Posts About ‘Boston’

Digital Dads Week in Sports: The Stanley Cup Returns to Beantown

Thursday, June 16th, 2011

Due to a heat of the moment bet with @bigguyd, this entire column is going to be about the Boston Bruins and their fantastic run for the cup. If you know me, you know that this is a bit painful, as I despise Boston sports teams (besides the Celtics, to which I’m indifferent) with a fevered passion. As the Bruins have won the Stanley Cup for the first time in 39 years, joining other Boston sports teams in the circle of winners, I suppose it’s appropriate that they get their own dedicated column. I am a hockey fan after all. So how can I write a whole column about a team that I absolutely hate? Easy, get people to write it for me.

I’ll start with Don Martelli (@bigguyd.) Don and I have been friends for years, and he is a massive Boston fan, born and bred in the clam chowdah capital. We’ve had many arguments about Boston sports, mostly with me hating them and him defending them or throwing shit in my face. Don, his brother and father have a clock. This Bruins clock was a gift to his father 21 years ago, and never had a battery in it – until now.

There are moments in your life that you’ll never forget. Other than my wedding day and the birth of my kids, one day that’ll be etched in my mind forever is when I watched my dad put a battery in the Bruins clock.

The clock was a gift my brother and I gave to my dad 21 years ago as a Christmas gift. The clock, which features a Bobby Orr rookie card, has never had a battery in it — until last night.

As for the season itself, it was one filled of questions and doubts. After last year’s colossal collapse against the Flyers, this season was make or break for GM Peter Charelli and Head Coach Claude Julien. The boys played great hockey for most of the year. They had some bumps, but they surged at the right time. The team made a couple of trades that brought in some must needed veteran talent.

Out of all the Boston championships over the past 10 years, this is the most bitter sweet because of the clock.

The Martellis and their clock. (Image: Don Martelli)

The Bruins rolled into the playoffs on the back of their fast scoring line and superior goal tending in Tim Thomas. Thomas, who ended the playoffs with a .940 save percentage, took home – deservedly – the MVP award for the Stanley Cup finals. After handling the Canadians in seven games, the Bruins faced off in a tough series against the Flyers. As a Lightning fan I was hoping for the Flyers to pull it off, as I knew the Lightning would stand a better chance against their goal keeping. However, the Bruins came through and started their series against the Lightning. What followed was seven games of simply amazing Hockey on both sides. But the Bruins found a way to silence the Tampa Bay crowds and poke holes in the Tampa Bay defense and Roloson, running him out of the game several times.

 

David Krejci of the Bruins became the oldest player to lead in points in the playoffs. He finished with 23 points, 12 goals. Back to Thomas, the dude was a serious brick wall. While in the finals Vancouver was able to slip a few past him to go up in the series 2-0, when he was in Boston he was virtually unstoppable. The Canucks scoring line was unable to get anything past him when they needed it most. He came out of the paint to attack pucks and assisted his team in running off the cocky Roberto Luongo several times. While the series against the Canucks went to seven games, for me it was over after watching game 4. I should have known then that I’d be writing this column. The Bruins simply brought their A game, a sentiment shared by casual fan Kevin Riley.

Although the Bruins are not MY team, they are one of favorites. This is mainly due to Ray Borque, one of the most classy and distingused players in years (even though he is retired). Because of him, I keep taps on the Bruins. I think it’s great that they finally one a cup, since it had been since the 70′s since they last one. I think Vancouver had a decent shot at winning but it was the Bruins who brought their A game and it is my thought that and the end of the day, it was the Bruins who wanted it more. They played with more passion than Vancouver.

Vancouver seemed to bring their “dirty” game in the finals, rather than their A game. They were called multiple times for embellishment, and even had an incident when Alex Burrows appeared to bite into the glove hand of Bergeron. They played rough, they played nasty and were even able to knock down Zdeno Chara down once or twice. The Canucks played even rougher when they were down a goal, which they were in every one of their losses. In the finals, the team that scored the first goal won the game, so in four games the Canucks were playing from behind and playing dirty. Says new Bruins fan Aaron Gouveia;

I’m a bandwagon Bruins fan. Red Sox, Patriots and Celtics? I’m all in. But hockey was the only sport I didn’t play growing up, so I just never got into it. But this year, sparked by a hatred of the Montreal Canadiens in the first round, I watched every game religiously. Suddenly I was invested in lunch pail guys like Tim Thomas, whose story will no doubt be turned into a made-for-TV movie soon. Brad Marchand, the rookie pest who I’d fucking hate if he was on any other team, but who works hard and is relentless at all times. Shawn Thornton, the bruiser with a heart of gold who seems like a helluva guy to have a beer with (as long as you don’t make him angry).

Game 7 against Montreal, redemption against the Flyers, Game 7 against Tampa and then Game 7 for all the marbles against Vancouver. Ah Vancouver, the team I knew almost nothing about prior to the Stanley Cup Finals, who is now right up there in the loathsome category with those filthy Canadiens. Watching the highly skilled but castrated Sedin Queens disgrace themselves night after night, combined with Burrows’ bite and Rome’s cheap shot on Nathan Horton, you saw the Bruins galvanized. But more than that, it felt like the entire New England region was galvanized as well. There was this unspoken sense of “No way these sissified Canucks are taking us down.” And I truly believe that helped carry this team to a Stanley Cup victory.

Not only does this mean all four major Boston sports teams have won titles in the last seven years, it means I’m now a hockey fan. A Bruins fan. My wife won’t like another sport sucking up my time, but if there’s even a chance of another postseason like this one, I want to be there for the regular season as well.

That was the thing about this years postseason in the NHL. I am not a Bruins fan of course, but they were exciting as hell to watch, especially the amazing saves by Tim Thomas. If you weren’t a fan of hockey before watching the Stanley Cup playoffs, you certainly are now. Digital Dads founder C.C. Chapman feels just about the same on that point.

Hockey has always been a sport that I’ve been a fan of, but never rabid about it. But, when the hockey season ends I’m always bummed because those are the dark days of sports for me until the NFL season starts.

Having the Bruins in the playoff and having so many crazy games made for a kick ass playoffs. Having this series start off in the painful manner that it did and then to turn around into such a vast amount of awesome was fun. They’ve never won a cup while I was alive so this is a big deal. The parade on Saturday is going to be intense!

So in closing, congrats to the Boston Bruins on your Stanley Cup win. Cherish it, because the Tampa Bay Lightning are coming for it next year, and we can go back to #notitlesinboston.

Digital Dads Week in Sports: Stanley Cup Playoffs Get Crazy Good

Thursday, May 19th, 2011

Will this be the scene for the Bolts in 2011?


I’m going to say it again, if you are not watching playoff hockey then you just plain don’t like sports. The Stanley Cup playoffs are into the conference finals now, and the games have been nothing short of exciting. In the East, the Lightning and the Bruins are tied 1-1, and both games have been heart pounding crazy. In game one, the Bolts came out on all cylinders and Roloson was on his best, as he only allowed two goals (the second a chip shot off a defender late in the third) as the Lightning cut through the Bruins defense to win 5-2. It was really awesome to see an empty arena in Boston near the middle of the third as the Lightning led 5-1. Earlier in the game they scored three goals in less than a minute and a half.

Going in to Game 2, we expected some of the same, but Roloson didn’t seem all himself. He was a bit sluggish and allowed six goals before he was pulled in favor of Mike Smith, who held off the Bruins the rest of the game. The Bruins defense was terrible, allowing the Bolts to get many opportunities, many more than the Bruins had on the other end. However, Thomas in net was much better than Roloson, at least one goal better, as the Bolts lost 6-5 after coming back from a three goal deficit. I expect that the Sunday practice they had (while the Bruins did not practice) may have tired out Roloson. I also expect them to start Smith in Game 3, unless Roloson is back to full strength. Either way, Game 2 was killer as both teams came in strong off center ice face-offs and the pressure on both goalies was non-stop.

For the Bruins, aside from Thomas, the star has been Seguin. This 19 year old kid is playing simply awesome hockey, and I think he may have come as a surprise to the Bolts. Most of the season he didn’t see more than five minutes a game on average, which is normal for a rookie. It was like that for Stamkos. But now in the playoffs he’s getting much more ice time and more chances to make big plays. He had two goals and three assists in Game 2 (if I’m remembering the stats right) and was all over the ice. He also managed to stay out of the box, unless a lot of his teammates and too many of the Bolts, who were stuck killing a five on three at one point. They held off that attack, but the Bruins scored on a five on four. Both teams have got to stay out of the fucking box.

Meanwhile in the West, the Sharks and Canucks are just getting underway with Game 2 as I’m writing this. Game one was a defensive battle, and it looked like the Sharks might pull it off, since they probably have the best goaltender in the playoffs in Antti Niemi. He’s the reason they’ve gotten to the finals. However, even he can’t help his poor defense keep the shooters at bay all the time, which they were not able to do. The Canucks scored two quick goals to come back to make the score and eventual final, 3-2. The Sharks defense is going to need to tighten up, especially when the Sedin twins line is in the zone. Those two are freaky good when next to each other on the ice. That whole twin mental symmetry thing I’m sure.

So, long story short, I’m taking the Bolts and the Canucks to face off in the Stanley Cup playoffs. That’s what I said at the beginning of the playoffs and I’m sticking to it. Plus, at this point how can I not pick the Bolts? I mean, I know they lost Game 2, but I think it was less about Roloson than about me shaving off my neck beard that I had going in moral support. I left the rest of the beard though, and promise not to shave or cut a hair until they win the cup.

Sir Charles Barkley Sez…

(image: Reuters)

Charles Barkley is known for a couple things. He’s known of course for being a hall of fame NBA legend. He’s known for being a top flight broadcaster, even though he’s a bit mush-mouthed at times. He’s also known for speaking his mind, no matter what. And this week, with the NBA playoffs in full swing, that’s exactly what he’s doing. First, he took some time out of his busy schedule to call out the Miami Heat for being a bit too self-righteous and whiny. Says Barkley, “[The Heat players] say [the people in the media] don’t like the Miami Heat. First of all, that’s not true at all,” Barkley said. “Those guys are actually a whiny bunch. They said a couple times this year, ‘Well the world is happy the Miami Heat [is losing].’ Please don’t flatter yourself. C’mon man.” He went on to explain that he wasn’t taking any personal digs at LeBron James and the rest of the superstar line-up in Miami. However, we know damn well that if Barkley is saying it, then it must be true. The fact is, the Miami Heat is like that really hot chick in high school who acted like an ugly girl just to get attention. Being hot wasn’t good enough, but she wanted you to first pity her, drawing you into her trap. The Heat were down on themselves all year, for no good reason other than a constant stream of attention. For that reason I’m glad they are in the playoffs, and for that reason I hope they lose to the Bulls.

Sir Charles wasn’t done there. After the news broke that Rick Welts, the CEO of the Phoenix Suns is gay (like anyone gives a shit in this day and age) Barkley said that everyone in the NBA has played with gay guys, they just don’t know it. Statistically, he’s right. “First of all, every player has played with gay guys. It bothers me when I hear these reporters and jocks get on TV and say, ‘Oh, no guy can come out in a team sport. These guys would go crazy.’ First of all, quit telling me what I think. I’d rather have a gay guy who can play than a straight guy who can’t play.” Barkley said in the Washington Post.

His last point is the point I’ve made over and over in arguments when it comes to gays in any sport, or even in the military. I think the importance is the ability to play the game, rather than the sexuality of a player. Frankly, it’s the same bullshit that kept blacks out of professional sports for so long, and shunned or treated like shit for so long after. The fact of the matter is, that if bigots – who are making millions of dollars a year – can’t handle gay players, then perhaps they are the one’s who should find a new line of work. For that kind of pay, and considering what they are doing for a living, they really have no right to complain about the private life of any player. Especially if that player is good at what they do, which, if they are at the professional level, they probably are. It’s a joke that we still have these ridiculous stigmas. On the other hand, why should it matter what your sexuality is, in the sense, why do you think anyone gives a shit? Note to Rick Welts, no one cares. Just run the fucking team.

Neptune Oyster

Tuesday, April 12th, 2011

There are a few truths in this world and one of them is that I love great food and drink.

That is why I’m going to begin posting more food reviews of the little places I find in the world that I think you should know about and this week I’m happy to share with you a peek inside of Neptune Oyster in Boston, MA.

Found at 63 Salem Street, you could easily walk by it and find yourself among the shops of Boston’s North End, but as you pass through the blue curtains that mark it’s entrance you will be instantly treated to a tiny nook of seafood heaven.

You’ll notice that it is not the largest establishment out there, but since when has size mattered as the sole judgement of quality? In this case you may be cramped and you will be waiting for a place to sit, but I promise that it’ll be worth it. I was worried that it would be loud and hard to have a conversation, but found it to be just the opposite. Everyone realizes the space is small and talks appropriately.

We sat at the bar with a view out the front window. This is also a prime seat because it means you get to watch the oyster shucker at work as they prepare tray after ice filled tray of oysters, crab claws and other goodies for the hungry customers. While I don’t eat oysters, they have a massive variety of them and you can order them individually or in any combination you desire. I opted to get a couple of crab claws and loved every morsel of their goodness.

They have a small but tempting menu that has me dreaming about a return trip for dinner some night with friends.

I chose the sea scallops over braised suckling pig with asparagus, corn, mushrooms and pickled onions. While I prefer my scallops seared on both sides, they were still tender and flavorful and the combination of everything together was something I was not expecting to work together as well as it did. Plus, how can you go wrong when their is tender pork on your plate along with great seafood?

All in all, I was very impressed with Neptune Oyster. It is a quick walk from downtown Boston and if you go I think you should go early. We were there for lunch on a Friday and it was packed so I can only imagine how busy it gets at night for dinner.

Any seafood lover will be happy enjoying a meal there. I certainly was.

 

 

 

Digital_Nation

Tuesday, June 9th, 2009

A few weeks ago I got invited to attend a special event here in Boston at WGBH for a preview of FRONTLINE’s Digital Nation – an upcoming documentary that will explore how the Web and digital media are changing the way we think, work, learn, and interact. The producer, Rachel Dretzin was on hand and we had a great conversation about how the ever changing digital world is effecting everything around us.

digital-nation1

This was the first event I’ve ever been invited to on behalf of being a “daddy blogger” which was a trippy thing all by itself. Guess I better get use to it huh?

We got to watch some scenes from the documentary and then had a healthy debate/discussion around a variety of topics. Besides fellow parenting bloggers, there were also people from various levels of school administrations from around the area. It was amazing to listen to different perspectives on how technology is helping our kids in school and fundamentally changing the way they learn.

This documentary is playing out in a very different format then most. It won’t air until January of 2010 but you can watch pieces of it online right now and even contribute to it in a special section where anyone can tell their story. You should consider submitting something. I know I am planning on it.

I’m really excited to follow along in the coming months and to see how it all comes together in the end. With only an hour to tell the story I don’t see how they can even begin to cover it all, but I’m sure it will be full of great content.

I took some photos at the event and got to chat with the producer for a few minutes while meeting some great people at the same time.

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