"Hell may have no fury like a woman scorned but heaven hath no sweetness like a sports fan vindicated." - Samcat

Monday, April 05, 2010

Movin' on up

Hey guys. It's me. Remember me? Anyway, I promised I'd be back up for Opening Day and there I am, over at my new Wordpress account at:


Eventually - like in a month or so - I'll set it up (or rather HJ will because he's the fancy techy one), so that Basegirl on Blogger automatically redirects to the new site. But for the time being, I'll leave it to you to update your links and what not. You're smart people, I know you can do it.

So come join me at the new home, won't you? And pardon the look of the place until I get a handle on things. In my brain, it's still 1998, internet-wise, so it may take a few weeks to get things looking pretty over there.

As always, thanks for reading. You guys are the best readers a girl could ask for. Oh, and Go Sox!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Under Construction

Please forgive the lack of posts around here lately. I haven't gone anywhere, promise. I'm in the process of migrating this blog over to a Wordpress format and there are plenty of formatting issues I still need to work out.

But never fear, I will return shortly. I hope to have everything up and running on the new URL by Opening Day. As always, thanks for reading and when I've finally finished the migration (I need to stop watching Planet Earth), I'll let you all know.


Sunday, February 21, 2010

Miller Time

(Photo from ESPN.com)

A few disjointed thoughts immediately upon watching Team USA defeat Team Canada 5-3 in tonight's game.

First, I get that this wasn't a medal game and that's fine and all, but that was surprising. I'd never go so far as to say that Team Canada was taking anything for granted but I'd venture that no one expected that. Of course, it's not like Team USA is a bunch of no names, they're all NHL players who make millions of dollars and have tens of millions of fans worldwide. Let's not pretend that this is a pond hockey team from Billerica taking on the big, bad Canadians. That said, nice work, boys. You done us proud.


Sorry, can't help it.

Also, Ryan Miller looks like he should be hanging out in Central Square and bumming cigarettes in front of the Middle East rather than standing on his head in goal for Team USA during the Olympics. I was mostly hoping they'd let the poor boy sit down immediately after the game instead of insisting on interviewing him and expecting him to form a cohesive thought other than, "Seriously? I need a drink. And a nap. And a chiropractor." But he done good. Of course, my heart wants to see Tim Thomas in goal but I surely understand the reasons and I'm proud of my team.

Team USA is now undefeated and with this loss coupled with their just barely eking out a shootout win over Switzerland the other day, Canada is looking anything but bulletproof. Plus, the Russians have lost to Slovakia and don't have the swagger they once did. And the US is playing like they do not care to be thought of as underdogs or also rans, thank you very much. And I don't know about you, but I like my hockey teams with a bit of attitude.

So this is the beginning. They haven't proven anything tonight. But it's a good start. Nice work, boys.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Oh, Canada (shakes head)

(Photo from Deadspin)

I have several questions about Vancouver's shall we say, lackluster opening ceremonies on Friday night (and into Saturday morning because, damn, Canada, it's not like any of us need to sleep or anything.)

For instance, I'm fine with First Nations and giving tribute to your ancestors and all that. Really, that's cool. I can get with that. I can even get with a giant glowing statue of a bear because, while it's not quite as awesome as the Alaskan ice bear or the other Alaskan ice bear. Or the Alaskan ice bear turned fighter pilot (seriously, watch those videos. You will thank me), I can get with some ursine imagery.

But slam poetry? Come on, Canada, you can do better. It's not bad enough that we had to listen to Bob Costas proclaiming Canada a warlike nation before the actual ceremonies got underway, but then we had to listen to a Canadian slam poet telling us that Canada is not a joke, thank you very much and respect us, dammit. I mean please. If that's okay with you.

Because the thing is, I totally respect Canada. It's lovely and every time I've been the people have been nothing but friendly and welcoming and wonderful. But if your Prime Minister needs to hold a press conference to tell the Canadian people to not be afraid to be loud and boisterous while cheering for their athletes (essentially: "Don't be scared of the obnoxious and batshit Americans"), then come on, Canada. It's something you shouldn't have to be told. We're all for politeness and we do appreciate you hosting the world for this Olympics party but Canada, I have to tell you to grow a pair.

We like you, Canada, we do. Many of us have threatened to move there time and time again and we certainly do appreciate the influx of your hockey players. But stand up for yourself, dammit. And stop being so polite.

Buck up, little camper. We all like you just fine.

That said, my primary question about the opening ceremonies, other than it often resembled a second grade talent show where everyone who wanted to tap dance or spin plates got a chance, was that the organizers totally blew it when it came to lighting the cauldron. No, I don't mean the technical malfunction, that can happen to anyone. I mean the actual manner of lighting it. Because what's awesomer than a flaming arrow shot into the cauldron by an Olympic archer like in 1992 in Barcelona? What's cooler than a scrolling screen of fire like 2008 in Beijing?

A flaming slap shot, obviously!

Dudes, Wayne Gretzky was RIGHT THERE. He was holding the fire even! No one thought to give that man a stick and a flaming puck and have him launch the Olympic flame into that cauldron to light the torch for the next two weeks? No one realized that not only would that be incredibly Canadian but also totally badass and it would make everyone forget about the slam poetry and the odd Riverdancing and the children wearing Christmas lights? Come on, Canada, I expected more from you.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Victory tastes like Jambalaya

(Photo from Boston.com)

Beth, a family friend who is really more like family and who has lived in New Orleans for the past ten years called me with about six minutes left in the fourth quarter.

"I had to call someone who understands because I needed to talk to a football fan and oh my god, we might actually win this and I don't know what to do and I'm freaking out and holy shit this is awesome and I think I might die!"

I asked her where her boyfriend, Kevin, a life-long New Orleans resident was.

"He had to put himself in time out because he was afraid he was going to hurt himself or someone else because he can't take this because OH MY GOD WE MIGHT WIN THE SUPER BOWL!"

"I will tell you two things," I said. "One, when a Manning is involved, don't celebrate until the very last second because they have a way of stealing all your fun and ruining everything and 2) go party. Enjoy this one. And tell New Orleans I said congratulations."

Because it's true, I can't remember being happier for a team that isn't actually my home team, um, ever. And the airwaves and interwebs are sure to be flooded with "Saints Save New Orleans" stories for the next year now, but you know what? I'm fine with that. We all know that a football team can't save a city on its own, but it has been a long, hard five years for the Big Easy and she deserves this party. I mean, think about it. The team who calls the Superdome it's home - the same building that served as a tomb for so many people five years ago - has won the Super Bowl and brought a lot of joy to that city. And maybe I'm a giant sap and am too easily swayed by these kinds of stories, but I've always been a sucker for the healing power of a common interest, sports included. New Orleanians are special, resilient, unique people. And they should enjoy this as much as they can. They've spent the past five years earning a moment in the sun and they deserve it.

So congratulations, Who Dat Nation. New England would like to shake your hand.

“Who dat say dey gonna beat dem Saints?”

This week's NESN piece in which I explore, with the help of two of my very favorite New Orleanians/New Englanders, just why, exactly, we should all be rooting for the Saints.

Look, even I understand that sports is only sports and no game is capable of saving the world. But sometimes, it really does mean more. I'll leave it to Ryan to make that point for me:

"I tend to think that the Saints reflect the recovery that has been happening in New Orleans. We are fighting not to get back to where we are, but to what we can and should be. The city is by no means perfect: the city government is often inept, crime is rampant, poverty in some areas is crushing, and flagrant inequalities rarely are questioned on a large scale.

The same, in a much lighter way, goes for the Saints. It often seems they underachieve. This year, however, we have an offense that can trounce anyone in the league, a quarterback with better accuracy than an Olympic archer; yet, when a starter on defense goes down, it’s immediately noticeable, and folks like Jason Campbell look like ’07 Brady and the team is losing to the Buccaneers at home. Yet, criticize our rebuilding or our team, tell us we’re failing or don’t deserve to rebuild, tell us our team is overrated. Where are we? Fighting. We’re fighting for home, and many of us are back or working with neighbors to get our communities back; then we’re gonna work to get even better. In the past the Saints fought to have a winning record; now they are fighting for the Super Bowl crown. We’re winning, bit by bit. We say “Who dat say dey gonna beat dem Saints?” but, the connection between team and town is so strong that we can easily ask “Who dat say dey gonna keep us down?” And even when we’re 3-13, we know the answer: no one. New Orleans right now has the potential to be a theatre for great, positive social change. The Saints, within the confines of the NFL, mirror that."

What he said. And Geaux Saints!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Geaux Saints!

(Photo from Washington Post)

Well good job, New Orleans. Well done. Those of us in New England certainly know what it's like to celebrate a kicker's heroics and it couldn't have happened to a better team. Now, I think I can speak for most New Englanders and Patriots fans when I say, please march into Miami and beat the stuffing out of Peyton Manning and his band of prancing ponies.

HJ, who looked so sad and bereft in his Jets jersey yesterday, and who is normally so measured and rational about these things (I know, right? So weird), responded to my question about how he felt about the Super Bowl with, "I hope Drew Brees annihilates the stupid Colts." Which is something we can totally agree on. He also had great fun using my new gift from Chrissy, the world's best shark mittens, to work out some residual angst. "I'm Peyton Manning. La la la. CHOMP!" And who among us doesn't love that idea?

In reality, this is likely the matchup the NFL wanted since it pits the two teams who have performed the best all season against each other. And that's fine and dandy and all, but the thought of Peyton Manning being within spitting distance of another Super Bowl turns my stomach. I mean, I've walked past the Manning house in the Garden District in New Orleans. There was a Colts flag flying outside (this was before they were acknowledging Eli as one of their own). Think Papa Manning is going to feel conflicted about this? I'm sure I'm not the first to bring that up and I certainly won't be the last. Odds are there will be thousands upon thousands of articles written about that in the coming weeks and I might just find myself a nice rock to crawl under to get away from it all. Because the fact that the Mannings are all over both sides of this Super Bowl means more Manning coverage which is just fantastic. ESPN is about thisclose to starting an All Manning, All The Time Network. I may have to go into sensory deprivation to keep from destroying HJ's very expensive television.

The flip side of this, of course, is the Brett Favre storyline. Because it's ever so fitting that his career ended (maybe), for the second time on a game-sealing interception in an NFC championship game but homeboy is running out of teams with whom to attempt to win a Super Bowl. Though, as Chrissy pointed out, "The Bears would probably take him next year if he wants to keep being an asshole." She's probably right.

Here's what I wonder though, about Old Man Favre. Everyone keeps talking about his quest to win a Super Bowl as though he's never done it before when in fact, he has. His 1997 Packers team beat the Patriots 35-21 at the Superdome and some of us remember that, Brett. So it's not like he's been playing for nigh on seventy years now without a shot at a championship and I don't know why we've been talking all season like this was his last, best shot. So if he really does retire (again), I think he can go back to selling Wranglers and big screen TVs at Sears and not be thinking about the Lombardi trophy that got away because he already has one. Which is one more than most people have. What I'm saying is, the Brett Favre Pity Train is leaving the station.

The Saints, however, could do with a Super Bowl. And while I agree that if they were to win a few short weeks before Mardi Gras, it's entirely possible the whole city will remain drunk for a good seven to eight months, I can't really think of a city that deserves a therapeutic victory parade more. And any opportunity to turn the Colts into the national bad guy is one I plan to embrace wholeheartedly. My point being, go Saints!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Who do you play for?

(Photo from On Frozen Blog)

You guys might not know this about me, but I am a total sucker for true-life, inspirational sports stories. Like the kind that Disney would reject as too schmaltzy (except, they, um, usually don't). The Rookie, Rudy, Friday Night Lights, all of that stuff. I eat it up. Maybe it's because I'm an easy mark and I always want to believe in the scrappy underdog but I can't help it, those kinds of movies usually have me crying myself dehydrated. The worst (or best) among them, though, is Miracle. I am telling you, that movie hit me where I live. Could be because I grew up a hockey fan, or that as a New Englander, the accents had a way of making me homesick when I wasn't far from home. Or that Kurt Russell and the boys playing his team did such a good job of getting a normally level-headed, politically considerate person to stand up and chant "USA! USA! USA!" by so convincingly villainizing the Russians. I don't remember the original Miracle on Ice as I was, um, less than four months old at the time, but man, I could watch that movie every day and never get sick of it.

This is all by way of saying the Olympics are starting soon! And with them, men's ice hockey. Which is, in a word, AWESOME. I wrote a preview piece for NESN today about the primary players in the games. And while it's unlikely that we'll get another Miracle situation simply because we're letting professionals play in the games, that doesn't mean I'm not excited about it. To whit, a conversation I had with Chrissy yesterday:

Me: We have to watch Olympic hockey this year because the NHL has not agreed to participate beyond the 2010 games. So they might be back to amateurs after this.


Me: True. Although, do we hate the Russians now? We don't, right? I mean, who else could we beat that would be as satisfactory? I don't think the Taliban fields a hockey team.

Chrissy: It's true. It's hard.

Me: Well, Zdeno Chara is playing for Slovakia. I don't know why but that makes me happy. I might secretly root for Slovakia.

And then we proceeded to shout Miracle quotes at each other for the better part of two hours.

As you do.