My Dad, Ed, was an avid NY Giants fan at the time.
The Patriots were born in 1960
Ed became an instant Patriots fan and dragged his 8 year old son along onto the bandwagon that I’ve been on ever since.
My son #1 was born in 1980, the Pats, led by legendary QB Steve Grogan and HC Ron Erhardt missed the playoffs with a 10-6 record
Son #2 was born in 1981, Under Ron Erhardt and a gimpy Steve Grogan the Pats finished last with a 2-14 record
The Patriots first ever trip to the SB was the 1985 season, SB XX
The bandwagon was all in as the AFC Champion Patriots worked their way to the big game by running the ball.
The Bears 15-1, led by one of my favorites, Coach Ditka were the NFC Champs.
They totally dominated the Pats 46-10
Sons 1&2 became bandwagon Pats fans
1989 brought son #3 and the Pats went 5-11 under HC Ray Berry and were still led on the field by the ageless Steve Grogan
1991 was the year my only daughter was born, the Pats went 6-10 behind Dick Mc Pherson and the new guy in town QB Hugh Millen. My little girl went on to become a Marine and married a…Baltimore Ravens fan!
She is loyal and he has the potential to switch.
1992 son #4 was born during the last Dick McPherson season 2-14 and the last of Hugh Millen. That off season James Orthwine hired a new HC, one Dwayne Charles “tuna” Parcells took over and brought in 1st round #1 pick Drew Bledsoe to QB the rudderless ship. Though they finished 5-11 the Pats struggled but finished strong with four straight wins to end the season.
1994 Robert Kraft, a local Boston Businessman and lifelong season ticket holder bought his favorite team. The New Owner with the HC and QB brought a 10-6 record home to the faithful. The next week they traveled to Cleveland to face the Browns led by QB Vinny Testaverde and HC Bill Belichick. The Browns won 20-10 and Belichick had his first playoff win...and it was against his former mentor Parcells.
A note on the Browns of 1994, Belichick’s top scout was Jim Schwartz and his DC was Nick Saban.
1996 The Patriots 11-5 led by Bledsoe, Curtis Martin and Terry Glenn made it back to the SB. Brett Farvre led his Packers to a 35-21 win. Parcells did not return to Foxboro with the team and resigned shortly after. He and Robert Kraft didn’t see eye to eye and Parcells coined his famous quote. “If you’re being asked to cook the dinner you should be able to shop for the groceries”
In the off season of 1997 Kraft hired then former Jets HC Pete Carroll to a 3 year deal. Carroll put up three mediocre seasons with what the Kraft’s and the fans thought were SB potential teams. Caroll’s Pats went 10-6, 9-7 and 8-8 with Bledsoe at QB.
In 2000 Kraft finagled HC for a day Bill Belichick away from the J E T S and started the dynasty we know and love today.
Although his first season was only a 5-11 affair the winds were shifting. In the 6th round of the draft Belichick (by recommendation of the late Dick Raybine, his QB coach) selected that 6’4” 220lb skinny kid from Michigan by the name of Tom Brady. Then he went against conventional wisdom and kept 4 QB’s on the roster during the 2000 season.
The Harry children were on the verge of seeing their team, adopted from their Dad and Grandfather go on a winning spree the NFL has never seen.
2001 brought 911 and the revamped Patriotic attitude to this great land.
The Patriots started with Drew Bledsoe at QB and promptly lost the first two games. 23-16 to Cincinnati and 10-3 to the Jets. In the Jets game Bledsoe suffered a chest injury that would put him on the sidelines for 8 weeks. Belichick went to his backup, Tom Brady over Damon Huard and the team responded to the confident kid. They went 11-3 under Brady and earned the second bye. They then beat Oakland in the famous Sno-bowl aka the Tuck Rule game and then went into first seed Pittsburgh and won there. On to the SB #36 and a win over the greatest show on turf with Vinatieri’s 48yd game winner. Capping off the gutsy last minute drive by Brady. John Maddens famous words still echo in all Pats fans ears “ Brady should just take a knee and play for overtime”
The Pats won again in SB 38 & 39 (the last team to win back to back) they lost in SB 42 & 46 and now return in #49 to play Pete Carrolls Seahawks, the defending Champions.
We, a bandwagon Patriots family have been blessed with one of the greatest runs in sports history, If it results in another SB win it will be that much sweeter. I witnessed the Celtics incredible run of the 1960’s, 9 titles in 10 years and absolutely took it for granted. I think my kids have a different, almost humble attitude towards the rare sports dynasty they have to enjoy. We true Patriots fans can ignore the scandals and hate from else ware and dismiss it as jealousy.
I posted most of this Tuesday for delay posting before the NFL reported that 11 of 12 balls tested were underinflated. I'm all for taking advantage of an edge you can get on your opponent. BUT, it should all be done within the rules. If the Patriots were caught bending the rules again then it's on them to carry. If you cheat you're wrong, if you cheat and get caught you're stupid.
Thanks for looking here and commenting and thanks for indulging me by reading today.
Don’t forget to check out Lanz, another bandwagoneer right over there
Here's the latest early week recaps and articles from the teams I follow at the various levels of basketball.
Before their game against the L.A. Clippers, the team waived Chris Douglas-Roberts, yet another of the players they acquired via trade that they had no intention of keeping around.
In the game vs. the Clippers, the Celtics never really could do anything more than keep within striking distance on their way to a 102-93 loss.
Brandon Bass scored 17 points to lead Boston's offense. Marcus Thornton had 15 points and Marcus Smart added 14 points and 7 boards. Jared Sullinger (pictured below) finished with 14 points and 8 boards.
Evan Turner had a double double with 10 points and 10 boards. He added 6 assists as well. Kelly Olynyk (pic below) finished the game with 11 points.
The surprise of the game was seeing that Tayshaun Prince suited up and got into the game. He had 2 points and 2 boards plus an assist. I don't know if this means he is going to be with the team long term but considering he was ticketed for a buyout as soon as he got traded to the Celtics, it is a huge turnaround.
I read an article in the newspaper on Monday about Miami men's basketball coach Jim Larranaga and came away with a really great impression of the man. You can check out the article via this link.
Meanwhile, SI.com had a couple of articles that were good reads. The first is on former Louisville player Kevin Ware as he rebuilds his life and career after transferring to Georgia State. You can read that one HERE.
The other story is about Preston Mattingly, the son of LA Dodgers manager Don Mattingly, and his career at Lamar after 6 years playing minor league baseball. Here's the link.
Boston College Men - The Eagles started off the game by taking their offense right at Syracuse but after building an early 12-4 lead on them, they watched as the Orange ran off a 31-5 run to go into halftime with a 35-17 lead.
BC outscored Syracuse in the second half but it wasn't enough and they lost 69-61 and are now 8-9 on the season (0-5 in the ACC).
Aaron Brown (pictured 1st) led Boston College with 21 points and 6 boards, Dimitri Batten (pictured 2nd) added 17 points and 5 boards. Point guard Olivier Hanlan (pictured 3rd) had 13 points, 5 boards and 5 assists. Patrick Heckmann (pictured 4th) finished the game with 9 points and a team high 9 rebounds.
Missouri State - A 15-0 run early in the second half helped lead the Bears to their 78-64 victory over Bradley. The win improves Missouri State to 6-10 with a 3-2 conference record.
Kenzie Williams led four players in double figures with 13 points. Hillary Chvatal (12), Tyonna Snow (11) and Liza Fruendt (11) were the other players. Fruendt added 6 boards. Audrey Holt (pictured below) had season highs in both points (7) and rebounds (5).
Hartford - Despite 25 turnovers, the Hawks took down UMBC 70-63 and got above the .500 mark for the season. They are 10-9 with a 4-1 America East record.
Deanna Mayza scored 16 pointswith 6 assists (4 turnovers) and Morgan Lumb had 14 points (6 turnovers). Janelle Harrison finished with 9 points and 8 boards.
Amber Bepko (shown below) led the team with 17 points which helped her top the 1,000 point mark for her career. I've been following her since her freshman year so I was very pleased to see her hit this milestone.
You can read more about Bepko's evolution as a player HERE.
Tennessee LADY VOLS- Tennessee never led in their Monday night matchup against Notre Dame. Their 88-77 loss was their 14th straight loss on the road to a Top 10 opponent. When you consider the history of the Lady Vols program, that is a rather astounding statistic. Of course, when you give up 34 points to Jewell Loyd, you probably can guess that you might not win the game.
Bashaara Graves (shown below 1st) led the Tennessee (15-3) with 22 points and 8 boards. Cierra Burdick (shown 2nd) added 15 points and Isabelle Harrison (shown 3rd) scored 12 points to go with 9 boards. Ariel Massengale (shown 4th) hit for 11 points.
Boston College Women - BC was down just 24-22 to Syracuse at halftime of their game this past Sunday. I missed that half but did catch the second half on the computer and it was astounding just how awful the Eagles played the last 20 minutes of the game on the way to a 64-46 loss.
The season low point total wasn't helped by their 23 turnovers in the game (Martina Mosetti had 7 of those turnovers on her own). A number of those turnovers came as the Eagles players found themselves trapped by the press defense in the backcourt and simply lost control of the ball.
The Eagles had a big edge at the half in rebounding and did actually still outrebound the Orange for the game. But in the second half, they repeatedly failed to box out on the offensive glass. This led to 2nd, 3rd and 4th chances for Syracuse.
BC's shooting was woeful, particularly from the outside. They were forced to rely on their outside shooting because they couldn't break the 2-3 zone employed by Syracuse to get drives to the basket.
Emilee Daley (shown 1st) and Ashley Kelsick (shown 2nd) led the team with 11 points apiece. Kelly Hughes(shown 3rd), the leading scorer for BC, had just 3 points in the game but did have a team high 11 boards. Shayra Brown (shown 4th) added 5 points and 4 rebounds.
Highlights of the game and the post game press conference with coach Erik Johnson can be seen below.
HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL
Bishop Stang Boys Varsity - Jake scored 14 points as the Spartans beat Coyle-Cassidy and improved to 7-3 (2-2 in conference).
Sturgis East Girls Varsity - The Storm got 30 points from their top player but couldn't keep up with West Bridgewater, losing 64-46. Isabella scored 4 points in the game as Sturgis East fell to 3-5.
Wareham Girls Varsity - Tieyanna scored 21 points to lead the Vikings to a 48-32 win over Barnstable. Gabby scored 9 points as Wareham improved to 8-7 (5-4 in conference).
Upper Cape Girls Varsity - Last night, I went to see the Upper Cape girls against Avon. The two teams had played a week ago with the Rams blowing out Avon on the road. A week later, the game was a little tighter.
After the JV won 44-18. the varsity started out slowly. The team has been dealing with the flu running through the roster. At least two of the girls played looking like they walking zombies for a while.
Upper Cape was up just 8-4 after the first quarter. But Avon took a 9-8 lead at the start of the 2nd quarter. After that, the Rams built a lead that they never relinquished. Avon kept challenging them with their leading scorer having a game high 22 points, but the Rams ended up at 12-0 with a 51-36 victory.
Michaela was still recovering from being sick but did play in the game. She shot just 2-12 from the floor and 1-12 from the line for 5 points. She had one rebound, 1 assist and 1 steal as well as 2 fouls.
The Bourne Courier newspaper posted a photo gallery from the team's recent game against Cape Cod Tech on their website. The photos are by David Colantuono. A few of the pics are below with Michaela and Dasia first and both Krystle and Amber second.
Hello and welcome to another Wednesday of deep thoughts. I have to admit that I felt a small twinge of guilt as I wiped the sweat away following my Tuesday evening run. It is not like I had a grueling run, but when it is 78 degrees, sweat comes pretty easily. As I soaked up the late afternoon sun, I realized that for a January day…it just does not get much better. For all practical purposes, football season is over. As much as I enjoy playoff football, I detest the two week break before the Super Bowl. BOB’s blog on Tuesday brought up a very good point about limiting the number of media that have access to athletes. If there was ever a time when this idea would be appropriate, it is the time before the Super Bowl. Seriously, I don’t know where some of these guys and gals come from, but the questions that are dropped on the player’s, often border on asinine. While I think it is fair and necessary for professional athletes talk to the media, it is also fair that the media be professional as well.
I know that technology is a good thing, but I am beginning to wonder if we are headed the right direction with regard to sports. It seems that we spend more time talking about how a rule was broken or a call was missed than the play on the field. Does anyone really care if the Patriot's footballs were slightly deflated? New England could have used bowling balls last Sunday and still blown Indy away. On the other hand…what is it with the Patriots and trying to bend the rules? As I have said, a slightly deflated football is no big deal, but if this was done intentionally, it is just another black eye for New England. To be honest, this reminds me of Richard Nixon ordering the bugging of the Watergate hotel in an election that he won by a landslide. Just as Dick Nixon did not need to cheat to beat George McGovern, the Patriots are too good to worry about illegal videos or deflating footballs. I read an excerpt from the book Coaching Confidential by Gary Myers book that recounts this discussion between Robert Kraft and Bill Belichick…Kraft- "How much did this (videoing) help us on a scale of 1 to 100?" Belichick-“One.” Kraft reportedly then said, “Then you are a real schmuck.
To be honest, I never paid much attention to what some call Videogate, just as I won’t pay much attention to footballs being deflated. The reality is that I have great respect for the job that Bill Belichick has done in New England. I watched Jimmy Johnson build a dynasty in Dallas, only to see the pieces quickly be pulled apart. As difficult as it is to build a championship team, it is even tougher to keep a team near the top. Some fans look for a reason to find fault with New England, but I only find respect. I marvel at how the Hoodie knows the right time to let a player leave. Welker and Mankin are two recent examples... he always seems to pull the right levers. We give props to the genius of Belichick’s game plans, but I wonder if that genius still leaves him feeling a bit insecure? The secret I think to the Patriots success is attention to detail. The benefits of this are obvious on the field, but could this be the reason that footballs have been deflated? I mean..who would think to deflate a football? I will again say, I think the entire issue with the footballs is overblown (pun intended)…but there is no question it is more fodder for the haters.I am in no way pointing the finger at Bill Belichick, only that it is not beyond his detailed mind to consider...and that is not a bad thing.
Many have criticized the NCAA for giving those vacated wins back to Joe Paterno’s Nittany Lions. While this criticism is fair, I have another question for the NCAA…what next? With this action, the NCAA has established a precedent that I think will follow them forever more. I just don't understand why they reacted with such fear to of legal proceedings? It is not like the NCAA has never been to court. I think that we could be seeing the beginning of the end of the NCAA as we know it. Of course, I figure they will continue to hang around, but they have lost a big chunk of power in my opinion.
I have yet to see American Sniper, but I am looking forward to checking out this movie soon. By now, we have all heard the disparaging comments made by Michael Moore and Seth Rogen. It is fairly common for the left leaning crowd to offer negative comments and the media to promote those comments. But, something interesting has happened with Moore and Rogen’s comments. There has been a groundswell of criticism for Moore, Rogen and others critical comments. I mean…when was the last time that Whoopi Goldberg slammed the left? Rob Lowe? Jane Fonda tweeted that she loved the movie…although, with her history regarding our military, I am surprised she offered an opinion at all. In the aftermath of this public back and forth, there is one reality…Moore and Rogen are backtracking, saying that their comments were not intended as criticism of Eastwood’s movie. As Americans, there is a reality that we are blessed with…the ability to disagree. While we may grow tired of the battle between the right and the left, we should remember that it is a blessing that we have the ability offer a dissenting voice.
I always love irony in life. Like…the irony that Tiger Woods lost a front tooth because of an aggressive cameraman. It is well known that Tiger has had “issues” with cameras throughout his playing career. To lose a tooth watching his girlfriend Lindsey Vonn skiing, is ironic for me…
That is all I have today, but I will leave you with a bit of Jack Handey…
Blow ye winds, like the trumpet blows; but without that noise.
When the age of the Vikings came to a close, they must have sensed it. Probably, the gathered together one evening, slapped each other on the back and said, "Hey, good job."
Thanks for stopping by and feel free to leave a few deep thoughts of your own…
Welcome to Wednesday, Gabbers. This week is a huge week for my wife and I as we’re closing on our house today. We’ll be closing in the morning and painting in the afternoon. We’re hoping to get everything painted so we can start refinishing some floors this weekend. We’ve got a good amount of work to do, but it’s going to be worth it. We’ll have pics as time goes on and more gets done.
I am also excited to see what might sprout when the season changes. From what I can see, we have 5 arborvitaes, a rose bush, a hydrangea, and an impressive marigold bush. I know marigolds are perennials, but I’m hoping some of the seed got into the ground. I also say bush, because we had an impressive bush sprout up from marigold seed this spring. I have some plans for the garden and yard, but this year is just a better time to wait and see what sprouts.
Speaking of springtime, we are inching closer to spring training each day. Hopes are high again and every fan base is optimistic. Arizona and Houston fans have a huge celebration on their hands too. Everyone knew two weeks ago that the Astros had their first hall of famer in Craig Biggio. It was just announced last week, however, that Randy Johnson will be enshrined as a Diamondback.
Unlike Biggio, Johnson’s career has spanned multiple teams: Montreal, Seattle, Arizona, New York, and San Francisco. Johnson started in Montreal, but became a breakout phenom in Seattle. It was in Arizona, however, that Johnson performed some of his most impressive feats. Johnson would win four Cy Young awards and one World Series. At age 40, he hurled a perfect game. Johnson also had his best statistical seasons in Arizona: 118-62 with a 2.83 ERA.
Johnson’s most legendary pitching feat (and greatest video clip) also took place in Tucson, though during the pre-season. It was in the seventh inning that a dove made the mistake of flying in front of home plate. Johnson’s fastball wiped the bird from existence. While the incident put people in awe of the Big Unit, Johnson was not at all pleased.
The decision of what logo to wear on the HOF bust is ultimately that of the inductee, but the Hall of Fame has staff members who suggest teams to players. Players don’t have to choose a logo if they are too conflicted. Greg Maddux entered without a logo on his bust.
To its credit, the NBA has turned the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday into a celebration that includes several matinee games. The Atlanta Hawks went all out to celebrate King. They began the game with a video tribute to King that they broadcast on the court. They also had members of a local church choir sing the player introductions. The game itself featured the newly dominant Hawks against the resurgent Pistons. The Hawks won 93-82.
The interesting storyline of the NBA thus far is that teams are winning, while the superstars are struggling. The Hawks and Golden State Warriors are currently coached by disciples of Greg Popovich. They seem to be duplicating the system Pop put into place. It is working. The NBA just might be a great substitute for football once the Super Bowl is over.
That’s all I’ve got for this week. Thanks as always for stopping in. Look for some renovation pics to come as we get into home ownership. Please leave any tips you might have for us.