Saturday, February 2, 2013

I can't handle any more of the meaningless "elite QB" conversations

In all the endless Super Bowl hype from the past two weeks, one of the frequently recurring themes has been "How good is Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco?"  And more specifically, is he currently/about to become an elite player?  The "elite QB" discussion is one you see time and time again on ESPN and other channels covering the NFL.  The "experts" love to continually debate this topic.

The funny thing is, they rarely if ever define what the word "elite" means.  Doesn't that sort of defeat the purpose of the entire conversation?  If it's referring to the best of the best of all people in the world who've ever played quarterback in a football game, then I'm fairly certain that everyone who's made it to the National Football League qualifies as "elite."

Assuming they're talking about starting QB's in the NFL, does it mean the top 10% (which seems like a fair interpretation of the word, however in that case only three guys would qualify)?  If so, then just say it.  If it means the "Top 5" in the league, then say that.  Either way it's not Joe Flacco, and I'm tired of the pointless undefined conversation.


Friday, February 1, 2013

I think this Boston Magazine article is missing the point

There's an article in the February edition of Boston Magazine entitled "The Fellowship of the Miserable" about the sportswriters in Boston.  Basically it says that this city is full of a bunch of old and outdated journalists that aren't very good at their jobs anymore.  It makes the argument that national sports media often has better coverage of local stories, and concludes by saying this:
"If channels 4, 5, and 7 at last did away entirely with their evening sports segments, who around here would care? Boston sports fans are more likely to turn to ESPN’s national SportsCenter broadcast rather than the local affiliates for television highlights and news. The same fate almost certainly awaits our local publications—print and digital alike—if they fail to adapt. 
Were the Globe to stop publishing sports tomorrow, how much loss would readers feel? Certainly some, but much less than even a decade ago. That’s because Boston fans have gotten increasingly used to following the ups and downs of their favorite teams in national outlets rather than local ones."

 I agree that I wouldn't even notice if the local network TV channels stopped covering sports in the evening news, and I probably wouldn't care if The Boston Globe dropped sports either (although that's because newspapers as a whole are dying, just like magazines.  In the facebook/twitter world, by the time news gets to print it's already old).  And it is true that I watch ESPN all the time instead of the channel 4, 5, or 7 news sports segments.

But, I think this article is getting the point all wrong.  It's not a local vs. national issue, it's a specialization issue.  The longstanding traditional media's sports reporting is being beaten out by dedicated sports only media.  Local cable sports channels NESN and CSNNE have better coverage than 4, 5, or 7 too, not just ESPN.  Similarly I'm more likely to read ESPN Boston online for sports news that the Boston Globe or Herald, but I'm not about to check out the USA Today or CNN.


Thursday, January 31, 2013

Awesome Old Song of the Week: "Instant Karma" by John Lennon

In 1993 I thought Nike was the coolest company in the world, and this was one of my favorite commercials:

I decided I needed to have a copy of that song, but I didn't know what it was.  Today it would probably take about two minutes to look up the answer online and download it, but 20 years ago this was no easy task.  I thought it sounded like The Beatles, so I sent my dad on a quest to figure it out for my birthday.  After conversations with several people in multiple record stores about the "we all shine on" song, he eventually came home with the cassette of an album called Shaved Fish, by John Lennon.  The 4th track on side two was Instant Karma.


Wednesday, January 30, 2013

That sport with the skates is back, is it taking over?

Brad Marchand scored the game winner in a shootout Tuesday.
With the Patriots recently being dealt a painful and unexpected playoff loss, the Celtics under-performing and suffering a season ending injury to Rajon Rondo, and the Red Sox following up their worst campaign in 47 years with an uneventful offseason, the Boston Bruins have picked the perfect time to return to the ice and play some great hockey.  Undefeated in regulation, the 5-0-1 B's have a nearly perfect 11 points through 6 games.

But, this isn't going to be a "the Bruins are now clearly the best team in town" piece.  It's more about feeling cautiously optimistic in the wake of some recent disappointments.  Boston's hot start has put them at the top of the Eastern Conference, but there are also two teams in the West (Chicago and San Jose) that are both 6-0-0 with 12 points.  Not to mention I have some very distinct memories of a Bruins team last year that absolutely dominated the NHL for a long stretch of the season before losing in the first round of the playoffs.

And don't count out the Celtics just yet, they are unbeaten since their point guard tore his ACL.  The springlike weather today has also got baseball on my mind; Red Sox pitchers and report to Fort Myers in just 11 days.


Tuesday, January 29, 2013

A little flaw in the Williams sisters iphone ping pong ad

I'm not an iphone guy.  I don't really like the fact that you're supposed to do everything with just that one button (and their group texts infuriate me).  My android phone works in the same way that my computer does, and I like it.  Having said that, I am a huge fan of this iphone "dream" commercial, where the guy simultaneously beats Venus and Serena Williams at ping pong:

I've got some bad news for you though Venus; you actually lost that point the second you put your hand down on the table.  The iphone people should have better educated you on the rules of table tennis, sorry.  It's still pretty cool, but too bad they didn't get Sloan Stevens to narrate it.


Monday, January 28, 2013

Blazers on women: attractive or not?

Last night was my work's staff holiday party (since restaurants are usually throwing everybody else's Christmas parties in December, they tend to have their own in January), and now that it's almost dark outside I've just about recovered.  But the subject of this post is actually a conversation that I had last fall, which I was reminded of by one person's choice of attire for the party.

I am of the opinion that females do not look good in blazers.  While they might often look "nice" or "professional," basically any time women wear a blazer they are always going to be more attractive when they take it off.  While I have yet to obtain any hard data on this, my guess is that a very high percentage of men would agree with me.  I don't remember exactly when or how this topic came up, but the women I had the conversation with were very surprised I felt this way, and slightly stunned that I believed pretty much all other guys did too.

Weigh in if you have an opinion (either in the comments section, on facebook, or on twitter), and vote in the poll on the right.  And please don't be offended, I'm just curious.  I wouldn't have used this as a topic if the aforementioned females hadn't suggested it was a good one.


Sunday, January 27, 2013

My Rajon Rondo reaction

I walked into the TD Garden today just in time to hear "Courtney Lee" announced in the starting lineups.  My first reaction was fear that Rajon Rondo had been traded.  My buddy read on his phone that Rondo had tweaked his knee and was having an MRI.  I thought it was odd that this could have happened in the game two days ago, but we were just hearing about it now.  But my biggest worry at the time was that I was hoping this would be the game Boston ended their losing streak, and proved they could still contend.  Without Rondo that seemingly went out the window.

With the Celtics up by 3 in the third quarter, I heard a lady sitting behind us yell out "Rondo tore his ACL!"  After a a quick look on twitter it was obvious that she was right.  In that instant I no longer had any interest in the game I was watching.  I wondered if the players knew Rondo was done for the year (It turns out they didn't till after the game.  It's crazy to me to think that everybody in the building knew except for the Celtics themselves), and whether or not they would keep competing.

Pierce's jumper put Boston up 99-98.
Somehow Boston outlasted Miami in double overtime, their second consecutive double OT game.  Old man Paul Pierce, who looked terrible at times, hit a big shot when it mattered, and posted the third consecutive triple double for a Celtic player.  Boston also managed to hold the Heat under 100 points (98), despite the extra ten minutes.

Arguably the C's two biggest wins this season (today, and at New York three weeks ago) have come without Rajon Rondo on the floor.  I'm not sure where they go from here, but they can still compete with what they've got.

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