Baseball, Basketball, Boston Celtics, Football, Los Angeles Dodgers, Miami Heat, MLB, NBA, NFL, NFLPA, Social Commentary, Sports, Sports & Social commentary, Sports Commentary

Now For The Good News ………………..


Now For The Good News ………………………

Well perhaps the biggest story of the weekend had to be that the death of Osama Bin Laden had finally bitten the dust after a covert operation by the US military that took out the terrorist who was being harbored in Pakistan just outside the nation’s capital of Islamabad . What I find somewhat ironic is the mere fact that the attack took place so close to a military academy where many of Pakistan’s top military officers are trained in amongst other things military strategy and the use of intelligentsia in warfare . So much for that nation being a willing ally on the war on terror , the government of Pakistan and its military have been complicit and suborned Bin Laden’s safe refuge but in reality Barack Obama and his predecessor George W Bush were too damn afraid of saying …….. what in reality anyone who had one iota of common sense had known all along as ….. they simply didn’t want to alienate the Arab world in particular those countries who they state were their allies on the war on terror. Well now that the head of the snake has been chopped off the question remains where do we go from hear ? There there are likely to be retributory acts of violence in retaliation for Bin Laden’s death and you can be sure that any one of a number of organizations that were aligned with Al Qaeda will want to assume the mantra and doctrine of the terrorist group. And what does this now for Bin Laden’s most trusted follower Ayman Al-Zawahiri who is now likely to assume control of the terrorist group. Will he also be pursued hopefully with as much tenacity as Bin Laden was ?

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Having had several friends (with the US military) serving in both Afghanistan and Iraq as well as a younger sibling serving in Kabul with the British military I’ve got to say that this news was most welcomed. And having served myself on active duty as a member of the Royal Marines I have to say that warfare is nothing to shy away from even when you’re thrust into the midst of it at a young age. For those who are still serving and those about to serve the country in whatever undertaking being thrust upon them I’d just like to say thanks and remain safe !

Well on to things just as heart warming I hope , and that’s the sporting landscape as it now appears to be. After three utterly monotonous and boring days thankfully the NFL Draft is finally over ! Seven rounds and some 250 plus picks by the NFL’s teams and already questions are being raised as to who the winners and losers are ? Hell who the fuck knows who will be ultimately a winner and who’ll be a loser ? Until these players actually hit a field , play a first down in the NFL regular season it’s mere speculation and conjecture . Good , and although I watched none of the draft coverage by ESPN I can only surmise that the analysts and hosts on hand had a great deal to talk about . This much I do know there’s only so much one can take of Chris Berman , Mel Kiper and Todd McShay without wanting to blow a damn gasket !

It goes without saying that while everyone is said to be feeling all warm and fuzzy with the Draft , consider the stupidity of the situation of the NFL at present ? The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals overturned Judge Susan Nelson’s original verdict in favor of the players and in effect the NFL lockout remains in place . Judge Kermit Bye’s decision which has literally thrown a cog in the works and as of now although this apparently looked upon as a major problem . Anything that in essence prolongs this stoppage makes the whole issue of the 2011 season starting on time now seems even more remote. The NFL team owners for one thing are said to be happy that Judge Bye’s decision went in their favor as it now gives them the upper hand they will in this ongoing effort. If anything as this all plays itself out the fans are becoming even more disgruntled with the present situation as they’re being alienated by the stupidity that’s now being shown by both parties . The NFLPA through their own spokesman have stated that the decision was merely a partial victory for the league and they’ve vowed to fight on during in this ongoing episode. Any bets that there will actually be football by the opening week of September 3rd the opening weekend of the NFL season ? I wonder what odds are now being laid in Vegas at present ?

The NBA postseason continues with its usual bluster and the Miami Heat seem to be intent on making quick work of the Boston Celtics with Dwyane Wade showing why it is that the regular season 3-1 series loss and meetings between the two teams meant absolutely nothing. In game one of the Eastern Conference Semi Finals Wade and his team literally took the Celtics to task on their home court at the AA Arena in Miami , Florida , comfortably winning the game 99-90 . Dwyane Wade led all scorers with 38 points and who was also ably assisted with 25 points from teammate James Jones . And though it’s early days yet , expect this series to be a highly competitive and physical one . Would you expect it to be anything else ?

Ah, how the rich tend to look for sympathy when their plight can’t be seen in a happier light . Over the weekend Frank McCourt gave an interview as to his impending plight now that the league hierarchy has essentially taken away the reins from him as the Los Angeles Dodgers’ owner. Now as good as the team has been playing of late with both Andre Ethier and Matt Kemp at present having All Star caliber seasons. I can’t help but wonder what might happen should the team going into something of tailspin and start to lose consecutive games or for that matter series !

McCourt for his part when pressed by the journalist as whether or not he had in fact had contravened any league rules in the conduct of the Dodgers’ day to day business dealings was adamant he and no other executive had done anything that has contravened any league mandated rules . In the eyes of Frank McCourt it appears it is a matter of perception as to what those rules might be and whether or not any were actually broken. The Dodgers’ owner stated that Bud Selig’s appointed intermediary former US ambassador to Japan J Thomas Schieffer and he had a very cordial meeting and that Schieffer stated that it would not be his intention of interrupting the working environment of the ball club . Can’t say that if I were in Schieffer’s place I’d have said anything to the contrary , given the fact that the Dodgers are in a financial mess and anything coming from out of the beleaguered owner can’t be viewed as having a bearing on the truth as we know it to be at present. This episode appears to be heading for what one might view as a contentious situation as McCourt has vowed to fight any intention of the league hierarchy to force him to relinquish the reins in owning the team. Personally, from a fan’s standpoint whether or not Frank McCourt retains control of this team I couldn’t at all care , because I’ve always been of the opinion that MLB baseball and the team owners are a clueless bunch of individuals ! . Were they passengers on the Titanic I believe that they’d have been making comments on how wonderful the iceberg that they were about to hit is , rather than realizing the impending disaster that is within their midst . I’ve had one patron of my site state that baseball is lucky that it doesn’t have a labor issue to resolve but here’s the caveat to his thought. It is indeed true that the MLB doesn’t have a labor issue to deal with but what it does have is a financial quagmire that’s about engulf it like quicksand has ben known to entrap an animal and stifle it of its very life blood . At present the owners and league hierarchy are too dumb to admit that fact until they’re actually up to their necks in quicksand . And when that happens we could very well see them looking them looking for a life jacket with none to be found.

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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 and thanks as always for the continued support !

Alan aka tophatal ………………………….

http://tophatal.wordpress.com

Picture and slide show details .

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(1) Ayman Al-Zawahiri (left) and Osama Bin Laden (center) are seen here delivering one of those rather radical Islamic fervent anti West statements . Bin Laden’s death now leaves something of a vacuum within Al Qaeda but it appears Al-Zawhiri will assume the role as the organization’s leader . Now word as of yet officially as whether or not the US government will go after Al-Zawahiri with the same fervor . BBC.co.uk …….

(2) At least they had something that they had to agree on and that the death of Bin Laden was a necessity . President Barack Obama and his predecessor President George W Bush are seen at the White House on the day Obama succeeded Bush at President . AFP/Reuters/ Gil Hughes ……

(3) Denver Broncos vice president John Elway, center, talks about this year’s NFL Draft after it concluded his is flanked by head coach John Fox, right, and general manager Brian Xanders during a news conference at the football team’s headquarters in Englewood, Colo., on Saturday, April 30, 2011. AP Photo/Ed Andrieski ……

(4) James Hill standing with Kermit Bye (left), judge of the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals and North Dakota Chief Justice Gerald W. Vande Walle at the ABA 2010 Midyear Meeting in Orlando, Fla. West Law Publishing .

(5) MIAMI, FL – MAY 1: Dwyane Wade (3) of the Miami Heat shoots against Ray Allen (20) and Glen Davis (11) of the Boston Celtics in Game One of the Eastern Conference Semifinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs on May 1, 2011 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida. Photo by Victor Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images ….

(6) Mario Chalmers (15) of the Miami Heat hshoots over Kevin Garnett (5) of the Boston Celtics during Game One of the Eastern Conference Semifinals of the 2011 NBA Playoffs at American Airlines Arena on May 1, 2011 in Miami, Florida
Mike Ehrmann / Getty Images ……..

(7) Paul Pierce (34) , Jermaine O’neal (7) , Ray Allen (20) , and Kevin Garnett (5) of the Boston Celtics talk during game one of the Eastern Conference Semifinals of the 2011 NBA Playoffs against the Miami Heat at American Airlines Arena on May 1, 2011 in Miami, Florida. Mike Ehrmann / Getty Images ………….

(8) Los Angeles Dodgers’ Andre Ethier heads toward first after hitting a single during the seventh inning of their Major League Baseball game against the San Diego Padres, Sunday, May 1, 2011, at Dodgers Stadium in Los Angeles, California . With that single, Ethier completed a 27-game hitting streak. The Dodgers would go on to lose to the Padres 7-0 . AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill …………

(9) Chad Qualls (50) of the San Diego Padres and catcher Nick Hundley celebrate a 7-0 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on May 1, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. Photo by Harry How/Getty Images …….

(10) Will Venable (25) of the San Diego Padres skips away from the tag of Dioner Navarro (30) of the Los Angeles Dodgers to score a run for a 6-0 lead during the ninth inning at Dodger Stadium on May 1, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. Photo by Harry How/Getty Images ……..

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MLB News

MLB Scoreboard

MLB results 1st May 2011

MLB Standings

NFL News

NBA News

NBA Playoffs

Easter Conference Semi Finals .

Chicago Bulls ….. vs ….. Atlanta Hawks

Miami Heat ….. vs ……. Boston Celtics

Western Conference Finals

Oklahoma City Thunder ….. vs ….. Memphis Grizzlies

Los Angeles ……. vs …… Dallas Mavericks

Baseball, Basketball, Football, MLB, NBA, NFL, Sports, Sports & Social commentary, Sports Commentary

Simply Fill In The Blank or Blanks ………………


Simply Fill In The Blank or Blanks ………………

MLB ____ Baseball

(1) I believe that MLB Commissioner Bud Selig has been good for baseball because ______ ?

(2) Neither Barry Bonds or Roger Clemens knowingly took steroids because _____ ?

(3) Can Frank McCourt be considered the worse owner in MLB at present ____ if not then who ____ ?

(4) The NL needs to have a DH in baseball because _____ ? ..

(5) Which team to your mind is worse franchise in Major League Baseball —- _____ ?

(6) Should baseball consider realignment for the divisions within the league ?

(7) It’s in baseball’s best interest to adopt a hard salary cap and shared revenue because ____________ ?

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NBA ____ Basketball

(1) David Stern has made the NBA worthwhile as a brand because ______ ?

(2) The NBA Playoffs’ format as it now exists is far too long because _______ ?

(3) Stern is over-stressing the point of the league being financially unstable at present because _____ ?

(a) The league has never opened up their financial records for fear that he would be found lying as to the bleakness of the situation .

(b) He fears that a lockout and wants to show the NBPA in a bad light because he believes the players and their union to be greedy .

(c) A & B jointly

(d) State your own answer

(4) In their series against the Boston Celtics I thought that New York Knicks would better because ____ ?

(5) I don’t believe that Derrick Rose is a valid candidate as league MVP because ___ ?

(6) How would you prefer to see the league MVP adjudicated ?

(a) By players and coaches

(b) Let the system remain as it is

(7) The Miami Heat will win the NBA Finals because _____

(a) They’re the best team in the league

(b) They have the best player in the league

(c) Combination of a & b

(d) It’s their time

(8) The referees during the playoffs thus far have performed better than last season at this point because ________________ ?

(9) It would be great to see an NBA Final series between the Los Angeles and Miami Heat because _____ ?

(a) It’s what fans will want to see

(b) They’re by far the two best teams

(c) Kobe versus LeBron would make the case for the argument as who really is the best player in the league once and for all

NFL ______ Football

(1) Who’d you say is more to blame with regard to the NFL lockout ______

(2) NFL league hierarchy led by Roger Goodell

NFL team owners and league hierarchy led by Goodell

NFLPA

(3) As commissioner of the NFL do you believe that Roger Goodell has done a commendable job so far ?

(4) Is Cam Newton justified as being take # 1 overall in the upcoming NFL Draft ?

(5) If there’s to be a season within the NFL do you feel that the season should be elongated or shortened to meet the customary schedule as planned ?

(6) Of the teams mentioned below which one to your mind will end up having the worse record in the league ?

Cincinnati Bengals

Arizona Cardinals

Cleveland Browns

Detroit Lions

(7) Of the players mentioned who to your mind is liable to have the most successful rookie season ?

Patrick Peterson , Blaine Gabbert , Nick Fairley , Cam Newton , Marcell Dareus , Von Miller and A J Green

(8) Here’s the premise should the NFL mandate a rookie salary scale (3yrs ) that is based upon the system that’s now enacted by the NBA ?

(9) The New York Jets won’t win the Superbowl because _________ ?

(a) Mark Sanchez’s form will regress from last season

(b) The defense simply isn’t as good as advertized

(c) Rex Ryan will prove to be too much of a problem rather than an asset

(10) The first NFL managerial casualty of the season will be _________________ ?

Mike Shanahan

Norv Turner

Ken Whisenhunt

Tony Sparano

Chan Gailey

Leslie Frazier

Jim Schwartz

Jack Del Rio

(11) The best ran franchise in the NFL has to be __________ ?

(12) With Judge Susan Nelson now siding with the NFL players in the mediation process do you feel that the situation is now over and why ?

(a) Yes

(b) No

(c) Neither side has won anything at this juncture because the ruling can be appealed and overturned in the US Federal Appellate Court

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

I trust you’ll have enjoyed the questions posed within this piece ? And I look forward to reading your answers .

Alan aka tophatal ……………………….

http://tophatal.wordpress.com

Picture and slide show details below .

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(1) MLB Commissioner Bud Selig seen here at a press conference in front of the convened press . AP Photo

(2) Roger Clemens arrives at Federal Court December 8, 2010 in Washington, DC. Clemens, a former Major League Baseball pitcher, appeared at court for an interim status conference on charges he lied to Congress during a hearing on the use steroids or other performance-enhancing drugs. Getty Images/ Brendan Smialowski ……

(3) Los Angeles Dodgers owner Frank McCourt speaks during a Dodger Stadium security news conference at Los Angeles Police Department headquarters on April 8, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. It was announced that new security measures will be implemented at Dodger Stadium after San Francisco Giants fan Bryan Stow was attacked in the parking lot after the season opener at Dodger Stadium. Kevork Djansezjian / Getty Images North America ……

(4) NBA commissioner David Stern, left, presents Cleveland Cavaliers’ LeBron James with the 2008-2009 NBA Most Valuable Player trophy before the Cavaliers’ Eastern Conference basketball semifinals game against the Atlanta Hawks on Tuesday, May 5, 2009, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Mark Duncan ……

(5) Derrick Morgan from the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets poses with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell as they hold up a Tennessee Titans jersey after the Titans selected Morgan number 16 overall during the first round of the 2010 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on April 22, 2010 in New York City. Jeff Zelevansky/ Getty Images…

(6) Mark Sanchez (6) of the New York Jets throws a pass against the Buffalo Bills during the game on October 18, 2009 at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Getty Images /Jared Wickerham ……

(7) Quarterback Garrett Gilbert (3) of the Texas Longhorns tries to tackle lineman Marcell Dareus (57) of the Alabama Crimson Tide who would score after intercepting the ball during the second quarter of the Citi BCS National Championship game at the Rose Bowl on January 7, 2010 in Pasadena, California. Getty Images / Kevork Djansezjian …..

(8) (L-R) Quarterback Chad Henne (7), coach Tony Sparano and running back Ricky Williams (34) of the Miami Dolphins look on from the sidelines against the Detroit Lions at Sun Life Stadium on December 26, 2010 in Miami, Florida. Marc Serota / Getty Images ….

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DeMaurice Smith, Drew Brees, Labor Disputes, NFL, NFL Lockout, NFLPA, Peyton Manning, Sports, Tom Brady

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/

NFL news

NFL team owners

List of NFL General Managers

NLFPA Executive Committee members

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Bananarama …………… feat’g ….. Fun Boy Three …….. “It Ain’t What You Do It’s The Way That You Do It”
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Xenia Tchoumitcheva

Eye candy ………. Xenia Tchoumitcheva

Raquel Reign

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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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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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AFC East, Amar'e Stoudemire, Baseball, Basketball, Football, Miami Dolphins, MLB, NBA, New Jersey Nets, New York Jets, New York Knicks, NFL, Ricky Williams, Roger Goodell, Ronnie Brown, Sports

Read All About It ……..


Read All About It ……..

It’s something of a down time for me in terms of writing on a topic with regard to the sport’s world at present. There’s not really a great deal going on albeit that Spring Training has arrived and teams preparing for the 2011 season . Remarkably though this time of the season as it relates to baseball doesn’t particularly interest me though I may well be in tow with friends to see perhaps one or two games . The Grapefruit and Cactus Leagues are a precursor for the fans to see their favorite teams but in reality you can’t really take anything away from the performances by the teams during Spring Training . One thing for certain though, this season will be unlike any other because for once I do not believe that there is a clear cut favorite for the World Series . Albeit that the talk was of the moves made respectively by the Boston Red Sox and Philadelphia Phillies we all know that all it takes is one major injury or a player not performing up to par and the ambitions of a team can essentially go up in smoke .

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As defending champions the San Francisco Giants will be a somewhat team from the one that simply made light work of the Texas Rangers in the game’s showcase event. For the Giants’ fans they’ll have something to appreciate but now comes the hard part for Bruce Bochy and his assistants as they look to have that right frame of mind and attitude as they look to make a successful regular and postseason run.

Now while the advent of baseball there’s still the giant shadow that’s cast by the NFL and a season that essentially has now become a year round business. There’s no two ways about it but even in the offseason the print media, major broadcast and cable networks as well as the radio talk show hosts out there will continue to make the NFL a topic of choice. There’s no denying that the ongoing labor negotiations mediated over by a Federally appointed abritrator George Cohen . The mediator has stated that there has been progress made between the two sides but I’m not so sure that’s all so clear as neither Roger Goodell on behalf of the NFL and owners have issued a public statement to that effect . The commissioner’s counterpart NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith , Executive Committee member and President Kevin Mawae have been equally silent with very little on appearance in outright candor on the issues .

At this juncture I’m not about to suggest what the outcome of this will be but I do know this , the goodwill built up between the NFL and fans is about to disappear up in a puff of smoke. And with there being a very distinct possibility that a possible labor stoppage we could no football for the entire 2011-12 season and one should also consider that there won’t be a Superbowl (SBXLVI) either , which would be staged at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis , Indiana , home to the Indianapolis Colts .

Well it goes without saying that the NBA trade deadline was awash with trades that essentially set a number of teams up for the remainder of the season . I’m not about to think that this will make the New York Knicks a real standout amongst the contenders with Donnie Walsh , James Dolan and Mike D’Antoni have maneuvered a three team, thirteen player deal , that saw both Carmelo Anthony and Chauncey Billups make their way to the Big Apple . To the Knicks’ benefit from a competitive and financial standpoint the deal makes sense but at the same time you simply don’t get the impression that even with these additions this team will be able to take on the likes of the Miami Heat , Boston Celtics and Chicago Bulls . To my mind those three teams are far better equipped for a playoff run than within the Eastern Conference .

Amongst the trades that took place we also had the arrival of Deron Williams in New Jersey to the benefit of a New Jersey Nets’ —- team that was actually precipated by the moves of team owner Mikhail Prokhorov who feels that the arrival of the former Utah Jazz star sets them up for the future . Given the upheaval that has taken place within the Jazz organization since the abrupt resignation of former coach Jerry Sloan , you simply can’t help but wonder what’s now in the immediate for the Jazz. As to the Jazz and the tumult that took place with the resignation of Sloan and the installing of Ty Corbin as his successor , who’d have thought that the history of the organization would be a topic of conversation and the unprecedented notoriety they had under Jerry Sloan ?

And back to the NFL , given the undistinguished season had by the Denver Broncos in which we saw the firing of Josh McDaniel , the interim tag given to Eric Studesville before Jon Fox was hired in the offseason by their now Head of Football Operations John Elway . The question now being asked is this now where we see the era of Tim Tebow and their organization’s hopes ? Incumbent quarterback Kyle Orton has let be known publicly and through his agent that he wants out if he’s not the team’s starting quarterback next season . Now given the unevenness of Orton’s play over the season and the mere fact Tebow seems to have won over the fans at Invesco Field and therein lies the dilemma that’ll no doubt face Fox and his coaching staff . Stay with the college star and rookie quarterback or rely completely upon the presumed journeyman veteran ? My bet would be on Tebow , given the fact that the Broncos need a fresh start and way of keeping the fans interested with what’s happening in Denver !

Miami Dolphins’ GM Jeff Ireland has stated that for the moment that Chad Henne will remain the starting quarterback of the team but has stressed that he won’t hesitate to take a quarterback in the upcoming NFL Draft . Now unless I’m mistaken Henne had a season that one would rather forget and so have the Dolphins over the last two years . For me the failings of the Dolphins really has come down to the fact that they’d become a one trick pony with the wildcat scheme and essentially not being a well balanced attack and a team where defense was essentially hazardous to their health !

Dolphins’ coach Tony Sparano and his coaching staff if anything has failed this team and so too has Ireland as the general manager. At some point the Dolphins as a team lost focus last season and it showed in their play throughout much of the year . Ricky Williams and Ronnie Brown as the team’s most potent offensive players but that simply explain the failings of this team as they fell out of contention not only within the division (AFC East) but also the league as a whole . At no time would have got the impression that they were actually capable of contending within the conference much less within the division.

Given that the Dolphins had to contend with the New York Jets , New England Patriots and shall we say the wayward Buffalo Bills ? As we know the postseason for both the Patriots and Jets came to something of an abrupt finality with their eventual woes. If anything the AFC East and its competitiveness during the regular season one thing but it appears that the teams and their ambitions fell well short of what they and their fans were expecting . And now we have Jets’ coach Rex Ryan once against stating that the New York Jets will be the team to beat for the Superbowl next season . I’ll take Ryan at his word but now having come up twice when it matters the most I’m beginning to think that New York Jets have been snake bit when it comes to postseason play.

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The NFL will have us engulfed in its coming and goings while the NBA’s season heightens up but we now await the opening of Spring Training and then the regular season . There’ll be a great deal on the line within baseball and I for am hope that it’ll meet all of our expectations . As to what lies ahead within regard to the NBA , well to be to sure the postseason there will be an eventful one . The NFL however still has to deal with its own misfortunes as it relates to the ongoing negotiations between the two sides . We simply just be sure where the whole situation stands because there still seems to be no case to lead the fans to believe that there’s liable to 2011-12 season.

What thoughts if any do you have with regard to the topics raised within this piece ? Simply leave a comment as how you see things panning out and as always thanks for the continued support !

Picture and slide show details

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(1) San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Matt Cain throws to the Arizona Diamondbacks during the first inning of a spring training baseball game at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick near Scottsdale, Ariz. Sunday, Feb. 27, 2011. AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez ……

(2) An usher watches as San Francisco Giants relief pitcher Steve Edlefsen throws to Arizona Diamondbacks’ Xavier Nady during the sixth inning of a spring training baseball game at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick near Scottsdale, Ariz. Sunday, Feb. 27, 2011. AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez …….

(3) Alabama defensive end Marcell Dareus runs a drill at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis, Monday, Feb. 28, 2011. AP Photo/Michael Conroy ……

(4) INDIANAPOLIS, IN – FEBRUARY 27: Quarterback Jake Locker of Washington runs a passing drill during the 2011 NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 27, 2011 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images ……..

(5) Eric Berry (R) from the Tennessee Volunteers is greeted by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell after the Kansas City Chiefs selected Berry (5) overall in the first round of the 2010 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on April 22, 2010 in New York City. Goodell and the league’s hierarchy have met with his union counterpart NFLPA Exec Director DeMaurice Smith through a court appointed mediator George Cohen. The two sides are still somewhat apart as to the negotiations and quite possibly if an agreement isn’t reached by March 3rd then we could quite possibly see the first mandated stoppage in the league since 1987. Jeff Zelevansky / Getty Images North America . …………

(6) Miami Heat’s Mike Miller (13) drives as teammate Chris Bosh, right, looks on and New York Knicks’ Chauncey Billups (8) defends in the third quarter of an NBA basketball game in Miami, Sunday, Feb. 27, 2011. The Knicks would go on to defeat the Heat 91-86 .AP Photo/Alan Diaz ……….

(7) MIAMI, FL – FEBRUARY 27: Amar’e Stoudemire #1 of the New York Knicks takes a charge against Dwyane Wade #3 of the Miami Heat during a game at American Airlines Arena on February 27, 2011 in Miami, Florida. Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images ….

(8) Denver Broncos head coach John Fox responds to a question during a news conference during the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis, Thursday, Feb. 24, 2011. AP Photo/Darron Cummings ………..

(9) Englewood , Co,. Denver Broncos vice president of football operations John Elway (L), owner Pat Bowlen 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. Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images ……

(10) Chad Henne #7 of the Miami Dolphins is brought down in the first half by Jerod Mayo #51 and Landon Cohen #66 of the New England Patriots on January 2, 2011 at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts. Elsa Martinez / Getty Images North America ……….

(11) Miami Dolphins’ general manager Jeff Ireland, left, poses with Tony Sparano, the newly named Dolphins’ coach after a news conference Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2008 at the Dolphins’ Training Facility in Davie, Fla. Sparano, who had been the Dallas Cowboys’ assistant head coach, accepted a job offer Wednesday from new Miami boss Bill Parcells. They worked together with the Cowboys when Parcells was head coach from 2003-06. AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee ……

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Alan aka tophatal ……………………………………

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Q Tip ………………… “Breathe And Stop ”

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AFC West, Commissioner Roger Goodell, NFL, NFLPA, San Diego Chargers, Sports

Autopsy Of A Season ……….. The San Diego Chargers


Autopsy Of A Season ……….. The San Diego Chargers

So much was expected of the San Diego Chargers for the 2010 season but given what we know about this team and their tendency to merely play each season by their halves it wasn’t a surprise that 2010 fell apart in the way that it did. And for the tv analysts , pundits and the fans of the Chargers this has become a case of history merely repeating itself again and again ! Qualcomm Stadium has simply become a graveyard for the aspirations of this Chargers’ team . They have a Pro Bowl caliber quarterback in Philip Rivers . And an offensive unit that ranked in the upper tier of the league’s teams last season.

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Norv Turner and his coaching staff have a team that was thought to be the equal of many within the AFC West if not better and most certainly viewed as one of the prohibitive favorites for Superbowl 45 (SBXLV). Certainly within the AFC as a whole the Chargers were viewed as one of the better teams . Nonetheless, Turner struggled to get this team to play with a level of consistency throughout much of the season. Even with the advent of injuries to players throughout much of the season you simply knew that this team just didn’t have what it would take to even mount a serious challenge to many of the opponents they’d face .

And while many viewed the Chargers as the team that’d go on to win the AFC West that privilege went to the Kansas City Chiefs under their sophomore coach Todd Haley . What might be even more unbelievable was the continued meltdown once again of the Oakland Raiders which ultimately led to a parting of the ways between incumbent coach Tom Cable and team owner Al Davis who would replace Cable with Hue Jackson . I won’t bother to repeat my thoughts as to the mindset of Al Davis as I believe that he’s way past his sell by date ! I’ll say this for the Raiders , they certainly have found ever increasing ways to implode their season without the help of anyone else . Not only that but they decided to cut their Pro Bowl cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha merely because he simply didn’t meet the incentives in his contract.

Certainly this team of its own volition won’t be recapturing the form that many of their fans believe that they’re capable of. Especially given the fact that consistency has never been their strong point . And that was self evident throughout much of the Raiders’ season . They were able to win three consecutive games in a season for the first time in over two and a half years. That’s not the sort of record you’d come to expect a team with aspirations of winning a Superbowl . But then again these are the Oakland Raiders that we’re talking about ………. and where the sublime and the ridiculous seems to be representative of the continued madness within the organization .

Not to be outdone in all of this was the fate of the Denver Broncos and where their wunderkind coach Josh McDaniel’s tenure came and went in the blink of an eye. Team owner Pat Bowlen had all that he could withstand with his coach and that of Spygate II courtesy of McDaniels and the team’s videographer. With McDaniel’s firing after their Broncos’ disastrous season the team hired former Broncos’ great and two time Superbowl winner John Elway to be the Broncos’ Head of Operations . Elway’s first task in the postseason was to hire a successor to McDaniels and that would come courtesy of Jon Fox who left the Carolina Panthers in the offseason being one of a number NFL coaching casualties in 2010 .

The Chargers for their part will either have to do a number of things if they’re to remain credible as a contender within the NFL. First and foremost Turner and his staff need to be reminded that a season is one of 16 games and not eight or nine as the case maybe . First and foremost they need to strengthen their roster through the NFL Draft and simply reassessing the strengths and weaknesses on the current roster . Team GM A J Smith and owner Dean Spanos clearly know that this may well be their window of opportunity this upcoming season to finally prove the naysayers were wrong about the San Diego Chargers . If they’re not able to do that then I do firmly believe that Turner and his coaching staff ought to be relieved of their duties . They’ve taken this team as far as they possibly can and it’s my belief that Turner is still riding on the coat-tails of his mentor and friend Jimmy Johnson . How else can you explain the fact that he’s repeatedly been a retread around the NFL as a coach ? It’s certainly not been because of his abilities as a coach that’s for sure ! In reality Norv Turner is a very good offensive coordinator and a marginal head coach at best. His overall record may not actually bear that out but if you look closely, it’s not as impressive as some might have you believe.

This much I do know as prolific an offense as this team is , its Achilles’ heel has been its defense and the lack of a pass rush and run defense . And that most certainly will be something that Turner and his staff must look to improve for next season or whenever the NFL chooses to resume play. And bearing in mind the turmoil that this offseason appears to be bringing by way of the chasm and intransigence being shown between the NFL and NFLPA as it relates to their on or off again labor negotiation talks . It has to be said that a the labor stoppage would do irreparable damage to the San Diego Chargers and numerous other teams around the league. If economic estimates are anything to go by then the impact within each of the NFL’s team markets will cost the teams and businesses on average in excess of $10-$15 million each week of the regular season . Add that all up and you’re talking about a potential revenue setback of countless billions of dollars to the NFL and the encompassing businesses that count on the league’s regular season schedule as a way and means of surviving .

The San Diego Chargers themselves are by no means a financial behemoth when it comes to the NFL as a business concern. Dean Spanos in order to seek some cash infusion had sold a minority stake in the team to wealthy business entrepreneur and entertainment mogul Philip Anschutz a minority stake owner of the Los Angeles Lakers , the owner of the Staples Center , Nokia Theater and of course entertainment giant AEG Entertainment Inc. . And with the constant rumblings of the city of Los Angeles’ wish to have an NFL franchise within its midst , it’s widely been rumored that the Chargers would be a viable candidate to relocate within the greater Los Angeles area. This much we do know the city’s mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has made it one of prescient tasks of bringing a franchise to the city but at the same time I’d ask this of the mayor …… what about the city’s enormous budget deficit and the fact that’s he’s now said to be cutting many much needed services to the city’s residents as well as laying off city employees ? Never mind the fact that there’s still the uncertainty of the financing of either a new stadium complex and whether or not this will be a public and private partnership in the venture.

Villaraigosa and the proponents of such a deal haven’t exactly told the public how this all would be facilitated. And at the same time Commissioner Roger Goodell though steadfast in his belief that there’s a necessity to have a NFL franchise in the country’s second largest ad market, hasn’t at all said whether or not the NFL itself would in part finance the building of a new venue or in part fund any refurbishment of an existing stadium using the league’s funding specifically that of its account that covers the financial assistance given to teams around the NFL. What a great many of the teams within the NFL tend to do , is to seek out assistance from local municipalities where they in part foot the greater part of the financing with the owners putting little funding if any at all for such a proposal , at the same time this all adds and to the tax burden of the local residents directly and indirectly. But that’s simply another a dirty little secret that the local politicians and the NFL would rather not let the fans tend to know about right off the bat. Moreover , you tend to be told that this is something that will ultimately be of benefit to the local community by bringing jobs and adding the economic standing of that community by enlarge. That may well be the case but rarely does it work out the way that the NFL explains it, as can be seen by the overtures they’re now said to be making by seeking concessions from the NFLPA (union) in order to cover their excessive spending and not reining in costs in terms of expenditure.

Simply put the NFL not unlike the present administration , Congress and the Senate simply no longer can practice what it preaches and that’s prudent fiscal policy ! Certainly the conservatives within Congress and the Senate may well think of themselves as being that way, as being fiscally responsible but I’d dare say that the vast majority of them wouldn’t know the difference between a balance sheet and a baking sheet ! And that now encompasses the idiocy we’re seeing from the NFL hierarchy and that of the NFLPA led by DeMaurice Smith and its President Kevin Mawae .

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

As to what the future now holds for the San Diego Chargers that remains to be seen but this much is certain, the team can ill afford to think that they can simply play half a season within the regular season schedule in thinking that they can still hit pay-dirt. It hasn’t helped them yet and it certainly won’t help them in the future . As bad as the AFC West is known to be , surely it cannot continue to remain that way ? Over time I expect the teams there to improve and that’s something that the Chargers’ fans and the staff there ought to expect rather than simply resting on their laurels and thinking that it’s business as usual . That’s the sort of complacency that has derailed the Chargers’ efforts in recent years and will continue to do so if they simply don’t change their mindset ! What thoughts if any do you have on the Chargers and their 2010 season ? And do you believe that they will ultimately improve and be a viable contender in the NFL in the coming years ? Simply chime in with your thoughts on this matter anything else as it pertains to the AFC West or for that matter the NFL as a whole .

Thanks as always for the continued supports as it’s greatly appreciated !

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NFL news

Picture and slide show details below .

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(1) Quarterback Tim Tebow (15) of the Denver Broncos runs for a first down past linebacker Antwan Applewhite (90) of the San Diego Chargers as guard Zane Beadles (68) trails the play during the fourth quarter at INVESCO Field at Mile High on January 2, 2011 in Denver, Colorado. Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images ……

(2) Quarterback Philip Rivers (17) of the San Diego Chargers takes the snap from center Nick Hardwick (61) of the San Diego Chargers during the first quarter against the Denver Broncos at INVESCO Field at Mile High on January 2, 2011 in Denver, Colorado. Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images ……

(3) Cornerback Andre’ Goodman (21) of the Denver Broncos breaks up a pass in the end zone intended for wide receiver Malcom Floyd (80) of the San Diego Chargers during the third quarter at INVESCO Field at Mile High on January 2, 2011 in Denver, Colorado. The San Diego Chargers defeated the Denver Broncos 33-28 . Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images ……

(4) Defensive tackle Antonio Garay (71) and linebacker Antwan Applewhite (90) of the San Diego Chargers talk to quarterback Tim Tebow (15) of the Denver Broncos following the Chargers 33-28 win at INVESCO Field at Mile High on January 2, 2011 in Denver, Colorado. The San Diego Chargers defeated the Denver Broncos 33-28. Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images ……

(5) Head coach Norv Turner of the San Diego Chargers leads his team against the Denver Broncos at INVESCO Field at Mile High on January 2, 2011 in Denver, Colorado. The Chargers defeated the Broncos 33-28. Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images ……

(6) Head coach Norv Turner talks with quarterback Philip Rivers (17) of the San Diego Chargers as they face the Denver Broncos at INVESCO Field at Mile High on January 2, 2011 in Denver, Colorado. The Chargers defeated the Broncos 33-28 . Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images ……..

(7) San Diego Chargers’ first-round draft pick Larry English , second from right, holds up his new jersey as, from left to right, general manager A.J. Smith, president-CEO Dean Spanos and head coach Norv Turner look on during a news conference Sunday, April 26, 2009, in San Diego. English, a linebacker, is from Northern Illinois. AP Photo/Jack Smith …….

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San Diego Chargers’ profile

Chargers’ news

Chargers’ 2010 schedule

Chargers’ team statistics 2010

Chargers’ schedule for 2009 season including results

Chargers’ schedule 2008 and 2008 postseason

Chargers’ roster

Chargers’ head coach Norv Turner

Assistant coaching staff

Chargers’ front office

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Alan aka tophatal ……………………..

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Eye candy ………… Denise Milani

Something to smile about with Denise and her bountiful chest of joy !

D 3

Denise’s lovely lady lumps !

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Outkast …………..“Elevator” (Me & You)

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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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Slide show for your perusal.

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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