Just the fact Mam, just the facts, that’s all that’s required
By Tophatal ….
The NFL has entered its silly season with several teams making moves , seeking to place themselves in a better position into the lead-up to the NFL Draft taking place on the 22nd April, 2015. It is pretty much safe to say a number of the decisions made by the front office staffs have become just as bewildering to the fan,s as they are to the analysts who cover the league for the various media outlets.
Perhaps the most bewildering of the teams’ transactions have been those made by the Philadelphia Eagles, all under the auspices of GM Howie Roseman, head coach Chip Kelly and his coaching staff. It seems almost inexplicable to ascertain the reasons behind the trading of quarterback, Nick Foles , with the Eagles in return, acquiring Sam Bradford from the St Louis Rams. Beyond that, consider also , the departures of Jeremy Maclin and LeSeason McCoy , and you have to wonder what other moves are being planned by the franchise. Well, now we know , with the acquisition of DeMarco Murray , there was some rationale behind it all, albeit, questions have to be asked, when will Kelly seek to address the issues concerning the team’s secondary and the fact they were among the worst in the NFL during 2014.
While a great deal is being made over the NFL Draft and which teams are likely to make the right or wrong choices. I simply go by the credo, no one is a soothsayer and the Draft remains as unpredictable as ever. Hell, the New York Jets are still ruing the day they made Geno Smith their top pick in the 2012 NFL Draft and needless to say, Smith has proved them right, by failing to live up to expectations. I am not about to suggest, the Jets plunge back to market for another quarterback in this Draft, but they can’t do any worse than than the three-year player has shown himself to be , with a list of simply unbelievably mediocre performances.
Incoming Jets’ head coach Todd Bowles’ hasn’t committed himself to the three-year starter and with good reason , given the deficiencies shown by Geno Smith and his back-up alternatives at the position in 2014 , where the franchise’s passing game was among the worst in the NFL. The Jets will go into the 2015 season hoping to prove their doubters wrong, while seeking to make themselves a credible challenger to the New England Patriots as they both contend for divisional supremacy within the AFC East.
There comes a time when the prognostications of many can literally come back to bite them in the ass. Nowhere has this been more relevant than for those who profess to believe Phil Jackson would somehow have the New York Knicks be a relevant force within the NBA this season. Last I looked , this Knicks’ roster was not made up of twelve disciples and the ” Last Supper “ now being eaten, is the sound of the Knicks’ season being flushed down the toilet . Knicks’ head coach Derek Fisher and his coaching staff have shown as about as much acumen for their current roles as a dog-catcher would be considered intelligent or skilled enough to carry out open-heart surgery on a patient for the very first time. Such, were the high hopes of the idiotic Knicks’ fans and those who felt Phil Jackson because of his coaching legacy, would become the overnight savior of a stillmoribund franchise . To understand how mediocre the New York Knicks have been, consider the fact over their last twelves games they have posted just three wins . Those three victories may well have come through providence, rather than the efforts of the Knicks’ players themselves.
The New York Knicks’ next competitive task will not get any easier when they go on the road to face the Golden State Warriors and the offensive prowess posed by Steph Curry and Klay Thompson , when these two teams meet at the Oracle Arena in Oakland , California on Saturday in a contest, which is likely to be extremely one-sided favoring the Western Conference based Warriors . Throughout much of the season the Knicks have simply shown their brand of basketball to be absolutely putrid , with the players themselves simply not good enough to hold their against anyone at any point of a game .
There is no reason to believe , that as the season winds down, the New York Knicks are likely to improve, as neither the coaching staff or the players show the propensity , to put in the effort to make it a reality of actually winning games .
Frank Vogel and the Indiana Pacers have been the “hottest team” in the NBA over their past fourteen games and in doing so they have played themselves into contention for a playoff berth . As the seventh seed in the conference (East), it has been extremely interesting to witness what the Pacers have been able to achieve during that time-frame. Indiana’s best player this season has been guard Rodney Stuckey and it has been his play which has been the driving force and the team defense leading to Indiana’s ascent up the Eastern Conference. The Pacers’ next scheduled game will be against conference rivals the Boston Celtics when the two meet at the Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indiana , Indianapolis on the 14th March , 2015.
For the five-time and reigning NBA champions, the San Antonio Spurs. Theirs has been a season of varying inconsistencies , with the team now holding steady under the coaching acumen of Gregg Popovich and the his coaching staff . The best player on the team throughout much of the season has been Finals’ MVP Kawhi Leonard , seen in a number of fans’ eyes as the heir-apparent to Tim Duncan. As a seasoned veteran , Duncan’s achievements makes him a future Hall of Fame inductee , likely to be joined fellow teammates Manu Ginobli and Tony Parker . Coming off a thrilling overtime loss to LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers , in a contest where defense wasleft on the back-burner . It has to be said , the Spurs need to get back on track and place the loss behind them, moving forward to the next encounter. What better way for them to do that, than a contest against the only team in the Western Conference who continue to make the Los Angeles Lakers look like “world beaters” . It’s pretty much safe to suggest, even with the return of Kevin Garnett to the Minnesota Timberwolves , the best the franchise can now hope for , is that they are the ones to beat out both the New York Knicks and Philadelphia 76ers for the privilege of the Lottery Pick and the rights to draft the number one overall pick in the upcoming NBA Draft, which is scheduled to take place on June 25th, 2015.
How things now play out over the remainder of the season for the San Antonio Spurs, will be predicated upon the mindset of their championship winning head coach and the strategy he believes best fits the team’s needs, by way of his use of the players , minutes played by each and positioning themselves by way of the divisional and conference standings . An eighteenth consecutive postseason appearance, has a way of again establishing the franchise, of simply being more than just a dynasty alongside their five championships and six Finals’ appearances , all during Gregg Popovich’s reign .
In what will likely turn out to be the most lucrative boxing match in history, finally becomes a reality when Floyd Mayweather Jr steps into the ring to face arch-rival Manny Pacquiao. God knows, fans of this dying sport have waited long enough for this bout to take place, and the view has been, this is a fight, five years too late and regrettably , all of this has been due to the posturing of both fighters. the antagonism shown between the rival promotional companies involved , Mayweather Promotions and Top Rank Inc. What else would anyone expect, the continued disarray within the sport and their being no outright delineating leadership among any of the sport’s international governing bodies ?
Mayweather unbeaten in forty-seven (26 KO’s , 0 drawn)fights will meet Pacquiao at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada, for their highly anticipated contest on the 2nd May , 2015. For me nothing indicates more the comedic value and intent of this contest, when you see the ‘bubble-gum talented ‘ Justin Bieber position himself as a diehard supporter and a member of Mayweather’s entourage ! Isn’t that like suggesting, Bieber is seeking credibility, while Mayweather tries to position himself among a young fan-base of adolescent girls ? Pardon me for saying this , ” but what the #uck, is going on in this sport and is this the depth, it has sank to, simply lure a new breed of fans ” ? Next up, Will Smith will actually step into a boxing ring to take on Lil’ Wayne to prove who happens to be the best rapper alive !!! LOL,LOL!!! WTF ! Fading careers and nothing but idiocy now personifies the sport of boxing. Good riddance to bad $hit !
Projected revenues for this fight could exceed $350 million (over quarter of a billion dollars), when taking into account gate receipts, merchandizing sales and the likelihood of more than 2.5 million PPV purchases (pay-per-view buys) for the live cable showing. If as anticipated , the cable buys, exceeds three and a half million as part of a global audience paying in excess of $59.95, then both fighters will be guaranteed at a minimum , a payday of $45 million apiece , with Floyd Mayweather, walking away with the largest slice of the pie, with no less than $125 million from this one fight alone. “Cheddar” (money) , never looked or tasted so good and for Mayweather, a justifiable favorite, he is likely to fulfill his obligation of making his Filipino opponent, pay for all of the ridiculous and often racially charged and incendiary remarks made by Pacquiao’s promoter Bob Arum . Publicity gimmick or not, boxing needs credibility and not outright stupidity, from all of the parties concerned .
Last season in MLB (baseball) then Texas Rangers’ manager Ron Washington walked away from the game citing personal reasons for his abrupt departure. Having admitted his past sobriety issues and misuse of cocaine. It could well be that Washington may well have fallen afoul of his old habits, but this would be based on nothing except conjecture and speculation. Since his departure from the organization , GM Jon Daniels has replaced Washington with Jeff Bannister , who will take over the managerial staff as well as implementing his duties as manager of the team. The welcome return of Yu Darvish will be of added benefit for the Rangers, with his having missed a great deal of last season due to injury.
The welcome return of Yu Darvish will be of added benefit for the Rangers, with his having missed a great deal of last season due to injury. His bounce back and the likelihood of being on the mound during Spring Training might well forge enough of a belief the Texas Rangers can contend for the AL West divisional title this season .
In 2014, the Angels dethroned the A’s as the AL West champions, but before the regular season has stated Angels’ GM Jerry Dipoto has to deal with the fact Angels’ outfielder and slugger Josh Hamilton has admitted his use of cocaine for recreational purposes and again issues of his alcohol sobriety have raised wariness of his ongoing issues. Hamilton has been repeatedly provided the assistance needed, to get himself ” clean ” as mandated by baseball’s hierarchy in conjunction, with this being part of the collective bargaining agreement , with the MLBPA (Players’ Union).
Personally, I believe the player (Josh Hamilton) has poor judgment and will continue to seek empathy from those willing to provide it, rather than face his own personal demons, head on ! It will be left to current AL MVP and the best young player in the AL , Mike Trout to lead a team who this past season and for much of the last three years has failed to contend in spite of being bankrolled generously by team owner, Arte Moreno. Angels’ manager Mike Sciocsia is likely to find himself on the “hot seat” , if the players fail to meet expectations for 2015. Granted. they made the postseason last year, but their failure to advance beyond the ALDS indicated a team lacking ability , with the exception of Mike Trout, who tried to lead his teammates by example , only for them to fail miserably at every juncture and failing so miserably by not getting beyond the ALDS where they fell to the eventual ALCS Pennant winners the Kansas City Royals. .
With a record of 4-5 at this point of the schedule during preseason, should not be taken as a reflection of the regular season. Teams have yet to find a rhythm and their merely playing their way into finding some semblance of consistency. Eight weeks into the regular season schedule and by then, I would expect to see the ball-clubs on their way to producing the best they have to offer their fans. Mike Scioscia and the Angels will begin their regular season quest in earnest in earnest , when they face the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field in Seattle, Washington in the first of a three-game series beginning on the 6th April,2015.
It remains to be seen , if Josh Hamilton will be in the Angels’ lineup to start the regular season. With or without him, it will be interesting to see how the team fares through the first two or three months of this season. Hamilton’s loss to the Angels might not be as impact-ful as some might think, given his lack of productivity over the last three years, in spite of a generous contract on the part of the organization.
Nothing ventured, nothing gained, yet in reality, baseball has been losing its character, integrity and in some respects , many of its fans who are simply sick and tired by inaction of the hierarchy , unwillingness of the team owners to step up to the plate, seeking to demand accountability from the Players’ Union for their gross dereliction of duty and the players themselves, for their ongoing silence on the issue of steroid abuse and calculated misuse performance enhancing drugs , within the game. So much apathy, from the fans and hierarchies, yet these are the very same idiots (fans) , who decry their freedoms being taken away, with their rights to bear arms , but yet , fail to acknowledge the very fact, more lives annually, are being lost through overdose medication of illicit and prescription drugs, than is lost to gun violence . Makes you wonder, where priorities just happen to lie with the general public, as well as the Congress. Answers ? Anal retentive idiots, will contend the misuse of performance enhancing drugs, does no real harm to an athlete. Yet, the same was also being said concerning their being no harmful effects from smoking tobacco. I guess stupidity and a clear lack of rationale, as to be ingrained , denoting a real dumb @ss once and for all .
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Next month, brings us the NFL Draft, the winding down of the NBA regular season, the beginning of the regular season baseball schedule, and in the month of May, Mayweather vs Pacquiao, takes place, five years too late, even if it is said, there remains a great deal of interest in the outcome of this fight. What if anything are you most looking forward to during the upcoming months in the world of sports and why ? Your comments are more than welcomed and thanks as always for the continued support of this site and all of the content associated with Tophatal’s Blog !
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MLB schedule 14th March ,2015
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