By David Scott
Boston Sports Media
• Stuart Scott fawned over Larry Brown in the post-game and ‘congratulated’ him for some odd reason. Guess he saves the fist bumps and heart pounds for the true champs.
• What’s with the Mini-Obie trophy they gave to Finals MVP Tim Duncan? Not gonna cut it, friends.
• Quiet, David Stern, you’re a poor man’s Paul Tagliabue.
• Those kookie NBA folks brought out the Stanley Cup instead of the Larry O’Brien trophy just to rub it into the No Hockey League folks. Ha!
• The championship hats are apparently from the Trucker/Farmer line of NBA licensed goods. U-G-L-Y. But they’ll be big in SanAnt.
• Robert Horry should have been Finals MVP and you can’t convince me of anything else. The Dunk alone (before The Three) made it appropriate.
• From an all-time clanker of a series to a week of three pretty good games and a competitively entertaining Game 7. It doesn’t get me like March Madness, but I appreciate the NBA Finals finer points. Seeing Larry Brown lose is among those points, by the way. Slippery snake, he is.
• Hubie Brown’s appeal has always been a huge enigma to us, but his longevity and respect within the game suggest that Shots is just behind the curve on this one. So be it – Al Michaels is so average on hoops that his partner need be only breathing to make the broadcast infinitely better. At least with Tirico and The Big Deadhead you can get a few chuckles and a good Chewbacca chuckle. (How, on earth is Chewbacca part of my spell-check dictionary? Some sci-fi nerd’s big joke I bet.)
• Speaking of sci-fi nerds, did you catch our Globe guy Mark Shanahan’s Living/Arts piece on Watertown’s Eric Van, the newest Sox Stat Man? Shanahan is the Laura Raposa to Carol Beggy’s Gayle Fee for the re-vamped “Names” space on Living/Arts 2. he was even kind enough, a few years back, to give Shots a couple of shout-outs for various shady ventures of our own. But the Van piece was driven entirely by the shady, grayish picture and story on a guy who is quoted as saying: “This is interesting, very interesting. . . But I’m not able to talk about it.” In summary, the Sox have a genius on the payroll who thinks he’s solving world hunger when he gets a few numbers to mean something in a baseball sense. Again, for me, that’s scary. Maybe you like your baseball franchises to empower men who have the ability to blow up the world. Just seems awfully Orwellian to me.
• Nice work by Cedric Maxwell on Wednesday’s “Outside the Lines” on ESPN, as he was satellited with John Smoltz and sub host (and Bob Ley in Waiting) Jeremy Schaap. The topic was Game 7s and Max has really and truly come a long way in his post-playing days.
• Brooks and Dunn? That’s what you bring for a game Seven National Anthem? Brooks and Dunn? Were Funk and Wagnall already booked? Game Seven you’ve got to be have something better than Al Brooks and Warrick Dunn. But that’s just me. . . Must’ve been pricy to just find Brooks and Dunn.
• Nice work, as usual, by Disney’s Mike Tirico on the lead-in to last night’s tip: “Four best words you can tell a sports fan: Game Seven is next.”
• Okay? You know who John Tomase is now? Good.
Whether or not he choreographed his entrance into that wonderful stratosphere known as: WEEI Whiner Line fodder, is up for debate. At the very least he kept the fire aglow by doing a Tuesday afternoon ‘interview’ with all-of-the-sudden aggressive Steve Burton and the rest of the afternoon crew. He then added more gasoline with an unheard of 1700-word smarmy-ass retort that showed up on the paper’s site (because the Mickey Mouse ETrib website doesn’t offer post times or dates or where the story may have appeared in the paper, we’re left to guess what exactly it was? Internet only? Print as well? Temporary insanity by a young buck way out of his league?)
Tomase had seemed to portray himself as capable and any time I’ve run across his byline it has been a consistently spirited and worthwhile read. He’s pretty much the prototypical up-and-comer fighting for his slice of the pie in a competitive (but Old School) media market.
But he plain and simple miscalculated on this one. And Tomase’s claim of Sox organization people making comments about Manny’s approach to the game seem a bit convenient, to say the least.
And, suffice to say, he got called out for it (which is oddly a credit to our screwed up system of Sports Talk Radio being judge and jury for all stories under its umbrella). The listening/reading/message-boarding public knew Tomase was off-base and he was held accountable. Good for all of us – including, don’t forget, the higher profiled Tomase. . .
Tomase’s response piece aside, the highlight for us during the 96 hours of Manny/Tomase was when Cranky Callahan showed up on FSN’s Wednesday “Tangueray and Tunic” half hour hate-in. Callahan – for the first time in recent memory – was the People’s Choice – and he had the numbers and facts to back it up. Manny is as Manny does and that’s that.
It’s got to be truly embarrassing for both Tanguay and Dickerson when 75 percent of the guests in the middle chair are better at TV than the rumblin’, stumblin’ and mumblin’ Felix and Oscar.
Tomase needs to proceed carefully these next few weeks. He will be under a larger microscope and careers are sometimes made or broken when the focus shifts to a rising (or falling) writer. His pithy rebuttal column was NOT a step in the right direction. . . Last thing on this tired subject: Tomase still needs to respond to the notion that he did his slash and burn just as the Sox were heading out for a week-long road trip, allowing for things to simmer down before he sees the ball club again in person, if in fact he doesn’t travel with the team. Again, the ETrib free portion of the website is too lame to try and find old bylines of the guy. And we ain’t paying “Plus Plan” prices just to look. Sad, really – the smaller papers need to know their places in the web world and stop pretending they have content worthy of paying for.)
• Frank Mallicoat – a true survivor in Boston media if ever there was one – did a nice little segment on North Shore Spirit baseball for Thursday night’s WB56 newscast. It reminds me that it’s time to check in on Super Sub John Kennedy’s local nine at some point real soon. Ideally, we’d work in a New Bridge Café stop for some tips and maybe a double-K donut fill-up to round out the day, on the way out of Sin City. If it happens to be a night when The Can is in town – well, Lordy, Lordy, that would be a pardy.
• Of course we get a lot of mail claiming we’re jealous and or 1/100th the writer that Bill Simmons is. Or both. Or much nastier. Here’s our response forever more: The guy is quoting himself (!) in columns.
Check this out from his post Game 5 entry at ESPN.com:
“Somebody needs to go through Robert Horry’s playoff games, pluck out all the big plays and shots, then run them in sequence for like 10 straight minutes with one of those cool sports video songs playing (like Aerosmith’s “Dream On,” or Led Zeppelin’s “The Rain Song”). Who wouldn’t enjoy that? I bet Horry has made at least 20 to 25 humongous shots over the years. Seriously. . . Lord knows I’ve written about him enough times. I once compared him to a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, explaining that “Nobody ever talks about him, but he’s always there when you need him, just like the Peebee and Jay.” I compared him to Nate Dogg, John Cazale and every other famous person who flew under the radar screen but always ended up in good situations.
Well now. If the BSG has already done all of the writing on Horry that needs to be done, than everyone else might as well just sit back and read over the great one, praised be his Hollywood Head.
No, we say. No, no and no. We’re not buying the crap he’s selling anymore and if someone at The Worldwide ChestBeater doesn’t slap some sense into him soon, we’re going to have to commandeer the Bristol’s office’s PA system and explain the situation to everyone.
How about, something as simple as what one friend covering the NBA Finals suggested last week, “(Sports Guy) should be on site covering this series. so much (stuff) in the stands that he’d go for: Eminem acting like an 11 year old fan (he’s really into it), Kid Rock drunk, Eva Longoria in bluejeans (oh, my), lunatic foreign media. And so on. He’s totally missing it by being lazy on his couch.”
Weak. Very weak.
• Dave Doyle’s World (www.davedoyle.blogspot.com) reminds me of just how many of us were watching Saturday morning wrestling in the late 70s and early 80s. Do you know how many of us were at the Garden for a Wrestling Night on the very same evening? The possibilities are endless for matches seen in-person by three or more of us? Someday soon, I’ll go dig out at least one of the programs I know I kept form the Peabody Crib. And when I do, we’ll all be the happier for it. Rainy day chore.
• Two things going for the Dropkick Murphy’s newest release “The Warriors Code”: First, the cover photo of prototypical pugilist Micky Ward and second, the song about Micky Ward:
You’re the fighter you’ve got the fire/The spirit of a warrior, the champion’s heart/You fight for your life because the fighter never quits/You make the most of the hand you’re dealt/Because the quitter never wins/No!/You were born to box in a city that’s seen their share/Mello, Ryan, Carney, among them your photo proudly hangs there/Above the bar in the Gaelic Club/They tell the story of a throwback/With the heart of a lion/They salute your glory/It’s another murderous night/Another left hook from hell/A bloody war on the boardwalk/And the kid from Lowell rises to the bell
CHORUS: /Micky/It’s a warrior’s code/Micky/He’s got the warrior’s soul
• Anyone that asks for an anecdote describing how different Sports Talk radio is in New York City as opposed to this wannabe market, need look no further than Tuesday night’s David Letterman show. The first guest was the intriguing proposition that is Lindsay Lohan. Christopher “Mad Dog” Russo, the most recognizable voice in Manhattan, was the other chair occupant for the evening. Can you imagine any of the ‘EEI afternoon galoots schmoozing it up with Dave, never mind the Show’s namesake himself, the Big O?
A simple fact of radio and TV (for the most part): New York breeds stars. Boston just in-breeds.
• It’s been confirmed to Scott’s Shots that everyone’s best foil, Pete The Meat Shepard is currently residing on – GASP! – the Shores of Hull. If Callahan and Dennis get seaside shanties down here, we’re going to have to start enforcing quota laws for that sort of crap. A guy like Shots won’t be able to get out of Mary Lou’s without bumping into an ‘EEInsider. It’ll be like living amidst the athlete housing up at Skytop back in the day at The ‘Cuse. I got stranded up at Skytop one late, late night back in ’88 and to this day I have no idea who took me back to Mt. Olympus and the safety of Day Hall? If it was you, thanks. And if you’re pretty and single, I’d love to re-pay the favor.
• Oh-oh. Out-dated college jokes. That no one would understand. Get out of the house. . . Get out of the house. . .
• This Soduko game being offered by The Herald? I fear it. Backwards, it spells ‘Okudos’ which we translate into Okay, you doos. That seems odd. It also could mean Oh, Kudos? – meaning it could be a subliminal ad for those delicious cookie/candy bars that Our Buddy Ox used to eat by the dozen by a lake called Oldham.
• Best TV segment of the year could very well have aired on Tuesday night when Easy Ed Berliner roasted the soon-to-be-betrothed talent by the name of John Carchedi. The “Best of Carchedi” was a resume tape like no other. Any big-time producer who doesn’t see this guy’s ability needs to be fired immediately. He’s dry, he’s daring and he’s downright hysterical. This Renee lady that he’s hitching is getting quite a keeper. Best of luck and enjoy each other always. . . So, yeah, that was my wedding present to you Big Fella. Congrats, and if Ed says “separate bathrooms,” then separate bathrooms it should be. (Our guess is the Significant Other Berliner couldn’t stand the Pompadour Only Hairspray vats lining the cabinets and shelves.)
• We want fast-climber, Dustin Pedroia to be called “Dusty.” Can Buckley or Horrigan please make that happen? Thanks.
• Any thoughts on the Globe’s revamped Sport’s Log and Fan’s Guide on Sports 2? No, eh? Same here. Pretty unremarkable to say the least. And they lost all bold-facing of names, which, as you know, Shot’s is a big fan of.
•Interestingly though, it appears as perhaps there was some foresight in the page’s composition as it is now able to offer up an opposite page vertical half page (see the Neutrogena Men as from Monday for example). If the re-design was predicated on some inter-department talk between the sales and editorial staff, we’re going to have to applaud. Magazines use design elements as ad space drivers ALL the time. If papers catch up to that longheld practice, they might even be able to figure out some things with their web sites. . . Although . . . the news Tuesday that boston.com’s “unique visitor” numbers for the last year fell 20 percent (according to Nielsen/Net Ratings) might suggest that the Globe has so damn far to go in catching up that it just may be too late. . . The Herald story (by Scott Van Hoorhis) paraphrased a company executive saying the Herald has seen a dramatic increase in website visits. It would appear the Herald doesn’t subscribe with Nielsen and therefore aren’t audited. But let’s be honest, any dramatic sports increases are a direct result of the work of Mike Reiss on the Pats beat with his daily blog. . . You realize that even while “taking a break” from his blog, Reiss OWNED the Chad Morton story? We’ll assume Globe Jerome’s on vacay, but why did the Globe have to wait until Thursday for its Log item on Morton’s signing? Anyway, here was the great quote Reiss got from polished vet agent, Leigh Steinberg, which is so damn chill-inducing I can hardly read it again: “My advice to (Morton) was that, 10 years ago, if you could play for the 49ers or Cowboys, you ought to take it. And now that same adage is true for the Patriots,” Steinberg said (Tuesday night). “If a player has an opportunity to play for the Patriots, and they want him and a role is there, why not enjoy that experience? In the contemporary National Football League, they are the state-of-the-art franchise.”
US? The Patsies? Wow! Thanks, Leigh.
• The Amalie Benjamin formal debut (focusing on team nicknames and the UMass Redmen’s bloodless change to Minutemen some 30-odd years ago) was hardly a homer in her first legit at-bat in the Bigs. The sad attempt at a sidebar with some light-hearted local team nicknames got not one Shots chuckle and here’s something to think about on the topic, that we would have liked to have seen addressed: Native Americans have no problem bastardizing their tribal names or tribal land for some casinos and millions of dollars in revenue but Heavens to Betsy if some WASP-run school refuses to change a centuries old nickname.
But let’s face it – The Globe isn’t writing that story, much less having a rookie really get past the fluff and PC crap.
Anyway, welcome aboard Private Benjamin – we’ll keep on reading.
• Shots wants to you know that we’re totally down wid what ESPN is giving us for late night TV viewing with its summer stack of: “Block Party — a fusion of entertainment and sports programming — will return to ESPN2 late Tuesday nights this summer for eight weeks. . .(with) All new episodes of Streetball: The AND 1 Mix Tape Tour Presented by Mountain Dew (in its fifth !!!! season), and three new series: a TV version of radio‘s 2 Live Stews, All Muscle with Funkmaster Flex and It’s the Shoes will provide a two-hour block of relevant lifestyle summer programming for a newer and more casual viewer.”
We’re most looking forward to the Shoes, “a half-hour series dedicated to sneakers, sneaker culture and the athletes and celebrities who love them – will feature celebrity and athlete profiles along with “sneaker features” to cover every angle of the sneaker game. Host Bobbito Garcia, VIBE contributing writer and author of “Where’d You Get Those?”, will take viewers across the country to view some of the rarest and most unusual sneaker collections owned by the likes of Carmelo Anthony, Spike Lee, Damon Dash, Michael Vick, Allen Iverson, Nelly, Missy Elliott and other sneaker lovers.”
Now that, friends, is going to be quality programming after a late night at the Red Parrot or any of the summer imbibing spots near the Shanty.
• It’s gonna be balmy, so let’s drink our liquids and use the sun block, okay folks? Enjoy.
David Scott writes from a seaside shanty on the shores of Hull, Mass. and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org