mr. blackandwhite

Don’t believe everything you read..
September 25, 2009, 2:00 pm
Filed under: Sports,The Pats

I saw this on twitter:

"realpatriotsFYI RT @Adam_Schefter: That whole Rhodes-Harrison feud
last week? Made up. @Rodneyh37 is an impostor, a false account. Please

To be honest I have no idea what the Rhodes-Harrison feud even was. I just think it's funny seeing MSM fall all over itself. I'm like that.

Just something to think about next time you're reading something on ESPN, the bastion of journalizm..

That’s great kid, now don’t get cocky..
June 20, 2008, 3:05 pm
Filed under: Sports,The B's,The Celts,The Pats,The Sox

Happy Friday everybody! I'm still enjoying the after-glow of the Boston Celtics' 17th NBA Championship. I would have loved to have attended the C's Championship parade yesterday. The weather was great and it looked like a good time was had by all. I went to one of The Patriots' parades a few years ago and it was a blast. I love a Championship Parade.

It's just a great feeling seeing the C's win another championship after 22 years, especially after the horror-show of a season they endured last year. I think I watched maybe three or four Celtics games total last season. It was just too painful to watch them lose night after night.

With the 2008 NBA finals being a Celtics / Lakers throwback to the 80's, it's been funny to look at the old pics from the '86 Championship celebration and see all the people wearing those painters caps and Ray Ban Wayfarers (I still have some of those actually).

I remember when those painters caps were the big thing. You were fully in style if you were wearing the painters cap, Wayfarers and high-top Nikie sneaks with the Sony Walkman headphones jammed in your ears. Ha! Pretty funny.

Now that the C's have won it all, as happy as I am about it, I have to admit to you, I'm almost as relieved as I am happy. It's going to feel nice to be able to just relax for a few months! All these championships are great, but man, they are extremely stressful! My sports related stress-o-meter has been through the roof! I need a break!

I need to decompress a little after the Red Sox World Series, The Pats chase for a perfect NFL record and Superbowl, The B's taking the #1 seeded (and #1 hated) Habs to seven games in the Stanley Cup playoffs and The Celts playing more playoff games than any other team in history en route to their 17th Championship. Whew!! I wonder what my average blood-pressure has been these last few months.

Now it's just nice, soothing Red Sox baseball on a warm summer night and the occasional NASCAR race till Fall, when the pennant race heats up and, hopefully for Sox fans, October, when the MLB playoffs begin.

Let's do it all again (except let the B's and Pats win at the end this time.)

Oh my goodness am I ever spoiled, or what?? Yes. I know it. Hey, at least I openly admit to it! I'm not ashamed of it, but I admit to it! HA.

One of the things I've been reading a lot lately is that the C's winning the championship has eased the pain of the Patriots loss in Superbowl XLII. I have to go along with that. That Superbowl loss was pretty tough. I've thought about it, painfully, for months. Seeing the Celtics get #17 has definetely helped put The Patriots' Superbowl loss where it belongs, in the past.

As Angela's Dad said, 'The Sports Gods couldn’t give up Super Bowl 42 because they were holding out for the Celtics #17.'

Makes sense to me.

Would I trade the C's 2008 Championship for a Pats' win in Superbowl XLII and an undefeated NFL season? Do me a favor and don't ask me that question ok? It makes my brain hurt a little to think about that question.

Ok fuck it, I'll answer it. The answer is no, even if I could, I would not trade it. I love The Pats, Sox, B's and C's and even though The Pats are head and shoulders at the top of the list, I would not, could not wish away one of my team's successes for the betterment of another. Besides it's impossible anyway so why waste time thinking about stuff like that? If I'm gonna wish for something, I'm gonna wish for a paid off mortgage and a swimming pool. And world peace, of course.

The thing that is really great is that The Pats, Sox, B's and C's are all built to remain contenders year after year. That's right Boston haters, the chances are pretty good that we'll be back again for more in a few months. Till then, enjoy your vacation from us!

(Oh yeah I AM spoiled.)

Book Review: Little League, Big Dreams
September 25, 2007, 8:00 am
Filed under: Books,Sports

I recently finished reading a very interesting and enjoyable book called Little League, Big Dreams, by Charles Euchner. I happened to finish the book, coincidentally, just about the time that the 2007 Little League World Series was wrapping up.

Little League, Big Dreams uses the 2005 Little League World Series as the back-drop to present the underlying theme of the book, what Euchner calls, ‘The Professionalism of Childhood’. In the book Euchner describes the hard work and sacrifice that these young baseball players go through (some may say, endure) in order to make it into the Little League World Series tournament.

There were a number of areas that struck me when reading this book. The biggest thing that stood out was the dedication and sacrifice that coaches, parents and, most importantly, kids are willing to make in order to win these Little League baseball games.

The book describes kids who are willing to sacrifice permanent, long term damage to their not yet fully-developed arms in order to win. High pitch counts (at times throwing close to, and sometimes over 100 pitches in a game), pitching on three days rest, and throwing the dangerous curve ball, whatever it takes to win. It describes the coaches who demand this of their players and the parents who allow it all to happen.

Is it worth it? Is it worth having a 12 year old kid cause permanent damage to his arm to win a Little League baseball game? It is suggested at one point that Little League baseball is burning out the arms of talented kids who could potentially become big-league pitchers some day. You want to know the reason for the demise of pitching in today’s game? Take a look at what’s going on in Little League.

The book also spends a lot of time describing Little League coaches; grown men, some of whom are former big-league players themselves, treating Little League baseball as if it were the big leagues, and demanding the same types of sacrifices from their young players. Do these men take things a little bit too far over ‘a kid’s game’?

Focusing on teams from Hawaii, California and the Carribian nation of Curacao, Eucher describes the ideology of each team and the various methods that are used in order to get into the tournament. He describes kids giving up an entire summer to baseball, 6 days a week of training and practice, ‘every day but Sunday’ for an entire summer (sounds like fun?) He describes the different types of Leagues that are out there, Cal Ripken Baseball, PONY League, various travel teams, and how they are basically used as a training ground for the real goal of winning the Little League tournaments that will get your team into the World Series.

The quality of play in Little League baseball might not be as high as the competition a team will face in a PONY League or Cal Ripken League game, but those leagues have nothing that compares to the potential fame and fortune of making it to the Little League World Series. Do they show the PONY League World Series games on ESPN or talk about them in the newspapers sports pages?

Euchner also spends time on the business of Little League: the sponsorships, the money, the endorsements and the media attention that goes into these games. There’s big money to be made on Little League baseball.

I should also point out that the book is not a cover-to-cover inditement of Little League. Euchner spends time describing the history of Little League baseball, where it all started and how it got to where it is today. He describes the setting of the Little League World Series tournament itself and the fun and enjoyment that the kids have simply being there. How, even with a giant spotlight on them, kids are still kids having fun.

If you have an interest in baseball and want to get a different perspective on the sport, a focus on kids emulating grown-ups, (grown-ups who are playing a kids game,) or if you are a parent who’s child is taking part in organized youth sports, I think you will find Little League, Big Dreams to be both an interesting and enlightening read.

As I was reading it, I found myself asking, what would I ask my kid to do to win a baseball game? What would I allow? It’s easy to sit back and say, ‘I would never allow my kid to sacrifice their health over a Little League baseball game,’ but in the heat of the moment, with the game on the line, would one more pitch wind up becoming just two more? Don’t be surprised if you find you are asking yourself those very same questions.

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Tonight’s guest of honor… Lord Stanley’s Cup
June 6, 2007, 7:56 pm
Filed under: NHL,Sports,The B's

Tonight. It could happen tonight. The Stanley Cup will be in the house tonight as The Ducks take on The Senators for Game 5 of the Cup Finals. The Ducks lead the series 3-1 and a win tonight on their home ice would give them The Stanley Cup.

It’s sure to be a very exciting game. Personally, I’m thinking the Sens win this one out of pure desperation. I have a feeling there is still more hockey to be played after tonight. We will have to wait and see!

The Ducks put their foot (flipper? what’s a duck’s foot called anyway?) on the Sens neck and did not let up on it the whole game, coming away with a 6-2 victory and a 4-1 win of the series.

Congratulations to the Stanley Cup Champion Anaheim Ducks and their fans!

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NHL Conference Finals Picks and other awesome things…
May 10, 2007, 11:19 am
Filed under: Life in General,NHL,Sports,The Sox

With the NHL Conference Championships starting tonight, here are my picks, (i.e., who I want to win).

Detroit Red Wingers vs. Anaheim Ducks - Ducks. Ok I am fully disappointed that The Sharks did not make it into the Conference Finals. Plus I hate the Red Wings and thus, hate to see them advance. I can’t give you a reason why I hate the Wings so much. It is a completely irrational hate, especially considering they don’t even play in my main team’s (The B’s) conference, though I think it might stem from their consistently preventing my favorites in the West from making the Cup finals several years ago. Plus I hate their red uniforms. So there.

Like I said, totally irrational.

It’s kind of lame that I’m really rooting against The Wings more than I am rooting for The Ducks, but it is what it is. There’s some kinda love and there’s some kinda hate.

Buffalo Sab-Rays (That’s how I pronounce Sabres) vs Ottawa Senators: Ottawa - Ottawa has been my ‘team’ in the East since the Playoffs started, so I’m sticking with them. Plus, have you ever seen that movie with Jim Carey where The Sabes win The Stanley Cup and there is rioting in the streets of Buffalo? I would hate to see that happen in Buffalo. Rioting, rubber bullets, explosions… it’s no fun.. except maybe if you are watching a Jim Carey flick… What is that movie called again? Jim Carey is like a TV reporter or something who goes to cookie baking contests and stuff and makes weird faces… Oh well I can’t remember. So ya. Go Sens!

In other news, things that are awesome:

The Weather:
The Weather has been SOOO awesome the last few days and I so forgive Mother Nature for that rotten weather we had earlier this Spring. It’s shorts and t-shirt weather and everything is coming alive outside. I love seeing all the green popping out on the trees and hearing the bird’s chirping and watching the plants beginning to grow in my Wife’s garden. Totally awesome. We put out some bird feeders and kids love them, though my wild-boy Son likes to chase the birds away, laughing devilishly the whole time. But the birds seem to have a thing for free bird seed so they keep coming back. It’s all good.

The Sox:
Josh Beckett is awesome right now. Totally awesome. I had expectations that he would be a better pitcher this year, but I never expected this. 7-0, 2.51 ERA. WOW. Incredibly WOW.

Also awesome has been the Red Sox play in general. They are consistently winning series after series. It’s great to see. Even though technically ‘it’s still early’, this sets us (I like to include myself in with the team) up for the rest of the season. And hey, no meltdown for The Diceman last night. Next thing you know, Wake will be getting insane amounts of run support. That would be nice, especially since he’s facing Halladay tonight in Toronto.

What else… hmm.

Well, I have to say, life has been a lot better recently. For the first time in I don’t know when, I don’t have any life sucking projects looming in front of me. The basement is done, the yard is pretty much squared away. I’ve got jobs to do here and there, that is never going to end, but there’s nothing that is going to take every weekend of the summer and turn my life into a grouchy, all I ever do is work, hell. It’s a really cool feeling! I had forgotten what it was like to have a weekend arrive and NOT HAVE TO DO ANYTHING and have my Wife ask, ‘What’s on the agenda this weekend? and my reply be, ‘Well, I’d like to mow the grass.. other than that, nothing! You want barbeque chicken and margaritas for dinner?’

Oh yeah I like it.

NFL Rules and Dream Cars…
March 30, 2007, 1:10 pm
Filed under: Sports,The Pats,Weblogs

Hey what’s up? I am over at Faster Than the World today trying to find out which baseball team people are going to be rooting for this year and talking about my first dream car, the Datsun 240Z. Head over and check it out and leave me some comments! Yes I am a comment whore. So what?

There are a bunch of great stories to read over there while you’re at it so, head over and enjoy!

Not much going on around these here parts other than the fact that I am still sick and coughing my goddam head off. My whole body aches from coughing and my head is killing me. This sucks!!

I saw the NFL owners decided to make replay permanent, until someone decides to try and make it un-permanent. I don’t really have a problem with instant re-play. It does kind of stall the game at times but overall I think they do a pretty good job with it.

The only other rule change that jumped out at me was the new one about spiking the ball in the field of play. So does that mean the end-zone too or just on the main field of play, between the end zones? I’m not sure so I’ll have to read up on that one.

This rule seems kind of lame to me. The NFL is kind of silly about player celebrations and that sort of thing. It’s getting to the point where players can’t do anything expressive on the field. I agree that sometimes it can get over the top, like when T.O. pulls out a pen from his sock and signs a ball, but I don’t see what’s so bad about spiking a ball. If you make a big play in a game, you are going to be excited and I don’t see what’s wrong with a player showing that excitement. That is the kind of thing that gets fans fired up, like when a player makes a first down and throws his arm forward, giving the first down sign, or if a running back runs for a huge gain and spins the ball on the ground. I love that stuff! That is part of what makes the game fun.

Players need to have some way to express themselves after a big play. Like I said I have not fully read up on this new rule but on the surface it seems pretty ridiculous to me. Typical NFL, No Fun League.

SHOCKER: Tony Massarotti still annoying!
February 8, 2007, 4:30 pm
Filed under: Sports

I know, there I go, using sensationalism again. I cant help it. It’s addictive and fun! No wonder the main stream press uses it so much…

Yesterday it was mini-reward day so we went out for an afternoon Dunkins coffee run. The guy who was driving had the radio tuned to WEEI out of Boston, which is the one of the local, sports-talk radio stations, although it could probably be better described as the ‘sports-yelling station’ since all anybody does on there is try to make their point by shouting over one another as loudly as possible, therefore making any of the intended discussion completely unintelligible. But I digress…

As we were driving, I noticed that one of the guests on the show was Boston Herald sports columnist, Tony Massarotti, who, it turns out, is still very annoying to listen to.. Shocking!

Then again, that’s not so shocking..

(Have a great day!)

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Superbowl thoughts as the game winds down…
February 4, 2007, 9:25 pm
Filed under: Sports,The Pats

Some quick, random Superbowl thoughts:

- As we get into the 4th quarter, I have to say this has been a pretty good Superbowl. Kinda sloppy at times but overall, an enjoyable game.

- With The Colts currently holding a five point lead, The Bears chances are starting to run out. The clock is going to become the enemy for them very soon. If The Colts put up another TD, to go up by two scores, that could be the end for The Bears. So far Chicago has kept it close, but I don’t know if their somewhat anemic offense is going to be able to come back from a two score deficit. We’ll see what happens…

- I am totally unimpressed by the ads in this years game. I have not seen one really good one yet. The only one that made me chuckle so far has been the one with the office workers doing battle while covered with post-it notes and wearing note-book binders on their heads.

- It feels weird that The Patriots are not in this game. It is actually hard to believe that this is now two Superbowls in a row without The Patriots playing in it. Granted, they were a whisker away from getting in… That just goes to show you how far this team has come. It is simply expected that The Patriots will compete for the Superbowl Championship every year. That is really cool, in a strange yet awesome sort of way…

- I did not watch the half-time show. I chose to do the dishes instead. I don’t feel like I missed anything.

- The Colts just scored another TD. That’s it. This game is now, for all intents and purposes, over. Looks like Golden Boy Manning will get his ring. Why does that bother me so much? I honestly don’t know. Tom Brady has 3 rings and The Patriots have won three Superbowls, so what do I care if Manning wins this Superbowl or not? It in no way diminishes my own team’s accomplishments.

I don’t know. I don’t understand it myself. It just bugs me, that’s all. Call it a personality flaw I guess…

Ok. Back to the game…


- I ate a LOT of guacamole dip during the course of this game..

- Colts win. Time to go empty the dishwasher. Pitchers and catchers in a week and a half…


Happy Superbowl!!
February 4, 2007, 4:56 pm
Filed under: Sports,The Pats

Hello interweb friends! Happy Superbowl!!

I hope everybody out there is enjoying Superbowl Sunday.

Aside from an occasional twinge over the fact that my beloved New England Patriots were literally one first down away from playing in this game tonight, I am having a good day. I had fully envisioned a Pats / Bears Superbowl rematch at the start of the season. Damn we came close…

Well, just because my team did not make it to The Big Game, that does not mean I am not enjoying it. Like I wrote in an earlier post, The Superbowl rules.

I watched almost all of the NFL Films Superbowl Shows today, even Superbowl 31 and 20, painful as it was. I started watching them at around 5 AM. Now before you think I am completely insane, I had to be up with the baby, so we watched some NFL Films Superbowl goodness together.

I watched the Superbowl 36 recap and got a little misty as Adam’s game winning kick went through the uprights. I choked back a few happy tears at the end there, just like I do every year. I can’t help myself.

We’ve got a great Superbowl Spread today. Sam Adams, Newcastle, Miller Lite, guacamoli/chili/sour cream/cheese, various chips and dips, bbq mini-weiners, boneless buffalo chicken, Jack Daniels, cheese sticks, and a bunch of other goodies.

A good time is being had.

I’m looking forward to the game in a few hours. I’ve heard the weather might be kind of rainy and windy down in Miami for the game and I’m hoping this will help swing some advantages over to The Bears.

Defense wins championships. I hope the Bears D will be up to the challenge and their offense can play efficient and mistake free.

Hope everybody out there is having fun and staying safe. Enjoy the Superbowl and go Bears!!

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Superbowl SHOCKER!! I’m rooting for The Bears…
February 1, 2007, 4:00 pm
Filed under: Sports,The Pats

Check that out. See what I did there? That is called sensationalism! It’s a writing technique that makes you want to click and read more about the Superbowl SHOCKER!!

Did it work? Did I get-cha? Ha ha. That was fun.

Ok. So yeah, I’m rooting for The Bears to win The Superbowl this Sunday. If you’ve read this website before, it’s really not that shocking, I know.

What might come as a shock, is that for about 15 seconds, believe it or not, I actually considered rooting for The Colts, just so we could put everybody at ESPN and the NFL out of their misery and let them see their golden boy finally win the big game. I figured maybe if Manning finally wins The Superbowl, those guys might be able to relax and move on to somebody else to fawn over.

It seems to me that the national media football experts are very pent up when it comes to their golden boy Manning. They’ve had Manning blue balls for a long time now. They need release.. Why not let them get what they want and be happy? But then the vindictive part of me thought, you know what? Fuck that. Fuck Manning, fuck ESPN and fuck all the national media people who have had such a hard-on for Manning for the last nine years. I hope The Colts lose the Superbowl and I hope Manning is compared to Dan Marino for the rest of his career.

Yup sometimes I can be a dick like that.

To be honest though, the bottom line is that I am really looking forward to the game on Sunday and I hope it will be an exciting Superbowl and not a boring blow-out. The Superbowl rules dude. It is one of the best holidays (yes, it IS as holiday) and I really don’t care who wins it as long as it is a good game. Now admittedly, I don’t particularly want to see Manning get a ring, but if he does finally do it, then good for him. If The Superbowl is a good, exciting game, and not a snooze-fest runaway win for either team, I will be happy. And if the Colts do win, I will not be pissed off. I might feel a little bit of stomach churn having to watch New England’s regional hero, Adam Vinatieri, raise The Lombardy Trophy over his head as an Indianapolis Colt, but if that is what happens then The Colts organization will have earned it fair and square. I will give credit where credit is due and I will be happy for the fans of Indianapolis.

I am not one of those people who is going to boycott watching The Superbowl just because their team is not in it. How can you not love an entire day dedicated to football, buffalo wings and beer, no matter who is playing? If you’re one of those people who is not going to watch the game because you don’t particularly like one of the teams that are playing, you need to get over it and have fun. It’s a game and it’s the last football game you’re going to see until August rolls around so you may as well enjoy it!

As far as predicting the outcome of the Superbowl, even though I will be rooting for them, I kind of doubt that The Bears will be able to win this one. I think their defense is going to wind up spending way too much time on the field and will eventually become too tired to hold back The Colts’ offense. Over the course of the game, Indy is going to put up too many points for The Bears to overcome and I don’t see The Bears offense being able to keep pace with Indy for 60 minutes. I would love to see The Bears pull off an upset, a-la The Patriots vs. The Rams in Superbowl 36, but I don’t see it happening.

Then again, you never know. If the Bears can create some turnovers and take advantage of any opportunities that Indy gives them, we might be surprised.

We’ll have to wait till Sunday night to find out what happens.

Good luck to both teams. It should be a good game. Like I’ve said, I’ll be rooting for The Bears, but there remains a small, nagging part of me that wouldn’t mind seeing The Colts finally win it. Rooting against Indy every year is getting to be too much effort. Sustained hate over a long period gets to be hard work after a while and it’s not like I hate The Colts the way I hate The Oakland Raiders or The NY Yankees. There was a time, prior to Manning’s arrival, when I used to actually like The Colts.

How’s this for a shocker: if Indy does come away with the win, Peyton Manning might actually earn a little bit of this football fan’s respect. Just a smidge. It could happen. Shocking, I know.