Monday Ramblings – Feb 2, 2015: A SUPER-bowl it was, Lions Off-Season Begins and Raptors Picking Up Steam

Tommy Touchdown was at it again and since he has one of the hottest wives on the planet it is almost shocking that he has time for football. Normally with no real rooting interest, the Superbowl becomes an excuse to stuff my face with wings and nachos (which I did) but the game was fantastic. Almost as good as Arizona versus Pittsburgh in 2009. Since it featured two coaches I hate more than proctology exams I wasn’t too excited that one of them would hoist the Lombardi trophy but love or hate Tom Brady, his story is a good one. He battled for the starting job at Michigan even though he won 20 of 25 games as a starter, he was chosen 199th overall in 2000 by the Patriots and only got the chance to play in the second game of the 2001 season when Drew Bledsoe was seriously injured. That was all he needed. You can give Belichick praise if you want but Tom Brady is the real deal. Now he has 4 rings (in 6 tries) over 14 seasons and if he wants to keep playing he will probably get to at least one more Superbowl. If he retired tomorrow his final game will go down as one of the most entertaining in Superbowl history and as long as people talk about him more than Belichick, I’m happy.

Now that the off-season is officially upon us, there is good news that Ndamukong Suh is likely to re-sign with the Lions. This was in doubt for a few reasons including his desire to play in a big market like New York and the Lions salary cap issues. It seems likely for this to happen that the Lions will have to restructure some contracts and release others. They just restructured Stafford and Megatron two years ago so I will assume that Golden Tate is next. They have already cut Dominic Raiola and the next best thing to do is cut Reggie Bush. His contract is big and with Joique Bell and Theo Riddick, they don’t need him anymore. They also need to make a decision on Nick Fairley but if Suh comes back it may very well be at the expense of Fairley as the rest of the defensive starters become priority. Also, they need to decide on Stephen Tulloch. He has been a warrior for them but after he got hurt the linebacker core played just as well without him. They also need to re-sign Matt Prater to solidify their kicking which was a disaster since Jason Hanson retired after the 2012 season. It’s going to be a challenging time for the Lions to keep this core together for a few more years but if they can, I feel like I will actually get to see them in a Superbowl. Worst case, it’s while I’m playing Madden ’15.

They still don’t look like the team from Nov-Dec but the Raptors have cleaned some things up. They’ve won 6 in a row and their defense is almost back to what it was in the fall. Their decision making continues to be an issue and I don’t understand some of Coach Casey’s personnel decisions (Vasquez should be nowhere near the court in a tight 4th quarter game) but if they keep improving into the all star break they will be in good shape coming out of it. Atlanta remains a huge obstacle as they have won 19 in a row and the Eastern Conference looks like it will go through them but if we can lock down the 2nd seed we are looking good for a round 1 playoff win which was the goal to start the season. If we go deep into the 2nd round that would be amazing but with each win the expectations go up and it makes it that much harder coming into next season. There will be some big decisions for next season as well with Amir and Lou Williams becoming free agents. Right now, they need to stay focused and STOP SHOOTING THE THREE! If we started a drinking game where we took a shot every time the Raps launched a 3-ball early in the clock, I would be passed out by the end of the 1st quarter. I need them to tighten up so I can last until at least the 4th…well, maybe 3rd.

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