Who needs a good Lawyer?: Can you believe the Patriots released Lawyer Milloy today? Wow. The NFL is a strange league sometimes...I just hope they know what they're doing; they've just released the team captain and leader. Mr. Belichick, you may be a defensive mastermind, but do you still think you're smarter than the rest of the league? Meanwhile, in all likelyhood, Milloy may just make it to Buffalo for New England's Week 1 tilt -- only he'd be playing for the Bills. Drew and Co. are definitely interested.
Any good local sportsblogs out there?: I've been a member of SportsFilter for the last year or so, and a few months ago I launched my own Boston Sports Blog. Any other SpoFi'ers out there running their own local area blogs? Or have you bookmarked any good ones? I've been reading JoeNetsFan to get the enemy perspective for the Boston/New Jersey series. What local blogs are you reading besides SpoFi?
Reach out and touch someone: Fan hits Everett with cellie:
Known for umpire-bumping, reporter-threatening and hysterical soundbites, Carl Everett is usually the one starting fracases. But Saturday, a fan in Oakland beaned him in the back of his head with his cell phone. Where is this fan violence coming from? When will it end? And what can MLB do about it?
Larry made me a star...
: Michael Jordan talks about his last, er, third last visit to Boston to play the Celtics this afternoon, and says that facing Larry Bird in his historic 63-point playoff performance legitimized him as a rising star in 1986. And when Larry recognized him by essentially comparing him to God after the game, well, the world knew that Michael Jordan was The Next Big Thing.
The NBA's Donnie Brasco
: Great piece from the Boston Globe detailing the incredible story of NBA ref Bob Delaney, who spent two and a half years undercover in the mob.
Ha! I always knew the NBA was fixed. ;)
From the penalty box to the luxury box
: Ray Bourque has re-signed in Boston. Only he's not playing hockey, but instead is working to sell box seats for the FleetCenter, and trading on his stock as a local sports icon to do so. Not a bad deal.
Sports and the subculture of sex:
A quick survey of the groupie culture in the big four pro sports leagues: Orlando Magic GM Pat Williams calls the NBA All-Star Game the "Super Bowl of sports sex".
Lennox Lewis' Next Opponent: WWE Champ Brock Lesnar?:
A british tabloid is reporting that Lewis has had a secret meeting with wrestling impresario Vince McMahon and will face off against Lesnar, the current WWE champ, at an event next February. The price tag? $5 million. Lewis' camp is not commenting.
Stranger things have happened. Muhammed Ali and Japanese wrestling star Antonio Inoki met in the ring in 1978. Lawrence Taylor stepped in the ring with Bam Bam Bigelow at Wrestlemania XI. And Mike Tyson spent some time promoting Wrestlemania XIV in 1998 and appeared as a "guest enforcer", but did not wrestle.
Nowinski Learning Ropes in WWE: A former Harvard football player and MTV "Tough Enough" runner-up, Chris Nowinski made the jump from college football stand-out to professional wrestling. He's regarded as one of wrestling's up and coming stars, and his gimmick is simple but effective for being a hated villain.
He went to Harvard and you didn't.
Marino in '84. Bledsoe in '02.:
Being a lifelong Pats fan and a Bledsoe admirer, it's great to see Drew posting some crazy numbers. At the ridiculous pace he's on, he could approach the 48 TD, 4,500 yard neighborhood. Provided the Bills O-line doesn't get him killed first.
So why did the Pats trade him within the divison? Belichick seems to think he's mastered Bledsoe, but still, New England could beat the Bills both times in the regular season and still lose a playoff spot to Buffalo because they are so dramatically improved. There must have been an NFC team with interest...
Celtics sold. Will the new owners hang #17?:
This one comes as a big shocker here in Boston. No one had any idea the team was up for sale. You know Larry Bird is pissed. Now that Paul Gaston is out, will these guys open the wallets and try to win a title?
Tom Brady: Elite Quarterback?:
A lifelong Pats fan, I've been an ardent Bledsoe guy for a long time (I was p*ssed when they let him go to the Bills and I loved every one of his 463 yards on Sunday), but even I am starting to come around on Tom Brady. I spent a lot of time convinced that he couldn't make the throws that Bledsoe could and that the Pats dumbed down the offense for him, but it's becoming obvious that Brady's already one of the best QB's in the league.
I'm not ready to call him the next Joe Montana, and the New England defense sure has made his job easy, but this guy is getting better every week.
So anyone out there still not think the Pats are for real?
Pierce Stabbing Trial Finally Starts:
We always think of pro athletes as untouchable, and they generally see themselves the same way. Not Paul Pierce, who was nearly killed in a Boston nightclub two years ago. He'll soon be taking the stand as his stabbing trial begins this week.
It was obvious that Pierce was going to be good, but I think that the incident made Pierce a better player. You always hear about Vince and T-Mac, but Pierce is a better player who is only now getting national attention after the Celtics' run to the Eastern Conference Finals.
Um, Kordell, sometimes, the best team wins...again!:
"We can stop making comparisons that they shouldn't have won the AFC championship game. They proved it tonight."
Just got back from Gillette Stadium. What a facility. And what a show by the Super Bowl Champions, especially on defense. Finally, the Steelers are admitting that the Patriots are the better team. Apparently the big gaudy rings on their fingers wasn't enough. Anyway, Flowers and Stewart were among the biggest off-season Steeler trash talkers who failed to bring Hefty bags to Foxboro Monday night.
Stewart, who threw three picks, fumbled and was sacked five times, in Real Audio: "We got our butts kicked."
Bono said it best after the game. "It was a Beautiful Day..."
Can Baker Make a Comeback in Boston?:
Vin Baker is starting over in Boston with the Celtics, after a trade that nobody in Boston likes, and this piece at NESN.com implies that Coach Jim O'Brien isn't happy about the deal, either. And the SportsGuy absolutely hates the deal. Meanwhile, a much more mature Kenny Anderson looks ahead to his new job as Gary Payton's back-up. And he pretty much thinks the C's made a big mistake.
I agree with the BSG. I think this deal stinks for the C's. What about you?
Finally, somebody admits, "It's about the money":
Wang Zhizhi claims he's not going to defect to the United States in the latest piece on his situation with the NBA and Chinese Baksetball. But the best part of this story is the last quote when he discusses his NBA options as a restricted free agent and whether he'll return to the Mavs. Must be the language barrier or something...
'Roids and Wrestling: Been there, done that:
The athletes of pro wrestling (and yes, they are amazing athletes) had a ridiculous steroid problem in the 80s, when guys' muscles were literally tearing their own skin from their skeletons. And now guys like Davey Boy Smith (one of the famed British Bulldogs) are dropping dead before they are 40. He's not the only one. And if baseball really has the problem that Canseco and Caminiti say it does, the sport should expect similar casualties.
Of course NBA Finals ratings are down...without U2:
The AP is reporting that Game 1 of the NBA Finals is down in ratings 15% from last year's LA-Philly Game 1. But they neglected to mention that the halftime show last year was a live cut in to the U2 concert in Boston (an amazing show, by the way, that I went to on crutches). In a related story, the Patriots Super Bowl Champions video has been widely reported as the greatest-selling sports video of all time. Hmm....could it be because they included U2's outstanding halftime performance on the DVD? You've got to think that the legions of U2 fans spiked Game 1's ratings last June, and drove up sales of the Patriots video as well.
The point? Sports championships, by themselves, may not be enough these days to draw the big ratings TV and league execs want. And what can the NFL do to top this year's halftime show?
The WWF admits that it's fixed. And its refs are better.
Honestly, I love the NBA, but tonight's officiating was ridiculous. How does Kobe get away with a forearm shiver to the face directly in front of the ref?? Was Triple H distracting him from outside the ring? Did he get laid out with a steel chair?
But what about Boston? (more inside)
Pitino Proud Of Celtics:
Rick Pitino has nothing but praise for Jim O'Brien and the Celtics, who have turned things around since he quit last season and are in the Eastern Conference Finals.
Then again, Pitino always said he'd have the C's at a championship level in five years. Then he left town and everyone dubbed him a charlatan.
Well, five years after he came to Boston, here they are. Celtics-Lakers anyone? This train is bound for glory...
Is this column written in English?: I've given up on trying to read Ralph Wiley's ESPN.com columns. Run-on sentences, slang and jive-talk coupled with obscure references and nonsense make his columns unreadable.
Here's a quote from his recent piece on how to fix the Knicks: "Then this proposed Knicks team won't contend to dethrone Shaq/Kobe until LeBron has three years under his belt and/or Yao figures out his butt from a hole in the ground and/or Jason figures out he's not God because he was Chosen by Duke, but just another good one who must play with passion to separate himself from the NFL pack, like Baron does (love him -- take him over Jase right now, which is saying a mouthful)."
What the heck does that mean? And while we're at it, how exactly are the Knicks going to get Baron Davis from Charlotte/New Orleans? Ridiculous.
NBA Rigging the Playoff Schedule?: Two different columnists (The link here is to NESN.com, and ESPN.com's SportsGuy did it too...) have pretty much claimed that the NBA gave the Sixers-Celtics series more off days than any other in the East because David Stern wants Philly to advance.
Meanwhile, last year Ray Allen pretty much said that the league "wanted" Philly in the Finals. And then there's the Western Conference Game 7 in 1993 in which the Suns went to the line like 60 times, and according to George Karl, Barkley had allegedly already shot a Jordan-Barkley finals spot for NBC. Calling Vince McMahon...
Bleacher-Bum Cone ready to start "Yankees Suck!" chant at Fenway...: Well, somehow I doubt it. Cone isn't picthing this year, but apparently he's been buying tickets. He was in the bleachers at Yankee Stadium last Friday, and apparently plans on sitting in the right-field stands at Fenway Saturday when the Yankees visit Boston.
What would you say to him if you we're in the bleachers with him? He did pitch for the Sox last year, but face it, this guy's a Yankee. Don't expect the Fenway crowd to start genuflecting or anything.
Ewing's last night at MSG?: Patrick Ewing is a shadow of his former self and isn't getting that ring he hoped for when he signed with the Magic, but he's still an NBA great, and I can't stand the Knicks. He plays what is likely his last game at Madison Square Garden tonight. Is he the best ever to not win an NBA Title? What would Charles Barkley say?
Kidd for MVP? How about The Truth, Paul Pierce?:
Hey, J-Kidd is the best point guard in the league, and a great MVP candidate, but how about Paul Pierce of the 45-32 Boston Celtics? This guy kills everybody, including the Nets (remember his 46-point second half in December?) and leads the NBA in points in the fourth quarter. He had 32 Sunday night against NJ and is third in the league with 26.5 PPG. Pierce is also good for 7 rebounds, 3 assists and almost 2 steals a night. And he shoots the three at just over 40%. People need to start including Pierce when they talk about Vince (Raps are 8-0 without him), T-Mac (disappears in the fourth) and Iverson...
And while we're at it, what about Jim O'Brien for Coach of the Year? If you think Kidd is the MVP than the Nets turnaround can't be solely attributed to Byron Scott. As this writer points out, O'Brien turned around essentially the same Celtics team. Scott dumped Marbury and added Kidd. No wonder they're better this year.