TOM WARD - Hey Pats: Do your job

TOM WARD - Hey Pats: Do your job

You have to wonder: How is it that New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick and President Donald Trump are friends? One of them doesn’t know how to shut up, and the other hasn’t uttered anything that would give an outsider any insight into his work for the past 19 years.

Last week, ESPN reported there was trouble in Patriots paradise, and that “Greatest of All Time” quarterback Tom Brady’s workout and health guru, Alex Guerrero, was to the Patriots what Yoko Ono was to the Beatles. (And people of a certain age know how that worked out.) By the weekend, Belichick was said to be on his way to the New York Giants, according to hopeful reports in the Big Apple. Imagine a New York Yankees powerhouse team next summer, followed by Belichick is a Giants hoodie! Sacre bleu!

My question: Would any of this be happening if Jimmy Garoppolo, Brady’s ex-backup quarterback, was 2-3 in his debut with the San Francisco 49ers? I doubt it. Suddenly, with his 5-0 start, it seems to Patriots Nations and ESPN that the world has ended with the Pats throwing away their future. Really?

By Monday, Belichick was Belichick, telling fans he was happy with the Patriots, loved owner Robert Kraft and Brady, and had work to do as the playoffs were set to begin. According to Belichick, there was no friction over the Garoppolo trade.

So what’s the truth? Who knows? What I’m sure of is we’ll never find out until the book is written by one of the B&B football legends, and that’s still years away. In the meantime, here’s hoping that the Tennessee Titans look as good as they looked last weekend. It shouldn’t be too hard to send that bunch back to Nashville.

I’m also saying a prayer for the Jacksonville Jaguars. I don’t think we want to run into the Pittsburgh Steelers again. They’re still smarting from the game-winning Jesse James catch that “didn’t survive the ground” and moved the AFC Championship game out of Heinz Field. I imagine they’re still pretty PO’d.

Notable start

It was a pleasure to be on hand as the General Assembly’s House of Representatives opened last week. As part of the ceremony, Cumberland High School’s Clef Singers sang the national anthem, and did an extraordinary job, their work noted by Speaker Nicholas Mattiello as they finished. A hat tip to not only the students, but to Rep. Mia Ackerman for making their appearance possible.

Landmark change

Though Woonsocket Mayor Lisa Baldelli-Hunt will still be working with an improved economy and accommodative Statehouse, she will for the first time this year feel the sting of not having the extra million dollars plus from the city’s Landmark Medical Center. Landmark became a for-profit hospital when she arrived, delivering an added $1.7 million in taxes. Net the loss of an approximately $300,000 PILOT payment from the state, the city gained about $1.4 million annually. Some went to turn on streetlights; some for her successful street paving program, some for a publicist, and some for tax relief. The bond rating for the city has been healing.

Now, that cash is gone. This will be a challenging budget season as she grapples with a City Council that generally doesn’t see things her way, people who may have their own ideas.

Landmark’s status means nothing to those in need of health care, however, as the hospital continues with its modernization and improvements, including this year’s start to building a new Trauma Center on Cass Avenue.

So cosmopolitan!

Put me down as a “yes” for changing the name of T.F. Green Airport to Rhode Island International Airport. It’s better branding for the state, and it’s free (after fixing a few signs.) Sorry, Senator Green. Time’s up.

CV Yes!

CVS Health, headquartered in Woonsocket and now the 7th largest company in the United States, reports that the drop in corporate taxes will save them $1 billion per year. Whether through bonuses or higher wages in the years ahead, I trust there will be a boost to northern Rhode Island’s economy as some of that money “trickles down” to area employees.

Ward is publisher of The Valley Breeze newspapers


...moving on. Be careful what you wish for. Jags defense lines up better against Pat's receivers than Steelers. Pats have more experience with Steelers. May be better the devil you know.