Jack Goes Confidential: Coen Brothers  Channel Vintage Hollywood

img5A new Coen Brothers movie usually ranks as an event with certain cinephiles…

And you know who you are!

Through the years the brother filmmaking duo of Joel and Ethan Cohen has taken on just about every genre imaginable.

From BLOOD SIMPLE, RAISING ARIZONA and FARGO, right through THE HUDSUCKER PROXY, TRUE GRIT, MILLER’S CROSSING and O BROTHER WHERE ART THOUGH.

And let’s not forget the great NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN!

Now with HAIL, CAESAR! the Oscar winning brothers tackle the near end of Hollywood’s Golden Era.

The year is 1951 and Capitol Pictures is still churning out the big productions. Matter of fact one of its biggest spectacles called HAIL, CAESAR! is currently shooting on the lot.

However things are beginning to crumble all around the once famous studio.

There’s Esther Williams-like swimming star Scarlett Johansson with an illegitimate child ‘situation.’

Cowboy sensation Alden Ehrenreich who can’t act his way out of a Western.

And competing twin gossip columnists who keep sticking their noses where they don’t belong. Continue reading

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Glazer: Battle of the 2016 Election Bulge Goes Forward

breitbart-2016-primary-post-image-trump-cruz-rubio-v1-640x480Nobody expected Donald Trump to win Iowa a few weeks ago…

He was just too outside the box for conservative and religious based Iowa. However, Trump’s gotten so much media coverage and the polls had him ahead going into Monday’s voting.

Yet Ted Cruz won the Iowa caucus 27% to Trump’s 24%.

Was it a fatal loss for the Donald? Maybe.

The bigger issue seems to be the strong showing by Marco Rubio who finished third not far behind with 23% of the vote.  Everyone else was pretty much a no-show.

As for Hillary Clinton, she didn’t lose but she didn’t really win either.

Upstart Bernie Sanders and Hillary were in nearly a tie with 50% of the vote each. Hillary has just a few more votes and was the close winner.

Do we really know what this means?

Observers feel that the real winners are Rubio and Sanders… for now.

If Rubio can win New Hampshire it might be his moment to take over. His conservative but somewhat moderate views are getting traction. His charismatic looks and Kennedy type youthful appeal serve him well. Most feel he will overcome Cruz from here on out, so his close numbers in Iowa were really a win for Rubio.

So where does Donald Trump stand?

Clearly the polls are not on target. Trump’s expected to do well in New Hampshire. And now it’s critical that he win that battle. If Rubio takes New Hampshire it’s likely the new momentum will carry him over Trump and Cruz.

However Trump is still the face to beat, but now he’s beatable. Continue reading

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Hearne: Trapped in a Time Warp (Almost)

newspaper--621x414I spend almost more time online than I do sleeping…

Maybe that’s a slight exaggeration, but you get the idea. I drive a 2016 Volkswagen GTI, listen to mostly alternative rock and engage in the ridiculous pastime of online dating.

In other words, I’m not exactly trapped in the past.

Then again, when I take my Airedale pup Charlie out every morning I travel back in time to an altogether different era when I pick up something called a “newspaper” in my driveway.

That makes me an anachronism.

There are any number of reasons for me not to engage in this outdated activity. For starters, I don’t need to and it’s bad for the earth.

I’m online all day anyway, so why deforest all those majestic mountains and waste all that energy delivering dated information to me when there’s no need to?

Ah, old habits can die hard. Continue reading

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Lefsetz: Hell Freezes Over

MI0000747508I now like “Heard It In A Love Song.”

I’m still shaking. I haven’t driven in snow that bad since the 1970s. Vail Pass is closed and I’m wondering whether to bother trying to make it to Telluride tomorrow, since they’re expecting 18-36 inches.

Now it didn’t snow all day. Well, there were a few flurries just before noon, but after that there was some sun. I wondered if the storm was just a myth, especially in ski country, they like to believe the flakes will fly.

And on the way to the airport it was RAINING! Now I’m sophisticated enough to know this is ultimately a bad sign, because as the night wears on the temperature drops and then you’ve got snow on top of ice, the worst of all possible worlds.

And Eagle County Regional Airport is at 6,540 feet. Downhill from Vail’s 8,150. And the temperature was in the mid-thirties. And visibility was good. So I was feeling confident, wondering if all my anxiety was ill-spent.

Kinda like the car rental.

Tempkins told me to go to Thrifty, he said they had the best deals. But no one was at the desk and Avis and Budget and Alamo told me they had no cars whatsoever.

I was just checking, because the Hertz website said they had no four wheel drives, I wanted a four wheel drive, I’d reserved a Chevy Venture, which comes in both iterations, front and all, but usually the rental fleet is just front so…

I went to Hertz.

I asked them about the Venture, whether it was two or four wheel drive.

They told me they hadn’t seen a Venture in months.

But they had my reservation.

They were gonna give me an SUV. And by time the clerk went through a few computer screens she told me I was gonna get an Infiniti, a QX80.

Now that’s living in style.

But that’s not what I got. Continue reading

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JACK GOES CONFIDENTIAL: ‘The Finest Hours’  Sea Disaster Drama Delivers!

finest-hours-movie-trailer-posterTHE PERFECT STORM it’s not, but there are similarities…

THE FINEST HOURS is the dramatization of the U.S. Coast Guard’s greatest sea rescue mission of all time

It’s the heroic, true story action thriller of the incredible 1952 small boat rescue of a giant crippled oil tanker that was split apart during impossible sea conditions.

This is about an against-all-odds mission to save nearly 30 sailors trapped inside the rapidly sinking ship off the coast of Cape Cod.

The young captain in command of the daring undertaking was Bernie Webber played in the film by Chris Pine.

And as viewers, we experience the mission from both sides.

The first being the Coast Guard’s play-by-the-rules approach to the nearly impossible rescue. The other from inside the doomed vessel where tanker engineer Raymond Sybert is deperately  trying to hold things together before help can reach them.

Sybert is portrayed in solid fashion by Casey Affleck. Continue reading

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Glazer: Don’t Look Now but Trump, Sanders Matchup Could Happen

sanderstrumpWhile Donald Trump is walking away with the Republican nomination, something else not expected is brewing…

Bernie Sanders according to most polls is now leading or tied with Hillary Clinton in Iowa and New Hampshire. Wow. Could this end up a Trump vs. Sanders presidential election? By the way, Trump is now well over 40% the leader in all Republican polls for the nomination.

Let’s face it a few months back Trump was more of an attraction than a real candidate. However his fame, the media attention and  the state of the nation have moved him to not only front runner status by a huge margin to win the Republican nomination, but a real shot at winning the white house. In a Trump vs. Hillary run off Hilary is behind in some polls or in a dead heat with the Donald.

And Sanders, who not that long ago seemed a throw away candidate is now FOR REAL. 

Funny thing, Hillary was seen as a shoe in for the White House against Obama until the very end as well. Until America fell for Barack and his presence and calmness and started not trusting Clinton. Continue reading

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Lefsetz: Individuality is Everything

jim-morrison-hair-style-the-doors-album-deathThe Doors could never replace Jim Morrison and Apple can’t replace Steve Jobs

They teach us to get along, tell us institutions are king, but the truth is America succeeds because it’s the land of rugged individuals with a vision who need to do it their way.

You see the true revolutionaries just can’t help themselves, they want their ideas to be realized. Anybody can get lucky once, but if you do it twice…

Did anybody expect Apple to burgeon after the passage of Steve?

There’ve been enough movies since his passing to completely assassinate his character, but people love his devices and those left in charge can’t seem to come up with a new one. I torched the Apple Watch, and now former New York Times technology columnist Walt Mossberg has too). And after app developers abandon it you’ve got a dead platform, kinda like Google Glass.

I still hope Apple gets it right, because I want something to believe in. I need something to believe in. Musicians used to fulfill this role before their goal was solely riches and fame, they keep telling us they’re entitled to success, but they don’t take a different road, they keep plying the one already trodden upon. Come on, did you ever hear the Doors song “The End”? Who came up with that stuff? We always want new people who can come up with stuff that will surprise and amaze us.

But millennials are all about getting along, being a member of the group.

Microsoft founder Bill Gates could barely have friends. He handed Microsoft to Steve Ballmer who nearly buried it. Buying the worthless Nokia. Only Gates could steer that ship.

We’re jealous of the envelope pushers, we keep criticizing them, saying they can’t get along. But they’re the ones we secretly lionize. Continue reading

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Starbeams: Broncomania, Bernie & Women’s Blue Chip Basketball

benandjerrysbernie22_600x400Tough week for local sports. Broncos head back to another Super Bowl.  KU loses to Iowa State. Mizzou quarterback is

#CharlieSheenWinning.

*******

The Chiefs are working on a plan to get their games broadcast on St. Louis television stations.  Now if we can just get people to drive across the state and wear red to one of our stadiums.

*******

Ben & Jerry’s has created an ice cream based on Bernie Sanders.  But KFC has one-upped them and put Bernie Sanders on all their signs.

*******

Kansas City has a new women’s professional basketball team.  The Kansas City Majestics play for the Women’s Blue Chip Basketball League.  Several players are signing contracts right now and are expected to make….dinner.

Kelly Urich hosts the morning show on The Point 99.7 FM

 

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Glazer: Keep Calm & Watch Out for Cam!

imagesThey were the oldest starting quarterbacks in an AFC Championship game ever…

But in the end, it was two great defenses that settled the outcome. Denver’s defense was just off the chain. With four sacks on Tom Brady and two interceptions. New England’s defense was just as good  – minus the interception – but it did get the one fumble that led to a score.

Peyton Manning was sacked three times. Neither quarterback was throwing all that well with all the pressure, but Manning surprised everyone by showing good velocity on his medium throws and not getting picked off.

The game came down to a missed extra point by the Pats from a kicker who only missed one in his entire career. Unreal.

In the end Brady did his usual drive to try and tie the game and send it into overtime. With just seconds left on the clock, he hit Gronk for what would have tied the game, but for the missed extra point earlier. Thus the Pats had to go for two and failed. End of game.

It was a great game. Denver and Manning went to their 8th Super Bowl tying New England, Dallas, Steelers and San Francisco. Continue reading

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Hearne: A Losing Battle for Hearts, Minds, Eyeballs

Screen Shot 2016-01-22 at 11.54.29 PMIt’s not easy being a daily newspaper…

Oh, it used to be.

Once the competition was out of the way and pretty much every major market had but a single significant publisher – the Star in Kansas City, the Journal World in Lawrence – it was like printing money.

Still is, albeit on a far smaller scale.

Where radio and television stations have had to duke it out with myriad competitors, once newspapers were established there was no direct competition. They might lose some biz here and there to radio or TV, but prior to the Internet the electronic media just couldn’t really compete.

Nor could they afford the staffing to provide anything approaching comprehensive local news coverage. Plus print readers could access their news anytime they wanted to, 24/7 once they laid their filthy hands on the ink stained rags.

However as the internet ramped up supplying instant news and updates, printed papers became less and less relevant. Something that oldsters clung to (and still do) as creatures of habit, the same as they cling to outdated fashions and beliefs.

Make no mistake, print’s still far and away where the profits are at.

That said, the handwriting’s on the wall and as the dinosaur print readers die off, younger consumers of news are looking online for their info. Unfortunately the internet profits just are not there – not enough to keep the ship of state at 18th and Grand afloat with what a dozen years ago was more than 2,000 employees versus the 400 or so today.

Meanwhile back at the ranch a tale of two cities is unfolding.

That of the Kansas City Star and Lawrence Journal World. Continue reading

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Glazer: This Week’s Playoff Picks!

1.bart-starrI’ve backed New England QB Tom Brady for the past year…

He’s without question the best quarterback of the Super Bowl Era. I think Denver’s Peyton Manning is great. However he just isn’t the same old Peyton. Time and injuries have brought his career to the end that will come today.

Hey, its great we have Brady/Manning one more time.

We’ve heard all about the Denver defense and how smart Manning is with running the Bronco running game. However, I saw a very good Chiefs defense get run over by Brady and company. And with his three boys back, there’s no stopping him. Brady’s release is just too quick.

The Patriots go to the Super Bowl again.

Number 7 for Tom Brady. I look for the Cam Newton led Panthers to defeat Arizona. Continue reading

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Hearne: Former KC Promoter Weighs in on Death of The Eagles Glenn Frey

zuckPretty much everybody knows and/or remembers KC concert king Chris Fritz

Far less so, Contemporary head dude Irv Zuckerman. And yet without the mostly behind-the-scenes, St. Louis concert promoter’s contribution the area entertainment scene in the 80s, 90s and beyond at Kemper Arena, Starlight, Sandstone, Memorial Hall and the Uptown were beyond huge.

Zuckerman weighed in recently to Bob Lefsetz on the weather of Eagles singer, songwriter, guitarist and founding member Glenn Frey.

“Bob,

Thanks for your incredible thoughts on one of America’s great songwriters and influencers to the music world. I’m sure I speak for many of the concert promoters like myself who experienced the greatness and sheer enjoyment of presenting the Eagles for many years. How much better does it get to be a huge fan and promote a band that audiences LOVE?

I want to pay tribute to Glenn who was not only the most professional person in the room, but also the most congenial and warm individual as well. From small theatre shows to stadiums, Glenn would always be thoughtful and appreciative to all around him. I loved the fact that although he became a huge celebrity, he was very humble and approachable to everyone backstage. He created an environment that translated with ease on stage and made audiences feel welcomed, whether as an Eagle or with Joe Walsh on their gigs.

One quick story on one of those shows. We were opening Sandstone Amphitheatre in Kansas City. Continue reading

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Hearne: KU Football Living in the Past

Amani Bledsoe

Amani Bledsoe

It’s a sad commentary when you have to dig back like 50 years to find a bright spot…

However that’s pretty much the sad state of KU football today. As evidenced by a pair of front page stories in today’s sports section about local Lawrence boys.

The larger, more prominent story being about a salute to former KU star quarterback John Hadl. The more telling, albeit smaller story about a kid named Amani Bledsoe.

Both grew up in Lawrence and Hadl opted to remain a Jayhawk where he was twice named an All American. Bledsoe however – a standout, four-star defensive end at Lawrence High School – took a pass on the crimson and the Blue and chose Oklahoma over KU. Continue reading

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Jack Goes Confidential: ‘ANOMALISA’—Graphic Puppet Sex & Then Some

AnomalisaI’m having a real hard time trying to describe ANOMALISA to you…

The first hint of this surreal outing was the film’s creator Charlie Kaufman who got the cinematic project off the ground thanks to Kickstarter.

Never heard of Kaufman?

Well, he’s got a cult following in certain circles due to his previous works which include BEING JOHN MALKOVICH and ADAPTATION.

With ANOMALISA Kaufman unleashes his controversial yet fascinating stop-motion in an animated puppets dramedy—that is definitely NOT for kids!

It all takes place in a downtown Cincinnati convention hotel.

This is the story of an L.A. based, very married motivational self-help author Michael Stone (voiced by David Thewlis) making yet another mundane business speaking trip.

This time it’s to Cincinnati where he’s booked to parlay the virtues of his book called How May I Help You Help Yourself? to a gathering of so-called  customer service professionals.

Yeap, another city. Another convention hotel. Pretty boring stuff. Continue reading

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Valentine: Germany & The End of Europe

MerkelIt’s frightening to watch so much work and political capital go down the drain…

The European Union with its single currency and porous borders is facing its demise. The powers that founded this powerhouse are under attack from the guardians of culture in each country. And the powers that funded the concept are switching to defensive positions as they watch their assets dissolve.

Death from a thousand cuts? Maybe.

The bailouts of Greece, Portugal, Ireland, Cyprus and Spain, as well the bribes to keep counties in the Union have hurt. The Euro debt crisis has been a very sticky situation since 2009. The European Central Bank and IMF (mostly American money) has been able prop up the Euro. But the death blow that keeps on coming is the influx of refugees from the unrest in the Middle East.

We can get into the weeds, but let’s cut to the chase.

German money is the biggest glue that holds the EU together. Germany’s Chancellor, Angela Merkel, pushed to let in a million migrants from another culture (The Middle East) into their country. Then over the holidays, some of the refugee men organized sexual assaults at German public events. The German government got caught trying to cover this up while scolding German women for not dressing in a different way to accommodate the new “citizens.” All this took place with a backdrop of Islamic atrocities in France, Belgium, Italy as well as the non-European world. Continue reading

Posted in Mark Valentine | 19 Comments

Glazer: The Online, Computer Dating Game

match_comDoes online dating work?

The simple answer is YES. More than 40 million Americans date online today with companies with MATCH or ELITE SINGLES. That’s a lot.

But is it that easy? Uh, no.

Years ago when I returned home from college and just before my days in law enforcement, I got a job selling for a company in Kansas City called Computer Date Match. It turned out to be a total scam. It didn’t really even use computers, other than to find single men buyers. I was trained to go to people’s homes, add up all the money they spent dating with no result and tell them their lives were a total ZERO. It was the old hard sell.

They had tons of us 20 somethings out selling. This was the 1970’s so people didn’t have home computers. So my company would get your money – like a grand – and send you a list of lonely ladies they’d found. None of which actually matched you up with anybody and that was about it.

I lasted about a month on this crazy job. The company didn’t last too long either. Today things are much different.

There are countless dating sites. The big ones are MATCH,ELITE SINGLES, OURTIME, ZOOSK – the list goes on. There are dating services  that are defined by religion, age and income as well. According to the online stats, all the ones I named have 8 to 9 scores on how people like them.

That’s huge. Continue reading

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Hearne: Lawrence Library Tries to Turn Water into Wine

CX5mF6iUEAAKWAqWhen’s the last time anybody wasted a half dozen half page newspaper ads to draw fewer than 20 folks to a “free” wine tasting?

In the case of the Lawrence Public Library and Lawrence Memorial Hospital the answer would be yesterday. Then again, it wasn’t quite a wine tasting.

The name of the event: 

Water As Wine. Creating The Drink & Pleasing The Palate

Yep, two of the Lawrence’s biggest organizations teamed up to hold a tap water tasting Tuesday in the Crystal Room at the historic Eldridge Hotel in downtown Lawrence.

That’s right, a tap water tasting.

The esteemed ballroom was decked out from stem to stern with table after white linen covered table with attractively arranged wine glasses for the blessed event. Unfortunately, panelists and servers aside, less than 20 attendees – yours truly included – showed up.

Water, water everywhere but nary many locals to drink!

The evening kicked off with a “taste and odor” demonstration by a local chef.

“We will start just by looking at the water,” he began. “And I know this sounds super pretentious, but we’re going to look at this as if we were tasting wine.” Continue reading

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Lefsetz: We Don’t Need Your Stinkin’ Rams

la-sp-stan-kroenke-head-20150914I just don’t care…

I never go to the movies and I’ll never see the Los Angeles Rams play live.

That despite media telling me I need to pay attention. The truth is I’m on my own subliminal trip to somewhere, as is everybody else – it’s the 21st century condition.

Used to be entertainment was scarce. And those who got to play in the sandbox took their jobs seriously. We hung on every word, these artists defined the culture. But today the public defines the culture, Instagram is more important than any movie at the multiplex, including “Star Wars.”

Kind of like Adele’s “25.” Have you heard anybody discuss the music? When was the last time you heard the music? Is anybody even listening? You can dazzle me with sales figures, but on YouTube Adele doesn’t rule. Media tells us she’s the biggest thing in music, but she’s not really that big at all.

I haven’t got any time. Not only do I not make it to the theatre, I don’t watch the flicks when they come to TV. The hype has evaporated and there’s always something new, I can barely keep up with the present, never mind catch up with the past.

As for Stan Kroenke moving the St. Louis Rams to Inglewood, I’ll watch a bit of the playoffs, go to a Super Bowl party, but I’m not dedicating months of my life to sitting in front of the screen watching men maim themselves for life. And the truth is, I’m on the bleeding edge. Boxing died, football has already peaked, the owners and the inane Commissioner have lost touch with the public, they think it’s all about the money, that the audience just can’t get enough. But even Depeche Mode can’t sell out stadiums anymore.

As for movies, chasing foreign bucks they lost touch with the American mind. If I want a comic book, I’ll read one. And I’m an adult and I don’t want one. That’s what happens when you chase the dollar, you lose your soul, and then the public wakes up and walks. Kind of like baseball, so-called “America’s Pastime.”

I’ll argue it shot itself in the foot when it put the World Series on at night. Continue reading

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Glazer: Not Close, No Cigar – Wait Til Next Year, Ad Nauseum

tom-brady-92414-getty-ftrjpg_1qz0bci5zpsc01s9tecqo6v6owHe’s Tom Terrific, without question…

 Tom Brady is the best NFL quarterback of all time. No argument. He likely will be in his 7th Super Bowl in a few weeks and nobody else is even close to that. The man is nearly 40. So’s Peyton Manning, see a difference?

The Chiefs were beaten on the first series by Brady. If you care to read my story from before the game, I broke all this down. The Chiefs needed to receive the ball and get a lead asap.

They chose not too and Brady sliced them up.

Brady has three receivers that are in tune with his every move and thought. The Chiefs don’t have that. He gets the ball out in like 2 seconds. We don’t have that. Our defense was never really near him. NO SACKS. We had to have that. Our offense doesn’t score much. We didn’t ever get a lead or really challenge Tom and his team. Brady could do anything he wanted whenever he wanted. He’s just that damn good. Oh, was there some air let out of the ball? THAT CHEATER.

Now the Chiefs did all they could.

They had a great year. I think as of today they are the AFC’s No. 2 team. Hey, that’s great. Yes, I think we’d have beat Denver and the Steelers TODAY. We are better. They both have bigger issues than KC. However we played the No. 1 guy and No. 1 team and you just can’t beat superior talent without breaks or a super effort that works. Continue reading

Posted in Craig_Glazer | 34 Comments

Glazer: Chiefs Can Win, Game May Be Decided Early

KANSAS CITY, MO - SEPTEMBER 29: Tamba Hali #91 of the Kansas City Chiefs knocks the ball loose from Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots for a fumble during the third quarter at Arrowhead Stadium on September 29, 2014 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

Pretty much everyone has jumped in on how the Chiefs could beat the Patriots today…

Sure they could.

However even with their 11 game win streak, a playoff win and solid play, the football / sports /media world still doesn’t t have much respect for our Chiefs. Based on their horrid post season record up until now and being no-shows in big games for more than 40 years except for the 1993 season. They’ve been the K-State of the NFL all too often. A nice little team that doesn’t win any games that matter. They just haven’t.

So is today the day?

It looks like rain and I’m not sure who that helps. Our running game has been just average lately. QB Alex Smith is our key running back right now. And that’s not a good thing if the Pats bottle him up. Because it’s really more critical that the Chiefs can run rather than Pats.

Because Tom Brady has all three of his weapons back and that’s not good.

Spot he can chip us to death with short throws over the middle. Can Smith hit his targets early and get a badly needed early lead for our defense? We might want to take the ball if we win the coin toss rather than defend. We need a lead to put some pressure on Brady because he’s the ‘best’ quarterback in modern NFL history. No question. We all know our pass D has to get to him or make him throw early.

The Chiefs have to put pressure on the Patriots to win, because the Patriots expect to win.

Big difference.

We don’t want Brady coming down the field on us late in the game for a winning score. Our offense has shown little ball control as of late in the 3rd and 4th quarter. We handoff and don’t move the ball well. That keeps our D on the field much longer late in the game and yes they do get tired. Continue reading

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