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Monday, December 17, 2018

Asking The Tough Questions

Not a difficult call, but when the New England Patriots lose two games in a row, it's all hands on deck to ask whether The End Is Near:
PITTSBURGH — Have we reached the expiration date on the Patriots dynasty?

We’ve wondered this before. And each time the Patriots have answered with another surge to a Super Bowl. That could still happen again between now and February. The weakened 2018 Patriots should be able to win their final two regular-season games (home layups with the Bills and Jets) and perhaps the Chiefs, Chargers, Texans, Ravens, Steelers, and Colts will all go south before the start of the NFL tournament. It’s possible that these Patriots could still secure a first-round bye, have their way in January, win a couple of games at Gillette, and mock their detractors on the way to Atlanta for Super Bowl LIII.
And speaking of 'detractors'...
...
But it doesn’t feel like another Patriots playoff surge is coming, does it? There comes a time when mystique and aura are nothing more than smoke and mirrors. There comes a time when being smarter is not enough, when waiting for the other guy to step on his own appendage will not guarantee victory. There comes a time when your own ability and execution are more important than all the good things that have happened before. There comes a time when you will not get the benefit of some strange rule that will be changed during the offseason. There come a time when assuming the other guy will lose his mind and hand you the game is more hope than reality.
So Miami and Pittsburgh weren't 'tomato cans' after all? Or is that going to be the theme for the next two weeks (with the upcoming Bills and Jets games)? It's almost confusing, unless you know that the 'tomato can' theory is complete bullshit and used just to get a rise out of Patriots fans.

Sunday, December 16, 2018

You Were Saying?


Wait for Shank to blister the Patriots with a column to the contrary any moment now...

Original Gameday Tweets, By Dan Shaughnessy

Bet you've never heard this one before!

Return Of The Tomato Cans - Part Deux!

You just knew this was coming, didn't you?
PITTSBURGH — This is football country. It’s the home of Mean Joe Greene, the Steel Curtain, the Terrible Towel and the Immaculate Reception. It’s where thick-fingered fans belly up to the bar for a shot-and-a-beer after an overnight shift. It’s the birthplace of Johnny Unitas and Dan Marino. It’s where folks speak in reverent tones about the Rooney family, Chuck Noll, and six Super Bowl championships — more than any NFL franchise.

Swell.

So how in the name of Terry Bradshaw did quaint Olde New England become a football region capable of mocking the vaunted gridiron culture of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania?
Because of the five Super Bowl championships by the Patriots?
The Patriots are at Heinz Field on Sunday and no one in Greater Boston is worried about the outcome. The 2018 Steelers probably have more talent than this year’s Patriots. The Steelers are playing at home and have much on the line. The Steelers will have 68,000 black-and-gold clad fans making it difficult for Tom Brady to hear when the Patriots offense goes to work in the enclosed end of the stadium.

And none of it will matter. The Patriots will beat the Steelers because they always beat the Steelers. In this century, the gridiron glory and tradition belongs to Bill Belichick, Brady, and Patriot Nation. Pats fans laugh at the Steelers and make fun of them as if they are the Tampa Bay Rays or the Orlando Magic.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Milking It, By Dan Shaughnessy - A Continuing Series

Not content with ragging on the Patriots a single time for their loss last Sunday to the Miami Dolphins, he feels the need to do so a second time this week.
We’re on to Pittsburgh . . .

Actually, no. This is New England in 2018, and we don’t let go of a horrible loss. Not overnight. Not in a couple of days. Sometimes never.

“It’s the National Football League,’’ Bill Belichick reminded us on WEEI Monday. “No one died.’’

That’s easy for you to say, Bill. Here in New England, we never let these things go (anyone seen Malcolm Butler?). We dissect and analyze. We perform an autopsy. We spit out pieces of our broken luck and wallow in a quagmire of agony. We seek counseling.

And we rate the pain.
And write column after column after column about huge, heartbreaking losses by the pro sports teams in Boston like the relentlessly negative asshole he is.

Monday, December 10, 2018

Loving The Loss

There's no other way to describe this latest column of Shank's - he's absolutely delighted about the Patriots' 34-33 loss to the Dolphins on Sunday.
MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — OK, let’s just call it the worst non-playoff loss in Boston sports history.

Hyperbole?

Maybe not. I dare you to come up with anything more hideous and ghoulish than what happened to the Patriots at Hard Rock Stadium Sunday afternoon. And the consequences are likely to be enormous.

By now you have probably seen the Dolphins’ hook and ladder/double lateral a million times. You’ve seen the 69-yard touchdown scramble pass play with seven seconds left in the game. It was Ryan Tannehill to Kenny Stills to DeVante Parker to Kenyan Drake. The lasting image of the play will be that of the world’s largest defensive back — Achilles’-aching Rob Gronkowski — diving in vain as Drake bolted past him and into the end zone after time expired. The only thing missing was the trombone player from the Stanford marching band.
Talk of tomato cans, luck and everything falling the Patriots' way will start again soon, but not until Shank does a victory lap over the next couple of days, and he will be insufferable on his next Sports Hub appearance.

Tuesday, December 04, 2018

The Baseball President

Shank's latest column, on the recently deceased former President:
No president was more of a baseball guy than George H.W. Bush

George Herbert Walker Bush was a baseball guy.

He had a photo taken with Babe Ruth. He played college ball against Vin Scully and twice played in the College World Series in Omaha. He got Ted Williams to campaign for him in New Hampshire in 1988. He invited Ted and Joe DiMaggio to the Rose Garden for lunch in 1991 — the 50th anniversary of Ted’s .406 season and Joe’s 56-game hitting streak. Bush presented Ted with the Presidential Medal of Freedom that same year.

Bush entertained fellow Texan Roger Clemens at the White House in the summer of 1986 and invited a pack of sportswriters to the Roosevelt Room to talk about baseball before the start of the 1989 playoffs.

Monday, December 03, 2018

Whoops!

More evidence that Shank does not have an editor: