Friday Afternoon Notes

Heading into the NFL Draft it seems fitting that Jason Peters was just traded by the Bills to the Eagles. He’s one of those rare cases where the NFL draft machinery just totally missed the boat. Peters was an undrafted tight end out of Arkansas. Someone with the Bills had the bright idea to try Peters on the O-line, and voila – a two time Pro Bowl left tackle. Peters held out at the start of last year and still hadn’t come to terms on a new deal, so the Bills really had no choice but to get rid of him. It was an equally logical move for the Eagles – they lost Tra Thomas in free agency, so they needed a replacement. With Peters they not only got that but an upgrade. The lingering effect of this is that it will likely change up some draft boards. The Bills will definitely need a new left tackle, and the draft is probably more promising than a free agent at this point. Buffalo wasn’t one of the many teams in the market for a tackle before this move, but they certainly are now. Things like this are why the draft is so interesting – six years after no one wanted him, Peters is essentially Philly’s second first round pick.

The Cowboys are popping up more and more as a potential new home for Anquan Boldin. He and Roy Williams have the potential to be impressive together, but Boldin is going to cost at least a first rounder, and that would mean that the ‘Boys would have spent a ridiculous amount of heir future on two receivers in less than a season. I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see them do it, bu I’m not sure this is what they need to get over the top – especially since Boldin isn’t always the best locker room citizen.

It took my beloved Calgary Flames 12 seconds to lose in overtime last night. 12 seconds!!!!!! How is that even possible? This obviously isn’t a death blow, but I unfortunately think that the team will come out flat and pouting on Saturday after this setback. I sure wouldn’t bet on them at this point.

The Yankees got crushed in their stadium opener yesterday, and the Mets lost their first in their new home on Tuesday. That means that home teams are 5-8 in the last 13 stadium openings dating back to the opening of Safeco Field in Seattle on July 15, 1999. It might intuitively seem that the teams would get a boost from new surroundings, but this strangely doesn’t seem to be the case.

The new Garden in Boston is going to be incredibly busy on Saturday. The Celtics host the Bulls in the first game of their series in the afternoon, and then the Bruins host the Habs in game two of theirs in the evening. This relatively rare occurrence is going to have a pretty significant effect on the ice. It will be under the court for the basketball game. That softens it, and it won’t have enough time to harden back up properly before the pregame skates. That means that the ice for the hockey game will either be soft or brittle, and neither way is ideal. I’d personally think about taking a goal or two off of your expectations for the game given the potential conditions.

There’s another UFC card on Saturday night. It has the biggest name in action in Anderson ‘Spider’ Silva, but they haven’t bothered to give him an opponent who can challenge him. Mauricio Rua and Chuck Liddell face off in a fight that would have been amazing three or four years ago but is now just sad – like an old-timers basketball game where guys who used to be able to dunk can now only hit girly layups. The last UFC Fight Night Card was won entirely by favorites, and I see almost the same thing happening again here. Matt Wima is the only underdog I would personally back, and he’s only at +110. I’m not betting on UFC 97 being an instant classic.

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