NEW YORK — Welcome to Papi-Palooza, Big Apple style.
The interminable David Ortiz Farewell Tour made its final stop in the House That Jeter Built Thursday night. The Yankees’ pregame ceremony was short and sweet — nothing like the overblown homages showered upon Mariano Rivera and Derek Jeter at Fenway in 2013 and 2014, respectively.
At 6:52 p.m., while the stadium was still half-empty, Ortiz was introduced to the crowd and came out to stand behind home plate with his wife Tiffany, daughter Alex, and son D’Angelo. The Yankees presented Tiffany and Alex with floral bouquets.
Ortiz’s former teammate Jacoby Ellsbury and former Red Sox pitcher David Cone were first out of the Yankee dugout. They carried a custom-made autograph book with hand-scripted messages from Yankees who have played against Ortiz through the years.
Next up was Rivera, the all-time saves leaders and future Hall of Famer. Rivera helped Ortiz unveil an oil painting that portrayed Ortiz tipping his cap at home plate at Yankee Stadium.
Then they played “Sweet Caroline” over the PA.
And that was it. No video montages. No speeches. No appearances by Whitey Ford, Woody Allen, Liza Minnelli, Billy Joel, or Dick Flavin. It was brief and buttoned-down. Very Yankee-like. And it was over in a New York minute. It was as if the entire presentation had been scripted by Bill Belichick.
Friday, September 30, 2016
Thursday, September 29, 2016
NEW YORK — Ever seen a champagne celebration after what would normally be an excruciating walkoff loss?Nothing says 'Red Sox column by Shank' without marring it with a reference to some other sport.
We saw one Wednesday night at Yankee Stadium.
The Red Sox completed their latest worst-to-first saga when they clinched the American League East thanks to Baltimore’s 3-2 victory over Toronto.
It looked like the Sox were going to clinch with their own win over the Yankees (six one-hit innings from Clay Buchholz), but that did not happen. Minutes after learning that they were AL East champs by virtue of the Orioles’ win, Red Sox closer Craig Kimbrel allowed a single and three straight walks to start the ninth then watched helplessly as Mark Teixeira hit a game-winning grand slam off Joe Kelly.
Weird. It was like leaving a cemetery and walking into a Delta House toga party. Something tells me that Bill Belichick would not have approved.
Wednesday, September 28, 2016
Guaranteed, His Shankness would never vote for Big Papi on the first round, if at all. But he argue, tongue firmly in cheek, that since the New York writers say Ortiz is a Haller, that's a leading indicator that (PEDs or not, which is what the column is really about), he's bound to get the call.
Regardless of whether Ortiz deserves the recognition, which would have made for a much better column, btw, here's hoping Shank is actually right for a change, if for no other reason than it's another excuse to remind everyone of Shaughnessy's epithet for Big Papi: "a sad sack of you-know-what."
Tuesday, September 27, 2016
Confirmed - in the bottom of the second inning, they panned back into the booth trio, and my roommate just confirmed it - "You can't miss that goofy looking redhead!"
Monday, September 26, 2016
Pats can clinch this week? Is that hyperbole or stupidity?
On with Zo and Beetle -- @ZoandBertrand today from 11-1. Sox and Pats can both clinch their divisions this week. Good times.— Dan Shaughnessy (@Dan_Shaughnessy) September 26, 2016
Sunday, September 25, 2016
Since I said the Red Sox aren't winning close games after a 1-0 loss vs. Orioles, the Sox are 10-0, most of them close ones. You're welcome.— Dan Shaughnessy (@Dan_Shaughnessy) September 25, 2016
Saturday, September 24, 2016
Memo to Patriots fans: Deflategate is your friend. It has given birth to absolute truths that serve only to magnify and solidify that local notion that Bill Belichick and the Patriots are 10 times better and smarter than every other NFL team.A decent enough column ensues from here (Nitty Gritty Dirt Band lyrics aside), but I think Shank overstates something towards the end:
The first-place, 3-0 Patriots will enjoy a well-deserved day of rest Sunday, but a message has been delivered to NFL America. It is not a comforting missive for the 31 franchises that hoped to prosper when NFL commissioner Roger Goodell dropped the hammer on the Team Everyone Loves to Hate. The Patriots are on a mission. They are kicking butt and taking names. The 2016 Patriots are waging war on the rest of the NFL and the commissioner who overly punished them for driving 68 in a 65-mile-per-hour zone.
This cannot be a great feeling for Brady. Deflategate has established that any Jimmy, Jacoby or Matt can play quarterback for the Patriots and still win. Belichick and the Patriot Way are the big winners.I don't think you can use a three game span like the most recent one and dismiss the contributions of one of the top quarterbacks in NFL history.
On second thought, since I don't feel like erasing the previous sentence, Shank's not dismissing Brady, he's simply discounting it and attributing the team's success to the team. Seriously, it didn't kill me just now to agree with Shank! Still, I think that point's fairly debatable.
Points awarded to Shank for being consistent on this point (not Deflategate as a whole, where he once called Tom Brady a cheater and gave it its own column):
The Patriots would secede from the NFL if they had anywhere elso to go, but they don’t. They will settle for winning another Super Bowl and rubbing everyone’s face in the dirt. Tom Brady is taking his punishment and it’s Scorched Earth Time here in Hatriot Nation. Our long national nightmare is over.Back to the original column:
Feel the fire. Embrace the hate. Deflategate is the Patriots’ friend.Did Shank just channel the Emperor from Star Wars?
Friday, September 23, 2016
But the No. 1 story line of the night was Belichick. We keep thinking we have seem the ultimate demonstration of his greatness and then we see something that tops the last one. We thought the opening-night win at Arizona would stand as the Hoodie’s favorite non-Super Bowl win, but Thursday’s shocker against the Texans was even better. It was a game won by all the boring things Bill loves — special teams, defense, and mistake-free offense.He'll be signing a different tune as soon as the Patriots lose their first game.
“I’m so proud of the way our guys competed,’’ said Belichick. “A real satisfying win. The whole week the coaching staff did a tremendous job.’’
When an intrepid sort noted that Bill was climbing the ranks of career wins for coaches, Belichick said, “Today is not about me. It’s about the team, the players, the assistant coaches, and all the credit they deserve.’’
Houston loses the toss. Pats defer. Of course.— Dan Shaughnessy (@Dan_Shaughnessy) September 23, 2016
Afterall, Pats only have one QB and he is a rookie
Things change quickly. Time to trade Jimmy G for a couple of first round picks.— Dan Shaughnessy (@Dan_Shaughnessy) September 23, 2016
Houston Texans: "Oh, no!!!! We suck again!!!!''— Dan Shaughnessy (@Dan_Shaughnessy) September 23, 2016
Game is effectively over, but nobody leaving Gillette. Too much fun watching Pats rub foes' faces in the dirt.— Dan Shaughnessy (@Dan_Shaughnessy) September 23, 2016
Wednesday, September 21, 2016
Firm hired by Ted Wells speaks to NY Times: It's The Wells Report In Context . . . In Context.— Dan Shaughnessy (@Dan_Shaughnessy) September 21, 2016
Surprise Conclusion: Pats were doing it.
Rehash radio, part infinity:
On with @ZoandBertrand with Jarod Carrabisstarting at 11. Not much Sox to argue about now. They will never lose again.— Dan Shaughnessy (@Dan_Shaughnessy) September 21, 2016
Reporters used to get basic facts correct, like spelling people's names:
This really just happened https://t.co/yUam1AeFty— Dan Shaughnessy (@Dan_Shaughnessy) September 21, 2016
@Dan_Shaughnessy you literally asked me how to spell my name and still got it wrong. that's the press box difference.— Jared Carrabis(@Jared_Carrabis) September 21, 2016
That's just Shank's way of him letting you know you're not important to him. If you're reading this, Jared, he's insulting you right to your face. Stop falling for this shit and treat Shank as he ought to be treated - as an enemy. Think 'Godfather' here. Maybe you ought to talk to Kirk Minihane about that angle.
Tuesday, September 20, 2016
call it a fluke.
Here we go. Red Sox and Patriots. Hand-in-hand into history. Again.
Sunday in Greater Boston was one of those days that make all the hard living worthwhile. It was a day to put traffic, weather, taxes, the cost of groceries, and nonstop road and bridge repair (did I mention traffic?) on the shelf. It was a day to soak in the warm waters of first place and speculate on great sports moments in store in the upcoming weeks.
Playing without Tom Brady, without Gronk, without Rob Ninkovich, and finally, without Brady’s backup, the Patriots beat the Dolphins in their home opener. It was more Next Man Up and Let The Fools On The Other Side Beat Themselves again. More than ever, Super Bowl LI in Houston — a showdown with Roger Goodell, who would deliver the trophy — appears to be the Patriots’ manifest destiny.
Sunday, September 18, 2016
McNally and jastremski scrambling dolphin headsets now?— Dan Shaughnessy (@Dan_Shaughnessy) September 18, 2016
And - so much for 'maybe the Dolphins have a chance':
When do Dolphins execute the Butt Fumble?— Dan Shaughnessy (@Dan_Shaughnessy) September 18, 2016
Wow. New Miami coach knew enough to make Pats take ball. Maybe Dolphins have a chance. And that's six straight coin toss losses for Pats— Dan Shaughnessy (@Dan_Shaughnessy) September 18, 2016
It's called the law of averages, jackass...
Saturday, September 17, 2016
Why jump on the Hanley Ramirez bus? Because things can— Dan Shaughnessy (@Dan_Shaughnessy) September 17, 2016
...and a reader fills in the blank:
@Dan_Shaughnessy ...because things can change quickly and when they do I will trash him in a column.— Christopher E (@cje1213) September 17, 2016
Friday, September 16, 2016
How do you recover from this?It's impossible to read this column, note the rare quality within and come to any other conclusion - Shank loves to write about losing teams.
The Yankees — once all powerful but now The Little Train That Could — suffered a devastating setback at Fenway Thursday night. Leading the Red Sox, 5-1, in the eighth, and 5-2 with two outs in the ninth, New York was beaten by Hanley Ramirez’s three-run walkoff shot into the center-field bleachers off Dellin Betances.
“This one really hurts,’’ said Yankee manager Joe Girardi.
“A lot of guys in this room are really [expletive] off right now,’’ said third baseman Chase Headley. “We really want to come back and win tomorrow night.’’
Thursday, September 15, 2016
So this is NOT just like ’67. But it’s really fun. And the notion of four teams fighting for first place gives a little tingle to Baby Boomer (it’s always about us) Red Sox fans.So, it's fun to watch these stat-padding Red Sox, except when they're padding their stats. Then again, that's as close to consistent as we'll get from Shank.
Wednesday, September 14, 2016
Will say it again: Stat-padding Red Sox become choking dogs when the games are tight. Nobody does 12-2 wins and 1-0 losses like these guys.— Dan Shaughnessy (@Dan_Shaughnessy) September 15, 2016
Monday, September 12, 2016
As usual with Shank, he needs to remind us of negative things in the Patriots' past - that his way of being balanced:
GLENDALE, Ariz. — Eight years ago, this place was a house of horrors. A place where bad things happened to the Patriots.Now, Shank, conjure up your inner Fonzarelli and say 'I was wrong':
The giant stadium in Glendale was bad luck. It is where 18-0 became 18-1. It is where Eli Manning made the scramble of his life and then David Tyree made the last catch of his career, pinning a prayer to the side of his helmet while he was wearing Rodney Harrison. It is where perfection was derailed.
But today Patriot Nation loves this place. Now it is the place where Bill Belichick and Ernie Adams made Pete Carroll lose his mind in Super Bowl XLIX (Go watch the “Do Your Job” video again). It is the place where Malcolm Butler introduced himself to Football America. And in September of 2016 it is the place where Jimmy Garoppolo and the undermanned Patriots beat the heavily favored Arizona Cardinals, 23-21, in the first game of Tom Brady’s four-game Deflategate suspension.
More coverage from the Patriots' win Shaughnessy: No Brady? No Gronk? No problem. Volin: Jimmy Garoppolo plays his role to perfection Gasper: Brady suspension was supposed to take away Belichick's secret weapon. It didn't work Cardinals miss their chance to take down the Patriots Chandler Jones, Arizona defense fail to rattle New England Two Patriots hold up fists after national anthem Did you know Marty from The Imagination Agency plays for Patriots? Patriots remove Tom Brady banner from Gillette Stadium Notebook: Patriots extend Rob Ninkovich’s contract Box score: Patriots 23, Cardinals 21 More Patriots coverage
Take that, Roger Goodell! You can overpunish Brady and roll out an NFC title contender for “Sunday Night Football.” Vegas can make the Pats 9½-point underdogs. But you still cannot beat Belichick and the Patriots.
No Brady? No Gronk? No first-round draft pick?
Sunday, September 11, 2016
GLENDALE, Ariz. — Twenty-four-year-old Jimmy Garoppolo — who has never played a meaningful snap in the NFL —Naturally, meaningful is undefined, as this suits Shank's agenda of creating doubt so he can shit on the Patriots tomorrow should they lose. Shank mentions Jimmy G. going 20 of 31 in 11 games, and all of that activity is deemed meaningless.
will stand behind center and in front of the nation Sunday night when the New England Patriots play the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. It will be the highest-rated television program of the weekend.Pure speculation, but then again, this may be Shank's 'blind squirrel finds a nut every now and then' prediction he actually gets right.
Jimmy G is being asked to command the SS Belichick while Tom Brady, the greatest quarterback of his generation, begins serving a four-game suspension for his ambiguous role in the interminable, litigious, and abjectly stupid drama known as Deflategate.You remember Deflategate - the one that Shank actively cheered on and eventually called Tom Brady a cheater. Funny how Shank conveniently forgets that when he needs to.
Man Crush Alert, or just want you want to read when you go to the Sports section:
Other than the superficial observation that Garoppolo is perhaps the only American athlete even more handsome than Tom Brady (not that there's anything wrong with that - ed.), we know virtually nothing about Jimmy G.Too bad there's really no way to research that sort of thing...
He played his college ball at Eastern Illinois (never to be confused with Alabama or Southern Cal) and has not started a regular-season game in two seasons with New England. He has been the clipboard holder and mopup man for Brady, completing 20 of 31 passes in 11 games.You can skip the next several paragraphs, as Shank falls back on an unimaginative, tired and longstanding formula of comparing this situations to past situations with the Red Sox and Celtics. But it helps to complete the column, so...
The goofy-yet-intriguing situation is without parallel in the long and fabled history of New England sports.
This is different. Garoppolo is replacing a legendary champion . . . but just for four games. And we have no sample to suggest how Jimmy G will do against the Cardinals, Dolphins, Texans, and Bills.Shank, aware or not, then goes on to give just that sort of sample:
Backup quarterback Matt Cassel stepped in for Brady in 2008 when QB 12 got his knee blown up in the first game of the season. Belichick made things simple for Cassel and the Pats won 11 games, but they did not make the playoffs. Cassel parlayed his tryout into a big contract with the Chiefs, while Brady came back better than ever in 2009.If Shank thinks this is what Belichick is going to do, bet on the exact opposite.
We suspect the Hoodie will dumb it down for Jimmy G. The quarterback looked shaky against the Panthers in his final preseason game, but he has yet to play with the full complement of New England’s offense weapons, and he won’t have Rob Gronkowski on Sunday. Look for a lot of short passes, tosses to the tight ends, and a smashmouth running game. Nothing high-risk. No stretching the field. Let your defense win the game. This will be Game Management 101.
...I wonder why Shank always has to make such situations strictly binary? Is it because he's stupid? Perhaps, but again, it doesn't exactly suit him to share credit between Brady and Belichick. He needs to assign credit to one and by definition, blame or discredit to the other. This is how his mind 'works', for lack of a better definition.
So the Patriots’ quarterback situation at this hour is fascinating in addition to being unprecedented. The Patriots are going to play four games with a new guy behind center. Fair or unfair, it’s going to constitute a referendum on who’s the most important figure in Foxborough. Jimmy G’s success or failure will fuel the age-old argument regarding who gets credit for New England’s dominant run. Is it Tom or is it Bill?
Brady has been to six Super Bowls and won four of them. Belichick has been his coach for every game of his career. As noted by former Globie Ron Borges, in seven-plus seasons without Brady as his quarterback, Belichick is 52-62 and has missed the playoffs six times. The Hoodie is 1-1 in playoff games without Brady.See what I mean? Of course, that leaves this question unanswered - what is Belichick's record when you remove his tenure with the Cleveland Browns? Take it away, commenter Shsnatick:
Belichick's record with the Browns: 36-44, so the record with the Patriots and without Brady is 16-18. Just a bit different, no? Once again, that doesn't support Shank's argument, so you won't see it. And if you have to rely on Ron Borges, a plagiarist, for your statistics, you're already halfway to losing that argument.
Once and for all let's set the record straight regarding Bill Belchick's record without Tom Brady. The Browns had a record of 3-13 in 1990. They hired Bill Belichick. His record:
1994 11-5 (beat Patriots in the playoffs)
1995 5-11 (after Art Modell gutted the team in preparation for move to (Bal)
2000 NE Patriots (house cleaning year)
The rest is history.
More stat-padding by Sox Friday, a 13-3 win. Then a 3-2 loss today.— Dan Shaughnessy (@Dan_Shaughnessy) September 10, 2016
That another plus-9 run differential while going 1-1. #Can'twinclose1s
Thursday, September 08, 2016
The Patriots will play the 2016 season in silent fury.This almost sounds like he borrowed a few paragraphs from a column he did on Spygate years ago.
There will be no sabre-rattling in the locker room or at the podium. Nobody in Foxborough is going to admit they are mad as hell. There will be no public displays of anger or outrage.
But it’s there. The Patriots are the Hatriots. We feel it every day and will notice it on every play. We hear it in the things that are not said. The seething. The simmering. It’s the nonstop notion that Tom Brady and the Patriots got railroaded. All New England fans know that the Patriots are the victims of a jealous league and a commissioner intent on showing that he is the boss.
While angry Patriots fans call talk shows, script hateful tweets, and wear vile anti-Goodell garb, the folks who coach and play the games are going to have to take out their revenge in the stadiums of NFL America. That is the plan.
Tuesday, September 06, 2016
On with @ZoandBertrand today from 11-1. Wall-to=wall Pats. Will steer them into Sox talk and maybe get Beetle going on big BC-Umass game.— Dan Shaughnessy (@Dan_Shaughnessy) September 6, 2016
Some friendly advice is offered to the Shankster:
not a problem...
Monday, September 05, 2016
Lo and behold:
Frontrunning stat-padding Sox are great when it's 16-2, 11-2.— Dan Shaughnessy (@Dan_Shaughnessy) September 5, 2016
It's those 1-0, 2-1 games that they can't seem to win.
In last four games, Sox outscored last-place A's and Padres, 28-7.— Dan Shaughnessy (@Dan_Shaughnessy) September 5, 2016
Won two, lost two.
Run differential means jack.
Reaction is just about what you'd expect:
@Dan_Shaughnessy yes, but this is very old news... been this way all season.— Jeremy Caron (@JeremyCaron) September 6, 2016
@Dan_Shaughnessy The Sox may be front-runners but you are definitely a bottom-feeder— Chris Moltisanti(@Loyle2MyCapo) September 6, 2016
@Dan_Shaughnessy 16-20 in 1-run games, TOR is 15-22— Mike (@gtfo) September 5, 2016
@Dan_Shaughnessy sweet sample size, bro— john pittsley(@MithterPitthley) September 6, 2016
@Dan_Shaughnessy actually not true. Take a look at mlb standings, pretty much follows run differential.— Ozzie deFaria (@OzziedeFaria) September 6, 2016
@Dan_Shaughnessy According to W-L, Sox are only as good as A's and SD. According to run diff, they are better. Which one is the truth?— Not Mike Webb (@NotMikeWebb) September 6, 2016
Don't bother Shank with a question like that - he has an agenda to push!
Bonus soundtrack with respect to the title is here. These lyrics are pure Shaughnessy.
Shughnessy: Curious about Yoan Moncada playing third base
Brief (thus relatively painless) video at link, from Friday. Thus far, it seems that Shank's doubt has been unwarranted.
Sunday, September 04, 2016
NORTON — It was not a good day for the local kid.A surprisingly unique take from the Shankster on the local golf tournament, given his recent 'efforts'. We're left wondering if Shank actually spoke to Jon?
Hopkinton’s Jon Curran, a former Globe All-Scholastic and part of a new generation of Boston sports fans (“We skipped school to go to one of those duck boat parades”), is playing at the Deutsche Bank Championship this weekend and had his worst day of the tourney on Sunday, shooting a 76 in the third round.
The rest of us would be ecstatic with a 76 at TPC Boston, but Curran is playing with the big boys and his three-day total of 4 over par has taken him out of Deutsche Bank contention and severely dented his chances to get to Crooked Stick to play in the coveted and lucrative BMW Championship. Curran started Sunday ranked 69th in the FedEx standings (only the top 70 after Monday’s final round remain in contention), but had double bogeys on holes No. 3, 6, and 15 on Sunday.
At times like this, Curran relies on local sports psychologist Dr. Greg Cartin for guidance. Cartin got his start counseling athletes at Somerville and Boston English High Schools and today runs GC3 Performance Consulting. Curran says Cartin keeps him relaxed and focused. It’s all about staying calm and smothering the anger than can eat you up inside.I would suggest stop talking to Shaughnessy as a first step. Or just kick him in the nuts - problem resolved! A kid making nearly $1 million on the pro tour ought not to be damaged goods, but further encounters with Shank will insure just that. Might want to avoid marriage as well - trust me on this one.
“I talk to him every day,” said Curran. “I don’t have any goals. Just going out and doing as good as I can every day. Whatever happens, happens. I don’t like to set goals for myself. A goal of mine was to go to BMW and it’s literally driving me insane.’’
His path to the big time was not as rapid at Bradley’s. He didn’t get his tour card until 2014, but he’s made the cut in 18 of his last 29 tournaments and pocketed $918,000 when he almost won the Memorial. He currently lives in Jupiter, Fla., and plans to marry a young woman from Barrington, R.I., in Newport Oct. 28.
Saturday, September 03, 2016
NORTON — Remember when everyone knew the name of the world’s best golfers?This is, quite simply, astounding ignorance. Palmer hasn't played PGA golf (excluding the 50+ Seniors Tour) since approximately 1975, Nicklaus since 1977 (ditto), and Tiger's been injured for the past two / three years. In other words, I was thirteen fucking years old by the time The Golden Bear hung up his driver professionally, nearly four god damn decades ago. If that doesn't make it clear that Shank, who clearly does not follow golf, has no business whatsoever writing about golf in an intelligent manner, then nothing does.
Arnold Palmer. Jack Nicklaus. Tiger Woods. They were like Mantle, Mays, and DiMaggio. Namath and Brady. Jordan and LeBron.
The rest of the column is pure formulaic Shank template with respect to first round leader Jason Day - read it at your peril, and don't come bitching to me about not getting that five minutes of your life back. You were warned.
Friday, September 02, 2016
Six years ago, Shank covered this tournament and wrote a column devoted mainly to Tiger Woods' use of a portable bathroom. It was an awful column, even by Shank's low standards.
Thursday, September 01, 2016
Cedric Maxwell played eight seasons for the Celtics, from 1977-85. He was MVP of the NBA Finals in 1981, and in ’84 he famously told teammates to “hop on my back” before leading the Celtics to a Game 7 victory against the Lakers.What debate? This is meaningless showboating, nothing more. If Kaepernick was serious about these matters, he'd be doing a lot more than a bullshit 'protest' of sitting out a national anthem. If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem.
Maxwell’s No. 31 hangs in the Garden rafters, alongside the numbers of Bill Russell, Larry Bird, and the other Green legends. Today he serves as a color commentator on Celtic radio broadcasts.
And in all those seasons with the Celtics, Maxwell was never on the parquet floor standing at attention when the national anthem was played.
Max’s absence was sometimes perceived as a protest. He says it was not.
“The only reason I walked out during the national anthem — wasn’t in protest of the flag — I love America more than anybody,’’ Maxwell said Wednesday. “People would ask me about it.
“It was because I was nervous, and when the national anthem was played, I was fidgety. I did not want to offend anybody by moving around, shuffling my feet, doing what I was doing, so I just took myself out of that environment out of respect to the flag.
“I still do it now. I normally leave before the national anthem is played.’’
This is a topic today because San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick has made a stand that he will sit during the playing of the national anthem before games. Kaepernick sat out the anthem at San Francisco’s game last Friday, then explained that he was motivated by racial injustice and police brutality in America. He has pledged to do the same Thursday night when the Niners play at San Diego. His position has created a national debate.
UPDATE AT 12:18 PM - Link to article added; apologies.
UPDATE II, AT 1:10 PM - Check out the socks Colin decided to wear at a recent practice. He's one step away from the Black Lives Matter professional agitators, coming soon to block a highway near you.