Tuesday, October 08, 2013

BENGALS CAGE PATRIOTS 13-6                                                 OCTOBER 8, 2013                
Up until Sunday’s game, the Patriots’ problem was scoring in the Red Zone. The Bengals’ defense prevented the Pats from getting into the Red Zone most of Sunday. NE was there once all day and of course had to settle for a field goal when they needed a TD.

And credit the Cincy offense for doing enough (their time of possession was about 8½ minutes more) to keep the Pats off the field. If there was ever a glaring weakness, it was the Wilfork-less middle failing to stop the Bengals’ running attack (162 yards) especially on BenJarvus Green Ellis’ TD on 4th and 1. On this day, Cincy’s lines dominated on both sides of the ball.

Even before the rain came, the Pats offensive line had trouble protecting Tom Brady (sacks on each of the first two drives) and when given time, Brady had trouble finding open receivers leading to coverage sacks (4 total) and 8 QB hits.

With Amendola back, the hope was that the offense would pick up. Both Dobson and Thompkins came in with injuries and except for Dobson’s long catch and run (56 yards), they didn’t do much.  Thompkins, who seems to constantly juggle the ball before catching it, had a 3rd and 14 catch for 15 yards reversed on review. And Amendola (targeted 9 times) had but 4 catches, dropping a number. My notes reflect 3 drops including on 2nd and 10 after the fumble recovery with 3:34 left. Edelman was also bad (7 targets, 2 catches). Dobson (4 targets - 2 catches) and Thompkins (4 targets -3 catches) were almost non-factors. In fact, Brandon Bolden led the team with 6 catches on 8 targets, as the Pats must have decided to go with the screen pass to offset the Bengals’ pass rush.

Without Stevan Ridley, the Pats had to rely on the slower LeGarrette Blount (12 for 51 yards) and Brandon Bolden (5 for 24). A better running attack might have helped Brady, who was under siege much of the day. Just when the Pats had a decent drive going (with 7:54 left in the 2nd quarter), Blount had the ball punched out after a 7-yard gain to the Cincy 25. It was the first time the Pats had been in Cincy territory! Blount had only 3 carries in the 2nd half. Mike Reiss noted that Blount had only 8 snaps after the fumble.

A very disappointing loss. Right now this is a different Patriots offense that needs better routes, better throws, fewer drops and better protection for its QB. A return by Gronk (a strong possibility Sunday versus the Saints) would help.
CBS had this stat: NE is tied for 2nd most drops (13) in the NFL (then they dropped more)
Josh Boyce played 1 snap out of 63. TE Matt Mulligan (caught fighting) had only 7.
Cincy called TO as Gostkowski was about to kick a FG. He went ahead and kicked the ball after the whistle. A mike caught, “You can’t f**kin’ snap that ball!” Ref or coach?

Would have been nice if the BoSox had put away the Rays Monday night. Scrappy comeback but for naught. Now Jake Peavy (4.17 ERA) goes against Jeremy Hellickson (5.17 ERA), who might be on a short leash tonight with Chris Archer as fallback. Would not want to see this series go 5 games as anything can happen then. Let’s hope the Boston bats bombard Hellickson and build up a big lead since Peavy will give up some runs.

Jim, regarding the "black boxes" in cars, we should get used to the idea since all new vehicles sold in the US as of 2015 will be required to have them in place.
Chuck Doherty
Are you kidding me?  -   Z

I was incorrect in stating that they will be required at that time - the law
is not in effect yet.  Here is what I have learned since then:

1) Most cars sold today ALREADY have them in place.  Those which do must
inform the owner to that effect, usually by a notice of some sort printed in
the owner's manual.

2) The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has been
recommending that they be made mandatory, and has put forth a formalized
rule to that end in August of 2006.  Details here:

3) As of now, these rules have not been signed into law and remain only a
recommendation, though as noted above, many cars already have them in place.
Per the NY Times on this subject: "About 96 percent of all new vehicles sold
in the United States have the boxes, and in September 2014, if the National
Highway Traffic Safety Administration has its way, all will have them."

4) The ACLU raises some concerns here:
portant-precedents   Also from the NY Times piece referenced above:  "
Fourteen states, including New York, have passed laws that say that, even
though the data belongs to the vehicle's owner, law enforcement officials
and those involved in civil litigation can gain access to the black boxes
with a court order."

So, the bottom line is that they are pretty common now and probably on their way
to being everywhere, but the requirement is not yet part of the law.                                 

Final score in the Super Bowl:  Denver Broncos 41...Boston Patriots 17.   Manning hits Wes Welker with two TD's and Welker grins down the sideline as he passes Belichick on his way to the EZ.
The Rockies gave Todd Helton a horse during his retirement ceremony at Coors Field; I was prayin' that the pony would take a big dump on the infield to honor the asshole owners, The Monfort Brothers, and the asshole G.M.  Dan O'Dowd (o'dead) that have consistently decimated any good team that has come along in their 20-year history.
Helton should go to the Hall with his stats, but may get blocked because he played at Coors and in a secondary market.  If he'd been in a major baseball town he'd be a lock.   Still, the guy hit for lifetime average and a batting title, power (a doubles machine), and RBI's; good glove also (3 Golds). Go Sox!                                                                                                                                                        Big White                                                                                                                                              We'll see about that score between Denver and the Pats, Bill. At least it is at Gillette. That game may be a preview of the AFC championship.
Hockey is starting. The Bruins should be very interesting. I like what Peter Chiarelli and Claude Julien have done.
Agree on Helton. A probable Hall of Famer. Go Red Sox!  - Z

Hate to see big Vince go down for the entire year....rest of the Patriots' 'D' will have to pull together. No more injuries, please!
Sox have to take the Lester games and the Buchholz game, if it goes 5. Rays starters are also tough as we know.
Didn't know Garza was back with the Rays (LOL!)...I wonder if he was able to sneak on their playoff roster! Way to go ProJo!
I'll go with Andrew Gold for the quiz answer.                                                              Darb                                                                                                                                           
Andrew Gold is correct. Congratulations, you are the only winner! If you were here I'd buy you a Guinness.
A 5-game series vs. TB won't be easy. Pitching and timely hitting (no errors please) will rule.   -  Z
                                                                                                                                                                     My e-mail to the ProJo sports department (10/5): Well you lads did it again - today's sports section has the P Bruins winning 4-3 but the related story crediting the Bruins players with 5 goals.
Do you not have anyone to proof read?   -   Z
Sportzine is also available at jimdawsonsports.com (Thanks to Buffalo Steve)  

We were discussing Matt Taibbi’s piece in the current Rolling Stone Looting The Pension Funds. In it Gina Raimondo is labeled a ‘pension pirate’. I told Count Bass-e and the Masked Marvel that I remembered a Taibbi on one of the Boston TV news stations. The Marvel suggested that this Taibbi might be the son and he was right. It’s Mike Taibbi that was an NBC reporter. Matt Taibbi has written an explosive article that is a must read.

5 Angels was in for a visit and advised us to see Billy Bob Thornton, Bruce Willis and Bill Paxton in A Simple Plan. He also liked Clint Eastwood’s Trouble With The Curve.

I told Adam, Amanda and Katie about a very good movie called Headhunters. It’s a 2011 Norwegian release that doesn’t take long to blast off into uncharted territory full of menace and terror. The only recognizable actor was Nikolaj Coster-Waldau  (Jaime Lannister from Game of Thrones). It will make you sit up and take notice. IMDb: 7.5.

5 Angels said that next year he would be the oldest 60-year old with a 4-year old daughter. Mike Module added, “And not a gray hair on his head.” I asked 5 Angels how he accounted for that no gray hair – Grecian Formula? Mike Module said that would change and 5 Angels’ now 3-year old daughter will see to that.

Well Mike Module didn’t follow through – he did not have a rally beard when I saw him. As he exited he did say that the Red Sox are steamrolling right through to Halloween.

TBS’ pre-game show had Keith Olbermann on with Tom Verducci, Pedro Martinez and Dirk Hayhurst. The latter said that you can’t believe anything that comes out of A-Rod’s mouth. He then mentioned that A-Rod has a picture of himself as a centaur (in his crib).

Who was the multi-instrumentalist, singer/writer/producer who also had a mother in show biz? Why Andrew Gold, of course. Gold had a big hit in 1977 (Lonely Boy). He arranged Linda Ronstadt’s Heart Like A Wheel album (1974) as well as her next 4 albums. Gold played most of the instruments on You’re No Good, Ronstadt’s first #1 single, and When Will I Be Loved. Gold passed away 6/3/11 at age 59. Gold’s mom Marni Nixon dubbed the voices for Natalie Wood (West Side Story), Deborah Kerr (The King and I) and Audrey Hepburn (My Fair Lady). His dad Ernest composed the Exodus theme. I thought Marni also did the nude scene for Janet Leigh in Psycho but that was Marli Renfro.

This gentleman was once part of the Mar-Keys, had his own band that released a double album and wrote one of the most covered rock songs ever. As a producer, he worked with John Mayall, Leon Russell, George Harrison and Gary Lewis amongst others. Name him.

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Sportzine/The Hot Club

The Patriots went into Atlanta and took away all their prized peaches after shaking their tree. Aqib Talib took away Julio Jones or whomever else he was covering (like Roddy White when Talib knocked away a pass in the end zone that would have resulted in a tie). It was only then that Pats fans could resume breathing. What a game! What a finish! It just proved that fans shouldn’t celebrate until the clock shows 0:00.

The Patriots’ Defense took the ball away from Matt Ryan when he was trying to lead the Falcons back from a 17-point deficit (Talib again). And just when it looked like Matty ‘Ice’ Ryan might just tie the game, the Defense stood tall. They put the chill to ‘Ice’ whose record in the Georgia Dome was 34-5. The Pats had 2 sacks, 5 QB hits.

The Pats did it without Vince Wilfork who was hurt on the very first Atlanta series, has a torn right Achilles (surgery today) and is gone for the season. At the end of the game when the Pats were trying to slow down the Atlanta offense, I saw #26 Logan Ryan playing cornerback (someone else hurt?). Mike Reiss reported that Dennard hobbled off.

The Patriots won with plays like a U Maine TE named Matthew Mulligan catching a TD on 3rd and goal.  Better hands than Sudfeld who flubbed an onside kick. With undrafted rookie Kenbrell Thompkins using his quickness and agility to pull in passes at crucial moments (3rd and 19) and out leaping a defender in the end zone for an 18-yard TD.

With Julian Edelman (no catches in the 1st half) doing his Wes Welker impersonation and catching 7 passes for 118 yards. But they won because they could run (132 yds. vs #5 D). And stop the run – Atlanta had 58 yards.

The victory was hard fought and hard won with more casualties along the way. Besides Wilfork, Aaron Dobson got mauled in the end zone (no call) and then slammed the opposite way with a hit from the other direction. No penalties! The way Dobson’s head snapped back, he probably has a neck injury and maybe a concussion. Josh Boyce stepped in and made a big catch after Dobson got hurt.

It was a total team win. Belichick was coaching his defensive linemen throughout the game after the loss of Wilfork. Imagine - he had Tommy Kelly and Joe Vellano (1 sack), who usually subs in for Wilfork or Kelly, now pressed into full time action with only recently signed Chris Jones to sub in.
Brandon Bolden too went down after picking up a blitzer, possibly re-injuring his knee. Ridley ran well and LeGarrette Blount had one of the most unbelievable TD runs in Patriots history. How often do you see a 250-pounder get through the line (great blocks by Wendell, Hoomy and Develin) and then gallop 47 yards. Had to be seen to be believed

Hopefully the injuries aren’t serious other than Wilfork’s. The Pats do a good job of finding players to step in and step up. Expect some addition from the practice squad (DL Marcus Furston?). Keep your fingers crossed that DT Armond Armstead is able to come back from IR after the 6th game. He was brought in to back up the middle and had sacks rushing from the interior (Canadian League).

The Pats silenced their critics (wins over weak teams) for one week. The Cincinnati Bengals will want to take a bite out of that 4-0 Pats record. The Pats will tame these cats.

Let us not forget about baseball!!!! Let's see - wouldn't it be a dynamite series Braves and Red Sox? Go Braves.                                                                                                             Sec 8 Ted
Ted, not much to write about as we wait for our teams’ playoff games to begin. Glad to see your Braves made it. Good luck in the playoffs. Since they are playing the Dodgers, who have all those underachieving ex-Red Sox, I hope they sweep LA. Bitter? Nah.  -   Z

We'll see this weekend if the current unit the Pats put out there against a desperate for a win Atlanta team are contenders or pretenders.  A quality road win without three key offensive weapons would be huge. Pressure on Ryan and another pick or two for Talib.
Andrew ‘Left Coast’ Wright
Andrew, there is an outside chance that Gronk is back for this game. The Falcons are a little beat up. If the Pats' D stops the run, they can then come after Matt Ryan.
Did you see the story about the Dodgers peeing in the Chase Field Pool? I read that Punto led the charge to the pool and Crawford was one of those that jumped in.

likely beckett's idea.                                                                                             
Andrew‘Left Coast’Wright

● Good luck to the Red Sox, those bearded wonders who have surprised us with their team play. They could go all the way. They are resourceful and tenacious. The pitching just might be good enough and the positional players will ‘pitch in’.
● The Patriots prevented Tony Gonzalez (14 targets, 12 catches, 2 TDs) from tying the game by double teaming him near the goal line and using a man behind them. Someone other than Gonzalez had to beat them. The strategy won the game.      
● Besides Edelman’s 7 catches (9 targets), Thompkins had 6 on 11. Ridley caught 2 screens and Develin had as many catches -1- as Boyce (3 targets).                         
● The Pats were better in the red zone (2 of 3) than the Falcons (1 of 6). Aqib Talib almost single-handedly won the game for the Pats. He played mostly on Julio Jones who had 6 catches on 13 targets. Smith should have taken the 3 points.                                    
 ● The ProJo (10/1) has Matt Garza pitching for the Rays versus Cleveland!                                                                 



Mike Module wants all the Red Sox fans to grow beards while the team is in the playoffs.  His friend Scott seconded the need for ‘rally beards’. Of course Scott already has a beard so his vote doesn’t count. I told them I was out as I have a wedding in a couple weeks (not mine), so the beard thing was not going to work for me (or Victoria). Followers of this missive who are fans – What do you think about ‘rally beards’?

Scott said that if it goes to Game 7 of the World Series that it would be on Halloween night. So there could be a special Halloween in Boston (if it goes 7 - the Red Sox could sweep like in 2004 and 2007).

The Herbster was ecstatic about the great upset that day. It took me a few seconds to realize that the US must have beaten the Kiwis in the America’s Cup final. I refrained from telling Herbie that about 1% of the population cared.

We were talking about the new car innovations like sensors and rear cameras to see if someone is near your vehicle when backing up. The Bear mentioned that some cars could park themselves. Pal Al said that his wife’s Hyundai Sonata will tell you how many miles you have left to go. Al figured if they can do that then future cars will have a black box that will record what your average speed is. Al could see this being used against you in a court of law. I said, “I’d marry the car. That way it couldn’t testify against me.” The Bear said, “Well you could plead that you had a long and loving relationship.”

The question – name the producer/singer/songwriter who worked with the Byrds, the Beach Boys, Paul Revere and the Raiders, and the Mamas and the Papas, and whose group had a Top 10 hit. Answer – Terry Melcher (Jorden), Doris Day’s son, who had a hit (along with future Beach Boy Bruce Johnston) with the Rip Chords (Hey, Little Cobra). Melcher also had a role in the Charles Manson case. Dennis Wilson had introduced Manson to Melcher, who agreed to record some of Manson’s songs. Melcher backed out. The house where he lived with girlfriend Candice Bergen and roommate Mark Lindsay was the site of the Sharon Tate/Abigail Folger/Jay Sebring murders. It was reported that Manson knew Melcher was no longer living in the house but wanted to send a message. Melcher went into hiding. He died 11/19/04 from melanoma at age 62. Melcher co-wrote (w/ John Phillips, Scott McKenzie and Mike Love), the Beach Boys #1 hit – Kokomo.

This multi-instrumentalist and singer/songwriter/producer also had a movie mom (like Melcher), but she was much less well known. He worked with Ronstadt, 10 CC, and Art Garfunkel, and toured with the Eagles, Jackson Browne and James Taylor. Name him.
   Sportzine is also available at jimdawsonsports.com (Thanks to Buffalo Steve)