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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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.
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.
The 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.
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:
"I was wondering what might break first, your spirit or your body," more Bane quotes on the Blackhawks. #Bruins— Obnoxious Boston Fan (@realOBF) June 18, 2013
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.
For Game 1, AIC posted Grant Wood's "American Gothic" complete with Blackhawks helmets.
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.
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 email@example.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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..
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.
Alcohol (for some).
General "F-bomb" warning to any and all within earshot who might be offended by such language.
Two best logos in hockey collide. Wicked psyched to be in Chicago! twitter.com/RealJackEdward…— Jack Edwards (@RealJackEdwards) June 11, 2013
Original Six matchup. Old-time hockey. And we're not just talking about Jaomir Jagr.
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).
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.
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.
(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.
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."
You 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.
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.
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.
That make him an outcast with the Jets.
And should make him feel right at home in New England.
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, complete with a Twitter plug for boston.com colleague Adam Kaufman:
@adammkaufman It ended tonight, my friend. We're just waiting for the official time of death.— Obnoxious Boston Fan (@realOBF) June 6, 2013
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
And no one ever accused him of being a sissy.
RIP Sack Master.
The good news, Matt Cooke didn't do anything wrong on Saturday night.
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.
Tuukka Rask should change his full name to #ConnSmythe— marc savard (@MSavvy91) June 2, 2013
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.
I'm just mad at Torts because if I recall in 2004 Richards helped him win the cup #connsmythe all I'm saying is live or die with your guy!!!— marc savard (@MSavvy91) May 24, 2013
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:
Big W tonight #Bergybignight— marc savard (@MSavvy91) May 8, 2013
Game 5 against the Maple Leafs, not so much:
bruins end series tonight #seguinbignight— marc savard (@MSavvy91) May 10, 2013
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.
One of the greatest comebacks of all time huge confidence moving forward #BostonREALstronggggggg— marc savard (@MSavvy91) May 14, 2013
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.
Massive game 1 tonight it is gonna be low scoring hard hitting #2-1BruinsWin maybe even in OT #LucicseriesMVPbecause he's a beast— marc savard (@MSavvy91) May 16, 2013
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.
I smell another W.....Seguin or Jagr one of them will score today... #TukkaTime— marc savard (@MSavvy91) May 19, 2013
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.
Seguin #GWG— marc savard (@MSavvy91) May 22, 2013
Savard's faith and support was rewarded during Boston's 4-3 overtime loss to the Rangers in Game 4.
Seguin!!!!!!!!!!— marc savard (@MSavvy91) May 24, 2013
Seguin scored the third Boston goal in that game.
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.
Bruins have all the parts we just need some pieces Jagr and Krecji would be magic trust me and pp would improve immensely— marc savard (@MSavvy91) March 28, 2013
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, let's not forget this:
New Bruin Jagr in 98 with teammate Dan Kesa's nephews Jovan, Nik, and on the left, Milan.Lucic. twitter.com/tsnjamesduthie…— James Duthie (@tsnjamesduthie) April 2, 2013
If he can score a goal in the playoffs, it would almost be a bonus at this point.
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?
We all miss you in Boston. RT @msavvy91: For those great fans who are asking me every day I still don't see a comeback in the near future— Jack Edwards (@RealJackEdwards) April 9, 2013
Missed and gone.
But never forgotten.
And only a Tweet away.
(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.
What I have said tonight was uncalled for its just a game and I should never bring a tragedy into it!— Jordan Kuruc (@jordankuruc) June 2, 2013
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.
Dane Cook didn't want anyone to livestream his new material.
No such problem here.
Join us to discuss the Red Sox-Yankees game as it unfolds tonight. IThe chat begins at
6:30 7 p.m.
It's all live and free. Send us your questions - and we'll try to answer them.
Meanwhile, it's good to hate the Yankees again.
Four-letter words often carry the most impact.
Or, when it comes to David Ortiz, Tukkaa Rask, the late John Tortorella or Tony Amonte - the word "f--k."
Those four-letter words, and many more, will be used to define and describe the upcoming Eastern Conference Finals series between the Bruins and Penguins.
Heading into the series, the "
Sesame Causeway Street" word of the day is "hate." There's no need to bring the hate, it's already here.
We hate Matt Cooke.
Really, really, really hate Matt Cooke.
We hate the Penguins.
We hate their logo.
We hate the fact they stole the Bruins' team colors.
We hate the way Mario Lemieux has run his franchise.
We hate Scotty Bowman, who coached them to a Stanley Cup partly at the expense of the Bruins in 1992, because he used to coach the Canadiens when they killed the Bruins.
We hate that some bars in Pittsburgh won't be serving Sam Adams once the playoffs start.
We hate Penguins fans because they're also Steelers fans.
Our great-grandparents hated the great-grandparents of those same fans all the way back in 1903 because they were Pirates' fans.
For more than a century: Hate. Hate. Hate.
Mainly, we hate the Penguins because they're probably the best team in the NHL. After all, no one hates the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Hate isn't all always bad. (See the Jets.) Just like love isn't all always good. (See carbohydrates.)
Sometimes, it's healthy to hate.
But there's a big difference between real hate and sports hate.
Children may not know the difference between sports hate and real hate, but mature adults do. Even those in Pittsburgh, New York and Philadelphia.
The jury's still out on Vancouver and certain campuses in the SEC.
Real hate was a natural and justified reaction after 9/11, or the Marathon bombings. As it was after Pearl Harbor, and Germany's subsequent declaration of war against the U.S. a day later.
Hate masks pain. Hate provides motivation. Hate makes you fearless.
Hate can be more powerful than Oxycontin.
Time is real enemy of hate. It's nearly impossible to hate forever.
There are exceptions, though. Hitler, Bin Laden, Speedbump and Asshat, Bane, General Zod, the IRS, Cooke.
OK, we won't go that far.
It would be insulting to General Zod.
(Countdown to "Boston blogger compares Cooke to
Bin Laden Hitler IRS" headline in three, two, one...)
Jack Edwards immediately knew he crossed the red line last month when he equated Cooke's nomination for the Masterton Trophy with a possible parole of Sirhan Sirhan. Once the Internet got done Googling "Sirhan Sirhan," it was outraged. Edwards quickly apologized via Twitter to Cooke, the NHL and anyone else who was offended. Hatred got the best of him, for a split second, and he did something regrettable. I feel the same way about all those times I gave Reggie Jackson the finger as a teenager at Fenway Park.
Edwards' historic analogy was, gasp, a mistake. But Neckbeards and Trolls allow no such room for error. Such is the life when you're driven by hatred of anyone who is successful. Or live to find fault in those who are better than you at what you wish you could do.
That brings us to this series.
What Cooke did to Marc Savard straddles the line between real hate and sports hate. He is A-Rod with an intent to injure. At least A-Rod's best shot ended up in Jason Varitek's mask. And when he swung his purse at Bronson Arroyo, he ended up being called out for interference.
Cooke's 2010 hit on Savard was vicious, cheap and borderline criminal, not matter what the NHL's Kangaroo Court said. Cooke is supposedly reformed (hence Edwards' sarcasm). The injury he inflicted on Savard went beyond hockey. It was life-shattering. Has Cooke done anything/enough to warrant forgiveness? That's between him and Savard. What angers and continues to fuel the sports/real hate directed at him from Boston and elsewhere is a result from the insincerity of his "reformation."
The rest of the hate surrounding Bruins-Penguins is of the good, old-fashioned, healthy sports hate variety. It's not quite Bruins-Canadiens, but it's getting there. It's been a while since these teams met in the postseason. How long? About 24 hours before Lemieux, Jaromir Jagr and the Penguins swept the Bruins out of 1992 Wales Conference finals, Johnny Carson hosted "The Tonight Show" for the final time.
Heeeeeeeere's Johnny (Boychuk, this time).
Sports hate can be wonderful, as long as it doesn't cross the line into real hate. It boosts TV and sports-talk radio ratings, ticket sales, web-site hits and newspaper circulation. (Kids, you can Google "newspaper circulation.") It unites people who can't agree on anything else. It's passed down through generations, just like the family name, holiday traditions and diabetes.
This series should be sickly sweet.
The Penguins are favored to win it (my pick is Bruins in six) and were nearly perfect against Ottawa. (Just as the Bruins were nearly perfect against the Rangers.) Pittsburgh will win at least one game in this series by four or more goals and leaves Boston less than no room for error.
Much the same was said two years ago before the Stanley Cup Finals about the Canucks, whom the Bruins and their fans grew to hate during that series.
They won't have any such problems starting Saturday night.
You gotta love it.
Speaking of old-time sports hate, join us tonight starting at 6:30 p.m. for our in-game Red Sox and Yankees chat. In case you missed it, this series will be for first place in the A.L. East. Who'da thunk it?
Titus Ashby's first basketball trick shot video racked up 11.1 million You Tube views and earned the 2-year-old Kansas boy time on "Good Morning America," "The Today Show" and "Jimmy Kimmel Live."
The sequel was posted on You Tube today, and features young Titus nailing shots from all over the house, hitting a few "Dude Perfect-like" Hail Mary's off a bridge over the Arkansas River in Wichita, Kan., and making an early recruiting visit to Wichita State coach Gregg Marshall. The Shockers reached the NCAA Final Four this past season.
Marshall says in the clip he's impressed with Titus' shooting ability but wants someone who can play defense, pass the ball and loves the game.
Titus then demonstrates some of his defensive ability and ends up on the coach's radar screen, for the 2028 season.
In this age of cynicism and internet trickery, it's hard to believe that this stuff is all real.
But it is.
We just don't see all the outtakes and misses. Kimmel learned the hard way about doubting the young boy's skills.
Bugs Bunny's nemesis (who looks like a dead ringer for Matt Cooke) the 1949 classic "8 Ball Bunny" summed it up best:
"Peguins is practically chickens."
Penguins, as a rule, can't fly.
We know the NHL's Penguins aren't practically chickens, they're already there. (See Cooke, the Mario Lemieux who has inhabited his team's the front office or Sidney Crosby any day he's whining about something).
The Penguins of Pittsburgh need not slander by association the penguins of elsewhere. Those flightless, aquatic birds of cold are woven into our hearts, while the skaters who bear their name remain objects of scorn.
There's lots of hatred brewing toward the capital "P" Penguins from hockey fans across New England.
Stay tuned for our list on Friday.
With Boston's Eastern Conference showdown against Pittsburgh and its dreaded Penguins looming, we decided it was time to take a look at our Top 10 penguins - both real and imagined.
The NHL's Penguins got their name when the wife of one of the original owners (Jack McGregor) took it upon herself to by-pass a "name the team" contest and name the team.
Her logic: "I was thinking of something with a P. And I said to Jack, 'What do they call the Civic Arena?' And he said, 'The Big Igloo.' So I thought, ice. . . Pittsburgh. . . Penguins."ť
Yeah, there must be millions of igloos in Antarctica.
Any second-grader who has visited the New England Aquarium, or Sea World, knows that penguins live in the South Pole (or in the Southern Hemisphere), save for the rare exceptions living at Sea World or the New England Aquarium.
There was one North Pole penguin of note, who helps to kick off our Top 10 list.
1. "The Skating Penguin" - This Looney Tunes character scores because he allows us to run this awesome seven-minutes of Bugs Bunny in his prime.
"Rabbits is bigger than penguins."
And so are bears.
Love the scene when the crying penguin's tears turn to ice cubes. Look for similar tears from Tomas Vokoun during the Bruins' power play.
We think more tears will be flowing in Pittsburgh when this series is over.
Another gem from this animated classic. Bugs refusing to pay the 25-cent Panama Canal toll, opting to take the long way across South America. Always think of Slim Pickens putting out the call for a "s--tload of dimes" whenever I see that scene.
Way back in the day, Jeremy Jacobs probably passed the hat more than a few times when the team bus was going through the Callahan Tunnel to cover the tolls en route to Logan Airport.
"Great Quivering Jellyfish!" ―The Penguin
2. "The Penguin (aka. Oswald Chesterfield Cobblepot)" - The best "Joker" may be up for debate, but there's only one "Penguin" when it comes to "Batman." And he isn't Danny DeVito. Burgess Meredith was a serious actor back in the day, but then he opted for a recurring gig on the short-lived but ever-lasting ABC series. Penguin was always causing Batman trouble by winning the hearts and the minds of Gothamites before unleashing some sort of dasdardly scheme upon them. His umbrella was high-tech when high-tech meant Polaroid cameras and five Xerox copies a minute from a machine the size of a bathtub. Penguin always ended up being foiled but somehow managed to escape from Adam West. His henchmen were part of group called "G.O.O.N." - (Grand Order of Occidental Nighthawks). Another perfect Matt Cooke reference. While Meredith's Mickey Goldmill never lived to see Rocky Balboa reclaim his heavyweight title from Clubber Lang, his "Penguin" lives forever.
3. Tennessee Tuxedo - This was one of the low-level cartoon characters of your parents' youth. (It originally aired on CBS for three years before being regulated to afternoon programming on Channel 56 - always a staple when you were home sick from school). Tennessee (voiced by the inimitable Don Adams) and his Walrus pal Chumley were always getting into trouble after escaping from the zoo on an almost daily basis. Chumley is a dead ringer for Claude Julien circa 2010. The above clip - called the "Rainmakers" - is vintage Tennessee, complete with a visit to Mr. Whoopee and his never-in-doubt 3DBB, which was a 1960s version of the internet. The cartoons were really thinly disguised science and history lessons. Not too bad for a cartoon. Bruins' fans hope to learn as much about good hockey starting on Saturday.
4. "Antarctica - Empire of the Penguin" - You just saved yourself the two-hour wait. You're welcome. The folks at Sea World in Orlando are trying to duplicate the magic of Penguin Encounter with this new exhibit that opened last week to less-than-stellar reviews. Sounds like another good omen to me.
5. "Penguin Diner" - Not much of a video game fan, at least since I ran out of quarters playing Asteroids. You play "Penguin Diner" while the theme of "Zorba The Greek" runs on an endless loop in the background. It has old-school ethnic, potentially offensive stereotype written all over it. Most Greeks, including this one, however, have no problem being linked to the finest eateries anywhere. We love to cook. We love to eat. Bingo.
The object of "Penguin Diner" is to serve as many customers/penguins while racking up sales in the process. Nothing wrong with a good cash business. The game is easily addictive. And it's a great way to kill the rest of the week at work during the eternal wait before Game 1.
6. "Happy Feet" - The lead Penguin in this flick has to be a Boston fan - after all his name is "Mumble." This penguin can't sing but wins over his pals by his ability to dance, all the while saving Antarctica from the evil "aliens." He never says anything about "Varitek splitting the uprights" or "KJ and Hondo." The bad guys in this flick, naturally, turn out to be mankind. (A real shock, for sure.) The animated movie is great fun and makes for a nice escape for the little ones, who will no doubt be traumatized by the litany of curses emanating from the couch as mom and dad watch the Bruins battle Pittsburgh in the next round.
7. "Chilly Willy" - The Pittsburgh Penguins aren't the only ones who screwed up when it comes to penguins and geography. "Chilly Willy" spent about 10 years struggling trying to stay warm while appearing in 50 cartoon shorts made by Walter Lantz - living in Alaska. "Willy" spent most of the time over-matching his skills against Smedley, a somewhat dim-witted mutt. Usually, the two ended up being reluctant pals, since "Willy" was simply too lovable to hate. We won't have that problem with those other Penguins starting Saturday night. "Chilly Willy" often showed up on the back end of the "Woody Woodpecker" show, which pre-VCR people only watched if "Bugs Bunny," "The Flintstones," "Scooby-Doo" or "Speed Buggy" were not on at the same time.
8. "The Penguins of Madagascar" - They are the stars of a TV show on Nickelodeon these days, but they earned fame with their appearances in the "Madagascar" movie franchise. Rico, Skipper, Private and Kowalski are probably the first characters anyone under 12 thinks of when you say "penguins." At least none of them was named Crosby or Mario.
9. Le bébé, Le pčre, La mčre - The three animal leads of "March of the Penguins" were the focus of one of the best live-action nature films ever made. Morgan Freeman, last seen dozing off with Michael Caine during their current promotional tour for "Now You See It," provides the narration. Freeman, who has played God, the president and speaker of the house, automatically elevates this flick's level of sophistication and gravitas. Not so much was its tongue-in-cheek sequel, narrated by Samuel L. Jackson, called "Farce of the Penguins." Expect to see that headline on this site and elsewhere if/when the Bruins ice this series.
10. Jaromir Jagr - Sure, he's here partly because he now plays for the Bruins. But he's mostly here for the mullett.
New Bruin Jagr in 98 with teammate Dan Kesa's nephews Jovan, Nik, and on the left, Milan.Lucic. twitter.com/tsnjamesduthie…— James Duthie (@tsnjamesduthie) April 2, 2013
He also gets props for the above photo with little Milan Lucic.
Between the two, Lucic has three goals in the postseason.
Jagr could even score one himself before things are done.
The last time Jagr faced the Bruins in the playoffs 21 years ago, the Penguins won the series and finished the season with a sweep in the Stanley Cup finals.
The Bruins need a similar ending for Jagr this time.
(Not making the list: "Mr. Popper's Penguins," namely because Jim Carrey is a Maple Leafs fan, "Surf's Up" and the penguins from "Mary Poppins.")
Rajon Rondo and Joan Rivers.
And you thought Pierce and Garnett were old.
The Celtics guard did some not-so hard time with Rivers on E!'s "Fashion Police" Friday.
Rivers was uncharacteristically easy on the 6-1 Rondo - "since you're an NBA player I thought you'd be like 7-feet-9" - and saved her venom for a few other NBA targets.
Naturally, she asked Rondo about his fight with Kris Humphries.
"Did you hum a Kanye West song?" she asked.
"He did a dirty play on my teammate, I wasn't trying to start a fight," he said.
Rondo discussed his internship with with "GQ" last summer and said he planned to do another one in the future. Rivers and Rondo also did some spring cleaning. He eventually gave Giuliana Rancic the honors when Rivers told him to "trash" a black, stripped jacket he wore at the podium during last season's NBA playoffs against Atlanta.
"It's a little too old, mostly black and not accomplishing anything, I'm surprised it's not playing for the Lakers."
"Even Gary Busey would say this jacket is crazy."
First we had the "Butt Fumble."
Now we have the "Tuukka Tumble."
You can watch it again and again here:
Just add your own soundtrack. Thinking the "Benny Hill" theme.
"WTF?" for sure.
2013 has become the year of the "On-Air F-Bomb." David Ortiz got it started at Fenway Park the Saturday after the Boston Marathon Bombings with his "this is our f--king city" declaration. Then we had Comcast Sports Net's Tony Amonte's plea of "they're going to break the f--king glass" during the mayhem after Game 7 against Toronto and Rask's lay off my iPod "are you f--king kidding me?" quip live from the locker room after Game 3.
Thursday, we were treated to Rangers' coach John Tortorella's verbal throw down with one of the linesmen during a third-period time out.
After a Zapruder-like breakdown of the f-bomb timeout clip, Torts can be seen dropping a series of f-bombs, although the actual cursing on the tape comes from the linesman with whom Torts was having a discussion.
It was the first f-bomb heard on CNBC since GE stock fell below $9 a share in 2009.
My favorite is still Amonte's given the sound of desperation in his voice. It has sadly been erased from the interwebs by the folks at Comcast.
There's no doubt the biggest f-bomb of Thursday night came roaring across New England and after the Rangers won this thing in overtime. All of this madness came on CNBC amid Asian market updates and endless plugs for "American Greed."
Torts, obviously relieved his job was safe for at least a couple of days, was also back in form in the post-game presser, telling a reporter that they can "kiss my ass" if they didn't want to accept his explanation for benching Brad "Just Call Me The Carl Crawford of the Rangers" Richards.
The biggest challenge facing the Bruins and their fans in Game 5 may be trying to figure out what channel will air the game. (Actually, it's at 5:30 p.m. on NBC Sports Network - until it's bumped to MSNBC en Espanol). If there's a Game 6 on Monday, it will probably end up on the NBC Shopping Channel or during the 14th hour of the TODAY show.
Game 7? I'm thinking the "Blue" channel from NBC's 1992 Olympics TripleCast.
Speaking of those Asian markets, the Nikkei early today recovered almost half of the 7.3 percent drop it suffered Thursday. Bruins fans and CNBC viewers undoubtedly can breath a sigh of relief.
The Bruins will need a market recovery in Game 5, especially considering how they lost this one.
The clincher-to-choker loss prompted way too many comparisons to 2010. That year the Bruins, thanks in part to a crucial too many men on the ice penalty, got swept out of the playoffs after taking a 3-0 lead against the Flyers. (We had one of those Thursday, too.)
Thankfully, this was Game 4, and not Game 7.
And this is 2013, not 2010.
But Bruins certainly collapsed a plenty in Game 4. When Tuukka fell on his Rassk, it gave the Rangers some hope and an opening to get back into the game, if not the series.
Rask butt-stumbled as Carl Hagelin was backhanding a weak, rolling shot on net. The world moved in slow motion as the puck slipped past Rask as he tried in vain to recover and stop it.
‘‘We need to be more focused, I need to be more focused,’’ Rask said. ‘‘I just took a step to the side in what I think probably was a skate mark or something. I lost my balance and the rest is history. We gave them a couple of gifts and it cost us the game.’’
That goal prompted a lot more "s-bombs" than "f-bombs" among the home viewers, given its bizarre and Stoogesque nature. That will be the GIF that keeps on giving for the Rangers, especially if this series continues past Saturday.
The Rangers took full advantage of it, erasing a pair of Boston leads in the game before blitzing Rask in overtime, with four shots in the first 75 seconds.
In addition to Tuukka's best Shemp imitation, the Bruins committed some major mental breakdowns. Zdeno Chara lost the puck behind the net, which led to the Rangers' second goal, and Tyler Seguin failed to get off the ice in time to avoid the dreaded "too many men on the ice" penalty. The Rangers tied the game at 3-3 off the ensuing power play with 10 minutes to play.
The game-winner was precipitated by the soon-to-be-departed Dougie Hamilton being manhandled in front of the net and failing to push the stick away from Chris Kreider.
Both Rask and Chara have been iron since the final 10 minutes against the Maple Leafs. And Seguin got off the playoff schneid and scored his first goal of the postseason to give Boston a 3-2 lead. Sorry, no rip fest here. It's always better not to choke one away like this, but after the game, to a man, Seguin, Rask and Chara all acknowledged their mistakes and vowed not to repeat them. Empty words until Game 5, but there was no finger-pointing, blame or panic. Not even from cool-hand Claude.
The Bruins had won four straight before Thursday night. The Bruins outplayed New York for much of Game 4, but literally gave the game away. It's unlikely that will happen again in this series. It's borderline preposterous to think they are going to lose four straight to the Rangers at this point, even with their Game 4 buffoonery. No chance.
Let's hold off on the Tobin Bridge analogies, given what happened north of Seattle Thursday. Thankfully, no one perished when a chunk of a bridge on I-5 fell into the Skagit River.
The loudest protestations and groans after Game 4 were heard from those media types (or more likely their significant others) who are probably pissed that they now have to sit in a studio or press box on Saturday, instead of spending the holiday weekend relaxing with their families at home or at the beach.
The rest of us will be treated to another exciting playoff hockey game during the heart of Memorial Day weekend.
Things could be a lot f--kin' worse.
Jerry Remy in "Playgirl."
The Eck, in "Playgirl."
Not so much.
Baseball Prospectus posted a piece about several ballplayers who posed for "Playgirl" in the 1980s.
Among the notables, our own lovable Rem Dawg from July 1984.
Boston Barstool Sports posted the photo of Remy and raised it with a "Playgirl" photo from the same issue of Remy's NESN pre and post-game host, current Hall of Famer and former teammate, Dennis Eckersley
According to Eck's brief bio in the magazine, he was considered "tightfisted," at least when it came to giving up hits.
The folks at "
Playgirl" Baseball Prospectus added their own faux scouting reports for each player it featured, listing Remy's position as an "INF/Sex God" and his abilities as "varied."
Among the other players photographed by "Playgirl" back in the day were George Brett, Danny Ford, Phil Garner and Rickey Henderson.
Nothing was available on Don Orsillo.
(HT: Toucher and Rich/Deadspin)
"Slap Shot" was rated "R" for excessive violence, profanity, lots of blood on the ice and brief nudity.
The Bruins-Rangers series has been rated "R" for excessive violence, profanity and lots of blood on the ice.
No nudity, thank goodness/unfortunately - depending on your perspective.
This has been Old Time Hockey at its finest. Two "Original Six" teams from two cities that still manage to hate each other despite all that goodwill shared following the Boston Marathon bombings. The Rangers have been overmatched, especially by Boston's vaunted "Fourth Line." They ought to be called the "First Line" since they're doing all the work.
Maybe the "T" can add a special "Merlot" line that runs straight from the Garden to the next Duck Boat parade.
Meanwhile, Boston continues to run on Tuukka Time. And Rask, who has developed a hard-assed edge throughout the playoffs, continued on the offensive during his post-game interviews.
Following in the footsteps of Comcast Sports Net New England's Tony Amonte and Rangers coach John Tortorella, Tuukka dropped an "f-bomb" on live TV after someone (according to 98.5 The Sports Hub's Toucher and Rich) decided to lower the volume on his iPod dock.
After stopping in mid-question, he leaned over and said: "Are you f--king serious?"
Lesson: You do not mess with the Finnish play list.
Speaking of Finnish, or finished, that's where the Rangers stand today. Bruins fans, as they are genetically pre-disposed to do, will be leery of any 3-0 lead following the choke job against Philadelphia in 2010. Of course, the Bruins swept the Flyers in 2011, turning a 3-0 lead into a 4-0 series win. The Bruins are 17-1 in series in which they've led 3-0. I certainly hope so. As long as Rask remains steady, as he's been since the first loss in the Maple Leafs' series, the Rangers simply don't have the horses to keep up with the Bruins.
That was evident every time Daniel Paille, Gregory Campbell and Shawn Thornton were on the ice. Those three, along with grinders like Johnny Boychuk and wunderkind Torey Krug have been the difference in this series. Unless John Tortorella, who when clean-shaven seems like a dead ringer for Al Pacino's "John Milton" character in "The Devil's Advocate," can re-possess their souls, the Rangers are finished.
As far as the violence and gore in this R-rated affair, it was all over the ice at Madison Square Garden. Players from both teams were sprawled, covering various parts of their face and head as the ice turned into a Bloodsicle. Sticks and verbal stones were flying all over the place.
Amazingly, little of the gore resulted in penalty minutes. Maybe Alexander Ovechkin was on to something after all.
Among the officiating lowlights:
• If one single play epitomized the craziness, it happened in the third period when Tyler Seguin fired a shot on net but his stick hit Chris Krieder in the face. At the same time, Steven Eminger’s stick whacked Seguin in the noggin. Seguin was shooting the puck. Eminger was shooting Seguin's head. No call was made on either player.
• Wanna-be thug Ryan Callahan bushwhacked Zdeno Chara in the face with a stick in the first period. Chara was bleeding. This used to be considered a text-book four-minute minor. But nothing was called.
• Dan (No Relation to Mike or Joe) Girardi wound up and went David Ortiz on David Krejci, as he flooded the zone with a 2-on-2 rush. Krejci was taken out at his feet and lost the puck. Tripping? Not tonight, fellas.
• Rangers defenseman Eminger pulled a John Cena on Chris Kelly and took him down at the shoulder in the second period after a similar move by Jaromir Jagr. The elderly Jagr was called, Eminger wasn't. Something was wrong with my DVR during the game, as Jagr was skating at 3/4 speed all night.
These grips are legit from this perspective because they're being aired and the Bruins still won the game. Not a big fan of blaming the refs, but this still could lead to serious injury to the Bruins, who expect to be playing in the next round. The Rangers have all summer to recover on the golf course from any of Boston's illicit misdeeds.
Expect even more mayhem in Game 4. The Rangers, despite the reassuring words of their coach, are in deep trouble. They are throwing everything they have at the Bruins, but nothing seems to stick.
Despite the faux thuggery and cheap shots, this series has been an agonizing joy to watch. Remember the NHL lockout? Me neither. It seems like a 1,000 years ago. Playoff hockey and a 3-0 lead over New York can have that effect on anyone.
The bruised, bloodied but unbowed face of Patrice Bergeron, sitting on the bench in the third period after being cut by a stick said it all for the Bruins in this series.
The Bruins will advance to the next round, or run out of blood trying.
"Heroes get remembered, but legends never die." - Babe Ruth, "The Sandlot"
During the Red Sox eternal rain delay Sunday, several players watched the movie "The Sandlot" in the clubhouse.
Some players also met a couple of stars from the movie, which celebrated its 20th anniversary this past weekend, at Target Field, where it was remembered.
The underlying theme of the movie is a boy (Scotty Smalls) who moves to Los Angeles and ends up on a sandlot baseball team despite his limited skills. There's a fence around the lot and balls hit over the fence are doomed because of the "The Beast." He is a monstrous Mastiff that belongs to Mr. Mertle, who is the"meanest man who ever lived." Mertle was played by Darth Vader's voice himself, James Earl Jones.
After a visit from Babe Ruth - via a dream - one of the boys in the group, Benny, gets the courage to run into the yard and retrieve a "Babe Ruth" signed baseball that ended up over the fence.
Well, the dog escapes and a chaotic chase ensues. Eventually, all ends well with Jones' character telling the boys he would have gladly returned the baseballs if the kids had just asked. Then things get out of hand emotionally, after we learn Mr. Mertle was a Negro Leaguer who knew Ruth. He becomes buddies with the kids. The movie ends with a "Where are they now montage," with Smalls broadcasting Dodger games and his pal, Benny, stealing home.
Meanwhile, "The Beast" (named Hercules) ends up living a long and fruitful life.
Happy endings everywhere.
Among the Red Sox enjoying Sunday's unscheduled matinee was starting pitcher John Lackey.
Lackey has been "The Beast" lurking beyond the Green Monster for Red Sox since the Great Collapse of 2011. He was buried deep in the doghouse, along with his drinking buddy Josh Beckett and the rest of their un-indicted co-conspirators. Lackey saw his effectiveness wilt in September of that year, along with the rest of the Red Sox rotation. The Red Sox lost five of his Lackey's final six starts. His final win of 2011 came on Aug. 23. In his final five starts, he went 0-2 with a 9.13 ERA in only 23.2 innings.
That finish was good enough for Lackey to earn our first-ever "Negative 10th Player Award," earning 53 percent of the nearly 3,500 votes cast.
Dog days indeed.
Lackey was then at ground zero of "Chicken and Beer Gate" and, thankfully for all concerned, underwent Tommy John surgery in the offseason, effectively removing himself from the team's 2012 equation.
Of course, like "The Beast," Lackey was always there, even when he wasn't. Turns out he was with the team on the road for most of last season and even found time to double-fist now and then in the clubhouse. Always a good strategy when you're trying to back in shape after career-alerting surgery.
Boston's "Beast" bore even more of the fandom and media's ire after Josh Beckett and Friends were granted asylum in what is now known as Last-Place Dodgertown.
A slimmed down Lackey arrived at training camp in Fort Myers newly divorced, both of those factors can hinder or help an athlete's performance depending on the circumstances. In Lackey's case, both have appeared to be a plus. His performance this season has been considered a lynch pin on the team's ultimate success in 2013, both here in this space and elsewhere.
Jon Lester and Clay Buchholz are 12-0 combined (heading into Monday night) and counting. Their continued dominance is the foundation for any success the Red Sox will have this season. But for the team to actually contend for the post-season, Lackey needs to lead the way in the back-end of the rotation. That's due mainly due to his Beastly five-year, $82.5 million contract and the often Beastly Red Sox bullpen.
Long before Sunday's game resumed, following three hours of waiting, Lackey's day was finished. Lackey (2-4) lowered his ERA from 4.05 to 3.31 after throwing six innings without giving up an earned run, striking out five and allowing just one hit. Lackey has has plenty of Lackeyesque moments this season and briefly returned to the DL for three weeks.
He's no longer "The Beast" but isn't quite "Lassie" yet, either. He's become like a stray mutt you took in, for $82.5 million, who has finally stopped tearing up the furniture and peeing inside the house. Now, he'll fetch the morning paper (yes, this is a fictional analogy), not bark at the cat so much and ward off a potential burglar now and then.
Sunday's rain delay was blessing and a curse for Lackey. The Red Sox were comfortably ahead when it began in the seventh, but it robbed him of a chance of throwing a complete-game shutout. That would have immeasurably boosted his already high confidence.
Lackey bark has softened this season, but his bite has shown renewed effectiveness. The bad innings are the exception of late. It's risky territory to try and extrapolate a full turnaround from someone who is still 2-4 and is still John Lackey.
First Stephen Drew, Andrew Bailey coming off the DL and now this. Red Sox fans are running out of venom. We might need Bobby V. Day just to fire things back up.
These are heady times again for the Red Sox. Boston's won five straight since Drew's twice-in-a-lifetime grand slam last week at Tropicana Mausoleum.
It was a home run that indeed showed anything is possible in 2013.
Including John Lackey finally escaping from the Red Sox doghouse.
Missed this one the other day, since we were wrapped up watching the near riot that broke out outside the Ace Ticket Studios on Causeway Street after the Bruins won Game 7 in OT against the Maple Leafs.
Comcast Sports Net New England pre-and-post-game hosts Michael Felger and Tony Amonte were in studio watching the action on TV along with the rest of us. But the Comcast cameras were watching them.
Felger's on-camera reaction to both the game-tying and winning goals from the 5-4 win over the Leafs should provide plenty of fodder for the callers to his "Felger and Mazz" show on 98.5 The Sports Hub. But remember, there's no rule against cheering in the studio, in the broadcast booth or home on the couch, just inside the press box. Felger may have been the only one watching the game on TV who didn't celebrate with a few profane words directed toward the Maple Leafs.
Meanwhile, Amonte, who later dropped an "F-Bomb" during the post-game glass-pounding mayhem, remains calm while taking notes. The folks at Comcast managed to get some reinforcements stationed outside the studio window after Boston's victories over the Rangers Thursday and Sunday. Too bad.
Felger's reactionary clip was shown during this week's CSNNE "Sports Sunday" telecast.
While Felger showed some major Black and Gold fan-blood after Game 7, his reaction was not nearly as intense as the one delivered by Jack Edwards during the NESN telecast.
Felger showed some agility with his ability to jump off the chair while Edwards get major style points for sticking the dagger and "killing the beast."
Too bad neither had their face painted.
Don and Jerry, you're up next.
Oscar-winning director Ben Affleck returned this week to host SNL for the fifth time, but it may have been Stefon and Kayne West who stole the show in the season finale.
You can sum this show up in three words: "Stefon," "Kanye" and "farewell."
Stefon's real-life counterpart, Bill Hader, was making his final appearance as a cast member. His character's appearance was not a surprise, but his wedding was another story.
Stefon gave us a look a head at what's going on in New York this summer. Time to hits "Pants." Stefon's club review ended abruptly after his pal Meyers once again hurt his feelings. The flamboyant critic told Meyers that he was marrying someone else and stormed off the set. But Meyers chased him down - in a filmed segement - and found Stefon about to wed Anderson Cooper with a throng of eclectic guests from his favorites night spots come to life in attendance.
In true "Graduate" style, Meyers broke up the nuptials by slugging Cooper and raced off with his "bride." The new Mr. Seth and Stefon Meyers ended their getaway with a hug at the "Weekend Update" set while being feted with many of the "Weekend Update" regulars including "Drunk Uncle," "Satan" and Arianna Huffington.
During the monologue, viewers got a surprise appearance by Mrs. Affleck, as Mr. Affleck worked for a do-over of his Oscar acceptance speech when he said his marriage was "work."
Jennifer Garner gave her hubby some marriage tips and advice on tact, while Affleck, who had some deep 11:30 p.m. shadow, replied that their "marriage is a work of love." Her assessment was slightly different. "Why don't we go ahead and mention who does all the work?" she said.
Affleck's introduction to the Five Timers Club was a little less splashy than Justin Timberlake's. The Cambridge native got a song from Bobby Moynihan, who was wearing a t-shirt with the number "5" on it.
Affleck labored throughout the show and was caught reading cue cards in several sketches, and not just by his wife tongue-in-cheek in their monologue. It was as if he was a last-minute fill-in or missed a few rehearsals.
West, the musical guest, continued to show the hostile side that resurfaced with last week's paparazzi run-in and yelled into the microphone twice, debuting a pair of new songs off his upcoming album.
He opened with "Black Skinhead," complete in a studded black leather jacket in front of a screen showing barking Dobermans.
Doutbful all the lyrics of his second tune "New Slaves," rapped in front of flashing images of sale tags and a "Not For Sale" sign, made it past the West Coast censors.
West premiered “New Slaves” outdoors on 66 different buildings in 10 cities on Friday. Saturday he said his new album that drops June 18, featuring both songs, will be called "Yeezus." That's also probably something similar to what the NBC censors were yelling after both performances.
The last time I heard the "N" word that many times live was sitting in Section 22 after watching Reggie Jackson's home run in the 1978 Red Sox-Yankees playoff game. But it wasn't the first time viewers heard the "N" word on SNL. It was also half the punch line in the classic "Word Association" sketch from 1975 featuring Chevy Chase and Richard Pryor.
Here's the other half: "Dead honky"
Before Stefon's arrival, departure and return, Amy Poehler stopped by for another segment with "Really? With Seth and Amy" ripping into the IRS scandal.
"The government only keeps you around to make the DMV look good," Poehler said. "You're the president, we expect you to know the ending of "Breaking Bad," added Meyers.
She then helped Meyers finish his report. On David Beckham's retirement, Meyers said: "Now he'll just spend the rest of his life around the house just bending it."
Fred Armisen, who was also reportedly leaving after this season along with Jason Sudeikis, returned as English punk rocker Ian Rubbish and performed "I Had Lovely Night" with Hader and Sudeikis. Jamming with then on stage were Armisen's "Portlandia" co-star Carrie Brownstein, Sonic Youth’s Kim Gordon, Aimee Mann, and even Steve Jones of the Sex Pistols.
Among the show's other highlights:
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (Arimsen) gave us the other side of "Argo" from the Iranian perspective in the HBO documentary "Ben Argo-bleep Yourself."
Ahmadinejad tried his best Boston accent by repeating "park the car in Harvard Yard" before each scene depicting each of Affleck's lies. Affleck even appeared as the sound man. '
Why? "I've longed to appear in a film worse than "Gigli," he said.
If having to attend too many immaculate gay summer weddings is causing stress, you need Xanax For Gay Summer Weddings, featured in a filmed commercial.
"At my wedding, we gave out Cheeze-Its and a mini-bottle of water. Keith and William gave us two tickets to Italy and $40,000." And the pastels were perfect.
The cold opening found Al Sharpton having a little problem straightening out Mitch McConnell and Matthew McConaughey as MSNBC went all-out reporting on the IRS scandal. Hader looked hilarious as a Tea Party member in full-blown Colonial garb.
The show failed to hit the astronomically high expectations it sparked on the Interwebs this past week. Overall, the 38th season of the show offered a few highs, multiple lows and way too many in-betweens.
Expect much change in the offseason.