Former Jets QB Christian Hackenberg is Visiting the Patriots Today

How about that Belichick, man? When the rest of the league is playing checkers he’s playing chess. He trades away his elite young backup QB and then just sits in the weeds waiting for the Jets to outsmart themselves and dump Hackenberg onto the Raiders who then cut him less than 2 weeks later, and thats when Belichick POUNCES.

In all seriousness I hated this pick by the Jets from Day 1. Well technically Day 2 since he was a second round pick. But the guy flashed as a freshman at Penn State with 20 TDs and 10 INTs under old friend Bill O’Brien. Then he regressed the next two years throwing 12/15 and 16/6 before going pro and getting drafted by the New York Football Jets, despite never posting a completion percentage above 59% in college.

In two years with the Jets he threw a grand total of zero passes despite being surrounded by bums like Bryce Petty, Geno Smith, Ryan Fitzpatrick, and Josh McCown. Not exactly murderers row ahead of him.

But before we all freak out lets just remember that the Patriots, as does every other team in the NFL, routinely workout guys that they never sign. Guys they never even hope to have to sign. These are often just workouts to keep the pipeline full in case disaster strikes and guys on your roster get injured.

Or Belichick is dabbling in the dark arts again and has grand plans for young Hackenberg. Jimmy Garoppo-WHO am I right??

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With the USA Out, What Team Should You Root for in the World Cup?

With the United States Mens National Team missing the cut after failing to qualify for the World Cup, I am a free agent in terms of rooting interest. Lets find us a team shall we?

You don’t necessarily want to ride the coattails of the favorite, but you gotta have a team that actually has a shot at going deep because if you pick Tunisia and they’re out in group play well then you’re back to square one.

Since the last year I bought FIFA was like 2010, I’m a bit dated in my knowledge. Wayne Rooney is on the verge of joining MLS so he’s clearly not playing for Team England. I just learned Schweinsteiger is out on Team Germany. I need to catch up quick.

Rooting for Brazil is like rooting for the Yankees. They have the most talented team in the world just about every year. Plus they have absolutely massive amounts of Team Brazil shit every time I walk into the Marshalls in Watertown. But Neymar though…

Neymar is back and healthy after having his previous World Cup run cut short by what looked like an incredibly painful back injury. Brazil is always fun as all hell to watch though as they just breed soccer players down there.

Russia is apparently instructing its citizens to not have sex with foreigners so they’re out. Its like the Olympic Village except the World Cup is twice as long. If you can’t have some fun with someone who doesn’t even speak the same language then why even go?

Portugal and Argentina are always great to watch with the 2 greatest players in the world in Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi leading the way for each squad. Plus this might be the last World Cup for each of them so you could ride off into the sunset with one of those studs if you like that vibe.

If you want to join forces with the country that is voted the Happiest Country in the World just about every year then Denmark is your team. Christian Eriksen is pretty goddamn good at soccer too. The Ringer described him:

“Eriksen’s carrying tool is that ineffable ability to just make the ball do what he wants—stick to him in possession, curve gently to a teammate’s foot or the corner of the net in attack. In Denmark’s last competitive game, Eriksen scored three sublime goals against Ireland to secure qualification.”

If you’re like me and follow the English Premier League like an absolute savage, and by that I mean watching games when you’re hungover on the couch or when you’re out for Hooligan Saturdays drinking a Guinness at 9 am in Cambridge, then the name Eden Hazard is familiar to you. Hazard plays for Chelsea in the EPL, which is the only team I moderately follow, so this is a solid candidate for my team as he leads Belgium into the World Cup.

Egypt is a pretty good choice if you’re looking for an up and coming dark horse as they’re in the World Cup for the first time in 28 years. They’re also led by a dude named Mo Salah who Vox said “took the soccer world by storm in 2017 and seemingly came out of nowhere to become one of the planet’s best players.”

If you want to be a bully and root for the champ then Germany is your team as they’re looking to repeat after winning the World Cup in 2014. Oh and Thomas Müller is a beast with 10 goals in the World Cup including 5  last time around to help Germany take the title.

Just a fan of general, all around assholes? Then you should go with Luis Suarez and Uruguay. He’s the guy that literally bites opposing players on the field and is a bit of a racist.

Are you a degenerate gambler looking to play the odds? Well Brazil is the favorite at 7-2, followed by defending champion Germany at 4-1, and then France is at 6-1. If you want to just burn your money, the biggest long shots are Saudi Arabia (they lost 5-0 to Russia today), Iran, and Panama at +4,000!

So there’s your breakdown of who to watch at the World Cup and some insights if you’re looking for a new team sans the USMNT. As for me? I’m going with Belgium. They’re a healthy -140 and feature by guy Eden Hazard. Lock it up.

Who should I root for? Who are you rooting for? Tweet us @the300sboston to state your case as we all pretend to be soccer hooligans for the next month.

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Nintendo Brought the Heat at E3. Lets Break it Down.

If you’re reading this then I assume you already know, but for those who don’t, E3 is the annual video game convention, Electronic Entertainment Expo, and its where publishers showcase new and upcoming games. Its where new consoles get announced, new titles are revealed, but most of all its where all the blazing hot trailers are released for upcoming video games. And Nintendo brought the heat this year.

To be honest, this is the first year I’ve been excited for Nintendo’s E3 announcements, probably ever. The Switch is the first Nintendo system I’ve owned since N64. As I’ve joked about before I have absolutely zero brand loyalty, so good luck marketing to me. I went from the original Nintendo to Sega to N64 to Dreamcast to PS2 to Xbox 360 back to PS4 to Nintendo Switch. So yea, not a lot of continuity in there. With so few console exclusives that are actually worth it theres little reason to stay loyal to just one system.

But I am back on the Nintendo bandwagon and they’ve crushed it out of the gate with phenomenal games like Super Mario Odyssey and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Outside of that though theres been a lack of great games on the new system. Nintendo gets accused of going to the well too often rehashing the same franchises over and over again like Mario and Zelda, but when the games are this good then who cares?

The most glaring absence had come from one of Nintendo’s most popular properties ever; Pokemon. Whats unique about Pokemon is that its never made the jump to home consoles for a standalone game. They’ve always developed core games for mobile devices like the Game Boy and the 3Ds. There have been random games like Pokemon Stadium and Pokemon Snap to name a couple on home consoles, but no core games where you gotta catch em all.

That is until now.

Naturally, the news of Pokemon: Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Pokemon: Let’s Go, Evee! leaked a few weeks ago so it wasn’t a huge reveal, but it was awesome to see the old Kanto region I grew up in as a fully realized 3D world. I am going to buy the absolute shit out of this game on Day 1.

Its essentially a remake of Pokemon Yellow, which dropped on Game Boy in 1998 and earned a 10/10 from IGN. But it won’t just be a port since they had to build this 3D world from scratch and it will also introduce new elements to the series such as adopting some gameplay features from the massively popular Pokemon Go iOS game. Then of course there’s this little guy.

Its a Pokeball controller that you throw to catch new Pokemon. Lets be honest, it doesn’t really matter what this costs because I am 100% going to buy it.

Pokemon: Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Pokemon: Let’s Go, Evee! will both be released on November 16th so get your pre-orders in asap.

Super Mario Party was also announced, which will be the first game to really encourage playing the Switch with friends. You could say Mario Kart already did that, but that was a port of an old Mario Kart game rather than a brand new game so I’m giving the edge to Mario Party here. Plus this is the first game to really take advantage of the Switch technology, just check out the trailer below.  This one drops on October 5th.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate was announced and it looks glorious. They really pulled out all the stops for this one by including every single character thats ever appeared in a Smash game. Ever. The roster is gigantic. We got all the originals plus we got Sonic, we got Charizard, hell we got Solid Snake himself. This is going to be the best drinking game since Mario Kart 64.  This one drops on December 7th.

Still no appearances by Fox McCloud though which is a goddamn shame because Star Fox 64 is one of my favorite games of all time and any Star Fox I’ve played since (Gamecube) was hot garbage.

For any Fortnite fans out there, the massively popular free title is now available on Switch too. So you can jump off the flying bus while literally riding the bus.

A couple of other freebies now available on the Switch include Pokemon Quest and Fallout Shelter. Quest is definitely a freemium type of game meaning you’ll likely have to put some money into the game to progress quickly, but I know Fallout Shelter has been out for a while to decent reviews. Both probably aren’t enough to be a great standalone game that you’d pay for, but as a free title you can play on the go? I’ll take that.

So if you were on the fence about buying yet another system, now is a pretty good time to jump into the Switch. Just make sure you get the Pokeball.

 

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United States Wins Bid to Host the 2026 World Cup

YahooFor the first time in 32 years, the men’s World Cup is coming back to North America. FIFA’s 200-plus member associations gathered in Moscow on Wednesday and voted to award 2026 World Cup hosting rights to the United States, Canada and Mexico. The North American bid – the product of over a decade of planning and campaigning – beat out one rival bid, Morocco’s, by a vote of 134 to 65.

The World Cup is coming back to the United States! Well, not this year because they failed to actually qualify for the tournament this time around. But in 2026 the World Cup will be here! Technically its the United States, Canada, and Mexico splitting hosting duties, but the good old USA will get 60 of the 80 games with our neighbors to the north and south getting 10 each.

The United States is a huge country so now the question is where exactly will these games be played? With just about every major city having a professional team from some sport, there are plenty of stadiums and arenas to choose from.

“The U.S. must cut a list of 17 cities down to 10 over the coming years. It has proposed the Rose Bowl (Pasadena, Calif.) for the opener; Mercedes-Benz Stadium (Atlanta) and AT&T Stadium (Arlington, Tex.) for semifinals; and MetLife Stadium (East Rutherford, N.J.) for the final.”

The final game that decides the World Cup might be played at MetLife Stadium? That sounds like an AWFUL idea. Have you ever been to MetLife Stadium? I know its right next to NYC, but it is an absolute nightmare to get in and out of by public transportation. Unless your taking a bus or just driving yourself, forget it. Do people not remember the mayhem the Super Bowl caused at MetLife?

Fans were literally waiting in line for hours just to *leave* because theres one goddamn train in and out of the place. So sure lets host the final game of the WORLD CUP there, that should go well.

Also in the running to host a game is Gillette Stadium, which I would love, but I can’t honestly campaign for it after just eviscerating MetLife’s transportation setup. Gillette is worse and it takes literally 2 hours to get from your parking spot back to I-95 so that wouldn’t be ideal. And thats after a Patriots game. I can only imagine the hell that would be World Cup traffic. I would honestly recommend looking into Foxborough real estate and buying a house today, rather than sit in that traffic 8 years from now.

The biggest soccer tournament in the world has been in Qatar, Russia, Brazil, South Africa, and Germany over the last dozen years. So obviously its a prime opportunity to travel to an exotic location for some new experiences while watching the best players in the world. I would love to cross going to a World Cup game off my bucket list, but getting to do so less than an hour from the comfort of my own home is the most Ugly American thing I’ve ever heard of and I look forward to it.

Want to know the best perk of all for hosting the World Cup?

“The successful bid also means that the U.S., Canada and Mexico will qualify automatically for the tournament.”

Perfect! As we all know the US failed to qualify for the World Cup this year so its a great solution to a potential problem in 8 years.

When the U.S. Mens National Team still sucks and fails to qualify again, then we’ll just automatically be given a spot, which really is the American way of life.

This was not an easy process though, hence why its been 30+ years since we last hosted the World Cup.

“The U.S. partnered with its North American neighbors to launch a revamped bid, and convinced FIFA to fast-track the process. Morocco jumped in on the eve of the deadline to give the heavily favored United Bid competition.

And over the past 12 months, to varying degrees, the North African nation seemed like a real threat to a North American World Cup. Rampant anti-American sentiment around the world, both inside and outside soccer circles, cooked up worry.”

It sounds like despite Making America Great Again, Donnie Jr. nearly fucked this whole thing up for all of us. The U.S. Soccer Federation had to shake hands and kiss babies until the 11th hour just to beat out MOROCCO.

Now hopefully the U.S. is smart enough to avoid the financial pitfall that massive events like this and the Olympics seem to cause. There are countless stories of unfinished stadiums and huge sums of debt incurred by the host countries, but I think a lot of that stems from simply not having the infrastructure in place to begin with. The U.S. is loaded with gigantic, shiny, brand new stadiums around the country just dying to be put to use. So we won’t have to sink big money into building arenas for the sole purpose of a soccer tournament that lasts a month.

This news is a reminder that the World Cup kicks off tomorrow, which is awesome, but its a sad reminder that the U.S. won’t be a part of it. Its a lot easier to be an alcoholic during the Olympics and the World Cup because nobody bats an eye when you’ve had your third beer before noon if Team USA is playing. But being hungover after lunch because you went out for the Russia – Saudia Arabia game doesn’t really fly with upper management.

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The Patriots Have Become TNT: We Know Drama

The latest episode of The 300s Podcast is LIVE! Click here to listen or download on iTunes or Google Play.

We talk about Julian Edelman’s possible suspension and how apparently the NFL doesn’t even know what he tested positive for, how does this all affect Tom Brady and TB12, some good old fashioned Boston media on media crime and more! Listen, subscribe, and review us on iTunes, Google Play or wherever you get your podcasts!

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Cavs Have Learned Nothing; Reportedly Shopping Kevin Love to Convince LeBron to Stay

Yahoo – At present, the Cavs don’t have much to offer James. Despite reaching the NBA Finals, it’s tough to label the current roster as championship-caliber, and Cleveland’s lack of salary cap flexibility nixes the idea of signing a marquee free agent. In order to make stark changes, the Cavaliers likely will have to make a trade. And considering Kevin Love is Cleveland’s best player outside of James, the veteran big man could be the team’s saving grace. “They missed chances to trade their best non-LeBron player, Kevin Love, at something close to peak value, and will have hard time flipping him for even 50 percent of that now,” ESPN’s Zach Lowe writes. “Expect the Cavs to explore what they might get for a package of Love and the No. 8 pick around the draft in a last-ditch attempt to convince LeBron to stay.”

This is the exact kind of shit that got Cleveland in the spot they’re stuck in at this exact moment; forcing personnel moves solely to appease LeBron. Thats how you get a roster full of guys like JR Smith, Tristan Thompson, Kyle Korver, and (ironically) Kevin Love. So now, rather than try and actually build something the Cavs are just gonna double down and reconfigure the team on the fly again in an effort to entice LeBron to resign.

Let me be very clear; this is a TERRIBLE idea.

Completely altering the structure of the team by trading your second best player and a top 10 draft pick only to guarantee LeBron for another year AT BEST is asinine. The past couple of years LeBron has exclusively signed 1+1 deals where its 1 year + a 1 year player option. He then opts out after the 1 year to essentially put the pressure on the team to do what he wants and continuously add to the roster. Which is genius by the way. LeBron snatched all the leverage away and gave it back to the (elite) players. Business savvy as all hell. But its put the Cavs in a terrible bind the past few years, despite reaching the Finals 4 straight years.

Cleveland has essentially been operating under 1 year cycles, not even pretending to think about building for the long term. And don’t tell me that its exactly what they needed to do to win and be successful because the Cavaliers have just as many titles as the Celtics in the past decade.

So the Cavs could trade all of their best assets just to appease LeBron and then if it doesn’t work to his liking he’s gone next year anyways. Then you’re really hosed.

It’s an awful position to be in, but the Cavs let themselves get here so they need to do 1 of 2 things. Either sack up and tell LeBron this is the team we’ve got and we’ll do the best we can, but we’re not going to start purging valuable assets unless you commit to a long term deal. OR just blow up the entire thing and restart with whatever you can get for the assets you currently have.

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Now the NFL Doesn’t Know What Edelman Tested Positive For; NFL Scientists Trying to Figure it Out

SI – “I know what Julian Edelman posted on Instagram in the wake of the suspension news (“I don’t know what happened”) came off as a little weird, but there is an explanation for it. I was told Edelman’s result was triggered by a substance that wasn’t immediately recognizable, and there are scientists analyzing it. And as to the timing, the test did happen during the offseason (a couple months ago), which means it’s not for any kind of stimulant. You might remember the rash of players saying they got popped for Adderall—the rules have changed now so that offseason use of stimulants falls under the substances of abuse policy, rather than the PED policy.”

Late last week Julian Edelman got popped for PEDs, but it wasn’t immediately known what he had actually tested positive for. However, Bert Breer of MMQB reported today that Edelman’s “I don’t know what happened” defense may not be totally unfounded because apparently the NFL doesn’t know what happened either.

I was told Edelman’s result was triggered by a substance that wasn’t immediately recognizable, and there are scientists analyzing it.”

Ask anyone who has read “Game of Shadows” or “Juiced” or followed really any of the Olympic track scandals over the past 20 years; the steroid scientists are always ahead of the league scientists. Its just a constant game of catch up as the leagues are trying to reverse engineer everything and figure out what to test for. With that being said, when they do pop someone its usually a hybrid substance or a masking agent of another substance that triggers the test. Breer makes it seem like Edelman tested positive for something the NFL has never seen. But if thats the case, then is the substance he took actually banned? Did Edelman even know if it was or wasn’t?

I mean technically, if its not a banned substance then you can’t suspend a guy for it. You would have to at least inform the NFLPA that it will soon be banned and that it will be tested for in the future. Without knowing all the details its hard to say who’s more in the wrong here (neither Edelman nor the NFL are in the right) because if you’re the NFL how can you suspend a guy for something you didn’t know even existed let alone banned? If you’re Edelman WTF are you doing taking something that isn’t 100% approved by the NFL. A lot of players won’t even step foot in a GNC anymore because who the hell knows whats in half of the supplements they sell? If you don’t know, then don’t risk it.

So the real question is what did Edelman test positive for? Adamantium? Vibranium? The symbiote that forms Venom?

Or is it a TB12 cocktail? I’m certainly not going to point the finger because it would be criminally negligent for Alex Guerrero and Tom Brady to be signing off on anything even approaching questionable as part of the TB12 Method. Doing so would essentially submarine a potential billion dollar business in a second.

But thats not to say the media won’t make the connection, allude to the connection, or nearly come to blows arguing over the mere mention of a possible connection.

Either way the Patriots have become a constant source of drama and gossip this offseason, which is the antithesis of what this team has been for the past 18 years. Thats tough to ignore because where there’s smoke there’s usually fire. But until that shoe drops, I fully expect the team to win 12+ games and be chasing another Super Bowl this year. So for all the critics calling for the end of the dynasty, saying every great team run ends the same; It only ends once. Everything before that is just progress.

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