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Friday, July 27, 2007

I wish he would stick to baseball

Today is the first day of Patriot's training camp and Shaughnessy speculates about the upcoming season. It is particular torture when Shaughnessy steps outside of Red Sox world to cover the other local teams.

Shaughnessy starts with the "All is well in the world"
technique as he discusses where to stay in Arizona for the Super Bowl and detailing his hope that it is not too cold in Boston for the Super Bowl parade. When he has used this technique in the past, we have debated whether he is being his overly cynical and/or bitterly sarcastic self. I will cut him a little slack on this one - he seems to be using the technique just to set the stage for describing a season for which people have high expectations.

He then proceeds, however, to make two head-scratching comparisons. He says expectations are sky high for the Patriots this year just as they were for the 86 Celtics because of Bill Walton's arrival and the 78 Sox with Dennis Eckersley's arrival. Granted, the Celts had won titles in 81 and 84 and Walton was a nice fit but I dont recall Walton's acquisition pushing expectations above and beyond - he was a reserve player in the twilight of his career. The Red Sox reference is even more puzzling --the Sox had been in the World Series in 75 but to suggest that adding Eckersley convinced people that the Sox were a lock for the Series in 1978 does not resonate well with me--a poor analogy for this year's Patriots team.

He takes a pot shot (again) at Bob and Myra for selling their sanctimonious soles for the acquisition of Moss and Meriweather. We have discussed this before but this sanctimony of which Shaughnessy speaks seems to be more of a media creation than a Patriots creation. The Patriots have taken other character gambles in the past in the Kraft era.

Other quick notes:

- Shank trots out two other favorite conventions - we are treated to a "Sons of Belichick" reference and a "Mssrs." use.

- Cultural reference alert: Shaughnessy goes mostly modern today - a Tim Donaghy joke ("even Tim Donaghy thinks the Pats are a lock"--pretty funny) and a Harry Potter reference as well.

Bottom Line: Not much here - not sure what Shaughnessy has contributed in any meaningful way to the dialogue.

20 comments:

Jim said...

You know sometimes I hate the Nappy Headed CHB, and then there are times when I HATE the Nappy Headed CHB.

This line:

"You can bet your XXXL Bruschi jersey that Belichick and Tom Brady are ready to get back to football."

That says it all, without even writing it directly. That line basically codas the entire riff he was on for the column. He is saying that Pats fans are nothing but overweight, pampered and spoiled.

And then there is this line:

"But looking at what's being said and written about the Patriots, it's hard to recall anything comparable. The Patriots are going all the way. Ask anyone outside Indianapolis and San Diego. The Patriots have the best owner, the best coach, the best GM, and the clutch quarterback."

Let's be honest: he threw in "written" to cover his ass. I have yet to see anything "written" that encompasses what he states. Nope, this was another shot at Pats fans. That we are ignorant and stupid. That Indy and San Diego are obviously the teams to beat this yr in the AFC.

This article was sooo condescending, it just drips off the page.

Juli La Chuli said...

The column also reiterates Dan's profound hang-ups with money and power; the players ("best clutch quarterback") rates only fourth in his thinly-veiled bitter diatribe, after owner, coach and GM. The Steppenwolf lyric provides positively off the charts hilarity, though, and serves to unintentionally dilute Dan's rant. Regardless, with two new Cartoon negroes in town, it seems like we'll be hearing a lot from Dan re: the Patriots this season.

paul said...

Yup, another gem from Shank today.

"You can bet your XXXL Bruschi jersey that Belichick and Tom Brady are ready to get back to football."

I think this is a swipe at Pats fans more than the players. (BTW, in the spirit of full disclosure, I own a large size Bruschi jersey. He's my favorite player...So sue me.)

Calling the Krafts "sanctimonious" is unfair and untrue. They made some smart deals for high-end players (low-risk, high-reward). Are there some character issues with Randy Moss and Brandon Merriwether? Sure...but lets see if the solid core of good character guys on the team can bring these "malcontents" around. Just like they did with Harrison and Dillon.

Well, at least he treated us to some relevant sports/pop culture references. Does anyone else think that Tim Donaghy will become a staple of Shank's columns in the future? That's going to get old really quick.

Anonymous said...

Holy crap. A new low. A miserable, piece of garbage from a miserable man. Trite, condescending, arrogant, and thoroughly pathetic. Jesus, this guy is truly loathsome. Swipes at Smerlas, Belichick, Brady, the Krafts and, for God's sake, the NFL. (Self-important? MLB wrote the damn book.) But the absolute worst? "Sons of ... " Make it stop, please make it stop.

Dan, you're embarrassing yourself.

Monkeesfan said...

I'll give Shank credit - at least he wasn't taking shots at Reche Caldwell like some of the commentary around the media and talk radio implicitly try to do.

Shank, maybe if you did some research into Randy Moss you'd find that Bob and Myra haven't sold their soul here; he's obviously got character issues, but remember that such "character deficient" guys like Corey Dillon and Rodney Harrison, once they did some actual research, were in fact good character guys.

Monkeesfan said...

Hey wait a minute Shank. you're slipping. You always put in old history references with regard to sports teams - where are the name-drops for Steve Grogan, John Hannah, Don Calhoun, and Randy Vataha? Where are the references to Clive Rush's bout with electricity or Upton Bell screaming for Randy Vataha to blow a Jim Plunkett TD in Baltimore? And I can't believe you didn't reference Randy Moss' days with the Vikings and how Bledsoe bombed them outta Schaefer Stadium in OT.

Chris said...

Dan's 'All is well with the world' is a backhanded way of authoring a position piece that the Patriots had better WELL win the whole thing. And of course the obvious companion thesis is that he hopes they don't. We know that he and Jackie are invested in defeat, their postures well known since draft day. It is so flipping easy to diagnose and interpret Shaughnessy. Man, is it easy.

Monkeesfan said...

Shank's 1978 reference resonates poorly on two levels - the obvious Red Sox one but also for the Pats, who blew a Superbowl bid after Chuck Sullivan screwed up Chuck Fairbanks' power and caused the whole suspension-return fiasco that left the team in utter chaos and led to the Oilers' 31-14 playoff thumping of the Patriots.

Is Shank expressing a subtle hope concerning the persistent
"Belichick will cash out after this season" rumor?

Dave M said...

Shank loves to refer to the "gun toting" Meriweather.

I wonder how Shank would feel if the media referred to his son Sam as a "pot smoking punk"? (Shaughnessy revealed in his book Senior Year that Sam smoked pot)

Chris said...

I wonder how many times that Shaughnessy's kids screamed, "I WISH I WEREN'T EVEN BORN!!!" My guess is hundreds. And coming in second place would be, "AND SINCE I WAS BORN, WHY COULDN'T YOU GIVE ME SOME DIFFERENT LAST NAME??? WHY DOES YOUR STUPID COLUMN NEED TO BE MY ALBATROSS AROUND MY NECK??"

ObjectiveBruce said...

The Celtics acquiring Walton did, indeed, push expectations above and beyond. I think Shaughnessy was the Celtics beat writer at the time. Bird himself was saying it made the C's "three times better" and the general theory was that even with Walton's diminished playing time (he ended up averaging just under 20 mpg) the Maxwell for Walton trade improved the Celtics by giving them 48 minutes of high caliber play at the 5.

That aside, the smarmy comments posted are more telling of the posters than the man they call shank. He says the Patsies are good and that brings out a load of childish hatred and desperate attempts to find things between the lines that aren't there.

The Patriots have been picked to win it all by The Sporting News, Pro Football Weekly, Street and Smiths, athlonsports.com all with written commentary, but we don't let the facts get in the way of things around here.

Anonymous said...

OB:

Everyone knows Shank is a pathetic, miserable, human being. Everyone. Stop defending him.
You twit.

Chris said...

Now, look: You've made him cry. It's a fact that all Boston Globe workers are wusses and in love with their 'feminine side' (a circle only has one side).

Anonymous said...

Another pearl from the hennaed one....
"We think this might be the final year of Belichick's contract, but then again, those details are cloaked in confidentiality. The NFL seeps self-importance, particularly in Foxborough, where simple details are guarded like the final chapters of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.""

Why are the personal business relations between BB and the Pats a matter of concern to Shank?

Dan....are you under contract with the Globe? If so, what is its length? How much are you paid per year? Did you receive an advance for that book about Slap-Happy Sam the Smokin' Tokin' Slugger? How much was it?

C'mon Dan, these are simple details, why all the secrecy.....

Chris said...

Silly! Everyone in the press gets to hide behind a bullet-proof shield called the First Amendment. This is what lets Shaughessy be Shaughnessy! It's what lets him be the jerk that he is! It's kinda like the same sort of recipe that the Kennedy's use to be the jerks they are. A magic force-field for journalists, which--DING!--turns marginally-intelligent people into Supermen and Superwomen, who can Bend Steel in their bare hands!

Monkeesfan said...

Shank, when you do your obligatory Bill Walsh Remembered piece, will you do it the same way you do Bill Belichick pieces?

ObjectiveBruce said...

If it doesn't matter how long Belichick is under contract than it logically would follow that it doesn't matter if Belichickis the coach.

I don't think anyone believes that.

Does anyone have any idea what on earth this Chris person is babbling about>

Monkeesfan said...

OB, he's babbling about how Shank is supposed to be treated with respect by others even though he hasn't earned it, hence the Kennedy reference.

As for it not mattering how long Belichick is under contract, you seem to be assuming that he will leave the Patriots when it does expire - trouble is there is no indication of that and no plausibility to that line of thinking.

dbvader said...

Bad, bad column. Meriweather used a lawfully owned gun in self defense. Get it through your thick skull, Dan. Outside of metro Boston people understand that firearms can be used in a responsible manner.

Monkeesfan said...

Given his shots at the Patriots, I'm surprised Shank hasn't brought up Bully Borges and how that duplicitous pond scum of a coach was so mean to him.