Saturday, September 14, 2013

My contributions to Celtics Blog's "Summer Boredcast" series (Part 2)

After Chris Forsberg of ESPN Boston asked a number of local Celtics writers to help out with his "Summer Forecast" series, the folks at SB Nation's Celtics Blog decided to do the same thing. It's called "Summer Boredcast" (as in bored with nothing better to write about in the NBA offseason), and here is the second half of what I contributed (with links to each article):

Would you rather be the owner, GM, or coach?
Owner by a mile. One, I'm crazy rich and can sit anywhere I want at every game. Two, I can pick whatever role I want to have with the team. I can involve myself whenever I feel like it, or take a 3 month vacation to Costa Rica on a whim and leave Danny in charge. I can hang out with Mark Cuban and Mikhail Prokhorov in Vegas, and lose a quarter mil and the rights to Kris Humphries expiring contract in a poker game. I could also lobby Adam Silver for the league to start crediting assists on made free throws (and half an assist on 1 for 2).

2013-2014 LVP Gerald Wallace (left)
Since we already covered the MVP in the Summer Forecast, who do you think will be the team's LVP (least valuable player)?
Gerald Wallace. He suddenly got old two years ago, even though he's still only 31. I see him getting 15-20 mpg at first, but slowly having his minutes dwindle in favor of younger more eager players (Green, Olynyk, Sullinger). I envision Stevens coaxing this team to more victories than people expect just by getting his guys to hustle and play hard on D, and I don't think Wallace is up for that. By the end of the season he'll just be a $10 million weight on the end of the bench.

What's the best possible trade you can think of that the Celtics could realistically make right now? 
Bradley, Sullinger, Bass, and Lee to Portland for LaMarcus Aldridge.
It works in the ESPN Trade Machine.  Also this was written before Kris Humphries, Gerald Wallace, and MarShon Brooks became trade eligible on Thursday.

Where will this team be 3 years from now?
There's not a single player on the Celtics roster who will still be under their current contract in the summer of 2016 (Olynyk does have a team option for that year). It's quite possible there will be 100% turnover by that time. My guess is that out of the current "core 5" (Rondo, Bradley, Green, Sullinger, Olynyk), 2-3 of them will still be around; however I have no idea which ones. I expect that Ainge and Stevens will be good enough at there jobs to have the C's continuously in the playoff picture, probably around a win total in the high 40's. I do not see them as serious contenders though. I think we spoiled Boston fans forget how hard it is to get to that level; most NBA teams are out of contention most of the time. Even if Ainge/Stevens make every possible right move, it will still take a lot of luck to return to greatness.

What made you become a fan of the Boston Celtics?
I've always been a fan from growing up just outside of Boston in the 1980's. But the transcending moment for me came on a ferry boat ride to Martha's Vineyard in the summer of 2007. In an attempt to regain fans after a dismal '06-'07 season, the Celtics were offering season tickets for 50% off. My buddy and I spent the 45 minute trip debating whether or not it was worth it. They had just traded for Ray Allen, and we figured that a squad featuring Ray, Pierce, and "Big Al" Jefferson would be good enough to make the playoffs. We decided to plunk down $1,500 each in order to get a pair of great seats in the lower level; just $35 per game. A few days later they traded for Garnett, and the rest is history.

In case you missed it, click here for Part 1.

Friday, September 13, 2013

My "the glass is still at least 2/3 full" outlook on the Patriots

I don't blame you Tom, but things will get better.
As I'm sure you have heard by now, last night the Patriots had more punts (11) than first downs (9), the fewest they've ever had with Tom Brady playing quarterback.  For the first time in 59 games, Brady completed less than half of his passes (19-39).  New England's offense was terrible, with just one guy (Julian Edelman) able to get anything done.

But here's the thing: the Jets (and everybody in the world watching) knew that Edelman was the only receiver Brady wanted to throw to; in fact he even set an NFL record with the fewest yards ever (78) for a player with 13 or more catches.  However Edelman was still good enough (including a huge 3rd down conversion with 3 minutes to play) to help the Pats hang on for the victory.  And we're not talking about a returning superstar here, Edelman only had 21 receptions total in 2012 (he's now got 20 through two games).  Brady's top 5 targets from last season are all gone (Wes Welker, Brandon Lloyd, Aaron Hernandez, Danny Woodhead) or injured (Rob Gronkowski).  In their opening win at Buffalo two new primary weapons were unveiled (Danny Amendola and Shane Vereen), but suddenly Brady was forced to take the field yesterday without either of them as well, and on a short 4 day week no less.

The rookies wideouts (Kenbrell Thompkins and Aaron Dobson caught just 5 of 17 balls thrown their way) will get better.  Gronkowski, Amendola, and Vereen will all come back.  Perhaps the Patriots will add a veteran free agent or two, or maybe someone who has yet to have an impact will step up (LeGarrette Blount?  Leon Washington?  Brandon Bolden?  Josh Boyce?).  New England is 2-0, with both wins coming in their division.  If they keep winning those games they'll make the playoffs, regardless of what else happens.  The last three Super Bowl winners have finished the regular season 10-6 or 9-7.  It doesn't matter how good the Pats are right now, just how good they will be three months from now, and they have plenty of time to figure it out.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

I'm not sure this Guinness commercial isn't a little offensive

Guinness has been running this ad featuring guys playing wheelchair basketball a lot lately:

It reminds me off a scene from an awful 2006 movie called "The Ex" staring Jason Bateman and Zack Braff.  Bateman plays a guy who dated Braff's girlfriend a long time ago, and now he's trying to get her back.  Bateman's character is a slime ball, but nobody believes it because he's in a wheelchair.  At one point he convinces Braff to play wheelchair basketball (even though he knows it's a bad idea), and after the game all the other guys get really pissed when they find out Braff can walk.

My point is I think there's a chance the guy from this Guinness ad wouldn't want all his buddies playing with him, and maybe he'd think it's insulting.  I realize it's silly for me to speculate on the possible feelings of a fictional character in a TV commercial, but I'm curious to know what people who play wheelchair hoops think of this.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Different teams, same logos

For years it's bothered me that the Universities of Michigan (blue) and Missouri (black) both use the same logo:

Back when I lived in California I also used to get annoyed whenever I'd see people wearing pastel blue and yellow Red Sox hats that actually signified UCLA.

Today it came to my attention that the Cincinnati Reds and Chicago Bears have practically identical emblems as well.  And while it's only half of their logo, strangely enough the Minnesota Twins also represent themselves with that same "C."

It was then pointed out to me that the Green Bay Packers and the University of Georgia share a circular capital "G" symbol, as does Grambling State University.

Similarly Michigan State, Stanford, and Syracuse all use a block letter "S."

This is what I've come up with after about twenty minutes of research.  I'm sure there are many more duplicate logos out there, if you know of any that I've missed leave a comment below.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Why does football season start so early?

I want more of this.
In the past couple weeks I've seen people all over twitter and facebook express their excitement about the return of football (both college and pro).  Personally I just get annoyed.  And not because I don't like it, but because it's dumb that the season begins this time of year.  Football is not a sport that is meant to be played in the summer time.  It's ridiculously hot under all those pads and helmets, and guys seem to pass out from dehydration and heat exhaustion all the time.  Obviously colder weather would help that.

But honestly I'd be lying if I told you my concerns were about the players.  From a fan perspective, it makes no sense to start filling your weekend afternoons with football on television when the weather is still so nice out.  This past Sunday I would have gone to the beach if it weren't for the Patriots game.  In addition to being able to take better advantage of the final days of summer, here's two other things that would improve if the NFL and NCAA started their seasons three weeks later:

1.  That stupid month off between the end of the college season (final weekend of November) and the bowl games (late December/early January) would no longer exist.  Last year Notre Dame didn't play for 44 days leading up to the BCS Title Game.  That's more than half of their regular season, in which they played 12 games over a span of 85 days.

2.  February sucks.  Everybody calls it the worst sports time of the year, and complains about there being nothing to watch in between the Super Bowl and March Madness.  I can't think of a single reason why anyone wouldn't prefer spending their Sundays inside watching the NFL in February rather than September.

Monday, September 9, 2013

My contributions to Celtics Blog's "Summer Boredcast" series (Part 1)

After Chris Forsberg of ESPN Boston asked a number of local Celtics writers to help out with his "Summer Forecast" series, the folks at SB Nation's Celtics Blog decided to do the same thing.  It's called "Summer Boredcast" (as in bored with nothing better to write about in the NBA offseason), and here is what I have contributed so far (with links to each article):

What is the best case scenario (and record) that you can come up with for this year?
42-40: Rondo comes back Day 1 with something to prove. Stevens gets everybody to play hard, especially on defense. Because of this the C's win a lot of those games in the dregs of the season against crappy teams. The "core 5" of Rondo, Bradley, Green, Olynyk, and Sullinger gel as a unit, and run unsuspecting clubs right out of the building. Boston falls in 7 games in an epic first round playoff matchup against Pierce and KG's Nets team, who then knock off the Heat before downing Doc's Clippers in the Finals.

And the worst case scenario?
17-65: The "core 5" never takes shape. Rondo gets all "D-Rose" on us and doesn't come back till March. When he does Boston is so bad already that he mails in the rest of the season. Avery Bradley's confidence is shattered by being forced to be a point guard, again. Gerald Wallace tries to be the go to guy, which ruins Jeff Green's mojo as well. Sullinger and Olynyk suffer from chronic back and foot injuries respectively, and miss most of the year. Kris Humphries is the lone bright spot, which entices Danny Ainge to extend his contract through 2017.

Eddie House celebrates the 2008 title.
Who was your favorite non-star Celtics player of the last 15 years?
Eddie House: Arizona State Sun Devils are cool. I love three-point shooters with no conscience, and House once had a 61 point game in college. But somehow he also managed to pull off being the backup point guard on a title winning team in 2008, not an easy task for a guy who loved to shoot from anywhere at any time.

And your least favorite?
Marcus Banks: I ran into Banks at the North Station Hooters (yes, there used to be a Hooters by the Garden) in April of 2004. He was wearing a Maryland Len Bias jersey. This made no sense to me on any level; he's from Vegas and played at UNLV, and he was only 4 years old when Bias died. I'd had a few pops at the time, so I decided it'd be a good idea to ask him about it. I said something along the lines of "Don't you think it might be a bad idea for a Celtics rookie to wear that jersey?" All he said back was "Nah, man." I honestly don't even think he understood why.

If you were the GM and management told you to tank the season but do whatever you can to win the following year, what would you do between now and the trade deadline?
I trade everyone on the roster besides the "core 5" (Rondo, Bradley, Green, Sullinger, and Olynyk) for contracts that expire at the end of the season. I'd probably have to have Gerald Wallace murdered, assuming that does get his salary off the books. Heading into 2014 I'd have just 5 players and roughly a $30 million payroll. After my lottery prayers fail with the 4th pick in the draft, I offer max contracts to DeMarcus Cousins and Greg Monroe, then try to persuade Dirk to come to Boston for the veteran minimum. I fill out the roster with rookie free agents, and hope Brad Stevens can get that group deep into the playoffs.

The series continues in the follow days with a three-year outlook for the team, whether it would be more fun to be Head Coach, GM, or owner, who will be next season's LVP (least valuable player), and the origins of becoming a Celtics fan.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Awesome Old Song of the Week: "Whatta Man" by Salt-n-Pepa

As far as the songs go, it was pretty much a toss up choosing between "Whatta Man" and "Shoop," both off of Salt-n-Pepa's 1993 album Very Necessary.  I decided to opt for "Whatta Man" because I like the video better, primarily for two reasons:

One, it also stars En Voguewith a brief appearance by Tupac Shakur as well.

And two, it features a brilliant editing technique first mastered by Paula Abdul two years earlier; if you're not quite as skinny as you'd like to be for your sexy music video shoot, you can just squish it together a little bit after the fact.

Back to homepage