Tom Brady on injury report? Really?

Each Friday, the National Football League issues its official Injury Report, a report that has always been punctuated by winks and nods.

The winks and nods are mainly directed to bookmakers around the globe. The league fears a gambling scandal more than it fears lawsuits brought by retirees with brain damage from multiple concussions, yet it offers a weekly rundown on its stars’ physical status to anyone interested in placing a dollar or two on one team or another, not to mention millions of fantasy football devotees.

Officially speaking, the report is issued to make sure teams are giving their opponents an honest assessment of who might or might not play. This, of course, assumes that the only other way the folks in Buffalo could find out anything concerning Tom Brady’s allegedly bum ankle is by having a Western Union carrier bicycle from Foxborough, Mass., to Orchard Park, N.Y.

Brady may well have an ankle injury, but his presence on the injury report is irrelevant. Bill Belichick has had Brady on the Patriots’ injury report more often than not during the quarterback’s long, storied career. Shoulder, elbow, knee, hand and various major muscle problems have made Brady’s presence in dozens of games questionable.

Typically, the line with Brady’s name is shrugged off, sort of like jokes that stop drawing chuckles a generation ago. Let us hope he gallantly hobbles onto the field this afternoon and throws for five touchdowns and 400 yards.

Wink, wink.

GOOD CALL: Apparently the Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl football game, pitting New Hampshire high school alums against their Vermont counterparts, may be on its way out. It was reported that the Shriners in New Hampshire are inclined to break free from their brethren in Vermont, citing the dwindling amount of money raised for their hospitals, which in great part is because of the game’s competitive decline.

New Hampshire has been routinely stomping Vermont for a few decades now. There are several lines of conjecture to explain the imbalance of talent, but they are basically meaningless. Whatever the reason, football in New Hampshire is on a higher plane.

Perhaps the state Shriners could come up with different fund-raising vehicles that showcase state athletes. The football showcase now belongs to the CHaD game in June, a fundraiser for the Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth-Hitchcock. Most of the top players opt for this intrastate all-star bash, which has quickly become a popular event.

We should know this week whether the Maple Sugar Bowl will finally take the cue and bow out.

ROYAL PERFORMANCE: Fellow seamheads: How great is it watching the Kansas City Royals barrel through the playoffs?

The little engine that wouldn’t even try to compete with the big boys is now making them look dazed and confused, not to mention overrated.

And now they have a chance to send old pal Dan Duquette home for the winter.

Alan Greenwood can be reached at 594-6427 or Also,
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