Sunday, October 31, 2010

A Familiar Subject For Shank?

Two or three years after everyone else who follows the National Football League already knows, Shank notices Brett Favre's massive ego. Was it the hundreds of ESPN stories that gave it away?

But enough about grudges and genius coaches and all-world wideouts. We need to remember that the most important thing about today, about every day, is insufferable glory hog Favre and his consecutive-game streak. If you don’t believe me, check out ESPN’s 24-7 candlelight vigil for Brett.
Toss in shots at Curt Schilling, A-Rod, a mention of the 'immortal' Tavaris Jackson and a song quote from the overrated Bob Dylan, and you get a truly awful column. Trick, not treat.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Dan, Dan, Bandwagon Man

Shank continues to ride the wave of good Patriots tidings, at least until their next loss. Shank picks up on the PR ineptness of Minnesota Vikings coach Brad Childress:

He tugs on Super Coach’s cape, reminding the world that the Patriots were cheaters back in the days when they thrashed the Vikings (31-7) on “Monday Night Football’’ four years ago.

Brilliant, Brad. Why not give Bill Belichick a little more incentive before a game that could effectively end your season on Halloween?

Strange. So strange. Must be the season of the witch.

This is what Childress said Monday:

“I’m mindful of the last time we faced them here, on ‘Monday Night Football.’ It was like a surgical procedure. These were some of the all-time great signal stealers. In fact, that’s what was going on. They were holding, holding, holding. We were signaling from the sideline. They were good at it. It’s like stealing signals from the catcher.’’
Jim Croce and Donovan quote lameness aside, does anyone else find it amusing that Shank, with all his dumping on coach Bill Belichick, now reveres him? This guy's hypocrisy knows no bounds. Of course, that will change in short order.

But wait - there's more! Check out the false bravado (Shank is such a mush):

Still, I had to give it a shot. I had to demonstrate some false hustle and do the fool’s errand. Knowing it was like building a sand castle before high tide, I drove to Foxborough.

Near the end of Belichick’s always-wacky media session, I asked, “What’s your reaction when you hear an opposing coach talking about games in 2006 and stealing signals?’’

“I’m not really too worried about 2006,’’ deadpanned Bill. “I’m worried about this Sunday against Minnesota. I’m not worried about next Sunday, last Sunday, ’06, ’02, ’89. Really, it’s just Sunday.’’

OK, that’s not exactly the same as saying, “I hate the guy with the white-hot intensity of a thousand suns,’’ but I sensed a little something between the lines of his non-answer. So I went back with, “What would motivate a coach to do that?’’

“I don’t know,’’ he said patiently. “Really, I’m just trying to coach this team and get ready for the Vikings. You’ll have to talk to other coaches. I don’t know.’’

(Tom Landry, George Halas, and Amos Alonzo Stagg did not return my calls.)

Giving it one more try, I offered, “As a policy for yourself, do you ever go back and talk about past games?’’

“We’ve talked about some other games before,’’ he said (he was grinning a little now). “But really, my focus is the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday afternoon. That’s what I’m here for.’’

Then he smiled, exited stage right, and said, “Is that what you were looking for?’’

Enough with the foolish questions about the desperate coach. It was time for the serious man to go to work.
My only surprise - Belichick not beating Shank with an axe handle. Finish the column off with yet another Brady Gaga reference (You're so lame, I can't believe this column's about you), and it's another fish wrap with Bruce M's favourite boring broadsheet.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

And Now For More Boston Globe Bashing - III

Since Shank can't be bothered writing Globe columns for the past ten days (Bob Ryan has at least five columns in that time span), I need to keep things moving, right?

This one's dedicated, more or less, to Bruce M., aka 'Objective'Bruce, who used to post quite frequently in previous years as Shank's sole defender. He's commented in the single digits over the past thirteen months. I wonder why that is?

Actually, I don't. There are two main reasons he is absent from this site. To the detriment of page hits to this site, I have given him nothing to argue about. I'm well acquainted with liberal / leftists with little real world experience beyond the spheres of academia and journalism, and Bruce M. fits the mold to a tee. It's a narrow, parochial world view that lends itself to snotty, condescending comments to those that disagree with said worldview, and Bruce M's. historical comments amply demonstrate this attitude. I, for one, applaud his ability to derive a living through semi-parasitic means as a former Globe writer. Shall I provide the readers of this site with a link to your current 1927-like Yankees Murderers Row of co-worker individuals with scant / nonexistent private sector experience? I eagerly await the opportunity to provide readers of this website numerous examples of Bruce M.'s world-class arrogance, and perhaps his identity, if he pisses me off enough. It's like a Shank template shitting on Coach Belichick, writ large. Bruce, do you think the DSW readers will like that NECN clip from last year?

I've hinted at the other in comment threads - I'm quite sure I know who Bruce M___ really is. I figured it out after one week of posting on this site. I talked to two Globe employees, describing the situation thusly: "There's this guy posting at the DSW site, he calls himself 'Objective'Bruce, his every post is in complete support of Shank, he supports the Globe in the most effusive manner possible..."

Both times, I was cut off in mid-sentence and given the same name, Bruce M___. Who can argue with gems like these?

As long as there is a Boston Herald, the Globe will never suck by comparison. The Globe is a good paper. It could be better. It used to be better. And if you don't read it, you are missing something.
Now there's a rallying cry - Read the Globe! We don't suck as bad as the Herald!
Sorry, I'm supposed to be bashing the Globe. My bad:
Circulation declines slow at the Globe, other newspapers

Oct 25, 2010
By Johnny Diaz, Globe Staff

Circulation declines at The Boston Globe, The Boston Herald, and many other newspapers around the country slowed in the six month period that ended in September.

The Globe's daily circulation dropped 15.6 percent to 222,683 while the Herald's fell 9.8 percent to 124,691 compared to the same period a year ago, according to the Audit Bureau of Circulations, which measures industry results.

The Boston Sunday Globe's circulation dropped 12 percent in the period to 368,303, while the Herald's Sunday circulation fell 5.6 percent to 90,222.

The Globe's publisher, Christopher M. Mayer, said in a memo to the paper's staff today that the lower circulation figures were expected after the newspaper raised prices last summer in most areas by 30 percent to 50 percent to increase revenue.

He noted that the rate of daily and Sunday circulation declines between the new reporting period and the previous six-month reporting period last March are smaller.

"The good news is the rate of circulation decline has slowed as we cycle through the impact of the price increases,'' Mayer said.

He also noted that local traffic to the Globe's website,, grew by 2.9 percent.

"Print and online media work in concert with one another to build audience," he said.

Elsewhere in Massachusetts, daily circulation at the Worcester Telegram & Gazette fell 9.3 percent from 73,207 last year to 66,397 this year. (The New York Times Co. owns T&G, The Globe, and the namesake flagship paper, The New York Times.) The Patriot Ledger in Quincy dropped 10.2 percent, from 44,729 last year to 40,154.

In Rhode Island, The Providence Journal's daily circulation declined 9.6 percent, from 106,861 to 96,595.
You still want to make some circulation bets, Bruce? You wanna dance?

Monday, October 25, 2010

Questions Unanswered

1) Why hasn't Shank written a column for the Globe in over a week? Maybe we should be grateful for small favors.

2) Shank's weekly CNN / SI column features Red Sox owner John Henry's recent purchase of English Premier League's Liverpool FC, and gives the thumbnail sketch of John Henry's biography. One part juts out more than others:

The most traumatic event of Henry's Red Sox tenure came when brilliant young general manager Theo Epstein resigned suddenly after the 2005 season. Henry blamed himself for the departure and suggested, "Maybe I'm not fit to run the Red Sox.'' Epstein eventually returned and Henry came to regret his remark.

Unanswered: just why did Theo Epstein suddenly resign? It couldn't possibly be a direct result of Shank's infamous Dirty Laundry column, could it? Did he have a hard time convincing others his hands were clean?

Then again, some questions answer themselves...

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Question Answered

Monkeesfan asks - Oh my goodness gracious, to coin a Susan Waldman-ism. What will Shank say now, with the Patriots grinding out a 23-20 overtime win?

This is a rhetorical question. Fans of the site know precisely what will happen - Shank will jump back on the bandwagon!

It was the feel-good game of the year in New England. It reminded Patriots fans of the good old days when the Pats won with brains and teamwork.

Playing without Randy Moss for the first time since 2006, the Sons of Bill Belichick beat the estimable Baltimore Ravens 23-20 in overtime on Sunday to improve to 4-1, a half-game behind the Jets in the AFC East.
Since this is a CNN / SI article, check out the rest of it, and try to ignore yet another mention of Danny Woodhead's height...

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Angst For A Readable Column

Shank accentuates the positive yet again in today's column:

FOXBOROUGH — Losses sting. Season-ending losses last. They are the broken hearts of competition. The mind never forgets.

One of the curses of athletic success is that it generally puts you into some kind of tournament. Playoffs are designed to produce a single champion, which means that most good teams end their season with a loss. Talk to friends who played on a winning high school sports team and you’ll find that 95 percent of them finished their careers with a loss.
In a column that sets the table for today's Ravens / Patriots game, Shank passes on a free dump on coach Belichick and actually heaps a small amount of praise on him for opening up a little bit. And I was expecting the worst from Shank...

Friday, October 15, 2010

I Spoke Too Soon

If you thought yesterday's column was bad, Shank lowers the bar today with a Picked Up PiecesTM column, the type of column you write when you need to hit a monthly quota and / or need to demonstrate to the whole world you have nothing else worth writing about. That, or he's just flipping the bird to his editors again.

DHL Dan, mailing in yet another underwhelming column...

In other news, commenter Paul points out a Globe letter to the editor written by Claudia Williams, daughter of Ted Williams. Claudia took offense at one sentence of Shank's tribute to Ted from a few weeks ago. She mentions something interesting & revealing with this sentence:

John-Henry (Claudia's brother - Ed.) trusted Shaughnessy and provided him with firsthand information to help him write privileged stories.
I wonder if that will make Shank feel like the asshole / scumbag Claudia's making him out to be?

Thursday, October 14, 2010

More Shit From Shank

Shank ungracefully covers a mini-press conference with Tom Terrific yesterday, with equally ungraceful writing:

FOXBOROUGH — The door to the Patriots locker room swung open at 11:15 a.m. The media herd shuffled through the doorway and slouched to the stall of Tom Brady. This was QB 12’s first group session since the Randy Moss shocker, and everybody with a microphone wanted a spot at the foot of Brady Gaga.

In the wake of Charley Casserly’s wild report on CBS last Sunday, I was expecting to see Brady rolling on the clubhouse carpet, wrestling with Jerod Mayo and tugging at the linebacker’s whiskers. I figured there might be a photo of Floyd the Barber on Brady’s locker — more evidence of teammates chiding him for his long hair. Just as Randy Moss supposedly did.
The 'ace' Boston Globe sports columnist continues to be pleased with his self-defined wit with the 'Brady Gaga' moniker. Well, we know they both have dicks, right?

Shank lies to his readers yet again:

Asked about the fashionable, post-trade Moss bashing, Brady said, “I didn’t follow any of it. I wouldn’t bash him. I don’t think any of our teammates would bash him. Were you guys bashing him?’’

Not me.
Give me a break. Bashing Randy Moss was so last month! Shank's opinions have expiration dates. It's as simple as that.

Read the rest of the article, if you dare, for Shank's seething, barely concealed contempt of the New England Patriots organization.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Carry That Weight

The Curse of Juan Gonzalez has been lifted. While Shank did not explicitly predict the Rangers to fold like a cheap card table, do you think there will be a mea culpa from him on this series? I don't know about you, but I'm not holding my breath...

Monday, October 11, 2010

The Curse of Juan González?

Shank's weekly CNN / SI article features the Tampa Bay Rays and the Texas Rangers in the ALDS, currently tied at 2 games apiece. As befits Shank's primary strength, he focuses on the Rangers' playoff futility:

The Texas Rangers might be moving slowly Tuesday night when they play the Tampa Bay Rays in the fifth and deciding game of their American League Division Series. The Rangers will be carrying the weight of five decades of failure. It's a heavy load.

Born as the second version of the Washington Senators in 1961, the Rangers are the only major league franchise which has never won a playoff series. That's oh-for-a-half-century. It's a lot of weight.
A decent column follows, including an Elvis sighting and a few sentences on the Red Sox. Just don't call Shank provincial!

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Right On Cue

Barely a day passes, and we see Shank go from happy to sad, declaring the Patriots a worse team since the Randy Moss trade. With Shank's track record on predictions, that tells me the Patriots will probably win their next six games.

Also, I thought Shank would be a bit harsher on Moss, right?

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Day Late, Dollar Short

I'm semi-interested why it took the alleged ace Boston Globe sports columnist to write an article about an event that happened a full day prior to publication, and a rather poor article at that:

Bill Belichick has front teeth.

He’s been here more than 10 years, and I never knew. But Monday night, in the minutes after a wildly satisfying 41-14 road demolition of the Miami Dolphins, Belichick actually smiled when he was asked a question. I saw the front teeth.

Belichick grinned in response to a query regarding the stellar play of his special teams in the big Monday night win. After his guys blocked a field goal for a touchdown, blocked a punt to set up a touchdown, ran back a kickoff for a touchdown, and forced five touchbacks on seven kickoffs, Belichick was asked about the play of his special teams.

The official transcript of BB’s response starts, “They were all right (laughing) . . .’’

They were all right? It is the first time I can remember Belichick described as “laughing’’ while giving a response.

Wow. Belichick is going all Pete Carroll on us. Pumped and jacked. Old Laughing Boy. Mr. High Five. It’s surprising that BB didn’t pull a Francona and start talking about “Tommy,’’ “Woody,’’ “Chungy,’’ “Ninky,’’ “Happy,’’ “Grumpy,’’ and “Sneezy.’’
I'm not an English major, but this 'style' of writing is absolute rubbish. The only person who could defend this drivel (yes, another 'Brady Gaga' quip follows) are folks like Bruce M. ObjectiveBruce, former commenter on this board (and there's a reason for that).

POLL TIME - To paraphrase Richard M. Nixon, Shank won't have Randy Moss to kick around anymore. Or will he? Do you think Shank, obviously brimming with contempt for the Patriots, will take one last shot at him in his next article? Isn't this an easy bet? I say yes. Vote early & often in the comments!

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Shank On The Yanks

The general pattern is that Shank's CNN / SI columns are well superior to his Boston Globe columns (not a high bar to clear), but this one sticks out more than others on a few levels. His interest in baseball seems a little more heightened than it's been for the past six months, plus he talks to the Yankees' A-Rod, which seems to fit the pattern of antagonizing playoff baseball players. What's not to like?

A personal touch is needed for this part of Shank's ouevre:

I spent last week in Los Angeles as a panelist on ESPN's Jim Rome Is Burning. On Friday afternoon, while the Yanks were in Boston in the cramped visitors' clubhouse (New York had 56 players on its roster for the final weekend), I was on TV expressing my thoughts about the Yankees' apparent disinterest in winning the AL East. I warned that it could be tough on the Bronx Bombers if they went to Minnesota for Game 1 and lost the first game with CC Sabathia on the hill.
I saw this segment at the bar. I did not hear a freakin' word he said, but he was so much more relaxed and smooth than I've ever seen him on air. I'll give him props on that front.

Back in Boston, the Rome show aired live in the visitors' clubhouse. When Alex Rodriguez heard me casting doubt on the Yankee strategy and painting a doomsday scenario against the Twins, he walked over to the clubhouse TV and turned it off.

Sunday morning in Boston, when the Yanks still had a chance to win the division, I sauntered over to A-Rod's locker at Fenway and asked him why he turned me off on the clubhouse TV.

"Too negative,'' said the Yankee slugger. "I didn't want our young players to hear that.''
Too negative. That's our Danny Boy! I wonder what A-Rod thinks of Michael Felger?

Monday, October 04, 2010

Beating A Dead Horse

With all the predictability of the sun rising in the east, Shank's latest (and hopefully last) column on the 2010 Red Sox reads like most other 2010 Red Sox columns. In fact, Shank needs to tell you twice about how many errors the Red Sox committed this year:

Your 2010 Red Sox made a whopping 60.8 percent more errors than the playoff-bound Yankees. The Red Sox finished 12th out of 14 American League teams in fielding percentage. The Sox made 42 more errors than the Yankees in 2010.
You ever get the feeling he's just piling on?

Sunday, October 03, 2010

It's A Twofer - II

Shank had a long day yesterday. First was his radio show on 98.5 The Sports Hub, where he helpfully informed the audience that he'd be at the BC - Notre Dame game last night, which ended close to midnight. He weaves accounts of that game with partial mentions of the Red Sox - Yankees doubleheader into a column that comes across as bland and semi-informative.