Monday, December 10, 2018


NOVEMBER 12, 2018
Well, Thanksgiving came early for Mike Vrabel and his Tennessee Titans. They invited the Patriots to dinner in Nashville, and then feasted on them. First three Tennessee possessions – TD, TD, FG. While the Patriots fought back with 10 points, they had a chance to score before the half. But with poor field position at their 9, NE was cautious (and knew they had the ball in the 2nd half). Tennessee held. With 4 minutes to half, and a 3rd and 14 on NE’s 41, Marcus Mariota hit Corey Davis, who beat Stephon Gilmore for a 20 yard completion. Not long after Derrick Henry ran it in and the TD made it 24-10.

Vrabel had his team playing smash mouth football, not only on the O and D lines, but every hit on a ball carrier or receiver. James White was hit hard early, possibly a shot to the ribs. White had only one run in the whole game.

Julius Edelman paid for his performance (12 targets, 9 catches, 104 yards), and took hard hits every time he touched the ball. Edelman left with an ankle/foot injury.

Tom Brady, when he wasn’t under pressure, still had a poor day throwing the ball. He was sacked 3 times and the Titans had 6 QB hits. It didn’t help that his offensive line had some injury/illness problems. LT Trent Brown, who missed practice with an illness, went out and La Adrian Waddle went in at LT. When Brown returned, he gave up a sack.
RT Marcus Cannon also went out for a bit and Waddle switched to RT. As it was, Ted Karras was playing RG in place of Shaq Mason. That didn’t help Brady’s composure.

The coup de grace was when Josh McDaniels called a trick play and Edelman threw the ball to Brady on 3rd and 7. Brady caught the pass but stumbled and hit one of his legs with the other falling 1 yard short of the first down. On 4th an 1, Marcus Cannon did the inexcusable and was offsides. The 4th and 6 never had a chance. The Titans added some dessert when they completed a pass to Mariota (see, this is how you do it), and the drive was completed with another Henry score, making it 34-10.

It ended Brady’s day with 7:06 left in the 4th quarter. Patriots fans do no want to see Brian Hoyer in the game at QB unless it’s a kneel down with the game in hand. The Patriots, like turkeys, had their heads chopped off. No Tennessee Waltz on this trip.

Josh Gordon was targeted 12 times but only had 4 catches. One pass went through both his hands. Gordon dislocated a finger last week, and you wonder if that had an effect.

The Patriots had two sacks, but those were their only QB hits on the day. NE has had trouble with mobile QBs (even Blake Bortles!), and Mariota was at his elusive best. He only ran twice (20 yards), but kept plays alive. This was the best that I’ve seen him throw the ball, and on this day WR Corey Davis tortured CB Stephon Gilmore. Davis caught 7 passes on 10 targets for 125 yards and a TD. Adding insult to injury, Gilmore was flagged for interference twice on Davis (one accepted), and a 3rd was on an uncatchable ball.

This was a total team loss. Special teams allowed a 58 yard return on the opening kickoff. The offensive and defensive lines were beaten badly in the trenches. The Titans were more physical than the Patriots. Vrabel outcoached the master, Bill Belichick. Good thing that the bye week is here. There’s lots to work on.

Gonna take a stab in naming Rusty Young as the artist described. Don't know if he ever recorded with the members of the Dead, but all the aforementioned command of those instruments certainly apply to his talent.
Bill LaPlante
Good guess, Bill, but incorrect. - Z

David Grisman? Grateful Dawg is one of my favorite music films.
Glenn Dewell
Good try, Glenn, but that's not the answer. -Z

Hi Jim,
It was a great week for Boston sports - Celtics aren't getting out of the gate in the same manner as the BoSox, but I remain optimistic. 
You referenced The Dead in your trivia quiz, so I feel compelled to respond. Still a guess though... David Grisman - a multi stringed instrument guy who's been in and out of Dead world since the 80's. I know he recorded with Jerry Garcia (Old, and in the Way), but I can't find any larger 'Dead' collaborations.
Bill Shea
Glad you ventured a guess even if it's wrong. You're the 2nd person to guess David Grisman. It's a more well known artist. - Z

Thx Jim. When I read ‘more well known artist’ it occurred to me that Spencer Davis played with the Dead. I recall Bob Weir thanking Spencer Davis after joining them for “So Glad you made it.”
An encore guess...
Bill Shea
No not Spencer Davis, Bill. Isn't he a Brit? - Z

Hey Jim good job as always. I’m taking a stab at this trivia question….could it be Ry Cooder? He played a lot of instruments and styles, I’m just not sure if he played with the Dead guys backing him.
Tom Robinson
Tom, great guess, but no, not Ry Cooder. Into the Purple Valley was one of my favorite LPs by him. Saw Cooder open for Randy Newman in Boston many years ago. Fabulous concert. Thanks for giving the trivia a try. - Z

I noticed you left out Kinsler in Gold Glove recognition?
Kimbrel-they offered -but hopefully he moves on-I saw Kelly get interviewed-1 question was him as closer-he seemed quite ready and OK with it.
Kinsler will not be back-Petey? James Harrison (Pirates) is available if insurance needed-Phillips??
Pomeranz-Triple A at best velocity ??
Pearce/Eovaldi- Yes
If I had a vote:
Talk Soon
Ken Forestal
Just wanted to highlight the 3 amigos in the OF. I knew that Kinsler was up for a Gold Glove, and he got it. Some said Moreland was up for one too. Not sure if he had enough games.
Doubt Kinsler will be back. Pedroia's knee 'reconstructive' surgery did not go well. He might be done. Steven Wright had same surgery! Not sure if same doctor.
Phillips is gone as is Pomeranz. Hope that Eovaldi is back and Pearce too.
As for 2B, they have options in the minors. Right now it's still Nunez and Holt. But Chavis and Dalbec aren't far away.
Alex Cora should win Manager of the Year. Even with the highest payroll, he connected with each member of his team and created a real team. All the $ doesn't translate to World Series championships.
Definitely Mookie for MVP. But what an insult to JD Martinez not to be a finalist. Over Trout who played far fewer games? What morons are in charge of this? - Z
Sportzine is also available at thanks to Buffalo Steve Lenz

Having just seen A Star Is Born, I was raving about it to everyone. The music is great. Lady Gaga’s voice is wonderful and actor and director Bradley Cooper’s singing is better than expected. The writing credits for the music go for the most part to Lady Gaga, Bradley Cooper, Jason Isbell (of Alabama) and Lukas Nelson, Willie’s son. IMDb gives it an 8.3, which is outstanding, and revealed that Lukas Nelson taught Bradley Cooper how to play guitar. In a first for me, I bought the soundtrack before seeing the movie and hearing the music.

In discussing A Star Is Born with Bianca, she said that she had just seen Bohemian Rhapsody and liked that better. I told her that IMDb gave it an 8.4. She mentioned that there are some historical inaccuracies but it’s still worth seeing. And she knew that Rami Malek, who plays Freddie Mercury, was not the original choice. That would be Sasha Baron Cohen, but the band, especially Brian May and Roger Taylor didn’t want Cohen. Bianca didn’t know that director Bryan Singer was removed before finishing the film.

So that will be my next movie choice. Ernesto and his friend Jenn ‘Double N Jenn’, who have seen Bohemian Rhapsody, strongly suggested that I see it at IMAX.

Fleet Feet Pete told me that Jason Gay, a writer for the Wall Street Journal, calls Patriots head coach Bill Belichick a ‘grumpy lobster boat captain.’

The question was to name the multi-instrumentalist who’s played bluegrass, rock, blues, jazz, C&W and had two songs on which 5 members of the Grateful Dead (including Jerry Garcia) played. Only Peter of the Professors got it – David Bromberg. On his LP Demons in Disguise, the Dead played on the title track and on Sharon, which is a personal favorite of AF buddy Mike Curtis and me. Listen to it, but just the LP version.

Recently we had Ken Forestal’s question about a performer who came out of the Bosstown Sound. This trivia question is about one of the San Francisco Sound bands. This band had some success with several of their albums in the Top 30 of the Billboard charts. They performed at Monterey Pop. They even recorded a song by Dale Evans. Yes, that Dale Evans. Name the band. Extra credit for the song by Dale Evans.


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