Monday, November 05, 2018


NOVEMBER 5, 2018

Well, it took awhile to put away the Packers from Wisconsin (4th quarter), but the end result was welcome. This rare ‘duel’ between Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady was won by the superior defense of the Patriots.

While Rodgers was sacked but once, the Pats D put pressure on him through much of the game. A look at stats from Gamebook show that the D had 6 QB hits with Adrian Clayborn and Trey Flowers combining for the sack and Clayborn with another QB hit on the play that Rodgers fumbled out of bounds. Dietrich Wise Jr had 2 QB hits and Keionta Davis had 1.

That helps explain Rodgers going 24 for 43 (19 misses) compared to Brady’s 22 of 35 (13 misses). Besides Davante Adams (9 targets, 6 catches, only 40 yards but 1 TD) and TE Jimmy Graham (6 targets, 4 catches for 55 yard and 1 TD), the one WR that hurt the Pats was Marquez Valdes-Scantling #83, who only had 3 catches but for 101 yards including a 55-yarder that led to the tie at 17 all.

Yet the Pats secondary did a good job for the most part with DBs preventing WR catches by knocking away balls.

The game turned in the 4th Quarter on 3 BAPs (Big Ass Plays). On the first play of the 4th quarter, GB had the ball 1st and 10 on the NE 34. Lawrence Guy caused RB Aaron Jones to fumble and Stephon Gilmore recovered at the NE 24. BAP #1. The Pats then got a big 1st down on a 3rd and 7 when Phillip Dorsett (back from the dead) caught a 17 yarder. Four plays later, Brady lateraled to Julius Edelman who passed to a wide open James White who took it to the GB 1. BAP #2. White then ran it in to give NE the lead for good at 24-17.

The 3rd BAP came when Brady hit Josh Gordon for a 55 yard TD that salted away the game at 31-17. There was still 7:20 left but the Packers were shredded cheese. On to Tennessee.

The Patriots demonstrated their plan of attack immediately. On their first possession, they used James White on 6 of 10 plays, 3 runs and 3 passes. Cordarrelle Patterson, who had a big game, had set up the Pats on their own 41 (36 yards and 5 yard GB penalty) with his kickoff return. White ran 8 yards around left end to make it 7-0.

The Patriots would rush for 123 yards which helped keep the Packer pass rush in check. Patterson led with 11 rushes for 61 yards. He split carries with James White, who rushed 12 times for 31 yards. White, or Sweet Feet as Edelman called him, added 6 catches for 72 yards. White had 2 rushing TDs. NE had 11 first downs by run and 13 by pass.

Edelman (6 catches) and Josh Gordon (5 catches but for 130 yards and that cheese shredding 55 yard TD) were each targeted 10 times.

The Pack had 2 sacks of Brady but only one other QB hit. The sacks were by a LB and a DL both splitting the guards and center. Otherwise, guards Ted Karras, in for Shaq Mason, and Joe Thuney did well.

LB Clay Matthews was a non-factor with 1 tackle, 1 assist and 1 QB hit.

The Patriots only had 5 accepted penalties, but two, strangely enough, were for too many men on the ice, I mean field.

The Packers have a wide receiver whose name is Equanimeous St. Brown. Despite the great name, Equanimeous had only 1 catch on 4 targets for just 4 yards.

The Sportzine was written while listening to the soundtrack of the new remake of A Star is Born with Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper. All I can say is ‘Wow!’ Lady Gaga has a great voice. The surprise is how good Bradley Cooper sounds. Have to see the movie. Also listened to The Cars Anthology Just What I Needed.

Great to see the World Series Champion Red Sox emerge from a duck boat before the start of the Patriots game. A lot of fun to see the Patriot players and Red Sox interact.

Manager Alex Cora has already brought the World Series to his hometown of Caguas, Puerto Rico, as he promised. Another revelation was that along with the request that a plane with relief supplies be sent to Puerto Rico when Cora signed on as manager, he also got the Red Sox Foundation to donate $200,000 towards the recovery of Puerto Rico (per the Globe’s Maria Cramer - 11/4)

Glad to see Mookie Betts (3rd) and Jackie Bradley, Jr. (1st) win Gold Gloves. Would like to have seen Andrew Benintendi make it a clean outfield sweep by the BoSox, but the LF Gold Glove went to KC’s Alex Gordon. I beg to differ.

Per Peter Abraham (Globe – 11/4), Craig Kimbrel had a 150% increase in his walks and a 15% decline in strikeouts this season. Kimbrel is a free agent who will be 31 next May. The Red Sox should pass on signing him to a long term contract. If they can sign Joe Kelly and convince him to close, that would be a better team option.

And of the other free agents, it would be wonderful if the Sox sign Nathan Eovaldi.

2020 Navy - Notre Dame Game to be Played at Aviva Stadium in Dublin, Ireland.
Richard Flinn
So are you going, Richard? - Z

Hi Jim,
A little World Series trivia. You probably already know, but just in case you do not:
Chris Sale was the first pitcher to record both the first and last out in a World Series in 73 years. The last was Hal Newhouser in 1945.
Pitchers who got the first and last out of the World Series:
Babe Adams, 1909
Ernie Shore, 1916
Art Nehf, 1922
Waite Hoyt, 1928
Lefty Gomez, 1937
Paul Derringer, 1940
Spud Chandler, 1943
Hal Newhouser, 1945
And Chris Sale, 2018
The Wizard of the Web 
I like that, Wiz. Didn't know it or missed it. Thank you - Z

Just two things to say.
"Big" Bill LaPlante fired up a new, five cent Phillies when the last strike from Sales got recorded. As you know, he (Ed. - Bill’s dad) used to smoke them down to the nub while turning his head sideways to relight it when they died out. A nickel cigar was his only vice (that we knew of): Ben Franklin, White Owl, and Phillies from Clift's Variety on Manton Avenue. That's four dad. Yes! Sox!
Manny Machado is a dirty ballplayer, leaving no doubt to the nation after what he did during these playoffs.
Bill LaPlante Jr.
Billy, it was quite the ride for the Red Sox and you could tell right from the git go that this team would be very good. Even the most optimistic fans, like me, could never have envisioned how great this team would become. We just witnessed the best defensive outfield ever for the Red Sox. Benny, JBJ and Mookie all deserve gold gloves.
So you kept up your Dad's tradition, eh? Well done. Your Canadiens are playing well and I saw that the beat the Bruins 3-0 while I was away. Bruins, especially the defense, needs to get healthy. McAvoy on IR as Krug comes back.
As for Manny Machado, he just proved that he's a dirty player in the playoffs. They barely mentioned it on Fox, but Machado spiked Pierce on the heel when he made the 2nd out in the 9th inning of the 4th game (Devers great play). Classless. Million dollar talent but a numbskull. I wouldn't want him on my team. He’d get a teammate hurt. - Z

Jim : Your masterful writing truly captured the essence of this remarkable season! Thanks for a memorable 'Zine !
Tom Wallis
Thanks for the kind words, Tom. Glad you enjoyed it.
Red Sox fans were blessed with one of the best teams ever. The World Series, the Playoffs and the season - all pure joy.  - Z

Great Stuff Jim!
I watched the games starting at 8 am here (Ed. - China) and odd watching a night game at 8 am. Interesting season to help ease the pain of our announced Pawsox departure.
Garry Gillett

We finally got the whole damn cake!!!!!!!!!  Frosting too!  Price pitched great the entire series and deserved this win.
Driller Killer
Yes we did, Driller. And the Red Sox drilled the opposition – the Yankees, the Astros and the Dodgers. - Z

Congrats on the Sox winning the WS…..quite a year and fitting end!!!!
David Knudson
Thanks David. Yes quite the fitting end. In 2007, the Patriots went 18-0, and then won 2 games in the playoffs. But alas, they lost to the New York ‘Football’ Giants in the Super Bowl. Does anyone care about the undefeated season? I didn’t want fans to forget this memorable 108-win season. A World Series win was a must. - Z

Forgot to mention - I think Price should have gotten MVP of series.
Ken Forestal
Ken, the night of Game #5, I said that to Brad that maybe Price should get the MVP. - Z
Sportzine is also available at thanks to Buffalo Steve Lenz
Foot Joy and I were talking baseball, of course, and he asked me if I knew who came up with the expression ‘walk-off’. I admitted that I didn’t know. According to Foot Joy, it was Dennis Eckersley. A check of Wikipedia notes that Eckersley coined the expression, which referred to the pitcher who gave up the winning hit having to ‘walk off’ the field.

So Fleet Feet Pete moseyed in to the Hot Club and before he even ordered a Pabst Blue Ribbon, Beth brought him one. Fleet Feet said, “People see me and they get a beer.” Foot Joy added, “But usually for themselves.”

Talking to Making His Mark, he brought up Roberto Clemente and how he admired Clemente as both a baseball player and a hero. I agreed. Mark wondered how many athletes can truly be considered a hero. I brought up Ted Williams, who supported the Jimmy Fund and often visited sick children in the hospital, but didn’t want sports writers to mention it. Do you have a sports figure that you consider a hero?

Well, last issue the trivia question was provided by Ken Forestal. No one got it. I didn’t get it. The Question: What artist got his start in a "Boston Sound" band that had a mild hit in 1967 - changed genres and penned an iconic tune?-Name Artist - Band - Hit -Tune.
The Answer: Jerry Jeff Walker - Circus Maximus - "Wind"--"Mr. Bojangles".
When Ken brought up the ‘Boston Sound’, I recalled bands like Ultimate Spinach and Beacon Street Union. Another was Orpheus. But I had forgotten about Circus Maximus. In 1967, Jerry Jeff Walker (née Ronald Crosby, born in Oneonta, NY) and Bob Bruno started the group, which they wanted to call Lost Sea Dreamers, but the record company resisted since that spelled out LSD. Bob Bruno’s song Wind was a minor local hit, but according to, the song never charted because it was close to 8 minutes long.
The Boston Sound or Bosstown Sound was a marketing campaign to promote Boston bands and was conceived by record producer Alan Lorber. It was a marketing strategy meant to compete with the San Francisco Sound bands. (Source – Wikipedia).

This multi-instrumentalist (fiddle, pedal steel, dobro, mandolin as well as acoustic and electric guitars) has played bluegrass, blues, jazz, C&W, as well as rock. On two songs from one of his albums, 5 members of the Grateful Dead (including Jerry Garcia) backed him. Name?


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