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Friday, April 13, 2007

He Spent More Time on His Back Than....

Thanks For the Memories (and for getting hurt!)
It was easy to take shots at Drew Bledsoe later in his career. He left New England, we won 3 titles, he threw about a million picks, it was great! Hell, it's common perception out in Patriot Nation that if not for Mo Lewis knockin' the snot out of Bledsoe, then the current dynasty as we know it would have never come to fruition. After all, when Drew went down it was Tom Terrific that came in, and I think we all know how it went from there. But now that Drew has announced his retirement from the NFL after 14 years in the league, it's time to give him his due, both as a great quarterback, and a great New England Patriot. Just look at his numbers. Drew passed for 44,611 yards (7th all time) and 251 TDs (13th all time). Anyone that was watching knows he did it the first 4 years with a real crappy team, and an even worse offensive line. But more than the stats, the main reason Drew endeared himself to the New England fans was the way he bounced back from all the hits, and the way he helped guide the franchise from an NFL laughingstock, to a perennial Super Bowl contender. In my lifetime, I've been lucky enough to watch the franchise go through a major transformation, and while Drew may not have had as much a part to do with that recently, he's a major reason it happened at all. He ranks up there with names like Belichik, Parcells, Kraft, Martin, Brady, Brown, Vinatieri, Bruschi, Coates and Seymour. When I look back on my history as a Patriots fan, and the guys who were most instrumental with their current success, those are the men that come to mind, with Drew the true trail blazer of the bunch. So while he may have fallen off towards the end of his career, Ill always remember him as the QB that brought a local sports team to their championship game for the first time in my sports conscience. I'll chose to remember him lofting seeds to Terry Glenn or slamming bullets under the middle to Coates. And who can forget when he was intercepted by "the King" and taken to the house. Oh wait, that was a Burger King commercial. Well, good times none the less. As far as Drew in the Hall of Fame, sadly I just don't think so. He's got one ring, and his stats are pretty borderline. Make no mistake, Drew was one of the elite QBs of his era, but prolly towards the tail end of a list that includes Brett Favre, Peyton Manning, Jim Kelly, Troy Aikman and John Elway. Sure, all those guys are in or headed towards the Hall, but like I said, Drew is a notch below those fellas (see: Boomer Esiason. Vinny Testaverde). A good career though, to say the least, and best of all, he did the most damage for the home town team. We'll miss ya Drew, and don't let the door hit you on the way out you bastard! Ha...kidding. Thanks for the memories, and good luck hunting and fishing.

Red Sox Update
Overall: 4-4
Status: If you didn't love the pitching duel between Dasiuke Matsuzaka and Felix Hernandez on Wednesday night, then I'm sorry, but you just don't like baseball. Of course I'm pissed the Sox lost, but whenever a 21 year old flame thrower takes a no hitter into the 8th on the road, it's gonna be an instant classic, no matter which team you were routing for. It's odd to think people were already so down on Felix because he went 12-14 last year with a high 4's ERA. The kid is freaking 21. Sure he's been a little pudgy in the past and maybe hasn't matured as quickly as Seattle would have liked, but the kid is becoming a man. Combine his size, his high 90's heat, and the filthy off speed pitches he has darting all over the zone, and this kid is gonna be stud for a long time. For his sake I just hope it's not in Seattle. Get out ASAP Felix! Go East young man! And while Daisuke may have been upstaged in his Fenway debut, he didn't exactly disappoint. I've never seen a team win a game when they didn't score, no matter how well their starter pitched, but I also don't totally buy the "he wins that game on most nights" stance. Like I said, the Dice man didn't disappoint, but he also didn't bring the noise. A start like the one last night (7 IP, 8 H, 3 R, BB, 4 K), should be what we can come to expect from a below average start for the man, especially at home. Not a bad start, but not exactly what I'd label as "good". To spell out my scale exactly, here is the line I'd expect for a "good" start by Matsuzaka: 7 IP, 5 H, 2 R, BB, 7K). And sure, you can go ahead and assume that any time he goes beyond those #'s, it would go down as a great start. So, if you compare the stat lines, you see exactly where I'm comin' from. I'm not worried about the guy, I just think he's going to take time to adjust to the Bigs. He's going to show plenty of flashes of greatness, but to expect him to go out and dazzle every time out, so soon in his career, is just unreasonable. Again, I'm not lowering expectations, I'm just saying I think we saw last night, a below average start for this guy. And if you ask me, that's pretty damn encouraging.

Diamonds Are Forever
*Just to recap the pros and cons of using Heroin, courtesy of Reds outfielder (and my pick for NL rookie of the year) Josh Hamilton. Pros: You get a lot of sleep; You get to play with needles; You meet all sorts of cool people buying and using Heroin; and you get to get cool tats of like dragons and shit on your forearm. Cons: You get your life on track and start playing up to your potential...finally; You start the 2007 season at 3 for 9 with 2 homers and 3 RBI. Hmmm. That's a tough one if you ask me. Would I rather make millions in the big leagues, or never be able to wear flip flops because I shoot the White Horse between my toes? Well, I probably shouldn't be wearing flip flops with my Evolution Toe anyway, so I think I'd stick with playin' pro ball. Good choice Josh. Stay clean brotha! And it's always good for a 4th outfielder when the guy playin' in front of you gets benched for "not hustling". Hit 30 dingers baby, and the post season speed-ball will be my treat. Sooooo coooolllllddd.

*New York Mets starting pitcher Oliver Perez continues to be one of the greatest enigmas in all of baseball. In his first start of the season, @ Atlanta, Perez threw 7 innings, giving up 5 hits, striking out 6, and allowing only one run in an 11-1 New York victory. In his second start, at home against Philly, Perez didn't even make it out of the 3rd, giving up only 3 runs, but walking 7 and hitting 2 more while throwing 73 pitches. Might look like inconsistency on the surface, but when you look at Perez's career, it's more like the norm. In 2004, while with the Pittsburgh Pirates, a then 22 year old Perez went 12-10 with a 2.99 ERA and 239 Ks. Everyone in the world thought this guy was the next big thing. He was lefty, he threw heat, and he had all the pitches in the book. Well, it's 3 years later, and all the Big O has been able to muster since has been a 14-32 mark and a 6.26 ERA. Gross right? But the thing is, every once in a while, he tosses in a game like the one in Atlanta that makes everyone just scratch their head. Why the hell can't this kid do this on a regular basis? At this point, you gotta think it's a mental issue. I can't even begin to speculate why Perez can't keep focused, but somethin' ain't right in his head without question. If Perez can finally get back on track, the Mets will basically have an ace on their staff that they weren't even counting on, and that'll make them extremely tough to beat in the NL. Reality says, he's looking at another year of a few peaks, and a ton of valleys, but that's the thing about enigmas, you never know what they're gonna do next. Tricky bastards.

*Jerry Reisndorf, the fat loser that owns the Chicago White Sox, basically dared Mark Cuban to buy the Chicago Cubs, but the flamboyant Dallas Mavericks owner decided not to pull the trigger. Reinsdorf, who reigned over the Bulls dynasty of the 90's, made it clear that when Cuban's bid for the Mavericks was approved by the league, the vote was 29 to 1 in favor of Cuban. Gee, I wonder who didn't vote for him? I bet it was the fat loser! Truth is Jerry, like him or hate him, Mark Cuban has been great for both the Dallas Mavericks and the NBA. The Cubs would be lucky to have an owner half as passionate and dedicated as Cuban. And besides, they've been run into the ground for how long by the Tribune Company? Reinsdorf shouldn't care who it is that's coming in there, as long as they're better than the current owners! Unless of course he's concerned that if the Cubs pull their heads out of their asses and finally become competitive, then his team, the White Sox, will again be rendered mute. See, with the fat dudes it always comes back to greed. From chicken wings to baseball teams, they can never get enough. Pass that tub of mayonnaise over here, I wanna dip my steak and cheese sub in it.

*Tom Glavine thinks the Major League Baseball season should be shortened to 150 games, and I don't think it's an awful idea. Due to the recent game cancellations due to snow, and peaking with the Indians playing a home series in Milwaukee, Glavine proposes shortening the season to avoid such delays in the future. Silly Tom, don't you know it's all about money? Of course the season should be shortened. Matter of fact, the only major sport that shouldn't shorten it's season is the NFL. Both the NBA and NHL play their regular season about a month too long and have marathon post seasons, making them tough to follow all the way through, especially when your team blows goats. But instead of shortening the season, there's a much simpler solution. How about, gee I don't know, have the cold weather and non dome teams on the road to start the season as frequently as you can. How about it Bud? I talked earlier this week about how Tampa and Toronto (two dome teams) were playing while the Indians were being snowed out, and I also now remember watching Tampa visit the Yanks to start the season. Right, cuz that makes a lot of sense. It's an easy fix, and while the weather probably won't continue to be this cold and harsh in future Aprils, I'm glad this happened. Give another nice wake up call to the powers that be, and shake this schedule up a little. I'd rather wait an extra week to see my Sox at Fenway, then go to a game and sit there in the freezing rain. That is, if I could ever get tickets. But that's a totally different gripe. Donations welcome by the way.

*I think everyone I know, knows that I am not a big fan of David Jonathan Drew, the right fielder for the Boston Red Sox. How do I know this? Well, since the season's started, everyone and their brother has gone out of their way to spew Drew's stats to me, and feed me lines like "oh what's wrong with your man Drew, I thought he was supposed to be hurt already", or "uh oh Rooch, looks like Drew is tearin' it up man, what's up with that?". First off, I never recall saying the guy wasn't talented. If you wanna dig through the archives and prove me wrong, then by all means, but I have just been on the record as saying I don't like the guy, and I don't want him on my team. Furthermore, playing in 8 games does not prove you are not injury prone. Missing 33% of your teams games in your career however, does prove that you're injury prone. That's right, 33%. That's no generalization either. Dude has missed 55 games a year on average for his whole career. Listen, I appreciate the guys offense, and the fact that he's hitting .393 right now on a team that's yet to get it going offensively, but it still doesn't mean I have to like him. When he gets to the break healthy, and he's still living up to his contract ($14.4 mil this season) statistically, then we can talk. Until then, keep sippin' on that Iced CrapaTheo, and just wait for the day Nancy Drew pulls up lamer than Barbaro at an Elmer's convention.

*The results are in. And what started with Ken Griffey Jr. asking for Rachel Robinson's permission to where Jackie's #42 on Sunday to honor his memory, has turned into 150 players (including 5 whole teams) across the league planning to likewise honor Robinson. Some people are saying it cheapens the tribute, but I totally disagree. I think anyone who wants to wear one should be able too. Hell, when they have those decals on their hats in memory of ex players the whole team gets to wear them, so why not now? I feel Ken Griffey Jr. I mean nobody likes to be copied. But hey, imitation is the highest form of flattery isn't it? Besides, what Jackie did for baseball, and for our nation's social structure as a whole, his memory deserves to be honored by as many people possible.

News and Notes
*Seeing as it hasn't exactly "gone away", and people are still bombarding me with questions about it, I'm gonna take one more stab at this whole Don Imus mess. Fresh off an apology tour, NYC shock jock Don Imus was fired today by CBS Radio today for calling the Rutgers woman's basketball team "nappy headed hos". Days after major sponsors like Proctor & Gamble and Staples pulled ad money for his show, and major talking heads like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson are calling for his job, the radio and TV giant finally made the move, and let the controversial host go. Well, now that the other shoe has dropped, and I've even more time to think about the issue, the more I think this is all a witch hunt perpetrated by none other than Imus' employer, CBS. Again, I can't stress enough that I think the guy was in the wrong here, and should be punished, but I'm sorry, the persecution in this case just doesn't seem to be fitting the crime. I've been telling people, that if I had heard the actual broadcast, I'm not sure I would have realized that Imus just created a shit storm. Now why is that? Well, probably because I must hear things 50 times more controversial and insensitive over public radio airways on a weekly basis. That still doesn't make it right, but it also shouldn't make what Imus said so disturbing. And if it was so offensive, then why didn't CBS fire him until after advertisers pulled their money from him? Bunch of frauds, that's why. Face it, the guy made a mistake. He tried to be hip and funny, and he fell flat on his face. But to be made out to be this rampant racist just doesn't seem fair. And who the hell is the good Reverend Jesse Jackson to call out someone for being racially insensitive? Isn't this the same guy that went "Mel Gibson" before Mel Gibson did? I mean what the hell. If your on the record as an anti-Semite, I'm gonna go ahead and say you shouldn't speak on this issue. Let alone threaten to picket outside of CBS headquarters with your buddy Al. Actually, on second thought, I might have fired Imus too if it meant I could keep Jesse Jackson off of my property. Not because I didn't want the publicity, I just don't want his phony gold digging ass on my property spewing his reverse racist propaganda. Shut your mouth Jesse, you're done. Wanna know what makes more sense to me? Rumor has it, CBS has long since grown tired of Imus and this latest event was a convenient way to send him packing. I mean, I'm sure this was in no way in response to the fact that his listenership had gone done 33% over the past 18 months right? (according to Arbitron) Oh, of course not. Think about it. You have a guy that's still popular, but only to a demographic that is becoming increasingly irrelevant in terms of marketing. All you need is an excuse to get rid of him, and one drops right into your lap. A coincidence? Yea, and if you believe that I have John Rocker's Guide to the NYC Subway System to sell you on eBay. I see why Imus is being punished, as he should be, I just don't get how this has turned into such a huge deal. Maybe just because it crosses over into sports? Or because he personalized his hatred towards a specific group of young women? That's still not enough for me. If a black sports radio host said the Ivy League could never thrive in football because their players are all slow ass honkeys, would the reaction be similar? No freakin' way. I think Imus is being made an example of, but not by the right people, and for all the wrong reasons. He's probably over stayed his welcome on the radio, but there's no way he deserved to go out like this. Lucky for his fans, I'm sure he'll be on satellite faster than you can say Nappy Roots...ya know..the rap group?

*Another topic I briefly touched on earlier in the week was the year long suspension of Tennessee Titan Adam "Pacman" Jones and the 8 game suspension of Bengal wide receiver Chris Henry. Well, for starters, don't think these things are going to be overturned. My knee jerk reaction was "there's no way the union let's this slide", but upon further review, I'm signing a different tune. Even though the players union would probably be well within their rights to challenge the punishment by commissioner Roger Goodell, they know they'll be better off in the long run if the suspensions stick. It sends the message to the players that constantly having run ins with the law is not acceptable, and it tells the fans that the league isn't gonna let itself become overrun with thugs like a certain other league (I don't want to say which one, but I'll give you a hint: there's a man in this league that may or may not have raped and pillaged a white woman in Colorado.....ya know what, that doesn't narrow it down as much as I'd hoped). I hope for Pacman's sake, that he can use this year to get his mind right and get back on the field, but we'll have to wait that one out for sure. I mean I'm pretty sure the guy has yet to go 12 months in his adult life without mixin' it up with the 5.0, so to think he can do it now might be a little too much wishful thinking. And hey, what's with both of these guys being former West Virginia Mountaineers? Just a coincidence? Or does the land of inbreeding, moonshine brewin' and couch burnin' just have this effect on the 'utes of the nation. Why can't they just come out of WVU with a Skoal addiction and a Confederate flag tat like the rest of those hicks? Did we learn nothing as a culture from Kevin Pittsnoggle? Shame on you boys, shame on you.

*Everybody loves the NFL. They know we love it. We're all officially hooked, and we now need football news 24/7/365. A delicious "fix" if you will. That's why when the NFL released it's schedule for the upcoming season, shenanigans ensue. First, the league said it was going to release the schedule last week, but at the last minute pulled back and delayed the unveiling. Right, I'm buying that as anything other than trying to build hype. And then, both the NFL Network and ESPN interrupted their programming to bring you multiple hour long analysis of the damn thing. Gotta love that. I mean I guess ESPN only had to interrupt the "Stump That Fat Chip Eating Loser" show, but still it shows how big the NFL marketing machine is, doesn't it? I mean the schedule gets it's own show now? What's next, the NFL is going to have it's own network? (note: if they do start a network they should really tag that groovy Rich Eisen from ESPN to run it, talk about can't miss!) Hey, I'm not hating, because like I said, I love the NFL, so I can never get enough. That being said, here's a look at the New England Patriots schedule for the 2007 season, or as I've already named it "The Path to 19-0". (the opponents record from last year is in parenthesis for all you non Mensa members out there)

Week 1: 9/9 @ New York Jets (10-6)
Week 2: 9/16 vs San Diego Chargers (14-2)
Week 3: 9/23 vs Buffalo Bills (7-9)
Week 4: 10/1 @ Cincinnati Bengals (8-8)
Week 5: 10/7 vs Cleveland Browns (4-12)
Week 6: 10/14 @ Dallas Cowboys (9-7)
Week 7: 10/21 @ Miami Dolphins (6-10)
Week 8: 10/28 vs Washington Redskins (5-11)
Week 9: 11/4 @ Indianapolis Colts (12-4)
Week 10: BYE WEEK
Week 11: 11/18 @ Buffalo Bills (7-9)
Week 12: 11/25 vs Philadelphia Eagles (10-6)
Week 13: 12/3 @ Baltimore Ravens (13-3)
Week 14: 12/9 vs Pittsburgh Steelers (8-8)
Week 15: 12/16 vs New York Jets (10-6)
Week 16: 12/23 vs Miami Dolphins (6-10)
Week 17: 12/29 @ New York Giants (8-8)

Just a few facts on the schedule that I thought you might enjoy. I don't wanna get too into because, well, it is still freaking April, but here's a little somethin' somethin' to nibble on.

- The Patriots play 2 Monday Night games; October 1st @ Cincinnati and December 3rd @ Baltimore. They also have 3 Sunday Night games; September 16th vs San Diego, November 25th vs Philadelphia, and December 29th @ the Giants.

-Using their '07 opponents combined records from last season, the Patriots have the 2nd toughest schedule in the league this year, behind only the Raiders and Bills. Their opponents combined winning % from last year is .535, Raiders and Bills, .539.

-The Pats do not play a single team this year that will be coming off of their bye week. Always a good thing when a team doesn't have any more time to plan for you than you have to prepare for them.

-The furthest the Pats have to go for a road game is to Dallas and Miami. Gotta love no west coast trips for an entire season.

-After the bye, the Patriots play teams that were a combined 62-50 to close the season. Good thing 4 of those final 7 are at home, and the road trips are only to Buffalo, Jersey and Baltimore.

I didn't bother breaking down the matchups this time around, because it is still April after all. I mean, I still know they are going to go 19-0, I just need more time to accuarately break down exactly how it's going to happen. And don't think I've forgotten about the draft. Why rush though, still plenty of time to cast my awfully wrong guesses at who the Pats might draft this year, so stay tuned...

*I've always thought it was unfair that the allegations and accusations in legal cases always make the front page, yet retractions or case dismissals always get buried in the back pages. Hey, I know that's the way the media business works, always thriving on the hot story, but I just get pissed when I see innocent people getting a raw deal. That's why I want to make sure that after I chronicled the case so much, I wanted to give equal attention to the fact that this week, all charges were dropped in the Duke Lacrosse sex scandal. Yup, after North Carolina district attorney Mike Nifong dragged the good names of David Evans, Reade Seligmann and Collin Finnerty through the mud, he had to turn around to apologize to the 3 former lacrosse stars. Nifong botched this thing up so badly in the eyes of the public, that he's since been fired as the DA. What a scrub. And I don't want to take the stance that a lot of people are taking, bashing the accuser. Hey, strippers are people too, and scam artists are also people. It's not this woman's fault that she reported a rape. I wasn't there, maybe she was raped. However, it is the job of the police and the DA to make sure a case like that doesn't barrell out of control. In that aspect, they failed miserably, and left a path of smeared reputations in their wake. I mean it's nice to be vindicated if you're the players, but it would be even better if you weren't forever know as "the dude from that Duke lacrosse rape thing". Sure we all like nicknames, but I'm sure that's one almost anyone other than Orenthal James Simpson would rather do without. For OJ, it's a few notches better than "the guy that brutally murdered his ex wife and her man friend", but you see what I mean for th rest of us. Let's just hope that these boys can move on with their lives, and if indeed there was a crime committed that night, let's hope that some justice can still eventually be done.
*In Boston, the talk these days regarding the Celts usually centers around who the C's could snag at the top of this year's draft. Some lean towards Texas phenom Kevin Durant, but most covet the big man from Ohio St., Greg "No ID necessary for that beer sir" Oden. Well, that is everybody but current Celtic big man, Al Jefferson. Big Al, who'shaving a breakout year for the C's averaging15.8 points and 10.9 boards a game, told Boston Globe's Jackie MacMullan that Boston "already had a guy at that position", obviously referring to himself. Hold the phone here. Someone needs to expalin to Al, that after we waited on his ass to develop into a stud, we aren't just gonna toss him aside. They need to explain to him, that right now in his young career, Oden is a defensive specialist, that will get most of his points cleaning up on the glass. The two of them can not only exist together, but you would have to think, with Oden occupying the opposite block, Jefferson would even thrive. The guy hasn't even declared for the draft, not to mention the C's still don't have a great shot at landing him even if he does, and yet Jefferson is already feelin' the heat. Be easy big fella, it's all speculation. But you gotta understand, he'll make you all better, and in the long run he could make you all title contenders. Dear God slap my mouth. Oh well, at least I didn't use the words "Celtics" and "contender" in the same sentence. Shit!

*In the recent weeks, for no apparent reason, I've found myself talking to many people about ho good of an actor Will Ferrell is. I think the guy is hysterical. I don't think all his movies are great (Talladega Nights, Stranger Than Fiction, Bewitched, Kicking and Screaming are all beat!), and truth be told most people like him a lot more than I do (I don't love Old School or Wedding Crashers). That being said, the guy is still damn funny. And while I'm not looking to get into an argument over how funny he may or may not be yet again, I do want to show you this. We used to watch this clip all the time up at the Cuse, yet all the people I've been discussing Ferrell with the past few days have never seen it. So here it is, in all it's glory. Stiller, Sands, Fallon and Ferrell. You're so much cooler than Joe Walsh. I'm Glen Frey...and the H...is O. Make sure you got the volume up for this one kids...


And sure enough, right after I finished typing that story, I'm hit with the news that Ferrell is set to compete in a charity swim match against USC head football coach, Pete Carroll. I think Will Ferrell is somehow stalking my brain! (at least he's a USC alum though, so this story makes a little more sense than it appears on the surface. Let's just hope he doesn't get a movie idea from this, because apparently Bernie Mac's first trip to a pool inspired his last film.)

And just because I can, here's Devin Hester LIVE and in all his glory, signing "Take Me Out to the Ball Game". Well, at least he's giving it the ole' Miami Hurricane try right? I just wanna know why a guy with an "S" in his name, choses not to pronounce them so frequently. Eh, maybe it's just me/he can't speak English. Enjoy...


*And I got myself one very important retraction this week. You know I don't want you guys going out and telling people you heard somethin' from me, only for you to be wrong, so I wanna make sure I get the facts straight on this one. I previously reported on this site that the model for the Right Guard RGX body spray campaign was April Scott. Well, let this be a lesson to us all that you can't believe everything you read on the Internet. Damn you Al Gore! However, I have nailed down the actual identity of the potential Rooch-baby-basket, and her name is Rachel Specter. Right Guard RGX body spray: "Never has smelling this good, given you wood". Now we just need Hanes to hire her to team with Jennifer Love Hewitt. Those bra ads are still causing me to have a full body sex seisure every time it's on. Hey there!

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