At opening night of Celebrate Brooklyn! in Prospect Park this past Wednesday night, event organizer BRIC, the leading presenter of free cultural programming in Brooklyn, honored independent club owner, concert promoter, publisher, and overall good guy Peter Shapiro. The man behind Brooklyn Bowl, The Capitol Theatre, Relix, Lockn’ Festival, Jazz & Colors, the Grateful Dead’s 50th Anniversary Fare Thee Well performances, and a myriad of other ventures was being celebrated for all of these accomplishments, but more importantly for his commitment to the arts, culture, and community in continuously working to make such events, initiatives and programs accessible to everyone.Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings had the honors of headlining the first concert at the Bandshell this summer. It was the groups first time back at the park since 2010, and they did not disappoint. Even at 60 years old and two bouts with cancer under her belt, Jones has more energy than most people in their twenties. Watching her dance around the stage and take command of the entire ensemble, she is like the female version of James Brown, as that uptempo soul-funk just begs for you to get up and dance. After the main stage performance in the Gala Tent, the festivities continued with a special disco-funk dj set from WFUV‘s Rita Houston that kept the evening rolling along in fine fashion.Prior to the performances, the Opening Night Gala to kick off the 38th season of the BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Performing Arts Festival saw presenters Leslie G. Schultz and Jack Walsh (President and Vice President of BRIC, respectively) along with artists and long-time friends such as Soulive/Lettuce guitarist Eric Krasno and Joe Russo’s Almost Dead/Benevento-Russo Duo drummer and namesake Joe Russo deliver a few words about “Shappy” (as his friends call him), to an audience consisting of musicians Marc Brownstein and Aron Magner of The Disco Biscuits, Almost Dead/American Babies Tom Hamilton, Scott Metzger, moe.’s Al Schnier, Mississippi Allstars’ Luther Dickinson, Jackie Greene, Michael Franti, Lettuce/Soulive’s Neal Evans, Blues Travelers John Popper, DJ Logic, HeadCount executive director Andy Bernstein (Shapiro is a founding board member), along with collaborators from Madison House, Shore Fire Media, and more. Krasno discussed Shapiro’s uncanny ability to make things happen, “Peter is never afraid to take a chance. He is a master connector, and always puts the best people together to make the best events”.As Shapiro spoke, you couldn’t help but notice the humble spirit and obvious super fan come out in the way he talks about music and these epic events that he has spearheaded over the years. After thanking his wife, Shore Fire Media Vice President Rebecca Shapiro, his two children Roxy and Simon, his supportive mother and two brothers, as well as his entire team at Dayglo Ventures he took time to recognize two people in his life that were responsible for all of this: his father and lawyer David Shapiro and Wetlands Preserve founder Larry Bloch, both of whom have since passed. Without Bloch’s willingness to hand over the club to a gung-ho 23-year old in 1996, along with his belief in Shapiro’s vision, as well as the support and both life and legal advice from his father, we may have not had those last five years (from 1996-2001) of one of the best clubs New York City has ever seen, and who knows if Brooklyn Bowl ever comes into fruition. He did sneak in a third person very important figure, just for the record. You guessed it….Jerry Garcia.Shapiro went on to discuss the importance of having spaces and events in which people can create, celebrate, and mourn. There are three staples that need to happen for this type of intrinsic success:1. Good weather2. Focusing on net worth doesn’t create a good vibe. Make people happy first and foremost, then worry about making a few dollars for yourself.3. Create magic and memoriesPeople’s memories of you last forever, and going that extra step to achieve the best possible vibe is the “X” factor that Peter Shapiro has accounted for in all of his ventures, and the reason why he is such a successful businessman, organizer, and community leader. Having served on the Board of Directors of the City Parks Foundation Arts Committee for several years, being a founding board member of HeadCount, and his involvement in other non-profit organizations, Shapiro is an example of how you can be a success in business while still doing incredible philanthropic deeds and leaving a positive impact on the community. He left us with a quote that he and his daughter came up with, “The only way to achieve the impossible is to believe the possible, and to do it with others”. Keep on believing, Peter, because we most certainly believe in you.[all photos courtesy Marc Millman Photography] Load remaining images
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Elsewhere in Pool D, Italy and Romania complete their campaigns with a meeting at Exeter’s Sandy Park from 2.30.Elsewhere Argentina take on Namibia at the King Power in Leicester.Japan cant qualify now but the Brave Blossoms will look to end the tournament with some pride when they take on the USA at Gloucester. Ireland play France at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium, where the winners will top the pool and avoid a last-eight meeting with the All Blacks.Plenty has been made of the physical challenge that France will pose, but it’s something Ireland captain Paul O’Connell is aware of and is prepared for.Kick off in Cardiff is at quarter-to-five.
If that is not enough, then consider Belichick’s draft history. The Patriots have made nine first-round picks since 2010 – and the highest draft pick was Nate Solder at No. 17 in 2011. Now, if you want to talk about a package deal of draft picks to attain the No. 1 pick and get Lawrence in that fashion? That makes much more sense than tanking. Anyting else is merely wild speculation. https://images.daznservices.com/di/library/sporting_news/63/c8/trevor-lawrence-getty-ftr-072420jpg_10edwk7nehwr019fpbvr4a0mtl.jpg?t=-2110541933&w=500&quality=80Trevor Lawrence isn’t the only franchise QB in 2021 NFL DraftLawrence has been bookmarked as the No. 1 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft since his freshman season with the Tigers, and his resume speaks for itself. He is 25-1 as a starter the last two seasons, and he’s led Clemson to back-to-back appearances in the College Football Playoff championship game. Lawrence is generally considered a generational talent in the mold of John Elway, Peyton Manning and Andrew Luck – all No. 1 picks in the NFL Draft. There are other potential franchise quarterbacks in the draft, however. Ohio State’s Justin Fields is a returning Heisman Trophy finalist who edged out Lawrence at the Elite 11 Passing Academy when both were in high school. North Dakota State’s Trey Lance is another potential first-round pick, and both of those quarterbacks have the potential to be long-term starters in the NFL. Keep in mind that Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa was considered the front-runner to be the No. 1 pick in 2020, and LSU’s Joe Burrow changed that by putting together one of the best seasons in college football history. There is room for surprises for the coming season — if there is one. NFL COACH RANKINGS:Has Bill Belichick’s reign at No. 1 come to an end?The Patriots’ track record What if the Patriots went 1-15 in 2020? This is a franchise that has won at least 10 games in 17 consecutive seasons. The Patriots were 12-4 in 2019. Only two teams in NFL history — the 1993-94 Houston Oilers and 2012-13 Houston Texans — have endured a 10-game drop in wins from one season to the next. If New England were to experience such a drop-off, the tanking conspiracy theories would be off the charts. This is a franchise that is already infamous for the Spygate and Deflategate scandals. New England lost a draft pick for a videotaping incident involving the Cincinnati Bengals’ sideline last season. It would be too obvious if the Patriots had such a drop, and there is no guarantee they would have the worst record in the NFL. On top of that, does Belichick strike you as a coach who would want to lose on purpose? Bill Belichick won’t lose Simply put, it’s not in Belichick’s nature to lose. He has 273 regular-season victories; which is the third-most in NFL history behind Don Shula (328) and George Halas (318). Belichick, 68, has done that over 25 seasons as a head coach. This is the same coach who guided the Patriots to 11 wins in 2008 with Matt Cassel when Brady was lost with a season-ending knee injury. New England also went 3-1 with Jimmy Garoppolo and Jacoby Brissett while Brady was serving his four-game suspension for Deflategate in 2016. Now, in a year where Brady is in Tampa Bay – there is more incentive than ever for Belichick to win without his star quarterback. Six New England Patriots have opted out of the 2020 season, a list that includes Dont’a Hightower, Marcus Cannon, Patrick Chung, Danny Vitale, Najee Toran and Brandon Bolden. After those decisions, Trevor Lawrence began trending on Twitter, and the correlation with Patriots coach Bill Belichick is as scripted as the memes that followed: (Getty Images) Bill Belichick watching all of his players opt out so he can tank and get Trevor Lawrence in the draft. pic.twitter.com/liuYBLY61W— Dom Ingram (@DommieIngram) July 28, 2020Great, Coach Belichick is going to draft Trevor Lawrence. pic.twitter.com/5IFcRKppi3— Seef (@chiefseef8) July 28, 2020Bill Belichick has key players opting out this season to rest up for the 2021 SuperBowl run led by Trevor Lawrence. #Patriots #NFL pic.twitter.com/tWg3fRDYSC— Over The Top Sports Show (@THEOTTSSHOW) July 28, 2020Is Belichick tanking the 2020 NFL season in an effort to get the star Clemson quarterback as part of a diabolical scheme to get the No. 1 pick. In the 2021 NFL Draft? One anonymous NFL executive posited the question to ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Tuesday in response to news of the Patriots six opt-outs, by far the most in the NFL so far.But the answer is a hard no. Here are all the reasons why: MORE: Complete list of NFL players opting out of the 2020 seasonThis is about COVID-19 Hightower is the most notable NFL player to opt out because of COVID-19, and those motivations are health-related. NFL.com reported Hightower became a first-time father on July 16 and his mother has Type 2 diabetes. To suggest Hightower would voluntarily sit out a full season and receive a voluntary opt out salary of $150,000 is ridiculous. Hightower was scheduled to make a base salary of $8 million this season. The players that opt out are doing do because the United States is dealing with a pandemic that has led to more than 150,000 deaths in the United States.The tank-for-Trevor theories involving the Patriots, however, started well before those opts out. We can debunk those, too. A Tom Brady breakup was coming Six-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady signed with the Tampa Buccaneers in the offseason; which marked the end of a 20-year career with Belichick in New England. While this is the dominant headline of the offseason, it’s not a new trend. Brady turns 43 in August, and other Hall of Fame quarterbacks such as Joe Montana and Brett Favre have finished their careers with other teams. The difference with those two is the 49ers and Packers had obvious successors lined up in Steve Young and Aaron Rodgers, respectively. New England had Jarrett Stidham as the highest-ranked quarterback on the depth chart when Brady bolted. If the Patriots were tanking, however, they would not have signed a former NFL MVP at quarterback this offseason. MORE: A timeline of Patriots scandals under Bill BelichickCam Newton could fit with PatsNew England signed Newton to a one-year deal on June 29, a move that improved the Patriots’ Super Bowl odds. Newton, who was the NFL MVP in 2015, is trying to revive his career in a new setting after nine seasons in Carolina. Newton is a dynamic talent when healthy, and there is a good chance he wins the starting job in Week 1. Newton might not be a six-time Super Bowl winner, but he could prove himself with a one-year deal and work into an extension with New England. That would give Belichick more time to pick the Patriots’ next franchise quarterback. Believe it or not, it doesn’t have to be Lawrence.