Here’s 12 thoughts before I gas up the snowblower.


Bill Belichick is playing chess while most of the rest of the NFL is playing checkers. I remember hearing current Miami Dolphins president Mike Tannenbaum say we are in the talent acquisition business. That’s why the Dolphins spend a boat load of money with not much to show for it. Belichick is in the team building business. His moves are smart, cost effective with an eye towards building a great team that will play into February. While other teams have thrown big money at big names, Belichick has added Chris Hogan, Chris Long, Donald Brown, Shead McCellin, and Martellus Bennett. These players fit into the team concept and will have as much of an impact at the fraction of the cost that most of the big money free agents will have.


Speaking of the Hoodie, he wanted no part of hearing Roger Goodell’s speech at the NFL Owners Meeting.


Where there is smoke there usually is fire. Rob Gronkowski’s agent Drew Rosenhaus did not deny the fact the Gronk is not happy with his contract. When CSNNE’s Tom Curran asked Rosenhaus about Gronk’s deal, the usually talkative agent replied “Not talking about that, I appreciate you asking but not getting into that.”Wondering if Gronk will stay away from some OTA’s to send the team a message?


David Ortiz sounded out against his critics in a tremendous interview with the Boston Globe’s Alex Speier. Big Papi does not like the criticism of his bat flipping after he hits home runs. Ortiz told his critics to just shut up. Ortiz also had some harsh words for pitchers who take offense to his antics saying, “Of course as a pitcher you’re not going to like it if I take you deep, but after I do it, suck it up, man. Take it like a man.” That will make some interesting reading for one David Price.


The big story down in the Fort is if Pablo Sandoval is playing for his starting job. With Travis Shaw having a great spring and Sandoval having problems in the field and not yet hitting his weight. The manager said the starter will be determined by Spring Training competition and the Panda told the Globe, he has not had a problem with that. “I don’t have a problem competing for nothing. I’m going to compete for everything out there, every single day; we’re going to compete no matter what as a team. I love that.” It remains to be seen if John Farrell has the stones not to start Sandoval.


With Opening Day just two weeks away, the Red Sox starting rotation is still very much a question mark. David Price has looked like David Price and Joe Kelly has pitched well, building off his end of the season success, but Porcello and Buchholz have been terrible and Eduardo Rodriguez will start the season the DL. This could cost the manager his job if those pitchers don’t turn things around.


The Bruins three losses out west told us what most smart hockey fans already knew: This is not a team that will make a deep run in the playoffs. They are much too inconsistent on defense and can not play the physical brand of hockey against the big boys.


The Celtics recent poor performances can be attributed to the loss of Jae Crowder. While he is not the best player on the team, that title goes to Isaiah Thomas, Crowder is the most valuable player. Crowder gives the Celtics a defensive presence and toughness, plus the ability to score. That has been missed in the last 10 days and is a reason why the team has gone from third to a tie for fifth in the Eastern Conference standings.


The Kraft family have been great owners for the Patriots, maybe the best in the NFL over the past 23 years. But they have been horrible owners for the New England Revolution. No one gives a shit about the MLS around here, but the Revs have started their season winless. Outside of a couple of good seasons, the team has been one of the worst in the MLS over their 20 years in the league. While other franchises are thriving in brand new soccer only stadiums, the Revs play to a sections and sections of empty seats in cavernous Gillette Stadium. It looks like the Krafts need to find the soccer equivalent of Belichick and Brady to be successful.


I know this is not politically correct, but the NCAA Womens tournament is awful. The games are boring to watch and not in the least bit competitive. There are only one or two teams (usually just one, UConn) that has a chance to win the championship. The power in women’s basketball is centered on one or two reams making everyone else an also ran. And the difference between the good teams and the average to bad teams is a mile wide. Since 2000, six different teams won the women’s title while in the mens field 10 different schools have won. The women’s game needs to be more competitive to attract more fans.


The men’s tournament on the other hand has been great so far. There have been upsets, fantastic finishes, and Cinderella teams advancing. The flip side is that all four No. 1 seeds have advanced to the Sweet Sixteen. It should be a great week of hoops ahead for the ten people in Boston who follow it.


When I watch the tournament, I look for players the Celtics could draft with the Brooklyn Net’s pick, which should be a top-four pick. There is no player in this tournament that will step into the NBA with the Celtics next season and make an immediate impact. There are some good players who will help teams down the road like Duke’s Brandon Ingram and Oklahoma’s Buddy Hield (he is the best player I have seen so far in the tourney), but no one I have seen will be a difference maker on Day 1. Now Ben Simmons, who declared for the Draft today, is not in the tournament but he could be that Day 1 impact player. So if I were Danny Ainge, I would have may sights set on Kevin Durant and Al Horford. They are two players will absolutely make a difference on Day 1.