Tag:Tom Brady
Posted on: October 7, 2011 5:45 pm
Edited on: October 7, 2011 5:46 pm
 

FunGraphs: Tom Brady playoff wins per hairstyle


Mark Sanchez and the New York Jets will travel to Gillette Stadium to take on Tom Brady and the New England Patriots on Sunday. Join Jason Horowitz and NFL.com's Pat Kirwan as they preview this AFC East showdown. Watch the game on CBS at 4:15 PM ET.

Posted by Ryan Wilson

To quote Uncle Ben in Spider-Man: "With great power comes great responsibility." In Patriots quarterback Tom Brady's case, his power comes in the form of winging touchdown passes, which is responsible for a lot of animosity from around the league, notably from players who have been victimized by skills.

Earlier in the week, Ravens defensive tackle Haloti Ngata said that he loves hitting Brady "because he always complains." Ngata's teammate, Terrell Suggs, also has a history with the Pats' golden-haired savior.

On Sunday, the Patriots host the Jets and -- you guessed it -- there are players on that defense who aren't particularly fond of Brady. The most vocal critic this week is cornerback Antonio Cromartie who, it turns out, was the most vocal critic prior to last season's matchups, too.

“I’ll never change how I feel about Tom Brady and what I said last year,” Cromartie said in the days leading up to Sunday's AFC East game. “Do I respect him? Yes. He has three football rings. But other than that, when we’re on the football field, I don’t really give a damn.”

Cromartie seemed unconcerned when he was asked if he thought Brady might now go after him. "I hope I'm a target this game. I want to be a target every game.”

New England, as a whole, isn't saying jack.

"You ain't going to hear nothing from us, that's for damn sure," a veteran player told the New York Post under his breath Wednesday. "Boss' orders." More from the Post:
Chad Ochocinco -- one of the most opinionated and flamboyant players in the sport -- hasn't showed his face to the media during the daily media sessions while conveniently claiming a lost bet is keeping him off Twitter for the rest of the month.

Wes Welker, so famously benched in the playoff loss for mocking Rex Ryan's alleged foot fetish, also has been a ghost to reporters this week. The same goes for fellow wide receiver Deion Branch.

But perhaps the best example of the Patriots' steely focus heading into this weekend's matchup at Gillette Stadium was normally light-hearted Tom Brady gritting his teeth through a news conference Wednesday that he stormed out of after just five minutes due to one too many questions about Antonio Cromartie.
Belichick was his usual laconic, expressionless self when asked about facing the Jets, a team that beat New England twice last season, including the playoffs. "We try to focus on what we need to do to beat the Jets," he said when asked if he had issued a gag order. "That's what we're here for. I mean, what else is there to talk about?"

Oh, we don't know, Brady's newly trimmed wig, perhaps? (Wait, what?)

Yep, you heard us. Every other angle has been analyzed heading into this game. We might as well consider the possible ramifications of Brady's hair on the Pats' hopes and dreams in 2011. (You think we're kidding.)

Thanks to David Fung, we have graphical evidence showing the relationship between Brady's coiffure du jour and his postseason record. You're welcome.


Bieber Brady is dead. Long live Buzzed Brady.

You can see more of Fung's work on his blog, FunGraphs, and follow him on Twitter (@CobraDave).

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Posted on: October 7, 2011 10:07 am
 

Cromartie to Brady: Target me, big boy

CromartiePosted by Josh Katzowitz

Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie is a big fan of the spoken word. No matter what happens in the game -- like, when, he gets beaten for a couple of touchdowns -- Cromartie doesn’t seem to lose confidence in his abilities.

You might recall last January when Cromartie, for whatever reason, called Tom Brady an “ass----“ and when asked why he would say something so harsh, he responded, “That's what I think about him. I don't really give a damn about him. I don't have to play against him. I play against the receivers."

Well, apparently, the Jets win against the Patriots in last year’s playoffs has emboldened Cromartie even more and somehow given him even more confidence. Which is why he painted a big ol’ bullseye on his back this week in preparation for the Jets-Pats showdown this Sunday and invited Brady to throw passes at him.

"I hope I'm a target this game," Cromartie said, via the Associated Press. "I want to be a target every game.”

Well, of course, Brady is going to target Cromartie. I mean, it’s not like Brady is going to seek out a meeting with Darrelle Revis. But still, now that he’s had some time to think about his Brady statements from last season, he probably feels contrite about calling Brady a jerk-face. Right?

“I’ll never change how I feel about Tom Brady and what I said last year,” said Cromartie. “Do I respect him? Yes. He has three football rings. But other than that, when we’re on the football field, I don’t really give a damn.”

Yet, it’s not like Cromartie has been wonderfully consistent this season. He allowed two touchdowns in Week 1 but then snagged two interceptions in Week 2 vs. the Jaguars. He’s one of the best No. 2 cornerbacks around, but when he gets beaten by a receiver, he really gets beaten.

But you know what? Maybe, he is in Brady’s head. The Patriots quarterback shut down his weekly news conference after only five minutes because people kept asking about Cromartie and the comments he made.

“I don’t really care what he says,” Brady said before leaving.

But Brady probably does care. And it’s like your boy Bill Shakespeare wrote all those years ago, "The Brady doth protest too much, methinks."

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Posted on: October 6, 2011 12:29 pm
 

Top Ten with a Twist: Books we want to read

It's time for a biography on Ed Sabol and his son, Steve. (US Preswire).

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

With the controversy surrounding the new Walter Payton biography, written by Jeff Pearlman, I got to thinking about the other books we need to read but that haven’t been written yet. I’m not talking about a season in the life book of the 2010 Packers or the latest words written by Mike Ditka (at least five authored or co-authored by the Bears coaching icon), but about subjects we don’t really know and on topics we would love to explore.

For this Top Ten List with a Twist, I’m discounting what a publisher might say if he/she was presented with some of these ideas (namely, the idea that blah, blah, blah won’t sell or that nobody has ever heard of blah, blah, blah). Some of these ideas, no doubt, would work, and maybe, one day, you’ll see one of them on the shelf of your nearest book store in the cart of your Amazon.com page.

Without further ado, here are the Top Ten books we absolutely deserve to read.  

10. The inside story on the NFL lockout: Yeah, maybe many football fans wouldn’t care about a book like this, because they only wanted the work stoppage to end as soon as possible so they could continue to watch the game they love, but I bet it would be fascinating. What is the relationship between Roger Goodell and DeMaurice Smith really like? How were the compromises finally reached? Did Jerry Jones really tap his fists together and walk out of a negotiation session to make a point? For those  who reported and analyzed the entire ordeal, it would be a mind-churning look from behind the curtain.

9. Bill Belichick end-of-career autobiography: Although he almost always comes off completely uninteresting during his midweek and postgame press conferences -- hell, he eats his lunch during teleconference calls with the media! -- the recent NFL Network documentary showed that he’s an interesting dude. The fact he got a little emotional during a trip to the Meadowlands was almost shocking, and I’ve seen interviews with him before that are really, really good. If he let down his guard, like during that documentary, his autobiography would be a fascinating study of the best coach in football. There have been big-name authors who have written big-name books about Belichick, but when his career is over, I want him reflecting on the impact he’s made and the reason he did it all the first place.

8. A biography on Tom Brady’s hair: We’ve already had the obituary for Brady’s shorn locks. Next, we should have a book that tells the tale of the entire two-year history of the hair that helped Brady land that lucrative Uggs endorsement.

7. Sid Gillman biography: Gillman is the most important coach you might not remember. Unlike Paul Brown (who has a stadium named after him and a legacy in Cincinnati) or Vince Lombardi (who you might have heard a little something about) or Woody Hayes (a decent-enough coach at Ohio State) -- all of whom were Gillman contemporaries -- Gillman has fallen through the cracks of history. And considering, he’s the father of the modern passing offense, that’s a shame.

Rex and Rob Ryan (US Presswire)6. Rob/Rex Ryan quote book: This could even be made into one of those peel-a-page-every-day calendars, like the Jeff Foxworthy redneck gags or the best of the old Far Side comic strips. But if you like to laugh (or just shake your head), this book would be a big seller. You could have Rex talking about not wanting to kiss Bill Belichick’s rings or Rob discussing how Calvin Johnson would be the Cowboys No. 3 receiver behind Dez Bryant and Miles Austin. See what I mean? It’d be high hilarity.

5. Bryant McKinnie in the Blind Side, part II: Since McKinnie was the one to replace Michael Oher as the Ravens left tackle, McKinnie should have his own Michael Lewis-penned biography. I’m pretty sure McKinnie didn’t live in foster homes and on the streets before he was adopted, like Oher, but McKinnie has had struggles with his weight and he did (allegedly) spend $100,000 on a bar tab this offseason. It’s not as heartwarming as the Oher book, but a tome about McKinnie would be pretty fun.

4. The early struggles of black players: You know all about Jackie Robinson in major league baseball, but if I asked you who the broke the color barrier in the NFL, you probably wouldn’t have any idea. Hell, I read a long article about the NFL’s integration the other day, and I couldn’t tell you the guy’s name*. But this is an important -- and somewhat complicated -- history. Black players participated in pro football at the turn of the 20th century, and they also were part of teams in various professional leagues until the NFL stopped signing them in the early 1930s. It would be an interesting look at an era that, just like much of society, was decidedly unfair for anybody who wasn’t white.

*After blacks were excluded from the league in 1933, Kenny Washington was the one to break the barrier in 1946, one year before Robinson did it in baseball.

3. A Cam Newton investigation: Don’t we deserve to know who Newton’s bag man is or if there was a bag man at all? Not that it would make any difference in his pro career, but don’t you want to know if Newton’s father really demanded $180,000 from Mississippi State for Newton’s service? Maybe Auburn fans wouldn’t, but I certainly would.

2. NFL Films biography: People underestimate the importance of Ed and Steve Sabol. Proof of that was that it took so long for Ed to earn his way into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. But the NFL -- and the NFL fans -- owe them a huge debt of gratitude, because the way you watch football today might not be possible if NFL Films hadn’t been created on the backs of the Sabol’s in the 1960s. I want to know how it started, the obstacles they faced in the early years and the impact the company has made to this day. It’s a book the Sabol’s deserve to have written.

1. An investigation into the rise of CTE: There have been a few journalists (the Newark Star Ledger’s Jerry Izenberg and the New York Times’ Alan Schwarz are two who come to mind) who do fine work keeping watch on the NFL’s relationship and response to the rise of head injuries that continue to devastate retired players and keep us reminded about what a brutal game football is to those who play it for your enjoyment. But from the premature death of Steelers legend Mike Webster to the shock of what Chris Henry’s brain looked like during his autopsy, from the suicide of Dave Duerson to the continued work of those who track of the rise of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, this is a book that needs to be written. And the sooner, the better.

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Posted on: October 5, 2011 10:30 pm
Edited on: October 5, 2011 11:38 pm
 

Ngata: I love hitting Brady...he always complains

First Terrell Suggs and now Haloti Ngata weighs in on Tom Brady. (Getty Images/US PRESSWIRE)

Posted by Ryan Wilson

It's a shame the Ravens and Patriots don't meet in the 2011 regular season because the teams have developed something of a rivalry -- and it's as much about the score as the trash-talking. The latest entry comes courtesy of Ravens defensive tackle Haloti Ngata.

In an interview with Dan Patrick that will appear in Sports Illustrated, Ngata was asked to name a quarterback he likes to hit.

"I love hitting Tom Brady because he always complains. He thinks he should never be touched," he said.  Patrick then asked if the officials listen to Brady and throw the flag. "No," said Ngata. "My hits are usually clean."

(In related news: we talked to Ravens running back Ray Rice Wednesday and asked him about Ngata. "You know what? I got a rule with Haloti: Do not touch me in practice. I gotta play on Sundays. Do not touch me in practice. We are friends, alright?" We'll have the full interview on the site Thursday.)

This brings us to Ngata's teammate, Terrell Suggs, who thought his hits were clean, too.

Much of the animosity between the Pats and Ravens can be traced back to Suggs, Brady, and their interpretations of what constitutes a personal foul.

Specifically, what constitutes a personal foul when Brady's the guy getting hit. After all, the NFL changed the rules on bringing down quarterbacks after then-Chiefs safety Bernard Pollard went low on Brady during Week 1 of the 2008 season and promptly blew out Brady's knee.

When the Ravens and Pats met in 2009, Suggs was on the receiving end of a questionable roughing-the-passer penalty, and after the game teammate Ray Lewis went off. (Brady's former teammate and NBC analyst Rodney Harrison agreed with Lewis.)


And then last October, Suggs and Brady were seen jawing at each other in a game the Patriots would eventually win in overtime, 23-20. Suggs later told the Boston Herald about their on-field discussion.  

“He was trying to tell me how to bag a Hollywood actress. 'If you want to get a Hollywood actress, take my seminar on Saturday.’ … He was going over the Dow and the economy and politics. He doesn’t really talk football that much."

Well played, T-Sizzle.  Brady, however, wasn't amused.

“Well, [Suggs] had his chance so maybe if he gets another chance he can try to back those words up,” Brady said the next day during an appearance on Boston's WEEI. “We play those guys a lot and they’ve only beat us once . . . they talk a lot for only beating us once in nine years.”

Suggs called out Brady several more times last season, and even suggesting that his three Super Bowl wins were "questionable."

Brady, for his part, seemed unconcerned.


We suspect Brady might feel differently if Ngata gets a hold of him.

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Posted on: October 5, 2011 5:20 pm
Edited on: October 5, 2011 11:39 pm
 

Aaron Rodgers has NFL's most popular jersey

One more thing Rodgers is the best at: moving merchandise. (US PRESSWIRE)

Posted by Ryan Wilson

Well, this certainly won't make Brett Favre happy: Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, in addition to having all of his good fortune gifted to him by his predecessor's hard work, is also leading NFL jersey sales.

The latest numbers were released Wednesday and it's just more evidence that Rodgers is at the top of his game. He's fresh off Super Bowl MVP honors and is currently in charge of the league's most efficient offense (highlighted by his performance last week against the Broncos: 29 of 38 for 408 yards, four touchdown passes, two touchdown runs and -- to steal our own material -- the inevitably awesome championship belt end-zone routine).

According to NFLShop.com (via CNBC's Darren Rovell), Tom Brady and Michael Vick were Nos. 2 and 3 on the list, followed by Troy Polamalu (who was first at the end of the 2010 regular season), Clay Matthews, Drew Brees, and three Cowboys -- Tony Romo, Miles Austin and Jason Witten -- rounding out the top 10.

Noticeably absent? Tim Tebow.

Rovell explains: "Lack of seeing playing time hurt two notable players. In the offseason, Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow was in the top 10 of jersey sales at No. 10. As Tebow hasn't played, he has slipped dramatically. He fell on Wednesday's list, based on sales from April 1 to Sept. 30, to No. 24. Peyton Manning, who hasn't taken a snap for the Colts this year, fell from 9th to 13th.

"Other players that saw a notable dropoff were Pittsburgh Steelers. Ben Roethlisberger, Rashard Mendenhall and Mike Wallace were in the Top 25 in the offseason, but didn't make the list this year. Hines Ward dropped from No. 8 to No. 25. Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan, who was at No. 24 in the offseason, also dropped off the list."

The only rookie to make the top 25? Panthers savior Cam Newton, whose jersey outsold Philip Rivers'.

To recap: in addition to NFL quarterbackin', ironically awesome facial hair, keepin' it real, and selling insurance, Rodgers can also move merchandise like nobody's business.

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Posted on: October 5, 2011 3:42 pm
Edited on: October 5, 2011 3:45 pm
 

Ochocinco lost bet, quit Twitter for three weeks

Posted by Will Brinson

Patriots wide receiver Chad Ochocinco hasn't tweeted since September 24. Lest you think this is normal, well, it's not -- Ocho used to fire out 40-plus tweets a day, and for him to go 12 days without any noise on Twitter whatsoever is disturbing.

As it turns out, Ocho isn't being forced off Twitter, per se, he just lost a bet, which probably involves his not-so-stellar play this season.

"Ochocinco hasn't tweeted because he lost a bet," Ian Rapoport of the Boston Herald tweeted on Wednesday. "Twitter ban/lost bet last three weeks. Won't tell me the wager."

We checked with "Rap Sheet" on Twitter, and Ocho won't reveal who the bet is with either.

Or guess, because you care, goes something like this: there's was a bet between either Bill Belichick or Tom Brady and Ocho relating to number of catches against the Bills.

This makes sense for a couple of reasons. The Bills and Patriots played on September 25, one day after Ocho's last tweet. And Ocho had the most number of targets (four) that he's had all season, meaning you could jump to the conclusion, if you're inclined, that someone was trying to give him a fair shake of getting his hands on some balls.

He caught two passes for 28 yards, but dropped a critical pass in the Patriots loss, and that's not good enough to win any friendly bets. Or maybe he had a "don't drop any passes" or "run all your routes perfectly" bet going with Belichick.

Whatever, he's not talking about it, which means it's someone with authority and we probably won't see Ocho on Twitter until October 14 -- Rapoport says it's "retroactive," which is hilarious -- when the three-week stint is up.

So at the very least, we can rule out Tedy Bruschi.

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Posted on: October 1, 2011 4:16 pm
 

For the gambler in you, Week 4

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Each Saturday, we’ll take the best -- and most clever -- odds collected by bodog.com for the upcoming week and give our take. This is important stuff, perhaps the most important post you’ll read all week. Because if you can’t lose money while watching a game in which you have absolutely no effect, what’s the point of watching sports at all?

Odds to win the Super Bowl XLVI
                                                Pre-Season      Last Week        Current
New England Patriots                   11/2                  9/2                    9/2

Green Bay Packers                      7/1                    11/2                  9/2

Philadelphia Eagles                     15/2                  8/1                    14/1

Indianapolis Colts                       20/1                  150/1                200/1

Detroit Lions                                30/1                  18/1                  16/1

Minnesota Vikings                       40/1                  75/1                  200/1

Kansas City Chiefs                      50/1                  200/1                500/1

Washington Redskins                 100/1                  45/1                  45/1

Carolina Panthers                      125/1                125/1                150/1

Buffalo Bills                               150/1                75/1                  28/1

Cincinnati Bengals                     150/1                 150/1                250/1

My, how things have changed for the Colts, Vikings, Chiefs and Bills. I still would take the Packers to win the Super Bowl, I certainly wouldn’t take the Dream Team, and just for fun, I’d give the Bills a shot (and I doubt that Fred Jackson would disagree with you). And if you said the Colts season is 10 times worse than you could have imagined, technically you’d be right according to these odds.

Said Richard Gardner, the Bodog sportsbook manager: “The big story this week is the Buffalo Bills who were 150-1 preseason have gone all the way down to 28-1. That is the lowest they have been in years and are a team to be reckoned with all of a sudden.”

Will the Minnesota Vikings blow a double-digit lead this week against the Kansas City Chiefs? 

Yes +650    

No  -1200  

It’d be pretty awesome if they did (Vikings fans might disagree), since they’ve done exactly that the first three games of the season. But Minnesota is playing the Chiefs, so the Vikings should be safe from another disastrous second half.

How many total interceptions will Tom Brady throw in the 2011 regular season?

Over/Under 14.5

After throwing four interceptions last week against the Bills (and, busy man that he is, he threw four touchdowns as well), Brady has five on the season. Do you remember the last time Brady threw 15 interceptions in a season? Neither do I, because it’s never, ever happened (he has thrown 14 picks three times, though). Take the under.

How many times will Tony Romo fumble or drop the snap Week 4?      

Over 1½ (+110)

Under 1½ (-150)

(Must hit a part of Tony Romo and hit the ground.)

Call this one the Phil Costa section of the post. He’s the Cowboys center who made at least four bad snaps that hit off Romo or went over his head that led to fumbles, though the Redskins -- who were allegedly distracting Costa by calling out the snap count -- didn’t recover any of them and they lost. Somehow, I think Costa will be perfect this week. Go under.

When will Chris Johnson record his first 100-yard or more rushing game in the 2011 regular season?

Week 4 vs. Cleveland +200

Week 5 or after -300

Johnson has 98 yards on the season (on the season!!!). But the Browns rank 29th in the league with 128.7 rushing yards allowed per game. So, it’s kind of a tossup. I don’t like the +200, but I think you’d have to go with Week 4. It’s time for a Johnson breakout and the Browns seem like the perfect opportunity.

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Posted on: September 29, 2011 12:06 am
 

RIP to Brady's long hair

T. Brady got a haircut (US Presswire).

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

In one of the more awesome stories you’ll read today (or whichever day you see this post), the Boston Globe has the obituary of the hair that Tom Brady chopped off this week. The story will make you laugh, it’ll make you cry and it’ll make you think about your own mortality.

For Brady’s hair is bigger than the man himself. Brady’s hair has a mythology of its own, and it deserved its own obituary when it departed this earth.

Luckily for all of us, writer Christopher Muther is just the man to take on the task of eulogizing the enigma known as the locks of Brady.

Just a little taste of the goodness that rests inside the link above that you, no doubt, need to click right now.

Born in Foxborough in 2009, Brady’s flowing hair went on to achieve international stardom, becoming an object of adoration for some and abhorrence for others.

Shortly after it’s birth, Tom Brady’s Long Hair (known to family and friends as TBLH) drew attention for it’s spunky personality and ability to excite and incite fans of the Patriots. The flowing locks at one time reached No. 12’s shoulders. More recently, TBLH was bobbed to around chin length and seemed a bit more auburn than usual, a byproduct perhaps of summer sun and stress over the NFL lockout, now passed.

Initially accused of impersonating Canadian teen heartthrob Justin Bieber, TBLH soon developed its own rambunctious persona, growing at a rapid clip, and even traveling to Rio de Janeiro last year and disguising itself as a ponytail to evade paparazzi.


You really do owe it to yourself to read the rest of that obit. It’s hair-raisingly fantastic.  

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