Recent Comments by Howard_T

SportsFilter: The Sunday Huddle

Tommy, you leave this wide open for 8 or 10 obscene comments. Despite being sorely tempted, I shall refrain.

posted by Howard_T at 01:21 PM on February 26

SportsFilter: The Friday Huddle

I have recently subscribed to the e-mail list for "The Players' Forum". I don't read all of the contributions, but most of those that I do read show some excellent writing. I looked at this one tonight, and it taught me a number of things I did not know. Even better, the story shows how much one man's passion for a game he does not play affected an entire nation and brought a very different minority population closer to the rest of the country. It's a bit lengthy, but certainly worth the time.

posted by Howard_T at 09:31 PM on February 24

NBA Pick 'Em Week 18: Trade Deadline Edition

Slowly crawling up the charts, and have actually achieved some measure of respectability. Perhaps this week will help things along.

The mess that is New York visits Rock City. Enjoy the museum, Knicks, the game won't be fun. Cleveland by 18 SLAM

Chris Paul might be back for Clippers. Not enough by half. Golden State by 12 SLAM

Celtics like what they have and stand pat at the deadline. Will they stay ahead of Raptors? Toronto by 3.

Spurs will try their luck in LA. Chris Paul might make a difference in this one. LA Clippers by 7

Bulls keep Jimmy Butler out of the clutches of the greedy Celtics. It works out for them in Cleveland. Chicago by 6.

The Bucks don't win any Blue Ribbon in Cleveland even when they maintain a cool head. Cleveland by 8 SLAM

Larry Bird won't listen to the siren song of his former teammate Danny Ainge. Paul George is still a Pacer, and helps his team. Indiana by 9.

posted by Howard_T at 04:47 PM on February 23

Carter Capps' pitching delivery is illegal and MLB doesn't care.

Give a crap what MLB says, if some kid in a game where I had the plate delivered something like this, I would call time, explain that the pitch is illegal (and why), and warn him and his coach that each tie the pitch was delivered in this manner it would be called illegal and would be a ball. I wonder why MLB would allow this.

If Capps were due to pitch in a road game, all the home club has to do is loosen up the surface of the mound in his landing spot. This would not be likely to affect your own pitcher, since his landing spot would not be as far down the mound. Since Capps has some forward motion as his left foot lands, he would slide on the loosened surface, thus losing any semblance of control and possible injuring himself. That would be drastic, but it would send a message.

posted by Howard_T at 11:32 PM on February 17

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle

I don't know if this sort of divisional bunching is typical or not.

It would make sense that teams from a given division would all (or mostly) end up bunched in opponents' strength of schedule. It is the result of all teams in a division playing all of the teams in 2 other divisions, one NFC and one AFC. If your division draws a division with more than one good team, your division's strength of schedule rises accordingly. The AFC West played all of the NFC South teams this past season, thus running into Tampa Bay, New Orleans, Carolina, and Atlanta. All 4 were decent with the exception of Carolina. Of course Atlanta was not too bad. The teams from the AFC East played AFC North and NFC West. AFC North had 1 very good team, Pittsburgh, and 2 decent teams, Baltimore and Cincinnati. NFC West had Arizona and Seattle to balance Los Angeles and San Francisco. So why is New England;s strength of schedule lower than the other 3 teams in the AFC East? It's pretty simple; New England doesn't have to play the Patriots, while the other 3 teams get to play them twice.

posted by Howard_T at 01:00 AM on February 17

NBA Pick 'Em Week 17: Charles Oakley Will Smash Edition

Turned my tickets for Celtics vs 76ers back for credit. Snow coming tonight, and it's a long ride home from the T stop. Here's the picks.

Cavaliers have struggled a bit lately, but Pacers won't have enough to take advantage. Cleveland by 12 SLAM

Knicks beat a San Antonio team that was in the middle of a long road trip and played poorly. They will hear some loud Thunder. Oklahoma City by 11.

Celtics have been hot of late, but Bulls have played well too. Chicago by 4.

posted by Howard_T at 07:32 PM on February 15

NBA Pick 'Em Week 16: Go Mavericks Edition

Continuing with the business that was interrupted by dinner preparation:

Cavaliers having trouble controlling their mounts. Oklahoma city by 7

West Coast games are terrible for my sleeping pattern. Not so good for Boston either. Portland by 10.

Pacers trot to DC but there's no yellow brick road to these Wizards. Washington by 12. SLAM

Bulls will try to roam the desert. Suns do not shine brightly. Chicago by 8.

Kevin Durant will not be welcomed as the Prodigal Son, but he wins anyway. Golden State by 10.

Popovich has his team give basketball lessons to the big city. San Antonio by 9.

For their efforts on Sunday, the Spurs are rewarded with a trip to the Midwest. San Antonio by 14.

The team from a city in disbelief to play in the Northwest. The Hawks don't do any better than those other birds. Portland by 5.

posted by Howard_T at 11:05 PM on February 08

NBA Pick 'Em Week 16: Go Mavericks Edition

Tonight for openers, the rest later:

Los Angeles (fast sailing ship variety) by 11 SLAM Golden State by 16 SLAM

posted by Howard_T at 06:00 PM on February 08

SportsFilter: The Tuesday Huddle

I'm very sorry to hear of your loss, Rogers. You and your family are in my prayers.

posted by Howard_T at 08:21 PM on February 07

SportsFilter: The Tuesday Huddle

Too bad they won't fire the organization. Bruce Cassidy is inheriting a mess that has no near term possibility of getting better. If there's any place to assign the blame, it is with the scouting department. For a few years, perhaps the last 5, the only decent forward they have drafted was European. The North American players have generally disappointed. I've been a Bruins fan for a long time, but it is at the point now that I have no desire to attend a game, nor will I even watch them on TV unless there is nothing else to watch. This situation reminds me of the early 1960s, when they annually were 4th or 5th in the 6-team league.

posted by Howard_T at 01:45 PM on February 07

The Greatest Comeback in NFL History

One final bit of snarkiness from the Dartmouth (MA) Police Department as reported in The Boston Globe

DARTMOUTH POLICE DEPARTMENT (UNOFFICIAL)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Monday, February 6, 2017

"DEFLATEGATE TWO" INVESTIGATION UNDER WAY

HOUSTON, TX Upon the completion of Super Bowl LI, an independent investigation, now coined "Deflategate Two," was launched.

The investigation stems from the unexpected deflation of Roger GOODELL's ego at the completion of the game.

Though the investigation is still in its early stages, it was reported that a very happy and smiling Tom BRADY was in close proximity to GOODELL when the incident took place.

No further information is available at this time.

posted by Howard_T at 10:29 PM on February 06

The Greatest Comeback in NFL History

tron, it's typical of Belichick to make a decision like that. Do you remember a game in Denver when Patriots were trailing late, were backed up against their own goal line, and were facing 4th down? They could have tried to go for it, but instead opted to take a deliberate safety. Belichick trusted his defense to hold. They held, got the ball back, and Brady took over against a tiring defense.

posted by Howard_T at 01:02 PM on February 06

The Greatest Comeback in NFL History

My wife started to jump off the couch, forgetting she is in a walking boot. Kicked the coffee table with the boot, took a chunk out of the leg of the table, but who the hell cares. That's as crazy a game as I have ever seen.

posted by Howard_T at 10:35 PM on February 05

The Greatest Comeback in NFL History

I don't quite believe the 4th quarter. I think I might just have seen everything.

posted by Howard_T at 10:18 PM on February 05

SportsFilter: The Sunday Huddle

So Rivers puts him in with just a few seconds left. Nobody is on him on defense, he goes to the spot from which he has hit so many big shots, and promptly drains a 3. Fitting ending for a great career.

posted by Howard_T at 04:38 PM on February 05

SportsFilter: The Sunday Huddle

The crowd keeps chanting for Paul Pierce to come back into the game. The only Paul that Doc Rivers wants to put in is Chris Paul.

posted by Howard_T at 03:54 PM on February 05

SportsFilter: The Sunday Huddle

With about 7 minutes left in the 1st quarter, the video tribute to Pierce played. My son and I are directly behind the Clippers bench, about 12 rows back. We could easily see the emotion on Pierce's face. I'm having trouble keeping the tears out of my eyes too.

posted by Howard_T at 02:25 PM on February 05

SportsFilter: The Sunday Huddle

At TD Garden for Paul Pierce's last game in Boston. Something I've never heard before, a massive, prolonged standing O as the Clippers come out for the layup line. Never before for a visiting player. You are loved, Paul Pierce.

posted by Howard_T at 01:52 PM on February 05

SportsFilter: The Saturday Huddle

For VII through XVII I was either in Japan or Hawaii; XXI - XXIII were spent on USS Midway (CV-41) listening to the radio broadcast from the Armed Forces Radio Service. We were actually in the North Arabian Sea during XXII. All of the others were watched somewhere within the continental United States, most in NH, one each in Florida and Georgia, and 2 each Baltimore and Seattle. I must confess that the game meant very little to me unless Patriots were in it, but my interest has grown as I pay more attention.

posted by Howard_T at 04:53 PM on February 04

NFL Playoff Pick 'Em: Super Bowl 0x33 Edition

New England by 10 LOCK

First Field Goal: Gostkowski

First TD: Edelman

Most Passing Yards: Brady

Most Rushing Yards: Blount

Most Receiving Yards: Hogan

Player with a Sack: Ninkovitch

Player with an Interception: McCourty

First Fumble: Freeman

Pick 'em Winner: rumple

posted by Howard_T at 10:08 PM on February 03

SportsFilter: The Wednesday Huddle

Small dog or large cat? Neither of the above. It's a well-armed skunk that he is keeping ready for the appropriate moment with Roger Goodell.

posted by Howard_T at 05:20 PM on February 01

NBA Pick 'Em Week 15: Proud Refugee Luol Deng Edition

Tough week, this last. I must do better this week and in the future. There are some good ones to pick, so I will get to it.

Hungry Wolves hunt in Cleveland. Cavaliers have had some problems without J. R. Smith, but Wolves are still learning. Cleveland by 9.

Bulls head for cattle country. They are rounded up and sent to the slaughter house. Oklahoma City by 14. SLAM

Hawks could use Harden's beard for nesting material. Don't worry, James, they don't hava a chance. Houston by 13.

A growing rivalry gets another chapter. Golden state by 8.

Sad to see what was once THE GAME fall to an inconsequential level. Of interest, Celtics and Lakers are currently tied for the most wins by a franchise in NBA history. Boston by 11. SLAM

Mavericks to the Northwest to face a decent, young team. Portland by 12.

Knicks in some disarray will try to showcase 'Melo. Cleveland by 14 SLAM

Super Bowl Sunday matinee. Meeting my son for brunch and the game. Boston by 4.

Cavaliers seem to dominate the TV this week. DC's backcourt can be tough. Cleveland by 6.

Discipline vs dogged defense. This one could set a low scoring mark. San Antonio by 8.

posted by Howard_T at 12:23 AM on February 01

SportsFilter: The Monday Huddle

If there are any SpoFites near enough to Boston to attend Wednesday's Celtics vs Toronto game on Wednesday night, I have one ticket. The terms and conditions are that you will have to sit next to me and put up with my screaming, abuse of incompetent officials, and general fandom. It is one of my 2 season tickets, my wife is still in a cast so she cannot go, and my son is on jury duty and has to get up early. The cost will be at least 1 beer. If any of you can make it, drop a comment in reply to this and we can plan where and when to meet up. Earliest comment accepting gets the seat.

posted by Howard_T at 10:30 PM on January 30

Boston Sports Writer Trolls 'Zero Enthusiasm' Atlanta

Shaggnasty became a part-time talking head on one of the local cable sports outlets a few years ago. If you think he's bad in print, you should hear how insufferable he becomes when he he's trying to talk about sports. The only thing he does is to run down one or another Boston team or player, picking on a real or perceived fault that usually has nothing to do with performance. I have started hitting the mute button whenever I see him on the flat screen.

His colleague (or former colleague) Bob Ryan somehow managed to maintain some degree of accuracy and integrity. Perhaps that is because of Ryan's encyclopedic knowledge of sports in general and Boston sports in particular. He can be quite interesting to listen to.

I agree that the Globe's on-line sports are barely worth the effort it takes to click the mouse. The Herald at least gives the content for free, but their site is not updated frequently and it sometimes seems to take a long time to load a page. Still, at least one can actually read a whole story without being told to pay up.

The difference in attendance percentage (of seats filled I presume) is interesting but not surprising. Atlanta's stadium is a dome, Gillette is not. There's nothing like sitting through a Patriots' game in 30 degree weather with rain. It's even better when the temperatures drop into the low 20s or teens. I don't wonder that more than a few ticket holders stay home rather than drive to the game, knowing that it will take at least 30 minutes just to get out of the parking lot. Then you have to face Rt. 1 on top of that. Fun, fun, fun.

posted by Howard_T at 11:41 PM on January 29

SportsFilter: The Friday Huddle

Hey there, fellow denizen (or at least former) of Lower Quebec. I have umpired on the field at Holman Stadium many times. The AA team that was there in the 1940s was a Dodgers' farm team that had Roy Campanella and Don Newcombe on the roster. The manager was a guy named Alston. Later on the team was a Pirates' affiliate, with such as Bobby Bonilla playing here. An independent league team came in and the city hired the guy who took care of the KC Royals and Chiefs stadium to teach the Parks and Rec guys how to groom the field. He did well, because there's not a bad hop there. He used to bitch at us when we were doing high school and Babe Ruth games because he was afraid we would harm the turf. There's a wooden bat league team there during the season now. It used to be managed by the brother of the Boston Red Sox radio broadcaster, Neverett. Nashua has always been a really good baseball town.

posted by Howard_T at 04:47 PM on January 29

SportsFilter: The Friday Huddle

There was a minor league team here in Nashua many years ago. I can't remember the league or even the team name.They didn't last very long, but their legacy is a good one. The building they played in was turned into a State liquor store that has an extensive selection of wine.

posted by Howard_T at 07:16 PM on January 27

NBA Pick 'Em Week 14: Ads on the Jersey Edition

Finally I have a spare moment. Let's see what we can do with the rest of the picks. Celtics are home tonight, but I have the game away for a church raffle.

South Beach visits a train wreck. Miami by 11 SLAM
LA Clippers to the lion's den. Lions feast. Golden State by 8.
Celtics have some ouchies (Bradley, Horford). They hang in. Boston by 6.
Bourbon Street goes to the desert. No problem. Memphis by 12.

posted by Howard_T at 07:06 PM on January 27

NBA Pick 'Em Week 14: Ads on the Jersey Edition

Missed last night. I was running around like a mad man, then off to the Celtics vs Houston, Isaiah vs the beard. Good game, and Isaiah put up 38. I'll do tonight's picks, and then get the balance tomorrow.

Dallas vs Westbrook in OKC. Home wins. Oklahoma City by 9
LA Purple can't dance to the Jazz. Utah by 12. SLAM

posted by Howard_T at 06:48 PM on January 26

SportsFilter's 15th Anniversary

Wow, 15 years. That's almost as old as my truck. To be serious, it takes a lot of hard work and dedication to keep something like SpoFi going for that long. Congratulations and thanks, rcade, for what you have accomplished here. I just looked it up, and I have been hanging out for nearly 11 of those 15. Where has the time gone?

The metaphor I think of when I try to describe SpoFi is that of a bunch of guys in a sports bar. These guys know and respect each other, not everybody shows up each night, but all stay current on what's going on. The discussions are lively but not rancorous, and they sometimes get really fun. Every once in a while some guy at a nearby table cuts into the conversation with inappropriate comments, but he is soon quieted. A few of these guys have understood and have stayed around, usually to the benefit of the rest of us. The common thread is that most of us learn something every time we check in.

posted by Howard_T at 06:32 PM on January 24

SportsFilter: The Friday Huddle

The Blue Jays are wearing red home uniforms on Sundays this year.

Orioles are black, with some orange for glow
Cardinals are red, well the male's shade is so
But Jays are blue, the red unis must go.
White flannels at home is the old school show.

posted by Howard_T at 11:40 PM on January 20

NFL Playoff Pick 'Em: Conference Championship Edition

So it is time for the conference championships. Here in New England it's time to ask, "Where's Roger?" I'm sure Mr. Goodell would love to hand the Lamar Hunt Trophy over to the Patriots. Of course, that assumes that New England will beat the Steelers, but the Patriots are favored. Roger will be in Atlanta. It's warmer there, and certainly friendlier. Good luck, Mr. Commissioner.

Brady vs an inexperienced secondary. Steelers will try to get to Brady. It won't work. New England by 7 LOCK

Two QBs who are both playing lights out. Which way to go? I'll take the one with the double vowels in his first name. Green Bay by 4.

Prolific Passer: Brady (NEP)
Rampaging Runner: Ty Montgomery (GBP)
Rambunctious Receiver: Edelman (NEP)
Interrupting Interceptor: McCourty (NEP)

posted by Howard_T at 11:29 PM on January 20

NBA Pick 'Em Week 13: No Rivals Edition

Last week turned out well enough, although I missed on the Chicago vs Memphis game. I really did not think the Grizzlies would blow a lead. Oh well. Fun stuff locally; watching Isaiah Thomas take over the 4th quarter is really fun. We sit there in the balcony seats and over and over again say, "How does he do that?" He's amazing.

On to the picks:

Bucks' can be good, but then there's Harden. Houston by 16. SLAM
Golden State seemed to round into form vs Cleveland. Golden State by 18. SLAM
NY on the 2nd night of a back-to-back, but Washington struggles sometimes. New York by 5.
T-Wolves could be going after the lame horse. Minnesota by 6.
Here comes Golden State, Warriors on the warpath. Ambush ahead? Nah. Golden State by 9.
Indiana has trouble putting away a game they lead in. Lakers just have trouble. Indiana by 5.
Spurs are just good enough to take this one with Cavs missing J. R. Smith. San Antonio by 4.
First home game after a 3-game road trip. Can mean trouble, but it's the Knicks. Indiana by 8.

posted by Howard_T at 11:11 PM on January 17

NFL Playoff Pick 'Em: Divisional Round Edition

It's pick 'em time for football once again. Just think, counting this week there are only 3 more to go. I fear there will be SpoFites suffering from pick 'em withdrawal soon.

Ryan can cement his reputation in this one. Atlanta by 6
Vince Wilfork's farewell game? Sad to see him go. New England by 18 LOCK
Can Pittsburgh score enough to overcome their porous defense? Kansas City by 8
This one could be a classic. Rookie vs grizzled veteran. Youth is served. Dallas by 3.

Golden Arm: Rogers (GBP)
Golden Legs: Bell (PIT)
Golden Hands: Jones (ATL)
Golden Defender: Hightower (NEP)

posted by Howard_T at 11:57 PM on January 13

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle

Bill Simmons gets some unusual recognition from a barista.

posted by Howard_T at 10:51 PM on January 12

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle

I'm watching Pacers vs Nuggets from London right now. What a difference between the rather reserved British crowd and the usually raucous NBA experience. It almost sounds like they are playing in a high school gym. Players often say that they are energized by the crowd. I wonder if the lack of fan reaction will have any effect on the quality of play. So far it doesn't appear so.

posted by Howard_T at 03:36 PM on January 12

NBA Pick 'Em Week 12: Unexcused Absence Edition

Now to continue where I left off. Last night's game featured the 4th quarter Isaiah Thomas show, when Thomas went off for 20 of his 38. He is somehow able to keep his legs late in the game, even on the 2nd night of a back-to-back. In the meantime, Washington seemed to suffer from a case of "4th quarter legs". That is, as the legs get tired, the mid-range and 3-point shots quit falling. It was obvious last night, as Celtics exploded and Wizards fell flat. One final note, the referees were calling very little of the incidental contact last night, including more than a few occasions when players from both teams were hit pretty hard on shot attempts in the paint. It led to some confrontation, and at the end of the game Jay Crowder and John Wall were "engaging in a little trash talk", according to Wall. At one point Crowder had his finger on Wall's nose, thereby disregarding the wisdom that you can pick your nose and you can pick your friends, but you can't pick your friend's nose.

On with the picks:

Which locker room will Derek Rose show up in? New York by 6
Engine don't run good when the Pistons got no rings. Golden State by 14 SLAM
Return of the Native (apology to Thomas Hardy for stealing his title) Horford leads Boston by 9
The trip will not be too great for Pistons. Back-to-back trying to keep up with Jazz. Utah by 10.
Sounds like Wall Street with the Bulls vs the Bears (Grizzlies). Market is down. Memphis by 8.
Neither of these two is playing to full potential. I'll go with the homers. Golden State by 7.
Inclement weather vs the fast sailing ships. They will survive the thunder. LA Clippers by 5.

posted by Howard_T at 03:27 PM on January 12

SportsFilter: The Tuesday Huddle

Vicodin, beaverboard, but I fear running afoul of NH and their crackdown on opiate abuse. Actually, I took only 1 from this bottle, but my wife is down with a broken leg, and she has been popping one every now and then to take care of her pain.

posted by Howard_T at 05:16 PM on January 11

NBA Pick 'Em Week 12: Unexcused Absence Edition

I will pick tonight's games for now. Have to get dinner going and head out to the game at TD Garden.

Celtics will be sharper after blowing a lead last night. Boston by 12 SLAM
Watch out for this bunch from the Northwest. Portland by 3

Off to watch the back court duel of John Wall vs Isaiah Thomas. Should be fun.

posted by Howard_T at 05:12 PM on January 11

SportsFilter: The Tuesday Huddle

I had 3 teeth pulled Monday and the technician who helped in the process is a stout Alabama fan. (Well, she's not "fat" stout, rather she's stout in her strong like for Alabama.) She called me today to make sure that I was doing well after the surgery. I was doing a lot better than she was, I'm sure.

posted by Howard_T at 11:48 PM on January 10

NFL Pick 'Em Champion Crowned

Congratulation, Ufez, that was a great job with the picking. Many thanks, rcade, for running this. It's always a lot of fun, and it's one of the things that keeps Sports Filter and its denizens as my favorite sports-related web sit.

posted by Howard_T at 11:43 PM on January 10

NFL Playoff Pick 'Em: Wild-Card Edition

I'm sure my regular season mediocrity will continue as we journey through the playoffs. Here goes nothing:

Terrible QB with some experience vs rookie QB with none. Houston by 10.
Lions brought this upon themselves by gagging during the regular season. Seattle by 9.
'Fins took out Steelers once. They won't do it again. Pittsburgh by 14.
Giants like to swagger and boast, but Green Bay just likes to win. Green Bay by 14.

Mr. Golden Arm (most passing yards): Roethlisberger (PIT)
Mr. Golden Legs (most rushing yards): Leveon Bell (PIT)
Mr. Golden Hands (most receiving yards): Jordy Nelson (GBP)
Mr. Golden Theft (Interceptor): Al-Hajj Shabazz (PIT)

posted by Howard_T at 11:47 PM on January 06

NBA Pick 'Em Week 11: Nick Young Dance Party Edition

A little bit of progress last week. We've crawled out of the cellar and have put a couple of competitors behind us. Now we have to keep grinding and perhaps emulate the Celtics' Isaiah Thomas in the 4th quarter. Saw him against Utah last night, and he is truly incredible.

James Harden vs Russell Westbrook. I'd love to see this one. Oklahoma City by 9.
Popovich takes his gang to Denver. Nuggets do not prosper. San Antonio by 18 SLAM
Porzingis shows some flaws. Can the man with the strange name stop him? New York by 6
Grinders vs relentless offense. Golden State by 10 SLAM
A pair of defensive juggernauts here. Look for a total score less than 190. Memphis by 4
Nothing to comment on here. Los Angeles (Purple & Gold) by 14 SLAM

posted by Howard_T at 10:52 PM on January 04

SportsFilter: The Monday Huddle

The Rose Bowl broadcast had a cameo appearance by Keith Jackson. It would have been better had they not put him anywhere near a camera or microphone. He does not look good, his speech is halting and occasionally a bit slurred, and in general he shows signs of aging. I would much have preferred to remember him in his prime when the "Whoa, Nellies" came fast and furiously.

The game itself, by the way, is a beauty. 84 total points so far, and they're only 4 1/2 minutes into the 4th quarter.

posted by Howard_T at 08:43 PM on January 02

SportsFilter: The Friday Huddle

It is well that things like this are not included as prizes in our several pick 'em contests.

posted by Howard_T at 08:58 PM on December 30

NFL Pick 'Em Week 17: One-Legged Quarterback Edition

Time for some higher mathematics. No, I don't mean trying to operate my slide rule (I still have my old one from college) while smoking some interesting substances. I mean really complicated stuff like addition. I now trail the leader by 166 points, and with my "smashing" win of last week, I actually made up 1 WHOLE POINT on our leader. My conclusion is that the NFL season needs to be more than 3 1/2 years longer for me to have a chance. rcade, can you call your good friend Roger Goodell and have him arrange that?

Minnesota by 6
Buffalo by 12
Pittsburgh by 17 LOCK
Philadelphia by 3
Indianapolis by 13
Carolina by 6
New England by 7
Baltimore by 8
Tennessee by 7
Arizona by 12 LOCK
Kansas City by 10
New York (National Conference) by 6
Denver by 9
Atlanta by 14 LOCK
Seattle by 9 LOCK
Detroit by 4

posted by Howard_T at 05:58 PM on December 29

Buffalo Bills Fire Rex Ryan After Almost 2 Seasons

He will be missed in New England. There were many who thought he was useless as a coach. I say he was not useless; he was very good at being held up as a bad example. If nothing else, he was always fun.

posted by Howard_T at 11:26 PM on December 27

NBA Pick 'Em Week 10: George Karl's Distracting Posse Edition

Slowly we crawl toward the door from the cellar. With a limited number of picks we likely won't make it out of the Costanza position this week, but perhaps we can close a little bit. Neither game looks to be so predictable to select as a slam. We'll just take them on their merit and hope we are right.

In their usual style, Celtics keep it close, but in the end... Cleveland by 6
Dallas seems to be a bit underachieving, and Lakers are a talented but young team. Dallas by 8.

posted by Howard_T at 03:25 PM on December 27

SportsFilter: The Tuesday Huddle

Rex wanted feet, but just got the boot.

He said when he was hired by the Bills that the Buffalo job would be his last. I do hope he will recant on that, otherwise we will miss him here in New England.

posted by Howard_T at 03:18 PM on December 27

SportsFilter: The Sunday Huddle

Maybe a purchasing manifest for some lifelike dolls?

If they are the inflatable kind, they will not work. Remember, there can be some strange air pressure problems in Foxborough. Sticking pins into the life size blow-up dolls kind of defeats the whole purpose anyway.

posted by Howard_T at 10:42 PM on December 26

SportsFilter: The Sunday Huddle

May this season of light bring joy to all SpoFites and their loved ones. Whether it's the lamps of Hanukkah or the light of Christ or the light of Kwanza or even the light at the Solstice, may we all enjoy the joy and peace of the season.

posted by Howard_T at 02:51 PM on December 25

NBA Pick 'Em Week 9: Craig Sager Memorial Edition

Sunday will be crazy for me, so I had best get the picks done while I can.

They looked good in a loss to Oklahoma City last night. Boston by 6
Neither team will forget last season's finale. Cleveland by 4
Chicago looked good, then looked terrible. San Antonio by 10 SLAM
Russell West brook is INSANE. I saw but still do not believe. Oklahoma City by 14 SLAM
Los Angeles will win this one for sure. (really?) Clippers by 11

posted by Howard_T at 12:57 PM on December 24

NFL Pick 'Em Week 16: Farewell Gus Bradley Edition

Have to hurry. Baking pies for Christmas dinner at my step-mother-in-law's house. Last one's in the oven now. 2 church services to do tonight, then get to pass the Chalice at a third. Christmas around here is enough to drive one to drink. Come to think of it, that's not a bad idea.

San Diego by 17 LOCK
Miami by 6
Atlanta by 7
New England by 9
Washington by 10
Tennessee by 12
Green Bay by 13 LOCK
Oakland by 10
San Francisco by 6
New Orleans by 8
Seattle by 6
Houston by 3
Pittsburgh by 14 LOCK
Dallas by 12 LOCK

A very merry Christmas and a happy Hanukkah to all. May the season bring you blessings.

posted by Howard_T at 12:50 PM on December 24

NFL Pick 'Em Week 16: Farewell Gus Bradley Edition

Have to get dinner going soon. Steak, salad, Brussels sprouts in brown butter. Here is tonight's pick:

New York (National Conference) by10

More later after dessert.

posted by Howard_T at 06:24 PM on December 22

NBA Pick 'Em Week 9: Craig Sager Memorial Edition

Busy night tonight. Let me get tonight's games done, and I will check back later.

The team is finally healthy, Boston by 8 No Blake Griffin for this one (I think), San Antonio by 5

posted by Howard_T at 06:22 PM on December 22

SportsFilter: The Tuesday Huddle

I had little, if any, appreciation for Ray Hudson's inimitable style until beaverboard's comment sent me to do a bit of research. If you are an older fan of the Boston Celtics, you will understand this comparison: Ray Hudson is soccer's Johnny Most.

posted by Howard_T at 06:19 PM on December 22

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle

Where in the blazes did Seattle get those uniforms? The last time I saw something that color it was coming out of the nose of a very sick cat we were taking to the vet to be put down. I hope the NFL gets some sense and does not bring back the "color rush" idea next season.

posted by Howard_T at 10:03 PM on December 15

NFL Pick 'Em Week 15: Farewell Jeff Fisher Edition

The way this is going for me I might have to look up tron's grandmother and find out if she is single. Of course, I would have to do something about my current wife, but those things can be arranged. No, I'm not looking to put out a contract. If we split everything in half, I would actually come out ahead, so maybe that would work.

Seattle by 17 LOCK
Miami by 9
Buffalo by 7 LOCK
Minnesota by 14 LOCK
Philadelphia by 6
Houston by 9
New York (National Conference) by 3
Green Bay by 12 LOCK
Pittsburgh by 14
Kansas City by 7 LOCK
Atlanta by 16 LOCK
Arizona by 3
New England by 7
Oakland by 9
Dallas by 17 LOCK
Washington by 10 LOCK

posted by Howard_T at 05:49 PM on December 15

NBA Pick 'Em Week 8: Last-Place Dallas Mavericks Edition

Ah yes. From the penthouse to the outhouse. Why does the NBA hate me? Why do the teams see my picks and deliberately play well or poorly, as required to mess me up? It's a vast right wing point guard conspiracy. We will overcome this.

Chicago by 9
Portland by 6
Indiana by 7
San Antonio by 10
Chicago by 12 SLAM
Golden State by 18 SLAM
Los Angeles by 11
Utah by 15 SLAM

posted by Howard_T at 06:06 PM on December 13

SportsFilter: The Saturday Huddle

I watched the Army-Navy game this afternoon. It is a tradition in our house for a number of reasons. I spent 2 years wearing a bar on my collar and managing a Mark 1, Mod. B desk, steel, two-pedestal for the US Army on Okinawa, but since most of my career was spent supporting Naval Aviation, I have rooted for Navy for a long time. Having a wife whose father was a career Navy Captain, a submariner with 5 war patrols in WWII to his credit who also captained the first guided missile submarine in the Navy, means we root for Navy or find other sleeping arrangements. Still, I sort of felt good when Army finally broke the streak. They earned it.

I also stayed with the broadcast long enough to watch Vern Lundquist's very emotional farewell address. He is one of the all-time great play-by-play guys, and I believe until he announced his retirement really didn't get the credit he deserved. He is being replaced at CBS by Brad Nessler, who calls a pretty good game. If he does half as well as Lundquist did, he will do well indeed.

posted by Howard_T at 08:55 PM on December 10

NFL Pick 'Em Week 14: Just Endure The Suffering Edition

Loin lamb chops, soaked in a brine solution and seasoned with garlic, butternut squash, broccoli, chocolate mousse, and red wine for dinner tonight. Have to make the picks quick so I can get started on the stove. I may lose, but I will dine well.

Kansas City by 6
Detroit by 12 LOCK
Cleveland by 3 (my upset special for the week)
Tennessee by 7 (#2 upset special)
Miami by 9
Carolina by 10
Washington by 7
Pittsburgh by 12
Indianapolis by 6
Jacksonville by 14 LOCK
San Francisco by 11
Atlanta by 22 LOCK
New Orleans by 9
Seattle by 4
New York (National Conference) by 6
New England by 7

posted by Howard_T at 05:11 PM on December 08