Monday, June 16, 2008

6-Pack of Miller Lite

Hot summer nights and a cold Miller Lite for Hal B. as the thunder and lighting make more sound and fury than the L.A. crowd did in three games combined...

1. Putting aside the Kobe "non-steal" (see previous post), the Celtics have got to feel damned good coming home for two games to win one and take the damned NBA Championship back to where it rightfully belongs. The Lakers have shown only that they rank at about the Cleveland Cavaliers level of play right now, and in fact, would not even be treading water against Detroit right now. I do not see the Lakers beating Boston in the New Gahhhhdehnnnnn anytime soon. Party on Tuesday night!!!

2. Let me see, the Red Sox have Big Papi back soon (Hopefully!!!), Manny Ramirez fully healthy soon, Clay Bucholz returning soon to the rotation, 8-0 Daisuke Matsuzaka returning soon to the rotation, and hopefully Curt Schilling back again in the fall. How is anyone not excited about them right now? A little better health and they're running away with the AL East.

3. The UEFA Euro 2008 is simply addictive. I cannot wait to see how Group 3 finishes right now. The Netherlands is in, but with France, Italy, and Romania all alive for that last spot, the thought of the French or Italians going home is just thrilling to think about.

4. Seriously, did everyone review that damned "steal" by Kobe in game 5 with 37.4 seconds left? He never freaking touched the ball and fouled Pierce twice! Simply a horrible call that swung the game for L.A. No, I swear, I am not shutting-up about that terrible call.

5. One month until the NFL training camps open for business. Seriously, only one month to player profiles on the undrafted free agents and in-depth analysis about Junior Seau weighing his options to return to New England. Here are the three biggest reasons for optimism for the Patriots defense this fall:
  1. Tank Williams - Call him Rodney Jr., because the Tank will bring back the Big Nickle package and decapitate many a receiver crossing over the middle. Living up to his name, Tank should allow Rodney Harrison to platoon (and keep him fresh) in addition to joining James Sanders and Rodney in the Big 3. Also, if Brandon Merriweather moves to cornerback, Tank takes his reps as well.
  2. Jason Webster - The new number two cornerback steps in next to Ellis Hobbs and holds the fort until Terrence Wheatley can get onto the field. Webster is a legit starter at cornerback and should help stabilize the position after the losses of Randall Gay and Asante Samuel. Look on the bright side: No Otis Smith, Michael Stone, Duane Starks, Tyrone Poole, Artrell Hawkins or ever-ready stand-in Hank Poteat at corner this year.
  3. Victor Hobson - The former Jet allows for insurance if Junior Seau retires, but also gives rookie Jerod Mayo more time to learn and not be thrust into a situation he is not ready for on the field. Hobson has the size and experience to adequately fill in inside and most importantly allows for the maximization of the skills of Adalius Thomas on the outside.
6. The Tampa Rays I can handle. Johnny Damon turning into 2004 Playoffs Johnny Damon all of a sudden concerns me. Fortunately, the Yankees are riding Mike Mussina and Andy Pettite into the ground (and its only June). With the Wanger out until September and Joba no longer closing the door in the seventh and eighth innings out of the pen, the Yankees need some serious wheeling and dealing to stay in the Wild Card race this summer. Something tells me that Brian Cashman no longer is concerned about the long-term future of the Yankees as he searches for a job this winter. Again, the Yankees scaring off Cashman is the best news out there for Sox fans. Cash is the real deal and the ONLY reason the Yankees have been so good for so long.

Only one pint of Guinness in the fridge, so that will be the bonus point here:

7. Tiger Woods. Simply amazing. The most revolutionary athlete (as far as changing the game/having an impact on the game/drawing non-fans into the audience/dominating the competition) since Babe Ruth. ‘Nuff said.

WHAT ABC/ESPN/DISNEY WANTS...

...they get! And in this case, they wanted game six.

The Celtics were able to fight back in game five, just as they had in game four, but this time the tide was turned by Los Angeles making shots and the Big Three systematically eliminated from playing defense due to the officials working their magic. Every ticky-tack foul on Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett, and Paul Pierce was whistled in the second half, while Tokey Odom and the Human Chicken Pau Gasol hacked away with impunity.

No play was more game-turning or significant as Kobe Bryant's "steal" from Paul Pierce at the 0:37.4 mark of the fourth quarter with the score 97-95. Bryant swung his arm at Pierce, struck Pierce in the arm, and then in his stomach, never touching the ball (he missed the ball by about three feet). The play resulted in a four point swing and after that it was all over save the shouting. (And, yes, the replay cleary showed it. YouTube, where are you when I need you? I looked for the replay and only found: Laker Girls Dancers Jiggly Tits - adultblowouts and shots of the steal from 150 feet away. Hmm, that's right--no conspiracies allowed this year.)

Normally, I am not one to accuse the NBA of referees working to affect the outcome of games, but after the Tim Donaghy mess last year, they have left themselves open to criticism from all viewers. I watched, I was not impressed by the officiating and again thought the game was scripted by the WWE and not played out, and I want this series over in game six without any further shenanigans.

New England Patriots: On Vacation as Free Agency Begins - Full Press Coverage

The 2019 NFL year has begun with the advent of free agency and as usual the New England Patriots are one of the quietest teams. While teams ...