Jasper Smith

Commentary on politics, economics, culture and sports.

Archive for the ‘Sports’ Category

Awesome

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The Celtics now top Marc Stein’s power rankings.

Written by Jasper

December 17, 2007 at 1:31 pm

Posted in Boston, Sports

When I die…

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…I really really really hope the Good Lord allows me to come back as Tom Brady.

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September 3, 2007 at 8:49 pm

Damn that boy can run

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Wariner’s latest heroics:

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September 1, 2007 at 3:39 pm

Posted in Sports

Michael Vick’s biggest fan

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The following thought occurred to me this morning: don’t you think David Stern is probably elated about the Michael Vick scandal? It’s definitely long past time for the once (but no longer) effective NBA impresario to lose his job, but the amount of media energy focused on his league’s travails is looking mighty skimpy at present.

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August 28, 2007 at 8:21 am

Posted in Culture, Media, Sports

B-slapping the Chisox

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The events unfolding on Chicago’s South Side over the last few days have, to my recollection at least, constituted the most dominating series performance by any Red Sox team, ever.

David Ortiz hit a two-run homer, and J.D. Drew and Bobby Kielty ended long homerless droughts to back Julian Tavarez’s first win since late June as the Boston Red Sox finished a four-game sweep of the Chicago White Sox with a 11-1 victory Sunday…The Red Sox outscored Chicago 46-7 in the series, dropping the White Sox to 18 games under .500. Boston has won four in a row, improved baseball’s best record to 80-51 and increased their lead over second-place New York to 7 1/2 games in the AL East.

Emphasis mine. Now bring on the (cough, slumping, cough) pinstripes.

Written by Jasper

August 26, 2007 at 4:56 pm

Posted in Boston, Sports

Overheard on a Celtics online discussion board

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Somebody made the point that, even if things don’t turn out all that well for Danny Ainge’s rebuilding strategy, the Boston Celtics will actually be in a pretty good position to quickly rebound back into contention. Why? Because each of the three monster contracts they’re currently paying will become extremely valuable commodities¬† entering their respective final years. So, if, say, Garnett doesn’t quite work out, somebody’s bound to want to unload a younger, talented player in the middle of a multi-year deal to Boston in exchange for the Ticket’s expiring contract (which comes off the cap as it expires, thereby freeing up megadollars that can be used to sign a top player).

Is it possible that Danny Ainge has gone from goat to Auerbachian genius in just a few months?

Written by Jasper

August 23, 2007 at 10:19 pm

Posted in Boston, Sports

Things that make you go hmmmmm…

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Tamper with a college prospect? Moi?

Written by Jasper

March 19, 2007 at 12:23 pm

Posted in Boston, Sports

The Monkey off their back

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The Cs finally take one on the road against the Spurs. This is the first time since Timmy entered the freakin’ Association that Boston has actually managed to win one in San Antonio (16 games!) and the first time in eighteen games they’ve beaten the Spurs, period.

It was a solid performance by Boston. Rajon Rondo hauled in fourteen rebounds. The Celtics are now 6-4 in the their last ten games. They seem to have clearly turned the corner. In some ways this season is turning out just perfect. I mean, if you can’t make the post season, you might as well get a high percentage shot at obtaining the services of either Greg Oden or Kevin Durant. And should they actually haul in one of these two studs and at the same time finish strong, it’s kind of the best of both worlds: they’ll benefit from a huge increase in talent (provided their highly heralded pick is the real deal) and they will have managed to put an optimistic sheen on the current roster’s abilities.

Still, I think there is some cause for disquiet now: Boston is playing well. I think it’s entirely possible the Celtics could go, say, 10-6 in their final sixteen games. That would put them at 30-52. It’s not out of the realm of possibility they could go from their current perch in the Oden/Durant sweepstakes — the second worst record in the NBA — to, oh, the eighth or ninth worst record.

That would suck.

On the bright side Memphis defeated Chicago.

Written by Jasper

March 18, 2007 at 5:48 am

Posted in Boston, Sports

Awesome!

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The Cs just put some more distance between themselves and Memphis in the Greg Oden stakes.

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February 25, 2007 at 11:44 am

Posted in Sports

What an athlete! What a high basketball I.Q.!

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Matt Yglesias, on the Biden-Obama kerfuffle, writes:

One thing hanging over Barack Obama is the idea — voiced by Debra Dickerson among others — that he isn’t really black. He was, after all, raised by his white mother. And his dad was from Kenya, not the descendant of American slaves. It seems to me that Joe Biden should have dispelled that kind of talk, by showing that Obama’s black enough to be subjected to bizarre race-related crap from white people.

He continues on, touching upon sports stereotypes:

Similarly, if you watch the NBA I think it’s clear that there’s a set of stereotypes associated with black players (“amazing speed and athleticism”) and a different set associated with Europeans…

What I want to know is, is this generalization valid or not?

I think the theories about differing cognitive abilities among the races are pure crapola. But I’m not so sure there isn’t some validity to be observed when it comes to things like muscles, lung capacity, etc. It does seem like one very rarely observes a real, bonafide, freak of nature “athlete” amongst the ranks of white NBA players.

My total non-scientist theory: there’s never been a large group of homo sapiens for whom natural selection wouldn’t have strongly favored intelligence (I’m thinking especially in terms of competition for mating opportunities), so, the human brain has evolved more or less at a constant rate since our species first left Africa. But this hasn’t been the case when it comes to other organs or physiological systems. The extra big lungs that help you survive until sexual maturity in what is now Tibet, in other words, might have been a net energy waste if you make your home in the Amazon basin. But in both places better brains would help you get laid.

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February 4, 2007 at 3:47 pm

Chicago’s chances on Sunday

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Via Stephen Bainbridge comes this snippet from the Wall Street Journal.com:

Over the last 22 Super Bowls, 18 — 86% of them — were won by the team that came into the game after allowing fewer regular-season points. (In the 2004-05 regular season, the New England Patriots and the Philadelphia Eagles each allowed 260 points.) Not since the Denver Broncos won 1999’s Super Bowl XXXIII has the team with the weaker defense emerged victorious. And that’s why the underdog Chicago Bears should defeat the Indianapolis Colts in Miami on Sunday. Lovie Smith’s NFC Champion Bears allowed only 255 points during the regular season. That’s third-best in the NFL — and is a whopping 105 points fewer than the AFC Champion Colts allowed.

Color me skeptical. As a certified Manning-hatin’ New Englander, I’d love to see the Bears prevail on Sunday. But I don’t see it happening. The Colts’ offense is absurdly powerful. They absolutely made the Patriots’ defense look like a bunch of high schoolers in the second half of the conference championship. I don’t think I recall a better looking passing game in all my years watching professional football.

I know defense wins championships and all, but, seriously…

Written by Jasper

February 3, 2007 at 1:08 pm

Posted in Sports

Take courage, oh ye faithless New Englanders

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Yes, the Pats won’t play another game until August, but on the brighter side, average temperatures are now starting to increase again, after six months of decline.

Written by Jasper

January 26, 2007 at 10:45 am

Posted in Boston, Miscellania, Sports