Patriots Fans Need to Chill, and Other Pre-Draft Tidbits

by

Terri Bey

It seems the controversial January 2018 ESPN article by Seth Wickersham, which claimed there was a power struggle between New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, Owner Robert Kraft and QB Tom Brady is still haunting the team and its fans.  After the Super Bowl loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, in his final part of his Facebook series, “Tom vs Time,” Tom Brady said that he was going to make this off-season more about spending time with his family, and with Alex Guerrero, his personal trainer.  Brady also stated that he wanted to feel “appreciated,” and he appeared to some in the press, to question his “conviction” to playing, as he talked about having to rehab his thumb and his Achilles all season.  Right after the Super Bowl loss, superstar TE Rob Gronkowski said that he was going to take some time to think about retirement.

These events had the media and Patriots fans in a tizzy. Media types in Boston were trying to figure out what all this meant. Some were speculating that “maybe Tom Brady doesn’t want to play until he is 45.”  Some, like former Patriots player Troy Brown said, “Something is wrong with Tom.” I thought a lot of this was overreaction.  Tom Brady taped his final “Tom vs Time” THREE DAYS after a very disappointing Super Bowl loss. I can’t blame him for sounding a bit frustrated and a bit contemplative about his future.

Fast forward to April 17, 2018. What is having Patriot fans acting as if this is the equivalent to the Titanic disaster is that neither QB Tom Brady nor TE Rob Gronkowski are at the start of voluntary workouts, which started yesterday, April 16th, ironically, on coach Bill Belichick’s 66th birthday, and on the 18th anniversary of Tom Brady’s being drafted #199 in the sixth round. Tom Brady was returning from a trip to Qatar, for a Best Buddies related event, as he is a spokesman for the Best Buddies Charity.  However, according to ESPN’s Jeff Darlington, Brady will likely be missing the voluntary workouts, as he plans to work with his personal trainer, Alex Guerrero.  As for Gronkowski, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that Gronkowski is still trying to decide whether to play the 2018 season, but is having “good” talks with the team.

The Boston media, ESPN, and Patriots fans are just going absolutely nuts.  I am seeing fans wanting Gronkowski traded.  Fans are whining that Belichick “traded the wrong quarterback.” Fans are completely overreacting to this.  Some of them appear to forget that Brady has skipped these voluntary workouts in 2008, and 2010.  While Rob Gronkowski has a $250,000 bonus if he completes 90 percent of the workouts, it is still a voluntary program.  Both Brady and Gronkowski have earned the right to handle their business how they want. In Gronkowski’s case, it is about more money, per Jeff Howe of The Athletic. (https://theathletic.com/315699/2018/04/15/howe-rob-gronkowski-wants-some-more-money-and-the-patriots-have-some-to-spare/) For Tom Brady, it is about wanting to spend more time with his family.  Patriots fans, and fans of ALL teams reading this need to realize that this is a business for the PLAYER as well as for the NFL. This relationship is not a one way street, like many fans think.  These players are not circus animals that you just use, and when they are done, you go out and shoot, like Bret Hart said in his “Wrestling with Shadows” documentary, in describing how WWE Chairman Vince McMahon treated his wrestlers.

Patriot fans need to chill out. The situations will resolve themselves. Coach Bill Belichick and the Patriots organization will come to some deal with Gronkowski, or they might trade him.  I personally don’t see them trading him.  As for Tom Brady,  he knows how to get himself ready for the season, and I personally do not think he is “leading a revolt” of any sort, no matter how tough he thinks Bill Belichick is.  Belichick is not going to change, and everyone knows it.  Yes, Belichick has Guerrero banned from Gillette, and all that, but I still see Belichick and Brady working together for 2018.  To quote Titanic’s Second Officer in the 1958 film “A Night to Remember,” Patriots fans, “Take hold of yourselves.” “Don’t panic.”

OTHER PRE-DRAFT TIDBITS:

The Pittsburgh Steelers and start RB Le’Veon Bell are still at a standstill over his contract.   The team and Bell and Bell’s representatives had this issue last season, and Bell signed for the tag amount, but it was after the third game of the pre-season, when he returned.  I certainly would not trade him, but I don’t think he is worth a huge contract. Even though he is the one of the Steelers’ best offensive weapons, Bell has two suspensions on his record, and has a problem staying on the field due to injuries.  The two sides plan to resume talks after the draft, and have until July 16, 2018 to come up with a contract.

Is he available, or isn’t he available? That was the question for a bit concerning New York Giants WR Odell Beckham, Jr, concerning trade rumors for the rather volatile, but talented wide receiver.  First the rumors were that the Giants wanted a First Round pick and a Third, and then rumors came out that they wanted Two First Round picks. At the owners’ meeting, Giants co-owner John Mara squashed the rumors saying, “I want him (Beckham) to be a Giant.”  My question is, why trade him?  I know that Beckham, Jr. can be a headache, with his antics, but the talent is worth it.

In speaking of troubled wide receivers, which team will pick up former Dallas Cowboys WR Dez Bryant?  I understand that his decreased production, and his tiresome antics are the main reasons he got released, but I think he still can be useful for some team. I do wonder why owner Jerry Jones waited so long in free agency to let him go.  Jones must have known that he was at least thinking about releasing Bryant.  Releasing Bryant so late does not give Jones a good look.

I hope that you enjoyed this blog. Feedback is welcome. Thank you for reading.

Email: Alydace@yahoo.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/missedgehead

Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/GioPontifan

 

 

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Five Rock Artists Who Should Be in the Hall of Fame

by

Terri Bey

On Saturday, April 14, 2018, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame will open its doors to six new inductees in Cleveland. To be eligible for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the artist must wait 25 years after their first record is released. The five artists inducted as performers are Bon Jovi, The Cars, The Moody Blues, Dire Straits, and the late Nina Simone.  Sister Rosetta Tharpe will receive a posthumous award as an Early Influence. New Jersey’s Bon Jovi are known for their multi-million selling hard rock albums, such as “Slippery When Wet,” and “New Jersey.” Former lead guitarist Richie Sambora will be on hand to accept his induction. Boston’s The Cars are known for hits, such as  “Just What I Needed,” and “You Might Think,” and their very creative videos. The Moody Blues, whose career spans over 50 years, who are finally receiving their due as Hall of Famers, are known for their great hits as “Knights in White Satin,” and “Your Wildest Dreams.” Dire Straits are known for guitarist Mark Knopfler’s guitar licks, and for the songs, “Sultans of Swing,” and the hit, “Money for Nothing.”  The late Nina Simone was a Jazz singer with a great contralto voice, who used pop, R&B, classical, and blues to shape her craft. Ms. Simone was known for performing songs, such as “I Put a Spell on You,” and “Feeling Good.” Known as the “Godmother of Rock,” Sister Rosetta Tharpe, who, like The Moody Blues, is finally getting recognition as a Rock and Roll Hall of Famer. Ms. Tharpe was known for her electric gospel sound, both as a singer and as a guitarist. She was an influence on artists, such as Elvis, Johnny Cash and Little Richard.  Ms. Tharpe mainly performed at churches, and went to Europe to perform.  One of the songs Ms. Tharpe performed was “That’s All.”

I think this is a very good Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Class. I was a bit disappointed that Judas Priest did not get in, after being eligible for about 18 years.  I hope the heavy metal band will get in the next time they are among the finalists.  One of the main complaints I have with the Rock Hall is that there is a huge logjam of rock bands that should be in, and aren’t, because of voters and the powers-that-be in the Rock Hall keep playing political games.

Many people I talk to about the Rock Hall are surprised, when I tell them that such and such band are not in the Hall.  Most of my readers know I am a huge KISS fan, and how furious I was that they had to wait 14 years to get in. Why? Deep Purple had to wait over a decade to get in. Why?  As I said previously, the Moody Blues are finally getting in, and even the Cars and Dire Straits are getting their due as well, after years of waiting. These are bands that should have been in a long time ago.  The Hall of Fame needs to stop playing political games and playing favorites, and use some common sense, when considering candidates.

In this blog, I will be discussing five rock artists that I think should be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, who are not. I will be making my case for each one, and include a video. I will list the first year of eligibility, and the band members I have decided to induct.  I hope that you will enjoy this blog, and feedback is always welcome.

My Five Artists That I Would Induct Into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame:

1. BOSTON:  

Year of Eligibility: 2001

Category: Performer

Inducted Members: Tom Scholz, Brad Delp, Fran Sheehan, Barry Goudreau, Gary Phil, Jim Masdea

Why: The band Boston released one of the most influential sounding albums, with their top selling debut album, “Boston.” Guitarist Tom Scholz introduced a new guitar sound with this album, and subsequent multi-million selling albums, “Don’t Look Back,” and “Third Stage.”  The debut “Boston” album was recorded by Scholz in his basement.  Scholz got his distinct guitar sound using self-made pedals. The debut album recorded hits, such as “More Than A Feeling,” and “Piece of Mind.”

 

2. JUDAS PRIEST:

Eligible Since: 1999

Category: Performer

Members Inducted: Rob Halford, Glenn Tipton, K.K. Downing, Dave Holland (posthumously), Ian Hill

Why: Judas Priest is one of the most influential heavy metal bands. They, along with bands like Iron Maiden, and Def Leppard, were among the bands called the New Wave of British Heavy Metal. Judas Priest lead singer Rob Halford is known for his outstanding high vocals, and the band is known for their classic albums, such as “British Steel,” and “Screaming for Vengeance.” Judas Priest has entertained fans all over the world with songs, such as “Heading Out to the Highway,” and “You Got Another Thing Coming.”

I would induct this band, because of their influence on countless bands, and on their musicianship. Their songs are also memorable and legendary.

 

3. PAT BENATAR:

Eligible Since: 2004

Category: Performer

Members Inducted: Pat Benatar

Why: Pat Benatar has one of the greatest voices in rock, male or female. Ms Benatar is known for hits, such as “Shadows in the Night,” “You Better Run,” “We Belong,” “Heartbreaker,” and many others. Besides Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Ann Wilson of Heart, Pat Benatar is an outstanding singer of rock, pop, and many other styles of music. Along with husband and guitarist Neil Giraldo, Pat Benatar has created classic albums, such as “Crimes of Passion,” and “Heat of the Night.”  Pat Benatar has also opened many doors for many women in rock, as well, so she definitely “belongs” in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

 

 

4. FOREIGNER

Eligible Since: 2002

Category: Performer

Inducted Members: Mick Jones, Lou Gramm, Dennis Elliott, Edward Gagliardi (posthumously), Al Greenwood, Ian McDonald

Why: Foreigner is one of those bands, like Boston, that you would think would be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The weird thing is that they are not. If the Rock Hall voters would lay off the non-rock artists like The Beastie Boys, ABBA, Madonna, etc., perhaps actual rock artists like Foreigner can get in there, and there wouldn’t be this logjam. Who is the next non-rock artist that the Rock Hall wants to put into the Hall, Ludwig Van Beethoven?

Regardless, Foreigner is known for their rock anthems, like “Hot Blooded,” “Cold As Ice,” and “Dirty White Boy.”  The band features original lead singer Lou Gramm’s soulful, but powerful vocals over guitarist Mick Jones’ awesome guitar licks. Yes, the band had their soft side during the 1980s, with classics like “I Want To Know What Love Is,” and “That Was Yesterday,” but so do many other bands in the Hall of Fame, such as KISS and Aerosmith.

Foreigner has an over 40 year long legacy, and belongs in the Hall.

 

5. Big Mama Thornton

Eligible Since: 1976

Category: Early Influence

Special Award: Big Mama Thornton (posthumously)

Why: This is one shocking omission from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame that needs to be corrected. Big Mama Thornton, as you know by now, is the original singer of the Leiber and Stoller classic, “Hound Dog” in 1952.  Thornton’s recording sold nearly two million copies, and stayed on top of the R&B Billboard Charts for seven weeks. Ms. Thornton is a rock and roll pioneer, and she also wrote the original version of “Ball N’ Chain.” Thornton also influenced Elvis Presley, who also recorded “Hound Dog,” and Janis Joplin.

On the very bottom floor of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum, there is a display of the Early Influences of Rock and Roll. The display shows a little video of Big Mama Thornton singing “Hound Dog.” However, Big Mama Thornton is not an inductee in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, itself.  To not have such a huge rock and roll pioneer as Big Mama Thornton enshrined in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame does not make any sense, and she needs to be in the Hall.

So, there are the five artists that I think should be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I picked four performers and one Early Influence.  I would like to hear your opinion. Agree? Disagree?  What artists do YOU think should be in? Thank you for reading.

Email: Alydace@yahoo.com

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My Fascination with the Story of the Titanic

by Terri Bey

This weekend, on April 14-15, 2018 will be the 106th commemoration of the sinking of  the White Star Liner R.M.S Titanic, where 1496 lives were lost when the ship struck an iceberg in the North Atlantic. Only 712 of the 2,208 on board survived. The Titanic disaster is one of the greatest stories ever told, in that the disaster inspired many books, movies, songs, poems, and other forms of media. Many of my readers know something about the Titanic. Most know that the Titanic was, at the time, the largest ship in the world, and was considered “unsinkable,” and didn’t have enough lifeboats, etc.

The Titanic disaster is tragic, yet fascinating at the same time. How could such a beautiful, well made luxury liner go down on her maiden voyage? Why didn’t Captain Edward J. Smith of the Titanic take the iceberg warnings seriously? Why didn’t the Leyland Liner S.S. Californian come to the sinking Titanic’s aid? The Titanic disaster was one huge case of Murphy’s Law: if anything could go wrong, it did. I found this tragedy incredibly fascinating, and in this blog, I will be discussing my becoming a Titanic enthusiast, and why I just love this story.

I first became interested in the Titanic around second grade, and I have my father to thank. I had received one of these short stories to read for class, and it was about the Titanic. To give a little personal background, my parents had me late in life, and my father was born in May of 1904, and was almost 8, when the Titanic sank, so he was old enough to read the papers. Anyway, he read the short story with me, and would tell me all the details about Captain Smith, and the whole story about the Titanic tragedy. My father even told me that the ship broke in two, way before Dr. Robert Ballard found the wreck on September 1, 1985. Some passengers’ accounts of the ship breaking in two must have made it into the papers.

From then on, I was hooked onto the Titanic story. I would watch the 1958 classic, “A Night to Remember,” based upon Walter Lord’s book of the same title. I also read the book. Every time there was a special on the Titanic, I would watch it. We didn’t have cable, but when a film about the Titanic came on, I watched that. I became a total addict. When I got cable, I watched plenty of specials on the Titanic. If you named me a special or film, I have probably seen it. Yes, I am a subscriber to the Titanic Channel. I highly recommend it to anyone who is a Titanic enthusiast.

There are so many aspects to this disaster that attract me. There were 2,208 people on Titanic, when she sailed. There were 706 of them traveling in steerage, or Third Class. Many of those were traveling to the United States to start new lives. Many of them had dreams of making it in America, the land of opportunity. The majority of them never made it, as only 178 Third Class passengers survived. All the passengers had their own stories to tell. The lives of the survivors after the Titanic are very fascinating. Many of them became rich, and philanthropic, but sadly some committed suicide.

The Titanic disaster has connections to industries, because of certain passengers. Businessman George Dunton Widener, who was returning on the Titanic with his wife Eleanor, his eldest son Harry, and their maid, died in the disaster, along with his son Harry, while his wife and maid survived. Widener’s youngest son, George Dunton Widener, Jr. became a prominent breeder in the racing industry. Widener was influenced by his uncle Peter E. Widener, who was the head of Belmont Park and builder of Hialeah Park. George D. Widener, Jr. owned Jaipur, winner of the 1962 Belmont Stakes, and the 1962 Travers Stakes by a nose over Ridan. Widener was the president of the National Museum and Hall of Fame from 1960 to 1968.

George Dunton Widener, Sr’s grandson, Fitz Eugene Dixon, Jr. was an owner and had investments in Philadelphia’s sports teams, such as the Eagles, Phillies, Flyers, and the 76ers. Dixon was vice-chairman of the Philadelphia Flyers, when they won the Stanley Cup in 1974 and 1975. In Dixon’s brief period of owning the Philadelphia 76ers, between 1976 and 1981, he brought in Julius “Dr. J” Erving, and the team went to the NBA finals twice, but didn’t win the title.

Another item that is Titanic-connected memorabilia is the Joy Ice Cream Cone.  Sanini George was a Third Class Passenger on Titanic, who shared a lifeboat with White Star Line President J. Bruce Ismay.  She was returning from Lebanon to join her family, after her son passed away.  Her family created a mold for ice cream, and their company started in 1918 as the George and Thomas Cone Company, but eventually the George Family  took it over, and it became the Joy Ice Cream Cone Company.

There is also the story of class that is fascinating to me. The First Class passengers obviously got first dibs on the lifeboats. Even in that case, just because these people were rich, it didn’t mean that their lives would automatically be saved, as the richest man on the ship, Colonel John Jacob Astor IV was denied entry into Lifeboat 4, when he asked to accompany his pregnant bride Madeline.  Aston, Macy’s Owner Isidor Straus, the aforementioned Widener, and tycoon Benjamin Guggenheim, all went down with the Titanic. What I found eye-opening was the fact that Second Class men were wiped out, as far as casualties. In that time period, everyone knew their place. The Second Class men knew not to jump over the barriers to even try to get to the lifeboats. The Third Class men were much more hearty, and had jobs like farmers and such. They were more than willing to over power someone like a clerk with a Second Class ticket for a seat in a lifeboat.

I was very moved by many of the women who didn’t want to leave their husbands. That still haunts me today. I think about times when I have to make difficult choices in my life. I don’t know if I could have left my father or if I were married, my husband, had I been on the Titanic. Could I have done what the Strauses had done, and stayed together, at the time? I don’t really know? What I do appreciate about those times, was that men would do the “honorable” thing and “go down like gentlemen,” as Benjamin Guggenheim had reportedly said.

The disaster and the blame game is one of the most fascinating parts of the entire story to me. I have been studying the disaster on and off for a little over 40 years, and I have gone through a ton of changes concerning my thoughts on how the disaster happened. From reading different materials, and watching different documentaries, I find it to be a good idea to get different perspectives. There are concepts about the Titanic that I used to believe about the Titanic disaster that I do not believe any longer.

I want to start with the Californian Incident, which is still a rather touchy subject some 106 years later. The story that is told is that the Leyland Liner, the S.S. Californian, led by Captain Stanley Lord was 10 miles away from the sinking Titanic, and refused to come to the stricken ship’s aid, and allowed 1500 people to die. Had he come, all of the 2,208 passengers and crew would have been rescued.  I used to be what is called an “Anti-Lordite,” which is someone who believes this over 100-year-old narrative. Well, needless to say, I don’t believe it anymore.  I feel that Captain Stanley Lord of the Californian became an easy scapegoat for both the United States Senate and British Inquiries into the Titanic.  No one wanted to blame the British Board of Trade for their hopelessly outdated regulations concerning lifeboats, so Captain Lord was the easy target.

Here are a couple of more reasons why Captain Lord is a scapegoat.  I find it hard to blame Captain Lord for the loss of life on the Titanic, when Titanic’s lifeboats were being sent down half full, especially near the beginning of the evacuation. There was a total of 465 seats on those lifeboats that were empty. In one particular Titanic lifeboat that was supposed to take 40, only 12 people were put into it. My point is that while Captain Lord is an easy target, the Titanic crew and Captain Smith should have been filling their lifeboats that they DID have. While I realize that The Californian’s officers saw the rockets, she was stopped in an ice field.  Even if Captain Lord and his crew realized it was the Titanic in trouble, her top speed was 13 knots, and by the time his vessel got there, Titanic likely would have been under water.  I just don’t think the Californian would have been able to come in time to save all on board, like many people think.  I also realize that the Californian’s wireless operator was asleep. It is worth noting that at that time, ships did not have to have 24 hour wireless operation.  I don’t think Captain Lord acted perfectly. I do think he should have come to pick up what passengers did escape, but I certainly do not think that he and the Californian could have saved everyone.

The cause of the disaster that I buy into is the “Mirage Theory.” In essence, two fronts caused a mirage, which caused a haze, so the Titanic lookouts didn’t see the iceberg, until they had 37 seconds to avoid it.  What is happening here is that Titanic is traveling from the Gulf Stream, and then when it goes into the Labrador Current, the cold air cools the air, and goes under the warm air, creating this mirage.  The night of April 14, 1912 was said to be a clear night, no moon, and a blanket of stars.  Well,  this mirage creating this specific weather condition for the Titanic disaster to happen, as the horizon is “pushed” up by the distortion of light rays, and the iceberg is hidden, and draped in the blanket of stars, until it comes out suddenly.  It is this same mirage which makes the Titanic look like a steamer to Captain Lord, and the scintillation of the lights of the Titanic and the stars which makes the Morse Code of both the Titanic and the Californian rendered useless.

For more, watch this National Geographic Special by Titanic expert, Tim Maltin:  https://youtu.be/UxQvij8Ttug

Briefly, I want to kill a couple of other myths. About the Titanic going too fast, she wasn’t built for speed,  wasn’t as fast as the Cunard’s Lusitania. Captains testified at both hearings that they would have been going that fast on a clear night. The Titanic was built for size and luxury, not speed.  Another myth I want to kill is that the Titanic was poorly built, using “brittle steel” and the iron rivets were terrible.  I want to remind my readers that Titanic’s sisters, the Olympic and Britannic were also built the same way. The Olympic had a career as a passenger ship, and was commissioned in WWI.  The Olympic had even cut a U-Boat in two, and had a torpedo stuck in her hull. The Britannic was a hospital ship in WWI, and when she sank in 1916, divers have discovered that her structure is still as intact today as it was over 100 years ago.  Sure, metallurgists have done tests on Titanic’s steel,  and I respect their scientific tests.  However, science must be put into its proper context.  Titanic’s main wound is at Boiler Room #6, and the ship’s boilers were hot, and the ship was traveling for 4 hours in that 28 degree water, before she hit the iceberg.  If you put it all in proper context, the hole in the ship opened up because of physics, not because the rivets or the steel were weak.

In conclusion, I love discussing and researching Titanic. The story is as heartbreaking and compelling a story as any.  I have learned to be more compassionate to those who are making difficult choices.  I have been made to be more aware about class, as even when the recovery ships the Mackay-Bennett and the Minia came to recover bodies, the First Class passengers were given better treatment.  Even though I understood that, I found that sad.  There is no such thing as First Class Heaven or Second Class Hell.  I am saddened for the victims, and I think about them and all the passengers every day.  I also feel sad for the loss and waste of a beautiful ship. Titanic was the most beautiful object, never mind ship ever made, in my opinion.  There is no airplane, hotel, resort or any other ship, not even those eyesores, they call Cruise Ships, that can compete with the Titanic.

Thank you for reading.  Feedback Welcome

Email:  Alydace@yahoo.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/missedgehead

Twitter: http://www.facebook.com/GioPontiFan

 

 

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Farewell Thunder Gulch, until next time.

by

Terri Bey

How do you say goodbye to a beloved athlete, who died? You don’t know them. What if the athlete is a Thoroughbred Racehorse that you cheered for, and even cheered for their offspring? Well, my dear readers, one of my favorite racehorses, 1995 Champion 3YO Colt Thunder Gulch passed away on March 19, 2018.  In this blog, I will be discussing his life.

During the hoopla heading into the 1995 Triple Crown series, Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas had a terrific 3YO named Timber Country.  The media were on the “Timber Country is going to win the Kentucky Derby, and the Triple Crown” bandwagon. The media was all in on Timber Country’s breeding and his Kentucky Derby prep wins, etc. The media also was enamored with filly Serena’s Song, also trained by Lukas, as she defeated males in the Jim Beam Stakes.  Fans and the media were wondering, if Wayne Lukas was going to win the Derby with his star colt, or his filly, as Lukas had won his first ever Derby with a filly,  Winning Colors in 1988.

However, Wayne Lukas had ONE more horse on the Triple Crown trail, and that horse was named Thunder Gulch, who sadly passed away on March 19, 2018 at age 25, due to infirmities. Thunder Gulch was sired by Gulch out of Line of Thunder by Storm Bird.  Gary Stevens was Thunder Gulch’s jockey.  Even though the plucky three-year old had won the Fountain of Youth and the Florida Derby going into the Derby, many didn’t him a huge chance, as many were more interested in Lukas’ other stars, and possibly because some might have though a son of Gulch, primarily a sprinter, could not get the mile and a quarter.

When that starting gate opened on May 6, 1995, Serena’s Song, as expected, took the lead. When the massive field passed the stands for the first time, and approached the clubhouse turn, Thunder Gulch was sixth.  Going around and into the backstretch, jockey Gary Stevens got Thunder Gulch on an inside position. Going down the backstretch, with Serena’s Song still leading and Wild Syn putting on some pressure, Thunder Gulch is moved up in between several horses, and is in fourth position.  At about the three-quarter pole, much of the early speed horses had quit, and Gary Stevens makes his move, and Thunder Gulch is second and was challenging Serena’s Song. At the top of the stretch, Thunder Gulch leaves Serena’s Song in the dust, and wins the Kentucky Derby.

As a diehard racing fan, I was in love with Thunder Gulch  The horse looked so sweet, and was definitely the underdog. I cheered him for the rest of his career.  As most racing fans and observers will know, this tough chestnut finished third in the 1995 Preakness to Timber Country, won the 1995 Belmont Stakes, the 1995 Travers Stakes, the 1995 Swaps Stakes, the Kentucky Cup Classic Handicap. Thunder Gulch retired after fracturing his left front cannon bone, after fifth place finish to Cigar in the Jockey Club Gold Cup, and was awarded the Outstanding 3YO Colt Eclipse Award.

Thunder Gulch retired to Ashford Stud, the American Division of Coolmore, in Versailles, KY, where he died.  I had the blessed opportunities to meet him, while he was there. I still remember the first time I met him on Jan 9, 2013, during one of Ashford’s Open Houses. I was struck by how good looking he was, even at advanced age.  Thunder Gulch knew he was special.  The great ones always do.  I go up to him to get a pictures of that lovely face of his, and he walked towards me, and started to sniff me up and down.  I was laughing, and wondering, “What did this horse think I had on me?” I pick through my pockets, and I saw I had a mint with me from a time I went to some restaurant.  The workers were nice enough to let me give it to him, as Thunder Gulch likes mints.  They were very nice to allow me to take a photo with him, as well.  It will be a treasured moment, until the day I die.  I was fortunate to have gotten to see Thunder Gulch at a few more Ashford Open Houses, and through Horse Country Tours. I got more photos of him and with him.  With his passing, I will always cherish them.

Even though I am drenched in tears over Thunder Gulch’s passing, I am comforted in knowing that Thunder Gulch now is not in any more pain, and is running free with his sire, Gulch. Thunder Gulch will be miss by his many fans. The last time  I saw Thunder Gulch was at the January 2018 Ashford Open House.  He was only allowed to be seen in his stall.  It was alright with me.  I had a suspicion it would be the last time I’d ever see him, but I am blessed that I did.

So, farewell Thunder Gulch, until next time.  When it will be my turn to take that walk up to those Pearly Gates, I won’t forget the mints.

Feedback is welcome.

Featured Photo: Terri Bey

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/GioPontiFan

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Post-Super Bowl LII News and Notes: Eagles Parade, Josh McDaniels Changes Mind, Boston Herald Embarrasses New England Patriots Again

by

Terri Bey

I am back with another blog about some news items concerning both Super Bowl LII participants that may be of interest. First off, the Philadelphia Eagles had their celebratory parade in downtown Philadelphia. There were an estimated 700,000 fans in attendance, per Tom Avril of Philly.com. Sadly, there were two people stabbed, and a policeman assaulted.  The police horses were left alone.  A Jumbotron was also destroyed. (http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2018/02/09/two-stabbed-at-eagles-victory-parade/) While the two stabbing victims are expected to survive, according to the Associated Press, which originally reported the story,  I am not surprised that happened, considering that it was in Philadelphia. I mean, after the Eagles won the game, fans in Philadelphia were destroying stores, and eating horse manure. Yes, you read that correctly.  Again, that is Philadelphia for you.

There were going to be some changes to the current AFC Champion New England Patriots. Defensive coordinator Matt Patricia accepted the Detroit Lions head coach position, and it was all made official at a press conference, Monday, February 5th. The presser featured a cleaned up Patricia, with a neat looking haircut and beard.  Most people are used to seeing him with his wild-looking beard, and long hair.  Offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels had accepted the Indianapolis Colts vacant head coaching position, and there was going to be an official press conference on Wednesday, February 7th, introducing McDaniels.

However, something happened on the way to McDaniels officially accepting the Colts job. That came in the form of Patriots owner Robert K. Kraft convincing McDaniels to stay with the Patriots, and McDaniels having second thoughts about uprooting his family from the Boston area to Indianapolis. Of course, all heck broke loose, and Colts GM Chris Ballard held a press conference on Monday, February 7th, playing the victim card. He ends it with a defiant, “The rivalry is back on.”   Josh McDaniels’ agent, Bob Lamonte, got all preachy, and told McDaniels that he (McDaniels) “made the biggest mistake of his professional life.”  Lamonte started in with his high horse attitude with his “word is my bond” bit.  Lamonte ended his professional relationship with McDaniels, as well.  McDaniels also got criticized by the holier-than-thou former head coach Tony Dungy, and others.

Here is how I see this McDaniels situation. I agree to an extent that McDaniels should not have backed out at the last-minute, especially since assistant coaches were hired on the premise that McDaniels was going to be their head coach.  However, Chris Ballard has to take the blame for some of this. How do you hire assistant coaches, before you have the head coach signed, sealed and delivered?  Why was he announced as the head coach, before you even had him signed? The rules specifically say that a team is not allowed to hire an employed coach, until his season has ended. The Colts announced him as their head coach, when the Patriots were still in the playoffs and in the Super Bowl. They acted as if he were hired, before he could be hired. McDaniels is NOT innocent, but the Colts aren’t either.

As for the “rivalry,” please Mr. Ballard. Give me a break. The Colts haven’t beaten the Patriots since 2009.  A horse and its hay are not rivals.   A hammer and a nail are not rivals. Get the point?  I know that the Patriots play against the Colts in 2018.  If the Patriots beat you all by a margin of 38 points, please don’t make false accusations, and accept the loss like a grown man.

Finally,  the last thing we will be discussing is the Boston Herald once again messing with the Patriots. First, it was former Herald writer John Tomase’s writing that false February, 2008 story about the Patriots allegedly taping the then St. Louis Rams’ Super Bowl walk through, which was retracted, and the Herald issued an apology to the Patriots in May of 2008, and now the Herald’s Ron Borges wrote an erroneous column about Tom Brady allegedly holding out during OTA’s (Off Season Training Activities) for the same contract that former backup Jimmy Garappolo received in San Francisco.  The thing is that Ron Borges was tricked into writing the story by receiving a text by a “Nick from Boston,” who posed as Don Yee, the agent for both Garappolo and Brady.  This “Fake Don Yee,” through texting and phone calls, convinced Borges, who had been previously disciplined by the Boston Globe for plagiarism, that Brady was going to hold out, and the kicker was that Borges didn’t even check other sources.  Borges has since been suspended. (http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2018/02/09/boston-herald-suspends-ron-borges-column-apologizes-for-erroneous-report/)

I don’t understand Borges.  This also appears to be reflective of today’s journalism, as well. Today’s journalism is about being the fastest to get the story out there, and it doesn’t matter if the story is correct.  Well, even though I am a mere blogger, I think it is important to get the facts correct. I have seen writers online going after the prankster, and defending Ron Borges, as if HE were the victim.  Well, to an EXTENT that is true. The prankster is the culprit.  However, this is not Ron Borges’ first rodeo, and he has been punished for plagiarism, so he should know better than to have gone with the story, without checking it. It never occurred to him to call the REAL Don Yee?  Most fans of the Patriots know that Tom Brady always takes PAYCUTS, and doesn’t hold out.  Brady is the one who is the victim.  I mean, sure, the story was retracted, but there will be people who will believe it.  Totally irresponsible of Borges to not have checked his sources, before running a story like that.

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Bill Belichick’s Arrogance Costs Patriots Super Bowl LII Win Against Philadelphia Eagles

by

Terri Bey

I want to first start off this blog by congratulating the Philadelphia Eagles for winning Super Bowl LII, and their actual fans.  On a personal note, I want to especially send my congratulations to my good friends, Dave Scherer, who is owner of PWinsider.com, and my former editor, Eric Gargiulo, owner and editor of CamelclutchBlog.com. These two guys are diehard Eagles fans, and have been waiting their entire lives for their team to hoist a Lombardi Trophy.  I am happy for them.  Their team earned the victory, and deserved it.

The Eagles defeated the New England Patriots in a shoot out, by a score of 41-33. If you were looking for defense, this was not the game for you. Both defenses gave up over 1,100 yards of offense combined. The Eagles won, because coach Doug Pedersen called a smart, and aggressive game. Pedersen had kept his team’s foot on the gas, and they made the crucial plays, when they needed to do so, especially on 3rd and 4th down. Eagles quarterback and Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles had an outstanding game with 3 TDs, and threw for 373 yards, and caught a TD on a trick play.  The Eagles defense came up with that crucial stop, when late in the 4th quarter, Eagles DE Brandon Graham sacks Patriots QB Tom Brady, and Eagles DE Derek Barnett picks up the fumbled ball.  The Eagles just thrived in situational football, and deservedly won the game.

As to why the New England Patriots lost the game, I am going to start by saying that QB Tom Brady is NOT the reason for the loss. If anyone puts the loss on Brady, they’re either an employee of ESPN or FS1, a Brady hater, or just didn’t pay attention.  Tom Brady, with a bad right throwing hand, threw for 505 yards and 3 TDs, and had a passer rating of 115. Yes, he fumbled the ball at the end. However, he DID his job. He was bailing out a poor defense that had more holes than the R.M.S Titanic. In fact, despite what some of the detractors like FS1’s Cris Carter and Robert Parker, and some whiny Steeler and Jaguar fans are saying,  Brady’s performance in the playoffs and Super Bowl ENHANCED his legacy, not tarnished it.

Now, I will get to the real culprits of the game, and that is the overall coaching and head coach Bill Belichick’s arrogance. I felt that the Patriots were going to be in some trouble very early in the game, when I saw Patriots CB Malcolm Butler on the sidelines early, while Foles was marching the Eagles’ offense down the field in that first drive. I saw Butler crying during the Anthem, but I didn’t put 2 and 2 together, until after the game. The Eagles were held to a field goal, so I thought nothing of it. Well, when the Patriots’ offense kept missing out on opportunities to scored touchdowns, with now former offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels getting too cute, I was wondering what on earth was going on. Whose bright idea was it to have that trick play with Tom Brady trying to catch the ball at that point in the game? It was made worse, when the Eagles successfully did it with Foles. Why wasn’t TE Rob Gronkowski used right away? McDaniels had all these throws to WR Chris Hogan and WR Danny Amendola.  Rob Gronkowski should have been used right way.  When he was used, the touchdowns started to come.  How arrogant could McDaniels have been?

One of the big stories coming out of the game is the benching of Super Bowl XLIX hero CB Malcolm Butler by Bill Belichick hours before the game. According to various reports, Patriots players and coaches were “furious.” Even though there are several unsubstantiated rumors concerning the reason why Butler got benched, I am going to stick with what HAS been reported, because the entire story hasn’t come out, and it may never will, knowing how tight lipped the Patriots are. Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network reported that it was a “perfect storm” of incidents, like being sick with the flu, and not flying into Minneapolis with the team because of it. Rapoport also reported that Butler didn’t have a good practice all week, due to illness, and other things, and missed curfew.

As many of my readers know, Bill Belichick runs a tight ship. He has even sent a huge star like Randy Moss home for being late due to a snow storm.  Belichick even yells at Tom Brady in front of everyone at meetings. Belichick demands a lot from his players. Now, some people may not like what I am going to write, but I feel I need to do so. I think the “Patriot Way” or the “Belichick Way” can lead to cutting your nose off to spite your face. There have been a few other games, where I think Bill Belichick has done some things on the field that may have cost the team important victories.  One example was when the Patriots were playing against the New York Jets in a 2010-11 Divisional Round Playoff game, and then Patriots WR Wes Welker made a foot joke in response to something one of the Jets players said, and Belichick, who was mad about it, benched Welker for the first series of the game. I don’t need to tell you that Belichick’s bright idea backfired on him. In that first drive, when they got to the goal line, a play that was likely designed for Welker didn’t work, and the team had to settle for 3, and the Jets wound up winning the game, and going onto the AFC Championship game, where they lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Bill Belichick’s arrogance in his handling of Welker popped up again with Malcolm Butler. However, the stakes in this situation were much higher.  First and foremost, I believe in discipline. Whatever rules Butler did violate, I can understand Belichick being upset with him, and needing to discipline him.  What I don’t believe in is cutting off your nose to spite your face. Malcolm Butler was DRESSED, as if he were going to PLAY. He was made to stand there and watch the entire game, while the defense sank the team lower and lower into the proverbial water. In what world are Safety Jordan Richards, CB Eric Rowe, and CB Johnson Bademosi better than Malcolm Butler? Eric Rowe was picked on by the Eagles offense mercilessly. Bademosi couldn’t make a stop to save his life. Poor LB Elandon Roberts looked like he could have joined the men’s figure skating team, by the way he was being manhandled and skating around that field. The decision not to have Stephon Gilmore on Eagles WR Alshon Jeffery from the beginning is another coaching decision I don’t understand.

Former Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia said after the game that the team had no packages for Butler, and wanted to use the bigger guys on the Eagles receivers. I found his explanation to be nonsensical.  Butler is a way better tackler than some of those guys. One of Butler’s tackles late in the December 17, 2017 match-up against Pittsburgh was one of the main reasons the Patriots won that game.  Matt Patricia, your explanation stunk. You all could not stop the Eagles on 3rd or 4th down.

Would Malcolm Butler have made the difference in a win or a loss? I really don’t know. I am just amazed that for whatever Butler’s violation was, Bill Belichick was THAT arrogant to think that he could still win the Super Bowl with a defense with just plug-in guys, and that he could teach his star cornerback a lesson at the same time. While I am not condoning Butler’s violation of Belichick’s rules, I do feel that since it was the Super Bowl, I do feel that Belichick could have just benched Butler for a quarter, so Butler could have at had the opportunity to at least TRY to help his team out.  I understand Belichick is strict, but I don’t think Belichick’s actions on Sunday was “in the best interests of the team,” as he says.  This was about trying to teach a subordinate a lesson at the team’s expense, and it backfired.

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Super Bowl LII Preview and Pick

by

Terri Bey

This Sunday, February 4, 2018, at US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis Minnesota, the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots will take on the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl LII. After a week of wondering whether Patriots star TE Rob Gronkowski will be cleared from the concussion protocol, after a concussion suffered in the AFC Championship game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, the news came down on Thursday, Feburary 1st, that he was indeed cleared, as was Patriots DE Deatrich Wise. Of course, during Super Bowl week, there was the usual hoopla and hype, with players from both teams being asked both serious and silly questions. Patriots QB Tom Brady told a story about being bit by a dog when he was a kid, and at a Patriots practice at Gillette Stadium awhile back.  Eagles RB LeGarrette Blount was asked by James Palmer about what Blount would ask Hall of Fame QB Brett Farve, when Farve would visit with the Eagles on Saturday. Blount asked, “How many ring does he have?” When Blount was told, “One,” Blount replied, “Nah. There ain’t too much I want to ask him.”

On a more serious note, analysts from all networks, including former players have been analyzing the match-up between the two teams inside out and upside down. There have been many hot takes, as well, and of course, the usual Patriot bashing. As my readers know, the New England Patriots have reached their 10th Super Bowl, the most of any NFL Franchise, and the 8th Super Bowl appearance with the head coach/quarterback combination of Bill Belichick and Tom Brady, which is also a record for the number of times a head coach/quarterback combination to reach the Super Bowl. This kind of dominance is quite a feat, especially if one considers that the NFL is in the era of free agency and has a salary cap.

Instead of the New England Patriots’ accomplishments being lauded, they are met with scorn, and conspiracy theories. The New England Patriots detractors were out in force all Super Bowl week with their tin foil hats with the usual suspects, the overblown Spygate nonsense, the unproven Deflategate garbage, the discredited taped Rams walk-through story, written by the equally discredited John Tomase (https://thetomaselie.com/), and now the refs allegedly help the Patriots win, because the NFL wants the Patriots to win all the time.  Mind you, this is the SAME NFL office that went to the mattress with the Patriots over violating a memo, and videotaping from the WRONG LOCATION, which what Spygate was. This is the SAME NFL that again went to the mattress with the Patriots, and railroaded their QB over a minuscule amount of air missing from a football, all because they would not accept the Ideal Gas Law, and basic science.  Sure, the NFL is going to all of a sudden order their officials to HELP a team that they, the NFL, HATE.  Right.  Now, there is news that Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank is crying about the Patriots putting 283 diamonds on their Super Bowl LI rings to honor that 28-3 deficit they overcame. This is a reminder to Mr. Blank. Your team had a 25 point lead with 2:12 seconds to go in the 3rd quarter. Your Falcons were 98.2% guaranteed a victory.  This was like Secretariat in the 1973 Belmont, with an eighth of a mile to go. You must have forgotten that your team needed to play 60 minutes. Your team should not have allowed the Patriots to storm back. What happened to your team was the equivalent of jockey Ron Turcotte falling off Secretariat with that eight mile to go, and blowing it.  You should not have been dancing and celebrating on the sidelines before the game is over, either.  I mean, I am just tired of all these excuses by Patriots detractors. Enough already.

Of course, the media covering the big game was fascinated by Eagles QB Nick Foles. Foles comes in, leading the Eagles to the Super Bowl, after MVP candidate Eagles QB Carson Wentz suffered a season ending knee injury in Week 14. Nick Foles was very close to retiring last year, but here he is, at the Super Bowl. Should Foles lead the Eagles to victory, I do wonder if Foles will wind up somewhere else as a starter, as Wentz will get his job back. The media definitely fawned over the Eagles as having the type of team that could beat New England, with their front four. Many commentators and former players likened the Eagles defense to those New York Giants teams, which beat Brady in past Super Bowls. The offense of the Eagles was also hyped up, as possibly being way too much for the Patriots defense.

Now, that I have discussed all of the hype and hoopla from Super Bowl LII, I will now give my prediction of which team will win Super Bowl LII, and will be hearing QUEEN’s “We Are The Champions,” and which team will be going home disappointed. I will be giving my thoughts on who the Super Bowl MVP will be, as well. I hope you will enjoy this blog, and will enjoy the game.

Super Bowl LII Preview and Prediction:

  • Stadium: U.S. Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • Teams: (1) New England Patriots (13-3) vs (1) Philadelphia Eagles (13-3)
  • Network: NBC
  • Date: February 4, 2018
  • Kickoff: 6:30PM, EST

ANALYSIS:

For the Philadelphia Eagles to win Super Bowl LII:

The Philadelphia Eagles have been playing the “underdog” card. I personally am not buying it for a minute. The Eagles are the #1 Seed in the NFC, and have a 13-3 record. They represent one of the largest cities in the United States. That is not an underdog. Many of their players have been doing a ton of talking, such as OL Lane Johnson, who talked about “dethroning pretty boy, Tom Brady.” Well, Eagles coach Doug Pederson said this week that the team needs to “play 60 minutes.” That is one of the main things the Eagles must do.  They must play 60 minutes.  I will note that a few of the Eagles players have been battling some sort of illness/cold. I personally don’t think it will have an impact on their game.

I should note that there is NO “blueprint” to beat Tom Brady. The word “blueprint” is so overused.  That being said, for the Eagles to have a chance, they must pressure Brady, and try to keep him off his spot, when they are on defense.  This Eagles defense has difficulty with tight ends, and unfortunately for them, Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski will be playing, so they are going to have to deal with him.  On offense, the Eagles are going to have to run the ball, as the Patriots run defense is suspect at times. I know Eagles QB Nick Foles has been lights out, lately, but offensive coordinator Frank Reich has to make sure that he dials up plays, so Foles can succeed. After all, one never can tell which Nick Foles one is going to get.

For the New England Patriots to win Super Bowl LII:

The New England Patriots are attempting to win their 6th Super Bowl title. What is hardly being mentioned is that the team has a chance to pull off a “Double Dynasty,” by once again winning 3 out of 4 Super Bowls.  The first time the Patriots accomplished this feat was when they won in 2001, 2003, and 2004.  Well, the Patriots have won in 2014, and in 2016. Should the team win on Sunday, they will do it again.

Well, if the New England Patriots are to become a “Double Dynasty,” when they are on defense, they have to stop the Eagles on 3rd down.  That is a must. The Patriots defense must find away to stop Eagles RB Jay Ajayi, and RB LeGarrette Blount. The Eagles use a ton of Run Pass Options, or RPOs. They are designed to confuse the defender, as to whether to defend a receiver route, or defend against the run.  Defensive Coordinator Matt Patricia must have his defense ready for these.  The Patriots secondary must be able to stop top Eagles targets, such as TE Zach Ertz, and WR Alshon Jeffery.  The Patriots must get pressure up front, and get some sacks on Eagles QB Nick Foles, as well.

When the Patriots are on offense, the unit that needs to have a big game is obviously the offensive line. The offensive line will be facing Eagles defenders like DE Chris Long, DT Tim Jernigan, and DT Fletcher Cox, who is also listed with a calf injury, all day long. QB Tom Brady must be protected.  As everyone knows by now, Tom Brady has been dealing with a hand injury of some sort for the past couple of weeks.  He’s been wearing a healing type of glove all week, but just the strip of tape in practice. Brady has been practicing in full, and judging from his performance in the AFC Championship game, which was just 4 days after the initial injury, I would not worry about Brady.

As this Eagles defense is suspect against running backs who catch, and tight ends, I would suspect that TE Rob Gronkowski, RB James White, and RB Rex Burkhead might have big games. WR Chris Hogan could also have a good game. I have been hearing positive things about WR Phillip Dorsett in practice.  He might be an unsung hero in the game.  WR Brandin Cooks, and RB Dion Lewis should be in the mix as well.  Offensive Coodinator Josh McDaniels needs to call a great, smart game.

Prediction for Super Bowl LII:

I am looking at two teams that I think are pretty evenly matched. According to the NFL Network, this Super Bowl features the #2 offense and the #4 defense in the Philadelphia Eagles vs the #1 offense and the #5 defense in the New England Patriots. The scoring could go either way, depending on how the defenses are playing. As much as I would like to see a high scoring game, and both these teams are capable of accommodating my wishes, I think this is going to be a defensive struggle, and a low to medium scoring game.

Your winner of Super Bowl LII:

New England Patriots: 27-21

Super Bowl MVP: New England TE Rob Gronkowski

Brady

 

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