Tennessee Titans v Minnesota Vikings

Bernard Pollard: Patriots jinx. Nudist. (Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

Larry Brown SportsBernard Pollard is a self-proclaimed nudist. During his weekly spot for The Tennesseean — known as “The Pollard Show” — on Wednesday, the Tennessee Titans defensive back was asked if he has any pregame superstitions. For Pollard, any rituals he has basically come down to not wearing clothes. “When I get into the facility, I’ll go get in the hot tub, shower, then go to my locker and just sit in my jock strap,” he explained. “I’ll put my jersey on my shoulder pads — everything’€™s ready to go, but I just sit. … In Baltimore, all the guys would time me on how long I was naked or in a jock. I think it got up to 38 minutes on time. I’m a nudist.”

This is sort of ironic because just this week on Dale & Holley we were talking about superstitions. And we mentioned the usual: the SI cover jinx, the Madden cover jinx, the harmless ones everybody does like you’re sitting in a certain spot on the couch and your team starts rallying so you try not to move, etc. I personally like it when baseball play-by-play guys try not to use the term “no-hitter” because it’s sort of a tradition. But really, when it came right down to it, I realized there is one thing and one thing only I believe in and that’s this: Bernard Pollard is bad luck for New England.

I mean, this thing is real. Tom Brady has missed a total of 15 games due to injury in his unparalleled career, all at the shoulder pads of Bernard Pollard when he was with Kansas City. Who took Rob Gronkowski‘s ankle out in 2011, leaving him hobbled for the Super Bowl the Pats eventually lost? Pollard, with Baltimore. Even when he doesn’t come in contact with Patriots he takes them out. With Houston in the last game of the ’09 season he blew Wes Welker‘s knee out, just with telepathy. He’s the Typhoid Mary of Patriots lower leg injuries. But just to demonstrate he’s not a specialist — that he’s got some versatility to his injury game — he KO’d Stevan Ridley in the AFC championship game with a hit to the helmet that set off car alarms on the other side of Route 1. This guy is such bad juju that for years I’ve been calling for Bill Belichick to sign him and just send him into exile someplace. I don’t care if it’s a Sandals resort and he stays there all year for free. I just want him out of the continental U.S. Literally the first thing I do now when the new schedule is released is check where Pollard is playing and see if the Pats are facing him. That’s how far inside my head this guy is. I should be charging him rent.

But if that wasn’t bad enough, now this? Now I have to add to my already debilitating phobia of this guy the one other major hangup I have: male nudity. My sainted Irish Catholic mom taught us to be mortally embarrassed by our bathing suit areas. And here is my worst nightmare talking about how he walks around the locker room all day: Sun’s out, buns out. Fantastic. Well, good luck to you, Bernard “Angel of Death” Pollard. Please just keep your exposed junk away from my football team before you injure someone with it. Thanks.

@JerryThornton1, jthornton@weei.com

Blog Author: 
Jerry Thornton
Watt

Who’s a better tight end: J.J. Watt … (Bob Levey/Getty Images)

ESPNJ.J. Watt has played tight end for probably less than 30 seconds this season. Three plays. Three routes. Three touchdown catches. Not a very large sample size. But I’ve seen enough to know that if the Houston Texans All-Pro defensive end ever wanted to switch to the other side of the ball and go back to his original position of tight end, he would never be as good as, say, the Patriots’ Rob Gronkowski. He’d be better. Much, much better. I’m not disparaging Gronkowski. Not even close. He’s freakish and phenomenal. I just think Watt would be light years better. He’s bigger. He’s stronger. He’s more explosive and every bit as fast. And if you’ve seen Watt in training camp or before games catching passes one-handed off the Jugs machine, you know he’s got great hands, too. Really, as far as I can tell, Watt’s only obstacle to becoming the best tight end in football is that he’s, ya know, a little busy being the most explosive defensive lineman since Reggie White…

Now, close your eyes and try to imagine what he could do if he played tight end full-time. “He would be an absolute nightmare to deal with on offense if he was out there full-time,” says Ernie Conwell, who played tight end in the Rams’ Greatest Show on Turf era. “If J.J. Watt played tight end full time, he would be a bigger, nastier Gronk. He’d be Gronk but with 30 more pounds of muscle and much meaner.”

Pittsburgh Steelers v New England Patriots

… or Rob Gronkowski? (Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

Whoa, whoa, whoa. In the words of Cousin Eddie, “Now just hold yer wad there, fella.” No one’s going to argue that J.J. Watt isn’t a tremendous football player and (s0 far) one of the best defensive linemen we’ve ever seen. Least of all me, who had a major draft crush on him early in 2011, only to watch helplessly while his workout performances helped him rise up the prospect rankings like a balloon the Patriots would never be able to catch. So I don’t need to be told how good he is.

But a better tight end than Rob Gronkowski? Has the world gone mad? Or is this just ESPN trolling for clickbait? Or better yet, is this just hyperbole, like the guys in the “Da Bears” sketch talking about Ditka? J.J. Watt could defeat a hurricane. But what if it was called Hurricane Watt? And why? Because Watt has had three red zone touchdowns? That makes him better than Gronk, who in his last full season had the best year any tight end has ever had? Look, my kid won a ribbon at the elementary school science fair. But that doesn’t make him Neil deGrasse Tyson, all right? I mean, by that logic Mike Vrabel, who had 10 career catches for 10 TDs, is the greatest tight end who ever lived. “Light years better” than Tony Gonzalez and the aforementioned Ditka combined. And would’ve been unstoppable if he wasn’t, ya know, a little busy winning Super Bowls at outside linebacker.

Gronk is 6-6, 265. Watt is 6-6, 290. Do you know why there aren’t any 290-pound tight ends? Because 290-pound guys can’t play tight end. How can anyone think that because he’s lined up three times inside the 5-yard line and gotten open in the end zone that that would translate into running deep routes on 25-30 plays a game? In what universe is he “faster” than Rob Gronkowski? Because it’s certainly not the part of the known universe we call “NFL secondaries,” populated by the fastest, most agile athletes in football. If all it took to play tight end in the NFL was size, toughness and great hands, Andre the Giant would be in Canton. (Did you ever see him hold a beer?) And with all due respect to Ernie Conwell (which I always try to say just before the lack of respect comes out), if he thinks J.J. Watt has Gronk beat in the meanness department, he needs to check with Sergio Brown and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix. Not to mention Gronk is hands-down the best blocking tight end in the game.

To repeat what the author of this said, I’m not disparaging J.J. Watt. But let’s not be stupid about it, either

@JerryThornton1, jthornton@weei.com

Blog Author: 
Jerry Thornton
David Ortiz wants Jon Lester and do I. (Rob Carr/Getty Images)

David Ortiz wants Jon Lester, and so do I. (Rob Carr/Getty Images)

Boston HeraldDavid Ortiz owns three World Series rings, but without Jon Lester, he knows his jewelry collection might well be limited to only the 2004 vintage. So consider this a long-distance plea from Big Papi to the Red Sox: Sign Lester now.

“He was devastated when he got traded [in July], and I know that. I can personally tell you that,” Ortiz said last night. “But this is business, and I know he understands that. So now is the time for us to step up, man up, and try to make the guy happy” … But while there’s a chance the Sox are willing to hike their offer to the $140 million range, this week’s revelation that the money-is-no-object Dodgers have Lester in their sights means all bets are off …

Ortiz said he hasn’t made any direct appeals to ownership on Lester’s behalf. Likewise, he hasn’t spoken with Lester recently, save for a stray tweet. But after 7 1/2 seasons together, he believes he knows Lester well enough to say with certainty that the ace would come back if the Sox present him with a fair market final offer.

“Me and Lester, during the season, we talk a lot, and this is a guy that loves Boston,” Ortiz said. “If I’m the Red Sox, I would do whatever it takes to keep a guy like that, because that’s a guy who brings everything he has every day to the field.”

I haven’t always agreed with Papi when he’s tried to tell Red Sox management how to run the team, but I couldn’t be more on his side on this one. There’s a fine line between a player thinking the asylum should be run by inmates (think Kobe Bryant, LeBron James) and a genuine leader stepping up and speaking his mind in the best interest of the team, which is what this is.

One thing you should know about me is that I’m really generous when it comes to spending money. Or to put it more accurately, I’m really generous when it comes to spending other people’s money. Particularly John Henry’s money. I mean, I get that they do have a budget. The Sox can’t just hand Lester’s agent a signed check and say, “We’ll put the ‘1’ and you just add as many zeros as you think you need.” But at the same time, Ortiz is right. They need to spend whatever it takes to bring him back.

Absolutely the Dodgers’ entry into the auction will drive the price up. But by no means does that mean the Sox should be outbid. It’s simple economics. Supply and demand. Yes, the Dodgers have the “money is no object” supply, but the Sox have the “if we don’t land Lester, Clay Buchholz is our Opening Day starter” demand. LA already has Clayton Kershaw and Zach Greinke. To put it economic terms, Jon Lester would be the Dodgers’ third vacation home, and no matter how much disposable income they have, they don’t need him. To the Sox, Lester is what stands between them and a cot at the Pine Street Inn. Desperation should outbid desire every time. At moments like this I always remember a story Jim Bouton told in his book “Ball Four. When he was a little kid, growing up in the suburbs, his folk took him to a Yankees game. When a foul ball went rattling up into the empty seats, Bouton went after it and got there at the same time as another kid who was clearly from the tough part of the city. The other kid grabbed the ball away because, as Bouton put it, “I wanted the ball; he had to have it.”

The Red Sox have to have Jon Lester. I’m with Papi. Spend however many Henrybucks it takes to get it done.

@JerryThornton1, jthornton@weei.com

Blog Author: 
Jerry Thornton

With the Patriots facing the Chargers this weekend, we on the Dale & Holley program have tried to miss no opportunity to crank up “San Diego Super Chargers,” one of the truly classically terrible sports anthems ever written. And it got me thinking.

You know, I really make an honest effort not to live in the past. There’s a natural circle of life that makes us all want to believe that everything in our youth was better than it is today. It’s a sort of myopia, where you look back and your mind’s eye only focuses on the good of the past and the dreck of the present. Well, I try my best not to fall into the trap. To remind myself that nothing ever really changes, and the stuff my kids are into really is no better or worse than the garbage I did.

There’s only one problem with this little mental exercise: I lived through the 1980s. And I can’t be objective about them. The ’80s were a magical, wonderful time. If you grew up during that decade, no explanation is necessary. If you didn’t, none will suffice. The ’80s were a time when anything was possible. Future archeologists will discover relics like Zubas and footage of David Hasselhoff singing at the Berlin Wall and Tony Basil’s “Hey Mickey” video and not believe such a time was possible. The 1980s will be the stuff of legend, like Atlantis.

And the crowning achievement of 1980s culture was the invention of the NFL team music video. The Chargers were ahead of their time with the “Super Chargers” song, which is really unfortunate. It came out before civilization had advanced enough to give us the music video. Because one can only imagine how spectacular that song would’ve been with Chargers greats like Dan Fouts, Kellen Winslow and Rolf Benirschke standing around a stage awkwardly lip-synching to it in ridiculous hairdos. Sadly, we’ll never know. And because there is no video, “Super Chargers” can only come in at No. 10 on the list of The Worst NFL Team Songs of the 1980s:

9. “The Super Bowl Shuffle” — 1985 Bears

The only reason this didn’t rank higher/worse on this list is they invented the genre. That doesn’t mean the whole thing wasn’t white hot garbage, just that pioneers get extra consideration.

Worst lyricsWalter Payton:

Well, they call me Sweetness/And I like to dance/ Runnin’ the ball is like makin’ romance.”

8. “49ers Rap” — 1988 49ers

Watching so many Hall of Famers put their hearts, souls and reputations into this excrement is heartbreaking. But it’s tempered by the fact the Niners did win back-to-back Super Bowls after this.

Worst lyrics — Doug DuBose:

“Hey, hey, man, what about me?/ I’m Doug Dubose, and I love pain, dig?/ I’ll turn a loss into a 10-yard gain/ I got a whole lotta sissies on my back/ And you can do what you want ‘cuz I ain’t goin’ down, Jack.”

7. “Buddy’s Watching You” — 1988 Eagles

Buddy Ryan’s career record coaching the Eagles: 43-35, 0-3 in the playoffs. He should’ve been watching game film instead.

Worst lyrics — Luis Zendejas:

‘€œI can kick field goals/Am I nervous? Yeah, I suppose/I win the game by hitting the mark/This game’€™s over before it starts’€ 

6. “Silver and Black Attack” — 1986 Raiders

I almost don’t hate this one. And the moment when they start covering their ears to the hair metal guitar chords is magic. But I despise the Raiders, so they get bumped up on the list.

Worst lyrics — Matt Millen:

“Matt Millen’s my name and I’m from Penn State/ Those turkeys on offense are creatures I hate.”

5. “Locker Room Rock” — 1985 Seahawks

So you’ve got Derrie Nelson, who actually has some pipes, as a lead singer and you have him sing a cheap knockoff of “Yakkity Yak?”

Worst lyrics — Derrie Nelson:

“Step right up and line right up and give that ball a hike/ Then run it in and take a spin and give that ball a spike”

4. “We’re the New York Giants” — 1986 Giants (duh)

Seriously, how much time and effort went into making this? The lyrics are so bad it’s like they were made up on the spot. And what was the concept behind the video? “I’ve got it: We’ll go out in the stadium with a home video camera, you’ll wear just the clothes on your back, stand in a circle and mouth the words. No, no choreographing. No planning. Oh and if you want to randomly throw in a high-five no one is ready for?  If you’re feelin’ it, just go for it.”

Worst lyrics — All:

“We are the New York Giants, the team that’s fast and we are rough/ Our attitude is positive but we don’t take no stuff”

3. “Can’t Touch This” — 1989 Dolphins

Kids, if you want to sum up the ’80s in one clip, this is it.

Worst lyrics — Cory of Cory and the Fins:

“Give us the ball, we’ll score/ We’re makin’ ‘em sweat, that’s why they’re sore”

2. “Ram It” — 1986 Rams

Um … you could almost take this in two ways …

Worst lyrics — Nolan Cromwell

“Hollywood handsome, Dodge City tough/ If you throw it my way, it’s gonna get rough/ I like to ram it as you can see/ Nobody likes rammin’ more than me”

1. “New England, the Patriots and We” — 1985 Patriots

Gold. Just pure gold. And this is the song that inspired the Patriots to a 46-10 loss followed by a major drug scandal that broke the following day.

Worst lyricsJohn Dennis:

“Thanks for football in Jan-u-ar-y!!!”

@JerryThornton1, jthornton@weei.com

Blog Author: 
Jerry Thornton
Ben called in on why he protested last night.
Rodney previewed Pats Chargers.

[0:01:53] ... Up with Cumberland farms farm house blend coffee in the football legend Rodney Harrison Cumberland farms farm out when copies total that's just it's too good to put down just 99 cents any size and only ...
[0:05:10] ... the chart you know with their spiritual. What there up well here Philip Rivers he'll be ready you walk to show the world their. He's your go to Tom Brady not better. It took it at ...
[0:06:09] ... Royal brick Alexander each LP he's they're very productive. And look at Antonio Gates one of the greatest fighter to ever play the game is still very productive guy debacle or the six spot. On the ...
[0:07:50] ... numbers let them and it went a bit. The consistency disparity aside. Philip Rivers is a different quarterback than Aaron Rodgers in terms of the defensive scheme I would suggest the Patriots defense pretty much knows where Philip Rivers is going to be an every snap is that fairness act. Yeah it's gotta get there they're a little doubt in the ...






Thornton fought back against Dan.

[0:04:45] ... and chants. I'm gonna become the top you know believe enough. We're John Dennis started here Jon Davis said it was going to be he was gonna he did that raise the bar put on that ...
[0:05:27] ... a good idea you do to beat just some little blogger that Dan Shaughnessy and pay attention to now you're on his brow you guys can play now under on the radar love. That's always right ...
[0:06:40] ... top bar list Lester god. Two game losing streak for the patriots. Robert Kraft to celebrate a two game sweep of California all the doubt on the table Charlie Moore at 745 Rodney Harrison and 830 it would really get bail bash shops will be so. And I still want to Chauncey book would do the ...





The guys discussed Ryan Leaf's release from jail.
The top stories of the day as recounted by Kirk Minihane.

[0:04:07] ... Right she's held accountable. Such. Proclamations this broad it's anything Patrick to Bill Cosby. Nobody rapists out via a good day Roger has acted to Bill Cosby comma something opens up a up however. Is a woman Reich that woman right Obama will shooter says the show is still ...
[0:05:44] ... for shock van they are saying it jock Sanders 29 years old South Africa. It was killed orchard golf ball boy crocodile from a band called lake and South Africa. On Thursday now before we rush to the details when I first read that at all my god he was trying to ...
[0:06:56] ... 29 year old its jaws Wednesday night disappeared under the water a golf course next to step residential area of the park boundaries. Who's here. What guy challenge of the guys you could retrieve most golf ...
[0:11:25] ... an astronomers and join us for couple minutes next and then now Rodney Harrison in the o'clock hour. ...






The Mad Fisherman joined the show.

[0:06:17] ... had a lot of fun we spent a couple days get some good food. We had a real a real lot of laps and I really enjoy listen a lot of stories that you had. That ...
[0:06:59] ... almost two full days is echoes into Sunday night watching you watch soccer game and Dino will be on. And the patriots and the guy gets swallowed by the Anaconda the right on different days and ...