Goodbye Jimmy Garoppolo

Jimmy Garoppolo was traded to the 49ers on Monday evening. I don’t recall a backup quarterback ever having so much intrigue for the Patriots (unless of course you go back to Brady himself, and even with him I don’t remember so much buzz about him in 2000). 

Jimmy was a talented quarterback. His performance in the first game and a half of 2015 were very important in keeping the Patriots at the top of the AFC in Brady’s wrongful absence. Some in the media questioned his toughness when he had a sprained ac joint and missed one game, but I never considered that opinion to be likely. I believed he would be the quarterback of the future for the Patriots, but alas.

It’s unusual to see a dramatic shift in opinion on a player from Bill Belichick. It usually takes a drastic event, like Asante Samuel dropping a super bowl interception, for such a shift. From what I’ve read, and what I’ve seem/heard Bill say, he apparently liked Jimmy a lot. Some have claimed it was Kraft who made the choice, telling Bill that Brady must retire a Patriot (which i have hoped for a long time), and since Brady will likely last a few more years Bill saw the writing on the wall. I do wonder what that means for Bill Belichick coaching the team into the future, if this will impact whether he feels Kraft trusts him or will let him run the team as he sees fit.

Speaking of Brady, it also makes one wonder how Brady felt about Jimmy. Im sure he wanted Jimmy to be a successful player, but it must have been a pain to see the guy many people want to replace you throwing the ball on your field. I’ve heard stories that Brady didn’t like these implications, but it’s obvious that it lit a fire under him that made him perform better (which is honestly hard to believe given his immense talent). This move tells me that Brady will be here for at least a few more seasons.

However things go, Jimmy Garoppolo is almost certainly out of the equation for good. I hope he succeeds in San Francisco and has a long career. Not that he beats the Patriots, but I wouldn’t wish I’ll on him. Thank you for your contributions to the team.

On another note, welcome back Brian Hoyer.

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Postseason Again

The Sox clinched a spot in the postseason last night with a win and an Angels loss. At the very least, they’ll be a wild card team. They’re in the driver’s seat for the division though, so barring a pretty big collapse they’ll have (likely) Houston, or more likely they’ll be heading to Houston. 

I’m not as confident as I’d like to be in the Sox. Their offense is inconsistent. Just look at their last 3 games: two overtime Wins, one going 15 innings, and one blowout win on the back of Chris Sale’s absolutely dominating performance. If they had a consistent showing on offense even for the past month or so they could be contending for home field advantage. I’m still no 100% sold that they’ll be ready to compete in the playoffs with playoff pitching, whether it be Verlander, Keuchel, or even Kluber if things go south for Cleveland.

Pitching is another concern. Sale is Sale, but other than yesterday he kind of struggled (relatively, of course, for the Cu Young award hopeful). Big congratulations are in order on his 300 strikeouts this year, the first time since 1999 that it’s happened in the AL. Drew Pomeranz has actually been consistently very good this year, which is something I wouldn’t have expected to say last year. He has done a tremendous job and has been one of the few cconsistent pieces on this team. Beyond that, what do we have? Rick Porcello, who isn’t even close to what h was last year; Eduardo Rodriguez, who is what you’d expect him to be; Doug Fister, a solid fifth starter with an unfortunate last name who would be exposed as a third starter; and the billion-dollar man David Price, who will probably be a bullpen pitcher (which is good considering that’s the only way he’s ever won a playoff game).

The Sox will most likely play the Astros in the ALDS. I think they can win, but it’ll probably go to at least 4 games if not 5. Houston has been coasting a bit since starting the season like a rocket and burning out after the all star break. After Houston would be Cleveland, a juggernaut who won 22 games in a row and is poised to have home field to defend their pennant from last year. Cleveland looks to have Boston’s number this year, whatever the reason. If I were a gambler, I wouldn’t bet on the Sox in Cleveland. But stranger things have happened, so the Sox shouldn’t be counted out yet.

Preseason Predictions 1: The AFC East

I’m going to give predictions for each division in the 2017 NFL season. I’ll start with the most important one: the AFC East. 

1. Patriots (12+ wins)

The Pats are definitely winning the division, even with the loss of their most important offensive weapon. 

2. Bills (6-9 wins)

Buffalo could pull off 9 wins, but I think it’s more likely they’ll end up with 7 or 8. The AFC West will be tough opponents. Their playoff streak (or rather, lack of playoff streak) will continue.

3. Dolphins (6-8 wins)

Miami will end up losing to the Bills at least once, and Buffalo will get the tiebreaker. Jay Cutler isn’t going to set the world on fire.

4. Jets (3- wins)

My #boldprediction for this year is that the Jets will have the number 1 pick in the NFL draft in 2018. They’re going to be absolutely abysmal.

Movie Idea

Just something I came up with at work. I suppose it’s loosely based on Invincible, and a little touch of that one episode of Always Sunny in Philadelphia that makes fun of that movie.

My movie idea is “Next Man Up”, a sports comedy about a coach who’s considered so great that he can turn nobodies into stars. In fact, he could take a lacrosse player, or someone who isn’t even a pro athlete, and turn him into a star receiver. (Sound familiar?)

One of his star players gets injured for the season (in a much more entertaining way than it usually happens), and he decides to test himself by finding the least likely replacement possible. He holds a tryout, and hundreds of hopefuls show up. He ends up picking an out of shape, sloppy, clumsy grocery store clerk, who then has to train and practice with the team having never played football before.

I think this idea came to me partially because of the Edelman injury, which is a huge loss for the Patriots. But I think it could be a pretty funny movie if anyone actually decided to make it.

Initial Reaction: Edelman

Julian Edelman most likely tore his ACL, meaning he’s almost certainly out for the season. 

SHIT.

He’s one of the best players on the team, and pretty indispensable to the offense. Hopefully one of the young guys steps up. Austin Carr looked pretty good, albeit a bit slow, in the slot. Brandin Cooks could potentially fill much of that void. 

Hopefully it isn’t as bad as it looked. But it looked horrible.

Would You Take A Picture With Roger Goodell?

This has been a topic for the last several days. A bunch of Pats fans got photographed with Roger Goodell in a borderline guerilla attack, and suddenly everyone is up in arms. Dale and Holly with Keefe on WEEI couldn’t stop talking about it. 

So it opened up the quesrion: would you take a photo with Roger if you were asked? Plenty of people had opinions. Here’s mine:

I would do it conditionally. If I were paid, or given some sort of merchandise for it, I’d do it (but I wouldn’t smile). I would do it for the chance to make some sort of face or gesture to show my displeasure for the man who tried to screw the Patriots for two years. I would never do it just to take a photo with a famous person or because I like football, nor do I think people should “get over it”. What Goodell did was wrong, and a blatant middle finger to Pats fans. He now finally has the gall to show up in Foxboro, and I hope they give him the welcome he deserves. 

Don’t You Dare Trade Brady

Tom Brady is the greatest quarterback of all time. Possibly the greatst football player of all time. He turned one of the worst franchises in the NFL into a perennial winner that’s always at least in the AFC championship game. 

But a lot of people think Brady should be traded while he’s still performing at a high level, since his time in a uniform is nearing its end. Send him the way of Joe Montana, Peyton Manning, etc. Those guys got traded or released, so why shouldn’t we?

Because Brady is better than both, and his dominance is only getting stronger with age. At 39 he had perhaps the best super bowl performance ever. He’s had one severe injury that lasted one season, and came back just as strong if not stronger. He’s still The best quarterback in the league at 40 years old, poised to attack for his sixth super bowl. 

More importantly, he’s far and away the best player this franchise has ever had. Nobody comes close. Other franchises that traded their star players had other stars that were either just as big or better, even at other positions. But most importantly, no other franchise had a player who brought them 5 super bowls. He is the only 4 time super bowl MVP. He holds just about every passing record in tthe postseason and super bowl. He has 2 more appearances in super bowls than the next quarterback, and has the potential to expand everything I just mentioned.

Tom Brady is a once in a lifetime player for whom Patriots fans should be immensely grateful. It would look so wrong to see him wearing another team’s uniform. Brady is a Patriot, and to have him play every game for this team (especially if he doesn’t have a dramatic decline) would be an honor.