So the Genius had it right again. Back when the Patriots were slinging the ball all over the field early in the season, Ron Borges told us that a team that relied so much on passing couldn’t win a Super Bowl. Yesterday he also offered this insight to the game: “This is a game that could be close for quite some time and then, suddenly, explode into a one-sided affair.” Wow…the guy really does know what he’s talking about. Oh…the next line…”If it does, that side won’t be the Buccaneers'” All I can think of is “Announcer boy” on WEEI saying…”Sorrrryyy, Borges..”
Alright, I admit, that was a little piling on on my part on poor Borges there, and I’ll likely get slammed via e-mail by his supporters and told of my agenda against the guy. So be it. It’s nothing personal. He calls a Bucs player arrogant in his article today. Given his own behavior this year, I thought that a bit ironic. In any event, it’s the last game of the season, so Borges gets a respite after this, and won’t likely come under scrutiny again until draft time, when he’ll insist again that the Patriots should take a David Terrell type over a Richard Seymour type.
Michael Felger has the game story of the Raiders falling apart on the big stage. Nick Cafardo has a few more details. Michael Smith writes about the 5 int performance of Rich Gannon, who was made to look horrific by the Bucs’ D. Tom Curran says there is just no topping last years Super Bowl. Kevin Mannix vaults the Buccaneers right into the vaunted “great defense” category. Dan Shaughnessy looks at former Pat Greg Spires getting his ring, and ending the column with a knife twist to Patriots fan: “And Patriots fans watching last night no doubt wondered, ”Why can’t we get players like that?” No Dan…we weren’t thinking that. Speaking of Dan, how out of touch is he? Over the weekend, he did one of his “random thoughts” pieces and asked “Who is Jimmy Kimmell and why is ABC giving him his own show?” While I interpreted that as a sideways swipe at the whole younger generation, if Dan really doesn’t know who Kimmell is, he really has no business being a columnist at one of the biggest and most influential papers in the country. Sorry, now I’m gonna hear it from the Shaughnessy faithful…Mannix also looks at Spires’ role and gets a Tampa coach to knock the Patriots for letting him go. George Kimball has more on Gannon. I’ll say this for Gannon, on the Westwood One pregame show, when asked about the snow game and tuck rule last year, Gannon answered with class…he said it didn’t come down to that call, the Raiders should’ve put the game away on offense before the call, and they didn’t, and they should’ve stopped the Patriots after the call and they didn’t. Jim Donaldson says the Raiders were as bad as they could be. John Altavilla says Gruden was worth the bounty paid for him. I think it’s pretty ironic that the last two Super Bowls have now been won by coaches who were extracted from their former teams by paying draft picks. Borges also writes about unsung Tampa hero Michael Pittman. Smith takes a peek at the mystery disappearance of Raiders center Barret Robbins. It’s also the focus of Felger’s notebook, and the point is also made that Damien Woody could become a Pro Bowl player because of this incident. Jeff Jacobs says it doesn’t pay to be Rich, Felger agrees. Smith’s third article looks at Rice & Brown’s virtual no-show last night. John Habib notes that the game didn’t have the same feel without the Patriots playing in it. Shaughnessy also looks at the “brash” Gruden, and calls him the “god of all football“. Cafardo’s notebook looks at Keenan McCardell making the right move in skipping over New England, and notes how Will McDonough was honored in the press box.
Steve Bulpett reports on the Celtics victory yesterday over the McGrady-less Magic. Shira Springer reports on the game for the Globe. Mark Murphy looks at Paul Pierce elevating his play in the absence of Walker. Joe Burris agrees, noting this was a productive weekend for Pierce. Carolyn Thornton also looks at the magic performance by Pierce. Murphy also looks at Walter McCarty coming alive in the fourth quarter yesterday. Both notebooks look for a quick return by Walker. In the Herald’s notebook, news on Walker is followed by word on McGrady. In the Globe’s notebook, Walker is followed by a Battie update. Thornton’s notebook says the Magic didn’t have Heinsohn bulletin board material to motivate them yesterday.
I watched the Super Bowl in HDTV last night. I’ll have a review shortly.