Tagged with "Patriots"
Category: FEATURED
Tags: NFL Football Patriots NFL Picks

Happy Friday, Gabbers! It’s December already...2013 is almost over.  Looking forward to Christmas and New Year’s and having some free time and spending some some of it re-introducing myself to the family.  (OK, it’s not that bad.)  It’s been a busy week in sports, and as always I’ve enjoyed catching up with it on the Gab. Old Harry and Lanz (part of the Boston Sports Alliance here at the Gab--I just made that up, I like alliances and crap like that) did a great job covering the Boston angle with the Patriots surviving baseless accusations from opponents, weird high school sports happenings with fake/real racism in the Western part of the state, and Jacoby Ellsbury leaving Boston for the Yankees with 1/1,000,000 the outrage when Johnny Damon did the same.


They did such a great and thorough job I can spend the whole blog writing about the Texans-Jaguars game on Thursday Night Football...




(that’s the sound of everyone closing their laptops simultaneously)




Just kidding. :)


Let’s take a swing through the NFL real quick with my homage to great writers of my youth and NFL predictions:


Jaguars 27 - Texans 17

A month ago, picking Jacksonville anytime was insane.  A year ago, picking Jacksonville over Houston was beyond insane. Tonight, not picking the Jags seems odd.  The team is winning and young coach Gus Bradley has his team playing hard and aggressive.  The Texans had their last hurrah last week and lost in heart-breaking fashion to the Patriots.  The Texans may be in great shape to draft a real quarterback and pull a Kansas City Chiefs like turnaround next year, but right now this team is going to be more deflated than that balloon my daughter let go of on the Fourth of July.


Vikings 24 - Ravens 23

The Ravens are an odd team to figure out.  Madly overpaid quarterback, aging running back, bi-polar offensive line, decent defense, annoying coach, and still no logical explanation for giving away wide receiver Anquan Boldin in the offseason. That said, I can see the Ravens get hot and go 4-0 down the stretch, grab the last WildCard, beat the Chiefs and Broncos on the road, and then be facing the Patriots in the AFC Championship for the third straight season. The more I think about it, the more likely it seems. Here’s hoping Adrian Peterson goes for 200+ yards and the Vikings pull off the upset. I don’t think its likely, but I keep telling myself if I believe, it can happen.


Colts 27 - Bengals 23

Both of these teams are going to win their respective divisions; however, both teams peaked in the first half of the season and could be underdogs at home to their WildCard opponents in the playoffs. Both teams have issues on offense: the Colts are not as explosive without Reggie Wayne. The Bengals keep running out BenJarvus Green-Ellis for some inexplicable reason and no one believes Richie Cunningham Andy Dalton at quarterback can lead the offense to victory when they NEED to score. Right now, the Colts have Luck on their side, and that makes all the difference.


Patriots 34 - Browns 13

As always, I end up writing a lot about the Patriots (at least 4 or 5 articles a week) and am doing a favor by covering the Browns regularly for a buddy on his website (Browns writers are apparently like Spinal Tap drummers).  As such, I feel all that knowledge is useless because NO ONE is thinking the Patriots do anything short of blowing out the Browns in Foxboro, MA on Sunday. That said, there are some interesting sub-plots: Do the Patriots allow fumbling running back Stevan Ridley out of the Dog House against the Dawgs? Will the Patriots offense get on track and have “that game” where they drive for six or seven touchdowns? Is there anything better than watching tight end Rob Gronkowski dominate as a run blocker, pass catcher, and still act like a big, dumb kid? Can Cleveland wide receiver Josh Gordon light it up again for 200+ yards for an unprecedented third straight game?  Who the heck is going to play quarterback for the Browns if all their QBs have concussions? What does it say about the Patriots if they don’t blow out the Browns?


Raiders 17 - Jets 10

The Raiders have one of those rosters that looks like a semi-pro club: “We got McGloin at QB...you know, Jimmy’s boy. There’s Jennings at running back...remember him, he was a grade ahead of us in high school? At receiver there’s Streater, there’s that guy Denarius some-thing-or-other, and that crazy Rivera dude.” Does anyone know anyone on that team? Terrelle Pryor is known, but Matt McGloin is starting now. Darren McFadden is well known, but he lost his job to Rashad Jennings. They recycle receivers every year it seems.  The Jets are sad sacks who are close to quitting on Rex Ryan.  The Semi Pro Club takes it.  


Packers 19 - Falcons 16

Just think, in September the FOX network had this game circled and highlighted as “Potential NFC Championship game at Lambeau Field for National Telecast.”  Now it ranks below Lions vs Eagles as most likely to be watched by the national audience. No Aaron Rodgers and the bottom fell out on the Falcons.  When all things are equal, go by the gambling code: home team plus three points.


Lions 27 - Eagles 24

I have no idea what to do with this Lions team anymore. They suck. They dominate. They suck for a while and then dominate. They dominate. Then they suck again. That said, does anyone buy Nick Foles and coach Chip Kelly yet? No? Me neither.


Steelers 28 - Dolphins 13

Speaking of not buying it, if Baltimore blows it against the Vikings and the Steelers win, they’re right back in the WildCard race. The Steelers have the passing game to be dangerous if their offensive line gives Big Ben a few seconds to set his feet and look downfield. The defense is still suspect (what happened to all those linebackers?), but Miami is still dysfunctional.  It appears the Dolphins are finally moving past the Incognito-Martin mess, but they have a lot of holes still.  Ryan Tannehill is better than I thought coming out of college, but I still think he is a few years away from his peak (he was a receiver coming into college). The running game is inconsistent and wide receiver Mike Wallace has improved, but still looks like an overpriced bust. The front four are very good, but the imported linebackers are weak and the secondary scares no one.


Buccaneers 27 - Bills 23

I loved seeing crack-smoking Toronto Mayor Rob Ford and all his security at the Bills “home” game in Toronto. Sitting and signing autographs, chomping on chicken wings, and then booted by some folk singer whose seat he had stolen. You can’t make this shit up. Does anyone outside of Buffalo know what happened in the game last week? Of course not. It was Bills losing to Atlanta and all eyes were on Rob Ford. All highlights were Rob Ford chomping chicken wings. It’s great theatre.  


Chiefs 12 - Redskins 10

I’m wondering if 22 points combined is too much for these offenses?  The Redskins have collapsed and I blame the coach and front office. Quarterback Robert Griffin the Third (or RGIII) was clearly not ready to play quarterback the first month or so of the season. The Redskins should have had him on the PUP list or IR designated to return. They have a very good backup in Kirk Cousins and there was no reason to rush RGIII back.  The team let the media and the quarterback dictate team policy. Mike Shanahan should know better. Also, why does Robert Griffin go by the third? Did his Dad and Grandpa play in the NFL. Hell, I’m Hal Bent the third, but I don’t go around signing HB3 on everything. Marketing? Vanity? Who knows.


Titans 48 - Broncos 38

Just kidding…(or am I?). No, put it Broncos 41 - Titans 17.  Tennessee is just not that good on offense.  Of course, the stories this week are all about Tennessee pursuing Peyton Manning 2 years ago when he was a free agent. THAT would have been more interesting than going to Denver.  Tennessee plays Indianapolis twice a year, Manning played his college ball in Tennessee, but I don’t think the fit was quite right with offensive coordinator Chris Palmer (long gone from Tennessee). Too bad owner Bud Adams did not just say “we’ll bring in whoever you want” and see what Peyton Manning would do as a Titan.


Cardinals 23 - Rams 16

The Cardinals are looking better and better each week, and then I remember that Carson Palmer is their quarterback and I start dismissing them as a team that can make some noise in the playoffs. I wonder if the Rams fans are sick of waiting for Sam Bradford to string together a couple of good performances.  He seems smart, athletic, and strong-armed...he just doesn’t have “IT”.  At least the Rams have the Redskins probable top-five first round pick for RGIII to chase another quarterback.


Chargers 35 - Giants 15

Time for the Giants to get back to their losing ways. Eli Manning goes to the city he rejected...which still puzzles me. I mean, San Diego. What the heck is wrong with San Diego? Great weather. Tijuana around the corner. Awesome powder blue throwback uniforms. Sure, he got his two rings, so it was worth it in the end. But it did not make sense then, and I hope the San Diego fans are loud in the lungs with ol’ Cousin Eli.


49ers 13 - Seahawks 12

Seattle on the road is not as scary as Seattle at home. I expect the Seahawks corners will struggle to cover Anquan Boldin and if the 49ers can get some semblance of a running game going they could control the clock and take a win from the division leaders. Of course, I could see Seattle put up 40 points and intercept Colin Kaepernick four times, too. But I’ll stick with this score.


Saints 27 - Carolina 24

This is a super Sunday night game.  For the Saints, after being embarrassed on Monday night in Seattle, they must be chomping at the bit to get back on the field and get to it. For Carolina QB Cam Newton, this must be a big test to go into the Super Dome and battle it out for the division lead in the NFC South. I like Carolina’s chances, but how do you pick against a motivated Drew Brees at home? I will say that I think Carolina will show they are legit, though, even if they don’t pull out the win.


Cowboys 38 - Bears 34

Well, it’s a great game if you love offense.  Neither team has what you would call an overachieving defense (both teams give up 25+ points per game). This is a fantasy football dream as both teams should be able to rack up a lot of yards and points. If Jay Cutler were healthy, I’d say the Bears may be able to keep up with the Cowboys...regardless, it should be a fun game to watch.


As always, thanks for checking in...I appreciate it! You can catch my weekly work at cover32com, musketfire.com, firststopfantasy.com, and at h4-entertainment.com.

Cleveland Browns game preview is here: http://firststopfantasy.com/nfl-teams/cleveland-browns/cleveland-browns-can-take-a-positive-step-forward-in-matchup-vs-new-england-patriots/

I look at Patriots running back Stevan Ridley as a key down the stretch here:


A look at what’s wrong with the Patriots defense is here: http://www.h4-entertainment.com/2013/12/new-england-patriots-defense-needs-to-improve-in-a-hurry/

and I’ll have a new post at http://Cover32.com/Patriots by 10am today about why the Patriots NEED to blow-out the Browns on Sunday

Look for a Game Preview Sunday morning at Cover32 and the Instant Analysis of the Patriots game each Sunday afternoon at http://www.musketfire.com

On Monday night at 9pm eastern, you can tune in to hear me go around the NFL with the H4TV NFL writers at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/sportsbar1/2013/12/10/nfl-shotgun and feel free to call in and add your 2 cents at 347-202-0508.


Thanks as always for visiting…and be sure to check out the great DVT over here --->


Have a great weekend!


He's the Statman
Category: FEATURED
Tags: MLB NFL Patriots Yankees Jacoby Ellsbury

 Harry the stat man


Hello gabsters I hope all are well and enjoyed Thanksgiving festivities of over eating, over drinking and over exposure to football.

I’m vigorously working off the excess fat from overeating.

I seldom if ever over drink

And I can’t get too much football

The days, between Thanksgiving and the middle of March, mark the busiest time of year for the oldharrys. Birthdays, Anniversaries, Christmas and New Year celebrations and then more birthdays fill the slate. Having a fairly large family has its privileges for sure

My youngest just celebrated his 21st birthday. 

Tomorrow is my bride and my 27th anniversary.

She is in line for sainthood. I’ve been told that 2 miracles are required to be sainted.

1. She married me (a truly charitable action on her part as she got me and my two older sons in the deal)

2. She has stayed with me for 27 years (loved, honored, cherished and obeyed)  


NFL Coaches in the news…

Stepping over the line…Mike Tomlin?

A fine? yes $100,000.00

suspension? nope

or loss of draft pick?  maybe

Apology accepted?

Tomlin has taken a lot of heat this past week and it’s ironic that Bill Belichick actually came out last Friday in Tomlin’s defense saying that he too had stepped onto the field in a game unknowingly and got run over and shoved under the Gatorade bench. That sure it sound simple, “stay off the field” but sometimes you’re so involved in the game that you aren’t aware of exactly where your feet are.

BB has paid a half million plus in fines himself.

Q O D- Do the 2-10 Texans warrant spying on?


Once again The Patriots HOF head coach, like him or hate him, made halftime adjustments that helped his team come from ten down to win.

 Belichick downplayed the halftime adjustment thing saying “we make adjustments all game long, if things aren’t working or they are stopping what you are doing then you adjust right then”

When you have to come from behind like this week after week it shows a weakness that could hurt against a good team on the road in the playoffs.

The Pats are 9-3 and are 4 plays from being 12-0 and 5 plays from being 7-5.

Dwayne (Bill)Tuna Parcells would say “They are what their record says they are” leading the AFC East by 3 with 4 to go and in a good position to secure the #2 Bye position going into January.

The most intriguing fact about this team isn’t so much Brady’s slow start and revamped rookie receiving corps of Dobson, Thomkins and Boyce, it’s the revamped on the go defense because the top three defenders were on season ending IR by week three .

Below -the starters coming out of camp in black. In red are the replacements in the Carolina, Denver and Texans games because of injuries.

DE Bob Ninkovich

DT Tommy Kelly (IR)  replaced by Chris Jones ®

DT Vince Wilfork (IR)  replaced by Joe Vellano ®

DE Chandler Jones

LB Jerrod Mayo (IR)  replaced by Jamie Collins ®

MLB Brandon Spikes

LB  Dont’a Hightower

LCB Aqib Talib, limited snaps( hip injury)

SS Steve Gregory (wrist), replaced by Duron Harmon ®

FS Devon Mc Courty

RCB  Alfonso Dennard (Knee ) replaced by Logan Ryan ®                       

 5 rookies starting and getting the majority of the defensive snaps can be the undoing of what was thought to be the strength of this team.

These guys can be coached up to a point but you can’t teach size and speed. The Patriots have been burned up the middle by any and all running backs and as the weather turns cold and the playoffs approach this glaring weakness could be their undoing. It probably won’t be an issue VS Cleveland this week but they face Baltimore in a couple of weeks and Ray Rice would love to get healthy on that Sunday night running thru the Pats D. The Pats finish with the Bills and the RB tandem of Spiller and Jackson will be drooling. Tom Brady has the ability to score loads of points and will need to if the Pats vision of New Jersey in February is to come to pass.

If the Playoffs started today in the NFC:

1. Seattle- bye  the trip to NJ goes thru Seattle

2. New Orleans- bye sorry performance last Monday

3. Detroit would host #6 San Francisco

4. Dallas would host # 5 Carolina

 In the AFC

1. Denver- bye  and they should keep it

2. New England- bye  watch out for Indy taking this bye

3. Indianapolis would host #6 Baltimore

4. Cincinnati would host #5 Kansas City

Big games with playoff implications this week:

Seattle visits San Francisco

Detroit visits Philadelphia

Carolina visits New Orleans

Dallas visits Chicago


MLB hot stove heating up before the Winter meetings

-The Yankees signed Jacoby Ellsbury to a 7 year 156 million deal. The often injured Ellsbury has a ton of talent and should be able to add power hitting to his repartee with the short porch in Yankee Stadiums right field. Most Sox fans realized that agent Scott Boris had his eyes on the Yankees for his players BIG deal payday. Jacoby is 30 and is a one time All Star. He can hit for average, plays a solid defensive center field though his arm strength is average, can steal loads of bases and will be a good leadoff man. His weaknesses are that he gets odd bump and bruise type injuries that take months to recover from. He’s not a real emotional player but is a good teammate that mainly keeps to himself. I’m guessing the Yankees get 4 solid years 1.5 lost to injury years and 1.5 aging mediocre years from Jacoby. All in all this is a good signing for NY who likes to spend on 30+ guys

I still don’t get teams signing guys for these long contracts. Please name one that worked for the duration for both the team and player.

The closest to it at $20,000,000 a year for 8 years was...believe it or not... Manny Ramirez

Ellsbury in his 6 years in Boston (Jacoby came up late in the year from AAA Pawtucket and played a big part in the ’07 World Series)

2008     145 games    .280 ave.    50 sb       age 24

2009      153 games    .301 ave     70 sb     age 25

2010       18 games      .192 ave      7 sb      age 26

2011       158 games     .321 ave     39 sb     age 27  

2012        74 games      .271 ave    14 sb      age 28

2013        134 games     .298ave     52 sb     age 29

-Detroit sent Doug Fister to the Nats for three…

RH AAA starter Robby Ray, LH reliever Ian Krol and utility player Steve Lambradozzi on the bus to Detroit, Nats got the best of this deal in my view.

- The Tigers also addressed the closer position by signing Joe Nathan, a solid signing.

- Scott Kazmir to Oakland for 2 years 24 million coming off a 10-9 4.04 season with the Indians Scott hit the jackpot in Oakland.

- Phil Hughes knocked over the proverbial ATM with a questionable 3 year 24 mil deal with Minnesota. Phil was 4-14 5.19 in 2013. his last 4 years with the Yankees are not the thing that makes anyone think he will figure it out at age 28

2010       18 -8       4.19       176 innings

2011         5 -5       5.79          74 innings

2012         16 -13    4.23        191 innings

2013          4 -14     5.19         145 innings. Good luck Twinkies

The Red Sox let Jarrod Saltalamacchia walk and it looks like the Marlins like him signing Jarrod to a 3 year 21 million dollar deal

Meanwhile the Sox signed the much traveled AJ Pierzynski to be a one year stop gap to the kids in the system who aren’t major league ready yet. 8.5 million to the guy who finished a close second to Arod in the voting of “most hated MLB player” as voted by his fellow players. At 37 AJ may still have a little to give but I wonder how the sensitive and oft hurt Clay Buchholz will react to being verbally assaulted on a visit to the mound. I’m not a fan of this deal. My main question to Ben Cherrington is, what’s wrong with Ryan Lavarnway catching in ’14 paired with David Ross

 That’s all for today, have a good one. I’m off to get a shave and a haircut so I can start to look like my beautiful wife married a mature man and not a ragged old man still hung up in movember when we go out to celebrate 27 years.

Don’t forget to check out Lanz and his talking sports to my right

Deep Thoughts 12-4-13
Category: FEATURED
Tags: Christmas Traditions MLB Hot Stove updates NFL Cowboys 49ers Seahawks Saints Patriots Texans. Texas Longhorns


Hello and welcome to another Wednesday of deep thoughts. It truly is hard to believe that we are in the final month of 2013. December is a very festive time of year. It is impossible to get too far into the month before the lights of the season begin to adorn neighborhoods. I have not put up lights yet, but will probably begin the process next weekend. Somehow, I always miss the warm days and end up on a ladder battling a raw December cold front. Frequently, as I struggle to string the lights, I wonder why I go through the same routine each year. I realize that it is because it is a tradition. The tree, lights and the music are all part of what is December for many of us. I also recognize that I would do nothing to change this part of the holiday season. Tradition is a very powerful thing. Families, towns, states and even countries have established traditions that are difficult to change. As much as we may gripe about certain aspects of what happens during Christmas, it is what we do that defines family memories. This is the time of year that many families reunite. It has been accurately said that Christmas is for children, but there is more to it than that. It is a time for families to make memories. As I think back over my life, I am left with wonderful memories of Christmas. Of course I remember the excitement and anticipation that Christmas brought to being a kid…I think the happiness of watching my kids enjoy the season is much more rewarding. So, when you complain about the music and the routine of the season, remember that there are eyes and ears that are witnessing this for the first time. It is what puts me on the cold ladder stringing those lights.

Austin has a tradition of lighting the tree in Zilker Park for Christmas. It really is very cool…


                                                                    View of the tree and downtown...


                      The view from under the tree. You have to stand under the tree and spin at least once to be an Austinite...




                       This was shared by a fiend on Facebook that I thought was worth showing here. Thanks Mitch...






Although the season says football, there are big changes happening in MLB each day. I was shocked to learn that the Astros finally made a move that I think will immediately improve their team. Dexter Fowler was acquired from the Rockies for Brandon Barnes and Jordan Lyles. I am scratching my head on why the Rockies would make this deal, but I guess it was about reducing payroll. Lord knows that the Astros have plenty of room to add Fowler’s 7.5 million dollar salary. I would make a joke about doubling the Astros payroll…but it is too close to the truth to be funny. I have been talking about the Tigers needing a closer since last year and it looks like they have finally grabbed a good one. It is being reported that Joe Nathan is headed to Detroit. I think this is a great sign for the Tigers and suddenly makes the Tigers a very tough team. I am scratching my head a bit over the Tigers trading Doug Fister for Steve Lombardozi, Ian Kroll, and minor league left hander Robbie Ray. With the improved middle infield of the Tigers, I was surprised that the Tigers would allow the ground ball machine that is Fister to get away. I know that they have Smyly to plug into this spot...it still was a bit curious for me. I think this was a great trade for the Nationals, but I guess only time will tell if this was a good or bad move for Detroit.

Of course the signing that grabbed the most attention on Tuesday was Jacoby Ellsbury going to the Yankees. Naturally, Red Sox fans won’t like this and I was sad to see Ellsbury leave the Red Sox. I can’t disagree with the Red Sox not paying big for Ellsbury, but they will miss his wheels at the top of their order. The big if in the Yankee’s grabbing Jacoby is health. When Ellsbury stays healthy, he is great…but he is not always healthy. With the short left field porch at Yankee Stadium, chances are good that Ellsbury power numbers are very good next year. Another player leaving Boston is Jarod Saltalamacchia. The Sox are apparently going with A. J. Pierzynski over Salty. As good as Salty was for Boston last year, I really like what A. J. brings to the Red Sox. I don’t think that the Sox will miss a beat in this exchange.


Robinson Cano remains unsigned, but the Yankee dollars are getting less with each player they sign. From what I have read, the Seattle Mariners are making a play for Cano, but I have to really wonder if Cano would trade playing in New York for Seattle. I do know that Cano’s power numbers would take a huge hit if he signs a long term deal with the Mariners. I remain skeptical that Cano signs with Seattle, but maybe it really is about the money for Robinson. Baseball winter meetings are next week and I have read that the Reds plan to dump Brandon Phillips. If Cano continues to play hard ball, the Yankees might make a play for Phillips. I suspect that if the Yankees keep Cano that something happens before next week.


The Oakland Athletics have been a terrific team the past couple of years. Is there any doubt that they do more with less? Billy Beane has been busy this week and I think the moves make Oakland a serious threat to continue their playoff ways. Beane added Jim Johnson to fill the void of departing closer Grant Balfour. He also strengthened the bullpen by adding Luke Gregerson and Josh Lindbolm. There is no doubt that adding these relievers will make the As better. Beane also grabbed outfielder Craig Gentry and starting pitcher Scott Kazmir. I really liked Gentry as a Ranger and I am sad to see him leave. He does not have much power, but could plays great defense and is a very good top of the lineup guy. The Rangers got Jemile Weeks and a very good minor league OF in Michael Choice. Weeks has impressive speed, but as we know…you can’t steal first base. Perhaps a change of scenery will help Weeks. Choice has shown promise and could be a very big addition down the road. The acquisition of Kazmir puzzles me a bit. Although he seemed to regain some of his mojo last year…a 10 and 9 record will not replace what Colon gave to the As last year. But hey…who am I to question Billy Beane?




Obviously Seattle is a very good team at home. If the Seahawks played each game as they did against San Francisco earlier in the year and New Orleans last Monday night…they would be undefeated. As I look at the NFC…I really only see one team that might have a chance to go to Seattle and win…the San Francisco 49ers. The only way to beat Seattle is to play great defense and run the football. The secondary of Seattle is probably the strength of their team. Damn, they are really good. I don’t think there are two better home teams than New Orleans and Seattle. There is just something really different about how they play at home. It looks more each week like the NFC road to the Super Bowl will travel through Seattle. The 49ers have a rematch this week with the Seahawks and have opened as a slight favorite (1.5). I have been saying for weeks that I like the 49ers to win this game and I don’t think it will be that close. I really believe that this will be the 9ers best game of the year and think they win by at least 6. The 49ers defense is completely different with Aldon Smith back in the fold. With that front 7, I think that Russell Wilson will be in for a long game.

Call me crazy, but as I look at the Cowboy schedule…I can see them winning out. The Bears defense is not what it has been and although it is a road game, I like the Cowboy’s chances to outscore the Bears. It also helps that Sean Lee will be back for this game. The remaining schedule for Dallas is…at Chicago, Packers, at Redskins, Eagles. Tony Romo has been known as a great November QB and a terrible QB in December. This year, I think he changes this mold. Of course I am a Dallas fan, but I do try to leave my rose colored glasses on the table when I look at my team. Then again…it is hard to have faith when disappointment has been the Cowboys trademark of late.


I know that Patriot fan was happy with their win over Denver…honestly, I see trouble ahead. As I look back on the big win over the Broncos, all I keep remembering is Knowshon Moreno running all over the Patriot defense. Although my Pat friends don’t want to hear this, Peyton Manning did not lose that game. With the terrible first half and numerous fumbles, Denver was able to pile up points without Manning ever getting going. With Montee Ball’s fumble, the momentum tumbled the Patriots way, only to be iced by the late fumbled punt. Hey…the Pats did what good teams do; they won when they did not play their best. My only point is that championship teams stop the run and I see this as a big problem for the Pats. Case in point…Ben Tate had his first 100 yard day since 2011 against the Patriots last Sunday. Losing the big man in the middle has really impacted New England's defense. While I am on that game…I thought it was ludicrous that Antonio Smith was suspicious that the Patriots were somehow cheating because they made great adjustments. Dude…have you even watched New England before? Bill Bellichick is as good as any coach in the history of the NFL at making adjustments. When it has been two months since your team has won a game...just keep your mouth shut.




The Texas Longhorns have a huge game this Saturday in Waco against the Baylor Bears. For much of the year, I did not think that the Horns had a chance to beat Baylor. Playing in Waco is never easy and I just did not think that the Texas defense would be able to slow down the Bears. Texas will need the game to go just right for them, but I am more hopeful now that at any time this year. I think it is less likely that Oklahoma beats Oklahoma State…which is what Texas needs to have a chance to win the Big 12. I would be very satisfied if Texas can just take care of their business on Saturday. Considering where they have come from since early in the year, it would be a very big deal. It is supposed to be wet and cold on Saturday in Waco..,a good thing if you are a running team...just saying.




Have you heard about operation mouse drop? Apparently there is a really bad problem with tree snakes in Guam...they are parachuting 2000 mice pumped full of acetaminophen to poison the snakes. Cost of this is reportedly $8 million. Check it out...


The comments on this are hilarious...



That is all I have today, but I will leave you with a bit of Jack Handey…



"If you're a young Mafia gangster out on your first date, I bet it's real embarrassing if someone tries to kill you. "


If you think a weakness can be turned into a strength, I hate to tell you this, but that's another weakness.


Thanks for stopping by and feel free to leave a few deep thoughts of your own…



Deep Thoughts 11-20-13
Category: FEATURED
Tags: NFL Football- Patriots and Carolina 49ers and Saints KC and Denver Yasiel Puig and Tim Hudson




Hello and welcome to another Wednesday of deep thoughts. One beautiful thing about being a sports fan is that we are given endless controversial plays to discuss. This past weekend of football featured two pivotal plays that have fans loudly debating the accuracy and logic of NFL officiating. The NFL has made it clear that they want to protect their players and especially those under center. There is no doubt that Ahmad Brooks whacked Drew Brees very hard…which is his job. In truth, it appears to me that he did his job too well. The force that Brooks arm impacted upon Brees had Drew’s head attempting to separate from his body. Or as Brees put it, “I went go go gadget neck"…and compared himself to a crash dummy. In truth, the reality is that the NFL would rather flag a play that is close than lose Brees, Brady or Manning for the season. Like it or not, this is now the reality of professional football. We can all argue that Brooks did not hit Brees in the head or neck but in the chest…officials have been instructed to throw the flag when it is close. The interesting thing is that against Brady or Manning, the same hit would probably not been penalized. The hit that rode into the neck of Brees, would have been six inches lower on other NFL QBs.







Change is often difficult to accept, but players and fans must understand that what was once a great play will now draw a penalty. In truth, there was more to San Francisco losing this game than the questionable penalty on Brooks. The play that stands out just as much to me was the wide open pass dropped by Gore in the flat. If he catches the ball, it was a huge gain…if not a score. It would seem that instead of fuming about this penalty, this group should put the play behind them and get ready to play the Redskins. I still think that the 49ers best football is ahead of them and their next game against the Redskins would be a very good time to begin a nice winning stretch. I am still very much looking forward to the rematch with the Seahawks and 49ers in San Francisco in early December.






The other big play that has everyone talking is the interference penalty that was not. For the world, it looked like Tom Brady would rescue the Pats with a last second comeback. The comeback was waved off by a very confusing call. There is one thing that I have learned over the years…if it looks and quacks like a duck, it is usually a duck. The mugging of Gronk in the end zone could have been called face guarding, holding or interference. How is it possible that it was none of the above? I know that there is no guarantee that the Pats score from the 1, but they should have had the opportunity. This was a very hard hitting, good football game that was ruined by the non-call. There is no question that Carolina is for real this year. There is one thing that I admire about the Patriots…they have already put this play behind them. They know that they cannot change what has happened and are preparing for their next game.

Another thing I took away from this game was that Steve Smith is a bad man. He may be small in stature, but the dude is not afraid to bring it. His one liner leaving the field was a classic…









The Bronco and KC game was pretty much what I expected. The Broncos jumped out early and did just enough to prevent the conservative Chiefs from ever really doing enough to threaten Denver. It has been said repeatedly that KC has not really been tested this year…now they have. There is no shame in losing in Denver, it is one of the toughest home venues in the league…as I said here last week, regrouping at 9 and 1 is not necessarily a bad thing. One thing that KC should take away from their game on Sunday is that Denver did not really run away and hide. The Chiefs have a great defense and do a good job running Jamaal Charles…but they really need a receiver to step up. Dwayne Bowe and Avery just do not do it for me, but they are the choices. Alex Smith does a very good job of managing the game, but needs some help. If KC expects to be successful the rest of the way, they must find a way to become more explosive on offense. . I know that most will talk about the rematch in two weeks against Denver, but they should be very careful not to overlook San Diego. The Chargers are not an easy team to run on and if Rivers gets going, he could be tough to stop.





Were you surprised that Tim Hudson signed with the Giants? I was…not so much that the Giants signed Hudson, but that the Braves did not re-sign him. Hudson was really on a roll when the freak injury sidelined him last summer. He was such a leader on the Brave’s team that I guess I just assumed that he would remain with them. Somehow, the Braves manage to let a Glavine or Smoltz go only to wind up with another talented arm ready to take their place. I guess, I can’t question this move…but it sure does seem like the Giants took a big early step forward for 2014.



I know that Yasiel Puig does many different things that annoy fans. From the bat flip to sometimes throwing to the wrong base…Puig has made a definite splash in baseball, but has earned himself a large number of detractors as well. This week, Puig did something that I thought was worthy of a mention.  Puig entertained 50 Los Angeles youths this week at Dodger Stadium. Many of these kids who had never been to Dodger Stadium before…were allowed to play baseball on the field, and then were invited with their parents to tour the dugout and clubhouse. Once in the clubhouse, Puig hosted everyone with a meal of Dodger Dogs. There will be those that say Puig set this up for the cameras, but for the kids involved, I suspect they could care less why thy they were invited. Great job Yasiel…


















I called my brother in Buffalo this week to wish him a happy birthday. In our visit we got to talking about the goof ball that tried to slide down the stadium rail during last Sunday’s football game. The guy has been banned from ever attending another Bills game and has been fired from his PR job. My brother also heard that a law suit was coming from the guy that he landed on. Although he is lucky to be alive, this is one stupid act that the guy will be living with for quite some time. Both fans involved in this accident were treated and released from the hospital. For those of you that missed the stunt…here it is:







If you have been reading my blog very long, you know that I love fishing over any other sport. Most of us that fish, grew up catching sunfish or perch, right? The cane pole and bobber adorned with a juicy worm was the required tools for any young fisherman. Whenever I hear mention of sunfish, I am immediately taken back to my youth and great times watching my bobber disappear. When I saw the picture of this sunfish, my happy thoughts regarding sunfish quickly vanished. Ugh...what an ugly fish! The beautiful sunfish that we all know has a very ugly relative living in Jamaica. Two fishermen hooked this bad boy and after a lengthy fight, managed to subdue this mutant sunfish. After almost sinking their boat, these fishermen managed to haul the fish into their boat and slowly head to shore. In case you ever head to Boston Bay in Jamaica, leave your cane pole and bobber at home...



                     This is what a 900 lb sunfish looks like. The fishermen initially thought it was an alien. Can you blame them?







That is all I have today, but I will leave you with a bit of Jack Handey…


Better not take a dog on the space shuttle, because if he sticks his head out when you're coming home his face might burn up.


If you're a horse, and someone gets on you, and falls off, and then gets right back on you, I think you should buck him off right away.



Thanks for stopping by and feel free to leave a few deep thoughts of your own…




Challenging Penalties
Category: NFL
Tags: NFL Patriots 49ers

I am almost certain that at some point someone else has raised the idea of penalty review for NFL games. However, I am again bringing it to the forefront of discussion. Given the circumstances of several outcomes this past weekend can we logically think that in a world of constant review penalties should, and can, remain immune?


In an ideal world I would love to make an argument suggesting that penalty review is not necessary but the past several seasons have proved this fact to be one taken in ignorance. Now before you get to irate just understand that I am only talking about review during end game situations. It seems that there are continuous situations where games are not decided by players but rather referees. This is not what I tune in to watch. More importantly, this isn’t what I committed three to four hours of my afternoon/evening to watch! Even the morally retarded NBA figured out that certain penalties are worth review. It is not hard to see that the speed of football has increased and along with it the rules gracing the rule books. That being said, why is it so hard to swallow the fact that tough penalty calls cannot always be made without bias, or with the uttermost clarity. We are all human in the end. For example, one of the most frustrating penalty calls I have seen in recent years is what I like to call reciprocation flags. We have all seen them: one player instigates a reaction from the opposing team but the last to act is the only one penalized. There have been several situations where this occurs at the tail end of games resulting in a continuation of a drive based on the assessed yardage. This is idiotic. I know some feel that the refs should simply let players play but the reality of the situation says they won’t thus; they need review to see the whole incident and make a fair judgment.


Last night’s game proved once again that refs get caught in the moment and cannot accurately make a real time judgment on certain plays. Therefore, mistakes should be avoided and a more logical system enacted that takes personal bias and/or error out of the equation. Even if the coaches are given a challenge for penalties that they can use during the final two minutes of the game it would be a step in the right direction. In short, I am tired of committing myself emotionally to a game only to have a penalty decide a team’s fate……it takes the fun out of watching.

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