Saturday, March 2, 2013

March 2nd is a big day for this site

Today is the two year anniversary of the creation of  It's come a long way since the first entry, and I'm taking some time off to celebrate in Mexico.  But just because I'm on vacation doesn't mean the blogs are stopping.  I'm now up to 731 consecutive days with a posting, at least one for every single day since the beginning.

A year ago I joked that my 366 straight days was Cal Ripken-esque, but clearly that was premature since I don't have an even better streak to compare myself to now.


Friday, March 1, 2013

There should be a "The second half is starting!" announcement at Celtics games.

Last summer I wrote a series of posts about the experience of going to NBA games as a Celtics season ticket holder.  Some of the topics included improving the half court shot contest, the best halftime show going, and my issues with the "t-shirt toss."  Here's one more that I never got around to writing:

Just about everybody gets up at halftime and walks around.  When the second half starts, most of the seats are still usually empty.  A big reason for this is that the concession lines take a long time (the TD Garden sells beer and food at the same locations.  Often what looks like a short 3 person line in front of you can take forever depending on how many chicken fingers and fries, nachos, or sandwiches are ordered), but that is not where I am going with this.

When the game resumes in the second half, there is no announcement.  They don't even sound the buzzer, the players just walk out on the court and get right back at it.  Sometimes I'll be sitting there in my seat the whole time,  and still not even notice when the game has started up again.  When you go to a theater they flash the lights to tell you to return to your seats from intermission.  Why don't they do anything like this at NBA games?  My guess is they want people to stay down below as long as possible and keep buying stuff, but that's just obnoxious.


Thursday, February 28, 2013

Awesome Old Song of the Week: "Kokomo" by the Beach Boys

I'm headed off on vacation to Mexico for a few days, so this song seemed appropriately fitting.  "Kokomo" was part of the magnificent soundtrack to the movie Cocktail, which was actually the first cassette tape that I ever owned.  It was so good that I bought it again on CD a decade and a half later, and played it non-stop all summer long in the 5 disc changer we had at the bar I worked in on Martha's Vineyard.

How John Stamos became a member of the Beach Boys is beyond me.  He wasn't just in this video, apparently he played with the band periodically going back to 1983.


Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Gonzaga can't possibly be the #1 team in the country

I've been meaning to write this post since Gonzaga took over the #2 spot in the college basketball polls on Monday.  Then last night #1 Indiana went and lost to Minnesota, leaving the door open for Gonzaga to take over the top position next week.  The Bulldog's current #2 ranking is the highest they have ever been in school history.  They've risen that far due to their 27-2 overall record, and the fact that they're undefeated since January 19th.  I'm not buying it though, because they haven't beaten anybody good.  While other top teams keep knocking each other off, Gonzaga has been rolling along and racking up W's against unranked West Coast Conference schools.

The Bulldogs have played three teams in the Top 25 all season.  They did manage a one point win (69-68) against then #22 Oklahoma State back on December 31st.  The other two ranked opponents they played were each #13 at the time, Illinois on 12/8, and Butler on 1/19.  Gonzaga lost both of those games.  I think being 27-0 against teams outside of the top 20 says a lot less about them than being 0-2 vs. top 15 teams.

It's OK for the best teams to have bad games and lose (like Indiana did yesterday), as long as they also prove themselves against other quality squads (sticking with the Indiana example, they've beaten at the time #14 UNC, #8 Minnesota, #10 Ohio St, Mich. St as #13 and #4, and Michigan as #1.  Also that same Illinois team).  Gonzaga hasn't proven themselves against anybody.  How can you be the best team in the country if you've lost the two most difficult games on your schedule (I made this same point about the Denver Broncos last year as Super Bowl favorites, who then promptly lost their first playoff game), which in this case aren't even that difficult?  I think I'd be more likely to accept Gonzaga as a potential favorite if they'd defeated Illinois and Butler, but had been upset a couple times within their sub par conference by clearly inferior opponents.  Great teams win big games; at least sometimes.

It's also hard to be considered the best team in the nation if you may not even be the best team with your own nickname; Butler is known as the "Bulldogs" as well.


Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Sixers coach Doug Collins really seems to hate Andrew Bynum

Is that Darryl from "the Office?"
Back in the offseason, the trade that brought Dwight Howard to the Lakers also sent center Andrew Bynum from LA to Philly.  Bynum was supposed to help the Sixers compete with the Knicks, Nets, and Celtics for the Atlantic Division title.  Instead Philly has been terrible (22-32), and Bynum has yet to play all season.  He's taken an unexpectedly long time to come back from what were thought to be minor knee injuries (in November is was reported that Bynum hates playing basketball), but finally returned to practice the other day.  The opening line from ESPN's story about it cracks me up:
"Andrew Bynum practiced Friday with the Philadelphia 76ers for the first time since they traded for him last August. But instead of it being a positive moment, it only seemed to depress coach Doug Collins."
Here's some of the things Collins had to say according to the article:
"He looked like a guy who hadn't played in nine months."
"It's amazing seeing him standing out there; he distorted the whole practice. You get visions of what might've been ... He's said that he's going to play, but this season is slipping away."
And when asked when Bynum might be able to play Collins stated:
"You should talk to him. I don't want to be the messenger because they shoot messengers."
Wow.  This blows my mind.  Imagine Doc Rivers ever saying something like this about one of his players?  Even if Doc felt that way he would never publicly say it; especially admitting that he has no control or involvement in when his guy is ready to play.  What a mess they are in Philly right now.


Monday, February 25, 2013

I have absolutely no idea what to make of the Celtics right now

On Friday in night in Phoenix the Celtics had their biggest win (in terms of margin of victory, 25) of the season, and they did it without their stars.  Paul Pierce was mostly a non-factor, and Jeff Green scored 31 points (11 of 14 from the floor) while starting in place of a resting Kevin Garnett.  Chris Wilcox led the bench with 14 points on 7-9 shooting, and the reserves as a whole made 18 of 32 field goals (56%).  New guards Jordan Crawford (10 points) and Terrence Williams fit right in, with Williams (4 assists) often looking like the best point guard on the team.

Last night Boston lost in Portland, and that same bench which played so well against the Suns was a complete disaster.  In a return to his regular reserve roll Green made just 4 of 12 shots.  Wilcox, Crawford, and Williams combined for only 4 points, and the bench as a whole shot 7-26 (27%).  But worst of all the Celtics non-starters registered a total of 0 assists.  Zero.  That is not good.

I have no no idea what this team will do in the playoffs.  They could get back to the Eastern Conference Finals against the Heat, or get beaten handily in the first round; neither would surprise me.

Here are more of my thought on this subject from Celtics Life a couple days ago.


Sunday, February 24, 2013

Do you know who the highest paid Red Sox player is? And can you name a Houston Astro?

I have to warn you, if you don't already know the answer, this information may scare you.  The highest paid Boston Red Sox player in 2013 will be none other than John Lackey.  Never in a million years did I ever think that I would write about John Lackey two out of three days in February, but this information has just come to my attention and it was unavoidable.  Lackey's salary this season is $15,950,000.  David Ortiz is second on the Sox at $14,575,000.  Here's the complete list from ESPN.

I came across this after first looking at the payroll for the Houston Astros.  Last summer I wrote a story about the Astros salary dumping, and how pathetic they were.  And now this year they are moving from the National League Central to the AL West, a division that had 3 teams win 89 or more games in 2012.  Houston might be historically bad this season.

As of right now the combined salaries of every Astro total roughly 14.5 million dollars, slightly less than John Lackey's.  That is just gross.  When the season starts Houston's payroll is actually projected to be in the neighborhood of $25 million, but still below the amount 20 major league players will make on their own, according to this Yahoo article.


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