Friday, October 31, 2014

Deadly Prose

Former Boston mayor Tom Menino has died, may he rest in piece.

So The CHB eulogizes him by contorting the late mayor's 20-year run into one of the most random factoids imaginable:

"What mattered (about Menino) was the fact that he was the proud mayor of the City of Boston and he presided at a time when our town did something no town has ever done: win championships in all four major sports in a period of six years and four months."

Just. Plain. Weird.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

He Apparently Found the Daisy's of KC

The CHB shows off his knee-jerk reactionism in today's column, yet another that pretends to be on the World Series but is really just a series of shots at the Red Sox.

Let's begin!

  • "Having watched the Giants in October of 2014, does Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington still think a team can win a World Series without an ace?"

  • This suggests Cherington said something along those lines, which he didn't. What Shank is referring to is the Red Sox' trade of Jon Lester last July. What Shank ignores is that 1) the Red Sox were going nowhere and 2) Lester is a free-agent to be and was set to walk.

    What Shank could have noted is that 1) the Royals are one game away from winning the WS without an ace and 2) if the Giants win, it will extend a streak whereby the WS winner was the team with the home runs during the regular season -- a place the Red Sox are much better position for with Yoenis Cespides (the player received in exchange for Lester) than without. But that ruins Shank's argument.

    • Who should the Red Sox sign: James Shields or Pablo Sandoval? Probably not Shields, based on the Series performance.

    Yes, Shields has shit the bed in the post-season. And yes, Sandoval is hitting up a storm (.360 through Game 6). So naturally we should make $100 million decisions based on a handful of games, right? Guess who is hitting just 10 points less than Panda? The immortal Brandon Crawford. Perhaps we can make it a package deal.

    • Did you know that Back Bay watering hole Daisy Buchanan's is closing? 

    Where is The CHB going to get his pre- and post-game drink on now? My guess is he's not allowed in Sonsie.

    Tuesday, October 28, 2014

    Today's Secret Ingredient Is - Free Food!

    Alternate title - Comic Relief!

    Some of you may know that the 'Top Chef' show has been in the Boston area in recent months. At some point, they held court at Fenway Park, where one of the judges is none other than Our Man Shank!

    If it's free, it's for me!
    The e-mail arrived in my in-box in the middle of May. A fellow named Chris wanted to know if I could join the “Top Chef” judges for a lunchtime taping at Fenway Park over the weekend. They already had booked Dennis Eckersley and they were looking for another person familiar with Boston baseball.

    I can do that, I figured.

    I know all about Fenway.

    I know how to eat.
    That's what we hear, Mr. One Mile Run...
    I checked with my 28-year-old daughter Kate, a high school English teacher who is something of a reality TV buff. A couple of weeks earlier, Kate had mentioned that “Top Chef” might be shooting its upcoming season in Boston. This seemed to be a very big deal to her. When I casually mentioned the invitation, my smart, mature daughter reacted as if I’d been asked to join the Rolling Stones on stage at their next concert.
    Ahhh, still dating ourselves, are we?
    “Are you kidding me?’’ asked Kate. “You have to do that! That’s the coolest thing ever! Tell them ‘yes’ and then find out who is going to be there!’’

    OK. I called Chris and told him I could tape the show. I asked him who was going to be at the table with Eck and me and he started rattling off names. Padma. Tom. Hugh. Ming. Blais. The names meant nothing to me, but when I relayed them to Kate it had the effect of someone telling me they were going to sing with Mick, Keith, John, Paul, and Janis. Clearly, these “Top Chef” judges are the rock stars of food tasting.
    Except these 'rock stars' aren't dead or collecting Social Security cheques.
    On Sunday, May 25, Kate and her husband accompanied me to the show’s taping at Fenway.

    “Top Chef” is top secret. Show representatives repeatedly reminded us that we couldn’t talk about anything until the episode aired (Oct. 29 at 10 p.m. on Bravo). There was to be no tweeting, no Facebooking, and no casual conversation of this day. We had to sign a confidentiality agreement; any breach would put us at risk of paying a Dr. Evil-esque penalty of “ONE MILLION DOLLARS.’’
    Forget the million bucks; missing out on free food would probably make Shank wire his own mouth shut.

    We met the big shot judges and they were all very nice. Tom is from New Jersey and knows a lot about sports. Hugh is a Montreal Canadiens fan and wanted to know where he could safely watch a Habs playoff game on TV in Boston. (nowhere! - ed.) I recommended Post 390, because it has great food and it was near his hotel. Padma was tall and friendly. She had a lot of questions about sports and said she’d been asked on dates by a couple of the New York Yankees.

    “Jeter? A-Rod?’’ I wondered.

    She wouldn’t say.
    Of course it's Jeter! Come on, will ya?
    It didn’t matter to me. Even if Padma dished about the famous Yankees, I couldn’t write about it because of . . . ONE MILLION DOLLARS.

    Just before noon, we started our taping in the third base dugout. We paraded up the steps and strode toward our elegant table on the warning track, directly in front of the Green Monster. We had assigned seats — mine was across from Tom and next to Padma. Color me happy. A little nervous with the cameras rolling, I neglected to pull out Padma’s chair when we seated ourselves.
    Such an inconsiderate cad. No Padma date for you!

    Now here's the really funny part:
    Then came the parade of chefs from the visitors dugout. Three at a time. Carrying all forms of meatballs, peanut sauces, ribs, duck, and pork bellies. They all seemed pretty nervous.

    Tom, Hugh, Ming, Blais, and Padma were pretty rough on the contestants.

    Not me.

    I couldn’t bring myself to insult the anxious young chefs. Call me crazy, but ripping professional ballplayers comes easily compared with this. Who accepts a dinner invitation, then insults the host or hostess?
    Because they're professional food assholes. Shank's a professional sports asshole. That's the difference.

    Tune into Bravo tomorrow night at 10:00, everybody!

    Monday, October 27, 2014

    His Brain's Still In Boston

    Shank finally gets around to writing about a baseball game while on his mini-vacation assignment to cover the World Series in San Francisco. In an otherwise respectable column, Shank's occasional foray into snotty, elitist Boston provincialism raises its head again:
    SAN FRANCISCO — Which Bay Area bard will compose “The Ballad of Madison Bumgarner’’ when this World Series is over?

    Is this big lefty from Hudson, N.C., (population, 2,800) really only 25 years old? Did he really give his high school sweetheart a 5-day-old bull calf as a wedding present when they were married on Valentine’s Day in 2010? Where does he rank on the list of best postseason pitchers in the history of baseball?
    Probably right down there with his neighbors:
    Bumgarner is from the land of the goobers.
    Stay classy, Shank!

    Sunday, October 26, 2014

    Leaving His Heart In San Francisco

    Only a columnist of Shank's legendary miserableness and negativity can travel to San Francisco, ostensibly to cover the World Series, and use the trip to take a shit on Fenway Park.
    SAN FRANCISCO — The World Series said goodbye to this baseball palace Sunday night. The San Francisco Giants and Kansas City Royals will resume their nifty joust Tuesday night at Kauffman Stadium.


    But I am here to tell you that AT&T Park might be the perfect baseball stadium. Most of you have a soft spot in your hearts for the old bandbox near Kenmore Square, but if you have made the trip west to watch the Giants at home you know that what I’m telling you is true: AT&T Park is a better ballpark than Fenway Park.

    Let us count the ways:
    I see the logic of a newly built stadium that cost $357 million having better amenities than a stadium that's well over a century old, but does anyone seriously believe that this column isn't written as the thousandth shot from Shank at the Red Sox organization? That, coupled with the fact that he hasn't written a single column about the World Series games themselves while he's been in San Francisco, basically proves the point.

    Turned Off by World Series Column Errors

    So watching TV has changed since 1962, eh? Who knew?

    Because that's the essence of The CHB's column today. Perhaps the World Series isn't what it used to be (according to today's headline), but in truth, this piece is not so much about baseball as it is watching it on the tube.

    The problem with Shank's column is that, while he runs down a litany of reasons why today's product isn't as good as yesteryear's, he lists the wrong reasons.

    To wit, he cites bottomed-out interest because there are no college scholarships for baseball players: "The game has also lost most of its appeal in America’s inner cities owed to fallout from NCAA scholarship regulations — baseball is a non-revenue college sport that provides few scholarships — as much as anything." Well, as we've noted here before, we are sure it would come as a surprise to a non-athlete like Shank to learn that DI and DII baseball offers a grand total of one less scholarship per team than does basketball, which, we hear, is thriving in urban areas. Moreover, JCs, where a tremendous number of baseball players end up, can offer nine more free rides than their basketball brethren.

    Scholarship Stats puts the chances of a high school baseball player competing in college at 11.2%, nearly twice the likelihood a hoops player will make the grade.

    So much for research.

    Shank also compares baseball to well-worn (or worn out) symbols such as "The Ed Sullivan Show" and "Peanuts," relying as always on vapid cliches like "your father's Oldsmobile" (block that metaphor!).

    He complains that the average age of a baseball viewer is nearly 55, but fails to note that the start time of games (8:07 pm Eastern) means that, for one-third of the country, an entire generation of potential new fans is going to bed as the first pitch is being thrown. You can't watch what you can't watch.

    It's not baseball that is obsolete, it's over-the-hill mediocrities like Dan Shaughnessy.

    Saturday, October 25, 2014

    Sandoval Signing Will Beget Major Hissy Fits

    Funny the headline over The CHB today uses the word "fit" to describe the hypothetical match between the Red Sox and current Giants 3B Pable Sandoval.

    Funnier still, The CHB's proclamations and assertions that he "promise(s)" never to rip Sandoval for being out of shape or going on the disabled list."

    This is the guy who mocked Dustin Pedroia (future MVP and Rookie of the Year) for being small and no good, David Ortiz (two time playoff MVP and six time Silver Slugger winner) for being fat and no good, Pedro Martinez for being sensitive and injured (3 Cy Youngs; future Hall of Famer), Roger Clemens for being fat and good (7 Cy Youngs), and Curt Schilling (3 Cy Young runner-ups) for being injured and talking too much?

    And those guys are total studs. So do we really think Shank is going to sheath the daggers for a middle of the pack infielder who is already on the wrong side of 27 and has had three straight years of diminishing performance?

    "Promises" are made to be broken.

    Friday, October 24, 2014

    And Now For More Boston Globe Bashing - XXIII

    This author hasn't taken a crap on Dan's employer in well over a year, more or less coinciding with John Henry's purchase of all that fine Morrissey Boulevard real estate the Boston Globe newspaper company. If this report is any indication, the migration to online sales and the related advertising revenue won't be enough to save that sinking ship (or any other newspaper, for that matter).

    That, and it's pretty straightforward to defeat the Globe's paywall, so they're getting skinned to a degree in their online subscriptions to boot. So where's the revenue going to come from again?
    "...putting newspapers online has not remotely restored their profitability..."

    "Now, however, in the first years of the 21st century, accelerating technological transformation has undermined the business models that kept American news media afloat, raising the possibility that the great institutions on which we have depended for news of the world around us may not survive."
    Depends on how you define 'news', doesn't it?

    (link via Zero Hedge)

    Better Late Than Never

    It may or may not be news to you that the World Series hasn't been terribly popular TV viewing this year, although the numbers for Game 2 showed some improvement. This general apathy may or may not explain Shank's own absence in covering the World Series.

    But find a Red Sox angle to tonight's Game 3? Shank's on it!
    SAN FRANCISCO — Remember Tim Hudson, Red Sox fans?

    Hudson was part of a dominant pitching staff that Billy Beane assembled in Oakland in the early part of this century. Hudson averaged 17 wins per season with the A’s from 2000-03.

    In the first game of the 2003 American League Division Series, Hudson won a duel with Pedro Martinez in Oakland. The A’s took a 2-0 series lead and were perched to eliminate the Cowboy Up Red Sox in swift fashion.

    When the Series shifted to Boston, Hudson was involved in an altercation at a bar near Faneuil Hall. Two days later, he was Ken Macha’s starting pitching for Game 4 at Fenway and was lifted after one inning because of a muscle strain in his left side. At that time, it was the shortest outing of Hudson’s career. The Red Sox won, 5-4, and a day later, the Sox went to Oakland and won the Series in five games. It was one of four consecutive Game 5 eliminations for the Moneyball A’s.
    Now that Shank's in San Francisco for the next three games, we can look forward to a few more baseball columns, that is, if 'look forward' is the right choice of words...

    Tuesday, October 21, 2014

    Shank On The World Series

    After writing a few columns during the past fortnight about the American and National League championship series', Shank sits down, analyzes the strengths & weaknesses of both the Kansas City Royals and the San Francisco Giants, offers a few opinions, and puts all of that into a thoughtful, concise and timely column.

    Almost had you there for a second!

    Seriously, if Shank can be bothered to churn out a few columns during the championship series of both leagues, why not do a column before the series starts? If he can do the trite 'compare & contrast' type of columns like this one, why not do a similar / some sort of column on those two teams before the World Series starts? Is he on vacation? Is that too much work? Inquiring minds want to know!

    Sunday, October 19, 2014

    Once In A Blue Moon

    Today, Shank tries his hand at comedy:
    Man, it’s getting angry out there in the unsocial media world. A fellow tries to write a few opinions about sports and next thing you know you’re a good-for-nothing, over-the-hill troll who’s trying to agitate faithful fans. Lately I’ve had to don a hazmat suit before booting up my laptop.
    Surely you jest! For starters, I stopped buying the Boston Globe in 1995 because of this guy. This site was established nearly a decade ago. Go read any of the comments section on his columns. For Shank to pretend that this a recent phenomenon is complete bullshit.

    Speaking of bullshit...
    Not today, gentle readers. On this leisurely October weekend I am going to give you nothing but positivity. No sarcasm. No cynicism. No cheap shots mixed in with the bon mots. Promise. It’ll be fun. Let’s see if we can get through 1,000 words in which everything really is awesome.

    The Patriots are in first place. Folks need to stop complaining and telling us what is wrong with our local football team.
    Except for when it's time to pile on!

    How many teeth did Shank grind to dust writing this mini-paragraph?
    We should all grow up to be as powerful, stylish, and charitable as Robert Kraft. And we all secretly wish we had the brains of Jonathan Kraft.
    All you need to know about how amusing this column is can be found in the next paragraph:
    The Red Sox have an excellent chance to get right back into the race in the American League East next season. The East is weak and the Sox have a lot of money off the books, and we’re pretty sure general manager Ben Cherington will go get a couple of established starters this offseason. While Cherington is at work, he should take a long look at robust Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval. The Kung Fu Panda is a free agent and would look good at the hot corner at Fenway next year.
    He'll be bitching about the 2015 Red Sox as soon as they hit their first three game losing streak, if not sooner.
    The Celtics have that lean and hungry look and a terrific coach in Brad Stevens. They’re going to surprise a lot of folks this season.
    Shank will be surprised in about a month - 'Boy, this Celtics team really sucks this year! I didn't think they were going to be this bad!'

    How long until Shank reverts to form? Yes, that's a rhetorical question...

    Bust(er) A Move

    Shank wrote a column on Friday on San Francisco's best player, catcher Buster Posney. Two things interfered with a timely response, primarily work and, perhaps more importantly, these recent baseball columns are so damn boring and tedious. Let's hope the anticipated World Series columns breaks away from that trend.

    Thursday, October 16, 2014

    In Defense of Small Ball

    It's baseball Armageddon!

    Let us count the ways:

    1. Barry Bonds threw out the first pitch at an NLCS game.
    2. At least one small market team will be in the World Series.
    3. Neither the Red Sox nor Yankees will be in the World Series.
    4. The World Series won't be watched by people who like home runs or big market teams.
    5. Pitching and defense are in vogue.
    6. Major league baseball players can actually, you know, catch the ball!

    Today's utterly meandering column, which begins in San Francisco with Barry Bonds and ends with somewhere outside Cleveland with Indians manager Terry Francona pondering the Kansas City Royals, begs the question as to whether The CHB realizes that several years ago, Mr. Moneyball Billy Beane started investing in defense, seeing that as the undervalued asset, and that since 2012 no team has converted a ball in play into an out more often than Oakland, and the 2013 World Series Champion Red Sox were built on -- you guessed it -- pitching and defense.

    No, he doesn't realize it, because he spends half the piece quoting Terry Francona on how great Kansas City's defense is, while never pointing out that KC finished just 12th overall in defense efficiency.

    Guess Shank won't be watching, either.

    Wednesday, October 15, 2014

    Oh, That Shank

    Our Man Shank is in San Francisco to cover the National League Championship Series and has fallen for another team.
    SAN FRANCISCO — Oh, those Giants.

    I mean, they are really not that good, right? They don’t have a lot of star players, they go long stretches without any kind of offense, and every other year they out-and-out stink.

    But this is one of their “on” years, and the Giants did it again Tuesday, beating the St. Louis Cardinals, 5-4, in the bottom of the 10th on a walkoff sacrifice bunt/throwing error. The crushing “blow” came after a walk and a hard-fought single by the Giants’ eighth and ninth hitters.

    San Francisco leads the National League Championship Series, two games to one, heading into Wednesday night’s game at AT&T Park, the best ballpark in America.
    How could you desert us Red Sox Nation fans after all these years?

    Tuesday, October 14, 2014

    World Series Remembrance Falls Apart at Seams

    Only The CHB could take an event as dramatic as an earthquake which interrupts the World Series just before the start of a crucial game and leaves more than 60 people dead in the San Francisco Bay area and turn it into something completely trite.

    Which he does today.

    Writing on the 25th anniversary of the Loma Prieta earthquake, Shank manages to reduce both the elegance of the World Series and the solemnity of a wide-scale tragedy into a pronounced heap of metaphorical slop, thanks to such phrases as "unforgiving riptide," "angry earth," and "the upper deck was ...  frozen in time." (Not to mention his self-characterization of trying to get his work done before being escorted from Candlestick Park: he "typed feverishly." Ugh.) He simultaneously manages to depersonalize the significant while inflating his own role in the proceedings, describing how he sneaked back to the press room to grab his jacket.

    Let's hope The CHB spends the next 25 years learning to compose better prose. And growing a heart.

    Sunday, October 12, 2014


    A day after telling Red Sox Nation they should be rooting for the Baltimore Orioles, Shank notices what's actually happening on the field.
    BALTIMORE — They are the hardball heroes of the Heartland, anonymous to sports fans everywhere else in America. They are Nielsen-killers, lacking both star power and home run power. And at this moment they are a star-kissed juggernaut, threatening to literally run away with the American League pennant and maybe even the World Series.

    Meet the Kansas City Royals, the mystery guests and (thus far) dominators of the 2014 Major League Baseball tournament.
    This column feels like a mailed-in one - cheap alliteration, a Springsteen reference, and a Cheers reference. That's original...

    Saturday, October 11, 2014

    Overused Formula

    Now that the baseball playoffs have entered the league championship stage, Shank takes a break from pretending he likes the Boston Bruins to tell you why you, the Boston Red Sox fan, should be rooting for the Baltimore Orioles.

    Say what?
    BALTIMORE — You are a citizen of Red Sox Nation, still basking in the glow of last year’s unexpected October magic, but you are having a little trouble getting into an ALCS with no Red Sox, Yankees, Angels, or Tigers.

    This year it’s the Orioles and the Royals — pennant-starved franchises that have lost more games in this century than any other American League teams. The emerging stars of this ALCS are guys named Eric Hosmer and Zach Britton, and the key players could be the long relievers. Not very sexy. You might even have trouble finding the games on your cable system.

    Take heart, Sox fans. The Orioles are your hardball cousins, and I am here to tell you why it matters that Baltimore is back in baseball’s Final Four Showcase. You’d do well to adopt the Orioles for the next three weeks. The “modern day” Orioles joined the American League 60 years ago and have played an enormous role in Red Sox history over the last seven decades.
    As Mike noted from the Sunday column, Shank has a formula that's lazy and trite - throw out a bunch of names and take it from there. In this case, mention how they're connected to one another and cite the relevant history between the teams (and one of them graduated from Holy Cross!)

    There's just one problem with this column - in the discussion of the 'interaction' of these two franchises, Shank takes great pains to avoid the singular reason it doesn't mean a damn thing - they're rival teams!

    If Shank's now 'rooting for' the Orioles, you know who we're rooting for!

    Thursday, October 09, 2014

    A Sour Spectacle

    Yes, that really was the (alleged) top sports columnist for the Boston Globe referencing the Lego Movie theme song in the lede of his piece today.

    That nod to a ditty so mindlessly craptacular is surprisingly apropos, and about all you need to know about today's hatefest, a patented CHB special that takes shotgun-style aim at the Bruins, Red Sox, sports fans, Celtics and Patriots. Oh, and Hank Finkel too.

    Sample flame: "The embarrassing, ill-prepared 2014 Red Sox were never taken to task this year. Boston fans soaked up NESN happy talk, paid the highest prices in baseball, sang “Sweet Caroline,” and enjoyed watching “the kids” finish in last place. After all, those lovable, cuddly Sox won the World Series in 2013. They won three in 10 years. So there’s no need for accountability anymore."

    All this in a column about Bruins' opening night, mind you.

    Keep in mind The CHB was all praises for the Red Sox in spring training, and his chief complaint about the Patriots and Bruins is that they have been too good for too long.

    Look around, Mr. Historian: No one always wins in the current era of team sports. Three Super Bowls in four years, or three World Series crowns in 10 years, is today's gold standard, and if you can't at least appreciate that, I have some puppies, a bag and a map to the river. Knock yourself out.

    By the way, the Bruins won the game. And never was heard an encouraging word.

    Tuesday, October 07, 2014

    Trying To Have It Both Ways Again

    Dan Shaughnessy, the columnist who vowed not to judge the Patriots until the playoffs, now feigns praise on the team after their beatdown of the Bengals on Sunday night.
    Your New England Patriots completed a rare NFL doubleheader sweep Sunday night on national television.

    Game 1: Patriots 43, Bengals 17.

    Game 2: Patriots 73, Media 0.

    Crafty righthanded veteran Bill Belichick was credited with the win in both games. It was a performance worthy of Iron Man Joe McGinnity, who three times won doubleheaders all by himself in August of 1903.

    The Patriots’ Game 1 victory was impressive. Reeling from a week of discord, rumor, and innuendo in the wake of a nationally televised beatdown at the hands of the Kansas City Chiefs, the Patriots thrashed the undefeated Bengals for a full 60 minutes.
    I wonder if there was a Globe columnist involved in that week of discord, rumor and innuendo?

    What's amusing about this piece of work is the fact Shank took a dump on the team last week, but somehow fails to mention, allude to and / or own up to this pertinent fact anywhere in the article:
    But the beatdown of the media was even more impressive. Exploiting the “us against the world” approach, Belichick successfully debunked all the nasty stories about his team, then smirked and pretended he hadn’t heard any of the noise.

    Q: How needed was this win . . .?

    A: I don’t know. It was the next game. It was good to win.

    Q: Was this a satisfying victory given all the criticism and questions that were asked this week about the team?

    A: Criticism from who?

    Q: The media. People in this room. The fans.

    A: With all due respect, I mean really. Look, we have a job to do. We’re focused on doing that job. We’re not going to sit around and listen to what everybody else says . . .

    Perfect. You know that deep down he wants to jab his finger toward his interrogators and say, “You’re damn right I ordered the Code Red!’’ but he’s too smart and he’s always on message and he’s never going to give his critics the satisfaction of knowing that he listens to them.
    And if that wasn't enough, here's Shank putting words into Belichick's mouth:
    And there it was. The game unfolded like so many others over the last 15 years. Full fury in Foxborough. Belichick was master of the universe. Brady was the Brady of 2007. Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth gushed about the Patriot Way and how New England overcame so much adversity during the week.

    And then Bill told us how proud he was of his team and refused to admit that this was one of the most satisfying nights of his Hall of Fame career.

    So we have to say it for him. Sunday night in Foxborough was one of the most satisfying nights of Belichick’s career. The Bengals were beaten. The nattering nabobs of negativism were destroyed.
    It's pretty disingenuous for Shank to pretend that Belichick's flipping the bird to the media and not to him first and foremost, isn't it?

    Sunday, October 05, 2014

    Confusion over Winning Teams Throws Him for a Loss

    Dan's at his worst -- and this is saying something -- when he falls back on his formula of comparing whichever team is that day's subject to the other Boston (or as he prefers "Hub") franchises.

    Today's subject is the Bruins, so naturally we get a rundown of all the reasons (read: players) why the B's will be the guys to root for in 2014-15. There's no actual analysis, mind you; just a listing of the "name" players and management and a few shots at the other area teams, all of which is irrelevant because the Bruins don't, you know, actually play the Celtics or Red Sox or Patriots..

    There's a moment in every Shank column where his prose makes the leap from vapid to plain goofy. Here's today's:

    A Boston team that underachieves is generally condemned to a lifetime of abuse around here. Ask the 2011 Red Sox. Or the ’78 Sox. Or the 1970-71 Bruins. Those were powerhouses that folded at the finish. And they paid the price.

    Does anyone mention the '78 Sox anymore? Or even 2011? Like Jim Beam at The Fours, World Series rings have a tendency to take the edge off. And who in the hell cares about the '70-71 Bruins? Talk about showing your age.

    A complaint about a lack of winning local teams also falls on deaf ears. The Red Sox are not even a year away from a World Series Championship. The Patriots have made 10 playoffs in a row (the NFL's longest active streak) and are one year removed from the AFC Championship game.

    Look closely, friends: This is what out of touch is.

    Wednesday, October 01, 2014

    He Came To Bury Them

    Come on, you knew this was just a matter of time, didn't you?

    Dan Shaughnessy, the columnist who vowed not to judge the Patriots until the playoffs, jumps off the bandwagon with the Patriots 41-14 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.

    Is there any doubt a) Shank's been dying to write this very column for months and b) Shank should be using a lot more personal pronouns in the beginning paragraphs?
    Time to pile on the reeling Patriots

    So here you go.

    The Patriots are free-falling and it’s open season on the arrogant/smarter-than-you “System.” Folks are I am lining up to skewer the franchise that has consistently given me the NFL and the national/local media the finger during a decade and a half of division dominance and Super Bowl contention.

    Listening to the postgame fallout from Monday night’s 41-14 Arrowhead massacre made your ears bleed. It was a field day for me Patriot haters. And they are legion.
    And one of them is right here!