Until like two hours ago, let's call it 7:30 PM EST, my head felt Phineas Gage's, and my anxiety was higher than my blood pressure (which I'm sure isn't doing too swell), but when Robert Kraft is indirectly paying homage to Trans Day of Visibility by being (trans)parent* AF about the state of the Patriots I had to put a few thoughts out there to be read by 165 sets of unique eyeballs.
During a Q & A (question and answer for people who aren't fake in the biz like yours truly) with reporters at the League Meetings today, Mr. Kraft was as candid as I've ever seen/heard/read him before. He touched on everything:
Great minds think alike!!! Let's not forget that people were seriously talking about Cam in the MVP discussion during the first one to three weeks of the season. I couldn't agree more with RKK on Cam, but it's his honesty about the Patriots recent draft struggles and how that tied into the Patriots record-setting free-agent spending that has me jazzed up like I'm John Stockton.
"What happened here last year was not something to our liking. We had to make the corrections," Kraft said. "In all the businesses we're involved in, we try to take advantage of inefficiencies in the market. We were in a unique cap situation this year and it allowed us to try to [fix] things we missed, to a certain extent, in the draft. So this was our best opportunity."
This quote is much shorter and sweeter!
This is why Boston sports fans love Robert Kraft and hate John Henry, even if they haven't stopped rooting for the team like the man writing this blog. See how low the bar is? Just be fucking honest! Robert Kraft is admitting the Patriots haven't drafted so hot the last few years. See how easy that was? If the team owner can admit that, I think the fans who can't take off their Belichick Blinders can too. It doesn't mean Belichick isn't an all-time great coach and had his fair share of nice finds. Most intelligent people agree that Bill Belichick is one of, if not the greatest head coach of all time, and yes, he's had plenty of success in the draft, but the last decade could've gone a lot better from a talent development standpoint. It certainly played a factor in Brady leaving. There have been way more Ras-I Dowlings than Devin McCourtys.
THIS is why Robert Kraft is beloved.
via: Boston Sports Journal "After my family, the Patriots are the most important thing in my life. ... It’s like I said when I bought the team – our family is the custodian of a public asset. The bottom line here is winning. That’s what this business is and when we don’t, it’s not a good feeling. ... The bottom line is we want to win and when we don’t, we’re not happy."
John Henry will preach to you about Stan Musial like Red Sox fans give half a fuck about that when he chose not to lock up the best position player the Red Sox have developed since Yaz to save money after giving out horrible overpay deals for years.
Of course, Kraft is a businessman too and wants to make billions of dollars like his contemporaries, he hasn't really overspent in the past and has admitted this might not work, but he at least seems to care enough to try, and admit when his team has made mistakes. Mr. Kraft is a stand-up guy. Sure he's caught a few handies and banged some models, but he was a married man that stood by his wife until her final breath. Like you wouldn't take advantage of your spoils later in life when the opportunity presents itself? RKK is a class act and still has skin in the game. He's a New Englander. He saved the Patriots from moving to St. Louis. He actually cares about the fans and community. "Our family is a custodian of a public asset" makes me want to both run through a brick wall and cry tears of joy. That's how all owners should look at their franchises. This is what my man Howard Cosell was saying in I Never Played The Game! John Henry doesn't even consider custodians people.
I can't believe I'm about to say this, but Shaughnessy has a point!
A substantial part of my anxiety comes from having to walk through hoops online. There are no gray areas. In my head I'm like "is someone going to cancel me for a little word play?" Do they not know I'm an ally to the trans community and just trying to make a timely reference?
There have been whispers as loud as snare drums that the NFL wants to expand the schedule for as long as I can remember. Last year's collective bargaining agreement (CBA) made a change all but inevitable, and today that inevitability is a reality as the NFL has officially announced the addition of a 17th game to the regular season.
We all knew this was coming, but it doesn't make it any less weird. The NFL has had a 16 game schedule since 1978, back when the NFL instituted the Mel Blount rule. I know lots of us stink at year-math, but that's over 40 years of 16 game regular seasons! It's all multiple generations of football fans have known. Roger Staubach's Cowboys were Super Bowl champs the final season of 14 games in 1977. Every season except 1982 and 1987 (strike-shortened years) played 16 games per team. For many, NFL record math has become second nature, so 6-11, 9-8, or 13-4 will take some getting used to for sure. Finishing .500 is now almost impossible. Millions of Twitter comedians just had to delete their entire Jeff Fisher file.
Teams will still play 20 games, just now, with three preseason games instead of the usual four. Unless you're a bottom of the roster guy fighting for a job, I think we can all agree this aspect of the change is favorable. I do not give a fuuuuck about the preseason. The last time I truly did was 2015 when Tim Tebow was fighting to make the Eagles, and damnit he played well enough that August to make a roster! Obviously, the preseason matters for evaluating talent, installing plays, and all that good stuff, but I've simulated the preseason in every Madden franchise I've ever played. The 4th preseason game will not be missed!
All teams will play 10 "home" games and 10 "away" games but rotate the 8-2 and 9-1 regular vs. preseason split based on conference. In 2021 AFC teams will play nine regular-season "home" games. I love how the new 17th regular-season game is an inter-conference matchup against a team that finished in the same spot in their respective division. As long as teams are finishing the regular season against their division, I'm all for this. It will give more markets more opportunities to see players and teams from the opposing conference. Aaron Rodgers has played once at Gillette Stadium. Tom Brady didn't play in San Francisco until 2016. We'll have a chance to see great inter-conference rivalries like Steelers vs. Cowboys and Jets vs. Giants more often than every four years.
As part of the new agreement, all teams will play at least one international game every eight years.
Like all things in life, there are pros and cons to this change. Depending on who you are, more football is a pro; I love the NFL. I'll gladly take another week of action to watch and gamble on (another week of #TooManyLegs!), but I do feel bad for the players. So much for player safety! In the long run, they'll make more money, but this season contracts are just going to be paid over 18 weeks instead of 17. That sucks, especially when every deal in the league except like Tom Brady and Kirk Cousins isn't fully guaranteed. Plus, there's still only one bye-week in the regular season, and with playoff expansion, only one team receives a first-round bye. I at least hope we see bye weeks spaced out better now, but knowing the NFL, they'll probably start earlier, especially with Amazon in the mix. Hell, we may see zero bye weeks if Bezos has any say. Nobody should have a bye before like, week 7 with the extra game. Imagine going 14-3 with a bye week in week 4 and having to play in the Wild Card round? That seems like bull shit to me.
Of course, this makes the dream of a Super Bowl played during President's Day Weekend more of a reality. I feel like we're going to see either a 2nd bye week or 18th game added (maybe both!) relatively soon, even though the current CBA runs until 2030 and currently says the league can not expand the regular season beyond 17 games during the life of the deal.
We will see an 18 game schedule. There is no way on earth the NFL just has an odd number of regular season games. Maybe the next schedule expansion doesn't happen until 2031, but like Dirty Mike and The Boys having sex in a Prius, it will happen again.
Lastly, I know records aren't as revered in the NFL as they are in baseball, but with an extra game and every rule except the fumble through end zone rule favoring the offense, I feel like we're going to see monster numbers going forward. 2,000 yard seasons for a pass catcher will happen as often as the Olympics. Michael Strahan's fake sack record is as good as gone. Drew Brees will no longer be the only QB with multiple 5,000-yard seasons by 2024. This also means the New England Patriots are officially the only team to finish 16-0. If they couldn't seal the deal for 19-0, I doubt we'll ever see 20-0, although it would be much more satisfying from an optics standpoint. I love a round number.
Speaking of Michael Strahan, how are you gonna ditch team gap like this???? Yeah, I have Smile Direct Club molds collecting dust in my room because they hurt, and maybe deep down, I'm scared of not having the crutch of having a shitty smile for why I am incapable of finding love, but you were the face of the piano key teeth community. What a disappointment/likely early April Fools Day Joke, even though I 100% get it and would've done this 25 years ago if I were you.
Song: Edge of Seventeen (1982)
Artist: Stevie Nicks
Album: Bella Bonna
Big NFL news coming in my next post!!! Hashtag musical foreshadowing.
I fucking hate the new schedule for March Madness. Of course, I'm happy to have it back at all after last year, but I miss the classic Thursday-Sunday structure of the first two weekends. I'm 99.8% sure it's because of COVID and only for this season, but there's no way to know for sure. Because of that, not gambling (trying to be responsible; super frustrated because I LOVE ML dogs), not being a bracket pool (didn't want to make a non-doz/my last name ESPN account for a work pool and I was exiled from my old pool for standing up to a dictator) and no URI Rams in the field (that's actually pretty normal), I haven't paid as much attention to this NCAA Tournament as I have in years past.
Half the fun for me was watching games with my friends over a long weekend, broing out, having a good ass time. Since COVID/significant others/pushing 30 has made that impossible this year, I just am not that invested in the tourney. I think I've only made like 1.5 Oral Roberts jokes on Twitter. Games have been (mostly) relegated to TV2 on mute. I started watching Shameless with my roommates, so most of my attention has been on that. HOWEVER, with the tourney on in the background, I've seen plenty of the Greg Gumble, Clark Kellogg, Seth Davis, and former Boston Celtic Wally Szczerbiak in the CBS Studios.
Speaking of Wally Szczerbiak, what the FUCK is going on with his hair?
Most of the follicle conversations this March Madness have been centered around Cameron Krutwig and Drew Timme's mustaches, but I'm here to talk about Wally Szczerbiak's current hair situation. This dude is a 10 year NBA vet rocking a six-year-old's haircut. I haven't seen the buzzcut with bangs since pee-wee soccer, and Wally is rocking it proudly like he just made the travel team. What do you even ask for to get this? It's not a flat top by the letter of the law. Do you just talk shit to the barber and end up with half a haircut? I know many NBA players go broke, but I hope this style isn't a cost-cutting measure to only need pomade for a smaller surface area.
I know I was #blessed with luscious locks, but I would never make fun of someone for being bald.
But in all seriousness what is this?
Wally clearly has a full head of hair. I don't think this is a Carlos Boozer situation. To me it looks an intentional haircut. My only question is why?
I know I have long hair, but I'm not anti-short hair by any means. Do you. Whatever makes you happy. If Wally can be genuinely pleased with the same haircut that single moms with zero haircutting experience give their sons that have to show up to school, then more power to him, but I'm concerned. I get it some dudes "don't care" about their hair, but bro you're on TV. Have some pride in your appearance. Is everything okay, Wally? Is this a cry for help? How are CBS stylists letting someone get away with this? Make a decision; either have a little something on top to play with or go straight buzz. It's like the opposite of a mullet. Middle school in the front, 19-year-old college freshman girl rebelling against the patriarchy everywhere else.
Song: MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name)
Artist: Lil Nas X
Today/this weekend in "let's get butt hurt (no pun intended) about an artist being an artist instead of things that actually matter (like Georgia bringing back Jim Crow)," some folks are not too pleased that Lil Nas X is riding a stripper pole to hell and catching for Satan in his latest music video. Oh no, a gay black dude who has been told he's going to hell for being who he is decided to flip the narrative into an LGBTQ+ anthem, and people who don't understand what a metaphor is are outraged. You mean the same people who think "Born in the USA" and "Fortunate Son" are flag-waving U!S!A! anthems can't interpret anything outside of face value? Who would've guessed? I'll let you find those takes on your own; I don't feel like giving them shine on a website that garnered 165 unique visits last week. Let's focus on a more rational stance!
MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name) has to be the first time Satan/the devil has ever been mentioned in music!
If you don't want your kids listening to this or watching the video, that's completely fine. That's your right. You probably shouldn't let them. They are not the target audience, and if you want to blame Lil Nas X for kids getting into something "they're not supposed," welcome to the last, idk? 600 years of human history. For as long as things have been "taboo" young people have been infatuated with them.
Maybe be an active parent and have an honest conversation with your children instead of just handing a 15-month-old an iPad? Like Charles Barkley said, it's not his job to raise your kids and it sure as hell isn't Lil Nas X's job either. Lil Nas X is an artist and an intelligent one at that for using the internet to his advantage to not become a One Hit Wonder with a novelty song about a video game like he 100% would've if Old Town Road came out in 2008. Thank you for playing right into his hand; glad to see what our elected officials' biggest priorities are!
I didn't even get into the shoes because it's beaten to death, but this is not the first time Nikes have had a drop off blood in them. At least this time it's on purpose! Plus, Nike didn't make the shoes. Read more than a headline one time!
(Via: CNN) Jessica Walter, an award-winning actress beloved for her role in the television series "Arrested Development," died Wednesday in her sleep at her home in New York City, her daughter confirmed in a statement to CNN.
She was 80.
"It is with a heavy heart that I confirm the passing of my beloved mom Jessica," her daughter, Brooke Bowman, said in a statement. "A working actor for over six decades, her greatest pleasure was bringing joy to others through her storytelling both on screen and off. While her legacy will live on through her body of work, she will also be remembered by many for her wit, class and overall joie de vivre."
Born in New York City, Walter was a force on both stage and screen. Her roles encompassed everything from the films "Grand Prix" and the Clint Eastwood directorial debut "Play Misty for Me" to several Broadway productions, including "Photo Finish," which won her the Clarence Derwent Awards in 1963 for Outstanding Debut Broadway Performance.
Walter won an Emmy in 1975 for her starring role in the NBC series "Amy Prentiss," a drama about a young San Francisco police detective whose career catapults quickly. The show was a spinoff of the then very popular series, "Ironside."
She appeared in numerous other television series over the years, including "Trapper John M..D." and "Streets of San Francisco," which earned her Emmy nominations. But it was her recent turn as Lucille Bluth on the cult classic series "Arrested Development" and as the voice of Malory Archer on the animated series "Archer" that expanded Walter's fan base and earned her more award nominations.
Tributes to Walter poured in Thursday on social media.
"This is so incredibly sad. I loved Jessica so much," director Paul Feig tweeted. "She was so funny and marched to the tune of her own drummer. A true original whom I had the honor of working with several times. So much love to you, Jessica. Rest In Peace."David Cross, who costarred with her on "Arrested Development," tweeted that Walter was "an absolutely brilliant actress and amazing talent."
"I consider myself privileged and very lucky to have been able to work with her," he wrote. "Lucille Bluth is one of TV's greatest characters."
Actress Jessica Walter passed away in her sleep yesterday at the age of 80. In a career that spanned over six decades, Jessica Walter had over 160 credits, but to me, she'll always be Lucille.
Internet life is full of hot takes and over-exaggerations, especially after someone dies, but if you asked me last week, last month or last year whose the funniest mother in television history I'm saying Lucille Bluth every single time. Lucille (1) was sharp as an arrow with a million one-liners and masterful physical comedy in the looks she'd give and the coldness she'd portray. You should hate her character, but she's too fucking funny not to love. In a cast full of hilarious people, Jessica Walter shined magnificently in her role as Lucille Bluth. She will be missed; luckily, her comedy will live on forever.
If there is a heaven, whenever Martin Mull (Gene Parmesan) dies, I hope he can sneak up on Jessica/Lucille and surprise her one more time.
Song: 100,000 People (Live on James Corden)
Artist: Kings of Leon
Album: When You See Yourself (2021)
James Corden is to comedy what the Black Plague was to public health, but except for the thumbnail, he's nowhere to be seen in this beautiful rendition of my favorite song (as of this very moment) on the new KOL album. Fuck Alzheimer's and dementia!
P.S. KOL's Zane Lowe interview with Apple Music is a must watch for Kings of Leon fans.
After a super busy start to free agency that saw the Patriots agreed to terms with seven players on the first day of legal tampering, the Pats have continued to compliment a reloaded 2021 roster by taking care of their own free agents.
In the last weekish we've seen Dave Andrews shock the world by resigning with the Pats to a Brady-like team friendly deal (perhaps all those years of Brady rubbing up on David Andrews rubbed off?); Nick Folk, twice a winner of AFC Special Teams Player of the Week in 2020, is back on a one-year deal and DL Deatrich Wise, Jr. is locked up for the next four years.
Next up for the Pats, resigning two members of their All 2010s team; Super Bowl LI should've-been CO-MVP, James White and defensive tackle Lawrence Guy.
Done and done (pending a physical); LFG!
I assumed James was going to be another potential Ex-Pat that heads to Tampa, and with all the signings the Pats have made on defense, I figured Guy was leaving too. Like the chorus of today's song of the day, I WAS WRONNGG and thank God I was! Both Guy and White were team captains last season so it's great to have some leaders on both the field and in the locker room back in the fold. As of now, Jason McCourty is the only captain from last season not under contact.
I still think Duron Harmon deserved a spot on the All-Decade Team over Guy, but in a base 4-3 defense, I understand why it worked out the way it did. I know 2018 is "a long time ago," but both James White and Lawrence Guy were MONSTERS that season.
I'm not holding James White's drop in statistical production against him. The dude fucking lost his dad in a car accident and Cam,,,struggled at times which contributed to James having over 30 fewer targets in 2020 than he did in 2019 catching passes from Tom Brady. Since entering the league in 2014 and becoming an actual contributor to the offense the following season, James White has been in a class by himself in terms of versatility.
In the playoffs, James White has cemented himself into NFL lore. Of course, there's his record-setting 14 receptions for 110 yards, three total touchdowns, AND a two-point conversion performance in Super Bowl LI, but during the Patriots 2017 playoff run, he scored a touchdown in every game. In the 2018 Divisional round, he had 15 receptions. In 12 career playoff games, James White has scored eight touchdowns. Of all the receiving backs the Patriots have employed over the last 20 years IMO James White is the best. After a poor showing the 2015 AFC Championship Game, James White has done nothing but produce in the playoffs. I'm so happy to see the Patriots reward him with a fully guaranteed deal for 2021. He deserves it after all he went through last year.
I'm not trying to wish my summer away before it even starts, but I cannot wait for football. It's great to be offseason champs, but I'm all in on the Patriots being legitimate Super Bowl contenders in 2021. Just gotta resign JC Jackson and pray Cam can throw!
Song: Baby Come Back (Player cover)
Artist: Ocean Alley
James White and Lawerence Guy are back! "Real" blog soon to follow. S/o Seanny boy for introducing me to this incredible cross-genre cover.