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: November 19, 2019

Howard_T has posted 42 links and 3,876 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

Rusty Staub Dead at 73: A sad note on opening day, Le Grand Orange has passed away. His career spanned 23 seasons, mainly with the Montreal Expos and the New York Mets.

posted by Howard_T to baseball at 09:28 PM on March 29, 2018 - 3 comments

Roger Bannister has Passed Away: Roger Bannister, the first man to run a mile in less than 4 minutes has died. The feat was accomplished in 1954. We had a small black and white TV, and film of it was shown on the sports news. I also remember seeing it in the newsreels at the movies. It was a really big deal then, but now even high school kids are running under 4 minutes

posted by Howard_T to other at 04:05 PM on March 04, 2018 - 4 comments

...and Maybe the Dynamite Fizzles: Cleveland is having second thoughts about the Thomas-Irving trade after Isaiah Thomas took his physical. What's up here?

posted by Howard_T to basketball at 03:47 PM on August 26, 2017 - 10 comments

Boom goes the dynamite.: After promising off-season fireworks for the past few years, the Boston Celtics have delivered. A trade of Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Anton Zizic, and the unprotected first round draft pick from Brooklyn in exchange for Cleveland's Kyrie Irving has been announced. Does this put Boston into the NBA finals? What is Cleveland thinking? 2017-18 will be an interesting season.

posted by Howard_T to basketball at 08:49 PM on August 22, 2017 - 7 comments

Aviation Loses a Legend: This might have only a tangential relation to sports, but Bob Hoover's long time promotion of the Reno Air Races and his former captaincy on the US Aerobatic Team should qualify. Bob Hoover died on October 25 at the age of 94. He was a former Naval aviator, aerobatic performer, and corporate test pilot for North American Aviation. One of his "signature" performances was his demonstration of the capabilities of the North American "Shrike" Commander, a variant of the twin turboprop corporate Aero Commander business aircraft. He would take the aircraft through a series of maneuvers, and for the climax he would kill both engines, feather the props, execute a full loop, and land the aircraft precisely "on the numbers" (that is, the numbers at the end of the runway). His skills were unmatched. My working life was spent for the most part being in, on, under, and generally around aircraft, and Mr. Hoover was one of the giants I respected greatly.

posted by Howard_T to other at 04:17 PM on October 26, 2016 - 3 comments

Recent Comments

CFL Playoff Pick 'Em, Division Finals Edition

I seem to have found a comfortable position; it's somewhere near the bottom of the standings. Nothing has changed from the regular season. Let's see if we sink any further.

Tigercats can bite. They are especially fond of those who do cultural appropriation. Hamilton by 17

I'm picking the Roughriders for 2 reasons, neither of which has anything to do with football. First, I had an uncle who was some sort of administrator in the provincial school system. Second, I just like to type the name of the province. Saskatchewan by 13

Arma virumque cano. I sing of the arms and the man. So who is the guy with the arm? Why it's Trevor Harris

Only those who have worked in a grocery store can appreciate the lowly sack. Will it be paper or plastic? Neither one; it will be Saskatchewan

posted by Howard_T at 11:42 PM on November 15, 2019

He told a kid to slide. Then he got sued.

Please understand that I wrote the comment at about 1:30 am after coming home from a Celtics game. I was a bit tired, and I am surprised that it was at all coherent. I guess I'm fortunate that it wasn't posted on

I have a couple of good stories about dealing with inexperienced coaches, but they're too long to tell right now. Maybe some day when things are slow in The Huddle.

posted by Howard_T at 06:44 PM on November 14, 2019

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle

How do I get approved for NBA style load management?

Just wait until you are 78. Load management at my age involves stool softeners and prunes.

posted by Howard_T at 06:39 PM on November 14, 2019

NFL Pick 'Em Week 11: Miami 2-Game Winning Streak Edition

About last week's picks: YGBSM. This was the acronym on the shoulder patch of aircrews who flew the Wild Weasel (flak suppression) missions over North Vietnam. Here's a hint: It stands for You Gotta Be....Me. I survived the mission, but not without damage.

Somewhat improved Steelers vs the overrated Browns. Pittsburgh by 9

That will be quite enough out of you, Flipper. Buffalo by 12

D stands for Denver stands for defense. M stands for Minnesota stands for nothing in particular. Minnesota by 13

More cities starting with the letter D. Howard, are you binge watching Sesame Street episodes? Dallas by 8

Hugely disappointing Falcons meet somewhat disappointing Panthers. Carolina by 9

Why Colts have been included in the AFC South is beyond me. It makes no sense geographically. Indianapolis by 11

The odor emanating from the DC area is not coming from Capital Hill for a change. It's coming from Landover, MD. New York (dog-assed Jets) by 3

East on I-10, then south on I-75 should bring Saints to a win. New Orleans by 14

Houston might have a problem, but there could be a bigger one for the Ravens. Houston by 4

I thought I saw something in both teams last week. It was a mirage. San Francisco by 16

Cincinnati, you're on the clock. Oakland by 14

Teams named for birds give the Patriots trouble. New England by 11

Rams need a wakeup call. Bears could help. Los Angeles (National Conference) by 15

The stumbling Chiefs meet the Chargers who are rapidly descending to a level slightly below mediocrity. Kansas City by 12

posted by Howard_T at 06:31 PM on November 14, 2019

He told a kid to slide. Then he got sued.

Almost all of my umpiring is done at the middle school level, and in southern NH that means working with schools ranging in size from one of 2 or 3 middle schools in a city to a consolidated school that serves 2 or 3 towns. In other words, big to very small. Surprisingly enough, most of the coaches, even in the Division 4 (real small) schools, are experienced and dedicated men. The towns that have good youth baseball programs, Little League or especially the Cal Ripken 70 foot leagues, have kids who know the basics of hitting, pitching, and base running. I have run across a few coaches who have little to no experience, but if their players have some previous experience in youth leagues, there's rarely a problem. I do know that I am more likely to get into an argument with the inexperienced coach than the experienced guy.

Putting an inexperienced person into a coaching job is never a good idea. In the case discussed it sounds like it was a situation where you grab the nearest guy who knows where home plate is, or you cancel your season. If you have a potential star on your team, to cancel the season is terribly unfair. So should the suit have been brought in the first place, and was it decided correctly? My own feeling is that the player's father was one who was living his own dreams of athletic greatness vicariously through his son. Thus, when a promising career is cut short, his answer was to sue. Medical expenses should have been covered by insurance, either through the school or a personal accident/medical policy, so a lawsuit is more for punitive purposes than for reimbursement of expenses. Did the jury take this into account? Who knows. Should the coach have called for a slide when the runner was that close? The rules that govern high school and middle school baseball dictate so. If the ball beats the runner to the base, the runner must slide, avoid contact, or give himself up. It's a tough call at 6 feet, but it can be done. One cannot tell from the story, but the player probably had enough experience to know how to slide. He should have been told to slide sooner, but was this negligent? The coach was watching the previous runners score. Why? He should have been watching each one to make sure they stepped on the base and then put his attention on the ball. From that point on, coach the runner. One other thing of note is that some felt that the slide was not necessary because the other team wasn't very good. Coaches and umpires must never presume that a player on an inferior team cannot execute a play. Assume he will and act accordingly. Like any other call in baseball, this one was a tough one. I think they got it right, but it sure was close.

posted by Howard_T at 01:07 AM on November 14, 2019

NBA Pick 'Em Week 4: Cellar Dweller Warrior Edition

Not too bad a week. Nailing the spread on the Lakers helped much. It's still too early to be picking SLAM dunks, but it's becoming more attractive. We'll see how it goes.

Wednesday, Nov. 13:

Clippers have been doing well without Paul George, and he might be back this week. Not for this one, first of a back-to-back, but Doc thinks the Rockets might be beatable anyway. Los Angeles (non-purple) by 7

OK, I'm tempted. Warriors without Curry just don't measure up to the Lakers. Los Angeles (purple) by 14 SLAM

Thursday, Nov. 14:

My son and I watched the Mavericks lose to the Celtics last night. Doncic is excellent, but good defense will stop Porzingis. Oh, they're playing the Knicks? Dallas by 8

Kyrie has been carrying the Nets so far. Holding them up against the Nuggets will be some heavy lifting. Denver by 11

Friday, Nov. 15:

Jazz in the city that claims to be the birthplace of the blues will not feel sad. Utah by 14 SLAM

Celtics couldn't shake a stubborn Mavericks team until the middle of the 4th quarter last night. They seemed to be looking for someone to step up in Hayward's place. Walker took charge to blow it open. Coach Stevens was able to get some minutes for the end of the bench guys, and they helped out. Boston by 6

posted by Howard_T at 11:55 PM on November 12, 2019

CFL Playoff Pick 'Em, Semi-Finals Edition

The first few inches of snow is falling in the notches of the New Hampshire White Mountains. I have to head up there tomorrow for the Diocesan Convention at Waterville Valley. Just a few inches predicted, so we have no worries. We're hoping that Canada sends us some good football to watch, but will keep all the cold air to herself.

Cold fits the aboriginals well, and the little birdies should have migrated south long ago. Edmonton by 14

The color blue will be suitable for the Bombers. Not because they're the Blue Bombers but because they're freezing and turning blue. Calgary by 7

Kicker thing: Medlock

Total Score: Under

posted by Howard_T at 11:44 PM on November 07, 2019

NFL Pick 'Em Week 10: Miami Winning Streak Edition

Using an analogy from the restaurant business, I guess I'm an Applebees or an Outback. That is, consistent mediocrity with no signs of excellence or disaster. It's time to chew on my picks and to see if I suffer from indigestion later.

First comes a traditional game from the old AFL. Chargers vs Raiders goes back a ways. Oakland by 6

This one is for the championship of Lake Erie. Buffalo by 9

That little short guy can play some. Arizona by 3

Few have underachieved like the Titans. It will continue. Kansas City by 14 LOCK

During the Civil War, New Orleans was captured by the Union in 1862 and Atlanta in 1864. Does this mean that Atlanta is tougher than New Orleans? That was over 150 years ago; it's meaningless. New Orleans by 13 LOCK

The championship of New York, but it's played in New Jersey. Huh? New York (National Conference) by 7

No tigers need apply, but I'll give it an "oh my" anyway. Chicago by 8

Will the Ravens be puffed up after last Sunday's win? Baltimore by 24 LOCK

Dolphins swam out of the winless category. Enjoy it while you can, Fins. Indianapolis by 14 LOCK

Packers were embarrassed last week. It won't happen in Lambeau against the Panthers. Green Bay by 13

Steelers seemingly have turned their season around, but Rams are an obstacle. Pittsburgh by 6

I really have nothing to say about this one. Dallas by 10

Seahawks visit their geographicslly nearest conference rival, but it's still a hell of a long drive down I-5. San Francisco by 12

posted by Howard_T at 04:45 PM on November 06, 2019

NBA Pick 'Em Week 3: Kendrick Nunn Edition

I see another error in the schedule of TV games for the week. Boston is playing the Hornets on Thursday, Nov 7, and unless there has been a recent shakeup among NBA franchises, the Hornets still play in Charlotte. rcade, please adjust the list, and take the following as my pick for the early game on Thursday.

Last 2 Celtics wins have come against less than top level competition and have been 1-possession games at the buzzer. This one is Kemba Walker's homecoming and Terry Rozier's first chance to show the Celtics what they let get away. It should be fun. Boston by 7

posted by Howard_T at 02:19 PM on November 06, 2019

NBA Pick 'Em Week 3: Kendrick Nunn Edition

I thought I had produced a disaster last week, but it turns out I was second only to nomich. It still didn't get me anything in the standings. Try again.

Wednesday, Nov 6:

Thanks to Aron Baynes this one is a bit easier to call. No sure things though. Houston by 14

The Antetekoumpo brothers seem to be having a little difficulty getting going this year. It won't last all season. Los Angeles (non-purple) by 8

Thursday, Nov 7:

Celtics have started well, and they are overachieving somewhat. On the road in NOLA even without facing Zion, they might have some problems. New Orleans by 6

This is one I want to watch. Los Angeles (non-purple) by10

Friday, Nov 8:

Cavaliers are not the team they were not so long ago, but Wizards aren't too hot either. I still have to go with Isaiah Thomas's team. Washington by 11

Heat have some talent, and they are well coached. It won't be enough on the left coast. Los Angeles (purple) by 15

posted by Howard_T at 06:49 PM on November 05, 2019

NBA Pick 'Em Week 2: Woeful Warriors Edition

I learned a great deal Wednesday night. I picked the Bucks by 6, thinking that the Celtics would keep it close, but fall short at the end. The painful lesson came with a reward; I got to see one hell of a basketball game. I'm glad I was there. The lesson? Don't sleep on the Celtics this year.

posted by Howard_T at 12:08 AM on November 01, 2019

Piffle, or not piffle?

King Hussein is in the control room

I was wondering why I had never seen nor even heard of the George Michael Sports Machine. I watched the clip that rcade linked and used the clues contained in the block about Red Sox vs Jays to date the piece. Turns out it was in the early 1990s, and I was in Egypt. King Hussein was no longer in the control room there, having been supplanted some years earlier by a "socialist democracy". From 1986 through 1994 I don't think I spent more than a total of 1 1/2 years in the USA. It appears I have missed much.

posted by Howard_T at 11:04 PM on October 31, 2019

CFL Pick 'Em, Week Twenty-One

Is it possible to tank for the Constanza? Does the Constanza come with a higher draft pick? It looks like my best efforts to finish as tail end Charlie have gone for naught.

What is the meaning of life, oh sagacious one? It means you should stick with one color. Ottawa by 6

Riders will be mean and deny Edmonton anything more than a crossover. Saskatchewan by 14

Has a thriving metropolis, home to a fine university, parks, a busy port, and prosperous businesses no meaning? Hamilton by 13

Stampeders' situation means that their efforts are meaningless unless they get help. Calgary by 17

posted by Howard_T at 10:42 PM on October 31, 2019

NFL Pick 'Em Week 9: San Francisco 51ers Edition

I thought I had had a pretty good week last week until I looked at the results. Ugh!!! Let's try this again, hoping the witch I have consulted on the Eve of All Hallows Day will bring some measure of success to my efforts.

The red and gold juggernaut rolls on. San Francisco by 17 LOCK

The Texans are definitely tier 2, but are they among the best there? Houston by 6

The Bears once were active, but now they sleep. The Eagles once were nearly grounded now fly high. Philadelphia by 10

Do the Little Ponies have enough to scrap the steel? Indianapolis by 9

Dolphins will feel like they are part of the runway when the Jets land on them. New York (American Conference) by 7

So your city's baseball team won the World Series. Do you really think that will make the football team any better? Buffalo by 13 LOCK

Titans do not loom large in the city of Queen Charlotte. Carolina by 10

Without St. Patrick the Chiefs are reduced to mere tribe members. Minnesota by 11

Something of a nautical theme here. Will the Seahawks be the albatross for the Buccaneers? Seattle by 16 LOCK

Lions are quietly getting a little better, perhaps enough so to withstand the black hole. Detroit by 6

Killer B's on either side, one whose QB is hurt and one whose QB is petulant. Cleveland by 3

Chargers continue to disappoint; Packers continue to impress. Green Bay by 14 LOCK

How will Bill Belichick stop the Ravens' running game? I don't know, but I think he has a way. New England by 3

An old school matchup returns to the Big Apple. Dallas by 10

posted by Howard_T at 05:28 PM on October 31, 2019

SportsFilter: The Wednesday Huddle

why does the rule require runners on base to return

The basic rule covers interference in general. Specific infractions are covered in the rules governing runners, batters, and the like. To specify the placement of runners in each case of interference would make an already complex rule book into an unwieldy monster. Thus, the general penalty of putting the offending player out and returning the runners.

posted by Howard_T at 03:23 PM on October 30, 2019