Tuesday, December 29, 2015

He Means Anything Recorded After 1979

Is Shank Pretending To Be An NBA Scout?

I couldn't help but think that when I read this article:
The latest case comes from a NBA scout who anonymously commented on several of Kentucky’s basketball players to Sportsnet New York’s Adam Zagoria in the wake of the Wildcats’ 75-73 win over Louisville Saturday, praising point guard Tyler Ulis, offering mixed comments on shooting guard Jamal Murray and calling big man Skal Labissiere a “fraud,” “a ‘Paper Tiger,'” and “a mock draft myth.”
One word here certainly sticks out, doesn't it?

It's not like Shank lacks the motivation to take a shot at coach Calipari. I'm just asking the question!

Monday, December 28, 2015

Flipped Out

It's Dan's World...we just live in it.

Or so he wants us to think, given the lede to his column today:

It amuses me that the football world is talking about coin flips, deferrals, arrogance, hubris, amazing luck, insulting the opposition, and the Patriots’ chances to win Super Bowl 50 in Santa Clara Feb. 7.  
Welcome to my world. I’ve been writing about this stuff for years. Finally, everyone is paying attention.

Ahh, yes. The CHB knows football! He knows Cover 2 and the stack. He knows the nickel and the blind side and the short side. He knows the route tree and the "T."  He even knows the Statue of Liberty (the play and the drink). He's brilliant, and we would do well to bask in his reflected glory.

Getting back to reality, the only thing Shank knows about football is that he can't play it. He certainly can't critique it. What he thinks passes for analysis is really just one part observation mixed with two parts whining.

For example, The CHB thinks he was the first (and only) fellow to notice that Patriots head coach Bill Belichick defers the ball when they win the coin flip (which they almost always do). To The CHB, this is arrogance (and perhaps, cheating). To the rest of us, this is common sense: when the hole parts and you can walk in for the score, you do so.

Next, confirming what we had guessed at before, Shank reports on what all the bloggers and tweeters have to say. We always assumed The CHB spent most of his day listening to talk radio and reading what others wrote, then lifting either the best lines, or, when he was feeling particularly lazy or hungover or both, the entire premise of the column.

He compounds his journalistic sins by alleging for the umpteenth time that the Patriots throw games in order to improve their playoff chances.

Finally, he closes with the most pathetic of puns: "Heads they win. Tails you lose." Stolen from Jim Rome?  Or Ben Watanabe? Or Barstool Sports?

Arrogance is ripping off the same lame retread column and somehow thinking it makes you clever.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

...Or Did The Patriots Screw Up In Overtime?

If Shank does a column on this game, this call will be central to it:

UPDATE AT 4:31 PM - Just heard part of the press conference by coach Belichick. He stated unequivocally that they elected to kick.

Let The Second Guessing Begin!

Posted within seconds of the New York Jets beating the Patriots 26 - 20, Shank invents an excuse for being glaringly wrong on his prior afternoon tweets:

Never mind that Baltimore beat Pittsburgh fifteen or so minutes ago, but we gots to be sure!

You Were Saying?

Shank, the great prognosticator:

Familiar Concept


Original Patriots Tweets, By Dan Shaughnessy

Check the coins, Shank!

Your Stupid Shank Tweet Of The Day

Then again, the Patriots haven't won the coin toss yet!

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Shank Missed Out On A Writing Award

We fully expected Shank to make this list, but it wasn't to be:
The Worst American Sportswriting Of 2015

As we’ve noted before, sportswriting tends to follow what you might call the Anna Karenina Principle. The good stuff—the stuff that makes year-end lists like Longreads’s and Richard Deitsch’s—is all, on a certain level, the same, similarly structured long profile after similarly structured long profile, all in one way or another tracing the actual workings that animate the world of superficial appearances. The worst is ... not. Every truly bad article and every truly bad post is a unique, delicate flower, blossoming in this harsh world despite its lack of redeeming qualities. So please, read on and bask in the unrepeatable, indescribable, mind-numbing awfulness of 2015’s worst sportswriting.
There's always next year!

Monday, December 21, 2015

Just How Dumb Is This Guy? - III

Alternative headline - The One Where Shank Finally Endorses Cheating!

Let's see if this blogger has this straight - it's not okay when this guy is alleged to have cheated, but it's perfectly fine to suggest throwing a shitload of basketball games in order to secure the services of...
We should consider the possibility of the Christmas blues setting in, right?

Just How Dumb Is This Guy? - II

It looks like Shank just gave us a new theme:

First point - Odell Beckham Jr. is being suspended for one game for multiple penalties in yesterday's game as well as taking a run at Panthers cornerback Josh Norman. Beckham has appealed this decision. Tom Brady was accused of complicity in allegedly deflating footballs before last year's AFC championship game with the Colts and faced a four game suspension, which was appealed, denied by the same man who ruled on the original suspension, then adjuicated in a Federal courtroom, where Judge Berman basically pulled down Roger Goodell's pants and exposed the massive deficiencies in both the examination of evidence and due process procedures inherent in the original ruling and the appeal process.

Second point - is Shank seriously suggesting a one game suspension for an attempt to injure Josh Norman is worthy of a Federal judge's intervention?

This blogger will go with Shank's historical propensity for trolling & stirring the pot; for him to suggest otherwise simply shows a staggering lack of perspective or a room temperature IQ.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

That's Original

Shank must be hung over if it took him this long into the game to uncork this inanity:

A tweet in response, keeping with the Christmas spirit:

UPDATE, AT 4:53 PM: Kirk Minihane appreciates Shank's pop culture arrival into more recent times:

Just How Dumb Is This Guy?

Ignore for a moment the endless juvenile nature of the subject matter at hand:

Aren't alleged professional writers obliged to be somewhat precise with words? The odds of winning a lottery are in the millions to one range, but it is not impossible to win a lottery. Conversely, winning coin tosses at a 75% rate translates to 4 to 1 odds, which makes this situation improbable, but not a 'statistical impossibility'. It's self-evident numbers are not Shank's strong suit.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Hall No, Shank Won't Go!

The CHB today whines about how the Hall of Fame was "more fun when it was all about baseball. Comparing Player A to Player B."

Our question: When did it stop being about that?

If anything, comparing what actually happened on, you know, the field, is more than ever about what took place between the white lines, since understanding the effects -- if any -- of what took place outside them isn't possible. But since Shank is stuck in the gravity of his own id, there's no other way to took at it.

On with the nitpicking!

On the subject of new candidate Trevor Hoffman, Shank says "saves are overrated, especially in the era in which Hoffman pitched." Give him Goose Gossage and Rollie Fingers, he says.
Except he didn't vote for Gossage, but he did for one-inning marvel Dennis Eckersley.

As for saves, if they were overrated then, they have always been overrated, since getting five or six outs really isn't that much harder than getting three. It'd be great to know whether Shank voted for Rollie Fingers in the 1981 MVP race, given he pitched all of 78 innings that year. Given who finished runner-up, I'll bet he did.

That said, saves are overrated, which makes some of the other arguments The CHB attempts even more nonsensical. Such as: "woe is [he who] values things like wins." He promptly insists he won't vote for Mike Mussina despite his 270 wins because "he always pitched for good teams."

Except that he didn't. I looked it up.

Mussina pitched for the Orioles for 10 seasons, from 1991 - 2000. During that time, Moose went 147-81 (a 65% winning percentage). The Orioles as a team were 926-812 (53%). Perhaps Shank stopped to consider that maybe the reason the O's were good was because they had Mussina? As for "always good teams," consider that in those 10 seasons, the O's finished below .500 five times. Nice try, though!

Moreover, his entire premise is a clear admission that wins are a byproduct of something far bigger than just "I pitched good." None of that kept him from voting for Jack Morris, a far inferior pitcher to Mussina, of course.

Moving on. Shank says he's not going to vote for players who he "thinks" cheated, yet he voted for Paul Molitor, who was a drug user.

He calls Alan Trammell a "PED backlash vote," which is downright comical given that Trammell was better than at least a dozen other shortstops who are in the Hall.

Here's the best part (isn't it always?): When he resorts to name-calling. Per usual, it's a shot at those who understand math (the "Bill James Blog Boys"); those guys who actually studied in class and went on to make some serious coin while also doing on the side what The CHB does for a living -- and doing it better than he ever could have dreamed.

Finally, the gist of the column was written in 2009:

2009: "It is one of the great privileges of being a baseball writer.
2015: "It’s still the greatest honor of membership in the vaunted Baseball Writers’ Association of America."

2009: "[Voting] has become a tremendous pain in the posterior."
2015: "Voting for the Hall of Fame ... was more fun when it was all about baseball."

The names may change, but the words remain the same.

Shank's Part-Time Job - Scaring Children

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

View from Above

Anyone recognize this place? And would you know if it has Internet in the basement?

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Always Tape Machine Recording

Had the displeasure to listen to Shank's weekly appearance on 'Zo and Bertrand at 11:00 this morning. What did he talk about during the first half hour, you ask? John Calipari. In other words, he rehashed his Sunday night column.

Not an original thought in his mind. Absolutely pathetic.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Clearing A Very Low Bar

Cal Up in Arms Over UMass Award

This is classic.

The CHB continues blasting the decision by UMass Amherst to honor former men's basketball coach John Calipari and no one cares!

This is not the first time Shank has whined about the pending feting. He made essentially the same argument back in March.

But it's better this time because when The CHB queries UMass president Marty Meehan about the move, the "sports buff and a Massachusetts lifer" completely shoots him down:
In the four months I’ve been on the job as president of the system, I haven’t got one complaint about this from the Amherst campus,’’ said Meehan. “The Amherst campus, the faculty, the dean, the students, they’re not shy. Calipari is very involved with UMass. He’s raised significant money for UMass. He’s contributed to UMass. And we’re a university that needs to get more people to come back and do that.
This is why the joke in j-school is that "dumb sportswriter" is redundant: The CHB has his skirt all tied up in knots over something that no one cared about 20 years ago and is even less (if possible) newsworthy today. It's just sports! It's a kid's game!

Everyone (except, apparently, Shaughnessy) knew Coach Cal was cheating long before the NCAA blew its whistle, and Dapper Dan would have known too, had he not been so busy losing bets and scamming the IRS.

Do you think The CHB feels remorse for asking Tom Werner for a job for his daughter, as has been rumored for years?

Do you believe the Elf on the Shelf is real?

Messing with Texans

Here's The CHB a couple days ago as the Patriots headed into a matchup with the Texans:
[T]he Patriots are a team on the way down. They have lost two in a row. The Texans, meanwhile, are 6-6, hungry, and serious. Patriot Nation is a little nervous about this one. Me, too. There will be no taunting from this space. The wounded, reeling Patriots are on the road against a legit team and fear losing a third consecutive game for the first time in 13 years.
And here's The CHB today, following last night's decisive Patriots victory:
Put your hand to your ear and listen: That clinking and clattering is the sound of Tomato Cans falling down on the Patriots’ path to Super Bowl 50 in Santa Clara, Calif.
In just two days, Shank's flip-flopping goes from unintentional constipation brought on by some serious ass-clenching to his typical a-hole boasting about Patriot/Super Bowl inevitability.

The absolute low-light of the column is when he mocks "the immortal Whitney Mercilus" (once again, it's a minority who is singled out) for missing a tackle on Rob Gronkowski: "Great idea having a linebacker try to cover Gronk."

Which goes to show what The CHB knows about football. (Nothing.)

Indeed, those teams who have attempted to cover Gronk with a defensive back end up peeling the unfortunate souls off his cleats in the end zone.

Yet had The CHB had looked past Mercilus' uniform number and knew anything about his actual experience, he would have correctly noted that a defensive lineman (Mercilus' position in college and before they signed 2012 overall first pick Jadeveon Clowney) caught Gronk from behind 40 yards from the line of scrimmage. That's not such a good thing.

Any chance The CHB will "parachute down from Planet Patriot and get in touch with reality" anytime soon?

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Whatever That's Supposed To Mean

Shank, at his incoherent worst:

Insults 'R Us

Douchebag Alert

Remember Shank's last column saying the Patriots are a team on the way down? He doesn't:

Bonus douchebaggery for the coin toss / game over mentions. He's so predictable.

Rewriting History - LXXV

Dear Pedro:

Remember that time I wrote a meritorious column about you? We're good now, right?

Your pal,


No Laughing Matter

In this week's installment of Patriots columns, Shank gleefully rejoices in his previous trolling efforts:
HOUSTON — We’ve had a lot of fun laughing at the Houston Texans in recent years.

Remember how this went down three years ago? The Texans were 11-1 and came to Foxborough wearing their letterman jackets for “Monday Night Football.” Houston wideout Andre Johnson said it was going to be the biggest game in franchise history. We openly mocked the Texans for their stupid hype of a regular-season game. The Patriots, in turn, mocked them on the field, running to a 21-0 lead in the first 19 minutes. It was 35-7 in the first minute of the fourth quarter. The final was 42-14. It was embarrassing for the Houston frauds.

Five weeks later, the Texans came back for a playoff game and it was the same drill. I wrote that this matchup represented the first time in league history that a team had back-to-back bye weeks to start the playoffs. Arian Foster was so offended he made the Globe column his Twitter avatar. The Texans insisted they deserved respect. We gave them none. The Patriots routed them again, 41-28.

How were we supposed to take the Texans seriously when they had Matt Schaub at quarterback, Fraidy Cat Gary Kubiak as head coach, and bumbling Wade Phillips as defensive coordinator?

Sure enough, a year later the Texans lost 14 consecutive games and everybody got fired.
"Hey - remember that time I wrote a column designed to antagonize an entire city? Good times, good times!"

With injuries hitting the New England Patriots hard going into the latter part of the season, Shank is singing a markedly different tune and is no longer calling opposing teams 'tomato cans':
Things feel different now as the Patriots prepare to play at NRG Stadium on Sunday night. Going into this meeting, the Patriots are a team on the way down. They have lost two in a row. The Texans, meanwhile, are 6-6, hungry, and serious. Patriot Nation is a little nervous about this one. Me, too. There will be no taunting from this space. The wounded, reeling Patriots are on the road against a legit team and fear losing a third consecutive game for the first time in 13 years.
Somehow, this blogger anticipates a) the Patriots winning the coin toss and b) Shank making a stupid tweet or two about it and the game already being over. Same crap, different week!

Catching Up Is Hard To Do - II

This is why Shank wins 'prestigious' awards - the Golden State Warriors came to town on Friday, with former LA Laker Luke Walton now working as an assistant coach for the Warriors. You know the drill by now - half of the column is a walk down Celtics memory lane, complete with multiple Larry Bird sightings.

Catching Up Is Hard To Do

So Shank wins an award from his fellow baseball writers:
Members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America recognized Shaughnessy for meritorious contributions to baseball writing during his career.
Meritorious contributions indeed! I'll let my co-blogger identify a few of Shank's meritorious contributions:
Would that be "tweaking" like when he called David Ortiz a sad sack of you-know-what? Was it tweaking when he called Carl Everett "the Ebola virus of the Boston clubhouse?" Or when he wrote “We have rejoiced in the retirement of Keith Foulke?” Would that be "exposing" when he wrote, "Why does America hate Barry Bonds so much? Is it because he's too good?" all while neglecting to mention Bonds' PED use for another five years. Was that exposing when he accused Manny Ramirez, the previous season's World Series MVP, of quitting on the team during a month where he put up a .930 OPS and 6 HRs in 24 games?
Let's not forget Shank's most meritorious contribution to baseball writing, the infamous 'Dirty Laundry' column, in which Shank acted as Larry Lucchino's mouthpiece (or Charles Steinberg's, take your pick) in order to trash then Red Sox GM Theo Epstein. This also explains why Shank has been persona non grata at Yawkey Way for the past decade.

This blogger is highly amused by the dichotomy of Shank winning a lifetime achievement award and at the same time being nearly constantly mentioned as one of the worst local sportswriters and / or one of it's most miserable members for covering a team he despises. (UPDATE - Remember Shank being the Most Hated Man in Boston? He can put that on the trophy mantle too!)

Maybe a certain former Boston Globe employee can explain this dichotomy to us?

UPDATE AT 2:05 PM- Yep, we're just piling on, just in case that former Boston Globe employee complains about an insufficient number of data points. When writing about departing or retiring Red Sox players, who can forget about the meritorious nature of the Pedro Martinez column, or a few Roger Clemens columns, or some Manny Ramirez columns, or the Nomar Garciaparra column, or calling Jose Offerman 'a piece of junk', or getting scooped by Yahoo Sports on the chicken & beer fiasco, or...


UPDATE II, AT 3:20 PM - The server error's been resolved!
Yeah. Much has changed since 2002 when I began doing this, but a world in which Dan Shaughnessy is honored by a sports hall of fame is not one which has any sort of grip on what people are interested in. When was the last time Shaughnessy actually wrote a baseball column that was of value? How does that translate to hall of fame worthiness?
But it seems now, almost constantly on the air, and more and more in print, that the focus is on making fans miserable. Whether it be mocking them as “fanboys,” attempting to diminish accomplishments, dreaming up doomsday scenarios for local teams, telling us how arrogant the greatest coach in NFL history is, or just the constant trolling, it is enough to make someone wonder just why they subject themselves to this.

It certainly has made me wonder. Why have something so toxic like that as part of your life? It’s not healthy. Toxic things come with a warning. They should be avoided. More and more, I’m avoiding toxic sports media altogether.
Dan Shaughnessy has recycled columns and taken the same cheap shots for 25 years, made a cottage industry out of a hokey “curse”and it now rewarded for it by the Baseball Hall of Fame?

Wednesday, December 09, 2015

How Do You Really Feel, Kirk?

I'm starting to like this guy!

Tuesday, December 08, 2015

DHL Dan - L (For Loser)

Shank passes on a column ripping the Patriots only to give us a Picked up Pieces column instead. It's like an early lump of coal in our collective Christmas stocking!

The column started out innocently enough, looking like Shank did his usual column preparation of 'sampling' local sports opinion and passing it off as his own. In this column, however, Shank writes something so phenomenally ignorant, wrong and flat-out stupid, it should settle for all time any argument about Shank having any editorial oversight whatsoever (emphasis mine):
The Patriots were cuffed around by the Giants and Bills and needed miracles to come up with two victories to get to 10-0. This is not a workable formula for success. Ordinarily, winning football games comes down to talent and execution, not the time-tested Patriot way of waiting for the other guy to fall down.

If they want to advance to the Super Bowl, the wounded Patriots can’t simply rely on the brilliance of Bill Belichick, the clutch play of Brady, and the abject mediocrity of the AFC. You actually have to be a good team.
Barely acknowledging the rash of Patriot injuries, it is truly incredible that any 'professional' sports writer can pen such drivel about a team who a) are arguably the best team in football, b) just happens to be the defending Super Bowl champions and 3) who have won 25 of their previous 33 games and assert that this team is bereft of talent and cannot execute plays. Coach Belichick has been preaching 'Do Your Job' for years and we're supposed to take the word of a Boston Globe sports columnist that they're not doing this?

Then again, maybe Shank's just trolling us again?
Not to go all Trent Dilfer on you, but how good are the Patriots right now? They have no running game and no deep threats. Their offensive line has been awful. The defense looked strong in midseason, but lately they can’t stop the run (certainly not without Dont’a Hightower) and they have little pass rush.
Funny how these things were never mentioned by Shank until they lost two games, isn't it?

That's enough idiocy for this blogger in this column; you masochists can read on...

Monday, December 07, 2015

The One Where Larry Bird Steals Shank's Lunch Money

This one had to hurt, Shank...
Despite injured hand, Larry Bird won $160 off Dan Shaughnessy in shooting contest
Larry was MVP in ’84, ’85, and ’86, and the height of his powers was ’85. He was on the cover of Time magazine and it was a big deal. That’s when he had the 60-point game in New Orleans against the Atlanta Hawks. So, we found out later he’d gotten in a barroom fight in downtown Boston, down by Faneuil Hall. It was a bar, I think it was called Chelsea’s. Larry had come to the defense of a teammate, or some issue, and doing the old-school Indiana thing he swung at a guy and he messed up his hand. And he was taping it at practice, and it was a very odd-looking kind of a web-taping, splitting his hand into two sets of fingers.
And then the cheap SOB had the nerve to try and expense it with the Globe:
HIMMELSBACH: So wait, you expensed the $160 that you lost in a shooting contest?

SHAUGHNESSY: Yes, and evidently the IRS frowns on the word ‘wager’ in expense accounts, (because it's a personal expense, maybe? - ed.) because it bounced back and they said ‘You cannot put ‘wager’ in an expense account.’ So I just made it eight $20 lunches with [Celtics center] Robert Parish. We just substituted.
Like you really need to know more than that about a person's character.

Larry Bird Watch - II

Larry Legend turns fifty-nine today. Will Shank do something to commemorate this historic occasion?

Sunday, December 06, 2015

Patriots Predictions - II

On a scale from 1 to 10, how scathing and vicious will Shank's next column be concerning the Patriots' loss to the Eagles tonight? How many second guesses will there be on a column he began to write just after Malcom Jenkins returned that pick 100 yards for the touchdown to make the score 28 - 14? And will Shank once again mention coach Belichick putting his hands on a female NFL referee?

Outrage Machine Ginned up

Shank's just doing his part to make a mountain out of a molehill, because that's what scumbags do:
The comments are what you'd expect - half of them sanctimoniously faking indignation and outrage, which has become the new American pastime. Just further proof that Twitter is largely a cesspool for idiots and whiners. Losers, all...

The Sun Rises In The East...

...and Shank continues to make dumb, juvenile tweets during a Patriots game:

Patriots Predictions

Will Shank insult us with blathering Twitter inanities about the Patriots winning the coin toss, or will we get a stern but predictable dire warning of the dreaded 'double score'?

No reason it can't be both - stay tuned!

Shank Needs A Dictionary

For two reasons - the first one's embarrassing enough; what's always bothered this blogger is his decades-long cavalier use of the word 'fraud' to describe people he doesn't like. We'll look forward to Shank's explanation, if he can ever be bothered to articulate it.

Tuesday, December 01, 2015

No Price Too Low

The Red Sox have signed David Price, and The CHB is singing Glory, Glory, Hallelujah!

"Why quarrel with what the Red Sox will be paying Price if he ultimately gets hurt or falters in the final years of this contract?" he writes.

Oh yes, why indeed? Especially because the Royals -- you remember them? -- won the World Series the season after shedding their best pitcher.

Or perhaps because, just three months into their first season with the Red Sox, The CHB compared high priced free agents Hanley Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval to the "baseball version of Sidney Wicks and Curtis Rowe," two players who by the time they reached the Boston Celtics were known more for their attitude than their production.

The rewrites of history continue. Ben Cherington "failed." (Didn't the Red Sox win a World Series in 2013? I keep forgetting.) David Price is sensitive, but Manny Ramirez (the "diva") and Keith Foulke (whom upon his signing in 2003 The CHB wrote: "People in the A's front office think Keith Foulke made a mistake coming to Boston ... and some of the A's believe Foulke is too sensitive. I tend to agree.") aren't. The Boston farm system is overrated (the best player on the team in 22-year-old Mookie Betts; the AL Silver Slugger award winner as shortstop in 23-year-old Xander Bogaerts; the best defensive OF in baseball in 25-year-old Jackie Bradley Jr.; and enough prospects to land the best closer in baseball, but OK...).

And Shank, it's time to drop the "big bowl of awkward" cliche. That's twice in two months you've rolled it out, and we all know you stole it. Booyah!

The Hurst of Times

Aw, Shank, still crazy after all these years. There he is, dredging up the memories of 1986, and whining about -- of all things -- white collar jobs going to people with college degrees.

Wonder if he thinks any kid out of high school can replace him? Wonder if he knows a blind monkey could?

And in a piece ostensibly on Bruce Hurst, the ex Red Sox hurler who starred in the 86 World Series against the Mets, there are no fewer than four grafs about Roger Clemens.

P.S. Larry Bird sighting!

Monday, November 30, 2015

No More Perfect Season

Being a douchebag Boston Globe sports columnist means never having to say you're sorry, or were wrong about the previous night's tweets declaring the game as already being won for the Patriots. Today we get a typical Shank column - the standard game recap, a inane Red Sox comparison, omission of a major injury (Donta Hightower's sprained MCL) and some dumb and extremely dated song lyrics.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Back At Ya

UPDATE AT 11/30/2015, 12:05 AM - Wondering if Shank's going to backtrack on that tweet anytime soon, in light of recent events. Not that it will stop him from trashing the Patriots in the column he's feverishly working on right now.

Accentuating The Positive

His eternal optimism is what makes him such an outstanding columnist:

Johnny One Note - II

Just a guess here, but maybe Shank needs some new pregame material?

Missed Opportunity

Shank's latest column laments the inability to copy and paste previous columns:
DENVER — This was the game we circled on the calendar when the NFL schedule was released last spring. It was supposed to be Brady-Manning XVII, and less than a month ago there was still a possibility that it might feature the first meeting of 10-0 teams in league history.

Instead, we’re getting Brady-Osweiler I, which lacks a certain gravitas. Oh, and the Broncos have lost two of their last three, and had to work hard to earn a 2-point win over the Chicago Bears last week.
Shank then spares the readers the typical mail-it-in column:
So, we’ll put the Russell-Chamberlain, Ali-Frazier comparisons on the shelf for the weekend. We may have seen the last of Tom Brady vs. Peyton Manning.
... only to instead remind you how bad the Patriots suck in Denver:
The Mile High City has not been New England’s friend. It is, instead, where the sidelines are sprinkled with Kryptonite dust. Patriot Superman Brady is an underwhelming 2-5 lifetime in Denver. He’s been on the losing side four times in five tries since that fateful night in 2003 when Bill Belichick ordered long snapper Lonie Paxton to hike the football through New England’s end zone to take a safety. Brady wound up throwing a game-clinching TD pass to David Givens in a 30-26 New England win.
Because Shank's at his best when one of the hometown teams is at its worst.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015


Shank, Sunday afternoon:
The best part about the Patriots playing “Monday Night Football?”


It’s Sunday. The day before the Patriots play. That’s the day you get to sit in your den and watch the Pats’ pitiful competition in the AFC.

Seriously. I know you’ve all heard plenty about the annual Waltz of the Tomato Cans, but has it ever been easier than this? Has the Patriots’ conference competition ever been more pathetic, more injured, more hopeless? Every team in New England’s path just falls down, crashes, and burns. Seeing what happened to Denver, Miami, Baltimore, and the Jets on Sunday — coupled with Cincinnati’s embarrassing performance at home last Monday night, I thought the Patriots might mathematically clinch another AFC East before setting foot on the Foxborough turf Monday night. Truly. Do we really have to go through another seven regular-season games and three weeks of playoffs before stamping the Patriots ticket to Super Bowl 50 in Santa Clara?
Shank, after last night's win over the Bills:
The Revenge Tour has become the Survival Tour.

Once dominant, once a bully, the perfect Patriots find themselves struggling to play at a championship level.

Sounds strange, and a tad greedy, doesn’t it? I can think of fans in 30 other markets who’d be happy to have our “problems” here in New England. But because of their own success, a Super Bowl championship is the expectation in Foxborough, and the latest trending is not favorable.

The Patriots just got their butts kicked by both the Giants and Bills . . . and won both games because the other guys could not finish the job. The Patriots staggered to a 20-13 victory over the (ever-able-to-beat-themselves) Buffalo Bills Monday night.
No surprise here that Shank turns on a dime yet again at the first sign of trouble. On the bright side - guess the Bills are Tomato Cans no more!

Close BC / Irish Game

... but you'd barely know that after trudging through this column. Here's the sole paragraph devoted to discussing the game:
The Irish had butterfingers on this night and made a mockery of their top-four ranking while playing a vastly inferior opponent. (BC is 3-8 and has lost seven straight.) Against a strong BC defense, the Irish fumbled four times (two lost) and were intercepted three times. Notre Dame turned the ball over three times in the red zone. If Bill Belichick coached either of these teams Saturday, the Hoodie would have been fitted for a straightjacket after the game. The Irish were the definition of “overrated.’’ The Eagles were unwatchable on offense.
The rest of the column was evidently written before & during the game. Talk about mailing it in!

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Thursday, November 19, 2015

'Papi-ng' Off over Ortiz Retirement

In feting -- if one can call it that -- David Ortiz, who announced his retirement this week, The CHB falls back on a well-worn (worn out?) cliche of who belongs on the Boston Mt. Rushmore.

His picks: Bill Russell, Bobby Orr, Ted Williams and Tom Brady. Obvious choices, and hardly novel, given that the same path was taken in the Boston Herald in February. Usually The CHB does a better job of hiding his source material.

Attentive readers might recall a couple months after the Herald column, ran a similar survey, limiting choices to Red Sox players. That one spurred The CHB to call such parlor games "contrived."

He has a point: This is an age-old conversation starter. Going back to 2009, for instance, ESPN had Williams, Brady, Orr and Red Auerbach.

But as always, Shank is his own worst enemy. Indeed, he has been yammering on about the Boston Mount since at least since 2004, when following the Patriots' second Super Bowl win he imagined Tom Brady's visage carved in place along with Williams, Bill Russell, Orr, and Larry Bird. (That's five busts, for those who are counting.)

A year later he reiterated those choices while extolling the virtues of one Adam Vinatieri (remember him?).

By 2011, we were back to four, with Larry Legend having been supplanted, at least in Shank's mind.

Indeed, this is one of his favorite topics, next to ragging on Dominican divas (a label he once again sticks to Ortiz, as if running around on two damaged knees and standing in against 100 mph heaters somehow makes you a wimp) and inserting Larry Bird references into columns where they have no business being.

Like this one.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

That Didn't Work Out So Well

Shank tried trolling Patriots fans a few hours ago:
...and got his ass handed to him by over one hundred responses, including these:

Monday, November 16, 2015

Wide Right

Shank takes another shot at comedy, and fails miserably.
SAN JOSE, Calif. — Welcome to Super Bowl 50, where the undefeated New England Patriots (18-0) will take on the .500 New York Giants (8-8 regular season) in the teams’ third Super Bowl matchup since February of 2008.

“We don’t care about what’s happened in the past,’’ Patriots coach Bill Belichick said Monday evening at the SAP Center, home of Joe Thornton and the NHL’s San Jose Sharks. “The only thing that matters is Sunday’s game against the Giants.’’

All true, of course. But the nation is agog over the prospect of this ultimate rematch. It was the New York Giants who derailed history with a 17-14 upset of the undefeated Patriots in Glendale, Ariz., in Super Bowl XLII eight years ago this week. Four years after that game, the Giants again beat the Patriots (21-17) in Super Bowl XLVI in Indianapolis.
Shank writes this column still pretending to like the Patriots, and this unclever ploy becomes clear when you read the rest of the column. Why, then, does he continue to mention Deflategate, Ernie Adams, Brady's appearance with Jim Gray at Salem State back in May, the fines paid by the Patriots, Brady's personal trainer, Judge Richard Berman and mocked coach Belichick's purposefully mangling the names of social media sites? Does he think these are still relevant topics, or is he just being a dick?

Friday, November 13, 2015

The One Where Shank Rips Off Felger & Mazz... Again

Shank's recent column on the upcoming Pats / Giants game, about an hour ago:
It’ll be different Sunday afternoon at 4:25 in the Meadowlands. The New York Giants probably won’t win the game, but they will not lose because their coach is overwhelmed or afraid of the Hoodie. The coach of the New York Football Giants is Tom Coughlin and he fears nothing. Including Belichick.

Coughlin knows almost everything there is to know about Belichick the coach. They spent some formative years together (1988-90) in the House of Bill Parcells when the Almighty Tuna was winning Super Bowls in East Rutherford, N.J.

Coughlin was the Giants wide receivers coach while Belichick was deep into his reign as the Tuna’s defensive coordinator. Coughlin was an even bigger football nut than Belichick. When Parcells called the Giants team offices on Christmas Day, it was Coughlin, not Belichick, who answered the phone. After two rings.

Now, go here, scroll down to Nov. 12th, Hour 1, and listen to the first twelve minutes of the show.

Eeerily similar, no? This game was discussed to death the past three days on local sports radio; either Shank is unoriginal (which we already know) or he copied & pasted the transcripts (which we also already know he's done in the past).

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Larry Bird Watch

Shank gets an early Christmas present - a phone interview with Larry Legend:
Memo to Boston fans: Larry Bird still loves you and he loves your teams. Even from his home state of Indiana, the Heartland of Deflategate Hate.

“I never root against the Boston teams,’’ Bird said in a phone interview while his Indiana Pacers prepared to face the Celtics at TD Garden Wednesday night. “There’s no sports town like Boston. I don’t care where you go.

“They talk about Chicago and Philadelphia. No. They don’t ever compare to Boston. I mean, there’s ladies in their 90s and they can name every player on the Red Sox and Patriots team. You just don’t have it anywhere like that.

Monday, November 09, 2015

Incorrect Assessment

A little off timing with the inane commentary:

At least he did us a favor and didn't subject us to a full column of the same - thanks, Shank!

Sunday, November 08, 2015

The Patriots Lost The Coin Toss

... so Shank hasn't yet tweeted out anything inane about deferring possession to the second half / game over / double score & all that crap. I'm sure you're as disappointed as we are...

Friday, November 06, 2015

Congratulations, Objective Bruce!

You finally wrote a worthwhile story. Either that, or I don't care to follow you anymore.

What's your connection to Hingham, personal or professional? Do tell, bunky!

Wednesday, November 04, 2015


Here's your semi-fortnightly serving of Shank's random thoughts on various subjects, like a bogus cheap shot at the Patriots while pretending to be on the bandwagon:
Picked-up pieces while contemplating 16-0 and 19-0 . . .

■ This doesn’t get mentioned enough: The No. 1 reason the Patriots win every week is ball security. Through seven games the Patriots have THREE giveaways. Two lost fumbles and one interception (which we all know was an accurate pass that bounced off Julian Edelman). The Patriots never, ever give the ball away. Not even with properly inflated footballs. The Detroit Lions already have 20 giveaways.
Ancient Celtics story? You bet!
■ Nov. 5 marks the 30th anniversary of Bill Walton’s 32d birthday, which was also the day his first wife arranged to have a stripper perform for him at midcourt of the gym at Hellenic College (Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology) after Celtics practice.
Rewriting history? We got you covered!
■ World Series TV ratings were up this year (thank you, Mets), but the final game was still beaten by “Sunday Night Football.” It was 23 million for Packers-Broncos compared with 17.2 million for Mets-Royals. Closer than I expected.
■ Five World Series games should be enough to alert 30 general managers about the risks of taking on Yoenis Cespedes. New York Rangers coach Alain Vigneault ripped Cespedes, saying, “How ’bout when you take the ball off [the knee] and you take yourself out of the game in the World Series,” then apologized for the remark.
Funny, I don't remember Shank complaining about him when he was with the Red Sox...

Tuesday, November 03, 2015

Snooze Radio

Just in time for your mid-day nap:

Monday, November 02, 2015

The One Where Dan Confuses 'Formula' with 'Strategy'

So Kansas City is the World Series champions. God help us all.

That's not because KC is somehow undeserving. While this team will never be seen as a threat to Murderer's Row, and in all likelihood not a single player from either season's model will make the Hall of Fame, they have made it to the big dance two years running: Clearly they are doing something right.

Rather, the problem is that lazy observers like The CHB will somehow try to extrapolate genius from what is, more than anything, simply good timing.

"KC’s formula [emphasis mine] was the same throughout the 2015 postseason," writes The CHB. "The Royals would fall behind, rally in the eighth or ninth, then wait for the Mets to blunder. It worked just about every time ... "

Such a presentation suggests that 1) there is an advantage to falling behind and 2) that the Royals deliberately did so. Nonsense, all.

In baseball, of course, the team with the lead sees a big jump in win expectancy. As Dave Cameron writes at FanGraphs today: "[The Royals] late-game offensive success was remarkable, but there just isn’t much evidence that it’s something that can be planned on; KC hitters had a .691 OPS and averaged 0.11 runs per plate appearance from the seventh inning on during the regular season. While there was a lot of talk about contact hitters providing a huge advantage in those situations, the Royals were basically the best contact team ever during the regular season and didn’t see it translate into success against elite relievers for the first six months of the year."

If the Royals were better than their peers in overcoming leads in late innings, it's likely because their own bullpen was so good at shutting down opponents and keeping the game winnable.

And no Shank column would be complete without a few obvious cliches, in this case references to John McNamara, who failed to substitute Dave Stapleton for Bill Buckner in 1986, and Grady Little, who left a gassed Pedro Martinez in against the Yankees in 2003. The CHB is as dependent on framing everything in Red Sox terms as he is on oxygen to breathe.

If you want to read a good column on the Royals victory and what it means, click here.

Sunday, November 01, 2015

Royal Failure

Hahaha. One day after positing that a 98-mile-an-hour heater from Mets' righty Noah Syndergaard had changed the Series, its the victimized Royals who apparently were fired up.

This after they came back to beat the Mets in Game 4, prompting The CHB to write: "Their manhood was challenged ... momentum had shifted [and] they came back swinging."

It was a great game, filled with questionable managerial decisions and crucial plays, both positive and -- in the case of playoff hero Daniel Murphy, whose misplay of a grounder in 8th allowed the Royals to tie the score in what became a 5-3 Royals win. Any of this would have made for a great baseball column. But Shank just isn't capable of that.

Funny: Eric Hosmer, who butchered a grounder in Game 1 that could have cost the Royals the game (they tied it with a homer in the 9th and then won it in extra innings), hits a crappy little grounder right at Murphy. The latter boots it, but it's Hosmer who, per The CHB, is "ever-clutch."

We can be thankful, I suppose, there were no Bill Buckner references.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Bean Misfire

Something to understand about The CHB: He is not predisposed to athletes with brown skin.

If a Hispanic pitcher offers up a high, hard one, he's an "irresponsible baby."

If it's a white pitcher delivering the goods, however, as Mets hurler Noah Sydergaard did last night in World Series Game 3 against the Royals, it's the "ultimate New York moment" that "changed everything."

Beyond acting as baseball's color guard (get it?), The CHB as usual overstates the importance of a single moment in the game of baseball, especially when it comes to pitching inside.

He has written often about the game where Alex Rodriguez was made to eat the better part of Jason Varitek's mitt, calling it the "day the passive Red Sox finally fought back." Right. The Sox were so fired up, they went 7-6 over the next 13 games. And the Yankees were so taken aback, they only won 10 of their next 14 contests.

But don't let the facts get in the way of a good cliche.

"The World Series is back in New York and the Mets are back in the Series," The CHB gushes.

(Except that tonight they lost to go down 3-1, so ...)

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Hot Patriots Takes, By Dan Shaughnessy

With the Patriots losing the coin toss, then rolling on the Miami Dolphins 19 - 0 at halftime, Shank issues these trenchant observations of the game:

The Wit Of Dan Shaughnessy

Dan Shaughnessy, unaware that the AFC East currently has the second highest win total of the eight divisions in the NFL, continues to peddle the cutesy 'tomato can' meme, and combines it with the last name of the new Miami Dolphins coach to get extra cutesy:
We breathlessy await the inevitable 'coin flip' tweet...

Hair Raising Column

Pretending to write about Game 2 of the 2015 World Series, Shank milks a theme:
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Hair. Long, beautiful hair. Here, there, everywhere.

It was Woodstock Meets World Series at Kauffman Stadium Wednesday night as two long-haired moundsmen took the ball at the start of Game 2 of the 111th World Series. It was Kansas City’s Johnny Cueto and his Bob Marley dreadlocks vs. New York’s Jacob deGrom, who appears to be auditioning for the Bee Gees.

Step aside, “Take Me Out To the Ball Game.” Game 2 could have been played to the tune of David Crosby’s “Almost Cut My Hair.’’
Song and band references from the Sixties & Seventies? That's a new one!

From there, the cookie-cutter game recap is done, and one last lame hair reference concludes the 'effort':
The story line rarely changes with the great young players: Hair today . . . gone tomorrow.

Sorry. Couldn’t resist.
For the sake of your readers, maybe you should.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Sensing A Theme Here

Stuck In History

Shank knows this theme well - it defines his entire career as a sports reporter and columnist and constitutes the majority of his Game 1 recap of the 2015 World Series. This game ended roughly an hour ago - try telling me this column wasn't written either before or as the game progressed. There's nary a god damned thing about the actual game itself, like he was sipping on comped beers the whole time when this retro mode suddenly shot over him.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — No sports institution values history, and gets stuck in history, like Major League Baseball.

And you never know when history will be made.

Let’s take the opening game of the 2015 World Series on Tuesday night, for example. The 5-4 Royals win in 14 innings — tied for the longest game in Series history — was heartfelt and historic. One for the ages. It featured the sorrowful scene of a pitcher (KC’s Edinson Volquez) starting the game just hours after the death of his father. It featured the first Series inside-the-park homer (KC’s Alcides Escobar) since the immortal Mule Haas turned the trick against the Cubs in 1929. It featured the first Series game delay (fourth inning) owed to a television power outage. It featured the first series late-inning go-ahead run due to a first baseman’s error (Eric Hosmer) since Bill Buckner’s gaffe-for-the-ages in 1986. It featured a game-saving, bottom-of-the-ninth homer by KC’s Alex Gordon off Met closer Jeurys Familia — a Kirk Gibson-esque moment for sure. It featured an 11th-inning Dwight Evans-like running catch by Met right fielder Curtis Granderson.

All this on October 27, a historic date for the Mets, the Royals, and yes, the Red Sox.

The Royals are sitting on a World Series drought of 29 years. The last time Kansas City sat atop the baseball world was Oct. 27, 1985, when Brett Saberhagen beat John Tudor in the seventh game of the World Series.

The Mets also like Oct. 27. That’s the day that they recovered from a 3-0 deficit (two days after the Buckner game) and beat the Red Sox, 8-5, in the seventh game of the 1986 World Series. The Mets have not won the World Series in 30 years.

All good Red Sox fans celebrate Oct. 27 because it was 11 years ago on that date that the Sox broke an 86 year curse (wholly invented by Shank - ed. )under a blood red moon in St. Louis. Oct. 27 is an unofficial Hub Hardball Holiday.
Only an old dinosaur of a columnist could churn out the following self-serving swill:
The Mets are still about Tom Seaver, Dwight Gooden, Keith Hernandez, and Gary Carter. The Royals are about George Brett, Bo Jackson, and Saberhagen. It’s going to take a championship in 2015 to awaken fans to a new generation of baseball gods.
I could write something detailed about the aforementioned pitcher that would be rejected by my co-blogger. It involves 'friends' in other cities when baseball players travel to said other cities, and it will be left at that.

And noted nutritionist Dan Shaughnessy feels the need to weigh in on the following, which would bring great sadness to the likes of former Red Sox pitcher Bob Stanley:
It might also be considered a bad omen for baseball when you wake up on the first day of the World Series and read that the World Health Organization has determined that hot dogs — the official food of baseball for 120 years — actually cause cancer. What ever happened to baseball standing for “all that was once good” in America?
Short response to that one - how many times in your life did you hear 'health experts' declare that eggs were bad for you, then good for you, then bad for you, and so on?

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

He Really Is A Miserable Fuck

It's that, or Shank's a) just hoping to move more of his books by perpetuating the now vanquished Curse of The Bambino or b) reflexive hate of the Boston Red Sox. Check out these retweets in the past hour:

Then again, all these reasons are right on the money.

Patriots Blamed In 3, 2, 1...

Informative World Series Tweets, By Dan Shaughnessy

Our Man Shank is on the scene in Kansas City:
Guess he'll be hitting the bar soon, eh?


No, this isn't a picked up pieces column, but reading Shank's opening World Series missive gives the distinct whiff of a column half written while taking a dump in the bathroom:
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Perhaps you don’t care about the World Series. Understood. A lot of folks in Boston don’t care. The Red Sox have morphed into a perennial doormat, far removed from the postseason baseball conversation, and it’s all about the Patriots these days. The Patriots play the Dolphins on Thursday night. Kickoff is at 8:25 p.m.
You mean the doormat that's won three of the previous eleven World Series? There's no other word to describe this guy besides shithead.

From there, Shank devotes the column to fellow pasty white Irishman Dan Murphy, second baseman of the New York Mets, who played with Rob Gronkowski's brother in college. That's the column, and you're welcome in advance for saving you the chore of reading it.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Johnny One Note

Nope - this'll never get old!

Shank's aware these games have been close in recent years, right?

Saturday, October 24, 2015

A Well Known Subject

Shank is familiar with this theme. A week or two after helping to get Kirk Minihane shitcanned from Comcast SportsNet, he can't help but wonder:
The hate has drained out of Patriots-Jets

Jet Week was too tame for me. Robert’s Rules Of Order replaced the Hatfields and McCoys. We saw respect from both camps. We heard one polite comment after another. In a week that’s traditionally full of fury and foolishness, trash talk was banished to the curb.

So little emotion. No cheap shots.
Any theories?
I think I can explain this absence of malice. From the New York side, folks are simply consumed with the Amazin’ Mets, who look like they are going to win their first World Series since the 1986 Metropolitans shocked Bill Buckner and the Boston Red Sox. The Mets’ magic ride in October of 2015 is the stuff of legend and has taken Apple folks’ eyes off the matchup with the Patriots.

Here in New England, the Jets have moved to the back of the pack of Patriot enemies. There are so many teams we hate more now. In the wake of Deflategate, the Colts and Ravens have moved to the top of New England’s Nixonian enemies list.

It’s hard to get fired up about Ryan Fitzpatrick when the region has so much hate reserved for Roger Goodell, Chris Mortensen, Bill Polian, and Bob Kravitz. After decades of annoying the Patriots, the Jets played virtually no role in the Deflategate debacle.
In conclusion...
Doormats in recent seasons (4-12 last year), the Jets are a surprising 4-1, losing only to the Eagles. All of New York’s victories have been by margins of at least 13 points. New York’s defense ranks first in the league in points and yards allowed. The Jets have an easy schedule the rest of the way. They have a rookie coach (Todd Bowles), who presents as a mature adult instead of a rat (Mangini) or a clown (Rex Ryan).
So much for the Tomato Can Division theory...

Thursday, October 22, 2015

This Is Why He's Called Shank, Folks

The origin of this nickname can be traced back to Glenn Ordway (I believe it was late 1990's), and this notion has just been heavily reinforced. I spotted a response to one of Shank's tweets earlier this week alluding to this matter, and now there's confirmation:
Kirk Minihane vs CSNNE (and Fred Toucher, Tony Massarotti and Dan Shaughnessy.)

Minihane said that Fred Toucher and Tony Massarotti went to the powers to be at Comcast SportsNet and asked them to keep Minihane off the air.

He also stated that Dan Shaughnessy has actively been trying to screw him over and cause him to lose work. Mostly because Minihane calls him Shank. Bart Hubbuch also factors into this, after he took the clip of Minihane saying that Roger Goodell should be “murdered” and put it on Twitter, leaving out the part where Minihane said he was joking.

Minihane, John Dennis and Gerry Callahan did an expletive-filled podcast on the topic where Kirk let loose on his enemies and what he feels they’ve done to him.

Dennis touches on his long-standing hate-feud with Gene Lavanchy as well.
I don't have a solid opinion about Minihane, but I'm aware he's kind of a shit stirrer like Shank. Why can't shit stirrers all get along?

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Fisk and Shits

Quick: Do you remember where you were on this date 40 years ago?

The correct answers are "of course not" and "who cares."

As it turns out, it was 40 years ago today that Carlton Fisk hit the 12-inning homer to beat the Reds in the 1975 World Series. It was Game 6 before there was "Game 6."*

And that's what The CHB wants to tell us about.

Here's the problem: Fisk's moment was transcendent. The date doesn't matter. It's an iconic moment, not in baseball history, not in New England history, but in SPORTS history. For years it was part of opening sequence to the NBC Game of the Week, and the Bat in the Night is part of a display in Cooperstown.

What's more, everyone and their dog is trotting out pieces on it this week. Even The Boston Globe Magazine beat Shank to the punch.

Oh, the problems with the piece are rampant. The CHB says Fred Lynn was the "best center fielder we’d see until Jackie Bradley Jr. came around." Not even close. Coco Crisp -- the prototype for JBJ -- was twice the defensive CF that Fragile Freddy was. Even Rick Miller, Lynn's contemporary, was a superior OF.

He calls Luis Tiant the "best best big-game pitcher we would ever see." El Tiante had a 2.86 ERA and 20 strikeouts in 34 post-season innings. Jon Lester has a 2.85 ERA and 87 K's in 98 innings -- in a higher octane offensive era. (Perhaps Shank keeps his eyes closed when Lester is on the mound.)

All in all, Shaughnessy's homage is familiar in tone and content to Clark Booth's writeup from 2004.
Fisk's home run is memorable. The CHB's hasty, crappy memory of it, not so much.

*Screw you, Buckner!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Milking It, By Dan Shaughnessy

Flipping channels after seeing the Kansas City Royals killing the Toronto Blue Jays, 9-2 in the seventh inning, I spot Shank on the Early Edition of the local cable channel Comcast Sports Net New England. The subject of Shank's appearance? A rehashing of yesterdays column. Quelle surprise!

No heavy lifting, and an appearance fee. The only thing missing was a free meal somewhere. Great day for Shank!

Monday, October 19, 2015

And Why Shouldn't He?

A lazy, lethargic Boston Globe sports columnist takes nearly a full day to deliver his take on last night's Patriots / Colts game. The entirety of Shank's column is so chock full of lies, bullshit and borderline slander that the only effective remedy is for this blogger to deliver the required Fisking of the column in its entirety, or close to it.
Angry Tom Brady is force to be reckoned with

Once again after the Patriots’ 34-27 victory Sunday night in Indianapolis, Tom Brady was quick to brush aside the media.

By Dan Shaughnessy Globe Staff October 20, 2015

Tom Brady is an angry man. This is probably a good thing for the Patriots and Patriot fans.

No more Mr. Nice Guy. Brady is captain of the Revenge Tour and he no longer cares about hurting anybody’s feelings. He’s not going to go out of his way to help, or be nice to folks who weren’t nice to him after the air was taken out of the balls last season. After Sunday’s 34-27 win in Indianapolis, Brady blew off NBC’s Michele Tafoya, then issued three terse answers when asked about keeping a souvenir football or two.
Please explain the rationale for being nice to a group of people who, on a collective basis, called you a cheater or worse and doubted your integrity for the past nine months, Mr. Shaughnessy. Naturally, that rationale is not provided here.
Q: “Did you keep the football after the game, and if so, I was curious what that meant to you and what make you want to keep that football?”

A: “I didn’t keep it.’’

Q: “I saw you kept two balls for a keepsake, one after LeGarrette Blount’s touchdown run, and then at the end of the game you put the football in your helmet. Why two footballs? Are you giving it to somebody else?”
A: “I didn’t keep them.’’

Q: “Are they going to somebody else?”

A: “I don’t know.’’

Deflate that.
Whatever that's supposed to mean!

But wait - it gets better:
Brady has been brief and joyless in his mandated weekly and postgame sessions with folks who cover the Patriots. He is doing the minimum and nothing more. He will take a few questions, move his lips, then wrap up abruptly with, “Thanks, guys.’’
Any reason why this might be the case, Einstein?
It doesn’t matter, of course. All that matters is what Brady does on the field and the results are thus far unimpeachable. Brady no longer has Randy Moss or a veteran line, but he is more precise than ever. He has one interception in five games and that was a ball that bounced off Julian Edelman. Not Tom’s fault.

Brady was clearly angry at the end of the game. A lot of that anger comes from his insistence on perfection.
You're sure about that?

He can’t stand leaving points on the field. He knows that the Patriots’ offense could not shut the door Sunday night. They could not put the game away the way they wanted. Like coach Bill Belichick, Brady wants to finish strong every week. When he doesn’t finish strong, he’s angry.

The most telling statement he made to the local media last week was an acknowledgment that “I’m human.’’

He’s human and the fallout from Deflategate has made him angry. After the AFC Championship game, Brady was hung out to dry by just about everyone except his dad.
And including a certain Boston Globe sports columnist! Eager to keep the fires of DeflateGate burning, in an impressive display of passive / aggressive behavior, Shank goes on:

First his coach said, “Ask Tom.’’
Shot at coach Belichick? check.

Then his owner, ever hungry to keep his seat at the NFL’s Big Boy table, played footsie with the Commish and the other owners and accepted the largest punishment in the history of the league. This made it open season on Tom, his legacy, his honor.
Except that this 'open season' on Tom Brady by the NFL league office exceeded / violated their own rules on this sort of thing.

Then it was leaked that Brady destroyed his cellphone on the day he was called to testify before Ted Wells.
It's of questionable legal or NFL precedent / requirement whether Brady was required to turn that data or phone over to Ted Wells. This is just further evidence into Shanks lack of knowledge of the situation.

When the starry-eyed judge ultimately lifted Brady’s suspension, the haters (a.k.a “realists”) were quick to remind everyone that Brady was not cleared of guilt as much as he was allowed back on the field because of the bungled procedures by the league.
So we're supposed to believe that the NFL's appeals process, clearly lacking in the due process department and clearly stated as such by Federal judge Berman, was overturned on a mere technicality?

Tom is human so he’s no doubt wounded that so many were quick to brand him as a liar and a cheater. Longtime Patriot watchers know that Brady’s greatness and his honors are owed to talent, hard work, and a magical coach-player relationship unseen since Messrs. Auerbach and Russell ruled the basketball world.

We don’t really know Tom.
Jesus H. Christ, where have we heard this disingenuous tripe before?

But we have seen him grow and mature in his 16 seasons in Foxboro. We have seen him cultivate and polish an image as a man of wealth and taste. We have seen him marry a woman more wealthy and famous than himself. We have seen him applaud one president at a State of the Union address, then snub another president when the Patriots were invited to the White House. We have seen him demonstrate more emotion and anger on the sideline.

Meanwhile, we are hearing him say less in almost every public forum.

This year, he’s done a couple of friendly sitdowns with former Patriot quarterback Scott Zolak on “Patriots All Access”, but that’s about it as far as television goes. On the radio side, Brady’s remained loyal to WEEI’s “The Dennis & Callahan Show,” which promises to feature Tom again Tuesday at 9 a.m.
Again, why should he appear on hostile media shows after the beating he's taken over the past nine months? Inquiring minds might need that answer.

Is this misdirection?

Last week’s Brady segment on WEEI was revealing, and at times, disturbing. Brady was neither terse nor angry. When effectively cornered by host Kirk Minihane regarding Brady’s disgraced training guru Alex Guerrero, Brady spoke passionately and at great length. Brady correctly reminded us that his good health and great play is the best advertisement for Guerrero’s alternative methods, but also sounded like a man who has come under the spell of manipulative forces. There was a Tim Thomas/Tom Cruise level of discovery in that interview that made some of us wonder who’s pulling the strings behind Brady’s iron curtain.

Brady’s personal health choices are his and his alone, and worthy of great respect, but he gets into a dangerous area when he promotes his body coach/business partner with statements such as, “What I want to provide to athletes — so much of it is being pro-active — not wanting to get sick, not wanting to get injured. Lifestyle choices are very important to your health and wellness.’’
It appears to the casual observer that Brady has done just fine in this department as it concerns personal health. But hey, Shank's just asking the question!

Swell. But there’s a hint of blaming victims in all this. Let’s not suggest that everyone who gets cancer or a concussed could have prevented it with better eating habits. Please don’t try telling us that “when you get hit the head,’’ you should ask yourself, “What have you done previously to try to prevent those things?’’

Brady is taunting the sports god when he suggest that avoiding NFL injuries is a “lifestyle choice.’’ What’s the magic potion that saves any quarterback from the Bernard Pollard hit?
This is disingenuous in the extreme - you need to read into that and draw false conclusions to conclude otherwise. From this standpoint, Tom Brady has taken care of himself physically and, aside from that Bernard Pollard hit, has largely avoided serious injury. This blogger is pretty sure this angle is not subject to debate.

But by all means, let's bring up something from thirty fucking years ago!

Something tells me that the Patriots hierarchy is not pleased that Guerrero is traveling with the team and working with multiple players. It reminds me of a situation with Celtic scorer Scott Wedman and his personal trainer when the C’s played the Lakers in the epic 1984 NBA Finals. Wedman’s guy, Steve Krischel, was banned from the locker room after he worked on Robert Parish’s shoulder. (”I thought the guy was a plumber,’’ said Celtic trainer Ray Melchiorre.)

That’s not going to happen to Guerrero. The Patriots are going to let Brady do anything he wants. He’s the ticket to Super Bowl 50.

Tom can say whatever he wants. Or say nothing.

Terse or talkative, an angry Tom Brady is good for the business of winning another Super Bowl.