Get Lifted Or Get Crunk’d …………..

Even though it appears that the idiocy of this NFL labor stoppage seems to have now taken on a life of its own with the NFL league hierarchy , team owners and the NLFPA now having to wait on a final arbitrary verdict that could very well not be as binding some of us would like it to be. The stay which was overturned in Judge Susan Nelson’s original order by the 8th District Court of Appeals in an appellate court hearing presided over by Judge Kermit Bye has me now wondering much longer will this soap opera continue ? Personally if this goes all the way to the US Supreme Court then I’ll know that neither the league , owners or the union itself gives a damn as to how the fans actually feel !

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Slide show for your perusal .

Though I’ve not written extensively about the fallout from the Jim Tressel fiasco at Ohio State it appears that this story simply cannot die . We’re now finding out that there appears to be great deal more that the school itself and the NCAA hadn’t made known to the public concerning the gross dereliction of duty by the coach and indeed that some of those actions might well have been countermanded by members of Tressel’s own coaching staff . And inasmuch as I think that Tressel is still lucky to have his job with the university I find it asinine that the NCAA acts as if this whole matter is now at a close . With the latest news that Tressel under the watchful eye of certain staff members it is now claimed that a number of players on the team were also allowed to lease and rent cars from local automotive dealers with there being little if any due diligence being used either by the dealers or the the school itself. How this all could have escaped the compliance officers as well the school’s AD Gene Smith has me wondering how high up this subterfuge went and who has gained more from this financially ……… the players or , the dealers in question or the coaching staff themselves ? I’ll leave that for you to decide ! But once again here lies another dark side to the underbelly as to how corrupt collegiate athletics has become . And anyone who’s actually of the opinion that the NCAA is doing its level headed best to try and clean house had better think again as nothing could be further from the truth !

The MLB season is in full swing and though I’ve now thrown my whole weight behind the Atlanta Braves I can’t but stop to admire what the Tampa Bay Rays are now doing within the AL East . They’re the division’s only twenty game winner but because they’ve played two more games than the New York Yankees they sit statistically behind the Bronx Bombers in the divisional standings . As we all know that division is about as competitive as they come but I do believe the NL East is now becoming a division that in many respects can be compared to the AL East. Certainly with combatants such as the Florida Marlins , Philadelphia Phillies and what appears to be a resurgent Washington Nationals —- team we could well be seeing another compelling season to had within that particular division. Granted last year the Phillies ran away with the division and then made the postseason where they would falter . But once again this Phillies’ team seems to have rebounded and with the acquisition of Cliff Lee seems to be determined to make their way back to winning ways and another World Series title , having been crowned world champions in 2008 .

The Rays have been exemplary this season and that’s even in the light of Manny Ramirez having retired abruptly in the midst of yet another failed drug test and not wanting to withstand the league mandated 100 game suspension for a second violation of the league’s drug policy. Instead Joe Maddon’s —- team have simply played with abandonment while getting timely hitting and pitching from their staff . The veteran experience of Johnny Damon and Kyle Farnsworth seems to have the Tampa Rays settled in a rhythm and having won seven of their last ten games one could allude to the fact that they’re playing extremely well.

Pitchers James Shields , David Price , Wade Davis and Jeremy Hellickson have each contributed to the team’s great initial start but with the season being such a long an arduous one it remains to be seen whether or not they can keep up this tempo. They will certainly have to maintain this pace if they’re to have any chance of either winning the AL East or pehaps gaining wildcard berth in order to make the postseason . So competitive is the division that I personally can’t see the Boston Red Sox even in the midst of its current malaise falling off so badly that the division will be left up for grabs between the New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays ! That’s why the season is as such a marathon and not a sprint ____ to expect otherwise would be sheer lunacy .

For those of you who missed that monstrous spectacle that Showtime PPV had the gall to be charging fans $49-95 as co-promotion between Golden Boy Promotions and Top Rank Inc . Let’s just say be thankful for that very fact and if you had the chance of watching the welterweight title fight for free don’t you now feel that it is time for both Manny Pacquiao and Shane Mosely to shut it down for good ? Neither fighter did themselves any justice with such a poor display and with Mosely simply looking closer to an octagenerian than his forty years would belie . I can’t help but wonder if he took the fight for the money more than anything else ! As for Pacquiao this might well have been his worse performance in a title bout in almost a decade. He seemed utterly disinterested and even with a knockdown against him much to the surprise of his fans , he was simply lackluster throughout this bout . Granted , he knocked down his challenger but in essence Mosely offered little if anything that would have even the most knowledgeable of boxing aficionados believing that the challenger was even in with a chance of forcing Manny Pacquiao to relinquish his world welterweight title . For twelve sheer laborious and boring rounds neither man offered anything that could be adjudged as being exciting . In reality Father Time has caught up with Shane Mosely and he’s now knocking at the door of Manny Pacquiao . Not much more to be said after this nonsense and the fact that it garnered both fighters a combined $20 million in purse money before the ancillary figures come into play .

Any thoughts that it’s still worthwhile for Pacquiao to seek that mega fight against Floyd Mayweather may well have been nullified after this performance . But with Pacquiao’s self absorbed promoter Bob Arum always hovering around like a vulture hovers over the dead entrails of an animal there’s a distinct possibility that he will entice his fighter to seek one last big payday . But herein lies the caveat with Mayweather still awaiting trial on a litany of felony charges waiting around for the justice system to take its course would be to be a disadvantage for both parties at this juncture .

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

Which sport’s story over this past weekend was more of a surprise to you and what if anything was of the least of an overall surprise in your mind ? Simply chime in with a comment as to your thoughts on this topic and any you feel to be pertinent .

Alan aka tophatal ……….

http://tophatal.wordpress.com

Picture and slide show details below .
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(1) New York Giants wide receiver Hakeem Nicks talks to the media after a football workout for Giants players hosted by quarterback Eli Manning at Hoboken High School, Thursday, May 5, 2011, in Hoboken, N.J. The workout gives the players an opportunity to practice together during the NFL labor lockout. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun ……….

(2) FILE – In this April 6, 2011, file photo , Vincent Jackson, left, and Von Miller, return from a lunch break during a hearing into the NFL football lockout in St. Paul, Minn. Miller, a linebacker from Texas A&M, was picked by the Denver Broncos in the NFL draft in late April. Miller spent two hours with Broncos coaches going over the playbook when the lockout was temporarily lifted. (AP Photo/Jim Mone ………..

(3) Baltimore Orioles’ Brian Roberts, right, is out trying to steal third base against Tampa Bay Rays third baseman Evan Longoria, left, during the first inning of a baseball game, Sunday, May 8, 2011, in Baltimore. AP Photo/Nick Wass…..

(4) Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Wade Davis delivers against the Baltimore Orioles during the fourth inning of a baseball game on Sunday, May 8, 2011, in Baltimore. AP Photo/Nick Wass ……

(5) Ohio State head coach Jim Tressel, right, watches his team from the sideline as quarterback Terrelle Pryor (2) looks on during an NCAA college football Spring Game, Saturday, April 23, 2011, in Columbus, Ohio. AP Photo/Terry Gilliam …..

(6) Shane Mosley of the US falls down after being punched by Manny Pacquiao of the Philippines (L) in their bout for the World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight title at the Garden Arena in the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada on May 7, 2011. Pacquiao retained the WBO welterweight title by beating Mosley to extend his winning streak to 14 bouts. TOPSHOTS AFP PHOTO / GABRIEL BOUYS …..

(7) Manny Pacquiao of the Philippines (R) fights against Shane Mosley of the US (L) for the World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight title at the Garden Arena in the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada on May 7, 2011. Pacquiao retained the WBO welterweight title by beating Mosley to extend his winning streak to 14 bouts. TOPSHOTS AFP PHOTO / GABRIEL BOUYS ….

(8) Manny Pacquiao of the Philippines (R) lands a punch against Shane Mosley of the US (L) during their bout for the World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight title at the Garden Arena in the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada on May 7, 2011. Pacquiao retained the WBO welterweight title by beating Mosley to extend his winning streak to 14 bouts. AFP PHOTO / GABRIEL BOUYS ………

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