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Basegirl



"Hell may have no fury like a woman scorned but heaven hath no sweetness like a sports fan vindicated." - Samcat



Updated: 2015-09-16T18:26:17.836-04:00

 



Movin' on up

2010-04-05T09:20:11.278-04:00

Hey guys. It's me. Remember me? Anyway, I promised I'd be back up for Opening Day and there I am, over at my new Wordpress account at:

http://basegirl.wordpress.com/


Eventually - like in a month or so - I'll set it up (or rather HJ will because he's the fancy techy one), so that Basegirl on Blogger automatically redirects to the new site. But for the time being, I'll leave it to you to update your links and what not. You're smart people, I know you can do it.

So come join me at the new home, won't you? And pardon the look of the place until I get a handle on things. In my brain, it's still 1998, internet-wise, so it may take a few weeks to get things looking pretty over there.

As always, thanks for reading. You guys are the best readers a girl could ask for. Oh, and Go Sox!



Under Construction

2010-03-10T10:17:45.864-05:00

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Please forgive the lack of posts around here lately. I haven't gone anywhere, promise. I'm in the process of migrating this blog over to a Wordpress format and there are plenty of formatting issues I still need to work out.

But never fear, I will return shortly. I hope to have everything up and running on the new URL by Opening Day. As always, thanks for reading and when I've finally finished the migration (I need to stop watching Planet Earth), I'll let you all know.

~Kristen



Miller Time

2010-02-21T22:28:18.323-05:00

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(Photo from ESPN.com)

A few disjointed thoughts immediately upon watching Team USA defeat Team Canada 5-3 in tonight's game.

First, I get that this wasn't a medal game and that's fine and all, but that was surprising. I'd never go so far as to say that Team Canada was taking anything for granted but I'd venture that no one expected that. Of course, it's not like Team USA is a bunch of no names, they're all NHL players who make millions of dollars and have tens of millions of fans worldwide. Let's not pretend that this is a pond hockey team from Billerica taking on the big, bad Canadians. That said, nice work, boys. You done us proud.

MIKE ERUZIONE!

Sorry, can't help it.

Also, Ryan Miller looks like he should be hanging out in Central Square and bumming cigarettes in front of the Middle East rather than standing on his head in goal for Team USA during the Olympics. I was mostly hoping they'd let the poor boy sit down immediately after the game instead of insisting on interviewing him and expecting him to form a cohesive thought other than, "Seriously? I need a drink. And a nap. And a chiropractor." But he done good. Of course, my heart wants to see Tim Thomas in goal but I surely understand the reasons and I'm proud of my team.

Team USA is now undefeated and with this loss coupled with their just barely eking out a shootout win over Switzerland the other day, Canada is looking anything but bulletproof. Plus, the Russians have lost to Slovakia and don't have the swagger they once did. And the US is playing like they do not care to be thought of as underdogs or also rans, thank you very much. And I don't know about you, but I like my hockey teams with a bit of attitude.

So this is the beginning. They haven't proven anything tonight. But it's a good start. Nice work, boys.



Oh, Canada (shakes head)

2010-02-14T09:25:45.456-05:00

(Photo from Deadspin) I have several questions about Vancouver's shall we say, lackluster opening ceremonies on Friday night (and into Saturday morning because, damn, Canada, it's not like any of us need to sleep or anything.) For instance, I'm fine with First Nations and giving tribute to your ancestors and all that. Really, that's cool. I can get with that. I can even get with a giant glowing statue of a bear because, while it's not quite as awesome as the Alaskan ice bear or the other Alaskan ice bear. Or the Alaskan ice bear turned fighter pilot (seriously, watch those videos. You will thank me), I can get with some ursine imagery.But slam poetry? Come on, Canada, you can do better. It's not bad enough that we had to listen to Bob Costas proclaiming Canada a warlike nation before the actual ceremonies got underway, but then we had to listen to a Canadian slam poet telling us that Canada is not a joke, thank you very much and respect us, dammit. I mean please. If that's okay with you. Because the thing is, I totally respect Canada. It's lovely and every time I've been the people have been nothing but friendly and welcoming and wonderful. But if your Prime Minister needs to hold a press conference to tell the Canadian people to not be afraid to be loud and boisterous while cheering for their athletes (essentially: "Don't be scared of the obnoxious and batshit Americans"), then come on, Canada. It's something you shouldn't have to be told. We're all for politeness and we do appreciate you hosting the world for this Olympics party but Canada, I have to tell you to grow a pair. We like you, Canada, we do. Many of us have threatened to move there time and time again and we certainly do appreciate the influx of your hockey players. But stand up for yourself, dammit. And stop being so polite.Buck up, little camper. We all like you just fine. That said, my primary question about the opening ceremonies, other than it often resembled a second grade talent show where everyone who wanted to tap dance or spin plates got a chance, was that the organizers totally blew it when it came to lighting the cauldron. No, I don't mean the technical malfunction, that can happen to anyone. I mean the actual manner of lighting it. Because what's awesomer than a flaming arrow shot into the cauldron by an Olympic archer like in 1992 in Barcelona? What's cooler than a scrolling screen of fire like 2008 in Beijing? A flaming slap shot, obviously!Dudes, Wayne Gretzky was RIGHT THERE. He was holding the fire even! No one thought to give that man a stick and a flaming puck and have him launch the Olympic flame into that cauldron to light the torch for the next two weeks? No one realized that not only would that be incredibly Canadian but also totally badass and it would make everyone forget about the slam poetry and the odd Riverdancing and the children wearing Christmas lights? Come on, Canada, I expected more from you. [...]



Victory tastes like Jambalaya

2010-02-07T23:05:26.130-05:00

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(Photo from Boston.com)

Beth, a family friend who is really more like family and who has lived in New Orleans for the past ten years called me with about six minutes left in the fourth quarter.

"I had to call someone who understands because I needed to talk to a football fan and oh my god, we might actually win this and I don't know what to do and I'm freaking out and holy shit this is awesome and I think I might die!"

I asked her where her boyfriend, Kevin, a life-long New Orleans resident was.

"He had to put himself in time out because he was afraid he was going to hurt himself or someone else because he can't take this because OH MY GOD WE MIGHT WIN THE SUPER BOWL!"

"I will tell you two things," I said. "One, when a Manning is involved, don't celebrate until the very last second because they have a way of stealing all your fun and ruining everything and 2) go party. Enjoy this one. And tell New Orleans I said congratulations."

Because it's true, I can't remember being happier for a team that isn't actually my home team, um, ever. And the airwaves and interwebs are sure to be flooded with "Saints Save New Orleans" stories for the next year now, but you know what? I'm fine with that. We all know that a football team can't save a city on its own, but it has been a long, hard five years for the Big Easy and she deserves this party. I mean, think about it. The team who calls the Superdome it's home - the same building that served as a tomb for so many people five years ago - has won the Super Bowl and brought a lot of joy to that city. And maybe I'm a giant sap and am too easily swayed by these kinds of stories, but I've always been a sucker for the healing power of a common interest, sports included. New Orleanians are special, resilient, unique people. And they should enjoy this as much as they can. They've spent the past five years earning a moment in the sun and they deserve it.

So congratulations, Who Dat Nation. New England would like to shake your hand.



“Who dat say dey gonna beat dem Saints?”

2010-02-07T15:43:38.034-05:00

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This week's NESN piece in which I explore, with the help of two of my very favorite New Orleanians/New Englanders, just why, exactly, we should all be rooting for the Saints.

Look, even I understand that sports is only sports and no game is capable of saving the world. But sometimes, it really does mean more. I'll leave it to Ryan to make that point for me:

"I tend to think that the Saints reflect the recovery that has been happening in New Orleans. We are fighting not to get back to where we are, but to what we can and should be. The city is by no means perfect: the city government is often inept, crime is rampant, poverty in some areas is crushing, and flagrant inequalities rarely are questioned on a large scale.

The same, in a much lighter way, goes for the Saints. It often seems they underachieve. This year, however, we have an offense that can trounce anyone in the league, a quarterback with better accuracy than an Olympic archer; yet, when a starter on defense goes down, it’s immediately noticeable, and folks like Jason Campbell look like ’07 Brady and the team is losing to the Buccaneers at home. Yet, criticize our rebuilding or our team, tell us we’re failing or don’t deserve to rebuild, tell us our team is overrated. Where are we? Fighting. We’re fighting for home, and many of us are back or working with neighbors to get our communities back; then we’re gonna work to get even better. In the past the Saints fought to have a winning record; now they are fighting for the Super Bowl crown. We’re winning, bit by bit. We say “Who dat say dey gonna beat dem Saints?” but, the connection between team and town is so strong that we can easily ask “Who dat say dey gonna keep us down?” And even when we’re 3-13, we know the answer: no one. New Orleans right now has the potential to be a theatre for great, positive social change. The Saints, within the confines of the NFL, mirror that."

What he said. And Geaux Saints!




Geaux Saints!

2010-01-25T09:49:33.935-05:00

(Photo from Washington Post)Well good job, New Orleans. Well done. Those of us in New England certainly know what it's like to celebrate a kicker's heroics and it couldn't have happened to a better team. Now, I think I can speak for most New Englanders and Patriots fans when I say, please march into Miami and beat the stuffing out of Peyton Manning and his band of prancing ponies. HJ, who looked so sad and bereft in his Jets jersey yesterday, and who is normally so measured and rational about these things (I know, right? So weird), responded to my question about how he felt about the Super Bowl with, "I hope Drew Brees annihilates the stupid Colts." Which is something we can totally agree on. He also had great fun using my new gift from Chrissy, the world's best shark mittens, to work out some residual angst. "I'm Peyton Manning. La la la. CHOMP!" And who among us doesn't love that idea?In reality, this is likely the matchup the NFL wanted since it pits the two teams who have performed the best all season against each other. And that's fine and dandy and all, but the thought of Peyton Manning being within spitting distance of another Super Bowl turns my stomach. I mean, I've walked past the Manning house in the Garden District in New Orleans. There was a Colts flag flying outside (this was before they were acknowledging Eli as one of their own). Think Papa Manning is going to feel conflicted about this? I'm sure I'm not the first to bring that up and I certainly won't be the last. Odds are there will be thousands upon thousands of articles written about that in the coming weeks and I might just find myself a nice rock to crawl under to get away from it all. Because the fact that the Mannings are all over both sides of this Super Bowl means more Manning coverage which is just fantastic. ESPN is about thisclose to starting an All Manning, All The Time Network. I may have to go into sensory deprivation to keep from destroying HJ's very expensive television. The flip side of this, of course, is the Brett Favre storyline. Because it's ever so fitting that his career ended (maybe), for the second time on a game-sealing interception in an NFC championship game but homeboy is running out of teams with whom to attempt to win a Super Bowl. Though, as Chrissy pointed out, "The Bears would probably take him next year if he wants to keep being an asshole." She's probably right. Here's what I wonder though, about Old Man Favre. Everyone keeps talking about his quest to win a Super Bowl as though he's never done it before when in fact, he has. His 1997 Packers team beat the Patriots 35-21 at the Superdome and some of us remember that, Brett. So it's not like he's been playing for nigh on seventy years now without a shot at a championship and I don't know why we've been talking all season like this was his last, best shot. So if he really does retire (again), I think he can go back to selling Wranglers and big screen TVs at Sears and not be thinking about the Lombardi trophy that got away because he already has one. Which is one more than most people have. What I'm saying is, the Brett Favre Pity Train is leaving the station. The Saints, however, could do with a Super Bowl. And while I agree that if they were to win a few short weeks before Mardi Gras, it's entirely possible the whole city will remain drunk for a good seven to eight months, I can't really think of a city that deserves a therapeutic victory parade more. And any opportunity to turn the Colts into the national bad guy is one I plan to embrace wholeheartedly. My point being, go Saints! [...]



Who do you play for?

2010-01-15T10:14:51.134-05:00

(Photo from On Frozen Blog) You guys might not know this about me, but I am a total sucker for true-life, inspirational sports stories. Like the kind that Disney would reject as too schmaltzy (except, they, um, usually don't). The Rookie, Rudy, Friday Night Lights, all of that stuff. I eat it up. Maybe it's because I'm an easy mark and I always want to believe in the scrappy underdog but I can't help it, those kinds of movies usually have me crying myself dehydrated. The worst (or best) among them, though, is Miracle. I am telling you, that movie hit me where I live. Could be because I grew up a hockey fan, or that as a New Englander, the accents had a way of making me homesick when I wasn't far from home. Or that Kurt Russell and the boys playing his team did such a good job of getting a normally level-headed, politically considerate person to stand up and chant "USA! USA! USA!" by so convincingly villainizing the Russians. I don't remember the original Miracle on Ice as I was, um, less than four months old at the time, but man, I could watch that movie every day and never get sick of it. This is all by way of saying the Olympics are starting soon! And with them, men's ice hockey. Which is, in a word, AWESOME. I wrote a preview piece for NESN today about the primary players in the games. And while it's unlikely that we'll get another Miracle situation simply because we're letting professionals play in the games, that doesn't mean I'm not excited about it. To whit, a conversation I had with Chrissy yesterday:Me: We have to watch Olympic hockey this year because the NHL has not agreed to participate beyond the 2010 games. So they might be back to amateurs after this.Chrissy: BUT THEN WE CAN HAVE MIRACLE AGAIN.Me: True. Although, do we hate the Russians now? We don't, right? I mean, who else could we beat that would be as satisfactory? I don't think the Taliban fields a hockey team.Chrissy: It's true. It's hard. Me: Well, Zdeno Chara is playing for Slovakia. I don't know why but that makes me happy. I might secretly root for Slovakia.And then we proceeded to shout Miracle quotes at each other for the better part of two hours. As you do. [...]



"Frozen" being the operative word

2010-01-13T09:09:48.594-05:00

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(Giant foam fingers make everything awesome)

The good gentlemen over at Stadium Journey have already done a review of our beloved Fenway Park. But what is it like when a 98-year-old baseball park hosts a hockey game? Well, I'll tell you! Thanks to Chrissy and her BU connections, she scored us seats for Frozen Fenway, the game between BU and BC last Friday evening. Yours truly reviewed the experience and rated how the park stacked up for Stadium Journey.

Have a look and let us know what you think! And if you're one of the many shirtless and intoxicated gentlemen we saw that evening, could you kindly let me know if your nipples have thawed?



Great Googly Moogly

2010-01-11T10:14:09.984-05:00

(Photo from Boston.com)I don't know how you guys feel about it but I'm perfectly willing to blame yesterday's travesty on Bill Belichick's choice of headwear. Because it's really hard to look fearsome or intimidating while sporting a pom pom hat. It's just fact. The hoodie, as always, was a nice touch but the man is supposed to be a robot, impenetrable to cold, heat or human emotion. A kicky chapeau is not really the rallying cry we're looking for here, Bill. Maybe next time, wear a hard hat.As I explained to HJ this morning while moping around the apartment and trying to release the tension that's been residing between my shoulder blades for a week, it's one thing if your team loses a game that they played well and hard. It's one thing if they are merely outplayed or outcoached. It's one thing if the other team just has one more play in them. In any of those cases, you can at least go into the off-season confident in the fact that your team put it's best foot forward and it just wasn't enough. But yesterday wasn't like that. It wasn't like that at all. Yesterday, the Patriots were hapless, hopeless and, at times, downright embarassing. Which is not to take anything away from the Ravens who capitalized on every mistake the Patriots made. Which were many. In fact, the Ravens were playing like the Patriots of old. Which, in addition to angering me, made me wonder what had happened to our defensive-minded football team. The one who used to turn an opponent's weaknesses against them and forced them to make mistakes. Because that is certainly not the team we have now. And yes, Wes Welker was hurt and he was brought out for inspirational talks prior to the game, looking for all the world like Tiny Tim on his crutches. But you know what? It didn't work. And I'm sure it wasn't for lack of trying on Welker's part but there's only so much an injured slot receiver can do. And while I wouldn't have put it past Welker to drammatically toss aside his crutches, rip open his jacket to reveal his familiar #83 jersey and take the field in a gutsy and heartrending show of scrappiness, I'm not even sure that could have saved the Patriots. They just did not have it in them. For his part, I hope that Julian Edelmen's mom taped the game as her son appeared to be the only player on the field even trying yesterday and he deserves his own highlight reel. But he's the only one. After the game, I got an email from Greta in Baltimore, "Hi, Muffin," she said, "I'm really sorry it had to go down like that. We can still make Old Bay Bloody Marys and curse the name of the Irsay family next week, right?" To which I replied, "Dude? Take those fuckers DOWN." Because at this point, I will root for anyone who plays Indianapolis. And if there's anyone who hates the Colts more than the Patriots, it's the Ravens. So the enemy of the enemy is my friend and all that. Plus, early in the game yesterday they cut to commercial and it starred - surprise, surprise - Peyton Manning and I yelled, "This has nothing to do with you! Take your goofy forehead and hillbilly face and go away until next week!" My point being, I clearly have some unresolved issues with Peyton Manning and if Ray Lewis wants to take care of that for me, that'd be delightful.Look, I'd be lying if I said that I thought the Patriots were going all the way this year and that this season would finally redeem the 2007 Super Bowl loss. I never really felt that way. All season something just seemed off. The timing wasn't right or there were undisclosed injuries or questionable coaching moves. Perhaps Randy and Tommy are still working on getting back in synch after missing last season together. Perhaps some of them have lost a step. Perhaps Billiam really is getting a bit too big for his britches and needs to hire himself some coordinators STAT so as to take away so[...]



Razor Sharp

2010-01-06T16:11:07.246-05:00

(Photo from Stadium Journey)Look, the playoffs haven't started yet, Wes Welker's leg fell off and Theo Epstein keeps changing his mind about the players he wants on the Red Sox so often that it kind of feels like the team is being general managed by one of those giant Bingo cage ball wheel thingies. So instead of wondering who's going to be playing left field for the Sox this coming season (maybe you, maybe me, maybe my cat), and what's going to happen to the Patriots when they can't slant route to Welker (::shudder::), I've decided to throw a little something different your way. You all may remember a while back when I brought Stadium Journey to your attention when they'd posted their Fenway review. Well, now they've got one of Gillette up and it's a good read. Having only been to one professional football game in my twenty-nine years on this earth (I'd turn in my Pats fan card but I am not made of money, people), I didn't experience most of the awesomeness that the writer tells us about. Of course, the game I saw happened in mid-December during a snow storm and the Patriots beat the visiting Jets which is always delightful. The snowstorm was part of the fun. As was watching Pats fans throw snowballs at Chad Pennington on the Jets' sideline. But aside from the game and some pregame tailgaiting in, I believe, a Camry, there wasn't all that much going on. Granted, that was nearly five years ago at this point and since then, Patriot Place has been constructed. While I question whether a stadium built so obviously in the suburbs of a major city can have the same charm and effect of one built in the center of things (the writer mentions Baltimore's M&T Bank Stadium and some place in Indianapolis that I will not dignify with a mention), I think there is something to be said for letting the elements in which they certainly do at Gillette. Look, I'm from New England. It gets cold here. I deal with it. So can visiting football teams. Real teams, I'm sorry, don't play in domes. It's football. You sack up and deal. Anyway, take a gander at Jack Harver's review of Gillette Stadium and let me know your thoughts on the place. What's the best thing about it? What's the worst? What have your experiences at Patriots games been like? Really, people, until Theo gives me a notarized list of players for the upcoming season, I need to find something else to focus on. Why not the Gillette lighthouse? [...]



Ouch

2010-01-04T10:49:04.952-05:00

(Photo from Boston.com)If it's all the same to you, I'm going to go ahead and blame Bernard Pollard for this most recent string of Patriots' misfortune. I realize that Pollard was nowhere near Welker when his knee went kablooey and rather fell on him afterwards but it's way easier to blame him than to direct my ire at the turf. So from now on, any Patriots injuries will be blamed on Bernard Pollard. If I so much as bang my shin on my coffee table while getting up to get a drink during a Patriots game, I'm blaming it on Pollard. Apparently, Pollard feels terrible about being involved with the Brady injury last September and the aftermath of the Welker injury. And that's great and all, but you'll forgive me if my sympathy doesn't lie with Pollard and his bruised feelings. I trust you all understand. I can't be the only one whose excitement over winning the division and making the playoffs was squashed when Welker pulled up and grabbed his knee, can I? Because I'm also sure I'm not the only one who's noticed that the difference in the team this year when they're playing well and when they're not is Welker. There is nothing that pisses off opposing fans so much as the slant route to Welker because, for some reason, no one can ever seem to stop it. And while Julian Edelman will do his very best Welker impression, there's no substitute for the real thing. What I'm saying is, I'm worried, guys. I'm real worried. Especially since Ray Lewis and Ed Reed are salivating over the opportunity to eat Tom Brady whole next week. And the longer this team goes without making up for 2007 (and doesn't it sort of feel like that's what they're always going to be trying to do?), the more painful that loss becomes. None of this is helped along by the fact that it's time for the "Decade's Best" lists and no one can resist the urge to shove that David Tyree catch down our throats every chance they get. Personally, I've stood up and left the room so many times when it comes on that I'm pretty sure HJ thinks I have ants in my pants. What can I say? I can't watch it. Now, it's true that the Pats could surprise everyone and go further in the playoffs than anyone expects. If we've learned anything about them over the course of the last ten years, it's that they can certainly surprise you. But I suspect this time, it might take a little more than they have. [...]



New knight in town

2009-12-15T09:50:26.500-05:00

(Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images North America) Okay, okay, I'll admit it. The best piece of news from the whole weekend in baseball shenanigans that just went down was the fact that the Yankees didn't manage to snatch Roy Halladay. And I really hate being "that" fan who is less concerned with the maneuverings of her own team than she is with keeping people away from the Yankees but it's gotten to a point where I'm starting to see the viewpoints of the rest of the baseball-loving country and I'm wondering if there should be some sort of embargo on big name free agents going to Boston OR New York. Because poor, little Kansas City is over there all "Um, guys? We have the Cy Young winner. So, you can, you know, come play here and...it will be fun? Also there's barbecue." Plus, that would prevent any ramping up of the Red Sox/Yankees rivalry which, frankly, doesn't really need any help. I went on a rather uncharitable rant in the car on the way to New York on Friday about how if I hear one more Yankee fan claim that the Yankees "need" Roy Halladay, I'm going to throw the mother of all temper tantrums and take my ball and go home. HJ very kindly did not throw me out of the moving vehicle. But apparently, the point is moot since Philadelphia is turning itself into it's own baseball powerhouse and we might have something else to worry about. And then there's John Lackey. Who is ours now. Which is good, in the sense that good pitchers are always good things to have. But I wonder if I have to backpedal now as I've certainly spent an inordinate amount of time making fun of John Lackey over the years. Then I remember that I still call Josh Beckett "Fathead" and so really, I don't do backpedaling. Which is why I still claim that Lackey looks like one of the knights who say "Ni!" If he performs well, that'll morph into something affectionate. If he doesn't, well, I might start making jokes about flesh wounds. I'm just saying. Prepare thyself. Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition. [...]



Who are these guys?

2009-12-07T10:16:21.506-05:00

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(Photo from Yahoo! Sports)

No, seriously, who are these people wearing throwback uniforms and masquerading as my football team? Because I know they can't be the same guys who smacked down Tennessee 59-0 earlier this season because THAT team does not let Miami win on a last-minute field goal after an end zone interception because THAT team is better than that. THAT team also plays defense. Something THIS team most certainly does not.

I realize we're spoiled here in New England and we've become used to winning more often than not. But the thing is, I'm convinced the Patriots are a better football team than what they're showing right now. Apparently even Rodney Harrison claimed that he didn't recognize this team to which I have two things to say: 1) ME NEITHER WHO ARE THESE IMPOSTERS? And 2) want to come back, Rodney? We'll take you back. Promise.

'Cause look, no offense to Chad Henne or anything but there is only supposed to be one super good Michigan quarterback and his name rhymes with Bom Trady. And I don't know if Belichick is either suffering from some PTSD Indianapolis game flashbacks or if he's trying to prove his point with the constantly going for it on fourth down but I feel like the coaching has been really uneven this season and that is NEVER something I would have imagined myself saying ever about a Bill Belichick-coached Patriots team.

It's more frustrating than not, I think because even if this team makes the playoffs, the team, as it's playing now, certainly isn't getting very far. I can't see this current team making it past the first round. And that makes me sad because in New England, we are STILL gnashing our teeth over the Lost Super Bowl of Aught Seven and we are STILL waiting for vengeance. And every year we aren't winning, is another year where that thorn in our side twists a little deeper. It feels like unfinished business is what and we're practical people here in New England. We like to finish what we start.

What this all feels like to me is some sort of hellish waiting game. Like we're just sitting around, feeling helpless about the prospects for the future with this football team, either in the here and now - like next week - or more long term. And there's really nothing for us to do but eat chips and buffalo wings. It's slightly better than waiting in line at the RMV. But only because of the buffalo wings.



Belated Thanks

2009-11-27T11:15:43.692-05:00

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(Photo from Boston.com)

I trust you'll all forgive me for taking this long to post either a) the Jets/Patriots game recap or b) a Happy Thanksgiving wish to all of you lovely people but I promise I have a good excuse. You see, the swine. The swine is what happened. First if afflicted HJ who spiked a shockingly high fever and then passed it on to me and we spent the past four days alternating between the couch and the bed and moaning and hallucinating commercials wherein Peyton Manning and Justin Timberlake played ping pong and spoke Mandarin (that was a hallucination, right?)

We emerged from our sickness comas just long enough to watch the Patriots take down the Jets in delightful fashion (well, delightful for me, not so much for HJ), and to see Wes Welker act as a god amongst men. And then we went right back to coughing and napping. But Wes Welker, man, Wes Welker. Which, actually, is a nice segueway into things I'm thankful for:

- slant routes to Wes Welker
- Mark Sanchez's rookie mistakes
- the turkey, brisket AND lamb HJ's mom and sister cooked for yesterday's festivities (we were not short on food here, people)
- the fact that I have ANOTHER Thanksgiving dinner planned tomorrow with my family
- being blessed with the sanity to stay as far away from any retail outlets today as possible
- that I no longer work in retail
- HJ's sister's very, very cute Wheaton puppy
- Bill Belichick's impressive collection of hoodies
- Tamaflu
- sick days
- irish car bomb cupcakes (really)
- family and friends
- Shark Week
- healthy new wee people both recent and upcoming for family and friends
- you guys
- Rankin Bass Christmas specials
- Monday Night Football

I think that about covers it. I do sincerely hope you all continue to have a restful break and that you remembered to pack your stretchy pants. And that you all enjoyed watching Eli Manning get embarrassed last night as much as I did.



The Longest Two Yards

2009-11-18T09:52:17.625-05:00

(Photo from Yahoo! Sports)It's been a few days. We've all calmed down a little. Nothing in my fancy new apartment is in danger of my destructive wrath anymore so...maybe we can talk about it a little. Maybe? Here's the thing: I'm not going to excoriate Bill Belichick. I will not second-guess or verbally flay or make fun of his hoodie. (Besides, he was wearing the fancy prime time navy blue sweatshirt on Sunday night). And I don't think it's because I'm an unapologetic Belichick sycophant. I think it's because a true understanding of football and the strategy involved dictates that sometimes, you play the numbers. And sometimes, in so doing, you lose. There is no hard and fast rule about "If you do A, then B will happen," in football. Unless it's "if you let the Browns play professional football, they will find a way to embarrass themselves" but that's another issue for another day. My point is, I kind of, sort of appreciate the gusty call. Because if you've ever watched a football game with me, you know the number of times I implore a team to "Go for it!" on fourth down is roughly equivalent to the number of mentions of just what, exactly, Brett Favre is up to these days. Meaning, I say it a lot. Especially in short yardage situations. I hate punting. Punting bores me. Punting feels like defeat. And yes, I realize that not getting the fourth down resulted in actual defeat but not, you know, immediately. I respect a coach essentially telling his team "I believe you can get two yards and if you can't, I believe the defense can stop them." It didn't work out and believe me, I am not happy about that. Instead of going straight to bed, I worked out my frustration by washing dishes and cleaning the kitchen (a rather industrious and productive use of angry energy, I'll grant you), but still. There are questions regarding the spot and the fact that the Patriots were out of timeouts and so couldn't challenge it and I have my own feelings on that which I'll keep silent because the last thing I want is the internet raining down all it's "Coltz 4 EVA" nauseating bullshit on me but suffice it to say, I remain dubious. That said, I don't suppose any of us should be surprised by Belichick's decision nor his subsequent refusal to apologize. The very reason we like the guy so much in New England is exactly the reason the rest of the league hates him. He's kind of an asshole. He's pretty much an unapologetic, football-scheming robot. He takes in information and yardage and statistics and spits out some play-calling decisions, never once letting emotion or personal feelings come into the process. So it shouldn't surprise any of us that when he made the decision to go for it on Sunday night, he did so based purely on the numbers. He was concerned with two yards and the statistical probability of Kevin Faulk gaining those two yards. He was not concerned with the emotional well-being of the New England fans or the fact that my new neighbors may have called the police when they heard screaming coming from Apt. E. And he certainly wasn't concerned with buying me a new coffee table. After all, he wasn't the one who nearly destroyed it. That up there, by the way, was the rational side of my brain attempting to talk myself calmly through this process and find a way to accept a loss in a game we absolutely should have won. The other side of my brain? The part responsible for nearly going on a destructive rampage from which no remote stayed unhurled and no couch cushion remained untorn? That side of my brain is begging, imploring even the rest of the league to find a way to beat Peyton Manning. Because I will not be able to take it if the freakin'[...]



There is nothing better...

2009-11-09T11:37:20.419-05:00

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(Photo from Boston.com)

...than making Joey Porter shut up. It's positively delightful. After his semi-cryptic rambling last week about not liking the Patriots and the Patriots not liking him and default Division winners or some nonsense, well, basically, shut up, Joey. Forever.

Also, Randy Moss making beautiful one-handed catches makes even a November day seem like springtime. I mean, that's why it was 70 degrees, right? The Tom and Randy show? That's what I thought.


Myself, I was in Manhattan at a sports bar watching the game with a Ravens fan and two Steelers fans (who were free to eat wings as the Steelers don't play until Monday Night Football this evening), and a football neophyte who enjoyed nothing so much as the touchdown dances and aforementioned Buffalo wings. However, upon leaving, I did shake the hand of the gentleman at the bar wearing the Tom Brady jersey and told him it's nice to see Pats fans represented in New York as I suspect that doesn't happen so much, especially considering the Super Bowl that never happened a couple years back. Jen asked if I knew him. "Well, he was wearing a Tom Brady jersey so...kind of."

We gotta stick together, you see?

Additionally? Wes Welker, I love you. The end.



So THAT happened...

2009-11-05T13:10:34.848-05:00

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(Photo from Yahoo! Sports)

The Yankees apparently misunderstood what I REALLY wanted for my birthday and instead decided to win the World Series yesterday. Three minutes before midnight by my clock. So, on the same day, I turned almost 30 and was subjected to watching the Yankees win the World Series. Though, to be fair, I also had several birthday margaritas in me at this point so can't I just pretend that the whole thing was a tequila-induced hallucination? I'd like to.

This might prove difficult as I head to NYC this weekend for some birthday weekend celebrations. Something tells me Yankees fans will be just a teensy bit vocal. This, in all likelihood, is what iPods are for. Also, alcohol. Also? Heroin.

I am trying to be gracious about this because, against all odds, I seem to have amassed a group of Yankee fans whom I actually quite like. And while I care not a whit for their team or their whole "Now it's home" nonsense in regards to the World Series trophy because, I'm sorry, but you didn't INVENT baseball - I do think my friends are lovely people and it's nice when people you like are happy. Also, HJ is very patient with me when I stomp around the apartment and throw pillows and Wii remotes at his expensive HD television when the Patriots do something stupid because I KNOW how he feels about Tom Brady, so I suppose I owe it to him to allow him to be happy about this without being bitchy about it. Or at least, that is my mantra. Plus he got me an awesome birthday present AND he comes by his fanhood honestly and didn't just adopt the Yankees because he wanted to follow a winner. Also, he trekked all the way to DC to watch me run a marathon and didn't even think twice about hugging me afterwards when I probably smelled worse than the inside of a football locker room after a September game in a heat wave. So I stayed up so that when his team won, he'd have someone to hug because all his like-minded Yankee fan people were in New York, including his dad who was AT THE GAME. I sort of feel like people shouldn't have to celebrate their championships alone, regardless of their team. I've experienced what it's like to create our own makeshift families because of the teams we follow and I think that extends to everyone, regardless of rooting interest. Perhaps I am going soft but I like to think this is all making me a better person, right?

ANYWAY, now it's officially football season. For real and for serious now. Or hockey season, should that be your thing. And it should be. Because hockey is awesome. But no one listens to me.



Hey! Look! A cool thing!

2009-10-28T18:06:35.038-04:00

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(Photo from Stadium Journey)

Considering that it's no longer, you know, baseball season per se here in New England, it's understandable that you might be jonesing for some baseball-y goodness devoid of talk about A-Rod's sudden resurgence and his subsequent role as New York's baseball messiah. It's also possible that the rain and wind and seriously, was that snow last week? and other insane weather may have you dreaming of warmer temperatures and longer days. Perhaps you're even thinking of taking a baseball-centric trip next year. Or perhaps you're just looking for the best burrito outside Landshark Stadium. In any case, Stadium Journey is worth your time.

Full disclosure: I share an apartment with one of the founders. And he is, in point of fact, a New York sports fan. But that little hiccup aside shouldn't keep you from checking out the site. It's actually a very cool site with reviews of professional stadiums and the surrounding areas where the writers rate everything from sight lines to value to historic importance of the stadium. Jonah and Dan's reviews of our very own Fenway can be found here.

The eventual plan for the site will prove extremely useful for visitors to any city featuring a sports team - professional or otherwise - as they've got big ideas for message boards and user-generated content. Like say you're going to Phoenix for work and you feel like taking in a Coyotes game while you're there (provided Wayne Gretzky has his way and they keep a hockey team in the completely ridiculous location of Phoneix, Arizona), and you want to book a hotel nearby. The idea is the site will be able to help with that. And also with recommendations for good food, good bars and perhaps even a good deal on that hard-to-find Coyotes bobblehead. The SJ boys are also very open to ideas and want to hear from you. The Stadium Journey Facebook page is here. It's entirely possible that they have a Twitter account too but I'm old and now assume that Twitter is something professional athletes use to snipe at each other with poorly constructed insults.

Semi-personal plug though it may be, we've got to do something to get through the winter. And the Patriots only play once a week. Might as well read about how the hot dogs in Chicago stack up to the pierogis in Pittsburgh.



I run the marathon til the very last mile*

2009-10-27T12:12:04.640-04:00

(Photo by Greta)The thing is, when you finish a marathon, you get a giant silver medal with an eagle and like a globe and stuff being all hooray for you, and also America! Also? Maybe the coolest part? You get a space blanket. And a Marine gives both of those things to you. Which is pretty cool because Marines? Are fairly awesome. They're also unfailingly polite and tireless because they worked all the water/Powerade stops along the way and always said "You're welcome, Ma'am" when I thanked them for the water. Plus, I mean, they spent the entire day getting half-empty cups of Berry Blast Powerade tossed at them by sweaty and cranky runners. Those marines are no joke.A bit sadistic, perhaps, as they put the last .2 miles of the course UP A HILL but at that point I was so over being in pain and being tired that I sprinted across the finish line, just to show them. Because if you think I wasn't running across the finish line of the marathon, well, you just don't know me at all. And even if I'm walking like a zombie today and am seriously questioning the sanity of anyone who chooses to do this kind of thing, I wouldn't change the experience for anything. Mostly because I raised a lot of money for a great cause that means a lot to me, and because I have the best, most supportive cheering section anyone could ask for. I mean, Harlan and Greta drew a sign with a picture of a shark chasing someone that said, "Run! Shark!" to inspire me. Perhaps you have to be me to know exactly how awesome that is, but it really was the best thing ever and even if it's hard to run while you're laughing, it sure helped. Not to mention my parents who provided me with champagne and a bathtub full of ice immediately following the race. Then there were my co-runners, Katherine, Kristin and Doug, all finishers and all total super stars. All people whom I could not have done this without. When we all retired to a nearby sports bar after the race to enjoy some previously-taboo alcoholic beverages and the restorative powers of buffalo wings, I couldn't have asked for better company.And finally, there were you guys, and all the incredibly generous donations you made to the Alzheimer's Association. I am so proud and humbled to have such wonderful people supporting me. I initially did this as a way to honor my Memere but as I was running, I realized that I was also doing it for you guys, as a way to validate all your support. I can't ever thank you enough. Also, even though I know Memere would be proud of me in that way that only bragging grandmothers can, she also would have asked me what was wrong with taking a car. So thank you guys, thank you for everything. *with apologies to the Beastie Boys(More pictures to come as they're uploaded)[...]



Hooray for You!

2009-10-19T08:49:04.070-04:00

(Picture from http://tennisnoise.wordpress.com)Andy Roddick is telling you all how awesome you are. Do you know how awesome you are? I'll tell you. You are $4991.24 amount of awesome. That's a lot of awesome. A whole lot of awesome. Perhaps even a metric ton of awesome. (I know the counter says $4716.24 but there are a couple checks waiting to clear so ignore that.) $4991.24!Either you people are the greatest thing since Cocoa Puffs and you love to support a good cause or you want to see me suffer for several miles. Either way, the end result is the same. Lots of moola for Alzheimer's research. Either way, you're all my heroes.So thank you, thank you, THANK YOU to all of you who've donated. When I set the goal of $5,000 months and months ago, I thought perhaps it was too ambitious. I should know better than to ever doubt you guys. You've never let me down before. Now, there's still time to donate, should you want to, and no one says I can't surpass my goal. But I wanted to make sure I took the time to update and thank you all. Sunday's marathon won't be easy, but I figure that at every mile marker, I'll just tell myself, "There's another $190.84 for Alzheimer's research from my ass-kicking people" and then I'll just...keep...going. Spurned on, of course, by my world-class cheering section. And also possibly by some Marines. (I'm only human, people). But really, thank you all for all your support in this. It takes special people to listen to what I want to do and not be all, "Girl, you crazy," so for that, I am supremely grateful. Now, on to DC! [...]



All Smiles

2009-10-19T08:25:23.410-04:00

(Photo from Yahoo! Sports)I'm with these charming gentlemen above, it's all smiles in New England after that game. Something about the early snow and the throwback uniforms (which I had not previously been in favor of because there's really no need for nostalgia about an era in which the Patriots were known around the league as the "Patsies" despite the enduring awesomeness of the Pat Patriot logo), made it seem like, I don't know, Christmas or something. Randy Moss and Tom Brady certainly seemed to think so. And the elfin Wes Welker even got in on the fun. Of course, since it's nigh impossible to just enjoy a football game nowadays if you're a Patriots fan without someone telling you that your team is a bunch of running up the score assholes who feast on babies and puppies at halftime, allow me to state that I too, wished Brady had been removed just a smidge earlier because I've no desire to relive what it's like to play a season without my star quarterback. But that said, they did take him out in favor of his backup and I don't think you sit your starter before halftime despite your lead. Especially if said starter lost in overtime last week because he still couldn't manage to get on the same page as his receivers. I mean, you work out the kinks where you can. And if that's at the expense of the Titans (erm, Oilers?), then so be it. If they can't stop the Patriots backup quarterback who is, I don't mind telling you, a gentleman I'm fairly certain was invented this very day, from waltzing into the end zone, well, that's not our problem. If Vince Young wants to throw for negative two yards? I mean, what are they supposed to do, hand back the interception all, "I believe you dropped this?" I don't think so. Also, I think you DO go for it on fourth down when you're up by a gazillion points because if you just kick it, then you're padding your points total. And if you go for it, at least you're giving the opposition a chance to stop you. Of course, since Tennessee is apparently made of marzipan and baking soda, stopping a Pop Warner team from Billerica probably wasn't going to happen but even still.People disagree with me, but that's how I see it.Phew. It felt good to get that off my chest. Anyway, welcome back, Tom Brady! Good to see you, sir. Been a while. About halfway through the game, my brother sent me a text message that read, "I hope you enjoy my time machine. I like 2007." And since I seem to remember a football team of mine that could score points at will, I enjoyed that. And if one more person says the word "hubris" to me, I'm going to destroy a small village. Because it's not like anyone in New England is UNAWARE of what happened the last time they were scoring all these points, but damn, people, we can't enjoy a win? Seriously? Leave us alone for a few minutes, jeez. Instead, I will just say - as we do it in New England - FLEA FLICKA! That? Was a thing of beauty. At one point, after that beautiful play before which we'd seen Brady and Randy chatting on the sidelines, I speculated to Chrissy what that conversation must have been like. Me: "Do you think Randy was all, 'Hey remember when we scored like twelve thousand points a game?' and Brady was all 'vaguely,' and Randy said, 'that was fun, let's do that again,' and Brady said, 'Cool. Flea flicker?' and Randy was like, 'Word." Chrissy: "You missed a few 'muthafuckas' I think but otherwise, I'd say that's a faithful transcription." I mean, probably that is exactly what happened, right? I guess what I[...]



A Day to Forget

2009-10-12T09:05:31.498-04:00

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(Photo from Yahoo! Sports)

The great thing about being on a plane for yesterday's sporting events, is I can pretend that none of them happened.

So...how was your weekend?



Back on Top

2009-10-05T11:46:03.180-04:00

(Photo from Boston.com)You'll forgive me if I don't have much to say about the whole Terrell Suggs business or Jared Gaither's injury (which sounds terrible and, of course, I wish him a speedy recovery) because, you see, I didn't get back home until about halfway through the second quarter as I was laboring over a 22-mile training run and hating everything that came after mile 15. And the thing about 22 mile training runs is that they take a long time. And so you're probably not going to be able to be home in time to watch the start of the Patriots game like you'd planned. Which is maybe actually a good thing because the bloodcurdling screams you're sure to unleash when someone heads in the direction of your quarterback's knees are probably enough to get the neighbors to file a complaint.So what I'm saying is, I'm glad I missed any controversy in that arena. What I did see, however, when HJ was kind enough to drive me to the bar (so he could watch his Jets and I could get buffalo wings because I am that distinct kind of creature who fuels marathon training not with Gatorade and PowerBars but with buffalo wings and onion rings), is the Patriots fight off a very determined - and I think very good - Baltimore Ravens team. Were it not for a critical case of cement hands by Mark Clayton, the Patriots do not win this game. HJ and I have talked about how everyone has been saying for years that Baltimore is going to be really dangerous when they get themselves an offense. And we just might be living it now. Greta, because she is from Baltimore and because she is also my best friend, knows that we do not speak during Patriots/Ravens games but she was quick to tell me afterwards that she went out and bought an Ed Reed jersey, which thing I am actually quite proud of because the girl did not grow up watching football and she credits me with making her a fan. Which could either be good or bad, depending on how many times she gets her heart broken. But then, as soon as the game was official and I told her that I really am impressed with her quarterback and his Unibrow of Doom, we went on to hating Rex Ryan and rooting for the demise of the Jets together. But quietly, of course, because HJ did get me those much-needed buffalo wings after all. All in all, I am glad to see the offense figuring things out. Week 4 seems late in the season for the first Tom Brady to Randy Moss touchdown but we knew they'd get around to it eventually. Likewise, the return of Wes Welker was fantastic to see, if for no other reason than opposing fans HATE the slant route to Welker because no one can seem to figure out how to defend against it. When really I think it's just that they can't commit to defending against it because on any given play, the Pats could go slant to Welker, hand off to Taylor (or Maroney or Faulk or Morris) or long bomb to Moss. Or even Ben Watson who is becoming a personal favorite. They have a lot of weapons, is what I'm saying, and it's hard to defend against them when you don't know which one they're going to employ. I suppose that's true of every half-decent football team but the fact remains. As for the Jets, I've been pissy these past few weeks because everyone was fawning all over them and had all but handed Rex Ryan the Lombardi trophy while ignoring the fact that a) they were not the only 3-0 team in the NFL and b) I think there are actually other, better teams out there (like perhaps New Orleans or those afor[...]



Now you've done it

2009-10-01T10:20:55.872-04:00

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(Photo from Boston.com)

See? Now you've made daddy angry. You wouldn't like daddy when he's angry. He's liable to trade you or make Other daddy keep you off the playoff roster.

And you know what that means? No goggles and Riverdancing for you.