Post Traumatic Patriots Day

Wahlberg

DATELINE:  Boston Under Attack

On occasion, you encounter a movie that is a burden to watch, but you feel utterly compelled to stay the course as your patriotic duty. Such a film is Patriots Day.

We were in our hometown Boston when the horrific Marathon bombing occurred and lived through the four days of wall-to-wall TV coverage in 2013. It seems like living self-torture through post-traumatic stress to watch and relive the movie version produced and starring Mark Wahlberg. As a Bostonian, he wanted to be sure the movie had a Boston perspective.

It does, almost to a point of caricature, with accents flowering and scenes filmed mostly on location. Watertown residents preferred not to relive the mayhem in their backyards, and a different set was used for those climactic scenes of a Wild West shootout with two local residents turned terrorists.

If there is much to admire in this docudrama, police and detective work as well as FBI heroism is top of the list. In a matter of hours, starting from scratch, an entire operation and manhunt was created with tireless work from police, hospital workers, and citizens.

The film probably will best be seen years from now with more perspective on events, like the film Parkland about the Kennedy assassination, made 50 years after it happened. The raw nerves of the Marathon event are too fresh, still, to not feel abused again by what we know as familiar names and places and inevitabilities.

Hollywood fireworks are not missing here: as the shootout with the terrorists is stunning. Performances of J.K. Simmons, John Goodman, and Kevin Bacon, are appropriately underplayed. Red Sox star and local celebrity David Ortiz plays himself.

If any question remains, it is how to handle the people who were most unhelpful: Tamerlane Tsarnaev’s American wife and Dzokhar’s pothead UMass friends. Their reputations should be mud forever, according to this movie. We would say they got off far too easily.

Since this film may be the ultimate history lesson for viewers of the future, it stands as a moment in time, close enough to events, to ensure its accuracy. If we know anything from documentary history, it is that time dilutes, distorts, and changes the perception of the age’s Zeitgeist.

We think this one will pass the test of time.

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Red Sox Stricken, Out with Virus at Home

DATELINE: Sick of Baseball Already

Mr. Mucus

The Red Sox have gone viral.

And it’s not pretty. A stomach virus is decimating the overrated team. Well, at least now they have an excuse when the season ends in disgrace.

Reports unlike any we have heard in our history of being a fan have come forth—upchucked like a bad meal. Not only have players run off the field like they were trying to bunt to reach base, but even the broadcaster bailed out of the booth with a case of trotting to the rest room.

Young athletes, in our estimation, live in close quarters with other men and may be susceptible to catching on with a team.  We don’t recall such a decimation in Sox history.

Is there something in the bottled water in the clubhouse? Is it something in the Boston atmosphere? We also noted a few Celtics were recently sick—and even required hospitalization. Thank heavens for Obamacare.

We are taken aback at the hospital visits—as most young men in their primes and prone to six-pack abs are among the strongest of the species unless their occupation is to walk the runway.

What is causing the spate of dyspepsia among our Red Sox stars? We know that teams often now provide prepared meals taken on the road for their players—lest some visiting town sprinkle the dinners and snacks with an unknown substance.

In the meantime, the balls are being played with less than healthy members of the Red Sox.

 

 

 

 

Brady & Gronk Chase Their Tales

DATELINE:  Dumb Opening Acts

 re-stolen jersey

When an aging 40-year old superstar QB chases down a superstar tight end coming off back surgery, you have the potential for a Super Nova.

This is the kind of tale told when you sit around a campfire and explain it to your grandchildren at the end of the 21st century.

In space terms, that’s one Big Bang.

If you see stars falling out of Super Bowl LII, you may think Belichick’s mantra of “One More,” could take on all the elements of Greek tragedy.

If you like your bangs with medical accoutrements, you may be in a body cast up to your earlobes with a cast of super stupid stars.

Instead of the Alpha, jock humor will be the Omega of the Patriots firmament.

Many fans, and Bob Kraft too, must have looked aghast upon the Great Chase of Brady after Gronk who re-stole the infamous Super Bowl jersey. Only Bob Kraft saw millions of dollars going down on the Fenway short right field.

If you want to steal the fire from heaven, you could end up in Hades.

The last time we saw a chase like this, it was in a Buster Keaton silent film about the Civil War called The General. The old locomotive went into the drink—and that was that.

Imagine losing your two biggest NFL stars at an MLB ceremony. It would be like Hertz giving Avis a bunch of flat tires. If you want to kick the tires on Brady and Gronk, you might wonder how they manage to run the field when Tony Romo retires the same day at a median of their ages owing to injury.

On the other hand, you might like the feistiness of the young pup Brady, having discovered his second childhood, and the quick, nimble recovery of a man prone to back pain. You may like to live dangerously.

Fortunately, the Great Fenway Chase was about as scripted as a Three Stooges skit about a week back.

David Ortiz All Wet After DeHydrating

DATELINE: Dry Humor

clay

We’ve been told in no uncertain terms to lay off David Ortiz. The Big Papi had to sit out a game in the hot Florida sun because it dehydrated him.

We hesitated to point out that old people all suffer from this because the body thermostat loses its effectiveness after a certain age. We just didn’t know that age was 39.

In our day, being 39 was thought to be a symbol of youth’s last glimmer. If 39 is the new 50, then Jack Benny has lost his funniest joke. And, the Red Sox have found it.

Some people questioned how a man who sits in the dugout during the game, under shade and next to the watercooler can possibly overheat.

Some people have wondered how a man whose entire career has avoided hot grass and sun-drenched playing fields could suddenly fail to avoid those.

Others are questioning the rigorous spring training regimen that Dudley Do-Right Farrell has imposed on his out of shape roster.

You might say that Ortiz should have spent the winter in Boston, shoveling out his car every day. He’d be far more sympathetic to the hot Florida sun.

But, a cadre of voters for including Big Papi in the Hall of Fame have accused us of cruelty and injustice. It’s almost as if we have taken umbrage at Deval Patrick for wanting $7500 a day to promote the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. How dare we deny a man his livelihood? How dare we attack an icon for being iconic?

Hey, we’d probably vote to convict Aaron Hernandez too. Call us callous.

 

Nothing to Laugh At in Boston Sports

DATELINE: HUMORLESS

Dumb America

With a dearth of Boston sports humor lately, we are asked by fans: is there anything even remotely funny about the Boston sports teams?

In a word, no.

We are facing Aaron Hernandez’s murder trial in Fall River, a locale where Lizzie Borden also reached the heights of infamy. There have been precious few sit-coms about Lizzie in the past hundred years. We have had a few chuckles over Hernandez the Chucklehead.

We did like the ditty kids used to sing about Lizzie, but there has been no song for Hernandez, though we saw him do a pregame dance on videotape before killing Odin Lloyd.

Also, the Boston Marathon bomber hardly garners any laughs lately. We have found his endless requests to change venue fairly laughable. Four times now and counting.

He claims he cannot have a fair trial in the city that is Boston Strong. Then, during opening arguments, his lawyer admits he did it. So, why are we having this charade of a trial? Oh, it’s to see if he deserves the Timothy McVeigh treatment.

That too is a no-brainer.

After those sports stories, you hardly feel like guffawing over the pale shadow of Celtics or the off-season antics of Gronk in Vegas.

Apart from the hairdos of Cuban players, is there anything remotely funny about the Red Sox in Spring Training?

We have been working on our next book on the Titanic, another knee-slapper. So, forgive us if we haven’t been looking at the whimsical world lately in a funny way.

And, oh, yeah, it’s tax time. LOL.

Red Sox Truck Day Usurped by Patriot Truck Day

DATELINE: Highway to Spring

killilngseason

Truck Day is not supposed to arrive for another week, but the New England Patriots once again one-upped the Boston Red Sox.

Diehard Sox fans wait for February’s semi-holiday to improve their moods as the snow flies. This year, more than usual, Truck Day has become bigger than having one’s throat blessed.

This is the time that baseball equipment is placed in a convoy of big rigs for a long winter’s drive to the spring training facility in Florida. Apparently, driving on slick highways is cheaper than asking Jet Blue to transport this stuff to Jet Blue Park.

If catchers’ mitts and fungo bats go off the road in an icy skid, the Sox season could be in jeopardy. Yet, this foolhardy tradition has unwavering, if not unsteady, support from the snow-blower contingent around Fenway Park.

Yet, the Patriots have now usurped the Red Sox tradition.

You can blame Tom Brady for having another season of immense pressure and showing grace under it.

Yes, it seems Truck Day has a new meaning for the MVP of Super Bowl XLIX. He has circumvented the tax code to bestow a gift on a fellow Patriot.

The Butler who did it in the final seconds of the game will now receive a red Chevy truck as his gift. It seems Tom Brady, whose wife’s annual salary is double the paychecks of the entire offensive Patriot line, has seen fit to donate the truck to a deserving soul.

Matthew Butler, whose interception actually won the game, will now be the tow-truck recipient of Tom Brady’s re-gifting.

We never look a gift of horsepower in the mouth.

 

Curt Schilling Denied Justice

DATELINE: Screwball & Blackball

bloody hell

Major League baseball writers threw a blackball at Curt Schilling when they elected his teammate Pedro Martinez to the Hall of Fame at Cooperstown.

Perhaps election to the Hall is overrated. You only have to ask Barry Bonds or Roger Clemens about that.

However, to most players who loved the game they played, and loved the millions of dollars they earned playing it, the Hall is some kind of apolitical, neutral body that steps away from team and city partisanship.

You’d think that, but according to Curt Schilling, you’d be wrong.

The man whose bloody sock won a city heart and world attention when he pitched his plasma out in a World Series game was denied a walk of fame down the Hall.

He blames it on his politics. He is a conservative in a world of big city Democrats. Those pesky writers never are part of the world of athletes—and voting on entrance into the Hall of Fame is a good way to show their partisanship.

They are better educated, know the game better, are holier than thou, and now appear to be amoral.

The writers died Curt Schilling, Republican activist who almost ran for U.S. senator. He also has spent his energy and time on helping find a cure for ALS before people dumped cold water on their heads. He never used PEDs or steroids, which you can’t say about many of his colleagues (only the others elected to the HOF).

He is a man who also took a government loan to start a game business and went bankrupt. Apparently, the safeguard of taxpayers, the MLB writers decided to punish him.

No Hall for Curt. We know all about liberal hubris and blackballs. We worked in academia. Our sympathies to Curt.

Three Complaints To FCC Spell Trouble for Tom Brady

DATELINE: No Time for Speeches

TB@12

After David Ortiz used a microphone to drop an F-bomb at Fenway Park on live TV, the FCC has received a trio of complaints about Tom Brady’s lip-readers’ special during a Sunday game two weeks ago.

A handful of New York Jets and Philadelphia Eagles fans were offended by the language and threated to throw snowballs at Santa if he appears at their stadiums. They cursed out Tom Brady in no uncertain terms as a symbol of the fall of civilization.

Tom Brady’s bad language has created a firestorm of polysyllabic potty terms among the most moral members of society.

The NFL has been mulling a zero F-bomb tolerance policy. First offenders will have to stand on the sideline for the next game with a bar of soap wedged between their teeth.

Second offenders will be forced to recite the Gettysburg Address at a military training camp, and third offenders will be banned from church for life.

Sinners can repent, but the NFL Network has to use a bleeper button that makes a kookoo sound. The problem emerged a few years back when the official bleeping bleeper of the NFL was let go due to budget cuts.

After Ortiz gave patriotic comments about America and the terrorist bombers after the Boston Marathon, he was excused from culpability because English is his second language. Actually, local college professors said he spoke no known language.

Tom Brady is different. As a real American who is articulate, he must be punished for expressing free speech on a cable network. Everyone knows that streaming potty mouths on cable cost big bucks to subscribers.

Tom Brady’s agent said he was merely rehearsing his new stand-up comic routine with comic relief teammate Jonas Gray.

Red Sox Package 0f Perks for Jon Lester!

DATELINE: HUMOR

lester&beckett

We have learned from a secret source what King John Henry VIII offered in the package meant for Jon Lester if he chose to stay with the Red Sox.

Larry Lucchino has leaked this information to show what a parvenu ingrate Jon Lester has become.

First, Lester could have used Henry’s season tickets to the Boston Symphony Orchestra three times per year. On the upcoming programme was Rachmininoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini and Puccini’s Nessun Dorma.

King John Henry would send his tailor to give Lester his choice of a tux or a dressing gown in silk and an opportunity to take art appreciation classes at the MFA.

Henry offered a weekend cruise on his yacht the SS Minnow to Cannes for the foreign language film festival each of the subsequent three years of the contract.

A month’s supply of Beluga caviar was already at the Post Office for special delivery to Lester.

For hunting trips (much favored by Lester) Henry had a litter of teacup Maltese pups in white ready for the excursion and a trip to the Westminster Dog Show afterward.

Also in the package was an opportunity to play a cameo role on next season’s Downton Abbey acting in the role of Shirley MacLaine’s American chauffeur. Following that he would be taken to Covent Garden to watch the Royal Ballet perform Sleeping Beauty.

Considering these magnificent cultural perks, we are dumfounded that Lester chose to take the offer by Joe Maddon to go hunting with one of his bench coaches.

The values of the sports world are clearly not what they used to be.

 

 

Unvarnished Truth About Jon Lester & Red Sox

DATELINE: HUMOR

 ClayBuchholz

And now for the truth you won’t hear on Boston sports blab shows or on websites beholden to the Red Sox kingpins…

We will tell you the unvarnished truth about why Jon Lester went elsewhere.

Yes, you could start at the long goodbye during the hideous 2013 season when the Sox ownership insulted Jon Lester with their offers. As Dan Shaughnessy brilliantly pointed out, Fredo Corleone was given a better sendoff by the Godfather.

That was the end of the trail, not the start of negotiations.

If you want to appeal to the heart of a player, you don’t send King John Henry VIII to make the appeal. You could send Robert Kraft who actually loves his players and relates to them as young men.

Henry relates to them like a disdainful banker. He is, at his smarmiest, a cold fish. He is not a dog lover, a hunter, or a down-to-earth uncultured slob. He is a snob.

Strike One!

Given a boatload of money, some players are charmed by the Red Sox, but others know they have to buy the duckboat for real love.

King John Henry VIII will invite players to his yacht, the Pequod, and give them expensive gifts—like a divorced parent on a guilt trip. But, then he will come down hard on the Chicken and Beer brigade—divesting them to another league and another coast. Those chicken wing munchers like Josh Beckett and Adrian Gonzalez were friends of Lester.

Strike Two!

When you ask all those Red Sox players on the Yankee roster the eternal question of “Why”, they will look at you with befuddlement. They wonder what is going on in the bubbleheads on Yawkey Way. Jacoby Ellsbury is only the latest to feel when they fall out of love with you, you are dog food.

Strike Three!

King John Henry VIII’s minions will now talk a great game to win back the goodwill of fans. But, be careful, fans. That bridge goes to Brooklyn. Mae West and Bugs Bunny and King John Henry VIII are only the latest salespeople.

 

Jon Lester Buys a Slow Boat Full of Cash Cows

DATELINE: YOUR MONEY OR YOUR LIFE?

 

affluenza sufferer

Slip sliding away?

It sounds like a refrain from a song, not a major league baseball team’s mantra.

Yet, the Boston Red Sox are indeed slip sliding away.

We ponder the eternal mystery of Boston sports. Just how stupid are the Red Sox owners?

When you trade away all your best pitchers because you don’t want to pay them, you are worthy of being a second tier sports market owner.

When you then realize there is nothing on the market better than what you had, you start to panic.

When you let the Yankees always walk through that door with a better offer, you make players wonder just how hollow the refrain is, “We want you.” When you let former executives sour on your organization beat you, there is something rotten on Yawkey Way.

Red Sox owners never want to give one cent for tribute, but they know talk is cheap. They talk a great game.

You never know how green your Fenway grass is until you start to look at the other teams. By then, the green stuff has stolen away all your best players.

Red Sox owners are penny-wise and pound-foolish. They will spend more money on a British soccer team than on “old” players.

Public relations disasters are the stock in trade of Red Sox owners. For now too many words have been spoken, and King John Henry VIII never puts his money where his mouth is. The Sox are now faced with recouping the goodwill of their fans.

Don’t worry. Money talks, and the only thing stupider than Sox ownership is the regard they have for their fans. It doesn’t help when Theo Epstein is the skunk at your picnic.

 

Fenway Park: Home, Sweet Home

DATELINE: Homely Players

Fenway Stage 1

The Red Sox are clicking the heels of their Ruby Red Slippers together and repeating, “There’s no place like home. There’s no place like home, Toto.”

Yep, your Red Sox are thinking of home as the place where Whistler’s Mother whistled up a happy tune. Whether she could offer more than home cooking, we don’t know.

The Red Sox have signed former Sox player Hanley Ramirez, have offered a contract now to former pitcher Justin Masterson, and are waiting on a giant offer to former favorite Sox pitcher Jon Lester.

Home is where the heart is. We don’t know if home is where the big money is, but the Red Sox are offering a home for the holidays motif to their former players.

You may be home for Christmas and humming it too, but we aren’t sure that Jon Lester thinks of Fenway Park as a primary home or a rental.

Most players who offer a “home town” discount may be disingenuous at best. They have cut their own throats and emptied their own wallets. And, the Red Sox have never thought charity begins at home.

As Sox fans may want to return to the thrilling days of the turn of the century, bringing back all your 30 year old whiz kids may be Biblical, sort of like returning the Prodigal Son to the homestead.

Be it ever so humble, there is no home quite like Fenway Park. Your Red Sox ownership think that pitching there is better than Yankee Stadium, though more than a few Sox players are now saying “Yes, Yes,” to the YES Network.

As for us, we think that a homebody should feel you can go home again, despite what the big paychecks say.

Zullard Unites with Rondo

DATELINE: FOLLOW THE YELLOWBRICK ROAD

ZULLARDMeet Zullard

 

Zullard replaces Jelly O’Sully for Celtics? Say it ain’t so!

If you want to know what Kelly Olynyk feels like, sitting on the bench, you only have to look at Will Middlebrooks sitting on the bench.

But, we know it won’t be for much longer. Will Middlebrooks has become a staple of injury and failed potential in Boston, and he will likely take that talent to a new venue soon. He has a better chance of changing his venue than Aaron Hernandez.

And, much as we hate to see our golddust twin to Jared Sullinger be sent packing, there are fans aplenty calling for his head to be rolled down the highway next to the head of Jonas Gray.

Kelly Olynyk may be the next Andrew Miller. He will be traded unceremoniously, then discovered to be an under appreciated gem. When you want him back, he will sign with the Yankees and say, “Jacoby Ellsbury said it was all right.”

Jelly O’Sully has been replaced by Zullard, which is the tandem that makes Rajon Rondo salivate.

jelly O'Sully So Long, Jelly

When Tyler Zeller catches impossible passes from the impossibly chic Rondo, you know he is heading for double-doubles. And, when Rondo anoints you, can coach Brad Stevens be far behind?

There are players we cried to see leave town (please, don’t remind of us our crying jag over Greg Stiemsma).

Eventually all things will pass, especially if you can’t catch a Rondo pass.

Jelly O’Sully may be dead, but long live Zullard.

Boston’s Tofu Turkey Awards

DATELINE:  Cranberry Sauce Optional

tofu turkey

Yes, it’s that time again when patriotic Red Riding Hoodie makes his way out to Green Bay to lay a turkey on the doorstep of Big Bad Wolf Aaron Rodgers.

The real winner of this year’s Tofu Turkey Award is Boston’s weather, dropping snow, rain, sleet, and whatever else was up in the atmosphere on the head of Bill Belichick. Not even a friendly weatherman could save the New England Coach.

Another Tofu Turkey will likely end up on the table of free agent pitcher Jon Lester, sent COD by King John Henry VIII.

Tofu Turkeys seem to be on the tables of all those extraneous players for the Red Sox that seem doomed to be traded for a pitcher: so long, Will Middlebrooks, Mookie Betts, Brock Holt, and Daniel Nava. Let’s not forget Yopenis.

Rajon Rondo of the Celtics, chef par excellence, plans on cooking a Tofu Turkey for all the teammates he hopes he never has to play with again. They have dropped more passes than a butterball turkey still frozen.

He also sent a Tofu Turkey to Kevin Love in Cleveland. It was like rubbing tofu in the wound. Love already knows his bird is overcooked, and he should have bought a microwave in Boston.

No Celtics seemed to be at the Reggie Lewis turkey giveaway for poor people this year. Tofu Turkey all around for those genuine turkeys in the Celtics organization.

Jelly O’Sully will receive the cranberries runner-up award for making a losing team fun. Thank you, Olynyk and Sullinger.

Of course, the big Tofu Turkey again goes this year to Aaron Hernandez who waived his court appearance this week, making his fans anticipate the big Tofu Turkey’s trial in January.

Boston Manager Puts Kiss of Death on Jon Lester

DATELINE: DO-RIGHT

John Farrell

Red Sox Dudley Do-Right John Farrell put his own version of the kiss of death on Jon Lester.

What did the Sox manager say and how did he say it?

First, he thinks the remainder of the team propositions are “interesting.” That puts Lester on a less than top priority status.

Second, Farrell is looking for ways to go through this offseason. He means the sooner some other team signs Lester, the easier it will be for the Sox.

Third, he has complete trust in GM Ben Cherington. It’s like the Godfather relying upon the murderous abilities of his hired assassin to find the right cement overshoes.

Fourth, he sees work that needs to be done. That means they are looking at options other than Lester.

Fifth, Farrell believes the Sox are doing what needs to be done to bring Lester back, but other teams have great interest in him and “deservedly so.”

Sixth, there are plenty of other options available to the Sox—and Lester is a mere bagatelle.

If you haven’t reached the uh-oh moment yet, you never will. Lester is moving away from Boston faster than an Andromeda galaxy.