Saturday, March 16, 2013

Want to buy the Boston Globe? It probably comes pretty cheap...

Souvenirs like this won't exist much longer.
This news is a few weeks old now, but I've been meaning to write about it since it was first announced.  The New York Times is attempting to sell The Boston Globe.  In 2009 the Times also tried to sell the Globe, but the best offer they got was $35 million (plus the taking on of pension liabilities, around $100 million or so).  The Times is hoping to get $150-$175 million from the sale this time around.  That seems like a lot of money until you consider that the Times bought the Globe for $1.1 billion in 1993.  And then the internet happened.  This quote from an article in the Globe about it's own sale is pretty amusing:
"News of the intended sale is sure to spark a new round of speculation and uncertainty at the newspaper, which has withstood — better than many other metropolitan dailies — the challenges of more readers shifting to the Internet and a protracted drop in advertising revenues."
Way to toot your own horn Globe, and good luck beating the internet.  It just killed Newsweek a couple months ago.  Even though it's kind of sad to think about, print media definitely appears to be on it's last legs.  According to the same article the Globe has a daily print circulation of 230,351.  For comparison, one of the blogs I write for, Celtics Life, has 138,884 twitter followers.


Friday, March 15, 2013

Being optimistic about the Wes Welker/Danny Amendola situation

Yes, it is very confusing that New England seemed so eager to let Welker go.  It's weird that they were unable to keep him given the fact that he signed with Denver for just $12 million over two years; especially when you consider the Patriots turned around and paid Amendola just as much per year, and for longer.  It reminds me a little bit of Ray Allen leaving the Celtics and taking less money from the Heat.  Maybe Wes just wanted to go.  He'll be taking a 3.5 million dollar pay cut from this year to next, so I can understand the desire for a change of scenery, even if the Patriots offered him the same deal that the Broncos did.

I think this is true of just about anyone in any work situation.  Imagine if all of sudden you were told by your employer that you could keep your job, but at a 35% lower salary.  It would be very difficult to stay.  But if you put yourself in a new environment and worked for different company, making less money wouldn't be quite so hard to swallow.

From a football perspective, maybe this isn't such a bad trade off.  What if it was Tom Brady (or the Brady/Belichick combo) that made Welker great?  Keep in mind Danny Amendola has been pretty good himself, with a below average quarterback (Sam Bradford) on a not very good Rams team.  If you compare Welker's pre-Brady stats in Miami to Amendola's last full season (which was two years ago; the injury risk is definitely greater with Amendola), they are fairly similar. It was also the second year of each player's career:

Wes Welker 2006 Dolphins - 67 catches on 99 targets, 687 yards, 1 touchdown.
Danny Amendola 2010 Rams - 85 catches on 123 targets, 689 yards, 3 touchdowns.

If Amendola stays healthy, there is a good chance we're getting a Welker 2.0 who's 4 years younger.  I'd also be shocked if Welker puts up the same kind of numbers in Denver that he has in New England.  I can't wait to see which one of them has a better 2013 season.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Awesome Old Song of the Week: "It's Alright" by Big Head Todd and the Monsters

In 1994 a bunch of my high school friends got tickets to a "Big Head Todd" concert in Boston.  At the time they all probably knew only one or two of the band's songs, but it was "cool college music," so they went.  The next day I remember asking how the show was, and one of my buddies said something like "Man, for Big Head Todd I wish I'd brought a big head rest."

Despite his poor review, I still think It's Alright is a pretty good tune.  A little known fact about Big Head Todd and the Monsters: the three of them all went to Columbine High School together in Colorado, over a decade before it became tragically famous.  Also I think the long haired blond guy on the right may have been in Hootie and the Blowfish as well.


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The Big Ten is really, really, good at basketball this year.

Player of the year candidates Trey Burke (3) and Victor Oladipo (4)
The Big 10 (which has 12 schools now, the entire conference system is becoming a joke) has played a whole other level of college basketball this season than the rest of the country.  It's got 4 teams ranked in the top 10: #3 Indiana, #6 Michigan, #8 Michigan State, and #10 Ohio State; any of whom could earn a #1 seed in the big dance by winning the conference tournament, which starts Thursday.  Just how good are they?

The Michigan Wolverines are ranked #6 in the nation, but are the 5th seed in the Big Ten's tournament.  At 25-6 they managed to pull that off because all 6 of their losses came in conference.  Their 12-6 Big 10 record put them in a tie for 4th place with #22 Wisconsin.

And on a totally unrelated (but still slightly related) note, I just learned yesterday that John Stockton's son David plays for #1 Gonzaga.  Back before the school started winning NCAA Tournament games and everybody still pronounced it Gon-zah-ga, pretty much the only thing it was known for was being John Stockton's alma mater.  Get ready to hear about this roughly 10,000 times starting next week.  Also I'm fairly certain I'd written around 750 posts on this blog without ever mentioning John Stockton, and now his name's come up on back to back days.  Weird.


Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Kevin Garnett vs. "The Logo" and Paul Pierce vs. "The Round Mound of Rebound"

A couple Celtics are about to achieve some major milestones.  Kevin Garnett (25,184) needs just 9 more points to pass Jerry West (25,192) for 15th place on the NBA's all-time scoring list.  It's definitely a pretty big deal to eclipse the guy who the league modeled their logo after.

Look at those "ups" from Dino Radja!
Not to be outdone, Paul Pierce (23,748) is on the verge of something special as well.  He's only 10 points away from moving ahead of Charles Barkley (23,757) for the 20th spot on that same list.  "Sir Charles" is known for being possibly the greatest player never to win a championship (sorry Karl Malone, you were boring and wouldn't have been able to do what you did without John Stockton feeding you for all those years), and twenty years ago was my favorite non-Celtic player.  I loved watching him on the 1992 "DreamTeam," and his #34 Suns jersey was the first one I ever owned.

While it would be really cool to see KG and the Captain accomplish both these feats in the same game, it looks as though Doc Rivers may give Pierce a rest tonight in Charlotte.  Read about it in my post for Celtics Life, and then go check out my Celtics vs. Bobcats game preview for CLNS Radio.


Monday, March 11, 2013

I'm sorry Blackhawks fans

Last Friday afternoon I wrote about my displeasure with the NHL's "in conference only" schedule this year, wishing that the Bruins would have a chance to end the Chicago Blackhawks 24 game (half the season) unbeaten in regulation streak.  I actually made a point of getting the piece done early in the evening because I had a feeling the Blackhawks were due to lose that night.  In retrospect I should have placed a bet as soon as I published the post, as Chicago went out and got crushed by the Avalanche 6-2.  Yesterday the 'Hawks dropped their next game as well, falling 6-5 to Edmonton.

After being undefeated through their first 24, Chicago losing their last two contests really isn't all that surprising.  It's a principle called "regression to the mean," and we see it all the time in sports.  Even if the Blackhawks are the best team in the NHL, they obviously weren't that much better than everyone else.  As seasons go on statistical oddities like this usually tend to even themselves out; in fact a similar thing happened to the Bruins last year.

Here's a prediction along those lines: The Miami Heat have won 18 consecutive games.  Later this week they'll head out on a five game road trip.  I bet they lose 3 of their next 6 (including at Boston next Monday I hope).  That will spawn tons of "what's wrong with the Heat" talk.  And the answer will be "nothing," they're just not actually as good as they were during the streak.


Sunday, March 10, 2013

How pumped are you for "Splash?"

ABC couldn't afford Daryl Hannah?
We're just over a week away from what is sure to be a iconic moment in American television history, the debut of ABC's Splash at 8 pm on Tuesday, March 19th.  If somehow you've managed to avoid seeing the previews, it's got nothing to do with the 1984 Tom Hanks movie of the same title.  It's a whole  show based on "celebrities" jumping off of a high dive (and coached by former Olympic gold medalist Greg Louganis).  While there's pretty much an unlimited amount of blog fodder here, I'm going with the fact that I can't believe they couldn't attract bigger names.

Of the ten contestants, four of them I've never even heard of.  The cream of the crop are Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Playboy playmate turned reality "star" Kendra Wilkinson, Detroit Lion Ndamukong Suh (how did the NFL ever let him do this?), and Rudy Huxtable (Keshia Knight Pulliam, who's made a bit of a reality TV show career for herself post Cosby Show).   Is that really the best they could do?  How about a New Kid On the Block, Backstreet Boy, or a Spice Girl?  Or maybe a cast member for the original 90210 or Saved By the Bell?  I am not impressed, ABC.


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