So I was over at the TD Banknorth Garden yesterday watching three-man weaves for four hours (otherwise known as workouts for the NCAA Tournament’s Sweet Sixteen) and I had to wonder: If there weren’t those pieces of paper with numbers, lines, and the word “bracket” at the top, would anybody care about this happening?

Villanova vs.  Duke. Pittsburgh vs. Xavier. The NCAA vs. good old fashioned New England sports apathy.

Quite the matchups.



ROB BRADFORD

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The Sweet 16 is upon us in Boston, but there are three other sites around the country where the Big Dance has also descended. Here are 10 Storylines to Watch over the next few days:

1. Ty Lawson and his toe. The most important body part in the entire country belongs to the North Carolina point guard. Lawson sat out the first-round rout against Radford and struggled early against LSU before finally looking like himself in the second half. Which Lawson will show up?  Without their speedy floor leader, the Tar Heels become just another team.



JEFF GOODMAN

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Jamie Silva no longer feels like a stranger in a strange land.

The former Boston College safety grew up in New England as a Patriots fan, but after a year with the Colts, he’s right at home in Indianapolis.



I was going to call this the 64 Greatest Sports Movies of all time but it became pretty clear that there are nowhere near 64 great sports films. Maybe 30 or so could be argued as great (at most).

A couple of things before we get started…

(1) There are movies that I have seen on a lot of lists that I cannot count as a sports movie. Gladiator, to me, isn’t a sports movie. Best in Show is not a sports movie. They don’t pass the smell test.



KIRK MINIHANE

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When Paul Pierce was at the free throw line last Friday night Mike Tirico mentioned that Pierce had been with the Celtics forever, since 1998. Eleven years in the bank.

That stuck with me for some reason. Tirico was right. In sports now, to stay in one city for 11 years is pretty near remarkable.  Look at 1998 from a Boston sports perspective. How long ago does some of this stuff seem?

1998 Red Sox:
Jimy Williams. The Duke. Way Back Wasdin made 45 appearances. Reggie Jefferson and Darren Bragg.



KIRK MINIHANE

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In the world of sequels the second part of this list falls somewhere between “The Substitute 2: School’s Out” and Dick Gephardt’s run for President in 2004. But we move on…



KIRK MINIHANE

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We win.

That’s right, folks. Starting today the d-bag mailbag is going back to a weekly posting schedule, not the bi-monthly exercise in free speech suppression that comrade Bradford instituted following the football season.



MICHAEL FELGER

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Plop me in the middle of the wilderness, like the Fells or the Blue Hills, and I’d probably die lost and alone after eating poison berries, yet within walking distance of a supermarket or major interstate.

Plop me in the middle of your Super Bowl festivities, and I’m like a Navy SEAL, sneaking behind enemy lines to dig up intelligence on each team, while fattening myself on the bounty of the land and living to fight another season.



KERRY BYRNE

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I went an entire season without doing it, but in this week’s d-bag mailbag I finally lose my temper. Maybe it has something to do with Rob Bradford cutting us back to twice-a-month, or maybe I’ve just endured too many attacks on my binky, Deion Branch. But today I finally let the fan-boys have it. I’ve got to be honest: it felt good.



MICHAEL FELGER

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The Defensive Hog Index we use over at Cold, Hard Football Facts.com is the steely-eyed sniper of postseason pigskin analysis, so accurate that we let it shoot beer cans off the heads of our children.

In fact, it’s accurately identified 18 of 19 winners over the past two postseasons. So we felt compelled in the interest of pigskin-kind to share it with WEEI Nation.



KERRY BYRNE

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