As many of you know, I went to Boston University.
It’s something I’m generally quite proud of. We’re a well regarded school with a bevy of impressive alumni, from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to Faye Dunaway to Howard Stern. Also, John from 200 Miles from the Citi, Dave from Brighton from Ann Arbor and Scott Salley (Not his real name.) It was with those last three that I spent this past weekend, in Boston and at BU.
I flew to Logan on Jet Blue, and thanks to SCP commenter BShrek, I did so with very cheap round trip tickets. In fact, it cost me more to take a cab from my apartment in Manhattan to JFK airport Friday morning and then back this morning ($110 with tolls and tip,) then it did to fly from JFK to Boston and then back again ($103 including a $15 dollar upgrade to extra room seats this morning.) Sure, Jet Blue has some problems. They may leave their passengers sitting on tarmacs for hours and hours at a time. And, sure, they may have flight attendants who go crazy and slide down the emergency chute to go home and share a drink with their life partners. But at $88 for a round trip to Boston, I’m happy to look past those things.
We went to the BU-Maine hockey game at Agganis Arena Saturday Night. Maine won 2-1. It was a somewhat sloppy game with both goaltenders standing on their head. And while I was focused on the ice, I couldn’t help to take a look around the building and look at the kids. A freshman at BU this year was 3 years old when I was started there in 1996. That’s shocking. SHOCKING! As I said last week, I have trouble thinking of myself as a fully grown adult (though I did successfully purchase placemats this afternoon.) Still, there are a lot of things that look familiar. I watched packs of students travel around campus. Each time, I identified “the Justin.” He was the kid walking about a half step back from the other guys and girls, part of the group but not really involved in the conversation. Every group has one. You should talk to him. He’s usually funny.
As I stated earlier, I am a proud alumnus of BU. That pride has a limit though. Let’s end with a story.
BU won the NCAA hockey title in 2009. We tracked the action that night with a semi-live blog. A couple of weeks later, my father told me he was headed to Boston on business, so I asked him to pick me up a championship t-shirt. And he did. And it is red. Actually, it is RED. Bulls charge me when I wear it. Drivers stop when I step in front of their cars. Other things have reactions that are considered stereotypical in reference to their reaction to the color red.
And so, the shirt is not generally appropriate to wear in public. The only exception, as far as I can tell, is trips to the gym. I wear my BU national championship t-shirt when I intend on sweating through it. This was the case last week. I was on the elliptical, wearing my super red shirt and reading Sports Illustrated. And I was feeling pretty good about it. But then, a woman got on the machine next to me. She put down her towel, set her water bottle into the cup holder and dropped a bunch of magazines on the tray in front of her. On top of the pile was the Princeton University Alumni magazine. And just like that, it became very obvious that I was wearing a bright red t-shirt and reading a dopey sports magazine. And any residual self esteem I was feeling started to drift away.
Like I said, BU pride has its limits.
AFTER THE JUMP: A LOYAL READER GETS JUMPED BUT HAS THE LAST LAUGH YEARS LATER.
Tiger Woods career as a public figure is sort of encapsulated in two pieces during the first half of this week’s magazine.
First, he makes an appearance during the discussion of Bill Clinton as golf loving, charity raising glad hander:
Thursday morning, during the event’s first round, Clinton was in a hospitality suite, looking at a picture in the local paper: his wife craning her neck and smiling impishly at Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, newly named as a “global cultural ambassador” for the State Department. “I’ve got a picture of him in my gym,” Clinton said. Not just for his sky hook, he explained, but for his hook shot and his commitment to racial equality. In that same way, Lance Armstrong, who dropped in last week, has a place in Clinton’s sporting pantheon. (Cancer research.) Ditto for Tiger Woods, who did not play last week. (Childhood education.) Clinton is working on Woods for next year.
Tiger does good work in the community. He is trying to make the world a better place.
Later, we check in with Jimmy Fallon, who discusses his favorite sports related memories from his late night show:
“When Tiger Woods was on the show, he and I had an awkward off-air moment. We were playing his Wii golf game, practicing for a show segment. He swung, and I said, ‘Press down and shake it to put spin on the ball.’ He said, ‘Don’t tell me how to play my game.’ And he wasn’t smiling. I was like, ‘Whoa, sorry.'”
Tiger Woods is an anti-social dick!
Deja Vu All Over Again by Peter King
I used to hate Eli Manning and I used to hate Tom Coughlin. Manning used to look like a guy who was forced into the family business when all he wanted was to become a CPA and live a quiet life. And Coughlin seemed like an angry old man tilting at windmills as time passed him by. In all my time as a New York sports fan (33 years,) I don’t think I’ve ever changed my opinion of someone as much as I have with these two guys. Eli is an elite quarterback, a borderline hall of famer and the team’s unquestioned leader. Coughlin is a steady hand who has just the right touch with his players and the media. It’s amazing.
One More For Myra by Damon Hack
I want to hate everything Boston sports related. But Bob Kraft is an exception. For the past decade or so, he’s done everything right. Kraft is an incredibly charitable man who’s beloved by his players and by his fellow owners. And I was genuinely sad when his wife died over the summer. This doesn’t preclude me from hoping he has a miserable day Sunday. I want him to cry. And I’m sure he’d be fine with that.
Finally, It’s Hip To Be A Clip by Lee Jenkins
There are so many interesting facts in this article. William Kuntsler was Bill Walton’s agent?!? The Clips GM is a failed actor who became a basketball executive simply by volunteering as a high school coach?!? The former NBA commissioner broke up the late 70’s San Diego Clippers because they were going to be too good?!? SWEN NATER!!!!!
That’s why it’s odd that this article was so boring. It’s all sizzle and no steak. The Clippers are a bit better this year. They traded for Chris Paul. We already know that.
Everybody Loves Winnipeg by Mark Bechtel
In my junior year of high school, I got a Winnipeg Jets jersey. It was a Teemu Selanne #13 jersey. I got it for Hanukah his freshman year. Keith Hoffmann was obsessed with it. He asked me about it at school every day. It was annoying. Later, he attacked Bshrek in gym class, because Bshrek scored a goal against him in floor hockey. Even later, BShrek and I randomly sat next to him at a Bruce Springsteen concert. That story was the first thing that came up.
I was also in Phoenix when the Jets formally became the Coyotes. They had a big event at the America West Arena. I touched the Stanley Cup, my brother and I played an arcade game that was an NHL version of the NBA Jams, which was AWESOME and we were both quoted the next day in the Arizona Republic. It was the same day that Boomer Esiason signed with the Cardinals, if you want to look it up.
The Blessed Lives Of Herb Pope by Pablo S Torre
Sports Illustrated continues to prove that Aliquippa, Pennsylvania is the worst place on Earth. I’m glad Herb Pope made it out and is still alive. Once football ends this weekend, we’ll have to start looking for some college basketball story lines to follow. Pope and the Seton Hall Pirates seem like a good one to latch onto.
Joe Paterno 1926-2012 by Tim Layden
This is an impossible task for Layden. How do you write a proper eulogy of Joe Paterno with everything so fresh in America’s mind? Layden tries his best.
The Final Days by Joe Posnanski
Joe Posnanski was recently named sportswriter of the year. As much as I like him and think he’s probably the best in the industry right now, I don’t know how he could possibly win that award. Due to his Paterno book project, Posnanski has barely published anything in the past 6 months. It reminds me of that year when Rafael Palmiero won the gold glove at first base, even though he spent the vast majority of his time as a DH. Reputation won this award. Not Joe Posnanski
Point After by Phil Taylor
Taylor should check back in with the goats of last week’s championship games again at the beginning of training camp next season. It would be interesting to see how they use the events to motivate them through an offseason.