Tuesday, January 01, 2008

New Year, new season

Happy New Year to all my readers.

The change of a year is always time for reflection. As I've never been one for resolutions, I'll settle for reflection.

With the advent of 2008, so begins the NFL post season. The Patriots are the odds on favorites, the Colts are being looked at as having the best chance of knocking off the first team that went 16-0. Let's look back at some of what the pundits have said about the Patriots, and some of the other stories that started in 2007, and will follow us through 2008...

"The Eagles have given us the blueprint on how to beat the Patriots..."

This is what the pundits said after the Eagles played the Patriots fairly evenly from wire to wire. The Eagles still lost by a field-goal. Interesting statement, but wrong.

The blueprint provided by the Eagles is the one most likely to beat the Patriots given that they have only beaten teams that have played like that by an average of three points per game. However, until there's a number in that loss column that doesn't look like a big egg, to make that as a definitive statement is just wrong.

The Giants came out and played that same physical game, and gave up 38 points.

The Mitchell Report...

The 2008 baseball season is going to be played under the shadow of the Mitchell Report, and Roger Clemens less than believable denials of his steroid use. Clemens and Barry Bonds are going to continue to dominate the headlines like they have in recent weeks.

Both of these situations will resolve themselves this year, but neither are going to go away any time soon.

Tuna Helper

The announcement of Bill Parcells return to the NFL coincided with the week the Patriots played the now 1-15 Dolphins. The Tuna has already begun to clean house, and rumors have it that he is likely to plunder personnel people from his last NFL stop, the Cowboys.

While the news of him joining his third AFC East franchise will fade quickly, every time this team plays one of his former teams, be it the Jets, Pats, or Cowboys, this will be brought up, as will some variation on the term "Bill-Bowl"

New Englanders need to be ready for that last item at least twice a year for as long as Parcells and Belichick play for their respective teams.

Pacman Jones

With the season over, Jones is likely to receive his reinstatement for next season, assuming he can continue to keep his nose clean, and he can keep out of jail. If one of his many transgressions result in jail time, I wouldn't be surprised to see Roger Goodell extend his suspension.

The Boston Three Party...

The new Big Three of Ray Allen, Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett have not only made the Celtics relevant in Boston again, but have the team as the odds on favorite to represent the East in the NBA finals, while on pace for a record 74 win season. Amazing for a team that finished its last season with a second worst league total of 24 wins.

Happy New Year Paul Pierce...it's a brand new day for you.

Overrated Savior...

The rumors regarding the Boston-Minnesota trade of Johan Santana will continue until the season starts, if nothing is consummated before the season begins.

I'm on record as saying that the Sox are already offering too much for a player that the Twins either have to move, or receive nothing for. Minnesota is demanding top prospects as well as Jacoby Ellsbury, along with one of the following pitchers - Clay Buchholz, or Jon Lester.

The Sox package includes Lester, Coco Crisp, and shortstop Jed Lowrie, along with pitcher Justin Masterson. Both Lowrie and Masterson project as big leaguers. Lester already has a better post-season history than Santana who has a horrible ERA in Fenway park, and a history of wilting down the stretch.

Right now the Sox hold the cards in this, and as long as they can keep Santana away from the Yankees without selling the farm - especially considering that the Sox will need a shortstop sometime soon - then I say let Santana languish in Minnesota.

This story might go away come April, but it will return at the trade deadline.

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