Gronk Goes to the Movies

 DATELINE: Goodbye, NFL! Hello, Hollywood!


New England’s loss is the world of movies’ gain.

We may be one of the few football Patriots fans who is happy that Rob Gronkowski has made the decision to leave the NFL for a new career in films.

As a star of the gridiron, breaking all kinds of records over nine seasons, Gronk has spent nearly all available time working his screen image. He has appeared in a handful of small-budget movies and many television commercials.

His face, pliable and likeable, has become a brand unto itself. He has hobnobbed with stars and calls himself “One-Take Gronk,” meaning he only makes one take to print for the final roll of film. The film illiterate Boston sports media have no idea about his movie career, or abilities in that regard.

We are happy because the next time Gronk is tackled by five monsters, he will not hurt his back or break a leg bone. Right before they tackle him, the director will yell, “Cut!” and his body double will step in to take the blows.

Gronk is a movie natural. We expect to see him in a new Mel Gibson action movie as the season of football starts. Put away the cleats. He is taking on movie weapons for his next big run.

With his huge physical presence, he will find a happy set of movie parts in the big genres of the 21st century: either sophomoric comedy, or cartoon superhero epics. He can play a lummox hero or a hard-nosed villain with aplomb. See Ted.

He has sold his Boston properties and his next home likely will be poolside in Beverly Hills: like so many young people, he will have had his youthful years in Boston, but will begin his career and important life work elsewhere.

For years Gronky has graced our blogs with his antics. He will continue to do so—but now as a film personality. He won’t be playing Hamlet, but he will be entertaining.

Oh, we expect that some enterprising producer will team up Tom Brady and Gronk again in some sports film. Didn’t Babe Ruth charmingly play himself in Pride of the Yankees?  Didn’t Muhammed Ali play himself in several films? Gronk will always be himself in every movie role.


Panda and Babe: Bookends of a Century


Matt Slocum AP Panda

The Torch May Be Passed!  photo Matt Slocum, AP


Talk has grown in Boston that the Sox ownership will soon be singing, “Yes, yes, Nanette,” trying to undo the wrong of 100 years ago when Babe Ruth went to the Yankees for a song.

It’s allegedly “Pandamonium,” with the Sox interested in the heavy-set, young Ortiz-Mo Vaughn-George Scott style hitter.

The British pound may be down, but the San Francisco pound is up in Boston. Pablo Sandoval offers the Red Sox more pounds than Shylock could slice in a month of Sundays.

The man who is known as Kung Fu Panda seems ready made for Boston, and the Sox have a ready-to-wear uniform with his DH spot guaranteed. After all, David Ortiz will be collecting Social Security soon, and the Sox will need a hitter for the remainder of the decade.

Jake Peavy, our man in the duck boat, noted that Sandoval has the same shape as Babe Ruth and may share other qualities too.

We fully expect Panda to throw a piano into Walden Pond at some point during his Red Sox career, or at least toss a harpsichord into the Charles.

Will our writing about the emergence of Panda Sandoval go the way of our Love blogs? We felt there was a man born to play here too, and after a month in Cleveland, Kevin Love may be in agreement he went to the wrong city.

So, when David Ortiz had dinner with Kung Fu Panda, he likely provided the cautionary tale of the “Road Not Taken.” We doubt that Big Papi knows the New England poem, but the sentiment may be the same in any language.

Jacoby Ellsbury Signs Pact with Devil


Mr. Applegate’s Protege


All those dyed in the wool Jacoby Ellsbury fans have died a little overnight. 

The Red Sox, once again, had their thunder stolen and now have egg on their face. The Big ‘N Toasted Egg Sandwich has left the Sox toasted.

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus—and he’s an owner of the New York Yankees.

In a town where leaving for your archrival is a sure path to hell, Ellsbury has joined the Damn Yankees where his agent is the latest incarnation of Mr. Applegate.

Scott Boras may have employed Lola to seduce the little man, but like a dozen other Red Sox players going back to the cursed Bambino, we know that justice will prevail. Alas, we may have to wait to the Afterlife to see Ellsbury receive his just desserts.

In the meantime the pie-in-the-face moment is fairly funny. Since Ellsbury is incapable of growing a real beard, he has no worry about the Yankee dictum that no man shall have a beard.

Move over, Babe Ruth and Mickey Mantle: there is now a new pipsqueak to carry your cletes into the centerfielder’s prime real estate.

The grass always looks greener in the Yankee backyard, but we know that it is built over a septic system. Ellsbury has only now begun to step into the daily muck and mire.

The number of Red Sox turncoats is Legion. It just adds to the Hollywood script. Athens and Sparta continue their war into another century. Red Sox And Yankees redux. Mark your calendars, Sox fans, for the bonfire of vanities to burn those Ellsbury jerseys.

To relive the great season of the Red Sox, read RED SOX 2013: NAKED CAME THE LINEUP. Now available on You can see the roots of Ellsbury’s plan to depart amid the Sox success.

Red Sox Exemplify Magic, Momentum, and Miracles




The Boston Soulmates of David Ortiz

If batting .400 would be considered Mr. October levels in the World Series,  and when David Ortiz bats .800 over a half dozen pressure packed games, you are in a range that defies reality.

When you consider that Big Papi detractors (like these blogs and their smarmy writer) were disdainful of the big contract that the Sox gave to their aging designated hitter, the result is poetic justice. We have eaten so many hats this season that we will have no chapeaux left until spring training next year.

Ortiz has stuffed a sock into the pie holes of his biggest critics who now look worse than the villain in a Lassie, Come Home movie. How could anyone not love Big Papi and his amazing teammates?

It is an interesting storyline that Papi threw a big party for his teammates and families in the post-season, opening his home to inspire faith. And, how more interesting that the hero of Game 5, David Ross, did the same before the World Series.

No one had ever seen that kind of esprit de corps in major league players and never in the Red Sox teams where twenty-five cabs usually brought them to game 6 in any previous Series.

Those digging hard to find fault with the Sox and their manager’s decisions may be looking for gold in TV’s Ghost Mine. They have found only the dead spirits of Bambino curses and the legacy of former stars now in cryogenesis.

Sabermetric fans scoff at pressure-packed heroics.  They disdain magical moments. They decry momentum. These silly old baseball mantras belong in the 19th century according to these wonks.

Well, so do the Red Sox beards. Looking like a bunch of Civil War generals at Gettysburg, the Red Sox are about to go to the Cathedral of Boston for one more miraculous victory in Game 6.

Tom Brady Laments His Lack of a Nickname


Even Welkah has a nickname…

At his press conference this week, Tom Brady lamented the fact that Matt Ryan of the Atlanta Falcons has a “sweet” nickname, and Tom felt somewhat left out of the affectionate handle game.

Matt Ryan, formerly of Boston College, is known to one and all as “Mattie Ice,” in reference to the ice water in his veins. He will stand up in frightful situations and make that key pass.

You may ask, “Hunh?”  Ryan has won only one playoff game in his career, while Tom Brady has won innumerable playoff games and even a few Super Bowls. There is no ice water in Tom’s artery apparently.

What do the cognoscenti call Tom?  He is known by many as TB12. It sounds like a strain of tuberculosis that has no known cure. It’s not exactly a game winner.

Indeed, Tom kindly accepted the nickname when reporters pointed it out. No one apparently referred to Tom by his more accurate sobriquet: “Tom Terrific.”

That reference to an old cartoon hero may be too archaic for 21st century centurions.

So, Tom is left without a short love term. It would put him at a disadvantage in the NBA where nicknames will soon adorn the jerseys of players.

Tom may want to hold a contest to find something appropriate like “Gronk” or “Big Ticket.”

The idea that great heroes have great nicknames goes back to Babe Ruth. Even his name was a nick. The Sultan of Swat, the Bambino, Babe, was George Herman Ruth, not exactly a name to inspire. It could only be worse if his name was Thomas Edward Patrick Brady. If you don’t have a good nickname, you stack up on middle names.

It could only be worse if Tom Terrific were known locally as “Loser.”  We dread to think a few more games without receivers might baptize him with a moniker he will hate.


Those in the know have read NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS UNDRESSED to prepare for this new season. It’s available in softcover and ebook format at