In The News Today …. Sports That Is …………..
Well , I’ve been running through the back pages of the newspapers just trying to catch up on the latest as the sport’s world is concerned . And what with an emphatic triumph for the NFL as whole with the success of Superbowl (SBXLIV) being the most watched television event in the nation’s history. There’s a great deal for the NFL to feel proud about at present. Though I’m not so sure , that’ll be the case if the March 5th, deadline comes and passes and an agreement is not reached concerning the renegotiation of the collective bargaining agreement between the league and the NFLPA .
The ramifications for both sides could be dire, if an accord cannot be reached before the deadline. But considering the antics being shown by both sides , I’m of the opinion that somehow at the last prevailing minute calmer heads should prevail. But then again I may well prove to be wrong. We’re dealing with a bunch of spoiled owners and an even crazier bunch of highly overpaid players. And in both cases, the parties concerned are more interested in what’s best for themselves and most definitely not what’s in best interests or the league or the fans !
In college basketball Kansas routs the Texas ‘Longhorns’ 80-68 . And for Rick Barnes as coach of Texas , this can’t be all that pleasing a time. The former #1 ranked Longhorns have been losing games with almost the same frequency that the Kansas City Royals , Pittsburgh Pirates and New Jersey Nets have become accustomed to be doing, with almost as much relative ease. Now I’m not one to suggest that the Longhorns are about to be mired in mediocrity along the lines of the Nets, Pirates and Royals. But much more of this and the Longhorns’ faithful, as well as their boosters could well be calling for Barnes’ head on a silver platter.
The Carolina Panthers’ Julius Peppers feels that he’s no longer appreciated , loved or wanted by the organization . And granted, John Fox’s team severely underperformed throughout much of this past season. So much so, that one had the distinct feeling that had not the Tampa Bay Buccaneers performed so abysmally in the NFC South . Then in all probability , it could well have been the Panthers seated at the foot of the division, with one the NFL’s worst records. And it certainly didn’t help that Jake Delhomme the team’s quarterback was about as reliable as a flat tire would be a welcoming sight to a stranded motorist.
Having been franchised tag in each of the last two seasons , Peppers now feels that it’s time for the Panthers to up the ante and pay him what he no doubt believe that he’s worth. For Panthers’ GM Marty Hurney , this has more to do with looking at the entire scenario that the team now faces and whether or not it’s best to revamp the roster and start afresh. Or retain players such as Delhomme and Peppers. In the case of Peppers, Hurney knows only too well that he’ll be asked to ‘break the bank’ in order to retain one of the league’s best defensive players and ‘run stoppers.’ What appears to be imminent is that there will be a parting of the ways , between Peppers and the club. It may not yet be fact but it appears to the direction that the organization is heading in.
Now unless I’m mistaken , I was under the impression that Red Sox GM Theo Epstein was as astute a baseball mind as their is around MLB ? After-all , he has been the primary architect behind much of team’s success, more than anyone else within the organization . And that includes team manager Terry Francona . But the worrying thing here is that the organization has gone out and acquired Adrian Beltre’ from the Seattle Mariners. Beltre’s production over the past two seasons has been about as inspired,, as the lack of ingenuity and productivity being shown by the members of Congress and the Senate combined. But somehow Epstein is of the belief that the player will be a ‘good fit’ for the team . At a price tag approaching $14 million , one would certainly hope so for the Red Sox’s sake !
The Red Sox having lost Jason Bay to free agency , they were in need of some offensive fire power but one would have hardly thought that Beltre’ fitted the bill in that respect. There’s no doubt that Adrian Beltre, when he’s on form ,he is a very good player. But far too often , he has been known to go into prolonged slumps with his bat and his defense has been about as helpful as a hole in a bucket. This may or may not prove to be a costly gamble by the Red Sox. Given the fact that they now have to contend with a rejuvenated and much more confident New York Yankees’ team , within an already highly contentious and competitive AL East division. If the Red Sox aren’t able to get something out of Beltre this season, then it may well prove to be nothing more than afterthought on their part. Especially when one considers the vast financial resources at the organization’s disposal.
Coming off a 48 point night for the Orlando Magic in their 123-117 victory over the New Orleans Hornets, who were playing without their point guard and best player , Chris Paul . Magic’s guard and swingman, Vince Carter had one of his better games , if not his best game , since he was acquired by the team . Now that’s all well and good but there has to be more of this from Carter , on a night in and night basis – if the Magic are to viewed as a legitimate threat within the Eastern Conference as well as the rest of the NBA. But were it not for the offensive output by Carter , then the end result would’ve been entirely different as to the outcome.
Albeit, that Carter was ably assisted by Dwight Howard and Rashard Lewis , the Magics’ bench offered very little by way of assistance, combining for a total of 23 points during the game. If this is what Stan Van Gundy believes to be , is ‘his best’ and ‘most balanced team’ since he assumed the role as coach. Then someone, had better check out the ‘sugar level’ of his Kool-Aid. Because there’s definitely something awry with that, as well as Van Gundy’s thinking on the matter.
And before the Magic can even think about contending for an NBA championship once again this season they’ll have to contend with the Boston Celtics , Cleveland Cavaliers , Atlanta Hawks and a sometimes quite dangerous Miami Heat team led by the universally admired skills of Dywane Wade . Is that enough of an answer for you Stan ?
So Florida State has to vacate 12 wins from its football program , in light of the cheating scandal that took place. Rather than standing up and being held accountable for their actions or lack of it thereof. Former University President T.K Wetherell and Athletics Director Randy Spetman had threatened a lawsuit against the NCAA . All of this took place under the less than caring eye. Yes, I said it ! It all took place under the less than caring eye of their now former coach, Bobby Bowden . Though that’s not to say that his his successor , Jimbo Fisher is as equally to blame. If you’re known to be turning a blind eye to the malfeasance of your student athletes, then you’re in effect no better than they are, in terms of the actions that they’re being accused of !
Now the program starts afresh as it looks to make its presence felt within the ACC . As to how this will all play out over the upcoming season remains to be seen . For the ‘noles’ faithful not seeing Bowden walking up and down the sidelines up there in Tallahassee will no doubt seem very strange . But had the faculty not given Bowden free reign as to the program began to spin out of control and almost allowing him to dictate the terms under which he originally wanted to retire . Then perhaps none of this all might’ve happened. But then again who knows ?
Now the one thing that has become abundantly clear in the midst of this all. Well, it has been the way in which the NCAA has dragged its feet concerning USC (Trojans) and that of the egregious transgressions within both their basketball and football programs. And the fans and public alike, are to believe that the NCAA has the student athletes’ best interests at heart ? That’s at least three loads of horse shit to begin with ! The NCAA cares about as much of the college student athlete as a member of Hezbollah cares about an Israeli or a Jew !
Well guys, those are but a few of the stories that I touched on and have read diligently. What pieces have you come across that peeked your interests ? And what views if any, were you left with after having read those pieces ?
Alan Parkins aka tophatal ………………….
Alan de La Garza , actress, who’s more widely known for her role as Asst DA ‘Connie Rubirosa’ on the long running NBC hit drama “Law & Order” . The show stars de La Garza , alongside Sam Waterson , Linus Roache, S. Epatha Merkerson , Anthony Anderson and rounding out the ensemble is Jeremy Sisto. de La Garza to my mind can skip down to her skivvies and anything less as and when she pleases. You won’t hear any complaints from me at all !