Site Meter Talking NFL

Who Stays and Who Goes at Wide Receiver for the Patriots

by Brian

randy-moss.jpg

With free agency less than 24 hours away, we’re taking a look at one of the most intriguing group of players ready to hit the open market. In 2007, the Patriots wide receivers combined for a gaudy 292 receptions, 3,814 yards and 39 touchdowns. However, the only guys under contract for 2008 are Wes Welker and Chad Jackson, and Chad Jackson didn’t catch a single one of those passes last year. Here’s the Talking NFL rundown on each pending free agent, and the almost certain to be wrong call on who’s hanging around Foxborough, and who’s not…

1. Randy Moss: 98 rec, 1,493 yds, 23 TDs

All eyes are on the “other 81″ to see if he stays with Tom Brady or goes for straight cash, homey. If this was the Moss of three years ago, I’d say he’s gone. But he did his time in purgatory (read: the Raiders), and you get the feeling that he knows just how good he has it in New England.

If he were to leave, it would have to be for BOTH big dollars and to a team with a star QB. Indy and Dallas are doubtful with stars like Reggie Wayne and T.O. all ready in place. Pittsburgh is interesting with Big Ben’s off-season whine request for wideouts who are taller than the not-so-diminutive Hines Ward, but they’re pretty tight against the cap as it is.

This one just seems to make too much sense to both sides not to get done. The only question is for how many years. Randy will be 31 at the start of next season, and even superstar receivers like him have a tendency to hit the wall at age 35. Under his old contract with the Raiders, he was scheduled to make $11.25 million in 2008. He’ll take a bit of a discount to stay with the Patriots, but not by much. And the Patriots will splurge a bit to keep him.

Prediction: Stays with Patriots, signs 4-year contract worth $36 million

(Update: Just after posting this, I saw this article by Sean Jensen over at AOL Sports. If he’s right, then I’m off by one year and about $6 million.)

2. Donte’ Stallworth: 46 rec, 697 yds, 3 TDs

If it weren’t for Randy Moss, I’d say that Donte’ would be staying. They were tied on average yards per catch at 15.2, and Donte’ was at times absolutely electrifying after the catch. He brought a play making ability that reminded many of a healthy Deion Branch.

However, he disappeared for long stretches, had some key drops, and lost more 1-one-1 matchups than he should have. The Patriots have all ready declined to pick up the optional years on Donte’s contract, and he will surely see some interest in the open market.

Prediction: Leaves Patriots, signs with Baltimore Ravens

3. Jabar Gaffney: 36 rec, 449 yds, 5 TDs

82gaffney.jpg

While most fans (including myself) expected Wes Welker to become the next Troy Brown, it was actually Jabar Gaffney who morphed into the key #3 option and 3rd down possession receiver that Brady frequently sought out in a pinch.

After a solid ‘07 campaign, Jabar could certainly look to cash in during free agency. However, there’s a few mitigating factors here: first, it was the Patriots who picked Jabar up off the scrap heap in 2006 when nobody else wanted him. Second, he spent the first four years of his career with the hapless Houston Texans, and you know he’ll think twice about signing with yet another potential basement dweller. He’s all ready won more games playing with the Patriots in 1 1/2 years than he did during his entire career with the Texans.

It’s true that the Patriots won’t overpay for a mid-level player like Gaffney, and that the free agent market on wide receivers is rather bare, so a better monetary offer should be out there. But this is another one that seems like it makes too much sense for both sides to pass up.

Prediction: Stays with Patriots, signs 5-year contract worth $17 million

Read the rest of this entry »

The Purging of the Miami Dolphins and Atlanta Falcons

by Brian

gagging72-200.jpg

Before the basement dwellers of the NFL can binge on the feast that is free agency and the draft, they must first purge themselves of the dead weight they carry on their roster (like those extra 10-15 pounds one gains after the holidays). In recent days, the lowly Miami Dolphins and Atlanta Falcons have projectile vomited away team members in a way that would make a fraternity pledge who just attempted his first funnel jealous.

Let’s take a look at the damage…

Miami Dolphins:

Number of Cuts Made - 10

Notable Names - QB Trent Green, WR Marty Booker, LB Zach Thomas

Estimated Cap Savings - $14 million

Analysis - Obviously the big news here is the release of 12-year veteran and Pro Bowl regular Zach Thomas (on Valentine’s Day, no less - how’s that heartbreak treating you Miami?). While it may seem a cold way to treat such an integral part of the team, business is business. And it’s simply good business to let go of a soon to be 35-year old linebacker with concussion issues in order to clear about $5.5 million in cap room. Even if that means he may go to your hated division rival (and make me look like a genius slightly less of a moron).

Atlanta Falcons:

Number of Cuts Made - 7

Notable Names - QB Byron Leftwich, TE Alge Crumpler

11127170451press2182008114754pm.jpg

Estimated Cap Savings - unknown

Analysis - Much like Zach Thomas, Crumpler was an All-Pro veteran who was limited in productivity this year by injuries. He should also be scooped up quickly by another team (the Seahawks immediately come to mind as a good fit).

What’s more, the blood letting could be just beginning over in Atlanta. New General Manager Thomas Dimitroff indicated that after the cuts the Falcons have about $17 million in salary cap space, but Arthur Blank has stated he wants to have $23 million ready to roll in free agency.

Meaning that other veterans like Warrick Dunn and Lawyer Milloy might not want to get too comfortable just yet…

NFL Cheerleaders Featured in SI 2008 Swimsuit Issue

by Brian

08_cheerleaders-group_05.jpg

Well kids, with the always underwhelming Pro Bowl in the rear-view mirror, and pitchers and catchers reporting to spring training this week, we can officially sign off on the 2007 NFL campaign. As a still devastated member of Patriots nation, I think it’s finally time to move on (in other words, go Red Sox!).

To begin working through the pigskin withdrawal process, here’s two prescriptions: first, links to the two-part post I wrote this time last year entitled Post Traumatic Football Season Disorder. Click here for Part 1, and click here for Part 2.

Second, the annual SI Swimsuit Issue has arrived, and god bless the folks over a Sports Illustrated for providing me with such a convenient crossover to my favorite off-season topic - NFL Cheerleaders! That’s right, they’ve dedicated an entire section to twelve lovely ladies who patrol the gridiron sidelines.

The best part? The New England Patriots are well represented by the lovely Ms. Meghan White, while the New York Giants do not have a featured cheerleader! In fact, the New York Giants have NO cheerleaders whatsoever, which is simply un-American. Advantage, New England!

08_meghan-white_12.jpg

(and yes, I realize this kind of taunting falls under the “desperate grasping at straws” category…ugh)

So be sure to swing by the SI Swimsuit site - the lovely ladies there should help warm that cold, dead space left in your heart by the departure of another football season. Heck, they’ve even teamed up with YouTube to offer up some video goodness…

(even if the archaeologist turned super model bit is a tad archaic. HA! Archaic! Get it? Ah…nevermind.)

Anyways, we’ll have some more off-season goodness next week. Enjoy the weekend everyone.

There Are No Words…

by Brian

…except, oh I don’t know, @#$&^@ and !)#&^*^% and mother-#$*@(!!!!!

Hey, congrats to the Giants. And Eli Manning. Unbelievable, but they did it.

As for the Patriots, you know what? Yes, they lost the Super Bowl. But this is a team that went 18-0, and won three Super Bowls this decade. I’m sad that they lost, but I’m still extremely proud to be a Patriots fan. They fought hard all year long, and almost did something that no other team that history has done before.

…and the chick that Brady bangs tonight is 20 times hotter than whatever Eli drags back to his room in Phoenix. So there.

And since someone is handing me a bottle off Yeager to down, I’m going to leave you now. Honestly, not sure when (or if) I’m coming back!

Final Super Bowl Countdown & Prediction

by Brian

Before we get to the pick, I’d like to sent a special note of thanks to Senator Arlen Specter and the Boston Herald’s John Tomase. All week long I was concerned that Plaxico Burress’s half hearted victory prediction wouldn’t be enough bulletin board material for the Patriots. Leave it to those guys to really step up to the plate. Nice work, boys. Check’s in the mail.

OK, about that pick. Earlier in the week, I posted 31-21 Patriots on the 451 Press bulletin board. I’m altering it slightly for three reasons:

(1) The Patriots offense vs the Giants secondary. The Giants have some great personel, but this is the biggest mismatch of the game - a game that will be played in dome conditions (they’re closing the roof in Phoenix Stadium). If you’re the Giants, whatever you try to take away on defense means that someone else is open. If they double Moss, than Welker is open. They double Welker, then Brady hits Gaffney or Faulk out on the flat. If they target Faulk, then Brady goes back to Moss (you get the point).

(2) The above mentioned bulletin board material.

(3) Coach Belichick. A historian of the game, you know he’s as prepared as possible for his place in the record books, thanks to the two week wait AND the fact that the Patriots played the Giants just over a month ago. I mean, come on. That’s just too much of an advantage for the evil genius.

I say the Giants keep it close for…oh…about a quarter or so. Then Brady goes deep to Moss, the Pats go up by two scores, the Pats D puts some pressure on Eli, he throws a pick to Samuel…

and let the good times role.

Patriots 38 - Giants 17

Super Bowl XLII Predictions! A 451 Press Group Effort…

by Brian

crystal_ball_lg.jpg

Finally, Super Bowl weekend has arrived! No more reports on the most publicized right ankle in football history, no more wedding proposals at Media Day, no more bizarre fan videos, and finally - no more outlandish predictions on the final score!

Well…actually that’s what this post is all about.

Earlier this week, I decided to poll my fellow writers here at 451 Press on who they thought would win the game and by how much (along with any other crazy happenings that may occur on Sunday). Some of them are passionate football fans like myself. Some of them have a moderate interest in the game. Some of them (as you will soon see) could care less. Regardless, we’ve got multiple darts getting thrown at the wall - you’ve got to figure somebody’s going to get a bulls-eye!

Here to get us started is Brandon, who writes for MMO Gaming:

Patriots win 28-17. Manning throws 3 interceptions - one of which is returned for a touchdown in the first half bringing the score at halftime to 21-0.

In the second half there appears to be some life from the Giants but it is too little too late for them to make a comeback.

Granted I’m a tad biased, but I’d say we’re off to a great start! Next up is the lovely Winnie McCarthy, who follows those zany ladies on the View:

Brady trips over paparazzi trying to get into the stadium and injures foot. Still throws six touchdown passes despite standing on one leg.

Eli Manning has a miracle game and the Giants win 50-42. Yet, following the game, he sits on the field crying, knowing that no matter what he accomplishes, he will still not be as good as Peyton in his daddy’s eyes.

Nice! Ridiculous situations and high drama. No doubt Joy Behar approves.

Heather Scoville of Watching VH1 is, shall we say, less than enthused about Sunday’s game:

I predict I will fall asleep during the third quarter from sheer boredom over having absolutely no interest in either of the teams playing and by then the commercials suck.

Shortly after writing this, Heather confessed that she’s a Bears fan and is simply devastated by the fact that Sexy Rex Grossman might not be returning next year. Say it isn’t so!!

rex-grossman-stinks.jpg

Lynn Little provides great advice over at SEO Dance on how to make a website more search engine friendly. Here’s her thoughts on the big matchup:

I predict that the Patriots will win by at least two touchdowns as I and the rest of the people at the Super Bowl (party) I’m attending will be wishing that the other Mississippi quarterback had made it instead.

Go Packers! Brett, please don’t retire! One more year!

I also predict that I will be saddened as I think back on the mediocre season my New Orleans Saints had and how close they were last year to being in the Super Bowl. *sigh*

Ah, another Brett Favre fan! Lynn, I hope you read my in-depth interview with Coach Mark McHale, author of “10 to 4, Brett Favre’s Journey”, on sale now!

/shameless self promotion

Looking for some good healthy recepies? Be sure to check out Shelly’s Earthly Eating!

Patriots mysteriously don’t show up for the game and the Giants win by default. And all the fans that backed up behind the Patriots, now are all Giants fans and it’s a glorious day for football. As Shelly hunts down Brian and Randi and says, “SEE I TOLD YOU THE PATRIOTS BITE!”

Hmmmm…a no show option! Well, that’s different…

Not one to be called out and back down from a challenge (like any good Patriots fan), Randi of Brad Pitt Watch (and that gives me an excuse to post a hot picture of Angelina Jolie) had the following reply for Shelly:

angelina-jolie5.jpg

Patriots win - it seems like they are going to lose during halftime but they come back and pull away, thereby beating the Giants at their own game. Then, after the win, Randi and Brian meet and jump up and down for joy, completely disgusting all of the Giants fans like Shelly.

Then they go home and have hot, long, steamy sex

See, that’s the spirit I’m talking ab- wait, what?!

….but not with each other :)

Oh, right! Heh, heh…funny, Randi! You’re just kidding, right? You know, not that I’m interested or anything…

(crickets)

…golly, this is awkward…

Read the rest of this entry »

Chris Berman is not Amused

by Brian

If you haven’t seen it yet, prepare yourself for the greatest sports anchor meltdown ever caught on tape! (Warning: NSFW)

You’re with me, Temper Tantrum!

Let’s be fair to the Swami; he’s not the only famous anchor to lose his cool with the production crew:

Or with ESPN, for that matter…

(note: if the Berman clip has been pulled, you can see it over at Deadspin. They have it permanently embeded. God Bless them…)

Super Bowl Perspective: Here’s Hoping for a Blowout

by Brian

To the rabid football fan, the Super Bowl represents the culmination - the zenith - of a five month season full of amazing plays, last minute victories, and ultimate team achievement. But to the casual fan, or just the everyday Joe or Judy, the Super Bowl may be the only game they watch all year long. It’s an excuse to buy ridiculous looking party favors, and throw a neighborhood bash on an otherwise uneventful Sunday in February.

sbxlii.jpg

For this later group, they really only have one request in regards to the actual football contest that is played:

They just want a close game. And some funny commercials (OK, two requests…)

As a member of the former group, I can certainly respect that wish. However, my standing as a lifelong fan of Patriot Nation completely outweighs any wishes I have for a down-to-the-wire thriller.

In fact, to all you one-day football fans (ODFF’s) out there, know that everyone in New England is wishing and hoping that not only is your party a dud - we f*@king hope it’s over before halftime. We hope the Patriots obliterate/annihilate/wickedbeatup-ate the Giants to the tune of 1,972-0.

Here’s the deal, my lovely ODFF’s: the Patriots are on the verge of unprecedented history. Not only for the first 19-0 season in NFL history, but for their 4th Super Bowl in 7 years. This achievement would elevate the Patriots dynasty to a new level; above the Cowboys of the 90’s and the Lions of the 50’s (yes, the Lions were once a dynasty - honest). We’re talking about moving into the same block as the truly elite teams: the 49ers of the 80’s, the Steelers of the 70’s, and the Bears of the 40’s.

1946bears.jpg

The Monsters of the Midway won four NFL titles from 1940 to 1946 - a seven year span. But what people remember the most about that dynasty (the ones that are still kicking, anyways) is the first title they won in 1940, when they played against the Washington Redskins:

Washington had defeated Chicago 7-3 in a regular season game three weeks earlier. After the contest, Redskins owner George Preston Marshall told reporters that the Bears were crybabies and quitters when the going got tough. As the Bears prepared for the rematch, Chicago head coach George Halas fired up his team by showing them newspaper articles of Marshall’s comments.

The Bears controlled the game right from the start, using the T formation as their primary offensive strategy…they held a 28-0 halftime lead and then continued to crush the Redskins, scoring 45 points during the second half. After Halas took the team’s starters out, the backup players continued to pile on the points. The Bears ended up recording 501 total yards on offense, 382 total rushing yards, and 8 interceptions–returning 3 for touchdowns.

The final score was 73-0, the largest margin of victory ever in an NFL title game. And that epic destruction of the Redskins firmly cemented them in the annals of pigskin lore.

Because naturally, history remembers the big games, the title games. Not the Week 3 games, or the Divisional Round playoff games. Case in point - look back at the 2003-04 Patriots. When a Patriots fan thinks of those two seasons, we think of a 34-4 overall record, 19 straight victories at one point, and two championships. But to the ODFF’s? Meh. They remember that both Super Bowl games were close. In fact, all three of the Patriots titles were won by a difference of three points. Victories, but not all that memorable.

Certainly not memorable like the 85 Bears, the team that many people consider the best team of all time up to this point. Sure, they were pretty dominating during the regular season and playoffs. But what everyone remembers is the way they publicly castrated the Patriots 46-10 on Super Bowl Sunday.

superbowlshuffle.jpg
(well, that and the Super Bowl Shuffle)

So with the peak of perfection in sight, every fan that cheers for the flying Elvis is looking for a final and emphatic flag planting ceremony to be held in Phoenix. The final exclamation point to say, without a shadow of a doubt, that this team is the best to ever walk a football field.

So here’s hoping for an absolute bludgeoning on Sunday. As Patriots fans, we want to see raw carnage. We want it to sound like a pinball game inside the University of Phoenix Stadium. We want the scoreboard operator to come down with a severe case of carpal tunnel syndrome.

We want the Patriots to play the part of Daniel Plainview and the Giants that of poor Paul Sunday. We want to watch the final chapter of this march to perfection unfold the exact same way the last 10 minutes of There Will be Blood concludes.

000poster3.jpg

And when the game ends, we want the audience to stare in stunned silence at the blank screen in front of them - the same way my girlfriend did at the end of that movie.

Complete with the exact same exchange we had:

Girlfriend: “…what…was that?!”

Me: “That…was a beating.”

That way, when anyone looks back at the 2007 Patriots (football fans, historians, or ODFF’s), they will have no choice but to say that they were the greatest football team in history.

, , , , ,

Recapping the Glory and Prestige of Super Bowl Media Day

by Brian

homer-drool-702026.gif

In a word…yeesh. Media Day during Super Bowl week has essentially morphed throughout the years from a press access day to a freak show to finally an enormous media circus that’s a combination of both. Let’s just get right to the worst best stuff…

- Everyone’s talking about the marriage proposal that Tom Brady received from a Spanish reporter. Naturally, Tom handled the awkward situation with his usual charm and humor:

“I’ve never had a proposal [before].”

Ha-ha. We all know this is approximately proposal #6,946,082 for Tommy Touchdown. Hey Ms. Innez; back of the line for you! That’s right, behind the former Victoria’s Secret model, the B-level goalie puller actress, and every 18-34 year old woman from New England. Gracias!

- I love the way AOL Fanhouse summed up thoughts on the fact that Chad Jackson of the Patriots has a personal stylist named “Peaches”:

“I ask you: Can you imagine any player on Vince Lombardi’s Green Bay Packers, the team that won the first Super Bowl, saying, “I have a personal stylist named Peaches”?

No…no I cannot!

- By most accounts, the best interview of the day was the Giants Michael Strahan, which shouldn’t be a big surprise with quotes like this:

“I love Tom Brady,” Strahan said. “I’m jealous that I’m not Tom Brady. But I definitely want to hit Tom Brady on Sunday.”

You have to admire the man’s honesty. On all counts.

- ESPN’s Matt Mosley shares this “low blow” dished out by Patriots right tackle Nick Kaczur:

“Turns out not everyone on the Patriots’ offensive line has been able to grow a beard. Right tackle Nick Kaczur, who has more of a bushy goatee, was asked about his two clean-shaven linemates.

“Those guys are still waiting for their balls to drop,” said Kaczur.”

Even better than the quote? The two comments on this post:

winston2322: Why would it matter if a lineman dropped his balls, they are illeligable recievers anyway?

IRISHBOSOX39: *shakes head*

Now that’s comedy!

- Finally, a confession that I briefly toyed with the idea of making the trek from L.A. to Phoenix for the Super Bowl, to cover firsthand Media Day and the Patriots quest for perfection. Well, any regrets I may have had about skipping out on Media Day went out the window after reading this brief report from Deadspin’s Will Leitch, a first-time participant:

“Media Day is a waste of time for everyone, and that doesn’t just mean the players and the media. Even the dope gimmick folks, the lady who wanted to marry Brady, or “The Tonight Show”’s Kelly Pickler (an actual collaboration which tells you all you need to know about both Pickler and “The Tonight Show”), or the mock astrologists (as if there were any other kind), seemed generally bored with their schtick. Everyone felt like they were going through the motions; it’s Media Day … we have to do something CRAZY!

We were so discouraged that we couldn’t even make it through the whole thing. Sorry: Trust us, empty space is more entertaining that what we’d have for you here had we stayed.

Stadium looks great, though.”

mediadayshot.jpg

Yep. Glad I’m going back home to watch the game with friends instead.

, , , ,

Super Bowl Video Dump

by Brian

Isn’t this two week wait for the Super Bowl fantastic?! (answer = NO) Well, since we’ve still got time to kill and we’re all sick to death of Brady Boot updates, let’s have some fun with a myriad of Super Bowl and NFL related videos…

For starters, let’s revisit YouTube legend BradyFan83, who’s composed an “apology” tune to one Randy Moss:

Next, here’s all you need to know about Giants fans; they (1) like to burn their quarterback’s jersey 2 months before he leads the team to a Super Bowl, and (2) think throwing a bottle of lighter fluid on top of a fiery barbeque is a good idea.

How about some Super Bowl halftime show goodness? For me, it doesn’t get better than U2’s performance at Super Bowl XXXVI (no, it has nothing to do with the fact that it was also the Patriots first Super Bowl win. Well OK, maybe it does…)

And, of course, here’s the award for “Worst Accidental Revealing of a Middle-Aged Boob” during a halftime show:

Read the rest of this entry »

Raiders and Redskins Getting an Early Start on Screwing Up the Off-Season

by Brian

With the arrival of the Big Tuna in Miami, it looks like we won’t be able to laugh at the incompetent moves of the Dolphin’s front office anymore (at least until Parcells gets bored and quits two years from now).

Lucky for us, we still have the Raiders and the Redskins, who are battling it out for the Isiah Thomas Mismanagement Award for an NFL Franchise.

isiah.jpg

First we have the Raiders and the surreal story (broken by ESPN’s Chris Mortensen on Friday), that Al Davis wants Head Coach Lane Kiffin to sign a letter of resignation that Al himself has drafted! Here’s the report Mort filed on Friday:

The best part of this is the tone of Mortensen’s voice during this whole interview. He basically just wants to say, “you know what? Al’s done. He’s having full blown conversations with Napoleon and wants to hire Knute Rockne. For the love of God, will somebody please take the keys away from him and get him set up in a Springfield Retirement Castle penthouse?!”

abraham_simpson.png

Even better is the name of Kiffin’s rumored replacement. True story; on Friday night I was talking to a few buddies about this story, and said, “you’ll NEVER guess who Al wants to bring in as coach! C’mon! Guess, but you’ll never get it!” Immediately, one of the guys said, “Dennis Green.” When I asked him how he guessed, he replied, “well, I went with the most ridiculous answer I could think of. By the way, you’re not serious are you?”

I mean, you know who Dennis Green is, right? He’s…oh, never mind…

Meanwhile, there’s similar bedlam inside the Capital Beltway. Fans and bloggers are none to thrilled about the decision to jettison defensive coordinator Gregg Williams after four (that’s right , FOUR) interviews for the head coaching position. I particularly enjoyed Mr. Kenney’s comparison of Dan Snyder to George Steinbrenner. Ouch.

Another move that has baffled the Redskins faithful is the replacing of accomplished offensive coordinator Al Saunders with first time offensive coordinator Jim Zorn. Most confusing of all is the idea of hiring an offensive coordinator before you’ve hired a freaking coach! Oh, really? I’d be hard pressed to find that move in Football Team Building 101.

pigskin-dummies.jpg

Lucky for Al Saunders, there’s some interest in his services around the league. Most notably with…you guessed it…the Oakland Raiders.

How apropos. The dumb raiding the dumber…

dumbdumber.jpg

, , , , , , , ,

Guest Blogger: A Vermonter’s View of the Patriots Dynasty

by Brian

11cone.jpg

Regular readers of Talking NFL know that every now and then I like to slack off turn things over to a guest writer. With the Super Bowl just over a week away, we’re handing the reins over to a fellow Patriots fan and 451 Press writer. Her name is Randi Morse, and she writes for the extremely popular Brad Pitt Watch and Watching House. So kick back with a pint of Chunky Monkey and enjoy Randi’s journey as a Pats fan!

—————————-

I’ve lived in Vermont for my entire life. Around here, football seems like it belongs only in high school, as there is no stadium anywhere near here. When I got older and into high school I learned about the NFL and remember thinking that the Patriots were kind of like a joke. Like the last kid to be picked in gym class because you knew he was going to suck at dodge ball. Being a girl, and being a girl who wasn’t huge into sports, I decided that I would give all of my short sports-attention span to the Dolphins – mostly because they had cool colors and an awesome mascot. Luckily the year I chose to watch them they made it to the Superbowl…and lost. And, I must tell you, the Patriots didn’t enter my mind again until only three short years ago.

Three years ago I got a part-time job working at our local, hole-in-the-wall radio station. One of my responsibilities was inserting the commercials during the Patriots game. And on radio, a Patriots game can take hours. You have a few hours of pre-game chatter, the game, and then a few hours of post-game chatter. The first few games I blocked out everything, did my job, and would read a book or surf the net during any “talking”. Then, one day I found myself listening to the chatter and the game and realizing that – hey – the Patriots didn’t suck anymore! In fact, the Patriots were good…REALLY good!

The one thing that caught my attention the most was Bill Belichick. Whenever he had a press conference, whether it was after a great win or a tough defeat, he never bragged. He simply said that they did good, but that it didn’t mean they could rest. He embodied everything I’ve ever known and loved about old time New Englanders – they never brag, and they keep moving forward. You would never know that Belichick wasn’t born here.

040103_belichick_vmed_10awidec.jpg

Then the Patriots kept winning…and winning…and winning! Suddenly everyone I knew was holding a football party on a weekly basis, and even our tiny hole-in-the-wall radio station had teamed up with a company to give away a television for the Superbowl! And now we find that not only are the Patriots headed to the Superbowl again, they are doing so undefeated. That’s a big word, and one to live up to. Will I be watching the Superbowl on Superbowl Sunday? You bet! I’ve got someone to cheer for – a team that I can look at and tell my children that they belong to US – to New England. “They’re from around here”, I can say, “see – there are plenty of things to be proud about in New England.”

, , ,

Update on Tom Brady and Das Boot

by Brian

dasboot.gif

As you’ve probably heard by now, Patriot nation has breathed a HUGE collective sigh of relief at the news that Tom Brady is only suffering from a mild high ankle sprain, nothing more.

In fact, Tom and his gorgeous lady friend Gisele were spotted hitting the town earlier this week, and Brady was without the boot/brace he wore earlier in the day. So why did he have it on in the first place? The answer is probably one of the three:

1) Just a precaution
2) A Belichick ploy to confuse the Giants
3) Brady was in trouble w/Gisele

Personally, I believe option #3. Think about it - he was probably in the doghouse with Gisele for something dumb; like forgetting to call after the AFC Championship game or knocking up another C-level actress. And you know that a high profile, high income model like Gisele is also uber high maintenance and was waiting for him in NYC with the Wrath of Khan.

So what does Tommy Touchdown do? He buys some flowers AND puts a brace over his ankle. Imagine the scene when he walked into Gisele’s pad:

Tom: “Hey, babe. I brought you some flowers and- (winces) ow, my leg…”

Gisele: “Oh, you poor thing!”

(they do it)

Well played, Tom. Very well played indeed. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m running late to meet my girlfriend for dinner. Better put on that neck brace…

Update: Tom Brady has missed practice on both Thursday and Friday. Again, it’s either due to reasons #1 and #2 listed above, or the Patriots figure that having Gisele nurse him back to health is their best option. Can’t really argue with that logic…

, , ,

Now About That Other Super Bowl Team…

by Brian

Prior to the AFC Championship Game, football fans around the country were stunned when the Chargers knocked off the Colts, denying the New England vs Indianapolis rematch they were all pining to see.

But everyone quickly recovered once the Patriots knocked-off the spirited Chargers. For then the Cloverfield monster-like drooling over a Brett Favre vs Tom Brady uber QB face-off in Super Bowl XLII began in full. What a perfect match-up! What a phenomenal story line we can all bludgeon into the ground over the next two weeks!

eliyes.jpg

Oops. Nevermind. Care for some Eli?

Having said that, the Giants not only proved to be the better team on Sunday, but the younger Manning brother proved to be the better QB on the field as well. While he didn’t do anything spectacular, he didn’t kill his team with a crucial INT like his Green Bay counterpart did either.

And let’s not forget about that New York run game. Just like Eli, it has also been very consistent, with the two headed attack of Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw combining for 324 rushing yards in the playoffs.

But perhaps most noteworthy has been the excellent game schemes put together by Giants defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo in the postseason. He had multiple blitzes against the Cowboys during the Divisional Round. Yet against the Packers, New York kept the QB pressure to the base 4-man front, letting linebackers like Antonio Pierce drop into coverage to limit Favre’s multiple receiving options.

As for this revised Super Bowl match-up, what’s not to like about a New England vs New York storyline? Sure, Patriots fans were all looking for a little revenge against those Cheeseheads for Super Bowl XXXI, but hey, beating another NY team en route to another title sounds pretty good to me as well…

Not that a Patriots victory is a given, either. This Giants team is responsible for the largest come from behind victory Belichick’s crew had to muster this year in Week 17 (that being 12 points). This makes the early Vegas line of 13 to 14 points in favor of New England that much more surprising. With their strong pass rush and efficient offense, the Giants match-up very well with the undefeated Patriots.

How well? Oh hey, we’ve got nearly 2 weeks to analyze this match-up! (Ugh…)

, ,

Tom Brady in a Boot?!

by Brian

Care of Boston.com:

The New York Post published a picture today in which Patriots QB Tom Brady looked to be wearing a boot/protective brace over his right foot.

I’m not gonna freak out.
I’m not gonna freak out.
I’m not gonna freak out.
I’m not gonna freak out.

……

Too late, I’m f#@king freaking out!!!

, ,

About Talking NFL

Sports blog dedicated to following all things related to the National Football League one stock trading strategy, the best damn professional sports league in America. Including (but not limited to):

Hot teams, Mediocre teams, Really bad teams, Players, Cheerleaders, Coaches, GM's, Owners, Controversies, Rumors, The playoff picture, The Super Bowl, (...did I mention Cheerleaders all ready?), Free agency, The draft, League history, The media, Game day observations, Tailgating

All that, and this one stock trading strategy, uh….beer. Though not necessarily in that order. Oh, and cheerleaders, too. We like cheerleaders.

Talking NFL Author(s)
    » Brian

Sports & Outdoors Channel Posts

Hot Off The Press

  • hahahaha
    I love the cartoon shown over at Fiction Scribe! It shows a writer staring out of the window looking for ideas for blogging. Well, we've all been THERE, haven't we? It's sort of like me looking at [...]
  • Arkansas Baseball Notebook - March 2
    Arkansas posted a 3-1 overall record and a 2-1 mark in a second-place finish at the Domino's Pizza Aggie Baseball Classic in College Station, Texas, over the weekend. [...]
  • Did you notice?
    On last nights show, we all hoped we'd get some hint of what's going on with the siren call, or possibly a hint and America's Vote for the big twist coming up - something. Naturally, that didn't [...]
  • The Sun Monthly Great Cover Pic Get your news now.
    The painting on the front cover is by Leigh Guterson. March 28 Nrittyagram Dance Ensemble at Body 5-6 PM 333 Cordova Rd www.bodyofsantafe.com . The same group will be at the Lensic 3/29 7:30 [...]
  • What Astrology Says About the Current Economy
    March 3, 2008 George Bush in his press conference last Thursday announced that the United States is not in a recession. A slowdown maybe, but not a recession. With the stock market tumbling the [...]
  • Tim and Karen
    The lovely Karen Lynch from Discussing Breast Cancer has sent me her answers to the Story of Us meme! I hope you join me in welcoming her to the site and enjoy her 'story of us'. How long have [...]
  • Advising period for Fall 2008 registration begins...
    [...]
  • A Bias Against Homeschooling
    There has been quite a bit of talk lately on the biases against homeschoolers and homeschooling in general. It started when The Eclectic Homeschooler share a conversation she had checking out at a [...]
  • Gym Class Heroes at American Eagle Show
    Anerican Eagle Outfitters just held their winter ski-themed spring break at Squaw Valley USA in Olympic Valley, California, a couple of days ago. For those who made it to see Gym Class Heroes, it [...]
  • Make Faeries Real
    Is there a little faerie princess in your life? There is an image in my mind that comes back every spring. It is of the little girl, giant wings on her back, dancing through the grass pretending to [...]