Some random thoughts/observations/scorching hot takes.
*As far as satisfying wins goes, the win in Buffalo on Sunday was up there. It really was the full Rex Ryan experience. He spent all week talking big, getting his players to talk big, getting the Buffalo fans frothed up and with high expectations, and then the game came. Rex made curious calls – even if it was within the rules to challenge that play in the first half, why would he? That was the moment I knew the Patriots would win the game. The Bills were overhyped and took dumb penalty after dumb penalty, and got blown out before a 4th quarter garbage-time rally made the score somewhat respectable. Then Rex continued his arrogance in the post game, still defiant, still refusing to acknowledge Dion Lewis, and taking his usual shots.
*The hype for the game was reflected in CBS’s broadcast numbers of the game, which earned 34.2 HH rating and a 72 share in the Boston market. That 72 share is the second highest for a regular season game, after the 2007 finale, (a 75) which you’ll recall was broadcast on multiple networks.
*The production by CBS was awful. They listed Ryan Wendell as a starter, he was inactive, they missed plays, Butler’s interception wasn’t even on the screen, they cut away from action too quickly, they came back late from commercial breaks, one time not even bothering to explain that another Bills penalty had changed the spot from where the Patriots were snapping the ball, and a number of other snafus. We get the same broadcast team this Sunday for the Jacksonville game.
*If you missed it, the Ravens ran a formation Sunday in Oakland which looked almost identical to the one they complained about the Patriots using in January. You remember that play, where John Harbaugh angrily talked about “deception” and how no one has done that before, and how the competition committee would get together and change that up – which they did. Sunday, the Ravens scored a TD on a play very similar. The difference being that it was an offensive lineman (already ineligible) who lined up off the line, and jump back at the snap, and a tight end (already eligible) who lined up in the spot of the offensive lineman and took off down the seam for the pass.
If Harbaugh’s big issue was that the Patriots play was deceptive – why was he using an equally deceptive play? It was actually more deceptive because on the Patriots play, they had to declare someone ineligible and the ref announced it, thus giving a tip to the defense. In the Ravens play, no such announcement was needed. It just speaks to the hypocrisy of Harbaugh, the Ravens and the NFL.
*We’re in the final days of the Don Orsillo era, and he continues to be the ultimate pro. He is going to land a better job somewhere else. Be assured of that.
*The Red Sox have been surprisingly fun to watch over the last month or so, and Xander Bogaerts is probably going to finish second in the league in hitting. If there is a positive to take from this season, he is it, and is showing that he is the future of this team.
*I’m ridiculously excited for the Celtics to being training camp. I know they’re not a title contender, but they will be fun to watch, and you know they get the most out of what they have. They will take a step forward this year, and in the Eastern Conference, I don’t think 45-50 wins is unreasonable. The offseason additions, while not the “fireworks” that have been talked about for several years now, were solid. Defensively, I think this team has a chance to be really effective, well, except when David Lee is on the floor, but he’s going to contribute on the other end and on the boards. Jordan Mickey is already my new binky.
*The John Tomase perpetration of fraud continues, as yesterday morning on WEEI, guest Tony Boselli stated that the Patriots were punished during spygate for recording a Rams practice.
Don’t bother mentioning this on Twitter to John though, as you will be blocked.
*The general thin-skinnedness of sports media is always a source of wonder to me. From Bob Kravtiz, to Bart Hubbuch to Don Van Natta Jr to Michael Silver, to almost anyone, if you dare to criticise them in any way shape or form, or question their work or integrity or sources you are blocked. These people make serious, inflammatory, many times outright false statements, but when called on it, they will not respond, but rather shut out the person calling them out. Nice, insulated gigs.
In a way, I respect a guy like Albert Breer, who says plenty of stuff that many people find annoying and respond back to him, but he doesn’t block anyone.
*Dan Shaughnessy today sarcastically ran down the list of those teams/players/entities that had been against the Patriots during Deflategate and how they’re suffering now. The Ravens, Colts, Texans, Giants and Eagles are all 0-2, the Cowboys lost Dez Bryant and Tony Romo (who had made fun of the Patriots earlier in the summer) and then Shaughnessy worries about the media.
I worry for the Worldwide Leader and other media outlets/members who covered the coverup with a cynical eye. What’s going to happen to poor Bob Kravitz, Chris Mortensen, Don Van Natta, and my man, Gary Tanguay? Bill Polian? Lester Munson? Mark Brunell? Felgie? Mazz? Ben Volin? . . . (gulp) me?
We can hope Dan. Meanwhile, things will start with this:
Multiple sources inside and outside of ESPN tell The Big Lead that the network will be laying off “200 to 300” employees in the coming months.
Shaughnessy is a pathetic, predictable, vengeful, bitter old hack. Let’s hope he continues to be right about his “worries” in this case though.