Sit Down, Shut Up

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Hello New England,

Hi, my name is MattDotRich. Chilly up here isn’t it? See, I was going to leave a DELIGHTFUL post today about a hypothetical 1 Billion Dollar NBA game and who I and Bob Sacramano would have on our teams and why, but I’m forced instead to come here to talk you off this proverbial ledge. Now, know that I’m a fellow Bostonian; I’m writing this from an apartment on the Medford/Somerville line thats decor consists almost exclusively of Boston sports memorabilia and has a floor that desperately needs to swept, so know this comes from a place of love, but… sit down and shut up.

Because I can’t stand to watch what was once a proud and loyal fan base come off as the brat who for the first time in 15 years didn’t get exactly what they wanted for Christmas. The Power Wheel is in the garage, top videogame console and all the best games are in the living room, the furby, tickle me elmo, and every other hot toy there ever was is in the den. This year you might not have gotten THE toy, but at some point you have to be grateful for what you have.

Yes, I understand that getting smacked around by the Ravens, an unjustifiable 9.5 point underdog, absolutely sucked. That watching a fraud like Ray Lewis point to the sky or pound the ground for a thousandth time wasn’t fun. Just as it wasn’t fun watching Mario Manningham do the same last year. Just as it isn’t fun watching a decrepit Celtics team seem to give up hope as they continue to get older. Just as missing out on a half a season of Bruins hockey probably wasn’t fun for people who are into that kinda thing (Sorry, I’m not. I checked out of Ice Hockey once it got past picking between the fat and skinny guys).

But at some point you have to show some gratitude for what you have, and where you’ve been. At 29, I’ve seen more success by my local sports teams than most men three times my age. I’ve nearly pushed a friend over a second floor barrier at a bar in excitement over watching Tony Allen throw down a reverse dunk to put the Celtics up FORTY ONE points in a deciding NBA Finals over the team’s most storied rival*. I’ve listened to ‘My Hero’ by the Foo Fighters 32 times on loop because I knew Tom Brady couldn’t win his first Super Bowl without me playing it. I’ve skipped school to see Lawyer Milloy hold the Lombardi trophy high while wearing the most ridiculous mink coat I’ll ever see. I’ve seen the Boston Red Sox rally to beat THEIR most storied rival in the most decorated comeback of all time. And I even had a grin on my face when my roommate – a die hard Yankee fan – knocked out our power by punching our switch box after Johnny Damon blasted a grandslam to put the Sox up 9 in the 4th.

I’ve high fived people because they looked as happy as me, hugged strangers because they were wearing the same shirt as I, and shimmied with a man because he was wearing an Antoine Walker jersey. I’ve gotten to watch one of, if not the greatest quarterbacks of all time helm my football team, while one of the greatest power forwards of all time anchored the defense for my basketball team. And I’ve seen the best right handed hitter of a generation bat before the absolute most clutch left handed batter. Absolute sports euphoria.

I don’t write this to suggest that these experiences are all that unique. I write them because if you’re reading this you’re a Boston Sports Fan (or a masochist, I guess) and you’ve had your own similar experiences. And you remember the pure unfiltered joy it brought to you.

And now what? You’re forced to watch a highly competitive football team lose in the AFC Championship? You had to endure a tough Game 7 loss against the eventual NBA Champion? You had to watch the Red Sox swing and miss on a few high priced free agents? You had to spend some time with your girlfriend while a game against the Washington Capitals was erased due to a labor dispute?

It could be a lot fucking worse. The only champion my family in Cleveland has seen in the past 60 years is The Miz. So while you complain about how Tom Brady is maybe past his prime you think about how Derek Anderson is the best quarterback they’ve seen in the past 20 years. Wikipedia him. Their best sports memories are assigning blame for who jinxed the Indians in the 97′ World Series, getting the team they had stolen from them back, and coming up with inventive ways to still drive people to their bars after their hometown boy announced that he’d be ‘taking his talents to South Beach.’ On their wedding anniversaries when they tell their wives their happiest moments were with her, they might actually mean it. Gross, right?

So enjoy what you have, and stop being a brat. It’s not a good look.

You’ve been to the top of everest, and you can still see it right now. Act like it.

——

*I also, as a 20 year old, shook my then 11 year old sister like a British nanny when Big Papi hit what I later learned to be a go-ahead double against the A’s. I say ‘later learned’ because once I saw that ball go over the right fielders head I just started to grab her shoulders and shake. I had assumed it was a homerun. What I’m getting at is that I might have a problem being physical while enjoying games.

Waiting For Superman

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The release of the first Justin Timberlake single in seven years is supposed to be the kind of thing that makes you feel good about going out to the store and spending a couple extra dollars than you intended on a new pair of head phones.

After all, this is something we’ve literally been asking for years. The return of one of the few “shared experience” artists going. The type of artist who makes music that my sister gets ready to go out to while also being the same artist whose song plays every time my friend scores a goal in NHL 12′.

There’s no secret behind the success of Justin Timberlake’s music; It’s fun to like it. With good music becoming increasingly harder to find, it was a breath of fresh air in 2006 for a commercially successful album backed by regular air play to be so… good.

And in the 2000’s, that’s unfortunately become a rarity – a universally appreciated album that everyone can enjoy. Top 40 rules the radio waves, and mostly play safe, bubblegum pop. Catchy songs get run into the ground and exposed for what they are. Great music is being made, you just need to subscribe to 6 podcasts, read 30 music blogs daily in order to know what to dig through google to find. FutureSexLoveSounds was an exception: Truly great, and readily available.

This is why we’ve been romanticizing his return to music – Why we’ve tolerated his extended absence. Why we pretend he’s funnier than he really is. Why we turn the other cheek to pretend like the movie In Time never actually happened. Because sharing the experience of good pop music is a heckuva lotta fun.

So ‘Suit & Tie,’ Timberlake’s single was supposed to be a big deal. And to be fair; it was treated that way. Predeceased by a promo video, and a countdown website that’d make Chris Jericho and the guys at the WWE proud. It was supposed to spit in the face of the Ke$ha’s of the world and remind us that good pop music does exist. Make us think that maybe our generation does have it’s Michael Jackson or at least it’s Prince.

Instead, we’re forced to be reminded that in a 10 year career as a solo artist, Justin Timberlake has roughly 1.5 good albums*.

To be clear, ‘Suit & Tie’ isn’t a bad song. It’s perfectly fine – the verses are pretty enjoyable, the beat sounds like it’d be perfect for an Outkast record. But the chorus is a little lazy, and the Jay Z verse is unquestionably forced.

But this was supposed to be a Justin Timberlake single. This was supposed to sound like ‘Sexy Back’, or ‘Cry Me A River’, or ‘My Love.’ Not track 11, the second best song to be released today, or a song to be used to introduce a new fragrance line.

Perhaps we don’t know Timberlake’s intentions with ‘Suit & Tie.’ Perhaps this isn’t truly a ‘single’ as much as it is an introduction on the type of sound to expect The 20/20 Experience (his album to be released at some point this year). Or perhaps it’s a song that won’t even make the record.

What we do know, unfortunately, is that the first Justin Timberlake song to be released in over half-a-decade, is just not that good. Now I’m here, with overpriced headphones, hoping what comes next will be.

——–

*Justified is an OK album, but outside the singles the album is fairly unlistenable.

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The following post was written by Bob Sacramano

I live in San Francisco, California.  Its 3,000 miles away from where my family and most of my friends from high school and college live back on the East Coast.  This inevitably leads to me having to fly from California to Boston to see family for Holidays, come back for weddings, etc.  I also abhor flying with the passion of Kevin Garnett when trash talking to Carmelo Anthony.  My need to fly 3,000 miles to get home and my hatred of flying never mesh well, and as such, I become an incredibly grumpy person the day of and throughout my entire flight.  Cut to the Saturday before Christmas 2012.    Due to the over crowding nature of traveling around the Holidays I got stuck in a middle seat for a transcontinental Red Eye Flight with no other available seats. This would have been a bad enough flight based on the fact that I had to wedge my massive frame into a middle Coach Seat.  However, sitting to my left was a woman who had a little wiener dog in her lap. I, trying to be nice and social (Trying to garner some good will as sitting next to me on a flight cannot be easy just on pure size reason), start talking to her and had a few questions about the dog.

One of my questions was, “Is it because she is small enough, you can put her in a case on the plane instead of having to Crate her in the belly of the plane?” Answer: “No. This is my emotional support dog. I have a note from my therapist that allows me to bring him on the plane and hold on to him the entire flight.” Slight problem at this point as this is a ridiculous statement. For the first 45 minutes of the flight I have no problem with the little guy just laying there.  Now remember this is a red-eye flight. I would like to sleep and try and forget that I am on the plane. At three, repeat three, separate instances I was woken up the furry companion sitting next to me. The first two times, I felt a wet lick on my elbow. The third time, the little shit dog got loose from her sleeping owner, and walked on to my lap and started to nestle in.

What the hell America? Emotional Support Dog? What kind of horse shit is this? Freaking ridiculous. What if I was allergic to pet dander like say the 8% of the population that is? One freaking percent of the population is allergic is peanuts and I can’t have those on the plane! And where do we draw the line? I have a friend who is a Flight Attendant for Virgin America.  She has told me that she has had Emotional Support Mini Ponies on the flights before.  If I can get a doctor’s note saying I need an emotional support Bengal Tiger on the plane or I’ll just lose my shit, could United say anything about that to me?

And what about just the common decency of not having a dog on the plane licking and crawling on the people next to you? Yes, the girl was extremely apologetic about it every time but it shouldn’t happen at all.

Lets all be honest about why the dog was on the plane.  To crate a dog for a flight costs between $200-$400.  To have a dog fly in the main cabin as an emotional support dog costs $0.  It’s a money saving device, pure and simple.  And, yes, before I get all the hate mail I will say that I am not a dog person.  I never had one growing up. However, I do enjoy the company of my girlfriend’s dog Maggie and my brother’s dog Holly.  So, its not like I hate all dogs.

So congrats to the people that have found another way to beat the system and I’m going to continue you to hate you for it.  Just be prepared for my Emotional Support Hawk…

RUNFORDMCFINAL

In his tenure as President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge has shown to be anything but afraid to make the big move. Late Sunday night “Trader” Danny released free agent pickup Jarvis Varnado and promising 2nd round prospect Kris Joseph in a decision that forced many to think that Ainge was freeing up roster spots for a possible multi-team transaction*. Shortly after came a report from Comcast Sportscast New England’s A. Sherrod Blakely that the Celtics were interested in acquiring the extremely talented yet often troubled, Demarcus Cousins of the Sacramento Kings. The following will show the Planet Fun’s thoughts on the likeliness of this occurring, and if it’s the right move for the Boston Celtics.

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The Narrative of Ray Allen to the Heat

By now, it is far from new news that Ray Allen has decided to ‘turn his back’ on the Boston Celtics to join the current NBA Champion Miami Heat. And while there is a great deal of outrage, there is a narrative in which his decision is defensible:

He returned from an injury to find his starting role occupied, and later was informed he’d been traded until complications prevented the Celtics from moving the 36 year old 3 Point King. Hurt, and feeling unwanted the ten time All-Star knew there was only one way to truly seek revenge on his disloyal employer – by joining it’s biggest* rival.

That particular narrative is both extremely oversimplified as well as shortsighted, but unfortunately, that’s the narrative Ray Allen chose to believe when he decided to team up with proffessional sports’ greatest traitor to feel wanted. A player who announced on national television, without regard to a city who worshiped and economically depended on him, and a Team President whose only loyalty is to his hair product. They’re the people Ray Allen turned to provide that loving touch.

It defies logic, but I’m afraid it’s logic that got us to this point.

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The NBA Lockout – A Letter of Anger

A month ago I opened up an article trying to explain the NBA lockout by saying:

“While the matter at hand is complicated, the reason for the lockout is simple: The owners are reporting that they are annually losing in excess of 300 million dollars.”

On Monday, upon news that the NBA Player’s Union has disbanded in an effort to be able to sue the National Basketball Association, I’m reminded that no matter this large can ever be simple.

In the aftermath, in the face of what is increasingly likely a lost season, one question keeps coming up: What side do you blame? My answer is easy:

Everyone. I’m mad at literally every single person involved in this entire process. 

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In Defense Of Kim

For three long days, or approximately 4% of the length of time Kim Kardashian & Kris Humphries were married, I’ve stood by idly watching the Kardashian hate-articles fly: The articles slamming Kim for a scham marriage, speaking ill of her for ‘faking a wedding’ for profit and publicity, and talking about how miserable of timing this is when you consider the hot button topics that this marriage flies in the face of (a 10 million dollar wedding in a recession, and a ‘scham wedding’ when gay marriage is being fought off by people claiming it goes against the ‘sanctity of marriage’).

Which is fine, and valid points if true. But I can’t help escape the feeling that these opinions are being written by the ill-informed.  In today’s world, we have increasingly gotten better at calling out ill-informed journalism. Villaifying the people who speak without really knowing the issues or the facts. Discrediting those who choose not to do their homework and speak freely based off of second-hand information.This applies to almost all fields; except the world of pop-culture.

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