Tag Archives: Julio Jones

That was the greatest comeback in sports history. I hate you but I salute you, New England Patriots. There were a few good Super Bowl commercials that stood out. And “SNL” gets a hilarious Melissa McCarthy appearance.

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Yeah, I got nothin.’

As the Atlanta Falcons bullied, pummeled, and bludgeoned the New England Patriots all over the field for the first 2 1/2 quarters of Super Bowl 51, I was so, so tempted to gloat. So much was I enjoying seeing my hated nemesis and their two-headed monster, Tom Brady and Bill Belichick get their butts kicked, I wanted to get excited. I want to taunt my Pats fans friends (of which I have many). I wanted to make sarcastic remarks about Bob Kraft and Trump and Brady and so much of the New England mystique getting smushed on Sunday night… but I didn’t.

Because deep, deep, deep down, I knew that even at 28-3, this game wasn’t over. I have seen this movie, this incredible Patriots movie, too many times before. Too many times has No. 12 come down and broken hearts, splintered hopes, destroyed dreams.

And so with an enormous assist from their opponents, the Patriots and their robot quarterback did it again. In the biggest Super Bowl comeback ever (biggest by 14 points!), New England won a 34-28 overtime thriller.

And I’m … spent. In disbelief at how it happened, even as I feared it might. After looking so awful for so long, the Patriots woke up. Stopped dropping passes, stopped letting Brady get hit every time he threw, and actually played a little defense of their own.

And because they did, I have to finally say it: Tom Brady is the greatest QB in NFL history. And his coach is probably the best in NFL history, too (though Lombardi and Paul Brown have some pretty good arguments).

A horrible game. An amazing final quarter. A win that will last forever. A few semi-coherent thoughts from my notes…

— I mean, there have been sports collapses before, and choke jobs, and gag jobs, and just terrible play by teams that are way ahead… but oh my goodness, the 2017 Atlanta Falcons 2nd-half Super Bowl performance will be the standard all other collapses will be judged by. For eternity. you’re up 28-3! So many times they could’ve put this game away, but the two biggest screw-ups have to be throwing the ball on 3rd and 1, when you’re inside field goal range up 28-20 and a FG pretty much wins it in the fourth quarter, and then Matt Ryan’s sack/fumble that gave the Pats life a few minutes earlier.

Just an unbelievable collapse. The Falcons’ D surrendered but it was exhausted by overtime. This loss is just as much on the offense; how do you only throw the ball to Julio Jones FOUR times??? (and on one of those he made one of the greatest catches in Super Bowl history). Just a complete and total meltdown that will forever stain all those involved.

— Somewhere Rodney Harrison, victimized by the David Tyree catch nine years ago in the Super Bowl, was smiling Sunday night. Because that Julian Edelman catch (above) was some kind of Spiderman shit, too. If there was any doubt at that point that the Pats would win, that unreal catch was it.

— Kind of amazing that after dropping so many balls the first three quarters the Pats receivers caught every freaking ball in the fourth quarter and OT. (No, I’m not bitter.)

— Is there anyone in America, except maybe Falcons owner Arthur Blank, who thought once the game went into overtime Atlanta had a chance? Nope. There was no hope, especially after Atlanta lost the OT coin toss. Those defensive players’ legs were rubber.

Lady Gaga performs during the Pepsi Zero Sugar Super Bowl LI Halftime Show held at NRG Stadium on February 5, 2017 in Houston, TX. (Photo by Anthony Behar) *** Please Use Credit from Credit Field ***(Sipa via AP Images)

— Lady Gaga’s halftime performance was stellar and pitch-perfect. Not overly political but certainly inclusive, she performed her hits, had outstanding choreography, and a pretty fantastic finish. Well done.

— A lot of otherwise-bright people will tell you today that this was the “best Super Bowl ever.” Nonsense. It was a one-sided rout for three quarters. It was the best comeback ever, maybe the most dramatic game ever. But it was a snoozefest for a long time.

— I am so, so glad I didn’t have to cover that game and write a coherent story on deadline.

**So, the commercials. I thought they were pretty decent this year, actually. I loved the Turbo Tax Humpty Dumpty one, and I thought the Christopher Walken/Justin Timberlake ad was really clever. But the two I liked the best were the Honda ad with quotes from celebrity high school yearbooks (above) and this one, from Budweiser, about how their two founders met: Really smart and well-done.

**Finally today, this was about the only thing that could cheer me up after the Super Bowl: “Saturday Night Live” hit it out of the park again over the weekend, as Melissa McCarthy did her best Sean Spicer (White House Press secretary) impression.

Again, these things are hilarious but the real-life stuff is just so scary; Trump saying on the Super Bowl pre-game that sure, Putin’s a killer but we’ve got killers in America, too is pretty horrendous, but this passage, from this tremendous NYT story, is what will scare the hell out of me for weeks:

Mr. Bannon remains the president’s dominant adviser, despite Mr. Trump’s anger that he was not fully briefed on details of the executive order he signed giving his chief strategist a seat on the National Security Council,…

The President of the United States had NO IDEA what he was signing!!!!!!!!!!

Ugh. OK. I think I need to take some pills. Have a wonderful day.

 

 

Why I have mixed feelings about Saturday’s enormous marches across U.S. A hockey coach’s Dad does 100 straight push-ups and I’m in awe. And the Falcons and Patriots are feeling Super

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This was a pretty remarkable weekend in the history of the United States.

On Friday, the 45th President of America painted a horribly dark and vile portrait of our current-day 50 state union that seems at odds with reality.

Then on Saturday, millions upon millions of women, white, black and brown, old and young, marched in cities large and small across this nation that’s already great in opposition to the vile man who was just elected, vowing to fight him every step of the way. Men marched as well, and bless them too, but this was overwhelmingly a female statement.

Saturday night the new President and his press secretary chose not to usher in a fresh start and offer a new vision, but instead bitched and moaned at the press, then uttered bald-faced lies.

I don’t want to talk about Trump and his “alternative facts” today, there’ll be plenty of time for that.

I want to talk about the Women’s March, and why it left me with mixed feelings. On the one hand, it was amazing, beautiful, sensational and moving. I’m thrilled beyond belief that so many individuals availed themselves of our right to protest, and spoke loudly and clearly that the new President has many, many opponents.

I just … I just wish the millions who marched Saturday also stayed active and called their local representatives, and lobbied Congress, and ran for office themselves. Because as wonderful as Saturday was, it doesn’t change that the GOP controls 68 out of 100 state legislatures right now, and 31 governorships, and have both houses of Congress and the Presidency.

And that’s where the sausage gets made, the laws that restrict voting rights and have done a powerful job denying women’s rights to their own bodies, and have completely corrupted campaign finance reform, and horribly mismanaged our criminal justice system so a guy is in jail for 40 years for selling an ounce of pot.

That’s where the long-lasting impact of Saturday can lie. The march will be for naught unless we effect small, incremental changes at the lowest levels, and build from the way up. That’s what the Koch brothers realized in the 1980s, and look what they’ve wrought.

Don’t just be fired up and involved in political change once every four years. Come out to vote in 2018’s midterms. Lobby your local officials and don’t let draconian policies that greatly affect you fly under your radar.

Fighting for your rights shouldn’t be a once in a while thing when millions of others are doing it on the same day. It needs to be an every day thing if things are going to change.

 

**So this is pretty fantastic: Most every NHL team has a “Dad’s road trip” each season, where player’s Pops get to come on the road for a week or so, hang out with their famous kids, and watch a lot of games and beam with pride. It’s a really cool quirk and new tradition in the best sport in the world.

This, though, I’ve never seen. A man named Kenichi Ohashi, father of a Caps’ assistant coach, told the team he’d do 100 pushups if they won on Saturday. They won, so he did.

I’m in awe, Mr. Ohashi. Absolute awe.

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**Finally today, the Super Bowl is set, and it’s a matchup we’ve never seen before, which is always nice. But the bleepin’ New England Patriots are in it, which for me isn’t so nice.

A team that hasn’t been in the big game for 18 years, the Atlanta Falcons, destroyed Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers Sunday afternoon, 44-21, and it wasn’t that close.

I’m happy for Matt Ryan, who has presided over some pretty terrible playoff losses in his career and finally has won a big one. I’m happy for two guys I used to cover or write about, Eric Weems and Ricardo Allen, both from Daytona Beach, Fla., who will get the awesome experience of playing in the Super Bowl.

The Falcons offense is pretty sensational; yeah the Packers had won eight in a row and had lots of injuries on defense, but Atlanta just carved them up. Julio Jones, Ryan, a fierce offensive line… the Falcons are dangerous.

And then, the Patriots. This is their, what, 34th Super Bowl in the last 10 years or something? They just keep winning and winning, and Tom Brady made a deal with the devil to stay young forever, and Coach Hoodie keeps finding these undrafted dudes who no one else likes and turns them into Jerry Rice at wide receiver (Chris Hogan, it’s your turn) and it just gets tiring rooting for this team to fail year after year.

I have no idea who’ll win the Super Bowl yet; maybe Atlanta’s offense can light up the scoreboard and make this a great game after what’s been a pretty terrible NFL postseason.

Nobody outside of New England wants to see the Pats win a fifth title. For the next two weeks, we are ALL Falcons fans, right?

A mom writes a hilarious late-excuse note, claiming her daughter suffers from “teenage-ism.” “SNL” takes on Trump in season premiere brilliantly. And the Jets stink, the Falcons soar, and other NFL thoughts

 

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A Happy New Year and L’Shana Tova to my fellow members of the tribe this morning…

There are all kinds of reasons parents offer up in excuse notes, explaining why kids are late.

Ninety-nine percent of them are boring and routine. That’s why when we get a letter like this from Nicole Poppic, a California mom to 14-year-old Cara, it goes viral and makes people laugh. Well, I laughed pretty hard.

Seems that on a recent morning young Cara wouldn’t get out of bed, put headphones on while Mom was talking to her in the car, then asked for an excuse note.

Nicole, who like all parents has a limit on how much shit she will take from her kid, responded first with a perfectly reasonable act:

“I reached over and took her phone off her lap, unplugged her headphones, and threw her phone out the car window,” Nicole told Today.com. Then she wrote with this beautiful and cutting missive (above), explaining her daughter was late due to “teenage-ism.”

Some excerpts: Adolescents across our great nation are afflicted (with teenage-ism) and there is no known cure. This morning she suffered from an inability to remove herself from her bed and also felt the need to talk back to her birth-giver.
She seems to be recovering her senses after watching her cell phone fly out the car window.

**Next up, me and millions of others were probably waiting with baited breath to see what “Saturday Night Live” would cook up for Saturday’s season premiere, given all the shenanigans that happened with the Clinton-Trump election race last week. (I mean honestly, there is so much Trump awfulness flying around that I literally can’t keep track. The idea he might not have paid taxes for 18 years seems like a huge deal, but by Wednesday six more things will have taken its place.)

Happily, “SNL didn’t disappoint. Alec Baldwin, a loathsome human being himself but a pretty good actor, did a great Trump impression, and Kate McKinnon of course killed it again as Hillary. This whole opening sketch is brilliant, but my favorite moment is McKinnon’s oh-so-subtle pushing her jaw back in place after one of Trump’s statements…

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**Finally today, lots of great sports stuff happened over the weekend (I don’t follow college football much, but that Louisville-Clemson game was wild, and I’m genuinely interested in the baseball playoffs this year because the Mets, Indians, and Cubs are compelling storylines) over the weekend, but before getting into all the NFL stuff like usual, wanted to link the great Vin Scully’s final sign-off after 67 years of Dodgers broadcasts.

— My cousin and fellow Jets-diehard Rob texted me last Sunday to say the Jets season was over already, at 1-2. I scoffed at him, told him he was crazy, nothing’s over after three games.

Yeah, they’ve played four games now. Season’s over. They ain’t making the playoffs. Awful effort at home against Seattle Sunday (if Russell Wilson was that good hurt, what the hell would he have done healthy?), three more Ryan Fitzpatrick picks, and a defensive performance that reeked of the Kotite years. At the Steelers and at the suddenly-struggling Cardinals the next two weeks will probably equal 1-5.

All I can say is: NHL season begins soon!

— Matt Ryan, welcome back to the “Good NFL QB Club!” We’ve missed you buddy. Wow what a performance from the Falcons Sunday. Matty Ice passed for 503 yards (300 to Julio Jones, above) as Atlanta crushed Carolina.

— OK, everyone who had Carolina and Arizona, the two NFC championship game teams last year, both 1-3 after four games, please raise your hands. Didn’t think so. Reason No. 4,532 why I don’t gamble on sports.

— ‘Bout time the Patriots lost without Tom Brady. Congrats to Rex Ryan, you beat a team playing with an injured 3rd-string quarterback. Now Brady will come back and the Pats will go 14-2.

— The L.A. Rams are somehow 3-1. I thought they looked horrible on “Hard Knocks” this summer. Usually it’s the opposite, the fabulous behind-the-scenes show makes a team look great, then they stink in real life. Call it the “Reverse HBO Jinx” this year.

— Finally, Antonio Brown of the Steelers got a 15-yard penalty for, I don’t know, humping the air during a game Sunday night. Meanwhile, I saw at least five shots to the head of players Sunday afternoon that weren’t penalized. Sure, NFL, you’ve got your priorities straight.