DATELINE: No Salad Eating Chick
Queen & Commoner
We may be catching this about ten years too late, but better late! Hundreds of views on Amazon Prime say how much they love this movie. Queen Latifah is perfect, not Just Wright.
As one of the few oversize women in starring roles, unabashed, she steals every scene with her genuine sweetness in the face of life’s adversities.
She plays a physical therapist who has a chance encounter with an NBA star (Common). From there, the breaks seem to go every which way. Phylicia Rashaad plays Common’s mother, and Pam Grier plays Latifah’s mother. We have something going on here.
We were mostly bowled over and amused to find another Boston icon in the movie: Latifah starred with Tom Brady’s wife in one picture, and here in all the basketball scenes is former Celtic, Rajon Rondo.
This romantic comedy with a basketball setting has all the wrong turns and twists of fate you might expect that throw the crossed paths of Latifah and Common back together repeatedly.
Because Queen Latifah is not your standard trophy wife of a pro athlete type, this film takes on more gravitas. Common is a tad short for the NBA but is likeable and good-looking. But Rondo is a better actor, but Dwight Howard has a bigger scene.
The inevitable twist of fate brings the physical therapist into physical contact with the superstar in contract negotiations, and the big pay-off must satisfy the audience.
This is sheer fantasy, as any fan can tell you. Players are never thrown into a big game full-time after a career injury, but spend weeks acclimating. But this is a movie romance.
Queen Latifah even hums a few bars from “The More I See You,” in one scene as a throwaway to her old musical career. She’s billed as musical consultant. Don’t be fooled: this is still a jazzy gem.
DATELINE: End of an Era?
Football fans of the New England Patriots have asked what’s going on! Is it the zombie apocalypse? We have bad news beyond two feet of snow burying us.
After seeing Zachary Quinto discuss the fall of civilization and the end of empires on In Search of, has it come to the Patriots like the Rapa Nui and Mayans?
We can only add two cents, after ten books of blogs on the Patriots. No, it is not the apocalypse. It is more like the inevitable enemy of mankind: a bad case of the flu.
No expert dared to cite that nearly half of the team came down with the flu this week. The miracles of IV drips and antibiotics, and the prodding of Captain Bligh Belichick, made no man look at illness as an excuse.
There were two planes: one for the lepers who needed to avoid being cast out and cast off at 37,000 feet without a parachute. We can only imagine the Belichick cure-all.
We now have a view of the bleak future: based on the fact that on top of the plague, the Patriots have sent every decent receiver reeling out of Foxboro in a uniform of tar and feathers, with better contracts elsewhere.
Tom Brady is adrift and out to sea like the victim of an iceberg hitting the unsinkable Patriots. There was no room in the lifeboat for such a thing as Tom’s receiving corps.
Like the band on Titanic, the team played on while sinking with the franchise.
Can the Patriots recover? Not this year, and maybe not for another decade. This loss will hasten Tom’s departure to another team next year: one that will give him joy of playing for the few years he has left in this world of football.
As for the Patriots, the zombie apocalypse may be settling in at Foxboro. Remember the good old days when the Pats stunk up a storm? NO? Well, history is about to show you what it was like back before six Super Bowls, Brady & Belichick. Return with us now for the Keystone Kops aka Patriots.
It happened to the New York Yankees of the 1950s & 1960s, and now it is the Patriot turn of events.
DATELINE: NBA Twits
File Under Inept Waiters!
Now and then we follow NBA nitwits on and off the court. We seldom follow Miami Heat anywhere, but when Dion Waiters criticized coach Spoelstra and ingested designer drugs making for a panic attack whilst flying with the team, we took notice.
He’s coming to Boston to play after a suspension worth a couple of million bucks. Maybe he can earn the money back by waiting on tables and receiving tips. We offer our tip right here.
Dion sang an apology to teammates and coaching brain-trust that sounds all the world like a statement from his agent/attorney axis. After all, fines and suspension took money and food out of their wallets and open mouths.
We know from the spellcheck that Dion Waiters never wrote that apology. Some low-paid minion earned his keep.
No one wants to provide real details about imbeciles, lest they be accused of discriminating against drug users and people with bad judgment. We are fearless in that regard.
When we meet a body walking through the rye, we know it’s a kind of Scottish whiskey on his breath.
We doubt that Waiters would be a winner on a team that contained players Bron, Wade, and Bosh. When you put a fly in the oinment, you mainly change the chemistry.
The rain in Spain does not always fall on the plain, no matter what apology/tune Dion sings, and we think as an ordinary waiter Waiters would spill our wry rye all over our spellcheck. Especially at 37,000 feet above the court at American Airlines Arena. It’s no slam dunk from outside the arc/ark.
DATELINE: Boys Will be Quarterbacks!
Are we seeing double? Are they separated at birth? Are they twins?
The Red Zone of NFL has given us a double dose of cutie-pie QBs. We are now in double jeopardy of wondering how the NFL can allow players to take the field before they can shave.
Josh Allen and Kyle Allen are among the new generation of NFL quarterbacks. They have leapt into the Internet social media and beefcake dreamboat category simultaneously.
They are not joined at the hip because we saw them in different cities on the same day. However, we still cannot tell them apart without a scorecard.
Of course, one is always a tad shocked to find out that the star players are so young that they look like teenagers who could play the Hardy Boys in a new cable series.
TeenBeat might be featuring them on the cover. They could play Tom Brady’s sons in a movie.
One of them plays for the Buffalo Bills and the other now has taken over the Carolina Panthers. They are not your average blue-collar city boys. They are fresh off the farm.
Gleaming smiles and boyish good looks are not the kind of tough guy image you expect from grizzled NFL leaders, like Troy and Peyton. This is the new generation following in the footsteps of botox Tom Brady, whose looks now try to defy the twenty-somethings whom he must play against.
Of course, there is a big difference between looking young and actually being young. We don’t know if the Bobsey Twins of Josh and Kyle will fall into the youth movement of 2040 and find silicone to fill their wrinkles and cracks.
Right now they are so adorable that you wish the time machine would hold still for a few years.
We wish them long careers and hope they never are able to grow a beard like Ryan Fitzpatrick and cover up those beautiful doll looks. Movie contracts are sure to follow.
DATELINE: Uncle Tom’s Cabin and White Rice
Racist Tom at Kentucky Derby
If being an old codger in the NFL isn’t enough to create mockery, now a humbug New England sex professor is accusing Brady of the canard of a can of worms: the racist card canard.
Every time we try to extricate our reputation of being a Tom Brady critic, the forces of New England sports pull us back into the maelstrom.
Our latest laugh riot opinion centers on a University of Rhode Island Gender Studies professor who has written that Brady’s appeal is to white nationalist-types and typos.
If you know academia, like we do as a former don of the academic mob, you know this sort of “professor” has used gender politics as his bread and butter with jam topping.
Brady, guilty of deflating footballs and playing when he should be in a rocking chair, has now incurred the wrath of some transplant transgender New Englander who hates sports and loves gender misidentification. This sensation-seeking pariah now has taken aim at Brady’s Trump-loving demeanor.
It seems back in 2015, Uncle Tom expressed support for Trump and kept a MAGA hat in plain view that incensed Chicagoans like Jussie Smollett.
Now Brady is accused of fostering racism on his Kentucky Derby trips with many friends (nearly all of whom are, uh-oh, white in a sport that has 66% black players). As a crypto-Nazi sort, Tom-boy is always kissing owner Robert Kraft (who is Jewish) and Julian Edelman (who is lesser Jewish).
You may want to overlook that Brady recently invited black icon Antonio Brown to live in his home where his young daughter and model wife also reside. We have to complain that this is surely a coverup of his racism, unless you want tenure at URI.
Prof. Kyle Kusz sounds like a mixed bag of a political windbag variety.
Throwing a log onto the racist Brady theory encourages racist supporters’ fire-down-below is a low-blow even for an academic in New England unless he already has tenure and loves death threats.
DATELINE: 2-Headed Monsters!
First Rosey Grier, Now This!
Once again, the New England Patriots have turned this blogger into Al Pacino in Godfather 3. Every time we try to get out, they pull us back in.
This marks the second, or perhaps third, season we will not do a Patriots book on the season: main reason is economic, mostly because Patriot fans can’t read and don’t buy books. The other reason has to do with personal sanity.
Not since Rosey Grier and Ray Milland played one man with two heads have we seen anything as horrific. It was 1972, and the movie was The Thing with Two Heads!
And now Bill Belichick and Tom Brady have done the impossible: they have doubled the combustion factor on their Super Bowl team. Perhaps they like challenges, or perhaps they are fire bugs. The horrid monster of Belichick & Brady has found a mate.
Tom Brady is about to pour kerosene on top of the two most flammable players in NFL: Josh Gordon and now Antonio Brown. These Bobsey Twins could bring down governments if they were involved in Brexit.
They would be hurricanes that would defy Category 5 and find themselves the objects of Trump’s madhouse White House sharpie.
Indeed, we expect a presidential tweet pardoning anyone writer who sets the tandem on a course to blow up records of pass catching and yardage.
Since Bob Kraft is owner of the Patriots, you might be a cynic and say this will permanently prove that there is no video of Kraft in a massage parlor, as it has been destroyed in an explosion of Tom Brady inflated footballs.
This makes Deflategate look like inflation pumped up to extremes that the football will look like the Goodyear Blimp in the endzone for Patriot fans.
We may now watch a few games after this Near Earth Object/asteroid crashes into Planet Foxboro.
DATELINE: Demon & Pythiass
Danny with Jules.
One of the guests to watch the Patriots win yet again another Super Bowl, number VI out of LIII, was a man who chose to leave the team to sign a contract with rival Miami before this season.
Aspiring model and wide receiver for the Dolphins, Danny Amendola, was there as a close friend to videographer and now Super MVP Julian Edelman and supporter of his former teammate.When asked one of the more personally interesting questions as he arrived in Atlanta, he said he did not like Edelman’s beard. “It’s smelly,” he told reporters on the fly.
If any man has been up close to the challenge of finding food particles in Julian’s fur-based face, it is the always adorable Danny.
No man is closer to Edelman and as familiar with his workout partner’s habits, Amendola starred in many of Edelman’s videos and antics. Amendola surely knows the intricacies of Julie’s bushy follicles.
He, like the rest of us, may be perplexed at the ugliness of his facial hair—and how he now waxes and wanes his entire body below the neck.
If Edleman likes to take fur off his buff bod, you may wonder why he leaves the au naturel look on his chinny-chin-chin. He surely has bone structure as sharp as Tom Brady, even without Botox, which leads us to note that our most blockbuster blog is the one in which we discussed the “work” Brady has done to maintain his youthful looks.
It’s important when you plan to play a game in the public eye until decrepitude and the Grim Reaper darken your door to stay youthful.
As for Danny, who had his own oddball hopes of becoming a supermodel, he can only second-guess whether he regrets his decision to leave the big stage of the Julie and Tom show, Super Bowl perennials, to play with the fishes in Miami.
DATELINE: Field of Dreams at Fenway Again
Casey, not AC?
If you were to ask, we doubt we’d have said we would return to watching the Red Sox again. Our last blog on them was several years ago, but it is the World Series in Boston, again.
If you were to ask if writing about the managers might be a possibility,we might shrug. However, we realized that two former Sox players were now in back in Boston as managers: Yes, there was an aging star Dave Roberts, now with the Dodgers, and his counterpart Alex Cora.
Might we say there is Magic in the Moonlight at Fenway? Well, only because we saw Magic Johnson there in the stands, as an executive braintrust with the Los Angeles baseball team. Wasn’t he part of the Bird-Magic story in Boston?
No, wait, we were thinking of Moonlight Graham playing in Field of Dreams when Kevin Costner was sitting in the stands with James Earl Jones who played Terence Mann, the writer who wanted to play with these same Dodgers.
No, we were shocked to see Alex Cora, or AC as his players call him in the modern familiarity with supervisors and managers. He was running a talent-laden team that had replaced the previous manager for not winning a World Series.
When AC pulled the hot rookie Devers and replaced him with a pitch hitter named Nunez, we were more in marvel at the assortment of beards on the players. Yet, suddenly, AC became a genius before a national audience.
The last time we saw that it was someone in another era by the name of Casey Stengel. He managed the New York Yankees, another talent-laden team that kept winning. Stengel would pick a pinch-hitter out of a hat who would win the game.
Suddenly there was AC channeling Casey. How appropriate, if not poetic. AC picked the man to win the game with a homer to the Monster Seats. It was a ghost movie for baseball once again.
DATELINE: YouTube Returns LaRusso to Cobra Kai Saga
We were never a fan of the 1984 Rocky-style movie for karate kids, but did find its stars interesting. Ralph Maccio never recovered, and William Zabka (the blonde pretty boy bully) should have had a grand career.
Reboot and kick on high might be a good way to go. This is also more interesting than watching Leave it to Beaver cast as adults, a few years back. There is something both alarming and satisfying to see that the child is father to the adult.
We followed Zabka as the son of the Equalizer on the 1980s TV show and were sorry he never caught on.
Now we find the twosome reunited in a YouTube series about the characters LaRusso and Lawrence 35 years later. It is a hit, and it’s not hard to see why. These actors and their character are now fully developed with middle-age. They are interesting—and have an appeal to a generation that grew up and older too.
Not much has changed in terms of their mutual differences and dislike of the other.
It makes the rivalry more interesting. Of course, the obligatory teenagers are at the core of mentoring through karate teaching. Copious film clips to the original action highlights the tales, though Pat Morita can only appear in flashback.
The actors are wonderful: indeed the bad guy of yore, Zabka, is now refreshingly antihero—and Maccio continues to play the obtuse victim of his own life.
The series has been renewed for a second season, which is good news because this is funny, fast, and well-done, much of a surprise considering it comes from a new TV/internet network where expectations may not be high.
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.