Yankees and Red Sox fans mix like cocaine and martinis. Best to keep them apart. But in wake of the tragedy at the Boston Marathon, the New York Yankees, among other sports teams, saluted Boston with a rendition of "Sweet Caroline" Tuesday night.
The old Neil Diamond song is the popular seventh-inning stretch sing-along at Fenway Park. How it got to be a Red Sox song is something of a mystery. The Caroline Kennedy connection is a little too loose to explain it.
But whatever. It is what it is. "Hang On Sloopy" is the Ohio States Buckeyes song; "Swingtown" is the Wisconsin Badgers sing-along. Some things don't need explaining.
Credit to Yankees fans for making the effort to pay tribute to Boston in its moment of crisis. They get an A for effort.
The performance is another story: It began awkwardly at first, but they eventually got into the swing of things, even if a little tepid by Fenway standards. All in the spirit of national harmony, even across barriers of ancient sport rivalry.
When you've been waiting all day for Sunday night for six straight years, you're going to get burned out. Faith is no longer the singer/performer/entertainer for the Sunday Night Football theme song.
She Tweeted a deep, heartfelt message:
“Amazing 2 have been part of SNF – an honor. I’ve just let everyone there know it’s time 2 let someone else rock the open ….Difficult decision. Kinda emotional. Love all u guys at SNF – I’ll b watching!!!”
Faith replaced Pink in 2007. Hank Williams Jr. will not replace Faith Hill.
Of this, we are sure.
While Faith's SNF rendition of Joan Jett's "Hating Myself For Loving You" will not be missed ... Faith's body will be.
Little Jack Hoffman, a 7-year-old brain cancer victim, scored a 69-yard touchdown in the Nebraska Cornhuskers spring game on Saturday.
You can learn more about Hoffman, and his cause, by visiting the Team Jack page on Facebook.
Also, see Jack get the big call from the coaches on the sidelines here.
They do take their football seriously in Nebraska. More than 60,000 fans watched Little Jack's big run in the Cornhuskers spring game.
Here’s a look at the 100 Stingiest Defenses in History, sorted by number of teams that made the Top 100.
The Chicago Bears lead the list with 10 defenses on the list of 100 Stingiest. The most impressive part is that they did it five times in the pre-Super Bowl Era (1940-65) and then five times again here in the Live Ball Era (1978-present).
That's the most Top 100 defenses of any franchise in modern times, too.
The Steelers are second on the list, with nine members of the Top 100, five of them in the Steel Curtain Era of the 1970s.
Pittsburgh is the last franchise to field a Top 100 defense and did so in its Super Bowl-winning season of 2008.
Top 100 Defenses, by franchise (champions in bold)
Chicago Bears (10) – 1940, 1941, 1942, 1948, 1963, 1985, 1986, 1988, 2001, 2005
Pittsburgh Steelers (9) – 1942, 1946, 1972, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1978, 2001, 2008
Cleveland Browns (8) – 1946, 1947, 1948 (AAFC); 1950, 1951, 1953, 1954, 1994 (NFL)
New York Giants (8) – 1940, 1941, 1942, 1944, 1950, 1951, 1990, 1993
Philadelphia Eagles (8) – 1944, 1945, 1948, 1949, 1950, 1980, 1981, 2001
Washington Redskins (8) – 1940, 1942, 1943, 1945, 1971, 1974, 1977, 1991
Minnesota Vikings (7) – 1969, 1970, 1971, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976
Los Angeles Rams (6) – 1967, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977
Green Bay Packers (4) – 1941, 1962, 1966, 1996
Dallas Cowboys (3) – 1968, 1976, 1978
Detroit Lions (3) – 1940, 1962, 1969
Kansas City Chiefs (3) – 1968, 1969 (AFL); 1973 (NFL)
Miami Dolphins (3) – 1971, 1972, 1973
Baltimore Colts (2) – 1968, 1971
Baltimore Ravens (2) – 2000, 2006
Brooklyn Dodgers (2) – 1940, 1941
Denver Broncos (2) – 1977, 1978
New Orleans Saints (2) – 1991, 1992
San Francisco 49ers (2) – 1946, 1976
Atlanta Falcons (1) – 1977
Carolina Panthers (1) – 1996
Cleveland Rams (1) – 1945
Jacksonville Jaguars (1) – 1999
New York Yankees (1) – 1946 (AAFC)
Oakland Raiders (1) – 1973
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1) – 2002
Tennessee Titans (1) – 2000
Four franchises boast eight members of the Top 100: Browns, Giants, Eagles and Redskins, the 2001 Eagles the most recent team on the list. In other words, 51 of the Top 100 Stingiest Defenses belong to just six franchises.
In the case of the Cleveland Browns, the numbers are largely skewed by their four-year dominance of the short-lived AAFC (1946-49). The Browns won all four AAFC titles and fielded three Top 100 Defenses. To their credit, they fielded a Top 100 Defense again in 1950, while winning the NFL title in their debut season.
Modern times, of course, have not been so kind to the Browns. However, they did field a Top 100 Defense in 1994 under head coach Bill Belichick.
The Minnesota Vikings and Los Angeles Rams consistently fielded Top 100 Defenses during the depths of the Dead Ball Era. In fact, Minnesota’s Purple People Eaters and L.A.’s Fearsome Foursome consistently fielded defenses better than Pittsburgh’s Steel Curtain. In a period of intense dominance from 1969 to 1971, the Vikings surrendered and average just 9.2 PPG over three entire seasons.
But neither the Vikings nor Rams could turn that defensive dominance into a championship, with the Vikings famously losing four Super Bowls, all of them badly.
Ten current franchises have failed to produce a single top 100 defense:
Arizona Cardinals (no team in Cardinals history, which dates back to the debut of the NFL in 1920, made the cut)
Indianapolis Colts (Baltimore Colts are on the list twice)
New England Patriots
New York Jets
St. Louis Rams (Cleveland Rams and L.A. Rams are each on the list)
San Diego Chargers
NFL Network viewers Tuesday heard an off-camera voice, which sounded like that of mercurial loudmouth analyst Warren Sapp, drop a couple f-bombs directed at Patriots head coach Bill Belichick.
"It’s the same f*ucking spew that we had Mike Lombardi do,” said the voice from off-camera, during and interview with Scott Pioli, who worked with Belichick for many years in New England. “The f*cking Bill Belichick f*ucking angle.”
NFL Network host Chris Rose apologized profusely for the expletives during his Monday morning broadcast.
"That's not what we're about at NFL Network," he said.
Yes, we know: corned-beef is not an Irish tradition. It's an Irish-American tradition. So be it. When you grow up Irish-American corned beef is a part of every St. Patrick's Day, not to mention quite a few other meals during the year. (The Mother Troll still makes corned ribs each year, too.)
When you grow up Irish-American in Boston, it's an especially big deal. Sure, the city is still heavily Irish. But March 17 is also Evacuation Day in Boston, marking the day the British fled the city in 1776 after George Washington and the Minutemen laid siege to them in the city for almost an entire year.
When March 17 falls on a weekday (it's Sunday this year), schools and government close down in Boston and basically everybody uses it as an excuse to play hooky and fill the bars by lunch. How convenient of the Brits to flee Boston on St. Patrick's Day!
You can buy corned beef in the store, of course. But it's SUPER easy to corn your own beefs at home. And it will be better than the corned beef you get in the store, which is corned in big stainless steel tanks in some food factory.
It literally takes minutes of work to do it at home (as you'll see in this video) and then a couple days just waiting for the meat to cure. Presto. Homemade corned beef! It tastes better, too. Mat Schaffer, my pal and the former restaurant critic for The Boston Herald, once said this homemade corned beef was the best he ever had. And that guy knows his food better than anybody.
There are two kinds of corned beef: red corned beef and grey corned beef. Red corned beef simply has a preservative in it that helps the meat retain its color and fight botulism (sodium nitrite, or pink salt, often sold for homemade cooks as Instacure No. 1).
Grey corned beef is often called Yankee corned beef and that is how you usually find it in New England. It does not include Instacure, so the meat loses it's color. Don't worry. It's perfectly safe.
Personally, I like red corned beef. The wife likes grey corned beef. We make grey corned beef.
It's real easy to do. Buy a big slab of brisket. Then mix together the brine (salt, sugar, water). And then add the pickling spices. Takes minutes. A few days later, you'll have corned beef. (After you've made your own corned beefs, you can also follow our tips for cooking it here.)
Here's how it's done: 10-pound slab of fresh beef brisket
For the brine:
1 gallon water
2 cups kosher salt
½ cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon garlic powder
5 garlic cloves
2 teaspoons Instacure No. 1 (pink salt), optional (use for red corned beef; omit for grey corned beef)
For the pickling spices:
2 Tablespoons whole peppercorns
2 Tablespoons whole mustard seed
1 Tablespoon whole coriander
1 teaspoon whole Juniper
1 teaspoon whole all-spice
1 teaspoon whole clove
1 stick cinnamon
10 bay leaves
Cut the 10-pound slab of brisket into two to four pieces. Pour gallon of cold water into ceramic crock or other non-reactive, food-grade container. Stir in salt, brown sugar, garlic powder, garlic cloves and optional Instacure No. 1 until all is dissolved. Add garlic cloves.
Mix together spices in a bowl. Take at least half of the spices and lightly crush. You can do this easily by putting the spices in a Ziploc bag and lightly crushing with a rolling pin. Add the crushed spices, along with the half that's not crushed, into the brine. Break up the stick of cinnamon and break up the bay leaves and add those. Finally, add the meat so that it's submerged.
Put something heavy on top of the meat to keep it submerged (a plate will do the trick). Cover crock and place in refrigerator or cool dry place for 4 days. Remove meat and cook as you would any other corned beef. Unused corned beef can be frozen for a year.
Few songs speak to the power of love quite like the late great comedian Sam Kinison's 1980s version of the 1960s British Invasion hit "Wild Thing."
The video features an all-star cast with almost every big rock star of the era, including Jon Bon Jovi, Billy Idol, Slash, Joe Perry and, of course, famed 1980s trollop Jessica Hahn.
It also has more great one-liners than any song of its time: "Everytime I kiss you I taste what other men had for lunch ... you're a lying unfaithful, untrustable tramp, and I think I love you."
Naturally, there is a football connection: the first time I saw this video was in a Knoxville motel room Saturday morning before the 1988 Boston College-Tennessee game.
I made a joke about Gronk starring in "Tight End Entices Hot MILF With Tight End" in the Unreal Media Day Legends column. Turns out fiction can mirror reality.
From the New York Post: Sex.com made the offer to match his 2014 base salary if he agreed to participate in a scene with Bibi Jones, who posted photos on Twitter with Gronkowski in 2011 and 2012.
If Gronk takes the offer, he'll earn $3.75 million. He probably won't, though, unless he has plans for retiring from the NFL.
There's always the WWE too.
Super Bowl Sunday I slept in. I vaguely remember noises in the room that I decided to sleep through. At one point, I opened my eyes a smidgen and I saw the glare of some light source reflecting off Billy’s head. My tired brain told me to close my eyes again and go back to sleep. I did that.
When I did wake up around 9:30, Billy was gone to catch his flight home.
Quick Epic First Mancathalon update! It’s over! Our Epic First Games of the Mancathalon is in the books! It ends in a tie, Folks! Our three Legendary Mancathaletes waged war against one another in three of the most grueling, manly endeavors ever witnessed. Each of our competitors bested the other two in one event.
- The One Minute Buffalo Wing Sprint was dominated by Frankie C.
- Billy Enright prevailed in The Grueling 10 Yard Dash through trickery and video magic probably learned on the dangerous and damnable streets of New Jersey.
- Kerry Byrne viciously cut down his opponents in the Bourbon Street Hurricane Chug.
Let’s celebrate our Mancathaletes! Three Manly Men willing to put it all on the line in a series of unbelievable challenges that tested their hearts, minds, and stomach linings.
What we witnessed here was history, Folks. There’s always a first one of everything and you have seen the birth of a new type of competitor. You’re welcome.
So, anyway, Billy went home. I didn’t get a chance to say goodbye so I tell you here, it was a pleasure, Bill. Great work, and Mancathalete to Mancathalete, I salute you.
I found Kerry in the lobby of the hotel working. He was working and had more to do. I went back to bed.
A hour later Kerry came back to the room. We had another event to go to. It was a pregame party sponsored by BowlBound Productions with Miss USA Nana Meriwether and Brande Roderick. and our friends from GoRVing.com and Bent's RV in Metairie, Louisiana.
We arrived in a monster 42-foot RV, the same one we had at our Friday bash at Barcadia.
The Bents were cool people and, small world, Mrs. Bent actually went to Boston College with Kerry. So it was like old times more than 1,000 miles from home.
We rode in like kings, and the caterers set up a major-league tailgate around the ride: a boat full of shrimp in front of the RV and a complete Louisiana tailgate to the side: shrimp & grits, pulled pork, jambalaya, corn bread ... just about everything Louisiana.
The party was a little less rockin’ than we expected but the food was amazing and we have fun wherever we are. We also got Miss USA behind the wheel of the RV and, down to our last case of Samuel Adams, shared a toast with Roderick.
Miss USA and Roderick were a rare combination: both very cool and smokin' hot at the same time.
We got out of there right before kickoff and headed back to the hotel. Kerry usually has a game credential, but this year with so much going on he took in the game like the rest of us, on TV. Admittedly, it's actually much easier to cover the game on TV than it is in person.
Just as we sat down at the bar, the game began. We all saw what happened in the first half. Baltimore completely dominated the game. It wasn’t even competitive. Something had to be done and there was only one man for the job.
During the blackout we opted for a change of scenery and walked down the street to The Ugly Dog Saloon and Barbeque.
We got drinks and found a table where Kerry could hook up his computer. The game still hadn’t resumed. So we snapped that picture of me by the electric socket and suddenly we had people coming up to the table and joking with us.
A whole bunch of people in the bar followed suit, including Lovely Sarah, who apparently works as a waitress and decided to give us a list of every place in New Orleans we still need to eat at.
I think lovely Sarah liked us.
I haven’t mentioned it up to this point, but all the people I personally dealt with in New Orleans were just sweet. They were really good hearted, polite, friendly and proud of their city (which is a notion I completely understand).
Kerry and I watched the rest of the game there. I had to have had 3 or 4 shots of Jack and 3 or 4 beers but I felt pretty sober.
We headed back to the hotel after the game but found out that because the 49ers after party was being held In the building directly behind our hotel we’d have to walk around the block to get to our hotel.
Kerry got a little testy with the security guy that stopped us at the corner but I talked him off the ledge and got him moving down the street.
By the next corner, my buzz must have kicked in because when the guy stopped us and told us to walk another block, I launched into a red-faced stream of obscenity. Halfway through my rant, I noticed the gentleman’s badge and stopped. Miraculously, he let us through.
That’s how I wrapped up Super Bowl Sunday, incredibly relieved I wasn’t in a New Orleans drunk tank.
- Hockey Announcer Gone Wild: You Want To Party (Maybe) With This Guy
- Best Pass Defense Ever: Ronde Barber And The 2002 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- Reese Witherspoon Arrest Video: Hot, Bothered And Handcuffed
- Sam Adams In A Can, Just In Time For Summer Drinking Season
- Live From Radio City: Reporter Punks NFL Draft Fans
- The 5.0 Club: Best Rushing Teams in NFL History
- Sieves: The Worst Run Defenses In NFL History
- Monsters of the Midway: We Need The Chicago Bears More Than Ever
- Boston, Sports, Patriotism And Terror
- The 100 Stingiest Defenses In Football History
- NFL Crown Rule: Will It Dethrone Rushing King Adrian Peterson?
- Year Of The Offensive Tackle: Not Always The 'Safe' Draft Bet
- Draft Habits: NFL Teams Covet LBs, Duped By False Temptress WRs
- Big Tease: 2012 New England Patriots And NFL's History Of Offensive Failures
- Epic Fail: The Wide Receiver Draft Class Of 2012