Another 2010s Patriot legend is calling it a career. Linebacker Dont'a Hightower is hanging up his cleats this time after a storied stint in New England.
The 2012 first-rounder played for the Patriots from 2012-2019; 2021, making two Pro Bowls and winning three Super Bowls during his tenure, but his impact is felt far beyond the accolades.
I loved Dont'a Hightower's play. He was never the superstar he was at Alabama, but the man had a more than solid NFL career, highlighted by some of the biggest plays in Patriots and NFL history. The whole "you can't write the story of X without Y" trope is getting kind of tired, but Dont'a's play truly shaped NFL history. People forget how close the Tom Brady Patriots were to losing three straight Super Bowl appearances after starting 3-0. Who knows how that would've affected the team and league from 2015-forward? Do the Patriots still end up winning another two Super Bowls? How much would Brady's legacy have altered without the Patriots keeping Seattle out of the end zone? It's a team game, but Dont'a Hightower made some of the biggest plays of the dynasty's second leg.
Malcolm Butler's Super Bowl XLIX interception is arguably the play of the decade. While most Patriots fans know what I'm about to type, most people likely forgot about Hightower's tackle the play before. It looked like Marshawn Lynch was about to stroll into the end zone for the potential game-winning touchdown. That was until Dont'a bench pressed Russell Okung and brought down Beast Mode short of the goal line.
Then in Super Bowl LI, Hightower made 1b of the game's two signature plays. His strip sack is what really made people be like, "holy shit, this is a fucking game now," or something along those lines if you've got a better vocabulary. The Patriots do not complete the 28-3 comeback without this sack.
The Patriots double dynasty will end up with a handful of Hall of Famers. Brady and Gronk are locks. Logan Mankins and Vince Wilfork will get in eventually. While Hightower isn't a Pro Football Hall of Fame caliber player, he is a Patriots Hall of Fame candidate down the road. Dont'a embodied what it meant to be a Patriot during this era. His stats might've not been eye-popping, but his impact was felt well beyond the box score. Players like Hightower kept the legacy of the 2000s Pats alive. He's a winner and team leader. When you think of big game players for the 2010s Pats, there aren't many names you'd say before his.
âInitially, I thought it was kind of fucked up he wore #54 (even though Brian Waters wore it the year before) since it should've been retired/held out of the rotation for Tedy Bruschi, but the Pats don't really do that and Dont'a ended up being the perfect guy to rock 54 and keep the Bruschi spirit going during the dynasty's second leg.
Most don't play the game for the accolades; they play to win and for the love of it. Dont'a Hightower was the perfect Patriot. Would you rather have 5 All-Pros and no rings or three rings and no All-Pros? I know what I'd pick, and there's no hesitation. Dont'a did make 2nd-team All-Pro in 2016, but the point is...most play for rings, and Dont'a was a significant piece of THREE Super Bowl championship teams. AND he was hurt in 2017, which only shows his value when you consider how gross the Pats D played in Super Bowl LII.
Do I wish Dont'a Patriots career could've ended in a better fashion? Sure, but while he was here, he made up one of the most solid linebacking cores in the NFL. He was a big game player who made big-time plays when it mattered most. The game is forever changing and the Dont'a Hightower-type linebacker is sort of going away, but this man was one of the best LBs in the NFL for some time. Congratulations on an outstanding career, Zeus. You are a Patriots legend. I'm sure you'll end up with a red jacket sometime in the next 3-19 years (there's a huge backlog of dudes worthy of induction).
I've never watched it, but Dont'a was even referenced in one of the most popular shows of the 2010s, Orange is the New Black.
News like this reminds me how fucking long I'm been grinding in the blog game. I started DOL in February 2016 and wrote the Patriots resigning Dont'a SEVEN years ago *puke emoji*.
I haven't read it yet, but I'm gonna as soon as I publish this blog...Dont'a announced his retirement in a Player's Tribune article. I can't wait to see what he has to say about his incredible career.
Song of the Day: March 21st, 2023
Song: Mary Jane (1978)
Artist: Rick James
Album: Come Get It!
I was going to do something with storm or stormy in the title for today's SOD, but since no news has broken yet, let's groove. Say what you want about Rick James, but this song bumps. I listened to it last night while partaking in some of its title.
Ron DeSantis is arguably the worst person currently breathing air in North America. I'll concede that there may be worse people abroad, but here in the Western Hemisphere, Ronny DeFascist takes the cake (especially if it was made a gay bakery) as the most menacing threat to the mirage of freedom left in America.
This blog will be a quicky since my mental health won't allow me to do the proper research to back up my claim about why Ron DeSantis is evil personified (this tiktok sums it up pretty well). His vibe screams, "I'd unplug your life support to charge my cell phone." It doesn't matter that he wears high heels WITH lifts to identify as someone who isn't below the average height for men in America or that he stands in the mirror and copies Donald Trump's gestures and mannerisms.
What does matter is this wannabe dictator is a legitimate threat to democracy as we know it. He removes democratically elected people from their positions of power. He talks about preserving freedom while dictating what you can say or read. He only cares about culture wars and oppression. If this man died today, I would celebrate like I would've had the Patriots gone 19-0 on February 3rd, 2008. Everybody needs to WAKE tf up and realize this man is a fascist with no redeeming qualities.
Ron Desanctimonious, as Donny calls him, is also a fucking fraud. This quote is one of the most pandering things I've ever seen. It's hard to believe it's not a parody. For someone who hates trans people, he sure does care a lot about making sure you understand his identity as a person who just so happens to be from two of the most crucial swing states.
So it's looking like Donald Trump will be arrested on Tuesday, which, while encouraging, is not something I'll believe until I see it. If it takes Al Capone-like charges to put the man he organized a Coup behind bars, so be it. Even though DJT and Ronald McDisneyDestroyer are eerily similar in their hateful beliefs, they are not exactly the best of friends. While it was sort of cool to see Ron DeathSantis throw shade at his orange rival, his little anecdote about Soros-funded prosecutors is RICH. I'm choking on irony.
"They weaponize their office to impose a political agenda on society at the expense of the rule of law and public safety."
Every Republican accusation is a confession. That sentence is the perfect encapsulation of everything Ron DeSantis is about. It's incredible how fucking out of touch these fascist pieces of shit are!!! Ronito Mussantis is out of touch and soul alone. His quote actually describes DeSantis' entire reign of terror on the state of Flori-duh. Whether it's banning books, denying science, wanting/requiring bloggers to register with the state (Russia swag), disenfranchising black people, destroying public education, allowing racists to sue people for calling them racist, villainizing the queer community, shipping off humans to Martha's Vineyard as a political stunt, grinding an axe with Disney, revoking liquor licenses from places that accept Drag Queen as the art form it is, or allowing any and everybody to have a gun with no license or training, Ron DeSantis imposes his political agenda on society at the expense of the rule of law and public safety. I can't wait until the day he is behind bars or underground. Either is cool with me. I'm also fine with using his ashes to create makeup for Drag Queens.
Just because I fantasize about a world where Ron DeSantis is no longer alive to destroy the lives of Americans does not mean I'd ever take things into my own hands. Freedom of Speech, right??? Can a boi not vent online anymore? Plus, I am too big of a pussy and don't want to throw my life away for such a little bitch. He is not worth it. I'm not a violence guy, but it's not illegal to dream about someone dying, especially when they give off little dictator (or dick-taker, according to Trump) energy.
Florida needs a new state flag. Every time I look at that rag, all I see the Confederate Flag's inbred brother.
Song of the Day: March 20th, 2023
Song: About You (Live on The Jonathan Ross Show)
Artist: The 1975
Album: Being Funny in a Foreign Language (2022)
I almost picked "Sunny Came Home" by Shawn Colvin for today's SOD, but I wasn't 100% sure if I used it in the past year or not, so instead of checking the logs, ya boi went with The 1975. You can almost never go wrong with them (songs like "People" and "Part of the Band" stink). I spent too much time thinking about what today's SOD should be and let the algorithm decide for me. That won't end up contributing to the downfall of society at all!
I didn't blog yesterday cause had a little bit of a blah day. I watched Creed II and played a bunch of Madden before a busy afternoon with my Chiro, brow lady (s/o Hema), and Grandma.
Separately, of course, but ya boi was very much in the loop with the New England Patriots' latest transactions throughout the day. Let's talk about the "big splash" first. The Pats signed Juju Smith-Schuster to the same deal (at least on paper) that Jakobi Meyers got with the Raiders.
I said "here" one too many times. My bad!
I drafted Travis Kelce 15th overall and Patrick Mahomes in the 5th round en route to my first real fantasy football championship, so I paid close attention to the Chiefs this year. Juju is just a guy. Some of my buddies like the move... I don't despise it, but I'm not a fan rn. I'd love to be wrong, but Juju put up those numbers with Patrick Mahomes while defenses focused (and usually failed) on stopping Travis Kelce. I know touchdowns don't always tell the whole story. Megatron only scored 5 the year he broke the yardage record (on a terrible Lions team), but only 3 TD from PATRICK MAHOMES, and one of them was on a broken tackle, is sort of concerning.
I used to be a lot more anti-TikTok, but it's hypocritical of me to hate on something relatively harmless when I'm such a "do whatever you want as long as it doesn't hurt anybody" guy. I mean, the dances and shit can be a distraction. Doing shit on your opponent's 50-yard line is gonna ruffle some feathers. I think a lot of it is lame, but it's nowhere close to being a bad character guy. The Pats have a track record of buying low on stars and stars adjacent, and as a big name more so than an elite player, I'd say Juju is star adjacent, but they're buying high. Sure, the deal isn't outrageous, but keeping Jakobi seems like the smarter move from a pure football standpoint.
I read a tweet or article, idk..something online that said Bill Belichick is trying to get fired, and as crazy as that may seem, it almost makes sense. Maybe he's over Foxboro after all these years. I mean, he is 70, which isn't super old by today's standards, but it's definitely not young. As a self-sabotage guy, I can tell Bill has a little bit of that in him. I mean, he benched his 2nd best corner in the Super Bowl and refused to play him ever when a backup was lighting him up. He's the only coach not in the Head Coaches Association. Have you watched a press conference or seen his wardrobe over the last quarter-century? This man doesn't give a fuck and hasn't for some time.
I just liked Jakobi Meyers a lot. He was a Patriot in every sense of the word, and his production is more impressive to me than Juju's. Jakobi was one of two skill players (Rhamondre Stevenson) who you could actually trust last season. He's never gonna be Tyreek Hill or AJ Brown, but he's good at what he's supposed to be good at. To me, Juju is a dude who had a huge season (2018) early in his career that has been pretty average otherwise. Usually, that production came with a superstar getting the opponent's best defenders and attention. Colin is spot on that this is not what the Patriots do, and the Chiefs are the new Patriots. Kansas City got exactly what they needed out of Juju last season and let him walk. I'd rather have him over Nelson Agholor, but this is the same type of head-scratching deal. Again, I'd love to be wrong, but this dude is still not a true #1 WR, even on his best day. It's like the Raiders swapping Derek Carr for Jimmy G. Are you really improving? Sure, Jimmy's won more, but if you put Derek Carr on the 49ers over the same timeframe, I bet his winning % is close, if not better, than Jimmy's (and I'm a Jimmy guy!).
As for the James Robinson signing. I actually fuck with this one a lot. James had quite the season in 2022.
He rushed for only 425 yards last season, but 230 of them and all three touchdowns came in weeks 1-3. In September, James Robinson was still the man. I even offered someone Gabe Davis for him after week 3. Davis definitely disappointed, but that would've been an awful deal on my end (and could've cost me my ring! sometimes the best moves are the ones you don't make!).
I don't know what happened to James with the Jets, or why the Jags traded him. I get that Travis Etienne emerged as their top back, but for his cost, James Robinson was a nice piece to keep around. I guess you gotta remember the Jags were 2-5 when they traded him. Robinson never caught on with the Jets, which is sort of surprising considering they lost Breece Hall, but this is the type of deal I love to see the Patriots make. They're rolling the dice on a young guy whose shown flashes in the past. Damien Harris wasn't coming back, and while I'm interested to see what he ends up signing for, I like this move.
The Pats still have a long way to go, and with Aaron Rodgers likely joining the division, there's an honest argument to be made that we're the worst team in the AFC East. I wouldn't hate to see DeAndre Hopkins in Foxboro, but he's not 2010s Nuk. I don't know if Mac is the guy going forward. The Pats were linked to Lamar during the draft; who knows what's in store for the Pats? I thought there might be a chance they spin the tires with Rodgers, but either way, this team will always be my fucking team, but they're a longggg way away from being relevant in the AFC. Sure, we threw away like 2-4 games last year and could've made the playoffs, but things are low-key broken at 1 Patriot Place. Idk if these moves will fix anything; hopefully, there's more to come.
Song of the Day: March 16th, 2023
Song: Just a Girl (1995; No Doubt cover)
Artist: Florence + the Machine
We all know how much I love Flo. I've seen her + the machine live thrice, and the first time is my official choice for best concert of my life to date. If you're a DOL diehard, you also know my love for cross-genre covers, and while you could certainly put both No Doubt and Florence + the Machine under the "alt-rock umbrella," this is nowhere near the same genre as whatever the original is. I fw it, but it's kind of fucking terrifying. I don't see this getting "Shake It Out" or "Ship to Wreck" type airplay by yours truly, but it succeeds in what it's trying to do (being fucking scary). Actually, you know what...I typed all that while it was paused right before things pick up. Now I'm liking it a lot more. I've always been more of an upbeat Florence guy, but this shit is like three different songs in one. The piano is haunting. It's cool tho; it shows the other side of the coin with songs that are way darker than they appear on the surface. Like "Hey Ya!"
Florence can do it all. She's the best living vocalist. Yes, I said it! Her nickname could be Wesley Pipes.
I Just Ate the Trash
I'm a little rat-tat-tattled rn. I was writing about the C's gross loss that I didn't watch last night when I saw some news on twitter that I took as fact, like the gullible, trustworthy guy I am.
I even told the fellas in the league chat because, I mean, this is crazy news. Talk about a comeback! Only one problem...
Now it's fucking obvious. I should've known something was up when the tweet had like 26 likes, but I thought I was just quick to the story! Plus, if there's one team who's gonna sign a running back that hasn't played in six years, it's the New York J! E! T! S! Jets! Jets! Jets!
I should've fucking known. How did I not catch @Wardyyy96? Both hands up; that's on me. I was in blog mode, and tryna get a story out quickly. I feel like one of the morons who believed schools put out litter boxes for students who identify as cats. At least my mistake in judgment was coming from a good place. I was gonna write about how fucking awesome it is that Eddie Lacy worked his way back to the NFL. I was legitimately excited; I love stories like that. Unfortunately, this was not one of those.
People may forget that he was solid AF his first two years in the league. It's cliche af but the shit about running backs being replaceable and a dime a dozen is so true. Lacy went from 2nd team All-Pro in 2013 to out of the league by 2017. Wild. Oh well. At least he's still alive, and sometimes you need wake-up calls like this to remember, so are you. This is why it's crucial to make sure sources are reliable. Even though this wasn't a fake verified twitter blue account, that shit is so fucking stupid too. It completely delegitimizes the website and causes mistakes like this (even though this wasn't even a fake verified account).
I made that..3 years later and I'm still learning photoshop
I had a late start to my day, and one of the first things I saw once I was up for good was a text in my fantasy football group chat (where I am the reigning league champion) asking me how I felt about Jakobi Meyers signing with the Raiders.
In short, I'm not thrilled.
I thought Jakobi was likely gone when rumors of what he was looking for made their way to twitter dot com, but when I saw the Raiders signed him for a quite reasonable 3-year, 33 million dollar deal, I was like...why couldn't we do that?
Everybody under the sun is making the same lame jokes about how this is the least the Raiders could do after he (literally) threw them a win, but I won't do that. I'm better than that, and so are you as a dozonlife.com reader.
Like Jimmy Garoppolo, there's an obvious connection for Jakobi with the Raiders since Josh McDaniels is their head coach. Please don't get it twisted, Jakobi Meyers is a nice piece, and I enjoyed what he brought to the Pats, but he is just a guy. The problem is that when you look at the Pats' current WR core, he's a guy they totally could've used. This man moves the chains!
As I typed this line (1:36 pm EST), the Patriots currently have three wide receivers on their roster. Kendrick Bourne, DeVante Parker, and Tyquan Thornton (plus, who knows what's in store for Marcus Jones). Now truth be told, I like what all three of those guys bring to the offense, but it sure would've been nice to keep one of the few pieces that worked well for the Pats O last year. Now I'm thinking aloud as I write, but maybe that's good. Last year was a disaster. Putrid is an excellent descriptor. Anemic plays as well. Maybe low-key cleaning house isn't the worst move. We already ditched Jonnu.
Some may say those the guys I listed are three #3 receivers, and I would argue that Kendrick Bourne is a 2.5. He was great in 2021, and showed flashes this year when actually targeted. His huge catch against the Dolphins when he only played like 6 snaps is the perfect microcosm of his season. I'm just a little surprised the Pats let Jakobi walk when he signed such a reasonable contract. Jakobi embodied what it meant to be a New England Patriot. He was an undrafted guy who worked to become a solid starter. He's versatile. For a looonng time he had 2 career passing TDs and 0 career TD receptions. He felt like a guy they'd keep at 1 Patriot Place.
I'm sure the Patriots will address their pass-catching depth through free agency and/or the draft, but given their track record with drafting WRs, it's hard to get excited about that prospect. Who's gonna be this year's N'Keal Harry, or Chad Jackson, or Taylor Price, or Aaron Dobson, etc.???
Despite his ill-advised throw, I fw'd Jakobi and am sad to see him go. I'm happy he got himself a solid bag. That's life-changing money if you're smart with it (word of advice: stay away from the Roulette wheel. Sure it's one of life's greatest thrills, but just stay away my guy. You got your bag). It's a bummer to see him leave, but that's the business, and at the end of the day, his skill-set is replaceable. It's not like losing Gronk in 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016, or for good after 2018. Jakobi Meyers isn't irreplaceable. We can have another you in a minute. Matter fact, he'll be here in a minute, baaaby.
Song of the Day: March 14th, 2023
Song: Nebraska (live in 2016)
Album: Tin Cans & Car Tires (1998)
I found this song on apple music a few years back and rarely skip it when it comes on Ryan Radio.
I'm a Jimmy G guy. The Pats royally up fucked that trade. They could've gotten such a better return. Everybody knew Jimmy G's time in San Fran was over, and reuniting with Josh McDaniels in Vegas makes too much sense. I'm just bummed he got hurt last year. I would've loved to watch him play over Purdy in the playoffs.
But I'm sorry, Jimmy Garoppolo is too fucking pretty for the Raiders. I almost typed Oakland before that and still have to catch myself. Not to go on another capitalism ruins everything rant, but it is so fucked up that the Raiders no longer call Oakland home. I am a huge AFL history guy and respect the shit out of the Raiders organization, even if they've been a shit one for most of my time as a living human (December 15th, 1991-present). The Oakland Raiders are a staple of professional football, and I know they left before, but they should be in Oakland, even if Vegas low-key does fit their swag.
I've watched more NFL Films than John Facenda and know all about the autumn wind. When you think of the Raiders, it's a skull and cross bones. They're pirates. His face is weather-beaten. He wears a hooded sash with a silver hat about his head and a bristling black mustache. The Raiders are pockmarks and bar fight scars with a tooth or two missing. They're stick-em and cigarettes. The Raiders are fucking gross. Raiders eat their boogers. Do you think Jimmy G eats his boogers? (even if they do taste good)
Sometimes you need to just go off vibes, and is Jimmy G a vibe fit with the Raiders franchise? Luckily for him, they're in Vegas now, and Jimmy G will crush that city. That plays. But this man is too fucking pretty to be a Raider! They're grit. Jimmy G is a lot of things, but gritty is not one of them. Sure, everybody looks good in black, but among many reasons why this signing probably won't work (the Raiders D is TERRIBLE) is the fact that Jimmy G is simply too pretty to be a Raider. As soon as I saw the news, that's immediately what came to my mind. THIS is a Raiders quarterback.
Now pretty boys have had plenty of success in the National Football League. That guy Jimmy G was initially drafted to replace in Foxboro had a pretty decent career. But Jimmy G is too pretty to be a Raider. Even though the Jets' newish uniforms suck, I could see him in New York because it's fucking Jimmy G. Broadway Jim, hello? But they're likely gonna end up with Rodgers. Again, this makes sense from a scheme and history POV since Josh McDaniels coached Jimmy G for 3.5 seasons, but I'll repeat it, Jimmy G is too pretty for the Raiders. Their o-line is gonna get him killed if some dirty blow doesn't, but then again, you know Jimmy G tests his shit.
From a football standpoint, I love this deal for the Raiders. Jimmy G for only like 20 million gives them plenty of cap flexibility. Like the quasi-fact (NFL contracts are never what they say they are) that the Giants are paying Daniel Jones 40 mill a year is ludacris. Good luck building a team. But Jimmy G is too fucking pretty to be a Raider. It simply doesn't fit. It's like when you see a hot chick working in a fast food drive-thru. Honey, what are you doing here? You deserve so much better than this.
Jimmy G is a lot better than he gets credit for. 38-17 as a starter in San Fran. If he connects on the deep ball to Manny Sanders in Super Bowl LIV, he's got a ring. He's far from the sole reason the Niners blew that game, but for the 50th fucking time, this man is too pretty to be a Raider. I don't care about scheme. I don't care that Davante Adams is there. Use your brain one time. Is a pretty man like Jimmy G gonna be a successful Raider? I think not! Vibes matter. Mark Davis technically being Jimmy G's boss is outrageous. These men don't belong on the same planet, forget same organization.