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Another Day Same Old Story …….


Another Day Same Old Story …….

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

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

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

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

7

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

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

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

9

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

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

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

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

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

10

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

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

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

11

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

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

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

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

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

Contact ……… rapptu@gmail.com

Picture and slide show details below .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Deadlines Are For Idiots

……………….

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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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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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Slide show for your perusal.

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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Picture gallery for your perusal .

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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MLB News

Grapefruit League Schedule ————– Cactus League Schedule

MLB scoreboard

NBA News

NFL News

Alan aka tophatal ……………………………………

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Q Tip ………………… “Breathe And Stop ”

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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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Slide show for your perusal .

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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