Archive for the ‘Football’ Category

Football is a game for men- tough men.  Unlike many American males, I don’t lie to myself and others.  I could not play that game professionally.  It requires a physical toughness that I lack.  It also requires an emotional toughness that I am familiar with as a pastor.  In football, you have to deal with the emotional aspects of the game- remaining consistent when there are great hills and valleys.  Remaining stable in the face of constant obstacles.

Enter Jay Culter, the pouting All-Pro.  Jay can’t seem to understand that Pro Football is a business.  The goal is two-fold: compete to win the SuperBowl consistently, and make lots of money in the process.  The closer you are to the first, the easier it is for a team to accomplish the second.  As a result, the business-side, just like the game-side, is not easy on a person’s ego.  During the game, fans might boo you.  And during the off-season you might be linked with trade rumors.

Jay can’t imagine that the Broncos might entertain offers for a QB that 1. his new coach knows, and 2. had a better QB rating than he did.  Yes, Cutler had a record setting season.  But his team folded in the crunch (Cassel’s team when on a strong run that would have earned them a playoff spot in most divisions).  As QB, some of that falls on his shoulders.

But Cutler is pouting and demanding a trade- feeling so unwanted.  He’s is proving that they should have traded him.  First, he lacks the mental/emotional toughness required to flourish in professional football.  Trade possibilities have sent him into an epic, public freefall.  He just gave fans on other cities ammo with which to bait him and boo him.  Second, he is more concerned with himself than team.  This doesn’t sit well with any associated with the Patriots and their success over the course of this decade.  Individuals play, but only teams can win.  Teams are made of people who believe “the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the one” to quote the fictitious Spock from The Wrath of Kahn.  Cutler is focused on himself.  Not a good sign.  He demands his ego get stroked instead of submitting his ego to the needs of his team.  He also refuses to see that a few teams WERE really interested in him (I’m not sure why at this point).

Jay needs to take his meltdown where it belongs- behind closed doors- or no team will want him, including the one he’s on.  And while he’s there he may want to invest in some Daniel Goleman books on emotional intelligence.

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First it was Tom Brady.  His knee injury ended his season and their hopes for a return to the Super Bowl.  Prior to Monday’s game it was announced that Laurence Maroney was done for the year with a shoulder injury. His injury is not as crippling to the team since they have plenty of running backs.  If Sammy Morris did a bigger number on his knee than he did on the Bronco’s defense (racking up 138 yards in the FIRST HALF), then New England is in trouble.  But if he bounces back, Jordan comes back, and they don’t have to rely on an undrafted rookie free agent, the Patriots’ running game can still be very productive.  That means that Matt Cassel can be productive despite his superb ability to take a sack instead of dumping the ball off.

During the game Rodney Harrison was carted off the field.  Word today is a torn quadriceps, and he’s done for the season- and perhaps his career.

Football is a brutal sport.  The Patriots are not the only team to suffer so many season-ending injuries.  They can quickly put a cap on championship hopes (unless that player is Jeremy Shockey).  There are no guarantees in life, and especially in sports.  Injuries are part of the game, and affect the outcome of many a game or season.  They humble us, or should.  They display the fleeting nature of life, and the precarious nature of success.  They also provide obstacles that can build character, or reveal weakness of character.  Injuries also allow someone else the opportunity to rise to the occasion (think Tom Brady or Lou Gehrig).  Life is just as unpredictable of those sports we follow.

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If anyone can find a way to motivate the Patriots after losing Tom Brady to a knee injury (torn ACL & MCL), it is the Master of the Mind Games, Bill Belichick.

These are just the right tools a guy like Coach B needs to motivate a team- they hate you, they think you’re done.  You thought the Patriots were angry after “Spy Gate”, expect them to take this personally.  Tom Brady is their leader, friend and face of the franchise.  I expect most of them to rise to the occasion.  If that translates into victories remains to be seen.  But the opportunity is there.

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After going 0-4 in the preseason without any snaps taken by the NFL’s 2007 MVP Tom Brady, the Patriots (and their fans) greatest fear was an injury to their quarterback.

Photo by Jim Davis of Globe staff

Photo by Jim Davis of Globe staff

That didn’t take long.  On their second series a defender rolled up on his left leg while he was completing a pass to Randy Moss.  Out, gone, start praying people.  One sports injury expert, Will Carroll, suspects it is his PCL.  Strain or torn, who knows.

Amazingly, the Patriots pulled off a victory without their leader (17-10).  They benefit from a weak schedule early on, so perhaps they can remain competitive while Tom’s knee heals.

Update: Multiple sources are saying it’s a torn ACL, and Tom is done for the season.  They reportedly have FA QB Chris Simms coming in tomorrow.  That’ll be quite the drop off!  This could be quite the long season.

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You’ve probably heard the story so much you want to bury your head in the sand.  “SpyGate” has been a buzz since September, plaguing the Patriots all through their run for a championship.  The day before the biggest game of the year, the SuperBowl and a chance to do the unthinkable- 19-0, the Herald released the story that took it to the next level.  They ran a story claiming the Patriots had taped the Rams final walk thru prior to defeating them in the SuperBowl.

You just can’t take something like that back.  I don’t know if it affected the team.  I know Tom Brady’s ankle and the Giants’ relentless pass rush were factors.  This … hard to say.  But slander and libel are still slander and libel.  Real journalists should make sure their facts check instead of settling for the sensational.  Tomase apparently didn’t, and neither did the editors.  Other journalists caught doing such things in high profile situations (and this was very high profile) have paid the price.  No word yet from the Herald beyond this short apology.

On Feb. 2, 2008, the Boston Herald reported that a member of the New England Patriots’ video staff taped the St. Louis Rams’ walkthrough on the day before Super Bowl XXXVI. While the Boston Herald based its Feb. 2, 2008, report on sources that it believed to be credible, we now know that this report was false, and that no tape of the walkthrough ever existed.

Prior to the publication of its Feb. 2, 2008, article, the Boston Herald neither possessed nor viewed a tape of the Rams’ walkthrough before Super Bowl XXXVI, nor did we speak to anyone who had. We should not have published the allegation in the absence of firmer verification.

The Boston Herald regrets the damage done to the team by publication of the allegation, and sincerely apologizes to its readers and to the New England Patriots’ owners, players, employees and fans for our error.

I’m not sure that cuts it.  In the Old Testament, if you falsely accused another of a crime you received the punishment they would have received.  You really can’t strip the Herald of a SuperBowl, but perhaps they should donate a few million to the NFL Players Association to help the retired players who don’t receive the benefits now enjoyed by players.  Perhaps Tomase and the editors need to spend endless hours answering questions how they could to something so heinous and reprehensible, and then be suspended for a year or two.  Perhaps Kraft and Belichik should be given the opportunity to investigate their lives and print up some tasty tidbits.  What do you think would be just in this matter?

Annoying Update: Senator Spector apparently has too much time on his hands.  The energy crisis and its ripple effect through the economy, the War on Terror, the Social Security crisis, our on-going infanticide (and I could keep going) don’t matter nearly as much to him as … football.  There are serious matters that affect the country and he’s concerned about football.  Someone please give him a reality check, like the daily paper or something.

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It was a jam packed weekend filled with fun and frustration.  It is fun hearing that you don’t have any cavities!  It is also fun trying to teach my daughter how to cut paper with her new scissors.  She still uses both hands to open it, and wants to hold them at an odd angle.  Yes, it will take time.  But it was fun.

Frustration?  I was certainly frustrated with the same daughter was angry with me because I didn’t want her walking around with the blade unit from the Magic Bullet.  She can’t grasp that I’m trying to protect her from potentially dangerous situations.  All she knows is that I’m blocking her pursuit of fun.  It also was frustrating not being able to find a gender-neutral scooter for my kids at the W-M. 

Fun was watching my son play with his new cars.  A neighbor gave him the Cars collection.  He really enjoys playing with them- captivated really.  And he has not seen the movie.

Fun was watching him pretend to throw a baseball.  I had the Sox-Rays game on and he was mimicking the pitcher.  It was even funnier looking when I put his arm restraints back on.  He seemed captivated by baseball this weekend.

And boxing.  We were at a friend’s house.  They were showing part of the Ali-Ernie Shaver fight, and his eyes were glued to the TV.  Thankfully he wasn’t practicing with his arm restraints on this time.

Frustrating was having CavWife ask anytime I either had been or was going to be near a computer and wanting me check on the progress of the laptop.  I kept forgetting.  We were both frustrated.

Even more frustrating was watching the Sox get swept by the Rays (who have a very good team this year).  Why?  Try no off days in 3 weeks and fending off the bug.  They were worn out and wasted 2 superior pitching performances by Buchholz and Beckett.  Beckett’s 13 Ks meant an extra point for my fantasy team which remains in first place at this VERY early juncture.  I was also frustrated with watching the Hawks play an amazing game to beat the Celtics.

CavWife is not sure why the NFL draft is a big deal.  I’m not sure why anyone would spend all day watching it, much less heading to Radio City Music Hall.  I did check in periodically to see how the Patriots were doing.  Some people watch to see where players from their favorite college teams and alma maters go.  My alma mater, Boston University, no longer has a football team and so my efforts to see one of them drafter were in vain.  I can’t remember the last Terrier drafted in football or  basketball.  Hockey is a different story.  I think the Patriots addressed their most pressing needs (youth and speed at linebacker and cornerback).  But who’s to say at this point?

Our study of 1 Peter wrapped up chapter 2 Sunday night.  Our group is in transition.  The youth pastor will soon have to take over the youth study since the intern is graduating and moving on.  My long-term status in up in the air.  So we aren’t sure if the group will be able to continue come the Fall.  Someone would have to step up.

Today I took our son to one of his post-surgical appointments.  We arrived early since you can’t predict the traffic into Orlando.  We enjoyed a walk around a nearby park.  He enjoyed the fountains and the water fowls.  We saw a group of ducks that included 8-9 ducklings.  We also saw a good sized turtle swimming around in the pond.  I like sharing those moments with him.  So much better than the wet bedding (an unfortunate result of the liquid diet he’s been on since the surgery).

The surgeon was quite pleased with the repair on the lip.  He thought the palate was looking much better.  We were rinsing it when we should have been irrigating it.  The white spot I feared was a hole or exposed bone is only a scab (huge sigh of relief).  He should only wear the arm restraints for another week.  Once the stitches fall out we no longer have to irrigate.  All in all- a very good report from the surgeon.  I did discover that the reason all the skin was peeling off of his thumb was that in the restraints he couldn’t put it in his mouth.  So it dried out, really dried out.

I finally remembered to check the progress of the laptop.  Still in the repair process (sigh) so no pictures of the family or the animals we have seen.

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A$ante Samuel: Gone, signed with the Eagles.  This is a blow to the defense, but creates a potential problem with the Eagles other starting cornerback, who makes considerably less money.  He’s getting $20 million guaranteed.  His 6-year deal is worth about $57 million, so I’m guessing it was the up front money the Patriots didn’t want to meet.

Donte Stallworth: Gone, signed with the Browns for 7 years & $35 million.  $10 million is guaranteed.  He became the Patriots’ 4th WR by the end of the year.  Not a great loss aside from the fear that they also lose Moss and really be up the creek w/out a paddle.

Randall Gay:  Gone, returning to Luisiana for a 4-year, $17+ million deal.  He hurts the Patriots from a depth issue.  But that is too much to pay for a guy who won’t be your premiere corner.  I’m okay with this unless we get totally toasted in the secondary next year.

Jabar Gaffney: ?????  They continue to dialogue.  Apparently interest around the league has been minimal even though he surpassed Donte Stallworth on the depth chart.  He fits in well with the Patriots, and if he can be signed for a good deal, go for it (I’m sure Pioli is hanging on my every word).

Eugene Wilson: ?????  He is another guy who slipped on the depth chart, losing his starting job to James Sanders.  Brandon Meriweather may be poised to take his spot.  Keeping him would be for maintaining in depth.  The Patriots have learned you can’t have enough safeties and cornerbacks.  But, the price would have to be affordable.  I suspect he is looking for a big pay day.  It might not come.

Rosevelt Colvin: ???? His release was a salary cap move.  He was due a big bonus.  His injury really hurt the Patriots late in the year.  He could come back if they can find a middle ground financially.  Coming off a foot injury, he may find a difficult market.

Tedy Bruschi: Not Gone.  He signed a multi-year deal.  Yeah, he is getting old.  But he is like another coach on the field.  He is one of those guys who also has inestimatible value in the locker room.  He’s one of the main advocates among the players of “the Patriot way”.  Despite his age, this is a great move.

Lonie Paxton: Not Gone.  The tattoed long snapper is back.  He likes it here, and likes winning.  Long snappers don’t get mega-deals anyway.

Larry Izzo: Not Gone.  A special teams captain, he is an important part of the Super Bowl run.  He’s some of the glue that holds the baby together.

Kelley Washington: Not Gone.  He’ll continue returning kicks for the Patriots (his primary value at this point), and may get a few receptions too if someone gets hurt.  That may change with the signing of Sam Aiken.

Randy Moss: Not Gone?  A deal is supposed to be nearly done.  We’ve heard similar things before, so it could always go wrong over something stupid, like “I want a full bag of peanut M&M’s in my locker before every game!”  But this is the biggest piece of the puzzle for a return to the Super Bowl, and to make Tom Brady a happy man.  This keeps the offense open, even if he doesn’t catch anything.  Teams have to guard him and hope Welker, Gaffney, Watson and Maroney don’t beat them.  Obviously they tend to beat you.  Update: Done!  3 years & $27 million.

But I think we are seeing that the Patriots are returning to the formula that made them successful before having such a stocked team last year.  They built the team around solid, if unspectacular guys.  It was about the team, and the system, not individual skills and glory.  Last season was a blip, so to speak.  It was a reaction to losing to the Colts in the final minute.  But they just couldn’t do that again after losing to the Giants in the final seconds this year.  Maybe they’ll bring Ty Law back (he got his guaranteed millions to watch the Chiefs stink) to shore up the cornerback situation.  Next year’s team won’t run the table, but they will compete for a shot at another Super Bowl.

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Arlen Specter take note of this interview with 2-time Super Bowl winning coach Jimmy Johnson on reportedly on WFAN during Super Bowl week (he reiterates much of what he has said earlier on national TV, but apparently not everyone was listening).

Q: How about the spying thing Jimmy. You’re a coach does that bother you what Belichick did?

JJ: Oh please. I’ve said it on our show. Eighteen years ago a scout for the chiefs told me what they did, and he said what you need to do is just take your camera and you go and zoom in on the signal caller and that way you can sync it up. The problem is that if they’re not on the press box side you can’t do it from the press box, you have to do it from the sideline. This was 18 years ago.

Q: You think the NFL came down too hard on them?

JJ: No, no, I said it on the show. He was wrong for doing it for the simple reason that the league knew this was going on not just in New England but around the league. And the league sent out the memorandum to all of the teams saying you cannot do this. And so that’s when Bill Belichick was wrong. After he got the memorandum saying don’t do it any more, he did it.

Q: Did you ever steal signals?

JJ: Oh in a heartbeat, yeah. Yes I did.

Q: Via video, Jimmy? Or no?

JJ: Oh yeah, I did it with video and so did a lot of other teams in the league. Just to make sure that you could study it and take your time, because you’re going to play the other team the second time around. But a lot of coaches did it, this was commonplace.

Q: But did you do it by taping the signal caller?

JJ: Yeah.

Q: Oh you did.

JJ: That’s what I’m saying. I was saying one of Marty Schottenheimers scouts, Mark Hatley, who has passed away now, Mark told me that’s how they did it, and Howard Mudd their offensive line coach with Kansas City, who now coaches for Tony Dungy, he was the best in the entire league at stealing signals.

Q: Where’d you put your guy who was videotaping? Where was he?

JJ: My guy was up with my camera crew in the press box. So you’d just put an extra camera up with your camera crew in the press box who zoomed in on the signal callers. That’s the best way to do it, but anyway you can’t always do that because the press box camera crew might be on the same side as the opposing team. If they’re on the same side as the opposing team that’s when you need to do it from the sideline.

It is time for Specter, and some former NFL players to put all their righteous indignation aside.  This practice has been going on for years, and was done by many, if not most teams.  It doesn’t make it right, but let’s get this notion that ONLY the Patriots did it to rest.  Perhaps this is why Specter feels “stonewalled” by the Patriots, Jets and other teams.  Most teams of have done this, and it really is a league matter.  It does not involve the health of our youth, but league rules.  The league therefore determines the proper penalties.  I still don’t understand why Specter feels the need to stick his nose in this, aside from his perspective of a private citizen who is an Eagles fan.  He should not abuse his political power in such a matter.

Now, if it is proven the Patriots taped the Rams last practice (and that would be the Patriots, not Matt Walsh doing his own thing and taping it), which means there is a tape of the practice, and documentation that the organization or a superior had prior knowledge and consent, then the NFL should impose additional penalties.  Here we are dealing with something more than the actions of an individual, but an organizational conspiracy that must be proven.  The existence of a tape does not prove that the Patriots’ coaching staff told him to do it, or used it in preparation for the Super Bowl.

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Patriots Reloading

Usually Super Bowl teams lose members of the coaching staff.  The Patriots gained an experienced defensive coach in Dom Capers.  He has head coaching experience, as well as being a defensive coordinator.  Dean Pees remains the defensive coordinator, but Capers brings lots of experience in the 3-4, particularly in pressuring the QB.  The Patriots had a problem with that after Rosevelt Colvin went down with his foot injury.  This problem set up the Giants Super Bowl victory: they pressured Brady, and we couldn’t sack Eli Manning on the final drive.  This is an important move that should improve the Patriots’ defense.

Larry Izzo is back.  He’s a key guy on special teams, and is a team captain.  He played for the Dolphins before coming to the Patriots.

They brought in some more Dolphins’ cast offs- LB Zach Thomas and WR Marty Booker.  No signings yet, but perhaps Izzo will make a special offseason play by reaching out to Thomas.

Randy Moss was not given the franchise tag, which leads most to speculate they have a verbal agreement with their #1 receiver.

They really need to pick up some guys for the secondary and linebacker to be ready to return to the Super Bowl.

Update: Reports now have Thomas signing with the Cowboys for 1 yr. & $3 million.

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Like the Steroid hearings, this baby just won’t go away.  Some new tidbit stirs up the dust again.  Apparently former Patriots’ videotaping assistant Matt Walsh thinks he holds the key.  The question might be, is it authentic or a counterfeit?

Walsh wants immunity and protection from lawsuits (understandable since he would have in his possession materials that don’t belong to him).  Okay, that makes sense.  But he and the NFL can’t agree.  He wants protection from lawsuits even if he is not truthful.

“Michael Levy, Walsh’s Washington, D.C.-based attorney, said his client has videotapes. But before releasing them to investigators, he wants protection against being sued.

“The two sides traded proposals last week but have yet to reach a resolution. The league’s proposal offered Walsh protection on two conditions. According to commissioner Roger Goodell: “(He) has to tell the truth and he has to return anything he took improperly.”

“Levy doesn’t believe the agreement offers enough protection, particularly if Walsh is accused of being untruthful.

“Under our proposal, Mr. Walsh is only protected if he is in good faith truthful,” Levy said. “And he will be.”

“The NFL wants the same thing, and in a statement from one of its attorneys, questioned Levy’s contention.

“Eric Holder, a partner in Covington and Burling, the NFL’s outside law firm, said: “No responsible investigator would offer blanket immunity to a potential witness without a commitment that the witness will be truthful. Any witness who refuses to make that commitment doesn’t deserve immunity.””

Sounds to a reasonable person that Matt Walsh wants freedom to lie without consequences.  Sorry, but he does sound like a bitter former employee who sees an opportunity to make a name for himself.  If I know I’m telling the truth, all I would need would be freedom from violating my non-disclosure contract.  That is it.  He wants more, and continues to drag this whole question of whether or not the Patriots taped the Rams’ walkthru in 2002.  The Patriots can’t prove they didn’t.  Walsh is the only one who claims he can, but he isn’t.

This is similar to the Steroid mess.  Clemens can’t prove he didn’t take steroids.  But McNamee has provided evidence he has- at great risk to himself.  McNamee goes to jail if he lies.  This, and the coorboration of Andy & Chuck, make him a despicable though credible witness.  He admits previous lies he told to others (when he was not under oath).  Roger talks in circles hoping no one realizes that he isn’t answering the question.

The Patriots have answered the question.  No evidence has been provided.  The only guy who claims to have evidence wants to remove the only thing that would grant him any credibility- penalties for lying.  See, though similar these 2 cases have a significant difference.  I can’t believe Roger at this point, and neither can I believe Walsh.

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Any Given Sunday


That’s the saying, which is a reason I didn’t help my dad on a football pool.  I think the Patriots were by and far the best team of the year.  But last night, the Giants were the better team.  Their defensive line dominated the line and put pressure on Brady.  CavSon was not too happy about that, and CavDaughter’s attempts to console him were in vain (she was reminding him Spring Training was about to start).

The Giants got a little help from the refs on that last drive.  At 1:22 they stopped the clock to measure.  The clock should start again when they place the ball.  They added 6 seconds, and didn’t restart the clock until the ball was snapped.  Since they scored at :35, … who knows.  But they got the job done.

I wonder how much that ankle bother Brady’s long distance accuracy.  Some of those passes missed because the Giants’ defense hit him.  Brady just didn’t seem to be himself.

Congratulations to the Giants on executing a great gameplan.

One great thing is that the Patriots won together, and lost together.  In this devastating loss, there has been no finger pointing or shoving anyone under the bus.  The next question is who won’t be back, and who will.  This list included Troy Brown, Randy Moss, Jabar Gaffney, Donte Stallworth, and  Asante Samuel.  Bruschi & Seau may be considering retirement.  Next year’s team may have some significant changes to the receiving corps and linebackers.  My guess is that they make good offers to Moss & Gaffney to stay.  I fear Samuel is gone, but one thing the Patriots organization has done to succeed is to avoid sentimentality- don’t let your feelings for an individual become more important than what is best for the team.  Fans have a hard time with that, usually.

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Hats off to Patriots’ great Andre Tippett- he’s in the Hall of Fame.  He was a monster linebacker when I was a kid.  He’s the Patriots’ all-time leader in sacks.  Injuries kept him from being even more of a force.  It was a long time coming for Andre, and Patriots nation celebrates with him.

Definitely not a hats off to the story that ran yesterday in the Boston Herald, and is now being run to death by ESPN.  It really disturbs me when you have scandals based on unnamed sources who produce NO evidence.  As was once said, “the media is a hungry dog- feed it or it will eat you.”  As if the historic march to 19-0 was not enough (maybe since so few think the Giants can stop them) this has to rear its ugly head.

Both the Patriots & NFL have denied there is any substance to these accusations.  Sounds like someone with an axe to grind, or they’d offer their identity (like McNamee) and/or some actual evidence.  So ESPN is sending Fish to pester Matt Walsh, who sadly perpetuates the speculation by neither denying or affirming the accusation.  ESPN is spinning this as he’s got something to hide.  Maybe he just doesn’t know anything, because there is nothing to know.  Now Arlen Spector is sure to press this issue.  I’m growing weary of the endless need to have hearings and probes into every suspected wrongdoing.  We are navel gazing while big problems that will affect us, our kids and grandkids are continually ignored by politicians.

Something like this would throw off any team, except maybe the Patriots who seem to thrive on stuff like this.  This may not bode well for the Giants.

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Things look good in AZ as Tom Brady practiced without tape, and without a limp.  The ankle should be no problem come Sunday.  His ankle isn’t even on the injury report (though that right shoulder is).  With 2 starting linemen back (they didn’t play in week 17), the protection should be better.  That and the AZ weather should open the throttle on the offense.  I don’t think it will be as close as Week 17, but I have been wrong before.

No KG the last 2 games, and 2 wins.  The first was not a surprise, though Ray Allen didn’t play either.  The Celtics only creamed the lowly Heat.  But tonight they beat a tough Dallas team thanks to some late game heroics by James Posey and Rajon Rondo.  I guess it’s more than just KG, PP and RA.

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We figured this day would come, and it has.  Today Eli may have figured out he is not going back to the orphanage and his nanny.  It was a very long afternoon as he spent most of it crying.  First he was sad, and then it was an angry cry.  CavWife would appreciate prayer that the travel day would not be filled with crying- that would make a monstrously long day even longer.

There have been lots of storms north of them (one family’s flight took off just before the airport closed), and it has been unseasonably cold.  She did not prepare for this when packing clothes for him.  So they haven’t been going to all the local sights or shopping trips.  Tomorrow they don’t have to actually go to the consulate, just be available if there are questions.  The guides will bring the paperwork.  At least they won’t have to sit in an office forever.

Update:  It was a pretty quiet day on the home front.  I took a big nap while the Celtics lost on national TV.  No KG, and the Magic barely beat them.  I can take that.  The little girl got out the hair cutting kit and told me Mema had to cut my hair.  I told her to wait until her mom came home.  Then she wanted hers cut.  I told her I had a feeling that she’d be going to get it cut soon.

She has a mild peanut allergy (hives) and we aren’t sure about other nuts.  So after I realized she had almond bread, I was not sure what to think.  I went off to Family Group, teaching on 1 Peter 2:1-3.  When I got home she was still up.  Her lower lip was bigger than usual.  My in-laws couldn’t find the Benedryl (surely CavWife didn’t bring it all to China.  Yes, she had).  They weren’t sure if she accidently got hit by one of the neighborhood kids, but I couldn’t see any teeth marks on the inside of the lip.  But she seemed fine and we got her off to bed.  Meanwhile, my fever hit with a vengeance and I could feel the sinus pressure under one eye and my teeth hurt on that side.  So I lay on the couch under the covers and watched SuperBowl 38 (Patriots-Panthers).  Why did they put the World Broadcast on there????  Surely most of the fans will be Americans and not be able to calculate from kilograms to pounds on the fly.  That and all the annoying little explanations of the game.  I guess that may help when the CavKids watch it when they are younger. 

Then I finished up the Vince Flynn novel.  Great read … but I found it tapped into that part of me that wants vengeance here and now instead of remember that it is the Lord’s to repay- and He will in due time (Rom. 12).  Of course, Mitch Rapp is the “sword” of the government in the story, so … (obviously he has personal motives in addition to executing justice on the part of the government).  What I do like is how justice is not lost in politics and legal rules, in the end.  I’d better stop here, it is a discussion for a different forum.

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Among the various things scrolling one the news scenes in I am Legend was that the Patriots beat the Giants for the second time that season 23-7.  Hmmmm.  Of course the movie takes place in 2009, and I doubt the Knicks will be even remotely good then, or gas prices over $6.

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I was listening to the local ESPN affiliate, which has some sad local programming in the afternoon.  The host is superstitious.  He notes that you should bet on the Giants because they are 7-0 in their white uniforms this season. 

Apparently he doesn’t realize that Patriots are 18-0 regardless of the uniform they are wearing.

I’m increasingly weary of the LT is soft garbage.  A certain former-NFL player who now does analysis for ESPN thinks you should play unless you need surgery.  That’s a very strange criteria.

I had/have an MCL strain incurred on 12/29.  It is not completely healed, but I’m getting around okay.  To think that I would have been able to play football, as a running back, one week after straining it is NUTS.  The MCL provides the stability to needed to make cuts, change directions, etc. that are so important to being a good running back.  If you have a strain you just can’t do it.  Surgery is not necessary to correct the problem- it takes time to heal.  Some serious injuries are not repaired by surgery, this is one.  If this guy can miss 6 games with turf toe, he has no room to talk.

The problem here is really the chess game played by teams to gain a competitive advantage.  They don’t want you to know the facts of the injury.  This affects game planning.  LT did try to play, and found it impossible.  People need to get off his back.  If you want to get on it, jump on for his lack of support for his teammates.  That was pathetic.

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Tom Brady was mortal- throwing 3 picks.  He seemed to lack his usual accuracy, perhaps due to changes in wind speed.  Don’t know, but the Red Zone Defense and Laurence Maroney saved this game for the Patriots.  Rather than get 21 points when they got to the Red Zone, the Patriots held them to 9.  And then there was Maroney who took over in the second half, grinding out yards and eating up time.  The Patriots eclipse the Dolphins’ 17-0 mark, but still have to win the SuperBowl.  Hey, Mercury, are they in your neighborhood yet?!

The Chargers seem to have handled this loss with far more grace than last year.  Not sight of L(ots of)T(ears) and “Cry Me a” Rivers.  Apparently center Nick Hardwick can’t stand Richard Seymour.

Oh, we’ll be facing the Giants again.  It only took the kicker 3 shots to get the field goal.  Gambler Favre reappeared with some costly INTs, particularly the one to set up the winning FG.  My brother-in-law will be excited.  I have to think that Belichick’s got the advantage having played against them before, and Brady should bounce back for a good game.  Should be a tough game- the Giants have the QB pressure needed on defense, and some good running backs.  The thought of  back-to-back Mannings winning the SuperBowl leaves the taste of vomit in my mouth though. 

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I feel like I’ve been in a big fog lately.  I’ve got the cold that never ends (going on 3 weeks), and all the adoption stuff leading up to CavWife’s departure for China.  Now I’m home alone with Daddy Duty. 

I’ll have a bit of a respite today when I get to watch my long-beloved Patriots (no johnny come lately kind of fan here) try to get to another SuperBowl.  A healthy Rodney Harrison (and Junior Seau) could have meant trips in the last 2 years as well.  I’m not sure why people “hate” the Patriots now.  Is is merely success?  Is it the coach?  Of course I look through Patriot-colored glasses.  I see a team, that in a league trying to enforce parity through a hard salary cap, that continues to compete.  These guys are NOT the Yankees.  Every team can spend the same amount of money, so you need guys who will fit well within your system and philosophy.  The Patriots have simply chosen, prepared and executed better than other teams.  People hate them for that???

I could see people hating the Chargers.  They talk trash all week.  The QB even talks trash with fans.  The Patriots respond by dominating you on the field.  Yeah, Tom Brady had a few well-chosen words for that Steelers’ rookie after burning him repeatedly.  But that was AFTER showing he didn’t have the goods to stop the Patriots’ attack.  If you talk trash to the Patriots, they’ll let you hear about it after they beat you (like last year’s game against the Chargers).

The Chargers are a good team.  They got some very talented players.  This means they have a chance to win the game.  There are no gimme’s.  Each victory must be earned, and the winner of today’s game will have to play smarter and hit harder than the other team.  I think that team will be the Patriots, but it could be the Chargers.  The Chargers have been telling us they will all week.  The Patriots, well, let their play do the talking.

Since I’ve got to head off and teach Bible study at 5:30, I’m hoping this thing is done by half-time.

Updates:  This will be a brutal, ugly game thanks to the wind.  The passing game becomes a big gamble.  As one with a bum knee right now, I wasn’t sure Philip Rivers should be out there.  He’s barely able to bend that knee.

Opps.  Turnover.  That could be how this game is won and lost.  That was probably a ball caught in the wind.

Gaffney decided to remind the Chargers’ defense of his name after that TD.  Some of them couldn’t remember his name even though he had a great game against them last year.

I’m not liking that they Patriots didn’t at least get 3 on that second INT.  17-9 or 21-9 is obviously better than 14-9. 

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Quite the weekend in the NFL.  Saturday’s games went as expected, though the Seahawks looked like they might pull off an upset.  But the Pack settled down and took over the game.  The snow made for a very interesting game.

The Jags got off to a fast start too, and looked like they would give the Patriots a great game.  But the Jags defense was unable to stop the Patriots offense, and they Patriots defense stuffed the Jags potent running attack.  It was the Patriots who ended up having the 100-yard rusher. 

Sunday was like Freaky Friday, where the mom and daughter switch bodies except this time it was the Manning boys.  Eli won, and Peyton went home.  Actually it was like the return of my beloved old Peyton- he of the “Manning Face”.  If you remove the 2 INTs, he had a great game and should have won.  The Colts pretty much dominated but couldn’t convert that into the all-important points.  That the Chargers did this with Gates hobbling around the whole game, LT missing most of the game and River missing the 4th quarter make is all the more impressive.  But the Chargers continued to show that they lack class.  They talk trash before the game, act like immature louts during the game and just seem to lack emotional maturity.  We’ll see if they are crying again like after last year’s playoff game against the Patriots.  We’ll see if Philip Rivers is taunting fans, or hanging his head.  Should make for some interesting drama.

In Dallas it was the flip side.  As Dallas seemed to dominate, but the Giants were more efficient in putting points on the board.  Eli had a solid, if unspectacular, game.

All this sets up 2 rematches of Week 2 of the NFL schedule between 4 teams whose place of origin has 2 names (New England vs. San Diego; Green Bay vs. New York- stupid trivia of the day). 

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