Category: Social Commentary

Better The Devil You Know Than The One You Don’t Or Is It ?


Better The Devil You Know Than The One You Don’t Or Is It ?

Better the devil you know than the one you don’t….. they say and in many ways that might just be true. Given the fact that we’re now seeing a great deal of unrest within the NFL and quite possibly the NBA in its imminent future . I’ve got say that I’m completely surprised with the ease at which MLB is now transitioning itself from Spring Training to the commencement of its regular season on the 31st March , 2011 . I suppose we’ve all got to grateful and thankful for MLB Commissioner Bud Selig and the somewhat smooth transition for the situation ?

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Slide show for your perusal.

We’ve all seen for ourselves the unrest now taking place between the NFL and the game’s players represented by the NFLPA . And with there now being a league enforced work stoppage and the impending litigation process to take place within the US Federal Court System it has me wondering where are the current leaders of tomorrow for the respective sports that we’ve all in some ways either come to love or hate ? NBA Commissioner David Stern has been in place the NBA’ commissioner for twenty five years and having come from a legal background as a lawyer it’d be only natural to think that any successor to Stern might from within the league’s own hierarchy or a prominent lawyer from inside the beltway with known connections to Stern and quite possibly members up on Capitol Hill. That was most certainly the case with Roger Goodell when he succeeded Paul Tagliabue as NFL Commissioner. Goodell and the league NFL President and present Chief legal counsel Jeff Pash are protege`s of Tagliabue while he was commissioner of the NFL and also when he was first a practicing lawyer with the law firm Covington &Burling LLP . Tagliabue a founding partner in the firm has since returned to his old stomping ground to practice law on a somewhat limited basis with the firm.

Goodell for his part after his initial first two years in office he now seems to have hit a brick wall in his dealings with the union and in doing so he’s coming across as something of a bumbling idiot whereas his opposite number with the NFLPA , Executive Director DeMaurice Smith has been able to articulate the union's points with clear clarification leaving no one with any doubt that they’re not the culprits here but it’s the league and the owners who are trying to paint a very different picture of the stance being taken by the players. Personally I’m not about to take sides on the issue , except to say that the childlike immaturity that has been shown by those sides during the negotiations borders on being downright infantile and totally below anything I’d have expected from either party ! But that’s what tends to happen when you have a bunch of multi-millionaire players and multi-billionaire owners fighting like rabid dogs over the scraps left at the dinner table. Only the scraps isn’t in fact leftovers from a meal but how to split $ 9 billion ($ 9,000,000,000) evenly amongst the two sides . Have you ever seen or heard anything so ridiculous in all of your life ?

Now when it comes to David Stern you either love him or hate him . He’s something of a chameleon as to the way he wants to be perceived by the fans and public alike and when it comes to the photo-op whereby he can even outshine the elite players within the NBA , let’s just say that is when the commissioner is at his very best it’s very difficult to actually ignore him . Twenty five years as commissioner of the league has seen expansion , as to the number of the teams within the NBA and the gross revenues of the league as business concern. And that could not have been done without the ascension of Michael Jordan and his becoming the face of the NBA globally and still being a marketing phenomenon to this day even after his retirement almost a decade ago . The league hierarchy under Stern’s tenure has shaped the league and its brand not just domestically but also on a global scale . And it might just be next to soccer the most popular sport on the planet and that is with due respect to baseball .

From a league whose revenues could be counted in the tens of millions each year____ the NBA is now a $4.5 billion —- $6 billion ($4,500,000,000 —- $6,000,000,000) a year enterprise that is still growing globally but if anything it may well have hit its saturation point within the North American market. And it shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that even with introduction of the D League or Development League as it is more commonly known , David Stern has hinted that he’d some day like to see an expansion franchise outside North America , either in Europe or South America. Pardon me , for saying this but as popular as the sport may well be , and the fact that the league though headquartered in New York City , any thought of adding a franchise in either of the two regions mentioned would not only prove costly but somewhat of a gamble on the part of the NBA. Both Europe and South America already have an established presence of professional leagues and teams albeit that the players there see the NBA as their envy and a professional wish to play in the most competitive and athletic league on the planet. But the risks for them don’t outweigh the rewards whereas for the NBA that would clearly be the case in setting up a fledgling franchise anywhere around the globe. And what the NBA hierarchy may not have also taken into account is that soccer as such is very much the predominant pastime of many sport’s fans within the regions mentioned. As I alluded to earlier the risks outweigh the advantages and with there being a great deal at stake monetarily any plan put into operation would have to thought out and enacted.

We saw the death knell given to the NFL’s decade plus long experiment in Europe with NFL Europe, which is said to have cost the league in excess of $100 million and at the end of the day it simply had nothing at all tangible to show for it. Remarkably though the NBA hasn’t set its sights that high but what it has done is to have offices in Europe , the Far East , and in South America, working in conjunction with numerous partners in those regions to get the game more widely accepted and established. Is it any wonder during the Beijing Olympics Team USA was the talk and toast of the town as its litany of NBA stars were accepted by the masses and wherein audiences for their games during the tournament were in front of sold-out crowds ? Albeit that the NBA worked in conjunction with USA Basketball and the association’s director Jerry Colangelo to establish a real presence and resurrect the appeal of the team after their most recent disappointments on the international stage competitively.

Perhaps it’s too early to talk about David Stern stepping down as NBA Commissioner and though he hasn’t stated when he’s likely to step down from the position as the game’s highest ranking official. It has to be said that he hasn’t groomed an heir apparent nor has he suggested who he’d like to see succeed him in that office. I’d dare say that’d be a decision left to the owners within the league who will likely search for someone with a similar vain to succeed Stern at the time he chooses to step down. From my own perspective while I’ve admired David Stern’s business acumen I’ve got admit I do not admire his autocratic style of running the NBA . Granted , he’s made the league a great deal of money over the years but at the same time he’s made a number of mistakes that at one time or another have come back to bite the league in the proverbial ass, much to the annoyance of the fans and the journalists who cover the NBA. His adoption of a code of conduct and dress code was one of the many things he’s done right but at the same time he stooped to the lowest common denominator in trying to make the league on appearance seem ethnic in terms of marketing it to a wider demographic , particularly amongst young African American males and other ethnic minorities. It may well have been one of the biggest faux-pas on Stern’s part during his tenure. And his intransigence in not wanting to adopt a much sterner drug policy within the league while all the while trying to use the league’s selling point that at the time it had one of the sternest testing policies within all of major sports. Players weren’t being tested for marijuana , but were being tested for certain opiates, iliecit narcotics and steroids. Do I need to go any further with this ? Or is it plain to see who held the upper hand with regard to that specific issue ? It …… certainly wasn’t Stern or the owners ! The players obviously balked at that idea and may have made their feelings felt through the their union the NBPA and their Executive Director Billy Hunter

Then you also had the image policy as it related to the players’ conduct. The very fact that David Stern has been so inconsistent there as to the punishment at times meted out , that it certainly had me believing that not unlike the NCAA and its own idiotic policies as it relates to meting out what’s deemed appropriate punishment , here too the NBA picks and chooses who they necessarily want to make an example of as a deterrent to others. And perhaps another of Stern’s biggest flaw is the fact that he believes implicitly in the officials who officiate the games in the regular and NBA postseason. As we’ve all seen over the years their mistakes during and in the postseason have become not merely a talking point amongst the fans but a complete embarrassment to the league when it’s clear that they’ve done an abysmal job of officiating a game. Stern simply cannot accept that they are flawed individuals in terms of their on-court performances and any public criticism of the officials is often followed with a hefty financial punishment of the critic in question. .

Should the NBA commissioner choose to step down in the imminent future then I’d like for the person who succeeds him to use due diligence when it comes to all matters and simply not laud of the league as if it were their own personal fiefdom . That clearly has been the case with David Stern as he ruled the NBA , where from his early days of running the league , as he saw his influence grow and the money that was to be made he certainly made sure nothing stood in his way even if it meant having to turn a once trusted ally into an enemy. There may well be a number people around the league who’ve a great deal of admiration for the commissioner and many of them may well have some very flattering and reverential things to say about him . But I can only assume that neither Mark Cuban or Stan Van Gundy would be atop of that list in their view of Stern as an executive who’s said to be impartial.

Of all the high ranking officials within the four major sports I don’t know if anyone has alienated and has been more disliked by the fans than Bud Selig. From interim commissioner to now having held the position full time , Selig has managed to assume the role of class clown and idiot without ever having to bar an eyelid . It was if he were in character right from the start. And the very fact that he was once a team owner before succeeding Faye Vincent has me believing that the owners didn’t really cast their net all that far or wide in looking for a successor . All they seemingly wanted was someone who’d be at their beck and call as and when needed _ and who would try to put the Players’ Union (MLBPA) in its place. Which is akin to saying that we’ll hand a child a box of matches and see what happens next . You simply know that no good can from those actions.

As many of you know I think that Bud Selig is to baseball what the Congress , Senate and present administration are to the economic health of this country ……….. a complete and utter failure when it comes to dealing with its most inherent and acute issues. Selig for his part along with league hierarchy , owners and the union were complicit in covering up the steroid issue , and that’s even light of the statements made by Jose Canseco and the subsequent book published by Mark Fainaru-Wada and Lance Williams (co authors of Book of Shadows) . As I said at the time when those 105 names came up on the list of then alleged steroid users and the fact that the union and hierarchy were under the impression that the list once in their possession would be destroyed as they were essentially were the ones who requested the testing of the players. Instead they chose to retain those records and when supoenaed by the Justice Department cried foul as the agency used that information to try and make its still ongoing case against Barry Bonds . At what point does the idiocy stop with Bud Selig and the game’s hierarchy and common sense begin to set in and prevail ?

Beyond the steroid issue and the very fact that as a financial concern the game of baseball has some major imbalances that it seemingly doesn’t know how to handle or that they may well choose not to out of sheer ignorance. It’s extremely hard to envisage how the MLB commissioner can repeatedly state that the game is in a very healthy state when for years it has had to assist many of its small market teams merely stay afloat from a financial standpoint . In his almost two decades of holding the game’s highest executive position Bud Selig has brought being a simpleton and an idiot to an art form that could be only admired by the likes of Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton were they alive !

Not only content with that issue Selig also looks to enforce his will on a team such as the Tampa Bay Rays by suggesting that they will never be able to stage an MLB All Star Game unless they have a new stadium built . But at no time has he or anyone within the game’s hierarchy come to their assistance in dealing with the politicians within the community at the municipal or state level to provide any type of input that would be of benefit to the organization and its owner Stuart Sternberg . Not only that Selig has also made a point of now pushing the issue to where it has now become something of an all consuming battle between the city of St Petersburg where the team resides at Tropicana Field and the organization (front office) itself. There seems to be no light at the end of the tunnel on this issue but and Selig continues to keep fanning the flames that has provided the discontent between the two factions on the matter.

What might be even more surprising in the midst of this all , while many teams within the league are suffering financially , the commissioner has been so well compensated over the last four years that he’d prove to be the envy of any senior banking executive on Wall Street. From 2006 to 2009 , Bud Selig earned in excess of $65 million accumulative in that span and it begs the question if he’s earning that much then why all the furor by St Louis Cardinals’ manager Tony La Russa belly aching over the team’s slugger Albert Pujols wanting to be well compensated for his productivity and what he means to the team and organization ?

It’s from the sublime to the ridiculous in all things related to Bud Selig and the game of baseball . Many have suggested that by initiating the wildcard system within the game it made it all the more suspenseful in terms of the postseason. And with the added incentive that whomever won the All Star Game between the AL and NL would gain home-field advantage throughout the postseason . True enough , that has been the case but all of that pales into comparison with Bud Selig’s inconsistencies and decision making on so many levels in terms where has gone wrong with many issues concerning the game . The negatives have far outweighed the positives in my belief and will continue to do so until he actually steps down from his role as commissioner.

The decision making as and when it starts prior to Bud Selig’s departure as to the list of candidates quite possibly interviewing for the position and then assuming the role may well be not necessarily a large one . But I’d like to think that whoever is chosen will be a vast improvement upon the present incumbent .

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Picture gallery for your perusal.

At the time of either Bud Selig and David Stern stepping down from their respective positions do you believe that of their legacies will be well respected in terms of their overall achievements ? Or do you feel that the sooner their departure the better off both sports will be , no matter who assumes their roles as the respective commissioners of MLB and the NBA ? Merely leave a comment as to your thoughts on the topics raised in this piece.

Alan aka tophatal ……………………….

http://tophatal.wordpress.com/

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Picture and slide show details .
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(1) Commissioners Of Major Sport Leagues Attend Hearing On Capitol Hill L-R) National Hockey League Commissioner Gary Bettman, National Football League Players Association Executive Director Gene Upshaw,(now deceased – succeeded by DeMaurice Smith) National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell, National Basketball Association Commissioner David Stern, Major League Baseball Player Association Executive Director Donald Fehr (who now holds a similar position with the NHLPA ) and Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig testify before the US House Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection about the use of illegal performance-enhancing drugs in professional sports on Capitol Hill February 27, 2008 in Washington, DC. The subcommittee also heard testimony from officials from the US Olympic Committee, National Thoroughbred Racing and the US Anti-Doping Agency. Chip Smodoville /Getty Images North America ……….

(2) Team representative Tommy Losorda of the Los Angeles Dodgers and MLB Commissioner Bud Selig speak during the MLB First Year Player Draft on June 7, 2010 held in Studio 42 at the MLB Network in Secaucus, New Jersey. Mike Stobe /Getty Images North America ……

(3) John Wall of Kentucky stands with NBA Commissioner David Stern after being drafted with the first pick by the Washington Wizards at Madison Square Garden on June 24, 2010 in New York City. Al Bello /Getty Images ………..

(4) (L-R) Sports Illustrated Group Editor Terry McDonell, Sports Illustrated Writer Tom Verducci and Commissioner of Major League Baseball Bud Selig attend the 2009 Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year Celebration at The IAC Building on December 1, 2009 in New York City. Theo Wargo / Getty Images North America ……………

(5) Stern presents Michael Jordan with the 1991-92 MVP award in Chicago, MJ’s third of the five league MVP awards he’d win over the course of his career . Nathaniel S Butler Getty Images ……….

(6) Jeff Pash (background), NFL Executive Vice President and General Counsel, left, and Roger Goodell, NFL commissioner, leave after negotiations with the NFL Players Association involving a federal mediator in Washington, Tuesday, March 8, 2011. AP Photo/ Alex Brandon …..

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Do participate in the above listed poll by placing a vote as you see fit .

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Wiz Khalifa ……. feat’g Too Short ………………. ” On My Level”

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Eye candy ……………. Sally Ferreira

Milani Rose

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We’re Not All Created Equal Even When It Comes to Sports


We’re Not All Created Equal Even When It Comes to Sports

Well the World Cup came and went almost in the blink of an eye but at the same time there was something not quite up to scratch in the way that the country was summarily portrayed for the outside world. Uppermost in my mind as the very fact that the hierarchy of the game merely wanted to have the event staged in order to show the rest of the world that the country of South Africa had overcome the vast abhorrence known as apartheid . That being said having watched segment of ESPN’s E 60 was appalled to find out that female participants in the game of soccer were being summarily gang raped if there was merely a hint of those players being lesbians . Many of the female victims were in fact lesbians and even with the cultural differences this shouldn’t be of any relevance for these women choosing to participate in a sport (soccer) that’s as beloved worldwide .

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Courtesy of ESPN

Female athletes often targets for rape

By Jeremy Schaap and Beein Gim ‘E:60’

KWA THEMA, South Africa — In the small, neat home she shares with a husband she describes as a broken man, Mally Simelane talks about her daughter, Eudy , who two years ago was gang-raped and stabbed to death.

“These children are ours,” she says, her hands folded across her kitchen table. “The gays and lesbians. I mean, we must accept our children. What they like, it’s up to them. We are not God to stop them.”

But there are those who are trying to stop them. And to punish them. To scare them. To change them. To “correct” them.

At the time of her murder, Eudy Simelane was almost a decade removed from her career on the South African women’s national soccer team. But at 31, she had become a well-respected youth coach, a passionate ambassador for the game she loved. Everyone knew she was gay.

At Eudy’s grave — not far from the creek where her tormentors dumped her mutilated corpse — Mally says, “I look at her picture. Then pray. Cry. Talk to her. Telling her, ‘I miss you.'”

The rationale?

For an act of such violence and malice, it’s called something so clinical: “corrective rape.”

“The phenomenon of corrective rape is based on the mistaken belief that through the violent act of rape, you can alter someone’s orientation, you can alter their identity,” says Jody Kollapen, the former chairman of the South African Human Rights Commission, a governmental organization. “The rationale would be that a woman who chooses to be lesbian has surely not had a relationship with a man, and therefore, if she has a relationship with a man, even if it’s a violent, forced one, that will surely convince her that the lifestyle she chose is inappropriate.”

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To read this article in full just click unto the text link provided as shown.
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Now for those women who weren’t lesbians they were still subject to sexual assaults merely for associating with other women just happen to be of very different sexual orientation. The government of South Africa while being democratic still has long way to go in making all elements of its society placed on an equal footing. Apartheid, as a practice was horrendous in of itself but now sexual assaults on women merely because of their orientation? Clearly the message sent is one of intolerance by those who commit these heinous acts but at the same time whatever one’s moral or religious beliefs there s no way that one can condone those acts being appropriate in today’s society, Certainly not by any stretch of one’s imagination at this moment in time. When those actions did not lead to the women abating ther desires then their ritual rape and murder weren’t out of the question. There have been several such incidents that’ve cropped up cross the country . Many of the crimes in question have ether gone unsolved or un-investigated as the various law enforcement agencies have sought ways to divest themselves of the time to carry out a full investigation. Needless to say, humanitarian voices are now coming into play and forcing Jacob Zuma and his government to take a position on this all and be proactive..

South African President Jacob Zuma no stranger to controversy himself having been tried and acquitted of rape has been less then amenable to the plight of these victims. But then again what should one expect from man whose alleged victim was in fact a teenage girl? . Zuma would even make a provocative statement suggesting that the victim needed sex in order to learn what it was like to know what the pleasure of having a man inside of her meant. Needless to say those remarks by the President have come back to haunt him even to this day.

Courtesy of The Guardian UK

Raped and killed for being a lesbian: South Africa ignores ‘corrective’ attacks

• Women living in fear of brutal assaults by male gangs
• Country’s ‘macho politics’ lead to lack of action

By Annie Kelly of The Guardian UK

The partially clothed body of Eudy Simelane, former star of South Africa’s acclaimed Banyana Banyana national female football squad, was found in a creek in a park in Kwa Thema, on the outskirts of Johannesburg. Simelane had been gang-raped and brutally beaten before being stabbed 25 times in the face, chest and legs. As well as being one of South Africa’s best-known female footballers, Simelane was a voracious equality rights campaigner and one of the first women to live openly as a lesbian in Kwa Thema.

Her brutal murder took place last April, and since then a tide of violence against lesbians in South Africa has continued to rise. Human rights campaigners say it is characterised by what they call “corrective rape” committed by men behind the guise of trying to “cure” lesbians of their sexual orientation.

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It’s bad enough that women are now subjected to numerous atrocities and degradations without now having a government that literally condones these actions nd who remain ominously silent when confronted or questioned on the matter. It is as if Jacob Zuma takes pride in such things. It’s bad enough that the country itself still remains the epicenter for the HIV-aids pandemic across the continent of Africa. Perhaps this too is also lost on Zuma and his government ?

What might be also be even more pertinent here is the very fact that while soccer’s governing body has gone out of its way to fight the rising tide of racism within the sport. Under Joseph “Sepp” Blatter’s leadership there has been very little done by the FIFA President and its members (FIFA ). Which begs the question if he’s unwilling to do anything other than merely suborn what has taken place long before the event was awarded to the country and knowing full well that this was all going on ? How can the game and ts hierarchy live with itself knowing that this continues and was taking place but yet they too also chose to remain silent ? .

Now while the sport of soccer has been something I’ve long loved since childhood. I know for a fact that there is an underbelly to the sport that once it rears its ugly head then others for some reason choose to run away from the ugliness rather than face the truth. They say that the truth shall set you free but freedom for these victims has been something of a myth . Because no one seems to care at all about ther plight . Sadly when your own government can’t show any concern then it gives credence to the fact that society as we know it is indeed changing for the worse and not for the better. Were these homosexual male victims would they be treated any differently and would in fact FIFA be taking a completely different stance altogether ?

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NB: Should you at all be interested in the subject matter then click on the link provided below to read up on the piece shown by the cable network.

Female athletes often targets for rape ………… . The segment itself was conducted and produced by noted ESPN journalist Jeremy Schaap .

Alan aka tophatal ………………….

Eve ……………………..”Love is Blind

How Do You Stay Fit ?


How Do You Stay Fit ?

Given the state of play and the fact that“physical recreation” is now being taken out of many school systems ? I’m wondering what your thoughts are on this sensitive matter ? Never mind the fact that the education system seems to be going to hell in a hand basket !

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Today I spent with a neighbor as we headed to the local gun range to get off a few rounds just to get the endorphins going. But while I enjoyed myself at the range it certainly doesn’t beat the workout I’d normally get when I hit the my local gym and spar with several friends in the ring or octagon. As many of you know that while I love the sport of boxing . Of late I’ve gotten heavily into the genre of mixed martial arts. An avowed martial arts fanatic , with regard to karate and tae-kwondo. The more I get into working out via this format the more I enjoy the regimen of using this as a form of staying fit.

As such I wondering what if anything gives you “a high” when it now comes to staying fit ? Is it playing ball on the black top ? Or playing baseball or some other sport ? It doesn’t actually have to be a sport mind you, to keep one’s body , mind and soul as one. I know that we all have our affinities with regard to certain avenues in terms of a sport or a recreational activity. So by all means chime on in with your thoughts on the subject matter. I‘ll look forward to reading your comment s as and when you‘re ready.

Alan Parkins aka tophatal …………………

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Rehab , I Said No , No , No …… !


Rehab I Said No , No , No ……. !

At this moment in time I think it’s pretty fair to say that the public has become sick and tired of the antics of many of today’s high profiled athletes , celebrities and celeb wannabe’s ? Personally , I couldn’t give a rat’s ass about them just as long as they’re not espousing their lifestyle to the young and impressionable children !

<font face="andalus" size="3">  <b><i> Tiger  Woods </i></b>    inset amongst  the   montage   of  <u> "several of  the   women""</u> that  the   golfer   is  said  to  have  bee  involved  with.   </font>

Golfer Tiger Woods seen inset alongside several of the women that he was clandestinely involved in his extramarital affairs behind the back of his wife , Elin Nordegren . photo appears courtesy of Paris Match S.A @ ………..


We’ve seen the fallout from the Tiger Woods’ sexual “malaprop” and the fact the golfer has entered into rehab for his alleged sexual addiction ? I’d like to know how does this really work ………”.sexual addiction that is ” ? We all tend to “love sex” in one form or another and it’s a personal choice as to who “we” want have sex with ! That’s unless you happen to be a deviant who’ll prey on any victim one deems fit ? Ben Roethlisberger come down you’ve won the prize of “deviant of the of the Year” . Mind you , given the antics and the alleged notoriety of Sandra Bullock’s now “estranged husband” Jesse James and his antics. I don’t think it’d be that much of a stretch to have the triumvirate of James , Roethlisberger and Woods share the award !.

Courtesy of Fox News

Roethlisberger has earned punishment

Early Monday evening, after the world learned he would not be prosecuted for sexual assault, Ben Roethlisberger appeared in front of his locker and issued a statement that made Tiger Woods look like a master of humility and introspection.

He didn’t mention his conduct or his drinking.

He said he was “truly sorry,” but not for what.

He said he wanted to be a leader and a “role model to kids,” but didn’t say how.

And, of course, he didn’t take any questions.

It wasn’t the kind of performance that helps a man reclaim his reputation. Even after a month-plus investigation resulted in no charges, there remain only three reasonable ways to consider Roethlisberger.

One, he’s a bad guy.

Two, he’s a bad guy when drunk.

Three — and this really strains credulity — he’s as dumb as he looks.

Whichever position you take, he still deserves to be suspended. I say two regular-season games. And it would be nice — not to mention useful — to see the Steelers themselves — read: those righteous Rooney heirs — mete out the punishment. If not, let that responsibility fall, as usual, to the NFL commissioner.

“We do not prosecute morals,” Fred Bright, district attorney for Georgia’s Ocmulgee judicial district, said Monday afternoon. “We prosecute crimes.”

It’s a good thing, too. But Roger Goodell’s NFL fancies itself much like a kosher hot dog, subject to loftier codes. From the 2009 Personal Conduct Policy:

“It is not enough simply to avoid being found guilty of a crime. … You are held to a higher standard and expected to conduct yourself in a way that is responsible, promotes the values upon which the league is based, and is lawful.

“Persons who fail to live up to this standard of conduct are guilty of conduct detrimental and subject to discipline.”

Hence, the DA’s decision not to prosecute Ben Roethlisberger for sexual assault isn’t cause for the black and gold to rejoice. There wasn’t much in the DA’s news conference that came as a surprise. No one acquainted with Roethlisberger via Google images would be shocked to find the Steelers’ team MVP with a young woman in what Bright termed the “small, dingy bathroom” of a college bar. The inquiry by local police and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation has produced a narrative that was basically everything you expected.

One the evening of March 4 and into the wee hours of March 5, Roethlisberger was out bar hopping with his entourage. The 20-year-old “victim” — Bright’s word, not mine — was doing with the same with her sorority sisters. The two parties met at various establishments along the way, where the quarterback and the co-ed made small talk.

“Some of a sexual nature,” Bright said.

Finally, at Capital City’s VIP room — not for nothing, but how many VIPs can there be in the metropolis of Milledgeville? — Roethlisberger summoned the sorority girls and “provided shots of alcohol.” Bright’s account fits nicely with an earlier report quoting the two-time Super Bowl winner as saying: “All you bitches, take my shots.”

“Everyone agrees,” Bright said, “that the victim was highly intoxicated.”

Again, I’m shocked.

Next, the prosecutor said, “one of the bodyguards guided the victim down a back hallway. Mr. Roethlisberger followed her down the hallway into a small bathroom.”

She sustained a “superficial laceration and slight bleeding in the genital area.” A test performed at the hospital indicated the presence of male DNA.

That’s not evidence of criminal conduct, or, rather, not nearly enough evidence to prove it. And so there’s no reason not to accept Bright’s representation — what happened in that dingy bathroom cannot be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

However, the same cannot be said for Roethlisberger’s behavior. Under the Personal Conduct Policy, he can be disciplined for “conduct that undermines or puts at risk the integrity and reputation of the NFL, NFL clubs or NFL players.” Roethlisberger, who signed a $102 million contract in 2008, falls squarely in that unfortunate realm.

He’d have been better off in a standard-issue strip joint. Instead, the league has a two-time Super Bowl winner raising hell in a college town. Hustling sorority girls with tequila? And that bodyguard escort to the bathroom? Sorry, but the picture that emerges from all this is that of a sexual bully. All you bitches, take my shots! That’s the face of a franchise talking, and not just any franchise, but pious Art Rooney’s Steelers.

Roethlisberger’s escapades might not rise to the level of criminal conduct, but beyond any reasonable doubt, they injure the integrity and reputation of the NFL and its Pittsburgh franchise. What’s more, they are proof — again, beyond any doubt — of invincible stupidity. Remember, this is a guy who’s already being sued for alleged sexual assault in Nevada.

Over the weekend, the Steelers traded Santonio Holmes to the Jets, a Super Bowl MVP for a fifth-round pick. It was seen as a “statement,” proof Pittsburgh wouldn’t stand for recurring incidents of bad behavior among its players. Holmes, who had a domestic violence charge dropped a few years back, now seems like a recalcitrant pot smoker. His career with the Jets will begin with a mandatory four-game suspension, meaning he’s been caught violating the league’s substance abuse policy three previous times.

It’s worth noting Roethlisberger’s misdeeds were more widely covered, and therefore, as the league might argue, more injurious to its reputation. So you can’t help but ask: Is Holmes that much worse than Roethlisberger? Or is it just easier to replace a black receiver than a white franchise quarterback?

I’ll concede those aren’t entirely fair questions. But like the league’s conduct policy, they are rooted in perception. By the way, whose misdeeds have received more coverage? Perception is reputation. And reputation is more than a man’s deed. It’s what he has gotten away with.

On Monday afternoon, Steelers President Art Rooney II issued a statement, saying: “During the past few weeks, I have met with Ben on a number of occasions, not only to discuss this incident, but also to discuss his commitment to making sure something like this never happens again.”

A two-game suspension would be a good place to start.

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Oscar winning actress Sandra Bullock and her husband Jessie James seen here at a Los Angeles Lakers game played at the Staples Center in Los Angeles California. photo appears courtesy of Associated Press/ Cliff Nugent ......................
Oscar winning actress Sandra Bullock and her husband Jessie James seen here at a Los Angeles Lakers game played at the Staples Center in Los Angeles California. photo appears courtesy of Associated Press/ Cliff Nugent ......................

Woods has been in rehab not long after the now infamous incident that took place on Thanksgiving Day’s eve of last year. James has now entered rehab in order to try and shake his “rocky marriage to the Oscar winner , Bullock. And with Roethlisberger now having “dodged a bullet” concerning the sexual assault allegations made against him by a young female co-ed student in the town of Milledgeville , Georgia. Is there anything left to say but to ask all three of these individuals what the fu_k are you doing with your lives ?

A somewhat  subdued    Ben  Roethlisberger  is  seen    here   making  a  public  statement  that   he's  about to  voluntarily  enter the   NFL's   substance  abuse  program.
A somewhat subdued Ben Roethlisberger is seen here making a public statement that he's about to voluntarily enter the NFL's substance abuse program for alcohol addiction . photo appears courtesy Getty Images North America / Paul Howard ..............

It is now being reported that Roethlisberger will voluntarily enter into the NFL’s substance abuse program for “alcohol abuse” . Given the player’s proclivity for insobriety and the mere fact that is the now “the third time “ that he’s ran afoul of the law. Why in hell’s name was he not made to enter the program after the first such alleged incident with regard to his run in with law enforcement in Lake Tahoe ? Alcohol it is also alleged played a part in that incident . Never mind the fact that the coaching staff and front office of the Pittsburgh Steelers have appeared to be as docile as a church mouse in now dealing with all three incidents concerning their Pro Bowl and Superbowl winning quarterback . You’d have thought that an alleged disciplinarian such as the Steelers’ coach Mike Tomlin might have and show “some balls” ? But I guess he has been emasculated by his players having won a Superbowl alongside them as their coach ?

One would now think that the NFL and the fact its image conscious commissioner Roger Goodell would on appearance want to be proactive in dealing with such incidents concerning the players and their off the field troubles ? But you’d be hard pressed to really see anything of that nature forthcoming from the commissioner. It were as if he were some “gilded lily” waiting to be watered in order for him to spring to life. If the truth be told the complete lack of action by the NFLPA is as equally disturbing ! And NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith has shown little if any resolve , in either making a public statement , much less gathering the executive members of his board together , to see how best to deal with this ongoing problem , in conjunction with the NFL .

For all “three individuals “ mentioned, the pain they’ve no doubt caused the immediate members of their families can’t be overlooked . But hopefully, the actions that they now each seek to take will in some way their attitude and give them a much more healthy respect of others and also for those said to be closest to them. Above all also , each has to stand and be held accountable for the actions and transgressions rather than trying to hide behind the facade of a lie. When “the lie” becomes a repeated effort to shy away from responsibility for one’s actions . In reality , it shows and says a great deal about that person and their complete lack of character and moral fiber !

Alan Parkins aka tophatal 🙂 . 😀 . 😀 . 🙂

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Amy Winehouse “Rehab” …………

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Kendra Wilkinson gallery.
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Picture gallery as tophatal does aim to please !

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