Monday, November 16, 2009

Kill Bill?

The Patriots should've won that game. They out gained the Colts by 70 yards. They controlled the ball for 10 minutes longer than the Colts. They forced Manning and his vaunted offense to punt six times in the first half, and lead by 17 with 14 minutes left in the game. What do they have to show for it? A one point loss that everyone is talking about.

There are plenty of people who will say this is just a regular season loss, so it doesn't mean that much. But like Ron Burgundy, it's kind of a big deal. The way the last two minutes panned out makes this game a huge deal. I don't have a problem with the 4th and 2 call that cost the Patriots the game. It's the mismanagement of the team on the infamous drive that aggravates me.

Many sports pundits have an issue with Bellicheck going for it on 4th and 2. Believe it or not, the math slightly supports Belichick decision. More importantly, the Patriots had a 75% success rate against the Colts on 4th downs since 2000, including 4-4 in the playoffs. The numbers were there, including the most overlooked number: 12. If the game is weighing in the balance, I want it in Tom Brady's hands every time.

The problem with the decision lies in the execution. Before even taking a snap, the Patriots called a timeout, leaving them one left. Call me crazy, but you just spent the last few minutes on the sideline. After the Colts scored there was even a TV timeout, so the Pats had plenty of time to decide what play to run on first down. Nonetheless, they retreated back to the sideline to get the play.
Next, might be the most frustrating as a Patriots fan. After a failed 3rd and 2, members of the offense started running off the field, and the punt team came running on. According to Belicheck , the Patriots coaching staff made the decision before third down that if they didn't convert, they would go for it on 4th down. Which brings up two questions:

1. Why not run the ball on 3rd, and make the Colts use their last timeout? You might be a yard closer and if you convert, you can run almost all of the clock out.

2. Why was punt team coming onto the field? The faux paux cost the Patriots another time out, one that might have changed the spot of the ball on the 4th and 2 play.

Maybe if you're a fan of the Lions, Browns, or Redskins, you've become accustomed to blunders like this. But as a Patriot fan during this decade, you just don't expect to see this from the guy in the hoodie. This season I've noticed Bellicheck has wasted timeouts more than usual, but it didn't hurt the team. Here it certainly did.
From bringing in Corey Dillion, to an intentional safety in Denver, every controversial decision has seemed to work for Belicheck. Patriots fans utter, "In Bill We Trust," because his on the field and off the feild moves have been flawless. The decision against the Colts has changed all that. Now people either think Belichick is a progressive genius who was playing the numbers, or a pompous jerk whose big ego is killing his team. For me, it's wasted timeouts and lack of communication that has shown Bill Belichick is fallible.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

True Yankee

In the very poignant film "Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy," one of the final scene pits Anchorman Ron Burgundy in a bear pit, and a rival anchor Wes Mantooth (played by Vince Vaughn) holding the ladder to let Burgundy out. With the opportunity to crush his opponent, Mantooth says one of the great quotes in movie history:

"Burgundy, I hate your guts...But goddammit, I respect you."

Now this quote didn't lead to an Academy Award, but it typifies my feelings on Derek Jeter. I know, there are Red Sox diehards out there who will scream traitor, but that's ridiculous. I'm not saying I want to get in Jeter's jock. I'm just saying you have to give credit where credit is due.

Look at how the guy started his career: Rookie of the Year in 1996. World Series Championships in '96, '98, '99, and in 2000, where he became the only player to win the All Star and World Series MVP in the same season. Now, he has what might be his most amazing accolade to date: He has the most hits in Yankees history with 2,723 hits, and counting.

Just take a second to take that all in. Berra.Mantle. DiMaggio. Ruth. Gehrig. With that hard grounder down the first base line in the Bronx Friday night, he not only cemented his legacy as an all time great Yankee. He put himself in the argument as the greatest Yankee of all time.

But the real reason I respect Jeter so much is the fact that you don't get any BS with him. In sports these days sometimes it seems like you're watching soap opera or reality show. The Brett Favre saga over the past 2 seasons, Big Papi testing positive for PEDs, and well, just the TO Show seem to overshadow what what happens on the playing field.

Look in his own clubhouse. A-rod spends more time in US weekly and Star now than he does in Sports Illustrated because he "dates" high profile celebrities. It must be New York right? Well then how does Jeter have previous ties to Mariah Carey, Scarlett Johansson, and a former Miss Universe, and not half the scandal? It's in the way he carries himself.

And that goes for his demeanor on the field and in the locker room. Look, I love Jonathan Papelbon. In my opinion, his stat line for the 2007 postseason should have earned him MVP of the World Series. But Pap falls into the "love 'em if you got 'em, hate 'em if you don't" category. After a big out, hes going to celebrate like crazy. He's going to talk trash to opposing teams because he has no filter. Jeter, on the other hand, just goes about his business. Forget John Sterling and his "THeeeeeeee Yankees win!" after Bombers victory. Just look to the Yankees short stop and if his right fist is pumping, ball game.

It's funny to me that Jeter would pass Lou Gehrig on the night Michael Jordan was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame. Unlike most 90's kids, I grew up hating Michael Jordan. He won too much, hit all the big shots, and I despised that. I actually remember going to bed fuming the night he hit his last game winner in a Bulls' uniform. I didn't appreciate the greatness I witnessed. Fast forward 10 years, I know the Yankees have one of the greatest of all time in their dugout. I won't ever cheer for him, but goddammit, I'll respect him.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Bromances and Baseball

I realize this is a few days late, now that the trade deadline has come and gone, but there is a storyline that wasn't covered too much. Most stories deal with usually the winners and losers, and what big star went from the basement of their division to the penthouse for a playoff run. In later years, we find out guys like Scott Kazmir or Jeff Bagwell are "the prospects to be named later," that get traded. But on Friday when the Red Sox traded for Victor Martinez, it changed the dynamic of two MLB clubhouses.

To get the All-Star slugger, the Red Sox had to give up 3 players, including the guy who's been solid in the Boston bullpen the last two years, Justin Masterson. Normally here I would complain as to why we traded Masterson instead of sure fire Hall of Famer Clay Buchholz, but the personal affect it has on the players. During an interview right after being traded you could tell Masterson was shell shocked.

Normally guys say after being traded, "Hey, this is a business, and I can't wait to start the new part of my career in (insert city name here)." While Masterson did have a touch of this in his comments after being traded, he also talked about how he would miss his teammates. After all, many of these guys have come upt through the Red Sox system. With at least one teammate, the feeling was mutual.

"It kind of stinks a little bit," Sox reliever Manny Delcarman told Monique Walker of the Boston Globe before the game on Friday. And take a look at this comment straight from the article:

“He gets along with everybody,’’ said Delcarmen, as his voice cracked. “He would give me a hug, and I would feel good about myself.’’

Sounds like it's getting hot and heavy in the Sox Bullpen. I haven't seen this much man love since Iceman and Maverick.

The scene was the same for new Red Sox
catcher/DH/1st baseman/hot dog guy Victor Martinez. Reports say that Martinez was crying at his locker when he heard about the news about moving to a new team. According to most reports, Martinez was a great clubhouse guy, so he must've been well liked too. You'd think moving to a contender would be all V-Mart needed to get over leaving his team, but he did have 8 long years playing for the tribe. Could be all the new handshakes he has to learn that had him sobbing too.

In all seriousness, I appreciate seeing the human side of pro athletes. Too often, all men feel that the true test of masculinity is not feeling emotion, especially in sports. But the reality is we do have feelings, and it sucks losing people we care about. I still don't believe that I won't see the guys I've lived with the last four years on a day-to-day basis come September. Sure we keep in touch with texting, twitter, and phone calls. But this doesn't compare to playing video games instead of going to class, eating cold pizza, and impromptu games of beer pong.

To some degree, I think it's the same thing in a Major League club house. These guys spend more than 150 games with eachother. In the bullpen, you spend most of the game in a cramped space trying to pass the time until you're called on to pitch. I can't speak from experience, but my guess is you get to know each other pretty well under circumstances like that.

So both Masterson and Martinez are already making impacts on their new teams. Masterson pitched three scoreless innings on Saturday, striking out four in an extra innings win for the Indians. Martinez played a big part in the Red Sox hit parade Sunday, where he went 5-6 with four RBIs in the win. These guys have proved that they can perform with their new teams. With 2 months in the regular season left, these guys will have plenty of time to make new friends and be happy in their new surroundings. It's all going to be fine. Ok, the end was really a pep talk for me getting on with my life, growing up, and getting over my bromances.

Monday, July 20, 2009


During the summer, Sunday nights can be some of the most depressing parts of the week. You've spent all weekend by the beach or pool side. Maybe you tried to get some stuff done around the house. There's even a good chance you're still nursing a hangover Sunday afternoon from a BBQ the day before.

But then the 6 o'clock hour rolls around and reality comes crashing in: A full work week in the morning. It doesn't matter if it's work at some fancy law firm, or a little pool store on route one, the fact is Sunday nights usually suck. But with the new HBO Sunday night lineup, it's actually something I look forward to on Sundays.HBO has set it up perfectly. Starting at 9 o'clock is an hour of sexy shape shifters, vicious vampires, and the Soldiers of the Sun on True Blood. To be honest, I've only seen two episodes so far, but this show is pretty out of control. It's from critically acclaimed director, producer, and writer Alan Ball, who also produced the HBO hit Six Feet Under. I'm not sure if it's because of the Twilight hoopla, but this show is being talked about everywhere. I judge this from my scientific research I did last night that said it was one of the top things tweeted about last night.

Personally I think the whole vampire thing is really stupid. But I will say that I like the social commentary on the relationship between the vampires and the Southern Christan humans. How about a shout out to the Bible Belt for their continued success of lowering America's overall IQ?

Next up would be Hung, a show about a guy trying to get his kids back after his house burns down. Heart warming right? Well to supplement his teaching and coaching salary, Ray Drecker plans to use his Tommy Lee sized pecker to please the ladies.

Here's where HBO played this lineup perfectly: I personally would wait for Entourage to put on HBO Sundays. But since my good friend and girlfriend enjoy eating pints of ice cream and watching True Blood (yes we've been triple dating the past 2 Sundays), it only makes sense to keep HBO on for Hung. And I'm glad we did. The series is only 3 episodes deep, but it's had some really hysterical scenes so far. Not to mention lead character Ray is played by Thomas Jane, a guy who made me like Mickey Mantle in 61*. I'm not saying this is the new big show from HBO, but it certainly works as a great filler from 10-10:30.

Last but not least, is Vinny Chase and his Entourage. Hard to believe that this show is already the longest running HBO Original Series with Sex and the City. Now Vince's career shitting the bed only worked for about an episode. Once Mark Wahlberg ended his lengthy conversation with a dog, donkey, and chicken, he too realized that E sucked too much and could not carry this show as the man. Or maybe that was just me. Either way, with more Meadow Soprano this season, and Lloyd rushing Ari's Firm, Entourage will have no problem leaving fans wanting more again at the end of this season.

This lineup is great, but I'm looking even more forward to the fall when 2 of my favorite HBO shows are coming back. Curb Your Enthusiasm will bring the Seinfeld cast together again, and promises to be more awkward than Michael Cera getting caught masturbating by his Mom. And what will happen with Kenny Powers now that he's not playing in Tampa and left April at the gas station on East Bound and Down? These questions and more will all be answered Sundays this fall. If McNulty and Bunk were coming back too, then I could die a happy man.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Anti-Manny

As has been the case for most of the decade, a Red Sox player started in left field for the American League All-Stars last night. But unlike years past, his play spoke for itself. It wasn't about the lame excuse he gave as to why he couldn't play in the game. Such are the differences between Manny Ramirez and Jason Bay.

I've said it a million times, but my relationship with Manny in the last year has been like a break up with a long time girlfriend. I could deal with his BS, like peeing in the wall and or high fiving fans while making a catch. When the Sox traded him at the deadline last year I was crushed. I said that day that there was no way we could win the World Series without him. I don't remember for sure, but I probably put on some Simple Plan and cried in my room for three hours too.

Never in my wildest dreams did I think that we could get anything as good as Jason Bay back in return. To be honest, my AL East bias told me that Bay was a good player on a bad team. Like Julio Lugo and Edger Renteria before him, I thought he wouldn't be able to handle to the heat from Boston fans and the media.

I could not have been more wrong. Yes his average has dipped quite a bit over the last month, but he still is top ten in the AL in home runs, and leads the league in RBIs. He also scored the game winning run against the Angels in game 4 last year to send Boston to the ALCS. Maybe most importantly, he already has a big hit against the Yankees this season to his credit.

Perhaps even better than his play, is Bay's demeanor. With Manny, you always had to be be prepared that he was going to do something stupid on or off the field. Fans, the media, and even the Red Sox management chalked this up to Manny being Manny. Thankfully, there is none of this nonsense with Jason Bay. The guy just goes out and plays the game. Bay has been a very model citizen while playing in a Sox uniform this year. In fact, his biggest off the field story was the fact that he became an American citizen.

The only question that remains now with Jay Bay is how long he'll be taking the field at 4 Yawkey Way. He is making close to $8 million this year, and he will certainly cash in this off season. In a perfect world, something would get done before the end of this season, so I wouldn't have to suffer another coronary about the Red Sox left field spot. But with Johnny Damon coming up as a free agent this off season too, there's a chance Jason Bay could break my heart worse than Manny by heading to the Skankees, I mean Yankees.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Road Warriors

There are three basic reactions fans have when their team suffers a loss: The "Meh." It doesn't really phase you either way. The "heart breaker." I think that one speaks for itself. And finally, the "ARE YOU SHITTING ME?" where a play in the game can only be described as what Chaz Michael Michaels would call mind bottling.

The Red Sox game last night was somewhere in the middle of the last two. I couldn't believe the entire infield would forget how many outs there were in the sixth, and it was even harder to believe the best bullpen in baseball could blow a 9 run lead with 9 outs to go. Things have been so good for the Sox the the last 5 and a half seasons that I forgot what those losses were like.

Luckily, I was over it by this afternoon because the Red Sox rallied this time, and came back to win the game 6-5 in extras. The road has been tough for the Sox over the last two seasons. It cost them a trip to the World Series because Game 7 of the ALCS was played in St. Petersburg and not in Boston. But after this very successful road trip (6-3) the Red Sox seemed to have solved that problem.

Or maybe it's really because these games don't seem like true road games. Red Sox fans are flooding their opponents ball parks, getting rid of home field advantage. I swear, watching a Sox Nationals game last week I heard Big Papi hit a home run, and the crowd went wild like it landed on Landsdowne.

Now this road trip included the Orioles and Nationals. Baltimore and D.C. are both short trips for fans from Boston, and are cool cities that have stuff to do other than baseball. Like the Lincoln Memorial and Hamsterdam.

But the big crowd in Atlanta really surprised me. The Braves are a little down this year, but I still didn't expect to hear a very audible, "LET'S GO RED SOX," chant sparingly throughout the game. This isn't a series in the middle of the summer when you would expect lots of fans to make a trip down south; this is the weekend before July Fourth in a recession. At least Red Sox Nation is doing their part to stimulate the economy. You're welcome America.

The Sox don't play another road game until after the All-Star Break, and that series is another short road trip to Toronto. After that, the Red Sox never go further than Arlington Texas for a game. So if this road trip was any indication for the rest of the season, the Sox have as many true road games left as Michael Jackson London Tour dates (Too soon?).

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Ragin' Rondo

It's taken me some time to get over the Celtics early exit from the playoffs, but I feel very confident in terms of next year. Judging how the Conference Finals and NBA Finals ended, I think the Celtics have an excellent shot of getting back to the promise land next year. That was until the third Rajon Rondo trade rumor of the summer came out came out yesterday.

Was I the only one that saw this kid grow up through the season? Forget the season, what about when it counted in the post season? Take a look at the difference in his post season numbers from last year (10.6 pts, 4.1 rebs, 6.6 asts, and 1.7 stls) and this year (16.9 pts, 9.7 rebs, 9.8 asts, 2.5 stls). Granted it was a smaller sample size than the '08 playoffs, but you still have to be impressed with how he stepped up in the absence of Garnett. I know he still shoots like like a guy 15 beers deep in beer pong, but after the Bulls series I saw a star in the making.

Which is why I really don't understand the guys the Celtics were going after in these rumors. Rodney Stuckey is a pretty good player. He had a great 2008-09 season playing behind Billups, but NBA fans saw him struggle in the starting PG role. Not to say he can't improve, but why risk it when you have Rondo?

A bigger risk than that would be taking a shot on some of the guys in this year's draft, as was rumored in trades for the number 2 and number 4 picks. In these spots, the Celtics would probably be looking for Spanish stud Ricky Rubio. The kid's moves are pretty amazing for 17 and he's being compared to Pete Maravich. But you still don't know how quickly he can adapt to life in America and the NBA. Do Celtics want another 2-3 years of growing pains for a young point guard? The point is don't get greedy and go younger, unless it's one of the Bundchens.

So there seem to be only three reasons why the C's would be actively trying to move Rondo:

Reason 1: His Connection to McLovin

This photo is not doctored. That's McLovin with Rondo and his family. Apparently McLovin is a big Celtics fan (there's some other pics with him and Pierce). While it seems unlikely, maybe the Celtics were afraid Rondo would go to buy booze with him, fight a bum at a bar, and shoot guns with cops instead of playing against the Thunder.

Reason 2:Locker Room Issues with Rondo

Yesterday on Sportscenter, Chad Ford speculated that this might be the case. He said that he had issues while playing in Kentucky, and maybe he butted heads with teammates in the Celtics locker room. Other Boston websites are saying the same thing, but it seems to just be speculation, no confirmed reports. If this is the case, the Celtics need to take a page from Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson so that they can be riding Duckboats next June.

Reason 3: All Just talk

The Celtics made big draft day news 2 years ago when the acquired Ray Allen. But the last two years have left little intrigue going into the draft. So even if they don't plan on making a move, maybe they think it's just as good to be in the media spotlight in the middle of the summer. After all, what better time than when the Sox are on a road trip, and the Patriots are still a ways away from training camp?

I guess I should personally thank the Celtics management for making this move. Otherwise, I would've been a crappy blog about the Albuquerque Isotopes' newest star.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Kobe Beef

Following the game Sunday and into Monday morning, I listened to everyone in sports media slurp up Kobe Bryant. According to everyone else, the guy has done a complete 180, going from Selfish All-Star, to Selfless all time great. Am I the only person who still hates this guy?

And it's not because he's the best player in the NBA. It's not because of the ice water he has running through him at the end of games. I could care less about him running Shaq out of LA, and it certainly has nothing to do with the 2003 rape allegations. To me, it just seems that Kobe is always putting up a front.

There are two different Kobe Bryants. There's the Kobe who pats his teammates on the butt after a good play against a blow out win against the Bobcats. He's the guy posing with his Gold Medal and hugging his teammates after defeating Spain in the Beijing Olympics. He's even the guy who seems pretty endearing in that Spike Lee Joint: Kobe Doin' Work.

It seems everyone has forgotten the Kobe Bryant from last year's Finals. Remember his great news conference after the Celtics epic comeback in game 4? He sounded real grown up during that one. I also remember him trying to run Andrew Bynum out of town just a few years ago, and almost leaving the Lakers to go to play for the Clippers!

So how did Kobe become so lovable in just 12 months? Well he can thank his public relations makeover to the rise of Gasol, Odom, and Ariza during the playoffs. If Kobe would have played with my intramural team, we could still probably make the playoffs in the Eastern Conference with an under 500 record. That's a testament to how great I think Kobe is. Which is why the Lakers could coast through the regular season and playoffs until they met the Celtics last year. The Celtics were to complete a team, and would need contributions from guys other than Kobe to win the series.

But in the Finals last year, Gasol looked more like Tina from Napoleon Dynamite than an NBA starting center. But to his credit, he really turned it during these Finals. Gasol improved on his regular season numbers by averaging 18 points and 10 rebounds in the postseason. But maybe most important was doing what no one on the Cavs could do: contain Dwight Howard on defense.

More impressive than Gasol had to be the play of Trevor Ariza and Lamar Odom in the Finals. Odom averaged two more points per game during the Finals than he did the entire regular season. As for Ariza, he made the play that exemplified the Lakers game four win. While the game was tied in overtime, a shot clanked of the rim and into the open court. In a sea of Magic players, Ariza grabbed the rebound, proving that this Lakers team wanted it more than the Magic did. As we know, the rest is history.

So Kobe has not changed at all; it's just the pieces around him that have. I still think that come next season, if the Lakers aren't repeating, talk will start focusing again on what a prima donna Kobe is. This championship may have elevated Kobe to immortal status with names like Jordan, Bird, Kareem, and Magic. And another loss next year and a bad attitude will put him in a class with another all time front runner: A-Rod.

Monday, May 18, 2009

3 Things I'll miss about College

As I said from the onset of this blog, it's going to deal mostly with sports, because that's my passion, and it's what I know about. But every once and a while, something in politics or pop culture will compel me to write up a little note. In this case, it's graduating from college.

I promise, this will not be an Asher Roth-esque ode. It's just been a tough week trying to adjust to the real world. I know that everything is not lost, and there are somethings that I will continue to do that I did in college. But some of the best memories from the last four years are gone for good.

Weekend Brunch at the Dining Hall

I am not ashamed to admit that I had a meal plan all four years of school. I'm no Gordon Ramsay, not even Guy Fieri. My idea of cooking dinner is putting precooked frozen chicken in the oven. So I had seven meals a week dedicated to Shaw Dining Hall.

More often than not, this was also a time when one of the people I lived with would say, "Guys what the fuck happened last night?" After picking up omelets, bacon, and an assortment of carbs, we'd head back to the house and to piece together the prior evening's activities. And like the final scene of The Usual Suspects, it all comes together for us how our night ended. The reactions would fall anywhere from delighted to disgusted.

Chuck's Happy Hour

For the last two years, nearly every Friday by six o'clock, you could find me posted up at Chuck's with a pitcher in hand. But it's not just the cheap beer and delicious burgers that I'll miss. It's stalking tables like vultures when people leave. It's playing massive games asshole and horse race that get way too rowdy. It's about immortalizing yourself in the bar by writing all over it.

But what I'll miss most are the awkward interactions with people you don't really talk to in class. At the moment your eyes meet, there are only two things that you know: This person is in your class, and this person enjoys drinking. The conversation is more uncomfortable then a Spencer and Heidi serious talk on The Hills. You talk about your class for maybe 30 seconds to be polite, then run to get your beer or use the little boys room. You just can't have those moments in the real world.

Facebook Profile Pictures
The picture I have now is probably my least favorite Facebook picture, but what I love about college is the evolution of the profile pic.

Back in the day, you needed a college email to be on Facebook, so I signed up for Facebook immediately after I got mine. My first picture was me from prom. I was a friggin' stud. Hair cut perfect, goatee all nice; it was probably the best picture I had taken up to that point in my life. And that's what everyone did. You didn't want a picture of you looking like Ugly Betty as the first impression people on your floor had of you. You wanted to knock them dead with your stunning good looks.

The following photos would be quite different. They can best be described as one thing: College. This includes chugging beer, doing beer bongs, playing beer pong, playing flip cup, ripping shots, posing with friends and a bottle, smoking weed, passed out on a toilet bowl, etc. Basically it's just you looking as ridiculous as possible. Not that I would know anything about incriminating photos like that.

At the end of last semester, reality set in: employers look at Facebook. I untagged myself in about 75% of the pictures I was in on Facebook. With that, I also had to get rid of my "guns-a-blazing Beer Olympics" profile picture, for a more conservative pic of me at the Great Wall. That day, a little piece of me died inside.

There's still more to look forward now that college is over. Paychecks on the reg. Networking on the reg. Good times on the reg. But never again can will I be able to throw mash potatoes at a KFC worker and get away with it. College, mi amor.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Stinks like Dukie in Cuse

I've been a Syracuse Alumnus for five days now, and I've received two sports gifts so to speak. Sunday night the Bruins stayed alive in the playoffs, Big (Shot) Baby hits a jumper to tie the Celts series, and Papelbon strikes out three in a jam to lift the Red Sox to win. This caused me to immediately pound every long island ice tea on the table, and gave me the best possible graduation present. The second came this morning when I got a text message telling me Greg Paulus will play for my Alma Mater in the fall. This "gift" might be one I wish I could return.

The funny thing about rooting for a sports team is you want the best group of guys, but won't sacrifice that for a certain hated players. You know the possible scenarios: Jets fans wouldn't want Brady. Celtics fans puke at the thought of Kobe in Green. The Yankees would never accept a true Red Sox like Rodger Clemens. Hmm, I guess some fans have lower standards.

Nonetheless, this is exactly how I feel about Paulus coming to play for the Orange. Only the Yankees and cowboys can create as much hate as the Blue Devils. For me the reasons are simple: One, the school is better than mine. I couldn't get into Duke, and that pisses me off. Two, the fans are annoying. Not just the Cameron Crazies that make me want to punch babies every time I watch a Duke game, but arrogant fans that talk about Duke's last National Championship like it was last season. Three, I have no factual basis for this, but the players look flat out annoying. They always look two seconds away from screaming like KG in '08, or crying like TO after the Cowboys exit from the playoffs.

And Paulus has been the leader of these guys for the past four years! He didn't start for the Blue Devils this year, but he did start for the Slinky Johnson All-Hate Team. Seriously, do a search for him and the top two results are "Greg Paulus - 'I Kissed a Boy'" and "Tea Bag: A Greg Paulus Tribute". I think my sister's boyfriend put it best when he emailed me this morning saying, "I'd let R. Kelly chaperone a prom before I'd let Paulus run my team."

But I don't have that choice, so I must accept Paulus as the potential starter for the Syracuse Orange next season. Let's look at the bright side. Granted it was five years ago, but the guy was a beast in high school, tallying 152 touchdowns, 11,763 yards, and winning the Gatorade Player of the year. Let's just say that's slightly better than the quarterback play I've seen the last four years in the Dome. Even the hate might benefit the program. People hate Paulus so much, they may actually watch a Syracuse game again to root against him. This could remind people that Cuse still does play Division One Football.

On September 5th, the Syracuse Orange will coming running out of the Dome to play Minnesota. I can't imagine Paulus coming back without thinking he has a real shot to start, so he may even lead the team onto the field. Watching the game will be like rooting for Osama bin Laden and the Taliban. I'll be cheering for Greg Paulus, a Dukie at heart, to lead Syracuse to their first bowl game in five years.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Pink Hat(e)

It's happened. I have been infected by the pandemic. It's been sweeping across the globe, and has hit me here in Syracuse.

No, it's not swine flu, it's something much more serious. I have Pink Hat.

I've been fortunate enough to go to a lot of Red Sox games in my life, and since '04 you can see more and more Pink Hats showing up at the Fenway. And let's get it straight, Pink Hats aren't just 15-30 year old women who show up and say, "Look it's Big Poppy." It's also those friggin' jerks sitting behind home plate waving to the center field camera all game.

I thought it would be done there, but then, pains me to say my own girlfriend has a pink Tom Brady jersey. Take it from me, there is nothing sexy about that. Of course the next step was pink Celtics' apparel. Sure enough, I saw some when at the Championship parade in late June.

So with all this built up hate, how is it that I've become a pink hat? Well, now I root for the Bruins. I saw the symptoms coming. I said that as soon as the playoffs started, I would jump on the black and gold bandwagon. I can't name 5 guys on the team, and to be honest I don't even understand some of the newer rules that came after the NHL Lockout.

But to be truthful, I don't really consider myself a Pink Hat. The thing is I just love Boston. I'm going to root for the Bruins, Cannons, and the Lobsters. Hell, if someone on American Idol was from Boston, I'd start watching and cheer for them. And I think that separates me from Pink Hats.
So since the line maybe be somewhat unclear about what the difference is, I'll go Kenny Powers on you, and drop some knowledge on you beautiful bitches. This way you'll know if you're a Pink Hat or not.
1. You wear any type of pink at your teams home game, and don't know the three best players on the team.
2. Your favorite player is the most attractive guy on the team for that reason alone.
3. You text (not reply) and make (not answer) phone calls at sporting events that have nothing to do with a great play that just happened.
4.You ask more then 3 times what just happened because you have no idea what is going on.
5. For Red Sox fans only: You're favorite part of the game is Sweet Caroline in the 8th.

With the exception of number 4 (and that would be a stretch), I think I fall short of the Pink Hat criteria. So I'll watch the Bruins over the next few weeks, hoping that they can win a Stanley Cup. But you won't see me at the parade if they do, because I didn't watch one full regular season game of B's.

From here on out, I'm going to treat the Bruins playoff run like I treat Lady Gaga's music: I'm not proud of what I'm doing, but it's not going to stop me. I might even fist pump.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

No Big Ticky, No Championship Laundry

Couple quick website shout outs:
-My friend Tyler, who you can take some of the blame for getting me into this blogging BS, started blogging himself. Usually good for funny links and videos.
- Connect is a public affairs show that I work on at Newhouse. Some really good stuff up there, and we're trying to get as many hits as possible.

Now to the Celtics...

Of course Celt's fans are weepy over the fact that Kevin Garnett is most likely out for the playoffs. But I still think we will see some good basketball from the team. KG missed 27 games, this season, and the Celtics were 19-8. Of course Pierce and Allen will come to play, but I think Rondo and Big Baby will play a role in a playoff run. Will they make it to The Finals? Probably not, but would we even with pregame chest pounds?

It's one of the most overused cliches in sports, but I just don't believe the Celtics have the same hunger as last season. Last year you had three of the best players in the NBA (in their primes), all with the goal of looking to win their first championship. There is still the drive to defend your championship, but I'm not sure that's enough this season.

Also, the supporting cast isn't the same. James Posey was a monster that could lock down anyone on defense and had championship credentials. Add that with P.J. Brown, a veteran that came out of retirement at the All-Star Break for a chance at his first championship too. Do you get that same feeling about Mikey Moore and Mike Tyson's lookalike Stephon Marbury? Didn't think so.

In the end, I think it's really just Lebron's time. The Cavs have been virtually flawless at home. But even if the Celtics had the home court advantage and a healthy Kevin Garnett, I think Cleveland has the perfect pieces and chemistry to solidify King James as the NBA's biggest superstar right now. I see them in their pregame introductions, and it reminds me of when of when I watch my friends drink. They make asses of themselves and I say, "I remember what my first beer was like, grow up." When really I'm thinking, "God I wish I was in their mind state right now." I hate watching the Cavs have fun, because I know how much fun their fans are having.

Even with KG, this title defense would've been a tall task trying to beat the Cavaliers. Without him, I give them less than a 10% chance to even get to The Finals. But if by some chance they are hanging up Banner 18 next season, Kevin Garnett was right.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Panic Button? Not this Red Sox Fan

Technology today is pretty crazy. I planned on getting on my Blog Box and explaining why there is no reason for Red Sox fans to be freaking out about the poor start thus far. However, just got a text update from WEEI Daisuke Matsuzaka will be placed on the DL because of shoulder fatigue, and Hunter Jones is being called up. Certainly not good news, but let's try and look at the big picture on this one.

Yes, the Red Sox are 2-6. Yes, they are off to their worst start since 1996. Yes, Jason Bay isn't Manny. Yes, the 2 time WBC MVP looks terrible in a Red Sox uniform, and now may be hurt. And yes, I am still very confident that this team will make it to the playoffs as either a division winner or wild card winner.

I can only speak for myself, but I feel that many Sox have a different outlook on Boston sports since the "Tuck Rule Game." Since then, I am no longer turning away during a big spot one of my teams' games. In fact, I feel confident that they will thrive in it.

First of all, this is a tough stretch for the team. They started against the defending AL champs, and then headed out west to play the AL West favorite, and an A's team with solid pitching and nice line-up top to bottom. And for whatever reason, the Red Sox always struggle out west.
It is bad that they are getting off to such a poor start, but that's all it is: the start of the season. 8 down, 154 to go. No team has ever lost the pennant on Tax Day, and I don't think this year's Sox team will be the exception.

However, I will admit their is some cause for concern. Lester and Dice-K have looked pretty bad on this road trip. With the exception of Youkilis and Bay, the rest of lineup is really struggling. Maybe the biggest concern: that I'm looking to Julio Lugo to be the spark to get this team going.

But like I said, I'm staying optimistic. The Yanks will struggle at some point, the Rays will struggle, and the Red Sox will get out. That's baseball. And in the end, one of these three very good teams will be left on the outside looking in at the post season. And in my opinion, that team won't be the Boston Red Sox.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

3 SU Stars Declare for the NBA Draft

As I said in my last post, this blog is in it's infant stages, so still trying to see what works. It's probably going to be mostly about Boston sports and my thoughts on them, but today, it's all about Syracuse hoops.

Monday night, Dickie V picked Syracuse to be number 3 team going into next season. But if the reports on the Hill today are true, the Orange will be happy to be ranked in the top 25 to start next season.

Johnny Flynn, Paul Harris, and Eric Devendorf all declared for the draft according to SU Athletics. The article on is vague, saying that Flynn has not hired an agent, leaving me to believe there's a good chance of him coming back. The article says nothing about Harris and Devo's situations, leaving me to believe they are leaning towards leaving.

The Spin

Here's my take on all three guys:

-Flynn is the stud. Watching Flynn dunk at Rutgers early this year showed me he can take the game over at anytime. He could use another year to polish his game, but certainly can't blame him if he leaves.

-Devendorf is the player everyone loves to hate, including me at times. I thought that at the begining of this year he would test the draft waters, if only because of the ACL injury from the year before. I still don't see him cracking the first round this year but with a kid now, maybe he feels it's time to start providing.

-I really feel terrible for Paul Harris. Tell me he doesn't hate David Stern more than the Peter Griffin hates Meg. He would be an NBA vetern by now, if Stern never started the 1 year of college rule. Paul works hard on the floor, but will have at least 3 brain farts a game, which leads to him getting chewed out by Boeheim. Like Devo, he also has young kids too, so maybe that's his motivation.

So to some it up, I would love to have these three guys come back for 1 more year. We'd have a stacked team and be a national championship contender. I think Flynn has the only real shot at being a first round pick. If they go out, Harris and Devendorf will probably end up in Europe.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

I've offically become a geek

To anyone that might be reading this, welcome and thanks for checking out my blog. I used to think it was nerds and tools that wrote their own blogs, but now since I'm on I know that this is true.

I'm not ceratin where this blog is going to go. For the time being its going to about the last couple of weeks at school, partying, sports, and anything else funny that happens in between. If you're reading and there's something you think I should talk about, holla at me.

Now comes the time when I will whore myself out for internet exposure. Friend me on facebook (Pat Hanlon) and follow me on Twitter (PHan115). I guess the next step into true geekdom will be when I start doing podcasts.

So take it easy, and I hope you come back soon for the next post.