Thursday, May 13, 2010

Kevin Millar begs to differ.

Nothing gets us all riled up and angry like a bad sports analogy or cliche run amok.* Maybe those of you who follow our twitter feed have noticed us @broadcaster'ing whenever the NESN Sports Desk folks tell us that "the Flyers wanted it more" or that "momentum momentum momentum."** Well, we tweet because the TV finally stopped listening to us when we told it that it was being ridiculous.

In the last 24 hours, we've noticed a disturbing trend on the internets: people actually comparing the 2010 Philadelphia Flyers to the 2004 Red Sox. Yes, our 2004 Red Sox. The Idiots. "Don't let us win tonight." The Steal. People have had the gall to compare Carrot Top and his Merry Band of Diving Mustachioed Flyers to Sir Curtis Montague Schilling And His Right Esteemed Sock Monkeys. As our ex-roommate's third cousin would say, "that shit ain't right."

We know all of you out there in loyal-reader-land understand why the 2010 Flyers are in no way analogous to the 2004 Red Sox, but for any random souls who have stumbled upon our humble blog when they were looking for Respect the Ted: A Blog about Ted from Scrubs, well, we've prepared a handy-dandy list. With pie charts. Because who doesn't love a good pie chart?***

Reason #1: No Aaron Fuckin' Boone.

In 2003, the Red Sox were defeated by the Evil Sorcerer Boone in what has largely become known as The Shot That Launched A Thousand Bucky Dent Flashbacks*. In 2004, the Red Sox staged an epic comeback by stealing a base, hitting a home run, and breaking the Mariano Bot for a couple of innings.

The 2009 Bruins did not do anything to make Flyers fans gaze longingly at whatever Philadelphia's version of the Tobin Bridge happens to be. The 2010 Flyers have not actually completed an epic comeback, at press time, and the 2010 Bruins do not feature an ageless robot who throws a cutter.

Reason #2: No ghosts.

In 2004, Yankees fans were known to dress up as the ghost of a long-dead fat slugger. This was mostly in an attempt to hide the fact that they'd split their pants at the all-you-can-eat Chinese buffet down the street from the Stadium, but also referred to an unfortunate incident in which Red Sox ownership traded--well, you know the story. Let's not rehash it here.

Bruins fans in 2010 do not dress up as the ghost of...well, any player traded from the Flyers to the Bruins. No, we're not going to do any research to find out who that might be. You know why? Because if it was in any way equivalent to Babe "George Herman" Ruth, we would already have heard of it. The only ghosts involved in this series are those of Marco Sturm's slaughtered tendons.

Reason #3: 1918.

Before 2004, the Red Sox had not won the World Series since 1918. Maybe you recall those charming, sing-song, "19-18" chants the Yankees faithful used to serenade us with (it's like Montreal's "Ole Ole" song, only completely different!). The Yankees had won 17 billion World Championships between 1918 and 2004, approximately 1.4 million per season.

Before 2010, the Flyers had not won the Stanley Cup since 1975. The Bruins? 1972. So, not a Yankees/Red Sox type dynamic at all. By our calendars, it's a lot more like the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Baltimore Orioles.

Hey, the team colors even match up, so we must be right!

Reason #4: Not enough bad blood.

We weren't alive during those 1970s years we just mentioned. So we're not really sure who Bobby Orr would have considered his archnemesis at the time. We'll stipulate that the Big Bad Bruins and the Broad Street Bullies were enemies. Bitter enemies with big hair. Fine. But What about the eighties, and nineties? We're reasonably sure we remember those decades--we have the peasant blouses to prove it--and we don't remember any Bruins and Flyers rivalry lighting up our radar screen.

Oh, we hate the Flyers, don't get us wrong, but not nearly enough to call them our rivals. It's just not like that. Flyers and Bruins fans don't fight in the street--and these are sports fans from Boston and Philly; it's not like they need anything bigger than a hamburger bun to fight over. The Habs, now? Give us the Habs and we'll show you our hate.

Reason #5: Instant karma is not gonna get you.

There are people out there wondering if the Bruins' possible case of the chokesies is karma's way of punishing us for the Red Sox' 2004 miracle. These people are clearly not scholars of sports mojo like ourselves. You know, if the real world worked that way, it would be colossally unfair to the athletes--to say nothing of the fans that root for different towns in different sports (here's looking at you, Connecticut, with your weird combinations and your lack of Whale). But let's forget about justice and look at the logic of it. If karma really has nothing better to do than balance Boston's sports luck, then what happened in the 1950s and 60s when the Red Sox were bottom of the barrel? It's not like the Celtics spent those decades winning all the--

Oh, snap! Karma!

Uh...we'll get you that pie chart right after we go to Calcutta to work with the poor.

*Lies, damned lies, and statistics.

**Which reminds us: are we the only people left in the world who a) remember Joementum and b) use it to describe the opposite of forward momentum on a semi-regular basis? Inquiring minds want to know!

***Mmmm, pie. /Homer Simpson

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Pessimism: it's what's for dinner!

In the grand tradition of the MLB Post-Season on Fox, we have compiled Seven Keys to the Game for the Bruins going into the pivotal game 7 that should've never come to pass:

1. Shoot the puck
2. Score goals
3. Don't let the Flyers score goals
4. Stop taking stupid penalties
5. Hit Mike Richards
6. Score even more goals
7. Don't let it go back to Fenway

Look, we may not always have had faith that the Bruins would make it to the playoffs, but now that they're here we want them to win this series.* And then we want them to beat the Habs. And the Sharkhawks. And we want that shiny, shiny Cup. We really don't think that's too much to ask.

Especially since the Red Sox are currently doing their upmost to make us cling to hockey season for as long as humanly possible, what with their losing and their getting hurt and their letting outfielders pitch because their pitchers can't and did we mention their getting swept by the Orioles. Sure, there have been bright moments: the midget's taken to wearing tall socks more frequently, which make him look even more like a member of the Lollipop Guild than he normally does, and Jonny Lester remembered how that whole pitching thing works. Tek's OPSing 1.287, which is just a crazy video game number. JD Drew still thinks his strike zone is superior to any umpire's. Oh, and we've decided to call Marco Scutaro Scoots McGoots. It's fun to say! You should try it!

We've also been busy coming up with our own advanced pitching metrics. There's the standard quality start, of course, but even better is the wicked quality (WQ) start: 7IP, 2 or fewer ER, less than 4 wild pitches and two hit batsmen. And the WTF start, which is what Dice-K did last night.** We're still working on the math part, but we're sure these are going to be a hit with the BP crowd!

We're hoping to get back into the whole blogging groove now that we're done with this season's mandatory period of going to ballgames with our mothers (no, really, that's what we've been doing since Blogapalooza***), but we're over making promises of that sort. We'll blog when we remember to, and then we'll forget for a while, and then we'll think that blogging is jinxy before we remember that it's not blogging that's a jinx. It'll be a long, crazy, 162-game ride.

Unless the Stanley Cup Playoffs kill us first.

*Jennifer's other NHL team, the Devils, already lost to this particular Flyers squad. She really does not want last year's "both my teams lost to the Hurricanes" fiasco to repeat itself this year. Especially since the Flyers, unlike the Hurricanes, are actually Evil.

**No, really, WTF? We were there, and we're still not sure that happened.

***Hello to those of you we met! We liked quite a few of your t-shirts and would like to subscribe to your newsletters!