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February 13, 2009

[Midweek WHA?!!?] Rondo!

Filed under: Basketball — Tags: , , — Serpico @ 10:54 am

This isn’t a mistake. Rajon Rondo pulled down 15 boards to go along with 14 assists and 19 points. Oh, and a steal. Why not?

Awfully Chris Paul-esque, eh?

July 21, 2008

[Business Day One] Those Summer Weeks

In the sports world, a week is a very long time. Last Monday, I was chatting about the National League All Stars and wondering how bad they’d be slaughtered at Yankee Stadium.  A week later, I find myself with memories of a grueling fifteen inning duel and three straight Bomber wins in the Bronx since.  Jason Taylor is now a Washington Redskin (or maybe a Washington Hotskin, am I right ladies?).  Padraig Harrington got some golf hardware with Tiger away.  And the Celtics finally signed some of their free agents.

The summer, particularly around the All Star Break, always seemed to be a quiet time in years past. It hasn’t been the case this year, at least by my estimation. Whether I’m just paying more attention or there are just more positive (or at least, not overtly negative) storylines, I cannot say. But the summer has been a busy time and I wager it will continue to be until the fall throws us all back into entire weekends of football.

I’ve always found it interesting that in our regular lives, we look forward to the summer, but in our sports fandom lives, we spend the summer looking forward to other things. Baseball’s impossibly long regular season plods on, suggesting that one day there will be a postseason to cheer through. Football training camps are just starting up, and the prognosticators begin their yearly ritual of prognostication. Basketball owners are offering up franchise-changing (or crippling) contracts to gear up for next year. College teams are sending coaches all over the country to recruit massive offensive linemen from towns you’ve never heard of. Despite all of this, precious little in actual “sporting” gets done. So while you’re sitting on the beach you’ve been anticipating sitting on for six months, you’re really just anticipating what will be going on with your teams six months from now.

Such is the nature of the American sports fan. We’re a nation of speculators and calculators. We spew unending strings of trash about our best friends’ keeper strategy in fantasy hockey, despite the fact that there no ice in the Boston Garden yet. I think many of us love the time between seasons just as much as the seasons themselves. It’s a time when Donovan McNabb is still healthy, your team is undefeated and every trade management has made was a good one.

So here we sit during these summer weeks, enjoying the warm weather but always quietly looking forward to the cold breezes of the seasons to come.

June 16, 2008

[Business Day One] Game Six Wish List

Filed under: Basketball,Business Day One — Tags: , , , , , — Serpico @ 10:02 am

Since Dick Bavetta led Los Angeles to victory with a dozen assists (and a couple of gritty rebounds), there will be a Game Six in Boston on Tuesday.  This Lakers-Celtics NBA Finals will wear on for at least one more game.  And I need to make my hopes for it known.  This isn’t an entry so much as a plea to the Gods of Sport.  And to them, I pray today:

 

Gods of Sport, please allow Kevin Garnett to hang 25 points (including eight in the final four minutes) and 15 rebounds on the Lakers, thus removing his “wilts under pressure” stigma.

 

Gods of Sport, please empower the Celtics fans to come up with more hurtful and offensive chants to direct at Kobe Bryant.

 

Gods of Sport, please sooth and refresh the various ailing joints of Kendrick Perkins, Rajon Rondo and Paul Pierce, that they may do your will.

 

Gods of Sport, please give Pau Gasol the grains and wild greens he needs to survive.

 

Gods of Sport, please inspire the New Kids on the Block to hold a free concert on the Boston Common if the Celtics win.

 

Gods of Sport, please let Boston finish this.

June 2, 2008

[Business Day One] The Championship Analysis

Filed under: Basketball,Business Day One — Tags: , , , — Serpico @ 9:31 am

The pundits weigh in, as they always do.  But I don’t trust pundits.  They said the Celtics would lose to the Pistons in six, and we proven wrong as Boston battled to a series win in six.  Pundits say all kinds of things, and we believe them despite the fact that their credentials involve a degree in journalism and watching slightly more basketball than the average diehard.

Well, screw them.  Screw them, and to heck with us for trusting their opinion.  Forty-something white men don’t know jack about what’s going to happen on the hardwood this week.  The game has too many moving parts and relies too much on questionable foul calls and suddenly hot shooting hands to be predicted with any sort of certainty.  I’ve never heard of a sports bookie quitting the business because his customers got it right too many times.

So, as an alternative to these men masquerading as fortune-tellers, I have devised a different way to predict what will happen in the NBA Finals.  The difference, however, between me and the gurus is that I am not going to try and convince you that my logic makes any sense.  I used five Celtics/Lakers prediction methodologies to determine how this thing would end.  Let’s jump in, shall we? 

A Coin Flip – Celtics are heads, as they are from Boston, the education capital of the world.  Lakers are tails, since California looks like a well-sculpted butt. 

Result: Tails, Lakers 

A Game Of Smash Brothers: Brawl – I played as the Celtics (Marth, a heady defensive minded player), and set the computer to Lakers (Fox on Very Hard, a shoot-first guy with a lot of range). 

Result: Marth, Celtics 

Last Thing On The Plate – I ate a cobb salad for dinner yesterday, and decided that if the last thing on my plate was a Celtic-green piece of lettuce, then Boston gets a point.  If it was anything else, Lakers. 

Result: Chunk of bacon, Lakers 

Ashmont/Braintree – I either take an Ashmont Train or a Braintree Train to work in the morning.  Ashmont was Lakers, Braintree was Celtics. 

Result: “This is a Braintree Train.  Braintree.  Please stand clear of the doors.  They will be closing,” Celtics 

A Tradition of Baseball Success – I was unsure of who had a better record, the Los Angeles Dodgers or the Boston Red Sox.  What?  It’s the NL West.  Who cares?  So I looked it up. 

Result: Red Sox (apparently the Dodges are under .500, who knew?), Celtics 

After tabulating the scores, it looks like 3 out of the 5 measures I used came up for the Celtics.  How about that?  Looks like another championship is coming to Boston.  To see how many games it’ll take for the East squad to beat the West squad, I used the “Random” Function in Microsoft Excel. 

=RANDBETWEEN(4,7) 

Result: 7, Celtics in 7
 

Looks to be an exciting series!  Place your bets, everyone.

May 6, 2008

Corrections, Retractions and Apologies

Filed under: Basketball — Tags: — Perich @ 9:49 am

When your Nerds On Sports columnist screws up, the error is admitted immediately. Or whenever we need to fill some space.

Thus: I was wrong about Kevin Garnett:

All the rage in Boston today is over the late night Kevin Garnett trade. And I’m certainly excited for Boston to get him – devil knows the Celtics could use anything up to and including Boston College-level point shaving to get a winning season again.

But apparently, you can get one player in exchange for “five players and two draft picks” and still come out ahead on the deal.

This makes no sense to me. It doesn’t even read right. Imagine Bill Belichick trading eleven players and the second and third round draft picks in exchange for Carson Palmer. Imagine Billy Beane trading his first, second and third basemen for Tom Gorzelanny.

Joke’s on me, apparently, because one player does in fact make all the difference if that player’s name is Kevin Garnett. The Celtics climbed from the basement (this time last year) to championship contenders, playing the Cavaliers tonight.

And it’s all thanks to KG. Credit the man for being in the top ten of Eastern conference rebounders. He’s also brought a new level of professionalism to the clubhouse, with his sunny smile contrasting the legendary sullenness of Paul Pierce.

So nice work, Celtics, and good luck against LeBron. I’m glad to be wrong about you.

March 27, 2008

[Business Day One] Midweek Snark – Celtics

Filed under: Basketball,Business Day One — Tags: — Serpico @ 11:37 am

“Honestly, I’m trying to block it out to make the free throws, which is kind of sad,” said Garnett of the chants. “But my MVP [Pierce] is sitting next to me.”

Pierce then tapped Garnett on the back of his head and said, “You’re my MVP, too.”

 Ohhh, so that’s how it is on the Celtics.

February 11, 2008

[Business Day One] Concerning Boston

Filed under: Business Day One — Tags: , , , , , , — Serpico @ 12:16 pm

There really isn’t an aftermath to speak of.  Boston isn’t burning.  There isn’t wailing and lamentation in the Common.  Folks have just kind of moved on.

The reasons for the collective shrugging of shoulders up in this part of the world are pretty He graduated, again.abundant.  We all know that the team isn’t going anywhere.  The foundation of every excellent team (Offensive line, Defensive line, Quarterback) is in place and will be for years to come.  The Kraft family is invested in the longterm success of the team and the facilities.  The genius coach is still a genius coach.  And the aging linebacker corps will get younger and faster next season (though I think everyone’s a little broken up about losing Bruschi and Seau).  Over all, there’s a citywide sense that we’ll all be alright.

A friend of mine that doesn’t follow sports too closely told me that he was always surprised by how Boston fans were so opportunistic in terms of their demeanor.  That is to say, once the Patriots (or any local team) lose, fans can move on to other things fairly quickly and not dwell in misery too long.  I find such an assertion funny, because for my entire life up until 2004, you couldn’t say “Boston fans” without squeezing the phrase “long suffering” in.  Nowadays, Boston fans are apparently seen as folks with an abundance of things to cheer about.  So I did a little thinking on the matter, and I realized that perhaps this friend is right.  I did a quick “pulse check” on the Boston Sports Scene as of this morning, and the results are in:  (more…)

November 26, 2007

[Business Day One] Stuffing and Potatoes

Thanksgiving has, over the years, evolved into the perfect storm of sloth and gluttony.  The trip home is usually exhausting enough that you want to spend Thanksgiving Eve half asleep on an old high school buddy’s couch.  The gut-busting feast on Thanksgiving Proper is filling enough to make you remain sedentary for all of that night, most of Black Friday, and at least half of that Saturday.  The World of Sports has developed a symbiotic relationship with the World of Holiday Over-Indulgence, so as America digests, they can also watch early season NBA games, the final regular season college football games and the Packers take on the Lions.  Not a bad way to spent time otherwise spent reconnecting with family.  Anyway, all of this eating and sports watching put me in a position to make some pretty interesting observations:

– Jon Kitna has quietly evolved from a perfectly average, oft-overlooked quarterback into an insufferable douchebag over the past year.  (more…)

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