Tagged with "Patriots"
Sunday Musings #164
Category: User Showcase
Tags: NFL NBA FantasyFootball NewYorkMets NewEnglandPatriots BostonCollegeWomensBasketball WNBA BostonRedSox HighSchoolSports BaltimoreRavens

While still stuck without my own personal computer... (So yes, my "up to date-ness" ends on Saturday morning before this week's college football games kick off.)


Don't forget that you can follow me on Twitter - @TheOneTrueJay


NFL

New England Patriots - I watched most of the Patriots game last Sunday. But with the team up 17-7, I fell asleep. And that's when the Dolphins decided to wake up. Despite missing 3 of their starting linebackers, the defense just killed the New England offense after going down by that 10 point margin.

I woke up when it was 20-20 and wished I was still asleep as the Dolphins went on to win 33-20 and hand the Patriots their first opening day loss in 11 years.

My buddy Brian (a big Dolphins fan) had to be ecstatic watching the defense manhandle the Patriots offensive line. The Pats managed just 89 rushing yards and sacked Tom Brady four times.

Brady threw for 249 years and a TD, but after going up 17-7, it seems he was on the run for the rest of the game.

After all the preseason talk of how different the defense looked and played, it was more of the same because the defensive line couldn't stuff any holes and the Dolphins run game took advantage with 191 rushing yards. Knowshon Moreno was practically unstoppable with 134 of those yards.

This can't be what Bill Belichick planned for, but this game showed that the Patriots aren't quite ready for primetime yet. It also demonstrated AGAIN, that the preseason doesn't mean a darn thing.

Baltimore Ravens - Video footage from inside the elevator that now former Ravens running back Ray Rice beat the crap out of his fiancee (now wife) surfaced this past week and as soon as it got out (TMZ gets another "scoop"), the Ravens terminated Rice's contract and the NFL suspended him indefinitely.

I have strong feelings about domestic violence, let that be clear. But for me, despite the reported ugliness of the new footage (I refuse to watch and help TMZ make more of a name for themselves), I have to wonder why the NFL didn't kick Rice to the curb the first time around. He certainly deserved it. 

Suspending and firing him at this point seems like they are punishing him twice for the same infraction. And on that point alone I'm a little annoyed at the NFL.

Ray Rice is certainly a scumbag, the video definitely confirms that I'm told. But the league punished him once. However ridiculously bad they handled it the first time around, I can't imagine the player's union isn't going to raise a stink on general principle for a player being punished twice.

Minnesota Vikings - It isn't a good time to be Adrian Peterson. Last week reports surfaced that he reportedly told Cowboys owner Jerry Jones that he wanted to play for Dallas. That could not have endeared him to the Vikings ownership, coaches and other players. And the fan base was likely enraged.

And then on Friday, news broke that he had been charged with child abuse in Texas for using a switch to spank one of his sons. SAY WHAT? 

DUDE! How goddamn stupid are you? You used a switch on your son? Have you conveniently forgotten that just last year a son you didn't even know you had was beaten to death by your baby mama's boyfriend? I'm all for discipline but let's get serious here, using a switch may have been a time honored idiotic tradition back in the day but in the here and now, that crap just ain't gonna fly with law enforcement. Oh by the way, the guy who killed that son of yours goes on trial for second degree murder next month. MORON!

For those fantasy football people that have Adrian Peterson on their teams, better make adjustments to your roster, the Vikings have benched him for today's game against the Patriots.

FANTASY FOOTBALL

I actually managed to split my two leagues during Week 1. I really have no confidence in my lineups so getting even 1 win was pretty sweet. Of course, I'm favored to lose in both leagues this week so I might be writing with a "woe is me" vibe next week.

MIRACLE ON ICE USA HOCKEY TEAM NEWS

Just a bit of sad news...Bob Suter, one of the players on the 1980 Lake Placid hockey team that stunned the world by beating the Russians, passed away this week. He was 57 years old. He was a scout for the Minnesota Wild (and father to one of their players, Ryan Suter) as well as a youth hockey figure. 

He's the first of the players from that team to pass away. You can read more about his life here.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

Alabama - The Crimson Tide once again dominated their opponent last week. But it didn't help them keep their #2 ranking.

Despite beating Florida Atlantic University 41-0, the Tide dropped to #3 in the rankings after voters/computers factored in the strength of schedule angle in the Oregon-Michigan State game. Oregon won that game going away and they vaulted up to #2.

As for the FAU game, the Bama defense gave up just 145 yards in total offense (57 rush, 88 pass) and had 3 sacks. 

Given that the game was a blowout, both Blake Sims and Jake Coker saw time at QB. Sims threw for 214 yards and 2 TDS, while rushing for another. Coker had 202 passing yards and a TD. He got sacked once.

The team as a whole rushed for 204 yards, with Kenyan Drake leading the way with just 45 yards (with a TD run). Amari Cooper was the biggest offensive star as he racked up 189 yards receiving and caught a TD pass.

(I'll write about this week's Alabama home game vs. Southern Mississippi and the Boston College home game vs. USC next week.)

MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL

Boston Red Sox - As if the season wasn't going badly enough for the Red Sox, second baseman Dustin Pedroia's season came to an early end when it was announced that he would be undergoing season ending surgery on his hand.

The Boston Herald had an interesting article that broke down all the injuries Pedroia has suffered in recent years and questions whether he'll ever be the same player he was before all the injuries.

Texas Rangers - The Texas Rangers were stunned a bit last week when manager Ron Washington resigned. The Rangers have been playing really badly this season, but Washington wasn't in danger of being fired after 1 down year.

While no specifics have been given, the resignation was termed by Washington as being done to deal with an "off the field personal matter."

The cynical SOB I am, the first thing I thought of was that he'd been caught using cocaine again. I really hope that isn't the case because it would be yet another sports related disappointment and at the rate they are coming these days, the sports pages might just as well be the front pages of a newspaper.

New York Mets - As if the simple fact of being the New York Mets and stinking to high heaven wasn't enough, now we have the story of team COO Jeff Wilpon being sued for discrimination by a female former team executive who became pregnant while unwed. Reading the story, apparently Wilpon acted like a total dick and is seemingly about to pay the price for it. 

It makes me wonder just what is going through the minds of the "men" who run sports teams and or play the games. It is a different world these days, you bumbling Neanderthals!

You can read more about that story here.

BOSTON COLLEGE WOMEN'S BASKETBALL

The women's basketball schedule was released this past week and while they will play ten teams that made the NCAA tournament last year, I have to say I'm slightly disappointed with the slate of home games they'll have this year.

Since I can only attend Sunday games, I can't even think about seeing them play Duke this year. And then there are the teams I'd love to see them play but they are road games: Stanford, Hartford and Louisville.

I'm really psyched to see them play Notre Dame which is the biggest Sunday game on the home schedule, so I'll be getting tickets for that one. After that I don't know which games might strike my fancy. The remaining Sunday games (after the first of the year that is) feature Syracuse, North Carolina State, Florida State and Virginia Tech (which is the final regular season game of the season AND Senior Day.)

You can check out the full schedule here.

WNBA

New York Liberty - Assistant coach Katie Smith has apparently decided to start writing a weekly blog on her website. The first installment breaks down some of her adjustments from being a player to becoming a coach. You can read it here.

Phoenix Mercury - Congratulations go out to the Mercury after they swept the Chicago Sky and clinched their third WNBA title since 2007.

NBA

Atlanta Hawks - It's been quite a week down in Atlanta hasn't it? First the majority owner Bruce Levenson announces he's selling his share of the team after an email he made with huge racial overtones was made public.

Well, I suppose owning up quickly to his rather stupid views is a point in his favor. And it saves NBA commissioner Adam Silver from having to deal with a Donald Sterling sequel to oust an owner clearly out of step with society at large.

And then on Friday it was announced that Hawks GM Danny Ferry was taking an indefinite leave of absence for his role and comments in the seemingly growing story. I don't know why he wasn't fired because he will never be accepted by the players and fans again.

And this brings up a question for me. Am I the only one in the world that was raised properly? 

Where does all this hatred come from? I mean, I was always taught that you don't hate someone based on the color of their skin. I worked in youth basketball for 25 years and when I first started out, there was a knock on the league that only the black coaches won championships. Which was entirely BS even then, but I'd say winning 10 titles as a head coach (11 if you include the one I was an assistant coach for) put that lie to rest.

And why would anyone these days make such sweeping generalizations about players or a race of people? Maybe I've somehow managed to maintain a sense of naivety about race relations but I've yet to meet a person of another color that I've hated based solely that their skin wasn't as white as mine is? For cripe's sake, the man I considered my basketball mentor was a black man whose death from cancer devastated me.

Generally when I've disliked or yes even hated someone it is after I get to know them as a person, and it is based on their personality or attitude...NOT THEIR SKIN COLOR!

I'm a stick in the mud about some stuff in this world but I can't imagine the mindset of people who hate or discriminate against someone for reasons of their skin.

It seems that the powers that be running NBA ballclubs really need to either get with the times or get the hell out of the game. Or maybe it would be enough for them to simply grow the hell up!

HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS

Wareham Girls Varsity Soccer - The team dropped a 2-0 match to Fairhaven on Monday to start off their week. They lost to ORR on Wednesday 6-0. Meanwhile, the JV team which has one of my former players (Gabby) on the team lost 5-0. 

On Friday, the Vikings varsity managed to find the net but lost to Dighton-Rehoboth 6-2 for their 40th straight loss. Brianna had 8 saves in the game while Paige was cited in the paper for impressing with her play.

Wareham Boys Varsity Soccer - The Vikings fell to Dighton-Rehoboth 6-1 for their fourth straight loss to open the season. My ex-player Eoghan assisted on the team's only goal.

Wareham Girls Volleyball - The team dropped their match with Fairhaven by the score of 3 games to none. But the team got their first win on Wednesday night when they beat ORR 3 games to 2. They are now 1-3 on the season.

By the way, you can check out an article (with a couple of quotes from one of my ex-players Rae-Lyn) about the only boy playing on the WHS girls volleyball team here.

Friday's match against Dighton-Rehoboth saw the Vikings win 3 games to 1 to up their record to 2-3. Rae-Lyn had 6 digs, 18 kills and four aces in the match.

Wareham Girls Field Hockey - The team lost to Dighton-Rehoboth on Wednesday by the score of 7-0.

Upper Cape Tech JV Football - The team lost to Mashpee in their season opener but my girlfriend's son Connor said that he led the defense in tackles for the game.

Wareham Varsity Football - While the team has an off week this week, I wanted to make sure I included a photo of one of my ex-players from the opening game. Josh (#10) scored a TD in the game and is being looked upon to be one of the team's top offensive contributors.

By the way, to show you how far the Vikings might have to come this year, Bishop Stang (the team that beat them last week 42-26 last week) managed to somehow lose their second game on Friday night 46-2. And that is not a typo, they managed just TWO points against their second opponent after demolishing Wareham's defense the week before.

MISCELLANEOUS

Movies - I saw the movie Draft Day this past week. It had a few relatively preposterous scenes but overall I actually liked it. The one problem the movie demonstrates so aptly is that the best possible GM candidates for the team are in Hollywood working as scriptwriters. The actual GMs the team has had over the years keep the fanbase in the eternal but fruitless hope that they will ever actually build a contender.

Books - This week's book purchase was the paperback edition of the Sara Paretsky mystery Critical Mass. It is the latest in her V.I. Warshawski series.

Music - I went out to see a cover band called Sound Tower last Saturday night with my girlfriend. The guy who owned the Rock Is Life.com site that I wrote reviews for in the past is the band's frontman but I'd never seen them live before. We stayed for two sets and I found it quite enjoyable. I really liked their cover of the Bad Company song "Can't Get Enough". You can check them out at http://www.soundtowerrocks.com

Here's a pic of me and Julie at the show:

You can check out the new Mr. Big song "The Monster In Me" here (Youtube Link).

Movies (Fan Films) - I'm a big fan of the show Firefly and the follow up movie Serenity. And this week brought a new fan film based in the same universe. The film is actually getting positive reviews online and I thought you all might like to check it out. You can see it HERE!

 

 

 

 

Like a Kick in the Face, Football's Back
Category: Daily Blog 2.0
Tags: NFL opening weekend Patriots Dolphins Hawks Racism

Like a kick to the face, the football season finally got started.  With an hour to go before kickoff, we went food shopping…I’m pretty sure everyone else in the local area was doing the same thing – I’ve never seen the parking lot so full.  We blasted through - $175 worth of groceries – in 35 minutes…and waited in line.  We got home with 1 minute to spare…and Mrs. really appreciated the fact that I left everything on the counter and sat down in front of the TV.

The Patriots played an abomination of a game.  Nothing like pissing away a game – the first game of the season.  THE game everyone’s waiting for.  For a while they looked good, but then…not so much.  I’ll chalk it up to game time heat, but there was something definitely missing here.  Next week, they get to face Matt Cassel, the man who led the Pats to 11-5 in 2008 while Brady recovered from a season ending injury.  Interestingly enough, it was the Chiefs who knocked Brady out for the year, and it was the Chiefs who landed Cassel.  That would bedevil them for the next 4 years – don’t mess with Bill Belichick. 

Another former New England quarterback, Brian Hoyer, brought Cleveland back from a blowout to force Pittsburgh to win their game on a last second field goal.  It’s a shame the Cleveland defense returned to form and allowed that final drive.  Mean while, “Johnny Cleveland” was all “Johnny Bench” (wah wah wah).   Now, that said, Hoyer was showing some promise last year before he was injured – making the firing of Coach Chud very confusing to most people, until you get some flavor of what was going on behind the scenes in Cleveland. 

Josh Gordon, currently sitting at home on suspension, may get a chance to play this year if the NFL and NFLPA can agree on a new drug policy.  Apparently, the front office was concerned enough about him last year that they were looking to trade him – a move that was ixnayed by ownership, but a move that shows what a mess the front office was.  Is it possible that Haslan actually knew what he was doing?

I wonder just how long Dallas can stick with Tony Romo.   This is his 9th season starting.  He has exactly 1 playoff win.   He’s a good QB, I mean a career 95.8 rating is good.  But he’s 63-46, 57%.  Three straight 8-8 seasons.  He’s only good.  I don’t get it.  I’m just glad he’s not my quarterback.

Lots of racism, real and imagined, going on in the sports news this week.  We have Hanna Strong, a Syracuse senior, soccer mid-fielder, and Western MA native,  being suspended and now under investigation for her drunken rant on an undated video,  calling the videographer derogatory terms for both homosexual and African American.  “Don’t record me saying this…” Ooops.  It happened sister.  You don’t actually get to tell people they can’t record you making an ass of yourself.

Next we have Bruce Levenson saying he has too many black people coming to Atlanta Hawks games.  Well, kind of.  What he actually seems to be saying is that he doesn’t have enough affluent people coming to the game, his problem is the way he said it – something he both acknowledged and self-reported to the NBA.  What this really comes down to is that I’m pretty sure he just wanted out of owning the team…or that he was concerned that someone else would out him and he decided to pull the trigger.   A “Zero tolerance policy against racism” apparently includes self-reporting, a really interesting step – I mean who does that?

Rather than leave you on that note, I give you this as a reminder that sports is supposed to be about more than “me, me, me.”  Let’s leave it to this young Red Sox fan to reinforce that message.

Some Football Notes
Category: User Showcase
Tags: HighSchoolFootball CollegeFootball NFL NewEnglandPatriots BostonCollegeEaglesFootball AlabamaCrimsonTideFootball

From the three top levels of football...

 

HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL

There's two teams I will keep tabs on this season. The first will be Wareham High. They have at least a couple of players that I coached slotted to contribute in a big way on offense. I won't go to many games, but my girlfriend's daughter is in the marching band so I'll probably have to go to at least one game to see the half-time show.

The other team I'll be following a bit is the Upper Cape JV team. My girlfriend's son is on the team. I won't be able to make it to any games because of when they play but I'll be able to get the skinny on how the team does I hope.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

I was occupied with a funeral on Saturday so I missed 99 percent of the football action on TV.

But the two teams I follow got their seasons off to a winning start.

Alabama - The Crimson Tide picked up a 33-23 victory over West Virginia. The first game showed Bama's run offense and run defense are already in midseason form.

T.J. Yeldon ran for 126 yards and 2 scores while Derrick Henry had a career high 113 yards and score.

The Tide's run defense held the Mountaineers to just 28 yards on the ground.

But the pass defense has some work to do as they gave up 365 passing yards. Nick Saban can't be happy about that at all.

As for the QB situation, Blake Sims got the start and did a solid job. He threw for 250 yards and ran for 42 more. Receiver Amari Cooper had 130 yards receiving.

Boston College - The Eagles used a strong second half to roll past UMass 30-7. Transfer QB Tyler Murphy made a strong first impression as he passed for 173 yards (and a TD) and ran for 118 yards (career high) and a score.

I don't know that he'll be able to maintain being the main star of the game for the Eagles throughout each and every game, but since BC only has him for a year, let's hope he is consistent in helping the team win games.

NFL

New England Patriots - As the rosters got cut down, the two biggest moves for the Patriots this preseason had to be the trades of Ryan Mallett and Logan Mankins.

Mallett going to the Texans officially signified his failure to do much of anything in the preseason games. It wasn't much of a surprise that he was expendable because Jimmy Garoppolo showed much more in the way of promise than Mallett has showed during his years here.

Granted, being the backup to Tom Brady is nearly a futile enterprise but even in extremely limited action, Mallett never did enough to give anyone faith in his ability.

As for the Mankins trade, despite the cold-blooded reputation of Bill Belichick, this had to be a surprise. And it wasn't really tied to on field play, but rather it was a money thing. Sadly though, the trade weakens the offensive line which is a rather important component of keeping Tom Brady upright.

I really hope the newly constructed O-line gels quickly or Garoppolo just might be seeing the field a lot earlier than anyone would like.

Sunday Musings #152
Category: User Showcase
Tags: SanDiegoPadres WNBA NewYorkLiberty NFL NewEnglandPatriots TonyGwynn WashingtonRedskins ClevelandBrowns

 

 

While looking forward to a couple of premieres on TV tonight...

And you can follow me on Twitter: @TheOneTrueJay

MLB

San Diego Padres - Like many others here on YouGabSports and in the sports media at large, I was stunned and saddened when I learned of the passing of Tony Gwynn this week. He was the greatest Padre ever and one of the best hitters in the history of baseball.

Tom Verducci on Sports Illustrated's website had a nice appreciation of Gwynn's career. You can check that out here: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/mlb/news/20140616/tony-gwynn-obituary-san-diego-padres-hall-of-fame/index.html

I also get a sense of frustration over his death because the salivary cancer that killed him was due to his habit of using chewing tobacco. As one who has lost someone (my dad) to tobacco related cancer, I'm left with the screaming in my head that sounds something like this: "WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO GET BALLPLAYERS TO WAKE UP!"


Of course that applies to anyone using tobacco in any form, but really now, short of the warnings on the packaging saying "USING THIS WILL FUCKING KILL YOU!", what does it take to get people to realize tobacco will kill you?

I realize the irony of my anti-tobacco rant given my screen avatar of the smoking skull, but my avatar is just a picture AND the skull should drive home my point as well.

I'm not one to become any sort of activist or anything, but I would have no problem with tobacco being outlawed entirely. Of course, that won't happen since the government is both on the take from the tobacco industry and busy on other such "important" topics like the Redskins (see more on that below).

WNBA

New York Liberty - The Liberty lost three games this week and fell to 3-10 on the regular season. They started with a 76-72 loss to the Connecticut Sun, then lost in OT to the Chicago Sky 105-100. But Friday night's game against the Atlanta Dream saw New York just get hammered 85-64.

I hate being a Negative Nelly here, but with their record the way it is, you have to wonder if their season isn't technically over already. It is starting to get ugly as hell out there.

Pride Campaign - The WNBA's first official marketing campaign aimed at the LGBT community is examined by ESPN's Mechelle Voepel here: http://espn.go.com/wnba/story/_/id/11111165/wnba-wnba-pride-predicament

NFL

New England Patriots - I've been making a concerted effort to read the various stories being published about the team and individual players during the latest round of minicamp for the Patriots. It's been relatively painless, but sometimes you just wonder if they are filling space because a lot of the stuff being written falls into the category of "Who gives a good goddamn?"

Cleveland Browns - Mike Pettine is the new coach of the Browns and he was in the news this week after comments he made about the Patriots having a Jets playbook got blown up into a big news story. You can check out this profile of the new coach in which he makes the comments: http://mmqb.si.com/2014/06/19/mike-pettine-cleveland-browns-coach/

Washington Redskins - With the news that the US Patent & Trademark Office had canceled some of the trademarks the team had based on the fact the "Redskins" term is disparaging (something laws take into account), the pressure on Redskins owner Daniel Snyder to change the team's name is growing stronger and stronger. The team immediately appealed, so for now the trademarks stay in place. But everyone that is openly against the team name spent a few days last week crowing like they'd found the cure for cancer.

I realize that as a white guy my opinion is automatically discounted but I've never really seen the name as offensive. When I heard the term "Redskins", I thought of the football team in Washington that used to be damn good back in the 1980s. I think of Joe Gibbs, Joe Theismann, John Riggins, Art Monk, Dexter Manley and others. I didn't think negative thoughts about American Indians.

And yes, I own a Redskins jacket from the days of my youth. What really chaps my ass is how this is such a big political bone for some of the Washington politicians. Criminal jag-offs like Harry Reid announced how they wouldn't attend a game until the name was changed. As if that was going to stop other people from going to games. Frankly, if I was Daniel Snyder, regardless of changing the name or not, I'd ban assholes like Reid from my team's games in perpetuity.

And then there is the people suing the team over the name. I asked on some forums I participate in whether or not simply changing the name would be enough to satisfy some people. Because it seems that there are two groups of people involved here.

The first group is those who want the term "Redskins" dropped period. And when the world's dictionaries defines "Redskins" as a racial slur, they certainly have an argument to make. But then there are those in the second group who want any and all terms that have been associated with American Indians in the past to be banned from use. Names like "Braves", Chiefs", "Sachems", "Warriors" and more.

This despite the fact that some of those words can be used for a variety of other people than just American Indians. Sure, I can see the notion of dropping the Indian logos as a compromise, but this group is hell bent on no compromises.

So the question becomes if the Redskins changed their name to Warriors or some other name but dropped any Indian logos/mascots, would that satisfy people? If not, be prepared for a huge battle over team names because if they browbeat Daniel Snyder into changing his name, every high school team with an Indian name or iconography will be getting harassed next.

By the way, just so it is on the record, I don't think the name should be changed. I don't see it as a slur regardless of how the dictionary defines the term. But regardless of how I feel and think about the subject, I acknowledge others feel differently and will attack Daniel Snyder relentlessly until he gives in. After all, they have the corrupt federal government on their side now.

I also don't like how certain media outlets and individual writers are refusing to use "Redskins" in their writing now. These same media types got bent out of shape when Bobby Knight refused to say "Kentucky" and substituted "That school in Lexington" because he had a problem with John Calipari. But their hypocrisy doesn't seem obvious to them when they say "The team from Washington". If for no other reason, it makes them seem addled as if they can't remember the name of the team. And accuracy also seems in question when the name isn't used.

MISCELLANEOUS

TV - The season finale of Game of Thrones was underwhelming in some spots and fantastic in others. It set up some characters on new journeys and saw the passing of other relatively important characters too. The fourth season was excellent overall, though I was disappointed in the last two episodes more than usual.

Tonight on TNT, two shows premiere. It is the series premiere for The Last Ship. It is an apocalyptic drama where 80% of the world's population has been wiped out by a virus. The ship in question is tasked with trying to find a cure for said virus.

You can check out the series trailer below.

Meanwhile, the fourth season premiere of Falling Skies follows The Last Ship. TNT put the season premiere on On Demand early, so I've already watched it. It was interesting how they changed things up a bit on the heroes. Their circumstances change and a number of characters have changed in their attitudes as well. It was a very good premiere and I'll be looking forward to seeing what comes next.

My recap of 24: Live Another Day Episode 8 can be seen here: http://www.pop-topia.com/24-live-another-day-episode-8-recap/

Books - I finished reading the latest installment of Faye Kellerman's Decker/Lazarus mystery series entitled The Beast. Decent read as always and sets up some rather big changes in the lives of the main characters.

Movies - They released another new trailer for the UK for the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy movie. There's a lot of new footage and dialogue and you can view it below.

Music - Tesla's new album is called Simplicity. I've got it and there will be a review at some point. For now, you can check out the video for the song "So Divine".

The new Ronny Munroe CD Electric Wake is due out on Tuesday June 24th. However, I received it in the mail this past Friday. A review will be coming for this disc as well. You can check out the video for the song "Pray" below. 

Sunday Musings #142
Category: User Showcase
Tags: CollegeBasketball Jerry Tarkanian BostonCollegeAthletics MLB NewEnglandPatriots HighSchoolSports WNBA MichiganStateSpartans BostonCeltics
 
 
While still marveling over Storrs, Connecticut being the center of the college basketball universe...again...
 
COLLEGE BASKETBALL WRAP UP
 
UConn - Monday night saw the rise of the men's basketball team to the top of the heap after their 60-54 defeat of Kentucky. Kevin Ollie did a marvelous job in guiding the team to the title and Shabazz Napier was just awesome.
 
 
Following that up was the UConn women's team completing a 40-0 season with their defeat of Notre Dame, 79-58. As a matter of fact, the game and entire women's tournament went pretty much how I thought it would. I told a co-worker that the women's tourney would come down to a matchup between #1 UConn and #2 Notre Dame and then UConn would win by 20 points. Which is pretty much what happened.
 
 
Speaking of the tournaments themselves, the final breakdown of the four brackets I had going broke down like this:
 
Men's NCAA record -  43-26 (Won the YouGabSports ESPN Bracket Challenge Group)
 
Women's NCAA record - 48-15 (Picked the national title winner)
 
NIT Record - 13-18
 
WNIT Record - 37-26
 
Kentucky - After the Wildcats loss, noise about John Calipari as the front runner for the LA Lakers job started getting louder. SI.com's Pete Thamel wrote that Calipari's coaching job in the final showed how he can never succeed in the NBA. You can read that here: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/-college-basketball-mens-tournament/news/20140408/kentucky-wildcats-connecticut-huskies-john-calipari/
 
Manhattan - After it was learned that Steve Masiello did not have the degree he claimed to have received and lost out on a job, he decided to try and stay at Manhattan. But the school put him on leave until they decided what they were going to do.
 
The news this past week was Masiello would keep his job but is on unpaid leave until he completes his degree studies at Kentucky. Associate head coach Matt Grady will run the team in the meantime.
 
UMass - This past Wednesday, sophomore guard Derrick Gordon broke the news that he was gay, thus becoming the first openly gay active player in D1 men's basketball. Reaction to the announcement was initially positive. Here's an article link: http://sports.yahoo.com/news/umass-basketball-player-gordon-comes-141736069--ncaab.html
 
Michigan State - Lacey Holsworth, the little girl befriended by Spartans player Adreian Payne, passed away this week after fighting cancer. You can read more here: http://sports.yahoo.com/news/father-girl-befriended-hoops-star-133020625--ncaab.html
 
 
UNLV - Former Runnin' Rebels coach Jerry Tarkanian was hospitalized on Thursday. The 83 year old complained of feeling weak and having trouble breathing. His son was quoted as saying his father was having trouble keeping his eyes open as well.
 
It was later reported that Tarkanian is being treated for pneumonia and while improving is still hospitalized.
 
BASEBALL SCUMBAG OF THE WEEK
 
There was an article on ex-major league player Chad Curtis on Sports On Earth this past week. Curtis was one of those holier-than-thou jerks who constantly wore out his welcome on whatever team he played for. And as usual, the most virulently religious are usually exposed as the biggest hypocrites. You can read about how Curtis was revealed to be a major scumbag here via this Sports on Earth article link: http://www.sportsonearth.com/article/70575174/how-chad-curtis-went-from-hero-to-convict-for-sexual-misconduct
 
BOSTON COLLEGE ATHLETICS
 
Men's Basketball - There has been a lot of activity with the men's team this week. Between the introduction of the new coach to a flurry of transfer news both real and rumored, it has kept the fan base very engaged.
 
 
Men's Hockey - The Eagles faced off against Union College on Thursday in the Frozen Four.
 
They owned the first period, leading 1-0 at the break. But the start of the second period saw Union dominate the first 9 minutes. They took a 2-1 lead during that time. After that, the Eagles controlled the next 9 minutes allowing just one shot on goal for Union.
 
It was tied 2-2 after the second period. Union took a 3-2 lead. Boston College then got the benefits of a five minute power play. They weren't able to capitalize on it though. Union then took a 4-2 lead and things looked very bleak.
 
BC pulled their goalie with 2:32 left in the third and they managed to score to make it 4-3. Union countered with an empty net goal to make it 5-3.
 
Not to go down quietly, BC's Patrick Brown scored to make it 5-4. But with just 3.2 seconds left in the game, Union prevailed by that 5-4 score to end the Eagles season.
 
Also, while it doesn't reduce the hurt of finishing short of a national title, BC's junior forward Johnny Gaudreau capped his year by being named the 2014 Hobey Baker Award winner.
 
 
BOSTON CELTICS
 
Despite holding a 19 point lead in the 3rd quarter, the Celtics week started off with a 115-11 loss to the Detroit Pistons. The loss featured three Celtics going for more than 20 points apiece and Phil Pressey having a 12 point 11 assist night with Rajon Rondo sitting out.
 
Things didn't get much better on Wednesday night when the Hawks handed Boston a 105-97 loss. Avery Bradley scored 24 points to lead the offense while Rondo had 19 points and 12 assists. Jared Sullinger added 15 points and 11 boards.
 
However, the Celtics did manage to break their losing streak on Friday night thanks to a 106-103 victory over the Charlotte Bobcats. Bradley again led the offense by scoring 22 points and Sullinger had 20 points. Rondo was out with a bruised shin so Phil Pressey handled the point with 10 points and 13 assists.
 
They followed that up with a 111-99 win over Cleveland on Saturday night. It's been quite a while since they won 2 games in a row and over the first three quarters, the Celtics looked like the dominant team of yore as they built up a 31 point lead. A combination of them slacking off and Cleveland getting hot saw the Cavaliers outscore the Celtics by 19 points in the fourth quarter, making things tighter and the final score more respectable.
 
Kelly Olynyk scored 25 points and grabbed 12 rebounds to lead the Celtics. Avery Bradley also scored 25. Jeff Green and Brandon Bass also chimed in with 19 points apiece.
 
In other NBA news, Joe Dumars is reportedly going to resign as GM of the Detroit Pistons. He's been with the team for 29 years including a front office job since 2000. It's really too bad because he's been the one Bad Boys era Pistons player that you could actually root for.
 
But the team has been terrible the last few years and I don't think anyone can really argue that a change isn't needed.
 
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS
 
Now that he's with the Buffalo Bills, ex-Patriot Brandon Spikes mouthed off on Twitter this week about his time with the Pats. While most of his comments were inconsequential hype, the one comment that is sure to tick off a lot of people was how he termed his time with the Patriots as "Four Years a Slave".
 
Really Brandon? Seriously? You are trying to compare being a well paid pro athlete with the black mark on US history that is slavery?
 
While I'm not in the habit of rooting for ex-players that leave the teams I root for, I generally leave them alone in terms of the booing and such. But with the idiocy of his comments, I'm going to actively root against Spikes during the two games he faces off against the Patriots.
 
WNBA
 
My fandom for the league has hit a downturn with the news on Thursday that the Chicago Sky had cut former Boston College standout Carolyn Swords.
 
She saw her season end early last year with a knee injury but when I saw her a couple of times at BC games this winter, she said rehab had been going well and expected to be back in Chicago for the upcoming season.
 
I don't know what if anything happened to make the team change their mind and release her. But I do know that they are losing out on a decent backup.
 
I don't know what her plans will be now. She could go overseas again or look for another WNBA team. (The Connecticut Sun would be a nice landing spot for my own selfish reasons of being close enough to actually go see her play again)
 
However, with her departure from the team, my interest in the Chicago Sky just went into the crapper. And with Katie Smith retired, there are currently no active WNBA players I have any interest in following. Yes I'll keep track of the New York Liberty because Smith will be an assistant coach there this season but it will be a different experience to not be rooting on a particular player.
 
 
HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
 
Wareham Girls Track - The team picked up their first win of the season by beating Bourne 106-30. They won all but one of the individual events in the meet. My ex-player Paige picked up individual wins in the long jump (14 feet 4 1/2 inches) and the 800 meters (2:41.4). She and another of my former players (Kali) were part of the quartet that won the 4 x 400 meter relay event (4:41.4).
 
Wareham Girls Varsity Softball - The Vikings got blasted by Fairhaven on Wednesday, losing 19-4 in a mercy rule shortened game. Rae-Lyn got tagged with the loss on the mound.
 
On Friday, the Vikings lost to Old Rochester 15-5, despite Gina going 2-3 with a home run.
 
They are now 0-4 on the season.
 
Upper Cape Girls Varsity Softball - The Lady Rams are 4-1 on the season after beating Cape Tech 16-0. The Upper Cape pitcher threw a no-hitter.
 
Friday's game against Old Colony saw the Rams take a 14-13 thriller to improve to 5-1 with a 2-0 conference record.
 
MISCELLANEOUS
 
Movies - Pop-topia.com reviewed Captain America: The Winter Soldier here: http://www.pop-topia.com/steve-rogers-squares-s-h-e-l-d-captain-america-winter-soldier/
 
Music - My review of the Lone Justice CD This Is Lone Justice: The Vaught Tapes, 1983 can now be seen via the following Pop-topia.com link: http://www.pop-topia.com/cd-review-lone-justice-lone-justice-vaught-tapes-1983/
 
 
You can check out the video for the new Winger song "Tin Soldier" below.
 
 
 
Books - I finally finished reading a book this week. It was the Star Trek Enterprise novel Rise of the Federation - A Choice of Futures by Christopher L. Bennett. It was a surprisingly good read and much like the other books based on the Enterprise TV show, far better than anything that came in the first three seasons of the series. I loved the fourth season which was just awesome until the abomination they call the series finale.
 
 
 
I also picked up the Ingrid Thoft thriller/mystery Loyalty. It is the first book in her series featuring PI Fina Ludlow. I read a review of the second book in the series and thought it sounded good so I wanted to read the first book.
 
 
TV - The extended trailer for 24: Live Another Day has been released online. You can see it below. I get more excited as May 5th draws closer.
 
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