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Tom Brady: telemarketer and mullet aficionado. (Boston Globe)

Thank Belichick that Tom Brady recovered from his early season swoon to quiet all the calls for him to be traded, cast off, sent sailing into the sunset of retirement to thereby save us all from seeing a Hall of Fame quarterback in decline.

I say this not only as a New England Patriots fan (too) heavily invested in how my football team fares, but also as someone glad to avoid what Brady’s alternative, post-football career potentially would have been.

Because if the DailyMVP commercial starring Brady even approaches half-truth, we’d be looking at Gary the Telemarketer, daily fantasy football MVP and office champion, instead of Tom Brady, two time NFL MVP and three time Super Bowl champion:

Continue reading Video: Tom Brady, Professional Telemarketer and Part-Time Fantasy Trash Talker? »

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Jon Lester

Multiple sources are reporting that the Los Angeles Dodgers may make a last minute bid for Jon Lester. This would leave the other teams bidding for Lester, namely the Chicago Cubs, San Francisco Giants, St. Louis Cardinals, Atlanta Braves, and the Boston Red Sox in trouble.

The Dodgers have Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke. Lester would make a lethal number three in their rotation. He also would provide some rotation security for the Dodgers in years to come with Greinke’s contract complete with an opt-out clause after the 2015 season to the tune of $147 million.

Continue reading Los Angeles Dodgers Show Interest in Jon Lester, Reports Say »

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LM OTERO/AP PHOTO

One day after blowing a 23-point road lead in Atlanta and extending their current losing streak to five games, the Celtics have finally received some good news. Marcus Smart is expected to come back from his 10-game injury absence on Wednesday at home against the Detroit Pistons. The Celtics have compiled an unimpressive 2-8 record during Smart’s absence, but his return hopefully will help alleviate some of their woes.

C’s head coach Brad Stevens called out his team about not being tough enough when faced with adversity. In an article by ESPN Boston’s Chris Forsberg, Stevens was quoted as saying, “When it comes easy, we’ve been good. When it gets tough, we haven’t. … Simple formula.” Continue reading Marcus Smart Expected to Return on Wednesday »

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Cardinals vs Patriots: Week 13's prediction for the Super Bowl

Just a month remains in the season. Nobody has clinched a spot yet, though Denver and Indianapolis will get the first chances next week. Cincinnati suddenly has some breathing room in the still highly competitive AFC North. Atlanta and New Orleans continue to lead the NFC South at 5-7, where even 2-10 Tampa still has a shot at the postseason and where talk for playoff reseeding continues to fall on the NFL’s deaf ears. The NFC’s top spot has a three-way tie going, and after a rough patch, Seattle all of a sudden could easily wind up as #1 by season’s end again. With so many ways the season could go in the last four games, let’s look at what would happen if the playoffs started as of Tuesday, December 2: Continue reading If the Playoffs Started Today – NFL Week 13 »

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Jordy Nelson's late first half 45-yard touchdown proved to be the difference in Sunday's showdown. (AP Photo/Mike Roemer)

The heavyweight showdown of the year delivered as advertised on Sunday. While the Patriots did come up on the short end of the five-point stick, they kept a rolling Packers offense limited to just 26 points. Unfortunately the offense missed far too many opportunities while the Packers took advantage of the chances they were granted. In the end the difference was a defensive breakdown leading to a late first half 45-yard touchdown from Jordy Nelson, and a rare Rob Gronkowski drop in the endzone. 

- To start off, credit has to be given to the Packers, especially the defense. With all the love thrown around for Aaron Rodgers, deservedly so, the defense stepped up in a big way. They pressured Tom Brady for the majority of the game causing him to look more like weeks 1-4 Tom Brady than the Brady who’s been tearing up the field. Granted, Brady didn’t have a terrible game going 22-35 for 245 and two touchdowns. However, he looked uncomfortable throughout and missed targets more often than usual. There was simply no consistent rhythm to speak of at any point in the game.
-A huge problem I have with Sunday’s game is the lack of running attack. Going into Sunday, Green Bay was ranked 30th against the run. The Patriots have shown they have the talent at running back to sustain a successful running game. LaGarrette Blount had 58 yards on only 10 carries. When they ran the ball they kept pushing forward for more yards, but the problem was they only ran it 18 times. It’s not like it was a blowout either. Sunday was a game that the running game needed to be featured, and for whatever reason it wasn’t.

Continue reading Notes and Observations Week 13: Packers Hold on to Beat Patriots 26-21 »

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1. Patriots – Very good football game – hope to see Packers on a neutral site

MISC

* Gray hood with cut sleeves – now 29-10 in that ensemble

* Jonas Gray has been found

* I would be embarrassed if I was Aaron Dobson – first time targeted and he pulls a hamstring

* Chandler Jones is close to the Tony Eason Award

* Amendola better on kickoffs going North to South than dancing on punt returns

* The difference in this game was miniscule – Green Bay better schemes and confusing formations on offense the difference

* No room for error now in the last four games (combined record of last five opponents including San Diego 33-14)

 

OFFENSE

 

* Three times (Edelman twice / Gronk once) Patriots ran routes short of the first down marker

* The Marcus Cannon thing has to come to end – one crucial offsides and one hit on Brady

* Speaking of Offensive Line there was pressure all day on Brady – F! (tangent – I hate when Brady gets sacked and the offensive line just lets him lie there and walks away like Solder did Sunday). Stork’s worst game as a Patriots

* Brady good not great – five passes deflected

* Blount in the cold of Foxboro is going to be a weapon

 

DEFENSE

 

* Great Red Zone defense

* Painful watching Logan Ryan, Arrington and Ninkovich in pass coverage

* A nice game by Hightower and Collins (great sack by Collins picking himself off the ground)

* Browner picked up his two penalties per contract (one took away a sack)

* Devastating TD by Nelson against Revis but other than that another amazing game – has to be the best year ever by a Patriot corner – sorry Michael Haynes, Ty Law and Raymond Clayborn

* Five different Packer receivers had catches of 25 yards or more

 

KRAFT SIGHTING

 

* With 5:01 left in the second quarter – gave a little shout out to the Revolution and the Krafts travel plans for next weekend (I said the over/under for showings was 15 out of 16 games – right now we are at 11 of 12)

 

 

STATS

* Plays: GB 70 / Pats 54

* Time of Possession: GB 36:35 / Pats 23:25

* Total Yards: GB 478 / Pats 320

 

MISC

 

* Refs missed blantant push off on Denard-the-cop-assaulter / could have called offensive interference on Nelson on Revis in the end zone early

* Might have been Gostkowski’s worst kick as a Patriot

* What team has held the Patriots to the lease points this year? Oakland 16

 

2. Around the NFL

 

* Must watch TV – Manziel getting planted in the end zone although over all a good showing – Hoyer in trouble now

* San Diego could take home field advantage from the Patriots next weekend (Patriots are early 3 point favorites)

* Amazingly my pre-season Atlanta pick for the Super Bowl is not out of the question – they are in first place in their division with 5-7 record

* Buffalo now 7-5 – glad Pats have them at home this time

* Tampa, Oakland, Jets, Tennessee and Jacksonville are a combined 9-50

 

3. Around College Football

 

* Top eight teams games against top 20 ranked teams and records: Alabama (4 games 3-1), Florida State (1 / 1-0), Oregon (3 / 2-1), Ohio State (1 / 1-0), TCU (5 / 4-1), Baylor (2 / 2-0), Arizona (3 / 3-0 – including win over Oregon), Michigan State (3 / 1-2)

* Louisville coach Bobby Petrino added to the brawl yesterday against Kentucky. Thats the most contact he’s had since falling off his motorcycle with the co-ed on the back

 

4. Red Sox

* To prove the Red Sox have no five year plan – if you were going to sign a 31 year old non-outfielder $20mm to play outfield then you should have just given Ellsbury the money the year before

* Ellsbury – 2014: 16 HR / 70 RBI / 39 SB / .271 / $21mm

* Ramirez – 2014: 13 HR / 71 RBI / 14 SB / .283 / $20mm

 

5. Injuries suffered by Revolution star and former Boston College star Charlie Davies in a 2009 fatal car accident in which he was a passenger:

* Lacerated bladder

* Fractured Fibula

* Fractured Tibia

* Fractured Elbow

* Fractured face bones

* Torn ligament in his knee

* Bleeding on the brain

 

* One year later he was stopped doing 125 MPH in France

* Ironically the sponsor of the team the Revolution just beat – Red Bull – was the host of the party that the driver of the car got drunk at and Davies sued following the accident

 

6. Ray Allen shooting free throws:

* In the 2011 season Ray Allen missed 9 free throws shooting .915 (97-106) / in the postseason he missed 13 free throws shooting .711 (32-45)

7. Amazing Stats – Worst free throw percentage in a season by Celtics brick layers

* Rondo……….. 2014 / 9-28 (.321)

* Robey………….1982 / 84-157 (.535)

* Finkel…………..1975 / 23-43 (.535)

* Fernsten………1982 / 19-30 (.633)

 

8. Old School – NBA dynasties no more:

From 1980 to 1990, only four teams won the NBA title: Lakers (5), Celtics (3), Pistons (2), Sixers (1). The once proud programs in 2014 are a combined 10-52 this year.

9. Just a Little Bit Outside – Things that never happens for the local teams:

* Never a blocked punt (Troy Brown at Pitt last one?)

* Never a fake punt (last two failed – Chung and Tupa?)

* Squeeze

* Shot blocker in the paint

* A 40 goal scorer

 

10. Randomocity

 

* MIAA screwing up high school athletics again – because of the new football format Woburn played Winchester three times this year

* It sickens me that Phil Jackson has more championships than Red

* Congrats to Revolution for their hard fought semifinals series victory

* Old Spice upping their game including the fathers in their deodorant commercial

* Grand Theft Auto video game should not be allowed to advertise until after 9:00 PM

* ESPN 30 on 30 Short on John Wensink challenging the North Stars bench

http://espn.go.com/blog/boston/bruins/post/_/id/17442/30-for-30-short-on-former-bruins-enforcer-john-wensink

Wes Saunders and the Harvard Crimson got the better of Derrick Gordon and UMass. Photo courtesy of masslive.com

There wasn’t an actual title on the line this past week as UMass finished its in-state schedule, but Harvard took care of business on its home court to stop the Minutemen from crowning themselves the kings of college basketball in Massachusetts. After victories over Boston College and Northeastern, UMass looked to finish off the Crimson on its first true road trip (even though Lavietes Pavilion was probably packed with 70 percent Minutemen fans) and add another win against an NCAA Tournament team to its resume.

The Northeastern Huskies were supposed to come into Amherst on Wednesday night, but with snow coming in, the game was moved forward into the afternoon to make sure everyone could get home safely and enjoy the Thanksgiving eve celebrations. Apparently, these Huskies aren’t the kind that love the snow. There was not much to celebrate for Northeastern fans as the Minutemen put together their first wire-to-wire blowout of the season in a 79-54 win highlighted by yet another impressive Maxie Esho dunk. Donte Clark also continued to be the most impressive freshman for the Minuteman scoring 10 points and reaching double figures for the third straight game. Continue reading Harvard Claims Bay State ‘Title’ Over UMass »

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