10 Memorial Day Musings


10 Memorial Day Musings

By Rich Levine

Before you head out to that Memorial Day BBQ, here are 10 random thoughts to help build (or lose) that appetite

1. Congrats to Kevin McHale, whos on the verge of being named coach of the Houston Rockets. Even though its been 18 years since he and his luxurious mane of armpit hair last suited up for the Cs, McHale will always be one of Bostons own.

But while youre obviously happy for his opportunity behind the bench, you cant help but be a little bummed that he didnt grab the GM job as well.

Danny Ainge: Hey Kev, whats up you old dog? Whaddaya think about Avery Bradley, Shaq and Jeff Green for Kevin Martin and Luis Scola?

McHale: Ahh, man. Hold on, Danny. I gotta think about this one for a sec Heck, lets do it. This ones for Red!

2. Maybe its a little crazy to demand another Super Bowl when the guys already won three. But when those three came over his first four seasons as a starter, and its now been seven years since he won?

I dont know. But one more Super Bowl is all it will take for Tom Brady to act however he wants off the field without Pats fans passing constant judgment. Not that he cares (or should care) either way, but at that point, it wont matter. He can come out with his own line of pink scarves, start wearing speedos on the beach, he can become a Beret Guy. One more ring. Thats all it takes and it will be just like the dynasty days, when no one around here cared about him sprawled out the farm, getting cozy with baby goats.

3. The Bruins have never played a game in June. Which, I guess makes a sense since hockey in June is about as mismatched as baseball in December. On that note, consider this warm up, because if Bud Selig has his way the 2015 World Series will take place over Christmas vacation.

4. The 2009-2010 Celtics changed the way Boston looked at the NBA regular season. Because that team failed so miserably (relative term) over the first 82 games, and then turned it on so easily in the playoffs, well never again put as much stock in the regular season. Not that its meaningless, but sometimes it can be.

We learned that living and dying with every game is not only unhealthy, but also a little pointless. Bad losses happen. Ugly losing streaks happen. But it doesnt mean that the team is doomed.

Anyway, if 2009-2010 did that for Cs fans, then 2011 may do the same for Red Sox Nation. For all the craziness that ensued after the Sox ice cold start, all the stats that were uncovered about how No team has ever started with X record and accomplished Y, all the radio calls demanding Titos head on a platter

It was obviously premature, and should change how Sox fans deal with slow starts in the future.

5. This is just a personal note, but theres nothing better than writing about baseball, if for no other reason than the season takes place all in the same calendar year.

The 2011 season!

So smooth. And so much easier than saying the 2009-2010 Celtics. Thats more awkward than Tiger Woods high-fiving his caddie. Or how about football trying to play it off as one year but the entire postseason and the Super Bowl takes place the next? What a mess. Baseball is easy. And I love it for that.

6. The Bruins are 200 to win the Stanley Cup, which means that if you bet 100 on Boston, youll win 200. 2-to-1 odds. The Canucks are -240, which means that if you bet 240 on Vancouver, you win 100.

By comparison, the Bruins were -220 to bet the Canadiens in the first round.

If you ask me right now whos going to win the Cup, Id say the Canucks. But if youre asking me to make a bet? With those odds, the Bruins are the pick. Id much rather take a chance on Tim Thomas standing on his head for four more wins, than dish out 240 for a measly hundred pay out.

7. The Bruins are four wins away from the Stanley Cup.

I mentioned that so casually in that last section but wanted to take an extra second and let it sink in. Actually, Im not sure if it will ever set in. Not until theyre either skating off the ice in sadness, or bring down the house in Boston for the first time in nearly 40 years.

The Bruins are four wins away.

8. Athletes are pretty superstitious. And by pretty superstitious, I mean theyre complete and total freaks.

So, here's what we need: Before every single game of the Stanley Cup, someone needs to accost Nathan Horton.

Nothing too crazy. Im not looking for anyone to get hurt. (Not Horton, at least.) Instead, all we need, before every game, is for someone to run up and throw something at him. Get in his face. Lob a few obscenities. Get personal. Make him MAD.

And then let him spray and throw his water bottle at you.

But dont tell anyone. Those fines add up, and hes only making 4M this year

9. I feel for Jonathan Papelbon. When the guys struggling, its all anyone wants to talk about. But this year, with Paps performing more solidly than he has in some time, nobody cares. Its almost like that old umpire mentality: If nobody notices than youve done a good job.

Of course, I dont feel too bad. Hes making a ridiculous amount of money and he did have some good will to build back up with the fans. And maybe some of the apathy is a result of the fact that everyones just waiting for the Bruins and Celtics before really diving into baseball. But for now, Paps solid season is flying under the radar. Especially considering Daniel Bards surprising inconsistency.

10. Theres been some talk recently about how a Stanley Cup title might affect the legacy of Jeremy Jacobs, the infamously stingy owner of your Boston Bruins. Will a title forgive his sins and years of neglecting the B's? No way. Im not sure anything can erase that. No one will ever call Jeremy Jacobs a great owner or think of him in the light they do Kraft, Henry or the Grousebeck. Best-case scenario for Jacobs: The Bruins win and people just stop obsessing over the negatives. They dont care as much about all the bad things he did because theres finally so much to be happy about.

And that's all for now. Hope everyone has a safe Memorial Day.

Here's to all those who have served and continue to serve our country, and most of all, those who lost their lives in the process of making the rest of us feel safe.

Rich Levine's column runs each Monday, Wednesday and Friday on CSNNE.com. Rich can be reached at rlevine@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Rich on Twitter at http:twitter.comrlevine33

Tom Brady delivers video message at funeral of Navy SEAL

Tom Brady delivers video message at funeral of Navy SEAL

Tom Brady delivered a video message last week at the funeral of Navy SEAL Kyle Milliken, a Maine native and former UConn track athlete killed in Somalia on May 5.

Bill Speros of The Boston Herald, in a column this Memorial Day weekend, wrote about Milliken and Brady's message.   

Milliken ran track at Cheverus High School in Falmouth, Maine, and at UConn, where he graduated in 2001. Milliken lived in Virginia Beach, Va., with his wife, Erin, and two children.  He other Navy SEALs participated in a training exercise at Gillette Stadium in 2011 where he met and posed for pictures with Brady.

Speros wrote that at Milliken’s funeral in Virginia Beach, Va., Brady's video offered condolences and thanked Milliken’s family for its sacrifice and spoke of how Milliken was considered a “glue guy” by UConn track coach Greg Roy.

Milliken had served in Iraq and Afghanistan, earning four Bronze Star Medals and was based in Virginia since 2004.  He was killed in a nighttime firefight with Al-Shabaab militants near Barij, about 40 miles from the Somali capital of Mogadishu. He was 38.

The Pentagon said Milliken was the first American serviceman killed in combat in Somalia since the "Black Hawk Down" battle that killed 18 Americans in 1993. 

In a statement to the Herald, Patriots owner Robert Kraft said: “It was an honor to host Kyle and his team for an exercise at Gillette Stadium in 2011. It gave new meaning to the stadium being known as home of the Patriots. We were deeply saddened to hear of Kyle’s death earlier this month.

“As Memorial Day weekend approaches, we are reminded of the sacrifices made by patriots like Kyle and so many others who have made the ultimate sacrifice to defend and protect our rights as Americans. Our thoughts, prayers and heartfelt appreciation are extended to the Milliken family and the many families who will be remembering lives lost this Memorial Day weekend.”