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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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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DeMaurice Smith, Football, Kevin Mawae, NFL, NFLPA, NIH -NIDA (National Institue of Health), Roger Goodell, Sports, Sports & Social commentary, Sports Commentary

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

Did It Work For You ?


Did It Work For You ?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Alan aka tophatal ……….. 🙂

Football, NFL, NFLPA, Sports

We Run Things Here …………. The NFL and All of Its Guises …..


We Run Things Here …………. The NFL and All of Its Guises …..

The NFL preseason schedule isn’t yet upon us but the hierarchy of the league are merely looking for another way to have their patrons, the fans , part with their money with ever increasing and gregarious ways. The latest proposal from the league is the decrease the number of preseason games from four to two and increase the regular season schedule by two games . This is merely an end run around the “collective bargaining agreement” by the league as they look to increase their already burgeoning coffers.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has reiterated that this will make the NFL brand more popular amongst its fans and at the same gain some additional revenues for the teams around the league. Isn’t enough already , that with the preseason games some teams are asking their fans for a full blown commitment from them in purchasing a preseason ticket if they’re also a season ticket holder,? In some cases they will have to pay in full there and then. And where they do make a deposit for that preseason ticket if they’re not paying in full then the deposit becomes non-refundable. Thanks very much Commissioner Goodell but no thanks ! In trying to facilitate this, you’re simply conning the fans out of their hard earned cash merely to further laden the pockets of already wealthy multi millionaire and billionaire owners around the league. Suffice to say that other than BP’s Tony Hayward and President Barack Obama you might be approaching the status where you’re one of the most despised men in America !

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In all honesty what use is an additional two games to an already crowded NFL season with its month long playoff schedule in the postseason ?. If anything Goodell and the game’s hierarchy should be dealing with more acute issues such as the players’ behavior off the field and that of their ever decreasing wish to address the issue of head trauma injuries to the players and that of benefits to retired veteran players of the NFL. The hierarchy in conjunction with the NFLPA (union) have tip-toed around this issue long enough to give one the impression that they were in the midst of a mine field . Never mind the fact that Goodell and his union counterpart Executive Director DeMaurice Smith have made numerous pledges to Congress if not to the families of the players and to the players directly that something would be done.

More to the point , Goodell and his own medical counsel of advisers have repeatedly disagreed with numerous medical studies that have been carried out by trained professionals in academia studying such incidents of head trauma and concussion amongst current and retired players. Smith for his part, pays this all lip service like the consummate legal professional he is, having been a corporate litigator for noted DC law firm and lobbyists Patton Boggs LLP . Now if this proposal does take place and that is by no means a certainty given the fact that the NFLPA seems to be dead set against this unless there’s a bargaining chip thrown in that is amenable to Smith and his members. High profiled players such as Tom Brady and Ray Lewis have come out in opposition to the proposal citing the fact of injuries to a player during the season without them now having to encumber an additional two games to an already long enough regular season , not taking into account the playoff schedule for teams. In all , for teams with the additional two regular season games bringing the schedule eighteen games , you would then have the possibility of a team having to play the additional four games needed to get to a Superbowl if that team doesn’t obtain a bye. That would be an arduous schedule of twenty two game not including the preseason of two games. Never mind that you have the off-season workouts for the teams, some of which are mandated and some which are merely voluntary. Somehow I think that this is just another misguided effort by Goodell to prop up his PR image and make him all the more likeable amongst the fans ! Truth be known , Goodell would be much more well liked if he didn’t come across as being such a wimp in cow towing to the owners and players , rather than being his own man ! But these are just merely my observations and no one else’s.

Courtesy of USA Today

Tom Brady, Ray Lewis offer caution as NFL trumpets potential change to 18-game regular season

Perennial Pro Bowlers Tom Brady and Ray Lewis expressed skepticism over the potential for an expanded NFL season on Wednesday as the NFL met with the NFLPA to discuss logistics of extending the regular season to as many as 18 games.

Green Bay Packers president Mark Murphy expressed support for the change, which would involve adding 1-2 regular-season games and decreasing the preseason by a corresponding amount.

“This is an idea that is really gaining momentum,” Murphy said.

Murphy echoed comments voiced several times by commissioner Roger Goodell that four preseason games — tickets for which cost as much as regular-season games — are too much and short-change fans.

“There really isn’t the same value there,” Murphy said. “… I think there’s a real issue we need to address…. I think it’s very clear to many of us the players and teams don’t need four (preseason) games to get ready for the regular season.”

The NFL and NFLPA met on Wednesday in negotiations for a new CBA. The current deal expires after the 2010 season. Murphy said any changes to the schedule would be done in concert with the CBA and wouldn’t come until 2012 at the earliest.

Brady, the three-time Super Bowl winning QB of the New England Patriots, and Lewis, the Baltimore Ravens LB who was the MVP of Super Bowl XXXV, said in statements to the NFLPA that they had major concerns about the effect a change would have on player safety.

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Nothing could be more indicative of that last issue than the speed at which the votes were obtained in order to publicize the fact that there would be a Superbowl , a cold weather one in fact, that would be awarded to the recipients jointly __ the New York Jets and New York Giants at their newly proposed $1.6 billion stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Superbowl XLVIII (48) will be held the stadium in 2014 , much to the joy of the residents and legislative members if the municipality and the state. New Yorkers however , view it as a Superbowl that will be in their fair city, rather than being in the Garden State. Now I can only surmise that there were a great many opponents to this proposal but it appears that their wishes didn’t hold sway with such powerful NFL figures as Robert Kraft of the New England Patriots, Steve Tisch of the Giants or Woody Johnson of the Jets. All three individuals were behind Goodell obtaining the job as NFL Commissioner in succession to Paul Tagliabue . This must’ve been payback on the part of Goodell for the assistance provided by those three noted owners. I’d very much like to see what owners such as Jerry Jones , Daniel Snyder and Al Davis might have to say about this ! But then again we the fans aren’t party or privee` to backroom deals that are hammered out within the hallowed headquarters of the NFL. All we’re led to believe is that the hierarchy has our best interests at hand. If only that were true?

One can understand that the NFL wants to derive as much money as it can from its product being on display. But it’s becoming more and more apparent the league, in this case the hierarchy and the owners aren’t overly concerned with the concerns of the players much less the financial well being of the fans. It’s not as if the teams have actually gone out of their way to make the NFL experience of attending a game be one of great entertainment at a reasonable cost. Instead the cost of attending a game has risen up exponentially higher than the actual rate of inflation. So what’s new from the NFL next ? Sooner or later it will come down to the fact that viewing public may well end up paying not only via their cable subscribers but also via PPV for certain games as the NFL deems fit. Never mind the fact that attending the game en masse` has become beyond the reach of an ever growing number of fans.


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The NFL runs things along the lines the way Al Capone ran his business concerns during the era of Prohibition . Only then , it was illegal sell liquor for public consumption. In the case of the NFL what they’re now doing hasn’t yet contravened any federally mandated laws that we know of. But I’m sure they’re sailing as close to the wind in that context as to the way they conduct many of their business practices. The NFL are running things and they’re running things all so well , that it’s becoming hard to see how they can be stopped in their tracks before they run rough shod and ruin the fabric of the game. If they continue to do that the viewing and attending experience for the fans will no longer be a very pleasing one !

Alan Parkins aka tophatal ………………………….

Da Bush Babees ………………… “We Run Things (It’s Like Dat)”