Well folks, it's been a crazy week for yours truly down at the nut factory... but crazy in a good way! Found out Thursday that I'm getting a raise after just a week on the job (although it is just an annual cost of living adjustment of 3%), but hell, they could've not given it to me. Pretty freaking awesome. Still getting used to the hair and beard net... but I get it... nobody wants beard hair in their bag of nuts... so I'm good with that. They even trust me enough already to make adjustments in the system... so things are looking up there. Can't complain about a damn thing there really!
As for the world of sports... not a whole lot to complain about there, either! The Tigers are back in action down in Lakeland, Florida, NFL free agency is set to kick off in just four days now! Teams can start negotiating this weekend! As for the NBA/NHL, they're still happening... but I really don't care a whole lot for some reason. Don't get me wrong, if I catch a good looking game at the right time that happens to be on I'll stop and watch it, but football and baseball are always king in my mind.
On that note... it was great to watch LeBron James miss two free throws in the final seconds of a loss that would have given the Cavs the lead against the Rockets on Sunday. Any shit talking tweets about Kevin Love now, Bron Bron... you fucking dolt!
So far this "spring", we've had nothing but shitty weather here in Michigan. The current forecast has some more normal temperatures coming our way next week... but all in all we've had it a lot easier than most folks out there... especially you guys over in Boston. God bless you all... I couldn't do that every year! Hopefully we're watching the last of this shitty winter fly past now though, and we've got nothing but sunnier, warmer weather coming our way!
One thing that should warm you up... Spring Training has sprung! The Tigers got underway on Wednesday against the team that unceremoneously dumped them out of the playoffs last year, the Baltimore Orioles, and gave the O's a 15-3 spanking to start the year off on the right foot. Even better news... newly acquired OF Yeonis Cespedes hit a grand slam and Ian Kinsler homered as well in the win.
The best news of all for Tiger fans... Justin Verlander says he feels 100% better than he did in 2014 to start spring training. Hopefully this means we'll have our ace back... with David Price to back him up and a 3-5 of Sanchez, Simon, and Green/Loebstein to boot. Not a bad rotation... maybe not Washington Nationals good, but good enough to compete in the AL Central, which should be pretty damn competitive this year with the Tigers, Indians, White Sox, and Royals all having high hopes for 2015.
Around MLB, one of the bigger stories of the week is what Daniel Murphy had to say about the "homosexual lifestyle", namely that he dissapproves of it. Evidently that is all you need to say these days to become a fucking pariah. As I've said before many, many times... I personally do not have any issue with homosexuality. I don't give two shits what someone's sexual preference is... it doesn't have a damn thing to do with me! I'd say a solid 99% of people out there are more religious than I am... and according to their gospel homosexuality is immoral... so obviously they have some issue with it.
Murphy happens to be one of those people. While he did say he disagrees with it, he also said he has no problems with the gentleman on a personal level. He never said we need to banish homsexuality, he simply disagrees with it. He never said they should be stoned to fucking death... just that he disagrees with it. So where is the crime here? Why all the fucking outrage? Evidently disagreeing with anything the Liberal media holds dear is enough to get you fucking ostercized these days. The PC world we live in today is miles away from the America I knew and loved. How pathetic is all of this? How pathetic is it that we've allowed "tolerance" to herd us into a pen of blind fucking obediance? Obey or be a fucking outcast... well kiss my outcast ass.
My biggest problem here is that the Liberal side tends to bash Christians/Catholics at every opportunity, yet they kiss the ass of Islam every chance they get. The most homophobic, anti-woman, anti-freedom religious practice out there and these shit stains can't stop slobbering all over its knob. I really wish there was some way to round up and mass exterminate Liberals... more and more it is becoming less of a political ideaology and more of a fucking mental disorder! Not that uber Conservatives are any better... but at least when they ran the roost this country had a fucking pair, as opposed to today.
Bad news for San Francisco fans... Hunter Pence will now miss 6-8 weeks with a broken arm. He was hurt after being hit by a pitch against the Cubs in an exhibition game.
But that rant aside, there is an actual cool story out there in Major League Baseball. Our old pal Frag has been covering the Toronto Blue Jays for FanSided recently, and he's told the story a few times of a whacky young kid in their system by the name of Daniel Norriss. The guy was a high draft pick and has some serious quirks... including the fact that he lives in an old school VW camper during spring training! The biggest reason I started following the guy, I happened to pull an autograph rookie card of his when I bought a clearance box of baseball cards around a year ago... the fact that Frag was covering the Jays and giving me updates on the guy was just a coincidence really. Would be pretty cool to see him become a star... mostly so I can cash in that card and maybe add a bit more to my vintage collection!
As for NFL Free Agency, the biggest name out there is obviously going to be Ndamukong Suh. The Lions declined the option to use a franchise tag on him this past week, and now he's free to negotiate with any team he chooses. The word is that he's just out for the biggest possible contract he can get... which is probably the only reason he's considering the Oakland Raiders, who have scheduled a meeting with him.
As for the idiots putting these up... don't act like he isn't doing exactly what the fuck you would be doing in his situation. He's going to go where they're willing to pay him the most money... of course... and you're going to continue to sit, watch, and wish you had a marketable fucking skill someone was willing to pay you that sort of money for so you could even fathom the decision he's set to make in the next few days. Fucking fanboys... some of em just drive me up a wall!
The biggest NFL news of the day is the Patriots chosing to let DT Vince Wilfork walk after declining his option. Personally if I'm the Lions, I let Suh walk and get Wilfork, who will cost you a helluva lot less money, and give you a much bigger return in terms of leadership and mentorship for younger guys. Wonder how Patriot fan feels about this one...
Defensive tackles seem to be all the rage this offseason, and the Arizona Cardinals made a big splash by releasing Darnell Dockett... who turned around and decided to sign with the 49ers for two years at an insanely low rate of $7.5 million, especially considering how damn good a player Dockett is. My question to the Lions... where the hell were you on that one? But now Dockett gets two opportunities a year to show Arizona what they are missing... which could get very ugly for the Cardinals, especially if they don't get their QB situation figured out this offseason!
Hey BOB, what are your thoughts on the 49ers bringing in known dope fiend WR Jerome Simpson into the fold... and on a two year deal no less! Wonder how much of that Cali Chronic he'll be slinging out there...
One of the bigger trades you'll see in the NFL that doesn't involve a draft pick went down this week too, with LeSean McCoy going to Buffalo for LB Kiko Alonso, who missed all of 2014 with an injury. The Eagles part ways with McCoy, who didn't really fit head coach Chip Kelly's scheme, and add a much needed MLB in Alonso, while the Bills get their front line running back to replace C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson, who previously split duties, and take a ton of pressure off of E.J. Manuel or whatever other young quarterback they end up with after this offseason is over. Goes to show you just what the value of a runnig back is these days in the NFL.
Not sure if you've heard of this or not... but Spike TV has a show out these days in which kids coaches are taught anger management techniques. The issue... the host of the show is fucking Ray Lewis. Yeah, THAT Ray Lewis... the one that killed two people...
Raiders RB Maurice Jones-Drew announced his retirement yesterday. Man did he fade fast after a great start to his career.
That's all I've got this week... gotta go get ready for my Vikings fix for the week. Thanks as always for reading, and for any comments you leave on the way out. Make sure you stop in on my good friend Harvey over to the left before you navigate elsewhere today... he garauntees you your best read of the day or double your money back! Have a great weekend Gabbers.
While really sick and tired of all these snowstorms...
Don't forget to follow me on Twitter - @TheOneTrueJay
This week's story of the stupidity that infects us all centers around the University of Tulsa who apparently ignored rules at large not too mention their own rules and kicked a guy out of school for Facebook posts written by somebody else. You can check out this incredibly insane story HERE.
And if you need an example of why politicians should be considered among the lowest forms of human life, check out the story of this Montana politician and what he wants to ban.
THE PASSING OF COACHING LEGENDS
Jerry Tarkanian - On Wednesday afternoon before I went to lunch, I hopped on the computer at work to check out the news and saw the story that former UNLV coach Jerry Tarkanian had passed away.
The news broke my heart a little bit because I had been such a fan of the guy. I watched in 1990 when the Runnin' Rebels annihilated Duke in the national championship game. I watched the following year as UNLV destroyed everything in their path. I listened on the radio during their semi-final loss to Duke.
I pored over articles about the team, coach Tark and his battles with the NCAA and anything else I could get my hands on them. Hell, I even helped coach a youth league team named after the Runnin' Rebels.
The book Shark Attack detailing many of the battles coach Tarkanian had with the NCAA was a must read for me.
After being forced out / resigning from UNLV, I followed his career from the San Antonio Spurs to Fresno State and read the occasional article on him after his retirement from coaching. I reveled in his election to the Basketball Hall of Fame while simultaneously railing that the honor was so long denied (believed by more than few people due to the NCAA's influence in keeping him out.)
Despite engaging in one fight after another with "The 2 A", Tark the Shark was vindicated when he sued the organization and they eventually settled the case for $2.5 million dollars (and a public apology). And if that wasn't vindication enough, everything he said about their practices is suddenly looking very true as the scandals of the most recent past sound eerily similar to coach Tarkanian's gripes.
But he was so much more than his fights. He was a super basketball coach and one of my personal favorites. Frankly, I don't think he truly gets his due.
I'm sure that I could go on a lot longer, but instead of making my point over and over again, I'll let you read some of the articles written about him since his passing.
Sports Illustrated had a couple of pieces on Tarkanian. Tim Layden's tribute is HERE and you can read what Alexander Wolff had to say HERE. Dan Wetzel of Yahoo Sports had a great piece HERE. And here's a great read from Adrian Wojnarowski.
While I'm not in denial that Coach Tarkanian was far from an angel, he's not nearly the boogie-man the ivory tower people of the sport would have you believe either. And I know that I will definitely remember him for the good he brought to the sport I love so dearly.
By the way, if you want to see the entire game that served as his crowning glory (1990 NCAA title game), check out the link below.
Dean Smith - The week started off with the passing of the former North Carolina men's coach and a lot of the talk centered not only on his coaching accomplishments but all the off the court stuff Smith had done as well. I can't say that I followed UNC all that closely when Smith was still coaching the team, but I paid enough attention to realize that his loss leaves a vacuum in the UNC family that won't ever be filled.
Back at the start of my own coaching days, I went a long time without ever winning a championship. This place I hung out at eventually made a sign poking fun at my zero titles in all the years I'd been coaching at that point and used a photo of Dean Smith as a substitute for me. While the poster was meant in jest, the notion of being a stand in for Dean Smith struck me funny.
This past Wednesday night brought the Atlanta Hawks into town to play the Celtics. Atlanta has the best record in the Eastern Conference and you'd probably guess that they would have a relatively easy night against Boston. And for most of the game, you'd have been right.
However, despite trailing for the majority of the game, the Celtics kept within striking distance. They made a few runs to keep things close and then at the end of the game got a basket in traffic from Evan Turner (pictured below) with 0.2 seconds left on the clock. The shot put them up 89-88 and after a failed inbounds pass by the Hawks, held on by that score to stun Atlanta and raise their record to 20-31.
Turner finished the game with 12 points, 7 rebounds and 9 assists, but it was Jared Sullinger's 17 points and 15 boards that led Boston's offense on the night. Marcus Thornton added 14 points while both Avery Bradley and Marcus Smart finished with 11 points. Bradly also had 7 rebounds.
While the team's record remains in the dumper, the win over the best team in the East was a nice way to head into the All-Star break. The Celtics don't play again until February 20th. I know that it is a good time for the players to grab some much needed rest, but I'm also hoping that they don't let rust set in either.
In other NBA related news, James Dolan once again proved that as the owner of the Knicks, he's a total idiot. When a 73 year old fan sent him an email criticizing him for how the team performed, Dolan lashed out in response saying, among other things, that the fan (who's been following the Knicks for 50 years) was "sad", "probably an alcoholic" and a source of misery to his family.
And the NBA's response? No punishment whatsoever for Dolan. If Dolan was a player and had done that, he'd have gotten fined until he bled. Want proof? Just look at the case of Chris Paul criticizing a referee who called a technical foul on him. But because he criticized a female ref (with a rather pedestrian comment by the way), he got fined $25,000 dollars.
Shouldn't the owner of an NBA team be held to at least the same standard of expectation as the players?
The Sacramento Kings finally stopped letting interim coach Tyrone Corbin twist in the wind this week. After weeks of speculation, they agreed to a deal with George Karl take over the team. If you follow YouGab poster B.O.B. on Twitter, it has been a rather daunting if semi-funny few weeks. The growing fan anger towards the team management and players had become palpable. You would've thought this was the 1980's Clippers for all the dysfunction going on with the team.
It seems that Charles Barkley and Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey are involved in a "feud" that has become a minor cause celebre among NBA writers lately. Check out this Richard Deitsch SI.com article for more details.
The 15 finalists for nomination to the Basketball Hall of Fame have been announced. I know it isn't going to happen but I would love to see Bill Fitch get in.
I saw an article online this week detailing a rather skeevy story about recruiting for women's college basketall. The story originated out of Philadelphia and seems to implicate a coach at a catholic school for being responsible for smearing the name of a recruit from a school that regularly beats his team. You can read the story HERE.
Hartford - The Hawks were on the road last Sunday. They were playing Maine. I had planned to watch the game stream online, but after watching an earlier game for one of my teams end in a total blowout, I ended up deciding to skip this game. And it turned out to be a good thing for my blood pressure level as Hartford got whalloped 63-45 by the Black Bears.
Amber Bepko led Hartford with 11 points. Morgan Lumb joined her as the only other Hawks player in double figures with 10 points. Cherelle Moore had 6 points and a team high 7 rebounds. Deanna Mayza dished out 6 assists.
The Hawks were home against UMass Lowell on Saturday afternoon but came out on the short end of a 65-62 final score. Cherelle Moore scored 20 points and grabbed 7 rebounds to lead Hartford. No other Hawks player hit double figures in scoring in the game however, making it hard to counter three players in double figures for River Hawks.
Amber Bepko had 9 points for Hartford while Deanna Mayza added 8 points and 6 assists. The final two regular season games are on the road for Hartford (now 13-13, 7-5 in America East play).
Boston College Women - The second game against Notre Dame for the Eagles was the game I watched online last Sunday. And it was a disaster from the opening tip. Playing without Nicole Boudreau and Kat Cooper (suspended for violation of team rules, Kelly Hughes sat out the previous game for same reason) and the dismissal from the team of Lauren Engeln, the rout got going early as the Irish rolled to an 89-56 win.
Oddly enough, the final margin of victory was technically an improvement for the Eagles over the first game against Notre Dame. But in this game, there is no such thing as a moral victory. The Eagles crumbled against the Irish defense and committed 26 turnovers (Ashley Kelsick had 7 of those turnovers while Martina Mosetti added 8 of them.)
Emilee Daley (pictured below 1st) had a season high 18 points to go with 7 rebounds (and 5 turnovers) while Katie Quandt (pictured 2nd) added 10 points and 6 boards.
You can see highlights from the game below.
The Eagles went on the road on Thursday night to face Wake Forest. In a game that truly wasn't decided until the last shot of the game, BC picked up a 75-74 nailbiter. The game was clinched when Karima Gabriel blocked a Wake Forest shot at the buzzer. The win improves Boston College to 11-13 (3-8 in the ACC).
Kelly Hughes had a huge game to lead the Eagles. She finished with a career high 32 points (including a career high 7 made three pointers), 8 rebounds, 4 assists and 5 steals.
Katie Quandt added 10 points and a career high 4 blocked shots. Nicole Boudreau was back in action after a one game suspension, but she came off the bench instead of starting the game. She finished with 6 points, 4 rebounds, 5 assists and 5 steals. Emilee Daley scored 9 points and Martina Mosetti chipped in 8 points.
Tennessee LADY VOLS - Tennessee picked up a tight 64-56 win over Florida last Sunday. The Lady Vols trailed by 2 points at half-time but thanks to 17 points and 7 boards from Isabelle Harrison (pictured below), the team was able to come back from the small deficit to grab the victory.
Jordan Reynolds scored 13 points in the game and Jaime Nared had 10 points and 7 boards. Cierra Burdick scored 8 points and had a team high 14 rebounds.
On Thursday night, Tennessee used defense and a powerful 1-2 punch from low post players Isabelle Harrison and Bashaara Graves to but a 69-49 beatdown on Mississippi.
As a whole the team shot 52.8% from the floor for the game. They also outrebounded Ole Miss 46-29. The defense kept things tight on the Ole Miss players by not allowing a single one of them to score in double figures.
Harrison had 21 points and a season high 14 rebounds while Graves added 17 points for the Lady Vols (21-3, 11-0).
You can check out highlights from the game below.
Missouri State - Tyonna Snow (shown below) scored 15 points and grabbed 5 rebounds but it wasn't nearly enough to stop Wichita State from running away with a 69-50 victory.
On Friday night, the Bears beat Bradley 69-61 after playing a lackluster first half that caused coach Kellie Harper to blow up at her team during halftime. The win leaves Missouri State at 9-13 (6-5 in conference). Kenzie Williams (pictured below) scored 19 points and had 5 steals. She went over the 1,000 point mark for her career. And you can check out this link for a brief article leading up to the milestone for Williams.
Tyonna Snow (pictured below 1st) added 17 points and 5 steals for the game. Rachel Swartz (pictured 2nd) and Audrey Holt grabbed a team high 7 rebounds each.
Speaking of Holt, you can check out a brief story feature about her below.
Catholic University - Amber didn't get off the bench for the Cardinals on Wednesday night as the team crushed Goucher 66-42. They improved to 16-7 overall and 10-4 in conference play.
Boston College Men - The Eagles wore throwback uniforms for their game against Syracuse and found themselves running neck and neck with them for a while, but once again collapsed late in the game and lost 70-56. The way they lost was the latest in a string of similar finishes to games and it caused coach Jim Christian (pictured below) to call out his players after the game.
Aaron Brown (pictured below 1st) scored 19 points to lead BC. Olivier Hanlan added 16 points while Patrick Heckmann chipped in 7 points and 6 assists. Boston College is now 9-14 overall (1-10 in ACC play).
You can see highlights of the game below.
MISCELLANEOUS SPORTS ARTICLES OF THE WEEK
Baseball Writers - While her name might not ring a bell, Alison Gordon was a trailblazer in baseball. In 1979 she became the first female baseball beat writer (covering the Toronto Blue Jays for a total of 5 seasons). She passed away on Thursday. You can read more about her HERE.
College Football - Charlie Weis went on the record in an interview with the South Bend Tribune this week and said that it is "highly doubtful" that he'll ever coach again. You can read the story HERE.
New England Patriots - SI.com had an article on Patriots offensive line coach Dave DeGuglielmo this week. Check it out HERE.
San Franciso 49ers - Don Banks of SI.com thinks the hiring of Mike Tomsula as head coach could be a disaster.
LITTLE LEAGUE WORLD SERIES
The feel good story of the Chicago Little League team that won the U.S. title at the Little League World Series last summer has come to a crashing and crushing end. After Little League ignored initial reports about the team's alleged violations, the organization couldn't ignore the story anymore when presented with even stronger evidence that the team was put together by adults who ignored boundary rules to form the Jackie Robinson West team.
The team was stripped of the title on Wednesday and the expected firestorm began. Al Sharpton is reportedly threatening to sue Little League (and Jesse Jackson is involved too) and everyone is complaining that the team is being punished for the actions of the adults.
I just shake my head and think, "Yeah they are but the problem is that the kids should never have been a team in the first place."
The adults cheated to form the team and then made it worse by ineptly trying to cover it up. Little League was left with no choice but to strip the team of the title. You can say "Oh the adults broke the rules, but we'll let the kids keep the title."
To be clear, the kids aren't at fault. They just did what they wanted to do, play baseball and at a pretty high level. It stinks that they are no longer the champions but that's unfortunately how it goes. If those kids want to blame someone, look at the people who organized the team and broke the plain as day rules governing boundary lines.
Of course, that would make sense and you know that it NEVER going to happen now that the clown prince Sharpton is involved.
Now you might wonder how I can be in favor of the title being vacated here but was in favor of Penn State's victories being restored. In the Penn State case, no actual rules governing the games were broken. The NCAA over-reach in punishing Penn State was ridiculous in the extreme and when they saw that they were going to get hammered in the lawsuit filed against them, they walked things back.
In the case of Jackie Robinson West, actual rules governing the game were broken. There's no debating that point. And so the title had to be stripped away. Period.
Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports has an entirely different take on this story than I do. You can read that HERE.
HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL
Before we get into the hoops news, I have one bit of other high school sports related info to share. One of my former basketball players made some local news for her skills on the softball diamond this week. Rae-Lyn got selected for a team that will be going to Italy to represent the U.S.. You can read more about it HERE.
By the way, she finished 8th in the shot put at the Division 4 Track State Championships on Saturday with a throw of 32 feet 6.5 inches.
(photo by Adam Ellis of the Wareham Courier)
Upper Cape Girls Varsity - The Rams got handled relatively easily by West Bridgewater 44-31 on Wednesday night. Michaela had 3 points in the game.
The most disappointing part of the loss is that West Bridgewater was supposed to be a down team this year. They'd lost four seniors to graduation including their all-world player who scored 31 points in the state tournament game last year against Upper Cape. Instead, the team using so many underclassmen (including 7th and 8th graders because of the size of the school) actually tied for their conference championship. I'd say that's a testament to good coaching if nothing else.
But things didn't come without some strange twists. The coach was fired the day after this loss despite losing just 5 games (against 37 wins including a state title) over the last two years. I read the bare bones article about the firing in the Cape Cod Times newspaper and was amazed at the phrasing of what the school's athletic director said about the firing. Instead of a fleshed out answer, he provided an answer to why she was dismissed that left things open to wide ranging interpretation, which in this day and age, effectively ruins her reputation.
I spoke to the coach on Saturday morning and while I will not go into what was said, the firing seems rather ridiculous. I've only heard her side of things thus far but still.
Upper Cape bounced back on Thursday night with a 58-35 victory over Bristol Aggie with the athletic director (who is the school's football coach) taking over for the rest of the season as coach.
On Friday night, the team beat Old Colony 49-24 to run their record to 17-2 and 8-0 in the Mayflower Small conference. The win captured the conference title for the Rams. Michaela finished with 2 points in the Senior Night game.
You can see a pic below of the 5 seniors honored. Michaela is second from the left and Laurina (who spent the season playing JV) is on the far right. (Photo by Adam Ellis of the Wareham Courier).
I haven't been to many of the team's games recently. It was mostly due to the fact we've had all the storms and it played havoc on the schedule. But apparently my absence has been noted because a parent sent me a tweet asking where I've been and if I was OK.
The team's regular season finale on Saturday afternoon was against West Bridgewater and for the second time in less than a week, Upper Cape got skunked. This time around the final score was 59-43. The loss ends their regular season at 17-3. Michaela had 13 points in the game.
The team will be the #1 seed in the state vocational tournament, where they are the defending champions. They'll host the first round game sometime in the coming week. And they await their seeding in the regular state tournament which won't be announced until next weekend.
Sturgis East Girls Varsity - The Storm had 3 games this week. They won the first two games to raise their record to 6-8. Isabella didn't score in either game as Sturgis East beat Cape Tech 52-33 and then beat them again (crazy snow schedule) 44-32.
Thursday night ended up being a special kind of night for the Storm. Not only did the beat Cape Cod Academy 59-21 for their third win in a row, but their top player became the first girl in school history to top the 1,000 point mark.
It was a tough game in the first half with neither the team or the player able to establish themselves and take command of the game. But with the game being their last home game of the season, the woke up in the third quarter to put on a 27-2 run to win going away.
The player, a girl named Meaghan (pictured below holding the ball with her teammates including Isabella #44), broke the 1,000 point mark and helped keep her team's chances for the state tournament alive. If they win their last two games of the season, they are in. The Sturgis East record right now is 7-8. By the way, Isabella had 4 points in the game.
Wareham Boys Varsity - The Vikings rolled to an 84-43 blowout against Seekonk. It was the team's 10th straight win. Mark had 12 points in the game and Josh had 2 points.
The team's run of conference titles came to an end on Friday night despite a 67-52 victory over Apponequet. Old Rochester won their game and clinched the SCC championship outright. Wareham is 16-3 with a 12-2 conference record.
Wareham Girls Varsity - The Vikings fell to 11-8 for the season after losing to Apponequet 55-30. Tieyanna and Erica each scored 2 points in the game.
Bishop Stang Boys Varsity - The Spartans beat Westport 76-57 on Saturday afternoon. Jake hit a school record 9 three pointers and finished with 29 points in the game.
Bristol-Plymouth Girls Varsity - After missing Savahna's game last Friday because of car trouble, I was happy to get a message from her mom that her Senior Night game had been moved to this past Wednesday in order to avoid Thursday snow. So I left work a little early and drove up to the school. I got their at the same time as most of her family so we walked in together. Savahna saw us all come in and came over to say hi. After greeting her dad, she surprised the heck out of me and gave me a hug and thanked me for coming.
Once the ceremony was over, Savahna got the start in the game against Southeastern and actually had a lot of playing time in the game. While she didn't have any points on the night (0-4 from the floor, 0-2 from the foul line), she grabbed 6 rebounds, had 2 steals and an assist. She also forced a jump ball and had 2 turnovers. She also played well on defense. The team as a whole played the best game that I've been in attendance to see over the course of the four years I've been going to see Savahna play. They ended up winning 39-22.
After the game I walked over to Savahna because we were going to take a photo together. As I get closer to her, she looks at me and says, "I know...I didn't score". Ahhh the old lessons never die...try as I might I could never get any of my players to understand that it is not just scoring that matters.
As I was leaving I told her how very proud of her I was for sticking it out for all four years. It is something I like to see from the players I've coached, but unfortunately it is not all that common for them. A lot switch to other sports or just stop playing entirely. So Savahna playing all four years was something that did indeed make me quite proud of her.
TV - You can check out the recap article for the "The Nuclear Man" episode of The FlashHERE. As for the recap of the "Canaries" episode of Arrow, you can read that via this link.
The star of the Arrow TV show did a great thing recently helping a family out as they recover from the tragedy of losing their child. You can read all about in the words of the mother HERE.
Books - I managed to finish another book this week. This time is was another Star Trek novel. It was the 2nd book in the five book story arc "The Fall" called The Crimson Shadow. The book was written by Una McCormack. The story centers around the political intrigue and chicanery on one of the alien worlds featured heavily in a couple of the TV shows. The author did a bang up job crafting the story and kept things moving briskly.
I also picked up the 2nd book in the Fina Ludlow series by Ingrid Thoft called Identity and I bought the Karin Slaughter novel Cop Town. I haven't read anything by the author previously but I saw her interviewed as part of a roundtable discussion with a few other authors and when I read the synopsis of the book it sounded really interesting. The first book made my Top 10 Mystery and Thrillers of 2014 list so I'm hoping to really like this new story.
Music - I picked up the new U.D.O. album Decadent this week. Since I called dibs on reviewing the disc for KNAC.com, I'm sure you'll be able to expect that review sooner rather than later.
This week's new music to check out comes in the form of the title track to the new Europe CD "War of Kings" and the new Nightwish song "Elan" from their upcoming CD Endless Forms Most Beautiful.
The geek in me is back. Its been a week since the Super Bowl and I still can’t stop watching “the pick.” It had been 7-years since David Tyree and the “helmet catch,” and it was at that point I felt my emotional investment in this team crashed harder than my grandfathers’ life savings in 1929. They’d been to another Super Bowl since then...and lost it in similarly bizarre fashion. It sucked, but by that poiint, I was emotionally numb.
This game was not dissimilar - by the time that Kearse bobbled the catch and eventually caught it, I’d already flashed back to Tyree and Manningham… Imagine then a closing chapter that rewrote that history. Instead of allowing Lynch to run the ball in (a la Ahmad Bradshaw), Belichick rolled the dice on a defensive stop. In the game was lightly used Malcolm Butler, and yet he was fully prepared. He had practiced this play. He read Wilson, jumped the route and made the pick. This time history would be different.
I’ve gone completely overboard, really. It’s all I’ve wanted to talk about. It’s all I’ve wanted to see. I went through all my old memorabilia from the previous three championships. If you look around through my “archives,” you would never know Super Bowl XLVI or that the Pats had been 2-minutes from 19-0. None. Didn’t happen. I have trinkets from Super Bowl XX - a game in which New England scored the games’ first 3 points and then proceeded to become Chicago’s bitch. I have trinkets from 1997 - a game the Pats could have won...but didn’t. But 2007 and 2011 - wiped from the record.
1985 wasn’t supposed to happen. 1997 was a great run, but again, while I wanted something different, I didn’t expect the Packers to lose. 2001 was a gift from the football gods. By the time 2007 rolled around, the Pats were SUPPOSED to win. And therein lies in the problem: I had become that which I dispise. The stereotypical Yankees fan, or just as bad, a 1980’s vintage 49ers fan. And leave it to a team from New York to squash me.
All that angst with which I’d come to define myself by my 30’s was back...and I now hated it. Before 2001, I’d reveled in being a down and out Boston fan. My teams were always going to break my heart. But then, they didn’t. And didn’t and didn’t. But then they did again, but for a different reason. Before it was so close, now it was they should win. No wonder people hate the Patriots: it’s as much the fan base as the team.
That’s a hard realization to make.
The "Obnoxious Boston Fan" on boston.com really nails it: "The Red Sox would lose Game 7 of the World Series four consecutive times from 1946-86. In just the past 30 years, the Celtics crumbled in Game 7 to the Lakers in 2010 despite having the lead in the final quarter. They were also defeated by the Lakers in the 1985 and '87 Finals. The Bruins allowed two goals in just 17 seconds in final 90 seconds before losing Game 6 of the 2013 Stanley Cup Finals. They had to watch the Blackhawks then lift the Cup on the TD Garden Ice. They also witnessed the Edmonton Oilers hoist the Cup after a sweep and game called due to a blackout in 1988. The same outcome happened in five games just two years later." Thing is though, it was the Patriots losses that were crushing, and it took this win to snap me out of it. OBF also pulls out the quote for the title of this blog today: "Every once in a while, I had to take a beating. By then, I didn't care. The way I saw it, everybody takes a beating sometime." I needed to take those emotional beatings to make me remember this feeling.
Additional Notes: For the week running up to the game, “DeflateGate” all but disappeared. For the last week, it’s been AWOL. Now, it takes the NTSB a week or so to investigate a train crash, but we’re now a month into this nonsense without any resolution - just drip drip drip. I’ve been trolling Bob Kravitz’ twitter account - the watercarrier for the Colts has had nothing to say. Troy Vincent confirmed that it was in fact the Colts GM who kicked off the hubbub, which is to me the first hint where the investigation is going, as a few days ago it was revealed that there was in fact only one ball that had been deflated by 2 PSI from regulation...the one the Colts had in their possession. Of course Kravitz has had ZERO to say about that. He had said this was the biggest story he’d ever broken, and I’m sure it’s going to turn out that he only got that because the team knew he’d ballwash for them. What a loser. Now, we all know nothing is going to come from this - the officials don’t log the pressure, all that - but it does strike me that it makes for a more compelling argument that the Colts actually manipulated the balls, and frankly makes for a more intellectually valid argument than cold weather deflated the balls - given we don’t know when or under what circumstances they were measured. “The ones who hate me the most are the ones who don’t scare me.” – Rebecca McKinsey
Kam Chancellor played the Super Bowl with a torn MCL . Now, I already knew this cat was tough, but there has to be something said about how completely badass this guy is. The best I got is Tom Brady still had the flu during the game, but that just doesn’t even come close.
Some 20-odd years after grad school, I still correspond with one of my professors - mostly around football, he being a Steelers fan. He gave me enough grief over the ball deflation thing, that I decided it was appropriate to send him a Patriots knit cap. I’m looking forward to his response to that.
The same day Jerry Rice, a member of that detestable 49ers team discussed earlier, declared that he thought the Patriots were cheaters because they were looking for an edge outside the rules (again, an assertion that may just be fiction - but why let a little due process get in the way), it was revealed he used stickum that was prohibited by the league. His defense? “Everyone was doing it” with an additional “#evenplayingfield” hashtag. Seriously dude? You perfidious punk. You hear “culture of cheating,” all over the place about the Pats, yet no one can actually point to anything - sure, you’ll get talk about “SpyGate” but even that was WAY smaller than what the general public seems to think. The fact is the Pats have won, Belichick is maniacally driven to win, knows the rules inside and out and will push the bounds of the rules - which does not make a cheater. “Creative people are often found either disagreeable or intimidating by mediocrities”
While lamenting that the car had to be put in the shop on Friday...
Don't forget to follow me on Twitter - @TheOneTrueJay
If you missed my blog post from earlier this week covering last Sunday's basketball games and news on a WNBA return by former Boston College star Carolyn Swords, you can check it out HERE.
New England Patriots - Do Your Job? I guess we can now say "Done Your Job".
The Patriots 28-24 win over the Seahawks in Super Bowl 49 had everything you could possibly have wanted in a championship clash. While I would've been very disappointed had the Patriots lost, if I am being honest this was a heck of a game from both teams.
I watched the first half of the game with my mom and things started out slow but decent. I was decked out in my Patriots gear of course and when Tom Brady threw that interception to Jeremy Lane (see below), my heart came crashing down.
But that play, as bad as it was, turned out to be a key factor in the game. After coming down with the ball, Lane broke his wrist (the pictures online were quite gross) and he was replaced with Tharold Simon. And Tom Brady just torched Simon for most of the game. He eventually hit three of his four TD passes against Simon.
The Patriots getting on the board first with a TD pass to Brandon Lafell (see below) had me cheering. As soon as I stopped, I immediately thought, "Man, Lafell has been such a fantastic pickup this year and now it pays off for him with a TD in the Super Bowl. Bet Chad Johnson wishes he'd learned the playbook!"
Seattle wasn't firing on all cylinders for most of the first half, but they did tie the game at 7 thanks to a 3 yard TD run by Marshawn Lynch. Lynch finished with 102 yards rushing. And while he did have a number of nice runs, including the last run, the Patriots much maligned run defense did manage to stop him at those moments when they ABSOLUTELY had to.
A Rob Gronkowski TD catch (see below) put the Patriots up 14-7 with about 30 seconds left in the first half, I have to say that I was feeling pretty confident of going into the break with a lead. Stupid me!
Instead, the Seahawks went on an 80 yard drive and went against conventional football wisdom to score the game tying touchdown with 2 seconds left. Talk about a deflated feeling. The Patriots played some of the worst 2 minute drill defense I've ever seen and Seattle picked them apart.
The key figure in that drive was receiver Chris Matthews. He caught the TD pass from Russell Wilson, as well as three other receptions. He likely would've been the MVP of the game if Seattle had one. The most amazing thing about his game was that those four catches were the first he'd had all season. Hell, he was working at a Foot Locker before getting the call to try out for the team.
In the second half, Seattle's offense got rolling. They hit a field goal to take a 17-14 lead and then with the Patriots offense sputtering, they got a TD catch from Doug Baldwin and had a commanding 24-14 lead.
Truthfully, I was a little bit distraught at this point. The Patriots were looking bad and Seattle's defense wasn't the kind to give up a lot of points in the fourth quarter. Yes, I had my moment of doubt. Stupid me again...then the Patriots got rolling on their own.
With the run game practically non-existent, everything came down to Tom Brady's arm once again. And despite another gawdawful interception, he rose to the challenge one more time.
Brady hit Danny Amendola (see below) for a TD to make it 24-21.
He used Shane Vereen as a pass catcher out of the back field to pick up first downs. And when the drives looked like they were going to stall out, he picked up big first downs by hitting Gronkowski and Julian Edelman.
After defensive stops, the Patriots managed to move down the field once more and Brady put the Patriots ahead when he hit Edelman with his fourth TD pass of the game (see below).
I was going out of my head cheering when Edelman scored, but then I saw that there were still 2 minutes on the clock. "Oh crap," I said, "Please don't let them fuck this up!"
And it looked, at first, like the football gods were not listening or simply wanted to torture me and fellow Patriots fans because Seattle started their last drive with a 31 yard pass to Marshawn Lynch. And then came this admittedly spectacular catch by Jermaine Kearse (see below), that had me cursing his name and the Patriots defense.
The ball is on the six yard line and every Pats fan had to think that defeat was about to be snatched from the jaws of victory. Seattle ran the ball with Lynch and he picked up five yards to put the ball at the one yard line with about 40 seconds to go.
Everyone knew what the next play was going to be. It was hand the ball to Lynch and watch him barrel through the defense for the game winning score.
Everone except for the Seattle offensive coordinator it seems. And/or Pete Carroll. (You think Packers coach Mike McCarthy is breathing a sigh of relief now that he isn't the coach that made the worst play calling decision of this year's playoffs?)
What happened has already been tagged as the worst play call in Super Bowl and maybe football history. Seattle threw the ball on second down at the one yard line and an undrafted rookie name Malcolm Butler, who had been victimized two plays before on the Kearse catch, stepped into Patriots lore forever when he jumped the route and intercepted the ball to set off a wild celebration as he clutch the ball and fell down at the one yard line!
Okay, I lost it! I was screaming joy. I know, I know there was still 20 seconds left and anything could happen. But this was freaking awesome! And then the last 20 seconds ticked off the clock and MY New England Patriots were the...
I was screaming in joy, I screamed out the door in celebration and I came back in and whooped it up some more!
Bill Belichick (pictured below) led his team on a focused march from that very bad loss to Kansas City where everyone was jumping off the bandwagon or at the very least questioning just what the hell was going on with the team. Distractions, controversies and what have you...he and the team was on to whatever came next.
Tom Brady (see below) threw for 328 yards and 4 TDs in his 3rd Super Bowl MVP performance. He set a few records along the way as well (I'll let you look those up on your own). He did get sacked twice and had those two INTs but strange how winning cures all ills, isn't it?
It was great to see the players celebrating joyously like Gronkowski (6 catches for 68 yards and that TD) or like Brandown Browner who appeared overcome with emotion.
The defense had their moments to shine in the game besides Butler's INT. Rob Ninkovich (pictured 1st), Darrelle Revis and Chandler Jones (pictured 2nd) all sacked Russell Wilson in the game.
Julian Edelman (below 1st) had 9 catches for 109 yards and the game winning TD while Shane Vereen (pictured 2nd) had 11 catches for 64 yards with each catch seemingly the most important play the Pats needed at a given time.
And while a brawl broke out at the very end of the game, a nice moment of sportsmanship was seen when Richard Sherman and Tom Brady shook hands.
The Sports Illustrated cover for this week:
And of course there was merchandise to buy! The locker room T-shirt was ordered first and then there is a championship jacket that my mom is paying for half of as my birthday present this year.
And while I know that they are going to hate us because they ain't us, I'm going to enjoy this winning feeling. Thank you and good night!
By the way, if you want to check out some fan reactions to the end of the game, check out the video below.
Cleveland Browns - Cleveland has had a really bad week. My friend Chad must be banging his head against the nearest solid surface. First, the NFL suspended Josh Gordon for at least a year for a violation of the substance abuse policy. Then came the news that backup QB Johnny Manziel has entered rehab.
And just yesterday, the news broke on a national level that the team is being investigated for breaking the league's electronic communication policy. According to the story I read, club GM Ray Farmer (pictured below) is the point man and the team could be in big trouble for his texts to the sideline during games.
The Celtics have put together a nice little run lately. They picked up three more wins this week after beating the Knicks, Nuggets and Sixers. I know that none of these opponents is all that good, but a win is a win.
Boston beat the Knicks 108-97 after jumping out to a 14-2 lead to start the game. The quick start was attributed to lineup changes made my coach Brad Stevens.
Avery Bradley (pictured below) scored 26 points to lead the Celtics while Jared Sullinger had 22 points, 9 rebounds and 6 assists.
Marcus Smart and Jae Crowder added 13 points apiece and Brandon Bass had 12 points.
On Wednesday, the Celtics built up a nice lead but had to hold off a Denver rally before prevailing 104-100. Marcus Thornton (pictured below) and Avery Bradley scored 17 points apiece to pace the Celtics offense.
Tyler Zeller (pictured below) and Jae Crowder hit for 14 points each. Jared Sullinger was late to the game and was benched until the start of the 2nd quarter. He still managed to finish with 14 points and 7 boards. Evan Turner finished with 7 points, 8 rebounds and 8 assists.
Friday night saw the Sixers come to town. The Celtics were less than gracious hosts for most of the game and came out with a 107-96 win that improved them to 19-30 on the season.
The Celtics led 60-42 at halftime and built a 70-49 lead to start the second half. But as is usually the case, they ended up playing a bad stretch of basketball (14-16 minutes worth according to post game comments by coach Brad Stevens) and let the Sixers claw all the way back into the game. With about 7 1/2 minutes left in the game, the Sixers were down just 83-80.
However, the Celtics responded, got their offense straightened out and captured the win. Jared Sullinger (pictured below) had 22 points, 8 rebounds and 7 assists (new career high) to lead Boston's 6 players in double figures.
Avery Bradley added 18 points and Tyler Zeller finished with 16 points and 9 rebounds.
On Saturday night, the Celtics saw their three game win streak come to an end with a 96-93 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks. Jared Sullinger (see below) led six Boston players in double figures with 17 points and 7 boards.
Meanwhile, Evan Turner's stat line looked like the winning combination on a slot machine. He scored 7 points, had 7 rebounds and dished out 7 assists.
The Celtics finish their week with a 19-31 record.
In other league news, the Orlando Magic fired coach Jacque Vaughn this week. The team was 15-37 this year and Vaughn had a 58-158 record in 2 plus seasons. So arguing for him staying on the job might have presented anyone with some issues to overcome. But I did find it a little strange that the team's GM is staying on in his job despite the fact that he's the one that put the roster together that can't really compete.
The WNBA season got a rather sizeable shakeup months before it even starts. Earlier this week, Phoenix Mercury star Diana Taurasi announced she is skipping the upcoming season in order to rest. This is being done at the behest of her Russian team. And making the story even more interesting is that the Russian club is going to be paying her to take the summer off. You can read more HERE.
Catholic University - The Cardinals lost to Elizabethtown 63-58 on Wednesday night. They rebounded from that loss to beat Drew 60-52 on Saturday afternoon. They are now 15-7 overall and 9-4 in Landmark conference play. Amber didn't see any action in either game.
Boston College Men - Olivier Hanlan (seen below) had a 28 point scoring performance against Notre Dame this week but it went for naught as the Fighting Irish, ranked 10th in the country, came out on top 71-63.
Aaron Brown (pictured below) chipped in 13 points and 8 rebounds while Dennis Clifford added 6 points and 7 boards.
On Saturday, BC was tied with North Carolina at halftime but the Tar Heels took over in the 2nd half and won 79-68. The loss drops the Eagles to 9-13, with a 1-9 conference record.
Olivier Hanlan (shown below 1st) scored a season high 30 points (with a team high 5 turnovers). Aaron Brown (shown 2nd) added 18 points and 6 rebounds.
You can see highlights of the game below.
Hartford - The Hawks got a late basket from Deanna Mayza and two foul shots from Amber Bepko to hold off Binghamton 51-46 and raise their record to 14-12 (7-3 in America East play). Bepko finished the game with 18 points and 6 boards. Cherelle Moore scored 13 points and grabbed a team high 8 rebounds
Mayza scored just 5 points including that late score which helped to offset her seven (of the team's 19 for the game) turnovers.
Boston College Women - The Eagles hosted Clemson on Thursday night and it was a big night for members of the freshman class. Ashley Kelsick, Katie Quandt (#42 pictured below 1st) and Martina Mosetti each scored 14 points to lead the Eagles to a 68-53 victory, their second (2-7) ACC win of the season. Overall, Boston College is now 10-12. Kelsick added 6 rebounds and 4 assists and Quandt had 4 rebounds. Mosetti (pictured below 2nd) had 5 rebounds and tied her career high of 7 assists.
Emilee Daley (shown below 1st) scored 13 points and grabbed a career high 9 rebounds while Nicole Boudreau (pictured 2nd) tallied 11 points.
You can check out highlights of the game and then the post game press conference with Coach Erik Johnson and Martina Mosetti below.
HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL
Upper Cape Girls Varsity - Michaela scored 6 points in Upper Cape's 51-36 victory over Blue Hills on Wednesay night. It was their first game Rams after 10 days off due to winter snowstorms.
But things seemed to catch up to the Rams when they played a makeup game against Sacred Heart on Thursday night. They hadn't been able to practice for two weeks and when you factor in that Sacred Heart played Upper Cape very tight the first time around, one of the only teams that have remotely challenged the Rams all season, the result wasn't all that much of a surprise. This time around, the Saints got a 20 point performance from one of their players and took advantage of Upper Cape's complete lack of offensive cohesion. The final score was 38-23 in favor of Sacred Heart, the lowest point total for Upper Cape this season.
On Friday night, their offense struggled in the first half and they led by just two points at the break. But they got going in the second half and beat Norfolk Aggie 54-34. Michaela didn't score in the game as Upper Cape raised their record to 14-1. They remain a perfect 6-0 in conference play.
Bishop Stang Boys Varsity - The Spartans dropped their game against Bishop Feehan 70-58 despite a season high 19 points from Jake.
Stang routed Coyle-Cassidy on Friday night 84-44. The win raises their record to 9-6 (4-3 in conference) and leaves them one win short of qualifying for the state tournament. Jake had 11 points in the game.
Wareham Boys Varsity - My ex-player Mark scored 9 points as the Vikings knocked off Cardinal Spellman 81-62.
On Friday night, Wareham had a rematch against Bourne. The Canalmen had beaten Wareham earlier in the season, a loss that will likely cost Wareham a chance to extend their conference championship streak. The Vikings worked up a nice lead but saw it disappear with a late Bourne rally and the game went to overtime. One of Wareham's players (not one of mine) had a huge night offensively. Andy finished with 42 points (including 22 made foul shots). He shined brightest in the overtime period as Wareham took the game 84-78. The win leaves them at 14-3 (10-2 in conference). Josh had 2 points in the game.
Bristol-Plymouth Girls Varsity - B-P had three games this week. They started off with a 43-37 loss to Old Colony. Savahna hit two foul shots in the game. On Wednesday night, they destroyed South Shore Voc-Tech 43-16. Savahna told me that she had a bunch of rebounds in the game.
On Friday, I was supposed to go see Savahna play against Tri-County Voc-Tech, but I ended up missing the game because of car trouble. In a way, it was a good thing that I wasn't able to go because B-P got whipped 46-20. If the loss itself wasn't bad enough, the win gave Tri-County the conference championship. B-P's offense was nearly non-existent in the second half with the team managing just 5 points.
On Saturday, they had a game against West Bridgewater and lost 54-30.
Wareham Girls Varsity - The Vikings knocked off Bourne 44-26 this week to raise their record to 11-7 (8-4 in conference). Tieyanna and Gabby (#10 in blue below from an earlier game this season) scored 6 points apiece in the game. Erica added 3 points. The team has spent the second half looking completely different from how they started out the season. You can read more about the changes that have come over the course of the season HERE.
Sturgis East Girls Varsity - It was an eventful week for the Storm. They had 2 games to play and they had to do it while adjusting to a coaching change. The head coach of the team resigned for personal reasons and the assistant coach was handed the interim tag.
The first game was against Sturgis West and the East team came out with a 35-30 victory. Isabella didn't score in the game but she did make an appearance in four of the Cape Cod Times online picture gallery photos that went with the game. She's just a cameo player in three of the photos but the one below is of her making a play for a loose ball. She's in the white uniform with her face obscured by her arm.
On Saturday, the team played St. John Paul II and got stomped 50-20. The loss left them at 4-8 overall and 2-6 in conference play. The one positive note from this loss comes on an individual level for Isabella. She led the team in scoring with 9 points. I'm not positive, but I'm pretty sure that's the first time she has topped the scoring chart for her team.
MISCELLANEOUS SPORTS ARTICLES OF THE WEEK
I originally read this article in the print edition of Sports Illustrated a couple weeks back. The magazine's website just posted it online on Friday Feb. 6th. The article is an in-depth feature on former Yale swimmer Tony Blake that made for some fascinating reading. Here's the link.
Books - I finished reading the Robert K. Lewis mystery Untold Damage this week. It is the debut novel from the author and (obviously) first in his Mark Mallen series.
The opening line of the book is "Mallen woke up with the needle still in his arm". It was a very effective way to grab the reader's attention and send them on a pretty interesting journey. The book did move a little slow at times but it was a pretty good read.
I sent a tweet out to the author (who responded) and the publisher (who retweeted it) and I'm looking forward to reading the second book in the series. The author said the second book is the Empire Strikes Back to the first book being Star Wars.
TV - Just another reminder that the second half of The Walking Dead season premieres tonight at 9pm EST on AMC.
If you watch the HBO series Game of Thrones, you are familiar with the guy who plays the character called "The Mountain". He's a huge guy and apparently takes part in European strongman competitions. Recently it was reported that he broke a 1,000 year old Viking strength record. You can read about it HERE.
Netflix will premiere the entire 13 episode first season of Marvel's Daredevil series on April 10th. You can check out the show's 90 second trailer below.
Music - Jack Russell's Great White (another band with two groups using some variation of the name) has released a new single called "Hard Habit" You can check out the lyric video for the song below.
I have to say that I was pretty surprised to find myself enjoying the song.
The band Toto has a new album coming out March 24th and they have released a video for the new song "Orphan". I enjoyed this one as well.
And the new band Revolution Saints has released a third song from their upcoming debut album. The song is called "Back on My Trail" and once again, I liked the song.
Well folks, it’s that time once again… time for another visit from your old pal IHM. I’m turning 32 years old today… and feeling every bit of sixty! Man how the last year just flew by… seems like it’s getting harder and harder to slow the time down these past few years though. Seems like every time you look up it’s a new season, and soon enough it’s an all new year!
Got my early birthday present from Mrs. IHM later on last night, a nice Viking drinking horn. Tonight I plan on putting it to good use!
So first things first… a heartfelt congratulations to all the Patriot fans here at the Gab! Great season for you all, especially considering the way it began with that loss at Kansas City in week three. Boy how things changed after that, eh? The defense came together and wound up outplaying the “best defense in football” in the Super Bowl, and that Tom Brady kid turned out to be pretty damned good too! Guess it wasn’t Jimmy Garappalo’s time just yet, was it? And what a great football game we were all treated to on Sunday… some folks prefer the commercials and halftime show… but I think I can safely say that everybody here at the Gab was hoping for one thing overall, a great showcase to close out a season of turmoil in the league… and the Patriots and Seahawks delivered on that for sure! Hopefully 2015 will bring a season devoid of controversy, and all about the sport we all love.
And how about Dick Sherman... suddenly, no shit talking... no diarrhea of the mouth... just silence. In fact, I didn't hear anything out of that toolbag until yesterday when the announcement of his child being born was made. I'm sure as hell not going to say anything but congratulations to him about that... but the look of pain and sadness on his face when Butler picked that pass was worth the price of admission!
Speaking of controversy… turns out “deflate gate” was a controversy full of, well, hot air! Yeah, according to reports, the only ball found to be “significantly deflated” used in the AFC Championship game actually belonged to the fucking Colts! The ball that was intercepted by delivery boy abusing LB D’Qwell Jackson, was “significantly under inflated”… but there is absolutely zero evidence that the ball wasn’t doctored while in the Colts possession and not while in New England’s. The remaining balls were “just a tick” under the PSI levels, according to a report by Ian Rappaport of the NFL Network. So let’s see if there is a campaign of apologies for New England, since the media essentially spent the entire two weeks leading up to the Super Bowl bashing them as “cheaters” and “disgraces to the game”… I wouldn’t hold my breath if I were the Patriots, but they sure as hell deserve something. Of course, a Lombardi Trophy is pretty good compensation as well!
So the question becomes, how did the football become so deflated? Is there any evidence that the Colts, in fact, were the ones who deflated the ball in order to incite all this faux outrage and anger towards the team that soundly defeated them for a Super Bowl bid? If there is even a shred of evidence to that end, what punishment should the Colts then face? All questions that need to be answered, and answered soon by the league. Just like the apologies owed to the Pats, I wouldn’t hold my breath on that getting settled in any type of public way either though.
Despite the newest evidence that DeflateGate is all pure stupidity, Hall of Fame electee Charles Haley joined the legion of idiots who have called the Patriots integrity into question by saying that the scandal will “haunt” Tom Brady for the rest of his life. Haley joins fellow Hall of Famers Jerry Rice and Warren Sapp as having come out to make public statements of this nature. His response came from a press conference question about which quarterback he’d want to play with, Montana or Brady.
As good a week as this has been for Patriots fans, it’s been equally bad for Browns fans… but what the hell else is new? Gordon is out for 2015 due to his perpetual stupidity… Johnny Football is in rehab (which might end up being a good thing if the guy actually learns something and gets his shit together)… and now there are reports the team could lose draft picks due to text messages sent by GM Ray Farmer regarding play calling. The rich get richer, and the poor get poorer!
The offseason police blotter has fired up already… here’s the highlights from the post-Super Bowl week…
Packers DT Letroy Guion was arrested for felony possession of marijuana in Florida, allegedly carrying $190,000 worth of dope and an illegal firearm.
D’Qwell Jackson was arrested for assault over a parking space spat with a pizza delivery guy.
Cowboys RB Joseph Randle was arrested for the second time in four months… the charges include possession of marijuana and domestic violence.
And, of course, Hall of Famer and NFL Network analyst Warren Sapp was arrested in Arizona during Super Bowl weekend for solicitation of a prostitute and domestic violence.
Less than two weeks until pitchers and catchers report, folks!
But with that, the Tigers got some bad news this week, learning that Victor Martinez was injured during an offseason workout, and will require surgery on his left knee. So anybody out there still not liking the Cespedes deal? It gives you protection for Miggy in the lineup with Martinez out for likely at least half the season… if not more.
Over in the NBA, the NBA’s Eastern Conference Player of the Month was announced… and it was a five way tie! That’s right, the starting lineup of the 17-0 in January Atlanta Hawks was elected as recipients of the award, the first time in NBA history that five players have shared the honor. The Hawks also set a league record by going 17-0 in the month of January… the first team ever to go 17-0 in a single month. All-Star selections Al Horford, Jeff Teague, and Paul Milsap were honored along with Kyle Korver and DeMarre Carroll. Good to see the league actually taking a shine to the whole “team first” concept for a change!
As for the Hawks, they host the Warriors tonight as the best of the East hosts the best of the West. Who the hell would have thought that this would be a legitimate NBA Finals preview before the start of the season? Of course, ESPN will not have that game featured, as it already scheduled the Clippers vs. Raptors game for the Friday night spot… damn shame.
In NHL news, while Gordie Howe has made a dramatic recovery from the stroke he suffered, his brother, also an ex-NHL player (33 games for the Rangers over three seasons), Vic Howe passed away this week at the age of 85.
That’s all I’ve got for this week folks. Thanks as always for reading and for any comments you leave on the way out! Have a great weekend Gabbers.