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September 21, 2009

[Business Day One] The Dawning Of The Age of Sanch-quarius

Filed under: Business Day One,Football — Tags: , , , , , — Serpico @ 1:35 pm

Times are changing in Boston.  We’ve now gotten new train maps (finally), and we’ve finally taken care of that holier-than-thou football attitude.

The Patriots are mortal once more, for the first time since Drew Bledsoe lumbered around in the pocket.  I’m not going to waste my time talking about why (since you all know why – major surgeries, hole in the middle of the defense, slot receiver injuries), but I will take a moment to note something that some fans forget about.

Fans grow weary of champions.  They’d rather watch a team rise (the Jets) or a team fall (the Patriots) than a dynasty.  Dynasties are boring, and only entertain 1/30th of the fans.

Whether or not the Pats continue to stay down, I am certain that talk of their presumed decline will be far richer than the thin broth that the media woould give them after a victory.

May 4, 2009

[Business Day One] Now We’re That Couple

Filed under: Business Day One,Football — Tags: , , , — Serpico @ 9:25 am

Boston College’s own Ron Brace was drafted by the New England Patriots this past week. In other words, a player from my favorite team has been drafted by my girlfriend’s favorite team. We’re getting matching jerseys. So if you see us, don’t make fun. Yes, we’re that couple now, but we have a very good reason.

Thank you, and Let’s Go Eagles.

December 24, 2008

Is It March Yet?

Filed under: Football — Tags: , , , , , — Willis @ 3:15 pm

So it’s holiday time and most of us have finished worrying about gifts and fantasy football, but there are a few people still out there with last minute shopping and still in the running to win their league Super Bowl (sorry, NFL) Big Game. To those people I say good luck. For the rest of us, we shall prepare for the future. 

What happens in the near future to prepare for? Well, there’s the NFL playoffs, the Super Bowl, baseball spring training, and March Madness and other march tournaments. But if you’re like me, you can’t wait another 3 months for some tournament action. So I’ve scoured the internet for some interesting sport or nerd tournaments and this is what I’ve found:

  • Paul and Storm have set up a Geek Madness tournament. They have realized that Obama might be our first geek president (he’s on YouTube, he was on Twitter, and he carries a blackberry) and therefore he may choose a Secretary of Geek Affairs.
  • WIRED magazine is running a Sexiest Geek contest. And I have to post this because they say “Every geek’s a little bit sexy, somehow. Maybe it’s the glasses, the hot talk about black holes or the Asperger’s-like obsession with sci-fi, science or gadgets.” 
  • Think that you are the best Madden player around? Perhaps you’d like to find a tournament where you can prove this fact. Try looking at Get Your Tournament.
  • Don’t worry, I don’t think anyone around here is nerdy enough to want to play in a Star Craft tournament or even watch the matches happen.
  • There’s another tournament going on right now. One that I am not a part of (but should be). It’s the Sports Blogger of the Year tournament at Busted Coverage. I’m not going to complain that we didn’t make the cut (we were on the bubble, I promise) but Fire Joe Morgan made it and they no longer blog.

Also before the weekend, I wanted to post an update about the Patriots status about making the playoffs this year. And while I’m at it, why not just cover the whole AFC East. (more…)

December 16, 2008

The Patriots Still Have A Chance!?

Filed under: Football — Tags: , , , , , — Willis @ 10:40 am

With only 2 more weeks left in the 2008 NFL regular season, now is the time to start planning the playoff match ups. Well, the New England Patriots (my home team) are 9-5 and have a bit of a tough road ahead.

How tough? Tough enough that it may be out of their hands. Boston.com (Boston Globe) blog writer Eric Wilbur outlined most of the scenarios:

If the Patriots go 2-0 over their final 2 games:

  • The Pats can win the AFC East if they win their final two games against Arizona (at home) and Buffalo (on the road) and both the Jets (at Seattle) and Dolphins (at Kansas City) lose next weekend (the Jets and Dolphins play each other in Week 17).
    The Pats can win the AFC East by winning their final two games against Arizona and Buffalo and the Jets and Dolphins both go 1-1 over their final two games.
  • If all three teams win next weekend, and the Pats beat the Bills in Week 17, the Jets-Dolphins game on the final Sunday of the season has to end in a tie for the Patriots to win the East.
  • If the Patriots win their two remaining games and the Ravens lose one of their next two games (in Dallas next week and at home vs. Jacksonville in Week 17), New England is in as the wild card. Print the shirts.
  • If the Pats win out, and the Colts manage to go 0-2 vs. the Jaguars and Titans, the Patriots are in, however unlikely that scenario might seem.

If the Patriots go 1-1 over their final 2 games:

  • If New England loses to either the Cardinals or the Bills, they need Baltimore to drop both of its remaining games to win the wild card.
  • The Patriots would need this nifty little scenario to win the East: Dolphins lose to Chiefs AND Jets lose to Seattle AND Jets-Dolphins game ends in a tie. Like those odds?
  • There’s one final possibility here, albeit a very confusing one: If either the Jets or Dolphins lose their last two games; and if the Patriots lose to the Cardinals and beat the Bills; and if the Ravens beat the Cowboys and lose to the Jaguars; New England and Baltimore would have the same record (10-6), and the same record within the conference (7-5) — which is the first tiebreaker in a wild card scenario since the teams did not face each other this season. Complicating matters is that, if our math is right, they would also be tied in the next tiebreaker — record against common opponents. So that means it could come down to strength of victory.

Now what Mr. “Professional Blogger” Wilbur fails to mention are some of the less mainstream methods the patriots are taking to gain a playoff birth:

  • Patriots “Diamond In The Rough” Randy Moss has been sent to the Arabian deserts to find a genie in a lamp. Where they will wish for a pair of Jets losses.
  • Belichick has been reluctant to use it due to the disastrous effects it had on Brady earlier this season, but he has 1 more Monkey Paw wish remaining.
  • I’ve gotten word that there are a couple personal ads looking for some lonely virgins who enjoy rituals to meat someone in Foxboro, MA.
  • A letter has been sent to Diddy, asking him to say that the Patriots will be in the postseason. Perhaps this is putting too much faith in commercials, but every avenue is being covered.

This is all that I have uncovered, but if you have heard anything, please post in the comments or let me know via contact form.

This is very important for the Patriots because they could very well miss the postseason for the first time in six years even with 11 wins. And teams like Arizona and Denver could get in with an 8-8 record. Yes the very same Denver team that the Patriots destroyed 41-7 earlier this season. And the very same Arizona that will likely get destroyed on Sunday.

Whatever path that Patriots follow, I guess I have to root for the Cowboys on Saturday. Ugh.

November 10, 2008

[Business Day One] I Was Ready For Some Football

Filed under: Business Day One,Football — Tags: , , — Serpico @ 11:07 am

Between 8 p.m. on Saturday and 4 p.m. on Sunday, I watched more football (7 hours) than I slept (6 hours). Not a bad way to live, if you can manage it. I took in a rain-moistened Boston College-Notre Dame game at Alumni Stadium and then a sunny affair at Gillette. The good guys won each. BC, by a score of 17-0, and the Patriots, by a score of 20-10.

Both wins felt good, as wins tend to. But each was particularly important, and the exuberance of the sold out crowds reflected that. Boston College won their sixth straight against the Fighting Irish, becomming bowl eligible for the season. The Patriots are holding on to a share of first place in the AFC East (along with the Jets). A weekend win for each team isn’t the only similarity between the only football programs in town. Both the Eagles and the Pats are 6-3 now, despite early season question marks at the quarterback position. Both teams are playing without a defensive star (Brian Toal and Rodney Harrison, respectively). Both teams are making statements with their young ground games (Harris/Haden at BC, Green-Ellis for NE).

So how is each team going to do down the stretch? BC plays on the road at Florida State and at Wake Forest before coming home to close out the regular season against Maryland. I sincerely hope they win one of those games. The Pats have the Jets, Dolphins, Steelers, Seahawks, Raiders, Cardinals and one more against the Bills. There are two Will-Wins (Seattle, Oakland), two Should-Wins (Cardinals, Bills), and three that really could go either way. As of right now, I’d say that the odds of the Pats having a higher winning percentage than the Eagles is pretty good. But as is the case with football, anything could happen. New injuries to each team (BC lost their fullback, the Pats lost Adalius Thomas) will test them down the line. Regardless of what the rest of the season brings for each, I was thrilled I got to see two passionate fanbases watch their team take their sixth win.

Let’s go Patrigles.

October 13, 2008

[Business Day One] Lost Seasons And House Money

Filed under: Business Day One,Football — Tags: , , , — Serpico @ 11:14 am

I said Matt Cassel would be “fine” this season, and so far, he’s been just that. Not great. Not awful. Just fine. His stats so far support the assertion that’s he’s a perfectly average backup quarterback. Three touchdowns to four interceptions and a rating around 80. He’s playing exactly like a guy told specifically not to screw anything up. The trick is that each mounting loss will upset the merciless Boston sports media more and more, despite Cassel playing within his particular gameplan. Despite the fact that this loss could be hung on the cornerbacks as much as the quarterback, many fans (and the sports reporters that pander to them) don’t care so much about Deltha O’Neil and Ellis Hobbs as they do about the guy that replaced Tom Brady.

But I don’t think townsfolk with pitchforks are showing up at Gillette any time soon. Boston fans are an impatient bunch sometimes, but they’re not stupid. No one will demand Cassel be shackled and kept on the sidelines, since anyone who knows anything about Patriots football knows that no one else on roster can throw the ball. Backups-to-the-backup Matt Gutierrez and Kevin O’Connell aren’t the answer this season, and the drop-off from Brady to Cassel or anyone else will not be narrowed by any means. The fans know this, the media accepts this (though I’m sure they’ll write stories to the contrary when the Bills open up a three game lead in the division), and so this season has essentially become a “we’ll take anything” kind of season.

The Patriots are playing with house money now. With Brady down, everyone I know that owns a jersey with his name on it threw up their hands and lamented the soon-to-be 6-10 season. Anything above that is a pleasant surprise. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if I see a town of rah-rahs if 9-7 and a wild card berth becomes the reality in a few months. Thankfully for everyone, the Sox are still alive in the playoffs. That’ll make any grim twists of fate go down a bit easier.

September 15, 2008

[Business Day One] Week 2 Thoughts (From The “No, You’re Not Crazy” File)

Filed under: Business Day One,Football — Tags: , , , , — Serpico @ 11:49 am

No, you’re not crazy. Don’t worry. You’re not the only one thinking what you’re thinking. I, John Serpico, Sports Blogger, am thinking the same thing:

-Aaron Rodgers is a good NFL quarterback. He can throw, run and throw on the run. As such, these first two weeks were not a fluke. In fact, two straight weeks of great-if-not-excellent quarterback play has done for him more than Mike McCarthy’s impressive offensive scheme did; they made believers out of the Lambeau Fans. There’s now slack on the leash, and the boo birds and doubters aren’t going to start haunting the hallowed field. Rodgers throwing three impressive touchdowns looked even better when compared to the 1TD/1cINT(costly interception) put up by Brett Favre in a home loss against the Patriots. Congratulation, Aaron Rodgers, you have arrived.

-It’s a little early to say that any win could save a season, but the Colts’ last second heroics against the Vikings averted disaster. And not disaster in a “oh my goodness, they’re doomed” kind of way. But in a “now the media will be asking what’s wrong with the Colts for a month” kind of way. The Colts are fine. All of these woes are tied to the absence of center Jeff Saturday. Once he’s back, they’ll be fine again. Seriously, he’s that important. I’d be saying this even if they were 0-2.

-When you’re trying to decide between Tyler Thigpen and a rapidly aging Damon Huard, you should just trade away the team for draft picks. Seriously, the Chiefs are that bad. They were outcoached by a guy who might lose his job soon (Lane Kiffen), Darren McFadden ran everywhere, and Larry Johnson ran nowhere. This is ugly. This is the kind of ugly that we saw from Miami last year. Despite JaMarcus Russell only completing 6 of 17, the Raiders still did whatever they wanted against the Chiefs defense. When you mix terrible undermanned D with terrible undermanned O, you’re going to lose at least a dozen. Maybe fourteen. Heck, maybe sixteen.

-The Giants are executing in all aspects of the game. I will never be entirely sold on Eli Manning as a quarterback, but the man hoisted a Lombardi Trophy above his head last year, so I should probably just be quiet. Considering how soft the rest of the NFC is, the Giants will probably pick up 10 victories without difficulty. An A- defense, a C+ quarterback and some B+ skill position guys will do that in the lesser conference.

-The Rams play the Arizona Cardinals in Week 9 and Week 14. I have a feeling that the Cards will hang about 75 points on them over those two weeks, despite playing an old man at quarterback and an old man at running back.

-Matt Cassel will be a fine leader for the rest of the season. His stats week over week will look similar to how they’ve looked for the past two weeks. However, the New England media will perpetuate the myth that he is somehow getting worse. I know this.

So no, you’re not crazy.

April 29, 2008

On Draft or In The Bottle

Filed under: Football — Tags: , , , — Perich @ 8:00 am

Baseball season’s over! And nobody cares about NBA playoffs! It’s time for the second most riveting time of the year: the NFL draft!

Here are some highlights:

#1: Miami Fish: Jake Long, OT. The only OT to go first since 1967.

#2: St. Luda Rams: Chris Long, DE. Some brief camera time with Suzy Kolber proved that Chris not only runs faster and hits harder than his father Howie, but also speaks at least as well. He’s practically guaranteed a cushy commentary job when he retires, so Chris has locked his future down.

#3: Hotlanta Falcons: Matt Ryan, QB. Chris Berman described Ryan as “personable,” a comment painstakingly crafted to avoid any argument. Writers slaved over copy for hours to come up with such a non-controversial remark. “Can we say he shows promise?” “Maybe, but …” “He’s cool under pressure!” “Except when he’s throwing picks.” “Hell, stick with ‘personable’ and keep going.”

#4: Chokeland Raiders: Darren McFadden, RB. I caught a bit of Michael Smith’s interview with McFadden on ESPN earlier this week. Berman and Kiper revisited it on Saturday. “Darren McFadden: violent thug or criminal mastermind?” wasn’t quite the tone, but it was close. My take: a man who’s never been to jail, who stands by his family of crack addicts and gangsters and who takes responsibility for children he may have fathered – even before the paternity tests come back – shines like a cherub at the right hand of God in today’s NFL. Put that man on a poster.

#5: Kansas City Chefs: Glenn Dorsey, DT. I like Dorsey the most of any of the first rounders. Suzy Kolber caught him after he walked off stage, commenting on his visible emotion when he took a phone call in the green room. “It was the general manager,” Dorsey said, “asking me if I’d like to be a Chief. And I said I’d love to. And then they put the head coach [Herm Edwards] on the line. He asked, ‘You think you can help our defense out this year?’ And I said, ‘Yes sir, I surely will.'” Dorsey didn’t relay any of the rest of the conversation, though, on the subject of how bad the Chiefs’ defense is, Edwards probably didn’t lack for conversation.

#6: New York Jetropolitans: Vernon Gholston, DE. Commissioner Goodell addressed this draft pick to “Jets fans,” meaning the hundred or so people packed into the auditorium who’d been issuing a steady stream of boos for the last 45 minutes. I don’t want to say Jets fans are the worst fans in American football: the Missoula Babyspikers have a particularly grotesque halftime show, and the less said about the Portland Luftwaffe the better. About Gholston: he’s played competitively both at linebacker and at defensive end, making him a coveted multi-tool player. Which should be handy for the multiple tools filling the seats at Jets Stadium every year.

#7: New Orleans Aints: Sedrick Ellis, DT. Our first bit of draft chicanery. Bill Belichick, crafty sonuvabitch* that he is, traded the 49ers for a first round pick – and then traded this #7 spot with New Orleans! Always thinking, that guy.

#8: Jacksonville Jagoffs, Derrick Harvey, DE. Perich at T-minus-five minutes: All right! #8! The Ravens can snatch up Dominique Rogers-Cromartie! Perich at T-minus-two minutes: The Ravens traded their draft pick? Newsome! Harbaugh! What are you thinking? Perich at T-plus-five minutes: Okay, so they traded 1 draft pick for 3 others. All right. It’s cool. We’re all cool here. I’ll clean that beer off the wall later.

#9: Cincinnati Bangles, Keith Rivers, LB. The integrity of the draft gets compromised! Hidden cameras in the Rivers’ household** capture young master Rivers receiving a phone call. His college chum then hands him a Bengals cap, which he proudly and prominently wears for many minutes before Commission Goodell can take the stage! Shock and horror! Dishonor and taint! We learned what team he’d be playing on before we were supposed to! What’s next?

#10: New England Patsies, (more…)

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