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If Pats are a stock, I’m still buying

Devon O'Neil
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Welcome to Monday, New England. Your offensive and defensive coordinators are gone (defensive guru Romeo Crennel took the Cleveland Browns head coaching job, and Charlie Weis is headed to a Notre Dame in distress); you’re now charged with accomplishing something no team in history has done (winning three straight Super Bowls); and already you’re a popular choice for an underdog.What else is new. The Patriots’ legacy is that they will be remembered unlike any team in sports history, including their fellow dynasties: They never seemed like they should win, but they almost always did.Oh, and with regard to that 3-point Super Bowl win – their third by that margin – is there a better indicator of the Patriots’ ultrareliable defensive greatness than what happened to Donovan McNabb? Philadelphia’s cool-headed QB hadn’t made a mistake in more than a month and had two weeks to prepare for the defensive looks New England gave him, yet still he threw three picks and fumbled the ball away in the first quarter.

I know New England has gotten a lot of ink in this column over the past month, but if the Patriots are a stock, I’m still buying …Did you hear the Nuggets don’t have a single player in the NBA All-Star game later this month, which Denver is hosting? It’s true. Sad, too. At least Voshon Lenard, he of the injured achilles that has kept him out of action all season long, will muster the strength to defend his 3-point-shooting crown …The most unfortunate part of the probably lost NHL season? We’ll never know what we missed. We’ve been robbed of sport’s most sacred beauty: unpredictability. The worst team in the league might have risen to first. We could’ve seen a scoring record. The next Wayne Gretzky might have used this season as his coming out party.

As it is, though, we’ll never know. Heck, we don’t even know if there will be a season next year. Because with the way the two sides are getting along – a lot like Pakistan and India – who knows when (if) they’ll come to terms? …OK, Jose Canseco, when I wrote last week that players need to come forth about future Hall of Famers using steroids, I wasn’t talking about doing it to promote a book. Bad Bash Brother …With the parity that exists in college basketball today, I’d have to say an undefeated season (including the NCAA tournament) is as tough as it gets in sports. Boston College fell to 20-1 with a loss at Notre Dame on Tuesday night, but Illinois survived Michigan’s upset bid on the road to improve to 24-0. The Illini are the only unbeaten team in the nation. Which means, hello nightly spotlight! …



In parting, we’ve crossed another off the list during our quest to find the perfect sports name. The latest to be nixed: female Belarusian World Cup aerials skier Assol Slivets. Just a suggestion, but perhaps we should all consult with folks from other nations before naming our kids.Devon O’Neil can be contacted at (970) 668-3998, ext. 231, or at doneil@summitdaily.com.


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