Goodbye football, bring on baseball

So the NFL season has come to an end, the last three weeks didn’t really mean much to me other than  a good excuse to get together and watch games on Sundays. This past weekend at the Super Bowl party, the Tecmo tournament went as expected…I lost 49-0. Since I was with people who will put a spread on anything, mine was 28. I was losing by that margin by halftime and it was clear that I was not going to score. I have now played in this tournament for 4 years, and have scored exactly 7 points, I don’t remember how but there is no way it was on purpose. I wonder if I can put my $5 entry fee on my tax form as a charitable donation……

The best thing about football season being over is that it’s just about time for spring training. I will follow the Celtics and casually follow the Bruins, but baseball season is what I really get excited for. Yesterday was Truck Day at Fenway, the day when the 18 wheelers carrying all the Red Sox gear takes off from Fenway en route to Ft Myers.

In the past few years, Truck Day has become more than just the truck being loaded and a few diehards coming out to watch. This year, Jet Blue gave out foam fingers and there were appearances by a few members of the front office. I am not sure what to think about this, part of my liked when a few pictures made it into the Globe (or boston.com) and that’s all there was. This year seemed like more of an even with Jerry Remy even streaming the even live. Every year I will get excited for truck day, but I wonder if it should be played up as much as it is. Or maybe I am just getting old and ready to tell stories that start “when I was a boy…..”

Pitchers and Catchers report Feb 14th, couldn’t think of a better Valentines day present

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There is more than just a game today

As I have said previously, I do not care who wins this years Super Bowl. I will say that I would prefer the Packers win, more because of how much I hate Ben Roethlisberger. This year the other aspects of the party are my reason in hanging out all day. The festivities kick off at noon, with something that I am guessing few, if any other SB party has.

Noon will be the kickoff time for the first game in the Tecmo Tourney, sometimes its a few minutes after noon, depending on how long it takes for the original Nintendo to start working. There are 8 teams and the bracket will be drawn up at 1145. Each year, I play exactly one game and I think that over the past 4 years I have maybe scored 2 touchdowns. I never had a Nintendo growing up, so I will be giving my annual $10 donation to the eventual winner. The championship game will be played at halftime of the SB instead of watching the halftime show.

This year, the party is going to be slightly different. There will be a tailgate. A couple guys are going over early to shovel off the roofdeck of the 2 feet of snow we got last week. Then the grills and fire pit will be going. There was consideration of bringing a TV up on the roof for the Tecmo tourney, but its snowing right now which makes it a little trickier.

Im sorry if after reading this you are disappointed at the lame party you will be going to, sitting inside and watching the Puppy Bowl as a warm up to the big game.

 

Prediction:

Aaron Rodgers and the Packers: 27

Ben Rapelisberger and the Steelers: 21

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What to do when your team’s out….gamble!

With the Patriots losing a couple weeks ago I lost my main reason in watching the NFL playoffs. Yes the games are fun, but its hard to get really excited to go out and watch the games with no real vested interest in the outcome. This was my mindset until I thought of the second reason to watch sports….gambling.

I don’t gamble for a lot of money, usually between $10 and $100 depending on the situation. I had resigned to not watching the games this past weekend until I received an email from a friend seeing what was going  on for the games. I told him that I didn’t really care about the games, so I had no plans. Then he mentions that the plan is to have a 2 game fantasy tournament for the games. The rules were simple, each person gets a QB, 2 WR, 2 RB, TE, K and D/ST, no one could have the same player. There were 4 of us there so it worked out perfect.

The great thing about this plan is that each play had meaning for me, not just the end result. On one play I could be rooting for the Rodgers to throw a TD, and on the next hope for a Chicago sack. All that really mattered was that the players I drafted ended up scoring more points. As it turns out I was outscored by a significant margin, but only lost $10 for an afternoon of entertainment.

I still don’t really care about who wins the super bowl, but I do have the Techmo Bowl tournament (more to come on this later) and more gambling to look forward to.

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Wells to Angels, Reagins to seek counseling

The Toronto Blue Jays traded Vernon Wells with his horrendous contract to the Angels for Mike Napoli and Juan Rivera. Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos also agreed to sent $5 million to the Angels to offset some of Wells contract. All of this looks like business as usual until you take a quick look at the numbers.

Over the next 4 years, Vernon Wells is owed $86 million. $86 million!! Rivera will make $5.25 million next year and Napoli made $3.6 million last year but has not settled on a 2011 salary figure, as least that I could find at first glance. Wells was due to make $23 million this season and then $21 million in each of the next three. So unless Napoli talks his way into a $15 million salary this year, the Jays come out on top. While Wells does have 3 Gold Gloves, his defense is very much on the decline, and at the plate Napoli has  a slight edge.

Toronto is clearly looking to the future and wants to be a competitor in the tough AL East. Since Alex Rios was claimed in August of 2009 and now this, the Jays have saved over $140 million. I would say this gives them some flexibility to make a few big moves and shift the balance of power in toughest division in baseball.

Now for the why….why did Angels GM Tony Reagins make this trade? It could be that the Angels came into the postseason wanting to make some big moves, but have come up empty-handed each time. It was thought that Carl Crawford was a done deal to go to the Angels, but the Red Sox came in and grabbed him at the last second. (hehe) Well the Angels did something, and I guess they never said they were going to do a smart something so this goes along with the promise made to fans.

The only other reasonable explanation for this trade is that Anthopoulos and Reagins were hanging out at the Winter Meetings and Reagins couple too many adult beverages. Against better judgement, Reagins found himself in an embarassing and maybe even illegal situation. Anthopoulos, who was only drinking tonic water and lime to fool Reagins into thinking he was drunk took pictures of the whole scene. Now Anthopoulos had the ammunition he needed to dump Wells and the majority of his remaining contract. This this may sound rediculous, but no more so than the trade itself.

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Chicago sports? No thanks

When most people move to a new city they will keep  alliances to the sports teams they have always liked. Why is it then when you move to a new city the locals are surprised that you don’t switch to their teams, or at least like them equally? If a lifelong diehard Chicago sports fan moved to New York, would they root for the Yankees equally with the White Sox? Once the White Sox were eliminated, would this fan hope the Yankees go on to win it all? Of course not! that’s not why people watch sports.

All week I have been asked if I am rooting for the Bears now that the Patriots are out. Not a chance I will be cheering for the Bears, why would I want to see everyone around me excited that their team won while mine was at home? I want everyone around me to be just as miserable as I am. I am not going to make any friends in Chicago with this attitude, and I don’t go around telling people that I don’t like Chicago sports teams. However the truth is that I don’t like Chicago sports teams, I like Boston sports teams and that’s it. During the course of the season when Chicago teams are playing anyone other than Boston, I couldn’t care less if they win or lose. If the game is against a Boston team I want the Chicago team to lose, or if my team is out I want the Chicago team to lose, its that simple.

There is one exception to this, and thats the Cubs. I can’t explain why, but if it ever happened that the Cubs were playing baseball longer than the Red Sox I would hope for a Cubs World Series Championship. I feel bad for Cubs fans and the North Side of Chicago for what they have been through. Of course, when the Cubs visit Fenway for the first time since 1918 this season, I am going to hope for a sweep and consecutive shutouts, same if they ever met in the World Series.

To sum it up, I hope the Bears lose this weekend, not because I have anything against them or their fans, but because my team lost. Maybe that makes me a sore loser, but I really don’t care.

37 days till the Red Sox first spring training game

71 days until the season begins

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So long Patriots, Hello Red Sox

I was planning on writing a long entry about the game yesterday, but to be honest I just don’t feel like it. The game is over, time to move on.

I wish I could blame the loss on someone other than the Patriots, but I can’t. I hate to say it but the patriots were outplayed and outcoached. One the of the best things about the Patriots style is that they go in with a game plan and stick with it all game and this worked 14 times this year. In this case the game plan certainly wasn’t working and needed to be adjusted…something that was not done. The Patriots were insistent on running the ball, despite time becoming an issue and not great success in the run. The Jets knew each time the run was coming and adjusted the defense accordingly. I would have liked to see more attempts downfield, but thats just me.  Thanks for a fun year Patriots, really thought you were Super Bowl bound.

I am now switching gears as fast as possible to the Red Sox. Truck day from Fenway is February 8th. I bother people Chicago with updates the week leading up to this glorious day and then send pictures of the event. For those of you who don’t know what it is, this is the day all the Red Sox gear starts its trek down to Ft Myers for Spring Training. The Red Sox made some big acquisitions this offseason and I am excited to see how the team shapes up.

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Today is the day

I don’t remember a Patriots game in the last couple years that I have been more excited about. I think the last time a game had me on edge like this was Super Bowl XLII, and to be honest I went into that pretty confident since the Pats had not lost a game all season. Maybe thats why I am so nervous about this one, the Patriots have been so good, but I have been burned before. I don’t know if its all the trash talk coming from the Jets camp, the fact that Tom Brady has been unstoppable for the past 8 weeks or something else.

The Jets have spent the the past week, and even a large part of the season running their mouths rather than letting their play on the field do the talking. When players from most teams do this, the head coach will come out and say something to try and diffuse the media attention….not Rex Ryan. It seems like there might be some reward Ryan will give out to the Jets player who says the most rediculous thing. Bart Scott rose to this challange when he said that Wes Welkers days of wearing a uniform are numbered. This outburst prompted a warning from the NFL saying that if someone follows through on threats to another team, this will be taken into consideration when penalaties are being assessed.

For the most part, I agree with the content seen here, but in this case there is a direct threat of physical violence to a specific individual. Im sure it was just emotions getting the best of Mr. Scott, but it seems that he did cross the line, especially if it becomes clear during the game that he is making every effort to injure members of the patriots and not just play the game.

Prediction: The Jets will jump out to an early lead and will still lead at halftime 14-1o. The Patriots will come out strong in the second half holding the Jets to only a field goal while Brady and Rob Gronkowski hook up for 2 TDs in the 3rd quarter. The two teams will trade touchdowns in the 4th, with Welker scoring for the Patriots in the final 5 minutes to put the game away. Final Score – Patriots 31 Jets 24.

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