You think you have problems? This winter is rapidly sapping your strength like the health bar on a first person-shooter video game depleting and you’re all out of first-aid kits? You’re worried about the Patriots losing free agents, the Bruins not doing much at the deadline and the top of the Sox rotation? Fair enough. But just be glad you’re not this guy.
Nothing against my man here, who’s YouTube handle I can’t publish here, so I’ll just call him EDP445. On the contrary. I admire the passion. I appreciate his fire. I love him for comparing Chip Kelly to Winnie the Pooh. Even though just about every sports fan in Philadelphia is an insufferable jerkstore I probably couldn’t sit down and have a beer with without faking my own death to get out of the conversation, I could definitely see fighting alongside this guy. You want men like him in your foxhole.
But I’m glad we are not on the same side. We’ve been this miserable in our lifetimes, and I don’t ever want to go back there. So enjoy EDP445’s hilarious misery and count your blessings you’re not him.
Judy Clarke said the issue is why Tsarnaev committed the “senseless, horribly misguided acts.” She blames Tsarnaev’s older brother, Tamerlan, who was killed during a shootout with Watertown police three days after the bombing, for influencing Dzhokhar to follow him.
The prosecution, meanwhile, detailed the carnage the Tsarnaevs caused — three dead, 260 injured at the race, plus an MIT police officer shot to death later that week — and said Tsarnaev was a holy warrior committed to violence. U.S. prosecutor Bill Weinreb noted that Tsarnaev appeared to show no remorse or concern immediately after the bombings, returning to UMass-Dartmouth to socialize with friends.
“While victims of the bombing lay in the hospital and learned that they would have to have their limbs chopped off to save their lives, the defendant pretended that nothing had happened,” Weinreb said.
A man and his Patriots Porn. (Jerry Thornton/WEEI.com)
If you’re like me — and it’s only by a cruel trick of nature that you are not — you’ve spent the last month rewatching Super Bowl XLIX in every format available. By now you’ve no doubt watched your “save until I delete” DVR of the game, watched the SoundFX of the game on Showtime, the slightly different version that ran on NFL Network and this 45-minute recap of the entire 2014 season which is some of the best two-tissue Patriots Porn I’ve ever seen.
And by no means have any of them satisfied my appetite for Lombardi Trophy IV-themed erotica. At this point I’d watch the 2014 Pats season in Vine video, Snapchat, PowerPoint or ViewMaster mode if someone wanted to put them together for me.
Of course no one has, but the artists at NFL Films have released their “New England Patriots: Super Bowl XLIX Champions” DVD. And while I resisted the urge to sleep outside the mall like a video game geek wanting to be the first to own the newest “Halo” release, I did get my copy the day it was released. And you should not be surprised if I say it does not disappoint.
To be clear, it doesn’t break a hell of a lot of new ground. It recaps the entire season from training camp on, and if you’re a real obsessive for this sort of thing, you could have found every clip contained within either from “Inside the NFL,” NFL.com, “Patriots All Access” and so on. But what this amounts to is all that stuff compiled into one place for the first time. Think of it as another SoundFX, only for the whole championship run.
Some of the highlights (I won’t say “spoiler alert” since you actually lived it and should pretty much know the ending):
— Bill Belichick in July, lecturing his linemen about using their hands, which was uncannily echoed by what he was saying to them on the bench during the Super Bowl.
— Belichick in camp, running his players through sprints in the heat: “There’s no shortcuts to being in condition! No shortcuts to being mentally tough! You’ve got to pay the price …”
— During the Oakland game a mic’d up Belichick tells Josh McDaniels over the headset “C’mon Josh. Let’s go right at their ass.” That was the game that was frighteningly close at the end until Vince Wilfork sealed the win with an interception off a deflection. The things you forget over a long season …
— The DVD does a fairly good job, without dwelling on it too much, of capturing the media negativity after the loss in Kansas City. Or as Scott Graham’s narration calls it, “The pundits and prognosticators were howling like jackals.” Somewhere, Ed Sabol is smiling.
— I’d almost forgotten how fired up the players were in the Cincinnati game that they “were on to.” The cameras caught them in the tunnel beforehand and they looked like they were on a landing craft waiting to hit a beachhead in the Pacific. And the producers make the great choice of including Rob Gronkowski‘s “I was going to make 12 look like Tom Brady again, baby … with my teammates … after you guys were criticizing him.” Gold, Jerry. Gold!
— Of course one of the regular-season highlights was the Denver game, captured brilliantly in the moment when Julian Edelman returns a punt for a touchdown, turns around in the end zone and has Brady staring him right in the face to call him “the greatest punt returner ever!” And when Edelman asks him if he really ran all the way upfield, Brady says, “I gotta see my guy!”
— More narration: “The Patriots found their fans in Qualcomm Stadium had turned San Diego into Foxboro West …”
— Another criminally overlooked part of the season is the number the Pats secondary, Brandon Browner in particular, did on Calvin Johnson in the win over Detroit. The DVD does it justice, though.
— One of the most worthwhile features is repeatedly getting to see the postgame locker room, from Belichick’s constant reminders the team had a good game but there’s more work to be had, to Mathew Slater breaking the team down. You typically can find this stuff on “All Access,” but it’s great to find it all in one place. Maybe I just find it fascinating that the team thinks so much of Slater that it has a full-time special teamer doing it. Or I’m just a geek. Either way I love these scenes.
— Naturally, most of the running time is dedicated to the postseason games, as well it should be. There’s not a lot new there, but it’s all fantastic. From Edelman before the divisional playoff against Baltimore outsprinting the honor guard all the way to the far end of the field like he’s William Wallace on horseback giving the “They may take our lives” speech to the look on John Harbaugh’s face after the ineligible receiver play, right through the varnishing of Indianapolis. They hit every key moment.
— With the exception of one. There is no mention of Deflategate. None. I was wondering how they would handle that particular elephant in the room, and they made the editorial decision to pretend it’s not sitting there taking up the whole sofa. I imagine they didn’t want to ruin an otherwise great film with what they know will amount to nothing.
— The Super Bowl itself is all familiar territory. Like watching the end of a war movie when you already know which side won. But the good guys did so, you don’t mind repeated viewings. If I have one criticism, it’s that they left out the part where Pete Carroll says “Oh, no!” Which is like Steven Spielberg making “Lincoln” and skipping the Gettysburg Address part.
But I won’t pick nits. It’s a great story, told by the best sports film production company in the universe. If they’re ever looking for a blurb for the dust jacket, they’re welcome to use this: ” ‘New England Patriots: Super Bowl XLIX Champions’ is the feel good hit of the winter! I laughed, I cried, and I want to see it again! It’s fun for the whole family! Two thumbs way, way up!” -- Jerry Thornton, WEEI.com.
A look back at Dennis and Callahan's 2015 trip to spring training. They visited with Larry Lucchino, Ben Cherington, Xander Bogaerts, John Farrell, Mookie Betts, Joe Kelly, Curt Schilling and Dustin Pedroia.
[0:02:51] ... don't I. Little money it's. Ominous could be. My neighbor second baseman DustinPedroia and when you look around the room down there is a look like good WorldSeries caliber team. Yeah without a doubt we have the talent that we have to find a way to put together takes time ...
Dino, Gerry and Kirk are joined by Rob Bradford, Gordon Edes and Steve Buckley to forecast the 2015 campaign.
[0:07:16] ... a way to play. Jacoby Ellsbury and 145 games in 2008 with CocoCrisp still here I think there's still await you could have received your center fielder. And and in and pets play 45 time. ... [0:14:55] ... and was it Garrett Jones at cleanup. Who's in the freehold Stephen StephenDrew Brett Gardner somebody. I know you are an awful all Ellsbury had no thought they were right short I don't like this ... [0:15:57] ... this. A timer too before it's Toronto. Exactly yeah. Having picked up RussellMartin's having picked up Donaldson. You know you eat you do have burly and Dicky in that rotation. To give it some veteran ... [0:17:56] ... McKee bids Brock coal and noticed no will be nobody else it's HanleyRamirez you'll let me show what's up with his team about this in thirteen innings that you see the hockey game once I ...
Pedroia joins the guys in Fort Myers to look at the upcoming season and his health entering the spring.
[0:00:03] ... park joining us here at the broadcast center my neighbor second baseman. DustinPedroia ate dust and you do it first time and draw off season you've got a normal completely normal offseason. Yes yes absolutely ... [0:05:18] ... yeah. When you look around the room down there isn't the clicker WorldSeries caliber team you know without a doubt we have the talent to do that. We've we have to find a way to ... [0:07:58] ... club what's new guys on the road team miss like you'd the UnitedNations down a little different languages. How does that process work itself out of the courses spring training. You know what once we ... [0:10:33] ... helping can George break we'll see wanna get up north are at DustinPedroia with Dennis and Callahan had minicamp at spring training were great back. ...
Dino, Gerry and Kirk share some more stories from their wild nights in Fort Myers and they also mix in a little baseball.
[0:00:22] ... personality exactly. It's looking beautiful breakfast awesome bacon. Out right bagel Aiken SamAdams at pine apple. And city next to me is eating dry frosted flakes of it didn't stand for god sake. Matter with ... [0:09:00] ... Tough decision well I could I think. I wish I listen to Doug. Weight is that these broadcasts pathetic is that they'll handle. Alicia Adams and it was a storm it was a freight train wreck. ... [0:12:00] ... Dino really crazy degrees today if you know why is Jerry Q BrianWilliams and bill Iran they have you know I tried to throw torso like you know. Can steer our bats that shot up ... [0:18:10] ... he struck out four of them. Including David Ortiz. Our Hanley Ramirez MikeNapoli and Zander Bogart's. It gave my confidence a big boost he said that's pretty good day. Not bad not bad in the ...
WEDNESDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NBA: Jazz at Celtics, 7:30 p.m. (CSNNE)
NBA: Lakers at Heat, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA: Trail Blazers at Clippers, 10:30 p.m. (ESPN) College basketball: Providence at Seton Hall, 7 p.m. (FS1) College basketball: Notre Dame at Louisville, 7 p.m. (ESPN2) College basketball: Central Florida at South Florida, 7 p.m. (ESPNU) College basketball: La Salle at Saint Joseph’s, 7 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Houston at Tulane, 8 p.m. (ESPNews)
College basketball: USC at UCLA, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: TCU at Oklahoma State, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: St. John’s at Marquette, 9 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: Cincinnati at Tulsa, 9 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Oregon at Oregon State, 11 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: San Diego State at UNLV, 11 p.m. (CBSSN) NHL: Rangers at Red Wings, 8 p.m. (NBCSN)
MLB exhibition: Phillies at Yankees, 1 p.m. (MLB Network)
Soccer: Women, United States vs. Norway, 2 p.m. (FS1)
Soccer: Premier League, Chelsea at West Ham, 2:40 p.m. (NBCSN)
“I’ll be a little nervous,” Rodriguez admitted. “I haven’t been in front of my — our — fans for a long time. I’m excited about that. I have some challenges ahead.”
Added Rodriguez: “I am excited for [Wednesday]. I’m not sure how ready, but I’ll give it a shot.”
The Yankees are anticipating about 9,000 fans for the game, and it’s unclear what kind of reaction Rodriguez will get. Manager Joe Girardi said he expects the Tampa crowd to support him.
“He was caught. He paid his time, and now he’s back, and he’s a Yankee and we’re going to cheer for him,” Girardi said. “Some people are going to say, ‘You know what, I might have a hard time cheering for him,’ And some people are just fans and they fall in love with a player, and no matter what they do, it doesn’t matter.”
— The Panthers, chasing the Bruins for the eighth playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, found themselves scrambling for a goalie during Tuesday night’s 3-2 loss to the Maple Leafs.
Following injuries to starter Roberto Luongo and backup Al Montoya, the team considered having center Derek MacKenzie play as management contacted the league office to sign an emergency contract with 41-year-old goaltending consultant Robb Tallas, who last played an NHL game in 2001.
“It’s rare. Doesn’t happen very often,” Panthers general manager Dale Tallon said. “You’re in constant communication with the league to do the right thing, and you have to have him be legal and it has to be cleared by central registry.
“It’s hard to do that at 11 o’clock or 10:30 at night. … If we couldn’t get him cleared, it would have had to be a player.”
In the end, Montoya remained in the game for about 10 minutes after his third-period injury, and then Luongo, who had changed into street clothes after being replaced during the first intermission, put his gear back on and finished the game.
“We’re playing a pretty good game, and all of a sudden, boom, boom, you lose two goalies real quick,” Panthers coach Gerard Gallant said. “Fortunately for us, both of them were able to return and play some of the game, and Robbie [Tallas] didn’t have to go in there. But there was a lot of confusion going on.”
Smith, who was criticized for his shot selection during his time with the Hawks, was loudly booed whenever he touched the ball in Houston’s 104-96 loss.
“Those fans are fickle, very fickle and bandwagoners,” Smith said afterward. “It really doesn’t mean anything to me.”
Atlanta, the surprise team in the East, is averaging more than 17,000 fans per game, far more than when Smith was a polarizing figure there.
“I’d been here for nine years and all I did was positive things in the community and with the basketball team,” Smith insisted.
ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On March 4, 1984, which standout Red Sox catcher from the 1930s was chosen for the Hall of Fame by the veterans committee?
QUOTE OF THE DAY: “Guys can get in the mix at any time. Just because it’s the first game doesn’t mean anything. We’ll all mix in and get good opportunities. The main thing is getting reps.” – Red Sox manager John Farrell, on Mookie Betts starting over Rusney Castillo in the team’s first spring training exhibition of the season Wednesday in Fort Myers, Fla.