|Articles||Go Fund Me||All-Species List||Hot Spots||Go Fund Me|
|Web Epoch NJ Web Design | (c) Copyright 2016 StocksandNews.com, LLC.|
LaFleur and Hoodie
[Posted early Tues. p.m.]
Kansas City Chiefs Quiz, SB IV: 1) Name Len Dawson’s backup at quarterback who guided the team to a 6-0 record while Dawson was hurt in the 1969 season. 2) Name the three Chiefs running backs who had 500 yards or more during the regular season. 3) Name the six Chiefs from this squad on defense who went on to become NFL Hall of Famers. Answers below.
Another Look Back at Packers-Bucs…and Belichick vs. Brady…
Barry Svrluga / Washington Post
“This was Matt LaFleur’s choice Sunday evening: He had Aaron Rodgers as his quarterback. He had an eight-point deficit. He had 2:09 remaining. He had eight yards between the ball and the goal line. And he had Davante Adams, maybe the NFL’s toughest short-field receiver, in his arsenal.
“And the coach of the Green Bay Packers chose to kick a field goal, and therefore give the ball back to Tom Brady, the best to ever do what he does.
“Congrats on losing by five, Matt, at 31-26, rather than eight. Rodgers never took another snap, never got another chance. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will play the Super Bowl in their own stadium. It must feel chilly in Green Bay.
“ ‘I couldn’t believe it, honestly,’ Tampa Bay linebacker Shaq Barrett said.
“Why can’t Barrett believe it? Because he plays for a coach who, with 13 seconds left in the first half, yanked his punt team off the field on fourth down with the ball at the opponent’s 45-yard line.
“ ‘We didn’t come here to not take chances to win the game,’ Buccaneers Coach Bruce Arians said.
“There was almost too much to digest in the NFC championship game at frosty Lambeau Field, so perhaps it can’t be distilled to this one decision by a coach who is two years younger than the quarterback he gave the ball back to. But the result, and its impact on the legacies of two Hall of Fame quarterbacks is striking: Brady is 43 and now headed to his 10th Super Bowl, his first with his handpicked new team. Rodgers is 37 and was denied his second trip with the only team he has ever known.
“ ‘I’m pretty gutted,’ Rodgers said.
“And so Rodgers must stew, and Brady will celebrate. He was and will forever be a New England Patriot because 20 years and six Super Bowl titles don’t just evaporate with newfound success elsewhere. But Sunday’s result provides further fodder to one of the best barroom sports debates out there: Brady or Belichick?
“Bill Belichick, Brady’s old coach, was home for these playoffs. Brady is in the thick of them, still alive. One game, one season, doesn’t provide the answer to the question of who was more responsible for New England’s success all those years. But if this is a meaningful debate, Brady isn’t done providing arguments on his behalf. This is not Willie May with the New York Mets, a coda that lessens a career rather than enhances it. Brady can still sling it, and – more importantly – can still win….
“To be fair, LaFleur was sitting on three timeouts plus the two-minute warning. Green Bay’s defense picked off Brady on three consecutive drives in the second half. Even with a touchdown on fourth and goal from the 8, the Packers still needed a two-point conversion to tie it.
“And yet, Aaron Rodgers is LaFleur’s quarterback, and the alternative is to give the ball back to – who, again? Oh, right. Tom $&%#@! Brady – with two minutes and change to kill the game.
“ ‘That wasn’t my decision,’ Rodgers said, ruefully and diplomatically. He finished the game in a pompom hat and mask, rather than in a helmet.
“And so we’re left with this: Tom Brady, back in the Super Bowl, for the fourth time in six years. He is now 33-11 in the playoffs, a .750 winning percentage, essentially cranking out 12-4 seasons in January and February. He is 43, and daring coaches to give him the ball to finish out the game.
“Matt LaFleur, join the club. He could have trusted Rodgers for one play and one touchdown. Instead he trusted his defense against Brady. The offseason is here. The offseason is long. The offseason is hard.”
For my part…as I noted Sunday, Rodgers should have run it on third down when he had space.
Dan Shaughnessy / Boston Globe
“Forty-three-year old Tom Brady is going to the Super Bowl.
“In the immortal words of Bob Lobel, ‘Why can’t we get players like that?’
“All precincts have reported and it’s official: Brady has beaten Bill Belichick and Bob Kraft in a landslide. Ten months after leaving New England because the Patriots were done with him, Brady showed the world he’s still the goods. The Patriots, who had no real plan to replace their quarterback, finished 7-9 and out of the playoffs. Meanwhile, Brady is going to his 10th Super Bowl; with the clown car Tampa Bay Buccaneers, no less.
“This is like seeing the Red Sox dump Mookie Betts in the name of payroll flexibility, then watching Betts win the World Series after the Sox finish last.
“Actually, no. It’s worse than that. It’s more like what Sox fans felt when Babe Ruth was sold to the Yankees and led a Pinstripe dynasty while the Sox were reduced to rubble. This is what it would have felt like if Bobby Orr had taken the Chicago Black Hawks to the Stanley Cup Final the year after he left the Bruins. Try to imagine 1990s Larry Bird joining the Orlando Magic, then leading Hooterville to the NBA Finals against the Lakers.
“Like it or not, here in Patriot Nation the narrative is that Belichick ran Brady out of town and now Tom has delivered the ultimate foam finger salute in the direction of Gillette Stadium.
“For Belichick, it’s worse than Spygate, worse than Deflategate, worse than David Tyree, or the Philly Special. For Kraft, it’s worse than getting rebuffed by Tom Menino when he wanted to build a stadium in Southie. Worse than watching the Tuna steal Curtis Martin. Worse than Orchids of…OK, not worse than that.
“Brady was hardly dominant in Sunday’s NFC Championship win over the Packers. But then again, he rarely is….
“But, as ever, Tommy was a Fortunate Son. The football gods always beam their light on the handsome head of Tom Brady.
“Remember all those years when everything went the Patriots’ way and it seemed like the folks on the other sideline lost their football minds at the sight of Belichick? Well, it’s becoming evident that it was the sight of Brady that made all those coaches step on their appendages when they played the Patriots. The Packers made this quite clear at Lambeau Field.”
As for the LaFleur decision to kick the field goal late, Shaughnessy writes:
“This was as bad as taking Blake Snell out of the final game of the 2020 World Series. It was almost as bad as Pete Carroll calling a slant pass when all he had to do was give the football to Marshawn Lynch in 2015….
“Strap yourself in for two weeks of hearing Tom Brady get the Full Rochie from commentators around the world. Prepare for a frothing fortnight of TB12 product, Super G, goofy Gronk videos, and Brady’s insistence that it’s so much more ‘fun’ playing in Tampa than it was in Foxborough.
“Ten months after the Patriots told him, ‘No thanks, Tom. We’re good,’ 43-year-old Tom Brady is going back to the Super Bowl.
“And we are Loserville. Once again.”
As of now, Kansas City is a consensus 3-, 3.5-point favorite. Vegas sportsbooks, and the likes of DraftKings these days, say the Mahomes-Brady matchup is an awesome one for props.
--AP Poll (records a/o Sun.)
1. Gonzaga (61) 15-0
2. Baylor (3) 14-0
3. Villanova 10-1
4. Michigan 13-1
5. Texas 11-2
6. Houston 13-1
7. Iowa 12-3
8. Virginia 10-2
9. Alabama 13-3…up 9! Hope their cheerleaders make it to Indy…
10. Texas Tech 11-4
11. West Virginia 10-4
16. Florida State 9-2
20. Virginia Tech 11-3
25. Louisville 10-3
Monday night, Virginia continued its hot play, now 7-0 in the ACC, with a dominating 81-58 win over Syracuse (9-5, 3-4) as Marquette transfer Sam Hauser and improving senior Jay Huff had 21 apiece.
11 West Virginia then had an 88-87 win at home over 10 Texas Tech.
--Monday, the Nets’ Big Three only combined for 56 points but Brooklyn chose to play some defense in beating the Heat (6-10) 98-85, the Nets 11-8.
LeBron James returned to Cleveland, the Lakers (14-4) beating the Cavaliers (8-9), 115-108, as James had 21 of his 46 points in the fourth quarter, James hitting 7 of 11 from three.
--The Knicks have been on a west coast swing, going 1-2 against Golden State, Sacramento and Portland, working their way back with a game tonight in Utah. But some of us were thrilled to see the performance Sunday night in Portland as the Knicks lost to the Trail Blazers, 116-113, of rookie guard Immanuel Quickley, who had 31 points in 24 minutes off the bench. The 25th overall pick in the draft is already proving to be a helluva selection for the Knickerbockers.
--Indiana Pacers guard Caris LeVert, part of the James Harden blockbuster deal, underwent surgery to treat renal cell carcinoma of his left kidney Monday, the team announced, and he is expected to make a full recovery.
There is no time frame on his return, but this is a guy to root for. Go Caris!
--The Knicks lost a legend the other day. One of the most popular players in franchise history, Harthorne Wingo, passed away at age 73. Wingo played for four seasons, 1972-76, and his career average was only 4.8 points, but he was a beloved member of the 1972-73 Knicks NBA championship team and as Marv Albert said of the 6-foot-6 forward, “Just when he went to the scorer’s table and crouched down, the crowd would go wild. He was a terrific guy, the most popular among the players and the crowd latched onto it.
“They knew he played hard, had an unusual jump shot and he had that smile. The players got a kick out of it. Very lovable.”
All of us who followed the Knicks in those days loved the guy, and he did play in all 82 games in 1974-75, averaging 7.4 points, 5.6 rebounds. Part of it of course was we all just loved saying the guy’s name! Harthorne Nathaniel Wingo.
As National Basketball Players Association attorney Ron Klempner told the New York Post, “I can’t tell you how many shots went up in the Canarsie schoolyards accompanied by the Wingo chant. I thought he was beloved among the Knicks’ faithful.”
Wingo, who grew up in North Carolina, received an invitation to join the Harlem Wizards in 1970, but the Knicks’ saw his athleticism and steered him into the Eastern League before signing him as a free agent in 1972.
Former teammate Bill Bradley told the Post: “Harthorne Wingo was a beautiful person. The fans loved him and so did his teammates. He was a positive part of the team dynamic and shared rightfully in the glow of the 1973 championship.”
--The Phillies signed catcher J.T. Realmuto to a rather stunning 5-year, $115.5 million contract, the highest average annual value ($23.1 million) in MLB history for the position. Joe Mauer previously held the record for highest average annual value at $23 million when he signed his 8-year, $184m extension in 2010.
By comparison, the Mets signed James McCann, Realmuto ‘light,’ to a 4-year, $40m deal.
--The Yankees continued to be active, sending solid reliever Adam Ottavino and his $9 million salary to the Red Sox for cash or a player to be named later. New York now has room to re-sign Brett Gardner and another piece, if they so desire, and still remain under the $210 million luxury-tax threshold.
--Meanwhile, still no official word on spring training, which should commence three weeks from now. Arizona state officials want a delay in the Cactus League due to Covid, but MLB can do what it wants. That said, there is no formal agreement between the owners and the players.
--And lastly, a mild surprise from the Baseball Writers’ Association of America and the Hall of Fame ballot released tonight…Curt Schilling did not get in, falling short of the 75% required with 71.1% vs. 70.0% last year.
Barry Bonds was at 61.8%, Roger Clemens 61.6%...both up marginally from last year.
Bonds, Clemens and Schilling have just one year remaining, though it seems Schilling tonight is asking that his name be removed.
Look, I think Schilling deserves to get in on his incredible postseason performance, 11-2, 2.23 ERA, let alone his excellent career numbers. But he is indeed an all-time jerk, and he’s proving it again tonight.
However, I separate that from steroid abusers Bonds and Clemens.
Meanwhile, Scott Rolen took a big step up to 52.9% from 35.3%, while Omar Vizquel, the center of domestic abuse allegations, fell from 52.6% to 49.1%. Both of these two have another six years of eligibility.
It’s the first year since 2013 that the BBWAA didn’t select a single player, though this summer, Derek Jeter, Ted Simmons, Larry Walker, and the ghost of Marvin Miller will finally get their due after Covid shut down things last year.
--The PGA of America acted quickly in announcing the new home for the 2022 PGA Championship will be Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, Okla. Just 15 days ago it stripped the championship from Trump National in Bedminster, N.J. As much as the PGA you know wanted to keep it in the New York metropolitan area, this was a smart decision. Lower the temperature as much as possible, even if they won’t publicly admit that was taken into consideration.
--This week we have Torrey Pines, which is also the site of the U.S. Open this year. But no Tiger Woods.
--Frank Lampard was fired as Chelsea manager after just 1 ½ seasons, having guided the Blues to a fourth-place finish and Champions League berth in his first year, but had Chelsea just ninth after 19 games this season and owner Roman Abramovich is notoriously impatient…witness his firing of Jose Mourinho, the greatest manager in Chelsea history, twice.
The fans wanted Lampard to succeed. After all, he was one of the greatest Chelsea players of all time, scoring a franchise-record 211 goals, all competitions, as a midfielder. From that position, he was the only PL player to notch 150 league goals.
Chelsea fan Dr. W., also wanting Lampard to succeed, conceded he seemed to be in over his head this season.
Thomas Tuchel, formerly manager at Paris St.-Germain, was granted an 18-month contract to take over the helm.
--I saw where former Wake Forest football coach Chuck Mills passed away at the age of 92. Mills was coach my first two years at the school, 1976-77, and I have nothing but fond memories, despite our tough times.
Overall, this was how Mills’ five seasons went at Wake.
So my freshman year, ’76, was better than the record, with three losses of 3 points or less; a further excuse to drink heavily after we’d listen to the games in our dorms on the radio. [18 was the drinking age back then, in case you’re thinking of turning me into the authorities, 45 years later.]
But ’77, yes, was disappointing and then Mills was replaced by John Mackovic. He was 1-10 in 1978, but then the Deacs broke out my senior year, ’79, going 8-4, with a bowl appearance.
The thing is, it was Chuck Mills who recruited many of the players on that ’79 team, including future NFLers Syd Kitson and Billy Ard, both New Jersey boys, plus our quarterback, Jay Venuto, was from the Garden State. And Mills had recruited our outstanding running back, James McDougald.
And now you know….the rest of the story.
Top 3 songs for the week 1/30/71: #1 “Knock Three Times” (Dawn) #2 “My Sweet Lord” (George Harrison) #3 “Lonely Days” (Bee Gees)…and…#4 “One Less Bell To Answer” (The 5th Dimension) #5 “Rose Garden” (Lynn Anderson) #6 “Groove Me” (King Floyd) #7 “I Hear You Knocking” (Dave Edmunds) #8 “Your Song” (Elton John) #9 “One Bad Apple” (The Osmonds) #10 “Stoney End” (Barbra Streisand…eh week…B- …)
Kansas City Chiefs Quiz Answers: 1) Mike Livingston was 6-0 as a starter backing up Len Dawson while Dawson was out with an injury during the 1969 season. Dawson returned for the playoffs. Livingston had only four touchdown passes and six interceptions in his time behind center, relying on the ground game. 2) The three K.C. backs with 500 yards rushing were Mike Garrett (168-732-6, 4.4 avg.), Robert Holmes (150-612-2, 4.1) and Warren McVea (106-500-7, 4.7). The three also combined for 76 receptions out of the backfield, each averaging 10 yards on same. 3) The six Chiefs on defense in Super Bowl IV who went on to the Hall of Fame were Curley Culp (DT), Bobby Bell (LB), Willie Lanier (LB), Buck Buchanan (DT), Emmitt Thomas (DB) and Johnny Robinson (DB). Robinson also played some halfback and flanker early in his career.
How good was the Chiefs’ ‘D’? In the playoffs….
K.C. defeated the Jets 13-6, the Raiders 17-7, and Vikings 23-7.
Next Bar Chat, Sunday p.m. Honoring Audie Murphy. I didn’t have time to write him up tonight, as I just learned, it was today, Jan. 26, 1945, when Audie Murphy earned his Medal of Honor.