2015 Starts off With a Bang

We are only three days from the AFC and NFC Championship games and the most knowledgeable football analyst in the NFL (Ray Lewis of course) decided to chime in with an opinion on Tom Brady on behalf of the bitter and thug represented Baltimore Ravens or as I like to call them “Raiders East” or former employers of Ray Rice or both.

Ray said that the “Tuck Rule is the only reason we know who Tom Brady is”. Brilliant point Ray. Brady has done nothing at all since he benefited from the tuck rule call and his entire career is a sham and farce. This of course made me think about other athletes who have seemingly accomplished a hall of fame resume, yet really haven’t accomplished anything due to an incident that tarnished their respective career. I thought and I thought and it was challenging to come up with an incident that tarnished a career equivalent to the tuck rule game and basically nullified any future accomplishments for the respective athlete.

But wait, I finally came up with one. Back in 2000, Ray Lewis was charged with two counts of MURDER or another name for the “Tuck Rule” but tucking in this case means skirting the law and striking a deal with prosecutors for a misdemeanor by obstructing justice in exchange for testimony that allowed him to rat out his friends. Ray Ray’s friend’s blood was found in Lewis’ limo. Lewis fled the crime scene or tucked himself away quietly somewhere and told the limo’s passengers to “keep their mouths shut.” The white suit Lewis was wearing that night — on Super Bowl Sunday — never was found. So of course the murder has never been solved but as a result of this incident, I am personally striking any tackles, interceptions or other defensive statistics/accomplishments from Lewis’ record because they don’t count. However I will let him hold onto his ignorance, his crimes, his lack of accountability or responsibility and his bitterness.

Completely switching gears, hats off to the Milwaukee Brewers. They are offering a timeless ticket to thank their fans. So certain fans can purchase a bronze ticket for any single game, including say, a World Series home game at Miller Park. This is the first time a MLB team has done something like this. Very impressive for a league that has frequently ignored or disrespected their fans through striking, high ticket prices or decisions around rainouts or scheduling of games. Robin Yount, Paul Molitor and “Stormin” Gorman Thomas would be proud.

Never thought I would be writing about the Atlanta Hawks. Remember when they had Dominique, Doc Rivers, and Tree Rollins and they were always making the playoffs but couldn’t get over the hump. Well, they have won their last 10 games and are 31-8 with the second best record in the NBA. Their coach Mike Budenholzer is a disciple of Spurs coach Gregg Popovich and the Hawks have adopted a new offensive philosophy and are now being referred to as Spurs East. This doesn’t appear to be a fluke and the philosophy is built around maximizing the strengths of your various players offensively and it constantly changes. And they are one of the few NBA teams that is actually exciting to watch.

And speaking of shockers, for those of you who didn’t know, there is a hockey team in Nashville.  They were originally placed there with the goal of drowning out country music. The Predators are tied for the best record in the NHL and are leading the pack in a Western Conference filled with teams stacked with talent. They are doing it with the best goalie in the NHL right now Pekka Rinne (who is now injured for 3-5 weeks), the best defenseman in the NHL Shea Weber as well as good coaching and great play from their young players. This would be a great story if it can sustain itself as it would be nice to see some new blood challenge for the top spot in the West.

Time to give credit where its due. While the Knicks, Yankees, Mets, Giants and Jets (there might be more but sometimes I forget just how many teams play there) all embarrassed the Big Apple this year in general and by not making the playoffs, the Rangers and Islanders look to be the cream of the crop in the Eastern Conference. Rick Nash has finally lived up to expectations and has carried the Rangers offensively and the Islanders are solid all around. Either team is a big threat in the playoffs.

The Celtics just made another trade. I am worried that Danny is going to trade himself soon for Ed Pinckney and Joe Kleine.

John Elway alerted Broncos fans this week that if Manning retires he feels good about the development of Brock Osweiler. Just kidding. No he really said that.

Rex Ryan was asked in his initial press conference for Buffalo if he is excited to play the Jets and he said “The Pats are the team he is still after.” In typical Ryan fashion, he guaranteed Bills fans he will improve on the 3-25 record Buffalo has recorded against New England. Best quote though was when Ryan shopped for houses he told his realtor to find the coldest and snowiest point in Buffalo and that is where he wants to live. How can you not like this guy?

Good to see the Raiders capped off their exhaustive coaching search with the forever recycled Jack Del Rio.

Calgary Flames forward Johnny Gaudreau  is seeking the “Johnny Hockey trademark”. The difference though is that Gaudreau is actually good.

Time to “tuck” my youngest into bed.