Music, Laughs, and Tragedy in Boston Sports


Bye, Bye, Byrdie! Tom Brady hit giant birdie on the final regular season game.

The Patriots rose from the pack of seedlings to take the bye week vacation in preparation for another march to the Super Bowl.

Of course, Denver’s Manning did Boston’s Brady one better by securing home field advantage throughout the playoffs. Those who think home field makes a difference are thrilled. Those terrified to going to Mile High City to play a game without oxygen are already holding their collective head in hands.

We are reminded of the old musical about Conrad Birdie.

Put on a happy face, Patriot fans.

Celtics, what’s the matter with them today?

Unhappy New Year may be the greeting around the Boston TD Garden in contrast to the glee at Gillette Stadium.

Yes, the Celtics are beginning to look dead as a doornail.  They suffered their third game in a row, losing by a minimum 18 points.  Humorists will point out that it ain’t funny, McGee, and the last time it happened was probably the Golden Age of Radio.

It was the best of times for New England Patriots; it was the worst of times for Boston Celtics. It was a time for Brady believers to rejoice; it was a time for Rondo bashers to revel.

If you like having two faces each week, then the schizophrenia of being a Boston sports fan may be found in the wardrobe of Norman Bates whose clothing line included his mother’s trousseau.

Yes, it is indeed a winter of discontent for the Celtics, but the sun of York is glowing upon Foxboro. A kazoo and cheap confetti will not help the Celtics, but it makes Patriot Place look like a day at the beach.




Rookie QBs on Way to Super Bowl?


Not since the classic movie by Frank Capra, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, have we seen so many rookie quarterbacks with the wherewithal, charm, and bold luck, ready to enter the big fray.

Mr. RGIII certainly went to Washington, but is he the ‘aw, shucks’ kind of guy like James Stewart who went to the House of Representatives and staged a one-man filibuster.

Do you need a certain kind of luck, as may be found with Mr. Luck, who is able to maneuver among the big cats and giant white sharks who swim near the fiscal cliff?

The Super Bowl cliff may be more biting and with a deeper chasm than the one that old-timers like Obama and Boehner dance around.

We should not dismiss Mr. Kaepernick or Mr. Russell Wilson, of San Francisco and Seattle. These two may look like they’d better be stars of Earthquake than Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. We more likely see them fall into the Pacific when the Big One hits.

Does Kaepernick have the Kaepernack—or will he be one more knickknack smashed after a big party?

What we have brewing here is movie magic not on the lines of Frank Capra’s novice in the Big Show, but more like titans of the gridiron emerging from Kong’s Island.

If you recall that movie epic scenario, a bunch of superstars of the Jurassic Era have been found all in one fell swoop. Yes, Luck, RGIII, Wilson, Kaepernick, are sort of like T-Rex, the Pterodactyl, and other creatures living secretly ready to be big in pictures.

As Norma Desmond once said, “I am big. It’s football that got small.” Or, words to that effect.

We are about to land on an island where Mr. Smith would be eaten in one bite.

Here the Creature from the Black Lagoon and Godzilla still lurk in the tallest grass, waiting to devour the rookie stars. These new monsters are no match from Tom Brady and Peyton Manning.


Playoffs: On and Off Again, Odds and Counter-Intuitive Scenarios


At this time of year fans are often confused by the playoff possibilities. Late in the season, and sometimes late in the careers of coaches, the configurations and perambulations of games scenarios can send the most dedicated fan off to the New Year celebration with an extra bottle in his hip pocket next to the flask.

In an effort to clarify the picture, we at Dateline Sports Humor have investigated all the options for Patriots fans.

Patriots will be no lower than #4, even if they try harder. A few skeptics thought the Belichick belligerence would disappear as the team did not try to win in order to play a less successful team.

The Patriots will be #3 seed if the horses all go to the glue factory and the old gray mare discovers she has no ‘nackers, as they say over in Jolly Olde.

Yes, fans, the Broncos and Colts are horses of a different color that may have some bearing on the race. If both horses meet expectations, the Patriots will gallop faster than Paul Revere to the top of the heap.

The Patriots will be #2 and unseat Avis if the Houston team comes up with the right name. We are confused as usual as to whether those Texans are Oilers, Astros, Colt .45s, or even Rockets.

Any city with such identity issues may be in trouble for the playoffs. We understand that one Houston team is not even sure what league it plays this year.

We can guarantee only one fact in this swirling universe of black holes, dark matter, red dwarfs, and relativity. If the Patriots win, and every other team loses, the Pats will rise to the top of the heap and be #1 seed.

In such an unlikely scenario, there would be no need for a Super Bowl at all.

Tebow, Humphries & Howard Crash and Burn


In music they are called one-hit wonders. That’s the celebrity that comes from a flash in the pan. It is the fifteen minutes of fame that can undo a career and send the recipient into a grand funk.

The equivalent in sports has been one of the hallmarks of 2012. For a few choice athletes, the asteroid of Mayan prediction has indeed hit their careers. Leagues and other players have been spared, but the radiation poisoning has sent the hits of last year into the bomb shelter of this year.

From Toast of the Town to irrelevancy is not a journey for the weak of heart.

Yet, several of our pinup posterboys have gone this excruciating route over the past few months.

Most notable of all, perhaps the one who fell the deepest into an abyss is Kris Humphries. The Hump was dumped by the frump. Amid acrimony about Humphries’s own manhood suffered the indignity of going from wedded fool and cuckold to struggling member of the Brooklyn Nets.

From Kim Kardashian’s bedmate to Rajon Rondo’s punching bag, Kris finds the price of fame a tad higher than one would expect.

Tim Tebow comes in second, or perhaps third. The New York Jets brought him to their city with great fanfare. There it ended. He played few times, and then Coach Rex Ryan bypassed him for an untried unknown third string. Tebow suffered a blow to ego that would make others snivel in prayer.

Dwight Howard tried all kinds of tricks and ploys to guarantee his exit from Orlando and landing in L.A. with the Lakers. Alas, he left his talents in the Gulf. He wished for a Laker career, and now he flounders, disparaged even by his latest coach Mike D’Antoni. has many books of sports humor for your needs. Try Tales of the NBA: Arrogance, Idiocy, and Whimsy–or BEST BOSTON SPORTS HUMOR of 2012. Best-sellers include RAJON RONDO: SUPERSTAR!  All are available in e-book an softcover formats at


















T-Rex Ryan to Star in Remake of Jurassic Park



Rex Ryan denied the major news story that he wanted to leave the New York Jets.  T-Rex Ryan, the vociferous scene-stealer and setting chewer, insisted he would be a Jet for life.

No one had the heart to tell him that not even Leonard Bernstein believed being a Jet for life was possible.

Such life sentences are, of course, unconstitutional in the United States as a form of cruel and unusual punishment. We begin to wonder for what crimes Ryan feels the need to be disciplined so harshly.

Fifteen more years as coach of the New York Jets may not be possible, according to life insurance actuarial tables. Rex’s days would end somewhat short of that, and he may end up buried, not under the goal posts, but closer to the periphery of the Red Zone.

Rex held a zinger press conference, as only he can, and insisted he was madder than a yellow jacket, red shirt, or white flag.

As much as we love Rex, his press conference had all the drama of John Boehner saying the fiscal cliff would be a short drop to oblivion.

As we watched our favorite nemesis to Bill Belichick, he began to look like a man at an audition. Daniel Craig will need another hambone villain to fight as James Bond in the next epic spy adventure.

We think Rex Ryan’s performance makes Skyfall look like a walk in the park. Rex should not be wasting his talents as an NFL coach. He needs to stretch his creative genius to the silver screen where Oscars await.

Forget the Super Bowl, Rex. You would do better walking down a short red carpet to the Golden Globes.

If you enjoy’s nasty sense of sports humor, you may want to take a look at his notorious list of publications, available in both ebook and softcover, including BEST BOSTON SPORTS HUMOR OF 2012 and RAJON RONDO: SUPERSTAR! Other popular books include RED SOX 2012: BOBBY VALENTINE’S SEASON IN HELL.



A Jacksonville Carol with Bill Belichick


The Jacksonville Jaguars had not come hats in hand to kiss the rings of Bill Belichick. They had come to pay homage to the firm of Belichick and Brady, but they nearly beat the invincible Patriots.

“At this festive season of the year, Mr Belichick,” said the gentleman of the press, taking up a pen in postgame press conference, “it is more than usually desirable that we should make some slight provision for the poor teams and destitute members of the NFL, who suffer greatly at the present time. Many thousands are in want of common necessaries like a quarterback or intelligent coaching; hundreds of thousands of fans are in want of common victories, sir.”

“Are there no drafts?” asked Belichick.

“Plenty of drafts,” said the gentleman, laying down the pen again.

“And the Union workhouses that pay millions to franchise players?” demanded Belichick. “Are they still in operation?”

“They are. Still,” returned the gentleman, “ I wish I could say they were not.”

“Free agency is in full vigor, then?” said Belichick.

“Very busy, sir.”

“Oh! I was afraid, from what you said at first, that something had occurred to stop them in their useful course,” said Belichick. “I’m very glad to hear it.”

Said the member of the fourth estate: “A few of us are endeavoring to raise a fund to buy the Poor housebound fans an HD 3D TV and drink, and means of warmth. We choose this time, because it is a time, of all others, when want of a playoff spot is keenly felt, and abundance rejoices. What shall I put you down for?”

“Nothing!” Belichick replied.

“You wish to be anonymous?”

“I wish to be left alone,” said Belichick. “Since you ask me what I wish, gentlemen, that is my answer. I don’t make merry myself at playoff time and I can’t afford to make idle people merry. I help to support the establishments I have mentioned: they cost enough: and those teams who are badly off must go there.”

“Many can’t go there; and many would rather die.”

“If they would rather die,” said Belichick, “they had better do it, and decrease the surplus population on the taxi squad.”

“It’s not my business,” Belichick continued. “It’s enough for a man to understand his own business, and three phases of the game and not to interfere with other people’s. Mine occupies me constantly. Good afternoon, gentlemen!”

Seeing clearly that it would be useless to pursue their point, the gentlemen of the media withdrew. Belichick resumed his labors with an improved opinion of himself, and in a more facetious temper than was usual with him.





Ordinary People: Boston Celtics Need Pachelbel’s Canon in D


The Boston Celtics are becoming a version of the old family tale, Ordinary People.

You may not have cued the music for Pachelbel’s Canon in D, but the Celtics seem to need a conductor for ‘D’ this season.

In Robert Redford’s old movie, the film was supposed to take loveable Mary Tyler Moore and give her a hard edge on the big screen. In the 2012-13 Celtics, the team was supposed to take hard-edged Rajon Rondo and turn him into a loveable leader on the court.

The plot centered on a family that was beyond perfect, but was turned into an ordinary one overnight. It is sort of like the Celtics after Ray Allen jumped ship.

Everyone is trying to deal with this enormous loss. Some like KG ignored Ray when the Heat came to Boston. He removed Allen’s number from the cell phone bank. Others have discussed Ray Allen often, not quite sure what to make of the situation.

A few even have insisted that Rondo harbored a deep-rooted death wish for Ray, but that is another movie.

Suffice it to say when a good team goes bad, there are ramifications for years to follow. One day the second Big Three of Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Ray will join hands in the clouds and walk through the pearly gates of the Hall of Fame—with little Rondo chasing after them.

Oh, no, wait, that’s another movie altogether.

What we meant to say is that the Celtics have become this season an ordinary team. We should not expect much in either direction. Like the ordinary family in the Redford movie, this group is in mourning for their championship personality.

In the meantime, we wait to see if Rondo will win this year’s Oscar.

 If you enjoy Rajon Rondo’s playing on and off the court, you need to read William Russo’s testament and homage to the great Rondo. Now available in ebook and softcover at, buy RAJON RONDO: SUPERSTAR!


Leave It to Mayans and Their Cockamamie Calendar


We thought we were doomed and done with any number of irritating sports issues, but as the next morning dawned, we knew that it’s not over till it’s over.

Tim Tebow may have been expecting the Christian Rapture when the Mayan calendar hit a bump in the stone tablet. It’s hard to swallow a tablet of stone, even with two glasses of water on an ark.

Tebow saw the writing on the subway walls outside the Meadowlands, and it said TTFN.

The NHL Players did not think they would have to dissolve their little association, as the asteroid appearing on 12/21/12 would take care of business, but alas, the owners own all the chisels and stone tablets.

When Paul Pierce of the Celtics scored 40 points the other night, he figured there was no need to keep anything in reserve for next month—or even the playoffs. Now he has ordered rubbing alcohol, a masseur, and a case of Geritol to help him through January.

Bill Belichick’s irascible and hostile attitude to the media at weekly press conferences looked like behavior without punishment or blowback, but now Bill will have to crack a few jokes and make nice. That national press is going nowhere. Unlike the Mayans, they are here to stay.

Tom Brady figured there was no point in lobbying for votes for the Pro Bowl because, if he won, the game would be cancelled on account of apocalypse. As a result, he must smile modestly and praise the #1 vote-getter: Peyton Manning.

All season Rajon Rondo was setting assist records. When he realized the end of days was coming, he found himself suspended and figured that would be the end of it. Now he plays every game as if he does not believe in entitlement or assistance programs.

We have only touched the tip of the iceberg because we figured those glaciers weren’t going anywhere. Like the Mayans, we were wrong.



Boston Celtic Paul Pierce Puts Time in A Bottle


Paul Pierce, Celtics Superman, became the oldest player to score 40 points in a regulation game in history for the Boston franchise.  Considering the talent that passed through the Celtics, this is no flat feat.

Coach Doc Rivers alluded earlier in the week to the Hot Tub Time Machine, but little did we know that Pierce actually owns the prototype.

H.G. Wells wrote about time machines over 100 years ago, but apparently he gave one to the ageless Boston Celtic star.

Sometimes after a grueling game, Pierce holds an interview and looks even younger than he did at the game’s start. Call it relaxed muscles, but his face glows with youth.

Pierce does not have one of those android bodies, but instead comes across as lithe and functional. He may be a visitor from the future, sort of like when Christopher Reeve took a journey Somewhere in Time to visit Jane Seymour.

Nowadays when we see Jane Seymour selling her heart diamond pendants on TV, we think she has a time machine too.

Novelist Richard Matheson loved to write those time travel stories and did a few for the Twilight Zone. Paul Pierce certainly deserves his own outer limits storyline.

Not since dog Peabody and his boy Sherman have we seen an example of the Way Back Machine in action. If you don’t know Peabody and Sherman, you need to buy a Way Back Machine.

Bob Dylan once wrote a song about the changing times where he noted that the old road is rapidly aging. Maybe it is for some travelers and basketball players, but surely not for Paul Pierce.

 If you enjoy William Russo’s humor on sports and movies, you may want to read his books GREAT SPORTS STORIES: THE LEGENDARY FILMS or BEST BOSTON SPORTS HUMOR OF 2012. All Russo’s works are available at both in ebook and softcover formats.


Brady for Sanchez: the Perfect Trade


Rex Ryan is counting the days of Christmas, or is that the days left in his career as coach of the New York Jets?

Mulling over his predicament, Old T-Rex ruminated that he’d be sitting pretty if he had Tom Brady on his roster.

Yes, so would thirty other teams.

With rumors swirling around the Big Apple that Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow are on the chopping block, we half expected Ryan to offer a twofer:  trading two quarterbacks for one.

We doubt the other overrated coach in the AFC, Mr. Bill Belichick, would likely trade Brady for Tebow and Sanchez, even if they threw in Braylon Edwards.

Edwards notoriously characterized the Jets front office as “stupid” and almost immediately they traded for him to rejoin his old team. Misery loves company.

Tebow and Sanchez may be the most inept comedy team since the Ritz Brothers. They took Broadway by storm, but alas their games were played over in New Jersey at the Meadowlands.

Trading Tebow and Sanchez for Brady seems a bit out of the fantasy realm, but a more realistic deal might be Philip Rivers for the Terrible Twins.

Before you get your knickers in a twist, we need to point out that Philip Rivers would be too high-priced for New York’s double threat in any kind of transaction.

Our best bet is to do a straight-up trade (pardon the expression) with the Kansas City Chiefs.

We believe Matt Cassel and Brady Quinn seem a perfectly matched set, sort of like Midwest versions of Tebow and Sanchez.

Even better, Rex Ryan would at least, at last, have a Brady as his quarterback.

 Read the Best of Boston Sports Humor 2012, the latest arsenic filled book about teams around Beantown. Russo’s works are available both in e-book and softcover on



Celtics, Red Sox, and Perhaps Patriots, Face a Grim New Year


Panic grips the Boston sports scene.

Three championship teams of the recent past seem to be sinking in unison into the morass of losing.

Fans are starting to scurry like the proverbial rodent who noticed the S.S. Beantown has sprung a leak.

The Red Sox and Celtics have lost their consistency for some time. Now they have achieved a new consistency in the wrong direction.

With the New England Patriots tanking a big game before Christmas, the trifecta seems complete. The Grinch has stolen the spirit of the season.

With age and a need for improvement, the Sox, Celtics and Patriots are beginning to look like Ghost Hunters, entering the haunted house of mediocrity while whistling in the dark.

The Patriots are holding on—but Tom Brady may be the last big domino in Boston, and he is not reversing the clock. No one can do that. In his old age, Tom may be merely mortal.

What kind of nuclear winter will Boston fans face in the years ahead? Are we talking the 1970s when all the teams watched the last vestige of championship with the Bruins before a decade of squalor engulfed the city.

Right now the major Boston teams are acting like someone coming down with the flu. They have stocked up on cough drops, but forgot to get the flu shot.

The Boston media has decorated a potted palm tree in lieu of a real Christmas tree, and now the tinsel is looking like a bad lei.

Yes, this year the big Boston teams, once so confident and powerful, have turned the page on the Mayan calendar—and discovered they have stone fingers.

Be sure to read William Russo’s latest book on Boston sports, entitled BEST BOSTON SPORTS HUMOR OF 2012. It’s available on in both softcover and e-book formats.


Page Eight Ought to Make Headlines


Leave it to David Hare to write and to direct an updated version of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy.  It’s an old plot from John LeCarre—and Hare makes it seem fresh and original.

This brilliant contemporary spy drama outdoes George Smiley from a generation or two ago. The older generation of spies in Her Majesty’s Service is still fighting the cowboy mentality of the young bucks.

In this case, the old-boy network suffers usurping and threats by a new generation-type female spy chief.  At one point, in exasperation she asks the dissipated old second in command if he has chosen a time rather late in life to become a hero.

Actor Bill Nighy as Johnny is perfect with his laid-back gentle charm and ties to head of agency Michael Gambon who is the new Control. Spies cannot really trust anyone, not even next-door neighbors. Once the mentality sets in, you seem to look around everywhere for spooks.

Actors Tom Hughes and Rachel Weisz, always nice to look at, give superior accountings and add a touch of suspicion. Veteran actresss Judy Davis turns in a bitter and hard-edge character to her repertoire. Not to be missed is Ralph Fiennes as the dubious prime minister.

From the start we may realize there is something decidedly 1950s about the tale, from its nourish film score of jazz to the aging spies who have gone from cold warriors to corporate style.

Fortunately for us, Johnny has all the old skills and employs them to delight us.

This sleeper deserves more viewers, and writer/director David Hare should be wary of spies bearing gifts.

William Russo has penned many historical books about Hollywood and movies, including AUDIE MURPHY IN VIETNAM, RIDING JAMES KIRKWOOD’S PONY, and his movie review collection, MOVIES TO SEE–OR NOT TO SEE. All are available on both in e-book and softcover.


Is There a Jaguar Atop the New England Patriots’ Christmas Tree?


When we heard commentators calling the Patriots loss to the 49ers heartbreaking, we nearly cracked a rib laughing.

The outrageous loss may inspire many feelings for fans of Brady and Belichick, but heartbroken is not the usual reaction to these games that set up the playoff menu.

The Patriots team may need to better defeat NFL meat on the journey to find the championship ring. The latest ‘animule’ that may impede the charmed Pats will be a Jaguar.

If the Patriots are dead set on breaking hearts, they will have a chance with the Jaguars as December playoff slots are finally determined.

The Patriots always make lemonade when the slot machine gives them three lemons. This Sunday as the season of giving reaches its crescendo, the Patriots hope to make fillet mignon of the Jaguars.

If the Jaguars prove to be hot dogs to the Patriots, you know the post-season will be short-lived for the New England team

If the game becomes troublesome, the Patriots may well be on a crying Jag well into the off-season.

“Lions, Tigers, and Bears, oh, my!”  My eye.

You can add 49ers to the mix—and Seahawks and Rams.

Those New England Patriots are having a dangerous trip down the Yellow Brick Road to the Emerald City Super Bowl this season.

Every third-rate team Belichick faces seems to have Bart Starr and Joe Montana at quarterback.

We hope the Patriots will meet only a cowardly lion or two among the Jaguars. If they face a fearful and toothless Jaguar, perhaps their fate will be more kind to the bettors.

Experts and insiders have already noted that the Jaguars are defanged, declawed, and de mess of the de NFL. Let’s hope the Patriots don’t spill the eggnog when they make a Super Bowl Christmas toast.

 Be sure to read Russo’s sports humor books, including NEW ENGLAND PATRIOT WHIMSY and BEST BOSTON SPORTS HUMOR OF 2012. All Russo’s books are available on in both softcover and in e-book formats.


New England Patriots at the Brink of the Last Syllable


A little rain fell on the Patriots Place parade in Foxboro in December.

The Patriots buzz-saw ran into a woody knot.

As in the song, the little San Francisco cable-car went halfway to the stars, but went all the way to Tom Brady’s ability to pull a rabbit out of a hat. It went far enough to knock Tom Brady out of the cable car driver’s seat.

The little cable car turned into the Little Engine who could. The Foxboro team of destiny was derailed by something coming round the mountain—and it stomped on Brady’s grapes of wrath.

The Patriots met the enemy, and he had tattoos on both arms.

Macbeth’s Birnim Wood has come to the castle gates. And only someone not of woman born has beaten the Patriots. All that boil and bubble gave the Patriots toil and trouble.

Patriot fans started looking for those nasty old trio of weird sisters who predicted that Banquo Welker would not be a king and, instead, hailed the Thane of Brady.

Bill Belichick ran up and down the sidelines in the rain and was heard muttering, “Out, out, damn spot.” Instead, it was the brief candle that went out, out.

King Duncan was murdered in his host’s bed, and Gronk was asleep outside the door with a cup of his sponsor, Dunkin Donuts, coffee.

The game seemed to creep in its own petty pace, and the Patriot players each had a role on the national stage. Worse yet, all our yesterdays have lighted fools the way to dusty death.

The Patriots were but a walking shadow. Poor players and poor plays that strut and fret for a couple of hours on national television were suddenly heard no more.

This was a game, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

When everyone expected Tom Brady to give another performance worthy of Hamlet, he turned instead into the Donkey from a Midsummer Night’s worst nightmare.

Alas, poor Yorick, Brady knew him well once long ago.

Ossurworld’s William Russo has a volume of New England Patriots 2011, filled with his analysis of last season’s Super Bowl contenders. If you enjoy venom served up cold, you may want to read that sports humor book, available in softcover or e-book format. Simply go to to find that work and many others.


Not Drive, He Said


Ryan Gosling seems to take on the aura of a mythic Hollywood anti-hero, emerging from his bland and catatonic usual roles into a new version of a bland and catatonic role.

Here he is nondescript, monosyllabic, and pedestrian as part of a mysterious persona. The man with no name and no past seems to be the essence of a sociopath with a conscience. It is a new era for a Dirty Harry/Clint Eastwood resurrection.

Gosling seems to be the man for the job in this thriller and crime drama that shows that the true killer will not be bothered by gun control. He does in mobsters who double-cross his sense of honor and personal loyalty with a kind of hard-hearted creativity. No guns are needed by this hero.

We enjoyed seeing character actors like Albert Brooks and Ron Perlman as totally vicious evil crime lords. Only Rose (Brooks) meets Driver and realizes there is a fellow spirit fraught with danger and nemesis lurking beneath the bland surface.

Director Nicholas Winding Refn knows how to combine style, music, violence, and mythos, into a tale that has echoes of something more. We don’t see too many movies nowadays that take on the Western style of Jeremiah Johnson or The Outlaw Josey Wales, which are the most reminiscent of this crime film.

Stanley Kubrick did an early movie called The Killing that smacks of overtones that Refn also channels. Mystical mobsters seem to be the next phase.

This film make us eager to see what Refn will do with the new version of The Equalizer, a modern vigilante/CIA refugee story, based on the old TV show.

We found this curio intriguing, despite echoes of bygone spiritual ties in our real hero and avenging angel.