Reed Complaining About Brady

Ed Reed had to have off-season surgery on his hip after winning the Superbowl with the Ravens a few months ago. He has since been signed by the Houston Texans, after many thought that the Pats might try to sign him. Yet, we surprise everyone and sign this guy. Anyways, Reed had an interview and said he has no idea how he got hurt. He did, however, say this:

“The only play I could look at is when I got kicked by a certain quarterback. But even then, I played in the Super Bowl and you saw what happened there.”

Clearly, he’s blaming Tom Brady (see video below). This is a guy who most respect and that Bill Belichick really likes, typically not someone who will complain about a sports-related injury. It’s part of the game, and you know for a fact that if Reed had the chance to absolutely crush Brady, he would. Just like everyone else in the league. Anyways, Ed Reed doesn’t know if he’ll be ready for the opener, but says he is doing very well with his rehabilitation.

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Tebow Time? Probably Not.

The Patriots have signed Tim Tebow. If you are like me, you couldn’t care less. Unless you are in love with him, or absolutely hate him, you probably don’t care. When I heard about it yesterday afternoon, I was more confused than anything. Clearly, he’s not competing for the starting job, and most likely won’t even be a backup. And we obviously didn’t bring him031812_tebowbrady in for the circus that follows, cause Belichick will put an end to that real quick. So why sign him? They haven’t disclosed the contract details, but you gotta imagine we got him for a dollar and a donut, not much more. You can be sure of one thing, his publicity will end after the Press Conference to introduce him.

Maybe we’ll use him in short yardage runs to save Brady from the QB sneak? Maybe we can somehow turn him in to a Tight End (Edelmen was a QB before)? Maybe even use him as a defensive player? Doubtful. Maybe he just wants another chance to take someone’s sloppy seconds and fix their careers? We know that Belichick won’t let us know, regardless. Here’s a list of a few players that Bill has already done this with.

Wes Welker: We all know this story. Dolphins traded him to us for basically nothing, and he went on to be the star of the league for the next 5 seasons. Welker now has 8,580 yards receiving, 38 TD (37 with Pats). SUCCESS.

Randy Moss: Set record for TD’s in a season. Basically caught everything from Tom Brady in 2007. Great Career before, decent career after. Still a SUCCESS with the Pats.

Chad Ochocinco: Has since been arrested. Basically, a FAILURE.  Couldn’t read the playbook, did virtually nothing except make people buy his jersey and draft him to their fantasy teams for no reason.

Albert Haynesworth: One of the highest paid lineman of all time. Great in Tennessee. Went to Washington for a gigantic pay increase, and then got released after barely trying, and completely sucking. Bill signed him, and he did nothing. Total bust and FAILURE.

Danny Woodhead: Now with the Chargers. He was a fan favorite in Foxborough after being released by the Jets in 2010. He was the little engine who could. I consider him a SUCCESS.

There are clearly plenty of others too, just pointing out a few. Do you think Tebow will be a success or a failure? Guess we’ll see soon enough.

Throwback Thursday: Patriots Draft Tom Brady

A Tribute to Tom Terrific: 13…the number of years that have passed since the New England Patriots drafted Michigan Quarterback Tom Brady in the sixth round pick number 199.

It’s hard to believe now that Brady was chosen so late in the draft, when you consider his body of work:

Three time Super Bowl champion (2001, 2003, 2004).

Two time Super Bowl MVP (2001, 2003).

Two time NFL MVP (2007, 2010).

Eight time pro bowler (2001, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012).

125 regular season wins and 17 post-season wins (2001-2012).

Helped the Patriots go undefeated (16-0) and broke the single-season record for touchdown passes in the same season with 50 (2007).

But before all the accolades, records, playoff appearances, and Super Bowl trips Brady was at the bottom of the barrel on Bill Belichick’ roster. Let’s recap how Brady began and review who went before him in that 2000 NFL Draft:

Brady began the 2000 NFL season ranked fourth on the depth chart and would only play in one game completing a lone pass for six yards.

But in 2001 Brady rose to second on the depth chart behind then starter Drew Bledsoe. Bledsoe would suffer internal bleeding in an injury from a week two contest against the New York Jets.

Brady took over the reigns and from there would lead New England to the post-season winning 11 of the 14 games in which he started.

The Pats would defeat the Oakland Raiders in the infamous “tuck rule” game, by way of an Adam Vinatieri field goal. Brady threw for 314 yards in the blistering cold and snow to bring New England back from a 10-point deficit.

Then New England would go on to beat the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC championship game and would be led once more by Brady on Super Bowl Sunday to defeat the St. Louis Rams.

Brady led the game winning drive and spiked the ball with seven seconds left on the clock to set up another clutch kick for Adam Vinatieri. Brady won SBMVP honors with 145 yards passing and one touchdown. At the time, Brady was the youngest quarterback to ever win a Super Bowl. The rest is simply history.

Now, let’s take a closer look at some of the players who were chosen ahead of Brady in the 2000 NFL Draft:

Patriots Picks in 2000:

2nd round pick number 46 OT Adrian Klemm

3rd round pick number 76 RB J.R. Redmond

4th round pick number 127 OT Greg Robinson-Randall

5th round pick number 141 TE Dave Stachelski

5th round pick number 161 DT Jeff Marriot

6th round pick number 187 CB Antwan Harris

Can you recall how those guys panned out for the Pats? If so, you may want to apply for Mel Kiper’ job at ESPN whenever he retires.

QB’s taken higher than Brady:

1st round pick number 18 Chad Pennington

3rd round pick number 65 Giovanni Carmazzi

3rd round pick number 75 Chris Redman

5th round pick number 163 Tee Martin

6th round pick number 168 Marc Bulger

6th round pick number 183 Spergon Wynn

Of the six quarterbacks above only Pennington and Bulger went on to have semi-successful NFL careers. Pennington of course was plagued by re-occurring shoulder injuries, and Bulger failed to lead the rams anywhere in almost a decade.

Redman only played in 30 regular seasons games in an eight year NFL career. Then there’s Wynn (10 career games in 2000-2001) and Martin, whose careers were very, very short lived (three games from 2001-2003). As for Carmazzi, he never played a game in the NFL.

Notable Players taken ahead of Brady

1st round pick number two LB LaVar Arrington

1st round pick number five RB Jamal Lewis

1st round pick number seven RB Thomas Jones

1st round pick number nine LB Brian Urlacher

1st round pick number 12 DE Shaun Ellis

1st round pick number 13 DE John Abraham

1st round pick number 14 TE Bubba Franks

1st round pick number 15 CB Deltha O’Neal

1st round pick number 16 LB Julian Peterson

1st round pick number 17 K Sebastian Janikowski

1st round pick number 19 RB Sean Alexander

1st round pick number 30 LB Keith Bulluck

2nd round pick number 44 T Chad Clifton

3rd round pick number 76 WR Laveraneus Coles

5th round pick number 142 P Shane Lechler

5th round pick number 149 DE Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila

5th round pick number 153 WR Dante Hall

6th round pick number 169 K Neil Rackers

6th round pick number 186 LB Adalius Thomas

Among all of those notable NFL players, only Brian Urlacher and Jamal Lewis have came within Tom Brady’ range of success. Brady has been regarded by many experts as one of the greatest draft picks of all-time, and when you look at his career numbers it’s not hard to see why.

Brady by the Numbers:

Career Stats:

Passing Yards: 44,806 (9th all-time).

Passing Touchdowns: 334 (5th all-time).

Passer Rating: 96.6 (3rd all-time).

Passes Completed: 3,798 (8th all-time).

Completion Percentage: 63.7% (9th all-time).

(fun fact: Chad Pennington, 2000-2010, ranks 1st all-time in Career Completion Percentage at 66.0%)

Post-season:

Passing Yards: 5,949 (1st all-time).

Passing Touchdowns: 42 (3rd all-time).

Passer Rating: 87.4 (12th all-time).

Passes Completed: 553 (1st all-time).

Completion Percentage: 62.3% (24th all-time)

When you couple those numbers with his championships, Brady is one of the best NFL draft success stories of all-time.

Final Thoughts: Brady’ contract extension of three years will keep him in Foxborough for what will likely be the remainder of his career. Meaning Tom gets to finish what he started all those years ago, when he was just a back-up quarterback above suspicion. Brady’ time in New England has certainly been nothing short of terrific.

Gronk Surgery Part IV?

Just when you thought the Patriots were starting to recover from the Welker loss and move forward with new pieces to the puzzle, Patriot Nation received some troubling Gronk Dancingnews. Rob Gronkowski will “very likely” require surgery on his left forearm, according to ESPN’s Mike Reiss.  Ever since breaking it originally on November 18th when we crushed the Colts, he has gone through multiple surgeries. This would be the fourth one he has to get.

This surgery would remove that plate that they inserted into his arm originally in order to make sure that there is no infection. Gronk was in California with friends (doing Gronk things) when he noticed a large swelling in the morning and noticed some stuff oozing out of it. He called the Patriots front office and they immediately flew him back.

Even if Gronkowski gets surgery right away, he still needs 10 weeks typically to get him healthy. This time frame is creeping up towards training camp. And that’s if it can even be done right away. Hopefully they can figure out another way but the way it looks now, Gronk will be in a cast a while longer.

The Welker Situation

wesBeing a Boston-based sports blog, how could we not touch on the whole Welker situation? I didn’t want to and put it off because, frankly, I’m indifferent about it. My general essence over this ordeal can be summed up by one word, “meh”. I mean we clearly had this coming. As much as I wanted Wes to stay, this was inevitable after how things have been panning out over the last few years. You can argue that he chokes in the big game situations, but the guy put up crazy numbers for us and left it all on the field. I’m not going to blame him, or the Pats for that matter. The NFL is a business. Belichick, Kraft, and the front office made a business move that they feel made sense to better their business. Granted, letting him go to Denver wasn’t ideal for us in New England, this isn’t the first time the Pats have made risky moves in terms of signing, or not signing, a big player. Also, keep in mind Danny Amendola isn’t some scrub. The guy can play. Oh and in case you forgot, Brady will still be the one throwing the ball to him. I don’t know about you but the way the Patriots have completely dominated over the last decade, and that’s not an opinion, I think I can safely put my trust in Bill and company to make the right offseason moves for the team. There’s always a plan. With that said, will we miss Wes Welker? Of course. You haven’t watched a single Pats game over the last five years if you say different. Just how much though, is the question? Only time will tell.

manning-welker

Patriots Off-Season Options

Getting Things Down Pat: With the latest news from the New England Patriots regarding Wes Welker wanting to “test the waters of free agency”, and the team failing to franchise any of their free agents, one has to wonder…what will the Pats do this off-season?

The Patriots have two primary needs this off-season. 1. A solid number one or number two wide receiver (should they fail to bring back Welker) and a productive cornerback/defensive back to help with the pass defense. Here’s a rundown of who the Pats can sign/draft to fill those needs:

Slot Machine: Wes Welker has no doubt been a great offensive weapon for the New England Patriots. Welker has caught 110 or more passes for 1,100 yards or more in five of his six seasons with the Patriots. He had a career year in 2011 with 122 grabs with 1,569 yards and 9 TDS. Welker however, is aging at 31, and is likely going to use his impressive Patriots resume’ to land himself a big pay-day somewhere else.

With all that said, and the fact that Welker is willing to talk to other teams, the Pats need a plan B should re-signing Welker fall through.

Here are the top five free agent pass catchers available:

Mike Wallace- In 2012 with Pittsburgh: 64 REC, 836 YDS, 8 TDS.

Greg Jennings- In 2012 with Green Bay (in 8 games): 36 REC, 366 YDS, 4 TDS.

Danny Amendola- In 2012 with St. Louis: 63 REC, 666 YDS , 3TDS.

Austin Collie- In 2012 with Indianapolis: 1 catch for 6 yards missed the season due to injury.

Brian Hartline- In 2012 with Miami: 74 REC, 1083 YDS, 1 TD.

Granted, those numbers don’t exactly replace Welker, but the Pats won’t need to completely replace him if they can land a solid receiver like the ones listed above.

Realistically Greg Jennings and Green Bay will probably agree to re-sign and Mike Wallace will probably take his talents elsewhere for more money than he’s worth. Austin Collie, when healthy has been reliable in Indy, but I don’t see him in New England next year. Brian Hartline had a career season last year for the Dolphins, so he should stay in South Beach.

So, that leaves Danny Amendola as the Pats most realistic option, as pointed out by Chris. Amendola has been a solid slot receiver for Rams quarterback Sam Bradford and would be a good pickup should Welker leave.

Side Note: The Patriots only have 5 picks in this year’s NFL Draft (one in rounds 1,2, and 3 and two picks in round 7). The Pats will pick 29th in the first round and could wind up in a position to draft highly ranked wide receivers Keenan Allen out of California, Justin Hunter of Tennessee, or Cordarrelle Patterson also Tennessee.

No Thanks, I’ll Pass: The Patriots pass defense ranked 29th overall in 2012, giving up a total of 4,342 yards for an average of 271 yards per game. New England also gave up 27 passing TDS, allowed an average quarterback rating of 86.9, and a 62 percent pass completion rate.

Given those results, the Pats may want to hire one or two of these free agent pass defenders:

Ed Reed- In 2012 with Baltimore: 58 tackles and 4 interceptions.

Dashon Goldson- In 2012 with San Francisco: 69 tackles, 1 forced fumble, 3 interceptions.

Antoine Cason- In 2012 with San Diego: 73 tackles, 2 forced fumbles, 2 interceptions.

Quentin Jammer- In 2012 with San Diego: 64 tackles, 1 forced fumble, 3 interceptions.

LaRon Landry- In 2012 with New York (Jets):  99 tackles, 4 forced fumbles, 2 interceptions.

Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie- In 2012 with Philadelphia: 51 tackles and 3 interceptions.

Given the numbers the Patriots pass defense put up last season, any one of these available DB’s are significant upgrades to the secondary. Realistically Ed Reed, Laron Landry and Dashon Goldson will likely all re-sign with their respective teams or elsewhere. That leaves Antoine Cason, Quentin Jammer, and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. Again, picking up any one of those guys would be a step in the right direction.

Side Note: The Patriots 29th draft pick position could also allow them to go after a few defensive players such as Kevin Minter inside linebacker out of LSU, Blidi Wreh-Wilson cornerback of UCONN, or Desmond Trufant of Washington.

Final Thoughts: The Patriots have plenty of time to consider these and many other options in the weeks to come. It will no doubt be interesting to see what New England choose to do this off-season. What do you think will happen? Will Wes Welker stay? If he goes, who should the Patriots pursue? leave a comment below.

Gronk Setback?

It was recently discovered that Rob Gronkowski has underwent surgery a few days back for an infection in his arm that he hurt multiple times last season. The good news is that he isn’t expected to miss any extra time and should be reporting to camp with the rest of the Patriots. Hopefully this is true, since we probably would have had a gronkowskishot at two Superbowls with him healthy. That’s speculating, but still. Gronk has been under the knife three times since getting hurt against the Colts midway through November.

This won’t stop Gronk from being Gronk though, as he was criticized for his craziness at a Las Vegas nightclub a few weeks back. Obviously, Gronk is still young and making the most of his youth, as he deserves to do. It’s gotta be tough for all of us Patriots fans to know that he has yet another injury, but at least it isn’t a major setback…hopefully!

Playoff Predictor: Broncos vs Seahawks in Super Bowl XLVII

The 2012 NFL PLayoffs are set and with the Wild Card round starting this Saturday, here’s a breakdown of the match-ups and my Bold predictions:

 

AFC Wild Card: Houston Texans vs Cincinnati Bengals Saturday at 4:30pm

Houston (12-4) will probably feel a sense of Deja Vu as they play the Bengals (10-6) on Saturday as the two tangoed in last years playoffs. The game marked the first time the Texans had made the playoffs resulting in a 31-10 drubbing of Cincy.

Houston Playmakers RB Arian Foster, DE J.J. Watt and WR Andre Johnson were keys to victory against the Bengals last year and will be relied on again come Saturday. Also the Texans will have starter Matt Schaub this year (Schaub was injured last season late).

For Cincinnati, second year studs QB Andy Dalton and WR A.J. Green will be the X factors for Cincy on Saturday. Also, to the Bengals credit, their defense has been solid all season finishing the year with the 7th best passing defense (212.5 yards per game) and the 12th best rushing defense (102.5 yards per game).

Prediction: I foresee a more competitive contest between these two teams in this go-around. The game will ultimately come down to turnovers. Andy Dalton threw 3 interceptions in last years wild card game. The Texans committed no turnovers. I have the Texans winning 21 to 17 over the Bengals.

Baltimore Ravens vs Indianapolis Colts Sunday at 1:00pm

The Ravens (10-6) will take on the surprising Colts (11-5) in a game that will be high with emotions on both sidelines. The Ravens were a few different play calls away from making it to the Super Bowl last year, and went on a campaign to prove themselves this year in the AFC (though they slowed down at seasons end). The Colts came into this season with little to no expectations at all. A rookie quarterback leading a team that went 2-14 the season before didn’t exactly add up to a winning season. However, Andrew Luck and Co. fought their way into the post-season game by game. Not to mention doing so while watching their head coach, Chuck Pagano, battle Leukemia .

The Ravens will be led by QB Joe Flacco and RB Ray Rice as they’ll attempt to mix their power running game and passing attacks together to try and overwhelm Indy’s defensive schemes.

The Colts will no doubt rely heavily on the shoulders of potential Rookie Of the Year winner Andrew Luck. Luck broke Cam Newtons rookie record for passing yards in a single season finishing with 4,374 yards.

Prediction: I see the Baltimore Ravens winning this contest, but not without a fight from Indy. While the Ravens defense hasn’t been up to snuff with the loss of Ray Lewis and Co. I still believe the Ravens have the upper hand in this one. Luck and the Colts have had a phenomenal season, no doubt about it, but I believe the magic ends this Sunday as Luck cracks under the pressures of post-season play. Ravens win 28-13.

NFC Wild Card: Green Bay Packers vs Minnesota Vikings Saturday at 8:00pm

The Packers (11-5) were stunned by the New York Giants in last years NFC Divisional Round and have an opportunity in this years post-season to prove their still as good as they were when they won it all in 2011. The Minnesota Vikings were similar to the Indianapolis Colts this year in the sense that they weren’t expected to make the playoffs. With second year QB Christian Ponder at the helm, and Adrian Peterson coming back from a knee injury, Minnesota had a few questions marks to say the least. Well, Adrian “All Day” Peterson had a response…run…a lot. Led by Adrian Peterson’ stunning season, becoming only the 7th NFL rusher to reach 2,000 yards (he finished with 2,097 yards), the Vikes find themselves in the post-season.

Green Bay will no doubt be led by the likes of QB Aaron Rodgers, LB Clay Matthews, and WR Greg Jennings, etc. The Packers started shaky at 2-2 but finished strong going 10-2 to close out the season.

The Vikings will no surprise call an number 28 to once again carry the load and the team on his shoulders in this one. The Vikes could stand a chance in this one seeing as they did beat Green Bay to close out the season 37-34. This one, however, I have going to Green Bay with the Packers winning 21-7.

Seattle Seahawks vs Washington Redskins Sunday at 4:30pm

The Seahawks (11-5) and the Redskins (10-6) are nearly mirror images of one another. Both teams sport sensational rookie QB’s in Seattle’ Russell Wilson and Washington’ Robert Griffin III. Both teams are in the top 5 in the NFL for rushing yards per game, Washington leading the league with 169.3yds and Seattle in 3rd with 161.2yds. The only edge Washington has over Seattle is that the Skins made the playoffs by winning the NFC East division in a season finale this past Sunday over the Dallas Cowboys.

Despite both teams having play-makers on both sides of the ball, this games outcome will be determined by the play of two men. The performances by Seattle’ Russell Wilson and Washington’ Robert Griffin III will decide who moves on and who goes home.

I predict a shootout in this one with both rookie QB’s trading punches all game long. I have Seattle edging out Washington 31-28.

Divisional Rounds and Super Bowl Pick:

The Denver Broncos and New England Patriots earned a first round bye, same for the Atlanta Falcons and San Francisco 49ers. Both the Broncos and Falcons earned home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. With the picks I made above the Broncos would play the Ravens with the Patriots playing the Texans in the AFC. In the NFC, based on my picks, the Falcons would play the Seahawks and the 49ers would play the Packers.

My Picks:

I have the divisional rounds and championship rounds going down something like this:

Patriots vs Texans: The Pats send Matt Schaub and the Texans home as they win 24-14 in style led by Tom Brady and Co.

Ravens vs Broncos: Peyton Manning and the Broncos make it look easy in Mile High Denver as they beat Baltimore 28-14.

AFC Championship Broncos vs Patriots: Peyton Manning gets the better of Tom Brady and leaves New England fans heart broken as Denver wins it at Mile High by a score of 24-21.

Falcons vs Seahawks: In an absolute shocker, I have the Seahawks upsetting the Dirty Birds as Russell Wilson and Seattle find a way to keep Matt Ryan and Atlanta at bay winning 17-14.

Packers vs 49ers: The Colin Kaepernick show continues, with help from the defense and a solid rushing performance by Frank Gore, as San Fran sends Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers packing with a final score of 28-24.

NFC Championship 49ers vs Seahawks: In an NFC West battle for the ages I have the Seattle Seahawks pulling off another upset and catapulting themselves into their first super bowl appearance since 2006. The Seahawks recently walloped the 49ers back in week 16 42-13 and split the season series 1-1 with a 13-6 loss to San Fran in week 7. It could happen.

Super Bowl XLVII Broncos vs Seahawks: Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos win the franchises first Super Bowl since 1998 (The Denver Broncos had home-field advantage in 1998 also) as Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks heroics aren’t enough with Denver winning 31-21. Manning wins Super Bowl MVP.

Final Thoughts: I want to here from NFL fans and Pats fans on this one. Can the Patriots win their first Super Bowl since 2005? How do you see the playoffs panning out? Leave a comment below.

Pats Dominate on National Stage

It’s hard not to write this article without a shit-eating grin on my face. That win last night was just pure satisfaction. As much as I love watching the Pats embarrass the Jets (and the Jets embarrass themselves for that matter), it’s just different when your team can man handle an actual opponent. Houston came into this game with a chip on their shoulder, sitting pretty at 11-1, and boy were they quickly put in their place. You don’t just waltz into Foxborough in December and expect to take down New England. Not in our house.

“Brady could run this offense with Houston Texans v New England PatriotsVivian and a baby carriage.” I heard that from 98.5 Sports Hub during halftime and it couldn’t sum up our night any better. I feel bad even touching on the offense because I don’t think I could do it justice. Brady just took complete control of the field. I mean you know it’s a good night when Mallet’s throwing picks halfway through the fourth quarter. On the defensive side, what’s there to complain about? Everyone stepped up, even with Dennard and Talib getting hurt. McCourty had an amazing pick in the endzone and Arrington even managed to break up a few plays, some luckier than others. It’s continuous improvement, although I think Arrington would find it a lot easier to defend the pass if he looked for the ball once in a while. But I can’t complain about last night. There’s just something about taking down the top ranked team in the NFL on a national stage that makes it easy to smile on this Tuesday morning in New England.

Issues with Fireman Ed’s Departure

By now I’m sure you’ve all heard the big news out of New York…Fireman Ed has stepped down. The stereotype of an arrogant New York fan, who celebrates rooting for the most embarrassing franchise in the NFL, has had enough, writing a formal resignation letter to the public.

I’ve got two issues with this letter. First and most clearly – the statement of his regarding “the greatest chant in all of sports”. Alright. A humorous statement to say the very least. I think he has that mistaken with the most ridiculed chant in all of sports. I don’t even remember the last time Jets fan were cheering anything but “Put Tebow in!” Actually, J – E – T – S, Suck! Suck! Suck! is arguably more popular than both.

Second, it’s clear that this has been one of the most controversial times for the Jets, but they’ve had worse seasons. Fireman Ed, or I guess just Ed now, is putting the blame on his own constituents, claiming he has had enough of the ridicule regarding the Sanchez vs. Tebow debate. My issue lies in the fact that you know he’ll be back. Enough with the dramatic exit. Maybe not this year, but hypothetically speaking, if the Jets win the first two games next season, Rex will claim they are going to win the Superbowl and Ed will be once again known as Fireman Ed. Can’t take the heat when things get tough but one sign of a decent season and Ed will be back. Cowardly if you ask me. His team needs him now more than ever and he’s bailing on them. I mean I love what happened Thanksgiving night, don’t get me wrong. But at least give us some sort of competition. I’m ashamed for you Ed. SuperFat would stick with the Pats through thick and thin. Step your shit up.