Black Sunday Coming For Boston Sports Fans?

In 2004, Boston sports fans enjoyed the greatest playoff comeback in sports history, as the Red Sox overcame a 3-0 ALCS deficit to defeat the Yankees en route to their first World Series Championship since 1918.

Black Sunday Coming For Boston Sports Fans?

It was hard not to root for the Sox back then. But since 2004, knowing Boston sports fans as I do, it’s been hard not to root against Boston and its insufferable, hipster-strewn “nation” of followers.

While I didn’t care enough earlier this month to actively root against the Boston Bruins as they somehow blew a 3-0 playoff series lead after frittering away a 3-0 Game 7 advantage against Philly, I must admit recent developments in the Orlando-Celtics NBA Eastern Conference Finals have me intrigued.

Consider these comparisons between the 2004 Yankees-Red Sox ALCS and the 2010 series between the Magic and Celtics.

Read more…

9-Year-Old Scores Best Hockey Goal Ever … Sick

Saw this on the Boston Bruins’ site this morning, and it has to be the most awesome hockey goal ever scored (caveat: I don’t watch that much hockey). Degree of difficulty: 9.0, because the kid is nine years old.

His name is Oliver Wahlstrom, and this is from TD Bank’s Mini 1-on-1 Challenge at TD Garden. Best part: How the goalie is just utterly befuddled. “Wait .. what?”

Video following the jump. Gotta see this. Read more…

Meanwhile, In The Boston Bruins’ Home Opener …

The Internets show that the Bruins lost their home opener on Thursday, 4-1 to the Capitals. As a great man once said, the world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. Another photo following the jump, and the original link. Read more…

Quiz: Hockey Fan Or Promotional Still For Saw 5?

So which is it?

NHL fan gets glassed in the face at Canadians game

Find out after the jump. Read more…

Speed Read: Wait - WSU Cougar RB Almost Died?

It’s not often that injury news takes us completely aback, but that’s absolutely the case over in Pullman tonight. One slightly mentioned aspect of last weekend’s game pitting Washington State against Southern Methodist was WSU’s tailback, James Montgomery, suffering an apparent knee injury. Not that those aren’t serious, but, y’know… they happen.

James Montgomery WSU

But one thing that doesn’t usually happen is a potentially fatal injury that nobody recognizes immediately. That’s what apparently befell Montgomery during the game; after the game, he reported increasing discomfort with the knee, and went in for surgery on Sunday morning. It probably saved his life.

Read more…

Speed Read: Rich Rod Fails At Jedi Mind Tricks

Rich Rodriguez finally has some breathing room at Michigan. After going on the hot seat after a 3-9 debut season that was the worst in school history, Rodriguez was almost buried before the season began by a range of allegations including violating NCAA practice rules and getting sued for a condo deal gone bad. But after a 38-34 win over Notre Dame in one of the most amazing college football games ever played a college football game, the Wolverines are back in the Top 25 and suddenly relevant again.

Rich Rodriguez point

So how does Rich Rod celebrate this stunning reversal of fortune? Exactly like you would expect he would: by opening his fool mouth and blowing out any goodwill he had earned by blatantly lying. It’s not his fault: it’s human nature. We all revert back to our default mechanisms at some point. For Rodriguez, it’s making an ass out of himself.

Read more…

Arena Gives Out Golden Tix To See Every Game

For as long as we can remember, Boston sports fans have had something of a reputation as being somewhat, well, annoying. Between the annoying Bahhston accent, the drunken loudmouthery, and the devotion bordering on obsession, the stereotypical Boston fan can be too much for normal people to take. It wasn’t so bad when their teams were known more for historic ineptitude, but their recent string of championships have made them even more insufferable.

Charlie & The Chocolate Factory Golden Ticket

And while we try to leave all positive-slanted Boston sports stories to true professionals like KISSING SUZY KOLBER, when a story comes along that combines sports with charity, chocolate, Willy Wonka, and sports … well, we just can’t help ourselves. Those rather disparate elements joined forces today in Boston, where the management of TD Banknorth Garden gave away 19,600 chocolate bars, five Golden Tickets, and more importantly, one grand prize - attendance to every single TD Garden sporting event for the next year. No matter what teams you root for, that’s a hell of a prize.

Read more…

NHL Really Starting To Dig These Outdoor Games

One of the coolest sports innovations of the last few years has been the NHL’s Outdoor Classic, a hockey game held outside in the dead of winter. January 1, to be exact. As a matter of fact, if there were any problems with this year’s Wrigley Field tilt between Chicago and Detroit, it’s that, well, it was just the one game.

NHL Winter Classic
(If you seriously must be outdoors and this far north on New Year’s Day, this is probably the best way to spend your time.)

The NHL has realized the popularity of what it has created, thankfully. As ESPN.COM reports, with designs on reappropriating New Year’s Day for hockey instead of college football, the league may be expanding the spectacle to multiple citiesRead more…

Speed Read: Cardiac Canes Will Break Your Heart

As evidenced by Wednesday night’s Pittsburgh Penguins’ romp over the Washington Capitals, not every Game 7 in hockey is something special. But let’s face it - most of them are. And when you throw overtime into the mix? It’s about as good as it gets. It’s drama that you cannot turn away from - at any second, the game and the series could be over with one thunderbolt.

Carolina Hurricanes

So it was that the Carolina Hurricanes and Boston Bruins skated at the end of the first overtime in their Game 7 in Boston, looking for all the world like they were going to a second extra period - or more. And then out of nowhere, a shot was flipped towards the net, Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas was unable to control the rebound, and winger Scott Walker pounced to put the puck in the net for his first career playoff goal to end the game 3-2 and the series.

Boston Bruins

And the fact that it was Walker who scored the series-winner had to hurt Bruins fans doubly, since he was the person who sucker punched Bruins defenseman Aaron Ward near the end of Game 5. According to NHL rules, Ward should have been suspended for Game 6, but the league rescinded the suspension after a hearing on Monday. So he went from almost breaking Ward’s face to definitely breaking the Bruins’ hearts.

(Of course, even though it was a Game 7 overtime winner, it arguably wasn’t as impressive or as cold-blooded as how the Hurricanes scored two late goals to send the New Jersey Devils packing in Game 7 of their first-round series. If I’m the Penguins in the Eastern Conference finals, I’m doing everything I can to close them out early.)

Red Wings versus Ducks

The Detroit Red Wings’ Game 7 victory over the Anaheim Ducks didn’t go to overtime, but it sure had its share of drama. Detroit went up two goals early, only to see Anaheim claw back to level the score at 3-3. But Dan Cleary scored with three minutes to go to give the Red Wings the go-ahead goal and Detroit’s defense was able to make it stick, setting up a Western Conference Finals match-up with the Chicago Blackhawks.

Dwight Howard

Oh, you say that you prefer NBA Game 7s? Well, you’ll have your chance for satisfaction soon enough, as two teams fought off elimination to earn one deciding game. In Orlando, the subtle message that Dwight Howard sent to Orlando Magic coach Stan Van Gundy through the media (i.e. “quit being an idiot and get me the ball”) must have sunk in, as Howard had 23 points and 22 rebounds and the Magic forced a return trip to Boston with an 83-75 victory over the Celtics. None of which apparently excited Orlando fans to show up, as there were “patches of empty seats early in the game.”

Kobe Bryant

No wonder Commissioner David Stern was at the Lakers vs. Rockets game. And speaking of late-arriving - someone might want to tell the Lakers that Houston is in a different time zone, because they clearly aren’t showing up for games there until it’s too late. Much like in Game 4, Los Angeles put themselves in a huge hole they never could get out of, at one point closing an early 16-point deficit to two points but finally running out of steam and falling 95-80 to force a Game 7 at Staples Center. Meanwhile, the Denver Nuggets wait and rest.

Here’s some more sports news to digest while I try to figure out how to be part of “Bike To Work Day” when I work from home.

Which postseason is the most exciting?

View Results

Speed Read: Floyd’s Follies Continue to Roil USC

Tim Floyd, USC’s men’s basketball coach for the moment (and this after almost becoming a leader of Wildcats), allegedly paid a handler a thousand dollars in cash to be delivered to O.J. Mayo in a successful attempt to encourage the young point guard to follow through on joining USC for a season after signing his letter of intent.  (No, the handler wasn’t Li’l Romeo.  Good guess, though.)

O.J. Mayo Tim Floyd

Everyone from the handler to Floyd to USC could be in varying levels of trouble if true.  Therefore, absolutely no one except YAHOO! SPORTS’ source will speak on the record.   Their investigative journalism has been hit and miss, though their commitment to providing original reporting has not wavered.

It’s unclear how seriously the reporting from the site with the silly name can be taken, though, as they clearly do not have fake conversations where they hype their stories around a ridiculously small table while being filmed in black-and-white.  It’s not really journalism if it’s colorized.

E60 from ESPN

(Journalism!)

From one stereotypically smoky back room to another, Delaware’s legislature has passed a law permitting sports betting in a desperate attempt to fill a gaping $600 million maw in the state budget.  The governor has promised his signature on the bill once the state Supreme Court has spoken to the state constitutionality of the bill.

Delaware is one of only four states with a legal exemption to a 1992 federal law banning sports gambling and the only one east of the Mississippi.  State lawmakers have high hopes of becoming a gambling mecca for sports enthusiasts; one called the opportunity “an unbelievable cash cow”.  Again, it’s unclear how true this can be if no one will be allowed to gamble on the Wilmington Blue Rocks.

Wilmington Blue Rocks - Rocky Bluewinkle

(The only thing you can tease here is the moose, sir)

Finally, from one set of rocks to another, Boston came back to defeat the Orlando Magic 92-88 last night to take a 3-2 series lead in a highly predictable collapse from the team in blue that has only one mode: jack the three up and cross your fingers.

Magic against Celtics

Houston also got a condescending pat on the head for their Game 4 effort without Yao Ming before being penetrated 118-78 by the Lakers and falling behind 3-2 in their series. The Rockets now only have one reliable position: fetal.

Phil Mickelson and wife

(”… so that’s winning!  Interesting.”)

On the other hand, three fine NHL Game 7s have now been scheduled after wins by Anaheim and Boston last night.  Detroit never found its offense despite approximately 40392109 minutes on the power play while Carolina’s Cam Ward couldn’t quite figure out what all that goalie equipment should be used for. One possibility: handing off $1,000 in cash to the next O.J. Mayo?

Anaheim Ducks

And now a hail of bullet points discovered behind the olive loaf sandwich in the break room fridge; you know, the fridge that sent half your office to the hospital

Do you believe sports betting should be legalized?

View Results