No guest columns submitted, so I’ll go with a short mailbag. Most of these aren’t questions, but instead viewpoints of readers. I’ll give a few comments to each one.
Eric writes about Dan Shaughnessy’s 4/18 Bruins column:
This is the last graf of his Bruins column. With only minor tweaking (substitute 'columnist' for 'franchise' and 'Shaughnessy' for 'Bruins.'), it is also his retirement ode.
"In the bombastic and competitive New England sports market, nothing endangers a pro franchise more than the threat of irrelevancy. The Bruins need to reverse their fortunes before the time comes when nobody cares about them anymore."
Good observation, Eric. I don’t think Dan or others like him make this connection. Sometimes I think some of these guys live in a vacuum. Next in is Len, who has a comment about Roy Williams:
I don't know if you've been following the Roy Williams saga. It's one of the best stories of the year. Many in Kansas were all over him calling him a traitor. Even a former player (Pollard) went down that path. Williams did a stand up thing in attending the end of season banquet and got a standing ovation. How many people would have had the guts to do this? Roy Williams has acted with nothing but class. Nobody will notice it. Pitino quit during a road trip in Florida. Parcells had his bags packed before the Super Bowl and avoided the team flight. Williams proved to be a standup guy. Of course, now some in Kansas believe he is trying to get his recruits to follow him to UNC. Nobody's perfect.
Some more good points. We’re still waiting for that final press conference from Pitino. There were even mumblings about the NCAA Tournament committee being hesitant to send Pitino’s Louisville squad to Boston for the early rounds. Give me a break. Parcells did come back for a press conference (the now famous “shopping for the groceries” bit was in that one, I think.) Chris wants to talk a little hockey:
Agree with you on Jackie M..having her cover hockey is not a good use of her talents..I am a huge Bruins fan, and as any hockey fan or someone who has played knows, it is more of a team game than baseball or hockey, as she compares Joe Thornton to Pedro/Nomar Pierce/Walker. I wonder if she blames Brady for lack of TD's when there are no OL or WR's? .
In other print rubbish Buckley today announces that O'Connell's move to coach is 'gutsy'. Gutsy with a 4 year contract that Jacobs will never fire him? Isn't this the same writer who slammed Dan D for being too heavy handed as GM of the Sox and led the pack to run him out of town(so he likes to think)? What a fool, he solidifies his place as #1 buffoon in the media.
I personally feel the Boston media has let O'Connell off the hook for what he has done(player moves/trade and making himself coach). Imagine Theo, Dan D, or a Kraft/Pioli/Wallace moving himself from GM to coach? In this town they would be lambasted. It seems as if they are all afraid to slam the Bruins mgmnt as they should be, I can't understand it other than apathy. It is too bad, because this is a great hockey town, Bruins aside, look at the Beanpot and Hockey East sellouts around NE.
There was some criticism this week. Shaughnessy in the above mentioned column went after O’Connell pretty good. Otherwise though, the media seems to want to blame Joe Thornton rather than the Bruins front office. As you say, hockey is more a team game, and it isn’t quite fair to put the blame on him as an individual. You didn’t see the Bruins making any adjustments for how the Devils were blanketing Jumbo Joe. Chris also makes a good point about O’Connell and his contract. Can anyone see a scenario in which Jeremy Jacobs would eat multiple years on a GM contract?
A couple of links sent in by readers this week. This first one is a few years old, but a good read anyway. After Dale Earnhardt’s death in Daytona, Gerry Callahan wrote a column about it. That column incensed NASCAR fans to the point he received some death threats. This article written on a NASCAR website is an example of the anger generated by Gerry.
Those NASCAR fans are an angry group. You probably heard this story talked about this week, of the fanatic who sent a half a million emails to the FOX network to protest Fox25’s showing of a Red Sox game instead of a NASCAR race. The guy was from Billerica. I thought people up here didn’t care about Nascar.