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Sunday morning sports thoughts and observations

Sunday 1/23/22

Boy was I wrong about how that Packers/Forty-Niners game would go! I went to bed in the third quarter and was pretty surprised this morning to see that the Forty-Niners won. Packers got the ball on the opening drive, marched down the field as easy as you please, and save for a field goal, that was it. As I watched the game while doing other things, I thought the Forty-Niners' defense looked stout, but figured the Packers would find a way to do what they needed to do to win. I think it's imperative that the Patriots move on from Mac Jones. Now. Trade him. He's not the quarterback of the future, and I don't think he's a long-term NFL starter. You need someone who can come back down 24-10 halfway through the third quarter, and that's not him. Does this make it more likely that Rodgers leaves Green Bay and could New England get him? And now the path to the Super Bowl gets a little easier for Brady. I think that's a fifty-fifty type of game later today in Tampa, but imagine Brady vs. Garoppolo in the NFC Championship Game, the two ex-Patriots quarterbacks? That would make New England look pretty silly. Aaron Rodgers has really underachieved in his career. He has too much ability to be a one-time Super Bowl champion during the era of the quarterback.


An interesting stat: in the 1973 NLDS, the Mets' Rusty Staub had three hits. All three of his hits were home runs.


Another interesting stat: the 1977-78 Islanders had six thirty goal scorers. I believe this is tied for the record with two other teams, or so my own research indicates. The Boston Bruins of that same year famously had nine players with twenty or more goals, but even the Oilers teams of the 1980s didn't have a squad with six thirty goal men. The Islanders dynasty that was to come is the most underrated dynasty in hockey, and maybe in sports. I would say, though, that never was there a hockey team that could beat you in so many different ways. They could play any kind of game and win.


Brad Marchand surprisingly played in yesterday's Bruins game against the Jets. Word, I guess, came out that the Jets coach instructed his players to target Marchand's hurt shoulder. This is merely good strategy. It's what you do. How you play the game. If a player has an injury, in any sport, you exploit it as best you can, within the rules. Some would argue if you can get away with tactics outside of the rules, you do that as well. For instance, if a player has a hurt wrist, hit him on that wrist. This is merely part of sports. And, in a larger sense, it's how life works. I can't think of anything, sports-wise, much more basic, obvious, and correct. You play to win. There's nothing dirty or immoral about this. It's to be expected. It's what the hurt player expects, and what he'd do as well.


Cue thousands and thousands of people on Twitter whining about how wrong this is. I went through a bunch of profiles, because I always make sure I know how detached from reality someone is, or the people are behind the various inane statements that have become the rules of modern life. I won't go into specifics, but the same things were in all of their Twitter bios. Hardly shocking.


What I know is these people are weak, are performance trophy people, don't understand how right and wrong work, cower from adversity, don't understand sports, don't understand life, never played a sport, unless you count virtue signaling as a competitive event.


If I have a hurt left shoulder, and your team knows I do, and you don't attempt to drill me as hard as you can, every time you get a chance, so as to worsen my injury, my discomfort, and my effectiveness, I will have no respect for you. Do it fairly: don't run me from behind. But shoulder to shoulder contact? Yeah, give me what you got.


What is one supposed to do with this information? Target the other shoulder so as not to make the opponent feel worse? This is not a kinder world. This is a more stupid, weaker, toxic, fake world. The politics were everything one would expect, too. It's like you have these sorts of people on the left, then you have religious/gun-mad/I-ain't-gettin'-no-dagummit-vaccine" people on the right. Amazing how clearly and often you can pick someone out as a member of one of these two groups. Human cartoon characters. A bad cartoon.


When I was a very young boy, Dan Shaughnessy was a childish jerk who wrote childish jerk things for the sports section of The Boston Globe. In second grade I remember thinking he was a loser, insincere, desperate for attention, not honorable, and not smart. Someone you didn't take seriously and treated like a human punchline, if you thought about him at all. Now that I am not a very small child, Dan Shaughnessy remains exactly what he was. He's been that for all of this time. That's not a life well lived, is it?


I will probably write a piece about Sparky Lyle's The Bronx Zoo. Was thinking about this last night.