Venturing into the Unknown


You never know how much you miss something until it goes away. With all this isolation from human contact it made me reflect on what I miss most in the world of sports. I miss:

NFL Redzone and waiting for the inevitable update about a Jameis Winston interception.

Napkin coaching resignations that say I resign as the HC of the NYJ

Seeing Devlin Hodges quarterbacking the Steelers, but not announcers referring to him as “Duck”

Hearing Sam Wyche get on the PA system respond to unruly fans who are throwing things on the field say “Will the next person that sees anybody throw anything onto this field point them out, get them out of here and yell: You don’t live in Cleveland, you live in Cincinnati.”

The Colts raising a banner for being an AFC Finalist

Dan Fouts and “Air Coryell”

The Houston Oilers, Baltimore Colts, St.Louis Cardinals and mostly the SAN DIEGO Chargers

Al Davis ruining the Raiders

Phony NFL injury designations

Seeing Robert Kraft with a 20-something year old and frequenting massage parlors

Letting Bill Parcells buy the groceries

Being onto Cincinnati

Hearing Wes Welker make multiple references in a press conference about Rex Ryan’s foot fetish –

Rodney Harrison and Kevin Garnett’s intensity

Roger Goodell being booed in Foxboro

NBA post-game reports about their officials screwing up

Hearing the goat term in sports referring to a choker not Tom Brady

Instant replay reviews that last a lifetime and ones that the fan at home can figure out in one replay but the officials still need five minutes to make a decision

Talk about computerized strikezones

Seeing if Chris Sale can stay healthy…oops he can’t

Kirby Puckett and the Twins World Series champion team

Willie Stargell and the “We Are Family” World Series champions

Being shocked when Pedro Martinez gave up a run

Greg W. Harris throwing ambidextrously

Will McDonough commenting on Wade Boggs riding a horse while celebrating a World Series in Yankee Stadium. “First time I have ever seen a horse’s ass riding a horse’s ass”

Watching David Ortiz’s heroics

Seeing Red Sox-Yankees thrillers

Jason Varitek face washing Alex Rodriguez

Waiting for Jacoby Ellsbury to come off IR

George Steinbrenner

Anticipating pitching changes and switches

Rhetoric about how pitch clocks and not taking the time to throw intentional walks will speed up the game

Players pointing to their chest saying my bad when we damn well know whose bad it is

Manny being Manny

Jim Mora’s famous playoff quote

Allen Iverson’s practice rant

Bobby Knight’s game face press conference

Fighting in hockey and the Big Bad Bruins

John Wensink challenging the entire North Stars bench

Bruins players climbing into the stands of Madison Square Garden and Mike Milbury using his shoe as a deadly weapon

Getting to see Bobby Orr in his prime

Having Patrick Roy tell Canadiens President Ronald Corey in the middle of a game that he will never play a game for his franchise again

The Original 6

Tim Thomas saying “I guess I didn’t realize it was my job to pump his tires.“ about Roberto Luongo and I miss Luooongo chants

Patrice Bergeron trying to play through a collapsed lung, cracked rib, torn rib cartilage, and a separated shoulder

NHL playoffs sudden death overtime(s)

Mike Emrick and Kevin Harlan

Celtics fans wearing wife beater jerseys for a playoff game against Jason Kidd’s New Jersey Nets.

Beat LA chants

Red Auerbach swindling other teams

Kevin McHale on Cheers but not Kevin Garnett in Uncut Gems

Seeing Kareem wear an oxygen mask

LeBron losing another championship and NBA stars getting maintenance days

Hakeem Olajuwon’s dream shake

Julius Erving’s afro

Johnny Most refer to Rick Mahorn and Bill Laimbeer as McFilthy and McNasty

Waiting for Bill Walton to get healthy

Kyrie blaming teammates and while I’m at it, LeBron blaming teammates and getting coaches fired.

Steph Curry hitting shots from half court

Watching Alex Rodriguez destroy Yankees chemistry

Bruce Hurst’s high leg kick

Billy Martin and Earl Weaver arguing with umpires

Mel Allen in This Week in Baseball and Peter Gammon’s Diamond Notes

March Madness buzzer beaters

Cal State Fullerton winning College World Series titles

Watching Big East basketball in its heyday

Seeing Uganda take on Zambia in the World Cup

Brady against Manning

Bird against Magic

Kobe Bryant, as I cant remember disliking a player so much and then transitioning to so dramatically liking him as his career wore on

Tom Brady in a Patriots uniform

And lastly…SPORTS in general…please come back soon. If you do, I may stop fast forwarding through some commercials.






Comparatively Speaking


It’s that time of year where I revive the On The Mark sports blog with some closing thoughts as we get ready for 2020.

Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots are preparing for their 11th straight year in the playoffs and 16 of 17 overall with the outlier being when they went 11-5 after Tom Brady got injured. Belichick is currently third all-time with 273 wins, 45 behind George Halas and 55 behind the allegedly immortal Don Shula. However, many Miami Dolphins expressed their frustration that Bill Belichick could be mentioned in the same breath as Shula because according to two-time Super Bowl champion Manny Fernandez “I just think it’s a shame that a guy who constantly gets caught cheating is even there because — I don’t know — his moral character leaves me kind of questioning.”

Manny, let me tell you what leaves me questioning. It’s how overrated Don Shula was. He coached for 33 years and after winning back-to-back Super Bowls in 1972-73, Shula’s teams didn’t win another over the final 22 seasons he coached. His teams only made it to two other Super Bowls and his playoff record all-time was barely above .500 at 19-17. Shula was a good coach, but his longevity is a big part of his success, more than his strategy and development of teams. Reminds me of how Carl Yaztremski’s records are somewhat inflated due to his longevity, but I digress. In comparison, Belichick has seven years he didn’t make the playoffs, and five of those were in his first six years of coaching the hapless Cleveland Browns. He is 31-11 in the playoffs, won six championships across two different eras and has maintained an unprecedented 19-year run of success in the salary cap era.

Belichick is flawed. Has he crossed lines…yes. With that said, there are countless stories of how teams long before and since Belichick have gained an edge by exploiting rules or lack of rules. So Manny, you can have your choir boy Shula, and I’ll take the evil Bill Belichick when it comes to motivation, team-building, strategizing and maximizing talent. By the way, Andy Reid is currently seventh all time and in 21 seasons has a 12-14 playoff record and one Super Bowl appearance.

While we are on the topics of comparisons, I thought it would be interesting to compare two pairs of quarterbacks Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady vs Peyton Manning and Drew Brees. I was motivated by all the accolades Brees has been getting for his being first all time in touchdowns. I compared four of the greatest QB’s of all time based on two guys that played most of their career indoors (Brees and Manning) and two guys that didn’t in Brady and Rogers. In researching Drew Brees, he has arguably had the cushiest schedule of all time for elite quarterbacks. Of the 16 games he plays every year, eight home games are in a dome, the Atlanta road game is in a dome, and the two other division teams Tampa Bay and Carolina, are warm weather teams. So out of the gate, he has 11 cushy environments to play in. As a sample size, I looked back Brees last six seasons, and he never plays more than two outdoor road games against teams in the cold and even then, most of those games against teams like the Giants, Eagles, Packers have been in September and October. Manning played most of his career with the Colts where he always had minimum half his season indoors and division rival Houston was also indoors so nine of 16 were guaranteed to be cozy. His last four seasons in Denver, he had to brave the elements, but he had compiled most of his stats prior.

Now when you look at Rodgers, playing in the elements of Green Bay, his stats are that much more impressive including only 83 interceptions in 180 games despite two road division games indoors. Brady has one cushy warm weather road game in Miami, and has an easy division, but has arguably played the toughest non-division opponents of the four due to their sustained excellence of the Patriots and the weighted scheduling the NFL does. Rodgers is an astonishingly bad 42-46 on the road and 9-7 in playoff games. For reference, Brady is 97-44 on the road and 30-10 in the playoffs. Peyton Manning was 85-48 on the road and 14-13 in the playoffs. Brees was 74-62 on the road and 8-7 in the playoffs.

Brees is a great quarterback and a great guy for that matter who I am actually a fan of. However, he greatly benefits from playing indoors and on turf. For people who argue Brady has been more successful because the Pats have had a defense and the Colts, Saints, and Packers really haven’t, that works both ways. When you have a defense and you are ahead most of the time, you pass a lot less. The Saints, Colts and Packers over the years were often in high scoring games, so their quarterbacks needed to keep passing and scoring. So when we consider the greats of all time, let’s make sure we consider the elements. Get it! ?

I am convinced Brady will not be back with the Patriots next year. Belichick was ready to move on two years ago, and may have if Robert Kraft didn’t step in and force his hand by making him trade Jimmy Garoppolo. Brady has taken discounts for most of his time with the Patriots and I believe he will be asked to again and he won’t this time. The only way he stays is if Kraft insists on buying the groceries again.

Since I was a kid, the two other teams I liked were the Minnesota Vikings and San Diego Chargers. The Vikings have vastly improved with a great running game and rebuilt offensive line, in spite of Kirk Cousins who simply wears me out with his ineptness in big games. He is now 5-14 in prime-time games, 0-9 on Monday Night Football, 12-23-2 on the road and get ready for this…7-28 all-time against teams with a winning record. So if you need a QB to beat the Lions, he is your man. As for the Chargers, Philip Rivers needs to retire. I feel bad he never won a Super Bowl and it will be an injustice because he had a fabulous career, but he has been downright awful this season.

Pistol Pete Carroll has done an outstanding coaching job this year leaving me pumped and jacked and ready to ferociously chew gum. With that said, I like the Niners Sunday despite a multitude of injuries and can’t see the Seahawks winning a playoff game on the road. If I’m the Chiefs, I want nothing to do with the Titans in round 1 if they make it. Not only did the Titans already beat them, but they are well-coached are balanced offensively and Tannehill looks like a different guy.

Lastly, on a basketball note, what an awesome Christmas Day game between the Clippers and the Lakers. I’ve been saying from Day 1 the Clippers are the better team simply because they are so talented defensively and Paul George can adequately cover LeBron. The final four minutes of that game were another example of why LeBron not only should not be mentioned with Michael Jordan, but not Kobe either. He had an open 3-pointer with 3:38 remaining and deferred and had a drive to the basket a few minutes later and inexplicably kicked it out to Kentavious Caldwell-Pope instead. This doesn’t even get into his key missed free throw or turnover in the closing seconds. Jordan and Bryant would have never deferred in those situations. It’s a good thing Kyrie Irving and Ray Allen hit the championship-winning shots they did, or LeBron would be 1-7 in the Finals.

Happy New Year everyone!



Time to Unretire Some Numbers


Was listening to the radio and heard longtime Celtics announcer Mike Gorman voice a strong opinion that Kevin Garnett shouldn’t have his number retired and it didn’t fit “his criteria”. I almost drove off the road. Garnett represented in my mind the perfect basketball player. He was about as much of an all-around player, leader by example, and motivator as you get. He did only win one championship, but aside from Pierce, he was one of the most dominant players of his time on and off the Celtics. So to help Garnett’s candidacy and in the name of Brett Favre, I decided it was time to unretire some numbers. As I explored this process, I asked myself the following questions as I reviewed retired numbers in the NBA:

  • Do you have to be inducted into the Hall of Fame to qualify? – NO
  • If you are a Hall of Famer and played some portion of your career with a team, should they automatically retire your number? – NO
  • How long do you have to play and how long do you have to play for the franchise? – 6 or more years – okay that minimum number might be because of KG but I won’t admit it
  • Did you have to be a starter? – Yes at least for the majority of your tenure
  • Did you have intangibles and is that enough? – Not enough but if the intangibles put someone on the fence over the top and you won championships – okay
  • When playing part of your career with the team that retired your number, did you have to outperform from previous destinations? – nah but certainly at minimum play at the same caliber
  • Does your number being retired detract from the most deserving ones? – this is one of my biggest criteria
  • Is your team using this as a PR stunt? – really annoying and I unretire anybody who fits this criteria

Let’s start with the team who has the most retired numbers and to some extent has made this process a bit of a circus, the Boston Celtics. In my review of the Celtics retired numbers, I would unretire the following:


Dennis Johnson – seven seasons – two championships – yes I know he made an impact with his intangibles and his clutch play but sorry and this was the toughest omission of all

Ed Macauley – six seasons – no championships – in this franchise – if you have no championships you are out

Cedric Maxwell – 8 seasons – 2 championships – was a malcontent towards the end and only averaged 11.5 PPG his last three unspectacular seasons.

Jim Loscutoff – 7 championships – 6 ppg and 5.5 rpg – this is a disgrace – I don’t care if you won seven championships – if you are a sentimental vote – you get unretired


There is no greater evidence to make my point than to compare the Celtics to the other premiere NBA franchise Los Angeles Lakers. Here are the Lakers retired numbers:

Wilt Chamberlain, Elgin Baylor, Kobe Bryant, Gail Goodrich, Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul Jabaar, Shaquille O’Neal, James Worthy, Jerry West, Jamaal Wilkes – WOW – Talk about the cream of the crop and setting the standards for all professional sports teams for retired numbers. How come no Byron Scott, Kurt Rambis has four rings, Michael Cooper, Derek Fisher?…I guess no role players or multi-championship winners that weren’t superstars get numbers retired for the Lakers.

Another team who has retired numbers admirably is the Chicago Bulls – Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Bob Love, Jerry Sloan – Where are Horace Grant, Dennis Rodman, Ron Harper (3 championship club members with the Bulls) and Will Perdue (4)? – Perdue was at least as good as Loscy

  • Do you have to be inducted into the Hall of Fame to qualify?

Lou Hudson had his number retired for the Atlanta Hawks is on the all-time list of biggest omissions


Per Game26.44.92.9
Career Totals17,9403,9262,432


  • Does your number being retired detract from the most deserving ones?


Sorry New Jersey and now Brooklyn Nets, please unretire John Williamson and Bill Melchionni so Julius Erving can live in peace.


Sentimental or mistakes or getting attention for having a Hall of Famer play for your team:


Cleveland needs to unretire Bingo Smith??, Larry Nance – played seven seasons – missed two mostly with injury and won nothing and lastly Hall of Famer Nate Thurmond who played the last three seasons of his career with the Cavs – PR stunt


Denver needs to unretire Byron Beck and Dikembe Mutombo who played five of his 19 seasons with Denver.  Yes the finger wag is something I will never forget and sometimes mimic with my extraordinary shot-blocking abilities, and he led the Nuggets to one big playoff series comeback over Seattle, but no dice. Let Alex English and the human triple-double Fat Lever get the credit they deserve.


A question for Golden State Warriors fans – Who doesn’t belong in the rafters? Chris Mullin, Rick Barry, Nate Thurmond, Tom Meschery?


Houston, we have liftoff but unfortunately you need to unretire Clyde Drexler in spite of the one championship he was apart of because he only played 4 of his 16 seasons for you and if anything underachieved during that time span and if you don’t, we will think you are pulling a Cleveland like they did with Thurmond. By the way, how do you justify retiring Drexler, but not Kenny Smith, Robert Horry or Jerry Sichting’s bully…Ralph Sampson.

Memphis has announced they are eventually retiring Tony Allen and Zach Randolph  when the time comes. This is the first time I propose an announcement be rescinded before the Grizzlies embarrass themselves in a desperate ploy to put something in their rafters.

Miami – no-go with Tim Hardaway as he only played six of 15 seasons for you and won nothing. I also am still mad the Celtics drafted Michael Smith over you.

Phoenix – I love this one. Alvan Adams who played 14 seasons for the Suns had his number retired and then unretired when Grant Hill joined the team in 2007. Adams felt bad because poor Grant had always worn number 33 and didn’t want him to have to wear another number…perish the thought. I can see it now. While LeBron eventually keeps searching for teams he can latch on to win a championship and settles on Chicago, can you just see Michael Jordan saying, hey you know what LeBron, you can wear my 23 and I’ll tell the Bulls to take my number down for the time being.

Portland – uggh what a scary list as they by far have the longest list of glaring mistakes and that doesn’t include drafting Sam Bowie over Michael Jordan or Greg Oden over Kevin Durant or forget it I am just being mean now. Please Portland unretire Dave Twardzik, Larry Steele, Bob Gross, Lionel Hollins and maybe consider retiring Jerome Kersey just because I loved announcing his name as a kid in my driveway. I also nominate Kevin Duckworth because of his prototypical NBA body and because he was a Portland center that didn’t break down every five minutes.

For San Antonio, I am unretiring James Silas and perhaps the toughest unretire besides Dennis Johnson is former NBA superstar ? and Cal State Fullerton great Bruce Bowen. I only decided to put him on the list because he agreed to unretire it so LaMarcus Duckworth, I mean Aldridge could wear it. Since it got taken down anyway, let’s just be efficient and keep it down now.

One last note, the Miami Heat did an honorary retirement of Dan Marino which I am assuming was done out of pity since he could never win the big game. But the good news is and this is the best part, despite being retired, Marino’s number is still in circulation currently worn by NBA great Bam Adebayo.

Did I mention that Cal State Fullerton made the NCAA tournament?


Pretenders and Contenders


What is going on with the alleged championship-caliber Boston Celtics? Last week we witnessed, a supposed eye opener when they got blown out by the significantly new and improved Cleveland Cavaliers? Boston allowed 250 points in the last two games including a home blowout to the Clippers and lost three in a row overall including falling behind Indiana by 26. Cleveland exposed flaws that have been visible for two months. The Celtics have been barely above .500 since December 6th with a record of 18-15.  Not only is that the 15th best record in the NBA during that span, but they are mired in mediocrity which is a true representation of who they are. Heck, even Cleveland who has been a punching bag for the last two months and has been mocked for all their losses and underachieving has essentially the same record as the Celtics during this stretch.

Eastern Conference Standings –  since December 6

Toronto 26-9

Washington 20-13

Indiana 19-14

Milwaukee 19-15

Miami 19-15

Boston 18-15

Philly 17-15

Cleveland 16-15

Chicago 17-17

To make matters worse, Kyrie Irving has lost confidence in his teammates and as the season has worn on and has been more and more undisciplined with his shot selection. Jaylen Brown is a fun athlete to watch, but can’t shoot consistently which is what scouts were worried about when he was drafted and will never be the player the Celtics envision without improving his shooting. The Celtics offense is built around the 3 and they simply don’t have any consistent shooters aside from Irving. Terry Rozier is improving and Jayson Tatum is routinely asked to do too much to compensate for the Celtics offensive shortcomings and he shows flashes, has amazing potential, but is not there yet and understandably so. The Celtics aren’t as good as last year, but are clearly better positioned for the future.

A passing draft

With the storied history of the Celtics franchise, it occurred to me recently what a poor job the franchise has done over the year drafting guards, specifically point guards in their 71-year history. When you think of the top Celtics of all-time, how many of them are guards? JoJo White stands alone as the only legitimate (point) guard drafted and who played for Boston throughout his career that was also all-star caliber. Bob Cousy wasn’t even drafted originally by Boston and they only stumbled upon him thanks to his unwillingness to sign with his draft team and the Celtics through dumb luck, drew his name in a dispersal draft. Rajon Rondo and Dennis Johnson were acquired via trade. Chauncey Billups would probably be second best after White, but Rick Pitino foolishly gave up on him. Sam Jones and Paul Westphal were shooting guards. Satch Sanders was 8-0 in championships but was more known for his defense and intangibles just like KC Jones. Danny Ainge has recently made this more of a priority by drafting Marcus Smart and Rozier, but Smart is limited offensively and Rozier’s upside remains to be seen.


I said the day it happened that Danny Ainge erred significantly by not taking Julius Randle over Marcus Smart. Think of the Celtics needs right now and how valuable a player Randle would be.

What Cleveland did at the trade deadline was Auerbachian and appropriately it was pulled off by a GM with the last name Altman. To acquire four versatile players of that caliber for players that were not contributing and in some cases detracting from success was incredible. George Hill, Rodney Hood and Jordan Clarkson would play integral roles on the Celtics and would arguably become three of their five best shooters. Larry Nance Jr is a bonus for his athleticism and intangibles and LeBron must have been privately drooling at what Koby Altman pulled off.

Kevin Love wanted to assure us he will fit in when he returns from injury. I love (no pun intended… or maybe pun intended) when an all-star feels the need to alert us that he will fit in.

I like Kobe Bryant more and more every day. When asked if he would help recruit players to the Lakers, he said “If I have to recruit and convince them to play for this franchise, than they aren’t the right ones.” Make no mistake, the Lakers are on the threshold of something magical and have an arsenal of young talent.

Isaiah Thomas and Rajon Rondo getting in a fight the other night was comical. Talk about two of the most insecure guys in the league. Did Rondo think he was proving his allegiance to Paul Pierce by giving Thomas a hard time about wanting his video the night of Pierce’s retirement? Rondo has so much baggage with coaches and control that it continues to derail what should have been a more promising career and gets attention for all the wrong reasons. Thomas claims he was stunned by the trade to Cleveland. Really?? Isaiah, you dissed the coaching staff, frequently criticized the team’s effort, didn’t know how to fit in when the offense didn’t revolve around you like it did with Boston and the team was playing horribly, but you were shocked?

If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em

Speaking of insecurity, the narcissist is rumored to want to join the Warriors. LeBron wants to join Kevin Durant, who didn’t have the confidence to lead a team on his own and had to piggy back the success of three all-stars. Maybe he could continue his role as a player-coach and replace Steve Kerr and then find a way to ruin the Warriors success.

Shooting from the Lip

If someone were to tell you prior to the start of the 2017-18 NHL season, that the Las Vegas Golden Knights, Winnipeg Jets and Boston Bruins would be three of the top five teams in the league at the 3/4 point, you might have sent them for drug-testing.

Lane Johnson of the Eagles criticized the Patriots for not letting their players have fun? I thought winning was fun. I thought getting to the AFC Championship game or Super Bowl virtually every year was what professional athletes play for. I thought it was a privilege and fun to learn from the best NFL coach of all-time and to go to battle with the best quarterback of all-time. When Johnson makes that kind of claim, it seems to me he is more about being individual than team. By the way, Rob Gronkowski manages to have a ton of fun, but he is often referenced as one of the hardest working players on the team.

Have to go back to watching the Olympics as I’m gearing up for Skijoring and the Biathlon. Wake me when it’s over.


Thames isn’t just a river in England


Can someone explain to me why the Patriots should jump at the chance to trade Jimmy Garoppolo if the compensation is just one first round pick? When you evaluate the lopsided trades that were made yesterday during the NFL draft for QB’s that haven’t played a down or haven’t been in a successful, winning system like New England, Garoppolo’s price tag should be higher than ever.

Texans move up 13 spots to draft a QB for a2018 first round pick.

Chiefs move up 17 spots and send a first and third round pick to the Bills.

Bears channel their inner Herschel Walker and give up two third round picks and a fourth-round pick to move up one spot.

The Patriots should be patient as they are in the driver’s seat. Yes they risk losing Garoppolo without compensation after this season, but they also cover themselves if Brady gets hurt, if Brady significantly declines or if a team gets incredibly desperate during training camp.

The following video of Chicago sports fan is a reaction to:

  1. Overpaying for QB Mitch Trubisky in the NFL draft
  2. Frustration over the Blackhawks getting swept by the Predators
  3. Losing three straight to the Celtics
  4. The fact that a Bears QB hasn’t been in the Pro Bowl since 1985
  5. All of the above

Watch and see:

Thank you Xander Bogaerts. He finally addressed the elephant in the room after another embarrassing offensive effort by the Red Sox, who scored one combined run in two games against the Yankees including being shutout for the third time. No more David Ortiz. We all feared this would be a problem, but underestimated the intangibles Ortiz brought like leadership and how he took the pressure off everybody else.

Sox GM Dave Dombrowski was counting on a healthy Pablo Sandoval and free agent Mitch Moreland to lift the offense and replace Ortiz’s production. Ask Chris (I have received four runs of support in my five starts) Sale how he feels about that.

On top of that, reigning Cy Young Rick Porcello has had one quality start out of five, Steven Wright has been awful and the leader of this listless ship John Farrell gives new meaning to uninspiring.

Meanwhile, the young and upstart New York Yankees minus an injured Gary Sanchez are 12-3 in their last 15 and look very strong. Pessimistic fans and scribes will tell you that Jacoby Ellsbury will eventually get hurt, C.C. Sabathia will have too much to eat and their young guns will be inconsistent, but I disagree. Their bullpen is tremendous even aside from Dellin Betances and Aroldis Chapman. Masahiro Tanaka is 10-1 in his last 11 decisions, looked dominant against Boston and is long past the injury issues he dealt with in 2015. Luis Severino was mentored by Pedro Martinez and he has been dominant while the hitting is solid but unspectacular. By the way Aaron Judge reminds me of Dave Winfield in stature.

Did you know Craig Kimbrel is 22-for-22 in save opportunities at Fenway Park?

I love Milwaukee Brewers first baseman Eric Thames. He leads the majors in home runs with 12 and had been playing in the Korean League for the last four years. And here come the steroids accusations! There is no better response than his own after he has already taken two voluntary tests this month.

“I just wanted to apply what I learned in Korea to see how it would fare here. I’m shocked at all the results. So, yeah, if people keep thinking I’m on stuff, I’ll be here every day. I have lots of blood and urine.”

A ton of admiration for how Philadelphia fans greeted Roger Goodell. Any city that has to have a jail inside their football stadium is one to admire.

Be rooting for a Pittsburgh-Edmonton Stanley Cup to see Sidney Crosby against Connor McDavid. McDavid is more than special. He is soon to be the Mike Trout of the NHL and is the heir apparent to Crosby. The difference is, he is likable and not a crybaby.

I wonder what is going through the mind of P.K Subban as he helps his playoff-undefeated Nashville Predators win their first Stanley Cup while Claude Julien and the Montreal Canadiens are well…on vacation.

So are the Toronto Raptors truly ready to dethrone that Cleveland Cavaliers? They have made it the second round twice and the Eastern Conference Finals last year only to lose in six to the LeBron’s. But this time is different. Trade deadline acquisitions Serge Ibaka and P.J. Tucker, a healthy Kyle Lowry could be the difference? I say no. Raptors take Cavs to seven games and lose.

For all the good things Doc Rivers did with the Celtics, he has been an abject failure with the Clippers. His teams have lost twice in the second round and are about to lose in the first round in back-to-back seasons. He and his players have continuously underachieved and Chris Paul is still without a championship.

I am officially on the Milwaukee Bucks bandwagon and am jumping on now after they lost to Toronto so it looks like I am not attaching myself to a winner. Thon Maker or Breaker. Chris Berman eat your heart out!


Sports Goats

Sports Goats
Sports Goats

Good to be back after grazing in the land of goats.

Watched the second half of the Super Bowl again last weekend to process how everything truly unfolded. What I discovered was that one of the top announcing teams in the NFL; Joe Buck and Troy Aikman, were downright awful, didn’t have a pulse of the game or how it was changing and were emotionless until it became painfully obvious when the Patriots cut it to 28-20 that something historical was going on. They missed obvious turning points, barely if at all mentioned that history was in the making, again, until you couldn’t miss it and Aikman seemed like he would have been happier golfing with Jerry Jones or riding the coattails of Emmitt Smith than announcing the Super Bowl.

One other note. I will argue with anyone that the Falcons play-calling once Julio Jones made that amazing catch to get them in easy field goal range, was worse than Pete Carroll calling a pass on second down on the two yard line.  I maintain that the problem was with Carroll’s decision to call a pass would have been defendable if it wasn’t an inside slant that was high risk, low-reward as opposed to a fade pattern to Chris Matthews who was killing the Patriots. You had the element of surprise and two more downs to give it to Marshawn Lynch.

For the Falcons to pass in that situation when they essentially put the game away with a two- score lead while the Patriots had established huge offensive momentum was unforgiveable. The way the Falcons carelessly gave away two timeouts in the third quarter was awful as well and imagine how Matt Ryan’s last drive could have been different with 56 seconds left if he could have stopped the clock.  Yet Ryan and Kyle Shanahan still defended it.

Tom Brady might be the G.O.A.T but Dan Quinn is a goat.

Feeling the Heat

As the NBA trade deadline approaches next week, the topic of can anyone challenge a LeBron James coached team (not a typo) is up for debate again? Between the Heat and the Cavaliers, LeBron hasn’t had a legitimate challenger since he took his talents to South Beach.

But hence we have the Boston Celtics at 37-19, a mere three games behind Cleveland. Since dropping their third straight game on Jan. 24, they are 11-1 with their lone loss to the DeMarcus Cousinsless Sacramento Kings. Danny Ainge what are you going to do bolster this juggernaut? All these valuable draft picks and commodities that are improving value by the day. Marcus Smart untouchable? Terry Rozier…would rather not trade him? Jae Crowder…need the toughness and his improved shooting. Kelly Olynyk even seems to have located some basketball IQ.

Don’t fall for it. Boston has one emerging star who has yet to prove he can deliver in the playoffs in Isaiah Thomas.  Since the Bird-Magic era, there have been two…count them two teams in 37 years, that you might be able to argue won with either one or no superstars.

The 2003-04 Detroit Pistons led by Chauncey Billups, Rip Hamilton, Rasheed Wallace and Tayshaun Prince beat the feuding/distracted Shaq and Kobe and the aging Gary Payton and Karl Malone. The other was the 2010-11 Dallas Mavericks, who are truly the closest example, had Dirk Nowitzki and guys like Caron Butler, Tyson Chandler, Shawn Marion and the Jasons; Kidd and Terry. By the way, in case you forgot, the Mavs beat James, Chris Bosh and Wade (Insert choke symbol).

Virtually all the other 35 NBA champions either had three stars or two dominant superstars and the Celtics have neither. If you have a chance to land a star or impact player that is under contract for at least two more years, do it! Overpay because building through the draft doesn’t and shouldn’t get it done in a basketball market like Boston. Jimmy Butler at 24 points, six rebounds, five assists and two steals per game would be worth it. Plus once you land one, others will come. Kevin Garnett doesn’t come here if the Celtics didn’t land Ray Allen.


Can an organization be any more mismanaged than the Boston Bruins? President Cam Neely runs the team like one of his feeble fight partners he used to toy with. Don Sweeney is an organizational retread that has the charisma of a doorknob, not to mention the egregious trades and acquisitions he has made in his two-year tenure.

And the cap to this mess is the just recently completed Claude Julien circus. A great coach during his time in Boston that ended the Bruins 39 year Stanley Cup drought. He should have been fired two years ago and at minimum last year, but an indecisive management that is clearly intimidated by the media, sat back and did nothing. Now management finally does something right, and the backlash has been puzzling to say the least. Many Bruins fans point to the fact that Claude helped the Bruins overachieve and got the most out of this talentless roster. Was not making the playoffs the last two years and heading that direction a third year an overachieving? I’d hate to see what would have happened if he wasn’t here.

Regardless of the quality of the coach, sometimes your voice stops being heard, or you aren’t reaching or trusting the younger players or all the above? Claude needed to go and the fact that he went to Montreal is probably a good fit, but because the Canadiens picked him up, doesn’t mean it was a mistake to fire him. Unfortunately, there are two still clods running the show.

Miscellaneous Thoughts:

The Jets issued a statement to try and explain Darelle Revis’ involvement in a Pittsburgh street fight. The explanation didn’t mention that this was the closest Revis came to making a tackle all season.

The Knicks are still in disarray, Carmelo Anthony still doesn’t pass and Phil Jackson still needs Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant or Shaquille O’Neal to have success.

Great news coming out of Tampa. Hal Steinbrenner sees an expanded role for AROD. Free steroids and unlimited narcissism for all.

Pats shouldn’t trade Jimmy Garoppolo unless they get a king’s ransom.

The Brooklyn Nets are so bad that not only do they have the worst record, the second-worst team, the Phoenix Suns have a whopping eight and a half game cushion.

Have the UCONN women lost yet?


Saving Public Ryans

Saving Public Ryans

It was all going to be different this time. Despite a 34-46 record over the previous five seasons, Rex Ryan brought his best friend and brother Rob to Buffalo to help the egregiously underachieving Bills defense turn it around in 2016. The Bills responded by giving up 50 points in the first two games and were 0-2.

But then on October 2nd it happened. Rex Ryan’s annual Super Bowl opponent was on the schedule. Since Ryan’s teams don’t make the playoffs anymore, he lives for his two matchups with his rival Bill Belichick. Buffalo came into Foxboro and shutout the New England Patriots 16-0. How the heck did this happen? The Ryan brothers apparently devised an astounding game plan and somehow stopped undefeated (1-0) rookie quarterback Jacoby Brissette. Back-to-back wins over Arizona and the Patriots after starting 0-2, here come the Bills!

Rex was at his comedic best after the game mimicking Belichick’s famous “On to Cincinnati” by saying “On to L.A.” Rex you are hilarious. And then a 30-19 thumping of the Rams and a blowout of the hapless 49’ers by the Bills and it looks like we have a divisional race here?

Uh-oh, what the Bills didn’t anticipate was having to go into 2-4 Miami and face the juggernaut Dolphins who have the 20th best offense and 24th best run offense in the NFL. Bring on 439 yards of total offense, a 200 plus yard rushing game from Jay Ajayi and 22 unanswered points from Miami in the second half to hand the Bills their third loss of the season. I wonder if Rex lost his focus and was looking ahead to his Super Bowl game this coming week against New England.

What a bunch of frauds the Ryan brothers are. When former Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez is the key to your success, then we call that a fluke. And how about Rob Ryan’s credentials? During his 12 seasons as defensive coordinator, this great defensive architect has had his defenses averaging ranking 23rd, finishing in the top 10 twice and the bottom 12 – nine times. The cumulative record of Rob Ryan’s teams is 71-121. He has been a part of one playoff win and one winning season. Time for the Ryan boys to go quietly into the night.

There’s no crying in football…

Brace yourself. There is a Harbaugh complaining about officiating and rules again. It had been almost seven weeks since one of the Harbaugh brothers was complaining about something. Ravens coach John Harbaugh complained twice in a span of 11 days. These complaints only seem to happen when Baltimore is adversely affected by something that happens. This time it was Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh stating that a replay decision that was upheld during their 41-8 victory over Illinois was “the worst call he’s ever seen”. Hey maybe Jim can loan John some wins since the Ravens have dropped four straight.

Has Al Davis come back from the grave?…

The Raiders haven’t had a winning season in 13 years but are 5-2. Donald Trump has convinced me that their success is rigged.

Counterfeit ring…

I can’t tell you how much respect I have lost for Kevin Durant. Not because he left Oklahoma City! Not because he didn’t come to Boston. Because he didn’t have the faith in himself or have the desire to be the centerpiece in his own triumvirate. And then he trashes his Thunder teammates on the way out as being selfish? When his epitaph is written, yes he will be a champion, but no one will be talking about him. They will be talking about how he piggybacked onto a dynasty so he could have his championship ring(s). Now that is something that deserves an asterisk.

Karl Malone and Gary Payton tried to do this at the end of their career when they were well past their prime, I get that. Ray Bourque did it in hockey after two decades. It used to be that the mark of a superstar was winning a championship. This label seems meaningless now after Durant and LeBron James did what they did. I look at guys like Charles Barkley, Patrick Ewing, Allen Iverson and John Stockton and we should respect them less because they didn’t try and orchestrate their way to secure a championship ring.

No Silver Lining…

So are there any storylines to be excited about this year in the NBA as we prepare for the inevitable rematch of the Cavaliers and Warriors. Can the Knicks be relevant again with veterans Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah? Will Rajon Rondo annoy the hell out of Jimmy Butler and Dwyane Wade? With Nerlens Noel and Ben Simmons already hurt, have the Sixers once again planned their tanking strategy? Without real contenders in place for the frontrunners, Commissioner Adam Silver has some work to do.

Long drought…

With the release of 2015 first round pick R.J. Hunter, General Manager Danny Ainge’s draft record continues to get worse. During his 13 years, Ainge has drafted 38 players. In 2004, he had his best year by far when he selected Al Jefferson, Delonte West and Tony Allen. Avery Bradley at 19th in 2010 was great and beyond that the results are few and far between. Jeff Green at #5 was a disappointment, Randy Foye at #7 in 2006 was a nothing and the jury is still out on Marcus Smart in 2014 especially since Boston should have taken Julius Randle but drafted need instead of best player available.

Ainge made the great trades to land Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett and got some excellent complimentary pieces for the 2008 championship team. He also took apart the team by prematurely trading Kendrick Perkins and not resigning Allen.

Getting Al Horford was a big step, acquiring Isiah Thomas and Jae Crowder was impressive also. But the draft record has become concerning especially for a guy that spends so much time scouting and has built his reputation on it.

Something’s Gotta Give…

We know the Cubs haven’t won in a century, but the Indians haven’t won in 68 years. It seems like it is finally the Cubs time and on paper they are clearly the superior team, but games aren’t won on paper. Cleveland has overcome serious starting pitching injuries, but for the first time they won’t have the managerial edge as Joe Maddon is every bit as smart as Terry Francona. Nevertheless, I am sticking with the Indians who I predicted would win it all before the playoffs even started (putting it in writing will certainly jinx it).  James brought mojo back to the city of Cleveland, and for the 16th time in North American sports history, the same city will win championships in different sports the same year.


Is there anything better in sports than rivalries?

The city of Boston is arguably part of the three greatest rivalries in professional sports, although all three have been lopsided in different ways. The Bruins-Montreal Canadiens, Red Sox-New York Yankees and Celtics-Los Angeles Lakers are commonly identified as the greatest rivalry in their respective sport. 

Since 1928, the Bruins and Canadiens have played more regular season games head-to-head than any other teams. They have met in the playoffs an astounding 34 times including nine Game 7’s. Montreal has a 25-9 record and over a 42 year stretch from 1945-1987, they beat the Bruins 18 consecutive times. Meanwhile, Montreal has 23 Stanley Cups, 10 more than any opponent and 17 more than the Boston Bruins.

Sports journalists and casual baseball fans have often referred to the NY Yankees – Boston Red Sox rivalry as the greatest in all of sports. The Red Sox became the first team in MLB to erase a 3-0 playoff deficit courtesy of the Yankees en route to their first World Series in 86 years. The Red Sox sold Babe Ruth to New York for a bag of balls and you know the rest. The Dodger and Giants as well as Cubs and Cardinals have played each other slightly more often, but the storylines for these rivalries simply don’t match Red Sox-Yankees.

One of the unique things about the Celtics-Lakers rivalry is that is extremely rare for rivals to play in two separate conferences but to have the storied history against one another these teams have. The overall record favors the Celtics but is relatively close. What makes this rivalry lopsided is that head-to-head in the championship, they have played 12 times (closest is Lakers-Philadelphia 76’ers who have played four times) and the Celtics are 9-3 in those matchups. So nine of the Celtics 17 championships came against L.A. where 13 of the 16 for L.A. came against inferior competition…couldn’t help myself sorry.

But what truly defined Celtics-Lakers has been the subplots involving player rivalries. Wilt Chamberlain and Bill Russell, Magic Johnson and Larry Bird and to a lesser extent Kobe Bryant and Paul Pierce.

And now we ready ourselves for what could be the last time we get to see arguably the greatest player rivalry ever as Tom Brady leads the New England Patriots against Peyton Manning’s Denver Broncos for the AFC Championship and the right to play in what the Romans tell me is Super Bowl L. 

Brady and Manning have owned the NFL landscape for the last 15 years and couldn’t be more different from one another. Brady was an afterthought as a hopeful backup for incumbent Drew Bledsoe, a sixth round pick who boldly told Robert Kraft when they first met that drafting him was the greatest decision Kraft has ever made. Manning was drafted first and was billed as the savior for a Colts franchise who had endured back-to-back 3-13 seasons.

They have played 16 times and Brady is 11-5. Brady has been to six Super Bowls with a 4-2 record and two plays away from 6-0. Manning has been to three Super Bowls with his lone win coming against an inferior Rex Grossman led Chicago Bears team and losing by a combined seven touchdowns in his other two appearances. 

Manning is 12-13 all time in the playoffs and has an astounding nine one-and-dones. He has thrown 38 touchdowns and 24 interceptions. His best ever playoff performance was when he threw for 400 yards, two touchdowns and no interception in a flawless performance when the Broncos beat the Pats 26-16 to advance to Super Bowl 48.

Brady is 22-8 all time in the playoffs, has two one-and-dones and has thrown for 55 touchdowns and 26 interceptions. 

Brady has had a handful of elite weapons over the course of his career like Randy Moss and Rob Gronkowski and has made his slot receivers and pass-catching running backs famous. Manning has had Hall-of-Famers like Marvin Harrison and Reggie Wayne and now has elite receivers like Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders.

Brady thrives in the cold and Manning is scared of it. Brady has a beautiful wife while Manning’s wife orders his HGH for him.

Brady has been able to rely on reliable and clutch defenses over the course of his career while Manning has never had the luxury of a defense like he has this year.

Manning has 13,912 more passing yards, 111 more touchdowns and 101 more interceptions and three more regular season MVP’s in 41 more games. They have a combined 34 rush touchdowns…go figure.

Brady is hoping that Julian Edelman doesn’t turn into Kevin McHale in the 1987 NBA Finals playing on a broken foot. He is hoping that Gronkowski doesn’t get taken out at the knees and that he doesn’t see three teammates carted off the field like what seems to be every other game this season. Manning is hoping that C.J. Anderson and Ronnie Hillman can channel their inner Terrell Davis.

Brady hopes that Denver doesn’t continue to be his house of horrors with six losses in eight visits. He has lost to Brian Griese, Jake Plummer twice, Kyle Orton and what should have been a star-struck Brock Osweiler. Manning is hoping he can play like any one of the aforementioned quarterbacks and not like the guy who threw nine touchdowns and seventeen interceptions in the regular season…okay maybe not Griese.

But recent history tells a different story. The last four playoff meetings have been split. Manning is 2-1 in the AFC Championship in the last three head-to-head matchups and Brady hasn’t beaten Manning in the playoffs since 2006.

Brady is on a mission and has a mountain-sized chip on his shoulder due to Deflategate and the allegations that dogged him throughout the offseason that tainted his good name. Manning is fending off accusations about HGH. Brady is bidding for an unprecedented fifth Super Bowl win as a quarterback and seventh Super Bowl appearance. Manning is hoping his neck stays fused together and the defense can cover for his shortcomings and age to get him to a fourth Super Bowl.

The Patriots were 4-8 in their first 12 playoff games in franchise history and are 25-10 since. Denver was 2-6 in their first eight playoff games and are 5-8 in their last 13. 

If the Patriots can keep their key players on the field in this game (Edelman, Gronkowski, Hightower, Collins and Chandler Jones), they win. If one or two of those guys go off, they will be in trouble. Denver needs Thomas to not get shut down by Logan Ryan, but their defense is absolutely good enough to hide Manning’s shortcomings.

Manning he has a chance to alter his legacy as a losing playoff quarterback. Brady has a chance to cement his legacy as the most successful quarterback ever. Either way, sit back and enjoy what could be the last time we get to enjoy this special rivalry.


We’re on to 2016


My own version of New Year’s resolutions:

“You play to win the game” Herm Edwards

I no longer will believe Bill Belichick when he says December games are important and that how you finish the regular season is a portent for playoff success. He taught me this year that it is okay as a professional coach to take the last six games off, fritter away possessions in the last two minutes of a half, show indifference toward clock management and that it is a good strategy to not try against Miami but still put your franchise quarterback in to get mauled behind a makeshift offensive line while conceding the game anyway.

I’m Mad as Hell and sometimes won’t take it anymore

I will stop trying to figure out the behavior of teams like the Atlanta Falcons. The Falcons started 5-0, then dropped seven of nine while giving new meaning to playing down to their level of competition with their lone wins barely beating Tennessee and Jacksonville. But two weeks after a humiliating 38-0 loss to the previously undefeated Carolina Panthers in Week 14, Atlanta played with a sense of urgency that hadn’t been seen all season and stunned Carolina. See the Falcons were mad that Carolina was mocking them by taking team pictures and selfies during the Week 14 blowout and that touched a nerve. Note to other NFL teams. No bulletin board material for Atlanta because otherwise the Falcons will mail it in.

After further review

I will stop thinking of Johnny Manziel any other way than as an independent thinker.

I won’t put down the Jets for their postgame celebration after beating the Patriots when they acted like they won the Superbowl. I also won’t laugh when they make former coach Rex Ryan happy by choking away a great chance to make the playoffs for the first time since 2010 with an awful loss to Buffalo. Incidentally, this would have been Ryan Fitzpatrick’s first ever foray into the postseason over his ten-year career.

 I will stop worrying about deflated footballs and focus my attention on insignificant banners that celebrate meaningless accomplishments.

 I will stop tattling on my opponents when I lose games because I am not as familiar and knowledgeable about the rules as I should be.

 I will no longer support football in St. Louis. The fans couldn’t support the Cardinals and now they are being jilted by the Rams. Take the hint. Used to love Roy Green though.

 I will coach the Raiders to follow the lead of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and become the OakAngeles Raiders.

 I will not attribute Peyton Manning’s embarrassing 2015 performance to his foot injury because he was already playing poorly before the injury occurred.

 I will not focus on Aaron Rodgers dependence on Jordy Nelson and his season-long injury and attribute that to the reason Green Bay looked lost on offense most of the season.

 I will permanently get pumped and jacked every time I see Pete Carroll on the sideline reacting to “The Butler”

Words to the Wise

I will never use the type of escorts that Rick Pitino uses because loose lips sink ships.

I will not feed Pablo Sandoval or pamper Hanley Ramirez.

I will accept the Yankees strategy of having three shutdown closers because it takes the pressure off starters like CC Sabathia and Masahiro Tanaka who break down and now only have to go five or six innings a game.

 I will plug my ears when Claude Julien gives pre-game speeches moving forward so I don’t have to hear built in excuses and a comment like our young guys need to step up and play the games of their lives to have a chance prior to the Bruins humiliating themselves on national TV at home against their arch rival. Guess his friendship with Bill Belichick isn’t paying off that much.

 I will not get depressed despite the Celtics looking rudderless at 1-3 in their last four, the Bruins drifting hopelessly at 1-5 in their last six and the Patriots at 2-4 in their last six.

 I will try to arrange for Greg Hardy and Roger Goodell to be transported to the same desert island.

 I will not focus on Kobe Bryant being the all time missed shots leader, bickering with Shaq and costing the Lakers who knows how many more titles or his sexual assault issue in Colorado earlier in his career and instead will laud him for his five championships and the 60 million he stole from the Lakers the last two years.

 I will not compare LeBron James to the Buffalo Bills as he pursues his fifth championship series loss.

 I will bow at the altar of Gregg Popovich and marvel at how his team never ages and is 31-6 nipping at Golden State’s heals.

 I will applaud all hockey fans for voting John Scott as the leading vote getter for the all-star game. Scott has five goals and six assists in 10 seasons. That’s the way to make a mockery of the system.

 And finally, I will not defer any decisions I am awarded as a result of a coin toss.



Send in the Clowns

Remember when Jerry Seinfeld uttered those famous words “Not that there’s anything wrong with that”? I guess Rajon Rondo missed that episode.

In case you missed it, Rondo was ejected against the Boston Celtics last week after he went on a profanity-laced slur-filled tirade to NBA referee Bill Kennedy regarding Kennedy’s sexuality. Kennedy hadn’t yet come out, but former disgraced referee Tim Donaghy had actually let the cat out of the bag in 2010 so this fact was pretty well-known in NBA circles. Kennedy then came officially came out on Sunday in the wake of Rondo being suspended for one game for his transgression.

The Sacramento Kings, I mean Rondo’s agent, I mean Rondo tweeted out some comments (not an apology) on Monday that stated his outburst was done out of emotion and they don’t reflect his feelings towards the LGBT community. His insincere and forced comments were such a joke that the only thing missing is Rondo proclaiming that he has friends that are gay.

This at a time when Rondo seemed to be rehabilitating his image. He was leading the NBA in assists, four triple doubles, and even stepped into a leadership role for Team Dysfunction. Rondo couldnt afford this professionally or financially. He was forced to take a discounted one year deal after losing several million dollars due to his incidents last year with Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle as it futher cemented his repuation as a malcontent. Previously, Kevin Garnett has told a story where Rondo threw a fan at Doc Rivers in the Celtics locker room and had to be restrained by several teammates before being escorted out of the building by Garnett.

Rondo’s career thrived when he had veteran leadership around him like Garnett, Paul Pierce, Ray Allen and a former point guard coach in Rivers. Once that went away, so did what little self -control Rondo had. And now he has the polar opposite when surrounded by DeMarcus Cousins. This would be like pairing an alcoholic with Ozzy Osbourne or a sex addict with Charlie Sheen.

Why are we surprised when athletes who have been pampered for most of their lives have little self-control, boundaries or struggle with maturity? When athletes grows up making the rules, choosing what they want, when they want it and how they want it, those previously mentioned personality traits take a back seat.

Could it get worse

You know things have reached rock bottom when the Baltimore Ravens turned to Ryan Mallett. After Joe Flacco went down, they tried Matt Schaub and Jimmy Clausen and came to terms with the fact that anybody is better than that. So in comes Mallett. After living off his strong arm reputation despite never showing or proving anything (frankly Jimmy Garropolo has shown more at this point) in New England, Houston gave him a golden opportunity as the front runner to land the starting job over Brian Hoyer. Not only did he underperform, but he overslept once and then to add insult to injury missed a team plane before being unceremoniously cut.

Talk about being surrounded by veteran leadership. You’d think Mallett would have learned something from being around the work ethic of Tom Brady or the leadership of Bill Belichick. Mallett says he has learned his lessons and will be different this time, but he joins Texans management and Ravens management to make three clown entries for this blog.


It was good to see this past Sunday that Houston Texans defensive lineman Jadeveon Clowney finally started his NFL career. After being selected number one in 2014, Clowney missed virtually all of last season and has been underwhelming this season. But he sure showed us with a big sack dance when he sacked Tom Brady while his team trailed 27-6. Any athlete that has a big celebration while his team is getting annihilated is a clown.

Cash and Carry

Sometimes after watching or listening to John Calipari or Rick Pitino I think I need a shower. They both have been hired guns throughout their career. Pitino has been embroiled in multiple scandals with the most recent being his role in the Louisville basketball player sex escort scandal. But Calipari in some ways makes Pitino look like a choir boy and the UMASS administration has decided to reward him for that by raising his name to the rafters during a halftime ceremony. Calipari put UMASS basketball on the map for the first time since Julius Erving when he led them to the Final Four in 1996.

It was one of the most exciting local college runs you’ll see anchored by center Marcus Camby. There was one slight problem though that Pitino would either have been proud or jealous of. Camby had a few agents and received thosuands of dollars worth of jewelry and prostitution services. These kinds of dishonorable recruiting tactics followed Calipari to the University of Memphis where he had to flee also. UMASS was fined 151K by the NCAA and had their Final Four appearance vacated (the punishment of vacated wins is a great topic for another day). Calipari left the program in ruins and suffice it to say it has never recovered. Calipari will be in good company though in the rafters right alongside his partner in crime Camby.

Antone Exum

Minnesota Vikings player Antone Exum came out this morning to say he played through a fractured rib and injured shoulder in a game two weeks ago against Seattle and said he thought he could have died by continuing to play, but knew the Vikings were shorthanded. He said “I was feeling a pain in my chest with every breath and motion.” If you are a professional athlete and are having trouble breathing, stop playing. If you are a professional athlete and have been hit so hard you can’t see straight, stop playing. You might be popular with your teammates because of your toughness, dedication and masculinity, but if you are debilitated for the rest of your life, then the peer appreciation seems somewhat secondary and you fit the profile of being a clown.