Deflated Balls and Other Nonsense – 10 Ridiculous Reasons to Hate The Patriots

I missed a deadline and really hate to waste this one…

  1. The lead story on the national news has been Deflate Gate; a story that centers around under deflated footballs in the New England Patriots win over the Indianapolis Colts in the National Football League’s AFC championship game. Stress put on the word game. This was/is the lead story on ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, Fox News, etc the past few days. Are there more pressing things for legitimate news organizations to concentrate on than a game?

Ok – so this is professional sports, but the lead story? One has to wonder how I.S.I.S., the Keystone Pipeline, and other world happenings feel about getting spiked.  There must be many Patriots haters out there in the news industry. Let’s take a look…

  1. Now let’s get Spy Gate out of the way. The Patriots were found videotaping the opposing coach’s signals at games in September of 2007. Once caught the team proceeded to run the table and have an undefeated regular season, the first since the ’72 Dolphins who only played a 14 game regular season. (The Patriots lost to the Giants in the Superbowl in game number 18. The Dolphins are credited with a perfect 17 game season.)

Now seven years later retired NFL Bill Cowher on a national sports show admitted that The Patriots were not the only team used videotaping, they were the only team to get caught.

  1. The NFL changed the rules for Tom Brady. Several prominent journalists insist that the NFL rule changes regarding hitting the quarterback came in the wake of Bernard Pollard’s hit on Tom Brady at the start of the 2008 season. However we should note that concerns started to be raised in 2005 with a hit on Carsen Palmer’s knee. The rule was then changed to read “A rushing defensive player won’t be allowed to forcibly hit a quarterback below the knees.” The only change made after the Brady hit was to include “The clarification specifically prohibits a defender on the ground who hasn’t been blocked or fouled directly into the quarterback from lunging or diving at the quarterback’s lower legs.”

In other words, let’s have defenders avoid hitting quarterbacks in the knees. This really isn’t a bad idea considering quarterbacks are usually the face of a NFL franchise.

  1. Here is one I will give to Raider’s Fans yet the rule existed on the books far before the Snowball playoff game: the tuck rule. Fans of The Raiders, Redskins, and yes, the Patriots too, have had fumble recoveries over turned because of the tuck rule. The Patriot’s turnover in their favor, and some say the start of their dynasty, is the most prominent because it happened during a playoff game against the Raiders. One should note, however that in addition to The Patriots, both the Jets and the Broncos have taken advantage of this obscure rule during the regular season. So The Patriots have been both benefited and cursed by the tuck.

It is important to note that the NFL voted to eliminate the tuck rule in2013.

  1. Bill Belichick, a.k.a. the winningest coach in NFL history. If he hasn’t got the title yet he will have it soon. It is understandable not to like someone who avoids answering the questions he doesn’t want to answer. It is also understandable not to like someone who has a habit of winning. Think about Don Shula, Bill Parcells, and Tom Landry along with their respected teams of dominance. There is a reason Terry Bradshaw, Lawrence Taylor, and others are obnoxious – they are winners.

Belichick’s form of style is a combination of someone who is uncomfortable with small talk and the unintelligent. One cannot imagine him speaking about nothing and can understand why his response to ignorance is a glare, maybe a smirk, and then a non-answer.

Outside the required press conference Belichick is known to have a sense of humor. Those close to him claim he regularly will crack jokes and actually be personable.  His players love him as do a lot of opposing team players. If one is observant before and after the coach’s handshake at the end of a game, viewers will see opposing team players seek out the hoodied one for a quick word or two.  Why would a player seek out an opposing coach if they didn’t have some sort of respect for the man?

Winning is an expectation in New England and no one represents that expectation more than the head coach of The Patriots. Fans of opposing teams may hate Belichick yet given the opportunity to have him as your coach, I bet those fans would jump at the chance.

  1. Tom Brady, Tom Brady, Tom Brady. Same as the coach – if he is your quarterback you love him yet if not…well there could be a bit of man envy going on. Why shouldn’t there be? He is part of the winningest coach-quarterback combination in NFL history. The guy has a supermodel wife, adorable children, three Superbowl rings, and let’s not forget the guy is pretty good looking.

Tom Brady cannot help how much media attention he gets. If you ever wonder how often his name is mentioned during non-Patriot NFL broadcasts, play the Tom Brady drinking game. (To play the game, one would take a sip of an adult beverage every time a broadcaster says his name. If watching a national sports show on ESPN or Fox Sports, even outside of New England, one could become quickly intoxicated. 21 and older please to play.) The man-love this man gets can be nauseating for the non-Patriot fan. (Pats fans think Peyton Manning try to play the same game.)

The one fact most sports fans will admit to is he is one of the best to ever play the game. Brady’s name is spoken with the same reverence as Montana, Elway, Marino, Unitas, and in the modern football era, we must of course add Manning (Peyton, and maybe Eli too). The future Hall Of Famer is on his way to a sixth Superbowl appearance, most in the NFL by a quarterback and will certainly hold other records before his playing career is complete.

  1. Deceptive formations and other such feces. Isn’t the entire point of football to out maneuver your opponent in order to score more points and win the game? After the Raven’s lost to The Patriots in a playoff game Raven’s coach Jim Harbaugh claimed that Belichick used deceptive formations to win the game. Harbaugh went on to say that having a player who is usually eligible to catch a pass signal ineligibility is not a legal maneuver. Come to find out this tactic has been used several times by NFL and college teams and the technique is completely legal.

Doesn’t one find this interesting that only the losing team complain about these things?

  1. Speaking of loser’s The Indianapolis Colts have to be the biggest bunch of poor sports on the planet. First a bit of history – way back in Brady’s early years he and Belichick schemed to beat then quarterback and NFL pretty boy Peyton Manning on a regular basis. When The Patriots started to employ the no huddle offense, Indianapolis complained to the league that they didn’t have time to react with substitutions and it wasn’t fair. The league’s response was to create a rule that stated both teams must have time to substitute players. Now let’s jump ahead to Deflate-Gate. Which NFL team cried to the league? Could it be the one who lost by 38 points to The Patriots the day prior?

Former Colts G.M. and now ESPN commentator Bill Pollian cannot even enunciate the word Patriot correctly, let’s not even go into the snide comments he usually makes following this mispronunciation. We can also look to owner Jim Irsay’s recent Twitter campaign and wonder if this is just his way of getting back at the organization his teams have had little success against? Can you say poor sports?

  1. Since we are on the subject of poor sports, there are too many ex-NFL players turned commentators to list here who have suddenly become ball experts. They can’t get over their losses, whether it is a regular season, divisional, or Superbowl game. This goes back to The Patriots first Superbowl victory and although I refuse to give the guy any ink here – “Dude, you lost the game. Build a bridge and move on!”

Whiners of course are not limited to former opponents. Both broadcasters and institutions known for exceptional journalism have jumped on the anti-Patriot bandwagon. We will skip over ESPN for now, although their lines between commentators and journalists have pretty much disappeared, and look at a sports magazine tradition: Sports Illustrated. Recently S.I. ran a piece by Michael Rosenberg that claimed other teams have complained about the Patriots cheating for years with some coaches going as far as putting padlocks on the visiting team’s locker room at Gillette. He also went on to accuse The Patriots of still videotaping, cheating by using a giant television outside the stadium (which contents are blurred from a sideline view), and Robert Kraft getting a favorable schedule from the NFL every year. When pushed on a Boston radio show Rosenberg could not name a source and kept answering any questions with “Well people say.” Mr. Rosenberg, people say a lot of things.

Journalists are supposed to get as close to the truth as possible before publishing. “People say” just doesn’t cut it. Sports Illustrated readers deserve better.

#1.       This is easy. The haters exist because of jealousy. All The Patriots do is win consistently. They have a team first approach with players putting egos aside for the betterment of the organization and they get rid of their embarrassments (Aaron Hernandez was let go before his fingerprints dried.)

Haters will hate because at some point this country switch from getting excited about winners, to finding excuses for why they win. Hard work and dedication isn’t enough in our “everybody gets a trophy” world.

We will see what is said after Sunday – Go Pats!

Please Let Me Introduce You To L.A.M.

This piece was originally based on the acronym M.A.L.’s yet after careful consideration it was decided that L.A.M.’s would be a better choice as to not perpetuate M’s ego any further and at least in New England, the L’s are the worst. (I will also not discuss the B.A.T.’s here or the S.P.’s although as we know, both have their own driving issues.)

I spend a multitude amount of time on Interstate 95 driving along one of the busiest section of this throughway. Driving on a crowded highway gives one much time to think about and consider those around her. I would like to share some of those observations here.

There are many types of drivers yet the most aggressive seem to fall into the L.A.M. sequence. A L.A.M. by my definition someone who drives an expensive car – not Bentley expensive, I suppose in the whole car hierarchy they would be considered upper middle, yet they want to be Bentley drivers but had to settle for a L.A., or M. They model of choice is a gas guzzling SUV yet as someone else “sharing” the road, we need to pay attention to the mid-life sporty editions too. Please note: not all L.A.M. drivers are L.A.M.’s. A L.A.M. is a special breed.

First they probably overpaid for their car so they feel that they own the road. Here is an example from this past week – Construction is the norm no matter what road in New England one is traveling. As a lane is getting ready to merge there are usually signs that start about a half mile prior. In most cases if one is passing a line of cars they will see blinking lights up ahead or it will occur that the other drivers are going slow in the opposite lane for a reason and no, that reason isn’t so you can by-pass all the traffic.

Anyway, I happen to merge on the highway into the slow lane. In my rear view mirror I saw a tractor trailer driver blocking the left lane and traffic was moving at a decent pace, slow yet moving. I watch a L. pull onto the median to go around the truck and think what a jerk. I turned my wheels and blocked his path, a whole 20 yards up from where he swerved. This kind gentleman, with the “special” red lettering/white background plates (New Englanders think about that for a second) proceeded to lay on his horn, flash his lights, and as I watched in my mirror, throw an all-out hissy fit that he wasn’t able to pass.

Now I know what you are thinking – what if this was an emergency? You don’t know someone else’s plight. His wife/girlfriend/companion sat in the passenger’s seat putting on make up. I think that if someone was dying lipstick would not be her first concern.

We got to the flashing light-police car in the road merge and the kind person to my right slowed so I could sneak back in. After the construction I got horns and high fives from my fellow travelers. I also watched the L. take the casino exit. I guess they were late for lunch.

So this is one L. example as in these parts the L’s seem to have the biggest issues. Later in the week we had down pours during the commute. Most drivers slowed from the average seventy-five miles an hour down to forty-five or fifty. I say most because a nice red M. sedan weaved in and out of traffic passing everyone. I think other commuters got the same smile when the little red M was seen fifty feet down the road off an embankment. Snow, ice, rain, we all slow down for a reason. (I only make fun when it is only the driver’s ego that gets bruised and am grateful no one was hurt. The idiot could have taken out another car or did bodily harm to him or others – that is not funny.) I did enjoy the horns and thumbs up he was getting from the other driver’s too.

The A’s story, as with the others, may be substituted by M.’s or L.’s yet in most cases the A.’s seem to be less obnoxious, unless you are in a parking lot. There one will find an A. car abandon between two parking spaces, neither side providing enough room for anything larger than a Smart Car. Sometimes there will even be a nasty note left on the windshield yet most of the time other drivers look at the source and shrug.

So here are a few car facts that the L.A.M.’s may be interested in:

  • It doesn’t matter how much someone’s car cost, they all hydroplane in the rain or spin out on ice.
  • All vehicles come with turn signals standard. They are located on your steering wheel and other drivers find it helpful to know you are going to turn in front of them.
  • The white lines in the parking lot are there for your car to go in between, not in the middle.
  • The long row of drivers you are flying passed in the left hand lane want to get through the traffic as much as you do. By cutting the line you are doing nothing more than perpetuating the stereotype illustrated here.
  • And finally, unless someone in your car is dying, flashing your lights and honking your horn for people to move out of your way is simply obnoxious.

The next time you drive America’s highways watch out for the L.A.M.’s. They will most likely be the car that at some point on your journey cuts you off, steals your parking spot, or flashes their lights for you to move.

Drive safe and be polite – we are all just sharing the space.

Why My Husband Is A Genius…

Right now I know some of you are looking at the title and wondering what my husband did to deserve this acknowledgement while others are laughing their butts off waiting for my warped sense of humor to kick in and hear about what bone head move happened in my house.

I’m sorry later group – you will all be disappointed.

It all started about a week and a half ago when I found out that one of the writer’s conferences I will be attending offered the opportunity to promote my latest book via a book trailer and they will sell copies at the event.

I went online, googled book trailers (because honestly I had no idea what they were talking about), and got far too many options and examples to grasp the concept of what I needed to do. So while whining about this to hubby he said “Use WeVideo – it’s easy…” What is this WeVideo you speak of?

So he explains and asks what my vision is and I have this whole Hollywood production in mind with me standing on the beach, sun setting in the background, epic music playing.

He offers to film. We can’t coordinate schedules so he takes the camera and goes out in 10 degree warmth to get me some beach video.

Cool. He also put together a quick run through so I could sit there and say “that’s not what I wanted…”

(Typical of me – I know) I take over production and can’t get the program to work. Hubby instructs like I am one of his 6 graders. I get pissed… You get the picture.

And then something awesome happens…I work in a program I am familiar with and get the concept down. We convert it to video. I go to his studio to do a voice over and wha-la!

Take a peek at the finished product and let me know what you think…

Click Here To See Trailer

(I also learned that we should never own a business or work together on a creative project. Which is a good thing…And yes – I still think he is a genius!)

Just released!

Archer & Snow Days

There is an Archer marathon going on in my living room. For those of you not familiar, Archer is a politically incorrect cartoon on the FX network featuring a not too bright playboy type spy who works for an intelligence agency his iron-handed mom runs. There is his play girl counterpart who has brains as well as a rockin’ figure, a handicapped gay man, an over sexed, large, drug addicted woman, and a scientist in love with a hologram and that i9s pretty much Archer.

Here is the thing though – as stereotypical the characters may be, they are witty and engaging. In the episode currently on, Archer is trying to communicate to a group of pirates who understand little English without using idioms. (An idiom is a combination of words that has a figurative meaning owing to its common usage such as “pulling my leg” or “drop me a line.”)

How many times do we use idioms to explain a situation or describe a feeling? Oxford English Dictionary contains over 171,476 words with full definitions. There are another 50,000 with particle definitions. Could there be better word choices then just the 5,000 or so a particular person tends to rely on?

Archer does manage to get his point across with an interpreter yet he is coached to only use literal meanings for every word or phrase he uses.

Could you imagine that?

If we all just said what we wanted, and political correctness became obsolete, what a better world we would live in. That is the thing that makes Archer so funny. He is so oblivious about his word choices that he says exactly what he is thinking without a filter.

A simply snow day turned into an English lesson about idioms and word choices.

Thank you, Archer.

What I Do All Day (for those who wondered)

In between semesters there is this illusion created by those who love yet don’t understand me that I do absolutely nothing all day. Think sleep until noon, get up, maybe walk the dog or go to the gym, and then hang out watching TV or staring out the window while I wait for my family to come home.

Yep – I’m living the dream.

Now if you believe that then I need new peeps.

In reality my day starts as soon as my family vacates the house. I turn on the computer and on a good day will go for a couple hours creating my latest draft. On a bad day I will struggle through 1,000 words and stop. I try to do this during the semester too so I may keep up with my deadlines.

Next I will work out anywhere from 20 minutes up to a couple hours. This might include walking the dog, doing a video, or when ambitious, visiting the gym. In most cases we are talking under an hour total unless it is a warm sunny day and I’m walking the beach.

For those who are not aware, I also operate two businesses; a marketing company and a health insurance agency. So since the new law came into force I am sitting on hold with an insurance carrier, at the minimum for an hour or so, before I can ask my one question that takes less than 2 minutes to answer and hopefully will correct the problem. This is getting to be a daily occurrence. I try to use the time wisely yet the longer I am listening to this awful music the more I just want to throw the phone.

After that I may try to go back to working the book although between paperwork, marketing, and other distractions, if I don’t get it done in the morning, forget it.

In case you are curious; I have been on hold for the last hour and a half while I write and edit this-

“Hello? Customer service, is that you?”

Katy Perry and Bubble Gum

How many times do we insult someone without realizing we have done so? Last evening at the John Mayer show in Bridgeport rumor spread quickly that Katy Perry was waiting backstage to sing a duet with the hometown troubadour. The whispers turned into girls screeching “KATEEEEEEEEEEEE,” between every song.
This got annoying quick.
A twenty something turned to me at one point and exclaimed “Isn’t it exciting Katy is going to sing?”
I didn’t reply. When she repeated her glee again I simply said, “Isn’t she kind of bubble gum?”
At that point the generation gap is established. I jumped up and danced to covers of Lay Down Sally and You Don’t Know How It Feels along with many of Mayer’s originals. The youngsters talked through the Clapton cover. Actually they talked through everything until they started the Katy screech.
Then they just screeched until hubby informed them Katy had left the building. “Hey – that’s what the GM said, but what do I know.”
Eyes watered. Bubbles popped. And for a few precious songs, silence reigned.

john mayer

Beer Monday or Fish Monday….

It doesn’t matter as long as the view is breathtaking! 

 

The couple on the bench smiled and giggled. They spoke French or Italian or Polish. It didn’t matter because to those within earshot, it was all Greek.

They held hands and enjoyed the view. They probably stayed at the famous 1700’s Inn up the street. This was their New England, maybe even their version of the United States. It is funny that a visitors perspective of our beautiful country depends on where they go.

Their quiet moment could take place in New York City or Miami Beach, however how lucky were they  sitting by the mighty Connecticut, as they watched life sail by.