Cue Gino the Dancing Fool, Celtics Fans

 DATELINE: HUMOR!

 ImageSullinger in Mufti

The Celtics had their first home blowout this season, making the less fortunate Cleveland Cavaliers an object of pity.

Much more good emerged with this home stopover than the tankers would care to see. If the Celtics play like this, there may be a chance for excitement—especially with so many other teams defying the odds and failing. (That’s you, Nets and Knicks).

A sight we thought retired for the duration, the Jumbotron appearance of Gino, the Bandstander from disco hell, showed up dancing away. It was enough to remind us that Kevin Garnett’s dance card in Brooklyn remains empty.

We were so caught off guard by the Celtics rout of their opponents that we barely noticed the lavender shirt worn with his natty suit by Kelly Olynyk, still nursing his sprained ankle.

Olynyk did not sit next to Rondo on the bench, equally well dressed, but clearly was not about to take second place to the Beau Brummel of the Celtics. Mr. Blackwell might be delighted to see a fashion competition on the Boston bench this year.

Of course, when haberdashery takes your eyes off the ball, you know you are in the wrong business.

We must gloat too at our earlier predictions that Jared Sullinger is the second coming of Larry Bird. The defensive wizard is now showing a three-point hand. Those knives in the heart from outside the perimeter always made Bird a predator, and now Sullinger is giving us flashbacks. 

Save the tank for your fish. The Celtics have our attention.

 

 

 

 

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Never Kid Jason Kidder When Push Comes to Shove

  DATELINE: Cups Running Over

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Un-just Kidding with the Un-cola

Jason Kidd, formerly an aging role player in the NBA, has continued his dog and pony show as coach of the Brooklyn Nets. Once a loser, you start to push the cold drink button at the snackbar.

As his team of aging and overpaid former Celtics sinks slowly in the East, he has taken to crying over spilled milk—or any other liquid ready for environmental disaster.

Yes, Jason Kidd allegedly spilled his drink on the court to force a delay of game. It was the act of a man trying to change the time of his hanging. He delayed the inevitable by about three minutes.

The NBA takes a dubious attitude at cheating. After all, that sort of thing should be relegated to baseball PEDs with Alex Rodriguez, or to the NFL with Sean Payton and Bountygate. Now that’s real cheating.

We hate to throw cold water on the NBA, but their cheaters are looking like pikers. Small time crooks are always the opening act for big-time felonies. The NBA has not displayed big time malfeasance since players went into the stands to beat up fans.

The Gatorade on the court cost Jason Kidd a cool $50,000 in an NBA fine. The ice was apparently extra. We suspect you could buy quite a few lattes for that price.

On the other hand, if you receive a burn from spilled hot coffee, you have a case that the spillage is an accident—and you can blame McDonalds drive-thru.

In his quest to commit the perfect crime, Kidd mouthed the words, “Hit me,” to one of his players, allowing him to drop the pretense. Someone should tell him instant replay and slow motion make such open agendas big news with the film at eleven sports crowd.

Classic cheater Ty Cobb would have scoffed at this antic. He knew how to make crime pay. Let’s not cry too much over spilled Gatorade.

 

Brady Contends the Real NFL Season Starts Now!

DATELINE: LOST IN TRANSLATION

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Josh McDaniels and Tom Brady Fritter Away the Carefree Days!

Tom Brady told the media throngs in his weekly press conference that the NFL season was now, at the start of December on Sunday, to be the real start of the season.

All that turmoil and bad play from Patriots was merely a warm up to the December games. We have lived and died for twelve weeks, but Tom tells us that it’s a mere bagatelle.

Bagatelle is played with small balls that run downhill until they find their miniature golf-sized holes. Apparently Stevan Ridley has fallen into one of these little holes four times, or about the same amount as the White Rabbit avoiding a tackle by Alice.

Tom has assured Coach Bill Belichick that Ridley’s offensive play does not really count yet.

Chandler Jones was named NFL Player of the Month for his tackling defense, but now must deal with the reality that those games did not really count. Thanks, Tom.

Chandler may as well give his paycheck back to the Krafts like Brady does when he restructures his contract annually. No wonder he takes less: the season is much shorter for Tom.

Gronk must be in agreement with Tom because he didn’t show up for the first six weeks and then only warmed up slowly. He is now ready for the season to start.

TV shows like Ghost Hunters, Ghost Mine, and The Blacklist have all ended in the pre-season—and Almost Human has coincided with Tom Brady’s football season. It’s a short series.

This leaves us wondering about the post-season that starts in January. That’s when the important stuff starts—like the new season of Downton Abbey and Sherlock. Tom really starts playing then.

According to Ecclesiastes, there is a season for everything, and Tom Brady is now ready to sow his oats.

 

 

 

 

 

Salty Will Play for Peanuts

DATELINE: UNSALTY HUMOR

Image Mr. Saltalamacchia’s Paycheck Endorser

When the Red Sox declined to offer Jarrod Saltalamacchia a new contract after one of his best seasons, eyebrows were raised higher than roofbeams, carpenters.

Now with several catchers signed on the dotted line for the next few seasons, Salty remains the unsalted peanut still out there on the limb, waiting for squirrels.

It should follow, and has followed, that a national writer now hints that there is a mysterious medical condition lurking in Saltalamacchia’s MRI.

When Salty’s agent must issue a deniability statement, you know there is fire lurking behind the smoke screen.

Having played in over 120 games during the regular season, Salty made a mental blunder or two and found himself sharing a doghouse with Stevan Ridley.

And like Ridley, Salty is now looking for a permanent doghouse beyond the confines of friendly Fenway where he has few friends among the upper administrative levels.

What mystery illness ails Saltalamacchia? America’s got talent, but the gong is sounding all too often on an answer.

Can there be a version of Bard disease making its way among the Sox? We had no idea that lack of confidence was catchy among catchers. It may be the disease has gripped Ben Cherington who has lost his faith in Salty. Come  March we can likely presume that Cherington will rush into the negotiations with a one-year contract on the lines of Jason Varitek’s Waterloo.

If Salty doesn’t agree to return for peanuts, he may be buying Cherington lunch every day this season to win a chance to play.

 

Relive the thrilling days of the championship season by reading RED SOX 2013: NAKED CAME THE LINEUP.  It’s now available at Amazon.com in softcover and ebook.

Love Life Advice from Larry Lucchino

DATELINE: ROMAN SPRING OF MR. LUCCHINO

 ImageVeteran on Road to Glue Factory

At the premiere of the Red Sox championship documentary at the Wang Center in Boston, Red Sox muckety-muck and all-round hoi polloi buster, Larry Lucchino offered advice to fans and media.

He told assembled throngs not to fall in love with their veteran players. It’s been a major problem with the Red Sox for years and years.

Apparently love is only for rookies. No wonder Xavier Bogaerts has a guaranteed job next season—and Stephen Drew has drawn the short straw.

Of course, Larry has had his dalliances and May/December bromances, notably with David Ortiz. His overblown contract to Big Papi was roundly criticized at the start of last season—but now looks like social security for the Red Sox organization.

Lucchino’s words also sound ominous for Mike Napoli, a veteran with a hip problem. Though he is as comfy as an old shoe, and has a beard like Santa Claus, Napoli has forced Larry to keep his options open. It may be nap time for Nappi, not loving delight in the afternoon.

Since Larry also mentioned Jackie Bradley, Junior, as one of his young infatuations, we can fairly much extrapolate that Jacoby Ellsbury may have already received his “Dear John” letter.

Because of his boyish charm and eternally youthful looks, Jacoby may be looking at the West Coast and landing in Los Angeles where the price of romance is never an issue.

Lucchino also compared his job to working on the railroad.

In that vein, he has driven a golden spike into the hopes of older players everywhere with his comments. Let’s hope he changes his mind and enjoys his Roman Spring like Mrs. Stone with veterans once again.

 

 Fans infatuated with the World Champion Red Sox may want to read RED SOX 2013: NAKED CAME THE LINEUP, the human interest book that gives the real behind-the-scenes look at the season of the beard. Available on Amazon.com in softcover and ebook for smart readers.

A Rose By Any Other Name Succumbs to DNA Failure

DATELINE: HUMOR!

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Rondo Continues to Rehab

With the first month of the NBA season nearly over, the Celtics are firmly established as a .500 team with the actual likelihood to be slightly better—and with the potential to be much better.

And, Rajon Rondo continues to travel with the team. He practices lightly and does all the warmups with his teammates. He looks to be closer and closer to a return to form.

However, a nagging worry cannot be ignored. Derrick Rose had just returned from a year in rehab of his left knee. Then, abruptly, with no contact during the game, his right knee gave out. It was, to some, bad luck, and others saw it as kismet.

With surgery, Rose will miss the entire season. In effect, this cuts two prime years out of his NBA career.

Now we presume Rajon Rondo has watched this debacle of stars out of alignment with silent concentration. Rondo will never share his inner most feelings, but there had to be a myriad of emotions, a mixed salad, upon hearing what happened to his fellow point guard.

The game is a gamble. Any high level physical activity could erupt from bad genes and DNA popping up a weak spot in one’s body. No regimen of preventive care can save you. Rose has discovered his inevitability factor.

Rondo could be like his friend Wes Welker, able to return from torn ACL muscles with aplomb and distinction, a better man.  Or, he could simply be riding into the ambush of another body failure.

There’s nothing to be done: no prevention available to the fates of the universe and the heredity of one’s DNA code. In the parlance of many a philosopher and songwriter, “What will be, will be.”

For Derrick Rose, the ignominious tests him again. For Rajon Rondo, the future remains untested.

For more insights in Rondo, be sure to read RAJON RONDO: SUPERSTAR! and/or RAJON RONDO & THE GREEN NEBULA. Both books are available on Amazon.com in softcover or ebook for smart readers.

Cooking and Clothes with Rajon Rondo

DATELINE: STYLE POINTS

 RondoLaughs

With the Celtics Broadway show heading for a crash and burn in New Haven, Connecticut, during tryouts before reaching the big runway of playoffs, we may take the fifth—and drink it.

The benighted Green team seems owned by an absentee landlord. Jeff Green seems to score twenty points a game, but has no impact on the outcome. He seems more invisible than Daniel Nava over at Fenway Park.

At the rate the team is finding the tank empty, we may end up this season writing only about Rajon Rondo’s cooking recipes and his fashion sense.

So far, Rondo has apparently been showing Avery Bradley how to cook up a storm of losses. AB used to be an equation in algebra, but now it is the full range of Bradley’s game.

While Rondo watches the tandem of Jelly Sullynyk playing like a gourmand’s dinner, Avery has been taken out of the point position and made just another member of the corps de ballet.

Lately Rondo has shown him the recipe for turnovers. In the past few weeks we have watched Bradley give us apple turnovers, blueberry turnovers, and plenty of raspberries in the turnover.

At this rate we may be yearning for Dennis Eckersley’s cheese turnover recipe. Rondo has seemingly only lemon turnovers to pass out to the bench lately.

In terms of fashion, we note that Rondo takes a limited wardrobe on the road trips. One night he showed up with a sports coat over his T-shirt. Other nights he wears prole collared ill-fitting jackets and overlarge ties.

Only when he is home is his wardrobe splendiferous. In last night’s losing game, he wore a strikingly tailored suit with purple tie that would have put Oscar Wilde to shame and made Dorian Gray blush.

When you look like Rondo, you can wear a dishrag loincloth and still look good. Too bad his team has not picked up on his fashion style. Alas, not everyone can be an intern at GQ like Rondo was.

Aficionados of Rondo know that RAJON RONDO: SUPERSTAR and RAJON RONDO & THE GREEN NEBULA are required reading. Both books are available at Amazon.com in ebook format for smart readers.

Ridley’s Believe It or Don’t

DATELINE: HUMOR!

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Spooked by the Ghost of Laurence Maroney?

The ghost of Laurence Maroney has taken to haunting the life of Stevan Ridley.

If the ghost of Jacob Marley visits Ridley on Christmas Eve, it may be too late to save his season.  At this rate the business of holding the ball is his business, not mankind. What does it profit the Patriots if Ridley gains a few yards per game and drops the ball in the crunch?

Ridley has to be grateful that Bill Belichick has developed a thicker skin than he used to have. In the old days the coach’s lack of control led to shipping Maroney off before you could say Denver Broncos.

Of course, in those days, the destination of Denver was the place where Chippendale dancers preceded the Magic Mike show on the Bronco stage at Mile High Club.

Nowadays Belichick cannot follow suit because the coach who would take such players is now working as the Offensive Coordinator under Belichick. Cue the Chippendales.

So, perhaps Stevan Ridley is safe with the protective wing of Josh McDaniels.

On the other hand, Belichick has not much to work with nowadays, having sent all his best players to the four corners of the NFL, proselytizing other teams to championships.

As for pipsqueak Josh, he has always had a soft spot for men who are not perfect, as Billy Wilder used to say in his classic movie Some Like It Hot.

Ridley has not been a hot pistol for quite some time, if ever. In fact, he is just this side of Jack Lemmon in drag.

There is no truth to the rumor that the Patriots are looking to send Ridley into next season’s Ghost Mine where Maroney kept all his fumbled balls. There is always a chance of a cave-in that would keep Ridley out of the Patriots red zone drives for the rest of his career.

Believe it or not, Ridley may be playing under a lucky star.

While he is still playing, he is lucky that the star is Tom Brady.

 If you want to read the perfect book to understand why the Patriots are in the predicament of having the worst team with the best record, try reading NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS UNDRESSED, available on amazon.com in softcover and ebook for smart readers.

Booth and Oswald: a study in similarities

Their educations were the epitome of their eras. John Wilkes Booth and Lee Harvey Oswald went to every educational institution of his age–and still found failure at every turn. This classic book presents a perspective on the assassins that is unusual and fascinating.

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from cover of Booth & Oswald

Available on Amazon.com in both softcover and ebook.

Red Sox Keelboats and Duckboats, Avast!

DATELINE: THE LOVE BOAT

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Peavy’s tweeted retreat with love boat.

Red Sox pitcher Jake Peavy shelled out a mere pittance of $75,000 for his used duckboat. He has now tweeted out a photo that shows the duckboat home to roost at its coming out party in the land of sweet yams.

Now the duckboat makes a home in Alabama. And why not? London Bridge wound up in the Nevada desert. The duckboat seems swimmingly right in Sweet Caroline’s Sweet Alabama.

You expect to see a keelboat race on the lakeshore where Peavy makes his home, and his duckboat seems to offer a better victory lap than keelhauled racers on the rapids.

Fellow Sox free spirit, Johnny Gomes takes credit for challenging his teammate to make that purchase for Peavy’s grand estate in Alabama where he lacked a duckboat. So, Peavy allowed himself the luxury of being the first player to buy the parade boat he sailed the Charles upon. It was on a flatbed truck last week, and now Peavy floats his boat daily.

Gomes is delighted that he can now visit Alabama and relive the duckboat experience on the private lake owned by Peavy.

 

For more human interest stories with a fun twist, be sure to get your copy of RED SOX 2013: NAKED CAME THE LINEUP. It’s available at Amazon.com in both softcover and ebook formats. It’s a must-have gift for your Sox fan.

Boston Celtics to Watch: Sullinger & Olynyk

DATELINE: Malapropism Watchwords

 

We hate to give credit where credit is due. So, we won’t.

But this week when Kelly Olynyk and Jared Sullinger started their first game together in San Antonio, Texas, one of the wags on one of the Boston rags came up with a nickname for the ages to baptize the Celtics version of Martin & Lewis, bypassing Gronk & Hernandez of yore.

The wag writer referred to the starring starters as Jelly Sullynyk. You gotta love it. We’re swallowing it whole.

We’ve been trumped, quartered, and keel-hauled.

Henceforth, we must note the birth of the twin stars, Castor and Pollux, are really Kelly and Jared. Jelly, indeed. Spread the word.

If Danny Ainge, aka Trader Danny, does not split these Chang and Eng Siamese Twins over the next year or two, the Celtics may well be closer to a peanut butter and Jelly Sullynyk sandwich.  KO&J on wry, please.

It’s not exactly Rajon Rondo’s healthy meal choice (as prepared by the master chef), but he will be able to cook up a few interesting plays with this choice morsel if he can get off his bad knee.

Last week we considered Kelly and jared as a kind of Bird and Magic act on the highwire. Now we know our metaphor was only half a loaf.

The new couple may be making bigger headlines than neutrinos hitting the South Pole or convicted murdering millionaires being granted a new trial and released from prison, but Jelly Sullynyk has style and panache, if not downright duende.

 

 Celtics fans may want to reminisce about the good old days with the humorous human interest tales of RAJON RONDO: SUPERSTAR. It’s available on Amazon.com in ebook format for smart readers.

 

Brady and Manning Fall Short of Tandems

Tom&Peyton

 DATELINE: TOM FOOLERY

Boston media once again are indulging in their wastrel pastime of asinine speculation.

You know there is a desperate need to fill the empty airwaves with bluster and drollery when so-called insiders begin their perennial debate about who’s the better quarterback matchup:  Tom Brady or Peyton Manning.

The tomfoolery has gone on through Sanchez and Romo unto Kaepernick and Griffin III. Yet, the experts continue to spin their moneymakers like stuck tires in a snowdrift.

We cannot think of a less worthwhile discussion than to compare these athletes.

Did we ask the same ad nauseum of Larry Bird and Magic Johnson? Oh, it was another sport and apples/oranges: or was it? Those two ended up spawning movies and Broadway plays with their even-steven rivalry.

Somehow we doubt that Broadway will entertain the Tom & Peyton show. It may not even make the level of the Gronk cartoons like Tom and Jerry.

Brady and Manning fall far behind the debate about Ted Williams and Stan Musial. They are nowhere near as exciting as Juan Marichal and Sandy Koufax. Hell, they don’t even scrape the bronze off Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain.

So, when we hear the caterwauling over Brady and Manning, we turn off our ear trumpet and bury our nose in history books about real athletic rivals like Mantle and Maris, Ruth and Gehrig, or Fisk and Munson.

Let’s just enjoy their ying and matching yang while we have it.

 

Another Turkey Dead on Arrival

DATELINE: Hunting Down Bad Guy Movies

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Two Troupers in a Turkey

It arrived straight to video, streaming, and online viewing. It did not pass “Go,” and it did not collect any awards.

Killing Season is not about life on a turkey farm the week before Thanksgiving, but features to actors who seem a bit long in the tooth for their roles as action vengeance seekers. Robert DeNiro and John Travolta are well-worth watching even under duress in a birdbrain movie about the cold dish of revenge.

John Travolta plays someone from Eastern Europe, replete with accent that has no specific location, that comes to the cold Appalachian country of the United States to kill a former soldier now living in hiding (that’s DeNiro). He’d probably die of old age soon anyhow without aspirin.

Travolta is a Bosnian who has survived execution and spends 18 years tracking down DeNiro, even able to enter the United States with his weapons cache. It may have something to do with the fact that Travolta in his beard looks more like Abe Lincoln than Raymond Massey ever did.

We liked the idea of anti-social, retired ex-military man living in rustic luxury out in the middle of nowhere in pleasant conditions until a nutcase forces him into survivalist mode.

Talk about déjà vu all over again. You probably have seen this plot rehashed with different cultures, ages, wars, and cleverness. We can think of a half-dozen films with the same storyline: hunter and hunted running all over Adventureland.

We also must admit we haven’t seen too many movies with a theme related to the Bosnian genocides of the 1990s—and we presume most movie viewers have no idea where Serbia is on the map, let alone that NATO used American soldiers in cleaning up the atrocities.

In the age of political correctness, however, you cannot count on the idea that the American is a good guy, even when he used to be Don Vito Corleone hunted down by Vinnie Barbarino.

Don’t forget to read MOVIE MASHUP or MOVIES TO SEE –OR NOT TO SEE for a full rundown on all the recent films worth seeing (and classics worth re-seeing). Both books are available on Amazon.com for Christmas stockings everywhere.

Rondo Fire Sale is On—Again!

DATELINE: FOOLISH THINGS RondoBeard

Danny Ainge of the Celtics front office is backing down from trade rumors yet again. And, for those birdwatchers that wait for the swallows to return and the cicada to emerge, the Rondo trade machine is revving up.

Boobirds and Rondo haters are plentiful this time of year when thoughts have turned to holly and draft lotteries. Without Rondo the Celts could lose 50 games, so say the experts.

If you don’t have a tiger out of your tank, you aren’t tanking fast enough.  Fans on the bandwagon are claiming you had better trade Rajon Rondo for a turkey fryer or at least a George Foreman grill before the snow flies. Just dump him.

This time Rondo was allegedly being shopped for Amare Stoudemire and several unused floats in the Macy’s Parade down 34th Street. Suffice it to say Danny needs more than a giant inflatable Bullwinkle for another Celtics duckboat parade.

Those of us who make a living off Rondo’s life in Boston are anxious that Rondo is like a glass of milk and cookies you leave out for Santa Claus. We worry that the milk will sour before he arrives and will give Mr. Claus gastroparesis.

If Rondo is out there for sale, someone in Houston will offer Jeremy Lin for him—and there you go. Linsanity will trump Rondomania every time.

We can only hope that $24 worth of wampum and beads will not lead to a deal similar to buying Manhattan off some locals as did the Dutch 400 years ago. Rondo is worth more than a string of Oyster Bay pearls. You could probably get Kevin Garnett back from the Brooklyn Nets in a trade if you drive a hard bargain, Danny.

Fans of Rondo may not want to read RAJON RONDO: SUPERSTAR or its sequel RAJON RONDO & THE GREEN NEBULA. Both are suitable Xmas gifts for Rondo haters and can be found on Amazon.com.

 

 

 

 

 

You Can’t Fight City Hall, or NFL Referees

 DATELINE: FOLLY

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Blakeman gives Patriots the Finger

It’s that time of year when conspiracy theories abound.

Fifty years ago the murder of a president led to thoughts that a second shooter was on the grassy knoll.

And now the NFL has shot the New England Patriots in the heart for a second time this season. If you believe in plots and diabolical efforts to confound Bill Belichick, the NFL referees are assassins of the cleverest order.

Their yellow flags contain cyanide tablets, and the Patriots are swallowing each one. Clete Blakeman loves to give it to the Patriots.

The referees cost the New England Patriots the game against the Carolina Panthers.

They shoot horses and Patriots, but there must be a law against hunting down roving Panthers.

You know something stinketh when ESPN does not have an obligatory shot of “Mr.” Kraft in the stands to honor him. Mr. Kraft is an honorable man, and if the NFL referees say that the Patriots ought to lose, who can dispute it?

Watching NFL games is now becoming the equivalent of betting on fixed horseraces. We could have profited more from watching Almost Human and The Blacklist. At least those shows bear an uncanny resemblance to reality.

The Biggest Loser has been cross pollinated with Patriots TV games.

Can you trust the NFL to get it right?  “Of course not,” Red Reddington would respond: “NFL referees are a bunch of criminals.”

The scale of the conspiracy may be wider than you suspect. Just ask the Red Sox about obstruction in the World Series.

At least Bostonians can rest assured that referees will not be stealing victories from the Boston Celtics this season. He who steals a Celtics victory steals trash.

We had better put three lanterns in the steeple of North Church this week. Denver is coming—and so are the NFL referees by land, water, and air.