March 22, 2009 - Ran Out of Pictures What I really want to do is bitch that this absurd idea actually made sense, and BU isn't playing the tournament's "Zimbabwean ski team" because they won on Saturday. Clearly I'm biased, but I don't know ... I would think you would go out of your way to reward the No. 1 team in the country first because, well, THEY'RE THE NUMBER ONE TEAM IN THE COUNTRY.
But really, if they can't beat any of the No. 4 seeds in the first round, I guess they don't deserve to win squat, do they?
In the absurd world of ticket reselling, it actually would cost more to buy a ticket to just the regional final on Sunday than it did to buy center-ice, lower-bowl tickets for the whole two-day, three-game session. So, yeah, the family's spending the weekend in ManchVegas.
I can honestly say if BU makes the Frozen Four and I'm sitting about a dozen rows up to see them do it, it will be better than when the Patriots won 'Shock Bowl 36' (Scroll to the 3rd. Who doesn't love an old live blog?).
But I've gone and gotten ahead of myself.
Given my "Frozen Four or Bust" leanings and that this happened the last time the alma mater won its league -- wearing the jersey to work that day didn't work out so well -- Julie and I went out to eat during the final. We chose the local outpost of Smokehouse U.S.A. not only because the food is good, but because each restaurant has approximately three dozen TVs peppering every cranny of the building.
Odds were pretty good no matter where we were, we'd be able to absent-mindedly watch, plus the tables have a controller for the various audio feeds ...
Now, I can't say I was surprised the local college hockey league's championship game wasn't on a bunch of screens ... it's college hockey. But when we were seated, I gave the room a 360 turn to assess the situation.
In my line of sight, I was in full view of 17 TV screens:
-- 13 of the screens had on the same college basketball tournament game, a semi-related issue we'll get to soon enough; -- 4 of the screens had some sort of house filler network which ran black-and-white commercials and little "Did You Know?" trivia snippets.
Like I said, we had the audio of the game, and it was on one of the bar TVs, which I could see just enough of to figure out who scored when everyone got excited. Also, going out in the middle of the thing tells you how wrapped up in it I was.
But wouldn't the point of having a restaurant full of a bazillion TVs be, I don't know, to put DIFFERENT THINGS ON THEM? There's not a person in that restaurant who wasn't able to see the same damn college basketball game on five different screens. I guarantee it.
At least the corporate office understands that when I order a potato skin, I'm really just looking for an excuse to shovel cheese and bacon in my mouth. If you cut a potato in half, shovel out none of the guts and dust it with cheese -- take note, No. 1 Sports Bar in America -- you're really missing what the whole draw is.
The Four's, of course, is awesome for any number of other reasons. Not the least of which being they finally added a UMass hockey jersey to the massive collection on the walls, then proceeded to hang a flat-screen TV right in front of it.March 21, 2009 - Quality Winner's Hats, Hockey East In honor of the alma mater bringing home the gold for only the second time in the rarely-mentioned-for-a-reason "Cooch Era," a story.
The end of last month, I prattled on about this game potentially being the most enjoyable I've ever seen live. Understandably following such an affair, I was pretty psyched up, which led to me drinking an awful lot of beer at the official tavern of my marriage, my life and everything good about Western Mass. It's not the first time this has happened at the Hangar, but it inevitably always leads to the same thing.
I write something on the bathroom wall.
By no means is this really subversive behavior ... the walls get so covered with scribble, every couple months the bar owners just paint them white again and restart the cycle. They actually attempted to stop this by putting a giant Miller Lite chalkboard in there, but they neglected to actually provide any chalk. (Or someone stole it. Whatever.)
Roughly 90 percent of the writing that ends up on the wall has to do with dick sucking. That's not an exaggeration ... the only real shake-up is when someone would write something about politics, which would then devolve to dick sucking, but not until the path weaved through a few other cornfields along the way. I, however, went a different route, deciding to draw a kind-of giant BU logo above the sink.
I left the bar across the bottom that usually says 'Boston University' in it blank on purpose, because I knew I'd be back and I wanted to see what the industrious undergrad population of UMass would come up with.
We made it back out there two weeks later.
I almost wish I'd try to draw Rhett in there ... who knows what riches the world could have reaped.
March 17, 2009 - Julian Tavarez, America's Conscience When you spend a lot of time digging through old photos and stories looking for something, you should always be on the lookout for unrelated things more valuable than whatever you wanted in the first place.
Say, for example, pictures of Roger and Debbie Clemens from the mid-'80s:
There's a story that's made the rounds about Papelbon. It's always sounded apocryphal, but he confirms it. During his first few weeks in Boston's farm system, he, like all new recruits, was subject to a battery of psychological questionnaires, trying to measure the parts of an athlete's makeup that defy easy quantification. One question was, Where do you see yourself after baseball? And Papelbon chewed his pen and thought to himself, That's a stupid question. He wrote in his frantic scrawl, "In the Hall of Fame."
. . .
"I've always set my goals high. If I sold copy machines, I'd want to be the guy who sold the most copy machines in the history of the world."
In an alternate universe somewhere, Jonathan Papelbon sells copiers. And every morning he leaves the house, listening to Metallica and Tupac full blast, screaming.
He probably isn't as famous. Well, unless he lost it one day and put someone's head through a copier.
What do you get for the schizophrenic and bipolar in your life?
-- A pillow which can be thrown at you in rage either because you entered their room or, because they read it as "Do not keep out! Enter," can offer comfort when no one will pay attention to them.
Either way, it will provide woefully insufficient neck support. Julie noted it also had some sort of electronic component, which I can only assume means it will convince the user there's voices in their head. It's really the most complete product since Nuts & Gum.March 11, 2009 - Jon Stewart on Dora The Explorer I appreciate a good ironic joke as much as anyone.
-- It's 'Petrocelli.' Highlights added to show moral superiority.
(Editor's Note: As pointed out by Nick and glossed over by me in my Pesky fervor, Bobby Doerr was No. 1. Joe Cronin was No. 4. This takes at least half of the starch of my moral superiority, or roughly the same amount Nick lost when he appeared prominently in ESPN.com's dorkiest feature. Which, of course, I read frequently.)
I suspect this was not done ironically.
Two additional points:
1) I'd like to think it's pretty clear I'm not one of those "mainstream media" people who despises blogs and finds everyone without a journalism degree unfit to write anything beyond a fast-food order. But I'm not really all that far off when I say Bleacher Report is the place where people who wish they were real sportswriters go to prove why they're not, am I?
March 7, 2009 - Chested Down So today, I closed my Friendster account.
I don't exactly remember when I started it, or the last time I'd used it prior to today. For whatever reason years ago, I'd decided that site would be my choice in the social networking wars, and it had exactly one high point.
My former boss at the vaunted Agawam High School Mirror found me after I did one of my appearance on the now-dead 'Sports Pulse' on the now-dead CN8 ... she'd moved to DC and I always thought she was cool, so it was very exciting.
Regardless, the last couple weeks brought a huge uptick in the above -- random e-mails from women who are apparently allegic to clothes and have decided Web cams are how they'll weather the bad economy.
So I sign in and find the link. There's a little survey which I try to skip, to no avail. They're demanding I type out a reason as to my leaving.
So, I do:
"Too many topless women want to talk to me."
I can only hope I made the afternoon of some guy making minimum wage to track this crap.
March 5, 2009 - Coyotes Trend Barenaked Ladies: The band I've seen in concert more than any other is no more.
By mutual agreement, Steven Page will be parting company with the remaining members of Barenaked Ladies. Jim Creeggan, Kevin Hearn, Ed Robertson, and Tyler Stewart will continue recording and touring together as Barenaked Ladies. Steven Page will pursue solo projects including theatrical opportunities while the band enters the studio in April 2009, and hits the road in the fall.
Page says "These guys are my brothers. We've grown up together over the past twenty years. I love them and wish them all the best in the future."
The band also wish Steven well in all of his endeavors. Ed Robertson says: "It's the start of a new chapter for all of us. Here's to the future!" -- Well, sort of no more.
I would feel much worse about this if I hadn't completely missed their last album. Still, four shows ... Hartford, Worcester, Amherst and Boston ... that's too bad. I killed many a summer morning in 2000 at the local muni listening to BNL albums beginning to end while I mowed grass.
I'm not exactly sure how I wedged a discman into my clothes, which usually centered around a giant pair of rubber overalls supported around my waist by a bungee cord, but I guess that's just part of the magic. Beat the hell out of working in the cart barn.
Last season, the Bruins were desperate for fans, and had many nights where they offered half-price seats in the lower bowl. Julie and I went to a bunch of games that way, usually because after you went to one, they sent you offers to go to more the same way.
Through most of this season, they've been toying with the best record in the NHL. Shock of shocks, those offers were gone, and paying triple digits per seat isn't exactly my idea of a good time. Tonight, though, Phoenix was in town. The same Phoenix that confused the hell out of me last month. The same Phoenix that gutted itself at the trade deadline.
When "lost at home to the 14th-seeded team in the West" doesn't adequately describe your performance, you've laid a very special kind of turd. Never mind the money ... fun as it was anyway, if we'd stayed home, I wouldn't have had to listen to the girl next to us spend five minutes trying to explain to her friend on the other side of the arena where she was, complete with two spats of "I'm standing up! I'm doing this! ("This" being some sort of odd circular wave that the other friend apparently would understand despite no actual explanation.)
In her defense, there wasn't much else to do. But really, sections have numbers ... if that alone isn't enough to guide someone, they're probably ignoring you, big nose.