Boston Sports Pod
All things Boston Sports with Joe and Shawn. Two long-time, hard-core fans of the Boston teams talk about what is going on with the Red Sox, Patriots, Bruins, Celtics, Revolution, and (honorary Boston team) Liverpool FC.

A week after the Patriots' historic comeback against the Falcons in Super Bowl LI, Joe and Shawn talk about the emotional ups and downs of the game and the way the game affected them. They touch on the parade, on clown-in-charge Goodell, on the comparisons between this game and the Sox in 04, and on the different Super Bowl victories. 

Direct download: BostonSportsPodEp70.mp3
Category:Patriots -- posted at: 11:54am EDT
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Joe and Shawn are back after the long holiday break. They review the Pats 2016 season and then preview the Divisional Round. They close with a rant by Joe about Claude Julien and whether Bruins should trade Marchand.

Direct download: BostonSportsPodEp69.mp3
Category:Patriots -- posted at: 1:29pm EDT
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Joe and Shawn discuss the Chris Sale trade to the Red Sox and what the impact on the Sox will be. Then, they look ahead to Monday night with the Patriots and Ravens game. They close with some Bruins.

Direct download: BostonSportsPodEp68.mp3
Category:Red Sox -- posted at: 1:24pm EDT
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Joe and Shawn talk Patriots: even though the Pats continue to win, what problems are lurking and what are the long-term chances for the Patriots. 

Direct download: BostonSportsPodEp67.mp3
Category:Patriots -- posted at: 7:27pm EDT
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Joe and Shawn discuss the Patriots loss to the Seahawks. They look at the defensive problems as well as other concerns going forward this season. They close catching up on some Bruins.

Direct download: BostonSportsPodEp65.mp3
Category:Patriots -- posted at: 7:30pm EDT
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In the first half of the show Joe and Shawn talk about what it was like as Red Sox fans to watch the Chicago Cubs win, yes, win the World Series. The second half of the show, they talk about the surprise trade of Jamie Collins and what that means for the Patriots going forward.

Direct download: BostonSportsPodEp64.mp3
Category:Patriots -- posted at: 12:22am EDT
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Joe and Shawn record the podcast in the same room for the first time on Boston Sports Pod. They open with the Patriots victory over Cleveland and the return of Tom Brady. Before getting into the Red Sox Playoffs, they talk a bit about football rankings and why they have been down. At about 45:00, they get into what's ailing the Red Sox and whether Monday's game will Papi's last.  

Direct download: BostonSportsPodEp63.mp3
Category:Patriots -- posted at: 5:09pm EDT
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Joe and Shawn discuss the Patriots loss to the Bills and what that means. And of course they talk about the return of the GOAT, Tom Brady. At about the half way mark, they shift gears to talk about about the Red Sox, their chances against the Cleveland Indians, and the end of Papi's career. They close with some Bruins talk: #FireClaude!

Direct download: BostonSportsPodEp62.mp3
Category:Patriots -- posted at: 8:37pm EDT
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Red Sox Magic Number is 1: do they have a World Series run in them? (25:00) Patriots demolish Texans but still have a potentially tough Buffalo team to get through with as of yet undisclosed QB. (50:00) Bruins sign Brad Marchand to a long term deal: good or bad? 

Direct download: BostonSportsPodEp61.mp3
Category:Red Sox -- posted at: 12:53am EDT
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Joe and Shawn talk Patriots and Red Sox in this week's episode of the pod. From Garoppolo to Brissett to Joe ranting about Goodell, the first half of the pod focuses on the Patriots. After about the half way mark, the focus turns to the Red Sox and their push for the playoffs.

Direct download: BostonSportsPodEp60.mp3
Category:Patriots -- posted at: 12:05am EDT
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Joe and Shawn preview the New England Patriots 2016-17 season and make their predictions for each game and the season.

Direct download: BostonSportsPodEp58.mp3
Category:Patriots -- posted at: 12:03am EDT
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After a long summer break, Joe and Shawn are back in the Big Summer pod. To make up for lost time, this pod is extra long! The first 30 minutes or so covers the main story lines for the Red Sox: pitching and Farrell's future. The next 30 minutes focuses on the off-season moves of the Celtics and Bruins. The remainder is on the Patriots: Deflategate (ugh) and a Brady-less team to start the season.

Direct download: BostonSportsPodEp57.mp3
Category:Red Sox -- posted at: 2:28pm EDT
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Joe and Shawn can't leave the Bruins alone but then shift to the Celtics playoffs (11:00). At 25:00, they shift to how April has treated the Red Sox. Then they discuss how Deflategate is like Game of Thrones (49:00). (possible spoilers).

Direct download: BostonSportsPodEp56.mp3
Category:Red Sox -- posted at: 9:28pm EDT
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Joe and Shawn start the show with a discussion of the Boston Marathon (08:00) They then shift to the Bruins and what needs to be done and who needs to be fired. (30:00) Celtics are going to the playoffs, facing Atlanta in the first round. In the second half the show, (40:00) they get into the Red Sox and how their season has started off. (1:00:00) Closing with a look at some Patriots offseason moves and then some how end up talking about soccer.

Show Notes:

Joe and Shawn reacting to the 2013 Boston Marathon Bombing: http://www.rockfordcollegeradio.com/the-sports-ethicist-ep-6-boston-marathon-reactions/

Joe's Blog: Title Town: http://titletownboston.sportsblog.com/

Direct download: BostonSportsPodEp55.mp3
Category:Red Sox -- posted at: 12:43am EDT
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Joe and Shawn rate the Patriots off season trades (Chandler Jones, Martellus Bennett) and signings (Chris Long). At 30:00 they switch to the Sox and the disaster that is Pablo Sandoval. At 40:00 it's Bruins and Celtics Playoff scenarios. They close the show with a discussion of (55:00) the Catholic Memorial-Newton North issue. Joe announces his new blog: http://titletownboston.sportsblog.com/

Direct download: BostonSportsPodEp54.mp3
Category:Patriots -- posted at: 12:32am EDT
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Joe and Shawn discuss the Bruins' trade deadline moves (or lack thereof!) and the short term future. At 22:00 they turn to the Celtics with a more positive view. With Spring Training officially starting, they discuss the Red Sox (42:00) and what their chances are this year. Lastly, they close with some comments on Brady's contract extension (1:02:00).

Direct download: BostonSportsPodEp53.mp3
Category:Bruins -- posted at: 12:12am EDT
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     Red Sox Spring Training 2016 is reminding me of the old days when spring training was full of nutty stories about nutso players. Back in the day when Red Sox teams were characterized by the “25 players - 25 cabs mentality,” they had spring training shenanigans that you could set your watch by.

I'm talking about pre 2004, pre Terry Francona and before the current ownership group (which to its credit has created a more accountable culture in Fenway South, at least up to this year). I thought Henry, Werner et al. had established a more professional outfit down there. Gone were the days of Roger Clemens showing up whenever he pleased, and when he did, leading Butch Hobson on a jog like a leashed puppy. I thought we'd seen the last of John Valentin throwing a hissy fit and storming out of camp when Nomar took his place at shortstop. Weren't we through with Carl Everett driving himself to games rather than taking the team bus? I thought so. For a few years spring training lacked the drama and nonsense of years past. The players and coaches were there to get ready for the season; focused professionals every one of them. No drama, no selfish acting out.

Now it seems we are back to ownership catering to the stars, making excuses for them and in the process undermining the unity of the team.

This year's cirque de Sox has rotund Pablo Sandoval looking no slimmer than last year. Ownership is not criticizing Pablo Sandoval's poor commitment to fitness. They are supporting him publicly, even saying he is in better shape than last year (17% body fat ?!?) which pushes the bounds of credibility.

What is Pablo's deal? Does he not care enough about baseball to temper his desire to thrown down Tasty Burger with a side of Shake Shack for breakfast, lunch and maybe dinner? Two years in row now, his huge gut has been photographed and put on blast. Who wants that? Anybody in their right mind is going to be at least miffed by that. By some accounts, Pablo does care and is sensitive to this kind of bad PR. Some reports had him leaving San Francisco in part because of the pressure they put on him over his weight. I think it matters to him. He would have to be a cyborg for the weight stuff to not be bothering him. So why doesn't he do something about it? He is still a young man; he can take the weight off if he works at it. And it seems he does work out and put in the time in the gym. So it must be the appetite, the massive food intake. The epic trips to Five Guys - like back up the SUV to the loading dock type epic.

Hanley Ramirez, on the other hand - he don't care. He simply does not care, and he doesn't even try to hide it. I have never seen an athlete give off the “don't give a shit” vibe in more ways and more obviously than this guy. His smirk, his body language, even his comments to the media are ridiculous, “Maybe I'll win a gold glove this year . . . .“ Could he make it more obvious he thinks this all a big joke? It's like he's a deliberate caricature of the aloof, distant, talented, millionaire athlete. He would be the last guy on the team I would want to sit down and have a beer with. He defines “unlikable” for a baseball player. I hope his attitude doesn't infect the team this year. They need their stars to be good leaders.

With the manager, a position one hopes would be a steadying influence, we have potential lame duck John Farrell. I wish the man the best. I'm thrilled he beat back cancer, and it speaks well of the Red Sox brass that they kept him on to start to the season. Some human sensitivity can be inferred from the non-firing. However, think of the bad publicity generated from firing Farrell while he was fighting cancer. No, the Sox were wise enough to take a broader view of the matter and let him start this year and see how it goes, but keep the leash very short. It's all sunshine and lollipops if the team is winning, but this is a bottom line business and this organization has too much money invested on the field to suffer another last place finish. Dombrowski and Farrell have no prior relationship. If the team struggles in April and maybe into May, Dave isn't going to wait very long to let him go.

Piling on, we of course have the David Ortiz Farewell Tour and his feud with David Price. Price actually admitted to being nervous about the first time seeing Papi at camp – wondering when and where it would happen, how would he act. He sounded like a pimply-faced teenager sweating over first seeing his crush after summer break. Now I'm not lumping Papi and his issues in with the two aforementioned clowns in a negative light. In fact, he and Price hugged it out and seem to be on the same page. Rather, this is yet another big story line going on, and it involves a big ego, a monster personality, and a lot of media coverage. Anything Papi says or does is noteworthy, even more so now that this is his last spring as an active player. Papi makes news whenever he utters a word. For the next few weeks and throughout he season this is going to be a spectacle. I hope he goes out with a big season, and produces as he has been recently, because this team does not need any distractions. I wouldn't want Big Papi's Farewell Tour to be one that robs this team of any focus.

Why have we seemingly returned to the days of spring trainings past? Is the culture of the organization changing? Is it becoming one less structured around player accountability and the dirt dog mentality, and more centered around the stars and their issues? This is not the culture that won the World Series in 2013. That was a team, T-E-A-M, team. One that worked its ass off and grinded out every run and win, and rode that attitude all the way to the top. The 2016 team would be wise to emulate that.

 

 - Joe

 

 

 

Category:Red Sox -- posted at: 1:04pm EDT
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     The Celtics are H-O-T hot. Brad Steven's crew is on a 10-2 run leading up to the All-Star break, and have a feel of the “it” team right now. With thrilling wins over psuedo-rival Lebron James and his top-seeded Cleveland Cavaliers, and the four seed in the west Clippers, the green team has created a buzz around it not seen in a few years. And I'm not just talking locally either - the Cs are making noise and being heard around the league.

The problem is the Celtics don't have a superstar. And in the star-driven NBA, in order for them to win and beat quality opponents, they have to play good team basketball, and play it with grit, determination and resilience. That's the kind of ball we love in Boston. We will give a team a lot of slack on wins and losses if they are busting their asses and giving a real effort every game. Yet, its been a long time since any NBA team won it all without a superstar, or two, or three. So if the Cs are ever going to be more than a gritty pretender, they need to do some wheeling and dealing, and do it by noon tomorrow the 18th. Fortunately, trader Danny Ainge is, as usual, very active in the talks. He didn't get the nickname trader Danny by accident. A new name is attached to trade rumors every day; Dwight Howard (no, please no), James Harden, Kevin Love (yes), Blake Griffin, Al Horford, Boogie Cousins . . . perhaps a combination of some such. I'm betting something gets done, too much noise and too many possibilities.

However, Celtics ownership has come out and low-keyed things, professing no urgency to get a deal done or bring in a big man superstar to get them to the next level. I call BS on that. When does a professional sports franchise front office ever tell the truth to the media around the trade deadline? Yeah, never. And to his credit, trader Danny is an accomplished, experienced fibber in this arena. I think we will see a blockbuster trade this week that at least significantly if not drastically improves the team.

I'm officially getting stoked on the Cs. Imagine: Ainge gets Love, he fits in here like the missing link, Thomas and Love light it up, we get to Game 7 in the East finals against the Cavs . . . Would that not be a blast? Boston would be bathed in green in May and June, and not because it's springtime.

Which brings me around to my admission of being a C's band-wagon rider. I keep an eye on them always, but I make no disguise of my diminished love of the NBA game and the Celtics. There was a time when I was a steady, regular fan. I loved the Big Three in the 80's, just as I was becoming a young sports fan. That impressionable time in one's life when you legit LOVE your local sports team, go ga-ga over them. Your emotions swing with their highs and lows. And when Magic drops a last-second baby hook runner to tear your heart out, it feels like the end of the world. That's what the Celtics meant to me thirty years ago. The Reggie Lewis years and the Walker-Pierce run of 2003-04 were fun, but by then the game had changed and the NBA had sunk to a distant 4th in my sports priorities.

The new Big Three run with Garnett, Pierce and Allen was awesome; I was back on the wagon then. It didn't last long though did it? I'm not alone in thinking we got gypped out of at least that 2nd championship, and a few more years of high-level play. The new Big Three got old quickly. Ask the Brooklyn Nets about that.

Besides rooting for the Celtics being at times difficult, the game itself is not as entertaining. It has become one in which a team must have a superstar or two to compete for a championship. There is no parity. There is no sense that on any given Sunday . . . And the games themselves are dominated by hero ball, ticky-tack fouls, superstar favoritism, and long-stretches of irrelevant play. Too often only the last several minutes are important in deciding the outcome. The first 3 quarters are frequently meaningless and unentertaining.

Even with all that working against it, I can be sucked back in quite easily. Just give me a dynamic, exciting team and some hope for the games to mean something in the Spring and I'm in. So bring in Kevin Love, give Cleveland or New York a Brooklyn pick. Leverage the assets we have for a big-time player. Let's get this team deep into the playoffs. We already have a piece to build with, IT, our All-Star.  Give him a playmate or two and see if coach Stevens can get this team to game 7 or beyond. Boston will be a green town once again, and I'm on board.

 - Joe

 

 

 

Category:general -- posted at: 7:34am EDT
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Joe and Shawn react to the Super Bowl. With the end of the NFL season, they shift to the Celtics (37:00) and the Bruins (45:00). 

Direct download: BostonSportsPodEp52.mp3
Category:Bruins -- posted at: 11:44pm EDT
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 The Sports Fan's Dead Zone

     It's January 31st and it's 60 degrees outside. It feels like spring is in the air, but don't be fooled. On this day last year winter was just getting going on its way to a record-breaking month of snowfall and blizzards. Remember getting 3 feet of snow, then 2 feet, then a foot, then another 2 feet, day after day, week after week; it just kept falling, piling up to heights not seen before in this corner of the world.

At least we had that excitement last year. The sports fan's Dead Zone is upon us and there aren't any Winter Hurricane Blizzard Super Storm Whomevers coming to keep us occupied. The Dead Zone lasts from whenever the Patriots season ends (1 game too soon this year) to when the Red Sox season begins. The Dead Zone can be delayed by a compelling Super Bowl, which I think this year's is. Roughly we are talking about the period of time from late January to early April. It encompasses the whole month of March. Sure March Madness occurs during this time, but who cares? Seriously, does anybody around here give two flips about college basketball? I haven't paid close attention since the great UMASS teams of the nineties. Sure, every so often Boston College will make some noise and I'll pay attention, and maybe I'll tune in for the Final Four and beyond. But other than that, if the Bruins and Celtics aren't interesting, this time of year is dead.

Unless your thing is All-Star games, of course. And if it is, you have some explaining to do. Hard-core gamblers, okay, I understand it, gotta feed your jones - gamble on. But if you're not risking your paycheck on the NFL Pro Bowl, then why the hell are you watching it?! Team Irvin, team Rice, or whatever the new gimmick was this year - nobody is playing real football, it's not entertaining. How about Team I Don't Give a Crap?

The NHL All-Star game is kind of a joke too. Like the Pro Bowl, the NHL now tries a new gimmick every year to try and make it relevant, aka get higher ratings. This year's 3 on 3 play was a brave attempt at entertainment by the NHL, and its skills competitions are kind of cool. But there was no game to watch, no competition where the stakes are high. The saga of John Scott was the most noteworthy thing about the game.

These all-star events are becoming less about a game where the outcome matters, and more about a weekend of events and irrelevant mini-competitions designed to get ratings. They aren't a showcase of the best at their sport doing what they do at the highest level, and trying to win an important game in their given sport. Perhaps a league will get the formula right some day and an all-star event will mean something again. Until then, they are denizens of the Dead Zone.

What about the Bruins and Celtics? First of all, they are very clearly the 3rd and 4th most important sports in New England. When one of them makes a playoff run or builds a consistent winner, they become more relevant but still won't ever top the Sox and Pats. Secondly, even when the Bs and Cs are competitive, which they both are to some degree this year, February and March can be a real drag. Hockey and basketball teams only play two or three games a week and given that their schedules are bloated and need trimming, some of these games can get dull. Even the players take nights off during the season. They get bored this time of year too!

Spring training at JetBlue Park, with its sun-splashed palm trees and golf-course tanned broadcasters, does provide some relief from the Dead Zone, but it's still a tease. Getting up to speed on the new guys, Greg Kimbrel and David Price most notably, and wondering if Hanley Ramirez will yank a hammy the first time he bends over at first base, will only make us crave the real deal. Watching spring training games is not my idea of a good time. It's similar to watching all-star games; the results don't matter, it's not real competition.

So we take comfort in an old New Englander habit, desperately looking forward to the Spring. The coming of Spring is a time of hope and rebirth, when daylight holds on a little longer every day, mud-colored snow piles slowly give way to grass and pavement and the robins return to signal in each new day. It's a time to assess what was, the Patriots' season was a bust, and anticipate what could be, the Red Sox look like a potential contender.

After all, truck day is only a week away and pitchers and catchers report on February 18th.

 - Joe

 

Category:general -- posted at: 3:46pm EDT
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AFC Championship: This Loss Hurt

 

Losing the AFC Championship game to Denver was and is a painful experience. The aftershocks will go on for days, weeks, even months. And in special cases, the truly heart-breaking, soul-splitting losses, the pain never goes away. I don't think this one is special . . . time will tell.

Special case or not, dropping that game on Sunday burns badly. It's left me feeling all kinds of bad. First was the shock of the loss. Then, soon after, the confusion, because this wasn't supposed to happen. Watching Peyton Manning celebrate while Tom Brady and Bill Bellichick walk off the field dejected and beaten, didn't make sense in my mind. The reality I was experiencing wasn't what I expected to see and my mind was having trouble making sense of it. How could they have lost?! Did they really just lose that game?! They were supposed to win a fifth Super Bowl this year. Gronk and Edelman were healthy (?) and playing – our offense was awesome. Peyton Manning sucks now. He couldn't beat us when he was good, never mind with a broken wing.

But he did. And the Broncos beat us fair and square. Manning was better than we all thought he would be. Brady wasn't as good as we thought he would be and the offense wasn't awesome. The Patriots lost in the biggest game of the year and now the season is over, no fifth Super Bowl win, no crowning of Brady as the undisputed GOAT, no laughing at Peyton and his forehead.

Once this reality set in, I got that dreaded feeling inside. The one that lingers and makes me not read The Globe sports section or listen to Felger and Mazz et al. Its a crappy feeling, and I suspect there are a lot of fans in Patriot Nation that feel the same way.

When the football season ends so abruptly, so badly, so . . . unexpectedly, it's like an emptiness fills me, I get the 1000-yard stare, I feel the pain in my gut. It's like when a family pet dies. It's akin to getting dumped out of the blue. It's that level of misery. But as with everything, time heals, and I can hope for just a dull melancholy and eventual relief.

Am I just way too invested in this team and losing a grip, or do we Patriot fans all go through something similar? I'm guessing we do. And judging by the commentary that I'm reading and hearing, there are a lot of people in New England pretty pissed off and disappointed. We thought this team could get it done. We connected with this team and invested so much time and effort and emotion in it and we didn't get the return on investment that we expected. We're not happy about that. This team should have been in the Super Bowl and we all know it. They were the best AFC team when healthy and the road to the Lombardi trophy should be going through New England. But it's not, and there is a lot of blame to go around; the blown home-field advantage, the offensive line, the game plan, Brady. Too many mistakes were made in the most important moments of the season and this team didn't fulfill its potential.

I'm placing it in my top five all-time worst Patriot losses. Now, it is early so that may change with time. I know it definitely won't take the number 1 spot. That belongs to the 2007 team that went 18-1. That is one of the special cases, an elite level of loss-related despair. That devastating experience will not be forgotten and the pain still resides in me. As does the 2006 team's loss to Peyton's Colts in the AFC Championship game. We had never loss to Manning in the playoffs and I hadn't a thought in my mind that we could or would. A 20-3 half-time lead just made me comfortable enough so when the walls came crashing down and Reche Caldwell dropped a touchdown and the Colts won, I was crushed. Sunday reminded me of that game. Shocking, unexpected, I wasn't prepared for the reality of a Patriot loss that day either.

All that said, I know we have it good here in New England. The Patriots have dominated the NFL for 15 years and the Brady/Bellichick window should be open for several more years, and the other major sports teams win championships and compete at the highest level of their sport. Its been a wonderful time to be a Boston sports fan.

However, this gives nobody the right to diminish the pain and suffering we endure when our teams lose. We bleed just like everyone else! I'd argue our losing is harder to accept because our expectations are so high.

The Patriots are the best sports team any of us will see our lifetime, and they give us something to be proud of. They are simply the best and have been for a long time now. They've become part of our cultural psyche, part of our self-identification. And when they fail horribly at the most important time, we feel every bit of the pain because whether they win or lose has become whether we win or lose.

 

  • Joe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Category:Patriots -- posted at: 2:02pm EDT
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Joe and Shawn work through their pain and disappointment after the Patriots lose to Denver in the AFC Championship. Where does this loss rank for us? Who are the zeroes and can we find any heroes? What does the future hold?

Direct download: BostonSportsPodEp51.mp3
Category:Patriots -- posted at: 12:06am EDT
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The Patriots: Colossus of the AFC

     The New England Patriots beat the Kansas City Chiefs 27-20 to advance to their fifth straight AFC Championship game. Fifth straight! Hearing that got me thinking; how do you define 'dominate?' Does beating your opponent 75% of the time, 153-52 including playoffs, over 15 years show dominance? How about nine AFC championship games in fourteen years; while winning six, plus a tenth appearance this Sunday?

Chew on this for a moment. After Sunday, the Patriots will have played in 10 conference championship games in 15 seasons. Two out of every three AFC championships since '01 have involved the Patriots. That is truly remarkable. We are witnessing an astounding run of success that the AFC has never seen.

The Indianapolis Colts, the Patriots' main AFC competition during the Brady/Bellichick era, have done quite well since '01. Remember all those years of Peyton Manning blowing doors during the regular season then going one-and-done as a #1 or #2 seed. Good times! They've barely missed a beat with Andrew Luck picking up where Peyton left off. But they've only won at a 67% clip in the AFC, including playoffs, going 133-67.

The playoffs numbers are even more disparate. The Patriots are 18-6 against strictly the AFC competition. That number looks familiar, a .750 winning percentage again. No difference, the Patriots win just as often when playing the cream of the AFC, the elite. The Colts, not so much. They wilt significantly come playoff time, going 11-10, a .520 winning percentage.

What about the Steelers? They've been pretty good this century, winning a couple super bowls, fielding a good squad every year, playoff bound most of the time. But they're not in the Patriots' class. The Steelers won 63% of their AFC match-ups from '01-'15, dipping slightly to 61% in the playoffs.

The Ravens perhaps? Nope, not even close. A couple super bowl titles if you count 2000, but they have an up and down regular season pattern over the years and are only one game over .500 once they make the playoffs. The Ravens lack the consistency you see with the Patriots.

This version of the Patriots, the Brady/Bellichick version is the greatest dynasty in AFC history, arguably NFL history as well. The early '90s Buffalo Bills were good, 4 straight AFC championships, Jim Kelly and the K-gun offense, Thurman Thomas, but they didn't last very long. The Steelers of the '70s had a great run; and the Dolphins and Raiders have all had their moments in the sun. However, none of them combine the consistent winning with the longevity as the Patriots have. In the American Football Conference, it's the '01-'15 Patriots and then everyone else.

I am in awe of the Patriots. It is hands down the greatest sports team I have ever had the pleasure of rooting for. I am ashamed to admit that I doubted them coming into the Chiefs game. They limped to end of the regular season, whether by design or not, this team did not look like it had what it takes to win another Super Bowl. Wrong! I was humbled by what they showed us on Saturday. They flipped the switch into playoff mode, just like that – SNAP! And boom, they come out throwing the ball all over the yard, Brady doing Brady things, leaping into the end zone on a qb sneak, firing darts at his BFF Edelman. It was awesome to watch. I almost felt bad for the Chiefs. They are a good football team, well-prepared and talented defensively. Yet they will go down as just another stepping stone on yet another Patriots run to the Lombardi trophy.

The Patriots are the greatest AFC team in history

Enjoy it folks because it can't last forever. As machine-like as they seem at times, Brady and Bellichick are human, they will have to stop at some point. And when they do, the golden days are over. So bask in the glory while it lasts.

 

- Joe

 

* Statistics collected from Pro-football-reference.com

 

 

 

 

Category:Patriots -- posted at: 12:01am EDT
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This is the 50th episode of the Boston Sports Pod! Joe and Shawn look back at what they have done and why. They also discuss the decade and half of AFC dominance by the Patriots and Brady (09:30). In the second half of the show, they talk about the return of Edelman, the porous 3rd down Pats D, and the victory over the KC (37:00). They close with a look forward to the AFC Championship Game against Denver next week (55:00).

Direct download: BostonSportsPodEp50.mp3
Category:Patriots -- posted at: 10:59pm EDT
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     The Bengals, oh the Bengals. Are they not the most predictable chokers in league? Man, they just did the self-fulfilling prophecy thing. Its almost as if they couldn't handle winning a playoff game, so they purposely threw it away. Saturday night's game was a disgrace. The fans, the coaches, the players – they were all a disgrace. They set the football program back years with this display. The city of Cincinnati ought to be ashamed of itself.

Full disclosure, I lived and worked in Cincinnati for 2 years, about 2007 – 2009. I missed a lot of good Patriot football in 2007. Well, I missed being in Boston and the daily hype and talk around that 2007 team, but I digress. Cincinnati blows. The city has little class, second-rate culture, horrible dining and cuisine (Cincinnati chili is an abomination), and crappy sports teams. Remember those fun days when Bengals were getting arrested every other week? From living there I know how much those players loved to cross the Ohio river into Kentucky where the rules are looser. A whole cottage industry of vice thrives over the bridge to serve this demand. Heck, I would go over there myself to buy cheaper smokes. Nevertheless, I couldn't hang there for long and moved back to Boston as soon as work allowed for it. Ultimately, it was the people that I had daily contact with that discouraged me from planting any roots there. They reeked of insincerity, they would stab you in the back without a thought. Casual racism was widely accepted and depth of character was hard to find. Concepts, trends, and behavioral norms common on the East Coast were either non-existent or years away from arriving there. Which brings me to my point, Cincinnati is a third-rate city, the local fan base and ownership leaves much to be desired, and the local football is simply an extension of this below-average, mess of a town.

This is not to say Cincinnati has no redeeming qualities. It has an interesting local history, a quality museum or two, an excellent zoo, and good medical facilities. And I'll give credit where it's due, Marvin Lewis has turned around a bottom-dwelling team and made them competitive and a perennial playoff entrant. But that's as far as it goes. The Bengals don't win playoff games, haven't in 7 straight tries over 20 years. They don't often win high-profile match-ups. Monday Night Football, SNF, any situation where the stakes are higher than your average game, the Bengals usually cough it up. Andy Dalton is good quarterback, to a degree. But he plays poorly in big games. Marvin Lewis is not good at high-pressure decision making. He screws up clock management and substitutions during the most important moments. The rest of the team seems to follow this lead, and plays its worst when it counts the most. We saw all of this on Saturday night (except Dalton due to injury). All of the Bengal's classic, choking ineptitude on display for the world to see, with a heavy dose of poor sportsmanship and atrocious decision making thrown in just in case viewers weren't completely sure the Bengal's are losers.

I'll give them this, the Bengals made for fun viewing. The game was entertaining as hell. It got fantastic ratings.

What was already a chippy affair turned nasty when Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier drilled Giovani Bernard helmet first, knocking Bernard unconscious and the ball loose for Pittsburgh to recover. No penalty was called and I didn't think the hit was illegal, or even dirty. Hard, helmet first, but Shazier didn't launch himself, or pile drive Bernard. It looked like a hard, well-executed, borderline illegal hit. The way the Bengals reacted you'd think Shazier kicked Bernard in the head, stomped on his hands, took his lunch money and stole his girl all at the same time! Vontaze Burfict sure seemed to think so. As well the fans.

On a Ben Roethlisberger drop back, Burfict launched himself at the QB, hit him hard and dropped his full weight onto him. Big Ben was hurt, enough to be carted off the field. The Cincinnati fans now covered themselves in glory by cheering the injury and throwing bottles at Roethlisberger as he was being carted down the runway. Really Cincinnati? That is how you conduct yourself when an opposing player is badly injured? Have some class. The whole stadium and Bengals team seemed to think they were gravely wronged by the Shazier hit and getting payback for it was the only thing that mattered. Not winning the game, not maintaining your dignity, forget sportsmanship.

But they weren't done embarrassing themselves yet. With 1:23 left in the game, after a Jeremy Hill fumble gave the Steelers the ball and a chance to drive into game-sinning field goal range, Burfict decided (decided might be a compliment to Burfict's faculties at the time) to drop the hammer on Antonio Brown's head. I think we've all seen the play by now. Burfict meant to drill Brown in the head with his shoulder. He intended to drill him as hard as he could in the head. It was a disgusting display of brutality. As Brown is lying on the turf, the man formerly known as “Pacman” Adam Jones takes it upon himself to shove Steelers coach Joey Porter and bump a referee. All in the name of respect right Pacman? Getting payback huh?

That payback was costly. The combined penalties on the Bengals brought the Steelers into field goal range and kicker Chris Boswell nailed it for the 18-16 win.

The Bengals and their fans showed us, reminded us, of why they are a losing program and a losing fan base. The players on the field are only as strong and disciplined as they are asked to be by their coach and Marvin Lewis doesn't instill enough discipline in his team so they run wild when put into high stress moments. They haven't been trained to handle adversity and reacted like bratty children (big, dangerous children) when exposed to pressure at its peak; in the playoffs with the click-ticking down, hard hits, fumbles, things just not going your way. The fans reacted similarly. And they are now going home after a one and done again. They deserve no better.

 

Joe

Category:Patriots -- posted at: 12:53pm EDT
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Joe and Shawn kick off the new year with some Bruins and Winter Classic discussion (6:30). Then they get into Manning, the HGH delivery scandal, and the woeful media coverage (20:00). At (44:00) they get into the AFC playoff match-ups and the impact these might have on the Pats. They close (54:00) with a look at the Pats chances in the playoffs.

Joe's blog post: http://bostonsportspod.libsyn.com/espns-double-standard-on-display

Direct download: BostonSportsPodEp49.mp3
Category:Patriots -- posted at: 1:41pm EDT
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     Peyton Manning is having a rough season on the field. His arm resembles a wet noodle, his passes floating to receivers, too often into the opponent's hands. He got removed from a game in which he was playing poorly. His stat line read: 5 for 20, 4 picks. Brock Osweiler replaced him during the second quarter.

At that point in the season, Manning was the worst full-time QB in the league. Digest that for a moment. The great Peyton Manning was the worst QB in the NFL, his stats rivaling those of old friend Ryan Mallet. Mallet can't throw a football into the ocean if he is standing on the beach. Peyton was hurting his team more than helping. If Brock Osweiler is a more attractive QB option, you know you've sunk to previously unseen depths. Denver attempted to cover his rear by blaming an injured foot, plantar fasciitis they said. I didn't buy it, many did not.

If the on-field problems weren't enough, now he has an off-field problem. And it's a doozy. According to an AL-Jazeera report released on December 26th, The Dark Side, during Manning's rehab from multiple neck surgeries, Human Growth Hormone (HGH) was shipped to his residence in Florida addressed to his wife, Ashley Manning. Manning came out the next day and vehemently denied the allegations. Subsequently, Charles Sly, the intern who made the allegations, recanted. Those were the basic facts as we knew them last week.

Now we have more. On Monday this week, Deborah Davies, the Al-Jazeera reporter from the story, revealed she has a confirming secondary source who is, “absolutely impeccably placed, knowledgeable, and credible.” The facts are starting to pile up.

But I'm writing this post because I'm disgusted. Disgusted by the national media converage of this story.

First, let me say that the following opinions are mine alone. My partner in the Boston Sports Pod and all around great guy, Shawn, does not necessarily agree, share them, or disagree. I do not speak for him. Don't let my likely misguided musings reflect poorly on him.  

I don't buy for a millisecond what Peyton is selling. I usually think where there's smoke there's fire, and I smell smoke. Are we supposed to believe his wife was taking the HGH? Seriously? Are we children? Does Peyton think we believe him? I'll bet the less-inquisitive minded folk he is used to hood-winking do. You know those super-fan types in Indy and Denver who still think he's better than Tom Brady.

Not that those types don't exist here in New England. There is definitely a hard-core sect who think Tom Brady walks on water and had nothing to do with some pigskin skull-duggery involving his preferred PSI. I am not one of them. I smell smoke with deflategate too. 

In fact, I have no problem, moral or otherwise, with the actual act of using HGH to

recover from an injury more quickly at age 37. I don't care if Brady had a back room deal with the locker room guys to get his footballs to his favorite PSI level. I think Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds should be in the Baseball Hall of Fame. One does what one has to. I would.

But what really runs up my . . . spine, is how unabashedly the national media protects Manning while it fails to give Brady the same benefit of the doubt. Recall that night of last season's AFC Champiobship game. After the Patriot's thrashed the Colts, the nation learned of a situation with the refs taking a ball off the field of play. Some reports of deflated footballs were issued. The Pats being the team under suspicion.

What became known as deflategate blew up from there and continued to burn through the spring and summer. I won't go into that fiasco any further except to say that Tom Brady was treated like crap. Mark Brunnel cried on TV over Brady's alleged discretion. ESPN and the national media ran Brady's name through the mud and never let up. Not an ally was to be found. Despite the faulty weakness of the Well's Report, Brady was branded a cheat. His reputation sullied, his legacy tarnished.

Now that Mr. Manning has a scandal on his hands, why is he not getting similar treatment to what befell Mr. Brady? Why is ESPN so quick to pillory Brady, Bellichick and the Patriots, and so quick to protect Peyton Manning?

On one of their round-table pundit talking spots, the ESPN “analysts,” Chris Berman, Chris Carter, Mike Ditka et. al., jumped to Peyton's defense. They uniformly believed his “vehement” denial, expressed extreme doubts about Charles Sly's credibility, even went as far as Berman uttering in disgust, “what a world . . . “ I say what a clown. I mean who couldn't believe Peyton? After all he was so angry at the allegations that he threw the ball so hard at practice he thinks he broke fingers out there! Oh, well if you put it that way . . .  

What a goober he is. He can't throw anymore! His passes are in slow- motion. He couldn't bruise a hemophiliac.

So why does the national media treat Peyton Manning differently than Tom Brady?

That is the question I came to this sheet of typing paper to ask. I don't have the answer. I'm not sure I want it, it might ruin my faith in Man! But it is so obvious, so duplicitious, I can't turn away from it without saying something. Is there an agenda at ESPN? Did Tom Brady once sleep with an exec's girl? What is it! Why do they treat Tom like a criminal and Peyton like their buddy they need to defend?

Is it as simple as human nature and ESPN is jealous of Brady's success in life? The dude has it all, no question. But by all accounts he's a good guy. He never did anything dirty; never was under any prior suspicion ; never did anything that should forfeit his reception of the benefit of the doubt that they give Peyton.

It boggles my mind and I'm as irate as anybody over this. Some may think it doesn't matter, its only the media right? Wrong! The media has huge role is settting public opinion and creating legacies. Tom Brady didn't deserve the treatment he got and it makes me sick to think his legacy, all the great play he has given us over the years, is now tainted in part because ESPN doesn't like him.

It was one thing to see and deal with the media coverage of deflategate. Its another to have ESPN's double-standard laid bare by this Peyton Manning HGH scandal.

 

Joe

 

 

Category:Patriots -- posted at: 10:59am EDT
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Joe and Shawn talk about New Year's Eve before getting into the Bruins and the Winter Classic (6:00). At (14:00), they turn to the Patriots loss to the Jets and at (35:00) the Heroes and Zeroes. At (49:00) they discuss some playoff scenarios and close with a look at the Miami game (1:03:00).

Direct download: BostonSportsPodEp48.mp3
Category:Patriots -- posted at: 1:55pm EDT
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     By the eye test – my eye I mean – the Patriots’ secondary is very good. Not excellent, awesome or elite. Not top of the league. But good, much better than expected preseason. I’ve heard some rumblings, chatter about the Patriots secondary lately, some flattering stats, some middling stats. Let’s see if what the vaunted eye test – my eye, though admittedly deteriorating with age – is telling me is reflected in the statistics. I’m thinking it is, mainly based on the strength of the play of corners Malcolm Butler and Logan Ryan. However, we may be seeing a dropoff with Devin McCourty out. One thing is for sure, its better than just about anybody thought it would be without Darrell Revis. Brandon Browner was never more than the right piece in the machine last year.

The Patriots secondary in the 2014 regular season, stacked with a still-elite Revis, a mean S.O.B. in Browner, and McCourty the Pro Bowler at free safety, were not an elite unit. They ranked 17th (of 32 teams) in passing yards allowed per game with 239.8, 10th in passer rating allowed at 84.0, and they picked off opponent quarterbacks 16 times, a top ten result. According to pro-football-reference.com, in yards per attempt allowed per game, the Patriots tied with 5 other teams last year in allowing 6.2 per game. The league average was 6.4.

We can conclude that this unit was good to very good. Sound reasonably accurate?

Through 14 games this season, the secondary of the Patriots has performed as follows: 230.3 passing yards per game allowed, good for 8th, clearly improved over last year; an 83.3 passer rating allowed, ranked 9th in the league; 5.7 yards per attempt allowed, good for 3rd in the league and improved by a half of a yard from 2014. Butler and co. have snatched 12 opponent attempts.

My eyes have deceived me. This 2015 unit is better than I thought. Who'd have thunk after losing that talent they would actually improve? Not I. Recall what the secondary was like prior to Revis arriving. It cheweed up cornerbacks and safeties. Weekly we would learn a new name and see a new player give up catches and yards to average quarterbacks and receivers. It made average players look elite. Ryan Tannehill looked like an All-Pro at times. Mark Sanchez could and did rip apart. The motto around the team defense was bend-don't-break. It was pretty effective at this, but man did it bend! It bent so badly at times, even Bellichick's acumen was being questioned, never mind that of Defensive Coordinator Matt Patricia.

It appears those days are in the past. The performances of Malcolm Butler and Logan Ryan this season have been revelatory. Butler looks like he could become a top level corner, and Ryan is progressing well as the season goes on. ESPN.go.com has Butler tied for 9th in the league with 15 passes defended, Ryan 12th with 14. These two guys compete for the play, for the ball. They are in every play. They mark their man tight, they annoy and hassle and attack the wide receivers like they owe them money. This is not the kind of coverage we saw prior to 2014. It used to so often look like the corners and safeties were giving receivers wide berths of space - and they got eaten up for it.

Let's not forget McCourty. He is having an off year and is currently injured, but he has made some key game-changing plays while covering deep center field.

This begs the questions, why? Why is this secondary playing differently than in the past. Is it conceptual? Could be. They play aggressively, moreso at least. In past years, I frankly didn't want the corners playing too aggressively, they would just get burned deep anyway. I think the difference is we have talent now. Young talent. That, and quite possibly, the coaches and players learned last year. Did Revis and Browner leave an imprint on the culture of this secondary unit? Maybe.

I don't think Bellichick or Patricia would ever admit that, if even true. But I think you see a legacy in Butler and Ryan. With these two young corners getting better every week while improving the overall secondary performance, I'm confident the bend-don't-break soft coverage days are past.

 Joe

 

Category:Patriots -- posted at: 1:35am EDT
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Joe and Shawn first focus on playoff scenarios and upcoming Jets game. Then in the second half of the show, they talk Heroes and Zeroes from Pats victory over the Titans. They close with some discussion of Boston Sports radio personalities.

Direct download: BostonSportsPodEp47.mp3
Category:Patriots -- posted at: 2:03pm EDT
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Gronk is the Patriots MVP

But isn't Brady winning the league MVP? 

BP 2: 12/17/2015

Rob Gronkowski is the most valuable player on this 2015 Patriots roster. He showed us why over the past 2-3 weeks. I’m talking about the injury to his knee, which looked worse than it turned out to be. Whose stomach didn’t plummet when they saw him go down and writhe in pain? Would we have the same sinking feeling if Tom Brady went down like that? YES, YES, YES! Sixty-nine thousand Yeses!

In fact, I think both players are the heart and soul of the team. Losing either of them would devastate the chances this team has to win its 5th Superbowl title.

Tom Brady is the Greatest Of All Time finally and firmly recognized as the GOAT after Superbowl win number four last year. To conclude his GOATness became easy after last year. Brady is simply the best all-around quarterback who ever played, period. He wins games, division titles, leads the Pats to conference championship games. He battles in Superbowls at an astonishing rate. If you’re being honest with yourself, Patriot fan or not, you know he is the winningest quarterback who ever played. The only two pieces I (and I suspect many others) needed to have in place in order for me to fully consider him the GOAT, were career stats excellence (not just volume but consistency, efficiency, passer rating etc.) and that fourth, glimmering, audacious ring.

Done and done. Tom Brady is the GOAT.

He is having an exceptional 2015. This is why I almost cannot believe I am making this argument, I love Brady, like in a - he’s my hero even though I’m 42 and have never met him – way. Its incredible to see him put together this late career burst of elite-level play. From 2010 – 2014 he averaged 4,482 yards passing, a 63.82 completion percentage, 7.62 yards per attempt, 33 touchdowns, less than 9 picks, 280 yards per game, a passer rating of exactly 100 and a microscopic 1.46% pick ratio; all either leading the league or in the top 10. Now this year - Brady is only exceeding each of those numbers, and a dozen more, all the while leading a wickedly injured offense to the #1 seed in the AFC as of week 15. He is the GOAT indeed.

However, he’s not the Patriots 2015 MVP. The team is more dependent on Gronk to create wins with not only his performance, but his presence. He alters opponent game plans, creates multiple mismatches with the opponent’s secondary. His presence alone allows the Pats to execute their offense to the high degree of efficiency and productivity that has become their norm since 2010. Now throw in Gronk’s performance; the catches, runs, touchdowns, blocks; whatever else he so astonishingly and recklessly does on the gridiron, and you have a player that is the functioning heart of the team.

The proof is in the results; you can’t escape the facts. The team doesn’t have as much of a chance to win games when Gronk is not playing. With Gronk the Pats are 11-1, without Gronk they are 0-1. Yes, a very skewed sample and Julian Edelman is out also. But a closer look at the loss to the Eagles shows an offense that struggled mightily without Gronk’s presence. Brady threw for a very Tebow-ish 51.8% completion percentage, 5.6 yards/attempt, and a 71.40 passer rating, both season lows. Tossing around a couple picks completely stuck a fork in it

It was an awful game all around for the Patriots. Did the special teams decide to take a day off? Were they depressed or something? They played like they were dosed on Sereoquel. And the offense didn’t - couldn’t– perform well. A sub 50% 3rd-down percentage (7/17) and the inability of the pass catching core to get open left Brady with no one else to throw to but the ghost of Brandon LaFell. No joke, I saw a BOLO for Jojo on one of those LED Highway billboards over the Mass Pike.

Brady was there doing the best he could, but the difference between victory and defeat was the lack of big number eighty-seven out there.

It hurts to say it, I feel like I’m betraying #12.

Where is my loyalty as a fan?

I should always want him to win the MVP every year! I think he should most years! But I can’t ignore what my eyes and the results on the field are telling me.
            And so for that reason, Brady shouldn’t be voted as the league MVP. Gronk should. He should get some votes if he finishes the year on pace. He won’t win, but he’d get my vote.

 

            After all that I have to tell you I think Cam Newton is the MVP before either of them!

 

 

Joe

 

 

 

 

 

Category:general -- posted at: 2:31am EDT
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Joe and Shawn talk about the Celtics almost taking down the Warriors and the nature of their basketball fandom. At about 16 minutes, they switch to NFL: MVP talk, Heroes and Zeroes from the victory over Houston, and then look ahead to the Titans and playoffs.

Direct download: BostonSportsPodEp46.mp3
Category:Patriots -- posted at: 12:57pm EDT
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In the first part of the show, Joe and Shawn look at the David Price signing by the Red Sox. At 32:50, they get in to the Patriots loss to the Eagles, look ahead to Houston, and try to find some hope in the historic greatness of the Patriots in the Tom Brady and Bill Belichick era.

Direct download: BostonSportsPodEp45.mp3
Category:Patriots -- posted at: 11:50am EDT
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Joe and Shawn react to the Patriots loss. They discuss Brady as MVP, the injuries to Gronk and Hightower, the terrible officiating, the muffed punt return, and more. 

Direct download: BostonSportsPodEp44.mp3
Category:Patriots -- posted at: 12:46am EDT
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Joe and Shawn give their heroes and zeroes for the Pats victory over the Bills. They close by looking at the upcoming Denver game and Joe goes on an epic rant against Peyton Manning.

Direct download: BostonSportsPodEp43.mp3
Category:Patriots -- posted at: 12:26am EDT
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Joe and Shawn talk about the Giants: who where the heroes and zeroes? Also, they cover the Edelman injury, the end of the Peyton, the Kimbrel trade, and Papi's retirement announcement.

Direct download: BostonSportsPodEp42.mp3
Category:Patriots -- posted at: 11:35am EDT
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Patriots improve to 8-0, so Joe and Shawn start looking ahead to some future opponents like Denver and Cincy. They also discuss the upcoming game against the New York Giants. They close with some Bruins and Red Sox.

Direct download: BostonSportsPodEp41.mp3
Category:Patriots -- posted at: 11:52pm EDT
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Joe and Shawn discuss the Patriots' defeat of the New York Jets and then look forward to Miami Dolphins on Thursday night. Was this a good win or did the Pats escape? What are the concerns about the team going forward? The guys close with some comments on the Bruins and the Revolution.

Direct download: BostonSportsPodEp40.mp3
Category:Patriots -- posted at: 12:31am EDT
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Joe and Shawn discuss the Patriots Colts Sunday night match-up: covering everything from the bizarre fake punt to the state of the Patriots offensive and defense. They move on to the Jets and get into what to expect from Gang Green. They close with some thoughts on the Bruins stemming from Shawn's trip to see the Bruins vs. the Coyotes on Saturday night.

Direct download: BostonSportsPodEp39.mp3
Category:Patriots -- posted at: 1:07am EDT
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Joe and Shawn talk about the Patriots 5th victory in a row over Cowboys, then look ahead to the Colts next week. They end with a brief look at the Bruins early season troubles and wonder how long Claude Julien will be around.

Direct download: BostonSportsPodEp38.mp3
Category:Patriots -- posted at: 12:02am EDT
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After a two month hiatus, Joe and Shawn are back talking Boston Sports. The Red Sox season as a total was disappointing, but they end strong. What lead to the late season resurgence and how can they carry this into 2016? Should Farrell return? Which young start is 'untouchable'? In the second half of the show, Joe and Shawn talk about the Patriots' dominant start and where they will go from here. Is 19-0 realistic? Should we even be discussing it? What are some of the concerns? They also discuss who should be on the Boston Sports Mount Rushmore.

Direct download: BostonSportsPodEp37.mp3
Category:Red Sox -- posted at: 11:56pm EDT
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In the first half of the show, Joe and Shawn look at the dismal season of the Red Sox and start looking ahead to 2016. (No Lucchino, Should Sandoval or Ramirez be moved?) In the second half, they get into the theatre of the absurd that is the NFL and Deflategate. But they get into some actual football discussion (CB situation, potential weak areas on team). They close with a look at Boston's dodging the Olympic bullet.

Direct download: BostonSportsPodEp36.mp3
Category:Red Sox -- posted at: 12:22am EDT
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In the first half of the show, Joe and Shawn review the Bruins’ recent offseason moves and the draft. In the second half they get into the Red Sox: should Farrell be fired? Should the Sox be buyers or sellers at the break? They close with some thoughts and predications about Brady’s appeal. #FreeBrady #GoodellMustGo  

Direct download: bostonsportspodep35.mp3
Category:Bruins -- posted at: 6:48pm EDT
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In this episode, Joe and Shawn focus on the Red Sox and their struggle for any kind of consistency or productivity. Should Farrell be fired? What changes need to be made? What is the value of watching a bad team? The show closes with some discussion of Patriots and Bruins.

Direct download: bostonsportspodep34.mp3
Category:Red Sox -- posted at: 12:02am EDT
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Joe and Shawn discuss the hiring of Don Sweeney as Bruins GM and the Red Sox struggles on offense and defense. In the second half of the show they get into Kraft's decision not to appeal the penalties imposed by the NFL, how this affects Brady's appeal, and the awfulness that is Goodell. #GoodellMustGo

Direct download: bostonsportspodep33.mp3
Category:Patriots -- posted at: 12:02am EDT
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Joe and Shawn tear into the Wells Report and express their dismay and disappointment at its obvious weaknesses. 

Direct download: bostonsportspodep32.mp3
Category:Patriots -- posted at: 11:44pm EDT
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Joe and Shawn discuss the Celtics' playoff loss and the road forward. They look at the Red Sox pitching woes, but also some of the positives in recent games. They close the show by talking about the Patriots' draft needs.

Direct download: bostonsportspodep31.mp3
Category:Red Sox -- posted at: 11:11pm EDT
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            Cam Neely and Charlie Jacobs made the first good decision necessary to turn the Bruins’ fortunes around. They canned GM Peter Chiarelli.  I’ve been saying this team may need to start over for months, conditioned upon how the regular season played out, playoffs or no playoffs, how deep they go in the playoffs.  Hockey and professional sports in general are results based enterprises.  Just like much of professional life, results determine your future, your salary, your position and relative power and responsibilities.  And of course whether or not you remain employed. 

            This season’s result - the Bruins failing to make the playoffs heads have to roll.  It is unacceptable in Boston to have a team fail that is supposed to be in their championship window.  Chiarelli, and soon Head Coach Claude Julien, suffer the consequences. 

            Julien has to go for two reasons as I see it – for not adapting to the speed game the NHL is adopting and for not being willing and/or able to develop young forwards past and future.

            If the Bruins are going to turn it around and get back to being an elite team in the east, they need to do a better job of bringing along and accepting the mistakes of young talented forwards Ryan Spooner and David Pastrnak, not punishing them every time they don’t get back on defense quickly or effectively.  Julien’s impatience with young forwards, as opposed to his patience with young defensemen, was evident in how he handled Spooner early this season, criticizing him the media and limiting his ice time. 

            The team needs offense! My concern is that Julien won’t develop Spooner and Pastrnak and we will see more offensive talent wasted, as has happened in recent years with Tyler Seguin and Phil Kessel. Julien is great defensive coach, no doubt, but he is not the coach to have in place if the team is going to move towards a faster game with more offensive potential.   

            Make no mistake, the players deserve a large slice of the blame pie too. Perhaps the biggest slice.  They are getting theirs.  Danny Paille and Greg Campbell won’t be resigned.  There will be more changes coming.

            Kudos Cam and Mr. Jacobs, bouncing Chiarelli is the right first move.  Let’s hope more of the same is on the way.

- J            

Category:general -- posted at: 5:44pm EDT
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Bruins fail to make the playoffs and the Celtics clinch a playoff spot. Who predicted that? Not Joe and Shawn, but they discuss what this means for the Bruins and Celtics. In the last half of the show, they look at the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of the start of the Red Sox season.

Direct download: bostonsportspodep30.mp3
Category:Red Sox -- posted at: 11:19pm EDT
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Red Sox kicked off 2015 season, and Joe and Shawn are back talking Boston Sports. The first half of the show focuses on the Red Sox, but then shifts to Bruins and Celtics playoff chances.

Direct download: bostonsportspodep29.mp3
Category:Red Sox -- posted at: 11:33pm EDT
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Joe and Shawn react to the Patriots losing Revis in free agency. Angry? Disappointed? Pessimistic? Still Hopeful? Has the Kool-aid soured? Is still In Bill We Trust? They also discuss the Bruins recent success and the Revolution loss to Seattle in the MLS season opener. 

Direct download: bostonsportspodep28.mp3
Category:Patriots -- posted at: 10:59pm EDT
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Joe and Shawn return for "Season 2" with a discussion of the potential New England Patriots offseason moves, including what to do about Revis and McCourty. They also discuss the Bruins trade deadline moves and what they signal about the future of the Burins. They round out the pod with the Red Soxand Revs.

Direct download: bostonsportspodep27.mp3
Category:Patriots -- posted at: 11:17pm EDT
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Champs Again!

How glorious was that Super Bowl win?! 

Four days on and I am still mentally pinching myself a few times a day. Did that really happen?  Did we finally get the elusive 4th title?  Did it really happen in such dramatic fashion, in doubt until the very end?

The euphoria we all felt when our new local hero, Malcolm Butler, grabbed that interception made it all worth it.  It - the anguish and mini heart attacks, the moments of despair, the roller coaster ride of a season.

After week four, some of us (myself included? nah . . .) were ready to put Jimmy G in.  Brady was done, his skills had fallen off the cliff.  Yeah sure.  That’s the same guy who went 13 for 15 for 116 yards and 2 TDs for a passer rating over 140 in the 4th quarter of the Super Bowl.

You can have Andrew Luck, Russell Wilson, Peyton Manning et al.  Give me TB12 all day any day.  He didn’t throw for 55 TDs and 5,000 yards this year, but so what.  Manning did that last year and look what it got him.  But that’s an old story with Manning, big regular season stats small postseason results.  12 showed what he is all about in that 4th quarter.  He went 8 for 8 on the final drive and threw for the game winning TD against the best secondary in the game, the “Legion of Boom.”  He was stepping up in the pocket, unleashing laser-guided bullets, while staying calm and cool and displaying the leadership his team needed in that high pressure, high stakes moment. 

Malcolm Butler is the hero, and he deserves to be.  The play he made to seal the win was All-Pro, clutch, ballsy, you name it.  The more I watch that play the more impressed I am.  It was the synthesis of preparation, awareness and athletic ability.  It was the perfect storm of everything that makes the Patriots winners - coaching and situational execution at the most important moment of the season. However, Malcolm Butler isn’t in position to make that play unless Tom Brady engineers the comeback in the 4th quarter. 

Is Brady the best quarterback in the game right now? Maybe not, Aaron Rodgers is pretty damn good.

Is Brady the best quarterback of all time?  Yes he is; but I thought he was before the outcome of Super Bowl XLIX. 

And if 12 is still doing his thing, then the Patriots are capable of winning Lombardis year in year out.

Don’t sleep on Brady; he’s not done yet.

-JD

 

 

Category:general -- posted at: 1:25pm EDT
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Joe and Shawn bask in the glory of the New England Patriots Super Bowl victory. How great are Brady and Belichick? What does this fourth Super Bowl victory mean for the Patriots legacy, for the fans? How did the Patriots win? Where to next?

Direct download: bostonsportspodep26.mp3
Category:Patriots -- posted at: 11:29pm EDT
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With the Super Bowl days away, Joe and Shawn talk about what to expect from the game and what the Patriots will need to do win. Warning: there is some discussion of deflated footballs. They end the podcast with their sacrificial offering to the Sport Gods to ensure a Patriots victory.

Direct download: bostonsportspodep25.mp3
Category:Patriots -- posted at: 10:41pm EDT
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The Patriots are on to the Super Bowl! Joe and Shawn discuss the dominating victory in the AFC Championship game over the Indianapolis Colts. They reflecting on past Super Bowl Patriots team, the consistent success of the Patriots, and what this Super Bowl might mean for the Tom Brady/Bill Belichick legacy. They also touch on the stupidly named "deflation-gate" and why everyone is so envious of the Patriots.

Direct download: bostonsportspodep24.mp3
Category:Patriots -- posted at: 11:09pm EDT
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After beating the Baltimore Ravens, the New England Patriots, under Brady and Belichick, are off to their 9th AFC Championship Game (4th in a row). Joe and Shawn discuss the game and try to figure how the Patrots pulled this one out. They get into the terrible officiating, the Patriots' trick plays(And Harbaugh's whining), and the difficulties on defense. They close by discussing who we'd rather face in the AFC championship game: Colts or Broncos. (Recorded before the end of the game: Pats will host the Colts).

Direct download: bostonsportspodep23.mp3
Category:Patriots -- posted at: 8:40pm EDT
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NFL regular season is over; playoffs begin this weekend. After briefly talking about the loss to the Buffalo Bills, Joe and Shawn discuss potential playoff opponents (Bengals, Colts, or Ravens) for the New England Patriots in round two and beyond.  A few jinx-worthy predications are made!

Direct download: bostonsportspodep22.mp3
Category:Patriots -- posted at: 11:49pm EDT
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Joe and Shawn react to the Patriots and Jets game and discuss how nervous Pats fans should be. They also talk about what changes the Bruins need to get back to form and touch on the Rondo trade.

Direct download: bostonsportspodep21.mp3
Category:Patriots -- posted at: 11:53pm EDT
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Joe and Shawn talk about the Pats' "close" blowout over the Miami Dolphins. They also get into the AFC/NFC playoff picture; Blount vs Gray; Brady's post NFL carrer; and then close with the prospects of resigning Revis.

Direct download: bostonsportspodep20.mp3
Category:Patriots -- posted at: 11:55pm EDT
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Joe and Shawn talk Jon Lester and Boston Red Sox. How and why did the Sox fail to land Lester? What next? Also, they save some time to talk New England Patriots and then close with some discussion of the New England Revolution's loss in the MLS Cup and MLS vs EPL.

Direct download: BostonSportsPodEp19.mp3
Category:Red Sox -- posted at: 12:16am EDT
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After a Thanksgiving Break, Joe and Shawn return to discuss the impact of the New England Patriots dropping a close game to the Green Bay Packers. They also talk about the Boston Red Sox free agent signings of Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez and what effect this might have on the re-signing of Jon Lester. They close with some New England Revolution and MLS Cup action.

Direct download: BostonSportsPodEp18.mp3
Category:Patriots -- posted at: 11:08pm EDT
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The domination of the AFC by the Patriots continue as they dismantle the Indianapolis Colts. Joe and Shawn discuss the victory over Luck and Co. as well as look forward to the upcoming NFC matchups with the Lions and the Packers. They close with a look at the possible Red Sox free agency moves, Revolution playoffs, and the Bruins.

Direct download: BostonSportsPodEp17.mp3
Category:Patriots -- posted at: 10:52pm EDT
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Joe and Shawn bask in the glow of the New England Patriots' decisive win over the Denver Broncos. 

Direct download: BostonSportsPodEp16.mp3
Category:Patriots -- posted at: 12:13am EDT
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Joe and Shawn discuss the Patriots dominating victory of the Bears and the upcoming showdown with Manning and the Broncos. Some Bruins and Revs thrown in for good measure.

Direct download: BostonSportsPodEp15.mp3
Category:Patriots -- posted at: 11:00pm EDT
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Joe and Shawn discuss the New England Patriots AFC East matchups with the Buffalo Bills and New York Jets. In a tale of two different Patriots teams, the Pats beat the Bills convincingly and barely escaped from the Jets. Was Mayo the difference or have the Patriots been bad against the run all year? The show closes with some Bruins talk.

Direct download: BostonSportsPodEp14.mp3
Category:Patriots -- posted at: 8:00am EDT
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Joe and Shawn discuss the Patriots blowout loss at the hands of the Kansas City Chiefs and the followup blowout win againt the Cincinnati Bengals. They also discuss the future of Tom Brady in Foxboro.

Direct download: BostonSportsPodEp13.mp3
Category:Patriots -- posted at: 12:03am EDT
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Joe and Shawn discuss the New England Patriots home-opener against the Oakland Raiders. The Pats win and improve their record to 2-1, but they don't impress in a close game against the worst team in the NFL.

Direct download: BostonSportsPodEp12.mp3
Category:Patriots -- posted at: 7:08pm EDT
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Episode 11: Patriots win in Minnesota

Joe and Shawn discuss the New England Patriots first victory of the 2014 campaign: a 30-7 win over the Minnesota Vikings. They also discuss the recent scandals in the NFL and what that means for NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.

Direct download: bostonsportspodep11.mp3
Category:Patriots -- posted at: 10:33pm EDT
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Joe and Shawn react to the week one loss of the New England Patriots to the Miami Dolphins. Podcast closes with a roundup of Boston Sports: Bruins, Revs, and Sox.

Direct download: bostonsportspodep10.mp3
Category:Patriots -- posted at: 9:41pm EDT
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Joe and Shawn react to the Patriots/Panthers preseason game and then discuss the Red Sox signing of Castillo.

Direct download: BostonSportsPodEp9.mp3
Category:Patriots -- posted at: 8:00am EDT
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The Red Sox traded Jon Lester at the trade deadline. Joe and Shawn talk about the trade and the wisdom of the managment philosophy that got the Sox to this point.

Direct download: BostonSportsPodEp8.mp3
Category:Red Sox -- posted at: 11:40am EDT
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Joe and Shawn discuss the Red Sox's chances of remaining competitive and how that affects Jon Lester's contract situation. They finish their predictions of the Patriots schedule and talk some training camp. They close with some thoughts on NFL London.

Direct download: bostonsportspodep7.mp3
Category:Red Sox -- posted at: 11:04pm EDT
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Joe and Shawn return from a summer hiatus to discuss Lebron, World Cup action, the youth movement of the Red Sox and predictions for the Patriots season.

Direct download: BostonSportsPodEp6.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:52am EDT
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The Red Sox live! Joe and Shawn discuss the Red Sox win streak and the 2004 World Series Championship Anniversary. They also breakdown the first five games of the Patriots season. They also touch on the Revolution and the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Direct download: BostonSportsPodEp5.mp3
Category:Red Sox -- posted at: 9:21am EDT
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Joe and Shawn try to figure out what is going on with the Red Sox and their slide into last place. They close with a look at the surging Revs.

Direct download: BostonSportsPodEp4.mp3
Category:Red Sox -- posted at: 10:09am EDT
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In this episode, Joe and Shawn discuss what happened in the Bs playoff series loss to the Canadiens. What does it mean for the team's legacy? How did this happen? And what do the Bs do now?

Direct download: BostonSportsPodEp3.mp3
Category:Bruins -- posted at: 2:45pm EDT
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In this episode, Joe and Shawn discuss the Bruins and Canadiens playoff games (3,4, and 5), review the Patriots' draft, and close with Liverpool's failing to win the league title.

Direct download: BostonSportsPodEp2.mp3
Category:Bruins -- posted at: 2:05pm EDT
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In this episode, Joe and Shawn discuss the first two Bruins and Habs playoff games, the struggling but improving Red Sox, the Patriots' draft needs, and close with updates on the Revolution and Liverpool.

Direct download: BostonSportsPodEp1.mp3
Category:Bruins -- posted at: 10:14pm EDT
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Coming Soon! A new weekly podcast that focus on all things Boston sports. Launching in May 2014.

Category: -- posted at: 4:13pm EDT
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