Irish Dance Off


After leaving TD Bank Garden following a Dropkick Murphy’s show during St. Patty’s weekend, I came across a large crowd watching one of the whitest dance-offs you will ever see. This isn’t your traditional river-dance, and yes, you do dance better when you’re drunk (audio is loud so turn down your volume):

Once the dude rips off the shirt, he goes straight into his Gronkowski dance:

Oh Boston…

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The 2012-13 NFL Season in GIF Glory


The following is a recap and tribute to the 2012-13 NFL season in all its GIF glory. Time to break it down:

carleton

It started off with Bounty-Gate and the Saints getting screwed:

Saints screwed

By this clown, who made nearly 30 million last year:

Goodell-as-McMahon

The replacement refs lived up to the hype:

hailmar2

Brandon Weedon goes America all over everybody’s asses:

WeedenFlag

Vince Wilfork needs a sandwich:

vince fumble

Jim Harbaugh contracts rabies:

jim rabies

Jerry Jones owns your soul:

jerry jones

Danny Amendola tries to euthanize grandpa:

amendola old man

Big Ben and Michael Vick pay for their past transgressions:

ROETHLISBERGER-ANKLE

VICKSMASH

J.J. Watt becomes the new Dikembe:

jj swat

RG3’s legs make the Redskins relevant again:

RG3-Run-GIF

But that doesn’t last too long:

rg3hurt

Alex Smith refuses to take off his helmet:

smith helmet

When that fails, he tries to drug usurper Rookie Colin Kaepernick’s helmet:

Smith Poo Helmet

Hey diddle-diddle, Ray Rice up the middle:

Ray Rice

Megatron breaks Jerry Rice’s single-season receiving yards record:

CJ record

Adrian Peterson proves that stem-cell research is worth it:

AP stem cell

The bum-fumble that sums up the entire Jets’ season and the end of the Sanchize:

sanchez butt-slam

Tebro didn’t fare much better:

tebow-helmet-pass-9-23-12

Peyton during the regular season:

Peyton before playoffs

Peyton in the post-season

Peyton during playoffs

Wouldn’t you be too, losing to this mustached man-child:

Gun slinger Flacco

Colin Kaepernick wants everyone to know that he works out:

Colin K

Ray Lewis emotionally craps his pants during the National Anthem:

Ray-Lewis emo

While Gronkowski nearly re-re-breaks his arm aggressively bro-dancing:

Gronk DanceTom Brady was less-than-pleased:

brady bitches

Thankfully there was some Beyonce:

beyonce-nip-slip-super-bowl-gif

Which caused all of New Orleans to collectively blackout:

poweroutagegif_original

And when everyone came to, there was this:

ravens-confetti-angel-super-bowl-gif

Even though everyone is still talking about this:

crabtree

Is it draft day yet?

Chris Bosh walks into a bar…


Chris Bosh with CP3's MVP Precious

We wants the Preciouses!

The NBA All-Star Game is the most significant, insignificant event in the sporting world.  Defense isn’t played until the middle of the 4th quarter, players consistently travel and the outcome of the game is meaningless – except for the individual players themselves. It’s really just a 48-minute highlight reel. Something for the fans, but really pissing contest for the NBA elite. And with so much talent on one court, the rules are simple: perform at the highest level, or get posterized.

While CP3 deservedly won the MVP this All-Star game, this weekend’s big winner was unequivocally Kyrie Irving – quite possibly Cleveland’s next chosen one. As Reggie Miller said during the 3pt competition, “This kid is trying to take over the league”.

The Irving show continued on Sunday night when his barrage of dunks, lighting-fast crossovers, and no-look alley-oop passes showed off every facet of his game, including what kind of damage he could do with another superstar on his roster (Lebron comes back to Cleveland in 2014? You never know…). And let’s not forget his ankle-breaking moves on Brandon Knight a couple nights before:

But using Knight as an example, not everyone chosen to participate in the All-Star weekend leaves looking like a true baller. In fact, for every highlight reel, there is a winner and loser. And last night’s biggest loser was the infamously-flappable CHRIS BOSH (said in a Miami announcer’s voice). As if playing the third-wheel to Miami’s super-star duo wasn’t bad enough, Sunday night Chris Bosh showed all “217 countries and or provinces watching” (according to David Stern at least) that he was the worst.

It began with a last-minute start to the replace the injured point guard Rajon Rondo, which wasn’t too surprising seeing as Spoelstra was coaching. He figured he’d do what he always does: sit back and let Lebron and Wade make the decisions.

But most likely in an effort to bolster Bosh’s fragile ego without sacrificing a “W” in a meaningless game, passes kept coming his way, passes he was all too willing to hoist up from deep that often sailed over the rim like the Siberian comet, completely untouched until finally hitting the court with a pathetic thump. Even his mid-range jump game didn’t fare any better, as this KG mimicry air-balled out of bounds, wide-left. Somewhere Billy Cundiff just raised a glass…

But the real embarrassment came when the Mighty Bosh got “nutmegged” twice – once by All-Star MVP Chris Paul and soon thereafter by Tony Parker. For those of you not familiar with the term “nutmegging,” it is used by soccer players when you dribble the ball between the defender’s two legs. While you hardly ever see a basketball nutmeg in NBA games, it’s a common sight in pickup games and serves only one purpose – to humiliate your defender for calling that last foul. It looks a little something like this:

Bosh Nutmeg

Now I get that no one really plays defense in the All-Star game until the 4th quarter, but Bosh was his own worst enemy here. Defending basics 101: A) Don’t square up on a driving player B) Take away the angle, not the player C) Close your goddamn legs, you’re losing friends. Bosh was in no position to move with his half-split on, and basically left enough room for Chris Tucker to dribble underneath him. Some plays later, Tony Parker did the same exact thing, taking advantage of those wide open Bostrich legs. Here are both plays, plus commentary from Chris Paul afterwards:

All Bosh could do after the Parker nutmeg was throw a gangly arm to Tony’s chest and foul him out of bounds, basically violating the unspoken rule of no-fouling in the first half of the All-Star Game. Dick move, Bosh. Even more dickish than your uncontested two handed jam that you felt warranted hanging on the rim for two seconds. One thousand one…one thousand BOO!

And as if the hangover from the Drunk Chris Bosh Sh*t Show wasn’t enough, today Lil Wayne released a video explaining his hatred for the Miami Heat, why he’s been banned from all NBA games, and to add insult to injury, that he “f*cked Chris Bosh’s wife” at his performance in Houston last night (video).

Poor Chris Bosh. One really is the loneliest number…

The Gruesome Twosome


kg_pick_pierce_300350Life is impermanence. Less than a year ago (going back to my last post), the Celtics were one defensive guard (Avery Bradley) from going to the finals. There was still hope, after the LBJ beat-down, that the next year, with Green and Bradley returning and key re-signs to anchor Boston’s veteran core, that next season looked bright.

Even when Jesus ShuttlesWorth took his talents to Long Beach, it seemed alright. Boston did the smart thing and let KG and PP  take it easy on their knees, put roll players around Rondo and let El Generalissimo coordinate the attack. After all, he is the “Engine that stirs the drink”…or at least he was.

Since then, the Celtics have gone 4 – 0 without “The Clinic” dishing out dimes and working the paint like he was a miniature version of Dr. J. While I’m happy to see them rebound, I have to face facts: they are clearly a better team with Rondo then without. Let’s not forget a 6 game losing streak proceeded their Rondo-less 4 game win streak. Do you believe in the almighty Law of Averages?

Losing Sullinger – Boston’s “too-good-to-be-true” rookie, rebounding stud who looked destined to wear Mean Green for a long time – just twisted the knife in further. But to be a Boston sports fan is to suffer. Adversity is our middle name. With a playoff berth still very much possible, the only question left to ask is: “Ok, so what next?”

I would like to believe that Fab Melo will step up and that Wilcox will be able to expand his role from glass clean up duty and fast break alley-oops, but to what end? Without KG on the floor our defense collapses. Now, without Paul Pierce our offense can only score on fast breaks. Even a C’s team that makes into the playoffs wont be able to beat the Heat at those role playing positions (where usually only 8 men get all the minutes). Their team, with the exception of Wade and Lebron ARE ALL roll players (sorry Bosh). How do we stop a super-star duo in the primes of their careers?

We turn to their aging predecessors and test to see if age beats beauty (still love the beard, Pierce!). We let the KG and Truth High Pick and Roll Show become a standard of their offense. KG is a mismatch nightmare. If you play him soft he’ll drain16-20 ft jumpers all day, if you play him to aggressively he’ll work you in the paint. Paul Pierce right now is seemingly the only Celtic starter that can create his own shot and thrives from the high guard spot either using the step-back three or his lefty fade.

In the past four games, I’ve seen a lot of this play as Pierce has been the primary ball handler, and KG has been Mr. Clutch in the 4th. So I say, turn them lose. You look at how valuable these two guys are to the C’s and you look at their contract situations and it’s a no brainer. It’s this year or never again. So with all this trade-deadline talk that will likely amount to nothing, I say give Pierce and KG their wishes. Let them have one more shot at the title and THEN let them retire as Celtics.

As a fan, I want to see this not only because of all these guys have given to the cause, but because secretly, I think that this Gruesome Twosome has a chance for just one last dance.

Kicking Bass


Brandon Bass DunkThere better be an NBA Playoffs BIG commercial for Brandon Bass ready to air in time for Game 6 in Philly. I’ll make it myself if I have to.

I don’t know what play they’d use (take your pick from the 3rd Quarter last night), but I’d personally go with this one, with the text “They might be the big three, but when the ball finds me, I know where to put it”:

And yes, for those of you looking closely enough at the bench’s reaction, there was yet another Keyon “Fighting Irish” Dooling “flexing” display (a term coined by his celebratory culprit-in-crime, Marquis Daniels). For more on the growing Boston Bench phenomenon of “flexing”, here’s an explanation (and awesome gif) straight from the leprechaun’s mouth.

Thanks to that Bass-kicking display, the Celtics are up 3-2 going into Philly, with confidence that anyone on the team can step up, impose his will and dominate a game to close out the series. Even the rookie Gregg Stiemsma had a fantastic game, blocking, pulling down boards and connecting with Rondo on the pick and roll.

That’s because the Celtics are playing like a well-oiled machine blending young, high energy players with older, craftier veterans. Rondo is the engine that stirs the drink, or whatever Chuck said…

When I watched the game last night, I heard Chris Webber talk about two Boston huddles that apparently got them fired up (Bass especially) and pushed them to take the lead. By all accounts it was battle-cry and a reminder that this team is a dangerous, mean, green monster. I’m not sure what Doc said, but I’m sure it was awe-inspiring. Some of that fire and brimstone, old-school, epic sh*t.  When and if that speech goes public, I want a copy of it so I can listen to it on my morning commute.

It was so motivational, in fact, that C-Webb couldn’t contain his jubilation, bringing back my personal favorite cheer, aka the “Futbol Announcer,” “Rondooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo” in the 4th Quarter:

It’s just so much fun to watch this Celtics team right now mainly because they are the ultimate 2nd half team. How they overcome deficits and execute when it counts. How on any given night they defer to the guy with the hot hand, and let him carry them. That’s because they play together, lock down on D and find the open man. Last night Bass was the open man and boy did he make the 76ers pay for it.

And like a true Celtics player, he had these choice words to say during the post-game interview:

“When you’re on a team with a guy like [Rajon] Rondo, the ball just happens to find you.”

I’m glad Bass said that. Even when last night HE was the man. Because, not to belittle his 27 point accomplishment, but his comment was spot-on. Bass was hungry, so Rondo kept feeding him – and that 18 point appetite saved the C’s.

You Won’t Like Me When I’m Angry


Kevin Garnett is the HulkThe worst thing you can do is give a Celtics great another reason to win. Because it awakens the Garden’s very own Green Monsters, turning Kevin Garnett into a one man wrecking crew, Rondo into a triple double machine (tied with Lebron in playoffs), and Pierce, well, into “The Motha*#$&ing Truth” (hey Shaq said it).

Simply put, the Celtics morph into mini-Hulks when the words and elbows start flying. So word for the wise, Don’t piss them off. Right Larry?

The Celtics are the pinnacle of basketball professionalism, from Russell to Bird to Pierce and Garnett. When you perform at such a high level (that I’ll admit borders on psychosis), you are locked in, focused and willing to do just about whatever it takes to win. 17 Banners hang in the Garden because this is the Celtics Way. And no one epitomizes it more than Kevin “Still The Big Ticket” Garnett.

When KG has this look on his face, you are in for trouble.

Sometimes I see this look in Garnett’s eyes, usually around the last 3 minutes of the 4th Quarter: The game is close, Garnett is sucking down wind and raining sweat. He looks spent. Then right before the inbounds pass, reset. His posture changes, he stops heaving and that look creeps up on his face. It’s probably the scariest thing you will ever see on a basketball court (or honestly in real life). It’s a death stare. Like looking into the teeth of a Great White. Woe is f*&%ing you, guy. You just poked the bear.

So why would you give KG a reason? Other than the fact that this is his last year and shot at another ring. You don’t think that motivates him enough? Why call out one of basketball’s best for being old? Why call him dirty? Crazy? Yes. Absolutely. But dirty? That’s just ignorant. And then you say he’s old? I don’t know many old guys that can put up 28 pts, 14 rebounds, 5 blocks and 3 steals in a playoff game. KG plays the game the way it is supposed to be played. Last night was a reminder.

So when Michael Gearon Jr., co-owner of the Hawks, took pot shots at KG and his illustrious career, he ruined any chance his team had at advancing into the semis. Yep. This loss is on Jr. Sorry dad.

Calling KG “old” and “dirty” is a personal affront to all that KG has accomplished, and thus, KG had to remind Gearon just who he was messing with, carrying the C’s en route to another playoff series win. Way to turn Bruce Banner into the Hulk, dingus. Here’s the press conference interview after the game:

Keep the insults coming and C’s may just have the last laugh.

Life After Mo


mariano rivera-By Michael Levere, @leverefamily

Today in many ways feels like the end of an era. There’s nothing worse in this Twitter age than checking your phone after yet another devastating Knicks loss to see a tweet from Bill Simmons saying, “Just floored by the Rivera news.” A torn ACL, and a likely end of career from the sounds of it for one of the great all-time Yankees, Mariano Rivera.

The best player of a generation for baseball that will forever be tainted by steroids and scandals, he was one of only three players for whom hearing they did steroids would cause you to spit up your food (along with Derek Jeter and Ken Griffey Jr.).

After suffering a torn ACL, baseball’s greatest closer will likely hang up his cleats for good.

Growing up in an age where the Yankees were no longer laughable losers, the face of the franchise to many was Jeter, but the heart was always Mariano. He was always the one you could count on, the one who never appeared to slow down. In the last few years there were whispers of decline for Jeter, with his worsening range and his penchant for the timely GIDP, but Mariano kept going strong. His ERA’s over the last four seasons since turning 38 were 1.40, 1.76, 1.80, and 1.91. I sense a downward trend! But you’re not reading this to learn about Mariano’s stats, and that’s not why I’m writing it.

In so many ways, it feels like a constant in my life for as long as I can remember has been Mo. From being a giddy 8-year old baseball fan yearning for Buck Showalter to put in Mariano in game 5 of the ALDS against the Mariners in 1995 to the final World Series ring for the modern Yankee dynasty in 2009, Mariano has always been there, marking the passing of the years:

-The perfect setup man for the 1996 team.

-Being in Cooperstown with my grandma watching him blow it against the Indians in 1997.

-Three magical World Series runs from 1998-2000, including a birthday party at Yankee Stadium for Joe DiMaggio day, on the last day of the season when the Yankees won their 114th game in 1998.

-Watching one of the hardest losses I’ve ever experienced in 2001 in my parents bedroom with my sister weeping.

-Holding down the fort for 3 innings to give Aaron Boone the chance to do his damage in 2003.

-Thanking the lord I was in a cabin in the woods to avoid the debacle that was 2004 (editor’s note: One man’s debacle is another’s Triumph!).

-The frustration of 2005-2007 embodied in the midges in Cleveland watching on our Akai TV our senior year of college, with the game certain to be blown once Mo was forced to exit.

-Having the first girl I loved fall asleep on my lap after one of our first dates during the World Series run in 2009.

The Yankees and baseball have marked time and memories in my life forever, and Mariano has always been the constant. There was a moment for Darryl Strawberry, recent Kevin Brown flashbacks with Amare’s foolish punches, Shane Spencer home runs aplenty, but no matter what, there was always Mariano. And while tracking an innocent fly ball, it’s all done.

You knew that one day it would have to happen, that Mariano couldn’t pitch until he was 50. But you always thought it would be on his terms, and that you would be prepared for it. That there would be a final moment in Yankee Stadium with a touching ceremony, giving everyone watching it the chills and bringing many to tears.

That’s what makes it so tough, this sudden unknown where something that has been such a stable steadying force in your life is now gone. Sure, in recent years I may have lost my love for baseball a bit, only getting excited for the playoffs, but there was something comforting knowing that any day I could turn on the Yanks and there was a good chance I’d get to hear Enter Sandman.

When I was younger, I always wondered what people who were the same age as athletes felt like. Was it weird knowing that someone who could easily have been in your third grade class was now out there playing the games that you loved and making more money than you could ever possibly imagine? Yet as I went through college and into the working world, the thought never really bothered me. But today, I suddenly feel a whole lot older.

A childhood hero of mine is likely hanging up his cleats, someone who I’ve been through so much with in my life. There are kids out there today in Los Angeles who will get to spend the next 15 years going through life marking time with Matt Kemp, kids in Boston who will do it with Dustin Pedroia and Jacoby Ellsbury, and kids in New York who do it with Robinson Cano. But for me, now I’m moving on with my life.

I still love the idea of playing baseball, following baseball, watching baseball, but without the best player of a generation, it really feels like that magical, childish aura around America’s past time is gone.

Tim Tebow Walks into a Bar…


Courtesy ESPN stock.

So by now you’ve all heard. Peyton Manning is taking his talents to the Mile-high city. I know baseballs carry farther there…do footballs? Well anything not to be in the same division as his little bro.

Peyton is a Bronco and John Elway finally has someone to play catch with. ESPN has no more of that “PeytonWatch” bullsh*t (they seriously were following his van in a helicopter, OJ style), and all is right in goldfish nation. Let Manning-Mania begin!

But I don’t want to talk about the new Best in the AFC West. It’s a crappy division for starters and I’m not sold on how solid the Broncos are now even with Peyton’s supposedly surgically repaired vertabrae, bra. I would like to remind you of the “Dream Team” Philadelphia Eagles this past season.

Peyton is clearly a big upgrade at the QB spot, that’d non-debatable — but look around him. It’s Thomas and Eric “I’m just Happy to Be Here” Decker. Who’s Peyton gonna throw to against a good cover team, while the pocket collapses? That O-line broke down consistently last year, and luckily for the Broncos, during those plays, Tim Tebow affinity for breaking the pocket turned them (mostly) into positive ground yards. Thus the W’s and Tebow-mania:

But then I guess people just forgot. Maybe Linsanity took over and a new underdog story took his place. I’m not really sure, Denver, because at the end of last year, your Coach promised Tebow the starting QB spot only to have it ripped from his massive hands.

Man this is awkward...

Football Jesus, quite fittingly, was forsaken. By the front office, coaching staff, John Elway and yes, the fans (come at me bro). Let’s be real Denver, how many of you would like to see him get snaps over Peyton? In clutch moments or goal line situations? Yeah. Thought so. You guys might have well thrown him under the Team Bus at Pontius Palace.

I feel for the guy, even though I know he’s just not a good quarterback in the NFL. I’m sure he’ll carve out a niche as a role player, maybe a converted RB, TE or even as a 5-10 snaps a game Wild-Cat option, but I think the verdict is pretty much out. Although to be fair, I guess you could say the same about Mark Sanchize…and they just signed him for 5 years!

So Tebow, here’s a toast to you buddy. I know you don’t drink but now’s as good a time as any to start. I honestly didn’t think this post would be so sympathetic when I started writing it but you did get Denver fans energized again, and you did get wins (mostly). You made football fun to watch and I’ll always root for the underdog (unless it’s against my Pats). Most importantly, whenever I saw you throw the the football I thought to myself “I could do that”.

I will close by saying this. For the polarizing figure that he is, and love or hate his personal views,  Tim Tebow was arguably the greatest College QBs of all time. That should count for something and probably will if you get traded to Jacksonville. Glory Days:

Rajon Rondo: The Darkhorse MVP


Just hear me out before you write me off as crazy. I know there are better players in the league–that’s not what this is about. MVP. Most. Valuable. Player. The acronym has to mean something.

Last year it did. D-Rose won the MVP not because he was better than Durant or Lebron, but because he did more for his team. Without him they were a pretender. With him, a contender. That’s where Rajon Rondo comes in.

Yes they are very different players, but their value as point guards and directors of the offense is the same. Last year Rose carried the Bulls to a fantastic record and playoff bid, only to be steam rolled by Miami in five. He put up a valiant effort in the face of tough odds–thus solidifying him as the MVP. It’s not just stat lines and dunks, it’s W’s that are created by the will of a single player.

I get it. Chicago last year was a better team than the C’s this year. The Celtics are just a shell of their former champion selves, and as much as it pains me to say this, it looks near impossible for any team other than Miami to make it out of the Eastern Conference Finals (unless Dwight Howard dons the highly unlikely mean Green). Teams like this years C’s don’t usually have a player nominated for MVP. But when you look around the league for one player who absolutely carries his team and puts them in playoff contention, I see two guys: Rajon Rondo and Kevin Love. And I’m not from Minnesnowta.

I watched this game, right at the heels of Rondo’s NY Knicks triple double game and it amazed me. He was everywhere on the court. D-Wills 57 pts. went unnoticed, Linsanity died and Magic Johnson finally acknowledge the greatness of Rondo. For Magic had never put in a stat-stuffing performance this impressive:

Here are some other names I’m gonna throw your way to prove just how ridiculously good (and undervalued) Rondo is: Jason Kidd. Wilt Chamberlin. Oscar Robertson.

What do they all have in common? They, along with Rondo are the ONLY players EVER to record more than 15 pts 15 rebounds and 20 assists. Rondo did that last week (he had two triple doubles in a two game period).

Kidd and Oscar are 4 inches taller than Rondo btw, and well Wilt was a giant among men. That’s not just skill and mad ups. That’s the will of a champion. And in case y’all were counting Rondo still has 1 ring more than Lebron James, Chris Paul and Kevin Durant do combined. JUST SAYIN’

I’ll be the first person to admit to you that Lebron James is the greatest basketball player in the NBA and that Durant could evolve into a better scorer than MJ (so what you want to fight about it?). But MVP is about VALUE. Value to your team. OKC and Miami would make the playoffs every year without Lebron or Durant. Boston this year, not so much…

When Rondo is at his best, the Celtics go on 6 game win streaks. When he’s injured or not 100%, they go on 6 game losing streaks. He is the barometer for the C’s because he is the most important player on a franchise trying to recreate itself. He does everything, which is what the C’s desperately need now. And yet they want to trade him?

That’s because he’s the only one worth a damn. It’s counter-intutive but yeah who wants Paul Pierce or KG for the next two years? I hope the Truth retires a lifelong Celtic, but you can’t beat gravity. Just ask Shaq.

Rondo is the future, unless Ainge really has lost it, and trades him laterally for another PG. It wouldn’t surprise me and honestly I can’t wait for the trade deadline next week to pass. I want to remind people that he’s 24 years old. Imagine this guy once he develops his jump shot game and adds 3 pt range. Splish. Splash. Sploosh.

If the Celts take the Atlantic and manage to claw their way into a dog fight against Miami or Chicago, you can bet your ass it’ll be because he puts up triple doubles in playoff games. I just hope his back holds up under the weight of this franchise long enough to hear chants of “MVP” rain down in the Garden.