Americans dominate again in London

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By: Larry Fitzgerald
Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder

Greatest nation on Earth, yes, I’m talking about us. We have our issues that need to be worked out, but clearly there is no better place to belong than in the United States.

Our healthcare system is the worst, our politics and morals are questionable along political lines, especially when you will do nothing to help those in need if it means going against your political stance. However, our athletes again traveled to the London Olympics dedicated to reminding the world we are number one.

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Hall of Fame Game kicks off NFL preseason Saints win, but ‘bounty-gate’ suspensions hurt

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By Larry Fitzgerald
Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder
Originally posted 08/08/2012
CANTON, OHIO – The sports world is flying with the spectacular Summer Olympics of London, NFL training camps underway, preseason games starting up and MLB getting to the dog days of summer.

I’ve been covering the NFL 34 years now, and for the first time I paid a visit to the Canton, Ohio home of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. This year’s class of inductees included Curtis Martin, William Roof, Cortez Kennedy, Chris Doleman and Delonte Dawson.
Last year’s Hall of Fame Game was canceled due to the NFL lockout between the owners and the players. It was the first time the game was not played in 45 years. This year the two teams, New Orleans Saints and Arizona Cardinals, kicked off the season preseason. The Saints won 17-10.
Canton’s Fawcett Stadium seats about 22,000 fans. It’s a high school football stadium. Tickets to the game are $60, and the sales of all tickets go to the athletic programs of the high schools in Canton.

The business of football continues to hang over the game because the game was handled by a crew of replacement officials. The replacement refs had college experience; the regular officials were sorely missed. Several times the replacement officials made glaring mistakes that indicated they were in way over their heads.

The Saints have been the single most talked about football team since the Giants Super Bowl win over New England with all the suspensions of players and coaches and management resulting from the NFL’s investigation into the so-called “bounty gate” scandal.

Jonathan Vilma, the Saints’ veteran linebacker, was suspended the entire 2012 season by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. Vilma, through the NFL Players Association and in civil court, has maintained that he is innocent and that the league cannot prove his involvement. The NFL has offered Vilma a reduced eight-game suspension on the condition he drops his civil suit set for Friday against NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, accusing him of defaming the character of Vilma.

Remember, Saints Head Coach Sean Payton was suspended the entire 2012 season without pay, about $7 million. General Manager Mickey Loomas was suspended eight games. Ex-defensive coordinator Gregg Williams was also suspended indefinitely.

Whatever evidence the NFL has on Payton, Williams and Loomas as management supervisors and coaches you would think would link them to the players and their actions – Will Smith, Anthony Hargrove, Scott Fujita and Vilma – who executed the physical bounty program. Apparently the NFL does not want to share any more than they have already publicly.

Vilma is fighting for his career and his tarnished reputation, trying to smoke out the details that led to his suspension. The collective bargaining agreement between the owners and players gives the commissioner sweeping authority over issues of integrity and discipline regarding on- and off-the-field issues.In time we will see how Vilma’s fate plays out. Usually, where there is smoke there is fire.

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Slam Dunks

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Post-season predictions include a heavy dose of Linsanity

By Ray Jones

MINNEAPOLIS – In my preseason predictions I picked the New York Knicks and the OKC Thunder to go to the NBA Finals due in large part to my faith in Carmelo Anthony and Kevin Durant. Well, I am here to say that although I am staggering on these picks, I am NOT going to waver now….

San Antonio Spurs have an experience and big game talent advantage over the Utah Jazz. Spurs in 5 games with Tony Parker and the Spurs Bench depth providing the difference…
OKC vs the Dallas Mavericks. I think that the Thunder in essence got bored towards the end of the regular season. For the Mavs… No Tyson Chandler, no chance. Unless Dirk Nowitski COMPLETELY dominates his star match up with Durant which is unlikely, I don’t see this going more than 6 games… at most…. Read more

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Carol Fitzgerald Memorial Fund Does It Again

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We here at Gameday Gold and Fastbreak Sports are proud to work with Larry Fitzgerald – a radio, tv and journalism icon who makes a difference in the world. See link below for information on the Carol Fitzgerald Memorial Fund and a recent benefit held to help with education and those with cancer and HIV/Aids.

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