Baseball, Basketball, FIBA World Championships (2010), Major League Baseball, NBA, NFL, NFLPA, Sports

Did It Work For You ?


Did It Work For You ?

Well the NFL __ preseason has now started and a number of teams are looking to find a rhythm and sense of where they’re at before the regular season begins. Though I’ve never put much store in the preseason the way that some fans do. I do however believe that the rationale behind the league and owners wanting a four game preaseason schedule is merely being done out of greed and not much else . It’s bad enough that we have the coaches and GM’s tying their season to the fans exhibiting their wish to viiew their teams in the preseason and having to pay full price for those exhibition games and viewing somewhat of a watered down product . Now the fans may well have to put up with the fact that neither side can reach an amicable agreement in terms of an ongoing negotiation process of the league’s collective bargaining agreement . The NFLPA and Roger Goodell seem to be at loggerheads insofar as showing sound judgement .

With the talk being amped up that for the 2011-12 season there’s talk of a labor dispute and possible lockout . I’m now beginning to wonder whether or not this season could be the last of what we could see as in terms of professional football being played. Never mind that the now fledgling organization UFL enters its second year looking to make some inroads. But no one could ever view the UFL’s brand as being comparative in terms of the talent or competitiveness on display. That’s akin to comparing caviar and a meal bought from a roach mobile . Suffice to say that while the NFL is on display the earnest fans of the game will be on hand to witness the brand and cheer on their teams.

OK so the baseball season has not only heated up but there are now some teams now fighting for their very survival as the divisional races are now really on the line. Other than the AL West where the Texas Rangers now possess an 8 1/2 game lead over their nearest rival within the division the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim one can surmise that the Rangers are pretty much on their way to postseason play. As to who they’ll fare and whom they will meet is now open to a great deal of conjecture and debate. The one thing we can be sure of however is that the Rangrs under the new ownership of Charles “Chuck” Greenberg and Nolan Ryan are looking to make the team a complete success and bring some sense of respectability to the organization.

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Of the remaining divisional races I for one am not about to make any prognostications as to how things will fare for the teams said to be in the midst of those particular races. It’s one thing to see how error prone or inconsistent some of those teams have become without them being further handicapped by my own thoughts on their play. The one thing I do know however and think will have to happen and that is that the New York Mets will have to gut their team and completely start afresh. But what might be even more worthwhile is for Mets’ owner Fred Wilpon to fire not only GM Omar Minaya but also team manager Jerry Manuel and the coaching staff . If the two men in question can’t assess talent much less place a worthwhile product on the field of play. Then what use are they given the vast financial resources at their disposal ? And given the fact that the Mets have a payroll that exceeds $132 million , that ranks fifth amongst the teams in baseball . One has to ask the question where’s the so called “talent “ that the front office seems to have squandered this money on ? Depth alone and the entire roster seems to be made up of players that are either vastly overpaid or who are well past their prime.

Well having won the Olympic gold medal in Beijing and now back at the summit of men’s basketball . The stars of the NBA have assembled to represent team USA for the upcoming World Basketball Championships to be held Istanbul , Turkey , from the 28th August to 12 th September 2010. As the reigning Olympic champions the team is highly favored to win the competition outright. But this time around even with the team being coached by Mike Krzyzewski and his assistants Jim Boeheim , __ Mike D’Antoni and Nate McMillan in tow. I’m not so sure that this time around that team USA will have it as easy some might first think. Especially when in light of the fact that upon reviewing the roster the most experienced players on the team with international experience are Chauncey Billups and Lamar Odom . That being said with the coaching pedigree that’s on hand there should be no reason to believe why the team shouldn’t prove to be successful at these championships. The one thing that we don’t want to see is the sort of complacency that was seen in 2006 and and then in the two most recent Olympic games prior to 2008.

Playing in Group B and based in Istanbul the team is grouped alongside Brazil , Croatia , Iran , Tunisia and Slovenia . The team’s sturdiest opponents in the first round of group play will most likely come from Slovenia and Croatia and perhaps Brazil. But in no way should one overlook any opponent at this stage given the fact that these teams all qualified for what is the most prestigious international team event outside of the Olympic basketball competition , itself.

As the tournament progress beyond the opening stages it’s hoped that the team will be able to show its guile and skills under the coaching philosophy of Krzyzewski and his staff. The play of the NBA being what its is , it becomes a completely new ballgame at the international level literally. And instead of playing four quarters as we’re accustomed to seeing within the NBA , at the international level the game is played in two halves of 20 minutes apiece and where the NBA rules do not apply. But given what we know has been the preparation of the squad we should expect the players to adjust and acclimatize themselves to the rigors of the competition. One would coach Krzyzewski and the team can home victorious at the culmination of the event with another dominating performance and with the trophy in hand as well the applause of his peers and the other participants there in Turkey. Over the next three weeks we shall see if this all comes to fruition .

The fallout from the LeBron James’ fiasco notwithstanding it appears the player’s skin isn’t as tough as was first deemed. God knows based on his play within the NBA and the demise of the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals this past season against the Boston Celtics . I’m now beginning to wonder who’s tougher ? LeBron James or the now “out of the closet” homosexual Ricky Martin ?

James is now said to be somewhat aggrieved to what he feels is the unjust criticism that he’s said to be receiving from such former NBA stars as Charles Barkley , Larry Bird to and to a a lesser extent Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen . Now as we know “Sir Charles” tends not to hold anything back when he has an opinion to offer be it on game of basketball or any other topic for that matter. But it appears that the now Miami Heat player feels that the criticism being leveled at him by Barkley is completely out of line. From where I sit I feel that James has placed himself in this predicament with the less genuine stance taken by him in granting that rather asinine interview with ESPN in announcing his decision to leave Cleveland to ply his trade in Miami alongside Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade . In two rather overly boring two hours he spent being fawned over by Jim Gray , James did more to harm his image and came of looking like a narcissistic idiot . Nevermind the fact that he had the audacity to accept $250,000 from the sports programming outlet for granting the interview. As to credibility , neither James or the outlet can lay claim that they now possess any !

And while no one doubts James’ ability as a player it would appear that in terms of maturity he still has a great deal of growing up to do. His vanity and no dobt the belief that he should be fawned over by his predecessors and fans like does give credence that he fully believes that he’s done enough where the asinine proclamations anointing him as King James ought to be believed and that he too believes it to be fact. What we now know to be a fact is that James while being a prodigious talent is nothing more than the usual self absorbed athlete we’ve now become use to . Soft demeanor and with his own personality flaws simply looking to avail himself of all the wealth and power possible but who’s yet to prove himself as an athlete and a leader within the NBA . Unfortunately this tends to come about when members of the press tend to feed the voracious appetites and egos of athletes such as this without wanting to hold them accountable .

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What thoughts if any do have on the topics mentioned within this piece ? By all means do chime in with a comment .

Alan aka tophatal ……….. 🙂

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