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The Real Thing: The French Roast at Whole Foods is every bit the equal of the darkest Starbucks coffee. It’ll open up your sinuses, that’s for sure.

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I sent an email to Bill “The Sports Guy” Simmons critiquing his recent column on Knicks fans. This is the response:

*** ATTENTION ***

Your e-mail is being returned to you because there was a problem with its
delivery. The address which was undeliverable is listed in the section
labeled: “—– The following addresses had permanent fatal errors —–“.

The reason your mail is being returned to you is listed in the section
labeled: “—– Transcript of Session Follows —–“.

The line beginning with “<<<” describes the specific reason your e-mail could
not be delivered. The next line contains a second error message which is a
general translation for other e-mail servers.

Please direct further questions regarding this message to your e-mail
administrator.

–Postmaster

—– The following addresses had permanent fatal errors —–
< billsXXX@XXX.com >
(reason: 550 billsXXX IS NOT ACCEPTING MAIL FROM THIS SENDER)




Now, I’ve taken a lot of flack over the years for being an old media guy, but I challenge you to show me one old media sportswriter who has so seamlessly integrated the world wide web into their repetoire. In any discipline! George Will? Dean Koontz? Phooey. Just because I’m the new backpage columnist for the most important sports weekly in the world, doesn’t mean that I look down on the little guy writing for a dot-com.


But when I try to reach out to a new media blogger, in this case Bill Simmons, he’s blocked me. Im not saying he’s afraid. I’m certainly not saying he’s become just like a sports radio host who hangs up on callers who disagrees with him. I just sense that the internet is some kind of exclusive party with a “No-Old-Media-with-Several-Sportswriting-Awards-Writers Allow” policy.


For the record, this was the email I sent:



Hey Bill!


What’s new in cyberspace? As you know, I like your work. Wouldn’t say I *love* it. But I like it. You’re a bit of a homer, but, hey, so am I. Your foray into Old Media, “Now I Can Die in Peace” was a strong first effort. God for you.


Your recent column on the Knicks was a bit, well, hypocritical. I understand that the web is sort of like the Wild West. No real rules apply. But you still have to adhere to the basic principle of internal consistency, right? Additionally, your jokes and references don’t make any sense. I mean, come on!

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I’m not sure when Christmas became a six-week holiday in the US, but I’ll tell you one thing I do like: Christmas cups at Starbucks. Nothing puts me in the mood for the holiday season like those puppies and if you’re not tempted to order an Egg Nog Latte at least once during the Christmas season, you’re more cold-hearted than the Turk at NFL training camp. 

I know some people have felt like the selection of Brett Favre as SI Sportsman of the Year is totally unmerited, but those people have never been to Sheboygan, Wisconsin. I was in town to write my fawning profile of the greatest human of all-time and I stopped into the local Starbucks. Now, we know that Howard Schultz doesn’t like to allow individual stores to depart from the menu, but the baristas at the local ‘bucks drafted a petition to rename every drink in honor of Brett. So instead of the hazelnut caramel latte, we’ve got the Brett Favre slant. Instead of a frappachino, we’ve got the Brett Favre hail mary. This might sound a little confusing, but they’ve memorized each one and get this–so has every customer. There hasn’t been a single person to order the Favre hail mary when they wanted the slant.

Come on, can you really argue that Favre isn’t the deserved winner of Sportsman of the Year?

I’m the MAN!!!!!!

The Real Thing: My daughter Mary Beth informs me that The Barge, the campus coffeehouse at Colgate University and her employer, has shipped out two pounds of Colgate Blend to a South Dakota man, based on my review of the black gold in a recent column. You won’t regret it, sir. That’s a strong, delicious cup of Green Mountain coffee.

Thanksgiving Latte

On Thanksgiving day, I had this absolutely crazy idea to improvise a “Thanksgiving Latte.” Now before you go thinking I’m crazier than Michael Irvin and TO combined, I had no interest in a turkey and gravy latte. Instead, I ordered the pumpkin latte, bought some pecans and sliced apples and threw those in there. Voila! I had my thanksgiving dessert, pumpkins, pecans and apples transformed into my own Thanksgiving Latte. Looks like Brett Favre and Tony Romo aren’t the only people who were able to improvise success on Thanksgiving.

Note: I got confused while writing the original column and used italics for no reason whatsoever. I have de-italicized all erroneously italicized paragraphs from Monday’s column. I will keep italics correctly used in context to add emphasis to a word or phrase, and, in parentheses, I will add (Italics Mine from the past). Got it?

 

NEW YORK — So many thoughts after the Patriots beat the Eagles 31-28. It’s good for the NFL, first of all. A week ago, after a 46-point win on the road against a team with a winning record, all hope for a suspenseful January was lost. The Patriots were untouchable. Now they’re not.

Remember last week when I surmised that maybe the ’27 Yankees could give the Patriots a game? Well, you can add the 2007 Eagles to that list. Current list of the five greatest teams of all-time: 2007 Patriots, 1927 Yankees, 2007 Eagles, 1967-73 UCLA Men’s Basketball, Lance Armstrong.

And it was one heck of a football game, a terrific example of what sports is capable of when it’s done right. Bill Belichick couldn’t have read his team the riot act after the game — at least I hope he didn’t. The Patriots did not play poorly. The Eagles played a tremendous football game, with a bad decision at the end leading to their demise. New England didn’t turn the ball over once, gained 410 total yards, and turned the tide of the game with three interceptions by a beat-up secondary.

Pretty much what I’m saying is, the entire game was won or lost by the following decision, which lead to their demise! I love using the word demise when talking about football. Makes me feel like Sue Grafton.

Re: the bad decision: You can’t kill A.J. Feeley for one terrible throw, because in the midst of a 60-minute ball game against the Team of the Decade, on the road and in your first start in 35 months, bad things will happen. They’re bound to. But there were still so many things wrong with the interception that sealed the deal for New England with four minutes left. The Eagles, trailing 31-28, moved 63 yards in seven plays to the New England 29, where Philadelphia had a second-and-4 and one timeout left. The Patriots had three timeouts left. The goal for Philly here should have been to milk as much of the clock as possible, because if the Eagles scored either a field goal or touchdown quickly, New England would have four stoppages of the clock and three-plus minutes to tie or win the game. Tom Brady could bake four loaves of bread in that time.

I watched these tense last few minutes in the green room outside the Football Night in America studios at NBC. Cris Collinsworth sat to my right. As the time ticked down, Collinsworth, maybe 15 seconds before the ball was snapped, said, “I don’t know why, but I just have a Jason Campbell feeling about this one.” Campbell, the Washington quarterback, threw three bad interceptions in the previous two fourth quarters, at Dallas and Tampa Bay. Now Feeley faded back, felt some pressure, and threw down the right side, deep into the end zone for Kevin Curtis — and the ball was picked off by Asante Samuel, his second interception of the day. True story about Collinsworth, and he didn’t even gloat. The Eagles could probably have run the next three plays (assuming one of the first two resulted in a first down) and gotten the clock down close to the two-minute warning.

Man. How cool is it that I get to hang out with Cris Collinsworth every day? Scale of 1-10, its a 9. Seriously. Hanging out with Tiki is like a 4. Costas, who I have the utmost respect for, is like a 5. Hanging out with Jerome has gotta be a 7. You can;t tell me its not a 7. Olbermann is a 1. That’s not a knock on Keith, though. It’s a strong crew we have at Football Night in America.

Impatience was mistake number one. Two: Why on God’s green earth was Feeley throwing at Samuel, who got ahead of Curtis and outran him to the end-zone pick? In the game, at the time, because of injuries to other Pats’ defensive backs was Eddie Jackson, a special-teams maven. Why not go after Jackson if you’re determined to throw the ball? Two very big mistakes.

I know, I know. It’s far easier to dissect a play with 20/20 hindsight. And I know, Feeley, who the smart money had selling Title Insurance by now, played the game of his life. Heck, he probably even did more good than bad this game. But, I gotta call it like I see it, and AJ Feeley blew this game for the Eagles that they wouldn’t have been in had it not been for AJ Feeley. Shame on you, AJ.

That’s football. In my view, New England survived because of Wes Welker. When the Patriots traded second- and seventh-round picks (60th and 238th overall) in the draft last April for Welker, it was clear they were buying Tom Brady a security blanket for five years. A quick receiver who runs route precisely and gets open in space near the middle of the field consistently is what Brady needed at the end of last year.

The fact Brady also got Randy Moss was an unexpected bonus when the Raiders and Green Bay Packers couldn’t reach agreement on a deal on the first day of the draft, and Al Davis was forced to send Moss to New England. Moss has been spectacular. Welker has been steady and hugely valuable, often times acting as a kind of extended handoff for Brady, increasing Brady’s completion percentage with the running game stopping and starting as it has all season.

I’ve given a lot of consideration to voting for Welker for MVP. Can’t do it…yet.

In the fourth quarter Sunday, with the Patriots’ unbeaten season on the line, Brady threw 16 passes. The breakdown of where they went and how successful each was:

• Welker was thrown seven balls and caught five, for 54 yards.

• Tight end Ben Watson caught two of the three balls thrown his way, for 12 yards.

Donte’ Stallworth caught both balls thrown to him, for 15 yards.

• Randy Moss caught neither of the two passes thrown his way.

Kevin Faulk and Jabar Gaffney each caught the only pass thrown to him — Faulk for 12 yards, Gaffney for 16.

I just reread what I wrote about where these passes went, with the Patriots’ unbeaten season on the line. Forget league MVP for a sec, guys. I have to seriously rethink who the most valuable Patriot receiver is. My internal monologue: “Moss caught NEITHER of the two passes thrown his way? How can he seriously be considered the MVPR over Welker??” I’m not saying that Welker is the MVPR. I’m also not saying he’s not.

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