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.