Yellow Brick Road Leads Out of Foxboro

 DATELINE: Patriots in Munchkinland

bosch Gillette Stadium?

Something has happened to the New England Patriots in the past month. You may not be in Kansas, but it sure doesn’t look like New England.

Less than kind Patriot-haters might say the rats are leaving the sinking ship.  Whatever your thoughts, the good ship SS Belichick is listing badly after hitting an iceberg in the Super Bowl.

Key players have opted to leave in free agency—and teammates remaining are wishing them good luck and happy voyage, almost as if they are envious.

Foremost among the congratulations on social media are coming from Tom Brady and Gronk.

Gronk still has not dispelled rumors he is going Hollywood on New England, and Tom Brady dropped a hint that he is a man of his convictions in his TV autobiography series—and he appears to have switched convictions in mid-stream.

Life begins at 40—but not in Foxboro.

These key Patriots (Nate Solder, Amendola, Butler, Lewis, and who knows who else) have talked among teammates. If you don’t realize that, you don’t know what’s happening.

It’s like a bad Bob Dylan song: the mattress is now balancing precariously on Bill Belichick’s head. Someone is ready to drop a house on Wicked Witchy Belichick. His former coaches and underlings are picking up the pieces Belichick has shed. And they are happy to have them.

During the season, opposing players attacked the Foxboro as being as unpleasant under the control of Ebenezer Scrooge Belichick before any ghosts haunted him. It was worse than Hieronymus Bosch’s depiction of Hell.

We see the end as coming in a whimper, not a bang. Brady and Gronk are packing their bags, and everyone else is cashing in their chips.

Oh, my. Lions and Tigers and Bears, oh my. The gold brick road is leading to ruination for the Kraft family of marshmallows.


The Haunting of Patriot Place

DATELINE: Your Worst Nightmare


The ghost of Malcolm Butler now walks the halls of Patriot Place. Forget the Overlook Hotel and its shining denizens. Foxboro will be a worthy subject for Stephen King.

Like unfriendly spirits, this Patriot specter may hang around for decades, frightening children and bringing back the horrors of Super Bowl LII.

Bad karma often is behind the haunting appearances of ghosts.  We recall in Boston that the ghost of Babe Ruth put a curse on the Red Sox for 80 years. We now wonder if the ghost of Malcolm Butler might do the same for the Patriots.

If you wonder why the Patriots never win another Super Bowl in the 21st century, you will be wise to remember that the Butler did it.

Like some benighted head of the Inquisition, Bill Belichick made his decisions to burn the defense at the stake during the Super Bowl. Heretics be damned, and leading the charge was the ingrate (in Swami Belichick’s eyes), the man who tried to jump ship before the season began: Malcolm Butler.

It was an unforgivable sin—and now Malcolm Butler has paid for it with his reputation. Oh, someone will give him a big payday—and perhaps he will fade into oblivion in some other football venue.

However, in Foxboro, his curse will be laid upon Tom Brady worse than broken mirrors and contempt for sports superstition.

The howls in the night and the bumps and bangs you hear are the restless spirits of players done dirt by Bill Belichick.

Though he may go into retirement, he will leave a haunted Patriot Place for Josh McDaniels, forcing him to call in ghostbusters and hold séances for the betterment of the Kraft legacy.

Move over, Shirley Jackson, Gillette Stadium is the new house on Haunted Hill.



DATELINE: Penknife Mightier than the Sword


Now read all your favorite blogs for the year in one handy location: your tablet, your smartphone, or your computer.


Now available, The Loser’s Edition.

Normally we compile a book of annual snide comments about the winner of the Super Bowl, but this year we change horses in the fourth quarter.

Now you can trace the sour grapes of Malcolm Butler up to the sacking by Coach Belichick in the final hours!

Now you can see the complete reviews and reactions to Tom Brady’s reality TV series and all its deadly fallout!

Now you can learn how Trump has poisoned the Patriot well of victory!

Now you can find the fake news about Gronk’s Hollywood career!

Now you cannot find much about Julian Edelman, but he still shows up on the pages now and then!

Now you can see how the Yalta Peace Talks between Kraft, Belichick, and Brady really came about and really went nowhere!

Now available on Amazon, cheap price, cheap words, cheap ideas!

Recommended for smart readers always!




Patriots Come Up with More Plots than Dickens

DATELINE:  Turn of the Screw?

Belichick Hit Man Hit

Yikes! Babe McDaniels will not leave the New England Patriots.

What gives? You may wonder why or how someone comes to the decision to back out of a promotion to head coach of the Indianapolis Colts.

The team that created treachery by accusing Tom Brady of “Deflategate” was about to introduce Josh McDaniels at a press conference in the morning—when he changed his mind.

Yes, on the heels of a dozen present and former players sending out supporting tweets on behalf of Malcolm Butler, whom Belichick benched for no good reason during the Super Bowl, and all against Bill Belichick, we have the offensive coordinator, and close friend of Tom Brady, reneging on a deal to coach the Colts.

We haven’t seen this sort of machination since—gulp hard, fans, since Bill Belichick reneged on the Jets!

History is repeating itself. But why?

Can it be that Belichick is closer to leaving the Patriots than anyone can possibly imagine by hook or crook?

Can it be that Robert Kraft has indeed sweetened the pot to keep Josh McDaniels—by promising him the job as head of the Patriots in the near future?

If Bill Belichick is leaving, Josh would be the natural choice to succeed him and keep Brady in clover for a few more years.

We are among those who are now thinking that the house of cards constructed by Swami Belichick has dry rot.

We are among those who wonder how much longer Belichick will be coaching in Foxboro. Is it retirement that drives him, or a job with another team?

Shock waves usually create a tsunami. Head for the high ground because we think that Foxboro may be inundated shortly and deeply.


Captain Bligh: Mutiny on Patriots

DATELINE:  Belichick’s Horror Tale

 Boris Badenov Episode: Boris Eliminates Moose

Did Bill Belichick lose his marbles in Minnesota?

Have we just witnessed a Pats’ version of Nightmare on Patriot Row?

Conspiracy theorists have emerged that HC Bill Belichick deliberately sabotaged his own team to lose the Super Bowl. What kind of point was he making in benching his best defensive safety in favor of lesser players?

Did he undermine his own coach Matt Patricia by denying him the player he wanted? Did he punish Patricia for jumping ship to accept another job in Detroit?

Did players in the locker room express anger and disdain for Belichick’s unreasonable punishment of Malcolm Butler?

Why have retired players or former players expressed shock at the strategy of the Great Hoodie?

Has the furor and disdain between Tom Brady and Belichick reached the point where Tom can play one of the best games ever as a quarterback and be forced to swallow hard?

Did Belichick make a point to ownership that forced him to trade away his QB of the future, Jimmy G, and keep a 40-year old who has defied his training staff?

Is Bill Belichick forcing the Patriots to make a Hobson’s Choice, which centers on whether they should fire the head coach for insubordination?

What kind of media feeding frenzy is possible over this, as facts emerge that there was mutiny in the locker room before game—which showed itself in Malcolm Butler crying on the sidelines?

Egad, is this any way to end a season? To end a year of hard work? What politics has undermined the New England Patriots ultimately from winning a sixth Super Bowl under Belichick and with Tom Brady?



Parcells & Belichick: Odd Couple

DATELINE: Two Bills & Lots of Sense

two bills

ESPN’s latest documentary is a look at the remarkable relationship of two NFL coaches who figure prominently in the conversation of greats.

Bill Parcells and Bill Belichick cannot merely be compared as winning NFL coaches. They actually have linked together and bonded in a variety of ways over 40 years.

To put them together at a table in the football Giants locker room and let them watch and listen to clips may actually be a device to give viewers fireworks, contradictions, and hostility. Nothing could be further from the actual event.

You may be surprised what a loud extrovert and a introspective quiet man have in common. They were never friends, but were always respectful colleagues—even at times when tense competition separated them.

What they do have in common is an irascible controlling attitude. It may boil down to the kind of relationship you’d expect between an elder brother and his over-achieving younger sibling. They were rivals, but under the skin shared too much to be anything but blood kin.

Parcells always regretted not being more diplomatic and less inclined to fly off the handle. On the other hand, Belichick admired the way his mentor could deal with the media and see the big picture.

It winds up being a mutual admiration society now that the days of fiery fights across the field have come to an end. They have played golf together and enjoyed dinner to reconcile their former differences after the Jets flare-up when Belichick declined to be drafted into a bad coaching situation, as the heir apparent to Parcells. A Greek chorus of football greats and witnesses to their flare-ups and cool-downs adds to the history lesson.

Owner Robert Kraft slips between them, owing to fancy editing by the director, and notes the complex troubles of managing difficult coaches. It’s business, not friendship. It’s living with a colleague for years and never socially.

The Two Bills is a fascinating portrait of hard-driven men doing what they love with people they grow to love.







New England Pats: Over & Out

 DATELINE: Time Beats Brady


 Patty Jett

It seemed to be the night the magic died.

Brady had gone to the well once too often.

Cue Roy Orbison: “It’s over.”

An ominous augur began the night when Malcolm Butler, one-time super hero of the big game, stood and cried on the sidelines during the national anthem. He was benched for the Super Bowl. His career with the Patriots was over.

There will be grandiose post-mortem analyses galore. The fact remained that the Patriots could not stop Philadelphia Eagles from shredding their defense up and down the field.

The underdog flew high as a mighty eagle.

Tom Brady was sacked in his prime time, with two minutes to go, and lost the ball. You might think he had the game in the bag. But, bags are heavier when you’re forty years old.

At least one questionable call, perhaps two, gave the Eagles touchdowns that might have been reversed during the season. Roger Goodell’s goons were reversing nothing this time.

And, so it ends with a whimper, with no duck boats, and with a cloudy meeting of Belichick, Brady, and Kraft on the horizon. Joint statements may be forthcoming, or perhaps nothing will be public.

Life may begin at forty, but it ends with losing the Super Bowl.

We will have to read the media reality shows.

As far as books on the Patriots season are concerned, few will want to re-live the Super Bow loser, though its political year was one of the most intriguing. Brady’s folly was Brady’s Foles.


Will the Real Bill Belichick Please Stand UP?

DATELINE:  It’s Badenov, Oddjob!

 Boris Badenov Belichick Oddjob

First, it was Boris Badenov. Then, it was Oddjob. Now it’s even worse: Bill Belichick has gone blackhat.

Rats are now departing the sinking ship of S.S. Philly Eagles.

Not one mouse could deal with the image of the man who made fame in cut-off sweat shirts appearing like the pall-bearer for the underdogs of football.

The Eagle has not landed. It’s been grounded.

When Bill Belichick, of hoodie fame, donned a Fedora and black suit when he deplaned the Kraft One Jet, augurs went bonkers.

Magnetic north has shifted. Oddsmakers are scurrying for cover.

Not since the Corleone family flew into Vegas has there been such a fashion statement.

You know the villain always wears the black hat, but the film noir world just found its new Robert Mitchum—and he is the man holding all the cards and likely carrying a concealed weapon under his coat.

Frostbite Falls just went into heart seizure. The Super Bowl has just become the Super Bowler. Oddjob worked for Goldfinger and wore a Fedora with a steel-lined brim.

People are prepared to duck if Belichick throws his hat into the Super Bowl ring.

Frostbite Falls, Minnesota, has not seen a Fedora like this since Bullwinkle battled Boris Badenuv on the Rocky Show.









Asteroid Threatens Super Bowl LII

DATELINE: Brady Rejects Distraction

brady mirror

According to USA Today, “An asteroid spanning one-third of a mile will hurtle past earth at some 76,000 mph on Super Bowl Sunday.”

This may not be the half-time show that Justin Timberlake envisioned.

If NFL owners want bigger ratings, we suspect that bringing all the fans to their knees during the National Anthem is hardly the way to do it. Pray that the asteroid lands in Canada, preferably on Oak Island, in order to open up the Money Pit.

We cannot imagine which team will benefit from an asteroid strike on Frostbite Falls, Minnesota. One likely ramification of an asteroid hitting will be that the concussion protocol will be needed for everyone.

Tom Brady will likely assure us that his TB12 Method will transcend even asteroids about the plummet to Earth and kill all of us.

Boston pundits are now claiming that this is all part of Bill Belichick’s plan of disinformation to upset the Philadelphia Eagles. The only action that might be more disruptive and disturbing will be to have President Trump show up for the coin-toss.

According to Sarah Suckerbee Hitchens, White House press and pull bully, the asteroid has been banned from entering the United States by Executive Order.

Chief-of-Staff John Kelly, another Patriot fan, has hinted that the powers over at Area 51 will deflect the asteroid to Philadelphia where the damage will be considered less than a disaster zone.

How much damage could a nearly 2000-foot-wide asteroid damage do when it hits Tom Brady at 76,000 miles per hour? We suspect little– as his new TV series shows that his head may be denser than an asteroid, slower than a speeding bullet, and able to leap tall buildings in a single bound.

Asteroids be damned, the half-time extravaganza must go on.









Time Versus Tom and Vice Versa

DATELINE:  Brady’s Life

movietone news   march of time news

The first 24-minute episode of the six-part series on and about Tom Brady revealed nothing and everything. It was the best of documentaries and the worst of documentaries. It’s called Tom Versus Time, and it is like watching the old chestnut March of Time in video newsreel format.

Tom Brady morphs into Charles Foster Kane.

No, Gotham Chopra is not Charles Dickens, and Tom is no David Copperfield. There is more of Dorian Gray here than gravy. The infomercial known as Brady’s life is like a bit of undigested beef. It just sits there.

If you want shock, Tom does not refer to Swami Belichick as “Coach,” his usual reverential term for 17 years. He calls him, heaven forfend, “Belichick,” and shares his notes from one of the Head Coach’s lectures. It is filled with laughable platitudes, and Tom keeps a wink in his hip pocket.

Brady also shows his four-game suspension letter, which he enjoys for its motivational impact. Tom follows in the carbon footprints of motivational charlatan Tony Robbins. They even did a vaudeville act together in Boston this year.

Tom allows quite an intimate picture of his children, which most celebrities avoid. It seems to follow his dictum that nothing matters but winning.

If episode one conveys any sense out of nonsense, it is that there is no straightforward narrative line here. We see clips from all over the year, piled on the previous with a little philosophical mortar to hold them together.

Gotham’s city of Brady may be a bit heavy on bats in the belfry. Director Gotham Chopra knows what idolization means. Off the field Tom Brady is clearly a koo-koo bird.

This is homage and paean to Tom, as directed by an adoring Boswell. You won’t find T.E. Lawrence’s Seven Pillars of Fire here, only six. It is, after all, an infomercial.

Of all Tom’s thousands of player-friends over two decades, only two knights show up at the Round Table: Julie Edelman and Danny Amendola. There is no Tom in team Gillette, but we do see Alex Guerrero, the Merlin of football wizards, giving Brady a solid massage in this medium well-done documentary.

The star quarterback is entitled to his fair share of egomania, considering his impressive  accomplishments. Walking on water will do that for Lawrence of Arabia and Tom Brady. The adoring masses tend to confirm his warrior status, though he has no plan here to sell himself short.

More to come, like a Batman cliffhanger.



CNN Tapper All Tapped Out on Patriots

DATELINE:  Another Strange Bedfellow

 tapped out

Foxy Tapper and Friends

If you wondered about the objectivity of CNN reporters and on-air personalities, you now have more evidence of “Fake News.”

Maybe Donald Trump is on to something when he dismisses the journalistic integrity of CNN’s stable of political assassins.

CNN’s host with the least, Jake Tapper, after taking a paid trip to the Minnesota-Philadelphia playoff game, as a gift from the Eagles organization, then gave an interview in which he accused the Patriots of being “cheaters.”

Pardon us for asking if this is cricket, let alone football.

With an expensive bribe in his pocket, Tapper took his pediatrician father with him to make even a wannabe Dr. Spock complicit in his crime.

If you wondered whether Jake Tapper was dropped on his head as a baby, you now have evidence.

Can it be the outburst by Tapper is motivated by the fact that Patriot owner Bob Kraft, Patriot coach Bill Belichick, and Patriots star Tom Brady, are all friends of Donald Trump?

You may now seriously question CNN’s integrity, as the pot calls the Patriot kettle, black.

Interviewed on his own network, Tapper showed his innate idiocy by proclaiming on national TV: “The Patriots are cheaters, Brooke. The Patriots cheat,” Tapper said. “This is just a fact as established by investigations. They’re a cheating team … The facts speak for themselves.”

As if it were not self-evident about this truth, Tapper shamelessly labeled himself a lifelong Eagles fan, and he criticized the strategies employed by the Patriots.

We might ask the same about the strategies used by CNN.

Is it time to fire Jake Tapper?


Perennial Winner’s View from Foxboro

DATELINE: Thumbs Irrelevant

 Michigan J. Frog

A funny thing happened on the way to the Super Bowl for the Patriots.  It wasn’t Tom’s thumb that was the problem. It was a tough bunch of Jaguars.  It started to look like James Michael Curley’s Last Hurrah—but hold on, fans.

No one in New England was laughing in the fourth quarter when Danny Amendola pulled off his patented Julian Edelman imitation. For a while, the alleged laughingstock named Blake Bortles looked like Joe Montana.

Yes, Blake’s advisor in California for throwing the ball is former Red Sox pitcher Tom House.

Yes, Jaylen Brown of the Celtics went rogue and backed the Jaguars over his Boston fan base because his cousin A.J. Bouye is their enforcer.

Dion Lewis saved the last dance for a fumble, but recovered one last time.

Waiting till next year may not be a good option:  Brady’s thumb won’t be needed for hitching a ride out of Foxboro, and the two coordinators, Matt Patricia and Josh McDaniels, will not hit the road, moving on to other clubs, for a few more weeks and one more big game in Minnesota.

In the end, Belichick and Brady embraced. Oh, yes, there will be a meeting of the minds of Belichick, Brady, and Kraft as they try to end a political stalemate that may have contributed to ill-feelings and ill-intentions. But that will be after they win another Super Bowl and all will be forgiven.

The Patriots found a new MVP in Danny Amendola replacing Julian Edelman with his last-minute heroics this time. Gronk was concussed and out for the end again.

Brady stalked the sidelines when he was not on the field, unlike any game of the season heretofore.

Maybe he was pondering the ratings for his Facebook TV series as bombing unless he pulled the game out of the hopper.

Time is cruel, and next year may be less  than this year, but for now, the Patriots are on top of the world, Ma.


Tom Brady’s Five Finger Exercise

DATELINE:  New England Patriot Horror Movie


Let the hand-wringing begin.

No one can shake Tom Brady’s hand this week. If it ain’t broke, can he play with all fingers?

When the Patriots called for all hands on deck during practice on Wednesday, the hand of Tom Brady was among the missing. Usually he keeps his pitching mitt in his cozy hand warmer, but this week it has been a specimen under observation by the greatest medical minds the Kraft family can find.

The handicraft of Tom Brady may be in jeopardy.

Like the hands of a stranger, Brady’s hand is like an alien creature being tested for performance enhancing capabilities. We want to hold his hand like a Beatle, but his circulation could be at risk.

Glad-handers among the media have dismissed the notion that the Patriots needed a Handiwipe to keep the Pats from falling into Trump’s s**thole.

Reports circulate that Handsome Tom Brady has been unable to give hand signals when he drives his Astin-Martin, and his hand gestures have been limited to the usual Trump vocabulary.

After a freak accident, the freakish Brady’s hand no longer can grip a football. It may be time for a hand-me-down to the next quarterback on the roster. Yikes.

We can count the chances for Patriot victory on Sunday on one hand if Tom Brady is not handy.

If Tom can’t get a handle on the ball Sunday, TV ratings will be handed off like a fat woman pouring coffee on her  bosom as in the commercial for DirecTV.

The Patriots will lose hands down if Tom Brady must handoff to Brian Hoyer.

Don’t ask the Patriots for a show of hands.

The Jacksonville Jaguars may prove to be more than a handful.

We are unsure of the Patriots will be able to get a hand on another victory this season if the ball slips out of Brady’s hand.


Pats Put One Down & Pull One Over Titans

DATELINE: Pottsdam Around the Corner

big three of Foxboro The New Pottsdam?

It will be hard to remember the Titans as anything more than a box checked off along the way to the Super Bowl by the start of another season.

You could say the Pats put down the Titans, avoiding any clash of the symbols. They put the Titans out of their misery of bad coaching and inept oversight.

Coach/Swami/Svengali Belichick should have been charged a timeout for even holding a red flag with the game in the bag. If ever you wanted evidence that the sidelines belong to Belichick, not Alex Guerrero or Tom Brady, you had only to watch the bumbling Belichick with his red flag remedy and comedy.

If Marcus Mariota could catch his own pass last week, Belichick surely could catch and rescind his own red flag. Alas, it fell to the ground unceremoniously, was denied, and cost Belichick for his hubris.

 The Titans were over-cooked in Belichick’s microwave, whether you waved a red flag or a white flag.

If any news came out of the victory over the Titans by the Patriots, it was in the taciturn attitude of James Harrison, erstwhile Steeler. The former Pittsburgh legend is about as talkative as Bill, his coach. We know all about birds of a feather.

Harrison told reporters and the media in a post game interview that he will not be watching football this weekend. He’s a fan of the Cartoon Network. We aren’t sure if we should put him down as a Daffy fan, or a Sylvester wannabe.

What better way to describe the upcoming meeting of the nouveau Big Three. Yes, we are talking about damn Potsdam. That’s where the Big Three held a conference setting the boundaries on the Cold War.

On the day when a horrifying attack alert shuddered the residents over in Hawaii that incoming missiles were expected from North Korea, the bomb actually hit Tennessee.

Nary a tweet was heard round the world from Donald Trump.

Humanitarians decry the humiliation sent to the Titans as part of the Belichick-Kraft-Brady wars. The game was overshadowed by the announcement that another peace conference was at hand, post-season to ease the “tension” around Patriot Place in History.


Tom Brady Vs Time & Other Outer Limits

DATELINE: Twilight Zone Time

Tom vs Time

If you ever wanted a reality series/science fiction /sports movie with Siddhartha overtones, you are about to get your wish.

Tom Brady has filmed a six-part documentary about his life.

Deepak Chopra’s son (Gotham???) is a long-time fan and directs the episodes that apparently trace Tom’s life along the lines of growing spirituality—and love for the esoterica of life.

Tom battles the clock and time in general like some character out of a Dorian Gray novel. You may see Tom in the Time Machine, or just in the astral plane. It’s definitely a competition between Tom and the clock. Since Tom wins every game he plays, we think he will beat the clock too.

Not since Ponce de Leon have we had a character so determined to make Father Time crawl to the finish line.

The operative terms for this series are “digital only” and “rare glimpse.”

This means Tom will control the vertical. Tom will control the horizontal. He can make the picture a soft blur, or turn it into crystal clarity. Sit back because you will lose control of your device and maybe your mind.

There is nothing wrong with your device. Do not attempt to adjust the picture. Tom Brady is controlling transmission.

You are about to participate in a great adventure. For the next six hours, sit quietly. You are about experience the awe and mystery that reaches from the inner mind of Tom Brady to its outer limits, which may mean we will end up in a Julian Edelman video.

You are about to learn that football comes before family for Patriots GOAT, Brady.

Tom believes it is cool to show his fans another side of midnight. He trusts he director Gotham Chopak more than Alex Guerrero, which is a mountain of trust indeed. Tom says, “Gotham is a great story-teller,” which makes us wonder where the truth will lie.

The show will not air until the Patriots’ season is done, which looks like mid-February after they have another duck boat parade down the streets of Boston.