Tom Brady

Make Up Calls, Saggy Balls and Dad Bods: No One Really Cares

By now you are so impressed with that tag line, I could talk about literally anything for the next 5 minutes and I bet you’d be ok with that. Its May and “deflategate” is still a thing. From what I remember of that shellacking of the Colts, the Patriots could have played the game an hour after it started and it wouldn’t have mattered if the Colts had a head start. We live in a sports world now where the meaningless becomes front page news. Why?

It should have ended there, but the need for “news” and “justice” was too much once again. There are so many stories that have come out that we really shouldn’t care about that at the end of the day, aren’t crucial to the sport. Tom Brady is now being fed to the wolves because apparently he kind of knew the balls were slightly deflated? Who really cares? Even if that had happened at the SuperBowl the call to pass the ball on the 1 yard line would still be the story; a bad play call not a slightly saggy ball. And who could even tell?

Too many times we see this and think “Why are they even telling us this?” The US Congress wanting justice because a handful of really good baseball players did steroids, good use of time and money. Doesn’t affect the game. Let the people that manage the game decide that. It makes for news fodder but like checking your Facebook account every hour, it won’t change the outcoume of the day. The stories on there are about as newsworthy as Congress trying to look important in sports.

Remember when Tim Thomas didn’t go to the White House after the Bruins won the Stanley Cup? That was about as relevant as deflategate. We deem anything to be newsworthy now and really its just a bunch of words from someone trying to get clicks to his website. Speaking of pointless, what about the latest “craze”: the Dadbod.

The genius that decided A) we need a name for guys bodies that could give two you know whats about what they look like physically and B) people need to embrace this latest style fad, deserves a busload of money and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. There are so many fads, super diets and tabloid tidbits to run daily that they classify it in the news category and its trusted. BREAKING NEWS: no one cares how old a computer thinks you are.

As for the referees that fail to make a blatantly obvious call, the makeup call isn’t a good thing to keep doing. There should never be a term “makeup call”. Either you call the game one way or don’t bother calling it that night. In hockey, there are 4 guys on the ice that decide a game and if they screw up, there are cameras to help them. If the first 2 orange stripes can’t see what 18000 in house saw as well as millions of others, don’t just call something because the linesman 200 feet away saw it.

There still needs to be human error to a certain degree. We don’t want to see a bogus penalty called because you got it wrong earlier. Get it right next time then. Rarely in baseball do you see a makeup call because they are so ancient that they actually kind of have it right to a point. Umpire has a big strike zone to start? It stays big for the whole game and vice versa. In football the touchdowterception was such a glaring mistake, the NFL signed a new deal with its refs. WHen you get it wrong, make it right. Don’t just appease the peanut gallery.

Just because its on TV doesn’t mean its important. Leave the real sports to the real sports people that know the real sports. Unless a steroid hits a player knee on knee or a football oozes pine tar, its not really a story.

While everyone is still freaking out over some new Wells Report that outted a star QB, that same star QB dressed to the nines at the Kentucky Derby and that SAME night flew to Vegas to see the fight of the century; now THATS A STORY!


credit – laineygossip.com

#GOSPORTS

Follow me on twitter: @always90four

Cover photo – washingtonpost.com

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It’s 4th Down, Bottom Of The 9th With The Goalie Pulled

When it comes to football, baseball and hockey, the blame game often lies on the Quarterback, Pitcher and the Goalie. Is it their fault the rest of their team blew their assignments to put all the pressure on these guys? Depends on who you ask I suppose. These three positions are quite similar in how the public views them and what is asked of them by their coach and team mates. Who has it worse? Who deserves the most blame? Even championships can’t save these guys.

It’s Sunday Night Football, Brady vs. Manning, Rodgers vs. Romo; the spotlight is shining brightest on the man behind center. The matchup is always QB vs QB, not team vs team. Quarterbacks are paid the big contracts and are the face of the franchise. Who starts on Sunday is the big discussion on talk radio and when the chips are down every throw, run and sack is scrutinized.

Baseball takes a different approach by employing the starting rotation. Every team has 5 guys they deem are worthy of leading their team to victory once every 5 days. The pitching duel isn’t as relevant but again they face the most scrutiny because they are the players that start every.single.play.

Goaltending in hockey shares the spotlight that the other two positions do; the flip is that they are the last guy to beat before a goal is awarded. Unfortunately, the goalie is the one often blamed for a team’s misplays. It doesn’t matter if the defense is brutally awful or the forwards can’t cross center ice without giving up the puck, if the puck goes in, cue the boo birds.

Every Sunday the best quarterbacks in the league can be hung out to dry by a stellar defense or an offensive line that has more holes than swiss cheese. The QB is commonly the one to blame and his performance is the lightning rod for why his team did so poorly. The amount of study that goes in to one game is mind numbing: option reads, deep plays, the run game and the unforeseen flag all go into how a team fairs when they have the ball. A poorly timed pass can result in an interception that could end the game.

Once the pitcher steps onto the mound it’s his game. All the preparation and game tape can change in an instant when the first pitch of the game goes deep over the left field wall. Thankfully, baseball is played a pitch at a time and even a badly executed pitch can be recovered by a well positioned fielder. Quarterbacks can relate to a degree, the game is in their hands until they let go, then it gets real.

Even though a goalie doesn’t have the puck to start the game, it takes seconds to have them involved. Goalies have it pretty rough. There is so much that has to happen before its their fault, however, one mistake by anyone on their team can be forgiven if the goalie does his job properly. Goalies can be asked to steal games when the guys up front aren’t necessarily equipped to get the job done on their end.

What links these 3 positions together?

Aside from the crazy hate, relentless criticism and the ability to lose their job because they don’t win EVERY SINGLE game; all of these people share a remarkable mental toughness and are celebrated for doing a job most players wouldn’t want to be responsible for. Putting a blatantly obvious interception in the rear view mirror when it puts his team behind takes a special type of athlete and even more special when he can engineer a game winning drive in the last 2 minutes.

Having a pitcher give up consecutive home runs or walking in the go ahead run to have the reliever come in and strikeout out the side to get his team back in is something most athletes don’t want to be responsible for. Or maybe its the flip side and the pitcher has a perfect game or a no hitter going; its the loneliest place in the world but you know your team will do whatever it takes to keep it alive and it doesn’t matter who you cheer for, you want to see it happen.

Behind the mask, the puck is the ultimate decider of fate. A quarterback can throw an interception but the game isn’t necessarily over, a pitcher can give up a hit, doesn’t mean the winning run comes in; with goaltending, when the puck crosses that line, you failed. Its final. So much can be put on the tender for what HE didn’t do to keep the puck out when a blown assignment by his defense gave the goalie no chance aside from a miracle. Its a cruel, cruel game.

As the great Uncle Ben from Spiderman once said “with great power, comes great responsibility”. Nothing rings truer than these 3 positions. Championships are won and lost on a bad pitch, an overthrown pass or a screened shot. ERA, WHIP, pass completion, QB ratings, touchdowns, interceptions, save percentage, GAA, shutouts, perfect games and no hitters; none of that matters unless there is a W attached to it.

The pressure to perform at each of these sport’s biggest positions is incredible but the rewards can turn an ordinary Joe into Joe Montana. If I had to pick, goaltending is the hardest. The split second decisions are so drastic that a teams downfall can happen quite quickly. I don’t envy any of those guys.

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Safety with numbers

There are moments in sports that transcend reality; what happened at Super Bowl XLVIII was beyond reality. Literally, from the opening snap of the game, the Denver Broncos were not only playing catchup but they were left scratching their heads all night. The Seattle Seahawks did it right, they played their game. They scored a safety and a whole lot more.

Lost in all the fanfare and the bright lights of the Super Bowl was a storyline that probably doesn’t get enough credit: the Seahawks were the underdog. What goes with the underdog status is the background story that is all too familiar in the Northwest sports scene. No matter how much success, how many awards or how many wins the Seahawks piled up, they were still an underdog.

Its such a striking name to have. Having everyone view you as essentially, the loser, and you haven’t even played the game yet. How many wins will it take to earn the respect of being the better team? Do you have to win it all before you get the respect you deserve? Tough call; the New England Patriots didn’t have to deal with the critics the way the Seahawks have had to. Once Tom Brady ushered in his era of dominance, and so early too, he was a winner and anything the Patriots accomplished was added to that success.

The Hawks had been to the Super Bowl only 8 seasons prior and were a threat that year too! But they weren’t favored to win. They were the underdog. Having a rushing leader in Shaun Alexander that season gave Seattle a legitimate shot at winning the big game that year. The Seahawks would lose to the Steelers and to this day it is still questioned on if the referees cost the Hawks the title.

When you live in British Columbia or Washington State or the surrounding areas, you have dealt with the rest of North America calling you less than worthy. The Seahawks in this case, have had success in a lot of ways and lay claim to a few Hall of Famers. One would think this would give some legitimacy to their franchise. How about making 2 Super Bowls in 8 years? Nope, still isn’t good enough. Sure, the Hawks have been contenders for many years, had some rough patches as well, but they are basically viewed as the team that still just isn’t at that elite level. Statistically, they deserve a lot more credit than they are getting but no one that matters is giving it to them.

If you cheer for the Vancouver Canucks, its a story all too familiar. So many years of dominance in the Northwest Division, awards, star players coming up through the ranks, and a few Stanley Cup appearances to their name. All of that, and they are still viewed as a team that doesn’t deserve to be a favorite. They aren’t the sexy Chicago Blackhawks or Pittsburgh Penguins. There is no credit where its due. Will winning a title change all that? Hopefully it will. The Canucks deserve to be thought of as elite and not just another team that didn’t win. Maybe not this season though.

Now that the Seahawks can call themselves Super Bowl Champions, maybe the rest of the NFL will finally see what us locals have seen for a long time: a team that deserves to be called Champion. There are no Tom Brady’s or Peyton Manning’s. No Jerry Rice Ok he did have a quick stint there, but lets not dwell on that. This is a team that was built from the ground up and bought into a family mentallity, not just a team. This is a team that had a defense that had less holes in it than a bowling ball.

The Seattle Seahawks are now part of an exclusive club and nothing can change that. No controversy to stain their win, no bad calls or non calls that could have cost the Denver Broncos the game. The Hawks just flat out annihilated the Broncos and they made it look easy. They made it look like just another game, just another opponent. They are now for real and will be taken seriously. It took a win to do it but they won’t be called underdog anymore.

It all started with a Safety. It started with Pete Carroll putting together a family. It started with the Seattle Seahawks not listening to the haters and showing them why they should be taken seriously.

Congratulations Seattle Seahawks! You are our heroes

Cover photo courtesy of yahoo.com

Fantasy Football HATES you

From Thursday to Monday nights starting in September, most husbands, boyfriends, sons, and for you nerds out there, World of Warcraft; become zombies to the rest of the world. Football in all its glory returns and even more important, Fantasy Football, begins.

To be fair, there are some girls that play too, and for some of those unlucky leagues out there, they win. This is a hobby that creates billions in revenue each year across the world, and also loses billions I’m sure. If I put even HALF of the effort into my normal job as I did in fantasy football, well, I don’t want to even think about it. If I played fantasy football during college, I would STILL be in college. You get my point.

The unfair part of it is how much time and effort you have to put in to even try to win your league. I spent an hour on twitter this weekend trying to decide what Tight End to play and by Sunday afternoon, they were both out anyways. It sucks! I mean, who has three TE on their team? You can prepare all you want, get all the best info from the most knowledgable guys and it still comes down to what happens on the field. Peyton Manning and Tom Brady might be the best QB’s in the league, but even they suck sometimes.

Wanna know how nuts it is? When Aaron Hernandez was arrested, I GUARANTEE YOU, thousands of people were choked because NOW they have to find a new TE. He MURDERED 2, possibly 3 people, and Terrific Tom’s Touchdowns is scouring the league to see who will be available at the draft. The same reaction had to have happened when Mike Vick went to jail for his role in a dog fighting ring. How…..am I going to replace a QB like that? They’re just dogs right? Man I hope Vick doesn’t do too much time, maybe I’ll stash him on my bench for a year or so.

This epic funfest has put friendships in question, marriages on the rocks (no way?), work relationships in jeopardy, heck, jobs in jeopardy and all for a little bit of fun. Fantasy Football is so popular that FXX Network, a subsidiary of FOX, has a show called, The League. A group of friends that are in a fantasy league together and all the shenanigans that happen during their lives. Its a beauty and a must a watch.

It's ALL about the Shiva Bowl

It’s ALL about the Shiva Bowl

Sunday mornings haven’t been the same since Twitter joined fantasy sports either. There are loads of analysts that get PAID to give you advice on how to win your leagues every year, week in and week out. When you end up being the smartest guy in your league, odds are, there are a group of people online that are waaaay smarter than you. It would have been amazing to see how it was done even 10 years ago. “Dear Fantasy football guy, I have a big matchup this weekend, who do I start at QB: Rivers or Eli Manning? Thanks a lot, Ryan” “Dear Ryan, I just got your letter, I would start Rivers this week because Eli is on a bye week. Thanks for following us, Fantasy football guy. You can guess that would have been a blast getting snail mail a week or two later if you were lucky.

With Twitter now, you can have get real time answers the way call in shows have done, but way quicker and with more possibilities. See someone ask the same kind of question, just check your timeline and you can save yourself a question. Unless you are a real idiot and you ask the same question 100 times only to get nothing back. Or even better, ask a question that is brutally obvious and get ignored. “Who should I start at RB: Marshawn Lynch orrrrrr Trent Richardson? The only people that would find that funny though are the people in this special world.

If you hate this man, you love fantasy football.

Ya, I might be a mouth breather but I have 2 Super Bowls

Ya, I might be a mouth breather but I have 2 Super Bowls

Drafting is a big part of how your season will go and could even define your entire season early. If you haven’t done your homework or didn’t have a smart strategy, you could be 1-11 like a guy in my league is. The real thrill is finding a diamond in the rough after a week of games and he ends up being one of the NFL elite. You have to be a bit lucky or know what you think everyone else doesn’t know already.

Its sure amusing to think of what the hobby really is: a harsh, dark world of evil sorcery and old stabled hunks of meat used for the rich mans betting amusal. No one thinks of their favorite team anymore, its about numbers. Favorite team won? Who cares. Did the WR on the other team get 80 yards? HUGE playoff implications for division rivals? Great! I should totally get big points out of the RB in that game. Its like greyhounds; they are popular until they stop winning and then just tossed to the curb…or the glue farm while the next young stud is welcomed to Weeden Start the Fire’s PPR team.

Its a reason to get up in the morning…usually 7am on Tuesdays when the waiver wire opens, you gotta be first you know. Its even more fun when you screw over a guy you hate in your league, and take the guy he wanted knowing full well you don’t even need him and he’ll just rot away on your bench.

Oh fantasy football, the American dream, the Canadian nightmare and yet another reason the CFL still has a point for kicking the ball through the end zone. Seriously, stop that rule, its lame. The lacrosse league is starting to snicker at you.

And finally, the butt fumble again

follow me on twitter @hankthetank10