Thursday, August 29, 2013

Rolling Stone, Aaron Hernandez, Bill Belichick and Ron Borges

by Hal Bent

The Aaron Hernandez article in the Rolling Stone magazine--again, eschewing music coverage to delve into matters out of their usual genre as they did with their disgusting Boston Marathon Bomber Pity Piece--apparently exists for one reason: sensationalism. However, upon actually getting past the news media snippets, holding my nose, and feeding the sensationalism by actually clicking on the site to read it (full disclaimer: I am a former Rolling Stone subscriber back in the day when I needed more news on Aerosmith and other glam/hair/80s/90s rock bands than one could get from the teeny-bopper mags back in the day) it became crystal clear that this piece had another agenda: former Boston Globe writer and brazen Bill Belichick hater Ron Borges (with writing credit on the piece) was going for Belichick’s jugular once again.

I don’t know or care what Ron Borges’ problem with Bill Belichick actually is and why he hates him so much. I don’t care, either. He’s a media member who is supposed to be fair and balanced. He is not. He hates Bill Belichick. Anyone who’s read anything the man has written about the Patriots this decade can pick up on it. Did Belichick humiliate him in a press conference because he didn’t know the difference of nickel or dime defenses? Did he cut him in line at a buffet? Did he not say hello to him in public? Who cares. Somehow, like a bad penny, he continues to find work in the Boston and national media.

Check out this snippet of Belichick hatred that oozes with Borges’ trademark sneering disdain for the architect of the greatest football team of the salary cap era in the NFL:

But Beli-chick, the winner of three Super Bowl titles and grand wizard of the greatest show on turf, had decided long before he got to New England that such niceties were beneath him. Over a decade, he’d been aggregating power unto himself, becoming the Chief Decider on personnel matters. He signed so many players bearing red flags they could have marched in Moscow’s May Day parade (Randy Moss, Donte Stallworth, et al.), and began drafting kids with hectic pasts, assuming the team’s vets would police them. Some of this was arrogance, some of it need: When you’re picking from the bottom of the deck each spring, you’re apt to shave some corners to land talent.

“Chief Decider. Arrogance. Aggregating Power. Grand Wizard. Assuming. Shave Some Corners”: Yeah, that paragraph has Ron Borges’ fingerprints all over it.  Never miss a chance to rake your arch-enemy over the coals on a national level if possible. There has not been anything fair and balanced about Ron Borges’ coverage of the New England Patriots since Bill Belichick decided he was not going to be Bill Parcells’ lackey in New York and he rode into Foxboro, MA after stepping down as the “HC of the NYJ” after only a day.

What’s making the rounds in the news is this piece from the article:

This past spring he skipped out on team training drills, going to California to rehab an aching shoulder and take a much-needed break from New England. But while out there, according to the source, he blew off sessions with his therapist, Alex Guerrero, and stood up Tom Brady, who was running a camp for Pats receivers. Worse, the police were called out to his Hermosa Beach rental on March 25th, summoned by his fiancee, Shayanna Jenkins, after a loud dispute during which Hernandez put his fist through a window. No arrest was made, but word got back to Belichick, who exploded and tendered notice: Any more disruptions and he’d be traded or cut at the end of the 2013 season.

So the player in question was skipping team activities and had an argument with his fiancee with no arrest made. That description fits for about 100 NFL players on active rosters right now; the difference is that unlike many coaches who may have let it slide, Belichick actually took action.  He should be applauded for drawing a line in the sand with Hernandez.

These media members want to point fingers after the case exploded: where were they when Hernandez signed his long term contract? That’s right, they were writing puff pieces about how smart the Patriots were for doing so.  No one, I mean NO ONE in the media came out with anything even insinuating that this was a mistake. Where was all their investigative reporting if it was such a bad deal? Why did no one write or talk about then? I know: because like the Patriots, this situation exploded because a single player acted in a manner that NO ONE saw coming.

It’s ludicrous how the media is running with this story and gossiping about this being Bill Belichick’s fault somehow and he should have known and could have stopped it. There are 53 active players on an NFL team. They’re all adults.  Every collective bargaining agreement has the players association pressing for more time off, more time away from team facilities, and less control of players by the teams.  The players asked for this kind of mess to explode, don’t blame the teams for a player not being able to handle his own responsibility.

To Ron Borges, find another act. You are one of the best boxing writers in the country, and it amazes me that you can write so eloquently and intelligently about one sport, and then be vicious, childish, and act like a two year old when writing about Bill Belichick and the Patriots. My advice, focus on mixed martial arts and pour your love of boxing and passion into that sport and carve out a decent career without further demeaning and belittling yourself to sinking to playing in the mud and throwing rocks.

The Rolling Stone article can be found here:

Monday, August 12, 2013

Tennessee Titans Ready to Run

Check out my new piece at 1stStopFantasy ( on the Tennessee Titans and what they showed on their first preseason game versus the Washington Redskins!

Tennessee Titans Ready to Run - 1stStopFantasy (
by Hal Bent 

The Tennessee Titans opened their 2013 season with a preseason matchup in Nashville, TN against the Washington Redskins.  The national media was focused on Washington quarterback Robert Griffin III who performed during warm up drills and walked out on the field only for the ceremonial coin toss. Once the game began, however, Tennessee’s own superstar, running back Chris Johnson, put the spotlight squarely on himself and served notice to the NFL that the Titans ground game is going to remain a force.
Titans running back Chris Johnson’s second carry of the game was just another classic for the highlight reel as he took a hand-off with 6:50 left in the first quarter for 58 yards for a touchdown.  The highlight of the play was the offensive line in front of Johnson, as they drove the Redskins defenders to the right giving Johnson a huge hole to cut back.  There was only an over-pursuing Brian Orakpo for Johnson to speed past as tight end Craig Stevens blocked a Washington linebacker out of the play, following the lead of the hard charging rebuilt offensive line.
After Johnson cut back and blew past Orakpo’s diving attempt to trip him up, there was only one Redskins defender with a shot at him in the open field.  Rookie defensive back Bacarri Rambo playing deep safety got his “Welcome to the NFL, Rookie” moment immortalized on tape as he rushed up to try and make a play. Johnson was running toward the left sidelines still and planted and cut back right leaving Rambo grasping at air.  At that point, Johnson was in the clear and simply outran the rest of the field.
After that run, coach Mike Munchak decided two carries was sufficient for Johnson, and handed the keys to the running game to free agent signing Shonn Greene. 

Saturday, August 10, 2013 - New England Patriots: Starters “Bully” Eagles In Preseason Game One:

 by  from

The New England Patriots opened the preseason against the Philadelphia Eagles on Friday night after spending most of the week holding joint practices with Chip Kelly’s squad.  There was a little controversy during the practice week with talk of the Patriots “bullying” the Eagles with cornerback Brandon Boykin speaking out to the media.  With that silliness put to rest, it was time to get on the field and get a good look at the 2013 New England Patriots. With that, it is still preseason, and the first team offense and defense had limited snaps, but they both looked very similar to the 2012 New England Patriots in terms of results.

The first drive of the game opened with the Patriots in full bully mode, as they set the tone of the game and ran the ball down the throat of the Eagles first team defense behind Stevan Ridley’s 62 yard rush on the first offensive play of the game out of a two tight end set. The Patriots offense had Tom Brady under center, wide receivers Danny Amendola and Aaron Dobson to his right with Amendola in the slot. Both tight ends (big rookie Zach Sudfeld and former New York Giant Jake Ballard tight to the line. Amendola motioned left across the line outside of Sudfeld on Brady’s left.

The Eagles defensive backs were tight to the lie against the Patriots wide receivers leaving ten of the eleven defenders within five yards of the line of scrimmage at the snap. The receivers released while Sudfeld and Ballard sealed the Eagles defenders outside. The offensive line got some good push from the middle guards and center Ryan Wendell.  Tackle Sebastian Vollmer pancaked his defender putting him on his back on the ground and out of the play as Ridley took the ball straight up the middle and picked up the opening from Vollmer.

Running back Stevan Ridley did his part and made one cut up the middle with a burst and was almost 15 yards downfield when he was able to get past the first Eagle defender with a realistic chance to touch him. Rookie receiver Aaron Dobson ran with him shielding the cornerback from making a play on Ridley. Ridley was run down by Eagles defensive back Bradley Fletcher at the 18 yard line. Without passing the ball once on the first drive, the Patriots rushed six times for 80 yards and jumped out to a 7-0 lead after a pinch over three minutes....

To read the rest, click through to my article at MusketFire New England Patriots’ Top 2019 NFL Draft Picks Show Evolution on Both Sides of the Ball

The New England Patriots may have tipped their hand with their first two 2019 NFL Draft picks. Choosing a bigger, more aggressive outside-...