Eras in sports usually don’t end with a bang, but with a whimper.
Speaking as a New York Jets fan, and on behalf of all non-New England Patriots fans in the world, one can only hope that that whimper came for the legendary, and much-loathed in my house, Tom Brady.
I can’t say I was shocked by the Tennessee Titans going to Foxboro and upsetting the Pats, 20-13 Saturday night. I was thrilled, of course, but not stunned. New England, despite being 12-4, just hasn’t been all that good on offense this year, as once again for some mind-boggling reason, the front office and coaches haven’t given Brady anywhere near enough weapons to work with.
Brady and the Pats looked old, and feeble, for most of the game Saturday, as the younger, hungrier Titans chewed up the clock with workhorse running back Derrick Henry (dude just runs angry and is so, so good) and an aggressive defense.
And after the game, moments after Brady threw a feeble pick-six for the final margin of victory, all talk was about whether the Patriots dynasty had ended, whether that was Brady’s last game (he’s a free agent now, and it’s not clear he’ll be back with the Pats), yada yada yada.
As a Patriots hater wishing for this end of their insanely long reign for a long time, I say… not so fast, my friend. I don’t think Brady’s going out like that, I don’t think he’s going to play for the Buccaneers or the Redskins or another team next season, or anything like that.
No way Bill Belichick is ready to move on without his meal ticket. Tom Brady will be back under center next year, with some shiny new toys at wide receiver, and he’ll be torturing me some more.
Bank on it.
Other NFL playoff thoughts from a weekend that had four compelling, close games:
— I think both the Bills AND Texans should’ve been knocked out of the playoffs Saturday, since both coaches and teams made so many stupid plays and decisions. But hey, somebody’s gotta win, and after coming back from a 16-0 deficit, it finally was Houston. Deshaun Watson, this blog’s favorite NFL human, was spectacular in overtime, somehow avoiding two dudes trying to kill him and making a huge completion. I feel bad for Bills fans, I really do, because they haven’t won a playoff game since the year the O.J. Simpson trial ended (1995) and totally could’ve won this one.
— I don’t want to hear any crying or bellyaching from New Orleans Saints fans today. Once again at home, once again a big favorite, just like last year, the Saints blew it, losing 26-20 in overtime to the Minnesota Vikings.
Last year, New Orleans was screwed by a blatant non-call of pass interference by the Rams, and it was a horrible call, but the Saints still had chances to win the game in OT.
Sunday the Saints lost on a Kirk Cousins TD pass to Kyle Rudolph, and there was a possible call of offensive pass-interference that could’ve been made against Rudolph. But it was far from obvious, and the Saints offense played like garbage for most of the game, and hey, Saints defense, you let the Vikings drive 75 yards in nine plays in OT, maybe if you want to win the game, don’t do that?
Great win for the Vikes. But another gag job by a Saints team that’s just way too talented to keep falling short in the playoffs.
— Don’t tell me the NFL cares about protecting quarterbacks, or about its players taking head shots, when Jadaveon Clowney does this to Eagles QB Carson Wentz and no flag is thrown, and Wentz is knocked out of the game.
**Next today, it’s been awhile since I’ve mocked a really bad infomercial in this space, but I saw this one last week while flipping around and yeah, I can’t let it go.
This is a time-wasting device for cats called the Pop N’ Play, and it seems beyond ridiculous. I mean, look, I’m not a cat, and if I were maybe I’d find this amusing. But this thing looks idiotic. Does the cat think the mouse is really in there and the cat’s really going to get it? Doesn’t the cat start to give up after a few minutes, and go back to rolling the toilet paper?
I mean, this just looks really really mean to do to your cat, who you supposedly love.
**And finally today, awards show season officially kicked off Sunday with the Golden Globes, which I always enjoy for their over-the-top ridiculousness. My many quick-hit thoughts on a pretty entertaining show, despite its host.
Ricky Gervais: Mostly unfunny, although his Martin Scorsese joke about him being too small to go on the rides at theme parks was funny.
It’s not that I think it’s wrong he destroyed and savages many Hollywood types, that’s all part of the drill at awards shows. I just don’t think he’s all that amusing; his arrogance and know-it-all attitude just don’t do it for me.
I know some people love him, but I repeat my wish that Amy Poehler and Tina Fey just host every awards show from now on. They are amazing every time.
— “Succession” won for Best TV drama, and I just don’t get it. The wife and I watched most of the first season and hated it. Hated all the characters, hated the plot, and just didn’t find any of that family interesting. But it’s become a phenomenon in some circles and critics now seem to love it.
— Tom Hanks is just the best. Beautiful speech. I will say, though, when doing a lifetime achievement award, you don’t HAVE to show all of the actor’s terrible movies, too. I’m sorry, but “Volunteers?” “Turner and Hooch?” Those were horrendous Tom Hanks movies. I mean, it’s OK, everyone makes some stinkers, but you really don’t need to show them.
— Best-dressed at the Globes: Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston both looked amazing, and wow, Kerry Washington’s outfit (above) was… kind of jaw-dropping. Also, ScarJo is in a beauty class of her own.
“So, cleavage is clearly the theme this year,” my wife/official awards show fashion guru said at one point.
“Ummm, isn’t cleavage always the theme at awards shows?” I innocently asked.
On the boys side, my wife declared Matt Bomer and Pierce Brosnan “always hot.” Can’t argue. And for worst dressed, Gwyneth Paltrow is by far the winner. What the hell was she wearing?
— Beautiful tribute to Ellen DeGeneres by Kate McKinnon, choking up as she discussed Ellen giving her a roadmap to comedy success and thanking her for showing how an LGBTQ person could be seen on TV.
“She risked her entire life & her entire career in order to tell the truth and she suffered greatly for it. Of course, attitudes change, but only because brave people like Ellen jump into the fire … Thank you, Ellen, for giving me a shot at a good life.”
Really, really sweet stuff from the incredibly funny McKinnon.
— And finally, Quentin Tarantino is a weird, weird dude who gave a weird, weird speech. That is all. If he and Gwyneth Paltrow had kids together, that would be one screwed-up child.