Saturday, November 27, 2004

All the #19 Eagles had to do was beat Syracuse. The team that lost to Purdue 51-0, allowed 31 points against Rutgers, and lost to Temple. Even though BC quarterback Paul Peterson was out, BC was still favored at home. It was supposed to be a celebration of Boston College's first ever Big East football title and a berth to a BCS bid. Now BC will be lucky to get into the Continental Tire Bowl.

Stupid penalties, too much pressure on backup QB Matt Ryan, inability to run the ball, and poor run defense are not good ways to win a football game.

The big player in this game was Diamond Ferri, a graduate of Everett High School. Could someone tell me what an Everett kid is doing playing at Syracuse and not BC? BC needs to get on the ball when it comes to recruiting. New England doesn't produce too many top football prospects but BC needs to try and keep them at home. Look at when BC has been succesful, it has had local talent. Xaverian graduates Tim Hasselbeck, Matt Hasselbeck, and Dereck Knight. St. John's Prep grad Brian St. Pierre. Catholic Memorial's LV Whitworth. Or how about Natick high graduate Doug Flutie?

Anyway, Ferri played safety and tailback (I wonder if Belichick will be looking at him). He ran for 141 yards, and 2 TDs. He also picked off a ball and ran it back for a touchdown.

In the end, Boston College had a solid season. Many felt this would be a rebuilding year without D-Knight, a seniorless offensive line, and quite a few young players. Last year they were 7-5 and improved partially due to the loss of Miami to the ACC. They had one of their best Big East seasons ever earning a share of the title but losing on tie-breakers. Had they beaten Pitt in OT, they would be conference champions. BC might play in the Gator Bowl but they might select a more appealing team like WVU or Notre Dame. The next option is the Continental Tire Bowl against UNC in Charlotte which won't be an easy game to win. It would be appropriate for the ACC's newest member starting next year to play an ACC team in a bowl game. They also might play in the Insight Bowl against a Pac-10 team.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Basically, an upgrade of the drainage system, more than doubling the amount of clubhouse space, widening the thin concourse underneath 1st base.

I wonder if the MLB people simply get schedules randomly through a computer or if they throw in a few games on purpose. No wait, I don't wonder. The Sox begin their 2005 title defense (God that sounds amazing) against the Yankees in Yankee Stadium on Monday April 4th. They then go to Toronto over the weekend before returning home to play...the Yankees on Monday April 11th. Hey MLB, thanks for the weekend opening day games! The Sox play every AL East team in April and don't play a non-divisional team until April 29th. The Sox begin interleague play on June 6th against St. Louis in St. Louis. They then go up I-55 to play the Cubs in Wrigley in a rematch of the 1918 World Series. They then host Cincinatti and Pittsburgh. After a series with Cleveland, they play in Philadelphia.

Pitching coach Dave Wallace, hitting coach Ron Jackson, bench coach Brad Mills, 1st base coach Lynn Jones, and 3rd base coach Dale Sveum. I totally agree with Wallace and Jackson being brought back. Both are very good coaches. I have no problem with Mills and Jones either. However, Sveum was not a good 3rd base coach. The job of the 3rd base coach is to relay signs to offensive players and to help runners run the bases. He did not help runners at all. I remember one time when Manny ignored a wave-in sign because he would have been thrown out by a mile.

I have no idea what to call this. A courtship maybe. The Yankees seem to be trying to pull a Theo Epstein and woo Pedro to playing for New York by taking him out to dinner. The Yankees did a similar thing to Mussina. However, Mussina wasn't wooed by the flowers sent to his wife, it was the fat contract he got. Obviously Pedro will sign with New York if he is presented with alot of money. The question might be, what borough of New York will he play in? The Bronx or Queens? The Mets signed former prodigy Kris Benson and have money to spend. Many speculate they are going after Sosa who would cost alot of money to sign. They also might want Carlos Beltran. The Mets represent a larger threat to sign Pedro, in my opinion. They're desperate and they have money and they need to change their franchise or face becoming a team like the Chicago White Sox in a big market but utterly dominated by their crosswotn rivals. However, for all the dinners the Yankees are giving to Pedro, only the Red Sox have offered him a deal.

A New England tradition. The big game is #2 Everett and #5 Cambridge. Another big game is #6 Foxboro and #10 Mansfield. And the third big game is #17 Billerica and #19 Chelmsford. Xaverian will roll over St. John's Prep.

#10 BU hockey lost to the Harvard Crimson 2-1 the other day. The Celtics lost to Indiana 106-96 despite the fact that Indy had a total of 8 players in uniform. Boston College fell to #4 in the hockey rankings, UNH is #6, Maine is #8, ans Cornell, which is across town from my school, is #14.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004


"The Pass"

Oh yeah, I was born too. Yup, I was born just a few hours before Flutie threw to Phalen. Some other things that happened on November 23:
1863: Civil War battle of Chattanooga
1876: Columbia, Harvard, and Princeton formed the Intercollegiate Football Association
1887: Notre Dame loses its first football game 8-0 to Michigan
1936: Life magazine debuts
1942: German army surrounded at Stalingrad
1960: The Hollywood Walk of Fame is dedicated

It looks like Jamal Lewis might not play in the Pats/Ravens game on Sunday which is good news. Boller had a good game the other day but I don't think he can do it twice in a row. The start of the game has changed to 4:15.

I've decided hithertoforward (from now on) this blog, from the end of the Red Sox season until the end of the Patriots season, will be known as The Belicheck Republic. I have some names in mind in case Pedro leaves but this will be the name from now on when the Pats will be the focus of the blog.

It's hard to beleive that the Patriots have never won a game in Kansas City since 1964, and had never won at Arrowhead. What a great way to start my birthday.

The Patriots came out with a blast. The offense seemingly knew that with a depleted defensive secondary going against the best passing offense in the league, they'd need to score early and often. Brady recovered from a sack and passed the ball to Pass out of the backfield for a solid 7 yards that made the 3rd down more manageable. Brady then hit Graham for a nice 27 yard pass and a 1st down. After an incomplete pass intended for Givens, Dillon got 7 yards on the ground and 14 more on the next play for another big 3rd down conversion. The Pats seemed to stall with the ball in the KC red zone with a Dillon run that was stuffed and an incomplete pass followed by a false start penalty. Brady then found his favorite target, Deion Branch, fresh off the injured list for 17 yards and a 1st and goal on the 5. Dillon then took it in for 6.

Dante Hall had a solid return and gave KC great field position to start their first possesion. He got the ball to the 44. Green hit Gonzalez for 22 yards. Blaylock got stopped for no gain and then Green got sacked by Ty Warren. They were able to get into field goal range with a 17 yard pass to Morton. Tynes hit a 44 yarder to put the Chiefs on the board.

The Pats went 3 and out in their second posession. Josh Miller had a very nice punt to the sidelines that Dante Hall was unable to do anything with. Blaylock ran for 3 up the middle, then Green hit Dunn for 3 more. Gonzalez got the first down with a 12 yard reception up to the 34. Blaylock was stuffed but Green threw to Kennison for a 65 yard touchdown.

Tynes had a terrible kickoff that linebacker Tully Banta-Cain fielded at the 26 yard line and returned all the way to the 47. The Pats were unable to capitalize on the fantastic field position mostly due to a penalty. On 1st down, Gorin got called for holding. Graham got 8 of the yards back with a reception but Dillon lost 2 on the next play. Brady, under pressure, was only able to hit Brown as an outlet for a 5 yard gain. Miller again punted the ball quite well, kicking it out of bounds at the Kansas City 13.

Blaylock got 2 up the middle and then Green passed to Kennison for 8 more and a 1st down. Gonzalez then caught a ball for 15 more yards. Blaylock began the 2nd quarter (or period as Al Michaels would call it) with a 3 yard run. He then caught a pass but lost a yard on the play. On 3rd and 8, Green was able to evade Jarvis Green but was eventually taken down by Roosevelt Colvin for a loss of 3. The Cheifs punted.

Brady threw incomplete to Branch but then hit him on 2nd down for 17 yards. Dillon got 7 on an off tackle run and was followed by Faulk who got the ball to midfield with a 1 yard run. Brady then hit Brown for 22 yards. Branch then caught a 14 yard pass to get the ball to the 14. Dillon ran to the right for 5 then ran to the left for 8, bringing the ball within a yard of the goal line. The power formation came onto the field with 3 TEs (including Vrabel) and Seymour as the blocking full back. On his second try, Dillon got in behind Seymour.

The Cheifs responded with a poor drive that began at their 34 and ended on their 30. They punted once and the Pats were going to start with the ball at the 18 but there was a personal foul and KC was forced to re-kick. The second punt resulted in the Patriots getting the ball at the 44. Dillon got stuffed up the middle for a loss but Brady then hit Graham for a 48 yard pass (most of which was after the catch) down the right sideline.

The Cheifs defense stiffened thoguh as Dillon was forced out of bounds for a 5 yard loss which was followed by a false start penalty. Brady then threw incomplete to Givens twice. Vinaterri, who leads the NFL in points and FG%, kicked a 37 yarder.

The Chiefs responded with a very nice drive. Green hit Morton for 26 yards on 2nd down to get the ball to the Patriot's 32 yard line. Green threw to Kennison and the play was called complete but was overturned. Blaylock caught a 9 yard pass to set up a 4th and 1. I felt that they probably should have taken the near guaranteed 3 points but that's just me. Blaylock was barely able to get across the 1st down plane but he got across. Green was able to avoid potential sackers and got 6 yards on a run before being enveloped by Ty Warren. He then hit Blaylock for 7 yards to set up a 1st and goal on the 9 yard line. Green threw a pair of incompletions and then attempted to hit Gonzalez in the end zone even though he was being covered tightly by McGinist and disturbingly not-so-tightly by Rodney Harrison. I say disturbingly because it was almost as if Rodney was trying to set-up Trent Green and trap him. If so, it worked. Harrison picked the ball off and assured the Pats would go into the locker room with a 17-10 lead.

The Chiefs began the 2nd half with a drive totalling 8:15. Green hit Gonzalez for 9, then Blaylock got the ball to the 40 with a 4 yard run. After a false start penalty and a 2 yard run by Blaylock, Green threw to Morton for 17 yards. After a holding penalty and another short run by Blaylock, Ty Warren blocked a pass at the line of scrimmage. Green was able to hit Morton on 3rd and 17 for 19 yards. Blaylock got 6 more rushing yards on a pair of plays before Green hit Gonzalez for 15. With 1st and 10 on the Patriot 13, Blaylock ran for a yard, Green then hit Gonzalez for 8 but Blaylock was stuffed on 3rd and 1 and actually lost a yard. It was the first time all season that Kansas City hadn't converted on 3rd and 1 or 4th and 1. Tynes hit a 24 yarder to bring the Chiefs within 4.

The Patriots responded with a drive that was one fourth as long but twice as effective. On 3rd and 7 from his own 28, Brady hit Patten for 26 yards. He tried the same play on 1st down but slightly underthrew the ball making it harder for Patten, who has beat his man, to make the catch. Brady then hit Branch for 26 yards, most of which were thanks to Deion's feet and the downfield blocking of offsive linemen. He dove into the end zone to make the score 24-13.

The Chiefs next drive was mostly short yardage plays except for a 19 yard pass to Hall. They were able to get the ball into New England territory but did not advance beyond the 42. Brady threw to Dillon for a 20 yard gain on 1st down from the 15. Brady threw an incomplete pass but the Chiefs were offside. Dillon got 3 more and then 18 more to end the quarter. It was clear the Pats were trying to run out the clock with Dillon. Brady opened up the 4th quarter with an incomplete pass followed by a Dillon run for no gain. Brady then hit Branch for 22 yards. New England was deep into KC territory Dillon then ran for 2 and then for 0. Pass caught a pass on 3rd and 8 for 10 yards. It was 1st and goal on the 5. Dillon got the handoff but fumbled the ball and it was recovered by Kansas City.

Trent Green led his offense 97 yards down the field in just under 6 minutes. He finally hit Kennison for a 26 yard TD. They attempted the 2 point conversion but Eugene Wilson batted the ball out of bounds. Had they converted, they could have tied the game with a field goal. Instead, they needed a touchdown to win with the score at 24-19.

The Patriots got the ball with 6:07 left and took 4 and a half of those minutes off the clock. Furthermore, they added 3 points to their lead which forced KC to score a TD and get a 2 point conversion just to tie. Green threw an incomplete pass to Kennison. Samuel, the top healthy CB on the roster for the game, hit the ball but came down awkwardly on his wrist.

The Patriots defensive seocndary was now crippled to the point of rediculousness. Law and Poole did not start. Samuel was now gone. Harrison seemed hurt. Gay and Mooreland had each spent some time on the bench being looked at by the trainers. Bellicheck had a backup LB lined up as a safety and Troy Brown was now the 2nd/3rd CB. Green was unable to capitalize, however. Blaylock dropped a ball and then Hall caught a pass for 6 but was unable to get out-of-bounds. The Cheifs had no timeouts and about a minute left on the clock. It was 4th and 4. Each of the Chiefs receivers went on routes that were about 6 or 7 yards long even though most of the night they were able to beat Mooreland and Gay deep. McGinist came off the end and was able to sack Green to effectively end the game.

In the end, the Pats acocmplished several goals.

1. Take Tony Gonzalez out of the game:
TG88 has a pretty good game with 7 receptions and 88 yards, but none of those were near the end zone. In fact, the closest he got to a ball in the end zone was when Harrison ran in front of him and grabbed it.

2. Don't allow Blaylock to run:
Blaylock ran for 58 yards, which is not alot at all compared to the monster day he had last week or the monster games Holmes has on a wekely basis. He was able to consistently get 2 or 3 yards most of the time but he really only broke one good run and that was about 12 or 13 yards.

3. Bend, don't break:
Green had 381 passing yards. Blaylock had 58 rushing yards. The Chiefs amassed over 400 yards of total offense. However, they only got into the end zone twice. Two times at the end of pretty good drives, they were forced to settle for field goals.

4. Don't let Hall beat you:
Hall really only affected the game with his one good return. Miller was able to punt away from him and the coverage teams on kickoffs and punts were able to keep him from breaking big runs.

5. Run and Pass well:
315 yards passing by Brady and 98 yards rushing from Dillon.

6. Give the ball to Branch:
6 receptions and 105 yards and a TD in his return off the injured list. You can tell he's one of Brady's favorite receivers.

The Man of the Game has to be Deion Branch. He was huge today. In all the talk about the injured secondary, people seemed to forget that the Patriots were playing without one of their top receivers.

Monday, November 22, 2004


The Story in the Globe

Red Sox utility man Gabe Kapler has reportedly signed a one year $2M+ deal with the Yomiuri Giants in Japan. This isn't too shocking. He should get a good amount of playing time in Japan which is what his agent said he wanted in the Globe's story (read it here) . With the starting outfield locked up and Dave Roberts already on the bench, the need for Kapler was minimal. I think he'll be popular in Japan just as he was here. He was a solid utility man and will be missed. All over New England, the teenaged girls are heartbroken. First Hillenbrand, then Nomar, now Kapler, and perhaps Varitek.

One thing I find creepy about the article is that the Globe's source was the Boston Dirt Dogs, a "blog" that is pretty much headlines and photo-shopped images. Whatever happened to the AP or say a Japanese source?

Unbelievable. Not really, but hey supply and demand. Try bringing your kids to a game now! But hey, we don't need a new stadium or anything. It's not a huge deal though. most prices will rise by $1, standing room has gone from $18 up to $20, box seats might go up $10, and there will be more upper bleacher priced tickets sold at $12. But you won't be seeing them build any seats above the bleachers that could sell for $8 or so. The only seats they'll add are seats that will sell for $100 or more. Tomorrow the team plans on releasing information on their planned improvements for next season.

The story

I know its for the good of the League but I really miss watching hockey every other night. I miss allowed fighting, fast European skaters, enforcers, goalies standing on their heads and sharpshooters scoring amazing goals. The incident in the NBA the other night made me miss hockey more. It reminded me so much of Terry O'Reilly. I also miss athletes who don't ask for 2 months off to promote their new albums.

What I'd like to see come from this incident is two things. I want there to be a precedent set that fans and players will be treated as equals in the eyes of the law. I disagree with courts getting involved in sporting incidents but this was not a sporting incident. All parties should have been arrested on the spot, brought to a police station and interrogated as if they weren't millionaire athletes or season ticket holders. All parties were wrong to bring violence into the scenario. However, provoked assault is still assault.

I'd also like to see a precedent established that fans are not safe. It seems like the past few years, fans feel like they are able to talk trash to athletes on the field and they feel safe about it because they are protected. Just look at that heckler in Oakland that got a chair thrown at him. Fans need to realise that they aren't safe from athletes, and they are not exempt from misbehavior simply because they bought a ticket.

Sunday, November 21, 2004

OK, I have no problem with beautiful girls taking their towels off. I have no problem with them jumping into the arms of a football player. I have no problem with the implied sex. However, some people do. ABC, which is owned by Disney, and the NFL should have realised that alot of kids watch Monday Night Football. I remember a few years ago my bedtime was the half-time of MNF unless the Pats were playing. Bellicheck said something along the lines that the game is what is important, not selling it with sex. He made a comparison to the XFL. I know ABC was trying to promote their show "Desperate Housewives" and trying to be cool and funny, but people watch MNF to see football and that's all they should get. I think the decency police are too strong but they wouldn't have any strength if the networks could police themselves.

Earlier in the afternoon it looked like the Browns might give us a 1/2 game over the Jets in the division standings, and the Bengals might give us a 1/2 game over the Steelers in the race for home field advantage, but neither team was able to perform and both looked rpetty bad. I watched the Jets/Browns game and it was just terrible. Dropped passes, stupid penalties, missed tackles. I kept tabs on the Bengals game thru NFL.com and there was just so much stupidity coming through the LiveText. Penalty after penalty after penalty. It makes me thankful to have a team like the Patriots. If they lose, it is because of the other team, not their own failures.

By the way, the Browns uniforms look terrible. Seriously, I thought Clemson was taking on the Jets. I used to like the Brown uniforms and orange helmets. It was old school and quite unique. The orange has been done and it looks like an old school team trying desperately to be new school.

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