Tag Archives: Tom Brady

NFL Lockout Looms — Will America Crumble?

NFL Lockout

By Thalia Bardell, howiGit Contributing Writer, Boston, MA

Thursday is fast approaching and at the rate the two sides are moving it looks like an NFL lockout is impending. The likelihood that a deal will get done in the next two days is about as likely as Kendrick Perkins returning to the Celtics (too soon for the Perk jokes?). As a Pittsburgh Steelers fan an extended off-season makes me a little nervous. Extra time for Ben Roethlisberger to act like a total goon? I need that like a hole in my head. However, I have to admit that it has been fascinating watching this drama unfold. The last time that the NFL had a work stoppage was 1987 and I was … not even born yet.

When baseball players went on strike during the 1994 season I was seven years old, not yet a Sox fan, and more concerned with getting the training wheels off of my bike. I feel, oddly, like I’m witnessing a piece of history right now. If the owners and players union can’t come to an agreement then I will be in the midst of events that have the opportunity to change the NFL as I know it. To get a tiny glimpse into the inner workings of a sport that I only see from the glamorous outside of televised games, TV endorsements, and Sports Illustrated covers reminds me that sports are a business like everything else. Sure, guys like Ochocinco, Peyton Manning, and Darrelle Revis make the big money – and honestly I don’t really care how they fare in this decision, but it’s the second stringers, the no names, no covers, and no Campbell’s Chunky Soup commercial, “little” guys that interest me the most. These men are simply out there trying to make a buck doing something they love, just as we are, and they don’thave the same amount of time as most of us to do it in. The average length of an NFL player’s career is about three and a half years (perhaps Brett Favre was not included in that calculation) — that’s approximately 56 games. For these guys, to lose even one paycheck is a pay cut they can’t afford.

For the sake of the back-up benchwarmers I hope that the NFL resumes play on schedule next year. But for my self-interest I almost hope that they don’t. I can’t imagine what September will feel like without football (although it would open up more time to watch the Red Sox), but to witness an exercise of worker rights that I actually care about would be interesting to say the least. I’m curious to see the reaction of the players, the fans, and the media if the lockout extends through the summer and threatens the fall. Maybe it’s my age, but I’m history star-struck and, for me, the lack of football might be more exciting than the football itself.

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Ben Roethlisberger — Champion or Chump?

Ben Roethlisberger

By Thalia Bardell, howiGit Contributing Writer, Boston, MA

Well the man certainly hasn’t made any friends over the past few days. Not that he had many before, at least in light of the last couple of off-seasons. Yeah, you know whom I’m talking about. Pittsburgh Steelers’ quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. Now I’m going to come clean right here – I’m a Pittsburgh Steelers fan, have been since the Kordell Stewart days and boy, were those days awful. But that is beside the point. As a Steeler fan it is impossible for me to forget what happened this past March – Big Ben allegedly sexually assaulting a woman in the seedy bathroom of a Milledgeville, Georgia bar. I must admit, however, that in the excitement of this winning season Ben’s actions had fallen to the back of my mind.

But in the two-week holding period between the championship games and the Super Bowl the media needs something to talk about. Big Ben’s bad behavior – it’s right at the top of the list. No one can get enough of Roethlisberger and for all the wrong reasons; the pot has been stirred and the rumors and questions are swirling again. Did he really assault her? Did he deserve to have his suspension shortened? How many players did NFL commissioner Roger Goodell really talk to? I’ve got Jets fans all over my Facebook wall making underage chick comments. For the record guys, the woman was 20 and last I checked that was over the age of consent — quit being sore losers. But as much as I hate the flak that I take for being a Steeler fan whenever Roethlisberger comes up I think that his behavior deserves to be dissected and that the man needs to take some heat. I’ll be the first person to tell you that as much as I love Roethlisberger on the field for his toughness, strength, and scrambling ability, off the field I think he has behaved like an irresponsible idiot. Frankly, I think the man should be placed on “gym arrest” for the entire off-season, either that or Steelers’ owner Dan Rooney needs to hire a full-time babysitter for him – just make sure she’s really unattractive – and I don’t think he’s willing to do that.

What does Big Ben have to say about all of this? Apparently, he’s a reformed sinner. He’s found out “Just how awesome having an inner peace in life can be.” Really? I haven’t found inner peace and I’ve been practicing yoga for six years and don’t even have a speeding ticket on my record. It’s unbelievable and disingenuous. Nobody in Boston believes the guy; in fact ,people seem even more incensed than when the incident originally happened because of the way Roethlisberger is handling the media. The man shows no remorse, no regret, not a single “I’m sorry for the way I acted” or “it is something that has weighed heavily on my mind.” The fact that he barely faced any consequences doesn’t help his case either – he was not criminally charged and I’m not sure a  four game suspension was enough to teach him a lesson.

So what does Roethlisberger have to do to be redeemed in the eyes of the public? Does he simply need to apologize? Act like he feels at least a little badly about what happened? Or does he need to fall even further – hit rock bottom before fans will begin to redeem him? Look at Michael Vick, he’s not loved for sure, but he served jail time, seemed genuinely repentant over what he’d done, had a great season this year with the Philadelphia Eagles and he’s receiving positive and supportive attention from both media and fans. Dante Stallworth of the Baltimore Ravens served jail time when he struck and killed a construction worker while driving drunk in Miami – and the sports world has seemingly all but forgotten about that. Does Roethlisberger need to get locked up before fans say, yeah, ok, that’s enough. Perhaps he needs to pull a Tiger Woods, go to rehab and then come back and well … suck. Have a losing season; get destroyed up and down the field. There are people who like Tiger better now that he’s showed a little humanity, a little flaw.

As of right now no one is forgiving Roethlisberger because he hasn’t fallen hard enough. He’s committed wrongful actions and suffered no penalty. He’s winning Super Bowl rings and putting up Tom Brady-esque numbers but it’s only making people hate him more. The truth is that Roethlisberger, despite his on field achievements, will never be a Tom Brady, he’ll never be a truly great quarterback – he blew that in a bathroom stall. He wants to be a “role model” he says, wants young kids to wear his jersey. It’s not going to happen Ben; if I ever have a kid he’s getting a number 43 Troy Polamalu jersey and if you make an appearance it’ll be in some lecture about “learning the consequences of one’s actions.”

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Tom Brady — For All You Haters

Tom Brady GQ 25 Coolest Athletes

For Tom Brady, the accolades just keep on coming. And for all of you Brady haters out there who insist that Brady is hated by everyone outside of New England (such a NY thing to say — you think us Boston folks are Boston-centric, yet you’re the ones who refer to NYC as “the city” — talk about obnoxious) here’s proof that you couldn’t be more wrong.

The most recent GQ magazine put together what is honestly an excellent list of The 25 Coolest Athletes of All-Time. You know it! Tom Brady made the list.  I was lucky enough to read the entire article, including a write-up of each athlete on the list. While all of these athletes are pretty damn cool, Brady’s write-up was hysterical. I wanted to include a link to the article, but it’s not available online. The gist of the article was:

Tom brady is too good-looking. Tom Brady is too good at football. That said, he has had a messy swap between an actress and a super model, and he did lose a Super Bowl so he’s not perfect and you can’t hate him. But even when he does mess up, he goes home to a too perfect Brazilian super model who consoles him and gives him massages. He’s too cool, he really is. Just embrace him for being everything you wish you were, and don’t hate.

It’s really is a hysterical article, and it makes a pretty good point. Now I know GQ magazine won’t sell all of you, so you can instead check out this article on ESPN. Brady just won his 2nd AP Offensive Player of the Year award, making him the only quarterback in NFL history to win the award twice. He’s also the only active player to win the award twice. Also, note the statistic showing the highest touchdown to interception ratio in NFL history. Just another statistic where he dominates Peyton Manning, not to mention every other QB in NFL history. You can’t blame Peyton for this one though — interceptions run in the family.

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2010-2011 Patriots: To Address What Happened

Patriots vs Jets

Now….let me first say that being in the Bahamas was a blessing this past week following the Patriots loss to the Jets. I largely avoided the onslaught that came with the loss, although I’m sure I’ll still hear plenty about it. That said, in the spirit of fairness, I must address the topic rather than hiding under a rock. Here’s my take:

Give the Jets complete credit. They played a great game, especially defensively, and Mark Sanchez avoided turnovers. In this case, as opposed to other past Patriots-NY football games, the team that played better won. No doubt about it.

Now I’m faced with a dilemma; who do I root for in the AFC? I’m going to have to go with the Jets, as much as I hate it, because I don’t want Big Ben to get his third ring in Pittsburgh. Ben < Tom, and I don’t want to hear those comparisons. That said, I’m rooting for the Packers to win it all.

A very disappointing end to a great Patriots season. You can’t take anything away from the Pats regular season; a 14-2 record and arguably the best regular season by any quarterback in NFL history were pretty awesome to watch. I’m sure they’ll be back next year, and I know they’ll be extra hungry.

Following a horrible Celtics loss in game 7 of the NBA Finals, an injury plagued Red Sox season, and now this loss, Boston has had a tough go of it lately. What do you have to say about that, Celtics (or Red Sox)?

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Bill Simmons, howiGit Applauds You

Tom Brady Peyton Manning

If you are one of the lucky few who has read my Tom Brady versus Peyton Manning comparison, listened to my constant regurgitation of Brady-Manning facts, or if you just generally despise my Tom Brady man-crush (I just got his Uggs limited edition boots!), you’ve got to read Bill Simmons’ latest article comparing these two quarterbacks. Grab a beer first — this sucker is long — but it’s worth every word.

Special kudos to Billy boy for bringing a Biggie-Tupac parallel to this article — what can I say, I like your style. I don’t like linking to other writers’ articles, because frankly other writers suck. But Bill Simmons has some good taste when it comes to teams he roots for. And with this article, I must say, well done Bill.

Check it out.

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Patriots or Celtics?

Patriots Super Bowl

Question of the day for all y’all — who would you rather win a championship this year, the Boston Celtics or the New England Patriots?

I look at it like this — if Tom Brady wins his 4th Super Bowl this year, you can make an incredible case for him being the best quarterback of all-time. That said, he’s got several good years left. I think that this is the last year that this current group of Celtics has a shot to win, and I think they are hungry after blowing it last season with the NBA championship firmly in their grasp. This group is too good to not have 2 championships. That said, I can’t make up my mind.

Make up yours and tell me why.

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howiGit’s 2010 NFL Playoff Predictions

2010 Super Bowl

The regular season is in the books, the playoffs are set, so without further adieu, here are my picks:

In the AFC…..

Jets-Colts: Colts Win

Ravens-Chiefs: Ravens Win

Ravens-Patriots: Patriots Win

Colts-Steelers: Colts Win

Colts-Patriots: Patriots Win AFC Championship

In the NFC…….

Saints-Seahawks: Saints Win

Packers-Eagles: Packers Win

Saints-Falcons: Falcons Win

Bears-Packers: Packers Win

Packers-Falcons: Packers Win NFC Championship

In the Super Bowl…….

Packers-Patriots: Patriots Win Super Bowl

As I mentioned before, leading the pack causes paranoia. I really didn’t want to pick the Patriots to win, and came very close to choosing another team. While the Pats defense has been great at times, we’ve still managed to let up 30+ points all too frequently. That’s not gonna fly in the playoffs. That said, I’m sticking with the Pats for another Super Bowl title.

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NFC West — You’re Not the Best

NFC West -- Sam Bradford

Let’s start with the numbers — the current standings in the NFC West:

St. Louis                         7-8

Seattle                             6-9

San Francisco              5-10

Arizona                          5-10

Now I understand that winners get all the headlines and nobody cares to celebrate futility. I can assure you that my intent is not hit anybody while they’re down (unless it’s the Giants). But I feel like the mess that is the NFC West has been overlooked this year. Rookie quarterback Sam Bradford looks poised the lead his St. Louis Rams into the playoffs with a losing record, and the rest of the division is a whole lot worse.

So how bad is it?

Look, we all know that the NFC is the National League equivalent of the NFL. But this division in particular is collectively boasting a 23-37 record on the season. The second worst division? The AFC South at 28-32. Four games below .500 is a lot different from 14 games below. Even more telling is the collective point differential versus opponents — the NFC West is -322 points in this category.  Second worst in the league is again the AFC South, at -39.

I figured this deserved some ink, somewhere.

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Patriots Choose the Easy Route, Giants and Jets Crumble


Patriots 2010 AFC East Championship Gear

Just so you all know, you can finally purchase your AFC East Champions apparel on Patriots.com today. Steal your mom’s credit card and get after it….

Another Sunday in the books, another lovely week in the NFL. The more games I watch, the more I am impressed with the NFL — you’ve got to give it to the league, they’ve got a great product. A product which is doubly exciting to watch when New England keeps steamrolling opponents and both New York teams are desperately trying to throw their seasons out the window. With the Jets officially in the playoffs despite a loss to the Bears, it’s very apparent to me that the Giants will somehow, someway join their equally undeserving brethren in the playoff mix. If it took the 49ers beating the Patriots 63-0 next week and Michael Vick throwing 11 interceptions, it would happen. The Giants will get in. As usual, let’s start my rundown with the Pats.

New England Patriots 34, Buffalo Bills 3 — The Patriots rolled over the Jets, Tom Brady officially set the record for the best streak of quarterbacking the game has ever seen, the Patriots won the AFC East and clinched home field advantage throughout the playoffs, and, um, yup that’s about it. My concerns now shift to making sure Bill Belichick doesn’t get any of our key players injured next week by playing them the whole game (you know he will) and worrying about a potential let down with the bye week and all. The Pats are playing so well you almost want to see them continue their streak — I bet they find themselves in a tough game in the second round of the playoffs against a team with some momentum. The team I least want to face? Indy. At the end of the day Peyton can still pick our defense apart with ease.

Green Bay Packers 45, New York Giants 17 — “This was GIANTS football,” continuing on for another week. Eli Manning set his own personal best for turnovers in a season, featuring just 4 interceptions in this game. Throughout the course of the action I wondered aloud, “Would the Giants be a better team with Jay Cutler as their QB instead of Eli?” That questions is officially on the table for discussion’s sake people, so run with it. That said, I was also very impressed with Aaron Rodgers. There’s not a lot to say — the guy is mobile, makes good decisions, makes good throws — he’s a stud. Considering the Pats almost lost to his backup last week, this is one team I’m very concerned about facing in the playoffs. That is admittedly jumping on the Packer bandwagon pretty easily, but I’m all set with staying away from the Eagles and the Packers.

Chicago Bears 38, New York Jets 34 — Does this answer the Jay Cutler is better than Eli question? Probably not, but it’s nice to see the Jets lose. Yet they somehow manage to get a playoff berth out of it. Damn Jets. I would love to see a Jets-Giants battle, for sake of giggles.

Who wins an Eagles/Packers game?

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Patriots Win (Barely) and a Giant Turn of Events

Eagles Beat Giants

It was a another crazy week in the NFL, and without further adieu, let’s jump right into it with our two most discussed teams (the good guys and the bad guys).

Patriots 31, Green Bay 27 — The Patriots escaped the Green Bay Packers yesterday, in a game that should not have needed escaping. The 31-27 victory was still a W, but you’ve got to give the Packers credit for coming out strong. The on-side kick to start the game was ballsy, as was the play of back-up quarterback Matt Flynn. You’ve got to feel bad for the guy — although he played great he did crumble on the last play of the game — and nothing could have been cooler than beating Tom Brady in your first career start and on your dad’s birthday (he was in the stands). Regardless, you’ve got to applaud his effort.

This game also showed the world once again what I’ve long stated is the blueprint to beating the mighty Pats. A step by step guide for those of you who haven’t caught on….

1) Win the time of possession battle — Keeping the ball out of Tom Brady’s hands is the key. The Pats offense had the ball for only 19 minutes in this game.

2) Half running plays, half passing plays — This chews up clock, and confuses the Pats young defenders (they let up 27 points to a QB in his first career start).

3) Use some form of trickery — See on-side kick to start the game.

Eagles 38, Giants 31 — I’m trying very hard to not start this game’s comments with HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. So long, Giants. There goes the division. That said, I actually think you will still get a playoff berth still — you play Green Bay next (followed by the mess that is the Redskins) and Matt Flynn showed that he can’t handle blitzing well. Michael Vick was a stud as usual in this one, what else is there to say. This was an absolutely debilitating loss, in all ways. I will give you this — this game was NOT Eli’s fault (for once). I always give the Giants “D” their due, but this one is squarely on them. So at least I’ll save you the Eli hammering, for today.

Now for the fun part — messages I received from Giants fans, all of whom were at the game, throughout the course of the action:

1) I don’t hear you eagles fans, and I’m talking to you bandwagoners and giant haters. This is GIANT football.

2) How does that Eli Manning dive fumble taste. Looked like a fumble to me you know why…cuz were taking over first place.

3) GMEN BABBBBYY!!!!!!!

4) This is a DOMINANT win.

And the subsequent message from the Eagles fan, God Bless him…

1) Hope you guys didn’t leave quite yet..

Let’s just say that although the Pats scared me a bit yesterday, everything worked out just as it should have.  “This is GIANT football!” Sure was…

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