Saturday, February 28, 2015

Momma Stella … Reviews … Neat Podcast from Brooklyn …Next Week’s TK Feature …

Amici:

An abbreviated TK this fine Saturday morning (the night after the Bolts beat the Black and Blues with a Bishop shutout and goal by Cally, Boyle and 2 from Stamkos … Go Bolts!
 
Momma Stella … was walking us through some classic Stella family nostalgia this fine Saturday … she was telling Ann Marie about her ex (my father) … Poppa Tommy had a few affairs back in the day, ultimately taking off with his first cousin’s wife, a family scandal that Momma Stella took on the chin, but was always the better off for it (the way my sister and I always felt—let loose the excess baggage and move on, MF’ers). Anyway, Annie’s only heard some of these stories a few dozen times already, and lately it seems Momma Stella’s short term memory is fading, so today it was the Dr. Pecoraro story, one Annie hadn’t heard before. It seems MS used to drive the receptionist at the Dr.’s office to work on Saturday mornings on her way to her own job, and in return would get first dibs in the office whenever MS had to get a checkup or whatever. So, one day when MS goes into the Dr.’s office for a checkup, who’s sitting in the reception area but her marital nemesis (the woman the old man took off with).  MS sees her nemesis, stops in her tracks and gives her the famous nickname for which she’s been referred to ever since. “Oh, look who’s here. It’s Gang Bang.”
 
I looked at Annie, saw her brow raise as the smile on her face froze, and then I started and couldn’t stop laughing.
 
“I was lucky she didn’t do something to my car while I was inside,” Momma Stella next said. “Although then I would’ve killed her for real, the slut.”
 
I love my Mommy!
 
House of Cards … Well, it’s back … and although I suffered through most of the first episode waiting for something to happen (while trying to remember what happened at the end of Season 2 (I’m an impatient man), I eventually wanted to move on to episode 2 … which I did this morning between some writing … then we were off to the tax man, and then our visit with Momma Stella. The gym will have to wait until tomorrow. I’ll probably watch a few more episodes later today, of course, but imagine a President so unencumbered by politics (because he’s claiming not to run again), he can be honest? Yeah, science fiction, I know, but it is fun to see a fantasy on the screen … and who better than Kevin Spacey to perform it? It’s a fun series … but I’m missing the French Spiral series and wondering if it’ll ever come back (or did it end?) …


Gypsy’s Kiss, by James Winter … a throwback to the noir PI era, Nick Kepler (former cop) owes a certain stripper/hooker his life; she once took a bullet for him. She’s also fallen for him and him for her. He’s also involved with his partner and another woman. As self-deprecating as he can be at times (which is some of the fun), Nick gets around. In this short, fast-paced read, Nick’s dealing with a special kind of bad guy, someone who leaves deposits after a visit. He’s got Gypsy’s back, but that can be dangerous. He also has money problems and a business about to go bust. A fine novella with all the PI trimmings. No spoilers here …
 
 
 
Next Week’s TK Feature … has to do with a small business grown big by the same hard work and determination that is a trademark of the owner’s family.
 
—Knucks
 
Because the wife mentioned him this morning ... and we love this song.
 
 

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The First of TK’s Special Features: Vincent Miller …



Amici:
Okay, so about 25 years ago, I was coaching the OLB’s at Brooklyn College. I was new to coaching, but still fairly fresh from playing the game at a small college in North Dakota (Minot State back then, now Minot University). I was enthused at the opportunity to coach under Stew Yaker, a personal mentor of mine back in high school. Along with Coaches Frank Morogiello and Barry Cohen, Mrs. Miller (an English teacher at Canarsie High School), Father Scavo (long before high school) at St. Jude, and later Dave Gresham (Writing) at Minot, Sam Toperoff (Writing) at Hofstra and William Jannen (History/Law) at Brooklyn College, coaches and/or teachers and professors have always been the most supportive and influential people in my rather twisted life. The screw-ups along the way were all mine (to own forever, and I do own them) … any and all forms of redemption came from the decency and guidance of those mentioned above, and ultimately my wife, Ann Marie.
 
Back in my novice coaching year, I had a group of young men to coach and work with. One would suffer a horrible tragedy when his sister was murdered during the season. He was strong as a bull, tough as nails, and would go on to be a fine policeman. Another was already married, was also tough as nails, and would always give everything he had. Another was the guy we’re featuring tonight, Vincent Miller. A young man with a ton of determination and desire, Vincent was a coach’s dream: somebody who paid attention, did the work, and was always anxious to learn and do more. I’d say Vincent had about as much desire and determination as anybody I ever played with, and I played with two guys in college who went on to play in the NFL.
About six months ago, I hooked up with Vincent via Facebook (how else?) What a pleasant surprise it was and has been.
 
I decided to feature some posts about people with extraordinary stories … people with that special brand of work ethic and/or determination that allowed them to pursue and achieve their interests and dreams. When I asked Vincent to fill me in on what he’s done since we parted so many years ago (I hadn’t heard anything about him), he sent me an email that tells an extraordinary story. I was literally dumbfounded by what he wrote me (including learning that he was actually failing off the football team back when I was coaching him—I left midway through the following season during a marital breakup and lost contact with pretty much everyone).
So, here’s Vincent’s story … in his words (with some minor editing from me) … it’s actually quite amazing.
Vincent L. Miller is the senior BPI Project Lead at ADP’s Innovation Lab in Chelsea NY.  He received his MBA, in strategic management and a MS in Finance from Baruch College in NYC. A lean transformation specialist and an authority in service operations management, he is a member of member of the Adjunct Faculty at Baruch College, he is certified in Lean by the Society of Mechanical Engineers, certified in Six Sigma methodology by the American Society of Quality (ASQ) and he is a certified in Quality Engineering by ASQ.
Born in Brooklyn NY, Vincent is the eldest son amongst six children.  With an early interest in learning, he excelled in school. Smart enough to be selected for the SP class in Junior High School, he was skipped from the 7th grade to the 9th grade.  Electing to follow his friends rather than focusing on academics, he decided to go to Automotive HS.  The summer before entering HS would change his life.
Growing up in Brooklyn, Vincent played football in the street every day. Developing a love for the game, he played from morning to evening.  That particular summer, he and his brothers visited family in Alabama, where he met his cousin Donnell and decided he wanted to play organized football. Upon returning to NY, Vincent began his journey. Playing sandlot football for Dave Johnson, who instilled a strong work ethic and a high standard of achievement.
Upon graduation from Automotive, Vincent took a year off from school before deciding to go to college.  Holding miscellaneous jobs he devoted his time to weightlifting, hanging out and training to play football.  Prompted by his desire to play college football, he decided to apply for college. He gave some consideration to Colorado State, Alabama A&M and Alabama University, but he feared home sickness and enrolled in Brooklyn College.  In his first year, his focus was academics, and playing football for Kings Bay. That year his GPA was 3.3.
In 1981 Vincent joined the BC football. An undersized first-year outside linebacker, he immersed himself into football and started every game that season.  (Here Vincent was very kind to me, but we’re gonna skip that part). That same semester, Vincent’s GPA was 0.00—four classes and four F’s. (Amici, when I first read this, I did a double-take and said, WTF?) (smiley face, I think) ... 
For the next 3 years, “Right” (Vincent’s nickname) subordinated everything to football, weights, track and partying---all in that order.  For three straight years, he failed half his classes during football season and passed every class during the spring semesters and summer sessions.
In 1983, the NFL was very interested in small college football players. And in1983 Vincent/Right was considered one of the best small college football players on the East Coast. So with his last year coming up, he put all of his eggs in one basket. He stopped going to class totally.  He worked out twice a day. He joined the track team.  He worked all summer to get his 40 speed down and his weight up.  That year he went to camp in his best ever shape. He figured in order to make himself marketable, he had to excel at as many aspects of the game as he could.  That year he started returning punts.
Well into his first game of the season, Right was having the worst night of his college career.  In the third quarter he had no tackles, no assists--nothing.  Determined to do something exceptional, he told his running mate that he would take the next punt. He caught the punt and returned it 45 yards, giving the team excellent field position, but when he was tackled, he was hit in the ankle by a helmet.  In a single moment, his hopes for a professional career in the NFL were gone. His ankle remained swollen for the next 3 weeks.  When the scout came to check his time in the forty, it went up from 4.5 outdoors to 4.8 indoors—much less than average.
Other opportunities did present themselves.  Kicked out of school for poor grades, Vincent left BC without a degree and headed to Italy and play and coach professional football.  During that time he learned to speak Italian.
Upon his return to the states, Vincent began his professional career. After a few miscellaneous jobs, he landed a position with Schmitt Sussman.  Promoted 3 times in 5 years, from Sales Representative to his final assignment of Assistant Vice President within this $500 million dollar insurance agency. For eight year he lead a staff of 35 service agents and support staff, producing $13 million in annual sales—50% of the agency’s annual revenue. While at Schmitt Sussman, Vincent was recruited by MCU to turnaround an underperforming operation. Vincent was responsible for new customer acquisitions, managing service channels and defining service standards for nine offices and 300 frontline staff within the organization.  At MCU, Vincent led the development and execution of strategic plans that doubled assets from $575 million to $1.1 billion through the acquisition of 235 new corporate accounts and 60,000+ new customer accounts during his tenure.
 
It was during his time at MCU that Vincent decided he wanted an MBA. His problem was he needed to finish his undergraduate degree first. In the spring of 1999, fourteen years after being kicked out BC, he enrolled in the New School in New York, and in one year he took 40 credits and graduated.  After graduating, Vincent entered Baruch College. There he studied strategic management for two-years. He graduated with a 3.79 average. A year later he completed his MS in finance, graduating with a 3.53.
 
Now an Adjunct Professor at Baruch College, Vincent is teaching 3-courses this semester. A senior member of the American Society for Quality (ASQ), he was selected to present at 2012 World Conference on Quality Improvement.  Vincent is married and has three children.
Okay, so what does his old OLB coach say to a story like that?
Bravo, of course … and, Sei un compagno straordinario, Vincenzzo.
Next TK Special Feature has to do with another hard working individual who built a small family business into a million dollar enterprise. Look for it over the next two weeks (not that we won’t remind yous) …
—Charlie

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Book Review: Holy Fool, by Ken Butler … Movie Reviews: The Judge, A Five Star Life, Chef … NEW TK FEATURE STARTING NEXT WEEK …

Amici:

Holy Fool, by Kenneth Butler … Brendan Malcolm O’Toole has a dilemma. He’s questioning both his faith and purpose. It’s not so much the existence of a God that concerns him, but O’Toole wonders whether he’s worthy of serving.  He likes women. In fact, he’s come to crave them. In the small town where he’s trying to hold onto his flock and the church it serves, there’s a young woman hot to trot with O’Toole. While O’Toole struggles with his personal problems, Sissy St. Hilaire has even bigger issues. She’s been a serial adulterer throughout her marriage to her wealthy, materialistic and atheist husband, George. Her kids are going through normal youthful dysfunction complicated by wealth. When Sissy receives a call about George’s recent car accident, her world is turned upside down. Sissy is flummoxed to learn George has taken a change of heart (and soul). He’s become a spiritual man and wants to serve the lord in ways Sissy (and at least one of her kids) can’t fathom (like giving up all his riches to become a priest). She asks George to check into the local loony bin and it’s there she comes across Father O’Toole. There’s chemistry in the air, but George leaves the hospital and nobody knows where he’s gone. The fun starts early on and becomes uproariously funnier with each titled chapter (which are also funny).
 
There’s a message in the book as well. It isn’t a novel making fun of religion, not by a longshot. The author, Ken Butler, was born a Catholic, lost his faith, and then regained it. He’s also been a playwright and teacher. I met him up in the MFA program at Southern New Hampshire University and can still remember his graduation speech (he had the place in stitches).
 
Holy Fool is a wonderful read you won’t put down. Clever, cynical, sarcastic, witty and profound. Ken Butler has nailed it. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
 
Kenneth Butler was born in Portsmouth, New Hampshire when it was still a blue-collar seaport town. He graduated from Portsmouth High School just as the city was discovered by the artistic, then the financially comfortable, and began on a course that has concluded with a fine and complete gentrification of the city. The most telling symbol for this transformation was the greasy-spoon Teddy's Lunch on Market Square morphing into Cafe Brioche.
 
Butler was a film studies major at Emerson College in Boston. In 1983, through connections there and sheer favoritism, he secured a job as a Story Editor for Roger Corman's New World Pictures in Los Angeles, where he had a brief and undistinguished career writing script reports on the screenplays in the studio's slush pile. Over the course of the next twelve years, he would return to Hollywood several times to work in various low-level capacities for MGM/UA, the Walt Disney Studios and Columbia Pictures. He also collaborated on five screenplays, all of which met with varying degrees of failure -- or at least no success.
 
Somewhere in there he got married and divorced (no children), and traveled a half-dozen times to Europe, visiting England, Wales, France, Germany and Sweden.
 
He returned to New England in 1995 and enjoyed favorable productions of three full-length stage plays -- Chinese Checkers, Cannibals (about the disappearance of Michael Rockefeller in New Guinea in 1961) and A Pound of Flesh. When he failed to secure productions by any major American theatre companies, he threw in the playwrighting towel.
 
In 1999 he received a BA in Creative Writing from Plymouth State University and taught History and Drama at the Woodward School for Girls in Quincy, Massachusetts from 2000-2007. He also taught eight summers at Phillips Exeter Academy, and one year at the Holderness School. It was during this period that he wrote his first two novels, The Ghosts of Swallowtail, about malevolent spirits in a girls school near Boston, and A Pound of Flesh, a comic caper novel that was also a fleshed-out, expanded narrative which taking its premise (disparate and desperate eccentrics fighting over Grigori Rasputin's preserved penis) from his earlier play of the same title.
 
In 2012 he received an MFA in Fiction from Southern New Hampshire University, with authors Robert Begiebing, Katherine Towler, merle Drown and Richard Adams Carey as his mentors. His third novel, Holy Fool, served as his master's thesis.
 
He now lives in New England, where he teaches literature and film courses at a private prep school. He is at work on his fourth novel.
 
 
 
 
Movie Reviews:
The Judge … we both enjoyed this more than we expected. Robert Downy Jr. does his usual cynical, sarcastic character (I don’t think I’ve ever seen him not play a role this way), but it was the rest of the cast I enjoyed, Robert Duval, Vera Farmiga, Vincent D’Onofrio and Jeremy Strong. Duval is always Duval (and it always works for me) … a hotshot lawyer comes home after a prolonged estrangement from his family (his father, the Judge, Duval, for reason you’ll have to watch the movie to learn) to bury his mother and winds up defending his father in a murder case. Nothing profound, but it was pleasant viewing for a frigid afternoon last weekend.
 
A Five Star Life … I enjoyed this one solo … mostly because I’ve seen the actress (Margherita Buy) in other eye-talian flicks … she’s a “mystery hotel guest” (someone who rates the service of luxury hotels), but it’s become her life, a lonely one she discovers … there’s a series of crisis around her and her family as she comes to terms with life on the road. Stefano Acorsi is also wonderful in his role as ex-husband in a frightening (for him) new role. A good view any time.
 
Chef … probably the best of the feel good trio, written and directed by John Favreau … it’s an all-star cast that doesn’t disappoint. SofĂ­a Vergara, John Leguizamo, Scarlett Johansson, Oliver Platt, Bobby Cannavale, Dustin Hoffman, and Robert Downey, Jr. (doing his usual cynical, sarcastic shtick). Lots of fun, start to finish. And the music really truly rocked. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
 
NEW TK FEATURE STARTING NEXT WEEK …
 
Okay, so every once in a while, Temporary Knucksline will feature an individual for being anything from interesting to successful to interesting and successful … artistic, a humanitarian, and sometimes for just being a decent human being. Next week we’ll feature a kid I once coached at OLB at Brooklyn College, Vincent Miller. He’s no kid now. Wait’ll you read this kid’s story. Truly amazing.
 
 
Vincent Miller the way I remember him ...

Vincent Miller today.

In a few weeks, we’ll be featuring another success story that also deals with an incredible work ethic and the kind of determination that turns a small family business into a million dollar enterprise. You want clues? Stay tuned, amici … stay tuned.
 
—Knucks
 
Taking care of business …

Friday, February 13, 2015

Book Reviews: Words to Die For … Missionary Stew … Dogfella has an official book cover …

Amici:
Words to Die For, Lynn Kostoff … well, it’s already received a *STARRED* review from Booklist, so all I can add is the following: Simply put, Words to Die For is another brilliant novel from one of the very best in the business, Lynn Kostoff. It’s 1986 in Indiana, where Raymond Locke works miracles at a public-relations firm called Public Domain. What he does is provide damage control to fuck-ups (whether they’re individuals, corporations, or the greedy SOB’s running the corporations). He’s very good at his job and is famous in the industry for saving a Bishop after the Bishop’s mistress committed suicide and left a very destructive note behind. Raymond is married to the love of his life (love at first sight), Kate. They have an autistic child, Andrew, who requires constant attention and care, but the strains of his job and their son place their marriage in jeopardy.
 
When an outbreak of salmonella and other poisoning occurs on the heels of Public Domain’s biggest client, Happy Farms Chickens’ (whose motto is: Only The Rooster Gets A Better Piece Of Chicken) grand opening of a couple of fast-food restaurants, a 10-year old girl winds up in a coma. Raymond has to step up big time to try and save the company from the greedy corner cutting it may have enacted for the sake of profit. Not a very envious task to have (protecting scumbags), but Raymond has to do his job and it’s crucial he get it done if he wants to save his marriage and maintain the week-to-week affordability of his stress-filled life. The girl, Tina Brackett, has a father who’s been to hell and back as regards luck, but he’s now sporting less than half a deck. He’s a major problem for all concerned, especially since nobody can figure out what exactly his angle might be … does he intend to sue his former employer, Happy Farms, or take a settlement (of sorts). There are a couple of opportunistic journalists seeking higher profiles of celebrity (and perhaps a Pulitzer) determined to bring down the owner of Happy Farms Chicken, an unlikeable little shit named Lamar Ditell. There’s also an opportunistic prosecutor looking to hang a murder charge on Ditell should the young girl die. There’s a ton going on and all of it is intriguing and very thought provoking. One is constantly asking oneself, why is this decent man working to protect such scumbags?
 
Against the backdrop of this 1986 story is Iran-Contra scandal (talk about spinning something into nothing) … Kostoff does a wonderful job of juxtaposing the two disasters; how they’re ultimately perceived by a public helplessly hypnotized by the drama spun by professionals. Think that’s not possible? This morning a public opinion poll show 56% of Americans in favor of putting ground troops back in Iraq.
 
A passage I particularly loved shows how Raymond often felt about his job rescuing people from their lapses in judgment and/or stupidity and/or bad nature(s): As long as he continued to feel appalled. Raymond told himself, he’d be all right.  Appalled kept him from getting lost.  Appalled was good.  Appalled was the line of breadcrumbs he dropped in order to find his way back home.
 
Words to Die For is brilliant writing, start to finish. Kostoff once again leaves this reader envious of what is obviously his natural gift of masterful craftsmanship. He remains one of the very best in the business today.
 
VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED (as are all of Kostoff’s works).
 
 
 
Missionary Stew, by Thomas Ross … this one also leans toward St. Reagan’s Iran-Contra motif, wherein government officials and their protectorate (the CIA and FBI) are pulling few stops to quash the smell of American atrocities overseas. Draper Haere is a political fundraiser having an affair with a Governor anxious to become the President’s wife (the wife is also anxious for her husband to become president). There’s a journalist who’s been held in captivity in Africa who’s been fed human flesh in the stew served by the prison. Draper needs to learn the secret behind the secrets of a right-wing coup in Central America. Draper and the journalist (Morgan Citron, who has a mother with limited motherhood ability, is also in the mix) wind up pitted against drug dealers, dirty generals (supported and protected by both the CIA and the FBI). It’s an ironic and clever read, loaded with some great one-liners. Recommended for those who enjoy a page turner filled with ironic humor and open to the underhanded dealings of our government.
 
 

There was a picture shoot for the cover of the book and this may just be the actual cover … James Head Giuliani with Primo and Charlie and Yum-Yum (on his lap) … The release date is just around the corner … but you can pre-order now and put this baby into the stratosphere.
 
 
—Knucks
 
Great Scenes from GREAT movies … this week it’s Rounders … Teddy KGB .. .Mr. Son-of-a-bitch

Check, Check, Check …

Friday, February 6, 2015

SNHU MFA Graduates … Heather Atwood, Ken Butler … and mentors: Rick Carey & Merle Drown … Movie Review: Room 514 … Super Recap …

Amici:

Heather Horvat Atwood’s thesis, “Exquisite Animals,” is the story of an aspiring ballerina who lives only to dance, is betrayed by her body, and turns to stripping in her search for salvation. “Exquisite Animals” is about the things we’ll do to keep a dream alive, and the pull of desire, drugs, and human connections. In July 2014, Heather won first place in a six word story contest sponsored by Writing North Idaho. She received her B.A. in English literature from Southern New Hampshire University. Born and raised in central Pennsylvania, she currently lives in Mesa, Arizona.
 
 
Diane Les Becquets: Heather’s 4th semester mentor: Exquisite Animals, Heather’s evocative and gripping New Adult novel, follows an obsessive young ballerina on the rise to fame in the Pittsburgh Ballet Company, to her spiral as a strip dancer following an injury, and her subsequent addiction to seduction, alcohol, drugs, and power. But how far can one such spiral take someone, a once beautiful young woman, still young, perhaps still beautiful, but denigrated by the trappings of sex and her lust to be desired? The reader can only hold her breath and hope for the self-redemption that Sarah finally turns to before it is too late. The author’s command is skillful, and the writing artful, lending to a riveting story of destruction and hope and at last liberation.
 
 
I say: I’ve read some of “Exquisite Animals” and it is proof positive that this lady can write.
 
 
Ken Butler … a very interesting dude (and possibly one of the funniest men alive) … I’ll never forget his graduation speech (my first semester in the MFA program) … he had the place in stitches. Holy Fool is Ken’s debut novel … Sissy St. Hilaire wakes up in Vermont to learn that her millionaire husband, George, is in a coma after a car accident. George recovers, but he is not the same – he is kinder, smarter, and stunningly serene. George has always been an atheist, a heel, and fervently materialistic; now he is ecstatically spiritual, ignoring money and his business concerns.
 
When George announces he is abandoning his company and family to become a Catholic priest, Sissy insists that he commit himself for observation. At the mental hospital, Sissy, a serial adulteress, meets young Father O’Toole, a man with a crisis of faith and a roving eye. Sissy realizes she is attracted to O’Toole, who promises to try and help her with her husband’s situation.
 
Listen to me, amici, Ken is a phenomenal writer and incredibly interesting guy.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Thursday, February 12, 2015
 6pm,  Walker Auditorium, Robert Frost Hall
 Southern New Hampshire University
 Hooksett, NH
 
 
Richard Adams Carey (Raven’s Children: An Alaskan Culture at Twilight, Against the Tide: The Fate of the New England Fisherman, and The Philosopher Fish: Sturgeon, Caviar, and the Geography of Desire)  will be reading from In the Evil Day: Violence Comes to One Small Town, forthcoming in October 2015. It describes a day in August, ‘97, on which four leading citizens of Colebrook, NH were killed by a man with property-rights grievances.
 
Merle Drown (Plowing Up A Snake and The Suburbs Of Heaven) will be reading from Lighting the World, forthcoming in March 2015. This work explores a tragic 1980s shooting that occurred in a Concord high school shortly before the Challenger explosion that killed Concord teacher Christa McAuliffe. That event overwhelmed the earlier tragedy, which was soon all but forgotten.
 
Room 514 (Israeli film)
Interesting movie about an Israeli officer about to retire having to investigate the abuse of an Arab family by one of the Israeli Army’s elite squads (another officer) … HIGHLY RECOMMENDED …
 
 
Super Bowl Recap … what can I say? The Cheatriots have officially earned yet another asterisk and the NFL cover-up has officially begun. As a friend recently pointed out: How can you not like the TV shot of Paul Allen in a sweatshirt in the box vs. Kraft in his two tone pimp outfit? Wasn’t it interesting how Kraft didn’t have his teenage girlfriend in attendance? Or maybe she was hiding with the ball boy someplace. As one Boston journalist put it (paraphrasing): Pete Carroll finally delivered New England a Super Bowl Champion.
 
Now, if only it wasn’t as tainted as the other three they have under coach Bill BeliCHEAT.
 
Go Rex! Go Bills!
 
—Knucks
 
Since Cheatriot fans are so determined to live in the past (the Super Bowl was last week, after all) … I thought I’d remind them of how their illustrious team fared when they weren’t cheating:  SMILEY FACE.


 

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Fun with Bill and Tom … Just the FACTS … Dynasty or Asterisks?

Amici:
Fun with Bill and Tom: Hey, the last two weeks have been a total blast for Bills fans. It’s been Christmas 24/7. And tonight it all culminates in a no-lose situation for us Bills fans (and most of the rest of the country). Nobody likes cheaters. Ask Richard Nixon, Lance Armstrong, Tanya Harding, Barry Bonds, Alex A-Roid Rodriguez, and now Bill BeliCHEAT. Most non-football fanatics (like my wife and others not devoted to making themselves crazy over a stupid game) look at it this way: If they cheated, they shouldn’t play in the Super Bowl.
 
Bills fans agree!  And so does the rest of the country!
 
PHOENIX — America has spoken, and it thinks the Patriots are lying cheaters. 
 
 
So, amici, the great day is finally upon us. No, not the Washington Mountain hike, not the 100 lbs. of weight loss (that continues to escape me by 8-12 pounds), not the start of the NHL Playoffs, nope, nothing that spectacular. Tonight it’s another Super Bowl. This one between the defending Champion Seattle Seahawks (i.e., Sea Pigeons) and the New England Cheatriots (i.e., Cheatriots).
 
The recent alleged scandal involves the deflated footballs used by the Cheatriots during the AFC championship game two weeks ago. Although at least some of the FACTS have been revealed (or there wouldn’t be an “ongoing NFL investigation,” for whatever that’s worth), repeating said FACTS 500 or 501 or 502 x’s doesn’t register with some of those living in 4 New England states the same way actual FACTS continue to confuse FOX news (to the point where they make up their own facts).
 
So, for the records (and 503rd time), here are the FACTS as we all know them (and some continue to deny them). 
 
FACT 1: The Cheatriots and BeliCHEAT were caught and fined by the NFL for SPYGATE.
 
FACT 2: In 2006, Tom Brady petitioned the NFL to have teams supply their own game balls. Prior to 2006, each team played with the SAME BALL.
 
 
FACT 4: Roger Goodell burned the SPYGATE tapes the league had obtained.
 
FACT 5: The night before the AFC Championship game two weeks ago, Robert Kraft had Roger Goodell at his house for dinner and pictures were taken.
 
FACT 6: The day of the game, both team footballs were checked for the proper league standard psi. Both team footballs met the requirements.
 
FACT 7: At the half, based on prior suspicions and complaints about Cheatriot deflated footballs, the Cheatriot footballs were found to be deflated by as much as 2 lbs psi. The Colts game balls remained within the league standards (i.e., no deflation).
 
FACT 8: A videotape of a Cheatriot staff member (i.e., ballboy) shows the ballboy stepping into a bathroom with the game football already approved by the game officials.
 
FACT 9: It takes as little as 7.5 seconds to deflate a ball 2 lbs psi.
 
FACT 10: The Cheatriots only ran the ball 4 times for 13 yards vs. the Ravens a week earlier.
 
FACT 11: There were prior suspicions of deflated balls, which is why the officials checked the game balls at the half of the AFC Championship game.
 
FACT 12: The Cheatriots had the fewest amount of fumbles during the season (suggesting, at the least, a deflated ball is easier to grip and hold).
 
Cheatriot fans ironically cry foul (the league is out to get them). The rest of the civilized world, including those objective enough to look at the evidence, see it otherwise. A team loaded with talent, with arguably one of the two best QB’s in NFL history, and a coach with similar credentials, were already caught cheating and fined once, yet we’re to believe this mysterious ball deflation somehow was a miracle of modern science on one sideline but not the other sideline.
 
The Science … Bill BeliCHEAT claims it was science that proves his side of the field ONLY was affected (is he seriously suggesting climate change?) … Bill Nye the Science Guy claims BeliCHEAT is full of hot air.  We say that excuse is about as arrogant as it gets (i.e., BeliCHEAT telling the paying public, fans, et al … they can go F themselves).
 
The NFL, in its infinite corruption, sought out a scientific excuse from Columbia University in New York. Can the start of the cover-up be any more obvious? Roger Goodell will have this “investigation” sleep with the fishes (as opposed to a repeat performance--burning the footballs the way he burned the SPYGATE tapes).
 
The Ball Boy … it’s already been proved on video that not only did the Cheatriot’s ball boy take the bag of approved footballs into the bathroom for 90 seconds, the amount of time it takes to deflate 12 footballs averaged 7.5 seconds per ball. More importantly, should the “investigation” find fault with the ball boy, are the rest of us to believe Tom Shady Brady (the guy who handles the ball most often) had nothing to do with the deflation (i.e., “Hey, ball boy, don’t forget to not deflate the balls.”) … or are we to believe a ball boy woke up two weeks ago and decided, “Hey, I think I’ll step into the bathroom out of view of the security cameras and deflate the game balls today!”
 
Don’t forget FACT #2 up above (Brady’s petitioning the league to have the teams use their own footballs). Prior to 2006, both teams used the same league football. Are we to believe Brady hasn’t been cheating since 2006? Really?
 
 
Dynasty or Asterisks … well, if the Sea Pigeons win tonight, it may mean the start of a new NFL dynasty. The loss will be number 5 for the Cheatriots/Choketriots, giving them one more loss than my beloved New York State Buffalo Bills.

How cool is that?
 
Should the Cheatriot win, it’ll just be one more *ASTERISK* for the New England franchise that has a history of CHEATING. Perhaps fitting is the fact that one of their former players, a friggin’ sociopathic serial killer, Aaron Hernandez, is on trial for murder this week. If you look at BeliCHEAT’s reaction to the Aaron Hernandez situation, it looks kind of similar to his reaction to deflategate.
 
He was shocked.
 

 
Shocked, I tell yous!

 
Oh, ONE MORE FACT, amici … Eli still owns Giselle's husband!

 
—Knucks
 
The most common sense and obvious explanation … thank you, Mr. Aikman (hall of fame QB without a single asterisk alongside his name).

Friday, January 30, 2015

Happy Anniversary, Principessa … Sue Kennedy ... Movie Reviews … Deflated Deflategate? … Super Prediction …

Amici:

Happy Anniversary, Principessa Dolcezza!

Susan Kennedy … another SNHU MFA graduate has some good news to share. Her short story Portsmouth Propriety has been published in LOVE FREE OR DIE, the fourth volume in the NH Pulp Fiction series, edited by Elaine Isaak and published by Plaidswede Publishing Concord. A couple of events will be held next month to celebrate the book's publication. Susan will be at the one on February 12 at Gibson's Bookstore at 7 p.m. and would love to see some friendly faces there! 

Movies:


Copenhagen … the first of two movies I wasn’t sure I’d last watching and was more than pleasantly surprised. This one features an angry, arrogant, abusive young man (in his late 20’s) on a European trek with the intention of meeting his grandfather, a mysterious figure from his past. He’s with a friend who briefly abandons him to get married, but returns after he’s jilted. In an effort to read a letter written in Danish, our protagonist meets a mature young teenager (14) … as often as I’d thought I’d close the screen out, I wound up staying with it and in the end very much enjoyed this movie.  


Barefoot … the second of the surprises … another form of arrogance (perhaps a sociopath) always getting himself in trouble (gambling, etc.) winds up working in a psychiatric hospital (mopping floors) where he meets a recent admission, a woman with the mind of a child. There’s a reason for her situation that requires a spoiler you won’t get here. The protagonist is estranged from his very wealthy Dad (a kind of overused theme), but again, it’s the lady in the picture who made this one very enjoyable. Two very good feel good movies for me during the great blizzard that wasn’t. 

 
Deflated Deflategate?

FACT: The NFL has covered up issues in the past, including burning the SPYGATE tapes so nobody could ever see just how much BeliCHEAT was CHEATING … and anyone remember how it handled Ray Rice?

They’re letting this one go just the way everyone assumed they would … because of the BFF relationship between the Cheatriots owner, Robert (I hug wife beaters like Floyd Mayweather in my sky box while chastising Ray Rice AND we signed Aaron Hernandez when nobody else would, Kraft) … NOTHING WILL CHANGE THE ASTERISK LEGACY OF THE CHEATRIOTS, BELICHEAT AND, SORRY TO SAY, SHADY TOM BRADY.
 
Super Prediction … Either the Sea Pigeons bury the Cheatriots, 34-21 … or the Cheatriots earn yet another *ASTERISK* …
 
— Knucks
 
The official song of Malocchio … (for the Cheatriots) …