , permitting them to make an acceptance speech on the late player’s behalf, at his posthumous induction. It begs the question what it is that the league hierarchy and the Hall of Fame as an institution are seeking to do or hide? Seau’s death as tragic as the circumstances are known to be, it has been the league’s lack of being forthright in addressing the issue of chronic neurological injuries suffered from playing in the NFL , which has led to the ongoing controversy which surrounds the game. Add in the fact , Tony Dorsett, a Hall of Fame running back is now suffering from the early onset of Alzheimer’s Disease as well as CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy) and one has to ask,what else is this league (NFL) still willing to hide from the fans at this juncture ?

Will Shields, third from right, and Mick Tingelhoff, second from right, will be inducted into the Hall of Fame in August. Other inductees, from left, are running back Jerome Bettis, wide receiver Tim Brown, defensive end and linebacker Charles Haley and executive Bill Polian . On the right is executive Ron Wolf . Also being inducted is the late Junior Seau, who was represented by son Tyler, center. A family member of Junior Seau will not be granted permission to speak at the late player’s induction into the Hall of Fame , in Canton, Ohio this weekend . Both representatives of the Hall and NFL , state this is policy and should not be viewed in anyway as a distraction or a rebuff of Seau’s family or his accomplishments as a player. Courtesy of the Associated Press .

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell , might well now suggest the league is doing more than ever before to address the issue chronic neurological injuries suffered by NFL players and pointing to the fact the league will be breaking ground on a retirement facility in Ocoee, Florida, which will provide and house retired NFL veterans in ailing health. This will be the first of several heath facilities to be built around the country over the next several years , which also have experienced medical staff on call to care for these retired players. These centers will also provide residence for a number of players in poor health and will all be funded by the NFL. As to the league’s appealing a judge’s verdict of their settlement with the plaintiffs (retired players) who sought damages against the NFL for brain injuries suffered during their careers. The $ 1 billion offer by the league , seems something of a mere pittance for a sports’ hierarchy whose revenues exceed $7.8 billion annually and has increased each year over the past decade .

When you’re good , you can be extremely good in the NFL , but if your front office continues to show poor judgment, then you can but only hope there is light at the end of the tunnel. Last season , both the Tennessee Titans and Tampa Bays were simply atrocious all season long. With the teams finishing with regular season records of 2-14 , it begs the question how bad was the league this past season ? Suffice to say, the league hierarchy continues to sell the fans a bill of sale on goods and a brand , that from one season to the next swings back and forth like a pendulum. The hype remains utterly ridiculous, while the exploits of rookie wide receiver Odell Beckham might well have been spectacular , the season for the New York Giants was simply a disaster. Eli Manning now appears to be on the downside of a career that seemed destined to be bound for the Hall of Fame.

Two Superbowl victories can add luster one’s career resume’ , but take away those two postseason victories in the big game and what are you actually left with concerning his regular season career ? Eli Manning and the Giants were a train wreck on and off the tracks in 2014. No leadership to be seen from the quarterback and even less from the coaching staff of Tom Coughlin . The off-season has seen some changes in the team’s roster alongside their influx of rookies and free agent acquisitions. Odell Beckham will likely remain a great part of the Giants’ offensive focus , as the sophomore wide receiver will be looking to improve upon last season’s performances. If that is to happen, then Eli Manning will have to be back at his very best if the New York Giants are to be seen as a prohibitive favorite for the NFC East divisional title. The difference remains something of a joke , with only the Dallas Cowboys showing z any real guts and resiliency during this past season.

Coming off a 6-10 season in 2014 it easy to understand why Giants’ fans might well still feel a sense of disappointment with a third place finish within the NFC East. The team lacked confidence , leadership and were simply woefully inept throughout much of last season. I am not so sure we are likely to see enough of an improvement to believe the team will be viewed as contenders within the division much less the conference or even the possibility of winning their fifth Superbowl title. Their preseason is unlikely to prove much of a pointer , as they enter into regular season when they open their schedule with a game against the Dallas Cowboys at Texas Stadium in Arlington, Texas on 13th September, 2015. Eli Manning’s record against Dallas since his entrance into the NFL with the exception of his postseason contests against his divisional rivals. I am not about to suggest this will be Manning’s last season with the Giants, but anything short of a postseason berth and the likelihood, will be the organization must seek to move in another direction without the franchise’s career passing yards’ leader .

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Hackensack, New Jersey 8/28/14 quarterback Eli Manning (10) of the New York Giants watches the game from the sidelines after being removed from the game in the first quarter of a preseason football game as head coach Tom Coughlin coaches at MetLife Stadium on August 28 , 2014. Paul J. Bereswill

In light of the reported evidence found by the league’s investigators, do you feel the punishment meted out against Tom Brady is just or do you believe it has been something of a witch-hunt against the player and the New England Patriots because of prior bad acts ? Also what are your expectations for this upcoming season in the NFL ? Feel free to leave a comment on this and anything else you believe pertinent to the subject matter.

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A fool by any other name, is still a fool

A fool by any other name, is still a fool

It seems strange that barely six months ago the nation enjoyed the spectacle of the Superbowl . witnessing history being made as the New England Patriots triumphed in a thrilling game defeating the Seattle Seahawks , with the franchise winning their fourth Superbowl title. Superbowl MVP and quarterback Tom Brady added to his already growing legacy, but it has since been tarnished with the revelations that the player was embroiled in the Deflate-Gate scandal. As to what this now means for Brady, can be best judged by what his detractors and supporters have continue to say concerning the player’s actions. Further exacerbating the matter is the very fact, Roger Goodell believes he can be the sole arbiter in deciding the fate of Tom Brady. The player will likely challenge any punishment meted out by a hearing, by quite possibly seeking a challenge within the Judicial System , though as of now it would appear, that until a hearing date has been set by the league, this whole chapter will become one of sheer conjecture and speculation.

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For the New England Patriots, this NFL franchise might now be the most despised in the NFL if not in the entire world of professional sports , perhaps even more hated than either baseball’s New York Yankees and dare I say it , even the Dallas Cowboys, whose owner Jerry Jones might still be the most disliked owner in all of professional sports ?

During the off-season, Bill Belichick and Patriots’ owner Robert Kraft have not seen fit to make too many public statements concerning the allegations made against the franchise’s most popular player in its history.

Tom Brady’s resume’ speaks for itself , but history is now likely to judge him , not just barely on his Superbowl exploits, but also the allegations now encapsulating this latest chapter in New England Patriots’ history. With two such staggering chapters now on appearance viewed as sordid , I can’t help but wonder why the NFL itself continues to act as if the actions of the Patriots have only ever been committed by one franchise in the league’s history .

Sean Payton and Micky Loomis of the New Orleans Saints were in some respects the architects of Bounty-Gate , another sordid chapter of NFL history where Roger Goodell once again continued to show his incompetency. Another of the accomplices in the scandal Greg Williams now an assistant coach with the St Louis Rams , might well have been made a scapegoat in the whole sordid affair, but in reality , the league itself has continued to act as if it is without reproach and still has a great deal of integrity. The players continue to lack any type of character , much less their willingness to adhere to the league’s own rules concerning its drug or conduct policy.

Having won their fourth Superbowl title in the past fifteen years to go along with seven appearances in the NFL’s showcase event. Four victories and now the infamy of having the Patriots’ name now tarnished. Robert Kraft has continued to try and deflect attention away from the franchise but his greatest problem and advantage might well be Roger Goodell. Kraft was implemental in Goodell succeeding Paul Tagliabue as the current NFL Commissioner. For anyone, who believes the commissioner can be impartial in any type arbitrary procedure involving the NFL has to be viewed as a farce.

Tom Brady for his part, during this whole process will likely spend a great deal of his off-time getting in sync, albeit , we are not yet aware as to form of punishment is likely to be meted out against the player by the league. All signs seem to be pointing to the fact Brady will likely face a suspension of no more than four games , as there seems to be no precedent , where the hierarchy can actually suspend the Patriots’ quarterback for anything more than four games , comparative in nature for a first time offender for transgressing the NFL’s substance abuse policy. Should that be the case, I believe Brady will seek the turnover of the ruling either in Federal District Court or by way of a tribunal overseen by the league, with Brady likely to be represented by a high-profiled lawyer as part of his due process and representation.

New England will be looking to make a successful defense of not only their Superbowl title but also the AFC East division, which they won with a great deal of ease last season. Considered to be their biggest rival this season will be the Miami Dolphins and Buffalo Bills , but there is the belief the New York Jets might be able to mount a serious challenge if Geno Smith can find some semblance of consistency to his all-round game. From my own standpoint, I believe Smith to be the worst quarterbacks drafted in the NFL over the past six years with the exception of Tim Tebow , Johnny Manziel and Brandon Weeden ! So make of it what you will at this juncture.

The personification of what has made the Patriots a constant success over the past twelve years has been franchise’s drafting of players , who over time have proven to be productive as well as perennial Pro Bowl mainstays. Granted, the organization has also profited from the acquisition of established players who have fit the mold of an amenable addition to the franchise. The likes of Wes Welker , Randy Moss and Corey Dillon immediately comes to mind and their success with the Patriots has been well-chronicled over the course of New England’s history in the NFL .

As they say , all good things must come to an end and inquiring minds have to be wondering , how long before Tom Brady decides to hang up his cleats ? Granted, there have been several players down the years on the Patriots’ roster who had the chance to supplant the incumbent quarterback in the starting role and Jimmy Garopolo would appear to be no different. He had his baptism of fire in the league with some mop up duty and during the preseason of the year he was drafted by the Patriots. This is unlikely to be the year where his role will be increased or his becoming the full-time starting quarterback for the team. Yet there is now the growing belief he is the heir-apparent to his mentor , Tom Brady. Quarterbacks’ coach and the team’s offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels certainly believes that to be the case and I believe during the preseason Garopolo will certainly see some playing time.

If Brady’s suspension comes into play at the beginning of the regular season with the appeal’s process not yet underway, then there is every reason to believe Jimmy Garopolo could very well start his first regular season game in the presumed role of an NFL starting quarterback.

Time waits for no man and in the NFL once it is believed you are no longer of use to a team, you’re normally sent packing . So it was for several members of the Patriots’ roster from last season with the departure of long-time defensive stalwart Vince Wilfork . The eleven-year veteran signed a two-year deal with the Houston Texans during the off-season and will likely bring some leadership to roster sorely lacking leadership , even with the presence of JJ Watt and Jadeveon Clowney , said to be lynch pins on an underachieving secondary. It will be very interesting to see what role Wilfork will play on this Texans’ team and how they will fare over the course of the season.

In week fifteen Vince Wilfork will be provided with the opportunity to reacquaint himself with his former teammates when the Texans play host to the New England Patriots at NRG Stadium , in Houston, Texas. For Bill O’Brien it will also be a re-acquaintance of sorts as he was also once a member of the Patriots’ coaching staff under Bill Belichick .

While I believe the New England Patriots are capable of winning the AFC East with ease. A successful defense of the Lombardi Trophy will prove to be difficult and the chances of winning back-to-back Superbowls is extremely tough , with it having been achieved, becoming something of a rarity . Granted , the last such franchise to do so, were the Patriots, but the feat was accomplished over a decade ago. No one has come close to doing so , until the squandered chances of the Seattle Seahawks were seen last season, along with the heroics of Patriots’ defensive player Malcolm Butler , whose timely interception in the waning moments of the game sealed the Seahawks’ fate and led many of us to ask, what the hell was Pete Carroll thinking ?

I believe this upcoming season, the toughest challenges to be faced by the New England Patriots will not come from either of their schedules , but, it will be predicated upon the amount of complacency shown. Too much , with the disdain for an opponent, can and will lead to their demise. One expects there to be a little arrogance and swagger to be involved , after-all, they are the reigning Superbowl champions and with it comes detail of their being viewed as the target with a very large bulls’ eye on their back . with everyone seeing to take aim and hit the target dead center. How the Patriots intend to deal with it all , could mean the difference between success and failure.

Last season for the New England Patriots, I believe the six best players on the roster in no discerning order were , LeGarrett Blount, Julian Edelman , Rob Gronkowski , Devin McCourty, Chandler Jones and Tom Brady. And granted , it was a collective effort during the regular and postseason that ultimately led to their success along Bill Belichick’s coaching acumen. Yet there can be no denying , whatever the thoughts might be how the franchise achieved its place in history , the roller coaster ride the fans were led on was simply amazing.

One might continue with the allegations of “ cheating “ , but the Patriots are not the only team in the NFL willing to bend the rules for their own means. It is not as if the NFL itself has been built on a solid foundation of honesty and integrity to begin with. One simply has to look at the repeated examples of cheating . dishonesty and utter disdain shown for the fans , not just by the league hierarchy , but also by the owners and the NFLPA (union). So for all of the whining and moronic idiots who take issue with the New England Patriots , have the balls also to point an accusing finger at the entire NFL also , rather than showing yourself to be a complete as#hole time and time again .

Tom Brady still has his legion of fans, but in light of this latest scandal , there has been a groundswell of criticism for the former League MVP and Superbowl winner . His once pristine image is not necessary in tatters , but the chinks in his armor have seen large dents and rust begin to show. Helped on by his innocuous and orchestrated interview with Jim Gray, the player failed to answer any of the allegations against him , simply showing his arrogance and deflecting the whole subject matter of the AFC championship game and the events surrounding it as a non-issue. Is anyone really surprised by that at all ?

Among today’s active quarterbacks Tom Brady’s record is one of the best , regular season and postseason wins, percentage wise in both categories. He may no longer be held with the same esteem as his greatest adversary Peyton Manning , but there the comparisons must now end. Manning still has a glowing reputation , pristine image , loved by fans, consumers and major corporate sponsors alike. Both players have held sway in the NFL for over ten years apiece , each having won the highest awards the game has to offer. Now comes the question , how will history seek to treat the legacies of both Tom Brady and Peyton Manning ? I will leave it for you all to now decide , with the caveat being , controversy and there being a villain to hate , makes for a far more interesting drama and that is what the NFL has now actually become . Less about the competitive spectacle on the field of play , but now more to do with the players’ and hierarchy’s antics off it.


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Tophatal …..

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I came to warn Caesar, not to praise him

I came to warn Caesar, not to praise him

Well, the big story in the NFL at present is the league hierarchy’s apparent punishment of the New England Patriots and their Superbowl MVP winning quarterback Tom Brady . The player and the franchise were punished for their apparent actions during the AFC Championship game victory over the Indianapolis Colts . As serious as the claims are said to be, with the league fining the Patriots $1 million , Brady being suspended for four games and having forfeit two future draft picks in the NFL Drafts of 2016 (first round) and 2017 (fourth round) . I am not so sure what this fine will or actually make a dent in the tens of millions of dollars in of revenues reaped annually by the New England Patriots ! If the findings in the Ted Wells’ report are anything to go by , then I believe the punishment should indeed fit the crime . Unfortunately, the scales of Justice within the NFL when meted out under the auspices of Roger Goodell , it often tends to be that of a parent merely scolding a child,by merely spanking them across their backside and then telling them not to do it again.

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Wells’ report finds that members of the Patriots’ staff were uncooperative and evasive during their investigation and in many instances are said to have refused any of the questions being asked of them by the league’s investigators. To my mind , the NFL now seeking to be arbiters of some form of justice, is somewhat like the investigations conducted by the Roman Catholic Church and the sexual abuse that rocked the church over the past ten years. Simply passing the buck, or obfuscating their own responsibility has become something of a widespread pattern of behavior and stupidity by the NFL.

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GLENDALE, AZ – FEBRUARY 01: NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft on the podium following Super Bowl XLIX against the Seattle Seahawks at University of Phoenix Stadium on February 1, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona. The Patriots defeated the Seahawks 28-24 . Kraft was a main supporter of Roger Goodell succeeding Paul Tagliabue as NFL Commissioner . Roger Goodell has yet to issue a public statement on the findings from the Wells’ Report , leading many to believe he is seeking to distance himself , as a way of seeking to be impartial. Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Don’t look now, but some fans still believe this league can overcome this type of bad publicity, while remaining popular. During this past season, the league has found even more ways of shooting itself in the foot , without the apparent aid of anyone else helping them along the way. Goodell , as NFL Commissioner , has even admitted he made mistakes. Well Roger they’re piling up and I seriously doubt we will be seeing the last of your now comic and epic mistakes ! If there were to be an Oscar awarded for the portrayal of stupidity , then the commissioner would have the inside track and be the leading contender for the award.

Tom Brady is likely to challenge his suspension (four-games) with the backing of the NFLPA (union) and the likelihood , he will mount a defense , stating the league’s investigation was not only biased , but lacked credibility . Team owner

From my own standpoint , I find this whole spectacle to be one big charade , with the league simply looking to save face among its fans while seen to be doing the right thing . The media for their part seem intent with the fanning of flames and also showing their ongoing stupidity. Yet, what else would be expect from the cabal of buffoons , who cover the sport in print , on the radio and on television ? There remains a great deal more to this ongoing spectacle as it is likely to played out in the coming weeks , if not months.

For the Indianapolis Colts, in the aftermath of their lopsided loss , there has been nothing of note coming from within the organization by way of public statement . GM Ryan Grigson and team owner Jim Irsay have remained silent . Something of a shock from the Colts’ owner , given his penchant for making rather asinine statements . But I believe Irsay’s silence has more to do with the fact he was one of the more prominent owners who supported the hiring of Roger Goodell to succeed Paul Tagliabue as NFL Commissioner. Best not to show opposition to the beleaguered executive and simply have others outside the game voice their indifference as the league stands behind their man , even as his repeated pratfalls continue to make a mockery of the NFL .

Mandatory rookie camps are not yet officially in session , but already the unthinkable has happened with Jacksonville Jaguars’ draftee and line backer Dante’ Fowler , with the player being lost to the team for entire preseason and regular season . Given the plight of the Jaguars last year, Fowler’s loss will be seen as a disaster. For head coach Gus Bradley and his coaching staff this now provides them with the opportunity to assess their options within the team’s secondary. LaRoy Reynolds will now have to prove himself worthy partner to seasoned veteran, Geno Hayes as the Jaguars seek to bolster a defense which stumbled throughout much of last season.

Jacksonville Jaguars’ quarterback Blake Bortles, this will be the season where will either see the progress in the player’s ability or has often been the case with so many second-year starting passers their regression . Bortles is expected to lead this Jacksonville team with the expectation of their being able to compete in what is likely to be a fairly competitive AFC South division.

Gus Bradley and his players will begin their preseason schedule with a game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at EverBank Field in Jacksonville , Florida on the 14th August , 2015 . This will be the first of Jaguars’ quartet of contests making up their exhibition season. With the regular season getting underway on 10th August when the Jaguars will have as their guests the NFC South based Carolina Panthers led by Cam Newton . This game should tell us a great deal about both teams , especially with regard to the Panthers , their ascent , while there just happens to be the flagging fortunes of the Atlanta Falcons and New Orleans Saints. Matt Ryan is proving that his contract and game are more a of a hindrance , with his being unable to lead the Falcons to any type of meaningful win during the postseason. ” Father Time ” has begun to catch up with Drew Brees and his teammates , while Sean Payton looks like a desperatel man searching for answers.

I will say this for Trent Baalke and Jed Yorke , they are certainly putting on a brave face after the departure of Jim Harbaugh to the Michigan Wolverines . Mutual consent or not , the one thing we now realize was the very fact the San Francisco 49ers’ front office had lost all respect for their once revered head coach . A disastrous sojourn around the league in 2014, and the . inconsistency of not only Colin Kaepernick as well as the team , without delving into the off-field antics of several of the players. It led many to believe Harbaugh had lost sight of discipline and respect among the roster. A fractured relationship between the Niners’ head coach and the franchise’s lead front office executives was certainly the “ writing on the wall” and for the imminent departure of Jim Harbaugh . His successor, Jim Tomsula has a tough act to follow ,given his predecessor’s success with the Niners.

A rookie head coach , an organization in transition , upheavals and in recent years their biggest divisional rival has now ascended to become one of the biggest teams in not only the NFC but the entire league . So much of the 49ers’ perceived dominance in recent years with the quick rise of the Seattle Seahawks . Their divisional contests this season should prove to be thoroughly entertaining as Jim Tomsula seeks to match wits with his counterpart Pete Carroll. It will be interesting to see if Colin Kaepernick can rebound after a disastrous season in 2014. If not, then the Forty Niners will be in for a dire time this upcoming season among their rivals and the league enlarge.

San Francisco will kick-off their schedule with a Monday Night contest against the Minnesota Vikings at Levi Strauss Stadium in San Francisco , California , on 14th September , 2015.

If ever there was a franchise in the NFL whose constant scrutiny causes endless debates , then other than the Dallas Cowboys , the organization in question would have to be the Washington Redskins. With due deference to the Oakland Raiders and their lackluster performances over the last ten years. The Redskins have been embroiled in the sort of incompetence not often seen in the league , even with the bankroll of team owner Dan Snyder.

Political correctness asides , issues with the franchise’s logo and name , the question remains when will the Redskins have some semblance of success? . Robert Griffin III leading the team to a divisional title and a postseason appearance in 2012 , only to be followed up by two years of abysmal inconsistency and failure , speaks volumes as to how overrated this franchise remains. Jay Gruden is still trying to find his footing and also having to deal with the egos of Griffin and his immediate backup Kirk Cousins . If that wasn’t enough, throw in the fact Dan Snyder’s ego is as large as FedEx Field itself. In some respects. the Redskins’ owner models himself after Jerry Jones , but without having the responsibilities of being the general manage . A task currently undertaken by Scot McGloughan , whose first draft class with the Redskins is considered to be a success and perhaps the franchise’s best in the past six years.

The main issue facing Washington for the upcoming season, will be how to get the best out of Robert Griffin and an offense which sputtered , while also seeing a great deal of improvement from the team’s secondary, which seemed to give up point and yards at the drop of a hat throughout much of last season. Their regular season will prove to be a tough one , with all four teams within the NFC East looking to gain a competitive edge over a rival. Dallas , the Philadelphia Eagles and New York Giants will be looking to make point as to their ambitions for the season.

For Washington , if they and Robert Griffin are to have any semblance of success, then their first four games to start the season will have to be a resounding success with at least a minimum of three wins if they are to have any sort of momentum. Their first regular season contest will be against the Miami Dolphins at FedEx Field , Landover , Maryland, on 13th September , 2015. Match-ups between these two teams have proven to be entertaining and it would be the very first time that Robert Griffin has faced the Miami Dolphins in a regular season game . Likewise also , for his opposing number Ryan Tannehill of the Dolphins as he looks to prove himself to be one of the better young quarterbacks in the AFC.

It is not difficult to explain the reasons why San Diego Chargers have failed to make a deep postseason run during the NFL Postseason . The franchise has been ill-served by the numerous bad decisions made by a succession of head coaches down the years . From Mike Riley to Marty Schottenheimer , to Norv Turner and down to Mike McCoy, this franchise has simply stumbled from one season to the next. San Diego’s last postseason appearance came in 2013 , ending with a divisional round loss to the Denver Broncos with a 24-17 defeat. For Chargers’ quarterback Philip Rivers this was another heartbreak in an otherwise stellar playing career in the NFL and with the organization. It is hard to say how history will judge the ten-year veteran who stands second all-time in franchise’s career passing yardage , but who leads Hall of Fame legend Dan Fouts in career wins for the franchise.

With Chargers’ GM Tom Telesco contemplating the trading of Philip Rivers prior to the NFL Draft and with apparently no takers for the veteran . The team will start off their season with Rivers at the helm for the offense, as they begin their preseason exhibition games. Alternatives at the quarterback position for the Chargers are not encouraging, should Rivers come down with an injury. Prospective free agents at the position are there, but I am not so sure they would fit the system Mike McCoy has in place concerning the Chargers’ passing offense. San Diego will have Matt Stafford and the Detroit Lions as their guests at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego , California on the 13th September ,2015. Relocation or not the Spanos family may well see this as the last season where Phillip Rivers will be in a position to lead the Chargers to a Superbowl appearance.

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Based on the suggested evidence in the Ted Wells’ report do you believe the punishment mandated by the NFL hierarchy is appropriate or is not severe enough given the extent of the charges leveled against the New England Patriots ? Also, with the NFL Draft having taken place which teams benefited the most from the exercise and which teams failed to meet your expectations ? Chime in with your thoughts as you see fit and thanks as always for the continued support of this site and the associated content !

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Tophatal …..

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Horton Hears A Who ….


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In the aftermath of the mental breakdown ,which took place during the waning moments of the Superbowl (SBLXIV) leading to the New England Patriots’ dramatic win. The real cause-celebre’ has been Seattle Seahawks’ head coach Pete Carroll’s explanation as to the reason behind why and his last minute change of play .

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With running back Marshawn Lynch having caused the Patriots’ secondary all kinds of problems through large segments of the game, the defending champions needed only a red-zone rushing play to guarantee themselves a successful defense of the title won last season. Instead, as millions of us witnessed, inexplicably , Russell Wilson rifled a pass meant for Seahawks’ wide receiver Jermaine Kearse, only for rookie defensive player, Malcolm Butler to make the game-saving interception, leading to New Englands’ historic win and their their placein Superbowl history. As to what this now means for and to the psyche of the Seahawks’ players and the fact, Carroll’s explanation in his post-game interview seems somewhat unconvincing, leads me to believe a great deal of blame for the loss rests squarely upon his shoulders, as well as that of offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell for the play-calling and specifically, this one play, likely to be repeatedly shown on television and become a bone of conjecture and debate among fans across the NFL.

Feb 1, 2015; Glendale, AZ, USA; Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch (24) carries the ball for a touchdown in the second quarter past New England Patriots outside linebacker Jamie Collins (91) and Brandon Browner (39) in Super Bowl XLIX at University of Phoenix Stadium. Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Even to the uninitiated, this maneuver by the Seattle Seahawks made absolutely no sense, but somehow the head coach and offensive coordinator felt it the right thing to do at the time. The ramifications of this loss will be far reaching without delving into the fact as to where the blame ought to be apportioned for this mea-culpa and undeniable mess. There have been games in Superbowl history with a great deal of controversy, but never one where within the blink of an eye , victory was simply snatched away because of the sheer idiocy of a decision made by the coaching staff of a team. Seahawks’ players never one to shy away from their own self-belief and specifically, their defense known as the “Legion of Boom”, must now be wondering how and why things got so out of hand, when they played to the best of their ability in keeping the offense in the game, only for the coaching staff and offensive players to have irrationally choked away this contest through their sheer stupidity.

“Deflate-Gate “ and whatever idiocy, else comes out of that particular storyline , leaves the league hierarchy in an impossible situation. Allegations,being what they are, the real blame does lie with the game officials(referees) who oversaw the AFC championship game between the Indianapolis Colts and the New England Patriots, staged at Gillette Stadium , Foxboro’, Massachusetts, on the 18th January, 2015.

Colts’ owner Jim Irsay and GM Ryan Grigson have said very little on the issue, leaving it instead for the ongoing league investigation to take its full course, with their findings and outcome yet to be made public. For the Indianapolis Colts the abrupt end to their postseason foray, was epitomized by the loss to the Patriots, but where the highs of the postseason, was represented by their complete annihilation of the Denver Broncos and what was said to be one of the best defenses entering into the postseason and for much of the regular season. That was clearly not evident in their divisional round contest played at Sports Authority Field-Mile High Stadium in Denver , Colorado on the 11th January , 2015.

Tom Brady now joins Hall of : Fame quarterbacks , Joe Montana and Terry Bradshaw as the only players to have won four Superbowl titles, while being the quarterback for the very same team. Bradshaw achieved that feat with the Pittsburgh Steelers, while Montana’s success was borne out of his career with the San Francisco 49ers As to where Brady might now rank among the all-time greats to have played the position will be the subject of many debates and obvious conjecture. Now as a three-time winner of the Superbowl MVP . Tom Brady’s postseason legacy has been set, with an indelible mark left on NFL postseason history play among quarterbacks . Needless to say, the player will still have his critics, borne out of jealousy and the ongoing allegations of cheating which continues to surround the Patriots’ franchise. My question for the naysayers out there, if Brady were the quarterback on the team you allegedly support, would the feelings of hatred still remain the same ?

From my own standpoint, while the adjudicators felt Brady was worthy of the Superbowl MVP, my own choice would have been the team’s wide receiver Julian Edelman, whose performance was scintillating to say the very least. New England’s head coach Bill Belichick may well have won the plaudits’ praise ,but defensive coordinator Matt Patricia has now found his niche among the league’s top coordinators. The Patriots’ defense was very good and negated the best the Seahawks had to offer.

Away from the field of play, it will be interesting to see what steps are likely to be taken as the New England Patriots seek to defend their title next season. The first step likely to be taken by GM Nick Caserio and the impending free agents on the team’s roster and the cap obligations the franchise will face. Darrelle Revis , Devin McCourty , Shane Vereen , Stevan Ridley and Jonathan Casillas are among the list of players who are free agents, where the team’s cap figure will be in excess of $152 million and the projected cap for next season at an estimated $160 million , leaving the franchise with very little wiggle room should they seek to retain many of the aforementioned players.

Tom Brady’s ‘window of opportunity’ for possibly a fifth Superbowl victory at present doesn’t seem beyond the realms of possibility , not when you consider the tandem of he and his head coach Bill Belichick continuing their quest for NFL ” immortality” . Certainly , we know with the ongoing claims as to the veracity of several of their seasons continually coming into question , what cannot be denied, is the very fact the success achieved has been astounding , if not incredible , six Superbowl appaerances , four wins , six AFC conference championships as a coaching quarterback tandem , twelve AFC East divisional titles , of those twelve , six have been consecutive , since 2009, with the duo along the way, having won just about won every singular regular season award possible for their respective fields. What is likely to dictate this pursuit, will be the willingness of Brady’s teammates to follow his lead, while at the same seeing the challenges ahead, acquiescing to the need for not only to continuity, but also to make necessary financial sacrifices and resources available to GM Nick Caserio for that pursuit. It is not often something done in today’s NFL, when far too often, the real issue among far too many of the players is that real ‘need to get paid’ , and to be paid what they believe to be commensurate to their talent-level , skill-set.

Somehow , I am beginning to wonder if Jay Cutler , with the “yoke around” his neck of his seven-year, $127 million contract, wouldn’t trade that all in for another appearance in the Superbowl and an actual victory, rather than the continued notion of his being an overpaid and talentless buffoon, as he’s now deemed to be and ridiculed in NFL circles ! The same I might add, has to be true of Tony Romo and his continued mediocrity witnessed during the postseason, albeit, with his group of supporters, they , very much like the player , continue to apportion blame elsewhere for his failures, rather than acknowledging his lack of leadership and the very fact the Dallas Cowboys are not only overrated, but the mere fact, de-facto GM and team owner , Jerry Jones over the past eight years, has simply been allowed to run amok, unchallenged, with a number of his personnel decisions, far too often coming into question. Yet, those Cowboys’ fans remain ever-royal, showing an unwillingness to question the authority of the owner and those recent failures by Jones or Romo. I guess apathy remains strong, alongside stupidity, as has often been the case with ” America’s Team ” and their vapid fans .

It never ceases to amaze, the apathy shown among fans of the NFL who seek to overlook the bad behavior the players while like the league’s commissioner Roger Goodell , all they simply point to, are the ever-increasing revenues, the popularity of the game, while Goodell’s glaring incompetency is being embraced by these anal retentive fans and the franchise owners alike. Pornography remains popular, but not everyone subscribes to it as a wantoned piece of pleasure and the same should be said about the league in its present guise. The Players’ Union (NFLPA) remains a constant joke, with their proxy, the commissioner oversteps his boundaries , however the Executive Committee of the NFLPA and its Executive Director DeMaurice Smith have failed miserably, in addressing the repeated misconduct of their members throughout the years, while pointing to what they believe to the autocratic and dictatorial rule of Roger Goodell. I am suppose to believe the popularity of the NFL, far outweighs the glaring issues , that besets this league each season ? One postseason finale , does not make the NFL an ideal league or the game itself, at its zenith, but yet that remains the asinine proxy lame @ss fans are prepared to adhere to. Being anal retentive, seems to have found its niche among the majority of NFL fans !

With so many teams having failed their fans miserably during the NFL regular season this off-season, becomes more about rebuilding and throwing mis-assembled pieces placed together to make up many of last season’s rosters . Nowhere was that more glaring than with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, whose season was one big mess , with the team setting out on what appeared to be a predetermined desire to be viewed as not only incompetent, but also without a clue in any aspect of their game . Head coach Lovie Smith and his coaching staff were brought in to instill discipline, a defensive mindset , consistency to the team and to a franchise, long lacking in those very same traits. Instead, beyond the injuries , what their fans witnessed , were the repeated prat-falls and the continued idiotic post-game rhetoric so often associated with a head coach, when they are at a complete loss for words, when his players are continually incompetent.

Statistically, the Buccaneers’ league-worst 2-14 record was a true reflection of the team and all of the vagaries therein. Not once, was their any real semblance of urgency and the two regular season victories eked out, may well have been seen as a god-send, but in a number of ways, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers should have considered themselves extremely lucky their season did not mirror that of the Detroit Lions’ win-less season of 2008.

For the privilege of having the NFL’s worst record of last season, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will be the occupants of the top spot in the 2015 NFL Draft and where the question will be , will they make Marcus Mariota their choice , or go with a position player ? The Buccaneers are in need of so many pieces, but the common thread of thought appears to be they would be stupid, to forgo a player of Mariota’s abilities , when they are definitely in need a dynamic passer on the field. Neither Mike Glennon or Josh McCown could supply the team with what was needed last season concerning a passing offense.

With Tampa’s needs, being so glaring at a number of positions, on the current roster and with the defense being so poor, it would not surprise me if Lovie Smith and GM Jason Licht traded down in the order, giving up the top pick for an abundance of second, third and fourth round picks, for a player many believe to be the best quarterback in College Football this past season, although those signs were not seen in Oregon’s national championship loss to Ohio State , where Cardale Jones’ play for the Buckeyes in their fantastic victory over the highly favored Ducks, made it seem, he ought to be the player NFL head coaches should be salivating over.

In recent seasons, the Buccaneers’ draft picks have proven to be more misses than outright hits . While it is too early to truly assess the talents of their top rookie draft pick of 2014 , one might conclude Mike Evans barring injuries could be around for a long time serving the franchise’s best interests. He may well have been the sole reason to watch the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2014.

This off-season will prove to be a difficult one for the Buccaneers , with their being several decisions likely to be made concerning the future look of the team’s roster and what transactions the Buccaneers’ front office deems to be necessary to secure the long-term ” future success” of the NFC South based franchise. The NFL Draft alone may not predetermine the future of this organization, but it will indeed play a significant part in a strategy now being hatched up by Lovie Smith and Jason Licht as they look to secure some semblance of success.

Zygi Wilf and his fellow executives within the Minnesota Vikings’ hierarchy have managed to finagle a publicly financed stadium out of the Minnesota State Legislature with Governor Mark Dayton (R-Mn) having done about- turn, far more than John Kerry is said to have done during his presidential run for the White House. Dayton for his part, is now seeking to suggest his stance was brought about by Wilf’s commitment have this venue be of benefit to the state and its residents. Personally, I believe the governor has shown his naivete’ in believing the Vikings’ owner has any thoughts about the well-being of the fans, much less the state’s residents. The NFL’s franchise owners’ remains the image of the league, the overriding wish to reap billions in profits while, Roger Goodell continues to wax on lyrically about the league , not ever truly addressing the continued social issues currently engulfing the NFL .

Cynicism suggests the NFL hierarchy has never cared what the hell the fans think, while the apathy of the fans, is the response of, the NFL is is simply a business and not much else . The league’s moral compass was lost long ago and the idiotic rhetoric, forthcoming from the league, owners and union,simply shows it to be bereft of real leadership. If the fans who continue to point to the idiocy of the popularity will be the lone concept which will benefit the NFL’s long-term success will sooner, rather than later be rationale, which will begin to have major corporate sponsors shy away from the NFL. Consider, Roger Goodell’s response concerning the fallout of the Ray Rice affair and how it was viewed by women, who in shape or another make up a large portion of the NFL’s fan-base, without acknowledging the fact they are also mothers, daughters, without also acknowledging the fact, female victims of sexual abuse and assaults are victimized not just by their assailants, but also the entire legal process, from its start to not necessarily what is deemed to be a just ending to the legal process.

The NFL with Goodell’s asinine comments and response, shows him to be without a clue and most definitely no idea , what a woman has been subjected to , after a sexual assault, without his ever acknowledging how poorly he and the league have dealt with the actions of the players and their continued misconduct, especially where allegations of assaults have taken place. What more now needs to be said ? Oh, your response remains, the NFL is really popular and can withstand this type of negative publicity ? Only a complete idiot would continue to hide behind this premise.

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What were your impressions of the events, that unfolded during the Superbowl and do you believe the Seattle Seahawks will be able to overcome the psychological aspects of the loss suffered at the hands of the New England Patriots ? Also, if there is blame to be apportioned in the defeat, where it should it lie ? Is it with Pete Carroll and Darrel Bevell or the Seahawks players ? Finally, with the disastrous season of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, having just passed , do you believe the front office should draft Oregon quarterback, Marcus Mariota as their number one pick in the first round of the upcoming NFL Draft , or should trade the pick and move lower down the order , seeking multiple picks in the latter rounds ?

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(1) GLENDALE, AZ – FEBRUARY 01: Malcolm Butler (21) of the New England Patriots intercepts a pass by Russell Wilson (3) of the Seattle Seahawks intended for Ricardo Lockette (83) late in the fourth quarter during Super Bowl XLIX at University of Phoenix Stadium on February 1, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona. A pass play involving Seahawks’ running back Marshawn Lynch was thought to be the strategy for the team in the red-zone , but head coach Pete Carroll and offensive coordinator Darrell Revis went with “the pass “ leading to the game-winning defensive interception and play by Butler. Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

(2) Feb 1, 2015; Glendale, AZ, USA; Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch (24) carries the ball for a touchdown in the second quarter past New England Patriots outside linebacker Jamie Collins (91) and Brandon Browner (39) in Super Bowl XLIX at University of Phoenix Stadium. Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

(3) Russell Wilson (3) of the Seattle Seahawks looks on after his pass is intercepted by Malcolm Butler (21) of the New England Patriots late in the fourth quarter against the New England Patriots during Super Bowl XLIX at University of Phoenix Stadium on February 1, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona. Getty Images North America / Kevin C Cox

(4) Russell Wilson (3) of the Seattle Seahawks makes a pass in the second half against the New England Patriots during Super Bowl XLIX at University of Phoenix Stadium on February 1, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona. Getty Images / Andrew Lyons

(5) Feb 1, 2015; Glendale, AZ, USA; New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman (11) catches a touchdown pass in front of Seattle Seahawks corner-back Tharold Simon (27) during the fourth quarter in Super Bowl XLIX at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

(6) New England Patriots’ quarterback Tom Brady is seen here alongside head Bill Belichick after the team’s triumph in Superbowl 49 over the Seattle Seahawks, the franchise’s fourth triumph in their seventh Superbowl appearance . The tandem have won four Superbowls together, joining Chuck Noll and Terry Bradshaw for the most titles won together. Brady also joins Bradshaw and Joe Montana as the only quarterbacks in NFL history with four Superbowl victories. Brady may well seek to win an unprecedented fifth victory if franchise can keep this current roster together with Belichick remaining as the head coach , Matt Patricia and Josh McDaniel as part of the Patriots’ coaching staff. GM Nick Caserio has been the architect of the franchise’s most recent appearances and successes in the postseason. Getty Images / Grant Wilson

(7) Patriots’ GM Nick Caserio , left, is seen here with head coach Bill Belichick at the team’s practice facility in Foxboro, Massachusetts ,. Caserio in conjunction with Belichick , have been the main architects of the franchise’s most recent success as well as the ongoing rebuilding of the roster over the past six seasons. AP Photo / Mark Howard

(8) Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Josh McCown (13) is seen here congratulating teammate Mike Evans (13) from the sidelines after Evans made decisive play during a preseason season game against the Miami Dolphins played at . Seen in the background is Buccaneers’ head coach Lovie Smith whose first season as the head coach has been an unmitigated disaster . AP Photo/ David Ross

(9) Marcus Mariota , left, of the Oregon Ducks is seen here congratulating Jameis Winston of Florida State after a game between the two teams . Mariota and Winston are the last two winners of the Heisman Trophy and considered to be the consensus top-two picks in the upcoming NFL Draft as well as being the two best quarterbacks in College Football . Buccaneers’ GM Jason Licht will be making a decision which is likely to have far-reaching consequences for the franchise as well as the whole draft process this off-season . AP Photo / Amy Douglas

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Seattle Seahawks’ offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell , left is seen here alongside head coach Pete Carroll on the sidelines talking to the team’s quarterback Russell Wilson .

Looking for all of the right answers in all of the wrong places

Looking for all of the right answers in all of the wrong places

In all the fallout leading to the ongoing criticism of the NFL and its league hierarchy, it seems remarkably strange that not one owner has spoken out in criticising Roger Goodell for his handling of the Ray Rice affair . Baltimore Ravens’ owner Steve Bisciotti has been somewhat naive in his belief , he was misled in how the league would deal with the situation , albeit , he and GM Ozzie Newsome would have been within their right to suspend the running back , rather than leaving it to league to mete out its form of punishment . In light of the issue and the back and forth between the NFL and the beginning of an investigation by the NFLPA (Players’ Union) , the belief remains, the commissioner and many of his subordinates made a horrendous mistake in their handling of this affair. It also goes to the question, if the league can now ban Rice for his actions , but belief no such action is warranted after the San Francisco 49ers’ defensive player has readily admitted in an interview, he beat his pregnant girlfriend , it leads me to believe the NFL and Roger Goodell maintains a “double standard” in spite of the changes about to be made concerning player misconduct as it relates to domestic violence and spousal abuse.

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As a face-saving exercise and makeover the NFL has called upon two former federal civil servants , Robert S Mueller and Louis Freeh to conduct an investigation , start a policy to be adopted by the league and its teams , seeking to address the conduct of players and specifically the issue of domestic violence. Given the fact it has taken numerous incidents for the league to reluctantly pull their collective heads out of their own asses . I simply do not believe any measure now being taken will likely force a player to rethink their pattern of behavior . No deterrent set by the league has stopped players when it comes to misuse of a banned substance , and then collecting misdemeanor charges for DUI , or a felony for having an unlicensed firearm , but rather with a great deal of naiveté on the part of the NFL , the commissioner and a number of rather apathetic fans things are now about to change. Roger Goodell , has never looked himself in the mirror and simply address the fact he has been a poor leader and executive for the NFL , not unlike the poor stewardship seen during the final years of David Stern’s leadership of the NBA .

Three weeks into the NFL and there are few positives be taken away, as the league enters week four and then close out the first quarter of the season. The divisions have not yet provided us with a clear picture as to the likely contenders for the Superbowl , but there have been one or two surprises concerning the play of a number of players through the first three weeks of the season.

Rex Ryan head coach of the New York Jets has begun to mull over whether or not Geno Smith remains the team’s best option to win at this level within the NFL , with the quarterback already showing signs of the traits which plagued him for much of last season with his errant plays , fumbles and proclivity for throwing interceptions . Through three games for the Jets this season , Smith has now become more of a liability rather than an asset for the franchise.

A sloppy and indifferent performance against the Chicago Bears in a home loss has pretty much summed up why Rex Ryan may well seek to sit Geno Smith , given the team’s woes in terms of the offense and their passing game . Defensively , the issues for the Jets point the fact the average points per game being given up by the defense. The alternative for Rex Ryan would be to insert seasoned veteran Michael Vick into the starting lineup , but I seriously doubt at this stage of his career , Vick has very much to offer to the team , while simply seeking to enhance his status as one of the elder statesmen in the league currently playing the quarterback position.

On Sunday afternoon the New York Jets will play hosts to the Detroit Lions Lions and it will be interesting to see whether it will be Smith or Vick lined up to take the snap in the contest.

In the aftermath of the Miami Dolphins’ dour lack of competitiveness in 2013 and the franchise’s off the field issues . It seemed only natural to think the Dolphins would show signs of improvement in 2014 . Instead head coach Joe Philbin has been left wondering , how could things remains so awry , with the team still playing without any passion which is reflected in the Dolphins’ record (1-2) and their standing within the AFC East as well as the AFC .

Ryan Tannehill the starting quarterback for the Dolphins has been far from consistent for the team this season , and it places the head coach in something of a dilemma as to what he should do with the incumbent starter. Matt Moore is Tannehill’s backup , but Moore’s career in the NFL has simply been , one of not too many top-notch moments or what could be described as exhilarating plays. It has been several years since the Dolphins had an offense that would pose a threat to anyone in terms of passing or rushing game and it has to be said , neither Ryan Tannehill or Matt Moore would evoke such a memory or pose such a threat.

Dennis Allen’s …. Oakland Raiders will have the Miami Dolphins as their guests this Sunday in an all AFC clash which will both teams overlooking to overcome their very indifferent starts to the season . For the Raiders in particular , this might well be Allen’s last season as the head coach of a team which has underpeformed with their being barely any signs of life from this roster , even in spite of the spirited play of rookie quarterback Derek Carr . Team owner , Mark Davis and GM Reggie McKenzie , this off-season will likely assess the merits in keeping Dennis Allen based upon how the season pans out as well the retention of certain players on the roster . I firmly believe , we will see another merry-go-round, as another head coach is sent packing from a franchise where their average tenure over the last decade and a half has been less than three seasons.

The expectations were high but the returns now being seen have been an extreme disappointment as Lovie Smith , his coaching staff and this Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ team have performed poorly , getting off to an 0-3 start within the NFL , a record shared with the Oakland Raiders , making the two teams the worst in the league from a record standpoint . I believed Smith would have brought some discipline to a team sadly lacking in that last season , but it has become abundantly clear , the players lacked not only a great deal of discipline and there seems to be no vocal leader , much less a great player on the team willing to lead by example . Vincent Jackson no longer poses the offensive threat as one of the better tight ends in the NFL and the Buccaneers' pass attack can best described as simply mediocre. Neither Josh McCown or Mike Glennon have proven to be the answer this regular season and the signs were there to be observed during the preseason. The Buccaneers were a walking disaster in their 56-14 loss to divisional rivals the Atlanta Falcons , and it was somewhat fortunate for Tampa the Falcons missed several opportunities to build a wider margin of victory in their big win .

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are a poor excuse for an NFL franchise and the issues which plague the team covers just about every facet of their game . I do not believe the team can become competitive enough where they are likely to be seen as a credible challenger within the NFC South . Tampa is certainly not good enough this moment to be defeat either the Carolina Panthers or New Orleans Saints and their return visit whereby they will play host to Atlanta Falcons in week ten could very well likely provide us with a similar result as I do not believe the Buccaneers can make that much of an improvement , given their dire situation at present.

Week four will see the Tampa Bay Buccaneers pit their wits against the Pittsburgh Steelers (2-1) at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh , Pennsylvania , this upcoming Sunday. Pittsburgh for its part will be looking for the win and place themselves into contention for what has now become a tightly contested AFC North division where the Cincinnati Bengals (3-0) maintain a slender lead.

Ben Roethlisberger is not yet back at his very best , but as long as the Steelers have a great running game and a top-five defense then this team can be considered a legitimate contender within the AFC and quite possibly for a deep run in the postseason and to the Superbowl title, itself.

I don’t know what it will take for the Jacksonville Jaguars to be taken seriously as credible NFL franchise . Years of indifference, through poor coaching and needless to say an owner who did not seem to be all that ambitious when Wayne Weaver owned the team. Now with Shahid Khan owning the Jaguars the management has been put into place with a view to making this Jaguars’ organization a legitimate concern within the NFL. Other than the era of Tom Coughlin as the franchise’s head coach, there has been little to cheer about concerning the Jacksonville Jaguars. Mark Brunell and Tony Boselli became synonymous with the franchise but over the past eight seasons , things have been very lean for the organization . With Gus Bradley on board as the head coach and
several
changes
having
been made in terms of free agent acquisitions and the drafting of Blake Bortles , the belief seems to be, things are about to change for the better.

Chad Henne the Jaguars’ starting quarterback for 2014 has proven to be very ineffective and some might say a waste of space and cap money for the franchise. Bortles was seen as a project , and likely at some point to be the team’s starting quarterback next season . Off to a win-less start , with an 0-3 record shared alongside the Oakland Raiders , Tampa Bay Buccaneers and it is now easy to understand why Bortles had his baptism of fire during the closing stages of Jacksonville’s week three game against the Indianapolis Colts , which ended in a 44-17 loss for the AFC South based franchise.

Philip Rivers and the San Diego Chargers will host the Jacksonville Jaguars at Qualcomm Stadium this Sunday , where the Chargers will be seeking to prove their impressive start to the season was no mere fluke. Given what Rivers has been working with over the past few seasons , it has come as something of a surprise to see the Chargers off to such a very good start. In what will likely be a very competitive AFC West division , not including the woefully inept Oakland Raiders . I believe the division could very well become a three-horse race if Andy Reid and Alex Smith can actually figure out what is wrong with the Kansas City Chiefs . The Denver Broncos remain as competitive as ever , with Peyton Manning leading the way for the team .

With a bye-week in Week four , the Denver Broncos can rest their injured players while gauging what their divisional rivals are likely to do. Andy Reid and the Kansas City Chiefs have a potentially tough game against the New England Patriots at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City , Missouri on Monday night , part of the season of scheduled games for the Monday Night Football. A win is very much a must , for the Patriots after their labored and non-too too convincing victory over the Oakland Raiders in week three , where Tom Brady had one of his less memorable games against Oakland .

At the start of the 2014 season , many believed the New England Patriots were capable of having a thirteen win season. My only belief , was that the Patriots would not be severely challenged within the AFC East , where they have been the dominant force within the division of the past decade. I see no reason for the premise to change given the issues of the Buffalo Bills , Miami Dolphins and New York Jets. Bill Belichick remains the ” Mad Scientist” , self-absorbed, over-confident and often abrasive with the press and at times with his players with the exception of his renowned quarterback. Brady and Belichick are joined by an umbilical cord , but the cord will likely be severed in the next two or three years. The departures of Ryan Mallett and Logan Mankins shocked not only Tom Brady , but the fans of the New England Patriots and definitely members of the media . And as good as the team might seem to be , there still remains a number of deficiencies which Bill Belichick has clearly failed to address during the off-season . Jimmy Garoppolo might well be waiting in the wings to take over from the franchise’s all-time leader in a number of offensive passing categories, but I do not believe this rookie will have the type of impact seen with Brady over the past decade.

I have always maintained if you cannot provide the consumer or fan with anything insightful , then it is best to say nothing at all . ESPN /ABC has become a behemoth and monolithic sports’ broadcast entity that leaves it competitors in its wake . In terms of its content and on air presence, there are few if any real bright spots to the medium , but yet , there it is filling the airwaves and the television screens with a great deal of banality , while being hypocritical , misogynistic , sexist and without any real moral virtue. However, what makes the outlet simply tick is its economic clout as a billion dollar money-making entity for parent company , Walt Disney Company . The three other major network outlet pale into comparison as money-making entities and yes folks , that includes the upstart NBCSports Network and Fox’s almost redundant FS1 Fox Sports Network (FS1) , whose content might be just as mediocre and convoluted as its broadcast relative Fox News . CBS Sports remains something of an archaic and dated embodiment of the broadcast network in terms of its appeal and demographic skewered towards those aged fifty-five and over .

ESPN made the decision today , to suspend on air personality Bill Simmons for being critical of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell Granted , the league remains one of the outlet’s primary broadcast partners with whom they have a multi-year, multi-billion dollar contract . Hate to say , but ESPN would rather not bite the hand that feeds it but would willingly kiss the ass of the NFL , even when the league is known to have acted egregiously and erroneously. In reality , some fans couldn’t give a #hit much less really care what Bill Simmons might have to say about anything, given his rather clown-like dexterity for making a complete @sshole of himself , when offering up commentary on issues concerning the world of sports. Simmons’ suspension is something of a non-story but in many ways it simply reflects the ongoing hypocrisy of a network and its willingness to cow-tow and remain in obeisance of a paymaster (NFL) which is just as complicit with its behavior and lack of morals . Unfortunately , there seems to be no one with the balls to say it about ESPN or the NFL , but I am ready to do so and will continue to do so without fear of being sought out by their blow-hard cronies or like-minded representatives.

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Where and when did you feel the league erred in dealing with the Ray Rice affair and do you believe the NFL can get its house back in order , much less regain the confidence of its fans and many of their commercial sponsors ? Three weeks into the NFL season and what has been the biggest surprise to you concerning the games and the teams ? Your comments as always are very welcomed and by all means do feel free to chime in with your own thoughts concerning not only the NFL but the world of sports in general .

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(1) Steve Bisciotti troubled owner of the Baltimore Ravens, who in the past few days has faced mounting criticism of his and the franchise’s handling of the Ray Rice affair. Getty Images / Greg Parsons …

(2)Quarterback Geno Smith (7) of the New York Jets speaks with head coach Rex Ryan before a game against the Chicago Bears at MetLife Stadium on September 22, 2014 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Getty Images North America / Elsa Martinez …

(3) Miami Dolphins’ quarterback Ryan Tannehill (17) whose record with the franchise as a starter is not impressive (16-19-0) , going into week four where the Dolphins will face the Oakland Raiders in an all AFC match-up at the O Coliseum in Oakland , California , on Sunday afternoon . Miami Herald / Hector Nunez …..

(4) Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ head coach Lovie Smith , center, watches his players stretch after returning from a lightning delay during NFL football training camp in Tampa, Fla., Friday, July 25, 2014. The Buccaneers have gotten off to an awful start to the season with Smith in his first year as the team’s head coach . AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack ….

(5) May 9, 2014; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Blake Bortles (Central Florida) poses with his family after addressing the media at the Upper West Touchdown Club at EverBank Field a day after being selected as the third overall pick in the first round of the 2014 NFL draft by the Jacksonville Jaguars…. John David Mercer / USA Today Sports
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(6) Tom Brady , left , of the New England Patriots is seen here with his back-up , rookie Jimmy Garoppolo . The youngster has been learning all the tricks of the trade from the franchise’s career leader in passing statistics. As a college player, Jimmy Garoppolo had a distinguished career . AP Photo / Martin Kline

(7) Bill Simmons an editor in-Chief at Grantland.com , columnist and on air personality of with ESPN has been suspended (three weeks) by the broadcast outlet for his profanity laced rant , accusing NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell of being a liar . The San Francisco 49ers suspended their television broadcaster and analyst Ted Robinson for his rather idiotic criticism of Jenay Parker-Rice , wife of Baltimore Ravens’ running back Ray Rice . Robinson is his opinionated criticism of Parker-Rice suggested she was in part to blame for the abuse suffered at the hands of her then fiance. Clearly , Robinson has no clue or common sense when it comes to the issue of domestic abuse or domestic violence. UPI / Ross Mitchell …. …

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You are only as good as your record reflects

You are only as good as your record reflects

You are only as good as your record reflects or that of the acumen shown by the coaching staff , And this season , it would be pretty safe to say that the NFL and its teams have shown us , all that glistens is not necessarily gold . The Seattle Seahawks having started off its season with four consecutive wins and were quickly brought down back to earth by Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts . And while I have read a number articles within this forum by a number of knowledgeable sports’ fans simply looking to put their own spin on the season , with what they deem to be their interpretation of the season , by way of the league standing . I would suggest that while it all seems to be feasible, what is exactly achieved by such an article if nothing else, than to elicit a comment ? Standing atop of the respective conferences are the Denver Broncos (5-0) and Kansas City Chiefs (5-0) within the AFC , while in the NFC , Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints , loom larger than life , overlooking all that they can possibly survey.

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At the start of the season , I felt that the AFC would prove to be the dominant conference by way of the caliber of the teams. Yet, at this juncture, nothing could be further from the truth. In the AFC East , a New England Patriots’ team sits at 4-1 , but in reality at best, they are no better than a 2-2 franchise. The division itself has a budding divisional triumvirate of teams looking to show their dominance , led by the Miami Dolphins , New York Jets and Patriots , with the Buffalo Bills (2-3) holding down the bottom position within the division. . Those three teams could very well be on their way to reminding the fans that the AFC East is likely to be very competitive. As an avowed New England Patriots’ fan , I must admit that while I am happy to see them riding high within the AFC East , leading the division with a 4-1 mark. It has been the inconsistency shown of late, on the offense and injuries that has me wondering, is this team is as good as advertised?

To further emphasize my dismay with the Patriots , it was bewildering to see that this team could only must six points in total , in their 13-6 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals . Even more exacerbating, were the post-game comments by Tom Brady , as to the reasons behind the team’s defeat. The Patriots’ quarterback had his worst performance of the season in this game and he certainly was not helped by the poor protection from his offensive line was a complete embarrassment. Patriots’ head coach Bill Belichick seemed to gloss over that fact by simply addressing the matter with his customary aplomb, with scant regard for the questions being posed by the convened journalists wishing to discuss the matter in-depth .

With Patriots’ tight end Rob Gronkowski not due to return until possibly by week six or eight , the offense will be totally reliant on Stevan Ridley , Julian Edelman and Brandon Bolden . Beyond the injury issues of Gronkowski , the loss of defensive end Vince Wilfork , who over the past six seasons has been the bedrock of the defensive line, as well as providing a great deal of leadership to the younger players. His loss for the season , to a torn Achilles’ tendon was a big blow. He cannot be replaced, in terms of what he has able to contribute to the team from the intangibles provided. Yet, if there is a coach who get more out of a team with less , then it would have to be Bill Belichick . Fans, with their prognostications, had the New England Patriots with a 14-2 or 13-3 record for the season . Realistically , based on what I have seen this season at this point , a mark of 11-5 or 12-4 seems more likely, along with the divisional title and a postseason berth in tow.

Rancor and sheer dismay can only describe the continued anger I still possess concerning the Patriots’ mishandling of the Wes Welker ” debacle” . In spite of the public statements made by team owner Robert ‘Bob’ Kraft, GM Nick Caserio and Bill Belichick , it has been their pride that has dictated the fact that they are unwilling to admit to making a major blunder , which allowed Welker’s departure to the Denver Broncos. The wide receiver’s successor, was none other than Danny Amendola , whose initial success had many asking Wes who? Well , now the question being asked has to be, is Danny Amendola made of Paper Mache’ ? Injuries have followed the player throughout his entire career and his performances have been sketchy at best. Now on the sidelines with another injury, I can’t help but wonder how long his tenure will be with the Patriots at this juncture. New England went from an all Pro wide receiver, in Wes Welker to an injury plagued , all too inconsistent player, whose best attributes, one could describe whimsically, as someone who knows his way around a team doctor’s office.

In week six the New England Patriots will face a tough task when they host the New Orleans Saints at Gillette Stadium on Sunday afternoon in what should prove to be one of the highlight match-ups on the day. The Saints’ aerial attack, is also supported by a very good rushing offense led by Pierre Thomas and Darren Sproles . New England’s defense is likely to be tested throughout much of the game.

As Peyton Manning looks to be marching on towards his fifth League MVP award , his younger sibling Eli Manning , the two-time winning Superbowl quarterback with the New York Giants (0-5) is now having a horrendous season , with the team now lacking confidence and head coach Tom Coughlin willingly taking all of the shots, by stating that the team’s woes are his alone . Admirable, as that may well be, Coughlin is trying to deflect what even the most none observant already have come to realize. This season , the New York Giants are not a very good team on both sides of the ball. Eli Manning’s performances are a far cry from the player who in 2011 excelled in his red zone play and who now seems to be a shell of the player who led the team to those Superbowl victories over the New England Patriots in 2008 and 2012 .

I am not about to suggest that Tom Coughlin is likely to be fired , but if he continues to come to the support of his players without seeking to hold them accountable , then in all likelihood GM Jerry Reese and owner John K Mara will be left no other alternative, than to relieve the head coach of his duties , should they fail to end up with a winning record . As things now stand , at worst , an 8-8 or 9-7 season could be all that is needed to win NFC East division that for years has been vastly overrated and in truth greatly bereft of depth in great talent . On Thursday night , with the Giants still seeking their first win of the season they will be the guests of the Chicago Bears (3-2) and Jay Cutler , with a team whose early start to the season indicates that , they too , are not as good as advertised , in spite of a very good defense with great take away capabilities .

With Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-4) still win-less and in the aftermath of the Josh Freeman fiasco, with the player being waived by the NFC South franchise. Freeman has now found his way onto the Minnesota Vikings’ (1-3) roster , a team that this season has simply been wasting the talents of Adrian Peterson . With incumbent starting quarterback Christian Ponder sidelined by an injury , the team’s options at the quarterback position have become extremely acute . The other candidates are Matt Cassel , McLeod Bethel-Thompson and Freeman, himself. In all likelihood, Cassel will get the start when the Vikings play host to the Carolina Panthers (1-3) this Sunday in an NFC game that pits two teams with multiple issues that need to be addressed .

When the Denver Broncos play host to the hapless Jacksonville Jaguars (0-5) in a contest I truly believe that the odds-makers in Las Vegas will either be salivating over or quite possibly be unwilling to touch . In terms of a spread and the over/under , there too I believe, that we could be on pace to see something of an NFL record being set ! The Jaguars are a team that has spiraled downwards into the depths of an abyss of mediocrity , with Gus Bradley and his coaching staff without the answers to provide an explanation for the team’s woes . Denver may well be able to pull off a double-digit margin of victory , while piling up the points, in what I believe could very well be the largest margin of victory that we are likely to see in the NFL this season !

Far too many individuals, are subscribing to this idiocy, that there is parity in the NFL. In reality, what we are currently seeing in the league is some very bad coaching with a diluted down product and a number of vastly overrated players. As exciting as many might believe the NFL to be at present , unless the talent level, that we seeing coming up through the ranks by way of the players at the collegiate level , who then declare their eligibility for the via the NFL Draft. We are likely to see something of a cyclical occurrence, wherein from season to season there will be a rise and then deep drought in the play and with the player entering the NFL .

If character is said to mean something in the NFL , then the troubles now facing San Francisco 49ers’ defensive player Aldon Smith should give Jed York , Trent Baalke , Jim Harbaugh and the rest of the Niners’ front office a great to worry about and be concerned with . In light of the franchise still choosing to pay Smith’s salary while he takes a leave of absence and undergoes treatment for alcoholism , it is rather disturbing to find out the real reason behind the player seeking treatment came by way of an altercation at a private party he hosted , where he was stabbed twice , but two victims were shot . Though the event took place back 2012 , a year later , and after several incidents concerning law enforcement for DUI (twice) and resisting arrest , it seems inconceivable that neither the NFL or the Forty Niners took the player to task, by either suspending him or seeking his being placed in a substance abuse program. This asinine notion by the fans, that the NFL cares , is simply hokum and hogwash , as the only thing that Roger Goodell , the league hierarchy and owners simply care about , is making a great deal of money ! Anyone, who can now make a claim to the contrary , is simply lacking a great deal of intelligence .

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Week six of the NFL regular season schedule will bring about a number of results, some surprising , while others will not . Chances are however, both the Buccaneers and Jaguars will remain win-less , as the rest of the league sets about on its merry way . What if anything, are you hoping to see this upcoming weekend or starting off as of tomorrow night ? By all means, do leave a comment as you see fit and thanks as always for the continued support of this site and its content !

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Picture and slideshow gallery .

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(1) Broncos’ head coach John Fox ,left and his Kansas City Chiefs’ counterpart Andy Reid have both led their teams 5-0 starts this season in the NFL . The two teams will clash twice in their AFC West divisional contests this season and there is a likelihood that one of the two franchises will still be unbeaten at the time of the first of those two contests. Getty Images / Paul Kruger …..

(2) Tom Brady (12) of the New England Patriots hands the ball to Stevan Ridley (22) in the first half of a game played at Gillette Stadium on September 22, 2013 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. Jim Rogash / Getty Images North America ….

(3) Quarterback Eli Manning (10) of the New York Giants and quarterback Peyton Manning (18) of the Denver Broncos talk to former Giants player Y.A. Tittle and Frank Gifford during the coin toss before the game at MetLife Stadium on September 15, 2013 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Getty Images North America / Rob Antonelli ….

(4) Vikings’ quarterbacks Josh Freeman left , is seen here with Matt Cassel at the team’s training facility at Winter Park , Eden Prairie , Minnesota . With Christian Ponder sidelined , Cassel is likely to be the starter for Sunday’s game with Josh Freeman as his backup . AP Photo / Anne Heisenfelt …..

(5) Blaine Gabbert (11) of the Jacksonville Jaguars looks to pass the ball against the St. Louis Rams at the Edward Jones Dome on October 6, 2013 in St. Louis, Missouri. The Rams would go on to defeat the Jaguars 34-20 to inflict the Jacksonville Jaguars’ fifth consecutive loss of the season in 2013 , leaving the team firmly rooted at the bottom of the AFC South . Getty Images North America / Dilip Vishwanath …..

(6) Aldon Smith is seen here alongside NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on Draft Day, having been taken as the seventh overall pick in the first round of the 2011 NFL Draft by the San Francisco $49ers . Entering his third year with the franchise Smith has faced a litany of legal issues since becoming a player in the NFL . What is even more troubling during this whole period has been the reluctance of the 49ers’ organization to address the matter publicly , with head coach Jim Harbaugh simply deflecting questions on the matter . Roger Goodell , we are told , is said to be monitoring the situation closely ., and as we all know the commissioner dealing with an issue of this magnitude, is somewhat like a child playing with his own pacifier. He will chew and suck on it , before spitting it out , because there is something else that he chooses to deal with elsewhere . AP Photo / Mark Smith …..

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Shake ’em like you mean it baby !

She’s acting like she’s got a “pair” and we love her for that .

Pride comes in various forms and it comes before a very great fall ….

Pride comes in various forms and it comes before a very great fall ….

So over the weekend , Pedro , a very good friend of mine , asked me to be the godfather to his two-year old son , Pedro Jesus Jr . Now, this will be something, that I will take a great deal of pride , in becoming this child’s godparent . Not being a parent myself , albeit, that I lived vicariously through the birth and growth of several nieces and nephews, my greatest joy has been to see the all of these children grow up to be productive citizens . My greatest hope , will be witness the same for my godchild’s future and if along the way, I can impart any wisdom upon him , to make him a better person , then it will be something that I will take a great deal of pride , alongside that of his proud parents .

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Speaking of pride, the sporting weekend did not turn out at all well for two of the teams I support. In the NFL , the formerly unbeaten New England Patriots fell to the vastly improved Cincinnati Bengals , led by quarterback Andy Dalton . Inexplicably , the Patriots’ offense could only muster six points , to show for four quarters of a mediocre Sunday afternoon display , for which neither Tom Brady or head coach Bill Belichick could come up with what one would deem to be an acceptable explanation to explain the team’s first loss of the season . To only saving grace from the defeat , was that the Patriots’ closest rival within the AFC East , the Miami Dolphins also suffered a loss at the hands of the Baltimore Ravens in another AFC match-up.

The Patriots will now have to prepare themselves for what is likely to be a ferocious onslaught in week six , when Drew Brees and the unbeaten New Orleans Saints come calling at Gillette Stadium , in Foxborough, Massachusetts , this upcoming Sunday. A second successive defeat and there are likely to be questions asked of this Patriots’ team , specifically why they have become so anemic and sedentary ?

Two of the more enticing games that took place on Sunday afternoon , pitted the Denver Broncos , as the guests of the Dallas Cowboys and the Seattle Seahawks , in their visit to the Indianapolis Colts . In light of Roger Staubach’s ludicrous statement that Tony Romo was a championship caliber quarterback , capable of leading the Cowboys to the Superbowl , has me wondering what type of psychotropic medication the Hall of Fame great is currently using to make him more lucid, or less as the case might be . As exhilarating a contest this game said to be between the Broncos and Cowboys, it became abundantly clear that this match-up would become a test of attrition and will , between the two opposing quarterbacks . Tony Romo can be best described as a great regular season quarterback , but it is becoming abundantly clear that the player lacks leadership skills and appears to be someone who simply does not know how to handle real adversity , all that well. . The Cowboys came away with a narrow three-point loss in a 51-48 defeat at home from Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas . Romo, may well have had a career day , with over 500 yards in passing , along with five passing touchdowns , but the loss now pushes this Jason Garrett coached team to a 2-3 record within the NFC East with the division itself in some dire need of real competitive play from all four of the occupants there .

Seattle’s contest with the Colts proved to be a match-up of two of the best quarterbacks from the crop of last season’s players taken in the 2012 NFL Draft . Andrew Luck , leading a relatively young roster , more than held their own against Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks , in what I believed to be the best game of the entire weekend ! Luck in his brief NFL career , has now led the Colts to nine come from behind wins during his tenure , and it now looks as if the player has more than won over franchise’s faithful , who may well have had doubts that he was the rightful heir apparent to his predecessor , Peyton Manning , who this season has been rewriting the record books .

Your record simply reflects what you are in the NFL and if you are 0-5 , then that suggests that apart from being win-less , you are amongst the worst teams in the NFL . It is pretty much safe to say , that for both the Jacksonville Jaguars (0-5) and New York Giants (0-5) , their respective seasons are all but over . The Jaguars are playing in front of meager crowds at Ever Bank Stadium , while the Giants are simply hanging on for dear life , while seeking to further embarrass their two-time Superbowl head coach Tom Coughlin . Once, a stern disciplinarian, Coughlin still holds his players accountable for their actions . Yet, at present, it looks as if that the team is now lacking, not only leadership, but a great deal of confidence , as well as a lack of pride .

Well , as baseball’s postseason gets into full swing , several series within the wildcard rounds brought us little suspense , but now as the divisional series are in full swing . We are finally beginning to see the cream rise to the top , while the lesser lights have suddenly fallen flat and at the bottom of the cup . The Tampa Bay Rays are coming apart at the seams and it appears that Joe Maddon can no longer convince the fans are public alike that the franchise’s season was nothing more than aberration .

In the best of a five-game series, the Rays now find themselves down, 0-2 against a Boston Red Sox team, managed by John Farrell , that seems intent on winning their third World Series title in the past six seasons . I am not about to suggest that Tampa Bay has made it easy for the Red Sox to progress towards another AL pennant berth , but anyone who witnessed Saturday’s 7-4 loss and then its precursor of a horrendous 12-2 shellacking , will know that apart from the anemic offense shown , with the team’s defense has bordered on being downright insulting and even an affront to even the kids who play Little League Baseball .

Game four of this series will resume on Tuesday evening when the Tampa Bay will host the Boston Red Sox in a ” must-win game” , if they are to prolong their season . A loss and Tampa’s season will come to an abrupt end before it has even started .

While the Los Angeles Dodgers and Atlanta Braves won their divisions with considerable ease . It was felt that their NL divisional series would be considerably more competitive . With their first two games squared at one game apiece (1-1), Los Angeles then took a decisive role in annihilating the Atlanta 13-6 to take a 2-1 lead in the best of five game series . Braves’ manager Fredi Gonzalez , will now have to get his team mentally prepared for this decisive game , knowing full well that they cannot afford to lose. Game four , tonight , is in a must win or go home situation for Atlanta , wherein a great deal will be asked of Freddy Garcia , when he takes to the mound to oppose the Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw .

As highly favored, as the St Louis Cardinals are meant to be in their series against the Pittsburgh Pirates . Who would have now thought that it would be the Cardinals on the brink of elimination , seeking to erase a 2-1 deficit ? Clint Hurdle and his staff , along with this team , have continued to defy all logic , as they continue to show a great deal of resilience, with Pittsburgh’s season being one of the major talking points of this baseball year . Pittsburgh will seek to close out the series in front of a home crowd of boisterous and raucous fans when the two teams meet at PNC Ballpark in Pittsburgh , Pennsylvania , on Monday afternoon.

As a former military vet , having counseled as well as assisted US military veterans in gaining benefits wrongfully denied by the federal government . It has become alarming to see how many of them, have become drug dependent by choice , on either prescriptive medication or far more hardened narcotics . Delusional and manic-depressive, as many of them have become, through the counseling and then providing them with the means to turn their respective situations around. That side of my participation , has become one of the most rewarding aspects of the work that I have done in this specific area ! Those veterans , who tend to fall through the cracks are either individuals who were never provided the assistance sought from the outset , or in a number of cases , simply those who felt that they can best deal with their issues on their own. In light of this , I raise the point of now unrestricted free agent and NBA star Lamar Odom , whose personal and professional career now seems to be careening out of control , after the revelations of his chemical dependency and a recent DUI charge, that he refutes . Personally , I feel that once your life has become intertwined with a member of the Kardashian family , his marriage to Khloe Kardashian , then you might as well place gun to your head and simply pull the trigger . Hopefully, Kanye West and Jaden Smith can learn something from this all , before it is too damn late .

With the NBA preseason already in full swing , it is extremely difficult to see how a team would be willing to acquire Odom , and then place him on their roster , with all of the personal baggage that the player now carries and his unwillingness to seek any type counseling or rehab . In 2012 with the Los Angeles Clippers , Lamar Odom’s statistics with the team can be best described as anemic and whose versatility at the height his career saw him as one of the most effective duel threats on both ends of the floor . With those days long done, the power forward has become a shell of that player , offering ,little by way of productivity , guidance for younger teammates , and who if anything, has become a “cautionary tale” of what wealth , fame and the glare of the spotlight can do to an athlete , who simply cannot handle the pressure , never mind the fact that , he has now become associated with a family that craves the spotlight , just as much Odom is now said to crave the hits of his drugs of choice cocaine and marijuana .. Which begs the question , what type of drug testing is now in place by the NBA hierarchy and how is that Lamar Odom’s issues were said to have gone unnoticed by the Clippers and his former team , the Dallas Mavericks ? Clearly, there is something awry with the league’s testing protocols and that of the teams’ own complete lack of oversight . Yet somehow , neither David Stern , the Mavericks’ front office or the NBPA saw if fit to address the issue , as it continues to carefully continues to cultivate that family friendly image of the league and its brand . Claims were made as recently as 2010 , that as many as forty-percent of the league’s players were recreational users of marijuana . I would dare say, that figure might well be considerably higher , with a number the athletes within the game, quite possibly using other illicit substances , while being able to circumvent the testing protocols of the NBA .

Not only will it be a long-shot for Lamar Odom to land a roster spot on a team , but with the preseason already up and running , and with the player being unable to prove himself as being in the right mental or physical shape . Why would a franchise be prepared to undertake such a high risk ? It would be stupid and financially though not a major burden , it would be money better well-spent , but it would be , elsewhere , on a player who can contribute immediately to a team .

The welcomed return of Derrick Rose to the NBA after a seventeen-month layoff will be a breath of fresh air in the league and add to its vitality . That being said, the former number one draft pick from the 2008 NBA Draft , was sorely missed by his Chicago Bulls’ teammates in the 2012 and 2013 NBA Playoffs . His return will certainly add more versatility and depth to perhaps, one of the best rosters in the entire Eastern Conference , in terms of overall depth. NBA preseason and all that it is said to accomplish , will be nothing more than for the coaches to assess the talent on their rosters , most notably the young rookies from the most recent draft and how those players will seek to acclimatize themselves . Though not seen as a consensus number one overall pick , Anthony Bennett was taken specifically , by the Cleveland Cavaliers to fit a role on a very good young team . It remains to be seen what the Cavaliers will have to offer their fans this season at the Quicken Loans Arena , in Cleveland , Ohio. Returning head coach, Mike Brown has been given the chance by GM Chris Grant to reprise the form shown when during the reign of LeBron James , the franchise was one of the more desirable venues to see some great basketball .

. Cleveland will open its regular season schedule with a home game against the Brooklyn Nets , a team that will see the debuts of their off-season acquisitions Kevin Garnett , Paul Pierce and Jason Terry . It will be all or bust , for the franchise , that will be coached by the recently appointed rookie Jason Kidd . GM Billy King and team owner Mikhail Prokhorov will have a great deal riding on the season beyond their reputations and the coaching acumen of Kidd .

For Derrick Rose and the Bulls , this season will most certainly offer the young point guard the chance to remind us once again why his prodigious talent has him earmarked as one of the handful of elite players now within the NBA , whose performances are at a consistently high level , when he is on a basketball court .

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Picture gallery .

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(1) Wallace Gilberry (95) of the Cincinnati Bengals sacks Tom Brady (12) of the New England Patriots during their game at Paul Brown Stadium on October 6, 2013 in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Bengals would go on to defeat the Patriots 13-6 . Getty Images / John Grieshop ….

(2) Chris Crocker (32) of the Cincinnati Bengals sacks Tom Brady (12) of the New England Patriots during their game at Paul Brown Stadium on October 6, 2013 in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Bengals defeated the Patriots 13-6. Getty Images North America / John Grieshop ….

(3) Tony Romo (9) of the Dallas Cowboys yells the call against the Denver Broncos in the first quarter at AT&T Stadium on October 6, 2013 in Arlington, Texas. The Broncos would defeat the Cowboys 51-48 , dropping the home team to 2-3 within the NFC East , a division that is now beginning to look very much like an elephants graveyard. Getty Images / Ronald Martinez ….

(4) Rays’ catcher Jose Lobaton rounds the bases , having hit a home run to win the game for the Tampa Bay Rays , in their 5-4 victory over the Boston Red Sox at Tropicana Field in St Petersburg , Florida . With the victory , Tampa’s postseason hopes remain alive as they seek to even their ALDS at two games apiece . AP Photo / Mike Carlson …..

(5) Clayton Kershaw of the Los Angeles Dodgers coming off three days rest pitched his team to a decisive game four victory over the Atlanta Braves , where they now await the winner of the Pittsburgh Pirates versus St Louis Cardinals’ series in the NLCS . The contests between those two teams is now tied at two games each (2-2). Game five will be played on Wednesday night at Busch Stadium in St Louis Missouri . AP Photo / Danny Moloshok …..

(6) Dodgers third baseman Juan Uribe looks on as his two-run home run makes its way out of the ballpark as catcher Brian McCann of the Braves looks on . Uribe alongside Carl Crawford’s two home runs secured a 4-3 victory for the home team as they defeated the Atlanta Braves 3-1 in the NLDS to reach the NLCS for the first time since 2009 .

(7) Lamar Odom seen here having just signed with the Los Angeles Clippers in 2012 . The troubled star now , an unsigned free agent hopes to catch on with an NBA franchise this season , in spite of his now well chronicled drug issues over the past eighteen months . Odom is now estranged from his wife Khloe Kardashian-Odom , television reality star and a member of the Kardashian family , whose reality show ” Keeping Up with the Kardashians” is one of E Entertainment Television’s most popular “unscripted” series . AP Photo / Hal Marcum …..

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Jordan Carver shaking things up , so wonderfully .

Wet-n-wild with Jordan Carver . Nice , really nice !

Shut the fu#k up and let me finish !

Shut the fu#k up and let me finish !

It is something of a distressing time in the world of sports, as the legal ramifications of Aaron Hernandez’s legal menagerie along with his two accomplices, simply reaches all too low levels of what is now seen as a sordid and all too compulsive situation. The NFL has once again been punched in the eye and stomach , though the game is not yet down for the count . Unfortunately, the league hierarchy , team owners and union (NFLPA) simply have not learned a damn thing after this latest incident . So, it would be remiss not to say that there will be another event that will undoubtedly capture the fans and nation`s attention at some point in the future . It will be interesting to see what steps if any will be taken by Roger Goodell and the teams , as things begin to play out . The legal aspects of to this case , are not all that difficult to figure out as it relates to the defendants and how the attorneys for both sides will seek to portray the events leading up to the death of Odin Loyd .

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Certainly, the statements now being attributed to New England Patriots` owner Robert Kraft do seem rather petulant and infantile; when one considers that, the franchise drafted the now disgraced Hernandez in 2010 . The front office was simply drooling over the talented player, out of the University of Florida . Gators` head coach Urban Meyer, was said to be pleased with the player`s promotion to the NFL ranks . Yet, what it did, was to hide a deep underlying trait of deviant behavior, by several players on the Gators` roster from that season . It was also the willingness of Meyer`s staff and that of AD Jeremy Foley to completely turn a blind eye to the misdeeds of Aaron Hernandez and others over the course of Meyer`s reign , as the coach of the football program.

The fact that Robert Kraft is now seeking to suggest that e and the Patriots` organization were duped by Aaron Hernandez and the player`s agent , simply speaks to the inane stupidity of the NFL , the owners and the front office staffs around the league . At what point were the staff of Bill Belichick and GM Nick Caserio not aware of Aaron Hernandez`s prior entanglements with law enforcement and what sort of in-depth background checks were actually in place and used by this now once reputable franchise ?

As an avid New England Patriots` fan , now watching the inner most revelations , now coming to the fore and placing an even bigger blight on its image as well as that of the NFL. It was one thing to see the idiocy of the management in allowing the team`s most productive player over the past five seasons, when Wes Welker was allowed to leave. Yet, here was Robert Kraft, once again seeking to apportion blame elsewhere, because of the inane stupidity shown by Nick Caserio and the coaching staff.

Tom Brady , the franchise’s best player since 2001, took it upon himself to free up $9 million in cap space in order to allow the Patriots to retain the well-respected wide receiver. Alas, Welker sought to sign with the Denver Broncos and become an additional weapon for Peyton Manning . Now while a great deal was made of the Patriots acquiring Tim Tebow, which if anything, was more of a sign of desperation rather than an act of necessity . And this preposterous belief that Tebow , as a player given his resume` would be of benefit to a franchise such as the Jacksonville Jaguars , purely because of his popularity in the state of Florida, is simply asinine ! Tim Tebow, as a draw anywhere, is like to going to the circus simply out of curiosity . The novelty will soon wear off, as it will, concerning the under-achieving quarterback, even if he has Josh McDaniels as his offensive coordinator and quarterbacks` coach . In all honesty , Tebow could very well ending being one of the biggest busts in NFL history , and that is with due respect to the likes of Heath Shuler , Tim Couch , Vince Young , JaMarcus Russell , Akili Smith and Carson Palmer .

As to the upcoming season for the Patriots from their preseason schedule to their opening day regular season game , it will be interesting to see how this newly guise team will fare . At best , I cannot see the Patriots surpassing season`s 12-4 record/ and then the clarity of their play in the postseason , until what turned to be a disastrous showing against the Baltimore Ravens , where the opposing quarterback, Joe Flacco was simply at his very best . Flacco and his teammates , in that second-half display laid siege on a Patriots` defense that has been the franchise’s weakness over the past four seasons. If the team once again sows its fallibility, concerning its secondary is once again on display in spite of free agent acquisitions and their 2013 draft class could very well be a determining factor as to how things will play out for the New England Patriots.

If ever there was a moment for a college football coach to simply shut up and either tell the truth, rather than come across as a buffoon . Then clearly, Urban Meyer now seeking to distance himself from much of the trouble created during his tenure of the Florida Gators` football program . Meyer, suggested that a great many of the issues and incidents that took place, which saw numerous arrests , allegations of cheating , team rules` violations , and the criminal infractions , were all said to have taken place off campus, or as he denotes beyond the reach and scope of the campus authority . Perhaps, it is me , but Meyer is now taking liberties, in seeking to disparage his former employer . Having succeeded Jim Tressel at Ohio State , a program where Tressel was a conduit some of the most serious program and NCAA violations in recent collegiate athletics . The fact that Buckeyes AD Gene Smith and university President Dr. E Gordon Gee stood steadfastly by the then beleaguered and disgraced coach shows the type aloofness and malevolent corruption that is widespread and rampant across the landscape of college sports . Tressel repeatedly lied to the school’s trustees, as well as to Smith and Gee to the misdeeds of the players under his jurisdiction. .

E Gordon Gee, for his part, has been critical of anyone he deems beneath the Ohio State program . And it has been Gee`s ongoing itinerant and all too embarrassing tirades that could very well see him removed from his post as the school’s top administrator .

Does anyone now truly believe that the NCAA has the wherewithal to clean up almighty mess ? NCAA President Mark Emmert is seemingly powerless to actually do anything noteworthy as collegiate athletics top administrator, while seeking to strengthen the structure of his institution .

Well, the talk of the NBA world, has been the departure of Dwight Howard from the Los Angeles Lakers as an unrestricted free agent to sign with the Houston Rockets . Team owner, Leslie Alexander pulled out all of the stops along with head coach Kevin McHale , GM Daryl Morey and James Harden . The fact that the center made the decision to leave Los Angeles , is more than indication that Howard , did not fit on a team where he simply was not sure of his role under Mike DAntoni , head coach of the Los Angeles` franchise . To further emphasize , what even the most docile of Lakers` fans were simply unwilling to admit , has been the testy relationship between Dwight Howard and Kobe Bryant . Anyone who failed to acknowledge that fact , clearly chose to ignore the dichotomy between the two players. Bryant has been often described, as an egotistical, selfish and narcissistic individual who simply cares about no one but himself . That may well be true, but how would you describe Dwight Howard and the perception that fans now view the player under ?

James Harden , will now be joined by Dwight Howard, on a team that this past season , was one of the most explosive offenses in the league . Harden, further emphasized his growth as a player, while it can only be suggested that the player was sorely missed on an Oklahoma City Thunder team that fell short of expectations during the postseason . Kevin Martin , considered a serviceable player, it was clear that his insertion unto the team showed how sorely missed James Harden was said to be. Martin was not able to emulate the scoring prowess shown by the player he replaced, and to my mind, Thunder GM Sam Presti , erred, . when the player was allowed to leave the franchise prior to the start of this past season .

The Houston Rockets are well placed this upcoming season to make a solid run and perhaps be seen as one top contenders within the Western Conference . As to the financial commitment made by the Rockets may to their newest acquisition , it could very well be seen as one of the more ostentatious deals made in the NBA during this off-season.

At this point of the season , baseball will soon be celebrating their mid-season showcase event. The 2013 MLB All Star Game will be held at Citi-Field in Flushing, New York, with a New York crowd looking to celebrate in a big way. The talk seems to be whether or not the Los Angeles Dodgers` …. Yasiel Puig should be on the NL roster . While having an outstanding season , it does seem somewhat ridiculous that fans are calling for Puig`s player`s inclusion after a mere thirty-three games. Impressive stats , being what they are , but when assessing a Dodgers` team that as of Monday night , at two games under .500 with a 43-45 mark , good enough for second place in the NL West . The real issue now facing the team is whether they can win the division and guarantee themselves a postseason berth . It is clear , that after last season`s disappointment , Don Mattingly and his managerial staff may well be on the clock , before a decision is made concerning his future. It will be now, or never , for Mattingly and this high-priced of stars , and how they seek to redeem themselves .

Two years ago, the Milwaukee Brewers` Ryan Braun celebrated winning baseball`s biggest regular season individual honor in winning the NL MVP . Braun , a multiple All Star, and the best player on a Brewers` roster , for a franchise, that views the player as a homegrown hero . Ryan Braun`s name was associated with the stain of steroids , and from what appears to be the utter stupidity shown by the testing facility , in not properly storing the player`s test samples. Braun was able to escape a suspension. An arbitration hearing upheld Ryan Braun`s appeal to have his fifty-game for a first time offense. All along, in pleading his innocence, Braun felt that his actions paved the way the hearing to go his way, and to show that baseball was simply on a witch-hunt, as well over-reaching with their powers . A mere two years later, Braun, Alex Rodriguez , Nelson Cruz and a slew of other players are the focus of another investigation of rampant steroid use within the game. Once again, Bud Selig and his office , comes across looking like bumbling buffoons .

The claims made by the MLB commissioner, that baseball , has the most stringent of testing policy, is proving to be a fallacy . And with the latest admission by Biogenesis proprietor and founder Antony Bosch , that has supplied as many as sixty players with steroids , as well several other performance enhancing substances , does beg the question , what is it that baseball itself , is not doing ? And why is it , that they have failed so miserably to stem the tide of steroid abuse not only at the Major League Level but also at the Minor League Level , where the use of PED`s is even more widespread ?

Braun in the accompaniment of his agent Nev Balelo and an attorney , met with the investigators from MLB to discuss whether or not he ad at any time been supplied steroids or any other prohibitive substances banned by the league hierarchy . The player was said to be uncooperative, refusing to answer the five questions he was initially subjected to . When a further question posed as to his known association with Tony Bosch , Braun was once again unresponsive , and subsequently left the MLB headquarters , again, with his name being under a cloud of suspicion . Of the thirteen players, said to have met with the league`s investigators , eleven , are said to have initially cooperated , in answering some of the questions posed . As to what this may well mean , once the ongoing investigation reaches a finality . One can only speculate as to the course of action that may well be considered and taken , should Bud Selig and the MLB hierarchy members believe it appropriate to suspend these players for any length of time . The suspensions being considered are in the region of between fifty games to one hundred games , but it is rumored that the league would like to send a clear and strong message with a one hundred-game suspension , that would be the starting point for any punishment rendered . Any such penalties, are likely to wreak havoc upon the teams where many of these players are now assisting in their ball-clubs` title hopes . From my own standpoint , Bud Selig has simply dragged his feet with this process , albeit, that the US Justice Department is also investigating Bosch and his now defunct company . That being said , with the already haphazard handling of previous cases by the Justice Department in this specific arena , and that of baseball . My own misgivings, are that we are likely to see new levels of incompetency , beyond anything yet shown by Bud Selig and his minions .

New York Yankees` third baseman Alex Rodriguez is likely to meet with the league`s investigators prior to mid-season break for the All Star Game . Rodriguez undergoing rehab, has yet to make an appearance this season for the still struggling Yankees . The consensus seems to be , if the player is met with a 100 game suspension , then in all likelihood , his career with the franchise is likely to come to an abrupt end , with the front office , quite possibly seeking to void the remainder of the approximately $104 million still owed to Alex Rodriguez.

Given Rodriguez`s proclivity for being less than truthful. I truly believe that he too, will be uncooperative in this investigation , while still trying to proclaim his innocence in terms of any wrongdoing . As if we needed a reminder as to his first go-around concerning the use of PED`s . This now seems to be a dance that the fans have become accustomed to seeing , while we are not too sure what the outcome may well be . Bud Selig is now seeking to regain a great deal of power lost to the union . Yet my response would be , what the fuck does the MLBPA (union) care to begin with ? I mean, it is not as if they have at any time, sought to be at the forefront of ridding the game of illicit substances , in spite of ambiguous collective bargaining agreement .
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Picture gallery .

What thoughts if any, do you have concerning the salient points within this piece? Simply, leave a comment as you see fit , and thanks as always for the continued support of this site .

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Picture and slideshow details below .

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(1) Mike Davies, right, of Norfolk, Mass., wears his New England Patriots Aaron Hernandez football jersey one last time while waiting in an exchange line outside Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., Saturday, July 6, 2013. Fans may trade an Aaron Hernandez jersey with his name on it they purchased for one of another player on the NFL team. The team released Hernandez after he was arrested for allegedly orchestrating the death of Odin Lloyd. AP Photo/Michael Dwyer …..

(2) Fans wait in a checkout line inside the New England Patriots store at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., after exchanging their Aaron Hernandez football jerseys, Saturday, July 6, 2013. Fans may trade an Aaron Hernandez jersey they purchased for one of another player on the NFL team. The team released Hernandez after he was arrested for allegedly orchestrating the death of Odin Lloyd. AP Photo/Michael Dwyer …

(3) New England Patriots` owner Robert Kraft , left , is seen here with Aaron Hernandez at the team`s training facility in Foxborough , Massachusetts . The player was cut by the franchise after he was arraigned and indicted in the murder of Odin Lloyd. The owner in his first public statement , stated that he felt duped by Aaron Hernandez and was saddened for Lloyd`s family and their loss. Yet when pressed on the issue as why the player was drafted by franchise in 2010 , even after it was noted that the Hernandez had been plagued by off-the field issues concerning alleged criminal behavior. Kraft was not responsive in answering the questions posed . AP Photo / Chris Cameron ….

(4) Ohio State Buckeyes` football coach Urban Meyer is seen here addressing the convened press . Meyer seeking to deflect any negative chatter directed towards his being concerning and is handling of off the field issues of the players while at the University of Florida . The two-time winning national championship coach went as far as to suggest, that the players` behavior were not his responsibility and a great many of the incidents that took place were beyond the scope of the faculty and the athletics department . Getty Images / Paul Ross …

(5) Dwight Howard , left , is seen here with his new teammate James Harden . The two players will provide a formidable front-court for the franchise . Howard signed a four-year $88 million deal with the Houston Rockets . MMI Inc.

(6) Alex Rodriguez . left , and Ryan Braun are two of the central figures in the latest saga of steroids now seemingly raising its head once again within the world baseball . Braun met with the league`s investigators and the player was uncooperative with the investigators and the questions posed. Rodriguez is due to meet with the league officials on Friday , and it is not known how the third baseman is likely to respond . @ copyrighted material …. MLB.com MLB Properties .

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Latina actress Nadine Velazquez

Mine is not to reason why , only to ask the questions when needed

Mine is not to reason why , only to ask the questions when needed

Well the NFL Draft came and disappeared , leaving a great many fans , either overjoyed or extremely disappointed with the decisions made by their respective teams . And for the franchise with the ignominy of having that final pick for the last player to be taken . Let’s just say , for that player and others taken in the seventh and final round ,it is simply nothing to be ashamed of. If memory serves me correctly , a certain three-time Superbowl winning quarterback and future Hall of Fame inductee by the name of Tom Brady , dropped from the middle rounds , only to be taken as a sixth round pick in the 2000 NFL Draft by the New England Patriots . And as we know , the rest as they say “ is history “ , not just for Brady and his undoubted postseason exploits but also for that of the franchise .

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Cincinnati Bengals first-round draft pick Tyler Eifert (85), a tight end from Notre Dame, catches a pass during NFL football rookie mini-camp , Friday, May 10, 2013, in Cincinnati. AP Photo/Al Behrman …

As a die-hard Patriots’ fan , I must say that I was not overly enamored with a number of the picks made in this draft by the front office of the organization . However, in light of the team’s defensive woes over the past few seasons . I can only assume and hope that GM Nick Caserio , Bill Belichick and the coaching staff , will have firmly addressed the needs of the team . Certainly , in 2012 , this secondary of the New England Patriots were found to be wanting in the most explicable of moments , but specifically during the regular season . As to the postseason and the team’s exploits there . Well, the cupboard was laid bare, during the AFC championship game , against the eventual Superbowl champions , the Baltimore Ravens . Not only was that cupboard empty , but the anemic performances rendered by the Patiots’ players in that conference title game , led me to believe that they simply gave up before the second quarter, simply thinking that they could rest on their laurels , because of a 13-0 lead over a Ravens’ staff that at the time seemed ill-prepared .

The second half of the game would prove to be Belichick’s undoing , as the team was unable to muster a single point in the final two quarters of game . Someone perhaps, should have told Bill Belichick that the best performing quarterback during the postseason was in fact in fact a member of the Baltimore Ravens . Joe Flacco , simply excelled , out playing his counterpart , and further emphasizing why during this off-season the Ravens’ front office were simply prepared to “break the bank” in offering the four-year starter a whopping six-year …. $120 million contract , making one of the highest paid players in the NFL and certainly amongst the “ highest paid “ at the quarterback position . Needless to say, Ravens’ owner , Steve Bisciotti and GM Ozzie Newsome believe to be , money well spent .

The Baltimore Ravens’ off-season has been well chronicled , with their being a number of departures , from the players who were part of that Superbowl winning team . One might surmise that John Harbaugh and his coaching staff might well be despondent after the defections and retirement of certain players, but such has been the astuteness shown by Ozzie Newsome and his continued brilliance , concerning his this and previous draft classes . It would take a foolish individual to bet against the Baltimore Ravens making a quick return to the postseason .Simply consider Habraugh’s coaching record and the playoff appearances made by the franchise since he succeeded Brian Billick in 2008 .

In many respects, I do believe that there has been a disconnect between Belichick and what he believes to be are not his flaws as a head coach. Conceited , obnoxious and clearly, he is not willing to admit when he has definitely made a monumental mistake . Much of that has led to many of the on field coaching miscalculations, which now seem to be all too prevalent in the Patriots` play over the past two seasons. The AFC East this season will be filled with pratfalls for the Patriots as they go about seeking another divisional title and making the postseason .

Bill Belichick and his players , will open up their season with a quartet of preseason games beginning with a game against the Philadelphia Eagles and in many respects , I do believe that there has been a disconnect between Belichick and what he believes to be are not his flaws as a head coach. Conceited , obnoxious and clearly, he is not willing to admit when he has definitely made a monumental mistake . Much of that has led to many of the on field coaching miscalculations, which now seem to be all too prevalent in the Patriots` play over the past two seasons. The AFC East this season will be filled with pratfalls for the Patriots as they go about seeking another divisional title and making the postseason .

As I alluded to earlier , the Patriots will open up their season with a quartet of preseason games beginning with a game against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field , in Philadelphia , Pennsylvania , on the 9th August , 2013 , week one of the NFL`s preseason schedule . The team will open up their regular season with a game against divisional rivals , the Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium , in Orchard Park , New York , which kicks off the NFL`s regular season schedule .

Now, while this off-season has been filled with stories , that the ever demanding NFL fans yearn for and a great deal more . Perhaps the biggest story may well be that of the New York Jets` drafting of quarterback Geno Smith and the player`s demeanor and rallying cry that he “ entered the NFL to win “ . Conceited, bellicose and full of bravura , Smith may well feel that he has something to offer the Jets , considering their disastrous 2012 season , where Rex Ryan could seem to get noting right and where the continued idiocy surrounding both Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow became cannon fodder for print and television media alike . Never mind the anecdotes that the late night television talk show were graced with, in terms of never-ending comedic content ……. “how far can Tebow throw ? Obviously not far enough. “ How many Jets` players does it take turn on a light switch? None , they still live in the dark ages and no one on last season`s roster, is actually intelligent enough, to even know that Edison invented the incandescent light bulb.

GM John Idzik has been entrusted to rebuild the roster through the draft and via free agency . Given Idzik`s experience and is astuteness in the drafting of Seahawks` quarterback Russell Wilson in 2012 as a third round draft pick in last season`s draft by the Seattle Seahawks , when Idzik led the franchise`s front office . The Jets are hoping that he can work his magic for a second time in such an instance, by having a quarterback competition amongst the quarterbacks on the Jets` roster . It was under such a premise that Wilson won the starting spot on the Seahawks` roster . . Russell Wilson would show is maturity , leadership and dexterity in leading Seattle into the playoffs , where they would succumb (28-30) to the Atlanta Falcons in the divisional round of the postseason .

It would be asking a great deal of Geno Smith to beat out Mark Sanchez for the starting role at the quarterback position , yet given Sanchez’s woes this past season , it would not come as a surprise , should that situation arise . Sanchez is under a great deal of pressure to prove that he is still a viable commodity as a quarterback in the NFL , after all the of plaudits and acclaim received in the first two years of his career .

The Jets will open their regular season with a game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida , on the 8th September , 2013. It should be a game that will be a test for both sides as each seeks to resurrect their flagging franchise’s fortunes.

Speaking of a franchise with flagging fortunes , what chance is there for the Jacksonville Jaguars to turn things around ? First time head coach Gus Bradley will have a difficult season , along with new owner , Shahid Khan , having spent $773 million to purchase the franchise, and now seeking push a declining attendance level , and place it amongst the upper echelons of the NFL . For one of the NFL`s least profitable franchises , it must be said that the Jacksonville Jaguars are in a market, where it is barely self-sustaining . Yet for some reason , there is this continued belief that the franchise can maintain a presence in the Central Florida market place , while remaining part of the NFL .

The Jaguars` season in 2012 , started and ended with the ineffectiveness of quarterback Blaine Gabbert , and the problem that apart from not being able to put up points on the scoreboard , with both the defense and offense of team was simply anemic , if not mediocre overall ! ! The struggles of Jaguars will be littered with obstacles this season , which I do not believe that they will be able to overcome. The team in its present guise, simply is not good enough , in spite of the players drafted and their off-season maneuvers in terms of the acquisition of free agents . Call me naïve , but the Jaguars have not been of any relevance in the NFL in over a decade and to think that because an owner (Shahid Khan) , no matter what the success attained in the business world . It is by no means a dead-on certainty, that he will be able to replicate that success in the NFL , even with the professionals that make up the Jaguars` front office and tat of the coaching staff .

For Gabbert , this season will place the quarterback under a great deal of pressure , as he has seen many of his contemporaries from the 2011 NFL Draft have a considerable amount of success, while the player himself , has continually struggled throughout his entire two-year career in the league . Bear in mind also, the quarterback is amongst the highest paid players on the Jaguars` roster . Gus Bradley , has few alternatives , if his quarterback is unable to lead this team to even some moderate success in the AFC South , much less in the league over the course of the season.
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I am of the opinion that players ought to be rewarded , based upon their productivity and not solely upon potential or acclaim . Yet for some reason, this off-season Cowboys` general manager and team owner , Jerry Jones saw fit to reward the team`s starting quarterback , Tony Romo with a seven-year $119 million contract , that makes Romo amongst the highest paid players at the position in league . Consider the fact , that while many would consider Tony Romo a very good regular season quarterback . The player`s failings and continued failure in the postseason belies the fact, that Romo has yielded little in return for the franchise over the course of his ten-year career. One playoff win , and he gets rewarded with an exorbitant contract , for a player who lacks leadership skills and were he and his teammates continue make excuses, with alarming regularity for their recent postseason woes . For Romo , one win in four playoff postseason appearances would suggest to me, that there isn`t an ounce of goddamn common sense to be found inside the Cowboys` front office and even less amongst their ever under-achieving playing staff .

Sooner or later , Jerry Jones will begin to realize that Jason Garrett simply isn`t good enough a coach , to guide Cowboys to were think that they ought to be , much less realize the fact, that the team last season was not good enough to garner a playoff berth . Now the Dallas Cowboys, are now seeing their divisional rivals back amongst the upper echelons of the NFL.

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File- This Dec. 30, 2012 file photo shows Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (9) standing during the national anthem before an NFL football game against the Washington Redskins in Landover, Md. Romo and the Cowboys have agreed on a six-year contract extension worth $108 million, with about half of that guaranteed . The agreement was reported on the team’s website Friday March 29, 2013. AP Photo/Alex Brandon ….

Sooner or later Jerry Jones will begin to realize that Jason Garrett simply isn`t good enough a coach to guide Cowboys to were think that they ought to be , much less realize the fact, that the team last season was not good enough to garner a playoff berth . Now the Dallas Cowboys, are now seeing their divisional rivals back amongst the upper echelons of the NFL. Now the Dallas Cowboys, are now seeing their divisional rivals back amongst the upper echelons of the NFL . What better way for the Cowboys to begin their regular season than a match-up against New York Giants ? A franchise that in recent years under head coach Tom Coughlin , seems to have found a way to achieve what the Texas franchise has failed to do in almost two decades , and that is to win a Superbowl . In recent years the contests between these two teams have been highly competitive and all too physical . And the NFC East is all the better , when both the Cowboys and Giants are both playing at very best . Your thoughts on the matter ?

As usual, there is always a reason to heed each season cautiously , as the head coaches are going to be on “the hot seat“ . Much of that, boils down to the play of the teams , and how they fare over a sixteen-game schedule . It will be interesting to see which of the head coaches are, or will fall from grace !

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New Oakland Raiders head coach Dennis Allen (L) greets Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie (c) and team owner Mark Davis , during a press conference on January 30, 2012 in Alameda, California. Dennis Allen was introduced as the new coach of the Oakland Raiders, replacing Hue Jackson who was fired after one season . Getty Images / Justin Sullivan ….

! I may well be, rushing to a presumption of judgment , but having seen the customary merry-go-round as the usual plethora of firings take place amongst coaching staffs and front office executives . Given frequency with which the Oakland Raiders tend to fire their head coaches in recent seasons. I get the feeling that Dennis Allen`s tenure could very well be sort-lived ! Team owner , Mark Davis and GM Reggie McKenzie , I believe are deeply distrusted by the vast majority of Raiders` fans . Yet , rarely do I ever hear them being critical of the front office in recent years and the confounding ways in which they have conducted personnel decisions. Needless to say , once again the Raiders` draft class and recent acquisitions will be questioned in many areas , and quite honestly , I would not expect it to be any other way !

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With the preseason a little more than three months away , but with a number of teams having brought in their rookies for their symposiums , organized training activities (OTA`s) and none roster invitees . It should be very interesting to see how a number of the first round draft picks will fare , in comparison to their predecessors of last season. Your thoughts on the upcoming season and in particular, which teams , do you believe will be a credible contender for the Superbowl ? Chime in with a comment as you see fit .

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(1) Cincinnati Bengals first-round draft pick Tyler Eifert (85), a tight end from Notre Dame, catches a pass during NFL football rookie mini-camp , Friday, May 10, 2013, in Cincinnati. AP Photo/Al Behrman …

(2) New England Patriots NFL football head coach Bill Belichick speaks during a news conference at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., Friday, May 3, 2013. AP Photo/Michael Dwyer …

(3) FILE – In this Jan. 20, 2013, file photo, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) talks to wide receiver Wes Welker (83) before the NFL football AFC Championship football game against the Baltimore Ravens in Foxborough, Mass. The Denver Broncos have found a new target for Peyton Manning , agreeing to a two-year deal with Pro Bowl receiver Wes Welker . AP Photo/Elise Amendola, ….

(4) Broadcaster Jim Nantz interviews Baltimore Ravens quarterback and Superbowl MVP , Joe Flacco (5) after the Ravens defeated the San Francisco 49ers 34-31 in the NFL Super Bowl XLVII football game Sunday, Feb. 3, 2013, in New Orleans. AP Photo/Bill Haber …

(5) File- This Dec. 30, 2012 file photo shows Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (9) standing during the national anthem before an NFL football game against the Washington Redskins in Landover, Md. Romo and the Cowboys have agreed on a six-year contract extension worth $108 million, with about half of that guaranteed . The agreement was reported on the team’s website Friday March 29, 2013. AP Photo/Alex Brandon ….

(6) Rookie head coach, Gus Bradley , is seen here overseeing workouts with the Jacksonville Jaguars` first team squad . Bradley has an arduous season ahead with quarterback Blaine Gabbert, who has failed to live up to expectations as a two-year starter with the Jaguars` franchise . Gabbert enters his third season , while under a great deal of pressure from his backups , Chad Henne , Jordan Rodgers , and Matt Scott . Florida Times Union / Mark Cready …..

(7) New Oakland Raiders head coach Dennis Allen (L) greets Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie (c) and team owner Mark Davis , during a press conference on January 30, 2012 in Alameda, California. Dennis Allen was introduced as the new coach of the Oakland Raiders, replacing Hue Jackson who was fired after one season . Getty Images / Justin Sullivan ….

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NFL related articles and links : Courtesy of NFL.com & Yahoo sports

Packers’ rookie running backs having friendly competition

Tannehill gushes over Wallace

Draft Fallout: Urlacher era is over

Raiders CEO Trask resigns after 25 years with organization

Giants sign 5, waive 6 after rookie mini-camp

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Tophtal 2013/05/10

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NFL news and archived stories

NFL transactions and for the month of April

NFL schedule (2013) , week one , two and three and four

NFL preseason schedule

2013 NFL Draft

2012 NFL standings (division) and by conference

2012 NFL regular season results and postseason results

2008 NFL regular season and postseason

2008 NFL divisional standings & conference standings from that season

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New England Patriots’ overview & profile

New England Patriots’ news and archived stories

New England Patriots’ schedule and their preseason schedule

New England Patriots’ 2013 draft class

Patriots’ off-season transactions (May) and for the month of April

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Hot chic pics of the day . Bar Refaeli (above), and actress Kerry Washington , below and Vanessa Minnillo ..

Bada-bing bada-boom ! Wow , she`s hot , is Kerry Washington , damn hot !

Minnillo , is she a naughty schoolgirl or what ? Your thoughts on the matter ?

Take Nothing For Granted ……….

Take Nothing For Granted ……

I’m not so sure that Bill Belichick can take away anything positive from the New England Patriots’ loss at Heinz Field on Sunday afternoon against conference rivals the Pittsburgh Steelers . Mike Tomlin’s team simply knew that to have any chance of overcoming the his opponents, was to literally shut down the passing game of Tom Brady and this Patriots’ offense .

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With an always stout and aggressive defense you simply knew that this would definitely be a stern test for Brady and his teammates. Dick LeBeau as the Steelers’ defensive coordinator might just be the premiere defensive strategist in the NFL today. This Hall of Fame cornerback made a name for himself in the NFL but his involvement now with the Pittsburgh Steelers speaks volumes as to the faith placed in him by head coach Mike Tomlin and the defensive players of this Steelers’ unit. This game not only became a test of wills between the two teams but also a test of the two celebrated quarterbacks on opposite sides. Between them , Brady and Ben Roethlisberger have won 5 Superbowls over this past decade . The two franchises are two of the most celebrated within the NFL and their legacies speaks volumes as to the respect that they’re given .

There is no denying that the real issue for the Patriots for much of this season has been the inconsistency of the defense and the very fact it seems to be a work in progress. If Bill Belichick and the coaching staff believes that the approach now being taken concerning the defense will be a wholesale remedy as the season progresses then from my point of view he’s sadly underestimated the merits of this defensive corp. They’re amongst the worst in the NFL in pass and run defense never mind the fact that although team has an offense that is clicking on all cylinders there has to be a resolve about the defensive side the Patriots’ game. If not, then there’s no chance in hell that this team can comfortably survive within the environment of the postseason.

Heinz Field proved to be the twelfth man in this duel between two divisional leaders within the AFC . In front of a raucous crowd of some 68,000 fans this game became a battle of two teams seeking to make their presence felt within the NFL in the early part of the season . And clearly after this 25-17 loss it certainly gives credence to the fact that the New England Patriots are not as good as advertized . As an avid fan of the team I think it only worthwhile to be critical of the organization when I firmly believe that they are not playing up to their potential . And that clearly has been the case with Patriots over the course of this season as it has unfolded. The real dagger in the heart for the New England Patriots was Steelers’ tight end Heath Miller who repeatedly got the secondary of the Patriots so rattled that they had no answer for the player. Time and time again Miller got the better of whomever was meant to be covering him. And Roethlisberger repeatedly took advantage of the mismatches as the game unfolded to place the offense in a far competitive position strategically for the Pittsburgh Steelers.

With the loss it will be interesting to see how the New England Patriots regroup from the defeat. Clearly Bill Belichick and the coaching staff will have to go back to the drawing board and reassess the flaws on this team . It is one thing to be conceited and arrogant as has always been the case with the Patriots’ coach. But now it is getting to a stage where even I as an ardent fan of the team now have to question the lackadaisical approach and complacency often shown by the coach !

With all of the hyperbole placed upon the NFC East and the teams within its midst , I continue to find it so asinine when I continue to hear the rather idiotic analysis provided by ESPN contributors such as Merill Hoge and Skip Bayless as to what they view to be the superiority of teams such as the New York Giants (5-2) , Dallas Cowboys (3-4), Philadelphia Eagles (3-4) and Washington Redskins (3-4) ! The teams within the division are a combined 14-14 and from a conference and divisional standpoint their respective records can be best described as mediocre . But somehow the ” buffoons “of the four letter network would simply have you believe that the best football to be found within the NFL comes from that division. I can only surmise that both Bayless and Hoge similarly admire the stench of fecal matter when it’s placed within their midst !

The Philadelphia Eagles played host to the Dallas Cowboys at Lincoln Financial Field , in Philadelphia , Pennsylvania on Sunday , in what could be best described as a game that could well determine fate of their respective seasons .

If we were led to believe that it is Andy Reid’s immediate future that was said to be in jeopardy then the play of his team simply didn’t reflect that . Instead the Eagles simply laid waste to a Cowboys’ team that was ill prepared for the Philadelphia Eagles’ onslaught. Reid’s opposite number Jason Garrett may have for the moment the full support of Jerry Jones and the entire front office of the Dallas Cowboys. The complete ineptitude shown by the team under Tony Romo’s presumed leadership abilities left a great deal to be desired . Offensively and defensively , the players lacked composure and their execution in several facets of the game left you wondering whether or not you might well have been watching a varsity high school team. And the continued belief that Romo is one of the better quarterbacks in the league certainly wasn’t reflected in this game. The player had a less than 50 % completion rate and an interception which added to the Cowboys’ woes over the course of the game.

Being as Jerry Jones has always been the consummate businessman I wonder if he will seek out another corporate endorsement ? Perhaps with the vitamin supplement beverage company Red Bull I would surmise ! They can then call the line of assorted drinks in question Bullshit , because that’s all that has been served up by the organization over the last decade ! If you want proof of that seek the evidence of Sunday’s game and the end result 34-7 victory for the Philadelphia Eagles. I wonder what the spread offered up by the guys in Vegas might have been prior to the game ?

For Michael Vick and his Eagles’ teammates , they’re not quite out of the woods yet because anything short of a postseason berth in the playoffs at the end of this season and there’s bound to be a great deal of anger directed not just at the coaching staff but also the entire front office as well as the Philadelphia Eagles’ players themselves. The clock is ticking on this presumed Dream Team and to my mind they’re liable to meet the same fate as another over-hyped and conceited group from the NBA known as the Miami Heat who simply showed that a yellow streak ran down their spine !

So for some reason the St Louis Rams felt it prudent not to be involved in the Andrew Luck sweepstakes which is bound to take place at the 2012 NFL Draft . By defeating the New Orleans Saints 31-21 the Rams left the ranks of the win-less teams within the NFL . And now for some reason the fans are now left to speculate which of the remaining franchises will tank their season in order to gain that prospective number one pick .

If I’m Sean Payton along with that entire Saints’ organization and the playing personnel I would be completely embarrassed by such an inept display ! Never mind the fact that the thought to be always dependable Drew Brees had a game that he would rather forget . Conceitedness, much like complacency has always been a bitch and it has a proverbial way of always coming back to bite you in the ass ! Clearly that was the case for the New Orleans Saints as they took their opponents far too lightly .

Having allowed the St Louis Rams (1-6) to get off the schneid with their first win of the season we’re now left with the Indianapolis Colts (0-8) and Miami Dolphins (0-7) as the only win-less teams left in the NFL . And it would be safe to say that we could be on the cusp of seeing a second team go 0-16 for only the second time since the league went to a 16 game regular season schedule. The last NFL team who gave us that dubious distinction were the Detroit Lions from the 2008 —- season . I’m not quite yet ready to place a bet as to whether or not it will be the Colts or Dolphins who will join that inept Lions’ team from three years ago ! But it will be interesting to see what unfolds over the remainder of the NFL season as it regards both franchises .

For Steve Spagnuolo as coach of the St Louis Rams this victory gives the team a renewed confidence over the remainder of their season and a chance to seek some respectability in terms of their overall record and standing within the always woefully abysmal NFC West .

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

What thoughts if any do you have on the NFL schedule with regard to week 8 ? And do you feel this season we could very well see another franchise repeat the feat of the Detroit Lions in 2008 by going win-less ? Simply leave a comment as you deem fit .

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(1) Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, right, and New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady meet at mid-field after an NFL football game in Pittsburgh, Sunday, Oct. 30, 2011. Pittsburgh won 25-17 . AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar …

(2) Ben Roethlisberger of the Pittsburgh Steelers is sacked and stripped by Andre Carter (93) of the New England Patriots during the game on October 30, 2011 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images …..

(3) Heath Miller (83) of the Pittsburgh Steelers dives over an attempted tackle by Patrick Chung (25) of the New England Patriots during the game on October 30, 2011 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images ……

(4) Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha (24) reacts after his interception of a pass intended for Dallas Cowboys tight end Martellus Bennett in the first half during an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 30, 2011, in Philadelphia. AP Photo/The News Journal, Daniel Sato …

(5) Dallas Cowboys’ Tony Romo is sacked by Philadelphia Eagles’ Cullen Jenkins (97) and Trent Cole (58) during an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 30, 2011, in Philadelphia. AP Photo/The News Journal, Daniel Sato …

(6) Head coach Jason Garrett of the Dallas Cowboys questions a call with head linesman Wayne Mackie (106) as Laurent Robinson (81) of the Cowboys looks on during a game against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field on October 30, 2011 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Eagles defeated the Cowboys 34-7 . Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images …..

(7) ST. LOUIS, MO – OCTOBER 30: Lance Kendricks (88) of the St. Louis Rams is tackled by Tracy Porter (22) of the New Orleans Saints at the Edward Jones Dome on October 30, 2011 in St. Louis, Missouri. The Rams beat the Saints 31-21 . Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images ….

(8) Drew Brees (9) of the New Orleans Saints is sacked by James Lariniatis (55) and Gary Gibson (71) of the St. Louis Rams on October 30, 2011 at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis, Missouri. Photo by Scott Boehm/Getty Images …

(9) St. Louis Rams running back Steven Jackson (39) celebrates his touchdown during the third quarter of an NFL football game against the New Orleans Saints, Sunday, Oct. 30, 2011, in St. Louis. AP Photo/Tom Gannam …..

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NFL news

NFL results week 8

NFL standings by division

NFL team stats thru’ week 8

NFL player stats thru’ week 8

NFL injuries

NFL transactions

New England Patriots news

Pittsburgh Pirates news

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Actress Jaime Pressly

Come Get Some …………….

Come Get Some …

Try as hard as I can it sometimes come down to complete idiocy when I hear a former player of a team being critical of current players on a franchise ! Ridiculous as it may seem we now have a once great quarterback in Joe Namath being critical of Rex Ryan and in part the team assembled in his guise and that of the front office of the New York Jets . From my own perspective anything that Namath has to say on any subject be it on the subject of the NFL or domestic or foreign policy is simply not worth listening to ! Beyond the fame and accolades the player’s greatest accomplishment in recent years was to embarrass himself in front of the public whilst in a semi drunken stupor by suggesting to ESPN on air reporter Suzy Kolber that he would like to kiss her rather suggestively . . Can someone remind me beyond his achievements in the organization’s lone Superbowl win , is there anything else that Namath has achieved that has been notable in his professional career or beyond that ?

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With the New York Jets off to an inauspicious start to the season at 2-2 within the AFC East the team and its coach now find that they are being questioned as to the competitiveness of the players ans whether or not they lack the will to win. For the past two season the New York Jets made the AFC championship game 2009 and 2010 . Clearly many felt that this team was finally ready to stop the dominance of the New England Patriots and the apparent stranglehold that they have had on the AFC East. And as dominant as the Patriots have been the New York Jets have been the Achilles’ Heel and the irritant in the ointment , that of the fans and their divisional foe . The swagger of Rex Ryan was exemplified by the attitude of several players on this team , most notably Darrelle Revis , Santonio Holmes and to a lesser extent Mark Sanchez .

Like many of the teams during the NFL lockout the New York Jets sought to be competitive through the usual free agent acquisitions one would usually be accustomed to seeing . And most certainly through their draft choices from the 2011 NFL Draft Rex Ryan and his assistant coaches are now looking to make this team a cohesive and competitive unit .

As I alluded to earlier , the Jets’ start to the season was an inauspicious one and the very fact that the team now finds itself sitting above only the Miami Dolphins within the AFC East. Things are not about to get any easier this weekend as the New England Patriots play hosts to the New York Jets at Gillette Stadium , in Foxborough , Massachusetts. Bill Belichick knows that his team needs to answer more than a few questions especially with regard to the defense . The Patriots rank dead last within the NFL in total defense AND within the AFC overall things simply embodies the real problems that they face altogether. And as combustible and prolific as the offense is , there is no denying unless the New England Patriots can shore up the defense then they will be in for a great deal of trouble once the postseason comes around .

There is an animus between these two teams ___ the Jets and Patriots that I don’t believe is typified by any other current rivalry in the NFL today, with the exception of a meeting between the Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers ! If there is currently as combative a match-up beyond these two rivalries existing within the league currently , then I have yet to witness it . Sunday afternoon should give us a peek into the mindset of both teams , with Tom Brady , Wes Welker , Rob Gronkowski , Steven Ridley and Benjarvius Ellis-Greene will be looking to stamp their authority on this division as well as sending a signal to the rest of the NFL that they are a team to be reckoned with .

Now while I’m not under the pretense that the New England Patriots will have this game all to themselves I do believe that if they are not complacent then they will prevail over their most hated foe . During the playoffs last season when the two teams met the Jets under Sanchez’ leadership made a mockery this Patriots’ team . In order for the New York Jets to win I think that it will be incumbent upon Mark Sanchez to get his passing game at his optimum level to take advantage of the Patriots’ very suspect secondary . This will become a test of wills between the two teams as well as the respective coaching staffs of the New York Jets and New England Patriots .

I have no doubt that Bill Belichick would like get this game over and done with , placing the Jets in his rear view mirror and take advantage of putting his team at the top of the AFC East with there being some separation between themselves and co-leaders the Buffalo Bills who are off the a surprising start to their season (3-1) under their coach Chan Gailey . The Bills for their part will play host to the surprisingly lax Philadelphia Eagles who at 1-3 clearly are defying all logic in terms of being viewed as the early prohibitive favorites in the NFC for the Superbowl . Clearly Andy Reid , his coaching staff and the team have great deal to worry about . ” Dream Team” or not the Eagles are currently the ” laughing stock” of the NFL . And with the demise of the Philadelphia Phillies in the NLDS at the hands of the St Louis Cardinals do you get the feeling that things could very well erupt within the city of ” Brotherly Love” this weekend should Philadelphia Eagles also meet the same fate as their baseball counterpart ?

While Andy Reid now has to be looking over his shoulder while the Eagles’ front office staff assess not only his performances , that of the coaching staff as well as the team . Clearly in the case of Chan Gailey for now, all appears to be right in the world for he and his players . Well that’s until they face their first sense of real adversity and since the start of their season the team has been playing with the heart and passion not seen from the organization in a number of years. If the Buffalo Bills are truly back as their fans now believe them to be then this will be the season for the team to truly show that they belong amongst the elite within the game. If not , then they will be considered what we have all contended that they are meant to be ………….. an also ran .

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Which of the weekend match-ups within the NFL are you most enthralled by ? And which game or games you least interested in ? Leave a comment as to your thoughts and anything else you believe to be pertinent on the subject matter.

Alan aka tophatal …………

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(1) BALTIMORE – OCTOBER 2: Head coach John Harbaugh of the Baltimore Ravens shakes hands with Mark Sanchez (6) of the New York Jets at M&T Bank Stadium on October 2. 2011 in Baltimore, Maryland. The Ravens defeated the Jets 34-17 . Photo by Larry French/Getty Images ….

(2) Head Coach Rex Ryan of the New York Jets hugs head coach John Harbough of the Baltimore Ravens after the game at M&T Bank Stadium on October 2. 2011 in Baltimore, Maryland. The Ravens defeated the Jets 34-17. Photo by Larry French/Getty Images …

(3) LaQuan Williams (5) of the Baltimore Ravens runs the ball against Jim Leonhard (36) of the New York Jets at M&T Bank Stadium on October 2. 2011 in Baltimore, Maryland. The Ravens defeated the Jets 34-17. (Photo by Larry French/Getty Images …..

(4) Mark Sanchez (6) of the New York Jets hands off against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium on October 2. 2011 in Baltimore, Maryland. The Ravens defeated the Jets 34-17. Photo by Larry French/Getty Images …….

(5) New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick listens to a reporter’s question during an NFL football media availability in Foxborough, Mass., Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2011. AP Photo/Charles Krupa …..

(6) OAKLAND, CA – OCTOBER 02: Wes Welker (83) of the New England Patriots tries to run away from Chimdi Chekwa (35) of the Oakland Raiders at O.co Coliseum on October 2, 2011 in Oakland, California. Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images …..

(7) Tom Brady (12) of the New England Patriots celebrates after the Patriots scored a touchdown against the Oakland Raiders at O.co Coliseum on October 2, 2011 in Oakland, California. Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images ……..

(8) Kevin Boss (87) of the Oakland Raiders is tackled by Gary Guyton (59) of the New England Patriots at O.co Coliseum on October 2, 2011 in Oakland, California. Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images …….

(9) Heartfelt commiserations to the Oakland Raiders’ fans and the untimely death of the team’s owner Al Davis at the age of 82 . Davis seen here looks on from the sideline as he watches the Raiders 32-27 pre-season victory over the New England Patriots on August 25, 1995 at Stanford Stadium in Palo Alto, California. Davis the long time owner of the Oakland Raiders was reported as passed away on the team’s website. Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images …

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It’s Football The Gift That Keeps On Giving …. Dependent Upon What You Like ……………..

It’s Football The Gift That Keeps On Giving …. Dependent Upon What You Like ……………..

Week three of the NFL season and suffice to say the league is up and running with a number of teams all vying supremacy within their divisions and respective conferences . Already injuries seemed to played a dubious part to the start of the season for a a number of franchises and nowhere has this been more felt than with the Indianapolis Colts and St Louis Rams . The Colts have lost their quarterback Peyton Manning quite possibly for team’s entire season . In the case of the St Louis Rams it has been their losses though less acute but never the less with a team aspiring to take the next step up the ladder to be viewed as a legitimate Superbowl contender .

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The coaching staff and Colts’ front office are no doubt hoping that Manning can make a return at some point in the season but it would appear that the likelihood of that happening won’t happen until perhaps week 12 or 15 at the earliest . And that would be under the premise that the team is in with the chance of making the postseason . Manning’s replacement Kerry Collins having been signed by the organization has struggled to make his presence felt and that of this team playing with its usual aplomb. Having started the season at 0-2 within the AFC South the Colts find themselves rooted at the bottom of the division with the Houston Texans seeking to take advantage of the situation . As to whether or not Gary Kubiak’s team can prove themselves worthy of the gift placed within their midst remains to be seen at this juncture .

As an avid New England Patriots’ fan the team’s match-up against divisional rivals the Buffalo Bills promises to be one of the more riveting game within the NFL . And bear in mind this is a game between two unbeaten teams , one of this franchises will endure their first loss of the season. Ryan Fitzpatrick has proven to be the leader many felt that he might could not be but herein lies the caveat the Bills seem to be proving that last season was something of an aberation . The Bills’ quarterback and this team has proven to be one of the more pleasant surprises of the schedule so far with their aggressive play.

Chan Gailey may have done enough to secure his job for the present because as we all know the NFL season is a long an arduous one filled with highs and a great many lows . I am sure that the Bills’ coach , his staff and team will witness that as their season begins to unfold .

Bill Belichick and Tom Brady are no doubt looking carry on where they left off after the team’s stellar display in their defeat of the Miami Dolphins . The Patriots will be without their one of their more potent offensive weapons with Aaron Hernandez having sustained an injury that will keep him out of this weekend’s game. The tight end just happens to be one of Brady’s favorite weapons in his arsenal of productive artillery and Hernandez has proven to be one of the most productive players at the position within the NFL at present .

It would be remiss to think that the New England Patriots have been solely about offense but the team has come flying out of the gates laying waste to their opponents . And as I alluded to earlier the season is a long one filled with potholes that can simply become an even bigger obstacles for the team who simply are not prepared for the long haul.

With the college football season having kicked off with its auspicious start week four promises the fans something special . For the UCLA Bruins under Rick Neuheisel this happens to be a season where everything might just be on the line for the coach . Certainly if he cannot make this team competitive over the course of their schedule and be viewed as a legitimate contender for the PAC 12 title then we may well see the beleaguered coach given his marching orders. Granted , the boasting and bragging by Neuheisel that there is just more than one collegiate team within the city of Los Angeles means nothing when you can’t dethrone that rival when called upon to do so. And that has clearly been the case for Rick Neuheisel’s team over the last few years . The playing field may well now have been leveled with the sanctions levied against the USC Trojans . But you may well be hard pressed to think that will be enough to derail Lane Kiffin’s team as they seek to show the world that in spite of the NCAA probation and punishment meted out this is a program the coach , his coaching staff and AD Pat Haden would like to see continue in a similar vein on the field of play.

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UCLA head coach Rick Neuheisel, right, talks into his headset during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Texas, Saturday, Sept. 17, 2011, at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif. Texas won 49-20. (AP Photo/Bret Hartman)

Neuheisel’s career has been well chronicled and it goes without saying that controversy has followed the coach much of it of his own making . And when that comes into being then so does that coach’s integrity. Let us just say that Rick Neuheisel has been such a man albeit that he has tried to shed that persona in order to prove he is still a capable coach . I have never followed Bruins’ football with any great interest as it has been the mens’ basketball program that has brought about the success of this establishment under the achievements of John Wooden . His feats and that of the players under his tutelage are part of collegiate basketball folklore with multiple national championships and that now heralded consecutive win streak now surpassed by Geno Auriemma’s Lady U Conn Huskies .

UCLA for their part at 1-2 are not looking to good in being thought of as a contender within the PAC 12 and this weekend presents a tough task as they face Oregon State in Corvallis , Oregon in what’s surely to be viewed as a “must win” game for the Bruins . Rick Neuheisel and his coaching assistants know that they must have this team well prepared if they are to have any hope of winning . Oregon State are unlikely to treat this game lightly, as they have something to prove ins showing that they are worthy to be mentioned in the same breath as their instate rivals Oregon ( Ducks) . Whether or not the Beavers can be viewed as worthy challengers to the Ducks remains to be seen . Mike Riley is sure the have his team ready to face the challenge of whatever is thrown their way courtesy of the UCLA Bruins .

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Joseph Fauria (8) of the UCLA Bruins fumbles the ball as he is hit by Adrian Phillips (17) and Jordan Hicks (3) of the Texas Longhorns during the fourth quarter at Rose Bowl on September 17, 2011 in Pasadena, California. Photo by Harry How/Getty Images …….

In suffering a humiliating 49-20 loss to the Texas Longhorns in Pasadena , California you could clearly see the many flaws on this Bruins’ team. It will be incumbent upon players such as Richard Brehaut , Johnathan Franklin , Derrick Coleman , Joseph Fauria , Sheldon Price , Tony Dye and the rest of this roster to prove their mettle against Oregon State in Corvallis this Saturday. As these players are looked upon as the likely leaders on this Bruins’ team. If they can acquit themselves by showing the leadership skills and maturity sought then this game is likely to be a close one , however , if that’s not the case then look for Oregon State to steamroll their way to a decisive victory .

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At this point of both seasons within College Football and the NFL the teams have their aspirations as to how they would like to see their year culminate . For the fans it is no different , as they throw their support behind the respective programs at the D1 Level and that of the franchises within the professional ranks . As an avowed fan of both disciplines I am merely hoping that the entertainment proffered up is exhilarating to say the very least . Anything beyond that would be viewed as an added bonus but who can say how things are likely to turn out ? Within the FBS and NFL , what if anything are you most looking forward to in terms of the match ups on offer ? Simply leave a comment on your thoughts on the salients points of this article and anything else you feel is of relevance . Thanks as always for the continued support as it is greatly appreciated !

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

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(1) This Sept. 18, 2011 file photo shows Indianapolis Colts quarterback Kerry Collins making a call over center Jeff Saturday in the first quarter of an NFL football game against the Cleveland Browns, in Indianapolis. Without Peyton Manning spending 30 seconds pointing and shouting at the line of scrimmage before each play, the Steelers say they should have plenty of time on their hands. AP Photo/Michael Conroy …..

(2) INDIANAPOLIS, IN – SEPTEMBER 18: Kerry Collins (5) of the Indianapolis Colts is sacked by Ahtyba Rubin (71) of the Cleveland Browns at Lucas Oil Stadium on September 18, 2011 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Photo by Scott Boehm/Getty Images ………

(3) Tom Brady (12) of the New England Patriots looks for an open man against the San Diego Chargers in the second half at Gillette Stadium on September 18, 2011 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images ……..

(4) FOXBORO, MA – SEPTEMBER 18: Julian Edelman (11) of the New England Patriots gains yardage during a game with the San Diego Chargers at Gillette Stadium on September 18, 2011 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images ……

(5) Ryan Fitzpatrick (14) of the Buffalo Bills throws a pass to Scott Chandler (84) against the Oakland Raiders at Ralph Wilson Stadium on September18, 2011 in Orchard Park, New York. Buffalo won 38-35 . Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images …….

(6) D.J. Grant (18) of the Texas Longhorns makes a catch and run in front of Tony Dye (6) and Sean Westgate ( 11) of the UCLA Bruins during the second quarter at Rose Bowl on September 17, 2011 in Pasadena, California. Photo by Harry How/Getty Images …….

(7) Texas linebacker Emmanuel Acho (18) attempts to block a pass by UCLA quarterback Richard Brehaut (12) during the second half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Sept. 17, 2011, at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif. Texas won 49-20 . AP Photo/Bret Hartman …….

(8) UCLA head coach Rick Neuheisel, right, talks into his headset during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Texas, Saturday, Sept. 17, 2011, at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif. Texas won 49-20. AP Photo/Bret Hartman …..

(9) Derrick Coleman (33) of the UCLA Bruins scores a touchdwon to trail 35-20 to the Texas Longhorns during the third quarter at Rose Bowl on September 17, 2011 in Pasadena, California. Texas won 49-20. Photo by Harry How/Getty Images ……

(10) Joseph Fauria (8) of the UCLA Bruins fumbles the ball as he is hit by Adrian Phillips (17) and Jordan Hicks (3) of the Texas Longhorns during the fourth quarter at Rose Bowl on September 17, 2011 in Pasadena, California. Photo by Harry How/Getty Images …….
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The Silly Season Has Begun ………. What Else Is There Left To Say ?

The Silly Season Has Begun ………. What Else Is There Left To Say ?

Well with the NFL lockout having ended all that was now left is to witness the mayhem as teams summarily jettisoned players superfluous to their needs. One has to wonder whether or not this was the madness envisaged by the fans , team owners , league hierarchy and the general managers ? The $120 million salary cap has somehow got teams envisioning themselves as Imelda Marcos on a shopping spree looking to fill their shoe closet . How much does a pair of Bruno Magli cost nowadays ? And if so did OJ Simpson auction off his infamous pair on E-bay ?

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Somehow with all of these cuts made and then with players being acquired by new teams there had to be one or two surprises that would leave the fans in shock . As a New England Patriots’ fan I was completely taken aback with the moves made by Bill Belichick and the front office staff in acquiring both Albert Haynesworth and Chad Ochocinco . I can only surmise that Robert Kraft , GM Nick Caserio and senior consultant Floyd Reese had to have given this all their blessing ! Unless hell had frozen over in the forty eight hours since the lockout ended this to me was something that not even I had seen coming . Anyone who has witnessed the play of Haynesworth during his tenure with the Washington Redskins will know that like a clock that has stopped chiming he will only be right twice during the day . That has essentially summed up the player’s ability and commitment to being a team player . As for Ochocinco, he like Haynesworth must be viewed as another reclamation project by the coach and his assistants .

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FOXBOROUGH, MA – JULY 29: Tom Brady (12) of the New England Patriots chats with teammate Aaron Hernandez (85), who wears the number that new teammate Chad Ochocinco wore as a Cincinnati Bengal, during training camp at Gillette Stadium on July 29, 2011 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images …

For the life of me I’m beginning to wonder whether or not Bill Belichick really believes that he can turn around the career of any player who just happens to be considered on the downside of their career . First came Randy Moss who would then chose to basically talk his way off the roster in midseason like any other self serving individual . And if that wasn’t enough we then had Adalius Thomas thinking that he could simply act the fool by simply not being part of a team . If there’s one thing that’s made clear when it comes to the Patriots , the egos are simply left at the door as it’s business as usual with a view to acting like a professional. Granted , Bill Belichick belies that at times with something of a rather conceited attitude but with him , it is what it is !

Last season was something of a tremendous disappointment from my own standpoint seeing this team fall flat on its face when it mattered most during the postseason in their loss to the New York Jets . It is at times like this when I wonder whether or not if this team has become completely complacent or is it more down to the lackadaisical approach of Bill Belichick and his coaching staff ? This season however with the acquisitions made and that of the draft picks added to bolster the existing roster has me now believing that the New England Patriots’ window of opportunity is slowly closing but now more than ever before they will have to acquit themselves rather than thinking that they can merely stroll their way into the postseason.

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Tom Brady (12) and Chad Ochocinco of the New England Patriots chat during training camp at Gillette Stadium on July 29, 2011 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

If the Patriots are to be successful this upcoming season and make inroads not just within the AFC East but across the league as a whole , then the likes of Wes Welker , Deion Branch , Aaron Hernandez , ;Danny Woodhead , Rob Gronkowski , Devin McCourty , and others will have to step up to the plate and be held accountable . The signing of both Albert Haynesworth and Chad Ochocinco would suggest that Bill Belichick believes that the duo are indeed the pieces needed to make this team much more formidable but from my own standpoint this is such a gamble that if things don’t work out , then given the mindset of Haynesworth and Ochocinico , that when things simply are not going their way they are both inclined to be truculent and to act infantile . But this all can be allayed if Tom Brady and the senior members of the Patriots make it clear that nothing short of their best efforts on the field will be accepted . If that situation can be broached then there’s no reason to believe why they can’t be successful . But as of now that has to be viewed as a big “if “ given the egos of the two players in question !

Consistency has never been the real issue with the New England Patriots , if anything it has been those momentary lapses at the most inopportune of times that has ultimately led to their demise . Repeatedly we have seen this happen when the team has a game within its grasp only to see them let it slip away. Now comes the hard part for the organization and that’s to prove that as perennial contenders they are justified as being viewed __ as just that !

The AFC is as strong as ever with the teams we have come to expect who will be vying for dominance within the conference. With franchises such as the Baltimore Ravens , Indianapolis Colts , New York Jets and San Diego Chargers looking to vie for the honor of being the AFC’s representative for the Superbowl it certainly will be interesting to see what transpires as the season unfolds.

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Nate Solder the Patriots’ number one overall pick seen here during the NFL Scouting Combine at the Indianapolis Colts’ facility in Indianapolis , Indiana . AP Photo/ Ryan Walters ……..

This season is now fraught with danger in so many ways as I do believe that a number of teams could very well stumble out of the gate . Much has been made of the fact that during the offseason the players were unable to practice at their training facilities under the auspices of their respective coaches . And I am sure that with newly installed members Pat Shurmur , John Fox , Jim Harbaugh and Ron Rivera all looking to acquit themselves well with their respective new teams as this season has the makings of one being literally full of surprises in more ways than one !

Curiously enough given the fact the New England Patriots seem to be prudent in their draft assessment and the choices they make . I for one will be looking forward to see what possible contributions can be made by the rookies on the team . Ryan Mallett is no doubt being groomed as the possible successor to Tom Brady down the line and the team’s number one overall pick (17th in the first round). Defensive lineman Nate Solder along with DB Ras I Dowling have to be viewed as the players who are likely to make an immediate impact should they be given the chance to perform. But it’s still early days yet and one simply cannot take it as written in stone that these players will matriculate into something special . We have seen along the way that with highly prized college talent many of them simply have fallen by the wayside failing to fulfill the expectations first thought . Simply look no further than the likes of Vince Young and Matt Leinart for the answer as to the high praise heaped upon two players that failed to live up to the perceived hype !

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In this off-season what moves as such have simply comes as either a momentous shock or surprise to you ? And how if anything do you feel that the players in question will fare this upcoming season ? Simply chime in with a comment as you see fit and thanks as always for the continued support .

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

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(1) New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick smiles at a news conference during NFL football training camp in Foxborough , Mass., Friday, July 29, 2011. AP Photo/Charles Krupa …..

(2) FOXBOROUGH, MA – JULY 29: Tom Brady (12) of the New England Patriots chats with teammate Aaron Hernandez (85), who wears the number that new teammate Chad Ochocinco wore as a Cincinnati Bengal, during training camp at Gillette Stadium on July 29, 2011 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images …

(3) Tom Brady (12) of the New England Patriots participates in training camp at Gillette Stadium on July 29, 2011 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images ……

(4) Tom Brady (12) and Chad Ochocinco of the New England Patriots chat during training camp at Gillette Stadium on July 29, 2011 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images ……

(5) Defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth (92 ) of the Washington Redskins stands on the sidelines during preseason NFL game against the Arizona Cardinals at the University of Phoenix Stadium on September 2, 2010 in Glendale, Arizona. The Cardinals defeated the Redskins 20-10 . The player was obtained in a trade by the New England Patriots this offseason after the NFL lockout had ended . Getty Images / Christian Petersen ……

(6) FOXBOROUGH, MA – JULY 29: Quarterbacks Jonathan Crompton (7) and Ryan Mallett (15) of the New England Patriots participate in training camp at Gillette Stadium on July 29, 2011 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images ……

(7) Nate Solder the Patriots’ number one overall pick seen here during the NFL Scouting Combine at the Indianapolis Colts’ facility in Indianapolis , Indiana . AP Photo/ Ryan Walters ……..

(8) San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh shakes hands with a well-wisher during an NFL football press conference in Santa Clara, Calif., Monday, July 25, 2011. AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez ….

(9) Cleveland Browns’ President & Head of Football Operations Mike Holmgren is seen here as the formal introductions are made of Pat Shurmur as the new head coach of the team . AP Photo/ Matthew Jennings …..
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