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Is ‘Fences’ a sports movie? 02.24.17 at 11:42 am ET
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In this month’s issue of Sports Illustrated, “Fencesis included in the Extra Mustard about sports movies at the Oscars. Of the nominees for Best Picture this year, SI writes it is “the closest any come to sports,” but should it be considered a sports movie?

Baseball is a defining element in Troy Maxson’s life and he talks about it A LOT, but the story is about moving on from sports and how to live without them. Troy is no longer an athlete and he has to get over it and stop speaking entirely in baseball metaphors.

This is not a sports movie. It is actually an anti-sports movie.

And it’s not even a movie. It’s a play. This movie has the exact stage direction and script as the play and you might as well just go see the live production except the cast is excellent in this film. But the whole time I felt like I was watching the play.

While Troy’s life is defined by baseball and his son plays football, this should not be categorized as a “sports movie” because no one actually plays sports in the movie/play. There is a Hit-Away type set up in the backyard that is used a couple times, Troy and his son Lyons get into a physical fight and Lyons shows up in a football uniform at the end but that’s the extent of the visual athletics in this movie.

The story is about Troy’s life with his family after baseball, not his life as a baseball player.

And the fences in the movie are not sports related, they are picket fences. I’ve read the play a million times and I know there are many metaphorical fences here to keep some people out and everything you love in and this includes fences surrounding baseball fields. But we don’t see those in this movie. The sports elements have to be visual to add to the case for sports movie. Building a fence around your house while talking about not striking out in life doesn’t count.

The true measure for me is the Netflix Test. Go to Netflix and click on Sports Movies. Look at the movies. Would you put “Fences” in with these movies? I would not. These movies are either about athletes actually playing sports or about the characters’ lives improving through playing sports. Baseball did not improve Troy’s life at all and he doesn’t live his life according to his baseball values. And he talks to his sons about the lessons of sports but then doesn’t allow Lyons to go to college on a football scholarship, killing his dream of playing sports. Anti-sports movie.

(The Netflix Test can be misleading though because “Lilo and Stitch” is listed in Sports Movies, but they surf in that movie so even that makes it more of a sports movie than Fences).

If Fences wins Best Picture at the Oscars on Sunday, it will not be a win for a sports movie. Sports movies are “Million Dollar Baby,” “Rocky,” “The Natural,” “Happy Gilmore.”

I would put this in Dramas on Netflix.

Friday’s Morning Mashup: Caitlyn Jenner calls Donald Trump’s transgender bathroom policy a ‘disaster'; Charles Oakley attends Knicks-Cavaliers game 02.24.17 at 9:27 am ET
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Good morning, here is your Friday Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories and scores from our news wire.

FRIDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS: 

MLB: Exhibition: NY Mets at Boston, 1:05 p.m. (WEEI-AM 850)
MLB: Exhibition: Philadelphia at NY Yankees, 1 p.m. (MLB)
NBA: Boston at Toronto, 8 p.m. (CSN)
NBA: San Antonio at LA Clippers, 10:30 p.m. (ESPN)
NHL: Edmonton at Washington, 7 p.m. (NHL)
College Hockey: Notre Dame at Boston University, 6 p.m. (NESN)
College Hockey: UMass-Lowell at Boston College, 8:30 p.m. (NESN)
College basketball: Central Michigan at Toledo, 6 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Oakland at Green Bay, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Siena at Monmouth, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Akron at Buffalo, 8 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Dayton at Davidson, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball:Manhattan at Iona, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Oregon State at California, 10 p.m. (FS1)

AROUND THE WEB: 

— Caitlyn Jenner spoke out against Donald Trump’s transgender bathroom rollback Thursday night, tweeting a video response in which she calls the policy “a disaster.”

She begins by addressing the transgender people in this country, to whom she said, “You’re winning.”

“I know it doesn’t feel like it today or every day, but you’re winning,” she said. “Very soon we will win full freedom nationwide and it’s going to be with bipartisan support.”

She also spoke to bullies of transgender people, calling them “sick.”

“Apparently, even becoming the attorney general isn’t enough to cure some people of their insecurities,” she said as a jab at United States attorney general Jeff Sessions.

Jenner concluded the video with a strong message to Trump: “From one Republican to another, this is a disaster. And you can still fix it. You made a promise to protect the LGBTQ community. Call me.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Enough About Me with Kirk Minihane podcast power rankings 02.23.17 at 3:21 pm ET
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It has now been just over a year since the Enough About Me podcast debut and its popularity is through the roof. Its host, Kirk Minihane, is as fearless in his approach with these interviews as he is on the radio, and is masterful at drawing great material out of his guests.

All of the episodes are worth listening to, but here are the top 10.

1. Episode 50: Michael Holley

In the deepest and longest podcast yet, Kirk and Michael talk about their kids, Michael’s father, religion and some great inside radio stuff. As Donald Trump was being sworn in as president, Michael opened up about his dad’s absence in his life and Kirk even got into some of his own personal issues.

And yes, Alice Walker did have a thing with Tracy Chapman.

Highlights: Kirk: “Well, maybe your father was lucky enough not to hear the Salk & Holley Show.”

Gerry Callahan once called Holley the “Drew Peterson of talk show hosts.”

2. Episode 53: Glenn Ordway Part 2

Gossip porn for inside radio lovers. In this long-awaited podcast, Kirk and Glenn start off talking about Johnny Most but then get into it about ‘The Incident” between Kirk and Christian Fauria and the events leading up to it. They disagree about the facts of what went down and basically recreate their phone conversation from the night after it happened.

Glenn also talks about what he thinks of the merger with CBS Radio and the current state of WEEI.

Highlights: Glenn: “I like working with ex-jocks because you can play with them a little bit.”

Kirk sincerely compliments John Dennis.

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New ‘West Mass’ tourism promo is must-see, but must be stopped 02.23.17 at 9:57 am ET
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Boston Globe Some residents in the Pioneer Valley have taken umbrage with a new rebranding effort that strips the three-county region of its longtime moniker in favor of an ostensibly hipper alternative — “West Mass.”

A petition on Change.org titled, “Stop ‘West Mass’ and Keep The Pioneer Valley!” contends that there’s no benefit to renaming the area, which includes Hampden, Hampshire, and Franklin counties.

“West Mass is awkward on the tongue,”one person wrote on the petition, which has been signed by 165 supporters. “Pioneer Valley is a name that reminds tourists and citizens just how historic the area is. Don’t waste your money or time.”

The Greater Springfield Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Economic Development Council of Western Massachusetts teamed up last year to hire a creative agency from Oklahoma to come up with a new name, part of a broader marketing campaign to attract new visitors, residents, and businesses to the area.

This is the worst tourism campaign video I’ve ever seen in my life.

It stars Michael Jordan, auto-tune, touts the area’s “fertility” and tells people to “develop and visit!” and “find your first” there.

Find your first what??????

Holy moly is this a mess. Calling the area “West Mass” is the least of the Pioneer Valley people’s problems.

It’s like a mix of public access television and the Yankee Doodle song in the Always Sunny in Philadelphia beauty pageant.

With this as your inspiration, how can you go wrong?

Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Rick Pitino goes insane on UNC fan; Aaron Hernandez lawyers reportedly look to use pot defense 02.23.17 at 8:40 am ET
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Good morning, here is your Thursday Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories and scores from our news wire.

THURSDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS: 
NHL: Washington at Philadelphia, 8 p.m. (NBCSN)
NHL: Boston at Anaheim, 10:30 p.m. (NESN)
College basketball: Michigan at Rutgers, 6:30 p.m. (Big Ten Network)
College basketball: DePaul at Georgetown, 7 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Duke at Syracuse, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Pittsburgh at Wake Forest, 7 p.m. (NESN)
College basketball: TCU at Kansas, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: UCF at Temple, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Xavier at Seton Hall, 7 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: Minnesota at Maryland, 8:30 p.m. (Big Ten Network)
College basketball: Butler at Villanova, 9 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: Louisville at North Carolina, 9 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Oklahoma State at Kansas State, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Oregon at California, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: UConn at Houston, 9 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Fresno State at San Diego State, 11 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Oregon State at Stanford, 11 p.m. (ESPNU)

AROUND THE WEB:

— Louisville coach Rick Pitino had a heated exchange with a UNC fan during halftime of North Carolina’s 74-63 win over his team Wednesday night.

As Pitino walked to the locker room tunnel, a fan reportedly yelled “Pitino, you suck!” at him.

He “got in my face and said something I didn’t like,” Pitino said afterward.

Pitino had to be restrained by his coaching staff and the fan was ejected.

“I take it from the students all the time; you expect it from the students. But from an adult? And then to turn his back on me like he’s a coward?” Pitino said. “And he is a coward, but North Carolina is a classy place and he doesn’t speak for the rest of the people.”

“I’ve always said this is the classiest place in college basketball, until I met a fan on the way out,” Pitino then said. “It always reminded me of a class place, but they’re getting just like some of the other places now.”

North Carolina coach Roy Williams apologized to Pitino after the game.

“I don’t like that. We’re North Carolina. We don’t have to be like everybody else,” Williams said. “You can raise Cain, you can boo, but you don’t have to say stuff that we as coaches have to put up with on the road. I hope that never happens again at North Carolina.”

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Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Tom Brady, Gisele Bundchen to co-chair 2017 Met Gala; Sammy Sosa denies PED use, compares himself to Jesus 02.22.17 at 9:01 am ET
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Good morning, here is your Wednesday Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories and scores from our news wire.

WEDNESDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS: 
NHL: Washington at Philadelphia, 8 p.m. (NBCSN)
NHL: Boston at Anaheim, 10:30 p.m. (NESN)
College basketball: Michigan at Rutgers, 6:30 p.m. (Big Ten Network)
College basketball: DePaul at Georgetown, 7 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Duke at Syracuse, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Pittsburgh at Wake Forest, 7 p.m. (NESN)
College basketball: TCU at Kansas, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: UCF at Temple, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Xavier at Seton Hall, 7 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: Minnesota at Maryland, 8:30 p.m. (Big Ten Network)
College basketball: Butler at Villanova, 9 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: Louisville at North Carolina, 9 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Oklahoma St. at Kansas State, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Oregon at California, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: UConn at Houston, 9 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Fresno St. at San Diego State, 11 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Oregon State at Stanford, 11 p.m. (ESPNU)

AROUND THE WEB: 

— It was announced on Tuesday Tom Brady and his wife Gisele Bündchen will serve as co-chairs for the 2017 Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Met Gala on May 1.

The power couple will join Katy Perry, Pharrell Williams and Anna Wintour as chairs of the annual event.

Brady and Gisele are no strangers to the Met Gala and have made many memorable appearances on the red carpet there.

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Tuesday’s Morning Mashup: Brad Bates, BC athletic director, won’t return next year; DeMarcus Cousins says goodbye to Sacramento 02.21.17 at 9:42 am ET
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Good morning, here is your Tuesday Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories and scores from our news wire.

TUESDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NHL: Chicago at Minnesota, 8 p.m. (NBCSN)
College basketball: Purdue at Penn State, 6 p.m. (Big Ten Network)
College basketball: URI at La Salle, 6 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Clemson at Virginia Tech, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Oklahoma at Baylor, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: South Carolina at Florida, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Davidson at Richmond, 8 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Northwestern at Illinois, 8 p.m. (Big Ten Network)
College basketball: St. John’s at Marquette, 8 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: East Carolina at Tulane, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Indiana at Iowa, 9 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Mississippi at Mississippi State, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Colorado State at New Mexico, 10 p.m. (CBSSN)

AROUND THE WEB:

— Boston College athletic director Brad Bates announced on Monday he won’t return to the school after  his contract is up at the end of the school year. He plans to join Collegiate Sports Associates, an executive search and consulting firm in North Carolina as the vice president.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Boston College and am especially grateful for the opportunity to serve the University,” Bates said in a statement. “I will forever be an Eagle and a fan of our student-athletes, coaches, and staff, and will cherish the great relationships that I have made here.”

Both the Boston College basketball and football teams saw some of their worst seasons in history during his tenure. In the 2015-2016 season, neither team won an ACC game for the first time in over 70 years.

However, other BC teams found success under his leadership. The men’s soccer team reached the Elite Eight in 2015, the women’s hockey team made it to the national championship game in 2016, baseball got to the Super Regional in 2016 and men’s hockey reached the Frozen Four in 2014 and 2016.

“The Jesuit, Catholic education offered at BC is distinctive in higher education and epitomizes the very best of college athletics,” the statement also read. “I feel privileged to be a part of this community.”

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Monday’s Morning Mashup: Anthony Davis breaks NBA All-Star Game scoring record with 52 points, comments on DeMarcus Cousins trade 02.20.17 at 8:44 am ET
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Good morning, here is your Monday Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories and scores from our news wire.

MONDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NHL: Florida at St. Louis, 8 p.m. (NHL Network)
College basketball: Boston College at Florida State, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Miami at Virginia, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Iowa State at Texas Tech, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Texas at West Virginia, 9 p.m. (ESPN)
Women’s college basketball: Maryland at Ohio State, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
Women’s college basketball: Baylor at Texas, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)

AROUND THE WEB:

— Pelicans forward Anthony Davis broke Wilt Chamberlain’s NBA All-Star Game scoring record Sunday night with a whopping 52 points. Most of these points came from dunks.

Davis was named the All-Star Game MVP.

The West prevailed 192-182 in the game against the East.

Davis also commented on the Pelicans’ acquisition of DeMarcus Cousins from the Kings Sunday night.

“This is an unbelievable weekend,” Davis said. “All-Star MVP and now getting Boogie. It doesn’t get better than this.”

Here is the video of the moment DeMarcus Cousins found out he was traded to Pelicans on Sunday:

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Potential Aaron Hernandez juror thinks trial is for Deflategate, gets dismissed 02.17.17 at 5:48 pm ET
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Boston Globe— Three jurors were seated Friday morning in the upcoming double murder trial of Aaron Hernandez, while one woman who mistakenly linked the former New England Patriots star to the Deflategate scandal was excused from serving.

That woman, identified as Juror 13, told Suffolk Superior Court Judge Jeffrey Locke that she knew little about the Hernandez case, except for a brief conversation she overheard among co-workers about a year ago.

She said she thought they had mentioned Hernandez’s name in connection with Deflategate, prompting laughter from Hernandez and his lawyers, who were seated near her at a conference table.

“Deflategate has nothing to do with this case at all,” Locke said.

The woman said she understood but said of her co-workers, “That’s what they were talking about.”

Two other women and a man were selected for the jury during the morning session of voir dire in Suffolk Superior Court.

First, there was the guy earlier this week who pulled a Liz Lemon and wore a Patriots hat to jury selection. I believe he did this because to get out of serving because he had to have known wearing that would disqualify him.

If he thought the opposite and wanted to be involved in the trial of a former Patriot, he doesn’t have a clue how this process works.

And now, there is this lady who thinks Hernandez is on trial for Deflategate. That saga was handled with the severity of a murder trial so I don’t blame her.

George Steele had weirdest pre-first pitch ritual of all-time 02.17.17 at 1:57 pm ET
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George “The Animal” Steele with his unique first pitch preparations.

A post shared by Red Sox (@redsox) on

WWE legend George “The Animal” Steele died on Friday at 79. He threw out a few ceremonial first pitches in his time and had a very unique habit of chewing the baseball and biting off the hide before his pitch.

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