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Connelly’s Top Ten – Patriots no Problem, Red Sox who cares? Kneeling




* Since Cam Newton’s fumble in the Super Bowl that he refused to pick up – he has an 8-10 record and has thrown – 21 TD / 19 INT

* Carolina 2-1 but have played a weak schedule – 49ers / Saints / Bills

* Look for Christian McCaffrey to have a big game against these Patriot linebackers – in three games he has 18 receptions for 173 yards

* Patriot defense is on pace to give up 43 passing TD this year

* Patriot defense on pace to give up 27 touchdowns of twenty yards or more

* Patriots 35-17


2.Red Sox

* Eduardo Rodriguez has given up 5 runs or more in 12 of 65 starts – not good

* Benintendi – had a 20 / 20 season in the bag but hasn’t stolen a base since 9/13

* Eck and Remy in the booth keeps getting better and better

* David Price gets a raise next year to $31mm

* I think the Red Sox have the most expensive bullpen in baseball history – $61mm –  Kimbrel, Price, Reed, Kelly, Thornburg, Abad, Ross


3. Why don’t I care about the Red Sox? In 1978, I was devastated by their loss to the Yankees – now the Yankees and their manager and owner are actually more likable:

*  Cowardly attack on Eckersley

*  Red Sox management broad brushing Red Sox fans as racists

*  Unlikable players – Hanley, Price, Pedroia (who would have guessed he would be on the list)

*  Pedroia throwing his teammates under the bus

*  Jackie Bradley setting up Eckersley and mocking him

*  John Farrell – the city emotionally invests in him during his cancer bout – all the while he is leaving his wife, hooking up with sideline reporter, is a terrible game manager and is painful to listen to in press conference

*  Fenway Park considered most expensive experience in baseball according to – ownership in rinsing every cent out of their fans


4. Why don’t these athletes have more perspective? Look at the lifetime earnings of half of the Cavaliers team (not including endorsements):


Dwayne Wade……$176mm

Deron Williams…..$143mm

Derrick Rose……..$115mm

Richard Jefferson…$110mm

Kevin Love……….$99mm

Jeff Green…………$71mm

Kyle Korver………$63mm

K. Perkins…………$58mm

JR Smith……………$57mm

T. Thompson……….$46mm

Combined Earnings $1,207,000,000 (That’s over a BILLION dollars)


5. In honor of Kyrie Irving come to town – a list of great talkers who couldn’t help themselves and were always available for a sound bite:

· Bill Walton

· Bill Lee

· Teddy Bruschi

· Carl Everett

· Rick Pitino

· Don Cherry

· Victor Kiam

· Ken Harrelson

· John Y Brown

· ML Carr

· Oil Can Boyd

* Julian Edleman

* Brad Marchand


6. In the 1972 NHL Playoffs – Bobby Orr registered a point in 14 of the 15 games / in seven games he had multiple points / 24 points in all – on the way to the Stanley Cup


7. Amazing Stat – Since Jamie Collins decided to free-lance in Foxboro and got himself traded to the Browns:

* Patriots 13-2 / Browns 1-10

* This season – 11 tackles / 0 sacks


8. In honor of Chuck Person getting bagged paying money to recruits at Auburn – lets go back to 1991 Game 5 playoff duel with Larry Bird:

* Chuck Person 43 minutes / 32 points / 5 for 9 from three-point land

* Bird hits his face on the parquet and leaves the game

* Bird returns – 33 minutes / 32 points / 9 rebounds / 7 assists

* Celtics win game and series with 124-121 victory


9. Just a Little Bit Outside – Thoughts on kneeling during the national anthem – if you would indulge me (feel free to skip):

* Supposition #1 – Both sides believe their stance is patriotic?

* Supposition #2 – The National Anthem is an important symbol of our country? Fort McHenry, Iowa Jima, 9/11 ruins, first African American Medal of Honor winner William Carney risking everything to carry the Stars and Stripes in the Civil War, planting the flag on the moon

* Supposition #3 If we all agree on #1 and #2 – Those that kneel are doing so with heavy hearts but do so because they are filled with conviction

* A challenge to Supposition #3 – If they love the country and feel compelled to take a stand – why can’t they do both – kneel but at the same time put their hand over their heart and/or sing the anthem with great passion (if they know the words?)

* Supposition #4 – 85% of NFL players are members of the 1% – from their first days in Pop Warner, to college scholarships to millions of dollars of salaries they have reaped the greatest materialistic benefits of this great country – which means they are considered advantaged

* Supposition #5 – If we agree on #4 agree – that means football players are actually kneeling for others that are less fortunate and lack a voice

* Question-related to #5 – If they are sincere, their commitment should go far beyond kneeling to include commitment of money and personal time. If not, then their kneeling is hollow and their intention is only to be divisive

* Supposition #6 – To say that they are using their platform to bring attention to the matter is not good enough – to be an individual of impact then you have to be part of the solution (define cause, articulate plan, state intended resolution).

* If someone doesn’t know why they are kneeling – to me that is cause for termination.

10 Randomocity

* DeShaun Watson handed his first NFL paycheck to cafeteria workers – that is special stuff

* End of the month Saturday means update time for Chicago – So far this year – 530 murders / 2,850 shot – or ten people are shot a DAY!

*  Side note on the kneeling and unity – Aaron Rodgers wants all the fans to lock arms as one (which I believe is sincere) even though he can’t even talk with his own family

*  National anthem suggestion – shouldn’t the fans sing the anthem with great luster – wouldn’t that send a clear message to the players?

*Rick Pitino finally knocked out – reminds me of Dan Shaughnessy’s great line when Pitino left Boston – “We thought we were getting Michael Corleone but we got Fredo.”

Michael has written for the Boston Herald and other sites in the past and his top ten column is now housed on Trifecta Sports Network. Connelly's Top Ten releases on Monday's and Friday's.

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Fighting In NHL Is Still A Largely Misunderstood Part Of The Game



NHl Fighting

Fighting does have a place in the NHL

Many people believe that fighting does not belong in the NHL. Hockey is in a whole different universe than any other sport in the world. First, it is played on ice. The sport is also more than a sport your teammates are family.

Many people who say fighting does not have a place in the NHL has never played the sport themselves and/or does not understands the meaning behind the fighting. There is a code among the players in hockey and if it is crossed there are consequences. There is even an etiquette to the game. The game of hockey is more than a game it is about respect of your peers and the enforcers get just that from their teammates.

There is even an etiquette to the game. The game of hockey is more than a game it is about respect of your peers and the enforcers get just that from their teammates. The “rules” are that if you cheap shot someone you better be willing to accept the consequences which are usually a fight.

If fighting is removed the rats will be able to get away with anything and you will see even more injuries. Fighting keeps the game in line as counter-intuitive as that sounds.

Not one enforcer in the NHL was forced to fight his way there. He accepted it and went through with it all on his own, From Juniors, ECHL, AHL then the NHL. If he said no then that meant no shot at the NHL. The question they asked themselves is do I want to play in the NHL? Anser NHL no-brainer.

Rule Changes Have Changed The Way Fighting Happens

The staged fighting needs to leave. It has no place in the game but there may be a reason for it. Fighting started to happen right at the faceoff because players were afraid to get the instigator penalty and put their team down.

The league did that themselves. This happened more frequently after the instigator penalty was enacted into the league. Here is the rule:

46.2 Aggressor – The aggressor in an altercation shall be the player who continues to throw punches in an attempt to inflict punishment on his opponent who is in a defenseless position or who is an unwilling combatant.

A player must be deemed the aggressor when he has clearly won the fight but he continues throwing and landing punches in a further attempt to inflict punishment and/or injury on his opponent who is no longer in a position to defend himself.

A player who is deemed to be the aggressor of an altercation shall be assessed a major penalty for fighting and a game misconduct.

A player who is deemed to be the aggressor of an altercation will have this recorded as an aggressor of an altercation for statistical and suspension purposes.

A player who is deemed to be both the instigator and aggressor of an altercation shall be assessed an instigating minor penalty, a major penalty for fighting, a ten-minute misconduct (instigator) and a game misconduct penalty (aggressor).

It does not make sense to give the player who threw the first punch extra minutes when he only threw the punch in defense of his teammate. The guy who ran the enforcers teammate should be getting the penalty. I understand the idea of the rule was to keep the players safer and cut back on fighting.

Enforcer Not “Goon”

In order to fully understand the mind of an enforcer then watch the movie ICE Guardians on Netflix. The movie is very well done and really helps you get into the mind of these guys. These men are not “goons” in fact that is a derogatory name. “Goon” implies that the man is just a fighter and cannot play the actual game.

Also, it insinuates that the man is an idiot. Two of the best enforcers to play in George Parros and Kevin Westgarth both graduated from Princeton University. Parros is also now the commissioner of player safety for the NHL.

A goon is a player that comes up for one shift of one game and then is gone. Enforcers are the guys who played for 10 fifteen years. Tie Domi, Dave Semenko, Shawn Thornton and many others like them. These guys could still play the game of hockey. That is why they were in the NHL.

They are all part of their team. Many fans of the NHL believe that fighting needs to stay, and the payers themselves do not want it gone. So if people saying it is not enough. Maybe it will be coming from the people who actually play the sport.

Enforcers are there to enforce the “code”. These guys allow the stars like Wayne Gretzky play his game and not have to worry about injury. He knew that Semenko would have his back. Also, Semenko played on the same line as Gretzky so the guy could play.

Every single guy in the documentary was asked if they would do it all over again if they could. Their response was yes.

People Still Do Not Understand Why

Before every player in the NHL started playing they knew the risks. They saw the game on tv and were told about from other people to not play. These people say no it’s dangerous. the answer to that is that is why I play the game. It is an adrenaline rush like no other. competing against our fellow man.

Coming from someone who has actually played the sports fighting is necessary. I never played the game when fighting was allowed but there was still that code in place. If someone took a run at my goalie that guy would be looking at the ceiling pretty quick. Nothing dirty but that guy would think twice before he did that again. That is just how the sport is played.

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The Good, the Bad and the Ugly



John Farrell

For the Red Sox, vacation came early this year. And former manager John Farrell (that has a nice ring to it) will be taking the longest vacation of them all. He has been terminated.

This past Monday we saw the second consecutive first-round exit, from this Red Sox team. The players and the coaches should be mortified by their respective failures. Dave Dombrowski certainly was, as illustrated by his no questions asked firing of the manager.  

We now enter into a new age; the Farrell-era has officially reached its end. For the Sox the season is over. Boston can now turn its undivided and impassioned attention to the C’s, the B’s and the Pats.

Let’s attempt to gather ourselves at this exciting juncture. I can think of no better time for another installment of the Good, the Bad and the Ugly.

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Boston Bruins

Boston Bruins Season Just Started No Need To Jump Ship



Photo by Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images

The Fans Need To Relax

Boston Bruins fans have already started to jump ship after just three games. It is only three games and it the start of the season. We knew this could happen. Can the Bruins find their game?

Off To A Tough Start

The main problem is the B’s have been missing star center and “captain” Patrice Bergeron to a lower-body injury. Bergeron has been the centerpiece of the team for a long time now. The only problem with that is he is getting old. His age and injury history is starting to put more pressure on other guys like Ryan Spooner, David Krejci who also has a history of injuries as well as being up there in age and the rookies. This has shown in the past two games against Colorado, especially defensively.

This a very young Bruins team, the average would be on of the lowest in the league if it was not for old guys like Zdeno Chara and David Backes. Which means mistakes are going to happen. Now, these mistakes have to lead to two loses but that does not mean that this is a bad team. We need to remember that this is Bruce Cassidy first full year as Head coach. He and the players need to build confidence in each other as well as the players with the other players. Hockey is a game of chemistry and the Bruins are clearly lacking some.

What also has not helped them is the missing David Backes who would have served as the number one center in place of Bergy. With him out the B’s are really lacking that veteran leadership on the ice and in the locker room. This has made Cassidy make a bunch of line switches which messes with the chemistry.

This lack of chemistry is what has led to the defensive breakdowns and the missed passes and goals. Now is not the time to jump ship tough as it is still early and the team is developing that chemistry. Bergeron is rumored ready to go for Saturday so if that happens it should bring a spark to the lineup.

When To Panic

The time to panic would be late November early December and the ten is under .500. Then Panic and jump ship. When the defense continues to be sub-par. These past two games the defense has just not been there leaving Tuukka Rask out to dry. There has been to many second opportunities for the opposing team.

The offense is not doing any better. The forwards seem to lack sharpness in their play. The passes are often not on target and not crisp. Hopefully the Black and Gold can get their act together sooner rather than later. This is starting to become a very interesting season.

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