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Boston Blood Sox

Boston sports blog featuring Patriots propaganda, and opinions on the Red Sox, Bruins, and Celtics. Hot takes served daily.

Updated: 2018-04-23T22:03:10.055-04:00


The Tuukka Rask Problem: Rask gets worse as series get longer


As series grow longer, Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask's performances get worse. His splits in playoff series speak for themselves.

Games 1-4 Games 5-7
Record: 27-13 6-12
GAA: 1.93 2.77
SV%: 0.936 0.904

In his Game 6 starts, Rask is 1-5, with a .901 save percentage and 2.82 GAA. It gets worse in Game 7, where Rask is 1-2, with an .849 SV% and 3.63 GAA.

Why is this? I wouldn't go so far as to say Rask is a choker. He's allowed some soft goals in the playoffs but he doesn't typically have meltdowns in big games.

However, opponents do seem to figure him out as they play against him. After getting 100 or so shots on net, teams seem to know where the gaps will be.

Rask, at 176 pounds, is more prone to having leaks than bigger goalies who have more surface area to protect the net. It makes sense that after 4 or 5 games of trying to find those holes, other teams figure out where they are. For example, in Saturday night's Bruins loss, the Leafs successfully went high on Rask and chased him from the game. And unfortunately, Rask doesn't seem to be as good at figuring his opponents out, as they are at figuring him out.

With Rask in net, if series get past 5 games, the Bruins are 2-4. Rask hasn't won a Game 6 since 2010 against Buffalo.

If he doesn't win tonight's Game 6, and then the following Game 7, it's time for the Bruins to look for a new goalie.

Bruins vs. Maple Leafs Game 3 quick reactions


It's a series again. This is why the Stanley Cup playoffs are by far the best playoffs in North American sports. Quick thoughts about the Bruins' 4-2 loss in Toronto Monday night:

1. Toronto didn't suck for 60 minutes
As amazing as the B's looked in Games 1 and 2, especially on offense, Toronto played like garbage in those games. Full credit to the Bruins for taking that trash out to the curb, but now the Leafs have showed up and played like an NHL team. And the Bruins had trouble overcoming that.

2. The refs sucked, but Bruins lost on their own
The weird non-icing calls, the bad delay of game call, the refs were awful. So what? It's not like the Bruins dominated this game otherwise. It was a back and forth tilt, Bruins didn't do enough to win with or without shaky officiating.

3. Rask wasn't great
It is not unfair for me to ask a supposedly great goalie to give us a great performance. Rask wasn't a big reason why the Bruins lost, but he didn't do enough to be a reason for them to win. That's his M.O. in the playoffs, and I'm sick of it.

4. Bruins need offense from more than one line
Toronto used the last shift to set the match ups they wanted and cool off the red hot Bergeron line. The B's 4th line did their job, but there wasn't much offense from the other forwards. It'll be tough to go deep with only one line scoring goals.

5. Bruins need to find a way to win grinding games
The Bruins have the offensive skills to cycle and score. They're one of the best teams in the NHL at that. But are they one of the best at grinding too? They'll need to be. This was a physical game with every play contested, every body on a body. The Bruins weren't physically dominated BUT they didn't physically dominate either.

Can they do better than play to a stalemate in such a rough game?

We'll see.

Patriots vs Eagles Drinking Game: Super Bowl Edition


Patriots in the Super Bowl again. Feels like a sequel to Groundhog Day where the protagonist over and over lives the same football season every year. Patriots start out as favorites, meet adversity, get dismissed by pundits, win a few games, Pats haters whine about something, ESPN makes outlandish claims, Pats win two playoff games, two weeks of media garbage, concluded with a thrilling football game.History will be made on Sunday. No player has ever won 6 Super Bowls. No player wearing an Eagles jersey has ever won a Super Bowl. One of those things will happen Sunday. With this drinking game, you too can make history. You too can be the GOAT of Sunday evening drinking and Monday morning hangovers. There are no days off when it comes to abusing your liver.So get lubed up, do your job, and we're not done (drinking).Anytime a commentator says:"Super" = take 1 drink of beer"Bowl" = 1 drink, bonus points for hitting a bowl"Fifty" = 1 drink"Two," "too," or "to" = 1 drink"Minneapolis" = 1 drink"St. Paul" = 1 drink, say a prayer"Twin cities" = two drinks"Minnesota" = 1 drink"Concussion" = finish your beer, slam can/bottle against skull"Protocol" = 1 drink, then go inside a tent for 5 minutes"Rob" = 1 drink"Gronk" = 1 drinkName that ends in "-ski" = 1 drink, eat some Polish kielbasa"History" = 1 drink"GOAT, greatest, best, etc." = 1 drink"Tom" = 1 drink"5-time" = drink for 5 seconds"6-time" = drink for 6 seconds"Champion" = 1 drink"Bill" = 1 drink"Malcolm" = 1 drink"Brandon" = 1 drink"Nate" = 1 drink"Steven" = 1 drink"Cris, Chris, etc." = 1 drink"Al" = 1 drink"NBC" = drink for as many seconds as your local NBC station (e.g. 7 seconds for channel 7)"Here's a guy" = finish your beerAnytime this is on screen:Roman numeral = 1 drink per numeral/letter (so LII is 3 drinks, VIII would be 4)Lombardi trophy (real or image of) = 1 drink per trophySuper Bowl logo (any year) = 1 drink per logoVikings logo = 1 drink per horn (bonus points for drinking mead)Ice or snow = 1 drink (bonus points if drinking cocktail with ice cubes)Bill Belichick not talking = 1 drinkBob Kraft talking = 1 drinkJosh McDaniels holding tablet or sheet = 1 drinkMatt Patricia = 1 drink, put pencil behind ear, first person whose pencils fall out drinks entire beerErnie Adams = 1 shot of ginGreen Man = 1 drink per manDog mask = 1 drink per dogRoger Goodell = finish beer, throw it at TVHighlights from previous Super Bowls = drink during entire highlightReplays of Gronk concussion = 1 drink, 1 shotCarson Wentz on sideline = 1 drinkWentz highlight = 1 shotAny kind of injury report or list = 1 drink per injured playerAnytime this happens:Penalty = 1 drink per penalty yardTouchback = 1 shot of liquorKickoff/punt return = drink during entire returnFirst down = 1 drink of beerTurnover = finish your beerField goal = 3 drinksPAT = 1 drinkMissed kick = 1 shotBrady points out the "mike" linebacker = 1 drink, bonus points if drinking Mike's Hard Lemonade (but only if you're a girl and/or weigh less than 160 pounds, if not it's negative points)Brady says "alpha milk" = 1 drink, bonus points if it's a White RussianBrady throws pass to a non-WR = 1 drinkPatriot besides Brady throws a pass = 1 shotBrady gets pissed at himself and/or others = 1 drinkGronkowski catches pass = 1 drinkYou're worried Gronk is hurt = 1 drink, 1 shotGronk actually is hurt = 1 drink, 1 shot, enter alcohol abuse protocolGronk scores = finish your beer and Gronk spike it (bonus points for glass)Danny Amendola gets the ball in a non-receiving way (run, throw, return) = 1 drinkAmendola makes a clutch catch = finish your beerDion Lewis or James White gets the ball in a non-running way (catch, return) = 1 drinkMatthew Slater makes a special teams tackle = 1 drinkSlater downs the ball inside the 20 = 1 drink for each yard inside the 20 (5 yard line = 15 drinks)Slater lines up at WR = 1 shotBernard Reedy is on the field = entire beerKenny Britt catches a pass = finish beerDwayne Allen thrown to = finish beerPatriots go no huddle = 1 drink at first snap, 2 at[...]

Patriots the most exciting team ever?


Are the Patriots from 2001-present the best team in sports history? Probably not. Definitely not. The Yankees dominated baseball for decades at a time. The Celtics in the 1950s and 60s were essentially unbeatable. Best team ever? No way.

But has there ever been a sports team as captivating as the Patriots? Has any team drawn so much interest or generated such passionate sentiment (good and bad)? Haters and fans alike gravitate to what's happening in Foxborough, Mass., as if there's some sort of natural magnetic force luring their attention.

And the on-field product is excellent, especially compared to the rest of the crap you see around the NFL. Despite being favorites in almost every game, the Pats find ways to play close, exciting football on the big stage. They've been a part of more of the best games you've ever seen than you realize.

They've won 5 Super Bowls, by an average margin of 3.8 points. Only 19 points separate them from 5-time champs to 0-time champs. And if you add the two losses to the Giants, the Pats have only outscored their SB opponents by a total of 12 points. That's an average of being +1.71 ahead per game.

Recently, there's Sunday evening's 4th quarter comeback against Jacksonville. The heavily favored Pats were underdogs with 15 minutes remaining, with no Gronkowski, and a QB with a cut thumb. Instant classic.

This coming off of last year's ridiculous Super Bowl comeback. And then two years earlier there was Malcolm Butler's goal-line INT.

Even when the Pats lose, they give America unforgettable games. David Tyree's catch does not get remembered as vividly by football fans if it had not been against the 18-0 Patriots.

The Pats are a gripping story between games as well. Has a thumb been obsessed over as much as this past week? What about ESPN's story about "trouble in paradise" among the Pats' triumvirate of Brady, Belichick, and Kraft? DeflateGate became a national network news story. So did SpyGate.

The Patriots are must-see-TV on Sunday, and water cooler talk all week.

So Pats fans, enjoy it. These times don't last forever so revel in how fun it is to see an exciting team play exciting games, and win them in exciting fashion.

And Pats haters, enjoy it too. When this is all over you'll find football less entertaining without villains like Brady and Belichick. Imagine Star Wars without Darth Vader, Batman without Heath Ledger's Joker, No Country for Old Men without Anton Chigurh. Pats haters are all Captain Ahabs, giving futile chase to White Whales. Little do they know that without a whale to chase, things will get a lot less interesting.

Photo credit: Greg M. Cooper, USA TODAY Sports

Seth Wickersham "beginning of the end" piece proves sports world revolves around Patriots


ESPN's Seth Wickersham's "Beginning of the end" piece on the Patriots claims there is a power struggle at the highest level of Pats' leadership: among the owner, the GOAT coach, and the GOAT quarterback. True or not, what the report conclusively proves is that the sports world is obsessed with everything the Patriots do.

Many of the pieces to Wickersham's puzzle seem to fit. I can imagine Bill Belichick grumbling about being coerced to trade Jimmy Garoppolo. I can imagine Tom Brady being worried about the security of his position as starter. I can imagine Robert Kraft interfering in an effort to alleviate tensions and to make his star QB happy. So there's a possibility it's all true.

But there's more than a possibility that the Patriots are the center of the sports world. That's an absolute certainty.

Even when they don't play, they're the top story. Just a whisper of dissension in Foxborough, and it's breaking news. The narrative of Garoppolo's success in San Fran is told as a Patriots' story. DeflateGate was national network news, not just sport news, and it endured for months. Compare that to the brief amount of time spent discussing the Seahawks violating concussion protocol (the media spent less time on that than Russell Wilson spent in the medical tent). People are obsessed with everything the Patriots do.

So while other New England fans might fret about tension behind the scenes, while other New England fans start blaming Bill or Tom or Bob for a breakup which hasn't happened yet, I'm just going to enjoy the fact that the sports world orbits around Foxborough, that Gillette Stadium is the center of the football universe. I'll enjoy it, because 20 years ago the Patriots were barely relevant, and 2 years from now the same might be true again.

Steelers lost when they took timeout before that controversial call


After JuJu Smith-Shuster's 69 yard catch and run and with 34 seconds on the clock, Ben Roethlisberger immediately signaled a timeout. My brother pointed out Pittsburgh's mistake as it happened. It ultimately cost the Steelers the game and nobody will ever talk about it.

After the big gain, the Steelers should have sprinted up to the line and spiked it, saving the timeout so they could choose whatever plays they wanted to call on 2nd and 3rd downs. With the timeout in your pocket you can run on 2nd down, or maybe play-action pass into the end zone or out of bounds, and then run on 3rd. You have much more flexibility in what you can decide to do. Which also makes it harder for the defense, forcing them to respect the run (especially against Le'Veon Bell), defend the pass, and be aware of the 240 pound Roethlisberger possibly running a draw.

You can also use the timeout to ensure the Patriots don't get the ball back.

It would have taken some time to get to the 10 and get set. Maybe 15 seconds. So the options are:

2nd & Goal/10, 19 seconds on the clock, 1 timeout


1st & Goal/10, 34 seconds on the clock, 0 timeouts

Do you want 15 extra seconds on the clock that you might not need, or do you want to be able to use every play and player in your offensive arsenal, and make it harder on the defense to know what you're doing?

The Steelers set themselves down the path of bad decision-making, managed themselves into a corner, and paid the consequences.

Gronk should have been tossed from Bills game, would have avoided suspension


NFL refs suck. Just look how poorly and inconsistently they don't call pass interference when opposing defenders drape themselves on Rob Gronkowski.

Gronk should have been ejected from the Bills game for his late, and dangerous hit on Tre'Davious White. Sorry, Pats fans, it's true. If any Bill or Dolphin or Jet did what Gronk did to a Pats' player, we'd all be up in arms about it. We all yell and scream quite vociferously when Gronk or Brady is a victim of a cheap shot. You can't then ignore your own players crossing the line so blatantly.

Even Belichick thought it was a "bullshit" hit.

It was moronic. No matter what you think about fines or suspensions, it was flat out stupid. As if nobody was watching. As if nobody would see a 6' 7" silverback gorilla acting like Razor Ramon on the sidelines.

But if the refs had kicked him out, it would be hard for the NFL to suspend Gronk on top of the ejection. It was a 20 point game with under 5 minutes, the result long since decided, so Gronk being tossed would have little impact on the game.

And honestly, it's Week 14 now, the Pats are on the verge of wrapping up the division, I don't mind the most injury prone TE in history missing a game. Suspend away.

College Football Playoff needs to add a 5th team, and a play-in game


Alabama vs. Ohio State is more exciting as a football game than an argument. I'd much rather watch these two teams determine the 4th playoff spot on the field, than watch sports pundits argue about it.

It's clear that the College Football Playoffs are a vast improvement over the BCS, but a modest increase in the playoff's size could yield a big increase in entertainment and drama, while still preserving the importance of the regular season.

I've always wanted a 6-team college playoff, with the top 2 receiving byes, and teams seeded 3 through 6 having to play an extra round. But now I'm thinking that 5 teams would be even better, with just one play-in game. Having just one play-in game is somehow more captivating. It's also not a 7 hour time commitment to my TV.

Forcing the a team to win an extra game for a playoff spot makes sense as the 4th and 5th teams typically have some blemishes on their record they need to atone for. They perhaps didn't win their conference, or have 2 losses, or are a non-power conference team like UCF. They could prove their worthiness by winning the play-in game, which is much more convincing than a panel or algorithm deciding they deserve a chance to win it all.

And a 5 team playoff maintains the importance, and subsequent drama of the regular season. It might even add a little more urgency and excitement, as title contending teams strive to ensure a spot in the top 3 to avoid the extra game, and more teams would have a reasonable chance at making the playoffs.

The play-in game could be played a week after the conference championships, and be hosted by the #4 seed to ensure good ticket sales and an intense college football atmosphere. It would also give us the treat of seeing powerful programs from different parts of the country forced to play each other outside of neutral locations. Or it could pit conference rivals against each other in a game with a national title shot on the line.

So this is what we'd get with a play-in game:

  • The fourth playoff team forced to earn their spot 
  • The fourth playoff team legitimately proving their worthiness
  • More importance for top teams to finish in the top 3 
  • More teams with a shot at making the playoffs
  • An extra 60 minutes of exciting football between top teams 

Just ask yourself, would you rather watch talking head sports pundits argue about Bama and Ohio State, or watch the Tide and Buckeyes figure it out for themselves in front of 100,000 fans in Columbus or Tuscaloosa? Which do you think would get better ratings, the game or the selection show?

Which Patriots team is the real one: Week 1 or Week 2?


The Patriots looked like two different teams between Week 1 and Week 2. What changed, is the change sustainable, and which performance reflects who the Patriots really are?1. The Chiefs are much better than the SaintsKansas City won 42 games the past three seasons, the Saints have won 21. The Saints have some talented players, but also have inexperienced and exploitable guys, especially on defense. And Brady exploited the hell out of them. A win is a win is a win, but let's not get too hard about beating a team that hasn't finished above .500 since 2013.2. Brady was at his BradyestEven against a mediocre team, you still need to make the plays to win, and Brady did that to near perfection, especially in the 1st quarter. He was poised in the pocket, read the Saints' defense well, and made all the throws. Frankly, he sucked in the Kansas City game, and at times seemed to feel ghosts around him in the pocket. He was the most improved player from Week 1 to Week 2.The subpar Brady we saw in Week 1 has made maybe 10 career appearances. The near perfect Brady from Week 2 has made about 40 appearances. The other 220 games have seen Brady be nearly this great or at least very good. So that's what we should expect to see week to week. He won't be as amazing as he was for the first 15 minutes, but he'll be closer to that than to what he did against KC.3. Extra days and no days offThe Pats try to be the best practice team in the NFL. And that's why they win. Give them a few days extra to work and it typically shows on the field. Unfortunately it's rare to have a long week without also having a short week before it, so this advantage can't be exploited much.4. Pats play better in adversity than perfect conditionsThe Patriots play better in difficult circumstances than any team in the NFL. Whether it's injury, false media leaks about air pressure, a teammate being arrested for murder, Tim Tebow, the Pats thrive when the shit hits the fan and outside distractions threaten to undermine them. They have a sharper edge when working through adversity. So maybe a handful of injuries can actually help the team in some weird way? Maybe not.5. Gronk looked 100% for 60% of the gameGronkowski was flaccid in Week 1, he looked fiercer in Week 2, until he got hurt. When healthy the Brady-Gronk combo might be the most dangerous passer-catcher duo in the history of the game. He's also one of the best blocking tight ends in the League. With the injuries at WR, his health is something the Pats' season will swing on, and that's a flimsy backbone to lean on.The Saints are mediocre, but so is most of the NFL. The Patriots showed in Week 2 that they should have regular season success against most NFL teams, so long as they have a minimum number of players they can put on the field. It was a good rebound, and it was great to see everyone step up any way they could: 7 players rushed the ball, 9 caught passes, 11 touched the ball, 20 of Brady's 30 completions were to non-WRs.But as far as gauging the Pats as a contender, I need to see much more, either consistently against mediocre teams, or once against a good team.I'm not trying to be a Debbie Downer, just a Rational Rob.Photo Credit: APBoston Blood Sox[...]

Patriots vs. Chiefs Drinking Game: Banner Raising Edition


Football season is back and it begins as it should: with the Patriots raising a championship banner. This one made even sweeter by the failed attempts of the NFL and Commissioner Roger Goodell to punish the Pats for not kneeling to him and kissing his ass.The Patriots begin their title defense against the Chiefs, and hope to become the first back-to-back champions since themselves back in 2003 and 2004. The team is loaded with talent but it's all about execution. Having talent is like stocking your fridge and liquor cabinet with great booze. Assembling it is the first step, but knowing what to do with it is far more important.We're happy to help guide you to drinking your way through the 2017 season. And we begin with a drinking game to play as the Pats host the Chiefs, hoist a banner, and you destroy your internal organs and your life with toxic levels of alcohol.Here are the rules...Every time a commentator says:Banner = take 1 drink of beerRaise = 1 drinkFive = drink beer for 5 secondsTime = 1 drinkChampion (in any form) = 1 drink and raise your ring fingers in the air as an FU to GoodellDefending = 1 drinkSuper Bowl = 1 drinkFifty-one = drink for 51 secondsGreatest/best = 1 drinkDo = 1 drinkYour = 1 drinkJob = 1 drinkNo days off = 1 drinkChiefs = 1 drink(Kansas) City = 1 drinkEric = 1 drinkMitchell or Mitch = 1 drinkWare = 1 drinkAny first name that begins with "De" (e.g. De'Anthony or Dee) = 1 drinkSmith = 1 drinkGame manager = 1 drinkAFC West = 1 drinkChris (or Cris) = 1 drinkMarcus = 1 drinkAl = 1 drinkDeflate = 1 drinkGate = 1 drinkSuspended = 1 drinkRoger = 1 drinkGoodell = 1 drinkAny time this is on screen:The score 28-3: drink for 25 secondsA banner = 1 drink per bannerA Lombardi Trophy = 1 drink per trophyA Super Bowl ring = 1 drink per ringRoger Goodell = finish your beerInjured Spencer Ware = 1 drinkInjured Julian Edelman = finish your beer, toss it in the air, and whoever makes the most ridiculous catch get 1,000 pointsVideo of Ware and/or Edelman getting hurt = drink during entire clipSuper Bowl highlights = drink during the entire clipThe number 51 (including on the clock): 1 drinkRoman numerals = 1 drink per letter (bonus points for drinking Dos Equis, or Molson XXX)Vince Wilfork = 1 drink, 1 shot, eat a turkey legErnie Adams = 1 shot of liquor (bonus points if it's gin, Ernie seems like a gin guy)Jimmy Garappolo = 1 drinkBob Kraft = 1 drinkKraft talking = drink the entire time he talksAny time this happens:Andy Reid mismanages the clock = finish your beerTom Brady yells in anger = 1 drinkTom Brady yells in joy = 1 drinkBrady headbutts someone = 1 drinkBrady points out the "mike" = 1 drink (bonus points if drinking Mike's Hard Lemonade, but only if you're a girl or weigh under 100 pounds)Brady says "alpha milk" = 1 drinkPats go no huddle = 1 drink per snapChiefs run the ball = 1 drinkJames White gets the ball = 1 drinkMatthew Slater makes a special teams tackle = 1 drinkRob Gronkowski makes a catch = 1 drinkGronk makes a big block = 1 drinkGronk scores a TD = finish your beer, spike it (bonus points for glass containers spiked on hard surfaces)You get worried that Gronk is hurt = 1 shotStephen Gostkowski barely makes a kick = 1 drinkGostkowski misses a kick = 1 shotSo enjoy the game between the Patriots and Chiefs. And if you play this game, please also enjoy the trip to the hospital, the morgue, and the cemetery.Boston Blood Sox[...]

Alabama knows how to make a football schedule


Alabama opened their 2017 season with a convincing win over Florida State Saturday, giving the Tide an even firmer grasp of the #1 spot in the country.But even if Bama had lost, because the game is so early in the season, they still would have been able to climb back up the rankings into a playoff spot. That's what's so ingenious about scheduling a marquee game against an elite opponent so early. It's the best time of the year to lose because you have almost 3 months to move back up as other top teams around the country lose games later in the year.You're also guaranteeing yourself the spotlight in a Week 1 that is typically saturated with boring cupcake games. Penn State vs. Akron, Stanford vs. Rice, Howard vs. UNLV... well not that one. Anyway, with the spotlight on you, if you win, most of the college football world will see it and talk about it all week, enhancing your status as a top team.The key to playing these top-tier non-conference opponents is a neutral location. This keeps Bama from going into a tough place to play (there's plenty of times they do that already in the SEC), and also gives their players the experience of playing big games away from home. So no home-field advantage, but no advantage for the opponent either.Many teams schedule easy opponents in Week 1 partly because it can be a quasi-preseason game. Coaches want their players to get into a groove, especially their new starters. However the reality is, there is no disadvantage to playing a tough opponent in Week 1. The opposing players are just as rusty, their freshman just as inexperienced. It's an even playing field.So instead, Alabama elects to play its easiest opponents in November, the Saturday before their Iron Bowl rivalry game against Auburn. Bama will host Mercer this year in the week before playing Auburn. Last year it was the Chattanooga Mocs. In 2015 it was Charleston Southern.These games are like dress rehearsals for Alabama. The opponents are like sparring partners for the Tide to practice on, without any real threat of being hurt. The players get a bit of a break but also maintain their rhythm the week before going into what is often the biggest game of the year.Bama doesn't leave Tuscaloosa unless they have to. They do not play non-conference road games. FSU was in Atlanta, the others will be at home (7 of Bama's 12 games this year are at home, 4 on the road, 1 in Atlanta). Alabama hasn't played a true non-conference road game since 2011 at Penn State.None of this is a criticism of Alabama or Nick Saban. This is in praise and admiration. I'm also a bit jealous because I wish Bill Belichick and the Patriots could create their own schedule the way college programs are able to.I also think it's weird that you don't see other teams adopting some of these approaches to scheduling (although many teams do not play non-conference road games). Why schedule a cupcake in Week 1 when you can add them into the schedule as a semi-scrimmage before a big game? Why avoid quality opponents when you can perhaps meet at a neutral location early in the season and either win to add to your resume, or lose and have 11 more games to recover.Boston Blood Sox[...]

Patriots vs Steelers Drinking Game: AFC Championship Edition


Patriots vs. Steelers. Tom Brady vs. Big Ben. Bill Belichick vs. Mike Tomlin. SpyGate and DeflateGate vs. a coach trying to block a kick returner on the field. Two teams, lots of recent success, lots of rivalry, lots of respect, and lots of shared hatred for Roger Goodell.Get ready to share your drunken thoughts on SpapFace and InstaChat, because it's the motherfucking AFC Championship.Belichick says that players play, and coaches coach. And we say that drinkers drink. So here's a drinking game to play during the AFC Championship:Anytime a Commentator Says..."AFC" = 1 drink from a beer"Conference" = 1 drink"Championship" = 1 drink"Game" = 1 drink"Super Bowl" = 1 drink"51" = 1 drink"Houston" = 1 drink"Playoffs" = 1 drink"Home field" = 1 drink"Rivalry" = 1 drink"Record" = 1 drink"History" = 1 drink"In a row" = 1 drink"Tom" = 1 drink"Ben" = 1 drink"Brown" = 1 drink"Bell" = 1 drink"Killer bee" = 1 drink (bonus points if you're buzzed by the time you drink it)"Malcolm" = 1 drink"Jones" = 1 drink"Bill/Will/Williams" = 1 drinkAnything about Tom Brady's or James Harrison's age = drink 39 seconds for Brady, 38 seconds for HarrisonAnything about Brady's or Harrison's workout routines = 1 drink (bonus points for light beer), 5 push-ups, 10 crunches, 1 shot of liquor"Roger Goodell" = 1 drink with your middle finger in the air (something both Pats and Steelers fans can agree on)Anytime this is on screen...A trophy = 1 drink per trophyThe AFC logo = 1 drinkA Super Bowl ring = 1 drink per ringThe Super Bowl logo = 1 drinkA Terrible Towel = 1 drink per towelA tri-cornered hat = 3 drinks per hat (1 per corner, bonus points if drinking Sam Adams)Highlights of Patriots beating the Steelers = drink for the duration of the highlight (bonus points/bonus drinking below)-Clip of Bledsoe throwing a TD = drink for 11 seconds-Troy Brown punt return TD = drink for 80 seconds-Rodney Harrison INT return TD = drink for 37 seconds-If you're the first to spot Corey Dillon, Deion Branch, Ted Johnson, or David Givens, you can distribute drinks to everyone else until the end of the quarterRob Gronkowski = finish your beer, spike it (bonus points for spiking glass containers)Josh McDaniels = 1 drinkDante Scarnecchia = 1 shot of ginErnie Adams = 1 slug of moonshineBob Kraft = 1 drinkKraft talking to someone = drink entire time he's talkingMike Tomlin = 1 drink, then block someone from walking to the fridgeThe number 7 or 12 (in the score, the clock, on a uniform, in the stands) = 1 drinkRoger Goodell at Gillette Stadium = finish a keg of beer because it won't happenAnytime this happens...Tom Brady points out the 'Mike' = 1 drink (bonus points for girls if drinking a Mike's Hard product, negative points for guys drinking Mike's Hard products)Brady says "Alpha milk" = 1 drink (bonus points for White Russian drinking)Brady throws to a non-WR = 1 drinkBrady gets pissed at himself or others = 1 drinkBrady throws deep incomplete = 1 drinkBrady throws deep complete = 1 shotBrady throws to Julian Edelman = 1 drinkEdelman gets the ball in a non-receiving way (punt return, run, throw, etc.) = 1 drinkDion Lewis gets the ball in a non-running way (catch, return, etc.) = 1 drinkLeGarette Blount runs someone over = 1 drinkPatriots RB runs for 10+ yards = 1 drinkPatriots RB runs for 20+ yards = 1 shotMatthew Slater makes a special teams tackle = 1 drinkPatriots try a trick play = finish your beerPatriots successful (at least 20+ yards) with trick play = finish your beer + 1 shotYou think Ben Roethlisberger is sacked, but he escapes = 1 shotAntonio Brown touches the ball = drink until he's tackledBrown is just too fast to be covered/tackled = 1 drinkLe'Veon Bell hesitates = pause, then drink, but the last one to drink after pausing has to finish their beerA kicker misses a [...]

Ray Lewis calls out Tom Brady's toughness, even though Brady played with no fear against murderer Ray Lewis


In Saturday night's Patriots-Texans game, Jadeveon Clowney was not penalized for what seemed to be a late hit on Pats' QB Tom Brady. Clowney began the tackle shortly after Brady released the football, but probably should have been called for roughing the passer as the tackle extended long after the ball was out, with Clowney eventually dragging Brady to the ground.

Brady made little effort to hide his feelings, yelling at the refs with such anger that he fell to the ground again.

And maybe the forceful lobbying worked, as later a roughing call was finally called on Clowney. Be that as it may, Brady has a well-deserved reputation as someone who gets angry about calls and non-calls failing to go his way. He's seen as a complainer, because that's what he does to refs on the field.

And so what? Seriously, how is this a criticism? The NFL has bad, inconsistent officiating. Tom Brady gets angry at bad officiating. Fans at home who yell at their TV about bad officiating, complain about Tom Brady yelling at the ref about bad officiating.

It doesn't make sense.

What baffles me most of all is that by yelling and complaining, it somehow makes him less tough. He's seen as a whiner and a baby. Ray Lewis, for example, Tweeted this last night.

As if Brady doesn't know what football is, what the game entails, and that hard contact is part of the game.

It's funny for Ray Lewis to call out a player for lack of toughness, when on the football field Brady has been fearless, even when facing people who have participated in murder. Such as Ray Lewis.

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If you don't like the complaining to refs, fine. That's kind of silly because NFL officiating is horribly inconsistent and overly obsessed with defining things that can't be defined while simultaneously ignoring the spirit and intention of the rules.

But Brady's complaining has nothing to do with toughness or lack thereof.

Photo Credit: USATSI

Patriots didn't play crappy game against Texans, but need to improve to beat Steelers or Chiefs


You can't turn the ball over 3 times in a playoff game and expect to win. Unless you're the Patriots and you win by 18, putting up 34 points on the #1 defense in the NFL. Tom Brady, by the way, is now 4-1 in playoff games against #1 NFL defenses. It's amazing how unamazed I am by that tidbit.The amazing has become the typical for Brady, Belichick, and the Pats."Amazing" is not how I would describe the Patriots' performance last night. Brady was off for most of the game (18 for 38, 2 picks). There were times when the O-line couldn't stop the pass rush up the middle. The Pats failed to punch it in from 1st and goal on the 3. And as great as Dion Lewis looked for most of the game, you simply CANNOT fumble a kickoff return. Who does he think he is? Cyrus Jones?The Patriots can't play 60 minutes like that and expect to beat the Chiefs or Steelers. Those teams probably won't give the ball back 3 times. And those teams will score TDs off turnovers, not field goals.The Chiefs had the top takeaway/giveaway differential in the NFL at +16. Compare that to the Texans at 26th and a -7 differential. KC only lost the ball 17 times (8th best in NFL). They won't give you the ball back the way Osweiler did last night.Then there's Pittsburgh, who have a much more dangerous offense than Houston's. Compare Le'Veon Bell to Lamar Miller. Antonio Brown is one of the few WRs out there better than DeAndre Hopkins. And Ben Roethlisberger is just on a different planet compared to Brock Osweiler. Comparing Big Ben to Osweiler is like comparing how great Shaq the basketball player was with how awful Shaq the actor was. And like Osweiler, Shaq the actor was paid a ridiculous amount of money considering the crappy results.There's room for improvement, but the Pats didn't play a crappy game. The kickoff return TD was the result of excellent blocking and Lewis' agility and outright speed. Edelman seemed to disappear for stretches but finished with 8 catches and 137 yards. Most of the night the O-line protected Brady and gave him plenty of time. Defensively, the Pats forced 3 turnovers, limited Hopkins to 6 catches and 65 yards, gave up fewer than 300 yards (285), held the Texans on 13 of 16 3rd downs (81.3%), sacked Osweiler 3 times, hit him a few more, and held on 2 of 3 Texans trips into the Red Zone.I'm optimistic the Pats' offense will perform better. They have no choice. Turn the ball over like that again and the Chiefs or Steelers will make you pay. I also have concerns that some key players like Brady, Blount, Bennett, and Amendola are banged up and it's affecting their usage and/or performance. At least the Pats get an extra day to recover.And ultimately what matters is that for the 11th time in the Brady/Belichick era and for the 6th year in a row, we're on to the AFC Championship game.Photo credit: Elise Amendola/AP PhotoBoston Blood Sox[...]

Patriots-Texans Drinking Game: Playoff Edition


Saturday night the Patriots host the Texans in t he AFC Divisional round. The annual tradition of Patriots football extending into mid-January continues. Hopefully the Pats aren't too overly confident in this game, but you can go ahead and get as overly confucked up as you want. And the best way to do so is to play this Patriots drinking game:Everytime a commentator says..."Divisional" = take 1 drink of beer"Round" = 1 drink"Playoffs" = 1 drink"AFC" = 1 drink"Home field" = 1 drink"Seed" = 1 drink"Gillette" = 1 drink"Tom" = 1 drink"Brady" = 1 drink"Brock" = 1 drink"DeAndre" = 1 drink"Vince" = 1 drink"Malcolm" = 1 drink"Jones" = 1 drink"Bill/Will/William(s)" = 1 drink"Jim" = 1 drink"Phil" = 1 drink"CBS" = 1 drink"Cold" = 1 drink"Super Bowl" = 1 drinkAnytime this is on screen...Highlights of the Patriots beating the Texans = drink during the entire clipHighlights of Tom Brady in the playoffs = drink for entire clipSuper Bowl highlights = drink during entire clipJJ Watt = finish your beer, do 10 pushups, then post on social media about working outRob Gronkowski = finish your beer and Gronk spike it, bonus points if spiking a glass containerJacoby Brissett = drink for 7 secondsJosh McDaniels = 1 drinkDante Scarnecchia = finish your beerErnie Adams = finish your beer, 1 shot of liquorBob Kraft = 1 drinkKraft talking to someone = drink entire time he's talkingVince Wilfork in a Patriots uniform = 1 drink, eat 1 slice of pizzaWilfork on the sideline = 1 drink, 1 shot, eat 1 turkey legA star (including in logos, but not on helmets) = 1 drink per starAnytime this happens...Brady points out the "mike" = 1 drink, bonus points if drinking a Mike's Hard product (girls only), negative points for guys drinking Mike'sBrady says "Alpha milk" = 1 drink, bonus points if drinking a White RussianBrady throws to a non-receiver = 1 drinkBrady looks pissed = 1 drinkJulian Edelman thrown to = 1 drinkEdelman makes someone miss = 1 drinkMartellus Bennett runs someone over = 1 drinkLeGarette Blount runs someone over = 1 drinkBlount runs for 10+ yards = 1 shotBlount runs for 20+ yards = finish your beerMatthew Slater makes a special teams tackle = 1 drinkStephen Gostkowski misses a FG or PAT = 1 drink, 1 shotBrock Osweiler makes a great throw = 1 drinkOsweiler makes a terrible throw = 1 drinkDeAndre Hopkins thrown to = 1 drinkHopkins catches pass = drink for 5 secondsHopkins catches a pass for 25+ yards = finish your beerHopkins makes an insane catch = whole beerA team goes no huddle = 1 drink per snapKickoff return = drink during entire returnTouchback = 1 drinkSo enjoy the game. Get lubed up responsibly. Appoint designated drivers. Be prepared to dial 9-1-1 at any time. And hopefully the Pats will be moving on to KC or Pittsburgh while you're moving on to a stomach pump and liver surgery.Boston Blood Sox[...]

Patriots' Path to the Super Bowl


The Patriots secured the top seed in the AFC playoffs Sunday, ensuring that the road to the Super Bowl goes through New England. But what kind of obstacles will the Patriots face on that road? Who will stand in their path and what kind of challenge will they pose?Just a sidenote about this year's NFL playoffs... between the Pats, Steelers, Chiefs, Raiders, and Dolphins, you've got tons of great AFC/AFL/NFL history. These teams combine for 16 total Super Bowl wins, or 2/3 of the 24 Super Bowls won by AFC teams. The Steelers, Patriots, Dolphins, and Raiders have won more AFC Championship games (25) than all other teams combined. Think about all the great players, coaches, and teams: the Steel Curtain, the perfect 1972 season, the Black Hole, the loudest stadium, Brady, Bradshaw, Stram, Madden, Marino.Plus there's the Texans.Here is a list of what the Patriots will face in each round:DIVISIONAL ROUND OPPONENTS: Oakland, Houston, or MiamiThe Patriots cannot face the #2 seeded Chiefs or #3 seeded Steelers in the Divisional Round, which is good news because these are the two teams I'd least prefer the Patriots to play. If the Raiders still had a healthy Derek Carr I'd include them in that group. But they don't.So let's start with the Carr-less Raiders. They had a great offense with Carr. They still have plenty of talent on that side of the ball, but in a playoff game against Belichick and the rested Patriots, it's hard to imagine the Raiders posing much of a threat. You never know, though. Over-confidence can be a killer. And if the Raiders make it to the Divisional Round, that means they figured out a way to win, and did so on the road. Albeit against a soft Houston team. But momentum, confidence, and a backup QB with little game film of to study... you just never know.You would hope the Pats would take the game 100% seriously and do their job.If it's Patriots vs. Raiders in the Divisional Round, how many times will the phrase "Tuck Rule" be uttered before and during the game? Over/under on that would be 1,000,000.5.I don't know which team I'd prefer the Patriots to play: Houston or Oakland. There's a strong chance it will be one of these two as I think the Steelers will easily handle the Dolphins. So do you want the team with an injured QB, or the team with the mediocre QB?The 9-7 Texans were 4-6 outside of their crappy division. One of those losses was a 27-0 blowout at Gillette Stadium against Jacoby Brissett.Houston averages under 200 yards in the air per game. For every position they're strong at, there are others that they are terribly weak at, quarterback being the most obvious.The last (and only) time the Texans beat the Patriots was in January 2010. That was the game Wes Welker got hurt in before the playoffs started. The Patriots are 7-1 against Houston all-time, and are in the midst of a 5-game win streak against them.You can't not be happy if the Pats play the Texans.If Miami beats the Steelers, then the Patriots play the Dolphins no matter what happens in the 4 vs. 5 game. Miami can sometimes give the Pats trouble, but not so much at Gillette Stadium in the Brady Era. The last time the Dolphins won in Foxboro was in 2008, when Matt Cassel was the Pats' QB. Brady has beaten Miami 10-straight times at Gillette, and is 14-1 against them at home.But there's something unsettling about playing a team for the third time in a season. Those games can get weird. The Dolphins have seen (twice) how the Patriots can beat them. They can learn and possibly adapt. Third games can be unpredictable, which seems counter-intuitive considering there's already 120 minutes of football played between the two teams.Over-familiarity and[...]

Patriots-Jets Drinking Game: Christmas Eve Edition


Ho Ho Ho!!! Merry Christmas!!! And what better way to celebrate the holidays than to imbibe some Christmas spirits while watching the Patriots (hopefully) ruin yet another Christmas for the Jets. By playing this game you will ensure that you will be given a massive hangover as a present from Old St. Nick, and perhaps some severe liver damage or a trip to the hospital for a stomach pump. Here's a drinking game to play while watching the Patriots steal Christmas from the Jets, Grinch style. And similar to the Grinch, if you play this game your liver will grow three sizes this day...Everytime a commentator says:"Happy" or "Merry" = take 1 drink from a beer"Holidays" or "Christmas" = 1 drink"Hanukkah" = take 8 drinks"Rivalry" = 1 drink"New" (as in New York and New England) = 1 drink"AFC East" = 1 drink"Holly" = 1 drink"Jolly" = 1 drink"Rain" = 1 drink"Snow" = 1 drink"Brandon" = 1 drink"Malcolm" = 1 drink"Marshall" = 1 drink"Jones" = 1 drink"Tis" = 1 drink"The season" = 1 drink"Season's greetings" = 1 drinkAnytime this is on screen:Video of the Jets losing = 1 drinkA Santa hat = 1 drinkSanta = 1 drink, 2 cookies, glass of milkSnow (fake or real) = 1 drinkChristmas tree = 1 drinkWreath = 1 drinkUgly Christmas sweater = 1 drinkA fireplace = 1 drink per logA player or coach's family = 1 drink per family memberChristmas lights = 1 drinkCandle = 1 drink per candle (lit candles only so watch those Menorahs)Reindeer = 1 drink per reindeerGrinch = 1 drinkDarelle Revis = 1 drink (bonus points if you're drinking an island/tropical drink)Bill Belichick = 1 drink and last person to say "Bah Humbug" has to finish their beerRob Gronkowski = finish your beer and spike the container (bonus points if it's glass)Robert Kraft = 1 drinkRobert Kraft talking to someone = drink the entire time he's talkingAnytime this happens:The Jets do something stupid = 1 drinkCyrus Jones does something stupid = 1 drinkCyrus Jones isn't on the field at a time he had been in the past = 1 shot of liquorCyrus Jones is actually on the field = entire beer + 2 shots of liquorTouchback = 1 drinkKickoff return = drink during entire returnMatthew Slater makes a special teams tackle = 1 drinkBrady throws to Edelman = 1 drinkGostkowski misses a kick = 1 shot of liquorA runningback catches a pass = 1 drinkLeGarrette Blount runs the ball = 1 drink + 1 hit from a bluntMalcolm Butler breaks up a pass = finish your beerDevin McCourty makes a big hit = finish your beerPatriots go no huddle = drink each snapTom Brady points out the "Mike" = 1 drink (bonus points for drinking Mike's Hard Lemonade but only if you're a girl, negative points for guys)Brady says "Alpha milk" = 1 drink (bonus points if you're drinking a White Russian)So get lubed up, enjoy the game, Merry Holidays to all and to all a good night!!!!!!Boston Blood Sox[...]

Patriots-Cardinals Drinking Game: Opening Sunday Night Edition


Football season is back! And so are the Patriots! Well, not all of the Patriots. No Rob Gronkowski or Tom Brady, because it was deemed more probable than not that Brady was more than likely probably generally aware that footballs were possibly potentially may have been deflated, even though they were the air pressure predicted by the Ideal Gas Law. And the NFL revealed absolutely no data from their air pressure monitoring during the 2015 season. Brady's suspension has little to do with air pressure and more to do with his unwillingness to yield to the pressure applied by the NFL and Roger Goodell. Anyway, DeflateGate is enough to drive a man to drink, so let's get to a more sobering thought: a drinking game for the season opener!

Here are the rules...

Anytime a commentator says:
"Suspension" = take 1 drink of beer
"Deflate" = 1 drink
"Injured" = 1 drink
"Out" = 1 drink
"4 weeks" = 1 drink
"Brady" = 1 drink
"Gronkowski" = 1 drink
"Week 1" = 1 drink
"Sunday" = 1 drink
"John" or "Johnson" = 1 drink
"Brown" = 1 drink
"Malcolm" = 1 drink
"Barkevious" = 1 drink and scream "MINGO!"
"Jimmy" = 1 drink
"Arizona" = 1 drink
"NFC West" = 1 drink
Anything about 'The Patriot Way' or 'Next Man Up' = finish your beer

Anytime this is on screen:
Bill Belichick = 1 drink
Bruce Arians = 1 drink
Barkevious Mingo = 1 drink and scream "MINGO!"
Bob Kraft = 1 drink
Bob Kraft talking to someone = drink the entire time he's talking
A picture or video of Tom Brady = drink for 12 seconds and raise a middle finger to Roger Goodell
A picture or video of Rob Gronkowski = 1 drink, and stretch your hamstrings
Highlights from Super Bowls played in Arizona = drink for the duration of the video
An injury report graphic = 1 drink per injured player

Anytime this happens:
DraftKings or FanDuel commercial = 1 drink (make sure you have enough beers)
Peyton Manning commercial = 1 drink
Cris Collinsworth annoys you = 1 shot of liquor
Al Michaels says something without explicitly saying it (typically about the spread) = 1 shot
Someone Gronk-spikes a football = finish your beer and spike it (bonus points for glass bottles)
Touchback = 1 drink
Kickoff or punt return = drink for the duration of the return
Julian Edelman catches a pass = 1 drink
You're worried Edelman is hurt = 1 shot
Martellus Bennett is tall = 1 drink
Matthew Slater makes a special teams tackle = 1 drink
LeGarrette Blount runs for a 1st down = 1 drink, 1 hit from a blunt
Jimmy Garoppolo says "Alpha Milk" = 1 drink
Chandler Jones makes a big play = 1 shot

So enjoy the game, get lubed up responsibly, this blog is not responsible for hospital bills incurred due to injuries and illnesses suffered as a result of playing this game.

Do not play this game.

I feel bad for Alex Rodriguez's legacy (not him, just his legacy)


Alex Rodriguez will be retiring at the end of the week. There will be no farewell tour with teams paying tribute to A-Rod with gifts like they did for Rivera, Jeter, and Ortiz. Red Sox fans at Fenway will be able to bid farewell to A-Rod one last time this week before his last game at Yankee Stadium on Friday. I wonder if they'll cheer or boo. Perhaps a mixture of both.I don't feel bad for Alex Rodriguez. He seems like a dick. And it's tough to pity someone who has made hundreds of millions of dollars playing baseball. However, I do feel bad for his legacy. It deserves better. If you separate the unlikable man from the achievements, you'll see that they deserve more praise and appreciation than they'll receive.Alex Rodriguez took PEDs throughout his career. Does that matter? Are we still pretending that it matters? Did it give him a competitive advantage, or just put him on the same level as everyone else? Compared to his HGH and steroid assisted peers, A-Rod hit hundreds more homeruns. Furthermore, he hit nearly 700 homers off pitchers who went to the same "pharmacy" as he did. It's not an advantage if just about everyone has it.And if you discredit A-Rod's stats because of PED usage, you have to do the same to others who have used. That includes David Ortiz, fellow Red Sox fans. So let's just move on from the PED issue.There were a few years when Alex Rodriguez was the best player in baseball, and it wasn't even close. He won 3 MVPs, and in 2007 he received 26 of 28 first-place votes. With the Rangers, he led the AL in homers 3 years in a row and won 2 Gold Gloves at short-stop. So he hit homeruns and was the best fielder at the toughest defensive position.But all people could talk about was his $252 million contract. His performance was unfairly juxtaposed against the expectations of what was then a ludicrous contract. So no matter how many homeruns he hit, all people saw was the price tag.Looking back, I can't believe how much resentment there was from fans and pundits directed toward A-Rod for being paid. Was he supposed to negotiate the contract down so he would get paid less? That would be like Emma Watson offering to sleep with me, and me responding "Nope, second base is as far as I'm willing to go. I don't want people to hate me."A-Rod also didn't get enough credit in the Great Short-Stop Arguments from 1997 to 2003, probably due to his playing in the AL West. If you don't remember or are too young, those were the days when fans in Boston, New York, and all over the country debated who was better: Jeter or Nomar. And as two large fanbases and an East coast oriented sports media compared the two, the best short-stop in baseball (A-Rod) was being largely ignored. Nobody in the East cared about what happened with the Mariners or Rangers. The 10pm airing of Baseball Tonight started at the same time as their games, and the morning sports page was published too early for full box scores. For a few years, A-Rod was a better short-stop and player than Jeter or Nomar. But the debate was still localized to the Northeast.You can make an argument that A-Rod is a better player than Jeter. Power is an important part of the game and Rodriguez's power numbers dwarf Jeter's. A-Rod has about 440 more homeruns than Jeter, and slugged .550 compared to Jeter's .440. A-Rod also has a slightly higher OBP (.380 vs. .377). Jeter stole only 29 more bases. A-Rod knocked in 773 more runs. So A-Rod got on base, he could run, he could field, he could hit, he could hit for power.Of course, Jeter was clutch and A-Rod was a bit of a choker. And maybe t[...]

Patriots-Broncos Drinking Game: AFC Championship Edition


Patriots, Broncos. Manning, Brady. An AFC Championship and a trip to the Super Bowl on the line. What could be any better than that? I'll tell you what... Drinking so much alcohol you'll need to watch the 4th quarter in the Emergency Room. Here's a drinking game to play while the Patriots face the Broncos Sunday in the AFC Championship...Anytime a commentator says:"AFC" = 1 drink of beer"Championship" = 1 drink"Manning" = 1 drink"Brady" = 1 drink"Winner" = 1 drink"Seventeen(th)" = drink for 17 seconds"Meeting" = 1 drink"Playoffs" = 1 drink"History" = 1 drink"Legacy" = 1 drink"Super Bowl" = 1 drink"Fifty" = 1 drink"Mile high" = 1 drink, 1 hit from a jointAnything about the air being thin = hold your breath for 15 seconds, then drink for 5 secondsAnything about the weather being nice = 1 drink"Crowd noise" = 1 drink"Home field" = 1 drink"Injury" = 1 drink"Malcolm" = 1 drink"Jackson" = 1 drinkAnytime this is on screen...A Roman numeral = drink for as many seconds as the number (e.g. XVII=drink for 17 seconds)Highlights from previous Manning/Brady games = drink during entire highlightHighlights of Brady/Patriots struggling in Denver = drink during entire highlightThe number 18 (on the field or in a graphic) = 1 drinkA trophy = 1 drink per trophyManning face = 1 shot of liquor (and permission to vomit)A Manning besides Peyton = 1 drink per ManningA horse (real or cartoon) = 1 drinkA horseshoe (real or as part of a logo) = 1 drink per shoeA mountain = 1 drink pear peakJohn Elway = 1 drinkBrock Osweiler = 1 drinkWade Philips = 1 drinkMatt Patricia = 1 drinkErnie Adams = 1 glass of wineJosh McDaniels = 1 drinkA graphic about injuries = 1 drinkA coin toss (live or video) = 1 drinkBob Kraft = 1 drinkKraft talking to someone = drink the entire time he's talkingAnytime this happens...Someone says "Omaha" = 1 drinkBroncos fans say that stupid "incomplete" chant = 1 drinkBrady and/or Manning are compared to all-time greats = 1 drink for each player compared toJamie Collins makes a freakishly athletic play = 1 drinkMatthew Slater makes a special teams tackle = 1 drinkJulian Edelman breaks a tackle = 1 drinkRob Gronkowski destroys someone/something = 1 drinkYou're worried Edelman or Gronk is injured = half a beerGronk spikes something = finish your beer, spike empty can/bottle on ground (bonus points for glass bottles)Manning says the name of a city besides Omaha = 2 drinksManning says the name of a state/province = 5 drinksManning says the name of a country = finish your beerManning seems to adjust the play = 1 drinkCommentators praise Manning for a good play call = 1 drinkCommentators avoid criticizing Manning for a bad play call = 1 drinkBroncos run the ball = 1 drinkManning overthrows a receiver = 1 drinkManning underthrows a receiver = 1 drinkManning makes an accurate throw longer than 10 yards = half a beerManning fumbles or throws a pick = 1 shot of liquorCommentators criticize Manning for a mistake (unlikely) = 1 entire beer, 2 shots of liquorThe commentators mention HGH (this will not happen) = drink all alcohol in the building by the end of the game, which will be extra rough in an apartment building or a bar, so feel free to take performance enhancing substances to helpSo enjoy the game on the field between the Patriots and Broncos, as well as the game off the field between you and your liver. Make sure you have a path shoveled wide enough for the paramedics to carry you out on a stretcher.Boston Blood Sox[...]

Patriots-Giants drinking game: painful memories edition


One streak will end Sunday. Either the Patriots' 11-game winning streak, or Giants' 3-game winning streak against the Patriots. Throughout the week, few people seemed to actually talk about this game in 2015, instead focusing on games played 4 and 8 years ago, by almost completely different sets of players. For the Patriots, this is a tough road game against a good opponent. And they probably won't make nervous mistakes like so many Pats' opponents have this season. Then again, a 5-4 record in the NFL this year isn't very impressive. Being slightly above average in an incredibly below average league is like repeating the 4th grade and then getting a B-. Who cares?Speaking of who cares, who cares about my game analysis? Let's get to the drinking game!The rules...Anytime a commentator says:"Super Bowl" = 1 drink of beer"New York" = 1 drink"Manning" = 1 drink"Tom" = 1 drink"Brady" = 1 drink"Coughlin" = 1 drink"Malcolm" = 1 drink"Chandler" = 1 drink"Tyree" = 1 drink"Manningham" = 1 drink (plus the 1 drink for saying "Manning")"Streak" = 1 drink"Undefeated" = 1 drink"18 and 1" = drink beer for 18 seconds, then drink 1 shot of liquor"Pierre-Paul" = 1 drink"Fireworks" = 1 drinkAnytime this is happens:DraftKings or FanDuel commercial = 1 drink (not allowed to do so in New York)Odell Beckham Jr. catches something with both hands = 1 drinkDeflateGate is mentioned = 1 drinkShane Vereen catch or carry = 1 drinkBrandon Meriweather dirty play = 1 drinkTom Brady takes longer than 2 seconds to get rid of the ball = 1 drinkJulian Edelman seems to get concussed = 1 drinkRob Gronkowski breaks a tackle = 1 drinkGronk scores a touchdown = finish your beer, spike the can/bottle (bonus points for spiking glass)LeGarrette Blount breaks a 10+ yard run = 1 drinkJamie Collins does something freakishly athletic = 1 drinkChandler Jones records a sack = 1 drinkTouchback = 1 drinkKickoff or punt return = drink for the duration of the returnMatthew Slater makes a special teams tackle = 1 drinkAnytime this is on screen:Fall foliage = 1 drink, bonus points if it's pumpkin flavoredDraftKings logo = 1 drinkHighlights of a Super Bowl = drink for the duration of the highlight, then throw up if it was against the GiantsRoman numerals = 1 drink per set of numeralsHighlights of a Giants receiver making a ridiculous catch = drink entire beer, take a shot, snort a line of oxyClip of a former Patriots receiver named Wes dropping a catch = finish your beer, pop a Molly, and sign with the RamsBill Belichick as a NY Giants coach = drink a giant sized beer, like those Fosters beers60 Minutes promo = 1 drink per clock tickJason Pierre-Paul's bandaged hand = 1 drinkGraphic about Pats' O-line injuries = 1 drink per injured player mentionedA sign about DeflateGate = 1 drinkThe New York skyline = 1 drinkThe disgusting wastelands of north New Jersey = 1 drinkBob Kraft = 1 drinkKraft talking to someone = drink while he's talkingSo enjoy the Pats-Giants game, get lubed up, and please don't play this drinking game because you'll probably die.Boston Blood Sox[...]

Clay Buchholz re-injures elbow celebrating $13 million option


You thought that was a real headline, right? That's how fragile Clay Buchholz is. And the Red Sox have picked up his option for 2016, worth $13 million. Buchholz, when healthy, is incredibly streaky. He can rip off 8 to 10 Ace-like starts, then suck for weeks. From season to season, month to month, start to start, you have no idea which Clay Buchholz will show up. Here is the roller coaster ride of his ERAs for the past 5 seasons: 3.48, 4.56, 1.74, 5.34, 3.26. He's never had consecutive seasons with ERAs within 1 run of each other.

The one thing you can rely on with Clay is that he'll get injured. He's 31 and he's only started 20+ games in 3 seasons. He's never started 30.

The argument for exercising the option is that $13 million isn't a ton of money, and it's only one year. And as I said, Buchholz when healthy is capable of brilliance. So why not? Minimal risk, potential for high reward.

But $13 million is too much for unreliability. I love low risk/high reward ventures. Not when the guy is as inconsistent as Buchholz, and ALSO as injury prone. The injury isn't even a risk, it's essentially a sure thing.

Another reason to not want Buchholz is that due to he unreliability, you're going to have to make sure you have 6 potential starters available. Either that or try to acquire one in June or July when his arm breaks down. And good luck finding a replacement for him if he falls apart in September. By keeping Buchholz, it forces you to also get some form of insurance.

It comes down to this: If he were a free agent, would you want to spend $13 million on him? I wouldn't.

Even as a back of the rotation guy, he's too unreliable. I'd rather have a mediocre innings eater that I could depend on to keep the team in games and preserve the bullpen. Give me 28 starts and 160 innings of decent pitching. With Buchholz it's 10 to 29 starts, and 100-200 innings, some great, some awful.

In 4 of Buchholz's 18 starts last season, he failed to go 5 innings. It was 6 times in 2014. About every 5 starts he'll drop a turd on the mound and you'll have difficulty clawing back to get into the game. Not to mention tax your bullpen in the process.

The only acceptable role for Buchholz is at the back of a rotation that's so strong up front that it doesn't really matter what you have as a 4 or 5 starter. In which case, $13 million is too much to spend on a guy whose role doesn't matter. And it's too much to spend on a guy whose only predictable attribute is that he will get hurt at some point and force you to find someone else to start for him.

DraftKings and FanDuel players should consider suing the Colts for falsifying injury reports


I don't think stretching the truth on an injury report is a big deal. Unless you're the Colts. Unless you're the team that measured an opposing team's footballs without realizing that air pressure is affected by temperature and humidity. Unless you're the team that leaked the story to your mouthpiece Bob Kravitz hours after you got the tar beat out of you (mostly in the half of the game played with "legal" footballs).It's sort of like arguing with someone online, and correcting their grammar or spelling. Once you do that you'd better make sure you use the right your/you're, it's/its, and then/than. And if you don't, every little mistake of yours is fair game.Once you open that door of publicly tattling on another team for possibly breaking a rule, you'd better make sure you follow the rules to the letter. All the rules. Each and every stipulation in the book. Such as fully disclosing the nature of your most important player's injuries. As the NFL says "This policy is of paramount importance in maintaining the integrity of the game."Integrity. The Colts violated a rule that is of "paramount importance" to the game's "integrity."And it's not just the integrity of football games being jeopardized by the Colts' deception. With the explosion of daily fantasy sports on sites like Draft Kings and Fan Duel, where millions of dollars change hands every week, the accuracy of injury information is now similar to the accuracy of publicly owned corporations issuing earnings reports. Huge amounts of money is at stake. And publishing false injury information is like a company failing to report a loss.How many people added Andrew Luck to their teams in the past few weeks, under the pretense that he had recovered from an arm injury but was otherwise healthy? What about TY Hilton or Donte Moncrief? How would knowledge of his rib injury have affected people's strategies? And might Draft Kings and Fan Duel have possibly modified their salary cap number for Luck if they'd known the truth?And who had inside information about the true nature of Luck's injuries? Did any of them have Draft Kings or Fan Duel accounts? Do their friends or relatives?In this absurdly litigious society, the Colts have opened themselves up to huge legal action. And if you picked Luck for your fantasy team, or might have picked him at a lower price, then you should call your lawyer and file suit.Take it all the way to the 2nd Circuit if you have to.The rules are the rules, Colts. You're the ones who made a big public deal about the rules a few months ago. Which was especially pathetic since the crux of the story was that the "illegal" footballs were removed from the game, which is also when you started getting stomped on.You couldn't beat the Patriots on the field, so you decided to beat them with the rule book. And now we see that you suck at that too. Almost as badly as you suck on the field.Boston Blood Sox[...]

Why is Tuukka Rask starting tonight?


You can't say anything negative about Rask without qualifying your remarks, or risk the scorn of his many defenders. And I don't know why. His play has been shabby and lazy this season. In his career he's never come up big in a playoff series when the Bruins have needed him to. His play was one of the primary reasons the Bruins lost a 3-0 series lead to the Flyers in 2010. And the best thing to happen to the 2010-11 Bruins was Rask losing the starting job to Thomas.

Yet any legitimate criticism of his play is often met with excuses and my favorite "He's not the reason they lost." (even though his job is to be a reason the team wins, not to just not be a reason they lose)

But let's limit our scrutiny of sacred cow Tuukka Rask to October of 2015. And let's also not talk about his play as a percentage of the blame pie for the Bruins' struggles. It doesn't matter if he's only 10% responsible for the B's losses, or 5% or less than 1%. His quality of play is what matters, and it's below the standards of an NHL goalie, let alone one of the allegedly better goalies in the League.

He's been lackadaisical, imprecise, passive. He cuts off angles incorrectly, he handles the puck awkwardly, and his form has been allowing pucks to leak through. He's done the bare minimum of his job. He's not the cause of the Bruins' losing, but he's not doing much to cause them to win.

So why is he in net tonight instead of Jonas Gustavsson? J-Goose hasn't been amazing, but he is trying. Unlike Rask, who seems to be trying to be benched or traded. Don't the Bruins want to reward effort and punish apathy? Jonas Gustavsson has been playing the best that Jonas Gustavsson has been playing. Rask is playing nowhere near the best that he can play.

The Bruins have 3 wins this season, 2 of those were with Gustavsson in net. I'm not saying the B's should trade Rask, or permanently put Gustavsson ahead of Rask on the depth chart. But Rask shouldn't be starting right now. Send Rask a message and play the goalie who is giving you 100% and winning.

I want the Cubs to lose tonight so I can stop rooting for the Mets


I don't like the Cubs. I don't like the general attitude that seems to define the essence of being a Cubs fan: Be happy to lose. It's not that they don't want to see their team win, it just isn't a priority to them. Or at best, it has no impact on their mood. There are more important things than winning: beer, summer afternoon sunshine, and having a good time at Wrigley is what matters most. If Cubs fans were told that moving out of Wrigley into a modern ballpark with luxury boxes would increase their chances of winning a World Series, I doubt they'd want to do it.

You know the phrase "Winning isn't everything, it's the only thing?" Cubs fans are satisfied with just the first part.

I like Theo Epstein. I like Jon Lester. I outright hate Joe Maddon, and that hatred outweighs any positive feelings I have for Epstein or Lester. Maddon is obnoxious. His teams are obnoxious. If he wins a World Series, the obnoxiousness will only increase exponentially.

The Cubs are not kindred to the pre-2004 Red Sox. Even the nature of the team's two Curses are different. The Red Sox sold Babe Ruth and a number of other great players to the Yankees, and the Sox paid their penance for those sins for nearly 9 decades. The Cubs pissed off a guy with a goat, and then they weren't good for a century. Great story.

Cubs fans aren't frustrated or cranky or sarcastic enough to compare to the fellowship of the miserable that were Red Sox fans before 2004. Red Sox fans were tortured. Red Sox fans cared. Cubs fans do not.

Look at Red Sox fans' reaction to the waves of Pink Hat that infiltrated Fenway after 2004. The Pink Hats didn't care if the Sox won or who was on the team and what role they played, they just wanted to go to Fenway and take a selfie of themselves eating a hot dog. #WallyWave

All Cubs fans are Pink Hats! Their priorities are the exact same. Fuck that.

I don't want that content with failure Chicago fanbase to be rewarded with a World Series. I don't want Joe Maddon's already gargantuan ego to be augmented by a World Series ring on his finger. I don't want to hear about goats or Back to the Future II anymore. So let's go Mets.

And please, Mets, finish it tonight so I can stop hating myself for rooting for a New York team.