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Running On Empty …………..


Running On Empty

I’m finally beginning to calm down given the situation concerning the NFL lockout as it pans out and the fact that over a prolonged period we have the team owners now saying that they are closer to a compromise. The season starts on the 3rd September and I fully believe that it will not start as the NFL believes as planned . The situation now stands where the players are having to plan their own workouts as there have been no preseason OTA’s and the new draftees aren’t able to be meet with the coaches and their respective trainers . To further emphasize the situation those very same draftees have yet to sign their contracts with their respective teams .

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With the owners , NFL hierarchy now meeting with their union counterparts led by NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith , union President Kevin Mawae the grandstanding by both sides continues unabated and at the same time this only further exacerbates the whole situation . Now as many of you are aware I reside in the central Florida area where the three NFL teams within the state are the Jacksonville Jaguars , Miami Dolphins and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers . This past season all three teams in their own determinable way had what one might deem a modicum amount of success . The Tampa Bay Buccaneers missed the postseason having missed the playoffs having fell by the wayside in posting a 10-6 record within the NFC South and failing to dislodge the New Orleans Saints who finished ahead of them within the division. For coach Raheem Morris this was a splendid sophomore season as he and GM Mark Dominik were able to make great strides as this team made the type of improvements one wouldn’t associate with such a young team.

The foundations were laid in Buccaneers’ bright season because of the exhilirating play of quarterback Josh Freeman who simply showed that he’s now becoming one of the more dependable and young reliable players at the position within the league. And one only has to look at the strides made by Sam Bradford , Joe Flacco and Matt Ryan . Morris and his assistant coaches have simply gotten the players to buy into a simple system and that’s to play hard , enjoy the game but above all be held accountable for executing the play. Freeman for his part is seen as the leader on this team where he’s also ably abetted by a veterans such as Kellen Winslow Jr and Ronde Barber . On offense the play of running back LeGarrette Blount and wide receiver Mike Williams have made this Buccaneers so much more of a talented team to watch for their fans. If nothing else this upcoming season for the Tampa Bay Buccaners should be something special . And it bodes well for the organization as a whole as they look to become a contender within the conference and for the Superbowl . From a defensive standpoint the traits instilled into the Buccaneers still remain but simply with more aggression and finesse not seen before . Granted , there have been those inconsistent displays but the players have learned from that and it bodes well for their immediate future.

If anything I was somewhat surprised that Jaguars’ coach Jack del Rio simply was allowed to keep his job ! Given the mediocre season had by the team and the mere fact the coach and his staff simply did a lousy job . And simply put , I not so sure that the upcoming season we’re liable to see any type of improvement the team compared to last season .

In the AFC South where the Jacksonville Jaguars reside they have to contend with the Indianapolis Colts as well as the Houston Texans and Tennessee Titans . I now firmly believe that if Del Rio cannot leaf this team into the playoffs this season then team owner Wayne Weaver in conjunction GM Gene Smith will have no other course but relieve the coach of his duties . Some may well feel that it is all too little , too late , and they would obviously be right but because of the NFL hierarchy enforced lockout I believe that a number of teams around the league seeking to make a managerial change sought not to because of the financial ramifications involved . Having to pay a coach that you have just fired when he still has a year or more left on his existing contract and then having hire and formulate a new multi year deal for a new coach can end up costing an organization countless millions. Simply ask the front office of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers about that ? They are still paying former coach Jon Gruden two years after his abrupt firing and Gruden is now being handsomely paid by ABC/ESPN to provide both networks with on air college , NFL analysis and commentary . Not bad eh ?

If there’s one thing I learned from last season within the NFL it is that there’s a tremendous falloff from the top tier of quarterbacks and those at bottom tier of the ladder ! And anyone who witnessed the play of the quarterbacks on the Dolphins’ roster will know exactly what I am talking about . Chad Henne and Tyler Thigpen at best are moderate backups within this league but somehow coach Tony Sparano believed that one if not both were reliable enough to lead this beleaguered team .Given the frailties of this team on both sides of the ball the Miami Dolphins simply did their utmost to disappoint their fans as well as their celebrity investors who are led by principal owner managing partner Stephen M. Ross . The owner in conjunction with GM Jeff Ireland have seen the promise first shown when Bill Parcells was brought in as a consultant , simply disappear as the team has struggled to find an identity . Parcells is no longer involved with the organization at all , having chosen to retire to a much calmer environment, where the rigors of the NFL would be the last thing on his mind. Now it is left to Sparano and his assistants to guide this team back into some semblance of competitiveness .

With the ongoing lockout showing no signs of dissipating a shortened season now may well become a reality . And in many respects it may well benefit a number of teams around the league . For the Miami Dolphins this may well prove to be fruitful but on the other hand given the fact that players aren’t allowed on team facilities for any sort of organized training activities because of the work stoppage , there’s no doubt in my mind that all of the NFL teams will be impeded and we may well have to endure some really bad football during what might be league induced shortened season. And for the Miami Dolphins their opening schedule for the 2011-12 season starts off with an divisional rival game against their AFC opponent the New England Patriots at Sun Life Stadium in Miami , Florida , on the 12th September 2011 .

Tony Sparano may well be in for a season where he and the coaching staff will come under a great deal of scrutiny. The Dolphins have essentially become a “one trick pony” with little to show other than their ” shot gun offense” . And even then, once they were found out by the opposing teams they were found wanting in showing any form of creativity on either side of the ball . That if anything out to be enough of an indicator as what one might expect from this team over the course of the season. There’s a great deal of expected of the team throughout this season and their task won’t be made any easier given the fact that within the division apart of from New England Patriots you also have a hungry New York Jets’ organization wanting to prove that they ought to viewed as perennial contenders within the NFL . The Buffalo Bills will simply want to hang tough while Chan Gailey and his staff will assess the strengths and weaknesses on the roster as he looks to make them a resurgent force within the division and league as a whole .

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Though the reverberations of this lockout has yet to be felt but we already know that a number of teams around the league are having some form of hardship though it hasn’t been well publicized . In a number of cases it has been noted that a number of teams have taken to actually cutting the salaries of their coaching staffs which has led to throng of opposition by the NFL Coaches Association as the coaches as such are caught in the midst of this saga. The idiocy of this lockout hasn’t been lost on the fans and the vast majority feel that that both owners , league hierarchy and the players are equally to blame . And now while NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and his opposite number DeMaurice Smith seek some common ground and accord you simply get the feeling that this pissing contest is actually far from over . Both sides are actually out of gas , running on empty and simply looking for the other as such to cave in first .

What thoughts if any do you have on the points raised within this piece ? Simply chime in with a comment as you deem fit .

Alan aka tophatal ……………………………

http://tophatal.wordpress.com

Picture and slide show details below .

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(1) New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning, right, throws a football as teammates watch during an unofficial workout at Bergen Catholic High School, Friday, June 10, 2011 in Oradell, N.J. The workout gives the players an opportunity to practice together during the NFL labor lockout. AP Photo/Julio Cortez ……

(2) NEW YORK, NY – APRIL 28: NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell (L) greets Adrian Clayborn, 20 th overall pick by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, on stage during the 2011 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on April 28, 2011 in New York City. Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images …..

(3) Buccaneers’ number one draft pick Adam Clayborn (center) is seen here alongside Bucs’ team coach Raheem Morris (left) and GM Mark Dominik (right) at the team’s headquarters at One Buc Place. Dominik and the coach have made sure to fill the Bucs’ roster with players they deem that will be able to add quality and productivity to the team . Courtesy of St Petersburg Times .

(4) NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell (L) poses for a photo with Blaine Gabbert ,, 11th overall pick by the Jacksonville Jaguars, holds up a jersey during the 2011 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on April 28, 2011 in New York City. Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images ….

(5) Head coach Jack Del Rio of the Jacksonville Jaguars watches his team play against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during a preseason game at Raymond James Stadium on August 28, 2010 in Tampa, Florida. J Meric / Getty Images North America …

(6) NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell poses for a photo with Mike Pouncey, 15th overall pick by the Miami Dolphins, on stage during the 2011 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on April 28, 2011 in New York City. Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images …….

(7) Miami Dolphins’ coach Tony Sparano (left) is seen here with the team’s owner billionaire real estate mogul Stephen M Ross at the team’s headquarters at Sun Life Stadium , Miami , Florida. Sparano will have a great deal to prove this season if he’s to retain his position with the Miami Dolphins . Miami Herald / Walter Michot ….

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

Read All About It ……..


Read All About It ……..

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

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

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

Picture and slide show details

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(9) Englewood , Co,. Denver Broncos vice president of football operations John Elway (L), owner Pat Bowlen and new head coach John Fox share a laugh before Fox addressed the media at Dove Valley on January 14, 2011 in Englewood, Colorado. Fox was named the 14th head coach in Broncos history yesterday after spending the last nine seasons as head coach of the Carolina Panthers. Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images ……

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

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

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Alan aka tophatal ……………………………………

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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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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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ESPN, Football, NFL, Sports

Let Me Tell You A Story ……………..


Let Me Tell You A Story ?

Now don’t get me wrong while I admire much of the responsible journalism that ESPN at time does. It does grate on me when they sugary coat the subject matter and try to make them into something they are clearly not. In many ways it’s like trying to reinvent the wheel . It can’t really be done at all !

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AFC East, Buffalo Bills, Dick Jauron, Football, NFL, Ralph Wilson, Sports, Terrell Owens, Trent Edwards

There Are Things That One Tends To Question ………………


 
 

There   Are   Things  That  One   Tends  To   Question  ………….

 

 

 

When  informed  that   Terrell  Owens   was  now  a  free   agent  one   has  to  wonder   what   was   going  on  within  the  minds  of  Buffalo  Bills’ owner  Ralph  Wilson  and   the  team’s   coach  Dick  Jauron.      Whatever  the   conversation   that  took   place   I’m   inclined  to  believe  that  there   can’t   have   been  much   sense   made  of  it  .  Especially   as  far  as  Wilson  is   concerned.  The   octogenarian    either   thought   that   he  may   have   been   told   that   there   was   a   prized   piece   of   art  coming  on  the  market   or   infact   that    there   was  a    erectile   dysfunctional   product   that  was better  than   anything  else   out   there. 

 

Terrell  Owens   makes  the  announcement  to  the  convened  press  that  he's  now  Buffalo  Bills'  player.  Owens  signed  a  one  year  $6.5m contract  with the  team .    picture  appears  courtesy  of  buffalonews.com/ James  P  McCoy ........................
Terrell Owens makes the announcement to the convened press that he's now a Buffalo Bills' player . Owens signed a one year $6.5m contract with incentives. picture appears courtesy of buffalonews.com/ James P McCoy ..................

 

 

 

 

Now  the  Bills  have   landed  the  erstwhile   player  and  the   baggage  that  he   brings   with   him.    The   question   one   has  to   ask   is    what   are  the  Bills   thinking  ?   It’s   not  as   if  they   hadn’t   witnessed  what’d  taken   place   at  the   player’s    previous   stops.   Much   like   Hurricane    Katrina    the   devastation   left   by  Owens     at  his  previous   professional   domiciles   were  about  as  welcoming   as    a  case   of  the  bubonic  plague.   That   being   said   if   a  pandemic     were   to  set   foot   within  the  Bills’  organization.  It’s   hard  to    see  how   they  can   recover    from   something  as   acute   as   what   can   all  envisage  may  well  happen.    Owens   is   most  definitely   like    a  cancer  that   tends  to  be  malignant  and  then  metastasizes  to  say   the   very   least.  

 

 

 

 

 

Far   be  it   for  me   to  wish   anyone   the   worst   but   at  this   juncture  I  can  offer   no   sympathy    to  the  Bills .   This   is  very   much  an  ill   conceived   idea.   And   if  it   should  all   implode   within  their   midst    then  they’ll  only   have   themselves   to    blame.    The  offer   to   Owens  is  believed  to  be  a  one  year   contract    that’s   said  to  be  in  the  region  of   $6.5m   with   incentives.    It’s   indeed  to   now   believe   Drew  Rosenhaus,  Owens’   agent  when  he  stated  that  there   were   a   number  of   teams  that  were   said  to  be  interested  in   his  client.   I   think  that  it  had  to  have   been  more   chutzpah  than   anything  else.  Rosenhaus  much  like   counterpart  Scott  Boras  within  Major  League  Baseball  certainly    knows  the  art  of  the   deal.    He’s  able  to   lure   a   potential   bidder   in   much    like  a  snake   charmer   or   black   widow   spider  that   tends  to   lure  its  mate  and  then   devours  it.      However  the  only  thing  here  that’ll  be   devoured   will   be  that  of   Ralph  Wilson’s   money  at  the   end  of the   day.  

 

 

Bills'  quarterback  Trent  Edwards  attempts  a  pass   during  an  NFL   game .    picture  appears  courtesy  of   ap/photo/  Todd  Shaughnessy ..................
Bills' quarterback Trent Edwards attempts a pass during an NFL game . picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Todd Shaugnessy ..............

 

 

 

The  Bills (7-9)  as  dwellers  within  the  AFC  East   started   out   last   season   well.   But their   season   fell  about   their   feet    once    quarterback   Trent  Edwards   was   lost  to   injury    for  an  indeterminable  period.   That  being   said   they’ve   a  young   nucleus  in  place.  And   in  coach   Dick   Jauron   they’ve  a  person   who  though    not     always   open   to  discipline   will   now  have    to  change    that   structure   wholeheartedly  with  a  player    like  Owens   within  his  midst.  He’ll   have   to   rein  in  the   antics   of  the  player   who   basically  marches  to  beat  of  his  own   drum  and   no  one   else’s .  So   anyone   who’s  of  the   opinion  that   this   is   basically  a  can’t   lose   situation   for  the  Bills .  They’ll   have    to  seriously    reconsider  that    thought   process   altogether.   The   upside to   this   while   on  paper   looks.   The  downside  to   it  all   far   outweighs   the   positives.    The  carnage   that  could   be  caused    could   set  the  franchise   back    at   least    two   years   if  not  more.  It’s   not  as   if  the   Bills   has     a  lot   going   for  it   at   present.    They’re    having  to   play   catch   up  with  the  likes  of   the  Miami  Dolphins  (11-5), New York  Jets (9-7), and  New  England  Patriots (11-5)  within  their    division.   And  in   light  of  the  progress  made   by   both.  It   could   well  be   the  distance   between  the    Dolphins  , Pats  and Bills has   become   even    greater.

 

Owens  pictured  left  and  Lee  Evans wide  receiver  of  the  Buffalo Bills.   It's hoped  that  the  tandem  will  prove  to  be  potent   for  the   team.   picture  appears   courtesy  of  uspresswire/getty images ..................
Owens pictured left and Lee Evans wide receiver of the Buffalo Bills. It's hoped that the two will make a potent and formidable receiving tandem for the franchise. picture appears courtesy of uspresswire/getty images ........................

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As  for  the   intangibles  that  Owens   brings  to  this   team while   immense.  With   him  also   comes  the    soap   opera  drama  and   the  player’s  own   desire  to  be   front  and   center    in  the  midst  of  it all .    Much   like  the   narcissist   one     believes   him  to  be.  Hell  if  it  weren’t   for  the   fact  that he’s   derided  his   teammates  wherever  he’s  been.   I’d   be  of  the   opinion  that   he’s   looking   at   this   stop   in  Buffalo  as  a  way  of   refining   his   technique.   I  can   only   hope  that   Edwards   and   others   on  the  Bills’   roster   can   stomach  it  all.  Because  if  not   then   it   could  all  make   for  a   real  harrowing   experience   for  the  players   who’ll   now  be   Owens’   new  teammates.   So   at   this   juncture   let    the   festivities  begin.   It’ll  all   be   well   worth  watching  to  say  the  very  least.

 

Eddie De Bartolo, Football, H D Wayne Huizenga, Joel Glazer, NFL, San Francisco Forty Niners, Sports, Stephen Ross, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

It’s Never About The Money Is It …………?


 

A lot  ha s been  happening  within the  NFL  over  the last  few  weeks  as we’ve  seen  a slew  of  coaches   bite  the  dust. We all as  one  observes  the  debris  of this  all.  You  cannot  help   but  wonder  what  really  is  behind  this  all ?  In  the  case of  the  Tampa  Bay  Buccaneers   there’s  now   a great  deal  of  speculation  coming  into  being  that  the  Glazer  family  will  be  on  the  verge  of  selling  the  franchise. 

 

GM Mark  Dominik  ,  Executive  VP President Edward Glazer, VP Bryan  Glazer, new  team coach  Raheem Morris and  Cheif Executive and  Chairman  Joel Glazer  of the  Tampa  Bay  Buccaneers.........

 

 

 

GM Mark  Dominik ,Exective  VP Edward  Glazer, VP  Bryan  Glazer,  new coach  Raheem Morris   and  Chief Executive  and  Chairman Joel  Glazer of  the  Tampa  Bay  Buccaneers.   picture   appears   courtesy  of   getty   images/…………………

 

 

 

 

If  you are  aware  of  the situation  the  family  are  also   the  owners   of  the  prestigious  English  Premiership soccer  club  Manchester  United.  They paid in excess  of  $1.5bn  for  the  team much  of  it  through leveraged  sources  within  the  financial  community. Well  now  the  club  itself  is  laden  with  debt said  to  be  to  the tune  of  $850m. It begs  the  question  what are the  family  to do  next  ?    Much  of  this  debt  is  subordinated  and  will  have to  be  paid  off  to  the  financiers.  That being  said  it  may  well  be  the  maneuvers  set  forth  by  the  Glazers  in the  firing  of  Jon Gruden  and  the  team’s GM  Bruce  Allen is  setting  about   a  chain of  actions   that  was  their  original  intention.

 

 

 

 

 

 

With a  new   coach  in  place  in the  guise  of  Raheem  Morris  and  a  general manger  in Mark  Dominik.  Both  are   inexperienced  in terms  of  the  positions  that   they  now  assume.  It has  to be  said  that  on appearance  alone  ,  in  particular   Joel  Glazer  may well  be  laying  the  groundwork   for the  selling  of  the  franchise.  Albeit  that at this  time it’s  merely   speculative.  Manchester  United  if  anything   is  the more  prized  asset  within  their  sport’s  franchise kingdom.  And of  the  two  it’s  the  more   recognizable  .  It  has  a  worldwide  branding   recognition.   And  to  most  the  name  is  synonymous  with  all  that  is   prestigious  about  the  game  itself. 

 

 

Eddie Debartolo   the  former owner  of  the  San  Francisco  Forty  Niners  ..............
Eddie DeBartolo the former owner of the San Francisco Forty Niners ................

 

 

Eddie  DeBartolo   the  former  owner   of  the   San  Francisco   Forty Niners.    picture  appears  courtesy  of ap/photo/Mark  Freuerstein …………………

 

 

 

 

As  for  the  suitors  it  has  been  rumored  that  former  San  Francisco Forty  Niners’ owner Eddie DeBartolo  may  have  an  interest  in the  pursuance  and  purchase  of  the  franchise.  The  billionaire  commercial  real  estate  tycoon and  entrepreneur  who  has  a  home  in  the  Tampa Bay  are   and  who  does a  great  deal  of  philanthropic  work  within the  community.  For  him it would  be  a  return  to  a position   where  he  oversaw  a lot  of  success  as  an  owner.  And  though  we  know   that   DeBartolo  had  to  relinquish  control  of  the  Forty  Niners   due to  some  undue   business  dealings.  Were  the  transaction  to  take place  it  may well  be   welcomed  by  those  within   the  community.   But  that’d   be  also   predicated   upon  the  views  of  NFL Commissioner   Roger  Goodell  and  the  rest of  the  owners  within  the  NFL. It’s been often  felt  that the  Glazers  are  much  more  concerned  as  to  the  success of  Manchester   United . Rather  than  that of   the  Tampa  Bay Buccaneers.   But  those  views  of  late  have  been  dispelled  by  Malcom Glazer’s   son  Joel Glazer.  Whether  one  can  take  him  at  his   word  remains  to  be  seen.    But in  this  day and   age   when  the  economy  is  in  such   dire  straits one  has  to  ask  whether   or  not  the   family  can  be  believed ?  

 

 

 

 

 

 

Whilst  this  has  been  going  on  another   transaction   took  place   concerning  the  Miami  Dolphins. Owner  H D Wayne  Huizenga  has  relinquished  control  of the  franchise   by  selling  a  majority  stake  in  the franchise  to  New  York  real  estate  developer  and  multi-billionaire  Stephen Ross.   Huizenga  now  only  retains  a  5%   stake  in the  franchise   having  sold  Ross  the  majority   stake   for  an  undisclosed   sum.   Though it has  been   rumored the  figure  may well be  in  excess of  $1bn  for that  majority  stake.  The  deal  itself   was   finalized  yesterday.  Why all  of the  interest   you may  ask  ?   Well  in  light of  this  it  has  left  Bill  Parcells  the  man  behind  the  renaissance  of  the  franchise  in a  very  enviable   position.  Parcells   has   thirty    days  in  which   to  make  a  decision   as  to  whether   or  not he’ll  remain  with   the  franchise  or   walk  away.    And   in  walking  away  he’ll   take  with  him  the  sum  of  $12m   free  and  clear.  Now that’s  a service   contract   worth  having   now  isn’t  it  ?  

 

 

 

Billionaire  real estate  developer  and  now  principal  owner  of the  Miami  Dolphins  Stephen Ross (left)  seated  alongside  H D Wayne  Huizenga   who sold  a  majority  stake in the franchise  to  the  developer........
Billionaire reeal estate developer Stephen Ross (left) seated alongside H D Wayne Huizenga who sold a majority stake in the franchise to the developer ...................

 

 

Newly  minted  principal   owner  of  the  Miami Dolphins  billionaire real  estate developer  and  tycoon  Stephen  Ross  seated  alongside  H D  Wayne  Huizenga   the  former  owner  of  the franchise.  picture  appears  courtesy  of  ap/photo/ Gustavo  Matos ……………………

 

 

 

 

Parcells  is  in an  enviable   position  as he  knows  that  there  are  several  franchises  around  the  league  in need  of  a  good   architect   who  can  resurrect  their  fortunes.  No  longer   it’d  appear  interested   in  coaching   we  know   that   Parcells  is  capable  of   rebuilding  a  franchise  using  his  astute   knowledge  and  the  building   blocks  that may  well  be  already   be  in  place.. He’s   done  it   wherever  he’s been   and if  anything   the  most  impressive  piece  of  work  on  his   resume’  may  well be   the  resurrection  of   the  Miami  Dolphins.  He  turned  this   team  around   by  shrewdly  putting   in  place  a  good  coach  in  Tony Sparano.   And  then  bringing   in  former  New  York  Jets’   quarterback  Chad  Pennington.  Jettisoned   by   his  former   team  in  favor  of   Brett Favre.  Pennington  had  an exemplary  year  as   the   Dolphins  won  the  AFC  East  division  and  making  the  playoffs  after their   disastrous  1-15  record  from  the  previous  year.    If  ever  there   was  an  indication   as  to  Parcells’  genius    then  this   may  well  have   been  it.    If  anything   one  may  well   feel  that  Parcells’  former  employer  Jerry Jones  of the  Dallas  Cowboys  must  be   ruin  the  day   he  decided   that it  was  OK  for   him   to let   Parcells   leave   the  franchise.     But  then  again  Jones   has  always  been  his   own  man  marching to  the  beat   of  his   very   own   drum.

 

 

 

 

 

 

These  moves  may not  seem   significant   on the  surface  of things   but  should   they  materialize. It’s   only a  mere   indication  as   to  what’s  now  happening  within  sports  as  a number  of  franchises  look  to  tighten  their   belts.  Be  it   for  the  short   term  or   long   term.  It won’t   be  often   that we’ll   see this  happen  but  when  it   does  ,  it  does  carry   some   serious  ramifications    for   sports   in  general.  

AFC East, Bill Parcells, Brett Favre, Buffalo Bills, Chad Pennington, Ed Reed, John Harbaugh, Matt Cassell, Miami Dolphins, New England Patriots, New York Jets, NFL, Playoffs, Ray Lewis, Ricky Williams, Ronnie Brown, Sports, Tom Brady, Tony Sparano

From Worse To First That’s The Miami Way …………….


Well the Miami Dolphins having come off a 1-15 record from last season have played themselves into the playoffs as divisional champions of  AFC East.  Much to the surprise of those within and outside of the game.  Falling by the wayside in all of this are  the  New England Patriots .

 

 

 

Pennington hands  the ball off  to teammate  running back  Ronnie Brown during a game played  against  the New York Jets  in  East Rutherford  New Jersey ,............
Quarterback Chad Pennington hands the ball off to teammate running back Ronnie Brown.............

Quarterback Chad Pennington hands the ball off  to teammate  Ronnie Brown during a league game against the New York Jets game played in East Rutherford, New Jersey. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/  Matthew Bostick …………….

 

 

 

And while much of this has  gone on  the  New  York Jets  now find  themselves  in the  midst  of  another  meltdown  having  their coach Eric  Mangini fired  and the internal rift  now  building between Hall of  Fame  bound  quarterback Brett  Favre  and a number of  his  teammates.  If  ever  a season  was steeped  and  doomed  for  failure  then  the season  undergone  by  the  Jets  was it. With  much of  went  on  within the  division being  entertaining  to say the least it  was  felt that  the  division  was  wide  open.  The expectations  that Favre would be  asked  to meet  were  far too  great  for  a player on  the downside  of  an  all illustrious  career.  

 

Coach Tony Sparano of the Dolphins  is seen here  on the sidelines  during a game played  against  the Arizona  Cardinals  in Glendale , Az , .................
Coach Tony Sparano of the Miami Dolphins seen here on the sidelines during a game played against the Arizona Cardinals in Glendale , Az , .....................

Dolphins’ coach Tony Sparano seen here on the  sidelines of a game played  against  the  Arizona  Cardinals  in  Glendale , Arizona.  picture  appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Ross D Brown ………………….

 

 

Buffalo  got  off  to a  fast  start  but  that  would  soon peter  out  as  they   fell  by  the  wayside  all too quickly.  With Tom  Brady  of  the New England  Patriots  suffering  a  season ending  injury  in the first  game of  the season against  the  Kansas City Chiefs. Many  felt that  the  Patriots’ season would too  fall  off  as  well.  With  rookie  quarterback  Matt  Cassel  being  asked  to  take over the  reins  from  Brady.  No one was quite  sure  what  to  expect  from  a  player  who  hadn’t  played  the  position  since  his  days  in high school  and whose  college  career  was  basically  playing  second fiddle  to  Heisman  Trophy winners  Carson  Palmer  and  Matt  Leinart  while  at the University of  Southern California. 

 

 

 

Dolphins' offensive lines coach  Mike Maser works with  his  players  at their  practice facility in Davie, Fl ......................
Offensive lines' coach Mike Maser works with his players at the team's practice facility in Davie, Fl ..........

Dolphins’ offensive line coach works with his  players at their practice facility  in  Davie , Florida.  picture appears  courtesy of ap/photo/ Matthew Glassman  ………

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cassel  would  excel  in the  position  and guide  the team  to  an 11-5 season  narrowly  missing  the  playoffs by  finishing second in the  division behind  the  Miami  Dolphins. That  being  said  this  season was all about  the  Miami  Dolphins  and  their  triumphant  return  to  respectability  under  the  coaching  of  Tony  Sparano  under the  ever  watchful  eye  of   Bill  Parcells   the  behind  the scenes  architect of  the  franchise’s  resurgence. With their  wildcat offense  simply  catching  a number  of  teams by surprise  it can be  said  was  a  season  of  firsts  for  this  team  and  their  quarterback Chad Pennington  who was  cast  aside by  the  New  York  Jets.  That bitter  taste  now  on the  palates  of  the  Jets  and  their  fans  has  got  to be  now all the  more  unbearable for  the  franchise  as  a whole. 

 

 

 

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