It's a beautiful thing when one side, in a fair contest, on a level playing field, imposes their will on the other. Read into that what you will.
966 days without a drink. Eight days ago, I had never ran more than 3.5 miles in a go, though of course I had run three miles at a time thousands of times, and had walked 20,000 miles in seven years, and climbed the Bunker Hill Monument thousands of times, but this morning I ran a personal best 9 miles in one go. I was fine. Not bent over at the end. Fitness beast. And while I normally reserve the official Zulu rankings for Monument climbs, I will grant temporary Zulu warrior status. Slight problem, though. I was wearing a T-shirt, rugby shirt, sweatshirt, because it was quite cold. I took off the sweatshirt after as I got ready to shower, and saw that a lot of blood had seeped through the rugby shirt. This was not what we were going for. Nipple bleedage. Not very sexy. Did I yelp like Rose did on The Golden Girls when Sophia jumped out and scared her when the water hit me there? Yes, I did. Verily. Verily yelped. My sister Kara--who insists on going by K-Shiz--kindly sent me a packet of energy bars, so I will dine on them this week.
This new piece on the Beatles' Yellow Submarine album came out in The Daily Beast. I am composing at a very high level. I went to Cafe Vittoria to work and watch the Patriots game. I know what I need to do to take down some people. The puzzle pieces are coming together. Some thoughts re: the Patriots. Firstly, a video thought:
Moving on: the MVP of the first half--which is to say, the game--was Rob Gronkowski. I have seen no decline in this player. I have seen injuries. But as I've said here repeatedly, there is no slippage in his ability. He caught no passes in the first half--and just one for the game--but he absolutely destroyed, manhandled, embarrassed the Chargers' defensive line. He obliterated those guys. What he did was akin to pinning players down, bending right up to their faces, and demanding, "Who is your overlord, tell me who your motherfucking overlord is?" I enjoyed that. Again and again and again. And that set the tone, that opened up massive holes, it established dominance.
Trey Flowers was the Gronkowski on the defensive side. People have been sleeping on this team. As I also wrote in these pages, there is zero slippage in Tom Brady's game. As today bore out. Having said that, James White is the MVP of this team. Sony Michel might not end up a star--to injury prone, and this will get worse with his bone on bone condition--but he looks like a star in the making right now. Flowers is playing for a contract. You're going to get top-3 defensive end play from him for however many games you have left. Stephon Gilmore is the best cornerback they have had in years. You have the best QB ever, the best coach ever, you have Edelman doing what he does. This is a dangerous ass team.
Yes, I know, they haven't played great on the road. But--I am not sure I see worrying signs there. The Miami game was a fluke. A play or two and they win in Pittsburgh. I see three bad losses by this team, really--against the Jags and the Lions, especially, considering they were garbage teams, and that total no-show against the Titans. People put no stock in the win on the road against the Bears. I think that's fair. But by the same token, I put no stock in two of the road losses. And this is not about being a good road team. Being a good road team is like winning a best-of-seven series. An attitude is sustained. This is about one game. Yeah, I think they can put it together for one game. Philip Rivers looks a lot like Chad Pennington. He has no arm strength left. Normally, I think he's tough and a competitor, but man did I tire of watching him bitch to the refs today. Look, dude, you got your ass kicked, you got your ass shoveled into your face, fair and square. They fed you your own ass; just deal with it. I also think he's one of those guys who plays up his injuries on the field. But when you have no arm strength, your ball just isn't going to cut through January Foxborough air. That wasn't the issue, though. Now, I was barely watching this game, because I was working and this is a big week for me. This is a big time in my life, as I make my move. But I saw, in the first half, a dozen mental mistakes by the Chargers. I saw a team that was not mentally ready to play. I don't know why that was. They couldn't have been taking this game for granted. But their collective head was not in this game.
So, in sum, I would say that you also can't tell a lot from these wins by the Chiefs and Patriots, because they both played mentally weak teams that were little milksop speed bumps. "Oh, please don't hurt me, Mr. Flowers, oooo oooo." And "I'm Andrew Luck, I am overrated, la la la, I like to float through fields, I'm not sure I really want to be here, I hope my uniform doesn't get dirty today." He makes Matt Ryan look like Bart Starr. If Andrew Luck was a Universal horror films player, he would be David Manners. I expect the Chiefs to open up as 4-5 point favorites.
Saw DJ Bean on the postgame show. He is so resolutely untalented. He's that guy who who is like "I want to be funny I want to be funny I want to be funny." Every time he speaks he is clearly so desperate to be funny. But he's not even a tiny bit funny. Zero wit. I am sure he has never once said anything in his life that has legitimately made anyone laugh. He's trying so hard to be witty that he stumbles over his words. Rarely does he get through two consecutive sentences without stumbling. He's not smart. He's not articulate. He doesn't know sports. Who did he know to get his jobs?
A thought for the Philadelphians: what's with the loyalty to Carson Wentz? Seems to me that the other dude is your real quarterback.
Enrico Caruso used to go to this cafe when he was in Boston. I have his complete recordings somewhere. Perhaps, depressingly, in storage, which means I won't encounter them again until I get my house back. Lots of good music on the sound system--Ronettes, Louis Armstrong, Dean Martin, Ella Fitzgerald. Sam Cooke's "A Change Is Gonna Come" came on today, though, and it's like, okay, game over, we have a winner. It's just beyond, isn't it?
I think tonight I shall make some more notes and watch some film noirs. I have many packets of notes right now, and from those packets I organize my thoughts, add bits to write, hone my plan. Here is a sample page:
And here is a Starbucks bathroom selfie from this evening.
People are posting photos on FB of their first FB photo, and their last. A quick observation: A lot of the women look better in their second photo than the first. A lot of the guys look like hell in their second photo. What does this mean? Do you not exercise, fellas? Drink less, have some kale. Do what your wife or girlfriend is doing.
All right. I have to go tend to my nipples now.