The Couch Slouch

Tale of the tape: Tom Brady vs. the Slouch

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I often daydream about Tom Brady.

Yes, I am obsessed with TB12. Why wouldn't I be? Who am I going to obsess over during this pandemic, Jay Cutler?

So The Greatest Quarterback Who Ever Lived finishes his unparalleled two decades as a New England Patriot and now decides to spend his next two NFL decades as a Tampa Bay Buccaneer. He's in Tampa for, oh, 15 minutes, and already…

-- While working out in a park, he gets ejected because he is violating its coronavirus closure, but he receives an apology from Mayor Jane Castor.

-- He tries to visit Buccaneers offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich's house and mistakenly walks into his next-door neighbor's home, then an NFL probe determines Brady did not violate the league's offseason work rules.

-- An auction to benefit coronavirus food needs nets a $800,000 bid for four tickets to Brady's first Buccaneers home game, his jersey and cleats from that game and dinner with Titanic Tom.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: Nothing bad ever happens to this guy. The sun shines on him nearly 24-7, and even when it rains, he walks between the drops.

What a 21st century for this guy – the tuck rule leads to his first Super Bowl title; he impregnates his girlfriend, a model, then before the birth of their first child, moves on to a supermodel; he has a season-ending knee injury in 2008, but hasn't been touched on or off the field since; he overcomes both Spygate and Deflategate for six championships total.

Meanwhile…

In one of the freakish oddities of my checkered life, Brady and I shared the same agent for 17 years – I am not making this up – and in that period of time, TB12 earned about $225 million in NFL contracts and I earned less than $50,000 in deals our rep brought to me. Essentially, we are a latter-day Henry and Tommie Aaron: together, the brothers combined for 768 home runs; together, TB12 and I combined for almost $225.1 million in salary.

(Column Intermission: Speaking of Jay Cutler, the longtime Chicago Bears quarterback and Kristin Cavallari are getting a divorce. I guess she finally looked at his NFL stats.)

The fact of the matter is, in just about every walk of life, Brady outdistances Couch Slouch.

He played football, basketball and football in high school. I played ping pong, pinball and hooky.

He graduated from Michigan with a general studies degree. I graduated from Maryland with an American studies degree. America is a big subject, but "general" is even bigger, no?

He was lightly regarded in his field coming out of college as a sixth-round pick. I have been lightly regarded in my field till this very day.

He has won three NFL most valuable player awards. I took first place in the 2005 U.S. Bowler Writing Competition in the "editorial" category.

He's played himself in "The Simpsons," "Family Guy" and "Entourage." I played myself in the 2005 ESPN drama "Tilt." Note: 2005 was a BIG year for me.

He advocates drinking 1/32nd of one's body weight in water each day. I buy Orange Crush by the keg.

He is friends with President Trump. I voted for Ralph Nader in 2000.

He favors Transcendental Meditation. I close my eyes when "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" comes on.

He launched his own line of vegan snacks. I eat Fritos and Bugles.

He is quarantining in Derek Jeter's 30,000-square-foot home that he's renting. I am quarantining in my 1,300-square-foot home that my bank owns.

He has had endorsement deals with Aston Martin, Beautyrest, Cadillac, Foot Locker, Glaceau Smartwater, IWC watches, Nike, Sam Adams, Tag Heuer watches, Ugg footwear, Under Armour, Upper Deck, Visa and Wheaties. I give unpaid plugs to Yuengling in this column.

His book, "The TB12 Method: How to Achieve a Lifetime of Sustained Peak Performance," reached No. 1 on the New York Times' best-seller list. My book, "Hold On, Honey, I'll Take You to the Hospital at Halftime," can occasionally be found at yard sales.

On the other hand, he's only been married once. I got him there.

Ask The Slouch

Q. Now that POTUS has suggested injections of disinfectant and UV rays, is Barry Bonds on his way to Cooperstown? (Malcolm Wilson; Kensington, Md.)

A. Pay the man, Shirley.

Q. How many episodes of "The Last Dance" do we have to wade through before they get to Ickey Woods? (Steve McClemons; Arlington, Va.)

A. Pay the man, Shirley.

Q. Under the NCAA's student-athlete rule changes, can I buy my seats directly from a player and avoid the middleman mark-up? (Steve Smith; Potomac, Md.)

A. Pay the man, Shirley.

Q. Wait, wasn't the NFL's pass interference replay review supposed to take care of "contact tracing"? (Terry Golden; Vienna, Va.)

A. Pay the man, Shirley.

Q. Would it be worth $1.25 if I nominated you for the Noble Prize in poker? (Jeff Gold; Columbia, Md.)

A. Pay the man, Shirley.

Q. The Orioles are having a better year, don't you think? (Steve Owings; Spokane, Wash.)

A. Pay the man, Shirley.

You, too, can enter the $1.25 Ask The Slouch Cash Giveaway. Just email asktheslouch@aol.com and, if your question is used, you win $1.25 in cash!


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Houston's losing streak extended to five games

With key Astros missing, Detroit completes the series sweep

An overall bad day for the Astros on Wednesday. Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

On Wednesday afternoon, the Astros received a big blow to their chances in the series finale against Detroit and potentially longer. Five players: Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman, Yordan Alvarez, Martin Maldonado, and Robel Garcia would all be moved to the IL due to health and safety protocols, leaving them scrambling to get a whole team together for the game against the Tigers.

The Astros would not be able to overcome both the loss of players and the onslaught of another strong start by Detroit in Wednesday's game which put them too far out front for Houston to come back from to avoid a series sweep.

Final Score: Tigers 6, Astros 4

Astros' Record: 6-6, third in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Michael Fulmer (1-0)

Losing Pitcher: Lance McCullers Jr. (1-1)

Tigers knock out another starter early

Detroit continued their success of making Houston's starter work hard in early innings, getting after Lance McCullers Jr., and giving him an early exit. After a lengthy fist, they broke through in the second getting two hits, a walk, a hit batter, and an RBI groundout to put up three runs on 34 pitches.

He would have a quicker 1-2-3 third, but after giving up a single, a walk, and hitting another batter to load the bases and reach 87 pitches, he would be removed in favor of Joe Smith. Smith would allow all three of the inherited runners to score, adding those runs to McCullers Jr.'s final line: 3.2 IP, 4 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 3 BB, 3 K, 87 P.

Astros try to claw back into it

After Smith would go on to load the bases again in the inning, still with two outs, Houston made another pitching change to bring in Brandon Bielak to get the third out and stop the bleeding at 6-0. The Astros would get on the board in the fifth, getting a runner on base to set up a two-run homer by Jason Castro to cut the lead to 6-2.



Bielak remained in the game to try and eat up as many innings as possible. While he continued to hold the Tigers to their six runs through the six innings, the Astros clawed back into the game. In the bottom of the sixth, Houston put their first two batters on base with a walk and single before an RBI-single by Yuli Gurriel to make it 6-3. They would threaten for more but be held there for the time being.

Astros can't cash in, Tigers complete sweep

Ryne Stanek was Houston's next reliever in the top of the seventh, getting a 1-2-3 frame to keep it a three-run game, as did Brooks Raley in the eighth. In the home part of the inning, the Astros put their first two runners on base on an error and a walk, then loaded them with a one-out single by Carlos Correa. They'd waste their chance to make something happen, though, with an inning-ending double-play.

Ryan Pressly, who had no save opportunities in recent games, entered to get some work in the top of the ninth. He worked around a leadoff double for a scoreless inning, sending the 6-3 game to the bottom of the ninth. The Astros had yet another chance to make something happen, loading the bases with no outs to bring the go-ahead run to the plate. After two outs, Yuli Gurriel would bring one run in with a walk, but that's as close as they'd come, extending their losing streak to five games and getting swept by the Tigers.

Up Next: Houston will get a much-needed day off tomorrow to try and leave this poor homestand behind them. They'll pick things up in Seattle on Friday, with first pitch of the opener of three games at 9:10 PM Central. The expected pitching matchup is Jose Urquidy (0-1, 5.23 ERA) for the Astros and Yusei Kikuchi (0-0, 3.75 ERA) for the Mariners.

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