Speaking of farewells, I re-discovered this site
about the old West End and 'Medieval Boston' while digging through my archives for the post below. It's one of my all-time favorite links. The photos and comments are excellent -- and heartbreaking. ... There's a good comment from an old-timer toward the very end. He doesn't romanticize the West End and Boston of his youth. There was a sense back then that Boston was a decaying city. But the 'urban renewal' planners' solutions were tragically wrong. They couldn't grasp the notion that rejuvenation was possible. It hadn't been proven yet. ... Thank goodness they put a stop to the 'planning' madness. ...
is a big disappointment. Hood is a fine local company. But Brigham's just won't be the same. ... Hub Blog sensed
something was amiss when Brigham's jumped into the Fluffernutter silliness
and started giving its ice-cream products cute names, like Wicked Chocolate and Dice-Kream, etc. But they didn't mess with their chocolate chip and mocha chip brands. Hopefully Hood won't either. ...Update
has more. ...
'Endorsing the individual-rights view'
Yesterday's Supreme Court decision on the Second Amendment
strikes me as confirming reality and common sense: Americans have always owned guns as individuals, not as militia members. It's been accepted practice for centuries. Even Democrats, in their last presidential platform, endorsed the 'individual-rights' view toward firearms. But what worries me is that common-sense government regulations of guns might be overturned by the SC's decision. Even the Bush administration, in the case decided yesterday, was worried that an 'individual-rights' view could be construed to mean government can't outlaw machine guns. Scalia states the ruling does give government latitude to regulate guns. But I'm still nervous. The NRA is already gearing up
for multiple legal challenges based on yesterday's ruling. Note the reference to going after 'assault gun' bans, i.e. machine guns. Note also how it's going after a law banning guns in a government housing projects. ... I believe people have the right to own pistols, rifles, shotguns, semi-automatic or not, for self-protection or sport, etc. But I don't think it's in society's best interest to allow military-grade weapons -- or completely restrict local governments' ability to ban guns in some public or publicly-owned places. The pendulum swung to one extreme with the District of Columbia law. It shouldn't swing to the opposite extreme post-District of Columbia law. ...Update
- 6.28.08 -- Rich responds:
You wrote: "Note the reference to going after 'assault gun' bans, i.e. machine guns."
I like your columns, but that's total, unreasearched, parroting the standard liberal line BS.
Do some reading on the so-called "assault weapon" ban. It's mostly weapons which are cosmetically-incorrect (i.e. they look too evil) and which are mostly SEMI-AUTOMATIC (i.e. a far, far cry from a "machine gun").
I really expect better of you, based on most of the stuff on your blog.
Rich and I had a good back-and-forth exchange of emails after this. I'll only point out that I went out of my way to say that people have a right to bear arms -- including 'semi-automatics.' I understand that semi-automatics, largely because of the ignorance of some gun-control advocates, often get caught up in 'assault' gun bans. But some 'assault' weapons are indeed forms of machine guns -- and they should be outlawed along with other military-grade weapons.
I like the pick.
Never mind his past controversies.
Paul Pierce had his own stabbing/nightclub problem. He grew out of it. I'm not overly concerned about Giddens' past troubles. The vets will keep him in line. ... Danny can say all he wants
that the Giddens pick has nothing to do with the possibility of losing James Posey. But the Celts need to prepare for the possible loss of Posey or House or Sam C, etc. ... I would have felt better if the Celts had gotten a big man. But Roy Hibbert was gone by the 30th pick. The C's did select Semih Erden
, but I'm not sure he's ready, or ever will be ready, for the NBA. ... I've been saying it for years: The Celts need a big man. With Kendrick's shoulder woes and Brown's return up in the air, the problem looks more acute next season. ...
'Shaq disses Kobe'
The crudeness starts at 1:03. Celts fans will enjoy it. ... Heard it first on Dennis and Callahan this morning.
'Disappointing showing, Philly fans'
Bert takes on Philly fans.
'Iraq starts to fix itself,' Part III
also notices the surge ironies
. ... Though President Bush does deserve credit for pushing the surge, I'd be careful about giving him too much credit. The surge's successes don't counterbalance his initial blunders. Not even close. ...
The Chicago Bulls: Best Team Ever?
I was rummaging through old junk at Chez Hub Blog this weekend when I came across an old framed photo of Larry Bird covering Michael Jordan, circa 1980s. Anyway, I recalled living in Illinois from the mid '80s through the mid '90s -- and putting up with Chicagoans' guff, as the Bulls piled up championships starting in the early '90s, that Michael et gang were the best team ever. I would roll my eyes and patiently explain to said fans, if they bothered to listen, that "Michael" played against Larry and Magic in their prime and "Michael" never won -- until Larry and Magic were either gone or over the top. Or as Wikipedia
puts it. "By the 1990-91 season, the Bulls had run out of excuses." ... Or the Bulls had run out of worthy rivals. Whatever. ... Anyway, I recalled all of this after seeing the Bird-Jordan photo and reading Steve's
all-time top Celtics rankings. ... The Bulls? Who? ... Bulls fans were sooooooo obnoxious back then. But I wasn't envious. Well, sort of. ... I'd be fascinated to see, fantasy-wise, a '90s Jordan team face up against the 2007-2008 Celts. Michael would shine. No doubt. Better than Kobe "You're Not Jordan" Bryant. But I'd still push two-thirds of the chips toward the 2007-2008 Celts because of their bench and Phil 'Chicago-LA' Jackson's inability to pronounce Leon Powe's name correctly. ...
'Some very cool spacewalk pictures'
Check out the one in the middle. I know the Space Shuttle has had its problems. But there's something noble in its slightly beat-up look in space. The tiles show it's a workhorse. ...Via Glenn
'Wimbledon fears match-fixing scandal'
First the NBA. Now Wimbledon.
Players and agents confirm fix offers. ...
'Why Boston, not Houston?'
He admits it's envy.
... Elsewhere, Daniel
announces he's defecting from the Nation -- and hauls out the tired They Use To Be Lovable Losers line. But he does acknowledge:
"What will happen when the Phillies win a championship?" my colleague asked as we walked toward the ballpark on Tuesday. "Will Philadelphia fans be as obnoxious as Boston fans?"
"Hell, yes," my son replied.
Winning will do that.
He says he'll move to Cleveland at that point. The nobleness of poignant depression. ... Papelbon
has a theory about how Boston fans play a role in winning here. But Youks sounds like he's still smarting from fans' negative reaction to his dugout antics of late. ...Update
-- Kev now experiences the positive vibes.
'We Americans are better than that'
I'm of two minds about the interrogation of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed
: 1.) I'm glad he spilled the beans. 2.) It's depressing to think that the U.S. govenment's 'enhanced interrogation methods' were 'modeled on the torture repertories of the Soviet Union.' ... I've always suspected that the torture policies emerged from inexperience, ignorance and an arrogant macho spirit that assumes everyone else is naive. The article confirms my suspicions. ...
'Iraq starts to fix itself,' Part II
. We should be happy about the options these Iraq successes present us, not ramming them into tired 2003 should-we vs. shouldn't-we arguments about the war. ... The irony is that the successes, albeit tentative, undercut and underscore both presidential candidates' stated positions at the same time. The success of the surge, which Obama and his allies generally opposed, makes it easier for him to argue to pull troops out. The success of the surge, which McCain and his allies generally supported, makes it more difficult to argue to stay the course. ... Advantage: Obama, for logical illogical reasons. ...
P.S. -- Of course, now watch the partisan arguments flip. Liberals: The surge is working! Conservatives: Wait, it's not working that well! ...
is harder on the 2007-2008 Celts than Bob
, largely because of the Atlanta and Cleveland series. But he still puts them in the top five
(without really ranking them in order within the top five). I can't argue with either one's picks. Rankings across generations are always subjective and speculative by nature. ... FYI: Unlike Steve, I do think there's usually a prejudice against
teams of the past. ... Both Steve and Bob put the '72-73 non-championship Celts in the top five. I wouldn't have thought of them. But the joint '72-73 picks makes sense in retrospect. As a young kid, I remember being so BITTER that the Knicks won the championship, largely because of Hondo's shoulder injury. It was obvious which team was better going into the playoffs that year. ... BTW: I was a CYO basketball expert back then. Trust me. The Celts got robbed. ...
approach Hub hate from two different angles. I did see my share of the following yesterday:
I love the idiots who throng into Boston for these parades. Duh, they say, I’m takin’ da day off. The day off from what? The methadone clinic? If you were wondering why it took so long to get an order of fries at McDonald’s, I have two words for you. Sweet Seventeen.
But the day was still great. I'm trying to figure out how many more parades might fit into this decade. Probably one. Maybe two.Update
-- Jim Carnell
, a Boston cop, appears to be in Howie's camp on this one. He doesn't mince words. ... BTW: He's steaming over Tuesday night's obnoxiousness, not the parade, which, I repeat, was great, except for the abundance of sweet seventeens.Update II
-- After the parade, I saw some of the video clips of the event. I initially didn't catch the first few minutes when Glen Davis whipped his shirt off, revealing the Big Baby still has a lot of baby fat. But from roughly the old West End to Copley Square, the TV coverage was disappointing, at least on the channels I was flicking through. ...
Where are the players?
Half hour into the parade and I still haven't seen a player on TV. What the heck? Why all the hangers-on in the Ducks? ... Lot of shots from the air. Lots of shots of Ducks approaching. But no players. ... Updates to come. ...Update
- 1 minute later -- OK, finally. Ray Allen!Update II
- 11:55 a.m. -- OK, it's back to Lucky and the cheerleaders. Jeez. ... Many fuzzy, distant shots of the Ducks. ... The crowds look great. I was down there just prior to the start and fans were getting pumped. ... My gut impression is that the final crowd count will be in the vicinity of the Sox II and Pats II and III parades. Nothing could beat Sox I and Pats I. At least I don't think so. Crowds today are growing by the minute, it seems. ...Update III
- 12:03 p.m. -- Glimpses of KG, Danny Ainge and the trophy. But most of the shots are of non-players/managers etc. They packed too many people on each Duck. Hard to determine who's who. ...Update IV
- 12:13 p.m. -- Wyc gets interviewed. Vows another parade next year. ... Kevin hoisting the trophy. But still disappointing coverage. ... Oh, well. The fans along the route seem happy. That's the important thing.Update V
-- 12:16 p.m. -- We're rocking now. Great shot of Paul holding up the trophy. ... Posey, Kendrick, Davis. ... Must be more cameras in Copley Square. ...
Update VI - 12:25 -- Fun shot of P.J. He earned this moment.
Update VII - 12:29 -- The End. ... Festive crowd still sticking around. ... Happy day.
'Overt De-Escalation; Covert Disruption'
Excellent David Ignatius column on Iraq.
Read it. Sharp insights into what has to be done on the military and diplomatic fronts. ... He's also right about our current domestic debate as boiled down by Obama and McCain: 'Sterile.' I would have used the word 'simplistic.' But that's a minor quibble. ... Good news in Afghanistan.
'The renaissance Celtics,' Part II
Let 'em hate us.
... The little people can be so annoying. ... Steve
is giving Trader Danny a little too much credit. But I haven't given Trader Dan enough credit. So there. ... Ray's right
: Kill the 'Big Three' talk. The Big Three and the Benchies just doesn't work. ... Dan
were in agreement yesterday about the similarities between today's Celts and the '70s Celts. But that was just a generalized eras comparison. Bob
drills down deeper and comes up with team-by-team comparisons. You know, I can't disagree with his rankings, though it's still hard to accept that only one Russell-era team made it into Bob's top five. I'm trying to find a hole in his logic but can't find it. ... Dennis & Callahan yesterday were apparently having a grand old time ripping into the Lakers' 'Euroweenies.' A Hub Blog friend made roughly the same point to me during Tuesday's game: The European players are a great addition to the NBA, but they lack that killer playoff instinct. That will come with experience. ... Celtics banner via Adam
via Dave via, apparently, imageshack. I don't know the use conditions and will take it down if requested. But I thought it was cool and will let it fly until further notice. Looks good, doesn't it?Update
-- RE my question
: Who would match up with Rondo? Peter writes in: 'That was my post at midnight!'
... The answer is obvious. I'm embarrassed I didn't think of it.Update II
-- Speaking of Euro players, I agree with Bruce: 'I can watch this all day long.'
Scroll down to video. ...
'Iraq starts to fix itself'
assesses the gains in Iraq: They're quite real but fragile. ... Enjoyed this brush up
over at BMG. Agree with JohnD that the gains are significant (though I don't agree with his media paranoia). But I understand Bob's anger and even sarcasm. As the Economist put it right from the start, 'After all the blood and blunders ...' The administration's many blunders still anger me. But we should be thankful that we may well avoid a complete debacle in Iraq, thanks largely to Gen. Petraeus and our GIs. ... There's one other major blunder the adminstration could yet make. From the Economist:
George Bush meanwhile has a further part to play, which consists mainly of not doing things that might tempt him. He should not, for example, attack Iran. One of the impressive things about Iraq's present government is its refusal to take sides between America and its next-door neighbour. It needs good relations with both if it is to prosper.
'The renaissance Celtics'
Where to begin? There's Danny and Doc and Kevin and Ray and Rajon and Leon and Kendrick and Eddie. But before any of them were here, there was one man who single-handedly held the franchise together for 10 long years until this season and this day could happen: Paul Pierce.
Paul earned the right to say this:
I’m not living under the shadows of the other greats now. I’m able to make my own history with my time here and, like I said, this is something that I wanted to do. If I was going to be one of the best Celtics ever to play, I had to put up a banner. And we did that.
Notice how he slipped into the 'we' at the very end. Great guy. ... Kobe
: 'What we’ve got to take from this series is we can’t expect to win a championship focusing on the offensive end.' This season was almost as improbable for the Lakers as it was for the Celts. The Lakers will be back. ... Loved this quote
from a fan: 'All we need now is the Bruins.' Not a huge Bruins fan. But it would be nice to see them win one in the final year of this decade of sports decades in Boston. ... P.S. - Thank goodness Kendrick played. I was suprised how effective he was and how long he played at the start. He made a big difference under the basket. ... Photo via Herald.Update
-- Bert thinks Doc was the MVP and adds:
Garnett was the man tonight. Rondo, too. Allen was huge. Pierce was complete. Defense was unreal.
Kobe quit too early. Odom is insane enough to be commited.
Watching this series and this game it's tough to imagine the Lakers were picked by just about all the experts to win in 6 or less. The Celtics have been so much better.
has the local blogosphere round-up. ...Update III
-- Michael Wilbon
The Lakers' biggest problem is that they, like the Hawks and Cavaliers and Pistons before them, had no solution for Pierce, who by leading this particular franchise to a championship in such a decisive way took a spot alongside Larry Bird, John Havlicek, Dave Cowens, Bill Russell and Bob Cousy as leaders of basketball's royal franchise. Pierce didn't have a prolific Game 6, and he might not be as revered as his predecessors, not yet anyway. But he nevertheless belongs in the franchise's championship team picture because of his poise under pressure throughout the playoffs.
I like the comparison to John Havlicek. Pierce shares the same forward/guard roles and understated leadership qualities of Hondo.Update IV
-- I really liked Dan's comparison
of today's team to the Celts of the '70s. As I see it: Pierce - Hondo. Allen - JoJo. Kevin - Cowens. Hmmm. Who would match up with Rondo? ... Though the Celts of the '70s won more championships, I see today's team as stronger and deeper. Just do. Time will tell. More championships, please. ...Update V
-- Oh, c'mon.
ESPN has suspended the writer who compared the Celts to Hitler, whatever. She was joking. She corrected it. She made a bad decision. For Christ's sake.
First 'Hilter' -- and now 'Axis of Evil,' Part II
The post below was getting too long. So I'm adding another. From Bert:
Pot, meet kettle: A Philly writer is bemoaning the manners of Boston fans? That’s rich.
The problem the rest of the world has with us right now is not our attitude; it is that our teams are winning so much and theirs are not. That one fact makes anything we do seem smug, arrogant and obnoxious to them.
Perhaps if the Phillies got a better return on their $100m+ payroll, they wouldn’t be quite so bitter. That puts them very comfortably in the top tier of salaries. But Philly has become the land of “close, but not quite” teams. Phillies, Flyers, Eagles, 76ers. They’ve all played for or contended for a Championship in recent years. They just can’t break through the way Boston has been able to. But if they do, they’ll be just as obnoxious as they think we are, have no fear.
Don’t head for the Tobin yet, Jay. Celts win tonight.
First 'Hitler' -- and now 'Axis of Evil'
The little people of the world are envious of our glorious sports teams, specifically the Celts
... The 'Hitler'
comparison, since eliminated, was a little over the top, but it was in an otherwise fun column by an anguished Pistons fan who holds a grudge dating back to the '80s. I had no idea Detroit fans harbored such intense frustration. I always thought the Pistons were just in the way. How interesting. ... The 'Axis of Evil'
comparison isn't over the top -- just incomplete. I'd like to know who are the other two points in the axis. I do hope/assume they're the Pats and Celts. The anguish would be complete. ... I liked Dan Drezner
's calm explanation of Boston fans' obnoxiousness. And we are obnoxious. We admit it, right? ...
P.S. -- I'm very nervous about tonight's game without Kendrick.
The Celts are banged up and appear exhausted.
P.S.P.S. -- Kendrick says he'll play
. But at what level? Allen will play.
But he didn't get in a practice. The Celts didn't get in from LA till 10:30 p.m. last night. All these seemingly bad omens -- if you choose to see them that way.Update
-- From Andre re 'bitter Detroit fans': 'If the Celts can win this championship, Danny Ainge will have had a better basketball career than Isiah Thomas. For keeps.'Update II
-- Missed this: ESPN has apologized for Hitler remark.
Hey, it was just an unfortunate metaphor use. The rest of the column is fine -- unless people really think she wants her friends to hurl themselves over a bridge for rooting for the Celts. She was just having fun. ...Update III
-- Soxaholix takes a swing
at the Philly's Nation basher. ...
'It's a message. We get it.'
Really? Do you think so? I can't imagine why.
Sure, they have their 'blanket'
of coming back to Boston -- but not so fast.
I have a hunch they'll win it. But it's now one game at a time. I'm not overly confident. The Celts really missed Kendrick last night. They need him in Boston. ...
'Like working with Cro-Magnon man'
Fun piece on the birth of the Internet.
Man, they all despised the old Ma Bell, especially Bob 'I still cringe at the mention of AT&T' Metcalfe. ... Also mentioned: Bolt, Beranek & Newman, the local inventor of the "@ sign,'' and a young senator from Massachusetts who sent a 1969 congratulatory note to BBN for getting the original '“interfaith” message processors' contract. At least he knew history was in the making and, one suspects, helped bring home the bacon. ...
'Mr. Mom/Mr. Dad'
Next time someone says the MSM isn't liberal, point out the following stories here
. ... Do you think they'd print stories extolling the virtues of fathers and mothers who chose, or had foisted on them, other parental paths? ... Anyone who reads this blog knows I don't subscribe to the right-wing theory that everything and anything that appears in the media has a left-wing bias. But I do subscribe to the theory that the media tilts to the left in general. It used to be much worse. But the tilt is still there. The three articles above prove it. ... With a certain amount of dread, Hub Blog ventured over to that paper
where I get my non-blog paycheck
: 'Extreme Father's Day Makeover.'
My browser kept crashing, so I didn't read the whole piece. But the agenda-pushing 'Mr. Mom' angle was not front and center. Thank goodness. ... NOTHING against Mr. Moms. But there are many different types of good fathers -- just as there are many different types of good mothers. They all deserve recognition and celebration. ...
'I love my country'
Armchair Gen. Brighton Center sends in this toddlers-shooting-machine-guns video
with the note: 'There will always be an America, Part 93. Turn your sound down!' ... Didn't I read somewhere that females are the most aggressive Apache helicopter pilots in Afghanistan and Iraq? ... P.S. - Yes, I did.
'But all games of historic proportions ...'
The Hub Blog Bro really liked this Steve Buckley column.
I did too. I missed it first time around. But one quibble: Game 4 will be remembered as a Boston sports classic only if the Celts win the championship. ...
Tim Russert, RIP
Tim Russert was indeed 'a gregarious man with a rolling laugh'
-- and that's how I'll remember him. He came across as a guy who loved his job and enjoyed his life, family and friends. I know some liberals didn't particularly like him, or at least the Clintons didn't like him. But he was still more a Democrat than a Republican, having worked once for Mario Cuomo and Daniel Patrick Moynihan. I always got the sense he was still trying to prove he wasn't a biased Democrat -- explaining, perhaps, his generally tougher-on-liberals interviews. Then again, he did revere Moynihan, and he was a devout Catholic, so maybe he was just approaching politics from his mildly conservative Catholic perspective. Yet, he strove to be fair -- and that came across on TV. He'll be missed. ...
... On the subject of finding a NBC replacement for Russert: I don't know if another Russert is out there to fill his shoes. There probably is. I hope NBC is willing to take a gamble like it did with Russert -- and not go with the first big name or pretty face that pops to mind. Russert didn't come up through the ranks
in the normal TV way. Maybe that's how NBC should approach its search this time around. I view Jon Keller
(print background), Emily Rooney
(behind-the-scenes producer background) and Jim Braude
(political activist/radio background) as local versions of Tim Russert. All three were on-camera gambles at one point -- and the gambles paid off, big time, as it did for Russert at NBC. It's something NBC should think about: Get a semi-outsider who loves and knows politics and who can conduct intererviews in a pleasantly engaging and civilized way. Easier said than done. But Russert's replacement is probably right under NBC's nose, the one reading political biographies during studio lunch breaks and the one itching with agreeable ambition.Update
- 06.16.08 -- It seems my comparisons above threw off some readers. I'm making parallel comparisons, not strict comparisons. All four -- Russert, Keller, Rooney and Braude -- were relative outsiders before becoming on-camera successes as TV reporters/interviewers etc.
'Something in between to attract diners'
Hub Blog likes the idea of a café on the Common -- though I'm not sure it really requires 20 people to research the idea in New York.
The logical place for one is near the Visitors Center and Frog Pond. A simple outdoor café, with coffee and wine and small eats, would probably do the trick. It would need an enclosed year-round glass area so people could watch skaters during the winter. ... The best park café I've ever seen is in Cape Town's Company's Gardens
. Nestled in the middle of a botanical garden, the unobtrusive café was a real treat, offering wine, beer, coffee, tea, sodas and simple picnic-like food. ... Downtown Boston already has a park food stand, by the way, on the Esplanade
near the Hatch Shell. It's really just a shack. It works. But it could be much better. ... I've often thought the new Greenway could use a couple of strategically located park cafés. ...
'I might break the record for most exclamation points'
blogged the game last night. The shift occured at 7:57 (PST) and the exclamation points started flowing at 8:03. ... He notes he stormed out of the room at one point early in the game. I just shut the TV off, listened to the radio, blogged a bit in frustration, went to bed at halftime listening to the game, and then couldn't believe what I was hearing. I refused to turn the TV back on. ...Update
-- From a Hub Blog friend, who knows what happens
when I abandon superstitious routines:
Dear Mr. Hub Blogger,
Since we now know your story during the events of Game #4...is it safe to assume that you will not tempt fate and do the very same thing on Sunday evening during game #5?
I will not tempt fate. ... P.S. - I can't be more specific about the nature of my routine. It could jinx the superstition.Update II
-- More schadenfreude trolling: 'A game that will haunt forever.'
Rajon: 'It really is all about mental focus'
Rondo on his blog
I've seen comebacks before but I've never been seen or been part of one like that. 24 points, but it really hasn't sunk in yet. We felt we were supposed to win this one from the jump, but didn't start the way we thought we would. Everybody made big shots, Paul made shots, Pose made shots, E House made shots and we got stops - that's how we got back in it. We stayed focused. ...
The other playoff series helped get us ready for this. It really is all about mental focus - we never believed we were in trouble. We knew if we kept making runs and got it down to 10 we'd have a chance. We made the extra pass, made the shots and made stops.
'Do you believe in miracles? I do !!'
The headlines truly say it all: Gotta 'C' it to believe it
... Seeing this was believing.
... It doesn't get any better
... Stunned, Lakers hit deck
... Celtics go to extremes
... Comeback story
... Quote of the Day (maybe season, maybe decade) from Kobe:
We just wet the bed. A nice big one, too. One of those you have to put a towel over.
The panic and fury in the post below? Nothing there. Move on. Nothing there. ... Really, I've never seen such extremes. It's not that the Lakers were ever in control. The final score proves that. It's how out of control, and then in control, the Celts were last night. ... What a frigging game. One for the ages. ...Update
-- Schadenfreude trolling: Lakers have a collapse for the ages.
Quote of the Day II, also from Kobe, when asked how the Lakers will bounce back:
A lot of wine, a lot of beer, a couple shots, maybe like 20 of them, digest it, get back to work.
From our old friend Bill
, who wasn't impressed with Kobe walking off the court with three seconds left:
In the end, the building was silent, the Lakers' faces were blank, and Bryant was gone.
Sort of how this season started, no?
Score at end of the game if 1st quarter trend had held up: Lakers 140, Celts, 56. Unbelievable. Thirty-five
points for L.A. in 1Q. Fourteen
for Celts in 1Q. ... I've turned off the TV. Can't stand it. Listening to radio. Celts have cut lead to 12 with less than three minutes to go in first half. ... This is a very frustrating team. ... Halftime update: Lakers up by 18. So instead of a loss by 84 points based on 1Q trend, it's cut down to 36 based on halftime trend. Still doable. Technically. But it's still going to take a 'Do you believe in miracles? I do!!' outcome. ...
'The advantage of playing Tony Allen'
Yeah, I know: Huh?
But read it. ... Not much new from Rondo
on his ankle injury. Mark
: 'As usual, the messages coming from Doc Rivers and one of his injured players are as different as Chinese and Russian.' Maybe they're playing match-up games with the Lakers. But I don't think so. ...
No, I haven't paid out the $25 yet
, and I respond to my own challenge
: No, I haven't paid out the $25 yet to the historic first YouTube of an actual Nordic Skipper
in Boston. The offer still stands. ... Of course some Europeans are encountering certain dangers associated with 'Nordic Walking': 'Don't Nordic Walk With The Predator About.'
Point taken. But don't bother watching the video after that. Not worth it. Exploding berries are the least of our concerns when it comes to Nordic Walking. ... Even though I long knew that Nordic Walking was a 'textbook marketing play,'
I still can't believe some have bought into the manufactured trend heart and soul
. Can you imagine if the 'sport' was pitched with accompanying Tank Tops with Boston Bruins logos on them? Never would have taken off. ...
‘Let it get away’
Hey, Rajon has his own blog.
Where have I been? He talks about last night's 'disappointing' loss and his ankle injury ('lots of ice and I'll keep it elevated'). ... Via David.
'We just lost the game'
The Celts offense stunk.
But it really was one of those 'coulda/woulda games'
that the Celts could have won. So I'm not sure whether to be discouraged or encouraged. ... Here's a scary thought: Hub Blog is still somewhat confident the Celts will nail down one of the three away games, sending the series back to Boston 3-2. But Boston teams usually perform better when I'm full of dread and pessimism. It's a superstitious pattern that can't be ignored. ...
'New-Style Candidates Hit Old Notes'
I'm not the only one who noticed that the 'change' they talk about looks mighty retro.
... On another front, Republicans are trying to tarnish Obama's 'squeaky-clean' image on a non-Rezko matter.
They're trying to neutralize a positive. They know McCain's own lobbyists problems need to be counterbalanced. ... Speaking of Rezko, the Chicago Trib's Eric Zorn
makes a good point that, so far, Obama is guilty of nothing other than associating with a known 'sleazeball.' It's true -- and I'm guilty of not making that clear when posting
about the Rezko affair. But I don't buy into the notion that it was an 'otherwise ordinary real estate story.' Rezko was trying to hook Obama, who nibbled but didn't bite. That's why it 'doesn't reflect well' on Obama and yet isn't a scandal. It's also why Dems should have a Keating Five ad in the can just in case. ...Update
-- Also keep in mind that I'm personally fascinated by the Rezko controversy because I used to cover those lovable clowns
in Illinois. Many of the names are familiar -- and I almost can't believe some are finally getting their comeuppance. ... The book is selling for 8 cents
? Good lord. If 100 million copies are sold, that's almost a million dollars! ...
'More important to me than life'
And what could be more important than life itself? Virginity
-- and pleasing her man on her wedding night. ... If these were Christian fundamentalists, the PC crowd would be laughing them off the political stage. But they're not Christian fundamentalists, so they're at center stage. ...
Looks like David Brooks
is channeling Kevin Phillips' new book 'Bad Money: Reckless Finance, Failed Politics and the Global Crisis of American Capitalism.'
... You know that the debt crisis has become a major issue when the word 'usury' makes a comeback -- and rightly so. ... I wrote about Phillips' book here
(full transcript here
). WGBH has more
. ... To illustrate the growing wealth of Wall Street, I often point out that the only two people I know who have retired in their 40s (i.e. my age bracket) happened to work on Wall Street. They were mid-level players. Think about it: Your 401(k), IRA, pension and other 'institutional' dollars at work. This ties into the phony Ayn Rand and phony populism economics I mention below. Republican and Democrats won't touch the debt issue -- because both parties are bought and owned by Wall Street. But they'll tackle summer gas taxes and windfall oil taxes that do absolutely nothing to solve problems. ...
P.S. -- I'm also reminded of the classic book 'Where Are the Customers' Yachts? - or A Good Hard Look at Wall Street.'
Written more than 50 years ago, the only thing that's changed is the size of the yachts. ...
'Windfall profits tax'
Well, I guess we really are in for change with Obama. Circa 1970s.
... Lurching between phony Ayn Rand economics (Bush/McCain) and phony populism economics (Jimmy/Obama). How encouraging. ...
'I'm not sure what he just said'
LA Times columnist Bill Plaschke
, who's been a good sport amid the jihad calls for his death (see links below), lets Phil Jackson rant about refs and fouls and crowds and Plaschke responds:
I'm not sure what he just said. But whatever he just said, I don't agree.
From my vantage point beneath the basket, it was clear that the Celtics were forcing the action, forcing the momentum, forcing the Lakers to foul.
Good column. ...Update
-- Bill Simmons
sees a connection between the end of the Boston sports-suffering era and the end of the Big Dig. ... P.S. – He likes the city's new post-Dig tidiness. I do too. ...
Push reel lawn mowers
I recently saw this Instapundit post
on push reel lawn mowers
and thought to myself, 'Well, if I buy a home or condo with a small yard, I'm going to get one.' With gas prices soaring amid concerns about the environment, it looks like a lot of other people are already buying them.
The best piece
you'll read anywhere on modern Chinese nationalism. It's all there: the Olympics, Tibet, colonialism, Communism, pride and self-pity, Manshu and Han, Mao and Sun Yat-sen, etc. It's something to be aware of, but not frightened of, in coming years. ...
'Die, you lily-livered ass'
LA Times columnist Bill Plaschke, who earlier this week accused
Paul Pierce of faking his injury, is getting an earful from Boston fans
. He postulates that the obnoxious responses have something to do with Boston sports teams' past losing ways. Bill: Wrong, wrong, wrong. Please read the Hub Blog 2004 DNC Media Guide
for visiting out-of-town journalists. Then read the Masshole
entry at Wikipedia. Its opening line:
Masshole is a portmanteau of the words Massachusetts and asshole, used to express a derogatory view of residents of the commonwealth of Massachusetts, USA.
Except it should say 'self-derogatory.' The rest of the Wikipedia entry is almost pure BS. Except this line:
The term is a direct reference to the perceived rudeness, snobbishness, and high-pressure lifestyle of the migrants and current residents of Massachusetts.
But even that sentence is inaccurate because it includes the word 'perceived.' You see, Bill, the lovably sick part about the Massachusetts mindset is that we know we're Massholes -- and almost revel and take pride in it, until some Masshole crosses the line and wishes somone has cancer, etc. Even Massholes know there's a limit to Massholeness. Someone will have a stern talk with Mr. Marsinelli. Until then, consider this an apology on behalf of all other Massholes. ... BTW: We even have a Masshole Proshop
if you're interested (the accompanying logo comes from Masshole Proshop). ... BTW II: NOTHING you have endured matches what hometown sports scribes
in Boston regularly endure.
Coco and the Youks/Manny Kerfuffle
neatly sums up the 'Youks/Manny kerfuffle.' Soxaholix
sums up Coco and the 'Youks/Manny kerfuffle.' ... Tito already has his hands full with injuries to Papi, Dice-K etc. He doesn't need his other players acting like idiots. ... Manny being Manny isn't such a bad thing when you think about it. ...
'A caller tries to inject a note of realism'
lets Tom Finneran inadvertently explain why his radio show sucks. ... See post below about the 'realism' that Tom refuses to talk about. Not that all pols are corrupt. They aren't. But they also aren't all angels. ... Found this Mark Brown column
while digging through the Sun-Times' files. Mark:
Somewhere along the way, we reached a point where public employees have it better than workers in the private sector.
But Tom doesn't want to talk about that stuff. No siree. ...
Dems better prepare those Keating Five ads -- fast
Lost in the shuffle of last week's historic win by Obama was the conviction
of his old fund-raising pal in Illinois, Tony Rezko. Obama says Rezko's conviction won't be an issue
. But the GOP is already making it an issue.
... Obama's in a tough spot when it comes to counterattacking on this one. If he goes negative to counterbalance the GOP attacks, his halo gets tarnished. But Dems better have a Keating Five
response in the can if the ads start making an impact. Remember: It doesn't matter if the attacks on Obama are valid or not.
For your Rezko edification, here's a great round-up
of Rezko-related stories. Sun-Times columnist Mark Brown
wonders why Rezko eagerly asked to go to jail -- immediately. No appeal. Right to the slammer. Is it because he's afraid? Not afraid of Obama. But afraid of these type
of guys? The theory
: Rezko wants to show he's not cooperating with the Feds. ... The noose around Illinois Gov. Blagojevich's neck tightens
. ... Brown and theory links via Mickey
'True but other professionals have ...' Part II
A number of thoughts on L-S superintendent John Ritchie's comments
on bloggers and blogging: 1.) He's right about the nastiness of some anonymous comments posted online. 2.) He's right to urge students to stand by their written words by attaching their full names to their print and online broadsides. But 3.) Ritchie's ignorance of technology and the Internet is astounding. 4.) If he's going to criticize something, you'd think he'd do basic research to get the terminology right before spouting off -- and attaching his name to it. 5.) He hasn't a clue that the 'gimmick' he refers to (albeit, inaccurately so) emerged in almost defiant opposition to 'a dying industry.' 6.) I won't even get into his 'never will' boast. ... Full disclosure: I'm an L-S grad whose name is attached to my blog here
BTW: I was vain enough to initially think that Ritchie might have been referring to this post
or this article
that I wrote about on Sunday. But Wicked Local's Chrissie Long says he was actually referring to comments here
about ... the Newton mayor? So he praised L-S grads for not sinking to levels “that some adults in our
community have sunk” (emphasis added) when what ticked him off were comments in another town's online forum? It doesn't make sense. Then again, he didn't make much sense in general, so it's time to move on. ...
BTW II: Dan
have also posted on the issue. ...
'Call it the Fake N'Shake'
of the L.A. Times is more than suggesting that Paul Pierce faked his knee injury last night: 'Call it the Fake N'Shake.' ... I seriously doubt it. But even in the unlikely event it's true (I fell for Hillary's N.H. tears, keep in mind), it's clear the Celts are already in their heads. Note the last line of the column, i.e. babbling about an angel, a cigar and Red. Gotta love it. ...Update
-- A friend and big Celts fan says I'm being a 'homer' for thinking Pierce wasn't faking. ... As I said, I did fall for the Hillary's N.H. tears. ... Phil Jackson is also reportedly chiming in on the same issue. Updates to come. ... Only one game in, and this series is already turning into a classic. Repeat: Gotta love it. ...Update II
-- Well, it sure doesn't sound like he's faking it
. ... Phil is also babbling about 'angels.' ...Update III
- 07.06.08 -- Steve:
'First there were those who doubted the magic of the Bloody Sock.' ... Now I know why Plaschke and Phil were babbling about angels: Pierce was babbling about them first. ...
'He played his best'
Two words: Paul Pierce
. ... Win or lose this year's NBA championship, his number will be retired to the rafters. We know this beyond doubt now. ... Agree it's too early to get 'cocky.' Did you see those early shots by LA? They swished through the nets as if guided by honing devices. They are a dangerous team. ...
'Anyone who has lived in New York ...'
Hub Blog is developing a theory: Anyone who writes 'anyone who has lived in New York,'
then proceeds to praise New York's cosmopolitan grittiness and then knocks other cities, is, more often than not, not a native New Yorker. They try to glom on to New York's glory. They talk too much about understanding NYC's secret workings -- as if only the urban cool like themselves can understand its gritty and wacky ways. They've bought into, heart and soul, the tired NY-rhapsodizing schtick they've seen and heard in Woody Allen movies and 'Sex in the City.' They've been waiting all their lives to be able to brag about their New York connections because ... they're usually from places like Cleveland. In the case of Henry Abbott, he apparently grew up in the Portland area -- as in Portland, Oregon, that famously gritty and grimey city where nothing is ever uncool tidy. ...
The other half of my theory is less developed, but it goes something like this: the best native New Yorkers -- true New Yorkers -- don't go to other cities and proceed to criticize it via comparisons to New York. They're too busy scanning the horizon for a good dive bar. I enjoy their company. ... Henry's I'm-a-New Yorker schtick via BMG
and Adam R
, who, I'd advise, shouldn't lower himself by trying to 'preserve Boston's honor' by pointing out we have gritty Northeast neighborhoods too. Let the non-Northeast Hank defend his real hometown.Update
-- I do recommend that Hank read the groundbreaking HUB BLOG 2004 DNC MEDIA GUIDE
, written for the visiting media during JFK II's now mostly forgotten party coronation. Henry has already made some classic mistakes I warned about four long years ago.
Just play the damn game
Hub Blog hasn't written about the Celts since last weekend partly because, within 24 hours of the Celts' victory over the Pistons, I was already sick of the Celtics-Lakers Rivalry storyline that's been hyped to death. But then someone pointed out this gem
THEY WERE wise, the ancient Greeks. They had no time for the simplistic idea that history moves in a linear way. They knew that Clio, the muse of history, is addicted to cycles. So they would hardly be surprised to see a Golden Age cycling back into view once again - to have the Celtics and Lakers suiting up for a championship series on a June night ...
Ladies and gentlemen, we have just hit rhetorical bottom. Can we just play the game now? ...
'He was a Middle Eastern version of Lee Harvey Oswald'
After Hillary Clinton's recent RFK-assassination remarks, the subject of RFK's death is more than a little bit creepy and discomforting. But it is the 40th anniversary of RFK's death -- and it's perfectly legitimate
to examine new scholarship that suggests the assassination 'planted a seed of concern in Americans about the Palestinian issue and the issue of terrorism.' OK, I can accept that. I, too, recently read Michael Oren's 'Power, Faith and Fantasy,'
a history of America's role in the Middle East. Oren makes the 'seed' argument but doesn't dwell on it much in his book. But turning that 'seed' into the 'first shot' of 'Islamic terrorism in America' is a big stretch. First, Sirhan Sirhan, Kennedy's assassin, was a Christian Arab, not a Muslim. Second, he was an Arab nationalist, not a religious fanatic. Third, the American people and historians in the late 1960s were right to associate him with turbulent times that also produced loser lone assassins like Lee Harvey Oswald and James Earl Ray -- or must we now put Oswald's and Ray's motives into some larger 'historical context'? What about the motives of assassin-wannabes Arthur Bremer, Sara Jane Moore and Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme? At some point you simply can't ignore the loser-lone-assassin component. Ripping Sirhan Sirhan's act out of its pschological and historical context and jamming into the context of 2008 Islamic terrorism smacks of trying too hard to connect the dots in furtherance of a contemporary cause. ...
How bad are Massachusetts Republicans?
Their top candidate for U.S. Senate can't even get enough ballot signatures.
... How bad are the bad boys of the Democratic-controlled Legislature? Pathetically bad.
-- Missed these first time around: The Department of Pork and Wieners
and how other city workers spent the first big day of summer barbecues
, the latter via Adam
'After a grueling and history-making campaign'
Hub Blog is
content: Mitt and Hillary have lost. The two winning candidates, John McCain and Barack Obama, are good men. Not great. But good. Definitely good enough to move the country beyond the Bush-Clinton-Bush era and the potential Bush-Clinton-Bush-Clinton era that Hillary's campaign represented. BUT ... If McCain picks Mitt as his VP running mate, I'm voting for a Clinton-free Obama ticket. If Obama picks Clinton as his VP running mate, I'm voting for a Mitt-free McCain ticket. If McCain picks Mitt and Obama picks Clinton, I'm probably not voting. ...
Assuming McCain and Obama aren't total dolts, the chances of seeing Mitt and/or Hillary on the ballot appear slim. So it will be McCain vs. Obama -- and I really don't know who I'll vote for or who will win. The election will come down to the economy and Iraq -- with McCain's age and Obama's race playing unfortunate wild-card roles. The economy will heal itself. But Iraq won't. Both McCain's and Obama's positions on Iraq scare me a bit. McCain was/is too gung-ho stubborn. Obama seems too willing to pull the plug too early. They have a lot more explaining to do. ... For the moment, though, it's nice to see an old-fashioned war hero and America's first black presidential nominee basking in the limelight. The country is fortunate to have two good -- not great -- candidates to choose from. ...Update
-- Dick Morris
: 'Putting Hillary Clinton on the ticket for vice president creates a ménage-à-trois.' He rightly notes that the weirdness of last night's competing rallies is just a taste of what we'd get in a Obama-Clinton White House. ... BTW: If Obama selects Hillary, we'd instantly know his campaign really isn't about change. BTW II: If Obama can't stand up to Hillary, how can we expect him to stand up to Ahmadinejad? Hmmm. Now when did we last hear a variation of that line? ...
'True but other professionals have ...'
Lincoln-Sudbury teachers' salaries are printed in the local paper
-- and all hell breaks loose. ... Seems to be some dispute about the benefits. But I think it's safe to say, on average, they're above what their private-sector counterparts get. ...