April 17, 2014

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle:

A place to discuss the sports stories that aren't making news, share links that aren't quite front-page material, and diagram plays on your hand. Remember to count to five Mississippi before commenting in anger.

posted by huddle to general at 06:00 AM - 9 comments

Here's Gareth Bale winning the Copa del Rey for Madrid last night.

Nice to see someone ride a completely illegal challenge instead of falling over looking for a booking, and get rewarded for it.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 08:38 AM on April 17

some text

posted by bender at 09:34 AM on April 17


Bravo, Columbus. Bravo.

posted by Etrigan at 12:32 PM on April 17

Masahiro Tanaka has 28 strikeouts through his first three MLB starts, the third-highest total ever behind Stephen Strasburg's 32 in 2010 and J.R. Richard's 29 in 1971. Karl Spooner also had 28 in 1954-55.

posted by rcade at 12:42 PM on April 17

I should have credited earlier that that came from the @MassiveCityFFC twitter feed yesterday.

posted by bender at 12:43 PM on April 17

One unaswered question after Real Madrid's Copa del Rey win: did they let Sergio Ramos hold the trophy?

posted by yerfatma at 01:04 PM on April 17

Sick burn, Ohio.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 01:07 PM on April 17

I have the urge to do a bit of writing tonight, so please bear with me while I bore you for a few minutes. By way of background, last night was the final game of the season, a rather dismal one, for the Boston Celtics. I'm a season ticket holder, a fan since around 1952, and my adult son and I went to the game. There were a few extra attractions going on, it was the first anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombing, but we really wanted one final chance to watch live NBA basketball.

We scheduled our departure from home based on a 7:30 scheduled start, and the idea that we wanted to be a bit early. About the time I rolled the truck out of the driveway, the realization hit that it was an 8:00 game and we would be way early. This is not a problem. North Station, which houses the TD Garden as well as commuter rail, is equipped with a small but good beer garden featuring Paulaner and Hacker-Pschorr beers from Munich. These happened to be my son's preferred brands at Oktoberfest last fall, so stopping for a short one before going upstairs to the game was in order. We were still a bit early, but while I stood in line for a couple of "thank you" gifts, my son went for a couple of Sam Adams Summer Ales. "You can't fly on one wing", my mother always said. Fortified as we were, we settled into our places in Section 315.

Pre-game we were treated to a few words from Jared Sullinger, thanking the fans for regularly turning out dressed as something other than an empty seat. An aside here, even with a 25 - 47 record, the team still drew 90% capacity every night. Next, the post-season Red Auerbach Award was handed out. This award is given to the Celtics' player or coach who best exemplifies what it means to be a Celtic. If you know anything at all about Boston sports, you understand how much tradition means to the fans. This year it was Brandon Bass who was honored, and my son and I, and a sizable majority of the fans, agreed with the selection. The final pre-game activity was perhaps the best rendition of the National Anthem that we had heard all season. It was done by a quartet from the Massachusetts Army National Guard, they sang well, kept the tempo quick, put no extraneous notes or flourishes into the music, and looked really sharp in their "dress blues".

Now we move into the first quarter as Washington takes an early lead. My son and I begin a discussion of Kelly Olynyk and what it will take for him to maximize his potential and just how far that potential may take him. We agree that his biggest need is to work on his defense, add some upper body muscle, and put a few more offensive wrinkles into his repertoire. I say he can be a frequent member of all-star squads, while my son says he will make an all-star team or two or three, but will not be an annual selection. We move on to Phil Pressey's game. We agree that he shows a great amount of hustle, a high IQ for the game, and good passing ability. His limitations are inconsistent shooting and lack of size. 5-11 (perhaps an exaggeration) point guards rarely succeed in the NBA.

The end of the first quarter draws near, and my son volunteers to make another beer run. He takes a bit of a scenic route out of the row in order to get a bit closer look at the blond sitting several seats to our right. His assessment is that it was worth the trip.

As the Washington lead gradually increases in the third quarter, we begin a discussion of Christianity, including the evolution of the Nicene Creed, the Nestorian heresy, Manichaeism, Gnosticism, and the nature of the Trinity. The discussion grows deeper, and we begin to draw some curious looks from neighboring fans. Most of the looks reflect a "do I hear what I think I hear?" thought. The game continues as we watch, and our theological discussion is interrupted briefly but frequently to admire one or another really good plays and individual efforts.

Now we get to the fourth quarter. Our theology has exhausted itself, and we begin a discussion of the alienation of younger voters in the USA. My son claims that it doesn't matter whom we elect, it is still the same bunch of old men. I counter that the important thing is not individual or even party, but the entire philosophy of government must be considered. You must discover what sort of governing philosophy you prefer and support those who would place the same into effect. This discussion becomes a bit more heated than theology, but still respectful. The curious looks become brief stares, but I think our neighbors have figured out that we might just be having some fun with this. At least the language used is not too offensive to ladies and minors, and the dreaded F-bomb has been kept in the holster.

The end of the game is at hand. As the final seconds expire, the crowd rises with a warm round of applause and we head for the exit. Our timing on the T is perfect, catching an Orange Line train as the doors close and getting to Downtown Crossing just as a Red Line train rolls in. We are first in line to roll through the exit barrier from the Alewife parking garage, and even the traffic on the way home is lighter than usual. The ride is mostly silent until I remark on the nearly full moon and suggest we howl at it. My son counters with the idea that we should wait until we are home, grab my wife, and all 3 of us go out on the lawn and howl. This would serve only to have our neighbors believe that we really should be committed to a mental health facility, so we refrain.

As we finished the ride home, I thought about what it means to have a 25-year-old son who has grown into a very mature individual. He is now well past the time when you should be his father but not be his friend, and is at the time when he's a really good friend and companion to have. As happened with my father and I, our mutual love of sports has been part of the bond between us. It's a pretty good place to be.

posted by Howard_T at 10:47 PM on April 17

Very nice, Howard!

posted by billsaysthis at 09:29 PM on April 18

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