All Balls Don’t Bounce

Completely Random Sports Non Sequiturs From A Completely Random Hip Hop Head

Posts Tagged ‘patriots’

Sports Update

Posted by hiphopmama on December 27, 2008

Number 21 is tackling Jesus!!

Number 21 is tackling Jesus!!

With the NBA season picking up steam, this has essentially become a Lakers blog. Which is cool, but I had initially intended to use it as a forum to talk about all the sports I watched, and I’ve definitely fallen off in that respect. With that in mind, I’d like to recap all the sporting action I’ve been watching, with an eye toward what current results are likely to mean in the near future. Without further ado…

Premier League

Apparently no one wants to win the title this year, because every time one of the top teams slips up and presents an opening, the rest follow suit with disappointing performances to keep pace with the leaders. Arsenal are goners (not Gooners) at this point, but the remaining Big Three seem to win, lose, or draw together, as if they signed a mutual pact before the season stating that no one would run away with the title before the new year. Liverpool and Chelsea, in particular, have had their fates linked, with each team drawing games and losing points at the same time, and then both turning it around for a big win the following week. Friday’s games saw this happen again, as the top two squads gave dominating performances and secured three points apiece to stay logjammed at the top of the table (Liverpool currently sits one point ahead of Chelsea). It’s hard to figure Man Utd out at this point, since they’ve played two fewer games for the moment, but they’re certainly within striking distance, as are Aston Villa, the surprise upstarts of the season. They staged a miraculous comeback on Boxing Day – perhaps not so miraculous considering Arsenal’s form this year – surging from 2-0 down to tie the game with a stoppage time goal from Zat Knight. The draw kept Arsenal out of the top four for another week, three points adrift of Villa for the final Champions League spot. I had expected much more to be decided by the Christmas slate of games, but it appears we’ll be exactly where we started come January. How the teams approach the transfer market will thus likely have a big effect on the ultimate outcome.

La Liga

Pep Guardiola is right to point out that there’s a long way to go, but it’s increasingly looking like a foregone conclusion that Barça will win the title this year. Real Madrid is all but out of the race, currently sitting in fifth place and twelve points adrift of the leaders. No team has been as ravaged by injuries as Los Merengues, so an infusion of new blood will be necessary if they plan to make a late run to defend their title, or even to reclaim a top four spot. They’ve already locked up Klaas Jan Huntelaar and Lassana Diarra, but another defender and someone to play on the right wing would be a big help to Juande Ramos as he tries to extend his stay with the team. Valencia has stayed near the top longer than expected, especially considering the injury to David Silva, and Sevilla are the closest to Barcelona in second place. Mind you, they’re still ten points back of the Blaugrana, but they’re in a better spot than anyone else to overtake them. If they can hang onto their players, that is. 

Serie A

Inter continue their league dominance, entering the new year six points ahead of Juventus, their nearest competitors, with AC Milan nine points off the pace. While it pains me to say so, Jose Mourinho has done well with his boys, not allowing malaise to set in for extended periods and fielding good squads suited to the task at hand. Juventus have been picking up steam, though, and are poised to make life tough for Inter down the stretch. While I want to believe that AC Milan are still in it, I doubt they’ll be serious contenders come season’s end. Their aging squad has added another elder statesman in David Beckham, and the return of players like Pirlo and Ambrosini has helped prop the team up recently. Still, Kaka and Ronaldinho have yet to prove they can play effectively together and neither has been exactly scintillating so far. The middle third of the table is remarkably tight as well, with Napoli, Genoa, Lazio, and Catania all within striking distance of a top four spot. If Juve (and hoepfully Milan and Fiorentina) can give Inter a run for their money, it should be an entertaining sprint to the finish line. Anyone but Inter!

NFL

And now to the good stuff. The NFL is in its home stretch, with one more round of games to determine the lucky teams who will make the playoffs. While the Giants and Titans are essentially marking time until their second round match-ups, there are a number of battles yet to be played out. The Eagles still have a shot at a playoff spot if they can beat the Cowboys and get a little help from teams like the Bucs, Vikings, and/or Bears. The Dolphins have their fate in their own hands and can clinch the AFC East with a win this week, regardless of what the Patriots do. New England, on the other hand, has to win and then hope for a Miami loss (or tie). Come on, Dolphins. The best game of the week will be between the Chargers and Broncos for sole possession of the AFC West title, although I’ll have a hard time watching because I dislike both quarterbacks so much. Both seem like your prototypical QB jock brought up to believe their shit don’t stink. I hope they both crash and burn, but that the Chargers still win. This has the potential to be one of the more interesting playoffs in a while, with a surprising array of strong teams all with a chance to do some real damage. Just think about it. When was the last time the Colts were a five seed? The Vikings in the three spot? And the Dolphins in the playoffs at all?? Despite their stellar records, none of the top teams looks really unbeatable, so every game should be a slugfest with the potential of an upset. As long as the Patriots don’t make it, I really can’t lose this year.

So that’s that. My sports viewing in a nutshell. Does anyone really give a shit? Nope, just me, but I’ll always take the chance to prove my extensive knowledge and remind people that I know more about sports than they do AND I’m a girl. How about that X chromosome?

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Jets Over Pats in OT – Or Why I HATE Prevent Defense

Posted by hiphopmama on November 13, 2008

Let’s be clear – this game should never have gone to overtime. The Jets were one first down away from being able to run out the clock with a seven point lead to take over first place in the AFC East. They didn’t convert it, so they had to punt it away and give the Patriots a shot at a game-tying drive with a little over a minute left and no timeouts. 

And then they lined up in the godforsaken prevent defense. I cannot even express how much I hate this decision, almost whenever it is made. If you’re in a situation where you’re even considering going into the prevent, that must mean your defense has managed to hold you up till that point. So why do it? Let your defense do what it’s been doing all game. Maybe call off the dogs just a little, but don’t drop four safeties back into coverage, give the quarterback years to find a guy, and leave the middle of the field wide open. Even with no timeouts, the Patriots – and most NFL teams in this situation – were able to methodically move up the field and into good position for a last second shot at the end zone. 

And so they did. They almost shot themselves in the foot with a false start penalty, but they once again found an overlarge gap and regained the lost yards, setting themselves up for a shot or two at the tying score. As it turned out, they only needed one. The Jets, who had been bumping Randy Moss at the line the whole drive, inexplicably backed off and let him run free, allowing him to get upfield unimpeded. Cassel picked him out and Moss made a fantastic catch, with the Jets defender falling on Moss’ back foot and forcing it down inbounds. The booth reviewed it, but they play stood, as it should have, leaving one second on the clock and forcing overtime.

Thankfully, the gods smiled on all of us in the free world (AKA not Boston) and awarded the coin toss to New York, who elected to receive. The first two plays from scrimmage were awful, seeming to bode poorly for the Jets. Favre was sacked, leaving New York around their own 10 and facing 3rd & 15. Dustin Keller was the beneficiary of what must have been a blown coverage by the Patriots, as he was disgustingly open in the middle. Favre picked him out, and he withstood a tackle (by Meriweather, I believe) and got the first down. From there, it was a well-managed drive, the Jets efficiently moving the ball to within Jay Feely’s range. They centered the ball, set up the kick, and went home the victors and leaders of the AFC East.

Thankfully things worked themselves out, because I was ready to chuck the remote at my TV watching the Jets absolutely blow their last regular time drive with that shitty excuse for a defense. I’m sure that even for a prevent scheme that was piss poor, but the decision to go to that in the first place was faulty. Sure there’s no Tom Brady, but it’s still the Patriots, with Bill Belichick calling the shots and Randy Moss streaking up the sidelines. You really didn’t expect them to pick you apart? Absolute dickery.

I have no particular love for the Jets, especially since the Whiney Wrangler showed up to save the day, but they’re not the Patriots, and for that I was behind them 100% tonight. I’m glad they didn’t let me down, but I’m also glad I can go back to complete apathy toward them next week. As for the Pats, my hatred never wavers.

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