AFC West, Commissioner Roger Goodell, NFL, NFLPA, San Diego Chargers, Sports

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

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

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

NB:


NFL news

Picture and slide show details below .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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San Diego Chargers’ profile

Chargers’ news

Chargers’ 2010 schedule

Chargers’ team statistics 2010

Chargers’ schedule for 2009 season including results

Chargers’ schedule 2008 and 2008 postseason

Chargers’ roster

Chargers’ head coach Norv Turner

Assistant coaching staff

Chargers’ front office

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Alan aka tophatal ……………………..

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Eye candy ………… Denise Milani

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

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Denise’s lovely lady lumps !

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Outkast …………..“Elevator” (Me & You)

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Al Davis, Cleveland Browns, Football, Mike Holmgren, NFL, Nnamdi Asomugha, Oakland Raiders, Sports

And The Fallout Begins …………………


And The Fallout Begins ……..

Well it comes as no surprise to me that the Oakland Raiders find themselves in a mess of idiotic proportions . Team owner Al Davis for some unfathomable reason felt it necessary to fire Tom Cable after the team having swept their division now find themselves without any semblance of continuity. Many of the fans of the team feel angered by this decision but at the same they know that Al Davis marches to a beat of a very different drum. Even if he can’t hear the damn drum to begin with and this is an individual who I feel is no longer cognitive of what’s happening around him !

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In Cable’s place Hue Jackson will assume the position as head coach. This is a team that during the season had found a sense of purpose and direction but it’d appear that the inconsistency displayed by both Jason Campbell and Bruce Gradkowski played its part in derailing the ambitions and hope for the Raiders this past season . Statistically the Raiders have been mid rank amongst the teams within the NFL in a number of categories but the real inherent problem has been the lack of leadership on this team. It certainly hasn’t come from the playmaking of either quarterback and even with a seasoned veteran such as Richard Seymour it would appear that his teammates weren’t always prepared to follow his example.

Nnamdi Asomugha perhaps the team’s best player on either side of the ball now finds himself perhaps on the outside looking in as the team now has rescinded all of the incentives on his record breaking contract ($45 million three year contract). Having failed to meet the incentives this season the organization has sought in part to renegotiate that deal but it appears that the player and management are now at an impasse. In failing to renegotiate the player’s deal the Raiders aren’t in a position to place the franchise tag on the player and at the same time should they seek to trade him the compensation sought by them could prove to be far too high for a number of teams around the league for the four time Pro Bowl cornerback . Oakland isn’t unlike a number of teams around the league that find themselves in something of a financial morass albeit that they fare well with the millions that they derive in revenues each season. With Asomugha being an unrestricted free agent the only alternatives that the Raiders now have will be either to seek a trade resign the cornerback to a long term contract which he and his agent will no doubt be seeking . The Raiders cannot place the franchise tag on the player in order to retain his services , so therein lies the dilemma that the Oakland Raiders now face at this juncture .

Courtesy of NFL Network

Asomugha’s Raiders deal voided because of missed incentives

By Jason La Canofora of the NFL Network

Nnamdi Asomugha isn’t under contract with the Oakland Raiders.

Asomugha didn’t reach certain incentives this season, voiding the last year of a three-year, $45.3 million contract and making the three-time Pro Bowl cornerback an unrestricted free agent, a source with knowledge of the deal said Sunday.

Raiders senior executive John Herrera later confirmed to The Associated Press that the contract had been voided. The 2011 option was worth either $16.8 million or the amount of the quarterback franchise tag, whichever is greater.

The Raiders now must decide whether to pay big money to keep Asomugha or use it to shore up other positions.

“We have to wait on the ramifications of the new CBA to be able to move on,” Herrera told The AP.

The Raiders could have many other key free agents this offseason, depending on the terms of the new collective bargaining agreement. Pro Bowl defensive tackle Richard Seymour, safety Michael Huff, cornerback Stanford Routt, tight end Zach Miller, left guard Robert Gallery and running back Michael Bush are among the Raiders’ other potential free agents.

Entering this season, Asomugha had to participate in more plays or boost his interception, fumble recovery or sack totals from their 2009 levels to pick up the last year of the contract. But Asomugha played in just 14 games — two less than 2009 — because of an ankle injury, and he didn’t post an interception, a fumble recovery or a sack. He also had 19 tackles, 15 fewer than last season.

The Raiders can’t use their franchise tag on Asomugha, who will be 30 next season, because of another clause in the contract, which the cornerback signed in February of 2009. Asomugha was paid $28.5 million in the first two years of the deal.

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It remains to be seen how this situation will work itself between the player and the organization will come to a satisfactory conclusion. I’ve no doubt that Asomugha can still contribute to this team as he has done since his entry into the NFL some 7 years ago . Since then this perennial Prow Bowler has been one the main constants for this team and he has drawn the admiration of his peers and coaches alike around the NFL .

I’d repeatedly said at the time the moment that team President Mike Holmgren sought to retain Eric Mangini as the team’s coach until his firing this season I felt that the Cleveland Browns simply had no idea what the hell they were doing. For two mercilessly uninspiring seasons Mangini simply ran this team into the ground .

Now Holmgren has to constitute a wide ranging search for a candidate whom he feels can successfully resurrect the fortunes of this franchise. I’ve no doubt that the search will be widespread and will be amongst a number of candidates that Holmgren will look to interview . Jon Gruden , Bill Cowher and Mike Mularkey are names that come to mind and I’ve no doubt that with the recent hiring of Jim Harbaugh as coach of the San Francisco 49ers Mike Holmgren will look amongst the college ranks .And amongst those who may well gauged as to their interest may well be Les Miles of LSU , Chris Petersen of Boise State and Chip Kelly of Oregon . But the feeling is that many of these coaches mentioned within the college ranks might just be happy to remain with the programs that they’ve built up over the years.

Courtesy of NFL.com

Falcons OC Mularkey offers no details after Browns interview

Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey doesn’t know the Cleveland Browns’ time frame for hiring a new coach following his recent interview with the team.

That was about all Mularkey would acknowledge publicly about his candidacy in Cleveland. He interviewed Saturday with Browns team president Mike Holmgren and general manager Tom Heckert.

“I’m going to move on from commenting about that,” Mularkey said Sunday. “I’ll move on to anything else you want to talk about.”

Mularkey, who is helping the Falcons prepare for a home playoff game Saturday, hopes to become an NFL head coach for the second time. He had a 14-18 record with the Buffalo Bills in 2004 and 2005.

Mularkey canceled an interview with the Denver Broncos last week. He isn’t sure if the Browns will request a second interview, but Mularkey was adamant that his primary focus is the Falcons’ next game.

“I just know this has been very important to me,” he said. “It’s important to our team. I’m not sure when a decision is coming down.”

NFL Network insider Michael Lombardi confirmed that St. Louis Rams offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur, the first candidate to interview, is the Browns’ front-runner.

In his first three seasons with Atlanta, Mularkey has helped quarterback Matt Ryan become a burgeoning star. Ryan was the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2008 after the Falcons drafted him No. 3 overall.

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There’s no denying that some pieces are in place for the Browns but in reality what they’ve lacked over the years has been leadership from the upper echelons within this famed franchise and the fact the coaching if anything has been mediocre at best ! Whoever assumes the reins of this team will have to go about their job with a great deal of expediency but at the same they will have realize that time is of the essence trying to achieve any modicum of success and that’s what will be asked of the successor to Eric Mangini. Chances are that the person assuming this position will now be put on a great of pressure to succeed.

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Picture gallery for your perusal.

What thoughts if any do you have with regards to the ongoing fallout that’s now taking place as to the managerial upheavals within the NFL ? Also what conclusions if any do you believe will come from the situation now involving the Oakland Raiders’ Nnamdi Asomugha ? Simply chime with a comment as to your thoughts on the topics raised and your and that of the NFL at present as you view it ?

NB: Click here for the latest NFL News .

Weekend scores & results .

As a bye note I’d just like to put this out there to the “idiot” who made the statement that Matt Cassel is the best quarterback in the NFL that has been produced by USC . Given Cassel’s display against in the team’s 30-7 loss to the Baltimore Ravens let’s just say that Cassel much like his USC peers who are now playing the position in the NFL aren’t good enough to wear jock itch much less strap on a set of cleats and call themselves quarterbacks in the NFL . Matt Cassel , Matt Leinart and Carson Palmer collectively just aren’t that good by any stretch of the imagination. The trio are merely a bunch of over-hyped so called wannabe’s and ’til they prove that they’re good enough to be amongst the elite of the NFL please stop with dumb ass prognostications ?

No one start to ride on the Mel Kiper bandwagon but that guy has had more misses than hits over the years never mind the fact that much of the time he merely cites these players . because he’s suborned to do so by his association with the players’ agents rather than him gauging these players through his own observations. Plainly and succinctly what Kiper puts out there simply isn’t worth the time of day !

Alan aka tophatal …………………………..

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Vanessa Wilson

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

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

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

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

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

Alan aka tophatal ………………………..

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Candace

Eye candy Candace Pictures appear courtesy of Smooth Magazine

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Suelyn-Brittany

Suelyn and Brittany
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Jasmine  Black

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

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Baseball, Football, MLB, NBA, NFL, Sports

Stat of The Week ……………….


Stat of The Week

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Picture gallery for your perusal.

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

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Alan aka tophatal …………………… ūüôā

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Kimbella

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

Football, NFL, Sports

I Left My Heart And Balls In San Francisco


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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Picture gallery for your perusal.

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

tophatal ……………

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Brandi Vonne

Eye candy courtesy of XXL magazine . Brandi Vonne

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

What Would Or Should LDT Do ?


 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

NFL

Do You Want To Know How Easy It Is To Look Bad ? Then Look No Further Than The Oakland Raiders ………..


Far be it for me to say but¬† I think¬† that we¬† can all agree that¬† the¬† Oakland Raiders¬† have¬† had¬† a mediocre¬†season¬†thus far.¬† And¬† last night’s horrendous loss to¬† the¬†San Diego Chargers¬† 34-7 certainly gives credence¬† as to¬† how far the¬† team has fallen.¬†¬† With the upheaval that has taken place¬† within the franchise again with them having to fire another coach¬† in¬† Laine Kiffin. Only¬† to replace him with¬† Tom Cable¬† tells you¬† all you need to¬† know¬† what has been¬† going on¬† and will continue¬† to go¬† on within¬† the franchise.¬†¬†And¬† until own principal¬† owner¬†Al Davis¬†relinquishes the¬† reins to someone¬† with¬† more¬†media savvy¬† and player personnel knowledge when¬† it¬† comes¬† to the¬† franchise.¬† Then the¬† fans¬†of the Raiders as well¬† as the¬† rest¬† of the NFL will have¬† to¬† put¬†up¬†with¬†a great¬† deal of diatribe on and¬† off the¬† field for the¬† foreseeable future.

 

 

 

Raiders’ running back Darren McFadden evades the¬†attempted tackle of¬†the Chargers’¬† Stephen Cooper in the fourth quarter of the¬† game played last¬†night. The¬† Chargers would go on to defeat¬† the¬† Raiders convincingly 34-7. picture appears courtesy of ap/Lenny Ignelzi ………….

 

 

For the league and in particular  the AFC West where  it can be best  described as a  shifting  magma of  ineptitude. So pitiful  has been the  division that the only  thing that  staves off criticism of  the entrants therein. Is that the teams in  the NFC West other than the  Arizona Cardinals are playing a  whole  lot worse.

 

 

 

Riaders’ quarterback¬† JeMarcus Russell(2)¬† tries¬† to get off a pass¬† as he’s being pressured by the Chargers’ Shaun Phillips (95)¬†in a game played between¬† the two teams¬† in San Diego, California. picture appears courtesy of ap/Denis Poroy ………………..

 

 

As to the fortunes of the¬† Raiders'(3-10) opponents¬† last¬† night. The San Diego Chargers(5-8) they’re faring¬†only¬† slightly¬† better than their divisional counterparts. And¬† to¬† say¬† that they¬† might¬† be the most disappointing¬† team in the NFL¬†this season would¬†be an¬† immense¬†understatement. They were believed to be¬† a playoff contender¬†¬†and¬† most likely¬† the¬† AFC representative¬† in the Superbowl. But with the loss of¬† Shawn Merriman¬†to injury.¬† And the fact¬† that Pro Bowl running¬†back¬†LaDanian Tomlinson¬†has had¬†an indifferent season as well as lingering¬† injuries and quite¬† possibly some self¬† doubt.¬† It hasn’t¬† gone well¬† for coach¬† Norv Turner’s¬† team despite the ladership¬† on the field of¬† quarterback Phillip Rivers.¬† There’ll have to be divine intervention¬† if the Chargers¬†are¬† to make the¬† playoffs. And at this juncture¬† that is unlikely to¬† happen at all.

 

 

 

Dareen Sproles of the San Diego Chargers flips¬† the¬† ball¬† having¬† scored a¬† touchdown¬† on¬† an 18 yd reception tossed¬† by¬†quarterback¬† Phillip Rivers. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Lenny Ignelzi …………..

 

 

 

Last night’s game¬† however¬† gives¬† the¬†Chargers something¬† to look¬† forward to if¬† they’re able¬† feed off this victory.¬† With a playoff spot seemingly¬† oput of¬† the¬† reckoning¬†, all they’re now¬†playing for¬†pride and slef respect. They ran roughshod over the¬† Raiders’ defense and¬† manhandled¬† their offense¬† with¬† such meticulous¬† efficiency.¬† That it reminded¬† everyone as to how¬† good¬† this¬† team can¬† be ,¬†albeit¬† that they were¬†playing against¬† Oakland.¬† Who more¬† often than¬† not nowadays mounts¬† a challenge¬† to an¬† NFL¬† team¬† as about¬† as frequently as¬†Halley’s Comet¬†¬†makes¬† an¬† appearance.

 

 

 

Vincent Jackson of¬† the¬† Chargers¬† catches a 59 reception¬†for a touchdown as fans¬† react¬† to the score. picture appears courtesy of ap/Denis Poroy …………………..

 

 

The NFL world has prognosed and¬† diagnosed the¬† woes¬† of the¬† Raiders. And we¬† all know¬† what ails the team. It has been¬† their¬† inability to play with¬† any¬† semblance¬† of¬† consistency¬†and the¬†added fact that¬† despite the¬† alleged talents of¬† quarterback JaMarcus Russell. Of whom¬† it can be¬† said he’s still¬† quite a ways¬† away from¬† being the finished¬† product that’s desired¬† in an NFL quarterback. He’s meant¬† to be¬† the¬† face of the franchise along with running back Darren McFadden.¬† But¬† it¬† appears that¬†it’s McFadden who’ll have to be the workhorse¬† as well¬† as¬† the¬† on the field leader of¬† the¬† franchise.¬† For if¬† nothing¬†else Russell’s¬† attributes as a player¬† and leader¬† are coming¬† into question. A lot¬† has been¬† placed upon¬† his¬† large frame¬† and¬† thus¬† far he’s been¬† unable to¬† meet and¬† live up ¬†to those expectations.¬† And unfortunately¬† when¬†his¬† backup¬† Andrew Walter is unable to fare any¬† better.¬† It shows¬† us all¬† how dire the¬† situation¬† is¬† for this team¬† offensively.

 

 

 

Andrew Walter of¬† the¬† Raiders is about to be tackled¬†by the Chargers’ Shaun Phillips¬† for¬† loss of¬† yardage in the¬† game played¬† against their¬† divisional rivals. picture appears courtesy of ap/ Lenny Ignlezi¬† …………

 

 

But it’s also¬†on¬† the other side of the ball where¬† the¬† team has¬† also¬† been¬† woefully¬† inept. And opponents¬† of the Raiders have been¬† able¬†to feast¬† upon¬† a defense¬† that’s as¬† porous as¬† a wet sponge.¬† Not only¬† are they¬† susceptible¬† to giving¬† up large chucks of yardage¬† in¬† the passing¬† game¬† but¬† defensively when it comes to¬† stopping¬†¬† the¬† run they’re¬†as¬†equally adept at making their opponents¬† look¬† like world¬† beaters. As can be borne out¬† by¬† the¬† team’s¬† statistics.¬†¬†

 

 

 

Linebacker Derrick Burgess (56) cernter stands on the sidelines¬† along¬† with teammates William Joseph(96) and Gerard Warren(61) as¬† the¬† clock winds down during¬† the game. picture appears courtesy of getty images/Harry How¬† ………………..

 

 

And if¬†the Raiders’ record of 3-10¬†isn’t reflective¬† of them¬† being a bad¬† team.¬†Then¬†even their most loyal and¬† devoted¬† fans¬† who¬† keep on returning¬† each year¬† in the silver and¬† black¬† have¬†got to be disappointed¬†with the frequency with which they’re¬† able¬† to maintain¬† this¬†unsurpassed¬† legacy¬†of¬† mediocrity for the franchise.¬†There¬† was a time¬† when¬† watching¬† and¬† supporting¬† the¬† Oakland¬† Raiders was meant to be fun.¬† And¬† no¬† doubt¬† for many¬† of their most trusting¬† and loyal¬† fans¬† it probably¬† still is.¬† But¬† one now can’t help but wonder¬† if quite possibly¬† a number of¬† them¬† are¬† now becoming¬† neurotic¬† and¬† psychotic¬† by¬† what¬† is¬† being¬† displayed by a team¬† that they’d¬† come to love. As¬† voiciferous as they¬† are¬† there’ve got be times¬† where a vast¬† number¬† of¬† them¬† have¬† got to question whether¬† or¬† not¬† it’s still viable¬† to continue¬† supporting the¬† the team. Consider this¬† they’ve¬†not posted a winning regular season record in five years and are¬† about¬† to embark¬† on another¬† this¬† year,¬† making it a sixth consecutive¬† season of double digit losses.¬†¬† That if nothing¬† else¬† tells¬† how¬† far this¬† team¬† has fallen¬† from¬†grace since¬†their last Superbowl appearance in 2003 which¬† ended in a lopsided 48-21¬† loss¬† to¬† the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

 

 

 

 

Raiders’ quarterback JeMarcus Russell is¬† taken¬† from the¬† field on¬† a motorized cart having suffered an injury during the¬† game played¬† against¬† the Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, Ca,. picture appears courtesy of¬† getty images/ Harry How ……………………

 

 

Though I’m¬†not shuddering to¬† think that¬† the¬† Raiders will continue¬† with this sheer ineptitude as to¬† play and their¬† off¬† the¬† field¬† predicament. It doesn’t¬† augur¬† well for¬† the fans of¬† the¬† game let¬† alone¬† the¬† franchise.¬† By yesterday’s evidence alone¬† in the humiliating¬† loss¬† to the San Diego the¬† road less traveled¬† by¬† the Raiders¬† has¬† been one¬† filled with¬† potholes¬† and¬† various¬† other¬† obstacles¬† some¬† of¬† their¬† own¬† making¬† and¬†others which¬† aren’t.¬† But¬† it¬† doesn’t¬† get away¬† from the¬† fact¬† that¬† when¬† they¬† look¬† bad it continues¬† to tarnish¬† the legacy of¬† a once¬† proud¬† franchise.¬† And¬† that’s something¬† that¬† they’re now¬†having to learn to live with.

 

 

 

tophatal …………………………