Vote for Rich: The Next President of Boston Sports


Vote for Rich: The Next President of Boston Sports

Ladies and gentlemen, liberals and conservatives, the day of reckoning is upon us. The day when we all, hopefully, will exercise our basic rights as Americans and vote for the leaders of our country.

Over the last few months, youve been inundated with non-stop campaigning, intense debate, editorialized social media hell and some of the most annoying television commercials this side of the NAPA Know How Guy. I know that youre ready for it all to stop. And today, mercifully, it will. Weve reached the end of the election road, my friends. And now the ball is in your court.

But before you step into the polls this afternoon and tonight, I hope youll take a moment and read what I have to say. As a candidate for President of Boston Sports, I want to make our city a better place for all fans, regardless of the color of your jersey; regardless whether you sit courtside or in the nose bleeds. I want to create an atmosphere where our teams are best suited to succeed. I want to bring Boston back from the ashes and into a new era of dominance, so we can regain our standing as the envy of every sports city in the free world.

But I can only do it with your vote.

I need you. But I promise, moving forward, you need me just as much. And I swear, that if elected to office, I will dedicate my life to raising the discourse and taking the quality of life and sports in this city to levels never seen under any previous administration.

With Tom Brady as my witness, I will do it. And I will do it all for you: The Boston sports fan.

Today, there's no more pressing issue than the in-game experience at our various stadiums and arenas. Exorbitant ticket prices and the lure of comfortable couches and superior HD TVs are reeking havoc on attendance numbers and threatening the core of an across-the-board home-courtfieldice advantage that has powered our teams over the last 100 years. But in dealing with this problem, it's important to be realistic. Instead of simply demanding lower ticket prices, we must increase the value of going to the games. We must make it more enjoyable for all parties. And there are a few easy and immediate steps that we can take to ensure that things start moving in the right direction.

First, any fan, at any game, that is seen standing up with a cell phone in his or her hand, waving to either the camera or a friend in another part of the park will be ejected and suspended for a month. Their photo will be immediately posted on the in-stadium Jumbotron with the caption "Fan's Name is an a------." I know that this language may not be suitable for all ages, but it's important that our youth understands the consequences of this kind of behavior. These are desperate times, folks.

Speaking of waving, under my administration, "the wave" will be outlawed everywhere outside Fenway Park. And within Fenway, the wave will only be permitted after the sixth inning and during games in which the Red Sox have a lead in excess of two runs. Furthermore, the wave will only be conducted in the bottom half of innings as to not screw with the concentration andor communication between the Sox pitcher and catcher.

The presence of hecklers is an essential aspect of any homefield advantage, but we can all agree that, when in the wrong hands, heckling poses a threat to the sanctity of any trip to the stadium. There is nothing worse than a bad, unfunny heckler. Under my administration, hecklers will be licensed and unionized. Wannabe hecklers will undergo strenuous training in which they'll be schooled in the finer aspects of the art. The difference between funny and annoying; between getting in the head of an opposing player and acting in a way that makes other fans want to ring your neck. Once passing the course and it's not a given that they will hecklers will be granted access to the Boston Heckler Network, a place where the best and brightest can exchange ideas in the days and hours before a big game. Licensed hecklers will be given a white sports coat emblazoned with a unique bar code that will wear to any and all events.

I previously mentioned the importance of educating our youth on the proper way to act during these games, and I can't stress enough how essential this is. The children are our future! And whether or not you have a child, it's everyone's responsibility to make sure that youth is served. On that note, if you are sitting at a game and hear a father providing bogus information to his son or daughter, it is on you to interject. If a child leaves a game under the impression that Jason Terry used to play for the Rockets or that Zdeno Chara comes from Russia, everyone in that section will be held accountable and subject to punishment.

Lastly, a few specific changes I will make to stadiums in this city.

1. An extra entrance will be added to TD Garden so that no one is forced to wait out in the cold in the moments leading up to a big Bruins or Celtics game. Not to mention, both escalators and the staircase will remain open every night. I will also open four kiosks throughout the arena that sell ONLY chicken fingers. As it is, the lines are outrageous. And let's be honest, that's all anyone is looking for.

2. An additional three Route 1 crossings will be created at Gillette Stadium. Each crossing will need no more than two police officers on site. I will also be open to "Fantasy Football Lounges" on each end of the stadium. The lounges will be equipped multiples TVs showing live broadcasts of other games, and computers where fans without proper smart phones (or phones that are out of batteries) can check in on their match-ups. There will be a two-minute limit at each computer.

3. There will be NO "E Line" trains during the hours before and after a Red Sox game.

4. All teams will be forced to show all important replays, regardless of whether a call or play resulted negatively for the home team. This is non-negotiable.

Moving on, as much as we need to improve the experience of supporting our teams in person, it's just as essential to regulate the people who cover them. The role of media here in Boston is so important to the overall pleasure and excitement of being a sports fan, and there are many ways in which it can be improved upon. Now, I realize the need for free speech, and I don't want to infringe on anyone's rights. But there are important, brave steps that need to be made. And I am the man to make them. Here's where I'd start:

First and foremost, there's no place for backwards thinking in this city. Not politically that's in the eye of the beholderear of the listener but socially. Bigotry will NOT be tolerated. On that note, one of my first acts of president will be to run a New England-wide pledge drive of which I will donate a significant amount of my own money to buy Dennis and Callahan out of the rest of their contract. If WEEI is inclined, they will be allowed to transform the show into a weekly podcast, but only grant access to listeners over the age of 55. (That shouldn't be a problem).

Also, anytime that Tony Massarotti makes the same point more than three times in the same breath, his mic will be shut off for a minute. For instance, "You know, Mike, I was looking it up this morning and the Patriots secondary just SUCKS! Really, when you look at all the numbers, it's really just a sucky secondary. And to be completely honest, the more I think about it, in and of itself, the secondary just SUCKS! And . . ." Boom. Silence. Bertrand's mic goes live and the conversation continues without missing a beat. Also, anytime Mazz mocks a caller with his go to schtick, I will make SURE that said caller will be allowed to deliver one free punch to anywhere on Massarotti's body.

Felger and Mazz will NOT be allowed to discuss the NBA, and the Big Show will NOT be allowed to discuss hockey. This will solve a lot of problems.

Listen, there's so much more we need to address in this city, and I promise, if you elect me as the President of Boston Sports, I will see that anything that needs to be done, will be done. I will leave no stone unturned in the betterment of this sports society. But before you head into the polls and decide my fate or more specifically our fate, I want to leave you with one final promise.

Under my administration, twice every year at the start and end of each season Danny Ainge, Larry Lucchino, Bill Belichick and Jeremy Jacobs will be hooked up to a polygraph and subjected to an interview on live TV. Conducted by me, your president. I will ask all the tough questions, and hold everyone accountable. I won't ask them to divulge any secrets or put the success of their teams at risk, but I can promise you that we will live in a city of honesty and reasonable transparency. I will demand that from the leaders of our teams.

And I promise that every step along the way, you will always get the same unconditional honesty and transparency from me.

Vote for Rich.

You won't regret it.

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

Report: Cavs. Pacers, Nuggets discuss deal involving George, Love

Report: Cavs. Pacers, Nuggets discuss deal involving George, Love

Don’t count the Cleveland Cavaliers out of the Paul George sweepstakes just yet.

According to ESPN’s Marc Stein and Chris Haynes, the Cavaliers are still working on a way to get George with LeBron James and Kyrie Irving in Ohio.

The latest rumor involves a three way deal being discussed between the Cavaliers, Indiana Pacers, and Denver Nuggets. According to Hayes, the deal would send George and Kenenth Faried to Cleveland and Kevin Love to Denver.

Presumably, Indiana would end up with good picks and a few young assets.

Click here for the complete story.

Will the Harris signing mean more time on the edge for Hightower?

Will the Harris signing mean more time on the edge for Hightower?

David Harris is expected to be a savvy middle linebacker who will line up his teammates when they help. He's expected to provide some level of leadership, even in his first year in New England, as an accomplished-but-hungry 33-year-old who has not yet reached a Super Bowl. 

What Harris is not expected to do is improve the Patriots pass rush. He was in on one sack in 900 snaps last season.  

But in a roundabout way he might. 

MORE: How does Derek Carr's new deal impact Jimmy Garoppolo?

There are dominos to fall now that Harris has been added to Bill Belichick and Matt Patricia's defense. How much will Harris play, and whose playing time will he cut into? Those questions don't yet have answers, but one of the more intriguing elements of the Harris acquisition is how he will benefit Dont'a Hightower's game.

If Harris can pick up the Patriots defense quickly -- and all indications are that there should be few issues there -- he could take some of the all-important communication responsibilities off of Hightower's shoulders. 

Ever since taking the reins from Jerod Mayo as the team's signal-caller, Hightower has had to be on top of all requisite pre-snap checks and last-second alignment changes. It's a critical role, and one that Hightower performs well, but those duties place some added stress on the player wearing the green dot. Perhaps if part of that load can be heaped onto Harris' plate, that might allow Hightower to feel as though he's been freed up to focus on his individual assignments.

Harris' presence might also impact where on the field Hightower is used. Hightower may be the most versatile piece on a Patriots defense loaded with them, but with Harris in the middle, Hightower could end up playing more on the edge, where he's proven he can make a major impact (see: Super Bowl LI).

For Belichick and his staff, having the ability to use one of their best pass-rushers -- and one of the most efficient rushers league-wide, per Pro Football Focus -- on the edge more frequently has to be an enticing byproduct of the move to sign Harris. Especially since there are some question marks among the team's end-of-the-line defenders behind Trey Flowers and Rob Ninkovich. 

We'll have to wait for training camp before we have an idea of how exactly Harris fits in with the Patriots defense. But the effect he'll have on his new teammates, and Hightower in particular, will be fascinating to track.