With very little time remaining before Christmas tomorrow, I thought I would share with you a few thoughts and some inside knowledge that I acquired from Santa Clause regarding who has been naughty or nice this past year in the Hub. Boston witnessed some great games, became amused by various front-page headlines, as well as watched our idols performances fluctuate, but fortunately, I have already done my shopping for the following people, so take a look at my naughty and nice list for Christmas 2009!
Tom Brady: For the most part, myself and other avid Patriots fans would express Tom Brady has been good this year. He returned to the gridiron following the doctor’s orders, has led the Patriots to a current 9-5 record and welcomed his second son, Benjamin Brady to the world not to long ago. Besides receiving negative feelings at times this fall from the media, Tom Brady has been nice this year.
Theo Epstein: I have gone back and forth deciding if Theo has been good or bad. For the most part, how can one argue and say that Theo has been bad? Ever since he became the General Manager of the Sox back in 2002, he has always put forth his best efforts in putting together a championship caliber squad on paper.
In 2009, the Sox were up and down, up and down, and up and down, but after being eliminated in the first round of the American League Divisional Series to Los Angles, Theo’s moves have been like the past season, up and down. The signing of John Lackey for $85 million was a true stunner, but unless Theo can resign outfielder Jason Bay or find another powerful infielder or outfielder that has great plate presence, I would say he is borderline nice this year.
Bill Belichick: Some analysts and sports writers believe this has been Coach Belichick’s best season with the New England Patriots, but I strongly disagree. 2008 in my mind was Coach Belichick’s best season, especially with all the injuries and losing the best quarterback in the game currently, Tom Brady. What Belichick has had to deal with this fall included loads of media scrutiny since the pre-season, answering to allegations of signing Michael Vick, 4th and 2 in Indianapolis, a trouncing defeat in the Bayou, as well as an inexperienced defense that seems to change every week. In my mind Belichick for the most part is somewhat of a good man this year, which is why he is on my nice list.
Peter Chiarelli: Boston Bruins hockey is slowly coming back and revamping itself in the Hub, which is all owed to general manager, Peter Chiarelli. This past April and May, I watched more Bruins hockey than probably ESPN’s PTI (Pardon The Interruption) or various FOX dramas. The NHL playoffs were so exciting, especially because the Bruins were the number one seed in the East, as well as just a point behind the best squad, the San Jose Sharks in the West.
After sweeping rival Montreal in round one, Boston and its fans believed they were a sure lock for a run at their sixth Stanley Cup, but sadly the B’s fell apart against the Carolina Hurricanes and forward Scott Walker joined the hated “Massachusetts Athletic Club,” which includes Bucky “Bleeping” Dent and Aaron Boone.
Bringing hockey back is a great thing for this once hockey town, but until you lead your team to victory, as well as beat the Carolina Hurricanes too in the second season, I am saying Peter, you have been somewhat nice this year.
Jonathan Papelbon: I don’t have too much to say about Mr. Papelbon. Clearly, I blame him, not certain members of the Red Sox organization or front office, but simply Papelbon for losing the 2009 American League Divisional Series and ending the Sox chances of acquiring another World Series banner. With a chance to secure at least one win in the series at Fenway Park of all places, Papelbon blew it and allowed the go-ahead runs to help the Angels sweep away the Sox. Papelbon is on my naughty list this year.
David Ortiz: Similar to Jonathan Papelbon, I too agree that Ortiz was naughty this entire 2009. First for slumping and then for admitting use to steroids, which did come as a shocker. Lets just keep our fingers crossed and hope that the Ortiz of 2006 could possibly emerge next spring.
Randy Moss:You want me to say he has been not nice this year, but I say no, he has been a good guy.
Moss has received tremendous amounts of taunting, negativity, as well as blame from the media or other players in the league. Moss may not be producing the numbers that we saw throughout the historic 2007 regular season, which included 23 touchdown receptions, 98 catches and 1,493 yards receiving yards, but clearly what he has done is allowed Tom Brady to find other open receivers.
Brady has been my starting quarterback in fantasy football this season and as much as I would love to see some deep “Hail Mary” passes to Moss, which I attempt all the time in Madden’s video game, I have come to realize that this man is a competitor, has adapted to the Patriots hard working/blue collar ways and will do whatever he can to help his team win. Randy, you have been nice this year, happy holidays!
Adalius Thomas: Mr. Thomas clearly is not on my nice list because he certainly has been naughty every day this fall. First it was the Houston Oilers, excuse me, Tennessee Titans game where he was a last minute scratch. Then after Thanksgiving, he insulted one of my favorite cartoons when he acknowledged that even George Jetson would probably have difficulty making an 8AM meeting on a snowy Wednesday in Foxboro, Massachusetts.
Thomas has received a lot of heated comments from everyone in New England about his words toward being late, but also illustrated to his young fans that one should not be afraid to call out your boss through the newspapers. Adalius is on my naughty list!
Well there you have it, my complete naught and nice list for Christmas 2009, Happy Holiday’s everyone!