Boston sports fans have been called a lot of things over the years. A few of them are positive. If nothing else, Boston fans have a reputation for being loyal to their teams. However, more often than, not the words people use to describe them might include idiots, loud-mouths, jackasses, obnoxious, and ruthless among plenty of others. As someone who has been a fan of the Red Sox, Patriots, Bruins, and Celtics for about 18 years, I can remember very few times the word “classy” was thrown around in conjunction with a group of Boston fans. That’s why Peyton Manning’s comments from Foxboro on Sunday were so surprising.
“I signed a tons of autographs for Patriots fans before the game and they couldn’t had been nicer,” Manning said according to the Boston Herald. “They were all wishing me a healthy recovery and missed seeing me out there and I really do appreciate that. I’ve been getting a lot of support from my Colts fans and people across the country. But when it comes from fans of probably your biggest rival, and I’m sure some of them have probably said stuff that wasn’t so nice over the years, I thought it was pretty classy.”
Maybe something was in the air. Perhaps it was the fact that Patriots fans knew they were on their way to an easy victory, so they didn’t feel the need to kick a person while he’s down. It must have been a a casual, no shooting ourselves in the leg type of tailgate party at Gillette Stadium before the game.
All joking aside, New England fans will take the easy victory but they would rather see Manning out there. It’s fun to pretend we despise Manning and talk about how much better Tom Brady is than him, but Colts-Patriots is nothing without Manning on the field. Nobody wants to see an injury that keeps a star player out this long — even an opponent.
Man, I hate when nights get out of hand. One minute you’re at the bar watching some football with your buddies — probably tracking the last week of your fantasy football regular season before the playoffs — and the next thing you know you see the blue lights come up behind you and you’re missing a tire. That’s the worst. Just ask ESPN analyst Matthew Barnaby.
According to WGRZ in New York, Barnaby was arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated early Monday morning. Here are the details.
Erie County Sheriff’s deputies responded to a call of an SUV driving erratically without a front tire.
Deputies say Barnaby, 38, was behind the wheel of his Porsche Cayenne and driving on a rim, which caused sparks. There was also significant front end damage.
The Sheriff’s Department says Barnaby failed several standard field sobriety tests and refused a breath test. He was arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated. His license was revoked because of the refusal.
You may remember Barnaby from the time he faced five criminal charges in a domestic violence case back in May, or you could be familiar with the stories that he was dating ESPN’s Michelle Beadle. Fortunately, we hear that Beadle and Barnaby are no longer together. Could it be time for ESPN to cut the cord on this one? We’ll know in time.
UPDATE: Barnaby is no longer with ESPN.
H/T to Deadspin for passing on the latest installment from the exciting life of Barnaby.
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- Darwin Nominees
Apparently there’s a new craze sweeping the professional golf world for spectators. Frankly, I’m a little upset I didn’t know about this when I attended the Deutsche Bank Championship back in September. Would I have loved to scream, “Mashed potatoes!” every time my favorite golfer hit a good tee shot? Who wouldn’t? However, I’m not sure I would have been able to pull it off with as much passion and enthusiasm as the guy did on Sunday when Tiger Woods hit his tee shot at the 18th hole during Chevron World Golf Challenge. As you’ve probably heard, Tiger won the tournament and ended a two-year victory drought. The question is did the “mashed potatoes” chant help get him there. Check out this video that Mentality Magazine shared with us:
It certainly didn’t hurt, right? For some reason the topic of food always seems to make its way into discussions when dealing with Tiger and golf, but I’m sure Woods welcomes the mashed potato talk over having a hot dog thrown at him. Watch out golf world: Tiger could be back.
Golf clap to Off the Bench for passing the hilarious video along.
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As if a rematch between LSU and Alabama for the BCS National Championship game needed any added buzz surrounding it. As you know, the SEC rematch was made official on Sunday night, much to the dismay of many fans who don’t believe in allowing a rematch regardless of the circumstances. Just a few hours after the game was announced, a computer coder made a small mistake on LSU’s website. What was originally thought to be the job of a hacker is now believed to be merely human error, but LSU’s online store was briefly transformed into Roll Tide city last night. Check out this picture that Darren Rovell shared with us:
Let the games begin. Though many will argue that Alabama already had their shot at the Tigers, I think the BCS committee got this one right. We showed you some interesting notes on the voters earlier, and while it was a tough call after Oklahoma State demolished Oklahoma, there was nothing that could stand in the way of the rematch. Until Saturday night, even Mike Gundy thought the Crimson Tide deserved another shot. Out of every one-loss team, it’s tough to argue that the one-loss team who lost to the No. 1 team in the country by three points isn’t deserving of the No. 2 spot.
The NFL has become a passing league. As fans, we are well aware of that. Records are going to be broken quite frequently with the emphasis on throwing the ball. That being said, just because teams like to throw it doesn’t mean anyone should be able to do it as well as Aaron Rodgers. When we watched Tom Brady dismantle the NFL back in 2007, it seemed as though no player would ever come close to duplicating his 50-touchdown, 8-interception performance. Enter Rodgers, who is on pace to come awfully close to matching Brady’s touchdown mark while breaking a few records of his own.
Give the Cardinals credit for clawing their way back against the Cowboys on Sunday and coming away with a tough overtime victory, but an argument can certainly be made that Dallas gave the game away. If you are looking for a scapegoat, look no further than head coach Jason Garrett for icing his own kicker and costing the Cowboys the game-winning field goal. Jerry Jones, on the other hand, pinned much of the blame on special teamer Orlando Scandrick and the Dallas coaching staff for dumb penalties at critical moments.
“You can’t touch people in the back,” Jones said according to MySanAntonio.com. “That’s got to be coached. You cannot touch people in the back on kicking. And I’m not being critical of anybody. I’m just … the call was a good call. He hit him in the back.”
That can’t happen and has to be coached, but don’t worry because Jerry isn’t being critical of anyone. Whether you agree with Jones for publicly scolding his players and coaching staff or not, he’s right. One of the block in the back penalties — which Scandrick insisted was a bad call — negated a 35-yard return by Dez Bryant that would have put Dallas at the Cardinals 25-yard line. Mistakes like that can’t happen.
Jerruh can be annoying and try to involve himself in the X’s and O’s a bit too much at times, but personally I’d rather hear him call his team out after a tough loss than call it one of the best games he’s ever seen his quarterback play.
I absolutely despise when fans do the Wave at sporting events. Doing the wave is a sign of boredom. I can understand 120,000 people doing it at a NASCAR race, because the cars are going in a circle for five hours. Sometimes you need something to help pass the time. And at a baseball game when your team is ahead or losing by 15 runs? Alright, maybe. But the Wave should never make its way inside a football stadium, especially when your team is trying to run its offense.
With the 49ers leading the Rams by a comfortable margin and on their way to clinching a division title at Candlestick Park on Sunday, San Francisco fans felt the need to celebrate with the Wave. Alex Smith was sacked on a 3rd-and-nine play while it was going on, and according to SFGate.com, offensive lineman Joe Staley left the field screaming in anger. Here’s why.
“Thanks to the fans for being so supportive and great this year so far,” Staley tweeted after the game. “Keep it up. Just don’t start the wave anymore when we are on offense”
Niners fans are obviously overjoyed with the fact that their team is somehow 10-2 and headed for a first-round playoff bye, but when the stadium scoreboard reads, “Quiet please. Offense at work” that goes for doing the Wave as well. Whether you’re up 50-0 or in a tight game, Alex Smith could use the extra reps to prepare for the postseason. He’s not quite good enough that fans need to test him with distractions.
Wofford junior Stephon Shelton made a play in his FCS playoff game against Northern Iowa Saturday that he’d like to forget. Shelton’s team had just allowed a touchdown to the Panthers and trailed 21-14 towards the beginning of the fourth quarter. When the kickoff came to him, he caught it in the end zone but forgot one critical step for a touchback: you have to take a knee!
Shelton never went down, had the ball knocked out of his hands, and Northern Iowa fell on it for a touchdown. That was the difference as Wofford lost 28-21. Here is a video of the blunder:
Thanks to the win, Northern Iowa advances to face fourth-seeded Montana on Saturday.
Chest bump to The Wiz of Odds
- Wofford Football
Many fans and critics were disappointed when it was announced that Alabama would rematch against LSU in the BCS National Championship Game. Critics believe that Bama already had their shot at LSU, and since they lost the regular season game, they don’t deserve a second chance to face them. However, 42 of the 59 coaches (71%) voting in the Coaches’ Poll disagree and voted Bama second in the country. Quite surprisingly, David Shaw and Chris Petersen were among the 42.
Shaw is the head coach of Stanford whose team is 11-1. The Cardinal started off the season 9-0 before losing to Oregon 53-30. Oregon lost its season opener to LSU 40-27, and LSU beat Bama 9-6, if you want to play the transitive game. Stanford has only beaten three ranked opponents, all of whom were ranked 20th or lower. Still, the Cardinal have arguably the best quarterback in the country, and they have some argument for playing in the National Championship Game. It’s surprising that Shaw is saying his team is not as good as Alabama, or not as qualified to face LSU. He did have his team ranked third ahead of Oklahoma State.
Petersen is the head coach of 11-1 Boise State, which has a similar argument for the title game. Boise State began the season 8-0 before losing to TCU 36-35 thanks to some more kicking problems. Their only win against a ranked opponent came in their season opener against Georgia at the Georgia Dome. They beat everyone they faced except TCU, and they’re also 11-1. Petersen ranked his team 5th, behind LSU, Bama, Oklahoma State, and Oregon.
Oklahoma State was the consensus No. 3 team in the country, though they were ranked fourth on five ballots and fifth on one. Cowboys head coach Mike Gundy changed his stance and believed his team deserved a shot in the title game. But given Gundy’s perspective last week, it’s not a huge surprise to see Shaw and Petersen also put Bama ahead of their own teams.
A few interesting notes about the voting (as published by USA Today):
With seven seconds on the clock in a tie game, Dallas kicker Dan Bailey set up for a 49-yard field goal attempt that likely would have won the game. Bailey booted the ball straight through the uprights. The only problem is that a timeout was called right before the snap, and it came from his own sideline. Jason Garrett signaled for a timeout, effectively icing his own kicker.
Of course, you might guess what happens next. Bailey’s second field goal try hooked to the left and fell short, sending the game into overtime. The Cardinals then won on a dump-off pass to LaRod Stephens-Howling who went 52 yards to the house.
In a game filled with mistakes, none will compare to Garrett’s coaching gaffe. Not only did he screw up his own kicker, but the Cowboys allowed nearly 20 seconds to run off before spiking the ball, leading to the eventual timeout. They should have run another play prior to the attempt, but they used poor clock management.
Garrett reportedly took the advice of kicking coach Chris Boniol to call the timeout. He apparently wanted to get a “clean operation” on the field goal attempt. Whatever their excuse, it was a poor decision.
Another thought is that Bailey took it easy on the second field goal attempt because he believed the Cardinals would also call a timeout to ice him. For the Cowboys, the only positive aspect of Sunday’s loss was that the Giants lost too, keeping Dallas atop the NFC East.