Monday, September 30, 2019


SEPTEMBER 30, 2019

The Patriots were happy to escape Buffalo with a win on Sunday that was fueled by their defense (4 interceptions, 5 sacks) and special teams (JC Jackson’s blocked punt which Matthew Slater ran in for his first ever touchdown).

The first touchdown scored by the offense was after a Devin McCourty interception which gave the Pats the ball at the 50. Brady did have a nice lofted ball for 26 yards to James White on 3rd down which set up Brandon Bolden’s 4 yard TD run.

That TD and Slater’s were scored in the first quarter. The Pats would not score again until a field goal in the 3rd quarter which was set up on JC Jackson’s 2nd interception and gave NE the ball at Buffalo’s 42. Brady did have a good pass on 3rd down to Josh Gordon for 31 yards (great Yards After Catch by Gordon).

That Gostkowski field goal of 23 yards was needed as Buffalo had crept to within 13-10. Thanks to another missed extra point by Gostkowski after the first TD, Buffalo could
have won the game with a touchdown.

In the 4th quarter, the Patriots had to survive a 4th and goal from their 2 (pass off Zay Jones hands), and then three successive possessions with bad field position – their own 3, 20 and 15. On the last of those three possessions (from their 15), Sony Michel ran 3 consecutive times and gained 8 yards, 9 yards and 3 yards which brought the ball out to NE’s 35. The Pats were also helped by rookie punter Jake Bailey who, after Bills’ stops, kicked the ball 60 yards, 49 yards and then 46 yards.

However the game win wasn’t solidified until Buffalo’s last possession. With the ball on NE’s 39, backup QB Matt Barkley was hit by Kyle Van Noy as he threw and Jamie Collins intercepted. Patriots fans could then breathe a sigh of relief as Tom Brady did the kneel down to end the game. An ugly win but a win. This was the first real test for the Patriots and while they won there were some ominous signs.

The Pats had the ball at Buffalo’s 2 just before the half. Up 13-3, another touchdown would have put the Bills in a tough spot. Instead Tom Brady threw a poor interception which ended the threat. I’m still not sure to whom Brady was throwing. It was his worst pass of the day. Game Book says the intended target was Julian Edelman.

The constant pressure by the Bills defensive front had a lot to do with Brady feeling uncomfortable. Game Book shows that while Brady wasn’t sacked, he was hit 3 times though that doesn’t truly reflect the constant threat by Buffalo’s defense. It led to hurried passes by Brady and even an intentional grounding.

The Pats had 8 penalties for the game, 5 in the 1st half. There were also 3 offsetting penalties in the game - Chung (interference), Wise (offsides) and Jonathan Jones on the hit that knocked starting QB Josh Allen out of the game. While some have questioned Jones’ helmet to helmet hit on Allen, it is revealing that the hit was not ruled to meet the NFL standard for ejection.

Some of the penalties will not make Bill Belichick happy. Matthew Slater was called for unsportsmanlike on a punt. Stephon Gilmore was called for holding and had a pass interference call declined.

Devin McCourty’s 1st quarter INT tied the team record with Mike Haynes (1976) for interceptions in 4 consecutive games.

It was disconcerting to see the Patriots defense give up 109 rushing yards to graybeard Frank Gore. The D did hold Buffalo to 2 for 13 on 3rd down and 1 for 2 on 4th.

There were 9 home teams that lost this week out of 14 games. Home field advantage is not what it used to be.

The Globe’s Ben Volin had this stat Sunday: Entering Week 4, there were 8 undefeated NFL teams and 7 without a win. This week 5 of those undefeated teams lost (LA, Detroit, Green Bay, Dallas and Buffalo). SF had a bye.

As for the 7 teams without a win, Miami, Denver and Washington continued their losing ways. The Jets had a bye. The winless Bengals and Steelers play tonight.

The debut for Redskins’ rookie QB Dwayne Haskins didn’t go well (9 for 17, 3 INTs). On the other hand, backup QB Chase Daniel (22 of 30) came on for Mitch Trubisky and with help from a gimpy kicker led the Bears to a win over the Vikings. Can backup QB Sean Mannion be any worse than starter Kirk Cousins?
Wow! Great line up for US Fest!! 
Guess Bill Graham didn’t hire Hells Angels for security, so there wasn’t enough mayhem to make national news.
Bill, yeah hiring the Hells Angels to provide security at a rock concert was dumb. The story is that Jerry Garcia and the Dead convinced the Altamont promoters to do so.
And yes that was an incredible lineup for the US Festival, especially considering that I had never heard of it.
There is a documentary or two out there about that 1982 US Festival. I understand that they did individual ones for the different performers as well. - Z

Glad you are back with the Zine. 
I’m looking at the month of September as an extension of the preseason. The Pats have beaten three teams that are a combined 0-9. 
Tom Queenan
Yeah Tom, the 'teams' that they've played are suspect though the Steelers may bounce back (though I thought losing Bell and Brown would hurt their offense and it has).
The Bills will be the Pats first real test and it's an away game. Hope Edelman is OK because he's Mr. Clutch.
Still worried about that OL keeping Brady intact. - Z

Nice issue, thanks.
My son, Steve, worked on the lighting for the Willie Nelson Outlaw Tour last year.
Near the end of the tour Willie's guitar guy, aka "Tommy Tuner", let Steve strum a few chords on Trigger a sign of real respect for my son's work ethic (my son is a very good guitar player himself!). I told Steve that would be like me getting to swing Ted Williams' Louisville Slugger!
Jim Raftus
Great story, Jim. Getting to strum Willie Nelson’s legendary guitar, Trigger. Quite an honor.
I suspect you’ve been watching Ken Burns' documentary on country music. The one last night was heartbreaking as it covered the clash of Merle Haggard doing Okie from Muskogee and Johnny Cash's musical answers during the turbulent and divisive anti-war climate of our college years.
There will always be a place in my heart for Country music. The woman who played the music at the St. Ray's 'canteen' dances must have had a fondness too since I recall songs like Crazy and I Fall to Pieces by Patsy Cline. - Z

On a note to hockey fans in the peanut gallery, I am one that welcomes the beginning of a new season for the NHL and college teams everywhere to begin their quests for winning seasons. One news clip that I just read has me noting that the passing of the years now lead to the greats showing their age in ailments being shown and their passings being mourned. Guy Lafleur, arguably one of the greatest right wingers of all time, had quadruple bypass surgery this past week (too much poutine). He is the first player to have accumulated 50 goals and greater than 100 points in six consecutive seasons. Get well soon #10. Go Habs!
Bill LaPlante
Hi Bill, funny you mentioned the start of hockey. Paul and I were just saying how much we were looking forward to the return of NHL hockey. The Bruins vs the Stars opens the season for us this Thurs., Oct.3.
I saw the item about Guy Lafleur  and hope he has a speedy recovery. - Z

Foot Joy sent me the following email which was an early view of Peter Abraham’s Sunday Globe column:
"Happy 43rd birthday to Calvin Pickering, who at 6 feet 5 inches, 285 pounds was one of the biggest Red Sox players ever. Pickering, a native of the US Virgin Islands, was selected off waivers in 2001 and played 17 games in September. He hit .280 with three home runs but didn’t play the following season because of a torn quadriceps suffered in spring training."
Why did Foot Joy send it to me? Because in 2004, the AAA All-Star game was held at McCoy Stadium and Calvin Pickering was there playing for KC’s AAA team, the Omaha Storm Chasers (in 89 games, he hit 35 homers with 79 RBI). As Calvin Pickering approached home plate for his first at bat, I said 'He's never missed a meal.' The woman behind me tapped me on the shoulder and said 'That's my husband you're talking about.'
Hum-ma-na hum-ma-na... - Z

Hey Jim- taking a stab at the music trivia- thinking Chet Atkins or Les Paul….
Mark Allio
Mark, nice try but neither is the correct answer. - Z

Good quiz question. I'm guessing JJ Cale. I saw him on PBS playing with Clapton the other day, and I think I remember a story about him not going on Dick Clark.
Glenn Dewell
Glenn, correct-a-mundo - it's JJ Cale. - Z

The answer to the trivia question is J. J. Cale. 
Tom Queenan
Yes, Tom, the correct answer is JJ Cale. I have a collection of his and there isn't a bad song on it. Tulsa's own. - Z
Sportzine is available at thanks to Buffalo Steve Lenz
Special K was telling us about some of her adventures with on line dating. I murmured that I wasn’t even thinking about dating. Foot Joy told Special K: “Women find Jim very attractive. He can drive at night.”

In discussing Ken Burns’ documentary on Country Music, Dr. John wondered if there’d be any mention of Ian and Sylvia, the wonderful Canadian duo. Dr. John said that he saw Ian and Sylvia at Beaver College in Jenkintown, Pennsylvania. John added that Beaver College was an all-women’s school (Really – can’t make this up). An Internet search shows that the college is now in Glenside, Pennsylvania and is coed. It changed its name to Arcadia University in July of 2001.

Everyone wanted to know how Dr. John enjoyed his time at Gillette Stadium for the Jets game. I said that John found it quite different from his Brown University football games.
With 67,000 plus, it is quite the experience and the crowd is a big part of that. I told Captain Jack, and Make Your Mark that the Stadium has switched to more craft beers. So we’ve had a couple rounds of Wormtown’s Be Hoppy out of Worcester. But Sunday the guys behind us showed me their cans of Heady Topper, a beer until now not available outside of Vermont. The ABV is 8. I bought Dr. John and Driller Killer some. Not sure if they liked the strong ABV as much as I did. Great time. Great game. Great company.

So who was the singer/songwriter/guitarist who influenced Knopfler, Young and Clapton and won a Grammy in a collaboration with another artist? Tom Queenan and Glenn Dewell had the answer – JJ Cale. John Weldon Cale was convinced to change it to JJ so as not to be confused with the Velvet Underground’s John Cale. Clapton covered Cale’s After Midnight and Cocaine. Johnny Cash and Lynyrd Skynyrd did his Call Me the Breeze. Lucinda Williams and Poco, among others, did Magnolia. In 2008 Cale and Eric Clapton won a Grammy for their album The Road To Escondido.
Cale started out as a studio engineer. Clapton’s success with After Midnight led Cale to do his first album Naturally. Cale’s biggest single was Crazy Mama which reached #22 in 1972. Cale died of a heart attack at age 74 in July, 2013. (Source – Wikipedia)

This singer/songwriter/guitarist had a huge influence on country rock/alternative country music. He had a pivotal role in a band’s seminal country album and even affected a British rock band. Yet he is not in the Country or Rock Halls of Fame. Name?


Well, the Patriots defense still hasn’t given up a TD to an opponent after 3 games. The Jets were 0-12 on 3rd down and 0-1 on 4th. The D held Le’Veon Bell to 35 yards on 18 carries. They sacked 3rd string QB Luke Falk (12 of 22, one INT) 5 times and had 10 QB hits. Jamie Collins led the way with 2 sacks. Michael Bennett had 1. Dont’a, Van Noy, Butler and Winovich all had half a sack. Collins also led the team in tackles (5) and assists (2), followed by Shelton (4/2) and Simon (2/3).

It was 30-0 before Gunner Olszewski fumbled a punt into NE’s end zone that the Jets recovered for a TD. Then Jarrett Stidham came in for Tom Brady. On his 3rd pass, he threw a pick-6. Brady QB’d the rest of the game.

The Offensive Line saw the welcome return of Marcus Cannon at RT. Marshall Newhouse was back at LT. Brady was never sacked. He was hit 3 times. The sack wasd  vs. Stidham.

Brady’s passes were on the mark most of the time. When not throwing to the sidelines or deep outs, he tended to throw low where only his receivers could catch the ball.

On the downside, Julian Edelman suffered a rib injury in the 1st half and didn’t return. When Josh Gordon got hurt (back and hand), there were times when Brady's only
receivers were Phillip Dorsett, Jakobi Meyers, Gunner Olszewski and Rex Burkhead (with James White inactive because his wife was delivering). Once the Jets got to 30-14, there were more running plays and safe passes.

Also of concern was that Sony Michel still hasn’t got it going. He did have a 5 yard TD run but 9 carries for 11 yards won’t do it against good teams. Burkhead led with 11 carries and 47 yards. Though maybe with the changes on the OL (Center, Left Tackle and Right Tackle (though Cannon is back), the concentration has been on pass protection while run blocking is still a work in progress.

Up next, the one team in the AFC East that should concern the Patriots – the 3-0 Buffalo Bills who have a good Defense and emerging offense under young QB Josh Allen. Allen went 23 of 36, 1 INT vs Cincy but is a threat to run (9 carries, 46 yards). Go Pats!

Miami has a different Josh (Rosen) at QB and it’s going to be a long year for him. He was 18 of 39 (21 misses!) and was sacked 3 times by Dallas.

Atlanta barely lost to the Colts in Indy 27-24 as Matt Ryan only missed 5 passes (29 of 34) but one was an INT. Also, getting 16 penalties for 128 yards is counterproductive.

Tampa Bay, at home, had a 28-10 lead over the Giants at halftime. They lost 32-31. TB had two missed extra points, one of which was blocked. NY’s comeback was fueled by rookie QB Daniel Jones, who was 23 of 36, throwing for two TDs and running for two more (both 7-yard runs). On the downside NY lost Saquon Barkley – high ankle sprain.

Another rookie QB is Arizona’s Kyler Murray who wilted under pressure by Carolina’s Defense. Murray threw 2 interceptions and was sacked 8 times in a home game.

Green Bay is showing off its revamped Defense. They had 6 sacks vs the Broncos and QB Joe Flacco.

Jimmy Garoppolo and the 49ers beat the Steelers 24-20 in SF despite Jimmy G throwing 2 INTs and SF losing 3 fumbles.

Houston upset the Chargers in LA 27-20 even though they had only 39 yards rushing.

• Bill ‘The Gunner’ Flanagan, who sits next to me at Gillette, said that he knew the Trivia question answer for SZ#701 – Robert Palmer - but didn’t have access to the Internet. So I’m giving him credit.

• Bill also pointed out that the Jets starting QB Luke Falk was drafted #199 in the 6th round, just as his opposing QB Tom Brady was drafted #199 in the 6th round.

• Watched Farm Aid on AXS as well as Dan Rather’s Big Interview with Willie Nelson. Willie’s guitar ‘Trigger’ is a Martin N-20 acoustic that is amplified. Willie said he wanted to approach the playing style and sound of Django Reinhardt (Wikipedia).

•Didn’t know Luke Combs, one of the performers at Farm Aid. Enjoyed his songs, especially (Long Neck Ice Cold) Beer Never Broke My Heart. From Asheville, NC.
    Sportzine is available at thanks to Buffalo Steve Lenz
• Coming attractions: very soon I will introduce you to a new segment of Sportzine which will discuss Psychotronic Movies and some of the directors responsible for them. The term ‘Psychotronic’ was coined by writer Michael Weldon who has published many reviews discussing movies that fit that bill. As I used to try and explain to Victoria, there are some movies that may have one scene or element that makes it worth viewing because it’s so over the top. Couldn’t convince her. We’ll see what you think.

Thanks, Jimmy…Glad the Zine is back. I also like that you called Kirk Cousins-Mark….haha. He stinks as a quarterback….when Vikes signed him, I knew his personality wouldn't build a winner. He is like Bradford….just doesn’t have the intensity to be the “guy” when you need someone to step up and lead…..he is a morale buster.
I am going to refer to him as Mark from now on…thanks…
Dave Knudson,
Thanks ‘Minnesota Dave’. That's an Oops moment. I have corrected it in the hard copy that I hand out at the Hot Club.  -    Z

FootJoy sent me this email which is about Baseball replays. You’ll find it interesting:
It gives some clarity to the review calls, especially 1B (just touching the glove leather) and 'ties' (the call stands). Thanks, FootJoy     -   Z

Hello Jim,
Was the post Woodstock event held in Canada? There was a concert right after Woodstock and there were more people than expected, so they had to waive the admission fee. Thank you for the zine.
David Annese
Actually, David, it was held in LA. I was shocked that I had never heard (or remembered) it. Thanks for reading.    -   Z

Was it Monterey?
Annette Mendonca
Good guess Annette but not what I was looking for. Also, a google of Monterey Pop, shows that it occurred in June of 1967 which was before Woodstock.     -      Z

Jim, great to have Sportzine back. Pats were also helped by having receivers who could catch the ball (unlike Miami - who did not just drop passes that hit them in the hands but volleyed them to Pats defenders). And some big soccer news: David de Gea signed a new Man U contract, something of a surprise considering all the talk of him moving on when his current deal expired. He's the main reason Man U has not plummeted to the middle of the Premier League table.
I almost forgot.  If you're talking about the Watkins Glen concert (Grateful Dead, Allman Brothers, The Band), Joe Salvo and I were there. A great show, with the sound check featuring an incredible jam.
Glenn Dewell
Glenn, Watkins Glen is a good guess but it was a 1 day event. I was looking for a 3 day event. Thanks also for the soccer update.   -   Z

Hey Jim,
Taking a stab at this week’s trivia question. Is the post Woodstock concert the one at Watkins Glen in 1973? I was there and it was the Grateful Dead, Allman Brothers and the Band. There were a lot more than 300,000 people though.
Could be another shutout coming Sunday against the Jets.
Tom Robinson
Good guess, Tom, but Watkins Glen was a 1 day event. I was looking for a 3 day gathering. Thanks for reading and responding. Also, Pats fans would love a shutout of the J-E-T-S      -   Z

Enjoyed the "Zine," and the Slater Park Zoo 'Dirty Harry' tale. Reminds me of a storyline from a Carl Hiaasen novel (Bad Monkey?). (Thanks, Mike C for introducing me to Hiaasen's Fla-centered stories.)
Guessing on the quiz... (actually, two guesses: Isle of Wight or Bath festivals - both Brit rock fests around the same time as Woodstock. Do I get partial credit if one of them is right?
Keep on Truckin,
Bill, good answers though neither are right. I should have stated that the 3-day concert event occurred in the US. The 1969 Isle of Wight Festival was 11 days after Woodstock. An estimated 150,000 attended the two day event. Bob Dylan and the Band played there instead of in their backyard of Woodstock. The 1970 Isle of Wight Festival attracted an estimated 600,000 to see and hear over 50 performers, but was done over 5 days (Aug. 26-30).
The Bath International Music Festival is not only music but films, talks, dance, theatre, etc. It's done over 12 days in May. So, as you can see, neither meets the requirement of being a 3-day event. Glad that you weighed in though.    -   Z

Special K and I had a running conversation about the Slater Park Zoo. This email that I sent her includes a video of the old Zoo:
Special K, ran across this video of the old Slater Park Zoo. It shows several of the animals that were there, including the polar bear.
I greeted Ernesto with ‘Happy Friday’. He responded: “Friday Happy Indeed”.

My music selections started Wednesday with four Cars songs followed by two of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. Bianca said ‘I see a pattern here.’ I assured her that the rest were not all ‘dead people’ songs and Superstition, Here I Am, and Gnarls Barkley’s Crazy followed. I did end with David Bowie and Freddy Mercury doing Under Pressure.

According to a source who would know, some medical settings now have baskets of free condoms. The catchphrase is ‘No glove, no love.’

Told the gang that my parents would take us on a summer trip every year. One time we went to Hampton Beach, NH (coldest summer water ever). My first rock concert was at the Hampton Casino: the Beach Boys and Kingsmen. Brad was too young to get in.

Another year we went to Niagara Falls. Brad and my Dad went over it in a helicopter. I was with my Mom in a different helicopter. It scared me that our helicopter had an open cockpit - no doors. I don’t like heights. So I asked my Mom to sit next to the open side as she had lived longer than I had. FootJoy said “But you ruined your Mom’s plans!”

The post-Woodstock festival that attracted over 300,000 over 3 days, and one that I had not heard of? No one had it until Sunday at Gillette. Sean, a buddy of Eric Rasmussen’s (sits behind us), knew it was the US Festival. The first US Festival was 1982 in LA and was sponsored by Steve Wozniak of Apple, who wanted to do something to bring music fans together. He financed the ’82 and ’83 US Festivals (’82 lost him a reported $12 million, ’83, $13 million). He hired promoter Bill Graham to run the first which was held at the 500 acre Glen Helen Regional Park in Devore, CA. It combined music with technology exhibits. Some of the performers: Talking Heads, The Police, The Kinks, the Dead, Santana, The Cars, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Jimmy Buffett, Jackson Browne and Fleetwood Mac to mention a few. There was also a 2-way satellite hookup with the Soviet Union (Sources: www.cultof and Wikipedia).

This guitarist, singer/songwriter inspired Mark Knopfler, Neil Young and Eric Clapton. Many of his songs were recorded by others to great success. He won a Grammy for a collaboration with another artist. He refused to be on Dick Clark’s American Bandstand show because he would have had to lip-sync. Name?

Monday, September 16, 2019


SEPTEMBER 16, 2019

The 87° game start temperature and 67% humidity (per Gamebook) did not slow down the Patriot defense on Sunday. They did something no other Patriot team had ever done to the Dolphins while playing in Miami – they shut them out. Rookie Head Coach Brian Flores (ex-Pats’ D coordinator) even called a time out with 1 second left in the Red Zone trying desperately for a touchdown. The ball was then deflected by Duron Harmon to Jamie Collins for his 2nd INT of the game. Shutout!

The Pats D did something else unusual – they had 2 interceptions (Gilmore and Collins’ 1st) returned for pick 6’s. A check of shows that the Patriots had 18 interceptions in 2018, but only one was returned for a TD (Devin McCourty). This was done in one game!

Four interceptions (Collins -2, Gilmore and Devin McCourty). McCourty’s was courtesy of Gilmore who tipped the pass to him. Seven sacks (Butler – 2, Winovich 1.5, Shelton 1 Bennett 1, Simon 1, Collins .5). As you can see by who had the sacks – they mostly came on blitzes (love that Jerod Mayo).

The D also had 12 QB hits. Now I know that all this was against a very suspect Miami team. We’ll save some of the accolades for when they play somebody good. Still...

The offense was good enough to have a 13-0 lead at half but I was rankled by K Stephen Gostkowski missing a FG and extra point (Flores’ time out to ‘freeze’ Gostko worked). I could hear Gillette seatmate Bill ‘Gunner’ Flanagan yelling ‘Wide Right Gostkowski’. Gostko missed another extra point on the last Pats touchdown. Wide right.

Tom Brady quickly put Antonio Brown to work as the only passes on the opening touchdown drive were to Brown, who caught all 3, leading to Sony Michel’s rushing TD. Brown snagged his 4th catch just before half and that was for a touchdown. Brown appeared to get away with a push-off vs ex-Pat Eric Rowe, who was lit up all day. Ironically Brown was targeted 4 more times in the 2nd half with nary a catch.
The Patriots offense then scored 30 points in the 2nd half to finish the job. Three Pats TDs came in the 4th quarter. Belichick rarely takes out Brady even with a big lead. His attitude is that its the other team’s task to stop the Pats from scoring.

However another significant injury occurred to the Pats offensive line in this game. Already missing C David Andrews for the season (IL) and without RT Marcus Cannon for the game, LT Isaiah Wynn went out with a foot injury on the Pats 2nd possession of the game. New acquisition Marshall Newhouse went in for Wynn who didn’t return. Newhouse, a free agent, was signed on 9/11. OL Korey Cunningham (obtained in a trade with Arizona on 8/28), was playing in place of Cannon at RT. The only other healthy active OL was recently re-signed James Ferentz.

Gamebook has Brady being sacked twice and hit one other time. My notes show that RG Shaq Mason and LT Newhouse gave up a sack. Newhouse also had two holding calls, both of which were declined. Cunningham had a bad false start penalty with the Pats on the Miami 1. No matter. Brady ended up scoring on a QB sneak which made it 23-0.

The Patriots’ Offensive Line is so important to Tom Brady’s health. Now they are missing their starting Center (rushes up the middle), LT (Brady’s blind side) and RT. Pats fans can only hope that Cannon and Wynn are back soon. Online research shows that Wynn has a toe injury and is having an MRI today. It’s not clear how long Cannon’s shoulder injury will keep him out. Expect more shoring up of the OL.

Why you need a very good Offensive Line – Ben Roethlisberger left the game against the Seahawks with an elbow injury. The Steelers lost. Roethlisberger just underwent surgery and is out for the year. Drew Brees suffered a hand injury and the Saints lost to the Rams. Brees will undergo surgery for a torn ligament in his throwing thumb. Brees is expected to be out at least 6 weeks.

Sunday, Oakland scored the first 10 game points in the 1st quarter. KC, their opponent, scored 28 points (4 passing TDs) in the 2nd quarter. Neither team scored otherwise.

The Colts beat the Titans in Nashville 19-17 despite Vinatieri missing two extra points.

Vikings QB Mark Cousins went 14 for 32 with 2 INTs in a loss to GB. That’s 44%. Boo!

Some teams can’t run the ball: Washington had 47 yards vs Dallas; KC had 31 vs Oakland; the Bengals had 25 vs. SF; NO (w/ Kamara) had 57 vs LA; the Eagles (49) vs. Atlanta (57) were equally deficient. The Cardinals had a chance against the Ravens (losing 23-17) despite running for 20 yards and having the ball 15+ fewer minutes. Sportzine is available at thanks to Buffalo Steve Lenz
Big John was asking me how the Red Sox could do well in so many offensive categories yet have a terrible year. Starting pitching I told him. Three Cy Young winners who didn’t pitch that way. John asked me if any other teams had 3 Cys starting. I paused and thought of Houston with Verlander and I thought Greinke had one (he does). They had another in Dallas Keuchel but he’s in Atlanta now. So just the Red Sox. Oh the pain!

Was telling Captain Jack, Dr. John and Special K about my daily walks to Slater Park and rediscovering it. I reminisced about Fanny the Elephant and her sale to a Texas Ranch (thankfully). I mentioned that Fanny had a male companion at that ranch called Conga and noted that Sean Larkin created Revival’s Fanny and Conga to honor them. Special K noted that Fanny was too old to mate at that point (she was 49, lived to 59).

So that made me think of the Park’s Zoo which had a polar bear (dumb idea), and a baboon named ‘Dirty’ Henry, who had to move on after throwing feces at onlookers. The Park also had ‘Monkey Island’, a cement island with a water moat and climbing bars on it. Some mean kids used to throw stones at the poor monkeys. A storm blew down a tree which landed on the island and all the monkeys escaped (thank you Mother Nature).

The question: this English singer-songwriter, musician and record producer had the good fortune to have Lowell George play on his first solo album and reportedly serve as its unofficial producer. Then Lowell George and Little Feat backed him on his second solo LP, and in fact toured with him. There are members of Little Feat (but not Lowell George) on his 3rd solo LP. This artist won two Grammy awards (Best Male Rock Vocal Performance) for his later work. Name?
Well, not only did no one get the answer, no one even ventured a guess. The answer is Robert Palmer. First album Sneakin’ Sally Thru the Alley (song written by Allen Toussaint) was followed by Pressure Drop (the great Toots and the Maytals reggae song) backed by Little Feat and James Jamerson on bass, and then Some People Can Do What They Like.
Later, Palmer won two Grammys (Best Male Rock Vocal) for #1 hit Addicted to Love and Simply Irresistible (#2 in the US)). The very memorable music videos for those two songs were done by British fashion photographer Terence Donovan.(Source- Wikipedia)
Now in Pawtucket, I have Verizon which has the AXS channel (great music docs). They showed a post-Woodstock concert that drew at least 300,000 rock fans over 3 days. Yet I had never ever heard of the event. Have you?



Yes, Sportzine is back. After a tumultuous summer, this writer has returned to covering the local sports teams and their pursuit of excellence (and championships). Though admittedly sports championships aren’t the only raison d’être for following our favorite teams. The coming together of players to work in coordination and form true teams is a pleasure in its own right. Witness the Boston Bruins of last year, a team that fell one game short of the Stanley Cup, but provided thrills and chills to all their faithful hockey fans.

It only seems fitting that I return to doing Sportzine on September 9, the birthday of my wonderful daughter Cara, who turns 30 today. Happy Birthday Cara and many more. You are allowed to invoke the ‘Dawson Rule’ and extend your birthday as long as you want. Some people shy away from celebrating their birthday. I’m one of those who revels in it. Cara seems to be of the same mind.

So onward we go.

The Patriots demolition of Pittsburgh came just in time to spare some fans from watching the Red Sox’s continued self-destruction of a season.

Pre-game I told my daughter Cara, Driller Killer and fellow season ticket holders Wild Bill (the ‘Gunner’), Shawn and Harry that I wanted to see the Pats defense do two things: not allow big rushing yards on 1st down and 3rd down stops. The Pats’ D executed to perfection. The Steelers were 3 for 12 on 3rd down (1 for 3 on 4th) and in the 1st half when it was still a game, Pittsburgh had 10 rushes for 22 yards, with a long of 5 yards.

Pittsburgh came in having lost two important offensive weapons – RB Le’Veon Bell and WR Antonio Brown. They clearly missed them. Chatter among fans was centered on whether newly acquired Antonio Brown would conform to the Patriot way and who the Pats would cut to make room for Brown. My take was if Brown doesn’t play the Patriot Way (read Belichick Way), he will be on the highway. As I write, there has been no announcement of who will be cut or put on IR to make room for Brown. The chance for a Super Bowl championship may be enough for Brown to keep himself in line.

The Pats were without WRs Demaryius Thomas (Achilles) and TE Matt LaCosse, both inactives, as well as the about to be signed Brown. Without the retired Gronk and TE’s Lance Kendricks (1 game suspension) and Ben Watson (4 game suspension), it was expected that the Pats would throw to their RBs James White, Rex Burkhead and maybe even Sony Michel. White (7 targets/5 catches) and Burkhead (8/5) did just that. Michel wasn’t targeted (yet – just wait). The one active TE Ryan Izzo had 2 targets and 1 catch.

Those RB catches combined with Edelman (11/6), Dorsett (4/4, 2 TDs) and Josh Gordon (4/3, 1 TD) helped pave the way for the win. It didn’t hurt that the RBs were able to add 99 yards rushing to keep the Steelers defense off balance. Burkhead (8/44) and White (4/26) led the run attack. Surprisingly, Sony Michel was unable to break free and had only 14 yards on 15 carries. Imagine winning 33-3 without anything from Michel!

New LT Isaiah Wynn protected Tom Brady’s blind side (one reported QB hurry) and Ted Karras did a yeoman’s job at Center to stop up the middle rushers. The injured David Andrews (IR) was a beast at Center and will be missed at some point. Also unfortunately RT Marcus Cannon suffered a shoulder injury. Joe Thuney switched from LG to RT and newly acquired Jermaine Eluemunor went in at LG (Source – Expect more OL moves in the coming days, especially if Cannon’s injury is severe.

Tom Brady wasn’t perfect (25 of 37), but when you hit three long passes for TDs (not a Brady strong suit in the past), fans take notice. Brady hit Dorsett for 58 and 25 yard TDs, and Gordon for 20 (and a 44 yarder to set up a FG).

With his team down 17-0 in the 1st half, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin made the mistake of going for it on 4th and 1 just before half. It failed and the Pats had time for a Gostkowski 41 yard FG and a 20-0 lead at halftime. Strangely, Tomlin, with the 2nd half kickoff, eschewed going on 4th and 1 from the Pats 1, settling for a FG. No Belichick here.

Kyle Van Noy didn’t play as his wife was expecting their baby. A telling sign was that rookie LB Shilique Calhoun started and played 56 of 69 defensive snaps. Bernd Buchmasser/Pats Pulpit (9/9) had the snap counts. Buchmasser also noted that newly minted Captain Elandon Roberts only played on special teams. Roberts is a run stopper and since the Pats have a distinct game plan for each opponent, it may be due to wanting more pass coverage.

One of my favorite sequences came on the Pats 2nd possession. After TE Izzo's penalty, it was 1st and 20. White ran for 8 yards and 7 yards setting up a 3rd and 5. Dorsett's 8 yard catch made it 1st down. It led to the Pats first score – the 20 yarder to Gordon.

The pass rush was disappointing with only Deatrich Wise Jr. getting a sack. However the Steelers TJ Watt (brother of JJ Watt) was held to one tackle and 1 assist.

Rookie Gunnar Olszewski did well on punt returns (2 for 35 yards), though it was Brandon Bolden who handled kickoffs (2 for 35 yards). New punter/holder Jake Bailey had a mixed night. He averaged 41 yards (one 53 yarder) and Gostkowski handled all the kickoffs. Bailey did hold on all 4 Gostkowski FGs.

() The Colts lost to the Chargers 30-24 in OT. Adam Vinatieri (not kicking in a dome) missed two FGs (45, 29) and an extra point. Brissett had a good game 21 of 27, no INTs.

() The Lions blew a 14 point halftime lead and an 18 point 2nd half lead to Arizona. Rookie QB Kyler Murray led the Cards back with 18 points in the 4th quarter.

() The Titans smashed Baker Mayfield and the Browns with 3 INTs and a safety. It helped that the Browns had 18 penalties for 182 yards.

() The Bills roared back down 16 to beat the Jets 17-16. The Jets had a missed extra point and a missed 45 yard FG.

Lowell George...Yay! Love slide guitar.
Special K
That’s right Special K. I love slide guitar too - Z

Hi Jim.... Lowell George ?
Yes, you are right Baily - it's Lowell George whose father was a furrier. - Z

Lowell George of Little Feat fame.
The Wizard
You are right, Wiz - it's Lowell George of Little Feat. - Z

Really nice! Congrats on over a quarter century. Love the pic of you and V.
The Boud
Thanks, Roger. - Z

Jim, excellent synopsis of your tenure at the helm of Sportzine for lo these many years (decades); a tip of the cap to you ol' friend.
Bill LaPlante
Thanks, Bill - Z

Great Issue Jim!  You even got your Pilsner Urquell in the pic with the bartender! Great beer, but not happy about the new smaller bottles! (unfortunately with all the breweries focusing on IPA's, that style of beer doesn't get made as often as it should)
Ron Racine
Thanks for the kind words, Ron. Pilsner Urquell was very good until the family sold it. Great memory of yours to recall my preferred beer at the time. - Z

Holy taverns, Batman - what a great issue #700!!! Seriously, Jim - a truly stunning literary accomplishment - even WITHOUT all the Buffalo Steve ink! I loved the mention, and the great pic of old pal Thom Hills. He is truly missed. Also glad to see the pic of Tom Bates came out so well. And of course we are all breathlessly awaiting #701...😎
Buffalo Steve Lenz
Steve, thanks for all your help. There would not have been a #700 without your considerable assistance.
Had the pics all laid out, and then when I added a little text, it skewed all the pics so that some were on top of each other. I prevailed but it was work and aggravating.
Worth the effort though. Happy Trails, - Z

That was a good one Dude. I like reminiscing. Where have the years gone?
Matt Dawson,
Glad you liked it, Matt. Seasons, they go round and the circle game. - Z

Great issue Jim! Thanks for doing this. It's always an enjoyable read.
Keep them coming big guy!
Sir Stephen Grahame
Sir Stephen, thanks for the kind words. - Z

Jim, nice job, great background info. Love the pics and mention of Tommy Hills.
Tom Robinson
Thanks Tom - Z

Well Jim a good deal of water over the dam in all these years. Of course I remember the first Zine. I was filling my seat in section 8, which by the way has significance of its own, when you came down handing out the first copy. I have been reading it ever since. Oh yes there were times you lit my fuse and you heard about it too. However I faithfully read it lo these many years. I will openly admit I ain’t a football guy so the football season editions did not get the viewing they should have.
Congratulations on your 700th, who would have thunk it!
By the way, regarding the Hot Club, it always takes a Bates to make everything perfect!
Ted Bates
Thanks Ted, and you're right about needing a Bates to make it perfect. - Z
Wow....excellent #700, with lots of strolls down memory lane. Much has happened
over the years of Sportzine and it's always been an enjoyable and informative read, that
also kept me plugged into my roots, no matter where I lived. Rock on!
Thanks Brad, fortunately I started #700 right after I finished Victoria's Tribute. Great response to #700. I'm happy. The addition of a pic of Victoria and me was a last second decision. - Z

No. 700 was a GEM! I thoroughly enjoyed it entirely, especially loving the learning the history and people behind the Sportzine. And of course, the picture of Victoria and the Writer was special! Each of you were a gift to each other!
Best to you, my friend….
David Knudson
David, you are very kind. I liked your comment that Victoria and I were a gift to each other. Truly. That says it all. Peace, Amigo. - Z,

Just finished the Zine. Thank you for inviting me (and your subscribers) into 25+ years of your life. You are indeed a fortunate man to have such a wealth of friends and experiences, and the ability to eloquently write about them. 
Bill Shea
Thanks Bill, I am fortunate to have a wonderful family and friends like you and the rest of Team 6. - Z

Jim, Sportzine #700 is nothing short of magnificent, like a walk off home run over the Green Monster.
Everything- where and how it started; the appearance of The Hot Club; the "firsts"; the moments; The Grand Dames, (Sandy Dolan!); ALL, all the photos- all of it coalesces into one powerful heartbeat that can be heard all the way to Hasbro Children's Hospital. 
Special Edition indeed.
Thanks, man.
Richard Flinn
Richard, thanks so much. Very elegantly said, though I'm not sure that I am worthy of all that praise (but I'll take it). You asking me to see a pic of Victoria led me to include the photo that you liked in #700. - Z

R.I.P. Bill Buckner
Ken Forestal
Ken, yes RIP Bill Buckner. I never blamed him for ’86. McNamara had replaced Buckner late in each WS game except that one. The error was in the 10th! Schiraldi couldn't get out guys with 2 strikes and then you have the Bob Stanley wp/passed ball.
That Lewy Body disease is bad. Glad the Sox brought Buckner back to Fenway.  - Z
Friday of last week was CJ’s birthday. There was quite a turnout to honor her and the Hot Club owners kicked in the food and decorations. A much deserved recognition for one of the mainstays of the Hot Club. Happy Special Birthday, CJ.

When we have talked about movies, Dr. John has always brought up the western Open Range as an excellent oater. I finally got to see it and he is quite right. It stars Robert Duvall, Kevin Costner and Annette Bening. The principals are all great and there is good chemistry with Costner and Bening. Costner directed it in 2003 much after his Academy Award winning effort with Dances with Wolves (1990) which won 7 Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Director. Wolves got an 8.0 on IMDb, Open Range a 7.4.

So the question posed was:
This singer/songwriter was born in Hollywood. He was a multi-instrumentalist whose
first band appeared on an episode of F Troop and Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. Frank Zappa
helped get this performer’s 2nd band a record contract. By their 3rd album, he was
producing them. He was also known for his session work, especially slide guitar. Name?
A number of you knew that the answer was Lowell George of Little Feat. His first band was called The Factory (1965) and appeared on F Troop as The Bedbugs. The Factory was also on a Season 3 episode of Gomer Pyle, USMC and are heard playing at the A Go Go Club.
George joined the Mothers of Invention as a rhythm guitarist and vocalist in 1968 and was on at least 5 albums including Weasels Ripped My Flesh. He left under murky circumstances to form Little Feat. By their 3rd album, Dixie Chicken, he was producing them. A side story – on the song Willin’ from the band’s 1st LP, Ry Cooder plays slide guitar instead of George, who had injured his hand building a model plane.
Sadly, Lowell George, age 34, died of a heart attack in 1979 at a hotel in Arlington, VA. It was reportedly due to an accidental cocaine overdose. (Source – Wikipedia).
For those who love the music of Lowell George and Little Feat, look for the music DVD Little Feat Live In Holland 1976. You won’t be disappointed.
Another Lowell George connection – this English singer-songwriter, musician and record producer had the good fortune to have George play on his first solo album and reportedly serve as its unofficial producer. Then Lowell George and Little Feat backed him on his second solo LP, and in fact toured with him. There are members of Little Feat (but not Lowell George) on his 3rd solo LP. This artist won two Grammy awards (Best Male Rock Vocal Performance) for his later work. Name?