In any event, I started wondering if Shank and the Patriots being off this week was a coincidence. How did I misjudge Shank's dedication to his craft?
Picked-up pieces while wondering whether this is the year Cincinnati Bengals coach Marvin Lewis (0-6) finally wins a playoff game.That would be no...
■ Lots of boo-hoo “why did they pick on Tom Brady and let Peyton Manning off the hook?” programming on the numerous 24-7 Patriot propaganda radio shows this week.When a reporter (among many others) shows one standard for a quarterback accused of deflating footballs (hang 'em high!) and then readily admits bias in dismissing the more serious charges of HGH use by another quarterback, it's not 'boo-hooing'. It's calling into question a serious charge of media bias, a concept Shank should be quite familiar with.
■ I’m taking the Bengals, Chiefs, Seahawks, and Packers this weekend. But I’m the same guy who thought the Patriots would actually try, and therefore demolish, the Dolphins last weekend.So take the Steelers, Texans, Vikings and the Redskins, everybody!
Larry Bird sighting? You betcha!
■ LeBron James just turned 31 (Dec. 30, same birthday as Sandy Koufax and Tiger Woods) and has already played more career minutes than Larry Bird or Magic Johnson.
■ Nomar Garciaparra got eight Hall of Fame votes out of 440. He’s officially off the ballot. Think of what could have been. This man hit .372 and .357 as a righthanded batter in the American League. One year, he knocked in 98 runs batting leadoff. He was on his way to Cooperstown."Hey, Nomar - remember when we were best buddies? Good times, man!
■ When Kevin Garnett came through town with the T-Wolves last month, there was a lot of buzz about KG getting his Celtics number (5) retired. Danny Ainge is among those who thinks this is a good idea.KG was instrumental in the Celtics winning that championship - retire his number.
We all know Garnett is the one who changed everything in 2007-08 when the Celtics won their 17th championship. Still, I’m a tad reluctant on this one. Garnett played only six seasons here.
The best case for KG is Dennis Johnson, who played only seven seasons in Boston but got his number retired with no debate. DJ won two championships with the Green but certainly never had the impact Garnett did.
This blogger is with Shank on this one - shitting on Rick Pitino!
■ Ranting about coverage of sex parties at his basketball players’ dormitory, Louisville coach Rick Pitino acknowledged, “Did one person do some scurrilous things? I believe so . . . For the life of me, I can’t figure it out. He knew better and was taught better by his parents and me.’’ Pitino is on slippery ground on this one. He’s the same guy who admitted to police that he had sex with a woman (who later tried to extort him) in a Louisville restaurant in 2003.In case you were wondering, Shank still hates numbers:
■ Just when you think the Cleveland Browns can’t be any dumber, they hire a baseball analytics guy to rescue the franchise. Paul DePodesta is the Harvard guy portrayed by Jonah Hill in “Moneyball.’’ Clevelanders are hoping his skill set translates to football. What are the football equivalents of WAR, OPS, UZR, and high-leverage innings?One of the few times Shank gets to hype his alma mater:
■ Former Holy Cross basketball star Bob Kissane, who played in Europe many years ago, suggests the NBA consider a rule that would allow the fouled team to take the ball and restart the shot clock instead of automatically going to the free throw line.Lame bands from fifty years ago? We got you covered!
■ Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Brian Wilson (his cousin Mike Love is Kevin Love’s uncle) had his own version of Alex Guerrero back in the day. The fellow’s name was Dr. Gene Landy. Look him up sometime.And what column is truly complete without a little more Boston Globe bashing?
■ The one and only good thing to come out of the Globe’s home-delivery nightmare is the reinforcement that a lot of you folks still care about your printed hometown newspaper and still consider it part of your daily routine. Thank you. We will do better.Dwindling circulation numbers and ad revenue coupled with increased prices and reduced content - it's a bargain!