"Hell may have no fury like a woman scorned but heaven hath no sweetness like a sports fan vindicated." - Samcat

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Welp, that sucked.

(Photo from Boston.com)

Sometimes, there just isn't that much more to say. Seems to be one step forward, one step back with Mr. Cassel as the wheels came off that one rather quickly yesterday. It was deadlocked at 10-10 and then, all of a sudden, blowout, no thanks to the lack of ball control on Young Matthew's part.

Guess it just isn't our year, folks. Not that I'm throwing in the towel, mind you, but at best it's an uphill climb for our Patriots and all in the know certainly thought the road to the playoffs went through Pittsburgh. And I'm bizarrely calm about it. Bizarrely. In fact, Sebastian - noted Steelers fanatic - and I had a completely civil conversation yesterday during the game about all manner of things. Not once did I swear at him, vow vengeance and fury on his football team or threaten destruction to Pittsburgh and it's environs. He seemed confused. But I do believe that Bernard Pollard partially lobotomized me in Week 1 and I've been operating under the tableau of managed expectations ever since. Either that, or I've lost my will to live. One or the other.

I was, however, incredibly grateful to see Our Football Baby Jesus Tom Brady, front and center on the Globe front page on Thursday, dishing out turkey and all the fixins' at a shelter in West Roxbury, supermodel girlfriend in tow. Not only is that incredibly generous and exactly what people with that level of visibility should be doing with their time if given the chance, but it was also nice for us to see Sir Tom and to realize that, you know, he is still alive and will come back to us shortly. Lest we forget. Plus, after last week's trouncing of Miami and Young Matthew's 400+ yards, he might've been feeling a little forgotten and under-appreciated. Never, Thomas. Never you fear.

I cannot believe it's already coming up on Week 14 as it really does feel like this season just started, but considering the circumstances, perhaps it's for the best. I suppose at this point all we can do is hope Randall Gene (Chrissy's full name for Randy Moss when he starts acting out), feels acrobatic, fixes his current and troubling case of the dropsies and that Wes Welker is not too shaken up. And delight in the grown up, big boy things Young Matthew occasionally does.

In the meantime? Bruins, y'all. For serious.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Matt Cassel Confidence Camp

(Photo from Boston.com)

Is it just me or does it look like Matt Light and Channing Crowder up there are engaging in a complicated dance routine that would not be out of place in a latter day Michael Jackson video? Perhaps in the Broadway debut of "Fisticuffs!" the long-awaited follow-up to "Beat It." Especially with the hair pulling and hammer punching and what have you. Not to mention a man named "Channing" attempting to rile up the crowd with his team down by 20.

Any given Sunday, I guess.

And how about that Matt Cassel fellow? That Matt Cassel fellow, who, I should add, now holds a record not even previously owned by a one Mr. Thomas Edward Brady. 400+ yards passing in two consecutive games. I'll bet Mama Cassel baked an extra batch of double-fudge brownies for her little man this week. She probably threw in some nice butterscotch candies for Randy too since he sure does make Matthew's job easier. Even being blatantly pass-interfered with, he manages to pull down a touchdown. I've said it before and I'll say it again; I love it when Matty remembers that Randy Moss is on his team.

Plus, Matthew has got some attitude his own self what with the running for touchdowns and fist pumping and what have you. At one point, one of the commentators claimed that he reminded them of Tom Brady...only faster. And while I generally do not truck with disparaging comments about Tom Brady in any respect, it is true that you can time his runs with a sun dial. So perhaps Matthew does have a leg up on him in that respect.

So that's how it's gonna be, apparently. The Matt Cassel Experiment has officially taken off. Early results were mixed but I think we now have a pretty good idea what we're dealing with here. I mean, any given Sunday and all that and next week we play the freakin' Steelers (I suspect there are dear friends I won't be talking to for a week so as to prevent any of us saying anything we can't take back), so we shall see what we shall see. And obviously, none of this makes losing Brady for the season any easier, per se. But 48 pts and the fact that the Dolphins were made to swallow their vaunted "Wildcat offense" will do something to assuage the deep feelings of loss and the empty, empty Sundays stretching out interminably before us.

Plus, the Bruins, y'all. The Bruins are good. For reals.

Thursday, November 20, 2008


(Photo from Boston.com)

If I had one million American dollars (I don't. Have you heard? We're in a recession), I would bet all of them that in that picture up there, Pedroia is talking so much shit to someone about winning the MVP and how "It's not like I was surprised at all because justice was served. Because people talk about my height and all but it's just 'cause they got no imagination. I mean, did you see my mad ups? I totally got skillz, y'all."

Do any of us doubt that's exactly how Dustin Pedroia talks? They're going to have to seriously consider widening the door of the Sox clubhouse if Petey's continually expanding cranium is going to fit through.

There is also little doubt in my mind that he will be all up in Kevin Youkilis's face (or let's face it, he was totally the first person he called upon receiving the news), because Youks got third place for the MVP. You know he said something about how it's because he's faster than Youks. Inside-the-park home run and all be damned. This friendly feud, people, I'm telling you, will not end until one of them ends up tied upside down to Pesky's Pole while wearing a garter belt and fishnets. Who knows which one? Normally I'd say the shenanigans would involve some kind of head shaving/questionable facial hair tomfoolery but consider the parties involved.

Anyway, despite all the shit I give him in this space and how insufferable he most assuredly will remain for a while, congratulations are definitely do Dustin Pedroia. Nice work, wee one.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Official Minutes

(Photo from pierogisnat.blogspot.com)

Newest InSite piece is out wherein Amy and I take you deep inside the Annual Meeting of the Young Quarterback's Professional Society to bring you the official minutes. We can only assume the above is a publicity photo.


Friday, November 14, 2008

On the plus side...

(Photo from Boston.com)

You guys didn't hear it from me but...shhhhh! Bruins.

For reals.

I know, right? My crush on Milan Lucic (see above) continues unabated.

Okay, now, back to what you were doing. Forget I said anything.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Football already?

(Photo from Boston.com)

Gentlemen, Jerod Mayo cannot do it all by himself. He is just young. He is still new here. Y'all gotta play defense too. Granted, you all tried exceptionally hard and certainly didn't make it easy on the Jets but unfortunately, close doesn't count for divisional games or overall standings.

And Matt Cassel surely tried to script his legend and, you know, that's a hell of a chapter he added there. I'd say a 1-second remaining 16-yard tying touchdown pass to Randy Moss is a good start. Also, how do you think Ty Law felt about being on the wrong side of that one?

But this team makes me tired this year. They just leave me weary. This whole up and down nonsense is not good for my heart or my blood pressure. And I've just started drinking again. My tolerance is not where it should be for the middle of this contentious football season.

Also, I've had just about enough of that Leon Washington fellow and I will thank him to sit down and keep quiet.

Of course, the way things are going this season, we could all wake up tomorrow to the first place Miami Dolphins due to some shenanigans that could happen tonight while we're all sleeping if the Ghost of Chad Pennington's T-Neck flies backwards around the Earth and reverses the rules of time and space. What? It could happen.

I'm telling you, nothing would surprise me.

But since we evidently play football on Thursdays now, it's almost like we've got another half bye week here. Perhaps it's my fault. I was ill-prepared. I spent tonight ironing work clothes for tomorrow and preparing for meetings instead of what I usually do on Sundays which is...praying fervently that the following day is a holiday I've overlooked and I'll wake up to realize that I get to sleep in due to...Arbor Day or something. Point being, football on Thursday is weird. It's different and unfamiliar. I fear change. (Just kidding, Barack).

So I guess now we...prepare for the Dolphins? In like a week and a half? We just watch football on Sunday without heart palpitations? Weird. I guess I can give it a try. Okay, I got it. This is what we're doing. No Wildcat offense. Everyone on board? None of that Ronnie Brown fellow. Excellent. Now let's go.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Law Firm Offense

(Photo from Boston.com)

Have you all met my new favorite Patriot? His name is BenJarvus Green-Ellis. And he is delightful. Appears he just wants to run the football. All day and all night. I’m a sucker for shots of a player’s mom in the stands so Lil’ BenJarvus’s momma Latonia was a sight to see. But seriously, for someone who’s name I wouldn’t have recognized a month ago, he’s sure been making some noise around these parts.

Which is just as well, frankly, because of the fact that the injury monster keep swallowing players – particularly our running backs – whole. It’s like we’ve never even uttered the names “Maroney” or “Morris” or “Jordan” this season. Obviously, there was another high-profile injury – or hadn’t you heard? – so perhaps banged-up RBs get put on the back burner. But if the man with all the names wants to take care of things, I’m fine with that.

Likewise, Little Matty Cassel appears to finally, FINALLY be coming into his own. Yesterday it was as though he seemed to realize “Wait, Randy Moss and Wes Welker are on my team, aren’t they? And I get to use them? They’re not Tom’s toys?” No, Matty, they’re your toys too. Particularly Welker who continues to amaze with his abilities to make big plays. (He was totally out of bounds on that one catch but I’ll just consider that officiating retribution for years of bullshit pass interference calls on Asante Samuel.) It’s fun to watch Cassel mature as QB1. I’m sure if Jason Varitek weren’t currently in the midst of some serious crack smoking, leading him to ask the baseball world for Scrooge McDuck money, he’d give us all a very tender and intimate portrait of what happens when a boy such as Cassel becomes a man.

That little hiccup at the end there aside (shades of last week’s bizarre game management?), the defense was particularly good as well. Which further contributes to their Jekyl and Hyde nature this season. But I know one thing, someone best make them boys defend against the Wildcat offense in their sleep. And also, I’m tired of hearing about the Wildcat offense. Make it stop.

Also, I really, really hate onside kicks. Like, a lot.

So we’re left with a few short days before the AFC East clash of the titans on Thursday night. Or, er, not the Titans, per se, but the, um, you know what? Nevermind. Let’s just all prepare to make fun of Brett Favre again, no? Excellent.

On a personal note, I completed my first half-marathon yesterday with a 2:14:35 time and could not have done it without Katherine and her months of support and training. Seriously, if y’all need a running coach, get in touch with Katherine. Equally helpful? Her husband Sebastian and our friend’s Ted, Greta, and Amy who positioned themselves at several spots along the route so that we could run by their insane screaming and car speakers blasting “Eye of the Tiger.” Know what’s pumpier than that? Nothing. Thanks also to my parents, The Rick and The Sue, who came out to support me, despite the fact that they surely think I’m certifiable. Thanks all you guys. You’re the greatest.

(Sebastian Habr photo)

Look at that bipartisanship!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

The Big Win

(Photo from Boston.com)

I try to stay out of political rhetoric in this space because I usually feel it has little to nothing to do with sports commentary and there are several thousand other places where you can read opinions and punditry and politico-talk and I like to serve as a respite from that kind of thing. But I have my opinions - many of them - and they are strongly held. And I care a great deal about the decisions this country makes.

And so, I felt the need to declare my excitement and happiness over Barack Obama's election in this most historic of presidential races.

In the parlance of the sports we all know and love: good on ya, America. You knocked it out of the park. I'm proud of you.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Missed Opportunities

(Photo from Boston.com)

You know, it's not often that the Pats lose and we find ourselves questioning the coaching tactics of Bill Belichick. Usually it's dropped passes (check), or subpar quarterback play (eh), or terrible officiating (not really), but it's not Billiam.

But this time, well, really, Bill? What was that about? The time outs and the challenge and weird stuff like that and I'm wondering if maybe he's in a sugar coma after confiscating Stephen Gostkowski's and Matt Cassel's Halloween stash because if you think those two didn't go trick or treating dressed as Mario and Luigi, you've got another thing coming.

So can we chalk this one up to Halloween hangover? Because Cassel was fine and Manning wasn't Superman and there but for the grace of Vinatieri, yet again. I mean, I'm personally still dealing with a jelly bean overdose so it's entirely possible the Pats were too. Plus, with the Bills' loss to the Jets, the AFC East boasts a three way tie for first place. Bizarre.

Of course, Amy and I did allow ourselves to get a tiny bit despondent:

Amy: I miss Tom Brady.

Me: Me too.
Do you think we can write him a nice letter and ask him to come back sooner?

Amy: Randy looks like he'd get in on that action.

Me: He would probably write one in glitter pen.

Amy: And point out where his teardrops smudged the ink.

Me: That's beautiful and tragic, Randall.