As part of their Christmas gift, Wifey and I took the boys to the Celtics game on Friday night. I wish I could give thoughts on how the team played, but I spent more time doing one of the following than actually watching the game.
1: Bringing the youngest to the bathroom. This happened three times and one of those times was because he had to 'poop' but then refused to sit on the nasty toilet until it was up to his standards of cleanliness. I missed twenty minutes of the game at this point. Oh, and he never did drop one.
2: Standing in line getting food for the boys.
3: Standing in another line to get beer for Wifey and myself.
4: Wandering around the pavilion trying to find where they sold green, floppy, foamy hats that my youngest wanted as part of my bribe to get him to sit on the toilet to take the shit that never came. I never found them.
5: Staggering around like a mugging victim when I saw Peroni was a beer option in the Garden followed by me realizing I was just roped into paying eight bucks a pop for them. Fuckin' A, Garden people.
6: Trying to console my five year old when he didn't catch one of the parachute gifts that were dropped from the rafters after the third quarter. He thought everyone in attendance was getting one. I had to explain that 20 gifts dropped into 18,000 people were never good odds, but he didn't want to hear it. Life can be so cruel.
In hindsight, five year old was just too young to go. He was tired and cranky, bored and restless and wanted to be anywhere other than the game. The only part he enjoyed was the big screen showing dancing fans and the chant of 'D-Fense' which he still chants to himself before going to bed. He also picked up a Bruin Mr Potato Head at the gift shop that eased the pain of not getting a floppy hat.
Lesson: don't bring your kid to a professional sporting event until they're at least 7 years old. Maybe even 10.
- My eldest loved the game, of course. He's been obsessed with basketball since last summer and - thanks to one of Wifey's VIP friends - we managed to get him up close to the Celtics bench at halftime. He got pics of Shaq and Pierce and has fully realized how huge everyone is. He thought Rondo was short because he's constantly surrounded by Garnett, Shaq, and Pierce all the time. Imagine his shock when he saw Rondo is the same height as his father.
- As for the game itself, the Celtics won big because - other than that Italian dude - I had not heard of one player from the Toronto Raptor's starting lineup. And I follow basketball. When they were introducing them, I Googled 'Toronto Raptor Injuries' on my phone to see if someone was hurt. Here is a link to the Raptors roster. Good lord.
- Met an old buddy of mine for some good old fashioned football watching at a local pub yesterday and watched Todd Haley completely submarine his team's chances of winning. Granted, the players were to blame for a lot of what happened, but how do you run the ball for nearly 100 yards in the first half and abandon that strategy for the entire fourth quarter and most of the second half?
Yeah, I know, you're down, but the game wasn't that out of hand despite the turnovers and Haley panicked by having Cassel throw nearly every time. Go with what got you there, coaches!! The Chiefs were moving the ball well on the ground and were wearing out the Ravens' defense. It sure looked like Haley got scared of running when the Ravens stuffed Charles on that fourth down try. No, it didn't work out that time, but don't use one play as a barometer of what is your team does best.
- Look at the four teams remaining in the AFC: Patriots, Jets, Steeler, Ravens. And all four divisional opponents face each other for the third time this year. Uh...Booorring! What sucks is whoever is left between those four will also have played each other in the regular season. Kind of why I was rooting for KC to win yesterday. We need some fresh faces in these playoffs. Even if the Colts had won these playoffs would still have that 'same old, same old' vibe to it.
- At least the Seahawks provided some surprise. I still thought the Saints were going to pull it off near the end, but that New Orleans defense should be ashamed of themselves. Instead of simply covering a subpar group of receivers, they were gambling for interceptions and getting burned deep nearly every time. And not being able to tackle Lynch on that last run was a disgrace. Lynch is getting all the props for an amazing run, but if the Saints could make a simple tackle that would never have been more than a six yard rush.
Kudos to the Seattle offense game plan. They must have noticed the Saints' secondary habit of gambling by jumping routes and played to that perfectly. That second John Carlson touchdown was the single prettiest play of the post season so far. Carlson dove at the defender's feet pretending to do a half ass job of blocking. The defender stepped over Carlson, essentially dismissing him and Carlson gets up, runs into the end zone and stands all by himself for a touchdown catch. Loved that play!
- Buddy I was drinking with has a bit of a gambling problem and called his bookie to put money on the Eagles. This was immediately following him asking me who I thought would win. I told him I thought Green Bay would pull off a close one because they had the better defense. He groaned then proceeded to bet against me and Green Bay. Serves him right.
- Can we please ease off the 'Mark Sanchez has finally arrived' talk? He looked terrible for much of the Colts game and making two good (not even very good) passes near the end does not mean he's suddenly matured into a top notch quarterback. Talk to me if he can come into Foxboro in 20 degree weather and beat the Patriots. And it will have to be him, not his defense, that does the winning. If you've watched Belichick at all over the past decade you know he's going to force Sanchez to make critical throws if the Jets have any chance.
- So where are we left?
Jets at Patriots: The last beatdown by the Pats is still fresh in the minds of the Jets and they'll be looking for payback. However, this Patriot's team is nowhere near as depleted as the Colts team the Jets were lucky to beat. Way too many weapons and way too much Tom Brady who knows the Jets like the back of his hand at this point. Rex Ryan may have a few tricks up his sleeve, but Brady/Belichick will make the adjustments and pull this one out.
Besides, it's possible the Pats got into the collective heads of this Jets team. Even Ryan admitted it took a few weeks to get over the sting from that last game.
Ravens at Steelers: Two teams that are also very familiar with each other and evenly matched. When in doubt, go with the home team. Steelers win on a last second field goal.
Seahawks at Bears: So Chicago lucks out again, hosting the lamest team to ever make the playoffs and a team that's still riding high from last weekend. Bears defense will not fall for those same pump fake tactics and Seattle is just happy to be here. And they're not at home. Bears in a rout.
Packers at Falcons: Maybe I'm crazy, but I thought Philly was a tougher matchup for this Green Bay team. The Packers can take this game. If you're a Falcons fan, this is the worst possible team you could have hoped to see. Packers by ten.
Today's distraction: In one of the stupidest traditions to ever be thought up, today is 'No Pants Day'. Wouldn't this have made more sense in any other month than January? Not only do I have to see dipshits in their boxers, but they're experiencing record breaking shrinkage.