Tagged with "Patriots"
Conspiracy in New England?
Category: NFL
Tags: Patriots Bill Bilichick NFL

 In a recent article posted on ESPN reporter Ashley Fox states that Patriots tight end has the right to be skeptical about the Patriots and their intentions for his return.  Fox goes on to suggest that Gronkowski is being cautious simply because of how his forearm injury was handled last season.  That being said, is she right in turning Gronkowski’s return from injury into a conspiracy theory? Is Bill Belichick really the mastermind of manipulation and team anarchy?

One could argue that Belichick’s quiet, yet suspicious nature leaves plenty of room for question. One could also allude to Wes Welker’s quick demise in New England, despite concerns from fans and a public display of support from Tom Brady. One could even point to “Spygate” or apparent clash with former defensive coordinator Eric Mangini as signs of Belichick’s debatable nature. However, is it possible that Belichick would stoop to a new low and ignore both Gronkowski’s personal assessment and all professional medical advice simply to win a few games? Actually, I think it is quite possible.

Belichick has been the ultimate secret since taking over GM duties in New England. He has devised, or more accurately, inflated an ego that borders on a God complex. So why would the health of a replaceable tight end be at the forefront of his agenda. In today’s game every player is expendable; every player is merely a pawn in a chess game that caters to marketing and individual profit. So Mrs. Fox while your theory seems a bit preposterous to blind Patriot fans, the rest of us see some validity hidden deep within the context of your words!

I don't have a crystal ball but...
Category: FEATURED
Tags: Bill Parcells MLB NFL Patriots Manning Brady

I don’t have a crystal ball

 

Bill Parcells once had one… but lost it

One cool rainy night at old

Foxboro Stadium the story goes… it disappeared,

Just vanished from his desk that was tucked into a corner of the locker room in that $7 million dollar High School like stadium…

 

Bill doesn’t have one and I don’t have a crystal ball either, someone does I’ve heard…

Just for the next few minutes imagine if someone you knew did.

with that in mind read this totally imaginary scene from the posh establishment you have all visited on Mondays here at the Gab,

Mo’s Tavern http://www.yougabsports.com/pt/Odds--Ends-at-the-Tavern/blog.htm

Some time in mid August of this year some of the resident Gab/Patriots fans

sat around Mo’s infamous round table

Chewing the fat and discussing the upcoming season of unknowns and

unwanted changes with their favorite team

 

This conversation was overheard with Tom Waits singing about closing time in the background…

Oldharry: I think that Sudfeld kid will make us forget Hernandez.

Sully: Cuz, are you high man? that Sudfeld is a stiff! He’ll probably be on the Jets before the seasons over.

Lanz: He’s a big kid, should be able to get open, may have potential…we’ll see.

 

Mo: lets see…5 Sam Adams, 1 Glenlivet 21 on rocks, 1 Woodstock Pigs Ear Brown Ale… Want funions, nuts or chex mix?

Oldharry: Yes, thanks Mo, all around. I think Suds works out Sully, he will be solid opposite Fells or Ballard till Gronk gets back.

Sully: Mo, what do you think about this years Pats?

 

Mo:  can’t you see I’m working Kevin, got an establishment to run...

maybe let you in on something later big guy.

Hal: Ballard looks like he’s running in mud, he won’t be on the final 53

Radatz: Fells can’t block or catch, I say he’s gone too.

Tage: The receivers have me worried, bunch of kids with potential but no experience,

Brady will be screaming at these guys, we’ll be feeling bad for them by week two…

Oldharry: I see Ridley having a big year, maybe 1400 yards and a dozen TD’s.

Sully: I’m a little worried about scoring, the D will be solid if they stay healthy, last thing they can afford is Vince, Spikes or Mayo getting tweaked and missing some time.

Radatz: The D backs should be better if Dennard can stay out of jail, Talib can cover most, Arrington has good ball skills and Adrian Wilson is a pro, he reminds me of  Rodney Harrison out there.

Tage: The kicking game is solid, Gostkowski is money and who doesn’t love Zoltan Mesko. That guy will be here for the rest of his career and they have that speedster Boyce who should be returning kicks

Lanz: Ridley should be ok if he can hold onto to the ball but I think the key to the offense is Vereen, he’s due for a break out year and Tommy will lean on him with Welker and Woodhead gone. Vereen can line up outside and with that speed he’s a mismatch.

Hal: Amendola should be able to take Welkers slack, it’s the TE’s and outside receivers I’m not to sure of. The most experienced receiver on the team is Edelman and he’s fragile

Oldharry: Welker won’t catch 40 balls in Denver with maybe 2 TD’s, he is Manning’s 4th option. He made a mistake going to Denver. Mark my words, Peyton has no arm strength and the Broncos will be lucky to win 8 games with that D.       Atlanta and the Pats are the class of the NFL this year.

 

Tage: Oldharry that blind loyalty is why NFL fans around the country hate us.

Manning is due for a huge year, Broncos should win 14.

 I wonder if Lloyd, Gaffney and Branch will hang around waiting for a call, Brady will contact them if these kids don’t pan out…

 

Lanz: harry Tage is right, you have to get rid of those rose colored glasses, look around... this cup is half empty…

 

Mo had heard enough blather, he walked over to the table with another round, this one on the house.

He set the drinks and some pretzels on the table and walked back to the bar. He picked up an object and carried it carefully over and set it down.

 

Mo: I have a crystal ball. A friend of a friend says its from the old Foxboro Stadium locker room, he left it here a few years back to cover his tab…had it sitting in the back seat of a Rambler parked out front.

    

My friends, I do have a crystal ball

and

I’ve been looking into it

What would you Pats fans say if I told you that after five games

the Patriots would:

-Have played the first 5 games without Gronk

-that Amendola has been a non factor since getting hurt in game one

-and Julian Edelman leads the team in receptions with 37

- that Zoltan Mesko is punting for the hapless Pittsburgh Steelers

-and that Ridley has an injured knee and has been pedestrian at best

-fatso Lagarrette Blount at 255 lbs is your kick returner and leading rusher

-that ShaneVereen is on IR until late November

-that Vince Wilfork is on IR with a torn Achilles tendon…

-that A guy named Chris Jones is your starting N T

-WR rookies Tomkins and Dobson have combined for 4 TD’s and 18 drops

-stud TE Zak Sudfeld is on the Jets

-that future HOF QB Tom Brady has a passer rating of 80 and has only thrown for more than 300 yards once in the five games

-and that Matt Mully Mulligan has the only TD by a TE

-this team is 31st in red zone offense only better than the Jags

 

And with all that being true…

The Pat’s will still be  4-1 and will be just one bad throw or bad drop away from pushing the Bengals into OT in the lone 7 pt loss

C’mon Mo…

We don’t believe you, we aren’t buying that! said a chorus led by Oldharry…

You’ve lost your mind…

Next are you gonna tell us that the Red Sox dropped the Rays 3 games to1 in the ALDS and are hosting the Det/ Oak winner in the ALCS?

Or that the Dodgers are in the NLCS?

Or that the Chiefs are unbeaten?

Or  or that the US government is in partial shut down?

Or that Beeze has a dog named Finnegan

Or that Peyton has thrown for 20 TD’s for the 5-0 Broncos

while

Eli has thrown 12 picks for the 0-5 Giants

 

Or that DVT has run out of one liners…

 

Crystal ball Mo?…

what kind of idiots do you think we are… 

Odds & Ends at the Tavern
Category: Daily Blog 2.0
Tags: Red sox patriots alex rodriguez bud selig

The story of my life.  A successful weekend is getting a hair cut, and oil change, take a few old movies and a few beers in me. ...and I want to know who set the schedule for the boy’s U-10 soccer team, because I’m pretty sure they looked at the Patriots schedule and pasted the games right in the middle of them.  Mrs. has this recipe for chicken wings that are just the bomb – marinade wings in soy sauce, orange juice concentrate, and ginger.  That takes the sting out of sitting at a town park while your team is playing.  

As soon as we showed up for game, the sky went from threatening to outright downpour, and of course we were there 30 minutes before game time - at 5 minutes before game time it looked like the other team was going to forfeit...but alas that didn't come to pass.  Normally, I would've griped about this, but the Patriots were playing about as bad an offensive game as you can play, so in the end it was a case of "may as well be getting rained on here, than watching that at home."

Gronk hasn’t played yet this season, yet Dunkin Donuts is busy promoting how Gronk-tacular their crappy sandwiches are; the week after Vince Wilfork is done for the season, a local supermarket is advertising their “In-VINCE-able” pizza.  Yeah, I’m not getting a steak and egg breakfast sandwich, and I’m not getting a bacon, pineapple, ham, sausage, pepper, and onion.  If I see Tom Brady promoting Subway or some other foodstuff, I’m going to go ballistic. It's pretty bad that TB12's two previous backups - Brian Hoyer and Matt Cassel - have been having a better season than he has...then again, he's still upright, while Hoyer isn't...and he's the presumed stater, while Cassel isn't.

On top of that, they released Zach Sudfeld - an undrafted rookie - presumably hoping he wouldn't clear waivers to sign him to the practice squad...only to have him poached by the Jets.  Good luck, Rex.

I happened to catch “Jerry Maguire” the other night – I’d forgotten Drew Bledsoe’s bit role.  Before Brady was Brady, the Patriots were Drew Bledsoe and as much as some here look back at Mo Lewis’ hit ushering in the Brady era with fondness, I’d like to remind everyone that this was a team that was failing before Parcells/Bledsoe arrived.  And why was Bledsoe in the flick?  I mean other than the fact that he was available at the time?  Seems the plot was based on Lee Steinberg, his agent.  Who knew?

The Red Sox have quickly gone up 2-0 against the Tampa Bay Devil Hens – a name Mrs. gave them over a decade ago and one that I think is brilliant so I have kept it.  TB had to win 2 – a game 166, and a play-in – just to get to Boston, so they’re a little depleted, but when David Ortiz takes David Price deep twice you know it’s going to be a tough road.  At 97 wins, this season was the 6th best in Sox history.  Of the top 5, they went to the World Series 4 times and won it 3.  Of course, when they didn’t win it, they found spectacular ways to lose.  1978, with 99 wins, they tanked a lead in the AL East, and lost a game 166 on Bucky Flipping Dent’s home run; in 1946, Johnny Pesky took the mantle of goat by holding the ball on Enos Slaughter’s dash home in game 7.

Amazing, that you can have a phenomenal season and be known 70 years later for holding the ball.  Anyway, Joe Maddon still believes in his Devil Hens – and made clear that Boston is beautiful this time of year and that he’s looking forward to be back here later in the week.  After the run he’s had with Tampa, he’s got a right to confidence, but after the clinic the Sox put on over the weekend, it seems unlikely.  19 runs, and in game one all 9 batters had a hit and scored – only the third time in post-season that’s happened.  Of course, the first two were in the 1930’s meaning even the pitchers scored, making that achievement just a little less historic, but significant nonetheless.

Meanwhile, a kid that had thrown exactly 10 major league starts went 8 scoreless innings against the Tigers to bring the A’s even with Los Tigres in their divisional round series.  Keep beating the snot out of each other, guys.  Boston will be waiting.

And despite the Yankees not being in the playoffs, they’re still in the news, what with A-Hole filing suit in court that MLB and the Yankees are trying to force him out of the game.  See here’s the problem for MLB: Mr Rodriguez has a LOT of money, and as a friend who worked in newspapers back in the day once said, don’t get into a war of words with someone who buys ink by the barrel.  Is Selig a douche?  You bet and I actually kind of like that A-Rod isn’t going quietly – he’ll self destruct and hopefully take Selig with him.  End result?  Selig is going anyway.  A-Rod is going anyway.  They used to call the concept, “mutually assured destruction,” and this is what would have happened if there hadn’t been a peaceful resolution to the Cuban Missle Crisis.  Everyone’s getting blown up here.  Get your popcorn ready.

Have a great week.

 

 

HAL B.’s FANTASTIC FRIDAY SPORTS SPECTACULAR - 10/04/2013
Category: FEATURED
Tags: Baseball Football Soccer Footy Red Sox NFL Patriots College Football

Happy Friday, Gabbers! Well, a nasty cold/flu has beaten me down the end of this week, but nothing that would stop me from Gabbing away. This week had the baseball playoffs kick-off with excitement around the wild card that was actually...wild!  Now the NLDS and ALDS are ready to kick-off and what a wonderful New York Yankees-free playoffs it will be.

 

The NHL kicked off the regular season this week as well (seems hard to think about ice at this time) and the NBA is not far behind. Week six of the NCAA College Football schedule looks like a good kickoff to the weekend with a few more quality matchups, and of course the NFL prepares to start the second quarter of the schedule.  

 

October baseball kicks off following a wild wild-card week with a play-in game and then two “winner-take-all” games. This post-season is great as perennial losers the Pittsburgh Pirates won the wild-card eliminator and now face the St. Louis in a best of five series. I’d love to see the Pirates advance, but with Adam Wainwright and Shelby Miller at the front of their rotation, they will be tough to beat. Great story this year in Pittsburgh, but this looks to be one of those “happy to be here” teams. Maybe they can win one at home versus St. Louis in game three?

 

The other NLDS series has the Los Angeles “No Peeing in the Pool” Dodgers against the “Them Again?!?!?” Atlanta Braves. Both teams skated in September without any real competition, but both teams have strong lineups, strong starters, and strong bullpens.  One team is gonna be cheesed by losing in the first round, when both are legitimate World Series contenders. The Braves bullpen is dynamic, but the Dodgers are pretty damn good. The Dodgers top starters are the elite of the elite in baseball, but the Braves are not exactly chopped liver (if not household names). I give the Braves a slight advantage, if only because the Dodgers have no Matt Kemp, a dinged up Andre Ethier and Hanley Ramirez, and locker-room cancers Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford along with injured beer swilling and fried chicken eating Josh Beckett...whoa, a little Red Sox anger coming out there...reel it in, reel it in...2012 is a bad memory...reel it in...ok, I hate the Dodgers. Go (formerly Boston) Braves.

 

The 2013 Boston Red Sox run into the same problem as wild-card winning Tampa Bay Rays match-up in the short series by throwing Cy Young Award winning David Price, All-Star Matt Moore, and the best pitcher in second half of the season, Alex Cobb. I would say the Sox lineup is an advantage, but with Wil Myers in the middle of the lineup with Evan Longoria and Delmon Young seemingly always saving his hitting prowess for the postseason, this is a tough matchup for Boston. The Rays got here by eliminating Baltimore, the Yankees, the Rangers, and the Indians over the past week or so. Wow. Here’s one Boston fan hoping the Rays take their foot off the pedal and the Sox move on.

 

The other ALDS matchup of the Detroit Tigers matching up against the Oakland Athletics is a very intriguing series. A rematch of last year’s ALDS that went the full five, the A’s have a trump card this year: everyone’s favorite Science Fair winner, Bartolo “Performance Enhancing What?” Colon. In addition, Detroit has injury concerns with Miggy Cabrera dinged up and ineffective in September. Can Victor Martinez, Jhonny “Performance Enhancing”Peralta, Torii Hunter, and Prince Fielder step up for Cabrera? Oakland has a lot of no-names who keep winning, but the Tigers have starting pitchers Max Scherzer, Justin Verlander, and Anibal Sanchez...that’s a big advantage.

 

*

 

SATURDAY SPECIAL:

This week has an ACC matchup with two top 25 teams (depending on what ranking you use, I guess) with Florida State welcoming Maryland. Florida State is coming off a win at Boston College that was a lot harder than most (especially me) expected. Maryland is no slouch, and they have two stars in quarterback C.J. Brown and receiver Stefon Diggs. Diggs opened eyes with a great year as a true freshman, so the sophomore won’t be drafted in the NFL until 2015 at the earliest (no one cares what he says in 2013 about staying four years when first round money isn’t being thrown in his face with a frenzied fervor by potential agents next year), but I want to see him as much as possible as he looks like a future star slot receiver in the NFL with his quickness and speed.

 

Ohio State and quarterback Braxton Miller face off against the purple powerhouse Northwestern Saturday night. This is a great Big Ten battle of undefeated squads. With Miller stepping up last week against Wisconsin, OSU will be trying to carry that momentum on the road this weekend. Northwestern plays two quarterbacks, dual threat Kain Colter and pocket passer Trevor Siemian. The biggest difference-maker could be Northwestern running back Venric Mark who has been injured since preseason. Mark rushed for over 1300 yards last year, and if he is healthy and effective, this could be an upset special for Northwestern.

 

Finally, the third matchup of top twenty-five ranked teams takes place late (I may be asleep by then, no guarantees, but if awake, I’ll have ESPN on) as two West Coast Pac-12 powerhouses matchup with Stanford and Washington in Cali. Last year Washington beat Stanford with an impressive defensive display. In 2011, Stanford rushed for almost 450 yards in wiping out Washington and putting up over 60 points. So two undefeated inter-conference power-houses face-off and most of America will be sleeping.  Kathy, put the coffee on! It’s football watching night!

 

Numero uno Alabama is facing off against Georgia….State. These types of games are boring to watch and while I understand the top programs wanting to have these “cupcakes” on the schedule to rest, recover, regroup, and get a look at the second and third teamers, as a sports fan I have no desire to watch a game that’s 35-0 after the first ten minutes.

 

*

 

NFL PICKS:

 

Detroit Lions at Green Bay Packers: The Lions are in first place. Seriously. The Packers are in a tough start to the season, but coach Mike McCarthy is also 13-1 against the Lions (no wonder Detroit hates this guy--he’s like Don Shula and the Dolphins against all those horrible New England Patriots teams of my youth!). The Lions look like a legit powerhouse with running backs Joique Bell and Reggie Bush to complement Megatron. Can Matt Stafford outduel Aaron Rodgers? In Green Bay? Why the heck not?

Prediction: Lions 44, Packers 27

 

 

 

 

New Orleans Saints at Chicago Bears:  The Saints are sizzling on offense and are vastly  improved with the fatter Ryan brother in charge. The Bears' defense is living off a reputation from three years ago, they are simply not very good. If Jay Cutler has to get into a shootout with Drew Brees, well, it won’t be pretty. If I were coaching the Bears I’d put the ball in Matt Forte’s hands early and often.

Prediction: Saints 54, Bears 17

 

Buffalo Bills at Cleveland Browns: This is the Thursday night game, so I can’t make a pick, but I expect this game to be more interesting than it looked just a few weeks ago. The Browns lead the NFC North by tie-breaker right now and their defense looks like a playoff-caliber defense (they’re calling to Beezer...come back to the Browns...come back to the Browns...we won’t break your heart!) I love that they are winning with their new starting quarterback, Brian Hoyer, who apparently learned something practicing with Tom Brady for three years. The Bills have a find in quarterback EJ Manuel and are 2-2, too. Great game, I hope. I’m rooting for Hoyer.

 

Denver Broncos at Dallas Cowboys: Take the over. Then take over the over.  I think this game is whoever settles for a field goal loses. The joke I pulled out is it is Enver versus Allas, because this game has no “D” (wow, that was bad!). I’d like to see Denver lose, but think they should win. I’ll go with heart over head here.

Prediction: Cowboys 42, Broncos 38

Atlanta Falcons vs New York Jets:

The talk out of New York is that Rex Ryan is already considering benching Geno Smith? Everyone but Rex realizes this is a rebuilding year. Matt Simms? Really? The Falcons are 1-3.  Matt Ryan, he has gotta be pissed after losing to New England, and looky-looky what creampuff is on his schedule.

Prediction: Falcons 27, Jets 17

 

New England Patriots at Cincinnati Bengals: So for the second consecutive week, the perfect Patriots are road underdogs. If I made t-shirts and bumper stickers, they would read “Believe in Talib!”  Patriots cornerback Aqib Talib pitched a shutout last week against Atlanta: seven passes thrown at him, no completions. Those are REVIS numbers. If he shut-down Julio Jones, can he do it to A.J. Green? I say why not. Also, I have to state that I hate the Bengals more than any other team. Their lousy bloggers pissed me off to no end this offseason (I’m so glad we drafted chumpzilla Jermaine Gresham over Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez--we’re so much smarter!).  Grrrrrr. I hate them. I want to drive out to Cincy and do the Icky Shuffle at midfield after the game when the Pats smack them around. I may be the only one, but I HATE THE BENGALS!!!!!!

Prediction: Patriots 34, Bengals 13


 

Baltimore Ravens at Miami Dolphins: This would be a great tie. I expect Baltimore quarterback will be going for six (interceptions that is)

Prediction: Dolphins 24, Ravens 17

 

Jacksonville Jaguars at St. Louis Rams: I see this as a winnable game for Jacksonville, even on the road. That said, trading left tackle Eugene Monroe was a head-scratcher...to give away a franchise left tackle for a bunch of late round picks is waving the white flag. There goes Maurice Jones-Drew’s fantasy value with his best blocker gone. How long until Jones-Drew is on the block for draft picks? Rebuilding is one thing--emptying the cupboard completely is another. The Rams are terrible, but not quite that bad.

Prediction: Rams 28, Jaguars 7

 

Kansas City Chiefs at Tennessee Titans: This game did not look too marquee before teh season, but Chiefs-Titans looks like a good matchup. Being stuck with quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick after Jake Locker got hurt after FINALLY playing so well kills Tennessee.

Prediction: Chiefs 23, Titans 13

 

Philadelphia Eagles at New York Giants: Go for 0-5, Eli stinks! Go for 0-5, Eli stinks! Go for 0-5, Eli stinks! Go for 0-5, Eli stinks! Go for 0-5, Eli stinks! Go for 0-5, Eli stinks! Go for 0-5, Eli stinks! Go for 0-5, Eli stinks! Go for 0-5, Eli stinks! Go for 0-5, Eli stinks! Go for 0-5, Eli stinks! Go for 0-5, Eli stinks! Go for 0-5, Eli stinks! Go for 0-5, Eli stinks! Go for 0-5, Eli stinks! Go for 0-5, Eli stinks! Go for 0-5, Eli stinks! Go for 0-5, Eli stinks! Go for 0-5, Eli stinks! Go for 0-5, Eli stinks!

Prediction: Eagles 34, Giants 27

 

Seattle Seahawks at Indianapolis Colts: Seattle has been a little off so far this year, but they keep pumping out the wins. The Seahawks pass rush should stop the NFL’s best young quarterback, Andrew Luck.

Prediction: Seahawks 20, Colts 17

 

Carolina Panthers at Arizona Cardinals: Ugh. My preseason super-smart fantasy football pick of quarterback Carson Palmer looks terrible now that he returned to earth in a hurry. Panthers quarterback Cam Newton is slowly getting back on track.

Prediction: Panthers 27, Cardinals 20

 

Houston Texans at San Francisco 49ers: Wasn’t this the Super Bowl prediction everyone made last year? Houston vs Seattle Super Bowl this year? Houston cannot win with Matt Schaub at quarterback in a big game. EVER. This counts as a big game.

Prediction: 49ers 31, Texans 24

 

San Diego Chargers at Oakland Raiders: It's either Sunday Night Football the Late Show Edition or Early Monday Morning Football. The game kicks off at 11:35 PM eastern time. Wow. Well, I’ve been stashing him on my bench in a few fantasy football leagues, but I need Philip Rivers to have a huge game against a questionable defense

Chargers 78, Raiders 17 (hey, I need the fantasy points!)

 

Minnesota Vikings, Pittsburgh Steelers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Washington Redskins: These guys can’t lose! (They all have the bye this week)

 

*

 

Finally, in the English Premier League, Everton hung on at Goodison Park against Newcastle U after jumping out to a 3-0 lead at the half. Barring a complete breakdown, at that point the game is over.  In the second half, just like the New England Patriots did against the Atlanta Falcons, the boys in blue were forced to hang on with white knuckles and fight off Newcastle for the three points with a 3-2 win.  After three straight draws to open the season, this was the third straight league match win. With 12 points after six games, it’s great to see Everton leap into the top of the division and sitting in fourth place a point behind cross-town rival Liverpool and the Spurs, and only three points back of Arsenal. For a transition year, this is a great start.  This weekend brings Everton on the road to play Manchester City (aka the best squad money can buy) who are 3-0 at home so far this short season.  It’s a tough matchup, but I’ll be cheering the boys in (dark) blue.

 

OK, all...have a great weekend and enjoy all the playoff baseball, college football, NFL football, NHL action, and of course footy from across the pond.

 
Crosspost - Sunday Musings #114
Category: User Showcase
Tags: CollegeFootball NewEnglandPatriots FantasyFootball WNBA AlabamaCrimsonTide BostonCollegeEaglesFootball BostonRedSox BostonCeltics

While massaging my temples trying to figure out what the hell one of my former players is thinking...

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

The early game of interest to me was kind of by default this week. I was waiting for the Boston College - Florida State game at 3:30 when I came home from running errands. I caught the start of the second half of the #12 South Carolina - Central Florida game.

Surprisingly enough, it was Central Florida who led at halftime, 10-0. Part of the reason could be attributed to the fact that South Carolina QB Connor Shaw left the game in the first quarter with a shoulder sprain. But South Carolina didn't waste much time finally getting their offense on track to start the second half. They marched right down the field to cut it to 10-7.

The Gamecocks then had a chance to take the lead but fumbled the ball late in the drive. But it didn't deflate them at all because they got the ball in the end zone on their next possession.

Now down 14-10, Central Florida seemed to be imploding late in the 3rd quarter as they threw an interception and could do nothing to stop South Carolina as they barged into the end zone and took a 21-10 lead early in the fourth quarter. The Gamecocks made it 28-10 before Central Florida showed a bit of a spark to cut it to 28-18 on a TD run and 2 point conversion and then scored another TD to make it 28-25. It was a nice comeback but it fell short as that was the final score.

The big dog for SC was Mike Davis. He ran for 167 yards and 3 TDs.

I know that Steve Spurrier only worries about offense but giving up 427 yards to Central Florida (despite the team being 3-0) can't be a good sign when the Gamecocks go on to play their "tougher" opponents.

The Boston College game against #8 Florida State started off well for the Eagles as they took an early 7-0 lead thanks to a Chase Rettig TD pass to C.J. Parsons.

After giving up a Seminole field goal, the Eagles went on a long drive that resulted in a TD pass from Rettig to Jake Sinkovec (pictured) and a 14-3 lead at the end of the first quarter.

In the second quarter, the Eagles got a stop and then keyed on Andre Williams as they went on another drive. While the drive stalled out, the Eagles did get a field goal to make it 17-3 in their favor.

But the Seminoles aren't #8 in the country for nothing. A 75 yard 44 second quick strike drive culminated in a 56 yard TD pass from Jameis Winston to Rashad Greene as FSU quickly climbed back into the game at 17-10. The BC pass defense got abused on the play.

After some ineffective back and forth from both teams, FSU found its rhythm again and a quick drive (80 yards, 7 plays) that tied the game at 17 on a TD pass from Winston to Chad Abram.

And as time expired to end the half, the goodwill BC had built for itself completely fell apart as Winston unleashed a Hail Mary bomb after avoiding the pass rush and threw a 55 yard TD pass to Kenny Shaw. As they say on the NFL highlights, KNOCK IT DOWN. Halftime score FSU 24 BC 17.

In the third quarter, the Eagles started the scoring with a Nate Freese field goal, but Rashad Greene caught a 10 yard TD pass from Jameis Winston to make it 31-20 Florida State. Add in another rush TD and FSU was in complete control 38-20.

That is until Chase Rettig threw a 52 yard TD pass  to Miles Willis to make it 38-27.

A BC defensive stand near their own goal line opening up the fourth quarter kept FSU from scoring a TD but Roberto Aguayo kicked a field goal to put Florida State up 41-27.

But Boston College killed themselves on the very next position when Chase Rettig got picked off and saw it run back for a score. 48-27 Florida State. The game analyst on the ABC broadcast pointed out that BC needed to start looking at other receivers besides Alex Amidon. And right then, Rettig threw behind Amidon and it was picked off. ARGGGHH!

Thankfully, the Eagles didn't just roll over after that back breaking INT. Rettig drove the team down the field and hit C.J. Parsons for a TD to make it 48-34.

Dominique Williams then picked off Jameis Winston and gave BC another shot of hope with just over 6 minutes left in the game. But it went for naught as Chase Rettig got intercepted at the goal line to effectively end the game.

What to take away from this game? Florida State has an explosive offense but if a team with only marginal talent, as BC quite honestly has, can put 34 points on the board, your defense isn't quite ready for prime time. And while BC's top talent does the job for the most part, there isn't enough there to compete with top flight teams right now.

For FSU:

QB Jameis Winston (pictured below) threw for 329 yards and 4 TDS. He was also the leading rusher with 68 yards.

Receiver Kelvin Benjamin had 103 receiving yards. Rashad Greene caught two TDs and the defense had 2 INTs and 3 sacks.

For Boston College:

Chase Rettig passed for just 197 yards but had 4 TD passes. Those were offset by two killer INTs. He was sacked three times too.

Andre Williams (pictured below) didn't find the end zone but again showed that he is a pretty good running back. He finished with 149 yards.

Alex Amidon caught 7 passes but had just 42 yards. C.J. Parsons caught 2 of the TDs from Rettig.

The late day game was of course the Alabama-Ole Miss game.

A lot of talk before the game seemed to be centered around the Alabama offensive line and how unsettled that particular part of the team is. I heard some people calling Ole Miss for the upset.

But as the game got underway, the Alabama defense has started out being the driving force of the game. They held on a 4th and 1 to take over on downs and then intercepted a pass on the next drive.

But as good as Bama's defense has been in the first half, Ole Miss is holding their own as well. They've given up just two field goals and trail 6-0. Cade Foster's second field goal was a career long 53 yards. He tacked on another field goal as time expired and led 9-0 at halftime.

Alabama couldn't establish anything in the running game during the first half, but T.J. Yeldon had a 68 yard TD run to cap the first drive of the 3rd quarter and gave the Crimson Tide a commanding 16-0 lead.

The defense has continued to shine in the second half. They shut down Ole Miss on a 4th and 2 towards the end of the 3rd quarter and then Bama continued to use Yeldon to establish the run game. It allowed them to both move the chains and work the clock as the third quarter ended.

To open the fourth quarter, Ole Miss got an interception off of Alabama QB A.J. McCarron. This was seen as a break that they needed to try and get something started offensively. But it wasn't to be as Alabama forced another turnover on downs.

Later, Ole Miss got pinned down on their own 1 foot line and it got turned into a safety by Alabama. On the first play after Ole Miss kicked the ball following the safety, Kenyan Drake ran for a 50 yard touchdown.

And then Alabama recovered a fumble. Knowing the game was "in the bag", the Tide sent in Blake Sims at QB. But they turned the ball over on downs.

After a slow offensive start, Alabama got things going a bit in the run game and their defense was superior throughout.

A.J. McCarron had just 180 passing yards and an INT but still managed to keep things moving along enough to keep the Tide out ahead even when the offense couldn't get things going against the defense.

T.J. Yeldon had 121 rushing yards and a TD while Kenyan Drake added 99 yards and the other score. In all the ground game had 255 yards on the ground.

The defense had 2 sacks, an interception and a fumble recovery on the day. They gave up just 49 rushing yards and 208 total yards of offense.

They won the game 25-0 and despite not being a fireworks offense like Oregon, still maintain their status as the #1 team in the country.

The other game of note (to me at least): In what will probably be seen as the game of the day, Georgia came from behind late to beat LSU 44-41. Though Zach Mettenberger had slightly better numbers, it was Aaron Murray who came up big to give the Bulldogs the big win. He's working his way to shedding that "can't win the big games" reputation.

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

A little trip back in time to last Sunday lets you back to the Patriots-Buccaneers game. The Patriots started out a bit weak against Tampa Bay but by halftime were in complete control of the game on the way to a 23-3 victory.

Everything for the Patriots was at least adequate in the game, but Tampa Bay had huge issues all day long. I think it is easy to see the lack of performance by Josh Freeman in this game as the final nail in the coffin of his starting QB job. He got officially benched late this week and there was even talk of him being deactivated as a player too.

The passing game for the Patriots looked good in the early going. Tom Brady had a run of the mill day overall. He was 25-36 for 225 yards and two TDs. But the big talking point of his game was the horrible INT he threw in the end zone that ended a New England scoring drive. It was really bad and you could see that Brady himself was pretty irked over his mistake.

The rookie receivers were marginally better in this game as opposed to the first two games. Kenbrell Thompkins caught just 3 balls for 41 yards but two of those catches were for TDs.

Stephen Gostkowski had a good day with 3 field goals and his kickoffs were mostly unreturned by the Bucs.

The running game had a REALLY good day totalling 156 rushing yards. LeGarrette Blount led the running back by committee with 65 yards with Brandon Bolden adding 54. Stevan Ridley had 35 yards. The numbers were individually impressive but they got the majority of those yards on big and timely runs that kept drives going.

The defense sacked Freeman 3 times and also picked him off once.

Overall, it was a solid win albeit lacking in the expected fireworks. But now comes more of a real test for these Patriots. The relatively easy opening portion of their schedule is over. They play the Atlanta Falcons today and while the Falcons may not have the most showstopping defense, they do put points on the board which will challenge the Patriots to do the same.

BOSTON CELTICS

The news out of Camp Shamrock this week was the announcement that point guard Rajon Rondo is likely to be unable to return to the court until December. This is not a good thing to be sure.

Who will play the point while Rondo is still out? And can new coach Brad Stevens implement whatever system he's looking to put in for the team when the floor general isn't able to be out on the practice or game court in order to run said system?

BOSTON RED SOX

With the division wrapped up, the next win benchmark for the Red Sox to look forward to (though not necessarily be overly concerned with) was 100 wins. Unfortunately, that won't happen this season. The best they can do is 99 wins.

But they are still in the running for home field throughout the playoffs. They battered the Orioles last night 12-3 to get one step closer. If they win 1 of their last two games, they'll get that advantage.

As for the game last night, David Ortiz came to plate and smacked a deceptive fly ball to the opposite field. As it came off the bat, to me it looked like it was just going to be a long fly out. But the ball kept carrying and went out for a home run.

The homer for Ortiz was the 30th of the season and gave him his seventh 30 homer, 100 RBI season. That ties him with Ted Williams in that category.

Clay Buchholz pitched 7 innings and while he wasn't as dominant as he might've liked, he got the job done. He finishes with a 12-1 regular season mark and has a 1.74 ERA.

My mom's favorite player, Daniel Nava had a big three run homer in the game as well. I don't know if there is any kind of award he might be eligible for, but he has had a magnificent season.

FANTASY FOOTBALL

It was a crappy week 3 for me in the Yahoo fantasy football leagues. I dropped both games and neither score was close.

WNBA

And thus the season dies for me a bit.

The Chicago Sky were the #1 seed in the Eastern Conference. But they were also playoff rookies. And it showed as they got swept out of the playoffs by the Indiana Fever. They lost the first game which I wrote about last week.

But when they went on the road to Indiana, The Fever wasted no time in putting them on the sidelines and ran away from Chicago 79-57. Despite the loss, this was the most successful season in Sky team history.

Sylvia Fowles had 14 points and 14 rebounds to lead the team. Epiphanny Prince and Elena Delle Donne each scored 10 points.

The elimination of the Sky kind of kills my interest in the WNBA season now. I don't have a real rooting interest left so it makes it kind of hard to stay interested in the results.

 

MISCELLANEOUS

Music - Rat Pak Records has released another song from the upcoming Metal Church CD Generation Nothing. You can check out the title track here: http://soundcloud.com/rat-pak-records/generation-nothing

Books - I finished reading the Castle TV series tie-in novel Deadly Heat this week. While a serviceable enough read, overall I was kind of disappointed in this one.

I also picked up the new John Sandford paperback Mad River. It is the latest in his series featuring the character Virgil Flowers.

Comics - For those who are fans of the Firefly TV series and Serenity follow up movie, there was news this week of a good nature. While there is no new movie or TV project coming up soon, Dark Horse Comics will launch a new comic book series that picks up after the end of the movie. You can read the story and see some preview images here: http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=48004

I'm a huge fan of the franchise, so this news cheered me up immensely. As soon as it gets listed for order, you know I'll be placing my order.

TV - The first full week of fall TV premieres kept me pretty busy watching new and returning series over the last few days.

On Monday, I really liked the premiere of The Blacklist. Other shows like How I Met Your Mother, Mom, 2 Broke Girls, Bones and Castle varied in quality.

Tuesdays brought the return of NCIS and NCIS: LA. Both episodes were good but not great. The premiere of Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. was good though a bit underwhelming. It did a good job of setting up the characters (I didn't care for Fitz and Simmons though. They seemed like plucky comic relief characters, but weren't actually funny) and the basic premise of the series. And they set up the running subplots for the character's backgrounds which was nice.

Wednesday was actually the season finale of the BBC America drama Broadchurch. The finale was amazing and the reveal of the killer was a huge surprise that I had no idea was coming. The season premiere of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit spent the first hour wrapping up the big cliffhanger from last year. It was good right up until the very end when it kind of copped out. I haven't seen the second hour yet.

On Thursday I watched the first two episodes of The Big Bang Theory's new season. I was kind of disappointed in them. The series premiere of the Robin Williams series The Crazy Ones was good but if you watch the trailer (see below), you've basically seen the entire episode. The first two episodes of The Michael J. Fox Show were decent if unspectacular. The documentary feature of talking to the camera was annoying though. I still have to watch the season premiere of Elementary though.

Friday was the return of Hawaii Five-0 and Blue Bloods which were both good.

And then there is tonight which features football as well as the season premieres of The Good Wife and The Mentalist. And though I can't remember right now, I'm pretty sure there is something else on that I watch.

Oh and some enterprising poster on Youtube did a reimagining of the sci-fi show Orphan Black's opening credits as set to the theme for Friends. It's pretty good and you can check it out below.

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