We’re going to open the doors and let in a few more national bloggers than usual this afternoon as we take a brief look at the aftermath of last Sunday’s AFC and NFC conference championships, then it will be back to Boston where no such game was held.
Neither championship game disappointed National Football Post, which marveled at Peyton Manning’s ability to see Austin Collie in the one, and Jim Nantz’s ability to see through Brett Favre in the other. Sunday did disappoint some bold prognosticators, as The Trenches has the Vikings pronouncing themselves NFC champs, while The Huddle has the Jets doing the same in the AFC. Brings back shades of a cold night in Shea Stadium many Octobers ago, doesn’t it?
Sports Central says it’s all about Manning, who no longer panics when he needs points. John Chandler says Manning has surpassed Tom Brady, much as the Colts have surpassed the Patriots as the AFC’s signature team. Hell, even Indy’s cops are tough – especially if you’re wearing Jets green – as Deadspin will tell you. Speaking of violence, Shutdown Corner has Rex Ryan telling his team to wear their hideous greens with pride and punch out anyone who laughs. Ryan may have penciled himself in as this year’s Super Bowl favorite, but The Rap Sheet has him not so sure about being the next AFC East Division champ.
We’re Just Saying has the NFC Championship with all the elements of a well-written story – one that lived up to expectations. Hot Clicks is thankful for Favre’s season-killing interception because now we won’t have to endure the Brett lovefest for two more weeks, while Boston Sports Blog finds it a most comfortable ending to an intolerable story line. Surviving Grady says the Saints’ plan to brutalize Favre worked. Joe Posnanski reflects on some comical instances where Favre has refused to run in the past, and it makes him ask, Why? The Sporting Blog wonders if all the Favre vitriol is in reaction to the media’s over-the-top fawning over Number 4.
not least, some good Patriots introspection as Tom E. Curran looks at the D-Line for CSNNE’s Patriots Offseason Game Plan, and Chris Price’s Patriots By Position feature examines the linebacking corps on It Is What It Is. Both are appointment reading.
We’re not in a good place here. Eight losses in nine games has The Old Bruins Fan talking about Armageddon. Wicked Bruins Fan laments a frustrating season where the quit is coming too often and way too early in games. I’m Just Sayin’ thinks that if the B’s don’t start playing with more emotion, a change may be needed behind the bench.
The one silver lining to this dreadful stretch for Bruins 2010 Draft Watch is the continued slide of the Toronto Maple Leafs. ESPN Boston has GM Peter Chairelli vowing not to toss in the Toronto first-rounder even as the B’s stay very much involved in the Ilya Kovalchuk sweepstakes. And forget Tuukka Rask, as Joe Haggerty has him also off limits in any trade deadline talks. With so much off the table, Hockey Independent is looking a level lower than Kovalchuk, where they find Hurricanes forward Ray Whitney an attraction. Kathryn Tappen says that, when it comes to trade rumors, there’s no telling what the B’s brass has up their sleeve so forget about it. And for those who believe in the existing corps of B’s, some good news as Tea Party Throwdown sees a change in attitude at Ristuccia of late. Let’s hope it transports itself to TD Garden soon.
Finally, it will be soldier before Bruin for Zach McKelvie, as Kirk’s Call has the frustrated defenseman spending the past four years learning how not to quit and not about to start doing so now.
A tough stretch awaits the C’s – four games in five nights, three against title contenders. A. Sherrod Blakely says the C’s are fortunate to be relatively healthy for these games and able to make inroads against both the Cavs and Lakers over the remainder of the season. Rich Levine has the C’s faring well against the cream of the NBA . . . the few times they’ve faced it.
Of all the potential additions the C’s could make at the NBA trade deadline, ESPN Boston Celtics Blog thinks none will be more helpful than the return of Marquis Daniels. CelticsBlog says Daniels’ return might spell the end of Tony Allen’s considerable contributions and make his expiring contract a bigger asset as we approach the deadline. Despite his leading role in trade rumors, Celtic Dynasty wants to see Ray Allen finish his career in Boston.
Evans Clinchy has KG likening himself to a 1976 Ford Pinto upon his return to the lineup. Now hold on. What kind of wheels does KG have, anyway? The last time I checked, Pintos weren’t fit enough to make it to the corner store and tended to explode upon contact, so he may need to rethink that analogy. Celtics Green has KG’s return not worthy of a glowing endorsement on its face, but there’s plenty to encourage them about the modest two-game winning streak.
Green Street has Doc Rivers equating Rajon Rondo’s defense to Brett Favre throwing a football across his body. Mass Hysteria rails against the lack of nickname originality by suggesting a few for Glen – f/k/a Big Baby – Davis. Celtics Stuff Live doesn’t have any ideas for a new nickname and thinks his old one has never been more appropriate, which, by the way, is exactly why he now wants to change it.
It’s all about the ones that were signed and the ones that weren’t. Clearing The Bases says there’s not much difference between recently re-signed Jeremy Hermida and Dustin Pedroia . . . in salary, that is. Better Red Than Dead tells us how the additions of Mike Cameron, Adrian Beltre, and Marco Scutaro will save the Sox 56 runs in 2010 – on paper, that is.
Utility Lou scolds the Sox for using surgery as a bargaining chip with Jason Bay and wonders why they had a change of heart in November. Yet, Full Count has Peter Gammons denying that surgery was a requirment for Bay’s further employment and insisting the Sox had genuine health concerns. Boston Dirt Dogs checks in on the Sox medical staff that let Bay get away
Fenway Nation sees trouble a-brewing with Tim Wakefield wanting in on the starting rotation. Ian Browne says Terry Francona is not about to put the cart before the horse in prematurely setting his rotation. If Circling The Bases had their way, Wakefield would get 54 starts with the rest of the rotation serving as mop-up. When it comes to Wake, Red Sox Monster says Sox fans have taken for granted the one we love.
One If By Land regards a contract extension for Josh Beckett as borderline insane, even for the deep-pocketed Sox. The Bottom Line smooths over some of the ups and downs in Daniel Bard’s 2009 season.
If winter’s here, can Truck Day be far behind? Not for Toeing The Rubber, who is getting worked up about the 2010 season. Closing on a public service note, Extra Bases has the skinny on tickets, which will go on sale starting Saturday.
Thanks to those who have reached out with new material. We said hello to another five Boston-based blogs this week. Keep them coming. I’m at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter @BobEks.