Jimmermania has only just begun


Jimmermania has only just begun

By Mary Paoletti

Poor Jimmer.

The kid can't even go to class anymore. Ever since BYU didn't win the NCAA title game (again), Jimmer has become so famous that his classmates have been hounding him for photos.

His father, Al, told the Post-Star that the attention "...was getting too disruptive. He can't go anywhere in Provo Utah without being recognized."

Consequently, Jimmer has to finish his course work online instead of enjoying relative obscurity like the rest of his lucky duck BYU teammates. Our fancy WGS cameras have gotten some great photos of The Jimmer getting hounded by these disrespectful jerks.

The pictures tell a sad story.

There have also been offers to make appearances for a lot of money. The Fredettes said one corporation offered to pay Jimmer 20,000 and take care of all of his expenses to appear at an event in Miami.

"I asked him what he does on campus when he goes out," said Al Fredette. "He said he wears a hoodie and tries not to make eye contact."

He should have tried pulling the hoodie over his eyes. That might have helped.

But, alas, the attention didn't stop no matter where Fredette traveled to collect his national player of the year awards. He was followed to the Final Four in Houston (where BYU never played) and to Los Angeles, where he won the John R. Wooden Award.

It was in LA that Jimmer tried a clever tactic used by his hero, Raven Symone.

It didn't work. Jimmer's bold statement only made the photographers and autograph-seekers hungrier. This is when things got really ugly: Fredette freaked.

He got angry for the first time when returning to his dorm after getting a post-season manicure.

The next night Jimmer was supposed to go to an umbrella convention, but a super fan parked his car at the end of the driveway to wait for a photo-op.

He got one:

Tragedy struck when the guy whose car got busted up asked Jimmer to sign one of the bigger dents in the vehicle.

Fredette ate them all. Every single person.

Maybe it's a good thing that BYU lost in the Sweet 16.

Injury report: Amendola out for Ravens game, Bennett questionable

Injury report: Amendola out for Ravens game, Bennett questionable

Wide receiver Danny Amendola was officially listed as out on the injury report for the Patriots' Monday night home game against the Baltimore Ravens.

Amendola injured his ankle on a punt return against the Los Angeles Rams last Sunday. It will be the first game he's missed this season. The Patriots signed veteran wide receiver and kick returner Griff Whalen during the week.

Tight end Martellus Bennett (ankle, shoulder) is among the Pats listed as questionable, along with special teams ace Matt Slater (foot), who missed the Rams game, safety Jordan Richards (knee), linebacker Elandon Roberts (hamstring) and cornerback Eric Rowe (hamstring).

Whalen, part of Colts' infamous fake punt play, settles in with Patriots

Whalen, part of Colts' infamous fake punt play, settles in with Patriots

FOXBORO – Griff Whalen was at the epicenter of one of the stupidest, funniest, most “did that just happen?!” plays in NFL history.

So indescribable it never even really earned a name, it was the fourth-down gadget play the Colts tried to run against the Patriots on Sunday Night Football in the first meeting between the teams after Indy ran to the principal’s office to start Deflategate. 

Whalen was the center on that play (I tried to call it “Fourth-and-Wrong” but it didn’t take) and the millisecond between him snapping the ball and the three players processing that the ball had indeed been snapped is perhaps my favorite moment of the past several seasons. 

Whalen is a Patriot now, brought in this week in the wake of Danny Amendola’s knee injury presumably to fill Amendola’s role as a punt returner and wideout. The Colts released him last January, the Dolphins picked him up and cut him at the end of training camp and the Chargers had him on their roster from mid-September until releasing him last month after eight games, two catches and 22 yards. He returned kickoffs for San Diego but no punts since 2015.

The primary area of need for the Patriots is on punt returns. Rookie Cyrus Jones’ transition to appearing comfortable remains glacially slow. It was Jones’ muff last week that brought on Amendola in relief. When Amendola hurt his ankle on a late-game return, the Patriots were forced to decide between Jones, wideout Julian Edelman (who doesn’t need extra work) and making a move.

Whalen is a move they made.

The slight and baby-faced Whalen indicated he had fielded some punts in practice, saying it went, “Fine.” Punt returns are something he’s done “since I was a kid.”

His first impression of the team was, "A lot of what I expected to see. A lot of detail. A lot of effort in practice. Good coaching all-around. I am excited to be here. I was excited to come into a good team that I’d gone against a few times. Hopefully come in and help out the team with whatever I can.”

I asked Whalen if he saw much of the commentary or creativity last year’s failed play spawned.

“I wasn’t paying too much attention,” he said. “When it’s during the season guys are pretty locked in on what they’re doing inside the building. But I heard more about it later on afterwards.”

Asked if he’d heard anything about the play since being here, Whalen replied, “I haven’t. Kinda was [expecting it].”

The Patriots will be hoping Whalen remains as productive for them on fourth down this year as he was in 2015.