With your regular 2.0 blogger taking a time out for the next couple of weeks, I've been asked to fill in as a substitute regular blogger for the next two Wednesdays.
So my question about substitutions is "When your team, in whichever sport, gets eliminated from the postseason (or if they are really bad, by the midpoint of the season), do you have a secondary team that you root for?
I don't mean that you pick each season to follow when your team disappoints, but rather the backup team that you keep an eye on all the time when you aren't hitting 100 different sites devoted to your actual fave.
While I have alternate teams in most sports, the NBA is the one league where there is one team and one team ONLY that I root for. That's the Boston Celtics. They've always been my team.
Even back in the days of being a schoolboy, while everyone else thought it cooler to root for the Lakers, it was always the Celtics with me. They bring so many memories both that I witnessed (in person or on TV), the stories my mom told me when she went to games back in the day, or the video history I've witnessed from the past.
There was my dad (a total non-sports fan) taking me and my siblings to our first game at the Boston Garden. Or one playoff series against the Atlanta Hawks when one of the Hawks players (Scott Hastings) took a cheap shot that leveled a Celtics player. I was so mad and ranting and raving, that I even got my dad to explode in anger at the referee. The Jerry Sichting fight with Ralph Sampson, K.C. Jones, Bill Fitch and Chris Ford as coaches, winning in 81, 84 and that magnificent title in 86.
Watching the 2008 team in person as they laid waste to the Supersonics and rookie Kevin Durant during a regular season game and then watching the title clinching game with my mom and my niece.
I spent a long time coaching youth basketball and other than two years, the Celtics was my team name for my boys teams.
They've always been my team and always will be.
As for other sports:
MLB - My main team is the Red Sox, but I also like the St. Louis Cardinals. In the 80's, they were such an intriguing team. I was a huge fan of Ozzie Smith and Willie McGee. Whitey Herzog was one of those managers who were larger than life to me. I even had a St. Louis Cardinals Starter jacket. (Funny story, I was wearing that jacket at a baseball card show when I met and got a ball signed by ex-Cleveland Indian Bob Feller...cue the horse's ass music on that one.)
NHL - Growing up, I didn't actually root for the Bruins. I've never been a huge hockey fan outside of Olympic hockey and some college hockey as I got older. I do root for the Bruins now, but the one and only hockey game I've gone to was because of the opponent the Bruins were facing. Yes, I rooted for the now non-existent Hartford Whalers. Funny thing about that game, the Whalers scored late to win the game 3-2. I remember that I leaped out of my seat when the goal was scored in celebration...and then quickly sat back down when I remembered I was surrounded by Bruins fans.
NFL - The New England Patriots team that I root for. But growing up they were just so bad I didn't root for them. I can tell you the exact moment I became a Patriots fan. It was the very day they hired Bill Parcells as their coach. That was the first sign I saw that they were committed to becoming a real team rather than an also ran joke.
Growing up, I was kind of a NFL vagabond. I liked the Packers (still have a quilt my mother made in Green Bay colors), I liked the Seahawks and the Redskins. But the one team I loved and followed was the Chicago Bears. My all-time favorite NFL player was on their team (more on that later) and they were just a viciously beautiful monster that devoured everyone that magical Super Bowl team. I had a hat and a Jim McMahon shirt. I stopped everything when a Bears game was on national TV. I actually have a Bears jacket now too.
WNBA - While I was a vagabond fan of the NFL growing up, I'm pretty settled there now. The same cannot be said for the WNBA. Yes, I'm sure that I'm pretty much the only women's basketball fan here at YouGab, but bear with me. But my fandom for teams in the WNBA are all keyed to wherever my favorite player (more on that later) is in a given year. I have rooted for her on stops with Minnesota, Detroit, Washington, Seattle and now in her final stop with the New York Liberty. I know it will never happen but if the WNBA ever managed to get a team in Boston, they'd be my default favorite. I even named the team for them: The Boston Shamrocks.
COLLEGE BASKETBALL - I mainly root for Boston College in men's basketball. When tournament time rolls around, I'm always kind of rooting for whichever team provides a good storyline.
Growing up though, I was a huge fan of UNLV. Jerry Tarkanian was one of my favorite coaches both for his success and his battles with the NCAA. The book Shark Attack was a fantastic read when it came out, and the 1990 national title game is still seared happily in my memory.
For women's college basketball, I follow the Boston College women's team as well. But my secondary team is the Tennessee Lady Vols. I've rooted for them since I saw them play for the title in 1991 and was captivated by the woman on the sidelines, Pat Summitt. She was amazing, so steely and intense. She fast became a favorite coach of mine.
I also follow whichever team former Lady Vols player Kellie Harper coaches (currently Missouri State), Virginia and Rhode Island.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL - Not a big surprise, but the BC Eagles are the team I follow. But ever since they demolished Miami for the national title back in 1992, the Alabama Crimson Tide have been my other team. I know I know, it should probably be reversed because it has really been a good time to be a Bama fan the last few years but honesty counts here.
So that's my secondary list of favorites, what are yours?
As for the laundry part of the blog title, this serves as kind of a preview for next week's blog (assuming I get it written).
Most times I root for the laundry a group of players is wearing. I'm not a huge hero worship type of guy anymore and let's face it, in most cases a lot of athletes prove themselves unworthy of that kind of adulation.
But I do have some singular athletes I root for. There's my all-time favorite NFL player in Walter Payton. There's the currently active players such as Tom Brady and David Ortiz. And there's my favorite women's basketball player Katie Smith. I've followed her since her freshman year at Ohio State.
But there is one athlete who won't be going pro. In fact their career is over at the ripe "old" age of 18. But for reasons I'll illuminate, they are also one of my all-time favorite athletes.
The Hockey Hall of Fame has announced it's recent group of inductees, and that always causes debate. Who was left off, who should not have made it in, and so on. Personally, I could really give two shits as to who made it in or who didn't. That being said, I am feeling offended that the NHL is choosing to hold their induction ceremony on November 11, 2013. In Canada, that is Remembrance Day, and for our friends south of the border, it is Veterans Day.
In my opinion, Remembrance Day is a day that we remember and pay tribute to those that have made the ultimate sacrifice for our respective countries. I feel that holding a ceremony to honor those individuals that were good at a sport on such a day is insulting. There are a number of days throughout the calendar year that do not hold as much significance, use one of those. As a member of the Canadian Forces that has spent time overseas in theatre with NATO, I feel insulted by this asinine and thoughtless plan. Honoring and remembering those that have served their country and lost their lives should not be upstaged by a ceremony to honor those that could play hockey.
That is my opinion on this matter. Short and sweet. Thank you.
Good Wednesday to you Gabbers! Not much better than going to bed without power and waking up with power. I guess I called it a night early, as it was by all accounts a brief outage. It’s been just hot and humid enough to test the grid. Still, it seems like a fairly mild summer. Hard to believe it was a little north of 100 degrees just last July 4th.
The All Star rosters are out. I have to admit that I have been very pleased with fan voting over the last few seasons. There are always a few teams that have a few extra starters, but otherwise, the fans have been staying informed and abreast of the league. It was refreshing to see the Orioles dominate the AL fan voting. Really with only 3 starters, I don’t hold any grudges against the Baltimore fans. It’s not as bad as the red Sox-Yankee v. National League game a few years back. It’s equally surprising to see only one Yankee and Red Sox in the starting lineup. How about having an equal number of Rockies, Reds, and Cards in the NL starting lineup?
Of course, the managerial picks have proved somewhat controversial. There are 6 Tigers in the game. In their defense, 4 of these Tigers were picked by their peers. Surprisingly, the only Tiger Jim Leyland hand-picked was Justin Verlander. Verlander is currently 9-6 with a 3.71 ERA. Those aren’t horrid numbers, but they’re certainly not what people expect from JV. What seems worse was Leyland’s idea of a fan vote. Leyland decided to give fans the choice of which reliever he would take, including a possible 7th Tiger. This may be the first time to my recollection that the last man in vote was down to only one position.
My brother, IHM, was quick to point out that Leyland was not fair to the AL West. Despite the division having a better overall record than the AL Central, there are 12 Central players to 7 West players in the reserves. The East easily dominates the starting lineup, while Trout is the Wests lone rep.
Meanwhile, in the National League, things seem pretty even though the NL East leading (52-38) Braves only have one rep. Of course, Bruce Boche has picked a lot of different guys for the final vote. Attention has been narrowed to the top 2 vote getters: Freddie Freeman and Yusiel Puig. Despite ESPN and the media’s cries, the FANS are voting loud and clear for Freeman. Of course, rumors are out that media outlets are stuffing the box for Puig.
I don’t see why people are surprised that Freeman is winning. 1) Freeman has 2 solid years under his belt, plus 20 games in 201 and a nice start to this season. His career numbers: .276 avg, 54 HR, and 227 RBI. 2) Simply put, Freeman’s team is leading its division. If the season ended now, they would be the number 2 seed in the NL, while the Dodgers would miss the playoffs. 3) The Braves have a huge fan base that sticks with the team. Puig and the Dodgers have bandwagon fans. Most Dodger fans were done with the team before Puig showed up. Braves fans stick with their team and they get out there and vote. Now, the Braves had better choices, but Boche wanted another first base option. I like Puig, but the fans want another Brave. I can’t argue with it. I hope I see Freeman at the game.
As much as the media has been kind to Puig, it seems like the attention might be getting to him. Recently, reporters caught an awkward moment between Puig and Diamondback legend Luis Gonzalez. Gonzo approached Puig before a recent game to talk with him. Puig wouldn’t respond and kept his eyes cast down. The conversation was in Spanish. Dodger hitting coach Mark McGwire reportedly saw this and jumped on Puig for disrespecting Gonzalez. Puig has also been losing patience with the media, who have hounded him since he broke in with the Dodgers. I hope the LA spotlight isn’t too much for the man.
This year’s hockey hall of fame class was announced yesterday. It was a big day for Detroit sports fans as Brendan Shanahan and Chris Chelios were selected. One of Detroit’s biggest foes, Scott Neidermayer, was also elected. Still, seeing Wing’s fans cheer Chelios has to be pretty strange considering how much crap he got when he came into town with Chicago early in his career. Wings fans hated Chelios. It was a big surprise when he came over during the 98-99 season. The move paid off as Cheli, along with Shanahan, helped the Wings bring in two cups. Great class this year.
Well, that’s all for me this week. Thanks as always for stopping by. Here’s to a great weekend and cooler temps. I’m still getting ready for a move to the Pittsburgh, PA area. I’ll still be a Detroit fan, but that’ll be hard especially come hockey season. I leave you with your word of the week.
greeting orbit, noun
When you're with someone and run into an acquaintance of his/hers. They exchange greetings, which leads to a conversation, and you stand there smiling like a dummy wondering if you'll ever be introduced.
We strolled through the crowd arm in arm, she knowing everyone and stopping to chat - me knowing nobody and in perpetual greeting orbit.
They say, "there ain't no cure for the Summertime Blues"....
I hope a few of my friends can get you past those blues, along with a little sports talk....
And why wouldn't people have the Summertime Blues? It's been raining almost every day here in the Cleve...I said I was going to be a Seahawks fan this coming season, and I guess they decided to deliver the fucking weather too...Little Beeze and I have had 1 game so far Our team has had 1 game and 7 rain outs....FUCK! The kids are sick of practices, and the parents are sick of the Rec not having the fields ready to play during the brief window where it isn't raining...People were really pissed last Tuesday...It hadn't rained, and the sun was out, and people wanted a game...But the Rec couldn't get the field ready...I would like to shit on them, but it had just rained for 10 straight days, and their budget from the city is shit...But have no fear, the rain came back that night right around what was suppose to be our game time...
So my blog FRIDAY was all about the Madness of the NHL's free agency, along with salary cap issues...But the topic that got the most attention there, and on HALS post was the Bruins moving Tyler Seguin....I think some Bruins fans are way to upset about the move...I think they got great value, and potential back...And really, all Seguin gave you was potential...Yeah, he was a #2 overall pick, but we tend to put a lot of expectations depending on where guys get drafted, and sometimes guys go too high...I'm not saying Seguin is a bust...he could be...He could be a super star...We have to wait...But he was a problem...Clearly the Bruins felt that way, and well, they were closer to the situation then us....
And as for Momma Seguin....Shut up...I hate it when parents come out against an organization because they moved your kid...Or said he's been partying too much...Or acting like a douche...Kids been out of your house, since he was 16, doing 3 things...Playing hockey, drinking and chasing skirts...And there's nothing wrong with that! The problem is he let that shit get flaunted around the Internet... HERE'S a taste Mom!
I'm not a fan of the fan voting for the "All-Star" game...But it is what it is...And every year MLB breaks out the online fan vote for the final roster spot for both the NL and AL...I have never participated in this...Until this weekend...When I saw Steve Delabar was one of the guys up for the AL spot...I've been rooting for this guy for a couple years now...His stories is one of the best in Baseball...If you have the time to kill, watch this....
-Everrett Golson was in his home town of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina this weekend, and he told reporters that he intends on returning to Notre Dame in the Spring, after being Suspended from the University for the Fall Semester...While this doesn't help this year, it makes recruiting a bit easier, assuming Golson gets his Academic situation in order...It also shows that maybe this incident has gotten through to him, and he'll be a better person for it...
-Urban Meyer has been catching a lot of heat lately...Many people want to hold the now Ohio State coach, who coached Aaron Hernandez when he was at Florida, partially responsible for Hernandez's off field problems...I heard one guy on the radio going off about it...Listen, I think Meyer is a shady piece of shit, but you can't blame him, not even partially for what Hernandez is accused of...Yeah, as more comes out, there have been warning signs since Hernandez was a teenager, that he could be headed down a bad path, and maybe one of his many coaches along the way could have gotten through to him....Maybe some tried...How the hell do we know? But they didn't do the deed...I'm not a guy who is all about defending Meyer or Ohio State, but if Hernandez did this, it's on him...He's a grown ass man, and if he wants to play thug, then he's gonna have to deal with the consequences...
If people want to go after Meyer, go after him for stuff he had control of...41 guys who played for Meyer between 2005 and 20010 were arrested while there, or afterwards, some both...16 alone in 2008...(including Cam Newton) ...The ones that didn't get arrested until they were gone, I'll give Meyer a pass...But the 31 who were arrested while there, should have been handled, and if Meyer let shit slide, then go after him...If he cheated at Utah, go after him...If he cheated at Bowling Green, go after him...If he cheats at Ohio State go after him...But trying to put blame on him for the crimes Hernandez is accused of seems weak to me...I'm tired of people making excuses and passing blame when "celebrities" fuck up...
I'm dreading going back to work after 4 days off...I hope my ladies in Blue helped ease the Summertime Blues...
The Dog Days of Blogging continue...which brings me to an old favorite of mine, the Crystal Ball. For this edition, I call upon the classic seer of seers, Carnac the Magnificent. In case any of you are too young to recall when the Tonight Show was actually funny, I offer the following clip to share with you a little of Carnac's wisdom before we get into peeking into his stack of sports evelopes that I have prepared.
I saw one other envelope worth mentioning before I go on...
A. Dippity Doo
Q. What forms on your Dippity early in the morning
So without further adieu, I bring you Carnac on Sports! I am calling on Carnac to peer into the future for this session using his special clarvoyant capablities that only he has!
The first envelope....the answer is "2018"
And the question... What year will the NHL owners demand contract negotiations re-open because the league is facing financial ruin?
Seriously, can the NHL sustain this madness? They went into a half season lockout so that the Redwings could blow major bucks on a fossil like Alfredsson? So that Vinnie can soak the hapless Flyers as Beez so eloquently pointed out? Yikes...it may not take until 2018.
The next envelope...the answer is."1 Game"
And the question..."How long will A-Rod stay in the Yankees lineup after he returns from his re-hab assignment?"
So far, A-Rod is O-fer in his minor league games...I'll bet the Yankees can't wait to have him back hitting at the Mendoza line for $22 million per. Wait, does MLB have compliance buy-outs?
The next envelope...the answer is "Lakers....no the Rockets...wait, no the Lakers....OK the Rockets"
And the question..."What was said at Dwight Howard's breakfast meeting...with himself?"
And the big mystery is finally over - and has there been a bigger fuss over a prima donna athlete who has done squat since his first fiasco with Orlando. I don't know why the Rockets were so hot to have him...if he proves Carnac wrong, that would be a surprise.
The next envelope.....the answer is "8"
And the question..."How many people are going to watch the men's Wimbledon final on Sunday?"
Sadly, tennis had joined boxing and horse racing in the realm of irrelevant sports in the 21st Century. I don't usually mind watching the women's tennis because it is over in less than 2 hours. All day for a men's final? It is worse than watch grass burn out in a baking sun.
The next envelope (for all you cheerleader fans out there)....the answer is "Sissss, Booom, Baaah!"
And the question..."Describe the sound you hear when a sheep blows up!"
And now we have the FINAL envelope...., and of course Carnac offers his blessing: "May you get your first French kiss from a diseased camel" and now the envelope...
"the answer is "a halfway house"
And the question..."Where will NFL teams be holding their pre-training camp team meetings?"
Can anyone outside of Cincinnati & Dallas remember when there has been so much in the way of unsavory behavior in the NFL? Is it not enough that the league heaps huge bucks on these young men? Is it asking too much for a little good behavior? Geez, at least don't shoot anyone!