(Afternoon Links provided by Guest Blogger David Vidinha. Send him feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org)
Playing or living in a great sports town can be beneficial for both players and fans. The greater exposure of a great sports town leads to more opportunities financially for the players, and us as fans can have endless conversation and discussion about our teams. Inside the sports hotbeds such as Boston, New York, Philly, and Detroit, expectations of success are so great each year its almost palatable. Look around here, we have a great fascination with our sports teams, whether it’s newspapers, websites, blogs, talk radio, you name it, in this town the analyzing and second guessing are endless.
When things are going great like they are now, we get the opportunity to complain and scrutinize minute details. Things like, broadcast crews, margins of victory below 21 points, how will the Big Three divide up all the points, or whether we should watch the Bruins Friday night or the Sox, well I made that last one up, but honestly it’s a great feeling these times were in. It wasn’t so long ago we were screaming about bullpen by committee, a defense that couldn’t stop the run, or our basketball team finishing last to get a lottery pick. Those days are currently residing in life’s proverbial rear view mirror. These horrific times have now been passed on to our favorite rival city New York.
The Yankees have just been eliminated from the ALDS by the younger, hungrier Indians. The Jets are looking as pathetic as ever giving up 28 points in the 2nd half, losing again on Sunday to their natural rivals the Giants. The Jets, a team that plays with an offensive line that can’t open a hole large enough for Nicole Richie to squeeze through, a QB that can throw a deep ball as effectively as a tailgater outside of Gillette are some examples of how things are looking pretty weak over in NY, throw in the Knicks and the Mets and you might have the largest collection of depressed fans in one general area anywhere.
Take this morning’s sports coverage for example. In and around the New York and Tri-State area, the morning papers are filled with breakdowns of the “End of the Yankee Dynasty”, Joe Torre’s obituary, the absolute drudgery that is the Jets, this stuff goes on and on. As you flipped through this morning’s Boston papers we see the Pats getting ready to defend their undefeated record Sunday, the Sox preparing to begin the ALCS on Friday, and the Celtics beginning their preseason with the best team they’ve assembled on the court in a long time. We’re really feeling good over here. So, hold your head high Boston fans for we’re living in some good times here in Boston. If you see a New York fan in your travels, don’t taunt them, because their suffering enough misery, about the only thing that they can look forward to is maybe the resigning of Posada or the return of Tiki………nah that’s terrible too, just taunt them. Now only if we can get our 4th major sports team to get back into the Championship game…..Go Revs!
Around the Web
Much like the coverage of the over hyped “Camera Gate”, every columnist in the country has their own rendition of the Yankee Dynasty’s final day. The news of the Yankee crumble is endless today, so I’ll filter out only the good ones to help keep you smiling throughout lunch. John Heyman over at SI tells us that not only does he think Torre will be fired, but he also lets us in on the front runner in the A-Rod sweepstakes.
Ken Rosenthal in keeping with the tradition of the Yankee Stadium “Bleacher Creatures” provides us with a Yankee roll call.
Over at the Sporting News, they have Torre already sounding like an ex-manager.
The creative editors of all the NY papers love them bold headlines, here’s what the front of all the newspaper boxes looked like this morning in Times Square. NY Post, NY Daily News, Newsday, and finally the NY Times.
Buster Olney says the Yankees should show class in their handling of the Torre situation.
Also, Yankee broadcaster Suzyn Waldman whose embarrassing screeching at the sight of Roger Clemens this summer has become heavy audio drop material for WEEI, Suzyn does it again with her reaction to the Yankees defeat last night, and we thought Castiglione was a homer.
Reading through all of this made me think about just how bad the coverage will be when the Patriots actually, gulp, fail and Belichick no longer has his special touch, oh my.
Looking forward to the end of the week Tom Verducci says that the Indians at least have a shot to stop Ortiz, something the Angels did not.
Josh Peter over at Yahoo Sports throws a wet blanket on the Red Sox defeat of the Angels, and has a few words about their celebration afterwards as well.
Amalie Benjamin checks in with a Red Sox chat.
Peter Gammons has some observations on Manny.
From the “In Case you Missed it” files…
Peter King is still concerned about SpyGate in this week’s MMQB, and within Michael Silver’s Morning Rush we are provided with anecdotal evidence that under no circumstances do you approach a 250-plus pound NFL linebacker eating to ask him about a busted play from the previous game.
ESPN has their power rankings up, nothing surprising. Just note that there’s two teams from the AFC East that are placed in the bottom five. Didn’t that division used to be one of the toughest in the NFL?
Mike Reiss answers your questions in his weekly mailbag.
Don Banks has some observations in his latest Banks’ Shots.
The Carolina Panthers might be interested in a former Patriot QB.
Adam Schefter of the NFL Network has a nice piece on the volatile QB situations around the league.
Ron Borges Gregg Easterbrook checks in with his weekly marathon column, Tuesday Morning Quarterback.
Speaking of Borgie, in case you forgot he does have his own website now. In it he’s providing analysis and predictions, so if your a betting man be sure to stop by before placing any bets this weekend.
Peter King checks back in with his Tuesday Edition of MMQB. In it we get Peter’s minute by minute breakdown of the Monday night game, as well as some of his renowned baseball analysis. In case your keeping score, Peter’s Manager of the Year is……..wait for it……oh yeah, Tampa Bay’s Joe Maddon.
(From Bruce Allen)
ESPN’s Sunday NFL Countdown had a few exchanges worthy of interest from Patriots fans:
How do the 2007 Patriots compare to the Patriots’ Super Bowl Teams?
Emmitt Smith: “Overall, they have upgraded this team, offense and defense, and they are playing better ball.”
Mike Ditka: “The final test is – Do they win the Super Bowl. This is the best prepared team in football. That goes down to the coaching staff. Bill Belichick right now, whether you like him or hate him or you want to anoint him, he’s the best in the business in what he’s doing right now. These guys know everything that is going to go on and they are prepared for everything. There is no trick against these guys.”
Tom Jackson: “When you look at them talent-wise, I don’t think there’s any doubt that they are better, especially on the offensive side of the ball. So, this team? Yes, better. When I start looking back now at those three Super Bowls my question will remain the same. To what extent did the video-taping go and how long did it go on? I see they played the Rams, as they led up to Super Bowl XXXVI, in week 11 in Foxboro and lose by seven. They come back two months later and they dismantle that football team at a neutral site. It may be nothing, I don’t know, neither do you (pointing to Keyshawn Johnson).”
Keyshawn Johnson: “When you play a team twice in the league, you play them once you lose. The second time around, it will never be the same.”
Patriots or Colts: Which team has a better chance to go 16-0?
Smith: “It is very difficult to go undefeated.
Jackson: “The offense of the Patriots verges on being great. You are playing a division, if you’re the Patriots, where you have a pretty easy walk. That makes it a little easier to go 16-0.”
Johnson: “I’d say New England. But I’ve got to think for a minute why? For me, I’d probably say they have a great coach, they’ve got a great team and obviously they’ve got an excellent zoom lens.”
From NFL Network on Sunday:
“If you want to compare these teams… At quarterback it’s a wash. At receiver it’s a wash. But the balance for the New England Patriots defensively…that’s where they take the lead on the Colts. The Colts have a huge drop off defensively.”
— Deion Sanders on New England and Indianapolis – the AFC’s two unbeaten teams.
“He’s not as quick, not as physical, and not as aggressive. But he’s able to make plays because of his knowledge.”
— Deion Sanders on Patriots LB Junior Seau, who had six tackles and two interceptions vs. Browns
Sports on TV
Its a rather dreadful night in sports with nothing to get excited about other than an NHL game on Versus. I personally would rather read Gregg Easterbrook’s entire column than find an NHL game between Carolina and Toronto on Versus, but hey that’s just me. For a listing of tonight’s action check here.