Hello and welcome to another Wednesday of deep thoughts. The big game is over and Seattle convinced me that they are the best team in football. A few weeks ago…I wrote this:
The Super Bowl will be a study in contrast. Seattle has earned the right to be considered a great defense. They have the athleticism, aggressiveness and sure tackling to be called an elite defense. When you add the beast mode of Lynch it is hard to say that they should not have the advantage in the cold of New York. Much will be made about the weather and how Peyton Manning has struggled in the past. The one aspect of the weather that I think will affect this game is the wind. Cold and windy has to bring an advantage for the Seahawks. As I think about this game, there is one thing that continues to make me think that Denver will win; Julius Thomas. Who does Seattle have to cover this guy? Denver has so many weapons, that it is not a matter of just shutting down the wide receivers. My guess is that ultimately, the experience of Peyton Manning will beat the inexperience of Russell Wilson.
A week before that, I wrote this:
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?
I remember thinking that and I remember writing it. Somehow, my heart convinced my head that Denver could beat the Seahawks. All season, I watched Manning destroy defense after defense. It just seemed to be right that Denver would win the Super Bowl. But, just as Brady was unable to cap off his great season with a championship…Manning and his Broncos fell a game short as well. Honestly, Joe Montana and Jerry Rice in their prime would not have defeated this Seattle team. The Seattle Seahawks proved that they are one of the best teams in history. As much as I wanted to see Peyton Manning win another championship, it is fitting that this Seahawks team won. Despite Richard Sherman’s outburst a few weeks ago, this group of players is a team…and a damn good one. Russell Wilson will probably never pass for 5000 yards and the beautiful thing is he won’t have to. The Seahawks have figured out the key to winning is to play together. The key to beating Denver and any team with a great QB is pressure up the middle. There is no question that Seattle did this better than any team this year. Honestly, I am short of adjectives to laude on this Seattle defense. Their performance in the Super Bowl puts them on the short list of great defenses.
I read an interesting article about Pete Carroll before the NFL season started. He approaches the game much differently than most coaches. He is lose, but focused on making his team better. His method is different, but effective. Just when I get to the point when I must concede that he is a very good coach, I happened to hear him talking about the Super Bowl being just like it was when he won at USC. Arrogant and annoying are the words that come to mind when I think about Pete Carroll. Well, even if I don’t care for him…I must say that the man can coach. Now, the question will be how many championships can Seattle win? Or, can they even win their conference next season? This is a young team that really could go on a run of wins. But the difficult part is maintaining focus and staying healthy. The other thing that Seattle will face is other teams signing away their players. Now dominating defense will be in vogue and other teams will begin to play the copycat game. Honestly, I don’t blame them. It will be interesting to see if the offensive numbers continue to flourish or whether the emphasis on defense will bring a downturn. I know that if I am John Elway and John Fox that I don’t wait long until I have a meeting to plan on revamping their defense. Boy…that will be big job.
One of the things that I firmly believe is that you can learn more about a person in a loss than in a victory. It is easy to smile, shake hands and sign autographs after winning a big game. It is entirely something else after suffering a big loss. Many have been quick to criticize Peyton Manning after the loss to the Seahawks. Does winning or losing really change the ability of Manning? Players and coaches seem to understand the greatness of Manning if some fans do not. The Patriot writer Tom Curran routinely asks Tom Brady to review his ballot for the league awards each year. When Brady saw that Curran had Brady down as the MVP…he told Curran that the MVP should be Peyton Manning. Curran made the change. Richard Sherman came to Peyton Manning’s defense on twitter as many fans were lambasting Manning. Sherman admonished the fans by saying Manning is still a great player and a future HOFer. Sherman also related that Manning found him after the game to check on his injury…because that is who Peyton Manning is.
Imagine for a moment that you are Peyton Manning and you have just walked off the field after losing the Super Bowl. Because you are Manning, you are expected to talk to the media. After answering questions about losing the game, you begin the long trip to the locker room. Along the way, a beer vendor respectfully requests an autograph. What would you do? Manning told the man (Steve Lopez) that he would come back after he changed. Lopez waited and Manning came back and gave him an autograph…because that he who Peyton Manning is. I don’t spend much time wondering about the order of great players. I only know one when I see one. Bum Phillips used to say when asked where he would rank Earl Campbell among great running backs…"I don’t know if he is in a class by himself, but when that class gets together, it does not take long to call roll." A player’s legacy is something that is left when they finish playing. It is folly to determine a legacy before their time is done. In my heart, I know that Peyton Manning and Tom Brady will forever be linked as great QBs, competitors and friends. In many ways, the relationship reminds me of Larry Bird and Magic Johnson. These guys understand just how difficult it is to win in the NFL. They recognize that winning a Super Bowl is not as much about them as it is about their team.
We are witnessing a golden age of QB play and many are too enamored with the drama to understand this. If Russell Wilson or Colin Kaepernick win 5 Super Bowls, will they be better than Manning or Brady? For my money, they are not even close. But, it is not fair to make this guess before the body of work is complete. To judge Peyton Manning before he is done is similarly unfair. To Peyton Manning’s credit, he simply does not take the bait when asked about an embarrassing loss…because that is not who he is. But for me…it shows me who those are that ask these types of questions. For those that refuse to acknowledge the greatness of a player such as Manning…it is more about you than Peyton Manning.
Great teams win Super Bowls…not players. Just ask Eli…
The 2014 NFL season is over. There is no question that the best team won. I would be remiss to not take a moment to tip my hat to the greatness of the champs! A tip of the hat to the Seahawks for a job well done…
With the talk of great QB’s, I saw something this week that was something else. Do you remember the big lefty QB from Kentucky a few years back named Jared Lorenzen? You may remember that he won a Super Bowl ring while backing up Eli Manning. In case you have not seen him recently, I wanted to give you the big man that can…
I have to give it to Jim Rome…he has the quote of the year for me. "The XFL had He Hate Me. The CIFL has He Ate Me." Now…tell me you aren’t laughing at that! Too funny!!
Although today is National Signing Day for college football, my focus has shifted to baseball. It should give a warm thought to my northern friends to hear that pitchers and catchers begin reporting to spring training as early as Friday. My son’s first college baseball game is on Valentine’s Day. So, I will be bringing weekly updates on the UTPA Broncs as they progress through their season.
While I am on college baseball…did you see that Jameius Winston was named as a pre-season All American? I think it is great that Winston is allowed to play baseball at Florida State…but a pre-season All American? It is clear that Winston’s success on the football field has given him an edge on this season. Here are Winston’s stats from last year:
At the plate, he hit .235 with seven doubles, three triples and 21 runs scored. Winston made 22 starts in the outfield and 10 at designated hitter.
On the mound, the right-hander went 1-2 with a 3.00 ERA and two saves, striking out 21 batters in 27 innings. His fastball can touch 95 mph.
Coach Martin indicates that he plans for Winston to be the Seminole closer as well as playing some outfield and being a designated hitter. It sounds like Winston will be a busy man this spring. This is a very good team and Winston may have the chance to live up to his preseason hype. It could be that another QB is talking about Omaha before this year is over.
He might want to tuck that glove...
Another bit of baseball news I heard this week is that former NBA player Tracy McCrady is going to take a shot at baseball. He plans to try out with the Sugar Land Skeeters. McGrady is working out as a pitcher and has supposedly had a bit of help from Roger Clemens. Clemens tweeted that McGrady was throwing in the mid 80s and has decent stuff. McGrady says he throws a fastball, split, slider and change-up. If McGrady can really learn to pitch, being 6’8” would have to help. At 34 years old, he has a few good years left in him. Given that he is working with Clemens…who knows, he might pitch for another 10 years or so!
I heard a pretty good joke this week:
Miss Beatrice, the church organist, was in her eighties and had never been married. She was admired for sweetness and kindness to all. One afternoon the ...pastor came to call on her and she showed him into her quaint sitting room. She invited him to have a seat while she prepared tea. As he sat facing her old pump organ, the young minister noticed a cut-glass bowl sitting on top of it. The bowl was filled with water. In the water floated, of all things, a condom! When she returned with tea and scones, they began to chat. The pastor tried to stifle his curiosity about the bowl of water and its strange floater, but soon it got the better of him and he could no longer resist. "Miss Beatrice", he said, "I wonder if you would tell me about this?" pointing to the bowl. "Oh, yes" she replied, "isn't it wonderful? I was walking through the park a few months ago and I found this little package on the ground. The directions said to place it on the organ, keep it wet and that it would prevent the spread of disease. Do you know I haven't had the flu all winter!" The pastor fainted.
I have to add just a few thoughts about the Texas basketball team. After a complete disaster last year, Rick Barnes had to completely remake the 2014 Longhorn team. Although they were picked last in the Big 12, they are suddenly on a very nice run in the Big 12. They have won 7 games in a row, including a big win last Saturday against a tough Kansas team. From what I have heard, Coach Barnes struggled with the group of guys last year. Apparently the group last year resisted coaching and were more interested in playing for themselves than the team. This year it is not the case. Cameron Ridley and Jonathan Holmes present a very strong inside presence that gives Texas a decided rebound advantage each game. Freshman Isaiah Taylor is playing with confidence that has made Texas a tough team to beat. It is fun to be able to follow a team again that plays the game hard. Texas may not win the Big 12...but they are in the conversation now.
That is all I have today, but I will leave you with a bit of Jack Handey...
"If you get invited to your first orgy, don't just show up nude. That's a common mistake. You have to let nudity 'happen.'"
"Don't ever get your speedometer confused with your clock, like I did once, because the faster you go the later you think you are."
Thanks for stopping by and feel free to leave a few deep thoughts of your own…
This was the most remarkable Super Bowl in my recent memory. I mean, I feel like this should’ve been the score when the 16-0 Patriots faced off against the 9-7 Giants. The first time the Patriots reached the Super Bowl in 1986, they scored the first 3 points of the game and the Bears just took control from there. Super Bowl XXIV is not as close to my heart, but clearly a more dominant performance. 55-10 hurts. The only thing that hurts more than losing the Super Bowl is showing up twice on the wrong end of the largest margin of victory list. The Broncos lost that game 55-10, with another HOF quarterback in John Elway.
Did anyone have the game’s first points being scored on a safety on the first play of the game? I know I was picking the Seahawks last week - I wouldn't have dared pick them this big.
You play 16 weeks to reach the playoffs. You play 2 maybe 3 playoff games to reach the Super Bowl. You wait 2 weeks for the game between the hype. The build up. And then, you get the Seahawks owning the Broncos like a JuCo team. Russell Wilson is a class act, and there’s no reason in the world it shouldn’t be you.
I do the Seahawks a disservice in this column. They were masterful. Their only misstep in Super Bowl XLVIII was failing to convert a 4th and 1 with 5:20 left in the game. There is nothing to add to the conversation – no last second drive. No third quarter heroics. They led from the time the game was 12 seconds old and didn’t look back from there. The best quote of the night: "Seattle has scored on all 3 offensive possessions, and twice when they didn't have the ball." Championship teams play to the last whistle – and up by 35 points with 3 minutes left, they still went after the ball. The Seahawks earned this and they earned it big.
I have to admit. I have waited on topics. I figured I’d be writing about the Super Bowl, but frankly I thought I’d have more to say about the game. What can I say about the game? There’s nothing TO say about the game. Really, to my mind it’s about Manning’s legacy. There’s no shame in losing – there’s only one team that plays more than 16 games that finishes the season with a win. There is shame, though, in having the career Manning has had, and being known as “The Best Regular Season Quarterback” to play the game.
Brady started his career off like a supernova. He’s been a great regular season quarterback. Has won some post-season games, but has lost a couple of Super Bowls – to Manning’s brother, no less. He’s lost a couple of Championship games to Peyton. But he won 3 Super Bowls. Manning has won once – and save that last 2 minutes of the AFC Championship, Brady would’ve won 4 – the AFC was beating the Bears that season.
Brady’s lost 2 games he should’ve won. Manning’s lost 2 games he should’ve won. Thing is though, Brady won 1 he shouldn’t have and two more on top of it. You can set all the individual records you want, up to and including a Super Bowl completion record. It doesn’t matter if you don’t win. I was absolutely convinced the Broncos could finish the season undefeated. I believe Manning is a great QB. But I drafted Wilson in my fantasy team.
It’s faint praise to say Manning is the greatest regular season QB ever, but it’s true. If there’s one game you have to win, you pick Manning. I used to say I’d take Brady if I had to win a playoff game – I don’t know I would any more, but it wouldn’t be Manning. For a guy whose had the career he has had, THAT is damning.
I admit it. I thought the Seahawks would be beating up on the Patriots in the Super Bowl. The fact the Broncos beat the Pats handily says something, for sure. But it says their defense was up to the task of Brady. The fact the Seahawks destroyed the Broncos says their defense was up to the task of Manning, AND Wilson was up to the task of the Broncos defense.
Seattle, your team has won the Super Bowl. And I’m happy. The only time I’ve been this happy with the result of a Super Bowl that wasn’t won by the Patriots was Super Bowl XLIV – New Orleans over the Colts. Peyton Manning loses the opportunity to burnish a HOF record, and we miss the opportunity to hear him tell the world he’s going to Omaha after winning the Super Bowl. And you may have just witnessed the berth of the Tom Brady’s successor in Russell Wilson. With the youngest team to win a Super Bowl, you can expect the Seahawks will be good for a good while. America, get ready to hate the Seahawks, and get ready to start calling Peyton Manning “the best regular season quarterback.”
"The irony is that with the new marijuana laws, neither Seattle nor Denver fans will remember this game ."
"The big difference between Peyton Manning and Papa Johns is that Papa Johns delivers."
"On the bright side, the cannabis will keep the rioting to a minimum."
"Last beat down in Jersey this bad was when Gen. Washington invaded Trenton."
Eli’s Giants (1-6) won and Peyton’s Broncos (6-1) lost
Josh Freeman’s debut for the Vikings was very Bradyesque on Monday night…
(that’s this years Brady and not the HOF Brady)
The Kansas City Chiefs are the last of the unbeaten at 7-0
Gronk finally suited up and played for the Patriots. 8 catches for 114 yards.
The Tigers and Dodgers are left to try to figure out what happened in series they were supposed to win.
Koji Uehara ALCS MVP
Bostons beloved mayor Mumbles Menino is hopeful the Red Sox will bring home the World Series Cup…like they did in 04 and 07…we knew it wouldn’t be long before he embarrassed an entire region.
The 97 win Cardinals and 97 win Red Sox are meeting in the WS
Game one will be in the books when this goes to press so the results may not be in.
The weather forecast is for cool showers, temps in the mid 40s at 8:07 EST
32 year old Adam Wainwright 19-9 2.94
29 year old Jon Lester 15-8 3.75
Thursday’s match up will most likely be an interesting matchup between guys at completely different stages in their careers
22 year old Mike Wacha vs 35 year old John Lackey
Frosty Fenway will be in the low 40’s good for pitchers but not for hitters
The breaking news is that Red Sox starter Clay Buchholz 12-1 1.72
may not be back to full strength for his scheduled game 3 start in St Louis on Saturday. The Red Sox will probably move Jake Peavy up to this start and hope Clay can pitch on Sunday. If not then regular season 5th starter lefty Felix Dubrount 11-6 may get the game 4 start. Jon Lester has been great on full rest but pitching on 3 days rest isn't in his skill set.
Buchholz had an 80 game stay in the DL this season and even though he was 12-1 with the sub .200 era his durability has always been a question.
At 6'4" 188 lbs Clay has 95 heat but would rather work the black with his 91 two seam and a variety of cutter, slider, curve and change to keep opposing hitters off balance. He's usually sharp thru 4-5 but fades quickly and leaves the ball up in the zone.
NFL MVP watch:
Peyton has 25TD’s and 4 picks 2565 yards thru 7 games
On record breaking pace for 57 TD’s and 5,800 yards passing
NFL top 10
Kansas City 7-0
San Francisco 5-2
New Orleans 5-1
Green Bay 4-2
New England 5-2
San Diego 4-3
new segment: He's got some splainin’ to do
Bill usually respectfully requests an explanation by the officials when he’s not sure of a call.
Is it possible Brady struggles really are Belichick’s fault ?
We already know that Tommy can't throw the ball and catch it too…but some of those throws... nobody could catch. Where is the accuracy…where is the confidence.
The O line has been a sieve and Tom gets knocked down but he gets up again
Are the Patriots doomed by the injuries to Jerrod Mayo, Vince Wilfork, Tommy Kelly and Aqib Talib on defense leaving them with the likes of Chris Jones, Joe Valaino, Jamie Collins and Marquies Coles to hold down the fort?
The Patriots loss in OT vs the Jets via that controversial call on Chris Jones push of his teammate in violation of the new NFL
“don’t push your teammate into the opponents center rule”
sent jubilant Rex Ryan to the podium saying “ we got the break…about time we got the break” if Ryan bided his time and alerted the refs that the Pats were violating this rule than, hats off to the big dope. Rex finally got BB on this one. The Jets played well, took advantage of the Pats weaknesses and deserved to win.
Bill obviously had been ignoring the rule and didn’t expect to be caught. Arrogant and with no excuse Bill expected it to be treated like pass interference on a Hail Mary play…flags stay in pockets.
My take, it’s a rule and although it hasn’t been enforced prior to this play it’s still a rule and was violated and hence the 15 yards was the correct call.
It’s hard for this die hard fan to admit that the Pats are in a dog fight just to make the playoffs. Most teams and fans would be ecstatic to be 5-2 at this point but the Patriots spoiled fans aren’t used to this mediocrity. I arrogantly looked at the schedule before the season and said, 13-3 and a bye!
What do I know, I picked the Red Sox to finish 4th
Trivia question for today…From the ’04 championship Red Sox and Patriots teams, name the active roster players on today’s teams that were on those teams.
One last thought,
Should Indianapolis change the city name to Allpeopleapolis ?
thanks for reading and commenting and enjoy the WS...go Sox