You may remember Lou from your little league baseball trip to McCoy Stadium. Now he is the co-host of a radio show on WEEI, which you also may know from actively avoiding it.
Lou’s shtick is that he gets really angry about the local baseball team. Last night, Lou tweeted out the above to show how upset he was about one of the pitchers on the team. “Gay Chris friggan Sale.” Some might find that problematic, but it’s all good, though. Lou says it was just autocorrect.
So let’s do a little experiment. As you can see above, Lou tweeted this with an iPhone. Luckily I’m also typing this on an iPhone, so this just might work. I will now type out many variations of “that,” which is the word Lou was claiming to be using, and let’s see if I get “gay” to be autocorrected in.
Here we go:
That that ghat that that that that ghat ggat that that that that Just khan that that what what gate that bust uhat that that that they hurt that chat that phat ghat gray gsat fury that what shat that Catt baby that uhat garb gate ghut Hawthorne that bust Bhagwan must Khartoum that that’s what host chat chat shag what that baby uhat just that that that what shat that must mhar last last what that uhat phat what last that chat chat chat hgat jhzat had that that ghat what that
It seems odd that Lou got it on the first try. The only way I can get autocorrect to come out as “gay” is when I try to type “gay.” I’m at a loss for words here because I want to believe Lou. I went searching for theories and I found this one:
If it did, it's because he types "gay" on his phone an awful lot.
— At Police (@police_at) June 1, 2019
So is Lou Merloni tossing around the word “gay” so often that his autocorrect is trained to use it as a go to replacement? Or did he actually mean to call Chris Sale “gay” because he didn’t perform up to his expectations last night?
Either way, it’s a bad look.
It won’t come as a surprise to anyone who’s been paying attention, but sports media personalities have been predicting the end of Bill Belichick & Tom Brady’s run with the New England Patriots for almost as long as the two have been together.
This September will make 16 years since Tom Jackson claimed the Patriots “hate their coach” and that was before they saw a single snap in their fourth regular season together. Considering the Patriots went on to win the next two Super Bowls, one might think they would have learned early on that giving these guys motivation wasn’t a great idea, but people who cover sports for a living are notoriously thick headed and rarely change their minds about anything, regardless of what happens in reality.
To the chagrin of many, every single report of the Patriots’ demise through Super Bowl LIII has proven premature.
Of all the reports about windows getting slammed shut, and model wives breaking up the band, few have had as much of an impact on Patriots coverage than Seth Wickersham’s article from January of 2018: http://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/page/hotread180105/beginning-end-new-england-patriots-robert-kraft-tom-brady-bill-belichick-internal-power-struggle
It’s a fantastic piece filled with quotes from people “inside the walls” of Gillette Stadium who were willing to put everything on the record except their names. One might wonder how trustworthy such reporting is, but fear not! Wickersham has been a member of not one, but TWO Pulitzer Prize winning teams, and several noble journalists who wouldn’t dream of carrying water for the NFL like Peter King went to bat for Wickersham and his reputation.
You can trust his work, caller!
Wickersham’s story paints a picture of a once proud franchise with a storm brewing from within; disagreements, pettiness and resentment abound between Belichick, Brady & team owner Robert Kraft, over a variety of conflicts including but not limited to:
-Brady being upset about Belichick not giving him enough credit in 2017, in particular, not having been awarded the Patriot of the Week honor when Brady felt he deserved it
-A tug of war between Belichick, Brady, and the quarterback’s “body coach” Alex Guerreo, with Brady supposedly steering players in the personal trainer’s direction for treatment against the wishes of the team medical staff, (which would coincidently benefit Brady’s TB12 Sports Medicine Clinic)
-Kraft forcing Belichick to move Jimmy Garoppolo against the head coach’s best wishes
-Belichick leaving friends with the impression that the dynamic that existed at that point within the Patriots was unsustainable
WOW – the Patriots were a MESS at the end of the 2017 regular season.
Or were they?
In the almost year and a half since Wickersham’s article came out, NE has gone 5-1 in the playoffs. The single loss to the Philadelphia Eagles in a hard fought Super Bowl LII, was devastating, and would have set back many other franchises. But NE bounced back a year later with an amazing 2018 playoff run capped off with a Super Bowl LIII win over the Rams in a defensive masterpiece that set a Super Bowl record when they held the 2nd highest scoring offense of the season to less than 10% of their average PPG for the regular season.
That doesn’t FEEL like a team that was coming apart at the seams, but maybe Wickersham’s article was ‘right at the time?’
Maybe the Patriots DID lose Super Bowl LII because of the supposed dysfunction behind the scenes.
Maybe the stories about Belichick and Kraft are right. Maybe the head coach only benched Malcolm Butler because he resented the way Kraft forced him to move Jimmy G.
I mean, all we’ve heard for the last 20 years is how arrogant Belichick is… I suppose it’s possible he was upset enough to piss away a chance to win an unprecedented 6th Super Bowl as a HC, but not so upset that he wouldn’t come back and coach the next couple of years, right? It sounds ludicrous and asinine, but it IS possible I suppose.
It’s also possible, and far more likely in my opinion, that the Patriots simply lost Super Bowl LII to a better team.
Maybe the Eagles were a team of destiny that year. I mean, yeah, Nick Foles, WAS a backup quarterback like so many Patriot detractors like to point out, but he also put up an absurd QBR of 141.4 against the #1 defense in the league two weeks prior in the NFCCG. NE held him to a significantly lower rating of 106.1 in LII… but that’s still pretty damn good against a lot of the guys who performed the way they did against Atlanta in LI & L.A. in LIII with the notable exceptions of Dont’a Hightower who was on IR and of course, Butler who was on the bench.
Here’s the thing that no one wants to admit about Malcolm Butler: the guy got torched in LI, and he did not have a great year in 2017.
You don’t have to take my word for it, Butler himself suggested they had reason to bench him when he spoke about the practice week leading up to LII against Philadelphia:
“Preparation is the best way to win. And maybe they didn’t see 100 percent, mentally or physically, Malcolm Butler that they usually see.’ (http://www.espn.com/blog/tennessee-titans/post/_/id/26447/malcolm-butler-refuses-to-be-defined-by-his-super-bowl-moments)
It’s possible that benching Butler was the right decision, and they lost anyway. We’ll never know.
One thing I feel pretty strongly about: as arrogant as Belichick may be, I’m hard pressed to think he’s arrogant enough to do something that wouldn’t put him in the best possible position to win that game.
Feel free to disagree.
Despite the insistence of insiders emboldened by Wickersham’s report that the S.S. Patriot was taking on massive amounts of water, the ship stayed afloat after that loss and throughout the 2018 off season, navigating its way around glaciers of OTA no shows, rumors of the star tight end running off to join the circus or some shit and yes, more reports of current and former Patriot players hating their coach.
All the while, Kraft, Belichick and Brady maintained there were no cracks in the armor and they were as dedicated to winning together as ever.
A year ago at this time, the local football news was an endless barrage of literal nonsense. Despite Brady being under contract, and specifically telling Jim Gray shortly after LII that he would indeed be back for the 2018, the media crapped themselves for a few days last spring over a report that Brady had not yet agreed to return to the team in 2018. They were literally making stories up.
The local scribes were crawling over each other’s soulless bodies to get that next Alex Guerrero / TB12 nugget of information. No matter how benign it may have been, it was still a way to discuss the Foxboro soap opera they so desperately wanted readers & viewers to believe existed and mattered.
People who got paid to cover sports were writing thinkpieces about how Rob Gronkowski’s most recent “69 LOL” post on Instagram was a thinly veiled shot at both Bill the GM AND Bill the HC, while anonymous fans had to take matters into their own hands and start breaking stories themselves, like Edelman’s PED violation and impending suspension.
SOMEHOW the team, and therefore, the region survived the most tumultuous offseason ever and moved on to the 2018 regular season which had it’s own low points. Among other things, that star tight end who decided against a future rolling around on the floor with clowns was showing his age on the field and a pair of devastating late season losses against Miami and Pittsburgh looked to be the final nails in the Patriots’ coffin.
Despite those factors and the holy trinity still resenting each other (as evidenced when Belichick didn’t give Brady an “atta’ boy” that one time he was coming off the field), the team still managed to secure the second seed, and more importantly a bye for a playoff run that turned out to be one of their most impressive & dominant.
The divisional round was nothing short of a clinic, (thanks for coming LAC), as was the first half of the AFCCG. Amazingly, they did what everyone said they couldn’t do, and won the AFCCG on the road, at Arrowhead Stadium no less. Cue the aforementioned defensive dominance of the Rams, and Brady & Belichick’s relationship seems stronger than ever and people can realistically ask each other “imagine if they win #7?” without putting the cart before the horse.
Sure, winning cures all, but maybe there wasn’t as much there to be cured as we were led to believe. There’s going to be tension at any place of employment after 17 years, let alone such a high pressure environment with larger than life egos and salaries involved. I believe there was and almost certainly still is some tension in Foxboro, about Guerrero & otherwise; but I also believe these guys are professional enough to work through that stuff, and know that what they have is too special to get derailed by insignificant crap.
Maybe Kraft really did force Belichick’s hand in moving Jimmy G, or maybe as suggested elsewhere, he held onto his backup for as long as humanly possible to make sure his #1 was good (it had to be one or the other, there was no way they could have kept both QBs and been competitive in 2018).
Remember Brady was in the midst of an MVP winning season when Jimmy G got traded. Sure, Belichick gambled away what was possibly another great franchise quarterback & opted to hang onto the most accomplished QB in the super bowl era to see what more they could do together… that doesn’t sound like the easiest of decisions. I’m glad I didn’t have to make it, and in the short term, it would appear he made the right one.
I believe Seth Wickersham does have sources inside Gillette Stadium… I’m not saying Josh McDaniels is one of them, but what I am saying, is that many people, including me, think Josh McDaniels is one of them.
Looking back almost 18 months later, it would appear the events Wickersham wrote about, if they even really happened, weren’t nearly as significant as they were made out to be.
His tales of dysfunction and those from the writers who trampolined off his work for months* were at best grossly overexaggerated. The Patriots went on to appear in the next two Super Bowls, adding an amazing 6th title to their trophy case and are still the class of the league.
Does that sound dysfunctional to you?
The icing on the cake for Patriots fans, is the recent implosion of two other powerhouse franchises in the NFL. Both the Green Bay Packers and the Pittsburgh Steelers missed the playoffs in 2018 and have had potential franchise derailing drama behind the scenes this offseason.
What’s most humorous about the situations those teams are in as compared to New England’s: There’s no shortage of former teammates ready to bad mouth Aaron Rodgers or Ben Roethlisberger ON THE RECORD. Considering Wickersham can’t get anyone to go on the record about the Pats, it’s probably fair to question the validity and / or motivation of his sources. (it’s also not the first time he’s had to rely exclusively on anonymous sources when writing about New England… weird, right?)
Tension was indeed tearing apart not one, but two premier teams in the NFL last 18 months. Neither one was the team Seth Wickersham spent two whole months in 2017 researching and portraying as such in his article.
I would say it was time well spent, Seth, but it wasn’t… you blew it.
*Seeing Tom Curran go all in on this story as passionately and forcefully as he did last year was… something… and that’s all I have to say about that.
Emptying out the sports drip tray..
Really though; didn’t Memorial Day feel like a Sunday?
I think Peter Gammons broke into the applejack stores a little in advance of the holiday.
So Bill Buckner died on Memorial Day? Only in baseball, Danny.
Speaking of the ’86 Red Sox, I don’t remember everyone saying they forgave Calvin Schiraldi after he died.
Less Drake, more Josh. Amirite?
Bruins shook off the sleepies in Game One.
I bet Mike Jastremski is a better ballplayer than John Henry Williams was. No disrespect.
Cakes are cookin’ today for Brent Musberger and Zola Budd.
News Item: Friendly’s Ice Cream co-founder Curtis Blake dies at age 102. Is survived by older brother Pres, 104.
Dan Sileo looks like he smells bad. Like Charles Pierce, but a different bad smell.
I’m no expert on the subject, but I’m quite certain based solely the billboard advertisements that fireworks are now legal in Massachusetts. No further research is needed.
I hope N’Keal Harry told Tom Brady how disappointed with him that he wasn’t at OTA’s when they met and Tom threw passes to the Patriots rookie.
Gosh darn it ABC; I’m still not sure which one was Whiskey, and which one was Cavalier!
You don’t need cartilage in your knee to be an unnamed clubhouse source, Dustin Pedroia.
Native Ontarian Dr. Naismith would probably be ok with a Toronto squad of cagers winning an NBA title. But not me.
Ellen Barkin, you still got it kid.
Good job, good effort Boston College Women’s Lacrosse.
When is Marty Walsh going to announce he’s running for President?
Who thinks the Kansas City Chiefs will take the proper lesson from having their proposed rule change rebuffed by the League? Yeah, me neither.
My chihuahua doesn’t think he’s small, he’s just far away.
Narragansett Beer no longer brewing their Summertime Citra Ale is so #RItypical.
Carter Stewart clearly plans to be Big In Japan.
Walk without rhythm; and it won’t attract the worm.
You can have The Dropkick Murphy’s. I’ll take Madness.
You didn’t hear it from me, but there’s a brisk secondary market online for jarts.
Honk if you remember The Ground Round
Credit to our longtime stalwart and mainstay Mike On Route One, who epitomizes the best of #BJBSJ– this is his piece. Now, give @MikeOneRoute1 a follow. Done? Please proceed.
The Boston sports media is good at one thing – and that is the creation of myth. Some of these are to the benefit of their own perceived toughness and relevance as is the case with their hagiography of Will McDonough unceremoniously dumping Raymond Clayborn into a laundry cart and forcing him to luffa his pock marks.
Others are designed to move forward an agenda – as it is the case with their decades long crusade to remind you that the Patriots never had a winning season prior to the arrival of Bill Parcells. The subtext in this case being that this is, and always will be, a Baseball Town.
Another favorite move is also conflating conventional media opinion with that of fan opinion. There is ample evidence that fan opinion is downstream of media takes, so there is some validity to that. But there are notable exceptions when the two are wildly divergent. And when The Take is proven wrong, the media will disavow all knowledge of their previous statements and put it all on The Fans.
The death of Bill Buckner has brought about a unique strand of the worst kinds of media revisionism. I have no dog in this fight. I loathe the media, the fans, and the Red Sox. BJBSJ exists entirely because Boston fans are a unique brand of toxic awfulness so this is not a defense of them. It is merely opposition to blindly parroting talking points.
Shortly after Buckner’s death was announced, video started to circulate of him being cheered at the 2008 home opener. The narrative became that Red Sox fans “finally” forgave him. This is, of course, false. It may be because these videos are the easiest to track down. A more cynical man than I would suggest that the Henry Crime Family has no problem accepting credit for mending this relationship between Buckner and the fans.
Buckner was cheered by the 750K fans in attendance in the days following the loss to the Mets. When the parade ended in a celebration at City Hall Plaza (as it always should, by the way), he took the microphone and was cheered.
(As an aside, I encourage you to watch this entire video. Because…it’s nice.)
The hardos that have tried to ruin the sports experience in this town tell us that we only observe TITALS in Beantown, baby! This ain’t Losahville! But there is something, amidst all this winning, that we have lost and that is a collective appreciation for teams that fight the good fight and come up short. I say this as an unequivocal apologist for the 2007 Patriots and 2010 Celtics.)
Buckner was again cheered at the home opener in 1987. (Which would mark the first of seemingly three dozen Dave Steib starts for this humble scribe.)
Fast forward to April of 1990. A nation’s imagination was captured by a college basketball team making white t-shirts under their jerseys cool and by wrestlers being transported to the ring in…mini-rings. In Boston, Red Sox fans gave Buckner ANOTHER GOD DAMN STANDING OVATION at the home opener after he signed with them as a free agent. (How fucking insane is it that Buckner was still playing in 1990 after running like he did in 1986? Preposterous.)
It’s curious that if it was so bad here, why would he sign with the team again? Maybe they were the only ones offering a contract? That’s certainly possible, though doubtful.
Examples given were the asshole that saw Buckner signing an autograph and encouraged a kid not to give Bill the ball as he would just drop it. Aside from not making much sense, this is mean spirited. Bill rightly collared the guy.
What is curiously absent in this Montville piece is a mention of death threats. The claim that Buckner was the recipient of these threats, plural, is mentioned in many obits in the wake of his passing. Maybe this happened.
Given the lousiness of people, it’s highly possible. Where do “death threats” begin and where does “I hope you die” begin? For the recipient, I guess it doesn’t matter. But, like the BRUINS FANZ SENT RACIST TWEETS thing I’m skeptical it was an epidemic, if it even happened.
I welcome evidence of Buckner saying it did. But Buckner spoke to Montville for this story. Would that have been mentioned somewhere in the story if it had in fact happened? I’d wager yes. But really, get a load of this bullshit:
“He is a character from a modern Nathaniel Hawthorne novel about the harshness of village life in New England. A scarlet letter and a scarlet numeral adorn Bill Buckner’s chest, the poor man consigned forever to wear the symbol E-3 on the local streets in remembrance of his momentary fall into sin. There is no forgetting what he did. There, alas, can be no forgiveness.”
Absolving those most responsible for their role. It should further be noted that this Idaho move was something that was planned for years, Buckner having owned the property since the 70’s. (h/t @bookjailer) :
There was no forgiveness that needed to be given by Buckner TO the fans or by the fans TO Buckner. Bill said as much. “I really had to forgive the – not the fans of Boston, just per se, but I would say – I would have to say, in my heart, I had to forgive the media, you know, for what, you know, they put me and my family through. So you know, I’ve done that. I’m over that.”
To paraphrase the execrable FIELD OF DREAMS – “It was you.” “No, Dan. It was you.”
Of fucking course this all ties back to Shaughnessy. 1986 was when shit really kicked into gear. When The Curse became a real thing. The hard cover edition prominently featured Ruth AND Buckner’s error. Dan is wholly responsible for the popular national perception of Buckner’s relationship with the Boston fans.
The fans always got it. The media – for profit or pleasure – pretended that the fans didn’t. Sure, some painters cap wearing mouthbreather invariably said some dumb shit.
The craziest Boston fan paradox to me – as a longtime observer of the various cancerous strains within the group – is that they are, in the collective, simultaneously at their best and worst.
The ability to think Bill Belichick is arrogant or is losing it exists in the same place that understands that Bill Buckner NEEDED those ovations. That we should cheer our loudest when Normand Leveille comes out for a skate. That our overrating of role players to cult status is at the same time a maddening and endearing trait.
But do you know any Red Sox fan who hated Bill Buckner? And I don’t mean in like your aunt from Saugus kinda way. Like “faaaack Billy Bucknah!”
The blame pie, as I’ve always known it is McNamara, Stanley/Gedman, (I assume there’s some weird West Berlin-like enclave around Worcester County where it was a wild pitch) and Schiraldi. Hell, our own Displaced Bostonian likely believes that Roger asked out with the blister. (Apropos of nothing, the 1986 season is fucking insane. There are no less than twenty insane factoids or coincidences. Jim Rice was thrown out on the bases twenty times in the playoffs. The idea that the Mets and Red Sox played a fucking exhibition game during the season is more mind blowing than Buckner predicting the error or Schiraldi telling batshit Mitchell how he would pitch him while they would lie in bed at night as A ball roommates. Jesus Christ.)
I do not lightly absolve Boston fans – especially baseball fans – of their sins.
But in this case, it is largely, if not completely warranted. The “hatred” of Buckner was never real. It was manufactured to sell books and to have a clever narrative with which to frame current and future failures.
And here is Disk 2, WEEI – Boston’s New Alternative:
*Suggestions as to songs we missed are welcome in the comments.
A trans-WordPress cooperative collaboration with BSMW.net, who had it first before we had it first.
Dan Sileo was scheduled to be on WEEI from 3-6 today, even promoting his appearance on their app earlier today. Ever reactive instead of proactive – and evidently plagiarizing Almost-An-HR Rep Greg Bedard’s hiring and vetting processes – WEEI has sacked Sileo from the schedule.
Let’s just say BIG SILZ – as he loves to refer to himself – has a questionable history on social media. Former Globie Hilary Sargent tweeted an excellent synopsis of Sileo’s online history earlier today:
SinkingShip.com’s “leadership” (Zarbano, Hannon, Mike Dee) is constantly making terrible decisions: Keefe, OMF, Hart, etc., but bringing Sileo aboard is next-level malfeasance on the part of Entercom. Will the incestuous cesspool of Boston sports media attempt to bury this too? Will Charred Finn step up?
We’ll stay on it.
BJBSJ has learned through multiple sources that Evan Drellich, formerly of NBC Sports Boston and WEEI, will be joining The Athletic New York. Andy Hart wishes you ‘Bon Voyage’ from the stern of Sinking Ship Dot Com!
Drellich was Entercom’s first choice to add to WEEI’s roster in a prominent on-air and website role that ultimately was filled by Andy Hart. However, BJBSJ has learned Hart was not even WEEI’s second choice.
Entercom’s second choice? That was be Thesaurus Aficionado Chris Gasper, as BJBSJ previously reported. Putting aside the question of who the hell has ever wanted Chris Gasper’s opinion on anything? for a moment, Entercom’s push for Gasper failed largely due to money. He’ll be staying at The Globe and 985.
Let’s circle back to Andy Hart: Hart was at least the third person approached by Entercom for a hybrid web/on-air role. Putting aside his professed love of country music, why would WEEI bring Dumbo aboard in any role other than as a block-headed anvil on the forward deck of SinkingShip.com?
The answer is surprisingly simple: EEI powers that be hear social media noise and felt they had to do something. Unsurpringly, Dumbo is willing to work for peanuts (see Hannable, Ryan and Pissant, Blackmailing). Additionally, downloads of WEEI podcasts are down more than 50% and they’re praying Hart (late of the PFW podcasts) will help repair more iceberg damage to yet another EEI platform.
While Charred Finn asks Sara Underwood how much starch Mr. Felcher likes in his warming napkins, BJBSJ has your media news first. Again.
We here at BJBSJ just want to remind our readers not to forget what this Holiday Weekend is all about. And no, it’s not about the drinking, or the motorsports, or climbing on the dunes, or the grilling, or even watching other people barbecue:
It’s about thanking the soldiers.
Let’s be careful out there.
Conspicuously absent as a choice? The players and coaches. Oddly enough! Smdh.