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Time Out For Sports Talk: Same Old Song and Rants

TOST Question of the Week: What are you tired of as a sports fan?

Todd: There is always something that I’m tired of seeing in the sports world.

First, the NFL wants to push back the date of its annual college draft from late April to sometime around mid-May as part of Commissioner (aka Sheriff) Roger Goodell’s grand plan to make the league the foremost thought in fans’ minds 12 months a year.  Roger, the NFL is already far and away the most popular sport in the country, especially in places like Green Bay where it’s the only game in town.  To me, part of what makes the NFL beloved is not just the games themselves, but the anticipation of each new season.  If Goodell isn’t careful he might just wind up ruining (or at least diluting) a good thing before his reign is done.

Sticking with football, how about the owners of the Miami Dolphins whining they can’t host another Super Bowl because the Florida legislature refuses to grant them taxpayer funds to finance renovations to 25-year old Sun Life Stadium?  These days I have little to no tolerance for sports franchises trying to extort money from local communities to build new stadiums or receive significant upgrades, especially since those stadiums are replacing ones I remember being built during my childhood (yikes, guess I am getting old).  If Fenway Park can remain standing for over a century, I think other stadiums could at least try to last for more than one generation.

I am truly exhausted with members of the Boston sports media who need to create faux controversies and rain on a good story.  Prime example is the Bruins with a commanding 3-0 series lead over the Rangers.  Why talk up the contributions of the kid defensemen (Torey Krug!) or the play of the fourth line when they can instead mention that Rask was sitting in this same position three years ago against Philadelphia and look how that ended.  Really??  Doesn’t look like the Rangers are putting up the same fight the Flyers did then, plus the B’s were missing David Krejci with an injury that year.  Henrik Lundqvist could stand on his head while the Rangers win four straight 1-0 games, but if he’s waiting for his team’s power play to get on track, forget it.

Speaking of ineptitude, I’m sick of watching any hockey team try to make 17 passes while on the power play so they can get the perfect shot on net.  Then two minutes later, they wonder why they didn’t get a good scoring opportunity.  Most times the perfect shot is never there and the best thing a team can do is fire the puck on goal and then crash the net for a rebound.

Finally, the past couple seasons of “The Office” have been tiring, but the last two episodes left me feeling the show went out on a high note.  The finale was reminiscent of the final “Cheers” which aired 20 years ago this week (again, I’m old) between the final scene with everyone gathering in the office to talk, to adjusting the picture on the wall and closing with a shot of the non-descript Dunder-Mifflin building, where for nine seasons we watched its occupants entertain us more than work in our own offices could.

Guess I was tired of more than I thought.  Good thing we have a long weekend coming up.  After I’ve given thanks and remembered those who have proudly defended our great nation, I think I’ll take a nap.

Mike: Good topic Todd, as you know, I can always find something to be cranky about…

First and foremost, I am SO GLAD you brought up the endless passing on a power play. I am getting so sick of thinking that the Bruins are going to have a chance to score on the man advantage, only to have to spend 2:00 screaming “SHOOT THE PUCK!” at the TV! You can’t score if you don’t shoot, but teams seem to think that the best way to spend a power play is to put on a display of precision passing.

Another thing that has been getting to me is the recent trend of slamming the Red Sox for letting Jonathan Papelbon walk a couple of years ago, pointing out that they have had trouble at closer since then. Let’s get right to the point, Papelbon wasn’t going to stay here, he proved that by taking the first offer he got, without letting the Sox have a chance to match it. Secondly, they have tried to replace them, but have been dealing with injuries for the last two seasons. They went out and got a top closer in Joel Hanrahan this offseason, but gut burned when he got hurt and will miss the entire season. How is it the team’s fault? They did their due diligence and had him take a physical, but things happen, and besides, Papelbon hasn’t helped lead the Phillies into the playoffs anyway.

I’m also tired of hearing about Wes Welker. He’s gone, we just need to move on. Does it really matter why he left the team? To me it doesn’t. Sure, he did a lot for the Patriots during his tenure here, and he’ll always be an important part of the team’s history, but it’s not like the Pats let Jerry Rice in his prime walk away. He’ll be missed here, but I’m also sure that the Pats will be fine without him.

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