The many non-controversial Patriots controversies

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The many non-controversial Patriots controversies

By Justin Aucoin
WickedGoodSports.com

If nothing else can be said of this years team, the New England Patriots have become experts at fabricatingcontroversiesout of absolutely nothing. Really, for a team that only wants to talk about the next big game, they do an awful good job at breathing air into the fire of some fun but minor stories, all while making a big deal out of thin air.

Theyre like wizards of controversy.

Exhibit A:

Tom Bradys Get lubed comment a few weeks back. Back when he was trying out his heel persona for a few weeks:

"Yeah, start drinking early. Get nice and rowdy. It's a 4:15 game, a lot of time to get lubed up. Come out here, and cheer for the home team."

A fairly simple comment; he encouraged fans to do what theyre probably already decided to do anyways have a few beers and then get rowdy at the game. Most people were cool with what Tom said. If nothing else, they were surprised he actually showed an iota of a personality while at the mic. But a handful of people the ones who probably couldve actually used a drink or two to chill out got all upset.

Then the Pats released a statement to clarify what Brady meant.

"He meant 'stay hydrated, drink a lot of water. Be loud, drink responsibly.'"

Thus the controversy began. What went from a fun, rallying of the fans became an issue. Some of the very reporters who laughed at Toms jest started sharpening their knives for the carving that would ensue.

Also, we didnt know that one had to drink water responsibility. Who knew that over-hydrating is such a huge pandemic in this great nation of ours?

Exhibit B:

During the bye-week Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski tweeted a picture of him with a different tight end: porn star Bibi Jones.

OMG, look at all that skin Gronk is showing?

Pats owner Robert Krafts response:

Apparently Kraft is against attractive women wearing his teams jersey or his players from hanging with attractive women (just look at Toms wife, for instance) cause Gronk had the unpleasantness of having to apologize for his indiscretion:

"I didn't send anything to hurt the reputation of anyone on the New England Patriots or on behalf of Robert Kraft," Gronkowski said. "That's all, just a simple picture, that's all. From here on out, I'm just here to talk about thePittsburgh Steelersand the big game this weekend."

Gronks right. It was a simple picture. Fans got a laugh and metaphorically high-fived him while discussing the tweets by the water cooler. The media got a cheap story on an otherwise dull bye-week. Not to mention hes not doing anything any other 22-year-old guy wouldnt do in his position. Chicago Blackhawks Patrick Kane gets grilled for the same thing. Its insane. If Gronk should apologize for anything its for not hanging with a better known porn star or not getting video to share with the rest of the class. Really, though, apologizing for that picture is about as absurd as saying drink water responsibly.

Good thing the Pats are A students in absurd PR.

Still, were trying to figure out exactly how taking a picture of a clothed woman is hurting the reputation of the Pats organization. Maybe were getting this all wrong and Kraft wanted to see more of Bibi? Perhaps hes jealous of Gronk?

Kraft wishes he had guns like that

Lets be honest, Gronk is showing more skin than Bibi is and those two photos are probably the most clothes youll ever see Bibi wear in a picture on the Internet.

"I'm just glad I'm no longer the one that people are making fun of on my team on a daily basis," Brady said Tuesday on WEEI-AM. "Gronk has definitely pulled into the lead there.

Yea, about that Tom. This still lives on the Internet.

You're still the king, baby.

Patrick Towles throws for 2 TDs, Boston College beats Buffalo, 35-3

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Patrick Towles throws for 2 TDs, Boston College beats Buffalo, 35-3

BOSTON - Patrick Towles threw for two touchdowns, Davon Jones and Jon Hilliman each ran for one and Boston College coasted past Buffalo, 35-3 on Saturday afternoon.

It was the second straight win for the Eagles (3-2) after they beat FCS-school Wagner last week.

The Eagles, who entered with the nation's sixth ranked defense, dominated on the defensive side.

"I think it was a pretty clean performance," Eagles defensive end Harold Landry said. "It was expected. We were supposed to do that. We don't expect nothing less."

Towles, a graduate transfer from Kentucky, completed 14 of 25 passes for 234 yards with no interceptions. He also ran eight times for 18 yards, but fumbled it away twice.

Hilliman had 54 yards rushing and Jones 53 for the Eagles.

"Totally dominating performance," BC coach Steve Addazio said. "It's great to get a win and go out and do what we needed to do."

Buffalo (1-3) was held to just 67 total yards. Quarterback Tyree Jackson completed 9 of 21 for only 42 yards, and the Bulls had just 26 yards on the ground.

"Never had any semblance of any type of sustained drive or movement, so that's disappointing," Buffalo coach Lance Leipold said.

With a steady mist blowing most of the game on a cool day, the Eagles came out throwing the ball more than usual and opened a 21-3 lead at halftime.

BC redshirt freshman receiver Chris Garrison made an outstanding catch to set up the first TD, but was taken off the field on a stretcher after the play in the first quarter with a fractured left tibia.

Garrison made a leaping grab on 44-yard pass from Towles at the Bulls' 11-yard line, but he came down awkwardly on his leg. Trainers called for a stretcher and an air cast was put on before he was taken off.

Five plays later, Jones had a 1-yard scoring run to push the Eagles ahead 7-0.

Midway into the second quarter, Towles topped an 11-play, 54-yard drive with a 7-yard TD toss to Charlie Callinan.

After a 28-yard field goal by Buffalo's Adam Mitcheson, Towles connected on an 11-yard TD pass to receiver Michael Walker along the back line of the end zone - just over the outstretched hands of linebacker Jarrett Franklin - to make it 21-3 with 21 seconds left in the half.

Heinen coming up big with Bruins' roster openings on the wing

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Heinen coming up big with Bruins' roster openings on the wing

BRIGHTON, Mass. – Danton Heinen has to know he’s got a fair shot to win an NHL job out of B’s training camp if he plays with confidence and assertiveness. 

So far, that little Black and Gold carrot has served him well in the preseason. The 21-year-old winger has scored a goal in each of his first two preseason appearances for the Bruins. He will be pushed back into the lineup again vs. the Flyers at Wells Fargo Center on Saturday night.

The difference this time around is Claude Julien will be behind the bench once again for the Bruins after his time with the World Cup of Hockey and the B’s lineup will start to take on more of a real NHL feel with David Pastrnak and David Backes entering the mix.

Julien has liked what he’s seen thus far out of the University of Denver product, and clearly he’ll keep getting looks as long as the production and good work ethic are there.

“I think he’s been a real good player. He’s a smart player that seems to be heady and sees the play well. He seems to be in the right place and understands the game,” said Julien. “The hockey sense is something that you either have or you don’t, and I think he has great hockey sense. It certainly makes a great hockey player. I’ve liked him so far and I’m looking forward to seeing more of him.”

One other thing is certain: wing positions are open on the roster with Frankie Vatrano out for three months and Jimmy Vesey sharpening his skates at Madison Square Garden as a New York Ranger.

“We have to keep an open mind.  Frank Vatrano is hurt, and we kind of felt that he was going to have a really good start to this year. His confidence seemed to be at its highest, and the World Championships were good for him,” said Julien. “We have to look at what we have for a replacement. We went after Jimmy Vesey and we didn’t get him. So there are some spots that are open, and there’s no doubt about it.

“I’m going to be looking at compete level and I’ll be watching for the next three games to see who can fit in those spots. There are open spots, so it’s not cut-and-dried like a lot of years when it has been.”

Clearly, the high-end offensive skill is there after posting 36 goals and 93 points in his first two years at the University of Denver prior to going pro, and Heinen has a dollop of pro experience after getting into three AHL games with Providence at the end of last season. 

The 6-foot-1, 180-pounder showed off the playmaking ability setting up his teammates for chances in Friday night’s win over the Red Wings, and then finally scoring at crunch time in the third period when the coaching staff moved Zach Senyshyn to his opposite wing.

Both of his goals in this preseason have been tying scores in the third that factored prominently in the game’s outcome. That’s been impressive for a young prospect in his very first NHL camp.

But Heinen claims there is still more to come in his game, and that’s encouraging. He’s just starting to get comfortable as a player that uses his vision, hockey IQ and passing to generate loads of scoring chances when he’s on the ice.

“I feel pretty good. I’ve felt better as things have gone on, and I felt better [on Friday against Detroit] than I did in the first game,” said Heinen, who finished just behind a couple of guys named Jack Eichel and Dylan Larkin for the NCAA scoring title as a freshman a couple of years ago. “I just need to keep getting better. I think I have a lot more to give. I’m just trying to put my best foot forward, and we’ll see what happens.

“I think I’ve rushed a few plays where I feel like I could hang onto [the puck] and make a smarter play. So it’s little things like that. As I play a little more then I get more comfortable hanging onto it, so I hope to do a little more than that.”

It will also be interesting to see how Heinen responds to again being in the B’s lineup on Saturday for back-to-back, physical preseason games when the NCAA schedule can be a bit more spaced with weekend games. 

There are other candidates like Jake DeBrusk and Zachary Senyshyn that have enjoyed solid training camps to date for the Bruins, but it feels like Heinen is starting to push ahead for one of those winger roster spots Julien has in mind as he watches these final four exhibition games leading into the regular season.