Monday, December 12, 2011

Patriots Survive At Fedex Field

In a matchup that on paper looked like a blowout, the New England Patriots beat the Washington Redskins in a game that was too close for comfort. For the second straight week, the Patriots played down to the level of the competition. Performances like yesterday's vs. the Redskins and last week's vs. the Colts, really makes one question the makeup of this Patriot roster as well as whether they are legitimate Super Bowl contenders.

The Patriots secondary, for a lack of a better word, is a MESS. Devin McCourty had another erratic afternoon. McCourty was scorched several times early, but had a few nice plays in the second half. As the anchor of the secondary, if McCourty isn't playing well, the Patriots have difficulty in defending the pass.

What does Bill Belichick see in James Ihedigbo? He is TERRIBLE. Ihedigbo does nothing positive on the field that I can see.

Fortunately, the Patriots have Tom Brady, Wes Welker, and Rob Gronkowski to bail the defense out. Brady had a rough game (by his standards), but still threw for 3 TD passes. As good as the passing game can be, wouldn't the Patriots be better off trying to run the ball more and keep their own shoddy defense off the field?

Regardless of the game plan, this Patriot team doesn't seem ticketed for a Super Bowl championship. For the fourth straight season, the defense has too many holes that Belichick seemingly is incapable of filling. Same issue, different year.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Red Sox at the Rangers

Based on their history, I've always taken the Texas Rangers lightly. However, they are a tough baseball team., with good pitching and thunder throughout the lineup. Ian Kinsler, Michael Young, Josh Hamilton, Nelson Cruz, Adrian Beltre, and Mike Napoli - all guys who can hit the ball out of the park. As for the pitching, they have a starting rotation of featuring CJ Wilson (who the Red Sox can't touch) , along with lesser known guys like Matt Harrison and Alexi Ogando.

There's a reason they made the World Series last year. They're GOOD. I need to take them more seriously.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Democrats and the Economy

President Obama has embarked on a bus tour this (amusingly described by GOP candidate Mitt Romney as the "Magical Misery Tour"), to tout his plans and ideas to get Americans back to work. Feel free to laugh.

When President Obama and the Democratic led House and Senate pushed through an $800 billion Stimulus bill in 2009, the promise was made that it would bring unemployment down to 8%. The Democrats were wrong. What the Stimulus bill did was save some public employment jobs, because the states used the money to keep from having to lay public workers off, as well as spark up "shovel ready" public works projects all over America.

What President Obama and Democrats fail to realize is that it is the PRIVATE sector that is the key to hiring, not the Federal Government. Since taking office in January 2009, the Obama Adminstration has passed along regulation after regulation onto private sector businesses. These new costs have made small businesses and corporations uneasy about expanding and hiring people.

Las Vegas mogul Steven Wynn, a highly successful entrepreneur, came out and said publicly that the Obama Administration is the biggest wet blanket when it comes to business he's ever seen. That is really a strong indictment of the lack of success President Obama and the Democrats have had in reviving the economy.

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich called President Obama a "food stamp President". Newt is right. Despite his repeated failures on economic issues, don't expect President Obama to change course, the way President Clinton did when faced with a Republican House and Senate. President Obama is a true believer in wealth redistribution, high government spending, and high taxes. It is a system that has failed in Europe and is now failing here.

Considering that Standard and Poors downgraded the US credit rating, due to the crushing debt and budget deficit you would think the Democrats would think twice about spending more. Their answer? Demonize Standard and Poors for their decision, raise taxes to provide more revenue and keep spending on programs that don't work.

November 6th, 2012 cannot come soon enough.

Monday, November 1, 2010

The New England Patriots and Other NFL Thoughts

Two months ago, I was scoffing at anyone who said the New England Patriots were going to win 10 or 11 games. Coming off of a disappointing season, I hadn’t seen the team make what I consider to be any serious improvements to a porous defense that dogged them through most of the 2009 season. I predicted an 8-8 season; a rebuilding year.

After seven games, the New England Patriots have a 6-1 record, the best record in the National Football League. It shows what I know, which apparently isn’t much. This team has been a very pleasant surprise.

Featuring a timely offense and a bend, but don’t break defense, the 2010 edition reminds me of the 2003 Patriots, who won the Super Bowl. The 2003 Pats played a lot of close games, often times it wasn’t easy, but in the end they made fewer mistakes than their opponent and that wound up being the difference in them winning the game.

That’s the way this team plays. On defense, they give up a lot of yards, but put the clamps on, once opposing offenses get within the ten yard line. Offensively, Tom Brady is still there, but the TD’s are scored by players such as Danny Woodhead, BenJarvus Green Ellis and Brandon Tate, none of whom are stars.

The Patriots also have superior special teams, a very underrated aspect of football. The Patriots have been fortunate to have terrific kickers the last 15 seasons with Adam Vinatieri and Stephen Gostkowski. The team also upgraded the punting position with big legged Zoltan Mesko, a rookie from Michigan.

This has been an amazing coaching job by Bill Belichick, so far. Right now they have four rookies starting on defense – Jermaine Cunningham, Brandon Deaderick, Brandon Spikes, and Devin McCourty. All have played very well. Besides veteran Vince Wilfork, the defense is anchored by second year player Pat Chung and third year player Jerod Mayo.

Almost halfway through the season, the 2010 Patriots have been a joy to watch.

Other NFL news…

This week the talk was of a possible NY Jets-NY Giants Super Bowl down in Dallas. After watching the Green Bay Packers defeat the Jets 9-0, in what can best be described as a “rock fight”, the idea of printing those Super Bowl tickets for the Jets is premature. Mark Sanchez still has a lot of work to do at the QB position. He’s a front running type of QB. When the team is going well, he plays well. However, when they need him to step up and make plays, he hasn’t shown the ability to carry the team, yet.

Another team having a surprise season in what was thought to be a rebuilding year is the Kansas City Chiefs. The last several seasons have been nightmarish for the Chiefs and their fans, but the team is run by former Patriots GM Scott Pioli. He and coach Todd Haley have things going in the right direction. It certainly helps that Haley has former Pats coaching alumni Charlie Weis as Offensive Coordinator and Romeo Crennel as the Defensive Coordinator . Led by the best running attack in football, featuring Thomas Jones and Jamal Charles, the Chiefs are off to a 5-2 start.

The Minnesota Vikings have a lot of talent. On paper, a team with Jared Allen, Pat Williams, Kevin Williams, Adrian Peterson, Percy Harvin, and Brett Favre looks great. However, despite his performance before being knocked out of the game, Favre is no longer an elite QB. When he plays within the system and manages the game, like he did yesterday, he can still be effective. However, he’s prone to taking too many risks and throws a lot of interceptions. Unfortunately, for the Vikings, backup QB Tavaris Jackson isn’t the answer. Their coach Brad Childress was considered a fine Offensive Coordinator for the Philadelphia Eagles, but as a head man, he’s been mediocre. The Vikings, at 2-5, would be wise to fire Childress immediately, and promote Defensive Coordinator/Asst. Head Coach Leslie Frazier to head coach. The Vikings seem like a team needing a different voice from the top.

Speaking of teams needing a coaching change, Jerry Jones needs to end the Wade Phillips era in Dallas. The Cowboys have been an extreme disappointment and at 1-6, Wade has lost the team. They are so bad; Jones apologized to the fans yesterday. Even the defense has been a disappointment the last two weeks. Former Cowboys head coach Dave Campo is still on the Dallas staff, serving as the secondary coach. He’s definitely a candidate who could replace Phillips as an interim for the rest of the year. He’s worked under Jerry Jones before; it’s not his first rodeo.

At 0-7, the Buffalo Bills are the worst team in the NFL. I feel sorry for their fans. I really do. Owner Ralph Wilson is over 90 years old and doesn’t spend the money necessary to bring elite talent and coaching to the Bills. It is obvious that the team skimps on scouting, based upon their draft record, whiffing badly on first round Defensive Linemen such as John McCargo and Aaron Maybin in recent years. They replace head coaches constantly, this year, they have retread Chan Gailey as head coach. The Bills also went into the season with Trent Edwards and Ryan Fitzpatrick as their QB’s. Edwards, initially the starter, was released. Fitzpatrick hasn’t played bad as the starter, but he’s not a long term answer. What a mess!

The Indianapolis Colts have been so devastated with injuries; they are the football version of the 2010 Boston Red Sox. I’ve read and heard media members say the Colts aren’t what they were. I don’t buy into that school of thought. As long as Peyton Manning is healthy and playing QB, the Colts are as formidable an opponent as anyone.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

One week until Election Day

Are you sick of political advertisements yet? Some of these ads are as fictional as a typical John Grisham novel. The ads perpetuate a myth that a Barney Frank type is answering his call to “public service”, singlehandedly saving an elderly woman’s life by making a few phone calls to get her the prescription medication that she can’t afford. He’s making a positive impact for the district! Naturally, the ad doesn’t take into account the other 99.5 percent of what the politician’s activities are – voting in a fiscally reckless manner, taking stands on issues that go against the will of his constituents, and collecting dubious campaign contributions from lobbyists.

Never before has an election season brought out so much cynicism. The economy is atrocious, unemployment is rampant, and the Democratic majority in Washington has squandered a golden opportunity by ramming unwanted, so called “progressive” legislation down the throats of a bewildered public who foolishly fell under the spell of cuddly campaign slogans two years ago.

What is striking is that anyone actually believed the nonsense the Democrats were selling back in 2008. With the help of folks such as David Gregory, Katie Couric, and Oprah Winfrey, the Democrats managed to snooker an unfocused electorate, too busy updating their statuses on Facebook and watching Dance War: Bruno vs. Carrie Anne, to pay attention to the true intentions of the Democrats. Did these voters not see any of the 2008 Democratic Primary? Those primary debates made the Swedish and French look like knuckle dragging Neanderthals.

If these Obama voters had done any research, they would’ve found that the Democrats are the party of special interests. Once upon a time the Democrats cared for the working person. That is no longer the case. The 21st century Democrats are the party of trial lawyers, illegal aliens, welfare queens, unions, the abortion lobby, and the politically correct.

The latest polls show what will likely be a large Republican victory on November 2nd. However, I believe the polls are underestimating how large the victory will be; big surprise when most of the mainstream media is liberal. What these polls are underestimating is the energy that the Tea Party voters, Republicans, and independents will bring to the voting booths across America. They can’t wait to vote!

There is no energy for the Democrats. This election is a referendum on the healthcare bill, President Barack Obama, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. The poll numbers show Pelosi and Reid to be particularly unpopular. Good luck getting depressed Democratic voters to the polls.

Here in Massachusetts, other than moonbats and lockstep union members, does anyone believe that tone deaf Governor Deval Patrick is steering Massachusetts in the right direction? Independents, not Democrats are the largest voting bloc in Massachusetts. The dissatisfaction and disgust for the status quo will cause Republican tremors across the United States, including Massachusetts. I am looking forward to seeing it all unveil on Election Day.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Saturday Morning Politics

Some quick hits:

That Massachusetts poll by Suffolk University proclaiming that Governor Deval Patrick has a 7 point lead has to be false. Governor Patrick has high negatives and Massachusetts state polls are notoriously inaccurate. For example, the polls that came out last winter where Attorney General Marsha Coakley (yes, I know her real name is Martha, but it's so much fun calling her by the nickname Patrick Kennedy bestowed upon her) had a 15 point lead over Scott Brown in the Massachusetts U.S. Senate race.

Congressman Barney Frank really has his hands full with Republican challenger Sean Bielat. Bielat has managed to frustrate Frank in debates, to where all he can do is demand Bielat stop interrupting him. Bielat has run a great campaign, has a strong grasp of the issues, and isn't intimidated at all. They have another debate in Newton being sponsored by the Newton League of Women Voters. Frank is sure to get some softball questions from that group.

To the people of Delware: How is a Marxist like Chris Coons a better choice than Christine O'Donnell? Haven't you already seen what damage can be done to the country under the 21 months of President Obama's stewardship of the economy? O'Donnell is definitely very conservative, but she's far less dangerous than a vote for continuation of socialist policies that have destroyed economic recovery. O'Donnell has been unfairly portrayed in the media, while Coons gets off easy.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Deion Branch back with the Patriots

Count me as being thrilled that the Patriots re-acquired Deion Branch from the Seattle Seahawks for a 4th round pick. There are those who don't like the the deal, due to Branch being injury prone since going to Seattle. I can see their point, however, the Patriots have 2 picks in each of the first three rounds of the 2011 draft, so giving up the 4th rounder is no big deal.

Branch is a clutch player and he's also a winner. He may not have Randy Moss' pedigree when it comes to all time regular season greatness, but Branch won a Super Bowl MVP. Moss' performance in the Super Bowl vs. the Giants was average at best.

If Branch is healthy, he's still a quality NFL receiver. He and QB Tom Brady have always had good chemistry on the field. I believe he will be a serious asset to the Patriots offense the rest of this season.

Welcome back, Deion!