Saturday, February 04, 2006

Bs & Cs

Sadly enough, the Patriots will be quiet until they steal Mathias Kiwanuka in the late first round of the draft (when they will convert him to OLB and he replaces Willie McGinest in 2007). The Red Sox are still a couple of weeks until we get story after story about how the team will miss Johnny Damon and that the trade of David Wells is imminent. All that leaves us with is the Bs & Cs. The Celtics have finally given up and turned towards the 2006-7 season. The Bruins are hot now, but are not winning any Stanley Cups in the near future. So I guess I have to ramble on about Patriot happenings.

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WHAT NEXT, NEW ENGLAND?

My god, thoughts turn to the draft. Sure, as I said above, I would love to see Kiwi drop to the Patriots and become the next Willie McGinest, but I doubt he will be there. I mean, I saw the Boston College-NC State game this season, and no one could tell me that Mario Williams was better than Mathias Kiwanuka. Yet Mario Williams is likely to be among the first defensive players selected and Kiwi has dropped to mid-to-late first round.

Somehow, someway, Bill Belichick will pull out another draft day melange that results in a few new starters. Look at the results from the draft last year:
1: Logan Mankins, G/T: Started all 16 games and helped keep Brady upright. Projected long-term starter at left guard.
3: Ellis Hobbs, CB: Injected enthusiams and swagger into the defense in the second half of the season. Projected long-term starter at CB.
3: Nick Kazcur, LT: Kazcur stepped in for long-time starter at left tackle Matt Light and helped keep Brady upright next to fellow rookie Mankins. Projected long-term start at RT.
4: James Sanders, S: Looked OK at times, other times was lost. Did miss a lot of valuable time injured. Projected to be a solid back-up at safety in the future.
5: Ryan Claridge, OLB: No one knows as he spent the season on injured reserve.
7: Matt Cassel, QB: Hey, he beats having Rohan Davey as the back-up. At least Cassel has potential. Projected to be the back-up QB for the next few years.
7: Andy Stokes, TE: Is this the guy that played Gollum in Lord of the Rings? Oh wait, that was Andy Serkis. Stokes was released during training camp.

Of course, the team also needs to look at free agents. Wide receiver is a position that needs attention, as does linebacker. Richard Seymour, Adam Vinatieri, and David Givens should be ready for new contracts this off-season (with Vinatieri likely being franchised again and Seymour being taken care of before he hits free agency in another year). The team needs influxes of speed and youth on defense and a big playmaker in the secondary, and could really use a playmaker on offense.

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Oh, Danny boy

The Celts, the Celts are losing. Thanks to a boneheaded trade sending Ricky Davis to Minnesota for Wally the Green Monster Sczerbiak and chump change. We would have still come out on the short end of the deal if had been Ricky Davis for the Sczerbiak, Olowokandi and the other no-name. It didn't improve the team any, and certainly made me want to avoid any Celts games for the next few years. Unlike Hal, I can see no silver lining to this one, much like overpaying for Travis Knight, Pervis Ellison, and other chumps over the years, it just doesn't make sense. This isn't like the Joe Thornton trade, where we all went, "Huh?", and then Marco Sturm and Wayne Primeau turn out to give MAJOR dividends to the Black and Gold. I'd have taken Sturm for Thornton straight up.

Bottom line, if you want to watch the Celtics, don't go to Boston. Go to Glasgow, Scotland where the #1-in-the-Scottish Premier League Celtic are rolling with their latest big-time acquisition Roy Keane.

Tavarez - Not singing "More than a woman"

Another questionable move of the winter is the Sox pickup of relief pitcher and hothead Julian Tavarez. I'm seeing this work out as well as the Dinosaur man Carl Everett did. Wait until Tavarez is pitching and Manny is being Manny out in the field. I seriously think Tavarez will murder him. We'll be reading about it in the papers soon enough.

Fire Arsene Wenger

Finally, on to footy, what Hal pays me for. Oh, wait, I don't get paid. It's like grad school, except I get to talk about footy. I had the pleasure of watching Everton vs. Arsenal this week (okay, it was on TiVo for 10 days before I watched it, I'm a busy man). I don't understand how a team with as much talent as Arsenal can languish in 6th place in the EPL. Then I realized, Arsene Wenger is at the helm. You have the best offensive player in the game with Thierry Henry, and many other superstars like Robin van Persie, Robert Pires, Freddie Ljungberg, and Fransesc Fabregas, and Arsenal is not beating on Chelsea for the top spot in the league. Then I realized how poorly managed the team is with crybaby Wenger calling the shots. Arsenal were never in sync, and many of the players looked as if they were lost out there in Goodison Park. The only goal proved to be the decider, by James Beattie. If you have Beattie on the squad, who needs Marcus Bent (sorry, Hal. Let Bent shine in Portsmouth or Southampton). I'm impressed by Everton's 37-year old goalkeeper Nigel Martyn. The old guy can still move and make the spectacular saves as he did vs. a Fransesc Fabergas offering. Back to my message, Arsenal needs to dismiss Wenger. This team with so much talent is going nowhere in the premeirship.

Djibril Cisse watch

At the risk of sounding like a tabloid, I'd like to mention that inconsistent Liverpool striker Djibril Cisse was in the news again recently. It seemed that he was a person of interest after he assaulted his pregnant wife. The stupid thing about all this, is that all the police did about it was put him "on notice." Gee, I wonder why pro atheletes have the reputation that they do have.

-Christopher J. Brigham

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