Mother of Mercy, Can This Be the End of the Patriots’ Win Streak?

DATELINE:  Bad Omens

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We felt an itchy premonition of unpleasantness on the 50th anniversary of the Great Northeast Blackout of 1965.

Back then, word slowly filtered down to those sitting down to dinner in the darkness of 5pm and driving home in the utter blackness of a commute without lights, the lights were out everywhere. The security of electric power was an illusion.

It was inconceivable.

Yet, there it was: theories abounded that UFOs had been seen on the Canadian border, near the Niagara Falls power stations.

Today, decades later, we felt the flickerings of another power failure coming at us. Something was amiss in the Patriots victory over the Washington Redskins.

The joie de vivre was missing. So were key players as they fell like characters in an Agatha Christie novel. Who or what was bumping them off to injury? Had fate taken a hand? Was the Brady hubris now taunting the gods of the NFL?

Oh, LaGarrette Blount kept chugging ground yards all day. But Brady threw one weird interception that seemed like something you’d expect from the next generation of bad quarterbacks. And, Edelman fumbled.

Were there UFOs over the power stations of Niagara again? Were we about to descend into darkness for the rest of the season? Would Tom Brady try to grow another beard?

The horrors were mounting, and the omens were hinting that a New England blackout was nearing. Our sense of perfection was shattered on this Sunday.

But, we are always a worry-wart. Perhaps it is nothing, but the memory of history—and the bad Patriot team of 1965 when a blackout shook our sense of confidence in power grids.

A Couple of Michigan Boys or Kissin’ Cousins

DATELINE: New England v. Washington

 Featured image Elvis & Redskins Fan

On Sunday New England’s Tom Brady will go up against one of his Kissin’ Cousins.

Yep, you may have already guessed that Tom went to Michigan University—and Kirk went to Michigan State. And never the twain shall meet, but they are about as close as the proverbial cousins of the notorious kiss-my-grits.

Kissin’ Kirk Cousins is a decade younger than Tom. But, your college team may not necessarily be an indicator of your Wonderlic or your potential for the Hall of Fame.

Kirk said this week that Tom is a great quarterback to be admired. He spread on the compliments with all the charm of Elvis in a 1964 movie.

You probably missed the musical that lost out to My Fair Lady as Best Picture. Elvis played a fan duel role in Kissin’ Cousins. He was a blond Southern boy—and Elvis, in darker shoe polish colored hair, played a stiffly starched military automaton. It sounds like Kirk and Tom.

The plot had something to do with military Elvis planting missiles for the US Army in country boy Elvis’ backyard. It may be the Belichick plot for the game between Washington and New England. With the present gridlock in Washington, Tom may have his way with the ways and means group on the gridiron.

In the movie the blond Elvis had a protective line of women called the Kittyhawks—who were man-crazy enough to tackle the military Elvis.

We doubt this will happen Sunday to Tom Brady, though many have tried to tackle him. We presume the Redskins are not the Kittyhawks.

Elvis scored a big hit on 45 back in ‘64, and we expect Tom will score 45 on Kirk Cousins who may start singing the Kissin’ Cousins song, “It Hurts Me,” after the game.

 

 

More Hair Club for Celtics

 DATELINE: Hirsuite Celts

Featured imageJelly!

Yes, we all know that muscleman and proto-athlete Samson lost his locks to Delilah. Hair seems to be an important part of an athlete’s ability to play with confidence. We have only to watch Wes Welker on a TV commercial for restoration of hair follicles to know this lesson.

So, we felt bad when we saw that Kelly Olynyk had begun this new season with his flowing, bouncing shoulder-length locks imprisoned in a twisted sister bun warmer. He had tried a new look that did not suit us: The schoolmarm.

A tight bun on the back of the noggin made Kelly look more like a stick figure on the parquet. Not only was his hair confined, so was his game.

Then in miraculous fashion came the fashion miracle. Kelly let his hair down. It was as if Samson cut loose from Delilah. Perhaps his old friend Phil Pressey called and gave him advice on hair growth.

Whatever the motivation, Kelly was running up and down the court in free flow. And, he scored 19 points—combining, you guessed it, with his old Siamese Twin brother, Jared Sullinger.

The new look of Goldilocks Sully and Samson Olynyk restored faith to the disbelievers. Sullinger scored twenty-one points. He even made a court length pass from a prone stance on floor that did NOT go into the net, but into the hands of Isaiah Thomas who dropped it into the bucket.

All this gave us a renewed vigor, a restored sense that our belief and our hope to see Jelly O’Sully again might be possible.

As Kevin Garnett once informed us, anything and everything is possible.

Jelly O’Sully returned to the Garden. Celtics Saints, be praised.

Another Gate to Open: Sesame Belichick

 DATELINE: One Thin Dime

 

 Featured imageThis is Tails.

Just wait one flipping minute.

Have we read the tweet correctly? There are NFL officials who believe the New England Patriots are winning too many coin tosses.

Can it be that Bill Belichick has a coach on his staff whose expertise is voodoo? We wonder too if there is a voodoo doll of Roger Goodell at Patriot Place with pins sticking in its head.

Was P.T. Barnum wrong? Is it possible you can underestimate the intelligence of the American sports fan? We are amazed that coin flipping, a time-tested method of 50-50 probability, has now been questioned by the same people who scored a 2 on their Wonderlic tests.

The Wonderlic test now must require a question of how many sides are there on a coin!  Answers may be one, two, three, four, or all of the above.

If we recall correctly, the referee shows both sides of the coin to the team captains at the game’s onset. We now wonder if team captains can tell the difference between heads and tails. With the fancy new designs on coins, perhaps they don’t know the difference.

It is possible that these team captains have actually never seen a coin because they pay for everything with credit cards—or their smartphones.

Is it any wonder that Bill Belichick prefers not to be known as the Wizard of Gillette Stadium? Please tell us: who is that man standing behind the curtain in the technology booth?

Roger Goodell is collecting all the silver dollars used this season for coin tosses. Smart man.

You can expect a congressional hearing soon on Flipping-gate.

Time for This Year’s Tofu Turkey Nominees!

DATELINE: Tofu Turkey Nominees

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We have reached that benighted time of the season when our annual Tofu Turkey Awards must be given. Boston has spread its usual list of losers nationwide this year. We are proud to say that many of our nominees have reputations that precede them like Pepe LePew.

It takes a particular mix of hubris, idiocy, and power, to combine into a combustible formula for disaster. This year the sports world has been cursed with more than enough to pass around. We could have multiple winners this season when real turkeys are not as appalling as fake ones.

Our list of nominees in no particular order of odor.

ROGER GOODELL.  The Commissioner of the NFL has gone out of his way to be an egregious Grinch this year. He has single-handedly tried to destroy the career of one of his league’s greatest stars, Tom Brady. By inventing and holding on to Deflategate as if it were the Hope Diamond, Goodell has proven his ability to be blind when it comes to justice to no one’s good.

BEN CHERINGTON.  The former Red Sox general manager has already lost his job over ineptness. But, we have no compunctions about kicking a man when he’s down for the count. Cherington recently parlayed his bad management skills into a visiting graduate professor at Columbia University recently, showing those who can’t do, can always teach.

AARON HERNANDEZ. You’d think this stiff would be in the Tofu Hall of Shame by now, but he still has a double murder trial coming up in January—though his Ninja attorneys continue to attempt to have the previous jury decision of guilty thrown out by impugning jurors. The next trial may double our fun.

NESN. New England’s own Cable Sports Network, not to be confused with its sister news station NECN managed to do the impossible. They fired Don Orsillo, long time beloved voice of the Red Sox for no apparent reason. The true recipient of the Tofu Turkey likely belongs to media mogul Tom Werner, part-time owner of the Sox, who fancies himself as an expert in entertainment. Yes, he hired Cosby, folks, and has capped his career by firing Orsillo. Clearly this man is full of Tofu.

ESPN.  Going hand in glove with the NFL, the backpocket media arm of Roger Goodell manages to fire people who defend the New England Patriots, cancel any show that shows intelligence, and keeps liars like Chris Mortensen aboard their sinking ship. Losing credibility seems to help their ratings. We believe a Tofu Turkey is deserved, but only you the voters can decide.

So, that is the slate. If it resembles a Republican primary ballot, we apologize. We couldn’t add Bernie Sanders to the group because he hates emails—which warms the Tofu Turkey heart.

We have asked Donald Trump to bestow this year’s honor, but he is too busy doing standup comedy on NBC, a previous Tofu Turkey winner.

Humorist Finds No Jokes in New Celtics Season

Featured imageDon’t We Wish?

Celtics may want to try free throws from the opposite end of the court.

Trying to in-bound a ball with milliseconds left in the game, Jae Crowder tossed up a court length pass. It had the unfortunate fate of actually going through the net.

If Crowder were in one of those half-time contests, he might have won a car or some chain link fence. Alas, during a game, such a titanic achievement merely resulted in a turnover—and hardly the apple turnover of his coach’s eye.

On the sidelines, Brad Stevens seemed to be stifling a chuckle. That is if he were holding in a whimper.

Yes, indeed, the promising Celtics season of 2015 has gotten off with a bang all right: it’s like an explosion in the engine room. One wag of a Boston writer said the early defeats were a wake up call. Well, you should be awake in the first week of the season, or are we hopeless and cockeyed optimists?

Crowder, one of the bright lights of last season, now is a starter with a new contract. It seems to have worked wonders—he is now sleepwalking through his success.

We had given these new Celtics a week or two to rekindle our waning embers. It’s cold in here, Mr. Scrooge, and Danny Ainge Scrooge has not provided us with any superstar to spark the team. We never saw a big trade this summer, and we see not much now.

We may abandon this ship before the rats this year. We see a potential laughingstock, but few precious laughs.

Last Ones Standing and Four Undefeated NFL Teams

DATELINE:  One Less Musical Chair

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We certainly never expected Green Bay’s Aaron Rogers to lose his perfection to an old worn-out QB like Peyton Manning of the sway-backed Broncos.

The problem with parity in the NFL is that it means any third-rate team can be perfect, or perfectly dreadful, and be undefeated.

Each week we expect another to fall by the wayside, but it isn’t quite happening. Worse teams are giving perfect teams like Carolina a run for the victory. More teams face the sudden death of overtime—but the perfect teams can pull the win out of the grab-bag in the final minutes of regulation or in the overblown time of OT.

We are staring down the gun barrels of Cincinnati, Denver, New England, and Carolina. Nearly everyone attributes the records of these teams to their Nietzchean supermen—Cam Newton, Andy Dalton, Peyton Manning, and Tom Brady.

Kryptonite is in short supply apparently among the losers of the NFL. Only a head to head match with another pauper looking like a prince can bump off one of the pretenders to perfection.

Two of these QBs look like refugees from Mayberry, RFD, and the other two look like aging Abercrombie & Fitch models.

The media experts probably could not identify who belongs to what category. Yet, they keep their jobs.

If hubris is Kryptonite, then we expect Dalton and Newton to bite the dust this week, but the laws of physics seem to be under the apple tree with Cam Newton.

If H.G. Wells is correct, then either Brady or Manning will run to the laboratory only to discover they are fresh out of the elixir from the Fountain of Youth.

But this is the NFL where the referees drive Deloreans and can set the time clock back enough to change the future.

We say, “Beware the Ides of November,” not yet foretold by prognosticators DuelFans and BoyKings, or whatever those silly bettors call themselves.

 

 

Whatever Happened to Robert Griffin III

 

 

 

DATELINE: MiA in the NFL

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When the NFL decided to rid itself of Roman numerals, RG3 was in trouble. His shortened nickname probably meant he would not be relevant until the final Star Wars movie (is it 7 or VII ?) would be released with the aging, old cast of Harrison Ford and Mark Hamil and Carrie Fisher. Is it coming before Super Bowl L?

The other name problem in Washington has been the team itself, immersed in controversy over its demeaning name, putatively insulting to Native Americans. Well, as we often note, the nation’s capital is no stranger to controversy—and racist controversy at that. The city is below the Mason Dixon line.

This is the city where Abe Lincoln met his Southern nemesis, John Wilkes Booth.

Which brings us full circle to the hotshot star of the future—way back in 2012, the NFL touted Robert Griffin III as its darling. Of course, the NFL has tried to ram its fabricated stars down the public throat for some time.  And, it has tried to destroy stars it does not approve for children (like Tom Brady).

Alas for the NFL, RGIII has gone the way of Super Bowl L.

No letters or numbers in a foreign tongue unless you play in London.

The NFL has tried to forget they built RG111 into the Second Coming of Michael Vick (well, that dog in the manger has been rechristened Mike Vick lately).

RG of DC may need to find a new name with a team with a new name before he can play again. Rumors persist that he is undergoing a change in the tradition of My Fair Lady. Wagering NFL professors want to transform him into a safety—and he works out nowadays with the DC scrubs in waiting.

We will not see RG3 or III with the Washington (blanks) in Super Bowl L this year.

Celtics Play Hair Ball

 DATELINE: Hairless in Boston

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We have been scratching our heads over Jared Sullinger and Marcus Smart. We haven’t seen such a hairball since the cat got sick.

They remain #36 and 7 in our programme, but there is a hint of Mini-me and his master in their demeanor.

If you are looking for clones in pint size, Jared Sullinger has met his match.

If you think Sullinger lost weight this summer as he promised, you may have been hoodwinked by the misdirection to the top of his head.

We are not sure if this will fool opposing players into thinking they are looking at #36 when #7 is actually dribbling the ball.

We are not sure if this new hair style is meant to fool Danny Ainge into thinking his large round Sullinger has melted into a lithe and smaller Sullinger.

Birds of a feather often fly together, but we aren’t sure just yet that the hair is flying or just the feathers of a peacock.

Both Celtics players now sport a Mohawk hairdo with a golden comb, like Foghorn Leghorn.

We will miss Jelly O’Sully this season, but right now we seem to have Jarhead Smartullinger, the newest Green to Gold craze.

As we recall, fellow New Englander Robert Frost wrote a poem about green going to gold. We had no idea he was a Celtic fan. We had no idea Sullinger was a Frost fan. Never the Mark Twain shall meet again.

Welcome to the Hair Club for Celtics.

Patriots Should Be Paranoid about NFL

DATELINE: Inmates Running the Asylum

 

Featured imageBugs on Jets: to a Louse

Patriot fans can only become so rabid when the Jets are mentioned.

Now the Jets have raised the ante—and there may not be enough ill will in the tank to match their vitriol with the proper level of hostility.

We have heard the confirmed rumors that the Jets called the NFL headquarters prior to their game with the Patriots to express fears that those pesky Pats were cheating again.

Yes, the NFL, happy to embarrass the Krafts and Patriots, sent their top dog investigators to sweep the visiting locker room for bugs. They would have better luck if they checked the Jets sleeping accommodations for bedbugs. The Jets have more bats in the belfry than bugs in the locker room.

The Jets are more buggered than bugged.

The Jets felt their game would be derailed by listening devices in the locker room, stealing their game plan. Having seen how they played, no team would want their game plan.

It is a sign of the times that the Patriots now believe they are being set up by other teams and the NFL. You aren’t paranoid when they really are out to get you.

In this case, Roger Goodell’s goons and his Gestapo of former Jets in administrative positions are furious that the Pats won in the court room, and made the NFL look like the morons they actually are.

There is no victory in humiliating an idiot because he does not learn his lesson—ever. The Patriots have mortified Goodell to no satisfaction.

So, now we are faced with a great war—with the NFL and the most hated of rivals. These idiots of the gridiron will do whatever it takes to undermine their own game. If anyone is cable of killing their own golden goose, it is Goodell’s goose-steppers.