Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Mr. Shuttlesworth is BACK

ESPN ran a column on Wednesday about how the Boston fans hadn't turned their backs on Ray Allen. Chris Sheridan was the author of the article that was trying to find a reason for the lack of criticism against Ray. His reasoning ranged from the fact that the C's have yet to trail in a series to the fact that Allen is on the better side of 32 years old.

"There's an old adage in the NBA that nothing ages faster than a shooting guard on the wrong side of his 30th birthday. So is that what we're seeing from the eight-time All-Star and 2000 Olympic gold medalist who will turn 33 this summer?"

I don't dislike Chris Sheridan one bit. In fact, he's one of the ESPN NBA columnists I enjoy reading. However, unlike Boston's fans, he turned on Ray a little too soon. Here is my theory on Boston's patience with Mr. Allen:

Boston sports fans are not one dimensional: These are people who grow up loving, and often playing several sports. We are fans of the Sox, Patriots AND Celtics (and then there are those guys who care about the Bruins or Revs or Cannons, but we won't get into that). The passion that the people of London put into rooting for Arsenal, we put into rooting for EACH team, we don't divide it.

Thus, we're used to being patient. The Red Sox won a World Series in 1918, then waited 86 years for the next. The New England Patriots didn't win their first championship as a franchise until February 3, 2002 (about 90 minutes before my Sweet 16th). We are professionals in patience as fans.

Beyond that, Terry Francona has exercised fans' patience by sticking with players through extremely long slumps. If anyone remembers last year, they'll remember how bad Julio Lugo and Dustin Pedroia were at points throughout the season. Ultimately, Lugo was a major contributor and Dustin was rookie of the year for a team that won a world championship.

We've learned. This is the new Boston sports fan.

And tonight, Mr. Allen came up big. 29 points, and led the Celtics to their biggest win perhaps since June 8th, 1986. I was four months old then.

Well done, Ray.

Also, I notice that you, sir, wore a sleeve. The most OCD shooter I've ever heard of wears a sleeve and then goes off... how about that. Ray is BACK baby.

So all the haters, a.k.a. Bill Simmons (bandwagoneer) can stop saying Ray is a useless liability to the C's.

Keep it up #20.

Can't wait for Friday night.

After a long hiatus...

Okay, so it's been since bowl season. What can I say: It was my last semester in college. I was trying to finish strong and get a job (which I failed to do, by the way). Anyway, I recently posted a note on facebook, and I feel like it's worth putting up here as my first post back. So, here it is:

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There are four days left before we, the class of 2008 graduate. At this time, I felt the need to get a bit nostalgic. So, here are the most vivid memories I have of my four years at the University of Massachusetts.

I will remember my first day coming here. I'd watched Mean Girls the night before in a hotel room.
I will remember giving some random guy from West Point named Joe Modugno a ride to East Longmeadow at 9 am with a hangover.
I will remember going to Belchertown with my best friend at this university, Matt Garland, in a car full of strangers, with a handle of cheap rum, and I will remember what a great night it was.
I will remember the Red Sox winning the 2004 World Series, and trying to run down to campus but only making it about 25 feet because I had strep throat.
I will remember 4/20 from freshman year, going down to Southwest with Matt, and throwing up. A lot.
I will remember "Alternative Spring Break" making me want to punch babies.
I will remember my friend Dan Lawner visiting, and then sleeping in a hallway while I rode a bike down a hill and ultimately broke my face.
I will remember screwing myself into living in Sylvan for a year.
I will remember Vince Young, who had nothing to do with UMass, making me respect Texas.
I will remember moving into North and thinking it was the greatest place on the planet.
I will remember Matt breaking his ankle in a pickup game, then the two of us wrapping it in duct tape and going out that night anyway.
I will remember going to UMass vs. UNH football twice in one fall, and winning both times.
I will remember performing Brahms requiem, and realizing it was the first time I'd ever seen my dad cry.
I will remember James Ihedigbo knocking the snot out of Armanti Edwards.
I will remember Stephane Lasme winning A10 player of the year, then getting the flu along with the rest of the team and bowing out of the A10 tournament.
I will remember drinking moonshine with my friends after a chamber choir concert.
I will remember drinking moonshine with my friends after a chamber choir concert again.
I will remember Sut Jhally making me feel bad about the world.
I will remember my most hated NFL franchise winning a Super Bowl on my 21st birthday.
I will remember making The Alter Ego, and it being awesome.
I will remember visiting NYU and Bowdoin, Syracuse and Northwestern, UVA and Michigan. Okay, so Michigan was more just passing through.
I will remember moving into my apartment, with Matt Garland and Joe Modugno, and thinking it was 50 times better than North.
I will remember my apartment being 40 degrees in February, and missing North.
I will remember Men's Lacrosse and Softball sophomore year, Football and Hockey junior year, and Men's Soccer senior year for making my school the school of not-quite-champions.
I will remember UMass vs. Florida, my first experience at Madison Square Garden and one of the best of my life.

I will remember Seven O's. Every form of Seven O's.
I will remember Mike Carnaroli's cookout. Actually, I will remember some of Mike Carnaroli's cookout.
I will remember Benjamin Bailey, Roger Rideout, Wayne Abercrombie, Stephen Olbrys, Bruce Geisler, Sut Jhally, Stephane Lasme, Gary Forbes, Steve Baylark, James Ihedigbo, Rasheed Rancher, Brandice Balschmitter, Sean Morris, Doc Schneider, Jon Quick, and anyone at this school who was real with me.
And I'll miss all of it.

Peace, I gotta study for my Jhally final.

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So yo, that was a week ago. In case you're wondering, I nailed the test. Now that my days at the University of Massachusetts Amherst are done, let's move on to the Celtics run. AAAAHHHHH.