Archive for September, 2011

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Can Red Sox Play Game #163?

September 27, 2011

Heidi Watney just finished fumbling her way through another post-game interview. The Red Sox star of the game just finished answering her muddled, predictable questions: each one ending in some form of “how were you able to do that.” None of this is really news (other than the fact there was a Red Sox star of the game, implying a win). The story here is the player answering those questions. No, Jacoby Ellsbury did not get asked to talk, even though he hit ANOTHER home run, this time giving the Sox a 2-1 lead. Yes, Heidi tossed softball questions to a Yale product who probably could have better explained the current world economic crisis: rookie catcher Ryan Lavarnway.

Just mute it and enjoy.

Ryan WHO!? La-varn-way. Phonetic. Phenomenal. Phuckin’ clutch. Lavarnway is the Red Sox reigning two-time Minor League Offensive Player of the Year. But you couldn’t predict this one. Early in the game Francona had a soundbyte explaining his decision to go with Lavarnway over banged up starter Jarrod Saltalamacchia: “maybe he’ll run into one. Otherwise, we’ve got Salty to finish off the game.” Ahh Terry, you sly fox. You meant run into one or TWO. As in Lavarnway would clobber not one but two (not Green, we’re in Baltimore) MONSTER home runs. The first a three run homer to provide a 5-1 lead. The second an insurance run making it 8-4 at the time, ended up being the difference in an 8-7 win in which Sox relievers tried as hard as they possibly could to blow the game.

So now, the Red Sox live to see another day. They actually trailed the Rays by 1/2 a game in the win column tonight for about an hour. Red Sox ace Jon Lester is on the mound tomorrow. Beyond that, nobody knows what to expect from these Red Sox. The team who started the year 0-6, is trying to finish the regular season on a two-game win streak, something they haven’t had since August. The win tomorrow will only ensure a one game playoff with the Rays. And as sure as Alfredo Aceves’ arm (three straight appearances, 3 2/3 innings tonight) is held together with toothpicks, crazy glue, rubber bands and Bengay, that one-game playoff WILL happen if the Red Sox win. There’s no way the Rays go out tomorrow and lose to the Yankees spring training split squad team. The Yankees threw their top four relievers in the loss tonight, so none will be available tomorrow. They earned that rest. All the Rays have to do is beat up on second or third rate pitching. Red Sox fans earned a pacemaker and some Zantacs in watching a month with just six wins, and a nine game lead erased.

But what about that one game playoff? Who would even be pitching? The Rays will have lefty phenom Matt Moore, who has only struck out 15 batters in 28 outs. The Red Sox? Reports today said they were looking into trading for a guy to start one game, then not even be available for the playoffs. Desperate? That’s worse than taking your cousin to prom. It’s having your mom PAY your cousin to go to prom with you. For $161 million this season, that’s what the Red Sox money will get them. That, or John Lackey. Now, the cousin coming to prom doesn’t look so bad, does it?

What’s going to happen? Who knows. The Red Sox might go out and have a classic double figure scoring day and the Rays could get shutout by no names. That’s the beauty of baseball. My money’s on a one-game playoff in Tampa Bay. Rookie phenom versus disgruntled mouth-breather with the highest single season ERA in Red Sox history (Lackey). Advantage: Rays

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Tom Brady Playing Madden, in the NFL

September 21, 2011

Two games: 940 passing yards, seven touchdowns. No, these aren’t the stats of my last two online Madden games (I’d clearly top those, let’s get real) they are real life NFL stats. Easily the top story in the NFL that nobody seems to be talking about is the dismantling of opposing defenses at the gilded hands of Sir Thomas Edward Patrick Brady Jr. (knighted in [New] England for his play. This parenthetical usage got awkward when I had to use a bracket, most likely improperly, to leave out the “New.” If you’re counting; including that semicolon, there have been six different grammatical conventions used inside these curvatures). Each pass seems to be guided by Hermes, Greek god of flight, as the ball nestles into receiver’s bosoms en route to first down after first down, resulting in touchdown. For whatever reason, the media and experts seem to have glanced over Brady’s two-week feat like a pubescent teen seeing an article in Playboy (as opposed to a grown man, who obviously reads Playboy for the articles).

Any time I can get a Playboy reference into a football blog, you know Sara Jean Underwood's cover is coming next...

The numbers are staggering, mind-boggling, obnoxious or any other expression synonymous for “insane as Van Gogh on an acid trip.” Referencing an artist is no coincidence. Tom Brady has been making the Mona Lisa look average (sidenote: the Mona Lisa is a pretty average-to-ugly chick. Does anyone know how it’s the most popular, highest insured painting ever? Like, you’re at a bar, Mona’s just sitting there, hands on her lap, and she isn’t getting two looks from anyone but your fat, blacked out friend who is convinced she’s smirking at him). Brady is throwing at such an indorinate amount of yards, he could be held to just fourteen in his upcoming matchup with the Bills and STILL be on pace to break Dan Marino’s single-season passing yards record.

For whatever reason, and perhaps it’s just my New England bias, Peyton Manning’s neck, Michael Vick’s concussion, Tony Romo’s lung, or Cam Newton’s 0-2 record have captured all the story lines in the NFL. Meanwhile, all Brady’s done is win AFC Offensive Player of the Week honors in back-to-back weeks. With Buffalo, (who just allowed 35 points to Jason Campbell’s Raiders) next on the leger, a three-peat of that award should shock no one. The question that needs to be asked is: are we about to see the best offensive performance EVER by a football team? Here are five reasons why the answer is yes.

1: Nobody has ever played QB better.

Tom Brady has a home winning streak (29 games)  that makes Charlie Sheen look like a loser. In his last 10 regular season games, he has had a QB rating of 110 or better in all but one. That ONE being a 107 in a 34-3 win against Buffalo where he threw three touchdowns and no picks. In Dan Marino’s record-setting yardage (5,084) and touchdown season (48, since broken by Manning then Brady), he had a 100+ rating in 9 of his 16 games.

2. The Patriots Defense Sucks

While Brady has been the gold-standard for quarterback statistics, the Patriots defense has tried their best to make opponents look as good. In two weeks, Brady, with his ridiculous numbers has only thrown for 144 more yards than his defense has allowed. This means you better get used to offensive explosions that would make Michael Bay proud. It’s not absurd to think Brady has many more 400+ yards games in his back pocket, as the last game against San Diego, he went the entire third quarter with just two possessions, one being a three and out.

3. Don’t Worry- Opposing Defenses Suck, Too!

That little lockout thing really got in the way of defenses being able to come together as units. Every team in the league is throwing the ball all over the place. Four different Quarterbacks not named Brady are also on pace to break Marino’s record. Cam Newton, the rookie phenom who critics said couldn’t throw at the NFL level, has only gone out and thrown for 422 and 432 yards respectively in his two times stepping onto an NFL field. Ryan Fitzpatrick (Bills) and Matthew Stafford (Lions) are tied with Brady for the NFL lead in touchdown passes, and best record of 2-0. Nothing seems to be making much sense. The outlier here is that you could see this coming from Brady, not the rest of the league.

4. Patriots Receivers are Really, Really Good

New England is the only team in the league without a dropped pass. Wes Welker and Deion Branch, neither of whom tops 5’9”, are both averaging over 100 yards receiving per game. Hybrid Tight End Aaron Hernandez is splitting wide like a receiver and burning secondaries just as quickly, with two scores and an over 80 yards per game average. Behemoth Tight End Rob Gronkowski leads the NFL in touchdown receptions, tweets at Kate Upton–> http://bit.ly/p9rg2G, attendance at frat parties–> http://bit.ly/lL7yWY, and you guessed it, he’s in the top 20 with the above players in yards receiving. This hasn’t even brought us to Chad Ochocinco, the most well-known Patriot receiver. Ocho should finally know the playbook by Week 5, once he’s done tweeting his every move and buying his gold-digging fiancee, Evelyn Lozado, the stuff Antoine Walker could no longer afford. The scariest part here, is that Brady hasn’t even clicked with all his weapons. Additionally the offense has looked rusty on some of their wide receiver/running back screens that normally gouge defenses at key points.

5. Bill Belichick

We saw it in 2007, and we are about to see it this year. Not necessarily the 16-0 record, because this defense won’t be good enough, but definitely the unconscionable ability to show no mercy on a scoreboard. At this point in both Brady and Belichicks careers, they have seen everything, heard all the detractors, and decided to flip them the finger, in unison. If you don’t think records mean anything to Bill and Tom, just look at the way scores were run up in that 2007 season while Brady ran play action at the 1 yard line for TDs. Belichick is a football historian, and he knows full well the records within the team’s grasp this season.

Not to mention Kate Upton within Gronk's grasp.

Stay tuned…