Fool’s Gold And Then There Are The Fools Of The NFL …….
The NFL Draft came and passed and in many respects to my mind it was something of a non-event. That being said in light of the fact that the draft took place seeing the ongoing litigation that is now between the league and the players’ union (NFLPA) it remains to be seen as to whether or not there will be an NFL season to be played at all. With the league having announced that there will be a schedule and that they also have a contingency plan in place I for one would like to know how it is that they intend to assure the NFL fans that a season will indeed take place . Given the fact that this September commemorates the tenth anniversary of the bombing of the Twin Towers (World Trade Center) , the Pentagon Building and the deaths of those on board United Flight 93 over Shanksville , Pennsylvania . In the aftermath of that event as the nation mourned the death of its citizens it looked to its biggest national sporting past-times to bring us all in unison . Both the MLB and NFL made sure that the nation would be seen as a nation undivided , strong in its will and purposeful in carrying on its way of life . Bud Selig and the baseball hierarchy did their utmost to make sure whatever was necessary to assure its fans the their games would go on , even if it meant a short postponement to commemorate the loss of the lives of the victims .
Slide show for your perusal .
The NFL was steadfast in its resolve in making sure that scheduled games took place the following Sunday in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks by Al Qaeda . . With the recent death of Osama bin Laden and thankfully so , I’d like to think that both the NFL and NFLPA would come to an accord and actually say …..”look we are going back to work and the games will be played “. Instead the team owners , league hierarchy and players alike acutely aware of their image are in fact now playing a game of chicken . And by the second all parties are coming across looking like a group of infantile kindergarten children at play , who then get into an argument over a stuffed toy .
Were there not to be any semblance of a season this year within the NFL I for one feel that it would be disservice to those lost on September 11th 2001 . We see all the usual national acts of patriotism in praising the military and rightfully so but surely commemorating these victims in a way that we have all become accustomed to , now seems almost inconceivable . There may well be those amongst you who feel that not staging any sporting events would be the right thing to do as the solemn thing to do in commemorating the victims would be to have a day of some vigil as an act national of pride and unity. The mere fact that the NFL hasn’t publicly addressed this issue but I do believe that they stand to lose a great deal more than image because the animus of the fans once they feel betrayed will go a long way in showing whether or not the NFL will be welcomed back with open arms .
While both the NFL and NFLPA awaits another verdict to be rendered by the 8th District Court of Appeals in this ongoing saga I can’t help but wonder how it is that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and his union counterpart DeMaurice Smith haven’t shown any common sense throughout this whole episode . At this juncture the longer the this debacle goes on the less relevant the NFL becomes in the eyes of its fans . The NFL Draft may well have heightened some interest as to how the teams fared but at the end of the day knowing the current premise and the idiocy we have all witnessed , it has to be said that perhaps in the overall scenario and how things continue to play out it might be best to do without the NFL season during the month of September.
So when it came to ineptitude last season in the NFL the Carolina Panthers stood head and shoulders abover everyone else in finishing with a 2-14 record . In doing so the Panthers were assured of the number one pick in the draft . The Panthers for their part followed protocol in acquiring Auburn’s 2010 Heisman Trophy winner Cam Newton . Questions still remain unresolved concerning Newton’s actions while at Auburn but what cannot be denied he is indeed a player of extraordinary talent . That being said whether or Cam Newton’s game can be easily transferred to the NFL remains to be seen . And though the expectations are high for Newton and the Carolina Panthers their schedule may well dictate a situation wherein they will be a team that struggles over the course of the season .
Financially Cam Newton will be set for life and though the league has yet to come to a solid agreement as to how they will deal with the issue of rookie salaries and their underlying contracts . The Panthers’ fans will now pour over Newton’s every move in the ensuing months assesing his talents and how he carries himself. If Newton can have the the success attained by Sam Bradford and Mark Sanchez as rookies within the NFL then the Carolina Panthers will go a long in knowing their choice was a prudent one . A five or six game improvement on last season’s showing would bode well for the future of the Panthers and if their picks from this draft and as recently as two years ago show signs in being productive then the Panthers could have quite a moderate season based on their own lofty standards.
For me the San Francisco 49ers remains an enigma as their front office continues to make personnel choices that simply make no sense . Denise York and her husband Dr John York continue to run this organization as if it were a personal bauble that’s on display but unfortunately the 49ers simply no longer commands the respect that it once had when Bill Walsh was leading them to unprecedented success . Now with Jim Harbaugh having assumed control as the successor to Mike Singletary as the team’s coach , it’s hoped that Harbaugh and his newly assembled coaching staff can lead the Niners to some semblance of success this upcoming season . Having left Stanford to coach the Niners it’s hoped that he can resurrect this organization and bring back some semblance to an organization that has been long starved of recent success .
I do believe that this season the NFC West could be as open a division as we’ve seen in a long time . The level of play there in recent years could be best described as rather average or mediocre at its worst. With teams such as the Seattle Seahawks , Arizona Cardinals and St Louis Rams it’s hard to envisage the type of football we may well see on display this upcoming season . Granted, a 7-9 record actually garnered the Seahawks a playoff berth last season but in reality it was simply an embarrassment to see such mediocrity on display albeit that they defeated the then reigning Superbowl (SBXLIV) champions the New Orleans Saints —- 41-36 in a game that if anything was indescribable as to the ineptitude shown by both teams .
Harbaugh in conjunction with GM Trent Baalke will now assess this roster to see where the real assets are and then seek make the necessary adjustments in the coaching strategy to meet the team’s greatest strengths . The one area where I do believe that Harbaugh will still have a problem is with the quarterback position . Having drafted Colin Kaepernick in the second round of this year’s draft they still have David Carr , Alex Smith and Troy Smith , who between them have been effective as an act of flatulence would be in a thunderstorm ! If Jim Harbaugh can quickly address that situation then there’s a possibility that the 49ers could actually have something of a decent season not just within the NFC West but within the conference and across the NFL as a whole .
Defensively they’ve been inconsistent but the offense when pressed into action has been capable of putting up points on the board. But we may well see a gradual advance of the San Francisco 49ers this season as Jim Harbaugh sets to stamp his own identity on this team and organization as they seek a resurgence of the organization as a competitive force once again within the NFL . Harbaugh is simply too good a coach , merely to have given up his gig at Stanford if he didn’t think that he could succeed within the professional ranks of the NFL . I for one hope that he’s successful but I also believe that much of that success will predicated upon the latitude he’s allowed in running this team as the York’s and their son Jed York , team President , allows him in resurrecting the 49ers’ fortunes !
Picture gallery for your perusal .
What thoughts if any do you have on the points raised within this piece ? Simply chime in with a comment as you deem fit and as usual thanks for the continued support as it’s greatly appreciated !
Alan aka tophatal ……………………………………
Picture and slide show details .
(1) WORLD TRADE CENTRE ATTACKS 2001: Hijacked United Airlines Flight 175 approaches and hits the World Trade Centre’s south tower, bursting into flames and raining a hail of debris on Manhattan. A gaping hole in the north tower can be seen following a similar attack earlier in the day. Courtesy of Reuters ….
(2) A jet airliner is lined up on one of the World Trade Center towers in New York Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2001. In the most devastating terrorist onslaughts ever waged against the United States, knife-wielding hijackers crashed two airliners into the World Trade Center on Tuesday, toppling its twin 110-story towers. AP Photo/Carmen Taylor ……
(3) Ty Law returns an interception for a touchdown after Mike Vrabel pressured Rams QB Kurt Warner in Super Bowl XXXVI. At the culmination of the 2001 season we had Superbowl XXVI , a game played between the New England Patriots and St Louis Rams . The Patriots would go on to defeat the Ram 20-17 .Staff photo by Michael Seamans ……..
(4) Lonie Paxton was in on the kick heard ’round the world. Adam Vinatieri, above, kicks the winning field goal in Super Bowl XXXVI. Staff Photo by Kuni Takahashi …….
(5) Carolina Panthers first-round draft pick Cam Newton, right, gestures for a hand slap from Adam Smith of Make-A-Wish during an NFL football news conference at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, N.C., Friday, April 29, 2011. AP Photo/Bob Leverone …..
(6) NEW YORK, NY – APRIL 28: NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell poses for a photo with Carolina Panthers #1 overall pick Cam Newton from the UNiversity of Auburn during the 2011 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on April 28, 2011 in New York City. Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images …..
(7) Defensive end Aldon Smith , center, the first-round draft pick of San Francisco 49ers, holds up a jersey next to head coach Jim Harbaugh, left, and general manager Trent Baalke at a news conference at the team’s training facility in Santa Clara, Calif., Friday, April 29, 2011. AP Photo / Jeff Chiu ……………
(8) Denise DeBartolo-York and her husband Dr John York – the owners of the San Francisco 49ers . photo appears courtesy of the San Francisco Chronicle / Michael Macor ………………
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