Sign Kid Serves as Archangel of Dominance for Boston Sports Fans

Sign Kid Photo - Via Family

(Photo Courtesy Family)

This Patriots fan, named Jason, celebrated the team’s Super Bowl XLIX victory last February by letting the world know just how good he’s had it. He turned 14 on Friday.

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13 Years Old.

9 Parades.

Take that, World.

Sign Kid,” as he is known to millions of Boston sports fans, was born a week before the New England Patriots beat the Oakland Raiders in the infamous Tuck Rule game on Jan. 15, 2002.

That victory in the divisional playoff during a blizzard is widely viewed as the launching point of both a Patriots dynasty and an unmatched run of professional sports championships for Boston’s four major pro sports teams.

The core fanbase of those teams, which extends from Waterville, Maine in the north and east to Waterbury, Conn., in the south and west, has enjoyed a combustible run of championships, chokes, heartache, and euphoria during Sign Kid’s brief lifetime.

Mainly, it’s been about the rings. Four for the Patriots, three for the Red Sox, and one each for the Bruins and Celtics.

All in less than 14 years.

For many Boston sports fans, the triumph and tragedies of the Patriots, Celtics, Red Sox and Bruins overlap into one, entangled, continuous saga.

Babe – Ruth and Parilli. Buckner. Boone. Big Papi. The Big Three. The second Big Three. Brady. Belichick. Bobby Orr. Bill Russell. And Ballgame, Teddy. And that’s just the “B’s.”

The teams and players celebrate and emulate each other.

Tom Brady, complete with a number “5” on his shirt, threw out the first pitch on Opening Day at Fenway Park in 2015. He was accompanied by Bill Belichick, Robert and Jonathan Kraft, and four Lombardi Trophies. Patriots players are fixtures at courtside during Celtics home games. The Bruins 2011 Stanley Cup rolled into to Fenway Park on Father’s Day atop a Duck Boat in a move akin to the Allies re-taking Paris.

Red Sox left-handed starting pitcher David Price addressed the city’s stratospheric expectations after he signed his seven-year, $217 million deal with Boston in December. “This is a place that has winning in their blood, and not just with the Red Sox. Obviously with what the Patriots are doing, the Bruins, Celtics. This is a place that wins, and this is a place that expects to win. That’s what I want to be a part of.”

When he was three weeks old, Sign Kid’s dad woke him up from an early-evening nap with a loud shriek as Adam Vinatieri split the uprights against the Rams to win Super Bowl XXXVI.

(In spite of what you may have read or heard on the ESPN, the Patriots never videotaped St. Louis’ walkthroughs.)

Since then, the Patriots have won three more Super Bowls and become the NFL’s most-successful, most-emulated, and most-hated franchise. The Red Sox ended an 86-year World Series drought in 2004 before adding two more championships. Their 2013 #BostonStrong victory came six months after two brothers killed three spectators at the Boston Marathon, injured more than 260 others, and killed an MIT police officer during the subsequent manhunt.

The Bruins and Celtics, meanwhile, have each captured a title in Sign Kid’s short life. They also fell short in the finals chasing a second.

Sign Kid’s real name is Jason. He lives in the suburbs north of Boston. He plays quarterback on his flag football team, wears No. 12 (of course.), and plays point guard on an AAU basketball team. His dad asked that his last name not be used.

Fans in Kansas City might understand why as they read on.

During Jason’s entire life, Belichick was been coaching the Patriots, and Brady has been the team’s starting QB. (Brady missed the 2008 season with a torn ACL after being taken out at the knees by Bernard Pollard of the Chiefs in the season opener.) As Jason grew, so did the numbers on his sign. It was first unveiled at the Bruins’ Stanley Cup Duck Boat fete in June of 2011.

11 Years Old.

7 Parades.

Ouch.

His dynamic sign has been a social media and internet staple at Boston championship Duck Boat parades since, and even earned him air time on local TV. There is no more room for another logo on the sign. There will be design changes if necessary in February.
Jason, for one, has no doubt the Patriots will beat the Chiefs on Saturday in the AFC Divisional Playoff Game at Gillette Stadium. He has them winning 31-20.

“I have high expectations whenever the Patriots play. I expect them to win. My standards for them are like really high,” he told The Star in true Belichickian form. “When they lose, I always have a bit of a disappointment. But I always believe they have a shot at the championship. They’re the team of the decade.”

Such brash and arrogant confidence for a young man, right? Well, as a Patriots’ fan, Jason’s got a 171-53 regular-season record, 12 AFC East championships, four Super Bowl wins and a nearly incomprehensible nine AFC conference title game appearances.

He turned 14 on Friday.

Haters, cynics, the defeated, Brady Truthers, a certain four-letter sports network, corrupted souls at NFL HQ, and fans in New York, across Pennsyltucky, and beyond, often love to credit this success to cheating, the Dark Side, and deflated footballs.

Jason is having none of it.

“I don’t think Tom Brady is a cheater. He’s an honest and wonderful person. He seems pretty smart to me and knows football. I don’t feel like it in my heart he would cheat to get a win. He’s so into the game. I feel like he would always give 110 percent and try as hard as he can to win.”

Kids are so smart these days.

Jason has a few million Patriots fans – not to mention a mountain of evidence contradicting the Wells Report and Judge Berman’s Deflategate ruling – to back his assertions.

And lest you think your franchise is pure, you can always visit YourTeamCheats.Com for a reality check.

Make the assertion that Brady has cheated, or that the Patriots’ championships are tainted, in the right place on Twitter and you will swiftly hear from Patriots Twitter Nation.

David Portnoy (@stoolpresidente) is the founder of Barstool Sports. He sold a majority interest in his on-line entity to a private equity firm just last week. It had a valuation of “$10 to 15 million.”

Portnoy’s has been among the loudest and deepest voice in the “Free Brady” movement. (The Twitter feed of this author held its own.)

Portnoy and three lieutenants traveled to the NFL’s offices on Park Avenue in New York in May to protest Roger Goodell’s handing the Deflategate affair. They were arrested for their efforts.

“Well, Brady didn’t deflate the balls for starters. It was just crybaby teams that got their ass kicked trying to get revenge the only way they can,” Portnoy told The Star.

New Englanders have long carried a boulder on their shoulder, going back to that April morning back in 1775 when a group of small “p” patriots gave a metaphorical middle-finger to the British Empire.

That middle finger has been raised – and largely pointed at New York – ever since.

“We’ve always heard about the Yankees and their 26 championships” said Jason’s dad, Stephen. “For me it’s always been like not getting the credit where credit is due. We’ve had a lot of blue-collar teams. Not the glitzy, the Showtime, Magic Johnson teams. It’s always been like Larry Bird, or the 2004 Red Sox (known as The Idiots), blue-collar, muscle-it-out, ugly-win, teams. But with the Patriots, it’s been beautiful. To take one glory player – a sixth round draft pick – with the cast of folks who aren’t super stars. They manufacture success from a team perspective rather than an individual perspective.”

Expectations with the Patriots have soared since Jason’s birth. Back in the day, it was a big deal when the team made the playoffs, simply finished above .500, or managed to keep the same coach from one season to the next.

“When I was growing up, to have a season when they’d just about make the playoffs, would be good,” added Stephen, who is 55.

Portnoy – known as El Presidente to his site’s millions of Stoolies – has also been around long enough to see the Patriots finish 2-14.

“The pre Parcells/Belichick Pats were the worst team in the league. A joke,” Portnoy said. “Now we’re the premier team in sports. It’s really similar to the attitude of Boston Sports fans in general. We were lovable losers. The ‘Curse.’ Now we’re the bully that sticks people in lockers. It took a while to accept it, but now people hate us. We’re the best. We know we’re the best. Everybody wants to take what we got. It’s us against the world.”

Boston’s genetic and defiant “Us Against The World” attitude, an underlying fixture in any Boston-based movie featuring Mark Wahlberg, Matt Damon, or Ben Affleck, was best reflected following the Boston Marathon bombings in 2013. It was succinctly articulated when Boston Red Sox DH David Ortiz christened Boston as “our f–king city” before a game against the Royals on April 20, 2013.

That feeling was injected with a trainload of HGH after was reported in the early moments of January 19, 2015, that the NFL was investigating allegations of the Patriots purposefully using deflated footballs in last season’s AFC title rout of the AFC Finalist Colts.

“Ever since Deflategate, there’s a high degree of sensitivity on that subject,” Stephen said.

Portnoy adds that the timing of the “Decade-Plus Of Dominance” has added to the envy and scorn directed at the New England fanbase. “It extends beyond football. Every Boston sports team started winning at once. We went from lovable losers to Title Town As far as the Pats, clearly people hate them because they win so much. Everything the Pats do is magnified.”

Those “pre-Parcells/Belichick” Patriots were the cosmic opposites of today’s franchise.
Those Patriots almost moved to St. Louis and Hartford during the 1990s. They played their “home” games in Harvard Stadium, Fenway Park, Nickerson Field, Alumni Stadium, and, once, even in Alabama. Their old home stadium in Foxboro was so poorly constructed fans would get soaked during rain storms – while beneath the stands.

There was the 3-0 snow plow (actually a snow sweeper) victory over Miami in 1982, the cocaine-fueled 1985 AFC champs, the ugly sexual harassment of a female reporter in the locker room scandal of 1990, and the time the game wouldn’t start until they could suit-up a former player who was in the stands. He made the tackle on the opening kickoff.

All of that pre-dates the Tuck Rule game, Spygate, Aaron Hernandez’s murder conviction, and Deflategate.

Engineer Peter Guglietta goes back to the 1960s AFL Boston Patriots of (Babe) Parilli. He offered this primer on why the Patriots have connected with New Englanders beyond the four rings.

“It’s about a common bond and identity with a team whose values and work ethic are tightly knit into the real New England character, not that Beacon Hill snobbery that a lot of America always associates with Boston,” Guglietta said. “‘Do Your Job,’ Brady’s rise to the top from low expectations beginnings, Belichick’s dedication to never resting on your laurels. Like many others who are the real fabric of New England, that identity is what makes us a unique breed. You work hard, take pride in what you do, and take your success as a result of the hard work, not like you were entitled to it. ”

Guglietta vividly remembers the days of the Laughingstock Patriots.

“People just expected this team to be underachievers … it was like you just knew something stupid or low-rent to be the rule of the day,” he said. “We never thought we had a right to compete with the rest of the league. Kraft changed that, Belichick and Brady changed that.”

“My father always reminds me how lucky I am because of when I was born. And all these crazy championships happened,” Jason added. “Tom Brady is the greatest player ever. And he will be forever.”

Nine titles in his first 13 years.

Who are you to argue?

– Written for the for the Kansas City Star

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Bruins leave Cuthbert, Reimer seeing stars

Hat trick for David Krecji.

Hat’s off to Tuukka Rask.

But the juiciest moment of Wednesday’s 4-3 Bruins overtime victory at Toronto may have occurred in the significant others’ section of the Air Canada Centre.

Actress Elisha Cuthbert, who is the fiancee of Maple Leafs’ defenseman Dion “Big Mistake” Phaneuf, wasn’t too happy about her beau’s team losing to the Bruins.

And she apparently didn’t enjoy getting a glaring “I can’t believe your guy did that” look from April Reimer, the wife of goalie James Reimer, either.

This was either the NHL’s version of Gisele’s post Super Bowl XLVI outburst or a misunderstanding brought to us by the internet.

My heart screams for Gisele II.

But the head says otherwise.

Here’s Mrs. Reimer’s version of events:

BFFs forever?

Just ask the future Mrs. Phaneuf:

We’ll let this stand until the Bruins win Game 5.

You can’t see any visible jerks next to the two hockey queens on this You Tube clip. Perhaps the mystery fan was the same DB who was waving the “Toronto Stronger” sign before Game 3.

The Bruins gave the Leafs and their fans plenty to roll their eyes about during Wednesday’s thriller. It was a throwback to the good old days of 2011 and the game generated all the excitement and angina of a Game 7, even though it was just another overtime first-round affair.

Krecji’s hat trick demonstrated that the Bruins still have it offensively. But the real star power at the Air Canada Centre wasn’t generated by Cuthbert, Mrs. Reimer, or April’s mother-in-law. It emanated from the pads and stick of Tuukka Rask. At 26, Rask finally dropped his playoff nut with his stellar performance, especially in overtime.

Rask made 45 saves at the very raucous Air Canada Centre. He stopped breakaways, rebounds, shots to the five-hole, risers, sliders. You name it, he stopped it. He made 14 of those stops in a back-and-forth overtime that saw multiple potential game-winners missed by both sides.

This may have been the playoff game that might finally purge the Bruins from the curse of Tim Thomas. At least for the time being. Rask hasn’t dropped any of his political philosophy on Twitter or Facebook. Meanwhile, Thomas was last seen (we’d like to think) stockpiling gold and food insurance in his Colorado bunker. Or maybe it was just legal weed. Either way, Boston fans will always be grateful for his efforts in 2011. Rask showed plenty of Thomas Wednesday night, although his upright style is in marked contrast to Thomas’ perpetual Zamboniness.

Even better for Rask, he doesn’t have to wait around for Roberta Luongo to pump his tires. We’ll be happy to do it here.

By the way, Luongo and the Canucks have lost 10 of their past 11 playoff games and are no longer with us this playoff season. And yes, fans rioted in Vancouver after the Canucks got swept by the Sharks. Luongo is also selling his very awesome Vancouver condo for just $4.2 million Canadian if you’re interested, Tim.

We were promised riots in Toronto Wednesday night, if the Maple Leafs lost:

But we got nothing when it came to civil unrest. Once again, Toronto’s bark proved much worse than its bite. And it can really bite.

Krecji gave the Bruins a desperately needed big-money offensive game Wednesday. A game that Tyler Seguin and Nathan Horton would be wise to emulate. Despite their continued misfires, there was plenty of 2011 on the ice Wednesday night, especially in the form of an OT game-winner on the road in Canada.

Even the Red Sox got into “Throwback Wednesday” with a 15-8 loss to the Twins. When Boston was down 14-6, NESN was dutifully pimping the Premier League Game of the Week. It was just like old times 2012 style. All we needed was Bobby V.

Rask kept the Bruins viable all evening. He covered up multiple mistakes that occurred both in the Bruins’ end and on offense when the Bruins simply dumped the puck in the general direction of the net but failed to force a rebound off Reimer.

And he made sure Phil Kessel would not get the last laugh on his former teammates in overtime.

Rask played his Ask off, no doubt. He showed himself capable of giving the Bruins enough air even in the fourth period of a brutally physically tough road game to allow the likes of Krecji a chance to win it.

The Bruins are still lacking when it comes to the power play even though they converted on two of their 10 chances. Boston had a chance to ice the game with a 3:30 power play in the third period that turned into 210 seconds of frustration. Conversely, the Bruins were up against the boards when Joffrey Lupul earned a best-actress nod for drawing a high-sticking penalty on Chara. That would be, surprisingly, the final penalty of the game.

But Boston turned in its biggest penalty kill of the season thus far and Cuthbert and April Reimer were left at the end of the evening exchanging dagger-eyes, or commiserating about an alleged “jerk” sitting nearby.

Either way, they can blame Tuukka Rask.

And he was a lot hotter than either Cuthbert or Reimer.

As always, let us know what you think. Post your thoughts on our Obnoxious Boston Fan Facebook page, on Twitter @realOBF or e-mail me at obnoxiousbostonfan@hotmail.com.

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What we’ve been up to…

Moneybawl

Moneybawl has been a real tear-jerker in 2011.

Check out our cool “Moneybawl” poster.

And here’s the permanent link to our boston.com blog.

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BIG ANNOUNCEMENT…

Starting on Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2011 – the Obnoxious Boston Fan will be featured on boston.com. We’ll be offering our thoughts on everything from Albert Haynesworth to Zdeno Chara. Check back here for more updates and a link to all our blogs, posts and videos.  Thanks for reading and let’s play ball!.

 

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HURRICANE WARNING

Miami football

Miami has a pro football team after all. (Associated Press file photo)

Can’t believe Carl Crawford homered and Jason Varitek got a triple in the same game and the world didn’t explode…

Don’t look now, but the Tampa Bay Rays are still in this thing. They’re having a fan appreciation night in St. Pete this week and they hope he shows up…

Ryan Lavarnway, Josh Reddick, Darnell McDonald and Jed Lowrie. That was 44 percent of your Red Sox starting lineup Monday night. Guess we can call them “Misdemeanors Row.” I’m thinking Cliff Lee isn’t losing a whole lot of sleep worrying about those bats…

If we don’t survive Hurricane Irene this week, it’s been nice knowing you…

Speaking of Hurricanes, former Florida coach Urban Meyer waded into the mess that is the “U” – ripping the former coaches and assistants at Miami in the wake of the Nevin Shapiro scandal. Isn’t that the pot calling the kettle blue and orange?…

The only violations at UF during Urban’s reign were violations of the Florida penal code. Plenty of Gators got jewelry – in the form of stainless steel bracelets. If a booster ever gave any Gator $500 or $1000 – it was probably used to post bail…

Shaq

Too bad Shaq didn't throw him off a cliff. (Orlando Sentinel photo)

Gotta love this photo of Shaq and Shapiro. Once Shaq heard “grocery distribution business” – he was hooked…

This UM fiasco proved one thing – Miami does in deed have a professional football team…

Vince Wilfork says he’s “moved forward” in the wake of reports he received $50,000 (among other things) while still at the “U”. Let’s hope for his sake the IRS feels the same way…

Jim Tressell made $21 million in Columbus – that was the minimum wage in Coral Gables…

Not sure what did more damage – that Yahoo! story in Miami or Tom Brady in Tampa…

Meanwhile, the Bucs look ready to go all the way – to the Arena Bowl…

Plax was back with a bang Sunday night – and this time he was the target on purpose. Rex hasn’t been this excited since the missus stopped wearing socks…

The other day, Eli Manning said he was in the same class as Brady. Let’s get this straight – Eli is only the 3rd best QB in his own family and Mom is running a close 4th. Eli won the Super Bowl because: 1. Asante Samuel forgot to jump and 2. He threw the ball 8 feet over David Tyree’s head. QBs who also won Super Bowls – Trent Dilfer and Jeff Hostetler. They’re not in Brady’s class either…

The Pats continue to rest Albert Haynesworth – they don’t want him to break anything – like a sweat. He should have plenty of time on his hands to complete those 160 hours of community service – like the rest of training camp…

So much for that, the Bruins open camp 4 weeks from Friday. For the first time in 39 years, folks might actually notice. Got to hold the Stanley Cup a few years back, it’s all you would imagine and I hadn’t skated in two decades…

Guess Boris Said got Greg Biffle’s address – because he certainly didn’t show up at Michigan this weekend…

Danica Patrick is going to NASCAR full-time next season – imagine where she’d be if she ever won a race in the Western Hemisphere..

Penn State is working on another Joe Paterno statue – it will be standing on the sidelines every week.

Obnoxious Boston Fan can be reached via his Facebook page, @realOBF on twitter or at obnoxiousbostonfan@hotmail.com. He’s also a featured called on 740AM The Game during “Open Mike” with Mike Bianchi. 

 

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NOTHING GOOD CAN COME OF THIS

Curses!

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NEW JERSEY STATE OF MIND

Jersey

"I'll take two."

I got an e-mail asking me to buy myself or anyone else a new No. 85 Chad Ochocinco Patriots jersey. I’d be all over if for the fact that I don’t have $84.99 burning a hole in my pocket and I still like to have gas in my car. The folks at nflshop.com are on the ball – they’ve got new jerseys for sale on many of the big-name free-agents who changed teams in the past week – plus many of your favorite draft picks. Most of these ship in 5-7 business days as the folks at Reebok are cranking them out as fast as possible. Among the highlights are these 5 notables:

No. 85 – Patriots – Ochocinco got his number from Aaron Hernandez for free. Unfortunately, we don’t have the same option. However, preferred customers can get free shipping on orders over $75. My favorite Ochocinco jersey was the yellow Hall of Fame jacket he wore on the sidelines a few years back in Cincy. I’m thinking antics like that aren’t even allowed to be discussed in Foxboro. It’s item No. 11361146 and is no longer available in XL. Fortunately for Albert Haynesworth, it is still available in size XXXXXXL.

Plaxico Burress.

The shoulder holster is not included.

No. 17 – Jets – Plaxico Burress can be yours in Gang Green. You can probably snag his Big Blue jersey for $5.50 on ebay. The orange prison jump suits are 2 for $9. Not sure if his newest NFL jersey  includes free bullets, but the shoulder holster is an extra $19.99. A Kevlar version should be ready in a few weeks. Plax was the most courted ex-felon this side of Allen Iverson. My favorite suitor was Steelers’ QB Ben Roethlisberger – who probably wanted Plax back in the Steel City to help take the heat off in case he, Hines Ward or James Harrison stepped in it again. Giants QB Eli Manning wanted no part of the guy who caught the game-winning pass in the one and only Super Bowl he’ll ever win. So much for team brotherhood – a criminal record will do that.

Nnamdi

"Would you like to buy a vowel?"

No. 24 – Eagles – It seems everyone outside the 508 area code has the Eagles winning the Super Bowl and the acquisition of this week’s Sports Illustrated cover guy Nnamdi Asomugha (try saying that three times fast) – the most-coveted free-agent of the offseason – is one big reason why. He signed a 5-year, $60 million deal in Philly just a couple of years after signing a 3-year, $45.3 million deal with the Raiders. Luckily for Philly fans – his jersey doesn’t cost any more than that of any other defensive back. Of course, the coolest thing about this guy – besides the fact that he’ll have a field day shredding wideouts from New York to Dallas along with new teammate (new Eagles jersey No. 23 also for sale) Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie – is the fact that his name begins with twin-double-consonants and it isn’t “Lloyd.”

Sidney Rice

Scoreless in Seattle? We'll have to wait and see.

No. 18 – Seahawks – This might have more of an impact on the fantasy market than on the jersey market. I can’t imagine too many folks shelling out $84.99 for this one – at least not those of us who drink coffee fewer than 6 times a day. Sidney Rice did get a 4-year, $41 million from the Seahawks and will get a chance to play again with fellow ex-Viking and QB Tavaris Jackson – who was kicked down the depth chart in Minnesota last season thanks to Brett Favre’s 50th un-retirement but was tagged the Seahawks’ starter du jour on Wednesday. The fate of high-impact wide receivers in Seattle is well-documented (remember Deion Branch). Save the $84.99 and use it for another Zdeno Chara sweater.

Reggie Bush

Zero impact in New Orleans. Not sure about Miami.

No. 0 – Dolphins – OK, we know Reggie Bush won’t be wearing No. 0 with the Dolphins this season. That’s just a fill-in to whet our appetite – his first official day of practice is Thursday and he’s No. 4 on the team’s roster. The “0” would be more well suited to sum up his net impact in the Crescent City – which ended with that infamous “It’s been fun New Orleans” tweet on draft night after the Saints chose Mark Ingram (No. 28 also for sale). Whether or not Ingram will become the Patriots’ version of Kendrick Perkins is another subject for another day. Bush has the distinction of being just the 2nd Heisman Trophy-winning running back from USC who had to give up the prized award. But he is the only one who isn’t in jail waiting to get out and look for the real killers.

Obnoxious Boston Fan can be reached at obnoxiousbostonfan@hotmail.com, on his Facebook page or on twitter @realOBF. He’s a featured caller on “Open Mike” with Mike Bianchi on 740AM The Game in Orlando and has been written about on orlandosentinel.com, boston.com, in the Orlando Sentinel and has his Facebook postings highlighted on “Sports Sunday” with Michael Felger on Comcast Sports New England. 

 

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OH CAPTAIN, MY CAPTAIN

"Can you believe they traded Kendrick Perkins for Jeff Green?"

Captain America hits movie screens Friday (or 11:59 p.m. Thursday depending on the cineplex). So we decided to remember some of our favorite captains throughout the years. We limited ourselves to a dozen. Feel free to add yours:

1. Capt. Ted Williams, USMC – Never mind the 521 home runs, the .344 career average or hitting .406 in 1941. The 39 combat missions over Korea are the best stat of his career.
2. Bill Russell – He’s finally getting his statue. 11 championships in 13 years. He never lost a Game 7, an Olympic game or NCAA tournament game. If LeBron and Co. are “The Heatles” – then Russell is Mozart and Beethoven. Paul Pierce deserves honorable mention for his poker-playing prowess. We could just keep listing Celtics (Larry Bird, Reggie Lewis, etc.) all day.
3. Cap’n Crunch – About the only thing sweeter than a Ray Allen 3-pointer is a bowl of the Cap’n’s finest. Rumors of his demise earlier this year turned out to be unfounded. My dentist thanks you. “Peanut Butter Crunch?” Life doesn’t get any better.
4. John Bucyk – Somewhere between Milt Schmidt and Zdeno Chara on the pantheon of all-time Bruins greats, he played about 652 seasons in the NHL. I used to think that “C” on his uniform meant “Chief”. Who knew? All those Bruins “yellow hats” who hopped on board this season ought to take a swing by Wikipedia and read his bio.

The "C" fits him to a tee.

5. Jason Varitek – The guy caught 16 innings the other night. He’s 39. He can wear any letter he wants. He also managed to get into the shot when the Red Sox won the 2004 and 2007 World Series.
6. Terry O’Reilly – His 1980 bout against Clark Gillies was epic. As was his temper. He once led the Bruins in scoring and penalty minutes in the same season (1977-78).
7. Jim Rice – Hell may freeze over before the Red Sox ever have a black manager or the University of Florida has a black head coach. But Jim Ed was the first black captain in the history of the Sox. Tom Yawkey is still doing 2500 RPM over that one.
8. Ray Bourque. – The ex-Bruins defenseman brought the Stanley Cup to Boston after winning it for the Avalanche and still drew about 15,000 fans in City Hall Plaza. There are teams that win championships and don’t draw 15,000.

Tedy Bruscho

Captain's courageous.

9. Tedy Bruschi – The most-lasting image of him as a Patriot – celebrating in the snow after beating the Dolphins late in 2003 . No. 2 – Him playing with his kids on the field in Jacksonville before Super Bowl XXXIX. I witnessed that in person – beyond cool.
10. Tom Brady – Forget the supermodel wife, the 3 Super Bowls and the $72 million contract – how many of us can sue our bosses for a gazillion dollars and be welcomed back with open arms?
11.  Mike Eruzione – Beating the Soviets – and then Finland for the hockey Olympic gold in 1980 – was the equivalent of any and all Olympic moments combined ever since.
12. Yaz – Did you honestly think we’d forget him? Please.
Obnoxious Boston Fan can be heard on “Open Mike” with Mike Bianchi on 740AM the Game and be reached on his Facebook page or at ObnoxiousBostonFan@hotmail.com

 

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FINGER-LICKIN’ GOOD

Dustin Pedroia Red Sox BMC

Dustin Pedroia has a no-so-secret recipe for success these days, including a 16-game hitting streak. Grab yourself a bucket of Boston Muddy Chicken. It's delicious! (Obnoxious Boston Fan illustration - AP photo)

No one can be surprised that Dustin Pedroia has found his stroke – or that he got more dirt on his uniform in one game over 16 innings than J.D. Drew has during his entire career.

The nickname “Muddy Chicken” – which came from the lips of Josh Beckett at about 2 a.m. Monday – was a surprise. Pedroia’s recipe for success is no secret combination of 11 herbs and spices. Rather, it’s an age-old menu of talent, hard work and attitude. Entering Tuesday’s game – he’s riding a 16-game hitting streak. He also had my second-favorite stat of the season (after Jason Varitek catching all 16 innings Sunday) by going 3-for-7 in that marathon while the Rays went 3-for-50. Can I get a side order of “Mashed Taters” from David Ortiz and Adrian Gonzalez while we’re at it?

The “Muddy Chicken” has raised his batting average from .239 on June 4 to .295 today. In that time the Red Sox have gone from 6 to 22 games over .500. Pedroia’s play in the field has been even more plucky and ruffled plenty of feathers – especially in Tampa Bay. Even though Robinson Cano was extra crispy in the All-Star Game home run derby – Pedroia continues to keep make his case in the argument over who is the best second-baseman in the American League.

As long the “Muddy Chicken” keeps pecking away, the Red Sox should be just fine…

Deja.....never mind.

As tough as the women’s World Cup soccer loss was for Team USA, I’d still take Hope Solo over Roberto Luongo any day of the week. Can’t see a huge burst of interest in women’s soccer after Sunday’s game considering we didn’t get one when they beat China in 1999. Speaking of Brandi Chastain, I’m just glad Ortiz didn’t take his shirt off after that 16-inning win over the Rays.

Sunday’s Red Sox game lasted 5 hours and 44 minutes, which seemed a lot longer than Casey Anthony’s jail sentence. Speaking of Pinellas County – those folks actually get instructions on how to use their cowbells before Rays’ games. Too bad they didn’t pay attention to the jury instructions in Orlando…

More than 7,100 tweets per-second on the subject were sent in the final minutes of the World Cup on Sunday. That’s a slow day for Gilbert Arenas

Wouldn’t it be nice if America could come up with any good golfers?…

Looks like the NFL lockout is all but over – so now Randy Moss can go back to not trying…

Dwight Howard tweeted the other day that he’s serious about playing in China. With Yao’s retirement, I’m thinking he might have a slight height advantage there. For Superman’s sake, I hope they use the metric system when it comes to free throws…

Lightning struck near Trop on Monday – causing an 18-minute delay as the lights went out – a day after broken glass came cascading down from the lights above the field after a foul ball. I think someone is trying to tell someone something. Perhaps: “Get out of this dump, now!”

Obnoxious Boston Fan can be heard on “Open Mike” on 740AM The Game in Orlando in Mike Bianchi – when he isn’t flubbing his lines – and on his “Facebook” page. He can also be reached at obnoxiousbostonfan@hotmail.com.

 

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BREAK IN THE ACTION

CBS fake fireworks

There was no reason for CBS to fake any fireworks around Fenway Park. The Red Sox have provided plenty since a 2-10 start. Their barrage resumes Friday in St. Pete.

From 2-10 to 55-35 at the All-Star break.

I wish I could tell you I wasn’t in full-blown panic mode when the Red Sox began the season in the tank. But I was. What’s really amazing is that Boston’s entire Opening Day rotation is either ailing or John Lackey. And even more surprising, the Sox have the best record in the American League without any sustained contribution from Carl Crawford. See, Baltimore, it isn’t always about the $185 million…

The fireworks finally stopped with Sunday’s 8-6 win and 4-game sweep of the Orioles. When you’re playing the O’s, it’s more like Inter(national)-league play. The Orioles are so far down in the standings they’re atop the Central. After listening to Kevin Gregg whine the other night, I didn’t realize Roberto Luongo was pitching in the American League…

(The same folks who don’t think their kids keep score in youth baseball and give them trophies for 8th place are bemoaning the fact that there was a fight the other night at Fenway. Hey, this the real world. In baseball, guys throw at each other and they may even charge the mound when someone calls them out. Nothing wrong with that. If you want a bunch of talented but passion-less athletes – I can send you the 2011 Vancouver Canucks highlight DVD or give you my J.D. Drew baseball card collection. When it comes to the attitude of my teams, I’ll take, ahem, “hiss” and vinegar over contemplation and Merlot any day…

Micky Ward

"OK, Papi, the first thing you need to do is keep your hands up."

David Ortiz needs to get Micky Ward on the phone before he tries to throw another punch. I’ve seen better fights after choir practice. (Why “Irish” Micky Ward? It’s not as if there was a “Greek” Micky Ward somewhere in the heavyweight division.) Ortiz looked like Fred Sanford when he was feeling his oats against Aunt Ester. Wondering if how many teeth would have been lost if Ortiz or Gregg actually connected? Did you notice Marco Scutaro getting in there and stopping Gregg – who is about 7 inches taller and 50 pounds heavier? Nice…

Looking ahead – the Sox begin Act II Friday against the Rays in St. Pete.

Obnoxious Boston Fan photo and Photo Illustration

Sign of the times in Orlando. (Obnoxious Boston Fan illustration)

I’ll be there in my “Thomas 30” shirt with the Stanley Cup champions logo on the front.

Have to believe all those cowbells made the folks in Pinellas County deaf consider how the Casey Anthony jurors obviously didn’t hear any of the testimony. I guess “31 days” wasn’t loud enough. Don’t blame me, I’m from Orlando…

They just discovered the All-Star ballot turned in by the Casey Anthony jury – it had Drew playing right, Manny Ramirez catching and Shaq playing shortstop. Of course, even that jury would have convicted Danny Ainge for “ruining the season” after the Perkins trade…

Derek Jeter got his 3,000th hit Saturday. Not to be outdone, A-Rod is closing in on his 3,000th choke…

Props to the USA Women’s World Cup team. Even though they won it all in 1999, thinking Brazil was their 1980 Soviet Union. Now, it’s on to Finland, er, I mean France.

Glad to see Ohio State forfeited its 12 wins last season. This week, the Buckeyes are going to take it one step further and discount their signed player jerseys 50% on ebay…

The All-Star Game is in Phoenix Tuesday. Baseball in Arizona in July. The guy who invented air conditioning should be in the Hall of Fame. Yes, it’s good the game means something. Need something on TV when the Sox aren’t playing. Now that the Anthony trial is over – there’s no more reason to watch Nancy Grace

Tiger Apple (AP Photo)

Golf without Tiger really bites.

Can’t get excited about the British Open. Golf without Tiger Woods is like fall without the NFL. It’s not the end of the world, but it can get boring really fast…

Went to a NASCAR race last week. Loved it – wrecks and all. Say what you want about stock-car racing but those guys show up every week. The only lockout in NASCAR is when Jeff Gordon forgets the key to his trailer…

Obnoxious Boston Fan can be reached at obnoxiousbostonfan@hotmail.com or on his Facebook page. He can be heard on “Open Mike” with Mike Bianchi on 740AM the Game in Orlando.

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