Links

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

No Light Shined on Ray

It was a column about nothing.

Handed an always provocative subject (veteran Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis) on a golden platter (SI did the heavy lifting with a piece about Lewis' supposed use of PEDs during his recovery from a torn biceps this season, and the last time "Lewis" and "Super Bowl" were being mentioned in the same sentence, he was being accused of murder following a shooting outside an Atlanta nightclub after attending a Super Bowl party), The CHB suggests, hints at, insinuates, but never comes out and says, well, anything.

Is Lewis guilty of something? Is he a victim of bad luck and timing? The CHB ain't saying.


Monday, January 28, 2013

Fellowship Of The Miserable

This is a subject familiar to readers of this site. Boston Magazine writer Alan Siegel pens a terrific column on the local contingent of Boston sports writers.
Whiny, petulant, entitled, self-important—no, it's not Boston fans we're talking about, it's Boston sportswriters. How did the sports media in this town, once the envy of the nation, become so awful?

...

In late July, Red Sox first baseman Adrian Gonzalez sent the organization’s top brass a text message to complain about the team’s manager, Bobby Valentine. It was by then clear that the season was lost. Valentine had clashed with his players since spring training and, despite the team’s bloated payroll and perennially high expectations, the Red Sox looked certain to miss the playoffs for the third straight year. In response to Gonzalez’s message, two of the Sox’s owners, John Henry and Larry Lucchino, called a meeting with a handful of players to hash things out. The players, including star second baseman Dustin Pedroia, ripped Valentine behind his back. They didn’t just air a few petty grievances, they all but mutinied, declaring that they didn’t want to play for Valentine anymore.

That incident, plus several more that reflected poorly on the manager, were revealed in an explosive story published by Yahoo! Sports on August 14. Written by Jeff Passan, the article followed a June report by ESPN’s Buster Olney that called the Red Sox a “splintered group” and described the team’s clubhouse as “toxic.”

Whoever was at fault for the chaos that had descended on the team — Valentine, the players, ownership — it was clearly a massive story. Unless, that is, you happened to work as a sportswriter in Boston. While national reporters parachuted in to break a big story—as they’ve been doing with increasing frequency of late—the local press simply missed the boat.
For what it's worth, we wrote about it after reading the Yahoo Sports story and listening to Michael Felger talk about it. Shank picked up the ball a few days later.
But Abraham is hardly the only problem these days. The Boston sports media, once considered one of the country’s best and most influential press corps, is stumbling toward irrelevance. The national media not only seems to break more big Boston sports stories than the local press, but also often features more sophisticated analysis, especially when it comes to using advanced statistics. To put it bluntly, “The Lodge”—as Fred Toucher, cohost of the 98.5 The Sports Hub morning radio show, mockingly refers to the city’s clubby, self-important media establishment—is clogged with stale reporters, crotchety columnists, and shameless blowhards. Their canned “hot sports takes” have found a home on local television and talk radio, but do little but suck the fun out of a topic that’s supposed to be just that. And we haven’t even gotten to Dan Shaughnessy yet.
Once again, it's a great piece; it's worth your time. I'll just highlight the part that allows me to engage in Shaughnessy bashing!
Take Dan Shaughnessy.
Please!
After his more than 30 years at the Globe, everybody knows the columnist’s shtick: Be contrarian, be over the top, and, if at all possible, be part of the story. And why should he change? It continues to work — the rest of the city’s sports-media complex feeds on his bluster. Before that Texans game, for example, Shaughnessy used his column to gleefully ridicule the Patriots’ opponents, calling them “pure frauds.” It was the same caustic, one-liner-laden junk he’s been peddling for years. “Could this get any easier?” Shaughnessy wrote. “I mean, seriously? The planets are aligned and the tomato cans are in place.”
I'm still trying to figure out why Shank, alleged baseball writer, didn't write a damn thing about the passing of former Baltimore Orioles manager Earl Weaver. Combined with the points made above, I attribute the lack of a Weaver column to laziness and callousness. Siegel wraps it up with some advice - certainly more than I'd ever give those cocksuckers at the Globe:
Boston’s sports pages became influential because a bunch of forward thinkers had the creativity, brains, and freedom to try something different. Whatever once flourished, though, has ground to a halt.

As national publications continue to recruit next-generation talents like Lowe, Goldsberry, and the many others who went underappreciated in their home city, it’s worth stopping to consider the plight of the local sports telecast. If channels 4, 5, and 7 at last did away entirely with their evening sports segments, who around here would care? Boston sports fans are more likely to turn to ESPN’s national SportsCenter broadcast rather than the local affiliates for television highlights and news. The same fate almost certainly awaits our local publications—print and digital alike — if they fail to adapt.

Were the Globe to stop publishing sports tomorrow, how much loss would readers feel? Certainly some, but much less than even a decade ago. That’s because Boston fans have gotten increasingly used to following the ups and downs of their favorite teams in national outlets rather than local ones.

The message to The Lodge (Massarotti, Shank, Ordway & Cafardo - ed.) is clear: Change, or die the death of utter irrelevance.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Craptacular

Today's column, an excerpt from his new book on ex Red Sox manager Terry Francona, is like so many of The CHB's, full of shit.

Literally.

It's several hundred words on how Francona liked to use the bathroom in his clubhouse office, sometimes going so far as to invite people in while he was on the crapper.

Extraordinary journalism.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Epstein to Shaughnessy: You're All Wrong

It comes as no surprise that several persons are contesting various aspects of Shaughnessy's latest effort (343 pages, with pictures, all in easy-to-read type with NO big words!). Even Terry Francona, the book's subject, is backing away from the hype.

Theo Epstein is the latest to dispute some of the more salacious details. The CHB is attempting to prime the "John Henry ownership is bad" pump, a motif he's been pitching since before the ink was dry on their acquisition of the team and has carried through the years:


Now, in response to the much-discussed section on how the owners wanted to market the team -- isn't that their job, by the way? -- Epstein says there was "no direct link" between marketing meetings and the Red Sox's acquisitions of Carl Crawford and John Lackey. "I take full responsibility for those moves. It was my job to handle the pressure of a big market and make good decisions."

Theo's a standup guy. One the other hand, one wonders how The CHB walks with no spine.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Quick Slants

If anyone was wondering why Shank took a shot at Tom E. Curran (and vice versa) in the leadup to the Texans / Patriots game a few weeks ago, it's all here.

History, Revised?

The Terry Francona book continues to take a few interesting turns:
Terry Francona and Dan Shaughnessy joined Gresh & Zo Wednesday morning to discuss their new book, “Francona: The Red Sox Years.” The guys asked the former Red Sox manager about past relationships with players and how ownership affected his tenure in Boston. Also, Francona and Shaughnessy give a look into how they built their unlikely relationship.

Francona, on Tom Werner saying the manager admitted to losing the clubhouse
I don’t think the front office ever said that. I think Tom Werner made that comment that I said that I had lost control, which I had never said. I don’t think I ever lost control.
If you're inclined to equate letting certain players booze in the clubhouse with losing control of the team, that doesn't quite square with this, does it?
Based on Francona’s non-denial, it’s apparently true that some of the Sox’ starting pitchers were drinking in the clubhouse during games they were not scheduled to start. A report in yesterday’s Herald broke the story and Francona rejected an opportunity to say that it was untrue.
Next:
Francona, on the challenges of Boston
Part of being a manager in Boston, or probably a coach in Boston for that matter, is trying to put out the daily fires. There are enough of them to begin with, and the ones that aren’t there are made up. It’s part of the daily regimen. Trying to make it easier for the players to play was part of my responsibility.
So Francona, who cites putting out the daily fires as part of his job, asked one of the arsonists to help him write this book?
Francona, on Manny Ramirez taking a public beating for taking three strikes against Mariano Rivera
I tried to always stick up for Manny, I think that’s probably the reason people didn’t believe me. We had asked him to pinch hit that day and he was ready. He was back in the tunnel, he was engaged. He never got a pitch he thought he could handle, and he never offered.

Now, I don’t think he lost sleep over it. But he didn’t go up there and mail it in. He took a beating for that one, and I didn’t think that was just.
Maybe my brain's shot, but I distinctly remember one of those first two strikes with Manny's bat resting firmly on his shoulder, but not the last one.

The rest of the Gresh & Zo interview is at the first link. The best parts of the two segments are Shank's infrequent interjections.

Old School Baseball

A belated R.I.P. to one of the best, and outspoken managers of professional baseball in my lifetime, Earl Weaver, who also enjoyed interaction with the umpires. I'm surprised that Shank, a former beat writer covering the Orioles, did not write at least something about him.

Maybe next week...

Final Nail In The Coffin?

Who better to complete the financial ruin of the New York Times (parent company of the Boston Globe, AKA the Boring Broadsheet) than the most overrated, headline grabbing, self-promoting U.S. businessman of the past thirty years, Captain Combover?
Billionaire Donald Trump wants it known that he really, really wants to buy The New York Times (NYT +0.23%) even though the paper is not for sale -- and even if it were, the Sulzberger family, which has owned it for more than a century, probably would never sell it to him in a billion years.

"I have watched Mr. Trump over the years navigate much tougher acquisitions," writes Michael Cohen, a Trump spokesman. "Mr. Trump is so smart and so rich that if he wants it, he will get it. If Mr. Trump elects to purchase the NY Times, commits his time and resources, there is nothing he can’t do."

Shares of the company, which also owns the Boston Globe, were barely budging on the news, indicating that Wall Street isn't holding its breath for a deal to happen. A spokesperson for the Times couldn't immediately be reached.
Probably because the spokesperson is still laughing. Aside from my own feeling of same, skepticism is seeping out:
I could question just who are the “sources familiar with the situation” that served up this scoop, and whether they were authorized by the notoriously publicity-hungry Trump to leak it to an outlet of repute and thereby win him another day of fleeting relevance.
If, however, you're rooting for someone to run a company or two or more into the ground, and overpay for it at the same time, you got your man, Pinchy! Make the deal!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

New Book Nothing New

Sports Illustrated is now running an excerpt from Shaughnessy's latest hatchet job book, and as expected, it's heavy on the panting and light on everything else.

Among the breathless revelations:

  • Tom Werner cares about television.
  • John Henry is really rich, and doesn't always have time to spend making hands-on decisions on  every single one of his international businesses
  • The Fenway Sports Group also owns a soccer team
  • Fans don't want to watch losing baseball teams or selfish players
And in the course of the fairly short excerpt, there was, as expected, at least one major factual error: "Our owners in Boston, they've been owners for 10 years. They come in with all these ideas about baseball, but I don't think they love baseball."

  • John Henry: has been a franchise owner since 1989, first in AAA then since 1991 in the majors (Yankees, Marlins, Red Sox).  
  • Tom Werner: franchise owner since 1990 (Padres, Red Sox)
  • Larry Lucchino - President/CEO of Orioles (1988-93), President/CEO of Padres (1995-01)

So which person has been an owner for 10 years? Henry and Werner have been owners for more than 20 years each. And who buys a minor league baseball team, or spends his entire career in baseball, if he doesn't love the sport?

The prose is, well, to call it "basic" would be an insult to fifth-graders everywhere.  Fat, drunk and curly is no way to go through life, Shank.

For his part, Francona is now backing away from the harsher parts of it. What a shock.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Nevermore

Shank does a decent job wrapping up the end of the season for the Patriots.
FOXBOROUGH — We kept waiting for the big comeback. We waited for the goofy bounce that would go in favor of the Patriots. We waited for the opponents to bow at the altar of Gillette Stadium and melt into a puddle at the sight of Messrs. Belichick and Brady. We waited for Walt Coleman to call the Tuck Rule, or Billy Cundiff to miss an easy field goal attempt. We waited for the football gods to shine some light on the ever-fortunate sons of New England.

None of that happened Sunday night. The ever-lucky Patriots found no horseshoes. Pitted against a mean team of men who were not afraid (hello, Ray Lewis and John Harbaugh), they were beaten and beaten soundly.

It also means the end to columns like this one. But don't worry, Shank fans - spring's just around the corner, so it won't be too long before he's pissing down the legs of Red Sox management and ownership.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Duped

This isn't a post about Shank, but when the subject of trust in the major media is discussed, I don't have any problem throwing another log on the fire.
It was back in November, before Notre Dame played Boston College, that I made my first-ever trip to South Bend, Ind., assigned to write about star linebacker Manti Te’o.

By that time, his story was well-known, featured in everything from the South Bend Tribune to Sports Illustrated. Te’o had lost his grandmother and his girlfriend within six hours of each other in September. He had played on, helped the Irish beat Michigan State, and made a moving tribute to the girl he said he loved.

Now, suddenly, we learn that she never existed. It was mind-blowing — all the more so because I had heard it from him directly.

So I read Deadspin. I read Twitter. I watched Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick explain the college’s side of the story. I yearned to hear from Te’o. And I couldn’t help but think about my role in all of this, as yet another complicit reporter who retold Te’o’s tale.
And that's the problem, isn't it?

Maybe next time Amalie remembers the old Russian proverb 'trust, but verify'.

The Terry Francona Project - II

Terry Francona's book is out on Tuesday. Shank's pre-release column on the book is out today.
IT SEEMED LIKE Terry Francona was always mad at me.

For eight years.

My cellphone would ring and it would be a Red Sox publicist calling: “Terry wants to talk to you.” And we would talk. The manager would dispute and clarify things I’d written in one of my Globe columns. He’d explain why he left Pedro Martinez in the game after Pedro exceeded his pitch limit. He would defend using Coco Crisp over Jacoby Ellsbury at the start of the 2007 playoffs. He’d challenge the notion that he was panicking by having Jon Lester ready to pitch on three days’ rest in the 2009 postseason.

“What I wrote is just an opinion,” I’d offer.

“Well, not having information hasn’t prevented you from having an opinion” was a familiar retort from Francona.

Fortunately, he didn’t carry a grudge. I enjoyed the give-and-takes with the Sox skipper during his successful eight years (five playoffs, two championships) in the corner office on Yawkey Way. He was a baseball lifer, almost as old as I. He told great stories and he was funny. I believed that if we’d had different jobs, or more time together, we’d have gotten along great.

I was right. The former Sox manager and I spent the last year writing Francona: The Red Sox Years, which hits bookshelves Tuesday. The project was thoroughly collaborative, exhausting, and hilarious.
Of course Shank was willing to let bygones be bygones; there's money to be made here!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Shank And The Boston Celtics

On January 5th of this year, Shank went to a Celtics game and wrote a column about their loss.

Then the Celtics rip off six straight wins.

Coincidence?

Picked Up Pieces Column Time

When you don't have any ideas for a column, you write about everything. Today's picked up pieces column amply demonstrates this. He writes about the upcoming Patriots - Ravens game on Sunday, Edgar Allen Poe, The Beatles, Bill Belichick, John Fox, Grady Little, Janet Marie Smith (she redesigned Fenway over the past decade), Lance Armstrong, Penn State football, Marcus Camby, Hideki Matsui (let's get ready for baseball!!!) and sundry others.
Not to be negative, but if the Patriots win Sunday, they have a chance to become the losingest team in Super Bowl history. Four franchises have lost four Super Bowls: the Bills, the Vikings, the Broncos, and the Patriots.
"Not to be negative" - who said Shank lacks a sense of humor? Negativity has been his defining trademark for the past three decades.

In case you're wondering, Shank still hates bloggers:
Brick by brick, media access fades toward zero — a perfect future in which fans will get all their news from team websites. In a recent Sports Illustrated story, Roy Blount Jr. wrote of strict rules for those covering the Steelers: “At no time will media be permitted to interview members of the Steelers’ organization in the lobby or parking lots without prior consent from Steelers p.r.’’ The Los Angeles Angels have replaced their perfect press box with luxury boxes and moved the ink-stained crowd down the baseline. And here on Causeway Street, the Celtics are trying out a new system that closes the locker room to all media pregame. Sports Guys Rule. Pretty soon, everyone can just stay home, watch TV, and write their rambling opinions in 5,000 clever words.
Dan Shaughnessy - bitter to the last drop!

Just remember that a picked up pieces column written by a Boston Globe sports columnist isn't rambling in any respect - that's different.

Monday, January 14, 2013

The Houston Schaubs?

Shank is taking the fine art of douchebaggery to a whole new level with this column (emphasis mine):
FOXBOROUGH — The Waltz of the Tomato Cans was everything we expected.

The Patriots defeated the Houston Texans, 41-28, Sunday in the first de facto preseason playoff game in NFL history.

I’m exaggerating, of course. This was not an exhibition football game. This was a certified NFL playoff contest, and the victory elevates the Patriots to the AFC Championship game Sunday night at Gillette Stadium against the Baltimore Ravens. The Bill Belichick-Tom Brady tandem has a chance to win a fourth Super Bowl in 12 seasons.

The Patriots beat the Ravens in the AFC title game last season and lost a 1-point decision to Baltimore in September. Sunday’s rematch could be the final curtain for Baltimore’s Ray Lewis and would give the Patriots a chance to avenge Super Bowl losses in 2008 and 2012. We’ve got great drama, all around.

But Sunday’s victory over the Houston Schaubs didn’t tell us much about the Patriots. The Sons of Belichick were weak on special teams, failed to keep their foot on the Texans’ throats, and have lost All-World tight end Rob Gronkowski for the rest of the season.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Texans Redux

Now that the Patriots / Texans game is in the books, here are some questions I'll pose about Shank's next column. These are not mutually exclusive questions.

* Will he be his usual, insufferable self after correctly calling the outcome of this game? Monkeesfan, let us know what he says on the Gresh & Zolak show tomorrow or Tuesday!

* Will he dump on the Texans, and Houston / Houston fans in general, one more time?

* Will he dump on Bill Belichick because Rob Gronkowski reinjured his forearm and is out for the rest of the season?

* Will he have the balls to trash talk Baltimore and Ray Lewis like he did Houston and Arian Foster?

Friday, January 11, 2013

Shank Doubles Down On The Texans

It looks like Shank's aware of the feedback loop involved with his insult sprinkled column of Sunday, and in response has decided to flip Houston the bird one more time.
My eyes are square. I’ve been watching All-22 film since Monday. I’m doing everything I can to make a case for the Houston Texans Sunday in Foxborough.

I hung out with Gresh and Zo and learned about zero sets, wham blocks, rolled coverage, trail technique, and inside-out coverage. Cover-2 is my life.

I forced myself to watch reruns of a clown show called “Quick Slants.” I memorized the roster of the Texans, even the guys on injured reserve. I think I can predict Gary Kubiak’s seven inactives for Sunday.

As the ultimate sign of respect, I plan to change my column avatar to an image of Arian Foster.
No arrogance or condescending attitude here, agreed?

But wait - there's more! Note Shank's lack of balls use of the passive voice in the first following paragraph, painstakingly avoiding ownership of his use of 'tomato cans' and 'frauds' in that Sunday column.
This has been an emotional week for the good folks of Houston. They apparently felt disrespected when it was noted that the Texans are frauds who have no chance to beat the Patriots. A couple of references to “tomato cans” got everybody all excited (please don’t tell them I didn’t vote for Craig Biggio or Jeff Bagwell). Next thing you know, a full-blown media war broke out.

No need for that, people. Let’s cease and desist with the “you’re fat — you’re ugly!’’ stuff. This need not be personal. I like tomato soup. I even like Houston more than most travelers. I’ve been to Roger Clemens’s Spring Woods High School. I watched “Urban Cowboy” and “Apollo 13” numerous times. I’m one of the few fans who know that “Tin Cup” was shot in Houston.

We have fond memories of Super Bowl XXXVIII in February of 2004. Patriot Nation had a wonderful time when Houston served as the Super Bowl’s host city. Reliant Stadium is a terrific facility with great sightlines.
Did I mention a patronizing attitude on Shank's part? Like it needs to be brought up...

Stating The Obvious

Here's Shank on Wednesday's Baseball Hall of Fame voting:
No one was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame when voting results were announced Wednesday. Steroid backlash barred the likes of Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens — for now — from induction into the shrine in Cooperstown, N.Y. Voting is conducted by members of the Baseball Writers Association of America.
Thank you, Mr. Spock!

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Leave Shank Alone!

At least that's the battle cry from local political reporter Jon Keller, who for some unexplained reason comes to Shank's defense after the latter's Sunday rip job / bulletin board material for the Houston Texans.
BOSTON (CBS) – I knew when I read Dan Shaughnessy’s column in the Globe the other day that it was going to have ugly repercussions, and I was right.

...

Shaughnessy is taking heat from some fans right now for supposedly “jinxing” the Pats with what he wrote, but I have to side with him on this one.

For most, if not all sports fans, trash-talking an opponent – as long as it doesn’t cross basic boundaries of taste – is an integral part of the fun.

And for many Boston sports fans, trash-talking comes naturally as an extension of the art of the “rank,” the pointed but essentially-friendly insult shared between friends. I know some folks get upset when Red Sox fans chant “Yankees Bleep,” but they don’t understand that it’s really a sign of respect for their most-feared opponent.

So, leave Dan Shaughnessy alone. He’s just doing what comes naturally.
Which is pissing people off; this isn't exactly a news flash around here.

The question I would pose to Mr. Keller - is it, or should it be, the columnist's perogative to engage in 'trash talk'? And I don't mean criticising a team's abilities (for instance, their QB is untested in playoff games, etc.); the snide use of 'tomato cans', 'fraudulent', etc. is what I'm getting at.

It used to be in the old days that a columnist could write something like this and not be held accountable; the advent of the internet and blogs allow for a generous amount of pushback for us to point out when a columnist is writing like an asshole, as Shank did with decent amounts of Sunday's column. I respectfully disagree with Mr. Keller's plea to leave Shank alone. Shank asked for it; let him enjoy the consequences.

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Hall No! Shank Won't Go

Woe is Dan: He has to vote for the Hall of Fame.

OK, so that's not exactly true. He can resign from the BWAA. Or he could send in a blank ballot.
But whining about it is easier, not to mention more fun! So let's hear what The CHB has to say:
  • "I voted for Jack Morris, Tim Raines, Alan Trammell, and Curt Schilling."
Three out of four right ain't bad. Morris didn't totally suck, but he's the classic case of voters looking at what he was *capable* of versus what he actually did. So go on.
  • "I did not vote for the greatest home run hitter of all-time. I did not vote for a guy who won 354 games and seven Cy Young trophies. I did not vote for a guy who hit 60 or more homers in a season three times. I did not vote for a catcher who hit 427 home runs. I did not vote for a first basemen who hit 449 home runs. I did not vote for a guy who hit 569 homers and cracked 3,020 hits."

So that means no Bonds, Clemens, Sosa, Piazza, Bagwell, Palmeiro or McGwire. To support his passing off the buck, The CHB trots out the least respected and most ignored criteria for the Hall: The player’s character.

Keep in mind that the Hall includes Ty Cobb (racist), Grover Alexander (drunk), Mickey Mantle (drunk), Gaylord Perry (self-avowed cheater), Babe Ruth (gambler, drunk), Paul Molitor (drug user), Ferguson Jenkins (ditto), Don Sutton (doctored the balls), Enos Slaughter (racist) ... the list goes on and on. And that doesn't begin to count all the guys who used greenies, uppers, amphetamines and other performance-enhancing drugs not called HGH or steroids. But no matter. It's OK to want to string a guy up for the color of his skin, but not OK to use a drug that has never been proved to make any difference.

Evidence of PED use doesn't matter to him, The CHB acknowledges. And, because he's not voting for the best players, talent doesn't matter either.

Which is something Shank knows all too well.

Monday, January 07, 2013

Arian Foster Loves Shank

In yesterday's column, Shank once again referred to the Hoston Texans as frauds. Houston's running back Arian Foster did not take too kindly to Shank's remarks.

Sunday, January 06, 2013

Arrogance, Reflected

After spending the better part (for a writer as hacktastic as Shank, is that a contradiction in terms?) of his mediocre career lambasting players as prima donnas, owners as arrogant, and everyone else as basement trolls, The CHB has truly become that which he lives to despise.

For today, for the second time in three days and the third time in a month, The CHB calls the Texans "frauds" and says the Patriots will walk over the competition to the AFC Championship.

Who is calling who arrogant? For The CHB, whose range as a columnist runs the gamut from childish name-calling to demeaning of talent and everything in between -- and why not, since he's had a pretty lucrative run perpetrating his own fraud on the owners of the Boston Globe -- this is the epitome of his projectionism.

"The lady doth protest too much, methinks."

Btw, oh Curly one, it's Reliant Stadium, not Reliant Field. 

Saturday, January 05, 2013

Wearin O' The Green

Shank's first column on the Celtics in over two months, unsurprisingly, comes after a loss.
I came to the Garden with the best of intentions.

Not that bad, I reasoned. The Celtics had lost seven of nine and were abysmal on a recent western road trip. They were two games under .500, not even playoff-worthy if the postseason had started New Year’s Day.

But I couldn’t believe it was that bad. Not after last year, and the year before. Those Celtics teams started slowly, then played great in the spring. They were a gift. They were aging overachievers. They had the right stuff. They were respected and feared, which is a great combination.

These 2012-13 Celtics?

Not so much.
Those of us who've been watching the Celtics with regularity in the same timespan could have told you anything Shank wrote in his column. And, hasn't Shank been harping on the age of the Celtics players, oh, for the past four years or so, and now he seems almost surprised at the result?

Friday, January 04, 2013

Brady / Manning Hype, Two Weeks Early

Shank's utterly predictable column on the 'dream' matchup for the AFC Championship game.
Go ahead. Amuse yourself with the Patriots’ prospects against the Ravens, Colts, or fraud Texans.

Not me. I’m jumping ahead to the main draw. I’m fast-forwarding to the game that destiny demands.

Tom Brady vs. Peyton Manning in the AFC Championship game.

Again.

It’s the game you want. It’s the game the NFL has wanted since Manning made “The Decision.’’ And now we are going to get it . . . in three weeks. When assorted Colts, Ravens, Bengals, and fraud Texans have been sent home.

Get set for an avalanche of clich├ęs over the next two weeks.
I believe it's already started...