Sunday, January 31, 2010

Mike Reiss of ESPN Boston

Mike Reiss in my opinion is the best writer covering the Patriots right now. He is currently working at If you want the latest information you need to read his columns.

I just had the pleasure of being at my congregation's Sports Breakfast. The keynote speaker was Mr. Reiss. His knowledge on the Pats is vast. He is well known for his blog when he worked at the Boston Globe called"Reisse's Pieces. Recently he has moved over to ESPN Boston to write on their site, but also to be a part of the entire ESPN family. You might have seen him on First Take on ESPN 2 or maybe on NFL Countdown on ESPN.

He started off speaking about his background starting at Patriots Football Weekly for 2 years. He mentioned that his dream job was to be working for the Boston Globe. Before his dream job he went to work for the Metro West Daily News. This is the first time I really saw his blog. After getting his experience he finally got his shot at the Boston Globe. He did not though cover the Patriots at first. He was covering high school sports.

At the Globe he asked them if he could still write his blog about the Patriots. They allowed him to start writing his Reisse's Pieces blog again. He eventually got to cover the Patriots full time. Mike was showing up everywhere from radio to television.

The Boston Globe in 2009 went up for sale and the paper's survival at the time was an uncertainty. Mike then got a great opportunity to be a Patriots writer on a new website called ESPNBOSTON.COM. As I mentioned, this has opened up opportunities for him on all media levels that ESPN offers.

Being from my hometown of Framingham where I grew up it was great to hear his story. More important to me as a Pats fan is his knowledge of football and the Patriots. I would recommend to all fans to check out Mike Reiss regularly on ESPN Boston.

Finally, I learned what it means when a reporter says information is "off the record". He did open the floor to questions. He did ask me not to publish details on my blog which I will not. I will say this is that he is very fair on the Pats. He will criticize them when it is warranted.He will also praise them when they deserve it.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Aston Villa beat Fulham at Craven Cottage 2 -0

This was a disappointing loss for Fulham. They have now dropped to currently 11th in the table. Aston Villa scored twice in the first half to win the game 2 - 0. Two goals by Gabriel Agbonlahor were the difference in the game.

It was pretty obvious in the second half that Fulham were going to have a hard time penetrating the very tough defense of Aston Villa. Fulham's defense was a little shaky especially in the first half on both goals. The best chances for goals in the second half were both by David Elm. He actually was offsides on a shot that went into the net.

The other encouraging note in the second half was from Danny Murphy who was back in form. He actually had a few nice passes and was controlling the ball.

Let's be honest though this game was controlled by Aston Villa and there defense. Fulham just could not figure a way through to get to there net. Again, this was a very disappointing loss.

The injuries are really starting to show up. Without Andy Johnson, Clint Dempsey, Paul Konchesky and John Pantsil you are seeing problems up front and in the defense. At one point in the season Fulham's defense was rock solid. They are just not at top form right now partially becuase of injuries. They are also having a tough time scoring goals.

We have only a few days left in the transfer window. According to many published reports Stefano Okaka had a medical with Fulham yesterday. Again the media is reporting that he will probably be reporting to Fulham on monday if everything went well with the medical. I have not heard of any other targets lately in the transfer window. It would be nice though if Fulham could get some defensive help before the transfer window closes.

Fulham now have a must win at home on Wednesday against Portsmouth. Let's hope for a better performance from Fulham in this mid week game.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Fulham vs. Aston Villa on ESPN 2 in the U.S.

Fulham vs. Aston Villa tomorrow at Craven Cottage will be televised on ESPN 2 at 9:55 AM in the United States. This is great news for Fulham fans in the U.S. that the game will be shown in HD. This is the second game ESPN 2 is showing Fulham. Earlier in the season Fulham were on ESPN 2 against Hull at Craven Cottage.

There is also news on that Fox Soccer Channel is now available in HD. Unfortunately for me I am not seeing this channel in HD yet on Comcast. Fox Soccer Channel was supposed to go live in HD starting March 1st. I am hopeful that Comcast will be adding this channel shortly.

Another Channel begins broadcasting March 1st. That channel is Fox Soccer Plus. This is the sister station of Fox Soccer Channel. This station will be picking up the games from Setanta which stops broadcasting in the U.S. as of March 1st. I am hoping that Comcast will be picking up this station along with the HD version.

Corwin Brown added to Patriots Coaching Staff

According to Adam Schefter who was just on WEEI said that Corwin Brown will be added as a defensive coach on the Patriots staff. He is a former defensive back for the Patriots and most recently was fired as the defensive coordinator for Notre Dame. He also had a spell on the Jets coaching staff.

He was a good player for the Pats and speculation on WEEI is that he could fit in as a defensive backs coach. There has been no word yet from the Patriots to confirm Brown as a coach for the team.

There is also no news on who will be named Defensive Coordinator for the Pats. Speculation in the media has Matt Patricia and Pepper Johnson as the frontrunner's for the job.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Young strikers in Reserves for Fulham

I just read an interesting article on The article was titled "Do We Really Need A Striker". The article was making a good argument that maybe Fulham does not need a striker in the transfer market. It gave examples of players already on the squad and possible position changes . What really got me interested was the information regarding the strikers in the reserves.

I believe that it is very important to build homegrown talent. I think that is why I am disappointed by Chris Smalling going to Manchester United. The young strikers mentioned in this article are Danny Hoesen and Marcello Trotta. Danny Hoesen is a Dutch Striker and Marcello Trotta is from Italy. According to the article these 2 players have been doing well in the reserves.

I was trying to find information about these players online . I was able to find a few articles about both. I think grooming young talent is very important for Fulham. I am curious if anyone out there knows more about these young players. If you do please feel free to comment on my blog.

I will be following these players in the future to see if they come up through the system. A great team needs homegrown talent along with transfers.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Vince Wilfork Speaks

I just listened to Vince Wilfork who was a guest on WEEI's Dale and Holley Show. The subject of his contract came up. Vince Wilfork just finished up his 6 year agreement with the Pats. He will be a free agent, but the Patriots can still franchise him. As they were talking about his contract Vince mentioned he is looking for a long term deal or he wants to be free. It was pretty obvious during the interview that he will not be happy if the Patriots franchise him.

I have talked about Vince prior and it is time for the Patriots to give him a long term deal. He has given 6 years to the Patriots. He deserves in my mind to be paid at the top of his position. He is a player that has made it clear he wants to play for the Patriots. It is now up to the team to do the right thing by Vince.

The CBA uncertainty is just an excuse in my mind. Vince Wilfork and Tom Brady need new contracts this offseason. These 2 players should be the priority before they sign anyone else.

Tough Loss at White Hart Lane

I guess I am an optimist. I really believed that Fulham would be able to get some kind of a result at Tottenham yesterday. Fulham lost 2 - 0 at White Hart Lane. To me this was a very disappointing loss. Fulham only have 1 win on the road this season. For a team that is still in the top half of the table to me this is unacceptable.

Fulham got down a goal midway in the first half with some poor play on defense. Peter Crouch was in the right place at the right time to score his goal. Last season if Fulham were down a goal at the half I still felt they would be able to come back. They proved that they could come from behind and pull out a victory. Right now I do not have that optimism if Fulham are down at the half.

In the beginning of the second half Fulham were starting to control the play somewhat. That all changed on yet another set play. The second goal ricocheted off of Bjorn Helge Riise to get by Mark Schwarzer. Now down 2 - 0 Fulham were pretty much done at that point. They did make some changes by putting David Elm and Diomansy Kamara into the game. Unfortunately, there impact did not result into a goal.

If you want a good analysis of the game please go to This site does a wonderful job discussing Fulham's problems on the road. I highly recommend this site for any Fulham supporter.

Fulham are back at Craven Cottage this Saturday against Aston Villa. Lets hope for a better result than the game just played at Tottenham.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

It is official! Chris Smalling to Manchester United starting next season

According to the Fulham Football Club Official website, Chris Smalling will be leaving Fulham at the end of the current season and then join Manchester United. Terms of the transfer were not given at this time. He still needs to pass a medical and final terms need to be agreed upon according to the statement on

Chris Smalling to Manchester United?

According to Sky Sports, Fulham have accepted a bid for Chris Smalling from Manchester United. Smalling is a 20 year old defender and was very impressive in his first Premier League start against Chelsea. The amount of the transfer was not detailed in the story.

It was reported by several media outlets prior that Arsenal were very interested in Chris Smalling. It looks like Manchester United beat Arsenal to the punch. There so far has been no comment from Fulham.

As a Fulham supporter I will be very disappointed if this story is true. This player was up an coming and very young. Unless his contract was coming up I don't understand why Roy Hogdson would accept this transfer bid. I am sure more information will come shortly on this story.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Brett Favre blows it again in an NFC Championship Game

It shouldn't be a surprise to me that Brett Favre throws an interception to blow the game against the Saints. If Brett Favre didn't throw an interception in the 2007 NFC Championship against the Gianst in overtime maybe the Patriots have there 4th Superbowl trophy. I really don't think the Pats lose to the Packers in the Super Bowl.

I felt bad for the poor Vikings fans, but they should have seen this coming. The writing was on the wall. Anybody who listens to Michael Felger on 98.5 the Sprts Hub knows the history of Felger and Favre. He has said on more occasions than I can remember how overrated Brett Favre is as a quarterback. Felger is a lifelong Packer fan and has lived through the pain. When the Vikings picked up Favre in the beginning of the year he predicted how this story was going to end. He stated that Favre would throw an interception at the worst time to blow a big game for the Vikings.

Favre has had an awful playoff record after beating the Patriots in the Super Bowl in 1996. In 2001 he threw a ton of interceptions against the Rams in the NFC Championship Game. The Rams ended up going to the Super Bowl. In 2004 Brett Favre threw a terrible interception to lose the playoff game against the Eagles. That year the Eagles went to the Super Bowl. As mentioned prior he threw an interception in overtime in 2007 NFC Championship Game.

I have had enough of Brett Favre. He cannot be included as the greatest quarterbacks of all time. Don't we have enough proof? Michael Felger couldn't have called it any better. After the game he said on Comcast Sports Net that Brett Favre pulled a "Crap Sandwich" to blow the game.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Bjorn Helge Riise and David Elm impress in FA Cup

Fulham were tough to watch in the first half of there game against Accrington Stanley. Fulham ended up winning the game 3 - 1 against the league two foe. Now Fulham move on to the next round. We should find out there opponent shortly.

The two positives to come out of the game were the play of Bjorn Helge Riise and David Elm. I know the competition they were playing wasn't Premier League level. Regardless, both players had flair and make me want to see both of them more often.

Riise actually sent a wonderful cross to Gera for the third and final goal for Fulham. David Elm came into the game as a sub in the middle of the second half. He is a big presence up front. More important though it seemed he had a great touch on many passes. With all of the injuries Fulham have I would love to see these 2 players get a shot against a Premier League team. Tuesday would be a great time to start against Tottenham.

Jets fans are similar to Red Sox fans before the World Series Victories

In November for 2008 I was away with my family in Denver Colorado. The Patriots game was not being shown on local television. As a diehard fan I needed a place to watch this game. I ended up going to the ESPN Zone in downtown Denver. It is a quite a place and for the serious sports fan is much better than the CBS Scene.

The Pats were playing the Dolphins in Miami. I sat at the bar and was surrounded by fans of other teams. Ironically I was sitting right next to a Jets fan who was in Denver on business. He was watching the Jets play the Titans. As we watched our games we started to talk about our teams. What was remarkable about this Jets fan was his passion for the team and it was not obnoxious. The way he spoke about the Jets sounded very familiar to me.

All this guy wanted was his team to get to the Super Bowl and win it. He talked about what it was like to be a Jets fan. The Jets have not gotten to the Super Bowl since Joe Namath won it in the late 60's. Most Jets fans now probably weren't around for that Championship. His angst and desire for the Jets to win a championship reminded me of Red Sox fans before 2004.

The Jets have only gotten to the AFC Championship game 2 other times other than today after there Super Bowl win in the sixties. The most recent team was the Bill Parcells coached Jets of the late 90's. They played against ironically the Denver Broncos and lost. Think about the fact that they had only been to the AFC Championship game twice other than today since the sixties.

It was haftime and the Jets were up 10 -3. What was interesting is the Jets fan was very nervous. He was expecting his team to blow this lead and lose in the end. Again, he sounded like a Red Sox fan who has seen his team blow the World Series. I was actually confident at halftime
the Pats would beat the Dolphins.

In the end the Jets beat the Titans 34 - 13 and the Pats beat the Dolphins that day as well. More important than the victories I got to share a few hours with a fan of the Jets. I realized after this day that the Jets and there fan base have been through much. These fans are loyal and deserve to go to the Super Bowl.

As a Pats fan I have seen the Pat go to 6 Super Bowls and win 3 of them. They have also gone to 7 AFC Championship games and won 6 of them. Honestly, step back for a second and think what it must feel to be a fan of the Jets. The Jets fans are very different than any other fan base in New York. They are a passionate bunch that just wants to see there team win. This fan base is nothing like the Yankee fans or Giant fans. I honestly are pulling for these fans today. Good luck to them and the Jets fan I met in Denver.

Friday, January 22, 2010

FA Cup Match tomorrow

Fulham play tomorrow at 10am EST. in the Fourth round of the FA Cup against Accrington Stanley. The game will be televised in the United States on Fox Soccer Channel.

According to, Simon Davies might return tomorrow for Fulham. With all of the injuries Davies return could be a huge help. I also mentioned prior that the Mirror is reporting that Bobby Zamora might be on the bench tomorrow. The Mirror also stated that he could return on Tuesday against Tottenham.

I am looking forward to the next 5 days for Fulham. It should be interesting to see who returns to the pitch.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

"Slush Fund" for the Patriots?

Listening to Sports Tonight on Comcast Sports Net last night I heard something very troubling regarding the Patriots. The discussion was about having weapons for Tom Brady. Randy Moss is under contract for around 6 million next year. Tom E. Curran was hinting that his salary was a fairly significant amount. Michael Felger then mentioned that there is no salary cap and basically intimating that the salary shouldn't be an issue. Tom E. Curran then made a statement that upset me as a Patriots fan. According to the interview Tom E. Curran is hearing that the Patriots might want to have a "slush fund" in case there is a lockout in 2011.

You can imagine as a Pats fan this is not an idea I want to hear the team could be considering doing. I don't want to think the Patriots are not going to re-sign or sign free agent players because they are looking to save money in case there is a lockout.

The Patriots have the second highest average ticket price in the NFL. Parking is $50.00 if you want to park at one of the Patriots lots. Are you kidding me that management is even considering doing this? As a Pats fan I hope this "slush fund" theory of Tom E. Curran's is not true. If it is true, how competitive will the Pats be the next couple of years?

Bobby Zamora coming back from injury early?

According to the Daily Mirror, Bobby Zamora could be making a shocking return early from an injury. Bobby Zamora dislocated his collarbone against Stoke on January 5th. Speculation at the time was that the injury would have him out of action for 2 months. According to the article in the Mirror the injury did not require surgery.

Also, The Mirror article suggests that he could be on the bench this weekend against Accrington Stanley in the FA Cup. It is also mentioned in the article that Zamora expects to be back next Tuesday against his former club Tottenham.

If this news is true, fans of Fulham should be very excited. With the recent injury spell on the team, having Zamora back early would soften the blow.

There are also rumors in the media that Bobby Zamora could be a transfer target of his former team West Ham. I would be very surprised if Roy Hogdson would accept a transfer deal for Zamora.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Clint Dempsey Update

Clint Dempsey's season looks like it is not over. According to the, Clint Dempsey sustained moderate damage to a ligament in his right knee. Also according to, after the results of the scan he does not need an operation. This is very good news for Clint Dempsey. also states that he should be able to return to the team before the end of the season. Based on this information he should also be able to play for the U.S. in the World Cup.
Life without Clint Dempsey should not last the entire season. This is great news for Fulham fans.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Life Without Clint Dempsey

I have to be honest and tell you I became a Fulham fan when Clint Dempsey came to the team. I had always been interested in the EPL but could not find a team to follow. Clint Dempsey helped me become a fan of Fulham. I can also say my love for the team now goes way beyond Dempsey. His signing to Fulham just gave me the opportunity to really get into this football team.

Moving forward whether Clint is out for the season or not I still see a positive outlook for Fulham. The injuries have caught up to Fulham, but I do see some talent on that bench that can fill in. Bjorn Helge Riise what I have seen of him could be a decent replacement for Dempsey. Diomansy Kamara I feel can possibly fill the shoes of Zamora while he is out.

Lastly, the manager is is a big reason I feel confident that Fulham will be able to match there 7th place position of last year. He has built a team that is solid on defense. The goals are also starting to come until Zamora got hurt. I think Fulham will survive life without Clint Dempsey.

The Jets are the lesser of two evils

As a Pats fan this Sunday will be difficult to watch the AFC Championship Game. When the Jets play the Colts at 3PM on Sunday who do I root for? Unfortunately the two teams can't end in a tie. What am I to do as a Pats fan? I will watch and I have made the difficult decision of who to root for.

The Jets are the lesser of two evils. I am hoping they win on Sunday. I will list my argument with myself below. Trust me it will be difficult on Sunday.

First, Peyton Manning having a chance to go to another Super Bowl is reason alone to root for the Jets. In my mind Tom Brady is the better quarterback. I base this on Brady's overall record in the playoffs and the Super Bowls. If Peyton is to win another Super Bowl it will help the argument that actually Manning is better. Overall, Peyton does not have a real good playoff record. I don't want this fact to change.

Second, In my mind the Patriots are the team of the decade. They have won 3 Super Bowls and that trumps every other team for the decade. If the Colts win another Super Bowl they will be in the argument as the team of the decade. Pats fans will here that the Colts have won the most games in the decade. I really can't handle the fans of the Colts even being in the argument.

Third, Tony Massarotti might have it right. If the Jets go on to win the Super Bowl it could push the Pats to do whatever it takes to get back to the big game. Maybe Patriots Management need a swift kick in there behind to make some moves this off season. I have a feeling the Jets winning it all would be the kick they need.

On Sunday it will pain me to root for the Jets to win. For me though the Jets winning is the best case scenario on Sunday.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Okaka Deal is looking dead

According to Sky Sports, Fulham are probably not going to be bringing in Stefano Okaka on loan from Roma. The 20 year old could have been a temporary replacement for Bobby Zamora. Now, Fulham are potentially going to be without Clint Dempsey as well as he injured his knee in the Blackburn game.

Also, according to Sky Sports, Okaka is carrying an injury. This could be a big part of the reason he would not be joining Fulham right now. The fact that he could not step in right now to help might have been a concern for Fulham. We will have to wait and see if Fulham pursue another striker as the Transfer Window gets closer to the end.

Tom Brady's contract on the radio

On Saturday I was listening to Andy Gresh on 98.5 the Sports Hub. Whether you like Andy or not he is very knowledgeable and engaging regarding football topics. The topic on Saturday was Tom Brady's contract which I earlier in the week had an entry about. What I found interesting and shocking was the tone of the discussion.

I thought the discussion would center around how the Patriots need to re-sign him now. I was shocked to listen to the discussion leaning towards should we potentially trade Tom Brady. In my opinion the discussion to trade Brady is laughable. Tom Brady is only 32 years old. In quarterback terms he is still in his prime.

I think on the low end he should have at least 3 high quality years left before we see a drop off. Brady was coming off of major surgery last year. When you examine his last year performance injuries should be factored in. It is pretty well known that it could take you until your 2nd year back from knee injury to get back to normal. I feel very confident that next year we will see the Brady we know.

One of the callers was Art from Walpole. I have heard this gentleman several times and he has often been very critical of Brady. In this case he mentioned that he was unsure how much longer Brady plans on playing. If Art has listened to Brady comment about his future before he would have heard Tom mention on several occasions that he plans to play past 40. I think Art needs to listen to the radio more than calling all the sports radio stations.

It blows my mind that a discussion of Brady being traded or not re-signed is a radio topic. Tom Brady in my opinion can be quarterback of the Patriots as long as he wants to be.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Bad Loss for Cottagers

Fulham lost 2 - 0 to Blackburn at Ewood Park. If a loss wasn't bad enough Fulham potentially lost a key player to an injury for a significant amount of time.

According to the BBC, Clint Dempsey suffered an knee injury that might leave him out of the lineup for some time. The BBC has this quote from Roy Hogdson. "The initial prognosis for Clint is not good. It looks like cruciate knee ligament damage and if it is it will keep him out for a while."

Last year Fulham really did not have to deal with many injuries. This year unfortunately the injuries are starting to show up. These injuries are also coming to significant players. The test for the rest of the year is how Fulham rebounds and reacts to these set backs.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Up Next Blackburn

Fulham play away tomorrow at Blackburn at 10AM EST. The game will actually be shown on delay at 5PM EST on Fox Soccer Channel. The last time the 2 teams played, Fulham won 3 - 0 at Craven Cottage. I have a feeling this game will be much tougher for the Cottagers.

Fulham will also be without Kamara, Davies, Zamora, and Pantsil. I will be very curious to see who Roy puts up front in the place of Bobby Zamora. If I had to take a guess I would say it would be Erik Nevland. This game is a must for Fulham as they have only 1 win on the road.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Stefano Okaka is now not a sure thing for Fulham

According to Sky Sports on Friday, Fulham are still considering a move for the 20 year old striker from Roma. "If it was to happen it would be a loan, but as I say we are looking into the situation." Hogdson told Sky Sports News.

In the article it quotes Roy as saying, "At the moment I can't give you a definitive answer on whether we will be loaning him or whether we will not be." Based on the article if Stefano Okaka wants to play for Fulham he is going have to show the club he is anxious to play for them.

What looked so promising 7 - 10 days ago now is up in the air. Hopefully this situation will be resolved shortly.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Dean Pees not returning as Defensive Coordinator

According to the Providence Journal, Dean Pees will not be returning as the Defensive Coordinator of the Patriots. His contract was expiring at the end of the month. He had been the defensive coordinator for the Pats for 4 years.

I am sure there will be more details to come on this story. In my opinion, I hope Belichick finds a replacement from outside the organization.

The Jets Roster vs. The Pats Roster

The topic for today's show on Felger and Massarotti's Show on 98.5 the Sports Hub was the Jets. Felger was asking his audience if would you rather have the Jets roster or the Patriots roster.

This discussion was a continuation from yesterday's show which Bob Ryan was a guest. I really respect Bob Ryan, but when it comes to football I don't see some of his points. He stated on the show that he believed the Jets will probably win the division the next 3 years. In my opinion this is a knee jerk reaction to one playoff game.

When the discussion started I called up the show. Felger was arguing that the Jets roster as of right now is better and has more talent. I won't disagree with that statement if you talk about there defense compared to our defense. When you go to the offensive side of the ball I think there is a huge advantage with the Pats.

When I got on the radio I was concerned more about after this year and who projects better in the future. I think the Jets made a decision last year that they would go for it and brought in high priced free agents. The Jets definitely upgraded there talent. In the last 2 years the Jets have added via free agency Bart Scott, Alan Faneca, Calvin Pace, Damien Woody, Kris Jenkins and Lito Sheppard. All of these players have really helped close the gap between the Pats and the Jets.

My argument though is everyone of these players are coming up to 30 or older. In the case of Faneca and Woody they are both going to be 34. The Jets could start to see in the next few years a drop off from several of there high priced players.

Mike and Tony although made a very good argument regarding who the Jets have drafted the last 3 years. They have added through the draft Derrell Revis, Dustin Keller, David Harris, and Mark Sanchez. I personally think the whole key to the Jets team will be Mark Sanchez and Rex Ryan.

Honestly, the talent of the teams might have slanted in favor of the Jets right now. However, winning the division the next 3 years in my opinion will still be the Pats. We still have the coach and the quarterback. Those 2 factors will always give the Pats an advantage in the division.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Tom Brady's Contract

Last night on Comcast SportsNet New England the Late Edition the topic of Tom Brady's contract came up. Michael Felger asked Ron Borges if it is a guarantee that Brady will re-sign with the Patriots. Tom Brady is signed thru 2010. Ron Borges answered the question of a guarantee of Brady re-signing with the Pats by saying no. He claims to have spoken to Brady's representation last weekend. He mentioned that Brady's reps went to the Patriots to discuss a new contract over the summer. According to Borges nothing came out of the talks this summer.

I think this is an issue worth following in the upcoming season. Brady has never gone into a final year of a contract with the Pats before. I personally feel this issue with his contract will be resolved hopefully before the beginning of next season. The Pats certainly do not want this issue to go into the season.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

I don't want to hear the CBA Excuse from the Patriots

If a new CBA is not agreed upon soon, the next season will be an uncapped year. The Patriots have an opportunity to not just re-sign there own players, but make moves in free agency to rebuild this team. The Patriots are not reloading they are rebuilding.

The one excuse I have heard for the reason the Pats have not made a deal with Vince Wilfork is the uncertainty of the CBA. As pointed out by Michael Felger today on his show on 98.5 the Sports Hub, the CBA situation is just an excuse the Patriots have been feeding us in regards to signing players like Vince Wilfork. They want to wait until they know what the new CBA is moving forward.

In the meantime, Eli Manning, Phillip Rivers, Tony Romo, and Demarcus Ware get signed to new deals. Teams like the Steelers, Giants and Cowboys are giving new deals to there talent. There is no reason the Patriots cannot do the same. Even with this CBA uncertainty I believe business still needs to get done.

The Patriots have lost some of there most talented players over money. I can point to Deion Branch and Asante Samuel as just 2 players the Pats eventually lost. What is troubling about both of these players is that they were draft picks that were groomed right here in New England.

In both situations, if the Pats had been proactive and approached them earlier before there deals were getting close to running out they might have been able to hold onto them.

Personally, I would rather keep the talented players in our system rather than have to replace them on the open market. In Asante's case the Patriots have not fully replaced him at corner. Leigh Bodden is not bad, but he is not close the player Asante has become. In Deion's case he was replaced by Randy Moss. You could give Randy Moss the money, but you cannot give it to Deion Branch?

The Pats have recently signed some of there less expensive players to team friendly deals. At some point you need to pay your high priced players a fair amount. Are the Pats going to pay these players this offseason? If they don't pay these players Pats fans should not accept the CBA excuse.

Monday, January 11, 2010

It is time for the Pats give Vince Wilfork a long term deal

Now that the season is over I will give my opinion on Vince Wilfork. He played on a 6 year rookie deal with the Pats. A six year rookie contract is not even allowed anymore in the NFL. It is time for the Pats to fork out the money for Wilfork. Without him on your defense the Pats would be in even more trouble defensively.

He has been a stalwart for six years and has done his job tremendously. He deserves to get paid. If you are going to pay Adalius Thomas a big contract to come here why won't you pay a big contract to one of your own? I don't want to hear any excuses regarding the CBA. With an uncapped year looming they can afford to pay him the money.

There are several players on this team right now that could be gone. If they decide to get rid of Adalius Thomas and not re-sign Ben Watson you can allocate part of that money to Vince. This man is still one of the only leaders you have left on this team.

Vince last year did not sit out of training camp. He came in and did his job. The crazy thing about this situation is that Wilfork wants to stay here on a long term deal. He has made his feelings publicly his desire to stay.

The Patriots management have many decisions to make this off season. If they want to change the culture back to what it was they need to sign Vince Wilfork. If they decide to franchise him this is a big mistake. Again, this guy is on a contract that is illegal moving forward in the NFL. How unfair would it be to control him for another year. The only reason to franchise him would be to give a negotiation between the parties time to come to an agreement. If the Pats act in good faith with negotiating a long term deal I could accept an interim franchise tag. It just better be a short term decision.

I am a diehard Pats fan for over 35 years. I live close to Gillette Stadium and Patriot Place. I want to see the team's success to continue. The first step in coninuing the process forward is signing Vince Wilfork.

Fulham agree to loan deal with Okaka

According to the 20 year old striker has not agreed to terms yet with Fulham. Skysports is saying though it is just a formality.

According to the article he will be at Fulham until the end of the season. Also, according to Skysports Roma and Fulham appear to have reached an agreement on the loan.

Okaka's agent Domenico Scopelliti is quoted from He stated " If the player will reach an agreement with Fulham, he will go to England on loan for the next six months, with an option of extending his stay for the following year".

This is good news for Fulham as they need a striker to help out with the injury loss of Bobby Zamora. The injury for Bobby could have him out up to 8 weeks.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Wow, Was I wrong about the Pats!

That was the worst beating I have seen against the Pats in the Belichick Era. The knee jerk reaction would be the defense let them down. In this game it was not about the defense. I put this loss square on the shoulders of Tom Brady.

Yes, the defense gave up a horrific run that gave Ray Rice his first touchdown. Besides that run the defense played OK. They were put in bad situations from turnovers by Tom Brady. Mr Brady had 3 interceptions plus a strip sack that led to a touchdown. Before you looked up the Pats were down 24 - 0.

You have to give the Ravens credit. They wanted the game much more than the Patriots. They beat them up and took advantage of all the mistakes. It was a horror show. I could not wait until the game ended. I never would have imagined the Jets and the Ravens would come out of Wild Card Weekend victorious.

The only bright light in this game was that Julian Edelman scored 2 touchdowns and played very hard. It is time to look forward to next year. Based on what I saw today I hope I see many changes from the 2009 Patriots.

Will Wes Welker be out next season?

According Charley Casserly on the NFL Today, we shouldn't expect to see much of Wes Welker next season. He stated to get used to seeing Julian Edelman is Wes Welker's place.

I don't know where he is getting his information, but I have a feeling we will see more of Wes Welker next season than Mr. Casserly thinks. He shouldn't underestimate Welker's determination to come back from this injury.

Jozy Altidore vs. Stefano Okaka has a great article charting the progress of Stefano Okaka. Please check it out. It breaks down Okaka's participation this year for Roma. It also mentions at the very end his desire that Fulham should have gone after Jozy Altidore when he was available over the summer.

I know he is currently with Hull and has not scored a goal. Trust me, Jozy can play and score goals which he has done on an international level. Last year in the Confederations Cup he played against the likes of Italy, Spain, and Brazil. He more than held his own in these games. He does not have the greatest first touch in the world, but he is big and physical. I could see him in a few years being on the level of Bobby Zamora. He would have been great with Fulham. He already has great experience with Clint Dempsey on Team USA.

In regards to Jozy Altidore or Stefano Okaka it is tough to judge which player could be the best fit for Fulham. I don't know enough about Okaka to make a judgement. I do have faith in Roy that if he is interested the kid must have serious talent. I hope he does come on loan. Unfortunately, I think Fulham missed the boat on Altidore. Maybe after this summer's World Cup the world will see that he can really play. At that point it will definitely be too late for Fulham.

NFL Matchup

This morning I watched the NFL Matchup Show with Ron Jaworski and Merril Hoge. They were breaking down the Ravens offense against the Patriots Defense. They were showing examples of how the Ravens should run the ball extensively against the Patriots today.

The first example was the first matchup between the teams in week 4. They were showing Ray Rice gashing the Patriots on a big run. The example was showing how our linebacker Gary Guyton was not flowing to the ball quickly and caused the big run.

The second example was from last week when they showed Jerrod Mayo not flowing to the ball quickly and causing a big run. They both believe that the running backs for the Ravens should have a huge game.

My feelings on our run defense are as follows. If the Ravens decide to run the majority of the time they will lose today. The Pats will be fine against the run. As a fan I know the Pats have a game plan to take away a team's strength. The Ravens strength right now is there run game. I believe the Pats will load the box to take away the run. They will force Joe Flacco to beat them. In both examples given by NFL Matchup the Pats were focused on taking away the passing game. The Pats were more focused on taking away Joe Flacco and Matt Schaub.

I wish Hoge and Jaworski showed an example of the Jacksonville game where the Pats focused on the running game and forced the Jaguars to have David Garrard to beat them. How did that game end up? I think the Pats won pretty easily. I don't see this game as a slam dunk, but I do see the Pats winning and moving on to the Chargers.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Fulham vs. Portsmouth Postponed

The Fulham game on Saturday has been postponed due to weather. There has been no news as of yet when the game will be played. As a fan I am disappointed there will be no football on Saturday. I was hoping Portsmouth would get this bad taste out of my mouth from the last loss. It looks like the taste will be with me a little longer.

Also, there is no update on Stefano Okaka potential loan deal with Fulham. Once there is new information I will update the site.

Why is there no buzz on this playoff game?

I have been a Pats fan since 1975 and I cannot remember a playoff game having such little buzz regarding it. I am watching the TV Shows and listening to the radio and there seems to be very little excitement for this game. Does anyone know why there is such apathy towards this game?

I believe there is no excitement for this game, because most observers of the Pats seem to feel this is not a Super Bowl Team. I personally don't think they are a Super Bowl Team. Listen, there is always a chance the Pats can go on a run and get hot. I think most fans are taking a pretty conservative view to this year's playoffs. I know I am very spoiled when it comes to this team. For me if they are not going to contend for a title why get excited. The only other time during the Belichick run did I fell apathetic towards the Pats was the 2002 season. I didn't want to see them in the playoffs. I did not think they were good enough. Well, in the end the Pats did not make the playoffs that year.

Personally, I will keep my emotions very low key with the playoffs. I expect them to win on Sunday. I don't expect them to beat San Diego. I guess this year's playoff season attitude is let's just wait and see what happens.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Stefano Okaka Update

Dharmesh Sheth on Sky Sports is reporting that talks between Fulham and Roma are expected to happen at 7PM UK Time regarding the potential loan of striker Stefano Okaka. Mr. Sheth mentioned he talked with the agent for Okaka. According to Sheth, the loan deal is to the end of the season. He also mentioned the loan could have an option for a longer period afterwards possibly an additional 12 months.

With Fulham without Bobby Zamora for potentially 2 months I think they are looking for some striker help in the meantime. Hopefully there will be more news to come soon on this potential transfer for Fulham.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Are the Pats Transitioning or Rebuilding?

Are the Patriots in a transition phase or a rebuilding phase? According to Andy Gresh on today's Tanguay and Zolak show on 98.5 the Sports hub, a football team that is rebuilding tends to have a record of 7-9 or 6 -10. The Patriots are still in the playoffs and just won the AFC East. I believe they are in a transition phase, because of there defense. With the personnel decisions the Pats made starting with trading Mike Vrabel and then trading Richard Seymour the writing was on the wall that the defense was starting over.

I don't think there is anything wrong with the word transition. I just wish they decided to change the defense starting in 2006 and did a gradual change. After the AFC Championship game in 2006 the Pats seemed to change the focus of the team heavily to there offense. With bringing in Randy Moss the mentality of the team was changing. The focus was on outscoring the opponent rather than stopping the opponent.

Offense can win many games, but I believe defense wins championships. The 3 Superbowl trophies I think were won more on defense. The reason they lost in the 2007 was on defense.
The Pats are transitioning to upgrade the defense. They will not win another Super Bowl until the defense is upgraded. They have started the process and it is called the transition phase.

Bobby Zamora has a dislocated collarbone

According to, Bobby Zamora has a dislocated collarbone. That is very bad news for Fulham as Bobby was on a real hot streak with scoring goals and being a threat up front. There is not timetable given for his return.

According to, Andy Johnson's dislocated collarbone injury kept him out about 2 months earlier this year. I am thinking the time frame could be similar. In the meantime, Andy Johnson just recently returned as a striker.

There are a few options up front to help out in Zamora's absence. First, just as we saw in the second half of the Stoke Game, Clint Dempsey can play as a striker. I do think he is better in midfield though. Second, Erik Nevland is another option as a striker. He has more speed, but probably less of a physical presence. Third, could be the return of Diomansy Kamara. However, I don't know what his time frame of return will be. Kamara to me would be a seamless fit. Fourth, could be a potential loan deal for Stefano Okaka.

Every team goes through injuries. Unfortunately for Fulham the injury bug has hit them in the beginning of 2010. I am confident though they can find a striker solution to hold up until the return of Bobby Zamora.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Fulham lose 3 - 2 at Stoke

The first half for Fulham was as bad as I have seen this season.Fulham gave up 3 first half goals to be down at the half 3 - 0. In the first 15 minutes we gave up the first goal on a corner kick. Even though Fulham gave up the goal I had hope we would get that goal back soon afterwards. Fulham were controlling the ball early in the first half. After the first 15 minutes Stoke really took control back of the game. They scored two more goals and were looking almost assured a win at halftime.

The game was a tale of two halves. Fulham came out hard in the second half. There hard work finally paid off in the 62nd minute with a deflected goal off a defender from Damien Duff. Fulham were still putting the pressure on shortly afterwards with a nice shot from Clint Dempsey which went over the net. Clint made up for that miss with a goal in the 85th minute. Fulham kept the pressure on, but Stoke was able to hold on for the win through 5 minutes of stoppage time.

You never like to see a loss, but you have to commend the second half comeback. A sign of a good team is one that plays hard until the end of the game. Fulham came up short, but the effort in the second half was admirable.

Fulham vs. Stoke City

Fulham play today at 2:45 EST away against Stoke City. Fulham have currently won one game away from Craven Cottage in the EPL. Stoke City sit 12th with 21 points. Fulham are currently 9th with 27 points.

These are the types of games Fulham need to win. Getting a point or a loss is really unacceptable for a team that is looking to move up the table. Stoke are very tough at home and it will be a difficult game.

Fulham will be without John Pantsil and Brede Hangeland. All eyes should be on Chris Smalling to see how he does on defense. I look forward to the game.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Is Stefano Okaka coming to Fulham?

According to from an article from Yahoo Sports, Stefano Okaka is going to make a switch on loan from Roma to Fulham. This potential loan would be until the end of the season. Okaka is a 20 year old forward and actually scored the winning goal against Fulham in the Europa League.

According to the article by Salvatore Landolina of, his agent Domenico Scopelliti, has confirmed there have been talks between the two clubs. Also, according to the article the player has approved the move to Fulham.

I am sure there is more news to come on this potential transfer. Fulham might land another forward to help bolster the team for the end of the year.

You Play to Win the Game

As a long time fan of the Pats the injury to Wes Welker in yesterday's game was difficult to watch. Early in the game he seemed to cut the wrong way on the grass and injured himself. It is pretty obvious that he will be out for the playoffs and could be out in the beginning of the next season. The Patriots offense cannot function the same way without Welker. I think Julian Edelman can fill in, but he does not have Welker's experience in football and this offense. He will be sorely missed.

With that said, the decision to play to win the game yesterday was the correct one. Unlike the Colts from the week before the Patriots played the majority of their players throughout the game. Randy Moss was taken out in the last 2 minutes of the game. Tom Brady was replaced by Brian Hoyer at the end of the first half and at the end of the game. For the most part the Pats starters played to win. This game really meant nothing except to play football the right way. The Pats I believe played to win. Even Ron Borges in today's Boston Herald seems to give credit to Belichick for going for the win.

I disagree with any football expert stating the Pats should have held out Welker and the other starters from this game. His injury could have happened in the playoffs regardless. Injuries like Brady's last year and Wes Welker are a part of the game.

Going into this game I was realistic about the Pats chances in the playoffs. I thought they could win in the Wild Card Round and then have a tough time in San Diego. Welker's injury doesn't change the fact that the Pats have tough road ahead. Can they beat The Ravens? I believe they still can. Can they beat the Chargers? My heart says one thing and my head says the other.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

The Wes Welker Drinking Game

As a Patriot fan I am really concerned about the health of Wes Welker after his injury early into the game against the Texans. It is never a good sign when a player goes off on a cart. It is pretty obvious he has a serious knee injury. His return in the playoffs is really in doubt.

With all that said, the announcers of the game have mentioned his injury so many times college students could have a "Wes Welker Drinking Game". Kevin Harlan and Solomon Wilcots have mentioned his name and injury so often it is disgusting. I have watched many Pats games in life. These announcers rank near the bottom of the barrel. We are spoiled from week to week when we have Jim Nantz and Phil Simms announcing the games. There is a huge drop off from the "A" team. Harlan and Wilcots are definitely the "D" team.

I really hope Welker is not out for the season. There is one certainty though that in the second half we will be reminded of his injury probably a dozen times. Where is Jim Nantz when I need him.

Does Brady have 3 broken ribs?

According to Charley Casserly on the NFL Today, Tom Brady has 3 broken ribs. He does not expect him to play longer than 1 or 2 series against the Texans.

If this is true how significant are these injuries? Tom Brady has still been able to throw the ball down the field. I haven't seen a huge drop off in his accuracy since this injury during the Dolphins game. This injury came over 3 weeks ago.

Charley is a former GM and usually has very good information. I don't doubt the story, but would he playing if the ribs were severely broken? Why would the Patriots risk playing him at all this week? My feeling is he is not as hurt as being reported.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Bobby Zamora does it again!

Fulham win 1 - 0 against Swindon Town in the 3rd round of the FA Cup. Bobby Zamora scored his 11th goal of the season in the first half. In the second half Fulham had a chance to go up 2 goals. Andy Johnson's penalty kick although was saved.

Bobby Zamora is seriously making noise to make the England Team in the World Cup. It would be great to see Bobby get a shot to play in the World Cup.

Fulham's next match is away against Stoke on Tuesday. Fulham currently sit 9th with 27 points. If they win at Stoke they would inch closer to the 8th spot which is currently held by Birmingham. The 8th place team Birmingham currently has 32 points. Let's see what happens on Tuesday.

Friday, January 1, 2010

FA Cup

Fulham play against Swindon Town in the FA Cup tomorrow. It is a game we should dominate, but competitions like the FA Cup you can always see upsets. Let's just say I am cautiously optimistic.

It might be a chance to see players like David Elm and Bjorn Helge Riise. Actually, Riise looked great in the last Europa league match. I hope he gets some more playing time.

I am actually fascinated by the FA Cup. For Fulham I would love to see them get to play at Wembley. I know we are a way off from there but it is good to dream. I get the feeling though the importance of this competition has lessened over the years. I don't understand why. It would be so great for Fulham to make a serious run. I know we have the EPL and the Europa League to worry about. A good run in the FA Cup could only help Fulham.