LONGSHOTS: Spring cleaning of a cluttered sports mind
by Dave Long
Time to clear out the attack of all the random thoughts that have been piling up over the last few months.
Let’s see, we now have A-Rod joining Mark McGwire, Barry Bonds, Rafael Palmeiro, Sammy Sosa and Roger Clemens in the steroids hit parade. If that list keeps growing, voters are going to have no one to vote for in about five years besides Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine.
I’ve been waiting for this one since the Super Bowl. While I really love the Kurt Warner story, there’s no way he’s a Hall of Famer. True he’s a two-time MVP, but he’s had just two very good years and two GREAT ones out of 11, is 40th all-time in TD passes, and that ain’t good enough. While I know the sports are different, Roger Maris was a two-time MVP in baseball, broke the Babe’s record with 61 homers, had 39 the year and 33 the year and he never got close.
With the spring playoff season on the horizons, here are two “I’m so old”s:
I remember paying $4 for Game Seven playoff tickets between the Knicks and Celtics at the height of the only really competitive time between the teams in 1974 and they were bought at the box office 20 minutes before the game. Now there isn’t one thing at the concession that you can buy for that.
And with the Bruins rising from the dead just three years after utter disaster struck to be the top seed in the east, I’ll add this one: I’m so old I remember when goalies had no masks and nobody wore helmets.
Not that this is a news flash, but the Celtics are dead meat if KG is less than 90 percent in the playoffs.
How come Michael Jordan and Larry Bird have such dreadful records putting teams together as GMs when no one would have said Danny Ainge was a smarter player than they were?
Doubt they would have won it last year and not that I’d have wanted it this way, but I wonder how things would have turned out if for the long haul Big Al Jefferson had stayed and played with Ray Allen and Paul Pierce for a few years. And if you throw Joe Johnson into that group from the “why can’t we get guys like that” file, that’s a pretty good foursome.
As I get ready to write next week’s column about how some value the NFL draft more than common sense, I’ll warm you up with a nice-to-know-but-you-don’t-need-to-know fact. I’ll bet there isn’t a person out there who knows that former Pats first overall pick in 1994 Drew Bledsoe’s middle name is McQueen.
I stumbled on that one day when I was trying to find the difference between his quarterback rating in the regular season (87.1) and in the playoffs (54.9) when he threw for six TDs and 12 interceptions.
I’ll also bet you didn’t know that former Celtics tormentor from below the Tarrier line Bill Laimbeer was born in Boston. I discovered that sad but true fact just the other day. As far as I’m concerned, seeing him born in the heart of Celtics Nation is like discovering Adolf Hitler was born in, as Forrest Gump would say, our nation’s ca-pi-TAL.
If Michael Crabtree of Texas Tech, who’s rated by Mel Kiper Jr. anywhere from second- to fourth-best player in the NFL draft, slipped to Detroit at the 20th pick, do you think they’d have the guts to take a wide receiver in the first round for the fifth time in six years?
After seeing Chicago give up TWO first-round picks, a third AND their starting QB for Jay Cutler, I’ll ask all the Kool-Aid-drinkers out there who wrote me to tell me I was being hard on Coach B or to ask what do I know: do you still think I was wrong for saying he blew it by getting just a second pick for Matt Cassel AND Mike Vrabel?
And one more thing: if the Bears would give up all that for a crybaby like Cutler, what do you suppose the Bears would have given for Tom Brady?
He are three suggestions for my recent Mt. Rushmore of New Hampshire basketball. SNHU assistant Jay Dufour and head man Stan Spirou told me a while back that Thorpe Webber from Portsmouth, who later played with two-time All-American Clyde Lee in the mid-’60s, was a first all-teamer for NH high school ball. And from the same time, unofficial column ombudsman Fred Graff suggests Dom Lamothe of Keene, who he says was on par with or better than Matt Bonner when he was in high school. And seeing the M-Rats face Keith Friel and the Rocherster RazorSharks in the PBL playoffs on Thursday made me realize Friel was an obvious miss.
I’ve got news for my friend Bill Tynion — with an I. He said a while back in a UL column about the late great Tri-Mountain League written by semi-beloved, semi-retired scribe Joe Sullivan that his team in that league was the best he ever played on. Au contraire, my friend; the best team he ever played on was the Sunday Derry League – Coors Light team with SNHU Hall of Famer Tom Roche, Steve Fontaine, Tom Archer, Mike Moffett and yours truly would have kicked that team’s butt.
And by the way, how come it took SNHU sooooo long to finally put Roche in its Hall of Fame? What do they have, a 25-year waiting period before someone is eligible?
And since son Tyler plays at Boston College — how come no one made a big deal that a college player in Boston, specifically BC, had a slugger coming off the bench by the name of Reggie Jackson? I’d have thought that name would’ve sent shivers through the Nation.
After just watching one of my favorite movies the other day … not sure if writer Lawrence Kasdan went to Ohio State or not, but the best sports line in The Big Chill is when Michigan alum Jeff Goldblum says, “Wy to Bo Schembechler ugliest helmets in college football” while watching the game on TV.
Best guy to sit next to at a game in Manchester is my friend Petey K. Knows something about everything and the conversation never stops.
Not that this matters, but do you know if you Google “Yaz” a birth control pill called drospirenone & ethinyl estradiol, with the brand name YAZ, comes up before Carl Yastrzemski (who doesn’t show up until page 4). How can that be? Anyone know who I can protest that to?
Dave Long can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. He hosts Dave Long and Company from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. each Saturday on WGAM – The Game, 1250-AM Manchester, 900-AM Nashua.