...has always been a part of sports and being on a sports team. Teammates always rib each other in good fun. But now the term is associated with painful and not remotely humorous sports injuries. What is going on with all the injured ribs lately? We had Tom Brady and his ribs during the Patriots season. Jacoby Ellsbury's situation with the Red Sox has been well documented, and fellow outfielder Jeremy Hermida also had his ribs fall victim to Adrian Beltre, who is quickly earning a reputation as the Dominican Mike Greenwell for the way he is wiping out outfielders.
Now, the rib injury epidemic has spread to the World Cup and the US soccer team. Goalie Tim Howard bruised his ribs in the US's 1-1 draw with England on Saturday, when England forward Emile Heskey slid into him studs up. Howard plans to keep playing. But hopefully he's not taking any ribbing from his teammates. That's not good for his ribs because I'm sure it hurts to laugh.
...That's what the Patriots have when it comes to picks in the 2013 NFL Draft, which starts Thursday. After all those years of stockpiling picks the way a survivalist does non-perishables the Patriots have just five picks in this year's draft, thanks to Band-aid trades for Albert Haynesworth, Chad Ochocinco and Aqib Talib. Five picks would be the fewest draft picks in franchise history. (Part of that is attributable to the trimming of the draft to just seven rounds in 1994). Further complicating matters is that two of the Patriots' greatest needs are at wide receiver and cornerback, positions where they have sustained draft droughts. With that in mind, I'm convinced the Patriots are going trade back out of the first round of a quanity-over-quality draft where you're just as likely to pick a Pro Bowl player in the second and third round as you are in the first round.