Breaking: Ray Rice wins appeal of indefinite suspension, re-instated to NFL

Ray Rice won his appeal of the indefinite suspension he received after video surfaced of him striking his wife in an elevator.

Ray Rice won his appeal of the indefinite suspension he received after video surfaced of him striking his wife in an elevator.

By Charles Glover, Jr

NFL player Ray Rice won his appeal of his indefinite suspension handed down to him by Commissioner Roger Goodell, according to a report by ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Rice is immediately eligible to return to play for any team that is willing to sign him for the remainder of the season.

When asked by ESPN’s Andrew Grant if the league would pursue any further action against Rice, an NFL spokesman said “We, of course, accept the ruling as binding.”

Today's ruling by Judge Jones was a tough pill to swallow as his ruling was once again overturned by an independent party.

Today’s ruling by Judge Jones was a tough pill to swallow as his ruling was once again overturned by an independent party.

The appeal of the Rice’s suspension was heard in the US District Court by Judge Barbara Jones earlier this month. Among those called to testify at the hearing were Ravens General Manager Ozzie Newsome, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, Ray Rice, and his wife, Janay.

The ruling is significant because it essentially suggests that the judge believed Rice’s statements that he told Goodell about everything that took place the night when he hit his then-fiancé, now wife earlier this year. Goodell insisted in September that when the video was released showing Rice punching his then-fiancée in an elevator he had no knowledge of the extent of Rice’s conduct because when he interviewed Rice immediately after the incident Rice spoke to him “in ambiguous terms.”

Read OnPointPress.net for more information about the ruling by Judge Jones –Onpointpress.net–

Ray Rice released by the Baltimore Ravens, suspended indefinitely by NFL

Ray Rice

Ray Rice was released by the Baltimore Ravens on September 8, 2014 after TMZ released a video which showed him punching his then-fiancé, now wife in the elevator, causing her to hit her head and lose consciousness.

By Charles Glover, Jr.

Breaking News: NFL Network reported that the Baltimore Ravens released running back Ray Rice effective immediately after a graphic video surfaced of him physically abusing his then-girlfriend, and now wife Janay Palmer.

TMZ video of Ray Rice (l) and his wife Janay  Palmer (r).

TMZ video of Ray Rice (l) and his  then-girlfriend Janay Palmer (r). In the video, Rice is seen delivering a punch to Palmer’s face, causing her to hit her head on the elevator and fall down.

The Ravens made the announcement via a Tweet which read: “The Baltimore Ravens terminated the contract of RB Ray Rice this afternoon.”

Earlier on Monday, September 8, TMZ released the full video showing in detail the domestic violence that occurred between Rice and his Palmer.

The NFL Network also reported that the NFL has suspended Rice indefinitely from the league. No statements have been released yet by the Ravens, Rice, National Football Players Association (NFLPA) or NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. But the White House issued a stern rebuke via a statement read by press secretary Josh Earnest.

“Hitting a woman is not something a real man does. Stopping domestic violence is something that’s bigger than football and all of us have a responsibility to put a stop to it,” Earnest said.

Goodell came under fire for the two-game suspension that he handed down to RIce earlier this summer. As a result, Goodell changed the league’s conduct policy so that all NFL personnel will be fined with a six-game suspension for the first instance of domestic violence and face a lifetime ban after the second incident.

Stay tuned to OnPointPress.net for more updates.–OnPointPress.net–

Four bold predictions for the 2014 NFL season as the games begin

As the regular season  begins in the NFL, the Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers are among the favorites to win the Super Bowl this year.

As the regular season begins in the NFL, the Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers are among the favorites to win the Super Bowl this year.

By Charles Glover, Jr.

With the NFL season starting Thursday, September 4, optimism is at its height as every team hopes that all things work in their favor. The predictions for this upcoming NFL season from OnPointPress.net will be bold and based on the idea that the unexpected must always be considered when it comes to sports.

AFC Player Prediction: Joe Flacco will make the top three in MVP voting this season:

Flacco already has a Super Bowl MVP award. Could he add a regular season MVP to his award case?

Flacco already has a Super Bowl MVP award. Could he add a regular season MVP to his award case?

Flacco has proven to be a very good quarterback already as he has helped lead the Baltimore Ravens to the playoffs 5 times out of 6 years and win the Super Bowl in the 2012-13 season. However, Flacco’s regular season statistics have been mostly average. Though Flacco is yet to miss a game in his career, he has not thrown for more than 4,000 yards or more than 25 touchdowns in any season of his 6 year career. This season, the prediction is that will Flacco throw for more than 4,500 yards and 35 touchdowns and lead the Ravens back to the playoffs with home field advantage. A revamped offensive line along with added healthy weapons will give Flacco a chance to put up big numbers on a winning team.

NFC Player Prediction:  Gerald McCoy will win defensive player of the year:

Defensive lineman Gerald McCoy will help bring wins and attention to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Defensive lineman Gerald McCoy will help bring wins and attention to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Gerald McCoy is already one of the best defensive players but the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have struggled during his four-year career. McCoy has been selected to the 2012 and 2013 Pro Bowl and was an All Pro selection in 2013. This season McCoy will be under the tutelage of new Buccaneers head coach Lovie Smith and his defensive expertise. This season, the prediction is that McCoy will have 13 sacks and cause six turnovers as he helps lead the Buccaneers to a winning record this season. Tampa Bay will have a chance to catch some teams by surprise early and build on that momentum during the season.

AFC Team Prediction: The Oakland Raiders will finish second in the AFC West:

The Oakland Raiders have a lot of new faces on their roster including rookie quarterback Derek Carr. Those changes will result for the first winning season in years for the Raiders.

The Oakland Raiders have a lot of new faces on their roster including rookie quarterback Derek Carr. Those changes will result for the first winning season in years for the Raiders.

The Oakland Raiders have been mired in mediocrity for more than a decade now with their last playoff appearance occurring in 2002. There has been a great deal of turnover on the roster and the Raiders have spent money on veteran players like Charles Woodson, Maurice Jones-Drew, and Justin Tuck between the last two years to try to change the culture. The addition of first round pick Khalil Mack and second round pick Derek Carr should provide enough blending of youth and experience to win a lot more games this year. This season the prediction is that the Oakland Raiders will win nine games and finish second in their division.

NFC Team Prediction: Only one team will make the playoffs from the NFC West:

Russell Wilson (l) and Colin Kaepernick (r) are expected to be better this season than last year but one of their teams may not make the playoffs this year.

Russell Wilson (l) and Colin Kaepernick (r) are expected to be better this season than last year but one of their teams may not make the playoffs this year.

The defending champion Seattle Seahawks have looked fantastic this preseason while the San Francisco 49ers have had to deal with a breadth of depletion to their roster due to injuries and suspensions. Both teams have a great deal of depth and numerous young talented players which is why they are expected to make the playoffs again this year. The Arizona Cardinals and St. Louis Rams will be decent this year but both have major problems. The division will come down to the Seahawks and 49ers again. The 49ers will win the division if for no other reason than the gift presented by Seahawks’s defensive back Richard Sherman.

As a firm believer in the Madden Curse, OnPointPress.net is convinced that Sherman will singlehandedly destroy his team’s chances to advance out of a competitive division by choosing to grace the cover of Madden this year. It stands out that the Seahawks have been good early in the season. The biggest obstacle will be whether the Seahawks can maintain the level of defensive dominance to allow an evolving offense to lead a team on another championship run. Great defensive teams like the 85′ Bears, 86′ Giants, 00′ Ravens, and 02′ Buccaneers, all failed to repeat and the Seahawks will join that list, as the Madden Curse will triumph again.–OnPointPress.net–

Charles Glover, Jr. is a sports aficionado and a management training consultant. Follow me @OpenWindowMES on Twitter.com.

NFL, Roger Goodell, face crumbling, tarnished image

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell will be busy working on penalties for off-the-field indiscretions. There needs to be more emphasis in preventing those occurrences.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell will be busy working on penalties for off-the-field indiscretions while addressing the need for preventing those occurrences.

By Charles Glover, Jr.

On Thursday, July 24, National Football League (NFL) Commissioner Roger Goodell levied a two-game suspension on Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice. Rice’s suspension stems from a domestic violence incident with his then fiancé, now wife, Janay Palmer. While the length of the suspension generated a great deal of criticism of Goodell’s judgement, the larger issue is the alarming number of NFL personnel facing criminal charges and the shaky NFL image that is presented to the public.

Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice received a 2 game suspension last week that many felt was  not enough.

Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice was punished with a two-game suspension last week, causing national uproar from fans who felt the punishment was inadequate.

Part of the uproar about Rice’s suspension stemmed from the length of suspension for  legal issues and the discrepancy in penalties levied by the NFL for drug offenses. Some people believe the NFL commissioner is painting himself in a difficult corner when it comes to these inconsistent penalties. ESPN NFL Writer Jim Trotter was blunt:

“Once perceived as being too tough and inflexible, [Goodell] now comes across as being too soft on domestic violence — even at a time when the league is courting female fans.”

Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslem is paying $92 million as penalty arising from a federal fraud investigation. However, he has not violated any NFL conduct policies.

Cleveland Browns Owner Jimmy Haslam is paying $92 million as penalty arising from a federal fraud investigation. However, he has not violated any NFL conduct policies.

The NFL has demonstrated that there is considerable difference between breaking specific NFL drug rules and vague NFL conduct rules. Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam has agreed to pay a $92 million penalty as a result of a federal fraud investigation. NFL spokesman Greg Aiello issued a statement on Haslam’s case, which said: “There have been no allegations of any personal conduct that it is violation of NFL policy.”

There have been numerous personnel from different teams arrested this offseason, with the charges varying from Driving Under the Influence (DUI) to attempted murder. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has amended his initial inclination to suspend players immediately who are arrested and has repeatedly stated, “We have to let the [legal] process play out before we determine if any sanctions are necessary.” This change  in attitude has resulted in roughly two years passing without players being suspended under the NFL Personal Conduct Policy.

Greg Hardy, of the Carolina Panthers, has also received a conviction due to  domestic assault on a woman. Though his case is being appealed, Goodell could still levy a penalty.

Greg Hardy, of the Carolina Panthers, has also received a conviction due to domestic assault on a woman. Though his case is being appealed, Goodell could still levy a penalty.

Goodell will have plenty of cases to resolve over the next several weeks. Carolina Panthers Pro Bowl defensive end Greg Hardy was found guilty on July 15 of assaulting and threatening a  female. However, Hardy and his defensive team have been granted an appeal and a jury trial for this case is expected to occur early next year. Hardy will be free until the trial is over, but that does not preclude the NFL from making a judgement in the interim.

Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay has been in the news for months due to his arrest for DUI and drug possession. Goodell has yet to penalize Irsay but has stated that the possibility exists.

Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay has been in the news for months due to his arrest for DUI and drug possession. Goodell has yet to penalize Irsay but has stated that the possibility exists.

Additionally, Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay has been in the news because of his arrest and DUI and drug charges. An owner having legal problems has brought extra attention to how the NFL is dealing with NFL personnel having legal problems. Many fans have voiced their displeasure with the process. The NFL also has the continued link to Aaron Hernandez and his ongoing murder trials as reminders of the legal problems facing different players in the league.

Browns wide receiver is facing a one-year suspension for failing another drug test. His appeal will be held on Aug. 1.

Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon is facing a one-year suspension for failing another drug test. His appeal will be held on Aug. 1.

There is also the appeal hearing scheduled for August 1 in the case of Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon, who has already received a year-long suspension for failing another drug test. Gordon was also arrested for DWI this summer after learning of the suspension and upcoming appeal. With the NFL regular season just six weeks away from starting, the NFL would like all of the emphasis to stay on the field of play. San Francisco 49ers defensive end Aldon Smith is also expected to face some sort of penalty after having a number of off-the-field issues last season that led to arrests.

 Ben Roethlisberger was among those who received 'swift justice' from the commissioner. Now it appears Goodell takes a more leisurely approach to punishment.


Ben Roethlisberger was among those who received ‘swift justice’ from the commissioner. Now it appears Goodell takes a more leisurely approach to punishment.

Goodell seems to have shifted in philosophy in evaluating matters for suspension and fines. Players like Adam “Pacman” Jones and Ben Roethlisberger received penalties before their legal processes had been completed. Terelle Pryor and coach Jim Tressel received punishment for NCAA violations. These types of premature sanctions have not occurred much recently but that has not made people forget they happened. In fact, they highlight an inconsistency in levying punishment, resulting in fans and members of the media view Goodell with suspicion and unease.

Whatever the penalties levied to the afore-mentioned NFL personnel, the bigger problem Goodell is facing is how to prevent scenarios that require punishment in the first place. The NFL has the largest workforce of the major sports in this country and is debatably the most lucrative and popular. Athletes may not be role models for their community but they tend to be idols for many fans. It is incumbent upon the NFL, Goddell and the NFL Players Association to be more diligent in working on preventing reasons for the commissioner to issue penalties under the NFL Personal Conduct Policy, while making an effort to clean up the NFL’s tarnished image through relevant, ongoing training of its personnel and representatives..–OnPointPress.net–

Charles Glover, Jr. is a sports aficionado and a management training consultant. Follow me @OpenWindowMES on Twitter.com.

NFL coordinators need Rooney Rule too

Baltimore Ravens General Manager Ozzie Newsome at Super Bowl 47.

Baltimore Ravens General Manager Ozzie Newsome at Super Bowl 47.

By Charles Glover, Jr.

There are currently five minority head coaches in the National Football League (NFL): Marvin Lewis (Cincinnati Bengals), Lovie Smith (Tampa Bay Buccaneers), Ron Rivera (Carolina Panthers), Jim Caldwell (Detroit Lions), and Mike Tomlin (Pittsburgh Steelers). There are five minority general managers: Ozzie Newsome (Baltimore Ravens), Reggie McKenzie (Oakland Raiders), Martin Mayhew (Detroit Lions), Rick Smith (Houston Texans), and Jerry Reese (New York Giants). There are 32 NFL teams so there is clearly need for better minority representation at the coaching, coordinator, general manager and ownership levels . Extending the Rooney Rule to address this under-representation, seems to be the only solution to change the status quo.

Current NFL AP Coach of the Year Ron Rivera of the Carolina Panthers.

Current NFL AP Coach of the Year Ron Rivera of the Carolina Panthers.

The  Rooney Rule, named after the chairman of the NFL diversity committee and Steelers owner Dan Rooney, was instituted to give minority candidates more chances in positions of power. The NFL hiring pool for head coaching positions generally comes from current or recent NFL coordinators. As the Associated Press recently reported, “The Fritz Pollard Alliance, a group of minority coaches and front-office, scouting and game-day NFL officials, wants the Rooney Rule expanded to apply to coordinators, assistant head coaches and club president positions.”

Mike Tomlin has led the Pittsburgh Steelers to two Super Bowl appearances, winning Super Bowl 43.

Mike Tomlin has led the Pittsburgh Steelers to two Super Bowl appearances, winning Super Bowl 43.

The challenge for minority candidates now is that most of they mainly come from the defensive side of the game. As the NFL continues to make rule changes to accentuate offense, defensive coaches are increasingly challenged to prove their worth in a league with continual rising scoring. This past season, NFL teams combined to score an average 23.4 points per game, the highest league average of all time. As offensive coaches continue to be rewarded, defensive coaches find themselves left behind and  having to constantly prove themselves, which is odd, since strong defense typically wins games as the Seattle Seahawks convincingly demonstrated in Sunday’s Super Bowl blowout.

Newly hired Detroit Lions head coach, Jim Caldwell, was the offensive coordinator for the Baltimore Ravens last season.

Newly hired Detroit Lions head coach, Jim Caldwell, was the offensive coordinator for the Baltimore Ravens last season.

The extension of the Rooney Rule to coordinator positions will allow for more diversity in coordinator positions on both offense and defense. Michael Silver of Yahoo Sports recently surmised, “offensive coordinators tend to get the call to be head coach, and the guys overseeing quarterbacks… tend to get [Offensive Coordinator] OC jobs.” Of the current minority head coaches, only Jim Caldwell has expertise on offense. His hiring this off-season was lauded as a positive step for minority candidates as the Lions were viewed as a desirable destination. Extending the Rooney Rule to coordinator positions will likely give more minority candidates a chance to show that their knowledge of offense is as strong as their accepted knowledge of defense. That should increase the ranks of minority coaches in the NFL, a change that is long overdue.–OnPointPress.net–

Charles Glover Jr. is a sports aficionado and a management training consultant. Follow me @OpenWindowMES on Twitter.com.

Sports memories of 2013

LeBron James continues to prove he is the best basketball player on the planet as he wins the NBA Championship and  Finals MVP in consecutive years.

LeBron James continues to prove he is the best basketball player on the planet as he wins the NBA Championship and Finals MVP in consecutive years.

By Charles Glover, Jr.

Every year has a unique sports identity and 2013 had a number of trends that immediately come to mind. This year the sports world treated us to fantastic moments like a Super Bowl that was decided in the final minutes and thrilling plays throughout a seven-game series in the NBA Finals. Game 6 of the NBA Finals might be viewed as the game of the year as it provided us with scintillating plays all the way to the end.

Ray Allen (r) makes what might be the play of the year in 2013 as he drills a 3 pointer to tie Game 6 in the final seconds of regulation over Tony Parker (c) and Kawhi Leonard (l).

Ray Allen (r) makes what might be the play of the year in 2013 as he drills a 3-pointer to tie Game 6 in the final seconds of regulation over Tony Parker (c) and Kawhi Leonard (l).

We also witnessed serious tragedy in sports, headlined by the bombings near the finish line of the Boston Marathon. While there was something memorable about the different sporting events throughout 2013, there were some trends that connected the various sports.

 

Derek Jeter (l) and Kobe Bryant (r) are hoping to fully recover from their injuries and have a much better 2014.

Derek Jeter (l) and Kobe Bryant (r) are hoping to fully recover from their injuries and have a much better 2014.

Superstar injuries: 2013 was a year in which some of the biggest names in sports spent a great deal of time on the injured list. Derek Jeter, Kobe Bryant, Derrick Rose, Rob Gronkowski, Matt Harvey, Robert Griffin III, Matt Kemp, Rajon Rondo, Arian Foster and Russell Westbrook were just several of the many All-Star caliber players  who suffered lengthy injuries this calendar year. Adrian Peterson has altered the perception of the impact of some of these injuries as he returned in record time to win the 2012-13 National Football League (NFL) MVP award after tearing the ACL in his knee at the end of the 2011-12 season. It is becoming apparent that Peterson’s recovery was exceptional and that it seems unreasonable to expect any athlete to return to action and be better than they were before the injury.

 

Serena Williams raises her title as she continues her dominance at the U.S. Open.

Serena Williams raises her title as she continues her dominance at the U.S. Open.

Elite performances by the elite performers: The 2013 calendar year was tremendous for the best players in almost every sport. Peyton Manning set NFL records for quarterback in the 2013-14 season en route to a likely fifth MVP award. Miguel Cabrera proved to be the best offensive player in Major League Baseball (MLB), winning the American League (AL) MVP award for the second consecutive season. Serena Williams and Rafael Nadal each won two out of four Grand Slam titles this year on the tennis tour. Tiger Woods reclaimed his position as the number one ranked golfer in the world while winning five tournaments in 2013. Perhaps no performance stands out more than LeBron James capturing his second consecutive National Basketball Association (NBA) Finals MVP award and fourth league MVP award this year as he led the Miami Heat to back-to-back championships.

 

Mariano Rivera was classy as he watched the mess that is New York sports crumble around him,.

Mariano Rivera was classy as he watched the mess that is New York sports crumble around him.

Tough year in New York sports: The Yankees and Mets both faced numerous injuries to key players and failed to make the postseason this year. The Yankees had to watch their rivals the Boston Red Sox win another title. They also have to try to cope with the retirement of legend Mariano Rivera, the loss of their best offensive player Robinson Cano, the unavailability of currently suspended, scandal-plagued player Alex Rodriguez while hoping that Derek Jeter is going to be healthy and productive all season. The Giants and Jets both had mediocre seasons and will be watching the upcoming NFL playoffs from home, missing the chance to play in the Super Bowl which will be played in their hometown. Both football teams will likely make numerous player changes as they look to rebound next year. The Knicks and Nets are off to painfully slow starts to the 2013-14 NBA season. Any talk about NBA championship contention for either team seems extremely far-fetched as both teams have a long way to go just to make the playoffs this year.

 

2013 Boston Marathon participants are emotional wrecks as they witness copious innocent people injured on the street.

2013 Boston Marathon participants are emotional wrecks as they witness copious innocent people injured on the street.

Sporting world’s negative headlines: The two bombs that exploded during the Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013 may be the most unfortunately memorable event that took place in sports. With approximately 264 people injured and 3 spectators killed that day, the tragedy unfolded slowly over the next few days after the marathon as the manhunt, shootout with one alleged perpetrator and eventual capture of the other alleged perpetrators played out on television like harrowing scenes from the FOX Network show 24.

Many were surprised to witness Aaron Hernandez being arrested in connection with a murder shortly before the start of the NFL season.

Many were surprised to witness Aaron Hernandez being arrested in connection with a murder shortly before the start of the NFL season.

2013 was also witness to the arrest for murder and gun charges of former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez. Hernandez is currently imprisoned as he awaits trial for the serious charges. The Miami Dolphins sparked greater debates about bullying in athletics as news surfaced about Jonathan Martin walking away from the team after alleging that he was bullied by teammates, specifically Richie Incognito. The NFL is still investigating this matter. Meanwhile, Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston was able to perform on the field while being investigated by local Florida prosecutors after he was accused of sexually assaulting a female who also attends Florida State. The prosecutor’s decision to not pursue charges against Winston still raised questions about whether some athletes get special treatment from law enforcement as the attorney for the accuser remains adamant that her client was violated. At the same time, Winston consistently asserted that his encounter with the accuser was consensual and that he “did nothing wrong.”

The Louisville Cardinals honor injured teammate Kevin Ware as they celebrate winning the National Championship in college basketball.

The Louisville Cardinals honor injured teammate Kevin Ware as they celebrate winning the National Championship in college basketball.

2013 was quite an eventful and memorable sports year. Kevin Ware breaking his leg during the NCAA men’s college basketball tournament was a gruesome sight but provided the impetus to propel the Louisville Cardinals to the national title. College football’s Nick Saban, coach of the Alabama Crimson Tide and Women’s college basketball’s Geno Auriemma of the Connecticut Huskies proved to be the dominant coaches in their sports as they led their teams to another national title.

Ray Lewis' last game in the NFL ended with him holding the Lombardi Trophy as the Baltimore Ravens were victorious.

Ray Lewis’ last game in the NFL ended with him holding the Lombardi Trophy as the Baltimore Ravens were victorious.

The Minnesota Lynx (WNBA) and Miami Heat (NBA) won championships in 2013 and have been in the finals each of the last three years. “Big Papi” David Ortiz led the Boston Red Sox through the post season again to win the World Series over the St. Louis Cardinals. Meanwhile, Ray Lewis was able to retire on top as the Baltimore Ravens pulled out a narrow victory over the San Francisco 49ers. With the Winter Olympics in Russia and World Cup in Brazil (for which the U.S. team was placed in the Group of Death) on docket, 2014 seems poised to garner even more interest than 2013 did in the sports world.–OnPointPress.net–

Charles Glover, Jr. is a sports aficionado and management training consultant. Follow me @OpenWindowMES on Twitter.com.

Revisiting NFL playoff predictions for insight, context, perspective

image

By Charles Glover, Jr.

As the final week of the regular season for the National Football League(NFL) approaches this weekend, this writer will revisit predictions made about the playoff teams at the start of the season. Most of the playoff spots are currently unsettled coming into the final weekend, bringing greater excitement and interest in the season finale for NFL teams.

Peyton Manning has led the Denver Broncos to the best record (12 - 3) in the AFC so far.

Peyton Manning has led the Denver Broncos to the best record in the AFC so far.

In the American Football Conference (AFC), the four divisions have already been decided. The winners of those divisions are:

AFC West – Denver Broncos (12 – 3)

AFC East – New England Patriots (11 – 4)

AFC North – Cincinnati Bengals (10 – 5)

AFC South – Indianapolis Colts (10 – 5).

One of the two Wildcard playoff spots is going to the Kansas City Chiefs (11 – 4), while there are several teams vying for the final playoff opening in the AFC. The Miami Dolphins (8 – 7), Baltimore Ravens (8 – 7), San Diego Chargers (8 – 7), and Pittsburgh Steelers (7 – 8) all have different scenarios in which they can make the playoffs if they win their last game this season.

Russell Wilson has led the Seattle Seahawks to the best record in the NFC so far.

Russell Wilson has led the Seattle Seahawks to the best record in the NFC so far.

In the National Football Conference (NFC) only three teams have clinched a playoff birth and none of the divisions have been decided yet. The current division leaders at this time are:

NFC West – Seattle Seahawks (12 – 3)

NFC South – Carolina Panthers (11 – 4)

NFC East – Philadelphia Eagles (9 – 6)

NFC North – Chicago Bears (8 – 7).

Based on conference records, the three teams that have clinched playoff births are the Seahawks, Panthers, and the San Francisco 49ers (11 – 4). The New Orleans Saints (10 -5) or Arizona Cardinals (10 – 5) can clinch the final Wildcard position with a win this weekend. The NFC North division winner will be decided on Sunday afternoon when the Bears face the Green Bay Packers (7 – 7 – 1). The winner of that game makes the playoffs. The same applies to the winner of the NFC East division deciding game between the Eagles and Dallas Cowboys (8 – 7) on Sunday night.

This writer was very wrong in predicting the Houston Texans (2 – 13) and Washington Redskins (3 – 12) would make the playoffs this season as they have the two most dreadful records in the NFL this season. However, there is still a chance that 10 out of the 12 predicted teams will make the postseason this year. The final playoff spot will be decided in the final game of the NFL regular season.–OnPointPress.net–

 

Charles Glover, Jr. is a sports aficionado and management training specialist. Follow me @OpenWindowMES on Twitter.

Front offices dictate the future of sports franchises

By Charles Glover, Jr.

The Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers battled in last year's Superbowl with Baltimore prevailing 34 - 31

The Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers battled in last year’s Super Bowl with Baltimore prevailing 34 – 31

The role of front offices in determining the operations of sports teams is usually specific and clear. Upper management provides the structure and leadership that guides teams to the ultimate goal of winning championships. With the NFL season opening today, sports fans looking for winning predictions on the season need to look no further than the front offices in order to effectively evaluate each team.

The Falcons and Seahawks are early favorites to exceed their success from last season and make it to the Superbowl

The Falcons and Seahawks are early favorites to exceed their success from last season and make it to the Super Bowl

Since the 2000-01 seasons, there have been eleven different NFC Super Bowl participants and five different AFC Super Bowl participants. The AFC has been victorious eight times compared to the NFC’s five victories. Four franchises (New England Patriots, Pittsburgh Steelers, New York Giants, and Baltimore Ravens) are responsible for nine Super Bowl wins and thirteen Super Bowl appearances. There are numerous factors that have led to those teams having the consistent levels of success, the most common thread being excellent front offices.

 

 

Denver fans hope Manning is successful in leading his team to the Superbowl this season.

Denver fans hope Manning is successful in leading his team to the Super Bowl this season.

According to Las Vegas bookies, the teams with the best odds of winning the Super Bowl this upcoming season are, in order, the Denver Broncos, San Fransisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks, New England Patriots, and Atlanta Falcons. Last year’s Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens have been given the thirteenth best chance to win it all. The Las Vegas odds are a combination of the season’s predictions and the betting public’s favorite teams. The teams on this list have been successful over the past few seasons which are why most pundits expect them to continue their success.  The beauty of sports is the passion of the fans and the hope that this is the year that your favorite team will win it all.

The best thing a franchise can give its fan base is the hope that this year will be the year they win it all. This year there are several team fan bases with legitimate hope and confidence in their teams. Coincidentally, these are most of the same teams that have been successful since the new millennium. There is no secret to their success.

The Patriots and Giants are among the NFL elite that have numerous questions entering this season.

The Patriots and Giants are among the NFL elite that have numerous questions swirling around them as they enter this season.

The best organizations have smart owners who invest in the team’s structure financially, and delegate to the proper people to make football decisions. The ideal general managers evaluate talent well, build a well-rounded team and hire the right coaches. The best coaches motivate, teach, and put their players in the best position to win.

Jets fans are likely in for another long season.

Jets fans are likely in for another long season as uncertainty and dysfunction cloud their daily operations.

Oftentimes, players get the most attention and credit for the teams’ success and the greatest blame for the teams’ failures. While fans will scream for their quarterback to be changed or their head coach to be fired, the attention needs to go squarely to the front offices of those troubled teams. Fans of consistently moribund teams prepare you for more of the same.

There are certain trends that are likely to repeat this season in the NFL. It is likely that a current quarterback that has already taken his team to the Super Bowl will return to the big game. It is also likely that most of the teams that made the playoffs last year will make it again this year. In the end, the best predictor of future success is past performance as well as the dedication and structure established by the front offices.-OnPointPress.net

Charles Glover, Jr. is a sports aficionado and organizational training consultant.