Tag: Patriots

[Business Day One] Concerning Boston

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There really isn’t an aftermath to speak of.  Boston isn’t burning.  There isn’t wailing and lamentation in the Common.  Folks have just kind of moved on. ??????? ???? ???? ?????

The reasons for the collective shrugging of shoulders up in this part of the world are pretty He graduated, again.abundant.  We all know that the team isn’t going anywhere.  The foundation of every excellent team (Offensive line, Defensive line, Quarterback) is in place and will be for years to come.  The Kraft family is invested in the longterm success of the team and the facilities. ???? ???? ?????   The genius coach is still a genius coach.  And the aging linebacker corps will get younger and faster next season (though I think everyone’s a little broken up about losing Bruschi and Seau).  Over all, there’s a citywide sense that we’ll all be alright.

A friend of mine that doesn’t follow sports too closely told me that he was always surprised by how Boston fans were so opportunistic in terms of their demeanor.  That is to say, once the Patriots (or any local team) lose, fans can move on to other things fairly quickly and not dwell in misery too long.  I find such an assertion funny, because for my entire life up until 2004, you couldn’t say “Boston fans” without squeezing the phrase “long suffering” in.  Nowadays, Boston fans are apparently seen as folks with an abundance of things to cheer about.  So I did a little thinking on the matter, and I realized that perhaps this friend is right.  I did a quick “pulse check” on the Boston Sports Scene as of this morning, and the results are in:  Read More

18 And Life To Go

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The perfect season has been foiled at the last minute before.

From The Washington Post‘s The Redskins Book:

The 1942 Redskins went 10-1. Their only loss was 14-7 to the Giants in the second game of the season, a score they reversed against the Giants amid a nine-game winning streak. The Redskins allowed only 13 points in their last four games. ???? ????? ??? ???? Once more, their title-game foe would be the Bears. The Bears, who had won 18 straight games, were favored.

The defending champion Bears’ 11 wins in 1942 were rough, physical victories staked on hard-hitting defense. The Redskins had gotten back into contending shape after a mediocre 1941 on the legendary arm, back, and quick-kicking leg of Sammy Baugh. The favored Chicago team quickly went up 6-0. But the final score was 14-6, with the last 1 yard scoring play a handoff to Andy Farkas. By all accounts, it was smash-mouth football, the kind of game that you can’t watch without wincing every minute of the way– despite the fact that “NFL commissioner Elmer Layden ordered ‘a clean game.’” (Goodell shouldn’t have to worry about a ‘clean game’ on the field- just keep Tom Petty from flashing some tit and everyone’s happy. Also, check the Giants’ Gatorade jugs for audio transmitting devices.)

The Bears had won 18 straight. The Redskins stopped them. All it took was a charter member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. And George Halas off coaching duty due to naval service. And… ok, fine, so let’s just stick with the “18 and out” part.

Then, there’s at least one recent example of a perfect season bid gone unrealized with a connection to this weekend’s contest:

That video is never going to get old.The connection, of course, is the coach of the then-victorious Eagles: Tom Coughlin. Sure, it’s a stretch, and there’s pretty much no comparison of even the biggest NCAA game to any pro game, but the man did coach an underdog to ‘glory’ once before. Hell, they even got to play in the Carquest bowl or some shit. And that loss sent the ND program into a slow spiral which… well, you saw what happened this year.

I’ve been a Giants fan my whole life. Baseball’s my first love, of course, but I can remember watching Simms, Bavaro, Mowatt, and LT lead the charge in Pasadena, mere months after Mookie poked a dribbler through some guy’s legs. ???? ?????? ???? It was a glorious time to be a six-year-old sports nut in Queens. And I am grateful to this day that my family were not Jets fans. That would suck. A lot.

Given the reigning baseball champions, I can’t shake the feeling like there’s some guileless little kid in Quincy or Watertown or wherever, MA, who doesn’t yet know that he’s supposed to be a smug asshole about cheering for his teams, just that he likes Varitek and it was fun to see the Sox win, and his dad yells about the Patriots a lot and it’s fun to see them win. For that kid, sure, it’d be nice if the Patriots won.

For the rest of you, eat a dick. ???? ???? ?????? 24-21, smash-mouth Giants victory.

This is the end of today’s PICKSTRAVAGANZA by the Nerds on Sports staff. Read the previous five posts for more “insight” from the nerds.

[Business Day One] – What My Dad Does

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“So, dad, I hear you skipped work today.”

“Yeah, I felt pretty bad.  I should be all set for Sunday, though.”

“Well that’s good.  I’d rather you sick now than too sick to make the chili.”

“The package is on the way.  I should get it Friday.”

“Glad to hear it.  I hope it does some good.”

“This game is going to be a lot closer than everyone thinks it’ll be.  We’re gonna win this thing.”

“Maybe.  They just have so many weapons.  It’ll come down to the pass rush.  Listen, dad, I gotta jet. I’ll talk to you later.”

“Let’s Go Giants.”


I was eight years old when the New York Giants beat the Buffalo Bills in the SuperBowl.  I don’t remember Norwood’s kick sailing wide right, but I do remember the moment after.  The Giants burst into celebration on the sideline, and Bill Parcells was smiling as he ran on to the field in that sweater he wore.  My dad picked me up and tossed me into the air and I was terrified that I’d bang my head against the ceiling.  We were all laughing and cheering.  My grandfather, my father and me.  And the Giants at Tampa Stadium.

That was the purest moment of sport I had ever experienced.  Three generations of men (or, rather, two generations of men and one generation of me) that had grown up within a dozen miles of Giants Stadium watched one of the most amazing displays we could possibly watch.  Neither before nor since have I seen my father that happy.  The fan in me was defined that Sunday night, as we celebrated in the living room.

Every year, on SuperBowl Sunday, my dad watches the Giants/Bills game, and the Giants/Broncos game from 4 years earlier.  You remember SuperBowl XXI, right?  It’s the one where the Denver receivers stopped running cross routes in the second half because they were terrified.  He makes his chili as the grainy VHS tapes are playing, and pulls out every piece of Giants merchandise he owns.  Last year, the Nintendo Wii was incorporated into the pregame festivities.  This year, the Wii’s coming back and is being joined by a Giants rug and Lawrence Taylor Fathead.

The reason why I want the Giants to win is because of my father.

I was asked how folks from New Jersey pick their teams.  It’s a family thing.  Seeing the man or woman that raised you happy makes you happy.  Taking a roadtrip to a patch of the greenest grass on Earth that is surrounded by 60,000 fans makes memories that never fade.  Nowadays, I know more about the daily goings on of the New England Patriots than I do about the Giants’.  I’m not as familiar with the non-Strahan-and-Umenyiora elements of the defensive line as I should be.  I flat-out hate the tight end.  I remeber the stench of Giants Stadium more than the turf.  But they’re the team I picked when I was being tossed into the air as a child.  They’re mine.

I’ve been adopted by Patriots fans because I know as much about their team as they do.  Gillette Stadium is beautiful.  The Kraft family is intelligent and charitable.  Tom Brady is legend.  And I cheer for New England every game.

Except this one.

So I suppose that’s my prediction for the SuperBowl.  I predict that I’ll be cheering hard for New York.

Hey dad, Let’s Go Giants.

This is the 5th installment in today’s PICKSTRAVAGANZA by the Nerds on Sports staff. Check back on the hour from 11 AM to 4 PM for more “insight” from the nerds.

Pick your friend’s nose?


Sean tells me there is some kind of football game happening this weekend. I believe it’s one of those RedSox v Yankees things, but I could be mistaken. So I’m dusting off the old tarot deck and asking it a few questions. Questions like who’s going to win and how because I learned early that I can pick my nose and I can pick my friends, but I can’t pick my friends nose.

So my Ouiji gave me a couple of answers:

Serpico is going to be cheering for which ever team currently has the ball.

My girlfriend and RJ are going to ignore me and talk about how hot Tom Brady is.

The patriots will be 3 for 3 on going for it on 4th downs, and the giants will be 1 for 2.

Peiseresque will send me a mostly incomprehensible text message late in the game gloating about some kind of Giants comeback happening.

The Patriots are going to win by exactly 12 points and all the bookies in Vegas will cheer all the way to the bank. (Actually, they’ll be cheering all the way to the bank no matter what.)

Perich will note how gambling affects the economy.

Sean will continue reporting from Cambridge, Arizona into next week (because the patriots will win and he needs to rub it in Serpico’s face).

I will continue to alienate myself by making fun of all my writers and wonder why people like BedelBlitz vanish from the face of the Earth.

This is the 3rd installment in today’s PICKSTRAVAGANZA by the Nerds on Sports staff. Check back on the hour until 4 PM for more “insight” from the nerds.

Live From Cambridge, Arizona (Friday)

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Calm Before The Storm

Tying up some loose ends, and then the big pick to follow…

Attention P. Burress: So you made a prediction for this week’s game. Here’s the problem. In 1969, the AFL was an unproven league, and while Joe Namath’s fabled guarantee was audacious, it wasn’t *too* audacious because no one had seen the Jets play an NFL squad, ever. The Colts were a great team but not nearly as good as the Packers teams blasting the AFL in the previous two seasons. Today, everyone’s seen the Patriots slap around the NFC East, and we know damn well what heights they can reach. ???? ?????? ???? ?????? “Predicting” the unbeatens will score their lowest point total of the season is more than a little stupid. The D was keying up on you and your weak ankle already. Ask Freddie Mitchell how that works out. I guess the two week layoff was just a little long, and you got bored. Shouldn’t have pulled a Tiki.

Attention B. Weiser: The news of your alcoholic beverages has at last reached Earth. Now everyone knows that when drinking Bud around animals, you will likely be bitten or head-butted in the crotch; also, when about to drink the last Bud Light, my friends will offer me ludicrous sums or fantastical trades. I have been convinced by your product and now protect my crotch at all-times. Therefore stop buying eight commercials to air at $2,700,000 apiece. In addition, when I buy a six pack, I now hide the other five as soon as I am home. I now own the rights to my cousin’s will, and my mailman chases dogs for my amusement. He was recently bitten in the crotch.

Attention J. Buck: Buck AikmanPlease, please just call the football game. No guests, no cartoon pigskin teaching the kids what an I formation is, no Taco Bell sponsored left upright, just play by play and analysis from Troy in the booth. And make Chris Myers realize what he’s done with his life. One minute he’s hosting Up Close and inventing “Did You Know”, the next he’s sucking up to the California Raisins at a 49ers-Ravens tilt. Get it together, Jub Jub. Read More

RJ’s Predictions

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I have been shirking my Nerds On Sports duties. ????? ????? ???? There are several factors contributing to this: holiday stress, holiday travel, illness, seasonal affective disorder, excessive alcohol consumption, insomnia, hypersomnia, apathy, work stress, and an inability to find a topic that I’m interested in. In a sense, the Super Bowl is actually a poor topic for me with which to break my hiatus, because I actually don’t care that much about the game.

Football for me has always been a sort of background spectator sport. I unabashedly admit to watching just because my friends are watching, and will cheer for whomever they’re cheering for, because it ultimately makes little difference to me. ???? ??? 365 ???? ????? It’s not like with baseball, where I will fortify myself in my living room, snapping at my roommates who want to watch Grey’s Anatomy. Left to my own devices, I will not bother to watch football games.

Instead, I watch football games with my friends, making references to The Last Boyscout at inappropriate times, yelling out advice like punting on third down or attempting field goals from the opponent’s 40, or ogling the players. ???? ??????? (For this reason alone I was sad that the Packers and Brett Favre did not make the Super Bowl). It’s a wonder I get invited to any football parties at all.

So with that in mind, here are my predictions for the big game:

  • I will eat too many nachos and drink too much Guinness
  • Tom Brady will ignore the fact that I am trying to woo him through the television screen
  • There will be a few standout commercials, but most will disappoint
  • The Halftime Puppy Bowl will set a new record for levels of adorableness
  • I will be asked to “use my indoor voice”
  • The Patriots will win

This is the 1st installment in today’s PICKSTRAVAGANZA by the Nerds on Sports staff. Check back on the hour from 11 AM to 4 PM for more “insight” from the nerds.

[Business Day One] Special Report – Center of Attention

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The SuperBowl, contrary to popular belief, is going to be a tight game.  The double digit opening spread was cute and all, but there will be no blowout.  Rather, it’ll be trench warfare. ???? ????????? ???????   On Sunday, we’ll see a Patriots offensive line try to pass protect and and Giants offensive line try to bulldoze open rushing lanes.

As with all big games, the difference makers are the offensive linemen.  It is these underappreciated behemoths that dictate the pace of the game, protect the quarterback and make running the ball possible. ???? ????? ??? ????   Thankfully, each team has a very well-educated lineman capable of leading their respective Big Uglies to victory.

In this SuperBowl, the key to success will be the play of the offensive line.  And I challenge someone to convince me otherwise.  That’s right, a challenge. ????? ???? ??????

Go-Go Gadget Play!

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As longtime supporters of the New England Patriots organization, Nerds on Sports got a special sneak peek at some of Bill Belichick’s trick plays for this weekend’s Big Game. Here are some highlights:

Ain’t life a blast?Boy Scout: Brady fakes the toss, then pitches the ball to Maroney while Ben Watson opens a lane to the outside. Maroney then draws a Sig Sauer P226 and shoots Sam Madison, Aaron Ross and Gibril Wilson. Belichick claims that nothing in the rules expressly forbids the use of a handgun, arguing with the ref and giving Brady time to rest between plays. Bruce Willis dances a jig.

uWEE-hee-hee-HEE!Fallen One: Only two wideouts on this play; everyone else drops back to block or protect the pocket. Linemen form a multi-story tower built from the remains of a world shattered by a madman’s ambition. Giants’ linebackers enter tower and attempt to sack Brady, at which point he unleashes attack that reduces them all to 1 hp. This may end in an incomplete pass or a sack, but will almost certainly result in several Giants defensive players being taken out on the next down (as Tom Coughlin has likely used up all his Elixirs getting Kiwanuka and Shockey game-ready).

Tom Cruise rates this play OT-VII.Valkyrie: Heath Evans takes the direct snap. Evans substitutes the ball for a briefcase lined with lead and filled with sensitive explosives. Evans “fumbles” the ball on the tackle, allowing one of the Giants’ linebackers to recover. As the linebacker runs the briefcase down field, the vial of acid that shattered in the fumble eats through the lead and into the explosive. Linebacker dies messily; Steiner signs peace accords with England and France.

My life for Foxboro!Gestalt: Brady runs down the play clock until Logan Mankins and Billy Yates can merge into an Archon, a barely corporeal psychic entity. The Archon paralyzes the Giants’ backfield with a Psionic Storm, allowing Brady to throw leisurely routes for 40 yards a pass. N.B.: Hold off on this play if the Giants have EMP capabilities, as the Archon’s power rests entirely in its immense energy shield.

Wes Welker has the smooth complexion needed to play a 16-year-old at age 25.Flux: Shotgun snap, Brady to Welker on the outside route. Welker accelerates to a ground speed of eighty-eight miles per hour, traveling back in time to the Waterloo High School Senior Prom in 1964. He shows up Tom Coughlin in front of his date, winning her heart and depressing the impressionable young man. Coughlin enlists in the army instead of going to Syracuse and is killed in Vietnam. Jim Fassel stays on as head coach long into his senile years, keeping Kurt Warner as the starter and never acquiring Eli Manning. The Giants end the 2007 season 4-12 and never make it to the postseason; Patriots win by default through temporal anomaly.

In 4th edition, wizards get no spellcasting penalty for wearing sweatshirts provided the sleeves have been cut off.Sphere: Belichick designates all tackles, guards and the center as eligible receivers and casts a prismatic sphere on Brady. Analysis of game film suggests that defensive rookies Aaron Ross and Michael Johnson will be blinded for 2d4 plays even looking at the sphere’s arcane colors, and that while Michael Strahan may be able to pass through the first three levels of the sphere (suffering 20 points of fire damage, 40 points of acid damage and 80 points of electricity damage respectively), the poison in the fourth layer will either kill him or put him out for the rest of the game. Brady can now take upwards of ten minutes to complete each pass.