Our cup runneth over


Our cup runneth over

By Michael Felger

I know Jets Week is usually pretty good . . . but this is ridiculous.

Felger,You did it. You finally did it. Never thought it'd happen, but it has. You've pissed me off. Moreover, you've aggravated me to the point where I felt the need to contact you.Wednesday on the radio you were so annoying after playing those Rex Ryan sound bites, saying how awesome and entertaining it was. I know you claim you're not a homer and you try to agitate (and that's why I love listening to you), but give me a break. That jackass has finally gone too far. He WAS entertaining and a proverbial "breath of fresh air," but he just has to shut the flip up and coach his flippin' team. You can't love that. You can't. First of all, he's insane if he thinks he's going to beat the Patriots. And don't tell me, "Oh, what else can he say? He has to say these things to motivate his team." No, he doesn't. He has to shut up and try to beat the Patriots. And you're just pissing the rest of us by telling us how much you love what he's doing. You've been here long enough to be a fan. C'mon, even you have to admit Sexy Rexy should just keep his foot in his mouth -- someone's foot -- and focus on the X's and O's. Still a fan,Unsigned

I thought I was pretty clear in saying that I don't think Rex's approach is going to help the Jets win the game. And I don't think it's going to hurt him, either. I believe it's going to be a non-factor. These teams already hate each other. They're already motivated. There's no more room for any more logs on that fire. All the Jets' trash talk is going to do is make them look worse ifwhen they lose on Sunday. But as a talk show host, I LOVE IT. How could I not? And as a fan, even a Patriots fan, I'd still be entertained. Come on. A Jets player calls Brady an a--hole, and Rex responds by basically saying, hey, that's America. We're entitled to our opinions. Priceless. What a piece of work.

But if you look at it further, this is really just about laundry -- not right or wrong. And you know I don't play that game. Remember, Tom Brady started it ("I hate the Jets"). Let's say Peyton Manning over the summer, unprompted, said he hates the Patriots. Then before a playoff game rematch with the Colts, Vince Wilfork said as an aside to a reporter, "Bleep him. He's an a--hole." Wouldn't we applaud him? Of course we would. Hed be your hero. So lets all get off our high horses, shall we?

Felger, You DB! Before I get to the Jets rubber match I'd like to remind you that it's my single favorite time of year! Manning Excuse Time! All the members of the media who treat Manning's undercarriage like the Manning boys enjoy their Oreos want to put the blame on Jim Caldwell. Welcome to the party, boys, but you're a little late considering some people knew way back in September that the outlook for the Colts was considerably bleaker with Tickle Me Caldwell as Head Muppet. But here is the bottom line, Mikey: They are still wrong. It shouldn't have mattered what Caldwell did or how many lobotomy-inducing time outs he called. Manning had the ball in his hands with the game on the line and he blew it. Twice.The Colts are trailing 14-10 with 5:16 left in the fourth quarter. They have the ball on the Jets 15-yard-line and it's third-and-7. The Jets have been playing brilliant ball-control offense and this is only the second time this half that the Colts offense is on the field. Everyone in the civilized world rooting for the Colts wants the ball in Mannings hands, except Manning. The pressure is on and the possibility of loading up his nice white home uniform pants is looming. Why not audible to a low-percentage run, hand the ball to free-agent refugee Dominic Rhodes with the game on the line and settle for a Vinatieri field goal that doesn't even tie it. Who cares if they never see the ball again? It won't be his fault. Brilliant! But as luck would have it, the Jets are the Jets. They can't capitalize on a running-into-the-kicker flag so fraudulent that even Kerry Fraser would have called it diving. (On a Canadien. In Montreal!) So Manning gets the ball back and, to his credit, drives the Colts to the edge of Vinatieri's field-goal range. It's third-and-6 with 1:10 remaining and Manning's sphincter must be thumping like a sub-woofer at a Busta Rhymes concert. So of course Peyton short-hops a throw to White, stopping the clock. Once again Peyton is bailed out in the playoffs by a Hall of Fame kicker with blood so cold he's practically undead, as Adam slots it from 50 with leg to spare. So Manning, the "greatest QB in the league" according to some, once again turns his outie into an innie in the postseason,and now it's all Caldwell's fault. If Adam missed either one of those kicks, would it have been his fault? Sorry Mikey, but the buck stops with Peyton. And speaking of bucks, I am willing to wager quite a few of them that the Pats crush the Jets Sunday.Jets fans have been at levels of excitement just shy of a prison riot in anticipation of this matchup and have rallied around their coach despite the recent off-field revelations. And who can blame them? Rex is one of them. Loud-mouthed, stupid, crude and quite possibly a sex offender. He fits right in. But don't call him a genius. Say what you want about Jim Caldwell, but the reality of the situation is that Polian's puppet was 53 seconds away from beating Mayor McCheese. And if you just take a quick look at the way the Jets regress when they play the Pats the second time the last two seasons, there is nothing to make me believe the Jets will reverse that trend this Sunday. And even if all things were considered equal Mikey, who would you want your postseason future resting with? A Hall of Fame coach who probably has a Costanza bed built in his desk to cut down on commute time? Or a guy who spends his spare time going through his wife's sock drawer with his schnoz like a hog rooting for truffles? Mike Attleboro

Now thats imagery, Mikey.

As for Manning, dont you also at least partially blame him for Reggie Waynes night (one catch, one target, one yard)? Even with Revis on him, dont you have do something to get the second-best player on your offense involved? I dont know. Maybe put him in motion? Or line him up on the other side of the field? At least once?

Felger,Sanchez looked kind of sickly (tired, injured, wiped out) during his press conference yesterday. When you cover the quarterback matchups, I'd be curious to see a split screen of him after week 2 comparing him to how he looked yesterday. If you could tell anything from it.subs4kmcc

I don't care if he's ill or not. If Sanchez plays a major role in this game, outside of making a few key throws in a few key situations, I just don't see how the Jets win it. But we've been wrong about that before, haven't we?

Mike,Ill admit, even with a depleted Colts team, a great win by the Jets last week. But the lengths youll go to defend your argument. You said maybe the Jets wont bypass the Patriots during the Tom Brady tenure. Well, thats four more years. That means in six years of coaching, Sexy Rexy would not have won a Super Bowl or an AFC crown? In that case the Jets are the Minnesota Twins, perennial playoff contender who cant get over the hump. So Jets fans should be happy with that??? This is a statement game for both teams. If the Jets win, they shut up Patriot fans, I think forever. Just like the Sox shut up Yankee fans in 2004. If they lose, then its another year of Rex shooting his mouth off to no prize. Its rare when a game has so many repercussions for both teams, but this is it. If the Patriots lose this game, I dont care how it happens, its a worse loss than to the Giants in the Super Bowl. Its at HOME, with the league MVP, against a team you beat 45-3 a month ago who has a 24-year-old QB with a bad shoulder and you are coming off a bye week. It would be an epic choke. So maybe there is just a tad more pressure on the Pats.George,Woburn
Just allowing for the fact that the Jets might not pass the Pats as long as Brady is in his prime doesn't mean the Jets haven't come a long way. In fact, if you simply flipped the two quarterbacks, couldn't you make the case that the Jets have the better roster right now? Brady's a pretty big advantage, you know. He gives the Pats an edge over just about every team in the league short of one (Indy). I'd say the same thing if Green Bay, Atlanta, Pittsburgh or the Saints were in our division. So in this regard, the Jets are one of 30 teams across the league.

But maybe the Jets WILL pass the Pats while Brady is upright. Maybe they already have (2009). Maybe it will come Sunday -- although I highly doubt it.

The bottom line is that the only argument I've sought to defend is a simple one: The Jets don't suck. They have some good, young talent. They are going to be nipping at your heels for a while.

But I agree with you on the pressure thing. Theres more on the Pats. They cant lose this game.

Felger,While discussing Sunday's upcoming game with some co-workers, it hit me. If the Jets beat the Pats on Sunday, could it be considered the worst loss in Patriots history? I think it could, while my co-worker maintains that nothing will be worse than the Giants Super Bowl. So who's right?For one, this is a home game against a HATED rival. The Jets are about as well-liked in New England as a vegetable-only diet would be at Rex Ryan's house. Don't get me wrong, I don't think anyone loves the Giants either. But there's no way they were, or are, as hated as the Jets.Secondly, as you've noted on several occasions, while the 2007 team was incredibly fun to watch, it was hard rooting for what they had become -- a soft team. There was ZERO character on that team. That isn't the case with these 2010 Patriots. Has there ever been a more FUN team to root for?! No one thought these guys would do anything this year, myself included. No pass rush. A malcontent Randy Moss. The zillion injuries during the preseason. But watching these rookies absolutely dominate their positions, and seeing Brady turn in arguably the best season by a Quarterback EVER, has been nothing short of spectacular. Oh, the trades have been nice too.On the flipside, the sting of the Giants Super Bowl may never leave. At the time it happened, I think people were borderline suicidal. Maybe it's just because its been nearly three years that I'm forgetting how much it hurt. It wasn't so much that the Patriots lost, it was HOW they lost. David Tyree with the circus catch. Asante Samuel dropping the game-ending INT. The defense laying a giant egg on national TV.Either way, I don't think the Patriots will lose. I fully expect them to win. But if "it" happens, where will the loss stand all time?AndrewLeominster

Whoa, whoa, whoa. Yes, there is more pressure on the Pats than the Jets in this one. But, all due respect, I think anyone who feels this will be the Patriots worst loss of all time is insane.

The Giants loss is the ultimate -- and it will never, ever be topped. Ever. It was worse than Bill Buckner. Worse than the Bears in New Orleans. Worse than too many men on the ice (1979 AND 2010), worse than leaving Pedro on the mound in 2003. You name it. Nothing compares. The Patriots were playing to be considered the greatest team in the history of the sport. Nothing less. The first and perhaps only 19-0 champion. The fourth title of a dynasty to surpass all that came before it. The Packers of the '60s, the Steelers of the '70s and the Niners of the '80s never went undefeated. The Pats would have it over all of them. And they blew it.

And you think losing this one would be worse? Crazy.

Felger,Although a lot of us hopped on board you anti-Moss bandwagon, you were the first one to call it. Kudos to you. Everyone gave you your props and you told everyone how correct you were (which you had every right to do in celebrating your victory). But lately, you've taken it too far. You continue to beat a dead horse and have now resulted to saying ridiculous things just to attempt to prove your point. For example, putting the 16-0 regular season as the fourth-best Patriots regular season under Belichick and claiming that you don't even want to put it on the list. Come on, Felger. Be OBJECTIVE. Don't let your feelings for Moss get in the way.Regardless of whether you love or hate the records, the team set a ton of them. A season in which you do not lose a single game and re-write the record books should be at the top of any list. You claim that the team was not tough, resilient, or clutch. That's simply not true. You just like to romanticize the non-Moss Patriots teams to try to further prove your point instead of giving the 2007 team its due. They beat Indy, San Diego, Dallas, N.Y. Giants, Pittsburgh, and Washington. All of those teams were playoff teams. They also beat Philly and Baltimore, both of whom had down years but still had talent on both sides of the ball.To go 16-0, you have to be somewhat clutch to not buckle or succumb to the pressure of the media or the pressure that you put on yourself. Did you forget about the fourth-quarter comeback in Indy, where they were down 20-10 with 10 minutes to go and came back to win 24-20? Did you forget about the way they pulled out that game after trailing in the fourth quarter in a hostile environment in Baltimore, when they didn't bring their A-game and went up against an inspired defense with guys like Ed Reed and Ray Lewis playing their hearts out for ex-Hurricane teammate Sean Taylor, who had just passed away? Did you forget about them finding away to grind out a win against Philly when they didn't have their A-game and were trailing 28-24 late in the third quarter? How about the last game of the season to complete the perfect season, where they trailed 28-16 against the Giants in the third quarter in the Meadowlands and came back to win 38-35 and cement their 16-0 record? Even in the Super Bowl, when the defense needed a stop to get Brady the ball back, it got it. When Brady and the offense needed to lead us down for what would have been a game-winning drive late in the fourth quarter, they did. It took a miracle play and a ton of bad breaks for it to fall apart.Saying the 2007 team was not tough, resilient, or clutch is an opinion, not a fact. The fact is that the team was tough, resilient, and clutch. Your personal distaste for Moss has warped your perception of reality and made you delusional. Don't let one guy that you don't like ruin the way that team should be remembered. Anytime that team needed to make a play or needed a stop, they came up with an answer. They answered the bell time and time again.JP

Wow. Too bad I missed the parade. I sure do like that banner in the North end zone, though. Reminds me of those Bruins' Adams Division flags.

Sorry, JP. I just disagree. You're absolutely right that once Moss joined the Pats I liked them less, but the Patriots teams of this era should be defined by championships. Only one thing matters, JP. The rings. Besides, the Pats scored 38 points against the Giants (outdoors, on the road in January) in the regular season. And then a month later, in the only game that mattered, they managed just 14 (indoors, at a neutral site). Sorry, that's a gag. You know who the 2007 Patriots were? The Colts. Or the Chargers. A lot of talent. A lot of regular-season fireworks. And a big, fat playoff choke.

Felger,I am the No. 1 New England fan and I hate the Jets and that pig of theirs, Rex Ryan. I can't believe this bum is still talking about the Pats. I hate New York with a passion. If it wasn't for that lucky Super Bowl Win against the Pats in '07 and their big checkbooks for the Yankees, that city would be nothing. So shut up, NEW YORK. Bring your ass to FOXBORO so we can show you who the BIG DOGS are and give you another ass-kicking.BezPawtucket RI

Signed, the Big Show.

Hey, Felger,I think Robert Kraft ought to send Randy Moss two tickets for he and his partner, Cris "I don't know how to, like, talk about football" Carter, for Sunday's game as a token of our appreciation. It's because of the likes of you two, and your stupidity, that the road to the Super Bowl goes through Foxboro. Now my only request, we really do make it to Dallas.MattFramingham

Some numbers (oft-repeated here) to ponder:

In four playoff games with Randy Moss, the Pats were 2-2 while averaging 20 points per game. In those contests, Moss caught 12 passes (an average of three per game) with one touchdown. In eight playoff games with Deion Branch, the Pats were 7-1 while averaging a hair under 25 points per game. Branch caught 41 passes (just over five per game) with three touchdowns in those outings.

Just sayin.'

Felger,Who was a bigger disappointment this year: Brett Favre or Randy Moss?MichaelRindge, NH

Toss up, I guess. Im just glad they were able to finally play together. The magic of that pairing may never be duplicated.

Hey, Felger, you DB,Thanks for the guarantee on Philadelphia, looks like they made all the dumb mistakes instead of Green Bay. I lost a pantload of money, you jackass. I used to love you, but you suck. You owe me money. ScottClaremont, NH
Please contact Gary Tanguay for payment.

Besides, I don't know what makes you think the Packers played a smart game. They put the ball on the ground four times. Aaron Rodgers gave the Eagles seven easy points to start the third quarter. They stepped on a punt early and nearly allowed the Eagles to erase an 11-point deficit in the final five minutes. All that will catch up to the Packers, maybe this week. Keep betting against them -- you'll make it back.

Felger,What a crappy job you did in the Buckley interview. You weren't prepared, you seemed nervous and you couldn't even look the guy in the eye.You're an amateur and pathetic!Patrick

Signed, Greg Dickerson.

Felger,You're right on when it comes to Claude Julien not being the one to take this Bruins team to the next level, and that he's better than Dave Lewis. But how is he better than Mike Sullivan and even Robbie Ftorek? Both guys got fired when they had a marginal crop of players . . . especially the '05-06 disaster for SullivanDrewDudley

I just think Claude is a more consistent, organized coach than Sullivan and Ftorek. At least he's gotten out of the first round, which no Bruins coach had done since Pat Burns. And ifwhen Claude gets fired from the Bruins, you have to think he'll get another head coaching job somewhere in the league. Id actually recommend him for a team that resides at the bottom of the standings and is looking just to claw back to respectability. Hell get you playing defense and in the neutral zone immediately. Youll shoot to the top of the league in goals-against. Unfortunately, hes just not championship caliber. I would never hire him if I had a deep playoff team. And I dont believe hes the guy for this Bruins team anymore, either.

Felger,The baseball writers let me down once again with their selections. Bert Blyleven was a nice pitcher but not a HOFer. A 22-year career with two All-Star games shows that he wasn't a dominant player of his era. And while 287 wins is a high total, he played 22 years! When it takes that long to get in (like Jim Rice), you're not a HOFer. Then there is Roberto Alomar. How is he listed on 73 percent of the ballots one year and then 90 percent the following? Did his numbers get better somehow? A player is either a HOFer or he's not. The BBWAA is a joke when it comes to this process.ChrisBoston

Signed, Felger.

Felger,You and Tony were discussing who the Patriots next coach would be after Belichick. Do you think that Josh McDaniels would be the guy? I always thought that he was being groomed to take over once Bill stepped down.MattWestborough

This is going to become THE question (along with the quarterback transition) in about three to five years. And I have no idea where I stand on that right now. I mean, what former Belichick assistant do you feel good about? Weis? No way. Crennel? Hard to imagine. Mangini? Yeah, right. McDaniels? Not quite. How about current assistants like Bill OBrien or Matt Patricia? I dont see it right now.

This is all a long way of saying I have nothing for you at this time, Matt.

Dear Comcast SportsNet,Why is Felger still on the air? How many e-mails, phone calls and letters do I have to write?Is it Comcast's intent to throw mud in the eye of every New England sports fan by giving this guy a microphone and a podium? Do they realize how much of a nuisance it is to fast forward Felger's rants where he repeats the same thing he has said a hundred times before usually prefacing with, "not to sound like a broken record . . . and concluding with "did I not tell you so?Is it only Felger who believes that his insipid comments and devil's-advocate tone are neither insightful nor original? Do the producers not realize that listening to him pester commentators I ACTUALLY WANT TO HEAR with pre-adolescent interruptions demanding that they acknowledge some trivial point he is obsessed with, is better suited for a reality series full of like-minded preening teenagers than a sports talk show?I have been watching this show since its inception, and it drives me crazy that you have turned it into some rant radio freak show. Is this now the formula for everything? Why not just put a bunch of chimpanzees on the air and let them throw body excrement at one another while running sports headlines underneath? Seriously.I have lived in LA, DC, NY and New Mexico, and I always appreciated that in New England we are, in general, the most knowledgeable and dedicated of sports fans. Is this how you reward us? It's a slap in the face.Please, for the love of humanity and all that is good, replace Felger with an adult.BenPortland, Maine

Signed, Everyone.

Read Felgers Patriots-Jets game column on Monday. The report card posts Tuesday. E-mail him HERE and read the mailbag on Thursdays. Listen to him on the radio weekdays, 2-6 p.m., on 98.5 the Sports Hub.

Indy columnist rips Colts for Josh McDaniels hire


Indy columnist rips Colts for Josh McDaniels hire

Gregg Doyel hates Josh McDaniels. 

That's the only takeaway one can have after reading Doyel's latest column in the Indy Star, anyway. In it, Doyel writes that McDaniels, who is expected to be hired as Colts head coach, already got his chance to prove his chops as a head coach in Denver and showed he stinks. 

Writes Doyel: 

We get a clean slate just once, same as Josh McDaniels, and his came in 2009 when he was hired to coach the Denver Broncos. And in less than two years he spray-painted so much graffiti on there that the Broncos fired him for a variety of reasons, so take your pick: his abrasive personality, his horrific judgment of talent, his team’s penchant for losing games, or those broken NFL rules.

Here in Indianapolis, where Josh McDaniels is about to be entrusted with our city’s crown jewel – he’s expected to be the next head coach of the Indianapolis Colts – are we to pretend Denver didn’t happen?

Doyel also refers to a 2013 quote from former Broncos punter Mitch Berger, who compared playing for McDaniels to playing for an "equipment manager" and called him a "punk." Then there's this from Doyel, who likes where Berger's going with the "punk" talk: 

I still can’t believe this is happening. Can’t believe McDaniels will soon be hired by the Colts, and entrusted with Andrew Luck. Can’t believe he was the hottest commodity on the coaching market this fall. McDaniels is Lane Kiffin to me, an arrogant young punk who ascended rapidly after Daddy got him a cherry first job in coaching – McDaniels’ father, Ohio high school legend Thom McDaniels, was friends with Nick Saban, who hired Josh as a grad assistant at Michigan State in 1999 – and who kept getting promoted to the point of failure.

This isn't the first time Doyel has had a take critical of the Patriots, so maybe we shouldn't be surprised. But he for sure hates Josh McDaniels. 

Brady in a stew over Jags-just-another-tomato-can talk

Brady in a stew over Jags-just-another-tomato-can talk

Don’t let Tom Brady hear your nonsensical takes on the Jacksonville Jaguars. This “tomato can” is packed with all the essential elements to give the Pats QB fits.

“This is the biggest challenge we've faced all year,” Brady said Tuesday during his weekly interview with Kirk and Callahan on WEEI. “We've had a good offense. They've had the best defense. And that's always a challenge when you go up against those guys. When you watch them play over the course of the whole season, you can see why. There is not a lot of time for the quarterback to throw, and I think the whole secondary knows it. The linebackers know it. And they're aggressive. They take chances. They get a lot of turnovers. They got a really good scheme, and the quarterback is just under pressure all day. Unless you get opened very quickly, there’s a lot of sacks and sacks turns into long yardage and long yardage turns into punts . . . "

Brady spent hours on Monday pouring over film to familiarize himself with a Jags team that he last saw in the preseason.

“There’s a reason why they’re in this game,” he said. “They’re the best team we’ve faced all season and if we don’t play our best, we’re not going to advance.”

That’s why Brady won’t allow himself to be distracted by all that comes with advancing to this point, or even the lingering stench of that ESPN/Seth Wickersham article. Who’s got time for that when there is so much on the line?

“This is a long time we’ve committed to each other since we came back together in April,” he said. “April, May, all those months committed to training and walkthroughs and practices and games and injuries and the emotion -- I don’t think we’re going to let anything get in the way of this week. I think the coach -- Coach [Bill] Belichick -- he does so many great things. One thing is he sets the best tone for the players because he knows what it takes to compete at this level without -- there’s more hype surrounding the game, there’s more distractions, there’s more people, there’s more people covering the game, there’s more to talk about it but we’re focused on our job . . . The hype only gets bigger from here so we just gotta stay focused on what we need to do.”

The Jags have obviously done a good job on that front as well. There is no way they’d be at this point, on this stage, without not only talent but that singular focus. Of course with some youth comes some exuberance and Jalen Ramsey’s comments to about 10,000 fans Sunday night has been a topic of conversation on sports radio and television and even in the Patriots’ locker room.

Brady doesn’t believe that’s something that would ever come out of Foxboro, but he’s not publicly shaming Ramsey either.

“What i’ve learned over a long time is it’s how you play, it’s not what you say," Brady said. "Everyone has different ways of handling things. We do what works for us.”