I know this is supposed to be a powerful statement against sexism and such, but aside from that, I just couldn't stop laughing at this hilarious video.
It was quite the eventful week in college football and it really began last Saturday when former USC star LenDale White went on Twitter to blast AD Pat Haden after White got kicked out of the stadium. Reading the news article, White makes a case for why ex-players should never be allowed around a program once they leave the school.
It's been three years since the Jerry Sandusky scandal erupted at Penn State. SI.com's Tim Layden went to Happy Valley to see how things have changed since then. You can read the story HERE.
The University of North Carolina has long had a strong academic reputation. But that reputation is not only tarnished now, it is in tatters. A report released this week revealed a massive cheating scandal over years that included over 3,100 students. That figure includes 1,500 athletes. While football players aren't the only sport indicted, they do seem to be a large part of it along with men's and women's basketball as well. You can read the story HERE.
Because athletes are involved, that is the angle most stories will carry. It is hard to argue with that notion, but it would be nice to see the 1600 "regular" students get their turn in the harsh media glare as well. As for the athletic department, you do have to ask why in the world they would do this. Okay, yes they need players to pass so they can play but there's two glaring problems with this school of thought. The first is that they aren't doing any real service to the students by letting them cheat. The constant handwringing about giving athletes a chance to change their lives by attending college kind of goes by the boards when it turns they didn't actually do any work in the first place. These same athletes that were being helped to stay eligible will be utterly bereft of further life opportunities that the top notch education they were SUPPOSED to be getting would have given them when their athletic careers end. It's like they want to turn out a generation of idiots who don't know how to do anything.
The second problem is that SECRETS ALWAYS FIND THEIR WAY OUT! Yes, it may take a long time but eventually all these scandals find the spotlight. You may get away with it in the short term, but the hammer is going to come down on your and yours HARD when you do get caught.
I know that the NFL doesn't allow players into the league until three years after high school, but they might want to change that rule. If only so that colleges stop letting people into the school that can't possibly do the work. Social promotion is a horrible excuse for turning out one moron after another. Either teach like you are supposed to do, or get out of the business of education. If that affects the won-loss record of your football team, so be it. You are the ones responsible for the bed you made, now lay down in it.
Yahoo Sports columnist Pat Forde had a great piece on the scandal. Check it out via this link.
Boston College - Before talking about the Eagles on the road vs. Wake Forest yesterday, I thought you might want to check out this article on quarterback Tyler Murphy.
The game against the Demon Deacons started out in the first half as an exercise in total domination by the Eagles. Boston College was up 17-0 at halftime with a total of 213 yards of total offense. 147 of those yards came via the run game. Conversely, Wake Forest had MINUS 3 yards rushing (6 yards total offense) for the half.
In the second half, Wake Forest didn't improve all that much on the ground (19 total yards rushing for the game), but their passing game took off and finished with 242 yards through the air as they pushed BC's seeming inability to get much going offensively. The Eagles held on to win 23-17 but some might say that the Eagles kind of rested on their first half laurels and almost paid a dear price for it.
In moving to 5-3, the Eagles got a superlative rushing defense (see below) that also saw them sack Wake Forest QB John Wolford 4 times. While the secondary did give up yardage in the air, it was DB Justin Simmons picking off Wolford that sealed the victory for the Eagles.
QB Tyler Murphy (pictured below) was an economical 11-15 passing for 165 yards, including a 37 yard TD pass to Shakim Phillips. Murphy also ran for 77 yards.
Freshman sensation Jon Hilliman (pictured below twice) ran for 101 yards and two touchdowns.
The Eagles are now one win away from becoming bowl eligible
You can check out the game highlight reel below.
Alabama - The Crimson Tide rolled to a 7-1 record with their 34-20 victory over Tennessee last night. While Bama seemed to be in full control as they built a 27-0 lead, the Volunteers did eventually make it a game with their ability to run against the Crimson Tide defense. The Volunteers finished with 181 yards on the ground, which was just 2 yards less than what Alabama finished with.
The edge in the game came via the arm of quarterback Blake Sims (pictured below). He threw for 286 yards including two big scoring strikes (80 and 41 yards) to Amari Cooper in the first quarter. He also ran for another score.
Amari Cooper (pictured below) caught 9 passes for a school record 224 yards to go with those 2 TDs.
Derrick Henry and T.J. Yeldon (pictured below) each ran for a score.
The defense had a rough day in giving up a total of 383 yards. They managed to pick off Tennessee QB Joshua Dobbs once and had two sacks.
Mass Maritime - The Buccaneers went on the road this week to play UMass-Dartmouth. I went to this game last year when Maritime hosted (brutally freaking cold that day). One of the coaches for UMD is a former basketball player I coached, which always makes me chuckle.
The game ended up resembling a Wild West shootout as the four game losing streak for Mass Maritime came to an end. The final score was 46-41. Maritime is now 2-5 on the season.
The game featured almost 1000 yards in total offense between the two teams, and Maritime's defense tallied 6 sacks on the afternoon. E.J. caught 2 passes for 47 yards and a touchdown.
By the way, you can read a brief article about E.J. that was published in the Cape Cod Times on 10/23/14 HERE.
THE BASEBALL HOT STOVE
While it isn't OFFICIALLY the hot stove season in baseball yet, there were a couple of moves off the field that caught my interest.
Try as I might, the World Series isn't really holding my interest. I don't have anything against either team, but with the Boston Red Sox out of things, the largest part of my rooting interest ended at their game 162.
Speaking of the Red Sox, the team announced the hiring of Chili Davis as their new hitting coach. The former All-Star player was been the hitting coach with the Oakland A's the last three seasons, but worked as the Red Sox instructor at the Triple A level before that. He seemed to have a pretty good run of success with the A's, so let's hope he can get Yoenis Cespedes to have a better OBP next season. And it would also help if he could get some of the younger guys to at least look like they can hit major league pitching.
The far bigger news came on Friday when Joe Maddon opted out of his contract with the Tampa Bay DEVIL Rays. He had a year left on the contract but decided to exercise that clause. After the Rays executive VP of baseball operations Andrew Friedman left to join the Dodgers organization, this latest departure could be the harbinger of the Rays going back to being a non-competitive laughingstock. And it likely gives Maddon a chance to find a new managerial job with a club that actually spends money on players rather than solely draft players and hope for the best. You can read more about Maddon's departure HERE.
Yes, it is really me writing about the topic of golf. However, given my longstanding aversion to the activity, it won't come as too much of a shock when you see that I'm writing about something outside of the actual playing of the game.
On Friday, Ted Bishop, the president of the PGA, was impeached from his position (a month before his term was up anyway) because of comments he made first on Twitter and then expanded upon on Facebook. He was defending Nick Faldo against Ian Poulter (two players feuding with each other) and Bishop referred to Poulter as a "little girl" and then later "like a little girl squealing at recess".
As you might expect, the sexism card was played and though he was offered the chance to resign, he declined. The PGA's board of governors then voted him out anyway. He's losing his job, he won't be recognized as an honory president and won't be referred to by the PGA as a past president.
Seriously? All this over him acting like a two year old and throwing around relatively tame (or should I say lame ass) insults? I'm more offended that he couldn't come up with anything more creative to use to insult Poulter.
But I guess in this day and age, you can't say anything to anyone or about anyone without someone acting like you've just made a sin against all mankind.
You can read more (including some really pathetic cover your ass apologies from both Bishop and the PGA) HERE.
I'm nothing if not mediocre. Another week of splitting the two leagues I'm in with a 1-1 record for yet another week.
Mount Saint Joseph University - Last week's mention of Lauren Hill, the terminally ill player determined to play "One More Game" brought about a request to provide updates as the game gets closer. News about the game being moved to Xavier University's Cintas Center was followed by more news that the tickets were sold out in 30 minutes. It is a 10,000 plus seat arena! You can read the most recent report HERE.
Boston College Men - The season is still a couple weeks away but you can check out this brief interview with Olivier Hanlan. He talks about his work in the summer and why he came back for another season with the Eagles.
Missouri State - You can learn more about Lady Bear Tyonna Snow in this video piece. You can check out a shot of the Lady Bears basketball team from their Media Day event below.
Boston College Women - Nicole Boudreau and Kelly Hughes were the two players from the team that went to the ACC media day event in Greensboro, NC this past week. Along with coach Erik Johnson they met the media for season previews etc. You can see some shots of the two players from the event below.
HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
There was a ton of rain to deal with in the area this week but some game action did make it in.
Wareham Boys Soccer - The Vikings lost to Apponequet 8-1.
Wareham Girls Soccer - The team lost to Apponequet 3-0. They also had Senior Night this week. My former player Brianna is the only senior on the team so congratulations to her for battling through all her various injuries to make it back to the field this season.
Upper Cape Girls JV Soccer - Against Old Colony, the jayvees opened up a can of whoopass and beat the Cougars 9-0. Ann Marie had 2 assists in the game.
Wareham Field Hockey - The Vikings got knocked off twice this week with a 3-0 loss to Westport and a 4-0 loss to ORR. They are 2-14 on the season.
Wareham Girls Volleyball - The team got swept 3-0 in their match against Apponequet. The team held a free clinic for younger potential players. You can read about that HERE.
Upper Cape Varsity Football - Last Saturday, the Rams blew out Holbrook/Avon 38-14 and my girlfriend's son Connor (who is usually on the JV team) was able to make his varsity debut for a few plays. Way to go Connor!
Wareham Football - Despite talk of how the Wareham defense had been improving over the last couple of weeks, the Vikings were completely annihilated by Apponequet on Friday night. They lost 61-6. Apponequet had 502 yards of total offense while Wareham managed just 84 yards.
Upper Cape Girls Varsity Soccer - I mentioned last week that UCT soccer player Krystle found herself 1 goal shy of the 100 goal plateau after scoring a career high six goals in a game. You can read about that game in this Wareham Courier article. (All photos by Adam K. Ellis of the Wareham Courier.)
On Monday of this past week, the Lady Rams faced Bishop Connolly and Krystle did indeed get her 100th goal (plus one more for good measure). Unfortunately they lost the game 4-2. The loss eliminated the team from postseason contention. A 7-0 loss to Norfolk Aggie left them with a 6-10-1 record.
You can can see Krystle's 100th goal on a PK, along with brief comments from her and her coach in this video link.
Some photos from the Bishop Connolly game as well.
The 100th goal kick:
With her team:
Books - I picked up the new Jon Land thriller Strong Darkness this week. It is the latest in his Caitlin Strong series. I can't wait to dig into it.
TV - Here's the Pop-topia.com recaps at this week's new episodes of The Flash and Arrow.
Movies - The trailer for the new Avengers movie "Age of Ultron" was "accidentally" leaked a week early. And as expected, it set the Internet ablaze. You can check it out for yourself below.
Don't forget to follow me on Twitter - @TheOneTrueJay
New England Patriots - The Patriots had a busy week as they played last Sunday against the Bills and then followed that up with the Thursday night game vs. the Jets.
The two straight AFC East divisonal matchups saw the Patriots win both games and take control of the division as they raised their record to 5-2.
Against Buffalo, the Pats won 37-22 but the win was a costly one as both Jerod Mayo and Stevan Ridley went down with what turned out to be season ending knee injuries.
In the first half of the game, the Patriots offense was just miserable. They managed just 101 yards of total offense. Thankfully, they woke up in the second half and rolled up nearly 300 yards of offense in that half. Tom Brady had a great game with 361 yards passing and 4 TDs. He spread the ball around to 10 different receivers in all.
Brandon LaFell had 4 catches for 97 yards and most importantly, two TDs. Rob Gronkowski caught 7 balls for 94 yards. Meanwhile, Tim Wright and Brian Tyms caught just 1 pass a piece, but each of them went for a score. Julian Edleman had 9 catches for 91 yards.
When the passing game is as effective as it was against the Bills, the Patriots can look positively unbeatable. But they are really going to have to lean on that passing game with the loss of Ridley. He was their workhorse back and while Shane Vereen can be effective out of the backfield catching passes, he is not the same time of runner Ridley is. As for the rest of the rotation of running backs, they haven't shown any reason for fans to expect them to do much better.
While their defense held the Bills to just 68 yards rushing, the Patriots run game was even worse. They had just 50 yards for the game, the rushing attack being thoroughly ineffective. It was a good thing the passing game took off in the 2nd half or the Patriots would've gotten beaten down quite soundly.
The defense also harassed Bills QB Kyle Orton all day long, they picked him off once and sacked him five times. Three of those sacks came from Rob Ninkovich. The defense also recovered a couple of fumbles along the way too.
I don't think anyone was really expecting the New York Jets to give the Patriots much trouble on Thursday night. They were 1-5 coming into the game and in what seemed to be complete disarray. They don't really have an NFL caliber quarterback on the roster and can't seem to get out of their own way most of the time.
But the team certainly hasn't quit on coach Rex Ryan and they showed up and gave the Patriots all they could handle. In the end it was a blocked field goal attempt, by Chris Jones, on the last play of the game (see below, Jones has the red glove on), that gave New England a 27-25 victory. It was a highly competitive and exciting game and one that FINALLY let the Pats fans exhale.
As they awaited the Jets, the questions facing the Patriots were 1. Can they have a balanced run game with Ridley out? and 2. With Jerod Mayo out, can the Patriots defense stop the run (when Mayo went out last year, that's when the Patriots run defense went into the crapper)?
The Jets got a surprisingly solid performance from QB Geno Smith (pictured below 1st) and the question about the Patriots defense was answered for one night at least when New York put up 218 total yards on the ground. Chris Ivory (pictured below 2nd) tallied 107 yards rushing for the Jets to go with four receptions out of the backfield.
What helped the Patriots win the game was their defense sacking Smith 3 times while New England's offensive line kept Brady upright for most of the game. The Jets defense was credited with 1 sack of Tom Brady, but it was a sack that saw Brady moving out of the pocket and then slid to give himself up.
Speaking of Brady (pictured below), he had 261 yards passing and 3 TDs on the night. And once again, he really had to get things done through the air because the other question facing the Patriots was answered by the team managing just 63 yards on the ground for the game.
Shane Vereen (pictured below) had 43 yards to "lead" the rushing attack, but he made his biggest impact catching passes. He had 5 receptions for 71 yards (also the team lead in that category), including a beautiful 49 yard diving catch for one of his two TDs on the night. You can check out the video below to see both scores.
But the Patriots still couldn't put the Jets away. It wasn't until forgotten man Danny Amendola (pictured below), who had been playing on special teams most of the evening, caught his first TD of the season that the Patriots took the lead for what would be the final time.
I love the two wins for the Patriots, but given that they came over relatively weak (despite playing solid games against the Pats) teams in the AFC East, I'm by no means convinced this turnaround means New England can consistently beat the better teams in the NFL this season. They are going to have to find someone who can run the ball to give their offensive playcalling some balance. If they don't, they are going to be in trouble if teams start paying more attention to their receivers. And if they can't run the ball, what happens to the offense when the passing game gets shut down too?
They also still need to figure out how to cut down on their penalties. They had 9 called on them against the Jets. I'm sure Bill Belichick can figure things out, he usually does. But the team is going to have to win games by guile as much as skill while they get things figured out.
One final semi-related Patriots note: There is a new book about former Patriots coach Bill Parcells coming out October 28th entitled Parcells: A Football Life. Sports Illustrated ran an excerpt from the book detailing the behind the scenes machinations that happened when Parcells quit as coach of the Jets and Belichick was supposed to take over. Football fans know what happened next, but you can read this article for a more in-depth look at what it took for Belichick to be able to be hired to coach the Patriots and change the course of the franchise.
Chicago Bears - Bears cornerback Charles Tillman is out injured this season, but this interview with Robert Klemko of the MMQB.com website gives you a great look at a player who's time in the NFL is winding down. A lot of other topics are covered as well.
Miscellaneous Article of Note - Former NFL player Irving Fryar spent the early part of his career in varying degrees of trouble. But he turned his life around becoming a really good receiver, and later became a preacher. But according to Greg Hanlon's lengthy article, there's been a big hiccup in Fryar's reformed life recently as he found himself in a lot of trouble. He now stands accused of bank fraud. You can read more HERE.
The Red Sox are playing in the quest for the World Series championship this year, so I haven't really been paying much attention to the MLB Playoffs. But I wanted to take a quick moment and congratulate the Kansas City Royals (first playoff and World Series appearance in 29 years) and the San Francisco Giants (3rd World Series appearance in the last 5 years) for making it to what promises to be an electrifying conclusion to the baseball season.
Boston College - Before I talk about yesterday's game against Clemson, I wanted to note that after the Eagles win over North Carolina State last week, Josh Keyes was named ACC Co-Linebacker of the Week while defensive end Brian Mihalik (pictured below) was named ACC Defensive Lineman of the Week.
As for the Clemson game, the Eagles looked to pull the upset over the 24th ranked Tigers, but ended up falling short. They lost 17-13 to drop to 4-3 on the year.
The BC defense got torn up for 398 total yards despite the relatively low point total for Clemson. But it seems more like the inability of the offense to put more than 13 points on the board is what really did the Eagles in. QB Tyler Murphy (pictured below) was just 8-19 passing for 108 yards. Granted, two of those completions were for touchdowns, but it was another game where his inability to pass the ball consistently hurt the team. It was even more evident because the run game was stifled this time around as well. Murphy led the team in rushing with just 55 yards. Meanwhile, Jon Hilliman, Myles Willis and Sherman Alston (who caught one of Murphy's TD strikes) combined for just 65 yards all together.
Alabama - With the Crimson Tide's upset loss last week, it seems to have become open season on Alabama. More than a few have opined that the team's run of dominance in the SEC West could be over. That led into yesterday's nationally televised game against Texas A&M where the Crimson Tide laid such an ass whipping on the Aggies that A&M coach labeled his team's performance "embarrassing". The final score: Alabama 59 Texas A&M 0. Yes, that's right a big fat nothing for the Aggies as Alabama improves to 6-1. Apparently, reports of their demise have been greatly exaggerated.
A&M's offense had been averaging 565 yards in total offense coming into the game, but got outgained a monstrous 602-172 by Alabama. It all keyed off of the resurgent performance of quarterback Blake Sims. He freely admitted that he hasn't played well in the last two games but yesterday, he threw for 268 yards and 3 touchdowns while adding 54 rushing yards. That rush total includes a beautiful 43 yard run for a TD that you just have to see to believe.
Alabama's defense was in razor sharp form on the day. They picked off Aggie QB Kenny Hill once while racking up 6 sacks on the day as well. They also held A&M to just 31 yards on the ground (Bama's backs had 298 yards).
Bama receiver Amari Cooper has been held in check the last couple of games but he had 8 catches for 140 yards and 2 TDs yesterday. He had a 45 yard TD and you can see his 24 yard TD reception below.
As for the run game, T.J Yeldon led the way with 114 yards and 2 TDs for Alabama. Derrick Henry had a solid day as well. He ran for 70 yards and a TD and had a 41 yard catch and run from Sims for a second score. You can see that below.
Mass Maritime - While the Buccaneers struggled in their 32-16 loss to Westfield State on Saturday, my ex-player E.J. continue to extend his hold over every receiving record at the school. He caught 12 more passes today for 103 yards and a touchdown. The loss drops MMA to 1-5 on the season overall, with an 0-4 conference record.
Georgia - I'm not talking about any game the Bulldogs played but rather the suspension of running back Todd Gurley for allegedly making money off of signing memorabilia. I know that a lot of people out there are incensed that the NCAA and its member schools can make billions of dollars off of these athletes who labor for peanuts (scholarships). I happen to agree with them.
But while the rules stink, I don't agree with the notion that Gurley violating them is somehow a noble thing. It isn't. He knew the rules going in. They may suck, he may hate the rules, but he agreed to them. You can and should lobby to change rules you don't like. But I'm a firm believer in not breaking the current rules governing your participation in college athletics. And if you do break the rules and get caught, I have no problem with an athlete's career being in jeopardy or even over.
The NCAA is a corrupt organization as it is currently set up. They need to be changed from the top down as the playing field of college/amateur sports evolves. But until that happens, an athlete that agrees to the idiotically draconian rules of the NCAA must abide by them.
The big news out of the women's basketball league this week was the rather surprising move by the New York Liberty. The team declined to pick up the option on coach/GM Bill Laimbeer. They'll be looking for someone new to lead the team for next season.
The Liberty took a step back the last two years under Laimbeer, who was unable to recapture the magic he had as the head of the now defunct Detroit Shock. They didn't make the playoffs either season but I don't think anyone really saw this move coming.
Laimbeer, who I hated as a player, but really like as a coach and GM in the WNBA, commented about his time with the Liberty in this article.
So far, I haven't been able to find out if assistant coach Katie Smith is still with the team or has been officially dismissed. I do know that if she isn't back with the team, my fandom for the Liberty will be a thing of the past. I go where she goes. By the way, Smith's latest blog post on her KatieSmithBasketball.com site is about her dog Logan. You can check it out HERE.
Tennessee Women's Track - I know that I don't usually spend much time on college sports other than football and basketball, but this past week brought a story about the Lady Vols track team that just pissed me off. And I wasn't the only one as noted women's college sports writer Mechelle Voepel and men's college basketball analyst Jay Bilas also tweeted about the story.
It seems new track coach Beth Alford-Sullivan revealed herself to be thoroughly disreputable and not worthy of being a coach. She kicked athletes off the team who had done nothing wrong. This was two weeks into practices and the players she dismissed were ones she had praised publicly not two months before. The parent of one of the dismissed athletes took the story public.
The coach and the school are hiding behind the lame ass excuse of Sullivan not having done anything wrong and while they are technically right, that is a purely gutless counterpunch to the way they have completely screwed over these athletes. This story is yet another example of the atrocious level of corruption that abides in the current NCAA system. You can read more HERE.
Mount Saint Joseph University - And then you have a story like this one, where it shows what can be right and good about college sports. Lauren Hill is an incoming freshman on the women's basketball team. She's eagerly looking forward to playing her first college basketball game...because it will be her last game as well. And that is if she lives that long. Lauren is dying from an inoperable brain tumor. She was originally given two years to live, but things got worse and doctors told the family she wouldn't live past this December.
NCAA rules don't allow Division 3 teams to play games that count in the standings until mid-November. But even they were moved because they granted MSJU an exemption. With Hiram College agreeing to move the game to November 2nd, Lauren will dress in her #22 uniform and play "One Last Game". You can read more and see the local news report via this link. Yahoo! Sports also covered the story HERE.
HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
Wareham Girls Soccer - The Vikings lost to Middleboro 3-1 to start off their week. The one positive in that game was the news that my former player Paige scored her first career goal. A 6-1 loss to Bourne dropped Wareham to 0-15 on the season.
Wareham Boys Soccer - A 2-1 loss to Middleboro (Eoghan had an assist on the goal), a 4-0 loss to Bourne and a 6-1 loss to Case dropped the team to 0-13.
Wareham Girls Field Hockey - Westport beat Wareham 9-0, then lost to Seekonk 5-1 on Friday dropping them to 2-12 for the year.
Wareham Girls Volleyball - The Vikings got swept 3-0 by Bourne and 3-0 by Case to fall to 4-13 for the year.
Upper Cape Girls Soccer - The Rams beat Blue Hills 2-1 early in the week. Friday night saw them beat Old Colony 6-1. While she isn't one of my former players, Krystle scored all 6 goals and raised her scoring tally for her high school career to 99 goals. Below is an Adam Ellis photo of Krystle (in white) on one of a couple of chances where she could've scored that 100th goal.
Wareham Football - In their annual Cranberry Bowl matchup, the Vikings came up on the short end of a 21-12 decision against ORR. They are now 1-5 on the season. Josh (pictured below) ran for 58 yards on the ground and had 28 receiving yards in the game. (Photos by Adam K. Ellis of the Wareham Courier.)
MISCELLANEOUS SPORTS ARTICLE
One of my favorite sportswriters is Boston Globe columnist Bob Ryan. It seems others hold him in high regard as well. You can learn more about Ryan by reading this Grantland.com profile.
TV - If you didn't watch the season premiere of The Walking Dead last Sunday, wow did you miss a fantastic show. Seriously, go watch it on On Demand right now, you won't regret it.
As for a couple of other shows, you can check out the Pop-topia.com recap of The Flash Season 1 Episode 2 "The Fastest Man Alive" HERE. The recap for Arrow Season 3 Episode 2 "Sara" is available via this Pop-topia.com link.
I also added to my TV on DVD collection this week when I picked up Cagney & Lacey - The True Beginning. It is the second broadcast season of the show but the first with Sharon Gless in the role of Cagney.
Music - Country singer Glen Campbell is dealing with the effects of Alzheimer's Disease. The last song he ever recorded is called "I'm Not Gonna Miss You". You can check out the official video below. It's some moving stuff.
While still stunned over how utterly awful the Patriots looked this past Monday night vs. Kansas City...
Don't forget, you can follow me on Twitter - @TheOneTrueJay
This week the Garfield comic had a strip that seems to describe me to a "T":
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS
A friend of mine shared this photo on Facebook and it pretty much sums up the Monday night game against the Kansas City Chiefs:
Mass Maritime - The Buccaneers traveled to play Fitchburg State on Saturday but came away on the wrong end of a 26-21 score. They fall to 1-3 on the season. In the loss my former player E.J. caught 6 passes for 62 yards and a TD. The 62 yards gives him the all-time receiving yardage record at the school! Congratulation E.J.!
You can read more about his march towards the receiving record HERE.
Kansas - After going just 6-22 in a little over two seasons, the Jayhawks finally pulled the plug on the doomed to fail from the start tenure of Charlie Weis. The man who was so great as the offensive coordinator for the New England Patriots has been a massive failure on the collegiate level. After such a horrible "era" at Kansas, I don't see how anyone can ever hire him as a head coach ever again. Frankly, he's proven that he can't do that job at all. My guess is if he doesn't head back to the NFL for a coordinator job, he's going to be effectively blackballed from the game.
Boston College - The Eagles were on their bye week yesterday but in the meantime you can read this article and learn more about senior linebacker Josh Keyes.
Alabama - I watched the Alabama-Ole Miss game yesterday and it was a depressing thing to view. While Ole Miss fans would of course disagree with my assessment, when Bama loses my football weekend is soured. But the Tide has no one to blame but themselves. Despite a defense that held the Rebels to just 72 yards on the ground, they couldn't figure out how to stop Rebel QB Bo Wallace (pictured below) who had the game of his life in pulling off a 23-17 upset. He threw for 3 TD passes and the Rebel defense picked off Blake Sims in the end zone to seal the deal.
Make no mistake, the Rebels played great. But they sure got an assist from Bama. They got nailed with 8 penalties, and they were usually penalties after a big play. T.J Yeldon (pictured below) ran for 123 yards but the run game was hurt by the loss of Kenyan Drake. He had nasty leg injury that caused CBS to stop showing the replay.
Blake Sims ran for a TD but passed for just 228 yards on a day when Alabama could've used more of an aerial attack. In the end, Mississippi had the upset as Alabama fell to 4-1.
BOSTON RED SOX
The Boston area papers are publishing article after article breaking down how the season fell apart for the Red Sox. When they are writing those type of articles, they are writing pieces on what they think how the club will or should be constructed for next year.
And in depressing free agent news, the hopes that pitcher Jon Lester might be making a return to Boston took a big hit when it was announced he had put his home in Newton, MA on the market. Not that I can really blame him. After all, the Red Sox already lowballed him once, why bother giving the team another chance to do it to him again.
I just hope I never see a press conference this offseason where Lester is introduced as the new starter for the New York Yankees. I just don't think I could stomach that development at all.
Oakland Raiders - Mercifully, the Dennis Allen era came to an end this week when he was fired as head coach of the Raiders. But given how bad the team is, I think GM Reggie McKenzie should have cleaned house and fired himself as well. As GM, he's the guy responsible for stocking the roster with all the barely there "talent" that is supposedly playing for the team.
I'm no fan of the Raiders, but it is still embarrassing to me as a football fan to see one of the franchises with such a proud history in the league continue to stay not only in the cellar of the league standings, but to also seemingly unable to wash the stench of mediocrity AT best off them. Since Jon Gruden kicked their ass in the Super Bowl, the Raiders have become the NFL's version of the Bad News Bears.
Speaking of Jon Gruden, his name immediately came up as a potential replacement. (Ex-Dolphins coach Tony Sparano is the Raiders interim coach.) Another name I've seen floated is Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin. Don Banks of Sports Illustrated had an interesting piece on why Gruden might not be the savior that people think he would be. You can read the article HERE and decide for yourself.
One of the key reserves on the 2008 championship team was Leon Powe. I liked his game when he was with the Celtics. Now retired, Powe was hired this week by the team in the player development department. His responsiblities will include some community relations work but in the brief I read, Powe was said to also be interested in spending time with Danny Ainge. It seems his goal is to become a general manager in the league at some point. Welcome Home Leon!
Thanks to some strong statistical performances by a number of the players I have on my two fantasy teams, I was was able to win both leagues this week. I'm now 3-1 in one league while it was my first win (1-3) in the other league.
In a particularly hilarious bit of news from the fantasy football world, it seems New York Giants tight end Larry Donnell is a big fantasy player himself. He had himself on his team but benched himself in favor of the 49ers tight end Vernon Davis. Donnell wasn't exactly having a great statistical season so far and Davis is one of the better players at the TE position.
But as luck or the fickle whims of fate would have it, Davis had a bad game and Donnell ended up losing his matchup for the week. He would've won if he'd kept his own self in the lineup though. Why? Seems Donnell picked the worst possible time to have a career best performance. He caught 7 passes for 54 yards and 3 touchdowns...and lost his fantasy football matchup by 15 points. You can read about it via this link.
As Homer Simpson would say:
There was a time when it was considered an honor beyond measure for a city to host an Olympic Games. Nowadays, given the costs involved, the corruption endemic and the crazy demands of the International Olympic Committee, a lot of cities are passing on the chance to bid on being the host city for the Olympics. The latest problem for the IOC is the 2022 Winter Olympiad. A number of cities have refused to bid, or pulled out of their bids when the country's citizens voted against bidding. It has left the IOC with just two countries actively bidding on the event and neither of them is known for their snowy climates. You can check out the rather embarrassing story HERE.
And to cap the Olympic related embarrassing news we have the most decorated Olympian in history. Yes folks, Michael Phelps got busted for a second time for DUI. And yet oddly, not in jail. According to one article I read, his blood alcohol reading was twice the legal limit! For all the glittering jewelry he won for swimming faster than a host of other athletes, his athletic accomplishments don't seem to have added to his intelligence level at all.
For all the complaining about the domestic violence going on with the NFL, why isn't there more of an outcry for an athlete getting behind the wheel where split second timing could be the difference between arriving safely at home or sliding into a car and killing a family of six?
I'm sure Phelps will get off with a slap on the wrist, despite this being a second offense, but all that glitter is tarnished.
He's got money, does he not know how to hail a cab or hire a limo?
WOMEN'S COLLEGE BASKETBALL
Alabama - Further proof that the NCAA and its member institutions can and usually are gigantic SOBs comes in the form of the story of Daisha Simmons. She's a graduate of Alabama. She applied for admission into the MBA program but was rejected. So she applied and was accepted at Seton Hall University. She transferred there and applied to play a final year for the Pirates. But Alabama and coach Kristy Curry blocked the athletic transfer. The case makes no sense because Simmons has obtained a degree from Alabama. It got so stupid that the NCAA had to step in and offer a compromise where Simmons would sit out this season but get to play next season. She found this unacceptable because of the financial hardship it places on her family.
Alabama and their coach has yet to offer any kind of reasonable explanation for blocking a student transfer who's already graduated from their school. But it seems to be part of a systematic plan of idiocy on the part of the coach who has reportedly run off at least 6 players since last season. This is particularly galling coming from Alabama considering the school's football team is benefiting from the same type of transfer for a player on their football team.
You can read more about this story HERE. And if that isn't enough to convince you of just how despicable the people in charge of the women's basketball program are, you can check out this article about Brittany Jack, the roommate of Daisha Simmons.
Tennessee - An age and sex discrimination suit brought against the school by former Lady Vols media director Debby Jennings has been settled out of court for $320,000. Ever since Dave Hart took over as the AD at Tennessee, it has seemed that the Lady Vols athletic programs and personnel have been treated as second class citizens in favor of the men's programs. This despite the fact that it is the women's teams who have been the most successful. The good old boy network doesn't like that it would seem and it had led to women being demoted, forced into retirement or simply fired. Of course, this is just one suit the school was facing. Another suit brought by former trainer Jenny Moshak (remembered best for keeping Candace Parker's shoulder from continually dislocating in the midst of a title run) and two strength coaches is schedule for trial in June 2015. You can read more HERE.
With practices getting underway this week, I thought I'd take a minute to remind those few hardy souls who actually read my ramblings that I'll once again be covering a few women's programs with regularity this season.
The teams are Boston College (I'm hoping to attend some games), Tennessee, Hartford and Missouri State. I'll also be looking in on a couple of Division 3 schools from time to time. Catholic University (Amber) and Mount Ida College (Breanna) will feature a couple of my ex-players on their roster this year and I'll be interested in seeing how they do. (Though the two schools have yet to update their women's basketball web pages for the coming season.)
Hartford - I'm hoping the Hawks bounce back from a down season last year. I saw them play when they visited Boston College but won't see them this year because that particular matchup will take place in Hartford this year. I'll be particularly interested in seeing how Amber Bepko (pictured below 1st) does in her senior year. Deanna Mayza (pictured below 2nd) enters her second year with the team as well. Other players that will be looked to for big contributions include Katie Roth, Cherelle Moore and Alyssa Reaves.
Missouri State - The team begins their second season under coach Kellie Harper. They'll be looking to improve on last year's sub .500 record. The return of Kenzie Williams (pictured 1st) should help with that goal. They lost her to a knee injury last season. Others that will help lead the team include Tyonna Snow (pictured 2nd), Hilary Chvatal and Nijay Gaines.
Tennessee Lady Vols - The Vols are loaded with names their fans know by heart. The question becomes whether or not this is the year those separate talents can combine and help Tennessee rise back up to national title contender. They got a high quality transfer in former North Carolina player Diamond DeShields but she has to sit for this season. So it will come down to the talents of a returning from injury Ariel Massengale (pictured 1st), Isabelle Harrison (pictured 2nd) and Bashaara Graves (among a host of others) to get things started for UT.
Boston College - In year 3 under coach Erik Johnson, Boston College is going to be looking to return to respectability in the ACC. Things were pretty rough last season and losing Katie Zenevitch and Kristen Doherty to graduation sure doesn't help. Karima Gabriel (pictured 1st) is going to have to step up big time in the post. The return of Shayra Brown (pictured 2nd) should help give a little extra toughness edge to the Eagles. They lost her in the first game of the season to a foot injury (I was there at that game) and missed her contributions a lot. A lot of potential success for the team is going to hinge on how well their guards play. Nicole Boudreau (pictured 3rd), Kat Cooper (4th), Lauren Engeln and Kelly Hughes are all going to need to step up their games even more than they did last year. The biggest key to the Eagles season is going to be finding a point guard who can handle the pressure other teams are going to apply on them.
The latest blog from New York Liberty assistant coach Katie Smith talks about her dealing with dressing for games. You can read it via this Katie Smith Basketball.com link.
HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
Wareham Girls Volleyball - The volleyball team broke their 4 game losing streak early in the week when they beat Bishop Connolly 3-2. Rae-Lyn had 9 kills and 13 aces in the match. But the Vikings closed out their week by losing to perennial conference power Fairhaven 3-0 on Friday night. They are 4-8 on the year. While it is a losing record, it is still the best record of any fall sport at the school.
Upper Cape Girls Soccer - The Rams split their two games this week. They won 3-1 against Tri-County but dropped their match with Bristol-Plymouth 4-2. Their record stands at 3-6-1. The girls JV team beat Bristol-Plymouth 6-3. They are 5-2 on the season. My ex-player Ann Marie played goalkeeper in the first half of the match and scored her first goal of the season in the second half.
Wareham Girls Field Hockey - An 8-1 loss to Dighton-Rehoboth dropped Wareham to 1-8 on the season.
Wareham Boys Soccer - It was another loss for the Vikings on Friday night as they got pounded by Fairhaven by the score of 7-0.
Wareham Football - The Vikings got their first win of the season last night. They beat Case 50-39. It's their highest point total in two years. The now 1-3 Wareham team has managed to beat Case both this year and last for their only wins. It was nice to see that they had such a big offensive explosion. My former player Josh ran for 120 yards and 4 touchdowns. Three of those scores came in the fourth quarter.
Wareham Girls Soccer - The soccer team fell to 0-10 after a 5-0 loss to Fairhaven. This is at least the team's 46th loss in a row. The local paper had an article on the team this week praising the passion for one of my ex-players. Brianna lost two years to injury but still kept up with the team on the sidelines. She's back in goal this year and is the only senior on the team. You can read more via this Wareham Courier link.
I have three ex-players on the team. Below you can see a photo of each in game action from their September 18th game against Bourne. All photos are by the Wareham Courier sports editor/reporter Adam K. Ellis.
Movies - I took in the new Denzel Washington action movie The Equalizer yesterday afternoon. It's based off of the old TV series of the same name, but it really is a totally different animal in comparison. This is basically Man on Fire all over again. Or a Denzel version of Death Wish. It's not that it was a bad movie, but it was about half an hour too long and took a bit too long to get going.
While you digest that little mini review of that movie, you can check out the official trailer for the Liam Neeson film sequel Taken 3.
Books - I am in the midst of reading a new mystery but haven't finished it yet. But I did add a couple of new books to my to read pile again this week. The first book was the John Sandford mystery/thriller Storm Front. It is the latest in his Virgil Flowers series. The second book I grabbed was the Star Trek Voyager novel Acts of Contrition by Kirsten Beyer.
TV - I'm still digesting the start of the fall TV season. But one of my favorite shows from years past was Veronica Mars. One of the original stars of the show was written out early in Season 2. He kind of fell off the radar after that, but now TV Guide.com has an interview with Teddy Dunn. Whatever happened to Duncan Kane? You can find out HERE!
The latest example of the world going out of its way to destroy stuff from my childhood came this week when Amazon.com started putting warnings on the Tom & Jerry cartoon collection labeling the series racist. SERIOUSLY? You know when I grew up watching the show, I watched the cat and the mouse constantly try to knock off the other and laughed. It was enjoyable wacky fun. And now apparently, I was a preteen accomplice to racism because of it. At least that's how this story seems to make things out to be. Is there anything out there that can be enjoyed anymore without someone crapping all over said enjoyment?
I had the chance to pick up the first season of the TV show Quantum Leap on DVD for a relatively cheap price so I grabbed it and now will begin to work on a rewatch of that series. And thanks to a nice sale AND a big coupon, I picked up the 24: Live Another Day DVD set up as well.
Lastly, you can check out the trailer for the 3rd and final season of HBO's The Newsroom below.
Music - I was able to get around to writing a new CD review this week. And it was for the new John Mellencamp CD Plain Spoken. I think I wrote a pretty strong review of the CD and you can check it out HERE!
I was a bit saddened this week when I read the news that singer Ronny Munroe had left Metal Church after 10 years and 4 albums with the band. I thought I'd close out this week's column with one of my favorite tracks from Generation Nothing, their most recent album. Here's the song "Bulletproof".
Last week's game against the Oakland Raiders was set up as if the Patriots were supposed to just demolish a team that was about as bad as it could be. But it turned out that thought should've stayed on the paper it was written and not been allowed to seemingly seep into the mindset of the Patriots roster.
As with their win over the Vikings the week prior, the Patriots 16-9 win over the Raiders was good for the straight up win itself. But the way it came about was just frustrating as all hell.
The Raiders were giving up an average of 200 rushing yards per game coming into the game. The Patriots were coming off a game where they showed what they could do when the holes opened up for their ground game. But the inconsistent offensive line play fell far short of meeting expectations when the Patriots managed just 76 rushing yards for the game.
The O-line also didn't do Tom Brady any favors. He finished 24-37 for 234 yards and a TD. But he got sacked twice and got pressured all throughout the game.
The defense is where the game got saved in the end. Initially, they failed to stop the Raiders on their last drive of the game because the Raiders did score what would've been the game tying touchdown. But it got called back when the Raiders were flagged for holding. Of course the short run that tied the game should never have been possible. But the refs called an absolutely terrible pass interference call on Logan Ryan (pictured below). I watched the replay and if anything, it should've been OFFENSIVE pass interference. You can read about that particular call HERE.
The defense wasn't able to sack rookie QB Derek Carr but they were finally seal the victory when a Carr pass played "follow the bouncing ball" and landed in the hands of Vince Wilfork. The big man making that pick (see below) was the most positive aspect being talked about for the game, and for good reason. The team's offense is still a mess. Julian Edelman is the only receiver showing the ability to get open and catch the ball. The offensive line has yet to gel together and both protect Brady for an entire game AND get the run game some daylight.
The Patriots are 2-1 and back in a first place tie in the AFC East. But it has been a "beat with the ugly stick" kind of viewing experience and as the season progresses, things have got to get on a more even keel offensively or the lack of fluidity in their performance is going to come back and bite them both heavily and repeatedly on their ass.
Mass Maritime - Mass Maritime is a Division 3 school located roughly 10-15 minutes from where I live. A trio of my former players are on the team. Richie is a freshman and Cody is a sophomore still looking for playing time, E.J. is the team's star receiver. In the 42nd annual Admiral's Cup game last week, the Buccaneers beat Maine Maritime 26-20 in double overtime. E.J (pictured below) had 11 catches for 173 yards as the team evened their record at 1-1. The yardage total leaves him 141 yards from breaking the school receiving record. You can check out the team's webpage HERE.
E.J. caught 4 passes for 81 yards yesterday against Worcester State, but the team got beaten 48-14. They are now 1-2 on the season. Cody (pictured below 1st) saw his first action and caught his first college pass, an 11 yard completion. But he fumbled the ball away too. Richie (pictured below 2nd) saw his first action in the game. He had 20 yards on 7 rushes.
Boston College - The Eagles led by 7 points going into the fourth quarter against Colorado State yesterday afternoon, but gave up 10 unanswered points and lost 24-21. The winning score for the Rams came when Charles Lovett (the fifth option on the play) caught a 12 yard TD pass on a fourth down play (pictured below) with just 62 seconds left in the game, leaving little time for the Eagles to mount a long TD drive. The loss drops them to 3-2.
The loss wasted a fantastic performance by running back Jon Hilliman (pictured below). He ran for 128 yards and 2 touchdowns on the day.
QB Tyler Murphy completed 60 percent of his passes but managed just 169 yards. He got sacked once and picked off another time. He ran for 79 yards and a score as well.
BC fumbled the ball three times but didn't lose any of them. But the coaching staff can't have been happy to watch the players bobble the ball instead of keeping it secure.
BC's defense sacked Rams QB twice and picked him off twice but the secondary still gave up 270 passing yards and two touchdown passes to him. The defense also got touched for 154 rushing yards.
Here's the highlights from the game:
Not only did I lose in both leagues last week, I got stomped so bad that I was on the wrong end of the league's "Blowout of the Week" score. Yes, I did very badly and I think that's enough about the butt whipping I took.
While I agree that the fever pitch overkill about the impending retirement of Derek Jeter is annoying, I am not among those who rabidly hate the guy. I appreciate what he's meant to the game. Sure it stinks that he's a damn Yankee, but give a guy his due.
And while he is doing the DH thing in Boston, you have to admit that he sure went out in about as perfect a way as possible in his final home game the other night. A game winning hit in his final Yankee Stadium at bat? Scriptwriters couldn't have done it better. And it was nice to see him so excitedly emotional over said hit.
This week I don't have a blog link from Katie Smith but instead there was an article about the start of her coaching career on the Scout.com Ohio State site. You can check out the article HERE.
The Celtics traded away Keith Bogans late in the week and got back...well really nothing of consequence. Despite assurances of making a splash in the free agent market this summer, the Celtics have done nothing to truly improve the team back to a playoff contender. The trade of Bogans was getting rid of a relatively quiet but still obvious malcontent. You can read the details about the trade in this article.
I think the biggest part of the trade was the fact that the players the Celtics got in return caused the team to waive both Chris Johnson and Chris Babb. The two players finished the season with Boston last year but since they didn't have guaranteed contracts for this season, they were expendable. I feel particularly bummed about Johnson's departure because he made such an impression last year with his hustle. He'd been signed to a 10 day contract and then a second one. But when it came time to make a decision on whether to keep him for the rest of the year, the Celtics kept him around because he went full-tilt all the time.
Of course, heading into training camp, Boston STILL has 16 players with guaranteed contracts on the roster. That's obviously going to change because they can't carry that many players on the team. The roster is going to be changing more than a bit and while I try to be optimistic about the team, I just don't see how they are going to be much better than the 25-57 record they had last season.
And that was before the news on Friday that Rajon Rondo, the only "star" on the team, is out at least 6 weeks after undergoing surgery on his left hand for a broken finger. The injury occurred at home and leaves the Celtics with rookie Marcus Smart and veteran Avery Bradley as their point guard options until Rondo's return. You can read more about the injury in this article.
Bradley is a good, if oft-injured, player but he's definitely more suited to be the "2" guard and it is his defense where he's made his rep thus far. When he's been at the point in the past he's been okay but is clearly second fiddle to Rondo's ability to run the team.
And if you want to make the situation with Rondo even worse to think about...he's in the last year of a five year deal. He has said that he wants to stay in Boston. But given comments made by the team owner and the frustration the front office has in dealing with Rondo's mercurial nature, you have to wonder if either side is truly going to meet at the negotiating table. And wouldn't that be a disaster? The only marketable and superstar player on the team and he leaves via free agency?
I think if the Celtics (more like WHEN) fall out of playoff contention early, the team will start talking to Rondo early about signing a new deal to avoid the hassle of free agency or they will make a deal with a contending team before the end of the season and trade him away. At least that way, they'd get something for him instead of being the jilted groom left holding nothing at the altar.
WOMEN'S COLLEGE BASKETBALL
Boston College - The BC women had their annual photo shoot this week for their upcoming 2014-2015 season. You can check out some of the photos from photographer John Quackenbos below.
There was also a behind the scenes video from the photo shoot that was put up online. You can check it out below.
This week I was checking out the team roster page on their website and saw that two players from last year's team are no longer on the team. Kami Mickens transferred to Trinity Valley Community College. Amber Cooper's name is gone from the roster but I can't find anything to say where she is now.
And of course, I didn't know any of this information until I found it myself via other sources because Boston College never seems to announce transfers. It makes it kind of annoying when months later you find out people have left the program.
South Carolina - You can check out an article about head coach Dawn Staley's work with the USA Basketball women's team HERE.
With all the hue and cry about the domestic violence going on in the NFL, can someone please tell me how the women's national team goalie Hope Solo is still playing for her Seattle pro team when she's charged with the same thing. She is charged with assaulting her sister and her nephew and yet no one has said a word about it until just recently?
And the powers that be in the US Soccer governing body are being a bunch of mealy-mouthed weasels about things.
Look, I have no problem with the NFL players being suspended while their legal situations are resolved, but the blatant double standard being applied to Hope Solo needs to end.
Wareham Girls Soccer - The team lost three more games this week. They lost to Case 4-0, Apponequet 7-0 and GNB Voc-Tech 3-1. They are 0-9 on the season and have lost at lead 45 games in a row. The JV team lost to Apponequet 6-0 and the mother of one player told me it was just awful. But on the plus side, she did tell me that her daughter is being trained for the upcoming hoops season by a men's college basketball coach from the area. This makes me very happy because I've long admired the girl's basketball talent and have wished she would do more to improve and refine her skills.
Upper Cape Girls Soccer - After losing to Bristol-Plymouth 4-2 and Pope John Paul II High 2-1, the Rams are 2-5-1 on the season.
Wareham Girls Field Hockey - The team lost 6-0 to Seekonk and then closed out their week with a 2-0 loss to Fairhaven.
Wareham Football - The Vikings football team got thoroughly dominated by Dighton-Rehoboth and lost 35-0.
Wareham Girls Volleyball - The team had been 3-3 but after losing three matches this week, they've lost a total of four in row to fall to 3-7. They lost 3 sets to none to Case, Apponequet and GNB Voc-Tech. If they have any hope for the playoffs, they will have to figure things out pretty much immediately and start winning matches again.
Wareham Athletic Hall of Fame - When the school announced this year's class of inductees, I was a little amused to see that I had worked for Frank (1940's) and coached Patrick (1990's). Congratulations to both of them.
A former player of mine named Brent died a few months back. It was due to a drug overdose. He played for me for one season and while he didn't have much in the way of hoops talent, his sole basket of the season came during the championship game that we won. His mother is taking his death and turning into a new purpose to help others. The story was featured in one of the local weekly papers this week. You can check it out HERE.
Books - This week I was able to finish the Lorna Barrett mystery novel Sentenced to Death. Unfortunately, I found it a bit of a slog to get through. It just wasn't all that entertaining a story.
But the disappointment in that book didn't stop me from picking up four new books to read.
I picked up the Iris Johansen thriller Live To See Tomorrow, the Joan Hess mystery Murder as a Second Language and the science fiction anthology set in David Weber's Honorverse world. The book is called Beginnings - World of Honor #6. It features a story by Weber himself as well as three other writers.
The fourth book that I picked up was the new Archer Mayor hardcover called Proof Positive. It is the latest in his Joe Gunther series. I don't want to come across as too maudlin, but reading this series is a way for me to kind of / sort of stay close to my late father. The series is set in Vermont and my dad was from there. He was also a HUGE fan of the author's. I had gotten him the Mayor book St. Alban's Fire the Christmas before he died but he never got a chance to read it. He gave the Mayor books to a neighbor but I refused to give that one to them until it had been read. I found the book highly enjoyable and have been reading the author since. I even attended a talk he gave here in my town. So I'll be looking forward to reading this one and think of my dad while doing so. You can check out the author at ArcherMayor.com
Music - I picked up a couple new CDs this week. Blues guitarist Joe Bonamassa released his new album Different Shades of Blue while John Mellencamp's Plain Spoken was also on the new release rack. The first song released from both CDs were really quite good and I wanted to check out the whole disc so I could do a review in the future.
TV - The fall TV season has gotten underway. I liked the new shows Scorpion, NCIS: New Orleans, Forever so far. I hated Selfie and The Mysteries of Laura (which is just awful). Shows like Red Band Society surprised while Madam Secretary was merely adequate. As for returning shows, I thought The Blacklist and NCIS were really good in their premieres. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. was decent too. I'm still looking forward to checking out the first episode of Gotham and the return of Sleepy Hollow.
While still stuck without my own personal computer... (So yes, my "up to date-ness" ends on Saturday morning before this week's college football games kick off.)
Don't forget that you can follow me on Twitter - @TheOneTrueJay
New England Patriots - I watched most of the Patriots game last Sunday. But with the team up 17-7, I fell asleep. And that's when the Dolphins decided to wake up. Despite missing 3 of their starting linebackers, the defense just killed the New England offense after going down by that 10 point margin.
I woke up when it was 20-20 and wished I was still asleep as the Dolphins went on to win 33-20 and hand the Patriots their first opening day loss in 11 years.
My buddy Brian (a big Dolphins fan) had to be ecstatic watching the defense manhandle the Patriots offensive line. The Pats managed just 89 rushing yards and sacked Tom Brady four times.
Brady threw for 249 years and a TD, but after going up 17-7, it seems he was on the run for the rest of the game.
After all the preseason talk of how different the defense looked and played, it was more of the same because the defensive line couldn't stuff any holes and the Dolphins run game took advantage with 191 rushing yards. Knowshon Moreno was practically unstoppable with 134 of those yards.
This can't be what Bill Belichick planned for, but this game showed that the Patriots aren't quite ready for primetime yet. It also demonstrated AGAIN, that the preseason doesn't mean a darn thing.
Baltimore Ravens - Video footage from inside the elevator that now former Ravens running back Ray Rice beat the crap out of his fiancee (now wife) surfaced this past week and as soon as it got out (TMZ gets another "scoop"), the Ravens terminated Rice's contract and the NFL suspended him indefinitely.
I have strong feelings about domestic violence, let that be clear. But for me, despite the reported ugliness of the new footage (I refuse to watch and help TMZ make more of a name for themselves), I have to wonder why the NFL didn't kick Rice to the curb the first time around. He certainly deserved it.
Suspending and firing him at this point seems like they are punishing him twice for the same infraction. And on that point alone I'm a little annoyed at the NFL.
Ray Rice is certainly a scumbag, the video definitely confirms that I'm told. But the league punished him once. However ridiculously bad they handled it the first time around, I can't imagine the player's union isn't going to raise a stink on general principle for a player being punished twice.
Minnesota Vikings - It isn't a good time to be Adrian Peterson. Last week reports surfaced that he reportedly told Cowboys owner Jerry Jones that he wanted to play for Dallas. That could not have endeared him to the Vikings ownership, coaches and other players. And the fan base was likely enraged.
And then on Friday, news broke that he had been charged with child abuse in Texas for using a switch to spank one of his sons. SAY WHAT?
DUDE! How goddamn stupid are you? You used a switch on your son? Have you conveniently forgotten that just last year a son you didn't even know you had was beaten to death by your baby mama's boyfriend? I'm all for discipline but let's get serious here, using a switch may have been a time honored idiotic tradition back in the day but in the here and now, that crap just ain't gonna fly with law enforcement. Oh by the way, the guy who killed that son of yours goes on trial for second degree murder next month. MORON!
For those fantasy football people that have Adrian Peterson on their teams, better make adjustments to your roster, the Vikings have benched him for today's game against the Patriots.
I actually managed to split my two leagues during Week 1. I really have no confidence in my lineups so getting even 1 win was pretty sweet. Of course, I'm favored to lose in both leagues this week so I might be writing with a "woe is me" vibe next week.
MIRACLE ON ICE USA HOCKEY TEAM NEWS
Just a bit of sad news...Bob Suter, one of the players on the 1980 Lake Placid hockey team that stunned the world by beating the Russians, passed away this week. He was 57 years old. He was a scout for the Minnesota Wild (and father to one of their players, Ryan Suter) as well as a youth hockey figure.
He's the first of the players from that team to pass away. You can read more about his life here.
Alabama - The Crimson Tide once again dominated their opponent last week. But it didn't help them keep their #2 ranking.
Despite beating Florida Atlantic University 41-0, the Tide dropped to #3 in the rankings after voters/computers factored in the strength of schedule angle in the Oregon-Michigan State game. Oregon won that game going away and they vaulted up to #2.
As for the FAU game, the Bama defense gave up just 145 yards in total offense (57 rush, 88 pass) and had 3 sacks.
Given that the game was a blowout, both Blake Sims and Jake Coker saw time at QB. Sims threw for 214 yards and 2 TDS, while rushing for another. Coker had 202 passing yards and a TD. He got sacked once.
The team as a whole rushed for 204 yards, with Kenyan Drake leading the way with just 45 yards (with a TD run). Amari Cooper was the biggest offensive star as he racked up 189 yards receiving and caught a TD pass.
(I'll write about this week's Alabama home game vs. Southern Mississippi and the Boston College home game vs. USC next week.)
MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL
Boston Red Sox - As if the season wasn't going badly enough for the Red Sox, second baseman Dustin Pedroia's season came to an early end when it was announced that he would be undergoing season ending surgery on his hand.
The Boston Herald had an interesting article that broke down all the injuries Pedroia has suffered in recent years and questions whether he'll ever be the same player he was before all the injuries.
Texas Rangers - The Texas Rangers were stunned a bit last week when manager Ron Washington resigned. The Rangers have been playing really badly this season, but Washington wasn't in danger of being fired after 1 down year.
While no specifics have been given, the resignation was termed by Washington as being done to deal with an "off the field personal matter."
The cynical SOB I am, the first thing I thought of was that he'd been caught using cocaine again. I really hope that isn't the case because it would be yet another sports related disappointment and at the rate they are coming these days, the sports pages might just as well be the front pages of a newspaper.
New York Mets - As if the simple fact of being the New York Mets and stinking to high heaven wasn't enough, now we have the story of team COO Jeff Wilpon being sued for discrimination by a female former team executive who became pregnant while unwed. Reading the story, apparently Wilpon acted like a total dick and is seemingly about to pay the price for it.
It makes me wonder just what is going through the minds of the "men" who run sports teams and or play the games. It is a different world these days, you bumbling Neanderthals!
The women's basketball schedule was released this past week and while they will play ten teams that made the NCAA tournament last year, I have to say I'm slightly disappointed with the slate of home games they'll have this year.
Since I can only attend Sunday games, I can't even think about seeing them play Duke this year. And then there are the teams I'd love to see them play but they are road games: Stanford, Hartford and Louisville.
I'm really psyched to see them play Notre Dame which is the biggest Sunday game on the home schedule, so I'll be getting tickets for that one. After that I don't know which games might strike my fancy. The remaining Sunday games (after the first of the year that is) feature Syracuse, North Carolina State, Florida State and Virginia Tech (which is the final regular season game of the season AND Senior Day.)
New York Liberty - Assistant coach Katie Smith has apparently decided to start writing a weekly blog on her website. The first installment breaks down some of her adjustments from being a player to becoming a coach. You can read it here.
Phoenix Mercury - Congratulations go out to the Mercury after they swept the Chicago Sky and clinched their third WNBA title since 2007.
Atlanta Hawks - It's been quite a week down in Atlanta hasn't it? First the majority owner Bruce Levenson announces he's selling his share of the team after an email he made with huge racial overtones was made public.
Well, I suppose owning up quickly to his rather stupid views is a point in his favor. And it saves NBA commissioner Adam Silver from having to deal with a Donald Sterling sequel to oust an owner clearly out of step with society at large.
And then on Friday it was announced that Hawks GM Danny Ferry was taking an indefinite leave of absence for his role and comments in the seemingly growing story. I don't know why he wasn't fired because he will never be accepted by the players and fans again.
And this brings up a question for me. Am I the only one in the world that was raised properly?
Where does all this hatred come from? I mean, I was always taught that you don't hate someone based on the color of their skin. I worked in youth basketball for 25 years and when I first started out, there was a knock on the league that only the black coaches won championships. Which was entirely BS even then, but I'd say winning 10 titles as a head coach (11 if you include the one I was an assistant coach for) put that lie to rest.
And why would anyone these days make such sweeping generalizations about players or a race of people? Maybe I've somehow managed to maintain a sense of naivety about race relations but I've yet to meet a person of another color that I've hated based solely that their skin wasn't as white as mine is? For cripe's sake, the man I considered my basketball mentor was a black man whose death from cancer devastated me.
Generally when I've disliked or yes even hated someone it is after I get to know them as a person, and it is based on their personality or attitude...NOT THEIR SKIN COLOR!
I'm a stick in the mud about some stuff in this world but I can't imagine the mindset of people who hate or discriminate against someone for reasons of their skin.
It seems that the powers that be running NBA ballclubs really need to either get with the times or get the hell out of the game. Or maybe it would be enough for them to simply grow the hell up!
HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
Wareham Girls Varsity Soccer - The team dropped a 2-0 match to Fairhaven on Monday to start off their week. They lost to ORR on Wednesday 6-0. Meanwhile, the JV team which has one of my former players (Gabby) on the team lost 5-0.
On Friday, the Vikings varsity managed to find the net but lost to Dighton-Rehoboth 6-2 for their 40th straight loss. Brianna had 8 saves in the game while Paige was cited in the paper for impressing with her play.
Wareham Boys Varsity Soccer - The Vikings fell to Dighton-Rehoboth 6-1 for their fourth straight loss to open the season. My ex-player Eoghan assisted on the team's only goal.
Wareham Girls Volleyball - The team dropped their match with Fairhaven by the score of 3 games to none. But the team got their first win on Wednesday night when they beat ORR 3 games to 2. They are now 1-3 on the season.
By the way, you can check out an article (with a couple of quotes from one of my ex-players Rae-Lyn) about the only boy playing on the WHS girls volleyball team here.
Friday's match against Dighton-Rehoboth saw the Vikings win 3 games to 1 to up their record to 2-3. Rae-Lyn had 6 digs, 18 kills and four aces in the match.
Wareham Girls Field Hockey - The team lost to Dighton-Rehoboth on Wednesday by the score of 7-0.
Upper Cape Tech JV Football - The team lost to Mashpee in their season opener but my girlfriend's son Connor said that he led the defense in tackles for the game.
Wareham Varsity Football - While the team has an off week this week, I wanted to make sure I included a photo of one of my ex-players from the opening game. Josh (#10) scored a TD in the game and is being looked upon to be one of the team's top offensive contributors.
By the way, to show you how far the Vikings might have to come this year, Bishop Stang (the team that beat them last week 42-26 last week) managed to somehow lose their second game on Friday night 46-2. And that is not a typo, they managed just TWO points against their second opponent after demolishing Wareham's defense the week before.
Movies - I saw the movie Draft Day this past week. It had a few relatively preposterous scenes but overall I actually liked it. The one problem the movie demonstrates so aptly is that the best possible GM candidates for the team are in Hollywood working as scriptwriters. The actual GMs the team has had over the years keep the fanbase in the eternal but fruitless hope that they will ever actually build a contender.
Books - This week's book purchase was the paperback edition of the Sara Paretsky mystery Critical Mass. It is the latest in her V.I. Warshawski series.
Music - I went out to see a cover band called Sound Tower last Saturday night with my girlfriend. The guy who owned the Rock Is Life.com site that I wrote reviews for in the past is the band's frontman but I'd never seen them live before. We stayed for two sets and I found it quite enjoyable. I really liked their cover of the Bad Company song "Can't Get Enough". You can check them out at http://www.soundtowerrocks.com
Here's a pic of me and Julie at the show:
You can check out the new Mr. Big song "The Monster In Me" here (Youtube Link).
Movies (Fan Films) - I'm a big fan of the show Firefly and the follow up movie Serenity. And this week brought a new fan film based in the same universe. The film is actually getting positive reviews online and I thought you all might like to check it out. You can see it HERE!