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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Sox, Pats Suffer From "The Sprain"...



You know that weird feeling you get? When you're watching a re-run of an old TV show, and the character you like is just about to do something really stupid that's going to get them into a lot of trouble? You know, like when Zack Morris kisses Lisa Turtle, and Screech sees it? You know it's coming, yet you hope beyond reason that maybe somehow, in this episode, they rewrote it and Zack doesn't crush the hopes and dreams of his hapless best friend. If you're me, sometimes you even turn the channel to avoid seeing it...


I mean come on, Lisa, what kind of skank are you? That nerd danced with you when you had a busted foot, for crying out loud! Sure he's tried to exploit himself in his post "Bell" life by whipping out his dong and fighting Jose Canseco, but he was there for you when you needed him! You insensitive whore! Do you truly and honestly not remember "The Sprain"? I know Casey Kasem hasn't forgotten it, and Lord knows he's got enough goin' on where he could be forgiven. The guy voiced Shaggy in Scooby Doo for crying out loud! And lemme tell you right now, under no circumstance would you see Casey, or Shaggy for that matter, making out with Zack. I don't care how big his cell phone was, or how mushy and heartfelt his request and dedication...

Freakin' Lisa Turtle. What a tramp...

Lucky for me, her indiscretion in the story I just rambled on about, relates directly to the blood bath that was this past weekend in New England sports. You could see it coming, but you just couldn't turn away. In the end, all you're left with is a lot of "what if's", a couple "what happened's", and a curly haired reject trying to peddle his johnson tape on the Intraweb...

But seriously, the situation that particular Saved By The Bell episode presented really is relevant to the fall of both the Sox and Pats. You saw it coming, yet you couldn't turn away, and it happened to someone, or in this case some thing, that you really cared about, and wanted to see succeed. You watched knowing that everything might not be OK in the end, and when the end finally came, you found yourself looking at thing's from a totally different perspective...

Well I'm here to let you know it's OK. The world hasn't ended, and reality has not been flipped on it's head. The Sox season might be over, and the Patriots in an unusual state of uncertainty, but that doesn't mean you should never turn the show back on, or assume that there's something wrong with the show just because a few of the main characters made a few less than wise decisions. Up is not down, and black is not white. It's just that sometimes friends make mistakes, and sometimes, teams lose because they were just outplayed. But hey, it's just one episode. Nothing to get your panites in a bunch over, Preppy...

Get your sprain on, and take a look at what I mean..


Patriots Update
Overall: 3-2, 2nd place in AFC East

Last Week: Denver Broncos 20 New England Patriots 17 F/OT

Like Zack, with his slick charm to match his slick blond locks, the Broncos were just smoother and more prepared than the Pats. OR in this case, "The Screech's"...

Josh McDaniels had his massive cell phone out (which he no doubt bought from Mike Tomlin), and he was dialed in to his mentor's game plan. It seemed that no matter what they tried, which isn't to say they really strayed from the norm, but whatever they tried in the 2nd half especially, the Broncos seemed to have an answer for. Not as if their scheme totally baffled the Patriots, or anything like that, but in combination with New England's inability to make fairly typical plays, it was more than enough for the win...

Some self imposed mistakes? How about Randy Moss having just one catch, for 36 yards, despite barely ever being covered by #1 corner, Champ Bailey. In reality, the reason Moss caught just as many balls from Brady as he did from Orton (that pick was pretty cool), was because Tom was unable to hit him on several key throws. Not because he was hurried, not because coverage was disguised, but simply because he wasn't able to put the ball in the right place at the right time...

I don't wanna sell the Denver scheme short, though. I did think that double teaming Moss with 2 lesser defenders and leaving Bailey to take away a lesser WR with a 1-on-1 match up was a good game plan, I just don't think it should have been enough. Ya know, considering Welker was having no problem getting open (8 catches 86 yards), and that Brady usually doesn't care who's open. Problem is, if Brady is having trouble making the throws, then the offense just isn't going to click. Sounds simple to the point of idiotic, but ouside of Indy, there isn't an offense more based on timing and rhythm than the one employed by the gang in Foxboro. If Brady isn't making the throws, then the offense just can't be effective. Period. I'm not writing off the season and calling Brady a has been, far from it, I'm just saying that until he starts making the key throws like Brady of old, this team and it's fan base will have to greatly temper their expectations. Yours truly included...

At the start of the season, I felt that the defense would ultimately be this team's Achilles heal, but that it wouldn't jump up to bite them until the play offs. Now, it seems that with the way the offense is sputtering, it's Brady and Co. that will prevent this team from winning any big games away from Gillette Stadium, and could not so much lead to their demise, but retard their potential growth and success. Yes, I love using the word "retard" when it's appropriate, and I advise you to do the same. It's rather therapeutic...

As we've watched the Jets drop 2 tough road games to New Orleans and Miami in wake of their win over the Pats, we can expect much of the same from Bill and the Boys until they get their game in gear. Not comparing the two teams, just comparing their performance and expectations. Great teams win tough road games. Good teams win at home, compete in tough road games, but ultimately only win the away games that their really "supposed" to win...

Is this what we can expect from the Patriots from here on out? As indecisive as it sounds, I still don't know. The fan in me knows what Brady can do, and has faith that he can return to his old form, but the pundit in me knows what I've seen and is very wary of the signal caller's ability to turn it around mid season. In my opinion, Brady and the Pats performance is very reminiscent of their play in 2006. A season in which they were good at 12-4, but unable to hold off the Colts in the AFC Championship game. They were good, they just weren't good enough, and if you recall, they were fortunate to even have escaped San Diego in the Divisional round...

That's what they've become. A "good" team that's going to need some breaks if they're going to make it anywhere. That is, if they aren't able to get the offense back in gear...

Tennessee, Tampa and a bye should help right the ship, but who knows what havoc that trip to London could possibly bring. All I know, is that if Brady and the Boys aren't slingin' the pill around like their capable of by week 9 against the Phins, then the following weeks @ Indy, @ NO and at home against the Jets could very well mark the beginning of a very slow, painful, and confusing end...

I have faith they can turn it around, but I have to see it before I believe it. IF I don't see it, then we can start making reservations at The Max for our post season banquet right here and now. Hopefully Slater can get time off from "The Great American Ted-Off" or his latest film shoot of "Greg Louganis II: Diving Into Hell" to emcee the event, but if he can't, I'm sure Tori will fill in just fine. Such a renegade chick, with her leather jacket and devil may care attitude. I totally get what Zack saw in her. I mean why go after Tiffany Amber Theissen when you can have Jodi Foster's surrogate, right? Makes sense to me...


Now, onto that other team from the Bean. The one that caused all this "The Hub is Burning!" mass hysteria when they decided to pull a come from ahead tank job...


Red Sox Update
The Red Sox fit the Saved By the Bell mold based mostly on the knee jerk reaction factor, and the fact that the better man got the girl...

Face it. When it comes down to brass tacks, the Sox would be "Screech" and the Pats would really just be more of a "Samuel Powers". Theirs was the game on Sunday where I really couldn't turn away, knowing that it was only a matter of moments before the inevitable doom would show itself, and my heart would be crushed into a thousand little sock shaped pieces...

But if non-plot driven TV has ever taught us anything, it's that just because we didn't like the way one show ended, doesn't mean those consequences are going to carry over into the next episode. I mean, do you recall any sort of long romance between Zack and Lisa? I sure as Hell don't. Each episode is, unto itself, it's own little universe. It's own little moment in time. Just like a baseball season, or to be more specific, just like a season ending play off series...

Sure Jonathan Papelbon may have blown the game, but does that mean he needs to be traded before Halloween? I mean, come on, people! I know we've all been wary of Papelbon's eventual dash for the cash, but just because Pap blowing the game is the last thing you'll remember from this season, doesn't mean he's the one to blame, or that he's the key to fixing the team. Listen, Jonathan Papelbon might be traded this off season, but it will have NOTHING to do with his performance. If they trade him, it will be because either he's holding out for more money, or the front office gets bowled over by a deal. Most likely a deal involving a major bat in the middle of the lineup. Seeing as that type of deal is unlikely, at least straight up, do to the lack of potential players that fit that mold and Papelbon's expiring contract, I just don't see it happening. The goal of the management is to stay as young and inexpensive as possible, while at the same time competing at the highest level. Paps is still controlled under arbitration, and is still one of the best closer's in the game. He fits their mold to a T! Why on Earth would they "want" to get rid of him?...

Like I said. Take a step back, change the channel, and come back and watch the next episode. When the plot line has been reset, and all the actors returned to "first positions", I think you'll find the cast much to your liking, and much the same as the one you've always remembered...

Essentially, the two things I'm trying to say here, are that the better team blatantly won this series, and there's no need for Red Sox Nation to be up in arms, calling for the end of the world and demanding that drastic changes be made...

In Theo we trust, right? What ever happened to that? Do you not think that Theo Epstein knows the areas in which this team needs to be improved? I think he's well aware of the holes in the lineup myself, and I feel he'll take whatever steps necessary in order to make sure this team's able to make another strong run at the World Series in 2010. I know there are questions about Bay, Pap, Ortiz, Varitek and others, but that's his job, to deal with that shit. And as far as I'm concerned, JD Drew aside, he's been doing a very good job...

And the game series itself? I'm pretty sure 15 total hits and 7 total runs tell the tale there. The Angels were just the better team. They out-piched the Red Sox, out-hit the Red Sox, and even showed that killer instinct in game 3, a situation in which they could have easily folded up shop. They were the better team, they deserved to win, and they won. Simple as that. I wanted the Sox to win as much as the next guy, and while game 3 ended in excruciating fashion, I can't say the result left me in nearly the shock and discomfort as it did most of you. Disappointing? Of course it was. But how surprising really is a 3 game sweep when you were down 0-2 and had yet to produce any legitimate offense? In a word, it wasn't. Not at all...

But hey, I'm as optimistic as the next guy, and I'm already looking forward to next season. My advice to you, is to do the same. Take your time to mourn the loss, of course, but don't let your emotions get the best of you. It's time like this where reasonable minds need to make important decisions. If you let emotions get in the way? Well that, my friends, is how you turn into the Oakland Raiders...

So calm down, kids. The season might be over, but that doesn't mean the show won't go on. Take some time to enjoy the rest of the playoffs. Turn your angst into cheering against the Yankees if you must, just don't turn away. It's the game that's great, or in this case, it's the "show"...

Trust me, when you tune in to the next episode, Screech will be chasing Lisa, and "Preppy" will be well into his next scheme on how to get Kelly back. It's the way the world works. It's just that sometimes, we get so upset that we lose focus...

Say it with me now. B-ba-B-ba-ba-ba-B GO BAYSIDE!...


And to finish up this seemingly abbreviated edition of the Nation, just a little housekeeping. I know you're all dying to hear about how my picks fared and the state of my fantasy team, and who am I to disappoint?...


My Picks
NFL
Last Week: 10-4-0 (Top Picks: 5-3-0)

Overall: 45-33-0 (.577)

Top Picks: 16-14-0 (.533)

Lock of the Week: 2-1-0

NCAA
Last Week: 11-6-0

Overall: 44-30-2 (.592)

That's 2 for 2 on the Bearded Lock the last 2 weeks, and @ 10-4 this week, I've turned into a regular picking machine. Fact of the matter is, I win, and I win frequently. If you're still not up on that, I advise you get with the program. I can be found in the Table of Contents under "bank", as in "money in the"...

Shorty what's ya drank...

Especially this shorty. I'd buy her whatever her heart desired. Even if she was evil on 90210 for a while. That just made her even more desirable. Naughty girl. Her suspenders are about to burst and she don't care who's lookin'! Oh!...


Fantasy Update
Overall: 1-4-0, 12th place overall

Last Week: Thanks Ted 41 Team FraudfulsReturn 62

Next Week vs Chone Saggio (3-2-0)

12th in the standings, 5th in points, and I'm now getting heat on the message board for constantly bringing that up. Ha! Hey, what can I say? It is my league, after all...

No excuses this week, though, as my team hit the bye week blues minus Rodgers and Driver, and were forced to suffer through Bobby Wade and Derek Anderson. Freaking Derek Anderson. That's another thing! I can't even get a little sympathy that I just so happened to start a guy when he had the worst game in NFL history, in the same week where my defense pulled the single greatest negative point turnaround (-45) in fantasy history! Ya know, cuz that's normal stuff, that usually happens to everybody...

Whatever. Like I said, I had pretty much assumed I was going to lose this week when I decided not to draft a legitimate backup QB, so it's not that surprising. It's just I didn't expect to lose twice with the 3rd highest point total of the week, and be sitting at 1-3 when the bye week rolled around. Just a bad year for fantasy, I guess, and as my boy Sabby pointed out as he was bitching on the message board, maybe it's just the law of averages catching up with my past success (obviously he wasn't in my baseball league). I hope so, Sab. I hope so. That means I'm in for one Hell of a finish, one where I apparently will be able to win two games in which I score the 3rd fewest points that week...

Yeah, I don't like my chances either...


Have a great week, friends. And I'll see you at The Max...

Oh and if Glorida Estefan won't sign your forehead, I won't either. But I will let you scracth my beard...

Me gustan los Dolfines?...

Teddy Williams...

100...

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