Sunday, November 8, 2009

Hey Joey Porter?

What do you have to say today?

I'm dying to know...

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

What will happen first this fall?

The Celtics lose a game


The Bruins score a power play goal. Or hell, even A goal.

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.

Fun fact: the Bruins have 6 power play goals in 14 games. The Friars have 4 in 7 games. I can't tell you how amusing this would be if I wasn't rooting for both teams

Friday, October 30, 2009

Rant of the week. New and random!

-Stupid Geocities. I know my website wasn't that great and I used to take long periods between updates, but I will miss adding to it. And no, $4.99 a month for a website people barely noticed was not worth it.

-Yankee fans are going to hate this, but this team now reminds me of the 1996-2000 edition where once they had a lead in the late innings, the game was basically over.

-I want the Tim Donaghy book for Christmas.

-I also want to see the Vikings get blown out this weekend. About 3 or 4 crippling Favre turnovers in the late fourth quarter would be lovely - as the Steelers learned last week.

-Speaking of football, people dismissing the Pats because they beat up bad teams is lame. What are they supposed to in that situation? There are no style points in the NFL - this is probably a lesson the Pats learned in 2007.

-Now that the Irish finally beat BC, does this mean Notre Dame will deign to play the Eagles every year? I understand that Notre Dame also plays USC, Michigan, and MSU every year, but they also play the service academies, a hit or miss Purdue team and Stanford team that hasn't done much lately. It's not like they can't squeeze a good ACC team in there, which is what BC is every year.

-The real test for PC hockey is about to begin: 2 games against a good UMASS team, a road game up in Vermont and the Mayor's Cup against Brown that PC usually manages to lose at the best of times.

-The worst part of the 92-59 pimp slapping the Bobcats received from the Celtics this week wasn't the fact that they only scored 59 points. It's that the Celtics honestly didn't look that good. What happens when Glenn Davis recovers from the thumb injuries and gets his head out of his ass? The bench is already good and Ray Allen has been cold. When he gets hot, the C's might start putting together an even more insane score line.

- Hey Mark...

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Coffin Online 1999-2009: RIP

It wasn't the greatest site, but I will miss adding to

A moment of silence from my crappy 10 year old website.

(Hi Mark)

I'm salvaging some of the old content, and I'll be torturing the internet with that information in the coming weeks. Stay tuned...

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Thoughts from Beyond the Grave!

-Wow, 4 months between posts? I suck at blogging. This is why I don't Twitter although I can't imagine I would be any more active.

-Never have I looked forward to a hockey season less. Although I suppose PC will exceed expectations as they do every year they're supposed to finish in dead last place.

-Am I wuss for almost crying at Tedy Bruschi's retirement? Oh well.

-The demise of WBCN was tragic, but 98.5 has been a pleasant surprise, mostly because Felger/Mazz isn't a colossal mess. Toucher and Rich is Toucher and Rich, but Kadolfo really needs to find the Chili Guy. The entire show is being carried by Fred making fun of Gary Tanguay. Buffy!

-Texas never seems to lose, but the Red Sox keep gaining ground. Not sure how this is happening either.

-Stupid WEEI never took my advice about the Whiner Line. Giving an award to the Man on the Way up? Reprehensible.

-"Hello, Control." "Hello, Tony."

-Words of Wisdom: "Eating kittens is just - just plain WRONG. And no one should do it! Ever!" - The Tick

-Hi, Mark!

Friday, April 24, 2009

While everyone wasn't paying attention...

Jason Bay and Kevin Youklis are good as baseball...

Not so good? Lakers Trolls on the board dreaming up the Bulls in 5. Guess again!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

I live!!!!

Yes, I am alive! Not even the the recovering alcoholics the NBA employs as officials could get rid of me! Not even the worst season of PC hockey in 30 years could finish the job. I just have one thing to say:

Au revoir, les enfants!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Chad Finn 1 WEEI 0

Another shocking upset from the Globe's OT

The only thing that sucks more than WEEI's recent output is the comments defending the station. "Hey Chad, go listen to NPR!" Is that the best you can do? I will gladly take NPR over 3/4's of the stations in this town.

(I didn't think much of the OT page originally, but we might actually be on the same page. Scary, eh?)

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Delicious delicious crow...

Pittsburgh (1) 73
Providence 81

Eating crow never tasted so good.

(yes, I am alive. Been very busy lately.)

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Rant of the Week: Obsession?

One thing you pick up on really quick if you sit anywhere near the Dog Pound at Agganis Arena is how much the BU kids really don't like BC. While no one in Hockey East really likes the Eagles, I can't think of another fan base that is this specific. PC fans as a rule do not like UCONN, Syracuse, or Georgetown in basketball. But we don't add "Huskies suck" to our chants like BU fans do to BC. The college kids in scarlet not alone: "Clarkson still sucks" at RPI and SLU and "Tech still sucks" at NMU. And of course, we have the endlessly insipid "Yankees suck" merchandising spree outside Fenway Park. But the Grandfather of all mutual antagonism is Scotland's Glasgow derby which has religious as well as sporting dimensions. In one form or another, obsession is rampant in sports.

And let's be honest with ourselves: it gets a little silly. Here's some examples of obsession getting well out of hand.

-In the Globe sports page, why are there Lakers fans on the Celtics blog? The two teams play each other twice all year. It doesn't make sense. It also makes little sense for the aforementioned trolls to continuously put down the Celtics as "irrelevant" when they seem to spend more time commenting on the blog than actual Celtics fans. I feel bad for the people who write these blogs. Some good reporting is getting muddied by garbage.

-I've mentioned this before, but the Providence Journal's message board is dominated by a handful of URI fans who seem more interested in public financing for the Dunkin' Donuts Center than they are in what the Rhody basketball team is doing. I'm not sure why they begrudge the Providence Bruins a chance to play in improved facilities just so they can screw over PC basketball. Seems kind of petty to me.

-This one really gets me: Start with a ridiculously prejudiced conceit (the Steelers are a dirty team). Add in a fan base that has never been able to cope with the idea of losing to the Patriots in not one, but two AFC title games. Then add a dash of ESPN fueled conspiracy theories that are exceeded in lameness only by the idea of Elvis still being alive. You would come up with this.
Hoo boy. The obsession here is multifaceted and quite insane. On both sides. I don't have a problem with Mr. Molori's writing (he's been giving props to the Emmy Award winning John Carchedi for years). But writing about how dirty the Steelers are? Maybe he thought his blog needed some web traffic. And it worked too well.
Steelers fans come across just as poorly as Mr. Molori. Actually, they come off worse because they just make the same moronic points over and over again. Sad. Very sad all the way around.

So I guess the lesson here is to be really really careful at how seriously you take these rivalries. Because if you go too far, you'll end up looking quite deranged and I'll make fun of you.

Random rants:
-Hey, with a seven game winning streak - punctuated by convincing results over the Suns and Magic - I believe the Celtics are no longer in "a rut". Now if only we can convince people that Stephan Marbury would not be a good pick up, we might get through this.

-Speaking of insanity, the Red Sox literally have no better options at catcher than Jason Variteck. And Mr. Variteck has no better option that the Red Sox - despite Satan Boras' delusional attempts to portray the opposite. So why the endless trade rumors on WEEI? Well, it's either that or whine about President Obama some more.

-Speaking of insane situations, the full scale rumble last Friday at Lawler (that just feels wrong. It will always be the Volpe Complex to me) that saw two BU players get injured, a parade of Merrimack players going to the penalty box, and Jackie Parker's angry post game diatribe about the refs not protecting his players has led to yet another half assed attempt to get Merrimack kicked out of the league. When are Hockey East fans going to give this up? The league isn't kicking anyone out. What might happen is that Merrimack might get sick and tired of finishing in the basement every year and drop hockey. And I'm sorry, that doesn't help anyone. Someone has to finish in last place. Umm, I hope not PC.

-Aside from Merrimack, is there any more depressing group of fans than Mainers? Even PC fans were convinced they could win ONE game. Despite a record that's much better than PC's, the Black Bears are "cursed" and need to get rid of Tim Whitehead post haste. Maine has been crappy for about a year and a half. PC has been stumbling in the dark wood for about 7 years. Yet we're the optimists. Go figure.

-Two shootouts for the Bruins this week are two too many.

-Hi Mark!

Monday, January 19, 2009

A tale of two sports teams

This week once again proves the difference between PC ice hockey and PC basketball.

PC hockey, all but given up for dead, picks up a goaltender (I'm still not sure how the NCAA allowed this to happen, but whatever), and proceeds to go on a 3-0-1 streak, getting improbable wins at BU and UMASS and grabbing a tie at the Graveyard of the Skating Goons, Alfond Arena - all of this despite taking a crazy amount of penalties, and being soundly outplayed in most of these games.

PC basketball, with a good record and an undefeated record in the Big East, travels to Georgetown (one of the three or four places in this conference where this team never gets a win) and gets physically man handled by the Hoyas, losing by seven even after a late run cuts the lead to one. They then proceed to go home and play another ranked team - Marquette - where they play the game of their lives for 30 minutes. And then revert to the awful form that lost them the Georgetown game. They lose again.

This is the difference between PC ice hockey and PC basketball. PC ice hockey overachieves. PC basketball under achieves.

Then the calender turns to March and they both lose.

I love these teams, but God (Shammgod?) help me...

Friday, January 16, 2009

Rant of the Week: Obfuscation and you

Obfustate: verb 1. To make so confused or opaque as to be difficult to perceive or understand:

One thing I noticed about the Friars are their near miraculous three game winning is that each team that lost to PC managed to give the Friars credit for their play without failing to criticize their own team. To me, this seemed like a fair and honest assessment - there's two reasons your team loses a game. The first is that they were outplayed. And the second is that your team failed to do what they were supposed to. To me, this is how most conversations about sporting events should be.

Sadly, this is not the case. It seems that in the vast majority of cases, a fan of a losing team will find some reason(usually idiotic) to not feel bad about losing the game. The most common excuse for losing is that the officials were "out to get you". I've made this excuse myself about 1,000 times. I'm only human. And sometimes, bad officiating seems to get out of hand. But looking at the situation rationally, I don't think the officials are out to get any team I root for. They're human, and they certainly do make mistakes. But unless David Stern really REALLY wants your team to lose (at least 30 sets of NBA fans should agree with me here) that's not a valid excuse. If the officials are bad, it usually affects both teams equally.

But the obfuscation people use to make themselves feel better that really gets me is the issue of "class". It's a fairly transparent ruse, but some people, in order to make themselves feel better for rooting for a team that lost will attack the players and other fans for being "classless". How pathetic can you get?

The purpose of sports is to win within the confines of the rules of the game. It is not to impress other people with your class. That has nothing to do with sports. While it would be nice if everyone could comport themselves like a reasonable human being, there are idiots out there who don't. And while these people should be criticized, it does not - I repeat - it DOES NOT suddenly mean that you're the better team because your team has more class. It just means that you're a classy loser. Hey, there's nothing wrong with losing a game. It's just a game, after all. And most of us will see more losses that wins. That's life.

I realize I have blogged about this a few times before. The overblown Spygate nonsense was obfuscation to make people feel better about losing to the Patriots. The Knicks tried to obfuscate losing to the Celtics by kvetching about "trash talk". And the Canadiens insane preoccupation with beating up Milan Luccic was a handy distraction, but was really much ado about nothing. But I just thought I should re-iterate that when you lose and you start complaining about class and so and so being a "dirty" player it's pretty obvious that you're trying to take the focus off of losing.

Ultimately, if your team loses, they lose. Obfuscating the issue by bringing class into it does nothing but make you look sad. Don't do it. Give credit to the teams who beat you and ignore the fools who attempt to change the subject when you beat them.

Random Rant:
-Only one this week. Hi Mark! Keep those comments coming!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Another modest proposal for WEEI: There's no whining in sports

Every once in a while, I offer my advice (and the implied threat of feline vandalism) to WEEI in hopes that they will take my advice and remain the Number One Sports Station in America. Or at least remain in the top five in one demographic. This time, I feel that a tiny bit of pruning of a short 10 minutes of WEEI's broadcasting would do a world of good. To whit:

I frequently question the thought processes of New England sports fans - both on this blog that no one except Mark reads and in real life - but never more so than the adoration that people have for the Big Show's Whiner Line. For those of you lucky enough to have never heard the Whiner Line, you've probably heard something like it. Basically, the Whiner Line is a "random" catalog of saved voice mails that are supposed to be funny or entertaining. Yes, the same format that exists in every single radio market in North America exists in Boston* (seven times over). And as in the case with the other Whiner Lines, it's not quite as funny as people think. It needs improvement, and I'm here to help.

Why am I so anti Whiner Line? Because all the "whines" fall into five basic categories:

1. Making fun of the hosts. Usually over something said earlier in the show when most of us poor fools are working at our "jobs". If I ever find myself listening to the Big Show at 2 PM for more than 2 days at a time, shoot me. This is supposed to be really funny "meta" humor. Like the "Simpsons", I guess. Except for the fact that Steve Burton laughing like an castrated hyena at 3PM wasn't funny the first time.

2. Off topic political commentary. As if the the morning show wasn't enough, now we have to hear the listeners go off in the same NON-SPORTS tangents. What, can you not get WRKO or WTTK where you live? And if you can't please let me know where you live so I can move there. Commercial talk radio blows. This is why people are driven to NPR.

3. Unfunny song parodies. I'm sure comparing Fred Smerlas to Domenic the Donkey was funny the first time... oh wait. It was never funny.

4. The same five or six idiots giving us their stupid catchphrases. Especially the "Fat Bastard" guy and the Man on the Way Up. If you've heard the Whiner Line, I don't need to say anything else.

5. Actually funny comments that have something to do with sports. Usually happens about twice a show.

As you can see, there a bit of pruning to be done here so we may have the best Whiner Line possible.

My first advice would be to get rid of celebrity callers. For example, Frank from Gloucester calling up and leaving a message about how awesome Glen Ordway is and how he's friends with people who run the Celtics? No one cares. I also don't care that Glen is a "Fat bastard". The schtick is old. And if you really hate the Man on the Way Up so much, stop putting him on the air. It's a simple concept, but it goes a long way. Since most of the "celebrities" are the ones doing awful song parodies, referencing things I didn't hear because I was working, making fun of hosts and whining about liberals, this will speed things up dramatically. These twits shouldn't be on the air period. If they think like the hosts, they should get their own shows. Again, I'm glad to help.

Secondly, ban "Fred the Christmas Donkey" immediately. In fact, ban all music. None of these people will ever be confused with Weird Al. And it will prevent Fred from snapping and killing us all with his bare hands.

Third, set a time limit on these whines. The joke shouldn't require more than 20 seconds of set up time.

Fourth, plenty of amusing things happen in sports. Every day! It shouldn't be necessary to hear a plummer from Everett opine on Pete Sheppard's weight, the weather or whether or not Barack Obama is a communist. What team do they play for? If I wanted that, I'd listen to the morning show. I don't.

Fifth, the Whiney Awards? Stop them. Calling in to a radio show should never net you an award. For any reason.

Hopefully, WEEI will take my advice and the Big Show will continue to be the best program on the station. Okay, maybe the second best, but that's only when Mike Adams isn't fixated on players from the LA Freakin' Dodgers.

*Just to add another layer of awfulness to the proceedings, the Big Show apparently ripped this idea off from Charlie's old pal Howie the Hostage and his Chump Line. Howie ripped the idea off from about 3,000 other people. Of course, the Big Show and the Hostage can't stand each other. This largely because Howie hates all things sports. It also might have something to do with the Hostage absconding with the Big Show's food (this proves two things: a. Howie is a jackanape of epic proportions and b. never steal food from fat guys). Why the Big show needs more food is another problem. If you donated all the food the Big O and company eat to the Sudan, there would be no hunger.

BTW: Sorry, this will be the last time my blog entry has a footnote.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

What is going on?

I'm not sure even I believe what is currently going on in Providence: the Friars are suddenly in the midst of a 3 game winning streak. With road games at UMASS and Maine in the horizon, that streak might not last the weekend, but it's a welcome change from the awfulness of the first half of the season. It's difficult to pin point why this is happening: the Friar's offense was awful in the first half of the season, but they've scored 4 goals against Brown, UML and BU. I bring this up because the obvious answer to why the Friars are suddenly hot is the arrival of new goalie Alex Beaudry. While Mr. Beaudry's play in net has been a welcome upgrade, it doesn't explain why the offense can suddenly score goals. Even the power play has shown a marked improvement.

So how does a team go from being god awful to the point where they can beat the number two team in the country on the road? I wish I knew. The last two games have a been a wonderful surprise, but I'm almost too shocked to be optimistic! Suddenly, PC has a decent chance of playing their way out of the Hockey East basement. They might even sneak into 8th place.

(of course, they probably won't. Pessimism dies hard.)

Friday, January 9, 2009

Rant of Week: Hi Mark, and other missives.

For the first PC hockey "weekend" of the new year - should a Tuesday game count as a "weekend" - I'm dusting off the free form rant from earlier in the year.

-First off, Hi Mark. Yes, we will come and visit soon. I was thinking of this weekend, but yet again there's a "the World is coming to an end! Load up on milk and bread and lobsters!!!" type snow storm coming on Saturday night. In truth, it will probably be about 1-2 inches, but the roads will still be awful. Go figure.

-I understand that Tim Army can't come right out and say "Oh my God, we're screwed, we're screwed!" but if there's a reason for optimism about PC's season right now, I'm missing it. One point in Hockey East. One.

-I'll stay in Rhode Island for the next comment. Congrats to Keano Davis and company for somehow getting the PC team I saw flounder against BC to 3-0 in the Big East. I don't care what kind of teams they had to beat to get there and how big of a challenge the game at Georgetown is going to be. That's an accomplishment. Keep up the good work.

-And on opposite side of the spectrum, we have the Celtics. Talk about a perfect cocktail of awfulness: unforgiving schedule, awful bench play, an offense that disappears in the last quarter, teams "figuring out" my man Rondo, a defense that has played poorly at times, and - as always - the awful officiating that NBA is famous for. And now, we have Cleveland on the horizon. The way this travesty of a month is going, look for LeBron to score 137 tonight.

-It's such a cliche: "I almost drove off the road when I heard BLANK on the radio." So no, I didn't almost drive off the road when some caller to WEEI called in to say he thought Theo Epstein was doing a great job this off season. But I did laugh. Loudly. As currently, constituted, the Red Sox will be fighting the Yankees for the Wild Card spot. If everything works out, they might beat out Tampa Bay for the division lead - I'm not sold that the Rays are going to fade.

-Charlie Chaplin needs to focus his feline anger on the tools that infest the Celtics side of Is it really that boring in Los Angeles that the same two or three Lakers trolls have NOTHING better to do than post immature trash talk and whine about how the person who runs the blog keeps deleting their idiocy? My advice to them : If you don't like your posts being deleted, why don't you attempt to add to the conversation instead of posting like a 9 year old with a sugar high and no dictionary? Or get your own blog so we can make fun of you in a new and different way!

-The biggest story in Boston sports right now is the dismissal of BC's football coach for going behind AD Gene DeFillipo's back to interview for ... the Jets?!?! I've heard every conceivable angle on this story, but no one has yet brought up what an awful job that is: not only are coaching a team that plays second fiddle to the Giants, but you play in a stadium NAMED after the team you're playing second fiddle to. While there's a lot of talent on the Jets, you do have to deal with a quarter back who practically gifted the last game of the season to the opposing team. To top it all off, you have the New York media breathing down your neck and practically begging you to fail. Yep, sign me up for that job! He was better off at the Heights.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Somebody break a whole mess of computers part VI: Jason Takes Manhattan

For those of you who are coming to this blog for the first time... I apologize. Very sorry, I'll try to do better.

Seriously, for those of you who are new here, one of the running jokes in this blog is the destructive temperament of my cat, Charlie Chaplin. The only things my cat enjoys more than eating, my lap, and sleeping is destroying things. Sadly, his first victim was my computer. Since then, I've been trying to focus Charlie's destructive impulses for "good". "Good" in this case means destroying the computers of people who irritate me on the internet. (this is pretend of course. Charlie isn't allowed to leave the house, much less board a plane and start sabotaging other people's computers. I feel someone might take this is a serious threat. It's all in good fun, even if these people deserve it)

Here are Charlie's pending warrants of destruction and the status of those warrants:

-Bill O'Reilly: Reason for incurring my wrath? Writing the worst column known to man. Warrant status? Pardoned I've managed to avoid his awful writing for the better part of six months. The McCain defeat was punishment enough for him.

-Howie "The Hostage" Carr: Reason for incurring my wrath? Boring me to tears by writing about the same topic endlessly for 20 years and making me not care about government corruption at all. Bashing Patriots fans and gloating over Tom Brady's injury. Warrant status? pardoned Never followed up on his idiotic Brady bashing - probably because he was scared of Charlie. The defeat of his lady love (who can see Russia from her home!) was punishment enough.

-Gregg Easterbrook: Reason for incurring my wrath? Impersonating a Russian author. Warrant status? Oustanding I apologize to his editor for Charlie's lack of action. Imagine proofreading the Encyclopedia Britannica every week. Ouch!

-Phil Mushnick: Reason for incurring my wrath? Acting like the Bill O'Reilly of sports columnists. Mentioning pro-wrestling. Status of Warrant?Elevated Has been whinier than usual lately and has managed to stereotype all college athletes as criminals. Generalize much? Charlie needs to take out his monitor as well as his keyboard!

-Idiots on Youtube/ESPN: Reason for incurring my wrath? Being unable to spell, make a coherent thought, or function as a rational human being. Status of warrant? I'm sending Luca Brasi instead Add to the list. These people need their computers smashed. I'm scared that I share oxygen with these jackanapes.

Here's the newest warrant for Charlie to take care of:

-Dan Shaugnessy: Reason for incurring my wrath? Writing a book about the Curse of the Bambino, thus perpetuating that curse non-sense. Writes about how every team in New England is going to win a championship... then changes his mind half way through the year and writes about how the teams suck. Say "Bye bye bye!" to your computer!

My teams: A year in review.

You usually see this lazy crap masquerading as columns/blog entries in late December. But I'm SO lazy that I waited until early January. So there.

We'll start with the least successful teams and move up.

PC Hockey: What an awful awful excuse for a year. The Friars ended 2007 by defeating the national champion Spartans at the GLI which gave everyone a sense that this team might be on the verge of something great. They weren't: the team imploded down the stretch, getting swept by Merrimack(!), shut out twice by BU and bounced casually by the championship caliber Eagles in a HE Quarter final series that was over after 2 minutes in game one. The new season was just as poor. Aside from winning the Mayors Cup, the Skating Friars did nothing right and ended up winless in Hockey East, with one measly tie against UVM.
Trending: Up. It seems odd, but the Friars can't do worse. They did end 2008 with a win, even if it was against a woeful Brown team that might actually be in worse shape (!).

PC Basketball: Yet another miserable end to the season and an awful away record doomed PC in the Big East and led to Tim Welsh's ouster. Keno Davis took over and while there's been some improvement, this is beginning to look a lot like a rebuilding year.
Trending: Down. Keno's team might get better, but the Big East is too good to not punish a team in transition.

Arsenal: Not a lot happened with the Gunners this year. Thanks to the rise of Chelsea and ManU's constant ability to sign everyone on the planet (who wasn't snatched up by Real Madrid) Arsenal is stuck in or near the Big Fou without actually challenging for a league title. The only problem is, Liverpool has picked up the pace and Aston Villa is now above them. This might be the year they finish out of the Champions League.
Trending: Down. I have a bad feeling Everton is going to catch them as well. But at least Spurs might get relegated!

Georgia Tech football: A pretty successful season, forgiving the bludgeoning LSU gave the Wreck in the Chick-fil-A Bowl (wha?!?). The team was a tie breaker away from the ACC championship and they finally -FINALLY- beat Georgia.
Trending: Up. Especially if they can figure out this whole forward pass thing.

Bruins: Last season ended like every decent Bruins season in the past 6 years - a playoff loss to the Habs. In this case, the Bruins dragged the far superior Canadiens to seven games before succumbing. Little did we know that last season was a mere precursor to one in which the Bruins would end up as the hottest team in hockey!
Trending: Up. The Bruins are - by ONE point - the best team in hockey right now. Inexplicable.

Patriots: The Patriot's bid at history fell short when they lost the Super Bowl to a Giants team that basically pulled the game out of no where (when you catch a ball with your HELMET, God likes you very much). Karma did not get kinder in the first game of the 2008 season when Tom Brady was injured and Matt Cassell took over. The injuries just got worse from there. But for some reason, the Patriots just kept winning. Despite the aforementioned injuries, an awful secondary and screwing up three chances to take out very good teams, the Pats finished 11-5 and were a few Favre interceptions away from the Jets bailing them out. The Pats remain the only 11-5 team in the 12 team playoff era to miss the playoffs.
Trending: Up. The reasoning here is that even if Brady doesn't come back, the Pats have a legitimate QB to back him up. The injury problems can't possibly be as severe as last season and if the team has any intelligence at all they will FINALLY fix the secondary.

Red Sox: The Red Sox' attempts at defending their World Series title were derailed by mounting Patriot-esque injuries and the rise of the Tampa Bay Rays. Yet despite all of this, the Sox managed to drag the Rays to seven games, losing 3-1 in the deciding game. The worst part of the year was been the post season where the Yankees went on a characteristic spending orgy, signing up free agents in a (probably futile) attempt to surpass the Red Sox and Rays. The AL East has gone from two teams to three in the blink of an eye.
Trending: sideways. The Sox have done nothing in the free agent market and next year's team looks pretty much identical. Thee Yankees got a lot better, but I haven't heard a peep from the Rays.

Celtics: The Celtics cruised through the regular season. The playoffs were an intense struggle: the egregiously poor officiating the NBA is known for conspired with the C's looking completely lost on the road to create two grueling seven game series against the Hawks and Cavaliers. Then the Celtics got stronger and took out the Pistons and Lakers to raise the 17th banner. And the current season was more of same. The only problem is the recent west coast road swing where the Celtics lost 3 close games. It seems that the bench is even more of a problem than last year.
Trending: Down. Unless they can add someone to the bench. In their defense, after the phenomenal stretch they were on from last year up until Christmas Day, there's no where else to go.

Celtic FC: How can you do better than three league titles in a row? How about four? As of today, the Hoops are 7 points up on Satan and in good shape for the rest of the year - mostly because they can focus on the league due to their ABYSMAL stay in the Champions League.
Trending: sideways. Winning the SPL is great, being in position to do it 4 years in a row is better, but what the hell happens to this team on the road in Europe?

Hi Mark!
Happy Birthday, Favorite Person!!!