AFC East, Atlanta Braves, Baseball, Bill Belichick, Football, MLB, New England Patriots, NFL, Sports, Sports & Social commentary, Sports Commentary, Tom Brady, Uncategorized

Savor The Moment …………….


Savor The Moment ……….

Well as baseball enters the run into the midseason break for MLB’s All Star Game I look over the scene of the standings and I feel that between now and season’s end in September we could be in for one or two surprises . A number of teams are jockeying for the positions that could prove to be fruitful and for myself I’ve simply been looking forward to the play of the Atlanta Braves and their assault on taking down the rampant and division leading Philadelphia Phillies within the NL East .

If the Atlanta Braves are to chase down and pass the Phillies then their play will have to be at a phenomenally high level . And for manager Fredi Gonzalez and his coaches will no doubt have to get this team playing with a rhythm and passion that is the equal to that of their rivals within division . It is my belief that the wildcard entrant for the National League (NL) will actually come from within the division as I do not believe that any of the apparent contenders within the NL Central or NL West will be there when it really matters !

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Slide show or your perusal .

The team has a two game home schedule against the Colorado Rockies before facing off against their divisional rivals the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Ballpark in Philadelphia on Friday . And though there’s a four game margin between the two teams in the standings anything that the Braves can do to cut that deficit makes the scenario all the more enviable for the Atlanta Braves’ fans and the belief that they could quite possibly win the NL East.

With Chipper Jones being the elder statesman on this team he leads by example . And for what may well be the player’s penultimate season his crowning achievement would be to lead this team into the playoffs and quite possibly winning the World Series would be a wonderful way to end what may well be a Hall of Fame career .

Alex Gonzalez (2) of the Atlanta Braves fields a grounder against the Colorado Rockies at Turner Field on July 7, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia. Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images ……

From an offensive standpoint this team has all the prerequisites in place with Dan Uggla , Jones , Jayson Heyward , Brian McCann and Alex Gonzalez supplying much of the needed offense to make this team a contender . The team’s pitching and its depth in particular has to be admired with seasoned veterans Derek Lowe and Tim Hudson being the primary starters but they are also ably assisted by Tommy Hanson and Jair Jurrjens who is having an extraordinary season and is considered to be amongst the front runners for the NL Cy Young Award for this season.

With the events of the All Star Game being a fan favorite it will be very interesting to see how this all plays itself out there at Chase Field in Phoenix, Arizona , this upcoming weekend . As to the immediacy of the games now taking place as I alluded to earlier it certainly will be interesting to see how the teams acquit themselves over the ensuing days .

NFL season or not I’m at my wit’s end with the never ending fumbling and bumbling that seems to be going on between the two sides. The NFL and NFLPA along with the coterie of lawyers representing both sides, this whole episode now resembles a crime procedural drama that we often now see as part of the usual litany of programs that now seems to stagnate the landscape of broadcast and cable television. Could things get any worse at this juncture as the two sides look to reach an accord ? Too many lawyers in one room to my mind usually spells danger or some apocalyptic catastrophe that is bound to take place. The paeans and NFL analysts of ESPN and Foxsports seem to salivating like prepubescent schoolboys who’ve just witnessed viewing their very first Playboy centerfold spread as rumors abound that the league is said to close to reaching a binding agreement as to a new CBA (collective bargaining agreement).

As an avid fan of the New England Patriots I certainly am looking forward to the differences of this team from this season and my impressions of them from last year ! From what can only be described as a disappointing postseason foray watching the team wilt under pressure against the New York Jets simply was like a reoccurring nightmare of watching a child being scolded for wetting its bed having just been put to bed .

Bill Belichick and his coaching staff will have their work cut out for them this season as the Patriots seek once again to be a resurgent force not just within the AFC East but across the whole NFL .

A 14-2 record within the AFC from last season gave the impression that the team was on its way to something impressive and perhaps a fourth Superbowl in twelve years . But the Patriots fell short through their own complacency and lackadaisical approach of several players on the team . Belichick often viewed as a mad scientist or some might even say a narcissist now realizes that he can no longer ride on the coat-tails of his previous triumphs.

And for players such as Tom Brady , Wes Welker , Danny Woodhead and to my mind the defense will now have to step up their play and simply prove to the fans that last season’s faux pas were just an aberration and nothing less . If not , then the presumed belief that this team can be viewed as a perennial contender for postseason play will prove to be nothing more than a myth.

The team’s upcoming season schedule should prove to be intriguing with a number of their inter divisional games against conference foes a lot more intriguing . Their main nemesis now appears to be the New York Jets within the AFC East and any defeat of that team in light of last year’s postseason effort would prove to be rather welcoming. And I would dare to say that for Wes Welker after his jab at the Jets and their coach Rex Ryan he would wish to atone for that rather infantile gesture and those remarks. If you’re going to trash talk you had better have the balls to back that shit up to begin with rather than ending up falling flat on your ass ! As was the case in that now infamous postseason game .

Consistency during the regular season is one thing but it has and will always be the postseason where it all matters the most . And in the preceding two years up until last year the Patriots have been one of those teams who have shown that they are capable of winning when it matters most .

The NFL Draft saw Belichick along with GM /Consultant Floyd Reese and Nick Caserio decide to make some prudent choices that should complement this roster and to bode well for the future of the organization. If there’s one thing we can all tend to agree on it is that the Patriots rarely make mistakes when it comes to the NFL Draft . Over the years especially under the tenure of Scott Pioli who’s now with the Kansas City Chiefs in his capacity as that organization’s general manager the New England Patriots were able place themselves amongst the elite of the NFL

I am looking forward to what I believe will be an exhilarating year within the NFL given the uncertainties that have and are still taking place ! There now seems to be some common sense prevailing but I have always been of the opinion when you have too many legal minds in a room scrutinizing all of the legalese placed within what will be a binding legal document there’s also a tendency to miss many of the really salient points that do need to be addressed ! We were being informed that this was all to with labor issues that needed to be addressed but in reality it was all to do with one side wanting to derail the others’ wish to have an even bigger slice of the pie . Hell, if this were really about a real issue such as player’s benefits and in particular those of the recently and long retired players within the NFL , then I firmly believe that Roger Goodell and DeMaurice Smith representing the NFLPA would have been more sincere in dealing with situation ! Instead it really has been a pissing contest between the two sides as they let the vitriol and utter stupidity get the better of them !

The season could be a preamble of what we could expect because before it even starts there’s bound to be a great deal of uncertainty with there being so many problems that will undoubtedly crop up. It is being rumored that one of the issues is that of restricted and unrestricted free agents and how best to use the franchise tag . Furthermore , the owners it is being reported have discussed having a roster of up 90 players (inclusive of the practice squad) which would be whittled down to the customary 53 players . The stage is set now for what may well be a season of comedic proportions wherein practices as conducted away from the usual facilities with rookies and first teamers could well have the fans wondering whether or not it wouldn’t have been better to abandon the season altogether . From my own perspective the first three to four games of this upcoming season could be one where we will see football being played at a rather dull level in terms of execution from the teams ! But in reality a season of sorts in the NFL is far better than having no season at all . And that’s even with Baltimore Ravens’ player Ray Lewis being of the belief that the NFL fan will be running wild in the streets committing all sorts of crime . But then again Lewis of all people should know a thing or two about committing a crime !

What thoughts if any do you have concerning the points raised within this article ? Simply leave a comment as you would deem fit and as always thanks for the continued support as it is greatly appreciated .

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

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

Picture and slide show gallery details .
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(1) Alex Gonzalez (2) of the Atlanta Braves fields a grounder against the Colorado Rockies at Turner Field on July 7, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia. Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images …

(2) Mark Ellis (14) of the Colorado Rockies scores on a wild pitch against Eric O’Flaherty (34) of the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field on July 7, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images ……

(3) ATLANTA – JULY 7: Manager Fredi Gonzalez (33) of the Atlanta Braves discusses a call with Umpire Scott Barry during the game against the Colorado Rockies at Turner Field on July 7, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia. Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images …

(4) Chipper Jones (10) of the Atlanta Braves hits a 3rd inning home run against the Colorado Rockies at Turner Field on July 6, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images ……

(5) New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick takes notes after a touchdown by Patriots’ Rob Gronkowski during the first quarter of an NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins in Foxborough, Mass., Sunday, Jan. 2, 2011. AP Photo/Charles Krupa …..

(6) New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) looks to throw as his offensive line holds back Miami Dolphins defenisve tackle Randy Starks (94) and linebacker Cameron Wake (91) during the first quarter of an NFL football game in Foxborough, Mass., Sunday, Jan. 2, 2011. AP Photo/Charles Krupa ……

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MLB News

MLB Standings

MLB Standings wildcard 7th July 2011

MLB Schedule

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MLB Results 6th July 2011

MLB Probable starting pitchers

Atlanta Braves profile

Atlanta Braves history

Atlanta Braves front office

Atlanta Braves coaches

Atlanta Braves active roster

Atlanta Braves team stats

Atlanta Braves draft history

Braves individual awards

Braves all time leaders

Atlanta Braves single season records

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Braves’ Hall of Famers

NFL News

NFL Schedule ——- Proposed and subject to change

New England Patriots

New England Patriots’ front office

New England Patriots news

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New England Patriots teams stats 2010

New England Patriots coaching staff
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AFC West, Commissioner Roger Goodell, NFL, NFLPA, San Diego Chargers, Sports

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


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

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

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Slide show for your perusal .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Click on any of the frames to view a picture in its original formatted size .

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

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

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

NB:


NFL news

Picture and slide show details below .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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San Diego Chargers’ profile

Chargers’ news

Chargers’ 2010 schedule

Chargers’ team statistics 2010

Chargers’ schedule for 2009 season including results

Chargers’ schedule 2008 and 2008 postseason

Chargers’ roster

Chargers’ head coach Norv Turner

Assistant coaching staff

Chargers’ front office

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Alan aka tophatal ……………………..

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Eye candy ………… Denise Milani

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

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Denise’s lovely lady lumps !

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Outkast …………..“Elevator” (Me & You)

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AFC West, Allan 'Bud' Selig, Baseball, Basketball, Florida Marlins, Football, MLB, NBA, NFL, Phillip Rivers, San Diego Chargers, Sports

2010 Was A Great Year In Some Sports And In Some Ways It Was Also An Unmitigated Disaster !


2010 Was A Great Year In Some Sports And In Some Ways It Was Also An Unmitigated Disaster !

Well there are but three days left before we ring in a year year and the start of another decade and as such 2010 will have left most sports fans enriched with the spectacles that unfolded in front of their very eyes. Now speaking as an avowed sports fan there were times when I simply wanted to turn off the television set or were it an event that I’d attended I was simply hoping for a refund after the money I’d paid out and the event itself hadn’t met my expectation. For me as such having lived in the state of Florida since 1992 , coming from the UK where I’d served in the military and then worked for several years in the financial world for a number well known international financial concerns. I would became enamored with the game of baseball and my support was fully thrown behind the local baseball team which just happened to be the Florida Marlins . South Florida was a buzz when the organization came into its inception and when that first pitch was thrown out by Charlie Hough in the team’s inaugural game it was of great comfort to the fans within the region who’d longed for a baseball franchise. In that time to now I’ ve witnessed the highs and lows of the organization , from seeing them win their first World Series (1997) and then with that team being ripped apart by then owner, businessman H D Wayne Huizenga merely to save a few million dollars at the time we were led to believe. The multi billionaire co- founder of Waste Management Inc , AutoNation and Blockbuster Inc would subsequently become the owner of the NFL’s —- Miami Dolphins having bought the team from the Robbie family.

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Slide show for your perusal .

Having torn apart that championship winning team when a great many observers at the time felt that the Marlins could have successfully defended their title left a bitter taste in the palates of the fans in South Florida. If that wasn’t enough for the fans who now felt cheated the idiocy that took place upon the team’s sale to commodities’ broker John Henry ____ had many wondering what the hell was going on within the game and in part with the game’s hierarchy led by Commissioner Allan “Bud” Selig . Henry’s tenure as owner of the organization was short lived but it didn’t stop the ongoing insanity that was taking place at the time. A lease agreement was signed by the organization (front office) with the Dolphins to lease their stadium to accommodate the team’s games throughout the season. That contract was so imbalanced and weighed everything heavily in favor of the Dolphins in terms of revenue streams that the organization (baseball club) would have greatly benefited from. So much so that to this day I still wonder who provided legal counsel for John Henry and his partners at the signing of that lease agreement ? It’s clear that these lawyers could not have graduated from an establishment that actually taught contract law with any great distinction . And as short-lived as Henry’s tenure of the team would be there was little success on or off the field that came the Marlins’ way , be it from a competitive standpoint or a financial one for that matter.

Once Henry saw fit to divest himself of the team it was bought by the MLB hierarchy with a view to either contracting the team or looking for a possible buyer . With the Montreal Expos being disbanded and them being folded the team owner billionaire art dealer and entrepreneur Jeffrey Loria was given a sweetheart deal wherein he sold the remnants of the Expos to MLB and he would then be loaned $38 million dollars by MLB at preferential rates in order to buy the Marlins from the game’s hierarchy ($158 million) having sold the Expos to Selig and his cohorts ……….. in other words all the teams in the league were in essence also part owners of the now defunct Expos and prior to that the Marlins. Loria for his part having bought the team would revamp much of the front office bringing in his trusted aide step-son , Dave Sampson as Team President and with Larry Beinfest as President of Baseball Operations & GM. However rather than look to renegotiate the lease agreement that was in place Beinfest and Sampson sought to leave it in tact even though it was a gigantic financial burden to this new ownerhsip group . Over time it would indeed prove to be costly, albeit that there was beginning to be signs of life on the field of play. A second World Series( 2003 ) would be in the offing but alas history would again repeat itself as the front office would divest itself of the talent that got them to the game’s big show.

Come full circle in 2010 and the Marlins though competitive within the NL East it’s now being ran merely as a treasure chest that’s pillaged by Loria and his general partners while making false claims as to the team’s lack of profitability. That may well be true to a certain extent but much of the claims aren’t valid given the fact that much by way of the game’s tax sharing revenue scheme the Marlins have been able to inflate those figures while at the same time misconstrued facts and then getting the state county and local municipality to finance their new venue that will come into being 2012 on the site of the Orange Bowl in Miami. Once again taxpayer’s monies and the so called bed tax (hotel tax) increased service fees and bonds are being used to finance and construct a facility for a private enterprise that will be in part will be co-owned by a multi billionaire . And with there being little if any out of pocket expenses or escrow monies as a sign of good faith being put up by the present ownership group it has to be said that the local community and governmental agencies have again been duped. Given the economic blight within this state and the unemployment that rate that is now in line with the national average of 9.8% one wonders what the hell local and state governments are thinking when they’re in part cutting many services and furloughing if not pink slipping their staff ? They may well feel that the a new venue will be a boost to the economy but within the state of Florida the game of baseball is on life support when it comes to the interest being shown by the local residents. Spring Training asides other than when the New York Yankees or Boston Red Sox are in town there’s minimal support shown for the Tampa Bay Rays much less the Florida Marlins . Hardcore support for the Rays might not even break 15,000 when they are in attendance at Tropicana Field and that figure is even less when it comes to the Marlins and the attendance of fans at Sun Life Stadium in Miami.

As spirited a season as the Marlins had it was as such an immense disappointment with the team’s lack of success as much had been expected given management’s feeling at the time. And for myself I disavowed my support of the team once it became known of the lies and complicit underhandedness of Loria and the local politicians in getting a deal done that will end cost the taxpayers and state far more than estimated albeit that proponents of the new stadium are claiming otherwise. Fredi Gonzalez is no longer the team manager and his position has been entrusted to rookie manager Edwin Rodriguez . The team itself now is but bare bones with the exception of All Star _____ Hanley Ramirez and Ricky Nolasco who was recently signed to a three year $26.5 million deal. It’d be safe to say that the aspirations of the Marlins this upcoming season will fall short of expectations as I firmly believe that the team will struggle to be competitive within its own division much less the rest of National League never mind the intra-eague games that will have been scheduled against AL teams .

The 2010 World Series itself brought about the rags to riches story some might say of the Texas Rangers and the San Francisco Giants who actually played like the champions that some wouldn’t have presumed they would be be . Throughout the postseason they set aside the egos and played as a team waylaying whatever obstacle that stood before them and their NLCS series against the Philadelphia Phillies (4-2) became so lopsided that it even had me wondering which team was star laden and had a multi million dollar payroll . Bruce Bochy’s Giants simply took care of the Phillies with consummate ease and then made light work of the Rangers with a 4-1 in a lopsided World Series victory. Enough said !

OK so the Miami Heat in its present format has become ‘the talk of the town’ but last season the team struggled to remain competitive within Southeast Division of the Eastern Conference . In the off-season ‘The Decision’ as it came to be known would bring LeBron James to Miami to play alongside his good friend Dwyane Wade . James for his part played the showman trying to say the right things but at the same time coming across like a child who’d found himself a treasure trove of new toys to play with. Along for the ride also would be Chris Bosh and it immediately created to my mind the comical trio ‘The Three Amigos’ that now cult film that starred Steve Martin , Chevy Chase and Martin Short . As to the pretense by James, that he’s on South Beach merely to win titles that may well be true but in essence it’s all about the money , albeit that he’s taking less money to sign with the Heat ___ endorsement deals will undoubtedly come pouring in once the corporate behemoths align themselves with the player . Team President Pat Riley who engineered this all in conjunction with owner Micky Arison have to be now sweating bullets because should this team fall short of expectations then it’ll not only be Riley who’ll undoubtedly be judged but also LeBron James . And given the player’s less than enthusiastic welcome at such venues as Quicken Loans Arena and Madison Square Gardens this season , is it any wonder the player himself has been somewhat conciliatory to the fans in Cleveland and elsewhere ? James is now about as welcomed in Cleveland as Osama Bin Laden would be at a synagogue while the patrons there celebrated Hannukah !

Now while the Heat as of late have been on a winning spree wherein they sit atop of their division they are by no means as such viewed as the consensus favorites to make it to this season’s NBA Finals . Oddsmakers in Vegas would have us all believe that Erik Spoelstra’s team are a shoo-in as the Eastern Conference representatives but given the play of the Boston Celtics , Chicago Bulls and in particular a revamped Orlando Magic —– team I certainly don’t think that the Heat will have things all their own way ! As good as this team looks on paper I for one don’t feel that their depth can match that of the Celtics who are the team to beat within the conference . Zydrunas Ilgauskas , Erick Dampier and Carlos Arroyo simply don’t cut it for me as front line players who need to be athletic in order to give the Heat a legitimate shot. OK, so the big three night in and night out will be asked to carry the offensive load but there’ll be nights when they will cool off or the possibility of a prolonged injury to one or two of the trio that could take place at some point in the regular if not postseason. What then one might ask and who steps up to the plate at that juncture ? David Stern may well be frothing at the mouth like a hyena who’s just seen its prey fall to the ground having taken its last breath but that envisaged match up against the Phil Jackson’s Los Angeles Lakers is by no means a certainty and as appetizing a prospect as at might be . A ratings’ bonanza yes but an NBA Finals without that marquee match-up and we all might as well watch paint dry. I mean last season’s NBA Finals between the two most storied franchises whilst appealing, wasn’t exactly suspenseful to begin with. Once the Boston Celtics took their feet off the gas pedal they essentially paved the way for the Kobe Bryant and his teammates to successfully defend their title and add a sixteenth Larry O’Brien Trophy to the Lakers’ legacy and cabinet showcase.

At what point of the NFL —- season was it that the San Diego Chargers started to play football ? Midpoint or three quarters of the way through ? Such has been this team’s persona over the past few seasons that sooner or later it had to catch up with them. Starting the season and then slowly progressing to 2-5 with injuries and off the field issues Norv Turner and his coaching staff were asking a great deal of Philip Rivers to lead this team with aplomb and take them back into the postseason . As poor as the AFC West has become in terms of the play , there were spirited signs being shown by Kansas City Chiefs and Oakland Raiders . Coach Tom Cable looked as if he had the Raiders heading in the right direction but as we’ve so often come to expect of this team oil and water just doesn’t mix . And suffice to say that’s akin to asking the Raiders to win consistently , so much so, that for the first time in almost five years they’d notched three successive victories in a season. Now if only they could’ve maintained that momentum throughout the season but alas it wasn’t to be as there was a lack of cohesiveness in the team’s play , injury issues and that seemingly problem that always arises, a healthy quarterback who could string together 60 minutes of continuous and consistent play. Bruce Gradkowski and Jason Campbell each had their part to play and at times they were extremely good but more often than not they would fall short of Cable’s and the fans’ expectations .

The AFC West now has a newly minted champion in the Chiefs and much of that credit has to do with GM Scott Pioli , head coach Todd Haley and former cast offs Charlie Weis and Romeo Crennel who have the Chiefs playing meaningful football at the right time of the season. Familiarity doesn’t always breed contempt but given the fact that Pioli, Haley , Crennel and Weis are fruits that were borne of the New England Patriots’ tree under the tenure of Bill Belichick and owner Bob Kraft is it any wonder that this Chiefs’ organization is now being modeled on that Patriots’ template ? Success there starts from the top and works its way down to the coaching staff and players and beyond and it become a bona-fide success on the field of play. That’s the mantra now being ingrained within the organization by Pioli that hadn’t been apparent with the Kansas City Chiefs in years .

Kudos to Brett Favre , Randy Moss , Chad Ochocinco and Vince Young for showing us all that a narcissistic ingrate much like a leopard never changes its spots. Who could’ve foreseen that Favre would now be deemed a pariah both on and off the field while at the same time bring about the downfall of coach Brad Childress which in essence led to his firing by Vikings’ team owner Zygi Wilf ? If that wasn’t enough we had Randy Moss in the space of three months , played on three different teams during the season . Welcomed back like a prodigal son returning home to Minnesota to play for the Vikings , Moss made himself about as welcomed as Pat Robertson would be amongst a group of Haitian refugees or homosexuals. Suffice to say that the organization cut Moss without him adding anything productivity wise . From the Patriots to the Minnesota Vikings and on to the hapless Tennessee Titans where Vince Young’s relationship with coach Jeff Fisher is now about as combustible as Semtex and nitrolgycerin being placed in the same room would be . If that’s not enough of an indication to tell you how bad things have become then I don’t know what will . Young after a verbal assault on his coach has since been placed on injured reserve then unto the PUP list and was subsequently asked by Fisher to to stay away from the team until further notice . Moss for his part when on the field might as well be catching flies because he’s won’t be catching anything at all in terms of the Titans’ pass offense . Less we forget Titans’ owner Bud Adams still believes that Young has something to offer the team and the fans ? There’s a sucker born every minute and Bud Adams most certainly is one of those ! He might just be one of the worst owners in the NFL present .


When all you have to show for your NFL season are your accomplishments off it rather than for anything that you’ve achieved on it then it has to be time for you take a look at where you’re at in regards to your career. Not so for the Cincinnati Bengals’ wide receiver Chad Ochocinco who’s had perhaps his least productive year in the NFL since his entry amongst the professional ranks. Lined up alongside what was deemed to be a potent receiving duo of himself and Terrell Owens , Ochocinco has performed like a circus clown simply out for laughs ! Suffice to say that the Bengals’ season went south so fast that you’d have sworn that just like the Titanic this team had hit an iceberg. Coming into the season as the AFC North divisional champions this Marvin Lewis coached team simply didn’t live up to the perceived hype or expectations . And glaringly , both Carson Palmer and Chad Ochocinco had years that they’d no doubt rather forget. In the case of the always opinionated wide receiver he still talks up his exploits as a top line and being of the elite receivers in the league . Not so fast Chad because the likes of Devin Hester , DeSean Jackson , Larry Fitzgerald , Wes Welker and Andre Johnson now make you look all the more pedestrian ! And if that wasn’t enough the player and his teammate Owens now have host their very own cable talk show on Versus the non-descript sports programmer owned by cable giant Comcast . Now I’m beginning to understand the reason why the content there is so bad alongside that of their newly acquired network station NBC and its affiliated companies. The The TOcho Show is so pallid and a waste of resource that you’ve got to ask yourself which cable executive within Versuse came up with this idiotic idea and has he or she yet been fired by a superior ? Hopefully once the the show has ran its season it’ll be <b< yanked off the air faster than Jenna Jameson has been known to go down orally on an intimate companion.

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

As to the NFC itself well suffice to say that beyond the New Orleans Saints , Atlanta Falcons , Philadelphia Eagles , Chicago Bears and the now rejuvenated St Louis Rams the rest of the conference itself has been less than appealing . It’ll be interesting to see which of these teams does in fact make the postseason how well they’ll fare . But I’m simply hoping that all the teams from both the AFC and NFC make this postseason an exciting one, and one to remember ! Last season’s fairy tale story of the ‘Who Dat Boys’ of the New Orleans and their Superbowl (SB XLIV) triumph (31-17) over the Indianapolis Colts was a welcome surprise and thankfully we all got to appreciate the finesse and greatness that Drew Brees as a player is all about . Can the Saints repeat ? Well we’ll just have to wait and see.

This encapsulates part one of a two part series on some of my most prominent sporting memories of 2010 . Be on the lookout for part two and then by all means chime in with a comment as to your thoughts on both pieces and what if anything was one of your sporting highlights of the year.

NB: Click on the link provided to read Pt 2 in this two part series .

https://abritishman.wordpress.com/2011/01/01/2010-was-a-great-year-in-some-sports-and-in-some-ways-it-was-an-unmitigated-disaster-part-two/

Alan aka tophatal ………………………..

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Candace

Eye candy Candace Pictures appear courtesy of Smooth Magazine

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Suelyn-Brittany

Suelyn and Brittany
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Jasmine  Black

Porn star Jasmine Black not coming to your local school hall or church anytime soon.

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Baseball, Football, MLB, NBA, NFL, Sports

Stat of The Week ……………….


Stat of The Week

Well the hype of the moment still goes on the Miami Heat are winning , Brett Favre has thrown his 500th TD of his career and low and behold the Cincinnati Bengals are indeed a terrible team . In the case of the Heat the bravura that this team would be laying waste to the NBA seems to be complete joke . When you have someone such as Jeff Van Gundy making such asinine claims gives me the impression that as an analyst he ought to be showing sound judgment and not be making the most idiotic statements with nothing at all there to back it up. The Heat’s recently loss to the New Orleans Hornets who are unbeaten and would appear to be a rejuvenated organization under Monty Williams .

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Slide show for your perusal.

Chris Paul is leading the Hornets with a great deal of aplomb and he’s being ably abetted by David West. Unbeaten and riding high within the Western Conference along with the Hornets are the reigning NBA champions the Los Angeles Lakers remain the only unbeaten teams within the NBA . Care to ask Van Gundy what he thinks about the Lakers and Hornets at this moment ? I guess he’ll pass on both questions and simply state they are both good teams !

Week 9 of the NFL and I’m now wondering how bad it can literally become for a number of teams within the league . It’s gotten to the stage where parity now becomes a misnomer for what appears to a diluted talent pool and coaching that borders on being insipid , completely agonizing and painful to watch . The Buffalo Bills remain win-less and I’m not so sure that by season’s end we might witness a second NFL team go win-less at 0-16 for the second time in five years. Chan Gailey and his coaching staff seem to be at a loss as to how best to get this team back on the right path. I’m not about to suggest that Gailey be fired but at this juncture there’s a distinct feeling that the fans and owners aren’t entirely happy with the situation as it now unfolds.

The AFC West has become an open race and it appears that the Kansas City Chiefs , Oakland Raiders and San Diego Chargers are looking to make this race a thriller. The Raiders and coach Tom Cable have been a team on a mission . For those who’ve become aghast with the explosiveness of the Raiders’ play in recent weeks then think how their fans are said to be feeling ? For the first time in three years the Raiders have won back to back games and are looking to make it three straight. The Raiders’ offense has racked up 700 yards of offense and unheard of 92 points in two games . Darren McFadden, Darius Heyward-Bey and Michael Bush seem to be the three headed horse that has come about to slay the dragon. Cable now has a decision to make as to which quarterback he wants as a starter for this team . The choices are Jason Campbell and journeyman Bruce Gradkowski _________ care to guess what the choice will be ?

Ah the saga that is the Dallas Cowboys ……. “America’s team” ? Well folks the team appears to be now as popular as the poll ratings of the Congress and the Obama administration combined. With each passing week the woes of this team and its owner becomes cannon fodder for the press and for Jerry Jones the choices are , watch this team continue to implode while a lame duck coach in Wade Phillips continues to lead the team. Phillips for his part has no idea where this team is going and the reasons behind the “free fall” and how best to address the problems. Suffice to say while the intrigue continues there’ll be more to this story that unfolds.

The World Series ended with a thoroughly lopsided series win for the San Francisco Giants. Tim Lincecum , Cody Ross and series MVP winner Edgar Renteria have a number of reasons to be proud. Bruce Bochy wins the team their first title in over 5 decades and the fans are now looking to next season to defend their title. One choice already made by the organization is that the services of Renteria will not be retained and in all likelihood we’ll see the retirement of the two time winning World Series player. For the losing team the Texas Rangers and the ownership group led by Nolan Ryan and Chuck Greenberg it must have been a bitter pill to swallow. Favored perhaps to win the series and with the apparent pitching of Cliff Lee it was believed that the team would be on their way to landing their first World Series championship.

A 4-1 series loss and now the fallout from this all is that Lee becomes a free agent and perhaps the most desired player on the market. ALCS losers the New York Yankees having been embarrassed by the Rangers in that series are now said to be actively pursuing Lee. And though Ryan and Greenberg have stated that is their intention to do their utmost to retain the player one gets the impression that the Yankees led by GM Brian Cashman will move heaven and earth to acquire the player whatever the cost. In all likelihood that will mean making him amongst one of the highest paid pitchers in baseball. That privilege currently belongs to Yankees’ ace C C Sabathia whose seven year $150 million contract now sits atop of the list. Lee who’s represented by Darek Braunecker is known to drive a hard bargain when it becomes common knowledge that one of his clients is the desired target of a team. And with the Yankees venerable financial resources we are now liable to see a bidding war start for Lee’s services between the Boston Red Sox , Los Angeles Angels , Rangers and New York Yankees. Lee has stated that he loves the camaraderie of his teammates and the friendliness of the Rangers’ fans but given the financial security that a $150 plus million contract will no doubt provide, do you get the feeling that this might be the one contest that no one really notices ? Braunecker for his part will seek to drive up the price as he’s often been known to do when it involves one of his more high profiled clients. And for the Yankees this once again goes to show how much disappointment there has been with the inconsistency of their pitching rotation in the postseason .

A $200 million dollar payroll and but for Robinson Cano this team was a complete disappointment in the postseason. No leadership when it mattered most and a group of players where there was about as much synergy and cohesion that one come to expect from a bunch of highly overpaid athletes whose biggest concern it appears wasn’t actually to win but give the impression that they were overly concerned about the Yankees’ legacy. Effort being what it is how the hell can anyone believe that the New York Yankees could actually be favored when they acted with such complacency and a complete lack of competitiveness ? As good as the Rangers were in the ALCS was there any point during the series that gave you impression that there was a chance that the New York Yankees were in with a chance of winning the series ?

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Picture gallery for your perusal.

Given what we now know it will be interesting to see how things pan out as both the Rangers and Yankees pit their wits against each other in trying to acquire the services of Cliff Lee. As to the NFL the stories there are ripe for discussion and a battle of opinions from the analysts and fans alike. And for the paeans within ESPN it simply gives them something to talk about and give us their own rather mundane opinions concerning the fortunes of a number of NFL players and teams. Chris Mortensen , Adam Shefter and Mark Schlereth will no doubt still have their lips firmly pressed against the sphincter of Brett Favre as they try to give us the latest on the player’s relationship with his coach and teammates. I guess that will continue to provide us with a great deal of comedic value ? And what of the Dallas Cowboys and their descent into mediocrity ? Is there really anything else that we really need to know at this juncture ? Simply chime in with a comment on this and any other sports related topic that proved to be of interest to you .

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Alan aka tophatal …………………… ūüôā

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Kimbella

A lil’ bit of eye candy for us all ….. Kimbella

Football, NFL, Sports

Flawed …….. A Diamond In The Rough or Cubic Zirconium ?


Flawed …….. A Diamond In The Rough or Cubic Zirconium ?

You simply knew that it’d be only a matter of time before the charges of fraud would be thrown up against a number of teams within the NFL after their fast starts to the season. We’ve now seen both the Houston Texans and Kansas City Chiefs exposed as teams that are indeed flawed and who have if anything have over-achieved. Albeit that we are only five weeks into a sixteen week NFL schedule. Mindful of that however, I do believe that for these two teams it hasn’t been so much about them over achieving but more so about them catching lightning in a bottle and surprising their early season opponents that caught many of us by surprise.

Texans’ coach Gary Kubiak knows that if his team is to fully gain the respect and display the talent that an undoubted number of analysts around the NFL believe them to have , then they will have to step up not only their game physically but also mentally. The Texans’ coaching staff as well will have to instill a great deal more discipline into this team in each phase of their game. It’s all well and good having a potent offense when given the chance can put points up on the scoreboard with the regularity of the speed of a pendulum . But that simply counts for nothing when the defense is now liable to give up points as if they’re trapped in quicksand and simply can’t get out of their own way in repeatedly making mistakes and giving up the ‘big plays’. That seems to be the norm with the Texans and it is something that Kubiak will have to address if the team is to have any real success at all this season.

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Slide show gallery for your perusal .

Todd Haley and the Chiefs may well have surprised a great many people around the league with his team’s fast start to the season . But to my mind much of the success is derived from the fact that during the off-season Haley added to his coaching staff by hiring Charlie Weis and Romeo Crennel to become the offensive and defensive coordinators of the team. Reassembling a group who along with Haley and team GM Scott Pioli were responsible for the unprecedented success that was attained by Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots. It seems that the pupil has learned well from his Master? But with this being a very young team the Chiefs have had their growing pains and it has began to show after their first loss (19-9) this season to the Indianapolis Colts. Now with that being said given the fact that the Chiefs play in the none sensical division of the AFC West where from week to week you can never be sure what you’re going to witness by way of the football being played there. This type of start to the season where 4-0 makes your team appear to be world beaters does create the perception that there’s competitive football being played within that division. In essence nothing could be further from the truth as one simply has to bear witness to the hilarity of what took place between the Oakland Raiders and San Diego Chargers this past weekend. The Chargers simply threw away a game (35-27) that they very much had within their grasp and if anything for coach Norv Turner, here’s simply another example rearing its ugly head proving once again why it is he can never win a big game when it really matters .

The Oakland Raiders much like the rest of the teams within AFC West can never seem to run together a series of performances where one can really look at this team and say …. well this is a team that can actually play and win their division outright. Instead much like the other occupants within the division their goal at present is merely to proffer up games where they’re playing exceptionally well or in large part their game and that of the coaching staff is mind numbingly pitiful ! But as I’ve always state what’s purported to be football within that division is mind numbingly painful.

And speaking of mind numbingly boring isn’t it bad enough that the circus still meanders around the league and the talk still is about Brett Favre and the Minnesota Vikings ? Now with the arrival of Randy Moss the talk is everything is back on track but I preface this by saying that all the bravura of the player’s arrival certainly won’t alleviate the pressure on the Vikings. This team will only go as far as Favre can take them without imploding. The funny thing is having arrived home I thought I’d take in some of the pregame coverage of Vikings vs New York Jets’ game at the New Meadowlands Stadium in New Jersey. With the latest faux pas on Favre and the allegations leveled at the player where he supposedly left several inappropriate sexually explicit messages and pictures which were to sent a sideline reporter in the employ of the New York Jets. Is it me but when you have a coeterie of aged misogynystic males together how is it that they cannot differentiate the inappropriate behavior of a fellow male ? The analysts on ESPN’s coverage were aware that the player had apologized for the distraction of the ongoing investigation and it’s been confirmed that as part of the apology he expressed his sadness in his behavior concerning the incident that involved Jets’ sideline reporter Jenn Sterger, while the player was still with the Jets. But here you had Mike Ditka, Keyshawn Johnson, Chris Berman and Tom Jackson trying to excuse his behavior by simply glossing over this incident. Strange these very same individuals last year were questioning the actions of Donte’ Stallworth after he killed a pedestrian while driving under the influence. Now we have perhaps the NFL’s most high profiled player whose inappropriate behavior these analysts sought to gloss over by by acting that this was something that isn’t at all serious. Where’s the common decency and are these very same individuals simply out of the loop when it comes to the fact women are being sexually assaulted predators at a rate that statistically is quite scary ? One may not look at the actions as being a form of assault but given the fact that the player’s actions weren’t solicited by the victim and the actions itself are a crime then what else is there to question at this juncture ? Less we forget also there’s a second allegation that has arisen concerning the player’s sexual advances and inappropriate behavior concerning two female masseuses who at the time in the employment of the Jets organization. Pattern of behavior on Favre’s part or can we once again merely excuse this as simply being sophomoric behavior and the act of a player thinking that this is all desirable by a female because of who he is ?


Favre’s actions may not be viewed acutely dangerous but then again what the hell was the player thinking to begin with ? Was he under the impression that his victim would be happy with his idiotic behavior ? Granted until some action is taken by either the NFL or Jets’ front office makes their findings public much of what we know is open to a great deal of conjecture and speculation.

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Now one could gloss over this incident and deem it none cataclysmic but I view it this way were the female in question, your wife , sister or mother how would you view Favre’s actions and what has been alleged ? Clearly this isn’t simply about an error in judgment but a player who thought himself above the law and the fact that his actions were felonious and an act of pornography. Doubt my word then simply look at the statutes as it covers the act using of a cell phone for promoting pornography ? Favre and others out there may simply think that this was simply a joke but given where we are now at when it comes to technology and the use of social networks as a mean of criminal activity. Isn’t it about time common sense prevails and an individual actually uses their brain matter functionally ? And we should also remember that given the seriousness of the problems that recently arose concerning the behavior of several Jets’ players and their inappropriate behavior towards TvAzteca sports reporter Ines Sainz. The players and several assistant coaches were sexually overt and suggestive towards the reporter and it wasn’t until a formal complaint had been lodged with the NFL and the Jets’ front office that any action had been taken by the league hierarchy and the Jets . So those of you who merely gloss over the actions think carefully about what it is that you’re condoning.

From my own perspective I was never one to buy into the hype concerning Favre and the Vikings merely because I simply don’t view Brad Childress as a very good coach ! He seems incapable leading this team and in commanding respect from the players. And from what we’ve seen between he and Favre’s relationship , it has been tenuous at best. And this season it’s liable to get a great deal more heated should things become uncertain. The pressure on both as well as the team to succeed has become all consuming. The window of opportunity for the Vikings is now and it is imperative that they win if both Favre and Randy Moss are to ride off into the sunset with a Superbowl ring adorning their fingers and almost certain candidacy for the Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.

Having seen some of the highlights of the game (24-21) between the Cincinnati Bengals and Tampa Bay Buccaneers I was at a loss to see why it was that Carson Palmer was being lauded over as one of the better quarterbacks within the NFL. Granted a Heisman Trophy gives a player some credibility when they come out of college and enter the NFL . But the bust itself isn’t the item on the field each Sunday afternoon , it’s actually the player them-self. Palmer and the Bengals were favored to defeat the Buccaneers handily. Instead we saw this team simply out-gain the Bucs on the ground with their running game but nothing tangible to show for it at the end of the day. The Bengals “bungled” their way and as they simply allowed the Buccaneers ease their way back into the game ____ and eventually ended up winning the game. Marvin Lewis and his coaching staff are either complete blithering idiots or they simply haven’t got the wherewithal to do what’s needed in a game plan. Merely needing to clock manage in the closing minutes of the game Lewis and Palmer felt that aerial onslaught would be enough to guide them to a win. In doing so Palmer would needlessly threw a pair interceptions and as they say the shit…… ‘merely hit the fan’.

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

Surveying the NFL at present and on the face of it a number of teams simply haven’t lived up to the perceived hype that many were expecting. And though the thinking is that parity makes the game the league a great deal more competitive I look at the coaching pedigree of the coaches around the NFL . The players on the field may well be the ones gaining the glory but the truth of it all is the fact of the matter is without the right coach and front office in place a team can’t really attain success at any level. And in this day and age in professional sports where it’s about there here and now it’s so hard to determine the teams that are the diamonds in the rough that through polishing will become the finished and genuine article , and then of course there are the cubic zirconiums out there. Well those are the teams that aspire to be diamonds but the illusions are being created that they’re the real deal. And if the truth be known within the NFL at present there seems to be more cubic zirconiums than there are real diamonds.

What teams at present to your mind have come as a real surprise and specifically which teams do you feel can either turn their seasons around to rally back and perhaps become a legitimate contender within the NFL ?

NFL Standings by Conference

NFL Standings by Division

NFL scores from Week 5

NFL Team Statistics through week 5

NFL Week 6 schedule

Alan aka tophatal ………………………………………… ūüôā

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Kathleen-Duplessis

Eye candy Kathleen Duplessis courtesy of Lowridermagazine.com

AFC West, Kansas City Chiefs, LaDainian Tomlinson, NFL, NFL Divisional playoffs, Norv Turner, Oakland Raiders, San Diego Chargers

What Would Or Should LDT Do ?


 

Well  it   would  appear  that   San  Diego  Chargers’  owner  Dean  Spanos  and   General  Manager  A J Smith  have  come  to  the conclusion   that  the  team’s Pro Bowl  running  back  LaDainian  Tomlinson is  no  longer  a prerequisite   to  the  team’s  needs.  Bearing  that  in  mind  the player’s  presence  in the postseason  was  negligible  at   best.  It  is   believed  to  be  the only  alternative   that  the  team  has  but   to   release   or   trade   him.

 

 

LaDainian  Tomlinson  on the  sidelines  during  the  team's  postseason  game  against the  Pittsburgh  Steelers  .........
LaDainian Tomlinson on the sidelines looking on in the postseason NFL game played between the San Diego Chargers and Pittsburgh Steelers...............

 

 

LaDainian¬† Tomlinson¬†¬† on¬† the¬† sidelines¬† looking¬†¬† on¬† in¬† the¬† game¬† between¬† the¬† San¬† Diego¬†¬† Chargers¬† and¬† Pittsburgh¬† Steelers.¬†¬† picture¬† appears¬† courtesy¬† of¬†¬† ap/photo/¬† Tom¬† McCaffrey …………….

 

 

 

 

If  anything  it’d  be   in  their   best   interest  to   trade  or   release  the  player  if  that  is  their  conviction  at  this  juncture.    And  in  all   probability  they  would  still  be  able  to  garner  a  first  or  second  draft   pick   for the  player   if  not   more.   He’s  still  productive   albeit  that   he  may not  viewed  as  explosive   at  this   point  in   his   career.  Upon  his  introduction  and   entrance  to   the  NFL  the player   himself   has  been   one  of  the  most  productive  ,  if    not the best   running  back  to  have   graced  the   league  over  the  past decade.    LaDainian   has  let  it be  known   that   he’ll  abide   by  whatever   decision  is  made     by    management.  Tomlinson   has  also   stated   that   he  would  let  the   fans   know  of  the progress  being  made   via   his   personal   website.    So  with  baited   breath    the  football  world  awaits  the   outcome.

 

 

 

Dean  Spanos  (left)   seen here  with Arizona Cardinals' President  Michael  Bidwill  at  the  Cardinals'  training  facility ..............
Dean Spanos (left) seen here with Arizona Cardinals' President Michael Bidwill at the Cardinals' training facility ............

 

 

Dean¬† Spanos¬†(left)¬† the¬†¬† owner¬† of¬† the¬† San Diego¬† Chargers¬† seen¬† here with¬†¬† Arizona¬† Cardinals¬† President¬†¬† Michael¬†¬† Bidwill¬† at the¬† Cardinals’¬† training¬†¬† facility.¬† picture¬† appears¬†¬† courtesy¬† of¬†¬† getty¬† images/¬† Tom¬†¬†Bowyer ………………..¬†

 

 

 

 

There’ll   no  doubt   be  a  number  of  teams  out there  vying  for  the  player’s   services  who  are in   need  of   someone  of   his   renowned  status.  But  the   caveat  here  is  that  he’s   no  longer  the  player  who   was once  considered  to be   the  most   explosive  and  prodigious   running  back  in  the league.  Injuries  as  of  late  have  hindered    his   productivity.  And   also   his  leadership   qualities   have  come  into  question.    There’ve  been  no  conflicts  between he  and  the  coach  Norv  Turner,  or   with   management   or   in  fact   his  teammates  at  large.  But  it may  well  be  that  Smith  and  Spanos  feel  that  it  is  now  time   in  another   direction  and  that they   don’t   need   Tomlinson  at  the   helm   to lead  the   team’s   ground   attack.

 

 

Cahrgers'  running   back  Darren  Sproles  tries  to evade the  tackle  of  the  Steelers'  linebacker  Patrick  Bailey  during  their  postseason  meeting.  ...................
Chargers' running back Darren Sproles tries to evade the tackle of Steelers' linebacker Patrick Bailey during their team's postseason meeting. ................

 

 

Chargers’ running¬† back¬† Darren¬† Sproles¬†tries¬† to¬† evade¬† the¬† tackle¬† of¬†¬† Steelers’¬† linebacker¬† Patrick Bailey¬† during¬† their¬† team’s postseason¬† meeting.¬†¬† picture¬† appears¬† courtesy¬† of¬† ap/photo/ Tom¬† McCaffrey¬† ………………….

 

 

 

 

If  anything   they  may  well   feel   that   the  productivity   and  resourcefulness  shown  by Darren  Sproles  in  the  playoffs  . And   his   play   in  the  last game  of  the regular  season  against  the  Denver  Broncos  was    enough  of  an  indication   that  may   well   have   a  ready made     replacement .   As  to   the  Chargers’   fans this   may  not  be  something   that   they  want  to   hear   from  the  ownership  at this   juncture.    However  with  the  loss  of  defensive   stalwart   Shawne  Merriman    due   to   injury   early   in  the  season  things  went   downhill  for the  team.  They  were  able  to   regroup   and   were  it   not  for   the  sheer   incompetency   shown  and  the  meltdown   by  the  Denver  Broncos.  We  may   not  have  been  talking    of  the  San   Diego   Chargers   as the  winners  of the  AFC  West , much  less   them   making   the  playoffs.  But   such  was  the  ineptitude  shown   and  lack  of   quality  within  the  division   that    in  many  respects  one  can  view  that  they  won  it   by  default.   The  Oakland  Raiders  were   laughable  ,  the  Kansas  City Chiefs    struggled   to  show  some consistency .  And   as  alluded to   earlier    the  Denver  Broncos   in  the  end   cost   Mike  Shanahan   his   job  with  their   season   ending   meltdown.

 

 

 

Norv  Turner  looks  at the  playbook during  the  divisional  round  playoff  game  against   Pittsburgh  ................
Norv Turner looks down at the playbook during the divisional round playoff game against the Pittsburgh Steelers ......................

 

Norv¬† Turner¬†¬† looks¬†¬† down¬† at¬† the¬† playbook¬† during the¬† divisional¬†round playoff¬† game against¬† Pittsburgh.¬†¬† picture¬† appears¬† courtesy¬† of¬† ap/photo/ Tom McCaffrey ………………..

 

 

 

 

 

As   to  what  awaits  Tomlinson  is   now most   definitely   open  to conjecture  and   a  great  deal  of  debate.  But  if the  rumblings and   rumors  are  said   to  be   true   then  it  is quite  believable    that the  player  will  be  leaving  the  franchise   as  some  time   in  the  near   future.   His    destination   could  be  anywhere   in  the  league  and  there’ll  be  no  doubt    a  great  of    interest   shown   by  a  number   of  teams  around  the  NFL.     As   to  the  player’s   own  choices    that   is  something   that  we   know   nothing  of.    But   in  all   likelihood  he  may  well   prefer   to   remain   on   out   on  the  West  Coast.    But   I  for   one   believe  that  if  the  right  offer   came  along    he may   well   look   to   the   east   as  to   where   his   fortunes   may  lie.    So  let   the  chips   fall   where   they   may   and  let’s  see   what’ll    transpire   for    not   only   Tomlinson    but  also   for  the  San  Diego   Chargers   themselves.  If   nothing  else   this    off  season    could  well  be  a  very   interesting   one  leading   up    to   the   NFL  draft.