I downloaded this week’s copy of Sports Illustrated to my iPad (I also found a paper version of it in my mailbox too…very strange concept, this magazine thing.) and to my intense horror, saw that Tom Brady and my Patriots were gracing their cover. How could they?
For those of you uninitiated into the ways of sports superstition and Sports Illustrated, it is well documented that sports teams and athletes appearing on the cover of SI have subsequently suffered athletic failure and injury of all shapes and sizes. For those of you naysayers, read through the list on the Wikipedia page…its too frequent an occurrence to be a fluke.
And beyond the Wikipedia page, just take a look at the image above from my SI iPad app library. Four of the past six covers (including this week’s with the Pats on it) have featured NFL teams in the Playoffs. And what do you know…every NFL team featured on the cover (before this week) have been promptly dispatched from the playoffs – Tebow and the Broncos, Rodgers and the Packers, and Alex Smith and the 49ers.
My only hope that the Patriots don’t end up suffering this same indignity is that SI does the noble and right thing and put the Giants on next week’s cover which comes out ahead of the Super Bowl. Maybe having the Giants on the cover next week will “out-jinx” having the Patriots on the cover this week. I can only hope!
After coming oh so close to a strike, lets celebrate this past weekend’s opening of the NFL season with a set of fun photos from around the league via Boston.com’s The Big Picture.
OK, I admit it. I am the epitome of a ‘front runner’/bandwagon/show up late to the party Bruins fan. I don’t think I watched a Bruins game all year until the playoffs. I’m the first to admit that I lost interest in the team and the sport of hockey.
Growing up in New England, I actually watched the Bruins as much as the Red Sox – Bruins teams that included Rick Middleton, Wayne Cashman, Ray Bourque, Terry O’Reilly, Peter McNab, Stan Jonathan, and on and on. So seeing them compete for the Cup and actually win it for the first time in almost 40 years just brought back a flood of childhood memories. Beyond that, watching this Stanley Cup Final series was just an amazing spectacle of hockey by both teams. Hockey gets a bad rap for being the “4th sport” in the US, but the athleticism and speed at which hockey players can do things on the ice is just amazing.
So now, as I look back at the past 10 years from a personal sports fan perspective, every single one of my teams that I regularly follow – Syracuse basketball (2003), the Red Sox (2004, 2007), the Patriots (2001, 2003, 2004), the Celtics (2008), and a certain hockey team that I irregularly follow – have won championships. Good times, good times!
With all the trash talking coming out of the NY Jets camp this week in advance of the big Jets – Patriots NFL Playoff game, Wes Welker (New England WR) may have had the most fun with the situation.
As you may have heard, videos leaked online that supposedly depict Rex Ryan sharing a fetish for his wife’s feet. He all but implicated himself by saying that the videos were “a personal issue”.
So this week, in a hilariously subtle set of tweaks, Welker made no less than 11 references to feet during his press briefing.
Q} How do you approach the young guys about what to expect in the postseason?
A.) You just talk to them. It’s a playoff atmosphere and you can’t just stick your toe in the water, you’ve got to jump right in and make sure you’re ready to go and make things happen. In a playoff atmosphere that’s what you have to do
Q) How valuable is it to have a guy like Tom Brady standing in the huddle, especially in the intense situations of the playoff atmosphere?
A.)Having Tom in there — it goes without saying, the guy is who he is and he does a great job of making sure everyone is on the same page and putting their best foot forward going out there and playing well and doing what they can out there.
Q) What makes Revis as good as he is?
A.) I think he is very patient. He has good feet. He moves around really well. He understands the game. He gets his hands on you pretty well. [He] understands what you’re trying to do to him, so he definitely is a tough guy to really set up and get open against. You’ve got to be on top of your game and make sure that you’re doing everything possible to get open.
And so on. Ah, Rex Ryan…the loudmouth that keeps on giving.
On the eve of the NFL season, here is an interesting info graphic from Mint’s Blog about the rising costs of being an NFL fan. Sadly, my New England Patriots sport the highest average ticket prices by a pretty wide margin.
Via Mint Blog
So I’ve been in a state of denial since Week 1 of the NFL season. I’ve just not accepted that Tom Brady got his knee ruined 8 minutes into the 2008-09 NFL season and is out for the year. It took watching Matt Cassell QB the Pats to a victory of the Jets this past weekend to have it fully sink in. When you compound this with the painful loss to the Giants last season, you just realize that you should take full advantage of every opportunity. Maybe Rodney Harrison should have tried just that much harder to get the ball off of David Tyree’s helmet. Or maybe Asante Samuel (who probably does not care since he’s playing in Philly these days) should have tried that much harder to catch that ball that Eli threw. As has been said so many times in so many media outlets, the Pats have quite a season in front of them. It will test Coach Belichick and the rest of the team. Thankfully, we have a pretty easy schedule. I’ll consider making the playoffs a success this year. Anything else is gravy.
OK, so I’m not one who’s into curses or bad karma, but a couple of things have happened this week that have made me a little concerned for this week’s game between the undefeated Patriots and the Chargers.
First, the news that broke yesterday that some desperate female “friend” of Randy Moss’s is accusing him of assault and issued a restraining order to boot. Then, today, I open up my Gmail Inbox and what do I find but an email from NFL.com with an offer to “pre-order” Patriots AFC Champions attire and gear (see image). Who is the idiot who sent this out?!? Who is the fool?!? Don’t they know better?!? Must be a Chargers (or a Colts) fan working at NFL.com.
People are thinking that getting the Chargers in the AFC Championship equates to a free pass for the Patriots to the Super Bowl. I agree with Bill Simmons who said that not having the Colts in the AFC Championship denies the Patriots and us fans the opportunity to go through their biggest rival on their way to history. (as the Red Sox did in 2004). The Chargers are playing a very good brand of football right now and while I’m anticipating a Patriots win, I’m starting to get a little concerned.
The Red Sox are in the World Series for the second time in four years, the Patriots are undefeated at 7-0 and looking like they are well on their way to a very special season, and (shudder) the Celtics are looking like a formidable team to beat in the NBA Eastern Conference. In fact, William C. Rhoden of the NY Times wrote a piece about how its such a good time to be a New England/Boston sports fan.
Now about that Syracuse University football program.
What a nice weekend from a sports perspective. The Red Sox took two of three from the Yankees at Yankee Stadium, and have beaten them five out of six times and we’re only a month into the 2007 baseball season.
And then, during the NFL draft, the Patriots went and grabbed Randy Moss from the Raiders for a song (a 4th round draft pick). Sure picking up Moss is a risk, and it flys against the Patriots philosophy of their recent success. But for the low cost for such a premium talent, the Pats would have been fools not to give it a shot. Plus, he completely overhauled his contract, making the financial commitment very reasonable.
Yes, it was a good weekend.