Howard_T's profile

Howard_T
11820
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: June 25, 2016

Howard_T has posted 37 links and 3109 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

NCAA Men's Ice Hockey Pairings are Announced: The "Shivering (not Sweet) Sixteen" for 2016 have been selected. Quinnipiac (1), East Regional; St. Cloud State (2), West Regional; North Dakota (3), Midwest Regional; and Providence, Northeast Regional, are the top seeded teams. Northeastern has to be the "Cinderella" team, having overcome a 1-11-2 start to go 21-2-3 in its next 26 games to finish 22-13-5. The regionals start on March 26, and the Frozen 4 begins on April 7 in Tampa, FL.

posted by Howard_T to hockey at 10:12 PM on March 20 - 1 comment

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

Recent Comments

SportsFilter: The Friday Huddle

I was at TD Garden last night for the Celtics' Draft Party. Fan reaction to the picks was anything but pleasant. One of the high-paid keyboard operators who pass themselves off as reporters opined this morning that the reason for preferring someone other than Jaylen Brown with pick #3 was familiarity rather than likelihood of NBA success. Actually, not a bad analysis. After the selections of Yabusele from France and Zizic from Croatia, I heard one unhappy soul remark that at least they could have tried to draft someone whose name he could pronounce. After the 3rd Celtics' selection of the first round, the place emptied faster than the free beer cooler at the office picnic. Celtics' owner Wyk Grousbeck said that the fans' negative reaction showed that they cared. Well, we do, and I think those fans who understand the game and reject the hype from the talking heads are willing to wait the year or 2 or 3 that it will take to see the results.

The party itself wasn't bad, but there weren't enough concession stands open, and the only beer available was Coors Light, Miller Light or Bud Light. Almost enough to gag a maggot. Still, it was nice to see some of the people who have seats near your own and to chat with those to whom the Celtics mean a lot.

posted by Howard_T at 06:03 PM on June 24

The 12th Annual chicobangs Memorial SpoFi CFL Pick 'Em

With all of the things going on in sports - Copa America, the Euros, NBA, NHL, MLS, and MLB - the CFL season sort of snuck up on all of us on the south side of the border. I am really happy that the Chico Bangs has served to remind me that it is time once again to test my profound lack of knowledge about all things football - Canadian style that is. I will spend the tail end of July and most of August touring Nova Scotia with my wife, learning about my dad's birthplace of Westport, meeting some cousins that might still be around the area, and making sure there were no ancestors that were hanged as horse thieves. Added benefit will be the ability to watch a few of the games on TSN whenever we are not sampling the wines of the Annapolis Valley or some of the microbrews that are available. Bring it on, guys, game on!

Hamilton at Toronto: Tiger Cats' secondary is dealing with some injuries, but Ricky Ray might still be chipping off some rust after his injury last year. Rust will not be an issue. Toronto by 10.

Montreal at Winnipeg: Alouettes bring what they believe to be a stout defense to oppose the Blue Bombers. The Bombers' Andrew Harris might not play due to injury. This brings to mind the RAF's WW2 leader Bomber Harris who believed that Germany cold be bombed into submission. It still took a lot of infantry, armor, and artillery to do the job. Bombers won't fly. Montreal by 16.

Ottawa at Edmonton: I spent most of last season underrating Ottawa, and it cost me in the standings. Now they travel to the Grey Cup winners who have had to replace their coaching staff. Last I looked, a coach has yet to take a snap during a game. It's all up to the players. Edmonton by 17.

Calgary at BC: Stampeders had a fine season last year, while BC sort of "got along". Stampeders might have lost some of their offensive prowess while BC has tried to make improvements. Both of these teams could challenge for the top. This one is an early season coin flip. BC by 5.

posted by Howard_T at 12:44 AM on June 23

SpoFi NBA Playoff Pick 'Em Results

I'm rather surprised that I finished as well as I did. Before the finals I fully expected to have an outside shot at the Costanza. Thanks for running this, Ufez, these things are always fun. I guess I have a little of the Warriors in me, having torn up the regular season pick 'em and then doing poorly in the playoffs. I blame too much time on the baseball field, but it was more like too little time doing my homework.

posted by Howard_T at 11:51 PM on June 22

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle

If this is a harbinger of things to come, Carson Wentz is in for a strange career.

posted by Howard_T at 03:54 PM on June 16

"Mr. Hockey", Gordie Howe, has passed away at age 88.

I saw him play in person just once at a game vs Rangers in Madison Square Garden. It was sometime in 1967, probably late in the season. I don't remember a thing about the game, but I certainly remember marveling at his many accomplishments. My brother-in-law, Bob, was once at some sort of business gathering where Howe was the guest speaker. Bob told of how he rose from his seat to do one thing or another and bumped into Howe as he was walking past. Bob said he thought he had collided with a concrete wall. There was nothing soft about Gordie Howe.

RIP Number 9.

posted by Howard_T at 06:08 PM on June 10

SpoFi NBA Playoff Pick 'Em: Finals Edition

Cleveland in 7

LeBron James is the MVP

Largest margin of victory 18 points

Highest combined score (single game) 217 points

Total 3-point goals 86

My ever unreliable gut instincts tell me that a healthy Cleveland team will have enough to win this series. The most interesting statistic I have heard is that Cleveland has made more 3-pointers than Golden State in the playoffs this year. It promises to be a fun series.

posted by Howard_T at 10:54 PM on June 01

NHL Playoff Pick 'Em: Stanley Cup Round

...and as Howard sinks slowly in the standings...

San Jose in 7 (thus saving at least one line feed)

Longest game will require 1 OT period (and not much of that with these 2 clubs)

First goal by Marleau

Conn Smythe Trophy goes to Jones (Goaltenders seem to win this quite often)

Most goals scored by Pavelski

Most assists by Thornton

Best +/- Vlasic

Most PIM Wingels

Best save % Jones (Which leads to the choice of Conn Smythe winner)

Total goals in the series will be 67 (and if I were betting, I'd take the "over")

Everything should be plural.

Which sorely tempts me to enter the above once more.

posted by Howard_T at 02:28 PM on May 30

SportsFilter: The Wednesday Huddle

How are you going to keep Trey Gowdy from finding out about it?

It will be placed in the bathroom. The periodic presence of noxious odors will serve as its physical security.

posted by Howard_T at 01:02 PM on May 26

SportsFilter: The Wednesday Huddle

"Like a Beautiful Swan" An NFL star prepares for a possible career after he leaves the game. He's surprisingly graceful for a man his size.

posted by Howard_T at 02:19 PM on May 18

SportsFilter: The Sunday Huddle

the difference between Bautista's slide into Odor, and this slide into a short stop three weeks ago

Looking at it from the viewpoint of an umpire, there are a number of differences. First of all, Bautista went into a sort of rolling block as opposed to a straight slide. The slide in the linked video is the sort taught by youth coaches everywhere, that is with one leg tucked, the other extended toward the base, and the head up. Bautista went past the base and did not even attempt to reach back for the bag. The slide in the video shows the player sliding past the bag, but he reached for the bag and held it as he stopped. In short, the video shows a baseball slide, while Bautista showed a bad take out attempt.

Now, since the legality of the slide is a judgement call, anybody who argues with me will be ejected from this discussion!!! (only kidding, but rules are rules)

posted by Howard_T at 12:27 AM on May 18

SportsFilter: The Sunday Huddle

The second base umpire called the double-play (because of Bautista's slide) almost instantly.

This was as close to an automatic call for interference and a double play as possible. Bautista started his slide late, it was more of a rolling block than a conventional slide, and the thing that sold the umpire was that the slide went past the bag. No doubt on that call.

posted by Howard_T at 10:00 PM on May 16

NBA Playoff Pick 'Em: Conference Finals

Howard: what about the player with the highest points, rebounds, and assists?

Wow, I missed that one like I missed a couple of calls on the bases today. (My partner got both of them for me, so nobody noticed.)

The Mister Offense Award (Average points, rebounds, assists): Russell Westbrook

posted by Howard_T at 09:53 PM on May 16

Manchester United Match Cancelled by Bomb Scare

From the reports, the evacuation of the stadium was remarkable for its orderliness and speed. I heard one comment that it was almost the perfect emergency drill, except it was not a drill. Contrast this with at least one incident in the US when training devices were allowed through airport security during tests. It makes one think a bit.

My comment on the use of "native" terms used in various sports that are not commonly used in American English commentary is this: If the comment is being used appropriately, there's no complaint from this set of ears. If an announcer is deliberately using the term as an affectation, then I will likely tune that announcer out. The term "kit" is a long-standing British usage for military uniforms, including equipment, that has been brought into sports, I have no objection to it, although some announcers here in the US seem to overuse it. I would never call my uniform and protective equipment for umpiring baseball a "kit", although it perfectly fits the British definition of such. The term "jersey" is appropriate for most sports, but in ice hockey it is properly referred to as a "sweater", at least by this son of a Canadian father.

posted by Howard_T at 10:43 PM on May 15

NBA Playoff Pick 'Em: Conference Finals

Howard, is there an NHL-style President's Trophy curse hitting you this playoff pick-'em season?

That very well might be the case. I think the biggest factor is that I am not spending as much time looking at matchups, injuries, and the like. New Hampshire is terribly short of baseball umpires this year, and I have been on the field nearly every afternoon. I have to get all of my chores done in the morning, get to the games early, drive home, and then get dinner ready. By the time I'm done, I have just about enough time to check my e-mail, read the sports news, check SpoFi, and get some sleep. The good news is that I have had to work alone only twice this year, and the coaches were great about not giving me too much grief about tight calls on the bases. There are only about 2 or 3 weeks left in the season, and after this week most of that is tournaments, so the workload will ease up soon.

So now we look at the conference finals:

Toronto had to scramble in both of their series so far, but they seemed to get a bit stronger against Miami as the series went on. It still won't be enough to beat Cleveland. Golden State has too many weapons for Oklahoma City, but the Thunder have suddenly figured out how to close out a game. Could be a fun set of finals.

Cleveland in 6

Golden State in 7

Blocks: Serge Ibaka

Steals: Kyle Lowry

Fouls: Draymond Green

Free throws: DeMar DeRozan

posted by Howard_T at 10:20 PM on May 15

NHL Playoff Pick 'Em, Round 3

Too much to do today. Didn't hit the computer until after 9:00 tonight. Had to cut the lawn before it rained, grocery shopping for the week, and had to umpire a double header this afternoon. After the games my wife and I headed to our favorite Mexican joint for dinner. This retirement crap doesn't leave you with a lot of time to do the really necessary things like pick 'ems. I will pass on the Tampa vs Pittsburgh series, but will go with the rest.

San Jose in 7

Goal Scorer: Logan Couture

Save Percentage: Martin Jones

Power Play Percentage: San Jose

Most Penalized: Alexander Steen

Most Goals (team): San Jose

posted by Howard_T at 12:09 AM on May 14