Do you want Gronk to get the cover?

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Do you want Gronk to get the cover?

In my last post, I suggested that Bill Belichick isn't so psyched about Rob Gronkowski's campaign for the cover of Madden '13.

I have no inside information on this, except that we're talking about Bill Belichick. And I'm not saying that he's actually pissed about Gronk wanting to be on the cover or his desire to have a conspicuous off-season, but you know that BB lets out pained little sigh every time Gronkowski pops up somewhere. Whether it's on SportsCenter with Darrelle Revis, a dance floor in Aruba with a 16 year old or the drive thru at Dunkin Donuts with Carolyn Manno.

But when it comes to Madden, here's the question for Pats fans:

Do you want Gronk on the cover?

I guess it depends how superstitious you are, but the way I see the Pats don't need anymore bad voodoo this season. They're already up against the curse of the Super Bowl runner-up, which has softened a little the last three seasons with the Colts, Steelers and Cardinals all making the playoffs the year after losing in the Big Game, but the curse still stands as such:

Not since the Bills lost four straight Super Bowls in the early 90's has the runner up made it back to the Super Bowl the following season. That's 18 years. That's pretty significant.

Not to mention, isn't this whole Gronk thing a little too good to be true as it is? The kid's 22-years-old, just had the greatest season for a tight end in NFL history, and has at least three more seasons of playing catch with an all-time great quarterback.

There's really no precedent for what we're about to witness with Rob Gronkowski, so if it was up to me, we'd give the Madden Curse to someone else, and let Gronk focus on his 5,000 other hobbies.

In closing: Vote for Revis!

Rich can be reached at rlevine@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Rich on Twitter at http:twitter.comrich_levine

Bruins assign Noel Acciari to Providence

Bruins assign Noel Acciari to Providence

After sitting out the last month with a lower body injury, Bruins fourth liner Noel Acciari has been assigned to Providence presumably to get up to speed after missing a considerable length of time. It also means that Acciari has likely been cleared medically to play after appearing in B's practice over the last few days after missing the last 14 games. 

The 24-year-old former Providence College standout has appeared in 12 games with the Bruins this season after breaking camp with the team, and recorded two assists for two points with four penalty minutes and a plus-one rating before suffering a lower body injury.

By all accounts Acciari was a good energy player on a surprisingly good fourth line to start the season, wasn’t afraid to throw around his body for impactful hits and was having plenty of success aggravating opponents into losing their cool and taking penalties. Fellow rookie forward Anton Blidh has stepped in and played a similar role on the fourth line over the last couple of games for the Black and Gold, so that gives the Bruins plenty of time to get Acciari back up to speed at the AHL level without their fourth line’s level of play dropping in the meantime.

The Acciari demotion to Providence does mean that the Bruins head into Washington with 12 forwards, so it should again be Blidh, Dominic Moore and Jimmy Hayes as the fourth line barring any last minute wrinkles from Claude Julien. 

Are Patriots still 'pissed off' at Ravens for Deflategate role?

Are Patriots still 'pissed off' at Ravens for Deflategate role?

The Patriots should always be motivated heading into games against the Ravens. After all, Baltimore might be the team’s primary rival. 

Yet Monday’s matchup might be about more than past meetings. It could be a revenge game for the Ravens’ role in the Deflategate fiasco. 

As Tom E. Curran notes in the above video, the then-recently eliminated Ravens set off the ordeal when they tipped off the Colts entering the 2014 AFC Championship game. From there, the year-and-a-half-long saga played itself out, ultimately resulting in Tom Brady accepting a four-game suspension from the league. 

Curran and Mike Giardi discussed whether Monday could be a revenge game, with them both concluding that they feel the Patriots are still “pissed off” at the Ravens. 

"I’m just reading the tea leaves,” Curran said. “Bill Belichick will usually throw bouquet after bouquet at the Baltimore Ravens any time they play, from Ozzie Newsome, to George Kokinis, to Eric DeCosta, to John Harbaugh, Dean Pees, everyone. Not a lot of that today. Make of that what you will; I don’t think it’s a coincidence because I do know that when the Patriots were going through the process early on, the fact that the Ravens had dropped a dime -- their assistant special teams coach Jerry Rosburg calling the Indianapolis Colts and saying, “Look there was some foolishness going on with the K balls.’

“Additionally, when that email from the Colts to the NFL was sent to Mike Kensil, it said, 'It’s well-known throughout the league that the Patriots screw with the balls after they’ve been checked by the officials.' So if that conversation was going on during the week between those two teams, one certainly has to surmise that they also spoke about the fact of deflating footballs. 

“So as much as John Harbaugh has tried to dissuade anyone from thinking there was involvement, Dean Pees was interviewed by Ted Wells, Jerry Rosburg was interviewed by Ted Wells. Those are the only two principals from other organizations who were involved, so yeah, I think they’re still probably pretty pissed off about it.”