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?

Friday, April 4, 2008

It Gets Better...

Yesterday I included a link about the girl who was attacked by a hawk at Fenway Park. Now it's being considered an omen.

Read this to learn why!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

The Dangers of Fenway Park

It looks like there is more to fear at Fenway than just a foul ball to the head!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Jumping on the Bandwagon?

I don't usually blog much about the Celtics. I love all sports, but as the blog accurately reflects, I am much bigger Pats and Sox fan than any other. But I have found, as I have been writing my final on Celticsblog.com, that I'm finding the game fascinating.

I have never been sold on the actual game of basketball and the constant whistle blowing is something that has always turned me off. Oops- you touched him, stop the game and get to the line. YAWN. And then we have the opposite effect- the superstar effect. I have always said that watching a regular season basketball game is like watching the All-Star game every night. One or two superstars on each team which results in big dunks and not much teamwork.

Well, I think I may be wrong. I don't say that often so bare with me, but I'm starting to enjoy the game more and more.

When you don't follow a certain sport and then your city's team gets good, many hop on the bandwagon. I detest pink Pats jerseys worn by people who know nothing about the team beside their record , so am I starting to see a Celtics bandwagon fan when I look in the mirror?

Nah. I'm not really a fan, but I am enjoying watching this team. I have seen things like teamwork, aggressiveness and pure athleticism that I claimed didn't exist anymore in the NBA.

The Celts are back and the city is wearing green, and not just on March 17th. It's a good feeling, even for me. The Celtics won again tonight and tied NBA history. I like it. Will I watch the next game, probably not, but I will check the post game recap and see how the boys in green played. Is this where my trek to Celtics fan begins? I'm not sure. Am I a fan? Nope. Am I interested? Definitely.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008


Want to know about and read news stories that other people find interesting, relevant or educational? Check out Newstrust.net, a site that allows users to share stories and rate them.

Newstrust “provides quality news feeds, news literacy tools and a trust network to help citizens make informed decisions about democracy,” according to its Web site.

The idea is for readers to point out good and bad examples of journalism and articles. They will then rate the stories accordingly. I tend to be critical, I mean, do people really even know what they're talking about? Will people just mess with the system? The cynicism is something to keep in mind because trust isn't always foolproof, but as a general rule it tends to work. For every funny guy messing with the system there is usually ten others that want to see the site work. People seem to really like the site, but is it something that would appeal to me?

The first thing that I did when I took my first look around the site was to search for sports related articles. Let’s just say the site didn’t have much to offer. As a whole, I really liked the Web site. Its layout is easy to follow and the main premise is pretty simple. But no sports news?

There is one easy solution. Contribute! If you don’t see something that would interest you on the site, then there are probably others that are missing it too. So it’s simple enough, but here is the problem, I don’t think that I would ever contribute to a site like this and it’s not because I don’t care. I’m just not one to comment at least in public way. I may come to the site and read the articles, but I don’t think I would often rate anything. I’m not a lazy person; on the contrary, I’m a busy person. I’m the type that likes to read something and move on. If I find it extraordinarily moving, perhaps I would pass it on to a friend, but that’s all I would really do.

I’m trying hard for this not to be negative, I just honestly don’t think that at least in this part of my life, that I would ever be too actively involved in a site like this. When I read news online I rarely if ever comment so I don’t think I would ever go to this site for the sole purpose on rating a story. But I’m open to the idea and of the many sites that have this concept; I think Newstrust is going in the most productive direction. This week the creator if Newstrust is coming into our class to give us the in-depth run through and I’m excited to see what he has to say. Can he turn me into a user?