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Bruins 'Boston Strong' even in defeat

Posted by Obnoxious Boston Fan June 25, 2013 07:26 AM

They played for Martin.

And Krystle.

And Sean.

And Lingzi.

And for Martin's mom and sister.

They played for Jeff.

And Richard.

And Sydney.

And Sydney's mom

They played for everyone lost, injured and scarred on that ugly and vile Monday.

They played for their families.

They played for those who witnessed the horror first-hand, those who put their lives at risk to aid the injured and capture the bombers. They played for those who ran - all the way to Mass General and other hospitals to give blood and for those whose race was cut short.

They played for anyone harmed emotionally and physically for just being fans, for just being there.

They played for a city, a state and a region, and its people and fans, all of whom felt attacked, violated, scared, angry and confused on Patrtiots' Day 2013 thanks to the personification of evil.

On top of that incredible burden and responsibility, they also joined many others teams and athletes playing for 26 angels whose last day on this earth was at Sandy Hook Elementary school.

Don't take my words for it.

Just check out what Claude Julien said in the wake of Monday's crushing, bewildering, stunning, angst-filled, nut-busting, comparable-to-every-grand-Boston-collapse-ever 3-2 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final.

“You know, at the end of the day, I think that’s what hurts the most is in the back of our minds. We wanted to do it for those kind of reasons, the City of Boston, what Newtown has been through, that kind of stuff,” Julien said afterward. "I think that's what's hard right now. It hit close to home, and the best way we felt we could try and cheer the area [up] was to win a Stanley Cup.”

The Bruins led 2-1 and were on their way to forcing a Game 7 Wednesday night before Bryan Bickell tied it with 76 seconds to play.

Fast forward through some bad defense. mental lapses. a championship push by Chicago.

The Bruins trailed 3-2 with 58.3 seconds to play.

It was 17.7 seconds of shock and awful that gave the Blackhawks the Stanley Cup and the Bruins their own unique place on the list of big time Boston losses. It was hockey's karmic answer to Boston's comeback - overcoming a 4-1 third-period deficit before beating the Maple Leafs 5-4 in OT - in Game 7 of the conference quarterfinals exactly six weeks earlier in the same building.

On a sports-choke analytic scale, this loss differs from Game 6 against the Mets in 1986, Game 7 against the Lakers in 2010 and Super Bowls XLII (David Tyree, 18-1 and all that) and XLVI (oopsie, Wes) because in each of those games, Boston watched as its team of choice let a championship slip away. The 2003 Grady Little Classic, Bucky F. Dent, the Red Sox Great Collapse of 2011 and Bruins Great Collapse of 2010 were also painful affairs of gag for sure.

The best team won Monday night. The best city did not. That's not a sore-loser's knock on Chicago, but rather simple pride in and praise of my hometown. (Close enough, I was born at Mt. Auburn Hospital in Cambridge.)

Monday night's loss was unique for all the right and wrong reasons. The defeat left the Bruins and their fans in disbelief. Those at TD Garden, for the most part, stuck around for a "Let's Go Bruins!" chant, if not the Cup ceremony. Those watching on TV either turned off the set, stomached the post-game or fired up the DVR to catch up on "Mad Men" or "Arrested Development."

Uncomfortably numb.

On a small scale, the Bruins let themselves down Monday night. The gave away the game and the Blackhawks were more than willing to take it.

Lost opportunities were the theme of the night.

The Bruins went scoreless on four power plays over and fired 32 times at the net in the first 20 minutes of play. The next goal by Brad Marchand and Tyler Seguin will be their first in this series. Overdue in Game 7.

Boston fans are used to watching teams win and lose big on the championship stage. That's what happens when you root for real teams in a real city. While the haters reveled in "another Boston choke" they missed the broader point that you don't get to lose so many championships unless you're good enough to play for them in the first place. Since "Varitek split the uprights" in Super Bowl XXXVI, Boston is 7-4 when there's a championship on the line.

11 title shots. 7 championships. Top that, anyone.

Summer hockey faded to the hockey summer. And as the days begin to get shorter again the sports calendar is starting to turn darker for Boston and its partisans. .

Let's go Red Sox - and get a closer, please.

Patriots open training camp a month from today. Tom Brady will be throwing the ball to Danny Amendola and five guys off the street. Gronk is recovering from back surgery, perhaps at the Bunny Ranch for all we know. There's that whole Aaron Hernandez thing. His attorneys came out swinging Monday night, railing against "a relentless flood of rumors, misinformation and false reports as the Bruins were fighting for their hockey lives.

Odin Lloyd, sadly, was never given the opportunity to fight for his.

Doc Rivers was headed West, to Hollywood's team - the Clippers. Insiders, experts and Celtics' apologists are wondering why fans would say "Doc quit on the Celtics." Well, it's because Doc quit on the Celtics, leaving town with 60 percent (3 years, $21 million) remaining on his deal. Ray Allen left Boston for his ring in South Beach with zero percent left on his deal. So did Johnny Damon, Adam Vinatieri and even Wade Boggs.

No one left the TD Garden Monday night.

Fate chose the Boston Bruins to be first team that had the honor of carrying the Boston Strong. It was at TD Garden where the masses first gathered publicly in the wake of the attacks, taking over National Anthem duties from Rene Rancourt. And it was the Bruins who first played, beating David Ortiz and Red Sox by about an hour, on that Saturday after Ortiz's "f--kin' city" was in lock-down.

Monday night, Jeff Bauman, who lost both his legs in Copley Square on Marathon Monday, stood up and walked using his prosthetics on the Garden ice's red carpet. He was helped by cowboy/hero Carlos Arredondo.

Standing strong, indeed.

It's little wonder Patrice Bergeron played Monday night with “a broken rib, a torn cartilage and muscles" and he suffered a separated shoulder during the game. Or how Gregory Campbell finished off a shift during a penalty kill on a broken leg against Pittsburgh. Or why Jaomir Jagr completed a Stanley Cup playoff run at the age of 134.

Remember that the next time Jacoby Ellsbury sits out a week with a sore groin, or Clay Buchholz hits the DL with a sore neck.

"The best way we felt we could try and cheer the area was to win a Stanley Cup," Julien said.

The would have been the best way, but it was not the only way. The Bruins "cheered the area" for two months after the Marathon bombings. They gave the victims' and their families the honor of being banner captains before each home game. They gave the rest of us a wonderful diversion and memorable way to stand together amid so much pain, anger and strife.

Boston Strong.

Win or lose.

Don't forget to visit our Obnoxious Boston Fan blog. As always, let us know what you think. Post your thoughts here, on our Obnoxious Boston Fan Facebook page, on Twitter @realOBF or e-mail me at obnoxiousbostonfan@hotmail.com.

Bruins walk tightrope against Chicago

Posted by Obnoxious Boston Fan June 24, 2013 06:05 AM

Larry Johnson Illustration.jpgBlades better keep his balance in Game 6. (Larry Johnson illustration)


Talk about "do or die."

Nik Wallenda showed nerves of steel and cannon-ball-sized nads traversing a skywire across a 1,400-foot slice of the Grand Canyon Sunday night, even "Tebowing" along the way.

He was actually kneeling to stabilize himself against stiff winds. Much like Tebow, Wallenda offered praise to Jesus throughout his terrifying journey. Both survived, Wallenda walking 1,500 above a gorge in Arizona with no net or parachute. Tebow playing a season with the Jets.

It was must-see TV and put a whole new spin on the garbage that we call "reality television."

Also walking a tightrope today: the Boston Bruins, Aaron Hernandez, Danny Ainge and the Red Sox bullpen.

If Wallenda really wanted to impress us, he would have walked back, too. After Wallenda's walk, Discovery premiered a show called "Naked and Afraid." We hope that's also the condition of Blackhawks in their locker room tonight at about 11.

The Bruins are walking their highwire at TD Garden tonight, facing certain hockey death with a loss (8:20, NBC). It's the second time this postseason the Bruins were straddling above the grand canyon of playoff elimination. The Bruins were hanging from that wire with just one hand in Game 7 against Toronto, trailing 4-1 in the third period.

They found a dose of "Boston Strong," pulled themselves up and you know the rest.

And, as we've seen about 150,342 times on Twitter since Saturday's slapdown in Chicago, the Bruins were in the same situation against the Canucks two years ago. That team had Patrice Bergeron and Tim Thomas.

First, Beregeron. The injury surrounding Bergeron remains shrouded in mystery. What what's been reported, it appears to be some sort of damage to his spleen or an internal organ, which may have been caused by a cracked or broken rib. Claude Julien was mum on the injury and no one is able to pinpoint the specific play or hit when it occurred. Bergeron pulled up in the second period, but only saw 5:17 of ice time in the first.

The Bruins have done nothing to tamp speculation that the injury was present before Game 5 and the issue was avoided when Julien was asked about it Saturday night.

When Gregory Campbell broke his leg, there was no doubt what happened, when and why. And the Bruins confirmed reports that his leg was broken before the game was over.

Keep an eye on this one, especially if the season sadly ends tonight.

But Bobby Orr isn't coming through that door, at least in uniform, neither is Espo, Ray Bourque. The Bruins Monday are leading us to believe Bergeron just might still. Wherever and whenever the cause of Bergeron's injury. Brad Marchand, Tyler Seguin and David Krecji will be in uniform tonight. But they'll have to play like it in order for the Bruins to have any hope of repeating 2011's comeback against Vancouver.

"The Little Ball of Hate" has dissolved into a tiny grain of apathy against the Blackhawks. Saturday night, Marchand had zero points, one shot and one hit in 17:14 of ice time. The Blackhawks haven't been given enough credit from these quarters for their ability to negate Marchand in this series. In 1:09.54 of ice time against Chicago [more than a full game] in the Stanley Cup Final, Marchand has no goals, no assists, just nine shots and is a minus-3.

Seguin has been slightly less unimpressive. His flaccid stick cost the Bruins a sure open-net goal in the second period Saturday. His play has improved slightly during the course of the series, but he has lost whatever ability he once had to plant his shot and shoot decisively at the most important moments.

Chara.jpg

Krecji, like the rest of the Bruins offense, was completely taken out of his game Saturday. He was able to feed Zdeno Chara for the Bruins' lone goal. It was one of the first times in this series Chara was able to fully wind up and take one of his patented, blistering slap-shots.

The Blackhawks talked a lot about going after Chara before Game 5. But what they really did was stay away from him. Instead of poking the bear, they wore him out. Chara was out of position on both of Patrick Kane's goals Saturday. The Blackhawks kept moving and Chara and Dennis Seidenberg were too slow and had to be split up.

Again, the Bruins remain on the tightrope, they haven't fallen off. Writing them off without Bergeron is almost too easy. It's no different than saying just shoot at Corey Crawford's glove side and you'll score every time. How'd that work out Saturday? Crawford's glove remains a liability (see 2011 Red Sox) but the Bruins cannot hope themselves into a Game 7 or Stanley Cup by aiming at it and nothing else. One or two passes at most on each possession would create more shots and more opportunities to test Crawford on all sides. The Bruins need to crash the net, shoot more than five times in the second period (like they did Saturday) and most importantly, score first.

The beauty of this series is that, thus far anyway, we've gotten exactly the opposite of what we expected courtesy of the "insiders and experts" before each game. Games that were supposed to be high-scoring, were low-scoring. Tuukka Rask was Tim Thomas, then Andrew Raycroft, and back to being Thomas all in the span of three games. Kane and Jonathan Toews were no-shows, until they powered Chicago to victory in games four and five.

Carl Soderberg was a one-eye-Swedish punchline. Now he's the great very white hope for the Bruins' second line.

Tonight, no one knows what to expect.

Just like Wallenda walking his skywire, the Bruins will put it all on the line tonight facing certain [hockey] destruction if they fail.

If they go the distance and play mistake-free hockey, avoid any more injuries or bad bounces, get some goals from anyone not named Bergeron or Paille, they'll make it to the other side.

Just in time walk it all back again on Wednesday.

___________

In case you missed it because you were watching Hernandez buy gas last Thursday, here's a link to the interview and column posted here on possible future Celtics coach Stan Van Gundy.

Van Gundy would made a great coach in Boston, especially with a young and rebuilding team. He won't take crap from the players, but at the same time has experience in dealing with petulant, immature superstars [see Dwight Howard], so Rondo won't be too much a problem for him.

Van Gundy is very happy and settled in Central Florida. It's unlikey his family would move noth with him, but he did coach at UMass Lowell for four years and loves the Bay State. It's likely he'd be just like his predecessor Doc Rivers, live outside Orlando but coach in Boston.

Join us tonight at 7:30 for our live in-game chat on Boston.Com and ChicagoTribune.Com. If you've got any more cool Stanley Cup art or photos, pass them along and we'll post them here, or on our Obnoxious Boston Fan Facebook page and @realOBF Twitter feed. You can also e-mail me at obnoxiousbostonfan@hotmail.com. Go Bruins!

'The Bruins are coming! The Bruins are coming'

Posted by Obnoxious Boston Fan June 22, 2013 07:19 AM

Paul Revere.jpg(Illustration courtesy of Boston artist Joanne Kaliontzis with a nod to John Singleton Copley. She also happens to be OBF's cousin. The MFA and Art Institute of Chicago, meanwhile, are continuing their Facebook Stanley Cup art throwdown.)

Hey Chicago: "The Bruins are coming. The Bruins are coming."

Paul Revere worked in silver when he wasn't horsing around during the middle of the night in Middlesex County. He would have loved the NHL's silver chalice. After all, Boston was in the original Adams Division, which featured Sam, John, Abigail and John Quincy.

What neither Revere nor any other prognosticator could have seen coming was this past week, one of the craziest and most bizarre in recent Boston sports history.

One if by land. Two if by sea. And three by Patrice Bergeron wouldn't be so bad, either.

And it isn't even over yet, since the Bruins and Blackhawks play Game 5 tonight.

Everyone now knows that you can beat Corey Crawford high on the glove side.

Right?

If it was that simple, how come the Bruins didn't score 33 goals Wednesday night instead of just five?

Five goals, and yet they still lost.

The Bruins defense took a beating Wednesday in Game 4 and left Tuukka Rask exposed and victimized by rebounds. Zdeno Chara, Dennis Seidenberg and Patrice Bergeron (who scored a pair of goals) were an astonishing minus-7 combined in Boston's 6-5 OT loss. With those numbers, it's even more astonishing that the Bruins nearly won that game.

The Bruins and Blackhawks have worn the Stanley Cup Final down to a best-of-three series that starts tonight at 8:20 Eastern on NBC. That's regular NBC and not NBC Sports Channel, CNBC or NBC Shopping en Español. Boston is one Chara off-the-inside-of-the-post shot in the 2nd OT of Game 1 and one Chris Kelly-missed-wide-open-net in Game 4 away from sweeping the series.

After going 149 minutes and 36 seconds without scoring on Boston, the Blackhawks scored four goals in the first 36 minutes against Boston on Wednesday.

That was perhaps the most surprising surprise in this week of the unexpected.

Paula Deen got the boot before Doc Rivers.

Doc and Kevin Garnett were on their way to the Clippers. Then they weren't. Then David Stern said it can't happen, Doc and Danny talked. There was a press conference Friday that was moved to Monday.

Aaron Hernandez has been a murder suspect, a non-suspect, the subject of an arrest warrant and not arrested all in the span of three days.

The courts in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts demand the presumption of innonece and proof beyond a reasonable doubt in order for a guilty verdict. The court of public opinion does not. And neither does the Star Chamber of Roger Goodell and Robert Kraft. "Muscle Milk" has already dropped Hernandez as a spokesman.

We do know he bought gas on Thursday after stopping briefly at Gillette Stadium. It was televised live. Twenty years ago, you couldn't watch Patriots' home games because they were blacked out locally. Now, we can watch one of their soon-to-be-former tight ends buying gas on live television.

Progress.

That tank of gas could last him anywhere between a week and 30 years.

Hernandez drove around town in a white Audi, chased by TV choppers all the way. This came just after 19 years to the day that murder suspect O.J. Simpson, who was fleeing an actual real-life arrest warrant, led police in the world's most-televised slow-speed chase while driving a white Bronco. Amidst all this mayhem, Kim Kardashian, the daughter of O.J. attorney Robert Kardashian, and her baby daddy Kanye West announced the birth of girl allegedly named North.

North West.

Ah, the circle of life. Right down the toilet.

On the diamond, former Red Sox closer Andrew Bailey made two appearances, blew two leads and gave up two home runs after facing just seven batters. The Red Sox don't have a legit closer, but they're still up by two games in the A.L. East.

And turned out Ray Allen had it right all along. At least he didn't ride out of the American Airlines Arena on Wade Boggs' horse after the Spurs completed their choke job against Miami in the NBA Finals. In 2000, Colorado's Ray Bourque brought his Stanley Cup back to Boston and was greeted by 20,000 fans at City Hall Plaza. In 2013, Allen will not be doing the same with the Larry O'Brien trophy.

In just six years we've seen Johnny Damon win a World Series with the Yankees, 2012 NLCS MVP Marco Scutaro win a World Series with the San Francisco Giants, Adam Vinatieri win a Super Bowl with the Colts and Allen earn his second ring down in South Beach with the Heat.

Damn, if only Boston had players like that.

The Bruins could make next week even more memorable by winning their seventh Stanley Cup. The Cup will be inside TD Garden Monday night for Game 6, since either Boston or Chicago will have a shot to win this thing in six game. The Original Six matchup has boosted TV ratings and national interest in the series.

If this series goes seven games, it's likely Game 7 will be the most-watched NHL game in network TV history. And it will be on at least one television in Alaska.

Puppy.jpgThis beyond-awesomely-cute photo was passed along from Bruins fan Alaska Jeff, who outfitted one of his sled dogs ("Higgins") in this Bruins hat when he was a pup three years ago. "He’s now my best lead dog and totally rocks the B’s look," Jeff said. (For more cool hockey themed classic art and pet photos, click here.)

The Bruins' alpha dog is named "Chara." Chicago's Bryan Bickell was bragging on NHL.com about how much fun and easy it was to hit Chara in Game 4. Expect those comments to bite Bickell in the ass throughout Game 5.

Alaska Jeff uses his dogs to get around in the winter. This time of year, they watch summer hockey. Sunset tonight in Fairbanks is 12:47 a.m. local time tomorrow. Jeff should be able to squeeze in 18 holes after tonight's game, even it goes into triple OT.

The Bruins and Blackhawks have demonstrated their best and worst in the past four games. Each team has an overtime victory (the Blackhawks have two). The biggest stars on each team have made contributions, since Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews finally decided to join us in Game 4.

Given what's happened in the past four games, one would be foolish to predict with any certainty what's going to happen tonight. The Bruins have to re-set themselves defensively and score quickly tonight to silence the United Center crowd early and often. Rask still has 14 wins in the postseason and Game 4 was an aberration, not the new norm. But if Rask gives up six goals again tonight, expect Gary Bettman to be giving the Stanley Cup to Kane on Monday night in Boston.

And that would make next week a real bummer.

__________

Join us tonight at 7:30 for our live in-game chat on Boston.Com and ChicagoTribune.Com. And if you've got any more cool Stanley Cup art or photos, pass them along and we'll post them here, or on our Obnoxious Boston Fan Facebook page and @realOBF Twitter feed. You can also e-mail me at obnoxiousbostonfan@hotmail.com. Go Bruins!

Van Gundy on Celtics: 'You never know'

Posted by Obnoxious Boston Fan June 20, 2013 06:05 PM

Stan Van Gundy knows all about ugly exits.

His days as coach of the Orlando Magic and Miami Heat ended unceremoniously.

Van Gundy officially resigned from the Heat in December of 2005. Miami president Pat Riley slid into his seat to coach Shaquille O'Neal and D-Wade to Miami's first NBA title seven months later.

Stan Van Gundy AP.jpgVan Gundy was booted from the Magic's kingdom as part of a Mickey Mouse effort to keep Dwight Howard in the 407. That didn't work. The Magic found themselves both minus their marquee coach and their best big man heading into this season.

Sound familiar, Celtics' fans?

How did it work out in Orlando after the name coach and best big man left town? The Magic were dead last in the NBA at 20-62 this past season and finished as the second-best NBA team in Florida, a mere 46 games behind the Heat.

Would Van Gundy want to follow Doc Rivers' footsteps in going from losing a job with the Magic to taking over the NBA's most storied franchise?

"You never know," he told the OBF blog Thursday. Van Gundy isn't ruling anything in or out these days. The Rivers-to-the-Clippers deal has been declared dead twice in the past three days.

As Van Gundy would say, "you never know."

Van Gundy said coming into a "rebuild" situation like Boston's would not be a concern for him. "It's not an issue of where the roster is. What you're looking for is a real agreement with management on the vision and values of the organization so that the way you think a team should be coached is the way the organization thinks it should be. I had that with [GM] Otis Smith in Orlando. It would have to be a thing where everything fits."

Van Gundy has grown comfortable living in Central Florida and said just last month he's turned down the possibility to interview for several NBA openings.

In a league full of worn-down, coaching retreads, having either Stan, or his brother Jeff, coaching in Boston would be like getting a set of shiny new Michelins. Both are tough, outspoken and unapologetic. Both have led teams to the brink of a title and are missing just one line on their resumes - that of NBA championship coach. Jeff Van Gundy wraps up his sixth season as NBA analyst for ESPN and ABC with Game 7 in Miami Thursday. Like his brother, he has not been shy about voicing his desire to coach again.

Massachusetts is familiar turf to Stan Van Gundy. He coached at UMass Lowell for four seasons 20-plus years ago. "I'm not a fan of the cold, but we loved it up there and enjoyed our time in Lowell."

If he enjoyed his time in Lowell, he'll love it in Boston.

Van Gundy, who lives in Central Florida about 15 miles north of Rivers, said Doc could still carry street cred coaching in Boston despite the fact that he publicly wanted to leave town and bail on the team as the Big Three/Four Era stumbled to a close.

Burning bridges and then walking a tightrope back home is nothing new for NBA players. Van Gundy said they would relate if their head coach did the same thing.

"Players have looked at other opportunities and decided where they want to be. They understand it," Van Gundy said. "Doc has enough credibility with players and he hasn't said anything bad about the Celtics organization. Danny Ainge has been a part of this, too. It would be awkward for the first month or two, maybe during training camp, after that Doc has enough credibility and he's a good enough coach where it will be fine."

For the fans and front office, it's a different story. "I understand that," he said. "It all depends on how good a job he does. The way you do cure that ill will is win some games."

The Magic beat the Celtics in the 2009 Eastern Conference semifinals under Van Gundy. It was another ignominious exit that opened the door for Van Gundy in Orlando. Billy Donovan accepted the Magic job and then resigned about 72 hours later, completing shortest reign of power this side of "Bill Belichick - Head Coach - New York Jets."

Van Gundy spoke Thursday after being honored with "The Floridian" award for his public service work helping public schools and the homeless by the "Open Mike" show on 740 AM The Game in Orlando. Your not-humble-enough correspondent was named "Open Mike" Caller of the Year.

Van Gundy fully appreciates Rivers' motivation for seeking greener pastures, even if they're colored in Clippers blue and red.

"Doc's at the point where he doesn't want to go through a rebuild," Van Gundy said. "A lot of it was driven by Boston, they realized they need to rebuild. This is an opportunity to get assets they otherwise would not get. The fact they can get two first round picks possibly in a rebuild, you can't beat that."

David Stern would probably disagree.


Don't forget to visit our Obnoxious Boston Fan blog. As always, let us know what you think. Post your thoughts here, on our Obnoxious Boston Fan Facebook page, on Twitter @realOBF or e-mail me at obnoxiousbostonfan@hotmail.com.

Video: Jimmy Fallon's Stanley Cup superlatives

Posted by Obnoxious Boston Fan June 19, 2013 04:33 PM

Jimmy Fallon handed out his own Stanley Cup "high-school yearbook" superlatives during his late-night show on NBC Tuesday night. The honors had no basis in hockey and were based solely on the head shots of the Bruins and Blackhawks players.

Among Fallon's awards, Boston's Brad Marchand was named: "Most likely to make you a pizza in 1983."

Sounds accurate. Although Marchand would no doubt smack any patron who didn't give the waitress a big enough tip.

Not coincidentally, Game 4 airs on the good-old, regular over-the-air NBC network Wednesday night.

(HT/@BSTN)

Don't forget to visit our Obnoxious Boston Fan blog. As always, let us know what you think. Post your thoughts here, on our Obnoxious Boston Fan Facebook page, on Twitter @realOBF or e-mail me at obnoxiousbostonfan@hotmail.com.

Update: MFA puts Rask mask on George Washington

Posted by Obnoxious Boston Fan June 18, 2013 09:09 PM

Update on Wednesday: The MFA one-upped itself prior to Game 4 in Boston with this tremendous rendition of George Washington wearing the mask of Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask. The image appeared on the MFA Facebook page, the same digital museum that has hosted the other Bruins-themed art that has appeared during the Stanley Cup Final.

Tuukka.jpg


Defending the nation and the net!
Our George Washington shows his support for Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask after Monday’s shutout game.
Here's to another shutout tonight.

We cannot tell a lie, this is tremendous.

Perhaps Rask will end up on the front of the Euros that are distributed in Finland if his Conn Smythe-esque performance continues. He's allowed only one goal in the past two games, making 28 saves while shutting out Chicago 2-0 Monday.

_______


Daughters Courtesy of MFA.jpg"From great conflict comes great art."

Not sure if anyone ever quite put it that way, but if they had, they would be impressed with the Stanley Cup Final-inspired Facebook antics of Boston's Museum of Fine Arts and the Art Institute of Chicago.

John Singer Sargent painted The Daughters of Edward Darley Boit back in 1882. The first version of the Stanley Cup was awarded 11 years later.

Original.jpgThe painting was set in "Ned's" Paris apartment. Julia Boit and her sisters did not have sports talk radio, the internet, DirecTV or NBC Sports Channel on their cable system. No doubt they had to follow hockey in the newspaper.

And in French.

Mon Dieu!

The original version of this painting hangs in the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. The painting is generally considered Sargent's most noteworthy work, and is also the subject of a fascinating book by Erica Hirshler.

That my friends, is the first and last paragraph you'll ever see about art history and criticism here.

Now it's back to citing fictional comic book movie villains:


My first trip to the MFA was as a second-grader back in the same year the Bruins won their fifth Stanley Cup, 1972. The MFA is one of Boston's true treasures. It's impossible not to learn something every time you visit.

Now, the MFA has placed its own unique spin on the Stanley Cup, in conjunction with the AIC.

"The gloves really came off Game 3," the MFA's Karen Frascona told the OBF blog. That's when the the MFA suited up Sargent's"The Daughters of Edward Darley Boit" with Bruins jerseys and the Stanley Cup.

"We think it's a sign of what's to come," Frascona said. "We've got a couple more planned, so stay tuned."

Wouldn't miss it.

Amercan Gothic Blackhawks.jpgFor Game 1, AIC posted Grant Wood's "American Gothic" complete with Blackhawks helmets.

Goal.

Maybe Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews should use a pitchfork, since they're not doing much with their sticks in this series.

The MFA countered with a Bruins' facemask on "Samurai Sam" its mascot for the special exhibition "Samurai! Armor" from the Ann and Gabriel Barbier Mueller Collection, currently on view.

For Game 2, AIC outfitted Claude Monet's "Stacks of Wheat (End of Day, Autumn)" with that same helmets, while the MFA countered with "Mr. Bruin anticipates an easy win," a postcard in the MFA's collection.

The Bruins dominated the final 40 minutes of Game 2 and all of Game 3, shutting out the Blackhawks and pushing them up and down the ice for 60 minutes Monday night.

The Blackhawks wilted on the "s--ty" Garden ice - Tuukka Rask's words, not mine - and the Bruins flourished.

Neither their heads nor hearts were in this one.

14 down, two to go. #BostonStrong meet #ChicagoWeakSauce

The Art Institute of Chicago has acquitted itself much better than Chicago's hockey team in this series and put forth a much stronger effort than Kane, Toews and the "mysteriously injured" Marian "Bag It" Hossa.

Certainly Sargent never let a sprained wrist or pulled hangnail get in-between his artistic abilities and the canvas.

Once the Bruins and Blackhawks reached the Stanley Cup Final, the museums began their fun with photo-manipulation rivalry. This stuff is infinitely more creative than the standard mayoral bet or media-generated rivalry.

Not so surprisingly, reaction on the MFA's Facebook page to the Sargent painting was mixed. It's 2013, so something offends everybody and everybody is offended by something. One MFA Facebook fan posted: "This is ridiculous. This is my favorite painting, way to insult a genius artist. Is this what my donations and membership goes too? I think Boston has enough sports outlets, leave my art alone..... Bad idea MFA."

We do agree that Boston has enough sports outlets. Actually, it only needs one. But nothing happened to his art. As far as we know, Sargent's original masterpiece remains untouched.

The two museums aren't the only ones creating some fine hockey themed art, to wit this piece of photographic brilliance brought to us via reddit and Boston Sports Then and Now.

Boston Can.jpg

We'll call it "Boston Feline Nursing A Bud Light"

We do have one suggestion for the MFA.

Childe Hassam's "Boston Common At Twilight" would look mighty sweet with the featured woman wearing an "I ♥ Bergeron" shirt and Rask in the background riding atop Dorchester Dottie holding the Stanley Cup in one hand and the Conn Smythe trophy and the other.

Pass along your ideas for paintings that can be modified for Stanley Cup Final purposes.

Art imitating life was never this much fun.

Don't forget to visit our Obnoxious Boston Fan blog. As always, let us know what you think. Post your thoughts here, on our Obnoxious Boston Fan Facebook page, on Twitter @realOBF or e-mail me at obnoxiousbostonfan@hotmail.com.

Buying Tebow jersey leap of faith, even with $10 off

Posted by Obnoxious Boston Fan June 17, 2013 10:15 PM

teboww.jpgTebowmania at a discount.

Tim Tebow's NFL resurrection was big news for Florida Gators everywhere. Now members of the school's alumni association can save a few bucks when they add his newest jersey to their collection.

The following pitch was made in an email by the University of Florida Alumni Association sent Monday:

I'm sure you, like the rest of us in the heart of the Gator Nation, were thrilled to hear the news that Tim Tebow was signed by the New England Patriots. We are so proud of Tim and his indomitable Gator spirit!

As a small token of our appreciation for your membership in the UF Alumni Association (UFAA), we are pleased to offer you a $10.00 discount per single purchase of an official, adult size Tim Tebow jersey (pictured). Use your membership number to login to the "Members Only" section of the UFAA website and receive the redemption code. Get your jerseys at the Patriots ProShop. Act now, as this offer is only valid for 10 days.

It's time to show Tim that the magnitude of the Gator Nation is behind him all the way! Please join us in cheering him on during this phase of his NFL journey.

That would be the phase of his journey where he watches Tom Brady play quarterback until Brady either retires or gets hurt. In either case, watching Tebow take over the Pats under those circumstances might give Gator fans flashbacks to that Sugar Bowl mauling at the hands of Louisville.

Timmy doesn't need to worry about Gator Nation sticking with him, they'd happily follow Tebow off a cliff. Wait, they already did that when he went to the Jets. Tebow's statue dominates the trio of UF Heisman winners outside Florida Field at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Tebow's presence is all over the mini-shrine built to Florida's football success in the official entryway to the stadium offices.

"Tebowing" at midfield is a requirement for any fan who gets the chance to do it.

Meanwhile, the UF alumni club should be offering No. 15 Tebow Jets' jerseys at a 500 percent discount. They'd have to pay their members to wear one of those, even in Gainesville. (I'm a defacto member since my son will be a sophomore at UF in the fall.)

Purchasing a Tim Tebow Patriots' jersey is the ultimate test of faith for Tebow fans. Tebow's game jersey should remain in pristine, new condition for the first year or so that he's on the team, assuming he makes the team. Plenty of UF fans, and many others, will be willing to roll that dice.

Anyone need a No. 81 XL "Moss" or No. 85 XL "Hernandez" in Patriots' blue?

Tebow could try to use his "spirituality" - Gator and otherwise - to charm/convince Vladimir Putin to cough up Bob Kraft's Super Bowl XXXIX ring. If Kraft thinks Putin is a tough customer, he should check out this London Daily Mail story simply titled: "Princess of whales: How a naked female scientist tries to tame belugas in the freezing Arctic" (photos NSFW if you have overly sensitive co-workers or HR people). It's about a Russian scientist who tends to whales in the 29-degree Arctic Ocean while swimming in the nude.

The UFAA email also had a link to a story on the Patriots' website for those University of Florida alumni who "haven't heard the news."

That would be none of them.

Don't forget to visit our Obnoxious Boston Fan blog. As always, let us know what you think. Post your thoughts here, on our Obnoxious Boston Fan Facebook page, on Twitter @realOBF or e-mail me at obnoxiousbostonfan@hotmail.com.

Bruins get karmic boost from Cubs

Posted by Obnoxious Boston Fan June 16, 2013 10:52 PM

The Bruins could win their seventh Stanley Cup this week, if those lucky pucks keep bouncing their way.

Actively participating in the first 30 minutes of each game might help a bit, too.

The Bruins escaped from Chicago tied 1-1. They should have won Game 1 and lost Game 2. Funny how those things work out in the seven-game series. This series will likely come down to a fluke goal, a questionable power-play or a deflection off a skate (See Andrew Ference in Game 1.)

Thankfully, the Stanley Cup winner won't be decided by foolish t-shirts. Otherwise the Blackhawks would be marching up (or is it down?) Michigan Avenue today. There's already been the requisite and, sadly, expected idiocy from the other side in this series. The "Chicago Stronger" fad lasted all of about five hours. We've also been treated to a healthy dose of sports hate getting mixed with real hate on Twitter from Chicagoland. For everyone's sake, all of this childishness was dealt with via the swift and unforgiving hand of Digital Justice.

The juiciest sentence in the non-apology "Chicago Stronger" apology issued by the offending t-shirt company was this: "We are trying to profit off of our ideas, our artistic expression and an enthusiasm for sports that we share with several fervent fandoms."

Ideas? The worse part about the whole "Chicago Stronger" fiasco was its unoriginality. The "Fill-In-The-Blank Stronger" gimmick was tried in Toronto with disastrous results for the perp and his team.

The most karmic turning point for the Bruins in this Stanley Cup Final series may have come via Twitter, but it had nothing to do with t-shirts or #ChicagoStronger.

The Chicago Cubs Tweeted their support to the boys at 1901 West Madison St., Saturday night when the Blackhawks were up 1-0 and on the verge of blowing the Bruins right out of the United Center and into the middle of Lake Michigan.

The @RealOBF Twitter feed picked up on the curse-in-the-making right away. A few hockey minutes later, Chris Kelly (yes, that Chris Kelly) scored on the newly-formed Piezy, Segs and Kell line. Whatever works, Claude.

The Blackhawks got served a slice of Boston Cream Paille in overtime and all of sudden the Bruins had home-ice advantage in a best-of-five series to determine the Stanley Cup champion.

You can watch Paille's game-winner at 13:48 of overtime over and over again.

(HT/@BuzzFeedSports & @SethMookin)

It never gets old.

Pure hockey porn.

The billy goat, Steve Bartman and now the "Go Blackhawks" Tweet.

A new Chicago curse in the works?

You never know.

Maybe that was a gift from Theo Epstein? After all, the Cubs' GM grew up in Brookline and could have taken the Green Line from his neighborhood to the old elevated North End Boston Garden stop as a kid without departing the C Train. If he shows up for work this week wearing a "Blades" costume, Chicago fans can begin to panic. The Cubs no doubt supported the Blackhawks in 2010, but they didn't have Theo at that time, so all of this is raised to a whole new level.

The real key Saturday night, of course, was the continued brilliance of goaltender Tuukka Rask, who has done everything possible to emerge from the shadow of Tim Thomas but win the Stanley Cup, endorse Gabriel Gomez and renounce his Finnish citizenship.

Rask and Thomas both have no trouble speaking their minds. After Saturday's 2-1 OT win, Rask was very forgiving in his assessment, saying the lone goal he allowed really wasn't his fault. He's also supremely confident. His impending payday might be enough to lift the GDP of Finland by 10 percent. Talking to the press after the Bruins were able to silence the "Sadhouse on Madison," Rask had the smile of an 17-year-old boy whose fake ID was good enough to get him both the booze and the hotel room on prom night.

Game 3 of this wonderfully agonizing affair is tonight at TD Garden. Once again, the game will be televised on the NBC Sports 1992 Olympic Blue Channel, currently known as NBC Sports Network. These games have provided all of the anxiety-producing, stomach-churning, profanity-inducing action you'd expect from a cliche-laden Original Six matchup.

But these games are only fun to watch when the Bruins win.

That's what being a fan is all about.

Elsewhere in this week's Monday Roundup:

___________

John Lackey Ace: One of Theo's other gifts, John Lackey, has emerged as the anchor of the beleaguered Red Sox pitching staff.

Clay Buchholz has made just two starts in the past 25 days and Jon Lester has just two victories in the past month and is 0-4 in his last six starts.

Despite those woeful stats from their pair of aces, the Red Sox still have the best record in the American League (tied with Oakland at 42-29). Meanwhile, Lackey (4-5, 3.08 ERA) has gone 3-1 with an 1.87 ERA in 37.2 innings of work since May 15.

Tommy John surgery, 20-or-so fewer pounds and a divorce can often work wonders for a starting pitcher.

Thanks, Tommy and John.

Chicken's on me.

Two years ago, Lackey crushed a loaded field in voting for the first-ever OBF "Negative 10th Player Award." This season, he might be lock for its positive name sake.

Strange times indeed.

___________

Rose Thud: Justin Rose won the U.S. Open Sunday, beating Phil Mickelson by two shots. When Phil nailed that eagle on No. 10 Sunday, my moobs tingled. But Phil did what he does best and finished second for the sixth time in our nation's golf championship. At least it looks like he's slimmed down to a 44 AAA.

___________

Green Monster: The Red Sox have been rightfully bashed for the past two years for their slavish devotion to marketing and making personnel moves based on public perception. "Feeding the Monster," as Theo put it. But they are certainly not the only culprits in on the Boston pro sports scene who consider public perception and marketing strategy when making moves.

No one knows why the Patriots signed Tim Tebow, or at least no one is saying why they signed Tebow. But the Patriots have been on a downhill slide since the second-half of the AFC championship game.

After losing that game badly, they botched Wes Welker's deal and allowed him to slip away to Denver over a couple of million dollars, mere peanuts in the NFL. Tight end Rob Gronkowski is heading into his second lifetime back and fifth surgery overall in the past two years on Tuesday. Of course, he continues to party like hell in the process. Sadly, it appears his best days as a Patriot may already be in the rear-view mirror. All of this and he's not even 25.

Welker, Gronkowski and Brandon Lloyd together caught 61 percent (247) of the 402 completions Tom Brady made in 2012. Lloyd is a free-agent. Welker's in Denver. And not even the NSA knows when Gronk will be able to play.

Meanwhile, Bob Kraft's third Super Bowl ring continues to rest in the Kremlin's museum. A fitting tribute to all that yardage Vladimir Putin gained against the Eagles in Super Bowl XXXIX. Perhaps it was payback for swiping Alaska.

Tebow is the best diversion no guaranteed money can buy. Especially during a week when the Bruins are fighting for their second Stanley Cup in three years

Meanwhile, the "sudden" departure of Doc Rivers, likely to the Los Angeles Clippers, has been in the NBA ether for weeks. As Michael Felger and others noted over the weekend, ESPN's Stephen A. Smith raised the likelihood of Doc leaving town immediately after the Celtics tanked against the Knicks. The local scribes indeed missed this one.

"News" of Rivers' unwillingness to guide the Celtics through three years of rebuilding (for a nice payday of $21 million by the way), broke again last week "from a source close to Rivers" through Smith's ESPN colleague Chris Broussard.

Again, perfect timing for the Celtics to throw in the towel on the next three or four seasons since the Boston sports world's eyes were turned toward the Red Sox, Bruins and Tebowmania.

The Celtics are finally allowing "Big Three/Four" era to come to a merciful close, something they should have done in 2011. The fact they can get compensation for a coach, even one as talented and coveted as Rivers, is a huge plus. The only Rivers who could really help the Celtics get better over the next few years is named Austin and plays for the New Orleans Pelicans.

If Rivers is coaching the team after all of this, it would be worst possible outcome for all sides at this point. A three-year lame-duck coach won't be able to motivate today's NBA superstars, no matter how good a job he's done in the past.

My Marquette-related bias toward Doc has been noted multiple times. He deserves more than the scorn of upset fans for his time and success here. Rivers, obviously, doesn't want to coach a Celtics team whose best hope is an eighth seed in the East. He's earned that right, even with this botched and gutless exit strategy. Like Terry Francona, time will allow him to be judged as a success and a winner in Boston.

But that will have to wait for the Bruins to win the Stanley Cup, or drive us all nuts in the process.

Don't forget to visit our Obnoxious Boston Fan blog. As always, let us know what you think. Post your thoughts here, on our Obnoxious Boston Fan Facebook page, on Twitter @realOBF or e-mail me at obnoxiousbostonfan@hotmail.com.

OBF Translator: Tim Tebow and Patriots

Posted by Obnoxious Boston Fan June 14, 2013 12:24 AM

Tebow Pass (AP).jpg


Last time we had to use the OBF Translator was at the onset of spring training, when the bull was flying fast and furiously from the Red Sox and others.

The arrival of Tim Tebow this week in Foxborough created a similar BS-storm. The Patriots, from owner Bob Kraft on down to backup QB Ryan Mallett all offered their thoughts on the team's newest third-string, Philippine-born, former Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback. Reaction to Tebow's NFL resurrection was not limited to New England, either.

In the interest of getting to the bottom of the story, we'll filter their statements of record through the OBF Translator and try to come up with another version of the truth. There's no clever way to say that this is all done in sarcasm without being sarcastic. We'll just hope you're able to figure that out that it's fake on your own.

First, here's what Tebow had to say, for real.

We know there's no way he could ever be less than honest, so there's no translation needed.

"First and foremost, I just want to thank the Patriots for giving me an opportunity. I'm very thankful. It's such an honor to be a Patriot and play for Coach Belichick and Coach [Josh] McDaniels, and learn under Tom [Brady], and be a part of this great franchise and very successful franchise. I found out first-hand; I lost to them several times.

"It's going to be a lot of fun. I'm looking forward to working hard every single day and getting a lot better and learning under some great people. That's all I got. Thank you all so much and God bless. I?m sure we'll be talking more soon."

Now, the rest, starting with an unlikely source, televangelist and former presidential candidate Pat Robertson. This one you have see to believe:

What he really said:

(HT/David Parkman Show)

OBF Translator: "'Big chest and muscles.' No biggie. It isn't even close to the wackiest thing I've ever said about Tebow."

_____________

What he really said: Robert Kraft, team owner: "If you want to win in this league, you need quality depth management ... We're blessed to have a lot of people like that, but the fact that spirituality is so important to him is very appealing to me."

OBF Translator: "We had three players on our roster who were suspended for PED use last season, Gronk parties like the world is about to end and his arm's about to fall off, we got smoked in the AFC title game at home, the Red Sox are in first place and the Bruins are playing for the Stanley Cup. Even the Celtics are grabbing headlines thanks to Doc Rivers. I couldn't buy this kind of pub if I was able to cure world hunger."

_____________

What he really said: Bill Belichick, head coach: "I think everyone out there is in pretty much the same boat. They are trying to get better day by day, some guys are at different starting points. He is obviously at a starting point that is different."

OBF Translator: "Everyone is wondering what this guy is doing here. Even if I knew, I wouldn't tell any of you. But if he ever screws up, blame it on Josh."

_____________

What he really said: Vince Wilfork, defensive lineman: "It's all about football and winning here. If you are not about that, there is not a place for you on this team."

OBF Translator: "If he's our starter, we're doomed."

_____________

What he really said: Ryan Mallett, No. 2 quarterback: "He's a great player. There's always competition, at every position. It's part of the job."

OBF Translator: "I'd be stocking shelves at Home Depot if I threw the ball like this guy."

_____________

What he really said: Tom Brady, when asked what he'd think of being taken out on a short-yardage situation in favor of Tebow: "I have no idea. That's a very hypothetical question. So, maybe we'll deal with it if it happens."

OBF Translator: "Take me out of a game for this guy and I'll retire."

_____________

What he really said: Rex Ryan, Jets coach and Tebow's boss last season: "It's not a surprise to me that Tim would be picked up ... I'm happy for the young man to get another opportunity in the league ... It didn't work out here. So, it is what it is ... If they want to replace Brady with him, that's fine."

OBF Translator: "Our most-memorable play from last season was the Mark Sanchez Buttfumble. Yet somehow, he wasn't good enough for us."

_____________

What he really said: Damien Woody, former Patriots' player and current ESPN analyst: "He'll be essentially red-shirted in New England. In a couple of years he could be used as an asset. Maybe he'll play down the road, maybe he'll be flipped for a draft pick."

OBF Translator: "If I said this and was still playing for the Patriots, I'd be cut before I finished the next sentence."

_____________

What he really said: Jeff Van Gundy, former NBA coach and Finals analyst for ABC, after a SportsCenter promo mentioning Tebow: "Are we really going down the road of following Tim Tebow every day. Please."

OBF Translator: "Once that happens, we can't spend 24/7 talking about LeBron James."

_____________

What he really said: Mike Kafka, the QB cut by the Patriots to make room for Tebow. He was signed by the Jacksonville Jaguars, Tebow's "hometown" team: "It's a great opportunity to come here and learn some stuff."

OBF Translator: "Hey, it could be worse ... I could be playing in the Arena League, or working at Publix."

_____________

What he really said: Brandon Spikes, Patriots linebacker and Tebow's former college teammate: "That's good to see him smile. That big smile I'm used to seeing the last few years down in Florida."

OBF Translator: "When we were at UF, we had players getting arrested left and right. But we won two national titles and Tim kept our image squeaky clean. Once Tim left, Urban Meyer could not wait to get the hell out of that place."

_____________

What he really said: Aaron Hernandez, Patriots wide receiver and one of Tebow's favorite targets at UF: "There's a reason why he's here. I actually don't now the reason yet but we'll see."

OBF Translator: "Believe it or not, he could throw the ball in college."

_____________

What he really said: DeSean Jackson, Eagles wide receiver, when asked if Tebow can improve as a QB: "I don't think so. You have to go out and improve and I don't think he can."

OBF Translator: "Trust me, I'm an expert in mediocre quarterbacks, I've had Mike Vick throwing me the ball the past four seasons."

_____________

What he really said: Johnny Manziel, 2012 Heisman Trophy winner from Texas A&M: "I don't think you can hang on one throw in a playoff game ... Tim Tebow is a winner (but) I would hope I am a better passer than Tim Tebow."

OBF Translator: "Tebow won't be the worst Heisman winner in the NFL as long as Matt Leinart is still around."

_____________

What he really said: Rob Gronkowski, Patriots tight end, answering a "F---, Marry or Kill" question about Tebow last year: "I'd 'F' Tebow just to take his virginity."

OBF Translator: "I'd 'F' Tebow just to take his virginity."

_____________

Training camp starts in 40 days.

Can't wait.

Don't forget to visit our Obnoxious Boston Fan blog. As always, let us know what you think. Post your thoughts here, on our Obnoxious Boston Fan Facebook page, on Twitter @realOBF or e-mail me at obnoxiousbostonfan@hotmail.com.


,

Bruins go from Jagger to dagger in Game 1

Posted by Obnoxious Boston Fan June 13, 2013 08:03 AM

You can't always get what you want, Bruins fans.

In this case, you didn't get what you needed, either.

But there were at least 19 nervous breakdowns watching Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals Wednesday night and Thursday morning from Chicago.

The fifth longest game in Stanley Cup Finals history ended with a frustrating and agonizing 4-3 Bruins loss to the Chicago Blackhawks.

Before it was over, there were appearances by rainbows, President Obama , the Rolling Stones and Tim Tebow in the Boston area.

Omens for everyone.

How could this happen?

A few bad bounces and mistakes usually do the trick. The Bruins quickly learned they weren't in Pittsburgh anymore. All those bounces that did not go the Penguins way found their way into the back of the Bruins' net. Moving forward, the Bruins know they have no margin for error in this series.

And yes, the word "f--k" was a trending topic on Twitter in Boston minutes after the double-deflected goal credited to Andrew Shaw ended this excruciating affair.

Says it all.

This is something not unique to this franchise, both the "f-bombs" and back-breaking triple-overtime losses in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final. The Bruins lost the longest game in Stanley Cup Final history to Petr Klima and the Edmonton Oilers back in 1990 at the original Boston Garden before being routed in five games by the eventual Mark Messier-led champs.

The Bruins managed not to trail in a hockey game from the second period on May 25 (Game 5 against the Rangers) until June 12, the day of Game 1 against the Blackhawks. Unfortunately for those in the Eastern time zone, Game 1 ended at 1 a.m. on June 13

The Bruins had at least seven legitimate chances to win this game after the Blackhawks rallied to tie it at 3-3 after trailing by a pair of goals with just over 12 minutes to play. And the two goals Chicago scored to tie things up came as a the result of an ill-advised Tory Krug pass over the middle and a later goal that followed a deflected shot off Andrew Ference's skate. The initial shot was good 18 inches off the goal and Ference and his skate were behind Tuukka Rask.

Pittsburgh's Evegny Malkin got himself an 8-year, $76 million extension Wednesday after getting swept and shutdown by Boston in the Eastern Conference Final. And those are dollars, not Russian rubels. At that rate. Rask should be worth about $482 million over 10 years.

Anyone who rips Rask after this game knows less about hockey than Kim Kardashian.

The Bruins need to blow up Ference's skate just like the Cubs did with the Steve Bartman ball.

The Bruins goalie stopped 59 of 63 shots. His teammates threw a block party that left the United Center mostly silent for the first half of this 112:08 affair. In all, the Blackhawks attempted 132 shots to Boston’s 85. And Chicago goalie Corey Crawford was equally stellar, stopping several breakaways and benefiting from several, ahem, "backchecks" that occurred in the crease or just out in front of the net.

Of all the agonizing chances the Bruins had to win the game, Zdeno Chara pinged a blast during a power play at the end of the second overtime, the one that triggered the most "F-bombs" came courtesy of Kaspar Daugavins.

"Good job, good effort." Probably nether.

He went right to the dog house after fanning on an open net on Crawford's short side and instead trying to skate past the net and score on a backhander.

"I just missed it," Doggy said. "I should have just gone up and scored."

Not a good idea to pass up an open net in triple-overtime to try for style points. Next time he has a chance to win a Stanley Cup Final game on the road in triple-overtime, he'll probably not pass up the first shot. Let's hope there is no next time.

Once again, a Crawford was screwing over Boston and it wasn't 2011. This time, it cost the Bruins a 1-0 lead in the Stanley Cup Finals. Corey was much better at making big plays against the Bruins than his brother-from-another-mother Carl ever was making them for Red Sox.

The game certainly showed the Bruins were not built to last through triple-overtime. The vaunted fourth line went from "Fribble" and "Merlot" to "Fizzle" and "Ripple." The loss of Nathan Horton to an injury, the lumbering play of Jaomir Jagr, the man is older than "Wolverine," and the frustratingly unproductive play of Tyler Seguin leaves the Bruins with just one line that can be counted on to produce on offense. Seguin appeared ever youthful as the game dragged on, partly because he managed to play 17 light years of hockey without taking or delivering a hit. He made some solid feeds, but needs to shoot and score once in a while, too.

The Bruins showed reassuring poise and calm after the gut-wrenching-to-watch loss. There was no panic from Rask or any of his teammates. This same unit lost the first two games of the Stanley Cup Final in Vancouver just two years ago. So there's some historic precedent for this thing going either way. This series is far from over, as well. The Bruins have been proving those who counted them out early wrong since the third period against Toronto in Game 7. That was nearly a month ago.

Historic precedent from 1990 or 2011 doesn't mean much of anything when you're playing in 2013. The Bruins played nearly two complete games and came up with nothing but a loss and an injury to Horton. There was nothing fun or enjoyable about this game, that took nearly five hours to complete, for anyone who was rooting for Boston. It gave all those Bruins fans the playoff hockey angina, angst and excitement they bargained for as the Bruins rolled through the early playoff rounds. But none of that is worth it in a loss. Sure, it's all entertainment at its core and there the Bruins and Blackhawks delivered in spades. And the Bruins played well enough to win this thing long before midnight.

But after all the hyperbole and breathless commentary by the NBC announcing crew, the leaps and curses on the couch and nut-busting physical effort by the Bruins, all that was left was a raucous United Center, a bunch of celebrating Blackhawks and the Bruins left wondering how they'll come back Saturday after their hearts were torn out and shown to their faces in the sixth period.


I can't get no satisfaction
I can't get no satisfaction
'Cause I try and I try and I try and I try
I can't get no, I can't get no..
Mick Jagger/Keith Richards (Satisfaction, 1965)

Or Bruins fans might put it: "F--k."

Game 2 is Saturday night on the 1992 NBC Olympics Blue Channel, also known as NBC Sports Network.

Rest up.

Don't forget to visit our Obnoxious Boston Fan blog. As always, let us know what you think. Post your thoughts here, on our Obnoxious Boston Fan Facebook page, on Twitter @realOBF or e-mail me at obnoxiousbostonfan@hotmail.com.

10 reasons Bruins will win Stanley Cup

Posted by Obnoxious Boston Fan June 12, 2013 06:50 AM

Alcohol (for some).

Check.

Carbs.

Check.

Pepto-Bismol.

Check.

Anxiety meds.

Check.

General "F-bomb" warning to any and all within earshot who might be offended by such language.

Check.

Following @MSavvy91 and @RealJackEdwards on Twitter.

Check.

Original Six matchup. Old-time hockey. And we're not just talking about Jaomir Jagr.

Check.

Guess we're ready for the Stanley Cup Finals to begin tonight at the United Center in Chicago. Throughout their 2013 playoff run, the Bruins have done a great job at making the self-anointed experts and insiders look like fools. While they were favored by virtue of seeding and home ice against Toronto, the long knives came out in that series long before Boston fell behind 4-1 in Game 7.

It was all over after Tuukka fell on his Rassk in Game 4 against the Rangers.

And even though Boston took 3-0 leads against both the Rangers and Pittsburgh, the talk of 2010's phantastic collapse against Philadelphia was never more than one click or commercial break away. And we all know the Bruins never had a chance against Pittsburgh.

Of course, the invincible Penguins turned into the invisible Penguins once they actually started to play.

Now the Bruins find themselves once again as underdogs against the vaunted Chicago Blackhawks. Boston is +135, while Chicago is -155. (A $100 bet on Boston would net you $135, while you'd have to bet $155 to win $100 on Chicago.)

The "underdog" role extends beyond Vegas. All the experts give the Blackhawks the edge. That alone means the Bruins have this one in the bag.

For more than a month, we've been telling you about how special this season has become for the Bruins and their fans since they were the first team chosen by fate to rally the city en masse following the Boston Marathon bombings.


It all began on April 17, during the National Anthem.



There was no hockey insider expertise at play when these words appeared in the hours after Boston Game 7's victory over Toronto:

It also came four weeks to the day of the Boston Marathon bombings. In just 28 days, Boston has transformed from a city in stunned shock, pain and horror into a city that literally overnight has fallen back in love back its hockey team.

Something special happened in this game. Something that has to carry past this series and beyond the New York Rangers in the next round. The Celtics were never really in it this postseason. They were lost in the post-Marathon sports shuffle. But the Bruins have been there front-and-center since evil crossed the finish line at 4:09 of the Boston Marathon.

Those same Bruins, who carried the burden of being the first team back in action in Boston after the bombings, found sudden life in sudden death.

Toronto Stronger? Like hell it is.

You do have to give these Maple Leafs fans for having the stones to put this clip on You Tube, of their reaction to the Bruins' comeback.

Then we had Torts and Rangers gagging, Sidney Crosby, Owen, Gregory Campbell on one leg and a sweep of Pittsburgh.

There's no doubt this Stanley Cup would be special and unique among the other seven titles the city's sports teams have captured during this spectacular decade-plus of dominance.

This is the 11th time in the past 11 years a Boston-area team has played for a major pro sports title. Those teams - Celtics, Bruins, Patriots and Red Sox - are 7-3 over that run. A title here would not doubt provide a tremendous emotional relief, much like Boston's 2004 World Series titles that sent thousands of New Englanders directly to their parents' and grandparents' graves right after the Duck Boat parade.

With all that Boston Strong fate and karma on the side of the Bruins, many of us believe there's no way they won't win the Stanley Cup.

Of course, our hockey heads tell us that none of that means anything once the game begins.

Thankfully, we don't always let our heads over-rule our hearts. If we did, many of us would have never asked out that girl who eventually became our wife.

With that as our backdrop, here are 10 reasons why the Bruins will the Stanley Cup, none of which have anything do with the Patrick Kane-David Krejci matchup:

1. Tim Tebow. Need we say anything more?

____________

2. Basketball Dynasties. Chicago has Michael Jordan and those six NBA titles. Very impressive stuff, indeed. Jordan and Bill Russell each won NCAA titles (thanks, Fred Brown) and Olympic gold medals (Jordan won two). But nothing in the history of the NBA compares to what Russell (with some help from Sam Jones) did during his dynastic years with the Celtics. Russell won 11 NBA titles in 13 years with Boston and never lost a Game 7 in his career. Top that, anyone.

____________

3. Big Z: Not only is Zdeno Chara, at 6-feet-9, the tallest player ever in NHL history. He would be able to post up Jordan on skates. Not even Larry Bird could do that.

____________

4. Super Bowl XX: Yes, the Patriots got demolished in that game 46-10, in perhaps the greatest single 60 minutes of dominance in the history of New England. But what was the name of the team that won the game? It was" Da Bears". The Bruins are also bears. So, Chicago hockey fans find themselves rooting against the bears in this series. Good luck with that, folks.

____________

5. The Logo: Speaking of bears, the Bruins have not only have a fuzzy and fun-loving mascot in "Blades," they sport a very politically-correct logo - whether it's the spoked "B" or the hockey bear. The Blackhawks are the Redskins of the NFL. It's foolish to think sports nicknames and logos are somehow latently offensive or racist, especially in 2013 when no one associated with those teams feels that way. The Florida State Seminoles have worked with the Seminole tribe for years to provide scholarships to its members and a portion of the sales of FSU merchandise. My college, Marquette University, was called the Warriors until a few decades ago, when they became the Golden Eagles. I will be a Marquette Warrior the rest of my life, along with Doc Rivers. The origin of the Blackhawks team name comes from a military unit in World War I that named itself after a Sauk Indian chief who allied with the British in the War of 1812. The team's name before that: Rose Buds. That works for us. OK Chicago fans, after me: "Let's go Rose Buds!"

____________

6. The Curse of Theo: The legacy of Theo Epstein in Boston includes two World Series championships, David Ortiz, Dice-K, J.D. Drew, Adrian Gonzalez, multiple attempts to move Manny Ramirez, John Lackey, Eric Gagne, loads of terrific draft picks and the gorilla suit. I'd say that's a mixed record if there ever was one. Theo's presence is either a blessing or a curse, depending on how you want to look at it. We'll go with curse.

____________

7. Cubs vs. Red Sox: Boston and Chicago each had teams in the American and National League at the dawn of baseball's modern era in 1901 (the Braves left town for Milwaukee for the 1953 season). In the past 112 seasons, Boston and Chicago have only met once in the World Series. That series was won by the Red Sox in 1918, right before the end of World War I and a massive influenza outbreak. Clearly, Boston still has the momentum on its side. For those wondering, the Bruins are 4-2 all-time vs. Chicago in the NHL playoffs.

____________

8. Gangster-Inspired Movies: On the surface, Chicago rules when it comes to gangsters. Al Capone set the standard. And it appeared that Robert DeNiro would be a walk in this category after his portrayal of the baseball-bat-swinging thug in the classic "Untouchables." Speaking of movie trivia, Elliott Elliot Ness (Kevin Costner) also plays Superman's earth dad in "Man of Steel." We shall forgive him for "Waterworld." Capone and DeNiro met their match in White Bulger and Jack Nicholson in "The Departed." Nicholson's character was named Frank Costello but was based on the very real-life Bulger.

The characters alone give "The Departed" the edge here, especially Sgt. Dignam (Mark Wahlberg).

Unfortunately, there aren't any clips of Dignam's scenes we can post on this site, you can watch his highlights here. We offer few of his best lines censored for family viewing:

Lazio: Do you have anyone in with Costello presently?
Dignam: Maybe. Maybe not. Maybe f--k yourself.


Ellerby (Alec Baldwin): Staff Sergeant Dignam is our liaison to the the undercover department, his undercover work is extensive. He's here to give us his report. Sergeant Dignam.
Dignam: OK. My people are out there. They're like f--kn' indians. You're not gonna see 'em you're not gonna hear about 'em except from me or Captain Queenan. You will not ever know the identity of undercover people. Unfortunately, this s--thole has more f--kin' leaks than the Iraqi Navy.
Ellerby: F--k yourself.
Dignam: I'm tired from f--kin' your wife.
Ellerby: How's your mother?
Dignam: Good, she's tired from f--kin' my father.

You get the idea. Edge, Boston

____________

9. Hatred of New York: Both cities have healthy rivalries with New York. Chicago sort of surrendered from Day One by adopting the "Second City" moniker. Meanwhile, Boston is the "Hub of the Universe." Bostonians are born knowing they're second to none, especially New Yorkers. My youthful years spent at Fenway Park during the heady days of the Red Sox-Yankees rivalry in the 1970s taught me first-hand how to properly deal with New Yorkers and Yankees fans who get out of hand. Chicago is a terrific city and it won't be easy to root against. But we'll manage. Many of my best friends and every college roommate I ever had are/were from the Windy City. They're great people. Maybe they just don't know how to hate as well we do. Maybe that's a good thing.

____________

10. Bobby Orr. After 10 Hall of Fame seasons and two Stanley Cups with the Bruins, Bobby Orr signed with a free-agent with the Chicago Blackhawks on June 24, 1976. Since I'm picking the Bruins to win this thing in six games, the Stanley Cup championship would be won in Boston on June 24. That would be 37 years to the day of Orr's tragic and depressing official exit from the Bruins, which remains the subject of historic debate. Orr played 26 games with the Blackhawks over two seasons. Since knee surgery was in the pre-historic stage back in the swinging' '70s, Orr's No. 4 hangs gloriously from the rafters at TD Garden and not from the United Center. Orr told WEEI's "Dennis and Callahan" last week he was unequivocally rooting for Boston in this series, despite the way his exit was handled by the team.

____________

So the Bruins have "Boston Strong," Tim Tebow and Bobby Orr on their side.

That's all the karma any team will ever need.

Hearts over heads.

Works every time.

Go Bruins.


Don't forget to visit our Obnoxious Boston Fan blog. As always, let us know what you think. Post your thoughts here, on our Obnoxious Boston Fan Facebook page, on Twitter @realOBF or e-mail me at obnoxiousbostonfan@hotmail.com.

Tebow swipes spotlight from Stanley Cup

Posted by Obnoxious Boston Fan June 11, 2013 02:37 PM

Tebow.jpg

Tim Tebow did not fundamentally change the world during his first day at Patriots mini-camp.

But there's always Day 2.

That second day of Patriots' mini-camp (Wednesday) is also the day the Bruins' begin their battle with the Chicago Blackhawks for the Stanley Cup.

And a day before the new Superman movie, "Man of Steel" makes its midnight premiere.

Super guy, super team and "Superman" all in the same week.

Guess who was winning on Tuesday?

"Man of Steel" was trending on the Internets thanks to the character's parallels to Jesus.

Thankfully, the Bruins drew a healthy crowd at their farewell appearance at TD Garden before they headed to Chicago Tuesday. And Stanley Cup media day was a well-attended event. Tebow, if he's lucky, will be the third-string QB and the 53rd player on the Patriots when play begins for real in three months. But that didn't keep the story from being reported on the "TODAY" show, ABC, CBS and Fox News.

The current version of the Bruins are four victories away from their second Stanley Cup in three years and a spot among the best two or three Bruins teams of all-time.

Even the first-place Red Sox are smokin' hot, with John "Headhunter" Lackey actually being accurate enough to plant one on the back of Matt Joyce. That's progress, a couple of years ago Lackey would have aimed for a batter and hit Josh Beckett's Popeye's bucket in the clubhouse.

But so much of the talk was about Tebow. The "Tebow" question even came up at the Bruins press availability Tuesday.

Someone get Tebow a Dit Clapper jersey.

Is that the fault of the click-hungry digital media, the ratings-hungry broadcast media, their audiences, Tebow lovers, Tebow haters, the Patriots' marketing department, or all of the above?

Going with all of the above.


Tebowshirt.jpg(HT/ Jim Louth)


The media was late to the party when "Tebowmania" first became all the rage. And it's not really about football, it never has been. Tebow is not the first QB at Florida to win a Heisman or national title, but he was the first one with 2 million plus followers on Twitter, the first to inspire hundreds of songs and marriage/date proposals on You Tube and invent "Tebowing."

You can't blame Tebow for this week's hypefest. He just showed up looking for a job.

Not all eyes were on Tebow Tuesday, it just seemed that way.

NYDN.jpgThe fact that Tebow arrived in New England the same week the new Superman movie "Man of Steel" hits screens was a mere coincidence.

And it's not just the folks in Boston who are infected with this outbreak of Tebowmania.

Jor-El launched his only son from Krypton to escape its demise and, in the process, save the people of Earth from themselves. The Patriots, unlike Tebow's previous team, are not facing complete annihilation in the AFC East.

Tebow would likely have more impact as a tight end given Rob Gronkowski's iffy status that as a QB. But from all appearances in Foxborough today, he was working out with the quarterbacks and that is likely where he'll end up as a Patriot.

Tebow will wear No. 5 if and or when he ever plays with the team. No. 5 will soon become the second-most popular selling Patriots' jersey, especially given the departure of No. 83. The presale for the jerseys is well underway - $99.95 plus shipping and tax.

Among other notable No. 5s in Boston sportsdom: Clapper, Kevin Garnett, Nomar Garciaparra and legendary Patriots' punter Pat O'Neill.

Tebow's already a legendary Patriot and all he's done was work out with the third unit, and throw a few passes.

Then he floated over to the assembled media throng and spoke.

First and foremost, I just want to thank the Patriots for giving me an opportunity. I'm very thankful. It's such an honor to be a Patriot and play for Coach Belichick and Coach [Josh] McDaniels, and learn under Tom [Brady], and be a part of this great franchise and very successful franchise. I found out first-hand; I lost to them several times.

"It's going to be a lot of fun. I'm looking forward to working hard every single day and getting a lot better and learning under some great people. That's all I got. Thank you all so much and God bless. I?m sure we'll be talking more soon."

Surprisingly, his presence did not cure world hunger, solve the deficit problem or get the government out of your smartphone.

Certainly, he was fully briefed by Belichick, Josh McDaniels and Friends on the Patriot Way, which includes saying as little in possible in as few words possible. Watching Belichick's brief press conference Tuesday only whetted our appetites for the regular season.

"We've gotten good work on the field...we're better than we were a few weeks...we have a long way to go...we're taking it one day at a time."

He said all that - and more.

"Anything we do is in the best interest in the team. Tim's a talented player who's smart and works hard."

For the rest, you can watch this clip:

Pure Patriots porn.

Or you can recreate it yourself right here.

At least we know the coach is consistent.

Tebow's words were also a far cry from his most-famous speech. It came after Florida's shocking loss to Mississippi on Sept. 27, 2008, ending UF's hopes for an undefeated season. It would be Tebow's only regular-season loss for two seasons.

The speech has taken on a legend of its own. It is referred with reverence across the Sunshine State (except for places like Tallahassee and Coral Gables) as "The Promise."

promise.jpgYou can see those words, permanently chiseled on a plaque outside Florida's home football stadium in Gainesville.

No doubt there are some Gator fans who teach their children those words as soon as they learn the Pledge of Allegiance, the Lord's Prayer and the lyrics to "Free Bird."

There are guarantees, then there are guarantees.

This was like a blood oath out of "Game of Thrones." Imagine if an NFL player ever made such a pronouncement like that after a loss during the regular season? He'd be laughed off the internet. Of course, in Tebow's case, this was college and the Florida Gators won their next 22 games, including a BCS championship victory over Oklahoma.

It's hard to imagine a situation with Tebow having a major impact on the Patriots as a quarterback without it including an injury, or worse, to Tom Brady.

If that happens, the Patriots are toast. If Tebow is thrust into the starter's role, not even all of his divine support and the prayers of every orphan he's ever touched, would be enough to keep this team viable without Brady.

The current surrounding cast is no where near as good as the squad that surrounded Matt Cassel in 2008 that went 11-5 after Brady got hurt in the first quarter of the season.The 2013 Patriots won't have Wes Welker as a third-and-eight escape valve. And Rob Gronkowski may not return until he becomes a virgin again.

There's been loads of speculation about Belichick's motivation in bringing Tebow to Foxborough. It was easier for the Allies to decode the German and Japanese secret codes in WWII that it is to figure out what Belichick is really trying to say.

Belichick either: wants to do Urban Meyer a favor; feels bad for dissing Tebow; wants to help Tebow land with another team; is sticking it to the Jets; finally starting to cede power to McDaniels or trying to reclaim his lost soul.

Deciphering the Hoodie is just one of the fun aspects of being a Patriots' watcher. The best part is watching this team win and then spending the entire offseason trying to figure out how they'll get better.

This is all coming as the Bruins prepare to play in the Stanley Cup Finals. It will be Boston's 11th bid at a championship in the past 11 years. Its teams are 7-3 in those title games/series, with a pair of those losses coming to the Giants and one thanks to Kobe and the Lakers.

The Patriots are all about championships in this era. Losses in the Super Bowl or AFC championship game are considered catastrophic failures. Each year without "the next one" means one more lost year of Brady's greatness.

Tebow's presence will not change that. It can't, unless he were able summon the Almighty and get Him to draft Brady on the Heaven's Eleven fantasy league team.

But Tebowmania will make all that time in-between a lot more interesting.

At least until the Bruins start playing hockey in Chicago.

Don't forget to visit our Obnoxious Boston Fan blog. As always, let us know what you think. Post your thoughts here, on our Obnoxious Boston Fan Facebook page, on Twitter @realOBF or e-mail me at obnoxiousbostonfan@hotmail.com.

Tim Tebow finds salvation with Patriots

Posted by Obnoxious Boston Fan June 10, 2013 10:13 PM

Getty Tebow.jpg

The first-place Red Sox winning in 14 innings Monday.

Tim Tebow's career as a Patriot beginning Tuesday.

The Bruins starting the Stanley Cup Finals Wednesday.

It's a Boston world and those Heat fans are just living in it.

How many NFL backup quarterbacks have won two national titles, a Heisman Trophy, have a perfect postseason record at home, were born in the Philippines and know how to perform circumcisions?

We can think of just one.

Welcome to Foxborough, Tim.

Hallelujah!

When the Patriots take the field at Tuesday's minicamp, don't be surprised if Bill Belichick comes out wearing a hoodie and halo, confesses all of his sins (taping the practice of every opponent since his day coaching the Jets, his ill-conceived drafts, fourth-and-two, signing Ochocinco...) and then ascends into heaven with Tim Tebow.

The first they'll probably do is lock out Ray Lewis.

Or maybe Belichick will just melt in all his Darth Hoodie fury once Tebow begins Tweeting Biblical verses from his locker in Foxborough.

Or maybe that first meeting would go something like this:



Either Tebow sold his soul to Belichick for another shot at the NFL or the End of Days is upon us.

Salvation for sure.

But will this resurrection be heavenly or hellacious?

The Pilgrims and Puritans came to New England to seek religious freedom. Tebow is coming to New England as a religious refugee as well. He was persecuted by Pope Rex, unable to find a his rightful place in an offense whose most notable play of the 2012 season was Mark Sanchez running head-first into a lineman's rear-end on Thanksgiving night and dropping the ball.

Meanwhile, Tebow's time in New York was a titanic-sized Buttfumble.

His potential in New England is limitless, at least when it comes to internet pageviews and re-Tweets.

Even if he can't get a snap at quarterback. he may be able to heal both Rob Gronkowski's body and soul. When the Patriots and Broncos first met in the 2011 season, at the height of "Tebowmania - the NFL Chapter," we highlighted the matchup of "Goofus" and "Gallant."

Here it is, updated:

"Goofus spikes the ball after each touchdown. Gallant offers prayerful thanks on one knee whenever he ends up in the end zone."

"Goofus poses with porn stars. Gallant prays with prisoners."

"Goofus loves to party in Vegas during the offseason. Gallant spends his down time caring for orphans in Asia."

(That's not to say Gronk doesn't do good. He joined more than 1,000 men, women and children who cut their hair at Gillette Stadium Sunday to raise money to help those with pediatric cancer.)

Now, they are teammates. The next time Gronk wants to dance on his broken arm, he may have fellow tight end/backup QB/Wildcat-back/long-snapper Tebow there to caution him, or perhaps broker a deal.

"Rob, I'll be happy to join you at that bikini keg party to make sure you don't break your arm again, but first, you have to promise to come with me next month to the Philippines to help circumcise these kids."

Tebow will probably lose his virginity the first time he shakes Gronk's hand. Or he may heal Gronk's broken arm with one touch.

Tebow's piety was part of his persona long before he ever awkwardly threw his first NFL pass. Because of Tebow's devotion to Him, he remains an incredibly divisive figure in spite of his genuine personal ability to connect with anyone (except of course when he's trying to throw the ball more than 10 yards.)

There has been an internet army working full-time 24/7 for the past five years to find anything, and I mean anything, that could discredit him as a person in the most minute manner.

There are millions of Tebow haters who just can't wait to find out that he watched "Cinemax After Dark" last week, had a DUI in Gainesville on his scooter back in the day or once dropped an "f-bomb" in high school just so they can crawl out of their holes, yell "Tebow is a hypocrite!" and then slither back down into the basement with another PB&J and a quart of Red Bull.

Thus far, there's been nothing, not even a deleted Tweet, where Tebow's private life has clashed with his public image. And when he was scheduled to speak at church whose minister had gone full homophobic, Tebow smothered the wishful hopes of his haters by reversing course and declining the invite.

Although he did patent "Tebowing."

Tebow is a home-schooled son of Christian missionaries who played his high school and college football in Florida and remains publicly committed to sharing his faith. If he shows up eating a Chick-fil-a sandwich, Moonbats across the Commonwealth will explode.

At times, Tebow seems blissfully unaware of any of this. And that's because he probably is.

His football abilities remain another subject. This is his last shot at playing QB in the NFL for sure, especially with the presence of his former Broncos coach Josh McDaniels running the Patriots' offense. There his critics have better standing. He found success in Denver because McDaniels and the Broncos had no other choice to adapt his style long enough to notch a playoff victory. Swapping Tebow for Peyton Manning was a no-brainer for John Elway, even though Tebow has more postseason victories in the Mile High City than Manning and Tom Brady combined.

Tebow even leads Brady in the statue department 1-0. His life-sized bronzed likeness stands outside Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, along with statues of fellow UF Heisman winners Steve Spurrier and Danny Wuerffel. So much for worshiping false idols.

Tebow was forced upon the Jets by their owner. He flopped in the Big Apple, which really isn't a surprise considering the negative effects apples had in the Old Testament.

But, Tebow does win.

A lot.

That make him an outcast with the Jets.

And should make him feel right at home in New England.


Don't forget to visit our Obnoxious Boston Fan blog. As always, let us know what you think. Post your thoughts here, on our Obnoxious Boston Fan Facebook page, on Twitter @realOBF or e-mail me at obnoxiousbostonfan@hotmail.com.

Bruins, Blackhawks already instant classic

Posted by Obnoxious Boston Fan June 10, 2013 05:40 AM

Thought you might enjoy this eye candy, as if there was any reason to add motivation for Game 1 on Wednesday night.

The Boston Bruins and Chicago Blackhawks had an epic all-out brawl on Dec. 2, 1970. Chicago won the game 4-3 over the then defending Stanley Cup champions.

Who won the brawl?

That probably depends on your perspective and whether you prefer black and red or black and gold in your hockey team.

Among the Boston combatants in his You Tube classic - originally take from this post at hockeyfghts.com - include Don Awery, Derek Sanderson, Ted Green and even Bobby Orr. Check out Green and Dan Maloney slugging it out at the 1:09 mark.

Brawls like this are one way for hockey players to earn street, er, ice, cred with teammates, opponents and fans. But you probably won't see anything close to this when Boston and Chicago meet in the first Original Six Stanley Cup Final since the Carter Administration.

Classic hockey fights on You Tube are a great way to kill time at work while waiting for Game 1 Wednesday night.

But there's no legitimate "hatred" between these two teams, their fan bases or even these cities. There will ample attempts to manufacture what we saw with Pittsburgh from many who are not playing in this series. But the Blackhawks do not have someone on their roster who all but ended Marc Savard's career without punishment or regret. Nor do they have a player who shunned the Bruins for Chicago, after a deal was in place to bring him to Boston. Just healthy respect and a large portion of optimism. That's as it should be. The two best teams in the NHL are playing for the Stanley Cup. Plain and simple.

Both cities also share a healthy disdain for New York, from different perspectives. Chicago is forever locked into ''Second City" status while Boston rightfully refers to itself as the "Hub." Take that "Big Apple." If the enemy of my enemy is my friend, then Boston and Chicago ought to be thunder buddies for life.

Remember how the lockout was going to kill the NHL once and for all? Guess that didn't happen. A shortened regular-season has done wonders for the sport this year and given the NHL and NBC perhaps the best Finals matchup it could have hoped for in terms history, hockey and legit hysteria.

Boston and Chicago are two wonderful cities. Both have long-suffering fan bases, pride themselves on loving their blue-collar superstars and boast their own versions of NBA dynasties.

They also have the two of the three NFL franchises to ever to finish 18-1. (The 1984 49ers were the third.)

Many of the same haters, trolls and cynics who could wait for the Bruins to lose Game 7 against Toronto, thought the Bruins went belly-up because Tuukka fell on his Rassk in Game 4 against the Rangers or kept bringing up 2010 after the Bruins steamrolled the Penguins in Game 3 will find inner-linings of clouds amid the silver chalice that is at stake starting Wednesday night.

No doubt Tommy from Tweksbury will wait on hold for 87 minutes early this week to blather about how the "Bruins haven't done a damn thing yet." But he''ll be loud enough to make himself think he sounds convincing.

Just for the record, here's one of the posts that streamed across the @realOBF Twitter feed following Boston's defeat of the Penguins after Game 3:

And this:


And this, complete with a Twitter plug for boston.com colleague Adam Kaufman:

If the Bruins do win the Stanley Cup, they play to send a championship DVD to Crosby so he can see what he missed in the Eastern Conference Finals.

Enough "we told you so." After all, this isn't sports talk radio.

Throughout the end of the regular season and even during the playoffs, the Bruins have faced not only healthy skepticism and criticism, but some irrational and unfounded doubt.

It was hard, but not impossible, to consider that they could turn it on in the playoffs. That thought was trounced by the sports thought police as being foolish. Yet, common sense tells us that athletes who have the talent and emotional make up to perform at the highest level also have the ability to turn it on or off whenever they feel like it. Common sense has taken a beating when it comes to trying to be optimistic about the Bruins and their chances. Fools, you are, to think this goalie is good enough, or Patrice Bergeron can carry this team when they need a goal, or to note that Jaomir Jagr can have a gargantuan impact on a team while he hasn't scored a goal in seven weeks.

You were not hockey-smart enough to realize that what you were seeing with your own eyes on the ice did not matter. The experts told us this wasn't so. Just check the audio from the NBC Sports telecast from the Bruins-Penguins series.

Much of the Bruins mini-collapse at the end of the ever-useless regular season came as a result of the jumbled schedule thanks to bad weather and what happened on Marathon Monday. At one stretch they played six games in nine days. This is the NHL, not the American League. Six games in nine days can screw up any team, even one that could end up hosting a Stanley Cup Duck Boat parade.

The Bruins were designated by fate and scheduling as the team that first helped Boston emerge from the literal and emotional wreckage of the Boston Marathon bombing. It was at TD Garden that the masses first gathered following that attack and where they sang the National Anthem in unison after Rene Rancourt delivered the first 13 words.

The Bruins actually lost that game to the Sabres, but the team won over fans new and old as they first carried the "Boston Strong" banner at home. It's hard to say what impact or effect all of that has had on the players. Many have gone both publicly and in private to visit the injured and offered their time and treasure to raise money for the One Fund and other worthy charitable endeavors.

For know-nothing fans and rabble-rousers like myself, it's a connection that exists in our minds and therefore becomes of a part of all this, whether it's based in actual cold-hard-facts or just our emotional imagination. Our dead ancestors did little to help Kevin Millar draw a walk off Marino Rivera, Dave Roberts steal second base, Curt Schilling beat the Yankees on one leg or the Red Sox swat the Cardinals in four straight. But thousands of New Englanders headed for the cemetery of their choice in the days and weeks after Boston won its first World Series in 86 years.

I'm the first to admit I counted the Bruins out early in the third period against Toronto. One needed the heart of a six-year-old to think Boston had a shot when it was losing 4-1. But the important thing is that the Bruins never counted themselves out of that game, or any other since the start of the playoffs.

And it remains astonishing, if not somewhat disheartening, that the goaltender who stopped 98.5 percent of the shots he faced against Pittsburgh - there's your next promo, Toucher and Rich or Felger and Mazz - somehow is still facing those who won't credit him for "proving himself" until he wins a Stanley Cup.

It's not Rask's fault that he's trying to follow up locally on perhaps one of the greatest Stanley Cup finals performances in goal-tending history. Thanks again, Tim Thomas. Hope that bunker is fully stocked with provisions now that the government knows you who you have been calling since you left Boston.

Rask has arrived, and he deserves at least as much money as the Red Sox gave to Dice-K, J.D. Drew, Carl Crawford and Julio Lugo.

Rask is fast becoming the Joe Flacco of the NHL. Flacco was trashed for being unremarkable all the way to a Super Bowl championship and a monster $120 million payday (although it's not all guaranteed.) He was not the sole reason the Ravens won the Super Bowl, but it was hard to deny his place among the NFL's most-clutch QBs after his nearly flawless postseason performance.

Rask is on the same track. His numbers against the Penguins would make Carmine and the stat boys at Fenway Park monstrously green with envy. Rask allowed only two goals in more than 13 periods of hockey and stopped 134 of 136 shots and the highest-scoring team in the league. It was a team that had won a Stanley Cup just four years ago, with much the same core lineup.

Even with all that, it was Gregory Campbell who made the most-memorable stop of that series, breaking his leg in order to protect his goalie from a missile off the stick of Evgeni Malkin. Like Flacco, Rask's brilliance was obscured by the greatness of his defense. Zdeno Chara was the NHL's version of Ray Lewis (without the criminal record) and Ed Reed against the Penguins. Boston even had a little bit of Bernard Pollard in Brad Marchand, at least when it came time for retaliation. (See his tripping penalty against Chris Kunitz in Game 3.)

Big Ball of Hate.

"He pulls a knife, you pull a gun, he sends one of yours to the hospital, you send one of his to the morgue."

Just thinking about Chara's 42-minute performance in Boston's Game 3 double-OT Pittsburgh-crushing victory makes me sleepy. He smothered Sidney "Still Waiting for My First Point in the Eastern Conference Finals" Crosby and the rest of his heartless, gutless and, in the end, punch-less teammates.

Rask doesn't have his "Super Bowl" ring yet, but he's removed any reason for the doubters, cynics and trolls to question his worth or ability to succeed in the playoffs. He might not capture the spotlight like Tim Thomas did two years ago. But it's also not crazy to start calling him "Conn Smythe," either, as our Twitter pal @MSavvy91 noted last week.

Rask and his Bruins teammates have turned the art of being "misunderestimated' into hockey brilliance. They completely took the Penguins out of any game they tried. Closing the Eastern Conference Finals with a 1-0 victory on a goal by Adam McQuaid is all the factual basis anyone would need to demonstrate the "team first" mindset of these Bruins.

The legitimacy of the current Bruins team is now undeniable, from the front office, to the easily-maligned coach (this spot referenced "Chumley" the cartoon walrus), to the players. The fluke was 2012, not 2011. The collapse of 2010 can finally be relegated to the dustbin of NHL history, along with the Quebec Nordiques, California Golden Seals or Cleveland Barons (yes, they all merged or morphed into new teams, but don't tell that to the fans they left behind).

The Bruins are in the Stanley Cup Finals. They've done it the right way and taken all of us for a helluva ride along the way. The "nattering nabobs of negativity" may find some fulfillment if the Bruins lose to the favored Blackhawks.

But they'll be in the minority. The Bruins, as they say in the corporate world, have performed above standard and reached all their expected benchmarks.

Respect, street cred, long-term stability, legitimacy in the postseason, being a damn good hockey team.

They're all checked off the list.

All that's left is a championship.

A classic Stanley Cup Finals.

Let the real fun begin.

Don't forget to visit our Obnoxious Boston Fan blog. As always, let us know what you think. Post your thoughts here, on our Obnoxious Boston Fan Facebook page, on Twitter @realOBF or e-mail me at obnoxiousbostonfan@hotmail.com.

Bruins fans have 'No Regrets' in Pittsburgh

Posted by Obnoxious Boston Fan June 5, 2013 12:06 AM

The last conversation Glenn Corbett ever had with his daughter Kristen involved a subject dear to both of them - the Boston Bruins.

Kristen, then 20, was attending college in Austin, Texas in December of 2009 and had to call her dad because she had used his credit card, which was in her wallet "only for emergencies."

It was a call he probably would have missed, since he never answered his house phone.

"This time I did. It would be the last time I ever spoke to her and I thank God every single (expletive) day that He told me to pick that phone up," Corbett told the OBF blog Tuesday. "She was her typical funny self. She 'had' to purchase 10 pairs of Dallas Stars tickets for the next semester. I laughed because she said: 'That's' an emergency, isn't it?' Then she said. 'Dad, I miss the Bruins so much.' She couldn't wait to get home so she could go to some games."

The Bruins were battling for first place at the time, but Kristen was not convinced that the Cup drought would end in 2010. "I told her the Bruins look awesome this year and thought they could win the Cup. The last words she ever spoke to me were: 'Dad they won't win the Cup this year, but if they can pick up a couple of key players in the offseason, they will win it in 2011.'"

Nathan Horton and Brad Marchand (elevated to full-time status starting in 2010-11 after playing 22 games the previous season) fulfilled her prophetic destiny.

image.png

Corbett (center), Ed Fitzgerald of Wilmington and several friends from a group that first coalesced during their days at Westfield State in the 1980s, spent a total of $8,500 to sit in Suite A of the CONSOL Energy Center Saturday when the Bruins beat the Penguins 3-0.

It was the latest stop on what they have termed their "No Regrets Tour."

Not your typical hockey road trip. Not your typical journey of how it began.

Kirsten Corbett was killed in a car accident a few hours after that conversation with her dad on Dec. 10, 2009.

She was an organ donor. Her story may be familiar. Corbett's family met the recipient of her heart last year when they hosted a race in Billerica to fund a scholarship in Kristen's honor. The race drew a large crowd and local media coverage. WBZ -TV was also there for their emotional meeting at Logan Airport.

From incomprehensible loss to unimaginable joy.

Such is the gift of organ donation.

The ultimate "Pay It Forward."

"He took a tragedy and turned it into something great," Fitzgerald said. "That's why we are all 'on tour' living with no regrets."

  • Watch Tuukka Rask pitch a shutout against Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Jarome Iginla during the playoffs in Pittsburgh.

Cross that one off the Bucket List.
KristenCorbett.jpg
While the Bruins made Kristen (right) out to be a hockey genius and won the Stanley Cup, her dad's life continued a down-slide after her death. Glenn Corbett's 25-year marriage ended in divorce last July after a two-year separation. A "terrific" battle with depression and a re-hab stint in California followed. "I decided to, as it was said in 'Shawshank Redemption' to get busy living," he said.

"Eddy an I decided that we have only 10 real good years left, where we are going to simply go on a rip, party like f'k'n rock stars, and live ... be on tour with no regrets."

Saturday's trip to Pittsburgh was just another step in their belief in "living for today" and "paying it forward."

"My girl was gone in a second, instant death. That could happen to anyone. I refuse to not do something I wish I could have done anymore. And if others do not like that about me, so be it," Corbett said.

Corbett and Fitzgerald's group tried to get as many of their Westfield State pals to go to Pittsburgh as possible. When that didn't work out, the group "kidnapped" two outsiders after meeting them at Pittsburgh restaurant. The lucky "victims" found themselves sitting in Suite A at Game 1, along with all they could eat and drink, for free.

"Paying It Forward. And we let them know that was all we asked in return, that they go out and pay it forward. Imagine if everyone did that every single day around the world just like the movie. What a groovy world we would be living in," Corbett said.

Group.jpg

The group in Pittsburgh included from far left: Fitzgerald, Justin "The Kidnapped Bartender", Corbett, Danny Rao, Robbie Fitzpatrick, Paul Frazer and Milton (no last name provided). Milton, who as friend of the some of the group, was the second "kidnapping" victim.

Why do this? "These guys I met in college have given me so much joy, fun, and happiness over three decades" he said. "But more importantly, when my daughter died these mother-(expletives) were there every single day for me, and still are. Their wives came over and cooked, cleaned and took my kids shopping. The guys took my youngest son to his hockey games when I couldn't get out of my own way." Corbett and his ex-wife had four children.

Corbett's confidence in the Bruins only got stronger in Pittsburgh and said he stopped watching the game after the first period. "No need to. You ain't scoring four goals on Rask this year in a game. No (bleeping) way. And if anyone thinks that Pitt can come back and beat him four out of five, they are smoking some real groovy (expletive) and I want some."

One of the greatest feelings one can have as a sports fan is being there when your team wins a road playoff game. Those who were in the Bronx or St. Louis in 2004 know better than anyone. Being a Boston fan away from Boston during the postseason isn't always easy (See: Game 7, 2008 ALCS, Tropicana Field), but it's always worth it (See: Super Bowl XXXIX, Jacksonville).

Fitzgerald and Corbett's group - who were photographed here in a Boston.Com Game 1 photo gallery with four kids from New Hampshire - fully embraced their opportunity as Road Warriors.

They even had signage hanging from the suite's railing, drawn by Corbett on a torn hotel pillow, that offered their itinerary in Master Card style.

"Plane Tics From Boston - $350
Hotel Room - $400
Club Suite A - $8,500
Game 1 victory in PITT - Priceless"

Fans did not have to go Pittsburgh and spend nearly $10,000 to dish out abuse first-hand. One enterprising fan needed just a cell phone and few drinks before he called a bar in Pittsburgh and asked for "Owen" - as in 0-2.

Great stuff, but not nearly as much as as being there.

"We were pretty loud. I would have hated us if I were someone else," Fitzgerald said.

No doubt, but that was Pittsburgh's problem.

The Friday after the Boston Marathon bombing, Fitzgerald (@Hossenator) gained some fleeting game after he Tweeted a photo of the surviving bombing suspect being apprehended in Watertown by police. The image went viral, was used by multiple news agencies and confirmed to be legitimate. Several websites mistakenly credited Fitzgerald as a member of Boston Police Department.

"I got the photo from a friend. I'm in the energy business," he said.

There was no energy shortage in Suite A Saturday. The "Let's Go Bruins!" chants began as soon as the doors opened.

"We didn't stop our chants as the place filled up and got the dirtiest looks from fans. I've never seen fans seem so nervous before a game. They had no sense of humor about us trying to engage them in friendly sports banter," Fitzgerald said.

The fun continued as Game 1 rolled toward its inevitable conclusion.

"With about three minutes left, the Pens fans start heading for the exits," Fitzgerald explained. "We start getting on them, and a few fans played along with us saying its a long series and such, but there were many who were genuinely pissed. Our sign was ripped down at least three times by Penguins fans, but the usher there would get it back for us."

"When the Bruins twisted the knife that was already embedded in Pitt's back with their third goal, those so-called great, die-hard Penguins fans started exiting the building. They got a very nice bird's eye view of my art work. You should have seen the faces, priceless," Corbett added.

Then, you guessed it, things got ugly.

"We scoped out the few Bruins fans who were there and cheered and high-fived them from the suite. All of a sudden we see this woman in her 50's come walking over within earshot of us wearing a (puke blue) Pens jersey, 87 of course, and she says 'that marathon bomb shoulda' killed all of you.' We yelled back at her that she was going to Hell and was a horrible human. The usher right there was in shock and told the coward to leave the building, which she was doing anyway," Fitzgerald said.

No. 87, of course.

"I told her to get some anger management classes," Corbett said. "To the credit of the surrounding fans and the ushers, she was lambasted."

Boston fully lambasted Pittsburgh, winning the first two games by a combined 9-1 score.

It was a pair of Rassk-kickings.

Things got so quiet during Game 2 Monday, you could hear players calling out line changes on the ice while watching the game on TV. There are Mite games in the Quincy Youth Hockey league that have better crowds than the Penguins had Monday, and better goaltending.

That will not be a problem in Boston on Wednesday.

Corbett, a Bruins season ticket holder for about 10 years, spent Tuesday cruising around Boston on his motorcycle "checking on job sites" while wearing his custom-made No. 18 John Wensink jersey. "I was about to stop my season tickets because the Bruins sucked. But when we got Chara, and Kristen said: 'Dad, you have to keep them because Chara is going to win us the Cup.' She was 14 or 15 at the time. Of course I kept them because I never could say no to the 'Queen Bee."'

Corbett never used the actual 2011 playoff tickets he received via FedEx, instead using tickets accessible on-line. "I refused to open the package. I knew the Bruins would win the Cup that year because of my baby's last words to me. I didn't watch or go to any of the games at all, except Game 6 in Boston against Vancouver."

At that game, Corbett met a woman, named Debbie, who "mesmerized" him. "She has been so unselfish in helping me with getting through the negativity that was surrounding me for so long. Of course we won that game. I couldn't tell you what the score was or scored the goals. But I knew Game 7 was already a done deal for sure."

Eventually, Corbett got all four sets of his unused playoff tickets signed by every player on the 2010-11 Cup team. Another story for another day.

Corbett said he plans to be his seats in Section 8 at TD Garden Wednesday night for Game 3 and, dare we even say it, a possible Bruins sweep in Game 4.

"Something changed in the last 10 minutes during that Game 7 against Toronto," Fitzgerald said. "I think it's destiny. It's a tremendous lift to this city. Every casual sports fan is a Bruins fan now! It's great!"

"We will be going to Games 3 and 4, for sure," Corbett added. "There won't be a Game 5. And when the B's close it out, we will be looking for tickets to either LA or Chicago. Why not? We are (bleeping) 'on tour."


Don't forget to visit our Obnoxious Boston Fan blog. As always, let us know what you think. Post your thoughts here, on our Obnoxious Boston Fan Facebook page, on Twitter @realOBF or e-mail me at obnoxiousbostonfan@hotmail.com.

Video: Deacon Jones on 'The Brady Bunch'

Posted by Obnoxious Boston Fan June 4, 2013 03:49 PM

Deacon Jones invented the sack, introduced the face-slap to pro football and was part of the "Fearsome Foursome."

He also managed to turn an impressive TV triple crown, making guest appearances on "Bewitched," "The Odd Couple" and "The Brady Bunch."

On "The Brady Bunch" Jones helped coach Peter Brady's youth football team and ended up teaching Peter and his pals that male singers were not sissies.

"Glee" 40 years ahead of its time.

Jones died Tuesday at 74.

And no one ever accused him of being a sissy.

RIP Sack Master.

Don't forget to visit our Obnoxious Boston Fan blog. As always, let us know what you think. Post your thoughts here, on our Obnoxious Boston Fan Facebook page, on Twitter @realOBF or e-mail me at obnoxiousbostonfan@hotmail.com.

Savard never far from heart of Bruins, fans

Posted by Obnoxious Boston Fan June 3, 2013 06:00 AM

The good news, Matt Cooke didn't do anything wrong on Saturday night.

Well almost.

Don't believe me?

Just ask Cooke:

“I see his right shoulder and he looks me right in the eyes. I think at the last minute he goes to make a reverse with the puck. I committed to hit him. I don’t drive him through the boards. I make contact. I think it’s a penalty. But I don’t think it’s an ejection or suspension...It looked like he was maybe hurt. But he played a shift after.”

There you have it.

See no evil. Hear no evil. Do no evil.

Thankfully for the prosecution, he won't be serving on the Whitey Bulger jury.

Adam McQuaid was able to walk away. He's not forever demonized by concussions. No harm, no suspension. Sidney Crosby added to the self-delusion of the Penguins by laying the blame for all this mayhem at the feet of the refs in between his silent tears.

"You guys aren't following the script. Get with it."

And forget all those Cindy references. Never again. Crosby's way more Jan: always whining about something.

Saturday, it was "Marchand! Marchand! Marchand!"

For Bruins fans, Marc Savard was the most notable scalp on Cooke's mantle. Cooke all but ended Savard's career with a blind shot to the head in 2010. Savard struggled to come back and remains under contract with the team. But any comeback is far off, if not never.

Savard, however, is there cheering on his teammates via Twitter and has been actively do so all season.

It's been exhausting dealing with the idiocy on social media from this series - at least until Game 2. Today, it's time to offer a glimpse at the positive. Prior to the days of Twitter, athletes like Savard slipped out of the public view, save for the occasional quick interview on TV or in the newspaper.

Now, @MSavvy91 is never far from the hearts of his teammates, Bruins Nation and fans of humanity everywhere. All it takes is a Twitter account and 140 characters or less to wish him well, offer words of enrouagement or let him know he'll be a part (not apart) of this team whether he plays another minute of hockey or not.

Here are 10 gems from Savard's @MSavvy91 feed that you may have missed:

1. He was at it after Boston's 3-0 victory Saturday.

That might work. Smythe continues to perform above everyone's expectations, except perhaps his own. Of course, there's always the concern that a Tweet like this might be the kiss of death, or five goals. Pittsburgh could have easily scored at least two more Saturday but ended up with nothing but pings.


___________


2. Savard is a legit Black and Gold Teamer. While Kobe Bryant was playing coach from the couch during the Lakers' abbreviated postseason run, Savard is doing what hockey players do. Being positive and relentless.

His 35,000-plus followers were treated to this a few hours before the opener against Pittsburgh:

Another good omen.


___________


3. John Tortorella was a key figure in the Bruins-Rangers series for everyone, it seemed, except his players. They didn't listen to him and he didn't listen to them. His team basically gave up, save for about two periods in Game 4 after Smythe let an easy goal slip though while he sat on the ice. Before that game, Brad (Just Call Me Carl Crawford) Richards, was benched by the currently unemployed Tortorella.

The Rangers won that game, so Torts' execution was delayed a few days.

Like so many others, Savard saw this one coming.


___________


4. Savard doesn't always get it right. (Who does? Yours truly picked the Patriots over the Giants two Februarys ago, the Patriots over the Ravens this past January and the Celtics in 7 against the Heat last year.) But the difference between one of us saying the Bruins are going to win and one of their players is noticeable.

He called Boston's Game 4 win against the Maple Leafs:

Game 5 against the Maple Leafs, not so much:

He offered this mea culpa before Game 6:

That didn't work either.

So he smartly stayed silent before Game 7.

Bruins deliver the greatest third-period comeback in Game 7 history.

Proof that brevity is the soul of win.


___________

5. During Game 7 against Toronto, Savard didn't give up on the Bruins. He called for a 4-2 victory during the second period. The score was a bit off, but he never lost faith.

That's a 7G Game 7 victory Tweet, in case you're counting.


___________


6. Before the Rangers series (Savard picked the Bruins in six games), he offered his analysis of the key matchups.

Right, right and right.


___________


7. The crystal ball was in full overdrive prior to Game 1 against New York. Savard the Savant called for a low-scoring, one-goal Bruins overtime victory.

Boom. Bruins win 3-2, in overtime.


___________


8. He's been Tyler Seguin's biggest booster. He called for Seguin (and/or Jagr) to break their goal-scoring schneid early and often.

The Bruins scored five goals that night. None by Seguin or Jagr.

Things didn't work out for Seguin during the third period of Game 3 against the Rangers, either.

Savard's faith and support was rewarded during Boston's 4-3 overtime loss to the Rangers in Game 4.

Seguin scored the third Boston goal in that game.

Persistence, baby.


___________


9. After the Jarome Iginla deal fell through, Savard joined the chorus of fans and media members calling for the Bruins to trade for Jaomir Jagr.

He got his wish on April 2.

It's hard to quantify Jagr's success with the Bruins, especially if you want to base his impact solely on statistics. Jagr has just five points with the Bruins, is a -2 overall and hasn't scored a goal since April 21.

Has Jagr been a bust? Doubt it. He's a magnet when it comes to drawing double teams and helped to add veteran presence and stability to the lockerroom.

We all know what Bill Belichick thinks of stats.

Plus, having Jagr around allowed us to post this:

And this:

And, let's not forget this:


If he can score a goal in the playoffs, it would almost be a bonus at this point.

Almost.

___________


10. Savard hasn't addressed his health situation on Twitter since April 9. His presence was clearly missed during the Bruins' struggles late in the regular season, as it was during the playoffs last year.

This post was evoked plenty of emotion back then, as it does now when you read it.

And who better to speak for all of us in response?

@MSavvy91

Missed and gone.

But never forgotten.

And only a Tweet away.

Thanks, Twitter.

Don't forget to visit our Obnoxious Boston Fan blog. As always, let us know what you think. Post your thoughts here, on our Obnoxious Boston Fan Facebook page, on Twitter @realOBF or e-mail me at obnoxiousbostonfan@hotmail.com.

Pittsburgh fan Tweets 'hope' for Boston bombing

Posted by Obnoxious Boston Fan June 1, 2013 10:36 PM

(Updated with apology at 8:30 a.m.)

Dane Cook is off the hook.

He's no longer the most-hated man in Boston. That's thanks again to Matt Cooke and a couple of Penguins fans with a twisted sense of humor and priorities.

If you though the clown with the "Toronto Stronger" sign was ridiculous, he's been topped, or bottomed. Things turned ugly on Twitter Saturday night during the Bruins-Penguins game. Jordan Kuruc posted a tweet following the ejection of Cooke that crossed every line possible.

Kuruc posted the following on his Twitter feed: "NHL is f-----g rigged! Matt Cooke made a clean hit. I hope your city gets bombed again Boston."

Kuruc was the lead singer of a band, ironically, called "Forebearance" which bills itself as "Melodic Hardcore from Western PA."

After the Twitter firestorm, the band posted the following message on its Facebook page:

It's come to my attention that our singer has said something very inappropriate via social media that is incredibly out of line. (In fact, I just woke up to this backlash.) The statement he made is in NO way shape or form representative of ANY view this band has and even though I personally have nothing to do with what he said, I feel the need to apologize to anyone offended by his ignorant statement. Because of this, Jordan is now removed from this band. Thank you to the people that have brought this to our attention, and again, our apologies that you had to be exposed to such ignorance.

His suspension from the band lasted for all of 24 minutes.

Drummer Dave Anderson followed up with this clarification.

At this point, the past statements on our wall made regarding our former singer ignorant statements made this evening will be deleted. The rest of our band acknowledges your outrage, agrees with your outrage, and has responded with what we feel is only just. Jordan will be performing with us for our 2 shows next week only to honor prior commitment, but nothing more...

Gary Bettman would be proud.

He later posted an apology via Twitter, before continuing his attack on Boston and its fans. That part we have no problem with.

He also found himself on the end of some equally offensive hate speech. Two wrongs not making a right here.

Kuruc wasn't the only one trying out their twisted sense of humor. Another genius, Curt Sagriff, offered this gem: "Drop another bomb in boston right on the bruins arena. #dontgiveaf--k hate boston so much.”

Both Tweets were retweeted to the FBI's @FBIBoston Twitter feed.

Social media has allowed billions of people to show how brilliant, funny or despicable they can be. It's often filled with ugliness, racial hatred and profanity. Several Bruins fans and/or racists showed their ugly side after Joel Ward's goal in the Game 7 loss to the Capitals last year. This type of idiocy has, sadly, become news.

Kuruc deleted most of his game-related tweets by the time the Bruins finished their 3-0 demolition of the Penguins. He's in no way typical of most Pittsburgh fans, especially those who quietly left the arena play after Nathan Horton's goal gave Boston an insurmountable three-goal lead 7:51 into the third period. David Krejci added a pair to stoke the ire of the Penguins and earned the coveted Ranger jacket from his teammates.

The fact that any adult would stoop to this level in reaction to a sporting event is a disturbing sign.

It's a shame folks don't understand the difference between sports hate and real hate, as discussed in this space Friday.

Save for Cooke's dirty play - even Whitey Bulger thinks he's a thug - the visceral feelings directed toward Sidney Crosby and his teammates Saturday topped the sports hatred meter. Crosby's cheap swat at Tuukka Rask at the end of the second period was the only shot he'd get in on the Boston goalie all night.

(Note: An earlier version of this post contained a reference to Cindy Crosby. Some readers found that demeaning to women hockey players, all of whom could no doubt kick his ass. The remark was trite and didn't fit the tone of this particular piece. Apologies. No one here is claiming perfection, especially me.)

But this game was near perfection on the part of the Bruins. This was sports hate along the lines of Bruins-Canadiens circa 1979, Patriots vs. Jets circa now, A-Rod and Thurman Munson combined. Bernard Pollard is next.

It was interesting how NBC had the Marc Savard replay at the ready immediately after Cooke's game-ending-for-him-hit on Adam McQuaid. They knew what was coming. And no doubt the word came down that the national TV audience was not going to stand for it.

This game was better than advertised. Worth the week's wait. Rask dominated Pittsburgh. It remains mystifying why so many fans and media members (and even his teammates at times) are hesitant to give him credit for what he's accomplished thus far in the playoffs, beating Toronto twice in OT and basically stonewalling the Rangers.

Calling Roberto Luongo to pump his tires.

Saturday, Rask simply shut out Pittsburgh, the best offensive team in the NHL.

Don't worry, Pittsburgh.

You still have most offensive team in the league, and have at least two fans to prove it.


Don't forget to visit our Obnoxious Boston Fan blog. As always, let us know what you think. Post your thoughts here, on our Obnoxious Boston Fan Facebook page, on Twitter @realOBF or e-mail me at obnoxiousbostonfan@hotmail.com.


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