Archive for the ‘Boston’ Tag

This picture sums up what’s happening right now   Leave a comment

Image may contain: 1 person, crowd and text

…Note the conspiracy theory outlined in my previous blog post.

Assuming the clashes between political extremists escalate, this is the logical next step: A hard crackdown by the government the likes of which hasn’t been seen in decades. It won’t matter who is in the White House, the response and how it’s explained will be the same: “We’re restoring the rule of law and suppreessing all the violent factions.”

The current White House administration is destabilizing the country but make no mistake it’s part of a much larger plan and is being allowed to play out on purpose. More so if Trump resigns or is Impeached in the near future: This will allow Pence to come in as someone who is “not taking sides but will now allow political extremists to tear the country apart.”

That’s the plan and its win-win for The Establishment: They can just blame everything on “both sides” and at the same time, they will have a free pass to strip away civil liberties under the guise of “National Security”.

This actually isn’t conspiracy theory. We’ve been here more than a few times before.

Most recently: Right after 9/11. That’s when The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and  The Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) were created. Don’t even get me started on The Patriot Act, which had been crafted behind closed doors and was far more intrusive than the one we eventually got. The Bush Administration made the case these were necessary “for the purposes of national security”.

As is the trend in this country however, once security protocols are raised they’re rarely lowered after the threat passes. Don’t even get me started on the revolving door of complaints and lawsuits against the TSA, many of which includes rape and profiling. The number of credible threats stopped by the TSA since 9/11 is inconsequential for the “display”. Even worse: There is little to no accountability at the top and efforts to change this are immediately blocked due to politics.

 

Now, before you go “What about the Boston Marathon Bombing?”, take a look at my coverage of that. You will have folks who feel the show of force “just to find two guys” and shutting down Boston for almost a week took things too far. What CNN failed to tell you?  The day of the bombing, there was an unrelated fatal shooting 3 blocks from my house. There was another unrelated shooting in another part of Boston as well. Neither of those got media coverage. Then again, you have the other extreme Boston residents professed once the suspects were captured and killed: “Why don’t we see this kind of response more often?” We would not see anything like that in Boston again until this past weekend’s “Free Speech” Rally.

Anywho, my point is everything that’s going on is part of a much larger plan. Don’t trust everything you see and hear from the media. Social Media is your friend when it comes to Social Justice issues. Try to keep that in mind moving forward.

 

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As Boston braces for “Free Speech” rally this weekend, Counter-Protesters mobilize via Social Media   Leave a comment

https://i1.wp.com/www.bostonherald.com/sites/default/files/styles/photos_featured_big/public/media/2017/05/13/051317protestcc09.jpg

This is a picture from the previous “Free Speech” Rally that took place in May. A short time ago, local news outlets confirmed the City of Boston has granted the rally organizers a permit. Before you start getting mad at city officials, please bear in mind these “Free Speech” rallies have been going on not just in Boston but across the country for many years. The only reason they’re getting so much attention now is because of what happened in Charlottesville, VA last weekend.

That right there is a HUGE problem and here’s why. As we know, the media will only be there to broadcast any violence that may or may not break out between both groups. I have been closely monitoring one group organizing many of the counter-protesters online and the one thing being stressed more than anything is a non-violent counter-protest. Notice in the above picture two of the “Free Speech” folks are wielding shields? If it looks familiar, yes they were in pictures out of Charlottesville, VA? They are a clear indication at least some of the demonstrators are either aligned with White Supremacist groups or have the ideology.

Now, the lead organizer of the “Free Speech” Rally has explicitly stated the rally has nothing to do with what happened last week and he’s right. In fact, this rally was planned right after the one in May. Unluckily for him, last weekend happened so…yeah.

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These guys are members of a group called ANTIFA, which is short for Anti-Facist. ANTIFA has been around since 1953 and they have been aggressively waging a mostly quiet and misunderstood war against Neo-Nazi, Ku Klux Klan and White Supremacist propaganda. They have been doing what minority-led and minority-organized groups have been unable to openly do for almost 70 years. Where Facism and White Supremacy tries to spread its influence, they are there in force to counter them.

From what I’ve heard, they only recently started wearing masks about 20 years ago to prevent the White Supremacists with ties to Law Enforcement from identifying them if they are recorded or photographed. The sticks you see them carry as a show of force to let the White Supremacists know they will not be intimidated. Their work has suddenly become more important than ever now that the White Supremacists know they have the support of the current President of the United States.

 

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Earlier, I said the fact that this weekend’s rally is getting national attention is a huge problem. Let me explain a bit more. What usually happens is once things calm down, the media moves on to other things and with it, alot of momentum. The White Supremacists know this well and that’s what they are calmly waitinig for.

Not this time.

I call for a union. The following groups or organizations need to form a united front against White Supremacy, Hate and Bigotry:

 

  • ANTIFA
  • The Anti-Defamation League
  • GLADD
  • Black Lives Matter
  • NAACP
  • ACLU
  • Human Rights Campaign
  • Anonymous

I know that there are others but these were the eight I know the most about. Each of these groups have something they can bring to the table in terms of both manpower and resources. They will be able to do together much more than they are able to do on their own. Given the current Administration has made it clear it’s backing White Surpremacists, we must move quicky. It’s like the saying goes: Evil prevails when good people do nothing. We have reached a point in our nation’s history where more than ever, it is on the people to remind its elected “officials” who works for who. They don’t fear people because for decades, they haven’t had a good enough reason reason to.

That needs to change.

I want to close by saying this to anyone planning to go to one of these rallies to counter-protest or whatever: Don’t do something you might regret later. Stay non-violent, stay safe and most importantly don’t get yourself arrested. More so if you have a record already: They’ll find a reason to ruin your life just because they can.

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Breaking News: The Boston Celtics win the Gordon Hayward Sweepstakes   Leave a comment

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News revealed to be unconfirmed this afternoon is now official: Gordon Hayward is taking his talents to Boston. Hayward will sign a 4-year $128M contract with the Celtics, who were looking for a secondary scorer going into the offseason. The Celtics got just that when they drafted Jayson Tatum two weeks ago. With Hayward, it’s fair to say the Celtics are guaranteed to return to the Eastern Conference Finals this coming season.

…Mind you, the Celtics getting Hayward means they will have make room before he can be officially signed to the team. Minutes after the Hayward deal was announced, the Celtics announced they have released the rights to Kelly Olynik, making him an Unrestricted Free Agent. More players can be expected to be released, most of them draft picks from this year and last year currently stashed either overseas or in the D-League. Excluding Olynik and the draft picks stashed elsewhere, the Celtics have the rights to 19 players (!).

 

Most or all of the following players I expect to be either released or part of a trade to make room to sign Hayward:

 

  • Jae Crowder
  • Marcus Smart*
  • James Young
  • Terry Rozier
  • Gerald Green
  • Tyler Zeller*
  • Kelly Olynik*
  • Jonas Jerebko
  • Demitrius Jackson
  • Amir Johnson*
  • Avery Bradley*

 

Reports are coming in the Celtics are now fielding trade offers for Jae Crowder and Marcus Smart. Crowder’s name has come up as being part of a package deal. The 76ers announced over the weekend they signed Amir Johnson to a 2-year contract. Tyler Zeller was also waived over the weekend. The Celtics probably won’t have to give up everyone listed but at least half if I had to guess. The Celtics will likely part with either Smart or Crowder but I will not be surprised if they’re forced to give up both to make cap room.

It’s worth noting who I did not name in the above list. Isaiah Thomas will be an unrestricted free agent after the upcoming season but in light of the Hayward deal, you can be sure the Celtics will negotiate a new contract with the King of the 4th. They’d be fools not to.  Al Horford and Gerald Green joined the Celtics during last year’s offseason. Jaylen Brown was drafted last year and will be joined by Ante Zizic, who was also drafted last year but played in Europe last season.

…Next year promises to be real interesting now that the Celtics, who are now a legit threat to the Cleveland Caveliers in the East. The Wizards and Raptors will no longer be a threat to the Celtics or rather, they shouldn’t. Paul George and Jimmy Butler going to the Western Conference means the only real threat to Boston is still Cleveland.

You now have the starting lineup of IT, Horford, Brown, Tatum and Hayward. The next thing the Celtics will need to work on during the offseason is making sure they have enough players who can come off the bench to relieve the starters. LeBron James commented after Game 1 of the ECF the thing that makes the Celtics a challenge is how many options they have to go at you. No doubt the Celtics will want to keep enough supporting players to keep the rest of the east on their toes.

Update 7-7-2017:

As of this morning, Kelly Olynik has signed on with the Heat and Avery Bradley has been traded to the Pistons. The Celtics have reportedly been “aggressively” shopping Bradley, Crowder and Smart in the last few days to make room to sign Gordon Hayward. They have also released Olynik, Amir Johnson and Tyler Zeller. The Bradley Trade creates enough cap space for Hayward to be signed though they still might have to deal Crowder or Smart, likely in a trade.

Bradley’s gonna be a core player in Detroit and could make the All Star team this season. Everyone knows what he can do so…yeah. It’s sad to lose him like this but he’ll flourish with the Pistons.

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…That brings me to the latest trade rumor: Now that Hayward’s a done deal, the Celtics are apparently very interested in getting NBA Veteran Marc Gasol from the Grizzlies. It would be a trade obviously and the Celtics can certainly trade for him. If the Celtics can pull the trigger and get him, it will be 2008 all over again. LOL. The Celtics could deal Crowder, Rozier and a draft pick for him. It would be win-win for both teams ^_^

 

 

On the eve of the NBA Draft, Trade rumors run rampant   Leave a comment

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As many of you know by now, the Celtics traded the #1 Draft Pick with the 76ers’ #3 Pick over the weekend for who knows what reason (LOL!). Assuming the 76ers take Markelle Fultz and the Lakers take Lavar Ball (the latest buzz is they’re undecided) with the #2 Pick, that leaves the Celtics with either Josh Jackson or Jayson Tatum. As of two hours ago, the Celtics just got access to Jackson’s medical records for the first time.

To say the Celtics have positioned themselves to get prettymuch ANYONE via trade, draft or free agency would be a massive understatement. LOL. Here’s the short list of players who have come up in just the last 24 hours that may be wearing Celtics green next season:

 

  • Gordon Hayward: The player who many considered to be priority #1 for the Celtics. That was before the Celtics traded Draft Picks with the 76ers.
  • Kristaps Porzingis: ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith dropped a bombshell on this morning’s edition of First Take. According to sources close to The Latvian Unicorn, he’s trying to force Phil Jackson out of the Knicks organization. Porzingis hasn’t requested a trade but Phil Jackson said he is open to trading the team’s franchise player. For the right price, the Celtics would have the rim protector and secondary scorer they’ve been looking for to challenge LBJ and the Cavs in the ECF next year.
  • Carmello Anthony: You know the drill. LOL. According to the latest reports, ‘Mello might move this time with Cleveland or the Clippers being likely destinations should it happen.
  • Jimmy Butler: Here we go again. LOL. No more needs to be said. At last check, 4 teams other than the Celtics are interested in him including Cleveland, New York, the Lakers and Dallas.
  • Paul George: Same as Butler. The Lakers traded D’Angelo Russell and Timofey Mozgof to the Nets for Brook Lopez to make room to sign Paul George. It’s believed to be the likely destination for PG-13, who the Cavs are also interested in. It’s certainly possible he might be willing to entertain the idea of heading to Boston, however.
  • Kevin Love: Any superstar Cleveland gets in this offseason obviously means one of their current ones will have to go. LeBron can do what he wants so he’s obviously not included in that (LOL!) so that leaves Love and Irving as the two odd men out. Many pundits believe Love’s run in Cleveland has run its course and he will likely be part of a trade to get Chris Paul, PG-13, Jimmy Butler or Carmello Anthony.
  • Kyrie Irving: Same as Love prettymuch though according to some reports, Irving himself may ask to be traded.
  • LeBron James: According to some reports, weather or not LBJ asks for a trade or not depends on how things pan out during this offseason. If he leaves Cleveland, The Lakers or Clippers are believed to be his likely destinations.

…This is aside from the usual Clippers trio of DeAdre Jordan, Blake Griffin and CP3 trade rumors you hear every year (LOL!). Just the other day, all star Center Dwight Howard was randomly traded to the Charlotte Hornets. Howard is basically Al Horford without range. Howard is also going to play for his third team in as many years (Houston, Atlanta and now Charlotte).

The Golden State Warriors might have the Western Conference locked down tight but the Eastern Conference is another matter. The Celtics are still the odds-on favorites to challenge LeBrom James and the Cavs in the ECF next year regardless of how the offseason goes. It’s just a question of how the team will look come the start of next season.

 

The Boston Celtics end the 2016-17 Season on top of the East; Playoffs begin April 15   Leave a comment

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Here are the 16 teams that made the cut. The Heat became the odd team out in the East with the Pacers and Bulls both winning their final games of the season. The Celtics clinched the top spot in the East tonight after the Cavs lost their final game of the season (LBJ, JR Smith and Kevin Love all sat out the game). The Celtics, on the other hand won their last game and yes Isaiah Thomas played (LOL!).

Like the last two years, it’s question of who can upset the Warriors and the Cavs–the odds-on favorites to return to the NBA Finals for the third year in a row–which as of right now appears to be nobody. Remember: The Cavs went full-power and curb-stomped the Celtics in Boston last week just to assert their dominence in the East and remind everyone they are the defending NBA Champions. It quickly made you forget the fact the Celtics beat both the Cavs and Warriors on the road last season (Ending the Warriors’ then 34-game win streak in the process).

Speaking of the home team, at the very least they should make it out of the first round this year. It pleases me greatly to know the third overall pick of the 2016-17 NBA Draft–Celtics rookie Jaylen Brown–will be going to the NBA Playoffs while Brandon Ingram (LA Lakers) and Ben Simmons (76ers), who were drafted ahead of him will watch the playoffs from home. I delight in the irony given the 2016-17 draft was viewed as a 2-man draft in referral to Simmons and Ingram. Simmons got hurt during the preseason and missed most of the season while mismanagement within the Lakers front office ensured they would have a losing record once again. LOL.

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….Back to talking about Celtics Basketball though.

Despite the criticism the Celtics received for “only” getting Al Horford, keeping two of their six Draft picks (Jaylen Brown and Terry Rozier) and stashing the three they kept in Europe or the D-League (Ben Bentil, Gerchon Jabusele and Ante Zizic) the Celtics are in the same position they were last year: Having the assets to literally get anyone they want.

Looking at the playoff picture (and assuming Avery Bradley doesn’t get hurt like he did the last two years LOL), they should get past the Bulls in 5 or 6 games. It helps they have Homecourt advantage. This will make it the first time the Celtcs get out of the first round since Brad Stevens became head coach of the team (falling to the Hawks the last two straight years).

The Wizards are predicted to advance to the second round so they would play the Celtics after their series with the Hawks. The Raptors and Cavs will have their rematch of last year’s ECF in the second round. The Celtics would be looking to get some revenge on John Wall and Bradley Beal in the Second round series. If the Celtics can get past the Wizards in the second round they’ll likely face the Cavs in the ECF.

…Celtics vs. Cavs in the ECF would be a huge draw =O

Once the NBA Playoffs ends, the big question to be asked is “Will the Celtics pull the trigger on getting a superstar this time?!” Only Danny Ainge knows. Many signs point to yes ^_^

Anime Boston 2016 Full Recap   Leave a comment

Anime Boston Banner

Up to now, I did each day in a separate post. AB2016 was more of a blur for me mostly because of how I decided to use my time at the convention and the fact that I was a panelist for the 5th year in a row. This was my first time doing the convention with no budget. The only reason I was able to get through the weekend is because I commuted from home. I can’t imagine I would have been able to get through the weekend if I was in a hotel room because of the added expenses that comes with that. I digress. My financial problems aside, overall I had a pleasant experience.

Anyone who was there and/or followed the goings-on via the Anime Boston Social Facebook Group–which by the way is run and maintained by congoers, NOT the convention itself–was quickly made aware of the lines to get into the Hynes, which were an unfortunate side effect from the increased security presence in the Hynes Convention Center. For those who didn’t know, there was an incident at the Hynes last summer involving a mass shooting plot. Due to this and the Boston Marathon Bombing in 2013, security was stepped up for Anime Boston 2016.

Before I continue, the rest of this recap will be broken up into several categories. Those who are familiar with my Video Game Blog know when I review things, I rate them on a scale of 1 to 10. The same will be done for each category I score below.

Line Flow – 4/10

Easily issue #1 at AB2016. It was atrocious. I heard two particular horror stories that struck a nerve from two folks who gave their experience at the Convention Feedback on Sunday after Closing Ceremonies. For those who don’t know, Convention Feedback is held after Closing Ceremonies in room 208 from 4:00PM to 5:00PM. The heads of all of Anime Boston’s departments, the chair and vice chair are there to listen to your feedback and answer any questions you may have. I’m giving this its own section so I’ll leave it at that for now.

Back to this though: Unlike years’ past, the line problems were exclusively around getting into the con. AB’s had a crapton of bad luck in recent years with the security subcontractors the Hynes hires. This year was possibly the worst yet. I followed the goings-on via Facebook on my cellphone. It was painfully clear most of the security detail didn’t want to be there. After the Prudential Center as usual made noise about the mall entrance to the Hynes being so backed up it became a fire hazard, AB Staff closed the entrance at intervals and moved everyone to the Boylston st. Entrance.

The root cause of the problem, of course was the security checkpoints. For many, it took them 30 minutes minimum to get into the Hynes. It goes without saying those who got in avoided leaving the Hynes unless they had to in order to avoid the line that oftentimes wrapped around the side of the building. I want to again stress the root cause of the lines is the security checkpoints which Anime Boston has no control over.

Unfortunately, they will remain until enough people decide they don’t want to live like that anymore. You will need to contact State Lawmakers and the Hynes and let them know how much the security checkpoints effected your ability to enjoy the convention. Increased security has become the norm since 9/11 but the problem is it’s never lowered once raised. If you don’t speak out, the powers that be see no reason to lower them. That’s the trick, actually.

Here’s some food for thought for those who don’t see this as a “problem”: I have attended the Boston Marathon in the 3 years since the bombing in 2013. Boston Police has security checkpoints all over Copley Square, which is the finish line. As you can probably guess, hundreds of thousands of spectators converge at the finish line–easily much more than Anime Boston’s 25,000 to 30,000 attendees each year–to watch the runners finish the race.

How long does it take to pass through security? 5 minutes max. No metal detectors. No one yelling at you. They check your bag, wand you and you’re on your way in 30 seconds tops. Same city. Same area. Different mindset. I posed the question on Anime Boston’s forums a short time ago to see if changing who does security would help.

Dining Options – 4/10

…For those who didn’t know, the Prudential Center’s food court was closed in the summer of 2015 and was replaced with an Eataly, which is a hybrid Supermarket and Restaurant. Still under construction at the time, this slashed the dinining options for congoers, the majority of whom were either on a budget or like me had no food budget (LOL). This is actually outside Anime Boston’s juristiction but I felt the need to mention it anyway as a Boston native myself.

 

Video Selections – 8/10

As in years past, AB2016 offered a mix of mainstream dubbed anime, mainstream subbed anime and new anime of both types being introduced at the con. All courtesy of the industry of course. One Punch Man was a huge draw of course. Most of the anime, I’d say most Congoers had at least heard of overall. It was nice to see Summer Wars, Angel Beats, Ouran High School Host Club, Spice & Wolf and The Last: Naruto the Movie among the featured anime. I say that because I own ALL of them ^_^

My Panels – 7/10

I decided to mark my 5th staight year as a panelist by doing two panels I’ve done before. One was of course my Clannad panel. The other was my Persona 4 Panel, which I also did at AB2014. Attendance at both was pretty good. Unike AB2015 there were no delays with the start times (WOOT!) and even better, no major technical problems (LOL!). Steam randomly decided to do an update when I did a demonstration of the Clannad VN on my laptop. One lucky Congoer got to play the first 15 minutes of the Clannad VN =O

…Fortunately, I had planned to do my Q&A at the same time so it was a minor delay. It was my 5th and likely final time doing my Clannad panel at Anime Boston. Now that the Clannad VN has (FINALLY!) been released in North America, I felt it was a good time to retire the panel. Even though most of the friends I made because of Clannad have since moved on to other fandoms, it will always be my favorite Anime of all time.

My Persona 4 panel is why I rated this secfion a 7/10: I ended up having to change a few things on the fly. I DID allow two Congoers to sample Persona 4 Golden and Persona 4: Dancing All Night during my Q&A session (As a reminder, I have two Vitas). I also gave away my Persona Arcana deck at the end of the panel. I consider myself lucky even though I had an hour I only used 45 minutes. I feel like with my Persona panel I did a bit too much improvising. In comparison, when I did my Clannad panel the next morning I was feeling extremely comfortable.

Dealer’s Room – N/A

As I mentioned at the top I was broke going into AB2016 so I basically avoided the dealer’s room like The Plague. The one time I remember setting foot in there was for a pre-arranged item swap with a friend of mine working one of the booths. I did chat with the owner of Comicopia for a few minutes on Sunday now that I’m thinking about it.

Convention Feedback – 10/10

Convention organizers did not shy away from the widely reported horror stories involving Line Flow and the Security Firm hired to handle security for the weekend. It goes without saying it took up almost all of the alotted time. AB was in full-on damage control, which when you think about it was pretty unfair since they have no control over the security checkpoints. I was impressed but unsurprised the feedback session had a large turnout. Most of those who provided feedback either shared their experience in what’s been dubbed LineCon 2.0.

Huge props to event organizers on a job well done. They knew going in what the main topic was going to be and they handled the criticism like professionals. On that note, it’s worth pointing out NONE of AB staff are paid including the department heads. It’s all a labor of love ^_^

 

Overall – 8/10

Despite the bottleneck at the security checkpoints things went pretty well. Despite being broke, I had a good time. Of course, being broke meant I had no reason to leave the Hynes until I was ready to go home. I didn’t mind not being able to go in the Dealer’s Room but I DID mind not having the money to buy food. Never again. LOL.
…And there you have it.

Ironically, I posted this 5 days before AB2017. I seriously forgot about it due to problems in my personal life before, during and since AB2016. As it happens, for a while I faced the reality I would not make it to AB2017. Then I got my tax return ^_^

This year I have a little bit of money so I’ll be able to eat, travel and do a little shopping in the Dealer’s Room. I actually entertained getting a hotel room for Saturday night but in the end I have decided not to. Instead, I’ll take a cab from Forest Hills Saturday night like I’ve done in the past. It also helps my birthday is the Thursday of pre-registration so…yeah. LOL.

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New England Patriots make history at Super Bowl IL; Alot of Super Bowl Babies gettin’ made!   Leave a comment

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…The Revenge Tour is complete: Almost 2 hours ago, NFL Commissioner Roger Gooddell handed Tom Brady his fourth MVP Trophy. Unlke Brady and Belicheck, Patriots owner Robert Kraft didn’t hold back in his comments on how sweet this Super Bowl Victory is. Non-Patriots fans be damned, the New England Patriots are America’s Football Team.

Damn those who had the audacity to compare the Patriots’ comeback victory to last year’s Presidential Election. The Falcons winning probably would have been best for business but in the long run, the Patriots ended up being the better team. There’s also this:
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As you know from my last post, the Celtics played Sunday afternoon in Boston. During last summers’ Kevin Durant Sweepstakes IT4 and TB12 met before they met with Kevin Durant. IT said in an interview in recent weeks he and TB have texted back and fourth since they met last summer. Isaiah Thomas is known as the King of the Fourth this season. He earned that title because he takes over the game in the fourth quarter. Brady was seen texting on the sidelines last night. I doubt either would make it public but I would not be surprised if the Brady took some advice from the King of the Fourth watching the game from Boston. As we all know, the Patriots won the game in the Fourth Quarter. It’s hard for me imagine the two didn’t exchange words before or during the game at some point ^_^

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…That brings me to this interesting statistic the NFL apparently started tracking two years ago (LOL!): There is a surge in births 9 months after a Super Bowl, most notably in cities and towns that are fans of the teams involved in the big game. In other words, some babies are gettin’ made!

All the more reason the day after the Super Bowl should be made a national holiday. LOL.

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