Take it Easy Tom

Song of the post: 100 Black Coffins by Rick Ross 

I had to let my feelings from Monday night sink in and settle down so in this post I’ll talk about the Patriots flub of a game against the Chiefs.

As you can tell by the song, (53 Coffins on Monday night) the New England Patriots as we know them seemingly died in Kansas City.

First things first, the crowd seemed like a bunch of pink hats out to break the sound barrier only. At least I think so.

Now to analyzing the disgrace that was the Patriots: Special teams, the best in the league. Defense, below average on all accounts and even further below average blowing their assignments and giving up 300 yards in the first half. The offense, even worse than the defense. They couldn’t develop any sense of rhythm or keep the defense off the field to catch their breath.

I’ll focus more on the offense because they are the weakest link right now. It all starts with Tom Brady. You heard right, Tom Brady is the reason that the Patriots are 2-2, not the O-line, not the receiving corps, but Tom Brady is hurting the Patriots more than not. (Aside from Josh McDaniels).hi-res-158177656_crop_exact1

Brady commands respect in every room, field or area he enters and is the greatest post-season QB to ever play. Something is off with him however. Maybe its Gisele wearing the pants, maybe its the new handsome backup from Eastern Illinois, maybe its Tom Brady. Maybe Tom Brady is the problem. He is one of the best motivators of his time and has always seemed to turned it up a notch when it was time to. He was able to motivate when he was playing better than everyone else. He’s been pedestrian so far.

His motivational tactics involve losing his temper and getting amped at his targets. We see it when he hammers his helmet into Gronk’s or slaps Edelman on the ass. He loves the game and gets intense. And until recently the team around him has responded well to it.

This is a different generation now. The offensive line is young, as are the receivers. And this generation, my generation has had the softer coaches and ‘everybody gets a trophy’ mentality. Tom is nearly ten years older than the guys he needs to motivate. Yelling at them makes them tuck their tails between their legs and not step up.

Or so that’s what I’ve seen in the majority of times that Brady has used his anger to motivate the team. The 22 and 23 year old o-line can seem to do nothing right in his mind, but Tom needs to help them as well as motivate them. He has to lead them more than we’ve seen. He needs to also do his job.

-Lomonte

PS: Now that Browner is back this week is the defense going to be the Militia of Doom?

One last thought: Perhaps Josh McDaniels is the issue, not any of the players at all.

The Gang’s All Here

The infamous song of the post: Freaking Out by Flo Rida

This is my first post in quite some time. Nearly a year. I was busy with military training and then an awesome summer job so I drifted away from this lovely little blog. Here I am again, back in school and better than ever.

Since being away New England sports have had let down after let down. Which I’m neglecting to mention.

Today, a mere nine days to the Bruins 2014-2015 season, we look ahead.

466351393_slideKrug’s back.

Smith’s back.

The gang is all here. Something in the air tells me this team is hungry. This team is willing and ready to get our cup back. Tim Thomas may be gone but his logo is stamped on this team. Prove people wrong.

“This team is too slow, this team is too old fashioned, they can’t skate with the rest of the NHL.”

Yet they have the most talent depth defensive core in the NHL, they have a Vezina goalie, and two studs backing him up. They have a Norris trophy winner, and young puck moving defensemen to back the Mack Trucks of Boychuk, McQuaid and Kevan Miller. They have a center corps that is worthy of any NHL team, with Bergeron, a perennial Selke finalist as their 2nd line center. Two left-wingers are determined to bounce back from dismal postseasons. Not to mention the plethora of young talent fighting for their NHL career to take off.

The Bruins didn’t change much from last year aside from losing Thorty and  Jarome “30 Goals” Iginla, which as difficult as it may be to replace those two players I have full confidence that their production will be matched if not passed. If what these two players say is true, Marchand and Lucic are coming back into the season with a head full of steam and are ready to step up their game. Which should mean more scoring from them.

The player replacing Iginla missed significant time last year is Loui Eriksson, and he can score at least 20 goals in his sleep. And playing with a play-making center in Krejci, and a thumper in Lucic he should have plenty of space to snipe.

Reilly Smith is back and is also capable of scoring 20-25 goals, and with chemistry between his linemates already developed, they could be clicking pretty quickly.

The mysterious third line is going to be a work in progress all season. I think it could be beneficial though. I envision Soderberg-Kelly-Spooner as the interchangeable center. Winged by either Paille/Campbell and Fraser. Fraser has impressed me during preseason and might even push Smith for the 2-line RW position.

The fourth line will look quite a bit different from the Merlot line of years past. Campbell said a position change for him could be in effect, that meaning he may not be the center for that line. The fourth line may look like an AHL line of the past two years, bringing along a few of the kids whether it’s Khoklachev, or Caron/Florek may take up two of the positions on that fourth line.

The bottom six forwards will be mixed and matched until something clicks and that will be good, for competition and even production. 1297542845319_ORIGINAL

As for the defense; the top four are likely set in stone. Chara and Seidenberg for chokeholding the other team’s top line, then Boychuk and Hamilton for some  offensive spark and toughness.

The defense will be business as usual, and the bottom two spots may be open for anyone at camp. Although Torey Krug is our powerplay specialist, his spot is not given to him. The last two could be anyone from Krug, Bartkowski, McQuaid, Miller, Morrow or even Warsofsky.

The reigning President Trophy winners have 69 points to replace between a few players. They are hungry and ready to prove people wrong.

Someone Get The Pitchforks Ready, The Celtics Are Winning

Song of the post: Ready For This Steve Aoki Remix

The Boston Celtics have won four games in a row. That’s right, count ‘em four (1-2-3-4) wins. That’s a quarter of the wins I personally think they should strive for. hi-res-183712255-head-coach-brad-stevens-of-the-boston-celtics-meets_crop_650

They beat the Jazz, an equally awful team, they beat the Magic twice, a team that sucked last year and will this year too. And they beat the Heat; the only win I approved of. That made them 4-4, too far ahead of the curve of where they should be. Brad Stevens has this team believing they can win, and they are streaking; which is a terrible thing for any team with as great of a chance at the lottery as they do.

I condemn anyone who thinks that the Celtics should NOT tank this year. They have a grand opportunity in their laps several first round picks in the next six years. This is the year to tank, this is the year to suck, this is the one to get that coveted young superstar. The Celtics have good complimentary pieces as of now, Sullinger, Green, Olynyk and Bradley. They also have assist-happy Rajon Rondo healing up.

That doesn’t mean go for the title this year Brad [Stevens]. You cannot and will not get past the Knicks, Nets, Pacers or Heat. Zero chance Brad. If you don’t get the lottery this year you will have effectively sent the Celtics into the abyss of mid-round picks the next 5 years. This is the perfect time to suck, you have the aforementioned players who are all younger than 27. If the Celtics land a lotto pick then he can blossom to a superstar at the right time. It will be the passing of the torch from Lebron to (future pick) just as it was Pierce to Lebron not too long ago.

If the Celtics do not land the lottery pick this year they might just get a wee bit better the next several years and never have this golden opportunity again. This is a blessing for the Celtics. I do not agree with ‘green-teamers’ that think to package several players to get an Anthony Davis or Andre Iguadala. There is a core in place that would be perfect to compliment a budding superstar.

The case is they need the lottery pick this year, preferably a gifted scorer that Rajon Rondo can pass the ball to for the next few years. Then once you have Rondo and STBNL (superstar-to-be-named-later), you can get the third wheel (Kevin Love?) and complete the next big three.

Bottom line; this is the year to tank because of timing and this wonderful opportunity handed down to them. It would be utterly foolish and a showcase of Danny Ainge’s ineptitude to not pursue this year’s lottery draft.

The NBA isn’t like the MLB we don’t want a miracle story, we want dynasties.

-Lager

Win The Series and Fall Into a Rut: What Not To Do in the Offseason

Song of the post: Dancing with Avicii

Not even a week removed from the superb Sox World Series win, we have reached the simmering of the hot stove. Rumors already bouncing in here, there and everywhere.

The latest and most disturbing to me is the Brian McCann rumor. He and his agent have already started to muse about Fenway and its faithful fans, some Sox representatives have mentioned his name in passing. STAY AWAY! I’ve heard he’s asking for 3-5 years for upwards of 40 million guaranteed.

Have we learned nothing? Stay away. You have 2 serviceable catchers between Ross and Lavarnway, plus a few prospects in the system at the catcher position. We set forth last offseason straying from the big, bloated contracts as well as building from within; why falter from that plan?

I’m not even a fan of bringing back the same team as last year. Yes, the pieces you must bring back can stay there; however the 2013 Red Sox should remain that, the bearded heroes who brought a city back to Boylston Street.

No Salty, no Drew, no Ellsbury, and Napoli may be an exception for a 1 year deal. If we try to bring back the same team we will only be disappointed and let down. The team will compete no matter what and the Sox will be in the hunt but there is no need to repeat history. The free agent market is bleak this year and I think the fans would be perfectly content standing pat, as it were. The city and the fans fell in love with this team; and it seems as though the ownership did even more to the point where it might cripple your chances going forward.

Build from within and extend the players before they reach free agency. We have a great farm system.

-Lager

The Talented, but Troubled Tampa Bay Rays and Where They Should Move

Song of the Post: Southern Comfort Zone by Brad Paisley || Aw Naw by Chris Young || The Greatest by Kenny Rogers

I feel bad for the players in the Tampa Bay Rays organization. They have wonderful scouts and wonderful players and they have plenty of talent. However, they have no fans, and those fans that are there are not very passionate. Baseball, all sports rather, are better when the teams have passionate fan bases. The Tampa Bay Rays have a young, talented and stocked farm system and should be given a chance to play in front of fans that care. dt.common.streams.StreamServer

I can look close to home to all the way West, and North and South; all of the Boston teams have the best fans, and is obvious by the sheer masses that come to the parades. Then you can look out West to the Seattle Seahawks and Sounders fans, loudest on the planet. I hate to say it but Montreal and Toronto have great fans; and then look at the southern college fans, ‘Bama and LSU have great fans that stay for life.

Tampa has none of those characteristics, but their players deserve better. And they can’t keep their players long enough to build on the team and retain the veterans to perhaps win a championship and maybe some fans. Not to mention their stadium is a dump and a rat festered area.

They need to move. Look what it did to the Expos organization. Now the Washington Nationals they have some fan interest and are nearly there to contend every year. The Rays are there every year (as of late at least) and a change of scenery would be best to jumpstart a fan base and keep some players there.

I am biased and want them to lose to the Sox perennially. However, they are too talented and deserve a better place to play.

I have often dreamed of winning the lottery. You know the huge one that’s like 300 million or more? Well I’d want that in one sum and buy out the Rays and move them somewhere nicer.

A place like Nashville, Tennessee. Random, sure but the facts about that city would be suitable for a baseball team. Known for country music and their whiskey Tennessee has one thing missing from being the most “American” city and that is a baseball team. Look at the Nashville Predators, a hockey team with fans in a southern town. I’d bet that Nashville has more people that are knowledgeable about baseball than they do hockey.

I believe that Nashville has a minor league team but they can switch places with Tampa.

A name change could be in order as well as a new color scheme. I’d call them the Nashville Pioneers with a gold, red and bronze color scheme; their logo an “x” made up of an axe and a rifle.

The players and manager would remain the same, just new colors and better fans. Opening day would feature Nashville-based artists singing the National Anthem. Maybe its just a dream but I think it’d be good for baseball.

-Lager

Once a Bully, Always a Bully

Song of the post: Days of Gold by Jake Owen

Richie Incognito has always been a bully and always will be. I’d imagine in his youth he beat kids up and made fun of their appearance. In high school he probably shoved kids in lockers and made fun of teachers. Now in the pros he picked a quiet rookie guard and made his life hell.

It is just disgusting what he said to Jonathan Martin and what is worse is that the Dolphins teammates and coaching staff did nothing about it. Yes it’s one thing to not know about the texts and voicemails but you can see when some one is being bullied, the way they act around that person is not the same as normal.

Now perhaps Incognito took him under his wing a year ago and Martin never knew anything but this torture so he thought everyone was in on it. He was threatened for a long time and it takes a brave person to stand up to it. Martin made a move to get away from his personal hell and we should applaud him for that.

We should also punish the Dolphins organization for turning a blind eye to it and for the way many have responded. From coach Philbin’s written response, Mike Wallace’s words saying Incognito is still a good teammate, to Incognito’s initial reaction; the organization should be held responsible, tenfold for Incognito.

This case shouldn’t remain in the locker room, it should make its way into court. The way this is shaping up it could be called a hate crime. Incognito needs to go and the Dolphins need to be held responsible, simple as that.

-Lager

The Return Of Ty Seguin

Song of the post: Play that Funky Music by Wild Cherry

July 4th, 2013 fireworks exploded above the TD Garden, Tyler Seguin’s apartment, and the NHL buzz followed suit. The Boston Bruins had sent their 21 year old forward to the Dallas Stars in addition with Rich Peverley and in return would get Loui Eriksson, Reilly Smith, Joe Morrow and another prospect. tyler-seguin-dog-nap

The word was Seguin was either sleeping past practices or having too much fun after games and during the playoffs. The Bruins were fed up with their under performing star. The players in return were all supposedly good players and had the potential to be great. The one proven veteran was Loui Eriksson, considered the most underrated player in the Western Conference at the time.

The Bruins moved on from Tyler Seguin and were sticking with their game, their philosophy; not being begging for the kid to show his real talent.

It’s now about a month into the Seguin-less era and results are looking muddled. Seguin has been showing that talent we touted and had hoped for. And Reilly Smith has been what we asked of him, a goal scorer with some speed. Eriksson, has followed Seguin’s path and been unproductive and under performing, not so much underrated. He hadn’t found the system before the hit heard ’round the NHL and it’s unlikely he will after.

There are whisperings from the Boston fan base that perhaps the brass pulled the plug on the kid too early. That perhaps he needed a warning not a change of scenery. However, they went with the latter and can’t look back on it. The Bruins are right in the thick of it and will be, so long as they don’t see John Scott anytime soon.

Seguin will be this era’s Joe Thornton; won’t get any significant accomplishments until later in his years, if at all. Speaking of San Jose, they (as in most years) look to be early season favorites for the Cup.

Those who are worrying about the trade need to know two things; its early and that the future is still bright on many of our players. The Bruins will be fine, barring any significant injuries of course. The Krejci line is beyond what would be expected. Iginla has shown promise as his career wanes, his numbers haven’t. Bergeron has looked sharp, unfortunately his linemates have not. Brad Marchand has lost whatever he had and seems to be just swinging his stick out there. Eriksson had the head injury and that has set him back but he had looked more like he was floating as he was out there. The third line players, Kelly, Soderberg, Spooner, Caron and Smith have all looked fast and promising; and if there was a better showing from the second line they could see more results as well. Merlot line is at their par, can’t ask any more and wouldn’t expect any less from them. ????????????????????

The defense has been as advertised; a rotating door at the young position between Krug, Hamilton and Bartkowski. Also as expected is Chara and Seidenberg their decreased minutes and at times decreased skill, and increased age. One problem I don’t like out of the D core is the “non-Krug-Hamilton-Bartkowski” defensemen carrying the puck deep. One good thing is Krug was not a flash in the pan. One bad thing is that Bartkowski can’t be out there more.

Tuuka seems like the number one we will have him be for 8 years.

The penalty kill is shaky and that is uncharacteristic of this group. I don’t fret however, they will come around. The powerplay is also uncharacteristic. They have been buzzing all around the ice and have a new dimension–several dimensions actually, whether its Krug and Krejci toying with defenders or Iginla on the quick shot and Chara with the tip in, the powerplay is much improved.

No worries at the hub, at least not from me. They are running into a tough patch right now but with virtually 2 of the top 6 forwards missing that is natural. They will be on track soon enough. Seguin is going to be a Star (pause for drum kick) but the Bruins will raise a banner before he gets back to the show.

-Lager

+That Seguin picture doesn’t make it look all bad