Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Switching Gears

For all 10 of you still paying attention, the Sox are in Baltimore tonight for the first of three completely meaningless games, and then they're off to the Apple to face the Yankees over the weekend. Any time you start feeling sorry for yourself over this team's self-immolation, just remember - you could have splurged on tickets to Yankee Stadium this weekend in what you thought would be a sure-fire battle for AL East supremacy. That would really suck. It would also really suck to be Sox TV announcers Don Orsillo and Jerry Remy, who must continue to travel with the team and sound somewhat upbeat. Remy just made mention of the fact that the Baltimore Ravens scored a decisive victory over Tampa Bay last weekend, which must have made Baltimoreans happy.

And it got me to thinking - if the RemDawg, who's all about baseball - can mix baseball with football, so can I. Make no mistake - this blog is powered by baseball. It's our lifeblood, it's what we grew up on, it's what we know best. But we have room here to discuss other topics, and after all, I have to keep my faithful readers (really only one, my buddy Jam) interested throughout the fall and dreary winter. So, starting this weekend, we're going to morph into HardballPigskin Heaven.

We're going to blog about the Patriots, the NFL in general, and college football, and gambling talk (for entertainment purposes only, of course) is very much encouraged. Each Friday morning, I'll make my weekly NFL picks against the spread and I'll give you my top two college football picks. Why the hell not? Everyone else does. The Sports Guy is even taking on his wife this year.

So let's begin the festivities with some quick thoughts on our favorite NFL squad, the dynastic New England Patriots. My Dad's in Vegas right now and I had to ask him what the odds were for the Pats to win the Super Bowl this year. "6 to 1," he said. "Not too bad." We planned to split a small $50 wager - basically, bet $25 for the chance to win $150 if Brady & Co. are hoisting the trophy in Miami in February. The next day, he calls me back and says he made a mistake. "I did it for $100, so you're in for $50." Only problem was that in the interim, the Pats had finally decided to trade their star wideout, Deion Branch, to the Seattle Seahawks. Both parties got what they wanted - the Pats get a first round pick for '07, albeit most likely a later one; the Seahawks get a quality receiver/person, and Branch gets his money. All the Pats' rumpswabs are saying it's the best trade since Varitek and Lowe for Heathcliff "Seat Belt" Slocumb, gushing over the value of a first-round pick. I, however, feel like this team is suddenly not as good as it was last year. Its Super Bowl chances certainly aren't as good as they would have been had Deion signed. Yes, we've got what seems like the best 1-2 RB punch in our lifetimes, but you have to spread it out with receivers and right now the Pats receiving corps is paper thin. Branch and Brady really had something good going, and it stinks to see that washed away. I want my bet back (I think).

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