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: May 22, 2015

Howard_T has posted 36 links and 2876 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

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle

Here's the rule, straight from the horse's mouth (or at least from the summary of rules).

When a team scores by touchdown, field goal, extra point, or safety and either team commits a personal foul, unsportsmanlike conduct, or obvious unfair act during the down, the penalty will be assessed on the following kickoff.

posted by Howard_T at 09:57 PM on May 21

Kraft Says Patriots Won't Appeal DeflateGate Punishment

Perhaps there is a darker side to Kraft's apparent submission. I read today that the NFLPA has asked that Goodell be held in contempt of court in connection with the Adrian Peterson case. If this is done, our favorite commissioner will have lost a great deal of credibility. It is also a sure thing that the NFLPA will aggressively pursue having Goodell testify as a witness at Brady's hearing. If he does, and does not recuse himself from ruling on the appeal, it's almost an automatic that the NFLPA will go to court to have anything but a favorable result (for Brady) set aside. Should this happen, the possibility for Goodell to perjure himself is there. If he gets it all wrong and does indeed commit perjury, I do believe the owners would be forced to dump him. I would not greatly surprise me were Kraft having someone work closely but clandestinely with Brady's defense team in order to set Goodell up.

posted by Howard_T at 10:51 PM on May 20

SpoFi NBA Pick 'Em

Count me out of this round. I had to work a baseball game by myself (no field umpire) yesterday, and by the time I got home, fixed dinner, cleaned up, and got to the laptop, I was dog tired. Overslept this morning, had to run to get to my game this afternoon, had a church vestry meeting that went late, and as a result I did not get to the laptop until about 2130. Too late. For the record, I'm looking at easy (4- or 5-game) wins for Golden State and Cleveland. As far as the side bets go, I have a day tomorrow that won't let me stop to breathe. (2 doctor's appointments, some critical mailings at the post office, and another game by myself. I'm thinking of taking my assigner to court for abuse of a senior citizen. (Problem is if the weather doesn't cooperate in March, teams can't get the fields ready before the season has already started. Thus a lot of middle school and JV games get rescheduled, as do the varsity games, and you wind up on any given day with 80 games and 130 umpires. The math doesn't work too well.)

posted by Howard_T at 11:39 PM on May 19

Kraft Says Patriots Won't Appeal DeflateGate Punishment

Two things come to mind. Kraft dropping the appeal might just involve some "new" facts about the deflation coming to light, causing Goodell to reduce the fine and/or restore one or both of the draft picks. Goodell will explain that Wells overlooked something or other in his report, the Patriots acted improperly, but were not the evil cheats everyone thought they were.

The second thing is that if the above does not happen, the next time Kraft and Goodell hug, there will be a figurative switch blade in Kraft's hand. In other words, Goodell will be on a very short leash, and one more screw-up in discipline, revenue, or relocation of teams will result in a new commissioner being sought.

posted by Howard_T at 11:28 PM on May 19

NFL Moves PAT Kicks Back to 15-Yard Line

Well, there goes the two-point conversion! The conversion rate for those from the 15 will be almost nil

The line of scrimmage for the 2-point conversion attempt will remain at the 2 yard line. Given game situations and especially weather conditions (wind, rain, snow), the number of 2-point attempts might actually increase. A proposal to move the 2-point line to the 1 was defeated.

posted by Howard_T at 11:16 PM on May 19

NHL Playoff Pick 'Em, Round 3

I was a bit surprised that Washington was able to extend Rangers to a 7th game. That series was much closer than I had thought it would be. Tampa Bay looked like they had the brooms out, but Montreal decided to play, Tampa laid back just a touch, but then Lightnings' skating and scoring showed up. Chicago finally started to put their entire game together, especially in goal, while Anaheim still looks like a machine. The conference finals will be quite fun to watch.

While Chicago has begun to look like Chicago, Anaheim still looks like Anaheim. In other words, very hard to deal with. Ducks winning the series will be no shock, but doing it in a somewhat dominating manner will be. Anaheim in 5.

New York vs Tampa Bay will be a good one. Rangers have perhaps the best remaining goaltender on the playoffs, but the Maine Black Bear, Ben Bishop, in the Tampa nets has looked good and seems to be getting a bit sharper. New York's defense will hold Lightning in check for long stretches of play, but the firepower of Tampa Bay will ultimately prevail. Tampa Bay in 7.

Top goal scorer: Tampa's Stamkos was in a deep slump against Montreal, but broke out in the last game of the series. I look for his drought to be over. Top goal scorer: Stamkos.

My pick for top power play scorer could easily have been my pick for overall goal scorer. He might still prove me wrong about that, but on the power play the top gun will be Anaheim's Perry.

The bad boy award for the most PIM is Rangers' Tanner Glass.

Save percentage is a tough pick. The winner of this category will come from the East, and he won't be Swedish. Look for the stopper to be Tampa's Ben Bishop.

posted by Howard_T at 10:45 PM on May 15

NFL Announces Punishment for Patriots' Deflated Balls

Here's a handy guide to cheating in the NFL. It appears that Patriots have plenty of company in the shenanigans department.

posted by Howard_T at 10:33 PM on May 12

Yes, But Is It A Sport?

The word "sport" can refer to many things other than athletic competition. Definition 3, here, covers it pretty well. Contract Bridge, particularly duplicate bridge, is a game of skill. It is also a pretty good intellectual activity that offers a good bit of social interaction.

posted by Howard_T at 06:19 PM on May 09

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle

Denise McCluggage

I was an avid reader of her writings when I was in the age range from my late teens until my mid-30s. These are what I often refer to as my "younger, drunker, stupider days". I was much into cars, speed, racing, and all that went with it. MS McCluggage's writings illustrated an aspect of the automobile racing scene, especially Formula 1, that was unique and most enjoyable to see. I do not keep up with automobiles as I once did; age, marriage, and financial considerations have that effect. I have also failed in passing along a passion for wheeled vehicles to my son. He just bought a Subaru Outback and freely admitted he was driving a "mom car". Be all that as it may, MS McCluggage's obituary brought back a few memories of those "YDS" days. I may also steal the Housman poem to use when my own time comes along.

posted by Howard_T at 06:08 PM on May 09

NFL Investigator: Patriots Probably Deflated Balls on Purpose

It is more probable than not that Roger Goodell told Wells to come up with something -- anything -- that could possibly keep Goodell and the league from looking like complete a-holes on this. Why did it take so long for the report to be released? It took that long for Wells to interpret some text messages in the worst possible light, figure out how to frame the words so that the evidence would look damning and extensive, and finally how to term things that would allow a maximum of weasel room. Were this a criminal matter presented to a prosecutor by an investigator, the prosecutor wold throw the investigator out of the room while telling him that he could never get a conviction, let alone an indictment on evidence that thin.

I am convinced now that Brady's future lies in the political arena. He has demonstrated a mastery of the techniques for giving unrevealing answers and removing smoking guns. Hillary Clinton couldn't have done it better.

posted by Howard_T at 12:25 AM on May 07

SpoFi NBA Playoff Pick 'Em

I'm cheating by starting my picks on Notepad before Ufez posts the pick'em. Tomorrow is Sunday, that means early to rise for church and then a busy day after that. If I don't get to the picks now, I won't have another chance.

Let's start with the East and Atlanta vs Washington: Washington pulled off the sweep against Toronto and looked good doing it. I did not expect the sweep, but the series win happened just about the way I figured it would with Pierce and Wall leading. Atlanta will be an entirely different bird. While there is no real "superstar" that will take over a game, there is no real weakness to be exploited. Wizards have talent and probably learned a lot from the first round, but they just don't seem to have enough. It won't be easy, but I'll say Atlanta in 6.

Chicago vs Cleveland: Until game 4 in Boston, I would have said that Cleveland would walk into the East finals. Without having Kevin Love, playing Chicago could be a very tough proposition. Bulls can match up well enough up front and as long as Rose stays healthy, they might have an advantaage at the point. James is the best player on the floor, but without Love, is he enough? Irving hit all the shots when Cavaliers needed them, but I noticed that Cleveland's bench was not as good as Boston's. This could be the deciding factor. It is very hard to pick against LeBron, so I won't, but it will go the limit. Cleveland in 7.

Westward ho! (no, I'm not giving a lady directions here) and Memphis vs Golden State: The Grizzlies were just what I figured against a depleted Portland team. Now they are up agains what may be the very best in Golden State. I cannot see Memphis doing much here. My prediction is short and sweet, Golden State in 5.

LA Clippers vs Houston: The Rockets have James Hardin, Dwight Howard, Corey Brewer, and Josh Smith. The Clippers have Blake Griffin, Jamal Crawford, J. J. Redick, and most importantly Chris Paul. This last-named player will have the largest impact on the series. Houston does not have a point guard who is the equivalent. One major liability is DeAndre Jordan. San Antonio used the deliberate foul against Jordan to good effect. Kevin McHale is no dummy, so look for him to go that route too. This series could be as good as the LA - San Antonio series just completed. I look for LA Clippers in 7.


East -- Gasol, Chicago Bulls West -- Jordan, LA Clippers

3-point goals: Kyle Korver, Atlana hawks

Assists per Game: 8.6

posted by Howard_T at 11:56 PM on May 02

SportsFilter: The Friday Huddle

Jameis Winston

The crab legs photo does not show a lack of maturity. Rather it displays a massive arrogance on the part of someone who has been catered to since the time his athletic ability was first noticed. Sooner or later one of two things will happen. He will be brought up short on a leash and realize that acting like a punk is about to cost him a lot of money, or he will continue in his behavioral pattern and get himself into some real trouble that cannot be covered up. If it is the former, Winston might just have a chance to become something; if the latter, he's done and Tampa Bay is the big loser.

Maybe it's a New England Puritan rectitude thing, but I share the intense dislike for Mr. W.

posted by Howard_T at 10:54 PM on May 01

NHL Playoff Pick 'Em, Round 2

Minnesota vs Chicago: I should go with Chicago, but Minnesota took down St. Louis, a team with better talent but poor goaltending. The situation seems to be the same with Blackhawks. Minnesota in 6. Kane the scorer. +1

Anaheim vs Calgary: Thought Vancouver could eliminate Calgary. Instead the flames toasted the Canucks. Flames will not roast the Ducks. Anaheim in 5. +2 Perry to be the lamplighter. +1

Montreal vs Tampa Bay: Ottawa did not do what I thought they were capable of doing, that is to steal a series against Montreal. Instead, the hockey gods, and perhaps some of them were wearing striped shirts, deemed it meet that Canadiens should once again advance. Tampa Bay's young talent can skate and score with Montreal, but will they? I will bite the bullet and say no. Montreal in 7. Max Pacioretty tops the goal list.

New York Rangers vs Washington: Capitals did exactly what I thought they would against Islanders, but it was more difficult for them than it should have been. They will play no better against Rangers, and this will spell their doom. New York in 5 +1. Brassard to be high scorer.

I have to go with the chalk for the goaltending. Low GAA goes to Price.

posted by Howard_T at 05:36 PM on April 30

What would happen if you played a baseball game and nobody came out to watch?

This means I might have more spectators watching me umpire at one of my middle school games than at the Orioles vs White Sox. I feel proud and humble.

posted by Howard_T at 05:18 PM on April 28

SportsFilter: The Friday Huddle

This is from owlhouse territory, the Canterbury Park Racecourse. The jockey says there is quite a bit of national exposure for this. There have been no comments from the horses or jockeys that were trailing him.

posted by Howard_T at 12:10 AM on April 25