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Brian Sullivan

Brian Sullivan

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Thursday, 01 November 2012 10:17

So long, mystique

It's 11 years ago. A young Tom Brady is in his first few games leading the New England Patriots as their starting quarterback. The games are constantly close, the offense is just good enough to get by, but the defense is the real strength of the team. They lead the squad all the way through to a victory over the St. Louis 'Best Show on Turf' Rams in Super Bowl XXXVI.

For the next few years this would be a continuing trend. The offense slowly got better and the defense slightly regressed, but still good enough to win games. To win BIG games. Two more Super Bowls. Then something happened. When the going got tough, the Pats got going back to the team bus, because they just lost a close game. Acting like 12-year-olds watching 'The Exorcist' for the first time and needing a change of shorts when it was all said and done.

Wednesday, 03 October 2012 16:34

Rotten tomatoes

Historically, the beginning of October marks the start of great things to come. Think about it: Columbus Day weekend (a day off with zero responsibilities!), leaves starting to turn, Halloween, Thanksgiving fun things on the horizon.

In sports it's a time where you are overwhelmed with options. NFL and NCAA football go full tilt, the MLB regular season comes to an end and playoffs begin - but this year, for me the options are limited, and there is no one to blame but the Boston Red Sox. Playoffs? Not this year - not by a long shot.

Wednesday, 05 September 2012 13:21

Fantasy in the basement

It's probably the best day of the year. Better than Christmas, New Year's Eve and even your birthday. It's the live and in-person fantasy football draft. This year we expand from 10 players to 12. The stakes are a little higher, but that's how we like it! Here's how it all went down

The draft was set to start at 10 a.m. Sunday morning; a little early for my taste, but what can you do I'm not the commissioner. We picked the draft order out of a hat, and I had the fifth overall selection in a snaking draft. Number one overall selection: Ray Rice. With number five I was at a loss as to what to do. I went Megatron: Calvin Johnson - can't go wrong, right? If you don't get Rice, Arian Foster or LeSean McCoy then it's kind of up in the air.

Tuesday, 03 July 2012 13:59

Red Sox ascendant

Maybe it's all the Vitamin D I've soaked up from playing in a few golf tournaments this weekend, but I am filled with optimism. I don't think it's the sun, I think it's the Boston Red Sox slowly but surely climbing in the standings of the American League East. Don't look now, but the Sox are in third place! The pain of injuries that were like a swift kick to the groin back in April and May is subsiding and Boston is getting healthy. Look out Major League Baseball - here they come.

David Ortiz continues to drink from the fountain of youth like my friend Jimmy at an open bar wedding. He's been swinging the bat like Thor would a hammer. Sitting on 399 career HRs, my hope is that he can wait to hit fateful number 400 at Fenway Park. Honestly, if someone would have said to you that Big Papi would have 20+ dingers at the All-Star break you would likely have offered them some water and said 'sober up.' But here he is, the team's club house leader and easily the best Designated Hitter in baseball. We can talk about legitimate MVP candidacy at a later date.

Wednesday, 06 June 2012 13:17

Sports something something

I am no fool. I am a believer. I love the Boston Celtics. All of those things have been keeping me up nights for the past few weeks, watching what will likely be the last run for the Celtics as we currently know them. Not being a fool yet still being a believer are things that contrast quite frequently. Here's why.

I love a good conspiracy theory. I am constantly thinking I could possibly be a part of one, a la 'The Truman Show' (not much proof to back that one upyet). JFK assassination? Go rent Oliver Stone's movie and watch the last 45 minutes while Kevin Costner breaks it all down in court. If you didn't believe, you will. Did aliens land in Roswell back in 1947? Absolutely. Do they live among us? Um, no. Is Bigfoot real? No. Is 'Harry and the Hendersons' still a great movie? Yes.  Like I said, I'm no fool. Here's the rub: The NBA is trying to pull the wool over your eyes. Don't let them.

Watching the Celtics from 2007-2008 on has been wonderful. The Cs have been a fixture late in the playoffs ever since the big three was assembled. It has made the start of summer extra special for half a decade, but sadly they don't have a chance to win it all this year. Because the NBA doesn't want them to win. There it is: The NBA is a fake.

I'm not saying that the players are doing anything dastardly like shaving points to affect the outcome of gamesbut the officials, now, that's a different story. I'm not even going to mention Tim Donaghy and the fact he was betting on games - oh wait, I just did. I'm talking about the refs in this year's playoffs. Are they doing a horrible job of calling the Heat and Celtics Eastern Conference Finals? Yes. Are they doing it because they are bad referees? No. They are doing it because the NBA officials are telling them to! Am I crazy? I would say no, you may say otherwise. That's your right. But I'm telling you it's a conspiracy.

Paul Pierce fouls out of two consecutive games. Lebron James shoots 24 foul shots one game, the same game the Celtics shoot 29. Rajon Rondo gets decapitated in overtime of Game 2; no call. The league wants the Heat in the finals. They want the Heat against the Thunder. They want to crown a new champion; they are tired of old stars winning titles. The Spurs and Celtics? That's not sexy. Been there done that, says the NBA. There is a new crop of marquee names that the league wants to push, to sell tickets and jerseys. Carmelo Anthony, Kevin Durant, Derrick Rose, Lebron just to name a few. None of them are champions, but the league desperately wants that to change. Why didn't they allow Chris Paul to go to the Lakers? I'll tell you why. The Lakers are getting old. They don't have many more runs in them. Conspiracy.

Let's go back through the last few champions. Starting in 1999 it goes Spurs, Lakers, Lakers, Lakers, Spurs, Pistons, Heat, Spurs, Celtics, Lakers, Lakers and Mavericks. The Spurs and Lakers weren't old when they started winning, but they are now. Shaq was the reason for the first three, Kobe the last two. Shaq was also the reason Miami won in 2006, with a lot of help from Dwyane Wade. Look at that list: all old teams. Last year the Mavericks had the oldest roster in the league. The NBA caters to younger fans; they want kids watching these games. They want to put a hip product out there. They don't want to see the Celtics and Spurs walking it up the court like your dad on open gym on a Sunday afternoon. They want Lebron fast breaking with D-Wade and Kevin Durant making it rain from down town. Not Ray Allen rubbing icy hot all over himself pre- and post-game.

I want the Celtics to win. I will watch and cheer. I can honestly say that I think they are the better team. Too bad they don't have a chance. The series may go seven, because that makes the NBA more money, but Boston won't be raising another banner. Big Brother is watching and won't allow it to happen.

Wednesday, 02 May 2012 15:45

Life is good

The weather is starting to make a turn for the better, golf courses all across the state are drying out, women everywhere are starting to tuck away those long johns and sweaters and knock the dust off those summer dresses - life is good.

The NFL draft concluded on Sunday, and the New England Patriots did the unthinkable - they traded up not once but twice! The Pats moved to grab defensive end Chandler Jones out of Syracuse and linebacker Dont'a Hightower. Great moves. A team coming off an appearance in the Super Bowl isn't going to have a ton of holes to fill, so instead of trading back and stock piling picks, like the Pats tend to do, they move up and fill the few holes they had on a defense, that, let's be honest, could use some improvements. That's not the end of the good news concerning the draft. How about those Maine Black Bears!

Wednesday, 04 April 2012 13:17

Baseball is back

Forget about those two Seattle and Oakland games that were played in Japan at 6 a.m. our time and replayed on tape delay three hours later this week. (Side note: Is there anything in the entire world of televised sport that's lamer than tape delay? I would say no.) Baseball season is back, and with it comes a lot of change. Change for the better.

First off it means the winter is over, spring is here and soon after comes summer. I'll talk about the Red Sox a little bit, but the fact that the games are back changes the way you live your life. I don't mean that as an extremely deep thought, because it isn't. For roughly 160 (accounting for the occasional rain out or double header) of the next 200 days, you have entertainment. Whether you watch the game from inning one to inning nine, check in on it for a few pitches to see the score, listen to it on the radio, or just have it on in the background while you do other things, the Sox are back. There is also the annual Fenway trip many like to make. Ask people and they'll say, 'I try to get down once a year.' Then of course you get there and the seats are uncomfortable and you spent 500 bucks on the day, but hey, it's Fenway. Had to make the annual visit.

Wednesday, 02 November 2011 13:45

Are the Patriots for real?

Offense wins games; defense wins championships. It's a saying as old as the game of football itself and if it holds true, the New England Patriots don't have a chance this season.

On this Sunday evening as I sit writing this article, I have just watched the Pittsburgh Steelers walk all over the Pats Defense en route to a 23-17 victory.

Sidebar: I'm also watching '60 Minutes' and I feel no sympathy for the Madoff clan. There is no way you were out of the loop and didn't know what was going on - I don't feel bad for you.

Wednesday, 03 August 2011 05:38

The Sports Edge - The Patriot Way

In Bill Belichick we trust. This has been our saying for a long time, and now with the addition of Albert Haynesworth and Chad Ochocinco in the same day, our trust in the "hooded wonder" is going to be tested.

It's worked before, but the question is whether the big man has bitten off more than he can chew. And on Shark Week no less!

First, however, let's go back in time. It's been more than a decade now that Pats fans have had their faith in Bill. It started in 2001 when he stuck with Tom Brady over a healthy Drew Bledsoe who was ready to return. The result: a Super Bowl victory.

Wednesday, 05 October 2011 10:11

My fantasy weekend

Before you get worried by this title, I assure you it has nothing to do with myself, a desert island and Scarlet Johansson. Have you seen those pictures of her that recently showed up on the Internet? Holy Toledo!

No, this fantasy weekend was all about baseball. I attended the Maine Baseball Fantasy Camp from Friday to Sunday and as I sit here watching football man am I sore.

If you aren't familiar with a Fantasy Camp, here's the deal: Grown men come together, get out the old glove and cleats, throw on a uniform and play some ball. In my case, I hadn't worn my baseball cleats in nine years! They took some breaking in.

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