Patriots

On cameramen and golf outings

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On cameramen and golf outings

We've had some great days here in Boston as collective members of this crazy and complex sports society but yesterday was not one of them.

Rondo yelled at a camera man! Beckett was golfing! Ahhhhhhh!

I felt like crawling under a rock and repeatedly smashing it over my head.

Yes, Rondo got pissed and had some words for a cameraman. What are you going to do?

Can you imagine if that same camera had caught him smiling and joking around with family after the game? What's the reaction then?

"What the hell!?! He doesn't take this seriously! He doesn't care! He's no leader!"

But when he gets angry at the guy (who yes, was just doing his job, but in that moment was doing the job of a glorified TMZ correspondent) then Rondo's an unruly a-hole? Then it's just Rondo up to his old selfish and immature tricks? Come on. I'm not defending Rondo here, I'm just saying it doesn't matter; it's a non-issue. And I can't wait for him to take the court tonight so we can bury this story and move on.

Unless of course he has a bad game, in which case we'll dig it all back up and go through the same song and dance.

As for Beckett, he's clearly not doing himself any favors, but I thought the most interesting aspect of Hardy's report, which no one is really talking about (or certainly not focusing on), was this line: "At one point he said, which I found surprising, that it was a surprise to him when Bobby Valentine came to him and said he was shutting him down and he was not going to make his next start on Saturday."

That would suggest that Beckett didn't want to miss the start, right? That he didn't think that this lat issue was worth sitting down for?

And to that point, I know the argument is: "Well, if he could've pitched, then why didn't he volunteer to pitch in Sunday's 17-inning marathon?" But do we really know what happened? Bobby Valentine was pretty vague about the whole thing, and considering it was his decision to hold Beckett out of his previous start, isn't it fair to assume that he'd also be cautious about inserting his starter into a surprise, high-pressure relief performance?

Listen, if I wasn't defending Rondo, then I'm really not defending Beckett. I'm not a fan, and would have no issue with the Sox trading him for whatever they can get. But sneaking in 18 holes on an off day that he didn't even want to take? I'm sorry, it's so hard to care. And I can't wait for him to take the mound again tonight so we can bury this issue and move on.

Unless of course he has a bad game, in which case we'll dig it all back up and go through the same song and dance.

But either way, at least for one night, we'll have real games and actual sports to fill our brains and airwaves. And after yesterday, that's a more than welcome sight.

Rich can be reached at rlevine@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Rich on Twitter at http:twitter.comrich_levine

Vikings hold off Lions 30-23 to extend win streak to 7

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Vikings hold off Lions 30-23 to extend win streak to 7

DETROIT = Case Keenum threw for two touchdowns and ran for a score in the first half to give the Minnesota Vikings a double-digit lead and they went on to win a seventh straight game, 30-23 over the Lions in the traditional Thanksgiving Day game in Detroit. Click here to read more. 

Pats can find reasons for thanks everywhere

Pats can find reasons for thanks everywhere

The Patriots hit Thanksgiving with an 8-2 record, a stranglehold on first place in the AFC East, and a rest-of-the-season schedule -- save for the much-anticipated meeting with the Steelers on Dec. 17 -- almost bereft of quality opponents. So they have a lot to be thankful for.

But here are some things you may not be aware of . . . 

SURGICAL-GRADE DIPPED LATEX TUBING

Whoever came up with the stuff Tom Brady's resistance bands are made out of -- it's actually "surgical-grade dipped latex tubing sheathed in ballistic nylon," according to the TB12 website -- probably deserves a tip of the cap from the entire region. The 40-year-old uses the bands extensively as part of his training regimen, and he currently leads the league in passing yards, yards per attempt, quarterback rating, rating under pressure and touchdown-to-interception ratio. 

SUSAN SCARNECCHIA

Offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia was retired just a couple of years ago. He traveled. He spent time with his grandchildren. Then the Patriots called. After some time to think about it -- and after talking it over with his wife Susan -- Scarnecchia opted to come back after two years away from the game. At 69 years old, he's helped this year's unit overcome some early-season struggles, and he still seems to be on top of his game. Think the Patriots are happy he had his wife's blessing to jump back in? 

ELECTRONIC TABLETS

You weren't expecting this, were you? Bill Belichick has said he's not a fan . . . but that's on game days. "I’m done with the tablets," he said last year. "I’ve given them as much time as I can give them. They’re just too undependable for me." But when it comes to players using tablets on their own time? They're incredibly useful. Whereas years ago players would have to come into the facility early or stay late in order to watch extra film, now they can study from the comfort of their own homes, on a team flight, or while riding in a car (as long as they aren't driving). For teams that have players who want to be over-prepared, having access to all-22 video at any time can be an advantage. 

DR. ROBERT WATKINS

Who's this, you ask? He's the Los Angeles-based back specialist who operated on Rob Gronkowski's back last year. He operated on the big tight end in 2009 and 2013, and his latest procedure seems to be holding up as well as possible. Gronkowski quickly regained his strength and athleticism, and he continues to be his team's most dynamic offensive weapon. He has 41 catches for 619 yards and five scores this season, and he's been used extensively as a blocker in the running game and in pass protection. Gronkowski deserves credit -- as does the Patriots medical, training and nutrition staffs -- for being so effective in his return to the field, but the Patriots are probably thankful that last year's back surgery went as well as it did.  

FLOWERS CONSTRUCTION COMPANY

Trey Flowers has been arguably his team's most dependable defender this season. According to Pro Football Focus, he's been on the field for 606 snaps, which is fourth among edge defenders. His 338 pass-rush snaps are second among 4-3 defensive ends, per PFF. He's played through injury at times, and he's remained productive. Against the Raiders he had three quarterback hits and three hurries. So why would the Patriots be thankful for Flowers Construction Co.? That's the Huntsville, Alabama company run by Flowers' father, Robert, who put Trey to work when he was growing up. The work ethic he learned on-site has helped him go from a fourth-round pick who lost most of his rookie season to injury into a playing-time iron man and one of the team's most reliable defenders.

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