Posted on: January 7, 2013 9:47 am

Looking Ahead to New Orleans

If the Patriots somehow win the Super Bowl next month, I think virtually all conversation will be ended as to who the greatest QB of all-time is. If Brady wins a 4th ring, 8 seasons after winning his last one, in the era of free agency, parity, etc., I personally think that is a greater accomplishment than Bradshaw or Montana's 4 titles or anything pre-merger (Graham, Luckman, Tittle, Unitas) or early modern (Lombardi's Packers).

Along with that, Belichick (who already has a HOF resume) has to go down as one of the greatest not only coaches, but personnel guys as well.
Belichick took over in 2000, which was also his first draft. He ended up with the following drafts:

2000- Brady
2001- Richard Seymour, Matt Light
2002- Daniel Graham, Deion Branch, Jarvis Green, David Givens
2003- Ty Warren, Eugene Wilson, Asante Samuel, Dan Koppen, Tully Banta-Cain
2004- Vince Wilfork, Ben Watson
2005- Logan Mankins, Ellis Hobbs, Nick Kaczur, James Sanders, Matt Cassel

2006- Stephen Gostowski, Ryan O'Callaghan (this was the Maroney-Chad Jackson year, bad draft)
2007- Brandon Meriweather (nothing else came from this, worst draft of Bill's NE era)
2008- Jerod Mayo, Matthew Slater (this was the "fix the secondary draft, Wilhite, Wheatley) Crable never got healthy

2009- Pat Chung, Ron Brace, Darius Butler, Sebastian Vollmer, Brandon Tate, Myron Pryor, Julian Edelman
2010- Devin McCourty, Rob Gronkowski, Jermaine Cunningham, Brandon Spikes, Aaron Hernandez, Zoltan Mesko, Brandon Deaderick
2011- Nate Solder, Ras-I Dowling, Shane Vereen, Stevan Ridley, Ryan Mallett, Marcus Cannon
2012- Chandler Jones, Donta Hightower, Tavon Wilson, Jake Bequette, Nate Ebner, Alfonzo Dennard

That first chunk (along with what Bill inherited) won this team 3 Super Bowls. The middle chunk were lean years. Those guys helped the Pats reach another Super Bowl. And this last chunk appeared in another Super Bowl last year, with a chance to get back and win another one this year. Overall, Belichick has drafted very well and lots of teams now copy the Pats model of not paying older guys, stockpiling picks, staying out of free agency for the most part, and trading down in drafts to build depth. If Belichick & Brady win another ring this year, they are the best coach-Qb combo in history beyond a doubt, they are already in the discussion but that would clinch it I think.

Posted on: July 13, 2012 11:47 am

Ins and Outs 2012-13 NFL Season

La Confora, who is pretty solid on this us his "6 in" "6 out" theory, which a lot of people have done over the years, it's a pretty consistent metric for the NFL under the modern rules. MY division and wild-card winners for the upcoming season:

AFC East: New England (13-3 last year, even easier schedule this year, Tom Brady, good draft, added help on D)

AFC North: Baltimore (one last hurrah for Reed/Lewis, Flacco improves, offense just does enough)

AFC South: Houston (offense and health make up for absence of Mario Williams and DeMeco Ryans)

AFC West: Kansas City (last few drafts finally add up for a solid season, hold off Peyton in Denver and a fading Chargers)

Wild Card 1:Pittsburgh (can't ever count out the Black 'N Gold, this team would win the West, but Balt. is better up North)

Wild Card 2: Cincinnati (no soph. slump for Dalton, A.J. Green, Gresham, etc. step up, D is solid, go 2-2 vs. Pitt/Balt.)

NFC East: Philadelphia (Vick plays at least 14 games, no distractions with a quiet training camp)

NFC North: Green Bay (A. Rodgers and Co. simply too talented)

NFC South: Atlanta (everyone else is hating on the Falcons, I think Matt Ryan takes a big step this year)

NFC West: San Francisco (they win the worst division in NFL, but not as strong as last year, what does Moss have left?)

Wild Card 1: Detroit (up and coming, still, secondary still has concerns, similiarly built to N.E.)

Wild Card 2: Dallas (beats out NYG for final spot)
Posted on: January 26, 2012 11:40 am

2012 WideOut FA Bonanza

I was just listening to the Pixk-6 podcast on this website, not something I normally do but they were looking ahead at the pending NFL offseason following Super Bowl XLVI. Whether the Pats win or lose, they will have a bevy of offseason moves to make and that's not even taking April's draft into account. As usual under Bill Belickick, the Patriots have multiple picks in each of the first couple of rounds and all New England fans want to see what we've never seen: the Patriots to draft an impact pass rusher with a 1st round pick.
However, in this podcast, Ryan Wilson and Will Brinson went over the list of upcoming free agents the the WR position, and the list is astounding.
As follows, all will be unrestricted FA's this offseason:
  1. Vincent Jackson
  2. Dwayne Bowe
  3. Wes Welker
  4. DeSean Jackson
  5. Marques Colston
  6. Brandon Lloyd
  7. Stevie Johnson
  8. Reggie Wayne
  9. Robert Meachum
  10. Pierre Garcon
  11. Jerome Simpson
  12. Laurent Robinson

That's quite a list. After looking at a few websites, most people see Bowe and Welker as the most likely to stay with their current teams, while there is a good chance a few of these guys get franchised.

For Patriots fans, an interesting theory has been put out there by a few sources now: Brandon Lloyd will follow new Pats OC Josh McDaniels to New England, giving the Patriots the deep threat they have been missing since Randy Moss left. The Joey Galloway/Chad Ochocinco experiments didn't work, and both Brandon Tate and Taylor Price flopped.

The Patriots will have little to no shot at Justin Blackmon, Michael Floyd or Alshon Jeffrey, so FA will be their best bet to acquire a top wideout this offseason. If they resign Welker and bring in Brandon Lloyd, the Patriots can continue to score enough to cover up the glaring holes on defense and devote draft picks to other areas of need (being mainly DE, OLB, CB and C if Dan Koppen isn't brought back). The Patriots also have BJGE as a free agent but I can see him returning and splitting time with Ridley next year, with Vereen more a 3rd down and special teams guy a la Kevin Faulk in his prime. 

Fellow Pats fans, what do you think? What do the Patriots need to do this offseason?

Posted on: December 13, 2011 11:08 am

Tectonic Shifting On West Coast:

         We are used to hearing reports of earthquakes around the San Andreas Fault. Breaking news from the sports world, no matter how titanic in spectrum, usually doesn’t register on the local seismographs. What the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim just accomplished at the annual baseball winter meetings might be the first. For seemingly ever, the Angels have been frustrated in their attempts to lure marquee free agents to LA’s AL franchise. Mark Teixeira didn’t want to re-up. CC Sabathia, even after claiming a desire to be on the West Coast, spurned them for Broadway’s bright lights. Adrien Beltre frustrated the Angels not once but twice, first by signing with Boston and then with division-rival Texas. The Angels have had a hole at the hot corner since Troy Glaus left and Brandon Wood never became the player they thought he would. Carl Crawford also chose Boston over the Angels.

                The Angels have been NYY-East for a while now. Since 2004, the Angels won 5 division titles and ruled the roost in MLB’s smallest division. The Rangers stole their crown with a deep and plentiful minor league system bearing fruit and spending new ownership’s money. Like most major-market teams with annual expectations to win, Arte Morales’ money always burns a hole in the organizations’ pocket. If they can’t sign Teixeira, Sabathia, Crawford, etc., then they spend that capital on Torii Hunter, Bobby Abreu, Hideki Matsui, Gary Matthews Jr., Vernon Wells, Brian Fuentes and the like. But by signing Pujols, the Angels in one fell swoop changed their free agency pattern and jumped into the elite super-group of spenders. Pujols’s length of contract will eventually become an albatross to the organization, and his full no-trade clause will hamper any and all attempts to move him when the time comes. This was the price, literally, of getting him to leave St. Louis and turn down sumptuous offers from the Marlins, Cubs, and whoever else thought they had a shot. The addition of Pujols creates a very interesting log jam at the games’ premier power position.

                Let’s take a closer look at the LAA first base depth chart. Former Cuban defector Kendrys Morales (no relation to Arte, that we know of) burst onto the scene in 2009 after Teixeira left for the Yankees. He played in 152 games, hit 34 homers while driving in 108 runs, averaging .306 over the season. But after injuring his leg during a home plate dinger celebration, he only saw action in 51 games in 2010. Mark Trumbo stepped in at first and had a great rookie year. He is still young at age 25 and in his rookie year hit .249 with 29 home runs and 86 RBI’s in 149 games. He could plausibly play third base but his defense isn’t great over there. Mike Scioscia is known as a defensive-minded manager but Trumbo’s thump is too great to leave out of the lineup. If Morales is healthy, he can DH with Pujols at first and Trumbo at third. That’s a scary middle of the order. The odd man out would seem to be Bobby Abreu. He could fetch a little on the trade market for an AL club looking for some solid OBP from the DH spot but can’t spend a bunch. The other option would be for the Angels to move Trumbo, who would bring in a much bigger bounty given his age and early production. Mind, the Angles still have wunderkind Mike Trout and solid prospect C.J. Cron coming up. The Angels are set in the outfield with Hunter, Wells and Peter Bourjos, and seem set up the middle with Howie Kendricks, Macier Izturis and Alberto Callaspo. The Angels certainly have some trade chips to play with.

                The list of teams lining up for Trumbo would be significant. Any team with a hole at first base in need of some pop, and a cabinet full of prospects to move to the Angels would be a good fit. Money wouldn’t be of great concern because Trumbo is so young still. He is eligible to be a free agent after 2011 which would hurt his bargaining a little, but he is slated to make only $414,000 this season, which is a steal for a guy with 30-100 potential. Any team trading for Trumbo would want to ink him to a healthy extension immediately. Let’s assume that teams view Trumbo as primarily a first baseman. Teams already set at first base for the long term at present include the Angles (Pujols), Yankees (Teixiera), Red Sox (Gonzalez), Phillies (Howard), Tigers (Cabrera), Twins (Morneau/Mauer), Reds (Votto) and whichever team signs Prince Fielder. We can also assume some teams that have committed to young players at the position would be out of the running for Trumbo. That list would include the Padres (Anthony Rizzo), Braves (Freddie Freeman), Royals (Moustakas/B. Butler), Seattle (Justin Smoak). Those are elite prospects and young players whose values are arguably as high or higher than that of Trumbo. Any of the teams not listed either need immediate help at first, or have players there currently who wouldn’t stand in the way of a trade for Trumbo. A good example would be teams like the Indians with Matt LaPorta, Giants with Brandon Belt/Pablo Sandoval, the Mets with Ike Davis or the Marlins with Gaby Sanchez.

                Like the list for Fielder, potential suitors will be limited by current 1<sup>st</sup> basemen and money. The list of teams vying for Prince’s services looks like a race between the Nationals, Orioles, Cubs, Blue Jays and we could add the Cardinals now that they lost out of La Machina. I believe that money earmarked for Albert would only have gone to Albert, and the Cardinals would not be willing to go nearly as high for Prince. The Nationals/Orioles/Cubs/Blue Jays list is all teams that could plug Prince in immediately without uprooting anyone of substance. The Nats could slide Michael Morse to the outfield, and their lineup could then have Zimmerman/Fielder/Werth/Morse. Not too shabby. The Orioles have had Aubrey Huff at first and Prince would be a big upgrade there. Toronto had been using Adam Lind and Edwin Encarnacion, and just signed Mark Teahan. Prince brings more to the table than those three combined. And the Cubs would love to scoop Prince from a division rival but Theo Epstein and Co. might want to invest that money into a barren farm system and get that “player development machine” rolling instead of giving one player 8-10 years to the tune of 200+ million dollars. We will know a lot more about the future of Mark Trumbo based on the future home of Prince Fielder and the health of Kendrys Morales.

                If Morales in healthy, Bobby Abreu would likely be on the move. He must remain in the AL because he is only a DH at this point. Let’s make a new list. Teams with DH’s already in the fold include NY (Posada/A-Rod/Jeter/Swisher/etc.), Boston (Ortiz/Youkilis), Toronto (Lind), Chicago (Adam Dunn) Detroit (V-Mart, Carlos Guillen, Magglio) and K.C. (Butler, Kila Ka’aiuhe). Also Minnesota has the Mauer/Morneau/Kubel triumvirate. Tampa Bay, Oakland and Cleveland probably wouldn’t want to spend the money necessary for Abreu (9 million in 2011 and 2012). It’s apparent that Abreu would have trouble finding a home as a full-time DH anywhere, and no one would likely pay a platoon DH 9-million annually. The Angels might be forced to eat some contract in order to move Abreu (assuming Morales is healthy). They won’t allow any AB’s go to Abreu that should be going to Trumbo, Trout, Wells, Hunter, Pujols, Morales, etc. The Mariners are the only team I can think of where Abreu may fit. The Mariners have absolutely no pop outside Justin Smoak, and they need all the offensive help they can get. The Angels couldn’t ask for a whole hell of a lot in return when it comes time to trade Abreu so Seattle could hold on to all their top prospects.

                If C.J. Wilson had stayed with Rangers, Albert Pujols going to the Angels wouldn’t have bumped the Angels ahead of Texas in my mind. The Angels rotation would have been better up top (Haren, Weaver) but the Rangers would have had more solid depth with Wilson, Ogando, Lewis, Feldman, Holland, etc. The Rangers lineup with Hamilton, Beltre, Andrus, Kinsler, Cruz, Napoli, Young, etc. would be the equal of Pujols, Morales, Trumbo, Wells, Hunter. But now that the Angels hauled in Pujols AND Wilson, they add at the Rangers’ direct expense. The Rangers are another team, like the Angels, who have the trade chips to make themselves better either before spring training or at the trade deadline. Michael Young seemingly lives on the permanent trade block, and pieces like David Murphy and Mitch Moreland could be valuable if the Rangers wanted to grab a guy like say, Francisco Liriano, Edison Volquez or Jair Jurrjens. The AL West looks like a two-horse race for years to come, and Houston joining the fray in 2013 won’t pose a threat to this new two-team hegemony.


Posted on: December 13, 2011 11:06 am

The Miami Ascendency:

      After joining the Major Leagues as an expansion franchise in 1993, the Florida Marlins were the quickest expansion team to ever win a world title, accomplishing this impressive feat in only 4 years existence. The 1997 championship team was dismantled as quickly as it had been assembled, stars shipped out to save money. In 2003, the Marlins struck again, upsetting the juggernaut Yankees in the Fall Classic with a mix of homegrown youngsters and veteran free agent pickups. This franchise has won two world titles without ever winning a division title, and lately has been a lot more “potential” than results. Marlins fans have watched a bevy of All-Stars come and go. The 1997 team had Antonio Alfonseca, Kevin Brown, Al Leiter, Robb Nen, Livan Hernandez, Charles Johnson, Bobby Bonilla, Luis Castillo, Jeff Conine, Craig Counsell, Darren Daulton, Edgar Rentaria, Moises Alou, Cliff Floyd, Mark Kotsay, Devon White and Gary Sheffield. When the Marlins won again in 2003, only Castillo and Conine were still there. In 1998 the Marlins became the first team ever to lose 100 games the year after winning the World Series. When Wayne Huizenga sold the team to John Henry and his group, a new era was ushered in, but the principle remained the same. Watch the bottom line. Despite Florida’s reputation as a breeding ground for youth athletic talent, fan bases in the Miami and Tampa areas just can’t seem to get behind their teams.

                The 2003 squad featured Josh Beckett, Brad Penny, Carl Pavano, A.J. Burnett, Ugeth Urbina, Dontrelle Willis, Ivan Rodriguez, Castillo, Alex Gonzalez, Derrek Lee, Mike Lowell, Miguel Cabrera, Juan Encarnacion, Juan Pierre, etc. Marlins fans watched that team win and then be disemboweled as quickly, as Jeffrey Loria, Larry Beinfest and Co. (who had purchased the franchise from Henry in 2002) sold off parts to save money. The Marlins once again became irrelevant, playing in a decrepit stadium and facing an annual uphill climb in the rugged NL East. The Marlins did manage to stockpile good young talent through their drafts and trades. Guys have still come and gone (Matt Lindstrom, Kevin Gregg, Miguel Cabrera, Dontrelle Willis, Dan Uggla, Pavano, etc.) but they have been readily replaced by new crops. Young guns like Logan Morrison, Chris Coghlan, Josh Johnson, Leo Nunez, Mike Stanton, Ricky Nolasco, Anibel Sanchez and Gaby Sanchez have made the Marlins a respectable team. The biggest gem is Hanley Ramirez, pried from the Red Sox in a deal that sent Josh Beckett, Mike Lowell and Guillermo Mota to Beantown .

                Now that the Marlins of Florida have become the Marlins of Miami and have secured a brand new stadium, the ante has been upped in South Florida. But will Hanley Ramirez be around to enjoy the new dawn? The Marlins are for real now, signing Mark Buerhle, Heath Bell and speedster Jose Reyes all in a matter of days. According to reports, they were also serious players for the services of Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson who both ended up with the Angels. Hanley is openly campaigning for a trade because the arrival of Reyes pushes Hanley to third base, a move he is obstinately refusing thus far. The game is to create possible and plausible landing spots for HanRam.

                Hanley Ramirez is still only 27. He is a three-time All Star (2008,2009,2010), 2x Silver Slugger (’08 and ’09), was the NL ROY in 2006, won a batting title in 2009, joined the 30-30 club in 2008 and is a star at baseball’s thinnest position outside of catcher. In May 2008, he signed a six-year deal worth $70 million, a bargain for one of the game’s young stars. He has three years left on that deal. But Hanley’s image and reputation have been tarnished by instances of laziness, accusations of carelessness and run-ins with managers resulting in benching. Like in all sports, his talent will outweigh any potential baggage should the Marlins be forced into trading Ramirez, which is his stated desire. Who has the goods to trade for Hanley? It’s obvious he will only acquiesce to playing shortstop. What teams have shortstops that would preclude them from trading for Hanley? Not many. The Rockies (with Tulowitzki), Yankees (Jeter), Marlins (Reyes), and Cubs (Starlin Castro) are really the only teams that would be out of the running from the get-go. Other good quality starting shortstops are hard to find. Elvis Andrus, Alexei Ramirez, JJ Hardy, Jimmy Rollins, Yunel Escobar, none of these are Hanley Ramirez and their respective teams wouldn’t hesitate to move them if they felt they could bring Hanley in. If anyone could convince HanRam to move to third, his potential landing spots would increase. So who can trade for him? We should assume only certain teams meet the prerequisites: a hole at short, redeemable trade assets and the money to pay Ramirez through this contract and a possible extension.

                There are certain teams that we just know can’t or won’t pay Ramirez. That list would look like the Rays, Indians, Royals, A’s, Pirates, Reds, Diamondbacks, Brewers, and Padres. Other teams could probably afford him but have long-term commitments that might preclude their spending excess on Ramirez. Teams like the Mets, Dodgers and Astros are undergoing sales and might not be in position to sign marquee free agents for a while. We can safely assume no team within the NL East will be on the list. The Phillies, Braves, Mets and Nationals are out (although as the Dan Uggla deal illustrates, this is not a hard-and-fast rule). The Yankees have a commitment to Jeter at short and a logjam at DH, so DJ might be playing short until his range is even worse than statuesque. The Red Sox cupboard is pretty bare after trading for Adrian Gonzalez and promoting others to the big club, and they have long-term commits to Gonzalez, Crawford, Pedroia, Beckett, Lester, Buchholz and Lackey and need money set aside to sign guys like Bard, Ellsbury, and etc. to deals. Tampa Bay can’t afford Hanley. Baltimore and Toronto are both intriguing destinations. Both clubs could probably afford Hanley’s extension and have young talent to trade. Incumbent shortstops J.J. Hardy and Yunel Escobar are good but not in Ramirez’s class.

                Every team in the AL Central could use a SS upgrade. Alexei Ramirez and Asdrubal Cabrera are the runaway leaders at that position in this division. The Royals and Indians have the prospects but not the cash. The Tigers, Twins and White Sox have the cash but probably not the young players the Marlins would be looking for. White Sox G.M. Kenny Williams is a bold business man, and maybe a package like Gordon Beckham/John Danks plus a blue-chip prospect could get it done. That kind of move would precipitate Alexei moving to third base.

                The Rangers with Elvis Andrus are all set at short and the Angels are stretched to their budgetary limit one would imagine. The A’s pinch their pennies like a 13 year old sister pinches her little brother. Seattle again is hard to get a gauge on. The ownership has money, and not much committed to the current roster. Seattle’s farm system is currently ranked 16<sup>th</sup>, but that was with Dustin Ackley and Michael Pineda in the system. Now that those two are big leaguers, the system is pretty empty and the M’s probably don’t have the chips to swing back to Miami for a player like Hanley Ramirez. If the Mariners are smart, they will trade Ichiro while he still has some value to a contender. It’s either that or King Felix would have to be moved for a huge haul of prospects. The Mariners will most likely find themselves staring up at Texas and Anaheim all year in 2012, so moving veterans like Chone Figgins, Brandon League, Miguel Olivo and Jason Vargas will be imperative at the trade deadline. Ichiro is a public-relations goldmine both here and in Japan, so he may be in Seattle for good despite the sinking ship and the need to rebuild. Maybe the Mariners can sign Hideki Matsui and Yu Darvish and rake in enough cash in marketing/merchandise to in the future swing deals for free agents like Prince Fielder or Jose Reyes. Reyes in particular would have been a great fit in a big ballpark like Safeco.  

                In the NL Central, the Astros are being sold and moving to the AL, so the new owners might want to make a splash. But the Astros system is notoriously weak right now. The Pirates can’t afford Hanley, the Cubs have Starlin Castro, and the Brewers have money tied up in their core of Braun/Weeks/Hart/Gallardo/Greinke/M
arcum/LuCroy, etc. They don’t have the prospects left after the Sabathia, Marcum and Greinke trades. They couldn’t swap Prince for prospects because they were in contention, so now they get nothing for him. But you have to give the BrewCrew credit for going for it when they knew they had a shot. The Cardinals could use a shortstop, and they apparently had the money to give to Pujols. They also might have the young players to swap to Miami. It’s something to keep an eye on. Hanley would have to readjust his poor attitude to satisfy the sanctimonious fan bases of the Midwest. 

                Out west, the Padres can’t afford him, Tulo and Drew man short for the Rockies and D’Backs respectively. The Dodgers just gave Matt Kemp a big deal and with Monster McCourt on the way out, there could be hope that the new owners flex the muscle of a market like Los Angeles (hey, the Angels just did it!). The Giants under Brian Sabean have to be hesitant to hand out big deals after getting burned by Barry Zito and Aaron Rowand. They will need the cash to keep Lincecum/Cain/Bumgarner together, keep Brian Wilson happy and Brandon Belt, Buster Posey and Pablo Sandoval in the infield.

                So there doesn’t seem to be any great fits for Hanley anywhere. With so much talent to be had, a lot of teams that don’t look like good fits might be willing to pony up and shuffle some pieces to accommodate Ramirez. As it stands now, Marlins fans hope Hanley accepts the prospect of winning games as more important to where on the field he plays. South Florida wants him, and they hope Hanley wants them back. We’ve seen players balk at position changes before (Michael Young comes to mind) but hopefully for the good of the game, this diva doesn’t force his way out of town. The new Miami Marlins will be a lot more fun to watch with both Hanley and Jose Reyes running around together. Can’t you just imagine all the fun Ozzie Guillen Spanglish new conferences to come!??!.

Posted on: October 7, 2010 12:11 pm

Bon Voyage Part II


These out of control egos that are pampered and even encouraged by modern fans and media, the entire sports machine, has given a pass for these jerks to do almost whatever they want, and the more outrageous and stupid their claims, actions and the like, the more of a wall they can hide behind. The crazier they are, the thicker the skin, and the better their own defenses are. It's a sickening cycle.

Classly, humble, sincere star atheletes have become the exception and are almost seen as soft, boring, etc.. When we, collectively, don't have dirt on a guy, it's almost like they are the ones hiding something, that being nice is an act and the skeletons are in the closet. Being seemingly innocent has turned into being guilty because you haven't been acting a damn fool outwardly for the world to see. The star athlete that can protect their privacy is a rarity and something to be admired. We fans contribute to it because we want to know all about these guys.

When do you see guys like Tim Duncan, Ray Allen, Steve Nash or Grant Hill getting into trouble, shooting their mouths off, complaing or campaigning publicly for more money, or to force an organizations hand to get traded by holding out or creating an uncomfortable situation. When do you see Peyton or Brady, Brees or Kurt Warner debasing themselves, others, anyone really? You may not like those guys, you may love them, but you can't say any of them make the headlines for anything negative really. Brady did knock up a chick and not marry her, but he takes care of the kid and how common is that nowadays anyways? Half the kids born these days are born out of wedlock.

The Moss situation is all ego. It's not a coincidence that he left on bad terms with Minnesota, Oakland and now New England. When it's 3 for 3, it's not the teams man, it's you. Someone called the radio show and said this: "Getting Randy Moss is like buying a boat, the two best days of owning a boat are the day you buy it and the day you get it sold". How true. Some guys, for all their talent, just aren't worth the trouble eventually. The Patriots got their moneys worth production-wise for three years, but Randy wanted more money going into this labor unrest, and the Patriots weren't going to give a 33 year old reciever with behavior issues more money, especially while he was still getting paid this year. Brady on the otherhand signed a big extension and will get paid no matter what happens with the CBA. Draw your own conclusions. Similarities: both explosive and important players, both future HOF'ers and annual Pro Bowlers. Differences: one is a franchise cornerstone who is revered, one is a notorious malcontent. One is white, one black, one stable, one nuts. On the whole, Brady is a safe investment, and Moss isn't. Randy wants to "get his", as if 27 million, 14 guaranteed over the last three years wasn't enough. If you have money concerns after making all the money you've made over the last 13 years, than you have a serious lack of financial restraint. Randy made his own bed, but now doesn't want to sleep in it. Man up.
Category: NFL
Posted on: October 7, 2010 11:52 am

Bon Voyage

So the Patriots pulled the rug out from under the NFL world once again, and traded the divisive and polarizing Randy Moss. As a Patriots fan, I am actually ok with this move if he was being a distraction in the locker room. Rumors and reports are still leaking out bit by bit from the media, so a completely clear picture of just how this all came about hasn't quite formed yet.

That hasn't stopped the talking heads from turning this into the biggest news story since The Decision. One particularly infuriating mouthpiece is Cris Carter, former star reciever for the Vikings and ex-teammate of Randy Moss. As someone who mentored Moss and "showed him the ropes" so to speak, Carter has become the unofficial expert on this whole situation, the lead source for all news concering number 84 in purple. The guy has been on the air for what seems 50 hours straight, everywhere I turn.

Carter keeps spinning the "Moss was/is a great teammate, he's misunderstood, you don't know him like I do" bull. There is no doubt Carter knows Moss better than 99% of the other media types covering this story, but for some reason, instead of just lending insight, Carter seems to take this personally and is busy constructing his platform on a vigorous defense of Moss. The seeming inability to seperate objective informing and subjective opining has made Carter look like a Rainbow Coalition drummer.

Some people have made this into a race issue and it might be, but we can get to that another time. (Sidenote: listening to Cris Carter right now on 103.7 FM WEEI with Dale and Holley and Carter just said his favorite baseball team is the Yankees and favorite NBA team is the Lakers. The dude grew up in Ohio. What a front-running P.O.S., but anyways). This entire saga has been governed by one overriding all-determinant pathos, and that is EGO. The capital letters are very necessary in this case. Also, let me say, anyone worth their salt, trying to accomplish anything in this world, has to have some ego. The people that are pragmatic, self-disciplined, humble, and successful find a way to subjegate their ego in the name of respecting themselves and others. When that doesn't happen, and ego rules the day, a person become not the man I described formerly, but a cocky, narcissistic maniac who loses sight of themselves in their own self-imposed "me me me" jungle. This can be mostly nature or mostly nuture, but is always some combination of the two.

The point I am trying to come to, by a roundabout way, is that in these modern, frenzied information sports age, every star athlete, no matter how bad of a guy he is or how much of an ego-maniacal jackass he is, has their defenders. LeBron, Kobe, T.O., Chad Ochocinco, A-Rod, Clemens, Manny Ramirez, on and on and on and on the list goes. Star athletes, either trouble-makers on and/or off the field. Guys that divide teams, distract from team focus, guys who's egoes are so far out of whack that anything they do they can spin into defending themselves from critics or victimizing themselves against a system they think is out to get them and stifle their inherent "individualism" or "right to speak their minds" or whatever. This other-worldy stratosphere these guys live in, propped up by dumbass fans, pathetic hangers-on and agents, suck up owners and executives, has completely blinded these guys from what it means to be grateful, appreciative, grounded human beings.
Category: NFL
Posted on: May 13, 2010 2:44 pm

Highs and Lows

What a whirlwind these NHL playoffs have been eh? For the first time in what seems like a long time, a Canadian team (probably the most important one) is left in the final four. I believe, and may be wrong, that when Calgary was in the finals a few years back is the most recent time a Canadian team has gone this far. Montreal surely seems to be the team of destiny, an inexplicable run through the Capitals and Penguins.

This run is posing problems for the NHL I believe. Obviously the networks (Vs. and NBC) would have loved a Washington-Pittsburgh conference finals in the East, and probably something like a Detroit-San Jose or Detroit-Chicago matchup out west. The Sharks-Blackhawks series should be a fruitful one for fans and those that stand to profit. The city of Chicago always supports their teams voraciously and the Blackhawks are a young and exciting group. San Jose is a good story because of their past playoff flame-outs and maybe they have overcome those demons.

But in the East, we have the one, two and three seeds all eliminated in the first round. I am not a one-man Elias Sports Bureau but has that ever happened before? The saving grace was that Pittsburgh is a defending champion, star-studded #4 seed, but now they are out. The league better hope to God that Boston wins Game 7 against Philly. At least then there is a fierce rivalry in the conference finals, even if it's two teams that by all rights shouldn't be there. A Montreal-Philadelphia conference finals? Doesn't do much for me.

Interesting sidenote: I don't remember the exact issue or who wrote the article, but I am pretty sure Sports Illustrated in their pre-season NHL overview predicted a Blackhawks-Bruins Stanley Cup matchup. They could end up being right, and by an interesting road. Overall, these playoffs have seemed a little dull, without the usual star power, especially in the East.

Category: NHL
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