January 14, 2007

Brady's Bunch...

Tom Brady has done it again.

The New England Patriots are on their way to another AFC Championship Game after they knocked off the #1 ranked San Diego Chargers.

I was talking to a buddy before this game, and we both agreed that if anybody could beat the Chargers in this game, it was Tom Brady and his Patriots.

The Chargers are led by super-human running back Ladanian Tomlinson, this season's MVP, and up-start quarterback Philip Rivers. San Diego didn't lose a game at home all year - they were 8-0.

Only one man could take his team on the road to one of the tougher stadiums to play in, and beat the "team to beat" in their own building, against the MVP. That man is Tom Brady.

Tomlinson still had a great game. He's a touchdown machine, and he still got two of them, and ran for over 120 yards, but it wasn't enough to break the unflappable Tom Brady.

I wish I was Tom Brady. He's like the Don of football in the 21st century. He just wins. He's got the game, the confidence, and the looks. He's got it all. If I could be any athlete on the planet, it would be a tough call between Brady and Derek Jeter.

New England continues to lose key players every off season - this year it was Dieon Branch - but they just keep winning, against all odds.

Brady didn't even have his best game today. He threw for two touchdowns but in very un-Brady-like fashion he also threw three interceptions. But when the clock ran out, it was his Patriots who were up 24-21, and once again marching towards another Super Bowl.

It's going to be another classic Brady-Manning encounter next week when the Pats and Colts meet in the AFC Championship, and I can't wait. No one can say anything about Peyton Manning's abilities and what he has done with the Indianapolis Colts, but Tom Brady just gets the job done, with surgeon-type precision.

Right now, Brady's a winner, and Manning is a loser. Those are the legacies, as I see it, of two of the finest QB's of the 21st century.

I've never really been a "fan" of Brady and the Patriots. Unfortunately, my allegiance lyes with the pathetic Buffalo Bills. But I respect Tom Brady and how he finds a way to win. And that's kind of making me a Patriots fan, as disturbing as that is to me. It's easy to hate on a winner, but the way Tom Brady goes about his business, it's hard to hate him.


Anyways, speaking of losers, how about Andrew Raycroft and the performance he put in on Hockey Day in Canada?

What a stinker.

The Leafs outshot the visiting Vancouver Canucks 36-21 and came out losers 6 to 1. Absolutely ridiculous.

Raycroft is a sorry excuse for a number one goaltender, and he knows it too. He makes me sick.

The boo-birds were out in full force last night, and deservedly so. Granted, five of the six goals were scored on the power play, but three of them went right through Razor's legs, and those are saves he just has to make.

Andrew, listen up. Close your god damn legs and put your glove higher. Jesus freakin Christ!

Supposedly Sundin was really upset about the fans booing Raycroft and even swore during his post-game interview, saying how Raycroft has played really well for the team so far this season.

Mats, I know it's your job as the Captain to support your teammates, and you do a great job of it, but saying he's played really well this season? Give me a freakin' break man. Even Raycroft knows you're lying.

The Leafs, with their penchant to take the most ridiculous penalties, and their sub-par goaltending, are going absolutely nowhere. I keep thinking they'll turn it around the next game, but there isn't a magical switch they can just turn on and off in order to win some hockey games. They're just not good enough.

Tucker, Poni and Antropov are slated to return this week, which means the inevitable trip back to the minors for some of the Marlies who were called up from the farm.

Ondrus, Devereaux and Newbury should be suiting up for the Marlies, if it were up to me. Their service has been appreciated, and they stepped in admirably, but the Leafs need some healthy NHL-calibre forwards.

It's tough to send Devereaux back to the farm after he's played so well since getting called up, but I just don't see any other options. There's always the dream that Stajan will be sent down, or altogether released, but I know that's not going to happen.


The Raptors lost a heartbreaker today to the Dallas Mavericks, 97-96, on a last second shot by Josh Howard. It was a game the Raptors led most of the way, and led handily. The Mavericks proved what a good team they are and showed the Raptors that they have a lot to learn before they can become an elite team in the NBA.

For a young team like Toronto, losses like these are good ones. To quote the great MC, Talib Kweli:

"Even when we suffer losses I count the victories."

Today was one of those games. The Mavs showed that no matter how many points you're down by, you keep battling and you keep playing defense and you keep hustling. The game is 48 minutes long, and it's never over till the last second has run out.

The Mavs are also blessed in that they've got MVP candidate Dirk Nowitzki on their team. He's an amazing player. He took the Mavericks on his back all day, and hit some really difficult shots. He can put the ball on the floor and dominate inside and can light it up from three-point land as well. He really is the total package, and he plays hard, with passion and fire. He loves to get dirty on the boards and he's got an amazing fade-away jumper that is one of the best in the league.

Dirk's the real deal, and that's why it's so encouraging to know that people are already comparing my main man Andrea Bargnani's game to his. Bargnani's got the tools to become just like Disco Dirk, and that's music to my ears.

Hopefully the young Raptors, like Chris Bosh and Bargnani, were taking notes out there today. They have to learn be play like Nowitzki and always be aggressive, and to never give up.

Yes, it was a tough loss for the Raps, in a game they probably feel like they deserved to win, but it's losses like these that build a champion, and as long as the Raptors are headed in the right direction, I'm not concerned.

Bryan Colangelo, you're a rudey, keep up the good work.

Goodnight, Toronto...