Cheese Packed One More Time for Aaron Rodgers

 DATELINE:  Public Excoriation

Can it be that the frumpy little guy in the cheese head that follows Aaron Rodgers has a crush on him? We knew he had male stalkers, the worst kind of fan.

ImageAaron’s Cheese Packer

We aren’t talking man-crush or bromance. We are looking at the real thing—like the New Coke. Cheese packers want Aaron’s body.

Yes, rumors are exploding on social media where rumors are the lifeblood of vampires and gossipmongers that the personal assistant of Green Bay Packer Rodgers is really his paramour.

There nothing like a lover scorned, and perhaps the ultimate revenge is to rough the passer just as he is about to enter the playoffs. There is no fury like a catcher scorned, or in this case—a roommate.

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The Other Packer

If you look at the photo of the two together, they do not look like happy campers. Kevin Lanflisi looks like the sort of guy who’d fleece you in your sleep.

In happier times, the boy in question tweeted how he was being mentored by an amazing man. Apparently this amazing race has ended in a drawstring play.

We love Aaron Rodgers for his wit and timing in all those insurance commercials. Oh, no, we have condemned him with the Paul Lynde syndrome: witty banter.

No one should be forced out of the pocket without a receiver in sight. We can only hope the offensive line holds for Rodgers. He does not need any additional cheap shots as he prepares to double check his bed check with more thoroughness next time.

 

 

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How To Get Fired as an NFL Coach

DATELINE: FOLLIES

 ImageThe most secure man in the NFL coaching rank

Unpardonable sins are the death knell of any NFL coach.

You have to go back to Nathaniel Hawthorne’s story “The Minister’s Black Veil,” to have a true sense of the shameful behavior that will rank indeed among the worst sins.

NFL coaches are a  fairly insane lot to begin with—and their inclusion in one of Dante’s Circles of Hades is almost guaranteed.

If you don’t want to cross the River Styx in the NFL, you have to pay that ferryman with a Super Bowl ticket on the 50-yard line.

And, you may also notice that winning past Super Bowls does not have much more immunity than a flu shot in 2003.  In today’s NFL, the issue is more of what have you done for me this season.

So, don’t yell epithets at your diehard fans at the arena after a loss. They pay your salary, bloated and unearned though it may be guaranteed.

Don’t play your quarterback when he is just off a major injury that you caused by playing him like he were one of the elephants at Circus Maximus. Thomas Edison invented the electric chair for coaches like that.

Don’t lose respect in the locker room with your college boy, rah-rah techniques unless you intend to allow half the team to use PEDs and risk suspensions. 

When you treat the phases of the game like ‘see no evii, hear no evil, and speak no evil,’ you are already on the way to being the monkey’s uncle.

Don’t check yourself out of a hospital after a stroke and think you will be welcomed back to the sidelines.

And don’t ever do something that puts your owner on national television in his luxury box during the game looking like the damndest fool in football.

If you want a great job, first start as one of Bill Belichick’s coordinators. Bill O’Brien and Josh McDaniels are tanned and ready for their closeup.

 

Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on Patriots’ Heads

 

DATELINE: HUMOR!

The final regular season game of 2013 for the Patriots was a rain-drenched epic at Foxboro. B.J. Thomas should have sung a tune at halftime.

With monsoon conditions at the end of December instead of snow and ice, we were drawn to another famous Patriot who said, “Apres moi, le deluge.”  We are not sure if that was Bill Belichick XIV or Tom Brady XII.

The rain came down in buckets with an occasional dog chasing a cat. Mostly a Buffalo Bill chased his tail.

We were reminded of the inglorious climax to Road to Perdition with Tom Hanks, machine guns, and heavy rain.

This time the Buffalo Bills were on the road to Perdition with Tom Brady, his guns, and heavy running attack.

Not since the Rains of Ranchipur have we felt so waterlogged. We could only pray that Julian Edelman was wearing his drip-dry uniform and Pampers.

Yes, if Katharine Hepburn were still living in New England, we’d say she’d called on Rainmaker Burt Lancaster to bring on the deluge. Gillette Stadium started to look like the site of the Johnstown Flood around halftime.

The Patriot running backs Ridley and Blount seemed to cascade down the field as if they were on the Columbia River rapids before hydro-power dammed up the river of no return.

Suffice it to say: the Bills looked like the “Wreck of the Hesperus” as the season ended. The Patriots looked like that they had booked passage on Noah’s Ark with a stop at Met Life Stadium in New York sometime forty days and forty nights hence.

Tom and Julian looked like Tom and Dustin in matching outfits for Rain Man. This time there were no idiot savants on the field, but the stands seemed filled with people with dousing rods, pointing to a bye-week victory.

Good Ol’ Freda Strikes a Musical Chord

 DATELINE: MOVIE MASHUP!

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Imagine being the secretary of the Beatles before they were famous—until after they disbanded. Freda Kelly was with them for eleven years—and never wrote a book, sold their memorabilia, or otherwise made a ton of money off them.

Even at retirement age, she must work as a secretary. Yet, she has the riches of musical history in her heart. And, now, someone finally put her story on film. She only goes so far—and won’t tell her personal relationships to all four of them. Yet, what she knows and tells is heart-warming.

This film wouldn’t have worked if Freda were not a sweet person. But, she is lovely and charming and genuine, and you can see why each Beatle (Ringo—Ritchie to her, Paul, George, and John) all responded to the girl Brian Epstein hired to be his secretary. The Beatles in unison once called her “Good Old Freda.”

Ringo’s mother took to her as a daughter, and she was their wise, level-headed little sister. Only she could force John Lennon to his knee to beg her to stay on as their assistant.

Before that, she was the unofficial keeper of the fan club—and they appreciated her admiration. She was levelheaded, sensible, and supported them with integrity and privacy.

You will watch as Freda rummages around her attic and finds four boxes of materials she hasn’t seen in 40 years. She kept only a few things, having given most away for nothing to Beatles fans.

Even if you don’t recall the Beatles era, or know their music well, you will certainly respond to the notion of becoming the most important peripheral figure in the lives of the super-famous. Freda Kelly is that person.

Good Ol’ Freda turns out to be a happy, delightful experience in documentary film.  Even though the Beatles broke up and ended unhappily as team artists, Freda was there and was a rock of dependability for rock stars.

We loved this little unassuming movie, and we know you will too.

Ossurworld has written several books on movie criticism, including ALFRED HITCHCOCK FRESHLY SHOWERED, MOVIE MASHUP, and MOVIES TO SEE–OR NOT TO SEE.  All his film histories are available at Amazon.com .

Several Cowboys Removed from John Wayne

DATELINE: MOVIE MASHUP

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Randolph Scott was a rich man’s Audie Murphy. In the 1950s, all the good western B-scripts were sent to Scott. Those he didn’t want went to Audie.

As a result, both cowboy star actors made half-a-dozen fascinating and memorable Westerns in the late 1950s.

Many of the films were made with legendary Budd Boetticher as the director. His sense of what made a Western great made for great western drama that transcends cultures and times.

That brings us to a re-viewing of Seven Men from Now, a revenge tale perfectly suited for Randolph Scott who was then in his late fifties with steely gray hair replacing his blonder locks.

If John Wayne was not looking over his shoulder at Scott, he ought to have been. The two stars did make several movies together earlier in their careers, but Scott never garnered the popularity of Wayne and was far more understated in a William S. Hart cowboy fashion

Seven Men from Now also featured Lee Marvin, already in cross-over mode and ready to costar with Wayne in Donovan’s Reef and The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance. He was always a dangerous bad guy in movies, but was making waves that would finally send him into leading man territory within a few years.

The female lead was another personality on the ashcan perimenter of Hollywood, Gail Russell, who had also made some movie history with John Wayne, but was on the downslide to oblivion and premature death. Here she is slightly disturbing as a “good wife” to another man.

By today’s standards, Scott’s revenge at taking down seven killers responsible for a heinous murder is rather tame—except for the hero’s steely resolve.

It is not the best of the Scott Westerns of the era (see The Tall T), but at 75 minutes, it is short and stunning.

Movie insights from Ossurworld’s Dr. William Russo can be found in his books like MOVIE MASHUP and MOVIES TO SEE–or NOT TO SEE!  All Russo’s books are available at Amazon.com in softcover and in e-book formats.

 

Celtic Sullinger Needs Protection

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 DATELINE: HUMOR!

Next time you see Jared Sulllinger, he will be wearing a catcher’s mitt on his left hand. To insure safe play, Sullinger may have to find some latex protection for his big digits.

Since before Thanksgiving the better half of Jelly O’Sully has been playing injured. All those 20-point games makes us wonder how well he’d do if not injured.

Sulllinger refuses to play up the problem, as is the wont of macho men who play games in their underwear.

Coach Brad Stevens simply called the latest glove technique on Sullinger a “contraption.”  If he begins to make moves like the Gloved One, Michael Jackson (not Jordan), we may be looking at a moonwalk being called for a penalty for the first time in basketball.

One of the biggest Boston proponents for gloves is Red Sox perennial broken thumb man, Dustin Pedroia. It doesn’t slow down the Sox second baseman, and Sullinger is at least twice the man size of Pedroia.

After Sullinger gave interviews to alert opposing teams of his delicate soft spot, we figure to see lots of karate chop fouls on the Celtic star. It will certainly be a hand job for the opposing team.

If it only hurts when you hit a certain spot, you can rest assured that the Cleveland Cavaliers will be seeing spots when they play the Celtics next.

Sleepy-eyed Sullinger continues to look like a somnambulist when he interviews, which helps in his downplaying of any serious issue.

When it comes to protection, his cup runneth over. Everyone has an idea how to help.

As of now, there is no word on how much pain Jelly Olynyk will feel when Jared jams his hand during the game.

Rajon Rondo Insists He is Out of Shape

DATELINE: HUMOR 

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           Rondo & His Alter Ego

After a year of waiting to be cleared to play, Rajon Rondo has told the Boston Celtics and his fans that he is out of shape in addition to being out of his mind.

Don’t expect him back while eggnog is for sale over the holidays.

Rondo has declined to be seen with Jenny Craig, but may be in the constant company of Sarah Lee. And, no, she is not related to Courtney. He is seeing lard-ass Wendy on the side.

This past summer while convalescing, Rondo spent time in Kentucky where he hit every pancake house between his family digs and the summer basketball camp he ran for kids.

We never expected to have to draw a comparison between the Pillsbury Doughboy and Rajon Rondo, but the point guard insists that he fears those turnovers. No, he is not referring to bad plays on the court. He refers to raspberry turnovers that seem to be his favorite dessert to whip up in his culinary expert’s kitchen.

Rondo fancies himself a chef of the highest order, but lately he has taken to being a gourmand of his own recipe.

The Celtics star insists that in his first major practice he was winded badly. Apparently running back and forth for a year between his jumbo television and the refrigerator did not burn up enough calories.

Danny Ainge is listening to trade proposals for Rondo. He knows that a pound of flesh may be what is holding up the deals for Rajon. No, he isn’t asking for a Shylockian pound, but that buyers are wary of Rondo’s spare tire.

We are counting every calorie Rondo consumes.

Finally the Bills Come Due

DATELINE: HUMOR!

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The Family’s Jules

Last games of the season are never easy nor pretty.

You know that it could be a trap, or it could be a travesty. In either case, the surprise on Xmas week is like receiving a credit card bill from Target after their massive security breach.

You know you bought something, but the sale price is not reflected on your bank statement. So it is for Bill Belichick. He used the best of psychology in the penultimate game, but his bag of tricks for the last game may be emptier than the script for Now You See Me.

Magic moments aren’t what they used to be: even Hugh Jackman has disappeared from the new Broadway play called Houdini. And, Channing Tatum’s sequel to Magic Mike is a way off.

If there are surprises left in the playbook, Belichick may want to save them for the playoffs. You can only hope that the Bills have not videotaped the Patriots practice sessions.

No matter the outcome, Belichick knows his job is secure unlike so many of his colleagues this season. Few, if any, were ever his peers. The Kubiaks, Ryans, and Shanahans, may be run out of their perspective towns on a rail, tarred and feathered.

Belichick is more stolid than the Bank of America.

The tender used by Belichick is hardly based on plastic cards.

The Patriot motto has always been “In Bill We Trust,” and this year he has used his personal currency in the market and passed off Monopoly money to the NFL. His team is now made up of rookies and undrafted 4Fs. To some it is fool’s gold. To others Belichick is minting Kuggerrands.

Belichick is playing with House money, and he still wins with the most unlikely team. All season he has put the worst team with the best record on the field.

In a world where NFL teams are built like a house of credit cards, Belichick knows that the Bills could huff and puff and blow his house down.

The three little piggies (Amendola, Edelman, and Ridley) must hope that the big bad Bills don’t eat them alive.

 

 You may want to read NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS UNDRESSED for more insights into the team’s coach and star quarterback. Available at Amazon.com.

 

 

 

Patriots to Red Sox: Around the Horn with Evelyn

DATELINE: HUMOR!

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Evelyn Lozada Scouts a New Husband at Fenway

Who said lightning won’t strike twice in the same place?  Basketball Wives features women who marry football and baseball players.

Not three years after visiting Fenway Park with her new husband, Chad Ochocinco, who was bedecked in all his newly-purchased Red Sox memorabilia, hausfrau Evelyn Lozada looked stunning in her box seat.

She also looked totally oblivious to the game of baseball. She was texting most of the time.

So, she did not look up to left field to see her future husband while she sat like a Super Bowl trophy waiting for the World Series trophy to show up.

Little did she know back then that in December of 2013, the left fielder of the Red Sox would soon pop the question and drop a diamond ring on her that would make Chad Ochocinco count to fourteen carats when he is now a bust in the checkbook contest.

Ochocinco turned out to be a big bust with the New England Patriots, never doing much. Evelyn Lozada turned out to be the second big bust of Ocho’s life. After they finally married, he slugged her when she asked about his box of condoms in the Prius trunk.

The rest, as they say, was history. Divorce, domestic abuse charges, jail time, plastic surgery, a tattoo to show undying love, and Evelyn moved to Los Angeles where the traded Red Sox left fielder also found himself after being the third big bust in our triangle.

As of Christmas 2013, Miss Lozada is engaged to Carl Crawford:  yes, the man who couldn’t hit a lick has found a beautiful wife lickety split from Ochocinco.

Only in the magical world of sports in Boston could such a scenario turn out to be a fairy tale in Los Angeles where Carl Crawford was shipped for being broken merchandise.

He’s whole now and in the hole, and so is Evelyn. No word on the broken shards of the life of Chad “Don’t Call Me Ocho” Johnson.

Holmes Returns to Baker Street in the 21st Century

DATELINE: SHERLOCK RETURNS

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Best Tandem Since Jeremy Brett and Edward Hardwicke?

Not since Alfred Hitchcock decided to make seven-minute long trailers for Psycho and The Birds has there been a teasing preview like the BBC gives us. Its release on Christmas Eve is a sign that a bright star or two is overhead.

The new Sherlock Holmes (the modern one from England, not the bastardized Americanized one with the female Chinese Watson) will return shortly.

To whet the appetite of the devoted and obsessed, the producers that have not scrimped on clever and brilliantly deduced cases now bring superstars Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman back as Holmes and Watson. When they started playing the roles three years ago, they were unknowns. Now they have starred in the biggest movies of the year (Star Trek Into Darkness, The Hobbit).

When last we saw Holmes, he was dead in a massive fall off a tall building. Watson was bereft. Thank heavens they aren’t consenting adults or Watson would be using the needle out of grief.

Lestrade (Rupert Graves) refuses to hear the outlandish speculation that Holmes has survived death and been in the Orient solving crimes, over in Egypt helping the Cairo authorities, and in Brussels sprouting his line of crime solution.

Yet, he brings a few bric-a-brac to his imbibing doctor friend in his newly refurbished digs. Among the artifacts of Holmes that Lestrade has saved is a DVD addressed to Watson. It cleverly teases the good doctor—and the audience.

We know from Arthur Conan Doyle that Holmes survived his mighty fall, but what magic trick he used this time is still an open question.

Many Happy Returns is a short film that will bring joy to the devotees and leave lesser lights in the dark.

 

 If you enjoy Ossurworld’s comments, you can read his full book of movie critiques in MOVIE MASHUP or in ALFRED HITCHCOCK FRESHLY SHOWERED. Both are available at Amazon.com.

 

Duck Dynasty: Geneaology of Gay Bashers

 

DATELINE: LYNCH MOB

Phil Robertson joins the Anita Bryant Fan Club.

Vladimir Putin has found a soulmate in Phil Robertson.

Russia’s anti-gay leader is not alone in his views. The Duck Dynasty hillbilly (or whatever regional bayou Bible-thumpers are called) seems to have a kinship with the former Soviet Union KGB thug.

We feel as if we are being unkind to Jethro Bodine and Jed Clampitt when we lump Phil Robertson into the same group.

Americans always look to uneducated fools to best represent their philosophical freedom. Anti-intellectualism in America starts at the door of gay liberation.

Most evangelicals like Robertson are named Pat, not Phil.

His views are tolerated under the umbrella of free speech. This apparently also covers yelling epithets at the guy hanged by the ones dressed in fashionable white sheets.

Phil Robertson has become the new Anita Bryant. She made orange juice the new black back in the 1970s.

You almost need to look at NSA snoopers under your bed to understand why people are so quick to lynch their neighbors.

The greater issue here is why Americans turn to TV shows like Duck Dynasty to find something holy about the return to innocence.

Quacks by any other name are daffy duck killers. Phil Robertson would eat his match if Daffy and Bugs made him the new Elmer Fudd.

Patriots Sing the Forgotten Verse of Jingle Bells

DATELINE: HUMOROUS CAROLING

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Belichick & Brady Sleigh Ride

Do you see what we see?

The Patriots took a sleigh ride in Baltimore. They did not to dash through the snow expecting to go laughing all the way. Most of their fans had thrown away the sheet music and had no idea how their song would end this season.

Over the field, Tom Brady led his team as if it was a one-horse sleigh ride.

A day or two ago, experts and pundits thought the Patriots would take a ride to the dark side, ending up buried in the biggest drift they have ever seen in December.

But, Fanny Bright Belichick was in the driver’s seat. He has fashioned a lean and lank beast that seemed to be set up for misfortune as his lot in the NFL.

Every NFL media member had been telling a story that the Patriots were ready to fall out of the sleigh during the bumpy ride along an icy patch.

Most fans thought the Ravens, riding by in their sleigh driven by Joe Flacco, would be laughing and leaving the Pats out there in a drift on their backside as the Ravens drove on.

When the ground is white, the Patriots usually thrive on victory. But, the sleigh ride took a turn that no one except Tom Brady may have expected.  He took his bobtailed bay and the sleigh with a crack into the lead.

Once again as in olden days, faithful fans were dear once more. Through the years, the Patriots have shown what the fates will allow.

Belichick has now put a star on the highest bough, giving the Patriots a merry little Christmas week before the season’s end.

Jingle Bells indeed. We have muddled through somehow.

Rondo Declines to Ride to the Rescue This Year

DATELINE: HUMOR!

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Celtic Player Pictured in New Uniform

Perhaps Celtics coach Brad Stevens should have followed the example of Patriots coach Bill Belichick and brought his entire team to see the movie Lone Survivor.

After this strategic move, the Patriots crushed the Baltimore Ravens, roundly favored by all experts.

The Indiana Pacers, likely the best team in the NBA, crushed the Boston Celtics around the same time. Champs play every game like their Christmas porridge depends on it.

The Celtics were already sipping egg nog at tip off.

There were no prisoners taken by the Pacers. Nearly every available Celtic played or went through the motions. Only Keith Bogans could claim he washed his hands thoroughly. He never got off the bench.

Rajon Rondo offered no balms on this day. Before the game he held a highly prized press conference to defuse all the optimism about his private practicing. Rondo let the media know he would not play until his body spoke to him.

Apparently his body is giving him the silent treatment.

Rondo offered a timetable that would make the groundhog in Pennsylvania laugh out loud. He claimed he might not be ready until February. With the trade deadline around the same time, Rondo may be playing his first game back with someone other than the Celtics.

If the Celtics make the playoffs, Rondo has his trusty steed ready to ride to the rescue—if he is still living in the Boston area. Anything before that leaves the Celtics at the mercy of Danny Ainge’s trade deals.

 

Movie Day for the New England Patriots

DATELINE: MOVIE MASHUP!

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In a move of brilliant desperation, Coach Bill Belichick decided to take his beleaguered New England Patriots to see a holiday movie at a penultimate moment of the season.

No, they are not watching Elf, Miracle on 34th Street, nor A Christmas Carol (which might offer insights into the psychology of their mercurial coach).

Instead, Belichick took his team’s mind off mayhem and NFL assassination attempts by showing them life on the other side: Lone Survivor is about a Navy Seals mission in Afghanistan in 2007.

It was a movie to provide a 21st century rallying cry that rivals Remember the Alamo or Remember Pearl Harbor.

Wags thought he might take them to the ubiquitous Anchorman 2 with Ron Burgundy. There was no Chablis or Zinfandel for these players, let alone Burgundy.

Belichick knows what he does. He is preparing a decimated team for warfare. He is not trying to take their minds of battle, but make them aware of what defines sacrifice and valor.

Mark Wahlberg is a local New Englander who stars and produces the film—and may have hinted to Belichick that this was the pick of the season. It will certainly give Wahlberg’s box office a shot.

A private screening for over 50 Patriots and supporting staff likely did the trick in both resting the physical bodies of debilitated NFL warriors and recharging the spirit of American heroism.

Movies used to do that for all its citizens, whether it was The Sands of Iwo Jima or The Fighting Sullivans. 

Now it is left to the young men who represent the best of America’s economic and social heroism: our football players.  The last real Patriots took in a movie about the last real patriots.

Disembodied, Disinvited, & Disingenuous

DATELINE: MOVIE MASHUP!

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In our age of spectral reality TV, we may be spoiled. Electronic emissions, night vision, and all the technological gadgets to chase down ghosts has made amusing TV viewing from Ghost Hunters to Ghost Adventures to Ghost Mine.

So, when we heard that 1943’s The Uninvited was being recast as a classic, we had to see it. It started promisingly with Ray Milland giving appropriately compelling narrative about his experience at Windward, a worn down old manse on the sea cliffs of England in 1937. It isn’t Gull Cottage by a mile.

Milland and his sister (!) Ruth Hussey have no money, but pool their resources to buy this white elephant. The relationship of Hussey and Milland is creepier than the ghosts and modern house with no electric lights. Candles only, thank you.

Milland is a music critic and hopeful composer. Their dog recognizes something is amiss and takes off for the hills. The housekeeper’s cat is also smart enough to know those cold spots and crying jags in the night mean trouble.

Add actress Gail Russell to the mix and you know you have something odd indeed. She plays a British girl who sounds American. From the start this doomed actress with her legendary troubles is watchable, but also seems to be a looming train crash.

Special effects are low-key and likely to bring guffaws rather than chills to audiences in the 21st century. If you like your movies to inspire eye-rolling and groans, you have a classic hereafter.

As for the ghosts, we can only sympathize with them. But, put thoughts of The Ghost and Mrs. Muir out of your head. This is more like Abbott and Costello in the Haunted House.

For more movie reviews and insights, read ALFRED HITCHCOCK FRESHLY SHOWERED or MOVIE MASHUP!  Books by Ossurworld’s William Russo are available at Amazon.com in softcover.