AL East, Baseball, DeMaurice Smith, Football, Joe Maddon, MLB, New York Yankees, NFL, Roger Goodell, Sports, Sports Commentary, Tampa Bay Rays, Uncategorized

Another Day Same Old Story …….


Another Day Same Old Story …….

Slowly but surely we’re being told that the NFL and NFLPA are inching towards an agreement concerning the renewal of the collective bargaining agreement . What I find completely unbelievable about this whole episode is the very fact that the league and union have said little about they will do to meet the needs of the retired veteran players around of NFL. At no time during these deliberations have I heard or has it been reported as to what the NFL’s intentions are concerning to meet that of the players in question. I will continue to maintain that the NFL much like the union which says they represent all of their members simply do not care about the players in question.

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Hall of Famer Carl Eller and a number of his peers have filed a civil suit in Federal Court challenging the NFL and concerning the ongoing negotiations and the mere fact that little if any input has been allowed to be interceded in what might well be a binding agreement as it relates to the collective bargaining agreement. Much of what has now transpired now seems like a comedy of errors that couldn’t have been scripted by a Hollywood writer had it been first brought up as a premise . Roger Goodell and his minions have been given a considerable dose of reality , as too have DeMaurice Smith and the executive members of the NFLPA .

I am no longer enthralled as to whether or not there will be a regular season as the NFL has lost my complete and utter respect ! The asinine behavior by all of the parties concerned has me now simply wondering what else is there left for the league to do to leave its image in tatters ?

Well now that the season has resumed after the All Star Game , an event which in all honesty was about as mesmerizing as a political debate between two candidates who are about as insightful on the issues as they allegedly believe themselves to be. The game itself , with what was said to be at stake and you have to wonder why it was that the effort from the AL was so lackluster ? I can only imagine that their reason for participating was merely obtain their roster incentives from their respective teams . After that mediocre display by the team it simply served notice that the players are not in the least bit concerned with what the fans may well have thought .

7

Infielder Sean Rodriguez (1) of the Tampa Bay Rays tries to turn a double play as Brett Gardner (11) of the New York Yankees breaks it up during the game at Tropicana Field on July 18, 2011 in St. Petersburg, Florida. Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images ……..

Now a number of patrons and contributors within this medium have suggested a number of ways to improve the event . And while many of the suggestions are valid I believe that what is actually needed is for there to be more of an input from the managers around the league and actually less from the fans in terms of the voting for the ballots of the All Star teams ! That being said after the low ratings for the televised broadcast on Fox I can’t help but wonder how Bud Selig and the league hierarchy now might view this rather disastrous event that is often seen as one of the major highlights of the MLB season. Rumor has it , that next season in staging the All Star Game at Kauffman Stadium , home to the Kansas City Royals rather than stage a game of the league’s current stars they will consider the staging of a soft ball game between the wives of the players who’ll be scantly clad . Perhaps that might incite and elicit even more viewers than the benign ratings obtained by Fox and the MLB Network .

Baseball has become bereft of creativity and ideas that now even with the team owners showing their stupidity and a union that has been enabled because of the sheer ineptitude of the league hierarchy. The game is losing is fans simply because the top executives within the game no longer considers what made baseball all the more appealing , instead they look to cater to one common denominator and that is to their corporate sponsors rather than to the fans .

9

Infielder Derek Jeter (2) of the New York Yankees gets out of the way of an inside pitch from the Tampa Bay Rays during the game at Tropicana Field on July 18, 2011 in St. Petersburg, Florida. Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images …

In what might be considered a series that very well defines their season the Tampa Bay Rays are hosting the New York Yankees . Given the tightness of the race within AL East where six games separate the top three teams within the division . It is imperative that the Rays get a win under their belt in the opener , in order to place further pressure on the Boston Red Sox and Yankees who sit ahead of them within AL East. For all sense and purpose most definitely the wildcard entrant the AL will come from within the division , so there is a great deal at stake for both teams as to the outcome of this series .

Joe Maddon as manager of this team along with his coaching staff know that they will have to be at their very best over the ensuing months . Much has been made concerning the team as of late and whether or not Andrew Friedman the team’s general manager will be a major player as the trade deadline approaches on the 31st July .

The are now rumors now resonating through the grapevine that would suggest that there’s something in the offing and that in all probability a player on the team’s current roster will be traded . All signs point to the fact that BJ Upton whose contract expires at the end of this season could very well be the player in question to be off-loaded . Now it goes without saying that the player is a desirable target for a number of teams seeking an offensive presence to add some potency to their lineups to their respective rosters. And as with any team now looking to off-load salary it now seems as if the dye has been cast by the front office as the financial constraints placed on the organization has been stifling the competitiveness of this team. I don’t know that the front office can continue in the apparent direction that it seems to be heading in much longer , merely because of the fact no matter how many steps forward they seem to be taking , they tend to take even more steps backwards . I certainly don’t believe that principal managing partner Stuart Sternberg actually believes that the team will be aided by the league hierarchy be providing any assistance to the organization as they seek a new venue. A great deal has been chronicled on this matter and it goes without saying that the longer this issue remains unresolved the more protracted it will somehow become .

Over a long an arduous season a great deal is expected of team over the course of the year . It will certainly be no different for the Tampa Bay Rays and many of the other teams seeking to make the postseason . Certainly the races around a number of the divisions are now heating up and though I have heard it said that a 5 or 8 game margin isn’t a great deal to overcome but it is something of a rarity to see such a deficit be erased over the closing months of the season .

10

Designated hitter Johnny Damon (22) of the Tampa Bay Rays is congratulated by pitchers James Shields (33) and David Price (14) after scoring a run against the New York Yankees during the game at Tropicana Field on July 18, 2011 in St. Petersburg, Florida. Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images ….

From my own perspective as it concerns the Tampa Bay Rays , this is a team that is full of youthful vibrance looking to excel at the highest level and that is epitomized by players such as Evan Longoria , James Shields , David Price , Sam Fulds , Matt Joyce and others on this roster . They have an excellent manager in Joe Maddon whose coaching staff seems to excel in bringing out the best in young players and in getting seasoned veterans such as Johnny Damon to play as if their careers are on the rise once again. Damon if anything has been a leader of this team in more ways than one , willing to impart his considerable knowledge amongst his teammates in order to make them better. And much of that has been on display throughout the season as the Tampa Bay Rays have played with a great deal of zeal as they look to make themselves known within the division.

What is undeniable given the effort of this organization is that they will do their utmost to exhibit everything needed to fulfill the wishes of their fans . But slowly the inevitable does appear to be happening and it is that some of them now are willing to accept that this may well be the closing chapters of a saga that is coming to an end . The optimists out there simply believe that the best thing that can happen is for the team to simply move across the bay into the downtown area of Tampa and all will be OK. The reality however , suggests that in light of economic climate even such a proposed move is by no way a real guarantee of financial success for this organization. Also , bear in mind that the league hierarchy under Bud Selig has done little to aid the team in its efforts as they seek to resolve the ongoing issue of a new facility. As I alluded to earlier , the league is simply bereft of ideas on all fronts , from its image , to how best to aid its teams that are now said to be having numerous financial difficulties and to where the fans are beginning to have an immense distrust of the hierarchy and owners.

11

Outfielder B.J. Upton (2) of the Tampa Bay Rays catches a fly ball against the Boston Red Sox during the game at Tropicana Field on July 16, 2011 in St. Petersburg, Florida. Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images

In what might have been a truly damning indictment as to the problems that the Tampa Bay Rays now face as to the plight of their situation , during last night’s game there was a prolonged stoppage. The game was halted due to the fact that there was a electrical problem that caused an outage where a number of the stadium lights went out at Tropicana Field . As archaic as the venue appears to be fans of the Rays simply feel that this is the team’s home and where they belong. However , the on air analysts covering the game for ESPN , John Kruk and Barry Larkin likened the venue to a gaping pothole that never ceases to cause problems . Both alluded to the fact that a number of players around the league simply dislike playing at the field and each throughout the course of their careers would simply wish they were playing elsewhere rather than being at Tropicana Field . Joe Maddon when questioned by Tim Kurkjian about the issue of the lights going out during at the game told the reporter that this was merely one of the things that they continue to put up with and that this was simply a way of life for this organization. At the game’s resumption you couldn’t help but wonder what other comedy of errors would now await the fans in attendance , never mind the national television audience watching.

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

With the MLB season having resumed how do you see things panning out for the teams within the AL East ? And what thoughts if any do you have as to the future of the Tampa Bay Rays long and short terms , as it relates to their competitiveness and whether or not they remain within their current locale ? Simply leave a comment as you deem fit .

Alan aka tophatal …. http://tophatal.wordpress.com

Contact ……… rapptu@gmail.com

Picture and slide show details below .

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(1) FILE – This April 14, 2011 file photo shows retired Minnesota Vikings Hall of Fame football player Carl Eller, who represents former players, arriving at the federal courthouse in Minneapolis. Eller and lawyers for retired NFL players joined labor talks with representatives of owners and current players, Tuesday, July 19, 2011 in New York, as signs mounted that the league’s lockout might almost be over. AP Photo/Jim Mone ….

(2) NFL Players Association spokesman George Atallah, right, pauses as he speaks to media in Washington, Monday, July 18, 2011, as talks to end the NFL lockout continued. Carl Francis also with the NFL Players Association is at left. AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster ….

(3) NFL player Association executive director DeMaurice Smith along with NFL Payers Association president Kevin Mawae, left, speaks to reporters outside a law firm where contract talks ended, Friday, July 15, 2011, in New York. Significant progress on a major sticking point in the NFL labor impasse soaring rookie salaries during marathon talks Thursday raised hopes that a tentative agreement in principle could perhaps come within 24 hours, according to two people familiar with the negotiations. AP Photo/Louis Lanzano ….

(4) New York Yankees, from left in front, Robinson Cano, Eduardo Nunez, and Mark Teixeira celebrate the team’s 5-4 win over the Tampa Bay Rays in a baseball game Monday, July 18, 2011, in St. Petersburg , Fla. AP Photo/Mike Carlson …

(5) New York Yankees’ Russell Martin reacts after taking a walk to force in the go-ahead run in the ninth inning of a 5-4 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays in a baseball game Monday, July 18, 2011, in St. Petersburg, Fla. AP Photo/Mike Carlson …

(6) ST. PETERSBURG, FL – JULY 18: of the Tampa Bay Rays of the New York Yankees during the game at Tropicana Field on July 18, 2011 in St. Petersburg, Florida. Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images …

(7) Infielder Sean Rodriguez (1) of the Tampa Bay Rays tries to turn a double play as Brett Gardner (11) of the New York Yankees breaks it up during the game at Tropicana Field on July 18, 2011 in St. Petersburg, Florida. Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images ……..

(8) Infielder Casey Kotchman (11) of the Tampa Bay Rays takes the throw at first as Curtis Granderson (14) of the New York Yankees gets back safely during the game at Tropicana Field on July 18, 2011 in St. Petersburg, Florida. Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images …..

(9) Infielder Derek Jeter (2) of the New York Yankees gets out of the way of an inside pitch from the Tampa Bay Rays during the game at Tropicana Field on July 18, 2011 in St. Petersburg, Florida. Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images …

(10) Designated hitter Johnny Damon (22) of the Tampa Bay Rays is congratulated by pitchers James Shields (33) and David Price (14) after scoring a run against the New York Yankees during the game at Tropicana Field on July 18, 2011 in St. Petersburg, Florida. Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images ….

(11) Outfielder B.J. Upton (2) of the Tampa Bay Rays catches a fly ball against the Boston Red Sox during the game at Tropicana Field on July 16, 2011 in St. Petersburg, Florida. Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images ……
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Baseball, Basketball, DeMaurice Smith, Economics, Football, NBA, NFL, NFLPA, NPBA, Roger Goodell, Sports, Sports Economics, Sports & Social commentary, Sports Commentary, Sports Econmics, Uncategorized

Deadlines Are For Idiots ………………


Deadlines Are For Idiots

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I’m not so sure that I can really take much more of the idiocy now going on with regard to the impasse between the NBA and NBPA . Two sides that now seem on course for what could very well turn out to be a contentious divide between the two parties . David Stern and his union counterpart Executive Director Billy Hunter . At the same time union President Derek Fisher and the Executive Committee are intent on not cowering to the demands of the league hierarchy and team owners . In the midst of this all Stern and Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver have tried their utmost in trying allay the fears of the fans who are of the thought that there will be a lockout and labor stoppage .

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Slide show for your perusal .

Coming off what has been one of the better NBA Finals in recent years between the Dallas Mavericks and Miami Heat . And as we know the Mavericks would prevail over the Heat winning that series 4-2 with Dirk Nowitzki being named Finals MVP . It’s interesting to see that Mavericks’ owner Mark Cuban in spite of his team having won the series he has had little to say about what may well be the impending lockout . I’m not about to suggest that this lockout can’t be averted but given the mess created by the NFL and the labor dispute which has now entered its third month , in effect over 100 days, I’m beginning to think that even there also there has been even less common sense shown by all of the parties concerned . Roger Goodell has been outmaneuvered by a truly worthy nemesis in DeMaurice Smith a former patent and labor attorney with DC law firm Patton Boggs LLC .

Now with a great deal at stake for both sides it appears that the team owners and league hierarchy now feel where they’re at the point where they can now see light at the end of the tunnel . And as of now the light being shone can’t be seen because of the ineptitude having been shown by both parties during their ongoing deliberations.

If the NBA team owners such as Jerry Buss , Michael Jordan , Donald Sterling , Rich De Vos , James Dolan , Joe Maloof and Micky Arison have sat back looking for the league hierarchy to lead in the ongoing deliberations. It seems strange that it has been left to Stern to take the lead but in reality it shouldn’t be as a surprise to anyone given the autocratic rule by the commissioner . Slowly but surely the mess created by the league hierarchy as well as the owners and their general managers has me wondering what other forms have idiocy have now taken place under David Stern’s reign ! The NBA has a soft salary cap of $57 million but somehow more than 2/3 of the teams within the league have sought to exceed that figure . Now it’s quite obvious with a downturn in the economy the NBA has been affected adversely and much of that has come down to the very fact the league and union has simply chosen to run amok with regard to their excessive spending . Teams have simply sought to buy their way to success and in large part it has been an immense failure for the vast majority of the teams . With the league now on course to lose in excess of $450 million for the fiscal year 2011 and having lost a cumulative $750 million in the last two years it has to be said the owners and Stern have some pressing issues to resolve.

The revenues shared between the league and players is split on a 53/47 ratio deriving from approximately $3.77 billion . The league hierarchy would certainly like to see that figure lowered but with Billy Hunter and Derek Fisher steadfastly clinging to the belief that it would not be beneficial for their members to be giving concessions to the NBA . Much of what we’re being led to believe now happening between the union and league hierarchy is something akin to modern day comedy of errors . Things have yet to take a truly contentious fervor but it could well be heading that way with David Stern now taking the lead in the deliberations and wanting to come off looking like the hero . And for Stern any photo op that has him being front and center in the public eye makes him all the more appealing for the public’s perception of him .

If there ever has been a reason to simply have little faith in the Congress then the ongoing stupdity being shown by the House of Representatives , Senate and the President’s administration in trying to raise the debt ceiling of $14.3 trillion ($14,300,000,000,000) has me wondering how much longer the two sides can actually remain in denial . Sen Mitch McConnell (R-Ky) and Rep Paul Ryan (R-Wisc) have simply stuck by the fact that tax cuts will be the one thing to stimulate the economy , create jobs and the lessening of government regulations in all facets of commerce , government regulatory authority will go a long way in adding to the vibrancy of the economy . Pity that they chose to ignore the mere fact that tax loopholes will remain in place and also that the numerous committees within both legislative chambers have simply let lobbyists write and rewrite many of the regulations that have placed the economy in the shit-hole that it is now in ! I’ve no real faith in either party given the ongoing stupidity being shown by Democrats and Republicans ! China as the country’s greatest creditor holds in excess 17% of nation’s government bonds and considerable debt . But the herein lies the caveat a great deal of these bonds also held and other governmental financial instruments are in the hands of some of the nation’s largest financial institutions and insurance companies . Think New York Life , Bank of America , Morgan Stanley , Prudential Insurance , JP Morgan Chase and GE Capital .

Even amongst the Democrat cabal of idiots led by Sen Harry Reid (D-Nv) whose own knowledge of the economy can be best described as man whose idea of being firmly abreast of a situation, is try and persuade you that his aides have advised him thoroughly on the issues . Well that’s like saying I’ve just been told a bedtime story by my teacher because Reid like any of his peers within both legislative chambers were never that bright to begin with , especially where it concerns the US economy and its underlying problems !

Any maneuver now either way be it the raising of the debt level and austerity measures in cutting a number of programs will simply be like throwing shit up against a wall to see what will actually stick ! For far too long each successive Presidential administration has chosen to ignore to this acute problem simply thinking that its creditors would continue to buy its treasury bonds because of the added security that the US was a safe haven . Well that’s no longer the case, in spite of what Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner or Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke continues to say merely to calm the financial markets because the country is now completely bereft of ideas as to how to deal this problem . It’s simply using a Band Aid to cover a hemorrhaging stomach wound and as the exsanguination of the country is now in place , who’ll be left to mop up the blood ?

Should the debt ceiling be raised even with the proposed spending cuts sought by Republicans and a number of conservative Democrats certainly won’t stave off any great fears of a tailspin of US the economy. Speculation asides , all that needs to be done are for the top credit ratings agencies ( Moodys , Standard & Poors ) to downgrade the US government’s credit rating from AAA to AA + or AA- (minus ) and this would send precipitous seismic waves in the financial markets around the globe , as there would be a great deal of uncertainty about the government’s ability to pay down its debts much less make principal or even the interest payments due .

The ensuing mess we’ve seen created here with regard to the NFL , NFLPA , NBA , NBPA , the present US administration and both legislative chambers of Congress simply shows us that common sense no longer prevails within sports but also within the dizzying heights of politics . And no doubt there are those amongst us who are prepared to ask the question why should I care ? Well you ought to care one way or another as many decision about to be made will certainly affect us one way or another in our every day lives .

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

In light of the ensuing negotiations said to be taking place between the NFL , NFLPA , NBA hierarchy and its union counterpart the NBPA how do you view each situation ? And what of the government’s own handling of the debt crisis where do you see things ending up there ? Do you really care at all or have you simply chosen to ignore it all ? Simply chime in with a comment as you deem fit and as always thanks for the continued support as it’s greatly appreciated !

Alan aka tophatal ……………. http://tophatal.wordpress.com

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(1) David Stern (right) and Billy Hunter seen here in June 2005 having just reached an accord on the NBA’s then existing CBA (collective bargaining ) agreement which is due to expire midnight June 30th 2011. AP Photo / Gene Kershaw ….

(2) NBA Commissioner David Stern (right) is seen alongside NBA Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver speaking to the convened press . AP Photo / Mark Richmond ….

(3) NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, left, and National Football League Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith, right, speak to the media outside of the Ritz-Carlton hotel after addressing players during the NFLPA rookie symposium on Wednesday, June 29, 2011 in Sarasota, Fla. AP Photo/Brian Blanco ……

(4) NBPA President Derek Fisher in line with his Executive Committee and player representatives have steadfastly stood by in their determination not to make any concessions to the league hierarchy and owners unless they are prepared to reciprocate in kind . AFP/ Photo / Marcus Pruett …….

(5) Michael Jordan , left, majority owner of the Charlotte Bobcats and general manager Rod Higgins watch an NBA summer league basketball game between the Bobcats and the Orlando Magic in Orlando, Fla., Friday, July 9, 2010. AP Photo/John Raoux ….

(6) Los Angeles Lakers NBA basketball team’s new head coach Mike Brown (2nd L) poses with team owner Jerry Buss (2nd R), Vice President of Basketball Operations Jim Buss (L) and general manager Mitch Kupchak after a news conference in Los Angeles, California, May 31, 2011. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson ….

(7) Sen Mitch McConnell seen here alongside fellow Republican members including Sen Jon Kyl (R-Az) [right] addressing the convened press on the nation’s debt ceiling issue as well as that of the President’s healthcare reform plan of which GOP is totally opposed to . AFP/Photo/ Richard Curtis ….

(8) Rep Paul Ryan (R-Wisc) is seen here addressing members of American Conservative Union Foundation a Conservative political Think Tank and lobbyist’s group. AP/Photo ……..

(9) Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke (foreground) listens briefly as Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner (right) speaks quietly in his ear . Courtesy of Financial Times of London / Keith Parsons …..

(10) Director of the National Economic Council Lawrence Summers (L), Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers Dr. Christina Romer (2L), Secretary of the Treasury Timothy F. Geithner (C) and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke (R) listen as President Barack Obama (2R) speaks after a daily economic briefing in the Roosevelt Room of the White House March 23, 2009 in Washington, DC. Obama said the administration’s plan to purchase toxic assets from banks is a move in the “right direction” to unlock credit markets. Romer and Summers are no longer a part of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers having stepped down to pursue other outside interests . Getty Images /Pool Archives …….

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It Ain’t What You Do It’s The Way That You Do It …….. That’s What It’s All About ….


It Ain’t What You Do It’s The Way That You Do It …….. That’s What It’s All About ….

Well it has come about and the NFL has now its first work stoppage in almost twenty five years. In not being able to reach an amicable agreement at the twelfth hour having twice extended the cba — ( collective bargaining agreement) for which its expiry date was midnight Thursday 10th March , on Friday at 5 pm NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell in agreement with the NFL owners issued a public statement saying that there would indeed be a labor stoppage. In effect the 2011-12 season now becomes null and void pending any foreseeable changes in the future.

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Goodell’s counterpart NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith held his ground saying that unless the owners were prepared to accede to their wishes of opening up their books for further scrutiny then there could not be in clear conscience any reason to proceed with the deliberations and mediation that was being overseen by FMCS Director George Cohen . NFL Chief Legal Counsel Jeff Pash expressed his disappointment with the union’s position stating that the best place to conduct the proceedings is at the negotiation table and not the legal system. However for their part the NFL knew full well that all avenues would be sought by the union from the outset and that was the sole purpose of the union decertifying itself in order to take legal recourse against the NFL in the US Federal Court System challenging their antitrust status . With that process quite possibly taking some time before a trial date can be set three of the game’s most widely recognized players have lodged an injunction against the NFL seeking to stop the lockout now being instigated by the league.

Tom Brady , Peyton Manning and Drew Brees have filed a motion in the US Federal Court to overturn the NFL’s decision . But it remains to be seen whether or not they’ll be successful in their challenge pending a court decision by a Federal Court judge. . The two sides at this juncture remain so far apart that one cannot but question the fact that there was little else that one could have expected but for there to be some sort of inaction leading to the present situation. At the crux of it all was how much the NFLPA was willing to concede to the demands of the league without the NFL or owners actually giving that much up in return.

Many fans in and outside of the game have stated their wish to see some sort of settlement in place that would be of benefit to both sides while others simply wanted a lockout not realizing the harm that it would actually do within each of the markets where the NFL has a presence. Many have said it won’t actually do that much damage but bear this in mind a prolonged lockout not only harms the image of both the union and the NFL but it now creates widespread uncertainty and an economic collapse within NFL market place in terms of the local communities. For stadiums that are owned by the municipalities they now see another revenue source completely dry up and a further hindrance to their already tenuous existence in terms of the budgetary expenditure. Those communities with the economic impact of the NFL will lose in excess of $5-$7 billion . That sum doesn’t include direct revenues to the NFL itself but merely within the economic market place of those cities where the NFL is present. I’ve had one patron state that the NFL doesn’t add any presence to a community at large in terms of what it gives back . But the fact of the matter that statement comes from a person whose business acumen at best is probably marginal. With that now comes the fact that there are likely to be 100,000 jobs at risk through various sectors of the community , small by comparison when one thinks that labor force is of the nation is 145 million people and of which there are now approximately almost 14 million unemployed in the nation as a whole . Those jobs in question range from the parking attendants at the grounds to those within the hospitality , retail industry and numerous large and small business that rely on the NFL on game day in terms of business. But you’d be hard pressed to actually persuade an individual to believe that when their view of the situation is so myopic and in essence they merely don’t look at the overall big picture .

Stadiums that are municipally owned creat a deal of revenue for the cities in question during the regular NFL season with that comes a source of funds that in part can go towards improving services and the infrasttucture when spent prudently. The fact of the matter is given the dire straights of cities where the NFL has a presence any form of a financial hindrance in the present economic climate doesn’t help at all , in spite of claims being made to the contrary. One only has to look at the idiotic claims that were being made after the government bailout of the domestic automotive industry. Had both GM and Chrysler been allowed to fail the entire work force of both companies as well as another 2,500,000 jobs tied to the industry would have been at risk as well as the financial outlay that every taxpayer in the country would have to incur with the fact that both companies would then pass on their pension obligations to the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation which would have to pay the pension benefits of current and former employees of both companies after their failure. That agency (PBGC) is a government ran concern that insures the pension benefits of employees of public companies that have dissolved into bankruptcy.

Even though the NFL is a private enterprise it doesn’t negate the fact that this stoppage will have still have an adverse effect on the economy. And when one considers that a government agency was asked to intercede in this situation it only adds to a situation that was very serious to begin with . Both sides have been culpable and the fact that the intransigence shown each side has bordered on being ridiculous and infantile only adds to the fact that there was such a gigantic impasse between the two .

To my mind, the real issue from the beginning was the NFL’s unwillingness to deal squarely with their own culpability in not reining in their expenses. There were so reliant on their corporate patrons tie in with the major broadcast networks in terms of television rights that they simply forgot that there always tends to be an economic downturn and that one ought to plan ahead rather than simply spending well beyond one’s means. And now that they’ve found themselves in the midst of a crisis which they as such help create through their own greed and then simply allowing the union to wield an axe over their head they’ve now resorted to an act that’s not liable to win them any friends at all. The union for its part also has to accept a great deal of responsibility for this mess and not solely lay the blame at upon the NFL hierarchy. NFLPA President Kevin Mawae and Executive Committe member Charlie Batch have gone on record as saying that they’re quite prepared to return to the negotiating table so long as the NFL is prepared to work judiciously towards a proposal that is equitable for all sides in this process. Somehow I ask myself how the hell can they simply not work this out given the fact that at stake here beyond a $ 9 billion a year industry you also have the livelihoods of tens of thousands of people who are reliant upon the NFL for a living . Never mind the cities who now may well have to look at other means of making up for the loss revenues that the NFL places in their coffers each regular season game.

Added into this mix we now have the broadcast and radio networks who also provide coverage of the NFL and how they now go about making up for the losses that they’re now liable to incur. ABC/ESPN , Fox , NBC , CBS and the NFL’s own NFL Network are able to charge advertisers premium ad rates during televised games and with there now in all likelihood being no regular televised season there now sits an empty void within their respective television schedules . Without those revenues we may well see some sort of curtailment as to the content in terms of programming provided up to a point. This now becomes another one of the ramifications of this proposed work stoppage and the ensuing fallout from it all.

For the team owners such as Jerry Jones , Robert Kraft , Al Davis , Art Rooney II , Pat Bowlen and Woody Johnson it remains to be seen whether or not they have the presence of mind to rethink their present stance and relay that to Roger Goodell , rather than the intransigence that’s now being shown by the league and owners . It certainly begs the question was Roger Goodell simply outwitted by his union counterpart DeMaurice Smith or was he merely that naive to think that the league and owners as such, had the upper hand ? Somehow I get the feeling that Goodell’s predecessor Paul Tagliabue would certainly not have taken this stance even at the wish of the owners . And therein lies the difference between the two , as Goodell is beholding to the owners even if they are as such , his employer , that he’s simply forgotten that even with their input he too has to provide some semblance of common sense in the midst of the dissension taking place. Instead I get the impression that the NFL Commissioner is way in over his head ! I’ve said this one of my patrons concerning Roger Goodell and how he conducts himself in public as the executive face of the NFL . To my mind while he gives of the air of someone who appears to self assured , I can’t help but wonder whether or not he’s actually capable of pleading a case on its merits ! Certainly any counsel that he’s been provided with over the course of these deliberations has been nowhere near good enough and the PR battle that the league waged , was a losing effort in the way they tried to effectively communicate with the press and public at large.

At times watching Roger Goodell take the dais to give a speech with regard to the NFL is akin to watching a politician give you the latest updates as it relates to a particular piece of legislation up for a vote within the Congress. More often than not they tend to use far y too many words when just a few will just do nicely.

The image of both the NFL and NFLPA has now sank to an all time low and in the advent of this being the first stoppage that the game has had since 1987 I get the impression that the inevitability about this action would have happened no matter what the issues were from the outset. At no time during the start of this process when the league first chose to opt out of the collective bargaining agreement did I for one really feel that either side wanted to actually reach an amicable settlement. There was a war of words from the start and in terms of attrition , well neither side was really up to the task of working out their differences as it related to the issues. If that were the case then surely they would have met far more frequently over the ensuing months after last September when the league issued its statement that they would indeed opt out of the collective bargaining agreement that was due to expire on the 3rd March 2011 , but then was extended to its last deadline of the 10th March. From November until the federally appointed mediator intervened the two sides had only met formally twice and the informal meetings between the two sides were usually conducted between subordinates of both Roger Goodell and DeMaurice Smith. And in reality those informal meetings were never productive or actually offered any real insight as to what was really happening between the two sides. Need I really say that there was in effect a pissing contest going on between these two leaders ?

Now we’ll have the tv pundits offering their insights with their own so called sources of information letting us know what the real impasse between the two sides was really about. But let’s be really blunt here …………….. for the two sides it was always going to be about money and who indeed was going to get a bigger slice of that $ 9 billion piece of the pie ! That in effect was the be all and end all of this whole negotiation process and none of the other so called side issues that we were led to believe making up this whole negotiation process. An eighteen game schedule was a none starter and the talk about union benefits and increase for current and retired players was simply a ploy all along. If either side were really concerned about issues such as players’ benefits as it relates to retired players then I can categorically tell you this that both sides would’ve done their damndest to get a deal done long ago before the cba had expired. The league has never cared about the well being of its players and neither too for that matter has the NFLPA ! Smith’s own predecessor Gene Upshaw all but said it himself in words that can be attributed directly to him ………. “I’m not here for the older guys I’m here for the young guys who’ve put the game on the map ” . If that’s not a sad indictment of the NFLPA and what it stood for under Upshaw then someone tell me what is ?

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

What thoughts if any do you have concerning the this NFL mandated stoppage and will it now affect the view that you have towards bot the NLFPA and the NFL ? Also do you believe that any legal action taken by the players singularly or the union will be successful within the legal system ? And will you as such miss not seeing NFL football for the 2011-12 season ? Simply offer up a comment as to your own thoughts on the matter .

Picture and slide show details below .
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(1) Roger Goodell, NFL commissioner, left, and Jerry Jones, owner of the Dallas Cowboys talk as they leave after negotiations with the NFL Players Association involving a federal mediator broke down without an agreement Friday, March 11, 2011 in Washington. AP Photo/Alex Brandon …….

(2) Former NFL player Don Davis departs after failing to reach an agreement in labor talks at the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service building March 11, 2011 in Washington, DC. The NFLPA has filed for decertification and will no longer be the exclusive collective bargaining representative for the players. Players will now be able to file antitrust lawsuits against the NFL. Photo by Jonathan Ernst/Getty Images ………..

(3) NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith addresses reporters after the league and the NFL Players Association failed to reach an agreement in labor talks at the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service building March 11, 2011 in Washington, DC. Representatives from the National Football League (NFL) and National Football League Players’ Association (NFLPA) continue to negotiate a labor dispute as a deadline looms at the end of a 7 day extension of talks. Photo by Jonathan Ernst/Getty Images ……

(4) WASHINGTON, DC – MARCH 11: Denver Broncos owner Pat Bowlen departs after failing to reach an agreement in labor talks at the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service building March 11, 2011 in Washington, DC. The NFLPA has filed for decertification and will no longer be the exclusive collective bargaining representative for the players. Players will now be able to file antitrust lawsuits against the NFL. Photo by Jonathan Ernst/Getty Images …..

(5) Kansas City Chiefs owner Clark Hunt (R) departs after failing to reach an agreement in labor talks at the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service building March 11, 2011 in Washington, DC. The NFLPA has filed for decertification and will no longer be the exclusive collective bargaining representative for the players. Players will now be able to file antitrust lawsuits against the NFL. Photo by Jonathan Ernst/Getty Images ……….

(6) WASHINGTON, DC – MARCH 11: NFL executive vice president Jeff Pash & Chief legal counsel addresses the media at a news conference outside the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service building March 11, 2011 in Washington, DC. The NFLPA has filed for decertification and will no longer be the exclusive collective bargaining representative for the players. Players will now be able to file antitrust lawsuits against the NFL. Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images ……….

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Alan aka tophatal …………………

http://tophatal.wordpress.com/

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Baseball, College Football ........, DeMaurice Smith, Detroit Tigers, Football, Jim Tressel, Michael Ilitch, MLB, NCAA ............, NCAA President Mark Emmert, NFL, NFLPA, Ohio State (Buckeyes), Roger Goodell, Sports Economics, Sports & Social commentary, Sports Commentary

Take Me At My Word …… !


Take Me At My Word ………….

Well the idiocy of the NFL labor talks continue unabated and much like the stupidity of the Congress and Senate in trying to reach a compromise , here the two sides are so far apart that you could drive a Mack Truck through the chasm of their division. The NFLPA led by Executive Director DeMaurice Smith has asked that the NFL open up its books for public scrutiny of which I for one don’t believe that the NFL hierarchy ( team owners ) would be willing to do because then the public would find out the lies that have been told by them as it concerns their overall finances . Certainly NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell hasn’t issued a public statement on the matter . But you’re continuing hear from various sources in and outside the NFL that the two sides are getting closer to a compromise . If only that were so because it seems that neither side at this juncture is truly willing to given an inch in order to elicit any type of real compromise !

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Slide show gallery for your perusal .

FMCS Director George Cohen the federally appointed mediator to oversee the mediation process can’t be pleased with either side at this juncture and with the intransigence being shown by both sides. And should he have to render a decision here you can be sure that it will be one that will be beneficial to one side while being a total detriment to the other even if on appearance it seems to be fair.

With the original collective bargaining agreement having passed as of 3rd March and then summarily extended by 24 hours momentarily before the two sides opted in taking this past weekend off and then extending that deadline by a further seven days . Well with that deadline now expiring at midnight tonight it remains to see whether or not the idiocy will still continue . This much I’m definitely sure of , if these two sides can’t agree how best to split a $ 9 billion ( $9,000,000,000 ) industry in terms of its revenues whereby both sides can feel happy , then the fallout from this debacle will rest squarely upon the shoulders of the NFL , NFLPA and the owners evenly. Any sympathy that either side may well have been looking for from the fans and general public alike will have completely disappeared .

It certainly never ceases to amaze me with the naivete shown by the fans and the college coaches within collegiate athletics . Within the ranks especially of college basketball and football where these coaches are well compensated not only by the salaries paid to them by their respective institutions but also by way of commercial endorsements that are to be had by when their programs become successful. Is anyone now really surprised by the allegations that have been leveled against Ohio State football coach Jim Tressel ? Long thought of as being above reproach who runs an exemplary program we now find out that Tressel much like many of his peers within collegiate basketball and football is nothing more than a conniving cheat and a complete imbecile ! What might make matters worse concerning the allegations against the coach is the very fact that he knew and kept them hidden from the athletics department and faculty of the school. His initial stance was that he hadn’t thought anything improper had gone on concerning the fact a number of players on the team had been receipt of gift monetary and otherwise from independent parties . However , what might be even more disturbing about these allegations is the very fact the coach had been receipt of an e-mail from an attorney , Christopher Cicero who’d also been a player for the Buckeyes when Tressel was then an assistant coach with the program. In that communique it informs Tressel that a number of players on the team had actually been selling memorabilia for financial gain. That is in of-itself is a major transgression of NCAA rules and for the coach to even keep that fact hidden from the AD and school is tantamount to condoning the acts of the players rather than instigating an internal investigation.

Courtesy of USA Today

Ohio State punishment of Jim Tressel called ‘a little light’

By Erick Smith of USA Today

The head of a law firm that helps schools deal with the NCAA said the Ohio State punishment of Jim Tressel appears lenient.

Michael Buckner spoke with The Columbus Dispatch and offered his analysis of the two-game suspension and $250,000 fine given to Tressel by the school for failing to reveal information about possible violation by two of his players.


“Just looking at it, it may seem a little light, especially in light of the fact Tressel didn’t report it to the university within a reasonable period of time,” Buckner said.

The Dispatch noted the NCAA has sanctioned 27 schools since 2006 for violating bylaw 10.1, which requires coaches and others to be truthful and forthcoming about possible NCAA violations. Of the 12 coaches involved, only one kept his job. The others either resigned or were fired by their schools.

“In those periods when he had an opportunity and a duty to disclose, he failed to do so,” Buckner said. “I think the NCAA could also come back and add failure to monitor or failure to promote an atmosphere of compliance. Those are program violations.

“With those three (including the bylaw 10.1 violation), you could look at the two-game suspension and the fine to be the minimum.”

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Clearly here these transgressions by the players of which it now seems the coach had been fully are of at the time were serious enough to warrant an investigation. But with the coach apparently thinking that it was beneath him to actually take this finding to the athletics department beneath him and furthermore being somewhat complicit in trying to hide it all makes one now wonder what else has Jim Tressel suborned to in the past with regard to the football team’s program which may well have broken NCAA rules ? If this were a simple mistake on his part then perhaps one might understand but the act the coach itself was calculated and premeditated and that in spite of his formal public statement on the matter .

With the university having suspended the coach for the first two games of the program’s upcoming 2011 season and a fine of $250,000 being imposed on Jim Tressel they feel that the punishment befits the crime . But I’m not so sure that the NCAA themselves will feel it at all adequate given the fact that coaches have actually been fired or suspended for even longer terms , having violated such rules . But therein lies the actions of the NCAA , as they seemingly pick and choose whom they wish to punish with impunity in order to make an example of a program. Is it any wonder that the governing body of collegiate athletics can’t be taken seriously in terms of its standing and the actions they at times deem fit concerning not only the coaches but the athletes themselves when they’ve broken the rules ? There’s never any consistency as the punishment meted out and not once ever has a coach been financially penalized for any wrong doing on their part by the collegiate body that governs college athletics. If the rules are meant to cover those involved in collegiate athletics then surely the coaches and their staffs fall under those rules apart from the athletes themselves !

NCAA President Mark Emmert who only assumed the position full time in November of last year having served as the interim president whilst his predecessor the late Dr Myles Brand underwent chemotherapy has got his hands full dealing with many of the issues now facing that body. Not only has he got to prove to the public that the NCAA actually stands for something but also that they can be trusted to act impartially and when necessary do what is morally right instead of appearing certain programs over others. Moreover if there was a environment of transparency as it relates to the NCAA’s business dealings rather than a great deal of it being so secretive and done behind closed doors then perhaps the public and college sport’s fan in general may well feel that they can be trusted . Instead they might just be as disliked as the present administration , the Congress and Senate jointly . At this moment the jury is still out with a verdict so it’s anybody’s guess as to what their thought might be on the NCAA .

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Basketball, David Stern, DeMaurice Smith, Football, NBA, NFL, NFLPA, Sports

Can’t We All Just Get Along …. ?


Can’t We All Just Get Along ………..

March 4th and the deadline for the current NFL collective bargaining agreement expires and one would’ve thought that the NFL hierarchy led by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell would by now be closer to negotiating an agreement with Executive Committee of the NFLPA led by Executive Director DeMaurice Smith and union President Kevin Mawae . Instead the two sides are said to be so far apart that the divide makes the partisanship between Democrats and Republicans within both federal legislative houses seem like a house party.

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Goodell has insisted that he and the owners who feel that the players’ revenues derived of income received from the marketing and broadcasting contracts are overly excessive. Smith by his own account feels that the concessions that his union have already acceded to is enough. The economy has played its part in the situation that has been created but it simply doesn’t account for the fact that the league hierarchy has been totally complacent when addressing their expenditure. While we’ve the league negotiate with the broadcast networks ABC/ESPN , CBS , Fox and NBC multi billion dollar broadcast contracts in doing so they’ve simply not seen fit to try and rein in their expenses. The 2010 season was a year when the league operated without salary cap and when one bears in mind that the 2009 season the cap in place was one of approximately $110 million it’s easy to understand why Goodell and the owners simply saw fit to allay the process. They were under the impression that simply allowing the process to drag on and then take the stance that they would choose to opt out of the existing agreement would nullify the union.

Goodell would also have us believe that should there be a lockout this upcoming season then he’s quite prepared to forgo his annual salary and simply be paid a nominal sum of $1. Considering that he earned in excess of $12 million for the 2010 season I’m wondering how on the face of this gesture would appear to appease the NFL fans in general ?

Courtesy of USA Today

Roger Goodell to reduce salary to $1 if NFL enters work stoppage

By Sean Leahy of USA Today

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell intends to reduce his salary to $1 per year if the league’s labor skirmish erupts into a work stoppage this year.

Goodell announced the move in a letter to owners obtained by NFL.com in which he unveiled a series of rollbacks in compensation for NFL officials.

Chief NFL negotiator Jeff Pash also will slash his compensation to $1, and Goodell will hold back bonuses for league officials until April.

At that time, portions of bonuses will be held in reserve (10% for VPs, 25% for senior VPs, and 35% for executive VPs), and those balances won’t be paid until a new collective bargaining agreement is reached.

The current CBA ends in early March, and the league may enter a work stoppage if no new deal is reached. Goodell has said he doesn’t want that to happen.

But with the time dwindling on the current deal and progress between the NFL and NFLPA slow to develop, the prospect of a work stoppage is increasing.

Goodell and NFLPA leader DeMaurice Smith met last week.

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DeMaurice Smith has countered in stating the league itself in collusion with the owners sought to bring the situation to an impasse by their actions. Players’ representatives from around the league have stated their opinions and they’re siding with their union chief and committee members. However there now seems to be some dissension from within as a number of players have stepped up to make their feelings known. And nowhere has this been more expressive than with the most recent statement from New York Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie who suggested that the commissioner and his union counterpart should lock themselves in a room and not come out until an agreement has been hammered out. What’s at stake here is nothing more than one side not wanting to look weak on appearance in the eyes of the NFL fans and the public at large. While this all is happening certain members of Congress have been observing this all rather closely. The House Oversight Committe as well as the House Judiciary Committe have sought to intervene in some way but in reality it’d seen as overly intrusive were they to do so at this juncture.

Any type of labor stoppage would do irreparable damage to the league and its image and it certainly doesn’t help in the current economic climate. A number of teams this past season financially suffered greatly having seen a number of their scheduled home games blacked out due to league regulations. It certainly affected the home schedule of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers which saw all eight of their home games at Raymond James Stadium Tampa entirely blacked out. And for the local fans in the area’s television markets this couldn’t have happened at a worse time. In an area where the unemployment rate is said to be approaching the national average of 9.8% these are indeed some very hard times for the Buccaneers’ fans and fans in general across the league. For the San Diego Chargers it was very much the same thing for the team’s hierarchy led by Dean Spanos and GM A J Smith as the team saw them having three games blacked out from their home schedule at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, California . In total some 26 games were blacked out over the 2010 season costing the league and economies in those markets tens of millions of dollars in its economic impact over the course of the year.

For the Chargers this was a season which saw the Spanos family sell a small minority stake to multi-billionaire entrepreneur Philip Anschutz the co-owner of the Los Angeles Lakers and the owner Anschutz Entertainment Group Inc (AEG Inc). Now one could allude to the fact that this might be a maneuver in the offing which could see Chargers move from San Diego to the greater Los Angeles area . But if anything that would for now take a back seat until whatever transpires between the NFL and NFLPA .

Neither Goodell or Smith have done themselves any favors at this juncture with their public statements , as it appears that with each comment becoming more venal than the previous statement uttered. For the fans in general who are now observing this they can but only ask to themselves what the hell is going on when multi-millionaire players and in some cases billionaire owners can’t even be civil towards one another ?. Never mind the fact that the idiocy that’s being continually shown by both parties if this were a peace treaty being negotiated then I can guarantee you this , both sides would now be preparing for war !

With Superbowl 45 now in the offing between the two conference representatives the Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers this will be the last competitive game being played in the NFL. Granted this weekend we’ll also have the privilege of seeing the NFL Pro Bowl being played in Honolulu , Hawaii but who in reality thinks of the Pro Bowl as ever having been a competitive game to begin with ? The only incentive has been for the players participating who get to pad their already burgeoning salaries with additional incentives based on season performances for their respective teams .

Should there be a labor stoppage forcing a lockout then the alternative for the NFL fans out there will be rather meager. OK at that point of the season baseball (MLB ) will already be in full swing . That being said the NBA itself is by no means out the woods as of yet as NBA Commissioner David Stern still faces his own demons having not yet reached an agreement with NBPA Executive Director Billy Hunter and the league hierarchy’s unresolved issues regarding their own ongoing collective bargaining agreement. What I’d like to know is when did the earth actually fall off its axis ? Because the idiocy that’s now said to be taking place is beyond believable .

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Picture gallery for your perusal.

It remains without saying that both the NBA and NFL for all of their image conscious proclivities in trying to make their brand more accessible for their fans have as such let the fans down. And while one can apportion blame on the respective hierarchies I do believe also that the players and the respective unions aren’t without blame in all of this. But you’d be hard pressed to believe that either of these parties would be prepared to accept the fact that they’re at fault in any way. Simply look at the actions of the parties concerned for what is now transpiring ? In doing so , you can clearly see why it is we’re at the point where it seems that there might be a point of no return ! An NBA or NFL lockout will most certainly lead to irreparable harm to the image of both sports. Why can’t we all just get along ?

What thoughts if any do you now have concerning the NFL and that of the NFLPA ? And how do you view the present situation also concerning that of the NBA and the fact that there also David Stern has still not been able reach an agreement with the Players’ Union ?
Chime in with your thoughts on both topics raised within this piece and anything else that you may well feel that’s pertinent to both issues.

NB: ____ Picture and slide show details

(1) NBPA Executive Director Billy Hunter (foreground) and NBA Commissioner David Stern just can’t seem to get along or agree upon the financial health of the NBA . AP / Dave Caravetta ………..

(2) Derek Fisher of the Los Angeles Lakers is seen her giving a postgame interview after the game against the the Boston Celtics in Game Three of the 2010 NBA Finals on June 8, 2010 at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. Fisher is also the President of the NPBA (Players’ Union) and it appears that the player and his members are prepared for a lockout should they and the league’s hierarchy not be able to resolve the issues concerning the collective bargaining agreement. Getty Images/ Chris Halpern ……

(3) NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, left, shakes hands with National Football League Players Association Executive Director DeMaurice Smith, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2009, prior to testifying before the House Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection subcommittee hearing on “The NFL StarCaps Case: Are Sports’ Anti-Doping Programs at a Legal Crossroads?”. Rob Manfred, Major League Baseball’s executive vice president of labor relations is at center. Both Goodell and Smith recently met at the NFL’s headquarters in New York city privately to further discuss their ongoing impasse as it relates to the collective bargaining agreement. It has now gotten so vehemently acrimonious between the two sides that several players are now calling for both officials to settle this issue as quickly as possible rather than it all leading to a possible labor stoppage and the alienation of the fans who’ve long supported the game. AP Photo/Haraz N. Ghanbari ……….

(4)NFL Players Association Executive Director DeMaurice Smith , right, speaks as Tennessee Titans and NFL Players Association President Kevin Mawae , left, listens during a news conference Thursday, Feb. 4, 2010 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. AP Photo/David J. Phillip ……

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The NFL Cares Because… It’s Because We’re Told So …. Not Because It Is So ….. !


The NFL Cares Because… It’s Because We’re Told So …. Not Because It Is So ….. !

The NFLPA , NFL and team owners have been complicit in fostering an illicit drug habit amongst their players. And nowhere is it more prevalent than now with current and retired players using at an alarming rate higher than that amongst habitual drug users. And here I’m merely talking about prescription pain medication used by the players . ESPN’s Outside The Lines’ segment this past Sunday will make you aware as to how this has become a rampant epidemic.

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The league now won’t even broach the subject when question once again leading us to believe that as usual they have something to hide. Now we have at least 73% retired of the retired players suffering debilitating pain and who are now taking prescription medication but in doing so they’re obtaining these drugs illegally . What’s even more startling is the very fact that many of these players are endangering their live in taking these drugs at above the medically advised prescription levels.

Do you get the impression that this simply is another episode that the NFL would want swept under the carpet ? I’ve read and heard many out there saying that this is a brutal sport and those who play it know what the dangers are . But this has become ridiculous to see this come to the fore and the league and its representatives hide behind the idiocy that the inherent dangers are what makes the sport so exciting and rewarding . However at no time do they ever consider the dangers that tend to be the aftermath from the injuries suffered by the players. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell more image conscious as to what he believes the league represents and the money made but his insistence that the league watches over its own with a great degree of conscientious objectivity has become a complete charade. One simply has to look at the way that they had to be dragged kicking and screaming merely to address the fact that there are related problems concerning head traumas , concussions and the early stages of Alzheimer’ disease and in some cases ALS .

Consider this also players now are more liable to be addicted to pain killing medication such as Percoset and Vicodin than they are to be hooked on cocaine or marijuana . Albeit that the league has their league mandated drug testing policy. NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith and union President Kevin Mawae won’t address this matter publicly but it appears that the collective bargaining agreement takes precedence and the money that they seek to retain is of the highest order in the ongoing labor negotiations. Brett Favre the former poster child for pain killer addiction was a major cause for concern in the early to mid stages of his career as he was openly abusing pain prescription medication. So pray do tell how is it that the league suborns this sort of behavior when the players are able to get the team’s doctors to prescribe them these medications and then they can also obtain these drugs illegally through members of the team’s coaching staff , family friends and even in some cases drug dealers . Is this now the the image the league wants portrayed to the fans and its numerous corporate sponsors ?

The NFL has now become more so about the image of its superstars and how best to promote them at any expense . The league loves this as do the fans but I doubt that they’d really care to see such former players as John Elway , Franco Harris , Gale Sayers and Kyle Turley merely struggle to stand or even take a step across a room without suffering from an ailment that was caused by a career injury. Current players now playing with reoccurring injuries , ailments such as chronic neuro encephalitis (swelling of the brain) , rheumatoid arthritis from never mind the abuses in their prevalent misuse of prescription but yet at the same time they’re told by team doctors or choosing to play of their own volition merely so that they can maintain their status and get paid. Is it a sacrifice worth taking given the aftermath as we now know it to be ?

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We fans tend to only choose to invariably see one side of the sport and that’s the blood, guts, glory of it all and the acclaim to be had. The NIDA (National Institute for Drug Abuse & Institute of Health– NIH ) for its part has conducted a well respected research in on this issue and should the NFL hierarchy choose to question this research and its findings then it goes to show how our of touch they really are not only on this issue but on others concerning the game as a whole !

Has there ever been any other time when the actions of the NFL to your mind has been so asinine and out of touch with reality ? Simply chime in with your thoughts on this matter and where you see the NFL , Players’ Union now going and how best they can address this most acute of issues .

Picture and slide show details below.

(1) National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell , Rob Manfred, executive vice president of labor and human resources in the Office of the Commissioner of Baseball, Major League Baseball, NFL Players Association Executive Director DeMaurice Smith , Michael Weiner, general counsel for the Major League Baseball Players Association, Travis Tygart, CEO of the United States Anti-Doping Agency, Gabriel Feldman, associate professor of law and director of the Sports Law Program at Tulane University Law School, and Jeffrey Standen, professor of law at the Willamette University College of Law (L-R), testify on Capitol Hill on November 3, 2009 in Washington, DC. The hearing focused on doping in professional sports. Getty Images/ Brendan Hoffman ……….

(2) Commissioner Roger Goodell (left) with DeMaurice Smith, head of the players union. The two and their respective bodies seem to be at an impasse as to how best resolve the league’s collective bargaining agreement. AFP/Reuters ………

(3) Denver Broncos vice president of football operations John Elway (left), owner Pat Bowlen (center) and new head coach John Fox share a laugh before Fox addressed the media at Dove Valley on January 14, 2011 in Englewood, Colorado. Fox was named the 14th head coach in Broncos history yesterday after spending the last nine seasons as head coach of the Carolina Panthers. Dustin Edmonds/ Getty Images North America ……….

Alan aka tophatal ………………..

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The Game ….. feat’g ……. 50 Cent ……” Hate It Or Love It “

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Eye candy ………… Elke ‘The Stallion’

Who wouldn’t want to be in the saddle with this ?
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