Saturday, June 29, 2013

Awesome Old Song of the Week: "Have You Ever Needed Someone So Bad" by Def Leppard

In the late 80's I remember seeing Def Leppard t-shirts all over the place.  Most of the time they were on long haired high school kids a few years older then me.  I have to admit I was a little bit frightened of them.

A few years later in 1992 my best friend bought their album Adrenalize.  He listened to it all the time and told me I would definitely like it too, but I was skeptical.  I don't think I actually came around until I heard "Have You Ever Needed Someone So Bad" on the radio.  He was right; I never bought a t-shirt though.


Friday, June 28, 2013

It's a sad day for the Boston Celtics

For a sense of karmic symmetry I decided to give today's post an identical title to the one I wrote yesterday making fun of the Celtics arch rivals in LA.  I'm still in a slight state of shock and disbelief that this has actually happened.  I can't think of anything else like it in my lifetime as a Boston sports fan where two players of such magnitude were traded together.  Will this cause me to actually root for Brooklyn next year?  Here's my immediate reaction when the news first settled in:

Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett's first game back in Boston is going to be an incredibly exciting and emotional night.  However, I was shortly reminded of this sobering though:

The thing I can't understand is why Danny Ainge made this deal yesterday; what was the rush to do a draft day trade that didn't even involve the draft?  I thought the Celtics should have waited longer before letting Doc Rivers go, and the same holds true for Pierce and Garnett as well.  Obviously Boston isn't trying to rebuild for next season, and they might have gotten better offers later in the summer, or even up until the 2014 trade deadline.

I'm also wondering how it will work out for the Nets having Pierce, Garnett, and Jason Terry coached by Jason Kidd; a guy who's basically their age who they just went up against in the playoffs.  If things don't go great right off the bat there could definitely be a mutiny of some kind.

Knowing a trade like this was a possibility, here's a story I wrote last month for CelticsLife that looks into where Pierce and Garnett rank on the list of greatest Celtics of all-time.  Back in May I also discussed whether or not the Garden PA announced screwed up Pierce's final moment as a Celtic.  It turns out he did.


Thursday, June 27, 2013

It's a sad day for the LA Lakers

ESPN's Chris Broussard is reporting that it's very unlikely Dwight Howard will choose to re-sign with Los Angeles.  But that isn't what my headline is referring to.  The reason it's a sad day for the Lakers is because they have decided to put up billboards trying to convince Howard to stay:

Come on LA.  Are you serious?  You're the freaking Lakers.  The second most successful franchise in league history.  A perennial #1 destination choice for all NBA free agents.  You're not supposed to beg players to stay, they're supposed to come chasing after you.  Billboards like this are for loser teams/cities like Cleveland.  Not LA.  

To see the Lakers acting like a pathetic boy/girlfriend trying to get back together with their ex who just dumped them is pretty shocking; especially over Howard, who greatly underachieved in his only year with the team (not to mention how overrated I've always thought he was; read this and this from 3 days apart a year and a half ago).  If the Celtics ever did something like this I'd probably be so embarrassed I'd have to cancel my season tickets.

6/28 UPDATE: Here's what a Laker fan friend of mine had to say about this:
"I'd say you pretty much nailed how I feel about it. This is a franchise that doesn't hang banners for division and conference championships because it is beneath them. That doesn't retire numbers for players unless they go to the Hall of Fame, so key guys from championship teams like Robert Horry, Derek Fisher, Byron Scott, and Michael Cooper don't make the cut. The Lakers didn't even do this for Kobe, who is, you know, Kobe. Most Laker fans I know would rather see Dwight leave. Nobody I know thinks of Howard as a championship cornerstone. A year or two of mediocrity between the end of the Kobe era and the start of the next star's era (James? Durant? Irving? Wiggins? Unrealistic, maybe, but Jerry Buss and Jerry West, using the advantage of being "the Lakers", made these things happen) is acceptable; becoming just another franchise is not. How Jim Buss fails to understand what his father built, I'll never know. I do know that Kobe's going to retire, and that somebody is going to offer Mitch Kupchak a GM job where he's not being constantly undercut (frankly, I can't believe he hasn't jumped ship yet), and there's not a lot of hope for what comes next."


Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Coming soon to a television near you: The Aaron Hernandez Murder Trial

Wow.  This is some crazy stuff.  It sounds like there's a boat load of evidence that is going to put Hernandez behind bars for a long long time.  This morning reporters were questioning how quick New England was to cut him today, and now we know why.  Good move Patriots.

If you'd asked me yesterday, I would have told you I thought he'd manage to stay out of jail.  First there was OJ, and then Ray Lewis set a precedent 13 years ago for NFL players being able to kill people and get away with it.  I assumed Hernandez would too.  But from my super fast analysis of the situation as it's breaking, two things are very different here:

1. Cell phone usage (and the ability to track them) that wasn't mainstream back in 2000 really appears to be what's biting Hernandez in the ass on this one.

2. Hernandez seems to be a lot dumber than Lewis.

I really really hope the prosecution doesn't screw this up somehow; like mishandled evidence or a weird technicality found by Hernandez's million dollar lawyers that lets him walk.  It'll be a nice feeling to know that crime investigating technology has finally advanced to the point that high priced lawyers can't find a way around it.


Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Looking on the bright side of Boston's rough week in sports

This photo has been all over the internet today (although I added the giant "X"):

I'm going to argue things aren't really that bad at all:

1.  I'll start with the Patriots.  Yes, Aaron Hernandez is probably going to jail, and Rob Gronkowski  may never be healthy again (no, I don't think Tim Tebow-tight end is the answer).  But part of the reason New England's offense has been so dependent on TE's is because they knew they had two great ones.  They can easily go away from all the two tight end sets next year and try something else.  Maybe they'll do something crazy like line up Julain Edelman in the backfield along with Shane Vereen and Stephen Ridley?  They've had plenty of success without big name receivers alongside Brady in the past 12 years; they're the Patriots, they'll be just fine.

2.  Doc Rivers.  I wish Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett would never get old, and Doc would stay here and win titles with them forever.  The Celtics stretched it out longer than anyone ever thought they could with these guys.  But it doesn't make sense to have the highest paid coach in the league if you need to rebuild, not to mention that Doc had decided he wasn't interested in doing that.  Boston got a first round draft pick for a coach who wanted to leave anyway; that's a pretty darn good deal.

3.  The Bruins.  That was rough, I feel very sympathetic for the die hard fans here.  But hockey playoffs are a lot about luck (which is why an 8th seeded team like the Kings was able to win a championship last season), and it was miraculous that Boston was able to get by Toronto back in the first round.  The fact that they then made it all the way back to the Finals on the heals of taking the Stanley Cup two years ago is remarkable.

4.  Ray Allen.  I don't actually have anything for this one.  Him winning a title for the Heat (and saving LeBron's career in the process) just seems cruel and unfair.  But it's over, and it's time to move on.  The only major sport going on now is baseball, and the Red Sox are in first place.


Monday, June 24, 2013

The AL East is really really good

As we near the halfway point of the season, the Toronto Blue Jays have won 11 straight.  They're two games over .500, and only 5 back of Boston for 1st place.  The Jays' 38-36 record would put them 2nd in 3 of MLB's 6 divisions, but in the American League East it has them tied with the Rays for last.  In fact, Toronto and Tampa open up a "battle for the basement" series tonight (with one more win and one more loss than the Blue Jays the Rays currently trail them by percentage points; the opposite of what would normally be the case when last place teams have losing records).

Over in the NL East, the 2nd place Nationals (37-38) are 6 games out, a greater gap than the entire AL East combined.  ESPN lists a hypothetical "percent chance of making the playoffs" next to each team in the standings.  Here are the odds for each last place team:

AL Central: White Sox (31-42) - 2.4%
AL West: Astros (29-48) - 0.1%
NL East: Marlins (25-50) - 0.1%
NL Central: Cubs (31-43) - 3.1%
NL West: Dodgers (32-42) - 2.8%
AL East: Rays (39-37) - 34.9%

Before the season started I wrote a piece entitled "My opening thoughts on the 2013 Red Sox and the AL East."  In it I said the following:
"In my mind the entire division is a crap shoot. We could end up with 5 teams winning between 80 and 90 games."
So far, so good.


Sunday, June 23, 2013

Awesome Old Song of the Week: "Got You (Where I Want You)" by The Flys

I've been thinking that my "old songs" haven't been quite so "awesome" lately; maybe just "pretty good."  A regular at my bar confirmed as much to me after having a few pops the other night.  So with that in mind I'm going to try to step up my game a little.

When the movie Disturbing Behavior came out in 1998, the soundtrack became popular for featuring "Flagpole Sitta" by Harvey Danger.  But after those Pacific Northwest high school kids turned science project robots go tumbling off the cliff like lemmings and the final credits role, the Flys' "Got You (Where I Want You)" plays in the background.  This flick was also Katie Holmes' first opportunity to cash in on her new found Joey Potter of Dawson's Creek fame.


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