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: March 22, 2017

Howard_T has posted 38 links and 3278 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

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 - 3 comments

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

Recent Comments

Here’s Why the US Women’s National Hockey Team Is Going on Strike

Somehow the perception persists that the women's game is not as entertaining or exciting as the men's. Other than the lack of heavy contact, nothing could be further from reality. A bit slower? Perhaps, but the skill set is still there. Is hard contact really necessary for entertaining hockey? Not at all. Good skating, intelligent passing, and playmaking are the keys to an entertaining game. There are times when the contact gets in the way of a good game, at least in the NHL game. As the linked item implies, it's about more than the pay.

posted by Howard_T at 02:09 PM on March 19

SportsFilter: The Sunday Huddle

I watched the Cleveland vs LA Clippers game last night, and heard the TV crew go on and on at length about the absence of LeBron James, Kevin Love, and Kyrie Irving. This a week after the Golden State Warriors did the same thing at San Antonio, resting Stephan Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, and Andre Iguodala. In Cleveland's defense, Irving was supposedly not feeling his best and Love was having his minutes limited as he came back from his injury. Still, when one pays a pretty steep chunk of change for a seat, he expects both teams to put forth their best product. To me, resting one's stars is the equivalent to substituting the Salisbury Steak for the advertised Filet Mignon without a commensurate price reduction.

So what can be done about it? Perhaps something similar to the NFL's policy on injury lists, where players are designated as 'out' or 'questionable' if there is any doubt about their ability to play. The NFL has several days prior to a game to make such announcements, while the NBA usually has only a day or 2, and sometimes less than that. My suggestion would be that teams be forced to announce at least 12 hours before a game any players who will be rested or unable to perform due to injury. If players are not injured, but are being rested, the home team will be required to offer full refunds to any patrons who request one. If it is the visiting team that is resting players, that team will be required to reimburse the home team for its loss of ticket sales plus a percentage that will reflect the loss of concession sales. I would like to see the NBA add a healthy fine whenever a team decides to rest a star player.

Something like the above is likely to lead to the faking of injuries, but if a player is required to sit out one game after being declared able to play, this might limit such a practice. The same could hold true for reducing a player's time on the court to what amounts to a cameo appearance. As a fan who is paying some of his hard earned cash to see a game, I have the right to a decent product. My experience is that most fans who come to see the home team select the games they want to attend based on who plays for the visiting team. If I lay out 3 or 4 hundred bucks per seat to see LeBron James or Stephan Curry, I don't want to watch their substitutes.

In the last 2 seasons, the Celtics have started a policy for their season ticket members that allows us to return a certain number of tickets per season. We do not receive cash for the returns, but we can use the value returned as credit toward seat upgrades, various fan experiences, and the like. i have up to 3 hours prior to tap-off to return any game. Thus, if I know that a player I would particularly like to see is not playing, and the game has no real interest for me as a result, I can turn it back. I do not know if any other teams have such a policy, but it is a good one. It applies to season ticket members only, so something like penalties for resting players is still needed.

posted by Howard_T at 01:57 PM on March 19

NBA Pick 'Em Week 21: Emphasize the Triangle Edition

Enjoyed a good game at TD Garden last night. Watching Minnesota gave me a bit of insight into one of the picks for this week. I will probably get it wrong anyway, judging by what happened with my picks last night. Now to finish what I started last night.

Jazz to the home of the Rock and Roll Museum. While rock has some of its roots in jazz, the tempo won't fit the boys from Salt Lake City. Cleveland by 11. SLAM

The aforementioned T-Wolves travel from the snows of the Northeast to warmth of South Beach. Wolves don't do well prowling on the sand. Miami by 6.

Cavaliers try to impress at the home of the office supplies chain. Clippers have been disappointing of late, and will continue to be so. Cleveland by 9.

Pacers visit Toronto. They should spend their time at the Hockey all of Fame. Toronto by 14. SLAM

Warriors would like to cement the lead in the West, but Oklahoma might not be the place to do so. Maybe it is. Golden State by 8.

Here is a clash of the two great cities of either coast. Too bad the basketball team of one doesn't reflect any of this greatness. Los Angeles by 16. SLAM

posted by Howard_T at 05:22 PM on March 16

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle

On another subject, a famous figure at many significant sporting events has been euthanized. The rumor that a noted NFL quarterback was present at the event has been proven untrue.

posted by Howard_T at 03:37 PM on March 16

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle

try to get an "interference" call

There are a few things that might go into an interference call. First is that if you do throw the ball at the coach, you have to hit him with it. This is not at all assured when the coach is a moving target. The next thing is that the coach had to really be in the way of a throw. If the coach were far enough to one side of the line that the throw would have to take, the umpire would not make the interference call. Last, even if all the necessary items were in place to make a correct call of interference, would the umpire make the call? Remember, interference is a judgement call, therefore, it cannot be the subject of a protest. Many umpires will not make such a call to bail out a team that has messed up a play as badly as that shown in the video.

posted by Howard_T at 03:33 PM on March 16

NBA Pick 'Em Week 21: Emphasize the Triangle Edition

On my way to Celtics vs T-Wolves. Got to make this quick.

Portland has been playing really well, but it's the Spurs in their house. San Antonio by 8.

Clippers really need to close out the regular season with a bunch of wins. Bucks are a good place to start. LA Clippers by 12. SLAM

More later.

posted by Howard_T at 06:48 PM on March 15

NBA Pick 'Em Week 20: Dirk Nowitzki 30,000 Edition

I just noticed that I omitted a pick for Golden State at San Antonio. Golden State is not playing well of late, but San Antonio is missing 4 critical pieces of their lineup. Leonard is in the concussion protocol, Parker and Dejounte Murray are hurt, and now LaMarcus Aldridge is out with cardiac arrhythmia. Can Manu Ginobli carry them all? Meanwhile, Golden State plans to rest Curry, Green, Thompson and Iguodala. Durant is still out for the Warriors. ABC must love these developments.

In the meantime, I would like to change my pick on the San Antonio vs Atlanta game on Monday. Please remove the slam and change to margin to San Antonio by 4. Thus the picks should read:

Saturday: San Antonio by 9.

Monday: San Antonio by 4.

My apologies for the extra work induced, and many thanks for your indulgence.

posted by Howard_T at 03:51 PM on March 11

NBA Pick 'Em Week 20: Dirk Nowitzki 30,000 Edition

It is now later. Here come the rest (as I cringe at what the above picks did for me. At least Suns are keeping it close).

Warriors take on a pack of Wolves. Without Durant, Karl-Anthony Towns could be a problem, but this will be overcome. Golden State by 10 SLAM

Kings got no Boogie. No Boogie means no chance Wizards by 8. SLAM

Bulls are long, and this means a rebounding advantage. Boston does not do well at this, but they might actually have everyone available to play. Boston by 6.

LeBron meets The Beard, and doesn't have any Love to help. No matter. Cleveland by 8.

Hawks have talons, but San Antonio has Spurs. Talons lose. San Antonio by 11. SLAM

Altitude sickness is not easily overcome. Denver by 13. SLAM

posted by Howard_T at 11:59 PM on March 09

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle

From a tweet by NFL Game Day, these are the Browns' 2017 and 2018 draft picks:

2017: 1, 1, 2, 2, 3, 4, 5, 5, 5, 6, 6

2018: 1, 2, 2, 2, 3, 4, 4, 5, 6, 6, 7

Two questions come to mind. First, does Danny Ainge have a job moonlighting as the GM for the Browns? Second, it is rather obvious that the Browns are putting together a package for something. Could that be Jimmy Garoppolo? The Patriots are said to be reluctant to trade Jimmy G, mainly because they don't trust Jacoby Brissett to be the only backup for Brady. I have one idea that might sound preposterous, but with Jay Cutler on the market, presumably available for a fairly low price, would it not make sense for Patriots to pick up Cutler as Brady's backup? They could then continue grooming Brissett to eventually step in when Brady's supply of Kickapoo Joy Juice, or whatever keeps him alive, runs out. Could a package of this year's #1 or #12 and a second round pick along with either a first round pick or a pair of second rounders in 2018 be enough? Stay tuned, things are interesting in Foxborough this year.

posted by Howard_T at 11:36 PM on March 09

NBA Pick 'Em Week 20: Dirk Nowitzki 30,000 Edition

I thought I had a bad week last week, but it turned out much better than I had hoped. Now the problem is to hold the lead and extend it a bit. Not easy at this stage of the season as teams look toward their playoff position and get serious about winning.

Thunder have been leaning on Westbrook too much. San Antonio by 11.

Two teams with no hope of making the playoffs.New management might help Lakers. Phoenix by 6.

The rest coming later.

posted by Howard_T at 07:34 PM on March 09

NBA Pick 'Em Week 19: Not Funny Amar'e Edition

So I'm watching OKC vs Dallas, and I realized that I had confused Houston and Dallas. Not that I would change my pick, but when you do things like that and you are my age, it's time to worry a little. If I do things like that too often, it might be time for the old folks home. Well, if there is wifi,. I can survive.

posted by Howard_T at 09:55 PM on March 05

SportsFilter: The Saturday Huddle

Flying Creatures Encounter The Temple Of Doom

One of the things I do to keep from becoming thoroughly bored during my retirement is to watch the birds that come to my back yard feeders. I'm also a member of the NH Audubon Society, and I keep up with the local records of species migration, the changing habitats of year-round species, and birds in general. To me the situation in Minneapolis is nothing short of tragic. The unfortunate part is that the Vikings' stadium is not unique on this, nor is it the first. The biggest problem is the stadium's proximity to a migratory flyway. I do not understand why remedial action cannot be taken until some study is completed in 2019. The carcasses are there, it is obvious that birds are being killed, and anyone who has even a small understanding about birds knows why. Netting is a good solution, but it can be expensive and require frequent maintenance. Decals on the windows might not be the most aesthetically satisfactory solution, but they are cheap, require little or no maintenance, and can even be something of a revenue source if advertising is allowed. I hope that the local chapters of The Audubon Society or other birding groups will find a way to force an early solution to the problem.

End of editorial screed, but I do feel rather strongly about the subject.

posted by Howard_T at 05:09 PM on March 04

NBA Pick 'Em Week 19: Not Funny Amar'e Edition

I hadn't really been tracking my picks, but I had the feeling it had been a good week. I didn't think it had been as good as 68. Since the NBA is into the final 25% of its season, perhaps I am doing my pick 'em equivalent of Isaiah Thomas in the 4th quarter on the court. Let's see what we can do this week, although there are some tough matchups to predict.

No Kevin Durant for the Warriors, and Bulls can be tough at home. Class will show. Golden State by 7.

I have been impressed by Portland all season, but can they handle Westbrook and crew? Oklahoma City by 4.

Cavaliers are missing some vital parts and are trying to integrate some new people. Atlanta is a good place to do this. Cleveland by 9. SLAM

Spurs visit the Crescent City, aka The Big Easy or NOLA. No party for the home team, Mardi Gras is over. San Antonio by 12. SLAM

Clippers are in the Windy City, but they won't get blown out. Los Angeles Clippers by 8.

Here come the Warriors to New York. It won't be close. Golden State by 16. SLAM

Two cities with some great college football rivalry meet on the basketball court. Westbrook vs The Beard. Bet on clean-shaven. Oklahoma City by 9.

Pacers trot to the land of the Tarheels. Here are 2 teams going nowhere fast. Indiana by 10.

One more meeting between Paul Pierce and his old team. This one will not be nearly as emotional as the one in Boston. Los Angeles Clippers by 8.

posted by Howard_T at 04:58 PM on March 02

SportsFilter: The Tuesday Huddle

Hey, I'm sorry I woke everyone up. I didn't really mean to do that. It's nice to know everyone's still alive, though.

posted by Howard_T at 02:39 PM on March 01

SportsFilter: The Tuesday Huddle

It's way too quiet tonight. Is everyone at their local church eating pancakes and sausages for Shrove Tuesday, or are you all out partying for Mardis Gras? I'm up in the mountains with my wife on a brief getaway, but I'm still trying to keep up.

posted by Howard_T at 09:04 PM on February 28