Tag: Football

If You Say It Then You Had Better Have The Balls To Back That Sh#t Up !


If You Say It Then You Had Better Have The Balls To Back That Sh#t Up !

I’m always befuddled when I hear a player stand up and make bold statement even if it is meant to rally the troops as they say ! Well no sooner have we heard one statement made now we have the Detroit Lions’ defensive tackle Ndamokung Suh making the claim that the team is quite capable of going …… 16-0 this season . Unless I’m mistaken it wasn’t that long ago Lions went 0-16 ( 2008) to become the first NFL team in history to lose all of their regular season games since the league went to a 16 game schedule. Suh either believes that highly in this team or he is truly naive to think that a quarterback in Matt Stafford who at best is serviceable but has yet to play a full NFL season is actually capable of leading the team to an unbeaten season.

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Slide show for your perusal .

The Lions finished last year with a 6-10 record within the NFC North and actually struggled to make their presence felt within the league as a whole . Statistically as a team the Lions struggled in all facets of the game and from a defensive and offensive standpoint the struggles of the Detroit Lions manifested itself in a multiple of ways . I am not so sure that Jim Schwartz and his coaching staff having gotten a spark of life from this team is now capable actually boldly leading them to aware Suh believes that they can be ! As I’ve alluded to before , Matt Stafford is injury prone and from week to week you simply can’t be sure that he can play a full four quarters without getting a hang nail much less turf toe. For all of the hype that surrounded the player upon his entry into the NFL , there has been nothing that he has achieved that would suggest to me that he now is actually capable of leading this Lions’ team past the current Superbowl champions the Green Bay Packers or the other occupants of the NFC North , namely the Minnesota Vikings or Chicago Bears for that matter ! Most notably the Bears and Packers were two of the teams that made the postseason last year .

This season the Detroit Lions will have their hands full within the NFC and in particular over the course of their season as their schedule unfolds . It is incumbent on the Lions that they get off to good start in order to get some semblance of a rhythm going . The season could very well be shortened given the mere fact that the league hierarchy , team owners and NFLPA (union) are at an impasse in resolving the month long NFL lockout . And as cordial as some owners would like to have us believe that these negotiations are going there’s no real light at the end of the tunnel as of yet . NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell whose statements on the existing negotiation process has been minimal at best . New England Patriots’ owner Robert Kraft believes that only through continuous negotiations between the parties concerned can there be some sort of accord be reached. From my own perspective this has simply been nothing more than an image exercise of which neither party has executed or handled this situation well at all. The NFLPA and league hierarchy (NFL) have simply forgotten that they have alienated the fans but moreover the apparent greed that has set in both on sides has clouded their judgment .

If Suh’s prognostications are to come true then he and in particular his new defensive partner Nick Fairley will have to be fulcrum that holds this defensive line together . The Detroit Lions’ defense as the season progressed were able to shown signs of improvement but their lack of cohesion and inconsistently proved costly when it mattered most. On offense we saw what wide receiver Calvin Johnson was actually capable of alongside his teammate running back Kevin Smith . The two provided a lot of the offense that was produced by the Lions over the course of the season .

Now it goes without saying the Lions will live and die dependent upon the health of Matt Stafford and his overall productivity . And while I’ve no doubt that the player will have his moments t hose moments are liable to be few and far between . The Detroit Lions have remained a conundrum and an engima all rolled into one but the history of the organization and the fact that each Thanksgiving the fans have to endure Lions playing in this traditional seasonal game. And given that this season (week 12) the NFL in its infinite wisdom will make sure that tradition continues in that pairing of the Lions playing the Green Bay Packers at Ford Field , Detroit , with the Dallas Cowboys playing the Miami Dolphins at Texas Stadium , Arlington, Texas . Now don’t get me wrong I am all for tradition where it is warranted but with the apparent idiocy of the NFL hierarcy and their belief that the Dallas Cowboys and Detroit Lions playing their respective opponents on Thanksgiving is the best possible form of entertainment that they could possibly serve up for the fans is akin to asking a vegetarian to become a carnivore because the taste of meat is far better than eating vegetables alone. And that’s with due respect to carnivores and vegetarians out there ! The relevancy of these two teams playing on Thanksgiving each year has lost all meaning for me as an NFL fan as I’d rather view two talented teams actually playing competitive football ! And when I last looked neither the Cowboys or Lions were actually capable of doing that on a consistent basis over the course of a season .

The Lions’ front office led by GM Martin Mayhew has formulated a plan that he and the ownership group led by Bill Ford Jr , as they seek to make this franchise relevant once again. It seems unfortunate to see the Detroit Lions fall so far in the aftermath of the excitement provided by their Hall of Fame running back Barry Sanders . And for those of us who have witnessed those lofty days when the Lions actually roared , now if anything they’re like a kitten looking to be fed a plate of milk . Meow , meow !

At this juncture I’d like to say that I hope that Ndamokung Suh isn’t made to eat his words ! It’s one thing to make those bold statements but if you’re simply unable to back it up and the team then becomes an embarrassment on the field of play then once can only hope that the player is prepared to proffer up some form of apology to the fans . God knows, the Detroit Lions simply have done nothing right to indicate they are actually on the road to success , not with the inconsistency of Matt Stafford and a defense that seems to be unsure of itself at any given moment . Suffice to say it will be interesting to see whether or not Suh is made to eat those words .

And speaking of eating words can there be anything more galling than to keep on hearing that the Dallas Cowboys can be viewed as perennial contenders for the Superbowl ? One postseason win in the last decade and an owner in Jerry Jones who still feels that he’s a better general manager than his peers within the league . Chances are Jones on his best day has about as much acumen for spotting college talent bound for the NFL as a blind man could tell you the measurements of aspiring actress Denise Milani . And for those of who’ve viewed the stunning Milani will know that this beauty has the curves in all the right places .

The Dallas Cowboys and Texas Stadium are gigantic as are the egos of half the players on the team . Tony Romo is viewed as a Pro Bowl caliber quarterback but if anything he possesses the spine of a gutless coward . I’ve always maintained that Romo was more a Hollywood ” wannabe” than a NFL player ! And until he applies himself and leads this team by example then the Cowboys will always be considered an also ran or average team at best . This season if anything we will either see Jason Garrett show his real strengths as a coach or we may well see the Cowboys flounder . The NFC East they say is up for grabs this season and if anything the Dallas Cowboys have a chance to prove their worth . Mile Austin , DeMarcus Ware , Jason Witten , Dez Bryant and Romo will certainly have to lay to rest once and for all that they are good enough not only to win the NFC East but also worthy of being viewed as a Superbowl contender . Year in and year out those moronic idiots who provide the NFL analysis at ESPN continue with the hyperbole about the greatness that seems to be the Dallas Cowboys . I sometimes wonder whether or not Jones actually has these as#holes on the Cowboys’ payroll ? Maybe that’s presumptuous of me but then again I may well be wrong !

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

If there is an NFL season to be had how do you see both the Dallas Cowboys and Detroit Lions faring ? Simply leave a comment as to your thoughts and as always thanks for the continued support as it is greatly appreciated !

Alan aka tophatal …………………

http://tophatal.wordpress.com

Picture and slide show details below .

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(1) Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, right, stands next to defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch during a break in practice drills at Detroit Country Day School in Beverly Hills, Mich., Friday, June 10, 2011. AP Photo/Carlos Osorio ……….

(2) Detroit Lions quarterbacks Matthew Stafford, left, and Shaun Hill, second from right, talk with team president Tom Lewand, right, during the team’s annual golf fundraiser, Tuesday, June 7, 2011, in Dearborn, Mich. AP Photo/Carlos Osorio …..

(3) NEW YORK, NY – APRIL 28: NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell poses for a photo with Nick Fairley(1) 13th pick overall pick by the Detriot Lions, during the 2011 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on April 28, 2011 in New York City. Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images …..

(4) Jim Schwartz, center, head coach of the Detroit Lions poses with General Manager Martin Mayhew, left, and Tom Lewand team president after a press conference to introduce him as the Lions new head coach on January 16, 2009 at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan. Gregory Shamus / Getty North America ……..

(5) Denise Milani and her ample 38″ DD’s . What’s not to like about the curvacious form of this Czech American beauty ?

(6) Care for a peek of Milani’s assets ? There’s always something to like isn’t there ?

(7) Get the feeling that there’s more that Denise has to offer us all ?

(8) Tyron Smith, 9th overall pick by the Dallas Cowboys, holds up a jersey on stage during the 2011 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on April 28, 2011 in New York City. Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images ……..

(9) MINNEAPOLIS, MN – APRIL 19: NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell (L) and NFL owner Jerry Jones of the Dallas Cowboys arrive for court-ordered mediation at the U.S. Courthouse on April 19, 2011 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Mediation was ordered after a hearing on an antitrust lawsuit filed by NFL players against the NFL owners after labor talks between the two broke down last month. Photo by Hannah Foslien /Getty Images …….

(10) Tony Romo (9) of the Dallas Cowboys looks on against the Philadelphia Eagles on January 2, 2011 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Cowboys defeated the Eagles 14-13. Getty Images / Jim McIsaac …..

(11) Miles Austin (19) of the Dallas Cowboys scores a third quarter touchdown on a 3 yard pass from Jon Kitna (3) as DeAndre Levy (54) of the Detroit Lions defends during the game at Dallas Stadium on November 21, 2010 in Arlington, Texas. The Cowboys defeated the Lions 35-19 . Getty Images /Leon Halip ………
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NFL News

NFL Draft 2011 round by round

Dallas Cowboys news

Dallas Cowboys draft history

Detroit Lions news

Detroit Lions’ draft history

NFL Standings 2010 by Division

NFL Standings by Conference and League

NFL team stats

Fool’s Gold And Then There Are The Fools Of The NFL …….


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 .

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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 !

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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 ……………………………………

http://tophatal.wordpress.com

Picture and slide show details .

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(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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NFL News

MLB News

MLB schedule 12th May 2011

MLB probable pitchers 12th May 2011

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MLB Standings 11th May 2011

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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/

🙂

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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Eye candy ……………. Sally Ferreira

Milani Rose

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I Am A Lion Hear Me Roar ……………


I Am A Lion Hear Me Roar ……………

Each season the NFL brings us some highs and lows and as usual it’s the fans of their respective teams that ends up asking questions and simply looking for answers as to what went wrong. As an avid New England Patriots’ fan I saw the team rise to unparalleled heights by posting the best record in the NFL last season only to flame out like a damp squib in their postseason loss in the divisional rounds of the playoffs to the New York Jets . I’ve longed maintained that Patriots’ coach Bill Belichick can be conceited and complacent and clearly once again this pretty much summed up the season for the Patriots .

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Slide show for your perusal .

Now for me the one team I’ve looked at from afar and wondered how it is that from season to season their fate never really seems to change . And for me that team is the Detroit Lions coached by Jim Schwartz and an experienced team of assistants . You could say that the curse of Matt Millen has essentially led the Lions to where they’re now at a team said to be heading in no direction in particular. Millen’s tenure as GM of the Lions can be best described as an unmitigated disaster and a complete mess because he simply didn’t know how to assess talent much less get the best out the players he actually drafted. I truly believe that Matt Millen may well have been the worse front office executive to have ever held a general managers’ position in the NFL ! His decisions have bordered on being insane and led many believing that the Lions were in fact doomed for hell. Well it appears that not only having been snake bitten the Detroit Lions simply can’t get out of their own way no matter how hard they try !

Since being drafted by the team quarterback Matt Stafford has yet to play a complete season with the team. So much so , that one has to question the wisdom behind him being drafted number one overall in the 2009 NFL Draft . The $72 million contract of which $48 million was guaranteed money doesn’t now seem to be worthwhile, much less worth the lack of productivity and leadership skills shown by Stafford. The NFL in part as well as the owners ought to blamed for the absolute stupidity shown when it comes to the compensation of rookies entering the NFL. And even if now NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and the owners are now pressing for that to be a part of a renewed and revamped collective bargaining agreement with the NFLPA . I can’t help but wonder what concessions that they’re prepared to make with DeMaurice Smith and his Executive Committee should this actually come into being.

What might be now troubling other than the lack of productivity from Stafford is the team has a Pro Bowl caliber wide receiver in Calvin Johnson , running back Kevin Smith and Ndamukong Suh all of whom are being wasted on a team that struggles increasingly to stay in games and play competitively. The talents of Johnson , Smith and Suh I believe are simply being wasted because until this team actually has a quarterback that can play a full season without health concerns then there’s not much a real chance of the Detroit Lions being considered a legitimate contender within their division (NFC North) much less the rest of the NFL .

Granted Johnson , Smith and Suh have proven to a blessing for the Lions but Ford Field has become an elephant’s graveyard but I simply think that the real failure of this team is the fact that Stafford can’t be trusted to lead with any kind of authority. The offensive line of this team still leaves a lot to be desired and the defense itself struggles to show any type of consistency throughout much of the season. Schwartz for his part knows that if the Detroit Lions are to viewed as a contender then this team will have to bolster its roster by way of free agency and through the upcoming NFL Draft . At this juncture it’s hard to really say in what direction the team will go as it looks to fortify its roster but it’s clear that the this team’s needs are many. On both sides of the ball the Lions need to obtain players that are able to contribute immediately rather than simply remaining an ongoing project. It’d be true to say that the long suffering Detroit Lions’ fans have had to endure a great deal over the last few seasons and it’s not as if they were under the impression that their fortunes were about to turn around.

It took the abrupt departure of their Hall of Fame running back Barry Sanders for many to realize how far this team had fallen . There were outcries when Sanders walked away from the Lions , many felt he betrayed them and the organization but much of that came down to the fact that the running back clearly didn’t feel that the organization was doing enough improve the roster Marty Mohrninweg who at the time was the coach of the Lions while Millen’s tenure was in place diligently tried to coach this team to some semblance of success. And as we know the coach’s tenure wasn’t that great to begin with given his proclivity for the ridiculous and making many outrageous whilst coach of the team.

If anything given the failure of the team and the fact that the Ford family as owners simply showed about as much interest in the team as they’d done with the family business and their failure there. Now one might opine that the Ford Motor Company is back as a profitable concern but given the fact that they’re more likely to drop the ball before reaching the endzone as given their recent history. But here’s something that you should consider the company though now profitable still remains a cause for concern as it is still leveraged to the hilt __________ the motor company in order to stave off financial ruin sought financing from a consortium of financial institutions . Fifty billion dollars ($50 billion [$50,000,000,000]) and Ford President & CEO Alan Mulally might just be considered to be a hero within the company but I seriously doubt that the same can be said about William Clay Ford Jr and his tenure as owner of the Detroit Lions ! I’d like to think that Ford and the executives of the Lions are completely focused getting the Detroit Lions back to being a competitive and legitimate contender within the NFL but given their form as of late I’m not so sure that they’re capable of actually doing that !

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The Detroit Lions’ history over the years isn’t one that’s filled with a great deal of historical highlights and at the same time in terms of the Superbowl’s history they’ve yet to make that their stomping ground. I’d like to say that I can envisage seeing that as part of their immediate future but in reality that’s something that’s not about to happen anytime soon . The NFC North with the Green Bay Packers , Minnesota Vikings and Chicago Bears along with the Lions has been a division that has become a three horse race in recent years . And within the division the Lions haven’t yet been able to even show that they’re even the equal of the participants there . It’s going to be a long time coming if they’re to prove their worth within the division much less the rest of the league .

The future of the Detroit Lions could very well hold a great deal of expectations for the organization but much of that will be predicated upon not only the coaching staff , players but primarily the mindset of the ownership and the zeal with which they appear to want success and until that’s clearly defined , then we’re liable to see the same continued failures we’ve become accustomed to.

What thoughts if any do you have on the Detroit Lions and what changes if any do you see them having to make in order to get better ? Simply chime in with your thoughts on the matter and any other pertinent issue concerning the NFL .

Picture and slide show details below .
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(1) Then GM Matt Millen introduces Marty Mohrninweg to the the convened press at Ford Field in Detroit as the team’s new coach. His tenure came to be known as the “wonder years” as everyone simply wondered where the team’s next w in would be coming from . Deroit Free Press /Craig Sergeant …………….

(2) Barry Sanders (20) seen here in full flight in a game against the Chicago Bears . Inset is Bears’ defender Mike Singletary (50) giving chase to Sanders . AFP/ Chris Chandler …………..

(3) Detroit Lions head coach Jim Schwartz, left, quarterback Matthew Stafford , of Georgia, safety Louis Delmas of Western Michigan and tight end Brandon Pettigrew , of Oklahoma St., pose for a photographs during a news conference where they were introduced to the media and public on Sunday, April 26, 2009 in Allen Park, Mich. The Lions drafted Stafford with the No. 1 overall pick in the NFL Draft. AP Photo/Jerry S. Mendoza ……

(4) Ford President and CEO Alan Mulally (L) and Executive Chairman William Clay Ford (right) unveil a new 2011 Ford Focus during the press preview of the North American International Auto Show at the Cobo Center on January 10, 2011 in Detroit, Michigan. The show opened for media previews today and is open to the general public January 15-23. Getty Images North America / Scott Olson ……

(5) DALLAS, TX – FEBRUARY 03: Ndamukong Suh (90) of the Detroit Lions speaks during a press conference where he accepted Pepsi’s 2010 NFL Rookie of the Year Award at the Super Bowl XLV media center on February 3, 2011 in Dallas, Texas. The Green Bay Packers will play the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XLV on February 6, 2011 at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images …………

(6) Calvin Johnson (81), right, and Matthew Stafford (9) of the Detroit Lions watch the clock run down during the game against the Chicago Bears at Ford Field on December 5, 2010 in Detroit, Michigan. The Bears defeated the Lions 24-20 . Leon Halip/ Getty Images North America ………

(7) Perhaps the greatest player ever in Detroit Lions’ history Barry Sanders is seen here with former NFL player Daryl Hobbs as they’re about to compete in DIRECT Tv’s fifth annual Celebrity Beach Bowl in Victory Park , Dallas , Tx in February over the festivities covering Superbowl (SBXLV) weekend. Getty Images North America / Michael Buckner …….

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Detroit Lions profile

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Alan aka tophatal ……………………..

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Eye candy …………….. Christine Bax

A lil’ more of Ms Bax . Just the way I like it !

Something to rev up one’s engine ….. more of Christine .
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Marvin Gaye ……………….. “I Heard It Through The Grapevine ”

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Who Let The Cat Out Of The Bag ? Superbowl 45 (SBXLV) Is Now Here !


Who Let The Cat Out Of The Bag ? Superbowl 45 (SBXLV) Is Now Here !

Well the AFC and NFC Championship games have essentially brought us to the conclusion that the two best teams remaining after the smoke has cleared are indeed worthy participants for Superbowl (SB XLV). The Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers duly dispatched their opposition with relative ease . The New York Jets found themselves on the wrong side of a thoroughly convincing 24-19 win by the Steelers . And anyone of the opinion that Mark Sanchez isn’t being asked to go above and beyond the call of duty ought to view this as a case study of a player still learning the ropes . Though much of the blame can’t be laid at his feet but ufortunately the duo of running backs on this team couldn’t rush their way out of a wet paper bag much less bust a condom with their show of athleticism and masculinity. I’m not saying LaDainian Tomlinson and Shonn Greene were bad but if your ass can’t break the plane from a one yard stand out in a goal line stance by the Steelers then you ought not to be on a football field.

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Slide show for your perusal.

And for Rex Ryan and his coaching staff this had to be a profound disappointment on what had been a rather successful season . Now twice having made the AFC championship game in successive seasons ___ last year they would fall at the hands of the Indianapolis Colts . Alas this postseason it wasn’t to be as the Jets would succumb to a much better team that rose to the occasion with the authoritative leadership coming from their quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and some great coaching by Mike Tomlin and his staff .

Without a doubt the fans in attendance at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh got their money’s worth as both teams gave it their all. Now the Pittsburgh Steelers will try and attempt to become the first NFL franchise. to have won seven Superbowls in the modern day era of the NFL . As to whether or not that they attain that feat remains to be seen when they meet the Green Bay Packers at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington , Texas on the 4th February 2011. Do you get the feeling that Jerry Jones will be missing out somewhat on the festivities given the fact his Dallas Cowboys won’t be a participant in the league’s showcase event ?

I’ll say it once and I won’t say it again I simply didn’t trust Jay Cutler to lead this Bears’ team at all ! To my mind he is this generation’s Brett Favre in terms of cavalier play and self absorbed personality. And anyone who has witnessed Favre’s play in recent years will know that he’s become more of a liability to a team rather than an asset . The Packers for their part led by Aaron Rodgers put on a clinical showcase on both sides of the ball with unsung heroes such as B J Raji and his teammates simply followed the lead set by their quarterback. Now when it’s all said and done the game wasn’t without its moments but what might be more telling were the circumstances under which Cutler left the game having injured his knee. Once that came about and the very fact that appeared that the player seemed to be unwilling to return to the game to aid his teammates , you simply knew that the writing was on the wall. Not that the Bears had done anything of note in the game from a statistical standpoint . Cutler was replaced by Todd Collins a seasoned NFL veteran but his composure could be best described as being a deer caught in headlights as the Packers’ defense simply laid him out after a couple of plays. Bears’ coach Lovie Smith quickly replaced the sixteen year veteran with third stringer Caleb Hanie who would show some poise during the game but at the same time his inexperience would lead to the player throwing two interceptions and touchdown pass on the way to his team’s 21-14 loss to the Green Bay Packers.

For the Packers , coach Mike McCarthy and Aaron Rodgers in particular this might seem a long time coming given the fact that the organization had to put up with the self aggrandizing and somewhat infantile behavior of Brett Favre before his tumultuous departure from the Packers’ organization , Lambeau Field and the long suffering Packers’ fans. Now if anything it’s Brett who ………..? And look we’ve got Aaron Rodgers and we’re glad that he’s here !

The upcoming game itself with all of the glory to be attained will pit two of the NFL’s most storied and respected franchises against one another . And if anything this may well the game that the vast majority of the fans coveted. And that’s with due respect to the Chicago Bears and New York Jets , not that they aren’t as such noteworthy. But given the postseason play of both victorious teams in the conference championship games , I for one am totally convinced that these two teams are by far the best of the teams that were part of the 2010 postseason . Never let it be said that the teams competing weren’t worthy but in all honesty you come out to play and you had better damn well play to win , rather than carrying pretensions of grandeur , which in large part was what happened with a number of teams who fell by the wayside in the postseason !

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

What thoughts if any do you have on the conference championship games and how do you see the Superbowl game itself playing out ? Simply chime in with a comment and thanks as always for the continued support as it’s gratefully appreciated !

NB: Picture and slide show details .

(1)New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan reacts to a question during a press conference at the team’s training facility, Monday, Jan. 24, 2011 in Florham Park, N.J. A day earlier, the Jets ended their season with a 24-19 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC championship game. AP Photo/Julio Cortez ……

(2)New York Jets linebacker Lance Laury cleans out his locker at the team’s training facility, Monday, Jan. 24, 2011 in Florham Park, N.J. A day earlier, the Jets ended their season with a 24-19 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC championship game. AP Photo/Julio Cortez …..

(3) New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez talks to reporters before cleaning out his locker, Monday, Jan. 24, 2011 in Florham Park, N.J. The Jets lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers 24-19 in the AFC championship a day earlier. AP Photo/Julio Cortez ……

(4) Pittsburgh, Pa,. Ben Roethlisberger (7) of the Pittsburgh Steelers rushes for a first down against the New York Jets during the 2011 AFC Championship game at Heinz Field on January 23, 2011 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images …….

(5) Rashard Mendenhall (34) of the Pittsburgh Steelers runs down field against the New York Jets during the 2011 AFC Championship game at Heinz Field on January 23, 2011 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Steelers defeated the Jets 24 to 19. Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images ………

(6) LaDainian Tomlinson (21) of the New York Jets is brought down by LaMarr Woodley (56) of the Pittsburgh Steelers during the 2011 AFC Championship game at Heinz Field on January 23, 2011 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images …….

(7) Jerricho Cotchery (89) of the New York Jets walks off of the field injured in second quarter play against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the 2011 AFC Championship game at Heinz Field on January 23, 2011 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images …….

[8] In this Jan. 23, 2011, file photo, Green Bay Packers’ B.J. Raji (90) returns an interception to score the game-winning touchdown during the fourth quarter of the NFC Championship NFL football game against the Chicago Bears in Chicago. Raji might not get quite as much attention as fellow 2009 first-round draft pick Clay Matthews, but he’s turning out to be just as critical to the Packers’ defense. AP Photo/Jim Prisching …..

(9) Green Bay Packers’ Aaron Rodgers celebrates after the NFC Championship NFL football game against the Chicago Bears Sunday, Jan. 23, 2011, in Chicago. The Packers won 21-14 . AP Photo/Jim Prisching ………

(10) Chicago Bears head coach Lovie Smith speaks during a press conference at Halas Hall Monday, Jan. 24, 2011, in Lake Forest, Ill. The Green Bay Packers ended the Chicago Bears season with a 21-14 victory in the NFC Championship game. AP Photo/Jim Prisching …..

(11) Sam Shields (37) of the Green Bay Packers intercepts the game’s final pass and runs for 32-yards to seal the 21-14 victory for the Packers against the Chicago Bears in the NFC Championship Game at Soldier Field on January 23, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images ………

(12) Head coach Mike McCarthy of the Green Bay Packers and head coach Lovie Smith of the Chicago Bears shake hands after the Packers 21-14 victory in the NFC Championship Game at Soldier Field on January 23, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images …….

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The Tampa Bay Buccaneers Are Bucking A Trend ………..


The Tampa Bay Buccaneers Are Bucking A Trend ………..

Week 17 and to my mind the achievements of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the team’s coaching staff cannot be overlooked or underestimated this season. Coach Raheem Morris in just his second season as a head coach in the NFL has the team playing with a great deal of resolve and much to the amazement of the fans who convene at Raymond James Stadium Tampa , Florida this season to watch a spirited Bucs’ team play.

What many thought to be would take at least three years in its creation, in turning around this team in one year by prudent coaching but with even more astute assessment of the talent necessary in making this team better. Raheem Morris and GM Mark Dominik have made the Buccaneers and the entire organization the envy of the league. And in spite of this all , consider this , the Buccaneers have the youngest team in the NFL in terms of average age and are the first team in league history to start an NFL game with twelve rookies on its roster . And while there have been growing pains while the Buccaneers learn how to be competitive what might be even more surprising has been the maturation of quarterback Josh Freeman who could very well be on his way to earning a Pro Bowl berth for the NFC as a player in the Pro Bowl. Along the way the player has had a stellar season and led his team with a great deal of authority.

Aiding Freeman in all of this has been a slew of young draftees that could be destined for greatness should their learning curve remain consistent and improve as Dominik and Morris would no doubt expect. This year’s top draft pick taken by the Buccaneers was DT Gerald McCoy taken in the first round , third overall out of the University of Texas and the coaching staff would make sure to supplement the current roster with integral pieces that would be of benefit to the team . And amongst this all has been an unsung hero LeGarrette Blount the undrafted rookie free agent who has has now become the catalyst for this Buccaneers’ offense and who essentially the running back starter’s position his own. Not to be left out of the conversation has to be the contributions made this season by other draftees Cody Grimm , Arrelious Benn and Mike Williams who’ve made the jump with a great deal of self assuredness. And while many might choose to say that it’s far too early to say how good this Bucs’ team can become all the signs seem to state that they’re indeed heading in the right During Jon Gruden’s tenure as coach I can’t remember him ever having this much success with any player that he drafted over the course of his reign. As a matter of fact as a coach when it came to nurturing talent especially amongst rookies, Gruden’s methods left a great deal to be desired. And I think that it’s pretty safe to suggest that assessing talent and nurturing it was never ever one of Jon Gruden’s greatest strengths. But he’ll be forever thought of as the coach who came into Tampa and brought the city a Superbowl (SB XXXVII). Since those lofty years up until his abrupt firing his record with the team had been spotty at best.

Head coach Raheem Morris talks with Ronde Barber (20) of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the game against the New Orleans Saints at the Louisiana Superdome on January 2, 2011 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The Buccaneers defeated the Saints 23-13. Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images .......

Head coach Raheem Morris talks with Ronde Barber (20) of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the game against the New Orleans Saints at the Louisiana Superdome on January 2, 2011 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The Buccaneers defeated the Saints 23-13. Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images …….

Succeeding Gruden , Raheem Morris wasn’t thought of as the obvious choice but given the financial frugality being shown by the Glazer family and their propensity for not wanting overspend on anything, it went without saying that the hiring of a rookie coach was the option that they felt was best for the organization. PR nightmare or not team owner Malclom Glazier could only have held out for a modicum of hope that there would be any dividends to be reaped from this hiring . Going 3-13 in his first full season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers , Morris had the fans , local beat writers, sports columnists seething with rage and baying for his blood. Not content with that the fallout would have its financial reverberations within the community as there was an immediate decline in the attendance for games at the stadium. It has impacted the team’s support this season and with all but one the team’s scheduled home games being blacked for coverage within the local market. And while things might appear to be now looking on the up for the organization much of that will be predicated upon the continued success of this team under its coach.

Now riding on the crest of a wave the team now faces their sternest test of the season as they face the reigning Superbowl champions the New Orleans Saints in a game that will have playoff implications for the Buccaneers . A win and a loss by either the Green Bay Packers and New York Giants and the Buccaneers would be assured of a playoff berth. A loss and they’d have to make do with something of an eventful but yet unexpected season that has been filled with highs and lows .

With all that the Buccaneers’ fans have had to endure this season and the spirited effort that has been shown by this team it augurs well for next year. And even if they should fail to make the postseason which on appearance would now appear to be a certainty one can’t help but wonder what might have been had one or two of the earlier results during the season had gone their way. Many of those downfalls fell to the overall lack of experience shown by the team and coaching staff but as the saying goes ……….. what doesn’t hurt will make you stronger . And for the Buccaneers this has been a season fraught with dangers but at the same time it has also been filled with the angst of watching a group of players learn to how to player together and be moulded into a team. And that will indeed be of benefit not only to the Buccaneers’ organization but also the fans.

Whatever their frailties have been , be it on the defensive or offensive side of the ball Morris’ players have learned from it and the improvements are now being seen. As I alluded to earlier, it will augur well for their immediate future. And for players such as Josh Freeman , Mike Williams , Arrelious Benn , Kellen Winslow , Cody Grimm and Davin Joseph their time will come and they will no doubt challenge the likes of the Atlanta Falcons and New Orleans Saints within the NFC South for divisional supremacy as well as the rest of the NFL . Their continued progress it’s hoped will quite possibly lead to a Superbowl appearance and victory . How sweet would that be given the travails of this organization over the last few years ?

What thoughts if any do you have on the success attained by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this season ? And what if any has been a major surprise to you in terms of the NFL as we now head into the postseason . Simply chime in with a comment.

With all that the Bucanneers' fans have had to endure this season and the spirited effort that has been shown by this team it augurs well for next year. And even if they should fail to make the postseason which on appearance would now appear to be a certainty one can't help but wonder what might have been had one or two of the earlier results during the season had gone their way. Many of those downfals fell to the overall lack of experience shown by the team and coaching staff but as the saying goes ……….. what doesn’t hurt will make you stronger . And for the Buccaneers this has been a season fraught with dangers but at the same time it has also been filled with the angst of watching a group of players learn to how to player together and be moulded into a team. And that will indeed be of benefit not only to the Buccaneers’ organization but also the fans.

Whatever their frailties have been , be it on the defensive or offensive side of the ball Morris’ players have learned from it and the improvements are now being seen. As I alluded to earlier, it will augur well for their immediate future. And for players such as Josh Freeman , Mike Williams , Arrelious Benn , Kellen Winslow, Cody Grimm and Davin Joseph their time will come and they will no doubt challenge the likes of the Atlanta Falcons , and New Orleans Saints within the NFC South for divisional supremacy as well as the rest of the NFL . Their continued progression it’s hoped will quite possibly lead to a Superbowl appearance and victory . How sweet would that be given the travails of this organization over the last few years ?

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

What thoughts if any do you have on the success attained by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this season ? And what if any has been a major surprise to you in terms of the NFL as we now head into the postseason . Simply chime in with a comment.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Roster & Depth Chart

Head coach Raheem Morris

Buccaneers coaching staff

Buccaneers front office

Team statistics

NB By clicking on the links provided below you can obtain the latest concerning the NFL .

NFL Divisional Standings

NFL Conference Standings

NFL Standings by League

NFL Week 17 results

NFL News ……………

NFL Divisional playoff games

Alan aka tophatal ………………………….

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Eye candy Ice T’s main squeeze Nicole ‘Coco’ Austin.
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Anne  & Kate

Anne and Kate , somehow I wouldn’t mind being the meat in between those two layers of a sandwich !

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Is This What $100 Million Gets You Nowadays ?


Is This What $100 Million Gets You Nowadays ?

I’m sorry but whatever seems to be now erupting within the Washington Redskins is a tour de force in comedic madness . I was very much under the impression that the organization and their defensive player Albert Haynesworth  had essentially called a truce . Instead we are now finding out that there’s an even greater impasse between the player, his coach Mike Shanahan , the coaching staff and teammates . It’s bad enough that the season for the Redskins has once again fallen into a crevasse of ineptitude. Mike Shanahan , his assistant Kyle Shanahan haven’t improved this team one iota ! Furthermore in Shanahan’s inept attempt to prove that he’s in charge he chose to embarrass his veteran quarterback Donovan McNabb . Who didn’t feel that it would be the rest of the NFL and the fans who’d have the last laugh after this charade and allout idiocy on the part of Shanahan ? =========================================================

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========================================================= Slide show for your perusal .

A team that was thought to quite possibly challenge the Philadelphia Eagles , New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys </a. for divisional supremacy within the NFC East has been anything but that ___ a team . Suffice to say that watching the Redskins play at Fedex Field has become a comedy of errors. Team owner Dan Snyder has had problems running this organization as a business and to see an individual who’s greatly admired within circles by his peers in the business world. Personally I just can’t see it but it’s all in the eye of the beholder . Haynesworth for his part has added nothing to this team since he was acquired via free agency . This being the same player whose career with the Tennessee Titans had been a success and where he’d made several visits to the Pro Bowl as a Titans’ player. However, Haynesworth not content with his situation with the team at the time chose to parlay his status by garnering a 7 year $100 million deal with the Washington Redskins of which $56 million was in guaranteed money. At the time I thought the contract itself was preposterous and non-sensical . But then again those of us who’ve seen the Redskins operate over the years have seen this organization simply overpay for players who are either past their prime or whose talent has been vastly exaggerated.

There’s absolutely no chance that the Washington Redskins would choose to cut the player given the fact that they still owe the $32 million of the guaranteed money due. Do you get the feeling that the front office of the Redskins aren’t completely sure as to what the hell they’re doing from one moment to the next ? Kind of how certain federal agencies are now operating within the Obama adminstration ? We have a Federal Reserve Bank Chairman Ben S Bernanke whose every utterance now sends shivers up down Wall St . And a Homeland Security Chief in Janet Napolitano  who ovesees the TSA and their now well publicized airport body searches. Don’t get me wrong I’m all about national security and anything that can derail the ambitions of home grown and foreign terrorists, I do feel that the agency’s actions are a necessity. My only problem here is the fact that I’m not completely willing to have a TSA employee feel that it’s appropriate to body search me as if it’s being done for their own self sexual gratification . And less we forget we also have a Treasury Secretary in Tim Geithner whose every word concerning the malaise that has befallen the economy has me asking how and why the fu_k was he hired and why was he nominated in the first place ? Prior to his tenure as Treasury Secretary he’d worked for the IMF (International Monetary Fund) and as we know this is the very same individual that claimed errors made in his none payment of personal income tax was a mistake. Yes a mistake ….an honest mistake . But you might feel more aggrieved if I were to advise you that also as a senior employee at the Federal Reserve Bank in New York City, Geithner played his part in assisting none other insurance giant AIG in their egregious speculative behavior in numerous financial markets around the globe. And as we all know the insurance giant had to be bailed out to the tune of $150 billion ($150,000,000,000) of taxpayers monies. The only thing that needs bailing out here with the regard to the Washington Redskins is for the organization to seek a trade of Albert Haynesworth. Clearly the player’s career has run its path with the Redskins and it’s also clear that Mike Shanahan has no faith in the player’s abilities whatsoever . What might be even more disturbing and incredulous is the very fact that with the player now having been suspended by his coach they are no better off than before . The Redskins’ season as it now stands is tenuous and there’s not even a remote chance that they can salvage this season and play with any modicum of respect. The situation now facing Snyder is whether or he can let this mayhem continue with there being such a divide not only in the locker room but no actual semblance of respect between the players and coach.

From my own perspective I don’t even feel that the situation that transpired betweeen Donovan McNabb , Mike and Kyle Shanahan is actually at an end. It’s merely time before I feel that there’ll be another parting of the waves and that another impasse is created between the player and both coaches. On and off the field the Washington Redskins are a complete mess and given the soap opera drama that has taken place within this division with the Dallas Cowboys and their roller coaster season , with the subsequent firing of Wade Philips by owner Jerry Jones . Philips’ successor Jason Garrett seems to have the team back on track but once again the hopes that Jones had for this team in terms of a postseason berth and playing in the Superbowl is now a pipe dream. What else can now happen you may ask ?

Well with Wade Phillips , Brad Childress and now the Denver Broncos’ Josh McDaniels  having been fired this season the managerial count now stand at three coaches having been fired this year. And by season’s end we could well see several others bite the dust . It’s no surprise that the Cincinnati Bengals’ coach Marvin Lewis won’t be returning to the Bengals next season . The team had been befelled by their own sheer ineptitude and it shouldn’t surprise anyone that the choice is that of Lewis’ and not from the front office. The one bright spot for the team may well have been the play of wide receiver Terrell Owens who’s been the sole reason perhaps to see him play. He leads all players in terms of the team’s offensive receiving categories and for Carson Palmer whose own performances have been understated at best. Owens’ receiving partner Chad Ochocinco  has been a complete bust this season and it’d be reasonable to suggest that he might not be part of any plans the Bengals may well have in the future .

McDaniels’ dismissal by Broncos’ owner Pat Bowlen wasn’t completely a surprise but the real issue here may well have been the fact that Bowlem had reiterated that he wasn’t about to let go of his coach. But with the preseason upheaval that took place with the trade of Jay Cutler and then the fallout between Brandon Marshall and McDaniels . Both players have now found new homes , Marhsall with the Miami Dolphins and and Cutler with the the  NFC North leading Chicago Bears . But what might’ve been the straw that broke the camel’s back was the behavior by McDaniels and the team’s videographer in taping the San Francisco 49ers walk through in their game played at Wembley Stadium in London , England earlier in the season. The NFL front office was made aware of this but neither McDaniels or any member of his coaching staff reported the incident . Both team and coach were fined and Spygate II came to something of an abrupt end . And there are idiots about the blogo-sphere who felt that the Patriots deservedly got was coming to them when Bill Belichick  took part in such an act . I reminded a number of patrons to my site that this practice was widespread around the NFL and that it only comes to light when a team has been caught . Anyone who feels that this will be the last time that we’ll hear of such an incident needs to have their heads examined as it seems to be customary for a number of coaches and their staff around the NFL. For Pat Bowlen this is simply another reason of an owner whose cognizance of a situation isn’t clear. The Broncos now find themselves in a situation with having fired Josh McDaniels they’re now in a position where they’re paying McDaniels and his predecessor Mike Shanahan who was also fired by Pat Bowlen. When Shanahan was fired he was still owed two years on his contract in the case of McDaniels he’s owed three years on his original five year contract. Do you get the picture I’m painting here concerning the idiocy of some of the NFL owners and GM’s around the league as to how they deal with their managerial problems ? Far be it for me to say but who’s providing the legal counsel for these owners ? And have they never heard of installing a buyout clause in an employee contract ? Now Bowlen and the Broncos are on the hook for at least $ 8 million this year alone in paying both Mike Shanahan and Josh McDaniels. And the general public thought that only the federal government knew how to squander money ? Not so it appears when it comes to professional sports franchise owners as they all seem to be a law unto themselves. In this day and age where athletes can and are earning multi million dollar contracts and the coaches aren’t too far behind in that situation I find it hard to believe that common sense isn’t being used by the executives and owners who are the custodians of these teams ! ===================================================================

=================================================================== Picture gallery for your perusal . Your thoughts if any as to how you view the issues raised within this piece and that of what we’ve seen happen in the NFL this season either on or off the field of play . Thanks as usual for your continued support as it’s gratefully appreciated .

Alan aka tophatal ………………

================================================= Raquel Eye candy ……. video vixen Raquel Reign . Who wouldn’t want to feel Raquel’s biscuits ? I know that I would !

The Image of The NFL Is Like Fecal Matter On The Sole Of One’s Shoe You Simply Want To Wipe It Away Because The Stench Is Vile !


The Image of    The  NFL   Is  Like   Fecal  Matter  On  The   Sole  Of  One’s   Shoe       You   Simply  Want   To   Wipe   It    Away  Because   The  Stench  Is  Vile  

Roger Goodell has   no  head   for   business   nor    does  he  have  a sense  of   moral  obligation as to  the  image  of  the  league.  All  he  ever  prefers to do  is  to  make  the  most   inane  of   sound bytes  and  then readily make  excuses  for  the  behavior of  the   players within the  NFL .Not to be  left  out  of  this at  all  is  the  apparent  lack  of  action  by  the  NFLPA under the   leadership  of  Executive  Director  DeMaurice Smith and union  President Kevin Mawae.  The   latter   have   yet  to  comment  on  the    apparent  behavior  of their  members   during  their   tenure.

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Once  again another  player   readily  steps  behind  the  wheel  of   vehicle  inebriated,  a danger  to  himself  and  others who  are on  the  road.  If   it’s  not enough to know  that  we  also have players  running  afoul of  the  law  for   various  misdemeanors    and  in  some  cases  felony  charges  ranging  from  sexual   assault sexual battery theft to   the  possession  of  illicit   narcotics  and   opiates.   This time  around  New  York  Jets’ wide  receiver  Braylon Edwards saw fit  to  get  behind the wheel  of his   vehicle and  drive. Then having  been  stopped  by the   police   the  player  failed a  field sobriety test and  then  recorded  a  .166 in   his   BAC (blood alcohol content) level which  is over  twice the  legal  limit  within  the  state of  New  York.   And given the  player’s  previous  troubles  in  Cleveland    with the  Cleveland  Browns is  there   any  wonder why  it  is  that  the  player   has  never  been a  calming   influence   wherever his  NFL  career has  taken  him ?   Now  we  have  Jets’  owner  Woody  Johnson stating  that  until  all of  the  legal  avenues   have  been dealt  with  no  internal  action   will be  taken.

Courtesy of Bloomberg.com

Jets Coach Ryan Says Team’s Embarrassments Must End After Edwards Arrest

By Eric Matuszewski

New York Jets coach Rex Ryan said he held a team meeting and told players he’s tired of dealing with off-field embarrassments, a day after receiver Braylon Edwards was charged with driving while intoxicated.

Edwards’s blood-alcohol level was almost twice the legal level in New York when he was stopped by police early yesterday morning in Manhattan.

The arrest came four days after the National Football League issued a statement saying Jets coaches and players exhibited “unprofessional conduct” toward a female television reporter.

“I’m tired dealing with some of these issues,” Ryan said during a news conference today at the team’s training facility in Florham Park, New Jersey. “I’m tired of the embarrassment to our owner and this organization. I said, ‘Let’s just end it.’ We don’t need to be that team. This team works too hard at everything else to be looked at in this light.”

The Jets said yesterday that Edwards, 27, won’t start their Sept. 26 game against the Miami Dolphins.

Ryan said today that he hasn’t decided how much playing time Edwards will get this week. Edwards caught five passes for 45 yards and a touchdown in last week’s 28-14 victory against the New England Patriots.

“None of us know the facts 100 percent,” Ryan said. “I’m not going to tell you that Braylon is going to miss X amount of the game because I’m not ready to do that now. When it’s the right time, I’ll make that decision.”

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On  the  league’s  part   no action  has  been  yet   taken  but   given  the  fact that  the  league   has it within  their   right  to  suspend the  player ______ the commissioner   does  have  it  within  his  right  to  suspend  a  player for  “conduct  detrimental”  to  the  image of  the  NFL .  Now  while   one   has  the   presumption  of   innocence  until  proven   guilty.  The  fact of  the  matter  is  that   Edwards’   conduct  here  is   questionable   from  the  start . What  idiot   gets  behind  the  wheel  of  a  vehicle  having   drank   excessively and where   their    bac  is   found  to  be   twice the  legal  limit  ?   Isn’t  enough  that  we’ve    seen the  idiocy  with  the  behavior  of  Leonard  Little Ben Roethlisberger and  Donte’ Stallworth ?   In  each   case   alcohol  played  a  part  in  the  problems  in the instance  where  their   legal  problems   and  the  aftermath   in  what  transpired.   Time  and   time  again  I’ve   heard  it said that  the  players’ concerns  isn’t  that  of  the  fans.   I  beg  to   differ ,   because  when  the  fan  is   going  out  there  and  spending  their   hard earned  cash  to  purchase  tickets to  attend   games   or   memorabilia . And think  about it   in  doing   so  this   adds  to  the   players’   pockets  in  terms  of  their  wealth  by way  of   residuals    garnered  by  way  of  the  sales of  NFL  licensed merchandise.

Explain  to  me  what  it  is  that  these  players simply don’t  understand  ?   Had Edwards  killed a  pedestrian would  he  have   offered   the   atypical    statement   apologizing  to  the   victim’s  family ? Or   would  there  be  a   lawyer   representing   the  player  and  stating  that  this  was  nothing  more   than a  tragic accident ?   I’m sick   and   tired  of  the   fucking   excuses   made  by   asinine   fans  out  there  continuing to  placate  these   players   for  their   excesses  and  behavior  !    It’s  almost  as  if    there’s   no   intelligent  thought   coming  from these   individuals whatsoever .  It’s  bad  enough  that  many  of them   can’t  well  think  for  themselves when  they  have  to   fall  into  place   like   sheep  and   believe  the  bullshit that’s  foisted upon  them  by  the  idiotic  political  pundits on  air.   Which  of  them   have   you  known  them to  actually  come  out  with  any   common  sense  on  any   topic  that  is   of  grave  consequence  to   the  country  ?   In  the  same  way we  have  the   league  and  in particular  the    union,  owners  and  league   hierarchy   dealing  with  this   particular  issue  with  “kid  gloves”.

Goodell  and   his  predecessor  Paul Tagliabue have   been  a  complete  joke   and  it’s  the   same   with  press  and  how they   deal  with  this    matter.   No   doubt  the   very  opinionated  Jason  Whitlock will   jump unto his   charge  and  make  the   most   inane  of statements  stating  that  this   is  just  another  player  being   victimized  because  he’s  an  African  American  who’s  fallen  afoul of  the  law.    Has there  ever  been a  time  when Whitlock has  come   out  and  berated these  players  for their   actions  ?  I  can’t  think  of   an  incident  where  he  has   but  if   I’m  wrong  then   so  be  it.  His   body  of  work    to  my  mind  merits about as  much notice  as   that  of   Paris  Hilton’s escapades  in public  when  they’re  covered by  the  paparazzi.  It’s  not  a  page  turner   but  the  print  used  to  place  it  there   is  merely  a  waste of  time.


And  speaking  of  waste   how  is   it  that   at the   start  of the  season there   seems  to be   a  dearth  of  teams   whose  quarterbacks are  showing  about as  much  presence as   a   headless    chicken   on    its  last  legs  before  its  death  ?   The  performances of   Kevin  Kolb , Jason  Campbell ,__  Jake  Delhomme and    David  Garrard have  been  utterly   pitiful !  And  for  those   still  of the   belief  that Tony  Romo has  what  it  takes  to  lead  the  Dallas  Cowboys to  the   promise  land     then  simply  take  a  look   at  the   quarterback’s   play   and  his   leadership  of  this  team  ?  Not   to be  left   out of this    melange’   of  mediocrity   has  to  be   Brett  Favre …..  a  ‘one   trick  pony’ that’d   be   better off  being  sent  to  the   glue   factory!    Sorry  to  say  this    but   Favre  is  now   looking  his   age   as  he’s   beginning  to make  the  members   of  a   geriatric    home  seem   all  too  athletic.   OK  so  Brett’s  legacy   has  been the   records  attained   and  the  fact  that  he’s  thought of  as  a  deity  within  the   annals  of the  game.   Granted,  he’s  been a  great   ambassador  for  the  game   but  of  late he’s  been  like  a  petulant  crying  because he  seemingly  can’t   get  his  own way.   He  may  well be   respected  by  his   teammates  but   I  for  once  sincerely  doubt  that  he’s   as   liked   as   some  within  that  locker   room  claim   that  he  is.    If   you  shovel   enough    shit  on  top  of  more   shit    you  can’t   make  it smell  like  a   rose   garden  and  that’s the  image  that  the  Minnesota  Vikings are   trying to  create .    There’s   said  to be  no  internal  turmoil  at  present  within  the   locker   room.   But  who  amongst  you really  believe  that   ?

The   Vikings  are   at  present   are  0-2 within  their  division (NFC North)and   are   looking  up  at  the  Chicago  Bears, Detroit  Lions and   Green  Bay  Packers.  This  upcoming   Sunday   their   task  on paper may  well  seem   easier  as  they  face  the  Detroit  Lions in  a   divisional  home  game  that  will  go  a  long  way  in  determining  their  season .   A  loss   or  an   unbalanced  performance   and   questions  will  once  again  be  raised   as  to  whether  or   not   Favre  and  in  particular  Brad  Childress has this team going  in  the  right  direction.  This   much I   do  believe,   the   Vikings  are   a  good  team  but  they’re   not  a  great   team.   Their   body   of  work   thus  far  with   Favre  at  the  helm  proves  nothing.  Simply  because  they  made it  to  last  season’s  NFC   championship  game  where    Favre’s   performance   at  best  was  average.   But  the   fault   doesn’t   just   lie  with  the   fact  that  he  had  a  poor  game  by  his  own  lofty  standards  but  it  was  a   collective   effort that  led  to  the  team’s  demise  against the  New  Orleans  Saints.   The   idiocy  of  those   analysts  with  their   post-game   gripe  that the  better team   had  lost    was   like   stating  that  the  Germans shouldn’t  have   lost  World War II because they  were  ill  equipped  in  the   dying  days  of  the  war.   Well   excuses  can’t   hide  the   fact that  this  team  was …….. still  is  vastly  overrated  and  will  continue to  be .  I  liken  this  premise   as  to  the  fact  that  Jerry  Jones anointed the …Dallas  Cowboys are  America’s   team.    I  beg  to   differ  because  what   have  the Cowboys   achieved   over  the  last  decade  ?

Big  money  players,  a  lackluster   effort  and    an  owner  whose   narcissistic   behavior   borders  on   hegemony. Sooner  or  later  Jones’   antics  will   catch  up with  him in more ways than  one. Head   coach    Wade Phillips and  his  offensive  coordinator  Jason  Garrett had  better  keep a   watchful  eye as  the   owner  hovers    around   like  a  vulture  looking  to  pick  at  the  carcass  of a  dead animal.  In  this  case   he  won’t   just  be   picking  at  their   carcass   should  the  team’s  season   go  awry   but  he  could well  choose  to  show  them  the   door.

It’s still   early   yet  in  the  season  and  there’s  still  a   long  way  to  go  but  at  midpoint  we   could  well  know a  great  deal  about   how  a  number  of teams   will  fare.   Chances  are  the   pretenders will  have   fallen   out  of   contention   and    the   real   contenders  will   start  to   forge their  way   to  the  top  of  the  pile.  As  they  say  cream  always   rises  to  the   top   and  within  the  NFL  it’s  no   different.

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

Do   you  believe that   how  Goodell   has  dealt  with   players’  conduct  has  been   appropriate ?  Or  do  you  feel  that  he   ought  to  be  far  more    tougher  when  dealing   with these  issues   of   player  misconduct  ?  And what thoughts  if  any  do  you  have   concerning  the  apparent   merry-go-round  that  appears  to  happening    with  regard  to  the   quarterbacks  mentioned  within this   piece   ?    Chime  in  with a comment  as    you  see  fit 

NB: Woody Johnson had instigated a policy for the team wherein any player could simply call upon a limousine service to ferry them home from a private function at the club’s expense. It is something that has been adopted by several teams around the NFL in order to stave off such incidents where a player drives under the influence.

Alan   aka   tophatal 🙂 _ 🙂

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Freida Pinto

Actress Freida Pinto co-star of the Oscar winning hit movie “Slumdog Millionaire”.

Shit Rolls Downhill Are You Kidding Me ?


Shit    Rolls   Downhill     Are   You   Kidding    Me     ?

OK    so  week  2  in   the  NFL   came  and  went   and  if anything   it further  lends    proof  to the   fact  this  early  in  the  season  we’re  liable  to  see  a  number  teams   either   hung over  from  the  preseason  or  the   fact  that   they’re   simply  not  as good  as  advertised  .  How  else  can  one  simply  explain the  lackadaisical  play  of the   Dallas  Cowboys Minnesota  Vikings New  England Patriots  , Arizona  Cardinals  and   New  York  Giants  ?  And  I am  mistaken  but what  the  hell  is it  about  the  defenses  and the   way  that  they’re playing , it is   as   if  they’ve  been   fed with   laxatives  ?   It  either has  to  be bad  coaching or  the  fact  that  the  players  are  simply  not that   good  !

I’ve  got to agree   with  the   Ravens’ defensive   lineman Ray Lewis  and  the  softly  ,softly  approach  with  which  the  officials  now  seem  to  be  over  protecting  the   quarterbacks  around  the   league. If  we’re  already  seeing  some  questionable calls  this   early  in  the season  then  what’s   liable  to happen  we  the   postseason is   upon  us  ?   Low  and  behold  once  again  we’re   back  to  the   Brett  Favre  watch  and  the  travails  of the Minnesota  Vikings .Presumptive   favorites within the  NFC North  and  the  conference  itself ,we’ve   now  got  to deal with  the  issue of the  team’s woes.  Favre   certainly  showed   his  woes with  the   atypical  approach  of  Favre  and  his  play . Pardon  for me  saying  this   but this   guy   looks  past it,   and  it’s  about  to  cause this  team  a  great  deal  of  heartache.  Now  there’s   talk that the team is  in  need  of  a  wide  receiver  to   shoulder the  load of  this team  beyond  the  aged  quarterback.   I  was  under  the  impression  that  this  team   had  all  the  weapons  possible  ?   And   pardon   me  for saying  this   but   when  Favre  chooses not  to  be  in  camp  with his  teammates  then  what   else would you   expect  ?  Lack of  timing  and  cohesiveness  and a  coach  who  looks as if  he’s   completely  out of touch  with  the   quarterback  and  the  rest  of  the  offense.   Personally,  I  for  one  do not  believe  that   Brad  Childress  commands the  respect  of  this team  !   Furthermore , it’s my  belief  that  should  this  team  falter  and  fail to  make the  postseason  at  least  then  his   days   in  Minnesota  will   most  certainly  be at  an  end.

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Slide show for your perusal.

I know  that  Halley’s  Comet  hasn’t  been within  our  midst   but clearly  what   took  place  at the  New  Jersey Meadowlands Stadium  on  Sunday was  enough  to  make  me  believe  that  the  comet  had  landed .   For  two   quarters the  New  England  Patriots   had  the  New  York  Jets   on  the mat   but  they  literally  chose  not  to  knock  their  opponent  out.   If  you’ve   got  your   opponent   on  the  ropes  you   don’t  repeatedly   let   them   come back  up   off  the  canvas.  And that’s what  we  saw   from    this   Bill  Belichick   coached  team  and it  became so incomprehensible to see Mark Sanchez   outplay  his  counterpart   Tom  Brady .  Never  mind  that  but  since  when did the  defensive  players  on  this   team  shy   away from  making   contact   with   the  offense  ?   Call  me  naive   but    the  Patriots’  pass  defense would  make  the  guys  from  the  Village  People  seem  a like  quintet  of   testosterone  driven  lumber  jacks.   They   were   out  of   sorts  and    played as  if  they’d   been  sodomized  with a  red hot   poker.  Painful  as this  might   seem  this   wasn’t  the  worse   performance  of  the  day.

The  Buffalo  Bills   no   longer    circle  the   wagons  …    you   know   why  ?   Well  that’s because  the    wheels  have   fallen  off this   bitch   !  The  AFC   team  is a  complete  mess and it doesn’t  seem  if  things are going  to  get better anytime  soon. Quarterback  controversy  ?   Hell   no ,  the  controversy  here  is   simply  that  this  team  isn’t  that   good   and  the   fact  that their  fans  are  being   subjected  with   this   diatribe  has got to be  an  embarrassment  for  the  organization .  Could  they  go   0-16 ?    Well  if  their  play   remains  as it  is   then  we’re  liable  to  see  the  feat   repeated  once  again. And   twice   inside  within   a  five  year  span  could   indicate to  us  that  the  talent  that’s  being espoused  on  the field  of   play   simply  isn’t  that   good  to  begin  with.   We’ve   not   seen  this   accomplishment   within  the  league since  the  latter  part  of the   decade   and  the  play of   the the  Detroit  Lions . Bills’  coach Chan Gailey    now  has  to  instill   some  discipline  and   some  resilience  within  this   team  who are  about  to   start   Ryan Fitzpatrick  in  place  of  Trent  Edwards   as  the  team’s   signal  caller.

Week   three    may  well   give us  further  indication as to  the   directions of   some   teams  and    that  many  of them  will  be  taking  but it could also  lead to  a   tumultuous   situation  for  a  number  of  coaches.    Many  are   already  in  a  tenuous position and  it doesn’t    augur  well   for    a  number of  them.    Prevailing   winds  would suggest some teams will set  sail  in the  right   direction  but  should several  teams  be  blown  off course  then  we   might  just be crowning another  Superbowl    team    raising  the Lombardi  Trophy  rather  than  witnessing a successful   defense.

Andy  Reid   is  now suggesting  that  there  isn’t  a  quarterback  controversy  with  the  Philadelphia  Eagles  and  that  Kevin  Kolb  is  still  the   starter  on  this   team.   Given  Kolb’s  stats   and the  fact  that  he’s  been unproductive at the  start  of  the  season  I’ve  got  to  wonder  what the  hell  it is   that  Reid    had  been  watching   as  Kolb’s  backup  Michael  Vick led  the   Eagles  to  an   electrifying  victory over  the  Detroit Lions. Vick commanded the field and  played with a great deal of  leadership and  maturity.  Something that wasn’t always on display at the  start of  his  NFL career with the Atlanta  Falcons. It’s amazing  what being locked in a jail cell can do to a man’s dignity and  self esteem. And while I’m not totally convinced that Vick is as  contrite as  he  would  have us  believe. He seems  to be on  his   way  to  recovering  the  heights that  made him  one of  the most  athletically  gifted  players of his generation   and quite  possibly   of any  generation  since  the NFL  became  the  nation’s  past-time.

Reid could well be putting  his career  on  the line  as well  as that of the  entire  season  of the  Eagles.  Having  traded  their Pro Bowl  quarterback Donovan McNabb to the  Washington   Redskins. This  is   a   time  of   rebuilding  for  the  Eagles and as  much  as  this  team  looks  extremely talented  on  paper  there’s  still  something  that  missing  from  this  from it,  that   would lead  me  to  believe  that  they’re  not a championship  caliber  team. I’m  sorry but  if you’re  quarterback  has  all  the  attributes  of  a   donkey  that’s  carrying a   load  that   he’s   unable to  carry  then   the  burden for him  will  be  far  too much  to  bear.   Kolb  has  shown  me  absolutely   nothing  that  would  indicate that  he  has  the  pedigree  to  lead this team  to  their desired destination and that’s Cowboys Stadium  in Arlington Texas, hosts to Superbowl  XLV (Superbowl  45). If  that  wasn’t  enough  the  season  has   brought  about  a   slew  of   injuries  and  the  mere  fact  that   we’ve  been  told that  the  league is now  taking   head   traumas   and     concussions  seriously. Well  that  seems  to  be  something  of   a  surprise  given  the  fact that NFL Commissioner  Roger  Goodell   and  the  medical  professionals  in the  employ  of  the league  weren’t  always   prepared  to   acknowledge that   fact.   Now  that they’re  now  ready to  face facts  that health issues such  as concussions have  become paramount  and  are  a   danger to the well  being  of  the players   then  there’s  some  cause  for   concern.  The  NLFPA for their part  haven’t   said  that  much with  regard to  the  issue  and how  might   impact them  altogether.  All of a sudden  on  this  lone  issue, it  is as  if   not  much  has  changed   since  we  saw  the    rather dictatorial   rule  of Gene  Upshaw  as   Executive  Diretor   of  the   union.   Upshaw’s sucessor   DeMaurice Smith   seems  to  be  all  wrapped up  with the  issue of  the collective  bargaining agreement  and  how   great  a slice  of  the  pie that  they’re  able  to gain. Now I’ve   never  been  enamored with  the   league’s   hierarchy  much  the   less that of  their   union  counterpart  !   Neither  side  has  the   fans’  best  interests  at  heart   as  it appears  that  their   only  concern  has   been   greed  and   how   much   money  either   side  can   garner as  derived   from  the   league’s revenues.

The  2010-11   season   is  an  uncapped year and already we’ve   seen  a  number  of  televised games having  been  blacked out due to  low attendance. Furthermore, even if with the low attendance at several league  games it appear  that’s  liable to  be a scenario  that will  be  will be played out through  the   remainder  of the  season. That  loss may well  be  made  up by other  means  as  the  league may well  take whatever approach is necessary to make  sure that  the losses aren’t  overwhelming. And say  what you will the league will  do whatever  to maintain  its  status as  the  nation’s pass-time.  The league’s  hierarchy   no matter   secretive  it has been now knows   that  at  this   juncture   they  have to  have  a   plan  in  place  and  an  agreement  worked  out  between  themselves  and the   union. A  league    wide   stoppage  and  labor  disruption   could   very  well   be  the  death  knell  for  the   goodwill   that  the  league   has  with   the  fans. Doubt  it  then  simply  look  at  the  mess  that MLB   found  itself  in,   its  stoppage  and  how  it  was   dealt  with  by  the  league  hierarchy  led   by  Bud  Selig .If that  wasn’t  a  sign  as to what  not   to  do  and  the  complete  ineptitude  shown by  both  the  league and  that of MLBA (union)  was  enough  of  a  template  as  how the NFL  shouldn’t  act.

Curiously enough  though, I do believe  that   the  league (NFL)  and  the  union (NFLPA) will  find  a way   to remedy   their   differences   and reach an  amicable  agreement  that   will  be  equitable for  all  parties  involved.   If they’re  unable to do so  then   we all  might  as  well   take   up  needlepoint  or  some  other activity   that will   take   our  minds  off  a  season  of   inactivity  within  the  NFL  .  Billions of dollars   may  well be  at  stake   but   it’s   highly   unlikely that  the  league   would  be   foolish  enough  to  use  replacement   players   once  again. Were they do so then any signs of a peace deal being brokered would be out of the question altogether !

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Picture gallery for your perusal.

What thoughts if  any do   you  feel concerning  the  league  and  the  impressions as to  what  you’ve  witnessed this early  in  the  season ?   And  are  we  liable   to  see  the   league   reach  an   amicable    agreement  with   regard  to  the   ongoing   collective   bargaining   agreement   ?   Chime  on  in  with a comment  as    you   see   fit .

NB: Reid has since reversed his decision and has made Vick the starter for the Eagles’ game against the Jaguars @ Everbank Field , Jacksonville, Fla,.

🙂

Alan  aka     tophatal 🙂 * 😦

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Try gettin’ in between the sheets with video vixen Rosie Acosta? It’d be worth your while !

Image ? Image And A Self Conscious League


Image ? Image And A Self Conscious League

I found this story somewhat unbelievable when I’d heard that Detroit Lions’ President Tom Lewand has plead guilty to a DUI charge . Now far be it for me to suggest that it should just be the players that be held accountable for their actions both on and off the field of play. The image conscious NFL has been somewhat none compliant on this issue concerning the team executives . Had this been an NFL player pleading guilty to these serious charges then the story would be front and center with everyone opining on the matter. Instead it has been placed at the foot of the sports pages almost nowhere to be seen.

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Picture gallery for your perusal. Just click on a frame to view in its original format.

Courtesy of The Detroit News

Lions’ Tom Lewand apologizes for ‘very, very serious mistake’

By Tim Twentyman , The Detroit News

Roscommon, Mich. –Tom Lewand stood in front of 83rd District Court Judge Daniel L. Sutton in Roscommon on Friday and admitted his guilt.

Charged with driving under the influence June 25, the Lions president pleaded guilty to operating a vehicle while visibly impaired, a misdemeanor. He was sentenced to six months of probation, received a $532 fine and will have to complete an “intensive” outpatient alcohol recovery program. He is also not allowed to consume alcohol while on probation.

If Lewand does not complete the program or violates probation, he could spend 60 days in jail, according to Sutton.

“I’d first like to thank Judge Sutton and prosecutor (Mark) Jernigan and Sheriff Stevenson for their professionalism and efficiency in dealing with this matter,” Lewand said afterward. “As I said before, I offer my complete apologies for my actions. I take full responsibility for them.

“I’m glad that this portion of those consequences for my actions is completed and I look forward to coming out of this a stronger and better person as a result of it.”

Lewand was stopped the night of June 25 by Roscommon County sheriff’s deputies on M-55 after deputies saw his Lincoln MKX moving erratically while exiting the Limberlost bar and restaurant near Houghton Lake.

Lewand failed a sobriety test, and when he refused to take a breathalyzer (PBT) test, he was handcuffed and arrested. The charge of failing to take a PBT test was dropped as part of the plea deal.

Lewand was in Houghton Lake attending the 30th annual Kolo Golf Outing, a charity event founded by Bob Kowalkowski, a former Lions offensive lineman who died last September.


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Click on link to read this article in its entirety .

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Commissioner Roger Goodell has been playing his cards close to his chest where no one can see them . And now when “the image” of the NFL is at its lowest up comes a story that would have most asking what the hell is going on ? An NFL executive being charged with drunk driving and the league itself has yet to issue a statement on the matter. Never mind that the Detroit Lions have not issued a statement on the matter but rather a curt apology from Lewand and that has been it. Why oh why am I not surprised by any of this at all ?

Call me crazy but now that the LeBron James’ saga is now over perhaps the most disappointed individuals are none other than the Cavaliers’ fans . But what I found most surprising was the fact that comedic actress Betty White had an opinion on the matter and the actress was very eloquent in her thoughts on the matter. White went so far as to suggest that she’d have spent the night with the young superstar if it was enough to entice him to remain with the team . Pardon me for saying but this might well have been the straw that broke the camel’s back as LeBron probably didn’t want it to get that the cause of him remaining in Cleveland was the fact that he bedded the octogenarian actress. Way to go LeBron , you missed out on a glorious opportunity but that being said could you have handled Betty to begin with ?

Hold unto your horses but the New York Yankees lost out on obtaining Seattle Mariners’ starting ace Cliff Lee . The two sides couldn’t agree on the compensation sought by the AL West team. And instead Lee will make his way to the Texas Rangers within the Mariner’ own division. As to the Yankees they may well now pursue other opportunities in terms of acquiring a starting pitcher to add their already burgeoning roster of pitchers. And it appears that team GM Brian Cashman won’t let this minor occurrence get in his way of strengthening the roster of this team. As good as they’ve been Cashman knows that nothing can be overlooked not when you’ve got both the Boston Red Sox and Tampa Bay Rays chasing you down within the division __(AL East) . Now when it’s all said and done the defending World Series champions would like to make another return to the postseason and thereby successfully defend their crown. Nothing less is expected from the organization where success is deemed the pinnacle and where “failure” is seen as not an option.

HBO the much vaulted cable network more widely known for its dramatic staple and first runs of box office success movies is also home to rather influential niche in the sport of boxing. Especially within the heavyweight division but recently the head of the sports programming Ross Greenburg has stated the cable network is no longer interested in televising fights within the heavyweight division as the public interest is no longer there. Now that statement should not come as a surprise to anyone with a keen interest in the sport. But given the lack of credibility within the division and wherein the two best heavyweights refuse to meet each other in an undisputed unification bout because of familial ties. This decision will have some serious ramifications for the sport as HBO and its parent company Time Warner are one of the primary sponsors of PPV. And without that to hang its hat on then the division and the various international governing bodies within the sport are at something of a loss. And for champions Vitali and Wladimir Klitschko the big paydays that they’re both no doubt looking for won’t be forthcoming, not unless they are prepared to fight each other in an undisputed title unification bout. The fighters , their managers and respective promoters have simply made a mockery of the division and the pretext that the problem as to the malaise within the division has nothing to do with them is a complete misnomer. As it has everything to do with and the diabolical situation within the heavyweight division.

The fact of the matter is that the division has not had an undisputed heavyweight champion since the retirement of the British fighter Lennox Lewis in 2004. And since then the championship has found itself in its various forms in the hands of the Ukrainian, Klitschko brothers. Ability wise , watching either brother fight is a rather mundane and at time painful experience . A tooth extraction without the use of anesthesia would be far less painful than watching either Vitali or Wladimir Klitschko. And such is the scene of heavyweight boxing that there are no real credible opponents within the division and that’s with due respect to WBA champion David Haye .

Well known and legendary promoters Don King and Bob Arum once the most gregarious of showmen seem to be more interested in dividing the spoils between them in the lighter divisions. And for King this would be something of a come down given the stable of credible heavyweight fighters that he’s either managed or promoted over the years. And Bob Arum for his part , well his main concern is to create the buzz and promote what has been described as what will be the biggest fight in boxing . The proposed bout between Floyd Mayweather Jr and Manny Pacquiao promises to be that and a great deal more . But as of yet no concrete timetable has been set as to where the bout will be staged. This much we do know however , it will be by far the most anticipated and biggest grossing fight in history without a doubt. And the fight itself will be co-promoted by Top Rank Inc , Golden Boy Promotions Inc in conjunction with Mayweather’s own fledgling promotional company.

Everyone involved in that aspect of the bout will end up being a winner. At $49-95 per viewer and with an anticipated 2 million buys expected the gross via the sales only here in North America will top $100 million and when one takes into account the international interest that figure is liable to double without taking into account ticket sales and merchandising .

A $200 million grossing fight would be unimaginable but it is in the offing should this proposed bout take place. One would expect both fighters to be handsomely rewarded for their exploits and suffice to say that having fought then retirement could very well be beckoning for both fighters. With Pacquiao pursuing a political career in his native Philippines and Mayweather looking to cross over into the business side of the sport , boxing could very well face some lean times ahead.. Say what you will however much of this malaise within the sport has been brought about by the lack of authority from the various international governing bodies and their unwillingness to do what is inherently best for the sport.

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Slide show for your perusal. Use the arrow indicators to guide through the frames.

If sport is so much about its image then why is it a great deal of the time when there’s something inherently wrong , so why is it that the proper authorities are so slow to act ? The answer could well lie in the fact that those who are actually in power either have very little intelligence or they are for all sense purpose merely a puppet while it is the marionette who is indeed pulling the strings . Your thoughts on the topics raised in this piece are welcome and I will do my best to respond with a succinct and clear answer. Thanks as always for the continued support as it’s greatly appreciated !

Alan Parkins aka tophatal ……………… 🙂

Chris Brown ……….. feat’g Tyga & Kevin McCall …….. ” Deuces”