Monday, May 16, 2016

2011 4th of July Celebrations in Indianapolis

Looking for something to do in Indianapolis, Indiana on Independence Day? Here’s a few of my favorites.

Enjoy patriotic music under the stars. The Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra will perform a Star-Spangled Symphony at Marsh Symphony on the Prairie on July 1-4. Concerts begin at 8pm and gates open at 4:30pm. Advance tickets are $27 adults; $11 children 2-12. At the gate tickets are $30 for adults and $13 for children. Guests can bring their own food and beverages. Parking is free onsite. For more information visit the Symphony’s website or call 317-639-4300 or 800-366-8457. The concerts are at the amphitheater at Conner Prairie Interactive History Park (13400 Allisonville Road, Fishers).

Also at Conner Prairie, experience how the 4th of July was celebrated in the 1800s. Attend Glorious Fourth and enjoy an old-time baseball game, a cannon firing demonstration, games and more. It’s Saturday, July 2 from 10am-5pm, Sunday, July 3 from 11am-5pm and Monday, July 4 from 10am-5pm. Admission is $14 adults, $13 seniors 65 +, $9 youth (2-12); free for under 2. Parking is free. For more details visit their website or call 317-776-6006.

Head downtown to enjoy a concert on the canal. The Indianapolis Municipal Band will perform patriotic tunes at the Indiana History Center’s Concerts on the Canal Series. Tables for 8 are available for $45 ($40 members), tables for 4 are $35 ($30 members), single seats are $10 ($9 members). Food is available for purchase, but guests may bring their own food and nonalcoholic beverages. All alcohol must be purchased on site. Parking at the Indiana History Center is limited, but there is street parking near the center. The History Center is located at 450 West Ohio Street.

The Indianapolis Indians take on the Toledo Mud Hens on July 4 at Victory Field in downtown Indianapolis. The first pitch is at 6:05pm and a fireworks display will follow the game. Also the first 14,500 fans will receive a Rally Towel and all fans will receive an American flag. Tickets range from $10-15. Parking is available at the Government Center Garage on the northeast corner of West and Maryland Streets for $5 and at several other downtown lots. For more information on downtown parking, check out this database. For ticket information visit the Indians website. Victory Field is located at 501 West Maryland Street.

Have a safe and happy 4th of July celebration.

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2011 BCS Rankings: An LSU-Alabama Rematch is Terrible for College Football

The Bowl Championship Series (BCS) was created with two goals in mind. First is to complete the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) season with the crowning of a single undisputed National Champion. Previously, it was not uncommon for two or more teams to claim the championship, based on the results of multiple rankings (for example the AP and Coaches polls). The second BCS goal is to have the two best teams in the 120-member FBS play each other, head to head, in a National Championship Game.

An LSU-Alabama rematch in the 2012 BCS Championship Game, to be played January 9, 2012, in New Orleans, may not accomplish either of the BCS Goals.

1. If Alabama were to beat LSU in New Orleans, each team would have beaten the other one time. There is no justification to the argument that a Crimson Tide win on January 9th is worth more than the Tigers victory on November 5th. Forget about having an undisputed champion.

2. In determining the champion in any sports competition, contrary to the life philosophy we teach our youth, winning IS everything. Since there are 120 teams in the FBS, most of whom play 12 games per season, you need a ranking system to determine the two best teams. I use a simple three-step system to rank teams based on victories, both their own and those of the opponents they play.

Step One

Who are the “winningest” teams in the FBS, the easiest step. A team receives 1 point for each victory against an FBS opponent (I don’t count games played against schools from lower divisions). The victory total is then divided by their winning percentage. As of November 27, 2011, the seven winningest teams in the FBS are:

1. LSU and Houston are each 11-0 (Northwestern State and Georgia State are not FBS teams, so do not count). 11 pts X 1.000 = 11 pts.
3. Stanford is 11-1 (no non-FBS opponents). 11 pts X .917 = 10.087 pts.
4. Alabama, Oklahoma State, Virginia Tech and Boise State are all 10-1 (Oklahoma State and Boise State did not play any non-FBS opponents). 10 pts X .909 = 9.09 pts.

Step Two

Strength of non-conference schedule. Multiply the above score by a team’s non-conference opponents winning percentage against all other FBS teams. LSU played the strongest non-conference schedule, Stanford the weakest. The new rankings of these seven teams are:

1. LSU, non-conference opponents were 23-7 = .767 X 11 pts above = 8.437.
2. Boise State, 33-16 = .673 X 9.09 = 6.118.
3. Houston, 17-15 = .531 X 11 = 5.841.
4. Virginia Tech, 20-13 = .606 X 9.09 = 5.509.
5. Oklahoma State, 19-14 = .576 X 9.09 = 5.236.
6. Stanford, 16-17 = .485 X 10.087 = 4.892.
7. Alabama, 16-14 = .533 X 9.09 = 4.845.

Step Three

Finally, we need to rank strength of the conference you play in. I use winning percentage for the teams you played within your own conference, against their non-conference opponents. Oklahoma State played the strongest conference schedule, Houston the weakest. Adding this factor, we get a simple “final” ranking of these seven teams as:

1. LSU, conference opponents, 19-5 = .792 X 8.437 = Final Point Total of 6.682.
2. Oklahoma State, 15-3 = .833 X 5.236 = 4.362.
3. Alabama, 20-5 = .800 X 4.845 = 3.876.
4. Virginia Tech, 13-11 = 5.42 X 5.509 = 2.986.
5. Boise State, 10-12 = .455 X 6.118 = 2.784.
6. Stanford, 10-10 = .500 X 4.892 = 2.446.
7. Houston, 7-22 = .259 X 5.841 = 1.513.

After applying this same formula to all the FBS teams with two losses, I’m confident the above would not be the Top Seven. This article simply points out that Alabama is not a clearly superior candidate over Oklahoma State at this time. Oklahoma State, Virginia Tech, and Houston each will play Top 25 opponents on December 3rd, with a chance to improve their ratings.

The media experts always harp about the dominance of the SEC, and I agree that top to bottom it may be the strongest in the FBS. However, if you look only at the teams that the above seven actually played against, Oklahoma State’s conference opponents were stronger. Remember that LSU and Alabama avoided both Georgia and South Carolina, leaving Arkansas as their only opponent with a winning record in SEC conference play.

A battle between the only two teams with perfect 13-0 records, LSU vs Houston, would be more appropriate than an LSU vs Alabama rematch. You never know what might happen if the Tigers and Cougars actually played on the field. Remember Boise State vs Oklahoma in the 2007 Fiesta Bowl?

Enjoy the games of the coming week. Tune in on December 4th to see what two teams will really play in the 2012 BCS Championship Game in New Orleans.

source: espn.com

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2011 BMW 535i Review

The 2011 BMW 535i has a new exterior design and interior that combine functionality and luxury with a clear advantage towards the driver. The advanced drive train and suspension combined deliver both great handling and passenger comfort . The new single turbo engine provides the driver with all the necessary power needed.

Power

BMW switched from a twin to a single turbo engine for the 535i to meet tightening emissions requirements, but engineers tuned and positioned the dual-scroll blower to keep output unchanged at 300 hp. BMW also uses direct injection and outsources throttle duty to the variable-lift valve train to improve responsiveness. In fact, BMW says the peak torque of 300 lb-ft now starts 200 revs lower, at 1200 rpm, and lasts up to 5000 rpm. It sounds exciting, but the N55 six feels just slightly duller than the old, N54 engine in delivering thrust.

Interior

Accessible controls let you adjust the well-sculpted seat 10 ways, fine-tune your driving position and save the settings easily. The wheel is electrically adjustable in height and reach, with redundant controls for the audio system, on board settings and cruise control. The standard display screen is 7 inches across, and you get a superb 10.2-inch screen with an optional navigation system that is nicely complemented by an available heads up display. The rear seat offers an extra half-inch of knee room, and you can get a 60/40 split-folding seat back, a pass-through and a ski bag as options. Trunk volume is up appreciably, to a class-leading 18.2 cubic feet, easily bettering the Mercedes E-Class and Audi A6’s 15.9 cubic feet. The new 5 can also be equipped with a rear-seat infotainment system. You get a pair of 8-inch screens or larger 9.2-inch units that play independently with the Professional system. The wide screen allows users to split the screen to display secondary data alongside the map, or fill the entire screen with the beautifully rendered maps. The navigation system also features traffic data.

Handling

The 4-wheel electric power steering enhances maneuverability at lower speeds and aids stability at speeds above 35 mph. It works like a charm. Another option is the Sport package, which includes Driving Dynamics Control. This one lets you pick among Normal, Sport and Sport+ driving modes. It changes steering, engine and suspension settings in conjunction with the electronically adjusted shock absorbers and anti-roll bars. Up front, the MacPherson strut design has been traded for a more advanced multilink setup that offers more flexibility in tuning. Cars equipped with the sport package receive Driving Dynamics Control, which allows the driver to choose Comfort, Normal, Sport, or Sport Plus mode to alter the throttle mapping, the transmission’s shift points, and steering effort.

Driver Options

BMW’s Parking Assistant is an automated parallel-parking aid that, much like the similar system in certain Ford vehicles, will scan for available spaces using ultrasonic sensors. When a space of appropriate size is located, the Parking Assistant system will take over steering duties while the driver maintains control of the shifter, acceleration, and braking guiding the sedan into the space.Other driver aid options included the rear view camera with trajectory lines, a top view display that shows a bird’s eye view of the area surrounding the vehicle by stitching together imagery from multiple cameras and a side view camera mounted in the nose of the vehicle that is useful for seeing around corners while driving out of your garage into the street. So if you are in the market for a new BMW the 2011 535i might be for you.

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2011 Barclays ATP World Tour Finals Wrap-Up

Roger Federer defeated Jo-Wilfried Tsonga for his record sixth ATP Tour Finals championship, his 70th title overall, in a hard-fought 3 set battle. And after an up and down week of matches in London that saw some great tennis, a withdrawal, and a few unlikely blowouts, this was actually a very fitting and satisfying end to the ATP season.

Roger seemed ready to waltz to the title in straight sets until a funny thing happened. He became human. He lost his concentration and let his guard down (visualizing himself in the locker room with Mirka, the twins and the trophy) while serving for the match at 5-4 in the second set. Haven’t we all done that at some point MINUS the twins, trophy and Mirka?

Jo-Wilfried seized this opportunity to break Roger and stay in the match. After not having a single break opportunity for the entire match, Tsonga suddenly found himself with 3 (after some fierce forehands brought Roger back to reality) and converted one for the break. He then held for 6-5 to set up the inevitable tiebreak. Roger wasn’t about to concede the set, though, as Tsonga needed to fight off a match point in the tiebreak with more clutch hitting. But after losing that match point, the momentum officially shifted as Jo-Wilfried won the tiebreak and took the match into a dramatic third set.

Even with his second set lapse (and increasing woes with his first serve) there was a palpable sense that Roger would still prevail. His first serve may not have been firing properly, but his second serve more than made up for it with some easy service holds. Jo-Wilfried competed admirably in the third, but seemed to struggle with his own service games a bit more than Roger. So it came to pass in the 9th game, as a woeful service effort finally gave up the all-important break for Roger to go up 5-4. This time there would be no miscues!

Tsonga played some brilliant tennis during the ATP World Tour Finals, only losing one other match the entire week…also to Federer in 3 tough sets. His fall season was a bit mixed with some really good results punctuated by a couple of stinging losses (i.e. 0-6 2-6 4-6 to Rafa Nadal in Davis Cup and first round loss to Kei Nishikori in Shanghai). There is no doubt, however, that he is primed and ready to make 2012 his breakout year!

He has no fear of the top 4 guys, and believes in his power game. Whereas a player like Tomas Berdych can get really tight on the big points, Tsonga seems to thrive; taking his chances as he did against Roger at the tail end of the second set. JW hasn’t been to a final since his Australian Open loss against Novak Djokovic, but you have to like his chances more and more now that he’s fitter and more mature. If he keeps up this level of play we may see him in the Aussie final again. That would be sweet indeed! And oh so deserving.

And what more can be said about Roger Federer that hasn’t already been said? In a year where he failed to win even one Grand Slam, he ends the year with an 18-0 record, three titles in a row, and almost 5.5 million dollars in earnings. He’s fit, playing well, and looks ready to add to his total of 16 Grand Slam singles titles.

That’s in stark contrast to the man he just replaced at number three (Andy Murray) and the two guys above him (Rafa and Novak). Murray seems more and more like a man incapable of living up to the moment. Maybe that will change when he finally breaks through. But any breakthrough seems unlikely as long as Novak, Roger, and Rafa are fit and ready.

Speaking of Rafa and Novak, we can certainly all appreciate the performances they put on for our immense pleasure over the course of 2011. Wimbledon and the US Open were excellent examples of how wonderfully dramatic tennis can be at that level. They were also excellent examples of just how brutal tennis can be when played at the most extreme edge of the sport.

At the end of the US Open it was clear that neither had anything left in the tank (though none or us realized at the time that it would affect them through the remainder of the season). Their rallies often looked more like a prize fight than a tennis match. Visually, they seemed to look like prize fighters themselves by the of the match with one big difference. Novak had nothing left physically-speaking, but Rafa had nothing left in terms of his spirit and motivation.

By the time London came around, however, the distinction was moot as both slumped to 1-2 records in group play. Neither made it to the semifinal round. They were both “done”! And who could blame them for their poor showings?

In the end, I guess it was fitting that the final title of the year was decided between a player who is finally delivering on his early promise (Tsonga) AND a player who has had a career of historic proportions (Federer). The best part is that both could continue their achievement into the new year. As for the others (Murray, Nadal, and Djokovic)?

Only time will tell…about four weeks to be exact.

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2011 Cincinnati Reds Events

Fans of the Cincinnati Reds can look forward to numerous events in connection with the team this year. In addition to games themselves, there are plenty of ways to celebrate and honor your favorite team, from pre-game parties to all-day events.

Father’s Day Catch

What better way to celebrate Father’s Day than to play catch on the field at the Great American Ball Park? On Sunday, June 19, 2011, tickets to Father’s Day Catch include the game that day as well as a commemorative certificate, baseball, and other enticements.

Johnny Bench Exhibit

If you’ve never been to the Reds Hall of Fame and Museum, now is the time. The Cincinnati Reds kicked off 2011 by introducing a new exhibit dedicated to famed catcher Johnny Bench. There will be other events connected to the exhibit, as well, including the unveiling of a Johnny Bench statue later in the year.

Bark in the Park

What’s missing from your average Cincinnati Reds baseball game? Man’s best friend. Fortunately, the stadium is rectifying that oversight with Bark in the Park on September 14, 2011. And don’t forget doggie Reds gear, because there will be prizes for the best-dressed canine fan.

Reds Rookie Success League

Small Cincinnati Reds fans are definitely not neglected in 2011. Kids between the ages of six and 12 can join the Reds Rookie Success League, a summer baseball league. Adults who are interested can also volunteer for this particular event, which includes life as well as baseball lessons.

Reds Un-Cut

Speaking of the Success League, there are plenty of events that benefit this program, including Reds Uncut: Live at the Aranoff . Get up close and personal with your favorite Cincinnati Reds during the interview portion of the show, then kick back and watch the antics as the players, broadcasters, and coaches entertain.

Family Days

Bring the whole family to watch the Cincinnati Reds in action. There are lots of family-friendly events on game days in 2011, from Run the Bases days to Sunday Kids Giveaways. There is even a family-friendly section of the ballpark where alcohol isn’t served and kids can enjoy their favorite sport in a safe atmosphere.

Black Finn Sports Bar

Game days at Black Finn Sports Bar are a great way to enjoy the Cincinnati Reds if you don’t have tickets to the actual game. Drink, eat, and enjoy great views of more than 30 flat-screen televisions positioned around the establishment.

Redlegs Run

It’s the 10 th anniversary of the Redlegs Run, which includes a 10k option. If you are interested in supporting the Reds Community Fun, this is an awesome family-friendly event that promotes both the Cincinnati Reds and physical fitness. The race is Saturday, June 11, 2011.

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2011 Detroit Auto Show Highlights Include Porsche Racing Hybrid

The North American International Auto Show, otherwise known as the 2011 Detroit Auto Show, previewed over 30 new vehicles Monday and Tuesday. The car show is open until January 23, open to the public now that the industry and press have had their peeks at the future of the automobile industry. Like any convention chock full of product releases, the Detroit Car Show launched and teased some vehicles that were more innovative or just plain more sexy than the competition.

Porsche 918 RSR

The Porsche 918 RSR won ‘Best Concept’ in the Eyes on Design Award at the 2011 Detroit Auto Show. Upping the sexy in environmental racing design, the 918 RSR one-seater uses the same drivetrain as the Porsche 911 GT3 hybrid.
This Porsche brings a combined 767 horsepower. The 6.2 liter V8 provides 563 horsepower, while the rest generates from two electric motors. Braking energy is stored in the flywheel accumulator and can do accessed by the driver for an eight second boost.

Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG E-Cell

Mercedes-Benz also combined sexy style with green technology, in a day-glo yellow emission-free gull-wing sports car. The result is the SLS AMG E-Cell, which wears its combined 525 horsepower four electric motors close to each wheel, to avoid lesser handling. Energy is stored in lithium ion batteries, which can receive a boost from braking energy between charges.

Hyundai Curb Concept

The Hyundai Curb Concept interprets its “Fluidic Sculpture” design into what can only be described as what a really cool athletic shoe would look like as a Urban Activity Vehicle (UAV). Like those same sneakers, the new Hyundai is build with endurance and high style in mind. The 22-inch five-spoke wheels are covered with custom Michelin tires with a golden yellow colored tread pattern. The curvy sleekness is intended for younger buyers–as is the new Hyundai Blue Link™ and vehicle connectivity technology–and it shows. Funky, yes, definitely fitting for an urban concept car.

2012 Chevrolet Sonic

The new Chevrolet Sonic sedans and hatchbacks are trying to borrow a little sex appeal from the Corvette, with vice president of Chevrolet marketing, Chris Perry hailing that, “The all-new Chevrolet Sonic blends the practicality of a small car with the passion for driving that Chevrolet vehicles like the Corvette are known for.” It’s not a random association, as Corvette engineers fine-tuned the Sonic’s drive and handling.

More than anything, the Chevy Sonic is meant to banish thoughts of the Aveo–the horrid car it replaces–from consumers’ minds. In design, it appears to be a job well done.

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2011 Christmas Parades in the South Bay, Los Angeles Area

It is the most wonderful time of the year! As a new resident nervously counting down to his first Christmas in the South Bay of Los Angeles County, I cannot wait to discover the kind of joy and festivities the area will bring to its residents. Christmas parades have been an essential part of the holiday season and this guide will provide information on the biggest parades in the South Bay area.

#1 The 31st Holiday Spirit Of San Pedro Parade

Sunday-December 4, 2011 @ 1:00 pm; For more information, click here or call the San Pedro Peninsula Chamber of Commerce at 310.832.7272.

The parade will assemble at the corner of 15th Street and Pacific Avenue.

Besides being one of the busiest seaports in the area, the vibrant city of San Pedro is bringing South Bay residents its 31st Christmas parade. Every year, thousands of spectators gather in downtown San Pedro to support participants from local schools, non-profit organizations, elected officials, celebrities, and corporations.

#2 The annual Marina del Rey Holiday Boat Parade

Saturday-December 10, 2011 @ 5:55 pm; For more information, click here .

The parade boats will circle the Marina main channel.

Spectators will be able to park in the county public parking lots in the Marina and spectators are reminded that there is no street parking in Marina del Rey.

What could possibly be better than Christmas parades? Christmas parades on boats! Rain or shine, there will be a Christmas boat parade along the beautiful Marina coastline. The event is going to start off with a traditional fireworks display and spectators are encouraged to gather at one of the recommended viewing spots for a even more enjoyable experience. The “live” action is at Burton Chace Park (13650 Mindanao Way, Marina del Rey), where music and commentary will be provided throughout the length of the parade. Feeling a bit hungry? Grab a seat at one of the restaurants in Fisherman’s Village and you can’t ask for a better seat!

#3 The 12th Annual King Harbor Christmas Boat Parade

Saturday-December 10, 2011 @ 5:30pm; For more information, click here or call the King Harbor Yacht Club at 310.376.2459 or email dinah2@earthlink.net

The parade will begin in the Main Channel of King Harbor, Redondo Beach.

Being a holiday tradition in the Redondo Beach area, the King Harbor Christmas Boat Parade and its fleet of lighted floats bring joy to hundreds of spectators every year. “A Storybook Christmas” will bring you a joyful memory that you and your loved ones can talk about for a long time.

#4 The 48th Annual 100 Years Of Holidays Parade in El Segundo

Sunday-December 11 , 2011 @ 1:00 pm; For more information, call the Chamber office at 310.322.1220 or email info@elsegundochamber.org.

The parade will begin on Main Street at Imperial Avenue and proceed south to El Segundo Blvd.

Celebrating 100 years of El Segundo, this fine beach city of Los Angeles will bring you and your family an event to remember. Hundreds of people attend the parade every year to support its community members. Don’t miss out on this wonderful parade and be a part of the city’s rich history!

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2011 Easter Events in Denver

Easter in Denver 2011 promises to be a fun filled day. Some events are even held on Saturday, for those who have religious or family obligations on Easter Sunday. I have a big back yard now, so this year, I’m planning a huge Easter Egg hunt for the grand-kids. Shhh! They don’t know about it yet. Still, as fun as some of these events sound, we might just attend a few.

Heritage Square is having their grand opening Easter event April 23, 2011.There will be Easter egg hunts geared to your child’s age (1-4 years old at 10:00 am, 5-7 years old at 11:00 am, 8-12 years old at Noon). The Easter Bunny will be there and available for pictures. Plus, of course, there are all the normal rides and entertainment Heritage Square has to offer.

The Children’s Museum is holding a special Easter event on Saturday April 23. It’s the Bunny Trail Eggventure. Each eggventure station has a different activity for kids. There’s face-painting, story-time, crafts and more. Pet farm animals and ride the mini train too. Leave it to the Children’s Museum to make Easter loads of fun for kids.

The Great Egg Hunt in Englewood, Colorado is something you shouldn’t miss. It comes a week early on April 16, 2011 at 10:00 am (Miller Field, 3615 S. Elati). Be there early. Once the horn blows it takes kids a mere 10-15 minutes to scoop up all the goodies. Kids from 1-8 years old are welcome (the hunt is divided into age grouped areas). There is a $1 fee for egg collectors. Kids who find special eggs receive prizes.

The Washington Park Easter Egg Hunt promises ten thousand Easter eggs! Once again, kids will be divided by age group. Even thought this is only their second year, this event includes a wide variety of Easter themed fun for kids. There will be games, races, face-painting, music and even a professional photographer for family portraits.

Bass Pro Shops has decided to join the Easter fun. They’ll be holding an Easter event April 16 and 17 as well as April 23 and 24. Kids 2-10 can join in the Easter egg hunt from 1-2 pm on all four days. There will also be ongoing crafts for kids both weekends and pictures with the Easter Bunny, of course. The Easter Bunny may be tired of hopping after all these fun events!

More from this contributor:

Easter Brunch in Denver at Affordable Prices

The Most Incredible, Edible, Realistic, Delicious Chocolate Easter Basket Ever

People Are Searching How to Hard Boil Eggs for Easter, Wow!

Source:

Personal Experience

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2011 Defense: Best the Patriots Have Ever Brought to a Superbowl?

At the beginning of the 2011 season, Patriots fans were quietly optimistic about a renewed defense, augmented with free agent defensive linemen, some new and some newly healthy defensive backs, and a knowledge that Bill Belichick was changing the defense to a more 4-3 look, with the hope that the defense would be much more stalwart than in 2009 or 2010. However, absent a good performance against the Buccaneers in a preseason game, fans saw a defense no more tight or play-making than years previous. Throughout the regular season, although the Patriots continued to pile up wins, critics mentioned these were in spite of the defense, not aided by it.

The regular season statistics were against the defense, who ranked 31st in yards allowed (and were mostly 32nd for the year), as well as being poor at 3rd down stops, and stopping big plays down field. However, there were a few bright spots, namely being tough in the red-zone, picking up some key turnovers (CB Kyle Arrington tied for the league lead in interceptions) and ranking mid-league in points allowed (which, some referred to, was the key stat, after all, points not yards determine wins).

Coach Bill Belichick was constantly questioned and queried about his defensive personnel choices, which were perhaps not misguided, when career special-teamer Matthew Slater played almost a full game at safety, and ex-quarterback turned wide receiver was used primarily in games as a slot defensive back (noted by many as the toughest spot in the NFL to play). Some of these moves were indeed ‘misses’, as were a number of free agent and previous draft choices (i.e. Albert Haynesworth and Taylor Price [one could say Ras-I Dowling or Shane Vereen were draft misses, although its too early to determine the value of the pick]).

However, all this negative criticism and poor statistical feedback had seemly no effect on the mental attitude of the defense – no quote could be found from a Patriot complaining of the lack of quality depth or making excuses for poor play, the team were consistent in believing with a bit more hard work and continued application of the defensive gameplan, it would all come together and the Patriots would have a solid if not respectable defense. And, in the end, it did come together. Right in time for the playoffs.

Statistically, the Patriots finished the regular season with a points-allowed-per-game ranking of 15th in the league, and a yards-allowed-per-game ranking of 31st (the two statistics which one can point to as the best measure of a teams’ defense). Through two playoff games, the Patriots have allowed 15 points per game, and 325 total yards per game. If these averages were compared against the regular season results, the Patriots would be 9th in the league in yards-allowed (up from 31st), and 3rd in the league in points-allowed (yes, the Patriots have a top 3 defense.). Justification for the comparison of such a
small sample size (2 games) to the regular season (16 games) is that the Patriots have obviously played two good teams in the playoffs, both by the nature that the teams made the playoffs by winning their division, and also that both these teams had some good offenses (the Broncos had the number 1 rushing offense in the league, and the Ravens had the 10th ranked rushing offense, so they aren’t slouches).

Despite these favorable comparisons, a team that has maybe had two strong defensive games may not necessarily be well regarded as a whole – so a more accurate comparison would be to look at the 2011 Patriots compared to the postseason statistics of every other Patriots team that has played in the Superbowl. Most fans remember Tedy Bruschi, Rodney Harrison, Richard Seymour, Ty Law – these guys have won Superbowl rings in New England, and are synonymous with good, tough, playoff-caliber defense. By looking at the yards-allowed and points-allowed statistics of the Patriots 6 previous Superbowl teams, perhaps the quality of the current defense can be determined.

The defenses in questionable are obviously the losing Superbowl teams from 1985, ’96 and ’07. The three winning teams are from 2001, ’03, and ’04. Studying the main defensive statistic, yards-allowed-per-game, the 2011 postseason Patriots lie somewhere around the middle, giving up less yards than the ’07 or ’04, exactly the same amount as the ’03 team, and slightly more than the other Patriots Superbowl teams (the ’96 team is the strongest in this category).

The real interesting statistic, however, is points-allowed-per-game in the postseason. With one more game to be played, the 2011 Patriots have given up less points than any previous Patriots Superbowl team (with the exception of the ’96 Pats, who gave up the same amount of points). Should the Pats keep the Giants to just two touchdowns, we’ll have seen the greatest defense the Patriots have ever put out to play defense in the postseason. And that defense includes players like Sergio Brown, Nate Jones, Julian Edelman, Gerard Warren, and Dane Fletcher. None of those guys are headed for Canton. One Patriot who will be is Coach Bill Belichick, who, if he pulls this off, will arguably be the greatest defensive mind in the history of the game, and he almost gave himself nothing to work with.

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