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A Belated Howdy From The Whitless Wonder
January 15, 2010 - John Whittaker
So, it's 15 days into the new year, and the Whitless Wonder still hasn't updated his blog.
Um, my bad.
So much has happened since the last time I wrote anything, we'll spend today getting caught up, and then, after I'm back from vacation next week, we'll get back on a regular schedule.
THE PATRIOTS COLLAPSE
Wow, I did not see that one coming.
After watching the Pats roll over better than a trained dog, I'm left wondering if the golden days are over for my Pats. Getting beat is one thing. Getting embarrassed is another.
The Pats were outcoached, outplayed, outhustled and probably out-cheerleaded last Sunday. The News Wife's Tom Brady jersey gave the Pats no good luck whatsoever, and I might as well have broken out a used dogcrap jersey instead of using my lucky Steve Grogan jersey on that debacle.
What needs to happen?
Glad you asked. Here's a news release from General Manager Wonder that will be coming out shortly after the Super Bowl:
"The New England Patriots, after being drilled by the Ravens in our Wild Card playoff round game, are announcing the following changes:
1. It's time to clean house, and the following players are being granted their immediate release: Laurence Maroney, Matt Light, Logan Mankins, Dan Koppen, Pierre Woods, Shawn Springs, James Sanders, Gary Guyton, Vince Wilfork's Buddha belly, Tully Banta-Cain, Adalius Thomas, Derrick Burgess, Eric Alexander, Dan Koppen, Brenda MacGowan, Sammy Morris, Randy Moss and Fred Taylor. We value their prior contributions, but don't feel they fit our scheme anymore, are too old or just don't have the testicular fortitude to play for the New England Patriots anymore.
2. Paradigm Shift: No longer will the Patriots try to add big-name free agents or trade for disgruntled superstars. The team has lost the team attitude and cohesiveness it had on the Super Bowl-winning teams. If you can't check your ego at the door and play your assigned role, you're no longer needed on this team.
3. The hiring of Marty Schottenheimer as offensive coordinator. It's time to get back to running the ball offensively. I'll also tip our hand for the upcoming NFL draft and tell you we're taking the best running back available to us. You will see more two tight end sets offensively to help out what will be a young offensive line. Nobody is better at running the ball than Marty Schottenheimer.
4. Coach Belichick will take over the defensive game plans. After Romeo Crennel left the organization, the defense has regressed to pre-Bill Parcells levels. Only Coach Belichick can take what will be a young unit next season and turn it into a cohesive unit."
How to fix the Patriots, by the Whitless Wonder.
SYRACUSE GETS OFF TO 16-1 START
Who needs Eric Devendorf, Jonny Flynn and Paul Harris?
The only guy the Orange miss from last year's team is Krisfot Ongenaet, and he'd only play about 5 minutes a game this year.
The Cuse is killing teams this year, playing good zone defense, showing an ability to press when necessary and making smart decisions offensively.
Five things you should keep an eye on for the rest of the season:
1. The contributions of Mookie Jones and Kris Joseph. Jones is starting to hit his stride after losing a season to injury last year and then the non-conference schedule this year to being a whiny baby. But, when he plays, he hits threes and brings even more length to the top of the zone. Joseph, meanwhile, is actually taking the ball to the hole this year and his shooting stroke is much better. When Rick Jackson or Arinze Onuaku struggle, Jones and Joseph are able to pick up the scoring slack.
2. The health of Arinze Onuaku's knees. When healthy, Arizne is one of the top 30 centers in the country. The problem is, at 6-9 and 280 pounds, his knees are shot. If the Orange get a week off, Arinze's running around like a guard. After three games in seven nights, though, Arinze runs like an extra from Michael Jackson's Thriller video. If he's healthy, the Orange are fine. If not, well, it puts a lot of burden on Rick Jackson, who still needs to develop consistent low-post moves or the ability to shoot a 12 foot jump shot.
3. The ability of Syracuse's guards to handle man-to-man pressure. If there is one downside to the Orange's start, it's that the guards can't handle pressure. Brandon Triche looks like a future star, but ball pressure makes him tighter than a virgin in Jenna Jameson's bedroom. Scoop Jardine can get by people in the halfcourt, but doesn't handle traps well. If Syracuse is going to advance in the NCAA Tournament this year, they will have to learn how to handle pressure defenses.
4. Wes Johnson. Seriously, just take a game and watch the guy wearing Number 4. He's the best forward the Orange have had since Carmelo Anthony, but Johnson has a more pure jump shot. He can rebound, he can handle the ball, he can defend and he can fit into the offense while still taking over a game when it counts. I hope he stays around for another year, but somehow, I don't see it happening. How did Iowa State ever let Johnson go?
5. If the Orange split with West Virginia, Connecticut and Villanova, watch out. Villanova plays a defense that just kills the Orange, and they shoot the ball well enough that the zone isn't quite as effective. West Virginia's 1-3-1 could give Syracuse issues, and for some reason, the Mountaneers just play Syracuse tough. And, well, we just don't like Connecticut down here.
OTHER RAMBLINGS OF A MAD MAN
1. To the person who keeps leaving dog crap in my driveway - STOP.
Seriously, I don't have a dog, but somehow I keep getting dog feces on my shoes and in my car tires. I can see kids walking the dog and not picking up after it, but I don't see kids walking dogs in my neighborhood. PICK UP AFTER YOUR DOGS. If I find out where you live, I'll crap on your lawn. Seriously. It's time for vigilante pooping.
2. The News Wife has gotten me watching Beverly Hills 90210 re-runs. I'll pause a minute for you guys to make your own jokes. Is it alright if I feel like less of a man?
3. It's with great sadness that the Whitless Wonder announces his retirement from fantasy sports (and, since every one of my leagues just got a lot tougher, I think everyone in my leagues read that with great sadness, too!). You see, the Whitless Wonder sucks at fantasy sports. Seriously, he's terrible. While it means it just got tougher to win his old baseball league, it also means you, the reader, won't be subjected to his worthless fantasy baseball advice ever again. Consider yourself blessed.
4. For you sports fans, let me recommend Bill Simmons' new book, The Book of Basketball: The NBA According To The Sports Guy, for a read. The News Wife got it for me for Christmas because she knew what was good for her, and I plowed through 700 pages in about 10 days (not bad, considering I had to work during the day). It's a fast read, and an interesting case study in what happens when new media meets old media. It might look like a high school science book, but really Simmons' book is 700 pages of cohesive columns, all about the NBA. It's a book I'll read again at some point, and it's definitely worth buying on Amazon.com.
5. Not that I want to criticize Bill Belichick, but ripping Houston for having crappy turf in its stadium after Wes Welker's knee injury is a little, um, pot calling the kettle blackey. You knew before the game that Reliant Stadium had horrible turf - so why was Welker playing in a meaningless game? If ever there was a game to play it safe, it was Week 17 this season. If Reliant Stadium is to blame for Welker's knee shredding like mozzarella cheese, well, so are you, Coach Genius. I'll go play in traffic now.
We'll be back with more after my vacation.
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