Quick Thoughts on Celtics Victory

Garnett Helped the Celtics to a win on Friday, yet can he keep this up?

It wasn’t pretty or something to write home about, but seeing the Celtics wins last night … made me quite happy!

The return of Kevin Garnett was the main reason behind the victory over Portland. Just watching the way the Green and White ran the floor, defend the motion movements, as well as intensified their defense in overtime, is what needs to occur every single night for the rest of the regular season.

Yes, the old folks, Garnett, Pierce, Allen and Wallace are tested, tired and maybe even exhausted, but with just a few weeks away from a much needed rest, All-Star Weekend, the Celtics need to find the mental toughness to finish off the first half of the season on a positive note.

Prediction as of now …  I see the Celtics finishing second or third in the Eastern Conference. Cleveland will snag the number one spot, which will be followed by a three-way fight for second place between Atlanta, Boston and Orlando.

A Terrible Weekend of NFL Football

Two more Sunday’s remain on tap for sitting back, relaxing and watching pigskin, but if you include the Pro Bowl in Miami, a week before Super Bowl XLIV, then there are three more weeks of the 2009 NFL season.

This past weekend, pretty much could be summed up as awful, pathetic, terrible and disgraceful. Three games did not live up to the hype, especially the Dallas Cowboys-Minnesota Vikings contest, but the New York Jets-San Diego Chargers game seemed somewhat out of place compared to the other three smack-downs.

Rex Ryan's talk has been a major reason for the Jets success this Post Season

New York Jets Head Coach Rex Ryan has already told an assortment of media outlets that he is excited, not about his parade route that has been drafted, but getting the chance to meet Mr. Barack Obama.

Down in the Bayou, New Orleans to be specific, the Saints steamrolled over the Arizona Cardinals, 45-14 and now many are wondering if that was the final bow for Kurt Warner. The Cardinals clearly were gassed from their high-flying circus act, which resulted in an overtime win, 51-45 over Green Bay during the wild-card round. They had no energy, swagger or anything in the tank … simply they looked dreadful!

Reggie Bush clearly looked super, Drew Brees and the offense picked up where they started in week 1, when they trounced the Detroit Lions, and even Greg Williams defense looked mentally prepared for a change.

As for the Ravens and Cowboys, they simply just didn’t rollover their wild-card performances minutes, (AT&T reference) and were like the Cardinals against the Saints … confused and clueless.

Yet, as I mentioned above, one good game, not totally great was the Jets-Chargers game. I would imagine that all the talking radio-heads in “America’s Finest City” is calling for Nate Kaeding’s walking papers. Kaeding, similar to former Dallas Cowboys kicker, Nick Folk and Houston Texans Kris Brown showed national audiences this fall that they are terrible under pressure or when the light is shinning solely on them.

Every member of the Charger’s team knew that once again they laid an egg. Did this game have any parallels to when the New England Patriots beat them in 2006?

Could the Jets become the next underdog team to spoil a favorite?

What the New York “Football” Jets have accomplished this post-season seems rather familiar to many. Remember when the New York Giants, a second place team in the NFC East in 2007 were written off by many, but won three straight playoff road games, as well as ended the New England Patriots march toward perfection in Super Bowl XLII?

New York, you may get yourself another parade, but sadly this may means the state that is hated by many Bostonians, primarily for their sports teams, could become “Title-Town USA,” especially because they already celebrated a Yankees World Series Championship this past fall.

Lets keep our fingers crossed for a more appealing, dramatic, and edge of your seat match-up this weekend for both conference championships.

Some Motivation for the AFC/NFC Championship

These are just a few links that both the Saints and Jets fans may enjoy to get ready for their big games this Sunday! Although, I do not believe the Vikings or Colts fans would approve, but that is for them to decide!

Vikings at Saints links:

Brett Favre’s retirement song, which should be on the radio all week in the Bayou!

Minnesota better prepare themselves for WHO DAT Nation!

Jets at Colts links:

Imagine … Peyton Manning a member of the Backstreet Boys or possibly that he loves this song? Could be his theme song too!

Rex Ryan may drop a few tears of joy, but you know he has confidence in every member of the Jets squad … especially Braylon Edwards!

NFL Week 17 Finale Thoughts and Ideas

16 weeks ago I was excited, but this week I am amped! The NFL regular season finale concludes Sunday January 3, 2010, so grab some popcorn and a drink because with the playoffs on the line, we are in for quite a dramatic finish.

1:00 PM Games

Jacksonville at Cleveland: The Jaguars lost their chance prior to Christmas in order to make themselves a lock for the playoffs, but after their performance last weekend against the New England Patriots, do they even stand a chance?

Playing against a Cleveland Browns team, which has had a horrific season should not mean this game should be a cakewalk, yet who knows what Cleveland Browns team will show up and play today?

Jacksonville will need to rely heavily on running back Maurice Jones-Drew, along with quarterback David Garrard.

Expect a big day, especially fantasy wise too for Browns running back Jerome Harrison. Harrison has shown signs of greatness and will be a player to watch in the coming years, but due to the fact that the Jaguars need so much to occur in order to at least snag the sixth seed in the AFC second season, I like the Cleveland Browns in this game. Cleveland 24 – Jacksonville 13

Matt Schaub has had a terrific season, but will he continue today against the Patriots?

New England at Houston: To play your starters or not to play your starters is the question on coach Bill Belichick’s mind.

All week New England fans have been harassing sports talk radio hosts about the status of Tom Brady, along with every starter. Will Randy Moss play? Will Wes Welker play? Vince Wilfork and Ty Warren ready to go too were just some of the constant jabber that occurred.

Who knows how long the Patriots starting unit will last in this contest, whether it is 20 or 60 minutes, this game means as much to them as it does to the Texans.

The Texans have been inconsistent this entire season, winning then losing and then winning again, so who knows what team, similar to the Cleveland Browns will show up on Sunday.

Expect a big game from quarterback Matt Schaub, who has had a career year. Throwing for 4,467 yards and 27 touchdown passes, 9 of them to wide-out Andre Johnson, exhibits that the Texans offense will put up some points against an up and down Patriots secondary.

Expect this game to be closer than many may think, but in the end, the Patriots will pull this one out. New England 27 – Houston 24

New York at Minnesota: This game should be an interesting one, especially how the Vikings have been humiliated the past few weekends in front of a live studio audience… excuse me, national televised audience.

Brett Favre has been sacked 9 times in the last three games, as well as only thrown 2 interceptions. The key for the Vikings is to protect their quarterback, Farve making good decisions and hoping that Adrian Peterson won’t fumble the ball or possibly the game. This young offensive unit has looked great at times throughout the fall, but maybe this is just another team that will fall down with Favre like the New York Jets did last season.

The Giants are 10-13 against the Purple People Eaters and won’t be participating in the 2009 NFL Playoffs, so consider this the Giants version of their NFC Championship or Super Bowl. New York 24 – Minnesota 20

Pittsburgh at Miami: The Steelers season has been far from perfect.

Injuries, big plays that fell apart quickly and of course, losing 5 games in a row. Today their task will be challenging, daunting even, especially because the Miami Dolphins want to make it two back-to-back seasons of playing playoff football.

The Steelers will most likely be without safety Troy Polamalu while the Dolphins most likely won’t see running back Ricky Williams, but who knows if these two stars will remain in their street clothes because this is a BIG game!

Both teams will need a win, plus lots of help later today. Expect this game to be somewhat of a high scoring affair, but in the end, I don’t see either of these teams locking up a wild-card playoff berth. Pittsburgh 27 – Miami 21

4:00 PM Games

Cowboys-Eagles always is a great match-up!

Philadelphia at Dallas: Everyone is revved up for this season finale contest, especially because of last years, 44-6 thrashing by the Philadelphia Eagles.

The Cowboys this time around seem a bit more focused and the way that Tony Romo has played this December, many may consider him the key to winning this contest. Protecting Romo will be what Dallas needs to do in order to be successful this afternoon. Also, their running game needs to be in prime form come game time too.

As for the Philadelphia Eagles, their last loss came during week 10 against the San Diego Chargers, but ever since, this team has been unstoppable. With the young wide receiving core leading the way, (Jackson and Maclin), expect quarterback Donovan McNabb to stretch the field early and often.

Don’t expect a blow out this afternoon, but a similar match-up that took place in November in week 9.

Both teams know a division championship and possibly a week of rest is on the line, so overall, it should be a great game. Dallas 27 – Philadelphia 24

Kansas City at Denver: Denver started 6-0 this season, but ever since have never been the same. A sure lock for at least the sixth seed in the AFC playoffs although those dreams have drifted away rapidly in the snowy wintery wind.

Don’t expect Denver to be flawless today, especially since their squad has been high school drama central this entire week.

Kansas City has surprised some teams this season and this week, they will do it again. Kansas City 20 – Denver 14

Baltimore at Oakland: This game seems similar to the Browns-Jaguars contest, but I think the Ravens will pull this one out, as long as they remain focus.

The Ravens are 5-1 against the Silver and Black, but don’t underestimate Coach Tom Cable’s squad that is playing for jobs next season.

Expect great leadership to come from Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis who will want to take his team back to the playoffs again. Baltimore 19 – Oakland 13

Green Bay at Arizona: A possible early playoff preview, but who really knows?

The Green Bay Packers are clearly one of the best wildcard teams this season and will give many higher seeds a run for their money in the wildcard and divisional rounds.

Quarterback Aaron Rodgers, pro-bowl bound has had a terrific season, which makes me think he will have another great game today against a decent Arizona Cardinals defense.

The Arizona Cardinals are in, but will they end 2009 the same way they did in 2008 with a win against the Seahawks? Green Bay 31 – Arizona 21

Coach Rex Ryan wants to take his Jets to the Playoffs!

Sunday Night Football

Cincinnati at New York: Hopefully after six hours of football, you will still have some energy left to watch another important contest that will solidify the AFC playoff picture.

Who would have imagined that the New York Jets would be playing for a final playoff spot? I certainly did not, but from what it seems is that this game is theirs, especially because Bengals Coach Marvin Lewis will rest most of his starters mid-way through this contest. Possibly we could be watching Colts-Jets part deuce! New York 23 – Cincinnati 17

Classic Finish at Fenway Park

The Boston Bruins kicked off 2010 with a classic finish

It hasn’t even been 24-hours, but all over Boston and even throughout the six New England states, fans are celebrating the first win of 2010 for a Boston sports team.

After watching the Bruins skate to a 2-1 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers in overtime, it just seems as if something magical occurred following the victory, but what exactly was it? Boston didn’t win the NHL Stanley Cup and no parades are scheduled this week, so why is everyone incredibly ecstatic?

The reason is because yesterday’s contest, the third annual NHL Winter Classic, which was held at historic Fenway Park, will be remembered as a true Fenway classic.

Everyone knows Fenway Park is the most beloved American ballpark because of the drama, late inning heroics and of course, everyone usually goes home happy, but that doesn’t always occur.

Fenway Park, which opened its doors in April of 1912, has been the home to many classic games such as American League Championships, World Series, All-Star Games, No Hitters, along with tons of homeruns too. Although yesterday, Fenway became the home to the Boston Bruins, an outdoor facility for one day and one day only, but when the sun set on the first day of 2010, history had been made once again at the Red Sox residence.

Trailing 1-0 with 5-minutes remaining in the third period, the Fenway Faithful rose to the occasion, following the singing of their 8th inning rally song, “Sweet Caroline” by cheering, screaming, shouting and possibly praying for the Black and Gold to tie the game.

It just seemed that after all the hype and excitement, the Bruins were going to end this game with a loss, but the Fenway Faithful stood strong, wishing and demanding a goal, which came true when Mark Recchi pushed the puck between the pipes to make it 1-1 with barely two minutes remaining in the third period.

Moments after the horn blared throughout the stadium, Fenway Park erupted. Bedlam had occurred, everyone was cheering as loud as possible and the entire city of Boston, along with its many suburbs were going haywire.

This particular goal was Jonathan Papelbon shutting down the opposition in the 8th inning, an alley hoop pass from Rajon Rondo to Kevin Garnett or even a game tying touchdown pass from Tom Brady to Randy Moss.

Minutes later, the Bruins scored again in overtime, as Marco Sturm assisted Partice Bergeron’s shot to go pass the Flyers goaltender, Michael Leighton and give Boston the much-needed victory.

Ortiz and Drew have provided classic moments at Fenway Park

Watching the celebration made every fan smile, cheer and possibly cry. It was a moment that reminded us all of how Fenway Park is the best place to watch dramatic and classic finishes. In 2004, David Ortiz lifted the Fenway faithful in game 4 of the ALCS against the rival New York Yankees and in 2007, J.D. Drew hit a grand slam during game 6 of ALCS en route to a World Series championship.

Fenway Park has seen great moments over the last century, but this win will certainly have to be one of the proudest moments this ballpark has witnessed throughout its 97-year old history. It truly was a classic Fenway finish.