Bird’s Rookie Year — Game Nine vs. the Nets

Celtics vs. Nets
October 31, 1979
Wednesday – Rutgers Athletic Center

Halloween in Piscataway is normally not described as a “treat,” and that was no different in 1979.  The Celtics, however, dished out all the tricks to a New Jersey Nets team already in shambles, arriving at the Rutgers Athletic Center looking to keep pace with the undefeated 76ers in the standings.  The six game road trip was mercifully coming to an end, and after a sluggish start in Indiana and San Antonio, the Celtics looked to win their third straight game on the road.

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Patriots head into bye week, Celtics open 2012-13 season

The Patriots will head into the bye week coming off of their first complete 60-minute game of the season in their 45-7 win over the Rams in London. Tom Brady played his best game of the year, and the defense finally generated some pressure on the opposing quarterback by blitzing for the first time this year. This will definitely be one of the talking points during the bye week of whether or not they will build off of Sunday’s performance and blitz more often during the second half of the season.

The team altered its flight plans from London and left early Monday morning to arrive at Logan airport a little before noon Monday. It was apparently one of the final flights allowed to land before the brunt of the storm hit the area. Many of the reporters who covered the game in London had their flights cancelled and will now be stuck there until Tuesday or Wednesday. Not a bad place to have a couple of extra days, but I’m sure many of them would rather be home and with their families. Thoughts are with everyone on the east coast affected by Hurricane Sandy.

Get your full Patriots fix at

Patriots aren’t half bad at all against Rams– Chad Finn takes a final look at the Patriots convincing win over the Rams.

Patriots report card– Ron Borges’ grades are in from this past week.

Patriots report card: Finally a complete game– Christopher Price says the Patriots played their first 60-minute game of the season.

Stepping up to challenge– Jeff Howe says the Patriots made some big plays in at the right time in Sunday’s win.

Ninkovich hopes to ‘look like totally different defense’– Tom E. Curran looks ahead to the second half of the season for the defense with quotes from Rob Ninkovich.

The Celtics traveled Sunday night ahead of the storm to Miami where they will open their season against the Heat tonight where the Heat will be raise the banner for last year’s championship. The main story line to this game will be Ray Allen facing his former team as there as been a great deal of discussion over the past few weeks about his time in Boston and his eventual departure.

Entering the unexpected– A. Sherrod Blakely has how Ray Allen has no idea what to expect  Tuesday night.

Rajon Rondo ranks among Celtics great– Bob Hohler looks at how Rondo is one of the best players in Celtics history, and talks to some Celtics legends to get their thoughts.

Rondo his own man– Mark Murphy also looks at Rondo’s career thus far with some Celtics greats’ thoughts mixed in.

End of a Celtics era brings new promise– Paul Flannery has his season preview, including looking at how the rookies might make an impact.

Boston Celtics retooled for another title run– Frank Dell’Apa looks ahead to the upcoming season.

Heart and soul– Gerry Callahan says the Celtics will go as far as Kevin Garnett takes them.


Patriots Secondary Again Embarassed in 45-7 Win Over Rams

The Patriots put together a dominating performance in London yesterday, smoking the Rams 45-7. The last two times the Patriots have faced a Jeff Fisher-coached squad the cumulative score is 104-7.

When WBZ interrupted Patriots fifth quarter to go to Gov. Patrick’s press conference for the hurricane, I flipped over to CSNNE, where Mike Felger, Ty Law and Troy Brown were ripping the secondary and saying that major changes need to be made and some real soul-searching needs to be done during the bye week.

Now, I understand that one game does not mean that the secondary issues are gone, far from it, but after a runaway win like that, all that they can talk about is the problems with the secondary?

All day Friday, Felger was telling us about the bad vibes he had about the Patriots, and how they didn’t want to be in London, and they wouldn’t be prepared, and that they would get their doors blown off by the Rams. Mazz of course agreed with him. Troy Brown picked the Rams to win the game, and then after the game dismissed the win because it was only the Rams. Um, OK. I’m a little disturbed that great players like Law and Brown, who have so much knowledge and experience to impart, have sold their souls to Mike Felger for some airtime on cable television, where they just follow his lead in pronouncing doom and gloom. (Though, away from Felger, they did change their tune somewhat.) It was pretty similar on WEEI.

It is really unbelievable to hear what is said on-air about this team, both TV and radio.

Whatever happened to the “easiest schedule in the history of the NFL?” Now I’ve heard on-air people worried about Miami, and there is still Houston and San Francisco on the schedule as well.

By the way, did you know that Dan Shaughnessy proclaimed last season’s schedule the easiest in NFL history, and also this season’s?

If you spout this crap year after year, does it ever dawn on you that perhaps the reason that the schedule appears easy is because the team playing it is pretty damn good? No? I didn’t think so.

Just a few links and back to storm preparations:

What we learned Sunday: Why there’s a feeling of familiarity with these Patriots – Christopher Price says that this team so far is very similar to the two previous editions.

Patriots show off their best – Mike Reiss has the Patriots able to put it all together.

Patriots defense rebounds after another shaky start – Greg A Bedard has the defense putting in a solid effort.

I did enjoy the lede of Tom E Curran’s game column:

Crushing afternoon of football for legions in New England who live to lament the decline of the Patriots.

A 45-7 Pats win in London over the Rams. Bitter soup for the “I hand-wring, therefore I am” crowd. But it was exactly what the Patriots needed to close out a star-crossed first half of the season and head into their bye week on a high.

So, while the bleating harpies withdraw their forks from the “aging” carcass of the quarterback, it is time, once again, for the annual Ode To Mental Toughness column.

Patriots secondary finally shows signs of improvement – Curran also notes that the defensive backs even contributed.

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A couple of Celtics links:

Celtics’ Jeff Green shows heart in comeback – Shira Springer looks at the comeback of the Celtics forward.

Celtics’ depth, optimism ride high – Chris Forsberg says that this Celtics team might be more talented, top-to-bottom than the 2008 champions.

Prelude to more series matters – Steve Bulpett says that even though tomorrow night’s opener will be dissected ad nauseam, (“OMG — did anyone shake Ray Allen’s hand?”) the game actually means nothing, big picture.