Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Bye Bye Bowtie

Hawks Land on Branch
After weeks of holding out, former Patriots WR Deion Branch has found a new home with the Seattle Seahawks. Monday afternoon, the Patriots agreed to send the disgruntled wideout to Seattle in exchange for a first round draft pick in 2007. The way I feel about this deal is pretty easy to explain. Of course I would rather Deion Branch be on the Pats than not, and I agree that he was underpaid, but I don't think he was deserving of being paid as one the best WR's in the league. The fact is, as valuable Branch may have been to the Patriots, he never posted a 1,000 year season and only has 14 touchdowns in 4 seasons. Also, while he may have been the MVP of Super Bowl XXXIX, he's only had one season where he has played in all 16 games and has missed a total of 11 during his 4 year career (not counting last week). So you see, for every plus he brings to the table, I feel their is just as big of a minus. That's not to say that he's garbage, or that I'm trying to disrespect him, I just feel he was way out of line with his demands for a contract equal to the top receivers in the game. Any Patriot fan, or NFL fan for that matter, knows that the one player the Pats can't do without on offense is Tom Brady. He's what makes that offense go, not Deion Branch. As far as Deion as an addition in Seattle, he should be a great fit. For a team without a legit #1 WR, now they at least have 2 great #2 WR's in Darrell Jackson and Deion Branch. Hopefully for Seattle's sake the Patriot's underestimated Branch's future potential and he will blossom into one of the best in the league. But if Bill Belichik and company hold to form, they may have just made out again, getting a team to give them a first round pick while feeling they didn't really subtract from their overall performance on the field.

Patriots Update
Last Week: New England 19 Buffalo 17
Record: 1-0

Next Week @ New York Jets (1-0)

*Well the season probably couldn't have started on a more sour note, with Brady fumbling on the first play from scrimmage of '06 and the Bills taking it in for a touchdown. But despite that, the Pats were able to rally behind a great debut from RB Laurence Maroney and a key safety late in the 4th by OLB Tully Banta-Cain and DE Ty Warren. My main concern going into week two is pass protection. This new O-line, which I thought was a strength going into the season, is going to need to gel quick or the Brady might find himself rushing to get a lot of passes out and without enough time to throw any deep routes.

NFL News and Notes
*So what did week 1 in the NFL teach us? Well as usual, pretty much nothing. Team's that many picked to go the the Super Bowl either lost (Carolina, Denver, Dallas, Giants) or were less than impressive (New England, Indy, Seattle). The thing is, that's what week 1 always shows us! So let's nobody go running to make deals with the devil quite yet (Actually if I were a Bronco fan I might go beg the Prince of Darkness to kill Jake Plummer so Jay Cutler could start, but that's just me). I know a lot of people hold high standards for their teams, and after waiting all off-season a loss or poor performance in the opener may really discourage them, but give it at least 2 more games before you start throwing dirt on them.

*Hey Trent Green. That sucked didn't it buddy? I don't know what was worse for poor Trent. Getting his pre-high school memories erased by a Bengals DB, or being carted into the hospital only to be awoken by Herm Edwards screaming to him: "Trent! We play to win the games!"

My NFL Picks

Record Last Week: 1-3-1
Monday Night: 2-0-0

Overall: 3-3-0

*Not a terrible start to the season, obviously, but it's always scary when you need the Vikings and Chargers to save your credibility. Oh well, I'm sure I will have no trouble destroying whatever credibility I have left next week.

College Football Top 10
1. Notre Dame (2-0) 1
2. Ohio St. (2-0) 2
3. West Virginia (2-0) 3
4. Auburn (2-0) 4
5. Florida (2-0) 5
6. USC (1-0) 6
7. LSU (2-0) 7
8. Florida St. (2-0) 9
9. Oklahoma (2-0) 10
10. Tennessee (2-0) NR

just missed: Georgia, Virginia Tech, Michigan
dropped: (8) Texas

*As if I needed another reason to hate on Syracuse football. In double OT, with a big chance to get a big win against #14 Iowa, the Orange choked it up as usual. Greg Robinson's boys had 6 chances to punch the ball in from the 2 yardline and came away with NADA. Yea, it sure looks like that program is getting turned around...or maybe the exact opposite. I actually heard Marvin Harrison is starting to tell people he is actually a Temple alum. Pathetic.

Games to Watch This Week
Michigan @ Notre Dame
* The Irish want people to believe that they are the team that creamed Penn St., not the guys that almost lost to Georgia Tech. Well a win over the Wolverines would be a big step toward proving that.

LSU @ Auburn
* It's time for the SEC front-runner to make themselves known in this one. Whoever snatches this one could easily claim an inside track to the National Championship game with one of the toughest schedules in the nation.

Nebraska @ USC
* The Huskers are trying to prove they are returning to their recent glory days of the 1990's, and a win over Pete Carroll's Trojans would certainly be a nice feather to stick in their cap.

Florida @ Tennessee
* Another SEC power struggle. This time Urban Meyer and Chris Leak are in search of that marquee win that can bring them both into the BCS bowl conversation for the first time down in Gainsville.

Miami @ Louisville
* Louisville tries to show Miami who the new boss of the Big Least is despite the loss of star RB Michael Bush. And the 'Canes want to prove they can beat some legit competition after throddling Florida A&M, but being deflated by FSU in the season opener.

Oklahoma @ Oregon
* The Sooners haven't exactly had walkovers against UAB and Washington, but a win over Oregon would put the loss of Rhett Bomar this off-season squarely in their rear view mirror, at least for a few weeks.

Red Sox Update
Last Week: 2-3
Overall: 76-67
Standings: 2nd place 10.5 games back; 8 out of the Wild Card

* The great part about baseball in Boston, is that even when the Sox are way out of the playoff race, their is still plenty to talk about. Now all anyone wants to talk about around here is how big a failure Theo Epstein has been. That's right, the same Theo that everyone was begging to come back, and the same guy that brought the Sox their first World Series in 86 years. Thanks to all his wheeling and dealing, fans are wondering why are the Sox stuck with bums like Matt Clement, Kyle Snyder and Kevin Jarvis when just a few years ago they had this impressive list of pros in their minor leagues that Theo has since traded away:

Freddy Sanchez: .339 6 HR 77 RBI with Pittsburgh (traded for Scott Sauerbeck)

Anibal Sanchez: 8-2 2.96 ERA and a no hitter with Florida (Lowell/Beckett)

Cla Meredith: 5-1 .69 ERA and 23+ consecutive scoreless IP with San Diego (Mirabelli)

Hanley Ramirez: .286 13 HR 49 RBI 10 3B 36 2B 47 SB with Florida (Lowell/Beckett)

...All the success of these guys should make for a very interesting off-season here in good 'ole Beantown that's for sure.

*And as far as Ortiz saying he should win the MVP and that he's getting snubbed because he doesn't play in the field, I love ya Papi but that's just bogus. When you're team is a million games out, and the division leader has a guy hitting .350 with 200 hits, 30 steals and 100 runs, you probably should just shut your mouth. But that's just my opinion.

Fantasy Update
*Well my fantasy baseball season has basically come to an abrupt end. After being the hottest team in the league for the better part of the last month, I ran into major injury issues, along with a red hot Johan Santana, thus leading to my demise. Obviously part of me is disappointed that I didn't win, but another part of me is glad to put the weirdest league I've ever been in behind me. (Note: As if it weren't bad enough that this league had the worst scoring structure I had ever seen, the commish did himself one better by changing the scoring rules the first week of the playoffs. I guess what they say is true, ignorance is bliss. So if that's true, complete idiocy must mean this kid is happier than Paris Hilton at a see-thru underwear convention.)

Now onto the more pressing matter at hand....fantasy football.....

Week 1: Creepy Foot Doctor 54 Bowtie Revolution 33
Record: 0-1, 14th place

Week 2 vs Jack Bauer +1 (0-1)

*Unfortunately, this will be the last week for the Bowtie Revolution. Thanks to the (-7) points Jake Plummer was able to bless me with, combine with the fact that my team managed only one touchdown (Jeremy Shockey), I lost my game to Frosco, thus losing my naming rights. So now my new team name is "Open Back Door", despite the various prejudicial epithets he wanted to have their instead. The bet was a risk I was willing to take though, seeing as after winning last year I was able to name his team "I Touch Little Kids". What might be even more embarrassing, is that after setting up the league and talking vast amounts of pre-season smack, my team managed the fewest points in week 1, and I find myself in last place.


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