By: Kevin Rousseau - Kevin's Articles are Sponsored by
January 14, 2004

NFL notes: Don't be surprised if Deatrich Wise Jr., Derek Rivers rise up for Patriots
New Patriots DL Danny Shelton preps to hit the hill
Patriots center David Andrews excited with his new Georgia Bulldog teammates
Patriots notebook: Patriots hold bonding time at Children’s Hospital
Guregian: Patriots Hall of Famer Matt Light says there’s more to being a successful offensive lineman than the measurables

Idle "Mid-AFC Championship Week" Zinger thoughts while wondering where have all the experts gone that kept warning us about global warming:

From a fan's bragging rights perspective, the thing about making the AFC Championship Game is that it takes your team off the hook. Even if somehow the Patriots lose, you have nothing to be ashamed about, Patriots Nation. Twenty-eight teams would trade places with you.

Here is the Super Bowl XXXVIII ticket distribution:

AFC Champion - 17.5 percent

NFC Champion - 17.5 percent

Host Team (Texans) - 5.00 percent

Other 29 Teams - 34.8 percent

NFL - 25.2 percent

The playoff success of both Charlie Weis and Romeo Crennel has caused both of them to lose out on the coaching carousel this offseason. You may wonder why all of these teams are in such a rush to name a head coach? The answer is that the Senior Bowl is coming right up and that is the annual NFL coaching job fair.

As much as we would all like to see both of them finally get the head coaching jobs they deserve, can you imagine how exciting next year will be with both of them back? Talk about playing with the house's money. Crennel gets another year to further develop the League's most complex defense. The Patriots have four picks in the first two rounds. They are in decent salary cap position. And if the Patriots draft an effective running back with one of their picks, can you imagine how deadly Tom Brady will become?

According to TMQ Gregg Easterbrook, the Fox affiliate for Israel has blacked out Middle East TV (Iran, Israel, Turkey, and Egypt) from showing any of the NFC playoff games. Therefore, if you are stopping by to see some friends in Tel Aviv or Tehran this weekend, all you will be able to see is the Pats-Colts game.

But then again, don't you have the feeling that this Pats-Colts AFC Championship game is akin to those great 49ers-Cowboys NFC Championship games in the early 1990's? Citizens of Iran: Don't worry too much. The game you will see on Sunday is the game that will decide the Super Bowl champion.

Headline: Dan Marino is brought on to run the Dolphins and Rick Spielman is promoted to GM. Meanwhile, Eddie Jones is still president and former Packers GM Ron Wolf is thinking about coming on as a consultant. The only guy they're missing is Tony Danza because I keep asking myself "Who's the Boss?"

I hope that Antowain Smith has acquitted himself in the eyes of all of those who kept bashing him this year and last.

Why can't Dick Vermeil get through a press conference without crying?

Feel free to drop me a line. I can be reached at [email protected].

Don't forget to check me out at 8:20 on Monday mornings on Bangor, Maine's sports radio leader, WZON 620 "The Zone." You can listen over the internet at This column also appears in the Waterboro (ME) Reporter, the Maine Standard Times (Lewiston/Auburn, ME), the American Journal (Westbrook, ME), the Lakes Region Suburban Weekly (Windham, ME), and the Village Soup Times (Belfast/Camden/Rockland, ME).