Laurel & Hardy Tribute

Babe & Stan Return

A relatively unknown BBC radio drama is turned into a slight one-hour movie about comedy team Laurel and Hardy. It is set in 1957 when Stan makes a death-bed visit to his old teammate after being estranged for a year. It’s called Stan, but should be Stan & Ollie.

Since Laurel always wanted to be a stand-alone act, the title is Stan.

For fans who remember them from two-reelers, this short film is a joy forever. It explains in flashbacks how their rocky start together transformed each—and made them immortal Hollywood icons.

What makes this little film so special and why it works is all in the casting. Not only are the elderly men reminiscent of the duo, but so are their younger versions. As the old men, with Hardy suffering from a stroke are Jim Norton as Stan and Trevor Cooper as Oliver. The younger versions are extraordinary too, lending to the verisimilitude: Nik Howden (Laurel) and Mike Goodenough (Hardy).

Of course, the younger generation, used to SNL weened comedians, may have a tough time identifying with the Great Depression duo. Laurel and Hardy do analyze their importance, to make their lives feel worthy, at the end. They were ordinary, and made audiences see humor in the worst of times.

Stan recalls their initial teaming and how he opposed it. Though Laurel was actually the brains of the twosome, he basically came up with gags and directed their scenes. Yet, Oliver Hardy made contributions that Laurel recognized as highly valuable.

Stan re-lives his past by watching their old films and thinking of new bits—but time has passed them by. With bittersweet moments, this is a fitting tribute to Mr. Laurel and Mr. Hardy.

Available on Amazon Video.

Bette & Joan: The Bitter End

DATELINE: Final Round

 coda  Great Eternal Stars

If you are waiting for the moment after Crawford died when Bette Davis spoke her insightful comment, “They don’t change just because they’re dead,” you won’t find it in Ryan Murphy’s miniseries.

We do hear Davis tell a reporter that her mother taught her to speak only good about the dead.  Bette then gives her quote for the obituary: “Joan Crawford is dead. Good.” And, she hangs up on the press.

The end for Joan features a soundtrack recording of The Doors’ song of that name while Joan filmed Trog, in ill health and with deplorable low-budget conditions. It’s either a depiction of poetic justice or cruel fate.

The attempt to wash her tainted Crawford image clean comes with a scene of Joan hallucinating a conversation with Hedda Hopper, Jack Warner, and Bette, the week before she died. How could anyone know about this or what Joan thought in her dying days?

Both women were about to suffer the cruelest cuts of all by their daughters’ memoirs that tried to sully their accomplishments in a world of art and pretense.

Victor Buono, their one-time costar, tries to encourage Bette to reach out to Crawford—but who knows if she made a phone call in the middle of the night to her nemesis?

Joan and Bette lived in a world where publicity machines were gospel. At the end, publicity machines became scandal dispensaries.

The series can only end as life ends: growing old with ill health marking the last days of great stars.

In old age Joan and Bette tried to maintain their dignity, live with clear regrets, and ended up going pathetically into the dark night of movie history.

The early series humor and boisterous, but ribald, energy of the women faded with each episode of the miniseries, leaving fans with the greatest regrets about how it inevitably turns out.

Old GOATS like Tom Brady

DATELINE:  Satchel, Howe, MJ

 old geezers

There’s one in every sport.

Tom Brady is not alone, except in his particular game of choice.

Once in every great sport of major-league proportion, there comes in individual who seems to challenge the notion of growing old, who makes Destiny his puppet.

In hockey that man is Gordie Howe who is scoring goals in his 40s and 50s.  He even had the chutzpah to stick around until he could play hockey with his grown sons as professionals.

In basketball, the man is Michael Jordan who at age 40 scored 40 points in a game. He could not retire until a third attempt at leaving hoops.

In baseball, the man is Satchel Paige who was a MLB Rookie at age 47 and who pitched three innings against the Red Sox at age 59 allowed only one hit. Luis Tiant was his teammate in Cleveland.

So, fans, Tom Brady is in fine company. At age 40 he is leading his team to another Super Bowl.

What did these men have in common?

They could never retire, never wanted to leave the game, never admitted admitted time was the greatest enemy who could win against them. They were obsessed with their game. To them playing their game was a Religion and each of them was a high priest in the arts of sport.

To be allowed to observe and to follow one of these special careers and individuals does not happen often, as you can see from each sport’s history.

Today, in football of the NFL, you are a witness to something that happens only in several generations, and only once in the sport in a hundred years.

You will not see their likes again. And, Tom Brady is not done.

 

 

 

 

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Perennial Winner’s View from Foxboro

DATELINE: Thumbs Irrelevant

 Michigan J. Frog

A funny thing happened on the way to the Super Bowl for the Patriots.  It wasn’t Tom’s thumb that was the problem. It was a tough bunch of Jaguars.  It started to look like James Michael Curley’s Last Hurrah—but hold on, fans.

No one in New England was laughing in the fourth quarter when Danny Amendola pulled off his patented Julian Edelman imitation. For a while, the alleged laughingstock named Blake Bortles looked like Joe Montana.

Yes, Blake’s advisor in California for throwing the ball is former Red Sox pitcher Tom House.

Yes, Jaylen Brown of the Celtics went rogue and backed the Jaguars over his Boston fan base because his cousin A.J. Bouye is their enforcer.

Dion Lewis saved the last dance for a fumble, but recovered one last time.

Waiting till next year may not be a good option:  Brady’s thumb won’t be needed for hitching a ride out of Foxboro, and the two coordinators, Matt Patricia and Josh McDaniels, will not hit the road, moving on to other clubs, for a few more weeks and one more big game in Minnesota.

In the end, Belichick and Brady embraced. Oh, yes, there will be a meeting of the minds of Belichick, Brady, and Kraft as they try to end a political stalemate that may have contributed to ill-feelings and ill-intentions. But that will be after they win another Super Bowl and all will be forgiven.

The Patriots found a new MVP in Danny Amendola replacing Julian Edelman with his last-minute heroics this time. Gronk was concussed and out for the end again.

Brady stalked the sidelines when he was not on the field, unlike any game of the season heretofore.

Maybe he was pondering the ratings for his Facebook TV series as bombing unless he pulled the game out of the hopper.

Time is cruel, and next year may be less  than this year, but for now, the Patriots are on top of the world, Ma.

Tom Brady’s New Back-Up Arrives

DATELINE:  Bledsoe to the Rescue

 brady's glove+ brady's backup = brady mirror

 When the New England Patriots quarterback shows up at a press conference wearing a catcher’s mitt, you know Tom Brady has turned into Tom-tom Thumb.

Yup, Tom Brady wore garish red gloves to his press conference this week—and refused to talk about why he had to wear his golf gloves indoors.

Nor would he confirm whether x-rays revealed he was an X-man.

If you own the Patriots, you may want to call in the reserves, the cavalry, or anyone who can help.

With all the drama and Theater of the Absurd and Tom Brady standing up in front of the press indoors wearing red gloves like he was serving dinner at a picnic, people are in a panic.

So, it is only natural that owner Robert Kraft went to an extreme to find “player insurance” in the form of former Patriot quarterback Drew Bledsoe. Drew drew the short straw to return to Boston for the game against the Jags under the pretext of being an honorary captain.

Drew Bledsoe once was the mentor to Tom Brady until Tom replaced him at about 20 years ago.

Bledsoe admitted that he has a few plays left left “in the tank.” Living in Oregon in a winery he owns, Drew may have seen one too many grapes, sour and otherwise.

We can’t tell you how relieved we are to hear that 45-year-old Drew Bledsoe can still play.  Brady told everyone he will play at that age too, just not this week.

Drew has reached the age Brady expects to toss footballs down the road.

Though good-looking Drew may allegedly be coming to Foxborough just a flip a coin for the pregame, Bledsoe could step in in a pinch if Tom’s catcher’s mitt just isn’t comfortable enough to toss for a couple touchdowns.

Tom Brady’s Five Finger Exercise

DATELINE:  New England Patriot Horror Movie

hands

Let the hand-wringing begin.

No one can shake Tom Brady’s hand this week. If it ain’t broke, can he play with all fingers?

When the Patriots called for all hands on deck during practice on Wednesday, the hand of Tom Brady was among the missing. Usually he keeps his pitching mitt in his cozy hand warmer, but this week it has been a specimen under observation by the greatest medical minds the Kraft family can find.

The handicraft of Tom Brady may be in jeopardy.

Like the hands of a stranger, Brady’s hand is like an alien creature being tested for performance enhancing capabilities. We want to hold his hand like a Beatle, but his circulation could be at risk.

Glad-handers among the media have dismissed the notion that the Patriots needed a Handiwipe to keep the Pats from falling into Trump’s s**thole.

Reports circulate that Handsome Tom Brady has been unable to give hand signals when he drives his Astin-Martin, and his hand gestures have been limited to the usual Trump vocabulary.

After a freak accident, the freakish Brady’s hand no longer can grip a football. It may be time for a hand-me-down to the next quarterback on the roster. Yikes.

We can count the chances for Patriot victory on Sunday on one hand if Tom Brady is not handy.

If Tom can’t get a handle on the ball Sunday, TV ratings will be handed off like a fat woman pouring coffee on her  bosom as in the commercial for DirecTV.

The Patriots will lose hands down if Tom Brady must handoff to Brian Hoyer.

Don’t ask the Patriots for a show of hands.

The Jacksonville Jaguars may prove to be more than a handful.

We are unsure of the Patriots will be able to get a hand on another victory this season if the ball slips out of Brady’s hand.

Rajon Rondo Back with Fan Elan

DATELINE: Back Where He Belongs

RondoLaughs

We were giddy to see Rajon Rondo, even in an ugly Pelican uniform.

Now 31, but looking as young as ever, Rondo came back to Boston for one night and instantly put his stamp of controversy on the Celtics.

He told media members that former Celt Isaiah Thomas did not deserve a video tribute. After all, as Rondo pointed out, he was only on the team for three years and never won a championship. It’s those banners up above the parquet floor that matter.

When Rondo said, “This is the Boston Celtics,” to shoot down the notion that IT deserved not much more than nothing. You know that Rondo is still a Celtic to the core, no red uniform could hide that fact.

Rondo knows of what he speaks. He spent nine years in Boston, and the most recent championship banner came from his hard efforts with the most recent Big Three who are Hall of Fame bound.

You know Rondo loves Paul Pierce—and to honor the latest Cleveland Cavalier with a video would take away from Pierce’s truly great Celtic achievements.

Indeed, Pierce himself sent out word that he thought offering a video tribute to Cousin IT was done out of guilt for trading him so coldly.

If memory serves us, the Celtics also traded Pierce and Rondo for business and humanity.

Then, Rondo in his inimitable fashion went out on the floor and showed he still had that amazing passing ability, doling out assists. Some people might be infatuated with Anthony Uni-brow, wanting him in Boston, but for us, it was Rondo who was the marvel.

We miss Rondo still. We think he misses Boston.

Crossing Your Heart on Oak Island

 DATELINE:  Medieval Cross Amazes Hunters

lagina's cross

Rick Lagina crosses our hearts.

 

You may be surprised that we are up to Episode 10 of the fifth season on Oak Island. They have hit a plateau with the boring stuff.

Yes, their 50” drill, supposedly to be used with great care, has fallen through some vault and down 10 feet without meeting any resistance. So much for smashed objects.

There really is no where to go but down.

While waiting for more water (they are out of water on an island?) that is used to sift through the debris located at 150 feet to locate more bones, pottery, or whatever else is down there, Rick Lagina and Gary Drayton, the Australian metal detector guy, went to a rocky beach area at low tide.

With the expensive metal detector, Drayton made one of the more intriguing discoveries of a season of odd items. He located a rough-hewn cross made of lead.

Rick Lagina immediately recognized it as resembling the crosses he had seen from Knights Templars—and Drayton was convinced, without any other confirmation, that the style of the cross meant it could be from as early as 1200.

The Templars were wiped out as heretics in the early 1300s.

There is no way to know if the cross came to Oak Island, improbably, years after it was made, lost off a ship, brought by waves to its present location. No, we suspect it was dropped there by a visitor. But, jumping the gun becomes the norm when your patience is at a nadir. We want some official inspection by experts.

We feel the long wait may be about to pay off on Oak Island.

Patriot Destiny Calls—and the Ringing Phone is from Nemesis

DATELINE:  Nemesis Rears Its Ugly Head

lord

Teams of destiny, uh-oh. The Patriots may have answered the call this weekend, but the call was for two other winners: Jaguars and Vikings.

The stench of inevitability, not inability, turns people against teams:  whether it’s the New York Yankees or the New England Patriots. If you win the dynasty game, you are fair game for nemesis. That is the ultimate retribution for being a lucky winner ad nauseum.

Thank you, Alex Guerrero for putting the Patriots on notice with TB12’s curse. Tom smashed that mirror in the pre-season as a challenge, and now the piper must be paid.

Tom Brady has won enmity more than anything else since his Deflategate and his five Super Bowl rings. So, you know that people love to hate him. His new documentary series will be a hit because those haters want to see the icon up close for disparaging. These boots were made for disparaging, for us too.

As far as worry, the Patriots ought to be scared s***less, if we may borrow one of their biggest fans favorite epithets. Trump will send endless curses on the Patriots, his team of destiny.

Now there are two other teams of destiny:  Jacksonville Jaguars and Minnesota Vikings. They were not meant to win much, certainly not a Super Bowl. But they have become the nouveau Jack the Giant Slayer.  Either they are that or they are old-fashioned jackdaws. That’s the dirty old crow that likes to steal baubles for no reason and bring them back to their nest.

The Pats may have their pockets picked by either one of these new teams of destiny. Someone up there doesn’t like the Pats—and may be nothing can stop these perennial also-runners up from hitting the dizzying heights of metaphor Destiny.

You may hear the term in the next few weeks, if not already. Team of Destiny.  And let us be the first to tell you: it is the Patriots who are headed for an ugly fall, sooner or later.

Table 19: Unwanted Reservations and Responses

DATELINE:  Wedding Invitations

table 19

When some people complain that we don’t review enough comedies, we did not laugh last or longest. We went looking for something, anything, that bills itself as a comedy that was not totally tasteless and witless.

What we found was something called Table 19, directed by Jeffrey Blitz. The plot synopsis said it was about a wedding party reception where a group of misfits were all deliberately placed at one table, and found it was the best table to be at.  Hmmm.

That was hard enough to swallow, but the movie premise is that wedding tables are socially powerful seating arrangements. Those who are invited and not expected to show up are given the seats in the back row of the reception hall.

The cast is largely no big names but plenty of familiar faces, though June Squibb stands out as the elderly nanny. Also in the picture is impish Tony Revolori, on hand as an ethnic teenager. Lisa Kudrow is in a surprisingly small role, as is Margo Martindale.  Reliable Craig Robinson shows up too. They must have needed the money or the work.

One might suppose is the message of the movie has something to do with going where you are not wanted. If you are not really wanted at a wedding party, you should send your regrets. Of course, there would be no movie had that happened with these disparate and desperate characters.

The pieces don’t fit really. The reasons why these people were invited or who they are is a bit of a strain on credibility. Some of it does not work at all, making the weird chemistry force-fed to the audience. How the writer struggles to make it work.

One of the odd, unspoken angles is that the misfits are racial outcasts or abused minorities: a mixed marriage, a dark skinned Latino type, an elderly woman, and an ex-con nephew of someone important.

Demoted maid of honor, Anna Kendrick, put them together, and then was dumped out of the wedding party and wound up with them for reasons not believable.

It’s what passes as mindless comedy nowadays, and the filmmakers kept it under 90 minutes thankfully. There are no tacky bathroom jokes (some references) and no car chases. For that we were grateful.

However, we are still looking for a clever comedy.

 

Pats Put One Down & Pull One Over Titans

DATELINE: Pottsdam Around the Corner

big three of Foxboro The New Pottsdam?

It will be hard to remember the Titans as anything more than a box checked off along the way to the Super Bowl by the start of another season.

You could say the Pats put down the Titans, avoiding any clash of the symbols. They put the Titans out of their misery of bad coaching and inept oversight.

Coach/Swami/Svengali Belichick should have been charged a timeout for even holding a red flag with the game in the bag. If ever you wanted evidence that the sidelines belong to Belichick, not Alex Guerrero or Tom Brady, you had only to watch the bumbling Belichick with his red flag remedy and comedy.

If Marcus Mariota could catch his own pass last week, Belichick surely could catch and rescind his own red flag. Alas, it fell to the ground unceremoniously, was denied, and cost Belichick for his hubris.

 The Titans were over-cooked in Belichick’s microwave, whether you waved a red flag or a white flag.

If any news came out of the victory over the Titans by the Patriots, it was in the taciturn attitude of James Harrison, erstwhile Steeler. The former Pittsburgh legend is about as talkative as Bill, his coach. We know all about birds of a feather.

Harrison told reporters and the media in a post game interview that he will not be watching football this weekend. He’s a fan of the Cartoon Network. We aren’t sure if we should put him down as a Daffy fan, or a Sylvester wannabe.

What better way to describe the upcoming meeting of the nouveau Big Three. Yes, we are talking about damn Potsdam. That’s where the Big Three held a conference setting the boundaries on the Cold War.

On the day when a horrifying attack alert shuddered the residents over in Hawaii that incoming missiles were expected from North Korea, the bomb actually hit Tennessee.

Nary a tweet was heard round the world from Donald Trump.

Humanitarians decry the humiliation sent to the Titans as part of the Belichick-Kraft-Brady wars. The game was overshadowed by the announcement that another peace conference was at hand, post-season to ease the “tension” around Patriot Place in History.

Tom Brady Vs Time & Other Outer Limits

DATELINE: Twilight Zone Time

Tom vs Time

If you ever wanted a reality series/science fiction /sports movie with Siddhartha overtones, you are about to get your wish.

Tom Brady has filmed a six-part documentary about his life.

Deepak Chopra’s son (Gotham???) is a long-time fan and directs the episodes that apparently trace Tom’s life along the lines of growing spirituality—and love for the esoterica of life.

Tom battles the clock and time in general like some character out of a Dorian Gray novel. You may see Tom in the Time Machine, or just in the astral plane. It’s definitely a competition between Tom and the clock. Since Tom wins every game he plays, we think he will beat the clock too.

Not since Ponce de Leon have we had a character so determined to make Father Time crawl to the finish line.

The operative terms for this series are “digital only” and “rare glimpse.”

This means Tom will control the vertical. Tom will control the horizontal. He can make the picture a soft blur, or turn it into crystal clarity. Sit back because you will lose control of your device and maybe your mind.

There is nothing wrong with your device. Do not attempt to adjust the picture. Tom Brady is controlling transmission.

You are about to participate in a great adventure. For the next six hours, sit quietly. You are about experience the awe and mystery that reaches from the inner mind of Tom Brady to its outer limits, which may mean we will end up in a Julian Edelman video.

You are about to learn that football comes before family for Patriots GOAT, Brady.

Tom believes it is cool to show his fans another side of midnight. He trusts he director Gotham Chopak more than Alex Guerrero, which is a mountain of trust indeed. Tom says, “Gotham is a great story-teller,” which makes us wonder where the truth will lie.

The show will not air until the Patriots’ season is done, which looks like mid-February after they have another duck boat parade down the streets of Boston.

Trump Is a Racist

DATELINE:  Crazy Comes in Second

Hynkel's Dance Partner Trump Celebrates World Diversity

In case somehow you missed the news, Donald Trump is a racist.

When you quack like a duck, you must be Daffy Duck.

Happy Martin Luther King Day, all you, racists.

According to a tirade given at a bipartisan meeting at the White House on Thursday, January 11, Trump railed against countries in Africa and Haiti, as being in a “s**thole,” but he didn’t use the euphemism when he said they are in the crapper. In all likelihood, he puts the residents in the same crap or crapper.

Don’t ask Trump for a bill of love or kindness. He is from the Lady Macbeth school of milky humanitarianism.

We expect some kind of denial from the White House, as per usual. However, it is beginning to look like a white Christmas and a white America. That slogan really should read: “Make America White Again.”

We are frankly horrified.

Trump wishes there were more Norwegians coming to America, rather than Haitians.  We will take those poor huddled masses, as long as they’re white. That should play well in Alabama. We’re not sure about the rest of the world.

You might say Trump is just playing the new Hitler on TV, but that would be giving him some.

Rounding up illegal immigrants with his Nazi police force called ICE, Trump is not quite setting up his concentration camps yet for a Final Solution. He’s probably waiting till the second term to do that.

In the meantime, we sit and wait like those huddled masses in Germany in the 1930s as they carted away their neighbors to unknown countries from where no traveler returned.

Your turn may be next.

Rule Number Three: Short Shorts

DATELINE:  Scrabble, Anyone?

fun rule #3

It’s always a delight to find a new interesting movie, even if it is only 11 minutes long. Our pleasure is heightened when the stars are Nicholas Hoult and Imogen Poots. The short subject deserved more accolades, called Rule Number Three.

In case you are wondering, that rule in Scrabble means you cannot use proper names or nouns as your words.

Almost entirely without dialogue, the story concerns a young man and young woman playing Scrabble in a British pub.

Smug intelligent words give way to pointed sharp words in which a message of great importance is conveyed. The drama is in the exchange of glances between Hoult and Poots–which is downright delightful.

The actors have faces. We have to read the expressions.

Writer and producer James Cotton lets us see those faces light up and darken in the course of a short eleven minutes. This is another of those short movies that tell us that the short story form is a lost art. Most movies today clock in at 140 to 180 minutes, far longer than a bladder deserves.

The two principal actors do not speak, making body language the language of love and hate.

You can find this little gem on YouTube for free. You can watch it in one sitting. And you get to see Nicholas Hoult in all his youthful beauty.  It is 2011.

You also get a sense that hold knows how to pick a good role even from his youngest days. This is a clever, sharp, commentary on human relations. And, it’s all within a Scrabble game.

 

Lagina Brother Will Always Have Paris

DATELINE:  Oak Island S5 Provides Rest Area

 Paris Sites?

If you are a big fan of the Curse of Oak Island, you probably love the idea of the past few weeks that it’s gone 75 minutes for each episode. They’ve done this by having extended previews after the “initial episode”.

You might even say finally there is too much of a good thing. The two longest episodes of the season so far have been the dullest. They have struggled for any newsworthy item.

Gone are the days in which brother Marty complained about the expense of conducting the treasure hunt and saying there was only so much money they had to allocate.

Now they have money to burn. That’s what big TV ratings do for your bank account.

It also allows you the luxury of having what in politics we call a “junket.”  That’s an all-expenses paid trip to some exotic location on somebody else’s nickel. On Season 5 Rick Lagina took his two nephews Alex and Peter to Paris, looking for clues about Knights Templar and the French nobility. We did not see them take in the Folies-Bergère.

.

Now there were two problems with this luxury trip to Paris. First, nobody in his right mind wants to go to Paris with Rick Lagina. And two, the results of the research trip could’ve been accomplished by WiFi. They learned one word on a map had been mistranslated, and they found graffiti on the wall that could’ve been photographed and sent to them in a text message.

A nickel well spent? Hardly. Maybe History Channel can get its money back.

We are happy the Lagina nephews got to go to Paris. As for the rest of us, we must wait while the equipment bores down 150 feet, which probably will take another week. The boring part is taking its toll on the audience.

Wry Catcher: Why J.D. Salinger?

DATELINE:   Movie Bio

REAL SALINGER Angry Salinger Wants to be Alone

Director Danny Strong joins a list of people who are violating every standard that J.D. Salinger lived by. He hated publicity and adoration of koo-koo bird fans.

You could say the new movie of Salinger’s life Rebel in the Rye is nothing short of a misnomer, however well-intended and well-done.

We are always impressed with Nicholas Hoult, who again here, gives us an American New Yorker accent and a man who lost his mind in World War II after seeing horror up close. The British actor has turned into a new nationality in his movie roles, and adds brown contact lenses to cover up those startling blue eyes that he is famous for. It is another superior performance in a growing litany of interesting films.

The movie has one big problem: Kevin Spacey. He plays the mentor and admirer of Salinger, editor and discoverer Whit Burnett, who seems almost to have a fetish when it comes to his prize pupil. Alas, Spacey’s personal history almost circumvents the movie and makes us think he was groping Nick Hoult between scenes, or that Burnett was groping Salinger. Yikes.

The producers have left Spacey’s name off the publicity because it’s such a turnoff. Not everyone has Ridley Scott’s money to simply replace Spacey with computer effects.

It’s a shame because Spacey’s presence does distract, though his performance is brilliant—and the movie proceeds on its mission to present us with a writer who loved to write, but hated his readers.

Salinger was no genius, but he had his finger on the pulse of Zen Buddhist seclusion. The attempt to turn him into his own character, Holden Caulfield, seems a bit forced. Boswell was not Sam Johnson, though he wrote about him.

The film is worth it for fans of Salinger, even if they are not wearing red hunting caps and stalking writers who hide out in New Hampshire.

Scorched Earth of Belichick

DATELINE:  What Follows

Saluting BB

Fans may be a little disconcerted to learn that, if Bill Belichick leaves the New England Patriots in a snit, he will destroy everything he has created and leave mere ashes to his successor, whoever that dumb associate is.

If you think Josh McDaniels or Matt Patricia is prepared to pick up the pieces, or capable of saving the franchise, you will not be surprised they are moving onward.

Scorched Earth will mean that whatever is left will be in a messy state: like an aging Brady and his guru Guerrero running the team. Doddering Robert Kraft will surrender more power to his dim-wit son. We’ve seen in other cases of primogeniture how that works out in the NFL.

Will Bill depart after this season, perhaps with yet another Super Bowl trophy, and return the Pats back to their pathetic Patsie ways before he arrived? Ah, yes, the happy days of Pete Carroll!

Look at what may happen. The Patriots will have a 41-year-old quarterback on his last legs. His successor-in-emergency will be Brian Hoyer, a man who has lost in seven franchises.

Coordinators Josh McDaniels and Matt Patricia will happily move on to other teams.

Front office genius Nick Caserio will leave for greener pastures.

Without Jimmy G, the Patriot future is bleak. Perhaps he will re-sign in free agency.

Otherwise, Brian Hoyer will mostly help the aging Brady on and off the field for the next five to ten years.

It was always the strategy of the Roman emperors to leave the nation in worse hands after his departure.

The logic was that the former emperor, now gone, will be much better appreciated if those taking up his job and his successors are deplorable.

Time and time again in Ancient Rome, the Empire crumbled because worse and worse emperors followed each other, rewarded because they would insure the previous leader was missed, appreciated, and honored.

There is no head coach on earth who can follow Bill Belichick.  The crying of fans will have just begun.

 

What comes in his wake when he leaves is the fall of the Patriot Empire.