One first down, ten measly yards, doesn’t seem like much but for the New England
Patriots when needed it might as well be a mile.  Once again the inability to close out a game
has reared its ugly head and now has pushed the Pats back to the Mendoza line.  I am not going to act like this is
something new, it is just very frustrating and if it is not fixed soon you can simply kiss B&B’s fourth Super Bowl title together good-bye. I am not going
to go to crazy because the Pats have plenty of time to fix this issue and the real season does not begin until mid November or around Turkey Day.  I am just so tired of hearing how élite this
offense has been the past couple of years and the accolades that have been thrown at this team for reinventing the wheel.  Truth be told as of late Tom Brady has not been clutch, I know that it
is blasphemy to kill a man who has brought me three Lombardi trophies but if it smells, looks, and walks like it duck it is probably Tony Romo…….no
seriously it’s probably a duck.  Tom has been great when it matters least, ala A-Rod, nothing like hitting a ninth inning home run to pad your stats when your team is down and out of the
game.  This may be a lame example but since 2004 the lights that used to shine bright on Tom on the biggest stages have began to slowly dim.  I do not feel confident
anymore if the Pats need to drive to when a game or simply convert one 1st down to ice it.  Now I know that our record could simply be 5-1 if not for one missed FG in Arizona and one wide FG
in Baltimore, but that would be revisionist history, truth is this team is playing like a 3-3 team and most improve on all three sides of the ball, the third
being the sideline with the play calling or decision-making.  I know Josh was brought back to run this
offense and visions of 2007 have run through my head, but with the new toys added in the offseason with the emergence of a power running game can we
please add a 1st down to win a football game, otherwise this team is always going to come up short.

The clock has struck midnight, with each tick comes the harsh reality that Wes Welker will be playing his last year as a Patriot in 2012.  The two sides at this point value each other on different ends of the spectrum leaving a fisure too wide that neither can come to a common ground.  So enjoy flashes of mini-mouse wearing #83 as he zig zags across the middle catching his last passes from Brady.  It is a harsh reality but one that is not unfamiliar, teams and players come to a fork in the road and decisions must be made.  In this case the Patriots believe they can function at a level that justifies not giving Wes a long-term contract as well as shelling out top end money.  Who knows who’s right, only time will tell, I believe both will move on and somehow miss one another.

Assumption of risk is defined as: In tort law, that a plaintiff voluntarily accepted or exposed himself to a risk of damage, injury, or loss, after appreciating that the condition or situation was clearly dangerous, and nonetheless made the decision to act.  Troy Polamalu recently said on the Dan Patrick Show that he has lied about symptoms of concussions so that he’d be cleared to stay on the field.  Interesting I must say and from a fans perspective and I would hope all the players on my favorite team would think the same way, but from a legal standpoint seems like not a great thing to say.  By Troy coming out on his own omission, does this statement relieve the NFL from future lawsuits because of the assumption of risk?  It just might and in turn save the NFL millions of dollars and future headaches from pending lawsuits.  More and more athletes are coming out of the wood work stating that they have lied to team doctors so that they can get back into the game.  The NFL just may of doged a bullet from future lawsuits because one of the spokesman from Head and Shoulders, unfortunately for Troy, there seems not to be much common sense in between those two areas.

Mediocrity for a fan is like living in purgatory, and sometimes a virtual hell.  You grasp on to the belief that things will get better, hoping, wishing, bending your will with such force that you believe you can change the outcome by just having faith.  Unfortunately the sample size now for the Red Sox has been three years and I am here to tell you this, “The Red Sox are mediocre”.   There is no sugar coating it, they are old, locked into bad contracts and under the microscope to perform to the fans expectations due to chasing the Yankees and exceedingly high ticket prices.  This needs to stop. There is a bad aura about this team for some time now and the slate needs to be cleaned so that the youth movement can begin.  There is something about watching youth come up to the big leagues, something that can’t be explained other than exciting.  You watch them take their lumps, try and figure out the game with all of the idiosyncrasies at a speed they are not used to.  We saw it first hand with Pedrioa and Elsbury and are now watching it with Middlebrooks.  The beauty of it though is its fun to watch.  The Catch 22 of this dilemma is that you may have to lose more than the fan base is used to, which in turn kills the bottom line, and if we know anything about the Holy Trinity that bought the Red Sox is that they hate to lose money.  So as a fan you are happy that they bring in All-Star caliber players but there comes a price with it, a good example as we all know is with Josh Beckett.  This team needs to be flushed, scrubbed, and molded in the mind of the Tampa Rays.  For years they have competed under a Mickey Mouse budget yet have played and beaten the big market teams.  It was done with smart management, smart players and knowing when to cut the ties with players.  Bill Belichick and the Patriots are geniuses at this because they know that it is just business, nothing personal.  And I believe the Red Sox need to take a page from their book on how to show no remorse and start making sounder business decisions in terms of personal and long term contracts.  If it is simply about making money than this will never change, Fenway will continue their sell-out streak and we will pay the highest ticket prices in the league while floating around the Mendoza line.  Otherwise, let’s stop the non-sense and rebuild, is it such a bad thing not wanting to be mediocre?  

Well Boston fans who are you going to blame now?  Can’t be Theo anymore, want to throw Bobby V and Ben under the bus for this one?  Of course you do, it is easy to say that Youk was pushed aside and treated harshly for a player that gave his heart and soul to a club that he helped engineer two World Championships.  But let me stop you right there.  The Greek God of Walks had to exit and change the color of his socks in order for this team to be sucessful for this year and into the future.  It has been thinking as such that’s been runining this team by keeping over-the hill players due to public relations even though they are on the down side of an aging career with youth knocking on the door.  Let youth be served, out with the old and in with the new, and if I were Big Papi or Josh Beckett or any other aging star that might be a valualbe trading commidity, I would be watching out for that July 31st date.  Sorry Kevin as much as I loved your intensity and that fire inside that burned to hate the Yankees, your body just could not keep up.  It’s okay, it happens to lots of players and most of the time it’s not pretty, and trust me, since 2010 for you it’s been a train wreck. There is a new sheriff in town Kevin, and his name is Will Middlebrooks, so for now I will fold my Kevin Youkilis T-Shirt and tuck it back deep into my dresser. Thats how life is when you don’t become attached but just enjoy what you are seeing, and for 9+ years Youk has done that for me. Just don’t blame the Red Sox for doing what they had to do, but I know somehow you will Red Sox Nation.

Recently there has been a black hole that has grown ever so slightly inside my heart and it is slowly deteriorating the love I have for sports.  Not sure if the decline has always been there or that in today’s world of Facebook, Twitter, and the ever-expanding coverage of blogs it is just more noticeable.  As an example, I can’t tell you how sick and tired I am of hearing the word “gate” attached to some type of scandal in the sports world.  There was Spygate, Trippinggate, now Bountygate, and I am sure if you had a poll most of the  younger generation probably couldn’t tell you what Watergate is, which in its own right is a sad state.  Think about it, more than ever we hear about college players being paid illegally, coaches molesting children, drug and alcohol arrests with our modern-day sports heroes, players going bankrupt from Ponzi schemes or not handling their money right, lawsuits between players and their league.  I am sick and tired of it, and I hate to say it but I believe that there is too much coverage of today’s modern athletes.  Do we really need to have an hour dedicated on ESPN for the spelling bee contest, does this really need coverage?  How about National Signing Day for highschool athletes who hold press conferences to let us know which college they have chosen.  Seriously, do we need to blow these kids heads up anymore than I am sure they have already been told.  Most of the time you never hear from them again, they never pan out to become the next big star and succumb to the pressures of being told they are the best or academically they can’t hack it.  How about LeBron James and his press conference to let the world know he is moving his basketball skills to South Beach?  Did we really need a month-long series of useless interviews with friends, family, and basketball experts to interject their feeling of where LeBron might play?  Same can be said for the Peyton Manning sweepstake.  Do we really need to know what is going on in our favorite athletes life on Twitter every second of the day?  Not sure about you but I don’t care if Ocho Cinco ate oatmeal for breakfast this morning, but some people do.  If people actually read books as much as they followed and responded to Twitter and Facebook maybe this country would not be second fiddle educationally to other nations.  How about actually attending a live sporting event to enjoy and a feel the live rush of the game.  Forget it.  Lets start with a family of four, and since I am a Red Sox fan we will use going to Fenway as an example.  Easily minimum $100 just to get into the park, and that is being generous since they have the highest ticket prices in all of baseball, times that by four for an average family and we start off $400 in the hole.  Let’s throw in the price of parking, beverages and what not and we are easily looking at $500 day at the park for the love of the game.  Hard to swallow in today’s economy or truthfully any economy.  Back to my rant, I just can’t get over the over stimulation of sports coverage that is in today’s sports world.  Don’t get me wrong it does have its benefits.  I love being able to pull up the Red Zone channel to watch the Patriots every Sunday instead of having to travel to Foxboro to see their games, or watch the MLB channel to catch the Red Sox, especially for someone who lives in New Jersey.  As much as I love my sports teams traveling to Boston on weekends sounds a little extreme.  Anyway, time to move on with my life and away from the craziness of the sports world, otherwise this black hole that has been swallowing me may consume my every waking minute, but don’t worry you can follow all that happens on my next Twitter post.

So much for going 162-0, but what did you expect?  The Tigers are favored by most as the top team in the America League, the rotation at the top still has to prove that it can bounce back from last years chicken and beer fest, and how are we going to coup with the loss of Paps.  For now I am not going to worry, it’s to early.  As Joe Torre used to say “It’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon”, so for now I will take a deep breath and come off the ledge.  

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