Saturday, October 26, 2013

Tidbits from the Celtics season ticket holders' "Open Practice Party"

Rookie Kelly Olynyk goes up for a dunk
I'm not sure what about it constituted a "party," but the practice was still fairly entertaining to watch.  The team didn't scrimmage as they have in the past, but they did play a variety of shooting games, including "knock out" with some kids from the crowd.  Rajon Rondo wasn't fully participating, however he was on the floor acting like a coach, rebounding misses and passing the ball back to teammates during shooting drills.  I was very impressed by how much effort he was putting into it, he really seemed focused on making crisp accurate passes.  That's not something I would have expected in this situation, and I think it suggests how eager he is to get back on the court playing.

 The funniest part of the night was the "yard sale" going on outside the stands in the concession area.  To raise money for charity the team was selling all kinds of leftover junk from previous seasons.  I use the word junk because the vast majority of it was outdated reading material and clothing that no regular sized human being could ever wear.  Media guides from 2011 for $1.  XXL practice t-shirts from years past for $20.  XXXXXL never worn Shaquille O'Neal game shorts for $50.  I decided not to plunk down fifty bucks for an unused pair of giant Kevin Garnett flip flops.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Putting a name to that type of music that's huge right now & ends up in every single movie trailer

First off, this film should be really good (Notting Hill meets Groundhog Day?):

Secondly, when they decide to make Back to the Future Part IV, it's totally going to star Rachel McAdams (The Time Travelers Wife and Owen Wilson's girlfriend in Midnight in Paris, in which he goes back in time as well) as Jennifer McFly.

But the real point of this blog is the song that plays at the end of the preview, "Lakehouse" by Of Monsters and Men.  Their music fits into the same genre as Mumford and Sons, the Lumineers' "Ho Hey," Anna Kendrick's "Cups," and "Wake Me Up" by Avicii among others.  It's been growing in popularity for the past few years, and as far as I know it hasn't accurately been named yet.  I view it as a pop/rock/folk type of sound; so I'm going to refer to it "Porolk."  I think that sounds better than "Frop."

And if people are already calling this something and I'm just really late to the party, please let me know.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Brett Favre can't pass up another chance to make headlines

The St. Louis Rams lost their starting quarterback Sam Bradford to an ACL tear last weekend.  Out of complete desperation, the Rams contacted Brett Favre's agent to inquire as to whether or not Favre might be interested in the job.  He could have simple said "No thank you," and moved on.  Instead Favre went on the radio to talk about rejecting their offer, what he's doing now, and how uninterested he is in returning to the NFL.  To no surprise this topic became front page news for ESPN:

As irritating as it is to hear something like this yet again, I can't say I'd expect anything less.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

This "bullying" story has got me all fired up & a little embarrassed to be an American

"Parent accuses Texas high school football coach of bullying after 91-0 blowout game"

When I first saw that headline I though there were three possible options for what the "bullying" could be:
  1. The losing coach mistreating his own players for getting blown out.
  2. The winning coach in some way showing aggression towards or taunting the losing players.
  3. The winning coach forcing his own players to behave in a manner they did not want to.
But no, a parent of a player on the losing side filed the formal complaint against the winning coach based solely on the lopsided outcome of the game, despite all of the following:
  • The winning coach said “I’m upset about it, I don’t like it. I sit there the whole third and fourth quarter and try to think how I can keep us from scoring.”
  • He played his backups (and backups backups) in the second half.
  • The clock also never stopped in the second half.
  • He didn't let his punt returners run back kicks.
  • He stopped throwing the ball.
  • He did everything short of punting on first down or taking a knee on every play.
  • The losing coach took no issue with how the game was played.
  • The complaint itself even complimented the sportsmanship of the winning players.

First off, I hate the fact that this is news.  The ridiculous actions of one delusional person shouldn't be worth occupying our time.  I realize bullying is a hot button issue these days, but I find it hard to fathom how a varsity high school athlete could be psychologically damaged in any way by losing badly to a respectful opponent.

Maybe the parent should also file "bullying" charges against the referees for allowing the game to take place.  Probably any spectators in the crowd who may have been cheering when all those points were scored are at fault as well.  And don't forget the team bus driver, who clearly didn't do enough to comfort the emotionally distraught players on the ride home.

It scares me how much easier and easier it's becoming to find ways to put the blame on others when things don't always go your way.  This afternoon it was announced that the school district had completed it's investigation and found "no grounds" for bullying.  In my book the parent who filed the complaint should now be required to pay any and all expenses incurred by forcing the absurd investigation to take place.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Have you noticed when World Series Game 7 is scheduled for?

The Cardinals wrapped up their NLCS victory over the Dodgers in six games last Friday.  The following evening the Red Sox also knocked out Detroit in Game 6 on Saturday.  But because the playoff schedule is pre-determined and based off the maximum potential length of every series, here were are Tuesday still sitting around and waiting for the World Series to start.

The players no doubt would prefer not to have so much time off, it messes with their routines.  And the weather in St. Louis and Boston obviously isn't going to improve the later it gets (it's 68 degrees right now, however the forecast for tomorrow night is 39 and rainy).  But how about this: If the series goes the distance, Game 7 at Fenway Park in scheduled for Halloween night, October 31st.  Back during ALCS Game 6 there was a very prominent and slightly agitated police presence on hand to deal with expected celebrations gone awry.  The possibility of a Red Sox Game 7 World Series victory happening on Halloween (excessive drunkenness x 2, + ecstatic sports jubilation, + costumes everywhere) has got be be like the perfect storm of nightmare situations for the Boston cops to worry about.

And while I'm discussing nightmare situations, it was pretty amazing how the opposite of that unfolded when Jose Iglesias made his second crucial error of the series, leading to Shane Victorino's pennant winning grand slam.

Monday, October 21, 2013

The end of ALCS Game 6 would have made for a spectacular cell phone commercial

When Shane Victorino's 7th inning grand slam gave the Red Sox a 5-2 lead on Saturday night, the Fenway crowd erupted, and never sat back down for the rest of the game (if I had to estimate I'd guess in total we were probably standing for nearly 50% of the three-hour and fifty-two minute affair).  The remaining 11 outs felt like nothing more than a countdown to Boston's third World Series berth in the past decade.

However, with two down in the top of the 9th and Koji Uehara on the mound, something took me by surprise.  Not on the field, but in the stands.  Roughly half the fans in the park held up their phones in order to document the final out, and the ensuing Sox celebration (all those white dots pictured).  It got me wondering whether or no it's really worth compromising your enjoyment of that moment by going through the effort of recording it; especially if  there will clearly be many other people's video accounts of it available to watch in the future.

Regardless, somewhere in that are the makings of a brilliant cell phone add.  Along the lines of this, but geared towards the emotion and excitement of sports rather than the humor of parents:

And while I'm on the topic of cell phone commercials, this one is pretty great:

Who cares what they're selling, the Jabba/Princess Leia costume is amazing, just ahead of the dog Darth Vader.  This may be even better than Vader playing fantasy football with Teddy Bruschi.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Awesome Old Song of the Week: Red Sox World Series Edition

Keith Foulke, Doug Mientkiewiecz, and the final out in '04.
The original version of "Tessie" was written for a 1902 Broadway musical called The Silver Slipper.  A group of die hard fans known as the "Royal Rooters" began singing it in the stands during Game 5 of the 1903 World Series.  Boston (known as the Americans back then) was trailing the Pirates three games to one at the time, but rallied to win that day with the song as their good luck charm.

When the series moved back to Pittsburgh legend says the Royal Rooters actually hired a band to play "Tessie" in the park during the games, which supposedly irritated the Pirates and helped Boston sweep the remainder of the series for a 5-3 victory (no, that's not a misprint, the World Series used to be a best 5 of 9; which I think is awesome).  The Royal Rooters disbanded in 1918, and Boston didn't win another championship for 86 years.

In 2004 the Dropkick Murphys recorded a new version of "Tessie," and later that year the Sox swept the St. Louis Cardinals to win the World Series.  Nine years later we get a rematch.  The lyrics to the Murphys' version actually tell the full story of the significance of the original "Tessie."

Back to homepage