Sunday, February 1, 2015

Sports this 'n' that

Ok, here we are. Super Bowl Sunday. More hype than you really need, and kickoff is more than 5 hours away as I write.

It wasn't always this way. Blame the television networks, and their insatiable need for milking ratings points more than needed for moving the game into the night. Blame the networks, too, for moving the "Big Game" from the last week in January to the first Sunday in February because it's a sweeps period for advertisers. If you could DVR the game to avoid some of the dumber ads, more power to you. Let's just break down the game.

For the defending champion Seattle Seahawks, it's about making a run at history, seeking to become the first team in the last 10 years to repeat. It's as simple as that. Coach Pete Carroll would like to have a 2nd Super Bowl ring to go with 2 college titles he won at USC. Carroll, you might recall, was the Patriots' coach before owner Robert Kraft dismissed him after the 1999 season. 2 playoff appearances weren't enough after Hall of Famer Bill Parcells took the Pats to the big dance, only to lose (to Dallas, I believe, and coach Barry Switzer). Carroll has his own place in history, one of only three coaches (Switzer & Jimmy Johnson being the others) to win a Super Bowl and a National Championship, but to beat his former club would be icing on the cake.

Current Pats coach Bill Belichick has 5 rings total, the first two as an assistant under Parcells with the Giants, a run that ended 24 years ago after Big Blue beat Denver. However, the humble assistant has given way to a head coach that ESPN's Chris Berman would usually note for his sartorial splendor, or lack thereof, in Cleveland. 15 years in New England has produced 6 Super Bowl appearances, 3 wins. However, Belichick's Hall of Fame credentials have taken some hits in recent times, due to the shady, suspicious play of his club. We needn't go further into detail with "Deflate-gate" than has already been done. We know they found a patsy to take the fall.

Unfortunately, Tom Brady, a 6th round draft pick out of Michigan in 2000, has regressed into being a spoiled, petulant child when he loses. I reference again his post-game berating of a game official in Charlotte in November 2013 after losing to Carolina on a play that would've gone the other way in Foxborough. He wants that 4th ring to tie Terry Bradshaw & Joe Montana. Unfortunately, he ain't getting it.

While the Pats won't admit it is an issue, revenge is certainly a factor. Last time these two teams met, Seattle came from behind, at home, in October 2012, to beat New England, 24-23. Then, of course, there is Super Bowl 42, 7 years ago, on the same field they're playing in tonight, in Arizona. Eli Manning to David Tyree, and that ridiculous catch in the 4th quarter. Rodney Harrison, now with NBC, is still having nightmares thinking about it, I assure you. Russell Wilson is even more of a scrambler than Eli is, and that spells trouble for the Patriots defense. Darrelle Revis, still looking for that elusive ring, will wait another year.

Each of the Pats' wins in the big game have come down to field goals, and this will be no exception, only that it will be Seattle's Steven Hauschka, not Stephen Gostowski of New England, with the game winner. Seattle, 38-35.
WWE Hall of Famer Mick Foley got caught trying to cheat at a chicken wing eating contest in Philadelphia the other day, but the way I look it, since it happened amidst all the hype over the Super Bowl, Foley may have done this intentionally to tweak the Patriots. He quoted the so-called wrestler's creed, often quoted by Jesse Ventura back in the day, to explain himself, but, like, did anyone here think Foley really planned on winning?
Martin Brodeur will be going to the Hall of Fame as a New Jersey Devil, but why in the blue hizell did Devils GM (and current co-coach) Lou Lamoriello not offer Brodeur the opportunity that was eventually presented to him when he signed with St. Louis? Brodeur retired earlier this week, and promptly was promoted to a front office position with the Blues. Lamoriello gets a retroactive Weasel of the Week award for doing a total disservice to both Brodeur and the Devils' organization, fan base included. While we're at it, we'll give Lamoriello the daily double and add the Dunce Cap Award.
Baseball training camps don't start for another couple of weeks yet, but if I'm the Steinbrenner brothers or Yankee GM Brian Cashman, I'm looking to find a means to get rid of A-Roid, who has this crazy notion that he'll be the starting 3rd baseman for the Yanks this season, even though Cashman has publicly stated that Chase Headley is the starter. Alex Rodriguez will turn 40 this summer, and for him, his chances of making it to Cooperstown took a permanent hit with his suspension last year. He's going to have to prove he can succeed without taking shortcuts (i.e. PED's), and I seriously doubt it. There's no farewell tour for this shameless Weasel.

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