It is what it is …………

It is what it is …………

Well the sports’ environment at present has taken a back seat to the NCAA Tournament , with the event itself , having provided the fans with a number of stunning upsets , while there have been some that were not totally unexpected . With the number one ranked Florida Gators having now made their way to the ‘Sweet Sixteen ‘ , the road in some respects does now seem all but clear , for Billy Donovan and his team to capture the program’s third national title in the past eight seasons . Were the Gators’ head coach able to manage that feat , it would certainly make him the school’s most successful coach in terms of national titles won , beating out the likes of Urban Meyer and Steve Spurrier .

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From my own perspective , I believe Donovan the equal of both of the aforementioned coaches , albeit that, Meyer and Spurrier left Florida to further their careers , elsewhere . In the case of Urban Meyer, his departure and subsequent criticism of his former employers and the program he coached to two BCS titles , may well have more to do with his egotistical character and the level of criticism aimed at him , with the failure of Tim Tebow to become a resounding success in the NFL . A great deal of that criticism is more than justified , when you simply bear in mind that Tebow’s collegiate career while stellar , at the next level of his evolution , his game simply did not materialize into anything more than that of a moderately average quarterback , who could barely read defensive tendencies , much less make a pass attempt in excess of fifteen yards or more , without their being a tendency of an interception or the pass simply falling short of its target , but there were , the vast majority of less than intelligent Gators’ fans, still singing Tim Tebow’s praises as a player. With his career now coming to an abrupt end , he has now been hired by cable sports’ programming network ESPN to provide fans with his insight into the Collegiate Football and the games , where he will be covering . One can only wish Tebow, all the success possible in his new endeavor , in the hope that he is likely to be more successful in his new vocation.

With a number of programs now having fallen by the wayside, in this particular NCAA Tournament, by contrast , at this point last season , things in some respects were somewhat similar. Florida for its part, have more than justified that national number one ranking , and proof of that , come by way of their regular season schedule and their run through the SEC (Southeast Conference) ,where the team went undefeated , a first for conference play, within the Southeastern Conference. Leading the way for Florida, in terms of the team’s play , have been Casey Prather , Patric Young , Michael Frazier and Scottie Wilbekin , but it has truly been a collective team effort , along with that of Billy Donovan and the coaching acumen shown by his coaching staff , which has taken them this far and proven their season-long dominance this year.

Through their first two games of this tournament, Florida has not truly been tested , with their first round contest against Albany NY being nothing more than a cakewalk , with their 67-55 defeat of that team , before facing an even less sterner test in taking down the Pittsburgh (Panthers) with another somewhat lopsided victory 61-45 . The Gators’ path to the ‘Elite Eight’ in the NCAA Tournament, will see them having to overcome the UCLA Bruins , in what is likely to be the best game scheduled during the ‘Sweet Sixteen’ .

Of the games , still to be played in the round of the Sweet Sixteen , beyond the featured contest, which I believe to be the best at this stage of the tournament. There are games between Iowa State versus Connecticut , Tennessee and Michigan , Louisville (Cardinals) and Kentucky , Baylor and Wisconsin , Arizona and San Diego State , finally Dayton versus Stanford . All great match-ups befitting a tournament, that now lures shall we say, degenerate gamblers into wagering billions of dollars, into the most lucrative sports’ event, for the gaming industry in North America .

Rick Pitino , as the head coach of the Louisville Cardinals, when he faces off against an old foe and nemesis in John Calipari , in a contest , of well-versed coaches , that will be a match of wits . What might also make this match-up also intriguing, with both coaches, having reached the pinnacle of collegiate coaching in winning a national title. Pitino, will now seek to take down a program , where, he was once a head coach and a well-respected one at that.

There are few coaches as well-respected as Tom Izzo within Collegiate Basketball and while one can be critical of the game at this level . It has to be said, that with the continued controversy of tainted programs , abuses of privileges and the ongoing issues of recruitment violations . Rarely, has Izzo’s tenure at Michigan St (Spartans) raised any suspicion of the program being mired, in any major impropriety. However, that is not to suggest, that Spartans athletics’ program has been pristine and above-board. Collegiate Athletics has become embroiled and awash, with far too much money , that the temptation to do something amiss, has become even more tempting than ever before. At the same time, the continued incompetency of the NCAA does not cover the distrust that the public has not only the entire landscape of college sports but also the hierarchical structure of the that particular body , under its current President , Mark Emmert , who came to the position, carrying a great deal of baggage of his own, concerning a number of improprieties and a lack communicative and administrative skills .

Izzo and the Spartans, while seeking to make their way to the Elite Eight, are not likely to have an easy time when they face the Virginia (Cavaliers) . Cavaliers’ head coach, Tony Bennett will undoubtedly want to pull off the upset , in taking the program this deep into the quarter-finals of the tournament for the very first time ever. The outcome of this contest, between Michigan and Tennessee , will definitely be predicated upon the offensive prowess shown by both teams and the coaching acumen of the respective staffs.

This NCAA Tournament has certainly lived up to expectations so far and the contests have provided the fans with a great deal more than most would have expected .

The big news within the NBA over the past eight days , has been the New York Knicks’ acquisition of Phil Jackson to head up the franchise’s Basketball Operations and being entirely responsible for all player personnel decisions. Jackson , himself, has been quick to point out, that the level of the play by the current roster has bordered on being inadequate and lacking the basic fundamentals , that the team itself , simply looks like a group of individuals at play on a high school playground. Subsequent to that statement by the Knicks’ front office executive , the players have responded in kind rolling off eight victories in their last ten games , perhaps reminding Jackson that they are capable of playing as a cohesive unit. As to what this might suggest as to the coaching strategies of Mike Woodson and his coaching staff , may well spell doom and his departure from the franchise at the end of this season. Woodson, might not be a proponent of the “Triangle Offense” and Phil Jackson has suggested that the scheme need not be adhered to, by the team, but , what he would like to see, is a great deal more resilience and tenacity from the players.

The New York Knicks’ continued malaise over the past seven seasons at least , has been brought on by the negligence of team owner , James Dolan and the litany of general managers heading up the front office during that time-span. Anyone who would try to suggest that under Isiah Thomas’ tenure , or that of Dave Checketts , Ernie Grunfeld , Scott Layden and in some respects Donnie Walsh , have in some way brought about some semblance of competitiveness to the franchise, need only look at the Knicks’ overall record from 1999 to 2013 and the number of playoff appearances made . In large part, the organization has spent more time acquiring nondescript talent and simply overpaying for the players assembled to represent the team during that time. It is certainly something, that will clearly have to be addressed by Phil Jackson and the staff that he will likely assemble to assist him in that stead, as he seeks to build a roster that will be viewed as a perennial contender, rather than being seen as an also-ran.

A playoff berth is now beyond the New York Knicks’ reach for this season, but in large part several players on the roster will be playing for their long-term future and livelihood with the franchise , in light of Jackson’s wish to revamp this roster. The team (29-41) at present , is lying in ninth place , within the Eastern Conference and three games out from that final berth , which is currently held by the Atlanta Hawks(31-37) as of 23rd March , 2014.

As if to further emphasize the numerous reasons why the Knicks have been woefully inept , consider the fact that at home, they are amongst the worst teams in the entire NBA , never mind the fact that they are simply unable to close out games, but yet the asinine analysis provided by on air commentators would have you believe to the contrary. Sunday’s six-point loss (106-100) at home at Madison Square Gardens in New York City, New York, to the Cleveland Cavaliers , is a damning indictment of not only the poor play of the New York Knicks , but also how damn awful , the Eastern Conference just happens to be overall , in terms of the poor play.

Inconsistency has now become the norm for the New York Knicks , while the air-headed print and television media within the New York market tend to be enraptured by Phil Jackson’s arrival , what they seem to be forgetting is actually how bad this team just happens to be and that is even with Carmelo Anthony having to carry his teammates on his shoulders for the majority of the season. One can choose to spin the tale of the New York Knicks for this season and then suggest that next year all of the events of 2013 , will be forgotten, because Phil Jackson , by then, will have begun to work miracles. Let’s get something clear, Phil can only work with the tools given him and what he has been provided with at this juncture , are a bag of nuts , bolts, and rusty tools, in seeking to get the job done . As to what transpires, in the coming months of this off-season, remains to be seen. It will be interesting to see whether or not, Jackson can indeed revamp an impoverished franchise, with them regaining some semblance of respectability.

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The events of the NCAA Tournament, as they have unfolded, which result has been of the greatest surprise to you ? Which program do you now believe to be in the driver’s seat, with the easiest task of making it to the Final Four and then going on to win the Men’s NCAA title outright ? With Phil Jackson’s introduction as the new Head of Basketball Operations for the New York Knicks , do you believe his task will be an easy one to turn things around for the franchise and how much time in your estimation, will it take for him to make the Knicks relevant and competitive ? Simply take time to leave a comment, as you see fit and thank you for the ongoing support of this site, as it is greatly appreciated !

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Picture and slideshow gallery details below .

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Florida guard Scottie Wilbekin, bottom, gets past Pittsburgh forward Lamar Patterson for a shot during the second half in a third-round game in the NCAA college basketball tournament in Orlando, Fla., Saturday, March 22, 2014. Florida won 61-45 . AP Photo/John Raoux ….

(2) Florida coach Billy Donovan gestures during the second half in a third-round game in the NCAA college basketball tournament against Pittsburgh, Saturday, March 22, 2014, in Orlando, Fla. AP Photo/John Raoux…

(3) Florida guard Scottie Wilbekin (5) and center Patric Young (4) talk on the court during the second half in a second-round game against Albany in the NCAA college basketball tournament against Albany, Thursday, March 20, 2014, in Orlando, Fla. AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack ….

(4) Louisville coach Rick Pitino , right, yells at guard Russ Smith (2) during the second half in a third-round game in the NCAA college basketball tournament against Saint Louis , Saturday, March 22, 2014, in Orlando, Fla. AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack ….

(5) Kentucky head coach John Calipari works from the sideline against Wichita State during the first half of a third-round game of the NCAA college basketball tournament Sunday, March 23, 2014, in St. Louis. A highly rated Wichita State team that seemingly could not match the intensity shown by the Wildcats during this contest, which ended in disappointment for the Shockers. AP Photo/Charlie Riedel ……..

(6) Kentucky guard Aaron Harrison (2) passes the ball as Wichita State guard Fred VanVleet (23) defends during the first half of a third-round game of the NCAA college basketball tournament Sunday, March 23, 2014, in St. Louis. AP Photo/Jeff Roberson …..

(7) Tony Bennett head coach of the Virginia Cavaliers . Bennett’s team face the MSU Spartans on Friday , with the victor guaranteed a berth in the Elite Eight as the prize . AP Photo / Rafael Gomez …..

(8) Michigan State’s Tom Izzo whose long and proud coaching resume’ indicates an impressive track record . Getty Images / Keith Turner …..

(9) NEW YORK, NY – MARCH 23: Jarrett Jack (1) of the Cleveland Cavaliers shoots against the New York Knicks during a game at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images …
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(10) New York Knicks’ Carmelo Anthony talks with New York Knicks’ head coach Mike Woodson during the second half of the NBA basketball game against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Madison Square Garden, Sunday, March 23, 2014, in New York. The Cavaliers defeated the Knicks 106-100 . .AP Photo /Adrian Miller …..

(11) New York Knicks’ executive Phil Jackson is seen here, inlaid, team head coach Mike Woodson’s ,whose tenure with the Knicks’ franchise now seems more perilous than ever , with the team not completely responding to his coach style, in spite of a recent impressive run of eight consecutive victories . Yet, the team’s home record remains one of the worst in the entire NBA and one of the numerous reasons why they have fallen out of contention within the Eastern Conference this season. It seems highly unlikely that Woodson will be returning to coach the team next season , with their being no guarantee whatsoever, from the front office , even if there have been some reassuring words coming from unconfirmed sources within the hierarchical structure of the franchise. AP Photo / Lou Mason …..

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College Basketball & NBA related pieces :

The running of the Bulls

It’s that time of the year again , and things are said be right with the world ….

You can talk a good game but can you play one ?

Stick to what you know and not what you’re told is the truth

Full steam ahead

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tophatal ….

Follow Tophatal’s Blog on Facebook.com : Tophatal’s Blog

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NCAA Men’s Basketball & news

NCAA Men’s Basketball (bracket)

NCAA Men’s Basketball schedule

NCAA Men’s Basketball champions

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NBA news

NBA results 23rd March 2014

NBA standings (division) and by conference

NBA playoff picture (indicates game remaining)

This month in NBA history

Saving Face ………………. Or How Not To Win Friends And Influence People

Saving Face ………………. Or How Not To Win Friends And Influence People

I don’t know whether to laugh or cry considering the ludicrous events that’ve taken place over the past twenty four hours . First the bombshell within college football has Florida’s __ Urban Meyer announcing his stepping down as coach of the Gators’ football team albeit that he’ll still coach the team in their Outback Bowl meeting against Joe Paterno’s __ Penn State football team . While I find this something of a shock I can also see the comical side of this all given the ongoing criticism that has taken shape within the local press here in the Central Florida area. What might be even more impalpable is the way with which Meyer chose to make this announcement and the circumstances brought up to validate his choice.

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Urban Meyer had once before resigned from his post citing the fact that he’d undergone health issues, now he states that because of his familial issues in being away from his children for days on end he feels that he now owes it to them and that he needs to be at their side. Am I missing something here because there are a number of college coaches around the game of college football that are in a similar position being that they are also parents ? So what is it here that Meyer is now trying to have us believe at this moment in time ? A 7-5 season for the Gators wherein they fell short not only in their national title aspirations but also within the SEC (Southeastern Conference) where the Auburn Tigers led by their Heisman Trophy candidate quarterback Cam Newton would prevail over Steve Spurrier’s ___ South Carolina Gamecocks in the SEC title game (56-17). Given that Newton was also once a member of the Gators’ football team before unceremoniously having to leave the campus over irregularities concerning a stolen laptop computer as well as allegations of cheating on a number of tests. What we now have within the local press are a number of journalists questioning Meyer’s choices as it regards game time decisions and his personnel. John Brantley , Tim Tebow’s successor has had something of an inconsistent season and although the coaching staff has used number schemes that didn’t prove effective it simply showed the frailties and weaknesses of this team and the play in particular of the Gators this season. So much for the pundits who lauded Meyer for having a top notch recruiting class this season as it now seems to have been to no avail.

Now while Meyer has stepped down the talk of his successor is now rife as to who many believe should be the next coach of the Florida Gators. Amongs those being named are Jon Gruden , Bobby Petrino , Bob Stoops , Jim Harbaugh , Chris Petersen and Dan Mullen to name but a few . Gruden and Stoops to my mind won’t be particularly interested in the position given the fact that both are well compensated in their present jobs . Gruden is on air analyst with ESPN/ABC while Stoops has one of the most lucrative contracts in all of college football along with very lucrative endorsement deals with several high profiled businesses within state of Oklahoma . Somehow I for one don’t believe that the Gators can match that sort of financial wherewithal ! Gruden while in the service of ABC/ESPN is still being paid the remainder of his contract after his abrupt firing by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and if anything the former NFL coach probably covets any one of a number of vacancies that will arise once the season is over . So any talk of Gruden being interested coaching a college program seems to be out of the question and is simply just talk . As to who will ultimately succeed Meyer will rest in the interview process and the decision made by AD Jeremy Foley .

It’s funny but when I heard that the Washington Nationals had signed Jayson Werth to a lucrative seven year $126 million contract I thought that it was a mistake but then I realized who Werth’s agent happened to be and it was none other than uber-agent Scott Boras agent to the stars. This sports agent has been the main provocateur within the game that has seen salaries now escalate to unheard of heights. Need I remind you that he has been influential in making Alex Rodriguez the highest paid player in the game and will have amassed in excess of $500 million in earnings from the game as a salaried player without taking into account off field endorsements. As this idiocy now prevails within the game no one from the game’s hierarchy much less the MLBPA , __ general managers or team owners seem to question the direction that the game is taking in terms of its financial viability. I understand that the Nationals and in particular the team’s GM Mike Rizzo wants to make a big splash but given the fact that Nationals have struggled to be competitive over the past few seasons, I see nothing really changing in spite of the signing of Werth and the promise of Stephen Strasburg . And less we forget that the organization is also counting on former high school phenom Bryce Harper to provide an impact for the team and at the same lure the fans to the Nationals’ Ballpark in Washington, DC.

Fans around the game have to be perplexed by what they’re now seeing as teams now seek to make their best attempt to be viewed as viable contenders. Am I mistaken here but the usual suspects will always be around no matter how many of these teams look to be part of what’s turning out not to be a level playing field at all. Now as the Winter Meetings have ended amongst the team owners and general managers the most prized free agent still remains on the open market and two teams are left standing to battle it out with the prize being the signature and services of Cliff Lee are the New York Yankees and Texas Rangers . And while Lee remains coveted the Rangers and in particular team President Nolan Ryan and GM Jon Daniels . And the team has offered the pitcher a six year contract that’s estimated to in the region of $120 million , it’s said that the Yankees are prepared to offer Lee a seven year contract paying between $130 to $145 million , with the seventh year being an option year for the player and team.

One tries to assimilate this and make some sense of it all but I for one no longer find it a complexity at all. It merely now boils down to the avarice of the owners , players and the game’s hierarchy itself. No one seems to question the fact that the teams are now spending money like it’s going out of fashion but then again given the mendacity with which the government has chosen to run up the federal deficit and national debt should we be at all surprised to see the idiocy now taking place within the game of baseball ? I know at the end of the day the decision to be made by Lee will be his alone but at the same time even if his wife still has her doubts over the behavior of the New York Yankees’ fans and the profanity laced taunts she faced while attending the ALCS games at Yankees’ Stadium . It goes without saying that the player may well err on the side of wanting the money over remaining in Texas with the team where his postseason performances prior to the World Series were very exhilarating .

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The future of the Gators may well be bright but we won’t actually know that until a new coach is hired by the AD and the identity that he wishes to bring to the team. As to how the Gators’ fans may well now view this all remains to be seen but as of now the well wishers are there for Meyer and for what he’s achieved for the program . But there also the detractors who no doubt feel somewhat betrayed by his actions . Make of it what you will . As to what’s now transpiring this off-season within the game of baseball let’s just say that even with Carl Crawford’s signing by the Boston Red Sox and their seven year offer of $140 million this won’t be the last time that we’ll see these type of maneuvers take place within the game. This off season Scott Boras made sure that the game of baseball remains where it is right in the doldrums and the fans of the game have remained bewildered by what has taken place . That my friends is how one saves face while not wanting to win friends and influence people !

What thoughts if any do you have concerning the Urban Meyer stepping down as coach of the Gators’ football team and your own thinking as to the Washington Nationals signing of Jayson Werth ? By all means simply leave a comment on this topic and as always thanks for the continued support.

😛

Alan aka tophatal ……………… 🙂 ___ 😦 __ 😛

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Tiara

Eye candy …. Tiara

Deny Deny Deny It Wasn’t Me

Deny  Deny   Deny      It  Wasn’t  Me

So   Tennessee   Volunteers’   basketball   coach Bruce Pearl   has seen  fit  to   lie to  NCAA  investigators concerning   recruitment   violations   and   a  slew  of other  actions  that  may  garner the SEC  school  a number of  violations that   could   well  lead to  severe  actions  being   meted out  by  collegiate  athletics’   highest  governing  body. What  I  find   somewhat   strange  about  this all  is the mere  fact  that  the    conference  itself    doesn’t   monitor the  actions  of the   athletic programs   under  its   tenure.    You’d  have  thought that  would   be   something that  the  SEC would  seek to   monitor   judiciously  ?  But  instead   it  is  now  left  in  the  hands   of the   NCAA to deal  with  a  matter  that   at  the  end  of  the   day the  message  sent   will  either be  one,  where  they   will  punish  the   school  with   impunity  or  merely  give  them  a  slap  on  the  wrist.

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Furthermore   in  the  case  of   Pearl  it  is   highly   unlikely  that  he’ll  be    punished   unless  the  AD Mike Hamilton   chooses  to  either  suspend  the coach or   if  the   charges  are   deemed   to  serious   enough  that  they  will  choose to  fire  him. And given  what  we  tend  to  know  with  coaches that  have  brought  about  a  winning  program  and   esteem  to  a  school we  do  tend  to  find  that  the school will  more  often than  not  choose to take    a  soft   approach   to  the allegations   and any punishment  that  they might  seek  to mete out.

Courtesy of USA Today

Bruce Pearl: ‘I hope that the things we did don’t rise to the level of termination’

By Tim Gardner & Erick Smith

We knew Bruce Pearl was in hot water over the NCAA probe looking into his Tennessee basketball program.

It appears the coach is aware, too, that more fallout may lie ahead.

Pearl spoke with Luke Winn of SI.com after speaking at a coaching clinic this weekend in Brooklyn, N.Y., and his words offer a glimpse into his worries moving forward.

“We did what we felt like we needed to do, to take steps proactively to penalize ourselves. I think the penalties were unprecedented in some scope. But we made mistakes. We provided false and misleading information to the NCAA.

“I should be made an example of, and I am — I’m embarrassed. But I hope that the things we did don’t rise to the level of termination, because we run a clean program. We got investigated in a lot of areas.”

Pearl’s lies to the NCAA came back to bite him in more ways than one. For starters, it brought out this response from Jimmy Collins, a former assistant coach at Illinois whom Pearl turned in to the NCAA nearly 20 years ago.

After that episode, Pearl was knocked by many in the coaching community for his actions.

“As a result of what I went through before, I had a responsibility to run a clean program and do it the right way,” he said to SI.com. “I’ve been doing this for 28 years. And I wished I could’ve not run afoul of the rules my whole career. So obviously, I’m disappointed in myself.”

Tennessee expects to receive a letter of allegations from the NCAA by the end of the year — and Pearl’s future on the sidelines in Knoxville will strongly depend on the severity of the allegations levied.

So, yes, Pearl will be sweating it out for several months. Now the question is will it affect his current Vols team, which should be able to contend with Kentucky and Florida in the SEC East.

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Bruce   Pearl  for  his  part  has  yet  to  issue  a   public   statement  as  to what  the  the  allegations are   about   and  the impending   investigation.  Why is   it  that  more  often  than  not when  an  athlete  falls  afoul   of  a   transgression  they   tend  to  the   ones  who  become  a  pariah  and  then  the   school is    punished . But  rarely  is it that a   coach   whose   failings   are  questioned when they  come to the   fore. I mean  Pete  Carroll flees   like  a  thief  in  the  night   from   USC   when   under   his  watch the most   flagrant  of    violations  took  place  at  the  school. All of  which  took  place  under  the  alleged  watchful  eye  of  then  Athletic  Director  Mike  Garrett who  would then  step   down  from the  position  rather   than  being   pushed  out  the  door. Former  Trojans’ basketball coach  Tim Floyd  whose pleading of ignorance   when  handed  over  cash  to O J Mayo  and   his   subsequent  riposte that  his  actions were  above  board   is   was as ludicrous and  asinine  to  say  the  very  least. Clearly  there’s   something wrong with these   coaches  and  their   undoubted   self   righteous   actions.

University  of  Florida (Gators)  football  coach Urban Meyer  is   either  that   gullible  or   he  knows  exactly  how rife his team  is literally filled with  a bunch  of  violent   buffoons.    Players   on  this  team  have   now  been  arrested and  charged  with misdemeanors  to   far  more    serious   allegations  ranging     from   possession  of   narcotics,  DUI sexual  battery , theft   and also  in amongst  that ,  are  allegations  of  academic  fraud.  Meyer   chooses  to   placate    himself   from  all  of  this  by   stating  that he  runs  a clean   program and  that his responsibilities  is  simply  being a football  coach.  Perhaps  I’m  mistaken but his responsibilities go far beyond  that ? After all he goes  into  the  homes  of  these   players  to recruit   them  by  speaking to  a  parent  or parents   and   implores  them to send  their child the his school  , where   he  assures them that they’ll  be  able  to  get a   good   education.  Now we  know  that  much  of  this  is  all  hogwash  as  the   real  reason  this  is all being done to  intensify the  prestige  and   success  of  the   school. Rarely does a  coach show  any  real interest  in  that  of  the  students under  his  tenure.  I  personally would   like  to  know what  the   graduation  rate  is  amongst  the  student  athlete  body of  the  university?

Prior  to the 2010 NCAA   Basketball  Championships Education  Secretary   Arne  Duncan  stated  that  he’d like to  see  it  where  a criteria  is  set where  the  teams  qualifying   for  the   tournament  must  have  graduation  of   rate of   not less    than   48%   amongst  its    student  athlete  body.   Not   excessively   high  but  when   looked  at   and  measured  against   the   schools who  participated  in the  tournament   more than  75%  of  the   schools   involved  would  not  have  met  that  the  threshold called for  by the Education Secretary.  If  that’s  not  enough of  a shock to most  then  consider   the  production   line  that collegiate athletics  has  become  and   the   lengths that   schools are   now going  to, merely to  have    repeated  success   at  whatever cost  possible.  Collegiate athletics   is   no  longer  about  the  student  athlete  gaining  an   education  and  becoming  a   model   citizen.  In   essence it  is  now  a   multi-billion   dollar  business  where the  few  reap  the   rewards  and  those  at  the  lower  rungs  of  the   ladder  are  left to  fend   for  themselves  once  they’ve  been  of  service to  that   establishment.

It  is  easy  to   suggest  that   many  of  these   athletes  will   profit financially beyond   their wildest dreams once  they  enter  into the  professional  market place of  either  the  NBA,  NFL, MLB and NHL , it  all  becomes  about how much  money  that they will  be able  garner  that  first  initial  contract  for. But  that tends to  only happens to  those considered to  be  amongst  the  elite within  their chosen  athletic endeavor.  And   when  one  considers  the  tens  of  millions of dollars  that  the programs garner and  you  have to  wonder the  lengths  that the  coaches  and  schools  are   prepared to go  to  make  sure  that  there’s continued  success  and  the  money  keeps rolling  in. Unfortunately  for  the   student  athletes  the   resources  at their  disposal isn’t what  you  would  commonly  expect  especially when   compliance  officers ,  athletic directors  and   in  some cases faculty  members choose  to  turn  a  blind  eye.  And yes one could  opine  to  the fact that  the  student should  be  responsible  for  their own actions and  that  they  owe  it  to the educational   establishment  to make the best  possible  of  the   opportunities   made   available  to them.

The  coaches  for their  part bask  in  the  glory  and   acclaim  while they lead  their  respective teams  to  success. Now  when  I  hear the   likes  of  Nick  Saban   talk  about the agents   who  hover around  a  school’s  program  and  the  fact  that they  feast  off the  athletes as  if  it’s   vulture   eating  off   the   carcass of  a  dead   animal.  I’ve   got   to  ask  myself  who  the   hell is  Saban  kidding  and  is  he  actually  listening  to  what  he’s   saying ?  Here’s  a  guy  who  simply  doesn’t   know  how  to  be honest  if  it  were  his  last   day  on  earth  ! One simply  has  to   recall  his  actions  when  he was  a  coach of the Miami Dolphins .  When   asked   at  the   time whether  not it  was  his   intention to  remain  with  the   Dolphins  after it’d  been  speculated  that  he was about to abruptly leave the  organization.  Saban  simply  stated to  the  convened  press  that  he would  honor  his  contract but  as well  know  that  wasn’t  to  be,  as  he   walked  away  from the team  without  offering  statement  to  then  owner H D Wayne  Huizenga .

Jumping  back to his   old  stomping   ground   Saban  has   found  success  with  Alabama,having led  the team to their most  recent  national championship  and  where  they’re   now   heavily  favored  to  repeat  again  as   SEC  and   national  champions. Disingenuous  or not  clearly, some  of the   collegiate coaches think  that  they’re  above   reproach  but I find  it somewhat  superfluous  that  the NCAA  would  always  seek to punish  only  a   school  when a coach    knowingly   places  that   school  in  a   precarious   position, whereby  they  can   lose  not only   scholarships   but  also to an  extent the  esteem of  the  school.  If   you   don’t  believe  that  to be  the  case  then   simply  look  at  the  fall from  grace  of  USC  ?  If  honesty had  been  shown  by the  parties   there ,  who knew  full  what was  going  on , then  surely what  transpired  could have have  been  abated !   Obviously  not,  because no  one  there  thought  that  they  could  be  caught   and  the   asinine  notion  that  the   school  and   certain  principals were without  fault  clearly  shows  how  far that school  was prepared to go.

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Picture gallery for your perusal .


What  thoughts  if  any  do  you have  concerning  the allegations  concerning  Bruce Pearl and  that statements   attributed  to  Urban  Meyer  that  he  runs  a  clean football  program  ?  Is  he simply  being    naive  or  is it because he’s  had undoubted   success and   feels   that  he can   get  a  free  pass ?   And   in  the case  of   Saban  are  his  actions that  of   a  person  whose  statements  are  valid ? If agents  as  he   puts it should  be   corralled   then  why   not  the  boosters   who surreptitiously do  a  number of   questionable  things  that  the coaches  and  faculties  would  tend  to turn  a  blind  eye  to ? Clearly there’s  an  argument  to be  made  where  their  actions   can  be   just  as  questionable as that  of an  out of control  athlete or agent ?  Chime  in with a  comment  as   you  see   fit  and  thanks   once  again  for  the  continued  support   as  it’s always  appreciated   !

Alan  aka    tophatal              ……….    🙂      * 🙂       *  😦

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Joie Chaves . A hot piece of Nubian a_s that any man would definitely want to tap !

News And Views In The Ever Changing World Of Sports

News And Views In The Ever Changing World Of Sports

We can all agree that at this time of the year there’s not much news out there that one would deem newsworthy in the world of sports. As of now there’s not really much to opine about as it now stands. Well that’s unless you’re an aggrieved USC Trojans’ fan then you can’t take solace in the fact that the SEC or NCAA won’t as of yet be investigating the allegations into the fact that former Gators’ player Maurkice Pouncey may well have improperly accepted $100,000 whilst attending the University of Florida while on his athletic football scholarship. Well nothing new there given the fact that Gators’ football coach Urban Meyer is bout as strict with his players as the Los Angeles County Court System are on their treatment of Hollywood celebrities . But then again what else should one expect ? It has become the norm to see athletes and celebrities be treated as nothing more than Pre-K children each time they ran afoul of the law or knowingly break the rules of an educational institution and that of the NCAA .

Knowing what we already know about collegiate athletics when stories such as this come to the public’s attention we can either choose to ignore them or we can choose to discuss them like mature adults. But then again when discussing collegiate sports and in particular football it can border upon sectarianism in its resolve in trying to garner anything intelligent or enlightening as part of any type of debate or discussion. The NCAA > for its part can come across as a rather toothless organization whose bark more often than not is worse than its bite !

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Below I’ve either provided links or in part piece of an ongoing story for you to peruse that we might discuss. So by all means having read the links provided then do chime in with a comment.

Courtesy of USA Today & Sean Leahy

Report: Steelers rookie C Maurkice Pouncey tied to improprieties at Florida

C/G Maurkice Pouncey, the Steelers’ first-round draft pick, may be facing some uncomfortable questions once he signs his first NFL contract later this summer.

According to ESPN, the University of Florida is investing claims that Pouncey received a $100,000 payment from the representative of an agent prior to playing in the Gators’ Sugar Bowl win over the University of Cincinnati in January.

“We were made aware of some information in early June that we reported to law enforcement and we then shared with the NCAA and the SEC,” Gators AD Jeremy Foley said in a statement released Monday morning. “At this time we have no information that has indicated that there are any compliance issues for the University of Florida.”

Pouncey entered the 2010 NFL draft after his junior season, but his twin brother Mike, a potential first-round pick in the 2011 draft, remained in Gainesville, Fla., for his senior season. He is also an offensive lineman.

If found guilty of improprieties, Florida could have to vacate its Sugar Bowl victory over the Bearcats.

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Courtesy of Associated Press & Yahoo Sports

Russell pleads not guilty not guilty in Alabama case


Ex-Raider Russell pleads not guilty in Ala. case

MOBILE, Ala. (AP)—Former Oakland Raiders quarterback JaMarcus Russell(notes) pleaded not guilty to a charge of illegal drug possession Tuesday in Alabama.

Russell, 24, is a former LSU star who was released by Oakland after being the No. 1 draft choice in 2007. He entered the plea in court in Mobile. He is charged with felony possession of a controlled substance, codeine syrup.

Authorities have said that he did not have a prescription for the drug and that he was arrested July 5 at his home as part of an undercover investigation.

His attorney, Donald Briskman, said in a phone interview that there were about nine or 10 people in the house and that he believes once all the evidence is known, Russell will be exonerated.

Russell, a prep star in Mobile, had no comment after his court appearance. He has been free on $2,500 bond.

Briskman said he asked for an early hearing in order for Russell to get the case behind him and renew his effort to play professional football. A hearing in his case is set for Aug. 11 to determine if there is enough evidence to send the case to a grand jury.

One of the NFL’s biggest No. 1 draft busts, Russell completed just 52.1 percent of his passes in his career, with 18 touchdowns, 23 interceptions and 15 lost fumbles. He won only seven of 25 starts.

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Someone explain to me what it was that Al Davis and the rest of the Raiders’ front office saw in JaMarcus Russell to begin with ? I’ve heard it said that temperament and maturity doesn’t matter when it comes to being professional athlete . Without either then an athlete will fail to show presence of mind to become a success to begin with ! Well the idiot who made that summary and asinine remark is too dumb to realize what’s needed to compete at the professional level ! Russell had none of the attributes required to make it at the next level !

Fedrigo denies Armstrong Tour de France stage win

OK so tell me who the hell is actually interested in the Tour de France to begin with ? Lance Armstrong may well be the nom-de-plume for the moment. But he’s not going to win the event nor was he ever like to add to his tally of seven consecutive wins. Lance’s time has come and gone ! nd besides the sport itself is rife with cheating nd prolific steroid use. Never mind the fact that the sports’ governing body UCI has about as much presence in dealing with the matter as the US government’s stance has been on immigration reform and that of the US economy. Both have become those respective legislative bodies’ Waterloo. The former seven time champion currently sits in twenty fifth place some 34 minutes behind the current leader Alberto Contador of Spain ,a winner of the race in 2007 and 2009 .

Sorry Lance you’re no longer worthy of being lauded as some hero , not when the sport of cycling is rife with as much cheating that’s alleged to have gone on within the sport over the past decade. Now you’re in the midst of an ongoing battle of words with one of your fellow compatriots in Greg Lemond , himself former winner of the event. Why don’t you boys just kiss and make up instead of coming across like pair of Ru Paul’s drag queen cast offs from the drag queen’s reality show ?

Cubs manager Piniella retiring after season

Right so this should come as a surprise to whom ? Cubs’ manager Lou Piniella announces that he’ll retire at the end of the season . Low and behold after all of the torture that lovable Lou has suffered at the hands of this team and organization I’d like to commend him on his decision to begin with ! It’s not as if the team was ever capable of winning a World Series title to begin with ! Instead there’ll just be another year added to over a century of infamy and sheer ineptitude. As for those endearing fans who attend Wrigley Field religiously each season I for one just hope that they can continue to endure the suffering that they’ve had to withstand ! At some point in the future things my well change but who know when that might be ? Even the purists nd pundits can’t decide when that will be but somehow they’re holding out hope for change in the fortunes of the Chicago Cubs . How about you ? Do you ever see things turning around for the baseball club ?

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Thanks as always for the continued support as it’s greatly appreciated !

Alan Parkins aka …. tophatal ………. 🙂

Nas ………………..” Made You Look”

What In The Wide World Of Sports Is Going On Here …………Hey Urban ‘Lean Back ‘ And Do The Rock Away

Imagine my surprise when I first heard and then read about the re-signing and retirement of Florida Gators’ football coach , Urban Meyer. Now to say that the ‘Gator Nation’ wasn’t caught flat-flooted by the announcement would be like stating that all the Titanic did was to strike an iceberg in the middle of the Atlantic. There was far much more behind the event that met the eye. As is the case here with Urban Meyer.

Meyer seen  here  speaking  to  a  number of  his  players  on  the  sidelines   during  a  college  game.  picture  appears  courtesy  of  ap/photo/  Brian  Joubert   .........
Meyer seen here speaking to a number of his players on the sidelines during a college game. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Brian Joubert .........

Health issues asides , much of what we’re being told seems to be somewhat benign in many respects. We all know that a coach’s life is a pressured one. Especially where the program you oversee is a successful one and that is the envy of many schools across the nation. That’s not to say that Meyer’s statement aren’t valid. But he’s been in the position of coaching this program for the last four years. And it wasn’t as if he’d enter into the agreement of being hired that he’d done so with his eyes closed. He knew the expectations that awaited and of the legacy and tradition of the program. Herein lies the rub, the loss to Alabama 32-13 in the SEC championship game and the subsequent embarrassment may well have far too much to bear for the coach. Not only that but a great deal was expected of not only Florida but also its coaches , as it’d set out of defending its national championship title.

Courtesy of Gatorzone.com

Urban Meyer To Take Leave of Absence, Not Step Down; Addazio Named Interim Head Coach

University of Florida head football coach Urban Meyer informed his team Sunday afternoon that he will take an indefinite leave of absence rather than step down. Meyer addressed the team shortly before the Gators boarded a plane to New Orleans for Friday evening’s Allstate Sugar Bowl.

“During the past couple of days I was offered and encouraged to take a leave of absence,” said Meyer. “I’ve accepted this offer to improve on my health.”

The news came less than 24 hours after Meyer had announced he was stepping down as head coach. Meyer will still coach the Gators in the Allstate Sugar Bowl Friday evening before beginning his leave of absence.

Florida offensive coordinator Steve Addazio will take over as interim head coach during Meyer’s time away from the program.

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Now an about turn has been done by Meyer and subsequent to his original formal announcement, he’ll take an indefinite leave of absence from the team to deal with his health issues and to be alongside his family. Good or bad, this was a drastic step to be taken originally by the coach. One can only suspect that whatever the trauma he faced was indeed grave and needed his urgent attention. Far better to be a live coach rather than a dead one on the sidelines of game that you’re coaching.

Florida coach Urban Meyer calls a time out during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Troy in Gainesville, Fla., Saturday, Sept. 12, 2009, Offensive coordinator Steve Addazio, left, and quarterback Tim Tebow stand behind him . Florida won 56-6. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Phil Sandlin ......

Calmer heads have prevailed and the likelihood of the school losing its coach for good has been sidestepped for the moment. With Meyer deciding to take an indefinite leave of absence after he’s coached the team in the Sugar Bowl against Cincinnati . He’ll hand over the reins to his assistant coach , Steve Addazio until his impending return. Addazio is a well versed and highly thought of assistant And there should be no immediate drop off in terms of the coaching process. He’ll no doubt want the team to avail itself of the chance at redemption by showing that the loss to Alabama, while traumatic , they’ve been able to overcome it. So it is expected that the Gators will go out of their way to waylay whatever the Bearcats might offer up in terms of an effective opponent on the day.

If there’s any discomfort to be had in this story it is the skepticism with which it was initially met. I am not saying that there isn’t some veracity in the decision made by Urban Meyer. But at the same in the four years of his coaching this program , this is the first time something of this nature has come to the fore. And most certainly prior to this I am sure that he must’ve known whatever health issues he was in the midst of , had to have come into being at some point during his coaching tenure with the program. So it begs the question why here and why now ?

My own thought here is that Meyer came to the right conclusion but made an erroneous error in the timing of the announcement of his original decision. He ought to have ‘leaned back’ – do ‘the rockaway’ and really chilled before coming to his decision. If nothing else it’d wouldn’t have scared the ‘living hell’ out of avid Gators’ fans such as sportschump and the litany of others like him up down the state of Florida. They must’ve literally shat bricks when they first heard the news !

What were your original thoughts when you first heard the news ?

Terror Squad feat’g Fat Joe ‘Lean Back’ .

The More You Think You Know The Less You Really Do Know …..

The More You Think You Know The Less You Really Do Know

So there it was, the stage was set for SEC Championship Game between the number one and two ranked teams in the country. And with the winner gaining a berth in the national championship .The BCS Bowl national championship game set for early 2010 and the world awaits the crowning of a new champion of collegiate football.

Alabama coach Nick Saban congratulates running back Mark Ingram (22) after a first half score in the NCAA college football SEC championship game  against Florida at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta Saturday, Dec. 5, 2009. Alabama won 32-13.  picture appears courtesy of AP/photo/ Dave Martin .......
Alabama coach Nick Saban congratulates running back Mark Ingram (22) after a first half score in the NCAA college football SEC championship game against Florida at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta Saturday, Dec. 5, 2009. Alabama won 32-13. picture appears courtesy of AP/photo/ Dave Martin .......

Number one ranked Florida Gators matched wits against Nick Saban’s number two ranked Alabama ‘Crimson Tide’. Two great representatives of the South Eastern Conference and quite rightly by far the two best teams in the nation. Unfortunately, today one of the two teams in question failed to live up to that reputation.

A disheartened  Florida fan can't hide her  disappointment at the end of a 32-13 loss to Alabama in the NCAA college football SEC championship game at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta Saturday, Dec. 5, 2009. picture appears courtesy of AP/photo/ John Amis ......
A disheartened Florida fan can't hide her disappointment at the end of a 32-13 loss to Alabama in the NCAA college football SEC championship game at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta Saturday, Dec. 5, 2009. picture appears courtesy of AP/photo/ John Amis ......

And while many of us were lauding the accomplishments of Urban Meyer’s Gators and the very fact that they had in Tim Tebow, a player who everyone admired not just for his playing abilities but also because of his demeanor on and off the field . What we in essence witnessed today, was the unveiling of a team whose flaws were glaringly exposed . Florida for all of its past glories failed to show up today and had no answer Alabama , at all .

Alabama's Mark Ingram (22) celebrates after a fourth quarter touchdown against Florida in the NCAA college football SEC championship game at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta Saturday, Dec. 5, 2009. Alabama won 32-13.  picture appears courtesy of AP/photo/ John  Amis ......
Alabama's Mark Ingram (22) celebrates after a fourth quarter touchdown against Florida in the NCAA college football SEC championship game at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta Saturday, Dec. 5, 2009. Alabama won 32-13. picture appears courtesy of AP/photo/ John Amis ......

The game and its events as it unfolded was everything that one would’ve expected but unfortunately whatever script that Gators’ fans had come to expect. Well, today it wasn’t about to happen. Simply put, the Gators and their fans had ‘their asses’ handed to them with their ‘heads and ass being served up on a silver platter’. Embarrassing would be an understatement to say the very least . Florida had no answer at all in any facet of the game, as it got under way.

Florida quarterback Tim Tebow (15), defensive end Carl Johnson (57), offensive lineman Maurkice Pouncey (56) look on late in the fourth quarter of their 32-13 loss to Alabama in the NCAA college football SEC championship game at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta Saturday, Dec. 5, 2009.  picture appears courtesy of AP/photo/ John Amis  .......
Florida quarterback Tim Tebow (15), defensive end Carl Johnson (57), offensive lineman Maurkice Pouncey (56) look on late in the fourth quarter of their 32-13 loss to Alabama in the NCAA college football SEC championship game at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta Saturday, Dec. 5, 2009. picture appears courtesy of AP/photo/ John Amis .......

Courtesy of Associated Press & Yahoo Sports

Tide rolls on with 32-13 win over Tebow’s Gators

By Paul Newberry, AP Sports Writer

ATLANTA (AP)—The move was so unlike Nick Saban. The Alabama coach put away all that boardroom talk for a leaping shoulder bump with star running back Mark Ingram.

The Crimson Tide was back on top.

Across the way, Tim Tebow couldn’t do a thing, tears streaming down his cheeks as he watched the clock wind down on an ending that wasn’t in his farewell plan.

With Ingram and Greg McElroy leading an emphatic 32-13 chomping of top-ranked Florida on Saturday, No. 2 Alabama again stands supreme in the Southeastern Conference. More important, the Tide is just one win away from an even bigger title—its first national crown since 1992.

Alabama will face Texas in the BCS championship game after the No. 3 Longhorns beat Nebraska for the Big 12 championship Saturday night when Hunter Lawrence nailed a 46-yard field goal as time expired.

“Everyone had to buy into not to be denied in this game,” Saban said, getting back to business after a raucous celebration at the Georgia Dome. “To be a champion, that’s what you had to do. I’ve never been prouder of a group of players.”

The no-nonsense coach, who talks of “The Process” instead of the houndstooth, needed only three years to bring Alabama back from a grim era to a place it was accustomed to under Paul “Bear” Bryant.

Champions, indeed.

“They seemed like they wanted it a whole lot,” Florida cornerback Joe Haden said.

Ingram, making a strong bid to claim the school’s first Heisman Trophy, rushed for 113 yards and three touchdowns. McElroy threw for 239 yards and a touchdown to claim the MVP award, showing he’s no weak link. The Alabama defense held Tebow in check and left him crying at the end.

“It’s tough. You know it’s not how you want to go out,” Tebow said. “They were just better than us today.”

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In order to read Paul Newberry’s article in its entirety just click on the link provided to view.
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Alabama running back Mark Ingram (22) tries to run past Florida's Ryan Stamper (41) during the fourth quarter of the NCAA college football SEC championship game  Alabama won 32-13.   picture appears courtesy of AP/photo/John Bazemore ......
Alabama running back Mark Ingram (22) tries to run past Florida's Ryan Stamper (41) during the fourth quarter of the NCAA college football SEC championship game Alabama won 32-13. picture appears courtesy of AP/photo/John Bazemore ......

There’s not much that one can really say about the game that the result and the margin of victory cannot tell you. On reflection Alabama’s 32-13 victory over Florida, was enough to suggest that all of the talk about that the Gators were preordained as the national champions. Clearly, Nick Saban and his Crimson Tide saw that would not be the case today. It was an emphatic statement made by Alabama and denotes that what many had though about the team was in fact true. ‘They are and were better than Florida, in every sense of the word’.

Sheer frustration can't be  hidden  by Florida coach Urban Meyer , as he  looks on from the sidelines during the first half the NCAA college football SEC Championship game against Alabama at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta Saturday, Dec. 5, 2009.  picture appears courtesy of  AP/photo/ Dave Martin .....
Sheer frustration can't be hidden by Florida coach Urban Meyer , as he looks on from the sidelines during the first half the NCAA college football SEC Championship game against Alabama at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta Saturday, Dec. 5, 2009. picture appears courtesy of AP/photo/ Dave Martin .....

For Florida and all thoughts, that they had in making a successful defense of its national championship has bitten the dust and to a great deal of embarrassment. The more we thought we knew about the Florida Gators, in reality the less we actually knew. And when that happens,then questions must be asked and answered. The thing is, questions were asked of Florida on Saturday and they failed to answer in such an embarrassing way. That all one can now say ……’well we thought we knew you but really we just didn’t know you at all’.

When You Arrive You’ve Got To Arrive In Style …… !

When You Arrive You’ve Got To Arrive In Style ….

Well, the college football regular season has come to a close and needless to say there are those who’ve made their voices heard. While others,will bow out rather unceremoniously in silence. And now for the Florida Gators either history now awaits them or infamy. Urban Meyer, as coach of the Gators, knows that should he prevail in the SEC Championship Game, he then has the luxury of knowing that a berth awaits him the national championship game. As to who that opponent will be , it remains to be seen .

Florida  quarterback , Tim  Tebow (15) completes  a  pass as he  gets  hit  by Florida  State's  Markus White (98)  during the  second  half  of the  game  played  at  Ben  Hill  Griffin  Stadium, in  Gainesville ,Florida. The  Gators  would  go  on  to  defeat their rival , Florida State  37-10   in  a  thoroughly  lopsided  game.    picture  appears  courtesy of  AP/Photo / Phil  Sandlin  .................
Florida quarterback , Tim Tebow (15) completes a pass as he gets hit by Florida State's Markus White (98) during the second half of the game played at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, in Gainesville ,Florida. The Gators would go on to defeat their rival , Florida State 37-10 in a thoroughly lopsided game. picture appears courtesy of AP/Photo / Phil Sandlin .................

Yesterday, the Florida Gators faced their old and some might say their staunchest rival in the Florida State Seminoles. And for the ‘noles this has been a season of discontent and self evaluation. The turmoil within the Seminoles’ organization is one, which on the face of it has become absolutely idiotic and that has reached such heights comedic extravagance that it is hard to understand what direction the program should now take.Seminoles’ coach,Bobby Bowden, whilst having led the program, of late he’s become something of a weighty anchor that is now bringing down the vessel that is the Florida State football program. The game has passed Bowden by and in such a way that the play of the Seminoles has become barely recognizable . They’re no longer competitive and in terms of recruiting ’blue chip’ athletes. Well, that hasn’t been the case for the program in a number of years. Mind you, they’re the apologists out there,who’ll say this is but a cyclical situation for the program. But consider this, for the last decade the program has continually regressed under Bowden’s tenure. But ‘the grand old czar’ of Florida college football now sits and surveys a program that is now in complete disarray . Much of that has been of Bowden’s own making and that of the lax attitude of his coaching staff and idiocy of the Athletics Department of the once esteemed university.

In contrast , the program of University of Florida now stands on the threshold of placing itself amongst the elite programs in college football history. The program’s coach, Urban Meyer seeks to win the school’s fourth national title and his third with the program in his four years with the university. Alongside, Meyer, he’s had the distinct pleasure of having coached the program’s most storied and perhaps its best player in the team’s quarterback, Tim Tebow. And for the senior , he’s now seeking history himself, by looking to win his third national championship and with the added possibility of winning a second Heisman trophy. A feat that has not been done since Archie Griffin won two consecutive Heisman trophies. And for the young Tebow, not only does college glory await him but the chance to take his game to the next level and that is take center stage on the football fields of the NFL. But before that scenario materializes , Tebow and his teammates have some unfinished business that requires their urgent attention.

Florida cornerback Wondy Pierre-Louis, right, breaks up a pass intended for Florida State receiver Rodney Smith in the end zone during the second half of an NCAA college football game in Gainesville, Fla., Saturday, Nov. 28, 2009. picture  appears   courtesy by  AP/Photo/ Phelan M  Ebenhack  ...........
Florida cornerback Wondy Pierre-Louis, right, breaks up a pass intended for Florida State receiver Rodney Smith in the end zone during the second half of an NCAA college football game in Gainesville, Fla., Saturday, Nov. 28, 2009. picture appears courtesy by AP/Photo/ Phelan M Ebenhack ...........

Yesterday , the Gators and the Seminoles faced off against one another at ‘The Swamp’, in Gainesville, Florida. Games of this magnitude meant so much to both programs but today it’s merely another just another ‘stop off point’ for the Gators. For Seminoles’ fans, this game was ‘the make or break’ for their season. A loss and they’re no longer Bowl eligible, a win and one could surmise that there’ll be some respite as to the speculation concerning the future of Bobby Bowden. But that’d be very much predicated upon which team turns up to face the Gators ? Inconsistency in terms of their play has very much epitomized the fall from grace of Bowden’s team and the program in general . And that hasn’t been merely because of what we’ve witnessed this season but essentially what has taken place within the program over the past few years. A program that has been sinking in its own ineptitude and asinine belief in it own self grandeur . Well, there’s nothing grand about a program that is now becoming the butt of jokes right across the college football panacea.

What we saw yesterday from both teams embodies what we’re now seeing as to the direction that programs are now taking. While one is moving forwards the other seems to be moving backwards and into an abyss mediocrity.

Bowden’s team has been anything but a complete anathema from one week to the next. They’ve at times, either been playing with a great deal of resolve but seemingly performing like a blind man in the midst of a minefield , the next. If it’s not been blowing itself up with its mediocre play, it has seen fit to let their opponents walk over them like a doormat. And for that to be happening at this juncture to a Bobby Bowden coached is very much akin to seeing Superman without his cape , enveloped in a vat of kryptonite. Now comes the hard part, what is Bowden now to do in terms of an encore ? Or will be in fact be around for an encore ? Such has been the speculation concerning Bowden’s immediate future and that of the program.

Well, the game itself proved to be an eventful one for Urban Meyer’s team as they completely outplayed Florida State in every facet of the game . The end result was a thoroughly deserving 37-10 defeat of the Seminoles at the hands of Florida, at ‘The Swamp’ , in what would be the senior , Tim Tebow’s last game as a Gator, in Gainesville. And Tebow’s play was exemplary and what we’ve now come to expect of the player. He’s not only a leader but he , himself , leads by example ,even when things are said to be going well , or not going well for the team.

Florida quarterback Tim Tebow is swarmed by fans after an NCAA college football game against Florida State in Gainesville, Fla., Saturday, Nov. 28, 2009.  Florida won 37-10. picture appears  courtesy  of AP/Photo/ Phelan M Ebenhack ..........
Florida quarterback Tim Tebow is swarmed by fans after an NCAA college football game against Florida State in Gainesville, Fla., Saturday, Nov. 28, 2009. Florida won 37-10. picture appears courtesy of AP/Photo/ Phelan M Ebenhack ..........

And there are those out there who’d question whether or not he’s an NFL ready quarterback ? My question to them, are the likes of JaMarcus Russell,Brady Quinn, Matthew Stafford or Josh Freeman NFL ready quarterbacks ? Because the last time I checked none of these players have won anything of note, or actually led their teams with anything near distinction. But yet there are idiots out there who’d question the ability of this player. And with the asinine statements of former Miami Hurricanes and Dallas Cowboys’ coach, Jimmy Johnson make the asinine statement of stating that Tebow doesn’t have what it takes to make it in the NFL. When last I checked , Johnson had Dan Marino and the Miami Dolphins on the wrong end of a 65-7 ass whupping at the hands of the Jacksonville Jaguars that’d bring about the end to his coaching career in the NFL. Never mind the fact that as a coach, Johnson was nothing more than a facilitator, as a coach in the NFL. He merely delegated and deferred to others , who would do his bidding. And even if he’s the coach of two Supebowl winning teams. Johnson upon his retirement, has done little to suggest that anything that he states really has any credence when it comes to the NFL. He’s merely a glorified and sartorially dressed glove puppet alongside the other idiots who provide analysis on Fox’s eponymous pre and post-game NFL show. In watching Johnson and his colleagues on the show, is akin to watching several drunks talk about their days of binge drinking and the fact that they actually could remember events from when they were at times in a drunken stupor.

Florida head coach Urban Meyer, left, and Florida State head coach Bobby Bowden meet after an NCAA college football game in Gainesville, Fla., Saturday, Nov. 28, 2009.  Florida won 37-10.               picture appears courtesy of AP/Photo/  Phelan M  Ebenhack ...................
Florida head coach Urban Meyer, left, and Florida State head coach Bobby Bowden meet after an NCAA college football game in Gainesville, Fla., Saturday, Nov. 28, 2009. Florida won 37-10. picture appears courtesy of AP/Photo/ Phelan M Ebenhack ...................

As to what now awaits Florida , well that is now predicated upon how they will deal with the fate that they aspire to carve out for themselves . And as we all know, you create your own luck and not have it placed within your lap by others. It’s not only about how you arrive but the fact that you’ve arrived in style .

Is There Still A Question To Be Asked …….?

 

Well last night the evidence  was there  for all to see. The  game was  hyped up to such  an extent that in the end it  was  nothing  more than  a poorly  executed game. Not  because of  the lack  of talent on the field. But  because of the fact  that both teams were  gunshy.

 

Tim  Tebow hugs  teammate  John Brantley  after the team's  24-14 victory over  Oklahoma in thenationalchampionship  game.......
Tim Tebow hugs teammate John Brantley after the team's 24-14 victory over Oklahoma in the national championship game ................

 

 Tim Tebow hugs  teammate John Brantley  after  the  team’s 24-14 victory over  Oklahoma in the Fedex National Championship game. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/Mark Humphrey …………………

 

 

So  this is  what became of  the  Fedex National Championship played  infront of  a  sold out crowd  and televised  nationally  by  Fox.  The two  teams  Florida  and  Oklahoma had to live  up to the preceded  hype.  So much was expected  and  they  failed to deliver but at the end of the day the  Gator  fans won’t  be  at a loss .As  their  team  eked out a 24-14 victory to  raise  the  national championship  trophy  for the  second time in three years.  It also  culminated  for  the  second  win  of  Urban Meyer’s  young  career  as coach of  the University  of Florida.

 

 

Bob Stoops  talks  Nic Harris(5) during  the  national championship  game ..............
Bob Stoops caoch of Oklahoma talks with his player Nic Harris(5) during the game ...........

 

 

Bob Stoops  of  Oklahoma talks with his player Nic Harris  during  the game played at Dolphins Stadium, Miami, Fl. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/Chris O’Meara ……………………….

 

 

 

By now across the country  the  argument  is  being  made that  there  ought  to a plus one  game in order  to find the de facto national champion.   A  game  between Utah and Florida  would be desirable but  as  we all  know  that’s unlikely  to happen at  this  juncture.  So it’ll be  left to the  likes  of  the  BCS  and  Associated Press  to come  up with  possibly  their  own champions.  There’s  nothing  like playing  King  Solomon at this  juncture. If  only to make things seem a lot fairer in appearance.  But then again  this  isn’t  a situation  of the teams’  making but  that  of the BCS Committee ,  the  major  football  conferences and  the  television broadcast  networks.  They’re  the ones profiting  from  this  all.  And  thereby  denying  the public  a  true national champion.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last  night’s  game whilst entertaining  in  part  was in  no way   the spectacle  that one remembered  when  USC  and  Texas  faced off  against each  other.  And thereby  putting  on a display  that’ll  go  down  in the annals  of college football history.   Last night’s  game paled in significance when measured  against the  Vince Young performance, inspired play  and individuality  shown.  But  that  was  a game  that  was  special  by its  own merits.

 

 

 

Urban Meyer is  presented with the  Assoc Press National Championship  tropy  by  the  Assoc Press Sports Enterprise Editor JohnAffleck ............
Urban Meyer coach of the Gators is presented with AP National Championship trophy by John Affleck Editor of the AP Enterprises ...............

 

Coach Urban Meyer of Florida is presented  with  the AP National Championship Trophy by  the Associated Press Sports Enterprise Editor John Affleck. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Mark Humphrey  ……………….

 

 

 

 

 

Though  we had  the  two  most  recent  Heisman Trophy winners  facing  off  against each other in the guise of  Tim Tebow of Florida and Sam Bradford of Oklahoma. Plus  a slew of other young  college  players  that  some day  may well grace  the  professional  stage of the  NFL. Tebow put  on somewhat  of  a virtuoso performance  last night.  And  if  there  was  any doubt  that he  doesn’t  possess  what  it takes  to  become  a successful  player and quarterback   within the NFL.  I  for one  think  that with  last  night’s performance  those  fears may  well  have  been allayed.  His  stature and leadership on the  field  was  unquestionable.  And  he  led  by  example  and  motivated  his  teammates.

 

 

Sooners' fans react to their team scoring  during  the  championship  game. The patrons  were at a bar in Norman , Oklahoma  ..............
Oklahoma fans react to a score by their team during the championship game ..........

 

Oklahoma fans react to a score by  their  team during  the  championship  game.  The  patrons were at  a local bar in Norman , Oklahoma . picture appears courtesy of  ap/photo/Alonzo Adams ……………….

 

 

 

Bradford fell  short of leading  his  team  but he showed the  promise  of  what  many  do believe  will be another one of  the  desired  quarterbacks in the  college  game that should  he  decide to declare  for the draft . He  might  well  be  a first round  pick. If nothing else even if  the game was  somewhat of a disappointment  for  some. It  did provide the  fans  with  something  to  think about. The  thought may  well  be …….is  this  really  the  best  that  the  BCS  has to offer  ?   The answer  lies  in the fact  that at this  juncture  Commissioner  John Swofford and  his members  feel that this  is still the  best  way forward.  I like  to think  of it as the  fact that  it’s not  so  much the  competitive nature  of the  game.  But  merely  the  fact that  of  the  large amount  of  money  that  falls  into the  coffers of  the conferences. That it’s hard to change  the  attitude therein.

 

 

 

 

 

For  the  BCS football is first and foremost a  business.  And  if  they  should  try and  tell  you the opposite , you know  that  it is  a lie.  They  wouldn’t  want  it  any  other way  at this  juncture. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

tophatal ……….