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You were probably expecting me to do some sort of postmortem on the recent Patriots’ loss in the AFC Championship game. Well, I’m not going to. Other than to state the obvious fact that their gamble to allow players to heal rather than go all out for home field advantage, did not work out. I’m instead going to use this time to get caught up on some random thoughts and observations. Stay with me now.

 

WEIGHT WATCHERS:

 

 

There seems to be a story in the Boston media every few weeks reporting on a how either team president Dave Dombrowski or manager John Farrell, just visited either Pablo Sandoval or Hanley Ramirez, and that both players looking fit(ter) and trim(mer). It seems to be happening on enough of a regular basis that you have to wonder who are they trying to convince. Is it the fans? Are they concerned people won’t buy tickets? Seems unlikely, but after back to back last place finishes, the “Nation” is certainly looking to be assured that hope and change are on the way. It’s probably more likely that the Boston brass is trying to convince possible trading partners that one or both may well be worth the risk, especially in Ramirez, if the Red Sox pick up most of the contract. It’s very unlikely anything would happen if people don’t believe either one of them can field their position. Of course, it would be nice if Ramirez could find a position where he’s not  danger to himself and his team–hopefully first base. Spring training should be very interesting.

 

BRANDED:

 

 

I suppose I’m showing my age, but I find athletes like Robert Griffin and Johnny Manziel to be very annoying. I get that things have changed and that you can be famous for being famous, but in sports at least, you need to establish that yourself on the field first before you establish your “brand.” I  think “RGIII” as well as “Johnny Football,” forgot about the first part and that is why they may both be looking for new teams. I sure they are both rich enough at this point not to care, but still, why waste the opportunity?

 

FIRING LINE:

 

 

Maybe it’s just me, but I think you have to assume that line coach Dave DeGuglielmo and strength coach Harold Nash, are getting a large share of the blame for the Patriots struggles over the last few months of the season. Both of them were fired within a few days of their return from Denver, with DeGuglielmo’s happening the day after the loss. It would appear to me that the problems the Pats had generating any kind of a run game, as well as the lines injury issues, are also being laid at the feet of these two coaches. Granted it’s only been a year since New England won a championship, but just like in New York, the expectation here is for yearly return trips to the big game. Anything less is failure, and someone has to pay.

 

WAKE ME WHEN IT’S OVER:

 

We are in the middle of what are probably my least favorite two weeks on the sports calendar. Even the years that the Patriots are in the Super Bowl, all the hype and talk drives me crazy. With this year being number 50, it seems even worse, with CBS doing its best to wring every possible dollar out of it. At this point, I don’t even care who wins. I guess it’s difficult to root against Peyton Manning as he saddles up for what will likely be his “last rodeo,” but I’m doubtful the Broncos have the horses to get by the Cougars. I suppose if there is a silver lining to the Pats losing in the Championship game, it’s that I don’t have to justify my prediction that they could beat Carolina. One way or another, here’s hoping it’s a better game than the last time they were in the Super Bowl, because a bad loss, followed by a HGH investigation, would be a tough way for Manning to end his career.

 

Stay tuned…

Jerry Ballgame

About Jerry Ballgame

The personification of "old school", Jerry Ballgame was born in the shadow of Dr. Naismith's peach basket, and baptized in that "Dirty Water." Designated by his "Uncle" Ted, to keep an eye on things, he's here to tell everyone what his view is like from the Hub of the Universe.

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