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

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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

Too Much Talent

Song of the post: I’m Not Sorry by Mike Stud & No Diggity by Blackstreet

Movie Scene that’s applicable: “Ya suspect

There’s no right spot to start with analyzing the Red Sox multiple signings in the wee hours last night. Hanley Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval are the top tier free agent hitters this year; and the Sox got them both. I should be excited, yes? dt.common.streams.StreamServer.cls

Well I’m not. This just feels wrong to me. This feels like the time we almost had A-Rod, or Texiera. I don’t like it. Maybe these deals aren’t legal but because Bud Selig is on his way out he doesn’t care. I feel dirty thinking about the Sox incoming talent. I just want Lester back. Is that wrong of me to think? The amount of talent on the opening day roster before these two signings was more than enough, not to mention the talent in the minors. Now I’m just confused.

Where is this team heading with these moves? Who is getting traded? What is going on at Fenway Park?

I am complaining that the Sox have too much talent coming into next year. There will be clashing between the forces in the lineup. The young guys, Xander, Middlebrooks, Jackie Bradley Jr., Mookie Betts, Garin Cecchini, will be bitter at the fact that the front office, who had been promising them playing time and starting spots has seemingly abandoned ship with them.

The players they brought in will be resentful that they were moved to beautiful Fenway Park. Craig, and Cespedes maybe blocked out of spots in the lineup and will probably cause a stir. Cespedes, it has been said, already is a drama queen in the clubhouse. Likewise, the new players that have signed recently may not get the ‘rightful’ amount of playing time that they signed for.

The Red Sox signing all these players may have a reverse effect that is desired. The Giants are already hard at work trying to steal Lester from the Red Sox, we took their big guy. Who says they won’t try the same. The Yankees are the Yankees so look for them to overspend to compete. The Dodgers may want Lester, Scherzer or Shields, so again, look out west to take a few prime starters from the Red Sox viewpoint.

What these few moves have done is scare pitchers away from the AL East, and make it enticing to play for the Red Sox as well. That’s what we hope at least. The best case scenario is that the Red Sox land Lester, and trade away for another proven pitcher to compliment Jon for the next few years as the young pitchers come into their own.

The bright side is they can make moves and are somewhat set up for Papi’s predecessor.

This bipolar post is brought to you by Confusion.

-Lomonte

+I am a little bitter that Barstool Sports signed Jarred Carrabis, I wanted that job and Jarred is kind of self centered. When the Sox won the Series in ’13 he talked solely about his “journey” and feelings with the team. Almost completely ignoring the Boston Marathon in his write up. He thought he was the driving factor behind them winning. Or so it seemed.

+Also sticking to the Barstool writers openings, I’ll write in Jerry Thornton’s place if needed.

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

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.

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

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