Archive for the ‘nfl’ Category

Five Sports Thoughts Under the Fedora

Posted: April 18, 2022 by datechguy in baseball, nba, nfl, nhl, Sports
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Is it just me or has the left side of the Boston Red Sox infield suddenly learned how to field their positions? Xander Bogarts (SS) and Raphael Devers (3b) are great and feared hitter but not known for their glove work but over the first couple of weeks their level of defensive play has risen considerably.

Part of it might be Trevor Story now at second, part might be rather young Devers finally maturing as a player but a lot of it also might be the opt out clause that Bogarts has and the extension that Devers is seeking.

Either way it’s something to see.

Yesterday the Boston Celtics beat the Brooklyn Nets 115 to 114 in an exciting game where after a Three Pointer gave the next a 3 pt lead with under a minute to go, the C’s drove down, scored to make it a one point game, managed a defensive stand and without calling a time out rushed back down the court were after a series of great passes the winning basket was laid in with no time left on the clock.

To me the big story was the decision to drive down the court, rather than take a time out to get a set play. Ninety nine times out of 100 with a time out remaining a team uses a time out in that situation inbounds on a set play and goes from there. The decision to not call the time out was a gutsy one but demonstrates the value of not letting an opponent prepare a set defense or get a heads up from their coach to watch for a particular thing.

Of course if they didn’t get the winner shot the only story today would be “Why didn’t they call that time out?”

Oh speaking of the Celtics game two more things concerning the narrative. There was a huge debate in the local sports talk radio about their winning their last game forcing them to meet the Nets vs losing it and facing a weaker opponent. The game bolstered both sides of the argument.

You can make the case that this was one of the most competitive games of the first round and they would have been better off with a different opponent. They were one second away from a loss. On the other hand it showed the advantage of home court as a side story was Irving the former Celtic flipping off a heckling fan which generated a whole lot more talk than his spectacular game.

Give me the home court any day.

There is a ton of talk about the NFL draft around here and what the Patriots will do in it but the bigger subject here is year two of Mac Jones at QB with an offensive coaching by committee and how he is expected to do without proper coaching now that Josh McDaniels is gone. Three things:

  1. Belichick has not one but two ex head coaches on staff below him, if a former head coach can’t coach a 2nd year QB let alone two then you’ve got real trouble here.
  2. The AFC competition has significantly improved all around both in division and out. Even if McDaniels had stayed the Patriots and Jones would be hard press to repeat their record of last season
  3. This illustrates once and for all the value of Tom Brady and how much he skewed the field in the past. If you took this same lineup with the same coaching staff but put 45 year old Tom Brady at QB does anyone doubt they would be the favorite to win the AFC east? Signing Brady was the single best move this franchise ever made, letting him go was the worst.

The Hockey Season is almost over and the Bruins face their first post season without Tuukka Rask in a decade.

Rask was an excellent goaltender who played his entire career in Boston but was unable to take them over the top and he got a lot of heat for that and there was plenty of talk that he wasn’t tough enough to do so.

With two younger goaltenders on the ice this time around it will be interesting to see just how far the team goes. If they manage to go all the way in the next few years the trash talk about Rask will only get louder.

Finally some members of the Red Sox will not be heading north for their series against the Blue Jays because they are unvaccinated against COVID 19 and trucker convoys not withstanding Canada still has strict rules on the subject. There is some speculation that this is the reason why the Celtics didn’t want to face Toronto in the 1st round as well.

It seems insane to still be playing this game but Canada is their own country and if that’s what they want to do so be it. Frankly given Trudeau I wouldn’t put it past him to keep this stuff up just to give Canadian teams an additional home field advantage.

For half a decade or more we have heard that Tom Brady’s wife wanted him to retire so as not to get himself hurt, that there was nothing left to prove, that he should be home with the family and the kids.

Amazing how one’s attitude changes after two months of the husband at home every day in the house that you ran:

Yup only two months to turn years of I don’t want you to get hurt honey into You go out and play if you want to.

It’s practically a sitcom cliché.

Closing thought, Aaron Rogers just lost a ton of NFL records for active players that he held just two days ago. .

The Brian Flores suit charging systematic racism against the NFL has been the subject of a lot of talk on sports radio and a lot of beating of breasts.

All of this comes from the so called “Rooney Rule” which requires a minority candidate to be interviewed for any coaching position that opens up. This of course creates tokenism and thanks to the accidental Belichick text that Flores received Flores, who is in my opinion and excellent coach, was called up to interview for the Giants job after it was already given to someone else.

This in itself is not a surprise as when you create a rule that encourages “pro-forma” interviews you are going to get them, but whatever you think of Flores charges of racism his charges include in my opinion a much larger and more significant scandal that everyone seems to be passing over.

One of Flores’ charges is that Miami after a bad start offered him a six figure bonus per game lost to improve their draft prospects. To in effect, THROW GAMES.

Flores being a disciple of Bill Belichick and as I noted, an excellent coach an apparently an honorable man didn’t bite and turned his team around so that after a bad start they finished with a winning record just shy of a playoff birth. Miami played spoiler to the Patriots and only missing the playoffs due to a loss to the #1 seed in the conference in the 2nd to last game of the season. When I and the guys who drive into work with me heard he was fired by Miami we were all shocked but if his charge concerning the bounty for lost game is true then it explains a lot.

Given the expansion of sports betting around the nation I can’t think of anything that could be more damaging to the game of football, not even the woke bullshit, then the idea that teams might be directing coaches to lose. This, and not the race angle, should be the real scandal here and I suspect Flores unwillingness to play ball in throwing games is the real reason why he hasn’t gotten a coaching position that he is eminently qualified for.

But because that scandal would be more damming and if investigated if suspect would be discovered to be more prevalent around the league then anyone wants to admit and has the potential to curb the betting that can draw a lot of extra eyes to the games, it will be downplayed or ignored.

Unexpectedly of course.

Closing thought: Why the leagues don’t see what widespread gambling is going to do to the various leagues is beyond me.

The Woke NFL’s new policy on COVID whereby players aren’t constantly tested unless they are showing symptoms is a bow to reality and to the narrative.

The NFL embraced the whole Biden Admin you MUST get the vac business but the sight of games cancelled because of fully vaxed players still coming down with COVID is not only a danger to the bottom line and to player relations but it looks really bad for the Vax Nazis when fully vaxed players with little or no symptoms are missing games while at the same time trying to push said vax on the working public.

Of course the players who will not be tested can still catch the virus, carry the virus and even pass it on, but as long as they do so without causing a game to be delayed or cancelled it’s OK with the league.

The obvious question is: Do I have a better plan? Given what we’ve seen and know, yes.

Drop all testing. If a player is sick he doesn’t play. If he is not he does.

No charge

The Patriots winning streak ended in Indy as all winning streaks eventually do. the QB Mac Jones was rather subdued about it as several rookie mistakes on his part (combined with some horrible undisciplined penalties) cost them what was a very winnible game.

How he comes back from this next week vs Buffalo will say a lot about his future but with three weak opponents out of the final four games it’s pretty safe to say that Jones will be starting at least one playoff game as a rookie.

The other question is will the people who’ve been lionizing him for a month now jump off the bandwagon? I suspect that will depend on Buffalo.

Ironically one of the best things to give Jones perspective was Tom Brady’s and the Tampa Bay Bucs humiliating 9-0 shutout by the Saints.

“Just a tough night,” Brady said after the first home shutout of his 23-year career and first anywhere since a 21-0 loss at Miami on December 10, 2006, when Nick Saban was still coaching the Dolphins.

No current member of the Saints was in the NFL at the time. Defensive end Cam Jordan, who had two of the four sacks of Brady, was in high school in Chandler, Arizona.

Brady was clearly losing his temper on the sidelines but to me that’s a good thing. Great players expect a lot from themselves and if they fail to deliver as spectacularly as Tom did last week they should be angry.

But Mac Jones can get perspective here. If the best of all time can have a game like this during an MVP caliber season then he sure can have a bad game took.

BTW Watch for the media to go full on “Brady is finished” narrative to start up again.

The Baseball lockout is a great example of insanity.

You have a sport whose fanbase like me is aging and is in declining popularity. A sport that needs a spark and what do you get? Players making 6-10 figures arguing with owners making even more. This type of incompetence give the Biden Administration a run for its money.

The proof that baseball is the worlds most perfect sport is that it manages to survive time and again the regular idiocy of those in charge of it.