Newsflash: Fred Smerlas makes point that causes Glenn Ordway to stammer momentarily. During yesterday’s Big Show, a couple minutes were spent talking about how only the Patriots are worthy of discussion right now. The Celtics and Boston College were brought up, and Ordway says why WOULD you pay any attention to them? Smerlas said “Well, BC is 16-0″, which caused Ordway, for just the tiniest moment to hesitate and stammer…”Ahh…” and then he moved on to talking about the Patriots again. After last night’s win over Providence, the Boston College men’s basketball team is now 17-0 on the season. Is it worthy of sports radio discussion? Probably not still, unless you’re listening to Ted Nation. The newspapers however, are paying more attention to the Eagles.
Mark Blaudschun, Mike Shalin and Kevin McNamara all have game stories on BC’s 78-75 win at the Dunkin Donuts center in Providence. The columnists are paying attention too, as Bob Ryan has a look at how BC is winning these games, and calls 6-10 freshman Sean Williams “an embryonic Emeka Okafor.” Jim Donaldson gets into the act as well, noting that BC does all the right things down the stretch of games. Shalin also has a quick look at freshman Williams, who caught a Providence shot out of the air last night, astounding his teammates. McNamara’s notebook looks at a big game from Providence junior Donnie McGrath. Shalin’s notebook looks at another big performance from Jared Dudley, who hit the winning shot with 80 seconds left in the game last night.
Your First Place Boston Celtics
Staying on the hoop theme, the Boston Celtics are in first place all to themselves in the Atlantic Division. Given the teams that comprise that division, that’s not all that impressive. What is impressive is last night’s night’s 100-86 win over the Indiana Pacers. Shira Springer, Mark Murphy and Carolyn Thornton have the details of the victory. Steve Bulpett has a look at second year center Kendrick Perkins, who with Mark Blount in foul trouble last night, stepped in and put a body on Jermaine O’Neal, even blocking two of the Pacers center’s shots. Paul Harber looks at Perkins and Raef LaFrentz coming up big last night after rookie Al Jefferson went down with an ankle injury. Mike Fine looks at former Celtics guard Dana Barros, who sometimes still has the itch to play. Barros however has other things to keep him busy these days, including the opening next month of the Dana Barros Sports Complex in Mansfield. Harber looks at Pacers forward Stephen Jackson, who played his first game last night after serving a 30 game suspension for the brawl with the Pistons and their fans in November. Murphy’s notebook looks at the injury to Jefferson. Springer’s notebook has Walter McCarty embracing the idea of a trade to Phoenix.
Oh yeah…the Patriots are playing in the Super Bowl a week from Sunday. Nick Cafardo has Tedy Bruschi saying that the Patriots are not in the dynasty class just yet, an opinion shared by Cafardo on NESN last night. I agree with Nick on this one. I’m wary of the dynasty label. It’s early yet. Just as long as we keep calling them “The Champs”… Cafardo also had a chat on Boston.com yesterday at noon. Alan Greenberg has more from Bruschi, who dynasty or not, sure isn’t tired of winning. Tom E Curran talks to Hall of Fame running back Jim Brown, who is a fan of Bill Belichick and what he has accomplished with this Patriots franchise. Kevin Mannix looks at how the Patriots have reloaded and made changes on the fly to their championship squads. Eric McHugh has a good piece on how the Patriots have become more than just “one hit wonders”. Michael Felger refutes Lawyer Milloy’s claims last week on WEEI that the Patriots are a cheap organization. He looks at how the Patriots have achieved “salary balance”. Michael Parente says that Tom Brady’s ability to throw deep could be an early key to the Super Bowl. Buddy Thomas attempts to duplicitously jump onto the Patriots bandwagon. Felger’s notebook has the Patriots preparing for Terrell Owens whether he actually plays or not. Curran’s notebook has Tom Brady’s dad confirming that his son really was sick last Saturday night before the AFC Championship.
Lenny Megliola looks at how Jacksonville is pumped to be hosting the Super Bowl. Karen Guregian says that we need Terrell Owens to add some drama to this Super Bowl. Chris Snow says there is still no definitive answer as to whether Owens will play or not. George Kimball (subscription only) also reports on Owens, who if he does play, it will be against the advice of the doctor that has been treating him. Since we’re on a subscription only column, now is a good time for me to bring up a minor pet peeve of mine. The Herald regularly uses some of their subscription only columnists to fill in on a “beat”, be it the opposing team, as Kimball is today, or even the home team. These reports are still only available to subscribing customers. (of which I am one) However, that doesn’t seem to make much sense, as these reports are not columns, nor are they “premium” content. I understand the Herald wishing to require payment to read their columns. But when a columnist is writing a non-column article, it shouldn’t be lumped in the “premium” section, as Kimball’s is today. Minor point, and it doesn’t even really affect me, but I thought it should be made. Parente’s notebook has more on Owens, and then goes into some Patriots items. Snow’s notebook looks at Eagles tight end LJ Smith, suddenly the starter with the injury to Chad Lewis. Kimball’s notebook (not lumped in the subscription columns) looks at newly signed Eagles tight end Jeff Thomason.
Doug Mientkiewicz was officially traded to the New York Mets yesterday. Gordon Edes notes that now all the players acquired by the Red Sox at the trade deadline last year are gone. Tony Massarotti says that in the end, it was an easy decision for the Red Sox to keep Kevin Millar over Mientkiewicz. David Heuschkel also looks at the reasons the decision to trade Mientkiewicz was made. Sean McAdam and Jeff Horrigan also have reports on the trade. David Borges looks at the success enjoyed by the new rookie orientation program that the Red Sox put into place last year. He also has a few other Red Sox items in the piece.
Yesterday a prominent member of the Boston sports media emailed me to express an objection over a quote that appeared in the random quote generator in the upper left hand corner above. It was not a quote from the emailer. The quote was one of a few featured after the Red Sox lost 19-8 in game three of the ALCS. The emailer was making the point that the quote shouldn’t be featured because no one in the world could’ve said, or did say that the Red Sox were going to come back and win the series. My response to that is that while many of the quotes are placed in there because they are outrageous, or just plain stupid, the quotes after game three remain there because they represent a turning point in not only the series, but Boston sportswriting. They’re noteworthy in that regard. The end of an era. So when one of them is presented to you in the box, it’s not to mock the writer. It’s just a glimpse at the final moments of a past era in Boston Sports History. Over time, some quotes have been removed and replaced with others. Some however need to be preserved as they capture moments and feelings in time.
TNT has Pacers/Pistons at 7:00 and Kings/Spurs at 9:30. ESPN has Michigan/Michigan State at 7:00. ESPN2 has Cincinnati/South Florida at 7:00 and DePaul/Memphis at 9:00. NESN has game 7 of the 1986 World Series at 7:00. ESPN Classic Drive Through at 9:00 is the 1979 NCAA championship between Larry Bird and Magic Johnson.