Patriots

Suffering for Takeo Spikes

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Suffering for Takeo Spikes

This afternoon, Tom E. Curran posted an interesting story on Patriots defensive back Derrick Martin, who signed with the team last week, and comes to New England as the only player in the NFL with a ring from each of the last two Super Bowls.

Not that he did anything to earn them he was on the IR with the Packers in 2010 and only made four tackles last season for the Giants but that won't matter 30 years from now. Martin's got rings! Two more rings than Dan Marino and Dick Butkus combined. One more ring than Peyton Manning, Ray Lewis and Brett Favre. And this year, now that he's on board with the Patriots, Martin will look to join Ken Norton Jr. as the only guy in NFL history to play for three consecutive Super Bowl winners. Amazing stuff. Read more about Martin here.

After I was done reading, I thought about Takeo Spikes.

I guess that's pretty random, since he has nothing to do with the Pats, but . . . let's connect it this way: The Pats play the Bills on Sunday. Spikes had two of his best seasons while playing for the Bills. Not to mention, Spikes is also the older cousin of Brandon Spikes. Is that enough? OK, good.

And here's why Derrick Martin made me think about Takeo Spikes:

Now in his 15th NFL season, Spikes is currently playing for his fifth different team (the Chargers). He's seventh among active players with 207 career starts and, over that time, has amassed nearly 1000 solo tackles. But all those numbers pale in comparison to Spikes' true claim to fame: HE'S NEVER PLAYED IN THE POSTSEASON.

Never. Fourteen years and he's never made the playoffs. Not in six years with the Bengals. Not in three years with the Bills. In 2007, Spikes went to the Eagles who had made the playoffs in six of the previous seven years and they fell short. He then spent three years suffering through the Singletary years in San Francisco. Last year, he went to San Diego, a team that had been to the playoffs in four of the previous five years, and THEY fell short.

This season, he's back with the Chargers. At 35 years old, he's started every game. As always, he's playing his ass off. And as always, it probably won't amount to much. San Diego's 4-4, but with Norv Turner at the helm and only one playoff spot realistically up for grabs, it doesn't look good for Spikes. Again.

Crazy how that works, huh? Derrick Martin has two rings (and counting?) without breaking a sweat. Without even playing. He can't stop winning! Meanwhile, a guy like Spikes gives everything and gets nothing. You can't help but feel bad. You can't help but root for the Chargers to sneak into that sixth playoff spot and give Spikes a taste of the real thing.

And then we can go back to pinning our hopes on Derrick Martin winning a third straight Super Bowl.

God knows he deserves it.

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

Patriots-Falcons practice report: Gilmore, Rowe absent

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Patriots-Falcons practice report: Gilmore, Rowe absent

Wednesday's practice participation/injury report for Sunday's Patriots-Falcons game:

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

DID NOT PARTICIPATE
CB Stephon Gilmore (concussion/ankle)
LB Harvey Langi (back)
LB Elandon Roberts (ankle)
CB Eric Rowe (groin)

LIMITED PARTICIPATION
RB Rex Burkhead (ribs)
WR Chris Hogan (ribs)
G Shaq Mason (shoulder)

ATLANTA FALCONS

DID NOT PARTICIPATE
K Matt Bryant (back)

LIMITED PARTICIPATION
OLB Vic Beasley Jr. (hamstring)
LB Jermaine Grace (hamstring)
LB Deion Jones (quadricep)
DE Takk McKinley (shoulder)
LB Duke Riley (knee)
WR Mohamed Sanu (hamstring)
DL Courtney Upshaw (ankle/knee)

Morning Skate: Issues with gambling and Vegas Golden Knights?

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Morning Skate: Issues with gambling and Vegas Golden Knights?

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while still in disbelief at what happened to Gordon Hayward last night.

*Interesting piece on the connection between gambling and the NHL in Las Vegas where they’ve just kicked their new expansion franchise, the Vegas Golden Knights.

*Would you like a Providence Bruins game-worn jersey and give to a great cause at the same time? Here are the Pink the Rink Bruins jerseys up for auction on eBay with the money earmarked for cancer research and treatment.

*Some interesting stuff from FOH (Friend of Haggs) Elliotte Friedman in his 30 Thoughts about the start that Malcolm Subban is off to with the Vegas Golden Knights and whether that’s in any way a reflection on the way goalies are being developed with the Bruins.

*So, the Ottawa Senators clearly didn’t miss Erik Karlsson given the start that they got off to, but there’s no doubt hockey fans did as he makes his return from offseason surgery.

*Nikita Kucherov just keeps on improving for the Tampa Bay Lightning after a Hart Trophy-level season last year.

*For something completely different: I don’t understand why there’s anything controversial about somebody saying In ‘N Out Burger is overrated. While it’s a perfectly fine West Coast fast food chain, it is absolutely overrated at this point. The fries are average at best, and the burgers are merely okay compared to all of the other burger joints out there.