Ramble On Sports

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Archive for September, 2010

Dez Bryant learns an expensive lesson

Posted by Bill Koch on September 29, 2010

Was it really worth it, Dez Bryant?

Was not carrying a set of shoulder pads really worth more than the average American citizen makes in a year?

Bryant, the Dallas Cowboys’ rookie wide receiver, got stuck with a $55,000 tab earlier this week at a Dallas steakhouse after having dinner with his teammates. The bill came to fellow receiver Roy Williams, who calmly handed it to Bryant and made it clear that this was payback for Bryant not following tradition during training camp and carrying Williams’ shoulder pads into the locker room after practice.

I know what some of you might be thinking – how could you possibly spend that much money on dinner? Like this – take a group of hungry football players, slap 30-ounce filets with a la carte fixings in front of them, offer them appetizers, desserts and bottles of accompanying wine that can run thousands of dollars and add in a generous tip worthy of such a group of millionaires. That $50K gets racked up pretty quickly.

Yes, we think it’s pretty disgraceful that a group of people would spend money like this while so many people are struggling financially and our government continues to run our economy into the toilet. Let’s suspend our own personal biases (and credit card debts) for the sake of this issue. We love that Bryant finally got put in his place after acting like a spoiled child and refusing Williams in training camp. For those of you who think that carrying a set of shoulder pads is unfair or hazing, we simply say this – grow up. It’s not so bad. Much worse has been done to people in the name of acceptance into a group. Bryant found out just how much worse it could be on his most recent night out at dinner, and we don’t think it could have happened to a nicer guy.


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Five thoughts from Pats/Bills

Posted by bdowd625 on September 26, 2010

Well that was a little more interesting than everyone expected, wasn’t it? I hate listening to pregame talk shows that constantly think the Pats are going to destroy everyone on the planet. The truth of the matter is that with a defense this inexperienced, no lead is safe. As I’ve said before, New England needs to score at least 30 points per game to have a chance. Luckily, that’s exactly what happened against the pesky Bills today. So without further ado, here are five thoughts from today’s Pats/Bills game.

* For as many good plays as the defense made today – and for once Brandon “I like to experiment” Meriweather chipped in – there were just as many brutal ones. Like that third-and-127 the Bills had to convert early in the game. Somehow three Patriot defenders ran into one another, allowing Buffalo to pick up the first down. On top of that, Ryan Fitzpatrick looked like he was from Alabama instead of Harvard. Just way too many big plays from someone who is normally a terrible quarterback.

* I’d like to personally thank Aaron Hernandez for smoking a little herb in college. By dropping to the fourth round in the NFL draft, the Pats picked up a stud tight end, one who is a YAC maniac. Smoke on, Aaron.

* It was great to see Justin Bieb… I mean “Tom Brady” up to his old tricks. Brady made several exceptional throws into tight coverage, including a pair of touchdowns to Randy Moss. The best part about Moss’ touchdowns? He did that hand gesture where he makes it look like he’s leaving the womb. An always classy touch for sure.

* Can someone please teach Kyle Arrington how to tackle? I’m not sure where Darius Butler disappeared to, but Arrington seemed to fan on every tackle he tried to make in the secondary. Yet another sign of the Pats’ ineffectiveness on the defensive of the ball.

* Danny Woodhead might never score another NFL touchdown again, but that’s OK with me. He made small white guys everywhere proud in the second quarter when he broke free for a long touchdown run. It’s even sweeter that Woodhead was a Jets castoff, so suck on that one, Rexy.

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Fireman Ed the latest Jets’ link to trouble

Posted by Bill Koch on September 23, 2010

Apparently the need for legal advice and discipline isn’t confined to the New York Jets’ players, coaching staff and front office.

First it was Rex Ryan needing a bar of soap to wash out his potty mouth. Then it was Braylon Edwards getting hooked for DWI on Tuesday morning and adding his name to the roster of criminals and drug users that general manager Mike Tannenbaum has put together. Now New York’s most identifiable fan, Fireman Ed, is in trouble with the law after being charged on Thursday with simple assault.

Apparently the leader of the infamous ‘J…E…T…S…’ chant shoved a Giants’ fan during a preseason game in August. We here at Ramble On know that these things can happen when heated rivals get together – we’ve been in our share of Red Sox-Yankees scrapes during our time – but this is just hilariously bad timing for the Jets. This is the last type of publicity that they need in the wake of their disastrous trip through Hard Knocks, their shameful indulgence of Edwards’ bad behavior and their head coach’s complete and utter lack of control of his players and organization. We can only sit back and laugh as the Jets become the NFL’s laughingstock yet again.

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Goodell now left to hand out Edwards discipline

Posted by Bill Koch on September 22, 2010

Issuing a challenge to Roger Goodell to hand out discipline is probably the last thing we would do if we were running an NFL franchise.

Of course, we’re not the buffoons who run and coach the New York Jets. By failing to punish Braylon Edwards for his latest brush with the law on Tuesday morning, the Jets have left the door wide open for Goodell to bring the hammer down on their idiot wide receiver.

Edwards was hooked for DWI at 5:15 a.m. on Manhattan’s West Side and held in jail until his arraignment later in the day. The Jets quickly went into damage control, issuing statements and publicizing their Player Protect program that could have offered Edwards a luxury ride home free of charge. They tried to get out in front of the issue, but like so many other times in Edwards’ life they didn’t go far enough to make sure that he would make a legitimate attempt to change his ways. They obvious didn’t care too much that two of Edwards’ teammates, Vernon Gholston and D’Brickashaw Ferguson, were passengers in Edwards’ Range Rover and also could have been seriously hurt as a result of Edwards’ recklessness.

Jets’ general manager Mike Tannenbaum made it clear that Edwards wouldn’t be deactivated for Sunday’s critical AFC East game against the Miami Dolphins. They demoted Edwards from the starting lineup – OH NO! – and left any further action up to the league office. This should tell everyone that the Jets don’t care if their players endanger their fans or the citizens surrounding them by behaving badly – they value winning above all else – and that Edwards can’t possibly already be in the league’s substance abuse program. Were Edwards already in the program, he’d be facing a mandatory four-game suspension for such an arrest and you can bet your mortgage the Jets would have tried to undercut the NFL (think the Pittsburgh Steelers with Ben Rapelisberger) and suggested an alternate form of punishment. They already have a wide receiver, Santonio Holmes, serving a league-mandated suspension. They can’t afford to have two playmakers sidelined.

That leaves the matter to Goodell, who has slapped players with far cleaner records than Edwards’ trail of tears. All this former first-round bust needs to do is call Vincent Jackson, Michael Vick, Pacman Jones, Rapelisberger or Holmes to understand that Mr. Goodell doesn’t play game. We only hope that he does what the Jets were too gutless to do on their own and puts Edwards down for the near future.

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Posted by Bill Koch on September 22, 2010

We’re sickened here at Ramble On to hear the news that Marc Savard could miss the entire 2010-11 Boston Bruins season while struggling to overcome post-concussion syndrome.

News leaked on Tuesday that Savard was still feeling the effects of a gutless elbow thrown by Pittsburgh Penguins hack Matt Cooke during a regular season game in March. Savard was cleared to play in the postseason and scored the winning goal in Game 1 of the series against the Philadelphia Flyers (we’d rather not talk about how that ended up), but he’s clearly not right as training camp kicks into gear this fall.

Our man BDowd is crushed by this news, almost to the point where I had to write this post on his behalf. His official No. 91 Savard jersey looks like it’s going to be retired for the immediate future, and Boston’s goal-scoring forwards are going to be a little less effective without one of the league’s elite playmakers feeding them the puck in position to light the lamp on a regular basis. The Bruins were the worst offensive team in the NHL last year – needless to say, they need every offensive option they can find to be 100 percent healthy if they want to make another postseason run this year.

How many times does this have to happen before Boston’s players respond? We’re big fans of Claude Julien here at Ramble On, but Savard joins Patrice Bergeron and Aaron Ward on a list of Bruins’ players who have been mugged in recent seasons with virtually no retaliation. This sort of thing is usually policed by the coaching staff and the players on the bench, and nothing like this would have happened when Cameron Michael Neely was on the ice. Now No. 8 sits with the rest of the luxury suite crowd as the team’s president, and you can be sure that Neely will be just as enraged as we are if Savard is forced to miss even a single game due to this current situation.

We just hope that Boston finally gets the message and starts taking justice into its own hands on the ice. We’ve asked them to do it before and it just hasn’t happened. We’re done with seeing the likes of Randy Jones (who crushed Bergeron from behind), Scott Walker (who sucker punched Ward in the face) and Cooke get off without a scratch while the Bruins lose players by the handful. We hope this is the final straw and demand that some of the old Big Bad Bruins DNA shows up on Causeway Street this winter. If that doesn’t happen, be ready to suffer through another winter of broken bodies wearing black and gold mopping up NHL ice from coast to coast.

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Diaz makes his way into Ramble On’s heart

Posted by Bill Koch on September 21, 2010

We’ll admit that we’ve been slacking a little bit on our baseball coverage here at Ramble On, and that’s mainly because a certain team that plays its home games at Fenway Park has fallen out of the American League postseason chase. (It’s also due to my own self-imposed embargo on anything Red Sox-related until the season is over.)

That changes today thanks to Matt Diaz, the Atlanta Braves outfielder who sealed his place as a Ramble On favorite on Monday night by taking the law into his own hands in Philadelphia. Diaz helped security at Citizens Bank Park take down some jerk that had the balls to run onto the field in the bottom of the seventh inning.

What Diaz did wasn’t all that spectacular – he simply stuck out a leg and tripped some idiot wearing red spandex that covered his body from head to toe. We were hoping for a clothesline that snapped the guy’s neck or a sucker punch that broke the guy’s jaw, but we’ll settle for action of any kind and love it. Security took care of the rest and hauled the guy off to jail. Diaz received a standing ovation from the crowd and plenty of love from his teammates when he got back to the dugout for making the move that he did.

Apparently Philly fan will never learn. It was Phillies’ security who used a Taser to take down some other moron earlier this summer – by comparison, this most recent loser got off cheap. And it’s not like this was a game between two teams just playing out the string. We could almost understand if someone slid into second base at Fenway during this series between the Red Sox and the Orioles. The Phillies and the Braves are essentially starting the postseason early, with Philadelphia holding a three-game lead in the National League East when the series began and Atlanta clinging desperately to a wild card berth. The focus should have been on baseball – and, thanks to Diaz, it got back there in a hurry.

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Faulk the latest New England ACL victim?

Posted by Bill Koch on September 21, 2010

Kevin Faulk has always been the type of player you wouldn’t notice until he’s gone – and that might be happening a lot sooner rather than later for the New England Patriots.

Reports started to circulate Tuesday afternoon that Faulk has a torn ACL in his right knee and will be placed on injured reserve, ending his 2010 season almost before it ever really started. The 34-year-old running back will be reevaluated throughout this week and Patriots’ coach Bill Belichick said the team would make a decision on Faulk in the near future. Faulk sustained the injury on Sunday against the New York Jets and didn’t return to the game. Trainers were spotted in the bench area tending to Faulk’s right knee.

This is a crushing blow for New England, both on the field and off. Faulk is a 12-year veteran and the only player on the roster who precedes Belichick, an instant voice of reason and respect in the Patriots’ locker room who has seemed almost ageless in his backfield role. Faulk has played more snaps than any other running back in New England since 2007, a product of the Patriots spreading the field and using Faulk as both pass blocker and reliable option out of the backfield. Tom Brady’s safety valve now appears to be shut off for the rest of this season and possibly beyond – 34-year-old running backs don’t tend to see 100 percent again after this sort of injury.

Fred Taylor, Sammy Morris and BenJarvus Green-Ellis are the three remaining running backs in New England’s rotation. Look for the Patriots to shuffle their personnel, potentially bring in someone who can play exclusively on third down and employ more two tight end sets with explosive rookies Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez. If there’s one thing Belichick has always been able to do, it’s make adjustments. He’s had to do it each of the last two years after Brady tore his ACL in the 2008 opener and Wes Welker tore his ACL late in 2009 against Houston. The final 14 weeks of the season is plenty of time for Belichick to figure out a solution, but losing a player like Faulk isn’t an easy problem to solve.

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Edwards the latest Jet to crash

Posted by Bill Koch on September 21, 2010

Doesn’t Braylon Edwards make enough money to hire a driver for the night?

Can’t he get one of the lackeys in his entourage to take the keys and rack up any potential DWI charges on the way home after a long night out in Manhattan? That’s what those guys are there for, right?

Certainly Braylon could just rack a hotel room on the West Side by dropping the classic, ‘Don’t you know who I am? I’m Braylon Edwards, and I play for Rex Ryan’s motherf%$&*^@ Jets!’

The answer to all of those questions, apparently, is ‘NO.’ Yes, capital letters were used on purpose – the answer has to be pretty emphatic when you consider that Edwards got hooked this morning at 5:15 a.m. and slapped with a DWI charge while piloting his Range Rover in Manhattan. Edwards was pulled over for having an illegal tint on his windows (a classic excuse to pull someone over straight out of Police Work 101) and blew a .16 on the breathalyzer.

Edwards got behind the wheel Tuesday morning despite the option to use the Player Protect program, a 24-hour car service that entitles professional athletes to a ride home in a luxury SUV or a Mercedes limo. The teams that employ the service pick up the tab, no questions asked. Instead of riding home in style, Edwards got an unwanted escort in the back of a squad car and a night in the drunk tank to think about how badly he’s screwed up his latest second chance.

We’ll address our own questions one at a time. Edwards makes $6.05 million this season – that’s probably enough to afford a ride home from Jupiter after a long night out. Hiring a car service or a limo is probably within Edwards’ price range, and he didn’t even need to do that. His team would have covered the cost.

Edwards was with four passengers in his vehicle when he was pulled over. These four clowns also have to take some blame here if you’re in the Edwards camp. Guys, that bar tab and all the whores at Flashdancers [this link is VERY NSFW] were covered by your meal ticket – who you let jump behind the wheel and get in trouble. Epic. Failure. This is Entourage 101. You ever see Vincent Chase driving home after a long night out? That’s what Turtle is for. He takes the wrap if they get caught passing a joint around the tricked-out Lincoln.

Tuesday is a mandatory day off for NFL players. Edwards could have slept in a gutter and been just fine to show up for Wednesday’s practice – he likely has the cash to rent a room as we discussed earlier. He didn’t need to be anywhere after he showed up to teammate Jericho Cotchery’s benefit on Monday night. Sleep it off, crack some Advil and live to fight another day.

We’d expect nothing less from an undisciplined moron like Edwards. He’s been in trouble with the law before and was present on that fateful night/morning in Miami when Donte’ Stallworth took the keys at about 7 a.m. and ran down a pedestrian. The trade that brought Edwards to New York from Cleveland, where he was a bust as a first-round pick out of Michigan, was partly triggered by a fight that Edwards started with a member of LeBron James’ entourage outside a nightclub in 2009. Edwards pled no contest to assault charges, was slapped on the wrist and received a one-way ticket out of town from the Browns.

What do we expect Edwards to learn from his current organization? They took away a game ball from him after he was flagged for taunting on Sunday against the Patriots. It should have happened twice, but the officials showed mercy and left Edwards alone when he started woofing in Darius Butler’s face the second time around after he caught a 2-point conversion pass.

That’s been the problem all along – Edwards has asked for and received leniency. He was allowed to plead no contest to his Cleveland charges and not punished by New York despite leaving for his court date in the middle of preparing for a playoff game. He was never reprimanded by the league for his role in the Stallworth incident – guaranteed some of Braylon’s Patron shots ended up pickling Stallworth’s brain in the hours leading up to that accident. Ryan took away a potential game ball from him on Sunday? Big frickin’ deal. The Jets could send a strong message to him and the rest of their idiots by suspending him without pay for a few games, including this week’s critical AFC East clash with Miami. Want to take a guess about what we think the chances of that happening are?

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Patriots-Jets running diary

Posted by Bill Koch on September 19, 2010

With all the hype and attention that this week’s Patriots-Jets showdown has received, we here at Ramble On decided that we had to step up our game. The result is a running diary for your reading pleasure. This is all actual material from the BK Lair, and there’s nothing retro or filtered about it.

4:14 p.m. – After watching the Tennessee Titans pretty much hand the Pittsburgh Steelers a game (and a playoff lifeline without Ben Rapelisberger, as Pittsburgh moved to 2-0), we’re live from the Swamps of Jersey. And what’s the first thing we hear? J…E…T…S…you know the rest. I hate Fireman Ed.

4:20 p.m. – As usual, the Patriots run the fake reverse to Wes Welker and throw a bomb toward Randy Moss into double coverage. Of course the pass goes incomplete as Moss crashes out the back of the end zone. We hardly ever (okay, never) second-guess Bill Belichick – he’s forgotten more about football than we’ll ever know – but turn the page. Everyone knows it’s coming and it never works. You’re wasting a down.

4:25 p.m. – That’s a swing and a miss by Kyle Wilson. Tom Brady failed to read the blitz coming from his left, but Wilson whiffed on the sure sack and Brady hit Welker to bring New England into field goal range…

4:26 p.m. – …And Stephen Gostkowski misses the 37-yard kick after the Patriots take a delay of game penalty. What a stupid mistake that was. Guess that new $14-million contract didn’t do much to make Gostkowski much more accurate.

4:29 p.m. – There’s the Mark Sanchez we all know and love!!!! Great diving interception by Patrick Chung after Sanchez overthrew an open Dustin Keller running down the middle of the field. Remember, Jets fans – 20 interceptions last season. Good teams don’t have quarterbacks who throw 20 interceptions. Therefore, by definition, you do not have a good team.

4:32 p.m. – Thanks a lot, video replay. And thanks to you too, CBS, for going to a commercial break to preview some of your horrendous fall programming. I don’t want to hear about Doogie Howser’s new series. Even Rex Ryan and his idiotic coaching staff stopped talking smack long enough to challenge the Chung interception. We could see that call being overturned from a mile away.

4:36 p.m. – My Mom tries hard, but she sometimes knows very little about pop culture. She just correctly identified Justin Timberlake in a commercial and then pressed her luck by guessing that he was in…Boyz II Men. Yep, that’s my Mom. I love her.

4:39 p.m. – Aaron Hernandez just hit the X button on some poor fool in the Jets secondary to pick up a first down. He’s a freak athlete. Thanks for rolling those joints in Gainesville and slipping to the fourth round.

4:41 p.m. – Eric Smith just tried to take Welker’s head off. It’s worth the 15-yard penalty for New York, because there goes New England’s best offensive weapon – and it was all thanks to a high throw by Brady. He just got his primary receiver killed thanks to his inaccuracy. Anybody else notice that, or were you all too blinded by the three rings he won seven years ago?

4:44 p.m. – I don’t think I’ll ever miss Laurence Maroney, but I’m more and more likely to help with his plane ticket out of town every time I watch BenJarvis Green-Ellis push the pile and finish a run with some power. He’s more than capable of playing the necessary role in this offense.

4:46 p.m. – End of the first quarter, 0-0. Feels like New England has had the ball too long to not have the lead. The Patriots need to end this drive in the end zone.

4:52 p.m. – Knee injuries? A dirty hit by Eric Smith? NOTHING stops Wes Welker. There’s his third touchdown of the season and a 7-0 lead for the Patriots. Antonio Cromartie’s coverage on that play was about as solid as his parenting skills. (Yes, that will never get old.)

4:55 p.m. – Charlie Tweeder sure has come a long way from Varsity Blues. First a recurring guest spot on Entourage and now the remake of Hawaii Five-O? We’re impressed. Not bad for a guy who was last seen exploding bottled beers and stealing police cars in the middle of nowhere Texas with Dawson Leery.

4:59 p.m. – The booing has started already in the Swamps of Jersey. It’s only fitting that LaDainian Tomlinson just had back-to-back carries. We’ve told you before here at Ramble On that the guy is a loser.

5:01 p.m. – How does Sanchez not dodge Gerard Warren? He’s more clueless than we ever thought he could be in the pocket. Getting sacked by Warren is like getting sacked by Rex Ryan – unless Ryan thinks you’re a pretzel M&M. Then you’re going down for sure.

5:04 p.m. – That’s about as dumb as it gets from Tully Banta-Cain. You’re facing an offense that can’t move the ball and you just gave them 15 free yards thanks to a late hit four yards out of bounds. I wouldn’t shed a tear if we didn’t see him again for the rest of the day.

5:06 p.m. – Ryan looks about as confused as we’d expect him to look after that Braylon Edwards touchdown. Yes, Rex, that’s what one looks like. More familiar to you and your undisciplined ways should be the taunting penalty that Edwards just took after the score that is going to hand the Patriots good field position on their next drive.

5:13 p.m. – Yet more lessons for Kyle Wilson, courtesy of Wes Welker. Hit AND wrap, son. Don’t just hit. You can’t tackle a tough S.O.B. like Welker that way.

5:16 p.m. – Kyle Arrington just got himself released. Committing a personal foul and allowing the Jets to get off their own 5-yard-line without even running a play is inexcusable. Go join Banta-Cain in the corner and don’t speak again unless spoken to.

5:21 p.m. – Sanchez now has eight straight completions. Is that even possible? The next thing we know, Lindsay Lohan will be clean and sober.

5:25 p.m. – We don’t remember seeing any special teams practice during Hard Knocks this preseason. Guess it never actually happened judging by the way the Jets just let that punt bounce into the end zone.

5:28 p.m. – There’s Hernandez again. Wow. Running like that down the middle of the field should be illegal at his size.

5:30 p.m. – Rich people don’t write checks and SLOUCHES DON’T MAKE THAT CATCH!!! That’s Randy Moss, folks. Not even Darrelle Revis and all his new-found millions can stop something like that. Straight cash indeed. That’s a very fitting way for Moss to rack up his 150th career touchdown and put the Patriots back on top.

5:34 p.m. – No football coach will ever learn that the prevent defense doesn’t work. Baltimore ruined Sanchez last week by attacking him on every snap. Now the Patriots are letting the Jets walk down the field by rushing just three players on every snap during the two-minute drill. They would have had all the momentum going into the locker room for halftime, and now they’re only going to have some of it.

5:37 p.m. – And there’s a three-point gift to New York. That’s some shameful defensive football by New England. It just feels like the Patriots should be much more comfortable than 14-10 at halftime. We’ll be back in a bit when the action resumes.

5:52 p.m. – And we’re back. No signs of Revis as the second half opens. Perhaps his hamstring hurts because he missed all of training camp, was out of shape when he showed up and went straight back into practice. Just sayin’.

5:57 p.m. – Still no Revis as the Patriots set up for their first offensive series of the second half. Believe it or not, this is what we were actually afraid of in New England. Now the Jets fans will have an excuse when the Patriots finish this one off and move to 2-0, resuming their rightful place atop the AFC East.

6:01 p.m. – For all the good he’s done today, Hernandez just showed us that nobody taught him how to block while he was at Florida. He just let Welker get killed on a bubble screen to the left. There’s clearly still some work to do there.

6:03 p.m. – Can somebody explain to me what Brady just did there? He wasn’t under any pressure and just threw the ball up for grabs to hand Cromartie an easy interception in front of Moss. That’s a terrible decision for a guy who is allegedly so cerebral in his approach to the game. It’s 14-10, Tom. It’s not 35-10. Pay attention.

6:06 p.m. – Very nice play call there by the Jets. Everyone in the world thought they were running it on 3rd-and-1 and Sanchez made a beautiful play fake and throw to Dustin Keller to bring the ball out past midfield. You can feel the momentum starting to shift New York’s way.

6:08 p.m. – Now the Patriots are being gashed by Tomlinson. If he had actually done this in the AFC Championship game all those years ago the Chargers might not have wanted to run him out of town so quickly.

6:11 p.m. – Good stand by New England’s defense inside its own 20 to hold the Jets to a field goal. Now Brady and the offense need to respond with a drive to restore order in this one.

6:16 p.m. – There’s an underthrown ball down the seam intended for Rob Gronkowski. It actually made it look like Wilson had decent coverage when he was beaten by a step and at a distinct height disadvantage. Brady is struggling right now and the members of the Jets defense are starting to feel pretty good about themselves. That’s dangerous.

6:20 p.m. – Finally some good news for the Patriots – there goes Nick Mangold to the locker room with a shoulder injury. He’s the best Jets’ offensive lineman by far. Let’s hope New England’s defense starts attacking Sanchez and crew sometime before it’s too late.

6:22 p.m. – Much like they didn’t teach Hernandez to block at Florida, they clearly didn’t teach Brandon Spikes to play pass defense. How many times is Keller going to slip behind him? Somehow, if I could blame Tim Tebow for this, I would.

6:24 p.m. – And the Jets have taken the lead. Sanchez just hit Jericho Cotchery to make it 19-14 with 38 seconds left in the third. I just threw up in my mouth a little bit. This all started when the Patriots let New York just roll down the field to end the first half – and when Brady threw that horrendous interception to Cromartie.

6:26 p.m. – Jim Nantz wants someone to talk to Braylon Edwards about nearly picking up a second flag for taunting after he reached over Darius Butler and made a nice catch to pick up the 2-point conversion. Who’s going to do that, Jim? Rex Ryan? Mr. Discipline himself? N.F.W.

6:28 p.m. – Bill Belichick is on the sideline phone and doesn’t look all that happy. He’s either talking to his defensive staff in the booth, his divorce lawyers or one of his kids to arrange bail and get them out of their latest marijuana arrest. It could be all of the above right now and be less painful than going into the fourth quarter trailing.

6:31 p.m. – There’s another terrible throw by Brady intended for Moss. This could be an interception that would allow the Jets to take complete control of this game, and it would be mostly on Brady’s shoulders that it’s gotten to this point. Let’s hope that Eddie Hercules isn’t in a New York State of Mind, because if he is then New England could be just about done in this one.

6:34 p.m. – Nantz just told us that Brady has been intercepted on two of his last four passes. Which of these quarterbacks was the liability coming into this game? Remind me again, because right now it doesn’t look like the guy wearing No. 6 in white. It looks like the guy wearing No. 12 in blue. And Revis is still nowhere to be found. Much like $14 million can’t make a kicker any more accurate, $72 million can’t make a quarterback any more accurate.

6:38 p.m. – Finally some heat on Sanchez and a huge three-and-out from the Patriots defense. That might have saved any chance New England had of winning this game, even with over 13 minutes left.

6:42 p.m. – Brady so far in the second half: 4-for-9, 19 yards, two interceptions. Just sayin’.

6:44 p.m. – Not a good sight here – Kevin Faulk on the bench having his left knee worked on. If New England stays behind for most of this quarter and is forced to throw the ball Faulk is a huge loss.

6:47 p.m. – There’s another prayer thrown in Moss’ direction, this time much too deep. Moss was open and Brady missed him by a mile. That’s another disappointing series that ends in a punt and puts the Jets just one score away from wrapping this one up.

6:51 p.m. – Has anybody seen Brandon Meriweather this season? I see Patrick Chung making a tackle on this latest screen play, but I don’t think I’ve heard Meriweather’s name called since he was curiously voted to last year’s Pro Bowl. Maybe he threatened to take off his helmet and stomp some fools if they pointed out his general ineffectiveness so far this season.

6:54 p.m. – All my UConn people out there are hanging their heads in shame over Darius Butler’s performance today. He’s been awful and been picked on mercilessly by Sanchez, and that pass interference call brings the Jets into field goal range.

6:56 p.m. – And right on cue, there’s ANOTHER pass interference call on Butler. Eddie Hercules got the number wrong – he blamed Chung – but it was Butler who climbed up Cotchery’s back to bring the Jets inside New England’s 10. This game is about to end.

6:57 p.m. – Game over. That Sanchez touchdown pass to Keller should just about do it. There’s a new career high for Sanchez with his third touchdown of the game just one week after he looked worse than Ryan Leaf. This is the perfect example that in the NFL nobody is ever as bad or as good as they look from week to week. The Jets got humbled by the Ravens last week…who lost to the Bengals today…who got humbled by the Patriots last week. That’s the way this league works.

6:59 p.m. – J…E…T…S…JETS! JETS! JETS! God damn that Fireman Ed.

7:00 p.m. – Ever wonder how people who tune into CBS right now feel about 60 Minutes starting late for the 30,256th time during football season? Am I the only person who thinks of these things? I’m about to be 31 years old and I don’t think 60 Minutes has ever started on time during the football season in my life. I wonder how Mike Wallace really feels about this.

7:04 p.m. – How much time does Brady need to make a throw? He had all day until he got sacked by Jason Taylor and fumbled away any chance New England had of staging a late comeback in this one. And stop right now before you get after the offensive line – that’s the first sack the Patriots have allowed this season after giving up less than 20 all of last year. It’s not their fault. Did Welker and Moss suddenly forget how to come open in the secondary after they shredded the Jets in the first half? It’s not their fault either.

7:06 p.m. – That was shades of Taylor’s days in Miami. He’s used Matt Light as his personal turnstile for most of the last decade, first with the Dolphins and now again with the Jets. I hope Taylor did the right thing and named at least one of his kids ‘Matt’ in honor of Light. The way Taylor’s played against him, he’s been able to add a new wing to his Miami mansion with all that contract cash generated by the dozens of sacks he’s racked up against the Patriots.

7:10 p.m. – Get your earplugs out, Patriots fans. That first down leap by Tomlinson should just about do it. We’re going to have to listen to the Jets fans until the two teams meet again in Foxboro on the first Monday night in December. That also brings a close to this running diary. Quite honestly, we have nothing else to say. We’re pretty sure the Jets’ fans will say it all for us.

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Sainz controversy stirs up shades of gray

Posted by Bill Koch on September 16, 2010

Ines Sainz is supposed to be a professional journalist, but she’s not.

An NFL locker room is supposed to be a professional environment, but it’s not.

Somewhere the two met earlier this week and controversy erupted, as Sainz was allegedly harassed by members of the New York Jets while covering one of their practices. Sainz was in town to do a profile piece on quarterback Mark Sanchez, who – with all due apologies to those who compete in the boxing ring – might be the country’s highest profile Mexican-American athlete. What followed was a maelstrom that hasn’t completely died down yet, and we here at Ramble On feel it’s necessary as journalists to give you all a little perspective on what we think of all this.

Sainz is little more than a sideshow in her capacity as a reporter for TV Azteca, a Mexican-based television station that sends her to high-profile events to do the sorts of puff pieces that pass for entertainment on their airwaves. She bills herself as television’s hottest reporter (her words, not ours). At past Super Bowl media days, which are nothing but an absolute circus every time, Sainz has been seen in search of the player with the biggest biceps. It’s hard to take someone like this seriously. She gives a bad name to true pros like Jackie MacMullan and Christine Brennan, women who have crusaded for and received the hard-earned respect of their peers and the athletes they cover.

The average group of professional athletes is a living, breathing episode of Men Behaving Badly. They cheat on their wives, use drugs, blow cash by the thousands and run wild thanks to a sense of entitlement that is as vast as the day is long. Clinton Portis confirmed the amount of respect that they have for female journalists of any kind with his comments earlier this week. His remarks played right into every negative stereotype that could be thrown at Portis and his fellow NFL players.

The problem with this issue is that it’s a matter of perception, and that leads to nothing but gray area. There is no black and white. Our take on this – both sides are wrong. Sainz never should have been given a credential by the Jets or any other team because everyone should know by now what she’s all about. Once she has that credential, however, the Jets are obligated to treat Sainz just like they would treat anyone else sent to cover their team and give that person the respect that he or she deserves. It’s supposed to be easy to do the right thing no matter who you are or what side of this issue you’re on, but it’s not.

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