Happy Tuesday, and welcome into yet another tremendous edition of the Daily Noontime! Here is some news and headlines to start your day!
* The New England Patriots arrived home at Gillette Stadium on Monday to a small contingent of loyal fans, who were there to provide moral support. Head coach Bill Belichick and team owner Bob Kraft addressed the media, and told reporters that they were both proud of what the squad accomplished this season. The Patriots finished the year with an overall record of 15-4, as well as 13-3 in the regular season.
* Boston College and Boston University each won their first round Boston Beanpot tournament game on Monday, and will face-off against each other on Monday, Feb. 13, in the finals. Harvard and Northeastern will square off in the consolation contest, which is slated to occur before the title match.
* Paul Piercewas named the Eastern Conference Player of the Week on Monday for four great performances against Cleveland, Toronto, New York and Memphis.
* The Boston Celtics will continue their current home slate on Tuesday evening when they host the Charlotte Bobcats for a 7:30pm tip-off. The Bobcats enter the game with a 3-21 record, and fifth in the Southeast Division. Also, Pierce is 10 points away from passing Larry Bird for the second most points in franchise history.
Good Tuesday morning to everyone, and welcome into yet another grand edition of the Daily Noontime! Here are some headlines, news and more to jumpstart your day, enjoy!
* The Boston Celtics routed the Orlando Magic on Monday, 87-56. The Green and White have now won seven games this season, and are 5-5 at the TD Garden. Paul Pierceand Brandon Bassled the team with 19 points, whileKevin Garnetttallied 14 points and 10 rebounds. Dwight Howardled the Magic with 18 points and 14 rebounds. Boston will return to the hardwood on Thursday when they travel to Orlando for an 8:00pm tip-off.
* The Boston Bruins sported their “Sunday best” on Monday when they were welcomed to the White House to celebrate their most recent Stanley Cup Championship with President Obama. However, Tim Thomasdid not accompany his team, and noted on his Facebook page that he decided to exercise his rights as a free citizen. The Black and Gold will be on the ice Tuesday evening when they face the Capitals in Washington D.C.
* New England was named the home team for Super Bowl XLVI, and will most likely elect to wear their blue uniforms against the New York Giants.
* Patriots’ owner Bob Kraft told reporters that he hasn’t watched any highlights from Super Bowl XLII. Kraft complimented the Giants effort, as well as their management, coaches and players, too. The Giants defeated the Patriots earlier this season, but none of the New England players consider this particular matchup “revenge” from their Super Bowl loss in 2008.
According to numerous sources on Sunday — New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick presented team owner Bob Kraft with the honorary game ball in memory of his wife Myra Kraft after his team rallied to defeat the Miami Dolphins on Saturday, 27-24.
The Patriots released a photo of Belichick handing the ball to Kraft, and it can be accessed by CLICKING HERE.
While questions abound, one thing is now beyond doubt: the National Football League will return, triumphantly for the 2011 season.
On Monday, July 25, 2011, the NFL agreed to new 10-year collective bargaining agreement with no opt-out clause, (so we’re guaranteed a decade before another lockout can happen again) and in the famous words of a man who once saved from a similarly horrible fate, “tonight, I shall sleep the sleep of the saved and the thankful.”
Yet for all our jubilation at the return of our beloved pastime, there remains a lingering question.
For example, the NFL has apparently allotted $1 billion in “new funds” for retired players, with a reported $620 million to be used for a specially created “Legacy Fund” that would increase the pensions of players who retired before 1993.
No one outside of the immediately involved parties knows the details of this agreement yet. What constitutes a “retired player”? And is the newly added $1 billion taken from the players cut of the revenue?
Still, the agreement is in place, with an amazing amount of progress.
The Basics: The crux of the conflict between the owners and the players was over redrawing the revenue distribution and in the end, there wasn’t much of a change. Sure, technically the owners “won” by forcing themselves into a majority of the revenue in an agreement that had previously been closer to a 50-50 split.
But the previous agreement had allowed the owners to take one billion dollars off the top every season. Now, that money gets included in the split with the players.
To summarize, everyone will be a little richer. That might be a gross over-simplification of months of negotiating, but it’s true nonetheless.
Also, the 18-game season idea went out the window. At least until 2013, when the owners can officially try and lobby for it again, but it would require that the players agree to it, so it’s not likely.
The cap gets reinstalled at a lower rate than in 2009 (there was no cap last year). In the near term, there’s a degree of wiggle room for teams who would otherwise struggle to adjust to a newer, lower cap in other circumstances (ahem Dallas Cowboys).
A new addition is a minimum salary cap. So to the people, who run the Cincinnati Bengals, just know that you can no longer nickel and dime your franchise. 99% of the salary cap must be spent in cash over the next two years. After that it settles to a slightly lower margin, but still guarantees a raise for players with minimum deals.
Rookie Contracts: The rookie contract situation is the centerpiece of what fans would call “progress” in this deal.
Last year around this time, the football world was looking around in unmitigated horror as Sam Bradford, the 2010 NFL draft’s first overall pick who had yet to play a down, was signed to a contract with more guaranteed money than three-time Super Bowl winner Tom Brady.
That kind of insanity is usually reserved for our Federal Government (themselves in a serious negotiation).
So the NFL parties resolved this issue, drastically reducing rookie contracts. Cam Newton, instead of garnering a deal which Peyton Manning would covet, can now expect a salary on par with a mediocre starter.
To put it in perspective: instead of Sam Bradford’s six year, $78 million contract, Newton’s maximum will be roughly only $22 million over four years, with a fifth year option that could up the deal to $36 million overall.
That’s a big change, one that rookies will now feel instantly, as they sign up almost instantly for their new teams.
Training Camps: Rookies won’t be the only ones finding the rapid conditions of the new CBA difficult to take in. Established players, coaches and fans alike will now be scrambling to adjust.
Keep in mind that coaches and players haven’t been able to officially talk in months. Now, in the blink of an eye, we’re told that all 32 training camps will be going by the end of the week.
It defines the NFL’s modern concept of speed and its central role in the game.
Free Agency: Teams and free agents can now talk, and deals can be officially processed starting on Friday. Between camps starting and a shortened free agent period, this should make for some perfectly bizarre scenes where new players have mere days to acclimate before showing up in preseason games.
And speaking of preseason games, they will come back starting August 11th.
So after months of trepidation and panic for the many millions of NFL fans, we can thankfully note that only the Hall of Fame game looks set to be a casualty to the formally closed Lockout of 2011.
The NFL Lockout is almost over, yet, despite the owners vote on Thursday, it’s officially in the hands of the players. Although, do the players really want to be held accountable or responsible for delaying the start of the 2011 season?
I don’t think so.
On Friday, reports surfaced that the players will most likely not vote, yet instead, focus their attention on Myra Kraft, the wife of New England Patriots owner, Bob Kraft, who passed away this past week after losing her battle with cancer.
NFLPA president, Kevin Mawae, released a statement to the league on Friday, which read, “Player leadership is discussing the most recent written proposal with the NFL, which includes a settlement agreement deal terms and the right process for addressing recertification. There will not be any further NFLPA statements today respect for the Kraft family while they mourn the loss of Myra Kraft.”
According to multiple reports, had the players agreed on the new CBA, (Collective Bargaining Agreement), the 2011 season would have begun on Wednesday at 2:00pm eastern.
However, the players can wait until next Tuesday, July 26 to cast their vote. Yet, it seems that some believe the players still have a few issues with the new CBA, which would last approximately 10-years.
All in all, it seems like the NFL is on its way back, although, when will the new season begin, continues to be a major question mark.