Basketball, David Stern, DeMaurice Smith, Football, NBA, NFL, NFLPA, Sports

Can’t We All Just Get Along …. ?


Can’t We All Just Get Along ………..

March 4th and the deadline for the current NFL collective bargaining agreement expires and one would’ve thought that the NFL hierarchy led by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell would by now be closer to negotiating an agreement with Executive Committee of the NFLPA led by Executive Director DeMaurice Smith and union President Kevin Mawae . Instead the two sides are said to be so far apart that the divide makes the partisanship between Democrats and Republicans within both federal legislative houses seem like a house party.

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Goodell has insisted that he and the owners who feel that the players’ revenues derived of income received from the marketing and broadcasting contracts are overly excessive. Smith by his own account feels that the concessions that his union have already acceded to is enough. The economy has played its part in the situation that has been created but it simply doesn’t account for the fact that the league hierarchy has been totally complacent when addressing their expenditure. While we’ve the league negotiate with the broadcast networks ABC/ESPN , CBS , Fox and NBC multi billion dollar broadcast contracts in doing so they’ve simply not seen fit to try and rein in their expenses. The 2010 season was a year when the league operated without salary cap and when one bears in mind that the 2009 season the cap in place was one of approximately $110 million it’s easy to understand why Goodell and the owners simply saw fit to allay the process. They were under the impression that simply allowing the process to drag on and then take the stance that they would choose to opt out of the existing agreement would nullify the union.

Goodell would also have us believe that should there be a lockout this upcoming season then he’s quite prepared to forgo his annual salary and simply be paid a nominal sum of $1. Considering that he earned in excess of $12 million for the 2010 season I’m wondering how on the face of this gesture would appear to appease the NFL fans in general ?

Courtesy of USA Today

Roger Goodell to reduce salary to $1 if NFL enters work stoppage

By Sean Leahy of USA Today

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell intends to reduce his salary to $1 per year if the league’s labor skirmish erupts into a work stoppage this year.

Goodell announced the move in a letter to owners obtained by NFL.com in which he unveiled a series of rollbacks in compensation for NFL officials.

Chief NFL negotiator Jeff Pash also will slash his compensation to $1, and Goodell will hold back bonuses for league officials until April.

At that time, portions of bonuses will be held in reserve (10% for VPs, 25% for senior VPs, and 35% for executive VPs), and those balances won’t be paid until a new collective bargaining agreement is reached.

The current CBA ends in early March, and the league may enter a work stoppage if no new deal is reached. Goodell has said he doesn’t want that to happen.

But with the time dwindling on the current deal and progress between the NFL and NFLPA slow to develop, the prospect of a work stoppage is increasing.

Goodell and NFLPA leader DeMaurice Smith met last week.

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DeMaurice Smith has countered in stating the league itself in collusion with the owners sought to bring the situation to an impasse by their actions. Players’ representatives from around the league have stated their opinions and they’re siding with their union chief and committee members. However there now seems to be some dissension from within as a number of players have stepped up to make their feelings known. And nowhere has this been more expressive than with the most recent statement from New York Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie who suggested that the commissioner and his union counterpart should lock themselves in a room and not come out until an agreement has been hammered out. What’s at stake here is nothing more than one side not wanting to look weak on appearance in the eyes of the NFL fans and the public at large. While this all is happening certain members of Congress have been observing this all rather closely. The House Oversight Committe as well as the House Judiciary Committe have sought to intervene in some way but in reality it’d seen as overly intrusive were they to do so at this juncture.

Any type of labor stoppage would do irreparable damage to the league and its image and it certainly doesn’t help in the current economic climate. A number of teams this past season financially suffered greatly having seen a number of their scheduled home games blacked out due to league regulations. It certainly affected the home schedule of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers which saw all eight of their home games at Raymond James Stadium Tampa entirely blacked out. And for the local fans in the area’s television markets this couldn’t have happened at a worse time. In an area where the unemployment rate is said to be approaching the national average of 9.8% these are indeed some very hard times for the Buccaneers’ fans and fans in general across the league. For the San Diego Chargers it was very much the same thing for the team’s hierarchy led by Dean Spanos and GM A J Smith as the team saw them having three games blacked out from their home schedule at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, California . In total some 26 games were blacked out over the 2010 season costing the league and economies in those markets tens of millions of dollars in its economic impact over the course of the year.

For the Chargers this was a season which saw the Spanos family sell a small minority stake to multi-billionaire entrepreneur Philip Anschutz the co-owner of the Los Angeles Lakers and the owner Anschutz Entertainment Group Inc (AEG Inc). Now one could allude to the fact that this might be a maneuver in the offing which could see Chargers move from San Diego to the greater Los Angeles area . But if anything that would for now take a back seat until whatever transpires between the NFL and NFLPA .

Neither Goodell or Smith have done themselves any favors at this juncture with their public statements , as it appears that with each comment becoming more venal than the previous statement uttered. For the fans in general who are now observing this they can but only ask to themselves what the hell is going on when multi-millionaire players and in some cases billionaire owners can’t even be civil towards one another ?. Never mind the fact that the idiocy that’s being continually shown by both parties if this were a peace treaty being negotiated then I can guarantee you this , both sides would now be preparing for war !

With Superbowl 45 now in the offing between the two conference representatives the Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers this will be the last competitive game being played in the NFL. Granted this weekend we’ll also have the privilege of seeing the NFL Pro Bowl being played in Honolulu , Hawaii but who in reality thinks of the Pro Bowl as ever having been a competitive game to begin with ? The only incentive has been for the players participating who get to pad their already burgeoning salaries with additional incentives based on season performances for their respective teams .

Should there be a labor stoppage forcing a lockout then the alternative for the NFL fans out there will be rather meager. OK at that point of the season baseball (MLB ) will already be in full swing . That being said the NBA itself is by no means out the woods as of yet as NBA Commissioner David Stern still faces his own demons having not yet reached an agreement with NBPA Executive Director Billy Hunter and the league hierarchy’s unresolved issues regarding their own ongoing collective bargaining agreement. What I’d like to know is when did the earth actually fall off its axis ? Because the idiocy that’s now said to be taking place is beyond believable .

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Picture gallery for your perusal.

It remains without saying that both the NBA and NFL for all of their image conscious proclivities in trying to make their brand more accessible for their fans have as such let the fans down. And while one can apportion blame on the respective hierarchies I do believe also that the players and the respective unions aren’t without blame in all of this. But you’d be hard pressed to believe that either of these parties would be prepared to accept the fact that they’re at fault in any way. Simply look at the actions of the parties concerned for what is now transpiring ? In doing so , you can clearly see why it is we’re at the point where it seems that there might be a point of no return ! An NBA or NFL lockout will most certainly lead to irreparable harm to the image of both sports. Why can’t we all just get along ?

What thoughts if any do you now have concerning the NFL and that of the NFLPA ? And how do you view the present situation also concerning that of the NBA and the fact that there also David Stern has still not been able reach an agreement with the Players’ Union ?
Chime in with your thoughts on both topics raised within this piece and anything else that you may well feel that’s pertinent to both issues.

NB: ____ Picture and slide show details

(1) NBPA Executive Director Billy Hunter (foreground) and NBA Commissioner David Stern just can’t seem to get along or agree upon the financial health of the NBA . AP / Dave Caravetta ………..

(2) Derek Fisher of the Los Angeles Lakers is seen her giving a postgame interview after the game against the the Boston Celtics in Game Three of the 2010 NBA Finals on June 8, 2010 at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. Fisher is also the President of the NPBA (Players’ Union) and it appears that the player and his members are prepared for a lockout should they and the league’s hierarchy not be able to resolve the issues concerning the collective bargaining agreement. Getty Images/ Chris Halpern ……

(3) NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, left, shakes hands with National Football League Players Association Executive Director DeMaurice Smith, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2009, prior to testifying before the House Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection subcommittee hearing on “The NFL StarCaps Case: Are Sports’ Anti-Doping Programs at a Legal Crossroads?”. Rob Manfred, Major League Baseball’s executive vice president of labor relations is at center. Both Goodell and Smith recently met at the NFL’s headquarters in New York city privately to further discuss their ongoing impasse as it relates to the collective bargaining agreement. It has now gotten so vehemently acrimonious between the two sides that several players are now calling for both officials to settle this issue as quickly as possible rather than it all leading to a possible labor stoppage and the alienation of the fans who’ve long supported the game. AP Photo/Haraz N. Ghanbari ……….

(4)NFL Players Association Executive Director DeMaurice Smith , right, speaks as Tennessee Titans and NFL Players Association President Kevin Mawae , left, listens during a news conference Thursday, Feb. 4, 2010 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. AP Photo/David J. Phillip ……

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

Did It Work For You ?


Did It Work For You ?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Alan aka tophatal ……….. 🙂

Baseball, Football, MLB, NFL, Sports

Softly Does It Goes The Approach


Softly Does It Goes The Approach

There was nothing to be overly enthused about concerning the sports weekend. Baseball seems to be strolling long to as usual inevitable conclusion as far as the playoff races are concerned. Things will somehow get derailed for some teams while others will continue to prosper. Unfortunately for the team things have all of a sudden taken a turn for the worse . Suddenly players are dropping like flies after they’ve been hit with a pesticide. Tigers’ manager Jim Leyland must now feel as if his whole world has come crashing down around his feet.

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The team has lost several key players to injuries that could very well derail their entire season as it now stands. With the AL Central being such a competitive and contentious division it’s hard to see how things will play out in the Tigers’ favor at this juncture. Injuries have left the Tigers without Brandon Inge , Zach Miner , Magglio Ordonez , Bobby Seay , Carlos Guillen , Joel Zumaya and with only Miguel Cabrera there to primarily provide the offensive presence needed , one can understand the problems the team now faces down the stretch run of their season .

What initially looked like a three horse race between the Chicago White Sox , Minnesota Twins and Tigers now looks as if it could end being a two horse race between the White Sox and Twins . How the team can overcome their situation will go long way in telling us about the determination of the organization as a whole.

Well the organized training activities (OTA’s) are the springboard to tell us that the preseason for the NFL is just around the corner. And with many camps reporting for duty the fervor of seeing the “new rookies” as well as the seasoned veterans it can only have the most ardent of NFL fans chomping at the bit for the <a href="http://nfl.com/schedules/interactiveseason to get underway.With the NFL hierarchy’s asinine talk of making the season into an 18 game schedule . I’ve got to ask myself and that of Roger Goodell when will he get it into his thick skull that we have enough games being played as it is but the real problem concerning the game and that of its image ? That image has most certainly been sullied by the irrational behavior of the NFL’s members and the complete lack of authority being shown by the commissioner’s office and that of the NFLPA under their Executive Director DeMaurice Smith . Not only do we now have the players running amok but now also we have team executives now making complete asses of themselves.

Personally, I can’t curtail my excitement concerning the upcoming season within the NFL. Teams are certainly looking to prove themselves and the young rookies will no doubt also be looking to make ther statement that they too belong in the league. Strangely enough there are several players yet to be signed by the respective teams , given the fact that the NFL Draft took place over over three months ago. Players and ther gents are looking at the salary slots and how things pan out as the top tiered players taken in the draft sign their contracts.

Sam Bradford taken first overall by the St Louis Rams still remains unsigned and with his agent Tom Condon of CAA (Creative Artists Agency) looking for the his client to sign what will be an extraordinarily lucrative contract which could be worth close to $100 million . Call me naive but $100 million to a kid who’s yet to play a “down” in the NFL ? Unless he’s defecating gold bricks out of his ass then there’s no way in hell that this kid is worth anywhere close to $100 million. Both the NFL and their union counterpart (NFLPA) re crying bout escalating costs and salaries but they’ve done little if anything to rein in the rookies’ rising pay. And the fans are now to believe that Bradford’s situation will be enough to assure us that this won’t continue to happen within the game ? Surely there’s now something wrong with the thinking of both Roger Goodell and DeMaurice Smith ? They’ve spent more time having a pissing contest between the both of them, rather than conducting business that concerns not only the well being of the game but the continued long running support of the fans. But I digress, we’re taking about the NFL and not the government who at present show about as much concern for the electorates’ well being than a boa constrictor would for its dying prey.The two to my mind are cut from the some cloth ! Despicable elements who claim that they have our best interests at heart !

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Other than the NFL precursor what if anything over the summer months thus far in the world of sports has had you in awe ? Comment on this or any other subject that has been of interest you and I’ll do my utmost to respond in a timely manner . Thanks as always for the continued support as it’s greatly appreciated.

tophatal ……………………….. 🙂

The Fugees ……………………….. ” Killing Me Softly”

Football, NFL, NFLPA, Sports

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


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

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

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

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

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

Courtesy of USA Today

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Alan Parkins aka tophatal ………………………….

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

Football, NFL, Sports

I’d Rather Not Have My Intelligence Insulted But I Guess When It’s Either Geithner or Goodell We Have To Put Up With That Sh_t !r


I’d Rather Not Have My Intelligence Insulted But I Guess When It’s Either Geithner or Goodell We Have To Put Up With That Sh_t !

I’ve already come to the conclusion that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has indeed missed his calling. I know that he felt it proud to follow in the footsteps of his predecessor , Paul Tagliabue . Goodell should’ve been a federal legislator either in the House of Representatives or Senate . At least the bulls_it there commands the respect of the “idiots” enclosed who happen to have nothing else better to do ! I mean’s that’s more of an old boys’ club than that of the “Klu Klux Klan” or the “Masons” ! But since being installed into the position as the game’s highest ranking official . He has proven to be a bumbling and an absolute blithering incoherent idiot ! Much like Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner . Goodell and the his federal government counterpart while coming across as technocrats . They have about as much insight on their respective positions and at this moment in time command about as much respect as a Roman Catholic priest would , in a room filled with sexual abuse victims. Goodell’s incoherent communique’s concerning when and how he’ll render his decision concerning Ben Roethlisberger are bout as viable as the recent pronouncements made by Tim Geithner that there are indeed signs of a recovery in the economy. What the hell is that all about ?

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Courtesy of USA Today

NFL crime rate has dropped under Goodell

By Tom Weir USA Today

To cynics, Roger Goodell’s constant emphasis on the NFL’s conduct policy might seem like just talk and image shaping. But a long-term analysis shows the NFL commissioner’s harsh approach to player behavior has coincided with a significant decrease in run-ins with the law.

The San Diego Union-Tribune says arrests and major citations for NFL players are down by nearly half in the past year compared to the year before Goodell implemented his policy in April 2007.

The newspaper has tracked 495 incidents in the last decade and says NFL players had 44 cases in the past year. The Union-Tribune says Goodell has suspended 15 players under the conduct policy since April 2007, about double the number for predecessor Paul Tagliabue in his final years as commissioner.

The study does add, however, that there hasn’t been much chance with the league’s biggest criminal issue, drunken-driving charges. It says 28% of player arrests are DUIs. Next biggest problem, at 22%, involves fighting and disorderly conduct.

The database also says the NFL averages one arrest per every 47 players annually, better than the overall American rate of one arrest per 22 people.

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Signs of a recovery in the economy ? What signs are there that Geithner sees, that such a turn of events are now taking place ? Has the unemployment rate dropped beneath 10 % as is now the national average ? Or are companies reinvesting and buying new equipment , hiring or rehiring ? These are normally the initial telling signs along with consumer confidence. But no , Secretary Geithner would rather fill our heads with a a great deal of mindless information that at present has no rhyme or reason in fact ! Goodell from his own lofty perch , has merely stood by while the whole Roethlisberger saga unfolded, knowing full well , that it was within his means to suspend the player, the moment that the allegations had been made against the Steelers’ quarterback of his alleged sexual assault. The NFL’s own general counsel could have informed the commissioner of that fact and given his use of the policy concerning conduct (personal conduct policy) detrimental to the image of the sport. Not even the NFLPA (union) could have done anything about it at all, on the behalf of the player. This is now how asinine this situation has become and it has left “the fans” wondering what if anything either the league , the NFL owners but above all NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith will do to rein in the conduct and behavior of his members. The only pertinent statement one hears being uttered by Smith nowadays, has to do with money and how the league and the owners are getting away with their unscrupulous practices . Nothing suggests the sheer level of intolerance than an executive who chooses not to make a statement that on a subject that ought to be addressed forcefully and with some conviction of intent. But that is the last thing we can now expect from either Smith or Goodell for that matter !

Courtesy of Associated Press & Yahoo Sports


Goodell: Roethlisberger violated NFL policy

By Allan Robinson , AP Sports Writer

Pittsburgh (AP)—Ben Roethlisberger zipped passes to his wide receivers, exchanged jokes with teammates and smiled throughout his first workout since the Pittsburgh Steelers missed out on the playoffs.

Business as usual for one of the NFL’s most-accomplished quarterbacks? Hardly.

At the same time Roethlisberger was practicing for the first time this spring, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell was telling a radio audience Monday that the quarterback violated the NFL’s personal-conduct policy with his “pattern of behavior” and “bad judgments.”

Roethlisberger was accused of sexually assaulting a 20-year-old college student in a Georgia nightclub last month, although he will not face criminal charges. Roethlisberger does face disciplinary action by the NFL, including a likely suspension, following the release of documents outlining tawdry behavior by the two-time Super Bowl winner.

“The issue here is with respect to a pattern of behavior and bad judgments,” Goodell said on the Dan Patrick radio show. “You do not have to be convicted or even charged with a crime to be able to demonstrate that you’ve violated a personal-conduct policy, and reflect poorly not only on themselves, but all of their teammates, every NFL player in the league, and everyone associated with the NFL. That is what my concern is, and I have expressed that directly to Ben, obviously, and I’ll be making a decision as soon as I possibly can.”

The Steelers are anticipating a suspension lasting as many as four games that could be announced next week. Goodell also could issue a conditional suspension, much as he did in the Michael Vick(notes) case, in which the length of punishment isn’t determined for months.

Even if he is suspended, Roethlisberger could practice and take part in preseason games.

The Steelers didn’t take action against Roethlisberger themselves to avoid a possible appeal from the players’ union. However, several players said the club outlined to them, during a Monday meeting with coach Mike Tomlin, a newly adopted zero-tolerance policy in which unacceptable player conduct will be dealt with harshly and swiftly.

In what apparently was the first case of the rule being implemented, former Super Bowl MVP Santonio Holmes(notes) was traded to the Jets for a fifth-round draft pick last week following a series of problems.

“We were told early this morning that either you get in line or you’ll get kicked out of line. You’re going to be traded or you’re not going to be here,” right tackle Willie Colon(notes) said. “If your conduct is going to play a part in you not being a good football player, they’re going to get rid of you.”

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In order to read this AP article in its entirety just click unto the link
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We’re told league spokesman Greg Aiello that the commissioner will render a decision as to the punishment he sees befitting Roethlisberger. Never mind the fact that the Pittsburgh Steelers’ organization now has the player attending the team’s offseason OTA’s at their practice facility. All of the statements forthcoming from the Rooney family and the team’s coach Mike Tomlin has elicit about as much sincerity as that of the inane rants of <b Osam Bin-Laden as he decries his feelings towards the West and in particular the United States. If the organization actually took this matter seriously then the player would now be under suspension , with them having led the charge on the matter. I have to ask myself what is that Roethlisberger has to do before he even runs the wrath of anyone within the Steelers’ front office ? Thankfully the player hasn’t the mindset of a Rae Carruth or a Donte’ Stallworth ! Their acts alone showed how stupid and a lack of accountability that there was initially forthcoming from either , concerning the actions that they were involved in. And please don’t bring up the fact that Stallworth admitted his guilt right away , as nothing could be further from the truth ! . The player having had bac (blood alcohol content) level of .0136 had also been smoking marijuana on the night he killed a pedestrian in South Florida. But when questioned about the incident he denies that very fact, even after the evidence was all part of his criminal trial that led to his conviction and then only having to serve 24 days in jail for vehicular manslaughter. Do you get the feeling that Goodell might merely give Roethlisberger a slap on the wrist , given the inadequacies shown by the justice system to begin with ?

We’re told the commissioner will render a decision and make a public statement on the matter on Wednesday afternoon. One can only hope that Goodell is a man of his word and that he looks on this matter with the utmost concern. Giving the fact that he’s wavered on this about as much as the sail on the mast of a clipper or schooner. You really have to wonder if you can actually take him at his word ? As I alluded to earlier , it may well be that Goodell would’ve been better served had he been a member of Congress. But as it is there are already 535 members of that particular idiotic domicile ! What’s the chance that adding one and subtracting one would make a blind bit of difference to begin with ? All the altruism in the world never actually changes , because once installed within the alleged hallowed halls of legislative surety. All we are actually served up with is a great deal of inanity and hypocrisy. Very much as is now being demonstrated by Roger Goodell , Tim Geithner and the “entire” Pittsburgh Steelers’ organization.

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Picture gallery …..click on pics individually to view up close.
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Alan Parkins aka tophatal ……………… 🙂 – 😀

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Janelle Monae ….feat’g Big Boi ………………..”Tightrope”
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