Tuesday, October 21, 2014

LucidSportsFan.com is giving away Celtics tickets for Wednesday night (tomorrow)

The Celtics take the floor for their final preseason contest tomorrow (Wednesday) night against the Brooklyn Nets, and I'm giving away a pair of tickets.

It's real simple to enter: Just retweet the tweet below for a chance to win, and make sure that you're also following me as well.  I'll pick a winner at random by noon tomorrow, then send him/her a direct message.  From their I'll email the tickets right over.

I realize nobody cares about preseason games, but hey, it's free!  Also they've made a lot of cool changes to the TD Garden that are worth seeing.

Monday, October 20, 2014

The numbers behind Tom Brady's resurgence

Here are Tom Brady's average passing stats over the Patriots' first four games this season (they went 2-2):

20-34, 198 yards, 1 touchdown, 0.5 interceptions

And during New England's last three (3-0):

23-36, 305 yards, 3 touchdowns, 0 interceptions

The number of attempts is fairly similar, but the production is way up.  And just a random side note, somehow the Pats were able to beat the Jets this week despite being more than doubled in time of possession:

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Awesome Old Song of the Week: From Cypress Hill's "Black Sunday" album

Far and away the biggest hit on Cypress Hill's 1993 release Black Sunday was "Insane in the Brain."  That was the reason I bought the CD, but I quickly became a big fan of the whole thing.  And even though I had no interest in its subject matter, one track from the album did stick out as my favorite, due completely to its cool background beat (there's no video for this song, as MTV and VH1 obviously would never have played it):

The music in "Hits from the Bong" is taken directly from Dusty Springfield's "Son of a Preacher Man," but I didn't know that until Pulp Fiction came out a year later.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Smart phone TV remote app may be an issue in bars and restaurants

My phone came with an app that allows it to work as a remote control for your TV and cable.  I tried it out once for fun, but it's not actually better than my regular remote, so I have no use for it.

The other night while I was closing my bar at 1:45 am some friends of mine who were still there decided to mess with me.  After I shut off the television, one of them turned it back on.  From her phone.  All you need to make the app work anywhere is to be able to read the brand of the TV and/or cable box.  And that got me thinking...

I remember times when I've been in the Wharf Pub on Martha's Vineyard (where last call is 12:30 am) and they turned off a west-coast Red Sox game at a dramatic moment just before the end.  Now I could discretely flip the TV back on for a minute to see the final out.

There's also been many occasions where I've gone to a bar or restaurant specifically to watch a certain game, but had lots of troubling getting the staff to put it on the TV.  Now bar patrons could simple change the channel themselves (if the cable box is close by).  Which would be fine, unless somebody else was already watching whatever was previously on.

Or how about when a person would like to hear the TV, but the establishment has decided not to turn up the volume?

This app has the potential to be a nightmare for bartenders.

Links to NBA team previews, Atlantic and Pacific Divisions

For the second straight year LucidSportsFan.com is participating in an blog exchange of NBA team previews.  I post theirs on my site, and they all post mine on theirs.  Here is the third and final set of links:

Atlantic Division
Boston Celtics: CelticsBlog | Red's Army | Celtics Green | LucidSportsFan 
Brooklyn Nets: Nets Daily | Baller Mind Frame
New York Knicks: Posting and Toasting 
Philadelphia 76ers: Liberty Ballers
Toronto Raptors: Raptors HQ
Pacific Division
Golden State Warriors: Golden State of Mind
Los Angeles Clippers: Clips Nation 
Los Angeles Lakers: Silver Screen and Roll 
Phoenix Suns: Bright Side of the Sun 
Sacramento Kings: Sactown Royalty | Basketball Intelligence

Friday, October 17, 2014

10 years ago today: The greatest stolen base in baseball history

October 17, 2004.  ALCS Game 4.  New York at Boston.  Bottom of the 9th inning.  Yankees lead 4-3.  Dave Roberts.

These Kevin Millar quotes from earlier in the evening are absolutely chilling in retrospect.

Yesterday I read a great article from Boston.com about the 10th anniversary of the 19-8 Game 3 massacre, and the role Tim Wakefield played that day in the Red Sox eventual comeback.  Wakefield sacrificed his Game 4 start by offering to do mop-up duty in Game 3 to preserve the bullpen.  But his story of how it came about is amazing:

"So I got up and I went down to Tito [Terry Francona] and I said, ‘Do you need me to do anything, tonight? You need to go to the bullpen? What do you need to do?’ And he hesitated for a second, and he said, ‘Go ask Derek [Lowe] if he can start tomorrow. And Derek was still on the roster, but he wasn’t slated to do it. He wasn’t in the bullpen. He wasn’t going to be one of our starters. So I went down and I asked Derek, I said ‘D, um, Tito wants to know if you can start tomorrow,’ and he got this big grin on his face and he said, “Yeah,” I’m like ‘alright.’ So I ran in and I got my glove and took off for the bullpen..."

Lowe stayed in the rotation after that, and ended up winning the deciding ALCS Game 7 and the World Series clinching Game 4 as well.  Unbelievable.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Simplest analysis ever of why the Patriots can be OK without Jerod Mayo and Stevan Ridley

Oddly enough, the Patriots also placed Jerod Mayo on season ending IR exactly one year ago today, October 16, 2013.  After tearing his pectoral muscle, New England went 6-3 over the remainder of the regular season without him.

When Stevan Ridley contracted a massive case of fumblitis (three in three games) last November, he then became a non-factor and primarily rode the bench for three weeks.  The Pats went 2-1 in that span, including a victory over the eventual AFC champion Broncos.  In the Denver game Brandon Bolden (pictured) rushed for 58 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries with Ridley out of the picture.

I'm not saying Bolden is the savior or anything, my point is just that this team knows how to deal with these situations.  Yes, the injuries are unfortunate, but for the Patriots it's "been there, done that."

Also, New England hosts the Jets tonight--remember what happened when these two squads met on a Thursday in 2012?  The worst play in NFL history.

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