Inspired by Patriots running back Laurence "Kool-Aid" Maroney, Reebok is set to unveil a new line of sneakers and clothing inspired by the popular drink.
"It seemed logical to take on of the most popular drinks of all time and mix it with one of the best sneakers of all time," said Reebok director of lifestyle design Benjamin Kuchler.
Of course. The match is obvious.
Oh, did we mention they're scented? Yup.
Not to worry, they come in adult sizes too. Relax.
Nike had better be on the phone with Tang as we speak.
If Sunday’s Super Bowl were on CBS, I’d definitely lay the over – no matter the line – on how many times Phil Simms or Jim Nantz referenced their private Saturday night meetings with the players.
Imagine the possibilities for the other networks if they had the game instead? For instance, what would the over/under be on how many times John Madden mentions missing Bret Favre. Or how many Disney/ABC/ESPN/Lifetime/Touchstone/Miramax pictures artists invade the booth to talk about their latest project that has nothing to do with football.
Still, there’s fun to be had with the Fox broadcast team thanks to the annual proposition bets.
For instance, which QB Will Troy Aikman mention first after the opening kickoff? Both Tom Brady and Eli Manning even at -115. This is a tough one, as it might depend upon which team wins the coin toss and which gets the ball first. Of course, that’s a whole trio of separate prop bets (Heads or Tails at -103, team to win the toss at -103, and team to receive at -105) that can be had in time for Sunday’s Super Bowl.
Too chancy for my blood. Still, here’s how you might want to think about approaching some of the other lesser known lines for Sunday’s Super Bowl.FULL ENTRY
Like, omigod, it’s almost the Super Bowl, can you believe it?
I got totally stoked about the game last night while watching "Access Hollywood." Maria Menounos was soooo grilling Tom Brady about where Gisele was going to watch the game. Terrell Owens’ favorite Mexican reporter asked Brady for his hand in marriage. Did anyone report this?
"Entertainment Tonight" gave out awards, which was so awesome. I wish I knew how Miss Nevada got those righteous bangs. I'm totally bummed though that nobody asked Brady about hanging with Leo in NY last week. I remember at the last Patriots Super Bowl media day seeing Pat O’Brien get his makeup done before heading out to the field, and I literally couldn’t believe that the man who once did those sweet Olympic late night TV shows was right here in the same room with me.
But like, I guess some of the football writers were a little peeved at all the crazy stuff. They have a job to do, you know. And while all these fringe journalists get these two hours on Media Day, they only have today, tomorrow, and Friday to get what they need before the Super Bowl. Can you like, imagine the pressure?FULL ENTRY
Maxim.com hit the streets of New York to find out what folks in Manhattan knew about the Giants. The results:
Bill Parcells is the current coach of the team.
The Giants beat the Cowboys, the Buffaloes, and the interviewer's Mom to get to the Super Bowl.
Their last Super Bowl was in the late 70's. Or early 80's.
Giant pride. Catch it.
Can't this be over, already?
Not just Super Bowl week. The Super Bowl itself.
Perhaps the best thing to be said for this year’s game is that it will be over in a matter of days. We can finally anoint the Patriots the greatest team of all time, or at least snicker at those who still want to make a case for the likes of the ’72 Dolphins.
History will be made, and that will be great for the franchise and New England sports fans.
But the game itself? No, thanks.FULL ENTRY
Armchair GM has the latest – and final – edition of its Tecmo Bowl simulations for this season.
Things looked bleak coming out of the first half, with the Patriots trailing, 14-10, and they didn’t get any better in the opening seconds of the second half. Laurence Maroney fumbled at the five-yard line, and Osi Umenyiora picked up the ball for a New York touchdown, extending the Giants lead to 21-10.
New England would later respond with a 25-yard Tom Brady to Kevin Faulk touchdown play. The Patriots would then recover a fumble with just over three minutes remaining in the game, and soon had another Brady-to-Faulk play to thank for a 24-21 lead, which ends up the final score.
The Grand Island Dependent of Nebraska, on the other hand, had a much different result – albeit with the 1991 rosters. The Giants won that one, 28-14, which is no surprise to anyone who’s ever tried to play with that awful New England team.
Poor Antwain Spann, he is the Omega to Tom Brady’s Alpha.
The second-year Patriots cornerback just gets no respect in Scouts Inc.’s ranking of all 106 participants in Super Bowl XLII, finishing dead-last despite coming on strong in the final game of the regular season -- a solo tackle against the Giants.
What’s more egregious, Spann finds himself below teammate Stephen Spach, the third-string tight end who didn’t record a single stat this season over three games. And excuse me, Matt Gutierrez had a QB rating of 118.8, yet he’s only 104th? The guy at No. 1 only had a rating of 117.2. What gives?
That, of course, would be NFL MVP Tom Brady, who gets top honors on Scouts Inc.’s list, followed by Randy Moss, Osi Umenyiora, Richard Seymour, and Michael Strahan, respectively, to round out the top five. Twelve of the top 20 players are from New England in a list that aims to be comprehensive, yet can’t get out of the way of being subjective.
For instance, Mike Vrabel at No. 9? As integral as the linebacker is to the Patriots’ success, should he really be ranked ahead of guys like Vince Wilfork, Ty Warren, Wes Welker, and Eli Manning? Steve Smith seems a bit low at No. 44, way too low when you consider Donte Stallworth at No. 41. New York running back Ahmad Bradshaw (40) had a nice late-season run, but is he eight spots better than Jabar Gaffney?
According to Scouts Inc., Justin Tuck will be the 16th-best player on the field Sunday. This perhaps defines the word “subjective.”
As far as Super Bowl lists are concerned, though, this one is at the very least compelling and grabs your attention during a week in which Top 10s, lists, and rankings provide the sports writer a quicker avenue to the complimentary wet bar. Top 10 Super Bowl story lines? Check. Top Five Super Bowl chokes? Got it. Top 10 Super Bowl commercials of all-time? As long as it doesn’t include Dan Quayle, who incidentally can be found in the list of the Top 10 worst Super Bowl commercials.FULL ENTRY
In some circles of thought, he is Iago, Patrick Bateman, and C. Montgomery Burns all wrapped together in one disheveled, hooded package.
He is the Evil Genius, the cheating coach, singled out for his shady tactics in a league satiated with similar approaches employed by every other staff on the field.
But Bill Belichick is ultimately different than the rest not only because of his proven superior gamesmanship and preparedness, but because he got caught. His name was dragged through the sludge. The legitimacy of the Patriots’ past glories came into question. Fines were paid, and a draft pick was lost, as the New England franchise fought to keep its reputation as the model for excellence.
And now, they're just considered the greatest team in NFL history.FULL ENTRY
Sure, in a Lloyd Christmas sort of way the Giants have a shot.
Or, so they say.
It’s not exactly David and his slingshot, but since the New York Giants have opened up as 14-point underdogs against the 18-0 Patriots in next weekend’s Super Bowl, they have been almost reveling in their underdog status 200 miles to the southwest.
“Can you say Upset?” asked the pages of the New York Post two days ago. “Don’t laugh: Giants can be champs.”
This week, New York is a sea of sports history, as players, fans, and media recall some of the greatest upsets of all time as inspiration. “Of course other teams have pulled off great upsets in a game or a series, the Jets in Super Bowl III, the Mets in '69 and the Dodgers over the A's in the 1988 World Series,” writes Mike Lupica in the New York Daily News. “You can talk about the Red Sox coming back from 0-3 down against the Yankees, you can talk about Jimmy V's North Carolina State team beating Houston that time and Rollie Massimino's Villanova team beating Georgetown in 1985.”
In other words, for the Giants to win the Super Bowl, it would take a victory of epic underdog proportions to get it done. Fun.FULL ENTRY
It’s a comparison that’s been made before, of course, but now with Tom Brady’s team on the doorstep to the best NFL season ever, San Franciscans are ready to talk: Is the Patriots quarterback better than Joe Montana?
The San Francisco Chronicle’s Scott Ostler writes:
It's Thor versus Zeus.
Zeus, of Greek mythology, was the sender of thunder, lightning, wind and rain. Thor was the Norse and German god of thunder, and he swung a mean mjolnir (short-handled hammer).
This is where you get the big question: If it all came down to one game, which guy would be your quarterback?
I'm not saying Montana will be voted off his throne by consensus, should the Patriots win. I'm just saying there will be a battle.
If the Patriots beat the Giants next Sunday, Brady would join Montana and Terry Bradshaw as the only quarterbacks to go 4-for-4 in Super Bowls. It might be because Brady’s a Bay Area guy, but the debate isn’t as one-sided as you might expect on SFGate.com.
Writes one commenter: “The debate continues.... More meaningful than a side-by-side comparison is an analysis of the defenses against which they played and their own teams' defenses. Not going to throw out any extensive knowledge here, but I think the dilution of talent in the current era at any given moment due to a larger league and longer season may also be a factor. It'd be interesting to see this article posted on Boston.com.”
Well, there you go.
It's been 22 years since the Patriots went to their first Super Bowl, yet it's amazing how recent that day still seems.
Until you watch this.
CNBC's Darren Rovell breaks down what else you could do with the $4,387 that an average Super Bowl ticket is going for:
1 58-inch Samsung 720p Plasma TV ($2,299)
1 Panasonic Suede-Atsu Massage Lounger ($1,825)
1 NFL "Sunday Ticket" package for the entire 2008 season ($259)
We've done Bud Bowl and Lingerie Bowl. How about Plumber Bowl?
Newsday brings us the story of Giants fan Steve Ramirez, a New York area plumber who wears a Giants construction helmet when he sits down to watch the games. No, really. Somebody actually went out and reported this story.
We've got 12 more days, people. This is what you get.
For our money, Ramirez can't hold a candle to Mike Peguin, the singing plumber, who presents his ode to all the Belichicks.
A grudge match is inevitable.
Day 3 of Super Bowl preview business, and already somebody is likening this whole deal to a crusade of sorts.
Newsday’s Johnette Howard writes this isn’t just a Super Bowl at stake here. It’s a way of life as New Yorkers know it. Or something or other.
This is bigger than just who wins Super Bowl XLII or Eli Manning's redemption. This is about stopping a sports trend that should offend your sense of style, your sense of decency or, you know ... at the very least, your sense of proportion.
Three championships hoarded by one city in the same year? New York had three in a little more than a year, beginning with Joe Namath pulling off a Super Bowl upset that was only slightly more monumental than a Giants' win over the unbeaten Pats would be. But it cannot happen to any place that goes by the nickname "Beantown" or trots out a football coach maligned as Belicheat.
Boston must be stopped.
OK. But first, you may want to make sure that Isiah Thomas, Alex Rodriguez, Eric Mangini, Willie Randolph and the rest of New York’s most storied winners are on board.
Carl, he of "Aqua Teen Hunger Force" fame - or the show otherwise known as the cartoon that made Boston leaders lead an embarrassing display of clueless city security – is big into the Giants as they prepare to face the Patriots in the Super Bowl. Maybe not so much Lawrence Tynes, but there’s hope.
The most brutal two weeks on the professional sporting calendar just got a whole lot worse.
As if a fortnight of the same Super Bowl story angles getting re-hashed over and over again weren’t enough to make you want to slouch into a contact-absent hole until game time, we’ve gone and invited New York to the proceedings; and wouldn't you know it, it’s taken one day for the tabloid, gossip, and “hey, look at me!” media capital of the world to announce its presence.
And we thought the Brett Favre idolatry would have been insufferable.FULL ENTRY
To boot. Not to boot.
In a late-breaking development on the all-important subject of Tom Brady’s foot, it appears that perhaps things aren’t as concerning as they once might have been for Pats fans.
Page Six.com has photos on its site of the Patriots quarterback hitting the club scene last night – sans cast on his ankle.
From Page 6:
Don’t worry Patriots fans, what appeared to be a foot injury on Tom Brady early in the day yesterday was luckily not as serious as it seemed.
Yesterday afternoon PageSix.com was first to report Tom was wearing a cast on his right foot and limping home with girlfriend Gisele Bundchen. Later that night, however, the quarterback and his Victoria’s Secret angel arrived at New York hotspot Butter and the cast was nowhere to be seen.
The football star appeared to be in no pain as he sat on the top of the seats of the front booth with Gisele’s ex Leonardo DiCaprio, actors Lukas Haas and James DeBello, and a group of pretty girls.
That would be James DeBello of Dorm Daze 2, of course.
At this rate we fully expect our next Brady update to come from Perez Hilton rather than ESPN. Then again, maybe the thing simply didn't match his evening wear. Belichick would love that excuse.
In an effort to try and rattle Patriots quarterback Tom Brady in next week’s Super Bowl against the Giants, a New York classic rock radio station is providing its listeners with downloadable Bridget Moynahan masks.
So, yeah those are a little creepy.
But heck, who needs masks when Fox 5 anchor Rosanna Scotto thinks that “karma” will get to Tom Brady?
Tom Brady’s apparent ankle injury made front page news in today’s New York Post.
The tabloid's headline shouts in enormous font, “Who’s afraid of Tom Brady now? – Girlie man limps home.” Call Pulitzer.
Gossip web site TMZ.com posted a video yesterday that showed a limping Brady carrying a box of posies while entering the home of girlfriend Gisele Bundchen, which might spark some concern amongst Patriots fans as the team prepares to face the Giants in next week’s Super Bowl.
Today, in reporting the story, the Globe chose to go with the straightforward “Brady wearing cast on foot.”
The Post got a bit more baroque in its story headline: “Flowery Tom a Posy Patsie.”
“Tom Brady hasn't been brutally beaten down by the Giants yet - but at least the petal-pushing flower boy is limping,” writes the deep-digging investigative team of Chuck Bennett, Mike Puma, and Melissa Jane Kronfeld. With additional reporting by Don Kaplan, Kelly Magee and Tim Perone. “The cocky quarterback for the undefeated* New England Patriots was caught hobbling to the West Village home of his gal pal, Gisele Bundchen, yesterday - carrying a box of pretty little posies.”
Yes, they’re still using the asterisk.
Af for how the other New York tabloids covered the development, it made the back sports page of the New York Daily News, which approached the topic a bit more straightforward. Newsday didn’t mention the story on its front or back pages, including it as a recap by the Associated Press in its pages.
Now that the Patriots have officially made the Super Bowl, you might want to start thinking about witnessing history in a fortnight out in Arizona. Well, do we have the place for you to stay.
That’s just one of the ads pushing private lodging in Arizona that runs $25,000 or more in Boston’s City Shopper, as homeowners attempt to cash in on New York and New England fans descending upon their region. Of course, what high-roller looking to book a $100,000-plus trip doesn’t pick up the local free coupon book religiously?
While some homes may come with a relatively reasonable price tag ($5,000-6,000 per week), others cater to those seeking a week of luxury. Sure, other places may be closer, but at the above palace, you’re only paying a little less than a grand per mile it will take you to get to the event. Per day. Like you'd only stay a week anyway.
It might have been the defining aspect of New England’s 21-12 win over the Chargers, but San Diego center Nick Hardwick was none too impressed with a Patriots defense that clamped down in the red zone during yesterday’s AFC title game.
Or, more to the point, let’s just say he was a tad unhappy with defensive end Richard Seymour.
“Richard Seymour is the biggest (expletive) I've ever come across in football,” Hardwick said. “They've got 10 good football players on that team. Richard Seymour is a dirty, cheap little pompous (expletive).
“He's cheap and dirty, and the head man just let him get away with it the whole time. They've got 10 great players, and when Jarvis Green is on the field they have 11 great players that compete how you're supposed to compete. But that Richard Seymour is the biggest (expletive) I've ever played.
“Head-slapping, foot-stomping in the pile, running by and throwing punches in your back late. He's a (expletive).”
At this point, Ryan Parker is starting to sound no different than any other barroom musician. He's just like Chad LaMarch, stale and corny, except doesn't have to strum his guitar amidst a sea of drunken college kids at the Purple Shamrock on any given Saturday night.
At any rate, the Internet musician is back with his latest, likening Eli Manning to Superman, and hoping he can take down the Patriots' "Legion of Doom."
LaDainian Tomlinson, the new toy that's spreading the nation. Just check out the life-like poses on his new action figure:
It's just scary how real they make these things nowadays.
As Chargers fans talked smack this week in preparation for Sunday's AFC Championship game against the Patriots, they made sure to let New Englanders know of the ideal conditions in their hometown.
Seventy degrees. Light ocean breeze. Surf's up.
Of course, conditions will be nothing of the sort at Gillette Stadium come Sunday afternoon, which should see a high of 25 degrees, with whipping winds up to 30 miles per hour.
How ironic that the weather will do them no favors when it counts.
They don't get it, these San Diegans, spoiled by the monotony of sunshine. Football is a game built for conditions like these, like those last week in Green Bay, where memories of the Foxboro Stadium finale came to mind. That's how we want to watch playoff games, not beneath swaying palm trees, sipping on a pina colada.
"To me, here's the ideal forecast for a football game: Storm clouds gathering at 300 feet, an arctic front barreling in from Duluth, a 20% chance of frostbite. Football was never fashioned to be played indoors, in some billionaire's giant living room, with starlets in the stands. From its earliest days, football was always served raw. It appealed mostly to guys named Bronko and Otto and Dutch. Men from mill towns played it on weekends instead of brawling with their brothers."
As one San Diego radio host said this week at the outset of an interview, "Hey, if we lose this week, we'll just hit the beach." He meant it as a putdown of New England, which they typically see as a miserable place to live. But that statement says all you really need to know about Chargers fans.
If they lose, they'll forget about it in the time it takes to get to the shore.
The true California sports fan.
The beach should be crowded Sunday evening.
Who they're picking
How folks from around the country see this Sunday's Patriots-Chargers game:
Glendale, Ariz. is setting up shop for Super Bowl XLII in just about a fortnight, and that has the locals paying close attention to this weekend’s championship games in order to discover which fan bases will be invading their town.
Mike Kenny of the Glendale Sun - touted as the city’s paper of record - laments the fact that Patriots fans are most likely to show up for the game, calling them, “the least appealing guests.”
Take it from a Yankee fan from New Jersey n [sic] this is a worst-case scenario. The obnoxiousness torch has officially been passed from New York fans to New England fans, and the results have been extraordinary. Expect a lot of loud, inane dialogue about how the Celtics are better than the Suns, the Pats are the best team evah, and the Sox, well…just forget it. Wes Welker jerseys will cloud the beautiful Arizona landscape, many drinks will be spilled, and the desert will flood with the blood of meatheads. (Is that in the Book of Revelations? I sure hope not.) They will also undoubtedly criticize Glendale for not being Boston n mostly for being bereft of foliage and unattractive females n [sic] and each will brazenly display their insecurities by constantly mentioning how big of a Patriots fan they really are. (Oh, you remember Steve Grogan? Here’s a cookie.) It will be an awful experience.
As for the assessment of his hometown Giant fans:
Notoriously the most respectful and least-abrasive fans in the NFL, we should welcome them with open arms. Any city in the country should be happy to host these fine folk, whose civilized manner and passion for their team is unparalleled. Their drinking is moderate, their accents flawless, and they will surely marvel at Glendale’s lack of swampland. A must have.
Not sure how we missed the press release on this one, but apparently Fenway's Sausage King has opened up a second branch in San Diego, where he served up Chargers fans this season in the parking lot at Qualcomm Stadium..
Even Mike Eruzione seemed at a loss for inspiration.
The former US Olympic hockey team captain, known for his motivational words of rah-rah encouragement, was a guest on a San Diego sports radio station Tuesday morning, and was asked how the Chargers should mentally prepare this week as the underdogs in Sunday’s AFC Championship game against the Patriots.
Eruzione, a Patriots fan, did his best to seemingly make the hosts believe that the Chargers’ will to win had to come from deep within their souls, or something or other. It had to be hard for the BU legend to come up with anything. He must have been inwardly laughing at the crock he was delivering the So. Cal morning commute.FULL ENTRY
Armchair GM’s Tecmo simulation of last week’s Patriots-Jaguars game wasn’t entirely accurate, as the 16-14 New England win never materialized in such fashion. However, it did predict Randy Moss to have just one catch in the game - which ended up true - so they get another shot.
Here’s this week’s Tecmo simulation of the AFC Championship game between the Patriots and the Chargers:
Brady leads the way in the 35-30 win with 308 yards passing, 96 of them to Donte Stallworth. Billy Volek is terrible for San Diego, completing just 44 percent of his passes. The Chargers scored a late touchdown on a Volek to Chambers pass, but this being Tecmo Bowl, the clock runs at the speed of a Jack Russell on a Red Bull binge and time expires. They could have attempted to convert the two-point conversion to cut the deficit to a field goal but of course, no dice in Tecmo rules.
From a monumental standpoint, consider it this way: The Chargers face the challenge of knocking off the undefeated Patriots Sunday with the equivalents of Tom Brady, Laurence Maroney, and Randy Moss hampered by injuries.
While LaDainian Tomlinson, who’s battling a hyper-extended knee injury, is expected to play in Sunday’s AFC Championship game, the statuses of quarterback Philip Rivers (sprained knee ligament) and tight end Antonio Gates (dislocated toe) are still up in the air. The trio of superstars only highlights the growing injury report for the Chargers.FULL ENTRY
In their grandest moment, the San Diego Chargers find themselves the target of ire nationwide.
How dare they.
How dare the Chargers ruin a week’s anticipation leading up to the latest installment of the Colts-Patriots rivalry. At least Peyton Manning and Co. would have given Patriots-hatin’ America a glimmer of hope in the AFC Championship game, one final shot at witnessing the perfect Patriots fall.
Instead, they get the gimpy Chargers, who shocked the Colts yesterday in the final contest at audibly suspicious RCA Dome, 28-24.FULL ENTRY
With the Chargers set to land in Foxborough this weekend for the AFC Championship Game, let's revisit just one example of how San Diego is corrupting its youth.
After going 16-0 and establishing themselves as the best team in the NFL, here is a list of teams that could potentially knock the Patriots off their quest for 19-0.
1. The Indianapolis Colts
2. The 1985 Chicago Bears
3. The 2008 New England Patriots
Jacksonville? Nice little team. Frank Cooney probably even considers them the best in the NFL.
But to predict that these Jaguars are going to take down the 16-0 Patriots is grasping.
The bulk of Football America is tossing its support in the direction of Jack Del Rio, hoping he can end New England’s dominance on the league, coming up with any scenario they can that will bring them within closer reach of the straws.
Which should make for a long Saturday night.
Fred Taylor and Maurice Jones-Drew are going up against a run defense that ranked just 24th in the NFL this season, allowing 4.4 yards per carry. That’s got people thinking that the Jaguars can control the clock and put on some sustained drives vs. New England.
How’d that work for Pittsburgh a month ago? The Steelers ran the ball 32 times in Week 14 vs. New England for 181 yards. And yet, they lost the game, 34-13. The Patriots, by the way, rushed for 22 yards. Total.
Controlling the clock is a great way to limit the amount your opponent touches the ball. But when it’s New England’s record-setting offense, taking charge of the line of scrimmage isn’t nearly enough to pull out an upset. You have to be able to score enough to play with them on the same field. And New England scores far and away more points than anyone else in football.
Maybe Indy, with an improved defense and rollicking offense, stands a chance. But Jacksonville? Please.
Who they're picking
How folks from around the country see this weekend's Patriots-Jaguars game:FULL ENTRY
Ask the thousands who populate it on a daily basis, and you'll hear just how stupendous it is to be living in this Tube.
Not only has YouTube changed the way we share visual information, but it will soon alter the way we view our traditional television programming, with TV makers scrambling to include Internet capabilities on all their latest models.
In other words, it's just a matter of time before Kige Ramsey is in your living room.
Of course, the site is littered with seemingly limitless Patriots-related content, from the haters to the die-hards. As 16-0 New England gets set to make a run at 19-0 -- and another Super Bowl title -- starting Saturday against the Jaguars, here's a sampling of some of the latest clips on YouTube:FULL ENTRY
A month ago, Jeremy Green of Scouts Inc. said that if they had the chance, the Jacksonville Jaguars would knock off the Patriots in the playoffs. Well, here we are, and Green isn’t backing down.
The former NFL scout writes on ESPN.com:
First of all, it all starts with a little R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Aretha Franklin sang about it and the Jaguars are looking for some of it. The Jaguars went 11-5 in the toughest division in the NFL -- the AFC South -- and would have gone 12-4 had they played their starters in Week 17. The Patriots played in the dismal AFC East. After going 16-0, I will call them the best regular-season team of all time, but six of those wins came against the Bills, Dolphins and Jets, who were a combined 12-36…
The Patriots' run defense ranking looks good, but it's a mirage. It's that high because the Patriots blow people out and force them to throw. You know what I love about the Jags? They don't get blown out. Teams that don't commit penalties don't get blown out. Teams that take care of the ball don't get blown out. Teams that can run the ball don't get blown out…
And in a twist, what the Jaguars do best on offense is also their best defense against the amazing Patriots offense. There really is not a defensive scheme yet devised to stop the Patriots' offense. It is the most explosive attack we have seen in a long time, but know this: New England won't be able to run on Jacksonville. Pittsburgh ran it 26 times for a 1.7 average Saturday night, so the Patriots will throw the ball.”
We give Green credit for sticking to his guns, even if we're not exactly sure how the Patriots throwing the ball actually helps the Jaguars.
We included Armchair GM’s Tecmo simulations of Wild Card Weekend in our prediction rundown last Friday. Well now, with Round 2 set to go, we have the first and second halves of this weekend’s Patriots-Jaguars playoff game in all its Tecmo glory:
It turns out to be a squeaker for New England, 16-14. Tom Brady only completed 36 percent of his passes for just 119 yards and no touchdowns in the win. Randy Moss: One catch. David Garrard though tosses three picks in the loss. The Pats seal the win on a Stephen Gostkowski field goal with 3:24 left to play.
The Jacksonville Jaguars have pulled a New York Post.
Following the lead of the city tabloid, which took the practice this season of placing an asterisk next to the Patriots in its AFC standings with the footnote, “caught cheating,” Awful Announcing points out how Jaguars.com senior editor Vic Ketchman laid out his final regular season power rankings:
The footnote reads:
Ketchman also calls the Patriots use of bulletin board material a “media scam” (in a video column ingeniously entitled, “Here’s What I Think.”). Maybe so. Still, it’s one thing for the New York Post to institute a little trash talk, another thing entirely for the team’s official web site to handle the duty. Although, this might be fun if Patriots.com got involved, just to watch Bill Belichick chew out the guys once he found out.
The Jaguars have been here before.
It was 11 years ago this month that we witnessed an upset for the ages, thanks to the second-year Jacksonville franchise. Still in their NFL infancy, the Jaguars, coming off their first franchise playoff victory the previous weekend over the Buffalo Bills, marched into Denver and took down the mighty 13-3 Broncos, delaying John Elway’s quest for Lombardi one more year.
Much like the Patriots are considered a shoo-in for Arizona this time around, so too were the Broncos generally thought a Super Bowl lock. Instead, the Patriots found themselves hosting the AFC title game a week later against the Jaguars, and soon were off to their second Super Bowl appearance in team history.
That being said, nobody realistically believes history will repeat itself Saturday night in Foxborough. Even the most ardent Jaguars fans (all 46 of them) have to understand that their team’s season will end with a thud this weekend, the initial sacrificial lamb in the Patriots’ run at playoff perfection.FULL ENTRY
Last January, as the San Diego Chargers were preparing for their playoff game against New England, the team decided to employ a policy by which only southern California residents would be able to purchase tickets. Despite the controversy, the game sold out and Chargers fans witnessed a crushing defeat at the hands of the Patriots.
One year later, and Sunday’s wild card showdown against the Tennessee Titans may be blacked out in the Chargers hometown television market since the game hasn’t even sold out. As of this morning, 350 tickets remained for the game, the NFL issuing a 24-hour reprieve before making the blackout decision.
Of course, this can all be forgiven. Despite annually selling out playoff games in places like Pittsburgh and Foxborough complete with blizzard conditions or evening temperatures dipping into the sub-arctic range, you Northeasterners have no idea what’s on tap for San Diegans Sunday afternoon. Rain.
And that’s not all. It’s going to be chilly.
“I've been to playoff games in the rain twice,” fan Manny Rose II - who was selling three tickets online on Craigslist - told the San Diego Tribune. “I would probably prefer to sit in front of the TV. I know that's sad since I'm a die-hard fan, but I see no shame with watching the game on TV.”
Boy, it’s going to be brutal. The National Weather Service has predicted rain and temperatures in the mid-to upper 50’s for game time. Brokers have been drastically cutting their prices for tickets to the game, but that sort of force of nature is nothing to mess with. If everyone’s not careful, things could get very seriously wet.
The weather.com forecast for Foxborough predicts scattered showers and highs in the mid 30s and lows in the mid 20s for next Saturday’s Patriots playoff game. On the same day in Green Bay, there will be snow showers at times and lows in the mid-teens. For some reason though, we imagine you’d be able to catch the games in their respective TV markets.
Maybe not so in San Diego - where it’s no secret the Chargers could threaten a move to LA sans a new stadium built for them – with Ron Burgundy’s drunken and profane valediction the team’s final message to its fair-weather fan base.
Who they're picking
How folks from around the country see this weekend's wild card games:FULL ENTRY
Never before has such an obvious choice come with so much controversy.
Mike McCarthy of the Packers, Romeo Crennel of the Browns, and Jack Del Rio of the Jaguars would have each been tidy candidates for NFL Coach of the Year. But those choices would have been the league’s version of baseball’s 1999 MVP, awarded to Pudge Rodriguez, a default winner after a pair of writers ignored the historic season of Pedro Martinez.
Like it or not, Bill Belichick led the Patriots to a 16-0 record, an achievement that can’t be ignored no matter what your viewpoint on his demeanor, attire, or sideline documentation of the opposition.
According to the Herald, which polled voters who cast their ballots this week, the Patriots’ head coach will receive his second Coach of the Year award when it is announced next week. Belichick also won the award following the 2003 season, which ultimately ended with New England’s second Super Bowl title.
To hand the award to anyone else would be a joke.
To hand the award to Belichick is an outrage.FULL ENTRY
Laconia, NH resident Victor Thompson wanted to do something to honor the New England Patriots for going 16-0, so he did what any other perfectly sane individual would have done – emblazoned the entire left side of his head with a tattoo of the team's logo.
And that’s not all.
“The inking process took about one and a half hours and is part of an overall goal that has Thompson set on turning his entire head into a replica of Patriots quarterback Tom Brady's helmet,” writes the Citizen of Laconia’s Geoff Cunningham, Jr. “He has plans to get an identical emblem on the other side of his head and Brady's number 12 on the back of his skull.
“If they do win the "big one," Thompson has aspirations of getting the Vince Lombardi Trophy tattooed across the top of his head to cap the living shrine he is creating.”
Here's Thompson holding his two-year-old nephew, who honestly looks like he'd rather be anywhere but.
By the way, Thompson has never even been to a Patriots game before, but said he’d like to. Preferably the team will have a strict ticketing screening process by that point.
There are differing viewpoints for sure, but count me in the camp that’s going to miss the omnipresence that is Mercury Morris should the Patriots win the Super Bowl.
Mercury’s 15,000 recent minutes of fame continued Monday morning in an interview on ESPN’s First Take in which he maintained his view of the Patriots still only being in the “neighborhood” of his 1972 Dolphins, and even introduced us to a new word in the English language, “Automaticness.”
“Unfortunately, the only person who really knows what they’re talking about in this conversation is me because I speak from what’s called subjective experiential knowledge.”
If you click the play button below, you can see the entire interview in automaticness fashion.