Week Log: From Melting Pots To Potholes

If the Olympics can be seen as the sports world’s melting pot, they’re certainly one in the blogging world as well. We’ve got an interesting bag of blogs today and things kick off in Vancouver.

Winter Olympics

We’ll start with the almighty buck, as The Sporting Blog has NBC flexing some muscle after the Winter Olympics nearly topped American Idol in Tuesday’s overnights. Ratings are particularly high in Jerry Thornton‘s house and he’s one Masshole that’s not afraid to admit it.

The Crowe’s Nest is tired of all the bitching from live junkies who abhor tape-delayed events. I have to admit that ever since discovering the joys of DVR for $10 a month, nothing broadcasts live in my living room any more. I fast-forwarded through 90 seconds of commercials on Tuesday night,then through a two-minute segment introducing the women’s alpine cross semis, which led into another 90 seconds of commercials. That’s five minutes of my life I don’t have to wish I had back (even if I did give it back watching the men’s figure skating short program). Boston Homer isn’t crazy about having to duck Olympics results all day long but they’re nevertheless thankful for this bridge across the Dead Zone of athletics. Boston Sports Blog thinks NBC’s designation of the 1980 Miracle On Ice as poster child for tape delay doesn’t cut it in a society that has advanced beyond rotary phones and rabbit ears.

Boston Sports Then And Now reminisces of those miracle men from Massachusetts who helped carry hockey to epic heights of popularity after that Lack Placid performance 30 years ago. Back to 2010, where Joe Haggerty has the odds with Russia and the pressure with Canada in his comprehensive men’s hockey preview. Boston Blood Sox bemoans the narrower ice surface of NHL rinks as they take us through a predictable opening night of games. Olympics Blog says the rinks may not be bigger than in the NHL, but the USA team salary sure is. The 2 Man Advantage has Team USA looking sloppy in their 3-1 win over the Swiss. Olympic Hockey Blog doesn’t know what to do with themselves what with all the ESPN analysts exiled to Vancouver. Among them are both Barry Melrose and his crow’s feet, prompting Out Of Bounds to observe how the winter games have empowered some Canadians to say and do whatever they want. Awful Announcing has ESPN fortunate to have its own highly-experienced designated apologist on staff.

Speaking of apologists, Joe Posnanski exonerates the fun-loving Lindsey Jacobellis for her Jacoblunder of four years past and her Truckdriver after wiping out in the women’s snowboard cross on Tuesday. Sportress Of Blogitude is making no apologies for Jacobellis’ sorry performances on the world’s stage. Postcards From Vancouver has Jacobellis as another snag in Vermont’s medal haul after Hannah Kearney started things off so promisingly with gold in women’s moguls. Bode Miller’s Blog has all speed and no tactics making Bode a psyched boy on his way to a bronze in the men’s downhill.

ESPN’s Winter Olympics Blog says it wouldn’t be an international speedskating event without the big oom-pah sounds of Little Beer. Fourth-Place Medal has a good laugh at curling athletes’ expense, but Adam Hirshfield says their skills make for compelling television.

Red Sox

What’s better than watching shuffleboard on ice? Try a truck starting up and pulling away from Fenway Park. I spent a morning doing just that for Boston Dirt Dogs so you wouldn’t have to. And I wasn’t alone. Full Count was there, as Kristine Leahy catches the ephoria on video. Toeing The Rubber was as well, and Cyn is thrilled with the unfolding drama of spring. Then there was ESPN Boston Red Sox, which warns against putting those shovels away just yet. And as the departing truck signifies the coming of spring in Boston, Extra Bases observes that the arriving truck signals the same in Fort Myers.

With pitchers and catchers reporting today, A Very Simple Game tries to lay the media-contrived controversies of a long offseason to rest. Brownie Points reports on John Lackey discreetly slipping into town yesterday. The Bottom Line worries that all those innings in Japan are catching up with Daisuke Matsuzaka as he needs to shut it down for a few days.

Evans Clinchy is in no hurry to see catcher Victor Martinez re-signed before he even throws out his first runner of the season . . . whenever that may be. Touching All The Bases has Josh Reddick’s arm keeping opponents from advancing along the bases even as his bat will keep him from ever getting on. Hit And Run thinks Theo would have preferred Jason Bay in his outfield but he’ll be okay with Mike Cameron as Plan B. Nuggetpalooza crunches some numbers on Cameron.

Prevailing thought has Jonathan Papelbon leaving Boston as soon as he hits free agency, but One If By Land points out that Daniel Bard may one day be just as expensive and just as likely to fly. Gordon Edes has Papelbon trying to emulate Mariano Rivera – both on the mound and at the negotiating table. Surviving Grady thinks Paps would be a nice heir-apparent to Old Mo, but the Bronx may not be ready for him in pinstripes.

Celtics

The second half started off with a passable 95-92 win in Sacramento Tuesday night, but things quickly get tougher. North Station Sports harbors no illusions of miracles for the rest of the season, but they do hope to have the C’s get a win tonight against the Lakers. Green Street has Rajon Rondo noting that tonight’s game isn’t for the NBA championship. Celtics Stuff Live tries to capture the full Rondo . . . in as few words as possible.

Lent hadn’t even started when Mass Hysteria pined for running Jesus out of Boston. After dreaming of all the consideration to be reaped by trading Ray Allen, CelticsBlog feels a little letdown from the possibility of him staying and only Nate Robinson coming to town. As the Robinson trade looms, ESPN Boston Celtics Blog suggests this may be more about Danny Ainge shaking up the C’s by removing another piece of their championship team of two years back.

Bruins

When it comes to this year’s Bruins, most see the glass as four-fifths empty; Michael Felger, on the other hand, sees it as a fifth full and believes they’re in position to go to the next level after the Olympic break. Methinks Felgy may have downed a fifth before getting behind the keyboard on that one.

Bingo Bar Blog has Boston not as much a hockey town as a winning hockey town. When it comes to missing out on signing key players, I’m Just Sayin’ has Jeremy Jacobs as proof that a fool and his money are not always parted. Rink Rap feels the need – the need for speed in the B’s defenseman ranks.

NASCAR

So, it was Super Bowl Sunday for NASCAR in Daytona last Sunday, but this Super Bowl was apparently threatened by female drivers and potholes. Boston.com’s Auto Racing Blog ascribes Daytona 500 winner Jamie McMurray with saving the Great American Race from making a spectacle of itself. Wouldn’t the spectacle of 43 cars engaged in a nearly-perpetual left turn be more in need of redemption than Danica Patrick standing in the Winner’s Circle?

Unrestricted says the pothole made last Sunday like coupon day at the ammunition outlet store for NASCAR detractors, an analogy that is lost on most of the NASCAR-free world. AOL’s Motorsports Fanhouse calls the incident a super gaffe in NASCAR’s self-proclaimed Super Bowl. From The Marbles has Fox’s coverage with a few potholes of its own.

That’s a wrap. Here’s hoping you can dodge your own potholes and those pesky live updates from Vancouver throughout the week and we’ll see you back here next Thursday.

  • mandb97

    I read the Crowe’s Nest blog and frankly the person who wrote this is a complete moron. What people are upset about is that NBC tapes the major events still. There is no reason for it. He talks about the USA vs. USSR hockey game IN 1980! I believe ESPN was in their infancy. There was no internet nor sports radio with their twenty minute updates. Dick Ebersol is showing us all why for the past ten years he is the worst executive in sports.

  • Tony

    I like the article about Jacobs.

    Salary cap or no, he’s still never going to have too much money tied up in just 1 or 2 players. We can debate the merits of that strategy until the cows come home, but the bottom line, not winning Stanley Cups, is always going to be the bottom line with good old C. Montgomery Jacobs. The point the writer makes about doing “just enough” to get the B’s into the 2nd round of the playoffs gets to the heart of the matter: as long as Monty Jacobs gets his extra 4 or 5 home dates every April, he’s happy.

    The only thing missing from that piece is mentioning the fact that the Bruins and Jacobs were the NHL team (along with a few other diehards) pushing the hardest for the work stoppage that begat the salary cap in the first place. Before the cap, they were being outspent by 2- and 3-to-1 margins by the top teams in the NHL almost every year, making money hand over fist off a hockey-crazed (if slightly gullible) fanbase, and crying all the way to the bank about “skyrocketing salaries”.

    • Rocket

      Jacobs has nada to do with the hockey operations part of it – that’s Chiarelli’s job.

      “just enough” to get by the first two rounds goes to show how dumb the writer is. PC made a few small trades throughout the 2008-09 season, and he thought that was enough to go farther. Apparently not, considering the second-best team in the NHL got upset in Round Two.

      And at $7.5M per for Zdeno Chara; there’s one player who is tied up with a lot of money.

  • Char

    It’s amazing that the NHL salary cap has been in place for YEARS now and so many people still don’t get it.

    You can’t argue with these folks. They’re just too dim.

  • Rocket

    Danny, Why don’t you allow comments on your site? Oh that’s right, because you’ll be called out on your stupidity, like this, far too often…

    I’m Just Sayin’ “Chiarelli, if he wanted to, could have easily topped that offer, to obtain one of the NHL’s elite, young goal scorers, without having to damage his current NHL roster, or having give up on the future.
    He could have kept his coveted first-round pick, given to him in September’s trade with Toronto, in which the Bruins’ leading goal scorer was shipped off to the Maple Leafs for no NHL player in return.”

    Oh really? No, Danny, you’re wrong. The difference between NJ and Boston is that Boston does have that coveted TOR first-round pick – the Devils do not. So how do you know that Waddell didn’t demand that pick? You’re speculating – nothing more.

    “Kovalchuk was exactly what the Bruins needed, and is exactly what they still need. An opportunity to acquire a talented goal scorer like that, doesn’t come around every year. For whatever reason, the Bruins passed on the opportunity, when it was, and still is, evident that the team needs a goal scorer to become a legitimate contender in the playoffs.”

    You’re a fool. This team is in need of so much more than Ilya to make a big splash in the playoffs. You’re a homer. Kovalchuk does not put this team over the top.

    And PS: It’s over, he’s in NJ. Get over it.

    “Now, this is just my opinion. I have no “league or team sources” telling me that Jacobs told Chiarelli he wouldn’t offer Kovalchuk a max contract to keep him in Boston for many years to come. But by looking at what New Jersey gave up in order to acquire the Russian sniper, and by reviewing what’s been wrong with the Bruins’ organization since their last Cup, it only seems logical to put the blame of a non-Kovalchuk trade on the shoulders of the man who’s been holding the organization back since 1975.”

    LOL. Do you know how much a max-contract is worth? Signing a player to 20% of the cap has ZERO to do with the owner. It has to do with PC and his garbage contracts that he’s been giving out like candy on Halloween. $4M to LUCIC = LOL. The Thomas contract makes me want to cry. Chara and Bergeron are UFA in 2012. You willing to watch them walk just to keep Kovalchuk?

    You’re a homer with a tiny hockey IQ. Try covering HS Hockey first, then work your way up to the big boys, because you clearly have no clue.

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