Jen Royle

Jen Royle explains to Jerry what “The Taste” is all about. (Jerry Thornton)

For this week’s episode of “Unsportsmanlike” I have the distinct pleasure of landing the beguiling Jen Royle. The former reporter covering the Baltimore Ravens and Orioles, the Red Sox, WEEI and Herald Radio host and cookbook author is nothing less than THE reality TV breakout star of 2014. If you’re not watching her on ABC’s “The Taste” every Thursday night at 8, you’re missing out.

Jen is a hilariously profane and messy home cook let loose in a kitchen filled with professional chefs. She swears. She loses stuff. She gets into fights with people and cuts herself. In short, she’s pure Masshole. But so far she’s done more than survived; she’s stolen the show.

Listen as she gives me the skinny on the behind the scenes, how she got into this and whether or not something is up between her and her French chef mentor.

Enjoy and bon apetit.

@JerryThornton1

Blog Author: 
Jerry Thornton
Denver Broncos v New England Patriots

Here are all the “weapons” the Patriots need. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

If the Patriots do nothing else in 2014 (and by the grace of God they’ll do lots more), one thing they’ve already accomplished is to effectively end the position of wide receiver in the NFL as we know it.

I’m not arguing they’ve made the position extinct. They’re not bringing back the 1925 Chicago Cardinals full-house T formation offense and putting all wideouts out of business like they’re telemarketers, travel agents or newspaper sports columnists. What I am saying is that the Patriots are proving once and for all that what I’ve been saying for years is true:

Wide receiver is the most overrated, overhyped and overvalued position in football, if not in all of sports.

I know even saying this is heresy. You could go to a matinee of “The Interview” at the Showcase: Pyongyang and see less shock and outrage than when you say wideouts don’t matter much, but I stand by it.

Admit it. You’re one of the ones who’ve been clamoring for years for the Patriots to get (choose your cliche) Brady more “weapons.” An “elite” wide receiver who can “play outside the numbers,” “stretch the field” and “take the top off the defense.” And the general consensus is they have done none of those things. Not through through the draft by (more cliches) by “moving up in the first round” to get “a playmaker” who can “make a difference.” And not by getting some high-priced cap space-eating veteran. They’ve handed Brady a receiving corps out of the $5 DVD bin at Walmart and asked him to win another championship, even while “his window is closing” (I’ll stop now).

Well, here is why you’re wrong. Prepare to be impaled on the razor sharp Thorn of Truth:

1. The Patriots lead the NFL in scoring.

Right now, as we speak, 14 games into the season (15 for those slappy teams that played Thursday night) the Patriots have put up more points than anyone. More than teams with so-called “elite” wideouts like Green Bay, Indy, Philly and Dallas. And they’ve scored 35 more points than the Broncos, who have a Swiss army knife of depth at the position. Meanwhile, the Patriots’ highest-drafted receiver is Aaron Dobson, a second-rounder who has been a complete non-factor.

And to further illustrate my point, last year I’d argue the Pats were even thinner at the receiver spot. And they finished third in the league in points. One point behind Chicago for second.

2. Championships aren’t won by “elite” receivers.

Defining “elite” receivers as highly drafted, highly paid, highly productive stud-types — meaning the kind that every offseason there’s a hue and cry from the masses for the Patriots to go get — when was the last time a guy who fit that description actually won a Super Bowl?

It certainly wasn’t last season, when Seattle won it all on the backs of Golden Tate‘s 64 catches for 898 yards and Doug Baldwin’s 50 for 778. Those are Brandon Lloyd-type numbers, and they were enough to beat Denver with all its “weapons.”

The year before it was Baltimore, whose best receiver was Anquan Bolden, a slot receiver taken in the second round in 2003 and who led the Ravens in receptions with only 65.

I’d like to concede Victor Cruz of the 2011 Giants to you, because he did have a monster year with 82 catches and 1,500-plus yards. The problem is he was undrafted out of that football factory UMass, so you’re making my case for me.

The point is that if you look back 20 years — back to the days when you needed a Michael Irvin or a Jerry Rice to win a title — the only times since then an elite receiver by that definition led his team to a title were Reggie Wayne with the Colts in 2006 and maybe Plaxico Burress with the Giants in ’07. And even he barely qualifies since he was taken by the Steelers before they got sick of his act and ran him out of town.

3. “Elite” wide receivers don’t win championships.

This is obviously the corollary to the point above. Who are the best wideouts in the game over the last 10 years or so, and tell me which one has a ring? Larry Fitzgerald came close, but that doesn’t count. Demaryius Thomas went to the Super Bowl and got blown out. Julio Jones? A.J. Green? Josh Gordon? Dez Bryant? You’ll find no postseason success at all there.

You can make a case that Calvin Johnson is having the best career by any WR since Jerry Rice. And he’s been in one playoff game. And in it he was immense, with 12 catches for 211 yards and two TDs against New Orleans in 2011. And his team got blown out, 45-27.

If receivers were as big a factor as they’re made out to be, Johnson would have more rings than Jared. And the above-mentioned collection of Pro Bowlers would have at least one.

4. The bust rate on wide receivers is off the charts.

You argue the Pats struggle to draft and develop wideouts? You still bellyache about Chad Jackson (second round) flaming out in 2006 or Josh Boyce (fourth round) last year and you’re losing patience with Dobson so you want them to finally make a move on draft day to get a stud? Do any of these names meaning anything to you?:

If they don’t ring a bell, don’t beat yourself up. None of them ever did jack squat in the NFL except cost the people who drafted them a valuable pick, tons of cap money and, in most cases, their jobs.

My favorite example there is Jenkins, who was taken by the 49ers and was cut after one year without ever catching a pass for them. This would be the same San Francisco team that twice since it whiffed on him came within a play or two of winning the Super Bowl. So in other words, if the Niners had taken anyone who did anything for them — a defensive tackle, a guard, a punter — instead of gone for the sexy pick, they’d conceivably have a championship instead of a coaching vacancy.

5. Great quarterbacks make receivers, not the other way around.

Everybody loves when you spend a high draft pick or a ton of cap money on a great wideout. It’s bold. It’s sexy. Fans, media and fantasy twerps go nuts over that stuff. If the offseason was the Home Show, wideouts would be the home spas. They’re overpriced, impractical and completely inessential, but they take up 90 percent of the floor space because everyone dreams about buying one. You go and fantasize about inviting all your neighbors over for a soak and a drunken hot tub orgy. No one goes to the Home Show to find out how to fix the crack in the basement. So when you draft a position other than a glamor spot like WR, everyone’s disappointed. Even though that’s how the Patriots’ championship teams were built.

The Pats won titles with non-glamorous, unsexy names like Troy Brown, David Patten, David Givens and Deion Branch (65th overall). Those were all the “weapons” Tom Brady needed because they were smart, reliable and on the same page as him. They were in balanced attacks with solid defenses and tight ends who could block and catch. Just like the Patriots have now, and didn’t have when they had the best receiving corps on the planet but still didn’t win titles.

So let’s put and end to the “weapons” talk once and for all. You’re welcome.

@JerryThornton1

Blog Author: 
Jerry Thornton
Christian quizzes Lou and Tim on which songs were used for torture by the CIA, and Tim is upset he couldn't remember Team America: World Police

[0:01:16] ... home called team building or go party. WP guys throwing good area hot dog whatever way they hit an Asia if you like him. The agreement as the openness. And I'm. Green debate I don't know don't to. So this is from the team America world police and we're trying to figure out these Saddam Hussein referenced himself Clark yesterday you donate we completely blank and team America world police which was entirely making fun of Kim Jung ...
[0:05:42] ... get him out use Fort Stewart sure I'll. Part torture. During music Christina Aguilera I had a yes we torture yes all right listen there's a lot of them irony about this. Right that perhaps rhetorically ...
[0:10:40] ... hear from them according as well in advance of the patriots. And New York Jets may have lost Devin what's the most portrait song to listen to I Christian you can put that one out there and ...





Adam Schefter, ESPN, joins MFB to discuss Jim Harbaugh rumors, Rex Ryan's future, and why the Patriots may be better served by not wraping up the number one seed in the AFC this week

[0:00:26] ... before start reviewing the game between the new in the majors the New York Jets and all the news from across the league. Moments ago before it's across commercial break we played the Frank Caliendo twelve days ...
[0:04:24] ... to college I know exactly like calling going to ask me is Jamaal Magloire damaged and I know. They have a lot of patriots fans there are preparing for the other final Rex Ryan Bill Belichick as far as the jets ago. Palm Desert shares that may be next series and he's in Miami is their chance to ...
[0:07:13] ... Yeah I educate where. The hot spots are Oakland shift is still New York Jets Atlanta Miami. Chicago. There's always a surprise. So but he we get to Bay Area would be your surprise what do you ...
[0:08:36] ... next week's game for the patriots means nothing against eighteen in the Buffalo Bills that might actually be playing for something. Which obviously would require in the patriots winning this week in Denver with a losing ...






Christian shares what he believes will be the three keys to this Sunday's game against the New York Jets

[0:00:56] ... to have to do. Is to stop the run up of the New York Jets. This is going to be eight ball control offense but it features through last Sunday the bat split that the jets. The ...
[0:02:01] ... of this game they have to stop the running game of the New York Jets. Note agreed on it this year's is that they do this at the same thing left of the place. Right and obviously ...
[0:03:20] ... I refuse to support this show. Come on Donnie. Bush broke my Tom Brady posted my favorite wine for that job just right now. I never realized how similar that I in the conference. And the ...
[0:06:18] ... the same guy when her ego he still thinks he can beat Bill Belichick. He still thinks. That he's the man he can win a super public key words still he still thinks that he'll be ...






Jackie MacMullen, ESPN Boston, talks with MFB about Rondo being traded to the Dallas Mavericks, and how this will have an effect on the Celtics rebuild process

[0:03:24] ... think Cuba and the guy that's willing to overtake if you promised Dirk Nowitzki. When nine Dirk took a took a pay cut I'm an acute bill in the team and would make it better and ...
[0:05:12] ... Going forward I don't know what we know me getting out dumped. Jeff Green I know they've been chopping Jeff Green not for almost three seasons now do you go completely to the bottom. The draft coming up is another good one you ...
[0:08:11] ... them you know in big games. It was a position of need Monta Ellis kind of play that position on guys they had just. Kind of were cut it but offensively the team is great MER ...





Cleveland Cavaliers v Boston Celtics

Rajon Rondo: Admired in Boston, but not beloved. (Mike Lawrie/ Getty Images)

Thursday on Dale & Holley we were talking about the imminent Rajon Rondo-to-Dallas trade in general, and the question of how much he’ll be missed in Boston in particular. I said then what I’ll say now: The answer is, not all that much, really.

Make no mistake, the Celtics just traded their (by far) best player; that’s stating the obvious. And there’s a sarlacc pit-sized hole on the team where he used to stand. I’m not breaking news here by telling you that. What I’m saying is that Rondo was a guy who was admired here more than he was beloved. Appreciated, not embraced. Without him there’s no way they make two trips to the NBA Finals, much less win a championship. But he’s never been that player you felt like you couldn’t live without.

The problem with Rondo was that for practically everything he did that had visions of his number in the rafters dancing in your head, he’d do something that made you want him banished to the Island of Misfit Toys with all the other weirdos.

RONDO’S NICE LIST

Game 4 of the 2010 Eastern Conference semifinals – With the Celtics down 2-1 in the series against Cleveland and coming off a 29-point blowout in Game 3, Rondo posted a 29-point, 18-rebound, 12-assist line for the ages that turned the series around and eventually sent the Cs to the NBA Finals.

Game 2 of the 2012 Eastern Conference finals – Against Miami, Rondo put together a 40-point, 10-assist, eight-rebound effort that hadn’t been matched by any point guard in a playoff game in a quarter of a century.

Game 6 of the 2008 NBA Finals – Rondo finished off the Lakers with a Kellogg’s Variety Pack of Excellence: 21 points, eight assists, seven rebounds and six steals.

Then of course there were the flashes that reminded you of other Celtics legends:

And he was no stranger to saying the right things, even on the way out the door:

 

On the other hand, there was …

RONDO’S NAUGHTY LIST

He chased Doc Rivers out of town – Among other things, he was argumentative and largely uncoachable and had bizarro habits like sitting alone in his car outside the practice facility and not heading in until the last possible second. And he allegedly threw a water bottle at Doc. First of all, who can’t get along with Doc Rivers. And second, who throws a water bottle? Honestly

He skipped a game on the West Coast last year to go to his birthday party – Apparently that deposit you put down for a reservation at Chuck E. Cheese is a killer.

He broke his hand >ahem< falling in the shower – Athletes have entourages that include security guards, guys who handle the finances, drivers, guys who handle reservations and people who line up women. Why don’t they spend the extra money and hire someone to handle phony excuses? I mean, falling in the shower? That’s the “dog ate my homework” of broken hand alibis. Personally, I would’ve suggested, “An old woman’s car was stuck by the side of the road so I stopped to change her tire for her and broke my hand on the jack.” Boom. Controversy avoided. My services are available, Rajon. You know how to contact me.

He just never got better at important things – I’ve always been a Rondo guy because I believed the things he did well you cannot teach. Speed. Rebounding. Being a pass-first point guard. His effort, which I do not question. And the things he’s terrible at — shooting, free throws — you can get better at over time. Plenty of great players, through hard work, dedication and practice, have done so. Rondo just isn’t one of them. And at this point it looks like he never will be. His career learning curve on shooting could be used to level bookshelves.

And that’s the most important factor here. I think Boston just will not miss Rondo in any real sense because we realize that the next championship-contending Celtics team is not going to have him on it. The only way to get from where the team is now to where it has to go is by dealing him. As breakups go, he is that girlfriend where you know you had a good run with her and probably got the best years of her life, but you never really were all that in love with her. You didn’t hate her, either; you’ll wish her nothing but the best going forward and be happy when she finds Mr. Right. Yet with all the craziness and the arguing, you knew deep down you were never meant to be.

I promise you right now: Rajon Rondo comes back to the Garden with Dallas on Jan. 2 and he gets a standing ovation. After that, he’s just somebody that we used to know.

@JerryThornton1

Blog Author: 
Jerry Thornton
Curtis spoke with some nut jobs outside the courtroom.

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[0:15:18] ... even more we can. Or three Dennis and Callahan 61777979. B 37 Rodney Harrison will join us later in this hour. Our choice I have my mind too cluttered and I'll I'll make the choice of ...
[0:28:32] ... picture. I changed a little bit get us ready for a Rodney Rodney Harrison certainly you write. What is. Peter King called the thing at the end of his money more concurrent with the cool about ...






The top stories of the day as recounted by Kirk Minihane.

[0:03:45] ... to explode you're gonna. Roll up your Meguid that's natural to us. Whoopi Goldberg Rosie O'Donnell on the view yesterday a battle after rock of Bob was mistaken raid ballet. Would be in Rosie to fight ...
[0:07:04] ... jiggling change them with the. And then the other ones that suggested Denzel Washington is not a big international film star because of lack of the reality is that's I. And that's true or not but the reality is Washington's not movies overseas are close to America and into the gaming passcode is says that because she's racist. It's true right I don't know I don't mean that countries out of office because he's black and I know the numbers the numbers say. Yet we will Jerry Lewis is more popular right Brett Wilson has movies do very well received I don't know that's why as the Washington and how ...
[0:08:19] ... this. Now what he's gonna say no I really think instead of Jim Carrey elegant or at issue here Garrett Morris is available to a Julianne Moore patrol. Eloquent points around the better for the are ...





The top stories of the day as recounted by Kirk Minihane.

[0:03:45] ... to explode you're gonna. Roll up your Meguid that's natural to us. Whoopi Goldberg Rosie O'Donnell on the view yesterday a battle after rock of Bob was mistaken raid ballet. Would be in Rosie to fight ...
[0:07:04] ... jiggling change them with the. And then the other ones that suggested Denzel Washington is not a big international film star because of lack of the reality is that's I. And that's true or not but the reality is Washington's not movies overseas are close to America and into the gaming passcode is says that because she's racist. It's true right I don't know I don't mean that countries out of office because he's black and I know the numbers the numbers say. Yet we will Jerry Lewis is more popular right Brett Wilson has movies do very well received I don't know that's why as the Washington and how ...
[0:08:19] ... this. Now what he's gonna say no I really think instead of Jim Carrey elegant or at issue here Garrett Morris is available to a Julianne Moore patrol. Eloquent points around the better for the are ...