Thursday, March 22, 2012

Sick of Saints Sympathy

Before we even knew about the bounties, I was already a little sick of the Saints. They seem to be everyone's second favorite team. And only lately. These people weren't saying "who dat" when Jeff Blake was slinging passes for the Saints. It's only since Drew Brees arrived and the Saints became good.

And now everyone feels bad for the "harsh" and "severe" punishments the NFL doled out. If a punishment isn't harsh or isn't severe, is it even a punishment? What's the point of an unharsh punishment?

The Saints broke the rules. Repeatedly. They violated the salary cap, they encouraged players to inflict injury, and when they were being investigated by the NFL, they continued to break the rules. These are not actions that merit sympathy.

Goodell is ruthless, but that's what his position entails. He isn't supposed to be just, or moral, or understanding, or sympathetic. He's supposed to be harsh, even tyrannical at times.

And the simple fact is, after yesterday, NO team in the NFL is going to tolerate these types of bounty payments anymore. Goodell's punishment of Sean Payton turned the other 31 coaches into 31 junior commissioners who will ensure that their teams do not engage in this type of behavior. This was a league-wide problem on Wednesday morning. By Wednesday night, the problem was solved.

NCAA Hockey Preview: Midwest Region

These games will be played in Green Bay.

Friday 5:30pm
#2 Ferris State Bulldogs vs. #3 Denver Pioneers
The Bulldogs won the CCHA regular season title then were quickly knocked out of the CCHA tournament. Denver made a dramatic run in the WCHA tournament, winning the first round in overtime, the quarterfinals in OT, and the semifinals in double OT before losing the finals to North Dakota. Both these teams can score, so this should be a shootout. Ferris State is good but they were 4-5-1 against the other CCHA teams that made the NCAA tournament. And they lost in the CCHA quarterfinals. I'll take the team that grinded their way through multiple elimination games. Denver wins 5-3.

Friday 9:00pm - ESPNU
#1 Michigan Wolverines vs. #4 Cornell Big Red
As someone who went to school in Ithaca, and as a passionate hater of the University and state of Michigan, I would love to see Big Red triumph over blue and maize. However, I don't see this as possible. Michigan scored 3.25 goals per game this season. Cornell didn't allow many goals, but the ECAC was an offense-poor league. Cornell can score a bit, but Michigan has goalie Shawn Hunwick (Matt's little brother. Very little brother. He's 5' 7"), a Hobey Baker (college hockey's Heisman) finalist. Michigan wins 5-2.

That would give us a Denver/Michigan regional final. And I think Denver would struggle to score on Hunwick, and wouldn't be able to keep up with Michigan's scoring. Michigan wins 4-2.

The Midwest finals will be Saturday at 9:00pm on ESPNU.


Author: Dorsey Velasquez

We are a very Christian family. We try our best to live our lives the way Christ has showed us to live. It is hard in this day and age to have strong morals, but it is what gets us through and keeps us close. At night we read the Bible together, and on Sundays we go to church. We also usually watch a sermon or two throughout the week on direct tv clarksville. Doing these things just help keep us focused on the way we want to live our lives, and act as reminders for our morals. I am thankful that we are able to go to such a great church. The church is really an extension of our family, helping each other out when in need, and offering support and encouragement to each other. Just last week, a woman had a baby and we all got together and came up with a schedule for bringing her meals for the next 4 weeks so she doesn’t have to worry about cooking.

NCAA Hockey Preview: East Region

The Other March Madness begins in Bridgeport, CT Friday afternoon. There are four New England teams in the 16 team NCAA Tournament. UMass-Lowell will be playing in Bridgeport, CT. BU will be in the St. Paul region. Maine and BC will be playing in Worcester.

Here's what the East Region in Bridgeport, CT looks like:

Friday 3:00pm - ESPNU
#1 Union College Dutchmen vs. #4 Michigan State Spartans
Union won the ECAC, which wasn't a very strong conference this year. However, MSU is having something of a down season. The Spartans can score, but Union allowed under 2 goals per game (1.82). That's probably because the ECAC doesn't score many goals in general. There were only 5.6 goals per game in the ECAC this year. That's very low, especially for college. Union aren't a strong #1 seed, but MSU isn't good enough to fully take advantage. Union escapes and advances 2-1.

Friday 6:30pm - ESPNU
#2 Miami RedHawks vs. #3 UMass-Lowell River Hawks
Miami is 1-6 all-time against Hockey East teams in the NCAA Tournament. However, UMass-Lowell have cooled off as the weather's warmed up. They lost in the Hockey East quarterfinals to lowly Providence College. They've been able to win games against BC and BU, but timing helped them. They beat BC in December, before BC really bears down and starts trying. I just don't think they can beat a quality team at this level. And Miami is a quality team. RedHawks win 4-2.

So that would give us a Union vs. Miami regional final. Miami allowed 2.05 goals per game, and that was mostly in the CCHA, which is a quality league. So it would be a defensive struggle, and Miami would prevail 2-1.

The East Regional final will be Saturday night at 6:30pm on ESPNU.

Anderson to Buffalo, Green-Ellis to Cincinnati

It was just a bit overshadowed yesterday in the NFL but the Buffalo Bills acquired former Patriots DE Mark Anderson. And the Bengals picked up RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis.

Anderson tied with Andre Carter for the team lead in sacks with 10 last year. Which was a pleasant surprise from the 28 year old, who had never accumulated more than 5 sacks in a season since his rookie year. The Bills reportedly signed him to a 4 year deal worth $27.5 million. As well as he did last year, I'm not sure he's worth close to $7 million a year.

The Bills now have two serious pass rushing threats. And I think that's a good plan. It's a passing League and the best way to stop an opponent passing is to stop the passer. They are building a team that will be problematic for the Patriots.

Win or lose, the Bills at least have a plan. Unlike the Jets who just have impulses and urges that they act on without thinking things through.

The Patriots also lost their leading rusher. Green-Ellis signed a 3 year deal with Cincinnati. He rushed for 11 TDs last year, and 667 yards. Platooning in the backfield, he had 41% of the Patriots carries. Most importantly, he never put the ball on the ground.

Only in New England could the home team lose its leading pass rusher and leading rusher, and everyone seem unfazed. Most fans would be irate.

Maybe we do place too much trust in Belichick to find replacements. Then again, he found Carter, and found Ellis. Neither of which were expected to lead an NFL team in anything. He'll find others.