Sunday, February 1, 2015

Ex-Pat's Pats 2014: Super Bowl XLIX (With Updates)

Pre-Game Jitters & Thoughts: Wanna know the most awesomest thing about the Pats being in Super Bowl XLIX? No Frigging Eli Manning and the New York Giants!

Okay, I'm pumped and nervous; no longer feeling deflated by idiotic scandals-wannabe. This should be one hell of a game. It's been interesting being up in predominantly Sea Squawks (predominantly fair weather, that is) territory as I've not had anyone harass me over my Pats gear. It's been pretty jovial (so far) and a bit fun to spar with different Squawks fans and the general gist among everybody I've talked with or overheard thinks Deflategate is a load of overblown crap.

Not sure how much I'll draw attention from the game to tap the keys beyond traditional game-related texting with my brother back on The Cape. I'd let friends and the like know that I was hunkering-down in bunker mode for any postseason game the Pats were in. This one's no different and I want to be able to focus exclusively on every bit of the game, good or bad.

I've always respected and supported the Squawks over the years. But not this year. Not. This. Year.

Here's hoping it's good, whatever the outcome. I mean, holy crap, Brady and the boys are back in it, again, for the 6th time. Years ago, I'd've never believed this could be possible. Fingers crossed for Championship #4!

Time to go don the #12 (the REAL #12, Seattle).

Update: this game is already better than last year despite Brady's interception. He's been averaging 1/game. Let's hope this was it.

At the Half: the game is right at what I was expecting. 14-14. Damn. I'd rather see Wilson & Company have a close game through the first 3 quarters, with the Pats matching them to put the hammer down later in the game, than that fuster cluck Green Bay had in response to Wilson catching his stride in their 2nd Half.

Halftime Show: okay, gotta give points to the robotic tiger...Interesting stage animation with the pulsing chessboard... Prognostications: so far, at least one of them is looking to come true as we have skimpy outfits and frequent changes but no visible malfunctions... How do I get a job as one of the dancing sharks? Okay, points for fireworks and an overall fun show. HUGE points for saying "God Bless America!"

Start the 2nd Half: and, now, the real game begins (begun, the 12 War has)...

At the end: Tulip and I are sitting here enjoying a red, white, and blue dessert (a puff pastry with yogurt, blueberry preserve, yogurt, and strawberries) that we'd had on hand for a hopeful Pats celebration...

Holy crap, have we been able to touch the magic. Brady & Company march  it down to go up by 4 with about 2 minutes remaining. Terrified, we watch as the unthinkable happens and Kearse makes that frigging miraculous, near-impossible catch. I think I could literally hear millions of other Pats fans screaming "My god, not again! Please, not again" and the frigging Squawks are right there nearly on the end zone and our collective breath is held. The Squawks set-up and 1st and Goal gets broken up right there at the end zone. And, I'm thinking, "Okay, 1 down, 3 more tries to go..." I'm thinking back to a game a long time ago against the Colts (last season the Pats had won the Bowl) where they stuffed them on the 1 yard line to win. It can be done. Chris Matthews says something about the play not being broken-up but an actual interception and I scream like a little girl,. nearly breaking one of Tulip's ear drums.

Malcolm Butler, some rookie kid I'd never paid attention to this season, makes a phenomenal grab. We have the Anti-Helmet-Catch making up for David Tyree's phenomenal catch so many Super Bowls ago.

Touch the magic! Once again, it is ours. And it is just as sweet as back in Super Bowl XXXVI.

Congrats to the boys on their win. Congrats to #12 on joining exalted company with his 4th Super Bowl win.

Thank you, Pats. Thank you, god.

Ex-Pat's Pats 2014: Super Bowl XLIX Prognostications

Okay, you heard these predictions here, first, folks (all 3 of you). In no particular order:

---We'll see Gronk's butt-crack at least 20 times during this game as the Legion of Boo! focuses on bringing him down in such a way that he doesn't pick-up 3 yards simply by falling forward.

---Katy Perry won't have a wardrobe malfunction (although her outfit may as well look like it).

---Down by 3, the Pats are 3rd & Goal on the Squawks 6 yard line. Brady throws back to Edelman while Amendola runs for the end-zone, drawing heavy coverage from the Legion of Boo!. Brady strolls forward to the end-zone to successfully receive from Edelman for a TD. Edelman, now with a QB ranking of 100.0, gets Game MVP. Gisele, meanwhile, posts the following to her social media accounts:
Puta merda! Meu marido pode porra jogar a bola e pegar a bola!
---Fairweather Squawks fans (and they are legion up her here in AK) who think they're part of the 12th Man learn that #12 is the number of a real player (not some fictitious concept of loud and obnoxious fans) and is not to be messed with. The game will conclude with chants of "Bray! Brady! Brady!" loud enough to completely drown out even the most vocally ardent "12th Man".

---On Monday, Bob Kraft publicly demands Roger Goodell submit his balls to the League for pressure testing.

---Getting absolutely fed-up with my yelling, screaming and pulling an overall Ramsey on the TV, the Weewolfe decides to chew the TV's power cord again.

---If it's a good game, I'll not be posting much of my typically obnoxious commentary as I'll be too busy having a freaking heart attack.

---As with the start of this season, their performance against the Ravens, and the Belichick/Brady era (going back to hearing this song on the radio as I drove to my cousin's house to watch Super Bowl XXVI with him and his wife), this song remains true to me and my long-distance Pats fandom:
Gronk may drink the whiskey drink, the lager drink, and the cider drink, but the whole team gets knocked down and gets up again.

Enjoy the game and keep on singing the songs that remind you of the good times and the songs that remind you of the better times! Maybe, we'll even get to touch the magic again this year:

I'll see ya at Glendale in a few hours!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Ex-Pat's Pats: And, By The Way...

Herald reporter: 'Devastating leap of logic' led to story. From back in 2008:
The Boston Herald sports writer who reported the New England Patriots taped a pre-Super Bowl walk-through by the St. Louis Rams in 2002 said he will regret the erroneous story for the rest of his life.

"First and foremost, this is about a writer breaking one of the cardinal rules of journalism. I failed to keep challenging what I had been told," wrote John Tomase in Friday's editions of the newspaper.


Ex-Pat's Pats: An All Too Unfortunately Appropriate Earworm

[Sigh] I heard this song, tonight, while out and about and it hit too close to home...

I have no idea where this post is ultimately going or even how my attitude will change between hitting "Publish" and the Super Bowl... I guess the fact that it's well after 11pm on a work night and I can't sleep over thinking about this speaks volumes about how much I need to get a fucking life.

Okay, apparently 11 out of 12 tested balls were 2 PSI below the league's minimum and sources describe the league as "disappointed ... angry ... distraught".Something I am curious about is if the Colts did bring this up way back in November, as described in the linked ESPN article, why was nothing addressed until now? To me, that's as fishy a coincidence as the number of under-inflated balls.

As scandals go, let's face it, this one's pretty fucking lame. It wasn't like Belichick was offering bounties to hurt other players. Brady sure as hell hasn't been rumored to be a domestic abuser. And, Vince Wilfork is no rumored murderer (the Pats quickly cut ties with Aaron Hernandez).

Frankly, the way the Colts played would not have saved their bacon if those balls had been perfect and I have to agree with the Vikings' Coach Zimmer on this one.

And, why is nothing serious being made about pushing the upper limits of regulation inflation? I got news, if it's over 13.5 PSI, Aaron, it's an illegal ball (hat tip to Braden Campbell). Just what else goes on as different QBs secretly play with their balls?

And, closer to home, Bill Belichick is no fucking Richard Nixon! Not even close (and, who's the poorer for this, the detractors or me for defending him?).

Let's face it: from the Tuck Rule Game, through Spygate, to Deflategate, my karmic balls are completely busted and something that had once been so special to me has gone flat and lifeless. My excitement for the next Super Bowl lasted only about 5 hours before all the news broke like flies landing on a big pile of shit. I'm not sure what's busted my balls more: the legitimately serious infraction of things like Spygate or the self-righteous, faux-moral primping and preening of the various Patriots detractors I've seen and listened to over many years before Eric Mangini became a household sports name.

All this at a time when I'm beginning to feel that the NFL has moved away from football and into pro-wrestling.

I wish I could have a little fun and sit back with beer and pretzels to laugh at all the self-righteous primping and preening but I find I have no more stomach for it and the whole mess of the detractors and team antics leaves me feeling that it all has eroded my soul and left me all the poorer for it.


Monday, January 19, 2015

Ex-Pat's Pats 2014: And, So, The Next Unfortunate Round Begins (With Updates)

Some Pats players were also, allegedly, found to be wearing Colts uniforms to confuse the Colt's coaches ... while Big Foot was caught suiting up in a Patriots uniform.

Stay tuned ...
As commented by fsmith95112 in response to the latest accusations and brouhaha reported over at Boston.com/sports. Report: Patriots May Have Deflated Footballs for AFC Championship Game Against Colts.

Gee, I can't wait to hear one family member up here in AK compare Belichick to Jerry Sandusky again (boy you certainly cheered just as hard as I did when you watched them win that 1st Super Bowl).

I've hear this crap going all the way back to the Tuck Rule and people in my face how the Pats had no business even being in that Super Bowl. People in my face about something that, frankly was a bright moment that happened just at the right time and pulled me out of the darkest period in my life. If it hasn't been that, it's always been some other excuse as to how the Pats suck and aren't a real championship team. Thanks. Eric Mangini, for being such a dick. Where are you now in the NFL?

And Tulip wonders why I carry such a big chip on my shoulder?

Most of our lives, the Pats basically did suck. They've finally made something of themselves and, from moment one, the h8ters gotta h8te. Before you stop me in the street to gloat in my face again, let me just say this now and get it over with: F#<k Y*", sideways, with a pickaxe!

And, now, back to dealing with yet another crisis of faith to get ready for the Pats, under ridiculously intensive media scrutiny (AGAIN, @$$H#LES) to go and handily clip the Sea Hawks wings.

Update, WWTBD: again, leave it to #12 to take command of the field:
The Colts want to blame the pigskin? Pathetic.

Brady laughed out loud when he was informed of the controversy during his weekly spot on WEEI Monday morning. 

“I think I’ve heard it all at this point,” he said. “That’s the last of my worries. I don’t even respond to stuff like this.”
I think Eric Wilbur does a good job demolishing the accusations in the article linked above. I'll wrap this up with his own summary [emphasis, mine]:
 Ah, yes, because the scope of Spygate wasn’t overwhelmingly stupid enough, please welcome the latest sidebar to derail any worthy accomplishments of the Patriots. Also, if you find any remnants of Ravens coach John Harbaugh’s head after it exploded watching offensive lineman Nate Solder rumble into the end zone, please send them to Baltimore, as soon as possible.

Trickery. Deception. Cheating. These are the ways of Bill Belichick’s Patriots, the perception New England has earned in an NFL that is otherwise polished and clean with innocence.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Ex-Pat's Pats 2014: AFC Championship (With Updates)

Pre-Game thoughts...
Begun, the 12-Wars have... Real nail-biter going on in Seattle, with Tulip really screeching for Seattle (she really wants a Seattle-New England Super Bowl). We've had a bit of fun where I've been proving I am the center of the football universe via changing colors of my T-shirts (I was wearing a dark green through most of it) and watching the scores flip in response...

Okay, the NFC's going to overtime and I've gotta go put the Pats' colors on. Fingers crossed in a HUGE way!

Pre-game Update: and Tulip is ecstatic over that OT win by the Squawks. She's halfway to her dream Super Bowl...

The AFC Game: okay, Tulip has her dream of the Pats getting a chance to pluck the Squawks in a Super Bowl. 12th Man will have a harder time with #12 that far away from Seattle...

Overall, on the game... I'm rather disappointed. That was supposed to be Denver getting creamed at Gillette, dammit! We was robbed.

I do feel somewhat guilty for the Colts (just a bit). They're a good team, led by a promising young QB, I honestly thought they were going to give the Pats a lot more trouble than they did.

Well, as Belichick likes to say (with a smile this time), "We're on to Seattle!"

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Ex-Pat's Pats 2014: A Divisional Round Post Script

And, in typical Ravens/Harbaugh (either brother, take your pick) fashion, it's poor me and the forces deceptively aligned to rob them.

John Harbaugh: Pats' Substitutions Deceptive and Illegal:
Counteracting a ferocious first-half pass rush, the Patriots called a change-up in the third quarter, aligning four blockers on the line of scrimmage with another player checking in as an ineligible receiver.

Harbaugh believes the Patriots should have been penalized for the "deceptive" substitutions utilized on those plays.

"It's not something that anybody has ever done before," Harbaugh said. "They're an illegal type of a thing and I'm sure that (the league will) make some adjustments and things like that."
Funny, I watched Vereen declare himself ineligible to the refs. Chris Collingsworth even commented on it.

Over the past 8 years or so, I always hear the Ravens declare how the reffing is against them and they can't catch a break. I've also noticed a trend in both Harbaugh brothers always seem to have an "it's the other guys fault" attitude whenver either loses (I'm also thinking back to how brother Jim blamed losses to Seattle on unfair advantages from the 12th Man noise at Century Link Field).

As Tulip just reminded me, is this something I should get riled-up about? Probably not. Still, it feels good to say "Oh, cry me a f#<k!ng river." They played incredibly well. We managed to play it one better when we needed. Be proud of what you accomplished when your team was earlier looking to tank in a big way.

There. It's off my chest.

Ex-Pat's Pat's 2014: The Divisional Round (With Updates)

Pre-game: It's a little after 9am AST, there's still about 3 & 1/2 hours to kick-off at Gillette and I haven't been this nervous for a game since the Pats hosted the Bengals after that horrendous KC game and again before they hosted the Broncos. Ravens... it just had to be Ravens.

The ravens up here are magnificent-looking birds, with quite a variety of vocalizations (Suggs?), but they're also garbage-pickers. We don't need to fear the Ravens. This is not 2 years ago.

Here's to the Pats feeling "plucky"'!

Pre-game Update:
The Weewolfe loves to chase ravens. I also think she's trying to get back at me for all those loud football games over the years by her choice of colors for going out and about this morning:
Thats my traitorous little pooch. ;(
(I also just realized, after getting in the truck with her, that she's rolled in something especially not nice. P-yew!)

Pre-Kick-off: My feelings are that if the Offensive Line can hold and give Brady time, they will have this game.

Update: Hi, Suggs, how do you like all those calls going against you poor boys on New England's 3rd & 4 like always happens to you when you play New England? I worry that successful challenge may end up costing the game... 14-0, now. Pats' D Line looks like it's standing still right now as we're mostly through the 1st Quarter.

Pats' 1st TD: Had a feeling Brady was gonna run it in. Even more important than getting 7 (instead of 3 on the board) was Brady's chance to stuff-it and say "You don't own me!"

Update: for once Browner draws a crucial penalty not on himself!

Pats' 2nd TD was a beautiful grab, run, and leap for Amendola. Loving to see him come more into his own this season!

At the Half: Yeah, that interception and DPI call leading up to another Baltimore TD really sucked. This game is not over by a long shot, though. Pats were already showing that to come back from being down by 14 already. Not super worried, yet,  despite that last cluster-f#<k.

Start the 2nd Half: that 3rd down was a blatant DPI to disrupt Gronk. Where's the flags, Suggs?

Update: too busy biting my nails to write further beyond awesome job by Edelman and Amendola!

#46: Congrats to Tom Brady for breaking Joe Montana's post-season TD record!

And, that's f#<k!ng it: gotta admit it was brilliant planning/coaching by Harbaugh at the end, there. Still, not enough.

Wafts of plucked black feathers now decorate Gillette Stadium.

Okay, I think I need to head off to the ER as my blood pressure spiked (found out even my mother was yelling and screaming over the game back at my brother's house on The Cape) over what has probably been the most incredible playoff game I've ever watched.

Congrats to the boys for being the only team to ever come back and win after a 14-point deficit (2, no less). Pats better pay to keep Edelman. He's earned an incredible level of respect the past couple years.

One last thing (I think): gotta give credit to the D for that last interception at the End Zone. Awesome jobs, guys—especially, Duron Harmon.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Ex-Pat's Pats 2014: Week 17

Phew. Here we are, the final game of regular season.

And. I don't get to watch it. It's not being broadcast on my cable subscription and NFL Audio Pass will only let me select a higher tier subscription. Last game of the season just isn't worth $14.99.

Fingers crossed that no one gets hurt, no one loses their momentum, and the O-line gets its act together come the week after next!

Fingers crossed big time!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Ex-Pat's Pats 2014: Week 16

Probably won't have much to say during the game. Lots of things needing to work on.

This game does scare me as the Jets have a serious attitude and nothing to lose, while the Pats do with regards to injuries  and losing home field advantage.

Fingers crossed...

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Ex-Pat's Pats 2014: Week 15

Am sick and needing to get ready for work trip to Anchorage this week. Probably no more comments from my peanut gallery...

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Ex-Pat's Pats 2014: Week 14

Lots of folks seem worried coming into this game. Although I don't think this game's be easy, I'm not sweating it just yet. Fingers crossed against the scrappy Chargers...

Update: good sack by Collins on 3rd and 4. Good wait and pass to Edelman to get Pats' first 1st down and get off that end zone. Let's see how on the O is this game.

Update at end of 1st Quarter: Pats' D is not holding line well on 3rd Downs again. Gotta admit that I agree with Michaels and Collingsworth that Browner's penalties are getting tiring and too costly. Last facemask really gave Chargers a break on field position.

Updates: that turnover by LaFell HURT. That 3& out the Pats D forced was a needed shot in arm. I just wish that awesome blocked punt hadn't resulted in Scifres getting hurt.

At the Half: that freaking pick could be seen a mile away as Brady lofted it. Thank god it was at end of Half EXCEPT it kept Pats from what shoulda at least been an easy 3 points. Line needs to give Brady a little more protection. He seems to be taking a lot of hits. Surprised more run hasn't been used...

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Ex-Pat's Pats 2014: Week 13

Missed the opening drive due to trying to drive home from trap through a butt-load of snow. Boogers, it's 3-0...

Update: with Gray and Blount as running weapons I just wouldn't try to use Vereen as a running back...

Update: Pats' O has gotta get it going while D needs to stop getting so many penalties.   D also needs to stop letting Green Bay power those extra yards. And we have another big gain by Green Bay to come down for a TD. Crap!

Update: and the Pats' O comes alive for Brandon Bolden's first TD! Maybe needed to get sufficiently pissed off and get blood boiling in that cold Wisconsin air?!

Update: D somewhat comes through with Hightower's sack. Green Bay line totally blew their coverag on that 3rd & goal. Good

Update: and LaFell's in for the TD. 2 point game, at least for a few moments...

Update: I don't care what team gets it, these pylon TDs are bullshit. 

Update: good to see Gray get a carry!  C'mon, guys, convert that down!!!

Update: good set of ground & pound sets up LaFell for TD. And we still have game, here, at start of the 4th! Now if D can start forcing Green Bay off the field quickly with no stupid penalties...

Afterward: the loss sucked but it wasn't a bad loss and, overall, I think it's proven a good opportunity for what/how to tighten it all up for the playoffs. My money's not on Green Bay being able to do it to the Pats again come February...

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Ex-Pat'a Pats 2014: Week 12

Am out watching game with Tulip at the local watering hole. 9am at a bar on Sunday. Doesn't get much better than this ;)

Update: crap. Was so busy trying to order breakfast I missed Lions field goal. And, Pats are 3 & out. No volume, so I didn't catch what the flag was for. Holding?

Update: finally,  Pars 1st down. Big battle of D's. 

Update; crap. Was trying to eat breakfast and missed TD. What the hell was that bit of Stafford shrugging a sack to convert. Come on, guys. 

Update: good job holding Lions to 3. Awesome return by Amendola. And good to see him earn his $$$! Nice run in for TD by Blount. I have mixed feelings about his coming back to NE. I wonder if we're only team he fits in with. Just don't smoke too many blunts, Blount. And, I apparently missed seeing a Pats holding during a sack to give the Lions a new set of downs. 

Start 2nd Half: Grink looked like he was held on that pick. Guess I just have sour grapes :(

Update: Vinatieri may have been "Mr Clutch" but Gostowski's been totally "Mr Consistent"  3 more on the board!

Update:  hate to say it but that was a good challenge by the Lions. Appropriate call on Edelman not having possession. 

Update: hate to say again but was baldy call for Lions to go for it on 4th & 10. Sorry to see Staffords run come up yard short. 

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Ex-Pat's Pats 2014: Week 11

Here we go: Colts in Indy. And Edelman comes through for first 1st Down. Gray looking good so far for two runs

Update: and Gray's looking good for 1st TD. Pat's ground game looks good so far. 

Update: a little nervous bout the pass rush. Was surprised Revis came off his man for that long bomb to get Colts deep into red zone. Good job by Arrington (played a little close to pass interference) in defending on 3rd down. 

Update: knew that long bomb was feeling reckless and Brady gets picked after Gray had eaten up a lot of yardage. All that said, I think Brady's played at level these past several games to get a little (just a little) slack on that pick. Let's hope D can pull through against Luck's arm...
...and thank god for dropped passes. 

Update: and flag on Ninkovich gives great position for Luck to get a good pass out at mid-field and Fleener comes through deep into Pats territory. Can't give his arm any opportunity. 

And McCourty withe interception!

Update: keep it solid to the ground for now, guys!  Line needs to tighten -up its protection for Brady. He's shrugging more hits than he should tonight...

Update: apparently there are no subtle Shades of Gray with Jonas. Gray in for 2 solid TDs!

Update: crap, that was stupid. Stupid play to gain a single yard and give an interception to the Colts deep in own end with over minute left in Half. And set up for frigging TD. 

Start of 2nd Half: I thought the boys might come out swinging after that bad end to 1st Half... Good drive to make it 2-possession game. Unfortunately, Ninkovich's penalty to get cross mid-field. 

Update: and Gray gets #4 for the night. 

Update: Gronk. What else can I say other than Edelman threw a great block!

Two Minute Warning: all Gray, all the way tonight. Jonas was definitely a force to be reckoned with in that little powerhouse!

Oh, The Inhumanity!

Image courtesy stcatharinesstandard.ca

According to Glenn Reynalds, it's 1 small shirt for a man, 1 giant leap backward for women:
Yes, that's right. After years of effort, the European Space Agency's lander Philae landed on a comet 300 million miles away. At first, people were excited. Then some women noticed that one of the space scientists, Matt Taylor, was wearing a shirt, made for him by a female "close pal," featuring comic-book depictions of semi-naked women. And suddenly, the triumph of the comet landing was drowned out by shouts of feminist outrage about ... what people were wearing. It was one small shirt for a man, one giant leap backward for womankind.
Just where will it all end?

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Ex-Pat's Pats 2014: Week 10

Is the Pats' bye week, which is good as I'm currently stuck at Seatac waiting to get back to Alaska after 2 weeks back on The Cape...

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Ex-Pat's Pats 2014: Week 9

Am over at my brother's house to watch the game. Big one here. I think if they pull a win, they'll be well primed for rest of season. 

Different weather up at Foxboro than down here on The Cape. Nutso rain and wind here...

Update: what pass interference? Of course another flag gives Manning exactly what he needs. 

Update: awesome pick by Ninkovich!

Update: Edelman for the 84-yard punt return! Oh yeah :()

Update: good pick by Browner and TD by LaFell. Much needed shot in arm for Pats in 2nd half. 

Update: boy, refs are doing best to win this in 2nd half. Edelman and LaFell were both set