DATELINE: Like Douglas MacArthur
Dare we return to bad habits, like mentioning the off-season New England Patriots? If eating a cream puff smashes our diet efforts, let football fans eat cake.
In the past few weeks, rumors have gone bananas that Tom versus Father Time Brady is about to retire after all, and Gronk is going into the movies. Indeed, Gronk just signed to play a role in a movie with Mel Gibson and Naomi Watts. It’s a typical action/adventure romp, not exactly Kenneth Branagh’s attempt to do Shakespeare’s Timon of Athens in black and white contemporary dress.
Late reports tell fans that Brady is now practicing privately with Julian Edelman for a return to the the swamp at Patriot Place, not Washington, D.C.
Of course, the nutcase Boston sports media put out an April Fool’s rumor that Gronk was about to be traded, and that Coach Bill Belichick had planned to send every close friend of Tom Brady on the team into exile like Elba was a Eastern Division team in the NFL AFC. Former Patriot coordinator Matt Patricia is picking up discarded pieces for the Detroit Lions faster than anyone else.
It was a diabolical way to force Brady to quit while he was still ahead. So, Tom forced wife Giselle Bundchen to announce she no longer was pressing for retirement.
Then, of course, the Patriots interviewed nutcase Johnny Manziel for a role as Brady’s backup that would eliminate the need to keep Brady hanger-on Brian Hoyer as backup. Brady supports QB Colin What’shisname, but no one in the NFL remembers his name.
Nobody ever said Bill Belichick was a nice guy, or even liked the quarterback who has made him one of the winningest coaches in NFL history.
Of course, there is the sidebar that the NFL is soon to be history, owing to falling ratings, kneeling players, and concussed fans who froth at the mouth over Colin’s knees.
There are those who think the billionaire playboys who own these baubles of sports entertainment are part of the juggernaut bringing on the Fall of the American Empire, precipitated by a politically idiotic president in the mold of Bill Belichick.
If you think Belichick can make the Patriots great again after discarding the heart and soul of his players, then we have an immigration program that takes down the Statue of Liberty as a monument and leaves it strictly as an NFL wildcard playbook notion.
DATELINE: Innocent at Last Laugh!
It only took 24 hours before participants began to regret their roles in the documentary Aaron Hernandez Uncovered. Several Boston media people expressed concern that their words were misused or taken out of context.
Former Patriot and one of the experts cited, Christian Fauria, disdained the “shady” nature of attorney Jose Baez’s production. Two conservative radio personalities also expressed the concern that the final product did not come out the way they expected.
So much for cogent experts and their insights, as Jose Baez faces the camera, in consulting producer’s hubris, to state he could have won the verdict in the first trial. He felt that Hernandez was one of three potential killers—and the prosecutors wanted to fry the big fish, Patriot star Hernandez.
We hate to tell consulting producer and blowhard Baez, but jurors can find someone guilty of murder without a weapon because they decide what “reasonable doubt” is.
Shayanna Hernandez certainly celebrates her obtuseness by expressing disappointment that Robert Kraft, owner of the Patriots, who was always so nice to Hernandez, had the temerity to tell the truth, even if it did not help the murderer. She never married the player, and did dirty work to protect his income, and lists herself as Mrs. Hernandez in the credits.
Re-enactments also showed all three stalking Odin Lloyd before Hernandez shot him. Of course, two of those present insisted that Lloyd and Hernandez went off into the dark together for whatever purposes Lloyd presumed.
Baez insists that there was no motive for Hernandez to shoot people, but that he was merely the victim of his concussed career. This ignores the ends Hernandez would pursue to keep his gay sex life from being revealed—and alienating his cadre of semi-macho fans and media sycophants like Kirk Minihane.
Baez managed to win an acquittal for the double homicide charge, which likely makes him accessory to something.
Some might call the Hernandez tale a Greek tragedy, but it more likely is in the sham tradition of a Fox News special.
DATELINE: Patriots in Munchkinland
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.
DATELINE: End of the Time Bomb
A month later, Tom Brady scraps his final TV episode to surge into a new phase of life: he makes a blitzkrieg of appearances on New York live TV interviews.
After discarding the previously filmed episode of Tom Versus Time which had Tom winning the Super Bowl, the Chopra re-telling has been re-mixed for a re-do.
It seems everyone was a tad overly optimistic, like treasure hunters on Oak Island.
Episode 6 in the saga of the oldest MVP quarterback in NFL history is more than the remains of the day. However, Tom is playing it like the last scene of Sunset Boulevard, ready for his closeup.
Everything is fine, if you don’t confuse Tom with Tom of Finland. They have the same interest in big men, but from different perspectives.
Let the parsing begin.
The bittersweet final episode of the sixpart series called modestly Tom Versus Time was short and bitter. You can slice it up any way you want, but it looks like Tom is considering whether he still has convictions to prove in football.
One of the first calls he receives is not from his wife that from Gronk. Perhaps they are both contemplating retirement to the WWE. Perhaps, too, we might see them his buddies in an action adventure movie. Tom is ready made for the movies and has already appeared in one of those Ted puppet movies with Gronk.
As for the finished series, Tom has suddenly taken to making appearances to plug the video audition tape. He chugged a beer with Stephen Colbert on late night. And he appeared on the Good Morning America show with show biz producer-partner Michael Strahan.
He and Gronk shared a laugh about Danny Amendola, which shows how close Tom and his tight end are. Within 24 hours Amendola was gone in free agency to the Dolphins, where Wes Welker began.
Gronk and Tom may want to go out in retirement, hand-in-hand, on to the Hall of Fame together. Or, maybe they will play one more season together.
Brady admits he’s closer to the end than to the beginning. This episode was a re-do because he really thought he would win another Super Bowl, which would’ve greased the skids into retirement.
Tom asks in the show: why are we doing this? He has no answer. All through the series, he has been sophomorically philosophical. He also admits that losing one’s conviction means you should look for another job.
Is Tom looking for another job? His wife, Gisele Bündchen, clearly admits the past two years have been difficult. She wants him to spend more time with the family. And, she holds all the cards—and all the money too.
Once again, the Boston sports media has fallen down on the job.
Over the past year or so, there have been ample opportunities to ask owner Tom Werner, the media expert of the Red Sox and co-owner of the largest share with John Henry, about his dubious association with Bill Cosby.
You might better remember Werner as the man who decided to fire Voice of the Red Sox for years, Don Orsillo, for no reason except trust in his own good judgment and disregard of fans.
Now it’s come back to us in the age of #MeTooism, that Tom Werner was one of the first great enablers of actor and sexual predator Bill Cosby as a Hollywood TV producer.
Werner was the producer of the Cosby series from 1984 to 1992, making both men rich and giving Werner the opportunity to buy the Red Sox in subsequent years.
Tom Werner is not to become confused with Werner von Braun, the space scientist. They are heavens apart.
No member the media has asked Tom about how he enabled Cosby. No member of the media has asked him for his opinion on all of the charges against his former star and pal of the series.
Unlike the previous owner named Tom (that’s Tom Yawkey, folks), Tom Werner had no problems with hiring black people and using them to profit. Tom Werner has been instrumental behind the name change of Yawkey Way in Boston near Fenway Park, with its racist connotations, to turn back the clock to the original name, Jersey Street.
But, we digress.
What did Tom Werner know and when did he know it about Bill Cosby? No one seems to have asked him the question. So, we will.
Tom, did you have any idea about all the women that Bill Cosby was accosting?
Cosby was the Harvey Weinstein of the Dark Ages in Hollywood. Werner was apparently the man behind the curtain in those dark ages. For years he helped Cosby become a success.
If there are any Red Sox fans who belong to #MeToo’s movement, they should be asking about Werner too.
DATELINE: Movie Star in Making
We feel like the boy who cried “Wolf” about Rob Gronkowski.
For months, since long into last season, we have said he is a prime candidate to turn to a movie star career and leave the dangers and concussions and broken bones of the NFL.
Sports media types who know nothing about movies dismissed the idea, or leaned toward the acting of professional wrestling as more to Gronk’s low-level talents.
Suddenly this week however, it’s becoming apparent how likely it is that Gronk is the next big movie star of action movies and cartoon superheroes. As far as acting goes, he has a face that shows emotion—and with a careful director and judicious cutting room talent, a director can make an Oscar winner.
The worst luck of Tom Brady’s smashed mirror is to lose Gronk to movie stardom.
Gronk may not be Larry Olivier, but he is more than Larry Csonka. He can hit his marks with the best of them, and is a quick study: you learn that from the Belichick system.
So, now, horrors upon horrors, the notion that Gronk had considered retirement even before the past season started proves that he is likely to quit.
As for the Patriot fan in us, we will miss him in a local football uniform, we think his good health and mental stability far outweigh catching a few footballs thrown by Tom Brady next season.
He can always play a football star on screen. There are too few young action heroes (most are 40 or more in age), and Gronk is a spry 27. He may seem older because he has been a fixture for a decade.
Gronk is movie star material, not for Broadway drama, but for glamorous red carpets.
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: Bearing the Ring Bearer
It’s only been a year since Super Bowl LI. But for some Tom Brady palsy-walsy connection, the investment has been worth it in spades. No waiting for friendly profit when Tom Brady bankrolls you.
There are few things in life that return itself tenfold in value within one season.
Tom Brady’s authorized replica Super Bowl ring is one of them.
Like all Patriots, the players are allowed to have the team make slightly smaller, replica versions of the players’ ostentatious, tacky Super Bowl rings. That means it wasn’t quite as jewel-encrusted as you might expect if you played the game.
As a result, to hone this bejeweled ring took 10% off the original value. So, if you bought one of these items, or had it as a gift from Brady, it would only cost you (or him) about $30,000. We know from Tom’s video biography, that he gave one special ring to his mother.
We also know the ring-at-auction had Brady’s name etched into it: a dead giveaway of its giveaway.
We don’t know who, what, when, and where, other ring(s) may have gone.
We doubt that Tom’s mother’s the one who sold the ring for $350,000 this week.
We’ve been trying to rack our brains as to what Tom Brady connection or semi-close friend may have received a ring and sold it for 10 times its value. Parting is such sweet sorrow unless you make a quarter of a million bucks on it.
We keep coming back to the godfather of Brady’s child, Guru Alex Guerrero, Tom’s personal massage therapist and dietitian, not to mention Svengali And Mephistopheles.
If anyone has suggestions on which one of Tom’s friends sold his matching replica Super Bowl ring gift, please let us know.
We just don’t think members of the family would sell such an important memento. But, then again, Tom is out of the country. And those confounded mice will play while the Tomcat is away.
To make a quarter of $1 million profitability, we know we would sell it. But we are mercenary, cold-hearted, and ruthless. Can’t you tell from our blog?
DATELINE: ‘Former Celtic’ is Always a Dirty Term
Two of our favorite Celtics characters were sent packing to other teams some time ago. However, that does not mean they are not still Celtics.
Case in point, Rajon Rondo and Isaiah Thomas. They bleed Green.
Both men were lively point guards, fun to watch and delightful off-beat souls. Rondo had a temperament that helped win a banner over seven years. Thomas never won a banner but played like a wounded warrior through dark days and dark events in his personal life.
This weekend was supposed to be a video tribute to Thomas’s few years in Boston, but it was not meant to be.
It was Paul Pierce’s retirement ceremony. His 34 went to the rafters, and it was not a moment to be shared. The video tribute to Isaiah Thomas (then of the Cavaliers) was postponed indefinitely.
Before it happened, Rondo said Isaiah didn’t deserve a tribute because he never won a championship. Rondo insisted he knew Boston better than Thomas. That might’ve meant an interesting game, watching Rondo sitting right near the Cavaliers bench waiting for a turn to honor Paul Pierce.
Oh yes, though he plays for the Chicago Bulls, Rondo returned to Boston for Pierce’s retirement. That in itself was marvelous. He joined his former coach Doc Rivers and his best friend Kevin Garnett. Once a Celtic, always the Celtic.
Abruptly traded to the Lakers, Isaiah Thomas faced Rondo within the week as opposing players Laker versus Bull.
If you were surprised by the next part, you never watched a Celtics game. The two former Celtics went at each other in the first quarter several times, nasty words and physical pushes nearly turning into a brawl. They both were ejected from the game.
Thomas insisted that Rondo was giving him a hard time for the tribute video that never happened and likely accused him of being a fake Celtic.
A true Celtic comes back to the Boston TD Garden even when he plays for another team for a ceremony because he has never shed the Celtic Green inside.
We love our former Celtics. They are never former.
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!
DATELINE: The Arrogance Game
The Thinker, Fan-Version
If you are among the throngs (yeah, millions for defense, but not one fan for tribute) who await the final episode of the Tom Brady self-congratulatory TV series called Tom Versus Time, you have to wait longer.
It appears Tom and his producer Gotham Chopra have to scrap the final episode and come up with a new one. They finished the series with Tom winning the Super Bowl. Reality bites. His team lost, though he came close to pulling it out, but horseshoes is not football.
You may see a pattern of arrogance in the series that denotes Tom Brady as a wise, old philosopher, on the lines of another problematic Bostonian, Henry David Thoreau.
Gotham Chopra self-admitted their problem with a statement that puts a smiley face emoji on the situation. “Everyone keeps asking me about Chapter 6 of ‘Tom vs Time’ and when it’s going to be ready. The truth is we had a plan, but unconsciously, it was tied to the Pats winning the Super Bowl and, when that didn’t happen (congrats, Eagles!), I felt like we needed to pause and recalibrate.”
Yeah, losing’s a bitch. Having to re-interview Tom Brady for an hour to find bon mots is not pleasant. They had to re-calibrate Tom’s happy-go-lucky philosophy with a reality check. That’s the unfortunate side of “reality TV.”
Chopra ends his emoji apologia with: “So, Chapter 6 — ‘Coming Soon!'” It sounds like the next chapter of Batman.
We actually would like to see the pre-Super Bowl, arrogant, mad-as-a-hatter Tom Brady. but that episode will be lost forever to history. Please Note: we said hatter, to all you haters who have trouble reading.
DATELINE: Retirement Among the Movie Legends
Those who have read our Gronk commentaries over the past few years know that we have advocated a Hollywood trade for the big lug. He has a face and a personality and a body that won’t quit, which is enough to become a film star.
Now we hear that Rock Dwayne Johnson and Rocky Sylvester Stallone have told Gronk to go west to the land of swimming pools and movie stars. You can die hard on the screen. Gronk hits his marks and learned a complex playbook from Belichick. He can certainly memorize a few monosyllabic lines and hit the bad guy in the nose.
He can make $10m in one movie and a few commercials without breaking a sweat.
On the other hand, though we love watching him as a Patriots star, know that CTE and a concussion are the end of the line sooner than later. We want the best for Gronk, and we cringe every time we see him hit on the field.
We want to tell him that John Wayne played football too, but he made his mark in adventure movies. Gronk has a flexible face, and he could be in comedy, adventure, westerns, or sci-fi as the good guy, the comic relief, or the imposingly big villain.
We know that Foxboro is not exactly Beverly Hills where movie stars, swimming pools, and big bucks in the sunshine can be had, but we’d urge him to consider how well he’d do in movieland.
We’ve seen Gronk interact with Bieber, Kyrie Irving, David Ortiz, and myriad others on the screen. We’ve heard him read Chinese war lord Sun Tzu’s philosophy, and we know that James Bond could use him as the next opponent.
We love Gronk. Movies are his calling card—and small-screen series too. Maybe Westworld needs a new automaton.
Go west, young Gronk. Go west.
DATELINE: Turn of the Screw?
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.
DATELINE: Baddies Natasha & Boris Suspected
While away in Frostbite Falls for the Super Bowl, Rob Gronkowski’s palatial home in Foxboro was the object of robbery. That makes Gronk a two-time loser in one week.
The police report that Gronk’s five-bedroom million-dollar house was left unattended, and he discovered the thieves were there on Monday afternoon.
Police won’t say what was taken. In all likelihood, the idiots who tried to rob Rob likely couldn’t recognize the Matisse paintings on his wall—and left them.
Some are shocked to learn that Gronk has anything worth stealing. Many are equally surprised that he does not live in cold-water flat, three-story walk-up.
Apart from heavy exercise equipment, there is not much to be carted away from his estate. His coin collection of Lincoln pennies could be a target.
We suspect the robbers were looking for one of Tom Brady’s jerseys, which have been valued by Texas Rangers as worth hundreds of thousands.
Knowing Gronk’s fan base, we suspect they were after one of his moldy jockstraps, as online bidding for the item may grow as fermented as the scent.
Since Gronk is threatening to retire this off-season, he will not be living in Foxboro much longer, moving to Beverly Hills where the old Clampitt estate will suit him and his extended family of brothers.
In the meantime, Gronk is hurting, having been violated in the sanctity of his bedroom. We recommend that Gronk spend the money on a cheap video security system while he waits for his Hollywood contract to be signed.