Friday, August 25, 2017

JIM CANTORE VS PAUL DEVLIN: TALE OF THE 'WEATHER' TAPE





Since transitioning  from sports into news, I've had the opportunity to cover numerous
snowstorms in New England. When snow is in the forecast, one of the first things that
    comes out of the news director's mouth is, "Let's get Devlin out there at 4:30 a.m." I
    embrace the elements with driving rain, sleet, and snow pelting my face like darts
    going into a board. It's the next best thing to covering a Super Bowl. (wink,wink)


   When extreme weather breaks, The Weather Channel sends its Tom Brady out to cover it.
   Jim Cantore is the meteorologist by which everyone is measured against. When I grow up
   I want to be just like him. After covering more than 20 storms, I thought it was time
   to see just how I measure up with the Sultan of Storms. Here's a tongue-in-cheek look
   at the tale of the tape.

First job out of college:

                                                      Cantore  The Weather Channel 


                                                       Devlin   The Boston Red Sox



Jobs since:

                                                                         Cantore  0


                                                                    Devlin About 23



Salary:

Cantore $1.2 million a year

                                                                Devlin Not enough.


Passion:

                                                        Cantore Covering the weather


                                                                    Devlin Eating



Most famous hit:

                                                 Cantore  Kicking a heckler live on-air.


                                            Devlin Belting a home run in "Bull Durham."


Famous for:

                                               Cantore  Being overly dramatic all the time.


                                        Devlin Being overly dramatic when the time is right.




Most proud of:

                                              Cantore Building a snowman in Syracuse


                                           Devlin Finishing the Ironman in Lake Placid



Gets excited when:

                                          Cantore Boston gets hit with an epic snowstorm.


                               Devlin When he can report on the weather from inside the car.



Most used lines on the air:

                                       Cantore  Stay inside for this one, it's going to be epic.



Devlin     Hey, those national guys are always wrong. Get out and do what you have to
                do, the world is not ending. No need to buy every loaf of bread at the market.




Hidden talent:

                                            Cantore  Can do bicep curls in his sleep.


                                  Devlin Can dance to any song, anytime, and anywhere.




Career goals:

                                      Cantore  Report live from the middle of a Tsunami.


                                       Devlin  Report live from San Diego every single day.


Sunday, August 6, 2017

CATCHING UP WITH JOHN MARTIN


11 years.

That may seem like a long time, but I found that once I turned 40-years-old, life seems to
morph into a frenetic sprint to finish what was started in the 1960's. A year goes by like a summer,
a month goes by like a week, and a week is over before a rooster can see the sun rise in the east.

Some days I feel like screaming, "Whoa, slow the heck down! What the heck is the rush?!"

It had been 11 years since I had seen John Martin. We were co-workers at NESN in Boston
and often paired together in that dream world of covering sports in the one of the greatest cities
on the planet.

We weren't best friends but we shared some amazing, if not hilarious, moments during our
assignments covering the New England Patriots. There were road trips to Pittsburgh, Denver,
Charlotte, and many other places along the way. John was a true professional as a videographer.
He didn't work by the clock or for the paycheck, but rather for the love of the job and the amount
of pride he took in it.

We never looked for the approval of  higher-ups at the station, but rather each other. We had
very high standards and knew when our product was damn good or just good. We sugarcoated
nothing and never looked for a pat on the back from others.

I'm not sure we ever said good-bye when I departed NESN in the late summer of 2006.
Perhaps, it was because there was an understanding that our paths would someday cross again
in the business. It happens more often than not in the world of sports television.

Except that it didn't.

There was the occasional text, tweet, or phone call out of nowhere. But other than that, Martin
may as well has been in Bangkok. I may as well have been in Anchorage. Our paths didn't come
close to intersecting. But we were still friends, through and through.


Over the course of those 11 years since we last saw each other, things changed. A lot. There
were new jobs and moves to new cities for me. And life changed in the blink of an eye for
Martin in the cruelest of ways.

Last October, Martin was diagnosed with ALS, or Lou Gerhig's disease.  He stepped away
from a career that he loved and one where he was universally respected. His life as he knew it,
was put on pause. Martin, with an amazing wife, Adrienne, and two beautiful girls, Kaia and
Gabby, have to battle a disease that has never lost.

Life is not fair. Anyone who has lived on this earth long enough knows bad things often
happen to the best of people. John Martin is the very best of people. And as I've often said
before, he's as solid in character as the 150-year-old oak tree that stands strong and proudly in the
middle of the forest.

Very few people escape the world without dealing with some form of hardship or tragedy. I
realize diseases don't discriminate, but this just didn't seem fair.


I planned on being in Boston during the weekend of August 4-6 and reached out to Martin
as I wanted to see my former co-worker whom I enjoyed so many great times with. It was
extremely important to me.

When my girlfriend, Kim, and I pulled up to his home in Newton, nothing at all really
seemed to change. There was John in his baseball hat and sunglasses with that trademark
mile-wide grin on his face. That was the JPM I knew.

We never embraced when we worked together. There was no time for any kind of man-love
on the job. We were too busy and besides, we weren't in to the Roger Goodell hug-a-draft
pick-kind of thing, anyway.

But that changed when I saw him. I gave him a long embrace hoping it would take away
just a little bit of the overwhelming pain that he's been dealing with it. We shared a lot of
stories and some good laughs over the next 90 minutes.

However, the effects of the wretched disease has started to take its toll. Martin said there
is weakness on the left side of his body. He now wears a brace to stabilize his left leg. JPM
can no longer stand for long periods of time. It is heartbreaking

The entire Boston sports and television community has rallied around JPM to make things
a little better for him and his family. Financial contributions continue to come in after his
diagnosis in October.

Several weeks ago, Steve Buckley, the longtime sportswriter for the Boston Herald and
founder of a long-running Old-Timers game, announced this year's event would benefit
Martin in his battle against ALS. It's a wonderful gesture by Buckley to honor and help
out a wonderful person in Martin.

John showed me the old-time uniform he'll be wearing on August 17, the date of the game.
It's a retro Los Angeles Angels uniform, which Martin requested since the Angels are
the name of the youth baseball team he has coached in Dorchester for the last 30 years.

Even better, Pedro Martinez, the baseball hall of famer and Red Sox great who will be
pitching in the game, has stated that he will pick up Martin at his home in Newton and
take him to the game.

How cool is that?

Martin deserves it. He is a great man who happens to be battling a terrible disease. The
game on August 17 may feature Pedro Martinez, but it will be all about John Martin. It's
his day to get the recognition he deserves. He earned it during his 19 years as a videographer
for NESN.

There aren't many people like John Martin.

I realized that when we worked together and it was reinforced as we embraced again
before I headed back to Connecticut . He is truly a special person.

There are moments when I wish time would just stand still so we can give the people we
love and care for all the help they need to get through difficult times. But I know life doesn't
work that way as it waits for no one.

I hope the great people of New England and beyond continue to help out Martin and his
family by providing some financial assistance to Martin. The tough times will only get tougher.

He needs our support.

He deserves our support.

Please contribute. A little goes a long way for Martin and his family.

https://www.gofundme.com/jmartinfund

Thursday, August 3, 2017

TOM BRADY TURNS 40 AND MEDIA GOES CRAZY


August 3.

Tom Brady turned 40 and the media goes bat shit crazy. There are tributes, memes, videos, and
just about anything else that can be posted on Facebook and Twitter to mark the milestone for
the quarterback of the New England Patriots.

I get it.

LaVar Ball says something stupid and the media falls all over themselves trying to cover and
dispense it. Total insanity. Total ignorance. Oh, sure, it's great click bait in the Kardashian-loving society we live in,  but seriously, at what point does the media stop covering stupid? At what
point do we stop making a big deal about everything?

Never.

Brady is an incredible athlete with amazing drive, dedication, and commitment. You know the
big stat: 5-time Super Bowl champion. And if you've been on the Internet over the past year, then
you know about him eating avocado ice cream, drinking gallon after gallon of water everyday,
and working with his personal training guru. That's awesome. Truly.


I respect Brady more than any athlete on the planet. I respect the work ethic and total
commitment to his craft, mind, and body. But please don't call me a "fan" or even a "supporter."
I stopped doing that kind of stuff a long, long time ago. I don't root for teams or even have
a favorite one. However, after covering Brady and the Patriots during every practice and
every game for a two-year period, I have a colossal amount of respect for the franchise
quarterback and the franchise itself.

However, I wasn't doing cartwheels or going gaga over Brady as he turned 40 simply
because a few others have already been there and done that while doing some great things.

Brett Favre, who at one time was more of a poster boy for partying rather than physical fitness,
had a great year at the age of 40. He started all 16 games and led the Minnesota Vikings to
a 12-4 record and the NFC Championship. His stat line was pretty impressive, too. 
Favre at 40: 33 TD passes against only seven interceptions. And he completed 68 percent of his passes.  I don't remember anybody mentioning Favre eating avocado ice cream, much less
celebrating his 40th birthday like everyone seems to be doing with Brady.


Warren Moon started at quarterback for the Seattle Seahawks at 42. Back then, I marveled
at Moon's physical fitness level and success. He didn't lead his team to the Super Bowl,
but he was still slinging passes effectively at that age.

Perhaps everyone is making a big deal about Brady turning 40 is because he's considered
the greatest of all-time. I get it.

But many people consider Gordie Howe to be the best all-around hockey player of all-time and
Mr. Hockey played in the NHL at age 51 where he racked up 45 points. When he was a young
pup at the age of 40, Howe posted 103 points for the Detroit Red Wings.


Jaromir Jagr finished last season for the Florida Panthers as a 45-year-old stud.

Nolan Ryan was still throwing heat at the age of 44.

Brady is truly incredible. I get that. But playing quarterback at 40 has been done before in
the NFL. Playing at 40 and having success has been done in just about every other sport,
as well.

Barriers that have been broken for the first time usually get a great deal of attention. After
that, it's usually, been there seen that.

Happy Birthday, Tom Brady. 40 is a great number, but it's been reached before and people
have been successful at that age. I'm sure you get it. Too bad most of the media
doesn't.