Saturday, January 31, 2015

Shank On Roger Goodell's Press Conference

Shank was on hand yesterday to cover the NFL commissioner's press conference, primarily focused on DeflateGate.
PHOENIX — The Super Bowl is Sunday. But it’s Game On for Bob Kraft vs. Roger Goodell.

NFL commissioner Goodell, speaking to the media for the first time since
“Deflategate,” said during his “State of the NFL” address Friday that the AFC Championship game in Foxborough was played with some footballs that were not in compliance with the rules, and that the league is trying to determine whether “this was the result of deliberate action.’’
I'll summarize the rest of the column for you - Goodell's had a bad year, the bag job of an 'investigation' into DeflateGate is pretty much a foregone conclusion, and Goodell makes a lot of money. That last point is mentioned thrice in Shank's column, just in case you missed it the first two times.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Circus Clown's Juggling Act

Shank attempts to create a new angle on the upcoming Super Bowl:
Patriot Monday started with a pep rally just before noon in City Hall Plaza. The Patriots were madly cheered by frozen, storm-scared fans, all of whom had been energized and emboldened by Belichick’s Mona Lisa Vito deflation manifesto at Gillette on Saturday.

With that, the Patriots’ swagger was back. They are better and badder than ever. And they don’t care what anybody thinks, says, or writes. Flipping the bird at the league and a nation of skeptics, the Patriots trotted out Super Bowl champ Jermaine Wiggins for Monday’s send-off, and Wiggy whipped the loyal legions into a frenzy, telling them, “They hate us ’cause they ain’t us!’’
So, a press conference by Bill Belichick and a rally at Boston's City Hall seems to, in Shank's mind, mean everything's hunky dory?
The defiant Patriots have emerged as perhaps the most polarizing team in the history of American sports. They are loved and revered at home; perceived as cheaters almost everywhere else.
Mike already shot this notion down a few days ago, like a Zero over Midway. Might want to lay off this line of hyperbole for the rest of the week.

Weak alliteration, anyone?
A lot of trembling trepidation.
But wait - what's this?
Truly amazing. Only the Patriots could work in a world in which a portion of folks think New England is unfairly targeted by folks jealous of the Patriot success . . . while other critics believe the unholy alliance between Kraft and Goodell will produce a bag job investigation on par with the much-mocked Mueller Report.

Sorry, Patriots fans, but what was true Thursday is true today. Locally, this could wind up being the favorite Patriot team of all time, but nationally their legacy is tarnished . . . because of Spygate and this new investigation. If you want to make the case that they are the most unfairly maligned champions in history, knock yourself out. Perhaps the Patriots and their fans can use the hate to their advantage on Sunday.
This is simply Shank offering up two different notions in the same column and once again straddling the fence so he can change his opinion in subsequent columns to suit his agenda.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Circus Comes To Town

Guess who's in Glendale, Arizona? It's some white guy with his left arm in a sling:

Monday, January 26, 2015

Splitting the Fence on DeflateGate

The CHB hates the Yankees. He has to, right? If not for the Yankees, there's no Bambino, no curse, and -- most important -- no book sales for Dan Shaughnessy. How else do you spend some 20 years locked in a weird obsession over everything you think is wrong with the Red Sox if you don't have a personal interest in the outcome.

But does he really hate them, or just envy them? You can't do both: it's illogical.

With the Patriots owning the NFL for the better part of 15 years, the shoe's on the other foot. The so-called haters come out, tired of being outsmarted and outplayed by the Pats year after year. And like the Yankees, other teams' garbage has a way of turning into Patriot gold (see Moss, Randy; Dillon, Corey; etc.).

So cue the hyperbole!

And here it is! "In the last week, the Patriots have emerged as perhaps the most polarizing team in the history of American sports. They are loved and revered at home, perceived as cheaters almost everywhere else."

Really? More polarizing than the Bill Laimbeer-led Detroit Pistons? More hated that any of the Billy Martin/Reggie Jackson New York Yankees teams? More reviled that the Oakland Raiders featuring the headhunting Jack Tatum?

And that's just the pros. Ever heard of Notre Dame football? How about the 1947 Brooklyn Dodgers, which as an unfortunate consequence of America's problematic racist past probably set the polarization bar higher than any other team will ever match.*

No one outside New England hates the Patriots. There's an opportunity to pile on, perhaps, and they are taking advantage of it. But you can't hate the Patriots and envy them too.

Still, Shank's on a role, and we must humor him.

"Only the Patriots," he writes, "could work in a world in which a portion of folks think New England is unfairly targeted by folks jealous of their success, while other critics believe the unholy alliance between [Patriots owner Robert] Kraft and [NFL commissioner Roger] Goodell will produce a bag-job investigation on a par with the much-mocked Mueller Report."

Well, no. The two things are not mutually exclusive. One need only look to The CHB, who has been front and center playing the contrarian card for years. When the Patriots break off a run of six straight AFC East titles, who writes column after column diminishing their competition? Who has written that "Kraft spent September sucking up to Goodell in the commissioner’s time of need"?

Is it hate? Is it envy? Did they cheat? Did they not? No matter the issue, The CHB can't parse the difference. Careful there, Danny Boy. When you come down on both sides of the fence simultaneously, you're going to split those vintage pants.

*Given Shaughnessy's own problems with all things non-white, you'd think he would have come up with this one.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

DeflateGate, Cont'd

Shank continues to pile on with the most recent controversy with the New England Patriots:

That would mean ESPN is contradicting itself to some degree, and you might want to discount those opinions or ignore them altogether? Just trying to help here!

Conveniently ignored by Shank, naturally, are opposing / contra opinions, Like Aaron Rodgers preferring an overinflated football and as noted in the headline, likes to push the limit, and Brad Johnson admitting to doctoring footballs in Super Bowl XXXVIII. On the other hand, we have some overreacting douchebags comparing this to the use of PED's or calling for the outright disqualification of the Patriots from the Super Bowl. There's even Vegas-like odds on whether Belichick gets suspended for the upcoming game.

Hopefully there's a currently written sanction for this violation, and that the NFL apply it with dispatch so the circus can leave town.

Shank's Huffing Leaves Readers Deflated

Leave it to Shank to take the tiniest infraction and, well, blow it up.

For those who have been off the planet the last few days, apparently there's a bunch of footballs that are shy a little bit of air. So what? As The CHB says, "[I]t didn’t matter in Sunday’s game" pitting the sky-high Patriots against the, ahem, deflated Colts.

If that's the case, when why all the fuss? We need only hold our breath until the next line to have that explained to us:

"But what about all the other games?" The CHB hyperventilates. "If the Patriots are cheating, are they not cheating systematically?"

Obviously, right? Let's just jump to the conclusion, damn the smoking balls.

Take a breath, Dan.

But wait a minute. Isn't the Patriots schedule filled with "tomato cans?" Weren't the Patsies playing patsies? That's what The CHB has led us to believe this past season (actually, not to get long-winded about it, but he's been huffing and puffing about that for the better part of a decade).

Everybody exhale. Like a fart in the wind, this too, shall, pass.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Timing Is Everything

When is Shank going to mount his Shetland Pony and tear New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick a new asshole for the evolving Ballghazi story? Hell, he doesn't have to resort to rumor and innuendo like his last major hatchet job on Belichick.

Get busy!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Seeing Red

The Patriots are winning, and while taking the AFC East was hardly unexpected, making it to the AFC Championship (and now, to the Super Bowl) certainly wasn't high on most preseason prognostications.

And no one loves the hard-working underdog more than Shank, who for some reason still believes (his impression of what makes up) a good attitude is a more important ingredient for success than, say, talent.

So in today's piece Bill Belichick, blessed with both smarts and an abundance of Tom Brady, the best quarterback of his generation, is compared to Red Auerbach, who coached in an era where it was not unusual to substitute one future Hall of Famer for another. In The CHB's words, the two coaches are "brothers of the whistle and clipboard."


Butchered metaphor aside, The CHB is now praising the Patriots coach for "more than just being smarter than everybody else and winning the mind games," noting Belichick's lack of sentimentality, hyper-focus, and, oh yeah, propensity for winning.

All of which begs the question, if winning is so important -- which, by the way, is why Shaughnessy is feting Belichick -- why has The CHB chosen to write piece after piece droning on over such red herrings (get it?) as coin flips, (not) talking to the media, and wardrobes?

Like The CHB, it's simple, really.

Because. He. Doesn't. Know. Sports.

Friday, January 16, 2015

These Are Not The Experts You're Looking For

It's apparent now that Shank has successfully leveraged Twitter to deploy trolling Jedi mind tricks:

And Now For More Boston Globe Bashing - XXV

The Duke basketball team has lost two games in a row. Here's a genius Boston Globe writer with an incisive headline on the Duke at Louisville game being played tomorrow:
To end losing skid, Duke must win at Louisville
Thanks, Einstien, for clarifying that issue for us!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Second Verse, Same As The First

To the fans of the Indianpolis Colts as well as to our fellow bloggers and sportswriters in the Indianpolis area:


We at Dan Shaughnessy Watch have been waiting for this column for four days. The sun will rise, the sun will set, and when the Patriots are in the playoffs, Shank will write a column designed to piss off as many people as possible. And today, he delivers once again.

Feel free to scroll down to other recent Dan Shaughnessy Watch posts, where we've documented this fourth-degree black belt in trolling, which he's successfully developed in his thirty-three year career at the Boston Globe, and how he successfully trolled all of you in the past. More on that in a moment while we sample today's wares:
We respect the Indianapolis Colts. They’re a solid organization with a smart, classy coach and one of the finest young quarterbacks in NFL history. The Colts have great helmets, and they play in a beautiful indoor stadium in the heart of one of America’s most underrated cities. They pummeled the vaunted Broncos, in Denver, to qualify for the AFC Championship game.

There. So much for the compulsories.
So, he's bullshitting you right off the bat - Clue #1...
Now let’s get it over with and say what everyone, everywhere in football America is saying and/or thinking.
He's lying to you again - Clue #2...
Sorry. I know the fanboys don’t like to hear this and I will be accused of recycling thoughts from previous years (when the themes change, the thoughts will change, promise), but everybody who is remotely paying attention knows what is going to happen.
This is not an accusation - it is well established, irrrefutable fact - Clue #3...

Also note that comments to this perennial shit-stirring column are closed, which has been happening with greater frequency in the past few weeks and months - Clue #4...

Coach Hoodie recognizes the demon of overconfidence.
And Shank's going the other way on purpose, just to piss you off. Don't bite on it. If you'd like, you can drop him a quick e-mail and tell him to fuck off go pound sand, asshole tell him how much you appreciate his thoughts.

Douchebag Alert - IV

A few weels ago, we opined, in part (emphasis added):
Contrary to Shank's propaganda, some of us 'blogboys' who don't live in mom's basement have jobs & mortgages and shit, so we don't have time to savor the finer things in life, like the barrel of fish that his feed provides.
And how right we were:
This blogger took it seriously to start out with; after all, I'm a numbers guy, although not necessarily in probability. That said, I'm guessing by 'odds', Shank means X to 1, with a high X number indicating the increased improbability of an event occurring. With seventeen flips, an average of 8.5 flips one way or the other would mean 1:1 probability, or break-even. If you want to figure 13 successful flips, you'd need to come out ahead on 4.5 of those 'average' flips, and from there you just need to apply exponential math, or 24.5 = 22.63 to 1 odds of hitting Shank's mark.

If I'm wrong on this, I'd appreciate some feedback on the correct approach.

And you know what? All that work, right or wrong, was wasted, thanks to twitter responder Derek Silva:
Silly Dan... Smart people don't follow you.
Aaaand... thread over!

UPDATE, 12:45 AM Yeah, I know he's trolling with that overwrought 'coin toss and defer' schtick, but I thought it was necessary to respond in this manner to insure his exclusion from any MENSA discussions or memberships, in that rare, rare chance they occur.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

And Now For More Boston Globe Bashing - XXIV

Here's to you, Mr. Boston Globe tried and failed to pass a political hit piece off as a news item with half-assed corrections writer guy!

UPDATE, 1/15/2015, 4:45 PM: Mr. Boston Globe writer guy gets shitcanned - Ha-ha!

Douchebag Alert - III

While we eagerly await Shank's next Globe column, presumably on the upcoming Patriots / Colts game, he continues to make an ass out of himself on Twitter:

Or maybe that's what he wants us to think!

Then again, Steve Buckley (via Boston Sports Media Watch) is saying the same thing, but Buckley is not a world class genius troll like the CHB.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Douchebag Alert - II

The Indianapolis Colts beat the Denver Broncos on Sunday, 24 - 13, for the right to play the Patriots on Sunday for the AFC Championship. You'd think that a seven point road underdog pulling off that win would raise some eyebrows. It definitely caught the attention of a certain head coach, noting that the Colts have improved since their last meeting with the Patriots. That would seem to be a logical conclusion.

Then there's this guy:

We know how the game's played by now; take it away, Josh Hubbard (responding to this inane tweet)!
yup, rip the oppenent so you can downplay the Pats success or destroy them if they lose. Trolling 101
There's also another angle that Shank can 'play' here - pretend he's still on the bandwagon and write another insincere, slobbering column like he did right after the Pats / Ravens game. You could call it Trolling 301 (new and improved!), since Shank's got this schtick down cold after three decades of ripping Boston area professional athletes and teams.

Or put another way, as we noted nearly four years ago:
Looks to me like Shank, as always, raised his expectations to unreasonable levels after Belichick & the Patriots ran the table this year, and now decides to take the annual dump on them for failing to meet those unreasonable expectations. Factor in the six draft picks in the first three rounds of next year's draft, and you'd think that gives reason for optimism next year. Like we'll ever see that in a Shank Globe column...
"Don't bother me with the facts - I have an agenda to push!"

Monday, January 12, 2015

Douchebag Alert

The Indianpolis Colts , a seven point underdog, travelled to Denver to play the Broncos yesterday. The Broncos are the AFC's second seeded team, at 12-4. Indianapolis is the fourth seed, with a 12-5 record.

Here's how Shank described both teams an hour before the kickoff to that game:

UPDATE AT 2:04 - The timestamp of that tweet says 3:28 when you read it from his feed; the point still stands.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Banal And Insipid / DHL Dan XXXVIII

After one of the most intriguing playoff wins ever by the New England Patriots, what does 'Patriot Hater' Dan Shaughnessy deliver as a follow-up column? The usual bullshit - a standard game recap, a few quotes from Brady & Belichick and some historical statistics. In other words, the template behind approximately twenty percent of all of his columns since he's been writing for the Globe back in 1981.

Get a load of this USPS quality mailed-in crap:
FOXBOROUGH — It was better than Christmas morning, better than New Year’s Eve, even better than the Olympics in Boston.

In a game reminiscent of their glory days from more than a decade ago, the Patriots came back from two 14-point deficits and defeated the Baltimore Ravens, 35-31, on the frozen tundra of Gillette Stadium Saturday night. New England advances to the AFC Championship game next Sunday against either Denver or Indianapolis at Gillette. The Patriots and their fans are planning on a trip to the Super Bowl in Arizona Feb. 1.

No matter where this season goes, it’s unlikely that anything will top what we saw in Bob Kraft’s frozen mansion Saturday. This struggle for survival had everything except Tom Werner chanting, “Let’s Go, Patriots!’’
A full forty-eight hours after he takes a major shit on the team, all of a sudden they're the best thing since sliced bread.

Hear us now and thank us later - do not believe a fucking word this guy churns out. Ever.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Questions Posed

This member of Fanboy Nation sure as hell was relaxed and enjoyed watching the Patriots take care of business tonight. Well, aside from yelling at the TV set for most of the game!

Which brings up the first question - if being a member of 'Fanboy Nation', as Shank so elegantly puts it, is bad, isn't being a Patriot Hater equally worthy of scorn, ridicule and mockery? Just take a look at Shank's Twitter feed during the game; it's fair to say that the tweets & retweets are not Patriot friendly. More amusing is to read the follow-up comments - Shank doesn't have many friends in the Twitterverse! Basically Shank loves to be hated.

Also note that he stopped tweeting around the time the Pats were making their second run from a 14 point deficit in the third quarter. Now that's a fair weather Patriot Hater for you!

The other question - what kind of a column are we getting from him tomorrow? The call here - one with a great deal of criticism.

Passive-Aggressive Behaviour Perfected

If you think about it for a minute or so, it becomes self-evident why Shank stopped robo-tweeting a few months ago.

Step 1 - write a column whose sole purpose is to antagonize and provoke as many New England Patriots fans (and players, coaching staff, management and ownership) as possible. Why do you think that the comments for that column have been disabled?

Step 2 - sit back and watch 'Fanboy Nation' react and criticize your column.

Step 3 - blast out the above tweet further provoking 'Fanboy Nation' as though your column had nothing to do with their reaction, thus implying that 'Fanboy Nation' is / are just a bunch of angry yahoos.

Either some told him, or he figured out on his own, that Twitter can be leveraged for this very sort of thing. Fucking genuis, really.

Here's hoping some member of 'Fanboy Nation' doesn't figure out what car Shank's taking to the game this afternoon and slashes a few tires as it sits in the parking lot...

Friday, January 09, 2015

20-20 Hindsight

The master of the Boston sports scene weighs in on a Celtics trade from four years ago:

Here's a link from the trade, which happened on Thursday, February 24, 2011:
Kendrick Perkins is a gentle giant that wears his emotions on his sleeve. On Thursday, those emotions were on display as the Boston Celtics traded Perkins and Nate Robinson to the Oklahoma City Thunder for Jeff Green and Nenad Krstic. Perkins, reportedly broken up about the trade, was seen crying as Nate Robinson tried to console him after they received news of the trade.
Let's see what Shank had to say about the trade at the time:

That's right - nothing! He didn't say jack shit about the trade when it happened, and he half passes off this tweet off like he was NostraFuckingDamus at the time? What an asshole.

UPDATE AT 11:15 PM: Shank did in fact weigh in on the trade: five days after the trade
I hate the Kendrick Perkins trade.

And make no mistake; in Boston, this deal will always be the Kendrick Perkins trade. Jeff Green might be a young Antonio McDyess. He might someday replace Celtics captain Paul Pierce. But Celtics fans will always think of this as the Kendrick Perkins trade. I don't expect Green or 7-foot center Nenad Krstic to have their numbers retired, but even if they play well in Boston, this is going to be remembered as the Kendrick Perkins trade.

It's a shocker and a high-stakes gamble by ever-bold team president Danny Ainge. The Celtics were a conference-best 40-14 at the All-Star break. They were front-runners to make it to the Finals for the third time in four seasons. And then Ainge (one of the great talent evaluators of his generation) up and traded his starting center less than two months before the start of the playoffs.
I'll note Shank's quote of Ainge taking a gamble on this trade, though it's not even hinted at in his tweet.

Ruling - still a schmuck.


If there's anyone out there thinking that anything Shank wrote in praise of the 2014 - 2015 New England Patriots was in the slightest bit sincere or honest, guess again.

Longtime readers of this site are well aware that Shaughnessy has hated this team since / shortly after Robert Kraft assumed ownership, and anything he's ever written in praise of the team from that point forward has been insincere, dishonest and bullshit. There is nothing more entertaining for Shank than to pull the endless Sybil / Jekyll & Hyde routine so as to give some sort of lame and semi-deceptive appearance of evenhandedness, and he tries to pull the wool over the Boston Globe readers one more time.

This guy's all over the fucking place. From today's column:
Are the 2014-15 Patriots Super Bowl-bound, or are they Adams Division/Presidents’ Trophy “more days in first place” frauds?
Here's Shank, rubbing their balls on November 14, 2014, with a 9-2 record:
See you in Glendale Feb. 1.
Behold, Shank's complete and utter hatred for anything connected with this team (most likely because they refuse to give him 'comped' meals):
This game against the Ravens is a valid test. It’s going to tell us whether these Patriots are the real thing, or yet another January patsy, artificially inflated by the clown show that is the AFC East, unable to punch back when they get smashed in the mouth in the playoffs.

There’s a lot to love about this Baltimore-New England matchup. It’s not another All-Access “try-the-burgers-at-the-CBS-Scene” layup. And that’s good. You’re supposed to win hard games in order to advance to the championship. And for all their regular-season success, it has been a while since the Patriots won the hard games in the playoffs.

Try this on with your Patriot Place footie pajamas: Since running the table in 2007, the Patriots have one postseason victory against a quality opponent. One.
He then goes on to mention the Patriots' playoff performances since 2004, when they won their last Super Bowl. Conveniently ignored are a) the Patriots vast improvements in the defense, notably the free agent signings of Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner, and b) the fact that ten regular season games are played outside of the 'tomato can' AFC East, which isn't even the worst division in the NFL (NFC South).

It's one thing to mention the Baltimore Ravens and the problems they've posed to the Patriots in recent years. It's quite another to do what Shank did with this column and rub his hands with obvious glee like Mr. Burns in The Simpsons.

Both Sides Of His Mouth

Wow - this column is classic Shaughnessy! The U.S. Olympic Committee is looking for a chump loser host city for the 2024 Summer Olympics and for some ungodly reason, chose Boston as the potential host city.

Let's hear more from Shank, still catching his breath:
The winning streak continues. The High Renaissance of Boston sports is extended, perhaps all the way to 2024, which would represent the full first quarter of the 21st century.

It’s not just about the Patriots, Red Sox, Celtics, and Bruins anymore. The United States Olympic Committee Thursday selected Boston as the city that America will put forward for consideration as the host for the 2024 Summer Games.

Two years from now, the International Olympic Committee will select a host city from among a field that is expected to include Rome, Paris, Berlin . . . and Boston, the Sports Hub of the Universe.
Funny, that's not what he was saying six months ago:
Stop the madness. Please. Can we have no more noise about the Olympics coming to Boston in 2024? Can we cease and desist with the preposterous notion that this is a reasonable, fiscally-feasible project?

We do not need the Summer Olympics. We already are a world-class city. What we need is bridge repair, housing, better public schools, an improved MBTA, and programs for the disenfranchised. We need better ways to get in and out of our city. We do not need an event that would strangle us financially and logistically for decades.
So, like our former Senator John Kerry, he was against it, before he was for it!

Examined logically, nothing that Shank raised as concerns has happened in those six months - no bridges were repaired, no schools got better, no improvements on the MBTA - that would cause a rational person to change his opinion on this issue. And then there's Shank...

But wait! What's this bit, further down today's column?
And yet the committee selected Boston, a clogged city with a cranky constituency, no downtown stadium, and a well-oiled resistance (I remain a card-carrying member) to the wild and crazy notion of hosting the Olympics.
So, now he likes the idea of Boston hosting the Olympics, but just not the event itself. Got it!

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

The One Where Shank Pretends To Like Pedro

Now that Pedro Martinez has been elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame, Shank's practically doing cartwheels:
He is in the Hall of Fame now, and there will be folks from Montreal, New York, Los Angeles, and Philadelphia claiming they saw some amazing stuff from Pedro Martinez.

But he is ours. We had Pedro for the wonderful, dominant, Koufaxian middle of his career. Years from now, when folks sit in rocking chairs, drinking gin and tonics on the porch of Cooperstown’s Otesaga Hotel, they will talk of Pedro Martinez and his Boston days. Pedro goes down in history as a Red Sox.

Cy Young and Roger Clemens are the bookend winningest pitchers in Red Sox history, each registering 192 victories for the Carmine Hose (come on, will ya? - ed.), but all of you who were there forever will remember Pedro as the greatest pitcher in Red Sox history.
Just remember, it wasn't all hugs and kisses when Pedro was pitching for the Red Sox.

Monday, January 05, 2015

Fair Weather Dan Blows Hard

The Patriots go 12-4 and win their division. So naturally, The CHB today mocks their success.

Makes sense, no?

Going into this AFC playoff matchup with the Baltimore Ravens,  The CHB seems to think the Pats should be intimidated. "For once, it’s not likely to be a matter of the Patriots just showing up and watching their opponents vomit on their own cleats."

When, exactly, does this happen? The AFC East won a collective 33 games this season. That's less than the North (38), but same as the West and eight more than the South. So how was the East any more of a cakewalk than any other division? Poor Shank: addition is hard.

No, this is The CHB's annual playoff rite: setting up the straw man so he can blow it down.

He writes about Baltimore's front seven, implying they will get to Brady, ignoring that the Patriots faced the Bills twice (no. 1 in sacks), Chiefs (no. 5) Jets twice (no. 6), Lions (no. 8) Broncos, Packers and Colts (tied for 9), and annihilated most of those teams. Only three teams allowed fewer sacks than the Pats did. Like a good fair weather fan, he's been alternating between pumping them up or writing about their demise all season.

Also today: Obligatory references to an impotent Bob Kraft; Bill Belichick deferring after the coin toss; and soup cans (weak opponents). There's nothing on football, but really, we don't have any right to expect that, do we?

Sunday, January 04, 2015

Timing Is Everything

Shankstradamus, before yesterday's Ravens - Steelers game:

So, the fix is in? Someone taking a dive? The NFL playoffs aren't on the level, is that what he's saying?

Shankstradamus, after yesterday's Ravens - Steelers game:

So, never mind, then!

If he bets like he tweets, the legbreakers aren't far behind.

The other problem is this - Globe sportswriters like Shank and Chris Gasper are setting lofty and arguably unfair expectations about the Patriots with tweets like the first one and Gasper's column, which of course will be conveniently hyped or ignored in subsequent columns and sports talk radio appearances, depending on the eventual outcome of the games.

UPDATE, AT 2:45 pm - Also note how the massively overused 'Tomato Can' phrase has now morphed from the Patriots' AFC East rivals to other AFC playoff teams. At least it's a better Shankism than 'Brady Gaga'.

Another Pass Taken

Today we are treated to another installment of the Picked Up Pieces column, where Shank becomes DHL Dan for a day, because of the column's unmistakable mailed-in quality. It's the traditional amalgamation of nitpicking, half-useless factoids that only Cliff Clavin would appreciate, lame song lyrics and the use of the word 'immortal' to take a crap on someone Shank doesn't like. He also craps on Rajon Rondo (twice!), Nick Saban, Jimbo Fisher, the rest of the AFC East, owners of New York pro sports teams, ESPN, and the Cleveland Airport Sheraton.

Saturday, January 03, 2015

He Passes on Writing Worthwhile Rondo Column

The CHB's attempt at characterizing Rajon Rondo, who returned to the Boston Garden for the first time since his December trade, is as off the mark as one of his subject's free throws.

Here's the lede: "After all this time, after all these years, we still know almost nothing about Rajon Rondo."

Well, no.

We actually know quite a bit. As The CHB's far superior colleague Gary Washburn writes in a far superior column today, "Rondo ... adores glitches, shakeups, tremors." Clearly, Rondo wasn't excited about playing with the second team, and it showed in the box score.

Comparing Rondo to Paul Pierce, a completely different type of player, Shank writes, "Pierce was different. Pierce fulfilled his potential on the court. When Pierce was traded, we knew we had seen his best. With Rondo, we are not so sure."

Again, no. Rondo's a four-time NBA All-Star who has led the league twice in assists and one in steals. He was occasionally capable of putting the team on his back, but frankly, just because a guy scores 44 points in one game does not mean he's a 44-points-a-game scorer. And if it does, then Eric (Sleepy) Floyd is a Hall of Famer.

Then there's a contrived segue to the trade of now Celtics GM Danny Ainge about a million years ago. In his first game back, Ainge apparently was thrown by the presence of Celtics patriarch Red Auerbach at courtside. To borrow the cliche, Red Auerbach hasn't walked through that door in years, and (much as I like him) Brad Stevens is no Red Auerbach.

Like one of Rondo's errant no-look passes, this column is a total throwaway.