Bunting for a Hit: 2013 Week 1

I hate Nick Saban, but god damn the man knows how to win a College Football National Championship. At this rate he will be far and away the best coach in the history of college football. I haven’t come to that conclusion mildly either. Look at the history of just the last 4 years. 3 titles and 11 first round picks, 8 in the last 2 NFL drafts. Its unprecedented and terrifying because he isn’t going to leave, and they sure aren’t going to ask him too without a scandal of Paterno like proportions.

The first round of the NFL playoffs is in the books. The games weren’t very good. Some had redeemable, watchable moments, but I’m hoping for a far better product in round 2. Historically round 2 doesn’t create great games, but where round 1 typically does, maybe this year is just a bit inverted. In the AFC though I don’t see Baltimore winning in Denver or Houston winning in New England without some major unforeseen incident. In the NFC the hopes are better as I think Green Bay at San Fran is the defacto NFC title game but I don’t know that Atlanta, despite its #1 overall seed, can hang with Seattle.

I have loved watching the young QB movement in the NFL this year, highlighted by Robert Griffin III, Andrew Luck and Russell Wilson. But even Ryan Tannehill, Jake Locker, Colin Kaepernick, Brandon Whedon, and Andy Dalton all showed the signs that they may never be top 5 QBs, but all deserve to start and will all sniff the playoffs regularly. In regard to the 2012 NFL Draft in general has there ever been a better top 3 picks than Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III and Trent Richardson? I can’t think of 1, someone get me Mel Kiper on the phone!

The NHL is back for at least 8 years! I just hope in the fine print that SOMEONE made sure that Gary Bettman and Donald Fehr are both long gone before the two sides end up back at the negotiating table. The NHL is fooling itself in far too many ways to think that this sort of work stoppage isn’t going to radically hurt viewership and attendance. There are already talks of concession boycotts here in Boston, and while that won’t drastically hurt Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs, the idea that people are pissed off enough to consider it means that even more people are pissed off enough to not go to the games at all. Getting all that NBC TV money has given many of the NHL power brokers a far too inflated sense of what they can and can’t get away with in the public eye and I think their return to normalcy will be delayed far longer than they imagine.

After Carmelo Anthony wanted to have a feverish discussion with Kevin Garnett last night, I’m really pulling for a Knicks/Celtics playoff series. I don’t think the Celtics can win the NBA title this year, so a knock down, drag out, 7 game, blood feud with the Knicks is the best bet for satisfying playoff entertainment.

The Red Sox back up plan for whatever is going on with the Mike Napoli signing was seemingly Adam LaRoche. Well, apparently LaRoche got tired of being a back up plan and took a 2 year deal from the Nationals, his original team. If Napoli doesn’t sign with the Sox that leaves a bigger hole at first base than since Bill Buckner tried to field a Mookie Wilson ground ball in Shea Stadium circa 1986. This team is going to be shockingly, surprisingly bad to some people, but not this guy.

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