Let the real games begin
Page 3 of 19 -- Randy Vataha, Game Plan Inc.: This former Patriots receiver loves Houston's in Fanuil Hall according to son Collin, educated at Williams, who has joined the Game Plan Inc. firm as an associate. According to Collin, who gave us permission to use his father's favorite restaurant in print, Randy loves the baby back ("fall off the bone") ribs.
Alan Nero, sports agent: Alan is a former URI wrestling coach turned super-agent listing Randy Johnson and a host of baseball and football clients at his Chicago-based firm. Nero enjoys Pat Orlando's in Johnston, R.I., especially the house special veal chop covered with a chopped Italian salad.
Hi, Nick. It's wonderful to have you back. After reading SI's cover story on The Tuna, I couldn't help but be amused by Jerry Jones' surprise at the depth of Parcell's interest in everything. Didn't Jones know about Bob Kraft and the "I couldn't buy the groceries" complaint from Parcells?
-- Jim Feeney, Westport Point
A: That is surprising. I'm sure Jerry did his homework on Bill and I know that he spoke to Bob Kraft about him.
Finally, the Pats rescue us from yet another year of futility by the Red Sox! Glad to have your mailbag back online, Nick, now we have some real sports to talk about. I'm excited about the Ted Washington acquisition, Nick. This guy's the real deal as far as nosetackles go. Here's hoping he stays healthy the whole year to be a main stay on this year's defense. He'll give Colvin and Seymour plenty of chances to make big plays. My question for you is about David Givens. Is he the real deal or am I getting too happy about the pre-season show he is putting on? I knew he was a pretty good special teamer last year and he's showing it again this year, but I'm very impressed with his receiving abilities. Is he that good or is he doing it against the other team's second stringers? It would be a nice "little" receiving corps for the Pats if he plays as well in the regular season.
-- Name Eileen MacLeod, Weymouth
A: Agree on TW although I still hold reservations about whether he'll hold up at his age. Givens has come a long way. He dropped a couple of balls last year in key spots, but he worked on his hands in the off season (taking about 200 practice catches per day). He's their biggest receiver so that helps. He did miss the final two pre-season games with a leg injury, which might set him back.
I have to say I am very excited about the Ted Washington deal. I see a guy who has been to four of the last six Pro Bowls, and missed last year due to injury. It seems to me that he should have a (no pun intended) huge impact on the front seven in the run defense. Is there anything you can tell me about him that would either justify my excitement or (hopefully not) anything that will bring me back down to earth?
-- Noe Lopes, Boston Continued...