Aaron Hernandez Uncovered and Covered Up

DATELINE:  Strange Case

strange

When hotshot celebrity attorney Jose Baez becomes the producer of a documentary on his dead client, you know he will make his retainer fees one way or another.

Aaron Hernandez Uncovered, Part 1 gathers together a unique and motley crew to assess the innocence of the former Patriot star who was an alleged serial killer.

You might also question the cast of interviewed experts and their lack of objectivity—from the moronic sports media who set themselves up as knowledgeable about all facets of gay life to psychological suffering. They might better serve us by admitting they know nothing.

We certainly can understand the position of Hernandez’s girlfriend and mother of his child. She has an unenviable and unavoidable role as his defender. Like Custer’s wife, she will be a formidable force for decades to come.

If anything, from his earliest years, Aaron was regarded as a meal-ticket—from his father who died too soon, to the series of pals and gangsters who saw him as a mark too easy.

We too are guilty of having written about Hernandez and exploited his troubles, with a sarcastic and mean-spirited approach day-by-day during his two trials. You’d be surprised at how unpopular our blog has become, accusing us of emotional sadism.

We noted what Jose Baez tells us as gospel truth and insight, is likely the opposite in reality.

Warning signs are never far away in hindsight. Hernandez had plenty. We could likely learn more from the people who have chosen NOT to participate in this documentary: many Patriot teammates who knew him best.

Where was Tom Brady who trained with Hernandez and even invited him to California for a pre-kill visit? Gronk never befriended him, keeping a distance, and Wes Welker’s run-in was a predictor of a dangerous character. It’s in our book.

Tebow, the Pouncey Twins, and other enablers at Florida never agree to speak in this film.

Kraft and Belichick have taken to revisionist history, which excludes anything Hernandez, having nearly been roped into his trials.

Part One is painfully and skillfully adept at skirting the gay issues that are likely at the heart of his troubles, starting with his endowment that gave him a free ride in the gay world. He was a big man on campus and in the locker room, and he was proud to publicize it.

Featuring the most flattering pix of Hernandez, the story slants away from psychopathia: according to Baez, spindly and epicene Carlos Ortiz was a bodyguard to Aaron. He tended to like slight men who compared to his bizarre ideal of tattoo macho mesomorph.

Groundwork is laid in Part One to note Hernandez was a ‘walking concussion’ poster child. Concussions made him do it, and you can blame the NFL and football violence for that.

 

 

Gronk in Wolf’s Clothing

DATELINE: Movie Star in Making

 while tom sleeps

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.

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.

Tom Brady Wins Another One

DATELINE:  More or Less Tom Foolery

duke & duchess of Foxboro

Winning the MVP of the NFL 24 hours before you play in a Super Bowl has to take away some motivation for Tom Brady. More honor for the man, less honor than you can muster for any man who has done nothing life-saving, society-protecting, or civilization-advancing.

Brady is a man who uses slights, insults, demeaning treatment, disparaging disrespect to move him to greater heights. To win his third Most Valuable Player award, at age 40, undercuts and guts his psychological attack mode.

How can he use this to intensify his desire to win his sixth Super Bowl?

These are the conundrums of being the so-called Greatest of All Time, GOAT, that must haunt the man before he sleeps this night.

Were we all to have such worries, such issues, such difficulties to face in life, we’d all be happy campers.

Tom Brady cannot be happy about this award, which a few have said was won because everyone else was injured and fell out of contention.

Perhaps that insult is motivation to go out tomorrow and slam-dunk the Eagles.

With so much hype, so many distractions, so much tom-foolery in every story for the past two weeks, for the past twenty years, how can Tom Brady stand one more night of it?

In his ridiculous home movie reality series, he tells his wife Giselle that he wants merely two more Super Bowl rings. It does not compute for a man who has ten digits on two hands.

How will he sleep tonight before the big game? It’s all tom-foolery to ask.

 

Tom Brady’s Five Finger Exercise

DATELINE:  New England Patriot Horror Movie

hands

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.

Rajon Rondo Back with Fan Elan

DATELINE: Back Where He Belongs

RondoLaughs

We were giddy to see Rajon Rondo, even in an ugly Pelican uniform.

Now 31, but looking as young as ever, Rondo came back to Boston for one night and instantly put his stamp of controversy on the Celtics.

He told media members that former Celt Isaiah Thomas did not deserve a video tribute. After all, as Rondo pointed out, he was only on the team for three years and never won a championship. It’s those banners up above the parquet floor that matter.

When Rondo said, “This is the Boston Celtics,” to shoot down the notion that IT deserved not much more than nothing. You know that Rondo is still a Celtic to the core, no red uniform could hide that fact.

Rondo knows of what he speaks. He spent nine years in Boston, and the most recent championship banner came from his hard efforts with the most recent Big Three who are Hall of Fame bound.

You know Rondo loves Paul Pierce—and to honor the latest Cleveland Cavalier with a video would take away from Pierce’s truly great Celtic achievements.

Indeed, Pierce himself sent out word that he thought offering a video tribute to Cousin IT was done out of guilt for trading him so coldly.

If memory serves us, the Celtics also traded Pierce and Rondo for business and humanity.

Then, Rondo in his inimitable fashion went out on the floor and showed he still had that amazing passing ability, doling out assists. Some people might be infatuated with Anthony Uni-brow, wanting him in Boston, but for us, it was Rondo who was the marvel.

We miss Rondo still. We think he misses Boston.

Celtics Sell Out & Sell-Out Celtics

DATELINE: Small Fry

Itt  Cousin Itt

Let’s face it: Little Isaiah Thomas is the biggest star to play for the shortest time in the harsh Boston sports club. Cousin ITT returned with the Cleveland Cavaliers for his post-vindictive revenge tour at the Boston Garden.

It was not LeBron James who impressed the delirious Boston fans, but a variety of former Celtics players who represented failure over the past decade to bring a banner to Boston. They were jettisoned by Celtics operations man, Danny Ainge, when they failed to raise banner-time.

So after vitriol and ugly words, Isaiah returned to Boston. Not only was there a Isaiah Thomas wearing his  Harvard red uniform, now a Cavalier Cleveland lackey, we saw Jay Crowder whose defense  once won plaudits from the fans  for his defensive prowess.

We also saw Jeff Green, who’s coming back from severe injury, as life-threatening as anything Isiah faced with broken jaw, missing teeth, and ripped hip from socket.

Now, on the notable parquet floor, all the harsh words had melted away. Time heals all wounds as well as wounds all heels. There was even a private reconciliation for Danny Ainge.

Little cousin ITT recognized how much he appreciated the Boston fans and the opportunities he had in Boston’s sports bastion to become a star, with a chance to play with LeBron for a championship.

Former Celtic assistant coach Ty Lue now runs the Cavaliers.  And present for the game were the new Patriot diminutive star Dion Lewis, the former Patriot diminutive star Troy Brown, and the diminutive new manager of the Red Sox, Alex Cora.

Tiny Alice was missing in the big celebration of the return of tiny Isaiah Thomas and the miniature Boston corps of would-be stars.

Well, if these shenanigans strike you as a kind of hypocrisy, or worse, a public relations manipulation, you are welcome to join Boston sports in the 21st-century.

The stars of the game were of a new world order: Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, and Cousin ITT’s protégé, Terry Rozier.

 

Heads Up, Tails Down: Pats & Celts

DATELINE:  Twilight Zone Meets Jaws

With an ice storm on the horizon in Boston, the two championship franchises, the Celtics and the Patriots, were also out of town and out of luck. Every great team has its up and downs.

After our ill-timed braggadocio, life gave us a cold slap in the face with ice pellets. Alas, it was too cold to make lemonade out of the fiasco that befell the Patriots and Celtics on Monday night.

We could not imagine these were the same teams that had been so impressive game after game. What on earth happened to the bright lights?

Miami and Chicago laid the expected victors a harsh dose of reality. No one is perfect, not even Bill Belichick or Brad Stevens.

If ever there was a night for Tom Brady to yell at Josh McDaniels this was it. If ever there was a night for Jaylen Brown to keep wearing his goggles, this was it.

Alas, Brown discarded his glasses and Tom Brady made nice with Josh.

When Jayson Tatum is unable to hit three-pointers and Tom Brady throws an interception and only has a handful of passing yards in the first half, you have crossed through the looking glass. In this case, it’s the mirror Tom Brady broke.

The Chicago Bulls are the worst team in the NBA, and the Miami Dolphins are the toughest opponents the Pats ever face in Miami. Brady has his worst record in 18 years against the Dolphins.

We have to admit the Patriots were without Gronk, who was suspended, and the Celts were without Kyrie Irving who needed some rest.

No matter where Boston fans turned, they were on the edge of the Outer Limits.

Both teams, known for their defensive finesse, showed it wasn’t their night. It was reminiscent of On the Waterfront, when Brando’s boxer complained his brother told him to lose, “It wasn’t my night!”

At half-time we were ready to become fair weather fans for our two teams.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monday Night Football, Basketball, and Ancient Aliens

Celtic Jaylen Brown: Out with Bad Eyesight

DATELINE:  No Attitude Glasses for Jaylen

how smart is this guy?

Marcus Smart in Attitude Glasses

Boys who wear glasses seldom make passes in the NBA.

We’re not sure if we should tip our cap to Dorothy Parker or Ogden Nash.

The Green Lantern of the Boston Celtics, also known as Jaylen Brown, was unable to play basketball last night because he didn’t clean his contact lens properly. He can’t wear goggles like Kyrie.

It can happen to anyone, but sometimes your lens cleaning falls awry and the lens can result in redness and other problems. You will have to take out the lens and not wear it until the eye clears up.

The young Celtic superstar in the making has found that he must revert to his Clark Kent eyeglasses for the foreseeable future.

Jaylen Brown couldn’t play wearing glasses, knowing the last person to do that with some Los Angeles Laker 30 years ago.

So, Jaylen  had to stay in the locker room and tend to his red eye. As the resident intellectual of the team, we think he would look good in glasses on the court. Court

Jaylen, of course, reads voraciously, plays chess dress like a Grand Master, and plays a fortissimo piano.

We suspect that he uses eyeglasses when accomplishing great achievement in those fields. However, being a rock star celebrity of basketball is not in the field of vision.

Eyeglasses being anathema, Jaylen was unable to allow photographs of him with four eyes. We hope his eye clears up soon and he will be back out on the court with his fellow Hardy boy and basketball brother, Jayson Tatum.

Marcus Smart has worn fake eyeglasses to look smart, but Jaylen really is smart.

 

 

 

Say It Ain’t So, Gronk!

DATELINE: Rematch With the Pats & Bills Coming Soon!

say it ain't so

The good-natured bon vivant Gronk has transformed suddenly from Dr. Jekyll to Mr. Hyde.

Beloved by children, and deemed safe for children, he has now taken on the mantle of being dangerous and locked away from those supporters. He may find himself the object of parental controls on the cable remote.

On top of all this, he may lose $2 million in bonus payments under his Patriot contract.

Whether coffee chain, Drunken Dognuts will keep him as a spokesperson may be a bigger issue now on the breakfast table and a test of Gronk’s viability and survivability.

We do not believe he has reached the Kevin Spacey level where he will be CGI removed from future Patriot games, but Belichick may give him more distance in the off-season.

Gronk’s new sudden unpopularity may win him an endorsement from President Trump, a man who likes crypto-Nazis who go against the grain. He has now membership in the ICE-colored storm troopers of Trump.

In an age of racially charged tension, Gronk has gone from the great white hope to a man with a black hearted soul. He has become another white man assaulting a black man. He goes to the top of the Most Wanted List by Black Lives Matter with one pile driving splash.

Gronk has always had carte blanche from the Patriots, and they like to paint themselves as the victims of every scandal.

Like his best friend and teammate Tom Brady, Gronk is challenging the legal determination. Unlike his friend Brady, Gronk has already and quickly admitted his guilt.

Confession maybe good for the soul, but it may not help with followers on Twitter, Facebook, and other childish social media.

Gronk has always been perceived as a big dumb lout, but fun and likable. He has now crossed for thin red line in a year in which football fans are dropping like flies over trivia.

Like the NFL version of Scrooge, Gronk has given a concussion to another player during the season of giving. He’s liable to find himself the recipient of many unhappy returns.

 

Ten Little Celtics—and Then There Were None!

DATELINE:  A Disappearing Act

whats not to like?

Like the proverbial Ten Little Indians of Agatha Christie, the Boston Celtics seem to be in reduction mode. Another has bit the dust, leaving only the minor benchwarmers to step up, like the other Boston team, the Patriots.

One after another, their new Big Three has gone away. First, there was a gruesome injury to Gordon Hayward. Next, Al Horford suffered a concussion, and now a few games later, Kyrie Irving, the lynchpin of the renewed Celtics has gone out with a concussion. Return unknown.

This has happened with the background of an amazing winning streak, surely one of the great starts of any Celtics team (which is impressive). They have now won 11 straight games after two initial defeats.

Theirs is the best record in the NBA—and their players are disappearing faster than on a 2017 Patriots team. In that case, we can trace the bad luck of the New England team to the arrogant breaking of a mirror, deliberately, by superstar GOAT Tom Brady.

We aren’t sure who broke the mirror on the Celtics team. Even one of their vaunted rookies, Jayson Tatum, went out for a game with a mysterious ankle injury. However, Tatum remains the new Larry Bird, or are we cursing him too?

Superstars come out of nowhere and instantly stay bright for a career. Tatum has shown no rookie insecurity and plays like a veteran—thus, the Celtics have managed to survive their string of bad luck.

Throw in Jalen Brown, the other intriguing young star, and you have Destiny with a capital D running away from Fate with a capital F.

 

We watch in awe.

 

Lamentations on the Loss of Gordon Hayward

DATELINE:  Hard Break for Celtics

 GH

Gordon Hayward came to Boston to play for the Celtics. He was a superstar ready to write his Destiny today in big letters. Instead, five minutes into his Celtics career, Destiny wrote him off.

If ever you wanted a lesson in how ephemeral are the superstars of sports, this abject lesson is a horror story. Gordon Hayward went down in a senseless act of the cosmos and its mystery waves.

But as terrible, gruesome, and awful is the injury to Gordon Hayward, it’s not as bad as what happened to Len Bias, the Celtics hope of the future so many years ago in the aftermath of the Bird years.

Bias died of a drug overdose that caused a heart attack. Or perhaps it was the other way around. Does it matter? He was an unproven talent.

Unlike Len Bias, Hayward is an established star, not some vague potential. Gordon Hayward will live to play another day.  However, we don’t know how this injury may affect his ability to play at the same level that made him a superstar.

Boston hardly knows him and now may never know him as the new centerpiece of a Big Three to bring more championships to Boston. That dream may have just evaporated five minutes into a new season.

The season will go on for the Celtics. But the heart of players may have gone out with Hayward’s injury. The stomach to move on will settle down.

Grizzled old vets like Al Horford may take the injury of a teammate in such a devastating fashion in stride. It is the nature of the obvious horror that has an impact on the younger players. The Celtics core is young and impressionable. It tells them a message of sobering fright: your days in the sun can be over in a blink, or a twist of an ankle: in the crack of a bone.

Bones can be fragile and can snap like twigs in the wind. There may be no reason that can be discerned as to whom it condemns—and who may escape. The quantum physics of the universe is cruel.

The psychological damage is immeasurable on the psyche of players—and even fans. The tragedy belongs to Gordon Hayward.

Nero Trump: USFL’s Revenge

DATELINE: The Sky is Falling

 USFL

Nero Trump with his USFL star Hershel Walker

If the New England Patriots played in a domed stadium, we would be tempted to say the roof is caving in.

Instead, we are more like a giant Chicken Little, running around, in a panic, reporting to Patriot fans everywhere.  We wish we could be more like William Dawes or Paul Revere, making that midnight ride.

We would be calling out as we rode down Mass. Ave. in Cambridge, “The sky is falling! The sky is falling!”

In the Foxboro Empire of the once powerful and mighty New England Patriots, it’s beginning to look a lot like the fall of the Roman Empire.  The Huns are at the gates of Gillette Stadium, and it is no longer a safe haven where Patriots could their victories.

Our latest Caesar, Emperor Nero Trump, our lord of the flies, is presiding over the fall season. And the Patriots are in for a big fall.

Robert Kraft, member of the Three Stooge NFL owners’ consortium, may need to Stooges take a knife to his bath where all good members of the NFL family of owners cut their wrists.

It’s beginning to look like the NFL needs to find a Spartacus to stand up to Laurence Olivier Trump.

In the meantime, the Patriots are in decline as Roger Goodell always wanted. Yet, his intentions may be thwarted by the President who once was blackballed by the NFL and not allowed to own a team like the Patriots. Who remembers the USFL?  Perhaps only Donald Nero Trump.

With his Patriot friends, Nero Trump is out for blood from the NFL.  If you recall, some decades ago, they froze him out of the owners’ circle and denied his attempt to become an NFL owner in 1986 with his USFL team.

Revenge is sweet, three decades later for the President who was denied a chance to own an NFL team like the Patriots.

Classic Tale of Hockey Returns After a Long Hiatus

DATELINE:  Sordid Sports Fiction

kindlerinkrats

After twenty years and a long time out of print, the best novel on the sport of hockey has returned for readers, new and old. Rink Rats is a shocker still. It’s now an e-book and will be available in paperback soon.

Based on life during one college season during the 1990s, Mike Tortorella’s story continues to be controversial and revealing.  Mobie Monaco, the erstwhile captain of a rag-tag bunch that follows his lead into depths of depravity, narrates his life-story.

With hockey players enjoying a long-established reputation as the wild men of sports, you can certainly expect an adult tale of moral turpitude. Tortorella’s tale is a spiritual journey above all else, whether it is a quest for a championship, or a test of one’s moral character.

The story is built around the effort to commit every deadly sin they can encounter and break every Commandment that is set in stone. All the time there is an interesting parallel to Melville’s voyages. Far more metaphoric, the characters are like rats leaving a sinking ship, but are more familiar as the young players who hang around hockey rinks and become enamored of the lifestyle. This is NOT a young-adult novel.

The original story keeps its freshness and provides insights into the daily life, practice, and play on and off ice that can only come from someone who was there.

You may think the novel will only appeal to a certain fan of a political stripe, but self-knowledge is indeed a dangerous avenue to pursue. We aren’t sure how much of the tale is completely true—and how much of it is so unbelievable as to be utterly true.

These rough-and-tumble players are not figure skaters guilty of icing, but you will experience their notorious escapades. In the final analysis, as Tortorella’s book states, “The great shroud of the ice age rolled on as it rolled five thousand years ago.”  The human condition is indeed timeless as seen in one breathtaking season at a New England college.

 

Is Aaron Hernandez Mansion Haunted?

DATELINE:  Ghosts at Home

armlessinattleboro  Police Remove Hernandez from N. Attleboro Home in 2013.

Realtors hate to answer this question because it puts a damper on buying possibilities.

Shortly after he was taken away on murder charges, his common law wife moved out. The house owned by the convicted killer of Odin Lloyd has basically been empty and on the market since then. This week the house listing price was dropped over $200,000 to the price Hernandez originally paid:  $1.3 million.

The North Attleboro house may indeed be haunted, not only by Hernandez, but by one of his victims who spent time there: Mr. Lloyd, the murder victim.

Having lived in a haunted house, we know something about the likelihood. Unlike the Hernandez case, our realtors did not know that our home was part of the estate of two victims who died on the Titanic. We quickly learned the house was not exactly empty—and investigation showed who might be here exactly.

Our spirits are friendly, probably loved the street they lived on—but true ghosts are bound to a location from their lives. They are likely trapped on Earth, refusing to move on to another astral plane.

Apart from prospective buyers, the only people who have spent time at the Hernandez house in North Attleboro were jurors, judge, and lawyers from the first murder trial. No one wants to give the house an overnight stay. We wonder what could be there to prevent visitors from making a permanent home in the mansion.

Even in our house, there was initial resistance from the spirits who knocked down hanging pictures and made bizarre noises. They still take umbrage at unexpected company. We have had overnight guests who heard footsteps coming to their bed—checking them out before moving away to another part of the house.

Is Aaron Hernandez still stalking the rooms of his North Attleboro manse?  We wait for the brave souls who choose to live there to give us the answer.

 

Author William Russo has written two books on the subject:  The Strange Case of Aaron Hernandez and Haunting Near Virtuous Spring, about ghosts from the Titanic at his own home.