A Time for Reaping and Sowing; a Time for Tom Brady


Featured imageSpirit of Roger Goodell in Season

Tom Brady had a busy day, being seen carrying a big stick, but speaking softly.

Actually, he never spoke at all.

His presence was enough at the first practice of the new season, and later in the day he appeared as host of his wildly successful charity event Best Buddies.

Brady let others do his talking—and he has no shortage of loving and beloved friends and fans ready to let him bask in the spotlight without discomfort.

It was a day that the NFL chose to announce his hearing will occur on the summer solstice. It was just another example of how the NFL has it in for its best ambassador. They tried to besmirch his charity workday.

Leave it to the foul NFL of independent assassins to decide to schedule Tom Brady’s hearing and human sacrifice on the anniversary of the Druids draining blood at Stonehenge.

It will be a change of season, the world of the Boys of Summer, when the NFL tries to make mincemeat of the Men of Winter.

If you wonder how Goodell can sleep at night, you must always remember that cockroaches don’t have a conscience. They come up out of your drain at that time and dance in the moonlight.

Nice job, Roger Goodell. Your time to go back under the rock nears.

In the meantime, Brady’s silence was golden.

Interstellar: Squirming Through the Wormhole


Featured imageNope, they’re not in it.

You know you are facing a daunting “important” movie when it clocks in at nearly three hours in a snail’s pace.

Director Christopher Nolan is doing a big movie—big ideas, big screen, big stars—and don’t you forget it, Stanley Kubrick fans. This movie is one-upsmanship over the top.

Yes, the yardstick for Interstellar seems to be a movie made in 1968. It tries to do everything in duplicate, if not triplicate, including confusing movie climax with special effects. Who knows what they are talking about in the exposition?

After two hours of mumbo jumbo, you just wish someone with speed up the Warp Drive and cue Spock.

This movie ought to be called star-studded, or interstellar. It’s what you’d call a bunch of familiar faces—some now so old you think you know them but can’t be sure—but yes, that looks like Ellen Burstyn, or William Devane. And, the cameos come to beat the band. Our favorite is Matt Damon. But there are a half dozen others.

Forget dealing with one HAL computer because you have two mobile versions, including one that cracks jokes.

But, oh, so slowly.

It almost seems as if each major segment (and there are plenty segments) could be done in half the time in another dimension. The stars need to emote for their money: they must show off all their personalities, lest their fans feel cheated. We kept looking for Keir Dullea, but didn’t see him.

The actors deserve credit for faking it with all these special effects. We felt overwhelmed with noise and explosions. And, you know how much we treasure that stuff.

Oh, there are space aliens hanging around this movie, but like 2001:A Space Odyssey, they are always off camera.

If you like your epics filled with sophistry and crypto-science, you may have found a winner in the wormhole.


Brady Faces the Scarlet Letter If Guilty

DATELINE: A Study in Scarlet Lettering

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Berated by Lesser Mortals

Fans plan to hold a Sunday morning rally at Gillette Stadium to support the beleaguered Tom Brady whose integrity and reputation have gone down the storm pipe in the past two weeks.

There will forever be a taint on his number 12. It will follow him to the Hall of Fame. Like Roger Maris, some NFLosers want to place an asterisk next to his name.

Henceforth, if Roger Goodell has his vile way, Tom will wear the notorious Scarlet Letter that will be sent down from Salem by inflatable balloon to Foxboro. It is now the place where the new witchhunt is being carried out.

A large contingent of illiterates and sorts who might like to try on a white robe say that Brady should plead guilty. Yes, even if he is innocent. Perhaps he resists the suspension because he honestly knows he is innocent.

We suspect that somewhere in a world of just decisions, the suspension shall be overturned. If it is not, Brady will be damned for all time. He will become the new Philip Nolan. No, you illiterates, he did not play football. He was the man sent into exile forever for damning the NFL.

If a civil court does not restore Tom’s honor, there may not be much reason to return to the place that has defamed him, to ownership that backed off its support, and to rabid road fans that will heap scorn upon him.

Broke Hernandez


 DATELINE: Funny Money

Featured imageHernandez Lawyer Collects Fee


The news for Aaron Hernandez is grim. Forget being charged with double murder. He is low on cash.

His lawyer said there are no longer piles of money. No, we suspect not, especially after a cartload of lawyers descended on his bank account. One of his high priced lawyers is named Fee. Yikes. You know that one won’t lose a retainer.

Now we learn that Hernandez cannot even get a cash advance from his credit cards.

Welcome to Poverty Row, Hernandez. Like the rest of us who need legal counsel, we found ourselves penurious more often than not after the initial free conference with our lawyer.

Perhaps one of your rich former teammates can advance you a loan. Don’t ask Tom Brady because he may lose 25% of his salary for the upcoming season.

Gronk seems generous. What about those Pouncey Twins? They seemed loaded—guns and all.

Of course, you could always downgrade your attorneys from a dozen to two. And, on the positive side, you no longer have to worry about paying for room and board. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is generously giving you three skimpy meals per day and a roof.

We hate to say we told you so, but murder is an expensive hobby. When you start bumping off victims and witnesses too (or trying), you really run up the tab.

Alas, you can’t sell the million-dollar dollhouse you lived in or even your Hummer—everyone wants a piece of the estate. Now you are reduced to giving hummers in prison. That goes with the territory of killing people who have angry relatives.

Perhaps you can make a few bucks by working in the commissary at the prison, or by handing out towels in the shower room. Tips can go a long way.

Mae West Redux in Roger Goodell

DATELINE: She Done Him Wrong

Featured imageRoger & Tom in Secret Meeting?

Not since the inimitable Mae West told Cary Grant to: “Come up and see me,” has there been quite an offer.

Now Mae/Goodell is asking Tom/Cary to come up and see him, preferably alone. The night will be satin smooth, drinks may be optional, and dirty dancing is always a possibility.

Look out, Tom. This could be a DuPont moment for Roger.

Oh, that Roger.

Yes, Roger wants a tete-a-tete with Tom. It could be private, with candlelit mood and soft music. The only stipulation is that Tom must bring his smartphone to their assignation.

Roger wants info and will use all the wiles developed by Mae West in her movies to achieve the result.

If Tom has more than an ‘aw, shucks,’ in him, he will forego this rendezvous with trouble.

Roger is looking forward to his quiet time with Tom to peel the onion layers of Deflategate off the proverbial hot pepper.

Oh, that Roger!

The biggest football story for six months has been Deflategate, but he never raised it at the owners’ meeting over two days.

Now that stretches credulity. He never invited any owners to come up and see him sometime. No, wait! Apparently Robert Kraft succumbed to the romantic request.

Of course, we always return to the infamous Robert Kraft quote about Aaron Hernandez: he was “duped.”

Perhaps all these billionaires reached their exalted positions in life by being duped more often than not.

Move Over, Richard Nixon! It’s Roger Goodell Time!

 DATELINE: Ghost of Nixon

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Suppose Roger Goodell held a press conference after the owners’ meeting.

How much would you bet that he would come across as the New Nixon?

We haven’t seen such nervous worry since the President announced there would be no whitewash at the White House.

Goodell was sweating all over his face, not just his upper lip. After a litany of alleged good news, and nothing close to Tom Brady, the first question was about Deflategate.

Goodell squirmed. There was no connection between his many conversations with Robert Kraft over the past few weeks and the Brady hearing. What?? They’ve talked many times? Wow, someone has not told us the truth.

Goodell also said he has been so busy with these two days of meetings that he hasn’t had a chance to think about recusing himself from being Tom Brady’s jury and executioner.

He also said he would have an announcement about an independent arbiter tomorrow—and then said how he looked forward to hearing what Tom Brady had to say.

Well, we presume we can skip the next press conference because we already know what he’ll say.

We await the press conference when Goodell has the entire Wells report behind him in multi-volumes and bound in leather. That’s how Nixon presented transcripts of the recordings in his Oval Office.

Perhaps the multi-million dollar Wells report will come in thumb drive, gilded in gold, hanging in effigy behind Goodell.

Nixon lives through the NFL Commissioner. May he have a happier ending than Mr. Nixon.

Where’s David Frost when you need him?

Goodell’s Ace in the Hole

 DATELINE: Funny Bonehead

Featured imageVictim of Commissioner-Exempt List

Roger Goodell has a couple of sleazy card tricks up his sleeve.

If the NFLPA, a union with a virulent streak, manages to take Goodell to federal court over the Brady suspension, Tom Brady may face a Catch-22 that means no one will be catching his passes for a long time.

Yes, we have found that dirty little secret of Roger Goodell—his personal Commissioner-Exempt list. Here you are placed in limbo for as long as he decides (with pay of course), and you wait for the long legal process to play out.

For example, if Tom Brady decides to sue Goodell for defamation of character, the case might drag on well beyond the four game suspension. It could go for a year or more.

During that time Goodell might decide Brady cannot play at all, and he will put him on the Good Ship Lollipop that sails lost in the fog like the Flying Dutchman. Yes, Brady would be shanghaied and held prisoner in the NFL Titanic, ready to sink.

Many Patriot haters insist that Goodell would never shoot himself in the foot while the other foot is festering from a previous self-inflicted gunshot. To put Tom Brady into limbo would be, for Goodell, like playing naked Twister with himself.

Yet, men with unlimited power have often performed inexplicable actions that display unlimited corruption.

To banish Tom Brady into the exile of being Commissioner-Exempt for daring to pursue his legal rights could be tantamount to Stalin building another gulag.

Do we think this is a possibility? You bet your sweet ace in hole we do.

Down the River with Robert Kraft


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When Kraft said, “Yummy,” to the Deflategate punishment, he came up with a new brand of cheese.

If you stick a feather in it, you can call it ‘macaroni.’

Bob Kraft (Mr. Kraft to you peons) has been transformed into the Birdman of Alcatraz by Warden Roger Goodell. After saving the aviary world of Pats birdbrains, he has been given a cell with lots of birdcages. Now he can sing, “If I had wings, over this prison wall I could fly.”

Yep, the old Krafty Kraft has been busted and now is taking his lumps of coal in hopes that next Christmas another Super Bowl will be in his stocking.

If you feel like the gourmet meal served up at Gillette Stadium is Macaroni & Cheese, you are not alone. It could be Gronk’s favorite meal, if you throw in a Polish sausage, but it must be cold porridge for Tom Brady. He won’t be asking for “More, please!”

Kraft is sending his star quarterback to bed without much supper or sustenance—unless the fix is in.

What? A fix? No, not in the modern age in the modern NFL!!!

You mean that Goodell will rescind the punishment for Brady because Kraft has saved his bacon? Wow, what a world.

If you believe the Wizard lives over the rainbow, you may have just been handed a dog in a basket to take over to Miss Gulch.

Hugs are being given out all over the NFL today. You may need them because the Ol’Baby has shat up a storm.

Kraft Sells Deflategate Cheese


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Is it Brady & Goodell? Kessler & Goodell? or Brady & Kraft?

Robert Kraft kissed the rings of the Commissioner. He also groveled at the feet of Goodell. He cried that he had to take the punishment after all. Why? He said it was to end the “rhetoric, not to extend it.”

This earth-shattering development came after Krafty Kraft was seen hugging Roger Goodell at a party over the weekend in New York. Now both are honeymooning in San Francisco at the NFL owners’ spring meeting

Fans are expressing everything from outrage to shock. They seem to feel Old Krafty has thrown his beloved “Tommy” under the bus.

There is now a sense that those kisses for Tommy were nothing short of Judas Iscariot style affection.

As far as known, Brady has his own appeal, his own lawyer, and his own timetable. The lawsuits continue to be in abeyance under the auspices of Jeffrey Kessler.

There seems to be two possible outcomes of Robert Kraft’s turnabout is fair play.

He is an owner and must side with his cronies, the richest club of money-makers this side of the United States Congress.

The first outcome is, indeed, a kiss of death for little Tommy Boy who turns into the pinball wizard before our eyes. With the blessing of Kraft, Roger Goodell will uphold his four game suspension—and snigger whilst doing it.

Second outcome is that Kraft has bought his QB from the slave block. He has paid a bounty worthy of Bountygate for the mercy, unstrained of Roger Goodell.

Yes, the second outcome is like a gentle rain from heaven. Tom Brady will be forgiven his trespasses in hopes that he will pass again.

Secret Peace Talks Over Deflategate


Featured imageGoodell & Kraft in new movie about Deflategate?

Deflategate deal is in the works? Such headlines make all sides in the controversy cringe. ESPN, that bastion of integrity, claims there are secret peace talks going on in Paris or San Franciso to end the war.

If the Patriots are innocent, as they have loudly insisted, then why would they compromise?

If the NFL feels their evidence is ironclad, why would they back down?

The reason, dear fans, is moolah, cash, earnings, investment, windfalls, profit margins. In short, we are talking big bucks.

Yes, the NFL in its infinite wisdom has realized after a week of public sniping that they look like imbeciles. We don’t mean Goodell (though he now proves his IQ seems to be deflated), but the entire raft of owners.

Billions for NFL, but not one cent for intelligence! It’s the motto of the dumbbell owners who sit like Roman emperors up in their luxury boxes while the minions spend their hard-earned money on a dubious entertainment.

If people and fans alike (they are different) are sour on a game with a terrible concussion track record, it does not help to suggest that poor management of footballs has tempted players and staff to manipulate the pigskin.

This should have been given the attention of a jaywalking charge. Instead, the NFL has made it the crime worse than a Patriot murdering three people.

Ah, show biz and tabloid rags, they go together like a horse and buggy.

Seahawk or Mariner: What’s the Difference?

DATELINE: Baseball Delfates

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If you lived in Boston and stayed up late on Saturday night to watch the Red Sox play the Seahawks, or whatever that baseball team is called, you had a wake up call.

Around sixth inning, the rabid Mariner fans of Seattle began to hyperventilate, foam at the mouth, and confused their sports teams and seasons. Yes, Mariner fans began the non-sequitur chant, “Brady cheated.” One of the largest crowds of the baseball season came to the game to seek revenge on Tom Brady.

With the four-game suspension hanging in the balance, the Mariner fans spewed forth their venom.

Yes, indeed, the Red Sox suffered a deluge of Boston strong hate. Since most of the Sox (like most players) are not native Bostonians, it may have bounced off their waterproof backsides.

A few Sox, like David Ortiz, are like Brady—adopted New Englanders. They heard the hubbub, and since Brady came to Opening Day ceremonies to honor the Sox, there had to be some animus.

With the Seahawks ace, King Kong Felix the Cat, on the mound, the Red Sox didn’t stand a chance—insane chants and a genuine ace.

However, don’t let yourselves be deflated, New England. The Red Sox rose to the occasion and deflated the Mariners.

Like the Super Bowl in February, this game went east and the Seattle fans went south.

Tom Brady & His Birdie

DATELINE:  Worry Free Weekend

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Like Alfred E. Neumann, Tom Brady says: “What, me worry?”

Tom Brady is obviously not worried about that loss of income from a four game suspension.

Over the weekend that his lawyers filed an appeal to Roger Goodell, Tom took another path.

Instead of seeing an analyst about his problems with deflation, and instead of meeting In heavy tete-a-tete conferences with his raft of attorneys, Tom Brady was photographed in Bermuda on the links.

No, it was not the missing links, but it was Michael Jordan with whom he played golf.

If Tom wants to contrast a game of golf with Roger Goodell’s hideaway from media critics, he has won another round in the public relations war.

Yes, Tom is so worried about his paycheck (losing 25% of his multi-millions) that he chose to golf with one of the most prolific gambling golfers in sports history. We are sure the two played for a modest purse.

It was probably for one week of Tom’s pay.

No word leaked out about the victor. This is not an NFL office where leaks abound. If Tom lost another week’s salary, it shall make his half-billion dollar lawsuit for defamation of character all the more important.

Jordan faced his own demon commissioner back in the day for his gambling habits. His golf wagers are legendary. Tom is undaunted.

Donald Trump feels the litigation will be worth the effort, though some say Tom cannot win defamation because you must prove “intent with malice.”

Oh, yeah, there is no malice involved in destroying a man’s reputation over jaywalking through football games.

Black Bird Still Provides Dreams


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We can’t recall the last time we watched The Maltese Falcon, and time has made us grow fonder.

What a brilliant work: cynical, sophisticated, timely, with great performances up and down. We noticed this time that Walter Huston, director John Huston’s father, had an unbilled cameo as a sea captain.

We relished the other scenes that came back to us: Peter Lorre and his phallic cane and gardenia scented calling card. There was no homophobia back then. Kaspar Gutman clearly had more than a father-son relationship with his “gunsel” Elisha Cook, Jr.

Had we forgotten what a romantic cad Humphrey Bogart’s Sam Spade truly was? He had been sleeping with his partner’s wife and disdained her.

He may have fudged feelings, or used them ruthlessly as part of his job as a detective. His repartee with the Fatman, Sydney Greenstreet, was a delight. And, Huston filled the screen with a wide shot of the Gutman’s gut. You might wonder why Greenstreet’s billing was so low—but it really was his debut as a nemesis for Warner Brothers crime dramas.

Mary Astor’s deadly female was far more nuanced than we had thought, though she could not be believed as Spade realized.

The cops are Barton McLaine and Ward Bond, bad and good, but playing the stereotype with freshness.

As for that Black Bird, his entrance always is hilarious and staggering, unwrapped amid the drooling pursuers.

For decades, detective movies have used this template, but this one is the original—and it seems almost effortless from directing, writing, and performing. What a treat.





Slow West Goes with Young Man




Kodi Smit-McPhee Featured image


With original Westerns nearly a lost art, we always look to see what a fresh eye sees. In Slow West, we have a Fellini-style picaresque adventure. It almost seems like Satyricon goes on horseback.

Michael Fassbender is extremely well-suited as a mysterious bounty hunter who befriends an ethereal young man on a quest. It seems the stranger in a strange land is everyone you meet.

Kodi Smit-McPhee makes an indelible presence. He seems to be the epitome of a nouveau Anthony Perkins—fey and pasty, not exactly Western hero material. That he rides around hatless and stays in the proper pale rider mode may be an interesting commentary.

Death seems to follow the gunslinger, but the root cause may be the more unexpected young gentleman whose idea of a goal is to find that sunset.

Director and writer John Maclean makes an auspicious film, though we suspect Westerns are not the ultimate goal for any of the principals. That they manage to fit into an old genre like old cowhands may be testimony to the actors’ range as much as being home on the range in New Zealand where the picture was filmed.

It’s always a delight to find a movie that comes out of nowhere with panache, and it is a double delight to find a young star that makes us curious as to where he can go and what he can do.

Smit-McPhee demands you keep an eye out for his break-out film role, though it may not be as a superhero as much as the hero’s nemesis. Not yet twenty, the actor transcends anyone else in his generation. He may end up competing with Nicholas Hoult for roles of a stripe.

Hoult has already gone the blockbuster route with cartoon characters in superhero stories. Let’s hope Kodi holds out for better.

Tom Brady Sets Off for the Emerald City

DATELINE: Tom Brady Falls into Rabbit Hole

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We may soon have the answer to the question: is Roger Goodell a crack baby?

He wants to be the impartial judge at Tom Brady’s hearing.

Apparently, the Queen of Hearts is not satisfied that his hired commission filed a biased report. He is not happy yet that his Vice President of Torture and Cruelty has sent Tom Brady packing for four games. Tom is about to enter Wonderland.

Perhaps Goodell now wants a chance to increase the punishment to a full season while wearing a Cheshire Cat grin.

Goodell has always been a sucker for a Passion Play, and now he looks at his greatest role: Pontius Pilate. He will hear Brady, hear the mob crying for his head, and he will wash his hands after saying to Tom, “What is truth?”

It’s not much to Roger Goodell. He will have a chance to make himself the central character in a scenario that is designed to destroy the game he purports to love and his reputation, which we thought he loved.

What does this man gain by being judge, jury, and executioner? We are not looking at Oliver Wendell Holmes in robes here. We are looking at Judge Roy Bean on a jackass among the cacti.

Goodell plans to turn his former friend Robert Kraft into Joseph of Arithamea who owned a tomb near the site of the crucifixion of Jesus and gave it to the dead man.

Brady ought to call Sister Helen Prejean because he too is a dead man walking.

If Goodell wants to force Tom Brady to walk away from the NFL, he is laying the yellow brick road now. If Tom wants to meet the Wizard, he may find only a little man hiding behind the curtain.