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About Rockroi

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    The Rock That Roared

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  1. NFL Offseason: Trail of Tears or My Cousin Kirky

    I have no idea if he could because Belichick is so immersed in football all the time that that could be all he knows. But, yeah, he has such an eye for talent; for coach-ability; for what matters in particular match ups etc. But he also knows he is on solid footing BECAUSE he knows so much about football. If you put him in a baseball dugout, Belichcik could never say to himself, "Hey, I know this game" the way he does in football, so if he ever had to make a decision he could never fall-back on "No, I know this game as well as you can know it..." In fact, Belichcik spoke about this a few years back when asked if he could do another job in sports that was not football related and the discussion got turned to baseball. (this is a paraphrase of what was said) "I have no idea how anybody can be a third-base coach," Belichick said. "I mean, you have one decision to make- whether or not to send a guy home on a ball hit to the outfield - and there are just so many factors to consider that are just so variable - arm strength, accuracy of the throw, speed of the runner, - and you have to do it all in a split-second. How can you make that decisioon and do it right so quickly? I doulc never do that. "Now, first-base coach; I could do that job. Guy gets a hit you stand there and say 'Good hit, way to hit the ball' or 'way to take that walk; nice job.' Now that's a job I could do." Then again, most coaches in most sports are terrible, so Belichik would likely go above 500 lifetime in any sport.
  2. NFL Offseason: Trail of Tears or My Cousin Kirky

    Back to the Future II must have SUCKED for us...
  3. NFL Offseason: Trail of Tears or My Cousin Kirky

    This is exactly my point again, returning to Parcell's line: You are what your record says you are. While the Pats could be 3-4 in Super Bowls, they are not; they are 5-2 and there are a lot of factors that go into that. Case-in-point, one of those "wins-turned-into-a-loss" I am assuming would be the 14 Sueprbowl. Pats were battling with Seattle and then Kearse makes a horseshoe-up-the-ass catch. The ball bounced lucky for him and Seattle. How does That "lucky" play make Seattle any more deserving of winning or for calling that game a "loss" for the Pats? It doesn't. Only the final score matters. But by your logic, I could make a fantastic argument that the Pats are two plays from being 7-0 in Superbowls (Helmet Catch in '07; Welker's drop in '11). But it really doesn't matter to me; there fact that we are talking about one QB making it to Seven God-Darn Superbowls is astounding. 3-4 and 5-2 are dramatically different results, but in many ways its just a reaffirmation of how cosmically incredible the Pats have been since 2001 and how fortunate I am to be watching them and rooting for them. Basically, once the argument starts with "In their Seven Superbowls, Brady and Belichick should have ..." the speaker is implicitly admitting that Brady is the greatest QB of all time and Belichick is the greatest coach of all time.
  4. NFL Offseason: Trail of Tears or My Cousin Kirky

    "The record is misleading" is, well, misleading. I always agree with what Bill Parcells said when he was head coach of the Pats and was asked (paraphrasing) "The Pats are 2-4 but could easily be 4-2" and his response was: "You are what your record says you are." Look at Cleveland under Beliehick: 36 - 44. He had ONE winning season 11-5 and four losing ones. The Browns had ONE season under Belichick where they got a lot of attention (1994) and they were 1-1 in the playoffs (ironically, defeating Parcell's Patriots). The problem was that Belichick was still a young coach and he made mistakes. The most well-documented was the way he treated defensive stand outs. With the Giants, Belichick knew what he had in Lawrence Taylor. Taylor could basically do everything. But LT also loved to party; loved going all night and into the morning doing, basically, whatever he wanted. And that would include staying out Saturday night deep into Sunday morning and stumbling into the locker room for a 1pm game. And LT could do it. Belichick learned that players like LT could party hard and still play hard. So when he came to Cleveland, Belichick took the same approach- guys were free to do what they wanted to do when they wanted to do. And it was, predictably, a fucking disaster because, well, most players are not LT! This lead to problems. He did get the team to work really well in 94 after he settled the whole Bernie Kosar problem (cutting him), but then the team moved. I think, AT BEST, Belichick's record is "underwhelming;" as stated several times, its basically Rex Ryan's record. Belichcik has made it to the playoffs ONCE in SEVEN SEASONS (CLE: 1991-1995; NE 2000, 2008) without Brady as his QB. To me, that means something. I also think that Belichick's standing in the NFL NOW blurs the proper view of his Cleveland tenure THEN; in many ways Belichick 1991-1995 was similar to Pete Carroll 1997-1999: young guy, over his head, unimpressive results with a talented team). But because Belichick is impressive now, I think we have a tendency to overrate what he did in CLE, which was in effect "not much."
  5. NFL Offseason: Trail of Tears or My Cousin Kirky

    Revis obviously listened really well to Cris Carter.
  6. NFL Offseason: Trail of Tears or My Cousin Kirky

    I don't know. I actually think Butler is better than Gilmore so losing him- which I think is all but done -has the potential to make the team worse. I think Guy is akin to Long so that's a wash. Will Ealy be the breakthrough player? I don't know; my inclination is that he's the guy who makes an impact here and there, but I do not think the Pats have anybody that makes me think, "The team got immediately better." I think that they have potential and we will see what happens there. And if Butler resigns - and I do not believe he will - then, yes, they are better. But I think that they have the POTENTIAL to be better, but that may also mean they have the potential to be "meh."
  7. NFL Offseason: Trail of Tears or My Cousin Kirky

    (So, my one-day trial just got extended into two so ....) The HIghtower resigning was fucking huge. This is the leader of the D; everything goes through him; he makes everyone better, he makes huge plays, he is the communication with the coaches during plays; everything goes through him. But if he was gone? The team devolves immediately into "Devon McCourty and 10 role-players." While that's an exaggeration, its only a slight one. Hightower makes this D respectable; without him; without Collins; without Butler; without Jones, this D is on the down-side of that ranking, falling almost certainly to the twenties in DVOA defense. With High they are probably in the low teens. Regardless, huge day for the Pats that will almost certainly cap one of their best free-agent experiences to date.
  8. NFL Offseason: Trail of Tears or My Cousin Kirky

    Er... they were REALLY middle of the road. The Pats had a fantastic game in week 3- they shut out the Texans but make no mistake- the Texans were so bad at that time and Watt was playing hurt. Also, the Texans committed costly turnovers on special teams; the D never really had to take the field. But also, Pats played a lot of TERRIBLE offenses in 2016 which assisted keeping their PPG total low. Again, looking at DVOA- this time on the offense's side - the Pats played the BOTTOM FIVE teams in DVOA - the 49'ers, Texans, Rams, Browns and Jets. The Pats played four more games against sub-average DVOA teams Bills x2 and Miami x2. And the Bills BEAT the Pats in week 4 (no Brady). Look at the top-ten DVOA teams from 2016- Pats were 1-1 against those teams with a loss to Seattle, and a win against Pittsburgh, but that Pittsburgh win was without Big Ben. In the Playoffs, the Pats tightened things up by the AFC Championship game, but their D was mediocre against the Texans, good against Pitt and schizophrenic against the Falcons. But the Superbowl is also cloudy; a HUGE part of the Pats success came from the Offense keeping Ryan-Jones off the field for so long. And Hightower's strip-sack helped... Regardless, I think for 2016 the Pats D was helped out tremendously by the schedule and was otherwise middle-of-the-pack which is sometimes good enough.
  9. NFL Offseason: Trail of Tears or My Cousin Kirky

    I think this can be a great (if not redundant) topic, and after my trial in the morning I may take time to unpack some of this, but for now I just want to tackle this one piece. Brady's defenses have ranged from "fucking great" (2003-2004) to overrated (2001), to "meh" (2007, 2009, 2012) to flat out fucking terrible (2011, 2013). Here are the Pats defensive rankings (DVOA) by year, broken up in total defensive ranking and Weighted (w. Weighted games that happened at the end of the season count more than games that happened at the start) 2001: 13th total D, 13th Weighted D (not nearly as great as we all remembered) 2002: 14th Total, 21 Weighted (last time Brady finished a season and the Pats did not make the playoffs) 2003: 2 and 2 2004: 7 and 7 (seems like they should have been better) 2005: 27 and 24 (somehow made the playoffs) 2006: 7 and 4 (MUCH better than I recall) 2007: 11 and 19 (Weighted seems exactly right: the D began to deteriorate rapidly in the 2nd half of the season) 2008: N/A 2009: 14, 13 (what's interesting here is that Brady was not at 100% yet the team's D was about the same as in 2007. And yet...) 2010: 21 and 11 (THe D played great in the second half and it helped the Pats not at all) 2011: 30 and 28 (How fucking stupid is it that the Pats made the Superbowl that season? How??!?!?!?) 2012: 15 and 15 2013: 20 and 24 (Pats had no business making it to the AFC Championship game with this D) 2014: 12 and 13 (Again, in retrospect they seemed better...) 2015: 12 and 15 2016: 16 and 11 (they got better as the year went on... after they got rid of Collins... makes no sense). So, to recap, the Pats D was only in the top ten THREE times w/ Brady as the starter (03, 04 and 06) and while the Pats DID win the SB in 2 of those seasons, those were all early-year successes. The Pats have enjoyed extraordinary post season success with team Ds that have been anything but great and in a few cases (01, 07, '14 and '16) made it to or even WON the Superbowl with pretty mediocre Ds and in a few seasons made it DEEP into the playoffs with below-average to terrible D (2013 to the AFC Championship game; 2011 to the Superbowl). So, no; Brady did not have a top-notch D for even the majority of his career; he basically had a top-notch D for 3 of his first 6 seasons and that was it.
  10. NFL Offseason: Trail of Tears or My Cousin Kirky

    Elliot was a UFA and so was House, but House got cut. I guess they may have gotten sick of always being the Bride's maid and just said they would not do it for Hightower. I don't see this as a big deal, but its fun to try to figure this out.
  11. NFL Offseason: Trail of Tears or My Cousin Kirky

    Who were they? Just for curiosity sake.
  12. NFL Offseason: Trail of Tears or My Cousin Kirky

    Dont'a Hightower's agent is Pat Dye, Jr. and he also represents some pretty huge names - DeMarco Murry, Demarcus Ware, and Eddie Lacy (because for a second there I thought he only represented guys whose first name began with a "D"). So this is not his first rodeo. Its possible that Dye has done this before with the Steelers - tried to get his guy a bigger deal by going to the Steelers or another suitor to jack the price-up and this move is more against Dye than it is against Hightower and/or the Pats.
  13. NFL Offseason: Trail of Tears or My Cousin Kirky

    Yeah, that seems to me to be a good sign that the Pats are in the lead position to resign Hightower of the Steelers are retracting offers. Anyway ... So, word is that when Malcom Butler visits NO the Saints will trade for him sending the Pats #1 pick (#32 overall) back to the Pats for Butler. It will be a trade, not FA offer so the Pats will not get another #1 compensatory pick. There are some rumblings that the Pats may get back 1) their #32 pick that they sent over for Cooks, 2) the Saints #11 overall pick or 3) the #32 pick and possibly a 2nd or 3rd round pick as well. Regardless, the Pats are sending signals that this is really close to happening and the Pats are not likely to interfere or pull anything. I think Pats fans- myself included -looked at Gilmore and thought about him and Butler and thought it was amazing and we got our hopes up, so we MAY be inclined to be disappointed, but we shouldn't be. Butler for Cooks (and some draft pick shenanigans) seems about right. I would HATE to see NO sign Butler to a 4-year 40 mil contract when the Pats could EASILY have done that. But otherwise I would feel MUCH better with Butler, Gilmore and Cooks, (and I frankly think Butler is better than Gilmore) but two out of three ain't bad.
  14. NFL Offseason: Trail of Tears or My Cousin Kirky

    Errr... this point I quibble with a little. And in a strange way. ESPN was actually HIGHLY supportive of the Boston Sports teams during their rise in the early to mid 90s. I read the book "Those Guys Have All the Fun" and in it the producers and personalities at ESPN explain that they -during that time (the time that coincides with Boston sports being awful) - they relied HEAVILY on Boston and New York sports teams for stories, advertising and promotions and that because both the Boston and New York teams were so supportive of ESPN during that time ESPN was, shall we say, friendlier to those teams in their coverage. At almost all times. This is not to say I disagree with you totally. To some degree I agree. The "Boston Fan As Victim" was all the rage from around 1986 (the last great year in Boston Sports with the Pats and Red Sox making it to the sports' finals and the Celtics winning it that season) to the Pats explosion in 2001, the prevailing identity of a Boston Sports fan was that of the victim; the "lovable loser" who we should all pity as somewhere in the background this tune played on a loop. And when something ALMOST great would happen to a Boston Sports team- 1990, Bruins make it to the Stanley Cup Finals; 1996 Pats make it to the Superbowl - EVERYONE would be there as the city came crashing down so as to say "What did you expect: you're from Boston!" As if the fact that our geography explained how the Sox were swept in the ALDS by the As two seasons in a row (or thereabouts) or how the Celtics' young talent kept dying (Len Bias and Reggie Lewis, RIP). What do you expect; you're from Boston! I would get into arguments with friends over this when they would tell me- nay WARN ME - that I was better off with my teams NOT winning. Especially the Red Sox. Once the Red Sox won, I was told, then Boston would be "just another city" and Boston, "Just another team;" who cares if the Sox lost AFTER they won it all! No, this way- with the Sox "Cursed" that made them special. Win and you were just like everyone else- and every season 31 teams always ended up losers. I. Hated. With. Every. Fiber. Of. My. Being. This Time. Period. Imagine being told that Iw as better off for having my teams lose? That "just another team" was somehow a warning? HOW!!!???? That was the goal- I WANTED to be just like every other team!? Fuck! I was so sick and tired of being screwed with; if every year, all but one team lost, what was wrong with- every decade or so - you won and got to be THAT team?! I once got into an argument with a friend of mine in High School when we were asked "What would you rather have: Fenway Franks or a World Series Title" and he picked the franks! And why? Because to him winning a title was something OTHER TEAMS DID! We were Red Sox fans- losing was a our God Given Right! I never understood this logic. And worst of all was this message that Boston was better if we kept losing. And the Red Sox was the avatar of this stupidity; a team that had suckered its fan bases day-in and day-out since 1917 because they never spent a dime they didn't have to and were the last to integrate; they got juuuuuuussssst enough talent to fool the fans but never enough to win it all. And somehow that made people think they were "cursed." After that were the Bruins- the "Dynasty That Wasn't" and then the Celtics- the former girl friend who you used to have great times together but now was looking a little, ah, "experienced" (In fact, things were so bad that by 1999 the "Sports teams as ex girlfriends trope was HUGE: Celtics were as described above; Bruins were the crazy ex whose sex was great but were trouble; Past were the loser Ex you could hook up with and it never meant anything; and OF COURSE, the Red Sox were described as the true love that you knew it was meant to be but because of [ -stop PUKE- ] supernatural forces, you just could not make it work... fuck I hated us then). And the Pats were BARELY MENTIONED! Why? Because they didn't matter! Yeah, sure, they were my favorite sports team and I actively watched them week in and week out, but it was horrid. In the late 80s, the games were still blacked out; in the early 90s they went 1-15 with rod Rust and then we were all ssooooooooo impressed with Dick McPherson ... because under him the team went 6-10. And then we hired a real estate "flipper" as a head coach (Parcels- always buy low and sell high) and almost moved but hey- still alive in 1997! And the whole time- as we were losing and suffering - people took PRIDE IN THAT! Why? We were being actively mocked TO OUR FACES and the best we could do was say "Yes, I'll open wider; that way you can get that ENTIRE shit sandwich into my mouth!" Being in Boston in college was a torment because everyone else is from somewhere else and they love telling you how much your team and fandom sucks balls. But, in a good way, because you lose. And everyone loves a loser. Winners? That's something New York teams did. And did you really want to be like them? Winning... and enjoying the wins? Winning is so ... other people's problems, AMIRITE?!?! For me, I remember vividly the last time it happened. That last time anyone could call the city- collectively - losers. The Rams were driving and Warner went back to pass; as usual, the Pats secondary had everyone covered, so Warner, thinking he saw an opening, swept to the right and tried to advance the ball... only... NO! HE FUMBLED! And there was defensive back Tebucky Jones who returned it 97 yards for a touchdown!!!! ZOMG THE PATS ARE GOING TO WIN THE SUPERBOWLLLL!L!L!L!L!L!L!L! ! Only, funny story, the reason nobody was open was because Willie McGinest was holding the fuck out of Marshall Faulk. So, no TD, no stop, 1st and ten at the 2... And in my apartment, my friend Max, from New Jersey, says, "And that ladies and gentlemen is what its like to be a Boston sports fan." Only... I have said this before- I'm not going back. Never. I am never ever EVER again going to take false pride in losing. Fuck that. I hate the idea of fans as victims and said as much when the Cubs lost two seasons ago and were VERY happy for them when they won this season. I want the Browns to win. I DO! Same for the Lions, Bears, and Bengals and other teams not necessarily associated with the Wizard of Oz. I want YOUR TEAM TO WIN! Believe me when I say that. I do. Because nobody should ever look at a fan and say to them, "What do you expect- your a _____ fan." Except the Jets. Fuck the Jets.
  15. NFL Offseason: Trail of Tears or My Cousin Kirky

    Nobody is really arguing anything. I'm certainly not upset at the way anyone has responded to the Pats win. I am honestly just repeating some of the things I have been watching on various sports shows over the last two months (ie: highlight porn). I'm not saying that you can "definitively" say Brady is the GOAT, but I am saying that he is probably the GOAT in terms of QB and a really, really strong case can be made that he is the greatest football player ever, not just QB. And, yes, some have even stated that he has surpassed Gretzky and/or Jordan as the greatest pro athlete. Now, for any of those I can have the discussion, but if you do not believe that Brady is any of those things, that's fine; I begrudge nobody their well-reasoned opinions. At the same time, if I advance my position that does not mean I am suffering from some sort need to "overcompensate" or "victim complex." In fact, I was saying the opposite - that because of how satisfied I am over the Pats success over the last 15 years I am really not even remotely bothered anymore by Ballghazi or Spygate or anything like that (except when ESPN splashes it on their scroll or Bill Polian regurgitates the lie that the Pats had been caught recording opposing teams' practices, which leads ESPN to issue an apology... at 3AM...). Really, I was just saying how happy I was. Now, if expressing happiness is so triggering I can stop. We should discuss less happy things like, you know, the Jets...