We all know Donald Trump is obsessed with being right. He’s also obsessed with pictures, which started after his inauguration in January. As you can see in the picture below, Trump’s inauguration was not as well attended as his predecessor’s:
Now you can argue that the picture has been altered and that the sun sets in the East and rises in the West, but let’s just say that the above picture is accurate. Fast forward three months and we have another picture controversy on our hands thanks to the Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots visiting Trump at the White House. The Patriots already announced that less players were showing up compared to 2015 but that the overall number of personnel and players would be about the same. Then, this picture happened:
Instead of just letting it go, the official Patriots Twitter account decided to chime in and give their take on the picture, which not only seems unnecessary, but seems like something that was directed by Trump himself:
The Patriots are a team that rarely officially comment on anything, so to have them come out and tweet something like that is odd. Kraft and Trump are butt buddies, and Belichick even wrote Trump a letter during the campaign, so you have to imagine that friendship and Trump’s obsession with being popular has a lot to do with it. Of course, Trump also weighed in on the picture, because he apparently has nothing better to do:
Failing @nytimes, which has been calling me wrong for two years, just got caught in a big lie concerning New England Patriots visit to W.H.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 20, 2017
If you’re looking for some fresh reasons to hate the Patriots, you know have some ammo.
Full disclosure: I’m not a Patriots fan, but after these last few months, it’s getting harder and harder not to like Tom Brady. Not only does he lead the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history, but he breaks the passing yards record for a single Super Bowl and wins me a nice sum of money. On top of that, he gave football fans what will probably go down as one of, if not THE greatest Super Bowl in NFL history (unless you live in the Atlanta area). Off the field he owns social media, and the main reason are posts like this. For those that don’t know, Brady’s game worn jersey went missing the night of the Super Bowl and has yet to be found. While it’s currently valued at over $500,000, it’ll probably never be found, because it’s impossible to sell it publicly without getting arrested. That’s not stopping Tom from building a suspect board and trying out a little bit of vigilante justice. The suspects include Julian Edelman, Lady Gaga, Pyat Pree from Game of Thrones, Norm Snively from Air Bud, O’Doyle from Billy Madison, Gollum, Tom Brady’s own handsome dog and my personal favorite, Prison Michael Scott. If this suspect board doesn’t find the thief, then I’m afraid all hope is lost.
There are three things the Average Nobodies don’t partake in: drinking low fat milk, wearing the same two socks and using roman numerals. That’s why this is a Super Bowl 51 prediction blog, not a Super Bowl random capital letters blog. Anyway, we’re finally here. The wild card, divisional and championship rounds of the playoffs are complete and we’re down to the last two surviving teams. Will Tom Brady win his record breaking 5th Super Bowl or will Matt Ryan win his 1st? No matter the outcome, this game should be fantastic. Both teams are playing great football, as the Pats just ended Pittsburgh’s 9 game win streak to advance and the Falcons ended Green Bay’s 8 gamer. Here’s how I picture fans of both teams dealing with lead changes throughout the game:
The story of this game in most preview posts is about the Falcons top ranked offense versus the Patriots top ranked defense, but the beauty of both these teams is how balanced they are on both sides of the ball. The Falcons defense has been ferocious in the playoffs, blitzing teams constantly and refusing to let opposing offenses get into a rhythm. While the Seahawks offensive line has been in shambles all season, the Atlanta defense was especially impressive last week versus the Packers. Rodgers and Green Bay dominated opposing defenses over the last half of the season and into the playoffs, but thanks to constant pressure from the Falcons, they were never able to get going and faced a 24-0 deficit at halftime. The Falcons did this against an offensive line that was giving Rodgers all day to either scramble or find open receivers during their 8 game win streak , and they’ll need to be even better against Tom Brady.
While the Pats defense was ranked #1 this year in points allowed, their offense hasn’t been too shabby either, and most of that credit has to go to the ageless Tom Brady. The only way the Falcons are going to win is if they mimic and execute the game plans of the Giants and Broncos from playoff game’s past. In the 2008 Super Bowl, the Giants sacked Brady eight times and pressured him pretty much all game. In the 2012 Super Bowl, the Giants only sacked Brady twice, but they again pressured him all day, even forcing a 1st quarter intentional grounding penalty that lead to the first nine points of the game for New York. The Broncos did more of the same in the 2016 AFC Championship game, sacking Brady four times, picking him off twice and allowing him to complete only 48% of his passes. While the stats paint a picture of those three games, watching them live tell the whole story. Brady was unable to hit his running backs or receivers because of constant pressure, and even if he wasn’t sacked or picked off, he was getting knocked down or rushed.
The key for the Falcons will be blitzing and getting to Brady frequently, but that’s easier said than done. A lot of that has to do with this stat I found in Bill Barnwell’s Super Bowl preview: “when defenses blitzed him this year, Brady went 61-of-99 for 838 yards with 11 touchdowns and zero interceptions, taking just two sacks in the process”. That has to be a depressing stat if you’re a Falcons fan, because it basically tells you there’s no stopping Tom Brady. You can’t sit back and coverage without pressure, because he’ll pick you apart. You also can’t blitz him every down, because he’s been almost perfect against those packages this year. Assuming the Falcons blitz consistently, Brady won’t have a lot of time to find receivers down the field. If that’s the case, the key for Brady is going to be Dion Lewis and James White out of backfield, as well as pounding the ball inside with Blount. LeGarrette will be especially important because of the presence of NFL sack leader Vic Beasley, who will be looking to pressure Tom Brady on passing downs. Another stat to pay attention to from Barnwell’s article: “When opposing teams have three or more wideouts on the field, Beasley has played 74.6 percent of snaps. When they have two wideouts or fewer, Beasley’s playing time dips to just 19.7 percent of snaps”. If the Pats can keep Beasley off the field AND have success with Blount, this game will be over by halftime.
Working in the Falcons favor is their supremely talented offense, but they’ll be going against a Bill Belichick defense that has had two weeks to prepare. That sounds like a cliché, but the guy has already won 6 Super Bowls as a defensive coordinator or head coach, so it’s safe to say he knows a little bit about preparing for an offense. Belichick specializes in taking away the best player or part of an opposing teams offense, and that will start and end with Julio Jones. Julio has had a quiet postseason so far, combining for only 15 catches, 247 yards and three touchdowns. While New England neutralized Antonio Brown last week, with all respect to AB, Jones is a different kind of monster and has a better quarterback. AB is listed at 5’10 180 while Jones is listed at 6’4 220, and Julio is able to be a dual threat at all times. He’s bigger and stronger than most corners, which is invaluable around the goal line, but he’s also a menace after the catch which he showed on last week’s 73 yard touchdown vs. Green Bay. Much like neutralizing Brady, shutting down Jones is easier said than done. Similar to Lewis and White for the Pats, Atlanta has a 1-2 punch of their own in Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman. Both are great pass catchers and excel at YAC, so if New England starts to get pressure on Matt Ryan, expect a lot of screens and dump offs.
The only thing left to do is play the game. Pats are favored by 3 points with an over/under sitting at 58. I’m going with Tom Brady to win his fifth ring, and I think it’s time we have a serious discussion about renaming the Lombardi Trophy the Belichick Trophy.
Pick: Patriots 41 Falcons 28
The Patriots and Broncos played for the AFC Championship yesterday afternoon, and by now you probably know the Broncos won. Brady was rushed all day, and the Denver pass defense just proved too much for the Patriots offensive line. Out of that game we were treated to this incredible Taiwanese animation, including Rob Gronkowski running like a elementary school Forrest Gump and Peyton Manning getting around with the assistance of a walker. A+ stuff all around.
I think you and I are destined to do this forever.
Tom Brady and Peyton Manning, both two of the greatest quarterbacks of their generation and of all time, will face each other for the 17th time this Sunday with a trip to Super Bowl 50 on the line. As AFC rivals their entire career, the stakes literally could not be higher. Brady is 11-5 in his career vs. Manning, but in their 4 career playoff meetings, each man has come away with two victories. In those four seasons, either Brady or Manning’s team have gone on to win the Super Bowl three times.
Living in New England, Tom Brady, now in his 16th NFL season, has taken on an almost God-like status. Whether you love him or you hate him, you cannot deny how superior the man is at football. Over a 15 year period, the team that represents the AFC in the Super Bowl has almost exclusively gone through Foxboro. Since the 01-02 season, this will be the 10th time (!) that Tom Brady and the Patriots have played in the AFC Championship game. Of the previous nine, they’ve won six, and gone on to win four of those Super Bowls. Brady has a career record of 22-8 in the playoffs, but is only 3-3 on the road, which goes to show how dominant his Patriots teams have been in the regular season. He’s Batman in football form, dispensing his enemies with relative ease all while keeping up the poster boy charm.
Peyton Manning, now in his 18th NFL season, has been the Joker to Brady’s Batman. Manning holds 15 NFL regular season passing records, including the most yards and touchdowns of all time. Manning’s success in the regular season is only rivaled by Brady’s, and where Brady thrives (playoffs) Manning has faltered. Manning is 12-13 in his career in the playoffs, and the only postseason stat in which he equals Brady is in the amount of Super Bowls he has lost (2). Now for a guy to play in 25 playoff games (and counting), win a Super Bowl and have all those regular accolades is an amazing career. But Peyton Manning was put on this Earth to play football at the same time as Thomas Brady, and they will forever be entwined.
While stats are fun for casual conversations with friends, all that matters to Patriots, Broncos, Brady and Manning fans is the outcome of Sunday’s matchup. From now until Sunday you’ll see a million articles about how the game is so much more than Brady and Manning, but when it comes down to it, it really isn’t. It’s all about Brady and Manning. It’s about two guys who love the game of football and are really, really good at it, and for the 17th time they get to duke it out to see who is the better man. I can confidently say we will never see a quarterback rivalry at this level again, and I’m just glad I got to be a fan during their tenures. As for Sunday’s game? Patriots 23 Broncos 16.
In fact, many former New England coaches and employees insist that the taping of signals wasn’t even the most effective cheating method the Patriots deployed in that era. Several of them acknowledge that during pregame warm-ups, a low-level Patriots employee would sneak into the visiting locker room and steal the play sheet, listing the first 20 or so scripted calls for the opposing team’s offense. (The practice became so notorious that some coaches put out fake play sheets for the Patriots to swipe.) Numerous former employees say the Patriots would have someone rummage through the visiting team hotel for playbooks or scouting reports. – USA Today
I knew that when Judge Berman reversed Tom Brady’s suspension that it wasn’t the end of deflate gate, but I was hoping that we’d at least be able to put that story on the back burner and focus on the upcoming season, which starts in two days. Of course that didn’t happen, and of course there’s a NEW cheating scandal to come out about the Patriots. According to a couple investigative journalists who totally aren’t trying to start a witch hunt, the Patriots used to send employees into hotel and locker rooms to try and steal the other teams playbook. If this story lived on it’s own, there would probably be a lot more people who cared about it, but after everything that’s been written and talked about in regards to spy gate and deflate gate, I’m just indifferent. Who cares at this point? There’s honestly nothing that could come out about the Patriots that would be make me feel happiness or anger. When reporting on the Patriots, ESPN might as well identify themselves as a gossip website, because that’s what it’s becoming. At this point, I wouldn’t be surprised if a story came out about a talented Patriot who ended up being a serial killer. Oh wait…
No Fun – The National Football League has upheld a four-game suspension of New England Patriots star quarterback Tom Brady for his role in the football tampering scandal known as “Deflategate,” the league announced in a news release Tuesday.
Commissioner Roger Goodell, in affirming the suspension he handed down in May, said new information about the destruction of Brady’s cell phone showed the four-time Super Bowl champion “sought to hide evidence of his own participation in the underlying scheme to alter the footballs.”
The first thing I want to say is that none of this would have happened if Tom Brady were white. Oh he is white? Well then I’m not sure what stance to take here. Is it dumb to suspend a guy for four games for something you can’t prove? Yes. Am I surprised the NFL, a somehow multi billion dollar operation who gloriously screws up every investigation over the last few years, screwed up an investigation? No. Anyone who thinks the NFL is punishing Tom Brady for deflating footballs is missing the point. Roger Goodell and the NFL are suspending Tom Brady for not going quietly into the night. They wanted a quick and painless situation and wanted Brady to do everything their way, including giving up his cell phone. If anyone saw the texts on my cell phone, I’d be thrown in an insane asylum immediately. Plus why would Brady let the NFL, the league that bungles every investigation, have his personal cell phone? That shit would’ve been leaked to the world in a nanosecond. So Brady didn’t comply, pee wee brain Roger Goodell didn’t want to look weak, and now the defending Super Bowl Champions won’t have their quarterback on the field until week 6. May God have mercy on Andrew Luck and the Colts for that week 6 matchup.
By now, you’ve heard the news: Tom Brady, four time Super Bowl winner and one of the most noticed athletes on the planet, has been suspended four games for maybe, possibly, probably cheating. Like most things that happen in the Internet age, the reactions have been far and wide. Anti-Patriot fans (for which there are many) either love the punishment or think more should’ve been done, like stripping Brady of his Super Bowl title last year and banishing his first born child to Siberia. Patriot fans and Brady defenders have either quietly chastised the NFL and Goodell or called for the commissioner to be hung from Copley Square while Bill Belichick throws lit cigarettes at him. As a non Patriots fan, my thoughts are somewhere in the middle. I think Brady cheated, but I can’t for the life of me figure out how missing 25% of your team’s games is a fair punishment for deflating footballs. Here’s the real problem: the NFL and Roger Goodell have royally fucked up so many of these investigations that they backed themselves into a corner. Instead of doing the right thing with guys like Ray Rice and Greg Hardy, the NFL refused to act and let the general public dictate what should be done. The more hands in the pot, the worse it got, and by the time the NFL finally acted, no punishment was going to be good enough. The same thing happened here. If Tom Brady didn’t get suspended, everyone besides Patriot fans would have been in an uproar because the official NFL investigation supposedly said he cheated. It would’ve most definitely been turned into a race issue (because what ISN’T turned into a race issue in 2015?) and Goodell would have been forced to act eventually. If Brady got suspended one game, Patriots fans would have been in an uproar and compared it to the two games Ray Rice received for assaulting his wife. “Tom Brady deflates footballs and gets a one game suspension but Ray Rice beats his wife and gets two games. That’s fair.” Does that sentence look familiar? It should, because if you have a social media account you’ve seen that exact statement, except of course, Brady got four games, which is double the initial Ray Rice punishment. Roger Goodell is like Dr. Evil or a Bond villain, except much worse; when the movie ends, the bad guy disappears. Unfortunately for football fans, Roger Goodell is very real, and very bad at his job. He claims suspending Brady for four games is protecting the integrity of the game, but the integrity of football has been gone for a long time. Brady’s cheating might have directly affected the outcome of a game, but is that really worse than some of the things Goodell has let his players get away with over the years? Here’s an excerpt from the arrest report on Greg Hardy:
In the protective order request, the woman said Hardy picked her up and threw her into the tiled tub area of a bathroom. He then dragged her into the bedroom, choked her, picked her up again and “threw [her] onto a couch covered in assault rifles and/or shotguns.”
“Hardy bragged that all of those assault rifles were loaded,” the motion stated.
She said that Hardy threatened to shoot her if she went to the media or reported the assault to anyone.
Hardy was suspended 10 games, and just signed a one year incentive laden deal that could pay him $13 million this year. So if a guy like this can just serve his 10 games and get paid, what exactly is stopping other players from being a complete pile of garbage? Hell, the 10 game suspension probably prolonged Hardy’s career. The NFL allows this stuff to happen then tries to save face by suspending, of all people, Tom Brady. A 4 time Super Bowl winner, a top 2 or 3 quarterback of all time and by all accounts a good husband and father. You may say the latter part has nothing to do with deflate gate, but you’re wrong. The NFL and Roger Goodell are tainting a guy’s legacy to make up for all the bullshit they messed up in the past, and it isn’t right. At the same time, they let guys like Hardy and Ray Rice continue to make money and enable their deplorable off season behavior. It’s a sad day for the NFL and professional sports, and as long as Roger Goodell is at the helm, it won’t get better.
The Patriots Don’t Have To Worry About Gronk Suffering A Concussion Because He Apparently Doesn’t Have A Brain
Gronk – During the interview with Jim Rome on Jim Rome on Showtime in which Rob Gronkowski said he’d want a wife who cooked and cleaned, he also spiked a piñata, talked about his party bus … and said he’d rather get a concussion than blow out his knee. His logic was a little less than sound.
“Uh, so if we’re sitting here and I had choose would I want a concussion right now or my knee blown out, I’m going to say a concussion. Why would I want to sit there for eight months and not do anything, when with a concussion I’ll just wake up and I’ll be ready to go again.
Gronk isn’t worried about not remembering things later in life because “that happens all the time. I don’t even know how I got to my hotel last night.”
No one would ever accuse Gronkowski of being a philosopher, but it seems crazy to me that he would equate browning out from having too many drinks to CTE, the condition that has afflicted many former football players.
Rob Gronkowski hit the lottery when he was born. I’m not even talking about being built like a house either. If he wasn’t a professional football player, I can’t imagine he’d be alive right now. He’s so stupid it almost defies logic. You also have to blame Jim Rome a little bit here too. What did you think the world scholar Gronk was going to say to that question. He’s already blown out his knee, and he apparently doesn’t have a brain, or know how concussions work, so he’ll obviously take a concussion. The Pats already won one Super Bowl with him, so I guess they’re happy, but I can’t imagine he lasts more than a few years in the league. For every workout he does he seems to do double the damage to his body with his current lifestyle, but I guess the one he’s got going for him is that he can’t get a concussion. You’d need an actual brain for that. Maybe stop giving him a live microphone and asking him to talk about the very real issue of CTE? Give him a shiny object to hold onto and spike into the ground and call it a day.