Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Sportzine/Hot Club

If you were there for the start of the game (I wasn’t), you’d have witnessed one of the poorest 1st quarters the Pats have ever played. On their first three ‘drives’, the Pats ran 4 plays (Brady sacked on 3rd down), 5 plays and 3 plays. Meanwhile their defense was letting the Buccaneers slice and dice them. The Bucs went 8 plays and then NE had a little luck when Rian Lindell missed a 38-yard FG. TB then went 13 plays and got a FG.  The score should have been 6-0, and could have been 10-0, before the Pats found rhythm.

The reason that I missed the opening 10 minutes of the game was that it now takes 45 minutes plus to get through security. In the two home games, the wait has been intolerable and needs improvement fast. There are just not enough personnel with wands (all pockets empty and hat uncovered) to make this process work efficiently. And we were in the ‘no bags’ line. It is a disservice to season ticket holders. While I know that this fiat came down from the NFL, it needs fixing fast.

Having that many fueled up fans crowded together and confined with little room to move, as well as frustrated by a long wait  - that is an accident waiting to happen. The throng of so many fans pressing together in a small space will lead to fights and if one crazy decides to try and push through, you could have a serious situation with people getting trampled. Mr. Robert Kraft must do something to remedy this situation.

Think it can’t happen? When the Boston Marathon celebrated its 100th anniversary, on Patriots Day, April 15, 1996, there were so many people in a small space (where I was) that when several punks started pushing past people, it got very ugly. Scary ugly.

When I did make it to my seat, the Pats were starting to perk up. Tom Brady took time to wake up as he threw some poor passes including a bouncer and later the INT that would have salted away the game.

Last week I noted that the Pats were missing a TE to make a few catches and a RB to take swing passes. The return of Brandon Bolden proved beneficial in the passing game. The very first play was a swing pass to Bolden for 11 yards (I listened on the radio). Bolden contributed 5 catches for 49 yards. And while 6’7” TE Zach Sudfeld returned, it was Hoomy that caught a couple passes, including one grab in which he evaded a tackler (Barron, I think) and got 16 yards. While short of a 1st down, it led to a 46-yard FG. And while Sudfeld had 2 targets but no catches, at least someone had to cover him.

The Patriots are starting to run better -156 yards against the Bucs, who had the #1Defense against the run last year. Bolden helped there too (3 carries for 51 yards). Ridley had 11 carries for 35 (7 in the 1st half) as the Pats went more to ex-Buc LeGarrette Blount who chipped in with 14 carries for 65.

If that running game is in gear, it takes tremendous pressure off of Tom Brady because the opponent must respect the run (I’m yelling ‘delayed draw’). Those RBs also need to protect Brady on blitzes and that was missing early.

Even so, the Pats took command from the 2nd quarter on, and deep-sixed the Buccaneers. The turning point came when Josh Freeman didn’t eat the ball and go to half down 14-3. Talib’s interception with 11 seconds left to the half got the Pats 3 more points on a 53-yard Gostkowski kick and a momentum crushing 14 point lead.

The Falcons await in Atlanta. The Pats’ rookie receivers made great strides Sunday. Thompkins had 3 catches but 2 were TDs. Dobson (not ‘Dropson’ as seatmate Bill said) made as many catches (7) as Edelman (44 yards) and for 52 yards. Get that running game going, control the clock. The Defense keeps up a steady attack. I can smell a ‘W’.   

Gamebook notes show that the Pats started with 4 receivers (Boyce was in), 1 back (Bolden) and no TE. It soon changed to 3 receivers, a back and a TE (per Mike Reiss).

Mike Williams (5 for 64 yds) was making catches all over the field until Alfonzo Dennard hit him (beginning of 2nd quarter). Williams returned but wasn’t the same. Vincent Jackson (3 for 34 yds. and one very bad drop) was hurt early in the 3rd quarter (per Reiss) on a Brandon Spikes hit. Those injuries badly hurt the Bucs’ passing game.

Dont’a Hightower covered Doug Martin on a long pass down the sideline. Super job.

Steve Gostkowski booted all 5 of his kickoffs deep or out of the end zone for no returns. With Matthew Slater, their best special teams player out (wrist), that was important.

The Pats had 3 sacks – Mayo, Jones, Ninkovich ½ and Kelly ½. They had 8 QB hits: Kelly and Jones 2 each, Mayo, Nink, Bequette and Buchanan. Nice to see Bequette help.

Mike Reiss has the offensive and defensive snap counts. Arrington played 34 of 71 snaps only 3 in the 2nd half. Injury? Wanting to look at rookie Logan Ryan who had 20 snaps?
Whereas Michael Buchanan came in playing a lot, he had 19 snaps, Jaime Collins 18.
Kenbrell Thompkins had 69 of 73 snaps, Edelman 68. Dobson was in for 55. Boyce and Sudfeld only had 17.
Per Reiss the Pats rank 2nd in the NFL in points against (11.3). They are 6th in turnover differential (plus 3). NE needs to work on that 32nd in red zone efficiency.
More Reiss: of Dobson’s 7 catches 4 were for 1st downs, and he drew an interference call.
● HardballTalk just reported that when the Dodgers celebrated their division win in Arizona and some players jumped into the Chase Field pool, one or more peed in it.
● ProFootballTalk said that Vikings owners Zygi and Mark Wilf owe at least $84M in a NJ fraud case. Some Vikings fans would say that their team is a fraud.
● The same site stated that suspended Broncos LB Von Miller tried to get a urine collector to change things so that he tested negative. 


In a conversation with Roy and the Sky Pilot, the subject of the old RI Auditorium came up. Captain Sky said that he took pictures at the Cream concert and when Jimi Hendrix played there. A photographer in our midst.

So it wasn’t totally surprising when Captain Sky had a white Fuji instant camera at the HC recently. It was a fat little camera with a flash and is called an Instax. It takes pictures like the old Polaroids, but these are much smaller, about 3” by 2”. Sky says it costs $15 for 20 shots. The quality was very good. The ladies seemed to like their pix.

I was talking about losing some childhood Pawtucket mainstays - the Darlton Theatre on Newport Avenue (now a bank parking lot) and the demise of the old Leroy Theater on Broad Street (a Walgreens and parking lot). The Darlton used to have a room upstairs that was soundproof and mothers could bring their babies and young children without disturbing those around them.

The last person in concert that I saw at the Leroy Theater was Tom Rush. At one point some ceiling tiles fell on the stage nearly hitting Rush. He made a comment about the place falling down – which it was.

A woman was walking the HC deck with brown suede boots that were studded with spikes. The Dangerous Type! Don’t get too close.

The Hot Club is being spruced up. I actually saw some jade plants on the tables.

Who was it that did a duet with Jimi Hendrix, backed up early Elton John, and sang with Richard Carpenter and the Pet Shop Boys? Why Mary O’Brien, better known as Dusty Springfield. Dusty died of breast cancer (3/2/99 at age 59). She died on the day she was scheduled to go to Buckingham Palace to receive the OMB (Order of the British Empire). Her assistant was given permission to give Dusty the medal in the hospital.
According to Wikipedia: “Springfield was cremated and some of her ashes were buried at Henley, while the rest were scattered by her brother, Tom Springfield, at the Cliffs of Moher, County Clare, Ireland.”

This producer/singer/songwriter worked with the Byrds, the Beach Boys, Paul Revere and the Raiders, and the Mamas and the Papas. He was in a group that had a Top 10 hit. Name this person.
   Sportzine is also available at jimdawsonsports.com (Thanks to Buffalo Steve)


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