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: February 20, 2020

Howard_T has posted 42 links and 3,927 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

NBA Pick 'Em Week 18: Elam Ending Edition

I really need a rally here. The past few weeks have been bad.

Thursday, Feb. 20:

76ers are tough at home. Philadelphia by 13 SLAM

There is a saying that short people, Napoleon Bonaparte for example, cause a lot of trouble. Rockets seems to fit the profile. Houston by 15 SLAM

Friday, Feb. 21:

Nuggets are not usually found in oil and cattle country. Denver by 8

Lots of aquatic waterfowl on the river in Portland, but Pelicans are rare. New Orleans by 6

Saturday, Feb 22:

This should have been a big time matchup in the East, but 76ers' road record is not good. Milwaukee by 15 SLAM

Sunday, Feb.23:

Celtics destroyed Lakers in Boston when Lakers were at the tail of a long road trip. Now it's time for payback. Los Angeles (purple variety) by 6

posted by Howard_T at 05:44 PM on February 20, 2020

SportsFilter: The Wednesday Huddle

An edit to the above. I misused the word "character". What I mean is coaching philosophy and ability to communicate with players and management.

posted by Howard_T at 05:25 PM on February 19, 2020

SportsFilter: The Wednesday Huddle

At the time of Bellein's hiring in Cleveland, ESPN published an article praising the hiring. Accompanying the article was a list of college coaches who had made the move and how they have fared. This the link. What is the difference between those who succeed and those who fail? I believe it's a combination of the character of the coach and the circumstances into which he enters, with character having the most weight. Contrast Brad Stevens and Rick Pitino and their results in Boston. It makes for an interesting discussion. One consideration might be how Stevens might have fared had he encountered the Kyrie Irving dilemma in his first year.

posted by Howard_T at 02:57 PM on February 19, 2020

SportsFilter: The Tuesday Huddle

notorious sports figures currently serving time

Jerry Sandusky comes to mind, but he went on Commonwealth of Pennsylvania charges, not federal. Thus, he would not be eligible for either commutation or pardon. Last I heard, he was incarcerated at Rockview State Correctional Institution, which is only a few miles from the Penn State campus.

posted by Howard_T at 09:43 PM on February 18, 2020

MLB Ponders Radical Playoff Changes

Best of 3 is good, as is the addition of a 7th team. I'm not so sure that what will amount to a week of rest will be a good thing for the team getting a bye. Maybe your pitching will benefit, but your hitters might take some time to recover. "Pick your poison" sounds unnecessary to me. You can bet that the 5th, 6th, and 7th place teams are probably somewhat run down after trying to survive long enough to make the playoffs. 2 vs 7 normally is a mismatch, and 3 vs 6 is usually not much better. The 4 vs 5 matchup, if somehow eliminated, would be missed. The best thing about this is that the umpires get a little extra pay.because of the extended first round series.

posted by Howard_T at 06:30 PM on February 11, 2020

NBA Pick 'Em Week 17: 12 Trade Edition

I'm just back from casting my vote in the NH Primary. Now I can cast my votes for whom I think will be the winners on the hardwood. My pick 'em game is way off; I've got to get better.

Tuesday, Feb. 11

Things have been said by at least one 76er that all is not sweetness and harmony in the Philadelphia locker room. Nonetheless, there is way too much talent there to dismiss. Los Angeles (Non purple) by 8

Celtics have been battling injury problems, but have persevered, winning 7 straight. Jaylen Brown, for one, was working on an injured ankle, and then rolled the other. He now says that he doesn't know which side to limp on. Meantime, watch to see if Marcus Smart can get inside James Harden's head again. Boston can match Houston's small ball lineup with one of their own, and still have a height advantage at most of the positions. If Celtics want, they can also go big at center with Kanter. This will be a fun one to watch. Boston by 11

Wednesday, Feb. 12:

Pacers have their man back in action, but Bucks have a great road record. Milwaukee by 9

Lakers have been playing below their potential for some time now. Is it pre-All Star game fatigue, or is there a fundamental flaw? Denver by 12

Thursday, Feb. 13:

Doc Rivers returns to the scene of his triumphs, and he will get his usual warm greeting (no kidding, Celtics fans remember the good things and always applaud Doc). He brings with him a very tough team. Both teams will have traveled to this one. I will be there to watch. Boston by 6

posted by Howard_T at 06:18 PM on February 11, 2020

SportsFilter: The Saturday Huddle

Is this something that any tourist can check out

I really don't know, but I think not. The season ticket member tours are offered only 2 or 3 times per season, and are limited to perhaps 300 or 400 people (in 3 or 4 shifts) per time. They keep the place pretty well secure. As we went through the facility, there were lots of "no pictures here" and "please don't touch things" warnings. The photo limitations were for security (information they didn't want shared in the media) or player privacy. The "don't touch" was for health reasons. No need to introduce the flu or any other strange things into the locker room.

One interesting thing was the media room. It's outfitted with desks,internet connection, snacks and drinks. In short, anything a beat writer would want. The area overlooks the practice court, but when the team is on the court, there are curtains that are closed to keep prying eyes from observing things.

Last year we went to a "State of the Celtics" briefing from the Assistant General Manager, Mike Zarren. This was a look at how prospective draft picks or possible trade or free agent moves are evaluated. Also covered were things like training methods, travel planning, media relations, and a lot of other stuff. The Celtics take care of those who bleed green.

posted by Howard_T at 08:52 PM on February 08, 2020

SportsFilter: The Saturday Huddle

On a completely different subject, my son and I had a tour of the Red Auerbach Center -- Celtics' training facility -- this afternoon. It's one of my perks for being a season ticket member. Everything is state of the art. The work out area puts most of your commercial gyms to shame. There were white boards with the workout routine for the team and for individual players to follow. There was is a full kitchen and dining facility, complete with a chef who prepares menus customized for the individual player. Sensors have been installed beneath the practice court that can track the force exerted by players when they jump or land, They can also track shots and convert the results into data. The walls are full of motivational sayings, and the theme is "Kaizen", or continuous improvement, as well as self improvement for the benefit of the team. To be able to look behind the curtain, as it were, was quite an experience.

posted by Howard_T at 04:15 PM on February 08, 2020

SportsFilter: The Saturday Huddle

Really, if Brady's choice is to leave NE, I could deal with it. Patriots need a rebuild, and Brady's years are numbered. BUT!!! If he were to wind up in Dallas, I would need an emotional support animal. I'm not sure what animal to choose. Any suggestions?

posted by Howard_T at 03:52 PM on February 08, 2020

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle

We are in agreement on this, tahoemoj. I am thinking about things that I might do here that might add some food for discussion. I don't know why the lack of content has happened, perhaps many of us are now more occupied with making a living or have moved on to other interests. Many of those who were regular contributors, whose comments were both enjoyable and insightful, no longer appear. I miss them. If they still look in once in a while, perhaps they could take the time to say hello and let us know they are well.

Maybe this news from the sports media world might start something.

posted by Howard_T at 02:20 PM on February 06, 2020

NBA Pick 'Em Week 15: Kobe Bryant Edition

Cataract surgery went very well. I now have eyes that don't need glasses except for reading. I can't wait to try them out on the ball field. Now for the rest of the picks.

Thursday, Jan. 30:

Before the season started, this game would have been a really tough ticket to get. Not so much now. Boston by 14 SLAM

2 very good teams in this one. I'll have to go with the home team. Denver by 8

Friday, Jan. 31:

Damien Lillard destroyed Rockets last night. Can Doncic do the same? Dallas by 6

Which way will the emotional hangover take the Lakers? Los Angeles (purple) by 15 SLAM

Saturday, Feb. 1:

Celtics are 0 for 3 against 76ers this season. They will not be swept, and I will be there to make sure of it. Boston by 7

Sunday, Feb. 2:

Happy Candlemas. Rockets have to face another young phenomenon, and I don't think they have anyone who can stop Zion. New Orleans by 5

posted by Howard_T at 02:39 PM on January 30, 2020

NBA Pick 'Em Week 15: Kobe Bryant Edition

Cataract surgery on my right eye in an hour or so. Now they will match. Here are today's picks; more later.

Brooklyn by 9

Houston by 13

posted by Howard_T at 06:13 AM on January 29, 2020

Kobe Bryant Dies in Helicopter Crash

My son was visiting yesterday. He was napping after a weekend of skiing in Maine, and he came downstairs shortly after his mobile phone woke him up with the news of Kobe. Our conversation turned to our memories of Kobe's games we had seen in Boston, especially his last game here. We remembered my saying to my son tha while the rest of the Lakers were just going through the motions, that Kobe had too much respect for the game to give anything but his best.

In 1956 I witnessed the first NBA game of Bill Russell. Now I have witnessed the last game in Boston of Kobe Bryant. This spans about 6 decades of NBA history, and I can count on the fingers of one hand those players who have had a near equal impact upon the game. Kobe was booed in Boston as an opponent, and the booing spurred him to be better and to win. I think of the lines from Kipling's Gunga Din

"Oh I beat you and I flayed you, but by God it made you. You're a better man than I am, Gunga Din"

RIP, Kobe Bryant.

posted by Howard_T at 04:08 PM on January 27, 2020

Kobe Bryant Dies in Helicopter Crash

ABC News says Kobe's 13year-old daughter is among the victims. They were on their way to a game. Another parent and daughter were on the flight. The 5th victim is probably the pilot.

posted by Howard_T at 04:23 PM on January 26, 2020

Kobe Bryant Dies in Helicopter Crash

News has been confirmed. Bryant and 4 others are dead. Bryant's wife was not on board. My wife and I are sitting here stunned and greatly saddened

posted by Howard_T at 03:05 PM on January 26, 2020