Tag Archives: Sports

The Pats Fan Roller Coaster: A Story of Super bowl 49

 

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On the surface, being a 25 year old New England Patriots fan will get you no sympathy from fans of every other sports team across the four major sports in North America. Since I was ten years old, my favorite team has had one head coach, one starting quarterback (save for an injury in 2008 and a 4 game suspension in 2016), and have only missed the playoffs twice (2002 and 2008). I will never complain about supporting this team, but it is not without epic emotional swings during this big games. Super Bowl 49 was the prime example of this. Here’s how the game unfolded in my parent’s living room that fateful night.

Tom Brady INT at Seattle 10, 1st Quarter 0-0: The most uncharacteristic throw I’ve ever seen given the stakes with Brady. Red Zone picks are what the Brandon Weeden’s of the world do, not the greatest QB of all time. Still a lot of time left but my god what a dumb dumb dumb dumb throw. Would have really put Seattle up against it.

Brady to Gronk TD, late 2nd Quarter, Pats 14-6: Seattle covered Gronk with some fat LB split out to the sideline! Pats might hang a hundo on this team! Let’s Go!!!!!!(Brady voice).

Wilson to Mathews TD, super late 2nd Quarter, 14-14: Kyle Arrington should have been cut 3 years ago (but with a lot less nicer language mixed in between). Seattle can double dip now and I’m starting to panic.

Wilson to Baldwin TD, late 3rd Quarter, 24-14 Seattle: I need and adult…

Brady to Amendola TD mid 4th, 24-21 Seattle: Get a stop, get a stop, get a stop, get a stop, get a stop, get a stop!!! The tease is getting too much now. Patriots clearly setting up to break my heart again. Anyone else you’d rather have in this situation than Brady though?

Brady to Edelman TD, Late 4th, 28-24 Pats: IS THERE ANYONE ELSE YOU’D RATHER HAVE! THAT’S MY QUARTERBACK! It would suck to be the fan of another team right now. Brady Brady Brady! (oh yeah, get a freakin stop D!)

Kearse catch, super late 4th, 28-24 Pats: Never meant to get Lombardi IV I guess. 2007 all over again. How much torture can happen. 2005 Super bowl seems like a lifetime ago. Sun questionable to rise in the AM.

Butler INT super duper late 4th, 28-24 Pats: I blacked out and fell off my couch and onto the floor. I still do not remember how I got face down on the floor but my first thoughts after I came too were: “S*** we are way to backed up! How we gonna kneel?! Gotta give them the hard count Tom! Give them the Hard COUNT!” I’v coached football too long to even enjoy the INT for the amazing play it was. I was too concerned with taking the knee to end it. Was sure something would go wrong. My buddy calls me in the moment reacting similar to me. Utter and pure shock.

Brady gets them to jump, Bruce Irvin gets DQ’d Pats win 28-24: The moment Michael Bennett jumped offside was the single happiest moment of my watching the Patriots since Vinatieri’s kick to beat the Rams. Pats win, Super bowl champs against all odds. Tom Brady is the greatest of all time. Felt like I didn’t breathe for 4 straight hours.

This is not by any means a unique experience. I’m positive every other Patriots fan went through this same emotional swing during the game. I never in a thousand years thought I would experience such emotion with this team. My first memories of Patriots’ games were my dad having to find them on the bunny ears with the old TV in the early 90s because they wouldn’t sell out home games and put the game on TV. I had to watch Desmond Howard and Reggie White destroy any hope of a Super Bowl I thought we had in 97. I had to deal with Pete Carroll taking a Super Bowl team and driving them into the ground. Even in 2001, the Pats were 5-5 and using a backup QB before they went on this historic run. I wouldn’t trade this team for anything in the world. Remember when you’re watching the game Sunday between Atlanta and New England that the Pats’ fan base may be insufferable at times, but it’s because our peaks have been as tall as our valley’s have been deep. We live on the extreme ends of the spectrum. Our sports town has had its collective heart’s ripped out by giving up home runs to end seasons, giving up 3-0 series and 3-0 game 7 leads, and miracle catches. We’ve been on the right side of all those things as well. I’m sure Sunday will be no different but, as I wrote for my dad before I went to bed after searching for Championship t-shirts all night after Super Bowl 49, “Thanks for making me a fan of this team!”

@Fozberry64

What to Watch for on Championship Sunday

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(something to consider when rooting against the “cheating” Patriots)

Here’s some interesting things to consider when watching Championship Sunday:

1. Can the Packers win with zero healthy WRs?- The packers WR core is decimated with injury. Nelson is not suiting up for the second week in a row, Davante Adams and Geronimo Allison were both limited or DNPs at practice this week, which leaves only Randall Cobb as a viable threat for Rodgers at the WR position. They will need to be creative with Montgomery and Cook this week in order to pull off the upset on the road in ATL.

2. Will Bennett feast vs the Steelers?- The Patriots offense looked subpar at best vs a very stingy Houston defense. The Steelers are very talented up front but lack the secondary that Houston has. Gronk has typically demolished the Steelers zone coverage schemes in the past. Gronk has 8 TDs and averages almost 100 yards a game in 5 career games vs the Steelers. Can Martellus Bennett come close to this type of production? If so, I like the Patriots chances this weekend.

3. Falcons D containing Aaron Rodgers- What Rodgers is doing, is nothing short of historic. He is putting up ungodly numbers and almost singlehandedly won the game in Dallas last week. The Falcons D was dominant vs Seattle and Russell Wilson last week. Playing at home, in the last game ever at the Georgia Dome, this defense has an opportunity to show the world that they can play.

4. Can Pittsburgh turnover Brady enough to win in Gillette?- Brady has been good for a turnover a game in the playoffs during his hall of fame career. One turnover will not be enough as it has not been enough for other team in the past (New England is 6-3 when Brady only throws one interception in a playoff game). If they can turn him over more than once, they may be able to keep the Patriots under 30 and have a chance.

5. What will the dumb conspiracy be this year?- Pittsburgh has the flu right now, odds are, someone blames the Patriots for biological warfare this week. Just the way it always goes. Last time the Steelers came to Foxboro, they complained that they were getting the radio broadcast in their headsets (sup zo!). Let’s see what ridiculous excuse the NFL decides to believe is the key to the Patriots success this year!

@fozberry64 on twitter

Time to Complain about the BBWA Again

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There has been a hiatus on me complaining about baseball hall of fame voting the past two years. This is only because the last two years were no brainers that not even the most comatose BBWA writer could screw up. Guys like Griffey, Pedro, and Randy Johnson all got in and obviously all deserved their first ballot status. This years ballot was a little less obvious.

The “stars” going into the museum this year are Tim Raines, Jeff Bagwell, and Ivan Rodriguez. On the surface, this doesn’t look to glaring an issue. Pudge was an all time catcher who was the best defensive catcher not only of his generation, but of all time. The eyes told you that but the metrics do too. He has a career defensive WAR of 317. For those new to the stat, that means he accounted for 317 more wins because of his defense than the average catcher over the course of his career. Tim Raines has the second highest baserunning coefficient of all time behind Ricky Henderson. I’m a little too young to have watched Raines, but people tell me he’s the best leadoff hitter ever not named Ricky Henderson. And then Bagwell. Not much to say about him. He was a borderline hall of famer at best based on numbers and by watching him, he never did anything of consequence or drastically affected the game of baseball. He would be first ballot “Hall of Really Really Good” not first ballot hall of fame if it were up to me.

The biggest issue is the people voting. Most of them use this ballot every year to stand on their soapboxes and preach about integrity and playing the game the right way and all that nonsense instead of celebrating the greatness that deserves to be recognized. It is multiplied by a thousand this year because of the hypocrisy of the voters.

This year. The BBWA voted in Bagwell and Rodriguez, both of whom have obvious links to PED use in baseball. Bagwell was on the same thing that McGwire was (which was not outlawed by the MLB at the time). Rodriguez was in the same locker room as notorious PED users Rafael Palmeiro and Jose Canseco. The links are obvious yet the BBWA gets to pick and choose who cheated and who didn’t? If the BBWA wants to take a stance, take a stance. Too many people vote for guys like Bagwell but then leave off Bonds, Clemens and Manny? It’s embarrassing.

The BBWA can take all the stances they want one way or the other. Just don’t tell me you have no time for PED users and then vote in the ones that you like. Bonds, Clemens and Manny were  thousand times the player than Bagwell was. Just vote for the best players! it’s about baseball, not stuffy baseball writers preaching about integrity.

Twitter: @fozberry64

 

Dumb NFL Coach of the Week: Divisional Round

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(similar to this but not even close to the same)

WINNER: JASON GARRETT!

Not going to lie, it was a CLOSE decision. Andy Reid was up to his usual tricks and screwed up the clock enough at the end of the  game where he didn’t have any timeouts and there was zero sense of urgency. Could have easily been him this week but he comes in third. NFL: Kansas City Chiefs at Philadelphia Eagles

Also could have been old friend Bill O’Brien! His decision to kick a field goal to stay down 17-16 instead of going for a TD when he has that inept offense deep in the red area was the biggest loser decision ever. He of all people should know that you cannot go into Foxboro and expect to win by kicking field goals in the redzone. It’s just not an option. The second he did that I said, “well that’s dumb, his offense will never be that close again.” Sure enough, they never got in the red area for the rest of the game. Gotta play to win there Bill.

And now to our winner, Jason Garrett. Garrett having his offense spike the ball on First down, with a time out, at the GB 40 yard line with 50 seconds left was the dumbest move of the year. Not only did it leave Rodgers with too much time after kicking the field goal but it took away a down they needed to get the next first down! The play there was for Garrett to take his time out and have 50 seconds to get 5 yards to kick a field goal. 50 seconds is a lot of time to manage. No reason to waste a down with 50 seconds left and you still have a timeout on the edge of Field Goal range! It was maddening. Absolutely the worst coached team this weekend was Dallas. They have a stellar team but with that coach, they will never win anything.

Twitter @fozberry64

Obligatory NFL Divisonal Round picks column

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(Let’s hope this year’s Packers v Cowboys game is as entertaining as the one from 2015)

 

New England over Houston 34-10: Easiest money for the weekend. Patriots not only win easily at home, they probably cover a historically large spread too against the worst team to ever win a playoff game. Make it 7 straight AFC title games for Brady and the Patriots.

 

Kansas City over Pittsburgh 24-18: Kansas City finally gets over their home playoff hump and keeps Pittsburgh at bay. Their defense/special teams are just too opportunistic. I expect this to be visible as Big Ben has struggled away from Heinz Field this year. Costly turnovers haunt the Steelers in this one as Smith game manages his way to another title game.

 

Atlanta over Seattle 35-31: The team that kicks the field goal always loses. This time, it’s Seattle. Their offense just won’t be able to keep up and overcome the defensive loss of Earl Thomas. Ryan will finally get over the hump and win a game he’s supposed to at home in the playoffs.  Quinn and Shanahan should have a great gameplan in place for this one and barring a Dan Quinn game mismanagement, Atlanta will move on.

 

Dallas over Green Bay 31-30: Dalla is going to have to put up points and lots of them to win this one. Green Bay is hot but without Jordy, Rodgers has classically struggled. This is a little factor but I’m going to go out on a limb and say Mike Mccarthy has his Grady Little moment in this one. He will leave that one point on the board somewhere whether it’s an ill advised fourth down attempt or bad play calling deep in his own end. He will be the goat in this one as Dallas survives and advances.

Follow me on twitter: @fozberry64

NFL Divisional Round DFS RBs

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Running Back notes to consider when creating your million dollar lineups this weekend

  1. Le’veon Bell is a generational talent- Not breaking news but it’s worth saying again and again. Bell has made a mockery of the competition when he has been on the field. The stats are very much in his favor as he always surpases 150 yard from scrimmage but your eyes can back up these stats. He is the most patient back in the league. Bell never forces his carries into the pile. He waits and waits and waits until he has a crease and explodes through it. He’s the anti-Trent Richardson. He’s what Laurence Moroney always wanted to be with his dancing until the hole opens up. Difference is, Bell has vision that his unique only to him. Obviously Bell is chalky and his ownership will be super high but you need to have exposure. Road teams always get this thing in their head where they feel they need to run, especially with the cold weather forecast for Kansas City. Expect Bell to have a day.
  2. Blount Week-  Bell’s former team mate and joy ride buddy Legarrette Blount has gameflow going for him this week as a 16.5 point favorite over Houston. As I wrote yesterday, look for him to get numerous red zone and goal line carries early and then clock killing carries late in a cold Foxboro Saturday night.
  3. Hard to find- The rest of the slate is tough to call. Gameflow will not be favoring Seattle as I expect them to be in a track meet in the Georgia Dome. Freeman and Coleman are also a tough call (Freeman>Coleman). Atlanta will look to use their backs in the passing game so target them for your mid to low priced options. Rest of the slate is brutal. Elliot could be a nice contrarian play against GBs top run defense. Game flow will hurt Elliot if the game goes like I think it will. Hard to roster Ware/West with the given injury concerns to Ware combined with a Pittsburgh front that has been playing very well.

NFL Divisional Round DFS Things to Remember 1/12/17

I will never admit to be an expert on anything. I’ve never won thousands on DFS or have been published or have won awards. All I try to do is read as much as I can and watch as much as I can relating to football. Looking at more than stats has gotten me above the cash line in most of my DFS contests this year. There are just some things you can set your watch to that have either simple or no numbers backing them up. My favorite stat to trash is the QB fourth quarter comeback stat. Yes it is true good QBs usually can lead their team to victories when down late in the game when lesser QBs wouldn’t BUT, that same QB probably had something to do with the team being in the hole in the first place. It’s much like a baseball pitcher walking the bases loaded and then getting a strikeout and a double play ball to end the inning. Anyway, here are a few things to keep in mind when creating your million dollar roster for daily fantasy this week.

  1. Andy Reid off a bye week- It’s no secret but for those that don’t know, Andy Reid is 16-2 coming off a bye week in his coaching career. He normally has his team ready to go in these situations. His players did get the entire week off last week which may become a factor. Questionable decision by Reid to interrupt the team’s routine with so much at stake. This isn’t atypical for coaches to do during the regular season so Reid might be staying consistent in that respect.
  2. Rookie Starters in DAL- Dallas enters the playoffs as the NFC’s number one seed and has to face a red hot Green Bay Packers team. Many people will be looking at GBs bad defensive numbers and target the Dallas passing game and of course Elliot. It is worth considering that rookie QBs and even RBs can be hard to trust, even at home, in their first playoff games. Dallas as a whole is very inexperienced in these big situations and needed a gift from the officials to win in the playoffs 2 years ago with an arguably more talented team vs a much lesser opponent. Moral of the story is you can roster your Elliot and your DAL passing game but you are putting your faith in extremely unproven commodities against the hottest team in football.
  3. Blount week in Foxboro- The outcome of the game between HOU and NE isn’t in question this week. Who to target for the Pats is always the hardest thing to determine and this week is no different. After carefully thinking about how this game is going to play out, you can feel good about some Blount exposure this week. Houston comes in with the top ranked defense in the NFL. Houston is a good defense for sure but they are far from a dominant defense. They will give up plenty of points to NE this week. The Pats have limited big play ability and will have plenty of opportunities from in close as they did during the regular season. Expect plenty of goal line touches and clock killing touches from the Patriots heavy hitting back Legarrette Blount. I’m going to be all over him this week.
  4. The Dan Quinn Factor- I was going to regurgitate the whole rookie factor in playoffs thing with Dan Quinn being the only first time playoff coach left in the playoffs but let’s look at it differently.  Dan Quinn is the former defensive coordinator of the Seattle Seahawks. His defense spent it’s time defending Russell Wilson in practice every day for the entire  two years he and Russell were there together. In his one previous matchup, the Falcons lost in Seattle by 2 points and scored 21 points in the third quarter. He knows how Pete Carroll would want to attack him. This will make for an interesting scheme game within the football game. Seattle might have more pure talent than the Falcons and Carroll is a professional football coach (he has a clue) so Quinn has his work cut out for him. You can target Falcons passing game with confidence because of the falcons strong knowledge of how Seattle wants to operate. Don’t expect big leads either way so there will be incentive for Ryan to throw.  (Insert obligatory Matt Ryan at home or Matt Ryan in playoffs take here).