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

Savor The Moment …………….


Savor The Moment ……….

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

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

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Slide show or your perusal .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Football, Kevin Kolb, Michael Vick, New England Patriots, NFL, Philadelphia Eagles, San Diego Chargers, Sports

The Tipping Point ……………


The Tipping Point …………..

Once the Superbowl (SBXLV) wraps it will be interesting to see what comes about once the postseason ends . I’ve never placed much stock in the Pro Bowl which once again was held in Honolulu , Hawaii after last year’s rather idiotic experiment in having the game a week before last season’s Superbowl .

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Slide show for your perusal .

This NFL ___ season wasn’t one without controversy as we saw the return of Michael Vick to the grandest of stages as the player had something of a reawakening in his career. For the fans of the Philadelphia Eagles it was something of a surprise . They saw the rebirth of a player who after his incarceration many believed that he’d struggle but instead the player had something of an exceptional season as he lead the team into the postseason. They would come up short but it gave coach Andy Reid something to think about as he now has to make a choice between Vick and Kevin Kolb , whom Reid initiated would be the team’s starter during the preseason . Now the only thing that will be of concern to Reid is whether or not Vick will be re-signed to a long term contract and whether or not Kolb will remain as a member of this team .

Kolb’s performances during the season if anything were unimpressive and to my mind I think that it won’t be for the lack of trying but Kolb may well be traded by the Eagles. If the Philadelphia Eagles are to prevail this upcoming season , should there actually be an NFL season then this team will most definitely have to raise the level of their play. As good as they appeared to be it’s easy to take note that without the play of Vick this team wouldn’t not be where they were at the end of the season. Consistency was the key that the Eagles lacked and if anything this will be the thing that Reid and his staff will have to work on.

If ever there was a team that during the season you simply knew that after the idiocy that transpired both on and off the field you couldn’t wait see the train wreck that would be the aftermath. Mike and Kyle Shanahan simply led the Washington Redskins from one abyss into another. And for the fans in attendance at Fedex Field in Landover , Maryland what they saw throughout much of the season bordered on being a comedy of errors. Donovan McNabb the veteran quarterback was placed into an impossible situation with a team that was so poor and lacking in creativity on both sides of the ball.

At no time could anyone consider this Redskins’ team of being at all competitive and for Mike Shanahan who’s being paid a king’s ransom to resurrect the fortunes of the Washington Redskins it has to be said his first season was a poor one
by any stretch of the b imagination. And for Kyle Shanahan as the team’s offensive coordinator it has to be said that the experience he brought to the organization bore nothing on the field by way of the team’s competitiveness. Dan Snyder the team’s owner who’s not averse to spending money as a business owner has spent in excess of $70 million on managerial salaries since he assumed control of the Washington Redskins. And in that time he’s yet to see the fruits of that labor as the Redskins have simply been set adrift at sea in the midst of repeated tidal waves as they’ve floundered from season to season.

As an avid and passionate New England Patriots’ supporter I’ve got admit that for me their season was a complete disappointment and their loss in the divisional rounds of the playoffs to the New York Jets if anything proved to me how ill prepared the team and in particular Bill Belichick and the coaching staff were .

The failings in this Patriots’ team as such were too many to mention and it goes without saying that even with the post game apologies coming from Belichick and Tom Brady there was simply nothing there to truly indicate that the team and coaching staff went into the game with any real confidence against the New York Jets. From being the presumptive favorites to being kicked to the curb like a whimpering dog essentially summed up the Patriots’ season . Now it goes without saying that Belichick will no doubt look to strengthen the team by way of the upcoming NFL Draft . But herein lies the caveat are the Patriots still able to compete at the highest levels of the NFL ? Or is the team as such, one which now is one that’s simply now very good during the regular season but once the postseason
comes about they’re merely like a deer caught in headlights ? As of now I’m not so sure what the identity of the New England Patriots is meant to be ! I’m not totally at a loss for words but it has me wondering what’s next for the organization as a whole ?

I don’t think of it as being senseless but I’ve yet to see a real explanation as to why there has to be a franchise in the greater Los Angeles area . The city may well be the nation’s second largest advertising market but in reality if the calls from Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and others calling for a return of the NFL is a valid one then I for one would like to know what proposals does the mayor himself have in order to enable this return ? It’s all well and good to be making proclamations but in all honesty when your city is running a $3.5 billion deficit and the state itself is so burdened with debt I’d like to know how he intends to as such pay for this all if there’s going to be a partnership between the public and private enterprise to make this come into being ? That’s the real problem with politicians who merely like to hog the spotlight and then make the most asinine of statements and that’s something that Villaraigosa simply knows how to do with immense regularity .

If it is Roger Goodell’s wish to bring an NFL franchise back to Los Angeles and it clearly is , then it won’t be something that will be happening anytime soon. As much we’ve heard rumblings of an imminent return to the area it appears that though the team owners are behind such a move they’ve made no apparent public statement wherein we’re being led to believe that such a move is imminent. The relocation of a team is quite possible but with there apparent talk that either the Jacksonville Jaguars or San Diego Chargers would be those teams — it doesn’t appear that the owners of those respective franchises have been forthcoming with regard to making a public statement on the issue. Neither Wayne Weaver of the Jaguars or Dean Spanos of the Chargers have been privee in letting the public know what their intentions ultimately will be.

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he cost of bringing a completely new franchise to the area, with a franchise fee and then a stadium could set a potential new owner back at least $1 billion and that’s clearly an obstacle than any potential new owner would look to assess before contemplating such a move. And while there are said to a number of parties looking to bring a franchise to the Los Angeles area at the culmination of this all may well be what input if any there’d be from the city’s government from a financial standpoint by way of inducements in terms of tax allowances and their cooperation in being a partner to any potential franchise owner. If that’s not clear from the start then the possibility of there being a franchise in Los Angeles might just be nothing more than wishful thinking at this point.

For you as an NFL fan what was as such has the main highlight of the season and with regard to there being the possibility of a new franchise in Los Angeles do you believe it to be feasible to bring a team to the city ? Simply chime in with your thoughts on the matter.


Picture and slide show details

(1) Honolul , Hi ,. Michael Vick (7) of the NFC Philadelphia Eagles looks for an open receiver during the 2011 NFL Pro Bowl at Aloha Stadium on January 30, 2011 in Honolulu, Hawaii. NFC won 55-41 over the AFC. Photo by Kent Nishimura/Getty Images ….

(2) Kevin Kolb (4) of the Philadelphia Eagles tries to avoid a sack from Anthony Spencer (93) of the Dallas Cowboys on January 2, 2011 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Cowboys defeated the Eagles 14-13. Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images ….

(3) Offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan (center) of the Washington Redskins works on the sideline with quarterbacks Rex Grossman (8) and John Beck (3 )in the fourth quarter of a game against the New York Giants at FedEx Field on January 2, 2011 in Landover, Maryland. The Giants won the game 17-14 . Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images …….

(4) Washington Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan makes a point with a referee in the fourth quarter of a game against the New York Giants at FedEx Field on January 2, 2011 in Landover, Maryland. The Giants won the game 17-14. Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images ……

(5) Tom Brady (12) of the New England Patriots looks on near the end of their 28-21 loss to the New York Jets in their 2011 AFC divisional playoff game at Gillette Stadium on January 16, 2011 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. Photo by Elsa Martinez/Getty Images ……

(6) City of Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Vilaraigosa seen here with a number of his political supporters and aides having recently been returned to office by the electorate in the city of Los Angeles , California . Villaraigosa is one of the major political proponents for seeing the return of an NFL franchise to city . He’s been short the substance behind his call but says that having a franchise back in the city will reinvigorate it economically. Alas, he doesn’t seem to know however, how to deal with the most acute of issues facing his city and that is one of a multi billion dollar budget deficit . Picture courtesy of Richard Meyer _________ copyrighted material ……..@ all rights reserved

NB: NFL News ……..

Alan aka tophatal ……………………….

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Delicia Cordon

Eye candy ….. Delicia Cordon

I’d pull up to her bumpers !
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Erykah Badu ………… “Window Seat"

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Bill Belichick, Football, Mark Sanchez, New England Patriots, New York Jets, NFL, Rex Ryan, Sports

Give A Dog A Bone ………………….. But You Don’t Have To Beat The Dog With It


Give A Dog A Bone ………………….. But You Don’t Have To Beat The Dog With It

Well it had to happen ‘Chowder fans’ are now in mourning having seen the New England Patriots lay down like a dog that’s just been beaten half to death by Michael Vick . Only in this case it wasn’t Michael Vick doing the bludgeoning but the New York Jets led by Mark Sanchez and that fiery coach Rex Ryan .

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Slide show for your perusal .

For those of us who sat and watched what many may well have felt would be something of a lesson in how to close out this AFC divisional game between the New England Patriots and New York Jets . If anything what we saw was a gunshy and shell shocked Patriots’ team that simply had no answer for a thoroughly physical Jets’ team who simply came to the party fully ready to lay waste to the Patriots in their home venue Gillette Stadium , in Foxborough , Massachusetts ,. And if you were under the impression that it was simply just the Patriots’ players who were ill prepared in this game then one had to wonder what was going on with the mindset of Bill Belichick and his coaching staff .

The game itself came down to a comedy of errors but more on the part of the Patriots and the sub standard play of Tom Brady and the offense . But to simply lay the blame soley on the offense would be remiss as the defense itself was simply left hanging in the wind as Jets’ offensive players , LaDainian Tomlinson , Shonn Greene , Braylon Edwards and Santonio Holmes had the best of their divisional rivals. Brady had what could be best described as the worse day of postseason career in the playoffs. He was laid bare by an offensive line who simply did nothing to protect him and to witness him being harried and hustled into making several mistakes in the game was like watching a rookie perform in his first postseason playoff game. Sacked five times during the game this was a day that Brady and the Pats’ fans like myself probably wished that there could be a do-over. But instead as we know when it comes to the postseason it’s simply one and done if you fail to make it the promise land .

This was to be the Jets’ day and rightfully so as Mark Sanchez led his team with authority and it augurs well for them now as they face the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC championship game . This 28-21 result if anything would give you the impression that this was a close game but in reality it simply was never that close to begin with . In large part it was simply one way traffic and that was evident throughout much of this game as New England was outplayed by the more eager Jets. And all of the smack talk over bragging rights that took place before the game now resonates even more and if anything it has cut like a dagger through the heart of the Patriots’ fans who may well have felt somewhat betrayed the team’s performance .

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Picture gallery for your perusal.

As to what the future holds for the Patriots after this devastating loss it remains to be seen what Belichick and in particular the front office may well decide to do. Having posted a league leading 14-2 record those performances during the season. The season itself for the Patriots was filled a great many highs as well as lows but if anything the regular season is one thing what really counts as we all know is the postsason and the the quest for the Superbowl . That’s what all 32 teams within the NFL start their season on that inimatable quest for one of professiobnal sports most illustrious team prize.

Patriots’ owner Bob Kraft the front office must now know that if this team is to be thought of as a perennial contender for the Superbowl and it has become abundantly clear that Belichick was if anything complacent in the team’s preparation in the postseason. The thinking is that the New England Patriots are the ever consummate team of professionals but herein lies the problem with the Patriots they’ve been the dog that has uncanny habit of being simply annoying that you’re tempted give it a whack with a bone. And this divisional game against the Jets the Patriots got beaten with that bone so profusely that I seriously doubt that they’ll make a quick recovery from this painful onslaught !

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For the remaining teams the Chicago Bears , Green Bay Packers , New York Jets and Pittsburgh Steelers this postseason could be one to savor . So far we’ve been given a great deal of intrigue , suspense and thrills. There’s been surprises and shall we say one or two shocks ? Now all that’s left is to determine which team will be raising the Lombardi Trophy at Cowboys Stadium in early February .

What thoughts if any do you have concerning the the divisional games this past weekend and what if any were your thoughts on the performances of both the New York Jets and New England Patriots ? Simply chime in with your thoughts on this topic and the upcoming games .

Alan aka tophatal …………………………

Picture gallery and slide show details

(1) New England Patriots cornerback Devin McCourty speaks with the media while cleaning out his locker at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., Monday, Jan. 17, 2011. The New York Jets defeated the New England Patriots, 28-21 in the AFC divisional playoff game Sunday. AP Photo/Stew Milne …….

(2) New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez ties trash bags filled the belongings from his locker while cleaning it out Monday, Jan. 17, 2011, at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass. The New York Jets defeated the New England Patriots, 28-21 in the AFC divisional playoff game Sunday. AP Photo/Stew Milne ……

(3)Foxboro , Ma,. Drew Coleman (30) of the New York Jets tackles Wes Welker (83) of the New England Patriots during their 2011 AFC divisional playoff game at Gillette Stadium on January 16, 2011 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. Photo by Elsa Martinez /Getty Images ….

(4) New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick answers questions from the media during a news conference Monday, Jan. 17, 2011, at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass. The New York Jets defeated the Patriots 28-21 in an AFC divisional playoff game Sunday. AP Photo/Stew Milne ……..

(5) New York Jets coach Rex Ryan, center, reacts near the end of the Jets’ 28-21 win over the New England Patriots in NFL divisional playoff football game in Foxborough, Mass., Sunday, Jan. 16, 2011. AP Photo/Winslow Townson …….

(6) Tom Brady (12) of the New England Patriots looks on near the end of their 28 to 21 loss to the New York Jets in their 2011 AFC divisional playoff game at Gillette Stadium on January 16, 2011 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Elsa Martinez /Getty Images ………

(7) Braylon Edwards (17) and Santonio Holmes (10) of the New York Jets celebrate on their way to defeating the New England Patriots 28 to 21 victory over the New England Patriots during their 2011 AFC divisional playoff game at Gillette Stadium on January 16, 2011 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images ……

[8] Tom Brady (12) of the New England Patriots and Mark Sanchez (6) of the New York Jets walk off the field after the Jets defeated the Patriots 28 to 21 their 2011 AFC divisional playoff game at Gillette Stadium on January 16, 2011 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. Photo by Michael Heiman/Getty Images ………

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Jazz ingenue Esperanza Spalding ……. “She Got To You”

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AFC East, Dallas Cowboys, Football, New England Patriots, NFL, Sports

All Things Must Come To An End ! Even The Good Ones ……….


All Things Must Come To An End ! Even The Good Ones ……….

All good things come to and end it’d appear that calmer heads ruled the day as Jerry Jones made the decision to fire his much maligned incumbent head coach Wade Phillips. At 1-7 one might ask why it took Jones so long to come to a decision where clearly it was evident that Phillips had lost control of a Dallas Cowboys’ team that had for all sense and purpose was “mailing it in”. Highly overpaid athletes who as such couldn’t strap it all on and play hard for 60 minutes. I’ve often heard it said that NFL players are tough and some of the best athletes on the planet. Pardon me for saying this if the Cowboys are meant to be the basis for that argument then I feel everyone who subscribes to that premise really needs to pull their head out of their ass. This current Cowboys’ team couldn’t match the tenacity of teams past who wore a Cowboys jersey with pride. What we’re now witnessing are a bunch of high priced primadona players. As for Phillips his sacrifice was to fall on the sword without Jones being prepared to accept responsibility for this gaffe and the team’s fall from grace.

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Slide-show for your perusal.

Jerry Jones believes that the team can somehow rebound and play with a great deal of pride. Phillips’ offensive coordinator Jason Garrett will now become the interim coach of the team and he’ll be assessed by Jones as to whether or not he’ll become Wade Phillips’ successor. From my own perspective this might just be the only appropriate thing that Jones can do while he gauges the interests of former coaches Jon Gruden , Bill Cowher and quite possibly from the college ranks Mark Dantonio , Chip Kelly , Gene Chizik , Les Miles and quite possibly Jim Harbaugh of Stanford . Though from what we all know of Jones it’s highly unlikely that he’d be willing to hire a coach from the college ranks unless he knows that he won’t have to acquiesce any power whatsoever to his new hire.

Jason Garrett was originally meant to be their heir apparent to Phillips and while his title was in essence the team’s offensive coordinator he had also been assigned the title of assistant head coach. Collectively however, I do think that while much of the blame lays squarely on the shoulders of Wade Phillips and Jerry Jones , I do feel that Garrett simply has shown that as a coordinator and assistant coach he’s simply brought nothing at all to the table. This team lacks leadership, accountability but overall the Cowboys lack complete purpose and the will to win !. And given the inept display by the team in their 45-7 loss to the Green Bay Packers it’s easy to see why the Dallas Cowboys have become one of the biggest jokes of the NFL season. Other than the hapless 0-7 ___ Buffalo Bills has there been a more maligned team and none sensical story of this NFL season ? Granted we’ve had so many idiotic prognostications as to why the Cowboys ought to have been viewed as a preseason favorite for the Superbowl . I must’ve missed something here because this is the same Dallas Cowboys’ team that hadn’t won a playoff game in over decade and whose presence last year in the playoffs lasted almost as long as a sobriety rehab stay of Lindsay Lohan. Mauled and manhandled by the Minnesota Vikings in an NFC divisional playoff game it is easy to understand the reason why I personally think that this team is vastly overrated !

How in God’s name can a 6-1 team look so inept in every facet of an NFL game ? Given the premise that the New England Patriots were now being viewed as the best team in the AFC record wise. It was clear that they were going to be in for a rude awakening . And that came about in the Patriots’ humiliating 34-14 loss to the Cleveland Browns where former Patriots’ offensive coordinator , now coach of the Browns Eric Mangini and his coaching staff out-coached Bill Belichick . If the postgame interview and statement by Belichick was anything to go by then it’s clear that the Patriots’ coach in his own naivete took the Browns far too lightly. The New England Patriots were outplayed in every facet of the game and defensively this team still has its flaws , as they were continually exposed in the team’s pass and run defense. And if that wasn’t enough Tom Brady and the Patriots’ offense were so inept that it is inconceivable that they actually ended up scoring fourteen points in this game. To top it all , Browns’ quarterback Colt McCoy had what might have been the best performance of his career in the NFL since his entrance, leading his team with a great deal of aplomb. Assisting him in that endeavor also was his teammate Peyton Hillis who racked up 184 yards on 29 carries , scoring 2 TD’s (avg 6.34 yards per carry). And if that wasn’t cause for concern it’s clear that this Patriots’ defense has a long way to go if the ambitions of Belichick are to be met in his aim to win a fourth Superbowl championship as a coach joining former Steelers’ coach Chuck Noll as the only four time winning Superbowl coach of the modern era in the NFL.

Within the AFC East the division has become something of a competitive one and it can no longer be viewed as the Patriots’ domain . Rex Ryan and the New York Jets have now become a welcome foe for the Patriots and with a rejuvenated and always forceful Miami Dolphins now looking for some semblance of respect from their divisional rivals as well as the rest of the teams within the AFC. It has to be said that whoever makes it out of the division as its divisional champion will be considered to be one of the favorites within the AFC for the Superbowl 45 (SBXLV).

If the Patriots are to get back on track then their next game against conference opponents the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh this upcoming Sunday will be a stern test of their resolve. They’ll be meeting a Steelers’ team having hit its stride and playing some of the best football in the league on both sides of the ball. Ben Roethlisberger having returned from his four game NFL mandated suspension has been guiding the team as its signal caller and with Troy Polamalu and Rashard Mendenhall having banner seasons it has to be said that this will be a tall order that is being asked of the Patriots to rebound from their loss to the Cleveland Browns. Mike Tomlin will have his team prepared to face whatever Bill Belichick has to throw at him strategically . This may well be one of the better games on offer in Week 10 of the NFL and it could go a long way in determining whether or not the Patriots are “for real” and whether or not the Pittsburgh Steelers are capable of making another return to the Superbowl in chasing down what would be their quest for a seventh Lombardi Trophy triumph.

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

What thoughts if any do you have concerning the decision of Jerry Jones to fire his coach ? Do you feel that it was a knee jerk reaction on his part and do you feel that under interim coach Jason Garrett the team will fare any better ? With regard to the New England Patriots do you feel that the team will be able to rebound from their rather inexplicable loss to the Cleveland Browns and some defeat the Pittsburgh Steelers this upcoming weekend ? Simply chime on with a comment on the issues raised within this piece and any other NFL story that was of interest to you this past weekend. Thanks as always for your continued support as it has always been appreciated !

Alan aka tophatal ………………………… 🙂

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Ali Milan

Eye candy Ali Milan . I’d definitely lick her ta-ta’s and other jiggly bits !

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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Slide show for your perusal .

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)”

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

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


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

 

 

 

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

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

 

 

 

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

 

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

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

 

 

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

 

 

 

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

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