Mattie Ice Melts Before the Patriots Heating Coil


New England Patriots looked great everywhere on Sunday: Wes Welker was catching touchdowns. Brian Hoyer and Matt Cassel were the best back up quarterbacks you could ask for, and even diminutive Danny Woodhead was on the ball.

Unfortunately, all these Patriots have moved on to other teams, leaving the official bunch looking like they were scrambling for their lives.

Tom Brady used to pass the ball with the best of them. Now his former acolytes look like Tom Brady—proving he taught them well. Alas, poor Tom Brady, we knew him, Horatio.

You know the worm has turned when Bill Belichick is more animated than we have seen in years—and looks worried too. He was scrambling all over the sidelines like he had just learned the steps to the St. Vitus Dance.

We learned something on the science television network today: Mars used to have water. And, the Patriots used to have a passing game.

We noticed that the Atlanta Falcons have a great tight end by the name of Tony Gonzalez, and the Patriots don’t have any tight ends whose names we can pronounce or spell.

Yet, the Patriots manage to be the worst-looking undefeated team in the NFL. It may never cease to amaze how Bill Belichick finds replacements for his fallen and missing stars. Vince Wilfork was the latest departure with a titanic injury—the equivalent loss of Brady on defense. Yet, someone was there to step into the big shoes, whether his name is Kelly or Vellano or Emperor Chandler Jones.

The Iceman did not cometh.  Mattie Ryan looks like he failed to read Eugene O’Neill’a famous play when he was at Boston College. It’s always a mistake that sends Mattie Ice into a long day’s journey into night.

It means we will now crown LaGarrette Blount as the new Emperor Jones and leave the Hairy Ape to the media that predicted Patriotic Doom.

Room with a Point of View




Shining stars Scatman Crothers, Danny Lloyd, and Shelley Duvall

Room 237 may be the greatest way to advertise a film yet devised, despite the fact that no one associated with the movie had any interest in participating.

As a documentary, Room 237 is a clever pastiche of Kubrick movie clips to explain the motives and history of the creepy ghost adventure to end all campfire horror legends. It was Kubrick’s shining example of esoteric storytelling.

Kubrick was never one to kowtow to the material of the equally famous, whether Vladimir Nabovkov, Arthur C. Clarke, or Stephen King. The genius of Kubrick took the material and molded it into his own vision, making it original and distinctive.

The Shining as a novel was not nearly as scary as Kubrick made this ghost story. Stephen King took historical tales about the Stanley Hotel and gave it a fictional lynchpin. Kubrick improved on the maze of the story. Indeed, there was no plot-central maze in the King book.

This movie has caught the imagination of many film aficionados who see Kubrick making statements about the Holocaust, Native American massacres, the corrosive effects of war, or even the 1969 Moon landing. The experts seem to miss the point that Kubrick could have made a movie about any those issues (and he did on occasion).

Kubrick films were always events, happenings, challenges, and stunning achievements even when they failed. He belongs in that pantheon with Orson Welles, as a filmmaker too big for his film canister.

Room 237 fascinates and amuses. It is like reading the annotations on your favorite book. We realized about half-way through the documentary that we had to see The Shining again.


 If you like to read about movies, try MOVIE MASHUP and/or MOVIES TO SEE OR NOT TO SEE. Both books are available on


Bad News, Bad Backs, and Bad Receivers for the Patriots


ImageGronk, irrepressible danseur at any Vegas style venue, and Kung fu fighter par excellence, suddenly has developed Jacoby Ellsbury syndrome.

Unnamed Gronk advisers are reporting that they don’t want to rush him back because of his back. The anonymous powers on the Gronk staff are likely his brothers and father. The family has become a corporation more like a nuclear unit on the order of Three Mile Island.

Gronk has every reason to hold back if he thinks his career may be shortened by another premature entrance into a minor game.

Yet, he told teammates he was ready to go early in the week. Indeed, Belichick’s advisers apparently thought he was a go—but where has Gronk gone?

Danny Amendola is another scratch because of the healing itch near his groin.

The Patriots will mislead fans, media, and especially opponents all week rather than report that Gronk or Amendola is nowhere near ready.

Gamblers, high rollers, and average bettors are now stymied at the roll of the dice. The Patriots look like losers in more ways than one Gronk. Fearmongers may now sound the alarm.

Though it was no lock that Gronk dressing and playing guaranteed a victory, it may have improved the mood of Patriot Nation. Right now the Patriot optimism is about as low as at Valley Forge. And, Bill Belichick is no George Washington.

As the first month of the season draws to a close, the performance on a road game before 25% of the season is on the docket becomes big in terms of emblematic value and actual playing ability.

The names on the jerseys will not be changed to protect the innocent, but the guilty may wish they were incarcerated with a former teammate.

For more insights into the Patriots, you can’t go wrong by reading NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS UNDRESSED, available on

Attack of OJ Simpson: 21st Century Cookie Monster



A brazen prison crime has been perpetrated and the perp is a familiar monster of folklore. Put the notion of overweight James Cagney calling for his “Ma!” in a one-man prison riot.

This is another fat inmate doing a Pillsbury Doughboy imitiation.

Yes, O.J. Simpson of double homicide fame has been busted. If the glove did not fit, we’d have to acquit. Based on his pulchritude, nothing he wears really fits.

Alas, for mammoth fat slob O.J., the years have not been kind.

His crime sort of fits his belt size. He was caught stealing oatmeal cookies out of the prison cafeteria. They contraband were hidden in his lumpy shirt.

So, the cookies were hot in both a metaphorical and literal sense.

Simpson now adds a cookie sheet to his rap sheet.

When you are 66 years old and failing to follow dietary rules, you turn up looking like a raspberry turnover.

How much time will be tacked onto his sentence at the Las Vegas country club prison is open to speculation. He likely will be strip searched every time he goes through the cafeteria line. That will kill appetites for sure.

You will be able to pick O.J. out of the lineup because he’s the one with the crumbs on his shirt.

In the fiction of James Cain and other Hollywood types of crime writers, you are always punished for some minor infraction, not the major crime of your life. 

Alas, for Simpson, this is how the cookie crumbles. The Toll House cookie tolls for thee, O.J.

Tom Brady Laments His Lack of a Nickname


Even Welkah has a nickname…

At his press conference this week, Tom Brady lamented the fact that Matt Ryan of the Atlanta Falcons has a “sweet” nickname, and Tom felt somewhat left out of the affectionate handle game.

Matt Ryan, formerly of Boston College, is known to one and all as “Mattie Ice,” in reference to the ice water in his veins. He will stand up in frightful situations and make that key pass.

You may ask, “Hunh?”  Ryan has won only one playoff game in his career, while Tom Brady has won innumerable playoff games and even a few Super Bowls. There is no ice water in Tom’s artery apparently.

What do the cognoscenti call Tom?  He is known by many as TB12. It sounds like a strain of tuberculosis that has no known cure. It’s not exactly a game winner.

Indeed, Tom kindly accepted the nickname when reporters pointed it out. No one apparently referred to Tom by his more accurate sobriquet: “Tom Terrific.”

That reference to an old cartoon hero may be too archaic for 21st century centurions.

So, Tom is left without a short love term. It would put him at a disadvantage in the NBA where nicknames will soon adorn the jerseys of players.

Tom may want to hold a contest to find something appropriate like “Gronk” or “Big Ticket.”

The idea that great heroes have great nicknames goes back to Babe Ruth. Even his name was a nick. The Sultan of Swat, the Bambino, Babe, was George Herman Ruth, not exactly a name to inspire. It could only be worse if his name was Thomas Edward Patrick Brady. If you don’t have a good nickname, you stack up on middle names.

It could only be worse if Tom Terrific were known locally as “Loser.”  We dread to think a few more games without receivers might baptize him with a moniker he will hate.


Those in the know have read NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS UNDRESSED to prepare for this new season. It’s available in softcover and ebook format at

Oversized and Underwhelmed with Gatsby


Semi-original Cab Calloway wannabe:  iOTA!


Great artists can paint in miniature with fine detail in a cameo format, or they can paint murals in titanic strokes. Case in point: Baz Luhrmann’s take on Scott Fitzgerald’s novel, The Great Gatsby.

Director lurid Luhrmann wants to have it both ways. We suppose it’s hubris that he thinks of himself as a great artist of cinema, but more than that, he thinks of himself as greater than Gatsby. After all, it is Luhrmann who throws Gatsby’s big Long Island party with anachronistic music, out of place posturings, and a Cab Calloway lookalike (cabaret icon iOTA) to match Nick Carroway’s awe and shucks.

The film builds Gatsby into something godly and ungodly, death defying and fatalistic. We actually find out he is Leonardo DiCaprio, who cannot meet the introduction in any credible manner. The letdown is not his fault. Luhrmann undercuts DiCaprio at every turn.

We are left wondering about the relationships of these characters as men. It would seem Tom Buchanan (Joel Edgerton) is a blowhard Ivy League jock unable to grow up, and Nick Carroway (Toby Maguire) is a wannabe writer drunkard on the periphery of money and power. They are closet queens at the least, boys afraid of their own toys.

There is an instant tension and attraction between Nick and Tom—but the true fireworks belong to Nick and Jay Gatsby. It’s almost like the two souls find each other in a gay hothouse bathhouse. This is no easy task given the nuthouse goings-on.

If we fault Luhrmann on any point, it is that he sweeps his panorama with leaps of bravado that trivialize the more tragic and human elements.

It’s as if Luhrmann must outdo Orson Welles as his most profligate and Cecil B. DeMille at his most bombastic. The result is a sugar high when we need a writer’s block.

You probably should see this movie, though you will end up with a hangover tomorrow morning. Great parties are like that. Great movies are not like that.


For the most unusual in movie reviews, read MOVIE MASHUP, now available on

Boston Celtics Name Game

DATELINE: HUMOR!Rondo&GreenNebulacover

What’s in an NBA name for the Boston Celtics?

The NBA always thinks it has a better idea, but not this time. They want to allow players to put a nickname on the back of their jersey instead of their birthright.

Obviously this opens up a can of worms. Indeed, some nicknames are better left in the locker room. We doubt that “Stinky” will be popular–unless put to a fan vote.

If players are forced to come up with colorful nicknames, the handle market will face stiff competition when “Number One” wears number 73.

Ray Allen, formerly of many teams, would revert to his handle from his movie hit. “Shuttlesworth” is hardly a nick but more like an encyclopedia of letters. If he went by the character’s first name, it would only be blasphemy for those who remember the movie He Got Game.

Allen is in the forefront of those who want to ditch their birthnames and family ties. How many black men in the NBA would dump their roots?

When nicknames shorten the burden of long names, we would laud the effort. Kris Humphries-Kardashian before his divorce was a case in point.

We will enjoy seeing Kris running up and down the court with “Hump” on his back. Shades of Quasimodo.

Jared Sullinger’s troubles with girlfriends and the law will “Sully” his name for all time. Whether he will sully the Celtics only time will tell.

Already we miss Kevin Garnett whose jersey shall read “Big Ticket” and Paul Pierce whose backside reveals “The Truth.”

The plain fact is that Rajon Rondo has no nickname, as befits him. Rondo will always be Rondo, though the pressure will mount to put “Savior” on his back.

Prepare for NBA basketball by reading RAJON RONDO & THE GREEN NEBULA, now available at in softcover or ebook.

Patriots Continue Their (Im)perfect Season


The Pollyanna media of Boston is back on the bandwagon.

After a lynch party of noose holders ran amok around the sports radio circuit last week, wanting the head of Tom Brady, the soothing waters of another victory calmed the nay-sayers.

Tom’s rookie receivers actually caught a few passes and gave the ungodly Brady his angel wings back. He had two touchdown passes to make it 51 games in a row that he has thrown for a score.

On the plus side, he did not have to rely totally on Julian Edelman. That possibility inordinately worried the media this week.

Stevan Ridley also took a backseat in the victory, and no one seemed to notice. Brandon Bouldin started and won the gratitude of the fans and media for returning to the game after his injury hiatus and for holding on to the ball.

The media wove its postgame laurels to crown Tom Brady king of the mountain again. For his part, Tom Brady took a page out of Red Sox pitcher Jake Peavy’s playbook and only yelled at himself after bad plays.

The media calmed down with an infusion of Tom Brady’s methodical magic elixir. It doesn’t take much, though we fear another flare up of intestinal distress in the upcoming weeks when tougher opponents will cause a return of dyspepsia.

The messenger fears for his life again when we say the Patriots are neither as good, nor as bad, as the semi-objective Boston media would have us believe.

Bill Belichick’s teams always improve as the season progresses, and they always seem to peak around December when the games are pivotal.

There is not far to go after the team starts with three victories and no defeats. Can this team back into a perfect season with moderate talents?

In December the media will not remember how bad the team looked in September, and wins are always the best deodorant.


For more dirt on the Patriots, read NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS UNDRESSED. Find it on


Yaz Immortalized—Again!


Carl Yastrzemski was present at Fenway on a pleasant September day in 2013, thirty years after he retired.

The Red Sox unveiled a bronze statue of the All-Star, Hall of Fame leftfielder who took over from Ted Williams so many decades ago. It took us half a season to learn how to spell his name. Some never bothered, and he was dubbed “Yaz.”

The white-haired grand old man of the team wore #8. That is also retired and hanging over right field with other immortals. With his hair now the color of pure snow, Yaz may have noted the statue was the color of Yaz’s hair in his prime.

Yaz was not always popular in Boston, not even after his Triple Crown year in 1967 when he was point man for the Impossible Dream team.

He changed opinions one day when he was called out on strikes. He argued and was tossed out of the game. A man who was never demonstrative, he stooped down at home plate and covered the dish with a mound of dirt in the shape of a pyramid. Suddenly booing turned to cheers. He tossed his helmet at it and trotted off the field.

He was never booed again.

We remember that he was a doubles machine, always hitting them. We remember that he would routinely throw out runners trying to stretch a Green Monster single into a double.

We remember that, when Carl was a rookie, he took pity on his fellow rookie, second baseman Chuck Schilling who could not hit more than .240 during his Sox years (and usually much lower than Yaz who always batted third).

They used to practice the suicide squeeze with Carl bunting and Chuck on third. It never happened in a game, but they were exuberant rookies. Chuck only played four years with the Sox; Yaz played 23 years, all with the Red Sox.

Some rookies make it for a journeyman career, and others make it to immortality.

We remember Carl Yastrzemski fondly.

Patriots & Red Sox: Trading Places



LEXINGTON, CONCORD, & FOXBORO – Boston sports fans face the unbelievable and the incredible.

Their two premier sports franchises, the Patriots and the Red Sox, have swapped situations.

It’s like that bad movie Trading Places with Eddie Murphy now transformed into the New England Patriots.

Mark Twain wrote a book that predicted this identity crisis, and he called it The Prince and The Pauper.

Paucity was the middle name of the Red Sox, going back to the days when they rented Fenway Park to the Patriots (unwanted stepchildren of the AFL). 

For decades the Patriots struggled and hit their stride in the 21st century—and the Red Sox did too. It was happy days are here again, season after season.

For the past few years the Red Sox have been drinking out of the toilet more often than Fido—and the Pats remained on top of the world, Ma!

But, like James Cagney in White Heat, the Patriots are watching their world blow up with them on the hot seat.

This season the gold dust twins of the New England region looked in the mirror and realized the joke was on them. They had switched clothes—and the Prince looked like a homeless victim about to have his face eaten.

Yes, the high and mighty Patriots under their wunderkind genius Bill Belichick is groveling in mediocrity—and the new Red Sox miracle worker, John Farrell, has returned triumphant to lead the team as manager with fans waving palms as he rides down Storrow Drive on the back of an ass.

The Sox look like they may be the duck boat answer to Boston’s terror filled year—and the Patriots look like a team that forgot to load the muskets and see three lanterns in Old North Church.

Mark Twain would tell fans not to worry. If you don’t like the New England sports scene, wait a minute. It will change again soon.


Ossurworld’s books NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS UNDRESSED & RED SOX 2012: BOBBY VALENTINE’S SEASON IN HELL will more fully sharpen the scalpel. You can find them at in softcover.

Red Sox Hair Today Growing by the Bushel


ImageNew Pesky Pole at Fenway Park!

Blood, sweat, and beards, is a paraphrase of Winston Churchill. We see it on T-shirts worn by the players. The fans wore fake beards to the ballpark this week to show their folly and follicle spirit as they loitered around Pesky’s Barber’s Pole at Fenway.

The Boston Red Sox have been fighting them on the bullpens,fighting them on Fenway’s grounds, fighting them in the fields, but not in the clubhouse.

The team that has more hair per square inch than the entire Yankee team has better rapport and camaraderie than the Smith Brothers of coughing fit fame.

Men who have no place trying to grow beards are fighting the battle with the razor blade every morning. The goal is a handful of beard. The Red Sox beard movement is a dollar short and a day late; the Boston Bruins grow beards every playoff season.

There are theories that Jose Iglesias was traded to Detroit because he was incapable of growing a beard. If he is seen with a beard, it has nothing to do with playing baseball.

Jacoby Ellsbury’s stubble befits the myth that Native Americans cannot grow a decent beard.

Mike Carp makes the Nordic associated with the Viking blond utility pinch hitter in the mode of Leif Erikson.

Without a doubt, Mike Napoli is a man who was never challenged in his hormones when it came to hair follicles on his chin. His beard is the stuff of legend; it rivals Paul Bunyan or even Haystacks Calhoun.

David Ross is more reminiscent of Robert E. Lee. And, Johnny Gomes tends to give off the aura of Rasputin. Jarrod Saltalamacchia reminds one of a hangman’s beard behind the mask he wears on the gallows.

No matter how hard he tries, Dustin Pedroia’s stubble looks like a charcoal rubbing on the cheeks of a kid going out for Trick or Treats on Halloween.

Manager John Farrell and General Manager Ben Cherington remain slick-faced, clean-shaven, and smooth as silk. Their lack of beard may be the hallmark of having brains in the outfit.


If you want to know the roots of Red Sox success, you may want to read RED SOX 2012: BOBBY VALENTINE’S SEASON IN HELL. It’s available on

Wide World of Sports: Tom Brady’s Tiddlywinks Mess


Tom Brady disparaged Tiddlywinks at his weekly press conference by suggesting football was a real job and a real sport–unlike the age-old game of Tiddlywinks.

International gamesters who enjoy Tiddlywinks have joined together in a chorus of outrage.

Since Wes Welker has reported how competitive Tom is at every game he plays, this is shocking to discover his lack of respect for the highly competitive world of winking your tiddly.

Welker reports that Tom will throw a backgammon board across the room if he loses.

However, he apparently ignores the losses as they mount when he plays Tiddlywinks. Tom Brady is no wink wonk.

Tiddlywinks is thought by some to be a game for kids, without any true suspense or any real talent required. Tom will be shocked to hear that international leagues of winkers are now burning their New England Patriot trading cards.

We urge Brady to sit down and play Tiddlywinks with his two young sons and find out who has the real ability in his family. Next time Tom opens his mouth, he should wink before he tiddles.

The game does require a cup to count up the scores. Tom probably has a couple of cups lying around the locker room, and he can always use those Krugerrands from his investment portfolio as the chips to make the game truly competitive.

The rest of us can use two-bit pieces of realm.

For more exciting looks into the world of sports, try NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS UNDRESSED or even ENCYCLOPEDIA OF SPORTS IDIOCY for the real dope. Both books are available on

Those Black Suited Men Again



To jump feet first into the third movie in a series is being a daredevil behind the eightball. So, with some trepidation, we took in Men in Black 3 without ever having seen the earlier two movies. It did not tax our film watching abilities.

These popular films have been around long enough that we have some sense of the general plot and characters. Two secret government agents in black suits go around the world covering up all the alien life forms that inject themselves into society.

The public sees outlandish events and is given amnesia by the government to keep the secret.

The movie filled my expectations as being frenetic, noisy, and overwhelmed with special effects. Indeed, we speculate that the computer-generated scenes occur within every thirty seconds.

This is the slime school of movie making, holding over from puerile kid shows on TV. Disgusting vomit and gizzards fly everywhere. Let’s face it: we are not exactly fans of the style, but we can on occasion watch something akin to the Austin Powers movies without losing our dinner.

This sequel entails Will Smith forced to time travel into 1969 to find the younger version of Tommy Lee Jones, his laconic partner. The role of young Tommy Lee is perfectly limned by Josh Brolin in a masterful impersonation down to the tiniest details of Jones’s experessions.

For that reason alone, the film is worth appreciating. There were a few hints of wit and whimsy about the sixties, but a steady diet of movies like this will send us to the Moon faster than Ralph Kramden.

Everyone seems to be an alien in an ultimate conspiracy, and those of us who are not must be fairly dumb to not see it. There’s nothing like fans smitten with a movie series that seriously discounts their intelligence.

This is a P.T. Barnum kind of movie—and no one associated with the franchise has gone broke—excepting those who paid to see this space junk.

Read some of the best movie insights in MOVIE MASHUP or MOVIES TO SEE–OR NOT TO SEE, two books now available on in softcover or e-book formats.

Amendola Treated by Witch Doctors & Voodoo Experts



Robert Kraft has spared no expense in finding a way to put Danny Amendola back on the field as soon as possible.

The Patriots have decided to use alternative methods of medicine, usually seen in the New England area around the Red Sox whose assortment of Achilles tendons, Tommy John funny bones, and sleep apnea, has healed well to make a last-place team of 2012 a contender in 2013.

With the Patriots receiving corps depleted and with only untried rookies dropping balls and dropping like flies, the Patriots went to the best medical minds they could find. They needed a quick cure and went through the Red Sox medical staff always ready for the weirdest injuries.

On call, as usual, are acupuncturists who stuck needles in Amendola’s groin to cure him. This seemed to aggravate his muscle-bound abductors who increased the demands on their kidnap note.

Amendola seemed to be more in favor of massage therapy, as recommended by Troy Brown on a local sports show.

Next came the Red Sox clairvoyants who noted that the injury was induced by someone like Rex Ryan sticking pins in a doll right before the game.

The best chanters of the Caribbean were called upon to sing a cure and hum a few bars over the offended groin area—and Amendola responded to treatment with alacrity.

As a result, the Patriots now believe Danny does not need to go under the notorious Gronk knife, a silver plated scalpel that has sliced up Rob Gronkowski’s back and arm several times.

Amendola was less than enamored of the idea of a scalpel cutting along the dotted line near the family jewels. Instead, a flight from Lourdes arrived in time for Amendola’s shower.

The miraculous cure included a cold sponge bath with holy water. It did the trick. He will return in several weeks.

For more insights into the New England football team, you will want to read NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS UNDRESSED, now in softcover and ebook formats on

Brandon Lloyd Suffers Side Effects from the After Effect


ImageBrandon Lloyd in his forthcoming movie role! We are unsure if he is a zombie in this scene.

The truth is indeed out there for Patriot fans. Now the real reason that Brandon Lloyd refused to return to the Patriots has been revealed.

Yes, rumors are accurate. Brandon Lloyd has gone zombie.

Having retired from the zombie corps of Tom Brady receivers, Brandon Lloyd appears in a new movie in his acting debut.  He will be in After Effect, about the military experiment to turn college students into zombies.

Lloyd plays Sergeant Lloyd, which likely made memorizing the script easier. In any case, it had to be easier than memorizing the Bill Belichick playbook.

Lloyd has had plenty of experience working as a automaton and proto-zombie in the Belichick NFL system. It prepared him for his role in the terrifying plot about a quarterback in search of eternal youth who drinks the blood of young receivers to keep his edge.

No, wait. That’s another movie.

Lloyd gave up his million-dollar contract to play football for the contract for a direct-to-video movie royalty. The film will go on sale immediately at Wal-Mart before movie critics can dig in their heels and find out why he keeps falling down when it’s his turn to deliver a line.

Lloyd was considered kind of a locker-room zombie during his year with the Patriots, but no one knew that he was preparing for his movie role. All those bizarre conversations with Tom Brady were actually rehearsals for Brandon’s big movie scene.

The movie After Effect should not be confused with the movie Side EffectsSide Effect is the story of an NFL coach who loses his edge and discovers that all the players he has brought to his team are zombies and serial killers.

That one will also go direct to video.

You may want to read MOVIE MASHUP or MOVIES TO SEE–OR NOT TO SEE for movie insights, or NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS UNDRESSED to read about Mr. Lloyd’s football career. All books are available on in softcover.