LONGSHOTS: Comment sparks wonder over just what I did
by Dave Long
So the other day Iím in the menís room at CR Sparks ó which is one of my favorite places. Well, not the menís room part, but the restaurant itself, that is. Great place, though it has a pretty good menís room too. Iím reading the newspaper pinned up in a case on the wall and this well-dressed guy looks over to me and says, ďWhy are you doing that? You donít know what the blank you are talking about anyway.Ē
Iím actually not sure if I got it word for word, but I did get the blank part right, which of course is a cleaned-up version of one of the seven words you canít use on TV. Now you have to understand, given that I am not shy about offering my opinion on just about anything, I have been in a million of these encounters. But still, this one made me chuckle. Iíve had many people disagree with me, but I canít say anyone has ever said I didnít know blank. Not even the day with 5,000 of my closest enemies in the bleachers at Fenway telling all why Thurman Munson was better than Carlton Fisk. Because I had them on the stats, that was more like ďShut the blank up and sit the blank down.Ē
When I relayed the story to the friends I was with, in true guy fashion, Haden Edwards and insurance mogul Dick Lombardi loved seeing me busted on. And since Haden barely recalls it was 1986 when the ball got past Buckner and Lombardi is a San Francisco Giants fan for crying out loud, they generally need a little help when it comes to that department. Still, it made me wonder why someone would be that rude, that quick to insult someone theyíve never met before. I mean after all, can you imagine picking on poor little old me?
When someone has an issue with me, my attitude generally is ďjoin the club.Ē But Iím always curious to know just what it is ówhich wasnít clear in this one. I suppose it might have been the fellow who e-mailed me recently to take issue with what I had written about the Celtics and race a while back. I donít think he quite got that I was disputing the point of a bookís authors that the Celtics were racist in the Auerbach years. He wondered if the reason I didnít put the names of the white players they suggested were at the end of the bench in lieu of black players is because there werenít any.
While I doubt it was him, letís set the record straight. They include Lou Tsiorpolous, Gene Guarilla, Carl Braun, Don Swartz, Johnny McCarthy, Larry Seigfried (later a solid contributor), Gene Ward, Bob Norstram, Ron Bonham, Ron Watts, Tony Kimball and Rick Weitzman. All played the fewest games and minutes on the teams they were part of by a considerable amount between 1958 and 1968. Only John Thompson among African-American players fits the end of the bench description in 1966.
But you know, after seeing just how low the Ty Cobb of politics could go in desperation when Hillary recently compared Barack Obama to her last big tormentor Ken (I want to be a) Starr, Iím a little down on conflict. So Iím more interested in talking about some good news, like Red Sox camp.
Letís see, as I write this Josh Beckett has back spasms that will cost him two spring starts and maybe the opener in Japan. On Sunday Dice-K looked like Dice-K of 2007 in needing a whopping 72 pitches to finish three innings in a 4-0 loss to Joe Torre and the Dodgers. Jon Lester and Clay Buchholz were sporting ERAs of 11.20 and 12.60 respectively. And in losing six straight the offense has produced exactly four runs. Yikes! Better change subjects, because I know enough blank to know that more of this will send Red Sox Nation out on the ledge even if it is March.
OK ó maybe it was an anti-Danny Ainge guy? I did once get scolded in a letter to the editor for making ďgratuitousĒ comments about Republicans in response to saying if Danny was flip-flopping in bringing Antoine Walker back for round two, maybe more pols ought to think about doing it. I thought it was a good move and said so, and have been pretty much defending Danny since. But since they are on an eight-game winning streak as I speak, and have the best record in the NBA, Iím not sure the ďyou donít know blankĒ rap works on this one.
Maybe heís a NY Giants fan basking in the glow of my wrong call. But I said it would be close and it if werenít for the super glue of David Tyreeís helmet Iím right on that one. While I do get regular updates from Doc (10) Wheeler in the produce section of Shop íN Save, Iíll tell you what I donít now jack about ó high school basketball. I havenít seen a game this year. But since I havenít written much about it, itís hard to tell I donít know what the blank I havenít talked about.
Still, high school sports can be a sticky subject, and there was a flurry on those subjects in the summer. There was the recruiting story hoping Chris Lutz would make the best decision for the right reasons. That had enough sides involved to get an octagon of folks bent out of joint. The column on the senior day controversy with the Memorial softball team was similar and it probably picked me up a few detractors. But I can also tell you it gained many more supporters as well ó which is the point of this Seinfeldian column about basically nothing. When you are willing to wade into subjects that have strong emotions on either side, youíre going to pick up supporters and detractors. But aside from poking a little at the ďPatriots are a dynastyĒ crowd, I know I try and do it for the right reason and thus can live with the reaction.
Especially when it happens in a menís room and the alternative is some polite guy saying something nice to me and then wanting to shake my hand.
Dave Long can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. He hosts the Absolute Sports Experience at Billyís Sports Bar in Manchester each Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon that is broadcast live on WGAM Ė The Game, 1250-AM Manchester, 900-AM Nashua.