Gary’s Rants and Raves for Early December, 2012

Some thoughts golf, sports and otherwise as we get into the joyful Christmas/Holiday  season here on Boston’s famed North Shore.

  • Weird goings on in the National Football League, just the way we like ’em as we move into make-or-break month.
  • SI’s Peter King goes overboard this week in again posting the Patriots as No. 1 in his NFL rankings. Does he see something we cynical, “when’s something really bad gonna happen” Pats fans don’t? Hope he’s right, though.
  • Every game Wes Welker plays should convince Bill Belichik and Bob Kraft to re-sign him, last year’s Super Bowl slip notwithstanding.
  • Marvel at Tom Brady even on his off days, folks, for when he retires to his southern California estate with Gisele and the kids, we’ll never see his likes again.
  • No matter what you read or hear about Jovan Belcher, remember, he was a coward first and foremost, and a double murderer second.
  • Georgia football coach Mark Richt should be tarred and feathered in Athens for mismanaging the clock in the final minute Saturday against Alabama. Manage the clock properly and the Bulldogs are going to Miami to take on St. John’s Prep grad Brian Kelly and his Notre Dame Fighting Irish. Instead we must put up with the insufferable Nick Saban, a close buddy of Belichik.
  • Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III are something special.
  • Kobe Bryant has his issues, but he is one superb quote machine and candid superstar. Loved the way he called out teammate Pau Gasol.
  • Lebron James as Sports Illustrated’s Sportsman of the Year? Horrible selection.
  • A lost weekend for our Greater Boston hopefuls trying to make it through the PGA and LPGA Qualifying schools. North Quincy’s Mike Welch (429) and Andover’s Rob Oppenheim (435) both missed the exalted top 25 (415) by a mile.  Rob is back on the Tour in 2013; not sure about Welch, who won the 2003 New England Amateur at Salem. North Andover’s Brianna Vega missed by two miles in the LPGA qualifier. It took a score of 357. She shot 303 and missed the 72-hole cut in the 90-hole test. My favorite named player, Brooke Pancake, made the grade. Former U.S. Open winner Birdie Kim missed. Stunning to see Patrick Cantlay finish T95 at the PGA qualifying with a minus-8 score for 108 holes. He need -17 to get into a playoff for the final slots.
  • Congrats to Andover CC’s Colin Brennan for winning the 2012 Richard D. Haskell MGA Player of the Year. A senior at Johnson & Wales University in Florida, Colin was co-medalist with three others, all at even-par 140, at the Massachusetts Amateur at Tedesco and advanced to the quarterfinals before falling to Ben Spitz, 1 up. He won the North Shore Amateur at Far Corner with a course record closing 65 for a 137 total and a four-shot victory. He also won the Tarlow Invitational at Thorny Lea with a tournament-record 68-64-132 total, eight under par and placed fifth at the New England Amateur. Nine-time Player of the Year Frank Vana of North Andover finished third this time around with 538 points; Brennan’s aggregate was 689.
  • The NHL players? Stupid. NHL owners? Stupider.
  • The Celtics look like a marginal playoff team currently at best. Same for the Lakers. Not what the NBA wants to see from the two winningest franchises in league history. This could be Paul Pierce’s swan song, no matter where the Celts finish.
  • Thirty nine million for three years for Mike Napoli?  Is he a lock for the Hall of Fame?? Crazy. I am not a Ben Cherington fan. His free agent signings so far have been horrific.
  • Defending Division 3 state champion Danvers looks to be one of those meat grinder teams this year with a suffocating pressing defense that should minimize the impacy of the loss of graduated all-scholastic center George Merry. Look for the Falcons to make a strong run at another state title and, before that, a Northeastern Conference championship.
  • Happy December 7 birthday, Larry Bird.
  • More later.


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