Football, NFL, Sports

I Left My Heart And Balls In San Francisco

I Left My Heart And Balls In San Francisco …… !

It’s as ol’ Blue Eyes once said “I Left My heart in San Francisco” . Well what else is there that can be said about the Forty Niners because I sincerely doubt that the city now wants its name associated with this team !. Storied as the franchise may well be its lackluster and thoroughly underwhelming performance must have many now wondering what’s next for this Mike Singletary coached team. Alex Smith the team’s quarterback after five years in the NFL still looks as if he’s ill equipped to play a game and in terms of leadership qualities he’s severely lacking on all fronts . And that much heralded defense of theirs was found wanting as they succumbed to the Kansas City Chiefs __ 31-10. Any doubts that one had concerning the fact that the San Francisco 49ers would be challenging for honors within the NFC West this __ season were clearly answered by this anemic display.


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Slide-show for your perusal.

And while this may not have been the worse performance of the day it certainly ranks up there as being amongst the worse by an NFL team. You also had the Jacksonville Jaguars post in a horrendous display against the Philadelphia Eagles in losing 28-3 and any thoughts that Eagles’ coach Andy Reid may well still have in recalling Kevin Kolb to the starter’s position as the quarterback for this team may well have been slammed completely shut after this overwhelming performance by Michael Vick. The player was able to command his team with confidence and led by example throwing for four touchdowns and then rushing for one himself. There’s not so much of a dilemma facing Reid as all he now has to do is to ride Vick into this journey until things start to change course. Any thought of starting Kolb might just be met with a great deal of disapproval.

If you’re a kicker how difficult really can it be to place the ball in between the uprights from distances of 30 – 45 yards ? There’s a saying that kickers aren’t necessarily at a premium but it does pay to have a very good one on your team. Unfortunately for the likes of Sebastian Janikowski and Garret Hartley of the Oakland Raiders and New Orleans Saints when called upon to merely place the ball between the uprights they showed about as much aplomb for achieving that feat as Lindsay Lohan would show for trying stay dry and away from alcohol or drugs for a period of no more than 24 hours. Both players were contributing factors in their teams respective losses to the Arizona Cardinals __ (24-23) and Atlanta Falcons __(27-24 [overtime]). Janikowski the much celebrated first round draft pick is clearly showing that being the league’s highest paid kicker doesn’t have all of the privileges one would come to expect. That being said collectively the team lost in part because of the capriciousness of the defense in giving up big plays at the most unexpected of moments and in doing so negated the performance of the team’s leading rusher on the day Darren McFadden.

In the Saints’ loss this was a game of two quarterbacks and the errant play of the Saints’ secondary who were harried by the aerial play of Matt Ryan who found his receivers with a great deal of consistency. But that’s not to say that the New Orleans Saints didn’t have their moments with Drew Brees leading his team in this rather grueling divisional rivalry. And now with both teams sitting atop of the NFC South having posted 2-1 record this could well be a season wherein the division will give us a great deal more than we bargained for.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have come back down to earth after their totally inept display against the Philadelphia Steelers. The defense was woefully inept and any thoughts that this team can play itself into contention when it has to come back from a deficit can be put to rest. When emboldened with such a task it’s clear to see that the inexperience of this team on all fronts is glaringly obvious. Josh Freeman is still learning the nuances of the game and what it takes to become a leader but unfortunately however, the so called veterans on this team don’t seem to want to step up to the plate. The idiocy of the Bucs’ fans who were under the impression that the Steelers didn’t have a defense much less a potent offense was put to rest as backup quarterback Charlie Batch led his team to a rather rousing and lopsided 38-13 victory. I’ve to sometimes wonder how retarded the fans are within the Tampa Bay area are when it comes to their actual knowledge of the game and in particular the professional sports franchises within the local community ? They tend to talk a good talk but when it comes to showing clear common sense it tends to rank up there along with the knowledge shown by members of Congress when they start to talk about domestic policy or anything relating to the country’s standing in the world. Pie in the sky and sheer idiocy for want of a better word ……..Bucs’ fans simply shut the hell up and watch the games as the team is nowhere as good as you believe them to be !

My own impression, this early in the season is that there are a number of teams whose seasons are effectively over if they can’t find a way to play with more resolve and cohesion. Clearly the New York Giants under Tom Coughlin have more than their fair share of problems and Eli Manning and that $100 million contract is being made to look rather asinine at present ! If this team can’t rally around a quarterback whose mental traits as it revolves around the game comes into question then clearly not only does Manning’s decision making need to be looked at but also the plays being called by Coughlin and his coaching staff.

And as grateful as many of the fans of the game are for what has happened so far in the season one can only hope that there’s more entertainment to be had as the year progresses ! If not then we could be in a for a year of discontent and one of very little promise when it’s all said and done.



Picture gallery for your perusal.

What result if anything was something of a complete surprise to you in the NFL over the weekend ?

tophatal ……………


Brandi Vonne

Eye candy courtesy of XXL magazine . Brandi Vonne

Brian Westbrook, Donovan McNabb, Eli Manning, New York Giants, NFL, NFL Divisional playoffs, Philadelphia Eagles, Sports

Well The Sound That You Hear ……….

The sound you hear  are  those  of the  Eagles and  Giants’ fans looking  to  hold sway  this  weekend as to the  two teams  meet in  the  divisional rounds  of  the  playoffs.  It’d   appear to  be the marquee matchup  of  the  round.  Albeit  that the  fans  of  the  Arizona  Cardinals  and  Carolina Panthers  might be  of  a different  opinion  altogether.



Manning throws an incomplete pass whilst being tackled by the  Eagles' Trent Cole  and  Darren Howard in a regular season  game won by the Eagles  20-14....................
Eli Manning attempts a pass whilst being tackled by the Eagles Trent Cole and Darren Howard in regular season game which was won by the Eagles 20-14 ...................


Eli Manning  attempts  a pass while  being tackled by  the  Eagles’ Trent Cole  and Darren Howard  in  an  earlier regular season  meeting  between the  two  teams. The Philadelphia Ealges would go on  to defeat the  New York Giants  20-14 in the  game played in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  picture appears  courtesy of  ap/photo/ Thom  Brennan………….. 






And whilst  we  can all agree  that  these are  of the  better  teams within the  NFC . One cannot overlook the  season  that  both the  Cardinals  and  Panthers have  had.  Painstakingly Kurt Warner  has guided  his  team into  the  playoffs . And  their defeat  of  the Atlanta  Falcons was  a welcome and  pleasant  surprise  to many.   The Panthers for their part  not to be outdone  have  played  at  a high  level .  And their quarterback Jake Delhomme  seems to be  back  at  his  level best.  He’s being  ably supported by  the duo of  receivers  Steve Smith and Muhsin Muhammad.   Less  we  forget  also  they  possess a very potent  running  back  tandem. 






The game however between the New York Giants and the Philadelphia Eagles  will no  doubt  go  a long  way  letting  us  know who’s  likely to be the presumptive  favorite to  make  out of the  NFC.  And that’s with no disrespect  to  either  Cardinals  or Panthers.  As  good as  they  both are , the  Eagles  and  Giants  on  paper would  appear to  have  a much  balanced  roster. Donovan McNabb  of the  Eagles  and  Eli Manning  have  both  raised  the  level of  their  play  and  at the  same time have  their  teammates  believing  that  they’re  ready  to  take  it up  a level or  two  as  need be.



Jared Allen of the Minnesota Vikings  forces a fumble as Donovan McNabb attempts a pass in their wildcard game won by the Eagles 26-14..........................
Jared Allen of the Minnesota Vikings forces a fumbles as Donovan McNabb attempts a pass. The Eagles would go on to win the game 26-14 .................


Jared Alen of the Minnesota Vikings forces a fumble as the Eagles’ Donovan McNabb attempts  a pass during their wildcard berth  game .  The Eagles  would go on to win the game 26-14.  picture  appears courtesy of  getty  images/ Adrian Ward   ……………





Both teams defensively  are  no  novices  and  if  anything  that’s  been  one  of  their  strengths.  We’ve   seen this  evidence  as  to the  way  that  both  have  played thus  far  in the  postseason.  They’ve  been  staunch  and  miserly  as and when  necessary.  The  game itself may  well  come  down to the  play  of  both  quarterbacks  and the  protection  that  they’ll  receive  from their  offensive  lines.  That may well be  how  the battle  in  the  trenches will  be  won.  Brian  Westbrook  will  have  to be kept  in  check  also  if  the  Giants  are  to prevail.  They  cannot allow  him to have  any  room  in the backfield  or  at  the same time  allow him  to  catch  the  ball and gain  yardage.  He’s  quite  able to do  that  and  punish the opposing  team’s  defense  quite  ably. 







The Giants  are not  without  their own  offensive  weapons  and they too  will  be looking to  take  whatever  advantage  that they can of  the Eagles’  defense.  So it’ll be very intriguing  to see  what  both  teams  will  have in  store  for one  another.  Both Andy  Reid  and  his counterpart  Tom Coughlin know what’s  at  stake  for both  teams.  And for  the  Eagles  in particular  this may well be  the last  chance  for McNabb as  a  player  to  prove  once and  for  all  that  he  can  lead  a  team  to  the  NFC  championship,  having  won  it.  But this  time  lead  them to  another  appearance  in the  Superbowl  and  perhaps this  time  around   acquit himself  well.   The  acrimony of  the  team’s  last   appearance and  their  loss to New  England  still no  doubt  lingers  fresh  in his  mind at  that  of  the  fans.   Never  mind  the  fact that  his  courage  and  manhood  came into question  by  his  former teammate  Terrell  Owens.  Who’s  now sitting  at  home  alongside  his  teammates  on the Dallas Cowboys’  team.   So much  for the  fact  that  everyone  as  such  felt  that the  Cowboys were the  presumptive favorites  to win it  all.     Their  luster  is now beginning to look  like  that of an old  family heirloom that’s  gathering  a  great  deal  of  dust.  But  the  thought  is  that it’s  still  good  to take out  and  have  a  look at  when  visitors  come to  visit.






Much  as  I  like the  look of  both  teams  and how far  they’ve   both  come.  I’m of  the  opinion that this  may  well be  the  one  game that  when it’s all said  and  done.  It  could prove  to be  the  decisive  competitive  game  that’s  played  this  postseason.   The Superbowl itself notwithstanding  has a way  of either  exciting  us  or  letting  us  down when it  comes to  the overall standard of  play and  excitement.  OK  so last  year  we had  the  David Tyree catch.  But beyond  that   was  there  really  anything  else that   got   your  juices  flowing  other than seeing  the  New England Patriots being  upended  the way  that they were ?  Eli Manning  ended being  the  game  MVP and   Plaxico  Burress  proved to  us  that he  does  have  his  uses  when  he’s not  idly spending  the  time  either making  an ass  of  himself  or  shooting  himself  accidentally  in the foot, allegedly.






So come  game  time  it’ll  be  all or nothing  for  both  teams  and  absolutely  nothing  can be left to chance.  Each  team has  set  its  sights  on the  NFC  championship   game. But the  real goal  will  be   a  berth  in Superbowl XLIII and  the  chance  to  raise  the  Lombardi Trophy  aloft.   So  that’ll be  the  sound  that  you  hear  as the  fans  of  both  teams look to  lay  claim  that  they’re on  their way  to giving  it the  best  that  they’ve  got , with  their  fans in unison  playing  their  part as well.







Andy Reid, Brian Westbrook, Donovan McNabb, Eli Manning, New England Patriots, New York Giants, NFC East, NFL, Sports, Tom Coughlin

Make No Bones About It ………….

 Make no bones about it the divisional playoffs  now upcoming within the NFL  is more about the fate  of  the teams than one can really imagine.  We’ve seen  the rise of the Philadelphia Eagles who were left for dead by  many.  We’d seen the demise of  the Dallas Cowboys  long  seen as the presumptive  favorites  to win  it all.




Manning  tires to evade  Eagles' defensive players  and in  doing so throws  an incomplete pass .........
Manning attempts to evade the Eagles’ defensive players Trent Cole(58) and Darren Howard ………………


Manning tires to evade two Philadelphia Eagles’ defensive players Trent Cole(58) and Darren Howard. And in doing so he throws an incomplete pass. The Philadelphia Eagles would go on to prevail and  win the regular season game 20-14. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/Bill Kostroun ……….



For  the  Cowboys however their  season  ended rather  abruptly with a thud as they  succumbed  to a rather  embarrassing  loss  to their  divisional rivals  the Philadelphia Eagles 44-6 at season’s end.  And  now the  Eagles will  face  the reigning Superbowl  champions the New York Giants . In  what it is  sure to  be a  game  played  with  a great deal of  enthusiasm  and passion. Both  teams  have been  playing  at  a high  standard and  it’s  hard to say who’ll come put  on top.  Both  are  equally voracious  in attitude  when it comes to defense.  But  if  anything  the  Giants may  well have  the  edge  when it comes  to  the  offensive  capabilities. Albeit  that as of late  the Eagles with the play of their  veteran  quarterback  Donovan McNabb and  their  wily  running back  Brian Westbrook have shown  that  they’re  back to their old selves and  are  equally as  dangerous  as anything  that  the  Giants have to  offer.   


Eagles' defensive end  tackles the Vikings' wide receiver Bernard Berrian ...........
Eagles' defensive end Chris Clemons tackles the Vikings' wide receiver Bernard Berrian ...............


Eagles’ defensive end Chris Clemons tackles  the Vikings’ Bernard Berrian during the wildcard playoff  game between the Philadelphia Eagles and Minnesota Vikings. The Eagles would prevail winning the  game 26-14 in a game played  in the Metrodome in Minneapolis. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/Tom Olmscheid ……………..



Well  with this  upcoming  game  and  their  reputations on the  line as  well  as  berth  in the conference championship. This game offers up  a great  deal  for the fans  of  both  teams as  well as  the  viewing audience. The  New York  Giants under the  guidance  of Eli Manning will be  looking  to successfully defend  the  Lombardi Trophy and  at the  same  time become first team  to successfully defend the  title  since  the New  England Patriots. And as we all know  the Patriots’ unbeaten season  ended  at  the  hands of the  Giants in Superbowl XLII last season. Of which no doubt tears  are  still being  spilt  over  that  bitter  loss at  the  hands  of the New Yorkers  by way of  New Jersey.


Brian Westbrook is  off to the races ashe scampers on a 71yd touchdown run against the Vikings  .........
Brian Westbrook is off to the races as he scampers off on a 71 yd touchdown run against the Vikings .........

Brian Westbrook is off to the races  as he scampers for a 71 yard touchdown run against the Minnesota Vikings in their playoff game. picture appears courtesy of getty images/Elsa Martinez  …………………..


While I’ve no horse  to  ride in this particular matchup it is  one  of the games  that I  for one  am really looking  forward to. As to the other games they’re all intriguing  in their own particular way. If  there’s one thing however  that I’m  pleased with  thus  far in terms  of the  games played. It’s the  mere  fact that they’ve  all been entertaining  and  played with a great deal  of  sportsmanship and  without any  officiating  controversy.  That’s not to say  that  this won’t  happen as the  postseason continues to  unfold.


Tavaris Jackson of the  Minnesota Vikings attempts a pass under pressure  from the Giants' defensive player Fred Robbins  ........
Vkings' quarterback Tavaris Jackson attempts a pass whilst being presured by the Giants' defensive player Fred Robbins ..........

Vikings’ quarterback Tavaris Jackson attempts a pass under pressure from Giants’ defensive player Fred  Robbins. picture  appears courtesy of  getty images/Elsa Martinez ……………


Andy Reid and his counterpart  Tom Coughlin are two  coaches  with the  credentials and  acclaim that’s widely acknowledged as being amongst the  best  that the game has  to offer. Though earlier in the  season Eagles’ fans  were all but  decrying  Reid  and  McNabb as  being  complete idiots.  Things  have changed  to such an extent that  they may well be thought of as being  deities within the city of Philadelphia. And off course we  all know how  fickle  the  fans  in the  city of Philadelphia  can be about  their professional sport’s franchises. If  they  can boo Mike  Schmidt , Santa Claus,  then  why  not  the likes of  McNabb or  Reid ? Such are the  machinations  of the fans  in  Philadelphia.



I’ll preface this  by saying  that  once this  game  starts  I’ll  be  glued  to  my  television set  watching  with  baited  breathe as  things  unfold  over the  course  of the  game. Chances  are  that  the game  may  well be  too close to call and  as I  don’t  consider  myself  a prognosticator  just an  ardent  sport’s  fan.  I’ll  just watch  with  glee  and  hope  that the  game itself  will  be  thoroughly  entertaining. Not  just  for the  sake  of  the fan but for  the  sake  of  the  game itself. At this juncture  we  want the game  to  filled  with excitement and  intrigue if  nothing  else. What are your  thoughts on the  game ?






tophatal ………………….