via ebay

Feldman: Ah yes, did you bring the um … the specimen of your um … and so on, and so on?
Martin: Yes I did. It’s in the car. [pause] There’s rather a lot.
Feldman: Good, good.
Martin: Do you really need twelve gallons?
Feldman: No, no, not really.
Martin: Do you test it?
Feldman: No.
Martin: Well, why do you want it?
Feldman: Well, we do it to make sure that you’re serious about wanting insurance

Monty Python’s Flying Circus. Royal Episode 13 1970

Last night on the way home from being the only temp who showed up for work I was listening to yet another breathless scoop about how things are falling apart in Patriots land and how the Jimmy G trade is the Patriot apocalypse

This is no surprise lately I’ve been listening to a lot of sports radio on my way to and from work and even without the new story today that’s all I’ve heard for weeks.  Brady in decline, Garoppolo the new king.  I’m rapidly reaching the limits of my patience with the people who are screaming bloody murder both over Jimmy Garoppolo success in San Francisco.

What Jimmy Garoppolo has done in his first four starts with the San Francisco 49ers after coming over via trade from the New England Patriots before the deadline is unprecedented. Quarterbacks don’t simply switch teams midseason and then light the world on fire. Through that lens, Garoppolo has no equal.

and the so called “decline” of Tom Brady.  It’s time to tackle it.

There are two basic lines of complaints, let’s tackle them in order

#1  “We should have traded Tom Brady and kept Jimmy G”!

This argument has but a single basis, but it’s a strong one. Tom Brady is a 40 year old QB and even though he is clearly the greatest QB of all time (youtube arguments not withstanding) if not the greatest football player of all time it is inevitable that either age will finally catch up with him or he will decide that he just doesn’t want to do this anymore. After all the anger over being underestimated or disrespected can only drive a person for so long.

And they do have a point here, based on this page at statisca.com they can argue that Tom Brady is playing on borrowed time since he has already played:

OVER 5 x as many seasons as the average NFL player (5.45)
OVER 4 x as many seasons as the avg QB (4.09)
3 x as many season as the avg rookie who makes an opening day Roster (2000)
OVER 2 x as many seasons as the avg player with 3 pension credited seasons (2.53)
53% longer than players with at least once pro bowl selection

and in what must be his favorite stat

Nearly TWICE as long as the average 1st round pick (1.93) next year it will be over double

On the other hand as he has already blown every single longevity stat out of the water we’ve already established that these state are meaningless when it comes to Brady.  There is no reason to believe he can’t continue for as many as two or three more years he continues to move these stats up.

However while the “Shouda traded Brady” crowd are happy to talk about those stats in terms of borrowed time, nobody is talking about how these same Stats might apply to Jimmy Garoppolo.

Garoppolo has already played longer in the NFL player than the average player (3.3 years)
Garoppolo has already played over 90% as long as the average NFL quarterback (4.4 years)
Garoppolo has already played 67% as long as the average NFL player who makes an opening day roster in their rookie season (2014) (6 yrs)
Garoppolo has already played over 56% as long as the average NFL player with 3 pension credited seasons (7.1)
Garoppolo despite being a 2nd round pick as already played over 43% as long as the average 1st round pick (9.3)

And presuming Garoppolo makes the pro-bowl next year he will have played 42% as long as the average pro-bowl player. (11.7)

So unless you think that Brady will retire after this year or the next based on current averages unless you have some kind of magic 8 ball into the future you have no reason to believe that Jimmy Garoppolo will outlast Tom Brady by enough years to make it worth while.

They further point to the last five weeks claiming and this ESPN report that this is the beginning of the end for either Belechick or Brady

Let me remind everyone that Brady in December went 4-1 over those last five game in a situation where going 3-2 would have been the difference between the 1st seed or the second seed and anything worse might have been the difference between having a 1st round bye and not, and did so at the end of a season where he’s taken a bunch of hits but the leading contender for MVP

Jimmy G’s 5-0 run while very impressive came in games where the difference between going 5-0 & 0-5 was the difference between finishing last in their division, or finishing last in their division. Before I start crying over having Tom Brady as my QB in 2018 I’d like to see Jimmy and the 49ers win some meaningful games next year against Seattle, Arizona and LA when there is something on the line for both teams.

2.  We only got a 2nd round pick.  We didn’t get proper value for him.

This argument looks at the success of Jimmy Garoppolo as he takes  an inferior team and leads it to victories not only against multiple teams better than his, but defeating playoff bound/caliber teams and it drives people crazy. This take is typical:

With a second-round pick that keeps dropping in value with every win, the 49ers essentially drafted a more polished, experienced version of any passer available in this year’s draft class. They got a a 26-year-old veteran who spent more than three years learning from arguably the best quarterback in NFL history, all the while waiting for his time to shine.

The 49ers are finally giving Garoppolo that opportunity, and the early returns suggest they may have made a franchise-altering decision that could be ushering in a new era for one of the most storied teams in league history.

It’s too early to crown Garoppolo the next Joe Montana or Steve Young, but it’s not hyperbole to say the 49ers may have already won the 2018 NFL draft by spending a Day 2 pick on a polished veteran with all the physical and mental tools to transform their fortunes seemingly overnight.

We had this guy who is obviously great and gave him away for a 2nd round pick.  How badly did we get jobbed?

This argument has three holes that I will handle from the smallest to the largest.

  1.  Yes we only got a 2nd round pick but not only will that be a higher level pick than the one that produced Jimmy G in the first place and there is no reason why a team wise enough to draft Mr. G will not be wise enough to select a QB with similar potential
  2.  It’s  a trade to a team outside our conference meaning that the Patriots will only have to face Mr. G once every four years max (or in a Superbowl) as opposed to at LEAST once every 3 years or more and have the possibility of having to go through a Jimmy G led team to make a superbowl.  It Mr. Garoppolo is as good as the critics think he is (and it’s very possible he is) then it’s  worth getting a later pick to keep Mr. Garoppolo out of our conference.
  3. Football is a sport were everyone is a single play away from being finished permanently.  Yes it’s likely that we might have gotten a 1st round pick perhaps even a top 3-5 pick for Jimmy G before game one.  But for the price of that drop of from a top 5 pick to a top 40 pick the Patriots had eight weeks of insurance if Tom Brady had to be replaced either due to injury or father time finally screaming “enough”.  If Brady had been injured in the 1st 8 weeks and Jimmy G had been traded the same fans and sportswriters screaming about how the pats got jobbed would be talking about how the Patriots threw away their Superbowl chances for 2017.

All of these are reasons why Pats fans have no business complaining about the Jimmy G trade. let me add on one more.

No Dynasty lasts forever, and even if this sensational ESPN story that nobody seems to be able to handle has any merit

As Brady and Belichick left the field, bundled up in the cold, the only thing clear was that the beginning of the end started a long time ago, masked by success and the joy and pain of the rise, leaving both men this year’s playoffs and their collective will to stave off the fall.

Your New England Patriots are two wins away from the 8th Superbowl appearance in 16 years and three wins away from their sixth superbowl victory in 17 years and enter this situation being led by not only the best Quarterback and the most experienced superbowl quarterback of all time, but with said QB being the #1 or #2 candidate for league MVP.

And you’re whining about the fact that next year you’ll be starting the Quarterback that made this possible AND have a top 40 draft pick vs one who has never played an all or nothing game with something meaningful on the line without said pick?

Seriously?

Closing thought. The biggest threat to turning Tom Brady numbers is him waking up one day and saying: “I’ve got nothing left to prove.” Conversely there is nothing that drives Tom Brady like disrespect from others.

I’d like to thank ESPN, WEEI and every Sports outlet for pushing this story as it is likely to not only motivate him in this years playoffs, but for 2018 and perhaps many seasons to come.



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Finally might I suggest my book  Hail Mary the Perfect Protestant (and Catholic) Prayer makes an excellent Gift for the person of faith after all it’s still the 12th day of Christmas.

I must confess when saw the title of this piece at ESPN I misread it:

NWHL player Harrison Browne comes out as a transgender man

I presumed that the NWHL had discovered that one of their players was in fact born a man meaning that the women playing against him.

I was interested to see how teammates where dealing with a person of the biologically different sex sharing a locker room, if opponents were publicly saying it was no big deal while off the record complaining that it was unfair.

But most all I was interested in seeing how the league was dealing with a person with greater upper body strength checking and knocking over the weaker women, after all this wasn’t a 50 year old Gabrielle Ludwig competing with women 30 years “her” junior, it a guy in the prime of his life competing with women.

Alas once I read the story I realized why there was no reason to fuss.

Browne has decided to postpone a medical transition until he’s done playing in the NWHL, and he’s not changing his legal name right now for visa reasons. Browne says he is “not closing the door” to transitioning to the men’s side of the sport one day depending on how his body changes.

In other words Harrison Brown is in fact a woman, who “identifies” as a man, and thus none of the problems that I mentioned above apply.

“At the end of the day, Harrison is the same player he was last year,” Rylan said. “We’re here to support him. It’s really not a big deal when you look at it, we’re respecting his name, the pronouns and his request to be his authentic self.”

“Support has been a major thread of our team unity and success,” Beauts GM Ric Seiling said. “And that goes beyond the rink.”

Of course Harrison is the same player as last year, Harrison is a woman. That’s why nobody cares if “he” is in the locker room, or worries about being cross checked by “him” or thinks the Beauts have an unfair advantage with “him” on their roster. Because all the players know that “Harrison” is no more a man that the character of “Teddy” in Arsenic and old lace was the 26th president of the United States.

In other words, it’s just as unreal as if one of “his” teammates declared she was Harry Truman, as long as her self delusion doesn’t affect play, it’s no big deal. Of course the headline “Woman plays on WNHL team” isn’t really going to draw the clicks is it.

Two final thoughts

I really laughed at this paragraph

NWHL commissioner Dani Rylan said the league is now working on a policy that will include transgender athletes, and that the women’s league is accepting of a transgender man on a team roster.

In other words the NWHL commissioner is showing how open minded she is by allowing women to play in the woman’s hockey league. Big deal. When she allows “transgender women” (ie actual men) to play on the teams, share the locker rooms, and check players at full speed, then give me a call.

I presume that like other professional leagues the WNHL has rules concerning steroids and drug enhanced performances. If transgender men are allowed, who are being given testosterone as part of their medical transition, are allowed to play will the WNHL penalize a woman who took a testosterone supplements for the sole purpose of build muscle mass for an advantage and if so, is that fair?


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There once was a time when people who are sick of the deceit and the spin of political TV might turn on sports as an escape.

That time is past, at least when it concerns ESPN:

the evening’s telecast of “Four Days in October,” ESPN’s 2010 documentary about Boston’s stunning comeback from a 3-0 deficit against New York to reach, and eventually win, the World Series, was missing his crucial Game 6 performance.

The bloody sock game was one of the defining moments in the 2004 ALCS which is likely why MLB decided the anniversary of the game was worth marking.

It’s easy to look back now and think that, of course, Boston would win that game with one of the great postseason pitchers of all time on the mound. But think back to Game 1, when Schilling pitched through a torn tendon sheath and was shelled for six hits and six runs over three innings.
It was fair to wonder how things could change. A day before Game 6, the Red Sox’s medical team came up with a radical procedure in which team doctor Bill Morgan would suture Schilling’s loose ankle tendon back into the skin. To be sure, Morgan first tried the somewhat barbaric procedure on a cadaver.
Nobody outside of the Red Sox’s clubhouse knew about the impromptu procedure, so it was easy to think the worst when there was visible blood on Schilling’s sock that surfaced early in Game 6. In actuality, it was just a byproduct of the stitches pressing against the tendon. Not only could Schilling pitch, but he came out pitching well in Game 6, showcasing a nasty splitter.
“And it wasn’t overblown,” remembers outfielder Gabe Kapler. “When there was all that talk about, ‘Was that really blood?’, not only was it really blood, but what he endured and mentally overcame the way he did may never be done again. I don’t know that there’s ever going to be a procedure like that to get a guy ready to pitch again. It was a little bit, like, science fiction-y.”

I hadn’t watch ESPN since the firing of Curt Schilling over this transgender nonsense, but pulling a Stalin and making him an unperson should be over the line even for the most left leaning of sports fans, particularly in Boston.

But ESPN rules sports so apparently this didn’t happen

If ESPN can throw Schilling’s performance in game 6 down the memory hole how does any conservative athlete or potential athlete do anything but presume that ESPN is sending this message.

If you have the “wrong” opinions and choose to express them openly then be aware we will cover your accomplishments differently

…assuming we cover them at all.

I’ll give schilling the last word: