Monday, February 04, 2019


JANUARY 14, 2019

Pre-game, Dr. Jim asked me about the Patriots chances. I told him that the Pats needed to run, stop the run and have the O Line protect Tom Brady. Check (155 yards rushing), Check (19 yards rushing for LA/SD), and Tom Brady was not sacked and hit but twice.

This was a rout. Ever the optimist, I never saw this coming. The Patriots won the toss, drove down the field, scored a TD (Michel, 1-yard run) on their way to 4 straight TDs in the first half. When the Chargers finally stopped the Pats, LA’s All-Pro punt returner Desmond King fumbled the punt and LB Albert McClellan recovered. That led to the Pats’ 5th TD and a 35-7 lead at the half. And it could have been 38-7 had the sideline judge not ruled Phillip Dorsett in bounds to end the half at the LAC 30. Can’t have enough points. The second half was a formality.

Old friend Jim Findesen (R.I.P. James) had always observed that the game is won in the trenches. So it was in this game. Sony Michel had over 100 yards rushing in the first half (105). Michel followed RT Marcus Cannon around right end for 14 yards and his 2nd TD.
Michel also ran around the right side for 40 yards which led to NE’s 4th TD by Rex Burkhead (6-yard run).

That O Line had to protect Brady against the Chargers formidable DE’s Melvin Ingram and Joey Bosa. Ingram had two tackles and one QB hit. Bosa barely showed up on the stat sheet – one assisted tackle. Job well done.

Meanwhile the Pats’ D Line pressured Philip Rivers all game. They sacked him twice (Flowers and Clayborn) and hit Rivers 7 times. Three were by Clayborn, two by Flowers with Butler and McCourty each having one. Deatrich Wise Jr., with 4.5 sacks, was not active for the game (ankle injury).

Philip Rivers, who spoke like he was pumped and jacked to face Tom Brady and the Patriots, was not supplying any veteran leadership. Rivers is now 0-8 in his career versus a Tom Brady QB’d Patriots team. Rivers only win was when Matt Cassel was QB.

On the Chargers very first offensive possession, Rivers and his team were called for delay of game. It happened again on the Chargers 3rd possession. Delay of game penalties are on the QB. Rivers would have had another but LA/SD called a timeout. Tom E. Curran of NBCSN said their was a 4th negated by another timeout. Not what you expect from your 37-year old leader. Oh and he didn’t even complete 50% of his passes (25 of 51 with an interception by Stephon Gilmore).

The one time that Rivers connected was on a first half 43 yard TD pass to Keenan Allen who beat Gilmore on a double move. Allen, a favorite target of Rivers, only caught one other pass (on 6 targets) and it wasn’t against Gilmore.

The KC Chiefs will be a much tougher opponent, especially at Arrowhead Stadium. On to KC. The souvenir towel handed out Sunday says it all: ‘Everything We Got’. The Patriots will bring everything they’ve got next Sunday. We’ll see if it’s enough.

James White was targeted 17 times and had 15 catches for 97 yards. In the first half White had 12 targets and 10 catches. His 15 catches bested his own post-season NFL record of 14 set in Super Bowl 51.

Julian Edelman was the target 13 times and had 9 catches for 151 yards. Edelman passed Reggie Wayne (93) for most post season catches, and is now 2nd all time to Jerry Rice (151). Edelman now has 98 post season catches. Doubtful he catches Rice.

Stephen Gostkowski had his 26th consecutive post season game with a point. Gostko is now 2nd all time to ex-Patriot Adam Vinatieri (32).

The Chargers were 5 for 13 on 3rd down. The Pats were 7 of 14 (5 for 6 in the first half).

The Patriots controlled the clock on the Chargers with a Time of Possession of 38:20 to 21:40. That’s almost 17 minutes more for non-math students. Because LAC was so far behind most of the game, they only attempted 10 rushing plays.

The game marked a first. Sarah Thomas was the first female to referee an NFL post season game. Thomas was the Down Judge.

Some home games, Patriots fans don’t sit. This was one of them.

The Bruins got D Charlie McAvoy back and in his first game Boston beat Toronto 3-2 to move within 2 points of the Maple Leafs for 2nd place in the Atlantic Division. Today the Bruins face the rival Canadiens, who are in 4th place, 3 points behind Boston.
Per Nora Princiotti (Globe – 1/13), Julian Edelman posted a graphic on social media showing Brady, Gronk, Belichick and himself as Queen entitled ‘Bostonian Patsody’.

Celtics coach Brad Stevens was surprised but pleased when Marcus Smart broke up a scrum between Marcus Morris and Jaylen Brown during the Orlando game.

Per Ben Volin (Globe – 1/13), the Pats may get 4 compensatory picks in the draft.

Panda’s 1st name is Pablo, not Pedro. And it wasn't a trade, it was a free agent signing.  You should know this. Foot Joy You are quite right, Foot Joy. Last issue I goofed when I called him Pedro Sandoval and wrote that it was a ‘bad trade’. Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa. - Z
Answers to last issue’s trivia question:
Saturday Night Fever - Bee Gees – Stayin Alive.
Dennis Doyon
Dennis, good guess. However Saturday Night Fever is #2. - Z

One more shot - Help – Beatles. Or The Graduate - Simon and Garfunkel
Dennis Doyon
Actually Dennis, neither of the two. In fact, you'll be as surprised as I was at the correct answer.  - Z

Trivia guess: Saturday Night Fever, Mamma Mia!
Roger Boudreau
Boud, you are close. Saturday Night Fever is #2. But, no not Mamma Mia. - Z

Re the trivia question, I have no idea, but I do know that "I Will Always Love You".
Buff Steve
Hi Steve, thanks for the "I Will Always Love You' mention. Same goes for me to you. - Z

Don't think you caught my dumb little attempt at a joke. I was referring to the song from the Bodyguard album - my guess at the trivia question. Did you know that song, sung by Whitney, holds the record for being the best-selling single by a woman in music history? Yah,baby! Now don't get me wrong - I do love ya, my brother, but jeez!
Buff Steve
Steverino, I missed the Joke. Yes the best selling soundtrack is The Bodyguard. Forgot about the connection with Whitney and that song, which I discovered was written by Dolly Parton. The soundtrack sold 17 million copies. - Z
Sportzine is also available at thanks to Buffalo Steve Lenz

Professor Peter related a Satchel Paige quote to me, one that is very pertinent since we are all aging. The quote: “Age is a question of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.”

Someone was playing Warren Zevon’s Lawyers, Guns and Money on the Hot Club jukebox. Fleet Feet Pete, the Bear and I were enjoying it. So I asked them if they had ever heard Zevon’s Mr. Bad Example. They had not. I told them that the song is as good as anything Zevon ever wrote and sang (co-written by Jorge Calderón).

Recently I pointed out to Fleet Feet Pete that some big corporations like Constellation Brands (makers of Corona beer) are jumping into the marijuana business. I showed him a clipping noting that Anheuser-Busch InBev just bought into the Canadian Cannabis Company. Observed Fleet Feet: ‘Perfect name – Bud.’

Overheard at the Hot Club about the Foxy Lady being closed down: “Sex is not a spectator sport.”

Last issue, I asked you to name the best selling movie soundtrack of all time and as a bonus to name the #2 best seller. It was the soundtrack from The Bodyguard with Whitney Houston. Only Buffalo Steve Lenz had the answer without help. Special K and Making his Mark also got it after a couple clues. Saturday Night Fever was #2. Thanks to Pal Al for suggesting the trivia.

This band had albums produced by Al Kooper and Todd Rundgren. They had a Top 10 U.S. hit which was Song of the Year, but were more known for their stage shows. An early edition was run out of town by police when they performed in Mexico. Under their eventual name, they were on a tour of Italy when the band was forced off stage by local police and they had to flee the country. Yet they once opened for Led Zeppelin as well as Alice Cooper, and Squeeze once opened for them. They also wrote several songs for movie soundtracks. Name the band.


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