Howard_T's profile

Name: Howard Titus
Location: Nashua, NH
ZIP: 03062
Gender: Old Alpha Male, hoping no young stud steals the herd.
Member since: April 08, 2006
Last visit: July 31, 2015

Howard_T has posted 36 links and 2925 comments to SportsFilter and 3 links and 265 comments to the Locker Room.

Sports Bio

Native Bostonian, with all attendant baggage still attached. Braves fan until they left for Milwaukee (yes, I'm that old), then it was the BoSox by default. Love all sports, but the favorites are baseball, hockey, football, and hoop, in that order. Used to umpire baseball at the Babe Ruth, Legion, and High School level. At my age, there are too many sports memories to really pick a favorite. Maybe it is Bill Russell's first game in Boston Garden. Another is the time when I was just back from Viet Nam and my dad took me to a Bruins game. This was in the glory days of Orr. Toronto was the opponent, they started 5 defensemen (really), and the fight started within the first minute or so.

Recent Links

Montreal Canadiens Jean Beliveau dead at 83: Montreal Canadiens have reported that Hockey Hall-of-Fame member and Montreal legend Jean Beliveau has passed away at age 83. Beliveau played 20 seasons for Canadiens, winning 10 Stanley Cup Championships, 5 of them coming when Beliveau wore the captain's C. He also served as a member of the team's management, earning 7 more cups along the way.

posted by Howard_T to hockey at 12:26 AM on December 03 - 2 comments

The Big Guys Get Their Way: The NCAA Board of Directors has given the 5 big conferences what amounts to near autonomy to set their own rules. It appears that football teams will now be ranked from Division 3 through FCS and FBS, with the largest 5 conferences in a new division called the Juggernaut Division.

posted by Howard_T to general at 11:26 PM on August 07 - 0 comments

Celtics Guard, Lakers Exec Bill Sharman Dies: Bill Sharman, high-scoring guard for the Boston Celtics, and later coach and executive with the Los Angeles Lakers has died at age 87. In the championship years with the Celtics, the mantra "Russell to Cousy to Sharman", describing the Boston fast break, was the equivalent of baseball's "Tinker to Evers to Chance".

posted by Howard_T to basketball at 03:15 PM on October 25 - 0 comments

The Bridgetown Senators?: This from Christopher Stuart Taylor of the Huffington Post tries to explain a possible bit of Canadian tax evasion on the part of Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk. The dodge involves setting up business relationships between Canada and Barbados. The businesses will then be taxed at the 2.5% Barbadian rate rather than the 30% Canadian rate. While the author leads with a Senators' connection, the actual investigation conducted by the CBC has nothing to do with the team. I'm sure Melnyk is clever enough to keep purely Canadian businesses out of the "Bajun" connection. Note: No matter which side (Canadian or Barbadian) is puling a fast one here, I'm on the bad side. My dad was from Nova Scotia, my mom from Barbados, and I still have family in both places.

posted by Howard_T to hockey at 01:32 PM on October 11 - 0 comments

Johnny Pesky, 1920-2012: Boston Red Sox legend Johnny Pesky died today at 92 years of age. He had been associated with the team in one capacity or another nearly continuously since 1942. Pesky, nee Paveskovich, is most remembered for the right-field foul pole that bears his name in Fenway Park.

posted by Howard_T to baseball at 05:12 PM on August 13 - 6 comments

Recent Comments

Roger Goodell Upholds Tom Brady's 4-Game Suspension on Appeal

I just ran across this blog tonight. It is perhaps the most reasoned analysis of the whole thing. It is written by a lawyer, Steph Stradley, who is also an NFL fan. The blog article is rather lengthy, but it is worth the read, if only to see a more or less neutral view. In response to rcades comment about leaks, above, MS Stradley makes note of the leaks and puts them in the category of "a bright, shiny object" intended to distract people from paying attention to the main point of contention.

My take on the leaks is that it is a deliberate attempt by the NFL to sully the reputation of the Patriots and Brady, thus making it more difficult for them to defend themselves in the so-called court of public opinion. This string of e-mails should be indicative of the NFL's attitude during this whole thing. Admittedly this is from a Patriots' web site, but the e-mails were sent and were not edited before being published on the site. Take them for what they are.

posted by Howard_T at 10:35 PM on July 31

Roger Goodell Upholds Tom Brady's 4-Game Suspension on Appeal

I find compelling the legal analysis offered by the lawyer and sports journalist Lester Munson.

Who works for ESPN.

There seems to be a pattern here of sources within the NFL leaking information, both false and somewhat accurate, if incomplete, to ESPN. (Absolutely false statements about the ball pressures and an incomplete statement about Brady's 'phone records.) The tactic seems to be to get the focus placed on supposed misconduct by Brady and the Patriots, rather than any stretching of the CBA. It's a bit like handing a can of gasoline and a book of matches to an arsonist and making him promise not to start any fires.

posted by Howard_T at 03:42 PM on July 31

The IOC announces Beijing as the host of the 2022 Winter Olympics.

It's like the bad joke about Chinese food: Have the Olympics and 13 years later you want to have the Olympics again.

posted by Howard_T at 03:30 PM on July 31

Roger Goodell Upholds Tom Brady's 4-Game Suspension on Appeal

I was shocked the NFL filed a suit pre-emptively to defend itself within minutes of announcing the appeal decision.

Why be shocked, rcade? The NFL was dead sure that the NFLPA would follow through with its stated intention of going to court over the suspension. They filed as soon as they could in order to have the idea of "first to file" in their favor, thus having a better chance of New York being the venue for the actual hearing. The motive for doing this is that their case might not be as solid as many think. When I skimmed through the NFLPA's filing, I noted that there was precedent that precluded Brady from being punished for violations related to equipment; such violations were found to be the fault of the team and not the individual. There were also precedents that players had not been punished for "general awareness" of violations. The New Orleans "Bountygate"* and the Miami bullying** cases were specifically cited. The NFLPA is claiming that the specific punishment by suspension of Brady would be an illegal expansion of the NFL's disciplinary procedures. Much is based on "The Law of the Shop" labor practices.

*The NFLPA claims that members of the New Orleans defense other than those actually punished for offenses must have been "generally aware" of the bounty practice, but were not punished.

**Similarly, the NFLPA's claim is that in the Miami bullying case, members of the offensive line other than Richie Incognito must have been "generally aware" of the bullying and did nothing to stop it. They too were not subjected to discipline.

posted by Howard_T at 12:37 PM on July 31

Roger Goodell Upholds Tom Brady's 4-Game Suspension on Appeal

The NFLPA based its filing in MN on the facts that the NFL did business there and had a franchise there. It's the same idea as suing Walmart in Detroit, for example. You would rather get a hearing there than to enter the suit in Bentonville, Arkansas. The NFL offices being in NYC is one of the reasons that the judge who initially ruled on the appeal in MN gave in his decision to move it all to NYC.

posted by Howard_T at 04:51 PM on July 30

CFL Pick 'Em, Week Six

It was nice to read that I was missed, at least by one or two, during my work camp week. Much to my disappointment, I did not get to build a deck. We did manage to put skirting on two trailers, so if any of you are living in a mobile home, I will gladly donate my labor. All I ask in return is transportation, lodging, meals, and at least one person to assist. You have to buy the materials as well. Skirting a trailer is not a difficult job, but it can be a real pain in the neck. I actually had the kids believing that one of them would have to crawl under the trailer before the last panel was installed and chase the skunks out.

So on we go to the prediction business. Having no hope of winning this thing (like I ever did anyway), I press on.

BC at Winnipeg: Blue Bombers have their star quarterback under center once again, which gives their offense a real boost. Will it be enough against a tough BC defense? In the meantime BC's offense is solid once again. This game is billed as two clubs needing a rebound. After they bounce off one another, which will be standing? BC by 11.

Saskatchewan at Edmonton: Roughriders are 0-5 to start, and now, with a quarterback making his first CFL start, they face the top defense in the league. It does not look good for the Riders. On the other hand, Eskimos have James Franklin at quarterback. Wait a minute, did they hire Penn State's head coach to play? I guess not, but Franklin did give their offence a bit of a boost. Edmonton by 16.

Montreal at Calgary: Most are picking the Stampeders to run all over the little Larks, but Calgary is a bit banged up. They have been inconsistent, and Jon Cornish is among the missing. Alouettes have played some good defense, and Cato has been efficient at QB, so there is some hope of an upset here. I shall cling to that hope. Montreal by 4.

Toronto at Hamilton: It's a quick trip along the western shore of Lake Ontario for the Argonauts. What awaits them at the end of their journey? The Tigercats and the Argonauts seem very equally matched in this one. I will go with the home team. (Do the Tigercats really play at Tim Hortons Field? Do they call the place the 'Doughnut Hole' or the 'Coffee Cup', or other such nickname?) Hamilton by 3.

posted by Howard_T at 04:47 PM on July 30

Roger Goodell Upholds Tom Brady's 4-Game Suspension on Appeal

For anyone who cares to wade through 54 pages of legalese, it is on the NFLPA web site. To lessen the effort needed, it is at least double spaced.

I skimmed through it, and my take is that the appeal is largely based on procedure and precedent. It also makes mention of the NFL's unfortunate habit of allowing damning but inaccurate information to find its way into the media. The league is then very slow to set the record straight. NFLPA calls the report of Brady destroying his cellphone a "red herring", and maintains, as Brady did, that all of the pertinent information was available to the Wells team from the cellphones of McNally and Jastremski.

The big problem for the NFLPA is that the case has been moved from Minnesota, where the hope had been that Judge Doty, who had ruled against the NFL in the Peterson case, would be the judge. The NFL outmaneuvered them by filing in a federal court in the Southern District of NY as soon as the suspension was upheld. Thus, "prior filing" was cited and the appeal will be heard in NY. The judge slated to hear the appeal has already told the two sides to tone down the rhetoric and try to work out a mutually acceptable solution. In other words, "shut up and deal with it".

posted by Howard_T at 04:12 PM on July 30

Mookie Betts Turns Out into Homer With Tumble Over Fence

The rule is pretty explicit on this. The fielder must demonstrate control of the ball after the catch, and specifically states that contact with the ground or with a fence that results in the ball being dropped renders the play "no catch". As a bonus to losing the out, Betts is being treated for a possible concussion.

posted by Howard_T at 02:35 PM on July 29

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle

The Mexico vs Trinidad and Tobago CONCACAF fixture last night was a madhouse, especially in the last minutes of the match. The Trinis spotted Mexico 2, came back in the 2nd half to take a 3-2 lead, were tied and then down a goal in furious action. Finally, at 4-3 Mexico, late in extra time, T&T had a corner. As the T&T player placed the ball for the corner, he was ducking a rain of bottles and other trash. The pitch looked like the local landfill. Sure enough, the cross was true, the striker was free, and T&T pulled out the draw. Games like this could go a long way toward making soccer a lot more popular in the US.

posted by Howard_T at 12:00 AM on July 17

CFL Pick 'Em, Week Four

With great regret, I find I will not be able to continue to show SpoFites how to succeed at making a fool of oneself when picking football outcomes. My schedule over the past week or 2 has been such that I have limited time to follow the CFL. Next week I will be entirely media free while I am off with the church youth group to a work camp in upstate NY. Instead of picking football teams, I will be picking up 2X12 joists and building a deck or a wheelchair ramp. I get to work with a bunch of teens who not only feel like they want to help others but also will get in and get their hands dirty. This will be my 4th camp, and when I have come home from the first 3, I always feel just a bit better about where the USA is headed. See you in a week or 2.

posted by Howard_T at 11:43 PM on July 16

GoFundMe Campaign Raising Money for Fenway Fan Struck by Bat

I hope they don't mandate nets along the sidelines.

It's happening already, rumple.

posted by Howard_T at 11:23 PM on July 13

Top women tennis players balance body image with ambition

As far as speed on the service goes, it is much the same as in golf. A long lever arm will mean a higher racquet speed in tennis or a higher club head speed in golf. It has nothing at all to do with build, beyond maintaining flexibility and good strength. I believe having too muscular an upper body could actually decrease flexibility, thereby decreasing swing speed.

posted by Howard_T at 10:46 PM on July 11

Oakland Raiders Great Kenny 'The Snake' Stabler Dies


posted by Howard_T at 11:07 PM on July 10

Zach Lowe's NBA Free-Agency Winners and Losers

The Clippers were already the most hated team in the league, I can't imagine this is going help matters.

The Celtics are pleased with this. They own a Dallas first round draft pick from the Rondo trade. It was protected this year, thus it rolls over to 2016, although it is protected if it is in the top 7. The same is true through 2018, with the pick unprotected in 2019. Without DeAndre Jordan, Dallas could be very ordinary this year. A pick in the range of 8 through 15 would be very nice, thank you.

posted by Howard_T at 09:17 PM on July 09

CFL Pick 'Em, Week Three

I thought I had missed the deadline, but lo and behold, the game is still 10 minutes away. OK, I will make the pick for tonight's game and follow up with the rest of the stuff tomorrow. My apologies for putting you to extra work, Dr. John.

I will never sell the RedBlacks short again. After all, red and black are the colors of my alma mater, Northeastern University in Boston. I have doubted them twice, and now I will pick them. They get Edmonton at an opportune time, what with the Eskimos having their lead dog, Reilly, out with a case of mange or something. Ottawa has some ability to defend and have managed to put some points on the board in their first two. Ottawa by 8.

Tune in tomorrow for the rest of the picks.

posted by Howard_T at 09:00 PM on July 09