Ramble On Sports

Where sports, pop culture and everything else collide.

Posts Tagged ‘ESPN’

Patriots Branch out, acquire former wide receiver

Posted by bdowd625 on October 11, 2010

ESPN’s Adam Schefter broke the news tonight that Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Deion Branch is heading back to New England for his second tour of duty with the Patriots. (Those of you who follow us here at Ramble On know we trust Schefter as much as our own mothers. Maybe even more so. Sorry, Mom.) In exchange for Branch, the Seahawks will receive a fourth-round draft choice, and since the Pats stockpile draft picks like I hoarded pogs back in sixth grade, they’re really not losing much.

We applaud the Patriots for getting back to their roots and re-acquiring a solid citizen like Branch. It doesn’t hurt that he’s still got some talent – Branch was the Super Bowl MVP back when the Pats edged Carolina during the 2003-04 season – and is, by all accounts, extremely close with quarterback Tom Brady. But let’s not get carried away here, people. This isn’t seven years ago. Branch – and Brady, for that matter – aren’t getting any younger. Branch, 31, has battled injury problems since heading to Seattle before the start of the 2006 campaign, playing in only 51 of a possible 68 regular-season games. He’s on pace for 52 catches this season, though, and he hasn’t hauled in that many passes since his first season with the Seahawks. (If you’re curious, Branch had 78 receptions and five TDs in his last season with Brady and the Pats.)

Don’t get us wrong – we welcome Branch back with open arms and hope this trade returns New England to its real glory days. We’re just not overly optimistic at this point. I guess we’ll get our first taste when New England returns to action following a bye during Week 5. First up for the new-look Pats? Baltimore. Bring. It. On.


Posted in Football | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »


Posted by bdowd625 on September 13, 2010

Is this what the new era of New York Jets football is going to look like? Six first downs and 125 penalty yards? I’m so glad Hard Knocks prepared us for a title-contending team when, in reality, we’re forced to watch a cast of surly characters that belongs in a Pop Warner league. I’ll give the defense some props – it certainly held up its end of the bargain – but Mark Sanchez looks like he wouldn’t be able to lead USC on a scoring drive right now, let alone an NFL squad. So in keeping with our theme here at Ramble On, here are five thoughts from tonight’s Jets/Ravens tilt:

* Did anyone see the scuffle that took place at midfield before the game even started? Bart Scott ended up whipping a football at about 110 MPH right at Ray Rice’s back. With an arm like that, I think Rex Ryan should consider moving him to quarterback for the rest of the season. He has to rack up more yardage on a weekly basis than Sanchez did tonight.

* My dad had the line of the night during the fourth quarter. ESPN put the camera on the Jets secondary and the old man says, “Hey, look, it’s Revis and Butthead.” Butthead being none other than Antonio Cromartie. There aren’t many names more fitting than Butthead when you get flagged for three pass-interference calls and a handful of child-support infractions. Deadbeat might be an alternative, but making that joke is a little too easy at this point.

* As my man BK has been attesting for a while now, you simply SHOULD NOT piss off Ray Lewis. Ray-Ray is getting up there in age a little bit, but my God can the man still hit. Just ask Dustin Keller. He got his cage rattled so loudly in the fourth quarter that he forgot he needed to go an extra yard on fourth down to keep his team’s drive alive on the very next play. If I’m the Jets’ doctors I’m giving Dustin a CT scan when he gets back to the locker room.

* For the first part of this game, I was actually hoping the Jets defense would play well to help out my fantasy team. Once I realized I had no chance of winning this week, though, I prayed they’d get torched like Joe Pesci’s head in Home Alone. My love for the Patriots will always surpass any fantasy interests, and tonight just drove that point home even further.

* I found it comical that LaDainian Tomlinson started thumping his chest whenever he picked up a first down. Dude, your team has 9 points and is going nowhere fast. Save all the celebration bullshit. Better yet, go put your Darth Vader cape on and ride the exercise bike until further notice.

I can’t wait for next week when the Pats visit New Meadowlands Stadium. By the way, that name is nothing short of an atrocity.

Posted in Football | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments »

Welcoming the EPL into my life

Posted by bdowd625 on August 13, 2010

(You and I are about to become real good friends, Emile Heskey.)

After becoming quite smitten with the 2010 World Cup earlier this summer, I’ve decided to continue my soccer binge by selecting an English Premier League team to follow this season. If this idea sounds familiar, it’s because Bill Simmons jumped into the world of soccer the same way in one of his ESPN columns a few years back. He, too, selected a random team, choosing Tottenham Hotspur, mainly because he thought they had a cool name. Looks like it worked out just fine for you, Billy Boy.

Instead of picking my team based on its name, though, I’ve decided to find a middle-of-the-pack squad that’s not exactly a serious contender this year. I won’t look like a frontrunner that way. With that in mind, I have chosen – drumroll, please – Aston Villa. Do I know anything about this team? Absolutely not. Can I name a single player other than Heskey? Nope. But I plan on doing my due diligence this year and becoming a Villa aficionado. Here’s hoping for a good season, men. Now let’s take down West Ham!

Posted in Soccer | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

The Buck stops here (in Baltimore)

Posted by bdowd625 on July 29, 2010

ESPN.com is reporting that Buck Showalter will become the next manager of the Baltimore Orioles. Why anyone would ever want to accept this job is beyond me. Sure, Showalter has been out of baseball for a few years now and I bet the possibility of coaching again makes his mouth water, but Baltimore has got to be one of the most miserable organizations out there. The O’s haven’t fielded a winning team since that little shithead Jeffrey Maier pulled a crucial fly ball into the stands during the playoffs at Yankee Stadium in 1996, and they don’t seem be turning the corner any time soon.

On top of that, owner Peter Angelos is a joke. The fans hate him because he doesn’t outwardly care about winning, and he allegedly denied Cal Ripken, Jr. – one of the most famous Orioles of all time – a job opportunity within the organization earlier this year. Nicely done, Peter, you cranky old bastard. Maybe it’s time to sell the team and bring in an ownership group that is willing to put talent on the field.

I could care less about the Orioles to be perfectly honest, but I know their fans are hurting. They deserve a team that matches the quality of their gorgeous stadium, Camden Yards. But with Angelos in charge and a mediocre product between the lines, I’m guessing it’s only a matter of time before Showalter joins former managers Mike Hargrove, Lee Mazilli, Sam Perlozzo and Dave Trembley on the unemployment line.

Posted in Baseball | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

A few quick Red Sox notes…

Posted by bdowd625 on July 18, 2010

*  Boston’s 3-2 victory over the Texas Rangers last night was HUGE. Yes, it was only one game, but wins like that have a way of turning things around. The Sox were in danger of falling to 51-40 – a measly 11 games over .500 – and surely the complaints about their lackluster lineup would have grown even louder. Instead, Kevin Youkilis saves Boston with a clutch two-out double off of Cliff Lee in the ninth, and wins it with a sacrifice fly in the 11th.

John Lackey actually pitched well for once – hanging with the devastatingly filthy Cliffy from the start – and the bullpen did its part with scoreless innings from Daniel Bard, Jonathan Papelbon and Manny Delcarmen (surprise!). All in all, it was an excellent win at a dire time.

*  Clay Buchholz and Josh Beckett both had rehab starts for Pawtucket this weekend, and neither was overly impressive. Buchholz got knocked around a little bit, only threw 33 strikes out of 60 pitches and committed a balk. Beckett, meanwhile, said he wasn’t as sharp as he wanted to be. And here we are getting excited about their imminent returns to the big club. Maybe it’s not going to go as smoothly as we had all hoped.

*  This last point is in response to a reader comment (which we would like more of, so please send us your thoughts) about Jerry Remy. Remy – a Red Sox legend – has been in the broadcast booth since the late 1980s and recently overcame a bout with cancer. The reader wondered who would be next in line to replace Remy as color commentator when he calls it quits, ultimately saying he thought Lou Merloni would be his successor.

Merloni, a local guy and former Red Sox infielder, has been a mainstay on WEEI’s The Big Show during the last few years and has made a pretty smooth transition from player to media member. He’s definitely a viable option because he knows the game and the ins and outs of the organization.

To that end, Nomar Garciaparra would also fit the bill. Garciaparra’s departure from the team at the trade deadline in 2004 was unceremonious, so it would be hard to see the team bringing him back in any capacity, let alone having him in the broadcast booth every night. But Garciaparra has also made the transition into the media – taking an analyst position with ESPN – so it’s hard to rule him out completely. He has the exact type of charismatic phoniness that would make him a great commentator.

And finally, for my sleeper pick for the job: Kevin Millar. Millar has the personality and knowledge of the game to be a great color guy. The only problem? He may be too much of a clown. Millar, who created the “Cowboy Up” slogan back in 2004, was the perfect guy to help Boston end it’s 86-year World Series drought. But can he be professional enough to be taken seriously in the booth? That remains to be seen. Still, he’s made some appearances in studio on NESN and Fox and brings the right presence to the broadcast. Maybe I’m just seeing him through rose-colored glasses because he was part of my favorite Red Sox team of all time.

So who do you think will end up replacing Jerry Remy when he finally decides to hang it up? Leave your suggestions here.

Posted in Baseball | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

More Mets and no ranting

Posted by bigblue123 on December 17, 2009

Our fearless leader has entitled my latest two blog posts “rants.” Honestly, that bothered me — being a middle aged guy, I try and avoid ranting. It scares people (I’m 6’5″ and halfway between 200 and 300 pounds) and every time I see Frank Barone from Everybody Loves Raymond on the tube I think “not me.”

So, here’s a sorry to my last three targets of rants.

To beer drinkers extraordinaire in section 339 at the Meadowlands – “sorry.” It’s selfish of me to be annoyed — it’s your right to guzzle beer non-stop and urinate incessantly during a game. How else could you enjoy the game? I promise to be more cordial as you stomp over me headed to the men’s room muttering obscenities.

To ESPN; sorry. It’s gotta be hard to wade through the thousands of resumes that you get monthly. So many of those sports journalists — so qualified and so experienced. Much better and easier to just whittle the competition down by hiring ex-coaches with NCAA violations in their history. Now, I understand it allows you more time for the real business of ESPN — coming up with new ways to show the hole cards at a poker tournament. Shame on me —  I keep watching!

Finally, sorry to Omar Minaya and “Bravo” on your latest signing. While the Sox were nabbing Lackey and division rival Philadelphia was signing Halladay — you were globetrotting and bringing back Ryota Igarashi from Japan.  Thanks, Omar. I would imagine that the Tommy John surgery he had two years ago has mended and his team (the Yakuit Swallows) will really miss him. I hear it’s almost as tough to play in Yakuit as it is in New York.  A fringe benefit is that maybe this signing will enable us to go out and resign Ken Takahashi. Thanks Omar — just living that Citi Field dream. How’s season ticket sales going anyway? ( I couldn’t resist that one jab)

That’s it — sorry to all and to all a good night!

Posted in Baseball, Football, Random | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

An ESPN rant

Posted by bigblue123 on December 10, 2009

This morning listening to Mike & Mike, a show that I adore by the way,  Mike Greenberg was hammering the spokesperson for the Orlando-area hospital that treated Tiger Woods’ mother-in-law. (I guess it’s too early to say ex-mother-in-law.) The hospital mispronounced her Swedish name and these guys were all over them for not doing their job. Hmmm… ESPN is a media outlet and we are supposed to believe that everyone was caught unaware by Tiger’s vast appetite for morally-challenged women? These “journalists” either looked the other way OR were not aware that this was going on. (This is NO moral judgment on my part.)
I’ve heard that a man is as loyal to his wife as his options and I chuckled but thought about it. This is about ESPN and Golf Digest ignoring this story to further their own business and not for the last weeks – for years! Imagine if this was broken months ago by ESPN or Golf Digest – they would have never had access to Tiger again. While the most well-known athlete in the world is cavorting with porn stars, ESPN is interviewing poker stars in Vegas.  Hell, ESPN film crews probably crossed Tiger’s path during the World Series of Poker. Is there any bimbo in Vegas that Tiger hasn’t slept with or any poker player that ESPN hasn’t featured?
While I am at it on ESPN, how about hiring some ex-coaches WITHOUT trails of NCAA violations. Now, maybe these are the guys who are more interesting, but ESPN should have a bit more of a set  or not lecture some poor hospital spokesperson about doing their job.

Just heard one of their anchors say, “Judge not lest ye be judged.” Are you freaking kidding me?? I am as single-minded a sports fan as there is and am addicted to ESPN but they are turning into a network of preachers. Give it up. Anybody feel this way out there?

Posted in Golf, Random | Tagged: , , | 2 Comments »

Fatal distraction

Posted by bdowd625 on October 22, 2009


I’d be making that face if I were you, too, Steve Phillips. And if someone had blown the whistle on your little love triangle with fellow ESPN employee Brooke Hundley a little sooner, maybe you’d have been able to save face. But the fact of the matter is, as a prominent baseball analyst, you just can’t get away with pulling stunts like this, ESPECIALLY with someone that looks like her.  Not that cheating on your wife is something to be proud of in the first place, but with all the pull you have, I’d expect better.

Look I get it, the name Brooke Hundley just sounds hot. Like someone you’d find in the latest Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition. But take a look at her up there, she’s better suited for Dove’s Campaign For Real Beauty. And to top it all off, she left your wife a letter disclosing the affair you two have had. Wow. Good luck bouncing back from that one.

I enjoy listening to your baseball analysis, I just hope this doesn’t mean you get tossed out of ESPN for good. That means we’d be left with only Joe Morgan for color analysis and I’d rather gargle nails before I put up with him.

Posted in Baseball, Random | Tagged: , , , | 3 Comments »