New England Patriots Kick-Off 2012 On The Road

By NoontimeSports.com 

According to a recent blog post via ESPNBoston.com — the New England Patriots will kick-off their 2012 campaign on the road.

Mike Reiss mentioned in his blog post that it’s likely the Pats will face one of the following teams in week one — Baltimore, Buffalo, New York, Miami, Seattle, Tennessee or Jacksonville.

Of the seven teams listed above, which team would you want to see in the first week? Post your comments below or send us a tweet @NoontimeSports.

Red Sox Report – September 12, 2011

By Matt Noonan 

What’s going on with this team? Seriously, what’s up, Red Sox?

Over the past few weeks, Boston fans have watched their local-nine drop from first to second place, as well as lose series against the New York Yankees, Texas Rangers, Tampa Bay Rays and Toronto Blue Jays.

On Monday, general manager Theo Epstein made an appearance on WEEI’s Dennis & Callahan show and stated the following:

As much as this seems like a massive problem, this is also a tremendous opportunity. We have a tremendous opportunity to respond for the second time in one regular season to a stretch of horrendous play with great opportunity ahead beyond that. If we can right the ship, and we will, not only will we be where we want to be at the end of the regular season, but we’re going to have great momentum heading into the postseason.”

Yet, despite Epstein’s optimistic outlook, he also has a team that’s lacking toughness and stability. In the past week, they were fortunate enough to secure one win, but lost both series to the Jays and Rays. Also, according to some sources, J.D. Drew has a broken finger, which isn’t great news, right?

On another note, the Sox pitching staff is a mess. They’re ailing, as well as hoping that Josh Beckett can return before the season concludes. ESPNBoston.com reported on Sunday evening that Beckett was scheduled to throw off the Fenway Park mound on Monday and could return to the rotation as soon as Thursday (9/15).

Currently, the Sox are trailing the Yankees in the American League East division by 3½ games, and are leading the Rays in the Wild Card by 3½. The Sox final home stand begins Tuesday, as they welcome the Jays, Rays and Orioles to town before finishing off their season on the road in New York and Baltimore.

Should We Blame President Obama for Rajon Rondo’s Shooting Woes?

Did President Obama really insult Rajon Rondo's shooting ability?

By Matt Noonan 

As American citizens, it’s quite easy to point fingers at the President of the United States, especially if it’s Barack Obama, however, some sports fans might want to reconsider why we’re blaming the commander and chief, who apparently “destroyed” Rajon Rondo’s shooting ability this past spring.

It’s not totally certain that Obama is the reason for Rondo’s poor shooting statistics with the Boston Celtics in March or April, but it’s quite possible that America’s leader stated something that affected the point guard, right?

Yet, how could one’s words derail an athlete? Seriously, how?

Well, according to multiple reports on Wednesday morning, as well as a portion of Shaquille O’Neal’s memoir with ESPNBoston.com columnist Jackie MacMullan, which is scheduled to debut on November 15, the Big Shamrock regaled the tale of the Green and White’s encounter with President Obama at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts this past March.

Slam Online’s Tzvi Twersky reported the story, as well as discovered the following excerpt from the book:

In early March some of the guys went to the museum of Fine Arts for a fund-raiser and got to hang with President Barack Obama. Everyone was a little bit in awe. The President turns to Ray, points at Rondo, and says, “Hey, Ray, why don’t you teach this kid how to shoot?” Everyone starts laughing.

KG told me he saw the look on Rondo’s face and the kid was devastated, embarrassed. Dissed by the President, even though I’m sure Obama didn’t mean any harm. Rondo smiled and went along with all of it, but KG told me he could see it in his eyes. It bothered Rondo. It killed him

The next day Rondo shot the ball horribly. He stopped taking shots after that. He’s so sensitive. I think it was a real jolt to hear the outside perception of a basketball fan who happens to be the President of the United States. It messed with his mind. I’m sure of it.

So, with this being the case, one might have to wonder, should we indeed blame Obama for Rondo’s shooting woes? Again, how can one person impact a player’s shooting ability? Obama is indeed a true basketball supporter, however, it just seems rather bizarre that we’re all pointing the finger at him.

* Information for this specific post was also gathered from Kelly Dwyer‘s report on  Yahoo! Sports

NFL Player Profile: Kevin Faulk (New England Patriots)

Kevin Faulk is officially back with the New England Patriots and ready to go to work!

By Matt Noonan 

Kevin Faulk (New England Patriots/Running Back): This was a no-brainer.

Kevin Faulk knew he was going to be playing for the New England Patriots this season, but it was only a matter of time until the paperwork was officially filed. On Saturday, he inked his name to a new contract, as well as expressed his excitement for the upcoming season.

He stated the following to the media: “Before the lockout started, Bill [Belichick] called me and told me, ‘Look, Kevin, I want you on my team in 2011,’ and that was motivation enough for me to go out and rehab my butt off and get ready for the season, whenever it may be and whenever it may come. So, that was pretty much enough for me,” (courtesy of ESPNBoston.com). 

The veteran halfback has spent his entire 12-year career in Foxborough, Massachusetts, as well as was a member of all three Super Bowl teams too, (’01, ’03 and ’04). He spent a majority of last season on the sidelines after he tore his ACL during the Patriots week two contest against the New York Jets.  

Faulk’s best season with the Patriots was in ’03, as the running back tallied 638 yards on 178 carries and averaged 42.5 yards per game, but didn’t record a single rushing or receiving touchdown.

All in all, this is a great move because New England has a variety of young rookies and second-year players on their roster that’ll gel quite well under Faulk’s tutelage.

Career Numbers: 154 games/3,550 rushing yards/16 rushing touchdowns/ 3,667 receiving yards/ 15 touchdown receptions

Welcome Aboard, Albert Haynesworth!

According to sources, the New England Patriots have traded for NFL's "bad-boy," Albert Haynesworth!

By Matt Noonan 

The New England Patriots fan-base woke up Thursday morning with some rather bizarre, yet, interesting news, as sources confirmed that coach Bill Belichick and the Washington Redskins executed a deal that would send the troubling defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth to Foxborough in exchange for a fifth-round draft pick in 2013.

OK, this indeed does seem like a crazy idea, acquiring one of the NFL’s true “bad boys,” but you know Belichick, he’s always willing to do what it takes to win.

During his first official press conference of the 2011 season on Thursday prior to the teams first training camp session at Gillette Stadium, he stated the following:

“We’ll talk about it when it’s done,” Belichick said. “…We’ll talk about him when it’s finished, if it’s finished. Not there yet. … Again, we’re not going to go through the process. If it’s completed, then we’ll talk about it then,” (courtesy of ESPNBoston.com). 

Again, typical Belichick, not willing to comment on anything, except, “the players that he’s coaching.” Remember that particular line?

Haynesworth has indeed caused his fair share of trouble on and off the field. He’s been charged for road rage, as well as recently, sexual assault, yet, according to the more positive reports, he’d certainly be beneficial for Belichick’s defense. In fact, pairing him with players like Vince Wilfork, Mike Wright and Ty Warren could certainly be a nightmare for opposing quarterbacks and offensive coordinators.

We’ll have more reactions, thoughts and news about this particular trade, as well as much more later today.

Brendan Hall (ESPNBoston.com) on Noontime Sports the Podcast

Our good friend from ESPNBoston.com, Brendan Hall, joined Noontime Sports the Podcast on Tuesday February 22, 2011, to discuss the latest MIAA high school basketball and hockey news.

Follow Hall on Twitter (@ESPN_BHall) and make sure to check out ESPN Boston too!



Brendan Hall (ESPNBoston.com) on Noontime Sports the Podcast

Brendan Hall from ESPNBoston.com, joined Noontime Sports the Podcast on Tuesday at exactly “Noontime,” to talk about the current high school football season, as well as discuss different schools that have been impressive. Also, Hall had a few thoughts to mention on the New England Patriots and Boston Bruins.

Check out ESPNBoston’s High School Football coverage blog, as well as follow Hall on Twitter!