Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Notes from the Coast:

With a two week build up before the Superbowl, it's amazing how crazy the analysis of game can get. I heard ESPN's Merril Hodge say that he predicts the Giants will beat the Patriots simply because they have played them tough already this year. Analysts and prognosticators should remember that Eli and the Giants played a nearly perfect game and had nothing to lose in the week 17 match-up and it was the Patriots who felt all the pressure to complete the season a perfect 16-0. Yet one mistake by Eli was all it took for the Pats to win. Also, it was Bill Belichick, not Tom Coughlin, who got his 'genius' reputation by always making the right adjustments after playing a team the second time around. Remember that the loss the Patriots suffered to the Rams during the 2001 season paved the way for the Patriots upset of the Rams in that year's Superbowl.

  • Last weekend Marc Savard became the first Boston Bruin to score a last minute game-winning goal in the NHL All-star game since the legendary Raymond Jean Bourque did it in 1996.
  • 1996 was also the last time the Patriots lost a Superbowl. That year Boston Globe sports writer Wil McDonough broke a story days before the big game that Bill Parcels would be leaving the Patriots after the season. It became a major distraction that may have cost the Pats the Superbowl that year. This year the Globe is at it again. It appears the a bunch of Globe writers have already penned a book called "19-0" that is available for pre-order. Thanks guys, perfect bulletin board material for the New York Giants.
  • I don't understand why the Red Sox offered Brad Wilkerson a 1 year deal to be a back-up First baseman and Outfielder when they have World Series hero Bobby Kielty waiting in the wings and Brandon Moss is already playing some first base in Winter Ball. Let's move on from the Johan Santana saga, deal Coco Crisp, sign Kielty, and focus on defending our Championship already.
  • On that note, the Minnesota Twins probably overplayed their hand in the Johan Santana trade negotiations. Neither the Mets, Yankees, or Red Sox improved their offers since December and neither team was eager to sign Santana to the 7 year contact extension he desired. Also, one thing the Twins may have underestimated is the fact that because they are in different leagues, both the Sox and Yankees were never threatened by having the Mets in the mix. That's probably why the Twins were desperately trying to get the LA Angels into the talks.
  • Tom Brady being injured for this Superbowl definitely adds drama to the big game and could end up growing his legendary status. If Brady hobbles to his 4th Superbowl win on a bum ankle this Sunday, not only will it bolster his reputation as a winner but he probably will surpass Superbowl heroes Terry Bradshaw and his idol Joe Montana as one of the greatest Quarterbacks of all-time.
  • Maybe I am caught up in the Suberbowl hype and over analysis too because I'm still not sure if the Patriots will cover the 13 point spread this Sunday. Can the Giants get consistent pressure on Brady? Will Tom play like he did against the Jaguars or against the Chargers? Will the Giants focus on Welker or Moss? Will Randy Moss catch 1 pass or 10? Which team will win the turnover and Special Teams battles? Will Tom Petty put us to sleep with his half-time show? Too many questions to answer, so my pick is P-men 28 :: G-men 17. Go Pats!

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