Tag: Tom Brady

[Business Day One] Prepare for Idle Chatter

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Team, here’s a quick update of the points that may be discussed in your office today. So read these and enjoy your new state of well-informedness.

-Jets QB Mark Sanchez is now sporting a creepy pencil-thin mustache.

-49ers RB Frank Gore hurt himself on his first play of the game, enraging fantasy owners everywhere.

-Brett Favre continues to just go out there and have fun… as he likes to remind us at every opportunity.

-The Titans are now 0-3, which was unexpected.

-There’s a radio commercial that has a chorus singing about Coors Light over the Monday Night Football theme. It’s hilarious.

-The Yankees have clinched the AL East and homefield advantage through the playoffs. Helpful.

-Tom Brady and the Patriots had a good outing against the well-educated Matt Ryan and the Falcons, calming the fans of New England.

-Tiger Woods just won ten million dollars.

[Business Day One] The Quarterback Position


“I’m not trying to be Tom Brady. I’m just trying to be Matt Cassel. I don’t know where that’s going to take us.”

The press conference is going to be at 3 o’clock today, or so the reports say. I’m going to withhold any condemnations or statements of hope until then. And even at 3, I’ll probably still refrain because, in truth, no one knows what’s going to happen from here on out in Foxboro. In the fall of 2001, Mo Lewis caved in Drew Bledsoe’s chest and the keys to the Patriots war wagon were handed to a sixth rounder out of Ann Arbor. Folks cried out in anguish before the first of three Super Bowls rolled in later that year.

And now here were are, a few hours before news of what will become of the face (and arm) of the franchise. Everything that anyone has said so far about whether or not Brady will play again is pure speculation. All the analysis done so far is worth as much as the Word Document that they were written on. As of right now, all we know are that the Patriots are 1-0 and the back-up came in and played well.

But such is the nature of football. The quarterback position is the most important on the field by a decent margin during the game and the most important position by a massive margin in the media. Teams rise and fall with the signal caller, so when the signal caller falls, people start checking the life boats. That’s the nature of the game and the coverage of the game, and it’s nothing new. Unless the defense is setting records, all eyes are on the QB.

Three and a half hours away from the coach taking the podium, so I’m going to kill time by making a prediction. I write and my words appear on the internet, so I have as impressive a list of credentials as any other yahoo that is making a prediction. Here’s mine:

Matt Cassel is going to play superb football for the season and will take the Patriots deep into the playoffs. By Week 4, we’ll be thoroughly relieved and, while we’ll look forward to Brady returning next year (assuming, of course, he’s out for the season), we’re not going to start burning season tickets in Boston. The Patriots are a 10-6 team, and Matt Cassel completes 60% of his passes and has more TDs than INTs. You heard it here first. The Quarterback Position in New England will be fine.

Judgment Day


FADE IN: TOM BRADY, MICHELLE TAFOYA and MATT CASSEL driving in a truck across the desert.

BRADY: The Super Bowl is scheduled. The system goes online September 9, 2007. Human decisions are removed from play calling. Belichick begins to learn at a geometric rate. He becomes self-aware at 6:30 PM Eastern time, February 3, 2008. In a panic, they try to pull the plug.

TAFOYA: Belichick fights back.

BRADY: Yes. It launches a gadget play against the targets in the Giants’ secondary.

CASSEL: Why the Giants? Didn’t we already beat them in the regular season?



FADE IN: LAURENCE MARONEY and WES WELKER running laps up the steps of an empty Foxboro Stadium.

I have extensive files.TAFOYA (v.o.): 31 teams’ hopes ended on February 3, 2008. The survivors of the perfect season called it Judgment Day. They lived only to face a new nightmare: the war against the machines. The computer which controlled the machines, Belichick, sent a Quarterback back through time. Its mission: to destroy the leader of the human resistance, Eli Manning.


FADE IN: PEYTON MANNING sitting in an interrogation room. JOE BUCK and JAMES BROWN stand around with looks of skepticism on their face.

PEYTON MANNING: You still don’t get it, do you? He’ll score on him. That’s what he does. That’s all he does. You can’t stop him! He’ll stand in the pocket, throw the outside route, and score six touchdowns!

BUCK: Why didn’t you bring any weapons, something more advanced?

PEYTON MANNING: Listen, and understand. Tom Brady is out there. He can’t be bargained with. he can’t be reasoned with. He doesn’t feel pity, remorse or fear. And he absolutely will not stop, ever, until the fourth quarter is over.


FADE IN: MICHELLE TAFOYA crawls backwards on her hands through the wreckage of a destroyed nightclub as MICHAEL STRAHAN stalks toward her slowly. He reaches a clear space and is about to charge … when suddenly he’s SLAMMED from the side by MATT LIGHT.

STRAHAN flies through a wall, hits a lamp post outside, and EXPLODES.

LIGHT (to Tafoya): Come with me if you want to live.


FADE IN: In a dingy basement, MICHELLE TAFOYA helps TOM BRADY take his pads off. MATT CASSEL studies plays on a clipboard.

TAFOYA: Does it hurt when you get sacked?

BRADY: My body senses lost yards; the data would be called “pain.”

TAFOYA examines the wrap on BRADY’s ankle.

TAFOYA: Will this heal up?


TAFOYA: Good, because you’re no good to us if you break down easily.

CASSEL: Can you learn about things that you haven’t been programmed with, so you can be, you know, more human and not just a dork all the time?

BRADY (indicating play sheet on his wristband): My play sheet is a neural net processor, a learning computer. The more contact I have with humans, the more I learn.


FADE IN: TOM BRADY throws a football on the practice field, bulls-eyeing RANDY MOSS from one hundred yards away. MATT CASSEL scampers around like a twelve-year-old boy, eagerly pitching replacement balls to BRADY.

You’re terminated.TAFOYA (voice-over): Watching Matt with the machine, it was suddenly so clear. Tom Brady would never stop, he would never get injured. He would never blame his teammates or his coach or use the press to attack the franchise. And he would die before Matt took a snap in regular season play. Of all the would-be perfect quarterbacks that came over the years, this one – this machine – was the only thing that measured up. In an insane world, it was the sanest choice.


FADE IN: ELI MANNING stumbles backward along a gantry above a pit of molten steel. He turns and sees TOM BRADY stalking behind him, a football in his hand.

BRADY: Hasta la vista … Eli.

BRADY throws the ball through ELI MANNING’s head. It splits in a burst of LIQUID METAL. Flailing, ELI MANNING falls back into the pit of molten steel and BEGINS TO MELT.



February 3, 2008

Judgment Day

This is the 4th 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. 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] Yes, I Think He Is


Last week, my friend Pete asked me a sports question that I’ve never been asked.  In fact, it was a question that I’ve never heard get asked before.

“Is Tom Brady really that good?”

Intriguing, right?  But Pete didn’t stop there.  He articulated his concerns further:

“How much of his success is attributable to Randy Moss and his other receivers? How much of it is attributable to his offensive line, his coach, the rest of his team, etc.? Read More

Animal Planet

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Tom Brady recently ran into the 4-legged Tom Brady on the streets of New York City. The 4-legged Tom Brady was a dog, named so by a fan. So I figured I would try and give all my pets athlete names.

First is my pet Emu.

Emu JohnsonRandy Johnson

His name is Randy Johnson.

I also have a pet lion, I named him Manny Ramirez. Here’s a picture of him after missing a fly ball:

Lion Hiding Behind PawManny Ramirez

Of course I don’t let Manny hang out with Randy — No Sox/Yankees violence allowed in my house/zoo. Read More