Dan ShaughnessyThere you go. This is what you get for playing half-buttocks football in Miami against the ready-to-go-home Dolphins in the final game of the regular season.

The genius of Bill Belichick did not extend to Sunday of the divisional-round weekend. …

The Patriots will never admit this, but New England’€™s “smarter-than-you” blueprint called for the Steelers to beat the Broncos in Denver and advance to Foxborough for next weekend’€™s AFC Championship game.

It did not happen. …

It did not have to go down like this. All the Patriots had to do was beat Dan Campbell and Ryan Tannehill in the finale.

But they made a choice. And now they will be on the road, playing the AFC Championship game in their own personal house of horror.

I’ve got to hand it to Shank. It can’t be easy these days to find ways to rip the Patriots for their — all together now — arrogance, or Bill Belichick for not having the football smarts of a newspaper columnist. But he managed to. Granted, he said it one day after calling them the gold standard of excellence in sports. But when you’re still pumping that well of negativity that went dry in 2001 because you’ve got no other hot sports take, you really have no other choice.

So that we have it straight: The Patriots didn’t lose in Miami because they were so banged up. The lack of Julian Edelman and a limited Danny Amendola was not a factor. It wasn’t a system-wide failure along a depleted offensive line that made it impossible for Tom Brady to stand in the pocket. It had nothing to do with the Pats‘ ineffectiveness running the ball against a Dolphins defense that was loaded up against the pass and daring them to run.

They lost on purpose because it was all part of Belichick’s “smarter-than-you” master plan to have the Steelers beat the Bengals on two galactically stupid penalties, then watch Pittsburgh roll into Denver and knock off the Broncos, thus doing his dirty work for him. By Dan’s logic, Amendola, Rob Ninkovich, Devin McCourty and Pat Chung dragged themselves off the injury list and into that game even though the plan all along was to lose in order to set the playoff dominoes to fall according to his grand design. Except Denver won, proving what a dumb-buttocks he really is. Makes perfect sense to me.

Like I said, it can’t be easy to be the Curly-Haired Boyfriend in an age like this. He owes his career to the miserable, downtrodden teams and nut-crushing losses he grew up covering. And now, faced with unprecedented levels of success in a league designed to prevent long-term, sustained excellence, he’s never figured out how to adapt. He’s a communist party apparatchik after the fall of the Soviet Union struggling to embrace the freedom and democracy of the decadent West he always hated.

If the Pats should win another Super Bowl and Shaughnessy is further exposed as the trolling fraud he is, at least he’ll have a paper route to fall back on.


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Blog Author: 
Jerry Thornton

Former Diamondbacks, Braves and Padres slugger Justin Upton apparently is taking his talents to the American League.

According to The Associated Press, Upton inked a deal on Monday with the Tigers that will earn him $132.75 million over six years and reportedly will include a player option that can be used after two seasons. He rounds out a trio of significant offseason acquisitions for the Tigers, as they also signed right-handed pitcher Jordan Zimmerman and bolstered their bullpen by trading for closer Francisco Rodriguez.

Upton will add more power to an already dangerous Detroit lineup that includes Miguel Cabrera, Victor Martinez, Ian Kinsler and 2015 breakout J.D. Martinez. He also will fill a void in the outfield that was created when the Tigers dealt slugger Yoenis Cespedes at the trade deadline last year.

Upton smacked 26 home runs to go with 81 RBIs last season, but he batted just .251, his lowest batting average since 2008. This raises the important question for Detroit: Is he worth the money? Local writers seem to think so.

Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press wrote, “Upton, 28, is a three-time All-Star still in the prime of his career. He is a powerful forces at the plate and offers protection to the team’s biggest potential pitfall entering 2016: The health of 37-year-old designated hitter Victor Martinez.”

Lynn Henning of The Detroit News wrote, “Upton brings defense, speed, extra-base power, and a quiver full of game-changing skills the Tigers almost had to brandish if they were going to match up with other division lineups.”

Blog Author: 
Travis Upham
The Pats have a better team than the Broncos.

[0:01:50] ... get knocked out and then. The Broncos have a chance or maybe. Peyton Manning gets knocked out moss while the comes in he has some spark but if things go according to form. I don't see ...
[0:02:59] ... started US stupid dance. Criminal whose plane and the damn game. And DeMarcus Ware he's healthy I think that's a little different last time we didn't play. So maybe they get to Brady but if settlements ...
[0:06:35] ... general manager owner organization on the National Football League saying oh he's Peyton Manning. You've seen it you know what you've seen the footage of you don't buy what Charley casserly says he has lost it he is a shell of his former self. Even if you thought I don't know that I have no quarter Albright says I have no quarterback. We need somebody in there. Don't you know that it used if you structure and offense around Peyton Manning in your training camp it's all gonna go to hell holes in like week three or more legal expert. Usually it's perfect ...
[0:12:45] ... this weekend. I'm rated call me a break when you argue or Mike Green you doing Greenberg saw it. I'm an advocate taught threw five interceptions and pick through five touchdowns and they beat them 35 nothing. He wouldn't pass Tom probably yeah. You know the big story this week is that it's a one year anniversary of the plate gate yet. This was two weeks ago Peyton Manning was alleged to use it huge in its study group offered help anywhere. The Nortel pay to get Manning. James Harrison was on the atlas. Comparison exposed to be done five years ago just him at a desk pretty well and he's huge ...

Who should Kubiak start?

[0:00:00] ... All I'm saying is when you think about Peyton Manning. Even though the velocity on the ball the top Brady Aaron Rodgers and others have never been something that Peyton Manning was blessed with. He could still get it done we recognize that what I saw yesterday was good but I didn't see anything that's said to meet. This is a team that's destined to go to the Super Bowl who will beat New England. In a mile high city this coming Sunday because of what they demanding with able to do I didn't see that at all. Stephen ice bath. A among a long line of national pundits who don't think the Peyton Manning can get it done who do think the patriots well advances to global fifty. I would say this the steak kind of a telling observation about the unanimity which seems to be unanimity. Of opinion that the patriots are going to win this game. It's probably a bigger gap than they would have you to believe because wouldn't you agree that the vast majority of these people nationwide outside of New England. Are rooting for Peyton Manning's longest song. And so if they thought there were a chance that they would say in L com I think somehow someway ...
[0:08:11] ... Yeah believe it or not do this this we are talking about. Eli Manning we are talking about damn fault we are talking about Philip Rivers we are talking about the legacy of what some people would say here the greatest quarterback ever played again over and I ...
[0:09:39] ... this problem is forced entry into the game by the way I Peyton Manning. Is in a smaller fringe. And let. So you're gonna. Tell the guy who's trying to woo back yes he's not playing ...
[0:10:47] ... not a religious man but I am praying that they put in Peyton Manning because you're bangs one. Peyton Manning threw more interceptions. In week that you are all the way too weak and any other quarterback who played alt key and ...

We discuss the one year anniversary of deflategate.

Welcome to Tuesday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

The top stories of the day as recounted by Kirk Minihane.

[0:01:33] ... Johnson's. Yes and the good news a lot of good plan to Brad Faxon different. It's did the age of 67. Was obviously founding member of Eagles. You Hanley and I would suggest that your fans ...
[0:05:36] ... know I think he and now we'll take you ought summer camp Alec Guinness and water this. Water but he used I was up there in January epic and yesterday the since 97. QB somewhere self ...
[0:06:57] ... year I didn't Heidi you'd think he should have been nominated for best actor yes yes yes to give it yes. I don't think it's I think Michael militia the nominee for best supporting the I ...
[0:07:50] ... and I knew I was a nominee was Michael B Jordan. At best actor actually could not straight right which you sort of against that creed its for know. When I mean what we do is ...

Welcome to Tuesday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

NHL: Bruins at Canadiens, 7:30 p.m. (NESN)
NHL: Blackhawks at Predators, 8 p.m. (NBCSN)
NBA: Timberwolves at Pelicans, 8 p.m. (NBATV)
College basketball: Butler at Providence, 6:30 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: Tulane at UConn, 7 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Illinois at Indiana, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Kansas at Oklahoma State, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Mississippi State at Florida, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Tulsa at East Carolina, 7 p.m. (ESPNews)
College basketball: Northwestern at Maryland, 8 p.m. (Big Ten Network)
College basketball: Georgetown at Xavier, 8:30 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: LSU at Texas A&M, 9 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Houston at SMU, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Loyola (Ill.) at Evansville, 9 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Fresno State at San Diego State, 11 p.m. (ESPNU)


Ben Roethlisberger was quick to share a description of his ailments last week, in the lead-up to Sunday’s playoff game against the Broncos. Denver cornerback Aqib Talib isn’t buying it.

After Roethlisberger threw for 339 yards in Pittsburgh’s loss, Talib questioned the QB’s assertion that he had a shoulder injury.

“Ben was healthy as hell,” Talib said (via NFL.com). “He didn’t fool anybody.”

According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, that comment did not sit well with Steelers players.

Roethlisberger, who injured the shoulder on a sack during the previous week’s game against the Bengals, took a pain-killing injection before warmups Sunday and showed noticeable discomfort after the game. Team sources told the Post-Gazette that Roethlisberger couldn’t even lift his arm Monday at the team’s practice facility.

It’s the second straight week an opposing player accused a Steeler of lying about an injury. Bengals cornerback Adam Jones claimed that wide receiver Antonio Brown winked at him after getting knocked out of their game following a hit to the head from Vontaze Burfict and was not really hurt.

Even after Brown was placed in the league’s concussion protocol, Jones doubted Brown’s injury. Only when Brown was ruled out of the Broncos game did Jones acknowledge he was mistaken.

— Oregon State basketball player Jarmal Reid apologized Monday after he was suspended four games by the school for tripping an official during Sunday’s 59-53 loss to Utah. The Pac-12 accepted Oregon State’s punishment and said it would not penalize Reid further.

“I’m well aware that my actions not only embarrassed my family, but also the university and the Oregon State basketball program,” Reid said in a statement. “I was not raised to act in that manner that was displayed on that play. I’m well aware that I made a mistake that has damaged my image. My actions are inexcusable and I am willing to accept any and all consequences that are to follow.”

Reid, upset there was no foul call after he was bumped by Utah’s Jakob Poeltl, stuck out his right leg and tripped Tommy Nunez. The referee proceeded to give Reid a technical foul and eject him from the game.

“We are obviously very disappointed and apologize to everyone involved,” Oregon State coach Wayne Tinkle said in a statement Monday. “Our university and our program do not condone this type of conduct on or off the court. We acted swiftly and severely, but also fairly with the understanding that we are dealing with a 22-year-old young man that we need to help grow through this tough situation.”

Utah coach Larry Krystkowiak was sympathetic to the player.

“It’s a high-emotion, high-energy [environment], you know? And we’re still dealing with 18-, 20-, 21-year-old kids. And not everything always goes as planned. You know?” Krystkowiak said. “So, it’s an unfortunate incident. It’s obviously a pretty slow news time because it’s garnered a lot of national attention. I feel sorry for the kid and I feel sorry for their team.”

— Los Angeles is welcoming the Rams back in a big way, as the team said it received 5,000 deposits for season tickets within five minutes after they went on sale Monday afternoon, with another 5,000 reservations in the first hour. First in line: Lakers legend Magic Johnson.

Tweeted the team: We’ve got our first #Rams deposit! The Legend @MagicJohnson!

Tweeted Johnson: I got my @RamsNFL season tickets! I’m so excited and can’t wait to see OUR team next season! #Rams

The deposits only allow fans to reserve a spot to purchase season tickets when they go on sale, as the team can’t begin selling tickets until it determines whether or not it will be sharing its new stadium with the Chargers or Raiders — or no one.

The Rams are scheduled to play at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum for the next three seasons, until their new facility in Inglewood is ready in 2019.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On Jan. 19, 1898, which two New England schools played the first recorded college hockey game in the United States?

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “It’s beyond what I’d ever imagined in my wildest dreams. … I never imagined that any of this was ever even possible. I just knew that I loved the game, and I played with so many great teammates who have, like I said, sacrificed so much. When you play with teammates like I have and you see what they go through over the course of the season, what they deal with in their lives personally, how that reacts to them professionally, kind of the blood, sweat and tears you put into it, you never take it for granted.” — Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, during his weekly Monday appearance on Dennis & Callahan with Minihane, on advancing to his 10th AFC title game in 14 seasons

STAT OF THE DAY: 52 — Points for Hornets guard Kemba Walker — a franchise record — in Monday’s 124-119 victory over the Jazz

‘NET RESULTS (mobile users, check the website to see the videos): From a junior hockey game in Ontario in November (the video only went public this week), a referee gets too physical with a player after breaking up a fight, then the ref gets taken out by the team’s trainer. Both the ref and the trainer were suspended.

The Sharks show some nifty skills and teamwork on this play that ends with a goal by Matt Nieto against the Senators.

Marcus Thornton completes a Rockets comeback with a 3-pointer in the final seconds to send Monday’s game against the Clippers to overtime.

Carmelo Anthony hits a 3-pointer with three seconds remaining in regulation to send the Knicks-Sixers game into overtime.

TRIVIA ANSWER: Brown and Harvard, with Brown winning 6-0

SOOTHING SOUNDS: Janis Joplin, who died in 1970, was born on this day in 1943.

Blog Author: 
Jerry Spar
Mikey and Mut talk about the Patriots win over the Chiefs and look ahead to the Denver Broncos

[0:00:26] ... Patriots. They're going very very well I mean. In defense of their Super Bowl title. They're right where they wanna be much effect. This is what the Seattle Seahawks did last year they defend their Super Bowl title right out of the wire raked over the last minute of the game they did. Off to Denver you know I am going to Super Bowl much you worked for me that night. The night others at night after so it can travel back from San Francisco yeah ...
[0:01:37] ... is emanate policy you're off the hook up. About narco wanted to Super Bowl it's not the patriots ask so what Sampras has to watch Carol putting in Denver is he gonna buy the tickets now ...
[0:04:29] ... NFL guys that are on TV doing all their you know they're Talking Heads stuff. And every single for a score. Every single NFL marketplace in America sands one which is knowing when. Is going to be siding with Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos. I'm gonna tell you that I don't think anybody in New York. Or Dallas. Or or Sampras is goal or anywhere in this country wants that New England Patriots to go to the Super Bowl again. I disagree I think there are plenty of people that are. Torn because they don't want the patriots nor are they wanna see Peyton Manning in the Super Bowl after what you saw from yesterday he's nowhere near the quarterback that he was. And I played it summed it up was the play Manning had Mikey Wear. He took a knee in the pocket. Got back up and there gave up on the play it took him and he should have been ruled down game self up they let him get back company made a play downfield adapt once like. Would cure the commercial I fallen and I can't get out now Peyton Manning I don't wanna watch this kind of Super Bowl on my guess is given the choice of those two teams in Denver processor balls constitute they'll get blown out by there Arizona Carolina and I think fans want a competitive game of the Super Bowl and they want that. They want the patriots in Santa Claire okay that's my field. But would you do you do you think they might be amenable or at least sympathetic to. The that the guy riding off into the sunset like Elway did. You know winning in his last possible opportunity big great warrior Peyton Manning who. For so many years has meant so much to this league is such a highlight reel and all that stuff all time leading you know. Do you think that they would say well I would prefer that to see Tom Brady went another. No I maybe I'm wrong about this will find over the next 45 days in my gap but I think. If you're neutral fan if it with a picture tart and all you can force competitive game the Super Bowl right what's at what damaged and what is I don't have interest in watching Peyton Manning expect Carolina defense of the Arizona deepens because he will get. He is ass kicked you sought yesterday yeah nowhere near the ...
[0:07:03] ... right there will be against the pats if it's whether it's a Super Bowl whether it's is this coming week. I think there's going to be a lot of people out there you know that the network guys are already Nance and all the guys from all the way down the latter are going to be. All this call a mandate you know less mechanical and into a glorious career can heed to what one more time in kitty beat that you know. Oh from announcing stamp yet okay you want oak Jim Nance is going to be openly rooting yeah for Peyton Manning on the broadcast to open including rooting for Peyton Manning. Yesterday in that game against Pittsburgh so that every incompletion or drop you could hear a little bit and dances heartbreak on ...

We talk with the best NFL on the radio in Boston, Tedy Bruschi breaks down the win over the Chiefs, and helps us preview the AFC Championship game in Denver.

[0:00:00] ... Every patriots Monday right around this time we talk weather guy Tedy Bruschi. Who's presented by Shaw's star market and solar heating and air mr. Bruschi what's going on and I don't. Guys and I'm ...
[0:00:57] ... a certain thirteen first down because he's that type of play here. Andy Reid trying to get creative to the edges in and forced the patriots have maybe get confused based on backfield motion if they're ...
[0:03:18] ... them them together it really does make a huge difference. I know Andy Reid was asked a lot about this clock management and why did he get more out of the last two and a half minutes or so. What did you think of that situation down the stretch Burke Kansas City in an Andy Reid. I attention to the Super Bowl Donovan McNabb. You don't think it's. I remember being in the huddle when they relating to. ...
[0:12:41] ... for them to mean fumble punt or on Miller. Win quickly or. Derrick Ward was playing very well to get to have a game of his life. Which strips act that forces the play that changes ...