Anyone else wonder how many people who defended the officiating at the Pats-Colts game are complaining about it regarding last night’s game? Maybe that’s unfair, but I’m pretty sure you could find a few people–at least among fans, if not sportswriters–who thought nothing of the Colts game, but are now acting like the NFL is the WWE and is deliberately rigging the games.

I don’t buy it–if the NFL were the WWE, the Pats would be heels and the Ravens would have won the game on that last pass.

I admit I’m being unfair here–I haven’t actually caught anyone in the act of doing this. But the general air of the sportswriters over on ESPN’s website is that the Pats caught a lot of breaks, and the site is happily printing all the Ravens’ players complaints about the officiating.

foosball is the devil

I joined my first-ever fantasy football league a month ago, teaming up with my dad. Our team, the Hellboys, had the eleventh pick in a snake draft (so we also had the fourteenth pick). Somehow we ended up with both Carson Palmer and Chad Johnson, the quarterback and wide receiver for the Cincinnati Bengals, respectively.

I’m a late bloomer in terms of football fandom (heck, sports fandom in general), but I read over all the stats in the magazines my dad gave me and kept him from making any unwise moves during the draft. Last week, in the first week of the season, we didn’t do all that well; our reserves did far better than the guys we activated.

This week, though–we had Carson Palmer and Chad Johnson. In a league where the average weekly highest score by any team is around 90-100, we ended up with 146 points thanks to Palmer’s six touchdowns (two of them caught by Johnson) in the Bengals’ 51-45 loss to the Browns. We outscored our opponent by more than 2x their own score. It was, to use the technical term, a drubbing.

Obviously this was a major fluke–it’s unlikely we’ll see another shootout like that this season from any teams, much less the Bengals again. But it felt pretty good for the second matchup of my fantasy football league career.

So it was an interesting Sunday…good for the Pats, good for my fantasy team, not so good for the Red Sox, who also just lost to the Blue Jays while the Yankees beat up on the Orioles, meaning the Sox’s lead in the AL East will soon be 3 1/2 games. If you’re not gritting your teeth and checking your pulse, it’s not the Red Sox.

Meanwhile, did you see what the Pats did to the Chargers? LaDainian Tomlinson currently has the lowest yards-per-carry (1.9) of any quarterback with more than twenty carries. That won’t last, but the people who patted themselves on the back for getting the #1 pick in their fantasy league draft have to be bit annoyed at losing 1/16 of that payoff (in the regular season, anyway).

One last thing…I think the “LT sucks” chant by the fans at Gillette was in poor taste. Frankly, so is “Yankees suck.” It’s not biting or amusing, it’s just mean and smacks of sore winners/losers.

Chanting “Roger” is funny, especially when he’s in trouble. If the Gillette crowd had chanted something like “MVP” after LDT got stopped for a 1-yard loss–now that would have been funny.

Go Sox!

My friend Andy and I are going to the Red Sox-Yankees game tonight with our respective fiancees. I’ll try to bring a real camera and take some actual pictures (rather than forcing you to squint at my cell phone photos).

So the hammer has come down on Videogate and in the end, I do think the whole thing was overblown–and also mystifying on the part of Belichick & Co. What sucks the most is how this has cost the Patriots most of that grudging respect they’d earned from the media and non-NE fans. Turns out there are a lot of Patriots haters. Now I know what it feels like to be a Yankees fan (no offense, Kate!).

Tale of the tape

I don’t know if this is true. Obviously, I hope it isn’t. And even if the employee was following orders, I’m not sure how much of an edge you can gain during the actual game.

But if it does turn out to be true, count me as one of those fans who will be disappointed, as I was with the HGH scandal. Yes, I realize how rampant cheating is in professional sports and that it was probably inevitable some of it was going on with the Patriots. But you still always hope your team is the exception, and the Pats seemed to have positioned themselves as one.

Anyway, the jury’s still out, for now. And this may just blow over–I suspect that unless there’s really clear evidence that the Pats used this information to their advantage in real-time during the game, the NFL will just let the scandal itself serve as a reprimand to the team. Still, though, it’s disheartening to have Sunday’s great win tarnished like this.