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?


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