Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Run Run Run

The Boston Marathon is less than a week away and yet for some reason I feel like it hasn't received the media coverage it usually gets each year.

Yes, the signs attached to street lights lining the city streets are billowing in the wind and I know a couple of people who have mentioned that they will be running, but the media coverage leading up to the event seems to be a bit lackluster.

I'm not sure why. Maybe in my cloud of co-op job searching, finals studying and last minute homework assignments, I haven't been reading the paper as much. Or maybe I'm right and the coverage has been nothing out of the ordinary. Maybe it's coming.

But if you really look for it, you can find great stuff. I guess I'm just not used to looking. Boston.com has great coverage and a whole page packed with information. They have photo galleries, an interactive map of the course, history, guides and everything you could possibly need. It's a great package.

I'll definitly being watching on Monday. But until then, I will be waiting for the story that appears every year on the evening before the big race: the runners eat pasta and carb up prior to the 26.2 miler. Every. Single. Year. You have to love the media for their often predictable or favorite story lines. Let's just hope it comes this year!
Photo made available by Wikimedia Commons.

Monday, April 14, 2008

NFL Does Good

Wonder where all of those millions of pre-made "New England Patriots: Super Bowl Champions" shirts went? Well, I now know the answer and it's a good one.

It seems the t-shirts, hats and the rest of the gear are sent around the world to people in need. As much as I wish the people were wearing Giants garb, it's nice to see that the NFL is giving back and not just throwing away.

Check it out here and check out the ESPN.com video below.

More Than Just a Ball

Try not to tear up when you read this piece about Theresa Marie Freitas, a mentally challenged cancer patient, who lives for everything Red Sox.

From the article:

Three years ago, they sat Theresa Marie down in an office at New England Medical Center and told her she had ovarian cancer. Theresa Marie is mentally retarded but she isn't stupid.

"Am I going to die?" she asked.

She got sick and wouldn't do the chemo. Her physician, Katie Wakeley, made a deal: If Theresa Marie would do the chemo, she'd get her some tickets.

Theresa Marie Freitas was 41 years old when she went to her first and only game at Fenway Park. It rained like hell. There was a three-hour delay. She wouldn't leave her seat. The Red Sox won.

She goes for chemo three times a month, and Wakeley went to check on her while she was hooked up to an IV. Theresa Marie had a newspaper spread out and was studying a box score, taking notes. She asked the doctor to come back later, when she wasn't so busy.

Many may see sports as trival, but Freitas sees them as a reason to wake up in the morning. I see them as something I couldn't live without. Many might see sports journalism as trival as well. But Freitas, a woman who is fighting for her life, reads the box scores everday. To me, that makes sports journalism just as important as what is featured on the front page.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Watch Out for the Black Cat

Are you superstitious? I am and I think that many sports nuts are. It's kind of a way of making you feel like you have something to do with your sports team and allows you to feel like you are in someway participating in the game. Wearing a certain jersey ( and in some cases not washing it,) sitting in certain chairs, crossing your fingers.... the list can go on and on.

Sometimes I think people think I'm crazy when I yell that they need to sit back where they were sitting when the game first started and the team was playing well. They usually rebut with the logical, "Casey, it doesn't matter where I sit, the team is going to play the way they are going to play no matter where I sit." It makes sense, but I usually beg them to change seats. When the team comes back to win the game, I usually make a point to let them know they changed the outcome of the game. If the team loses, they had their legs crossed and in the first half they were indian style.

Typing that out... I feel like I nut. But reading this article, it makes me seem a bit less crazy.

Do you have any crazy superstitions?

Friday, April 11, 2008

Beat the Streak

I've only played one day and I'm already obsessed and on the hunt for 1 million dollars.
MLB.com is doing this awesome fantasy-esque competition called Beat the Streak. The premise is simple. Each day you pick a player that you think will have a hit that day. The site shows you the pitching/hitting match up and you choose who, it can be any player in the league, you think will produce a hit. One hit- that's all you need. The next day you do the same thing. You can pick a different player everyday if you want. There is really no restrictions to who you pick, just that you have to pick someone. Your streak continues until the player you selected doesn't produce a hit and then your streak ends and you start all over again. The objective is to have a streak of 57 games. The MLB hit streak was set in 1941 and is 56 games.

The competition was started in 2001 and more than a million fans participate. The furthest that anyone has gotten is 49 games. They also have Home Run Beat the Streak, which I am also participating in. It is the same kinda drill except you pick home runs as opposed to hits. You also don't win a million.

I think this a really cool alternative or addition to fantasy baseball, which is fun, but if you're serious about it, time consuming. This takes a few minutes and is fun to watch for when your checking scores or watching ESPN.

Tonight I have Dustin Pedroia of the Red Sox with a hit and Derrek Lee of the Chicago Cubs with a home run.

Wish me luck!
The image above is by (cc) Erik Jaeger and republished here under a Creative Commons license. Some rights reserved.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Celebrity Sports

I, like the rest of the world, read celebrity news on frequent occasion. But if you told me that Mike Lowell was hanging out at GameOn! and Leonardo DiCaprio was dining at Capital Grille on Newbury Street, you can bet that I would be throwing on my Lowell t-shirt and running to the restaurant which serves wings, not filet mignon.

For this reason, I love reading about where the local players are being spotted, and the best place to find this info is the Inside Track in the Boston Herald. The feature Tracked Down lets you know who was where when.

I love reading where the players are, mostly eating, in the city. Who knows why I really care. I have never been to Sonsie, although it seems like you can see everyone from Mr. Brady to Mr. Garnett there, and I may never go. I guess it's the same reason people care about Britney Spears. Athletes are my celebs and who said there is anything wrong with that?

Last year, I waited in a crosswalk while Daisuke drove by. He waved- I wanted to jump on his car.

The image above is by (cc) FredoAlvarez and republished here under a Creative Commons license. Some rights reserved.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Where in the World is...Barry Bonds?

Barry Bonds. Yeah, remember him? The baseball player who broke Hank Aaron's home run record? Bonds isn't playing and to the visible eye of the sports media he may never again.

This is a great story topic and the site offers coverage on the topic in two different ways. The first is the news story format written by Jayson Stark and the second is the commentary of Bill Simmons.

I think this is a great example of how a news story doesn't always offer more insight or information than a column. Maybe it's me, but after reading Simmons article I felt more informed even though there wasn't that much information. Stark's article seemed to drag on.

Why? Most sports fans know all about the Bonds situation, his stats and his history chasing the home run record. Sports consumers were inundated with coverage about Bonds during the span of the past couple of years. Oh and do I have to mention that Bonds did steroids? When reading an article we don't need to hear the predictable quotes about why he isn't playing and the reasons.

Simmons assumes we know and makes something of it. I'm not condoning making assumptions, but if a reader is reading a column on ESPN.com, you have to- ahem- assume that they know their sports just a tad. Bottom line: I learned more from Simmons than Stark and it was because his opinion was something valuable on this topic and I just didn't need anymore Bonds news.

It just goes to show that there is never a formula. Sometimes things work and sometimes they don't. Sorry Stark, you lose on this one.

P.S. This could be biased because I am an admitted Simmons-acholic. Did I mention that Simmons started out as a blogger?