Tag Archives: Randy Moss

Lunch is on Randy Moss — Honus Wagner! — Weekend Notes

In one of the coolest things I’ve heard in a long time, someone is finally firing back at Randy Moss. Moss recently ripped Tinucci’s, a restaurant caterer feeding the players in the Minnesota Viking’s locker room, saying that he wouldn’t feed their food to his dog. Tinucci’s shot back today, announcing that they will be giving free meals to the first 50 Vikings fans who come in and donate their Randy Moss jerseys. In addition to this, they will be offering a $8.40 buffet, a play on Randy’s #84 jersey. All of the jerseys will be donated to the Boys and Girls Club of Nashville, Tennesee — Moss’ new home since being traded by New England and waived by Minnesota. Tinnuci’s is now receiving national media attention, and likely loads of customers. Sounds like good business to me.

Honus Wagner T206

In other news, a group of nuns in Baltimore recently sold a Honus Wagner T206 baseball card at auction for $262,000. The group is giving the money to ministries of their order throughout the globe. This is easily the most prized baseball card in the world, and one of the most prized collectibles of all time. ESPN cites that only 60 or so cards are known of, but I’ve heard that number quoted in the 42-43 range. The coolest part? I’ve seen one before — I know a guy who owns one of these cards and literally has it sitting in a display case with zero security of any sort in his living room. Pretty awesome stuff.

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Patriots KO Vikings, Brett Favre 28-18

Brett Favre chin laceration

The Patriots rolled past the Minnesota Vikings 28-18 yesterday, both knocking out Brett Favre and denying Randy Moss a touchdown in the process. The win, despite being another that falls into the unconvincing category, gives the Patriots the best record in the NFL at 6-1. The defense played solidly, and Benjarvis Green Ellis managed to give the Pats a run game for once en route to two rushing touchdowns. That’s all well and dandy, until you look at the road ahead for the Pats. Next week they’ll take on Cleveland (a should be victory), but after that game the rest of the season will prove to be a battle with games against (in order): Pittsburgh, Indianapolis, Detroit, the Jets, Chicago and Green Bay. Yikes. You’ve got to think that next week will be a victory, moving them to 7-1, but splitting the following 6 games after that would be a huge victory. That’d leave the Pats at 10-4.

On another note, it was good to see that Patriots’ owner Bob Kraft, Tom Brady, and most of the other Patriots speaking with Moss both before and after the game — classy on all accounts.

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Randy Moss Traded — The Patriots Have Explaining to Do

Randy Moss Tom Brady

I’m sorry, Randy. I’m sure you did have a blowout with the Patriots quarterback coach, I’m sure you were pissed that you didn’t have a reception in the Miami game. But the fact that the Patriots traded you today to the Vikings is completely ridiculous. In your time with the Patriots, you made up half of one of the best quarterback-reciever duos in the history of football. You were a thrilling to watch play, and you will be missed. Look at what happened when they did throw you the ball — 50 passing touchdowns in a season.

Now for the Patriots front office — what the hell were you thinking? Have you seen the plays that this guy makes? Sure, he can bitch a bit at times, but it’s not like he’s that bad. He makes Tom Brady happy. He scores touchdowns, and he opens up the field for every other player. His value truly is immeasurable. And to think that you’d make this trade 4 games into a 3-1 season where we need all the offense we can get? Come on. The Patriots already have the third lowest payroll in football, so it’s not about the money. Sure you have some fancy new tight ends, but they are not Randy Moss. Nor will they ever be. This move basically says that you don’t care that much about winning. It is a slap in the face to Randy Moss, to Tom Brady, and to the New England fans who love watching them. The backlash is going to be fierce, and I hope you are ready for it.

Worst of all, you trade him for a third round draft pick. Newsflash — we already had 2 first round, 2 second round, a third round, and 2 fourth round picks next year. We’re rebuilding, I get it. But we’ve only got Tom Brady for another 4 years, and it could take 2 or 3 years for any of those  draft picks to develop into valuable, contributing players. In Randy you had a contributing player — one of the best in the history of the NFL — and one that could contribute now, with Tom Brady, in a major way.

This move was a huge step in the wrong direction, and as a fan, I for one am pissed.

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New England Patriots — Game 1 Analysis

Wes Welker New England Patriots

The Patriots came up with a good win to start their season, in a game filled with several pleasant surprises. On the offensive side of the ball, the Patriots showed me that their offense is as good as ever. With not even a B+ running back, this offense will put up a ton of points — they simply have too many weapons. Tom Brady shined, Wes Welker showed that he’s going to be just fine, the offensive line actually bought Brady some time. Both of our two young tight ends played good games and Fred Taylor even pitched in running the ball. The offense is all well and good, but as the second half showed…..

Unfortunately, almost every Patriots game this year will be a time of possession battle. If the Pats get the ball, the offense will dominate and score plenty of points. I’m sure we’ll struggle against the premiere pass rushes in the league, but for the most part just get us the ball and we’ll be great. Unfortunately, the defense is young and generally terrible. Other teams will be able to eat up huge portions of the clock and put points on the board. There’s no way around it.

That being said, game one was a huge success as the defense did show up and make plays. If the Pats can play decent defense even half of the game, get a defense score, or even make just a few key stops on third down, they’ll be extremely tough to beat. And it was great to see them do this in game one against a pretty damn potent offense. Our young cornerbacks, although inexperienced, looked young and fast. They did a great job, despite Ocho Cinco going on a bit of a receiving spree in the second half. This game ultimately provided the blueprint for Patriots success this year — make a few key plays on D and the offense will take care of itself.

Big game against the Jets next week, and thrilled to have football back.

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Tom Brady and the Patriots — Criticism on Both Accounts

Tom Brady

So yesterday I ripped on Eli Manning and the New York Giants a bit, as he was all bloody and one of our contributing New York writers has season tickets to the mediocrity happening every weekend at the new $1.7 Billion dollar Meadowland stadium. Now it’s time to take a look at my team — the New England Patriots.

I’ll start with some criticism of Tom Brady. Yes, I’ll say it again. I’ll start with some criticism of Tom Brady. I ripped on Eli, and at risk of being called a homer, I must be fair. I’ve decided to do this in a personal note to Tom, as I love him.

Dear Tom,

Boy, your eyes sparkle in the picture above. You are so photogenic. But please, Tom, cut that hair. You’ve never looked so soft. I know that Gizelle loves the triumvirate of your long locks, your dimples, and your butt cheeks — but that hair is not intimidating Ray Lewis. If I was a D-lineman, I’d want to rip your head off. So ditch the pretty boy look, get back to the grizzly-badass-stud look, and dominate once again. We all still love you.

Geoff

Tom Brady aside, I’ll start with this — despite the newly retooled Jets and Dolphins, the Patriots will once again win the AFC East. That being said, I don’t think they will be able to contend with the elite teams in the league. Their Super Bowl chances look very slim.

As usual, I think the Patriots offense will be fine.  The air attack still consists of Tom Brady, arguably the best slot receiver in the league (Wes Welker, knee-dependent), and arguably the best deep threat in the league (Randy Moss). It’ll certainly be interesting to see how our new tight ends play — Ron Gronkowski is supposedly a stud and has great size (6’6″, 264 lbs.) while Florida’s Aaron Hernandez has shown great potential despite a love of weed that rivals Ricky Williams’. The Patriots should use approximately 4-28 different running backs, all with mild effectiveness. The O-line isn’t great, but neither is the D-line. The pass defense should be pretty poor, as in past seasons. I’d look for the Patriots to go 10-6, something along those lines, then lose before the Super Bowl.

This is extremely unfortunate to me. The Patriots have an all-time coach, arguably two all-time receivers (it’s a bit early to call Welker that), and an all-time quarterback. These are extremely hard pieces of the puzzle to come by, let alone finding all of them at once. Yet by having the third lowest payroll in football, the Patriots seem to be throwing it all out the window. They are simply refusing to surround this core with the role players necessary to win another championship. I don’t know why, and it frustrates me.

Oh yea, and message to Bob Kraft. What are you thinking? Sign Brady all ready. Who cares what it takes? 

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New England Patriots — Dynasty to Despair?

A Guest Post by Patrick Klimm, Boston, MA

Bill Bellicheck

           I want to begin this article by making it clear that I am one of the most diehard and loyal Patriots fans out there.  However, as I sit back and watch what has been going on with the team over the past several years and throughout this offseason, I have to seriously question the direction they are heading in.  Many fans, including myself at times, still see the Pats as a well oiled machine that hasn’t outlived its days as a dynasty.  The reality is they haven’t won anything in six years, the icing on the cake being getting blown out by the Ravens in the playoffs last year.  Their frugality and unwillingness to spend money to improve the quality of the team has finally caught up with them, as many publications now have the Pats finishing 3rd in the AFC East behind the Jets and Dolphins.  What was once considered to be one of the best run franchises in all of sports may now be stumbling back into mediocrity.  How did this happen?

            Over the past 10 years the Patriots have become known for their expertise in talent evaluation, finding value at every position and having strong influences and leadership in the locker room from both players and coaches.  There’s no question a winning coach is still in place, but how good has the talent evaluation been over the past several years?  Sure they have made excellent trades for Randy Moss and Wes Welker barely giving up anything in return, but a franchise that historically has been one of the best in the draft has fallen behind – which may be attributed the loss of GM Scott Pioli.  Year after year, they have traded back or out of the first round altogether, which has terribly frustrated fans.  Beginning in 2005, the Patriots first round, 32nd overall pick was Logan Mankins who has turned into one of the best guards in the game and who they now refuse to pay.  2006 may have been the worst draft year where the most dependable pick was kicker Stephen Gostkowski who was taken in the 4th round.  Their first round pick that year was underachieving and injury plagued Laurence Maroney, followed by receiver Chad Jackson who they traded up to get and who turned into a complete bust.  2007 was another horrible draft where the only notable player they got was Brandon Meriweather, who has turned into a pretty decent safety although he still makes absolutely ridiculous decisions at times, ie. taunting penalties to put teams in scoring position.  2008 seemed promising with the drafting of Jerod Mayo at 10 overall (who they traded down to get). After a monster rookie season, Mayo suffered a sophomore slump, albeit primarily due to injury.  In that draft they scored studs like Terrence Wheatley, Shawn Crable, Kevin O’Connell, Jonathan Wilhite and Matthew Slater.  And by studs I mean absolute busts.  It may be too early to tell what the class of 2009 will achieve but Ron Brace doesn’t seem to show too much promise and Darius Butler and Pat Chung have yet to offer serious contributions.  However, it must be noted that they did take Sebastian Vollmer in the 2nd and Julian Edelman in the 7th, both of whom were nice surprises.  Also note that they did trade out of the 1st round entirely.  That brings us to the 2010 draft where they traded down multiple times passing up impact players to go with a guy like Devin McCourty to throw into their heap of undersized cornerbacks.  They also drafted highly touted tight ends Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez and while I like them, we all know the Patriots’ record with drafting tight ends (see Ben “stone hands” Watson and Daniel Graham.) 

            With the past five years of draft history outlined it is pretty clear that the Pats have not yet drafted a serious impact player, save perhaps Jerod Mayo, and at times Meriweather.  Of those two, Mayo was able to step in and contribute right away but it took Meriweather several years to develop into a starter.  Players are first round picks for a reason – because generally they are better and are able to contribute more quickly.  How can you expect to improve your team if you keep trading down and out of the first round for “value” in later rounds?  When a team says it is looking for value in later rounds it basically means they are looking to get lucky and hit the jackpot with some unknown player, which is perfectly fine if you are a small market team and need to run your team that way.  The fact of the matter is the Patriots are not a small market team.  Actually, Forbes just recently published a list of the richest sports franchises in the world. Guess who was sitting there at number five?  You guessed it.  The stingy, value-seeking New England Patriots. That’s not number five in the United States or in the four major sports, that’s in the world.  To put it in perspective number one was Manchester United and number three was the Yankees.  As a matter of fact, all 32 NFL teams were on that list.  That’s right, all 32 NFL teams were on the list of the 50 richest sports franchises in the world.  That means that even the bottom feeding Oakland Raiders (44th), perhaps the most pathetic franchise in all of American sports, made the list ahead of great franchises like the Lakers (49th).  The scariest part is where the Pats fall in the payroll rankings.  For the 2010 season the Patriots have the third lowest team salary in the NFL at a projected $92,734,120.    

            That is why I get so upset when I hear the Patriots can’t afford certain players or refuse to offer contracts to guys who have played their hearts out for them.  Vince Wilfork was put through the ringer after not holding out, not making a stink about his contract situation, and showing up for camps, which is more than can be said for most players.  Tom Brady is still without a new contract.  They refused to sign pro bowler Asante Samuel because he was demanding too much.  Instead they went with cornerback by committee and put on the most pathetic display of pass defense I have seen in a while.  They inexplicably traded Mike Vrabel to free up space from his miniscule couple million dollar contract.  The one big name they did sign was Adalius Thomas which worked out terribly.  Not to mention the Joey Galloway and Shawn Springs experiments.  They simply refuse to go out and sign big name players or to keep their high first round picks because they don’t want to pay people.  That doesn’t sound like something the 5th richest sports franchise in the world should be doing. 

            I’m not a proponent of players making exorbitant amounts of money, especially rookies who haven’t proven themselves yet.  I do believe however, that when a player is loyal, works hard and performs, then he should be compensated accordingly.  The Patriots refuse to do that and they have gotten that reputation throughout the league.  What kind of star player will willingly choose to come here now if he knows he’s going to be treated like that?  They are alienating their own players and future prospects, and that needs to change.  As a fan it’s easy for me to say that a club should open their pockets and spend away – I do realize that however wealthy a team may be they do still need to operate under a budget.  However, it’s evident that the Patriots are not operating to their maximum spending potential.  They haven’t spent money in the draft or in free agency and it’s beginning to show.  The Jets went out and got Santonio Holmes, Antonio Cromartie,  LaDainian Tomlinson, Jason Taylor, and stayed put in the draft.  The Dolphins signed Brandon Marshall, Karlos Dansby, and stayed put at their position in the draft.  Outside of keeping Vince Wilfork, the Pats have made no major moves and moved down multiple times in the draft.  They signed dinosaurs like Tory Holt and Alge Crumpler.  Sweet.  Way to keep pace in the East.  Not to be repetitive, New England Patriots, but you are the 5th richest sports franchise in the entire world.  Act accordingly.

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