Posts Tagged ‘nfl’

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.

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.

Kyrie gets the last Laugh

Posted: December 18, 2021 by datechguy in covid, nba, Sports, vaccine mandates
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I really cracked up when I read this story:

It’s kind of hard to argue that the unvaccinated Kyrie is a danger to the team when all over the NBA, NHL & NFL games are being delayed and postponed by COVID breakouts among fully vaccinated players but I give yahoo sports credit they give it their best shot:

Players of all levels are testing positive, so what’s the harm in bringing in a healthy body for road games, to help out the overworked Kevin Durant even in a pinch?

The harm, aside from common sense, science and everything believed to be true about teams with championship aspirations, consistent standards and chemistry concerns, seems to open a sliding door that may never be closed again, as Irving will be allowed to play in road games — except for Toronto.

Alas both common sense and science suggests that it’s Kyrie and not those who banned him that were right.

Now this doesn’t change the fact that Kyrie brings the same non-covid baggage that he always carried before there was such a thing as a pandemic and the fact that he almost immediately ended up in the COVID protocols means a delay in the Nets getting him on the floor.

But the bottom line is that Kyrie’s return is a blow to the narrative that has been pushed by the various sports teams in solidarity with the Biden Administration on the vaccine but reality doesn’t care about the narrative and the reality of the cost of cancelled games in cash is starting to have an effect to the point where leagues are reconsidering rewriting the rules concerning COVID protocols.

The NFL and the NFL Players Association continue to discuss changes to their COVID-19 protocols that could ease the burden on vaccinated individuals, according to sources familiar with the discussions.

The two sides are working to test vaccinated players less frequently and address player concerns about the number of vaccinated, asymptomatic players who are being forced to miss games because of positive tests.

The real losers in all of this are the players who took the jab and feel like chumps who’ve been played:

The NFLPA has been under pressure in recent weeks from players who are upset because they feel they were effectively forced to get vaccinated (because of the far stricter rules that apply this year to unvaccinated individuals) and as a result of the proliferation of COVID-19 variants are now testing positive and missing games anyway. This has led to player dissatisfaction with other of the league’s COVID-19 mitigation strategies, such as mask wearing and physical distancing in team facilities. 

Now as I’ve said repeatedly I have no problem with people getting the vaccine if they feel the cost benefit analysis works for them and I’m sure there are plenty of players in the all the major sports who took the vaccine and thought it was the right move for them.

Kyrie didn’t think so and in the long run it’s worked out for him, and if nothing else he will always be one up on those who took the vaccine unwillingly to play and now feel like chumps.

Five Cam Newton Release Mac Jones Thoughts

Posted: September 1, 2021 by datechguy in nfl, Sports
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I don’t watch football anymore except for Tom Brady, but the release of Cam Newton is such an interesting story that it deserves a blog post:

  1. This caught a lot of people by surprise in the sense that since Mac Jones was drafted the question has been Cam or Mac, Mac or Cam. This has been the conversation every single day on Boston sports radio and a lot of the consensus has been that it was Cam’s job to lose. Right up until the story broke nobody saw it coming.

  1. There is some speculation that Newton was released as a favor to him once he had lost the QB competition to Jones (which wasn’t clear to the public two days ago) because being released now gives him a chance at a starting position in another organization. Any other season this would not likely be possible but with two weeks before opening day this is something that a team could actually consider.

  1. The release of Newton brings two different conflicting woke dynamics into play here. Cam was the first black “starting” quarterback in the history of the Boston/New England Patriots franchise (Jacoby Brissette started two games during Tom Brady’s “Deflategate” suspension). So you would think that there might be a bit of the race card pushback on this move, particular as it’s a “Boston” Team. However Cam was also “unvaccinated” and right now among those who are woke the decision not to get the COVID vaccine by a very public figure who has a large fanbase is considered almost as beyond the pale as voting Trump. It’s no accident that I’ve heard sports folk talk about Cam’s vaccinated status concerning this move but I’ve not heard a word concerning race although in fairness there is not an “ineligible” list based on race.

  1. While Cam’s shortcomings were a standard feature of sports talk radio last year locally, nationally there was little or no such discussion concerning Cam Newton’s performance or lack thereof. There was further (and listening to the radio yesterday) still a whole plethora of people who all had excuses for his leading the Patriots to their 1st losing season since before Tom Brady took over the team. The speed at which a team decides to pick up Newton or if he is picked up at all will tell us if this was just pundits being pundits or if front offices and GM’s around the league were part of that willful blindness that seems to engulf folks on the subject of Newton and the Patriots

  1. It would seem to me that one of the deciding factors here would be Jones similarity to the Brady style which is the offense that the Patriots Josh McDaniels has had success with. Expect to see a lot of this over the next decades as a generation of kids who watched Tom Brady play and pretended to be him or dreamed of being him over the last twenty years reach the college and pro-level. It remains to be seen of any of said kids can come anywhere close to being him but it’s worth noting what Newton’s departure means in terms of age and experience among AFC East starting QB’s