A Boston Sports Fan Holiday Guide

Song of the post: THIS & Santa Claus is Coming to Town by Bruce Springsteen

Merry Christmas and happy holidays from me to you. Those of you in the New England area and New England sports fans globally, have had many Christmas wishes come true over the past 15 or so years.

This year we have a very specific Christmas wish list that would make us all happy in the long run for each of our favorite teams. Starting with the men who play Sundays, following with the Boston Celtics, leading into the Red Sox and then the Big (Bad) Bruins.

For the New England Patriots all we wish for Christmas for them is health, and to retain their level of play. It is no secret that without one of the cogs in the offensive machine that is led by Tom Bradyrob-gronkowski, they aren’t at their peak performance level. Blount and Gray are a dangerous tandem that when healthy can run on just about everyone. Lafell and Wright are similar towards the production in that they help Brady get the first downs when checked upon. Amendola and Edleman are another tandem that is necessary in the Pats successes. As we saw against the Jets, Amendola can be a feature wideout, although it would be nice if he wasn’t the premier target. Edleman has shown time and again that he is the Brown, Branch, Welker type of choice for Tom Brady and as we could tell on Sunday that his absence was felt in the struggle against their New York foe.

Lastly for the offense would be all-time health for Brady and Gronk, without them our ship has no captain or sail to lead us to victory. Without Gronkowski the past several years the Patriots have stalled and not made it where they need to. If he remains healthy with his QB then maybe his QB can party like Gronk until the misses calls Brady home. Four defensive standouts that the Pats wish remain healthy are Collins, Hightower, Jones and Revis. They need their top D-men to keep roughing up the opposition.

The Celtics are next on tap, and we wish for only one thing, tanking. Rondo is out and the Celtics are filled with young talent, but still miss that superstar they need. They need the no. 1 pick overall and the team will be complete. Expiring contracts coming off the book plus young stars coming of age, will be enticing for future free agents. Stay the course Danny Ainge.

We have a few wishes for the Red Sox this holiday season, and that is no more moves. I personally want to hold onto the talent they have and not trade to get Cole Hamels. He is not a necessity as ownership seems to believe. The other wish the current prospects break onto the scene and stay competitive. As a side wish, health for Papi would be well received.

The lackluster Bruins are winners of two in a row going into Christmas and for them we wish they’d get a top six right wingerSochi Olympics Ice Hockey Men and a brand new fourth line. As has been noted since preseason the Bruins need a top-line RW and the Blues are looking to move TJ Oshie according to sources, the Bruins have a need for his talents and could fit well with playmaker David Krejci. A move for him would certainly avoid the forbidden movement of lines in Julien’s system. He could slot in the top line next to Lucic and Krejci, leaving the Bergeron line intact along with the Soderberg-Eriksson line that has been potent as of late. He would shuffle things towards the right path they belong on. However given the Bruins cap situation and the Blues desire to retain Tarasenko they could attempt to deal some of their unnecessary contracts, such as the current fourth line, which hasn’t produced much in quite some time. Moving the likes of Campbell, Paille and even Kelly would free up cap space for the Bruins and offer roster spots for the touted prospects in Providence. Obtaining Oshie would be a giant leap in getting back into the playoff picture, as well as allowing prospects to grow in the Bruins system.

Although one thing we can all wish for is lower ticket prices and less traffic in going to watch our favorite teams. A (Christmas, Hanukkah, Festivus) Miracle it would be.

-Lomonte

+

What Happened? I Blacked Out

Video of the post: Old School Debate scene

Song of the post: 3005 by Childish Gambino

What you should know about the video is that I just cranked out a paper and will stick it to my professor and his anti-American teachings today. Last class so I can’t wait.

On to the important matters; Red Sox and Bruins

The Red Sox, although I did bash them on twitter and a bit here, I now see what has and is taking shape. papi1It is great. Lester leaves to Chicago and cozy up with Theo and Jed, then the Sox promptly trade for two young pitchers that round out the back end of the rotation. They still need an ace. What the Sox did was equivalent to sticking it to Lester.

“Oh you want to leave for Chicago, fine we’ll improve the rotation behind the incoming ace and laugh as you have to deal with Johnny Gomes and Joe Maddon.”

This also shows to certain aces still on the market that the Sox aren’t playing around and can’t just hit and that they are ready to win. They have solid serviceable pitchers and young guns on the way up. Personally I would rather them sign Shields than trade for an ace.

****************

The big overrated Czech is back on the ice and is apparently playing tonight against the Chicago Blackhawks. Fitting that Chicago plays Boston and ‘our guy’ chose their mound over ours. I hope the Garden is rocking and the chirpers are out.

Back to Z playing tonight, I don’t think he should. His first game back against the most potent offense in the league, he looked slow this year anyway, so him playing tonight is puzzling, but I digress.

As overrated as I think he is, the boys in black and gold certainly need him back. I unfortunately have not seen much of the games this semester, you can blame the same professor as previously mentioned but, however I know they haven’t been at their best.

This is the time of the year they need to beat the ones they should and put up a fight against the better teams. I will say that the B’s need to make a move for a scorer on the top 2 lines.

The Bruins are in good position considering their predicament they got into with their injury plague and amount of games they played. As their schedule gets deeper and rate of games played thins, I expect them to make a great run and position themselves well going into the All-Star break.

Coming soon: Break down of the Patriots.

-Lomonte

+Masterson signs with Sox

+So now the Sox rotation:
(ACE)Porcello
Kelly
Miley
Bucchholz-Masterson-Prospects

Lazier than Manny Ramirez on a Grounder to Short

Song(s) of the Post: Freak by Steve Aoki & Take U There by Jack U & a throwback on this thursday Boom, Boom, Boom, Boom!!! by Vengaboys

Apologies mean close to nothing in today’s world, and I have few avid followers of this blog to write one here. However, I have been busy with plenty of new responsibilities this semester, which speak to my absence on here.

So, as I try to escape studying, and writing papers, I stumbled back upon this hobby of mine.

Since my last post, the New England Patriots have not lost, Tom Brady is funkier than ever and Gronk has turnt up like we all know he can do. Since my last post, the Red Sox are no longer defending Champions, they are chasing free agents with promises and North End’s finest cuisine. Since my last post, the Bruins have started the season the way they should have, losing half their D-corps.

Now to elaborate on each of those topics:W1ST9658.JPG

The Patriots 8-2 on the year, and 6-0 since Kansas City, are in the driver’s seat of the AFC. They look well on their way to title 4. As I alluded to earlier Tom is playing at a ridiculous level for an over the hill QB. The O-line remembered that they’re protecting the greatest QB to play the game. The receivers have finally run the correct routes, and we still have two young guys who haven’t quite broken the starting 11 (Dobson, Tyms). The running game is looking as good as they can without Stevan Ridley, RIP. Bill is coaching out his mind, and the Militia of Boom is coming to fruition now that Browner and Revis are playing at the correct level.

I will say, this is all fun and games but its only November, and I beg that the Patriots aren’t peaking too early in the season. They are playing top-tier football but if they don’t enhance this play during the playoffs, then I gotta say, I’m a little nervous. And believe-me-you the Broncos peaked too early in the season, and dare I say it, but the Eli-led teams peaked weeks 15-February….

That stung, but I’m looking realistically. I don’t believe they’ll take a dip in performance, nor do I wish that upon my team. In Bill We Trust.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Lester, Panda and the crew will cause some noise this year. 9a48d99d0dc9454aaf303233d4d9ea9f-9a48d99d0dc9454aaf303233d4d9ea9f-0

Things look promising on all fronts with the Red Sox and the free agent class this year. Then again, its only November. I expect a big year from the Sox, as I do every year. This year is the year they can put the Giants and Cardinals in check by asserting their dominance since ’04. Winning 4 in 11 years is just as impressive as 3 in 5. And its almost more difficult to do. With the pending addition of Sandoval, David Ortiz will have more than enough protection in the lineup and have an immensely productive summer. Pedroia in front of him, Cespedes behind him, Panda behind that, and Nap behind him. Not to mention Allen Craig, Xander and Castillo. I feel my wallet getting lighter with all the tickets and beer I plan on buying this summer. The team is going to be stacked…. On offense.

Pitching on the other hand, will be a wild ride. Assuming Lester returns and pitches close to his performance last year the ace will be an ace. 2-5 however will be kind of a toss up. De La Rosa, Webster and Joe Kelly are “meh” pitchers as of now and with the offense looking as potent as it is I’d say they’ll be alright in the end. Koji is back and we’ll need nothing less than what we’ve expected from him. Should be a fun summer with the Sox.

Buy your turkeys early this year, Pablo’s gonna be rich and hungry.

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The Bruins are right where we want them this year. There is no sarcasm in that statement either.They have talent and talent on the IR, set to return for the grind of the season, right in time to be healthy to ramp it up for the playoffs. B1FAzT9CIAA7Say

Rask will return to form and win some games for them. As I said, the injured D-corps will come back and just in time. As we have seen in such a short sampling, when Krejci is in the lineup they can beat whoever they want; all the lines are set in their entirety and they run the show on those nights. Dougie is coming into his own and has almost grown into his body, the 6’5″ Elsa costume wearing peer of mine has thrown on some muscle and has shown a “tough” side at times this year.

I’m not worried about the Bruins and I’d like them to stay put at the trade deadline.

-Lomonte

+BASKETBALL! CELTICS! RONDO! I got nothing.

+I’d rather Boychuk than Chara still on the team but that’s neither here nor there.

+Today’s post was brought to you by procrastination

Bye Week Already?!

Song of the post: Drunk Last Night by the Eli Young Band

I apologize for this being the first Pats only football post of the season. It’s bye week and that’s unacceptable. In my defense I was here, there and everywhere on Sundays and Breaking Bad was quite addicting.

Also the on-field product was making me want to yak. This week, albeit the mopping of the Steelers was rather ugly. Now, clearly the team is hurt and many of the players are new and new to the system. Brady has been trying to find which receivers are reliable and which (cough.. Josh Boyce) are invisible. The defense who could be top 5 in the league when healthy, have not been healthy or shown their best. Wilfork, Mayo, Talib, Kelly, and most recently Gregory and Ninkovich are the biggest and best on that side of the ball; and on the injury list.

Most teams with all of their losses on personnel would call off the dogs and kick their feet back. Not while Belichick is running the helm. He has done a masterful job this year from defusing the Tebow circus, deflecting the Hernandez hype, grunting at reporters and winning football games this year. Despite the loss of players he has coached this team up and won games the real Patriot way. DOBSON-HED-515x268

’07-’12 it was about blowing out teams while the defense was being rebuilt piece by piece. Right as all things were clicking, Welker decided he’d rather get high and eat Papa John’s with Peyton. Hernandez thought he was playing GTA V and Gronk got hurt. Then they had to win the ways from ’01-’06; close games won with gritty offense and clamping defense.

Now a shade more than halfway through the season the Patriots have done just that.

With a fluke loss at the Meadowlands, or the Jets new stadium rather, and an embarrassment from a very dangerous Cincinnati team, they have been great; winning with some flare for the dramatic and defense. Against the Steelers the Patriots should’ve had the game wrapped up after the first possession in the third; but a fumble changed the game.

Then some great QB work by the best, Tom Brady they took off with the game, took it to Pittsburgh better than the Bruins did last spring.

Looking ahead the Panthers could be a hidden threat. Cam Newton and their defense has been wondrous as of late. Then come in the Broncos a huge game that could show our dominance and potentially (unofficially) clinch a bye in the playoffs. From there the toughest team would be the Ravens, and even then they don’t have Ed Reed or Ray Lewis so Brady can really open his eyes and have some fun there.

The Texans and Dolphins are teams that will slowly fall into the abyss of the NFL. Unless Case Keenum shows something amazing. However, the Dolphins with this huge controversy should be done for the year; a locker room split perhaps and not much fight as we assumed.

I expect the Patriots to finish 13-3 with a bye if they’re lucky, but probably 12-4 with the AFC East division clinched. Time will tell, and unfortunately I will be away for the end of the season and playoffs. Hopefully they’ll be in the Super Bowl when I’ll be able to watch.

-Lager

+I like goofy Tom Brady

Might as Well, NFL

Songs of the post: Football 1 ::  Football 2

And for good measure.

Ok, while we’re young!

NFL is here and so is fall. This looks like it will be a great season. Wait, every season is a great season. Except ’07, and ’11…

Anyway my picks are in starting with the NFC then going to the AFC and my Super Bowl winner.

NFC:

NFC South Division: Buccaneers, Falcons, Saints, Panthers

The Falcons will come in first this year on the arm of Matt Ryan, hands of Julio Jones, and feet of Stephen Jackson. They now have a running game and can attack an opposing team’s weak points.

dougmartin_The Buccaneers will come in 2nd in the division this year. Shocker, you might think, but their top 8 rush defense now has a cornerback that makes their pass defense top 3 immediately. They also have Doug Martin who can log up big yards and set up the pass for Freeman, who has big targets now.

The Saints will come in third, but will lose a lot of heartbreakers, their defense can’t stop a leak.

Followed by the Panthers who will be a top 5 pick in the draft. CLOWNEY?!

NFC East Division: Giants, Redskins, Eagles, Cowboys

My gut is telling me that the Redskins will win the East, but they’ve been hyped from sea to shining sea. So it will be a closer race than many think. RG3 will have a slump of a year but Morris will take bulk carries. Defense will hold its own.

The Cowboys have a lot to prove this year otherwise I wouldn’t be surprised if Jerry Jones makes some crazy moves. Romo will put his mouth where his money is. Dez Bryant will have a monster year.

The Giants will come in third, but might be a wildcard team because it will be close. Their defense will have a rebound from last year but Manning will drop off statistically.

The Eagles have too many distractions, a new coach and drafted a QB that doesn’t fit their offense. Another awful year Phila.

NFC North Division: Lions, Vikings, Packers, Bears

The Bears will win the division, but by a luck play or two. Like Lewis before him Urlacher will want a good sendoff. Cutler is in a contract year and has favorite target Marshall lined out wide. That defense and Hester cause trouble.

The Lions will finish second, again close, but their defense looked mean, Bush looked good, and they have a better secondary receiver than Titus Young. Johnson will have a sad year compared to last.

The Packers, a potential wildcard team, will not WOW as everyone thinks. Their defense hasn’t impressed me, aside from Clay Matthews. And Aaron Rodgers is an overrated QB.

The Vikings will unfortunately finish last. The other teams will beat up on them and they’ll be the odd man out, still in the hunt maybe 9-7.

NFC West Division: Seahawks, Rams, Cardinals, 49ersRichard-Sherman-Seahawks-Wallpaper-nfl-33152085-2816-1583

The 49ers will win the division, I mean they have every position deep with players and talented ones. Their defense got better with Asomuhagh*

The Seahawks will be a wildcard contender. They will impress at home and show some great games against the ‘9ers.

The Cardinals will just be average at best. Palmer to Fitzgerald will be highlight stuff as well as Patrick Peterson doing it all, but he doesn’t have enough to overcome the powerhouses.

Rams. 3 of Redskins first round picks, as well as their own.

AFC

AFC West Division: Raiders, Chargers, Broncos, Chiefs

The Broncos will win the division they basically did after Manning’s showing Thursday.

The Chiefs will finish second and will have a shot at the wildcard. Not enough defense however.

The Raiders, will turn some heads, but are, well the Raiders. Terrelle Pryor will win the starting job and the crazy fans will be back, looking for blood no doubt.

The Chargers will tank so far this season, Phillips will lose his starting job, potential Tebow? Potential Flynn?

AFC North Division: Steelers, Ravens, Browns, Bengals

The Bengals will breakout this season, their defense has been on the rise and will learn from last year’s mistakes.AJ_Green They are still young and could really be a threat.

The Ravens will be in the hunt, Dumervil and Suggs will figure out a nasty combo. Flacco will (hopefully) continue his play from Thursday. Rice will carry the team.

The Browns will finish third and might get all of Ohio excited, but only excited, because their QB is extremely old and their RB will get hurt.

The Steelers will not be as good as they seem to think, their running game is poor and the defense, not what it used to be.

AFC South Division: Titans, Jaguars, Texans, Colts

The Texans will win the division because of experience as well as Cushing returning. Reed will steady their defense and could make a deep playoff run.

The Colts will be second, but the team will take a step back, where Luck will put up similar numbers, most of their team was rookies last year.

The Jaguars will come in third, but only because they are a more rounded team than…

The Titans. Locker and Johnson can’t do everything, or anything (against the Patriots)

AFC East Division: Jets, Bills, Dolphins, Patriots

Division winner will be the Patriots, they have the tenure and respect from the league, but the defense will earn it this year, not so much Tom Brady as in years past. MVP lookout despite my thoughts. Bill-Belichick-Lets-Party

The Dolphins will make it interesting this year, I feel they could take both games against the Pats. Tannenhill was coming into his own and was finding Hartline and added Wallace this winter.

The Bills, because they have a better of 2 rookie QBs. Manuel looks like more of a quarterback than Geno Smith.

The Jets, a joke and will sink further into abyss. CLOWNEY ALERT! MANZIEL?!

SUPER BOWL:

49ers beat Seahawks to advance, too talented all around.

Broncos outshoot Patriots in Welker’s defining game.

49ers confuse Manning to beat the mile high team 27-16

-Lager

Brady to Tebow! BRADY TO TEBOW!

Song of the post: Too Much by Dave Matthews

Training camp has started and the Tebow Train has left the station.

ny_u_ttebow4_sy_400The Patriots will have a circus on their hands with Tebow, Hernandez, Dennard and anything that happens with in Gronk’s party-life. There are two things that can stop it; winning and Belichick’s answers to the madness. “Yeah he suits up, plays football.” “He is a tough player.” “I think we just have to adjust.” That sums up an interview with Bill.

Win Brady win, that’s the mindset. It’ll be interesting to watch what happens throughout training camp and preseason games. This year you get the sense that besides Brady, and Gronk every position is going to be a battle. Best player wins.

Today they apparently had Tebow at WR. I love it. Absolutely love it. He’s going to be the guy we can throw to on 4th and two and as long as he catches it he will fight for those extra yards we need. He’s as big as a fullback, fast as a runningback and as versatile as they come. He’s a football player. He will line up on special teams, defense and the bench. Belichick is going to toy with the media and the opposing teams by throwing Tebow out their for ridiculous situations.

He’ll play my position that I play in basketball, “distraction guard.”

In a few weeks it won’t be “murderer, drunk, Hernandez, Dennard,” it’ll be “Brady to Tebow! Brady to Tebow! BRADY TO TEBOW!”

The Patriots will be fine, and the rest of the AFC East will blow up somehow so I’m not worried about that. Nor am I worried about the Ravens, and by Ravens I mean Joe Flacco because he’s the only one playing. I’m not worried about the Broncos either because have you seen what we’ve done to their defense the past two years? Demolished it, and that was with Elvis Dumervil.

BRADY TO TEBOW!  [Gronk/Tebow ’13]

Lager

This One Time at Seguin’s House

Song(s) of the Post: Charlie Brown by Coldplay & Runnin’ Outta Moonlight by Randy Houser & Born in the U.S.A. by Bruce Springsteen

What a long strange trip it’s been since I last wrote a post. I mean 10 days ago? Holy shirts and shoes.

Well, what didn’t happen in the sporting world? Jeez there was a lot that went down since I took my holiday hiatus. Wind the clock back and you’d see that the Stanley Cup Just ended, we all still had Hernandez jerseys, the Celtics didn’t have 9 picks in 5 years, and the Red Sox weren’t…. yes they were in first place. That hasn’t changed.

I’ll start there. The Red Sox, first place Red Sox, wow it’s nice to say that again. Top of the league in almost every team category; they are the little team that could. Sure, at the current moment they have been skidding a bit, however they are on the West Coast road trip. That always kills them. Plus their best pitchers are hurt or cautious.

The Sox will be interesting to watch, as they have all season, but this year they are never the favorite. No way, no how.

We all counted them out, and for good reason, I mean????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????…. Look.

But we did in ’04, and that team was more thrown together than this one. I’m not saying they will win the World Series, the NL is too strong, I am saying that they are going to contend every team they face for a win.

________

Well, the least fun story to talk about is on tap next.

The New England Patriots, oh how we loveth thee. Whether you are an opposing fan, or a hometown boy they are an interesting topic. As an away fan you want to hate on them as though they slept with you mother and sister then laughed about it. As a townie you root for them ’til pigs fly.

Away fans cannot deny the fact that they are the classiest franchise on the planet right now. They are buying back their mistake’s jersey and burning them for you. You pick a new jersey as long as your bring in the one of the team murderer.

As for the future season, it is about to be time to talk about them nonstop. In Brady we trust on offense, and fingers crossed for defense. That’s the motto recently. I’m fine with Gronk not being 100% until sometime in November because that’s when we need our offense to get strong, then for him to hit his stride come February.

________

I’ll go with the Celtics here, because look at that hair. spt_2_olynyk_pic_t575

Last I wrote about them we had two if not three Hall Of Famers on the team. Then Danny dropped the ball and executed a great trade for the future team.

After drafting Kelly Olynyk in the draft Ainge made a call to shape the Celtics for years to come. They sent Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Jason Terry to the Nets for garbage and 3 picks in 5 years.

This may not be a good thing for some fans because they want to win and want to win now. However, the Celtics ABOSU-friggin-LUTELY need to be in the lottery this year. I don’t care how or why they do it, just get to the lottery boys. I feel that the luck will be upon them if they get there. Brad Stevens better play it right.

Not only is the top pick as coveted as LBJ, but the consolation prizes are also decently talented. My plan, which I hope you’re all on board with is to tank this year. Either sit Rondo for a year or trade him at the deadline, then get Wiggins as the first pick, him becoming Kobe, and McHale and getting back on track, then in 2018 get the Nets lottery pick for the Pippin to Wiggins’ MJ.

_______

The NHL’s runner up, Boston Bruins have some explaining to do.

Fine, Horton walked, and yeah Ference had younger competition with better upside, but Seguin could’ve warranted a better return at say the trade deadline?

However, that’s past us and now we finally have a talented top six instead of a decent top nine. I mean yeah I liked Seguin’s potential, but that’s all it seemed like it was, potential. Perhaps it was the system, his work ethic or the millions of women in the greater Boston area that wanted him (plus entry to any bar and get out of jail free cards); that caused the trade that will shape the NHL.

I don’t see why it will be a bad trade, basically getting similar numbers and some prospects. I’m excited about the prospects, one of them, Morrow, will fit nicely in with the rest in 2-3 years. He’s a bigger sized Bartkowski. Morrow, Krug, Bartkowski, Hamilton will be a top 5 D in the NHL in 5 years. Mark. My. Words.

Then we signed Iginla, WOW!!! I mean I’m still bitter about this winter’s tease but now I’m fine that we didn’t have to give up prospects. Next thing on the list is to sign Rask and then extend Bergeron.

I’m feeling the decade of dominance will be extended a few more years.

Lager

+Revs are doing well