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Scary Dick Butkus, fireable Bill Belichick, too many Bruins goalies, Army football

Saturday 10/7/23

Didn't see until yesterday that Dick Butkus had died. He seemed to enjoy making ornery comments on social media that showed some of the old competitive fire. Butkus was one of those great athletes who was also honestly scary. There are three, I think, who stand out in this regard: Butkus, Lawrence Taylor, and Mike Tyson. Lyle Alzado was scary but not as talented. I'm sure Gordie Howe was scary. Sprague Cleghorn was scary. Mark Messier was scary for a while there in the 1980s. Jack Lambert was scary. Baseball players usually aren't scary. Bob Gibson might be a good choice, though. But those other three went to another level and are synonymous with fear. I have an uncle who had a big, scary dog that he named Butkus. He didn't have it for long. I think it ate a kid or something or he just couldn't manage it.

I keep seeing people whose job it is to talk about sports who are bad at talking about sports all say that Bill Belichick couldn't be fired in-season and he has the year. Does he? I don't know that. The Patriots have two winnable games next followed by two harder games against the Bills and Dolphins. Do you see the Patriots winning either game against their AFC East rivals? What about winning two in a row before that? 2-2 seems best case scenario, 1-3 more likely. They're 1-3 now, so that would make them 2-6. Hard to see them going 0-4 in those games, but say they do. Then what? I could see him being fired. They'd make Bill O'Brien the coach because he's done it before and then figure out what to do after the season. Mac Jones likely loses his job if the Patriots lose tomorrow, which they could do, but I think it more likely they win some ugly game by a close score. Then again, who would the quarterback be? Someone not on the team now? Or would they just ride out the ugliness of Jones and Belichick and move on from both after the season? They seem trapped to me. Trapped to suck for the rest of 2023.

On Wednesday I saw one of those aforementioned sports people gush that starting the next day there would be fifty straight days of football games on TV. "This is what we live for," the person added.

Meatheads love this kind of thing. It's like heaven for them. They thrill to being able to make a glorious meathead statement like this. It's similar to when the meathead says that he watched the game from the night before again and it's ten in the morning the next day. Did you not go to work? You're this devoted to football and really understanding what happened in the game? Then there are the meatheads who boast about watching the game film. That's an All-Star level meathead. They're lying, of course. But in the meathead pecking order, this stuff gives you a boost.

I don't want to see Bruins goalie hugs this year. The dual goalie thing sets you up for failure. You need a starter who is the clear-cut starter who plays 60 regular season games. I see the Bruins being back in the same situation as last year come the spring, but maybe worse. I'm expecting Ullmark and Swayman to pretty much split games. So then what? Rotate playoff games? That doesn't work and won't work. So change what you did all year? That doesn't work. I don't like it. I also don't think you want the goalies to be best friends. A goalie needs to play with an edge, a sense of owning that net. Perhaps one of them gets traded during the season. They should have fixed this issue, though.

BC and Army play today at Michie Stadium, BC being the 100th ranked team in the country, Army being 75th. The worst beatdown I ever saw in person occurred at a rainy Alumni Stadium in October 1995, with Army going up 42-0 at the half. The BC players quit and quit early. It was pathetic. I went to hockey camp at Army as a kid and I loved the beautiful campus and the old football stadium which seemed like it should have had real grass, though. There was this castle-like building on the far side of the Hudson that was supposedly and inspiration for the Wicked Witch's castle in The Wizard of Oz. Of course, I'm fond of the area anyway because of Washington Irving.


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