Why Is Ben Watson Spamming Me?

Every day for the past several weeks in my inbox or spam folder…. another email or two from “Ben Watson.”

Ben Watson wants me to claim my $1500 Wal-Mart award. Ben Watson has reviewed my job application and I should click on the link. Ben Watson warns me it’s my last chance to claim my Amazon reward.

I’m not alone, either. Ben Watson is cheating on me by spamming countless others who have searched Google or whatever to find out wtf is going on and then landed here on what’s become quite a popular post. If that’s you, welcome! Feel free to look around – click on the topics above for other stuff I’ve written about and be sure to check out my books! That will make me very happy.

And speaking of happy, Ben Watson wants me to click on the link for discount Viagra. I thought only Google and Facebook were datamining and spying on me. Who knew former Patriots tight end Ben Watson was behind it all?

I always liked him as a player on the Pats, who let him go as a free agent once they knew they had Gronk in the offing, I guess. He went to the Browns, the Saints, the Ravens and then back to the Saints again before announcing his retirement a few weeks back.

And when he does stuff like publicly call out Roger Goodell over the dumbfounding non-call in the NFC championship game, I like him even more, since as any good Patriot fan will tell ya, Goodell SUCKS.

BUT WHY ARE YOU SPAMMING MY INBOX, BEN????

Unless you actually ARE simultaneously running rewards programs for Amazon, Target and Wal-Mart WHILE examining resumés on LinkedIn AND selling Viagra AND Bosley hair treatments AND working for assorted banks I don’t have accounts with yet need me to click links to check on fraud…. no matter what sort of obvious email spam you could think of, I’ve gotten one in the last few weeks from “Ben Watson” as the return address. You’d think these idiots would be more creative than that… or else it really IS YOU Ben Watson, sending me all these things!

No wonder you needed to retire from the NFL. You’re just too damned busy.

Hmm…. unless I’m wrong, and it’s this guy who is actually spamming me.

Might just be…. I really don’t follow Premier League or care about soccer in general. He must be trying to get my attention.

I think I’ll go on playing hard to get.

Me, During The Patriots’ AFC Championship Game

I lost count of how many heart attacks I had during that one, even if they all came in the 2nd half and the overtime.

I’d figured the entire game would go like the 2nd half and overtime, maybe I should be relieved.

Amazing game, tho. Even all of you Patriot/Brady/Belichick/Gronk etc HATERS out there gotta admit MY team gives lovers of the sport some of the most exciting postseason games EVER. As someone who remembers far too many snorefest Superbowls of the 1970s-80s, be thankful you’re a fan in this moment, even if you’d prefer a different outcome.

So it’ll be where Brady started – Patriots vs Rams, only this time, the newbie kids are on the other side of the field. Should be a good one, and will probably mean I should stock up on the CoQ10, red wine & cholestoff.


Football Card For This Weekend: 1960 Fleer Harvey White

As I mentally prepare for this Sunday’s AFC Championship game, the Patriots’ record 8th in a row, I’m thinking about how amazing this run has been.

A lot of us Pats fans get accused of being bandwagoners, who never paid attention to the team pre-Brady era. Well, I’ve been watching & rooting for these guys since the days of Jim Plunkett, Steve Grogan & Sam “BAM” Cunningham. I watched as they’d break yer heart like a true Boston team year after year – first in the playoffs in the late ’70s, to an embarrassing Superbowl wipeout in ’86, and beyond.

When they went 1-15 in the 1990 season, I watched every game at a local sports bar with one other Pats fan. We’d watch them suck, commiserate, and eat the decent food. The one week they beat the Jeff George Colts was a cause for celebration.

Things looked up when horrible owner Victor Kiam sold the team, and thankfully the new owner who wanted to move the team to St. Louis got checkmated by stadium owner Robert Kraft, who then bought the team. He built a new stadium Continue reading “Football Card For This Weekend: 1960 Fleer Harvey White”

I Dream About The Wrong Things, Part Infinity

Last night, I dreamed that Terry Bradshaw was jealous of my hair. He shrugged and said he guessed he didn’t get the right genes since he went bald so young. I told him he certainly got the right football genes, but he didn’t seem to care and walked away with a a pout.

There was nothing I could do to cheer him up.

THE BURDENS I CARRY, PEOPLE!!!!

Some quick picks under the wire:

I’ll go with the Browns plus the 8 points against Bradshaw’s old Steelers, the Lions to cover 3 over the Seahawks, the Colts to cover 3 against the pathetic Raiders, and in the pick-o-the-week, I’ll take the Redskins to cover a mere 1 1/2 over the also pathetic Giants. Spreads like that one make me suspicious, like the oddsmakers know something I don’t – why are the Giants only 1 1/2 point underdogs?? Are they allowed to hand the ball to a Mack truck on 3rd down to even things up this week? Dunno, but it looks like easy money to me.

And I’ve got the hair to prove it.

A Truly Historic Occasion

I was wrong.

About the Patriots. They did just fine today, in nearly every category of play.

Being wrong is a completely unknown and new sensation for me, however. I’ll need some time to absorb and process it.

But Go Pats, in the meantime…

As The Wheels Come Off

The Patriots have looked pretty horrible the past couple of weeks, after squeaking by a weak Houston team in week 1.

Between injuries (Burkhead, Flowers, Chung), stupid management decisions (Goodbye to Cooks, Amendola, Lewis, Solder) and Edelman’s 4 game suspension, they got nuthin’ for Brady to work with out there.

And while previous Patriot seasons would begin 2-2 or the like and wind up with Super Bowl appearances as the team made adjustments and people you never heard of would step up, this year feels different.

It’s a gut feeling on my part watching these first few games, and I hope I’m wrong, but I think this time, the Brady run they’ve been on since pretty much he stepped in as starting QB is over.

Brady looks like he’s lost a little edge out there – overthrowing an amazingly weak receiver core. He’s worked with motley assortments of receivers all his years, but now…. he’s got nuthin’.  It can’t all be on Gronk. And Brady’s 41. I don’t care about his training regimen or if he’s juicing with Underdog’s super energy pill – one serious injury and he’s done.

By the time I was 41, I needed an ambulance just to take me to the bathroom down the hall.

And they got nuthin’ to replace him.

I think even a returned Edelman and a sobered up Josh Gordon won’t be enough.

That’s right… I’m a total pessimist.

And their defense, at whose spikes can be laid the blame for losing a winnable Super Bowl last February still sucks. No pass rush. No pass defense to speak of. Linebackers who can’t tackle.

Miami is coming to Gillette this Sunday and are 7 point underdogs.

Take ’em and the points. Easy money. I think Miami will win the game outright, and there’ll be a lot of articles written that sound a lot like this blog post. Get ready next Monday for a lot of “The Patriots Are Over” hot-takes.

BUT I’M FIRST!!!!

I hope I’m wrong, but I think it’s over. It was great fun while it lasted, but I’m getting a very strong “2010 Yankees” vibe from these guys… when the Jeter/Rivera era had waned, they had a last hurrah in ’09, and the glory years of a decade earlier were a distant memory. It took some years to rebuild. The Pats are in the same place, alas.

I got the Thursday night game on. While writing this, I just watched Brandon Cooks catch a 47 yard TD pass from Jared Goff. Yeah, the Pats certainly got their draft pick’s worth out of THAT trade.

Although at least Cooks will probably win a Superbowl now.

Just remember…. you heard it first from MISTER KILL JOY, RIGHT HERE.

But I hope I’m wrong.

OCD Football Card Of The Day: 1971 Ray Nitschke

It’s storytime, cats and kittens!

1971 was the first year I began collecting sports cards. Starting in the spring with baseball, my fave sport, I’d take the fifty cent allowance I got each week for not being TOO much of a pain in the ass, and walk the 3/4 mile each way (I just measured it on google maps) to what was then Adam’s Drugs (now a Dollar Tree, evidently) and buy 5 packs of 10 cards for a dime baseball cards.

They put ’em out in at least 6 “series” back then, meaning they’d sell segments of the entire set and change them every few weeks. You’d have to wait for a lot of your favorite players and stars, reading the checklist cards carefully to see what was out there, what was gone and what was coming.

Far too often, the local candy wholesalers would run erratic schedules, and combining that with packs left on the shelves meant some series of cards got incredibly short shrift. Looking over all the cards I bought in ’71, Series 4 and 6, the final one, are rather thin. 1972 was an even bigger set, and the final series of those had a very brief shelf life at Adam’s Drugs, as well as nationally. It’s why the “high number” cards even for commons are more expensive these days.

In ’73 and ’74, I bought whole boxes directly from a local wholesaler who didn’t mind selling single boxes to kids who collected cards. And Topps abandoned series in ’73, as well as cutting down the size of the set from 787 to 660. So, a box of packs held unlimited possibilities of what players I’d get. 24 packs to a box for two bucks at wholesale, a WAY better deal than Adam’s Drugs, once I’d saved my allowance.

Two bucks! Now look at what a box that’s managed to stay unopened since 1973 goes for at auction and cry.

In later years, I’d buy hand-sorted complete sets from ads in the back of The Sporting News. It was great to have the cards… but the anticipation/surprise of opening those wax packs was gone, and it was really part of the fun.

I didn’t miss the hard-candy textured shingle of industrial bubblegum that we always dreaded would be next to a card we really wanted in the pack, leaving that God damn gum stain on it.

Anyway, back in 1971 by the time we got to around this point in the year near Labor Day, the football packs would appear, followed by the basketball and hockey ones.

In the fall of ’71, I kept buying cards. I paid more attention to football than I did to basketball or hockey. I only bought maybe 1 or 2 packs of those, but I bought football throughout the season. Only 2 series of cards to deal with, too.

Continue reading “OCD Football Card Of The Day: 1971 Ray Nitschke”

WTF?

  1. Steven Sagal dress-alike contest winner
  2. “I can be more convincing as a bullfighter than Robert Evans was in The Sun Also Rises. THIS kid stays in the Superbowl!”
  3. “Welcome to La Cocina Velazquez, for the finest in tapas. Would you prefer a booth, table, or seats at the bar?”
  4. “Mister Bond, so good of you to drop in.  Perhaps a long overdue tour of my operations towards world domination are in order. My protegé Belichick longs to kill you with his razor tipped hoodie, and I do not plan to disappoint him. And lest you think of escape, you will notice The Gronk stands in your way…”
  5. “Giselle picked this out and said it looks good on me, so no matter how fucking ridiculous you think it is, I’m just gonna smile and nod and not say a fucking thing, okay mac? She makes even more money than I do, and she’s almost as pretty.”

Gonna go with 5…

Saturday Roundup: Patriots Draft Picks, Cat Petting And A Book Safari

Today I went on a quest for cheap furniture – combing through a bunch of thrift stores in search of a replacement comfy corner chair for my classroom, as the old one is on its last legs, literally. Came up empty there, but found a couple of good books as long as I was there.

One looks like a nice true narrative of a major art forgery scandal called Provenance, about a forger & conman who managed to get the forgeries into collections and museums all over Europe where they remain to this day.

If forgeries sell tickets, they’ll say on the walls. It’s not like the public can ever tell the difference.

I read a lot of books on art forgery and theft rings while working out story elements for Wagstaff & Meatballs, and I continue to enjoy reading about the topic.

I also picked up a copy of The Truth Will Out: Unmasking The Real Shakespeare, a 2005 book that put forth a Shakesperean authorship theory I’m not as familiar with, making the case for Sir Henry Neville as the actual author of the plays & poems. CONFESSION: I am a confirmed skeptic as to the accepted idea that the Stratford actor Shakepeare wrote all that material, and I lean towards the Oxfordian theories. I think there’s a much stronger case to be made against Shakespeare than any positive case can be made for the different supposed authors, but I’m open to reading anything as well researched as this thing seems to be from my first skims. And it was only a buck!

And a brief Wagstaffesque synchronicity moment: As I browsed the racks of books coming up empty, some old dude who looked WAY too much like Scott Adams of “Dilbert” fame browsed the shelves over my shoulder, and he carried a couple of big volumes he’d scooped up. One of ’em was some enormous compendium all about Shakespeare performances in America. I always get annoyed every time I see other people holding onto books I didn’t get a crack at whenever I’m at some thrift store or library sale or whatever, and I thought to myself how it’d be cool if I found another Shakespeare book, especially on the author conspiracy theory.

Before I left the store, I figured I’d check the unsorted new-old-junk racks they’d just wheeled out…. and that’s where I found The Truth Will Out book.

On top of that? The Shakespeare authorship mischigoss is one of the elements in the third Wagstaff book I’m currently writing.

So I guess it immediately goes to the top of my reading list.

I got rewarded for visiting the thrift store in the same shopping center as a pet supply place with a big black store cat who I like to visit and pet whenever I’m jonesin’ for kitty. He’s easily found napping on one of his many dedicated cat trees around the store. Today I learned his name – Carlos the cat. I already knew he preferred chin rubs to damn near everything else. I didn’t disappoint him.

Then I came home and reviewed the rest of the Patriots draft picks in the final rounds today. It looks like they plugged all the position holes left by departing players. They scored a couple of cornerbacks who might replace Malcolm Butler. They got a wide receiver whose physicality and stats suggest a replacement for Danny Amendola, both in the slot and in punt returns. They picked up a couple of linebackers who will hopefully make good pass rushers, something they need badly. And, they did indeed draft a quarterback, Danny Etling out of LSU, a kid who doesn’t turn the ball over but clearly needs a lot of work. Can THE SYSTEM that made Cassell and Garroppolo into NFL quarterbacks work its magic on this kid? I certainly hope so, but who knows?

My realistic & cynical heart tells me that the Pats will be in a bad place psychologically next year. Losing the Superbowl despite what the offense accomplished and the controversy around the benching of Butler will hang over the psyche of the team akin to how the Seahawks were dogged by “Why didn’t we just run it into the end zone?” and how the Falcons were dogged by “Why didn’t we run down the clock and kick a field goal?” when they respectively blew both of their Superbowls against the Pats. Now it’s the Pats turn, I fear, and some of the stuff said by departing players about the overall not-fun and overly-regimented atmosphere within the team culture only bolsters my feelings. It all has that win-the-division-by-default but then go out in the first round as the third seed vibe. You heard it here first, sports fans. And I hope I’m wrong.

Now I’m throwing a soup & potstickers light dinner together and watching the Yankees pounding the Angels, at least so far. THIS IS THE YEAR!

New theory: Aaron Judge wrote all of Shakespeare’s plays. I’ll get back to you on my research.

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