A flip-flopped Ryan and Belichick presser


A flip-flopped Ryan and Belichick presser

By Mary Paoletti

No Bill Belichick press conference at Gillette today.

It's not really weird that the schedule got screwed up, what with Week 13's game being on Monday and all. But this is PatriotsJets week. We need to feed an especially hungry beast.

Because of how huge a game this is for both 9-2 teams, WGS is holding a special press conference to make up for this afternoon will lack. Coaches Belichick and Ryan have agreed to answer our questions a little differently though. They're going to swap roles in the style of Tanguay and Felger's "FACEOFF."

WGS QUESTION: Coach "Belichick", how would you say the Jets look going into Monday night's game?

RYAN as BELICHICK: They're a real good team. Have been since we first saw them. Good in all phases of the game. The Jets can run, throw, kick and play defense.

(Hey! How'm I doin? Do I sound like Bill or what? This is harder than I thought! Having no personality is a expletive art! Holy expletive!)

WGS: Doing great.

How about you, coach? How different are the Patriots since you last played them?

BELICHICK as RYAN: I don't get this. You want me to pretend I'm Rex Ryan? I'm trying to prepare my team for a football game. If I say I'm hungry will you guys back off?

WGS: C'mon, Bill. Play along.

BELICHICK: What'd you say to me?

WGS: Covers head ...please?

RYAN: Yeah, Bill! Play along! Tell 'em you just want to kick some Patriots ass! 'Cause that's what my boys are gonna do: kick ass! With all due respect to you Bill, a'course. Guffaws

WGS QUESTION: Can you talk a little bit about what getting Danny Woodhead from the Jets has done for your team?

RYAN as BELICHICK: Well we had our eye on him since he was in college...

Guffaws again Oh, Lord, I can't get that expletive out with a straight face! I don't know how you do it, Bill. Lemme try again. Sobers up.

Danny's done a really good job learning our offense. He's helped us in the running game, passing game and on special teams. He is in no way one of the most divine accidental signings we've ever made. Winks at Belichick

I'm just teasin', Bill! That last bit was a expletive joke, buddy!

WGS QUESTION: The Patriots are 9-2 despite a defense ranked at the bottom of the league in a few categories. What has been key to their success and how do you game plan for it?

BELICHICK as RYAN: Bill Belichick is the best coach in the NFL but my guys are going to win the Super Bowl. New England looks unstoppable sometimes but my team will stop them. We have the same record but the Jets have beaten the Patriots. Mark Sanchez sucks but he has my full confidence. I want a snack. Swear word, swear word, swear word.

There. I did it. I'm taking off this ridiculous vest now. Walks out

RYAN: Yelling Hey, now. That last bit about Nacho wasn't expletive funny. I've always loved that hotdog eating son-of-a-expletive! I love him like Tony Cromartie loves all 37 of his babies.

Ask me another question, missy.

WGS QUESTION: Oookay. Sure thing, coach. Speaking of Antonio Cromartie, how do you think he and Darelle Revis will play coverage with no Moss on your team?
RYAN as BELICHICK: They'll cover whoever we put on the field. And we'll play whoever's active. We'll do whatever's best for our team. Don't ask me about Moss. Don't ask me about Fred Taylor. Don't ask me anything unless you want me to make you feel like an idiot. I'm grumpy for no particular reason. So there!

Well, that was pretty fun! But it's time for lunch. Somebody find Nacho and make him get me lunch. Can I keep this little pom-pom hat? This is pretty expletive cute!

WGS: Uh, sure. Keep the hat. Thanks for stopping by, Rex. Good luck on Monday.

RYAN: The Jets don't need luck. Luck is for sissies! Like Ben Roethlisberger. That guy is a expletive sissy. Where the hell is Nacho? NACHO!

Blakely: Thomas isn't a starter, but new All-Star voting is an improvement

Blakely: Thomas isn't a starter, but new All-Star voting is an improvement

BOSTON – There’s certainly some disappointment among Celtics Nation that Isaiah Thomas just missed out on being an All-Star starter in the East.

But one thing we can certainly see with the new voting system … it works way better than the old way of choosing starters.

This was the first year that the NBA decided to allow current NBA players as well as a select panel of media choose who the starting five in the Eastern and Western Conferences would be.

The fan vote would count for 50 percent while media and players would each represent 25 percent of the final tally.

From there, the players would receive a fan ranking, a media ranking and a player ranking.

Because of the aforementioned breakdown – fans count for 50 percent while media and players represent 25 percent of the vote – the fan ranking would be counted twice while the media and player rankings would be counted once.

Let’s look at Isaiah Thomas’ situation which ultimately came down to him and Toronto’s DeMar DeRozan for the final starting spot in the backcourt.

Thomas was fourth in the fan voting, second in the player voting and first among guards in the media voting. So when you add the fan voting (4 *2) + player voting (2 *1) + media voting (1*1), you get a total of 11 which is then divided by 4 to arrive at a score of 2.75.

Now let’s look at DeRozan.

He was third in the fan voting, third in the player ranking and second in the media voting among guards. So his score when you add the fan voting (3*2) + player voting (3*1) + media voting (2*1), you get a total of 11 which when divided by 4 brings you to a score of 2.75 – same as Thomas.

The tiebreaker was the fan vote which meant DeRozan and not Thomas, would get the starting nod in next month’s All-Star game.

As much as it may suck that Thomas lost out because of this system, he would not have had a shot at being a starter under the old system in which the fans were the ones to pick starters.

In fact, it would have been Chicago’s Dwyane Wade in the starting lineup under the old system.

No disrespect to D-Wade, but he has not had an All-Star worthy season. And had the old system been in place, he would be an all-star and thus take up a roster spot of another player who frankly, is more deserving.

And if you take a glance out West, they too would have had a starter who has not had an All-Star caliber season.

Golden State’s Zaza Pachulia finished second in the voting among Western Conference forwards, fueled in large part to his home country, Georgia, voting early and often for him. Because of the media and player voting, Pachulia wound up sixth among Western Conference big men which is still too high when you consider some of the players behind him – Memphis’ Marc Gasol, Minnesota’s Karl-Anthony Towns, San Antonio’s LaMarcus Aldridge and Los Angeles Clippers’ DeAndre Jordan – who are all having better seasons.

While no one would say this new system is perfect, considering how this year’s voting would have panned out under the old rules, this change by the league is a good one that should stick around.

NOTE: I was among the media panelists selected by the NBA to vote for this year’s All-Star starters. My selections in the East were Cleveland’s LeBron James, Kevin Love and Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo in the frontcourt with Cleveland’s Kyrie Irving and Boston’s Isaiah Thomas in the backcourt. My Western Conference selections were Kevin Durant of Golden State, Anthony Davis of New Orleans and Kawhi Leonard of San Antonio in the frontcourt, with Houston’s James Harden and Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook in the backcourt.