Bring Back Rondo!

DATELINE: NO Free Lunch for the Celtics


Celtics fans are hemorrhaging over likelihood that Dwight Howard will liven up the parquet at the Garden. Can it be that the free agency of the NBA will cost Celtic fans their souls?

Others see it as bringing in the serpent to force Brad Stevens to take a bite of the sour apple of Sodom.

This Superman pretender has become more anathema among Green Team fans than an excommunicated priest at a boys’ club meeting.

Yet, we hold out the greatest of hope for a cure for cancer and a cure for Dwight Howard. Perhaps the elixir of life restored will come from the charms of Brad Stevens.

The Celtics coach is gaining a reputation of taking the tanked careers of desperate superstar failures and giving them a cape to wear out of the phone booth.

There is magic in the banners hanging among the Garden rafters.

Dwight Howard has met Kryptonite at every stop and worn out his welcome faster than door-to-door salesman.

After Rajon Rondo, what could be worse for the Celtics? How about signing Dwight and Rondo?  What might work better than to have the Prodigal Son return with a couple of superstars to re-live the thrilling season of 2007?

Durant, Howard, and Rondo, would be more cosmic than to see the planets align for the return of Planet X.

We are rooting for Danny Ainge to sign Kevin Durant, Dwight Howard, and Rajon Rondo. We love mad love unconditionally.

Gronk & Edelman Rival Lucy & Ethel

DATELINE: In the Form of a Question

one eyed

Julian Edelman for $400?

You’d think we were on Jeopardy, the egghead game show for those whose pursuit of trivia is big time.

The question is how flattered was Edelman to be turned from Brady’s top receiver, to the penultimate big question on TV’s rococo game show?

This week’s playboy of the Patriot world trumped his teammate Gronk.

The two have had more schemes and tagalongs than Lucy and Ethel. Who can forget their plan to have an all-expenses paid trip to Vegas? It nearly ended their friendship when Jules accused Gronk of being cheap.

Their latest stunt is to hold a football clinic in October for the distaff side. We are sinking into the confidence game out in the open and out of the closet. Julian Edelman is prepared to take money from women and entertain them. We feel like singing “Just a gigolo, everywhere I go.”

Can we use the word “distaff” without blowing a women’s equality gasket? Yes, for a couple of hundred bucks, any woman who professes ignorance of the ins and outs of football can sign up, pay their dues, and be taught by Julian Edelman at Gillette Stadium.

If you really have money to burn, you can fork over $3000 for the chance to be chauffeured to the event by Edelman’s partner in something, Gronk.

Yes, these guys are going to all lengths to meet women. You might conclude their romantic lives are blessed, but to resort to snake oil bottles of charm strikes us as a new low.

On top of that, we await the Edelman/Gronk clinic for gay men who need to learn more about football and footsie. Now, that would be news.

Zombies Tackle Literature

DATELINE: Pride Before the Fall


Jane Austen likely would feel violated by Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. When you’re dead, they stomp all over you.

Just exactly who is the audience of this trifle? Austen’s deft comedy of manners has been lightly dusted with the walking dead. It is not an idea to warm the cockles of Austen fans, and it is far too genteel for a zombie aficionado.

So, what’s the point? Is it to enhance Austen to introduce her to a new audience of readers? We suspect zombie fans don’t read anything but graphic novels.

The changes are odd too. It seems the lovely sisters of Austen’s book have been sent to China to learn how to be Ninjas. Oh, really? China in early 19th century was a haven for women’s lib? Perhaps once they unbound their feet, young girls might take charge.

The movie is high gloss and well-produced. Period films are not easy to create, and much effort was put into the manners, mores, and cultural artifacts of England in 1810.

When a comedy of manners becomes a farce of horror, you may want to call on Mary Shelley. We believe firmly that Jane Austen never felt the need to compete with the gothic horrors of Shelley, or even those other sisters, the Brontes.

It’s doubtful we’ll soon see a spate of films on the lines of Abe Lincoln: Vampire Hunter or Sherlock Holmes and the Sign of the Four Zombies, but we shall not bet against it.

Rise, Rose, Risen, Risible

DATELINE: See Galilee, See!

Firth & Fiennes

Peter Firth & Joseph Fiennes

We aren’t sure if we are doing a declension or a derision. We expected to give a disbeliever’s rap, but ended up intrigued.

It is a topic to be handled differently in light of all those holy roller Easter epics. We thought perhaps this film, Risen, might take an interesting opposite viewpoint—the pagan Roman opinion of Jesus.

Indeed, Risen is a mystery film in which Pontius Pilate is distressed to hear that a man he ordered crucified has promised to resurrect. Pains must be taken to prevent such a staged event from undercutting the Roman Empire.

Pilate takes the form of Peter Firth, once the beautiful young man who worshipped horses in Equus. Now, he is paunchy and bald as the prefect of Judea. His right hand man is Clavius (Joseph Fiennes, in earnest form), a tribune given the duty of investigating the disappearance of the body of Jesus.

He rounds up the usual suspects, but they are so filled with glad tidings that they are given over to a case of schoolgirl giggles whenever they talk about the risen Christ.

Well over half the movie tries to take the skeptical Roman position, but the production is from a Bible production company. The general details of the movie are popular agreements of the facts in the life of Jesus, and that includes having the Roman tribune see the risen Jesus and rattle his faith in Mars.

Well-produced, and even having moments of humor, the film goes against the grain of many Jesus movies. It holds one’s interest even on the road to Galilee and the expected resurrection.


Boston Celtics Bite the Dust at NBA Draft

DATELINE: All Done in June

how smart is this guy?

Not So Smart After All

It was the bottom of the ninth, and the bases were loaded. Oh, wait, it was draft day—and the Celtics had the third pick.

For weeks the media dogs have been baying at the Moon. They knew the gypsy caravan of Danny Ainge was about to steal somebody’s star from under the bridge.

A funny thing happened on the way to the war room.

The Mighty Ainge struck out.

You really cannot predict what teenage prospect of basketball will turn out to be the next Kobe, Bird, or Paul Pierce. You win some, and you lose some. But, the fans expected something big.

They expected to hit the heights, and oh what heights they hit. It was the epitome of discontent—and winter is still six months away.

The charming young chess whiz, Jay-B, or Jaylen Brown promised he would strive for the heights. He might as well have been speaking of Brooklyn Heights. Call this another mysterious light in the night sky.

Celtics fans felt like someone had told them an exoplanet was in the Goldilocks Zone. It was telling them the next banner was light years away.

The highly vaunted picks that Ainge hoarded like gold bullion at Fort Knox turned out to be more like what King Midas was left with after he cried, “Enough!” And, the fans sent a cacophony of boo to greet the messengers.

Who were these picks?  You couldn’t trade them for Rajon Rondo and a ticket to the Greta Garbo Film Festival.

The Mighty Ainge has struck out—and waiting for next year is not yet an option. We stuck our thumbs into the pie and found ourselves plumbing the depths.

Nicholas Hoult’s Latest Frightful Role

DATELINE:  A Career in Cult


Kill Your Friends is the latest movie tackled by Nicholas Hoult.

Despite his often terrible film choices, like those dreadful X-Men movies, we have greater respect for his talent. In Kill Your Friends, Hoult wants to emulate Christian Bale’s performance in American Psycho.

He plays a 1990s music label producer who takes the Richard III approach to ambition. He murders his way to the top in an industry of talentless and brain-dead non-starters.

Since we agree with his character that the music itself is commercial crap done by idiots, we can understand how he comes to loathe himself. We do draw the line at bumping off the bad singers and bands.

Hoult’s character is ruthless, an asexual, or pansexual creep. Like Ted Bundy, the character stands out wherever he goes. He has movie star looks written all over him.

Hoult has made a career of fighting his startling blue eyes and natural charisma—as in the new Mad Max movie, or even the trifle in which he played a zombie.

He continues to try to transcend his good looks and expand his acting chops. You don’t find many roles like the Angel of Death beautiful student in A Single Man.

Hoult hopes to strike up superstardom with future roles. He will play J.D. Salinger in the up-coming cult movie Rebel in the Rye, and he will make an equally big splash among gay fans when he plays Brian Epstein, the Beatles’ producer who was in love with John Lennon when it films next year.

We will keep tabs on Hoult.

Sweet Sorrow: The Last Person of Interest

DATELINE: Cult Series Ends

Interesting Persons

Not many could be expected to be standing at the end. Two megalithic computers would not want to take any prisoners.

But, ultimately, Person of Interest centered on its sociopathic heroes. They would not be messed with.

One of the most prescient television series of so many hours of entertaining drama and thrills, came to an end, as it does for all TV shows eventually. Did Person of Interest fans die a little with it?

We did find some cartharsis in seeing Mr. Reese standing like Davy Crockett at the Alamo against the evil forces of Samaritan.

We did find some brutal satisfaction in Shaw’s revenge.

And, we can always go back to the early episodes to re-live the moments that accumulated over five years of cast members never really dying—but returning for new episodes as flashbacks.

Over the years we watched some of our previous entertainments peter out:  Another World comes to mind, an investment of 30 years of loyal attention. So does Upstairs/Downstairs.

You tend to forget there were hours that did not live up to the high bar, but overall the feeling left is wistful and pleasant.

Person of Interest left us with a glimmer that it might return in a new incarnation. We sincerely hope so, though the original shall remain sacrosanct to its fans.

We are reminded of the words of Harold—no, not Harold Finch, the Machine’s Creator, but of Harold Pinter. He said there were no happy endings, only happy beginnings.

The Machine could think, but never put Descartes before the horse.

London Spy Provides a Good Gay Cry

DATELINE:  Crying Out Loud

London Cry Spy

A friend insisted that London Spy, a BBC TV series airing this year, was on a par with The Night Manager, the LeCarre miniseries.

So, suckered in, we watched.

Both stories deal with unpleasant people over in MI-6, the British Secret Service, but the heroes of each tale are diamentrically at odds with each other. London Spy is a closet gay man, mysteriously done in, turning his inept, flibbety-gibbet boyfriend into a quasi-pathetic detective.

Ben Whishaw is wishy-washy Danny, one weepy, weak protagonist who finds romantic love with a spy who loved him. Danny, however, is weak as water—and easily manipulated. He learns that the love of his life lied to him at every step of their relationship. It brings him to tears.

Gay kink is moderately investigated as Danny seems to be set up by his boyfriend’s spy pals. Danny is no saint, but discussing sadistic gay life brings him to tears.

An interesting cast features Jim Broadbent (looking surprising thin), Charlotte Rampling (looking surprisingly old), and James Fox (surprisingly underused). Creator of the new Brit Sherlock and actor of Mycroft, Mark Gatiss plays a particularly sleazy music business gay boss. In scenes with each actor, Ben Whishaw is brought to the brink of tears.

Dumb and dumber, the hero seems to fall into every pothole in the plot. Why didn’t MI-6 just toss him off a rooftop, rather than allow him to stir up the muck?

We watched with increasing disdain with each teardrop, yet hoping, somehow, some writer would pull these good actors out of the miasma script that requires Kleenex blotters. Alas, it was a dashed hope. Thankfully, there will not be a season two. We are not crying over this.

Clinton/Curry Versus Trump/LeBron

DATELINE:  Winners Take the Cake

enough already

                                                   NOT BIRD & MAGIC

You may have noticed that the negative feelings toward the presidential candidates, Hilary and Donald, rival the negative feelings toward the presumptive NBA champs, Steph and LeBron.

It’s a negative year for sure.

Curry may be a media darling, but he has worn out his welcome. And LeBron has always been insufferable. It should remind you about the way the media handles Clinton and Trump.

In the NBA Finals, the referees are the objective arbiters of winning and losing. Heaven help us! We already saw these zebras lay the groundwork for a Curry victory in the semi-finals, though the NBA claims their games are not fixed.

We can’t imagine the presidential election being fixed, though we think the media has played the role of NBA referees with all the aplomb of fixers.

Who voted for the referees?

We have only ourselves to blame if the more unpopular candidate becomes president. The process has been fixed by super-delegates.

We are sick of Curry and James enough to expect them to become running mates for Clinton and Trump. That would make for a ticket with a price higher than a court-side seat for Game 7 of the NBA Finals.

The winner of the Curry-LeBron battle will come soon. And they both will go into oblivion for the rest of the summer, not soon enough. They are not Bird & Magic, and won’t be having any Broadway plays written about their friendship/rivalry.

In the presidential race, the losing candidate will go into oblivion forever—but we will be stuck with the winner for four more years.


John Wayne’s Legend Returns in Legend of the Lost

DATELINE: Treasure of the Libyan Desert

wayne & loren lost

It’s been lost for years.

Now John Wayne’s classic treasure hunt movie, Legend of the Lost, has returned to DVD, available to Lost fans.

Written by Ben Hecht and directed in manly form by Henry Hathaway, this is the sort of boys’ adventure that was meant to put H.Rider Haggard to shame. And, it does a good job of it.

Wayne might as well be fighting Indians for all his character is concerned with the Tuareg Arabs. He’s stuck at the ends of the world in Timbuktu when morally righteous Rossano Brazzi shows up looking for a guide to find a lost city in the Sahara.

When big money is involved, a local beauty and prostitute, in the person of young and voluptuous Sophia Loren is bound to tag along.

James Mason turned down the Brazzi role, which is a shame, and Wayne suffered a broken leg during filming in Libya. But, the desert vistas are worth it—as is the ghostly lost city.

Most young viewers have likely not seen this one, featuring the legendary Duke Wayne at the peak of his powers, playing with wry humor. It’s also plain to see why Loren was about to explode onto the American screen.

The foreshadowing is fairly heavy handed, but who’s to quibble or even notice the augurs when Loren is seducing each man in turn.

We were also amused that the bottle of whiskey keeps being broken—and replaced with an endless supply. One mule must have been carrying nothing but booze. Who needs water in the Sahara?

This movie was a popcorn muncher in its day—and we are happy to say, it still is.


Contrary to Reports, Roger Goodell Lives!


doomsday twilight zone

Reports of Roger Goodell’s death are greatly exaggerated.

However, he has been brain dead for some time. Fans who checked his tomb found it empty. A member of his staff claimed, “He is risen,” in the noonday sun, raising questions on whether Goodell was a mad dog or an Englishman.

A hacker took over the NFL website this week and posted the notice about the health of the Commissioner. It actually noted that Roger was not A-OK by insisting he had passed on fourth down.

Goodell has been a well-known zombie for several years now, probably commencing after he was concussed during Bullygate and suffered a professional hit during Bountygate.

The Commissioner’s office considers these reports to be over- inflated accounts by hacks in the Fourth Estate.

Some wags have noted that the NFL password was 1-2-3-4-5. It coincides with the number of fingers on one hand of the Commissioner, though some speculate he does not have a prehensile thumb.

A newly commissioned Wells Report will no doubt recommend that everyone could guess the password, more or less.

Combined with the recent loss of every player’s medical records going back to 2004, we suspect that someone has over-inflated the importance of security at the NFL.

The good news is that Tom Brady’s cell phone was not hacked while in possession of the NFL brain-trust.

This may be the big break Goodell has been waiting for. He can now claim that his four-game suspension of Tom Brady was the result of someone hacking into his account. He had actually fined Brady $50 for the hot air leak.


Roger Goodell Rejects Rule of Law

DATELINE: NFL Fantasy World

Depp Roger Goodell?

A whiz-bang pointed out that 500 days have passed since Deflategate was born. Its gestation period likely extends to the start of Tom Brady’s career, if Roger Goodell is believed.

This week Goodell said no one outside football should ever make any decisions when it came to the integrity of the game. Therefore, he told the en banc Circuit Court to go stuff it. He was the only judge, jury, and executioner he recognized in his fantasy football league.

We doubt the wisdom of this statement when the case is under review.

The Commissioner also said several attempts to settle the case were attempted previously—but that phase was over.

He did not specifically mention the proposal to have Tom Brady parade around the Meadlowleands naked in front of Jets fans. As might be expected, the NFLPA rejected this idea as well as Goodell’s suggestion that Brady’s ball were overinflated.

The Commissioner requested that Brady forego his left testicle to satisfy the NFL. “Why should Tom Brady be different from the Commissioner?” he reported said.

This 4-game suspension pregnancy has lasted longer than a hippo in heat. And, instead of a stillbirth, we have been subjected to the longest wait for a baptism since John the Baptist lost his head.

The Deflategate controvery lives on.



Talib Shooting Deflates No Balls

DATELINE:  Peaceful Shooter


When he was with the Patriots, there were fears he was a loaded gun ready to go off. He never played with a full round in the chamber for the Kraft team.

Aqib Talib remained muzzled in New England, but playing in the Mile High City has liberated him. It must be the thin air that led him to play Russian Roulette with his career. You’d almost think he played basketball with his frequent gunplay.talib

While at a Dallas club, searching for the perfect eclair after his recent marriage, Talib became involved in some fisticuffs, which always leads to shooting oneself in the foot.

Talib is well-known for his dirty play, and stupid penalties. It then comes as no surprise that he might carry a weapon in the Plaxico tradition, or worse in the Tarrent tradition.

Both those men found that gunplay is never like in the movies.

Talib may have just been married, but that doesn’t make him a homebody, just another homeboy out on Sunday morning to sow those wild oaters.

Aqib may be armed and dangerous even when he has no gun in his pocket. Three others were also shot during the fracas, but don’t expect the NFL to give him a four-game suspension.

No footballs were deflated by the stray bullets. So, unlike Tom Brady, Talib may only be fined for an equipment failure. The Broncos are now claiming the shooting was an accident waiting to happen.

Tom Brady as Ace in the Hole?

DATELINE: Fenway Hot Dog

Brady as ballboy

Tom Brady posted his baseball card on Facebook this week.

You never knew Tom was the choice of the Montreal Expos in ’95?

You never knew Montreal had a team called Expos?

You never knew Tom played ball in 1895?

Join the club. And we don’t mean the Patriots. Yes, Tom was a multi-talented player in his heyday of adolescence. Of course, now is his second adolescence.

There are few players who look younger at 40 than they did at 18, but Tom Brady usually breaks all the rules.

On his fantasy baseball card, with no chewing gum included, he does not list his position as a baseball player. We suspect he’d be what we call a utility ballplayer, someone who could fill in anywhere.

With his cannon arm as part of his repertoire, if not his canon, Tom likely could be a fastball reliever. However, Tom never comes into a game in the fourth quarter, let alone the ninth inning. We see him as a starter, never a non-starter.

Alas, it is difficult to let the air out of a baseball, to gain a better grip on the knuckleball he would toss to strike out Julian Edelman every time he came up to bat.

We aren’t sure where to put him in the batting order. Would he set the table for the big eating Babe Ruth Gronk? We know he would not be stealing any bases with his flatfooted speed.

We’re just grateful, Tom, that you have graced the gridiron, not as a moundkeeper.

Muhammad Ali & Ronald Reagan: American Eagles

DATELINE: Birds of a Feather

reagan & ali

In the mid-1960s two men we admired were considered lightweights, irreverent wannabes, and actually despised in many circles. They were red flags on a snowy field. They stood out, but were considered jokes.

We refer to Ronald Reagan and Cassius Clay. Their respective worlds of politics and boxing were vanilla ice cream when they began to emerge from the wings.

Reagan was a second-rate movie star who did television hosting, and Clay was a blabbermouth walking joke in sports.

Within a few years Reagan was elected governor and Clay became a champion, but that did not guarantee respect. It grew worse when Clay became Muhammad Ali and resisted the Vietnam War and claimed to be a conscientious objector.

Reagan saw his conservative roots battered in the Goldwater defeat, and his California political career was considered a fluke.

By the end of the next decade, they had moved on to becoming social giants, icons of Americana. They crossed paths in the 1980s at their peaks.

Yet, in old age, the cruelty of life and influence turned on them.

Reagan’s conservative Republicanism was hijacked by extremists, and the peace that Ali thought was part of Islam was taken over by jihad terrorists.

Each man also suffered the debilitating effects on body and mind of disease: Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, that robbed them of strength and acuity in their last years.

The world each man hoped to change went awry from their original goals, but we have to admire each for their resolute attempt to do their best for humanity.