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Friday 19th Jan 2018

A few weeks ago, I mentioned that some personal circumstances have led me to residing in my sister and brother-in-law’s basement.  It has been fine.  I had forgotten normal people have to do things like shuffle cars in the driveway, share bathrooms and empty the clothes dryer so other people can use it.  While I am still far from normal, I am once again doing some more normal things.

For the first time in my nearly 49 years on this planet, I live in the same house as a dog.  Yup, me and Skippy have become good buddies.  Skippy is a mutt, mostly Maltese that wanders downstairs a couple of times a day to see how I am doing.  I have known Skippy for a couple of years as I regularly visited my niece and nephew, to whom I am affectionately known as Unkey.  But the pup and I have taken our relationship to a new level as I take him for walks and we hang out together.

The other day, I had a bit of an epiphany as a result of my new living arrangements.  I am totally convinced I am a complete slob because I grew up without a dog in the house.  Before moving in, if I missed the basket with my fudgesicle stick, I didn’t care, I’d get it when I had to take the garbage out.  Now, I have images of the Skippster finding the stick, chewing on it and splintering open his cute little mouth.  As part of my routine to limit my caloric intake, I enjoy a few sugar free mints throughout the course of the evening.  Until recently, my desk would be covered with little pieces of plastic wrapper with a minty aroma.  Now, all I can see is the little guy choking on my candy covering.

I pick up clothes (most of the time), I make my bed (more than I used to) and in general am a tad neater, all because of my furry friend.  Don’t get me wrong, you don’t become Felix Unger overnight after being Oscar Madison your whole life, but Skippy is (slowly) making me change my ways.  Now if he can only do something about the utter mess that is my PC desktop screen.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

It is almost here, Super Bowl Sunday.  It is no secret I am a card carrying member of Patriots’ Nation.  I have been to two Super Bowls and had tickets for a third.  Keeping in mind the whole slob thing, I splashed acid on my face the week before Super Bowl XXXVI and had to not only miss the Pats defeating the Greatest Show on Turf, but Mardi Gras as well.  I managed to go without incident the week preceding Super Bowl XXXVIII so I was in attendance for the victory over the Panthers, though to this day I have yet to see Janet Jackson’s nipple.  My view was not all that great.  Then a couple of years ago, I ventured out to Glendale hoping to see history and the first 19-0 season in NFL history.  I think I mentioned last week that I still cannot listen to Tom Petty.

Of course I feel the Patriots are going to win Sunday, but I am admittedly looking at things through my Flying Elvis colored glasses.  Objectively, the Giants have the more balanced, and likely better squad.  As well as Eli Manning has been playing, and as good as Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz are, Tom Brady and his friends Wes Welker, Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowksi are the superior unit.  However, the Giants D is far superior to the Pats D, so much so that the difference between the Pats offense and the Giants defense is less than the difference between the G-Men offense and the Patriots defense.  On paper, the matchup edge of the respective units goes to the New York Football Giants.

But the game is not played on paper and New England has something New York does not: Tom Terrific.  To me, Brady is the football equivalent of Roy Halladay.  Regardless of the opposition, Halladay has the ability to toss a 4-hit shutout every time he toes the rubber.  Brady is similar in that when he is on, he can carve up any secondary.  Of course, when Halladay winds up, he does not have to worry about four or five 300-plus pound beasts looking to clock him.  This is my sole concern; the Giants defensive line is outstanding.  When Mathias Kiwanuka, who I had the pleasure of witnessing terrorize ACC quarterbacks while at Boston College, is your weak link, your chain is pretty strong.  But here we have a saying, in Bill we Trust, so I am confident Coach Belichick will devise a game plan to keep the hounds off of Brady long enough so he can do his surgical imitation and pick apart the Giants.

Assuming this happens and New England scores early and often, the porous Patriots defense suddenly becomes a bit better.  As a unit, the D is historically bad for a Super Bowl team, but they do have some excellent players.  Now force the Giants into a game of catch up, and the rest of the eleven can play a scheme and become a better unit, perhaps even rattling Eli a bit, though I am not counting on that.

At the end of the day, I see Brady having a game only certain players can turn in and the Patriots evening their record in the big game against the Giants.  I will not pretend that it avenges David Tyree’s helmet grab, but maybe I will be able to listen to Tom Petty again.  That said, if they lose, not listening to a Madonna song is not a problem.

Patriots 37 Giants 23

Enjoy the game.




0 #12 John Verdello 2012-02-06 09:51
It was by no means a great game, but the chess match that went on in the last 3 minutes of the game was truly compelling.
0 #11 Todd Zola 2012-02-06 04:24
Congrats to the Giants and their fans, the better team won.

On the Pats agenda this week

1. Exit interviews
2. Call Brandon Lloyd's agent
0 #10 nathan ouellette 2012-02-06 03:30
just read your post again. you called it, Brady comes up short at the end. he came up short 3x in a row to end the game as a matter of fact.
0 #9 nathan ouellette 2012-02-06 03:02

Well, that didn't work out the way I thought.

Kudos to Coughlin, Eli, and the Giants. They have our # for sure.

They outplayed us once again. Or the whole game came down to a 9 point intentional grounding call on the 1st offensive snap the Pats had. Weird.
0 #8 nathan ouellette 2012-02-05 13:00
I said it a week ago and I'll say it again. With Vollmer healthy NE will line up with 3 TEs (Solder) and pound the ball at NY. This will neutralize their front 4, exposing how bad the rest of their defensive unit is.
The big advantage comes from the fact that unlike every other team in the NFL, when NE goes with a 3 TE set, they still have their 3 best receivers (Welker, Gronk, Hernandez) on the field. Once NE takes NY out of the D they want to be in, that will open up all sorts of wonderful passes out of this same 3 TE set.
Benny, Ridley and Woodhead are all going to take turns keeping each other fresh and pounding it down the Giants throats.
Also, let's not forget that as great of a season as Eli has had, he has had the propensity to throw killer picks throughout his career. I can totally see Edelman making a big play and shutting up all the people who think Cruz destroys him.

38-27 Pats
0 #7 Ryan Carey 2012-02-03 21:40
I think it will be a great game - but the Giants are going to win. And they are going to shock some people by doing a lot of damage ON THE GROUND! Bradshaw and Jacobs are going to enjoy running on the turf again. Take a look back at that Falcons game in the Georgia dome and you get a glimpse of what I think the Giants are going to attempt on offense. The giants backfield rushed 31 times for 172 yards in that game. Now - of course Brady won't get shut down - so Eli will have to throw - but I think the Giants running game is going to be one of the surprise stories of the day. I also think Brady will have the ball last with a chance to win and come up short. Giants win again!

Giants 34 Pats 30
0 #6 Rob Leibowitz 2012-02-03 17:02
For me it comes down to pressure again like the last time they faced off. The niners were the first team I've seen this season that actually were able to get to Manning. The Pats don't have that kind of capability whereas the Giants have just as good a pass rush as the last time they faced off.

Regardless, I think it will be an exciting game and quite probably more than a bit of a shootout.
0 #5 Todd Zola 2012-02-03 17:02
By objectively, I meant the game analysis.

I think we are on the same page with respect to the line in that it is not necessarily how the oddsmakers think the game will end, it is where they think they will maximize their return, which are not always the same thing.
0 #4 John Verdello 2012-02-03 16:40
Not really, Todd ...I'm looking at it as how the bookies operate. Their goal is to have an even split of money bet between the two teams and they go home with the vig. As Dr. Z has said "Nobody beats the 11-10". There's a reason the line is where it is - and that is there may be a lot of Giant sentiment - but not enough Giant money backing that sentiment to move the line. I personally see it as a field goal game - which indicates to me that given the Giants' road successes and the idea of the game being 5 and a half in Foxboro, the line is wrong. But, there isn't enough Eli money coming in yet to change it. Funny thing is, I could buy the Giants being a 1 point favorite in the Meadowlands - and if the game were held THERE, I'd like the Pats with that number.
0 #3 Todd Zola 2012-02-03 15:21
but Kid -- you're looking at it objectively 8)

The bookies are setting the line to make the vig as large as possible and for some reason, the public is backing the Patriots, which is odd, all things considered. You'd think the Belicheat sentiments and NY money being bet on the Giants would sway it the other way, but perhaps the idea is if the line were more even, too much money would be bet on the Pats and with Brady, you never know.

Let's just say I am just smart enough to know that they are smarter than me and there is a reason why there are so many tall buildings with pretty lights and waterfalls in Vegas.

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