All They Want For Christmas


All They Want For Christmas

It's a miserable day in Boston, but I've got some good news.

Or maybe we should just call it goodish, depending on your religion andor how little you can stand your family:

Christmas is officially one week away.

But with all the holiday goodness, comes a sense of urgency. The realization that you only have a week to do your holiday shopping. Only a week to follow through on your pre-holiday diethunger strike. ONLY A WEEK TO WRITE ALL YOUR HOLIDAY THEMED BLOG POSTS.

So I won't waste anymore time.

For the last month or so, I've been compiling holiday wish lists from various athletes and other sports personalities in the city. The question was simple: "What do you want for Christmas?" And here are the answers (which please don't anyone take seriously)

All I want for Christmas is . . .

Tom Brady: "Protection. In the name of winning ring No. 4, and preventing baby No. 4."

Rajon Rondo: "Thinking about asking for a spaceship . . . . . . Nah, I don't know. No one ever gets me anything good anyway."

Tyler Seguin: "My 21st birthday, so I can finally get a drink in this city."

David Ortiz: "Papi doesn't ask for much, man. But I think it's time to talk about another extension."

Bill Belichick: "Welllll, what I really want is . . . Yeah, right. We'll worry about the holidays when we get there. For now, I'm just focused on Jacksonville. I know they haven't won many games, but that's a competitive team down there. And if we play like we did in the first half on Sunday, we'll lose every time we play."

Kevin Garnett: "Listen. All I can tell you is that building team chemistry is just like unwrapping a present, man. I don't know if any of y'all have REALLY unwrapped a present before. But if so, you know what I'm talking about. It's like you're unwrapping and unwrapping and getting closer and closer, and then you get to the end and it's like, 'Damn, look what I got here.' Now you just want to use it and play with it. You just want to have fun. You know what I mean? Also, as for your question: I'd like a new loofa for the shower. Period point blank."

Tim Thomas: "I want to buy the world a Coke, and furnish it a firm understanding of the immediate dangers that are threatening our way of life. (Thomas' statement has been translated from Morse Code.)

Larry Lucchino: "I want the same thing that any self-respecting Red Sox fan wants a renewable Red Sox Nation membership card and the 2013 Bikini Wally calendar."

Rob Gronkowski: "Just want to get healthy and everything. And by everything I mean stuff."

Jeremy Jacobs: "I object to this question. Not as a Jewish man, but as someone who doesn't believe that people should be happy. Ever."

Alfredo Aceves: "Three live scorpions. Two slices of bread. One bottle of Tabasco sauce."

Wes Welker: "Hmm . . . how about a contract? Nah. Haha. Just kidding. No, but seriously. So are you saying that Grinch Belichick hasn't canceled Christmas yet? Haaaah. Just kidding again."

John Henry: "Hi, Rich: Thanks for reaching out. Thought it might be easier if I just responded via e-mail. To answer your question: The only thing on my mind is an English League Championship! Cheers, JWH"

(Five minutes later)

"rich, hey this is john again. totally thought you were with the british press. i meant to say world series. WORLD SERIES. please don't print that first one. please. you want headphones? you want three years39m? come on, i'll give you anything!"

Danny Ainge: "I don't really want to commit to a present yet, but let me just say that I'm looking at this thing from every angle, and there are a ton of possibilities that I'd be more than happy with. But for now I think I'll just keep my options open."

Tony Massarotti: "You know, I thought about this today. And you know what I think? In and of itself, here's the thing about the concept of presents. It just sucks! Am I right? To put another way, as a matter of fact, IT JUST SUCKS!"

Stevan Ridley: "I just want what's best for the team."

Shane Vereen: "I just want what's best for the team."

Aaron Hernandez: "I just want what's best for the team."

OK, no more Patriots.

John Lackey: "Errr. Lackey want pizza."

OK, no more anyone.

Rich can be reached at Follow Rich on Twitter at http:twitter.comrich_levine

Stevens, Celtics expect to use similar rotation vs. Bulls


Stevens, Celtics expect to use similar rotation vs. Bulls

The Boston Celtics’ bench was unable to close out Wednesday’s 122-117 win over Brooklyn, but don’t look for head coach Brad Stevens to make any significant changes tonight.

“I felt pretty good about those rotations last night,” Stevens told reporters prior to tonight’sgame against Chicago. “For forty minutes, we rotated well.”

After a relatively close first quarter, it was Boston’s second unit that gave Boston its first double-digit lead of the night and led by as many as 13 points.

But it wasn’t their scoring that jumped out to Stevens.

“The second unit came in and provided probably our best defensive sequence of the game, start of the second quarter and played really well until the end,” Stevens said.

Stevens played a total of 10 players against the Nets – all playing in the first half - and will likely have a similar number of Celtics on the floor tonight against the Bulls.

It will be interesting to see what the Celtics do rotation-wise when Marcus Smart (left ankle sprain) and Kelly Olynk (right shoulder) are back on the active roster.

Smart recently confirmed an earlier report that the left ankle injury he suffered in the Celtics’ final preseason game against the New York Knicks, would keep him out for a couple of weeks.

In addition to missing the season opener against Brooklyn, Smart is likely to miss another three games.

Olynyk, who had offseason surgery in May, has been cleared for contact but is not expected to be back on the floor until the middle of next month.

“Until our other guys get back,” Stevens said. “There will be similar rotations.”

ESPN’s Mortensen: Deflategate coverage led to death threats


ESPN’s Mortensen: Deflategate coverage led to death threats

In an expansive profile on The, ESPN’s Chris Mortensen says he and his wife were subjected to death threats because of Mortensen’s Deflategate coverage.

After the Patriots’ AFC Championship Game victory in January 2015, Mortensen tweeted information he said he received from a source that has long since been proven incorrect. The info - that 11 of 12 Patriots footballs in the game were underinflated by 2 pounds - remained uncorrected on Twitter and in an story for more than six months.  

The controversy over Mortensen’s reporting drew the ire of Patriots fans, many of whom blamed the tweet and his story for fanning the flames of what eventually led to a four-game suspension for Tom Brady and a $1 million fine and loss of draft picks for the Patriots. 

Mortensen, who has subsequently undergone treatment for cancer, told The Ringer’s Bryan Curtis that the threats led him to tell his wife Micki that he didn’t want her traveling with him from their home in Arkansas to Bristol, Connecticut when he did studio work for ESPN. 

“What bothered me is we’re in an era where if your wife goes onto social media, she basically reads that they want you to die,” Mortensen said. “Even after I got cancer, I got some death wishes.”

More from the Ringer story:

“My job is to protect her,” he said. When Mort himself came to Bristol, he behaved like someone who was living under a public threat. He went straight from the ESPN studio to his home, avoiding restaurants and rarely appearing in public.

Mortensen said after his initial tweet, a second source, with whom he had a better relationship, told him to used a broader description of the footballs, i.e. call them “significantly underinflated.”  Mortensen now acknowledges that information should have given him pause.

“That should have raised the journalist in me to a higher level,” he told the Ringer. “I’ve got to ask some more questions here. What are we talking about, 2 pounds under? But, no, I got to get on TV.”