Friday, January 23, 2004

This Silver Paint Itches

  • If the point of your website is to write things that people can't find in the "standard" media, and said media is having a hard time coming up with articles, that doesn't bode well for your site. That being said, once baseball season gets rolling, watch out. Watch out, I say.

  • When Eugene let up that big play to start the game against the Colts, you got a little worried, didn't you? Did a pretty good "Tebuckey Jones, End of 2001" impression with his last couple of hits though.

  • Everyone likes to compare the Panthers to the 2001 Patriots. There certainly are similarities, but Carolina is a run-first offense that relies on great d-lineman, while New England moved primarily through the air and depended more on coaching and special teams for their success. If I had to pick a recent similarity for Carolina, I would go with the Denver team NE faced on Monday Night. Big time runners (Portis and Davis) whose main goal is to make 3rd down manageable for their mediocre QB's (Kannell and Delhomme). Big points, when they come, are nice, but great defense holds these teams together. The major difference? Denver has a top-notch secondary. While not terrible, Carolina can be thrown on. Charlie Weis should Weis it up next Sunday.

  • You know that bald guy who paints his head silver for every Pats home game? How bad a rash does that stuff leave? And how long does it take to clear up? Does he look at the schedule and beg for home/away/home/away just so he can get the burning under control? His poor wife.

  • What exactly is the logic behind spreading 5 wide when you're on the goal line? The Patriots tried this little gem in the fourth quarter last week, and guess what? Pickscky Miglicksky. The point of using extra receivers is to stretch the defense, create mismatches, and challenge them to cover a lot of ground with a few men. But when you're ON THE THREE there isn't a whole of ground to cover. The D can go into man-to-man and play tight, because a receiver can't get by you deep. Safeties can go into full coverage without risk. I know it was fun last night on Madden, Charlie, but that doesn't mean we put it into the game plan.

  • If Lord of the Rings 3 isn't a member in the "Brian Daubach Inexplicably-Free-Ride-Even-Though-You-Stink" club, it ought to be. The movie is two hundred and twenty minutes long. 2 - 2 - 0. You have to plan when you're going to urinate. And a solid sixty of those minutes could have gone in the trash can and nobody would have cared. First 20 minutes - crap. Last forty minutes - weird, vaguely homoerotic short people crap. And where have I seen those battles scenes before? Oh, that's right, in the last friggin' movie. The first two were great, but that doesn't mean we have to blindly accept the third as the crowning jewel. Pee-yoo. The Ninth holds its nose.

  • It is now en vogue to suggest that Keith Foulke is the most valuable addition to the Red Sox this offseason. Catchy, but wrong. Curt Schilling, when right, is perhaps the most valuable overall pitcher in the game. He shuts teams down, and he does it for a long time. Yes, closers pitch important innings, but they don't pitch that many of them. Even the best stoppers amass only about 5 tough saves (entering with the tying run on base) a year. It simply is not that hard to get out of an inning without giving up three runs (sad but true, Wayne Gomes). Foulke will be helpful, but Schilling will be a godsend. Oh, and while we're talking about relievers -- dollars to donuts that we see the Bill James Closer again in 2004. More on that later.

  • I don't think you can beat the Patriots by playing your game. Whatever you do most frequently, or best, on offense, they will have thoroughly prepared for. There is nothing you are so good at that they can't stop. The strength of New England is their game plan, and if you play right into, you're screwed. The answer then, is to attack the way Tennessee did, go after whatever limits their scheme, and hit it early and often. The Titans spread the field out, used multiple receivers, and made New England simplify their plan. If you force Harrison, Wilson, and a few linebackers into coverage, the defense has less options. They've got to stay in a nickel, and they can't blitz as many people from as many odd locations. Well, actually they can (they did against Indy), but if they're not prepared to do it from the get-go, it will take a while to adjust. If Carolina presents something New England does not expect, even if they aren't especially good at it, they have a chance at some early points. Just like Tennessee did. But you have to hit the open man. If the Panthers insist on run, run, dunk - they'll lose. Belichick will be all over that.

  • Don't worry sports fans, Eddie Andelmann has been locked up by WWZN for three more years. Never again will we have to listen actual sports talk on sports talk radio.

  • More next week, including Super Bowl pick (like that's tough to guess) and a report from the MVP awards in NYC. That's right, the Ninth will be in attendance.