New York Jets v Tennessee Titans

Geno Smith and the Jets can’t even lose correctly. (Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)

NY Post Sports aren’t supposed to be this exhausting, this conflicting, this confusing, this schizophrenic. …

All day, back and forth, your heart arguing with your brain, the fan who pays rent in your soul at war with the realist inside your skull. You are a Jets fan, so you want them to win every game you watch. You are a Jets fan, so you want them to lose every game the rest of the way. …

No NFL game had ever ended 16-11. This one would. The Jets would win it. Of course they would … with a win that was really a loss, one that probably puts Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Mariota in another team’s uniform next year.

“Tough,” Rex Ryan said.

The poor Jets. I swear if I was capable of actual human emotions I might almost feel bad for them. You keep thinking this franchise has hit rock bottom, then it falls off the continental shelf, drops down into the Marianas Trench and start drilling further down.

Consider Sunday. Here the Jets could finally put their genius for losing winnable games to good use. They could have joined Jacksonville, Oakland and Tampa as the only 2-12 teams in football and given themselves a puncher’s chance of getting Mariota with the No. 1 pick. But they just had to go and blow it with a win that doesn’t help them in any way. They can’t even Suck for the Duck. Now about the best they can hope for is that they lose enough in the last two weeks to get Jameis Winston. Or hope everyone else is so scared off by Winston that they pass on him, he falls into their lap and becomes the latest in their proud traditions of failed franchise quarterbacks.

Come to think of it, given Jameis Winston’s history at Florida State, he’s probably the perfect fit in New York. So while this win is a loss for the Jets, that Jets loss is a win for me. They may have dropped the ball on Suck for the Duck, but they still have a shot at Race to Jameis, and that’s even better.


Blog Author: 
Jerry Thornton
Sydney Joosep Martinson

Police in Sydney put their lives on the line to save others while idiots stand nearby taking selfies. (Joosep Martinson/Getty Images)

The Age, AustraliaThey say disasters bring out the best in people. Not in everyone, it seems.

Cheerful onlookers have been snapping mobile phone “selfies” at the perimeters of the Sydney siege as a still unknown number of hostages remain prisoners of a gunman. Several photos being shared were originally uploaded to Instagram. One man shared a photo with a fire truck in the background and the hashtag #hostagesituationselfie. The photo has since been deleted from his account.

In another happy snap, three men likely to be tourists pose in front of the police tape marking off the exclusion zone around the terrifying hostage situation in the Lindt cafe in Martin Place. One of the men gives the peace sign. … On Monday afternoon BuzzFeed reporter Mark Di Stefano took a photo of two blonde women leaning together to take a selfie “100 metres from the Lindt cafe.” The photo has since been shared more than 450 times on Twitter.

If you’re keeping score, the fall of civilization is right on schedule.

As I’m writing this, the hostage situation is over after 16 hours. Most of the hostages are safe, some are wounded and it’s unclear if any failed to make it out alive. What we do know is that none of the police who stormed the cafe are hurt, and the crazed lunatic gunman is dead. I don’t know enough about this stuff to know if this qualifies him for his 72 virgins in the afterlife. I certainly hope not. And if it does, I hope they’re the wrong kind of virgins. The kind who sit in their rooms all day eating Count Chocula and playing World of Warcraft in “HAN SHOT FIRST’ T-shirts.

What I can confirm is that the dopes who were outside the police lines posing for selfies like grinning monkeys while innocent people were fearing for their lives are only marginally better people than the nutjob who took the hostages in the first place. I mean, really? This is how far we’ve come as a species? There’s a real-life, gut-wrenching, life-or-death crisis going on, so that’s an excuse to pose a goofy picture like you’re a tourist pretending to swallow the Washington Monument or something?

Since the dawn of time, humans have wondered what they would say if they could deliver a message to the world. From Socrates to Confucius to Christ and beyond, great thinkers have pondered this question. And now in 2014 everyone does have that chance, and the message is this: We are horrible narcissists. Here’s a picture of my dinner. This is my cat taking a nap. Here’s me lucky enough to be outside a cafe where a deranged psycho is about to murder a dozen people. Peace! Duckface! #lol!

I mean, do you think for one second this would’ve gone on a generation ago? Or longer? If you could do back in time to Dealey Plaza, 1963, and handed out cell phones, do you think people would’ve posted selfies in front of JFK’s limo? Or in the ’30s they’d be instagramming the Nazis taking families out of Warsaw at gunpoint? The ‘net has given us such a sense of self importance that there people among us for whom no tragedy is so horrific it should get in the way of a really good social media post. I weep for mankind.

Here’s hoping everyone made it out alive, that they’re safe and somehow have the strength to handle the ordeal they’ve been through. And going forward, I propose a rule. The next time something like this happens and you’re caught taking selfies of it, you trade places with a hostage.


Blog Author: 
Jerry Thornton

The Dolphins’ Week 1 postgame comments gave the Patriots plenty of bulletin board fodder for Sunday. (M. McKeown/Getty Images)

NESNThe New England Patriots usually are pretty good about ignoring the noise.  Not this week.

Patriots head coach Bill Belichick reportedly put quotes from Dolphins players all around the Gillette Stadium facility this week, reminding players what Miami was saying after beating New England 33-20 in Week 1. Apparently it worked, since the Patriots beat the Dolphins 41-13 on Sunday, scoring 27 unanswered points in the second half.

Cornerback Darrelle Revis was asked about that motivational tool after beating the Dolphins. “I don’€™t know what they were saying after the first game, but there was a lot of talk — those guys were chirping,” Revis said. … “The one thing you gotta understand is, you get a second stab at them, because we’€™re in the same [division]. You might need to watch what you say.” …

[I]n September … wide receiver Mike Wallace told the Miami Herald that the Dolphins could have scored 50 points against the Patriots. “Honestly, it’€™s not bragging or boasting, but I honestly feel like we could have scored at least 50 points,” Wallace said after Week 1.

You know that old hackneyed cliche that says the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results? Well, I’m adding a new meaning. Insanity is shooting your mouth off about the Patriots in the Bradichick Era and expecting that they’re not going to use it as motivation to exact revenge until you’re begging for a quick death. When is the rest of the NFL going to catch on to the fact that this coach works in grudges like some artists work in oils or clay? That he plays the “no respect” card the way Johnny Chan plays a pair of pocket aces?

The Patriots of this millennium feed off the disrespect. It’s one of the sources of their strength. They’re fueled by it the way Superman draws power from our yellow sun. And the road to their fourth Lombardi trophy is littered with the professional corpses of guys who dared to give them bulletin board fodder like this. Remember Freddie Mitchell of the Eagles, who popped off before Super Bowl XXXIX that he didn’t know who any of the Patriots defensive backs were? Don’t feel bad; not many people do. The highlight of his career was being shut down in that game and having Belichick say afterward, “We were glad when he was in there.” Or how about Steelers safety Anthony Smith, who in the 2007 season guaranteed a victory over the unbeaten Pats, only to have Brady go up in his grill mix after repeatedly targeting him in the end zone. There was the Jets celebrating a September win over New England and calling it their “Super Bowl.” It’s a fond memory they’ll all have when their coaches are clearing out their offices in a couple of weeks. Then there was the time the Browns rolled over the Patriots in a midseason game in 2010 and celebrated by giving coach Eric Mangini a Gatorade bath. He was fired at the end of the season, never coached again and now exists only as a hollow, Mangini-shaped shell of a man on ESPN 27 or somewhere. There are dozens of other such examples.

The point being, it never works out to talk smack about this Patriots team. They will always, always make you pay in the end. As Quintus told Maximus, “A people should know when they are conquered.”


P.S. Since the Patriots are supposed to be such a classless team, run by an allegedly dour, angry coach who has no respect for anyone, I defy you cite me one example — just one — of a Patriots team yapping the way this 7-7, third-place Dolphins team did. It’s never happened, never will.

P.P.S. Broncos defensive tackle Terrance “Pot Roast” Knighton just gave the Patriots more fodder for their board. From The Denver Post:

“It doesn’t matter what happens. At the end of the year, we’€™re hoisting that trophy,” Knighton said. “I don’€™t care if New England doesn’t lose again. I don’€™t care where we have to play. I don’€™t care who our opponent is. We’€™re not going to be satisfied until we hoist that trophy. So if we’ve got to go to New England [in the playoffs] and win somewhere we’€™re not used to winning, we’€™re going to make it happen. … Write that. And put a big period after that one.’€

He then considered his punctuation options and decided on: “Exclamation point!”

On behalf of Patriots fans everywhere I say, “Thanks, Pot Roast.”

Blog Author: 
Jerry Thornton
Dino, Gerry and Kirk react to today's Tom Brady interview by discussing what they would tell their younger selves. They look closer at Brady's diet and fitness regime and whether they could be as disciplined as the superstar quarterback.

[0:00:47] ... he'd be forgiven him corny. But what if these 37 year old Tom Brady could talk to the 25. Year old numbered woody what advice would give them. The point by republic had a great time. ...
[0:01:20] ... you do you like this question if a sixty something year old John Dennis you could sit down with the 825. Year old John day a hot. What advice would you give them. We'll look at ...
[0:09:01] ... bike too because once the knees and he now it's in the real estate rowing machine with a great time here rain this morning before the show yes you did it was great it was cold ...
[0:14:37] ... right very healthy cook at subsite better we have. And she's great pasta dishes so we just wheat pasta and its ever since the same. I think I I don't know the difference consuming too shall ...

Miami kept it close at half, but the Patriots turned it on in the 2nd half, scoring 24 points in the 3rd quarter alone to blow out the Dolphins and clinch the division. The opening drive featured Jamie Collins blocking a FG try that Kyle Arrington brought to the house. Jonas Gray saw the ball 19 times and appears to be back in the RB rotation.

[0:00:54] ... on the program part of a defense that shut out guys the Miami Dolphins yesterday. And that third quarter in and of itself just a clinic. I wasn't pretty golden halftime whatever changed at halftime carried ...
[0:03:08] ... did it the Green Bay did Kansas City did it that the Miami Dolphins did to defer somebody's still able to run the football and now's the difference maker. But having a field goal blocked. And ...
[0:04:34] ... comeback scored three points. And it sort of say okay elicit the Miami Dolphins are killing themselves because I felt like the pats were sleepwalking. The whole first happened you think about the whole sixteen golly ...
[0:06:13] ... that's reports off the board given them seven. You to set that Tom Brady you came back hitting hill threw another interception so that they gonna looked Edinson that we should be up. We should be ...

Chandler Jones (left), Tavon Wilson and the Patriots celebrated another AFC East title Sunday. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Chandler Jones (left), Tavon Wilson and the Patriots celebrated another AFC East title Sunday. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Things to consider while thanking the Patriots for single-handedly propping up the hat and T-shirt manufacturing industry:

— You always have to tread lightly when you celebrate a team winning its division. Anyone who lived through the Bruins hanging “Adams Division Championship” banners opposite the Celtics‘ real banners knows what a pathetic look that can be. That said, winning the AFC East 12 times in 14 years (and losing tiebreakers the other two seasons) isn’t nothing. It’s so automatic that if the Dolphins, Jets or Bills were somehow able to win it, America’s hat and T-shirt factories would have to convert to a whole different technology, like in WWII when the auto industry had to learn to make tanks and jeeps and such. I’m not saying we shouldn’t take winning the division for granted; let’s just not take for granted the fact we can take it for granted.

— More impressive than winning this dog’s breakfast of a division is the way this team is winning lately. The Patriots are flat-out razors in the second half. They haven’t given up a second-half touchdown since the Indy game five weeks ago. And they haven’t given up a second-half point since one field goal in Green Bay. I’ve heard ex-players say halftime is a lot more about getting your ankles re-taped than pep talks and coaches making “adjustments,” but watching these Patriots I’m not buying it. Unless that is some really special tape.

— It’s not hard to find the signature moment in this one. Tom Brady‘s third-and-11, 17-yard gut-check scramble wasn’t just the key play in the game, it was one where you instantly know that if the best should happen, you’ll be seeing it over and over again on the championship DVD and “America’s Game.”

— It was just your classic example of leading from the front. Like a general stepping out from behind the barricades, brandishing his sword and leading the charge, oblivious to the musket balls tearing holes through his hat. And the fact that it came on the same day as Aaron Rodgers‘ Discount Double Choke in Buffalo and Peyton Manning taking a shot to the sternum that knocked him out of the game with >ahem< “flu-like symptoms” made Crazylegs Brady’s run all the better. If it didn’t put him ahead in the MVP race at least, than the MVP is not a thing worth caring about.

— I’ll say this about that run: Don Draper couldn’t have come up with a better ad campaign for TB12 Sports Therapy Center. Apparently avocado ice cream turns you into Superman.

— The best unit on the field for the Pats was their front seven. Or to be more accurate, their front six, since they’re playing a base nickel now. The return of Chandler Jones and the ability to pair him with Akeem Ayers gives Bill Belichick options he’s never had before. He put them on the same side of the line standing up. He moved Jones inside to rush alongside Jamie Collins. On a second-and-10 Ayers and Alan Branch ran a tackle-end cross (TEX) on an outside toss to Lamar Miller where Branch turned the play inside and Ayers finished it off for a two-yard loss. On one down in the second quarter Rob Ninkovich lined up outside of Jones, dropped into coverage on Mike Wallace and nearly had the pick. On another, Jones and Ninko were next to each other, Ninko dropped and Jones speed-rushed Ja’Wuan James to force a fumble. Belichick typically throws more complex defensive looks as the season goes along, and having Jones and Ayers together is like giving him two 1,000-piece Lego sets that let him build anything he wants.

— And as this game got out of hand and Miami had to go all one-dimensional, the combinations of defensive fronts were getting pressure consistently, even with just four and even three guys rushing. My personal favorite schemes were the ones where there would only be one down lineman — usually Ninkovich — with everyone else standing around looking like they’re doing nothing. I don’t know if the Patriots have a name for it, but I suggest calling it the “state worker front.”

— On one play out of the state worker front, they put Jones over center, but he stayed home mirroring the running back. Instead Collins and Dont’a Hightower rushed, chased Ryan Tannehill 15 yards deep and forced him to throw it away.

— Another thing Collins and Hightower continue to do is attack the A-gaps at will. Last week it was Chargers rookie center Chris Watt, this week it was Samson Satele who got the enhanced interrogation treatment. In the third quarter Miami ran the run option on third-and-short, and Hightower shoved Satele a yard behind the line to blow up the play. On back-to-back plays at the end of the third/start of the fourth, Collins sliced right past Satele to make the tackle for loss, then blitzed the A-gap with Hightower trailing him and chased Tannehill right into Sealver Siliga for the sack. Seriously if it had gotten any worse for Satele Amnesty International would’ve protested.

— It’s hard to believe that this is the same Dont’a Hightower who looked so slow at diagnosing plays last year. Because at the risk of lapsing into hyperbole, his play recognition right now is damn near Bruschian. When it was still a 14-3 game, Miami ran an outside toss to Miller, and Hightower came streaking in to drop him like a sandbag for a five-yard loss. I assumed maybe it was a well-timed run blitz or whatever, but rewinding the play found he hadn’t moved prior to the snap. In fact, he was lined up a full step behind the other LBs and the strong safety. He just sniffed out the play and was two steps toward the ball carrier before anyone else had moved. I don’t know if he’s playing the best inside linebacker in the league right now, but I do know no one is getting more overlooked than he is.

— Note to CBS: Next time you’ve coming out of a break where you showed that Kate Upton shieldmaiden ad, you do NOT want to go straight to a “Mike and Molly” promo. It’s too much of an adjustment for your viewers to handle. It’s like how divers can get the bends if they surface too fast. You need a series of decreasingly hot buffer women in between, so you don’t hurt people. I’m going to suggest you go: Kate Upton — cute girl from the AT&T storeFlo from Progressive — Melissa McCarthy. It’s a matter of public safety.

— I’ve not be one of these people bellyaching about Jonas Gray still being in Belichick’s time-out chair. Not because I don’t like the kid, but because I just frankly think LeGarrette Blount is a better back. Having said that, it was good to see Gray getting touches again. Most of Blount’s runs have been developing at the pace of the continents drifting, and Gray’s runs were noticeably quicker. Plus he seems to have a good head for letting the play unfold, reading the holes and making the right cut. Like the move in the late third when he bounced it outside for six. Or the late third-and-2 he converted where it looked like nothing was there and he had the patience to look for an opening. It’s good to have him back.

— The best part was seeing how hard Gray ran now that he’s off double-secret probation. You could tell he was all fired up waiting for his chance. Like he was Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart watching The Hit Man get his ass kicked for 10 minutes and once he got the tag, came in to wreak havoc.

— I don’t think we fully appreciate how much the Patriots are dominating people on special teams, week after week. And I’m not just talking about fluke plays; I honestly think they’re more prepared than their opponents every game. On that blocked field goal, Hightower moved the official right before the snap, in the same direction the whole line appeared to be angling in from. Then the next Miami attempt — a chip shot — it looked like they all came in again. Then there was that short punt where Danny Amendola came back to field it like Dustin Pedroia going after a popup. And that doesn’t even mention Stephen Gostkowski, who’s so automatic now if you’re behind on your DVR you start fast forwarding as soon as the FG unit starts heading onto the field. I might have watched about 10 percent of his attempts all season. And that’s the ultimate compliment.

— Collins’ block was proof positive of how freakishly athletic the kid is. Ninety-five percent of the linebackers in football couldn’t have blocked that kick if you gave them a pool skimmer.

— OK, it wasn’t perfect. I’d be derelict in my duty if I didn’t gripe about the play calling at the end of the half. Granted, if the Dolphins didn’t have a great punt return followed by a preposterously athletic TD catch by Wallace we’re not even having this discussion. And the game situation did call for them to go conservative and bleed the clock. But even the love child of Chuck Fairbanks and Ann Coulter would say that was way too conservative.

— While I’m picking nits here, it seems to me that Brady, whether he’s feeling so strong from his insane, Spartan-like workout regimen or what, sometimes is guilty of overthrowing. Like on that interception by Jason Trusnik, he was trying to get it into Brandon LaFell underneath and threw it on a low trajectory, forcing it in. And he had a few others batted down as well before throwing a couple of great touch passes, like the Julian Edelman TD and the over-the-shoulder one on Edelman’s double move up the sidelines. Sometimes you’re too close for missiles, Goose, and you need to switch to guns.

— That said, Brady’s touchdown pass to Rob Gronkowski up the seam was perfect. He looked off the safety, turned and fired a throw that could have gone straight through a Brink’s truck without slowing down. Again, it’s hard not to see that then watch Manning lobbing up these stomp rockets that are getting Denver’s receivers killed and not feel good about where your QB is at.

— This week’s applicable movie quote: “Dolphins, yeah! They think they’re so cute. ‘Oh, look at me! I’m a flippy little dolphin! Let me flip for you! Ain’t I something?” – Chum, “Finding Nemo”

— If there’s one thing you can count on even more than the Patriots winning the AFC East, it’s every other AFC East team being so badly coached they do something indefensibly stupid whenever the Pats play them. They just never fail to fail. In this case, in this case it Brandon Gibson who stepped up. Brandon Browner handed the Dolphins the gift of his weekly unnecessary roughness flag, and Gibson re-gifted it with a taunting penalty. He out-Brownered Browner. The difference is, we can forgive Browner’s penalties because at least they happen in the course of trying to make plays. Gibson’s was just pure AFC Eastiness of the highest order.

— Is it too soon to say, “We’re on to the 2015 AFC East title”?


Blog Author: 
Jerry Thornton
Tim Hasselbeck joined the show for his weekly visit.

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[0:01:11] ... a way remote spot college watching. Worked started with people got what Tom Brady would alphabetically the first car that we had on the video. When we watched it so when you watched that you trot ...
[0:02:20] ... the same year Brady are sure. Did did you look better than Tom Brady shirtless and wearing just underpants. I did yeah you still do go. Out you know crawl. Are. We're very curveball at higher ...
[0:08:44] ... And you know they'll take off offense Berkley and struggles against the Buffalo Bill by the way. Made Peyton Manning you know and that your streak so you know touchdown pass that they now Rodgers look ...

Tom Brady joined the show to discuss another division title.

[0:00:00] ... Our conversation with Tom Brady's brought you by AT&T northeast electrical distributors howls looper catered digital federal credit union what can BC use debut and by. Your ...
[0:02:48] ... We easily could've gone out of bounds and obviously that's what most patriots fans were kind of hoping you do bad did you take that hit. In order to fire up the team I mean you ...
[0:11:26] ... multi billion dollar athlete which they all this money to and then. Eric Ghiaciuc played because of them are very easy preventable injury I think that's. I think that's frustrated me over here to see. He ...
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The top stories of the day as recounted by Kirk Minihane.

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The guys opened the show by discussing the Pats latest win.

[0:00:00] ... You know Tom Brady has for years said it's very hard to win in the National Football League well it sure as hell look that way ...
[0:04:18] ... Detroit in LA with that and I went through that. Aikman struggled Peyton Manning was awful show the rookie. I mean obviously those guys started early in the season like commands Albert to imagine how bad ...
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[0:23:52] ... you got to play our eyes 6177797937. It is a patriot Mundy Tom Brady will join us about one hour from now Tim Hasselbeck 805 fault lines open we'll talk with Unix. Brady took. They visit it you know clearly needed to make so it was ...