Old friend Kendrick Perkins gets posterized by Blake Griffin.
Old friend Kendrick Perkins gets posterized by Blake Griffin.
If Wes Welker has his way he will remain a New England Patriot for next year and beyond. Welker is in the last year of the 5 year, 18 million dollar deal he signed when leaving the Miami Dolphins for the Pats. “I plan on being back. I am not really too worried about that right now. I am fully concentrated on this game and what we have to do, but I plan on being back”, said Welker.
I have to admit I am skeptical that Wes will be back after this season though it’s great to hear he wants to be. There is no doubting his value to the team and he has been probably the biggest bargain in the league under his current contract. However, I just don’t see the Patriots giving him number one wide receiver money, approximately 10 million per year. Now that the Pats have not one but two world class weapons at tight end in Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez it would seem to be less of a priority to have a high priced, slot receiver. Ideally this money would be spent on an outside, down the field receiver though those guys are very difficult to come by.
As the overtime affair between the New York Giants and San Francisco 49ers came to an end Vegas instilled the Patriots as 3 point favorites in the Super Bowl. This line was surprising to many book makers who had anticipated the Pats would open as 4.5 to 5 point favorites in this matchup prior to this weekend’s games. Many cited that the Giants were more impressive in their conference title game causing them to bring the number down to a field goal. The total for the game was set at 55 points.
Early money has gone the way of the Giants as the line now stands at New England -3 (+100) or -2.5 (-120) at many books. It will be interesting to see if the Giants continue to take the bulk of the action or if this line will get back to a solid 3 points or above. My guess would be that while the line will temporarily dip to -2 or -2.5 points the spread will be an even -3 come game time. For those looking to back the Pats I would recommend jumping on a sub 3 point spread early.
You all watched yesterday as our New England Patriots advanced to Super Bowl XLVI where they will have a shot at redemption versus the New York Giants. Some may say they were lucky and maybe those people have a point but the truth of the matter is to win a Super Bowl you have to be both lucky and good. Come playoff time the end result is all that matters, there are no style points and the record books will show that the Patriots were three points better than the Ravens on this day. I was lucky enough to attend this game with my cousin and his two friends and though our view from the 300s wasn’t exactly the High Definition feed from the comfort of your living room the atmosphere at and around the stadium more than made up for it.
I generally do not make it inside for kickoff instead choosing to have a few additional “free” beverages in the parking lot before getting whacked for $7.50 a beer inside. However, for a game of this magnitude we were inside the Razor with a half hour to spare. The pregame ceremony was pure class as is most everything else orchestrated by the Kraft family. It was great to see four former Patriots legends recognized as honorary captains; Drew Bledsoe, Troy Brown, Tedy Bruschi and Ty Law. The guys were noticeably touched by the honor with Bruschi tugging on his jersey in essence telling the crowd it felt great to trade his analyst suit for the Patriots colors one more time. Various clips of these players were shown throughout the game and sent the crowd into a frenzy most noticeably Bruschi throwing snow into the air when the Pats clinched the AFC East in 2003 and the Ty Law pick 6 in the 2001 Super Bowl against the Rams.
Even the post National Anthem flyover was unique. Generally flyovers are conducted by jets so quick that by the time you hear them they are nearly out of view. This one however was done by a big, meandering C-5, a supply plane recently returned from Afghanistan. The plane left from the local Westover Air base, nicknamed the Patriot Wing, and you could clearly see “Go Pats” written on the underbelly of the beast. Just awesome!
The crowd itself was amazing. My cousin, who has yet to miss a game at the new stadium, claimed that yesterday’s crowd was matched only by that at the 2003 AFC Title Game vs Indy. Anyone who has listened to local sports radio over the past few years knows how maligned the crowds at Pats games have been. They’ve been labeled “wine and cheese” crowds with callers regularly complaining that they were told to sit down and stop the yelling. Those people were no where to be found yesterday. I literally did not see one person sitting down during the game. The young, old, drunk and sober all standing cheering in unison.
I had read all week how Baltimore fans were crazy and were going to “take over Foxboro” like they supposedly had in their recent playoff victory at Gillette. I was at that game and didn’t witness that though the scene was certainly a somber one. On this day there were probably a few thousand Ravens fans decked out in purple. The majority of them were well behaved and took their heckling from Pats fans very well. Just some good back and forth between die hard football fans. Of course there were a few knuckleheads too but that can be said about any large gathering. My favorite Ravens fan had to be “Lunatic” pictured above. He was a monster of a man that was decked out in a skirt, Ravens jersey which had Lunatic inscribed on the back and a ton of party beads. His whole head was painted gold. Why the skirt I have no idea? The whole walk up the ramps to the 300s we heckled him. Nice skirt Lunatic! Atta girl Lunatic! He just smiled and took the heckling like a man. Once we reached the top we talked to him for a bit and he ended up being a pretty cool dude. Some Pats fans even took pictures with him.
After the game the atmosphere was predictably part jubilant part shocked. No one could believe Billy Cundiff had missed the short game tying field goal! There were a bunch of stunned Ravens fans left shaking their heads. One guy, probably in his mid to late twenties, seated in the row behind us was literally crying. I knew exactly how he felt, minus the tears, having been in Yankee Stadium for Aaron Boone’s walkoff homer in 2003. It’s an odd feeling being completely devastated while surrounded by 80,000 people celebrating. After sticking around to watch the Lamar Hunt Trophy presentation the jubilant Pats fans filed out of the stadium chanting, “We want the Giants”. While there had been times in the past where Pats crowds had been rightly vilified for acting entitled it was great to see the true fans of New England show up when the team needed them most. Next up, redemption!
Lebron James attended a basketball camp and played a few games of knockout with the kids. Apparently Lebron took the knockout part literally as he bowled over a young kid following a dunk. The best part of the video may be James continually missing his shots from three and having to dunk the rebounds.