It hasn’t been a good few days, either personally or for the Boston sports scene.
On the other hand, if you’re a sports radio host or TV reporter or newspaper, this has been a bonanza. Murder! Misery! Heartbreak! End of eras!
- The Hernandez case.
- The Bruins losing two straight in the Stanley Cup Finals with the possibility of the series being over tonight.
- The Red Sox losing 3 or 4 in Detroit, in ugly fashion.
- The Celtics trading their coach to the Clippers, officially waving the white flag on their status as contenders.
I don’t know where to begin on all of this, so I’ll offer my ramblings.
The Aaron Hernandez case is equal parts disturbing, perplexing and disgusting. The reports being put out there in the media from various “law enforcement” sources certainly sound like they got the guy and his cronies dead to rights. Every day we’ve had (very definite) reports that Hernandez is about to be arrested. He hasn’t been. Yet.
The Globe has gleefully jumped on this story as a chance to take down the Krafts. Bob “the hit man” Holher has been put on the case. (His first effort was laughable.) Dan Shaughnessy is as happy as he’s been since 2003.
I do wish the Globe would disclose at some point that the Krafts snubbed them (Shaughnessy specifically) at a media breakfast back around 1997, and that since that time, the Kraft family has been in the crosshairs of Joe Sullivan’s charges. It might add some context to the coverage.
It’s become a referendum on the entire Patriots franchise and way of doing things, which many media view as revenge time.
Lost in all of this seems to be that a young man lost his life in a violent fashion. It’s an afterthought in the coverage.
If you have to read about the case, I recommend these two pieces from last week:
A Mystery That is Not Like the Movies – Mike Tanier from Sports on Earth.
The Stupid, Stupid Implications About Aaron Hernandez’s “Ominous” Past – Barry Petchesky from DeadSpin.
I did find the graphic in the Globe Sunday NFL notes yesterday amusing. They had all the Patriots players with Red Flags pictured over the years. Some of the crimes against humanity:
Brandon Lloyd: Work ethic. Attitude.
Chad Johnson: Unprofessionalism.
Randy Moss: Immaturity. Lack of hustle.
Brandon Meriweather: Immaturity. College issues.
Corey Dillon: Poor attitude.
Rodney Harrison: Dirty reputation.
Bryan Cox: Fights. Fines.
The Doc Rivers era in Boston came to an end when the Clippers finally coughed up an unprotected first round in 2015 for the rights to the Celtics coach. It was an ordeal that needed to come to end, especially with the draft this week, a decision required on Paul Pierce by the end of the week, and free agency and the future of Kevin Garnett in Boston needing to be decided quickly.
Some are calling for harsh criticism of Rivers because of his reluctance to be part of a rebuilding project here with the Celtics. They’ve contrasted his situation to that of Ray Allen, who became public enemy number one among Celtics fans following his decision to sign with the Miami Heat last offseason.
The situations are quite different. Rivers has not complained at all about his experience with Boston, and I don’t think he ever will. Allen griped about his role, his starting position, his relationship with Rajon Rondo, and said he didn’t feel wanted, even though Boston offered him more money than Miami. There is also the matter of Allen joining the team that had just eliminated the Celtics in an emotional, draining seven game Eastern Conference Finals series.
Rivers, who has reportedly had his own clashes with Rondo, isn’t going to go public with those incidents, and allowed the Celtics to get something in return for his services. The contract signed by Rivers seems to have been done with that understanding, safeguarding the Celtics for five years, and allowing them to at least get an asset if he chose to leave. He is also going to the Los Angeles Clippers, a team that has no sort of rivalry with the Celtics. (and could implode at any time.) The blow is softened somewhat by those factors.
If Rivers was not going to be committed to a rebuilding of the Celtics, this was probably the best way to go. I’m disappointed he’s gone, and will miss his presence here, but he’s always got a positive place in Celtics lore.
I had to laugh out loud at Dan Shaughnessy’s duplicity over the Bruins. The guys at Dan Shaughnessy Watch do a great job breaking down his flipflop/throw the blame on the fans.