New England Patriots

What’s the next headline for the New England Patriots? Belichick Retires? Kraft Sells Pats? Brady Inks New Pact? Gronk: I’ve Had Enough?

Whew! What a week for the Patriots, and it’s still only Thursday. Let’s review.

Sunday

Eagles backup QB Nick Foles picks apart Pats pathetic defense for 373 yards and three touchdowns, leads Philadelphia to a 41-33 victory over the Patriots and is the MVP of Super Bowl LII. Forty-year-old Tom Brady, a backup when he won the first of his five Super Bowls in 2002, throws for 505 yards and three touchdowns.

John Bender

The Patriots have brought home more than their share of wins for the ages, but Sunday night's Super Bowl against the Philadelphia Eagles wasn't one of them.

Jesse Costa/WBUR

It’s been the talk of New England for weeks now. Will the Pats blow out the Eagles in the Super Bowl? Or will the Eagles run away with this one?  Rhode Island Public Radio's Dave Fallon put that question to sports blogger Mike Szostak.

His take?

This will be a close game. There's no doubt about it. Both teams have strengths, and a few weaknesses, but they both had to prove themselves to get this far. 

Football is off to a shaky start here in the Ocean State. Rhode Island’s favorite pro team was humiliated in its season opener last week, its flagship state university is 0-2, and its top business school lost by eight touchdowns last Saturday.

The good news is that the Ocean State’s Ivy League entry at long last kicks off its season on Saturday, and its Division III team is undefeated.

As summer fades to fall, the Red Sox – Boston and Pawtucket – and the Patriots dominate the sports news. Here is my take on three hot topics.

RED SOX: SNAP OUT OF IT!

SAB0TEUR / CREATIVE COMMONS LICENSE VIA FLICKR

As flooding from tropical storm Harvey worsens in Houston and begins to affect nearby states, New England continues to pitch in for relief efforts.

Former Patriots Star Aaron Hernandez Dead At 27

Apr 19, 2017
Jack Newton / Creative Commons License via Wikimedia Commons

The former Patriots’ tight end killed himself while in prison for murder. State corrections officials say Hernandez was found just after three this morning hanging by a bed sheet.

John Bender / RIPR

Fans lined the streets of downtown Providence Tuesday before a Patriots rally at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center. Thousands of people stood in the rain, waiting for their chance to catch a glimpse of the Super Bowl champions and the Super Bowl trophy.

In a line that ran for at least three blocks, fan Mike Cote from Warwick said he came to celebrate the team’s entire season, and, of course, their historic come-from-behind win at the Super Bowl.

John Bender / RIPR

The NFL is designed to be the parity league. Dynasties aren’t supposed to happen. A limit on player salaries  allots each team the same payroll. Last place teams get the top college draft choices; first place get the last picks.

The Patriots have shattered that image and the NFL's design.  The Brady-Belichick era has produced five super bowl titles, the most improbable on Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons.

Championships eluded New England’s Big Four this year, but the Patriots, Red Sox, Celtics and Bruins still provided us with memorable moments. So did Providence College, Bishop Hendricken and Johnson & Wales. Here, then, are my choices for the Top 10 Local Sports Stories of 2016, assuming you agree that whatever happens with the Pats, Sox, Celts and Bs is of local interest.

TOM BRADY RETURNS

September has turned into the sweetest month this year, and here’s why.

THE RED SOX

Wikimedia Commons

  New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is looking to go back to court as he continues to fight a four-game suspension over the deflation of footballs in a 2014 playoff game.

Lawyers for Brady are asking all 13 judges of the federal appeals court to re-consider a ruling issued by three of its judges last month.

That ruling said the NFL union contract permitted NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to make the final determination about Brady’s status when he went to arbitration.

Deflategate is over. The National Football League and Commissioner Roger Goodell won. The New England Patriots and quarterback Tom Brady lost.

WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

The NFL season could begin without one of the leagues biggest stars. 

A  Federal Appeals Court re-instated the four game suspension of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady over the deflation of footballs in a 2014 play-off game. 

As WBUR reporter David Boeri reports, this time legal observers do not expect another come-back. 

Buddy Cianci, the longest serving mayor in the history of Providence, 21 years, and one of the most colorful and controversial politicians in the history of Rhode Island, will take his final spin through the city he loved on Monday en route to St. Ann’s Cemetery in Cranston, where he will be interred. Leaving from City Hall, diagonally across from the outdoor skating rink he championed, the funeral cortege will pass within blocks of sports venues, real and imagined, that figured prominently in his career.

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