Daniel Nava gun show

July 18th, 2012

Boston Red Sox outfielder Daniel Nava – who jacked a grand slam in his first major league at-bat in 2010 – was the guest star of an event at Fenway Park organized by Stop & Shop to promote healthy eating and recreational habits among children. Amusingly, Nava reportedly mentioned that the Red Sox eat a lot of chicken before and after games.

My wife snapped the following photos of Nava:

Tower Ladder 3 at South Station

July 15th, 2012

On Saturday afternoon, around 6:15 pm, Tower Ladder 3 from Boston Fire Department responded to what appeared to be a minor medical call in South Station. Below are a few photos from the scene.

Boston's Tower Ladder 3 pulls up in front of South Station.

One of the Tower Ladder 3 crew members pulls gear out of the cab.

Close up of the front of Boston Fire Department Tower Ladder 3.

Tower Ladder 3 crew member speaks to South Station security guard.

Tower Ladder 3 crew disembarks the the truck.

Commonwealth Avenue arrest

July 1st, 2012

On Saturday, shortly after noon, we were parked on Granby Street – across Commmonwealth Avenue from Warren Towers – when we saw a transient-looking man argue with an MBTA police officer at the T-stop. The man was in company with another man, a woman and a dog. My wife speculates the cop had been dispatched to remove the trio and their dog from a Green Line trolley. The cop kept waving at the more belligerent of the two men as if saying “buh-bye” and the man kept alternating between taking a step away from the cop and turning back towards him, venting his displeasure. Perhaps in order to convince the two men it was time to leave the cop pulled out his nightstick. After a bit more yawing the two men started to cross the westbound lane, only to have one of them turn towards the cop again and, from what I could see, spit at the cop.

That prompted the cop to yell at the man, move towards him and swing the nightstick at the man. The transient spun around to face the cop who pulled out a can of mace and proceeded to spray him in the face. That put an end to the transient’s intransigence. The cop barked at the remaining two to back off or they, too, would be arrested.

Below are a few pictures from moments after the transient was handcuffed. My wife says she saw a bystander pointed a camera at the scene throughout the incident so perhaps there’s a video of it floating around on YouTube.

The transient handcuffed after getting maced.

It may look like the officer is taking a swing at the man but he is in fact throwing away the man’s tattered and ripped t-shirt.
The arresting officer removes the suspects t-shirt.

The officer leads the handcuffed suspect to the car.

The arresting officer's patrol car.

The remains of the suspect's shirt.

About twenty minutes later the remaining man and the woman and their dog entered another inbound B-line trolley.

New York Giants out-Super New England Patriots again

February 6th, 2012

New England Patriots did everything they could with what they had, but in the end they just didn’t have enough. Their hard work and Bill Belichick’s coaching simply couldn’t make up for years of too many failed personnel decisions. The fact that they came one play – any one play out of maybe a dozen – from winning the Lombardi Trophy is a remarkable accomplishment.

Some argue that Patriots’ QB Tom Brady lost the game or had a bad game. Neither is true. Brady played a really good defense, possibly the best in the league and certaunly the defense in the best position to stop New England’s passing attack. Eli Manning, on the other hand, played New England’s pedestrian, though hard playing, defense and even then he needed a wide receiver of his to come up with a catch that will be on the short list of Super Bowl highlights for years to come.

Yes, Brady made mistakes and his throws weren’t all on target, but that’s what happens when you play against a fast and hard-hitting defense that can also cover. The quarterback doesn’t get the same kind of comfort level that he’ll enjoy against teams like Buffalo Bills or Denver Broncos.

The lack of depth on New England’s offense finally caught up with the team. With Rob Gronkowski rendered ineffective by injuries Brady was left with really only two weapons: Wes Welker and Aaron Hernandez. That would have been good enough in most regular season games but it creates a dangerously small margin of error in the play offs.

1-3.

That’s New England Patriots’ combined 2011 regular and post-season record against teams with winning records in the regular season. New England’s loss was to the Giants was as narrow as their victory over the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC Championship game.

Photos: Boston University Terriers lose 3-1 to Maine Black Bears

January 29th, 2012

Enjoy a few photos from Boston University’s aggravating 3-1 loss to Maine Black Bears on Saturday, January 28, at Agganis Arena.

The most memorable sequence of the game occurred in the second period with BU trailing 1-0. A frantic attempt to score resulted in practically every player on ice ending up in Maine’s goal crease. The situation resulted in a power play opportunity for BU that converted into a game-tying score by Garrett Noonan. Shortly thereafter, six minutes into the second period, Maine re-took the lead and didn’t let go of it. Maine scored its final goal in an empty net.

BU Terriers' captain Chris Connolly and Maine's captain speak with the referees before the game. They did a lot more of that during the game.

Boston University Terriers break their pre-game huddle.

Alex Chiasson wins the opening face-off against Maine.

Alex Chiasson of the Boston University Terriers at a face off against Maine.

Maine fights off a BU Terriers attack in the first period.

Boston University Terriers, from left to right: Justin Courtnall, Garrett Noonan, Kevin Gilroy, Cason Hohmann and Ryan Ruikka take on Maine on a face off in Boston's defensive zone. Goalie: Kieran Millan

Boston University's pep band during the first intermisson.

Boston University's mascot Rhett the Terrier plays along with the BU pep band.

Young Boston University Terriers fan in Agganis Areana.

Sahir Gill of the Boston University Terriers has choice words with Maine Black Bears John Parker.

Garrett Noonan ties the game with a second period power-play goal.

BU Terriers Evan Rodrigues send a Maine player flying.

Boston University Terriers Ryan Ruikka digs in on a face off against Maine.

Boston University Terriers Sean Escobedo holds off a Maine player in the first period.

Wade Megan, Boston University Terriers.

Jason Whitlock makes Glenn Ordway angry.

January 20th, 2012

I heard Gleen Ordway on WEEI literally sputter with anger over Jason Whitlock’s January 19 column at FoxSports.com on Sunday’s AFC Championship game between New England Patriots and Baltimore Ravens. Ordway so badly wanted his listeners to understand that he just couldn’t understand what Whitlock’s talking about. The best part of the few minutes I listened to was when Ordway tried to argue that Whitlock was contradicting himself, only to suddenly realize he wasn’t. Then he had to dial up the anger a bit more.

What made Ordway so mad? Whitlock’s noticed that Patriots offense is mostly white, while Ravens defense is mostly black. Not only that, but Patriots are a bunch of dapper pretty boys compared to Baltimore’s thugs.

Race! Culture! Too much for Ordway to handle.

Yet, a somewhat interesting aspect of the Patriots during Bill Belichick’s extremely successful – although not flawless – leadership is that they have been markedly more white than NFL in general. It’s not likely that the Patriots racial composition is entirely coincidental. Given NFL’s position as the by far most popular sport in the country and New England’s place as the most successful franchise over the past decade it doesn’t seem outrageous to bring up the topic.

However, this matchup doesn’t excite me all that much as a clash of races or styles. Instead, it’s a great match up between two wildly different football philosophies: the new-age aerial attack* of the Patriots against the old school headbashing of the Ravens. The fact that the Patriots and Ravens seem to genuinely dislike each other only makes it better (Patriots defense and Ravens offense are both garbage by comparison, but Patriots defensive line and Ravens offensive line are both quality units with big bodied hard hitting men – no clash of styles there).

Should be a heck of a game.

*Granted, new-age aerial attacks have been around at least since Don Coryell, but this time it’s different.

The Brady-Belichick tour of vengeance

January 17th, 2012

On Sunday, January 22, the New England Patriots face the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC Championship Game.

Patriots are favored to win the game and if they do they could end up playing the New York Giants in Super Bowl.

Here’s an interesting nugget about that possibility:

Patriots have lost playoff games to five different teams during the Bill Belichick and Tom Brady era: Denver Broncos, Indianapolis Colts, Giants, Ravens and New York Jets.

This season, Patriots have beaten the Jets (twice), the Colts and the Broncos in the regular season, and then the Broncos again in the divisional playoff round. In other words, Patriots have a shot this season at beating all the teams that have derailed them over the past six seasons. The losses to New England cost the Jets a spot in the post season and sent the club into a tailspin. The Colts have been completely devastated and the team’s owner has stampeded the General Manager out of town. Patriots’ 45-10 drubbing of the Broncos put an end to Tim Tebow’s improbable 2011 run.

I hope Belichick and Brady get to complete their tour of retribution.

Pictures from New England Patriots 49-21 stomping of Buffalo Bills

January 3rd, 2012

New England Patriots closed out its 2011 regular season by beating visiting Buffalo Bills 49-21 at Gillette Stadium on January 1, 2012. With the win the Patriots secured the AFC number 1 seed, meaning the Patriots will play a divisional playoff game, and, should they win it, the AFC Championship Game, at home.

Patriots got off to a rough start, falling behind 21-0 in the first quarter. At that point boos rained down at the home team, but the fans turned quickly as soon as the home team showed some sign of life and by the time New England cut Buffalo’s lead to 21-14 the crowd seemed about as joyous and confident as one could have expected if the team had a 14-point lead.

It took until the fourth quarter for the Patriots to get there but once they did the Bills caved completely and New England added another 14 points.

For a couple of weeks in a row Patriots defense have started out breaking, thenm bending, then dominating. Against the Bills, Sterling Moore made two excellent interceptions. The first one set up Patriots go ahead touchdown in the third quarter, the second one was returned by Moore for a touchdown.

New England Patriots runningback BenJarvus Green-Ellis scores his second touchdown run against the Buffalo Bills on January 1, 2012.

New England Patriots runningback BenJarvus Green-Ellis scores his first touchdown against Buffalo Bills o Jabuary 1, 2012.

Buffalo Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick scrambles in the second quarter as New England's defense turns up the heat.

C. J. Spiller, Buffalo Bills runningback, scores his teams third touchdown in the first quarter against New England Patriots.

C.J. Spiller breaks free from New England Patriots defenders.

New England Patriots runningback Danny Woodhead scores a two-point conversion to put Patriots up 28-21 in the third quarter asgainst Buffalo Bills.

Stevan Ridley was the New England Patriots leading rusher against Buffalo Bills, with 81 yards on 15 carries.

Tom Brady is sacked in the first quarter by Arthur Moats.

Tom Brady throws a short pass to tight end Aaaron Hernandez.

Tom Brady throws another short pass to Aaron Hernandez.

Tom Brady throws a short pass to Wes Welker.

Disney On Ice Treasure Trove at TD Garden in Boston

December 26th, 2011

Below are a few photos from the “Disney On Ice – Treasure Trove” show that’s playing at TD Garden in Boston this week.

The Treasure Trove show is an on-ice highlight reel of sorts from some Disney’s most famous movies (eg Snow White, Lion King, and Peter Pan) as well as some more recent movies (Aladdin, The Incredibles, Rapunzel(?) and some movie I didn’t recognize). The children around me enjoyed the spectacle – which included fireworks, a magic carpet ride, fairly elaborate sets and cannon fire – so the show seems to do the trick.

Remaining performances are on Tuesday, December 27, at Noon, 3 pm and 7 pm; Wednesday, December 28, at 11 am, 3 pm and 7; and Thursday, December 29, at 1 pm and 5 pm (the Boston Celtics return to the Garden on December 30).

Donald Duck dives into a Treasure trove of Disney classics at Disney On Ice.

Alice in Wonderland in Disney On Ice

The Lion King assumes his natural perch in Disney On Ice.

The Incredibles at Disney On Ice Treasure Trove

Peter Pan drives Captain Hook into the jaws of the crocodile in Disney On Ice Treaure Trove.

Aladdin takes a Persian princess for a ride on his magic carpet in Disney On Ice.

The grande finale at Disney On Ice Treausre Trove at TD Garden in Boston.

Time to end the Bill Belichick era in New England

November 3rd, 2011

It’s been a little over a year since this and things haven’t gotten better, have they? Even if former Kent State Golden Flashes quarterback Julian Edelman – who somehow makes a living as a marginal player among other marginal players on the New England Patriots barren roster – didn’t molest a woman at a nightclub at 1:30 in the morning two nights after his team got stomped by the Steelers, he was, indisputably, partying at 1:30 in the morning two nights after his team got stomped by Steelers. The Edelman incident came just days after doofus tight-end Rob Gronkowski spent his bye weekend cavorting with some pornstar out in the Arizona desert.

New England Patriots have the worst defense in the league and the offense remains as one-dimensional as it has since 2007.

The current crop of Patriots aren’t just young, they are immature. It is hard to believe that football is as important to them as is enjoying the fruits of being important in football. They are mentally soft. They are sloppy. They aren’t remarkably physical. Without Tom Brady at quarterback they might well be winless.

Belichick improbably earned a coach of the year award last year thanks to his team winning the possibly most fraudulent 14-2 record in the history of the NFL. They did absolutely nothing in the playoffs besides bumbling their way to a loss against the also overrated New York Jets.

These Patriots are Belichick’s creation. This is the team he drafted, traded for, bought. It has almost no talent at all on defense and it is to a large degree smoke and mirrors on offense. For the fourth season in a row it has a negligible pass rush and it can’t get off the field on third downs, if opponents were somehow unlucky enough to encounter that situation.

Sure, the Patriots remain a top 12 team in the league – Brady-to-Welker is that good of a combination – and will likely make the playoffs again, where they will again collapse, exposed by hungrier and better opponents.

Patriots’ drafts have been so bad for several years in a row it is almost comical. There is only so much that genius head coach Bill Belichick can do to make up for the mediocre general manager Bill Belichick. He’s coming up short. He no longer has control of his team. The players pay lip service to his greatness but their weak efforts and lack of discipline betray them. Maybe they feel betrayed, too. If the Patriots are so great, and their coach is so great, why are they so bad?

The Patriots Dynasty died many years ago. It’s time to end the era in which it existed.

[Update 12/26: The charges against Edelman have been dropped.]