(Afternoon Links provided by Guest Blogger: David Vidinha. Dave can be reached here.)
As everyone is aware of by now RunningupthescoreGate is the hot topic around these parts. The newest twist in this saga is now there’s a contingency that believes that eventually a scorned, embarrassed opponent will seek revenge by intentionally hitting Brady low or doing something that will injure him. I’ve even read a theory in which the scorned opponent will target Belichick on the sideline. Ending in an injury a la Joe Paterno. As Mr. Bruce Allen pointed out earlier today, this is indeed a sad turn of events. The Pats-Colts matchup this Sunday pins the two best football teams in the league against each other, in a game that may well determine who hosts the other in the AFC Championship Game. Yet, no one can seem to provide any analysis about the actual “game” that will be played on Sunday.
There of course has been groundswell the past few weeks regarding this “running up the score” dilemma, but I think it started to take a strange turn this week beginning with Mr. PTI Michael Wilbon taking a shot at the Pats and Brady during his weekly chat on the Washington Post’s website answer the below question by saying..
Tom Brady’s Knee: I can understand Bill Belichick’s desire to crush every team in the NFL, but why keep your franchise QB in there to do it? One cheap shot helmet to the knee and it’s goodbye Super Bowl unless Cassell suddenly gets good.
Michael Wilbon: You’re absolutely right. And if I was on the opposing team, I’d hit Tom Brady with everything I had as late as I could and take the penalty and join the fight that would surely follow. Football is a violent game and there’s got to be somebody out there sharpening his fans for the Patriots Golden Boy in the 4th quarter one of these weeks.
Even old friend Ron Borges has his take on this saga. I had to re-read this column twice just to make sure that I wasn’t missing anything, but all in all Borgie doesn’t really take all that many low blows at Belichick. Maybe Easterbrook has made me used blatant outlandish insults, but Borges doesn’t go there.
Mike Reiss has a sampling of opinions from NFL coaches.
Then of course is the Good vs. Evil angle…
Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel’s Frank Deford has the following to say about the Pats-Colts matchup..
“Their two coaches are the yin and yang, the alpha and omega, the black and white. Bill Belichick, the Captain Ahab of the Patriots, is abrupt, rude, bloodless, and, we know now, a cheater. Tony Dungy, the Mister Rogers of the Colts, is polite, spiritual and altogether human.”
If you’re going with the “These guys are professionals” argument, here’s a high school who scored 72 points on their opponent…………in the First Quarter!!!!!!!
Dr. Z weighs in with his opinion as well.
In his weekly 10 Truths, Jason Whitlock looks at the hypocrisy of everyone whining about the Patriots’ “never-let-off-the-gas offense”.
That’s just a small sampling. The guys over at Patriots Daily have a full rundown of all the stories from around the country that focus on “RunningupthescoreGate”.
Can anyone please write a column about the strategy going into this game?? Please, anyone?
Around the Web
Yahoo! Sports Tuesday conversation was with Patriots’ nose tackle Vince Wilfork.
Not only do Red Sox fans think David Ortiz is perfect, so does the Elias Sports Bureau.
The guys over at Cold Hard Football Facts have a tale of the tape on Belichick vs. Dungy.
Jason Cole says that even though the Patriots’ offense has generated the most buzz this year, the Colts’ offense is still the gold standard.
“When I was coaching defense it was my job to keep the score down, not theirs. When you’re playing defense it’s your job to stop them. It’s not [the offense’s] job to not score.” – Belichick
That quote plus more in Football Outsiders Week in Quotes.
Fascinating article about the financial impact of winning the World Series.
Dime Magazine has their NBA Power Rankings.
Dr. Z has his power rankings. Good news for Jets fans, your team did not lose their spot from last week. They remained strong coming in at the #29 spot. J-E-T-S, JETS! JETS! JETS!!!
Wayne Drehs over at ESPN has a story about Colts hard hitting safety Bob Sanders. Hey NFL analysts, did anyone notice how much of a menace Sanders was last year versus the Pats? Can you analyze whether this will be different in this year’s matchup, taking into account a new receiving corps? You know, stuff like that, I really care less what you think of Belichick the person.
Tonight on TV
The Bruins will take the ice tonight at the Garden against their foes from Buffalo, the Sabres. The game begins at 7PM, live on NESN. TNT has a double-header of NBA hoops action beginning at 8PM when the Pistons head down to Miami to take on Dwayne Wade and the Heat. That game will be followed by the Phoenix Suns traveling up to Seattle to take on Kevin Durant and the Super Sonics.
For the rest of tonight’s lineup check here.