College Blog
WEEI.com Blog Network
Happy 10-year anniversary to the ‘Fenway Pizza Throw’ 04.14.17 at 2:44 pm ET
By   |  Comments Off on Happy 10-year anniversary to the ‘Fenway Pizza Throw’

LISTEN TO JERRY REMY TALK ABOUT THE PIZZA THROW ON A BRADFO SHO PODCAST SHORT

There have been many great moments in Fenway Park history: Dave Roberts stealing second base, Carlton Fisk’s ‘shot heard ’round the world,’ numerous David Ortiz walk-offs. But perhaps nothing compares to April 16, 2007, when somebody threw a pizza.

The Red Sox were leading the Angels 7-1 during their annual Patriots’ Day matinee when J.D. Drew stepped up to the plate in the seventh inning. He popped a foul ball into the left field stands, and it ricocheted off the hands of a fan back onto the field. At first glance, the event appeared to be an ordinary occurrence. But replay showed it was anything but.

As it turns out, somebody hurled a slice of pizza at the fan who was trying to catch the foul ball. Jason Sole, the victim, was allegedly heckling the assailants, Matt Madore and Danny Kelly, for bringing an entire pie into the section. Madore told the Boston Herald his buddy tossed the pizza at Sole for retribution.

“Next thing I know, there’s a fly ball to left field and it goes foul and my buddy says, ‘You want some pizza now?’ And he hits him right in the face,” Madore said. “Hey, the guy wasn’t paying attention. When you’re in the stands you’ve got to be ready for anything—a foul ball, a flying slice of pizza, everything.”

Once NESN broadcasters Don Orsillo and Jerry Remy saw the footage, they couldn’t control themselves for the rest of the half-inning. Since the 10-year anniversary of the incident is coming up this weekend, this is the perfect time to re-watch the carnage. The glorious footage is below:

Read More: Fenway Park,
Documents show Eli Manning and Giants collaborated on scheme to sell fake game-used gear 04.13.17 at 5:56 pm ET
By   |  Comments Off on Documents show Eli Manning and Giants collaborated on scheme to sell fake game-used gear
Eli Manning was allegedly at the center of a memorabilia scam. (Jeff Hanisch/USA Today Sports)

Eli Manning was allegedly at the center of a memorabilia scam. (Jeff Hanisch/USA Today Sports)

Emails show Eli Manning was at the center of a scam to sell fake game-used gear.

According to documents obtained by the New York Post, Manning’s marketing agent, Alan Zucker, asked the Giants quarterback in April 2010 to send two game-used jerseys and helmets to the memorabilia dealer Steiner Sports, per a contractual agreement between the two sides. After Manning received the request, Giants equipment manager, Joe Skiba sent the two-time Super Bowl champion an email saying he would “try to get something down” for him.

Manning allegedly replied from his personal AOL account, saying “2 helmets that can pass as game used. That is it. Eli.”

Three memorabilia collectors are suing the Giants, Manning, Skiba, Steiner and Giants CEO John Mara for conspiring to sell the fraudulent items. The team previously failed to disclose the emails, even though it has a “no document destruction” policy.

A spokeswoman for the Giants denied the claims in a statement to the New York Daily News.

“The email, taken out of context, was shared with the media by an unscrupulous memorabilia dealer and his counsel who for years has been seeking to leverage a big payday,” Karen Kessler. “The email predates any litigation, and there was no legal obligation to store it on the Giants server.”

Author’s note: this post was updated to add the Giants statement. 

Read More: Eli Manning, New York Giants,
New York Times apparently just discovered Boston sports teams are good 04.13.17 at 4:33 pm ET
By   |  Comments Off on New York Times apparently just discovered Boston sports teams are good
Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski celebrated the Patriots' fifth Super Bowl title at Red Sox Opening Day this year. (Greg M. Cooper/USA Today Sports)

Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski celebrated the Patriots’ fifth Super Bowl title at Red Sox Opening Day this year. (Greg M. Cooper/USA Today Sports)

Stop me if you’ve heard this before: It’s a good time to be a Boston sports fan.

The New York Times published a trend story Thursday about the success of Boston sports teams in the 21st century. WEEI’s own Gerry Callahan dubbed the city “Loserville” in 1999, because the outlook appeared so bleak way back then. But just three years later, the Patriots hoisted their first of five Super Bowl championships. It started a run that continues today, in which the four major professional teams have won 10 titles in 15 years. Let’s allow the Paper of Record™ to take it away:

“In the 21st century, it has been all Boston,” writes Victor Mather. “The Patriots have five titles since 2000, the Red Sox three. The Celtics won it all in 2008 and the Bruins did so in 2011. Though the Revolution have not won the Major League Soccer playoffs, they have made the final five times in the century.”

The Red Sox’s 2004 World Series win, by the way, ended an 86-year drought. That story has been a little bit underplayed.

Over the last decade and a half, there have been numerous opportunities to pen articles about the good fortunes of Boston sports fans. But curiously, the events of Wednesday night were the genesis for the Times feature. The Bruins won an opening round playoff game against the Senators and the Celtics clinched the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference with a regular season victory over the Bucks. The Red Sox were also in action, but they lost to the Orioles.

While it was an enjoyable night of sports, there have been plenty of other days that better encompass the athletic dominance of Boston. The date Oct. 13, 2013 comes to mind. On that day, the Patriots defeated the Saints after Tom Brady threw a late game-winning touchdown pass to Kenbrell Thompson, and David Ortiz smacked a game-tying grand slam in Game 2 of the American League Championship Series against the Tigers. The Red Sox won the contest on a walk-off hit in the ninth.

The fact that Wednesday, which did feature two important wins from the hometown teams, seemed so routine is an embodiment of the success Boston teams have enjoyed recently. Maybe that’s the message the Times was trying to convey.

But given the piece is essentially a straight recap of the last 15 years, it doesn’t appear that’s the case. It seems like the Times just discovered Boston sports teams are good.

Read More: New York Times,
In chummy CNBC interview, Bill Belichick shows his fondness for celebrity 04.13.17 at 2:28 pm ET
By   |  Comments Off on In chummy CNBC interview, Bill Belichick shows his fondness for celebrity
Bill Belichick, pictured here with Bon Jovi, appears to enjoy his celebrity.  (Robert Deutsch/USA Today Sports)

Bill Belichick, pictured here with Bon Jovi, appears to enjoy his celebrity. (Robert Deutsch/USA Today Sports)

Bill Belichick may put on a dour demeanor during press conferences. But the truth is, he seems to relish his celebrity –– as long as the pesky Patriots media isn’t asking him questions about his football team.

In a lengthy sit-down interview with CNBC’s Suzy Welch, the wife of retired business executive Jack Welch, Belichick didn’t exhibit any of his gruff tendencies. He smiled, spoke in complete sentences and even laughed a couple of times. It was quite different from how he acts when a reporter asks him about the injury report. That’s for sure.

Take a look at the transcript of Belichick’s game of word association with Welch, for example. If a beat writer were to ask him about Deflategate or Aaron Hernandez, his answers would probably be a bit more curt:

Football: More sport than business. But it is a business. That I respect the game for the game and the sport.

The Media: It is how a team connects to its fans.

Winning: The goal. There’s no medals for trying. This isn’t like eighth grade where everybody gets a trophy. We are in a professional sport, and it is competitive to win. That’s what we do.

Deflategate: Ridiculous.

Aaron HernandezTragedy.

Perfect day: Nantucket.

Now, compare that to Belichick answering a question in a postgame press conference.

Few people use the media better than Belichick. More times than not, it doesn’t benefit him to answer questions about roster construction or coaching strategy, so he abstains. But on occasions in which he wants to get a message out there, such as Deflategate, he’s informative and transparent. Following a rocky press conference from Tom Brady shortly after the scandal broke –– he rambled on about how he prepares his “balls” –– Belichick shifted the narrative. He explained the Ideal Gas Law at a surprise presser two days later, absolving Brady from blame in the process.

Belichick, a known history buff, understands the importance of his legacy. It benefits his reputation to answer softball questions on CNBC or hobnob with Jimmy Fallon on “The Tonight Show.” He shows a different side of himself to a national audience, softening his image in the process.

But there’s likely another reason why Belichick opened up to Welch for an NBC feature in the middle of an Annapolis-based BBQ restaurant: it’s fun. Previewing an upcoming opponent in the bowels of Gillette Stadium to an assortment of grubby beat writers isn’t nearly as glamorous.

Belichick may have no use for the annual AFC coaches photo, but he’s willing to pose for pictures with Kid Rock at Tiger Woods’ restaurant in Florida. The typically brusque head coach also enjoys a longstanding bromance with Jon Bon Jovi. During the AFC championship game, Belichick even took some time to sing along to Bon Jovi’s “Livin’ on a Prayer,” while the rocker led a singalong from a luxury box.

“We’ve shared a lot of great moments together, including the 1990 Super Bowl [with the Giants] in Tampa, where he was in the locker room after the game still taking crazy pictures and stuff like that; great memories from there,” Belichick told ESPN afterwards. “It was great to have Jon here, and I always appreciate his great support. Yeah, it was quite a moment, one that you usually don’t see at a professional football game. It was special.”

The only person who Belichick speaks more glowingly about is President Donald Trump. On the night before the election, Trump read aloud a flowery endorsement letter from Belichick.

“You have dealt with an unbelievable slanted and negative media and have come out beautifully. You’ve proved to be the ultimate competitor and fighter,” it read. “Your leadership is amazing. I have always had tremendous respect for you, but the toughness and perseverance you have displayed over the past year is remarkable. Hopefully tomorrow’s election results will give the opportunity to Make America Great Again.”

Belichick, who’s a paying member at Trump’s luxury resort, Mar-a-Lago, appears to be the polar opposite of the president. He’s involved in every facet of the Patriots’ organization, even showing up at pro days across the country . Trump, meanwhile, once said he skips intelligence briefings because he’s, “like, a smart person.”

Then again, it’s apparent there are multiple layers to Belichick. Inside of Gillette Stadium, he’s a football cyborg. But once he leaves Foxborough, and heads to his $4.6 million estate in Nantucket, he morphs into a star-chaser.

Read More: Bill Belichick, New England Patriots,
Bill Belichick avoided testifying in Aaron Hernandez trial, partially because he was difficult to reach 04.13.17 at 10:38 am ET
By   |  Comments Off on Bill Belichick avoided testifying in Aaron Hernandez trial, partially because he was difficult to reach
Bill Belichick hasn't spoken extensively about Aaron Hernandez since 2013. (Mark J. Rebilas/USA Today Sports)

Bill Belichick hasn’t spoken extensively about Aaron Hernandez since 2013. (Mark J. Rebilas/USA Today Sports)

Bill Belichick was expected to testify at Aaron Hernandez’s double murder trial. But he was able to get around it.

As the jury entered its fifth day of deliberation Thursday, Suffolk Superior Court Judge Jeffrey Locke said Belichick’s attorney called to see if his client was in trouble for failing to appear at the witness stand. Hernandez’s attorney, Jose Baez, said his team subpoenaed Belichick towards the end of the trial, but ultimately decided to forego his testimony. Baez said they didn’t think it was “critical” to hear from the coach.

Hernandez’s team tried to reach Belichick earlier in the proceedings, but Baez said it was difficult to get in touch with the seven-time Super Bowl champion.

“The reason for the delay on that part was the community where he lived. Our process server was not able to get him numerous times,” Baez said, via TMZ.

No member of the Patriots organization testified during this case. Owner Robert Kraft was called as a witness during the Odin Lloyd murder trial.

Read More: Aaron Hernandez, Bill Belichick,
Boston Globe columnist chastises Donald Trump supporters for their poor grammar 04.12.17 at 4:42 pm ET
By   |  Comments Off on Boston Globe columnist chastises Donald Trump supporters for their poor grammar
Despite a series of missteps, Donald Trump's ardent supporters remain loyal to him. (Alton Strupp/Courier-Journal via USA Today Network)

Despite a series of missteps, Donald Trump’s ardent supporters remain loyal to him. (Alton Strupp/Courier-Journal via USA Today Network)

Northeastern liberals are often accused of being an elitist bunch. A Boston Globe columnist deciding to chastise others, and Donald Trump supporters in particular, for their poor grammar only feeds into the stereotype.

Globe columnist Scot Lehigh published a piece Wednesday titled, “Just say what you mean, and say it right.” In it, he expresses his reverence for a British man named the “Grammar Vigilante,” who walks around Bristol at night and changes grammatically incorrect street signs. After three paragraphs, Lehigh shifts his focus to those in the U.S. who regularly violate grammar rules, beginning with the Trumpkins:

“First up: a frequent mistake by those ardent acolytes of King Donald the First. Given the passion of their self-styled patriotism, I know it’s unrealistic to expect them to put grammar first,” he writes. “Still, in the interests of insult efficacy, a remedial reminder may be in order.

“Many of the e-mails they send me start this way: ‘Your an idiot. Or: ‘Your a moron.’ Those are withering put-downs indeed. Still, the otherwise sharp and piercing point of an e-mail arrowhead is dulled a little if its author has been confounded by the ever-so-vexing your/you’re distinction.”

As somebody who also receives a lot of nasty notes from Trump voters –– an emailer this week called me a “teenage punk libtard,” which has a nice ring to it –– I understand Lehigh’s point. It’s difficult to take criticism seriously when it comes from somebody who appears incapable of passing the third grade. But it’s important to note that folks on both sides of the aisle commit whopping grammatical errors. While Trump tweets lies about President Barack Obama ordering the authorities to “tapp” his phones, comedian Chelsea Handler makes fun of his family’s “jeans.” There’s plenty of stupidity to go around.

Lehigh doesn’t limit his scorn to Trump supporters, by the way. He also admonishes waiters who call his meal selection “excellent” and say “no problem” when he asks for grated cheese. When you’re serving Scott Lehigh, apparently it’s best to keep the compliments and pleasantries to yourself.

As valid as Lehigh’s arguments may be, there’s no way to write about grammar usage without sounding like a snobby dweeb. Articles like these guarantee he’ll continue to be slammed with poorly written hate mail. In fact, it seems as if he’s asking for it.

Read More: Boston Globe, Donald Trump,
MLB commissioner Rob Manfred reportedly pressuring Indians to eliminate Chief Wahoo logo 04.12.17 at 2:14 pm ET
By   |  Comments Off on MLB commissioner Rob Manfred reportedly pressuring Indians to eliminate Chief Wahoo logo
Chief Wahoo may not be around for much longer.  (Mark J. Rebilas/USA Today Sports)

Chief Wahoo may not be around for much longer. (Mark J. Rebilas/USA Today Sports)

The years-long battle over the Indians’ Chief Wahoo logo may be nearing its conclusion.

The New York Times reports MLB commissioner Rob Manfred is pressuring the organization to eliminate the logo, which Native American groups say is offensive. In a statement to the Times, MLB acknowledged discussions are underway.

“We have specific steps in an identified process and are making progress,’’ a spokesman said. “We are confident that a positive resolution will be reached that will be good for the game and the club.’’

Controversy over the logo came to the forefront during last year’s American League Championship Series, when an indigenous Canadian citizen filed for an injunction to prohibit the Indians from using the symbol in Toronto. The Indians opposed the injunction, along with MLB, and it wasn’t granted.

Many activists and scholars have spoken out about the red-faced caricature over the years. But unlike the Redskins, who have taken more combative stance against critics of their mascot, the Indians have demonstrated a willingness to engage. Former president of baseball operations Mark Shapiro, who’s now the CEO of the Blue Jays, said last October the symbol “personally bothered” him. Under Shapiro’s leadership, the Indians deemphasized Chief Wahoo and featured the “Block C” logo more prominently. But it hasn’t disappeared entirely. On Opening Day this season, Chief Wahoo was embroidered on the left sleeve of the blue jerseys Indians players were leaving.

There’s no recent data that shows how Native Americans feel about Chief Wahoo. Last year, a Washington Post poll found nine in 10 Native Americans aren’t offended by the Redskins name.

Read More: Cleveland Indians,
Golf announcer is facing heat for saying Sergio Garcia’s fiancée was wearing ‘shortest skirt’ at the Masters 04.11.17 at 4:06 pm ET
By   |  Comments Off on Golf announcer is facing heat for saying Sergio Garcia’s fiancée was wearing ‘shortest skirt’ at the Masters
Sergio Garcia and Angela Akins announced their engagement in January. (Michael Madrid/USA Today Sports)

Sergio Garcia and Angela Akins announced their engagement in January. (Michael Madrid/USA Today Sports)

Sergio Garcia’s fiancée garnered a lot of attention during the Masters Sunday. But one commentator is getting criticized for going too far.

BBC color analyst Peter Alliss was caught on a “hot mic” making a crude remark about Angela Akins’ outfit. After Garcia sunk the winning putt in his playoff round against Justin Rose, the camera panned to Akins, who was celebrating in the gallery. Alliss, 86, pointed out the length of her skirt.

“She’s got the shortest skirt on campus,” he said.

The BBC released a statement apologizing for the quip.

“Whilst believing he was off air Peter made a lighthearted remark which he now knows was inappropriate,” a network spokesman said.

This is the second time in three years Alliss has come under fire for comments he’s made about women on the air. In 2015, during Zack Johnson’s Open Championship win at St. Andrews, he said the golfer’s wife was probably thinking she would “get a new kitchen” if he won the tournament.

Read More: Sergio Garcia, The Masters,
United will win in the long-run, because greedy corporations almost always prevail over the people 04.11.17 at 12:39 pm ET
By   |  Comments Off on United will win in the long-run, because greedy corporations almost always prevail over the people
United Airlines will almost certainly weather this PR storm. (Bob Stanton/USA Today Sports)

United Airlines will almost certainly weather this PR storm. (Bob Stanton/USA Today Sports)

United is getting crucified for forcibly removing a man from an overbooked plane, but it will win in the long-run. Desperate travelers have few airline options to choose from and people have short attention spans. In fact, with recent revelations about the passenger’s troubled past, the news cycle is already beginning to move on. Now, it’s victim blaming time.

The three institutions at fault, United, the Chicago Police Department and Chicago Department of Aviation, handled the fallout poorly. In an email to employees, United CEO Oscar Munoz said the man who was dragged out of the airplane, and bloodied in the process, was “disruptive” and “belligerent.” He praised his staff for following protocol.

The public statement from Munoz, who was named “communicator of the year” by PRWeek last month, isn’t much better. He said the airline apologizes for having to “re-accommodate” the four paying customers it ejected from the Chicago-based flight. They were kicked off the plane, because United sold too many tickets and needed to make room for additional crew members who were also traveling from Chicago to Louisville, Ky. After nobody willingly rescheduled their flight in exchange for a voucher, the airline randomly selected patrons to forfeit their seats.

The word “re-accomodate” personifies the soulless corporate speak that executives use instead of phrases with actual meaning. They lie to their customers, because they know they won’t be held accountable. As evidenced by Munoz’s “communicator of the year” honor, this kind of behavior is rewarded within the industry.

The statement from the Chicago Police is equally callous. In it, the department says the 69-year-old passenger, Dr. David Dao, “fell” before he was carried out. Video, however, shows Dao getting slammed into an armrest before he’s dragged across the floor. The Chicago Department of Aviation placed the guilty officer on leave, but declined to identify him. No word on whether he’s being charged for assault or another crime.

Read the rest of this entry »

Caitlyn Jenner reveals she’s had sex reassignment surgery 04.11.17 at 9:47 am ET
By   |  Comments Off on Caitlyn Jenner reveals she’s had sex reassignment surgery
Caitlyn Jenner reveals in her new memoir she's undergone sex reassignment surgery. (Crystal Chatham/The Desert Sun via USA Today Network)

Caitlyn Jenner reveals in her new memoir she’s undergone sex reassignment surgery. (Crystal Chatham/The Desert Sun via USA Today Network)

Two years ago, Caitlyn Jenner revealed she was a transgender woman during a sit-down interview with Diane Sawyer. Now, in a new memoir, she says she’s recently undergone sex reassignment surgery to complete the transition.

Radar Online published excerpts Monday of Jenner’s book, “The Secrets Of My Life,” which will be released April 25. In it, the two-time Olympic gold medalist says she went through with the operation in January.

“The surgery was a success, and I feel not only wonderful but liberated,” she writes. “I am telling you because I believe in candor. So all of you can stop staring. You want to know, so now you know. Which is why this is the first time, and the last time, I will ever speak of it.”

Jenner, 67, underwent facial feminization surgery in March 2015. She explains the gender reconstruction procedure was the next step.

“So why even consider it? Because it’s just a penis. It has no special gifts or use for me other tan what I have said before, the ability to take a whiz in the woods,” Jenner writes in the book. “I just want to have all the right parts. I am also tired of tucking the damn thing in all the time.”

After coming out as transgender, Jenner starred in an eight-part reality series, “I am Cait.” It tied for best Outstanding Reality Program at the GLAAD Awards in 2016.

Read More: Caitlyn Jenner,