Tagged with "Patriots"
Reflecting on The Pats Season
Category: Daily Blog 2.0
Tags: Super Bowl AFC NFC Broncos Patriots Manning Brady


This is a tale of two similar seasons 12 years removed. ?In January 2002, I watched the divisional round of the playoffs from a cruise ship leaving Miami. ?I watched an improbable Patriots win to advance to the AFC title game in Pittsburgh. I watched that game from Key West Florida. ?This year, I watched the divisional round just before leaving on vacation, and came home to watch the AFC title game. ?Both playoff runs were improbable ??if for different reasons. ?Both the 2001 and 2013 Patriots had fluky things happen to get to the #2 seed. ?Neither team was really expected to get there. ?The big difference ??the 2001 team had enough horses to make it over the finish line.

So, that Patriots fell short ??as it happens, very short ??this year. ?That said, there s no shame in losing the AFC title to the most prolific offense in NFL history with a team depleted as much by injury (Gronkowski,?WIlfork) as by apparent malfeasance (Hernandez). ?This is a team that completely overachieved this season, as I suggested in an earlier article. ?They won several games (Broncos, Texans, Browns) they had no business winning, and were lucky enough to pull out the #2 seed ??I m still not sure how that happened.

So here s my thing: it s easy to point to yet another big game loss and wonder if Brady has any more big game wins left in him, but over the last 12 years the Patriots have gone to 5 Super Bowls, 8 Championship Games. ?I can t think of a more impressive run, ever. ?As far as I m concerned, while I m disappointed my team lost, I m happy as hell that I got another week to watch them play this year, that they went as far as they did. ?Winning is great, but you also have to appreciate getting to the game. ?It?wasn t really that long ago that I was thrilled the Pats got to the playoffs, never mind really contesting the Super Bowl. ?

I was really giggling at the thought the Pats could play for another Super Bowl on Eli s home turf. ?Of course, if I m being completely candid, I honestly thought that it would be the NFC representative dancing under the confetti at the end of the day. ?Of course, in February 2002, I was convinced of the same. ?Anything really can happen.

Now, I cannot leave it there. ?The Broncos absolutely deserve to be in the title game. ?In fact, there was a point at which I was convinced they could go undefeated all season. ?Additionally, they showed they were the superior team Sunday. ?No doubt there. ?They controlled the ball for the entirety of the game; the offense truly had their will and the defense stifled the Patriots. ?Sure, the Patriots played a bad game, but in my opinion was a result of the Manning-led offense playing their game with precision and victimizing the Patriot defense. ?No doubt, the AFC is sending the best representative to the Meadowlands February 2.

The NFC game was the polar opposite of the AFC tilt.? Sloppy at times, a potentially fatal officiating error on a turnover on the goal line, obviated only by Marshawn Lynch failing to get a handle on a handoff.? In the end, the Seahawks put the game away with 22 seconds left in the game.? Consider that against the AFC game earlier.? Little doubt in my mind really, I think the ?Hawks are probably the best team in the league and are my pick for the Super Bowl Champion.? That said, Coach Carroll is going to have to keep the showboating and sloppy plays down ? a Peyton Manning led team will eat those mistakes for dinner.? Richard Sherman got the best of his opponent, and in his post game interview he was stuck on some disrespect by Crabtree and reaffirming his status as the best corner in the game.? C?mon man.? Buck up.? You won.? Lose the ego.? We?ll see if you?re the best in the game when you?re facing Manning in the Super Bowl.

Now, on a personal note, to make matters worse, the game comes on the heels of a really cold vacation week ??I know, complain about a week away ??but it was disappointing in that respect. ?And of course, I got myself locked out of my work email, so I m sure there s 1000 mails begging my attention. ?Sometimes being away for a week?isn t worth the backlog you come back to ??even with all the?prepwork?you do to avoid it. ?TO make matters even worse, I changed my voice mail with the very clear message ?I m not here, here s where you can get answers. ??And of course I come back to three voice messages from the same person saying they left a message the other day and?weren t sure why I?hadn t responded. ?Yeah, I have a new message for you the best part is that I have NO idea why they re calling me ??they ?would have been advised to follow up on my directions. ??File this:?NMP? ?Not My Problem.


Congratulations Denver and good luck February 2. ?I think you?re going to need it.

?

?

HAL B.'s FANTASTIC FRIDAY SPORTS SPECTACULAR - 1/17/2014
Category: FEATURED
Tags: NBA Basketball Celtics Boston NFL Football Patriots NFL Picks

Happy Friday, Gabbers! Tight for time this week (what else is new? I know we’re all in that boat together) so let’s get right to it:

 

NFL:

 

Another great weekend for NFL football as the four best teams in the league get ready to square off in the respective conference championships.  One can argue that San Francisco is a Wild Card team and not one of the two best teams based on seeding, but I would argue that San Francisco merely shared a division with Seattle and was a better team than Carolina, New Orleans, Green Bay, Philadelphia and even Arizona (who would have crushed Green Bay and Philadelphia if they were in the playoffs).

 

This weekend’s AFC and NFC Championship Games look like they could be classics.  Two teams with history with each other: Kaepernick and Wilson; Manning and Brady.  Wow. What match-ups on Sunday. Winner take all. These are legacy games for quarterbacks young and old.  So who is going to win?

 

AFC CHAMPIONSHIP: New England Patriots 31 - Denver Broncos 29

 

I don’t know how to pick this game. Seriously. New England has their  best running game in a decade with LeGarrette Blount and Stevan Ridley. Denver’s run defense is rated in the top ten and rolls out run-stuffers like Terrance Knighton, Shaun Phillips, Malik Jackson, and Robert Ayers. These guys are beasts in the running game.

 

Denver has an amazing collection of pass catchers on offense.  New England finally has all of their defensive backs healthy and have a mix of coverage guys, active safeties, and young ballhawks. With New England rookie linebacker Jamie Collins having his coming out party against Indianapolis, this week he matches up with Denver’s dynamic tight end Julius Thomas.


Tom Brady and Peyton Manning are likely to be key players still in what could be their last high profile playoff match-up. Peyton Manning has had a magical season, but Tom Brady and the Patriots seem to be channelling the 2013 Boston Red Sox and making miracles with no-names. No matter how the game ends, it promises to be an epic game.

 

NFC CHAMPIONSHIP: San Francisco 49ers 27 - Seattle Seahawks 24

 

Another game that is nearly impossible to pick. Division rivals. Douchbag Annoying head coaches in Pumped and Jacked Pistol Pete Carroll and Jim “Can you see how intense I am” Harbaugh. A stadium built to hold crowd noise. Two of the best and most dynamic young quarterbacks in Russell Wilson and Colin Kaepernick. Two of the best and most consistent veteran running backs in Marshawn Lynch and Frank Gore. Two deep, athletic, talented and physical defenses.

 

Picking one team over the other in this is almost impossible.  Seattle may be at home and feel they are better than San Francisco, but beating another team three times in a season is near impossible.  For San Francisco, after struggling earlier in the season, they seem to be peaking at the right time. Kaepernick looks like the dynamic quarterback of last season; the Seattle offense looked a little flat last week. That’s the only advantage I can see. Maybe just that wide receiver Michael Crabtree is healthy for the 49ers; wide receiver Percy Harvin is not for Seattle.

 

This game is tough to call, but it looks like a great game. No matter the final score, this game is going to be another epic match-up.

 

NBA:

The Boston Celtics are back in the news following their atrocious (or wonderful, depending if you think they should be tanking this season) nine-game losing streak as they welcome back mercurial point guard Rajon Rondo tonight.  Clearing space on the roster, the Celtics traded away surprising guard Jordan Crawford (and MarShon Brooks who apparently was on the roster) at the height of his value in a three-team trade.

 

The Celtics got back veteran big man Joel Anthony (takes up space) and a bunch of draft picks. Apparently the picks are Miami’s second round pick--supposedly second round picks have more value in the NBA these days--and a conditional number one that could be this year or next year or could turn into two second round picks from Miami via Philadelphia if the 76ers are in the lottery the next two years.  

 

Either way, for a player in Crawford who would have no role with the return of Rondo and had no trade value at all entering the season, a potential first round pick is gold.  The Celtics have future draft picks from Brooklyn in hand already and have already unloaded the salary of guard Courtney Lee.  The Celtics got draft picks for nothing. They have space on the roster for Jerryd Bayless and Phil Pressey to play as Rondo gets healthy.

 

General Manager Danny Ainge did this once before: he ripped apart a team, identified valuable trading pieces, stock-piled draft picks, and turned it into a Championship. Rather than all the silly talk of playoffs, the nine-game losing streak (that finally ended against the horribly named Raptors...how the hell does a Raptor dribble or rebound with those small arms?) turned the Celtics clearly towards obtaining ping-pong balls for the draft.

 

Young players will play, Rajon Rondo will get healthier, and the Celtics will get impact players from the draft over the next few years. By trading and losing, its a win-win-win.

 

* * *

 

OK, Gabbers. That’s all I have for today. I’ve been jamming in AFC Championship Game previews and analysis. I have pieces at Cover32.com (http://cover32.com/patriots/2014/01/13/guess-who-earned-this-weeks-game-balls/), MusketFire (http://musketfire.com/2014/01/15/afc-championship-preview-new-england-patriots-offense-vs-denver-broncos-defense/), H4TV (http://www.h4-entertainment.com/2014/01/the-afc-championship-game-between-new-england-patriots-denver-broncos-looks-to-be-an-instant-classic/), and new articles on Cover32.com and MusketFire.com again today (whew, I am burning the candle at both ends this week!).  Thanks as always for reading, have a fantastic weekend, and enjoy some playoff football!  Before we know it, it will be baseball time as spring training starts in just about a month.  

 
Ramblers, wild gamblers
Category: FEATURED
Tags: NFL Broncos Patriots Seahawks 49ers

 

Life in the fast lane will surely make you lose your mind…Dalton, Foles, Smith and Rodgers are left with nothing to do but spend time working on their discount double checks while trying not to disturb Bob’s dream or they may find themselves behind the wheel of a large automobile and asking themselves “how did I get here?”

Left to Take to the highway…walking down a country road are 

Luck, Brees, Newton and Rivers ..pondering that certain play that kept them from sleeping after the game, the one that got away.....that a cold swim causes shrinkage and it is possible to be a guilty bystander.

on Highway 61 revisited

…Manning, Kaepernick, Wilson and Brady remain alive with a chance to go to the SB. This is why we play…to be A number one, top of the heap, the highest you can get in this sport is to be the QB of the team that wins the last game of the season…Brady has won 3 lost 2, Manning won 1 lost 1, Kaepernick is 0-1. When you lose this game most people forget you were even there…what was the name of that Buffalo Bills QB that went to four consecutive SB’s and lost them all?

I fell to 6-2 in the NFL playoffs after starting 6-0

I guess the homer in me really showed it’s ugly head in picking San Diego to beat Denver. I just wanted he Pats to have another home game and was willing to put logic aside.

I’ll make no excuse in picking Carolina, at home with a solid D should get that for you.

Now I find the 49ers hard to pick against.

 

The NFL has the match ups they wanted.

New England and Denver, Peyton and Brady…

San Fran and Seattle, Wilson and Kaepernick.

As agent J form MIB would say:

“The best of the best of the best…with honors.”

 

The New Jersey SB with or without weather will feature the

The match ups most wanted by the league.

Sorry NFL fans you will get either one of the old guard from the AFC Brady or Manning  

 

Playing against one of the new generation of multi talented QB’s

 the NFC’s young and exciting QB’s Wilson and Kaepernick

 

The story lines will out pace the Pro Bowl non conference showdown selection between Sanders and Rice

 

You will hear Peyton this and Peyton that…Brady Brady Brady

Colin and Russell,

Harbaugh and Carroll

Belichick and Fox

Bruno and Mars

 

The divisional games were not quite as exciting as the wildcard round but it seemed the better teams won.

The Seahawks sent the Saints packing, the 49ers exposed the Panthers weaknesses with...perhaps some controversial officiating. The Broncos hung on in a game just didn’t seem as close as the seven point dif and the Patriots literally blasted the Colts with six rushing TD’s.

The Pats ran the same plays over and over and over again and the Colts coaching staff admitted later, we knew they would run and we prepared for them to run and we just couldn’t do anything about it.

Saturday’s game was a coming out party for rangy rookie LB Jamie Collins in for LB Brandon Spikes. Collins, a 2nd round pick from Miss State can cover TE’s, can rush the passer and can read and react…He played Safety as a Freshman, Linebacker as a Soph and Junior and DE as a Senior. He was recruited out of HS as a QB so he is a solid all round athlete.

 

Will the Pats run the LeGarrett/Ridley/Vereen machine vs Denver? Sure, why abandon that, but Denver is better vs the run than the Colts (who isn’t).

so I see Brady throwing more because a Jack Del Rio defense has never been able to stop TB12

Will Peyton be on his game in the AFC Championship game?

I say yes. With the weapons he has (four guys with double digit TD’s)and the home crowd Peyton will elevate his play if elevate is possible.

The forcast calls for a sunny 58 degree day in Denver. A great day for football, no excuse and no advantage.

I’m looking for a shootout in the mile high city and I think once again Brady’s Pats come out on top for the 11th time in 15 games against Manning.

Final…42-38 and New England to represent the AFC in SB XLVIII

I've heard some call the AFC Championship game the NFL Legacy Bowl.

 With 37 year old Peyton playing 36 year old Brady for bragging rights as the best QB evah….but Harry says, wait! what about Joe Montana?????

Hummmm… remember that guy?

cheesy mustache and all

Out of the senior circuit I could see the at home with that crazy loud crowd Seahawks

 

taking down the 49ers in a defensive battle... but I can also see an ugly battle between Anquan Boldin

and Richard Sherman 

grabbing and holding smack talking, fistacuffs and shoving if the zebras let them play then it will get out of hand………..Russell Wilson won’t throw for 300 and Kaepernick won’t run for a TD.  

Pete Carroll will melt down and hug every player, coach and cheerleader just before the drive... that ends it with the 49ers kicking a game winning FG and Harbaugh

will scream like a scorned school girl at the refs after EVERY play but in the end the 49ers go back to the SB with a 22-20 win

 

San Francisco and New England…in NJ…in February

 

So fans, break out the loufa rice cake Quinos and toss them on the grill,

invite Ramsey over to watch the game because you may hate him but they always win when he’s there,

step back into the basement, go get another… even if it’ scary down there

put on that stupid ice dancing song on the juke box and remember

 

 it’s only weird when it doesn’t work.

 

 

Deep Thoughts 1-15-14
Category: FEATURED
Tags: Darkness of January Seahawks 49ers Broncos Patriots Derek Holland injured

 

 

 Hello and welcome to another Wednesday of deep thoughts. This is the blog where I complain about the darkness of January. The lights and Christmas decorations are down and it is back to the normal routine. In years past, January was the time that I spent helping my son groove his baseball swing in preparation for the coming baseball season. Although I was able to spend a few sessions in the batting cage over the break, the damn flu ruined the last week we had together. Oh well, thankfully, we are both feeling better now. I just heard yesterday, that he was able to run the required 2 miles in under 16 minutes. He said he hacked and coughed his way around the track, but was able to gut out a 15:47. Oh well, in a few more weeks it will be February and time for college baseball!

 

I should probably not get ahead of myself as we have a bit of football left. Last weekend was probably the best weekend of the year for football fans. Two NFL games on Saturday and Sunday…pretty much a full weekend of football. Since the games have been well covered by others this week, I won’t cover them again. Looking forward to next weekend…two great games are on tap. The NFC game is rather interesting…two West Coast teams with old school defenses battle in Seattle. Do you remember the term West Coast Offense? What happened to offense on the West Coast? This 49er team is nothing like the teams of Bill Walsh. San Francisco and Seattle don’t so much beat teams as beat them up. As I eyeball this matchup…I like the 49ers. The front 7 for SF are solid…and Kaepernick has more weapons than Russell Wilson. I would bet money that neither team passes for more than 200 yards, but if one does, my money is on Kaepernick. I know that many are high on Russell Wilson, but I will borrow a line from Tom Hanks in BIG…I don’t get it. Seattle’s offense is one dimensional and without some semblance of a passing attack, I just don’t see how Seattle wins. The 12th man will help, but because the 49ers have played in this environment before, I don’t see this as much of an advantage. I like San Francisco by 4.

 

 

 

 

The AFC game is entirely different. This game will be mistakenly be called Brady vs Manning. More accurately, it should be called Manning vs Brady and the hoodie. I know that some like to find fault with Belichick, but for me he is the best coach of this generation. The dude is just a master of game plans and adjustments. For the Patriots to win this game, it will take an exceptional game plan…and a bit more smoke and mirrors. For those that expect the Patriots to continue their power running…I think you are wrong. The one thing about Belichick is that he never does the expected. I have a hunch that he believes that Brady will need to outgun Manning to win this game. In the first game, the Broncos ran at will on the Patriots patch work defense. The Broncos had such a comfortable lead that Manning never had a chance to find his groove. I have a hunch that the Broncos will not let this happen again. Yep, I am calling it…a shoot-out. First team to 50 wins…my gut tells me that the Broncos squeak out a win, and I would not be at all surprised if a kick return by Trindon Holliday is the difference. The odds are that whichever team wins this game will be losing to the NFC in the Super Bowl. Remember that defense wins championships…right?

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

Did you hear about the injury to Ranger’s pitcher Derek Holland? He got tangled with his boxer on the stairs and messed up his knee. Dude had to have micro fracture surgery last week and will miss a good part of next season. Instead of talking about his recovery, most fans and reporters want to speculate on how he was injured. Jeff Kent’s name has been used to compare this incident. Because Holland plays in a non-contact hockey league in the off season, many want to blame the injury on hockey. I read at least one player that played against Holland come out to state that Holland was not injured in his last game. Of course, this does not satisfy the cynics. Keith Olbermann had Holland's picture up and was talking about his injury. I really enjoy Olbermann, but I think he missed on Holland. How can a guy that grows a mustache that bad luck lie? Holland's odd injury got me to thinking about other crazy injuries to athletes. Here is a list of a few, but feel free to remind of any that I might have missed.


Tony Dorsett dropped a mirror on his toe and missed several games with a broken toe.

 

Sammy Sosa earned a spot on the DL due to a violent sneeze.

 

Ken Griffey Jr. missed a game when his cup slipped and pinched a testicle. Ouch!

 

Bill Gramatica tore his ACL after celebrating a 42 yard field goal.


Gus Ferotte had to leave a game with a neck injury after slamming his head into the padded wall after scoring a TD.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glenallen Hill suffered cuts, bruises and scrapes after a sleep walking crash. Dude was having a nightmare about spiders…no word if the spiders were on the field.

 

Brandon Inge injured his oblique while tucking his son’s pillow under his head.


Wade Boggs missed games from an injury suffered while putting his boots on.

 

Pitcher Adam Eaton stabbed himself opening a dvd.

 

Vince Coleman missed the 1985 World Series after being run over by the tarp machine.


My personal favorite is the injury to John Smoltz... he burned himself ironing his shirt. Apparently, John did not realize that you need to take the shirt off before you iron.

 

 


 

 

 

 

Did you happen to see that Justin Bieber is in hot water with law enforcement after egging his neighbor’s home? Bieber faces felony vandalism charges for the alleged egging. I heard an update on this late Tuesday as apparently police got a search warrant for Bieber’s home and found 18 people passed out at his home. Reportedly, a large amount of cocaine was found at the residence. I wonder if this will affect Bieber’s Visa? 2014 has not started out well for Justin.

 


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

 

"I think my new thing will be to try to be a real happy guy. I'll just walk around being real happy until some jerk says something stupid to me."

"If you lived in the Dark Ages and you were a catapult operator, I bet the most common question people would ask is, 'Can't you make it shoot farther?' 'No, I'm sorry. That's as far as it shoots.' "

 

 

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

 

 

Monday Moaning 1-13-14
Category: FEATURED
Tags: NFL NCAA MLB Hall of Fame BBWA Craig Biggio Catchers TheBeeze New England Patriots Keith Olbermann Dan Le Batard James Franklin PSU

 

So the NFL final four is set, and to no real surprise, we will see Seattle face San Francisco, and New England will take on Denver...BRADY VS. MANNING....Again!  Well all you Manning lovers, Brady has won 10 of the 14 meetings they've had, and he's going to take another one...Why am I so sure of this?  BECAUSE I SAID SO!   Oh, sorry, sometimes I just get stuck in Dad mode...Anyways, because Brady is better...He owns Peyton...Because the Patriots are better...Because no matter who is injured on their squad, they will find a way to beat you...Look what they did Saturday...All the sudden, they were the NFL's best rushing team, pounding the ball down the Colts' throats all night...Total dominance...Who knows what wicked plan they'll pull out for the Broncos...Who cares, they're gonna win...It's Monday, and you're getting "The Lock of the Week" already!

So who will the Patriots be facing in the "Super Bowl" per me?  Well, that would be the team I signed my fandom to at the beginning of last year, the Seattle Seahawks...So, no matter how much it pains my wife, and her family, and the many Gabbers that hail from New England, I'll be all in with the Seahawks....

-Moving on to college football...Penn State, the home of child rape cover-ups have hired their second coach to follow in the evil footsteps of Joe Paterno, after Bill O'Brien took the Houston Texans job...Next to try to erase the stains left by Sandusky, Paterno, Spainer, McQueery, and all those fucking assholes is James Franklin, formerly of Vanderbilt...Nothing like Penn Rape hiring a guy who was accused of covering for some of his players who had raped around campus, to help re-establish their reputation!   They guy was "cleared" by Vandy, but come on...Do you really want a guy with that hanging over his head, when your school has been through what PSU has been...What dummies!

-Speaking of dummies...The Baseball Writers Association made their picks for the Hall of Fame, and as usual, they were fucking idiots...No 100% vote for the likes of Maddux and Glavine..."Ruth, Cobb, Mays, no one got 100%!"   SO FUCKING WHAT...That doesn't make it right...It just makes you stupid!  And shorting Craig Biggio by 2 votes...Fuck that...Dude has the numbers, and clearly wasn't 'roided up... Four gold gloves, 3,060 hits, damn near 291 home runs, and 414 stolen bases, 668 doubles, and 55 triples, 1844 runs, and 1175 RBI...Damn good numbers there for a Catcher turned Second baseman...

I also think Tim Raines, and Mike Piazza should have gotten in...Piazza has the 'roids cloud held over him even though there has never been anything that has implicated him, except for the era that he played in...But as a catcher, Piazza's numbers are there...But for some reason catchers get overlooked by the HOF...Do you know how many catchers are in the Baseball Hall of Fame?

16...That's it...Johnny Bench...Yogi Berra...Roger Bresnahan...Roy Campanella...Gary Carter...Mickey Cochrane...Bill Dickey...Buck Ewing...Rick Ferrell...Carlton Fisk...Josh Gibson...Gabby Hartnett...Ernie Lombardi...Biz Mackey...Ray Schalk...Deacon White...

But the biggest news about the HOF voting was Dan Le Batard of ESPN, who has also been a baseball writer in Miami gave his vote to Deadspin to let the public give their imput on who he should vote for...over 30,000 people voted, and he filled out a legit ballot based on that...His ballot did not include Jacque Jones or JT Snow...Unlike a few other ballots...Yet, Le Batard was stripped of his vote for life, and banned for at least a year from the Baseball Writers Association...I thought this was ridiculous....Then I watched Keith Olbermann, and he pointed out just exactly how disgustingly full of shit the BBWA is....

 

Well, don't those guys look stupid!?!

That's it...I'm trying to fight off a bug...But this weekend I did try to start getting ready the OLYMPICS...

And, I've been wondering about my son's future in FOOTBALL....

Have a week...

The Beeze.

 

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