M: So… busy time of year in Boston. Bruins and Celtics had the same day for Media Day.
S: I do remember a certain coworker of mine practically tearing his hair out at some parts of last season when we had tandem TVs with hockey and basketball on at the same time. It was pretty painful to see.
M: Oh my god, that was BRUTAL for me.
S: Dude, my office sounded like a war zone. Yelling, shouting, cursing, the whole nine yards.
M: Yeah, that was my apartment. And it was just me in there.
So Monday our usual time for tea and sports talk rolls around, and I send a message to Sarah and we’re both busy/tired enough that neither of us are particularly interested in even half-assing it. Which is why, this week, Tea Time is on Tuesday. I sincerely wish we had a better excuse, but seriously, neither of us were in any state.
Had we tried to perform, our conversation would have likely devolved into screaming fights or endless strings of profanities, and while in my everyday life that’s pretty common, I like to keep it offline.
This week: I force Sarah to talk about basketball for, like, 2 seconds and she can’t even make it that long, we talk about looming baseball playoffs, the rebirth of optimism over the Patriots, and finally– the Bruins season is upon us. All four sports, one of them in the playoffs. Praises be.
It’s been 132 days since Scott Walker killed us in overtime.
It’s been 104 days since the Pens won the cup.
85 days since Free Agency.
71 days since the Winter Classic announcement.
62 days without Wardo.
24 days since informals started.
ONE MORE WEEK until hockey returns. But in the meantime, we have preseason hockey!
Preaseason is a great time; the NHL uses the opportunity to hold exhibition games around Canada and the USA. By some stroke of weird…I guess you could call it luck, one of said exhibition games was held in Loveland, CO, fifteen minutes from where I live. Granted, it was the Phoenix Coyotes and the Tampa Bay Lightning, but the Lightning just recently became the affiliates of the Colorado Eagles, the WHL team who currently play in that arena. It’s a tiny place, and was only about half full.
It’s this time of year that things start getting complicated for fans of multiple sports. Just as baseball playoff races heat up, football starts and hockey starts, with all the excitement of the new season, and close behind them is basketball.
Obviously, this keeps us very busy.
Over this week’s cup of tea (we’re going with a lovely Assam this week) and some cucumber sandwiches, Sarah and I have a great deal to discuss: not one but two very dramatic Patriots games, the Bruins preseason and the Kessel trade, plus our beloved Red Sox are on a wicked hot streak, which isn’t that uncommon when we go to Camden Yards, but it’s coming at a critical time of the season.
All this has happened before, and all this will happen again. (YESSS, two nerdy sci-fi references and I’m just getting warmed up!)
As is well-documented, Bostonians are fiercely loyal to our home teams. Like, excessively fiercely loyal. I’m guilty of this, as are millions of other fans around the New England region. We will defend our teams to the end, we’ll punch you in the face (or at the very least, curse your entire family including your dead grandma) if you mention 18-1 or the Yankees’ eleventy-billion World Series trophies or the Canadiens’ eleventy-billion Stanley Cups, and we will sure as hell sport our jerseys/hats/team gear in enemy territory with the greatest of pride. Spot another Red Sox cap or Patriots t-shirt while you’re away from the region, and a fist-bump or at the very least a nod and a smile is totally necessary, while an extensive conversation about whatever teams are currently playing is highly encouraged.
There is a flip-side, though: a player leaves us for an enemy team and badmouth our city, and they are DEAD to us.
We saw it when Damon went to the Yankees, when Clemens finally left Boston, and to a smaller extent, when Vinatieri left for Indy, though Vinatieri was a lot more gracious to his former team. Boston has a long history of feeling used by the players we loved; hypothetically, this dates back to Babe Ruth. It’s totally legitimate, though – if you love a player and he abandons your team for one you hate, obviously the hate is going to transfer. If the abandonment is for monetary reasons, the hate will multiply exponentially. If the player sings the praises of the new team and basically craps all over Boston? Forget it, we’re done. (see: Clemens, Roger.)
As of Friday, it has happened again. Phil Kessel, the Bruins’ leading scorer in 2008-2009, has signed a 5-year, $27-million contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs.
So Sarah and I were really, genuinely, truly planning on doing an epic and comprehensive Patriots Season Preview, the kind you see on fancy-schmancy blogs with like, design concepts and a readership and all that stuff.
But as the preseason ticked onwards, Sarah and I kept getting distracted and it kept getting put off.
So now the season opener is upon us, and so we found an hour between crap to just talk about the Patriots this season. We’ve done minimal research here beyond reading ridiculous advice for our fantasy football teams, probably miss some really important stuff, but look, the title says it’s half-assed, so what do you expect? We’re very busy, you know.
But we’re always talking about sports, and we figured we’d just work the Pats stuff into our usual Monday bullshitting session, which we do anyway and now will just stick up online.
Please excuse the lateness of the preview, and here’s hoping we do better next time, and at least talk about the Patriots with an air of authority. Maybe if we’re feeling confident enough, we can even scream and yell and pound our fists on the desk.
Ah, the hockey offseason. It’s finally drawing to a close – soon there will be no more long stretches of weeks where all we have to ponder are rehashes of trades that don’t exist, of offer sheets and second-round picks, of postulations on what exactly each and every GM is thinking. No, soon we will be back in the easy rhythm and flow of a game every few days, with new material to nitpick and gnaw on almost faster than we can process.
However, the end of the offseason does have its up sides – if you can call them that. The players arrive back in town, informal practices are free and open to the public (and I encourage you ALL to go and take lots of photos and post them so I can pretend like I’m there), and then, the pinnacle of September – golf tournaments and fundraisers happen!
The Boston Bruins Foundation Golf Tournament happened yesterday. This gallery makes it seem like lots of fun was had, lots of money was probably raised, and Marc Savard loves to golf. However, with more than a quick look through this gallery, a few things come to the attention of the careful viewer. MHC wants this gallery to stop existing, but no – I’m inclined to disagree. We can use these photos to analyze our team! Let’s start at picture number one. Continue reading