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Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Pats Hit the Ground Runnin' Like Randy Moss!

BEATDOWNS LIVE HERE
I know it's only game one, but to not be impressed by New England's straight undressing of the New York Jets over the weekend is virtually impossible. With their 38-14 drubbing of their division "rival", the Pats served notice to the rest of the league that not only are they the team to beat in '07, but that all of their new additions are going to make them almost unstoppable. Whether it was Randy Moss torching the defense for 183 yards and a score, Wes Welker matching his '06 TD total in the first game of the season, or Adalius Thomas displaying his freakish athletic ability on almost every down, it was tough to ignore that these new guys came to play, and expect to win. We're talking about a team that played without Richard Seymour and Roidney Harrison, and still made the Jets look like Syracuse Orangepeople. You see Randy Moss blow by the entire Jet defense, or Ellis Hobbs rip the special teams for an NFL record 108 yard kickoff return? How about Jarvis Green, filling in for Richard Seymour and getting 3 sacks to pace the defense? I mean seriously, what was there not to love about that performance? The o-line was great, the d-line was great, everything was great. That is, unless you think the Patriots were cheating....
That's right. I'm sure by now you've heard that the New York Jets are alleging that the Patriots had a cameraman on their sideline whose job it was to spy on the Jets play callers and steal signals. Also reported, was that the Pats had been warned about this behavior before, and that the same cameraman who was caught this time, had been caught previously and reported to the league by officials in Detroit, Buffalo and Green Bay. Could the Patriots be cheating? Of course they could be. I certainly wouldn't put it past them, that's for sure. This is the team that's constantly looking for an edge, and if they've been doing this for years without any repercussions, then you have to believe they were going to keep doing it. I don't condone the behavior, but if the league has seen it fit to let it go on in the past, then I don't see an issue with it. Now, I've also been told by a source that a league wide memo went out before the season started, warning teams of exactly this sort of practice. If that's true, and the Patriots violated the policy anyway, then I'm gonna have some serious issues. But for now, it's just a witch hunt, and for all we know, Belichick put that guy there on purpose just to mess with Mangini's head, and the tape confiscated by the NFL is really just a copy of "Da Ali G Movie". After all, Bill the genius had to know that Eric would be privy to his scam right? Stay tuned for more on this one as I'm sure we've only just scratched the surface, although hopefully not...

Patriots Update
Last Week: New England 38 New York Jets 14
Overall: 1-0

Next Week: vs San Diego Chargers (1-0) on Sunday night

Tackle Box
*You think you learn a lot of things after watching the week 1 games in the NFL, and while sometimes you find out you jumped the gun by making assumptions after only one game, there are other times where things are so obvious that they might as well be screamed from the nearest bell tower, bridge, or simply any tall, phallic structure. Here's what I learned...
-The Cleveland Browns are quickly moving into contention with the LA Clippers as the worst franchise in all of professional sports. Not only did they get blown out 34-7 at home against rival Pittsburgh, but when they made a QB change in the 2nd quarter, they didn't even make the move to Brady Quinn! Not only that, but now they've dealt week 1 starter Charlie Frye to the Seahawks, and brought in Brady Quinn mentor to be, Ken Dorsey? Guess there's a reason Cleveland is often referred to as "The Mistake By the Lake". Let the firing begin...

-It's pretty apparent that the Giants are in for one hell of a whirl wind season. It's enough that Tiki, Eli, Strahan and Coughlin are all takin' shots at each other in the media, but to injure your starting RB, DE and QB in a week one blowout loss? Never a good thing. At least it will make for good headlines in the Post for the next few months...

-Herm Edwards is still by far and away the worst coach in the NFL, but Wade Phillips is the ugliest. Guess we should have expected as much from a guy who's dad is named "Bum"....

-Rex Grossman still sucks, but it appears yet again that the Bears defense will be enough to carry them to another good record in the lowly NFC...

-Vikings RB Adrian Peterson has all but locked up Rookie of the Year honors in my mind with his 163 total yard performance in week 1 against Atlanta. And oh yea, he's only going to get more touches now that Chester Taylor is dinged up...

-Monday Night Football is so overproduced, that Chad Jackson's 12 minute TD celebration seemed right at home. They got the revamped "Are You Ready For Some Football" song, with Brian Setzer for some odd reason, they got Samuel L. Jackson doin' some sort of Ray Lewis vs Chad Johnson montage, and you have Michael Wilbon poppin' in every 10 minutes to tease Tony Kornheiser. You asked us if we were ready for football, and we said yes dammit! So give us football! We don't want all this other garbage. Good analysis, maybe a few funny bits, fine. But this is getting a little absurd...

*One last football note for the week. Last week, I said I was going to give my MVP and other predictions for the 2007, but failed to deliver. Seeing as I'm a man of my word, here they are. Enjoy

MVP: Tom Brady, Super Bowl Champion (and possible serial cheaters) New England Patriots
*Did you see his week 1 performance? He's got all the weapons he could possible need, and he was already the best decision maker in the league. This year, he'll finally have the numbers, and the voters will have no choice but to vote him MVP...

Defensive Player of the Year: Bob Sanders, Indianapolis Colts
*The Colts are a Super Bowl contender, and when I looked at all the contenders for their "difference maker" on defense, Sanders was the only one that really stood out. I think it was obvious last season that they were a totally different unit with him on the field, and I think that's going to continue to be the case this season...

Rookie of the Year: Adrian Peterson, Minnesota Vikings
*Again, did you see this guy? A lot of people want to tag Peterson as "injury prone", but the injuries he suffered at Oklahoma were basically just random. Look for this guys touches to increase as the season goes on, and watch him make at least one SportsCenter worthy run a week. Good o-line, week QB = lots of rushes, yards, and TDs for AP in '07...

Coach of the Year: Gary Kubiak, Houston Texans
*This isn't so much a knee jerk reaction to the Texans blowout of Kansas Shitty in week 1, as it is a prediction of things to come. Last week I said the Texans would be a team on the rise at season's end, and I think the voters will take that into consideration when making their decision. He's gonna do a lot with a little, and will be rewarded appropriately with this distinction. That's right, a Texan is going to win an award, so brace yourself...

My NFL Picks
Week 1: 1-5-1 (.214)

*Speaking of bracing yourself. If I said I was surprised that I took it on the chin this week, I'd be lying to ya. Not to make excuses, but week one is the hardest, and I always seem to bomb the first week out. Maybe that's why my post season football predictions are never right. Hmmmmm. Well, I guarantee I bounce back strong in the next two weeks or so, so stay tuned, and don't press the panic button quite yet.

Red Sox Update
Overall: 87-58, 1st in AL East by 5 games
Status: There's two more with Tampa, and then 3 at home with the Yanks. I guess it's still a pseudo race, but with both teams virtually guaranteed of a post season birth, I can't say I'm really all that concerned. I'm still pumped for the games, mind you, I just still refuse to view them as crucial for the post season. What I do view as crucial is the health of Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz. If these guys are good to go, then things should be straight. But if we keep chuckin' doughnuts up there on the scoreboard, at home mind you, I might start to shake a little in my custom made NIKEs.

*One final Sox note. Wily Mo Pena has hit as many home runs (7) with the Washington Nationals in 72 at bats, as David Jonathan Drew has hit with the Red Sox in 413 at bats. Holy shit, does that guy suck, or what?

Diamonds Are Forever
*Other than the impending playoffs, which now seem like a formality for Sox and Yankee fans, the only story of note in the bigs these days is the rapid rise, and possible fall, of super freak, Rick Ankiel. There's a report out there that he was busted in the same probe that nailed Patriot Roidney Harrison for buying HGH on the Internet, but Ankiel claims he used it before the league made it illegal. True or not, there goes another courageous and inspiring story down the tubes. Last time I checked, Roy "The Natural" Hobbs, the one compared to Ankiel because of his long hiatus between being a big time pitcher and a big time slugger, never used HGH, and never had to dodge questions in the media about it. Sure, he may have been shot by a hooker, but I fail to see how that was really his fault. Truth is I'm just disappointed, that true or not, another great story has been tarnished, and yet another black eye has been dealt to a game that seems to welcome them these days...

News and Notes
*Two of my favorite athletes proved yet again this weekend why they are truly once in a lifetime talents. Of course, I'm talking about homeboy #1, Tiger Woods, and homeboy #2, Roger Federer. Personally, I call them T-Money and R-Fed, but that's because they are my friends, so don't you go tryin' it. Both guys took home their respective titles this weekend, Roger the US Open (his 4th in a row) and Tiger the Mercedes Championship (to move into first in the FedEx Cup playoff). I know I say this all the time, but I'm just serving notice. Watch these guys play whenever you get the chance. They are once in a lifetime talents, and they could each be the best their sport has ever seen. I know they aren't the most popular sports out there, but these guys are more than worth the price of admission, and if you miss them in their prime like this, you're gonna be sorry.

*Michigan running back, and Syracuse native, Mike Hart has guaranteed a Michigan victory over Notre Dame this upcoming weekend. Oh, I'm sorry, I forgot that nobody gives a crap about two 0-2 teams with no aspirations of going anywhere other than the San Diego Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl this year. See, Mike. If you had gone to the Cuse, you could be making meaningful guarantees like, "I guarantee coach Greg Robinson will not have a job next year". Oh, guess you could say that about your coach, Lloyd Carr. Then your just useless to me, aren't you Mikey?
Fantasy Update
Football
Week 1: Make It Reign! 105 Rock of Love 65

Next Week vs Drunksco (1-0)

*Well, my team put up an assload of points (#1 in the league), but Eli Manning got dinged up. Story of my fantasy life. However, what makes this year different, is the team surrounding Manning looks good enough to survive, and possibly thrive, if indeed the Giants QB is laid up for a month. Take into account that I really only played 9 guys this week because Eddie Kennison was injured on the Chiefs first play from scrimmage, and I still led the league in points. Matter of fact, if Eli, my leading scorer, hadn't of played at all, I still would have won my game by 11, and would have beaten all but 4 of the teams in the league this week. So, while it's not a great situation, I'm hoping I can get by this week with Tavaris Jackson, and sort out my QB situation as I see fit. As for this week's match up, of course it's against Frosco. We both come in undefeated, and despite the fact my squad might be going through some slight turmoil, I still plan on crushing him into the fine powder that he likes to.....wait a minute. Let's just say I'm going to beat his ass, OK? Time to Make It Reign, bitches!

Baseball
*Finally, I have to end on an extremely sour note. The quest for the tiny trophy is over, and it really couldn't have happened in a more appropriate way. After tying in the first round of the playoffs 10-10-4, my team was booted to the consolation bracket without any explanation. I was the higher seed, there was no tiebreaker in place, yet for some reason I am again on the outside looking it. I guess I should have expected this from a league made by a bunch of Florida St. kids. I mean honestly, it's a football school, and if their football team is this bad, imagine how awful the academics must be, right?

On a serious note. I hope that everyone takes time out today to remember that tragedy that was the terroist attacks on September 11th, 2001. Thousands of people died on that ominous day, whether they were in the Trade Center going about their normal day at work, or rescue workers trying to save those trapped inside. That day will live on forever as a reminder of the price we pay for freedom in this country, and while we have to move foward as a country, to forget those who gave their lives, would be to forget that it ever happened, and that would be a disgrace. Those people are forever in my heart, and my thoughts and prayers go out to their families on the anniversary of what must be a most difficult day...

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