Monday, January 17, 2011
I know not all of new england's team won this Sunday, but I hope that my victory can be a little pick-me-up this Monday morning.
Sunday, January 16, 2011
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
After leaving Lucas Oil Stadium with the scalps of Peyton Manning and co., Rex Ryan and his New York Jets are blabbering about the “personal” nature of Sunday’s rubber match against the New England Patriots who are coming off a first round bye. Business in New England, however, is business as usual. The press will have to wait until Sunday for a Patriots rebuttal.
New England’s last response to the New York rhetoric was an emphatic 45-3 drubbing on Monday Night Football. The win propelled the Patriots to the top of the division, and they never gave up the crown.
If the AFC championship game is to be held at Gillette Stadium, the Patriots defense has to come out swinging on Sunday. If they are flat or hesitant, Mark Sanchez won’t have to drop back at all. The aging LaDainian Tomlinson will be able to average five YPC on clock killing drives, which will leave no. 12 precisely where Rex Ryan wants him, all while tiring the young defense.
Last year in the Wild Card round, Ray Rice rolled for an 83 yard score on the first offensive play at New England. The Baltimore Ravens were able to dictate the entire feel of the game with that first round haymaker, and were able to fly out with a convincing road win.
A fast start on defense is imperative for a New England victory this weekend.
On the other side of the ball, Tom Brady will find his looks. Darrelle Revis has proven to be a force and when he’s in man coverage, whomever he’s on seems to disappear. Without Randy Moss, though there is no longer any one player Revis needs to focus on. Deion Branch, Wes Welker, Rob Gronkowski, Aaron Hernandez, and Danny Woodhead have all proven to be viable options. It’s a cast of offensive nobodies – Revis thrives when covering the big names.
This New England team has a similar demeanor to those dynasty teams of the early 2000s. Look for them to come out strong and respond to the tabloids with fast, hard-hitting football.
This game should be closer than the last match, but I like the Patriots in a comfy one (knock on wood).
Prediction: Patriots – 30, Jets – 20
Sunday, January 9, 2011
Thank God for the NFL Playoffs. The Bruins' disgraceful loss to the Canadiens went under the radar for the most part last night, but those who saw the game may have witnessed the end of the Bruins' as a Stanley Cup contender. The Bruins collapsed in the third period, blowing a two goal lead as well as their hold on first place in the Northeast Division in the final 2:22. The first goal was an embarrassing shot from just above the left circle from Scott Gomez that was deflected off a Bruin skate. Thomas apparently missed the deflection entirely despite the puck changing direction a full 8 feet before it hit the net and the puck went in 5 hole without a save attempt being made. Then, just a minute in a half later, the Bruins allow a DEFLECTION in front of the net for the tie. This goal was inexcusable. Every player and coach in the NHL knows that with a minute and a half left any shot taken is being aimed with the intent to deflect and not a snipe. At this point the game was already over, but the Canadiens ended it with 3:49 left in overtime.
The Bruins did show some signs of life moments after the game ended, when Zdeno Chara went at Max Pecioretty after he scored. It was great to see that fighting spark from the Bruins, especially after, and not during, a division game with first place on the line against your most hatred rival. In all honesty it was good to see Chara show some spark, with recent questions raised about his leadership on and off the ice, but the Bruins answered a lot of questions last night. Most critics have argued their mental toughness isn't there enough for them to be serious contenders for the Cup. Between this and the embarrassing 3-1 loss to the Minnesota Wild at home, the Bruins have shown complacency in their style of play and have broken whenever tested or had to step up their game late. They've been saying all the right things about how it has to be fixed and how they won't stand for it, but it hasn't shown on the ice.
The B's just haven't been able to put a whole game together consistently throughout the season. Glimpses of their potential have been there, but they haven't played a full sixty minutes of competitive hockey in weeks. The next stretch will be gut check time for the team, to see if they have what it takes to once again be taken seriously in the Stanley Cup discussion. They play Pittsburgh (4th in East but likely without Crosby), Ottawa, and Philadelphia (1st in East).
There's no question this team is elite when things are going their way. The line of Savard, Horton, and Lucic could be one of the best lines in hockey if Savard gets back to full health and confidence and Horton regains the scoring touch he had earlier in the season. Lucic has been great around the net this season, but he's forgotten what made him a star in the Boston. He's been less aggressive in the corners and hasn't shown his physical side deep in the offensive zone, a key factor to the Bruins' deep cycle offense. Past that first line changes need to made. Blake Wheeler couldn't hit a barn, much less the broad side of one, and he's wasting a right wing spot with either Krejci or Bergeron. My option is to move up Thornton, who only has two less goals than Wheeler despite playing more than 5 minutes less per game, and could start producing more if he was given more minutes. The defensive side of the ice looks fine, with Thomas in the MVP race and Rask starting to get back to last year's level with a great game against the Wild. The Bruins lead the league in goals against, and if their offense can get going who knows what could happen, but it doesn't appear that they have the balls to do it.
The fact that at the end of this game the announcers were focusing on the Saints collapse rather than the Seahawks improbably upset is a joke. This was the best offensive football game of the year and it was capped off by the greatest rush that I personally have ever seen live. Im fairly certain God granted Marshawn Lynch this moment of brilliance purely because he granted him with one of the ugliest faces the world has seen. Regardless, anything that makes me jump up and down screaming "holy shit!!" when the runner is on the 30 yard line and then proceeds to BREAK 2 MORE TACKLES before hitting pay-dirt is more than blog-worthy at 2 in the morning. The Seahawks will get spanked in Atlanta but the NFL just found its greatest playoff rush of all time.
Saturday, January 8, 2011
On to the beer! I have such a hard-on for anything Clown Shoes does. The first of their series I tried was the "Hoppy Feet" Black IPA. They made this "Hoppy Feet 1.5" in honor of their first anniversary. As you could probably guess from the label, this edition has 1.5 times more alcohol than the regular, and from what I remember - loads more flavor. Black IPA's have only been around since the early 90's; invented by this dude up in Vermount. The style uses roasted malts for the dark color - like a stout or porter, and plenty of Cascade hops from northern california to retain some of the hoppy taste and smell signature to IPA's. Another name for Black IPA's is Cascadian Dark Ale, in reference to the area the hops are grown.
This was the first thing I drank New Years Eve night and wow. It was love at first sip...maybe even sniff. You taste all the loveliness of a Guiness plus the punch of an IPA (which happens to be my favorite style of beer.) It really is the best of both worlds, and an awesome option if you're a fan of either style looking for something interesting to try. The best part is that you can barely taste the high alcohol percentage. There isn't a liquory feel to it like most strong ales, so it is very easy too enjoy.
Overall- the Yummiest Yummy Beer of my new year!