Friday, November 25, 2016


NOVEMBER 21, 2016

It rained during yesterday’s game versus San Francisco. You wouldn’t have known it by the passes Tom Brady was slingin’ around Levi’s Stadium. 40 passes. Touchdowns to 4 different receivers (Edelman, White, Amendola and rookie Malcolm Mitchell). A wild and crazy Tom Brady who ran 4 times (12 yards) to escape the rush (sacked but once), and buy more time to complete passes. I counted (from my notes) at least 3 times that Brady eluded tacklers and got off a pass, none better than the throw to Mitchell crossing over the middle, which he then took for a 56-yard TD. The TD pass to Amendola was also due to Brady, who play faked beautifully, looking one way and spinning the other before hitting him. Dancin’ Tom Brady. Dancin’ in the rain. Slingin’ in the rain.

Give the Niners credit. Their defense played well at times (they did give the Pats 5 first downs on penalties). The score was 13-10 into the 4th quarter. As a Pats fan, I didn’t feel comfortable and confident about the win until Mitchell’s TD made it 27-10. At 20-10, it’s a two score game with a possible onsides kick. Mitchell’s TD came with 10:06 left.

The defense played better, especially in the 2nd half when they shut out SF until a late (2:06) meaningless touchdown. What was noticeable was the increased pass rush, right from the start. On the very first series, Chung blitzed on 3rd and 9 and sacked Kaepernick. On SF’s 2nd possession Hightower sacked Kaepernick on 3rd and goal. Coordinator Matt Patricia was using blitzes more than he ever has this year. The D sacked Kaepernick 5 times (3 in the 2nd half) and could have had more if not for his elusiveness (5 or 6 times he ran to avoid a sack or scrambled and completed a pass).

At the end, after the rain of passes by Tom Brady, the rain stopped and a rainbow arced through the air. Much like Brady’s passes. In his first game ever against the 49ers, he and his team had won in Santa Clara, not far from where he grew up in San Mateo (about 27 minutes away - as the crow flies). Brady beat the team for which he rooted as a kid. And the San Francisco team that did not draft him in 2000. They opted for one Giovanni Carmazzi, a Rhodes scholar candidate, who never played a down in the NFL.
Bill Belichick warmly greeted 49ers Head Coach Chip Kelly before the game. You could tell that Belichick has respect for Kelly, whose Eagles team beat the Pats at Gillette last year. Belichick even smiled while talking to Kelly.

Welcome back Dion Lewis who contributed with 5 runs for 23 yards and 3 catches for 26 yards. Lewis got a 1st down on the Pats 1st possession, shaking a tackler.

Julian Edelman, another local kid (Redwood City, CA), got to strut his stuff. His TD to start the scoring was exceptional as he dragged his feet before going out of bounds. Do you think Tom Brady wanted Edelman to succeed? He targeted Edelman 17 times (8 catches). After that, James White, who is very reliable now, had 6 targets, 6 catches.

In the 1st half, the Pats D made RB Carlos Hyde look like an All Pro. Poor tackling didn’t help. Hyde had 11 carries for 55 yards (5.0 yd avg.). He ended with 19 for 86 yds.

On the SF TD drive in the 2nd quarter, Logan Ryan was called for holding. On the play, Dont’a Hightower was clearly held while blitzing. An egregious non-call by the refs.

PK Stephen Gostkowski missed another extra point, his 3rd of the year. Holder Ryan Allen pulled down two high snaps or it might have been worse. NFL kickers missed a record 12 PATs on Sunday. Kicking 35-yard PATs does make a difference.

The 5 sacks by the Pats: Chung, Dont’a, Nink, Butler and new LB Kyle Van Noy.

Duron Harmon saved a TD when he brought down Hyde with a leg tackle.

You would have thought the game was in Foxboro as Brady chants filled the Stadium.

Congrats to Rick Porcello for winning the AL Cy Young. I thought Mookie Betts, who had more HRS, RBI and better BA should have won the AL MVP instead of Mike Trout.

The Braves just signed RA Dickey (42) and Bartolo Colon (43). Hear they want to sign LHP Jesse Orosco (59) for the ’pen. Nick Cafardo’s column (Globe-11/20) noted that the only team to win a World Series with two 40 year olds was the Red Sox in 2007 (Schilling and Wakefield). The only other team to make the World Series with two 40 year olds was the Yankees in 2003 (David Wells and Roger Clemens) but they lost.

I love Black Mirror, but hesitate calling it the new Twilight Zone. There will always be pretenders, but there is no Rod Serling replacement. Male vs female singers? I own 3500+ cds and female singers fit in predominately. Emmylou Harris, Alison Krauss, Grace Slick, Mama Cass Elliot, Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Supremes, The Shirelles, Martha and the Vandellas, Aretha Franklin, Edie Brickell, Patsy Cline, Joan Jett, Linda Ronstadt, k. d. lang, and untold others. I think it is a specious argument. Barry Spadea
Barry, while it sounds like a stretch to compare Black Mirror with The Twilight Zone, what other show/series has there been this outré? Name me one. That said, you are right that there will never be another Twilight Zone. I agree about all the great women singers that we listen to and whose CDs we collect. Not sure where I fall with my collection, but there are many CDs by women. Last I counted, I had more Emmylou Harris CDs than any other artist. Oh, Steve Earle may have caught up there. - Z

Jim: On the comment/question: "Mark, a friend of Captain Jack’s, and I were talking music. Mark said he thinks that 80% of men who listen to and collect music prefer male singers. I disagreed. Readers?" This from someone that knows little to nothing about music, and is a bit dated in his frame of reference, so please factor that in. But with all due respect to the great Aretha Franklin, Dusty Springfield, Petula Clark, Stevie Nicks, Janis Joplin, Carly Simon, Janis Ian, et al from my era, I think Mark is wrong - I'd put the number over to 90%. P.S. Although I do like Pink!
Rick Nadeau
Rick, always liked Pink's Let's Get This Party Started. Have to disagree. While my LP/CD collection probably isn't 50-50, it's way far from 80/20. Then you have female lead singers in male bands and in girl groups (Ronettes). - Z

Hey Jim, maybe Pete Carroll is trying to become football's answer to Joe Maddon with STUPID decisions. Only difference, Maddon does stupid stuff and he won the World Series !!
Jim Dwyer
Yeah, Jim, I thought Maddon made some mistakes and got away with them. I remember someone who’ll remain nameless who railed at Terry Francona's managing after the Sox won their 1st World Series. I couldn't believe it. If the Pats had won in OT, Carroll would have faced some serious slapback on that call. - Z

Jim, Canadiens off to a scorching start. Carey Price is back and in a zone; just praying that he stays healthy for a remade Montreal team (on defense). Go Habs Go!
Bill LaPlante
Billy, scorching is right. Montreal is trés chaud. Isn't that a record for them - undefeated at home 9 straight to start a season? The Habs got it to 10 straight before losing at the Bell Centre with Price in goal (to Florida). Montreal is now 14-3-2. Hope that our teams don't suffer any major injuries (Carey's injury killed the Habs last year). Injuries to the wrong people and championships are rare. The Bruins are playing better and no longer have a losing record at home (4-3). - Z

The HC has a good mix of draft beers (have to have a couple Guinness). Recently they had Ginger Ninja from Black Hog Brewery (Oxford, CT). It is an American IPA with an ABV of 6.5. Last week they had ‘The Crisp’ by Sixpoint Brewery (Brooklyn NY). It’s a German pilsener with an ABV of 5.4.

Beau told me that Miles Davis wanted to play with Jimi Hendrix on Machine Gun. We agreed that Hendrix’s version of Bob Dylan’s All Along the Watchtower is better than Dylan’s version.

We were talking about World War I. Dr. John said that the Admiral of the British Royal Fleet was one John Jellicoe. According to the good doctor, Winston Churchill once said that Jellicoe was the only man on either side who could lose the war in an afternoon.

Buffalo Steve said that the History Channel has a good series on the Vietnam War.

Professor Peter and I were talking movie ratings like IMDb. He reminded me that in a recent conversation about a movie, Stevie ‘Sauce Pan Hands’ had described a movie as having 9.4 out of 5 stars.

So, who was it that recorded a memorable LP of another’s songs, in the process helping to revive the songwriter’s career? Why Jennifer Warnes who recorded Famous Blue Raincoat (released in 1987). It was her most successful LP, and contained all Leonard Cohen songs. No one had the answer. The first track was First We Take Manhattan with Stevie Ray Vaughn on it. Cohen duets with her on Joan of Arc. Warnes got partial songwriting credit for Song of Bernadette. Send me some good trivia and I’ll credit you.

A momentary departure from music trivia to the world of cinema:
This native Rhode Island producer/director and actor is credited with being the first to create a film studio. He worked with some of the titans of the film industry. He has been called ‘the Father of the Western’ because he specialized in making Western movies. Who is this pioneer in film history? Be my guest if you want to google it. Fascinating.

Sportzine is available at thanks to Buffalo Steve Lenz