Happy Friday Bloggers! This is the best weekend of the year: NFL FOOTBALL! I am pumped and jacked like old Pistol Pete Carroll. Thursday night football kicks off the season with the Denver Broncos and Baltimore Ravens rematch of their AFC Divisional playoff game. Then, more college football on Saturday, a ton of games on Sunday in the NFL (including the New England Patriots!). As I look at the maple tree in the front yard change to yellow and orange leaves, it means hockey training camp is around the corner and the Boston Bruins are getting ready to make another run at the Stanley Cup. The Red Sox continue to grind away wins, and with less than a month to go, no one here in the Boston area takes it for granted with the collapse of 2011 still fresh in the collective consciousness. Oh, and basketball is coming soon. The season is now closing in on that part of the year known as “sports nirvana.”
In an officiating video distributed to the media, NFL Vice President of Officiating Dean Blandino says that read-option quarterbacks can be hit like runners, even if they don’t have the ball. If a quarterback who handed off or pitched the ball is still carrying out a fake in a running posture, he can be tackled the same way he would be if he still had the ball. “He is still treated as a runner until he is clearly out of the play,” Blandino said. “The quarterback makes the pitch, he’s still a runner — he can be hit like a runner until he’s clearly out of the play.”
This is bad news indeed for Colin Kaepernick, Robert Griffin III, Cam Newton, and Russell Wilson as they now have 300 lb behemoths looking at them with malice as they calculate when and how they can take their legal shots at these young, athletic read-option/pistol quarterbacks. With this allowed, the quarterback injury rate looks like it may increase more than the NFL would like for its young, marketable stars of today and tomorrow.
According to Todd Archer of ESPNDallas.com, defensive end Anthony Spencer said he had a setback with his knee, which kept him off the practice field. Spencer had surgery on his left knee early on July 25, keeping their franchise player off the field since.
The Cowboys are also without defensive tackle Jay Ratliff, who’s on the PUP list. That has the ‘boys starting both George Selvie and Nick Hayden upfront, which is hardly the kind of pass rushing/run defending defensive tackles new defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin would have drawn up.
Brian Costello of the New York Post reports that “all indications” are that wide receiver Santonio Holmes will be in the lineup for the Jets in Week One. While the “expectation internally” is that Holmes will be on the field, there may be a cap on how many snaps Holmes will play after spending all of camp and preseason doing limited work as he made his way back from Lisfranc surgery.
With quarterback Mark Sanchez injured and possibly having played his last snap in New York, quarterback Geno Smith has ABSOLUTELY NO ONE to throw the ball to on offense. A healthy Holmes could be the difference between two or six wins this season, and with two top game-changer prospects (defensive end Jadeveon Clowney and quarterback Teddy Bridgewater--no, not Johnny Football!) the difference between pick two and pick five could be monumental next year. Coach Rex Ryan may be trying to win games and keep his job (not that any number of wins would do it), but the team front office should be in total “suck” mode.
Whatever the injury report says, New England Patriots wide receiver Danny Amendola says he’s raring to go for Sunday’s opener. “I’m sick of talking about it, I just want to go play, to be honest with you,” Amendola said, via Mike Reiss of ESPNBoston.com. “I’m excited about getting out there. I’m just ready to go.”
Amendola is--many fans of the former slot receiver in New England don’t want to hear this--an upgrade over Wes Welker. Amendola, in his one preview in the preseason, was electric. Quarterback Tom Brady obviously loves having him, undrafted free agents outside the numbers possession wide receiver Kenbrell Thompkins, and tight end Zach Sudfeld to throw the ball to in this offense. The Patriots have been stagnant at wide receiver since 2009. This move was overdue and is going to lead to an upgrade to the best offense in football (well, Green Bay or New Orleans may have a few deserving votes!) over the past three years when tight end Rob Gronkowski returns.
Former Dolphins linebacker Channing Crowder said Wednesday on WQAM radio in Miami that former Dolphins running back Ricky Williams routinely smoked marijuana before games .
Other news out of Miami: the sky is blue. The sun is yellow. Grass is green. The weather is warm. Talk about surprising NO ONE!
Bills safety Jairus Byrd wants out. Byrd, who signed his franchise tender and agreed to play this season for $6.916 million, is trying to orchestrate a trade, according to the Buffalo News.
As if there were not enough problems in Buffalo with top defensive player cornerback Stephon Gilmore injured and safety George Wilson inexplicably shown the door in the offseason, the team is susceptible to passing attacks with Byrd questionable with his injured foot (plantar fascitis). So who do they face week one? Oh, only quarterback Tom Brady and the high-powered New England Patriots.
The Jets are going with third-year pro Bilal Powell as their starting back, but Chris Ivory will “play a lot of football as well,” head coach Rex Ryan said Wednesday. Powell, head coach Rex Ryan said, “has earned the right to start,” according a transcript from the club.
Doesn’t matter who starts...that team should be more concerned about finishing cleaning house. Powell failed to impress much last season, and the Jets added Chris Ivory from New Orleans (who actually has impressed in limited action). My hope is that anyone drafting Ivory in Fantasy Football releases him foolishly with Powell number one on the depth chart, because Ivory is starting material and Powell is a backup at best.
Broncos receiver Demaryius Thomas says Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning is noticeably stronger this year. Thomas said in an interview on ESPN that in his first season with Manning last year, he thought Manning’s arm was fine in 2012. But Thomas says he now realizes that Manning hadn’t completely recovered from his 2011 neck surgeries last year, and Manning throws the ball much better now than he did during the 2012 season.
Last season, anyone with at least one eyeball could see that Manning was limited in the passing game (he had neck fusion surgery, for God’s sake!). Somehow he performed so well with his “wounded quail” tosses last season; however, with neck and back issues, that offensive line had best keep Peyton upright because “neck fusion surgery” and “free run at the QB” sounds like a Denver disaster.
RANTING AND RAVING:
So no response on Twitter from Boston-area/National sportswriter Ron Borges after my rant last week...no surprise there.
Another day, another rant: Here in the greater Boston area, we are subjected to the Boston Red Sox cash cow known as NESN (New England Sports Network) which is owned by and broadcasts the Boston Red Sox games. Fortunately, chief annoyance Jerry Remy is on leave for the season due to his adult son viciously stabbing and murdering his estranged girlfriend. Remy and his “cohort” play-by-play Don “Dope” Orsillo make up what this viewer considers the worst combination of announcers in the game (I used to get the Bip Roberts feed, so I know bad announcing!).
The RemDawg (as Remy nicknamed himself and turned into a hot dog stand outside Fenway Park) is all about one thing:marketing his chain of hideous restaurants. He shamelessly promotes himself and talks endlessly about any subject except baseball. He offers “analysis” and “color” so infrequently that when he makes a rare comment that is insightful (once a year, maybe) one forgets he was a major league player in California and Boston for over a decade. Then, he says something stupid and you remember the Red Sox brought in Dave Stapleton to try to displace him (as well as Stan freaking Papi!).
Orsillo, unfortunately, is simply a clown. Unfortunately, the two are extremely popular. They are going to remain (unless Remy calls it quits--he had cancer recently and this situation with his son is a big deal). I don’t have to like them--I am not their target audience. The stats-obsessed fan who has PitchFX stats and matchups on the computer is going to watch the game regardless of who is blabbering on TV. Remy and Orsillo exist to charm the little old ladies, casual fans, and the “Pink Hats”. That, they do very well and management has no plans to replace them. For me, I suffer through the games and at least have Dennis “the Eck” Eckersley to entertain us until the RemDawg returns.
OK, Gabbers, I am done. I have to take a break from the laptop to watch some damned good NFL football tonight and consume some fine pint cans of Smithwick’s Irish Ale to consume while watching the game and waiting for the Lovely Mrs. B. to return from her first afternoon class for Nursing school. But, hey, it’s Friday by the time I post this, so I’m one day closer to the weekend! Have a great initial NFL weekend, everyone, and thanks as always for taking the time to read.
I hope everyone had an enjoyable Easter weekend...And I hope your Easter Bunny was as giving as this one!
My week was crazy...We'll start on Thursday...I took Little Beeze and his older sister to Holy Thursday Mass...It was required for part of their RCIA class...A number of the kids from school were going to lead the procession into mass with candles...Before they even stepped off, a little girls hair caught fire...No, the boy wasn't involved...Her mother screamed and got it out quickly, but her pony tail was gone...Then the mother, trying to fight it as hard as she could, let out a 15-20 second battle with saying "Mother Fffffffffuuuuuuuuuuuuuu----cccccccccckkkkk" in the back of the church....The dashes are where her voice dropped out, and we all thought she caught herself...
Then, during the homily, an old lady passed out...Some one called 9-1-1...And she woke up loudly, puking all over herself...The EMT's rolled in, and not so stealthy took her out...All this has me fearing what was going to happen at the Easter Vigil Saturday night, where Little Beeze was being baptized/confirmed, and he and his sister were making their first communion...
And the fear ran high as Saturday's mass started at 9:00PM, outside with a bonfire, candle lighting, and walking into a dark church...Sounds safe right!?! Everything went okay...Long...2 and a half hours, but okay...We got home, to find Molls wide awake...It wasn't until after 12:30AM when they were all asleep...Then I had to put on my fucking bunny ears and hide Easter baskets and eggs...
Sunday, my house was full of over-tired, sugared-up kids, all in need of a nap...And my wife and I running on coffee and wanting naps...It was a lazy day, especially after the ham, mashed potatoes, corn, lamb chops, and asparagus...
But there was some time for dancing...
But it wasn't all church, food, and dancing this weekend...
-There was some intense NCAA Hockey...There were plenty of upsets that took place...In the East, Union upset Boston College before falling to #1 seed Quinnipiac...In the Northeast, #1 seed Umass- Lowell had to battle Wisconsin, and New Hampshire to get to the "Frozen Four"....In the Midwest, #4 St. Cloud State gave #1 seed Notre Dame a 5-1 beating...This was a shocker since the Irish had been one of the hottest teams going into the tourney...Then St. Cloud beat #2 seed Miami (Ohio) to advance...And in the West #4 seed Yale upset #1 Minnesota and #2 North Dakota to earn a trip to the "Frozen Four"...
Quinnipiac, St. Cloud State, Umass-Lowell, and Yale will head to Pittsburgh to play the "Frozen Four" April 11-13...I'm annoyed by the break they take, but they know they'll get no coverage at all with the basketball tourney going on...
-As for basketball, my bracket was pretty much screwed...But Marquette losing killed me totally...Hows yours?
-Sunday night, Major League Baseball kicked off it's season with the Astros and Rangers...Most of the rest the teams get going Monday...I'm slightly excited for the season, if only because it gives us hope that Spring is here...Even though my local Weather guy gave us a heads-up for more cold and possible snow this week...Of Course! Probably get a blizzard for the Tribe's home opener next week!
I have to say, there is something about Baseball that is bothering me...I never liked the inter-league stuff to begin with, but now with this inter-league game every day crap...It just doesn't make sense when you have two leagues that have different rules...It's time to take a stand...Either DH for everyone, or no DH at all...Bud, you stupid old coot, it's time to make the call already!
-Sunday, a friend of mine posted this LINK on my facebook page...If you were ever concerned about the charities athletes setup, and where the money really goes, you were right to be concerned...Only 8% of the funds in one of Baron Davis' foundations went to charity...Lamar Odom doesn't know what his Charity does...You call Randy Moss' charity, and it's a private residence in Manitoba...There is $300,000 unaccounted for from an Alex Rodriguez charity fundraiser...Give it a read...It could save some people from wasting their money!
-My wife has been a fan of "The Walking Dead"...I saw a few bits and pieces, but never really cared...This week, she got me to watch a bunch of episodes...Which lead up to me watching the season finale...You know what this show did...It fucking annoyed me! Some how, magically, when people die they turn into a Zombie...No explanation...It just is...Fucking childish writing there! Didn't this shit go down in 2010 supposedly...Why the fuck are they driving a 2013 car! Shitty advertising ploy there! I found myself wanting a lot of these people dead...
SPOILER ALERT: One traitorous bitch got what she deserved!
But seriously, America...Between the ads for video games and movies and other TV shows I was seeing while watching a bunch of episodes of "The Walking Dead" I have to ask...When the fuck are you going to grow up? Enough of this Zombie and Vampire shit...Seriously Yes, "Reality TV" makes me sick...But beating these two stupid trends to death has just become lazy! This Zombie, and Vampire shit can eat my ass!
More excitement in the ACC, who’s going who’s coming, wasting air time, MLB HOF ballots, who should be in the Hall of Fame, and a lot more in this weeks edition of…….
I don’t know about you but I put on several pounds. This year I did not go the Turkey route as my mom was out of town (she usually does the holiday cooking) and my wife and I can’t see wasting Turkey since we really only eat a slice or two for Thanksgiving. So, my wife made me my favorite meal, veal parmesan. It was great and I had two big pieces.
I hope you Gabbers had a safe, but wonderful, Thanksgiving.
By now you already know that Morehead State Eagle’s coach. Sean Woods, received a one game suspension for shoving guard Devon Atkinson in the back. I only hope that Coach Woods only follows Bobby Knight it winning games and not following Knight in the kind of demeanor that eventually got him fired from Indiana University.
On November 8th the Jacksonville Jaguars hosted a military appreciation night against the Indianapolis Colts. This event had the fans applauding for a while.
Sam Gordon, the 9-year old football wonder, has joined the likes of Tiger Woods, Walter Payton, Michael Jordan and Lou Gehrig as she has now been featured on the cover of a Wheaties box. In her first year in the “Gremlin age group” of the UTE Conference, she had 35 touchdowns and 1,911 rushing yards,
What a waste of TV air time as the New York Jets were humiliated at home by the New England Patriots. I know the NFL thought, when they made the schedule, that this was going to be an outstanding game. Little did they know. The bad thing is I watched the game on a full stomach and had to throw up on more than one occasion.
New York Giant TE Martellus Bennett saved a mans life this past Sunday after the football game. Check out what ESPN had to say about it.
I am not, by no means, a Notre Dame fan. But, I have to give them credit in their win against USC. I thought after USC tossed a 53-year pass and it was 1st and goal, I’m like oh yeah, USC is going to tie it up. But to the credit of the Irish defense they stuffed USC and did not allow them to score. So now we know at least one team, Notre Dame is in the National Championship. Who will the other team be? That will be decided by the winner of the Alabama versus Georgia winner.
Louisville will be leaving the Big East and joining the ACC in 2014. The Cardinals will be a welcome addition to the ACC as they have a very good basketball program and their football program is on the upswing.
Has anyone noticed but the Big East will not have the New York and New Jersey TV market as Rutgers and Syracuse will be gone from the conference.
Marvin Miller, former union head of the Major League Baseball Players Association passed away at the age of 95. He was hated by MLB owners and loved by the players, but one thing is certain, he changed the sport for the betterment of the players.
"All players -- past, present and future -- owe a debt of gratitude to Marvin, and his influence transcends baseball," current union head Michael Weiner said. "Marvin, without question, is largely responsible for ushering in the modern era of sports, which has resulted in tremendous benefits to players, owners and fans of all sports."
Highlights of Millers Tenure:
• MLBPA executive director from 1966-82
• Negotiated first collective bargaining agreement in professional sports in 1968
• Helped players negotiate right to arbitration in 1970, leading to free agency in 1975
• Guided players through three strikes and two lockouts
• Minimum salary was $6,000 when he joined MLBPA in 1968; was $33,500 when he left in 1982; was $480,000 in 2012.
Let The Debate Begin!!!
The steroid era of MLB Hall of Fame begins in earnest as Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Sammy Sosa are on the HOF ballot for the first time. We all know that Mark McGuire (has never received more than 24% of the vote) has been stymied as has Rafael Palmerio (has received no higher than 12.6% of the vote. All these players have the statistics worthy of election to the Hall Of Fame, but have tested positive or have been suspected of taking illegal substances.
Other first time players on the ballot are Craig Biggio, Mike Piazza and Curt Schilling. These players will join Jack Morris, Jeff Bagwell and Tim Raines, who were among the highest vote getters from last years voting.
This week we start out with the great and powerful SEC, and their premiere team (#1) Alabama'a match up with SEC newcomer (#15) Texas A&M, who finished 6th in the Big-12 last year...Oh, what ever could the lowly Aggies do against the almighty Crimson Tide?
Let's switch that to Crimson Stain....Because 'Bama shit the bed Saturday, falling behind A&M 20-0 in the first quarter...Alabama struggled to fight their way back, and got themselves in position to take the lead...29-24 A&M is ahead..."Bama is driving...And then they shit the bed some more, as A. J. McCarron threw an INT at the goal line with a minute and a half left...
But wait, there's more...The Aggies ran the ball three times...'Bama holds, and uses time outs to save as much clock as possible...4th and short...A&M set to punt...'Bama jumps the neutral zone...FIRST DOWN AGGIES! Game over! Eat a dick overrated Alabama...And eat a dick overrated SEC...As every team you have tried to hang your hat on this season, has fallen on their face!
Aggies young, star QB, Johnny Manziel had a big day, passing for 253 yards, and 2 TD's, while rushing for 92 yards...This kid has a bright future ahead of him folks!
-Next we take a look at another SEC darling...(#7) Florida who was at home against Louisiana-Lafayette...This game was way too close if you're a Gator fan...How close? Florida returned a blocked punt for a TD wit two seconds left, to take the lead, and win...Yes, Florida has had a better team than people expected, but when you struggle against ULL, it proves you weren't ready for prime time...
-Speaking of not ready for prime time...(#9) Louisville did what all Big East teams do...Remind us that the Big East is garbage...The Cardinals went down to Syracuse...Syracuse...Thanks to Louisville, these Orange dopes are now a .500 team...Louisville gave up 278 rushing yards to the 'Cuse, as the Orange won 45-26....Louisville QB Teddy Bridgewater passed for 424 yards and 3 TD's, and it just wasn't going to be enough on senior day in Syracuse...
-(#2) Kansas State went to Fort Worth to take on TCU, looking to jump up to the #1 spot, with Alabama falling to Texas A&M...Collin Klein and company didn't put up huge numbers this, as they battled and grinded out a tough 23-10 win against the Horn Frogs...The talking heads already have (#3) Oregon leap-frogging to number 1, but I've got K-State at the top spot...Especially since, as I write this, Cal is only down 17-10 against the Ducks, and it's almost halftime...Normally Oregon has hung 50 on teams by this point...
-The (#11) Oregon State Beavers were having a heck of a season until they took their second loss in three weeks...This time at the hands of the (#14) Stanford Cardinal, 27-23...With Cal and Oregon left, Oregon State's season is just going to get tougher...While Stanford heads to Oregon and then to UCLA to finish out their year...I guess their road won't be too easy either...
-Next up, the (#4) Notre Dame Fighting Irish went to Chestnut Hill to face Boston College...
The Irish pounded out 3 long scoring drives, one in each of the first three quarters...They also had another good one going in the 2nd, but it was ended by a George Atkinson fumble...the first of two fumbles forced by BC...Both were good defensive plays, but the Irish defense made sure to keep the Eagles out of the end zone, as the Irish stayed undefeated with a 21-6 victory...
It seems each week, we see a little bit more growth, and confidence in red-shirt freshman QB, Everett Golson...Saturday he passed for 200 yards and 2 TD's, and rushed for 39 yards and another TD...Theo Riddick showed off his versatility rushing for 104 yards and catching 4 passes for 56yards...TE Tyler Eifert continued to improve his draft stock, with 6 catches for 67 yards...But more then that, the most improvement in his game, has been in his blocking...NFL teams gotta love a 6-6, 250 pound TE with great hands, good speed, great jumping ability, and excellent blocking skills...
Next for the Irish, they'll be at home against Wake Forest...Then they head to (#19) USC to finish out the season...The Trojans by the way, worked over Arizona State, 38-17...
-This week's Big Ten highlights...That just sounds silly...The Big Ten is such crap this year...Nothing like your conference's best team being under sanctions, so everything they do means nothing...
(#16) Nebraska had to come from behind to beat Pedo-Cover-Up University, 32-23...Then Michigan beat (#24) Northwestern 38-31 in OT...
-As for (#3) Oregon at Cal...While the Bears have been playing tough, the Ducks have started to do their thing, and have gone up 45-17at the start the 4th quarter...So I'm assuming they will hold on to win...I'm off to bed...We'll see tomorrow...