Entries categorized "Sports"

Friday, June 20, 2008

That's great kid, now don't get cocky..

Happy Friday everybody! I'm still enjoying the after-glow of the Boston Celtics' 17th NBA Championship. I would have loved to have attended the C's Championship parade yesterday. The weather was great and it looked like a good time was had by all. I went to one of The Patriots' parades a few years ago and it was a blast. I love a Championship Parade.

It's just a great feeling seeing the C's win another championship after 22 years, especially after the horror-show of a season they endured last year. I think I watched maybe three or four Celtics games total last season. It was just too painful to watch them lose night after night.

With the 2008 NBA finals being a Celtics / Lakers throwback to the 80's, it's been funny to look at the old pics from the '86 Championship celebration and see all the people wearing those painters caps and Ray Ban Wayfarers (I still have some of those actually).

I remember when those painters caps were the big thing. You were fully in style if you were wearing the painters cap, Wayfarers and high-top Nikie sneaks with the Sony Walkman headphones jammed in your ears. Ha! Pretty funny.

Now that the C's have won it all, as happy as I am about it, I have to admit to you, I'm almost as relieved as I am happy. It's going to feel nice to be able to just relax for a few months! All these championships are great, but man, they are extremely stressful! My sports related stress-o-meter has been through the roof! I need a break!

I need to decompress a little after the Red Sox World Series, The Pats chase for a perfect NFL record and Superbowl, The B's taking the #1 seeded (and #1 hated) Habs to seven games in the Stanley Cup playoffs and The Celts playing more playoff games than any other team in history en route to their 17th Championship. Whew!! I wonder what my average blood-pressure has been these last few months.

Now it's just nice, soothing Red Sox baseball on a warm summer night and the occasional NASCAR race till Fall, when the pennant race heats up and, hopefully for Sox fans, October, when the MLB playoffs begin.

Let's do it all again (except let the B's and Pats win at the end this time.)

Oh my goodness am I ever spoiled, or what?? Yes. I know it. Hey, at least I openly admit to it! I'm not ashamed of it, but I admit to it! HA.

One of the things I've been reading a lot lately is that the C's winning the championship has eased the pain of the Patriots loss in Superbowl XLII. I have to go along with that. That Superbowl loss was pretty tough. I've thought about it, painfully, for months. Seeing the Celtics get #17 has definetely helped put The Patriots' Superbowl loss where it belongs, in the past.

As Angela's Dad said, 'The Sports Gods couldn’t give up Super Bowl 42 because they were holding out for the Celtics #17.'

Makes sense to me.

Would I trade the C's 2008 Championship for a Pats' win in Superbowl XLII and an undefeated NFL season? Do me a favor and don't ask me that question ok? It makes my brain hurt a little to think about that question.

Ok fuck it, I'll answer it. The answer is no, even if I could, I would not trade it. I love The Pats, Sox, B's and C's and even though The Pats are head and shoulders at the top of the list, I would not, could not wish away one of my team's successes for the betterment of another. Besides it's impossible anyway so why waste time thinking about stuff like that? If I'm gonna wish for something, I'm gonna wish for a paid off mortgage and a swimming pool. And world peace, of course.

The thing that is really great is that The Pats, Sox, B's and C's are all built to remain contenders year after year. That's right Boston haters, the chances are pretty good that we'll be back again for more in a few months. Till then, enjoy your vacation from us!

(Oh yeah I AM spoiled.)

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Book Review: Little League, Big Dreams

I recently finished reading a very interesting and enjoyable book called Little League, Big Dreams, by Charles Euchner. I happened to finish the book, coincidentally, just about the time that the 2007 Little League World Series was wrapping up.

Little League, Big Dreams uses the 2005 Little League World Series as the back-drop to present the underlying theme of the book, what Euchner calls, 'The Professionalism of Childhood'. In the book Euchner describes the hard work and sacrifice that these young baseball players go through (some may say, endure) in order to make it into the Little League World Series tournament.

There were a number of areas that struck me when reading this book. The biggest thing that stood out was the dedication and sacrifice that coaches, parents and, most importantly, kids are willing to make in order to win these Little League baseball games.

The book describes kids who are willing to sacrifice permanent, long term damage to their not yet fully-developed arms in order to win. High pitch counts (at times throwing close to, and sometimes over 100 pitches in a game), pitching on three days rest, and throwing the dangerous curve ball, whatever it takes to win. It describes the coaches who demand this of their players and the parents who allow it all to happen.

Is it worth it? Is it worth having a 12 year old kid cause permanent damage to his arm to win a Little League baseball game? It is suggested at one point that Little League baseball is burning out the arms of talented kids who could potentially become big-league pitchers some day. You want to know the reason for the demise of pitching in today's game? Take a look at what's going on in Little League.

The book also spends a lot of time describing Little League coaches; grown men, some of whom are former big-league players themselves, treating Little League baseball as if it were the big leagues, and demanding the same types of sacrifices from their young players. Do these men take things a little bit too far over 'a kid's game'?

Focusing on teams from Hawaii, California and the Carribian nation of Curacao, Eucher describes the ideology of each team and the various methods that are used in order to get into the tournament. He describes kids giving up an entire summer to baseball, 6 days a week of training and practice, 'every day but Sunday' for an entire summer (sounds like fun?) He describes the different types of Leagues that are out there, Cal Ripken Baseball, PONY League, various travel teams, and how they are basically used as a training ground for the real goal of winning the Little League tournaments that will get your team into the World Series.

The quality of play in Little League baseball might not be as high as the competition a team will face in a PONY League or Cal Ripken League game, but those leagues have nothing that compares to the potential fame and fortune of making it to the Little League World Series. Do they show the PONY League World Series games on ESPN or talk about them in the newspapers sports pages?

Euchner also spends time on the business of Little League: the sponsorships, the money, the endorsements and the media attention that goes into these games. There's big money to be made on Little League baseball.

I should also point out that the book is not a cover-to-cover inditement of Little League. Euchner spends time describing the history of Little League baseball, where it all started and how it got to where it is today. He describes the setting of the Little League World Series tournament itself and the fun and enjoyment that the kids have simply being there. How, even with a giant spotlight on them, kids are still kids having fun.

If you have an interest in baseball and want to get a different perspective on the sport, a focus on kids emulating grown-ups, (grown-ups who are playing a kids game,) or if you are a parent who's child is taking part in organized youth sports, I think you will find Little League, Big Dreams to be both an interesting and enlightening read.

As I was reading it, I found myself asking, what would I ask my kid to do to win a baseball game? What would I allow? It's easy to sit back and say, 'I would never allow my kid to sacrifice their health over a Little League baseball game,' but in the heat of the moment, with the game on the line, would one more pitch wind up becoming just two more? Don't be surprised if you find you are asking yourself those very same questions.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Tonight's guest of honor... Lord Stanley's Cup


Tonight. It could happen tonight. The Stanley Cup will be in the house tonight as The Ducks take on The Senators for Game 5 of the Cup Finals. The Ducks lead the series 3-1 and a win tonight on their home ice would give them The Stanley Cup.

It's sure to be a very exciting game. Personally, I'm thinking the Sens win this one out of pure desperation. I have a feeling there is still more hockey to be played after tonight. We will have to wait and see!

Update:
The Ducks put their foot (flipper? what's a duck's foot called anyway?) on the Sens neck and did not let up on it the whole game, coming away with a 6-2 victory and a 4-1 win of the series.

Congratulations to the Stanley Cup Champion Anaheim Ducks and their fans!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

NHL Conference Finals Picks and other awesome things...

With the NHL Conference Championships starting tonight, here are my picks, (i.e., who I want to win).

West:
Detroit Red Wingers vs. Anaheim Ducks - Ducks. Ok I am fully disappointed that The Sharks did not make it into the Conference Finals. Plus I hate the Red Wings and thus, hate to see them advance. I can't give you a reason why I hate the Wings so much. It is a completely irrational hate, especially considering they don't even play in my main team's (The B's) conference, though I think it might stem from their consistently preventing my favorites in the West from making the Cup finals several years ago. Plus I hate their red uniforms. So there.

Like I said, totally irrational.

It's kind of lame that I'm really rooting against The Wings more than I am rooting for The Ducks, but it is what it is. There's some kinda love and there's some kinda hate.

East:
Buffalo Sab-Rays (That's how I pronounce Sabres) vs Ottawa Senators: Ottawa - Ottawa has been my 'team' in the East since the Playoffs started, so I'm sticking with them. Plus, have you ever seen that movie with Jim Carey where The Sabes win The Stanley Cup and there is rioting in the streets of Buffalo? I would hate to see that happen in Buffalo. Rioting, rubber bullets, explosions... it's no fun.. except maybe if you are watching a Jim Carey flick... What is that movie called again? Jim Carey is like a TV reporter or something who goes to cookie baking contests and stuff and makes weird faces... Oh well I can't remember. So ya. Go Sens!

In other news, things that are awesome:

The Weather:
The Weather has been SOOO awesome the last few days and I so forgive Mother Nature for that rotten weather we had earlier this Spring. It's shorts and t-shirt weather and everything is coming alive outside. I love seeing all the green popping out on the trees and hearing the bird's chirping and watching the plants beginning to grow in my Wife's garden. Totally awesome. We put out some bird feeders and kids love them, though my wild-boy Son likes to chase the birds away, laughing devilishly the whole time. But the birds seem to have a thing for free bird seed so they keep coming back. It's all good.

The Sox:
Josh Beckett is awesome right now. Totally awesome. I had expectations that he would be a better pitcher this year, but I never expected this. 7-0, 2.51 ERA. WOW. Incredibly WOW.

Also awesome has been the Red Sox play in general. They are consistently winning series after series. It's great to see. Even though technically 'it's still early', this sets us (I like to include myself in with the team) up for the rest of the season. And hey, no meltdown for The Diceman last night. Next thing you know, Wake will be getting insane amounts of run support. That would be nice, especially since he's facing Halladay tonight in Toronto.

What else... hmm.

Well, I have to say, life has been a lot better recently. For the first time in I don't know when, I don't have any life sucking projects looming in front of me. The basement is done, the yard is pretty much squared away. I've got jobs to do here and there, that is never going to end, but there's nothing that is going to take every weekend of the summer and turn my life into a grouchy, all I ever do is work, hell. It's a really cool feeling! I had forgotten what it was like to have a weekend arrive and NOT HAVE TO DO ANYTHING and have my Wife ask, 'What's on the agenda this weekend? and my reply be, 'Well, I'd like to mow the grass.. other than that, nothing! You want barbeque chicken and margaritas for dinner?'

Oh yeah I like it.

Friday, March 30, 2007

NFL Rules and Dream Cars...

Hey what's up? I am over at Faster Than the World today trying to find out which baseball team people are going to be rooting for this year and talking about my first dream car, the Datsun 240Z. Head over and check it out and leave me some comments! Yes I am a comment whore. So what?

There are a bunch of great stories to read over there while you're at it so, head over and enjoy!

Not much going on around these here parts other than the fact that I am still sick and coughing my goddam head off. My whole body aches from coughing and my head is killing me. This sucks!!

I saw the NFL owners decided to make replay permanent, until someone decides to try and make it un-permanent. I don't really have a problem with instant re-play. It does kind of stall the game at times but overall I think they do a pretty good job with it.

The only other rule change that jumped out at me was the new one about spiking the ball in the field of play. So does that mean the end-zone too or just on the main field of play, between the end zones? I'm not sure so I'll have to read up on that one.

This rule seems kind of lame to me. The NFL is kind of silly about player celebrations and that sort of thing. It's getting to the point where players can't do anything expressive on the field. I agree that sometimes it can get over the top, like when T.O. pulls out a pen from his sock and signs a ball, but I don't see what's so bad about spiking a ball. If you make a big play in a game, you are going to be excited and I don't see what's wrong with a player showing that excitement. That is the kind of thing that gets fans fired up, like when a player makes a first down and throws his arm forward, giving the first down sign, or if a running back runs for a huge gain and spins the ball on the ground. I love that stuff! That is part of what makes the game fun.

Players need to have some way to express themselves after a big play. Like I said I have not fully read up on this new rule but on the surface it seems pretty ridiculous to me. Typical NFL, No Fun League.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

SHOCKER: Tony Massarotti still annoying!

I know, there I go, using sensationalism again. I cant help it. It's addictive and fun! No wonder the main stream press uses it so much...

Yesterday it was mini-reward day so we went out for an afternoon Dunkins coffee run. The guy who was driving had the radio tuned to WEEI out of Boston, which is the one of the local, sports-talk radio stations, although it could probably be better described as the 'sports-yelling station' since all anybody does on there is try to make their point by shouting over one another as loudly as possible, therefore making any of the intended discussion completely unintelligible. But I digress...

As we were driving, I noticed that one of the guests on the show was Boston Herald sports columnist, Tony Massarotti, who, it turns out, is still very annoying to listen to.. Shocking!

Then again, that's not so shocking..

(Have a great day!)

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Superbowl thoughts as the game winds down...

Some quick, random Superbowl thoughts:

- As we get into the 4th quarter, I have to say this has been a pretty good Superbowl. Kinda sloppy at times but overall, an enjoyable game.

- With The Colts currently holding a five point lead, The Bears chances are starting to run out. The clock is going to become the enemy for them very soon. If The Colts put up another TD, to go up by two scores, that could be the end for The Bears. So far Chicago has kept it close, but I don't know if their somewhat anemic offense is going to be able to come back from a two score deficit. We'll see what happens...

- I am totally unimpressed by the ads in this years game. I have not seen one really good one yet. The only one that made me chuckle so far has been the one with the office workers doing battle while covered with post-it notes and wearing note-book binders on their heads.

- It feels weird that The Patriots are not in this game. It is actually hard to believe that this is now two Superbowls in a row without The Patriots playing in it. Granted, they were a whisker away from getting in... That just goes to show you how far this team has come. It is simply expected that The Patriots will compete for the Superbowl Championship every year. That is really cool, in a strange yet awesome sort of way...

- I did not watch the half-time show. I chose to do the dishes instead. I don't feel like I missed anything.

- The Colts just scored another TD. That's it. This game is now, for all intents and purposes, over. Looks like Golden Boy Manning will get his ring. Why does that bother me so much? I honestly don't know. Tom Brady has 3 rings and The Patriots have won three Superbowls, so what do I care if Manning wins this Superbowl or not? It in no way diminishes my own team's accomplishments.

I don't know. I don't understand it myself. It just bugs me, that's all. Call it a personality flaw I guess...

Ok. Back to the game...

Update:

- I ate a LOT of guacamole dip during the course of this game..

- Colts win. Time to go empty the dishwasher. Pitchers and catchers in a week and a half...

GO PATS

Happy Superbowl!!

Hello interweb friends! Happy Superbowl!!

I hope everybody out there is enjoying Superbowl Sunday.

Aside from an occasional twinge over the fact that my beloved New England Patriots were literally one first down away from playing in this game tonight, I am having a good day. I had fully envisioned a Pats / Bears Superbowl rematch at the start of the season. Damn we came close...

Well, just because my team did not make it to The Big Game, that does not mean I am not enjoying it. Like I wrote in an earlier post, The Superbowl rules.

I watched almost all of the NFL Films Superbowl Shows today, even Superbowl 31 and 20, painful as it was. I started watching them at around 5 AM. Now before you think I am completely insane, I had to be up with the baby, so we watched some NFL Films Superbowl goodness together.

I watched the Superbowl 36 recap and got a little misty as Adam's game winning kick went through the uprights. I choked back a few happy tears at the end there, just like I do every year. I can't help myself.

We've got a great Superbowl Spread today. Sam Adams, Newcastle, Miller Lite, guacamoli/chili/sour cream/cheese, various chips and dips, bbq mini-weiners, boneless buffalo chicken, Jack Daniels, cheese sticks, and a bunch of other goodies.


A good time is being had.

I'm looking forward to the game in a few hours. I've heard the weather might be kind of rainy and windy down in Miami for the game and I'm hoping this will help swing some advantages over to The Bears.

Defense wins championships. I hope the Bears D will be up to the challenge and their offense can play efficient and mistake free.

Hope everybody out there is having fun and staying safe. Enjoy the Superbowl and go Bears!!

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Superbowl SHOCKER!! I'm rooting for The Bears...

Check that out. See what I did there? That is called sensationalism! It's a writing technique that makes you want to click and read more about the Superbowl SHOCKER!!

Did it work? Did I get-cha? Ha ha. That was fun.

Ok. So yeah, I'm rooting for The Bears to win The Superbowl this Sunday. If you've read this website before, it's really not that shocking, I know.

What might come as a shock, is that for about 15 seconds, believe it or not, I actually considered rooting for The Colts, just so we could put everybody at ESPN and the NFL out of their misery and let them see their golden boy finally win the big game. I figured maybe if Manning finally wins The Superbowl, those guys might be able to relax and move on to somebody else to fawn over.

It seems to me that the national media football experts are very pent up when it comes to their golden boy Manning. They've had Manning blue balls for a long time now. They need release.. Why not let them get what they want and be happy? But then the vindictive part of me thought, you know what? Fuck that. Fuck Manning, fuck ESPN and fuck all the national media people who have had such a hard-on for Manning for the last nine years. I hope The Colts lose the Superbowl and I hope Manning is compared to Dan Marino for the rest of his career.

Yup sometimes I can be a dick like that.

To be honest though, the bottom line is that I am really looking forward to the game on Sunday and I hope it will be an exciting Superbowl and not a boring blow-out. The Superbowl rules dude. It is one of the best holidays (yes, it IS as holiday) and I really don't care who wins it as long as it is a good game. Now admittedly, I don't particularly want to see Manning get a ring, but if he does finally do it, then good for him. If The Superbowl is a good, exciting game, and not a snooze-fest runaway win for either team, I will be happy. And if the Colts do win, I will not be pissed off. I might feel a little bit of stomach churn having to watch New England's regional hero, Adam Vinatieri, raise The Lombardy Trophy over his head as an Indianapolis Colt, but if that is what happens then The Colts organization will have earned it fair and square. I will give credit where credit is due and I will be happy for the fans of Indianapolis.

I am not one of those people who is going to boycott watching The Superbowl just because their team is not in it. How can you not love an entire day dedicated to football, buffalo wings and beer, no matter who is playing? If you're one of those people who is not going to watch the game because you don't particularly like one of the teams that are playing, you need to get over it and have fun. It's a game and it's the last football game you're going to see until August rolls around so you may as well enjoy it!

As far as predicting the outcome of the Superbowl, even though I will be rooting for them, I kind of doubt that The Bears will be able to win this one. I think their defense is going to wind up spending way too much time on the field and will eventually become too tired to hold back The Colts' offense. Over the course of the game, Indy is going to put up too many points for The Bears to overcome and I don't see The Bears offense being able to keep pace with Indy for 60 minutes. I would love to see The Bears pull off an upset, a-la The Patriots vs. The Rams in Superbowl 36, but I don't see it happening.

Then again, you never know. If the Bears can create some turnovers and take advantage of any opportunities that Indy gives them, we might be surprised.

We'll have to wait till Sunday night to find out what happens.

Good luck to both teams. It should be a good game. Like I've said, I'll be rooting for The Bears, but there remains a small, nagging part of me that wouldn't mind seeing The Colts finally win it. Rooting against Indy every year is getting to be too much effort. Sustained hate over a long period gets to be hard work after a while and it's not like I hate The Colts the way I hate The Oakland Raiders or The NY Yankees. There was a time, prior to Manning's arrival, when I used to actually like The Colts.

How's this for a shocker: if Indy does come away with the win, Peyton Manning might actually earn a little bit of this football fan's respect. Just a smidge. It could happen. Shocking, I know.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

ESPN2 to show hot-dog eating instead of Superbowl recaps...

One of my favorite Superbowl Sunday holiday traditions (Yes, that's right. It's a holiday.) has always been to watch the NFL Films' Superbowl highlight shows that are shown throughout the day on ESPN2.

Each NFL Films Superbowl recap is a half hour long and ESPN2 used to show each one, usually in order, all day long on Super Sunday, leading us right up into the start of The Big Game at around 6:30 PM.

Note I said 'used to' because ESPN2 is changing things up this year.

This year ESPN2 is showing most of the highlight shows, but they are starting them with Superbowl XI at 11PM Saturday night and ending them at 2:00 in the afternoon on Super Sunday. Then, starting at 2PM, ESPN2, part of the self-proclaimed, 'World Wide Leader in Sports,' will bring you scintillating coverage of a hot-dog eating competition followed by heart-pounding coverage of The World's Strongest Man tournament.

Wow. Hot Dog eating and The Worlds Strongest Man competition. I tell you what, that is a GREAT lead-in to the Superbowl.

Awesome. Can't wait.

On the bright side, Superbowl XX (Patriots/Bears) will be shown at some ungodly morning hour while I'm still asleep, so I won't have to see that disaster. And Superbowl XXXI (Patriots/Packers) will be on at 9AM on Sunday, so I will probably miss that heart-breaker too.

Maybe ESPN2's decision to show a hot-dog eating competition instead of super-awesome Superbowl recaps is really some evil NFL strong-arm tactic to try and force me to watch four hours of CBS' Superbowl Pre-Game on Sunday afternoon. I don't know, but either way it's not going to work. I'll just watch my Superbowl 36, 38 and 39 DVDs instead.

Bite me ESPN2.

(Patriots Reign, A.K.A. Superbowl 36, 38 and 39, starts at 11:30 AM for those who care.)

Thursday, January 25, 2007

I don't know who to root for in The Superbowl...

I am officially on the fence about who to root for in the Superbowl. I stopped hating The Bears a few years ago and Chicago has been one of my lower-tier backup teams for a while now. I certainly would not mind seeing the underdog Bears defeat Indianapolis and send Peyton Manning home without a Superbowl ring. Oh man that would be so great. The National Press would be lining up at hardware stores across the country to buy rope to hang themselves with if that were to happen. I would love to see it.

Yes, I'm vindictive and mean like that at times.

On the other hand, as I have written before, I really don't think Chicago stands a chance in this game. I'm sure their defense will put up a fight at first, but eventually the Chicago D will tire from being on the field too long, The Colts offense will assert itself and that will be it.

It would help Chicago's cause if they had a better offense, then they might be able to keep Indy's offense off of the field, but they don't so they won't. That's just how I see it happening.

Believe it or not, there is actually a part of me that almost feels like rooting for The Colts. Just let them win the game and get it over with. Just let everybody in the press and at ESPN and the NFL have what they have been wishing and yearning for oh so hard for all these years. Let the greatest quarterback in the history of the NFL who after nine years of non-stop hype has finally made it to his first Superbowl, by the skin of his teeth mind you, finally, FINALLY win the god-damn thing and make everybody happy.

We got Rothlesburger, Cowher and Pittsburgh out of the way last year so let's check Manning, Dungy and Indianapolis off the list this year. Maybe Indy's Bill Polian can get the NFL to change the rules so that this year's Superbowl actually counts as THREE Superbowl wins. Make it an all in one shot. Then maybe next year it can be Reid, McNabb and Philly's turn.

Give Manning his ring and be done with it at this point because really I am so sick of hearing about how great this guy's laser rocket arm is and how smart he is and how he watches hours and hours and hours of video, way more than anybody else in the league I'm sure, and despite all that he still comes up short every year but NOW the monkey is off his back and blah blah blah blah fucking blah.. Then cue up the commercials and let the 2007 season start with a big target on The Colts back in every single game. Who are they playing next year anyway?

Home: Houston, Jacksonville, Tennessee, Denver, Kansas City, New England, New Orleans, Tampa Bay    

Away: Houston, Jacksonville, Tennessee, Oakland, San Diego, Baltimore, Atlanta, Carolina

Eh. I'd rate that schedule as difficult but not overly so.

Hey check it out I kind of went off on a rant there. Cool. And after all that I still don't know who I'll wind up rooting for in The Superbowl.

(GO PATS)

Sunday, January 14, 2007

0-2 so far...

Well the two teams I was rooting for yesterday in the Divisional Playoffs lost.

I was really hoping to see Baltimore take it to the Colts. I thought their defense played well but their offense was offensive. The Ravens had great field position throughout the game and did nothing with it. Oh well.

Now it will be up to either The Pats or The Chargers to keep Indy from getting into the Superbowl.

In the NFC game, though I was rooting for Philly, I really like New Orleans too and I can't say that I was unhappy to see them win. This will now be the first NFC Championship game for The Saints and that is cool. I've said before that I think they are the most dangerous team in the NFC. They are fully capable of beating either Chicago, who I am still not that impressed with, or Seattle.

Hopefully I'll get at least one game right today. The Pats / Chargers game of course!

If you are hanging around the computer during the games, stop by Faster Than The World and join in the Gameday comment thread.

GO PATS

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Teams I'm rooting for other than The Pats this weekend...

Here are the teams I'm rooting for, other than The Patriots (duh), for Wildcard Weekend. It's WILD!

Colts / Chiefs: It goes without saying that I'm rooting for Kansas City in this game. I can't stand Peyton Manning and the sooner he and The Colts turn into pumpkins, like Cinderella's coach at the stroke of midnight, the better.

Cowboys / Seahawks: Seahawks - I can't root for the Cowboys. Reasons: 1: They're the Cowboys. Fuck them. 2: Bill Parcells is their coach. Fuck him. 3. Terrell Owens: The sooner we don't have to hear his name for another 6 months, the better.

Giants / Eagles: Eagles - First of all, the Giants don't even have a winning record and they are still a playoff team. That is ridiculous. Second, I don't like a lot of their players, such as Shockey, Manning, Barber. I like their coach, Tom Coghlin but that's not good enough. The Giants should have been eliminated from the playoffs like 6 times by now, but somehow squeaked in. Time to end it. Besides that, I like The Eagles in general, as long as they are not playing The Pats, so there.

Friday, December 01, 2006

#2 Seed in AFC is there for the taking...

Hey everybody! Happy Friday. Nice job getting through. It felt like an extra long week for me after last week's Thanksgiving break.

Welcome to December. The Ravens lost to the Bengals last night and that makes the #2 Seed in the AFC up for grabs. There is no way San Diego wins out the rest of the year. Opportunity is knocking for The Pats.

I'm over at Faster Than the World today. Head over and check out my football post if you get a chance!

Thanks!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

OMG Terrell Owens does not like Donovan McNabb I did not know that!

There was a story on ESPN that talked about the fact that Terrell Owens will not be sending any get well messages, text or otherwise, to his former Philly teammate, Donvan McNabb, who suffered a season ending leg injury last week.

Apparently, the two players do NOT get along! NO WAY! I did NOT know that!

After finishing the short article, I was asking myself, 'Why did I click on that link?' I don't know, but that's 30 seconds of my life that I can never get back.

In other non-news, it's officially cold out here in the glorious Northeast U.S. I had to don the Patriots winter jacket for the first time this year. I don't mind the cold so much. It's the snow that I hate. If it's cold and does not snow all winter, I am completely down with that. Like, totally, for sure.

Plus the prospect of no snow equals a potential for good ice on the ponds for skating and hockey, which, really, is the only good thing that winter has to offer as far as I'm concerned. No snow = good winter. All you snow-skiers out there can bite me hard. Come shovel my driveway.

I keep telling my Wife that a nice snow-mo-bile would really make a big difference in changing my attitude towards snow, but even with all the blatantly obvious hint-dropping, so far, a snow-mo-bile has yet to appear in my driveway. Shocking, I know.

Other top stories we're following: I have to go to the store after work to get some canned pumpkin. That's because I'm going to attempt to make pumpkin bread for Turkey Day tomorrow. I'm using my grandmother's recipe, for those of you who are still reading this truly enthralling post at this point. Yes it's true. I crap you negative*

*I stole that line from Eddie Spaghetti of The Supersuckers.

Ok. Is it 5 O'clock yet? I've got a 4 day weekend to get started...

Thursday, November 09, 2006

The Last Nine Innings: A book review

I don't normally do book reviews here but I recently finished reading a very interesting and extremely enjoyable book entitled, The Last Nine Innings by Charles Euchner.

The Last Nine Innings uses Game Seven of the 2001 World Series between The New York Yankees and the Arizona Diamondbacks as a dramatic backdrop to discuss the game of professional baseball as it is today.

The book follows each inning of the climactic game of one of the most exciting World Series to take place in recent years and on it's way, describes some of the changes that have taken place in the game of baseball, such as the increased usage of statistics to help Managers make critical in-game decisions, the internationalization of the game that has come from the influx of players from regions such as Latin America and Asia, and the advanced training techniques used by today's baseball players to keep their bodies in top shape over the course of a 162 game season. I found Euchner's interview of Steve Finley and his description of the workout regiment Finley uses in order to increase his overall body strength and flexibility to be extremely interesting.

There were several parts of this book that I particularly enjoyed, such as it's description of the ever increasing mix of statistics along with old-school gut feelings during games and how the two work together to shape the outcome of a game.

Euchner details the training methods and thought processes of the athletes that played in the 2001 World Series. Through player interviews intermixed with descriptions of the game's action, he talks about what they are thinking when they come to the plate, their different swinging styles, hitting stances, and how a player will use the position of their hands on the bat to affect how and where a ball will land on a hit. He describes how a player positions himself in the field, and how, as a pitcher throws to the plate, fielders keep their bodies prepared to be able to run, catch, field and throw the ball in order to make the necessary plays to win the game.

The part of the book that I most enjoyed was Euchners' descriptions of the thought processes and methods that dominant pitchers such as Curt Shilling, Roger Clemens and Randy Johnson use when facing batters throughout the game. From training, pre-game preparation, and in-game strategies, pitch to pitch, Euchner describes what these great pitchers do in order to get strikes, or to get a ball to ground out or pop up to where they know their defense can catch it for an out.

Euchner devotes entire chapters to Shilling, Clemens and Johnson. As a Red Sox fan, it was great to read about Curt Shilling's approach to every game, and how he goes into every game looking for perfection. He starts every game trying for a no-hitter. If someone gets on base, he strives for a one-hitter, and then moves on from there.

The Last Nine Innings was an enjoyable read that I think will fascinate both the casual baseball fan and the hard-core fan that never misses a game. Whichever group you happen to fall into, I can tell you firsthand that you will learn something from this book and after reading it, you will watch the game of baseball with a new insight and perspective.

For baseball fans who are waiting for Spring Training to arrive, this is a great book to help get you through the winter. Check it out if you get a chance.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

NFL Week 8 picks...

It's week 8 in the NFL! I hope you will stop by 'The End Zone' over at Faster Than the World and check out my weekly story as well as lay witness to a truly incredible feat as I pull this week's game winners right out of my ass.

That's right. You heard me. Right out of my ass folks. Subjectively of course...

Thursday, September 07, 2006

NFL Kickoff...

Well the NFL kicks off the '06 season in a few minutes and I'm pretty happy to have football back. I'd be ecstatic if I was not so damn tired. I had a long day today. I was tired when I got home from work and I came through the door to find all of the kids were sick with upset stomachs. Not fun. After everybody was put to bed, I wound up eating a few super-heathly pretzels and a beer for dinner.

I am curious to see how NBC's coverage will be during this game. I gotta say I'm a little skeptical. I'm not a big fan of Al Michaels and John 'The Animatronic Muppet' Madden but, whatever. NBC has decent NASCAR and NHL coverage, so hopefully it will be alright.

Ok, NBC has mangled a perfectly good Joan Jett song and the big Pittsburgh Steelers love-fest is finally over. We are almost ready get on with the game.

The game has started and I am glad to see that NBC has finally caught on to the fact that people want to see the score during the game. I remember several years ago, when NBC was still covering the games, before they lost the NFL TV contract to CBS, they stubbornly refused to show the scoreboard during the games. Why? They didn't want people checking the score and then turning the channel. They wanted you to hang around till the commercials started, then they'd flash the score of the game. Bitches. I practically jumped for joy when CBS took over the AFC games from NBC.

Now that the game is underway, I've got to say this: I fucking can't stand the Steelers. They have to be the most obnoxious team in the league and I'm hoping for a Miami upset in this game. I'll be pretty surprised if Miami wins this one, but it would be nice to see.

Misc:
Do any of the new shows NBC is pushing look interesting... at all? That would be an emphatic, no.

Check out my first football post over at Faster Than The World..

Hey if the NFL can hype itself, why can't I?

Football season finally kicks off tonight and my first post in 'The End Zone' is now up over at Faster Than The World. Swing by and check it out! Hope you like it.

I'll have a regular slot every Sunday morning at FTTW so head over there before the games start to get a full dose of, well, whatever you want to call this stuff that I write.

And don't forget to look at all the other cool stuff that's over there too. There's a ton of stories, buttons, links and pictures for you to click on and explore, so dive in and have fun!

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Dude, what day is it?

Hey whas up yo? What is this here computre thingy anywayz?

I got back last night from a trip to the White Mountains of N.H. with my family. It was a lot of fun, at times, agonizing and also, surreal. I never thought I'd be uttering the words, 'IF I HAVE TO STOP THIS CAR RIGHT NOW...', but I did. I actually did.

Thankfully I've got another day to recover before returning to work, because I'm kind of exhausted. Today would have been a day of relaxation, but for some crazy reason, I thought my kids might like to take in their very first real, live baseball game.

We had tickets to see the Worcester Tornadoes this afternoon. The problem? Non-fucking-stop rain. In the hours leading up to the game, I was looking on the team site and calling the hot-line phone number, trying to see if the game would be called. It was friggin pouring out so it had to be called, I mean, it had to be, at least that's what I kept telling myself.

Time clicked by but no update on the team phone number or their website. Finally I said well, I guess we're going to the game. I don't know what had come over me, I really don't, but we all got our raincoats on and headed out into the rain to watch some baseball.

My wife dropped me and the kids off at the ball park. My daughter was wearing her ladybug raincoat, which is red with black spots, just like a ladybug, along with matching boots, with eyeballs and antennae popping out on the front toes, and my son was dressed up in his frog raincoat and boots; green with yellow spots also with matching green boots and eyeballs popping out of the front toes.

As I walked up to the gate I asked the guy taking the tickets, 'Are they gonna call this game?', still not quite believing that I was actually there.

'No way to know,' was his reply.

Well, I have to give credit to my kids because they were super-good; standing around in the rain, eating a pretzel and pop-corn and looking at the covered up infield of the ball park, asking when the game was going to start while I drank a beer, wondering what the hell was wrong with me to actually think we were going to see a baseball game today.

They were starting to look at me with one of those, 'Dad, what are you doing, are you nuts?' looks. I'm sure they'll be recounting this story to the amusement of others in a few years. I can hear it now, 'Remember when Dad took us to see our first baseball game.... in the RAIN?'

I bought them each a baseball to cheer them up and that seemed to make them both much happier.

Mercifully, there was an announcement over the loudspeakers that the game was going into rain-delay mode. My wife came and picked us up in the van and we all thankfully climbed in.

That was not exactly what I was hoping for when I was planning to take my kids to their first-ever, real-life baseball game. I was kinda hoping for blue skies and sunshine. I guess maybe we'll get another shot tomorrow when the Tornadoes try to make up the game in a day night double-header...

Friday, August 04, 2006

New NFL rules, referees got style

Have you seen the new uniforms for NFL referees? So stylish. Phht. Sometimes the NFL is a little ridiculous with this stuff. Whatev.

Speaking of changes I don't like, what's with this new rule change regarding instant replay? Instant replay can now be used to determine if a player is down by contact. Coach Belichick talked about it earlier this week:

“You can’t really play to the whistle any more. You have to play to the ball, because the whistle really might not be the end of the play. I think in this particular rule, we’re kind of going into an area that we haven’t gone into. The old adage of play to the whistle might not be good enough any more..."

That does not sound good to me, but every team will have to deal with it this season. That's the NFL, always tinkering.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

I love this site: Barstool Sports

A few weeks ago I stumbled across this website, Barstool Sports.

I am not sure where I found this site, but it has quickly become one of my favorite places to go on the internets.

It's funny and sarcastic and it's all about Boston Sports, with occasional pics of scantily clad women thrown in. Bonus!

Monday, June 19, 2006

20 Minutes Away...

Stanley Cup Finals. Game 7. Game fucking seven. Go Whale. Why win the series in 5, when you can take it in 7?

2nd period intermission: "You are 20 minutes away from the Stanley Cup."

You can almost feel the electricity as we wait for the 3rd Period to start..

The NHL may not be the most popular sport in North America, but in my opinion, there is no other competition that requires so much of an athlete than the NHL playoffs. There is no other game that has the same level of speed, skill and brutality required to win the Championship and to hoist the Trophy at the end. The only thing that comes close to the skill and physicality involved to win is the NFL playoffs, but to win the NFL Championship, you only have to win 4 games, or in many cases, if you are a team that earns a bye week, 3. In the NHL you have to win 16 games. 16 games. That's a lot of tough hockey.

And you know what's really cool? They all shake hands and congratulate each other at the end. You beat the hell out of each other for an entire playoff series and when it's over you shake hands and say, 'good game'.

No other North American professional sport has that great tradition.

We are about to witness twenty minutes of the most intense hockey of entire the season. Carolina has a 2 goal lead but Edmonton is going to come out with everything they've got. Carolina needs to smother Edmonton in the 3rd. Expect to see balls-out, nothing left to lose hockey out of The Oilers...

1:03 into the 3rd and Edmonton scores to make it a 2-1 game. Edmonton is right back in it... See? What did I tell ya... Now they'll ratchet it up another notch. Did I say Go Whale already?

Oh yeah, I did.

Update:
Carolina wins, 3-1. Nice job you guys.


(AP Photo/ National Hockey League/Doug MacLellan)

Skate it baby, skate it!

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Random thoughts during last night's Yankees batting practice session...

- Who kidnapped Josh Beckett and replaced him with this horrible, sucky, look-alike impostor version of Josh Beckett, and, more importantly, why is Francona leaving him in this game?

- I thought batting practice was before the game, not during the game.

- It's the eve of the most evil day ever, 6/6/06. That has got to have something to do with how bad the Sox are playing right now. Satan obviously wants his team to win.

- NESN needs to stop showing that damn Mike Lowell / Kevin Youkilis, 'The Guardians of the Lines' promo. 'You want them at the corners, you need them at the corners...' That thing is a fucking jinx. Ever since NESN started showing that promo, the infield errors have been mounting. STOP IT NOW NESN!

- Well, at least I don't have to worry about annoying the wife by flipping back and forth between this and the Stanley Cup Finals... (Go WHALE!)

- That's gotta suck, losing your goalie in the 1st game of the Cup Finals (we've switched to hockey now, in case you are wondering what's going on.)

- OH MY GOD HE BLEW IT!! FUMBLLLLLLE! (as a 'miscommunication' betweeen Edmonton goalie Ty Conklin and defenseman Jason Smith allowed Carolina to score the game winner).

Thursday, June 01, 2006

It's called Bruins...

So let me get this straight... The Bruins have hired a new GM, Peter Chiarelli, but inexplicably, he can't come to work for the Bruins for another month. He's got to continue working for his current team and The Bruins divisional rival, The Ottawa Senators. So... if I understand this right, before Chiarelli can get to work on improving the floundering B's, he's got to work on improving one of our division rivals first? Ummm... WHAT?? I hate bashing the B's but what the hell kind of screwed up deal is that? It's called Bruins.

In the long run though, I am hoping Chiarelli can help turn things around for the B's. This team desperately needs some new blood in the front office. Once Chiarelli gets to work, I am looking forward to some changes for the better for the Bruins.

Meanwhile, there's 2 min and change left in the Eastern Conference finals and the 'Canes are up 3-2 over Buffalo... Game 7 baby. Nothing like it. LETS GO WHALE!!!

Update:
14 seconds left and Carolina is up 4-2. It's going to be an Edmonton / Carolina Stanley Cup Finals and this is gonna be good...

I like both teams so it's really a no-lose situation for me, but I'll mainly be rooting for the old Hartford club to hoist it at the end.


(AP Photo/ National Hockey League/Doug MacLellan)

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Go pick a different number rook...

ESPN.com: Bush loses numbers game; back can't wear No. 5.

I don't know why this whole thing got under my skin so much, but for some reason this little, 'jersey number 5', drama that went on with Reggie Bush really bugged the shit out of me.

Maybe the reason I found this story so annoying was because of the fact that Bush has not fucking done anything in the NFL yet?  Bush had a great college career but he's in the NFL now, meaning what he did in college now means shit as far as I'm concerned.

Respect is something you have to earn in the bigs rookie, they don't just hand it out with your new jersey. Now go wash some jock-straps, and when you're done there's some veteran players over there who need you to pick up their shit and carry it out to the practice field...

Friday, May 12, 2006

Quest for the Cup: Best possible scenario at this point...

Now that my 'B' team, the Colorado Avalanche, has been swept out of the Stanley Cup playoffs, I can now start looking ahead to a potential best case scenario, from my perspective that is, as to how the rest of the playoffs will turn out:

In the West: The clear choice for me here is for San Jose to advance to The Stanley Cup Finals, but first they have to get past Edmonton and then Anaheim.

In the East: The Sens are the team that I have been rooting for the most in the East, but they are down 3-1 in their series with Buffalo. If Ottawa comes back from being down 3 games to win their series I will be amazed. Of course anything is possible and I would like to see them do it but I don't see it happening.

Assuming that Buffalo does not pull a 'Boston Bruins vs Montreal' [choke, cough, ahem.], The Sens will eventually be eliminated, meaning I must go to my backup team in the East, The Carolina Hurricanes. Hopefully the 'Canes sweep NJ and then get past Buffalo, leading to a San Jose vs. Carolina Stanley Cup final.

At that point, I would be happy with either team winning.

I'd like to see the former Hartford Whalers win a Cup, but I'd also like to see Joe Thornton raise Lord Stanley's Cup overhead as well, and not because I am a bitter Bruins fan who has it out for The Boston Bruins management (even though that is an accurate description), but because I like Joe and would like to see him get his name etched onto The Cup, not to the same extent that I wanted to see Ray Bourque win a Cup Championship, but in that same vein.

We'll see what happens...

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Quest for the Cup: Round 2 Picks...

Well I think I did ok with my picks for the 1st round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. I went 2 for 4 with my picks for the East and 3 out of 4 with my pics for the West.

Now it's on to Round 2 and things get considerably more difficult for everyone involved. With each round of NHL playoffs, the hockey gets better and better (statements of the obvious, yes, that is my forte.)

On to my picks for the Semis:

East:
Ottawa / Buffalo - Ottawa - I like Ottawa, I don't really like Buffalo. The choice is simple.

Carolina / NJ - Carolina - See above.

West:
San Jose / Edmonton - Gotta continue to go with the Sharks and support those who have brought AHL Hockey back to Worcester.

Anaheim / Colorado - My 'B' team or Mickey's team. Hmmm? Obviously, I'll go with the Avs. That took all of a nano-sec. (I don't actually have it out for Anaheim, but you've got to root against somebody, right?)

Saturday, April 29, 2006

NHL Playoffs: Quarterfinal Picks

Ok, I know I'm pretty late in posting this, but here's the list of who I'm rooting for in the NHL Quarterfinals. Even though The Bruins are not in the playoffs, I still enjoy playoff hockey. How can you not? The players kick it up to a whole new level for the playoffs.

Winning the Stanley Cup is probably the most difficult achievement in professional sports.

Here's my picks:

East:
Ottawa / Tampa Bay - Ottawa - (The Sens currently hold a 3-1 lead in the series.) - I gotta root for the Canadian team over the Florida team. Plus TB won it last year, or two years ago to be exact... Update: Prior to my posting this, Ottawa won tonight and took the series 4-1.

Carolina / Montreal - Carolina - (series is currently tied 2-2.) - Well, first off, no matter who they were playing, I'd be rooting against Montreal because I fucking hate the Habs, but I also like to root for the 'Canes (formerly known as The Hartford Whalers). They are kind of one of my backup teams.

New Jersey / NY Rangers - Rangers - Doesn't matter at this point since the Rangers got swept...

Buffalo / Philly - Philly - (series is tied 2-2.) - Gotta go with the Flyers here. I've always liked them as long as they were not playing the B's.

West:
Detroit / Edmonton - Edmonton - (Edmonton leads series 3-2) - It's more that I'm rooting against the Wings than rooting for the Oilers here...

Dallas / Colorado - Colorado (Colorado has a 3-1 lead in the series) - The Avs have been my 'B' team ever since Ray Bourque got traded out there.

Calgary / Anaheim - Calcary (series is tied 2-2) - I gotta go with Calgary over Disney's team.

San Jose / Nashville - SJ (SJ leads the series 3-1) - First and foremost, the new Worcester AHL team is the Sharks affiliate team, so they automatically get my support for bringing hockey back to Worcester. Second, Joe Thornton plays for San Jose and I hope it galls the shit out of The B's management to be sitting at home watching Thornton in the playoffs.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Rules? What rules?

File this one under: What a Tool...

ESPN: Reggie Bush wants the NFL to let him wear number 5.

The arrogance of this guy... After the NFL denies Bush's request, I hope he's then forced by the league to wear the number zero or even better, double zero.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Just curious...

I'm just wondering, is men's hockey still considered an Olympic sport? Because if it is, nobody seems to be covering it. I know that since there's no NHL at the moment, there are Olympic teams playing hockey somewhere. The question is, why is NBC not showing it on television?

Ok. I will admit that I am not sitting down every night and watching the Olympics, so I guess it could just be some kind of odd coincidence that the hockey games are being shown on TV on the nights that I'm not watching, but when I do watch, which is usually a couple nights a week, it seems like the only thing they are ever showing is figure skating, figure skating and occasionally figure skating, with a little speed skating thrown in...

The best thing about the Winter Olympics is hockey on the big ice and I have not seen a single game. My mind is boggled...

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Assignments...

Hey what's up interwebs. I have not been writing too consistently lately. I have been spending my free time learning some songs for my new side job as a guitar player.

My assignments have been:
Foo Fighters - Times Like These
Pearl Jam - Last Kiss
7 Mary 3 - Cumbersome
Dylan - Knockin on Heavens Door
Goo Goo Dolls - Long Way Down
3 Doors Down - Kryptonite
Danzig - Do You Wear the Mark (this one was my addition to the list. I needed to balance out the Goo Goo Dolls a little... Heh.)

And I have to admit there has not been a whole lot going on in the world of sports that has inspired me to write much. The B's and C's are both on break for The Olympics and the NBA All-Star game. The Sox are starting Spring Training, which is exciting and all, but it's not enough to get me all riled up to write anything too substantial about it. I'm glad to know the boys are down in FLA, stretching out, playing some grab-ass and long toss, hitting some balls in the batting cages, working on their banter... (You know, it's a rough life those baseball players lead...) but beyond that, there's not much there for me to say about it. When Grapefruit League starts maybe I'll have more to write about...

On a completely unrelated note, my company recently moved to a new office and I'm really loving the change. My drive to get to the new place is both easier and shorter, and my desk is now located next to a window. Kick ass!! The lab even has a window in it, which is just incredibly great.

Small things like that make a big difference in improving a person's attitude towards the place where they lose spend 8 or 10 hours of their life every day...

And just to keep the theme of having completely unrelated items in one post going, this time next week I'll be a brand new Dad again. D-Day is Monday for baby number 3. I'm getting kind of nervous for the childbirth part of the whole thing. I'll be glad when that part is over and everybody is safe.

I've been telling my kids that they are going to be in charge of diaper duty. I told them I'd pay them a quarter per diaper. They just look at me like I'm crazy. (They've already got that look down. Oy.)

'Nooooo Dad, we're not changing any diapers, thats your job! We'll bring you the clean ones... '

Gee, thanks.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Awaiting Truck Day, NHL break and the Pro Bowl...

The other day I was listening to some random goodness on my iPod (welcome back little friend!) and 'Sweet Caroline' from Neil Diamond came on. It immediately got me thinking about The Red Sox and a warm, summer-time baseball game at Fenway Park.

Truck Day is rumored to be tomorrow. Hopefully this weekend's snow storm does not throw a wrench in the works. I can't say I'm one of those people who is climbing the walls waiting for baseball to start, but I am looking forward to baseball season and everything that comes along with it: green grass, warm weather, hangin' out in my backyard oasis with the fam, Joe and Jerry on the AM Radio and a T&T; close at hand... Nice.

Right now, I'm still coming down off of football season. Football is my primary sport and once it ends, it takes a little while for me to change over to baseball mode. Over the next few weeks I'll begin to switch over and I'll start wearing less of The Pats ball-cap and more of the Red Sox cap, but I'm not ready to get into full baseball mode quite yet.

The bridge between Football and Baseball for me is Hockey and now that football is over, I've been paying more attention to the Boston Bruins. The B's have been up and down all season and it's not looking like that is going to change any time soon.

The last few B's games have been frustrating to watch. There have been flashes of brilliance and excitement, but there have been too many let downs, with games that have started out promising only ending in disappointment. The B's are playing hard, but they need to learn how to finish a game. It's been one step forward, two steps back for the Bruins this year.

Friday's game vs. The Lightning was a perfect example of a game that was really frustrating to watch. Locked in a 4-4 tie midway through the 3rd, The B's got a spectacular short-handed goal to go up 5-4. They had the momentum and it was looking like they were going to roll to a win and get those much needed 2 points. Instead, The B's got conservative. Instead of staying aggressive and taking the game to Tampa in their offensive end, the B's started dumping the puck in and trying to run the clock.

Things fell apart with loose defensive play in their own end of the ice and The B's gave up 2 goals, eventually going down 6-5 to Tampa Bay. Instead of picking up 2 points and clawing one step closer to a playoff spot, they got nothing and wound up going backwards in the standings.

I still think The Bruins will somehow scratch their way into the playoffs this year, but I have a feeling it's going to be a fight the whole way. Now it's the 2 week break for the Olympics. I'm hoping I can catch a couple of the mens ice hockey games. I love Olympic Hockey on that big European ice... Wide Open.

Speaking of wide open, The Daytona 500 is next Sunday. Gentlemen, start your Engines. I have to admit, I paid very little attention to NASCAR last year.

The other day I got a catalog in the mail from Roush Racing that had Mark Martin on the cover. I was kind of surprised because I thought last season was going to be his last year running the circuit. Shows how much attention I have been paying. Look's like ol' Mark is going to give it one more go round.

I was glad to see he's no longer running with a sponsorship from Phizer. Even though Martin has been my favorite driver for many years, after the despicable Supreme Court decision in the Kelo vs. New London case last year, (still have not forgotten about that) I could no longer support Martin while racing with Phizer's sponsorship.

Now Mark is running with AAA as a sponsor. Much better. Definitely more agreeable.

I spent a little bit of time watching the Pro-Bowl today. I was not very interested in it, since there was not a single representative from The Patriots in the game, but still, it was football, even if it was a meaningless exhibition. With the Pro-Bowl, Football season comes fully to a close and baseball mode gets one step closer...

Monday, February 06, 2006

My lame Superbowl...

Various Superbowl XL afterthoughts:

- Every time I clicked over to the ABC's pre-game coverage, hoping to catch some Bill B, Super B pre-game analysis, they were showing a commercial or some ridiculous segment that I had absolutely no interest in.

- I tried to limit my Football intake yesterday, just to give my wife a break (I'm so thoughtful). After all, game coverage did start at like 10 PM Sat night...

- While watching the NFL Films Superbowl highlight shows, it seriously started to feel like nearly every other Superbowl had either The Cowboys, Steelers or The Steelers, Cowboys. It began to get a little sickening.

- I had forgotten how much I hated 'The Mile High' salute.

- I missed the pre-game ceremony featuring the MVPs from past Superbowls and I also missed Tom Brady doing the coin flip. I was watching the Superbowl 36 highlights, which ran till 6:30 PM, and I was so into it that I completely forgot the Superbowl starts at some weird time like 6:18 or something... I was kind of bummed that I didn't get to see Tom Brady and Dion Branch up there with all the other Superbowl MVPs and I really wanted to see Brady flip the coin. I was actually looking forward to that more than the game itself but when I switched the channel over to the game it had already started. Oh well.

- After looking forward to the Superbowl all week, I missed watching most of game and didn't even see the end of it.. Some time late Sunday afternoon I came down with some kind of 'stomach thing' (I'll spare you the details) and around the beginning of the 2nd quarter of the game I became so uncomfortable, I had to go up to my bedroom and lay down. I tried to watch the game for a little while in bed but the flickering from the TV screen was making me feel worse, so I shut it off.. I didn't know who won the game till this morning. I was hoping I would find out it was Seattle but I had a feeling it was going to be Pittsburgh... It was.

- I was reading some of the news about the game on the interweb this morning and I was pissed when I read that all the lame-ass Pittsburgh fans at the stadium had booed Dion Branch and Tom Brady during their MVP introductions and had booed Tom Brady during the coin flip. Pittsburgh fans are like school on Saturday. And to think I actually felt a small amount of pity for them last week. F U Steeler fans. I can't believe I actually felt a little bad for you guys. I hope you're finally satisfied. It only took your team 14 years to back up all the talk with an actual accomplishment.

- Even though I would have preferred watching the game instead of lying in the fetal position in bed, it sounds like I did not miss much of a game. I won't be surprised if the Superbowl XL highlight show is scheduled for an early morning time-slot on ESPN2 next year.

- 5 months till Training Camp starts...

GO PATS

Sunday, February 05, 2006

The Superbowl is a Holiday. Happy Superbowl!

Despite what my mother-in-law may like to believe, The Superbowl is a holiday, a great holiday and, as far as I'm concerned, the best holiday of the year.

Today is a day when everybody gets the same present, a (hopefully) great Football Game to watch with the two best teams in the NFL fighting for the right to be called 'Champions'. For fans of the eventual winner, it's a very special present indeed, for as a football fan, when your team wins the biggest game of all, there's nothing like it in the world. The feeling of seeing your team win The Superbowl can only be described as pure joy. It's a feeling of happiness that stays with you for months afterwards and you get a heart-warming feeling in your chest with every reminder of it. A smile will come to your face every time you see that Sports Illustrated ad featuring your team on the the cover of the hard-bound Superbowl Champions commemorative book.

As a Pats fan, I've considered myself to be very lucky these last few years, watching my team take home the Lombardi Trophy 3 times. I went through what I refer to as sports-inflicted torture during all 3 of The Pats recent Superbowl appearances, but the payoff at the end made all the writhing on the floor, acting like a complete lunatic and pulling out every insane superstition in the book worth it.

For me, Superbowl 36 (Pats / Rams) ranks beneath only my wedding and the birth of my children as one of my life's greatest moments. (My wife feels a little differently about that. 9 months pregnant at the time, she was literally moments away from calling an ambulance at the end of the game as I collapsed and lay sprawled motionless on the living room floor, reveling in the feeling of pure bliss.)

Of course, just because my team is not in The Big Game this year, that does not mean I won't thoroughly enjoy watching the Superbowl. Even when your team is not in it, the Superbowl is always a game to look forward to and the Superbowl games of last few years have been very exciting and enjoyable to watch.

Superbowl 34 was an incredible game, with the Titans missing the game winning TD by about 1 foot as the final seconds came off the clock. I didn't think a Superbowl could match that type of excitement until my Pats took on the Rams in what may have been the most exciting Superbowl ever played in SB 36.

Ok, Superbowl 37 may not have been considered 'exciting', but as a lifelong hater of the Oakland / La-La Land Raiders, I was quite happy to see the shellacking that the Tampa Bay Bucs put on The Raiders and, adding insult to injury, I appreciated the fact that the ass-whooping was applied by the team's former coach, Jon Gruden, only one year removed from his head coaching position at Oakland. I was also thankful to Oakland QB Rich Gannon for erasing Pats QB Drew Bledoe's name from the record books as the owner of the record for tossing the most interceptions in a Superbowl.

My team played and won in both Superbowl 38 and 39, so obviously, I am biased about those being great games, but I think even non-Pats fans would have to agree that both of those games were very exciting to watch. Superbowl 38 had it all: Defensive chess matches and Offensive firepower and in Superbowl 39, the game once again came down to the wire (and a near heart attack for me).

I'd like to wish the best of luck to the fans of both Pittsburgh and Seattle today. I'll be pulling for Seattle, but if Pittsburgh wins, that's ok too. Overall, I'm pretty neutral here. I'm mainly pulling for Seattle to win simply because they've never been in the big game before and also because Seahawks LB Lofa Tatupu is the son of one of my favorite Patriot players, Mosi Tatupu.

Yes, The Pats are not in the game this year, but at least there's a little bit of Patriots flavor in it. I'll be trying to catch Bill Belichick's pre-game analysis in between the NFL Films Highlight shows that air on ESPN2. And of course, there's the 'Patriots Hour' on ESPN2, with the Superbowl 38 and 36 highlight shows starting at 5:30 and Tom Brady doing the coin-flip to start the game.

Enjoy the Superbowl everybody. Let's hope it's a good one because after this it's a long stretch till August.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Playoff nightmares...

Last night I had a real hard time sleeping.

I had a crazy nightmare that I had tickets to a Patriots playoff game, but when I got to the stadium (for some reason carrying with me a life-size Tedy Bruschi cardboard stand-up), the guy manning (Freudian slip right there?) the gate would not let me inside.

I kept telling the nightmare gate-keeper that there was nothing wrong with my ticket, but he kept giving me the the run-around and made me do all kinds of silly things.

I had to go to the Pats front office and get my credit card checked and then, after I came back to the admission gate with a printout of my balances, the ticket guy was telling me that my card was maxed out, even though it was not, and because of that I could not use my ticket to get into the game. I had to go work it out with the credit card company if I wanted to get in.

The whole time I could see through the gate that the game was starting and I was missing it and I kept asking the burly ticket guy with the big handlebar moustache what any of this stuff had to do with my ticket to the game. My ticket was perfectly legit and real so let me in! But he would not let me in. I was barred from The Pats playoff game.

I tossed and turned all night, fitfully going back and forth between the admission gate and The Pats front office, calling the credit card company on some pay phone, and begging the admission gate guy to just take my ticket and let me in, all the while missing the Pats in the playoffs.

I think my sub-conscious has not yet come to grips with the fact that The Pats are not in the Superbowl this weekend. My wife just thinks I'm nuts.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

A day without Football is like a day without Sunshine...

A weekend without football. It's not easy going cold turkey but it happens every year and every year it's not fun. The NFL should think about doing some kind of season recap during the off-week before The Superbowl. They could have a special multi-hour show featuring all of the best plays from the past season. I'd watch it.

Thankfully, in lieu of football, TLC was showing an Overhaulin' marathon which kept my lazy ass entertained for several hours. There was a lot I could have accomplished today, but instead, I watched Chip Foose create automobile art. And I don't feel bad about it.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Ho-Hum...

Waz up yo? Nada. Very boring around here right now, eh? Yup. This is what we call, 'The Sports Lull' that exists during the week prior to the Superbowl. Not much goin' on at all... And this is just the primer. After the Superbowl, that's when things really slow down.

Thankfully, there is hockey this year. Last year's NHL lockout, in a word, sucked.

The B's face the Isles tonight and will go for 4 straight wins. After flailing around for the majority of the season so far, The B's are finally starting to figure out how to win games on a consistent basis. I don't want to get too excited about this, but it looks like The B's are beginning to get their shit togethah.

Actually there is other stuff goin' on, but it's stuff that I'm just not motivated / interested enough in to write about. Theo's back. Yay. I was pissed when he left and I'm glad that he's back. Now get to work building the 2006 Red Sox. That pretty much sums up my feelings about the whole 'Theo' thing.

I love the Sox but I really can't stand all the off-field drama. I know some people think that the drama is what makes The Sox, 'The Sox', but personally I could live quite happily without it. Give me a well oiled machine [The Pats] any day of the week. Whatev...

The Sox have acquired a center fielder who should provide a reasonable replacement for Johnny Damon and I expect they will have a SS in place soon, possibly within a few days if reports are accurate. Whew, what a relief. Phht. The talk shows and papers sure did a great job whipping people into a frothing lather over this whole CF / SS situation.

I still have not told my kids that Damon is a Yankee. They were asking me about him the other day. I had told them that football was over and it would soon be time for baseball.

"OOOOOHHH! That means it's time for JOHNNY DAMON!!"

I'll wait till spring training to break it to them...

Finally, this is the last weekend in January and that is a great thing. The hardest part of Winter is in the rear-view mirror now. February is no picnic but it goes by quick. Then, before you know it, Springtime baby.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

ESPN2's NFL Films Superbowl Highlight Schedule...

Extreme thanks go to Ms. Brightside for finding this and pointing it out to me.

ESPN2's schedule for airing the NFL Films Superbowl Highlight shows on Super-Sunday can be found here.

Note to Pats fans:
Superbowl 31 (Pats / Packers) and 20 (Pats / Bears) air between Noon and 1 PM.
Superbowl 39 (Pats / Eagles) airs at 4:30 PM
Superbowl 38 (Pats / Panthers) and 36 (Pats / Rams) air between 5:30 and 6:30 PM.

Extra coolness: The schedule was based, partially at least, on a survey where people ranked the best Superbowls and picked the order in which they preferred to have them shown. I can't help but notice that Superbowl 36, Pats / Rams, will bring us right into the start of The Big Game. Nice.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Reasons to root for Seattle...

Reasons to root for The Seattle Seahawks to win the Superbowl.

1. Seattle has never been to the Superbowl. I would rather see a team that has never won before win The Superbowl, as opposed to a team that has won the big game 4 times. (Yes, I realize that is somewhat ironic coming from a person who's team has won the Superbowl 3 times in the past 5 years.)

2. Lofa Tatupu, son of famed, former Patriot, Mosi Tatupu, plays linebacker for Seattle. Mosi Tatupu was one of my favorite Patriot players back in the 80s. Mosi got to the Superbowl with the '85 team but, as we know, did not win it. This is the 20th Anniversary of that '85 team. I think it would be cool to see Mosi's son win a Superbowl.

3. Seahawks QB, Matt Hasselbeck is from New England and his Dad, Don Hasselbeck, used to play tight-end for The Pats.

All that being said, if The Steelers win, that's fine too. I get worked up about the Pats' AFC rivals during the season, but now that that the Pats are out of it, I have taken a mellower (is that a word?) outlook towards The Steelers. The way they have played down the stretch has been impressive. I won't be upset if Pittsburgh wins the Superbowl (and I'd rather see Pittsburgh win it than Denver or Indy).

Honestly, regardless of who wins, I just want The Superbowl to be a good game. It's the last football game of the year, so I'm hoping it will be an exciting one.

One of the best things about Superbowl Sunday is the NFL Films shows that ESPN2 plays throughout the day. They used to show the Superbowl shows in chronological order but this year they are mixing up the order of the shows, with the least popular being shown first and the most popular shown last. I'd love to know what order they are showing the games in. Anyone know where to find out?

Sunday, January 22, 2006

AFC / NFC Championship games...

Two weeks in a row of rooting for the Steelers? It was a surreal experience to be sure, but since there is no other team in the NFL that I dislike more than The Denver Broncos, it came down to a making a choice between the lesser of two evils.

Before the game began, the announcers noted that it was a beautiful day for a football game in Denver. One of the people I was watching the game with commented that it was a beautiful day for a game here in Massachusetts as well.

Hey, I didn't say it.

I've pretty much come to terms with the fact that The Pats are done for the year, but I'll admit to feeling a pang of bitterness at the start of the AFC Championship Game when it was The Denver Broncos taking the field at Invesco Stadium and not The Pats running out onto the field at The Razor. I shoved it down and cast it aside. The Pats' season is over. End of story. Move on.

The Steelers pretty much dominated the Denver Broncos in front of their own fans, sending Denver off the field to an embarrassing chorus of boos at half-time, down 24-3. Although I enjoyed watching the Broncos get a beat down at the hands of the Steelers, one thing I've never understood is how a fan could boo their own team, especially on a day when they're playing for a chance to get into the Superbowl. Lame.

I took vindictive pleasure in the fact that Denver gave up 4 turnovers, 3 of which which the Steelers converted into points, but I also found myself wishing that those Denver turnovers had taken place last week (it always comes back to The Pats for me).

The final score of the AFC game was 34-17, Steelers. Although I would have loved to have seen it, I missed Shannon Sharpe's reaction to the final result of the game. I like to imagine that Boomer Esiason leaned over to say, "Call The National Guard because The Steelers just killed The Broncos..."

In the NFC game, the Seahawks rolled over the Carolina Panthers. It was barely even a contest, with the 'Hawks winning the game easily, 34-14.

So it looks like my hoped for Superbowl scenario is set. Seahawks vs. Steelers. Whew. Now I can finally stop rooting for The Steelers, which has made me feel all icky.

I think this match-up actually has the potential to be a pretty competitive Superbowl. I'll be hoping for a Seahawks win. Now the big question is, what do we do between now and February 5th?

Monday, January 09, 2006

It's official: Worcester Sharks

It's official. The AHL will return to Worcester next season with The Worcester Sharks.

Here's a short article with the news.

Nice.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

AHL Hockey returning to Worcester?

It looks like there is a good chance that we will see the return of the AHL to Worcester, MA next year. According to this article in the Telegram and Gazette yesterday, The San Jose Sharks will be moving their AHL franchise from Cleveland to Worcester for the 06-07 season.

According to the article, the news is not 'official' yet, but if you read the story you will see that the officials involved discuss all the details that are going into bringing the AHL back to Worcester. The only piece of information they oh so subtly leave out in the story, is the actual statement admitting that it is happening. So subtle... ha.

Apparently there is going to be a press conference on Monday afternoon and hopefully it will officially become 'official' news then.

I am excited about this. I was a big Worcester IceCats fan. I used to go to several games a year and they were always great fun. I was very sad when the IceCats left and I have missed having the AHL in Worcester this year. Winter is long and the IceCats provided a great outlet to do something fun.

Yes, there are still several teams nearby in Providence and Lowell and Springfield, but those teams are all over an hour away. If I'm going to drive an hour, I may as well go see the B's in Boston.

I'll be looking forward to the press conference on Monday for the official word that The Sharks will be swimming in Worcester.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Just because...

Take me back...

My fucking snowblower is headed back into the shop tomorrow. I have just the right tool for it, a sledgehammer. So frustrating...

I was rooting for SC last night, mainly because of the Patriot connection with Pete Carroll and also it being Willie McGinnist's alma-matter...  I did not watch the whole game. I just got the update from the sports report on the radio this morning. Sounds like it was an exciting game to watch.

I've had to listen to the radio a lot more lately because my iPod is getting its battery replaced. It's been gone for almost 3 weeks now. I hope it comes back soon. In the meantime I've been listening to CD's and occasoinally the radio. WEEI was somewhat tolerable in short durations during the holidays because all the regular hosts were on vacation. Now they're all back. I had almost forgotten how truly awful that station is. I can't believe people actually listen to Dennis and Callahan and The Big Show for enjoyement. Come back soon iPod!

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Pats / Sox Nation Frapper Map...

After I got sucked into this whole Frapper thing by Beth, I decided to make a map on Frapper for Patriots and Red Sox fans to post their locations (Bruins and Celtics fans are also welcome!)

This map is just for fun and is up there for anybody to enjoy and use. If you want to display the button for it on your site, you can get the code in the widgets section on Frapper. Enjoy!

Thursday, December 22, 2005

I guess this is just the week for bad things to happen...

Matt Light is now the 10th Patriot player on the IR this year. Not that this comes as a surprise, but it still sucks. It would have been nice to have Matt back for the playoffs.

On the subject of injuries, is there something wrong with my eyes or are there only 2 Patriots listed on the injury list this week? (Tom Brady, questionable and Matt Light, out.)

I don't usually talk about news regarding rival football teams, but the news that Wayne Chebret is retiring due to his head injuries is sad.

I have a lot of respect for Chebret. He burned the Pats and had me swearing up and down at the TV almost every time The Pats faced off against the Jets. Chebret was a guy that always came up with a big catch when it was needed. He pissed me off because it was always against my team, but the guy was good. Wayne Chebret was a football player, that is for sure. Too bad his career had to end on this note. Best of luck to you Wayne.

Condolences to the Dungy family...

I would like to offer my heart-felt condolences to Tony Dungy and his family. There are no words for the kind of tragedy that has befallen him. I can only offer my sympathy and say that I am truly sorry to hear the news about Dungy's son.

Here is the ESPN story for those who are new to the situation.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Go Bolts!

I'm sitting here working on Christmas cards (The 4th thing at Christmas that's such a pain to me...) and my wife put on the TV.

"Oh, you wanna watch some Football??"

"Ahhh. No." she says, as she switches to TLC 'What Not to Wear'.

"Ohhhh, Maaaaan," I say.

I get the 'puter and get a quick score check. Hey, the Bolts are beating Indy, 16-3. YAAAAHH.

"Hun. Can we just watch the 4th quarter of the Indy game, pleeeeeeezzze??" Doing my best 3 year old kid imitation...

"We'll see."

The very gay sounding guy on 'What Not to Wear' says, "Ugh. Your wardrobe looks like what you wore in the 7th grade..."

"Hey that kind of reminds me of you," the wife says.

"Humph," I humph.

"Though I think I've got most of that stuff cleared out at this point," she continues.

"Humph," I humph.

Now she's on the phone with her mother ragging on me about how I thought 'Patricia' would be a nice middle name for our daughter once she is born. Apparently she does not like the reasoning that Patricia has "Pat" as in "Pats", as in "Patriots", in the name...

Dang woman.

Score check: FUCK. Now its 16-10 Bolts. Come on you stupid Chargers!!!

Score check: The Hell?? The Colts just scored like 17 points in 5 min. Damn you TLC WHAT NOT TO WEAR I'm MISSING THE GAME!!

Update:
OK. TLC is finally over. 2:36 left, Bolts up 19-17. Come on you stupid Bolts!!! SHOTTENHIEMER!!! DONT SCREW THIS UP!

Update:
OH YEAAHHHHHHHH TURNER TAKES IT TO THE HOUSE FROM THE 20!!!! EFFIN A COTTON. EFFIN. A!!

26-17 Bolts. 2:09 left in the game... Come on Bolts D!!! Hold em off! I wanna see that Peyton Manning Face.

Update:
Manning interception with 1:30 left. That's it. Uh-oh, Peyton is pouting on the sideline. Boo-hoo. Don't cry now Manning.

Thank you Bolts.

Denver won, so that wrecks The Pats chances for a bye I think. Oh well. We're in so that's all that counts.

GO PATS

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Astros or Other Sox. Tough choice...

So now that the World Series contenders have been settled, I've been trying to decide who to root for in the series.

On one hand you have the White Sox, who as we all know, have not won the Series since 1917. Red Sox fans all know how that feels... That sucks. It would be cool for those guys to win one after all this time.

On the other hand, you have the Astros who have not even been to a World Series since their inception in the early 60s... I'm sure it would make a lot of people down there happy to see The Astros get their 1st championship and be a big morale boost to all the hurricane weary people in the area too.

Hmmmmm...

Other factors:

My wife has relatives in Chicago. I'm sure they would like to see a World Series championship...

Clemens is on the Astros. Like most Sox fans, seeing him win the whole thing as a Yankee really stuck in my craw, but I'm pretty much over that now. I guess I would not mind seeing him win another one. Plus it would piss off King George to no end I'm sure...

Pettite is also on the Astros: I have no animosity towards him, now that he's no longer a MFY. Frankly, I wish he were on the Red Sox. Plus, seeing him win a championship on another team would really piss of King George.

Hmmmm. Decisions, decisions... I guess I'm leaning towards Chicago, due to family ties influences...

I wanted the Astros to win the NLCS and that happened, so no complaining there, but dammit, I wish the RED Sox were in there facing off against the Astros and not the dang Other Sox. [Sigh].

My wife says I'm better off. She says I have enough going on without adding baseball stress to the equasion. I still wish it were the Red Sox playing anyway... (I have a feeling she is the one who feels better off for not having to deal with Red Sox related antics from me. Ha.)

I guess I will lean towards Chicago, but if the Astros win it, that's cool too. Yes, I'm being completely wishy-washy about the whole thing. Whoever wins, it's all good and it will be a good World Series for sure. Whatever.

(The Red Sox are not in it so who cares. [childishly stamps feet])

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Breaking down Week 1 in the NFL...

A quick breakdown of Week One's NFL results.

Key:
Yay! - Good
Eh... - Don't really care
Blah - Bad

NE 30 - Oakland 20: YAY! (Obviously)

KC 27 - Jets 7: Yay! K.C. Should have got the shutout. Pennington looked bad. Good!

Jax 26 - Sea 14: Eh...

Cincy 27 - Brownies 13: Blah. I was rootin' for RAC.

NO 23 - Car 20: Yay! The only people rooting for Carolina in this one were Panther's fans...

Buf 22 - Hou 7: Eh... Prefer to see Buffalo lose, just because it helps The Pats in the Division.

Wash 9 - Chitown 7: Eh...

Pitt 34 - Tenn 7: Blah. I always root against Pittsburgh.

TB 24 - Minn 13: Eh... I am ambivalent about both teams

Mia 34 - Den 10: Blah. No win situation here. Fucking hate both teams. Prefer a Denver win, just because it helps the Pats, division record wise.

San Fran 28 - St. Louis 25: Eh... I don't mind seeing Martz lose games.

Dallas 28 - SD 24: Yay! Ok. I hate Dallas and I generally dislike Parcells. Basically I just rooted for Drew to do good in this one and he did. Will he keep it up? Doubt it...

Giants 42 - Ari 19: Eh... Will Arizona ever have a decent year? They are literally the football desert.

Detroit 17 - GB 3: Eh... Staying neutral on this one. I generally always root against The Pack, but with everything going on with Favre, I can't in good concience root against him right now.

Indy 24 - Balt 7 - Blah. Another case of 2 teams that I generally distain playing each other. Believe it or not, there was a time when The Colts were one of my favorite 'backup teams'*, but the Manning Hype-Machine has ruined that. Now I always root against them, even when they play another team I dislike, The Ravens.

Atlanta 14 - Philly 10 - Yay! The Eagles used to be one of my favorite backup teams too, but I pretty much can't stand them anymore either. I'm sick of the McNabb Hype-Machine and T.O. overkill. Vick is over-hyped too but he is fun to watch play. Plus, Atlanta is my NFC Superbowl Pick.

* The 'backup team' is a hold-over from the Dark Times when The Pats used to suck. Every season I would pick a handful of backup teams to root for once the Pats chances for a successful season were officially dead. I always rooted for The Pats first, even when their season had gone down the tubes, but if The Pats lost, I could at least take solace if my backup team was doing ok. The Pats don't suck anymore, unless you are their opponent, then it sucks to be you but I still keep some backup teams, just for fun.

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