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As The Wheels Come Off September 27, 2018

Posted by Jim Berkin in Football.
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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.


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.



A 2018 NFL Draft Post April 26, 2018

Posted by Jim Berkin in Football.
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That’s right, sports fans. I poured myself a Sam Adams Smoky Lager (not bad, hadn’t tried that one before, the first of a new 12 pack Sam Adams varietal I grabbed), made myself a nice batch of some spicy chicken and black bean chili, and parked my fat ass down to watch the first round of this year’s NFL draft.

I’m mostly interested in who my Patriots will take with their 2 picks in the first round, and also curious to see where the high-profile players wind up.

The best part might be the consistent boos for Roger Goodell every time he lurches onstage to make the announcements.

I was a little surprised Baker Mayfield went 1st overall to the hapless Browns, but he might actually be a good fit for them – someone whose brashness and attitude is precisely what they need, minus the stupidity & excessive partying of their last big QB pick in Johnny Manziel.

I liked Sam Darnold from USC, tbought he shoulda played another year in college, and he wound up going #3 overall to the Jets. This means I’ll be rooting for him to get his ass kicked by my team as long as he’s there.

Josh Rosen, the QB out of UCLA and NUMBER ONE JEW in the draft wound up on Arizona. Even with all the people comparing Rosen’s overall personality & intellect to Aaron Rodgers, I just can’t escape the Jay Cutler vibe he gives me. I guess time will tell.

And my Patriots? Well, they used their first pick on a tackle, Isaiah Wynn out of Georgia, who will be easily converted to a left guard, replacing the departed Nate Solder. A solid pick if the kid works out, he was a great pass protector in college. For their second pick, they went back to Georgia for Sony Michel, a running back who looks like the replacement for the departed Dion Lewis. They passed on Louisville QB Lamar Jackson, who went to the Ravens after they traded to get the final pick.

I’ll probably only pay peripheral attention to the remaining rounds, and internet research whoever the Pats pick. They have 6 more total picks in the later rounds, 2 of those 6 coming in the 2nd round.  I’d assume they plug lots of holes in what was a sad defense (especially when it truly counted in the Super Bowl), and possibly go after a quarterback to replace Jimmy G in the who-gets-to-follow-Brady sweepstakes. It’d be typical of the Pats to draft some QB no one has ever heard of, like they did with Jimmy G.  But I think trading Jimmy G is going to haunt them. His great performance on the Niners and turning them around as soon as he started for ’em didn’t look like a fluke to me, it looked like their future. Sigh.

There’s always cat videos.

Being A Patriots Fan Means Not Caring About The NFL Draft April 27, 2017

Posted by Jim Berkin in Football, Uncategorized.
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If only the last election had gone this way, eh?

The Pats have no first round picks. They have no second round picks. Traded ’em away for some strong talent, like wide receiver Brandon Cooks.

While most teams would view the loss of early picks a detriment, for the Pats, it really doesn’t matter. Tom Brady was a 4th rounder, 199 overall. Julian Edelman was a SEVENTH round pick, 299 overall.

Belichick will grab castoffs from other teams’ practice squads and have them out there as productive starters the following week.

I think he could go into a Wal-Mart, randomly grab a half dozen guys to bring to training camp, and turn most of them into NFL players.

Will I be interested in who the Pats draft? Well, of course. But missing out on the first two rounds only leads to a shrug. Compared to the level of hype over who the Rams or Chargers will pick out here in SoCal, or all the speculation over what poor bastards will get drafted and most likely ruined by the Browns…. well, it means nothing to this Pats fan.

I’ll follow up with my thoughts on the actual picks/trades the Pats make once the draft is over.

In the meantime, I think I’ll have a cup of tea.

It’s Pointless To Predict The NFL, 2012 Edition September 3, 2012

Posted by Jim Berkin in Football.
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Ah, football is back! Something to take my attention away from what is looking more and more like a late September collapse by the injury-addled overly-longball-dependent Yankees & an election season that constantly reveals via social networking that this nation seems engaged in an endless shouting match.

Oh wait – we also have new Dr. Who episodes. Another welcome distraction!

Anyway, I’ve spent much of this holiday weekend watching the opening of the college season & checking out the would-be national powers, as well as who might be fooling the oddsmakers even if I’m not planning a fall trip to Vegas.

Why can I bet on horse races via the internet legally but not other sports? It’s so frickin’ STUPID.

I’ve also been reading assorted predictions for the upcoming NFL season. There are some consistencies among the various prognosticators – EVERYONE is picking the Patriots to win the AFC East, the Texans to win the AFC South & the Packers to win the NFC North. Nearly everyone picks the Falcons to win the NFC South & the Ravens to win the AFC North.

The contrarian in me says they’re always wrong about something – but what?

It’s easy for me to look at Herm Edwards insisting that the Eagles will win the Super Bowl and say “He’s out of his mind,” but a lot of the other stuff seems possible.  A friend of mine must be liking all the people picking the Falcons to win big this year and the people picking Matt Ryan as a possible MVP.  After all, he’s running for Vice President, isn’t he?

Aw, dammit! Back to politics again. Okay, I need to watch that and stick to football.

Here’s where I’m the contrarian optimist: the most common Superbowl prediction is Packers over Patriots, which means that it likely won’t happen. HA!

Although the Pats better be there, DAMMIT! Brady’s got maybe 3 or 4 years left in him. Ryan Mallet looks decent, but come on…. historically, nearly every team that built a run of championships around a hall-of-fame QB needed total rebuilding after that QB retired. The only exceptions I can think of are Joe Montana to Steve Young, and possibly Bret Favre to Aaron Rodgers, but there were a lot of lean years in between on that one.

So I won’t even bother picking division winners or playoffs. It will all depend on whatever combo of key injuries takes out a team or two, which rookies will actually make a difference, and what heretofore unknown group of players below the radar the past few seasons “suddenly” look like a great team and take all the predictors by total surprise, like the 49ers did last year.

And in the end, whoever is healthy and simply playing on a hot streak in December/January will go further than they deserve to on paper, something the mother-f-ing NY Giants proved last year, to be sure.

My Patriots will be on national TV maybe half the time out here on the west coast, including the Thanksgiving evening game to accompany my face-stuffing. Other than that, I’ll be down the street at the sports bar downing beers & snacking on fried calamari more often than last season, from the looks of the schedule. I’m sure all the waitresses down there missed me last year. I think one of them did a comedy routine with an empty chair labelled “Where’s Jimmy the perv?”

Aw, crap, back to politics. This either means I’m predicting the Patriots win 350 electoral votes, or I’d like to watch football & drink beers with Clint Eastwood (I think we’d all want that, honestly), or I need to watch some movies actually worth blogging about as opposed to the past couple of weeks’ crop on my DVR. Pickings have been thin lately, to be sure.

Everything Sucks & I Hate Everything (Okay, except for cats) September 7, 2008

Posted by Jim Berkin in Football.
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Yeah, I know – there a lot worse things in life than the franchise quarterback of your favorite team going down for the season with an ACL/knee injury five minutes into the opening game.

For example, perhaps a cluster of tumors could sprout on my wang and keep me awake all night with their snoring.

Maybe I could be abducted by aliens and forced to breed with lab specimens they developed by gene splicing Rosie O’Donnell and Ann Coulter, with the face of Bill Maher.

Maybe my non-stop flatulence could magically turn to shards of glass on its way out.

Oh, there are ENDLESS possibilities!

Well, since there are actual serious possible rotten things out there that could mess my life up, I guess I should count my blessings and be thankful it’s only an injury to my favorite team. The Patriots are still a good team, and whether it’s Matt Cassell or Chris Sims or Vinnie Testaverde or maybe George Blanda is available…. aw CRAP!

But maybe they can still go 9-7?


WAIT!!! I don’t have to be angry or depressed! LET’S HAVE SOME SUNSHINE!!!!

I still enjoy watching the sport itself, after all. I can enjoy watching other games, and this time I can do it without the emotional roller-coaster. YEAH!!!! GO WITH THAT!!!! I should try to be totally emotionally detached!!! Just like with women!

Who am I kidding? Just like with all of humanity!


It’s like waiting months and months for winter to end so you can enjoy the sunny outdoors only to discover it’s going to rain moose urine until 2009.


Pre-Season Warm Up July 31, 2008

Posted by Jim Berkin in Football.
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With training camp in session and the opening Pats pre-season game against the Ravens only a week away, I’ve started to pay attention to football once again, though it’s always tough for me to combine contemplations of football with hot summer weather. Of course, the big question for me as a Pats fan is how the Super Bowl loss will affect the team’s psychology this season – do they become the 1969 Colts and spend a season in the wilderness, or do they come back really really angry and ready to take it out on everyone? The first few games of the regular season should reveal things one way or another, especially when they go up against San Diego on the road for a Sunday night game in October.

My prediction, for what it’s worth? They go 11-5 and have to face some tough challenges like Jacksonville & Indianapolis in the playoffs. (Gee, what a tough call THAT was!)

In the meantime, we can read fun stuff like this from a former employee, trashing some and lauding others, and telling us some stuff we really don’t want to know about, like Bill Belechick sex tapes (let’s hope Matt Walsh shot them, and that Bill can only induce orgasms when he studies films for signals). I suppose I should be thankful – Jessica Simpson is hanging around the Cowboys’ training camp and not the Patriots’, where Giselle “Women weaken legs, Rocky!” Bundchen is nowhere to be seen. The author, “Tommy Rider”, also has a couple of decent posts up with some good advice on early-season football handicapping.


Post-Defeat Traumatic Shakeout Time March 3, 2008

Posted by Jim Berkin in Football.

After an amazing 18-0 run got smashed by a Superbowl loss in the final minutes, I sorta expected some serious reshuffling in the Patsies’ lineup, and they’re already lost Asante Samuel, Randall Gay and Dante Stallworth to free agency, though they’ve managed to resign Tedi Bruschi and the VERY welcome-back Randy Moss.

It’ll be an interesting draft to be sure, but I keep thinking about the 1969 Baltimore Colts… the team that took the field following their major upset against the Jets in the Superbowl, and how they went from being a 13-1 Superbowl team to an 8-5-1 second place team, before regrouping the following year to come back and win the Superbowl over the Cowboys. I’m wondering if it’ll take a season in the wilderness to purge the bitter taste of blowing Superbowl XLII before the Pats are back again, though I think they ought to win the AFC East and make the playoffs, unlike the 1969 Colts. But beyond that, who the hell knows? They might wind up having to get by the 2008 Colts, also bitter over a post-season upset.

I’m glad Moss will be back. I just hope everyone returning is patient and mentally focused on 2008 and not on 2007.

In the meantime, it’s time to think about those Yankees….

Patriots 48, Cowboys 27 October 14, 2007

Posted by Jim Berkin in Food, Football.
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I think I LIKE this as a possible Super Bowl match-up! The offense rolled merrily along, despite losing their two best runners to injury. Brady’s personal record five TD passes gave him his 76th victory in his first 100 games as an NFL quarterback, tying him with Roger Staubach.

Brady already has more Super Bowl rings, supermodel girlfriends, and “love children” than Staubach, so HE WINS!!!

Romo & The Cowboys kept it a game in the second and third quarters, however. The only real mistake the Pats made, a sack/fumble leading to a Dallas touchdown, gave the Cowboys a little momentum for a while, and Romo was able to complete a series of passes to put his guys back into it before the half. At the end, however, the Pats adjusted their defense, Dallas ran out of gas & Romo threw it away for New England to add on some garbage points.

I enjoyed it all down at the sports bar, since CBS thought it would be better to run the Oakland/San Diego game here on local television. They figured that local fans of the Raiders and Chargers would rather watch that stellar match-up instead of a game between two undefeated powerhouses, and after years of witnessing Raider fans, I’d bet they were right.

Here’s an interesting bit of trivia: There are thousands of Raider fans in the Los Angeles area, and if you add up all their IQs, you get a negative number.

Somehow I never made it to a Raider game when they were playing in the LA Coliseum. Somehow the TV ad campaign featuring baggy-pants wearing prison-bounds flashing gang signs from the stands didn’t encourage me to hop in my car and drive on down.

So, it was off to the sports bar to partake in their DirectTV hookup and watch the REAL GAME in hi-def glory, along with a nice plate of calamari and an EIGHT DOLLAR pint of Guinness. Good God, I must be single-handedly supporting the Irish economy with that. What an amazing mark-up over the Guinness draught in cans that tastes remarkably similar to real draft, and which populates the Wagstaff ‘fridge on a regular basis.

Dallas is pretty good this year, but the Patriots are amazing. Next week: Miami! I hope they don’t take that one for granted, since that vortex-of-suck known as the Dolphins managed to beat them last year and cost them what turned out to be much-needed home field advantage…

Say It Taint So September 12, 2007

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I’d rather Bill Belichick draw inspiration from Vince Lombardi or Chuck Noll than the man pictured above.

Something tells me that no matter how well the Pats play this year, I (and other fans) will waste far too much time trying to argue how this stupid and unnecessary stunt most likely borne of obsessive-compulsive paranoia does NOT taint what will hopefully be a Super Bowl season.

The commish announces the punishment Friday. Something tells me it won’t be sending Belichick to temple the following week to atone.

When the first defense I thought of was “Well, at least he didn’t electrocute any dogs!” I realized how low I was setting the bar.