Monday, November 13, 2017


NOVEMBER 13, 2017

PDQ was kidding us at the Hot Club about how we Patriots fans are so spoiled. I said, “Yes, they already have 2 losses at home. We’re used to them going 8-0.” Five Super Bowl Championships, with a 6th on the horizon (if Suh or some other miscreant doesn’t take out Tom). The Patriots proved that they could win without Gronk, but I seriously doubt that they could do it without Tom Brady.

The Pats went into Mile High Denver and left the Broncos in vapors (41-16). TE Dwayne Allen finally caught his 1st pass and it went for a touchdown. Maybe he was inspired (or scared) by the return of Martellus Bennett who somehow made it onto the field for 3 catches (38 yards) despite having a torn rotator cuff (it’s not clear if it’s partial or complete).

How do the Patriots do things like this? Shades of LeGarrette Blount’s return from Pittsburgh. I just read online that Martellus Bennett told his agent to warn teams not to sign him as he was going to have shoulder surgery. So he was stunned when the Pats put in a waiver claim. It took a call from Bill Belichick to convince Bennett to return. That and Bennett’s anger at his former team, the Green Bay Packers, who want signing $ back and said Bennett had an undisclosed injury when he signed. Since the Packers physical cleared Bennett to play, I’m not sure how they win this bucks battle. Even if used sparingly, Bennett proved how valuable he was last year. Thank you Green Bay. Boy are we spoiled.

And it’s not just the Patriots. We have the local Green Team winning 12 straight despite the 1st game loss of Gordon Hayward for the season, an Al Horford concussion and facial fracture for Kyrie Irving (courtesy of teammate Aron Baynes). Yet the Celtics keep on rolling. They just beat a good Toronto team who had their way with the Celts last year. Playing great defense. Out rebounding the other teams (46 to Toronto’s 36). Getting great contributions from the Youts. Green indeed, but ready for the footlights and highlights. Jaylen Brown and rook Jayson Tatum. And one of the smartest coaches in Brad Stevens. Other teams are green with envy. Kudos also to Danny Ainge for his revamping of this team. The Celtics could spoil us with a deep run in the playoffs.
The Bruins have a lot of Youts too and they’ll need them to make a playoff run. But they need the banged up veterans like David Backes and David Kreji back to tutor the hockey kids. Now I read that Brad Marchand and Anders Bjork won’t make the first game of the California 3 game set. Boston is now 6-6-4 and have just been passed in points (16) by arch nemesis Montreal (17) despite the Canadiens getting off to an horrendous start.

What Michael Felger said about Roy Halladay (he died in a small plane crash) was
despicable and meant only to garner attention to Felger who has said many outrageous things. NBC Sports Boston has suspended Felger for the comments in which he blamed Halladay for his own death(Source – Boston Herald). Doubt the suspension will be long.

So the Patriots are down to 3 wide receivers for the Denver game – Brandin Cooks, Danny Amendola, and Phillip Dorsett. No problem, Mon. The Pats use their running backs as receivers. Sunday they had catches from Burkhead (3–27 yards), White (3-11) and Develin (2-16). Of course all 3 TEs had catches too. And while Dion Lewis had no catches, he has become their featured back (14 carries, 55 yds.) and ran back a kickoff 103 yards for a TD. Special teams also contributed a fumble recovery (by Jacob Hollister) on a punt and a blocked punt (Burkhead but Denver recovered it).

The NFL is becoming a league of Haves and Have-Nots. Some of it is due to backup QBs playing for injured starters (Rodgers, Watson, Winston, Palmer). But a lot of teams have lousy QBs – Cleveland, Cincinnati, Denver, and Chicago. The Jets (McCown) and Dolphins (Cutler) have re-treads that don’t have much tread left.

Sunday Ryan Fitzpatrick (TB) was at .500 (17 for 34, 1 INT). His team won. Tom Savage was also .500 (18 of 36, 2 INTs) for Houston and his team lost.

As if the NFL doesn’t have enough problems with head hits and CTE, along comes whiny little Jerry Jones who is trying to throw a monkey wrench in Commish Roger Goodell’s contract extension. This is about Goodell suspending Jones’ RB Zeke Elliott for 6 games for domestic abuse. Don’t recall any Jerry sympathy for Bob Kraft last year.

Was watching the Seattle-Arizona Thursday night game (ban these things before too many players get hurt on short rest). Ex-Patriot Chandler Jones had a sack for the Cardinals. Then Jones failed to seal the edge and the Seattle RB had a big gain. That’s part of the reason why Chandler Jones is no longer a Patriot. Our Way or the Highway.

The PC Friars and URI Rams will both be tested tonight. PC takes on the Richard Pitino led Minnesota Golden Gophers and the Rams go out to Nevada for the Wolf Pack.
Both the RI teams have been pre-season picks to make the Big Dance.
Sportzine is available at thanks to Buffalo Steve Lenz
Sunday Brian Hoyer did something that Jimmy Garoppolo didn’t with the Patriots this year – get into a game. It’ll be interesting to see if coach Kyle Shanahan plays Garoppolo this year as the 49ers reportedly have a weak offensive line.

Ben Volin (Globe – 11/12) noted that the Patriots will stay in Colorado until Saturday when they’ll fly to Mexico City to play the Raiders. The Pats will practice at the Air Force Academy (around 7300 feet above sea level). It’s felt that might prepare NE for Mexico City which is more than 7300 feet above sea level.

Dan Shaughnessy (Globe – 11/12) had a column about Patriots opponents eventually self-destructing. Shaughnessy quotes Napoleon - “Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake.” and Sun Tzu - “If you wait by the river long enough, the bodies of your enemy will float by.” And then he mentions Pete Carroll (Seattle Seahawks) and Dan Quinn (Atlanta Falcons) who lost Super Bowls to the Pats by self-destructing.

This from the Herald’s Karen Guregian (11/12). The Raiders do not have an interception despite facing Joe Flacco and Trevor Siemian who each have 10 INTs.

Thanks for the heads up on Dire Straits. Cast my vote for Knopfler & Co. First heard "Sultans" while in LA on sabbatical and on my way to my part-time teaching job one morning, immediately following its release, and thought to myself "These guys will be big."
Glad to hear that you voted for Dire Straits. I saw them at the Leroy after their first album. They did Sultans of Swing and Down to the Waterline among others. - Z

Noticed a few interesting stats for the Celtics in the young season....
They rank 1st in points allowed (94.0) and 4th in rebounds of the teams in the NBA. While they do rank only 23rd in points scored, with that #1 spot on defense, it works out to a point differential of +8.8, second only to Golden State. Not too shabby for a very young team that has had more than its share of injuries to marquee starting players. It shows that everyone on the team has bought into Brad Stevens' approach and I (for one) am glad that I'm not watching everyone hoisting 3s for most of the game. They're going to the hoop a lot and also playing better defense (as those first two stats indicate) this year.
What do you think of the possibility of the Red Sox getting Stanton?
If the asking price is too high, Hosmer(1st base) and J.D. Martinez are out there,too.
Brad Dawson
Brad, it’ll be interesting to see what move Dombrowski makes. They need a HR bat. Ideally that bat would be used mostly as a DH but a 1B would be OK - Z

Captain Jack was telling Professor Peter, PDQ and I that he used to do motorcycle racing on ice. The tires had metal studs. Jack said that you couldn’t go too fast but it was fun. I wondered if they used smaller cc bikes. No, he rode his 500 cc. Said the ice rink was in Revere, Mass. Peter and PDQ knew of this bike racing on ice, but I had never heard of it. Go to: Apparently there is still ice racing with motorcycles in the UK at Telford. And motorcycles race ‘anti-clockwise’.

Remember last issue when I wrote this: ‘The Hot Club has a drawing for patrons who buy the craft beer of the week. If you do, you get your name added to the monthly drawing. Winner gets a $50 gift card to the HC.’
Well when I went to the HC Wednesday, Bianca informed me that she had something for me and reached into the cabinet and pulled out a $50 gift card to the Hot Club. I had won the drawing. I was thrilled. That gift card didn’t last the night. Thank you HC.

Making His Mark, who knows a good deal about music, told me that when he was at York College in Toronto that he had his own Jazz radio show. Mark said he played progressive Jazz and always opened his show with Chick Corea’s Return to Forever. In fact, he had just seen Corea in concert. Seems to me that Buffalo Steve also had his own Jazz radio show when he was in the military – Sea Bees. McMurdo Station?

As Fleet Feet Pete joined Charlie Clancy, the Bear, FootJoy and me, he said: “Here’s a motley crew.” I responded, “Well it is now.”

Last issue’s music trivia was sent in by reader Jim Dwyer. The question was: Who are the 6 people mentioned on We Didn’t Start the Fire by Billy Joel who are still alive? It was a toughie and no one got it. The answer: brigitte bardot, doris day, queen elizabeth, chubby checker, bob dylan and bernie goetz. Thanks for the trivia Jim. Keep’ em coming crew. You readers can help me out here once in a while.

This entertainer started his career in radio, acting in Detroit’s Lone Ranger. From there he branched into TV and did the voices of cartoon characters in series such as Mister Magoo and Batman and Robin. He became a DJ and got his own syndicated show on radio. What’s his name?