March 31, 2014

God Games

In the wake of last week's Bruins game vs the Blackhawks, I've decided it's about time I fully and thoroughly explain what a "God Game" is. My friends and I, namely Jeremy and Wilson, have been recognizing "God Games" since our college days. Now I am sure we are not the first people to talk about this dynamic in Sport, but I bring this term up to a lot of people and no one ever really gets it.

What is a "God Game"? Well first off- it has nothing to do with religion or anything controversial. So don't get offended from this. If you're looking to discuss religion or the existence/presence of God, you're in the wrong place. Byeeeeee.

Secondly, a "God Game" is when a team or player plays a game or season directly after or during a tragedy to either a member of it's family, organization, community, or city/region the team plays in.

For example, here is Boston, we had a "God Game" situation last week. Unless you live under a rock you know about the Fire Tragedy in Boston from Wednesday 3/26/14- Two of Boston's brave firefighters lost their lives in Back Bay while fighting a 9 alarm fire. Well the Bruins all came out the next night in BFD gear for warm ups:

 The Ladder that lost the 2 heroes presented the colors on the ice before the national anthem:

The BFD had a presence in the Bruins lockerroom:

The Bruins won the game handily 3-0. The first star of the game was "Boston Fire Department" Prime example of a God Game.

More Examples of God Games/Seasons:

The 2013 Boston Red Sox won the World Series after the Marathon Bombings early in the season. They went from last place in 2013 to World Champs in 2014... and nearly every home game had some sort of tie in to "Boston Strong"

The 2010 New Orleans Saints beat the Colts in the Super Bowl, and won one for the city of New Orleans. Even though this was a few years after Hurricane Katrina ripped apart their city and stadium, the essence was still there. The Saints were 5.5 point underdogs in the game. Septmeber 25th, 2006,  was an obvious God Game situation. The Saints beat the first place Falcons 23-3 in an emotional return to their iconic stadium that housed people who lost their homes during the Hurricane.

Brett Favre's  father passed away on Sunday, 12/22/03. The next night, on Monday Night Football, Favre not only played but he played maybe the best game of his hall-of-fame career. The Pack won 41-7 and Favre went 22/30 for 4 TDs and 399 yards.

Torrey Smith's brother died in a motorcycle accident on Saturday Sept 22, 2012. Torrey Smith, a WR for the Baltimore Ravens, left his team at 1am on Sunday to be with his family. He returned just 12 hours later and ended up playing in the Sunday Night Football game vs the Patriots. He was working on a heavy heart and 1 hour of sleep, yet ended the game with a 6/127/2 line- his best game of the season. The Ravens kicked a Game winning field goal with time expiring to win 31-30.

The 2001 New England Patriots became the biggest underdogs in NFL history to win a Super Bowl. The beginning of a dynasty, this team was a 14 point underdog to Kurt Warner & the Greatest Show on Turf. This Super Bowl was the first after 9/11 and had a very Patriotic theme. It's almost unfair that the PATRIOTS were playing in the game. Stars and Stripes were everywhere including Bono's jacket.  This was well before the Pats and Bill Belichick were hated, so EVERYONE was rooting for this massive underdog and the American-themed team, the Pats.

The 2013 Boston Bruins while this team unfortunately came up 1 win shy of a Stanley Cup, there is no doubt that the playoff run was fueled by the Boston Marathon bombings and the "Boston Strong" mantra that emerged from that tragedy. The playoff run was highlighted by an impossible comeback vs the Leafs in Game 7 of Round 1. Down 4-1 midway through the 3rd period in Game 7 on home ice, and the Bruins pull out a victory in OT.

2011 Japanese Women's Soccer This team captured the first ever World Cup title for any Asian country by defeating the USA in the final match a few months after 20,000 people died in the Tsunami/Earthquake and it's damage. The USA team was back to back defending champs, but the massive natural disaster in Japan proved to be enough to motivate the team to the upset victory.

2014 Milton High Boys Basketball This team entered the post season as the #12 seed in the Divisional 2 South Sectional. They beat #5 seed Scituate in the first round, #4 seed Tech Boston Academy  in the second round, #1 seed Bishop Feehan in the semi-finals, and #10 Sharon in OT to capture the title. The team had dedicated this season to former player Evan Jones, who was a Senior last year at Milton. This past fall, as a freshman at UMass Amherst, Evan was found dead in his dorm room. Pictured above are Jones' shoes which were placed at the end of the bench during the post-season, to remind the team he was with them. The Milton team ended up losing in the semi finals at the TD Garden but still an amazing season overall.

As a side, I am only aware of the Milton basketball story because my cousin Austin Burlone, a Senior, was the captain of Bishop Feehan's mens basketball team this year. When I heard they lost to Milton, I was surprised- after all, Feehan was the #1 seed in the tourney and had only lost one game all year (21-1). But then I found out about Jones passing and it all made sense. The only way Austin & the Shamrocks could have been denied this year was if they ran into a God-Game situation like they did. Tough loss but really nothing to be too upset about. You got God-Gamed, Austin. Sorry bro.

Austin draining buckets vs. Milton on 3/4/14

March 26, 2014

March 26th Mock Draft

Fantasy Football: I can't quit you. Even in the midst of Fantasy Baseball draft season, I can't get football off my mind.

Throughout this off-season I am going to try and conduct, and briefly analyze a couple mock drafts per month. I did one a few weeks ago but forgot to save it. Here is one I did this morning:

First thing to note this is NOT a PPR mock. This site,, doesn't have their PPR mocks avail yet.

I was surprised AP fell to me at #6. No brainer pick.

I am also surprised to see the 2 QBs go so early. If 2013 taught us anything, it’s that the QB pool is pretty deep in a 12 team league. Of course it’s valuable to have a Stud, but the QBBC strategy will likely pay off again this year. As a reminder, in The Dirty D, I won in the last week with Andy Dalton as my QB. He had a good matchup and delivered a huge performance.

After leading the NFL in TDs, early indications are that Jimmy Graham converted a lot if his non-believers from last year. He went 8th overall in this mock and I’m still not even sure if that’s high enough.

The top-end WRs are almost identical to last year, with one addition- my boy Josh Gordon. Megatron-D Thomas-AJ Green-Dez-Julio-B Marsh were all drafted in the first 2 rounds last year and that’s finna be the case again in 2014.

I went RB-RB-RB in this draft, which is something I normally do not do. I couldn’t pass up AP. On the way back I felt as if I couldn’t pass up Gio Bernard either. He outperformed this draft spot last year as a rookie on a per game basis.) He seems to me like a very safe, exciting, high ceiling guy in 2014. And then in the 3rdI got Montee Ball…. There’s no way Ball is avail in the 3rd round later this year. Moreno is not returning to Denver, and they are turning over the reigns to Montee Ball. The starting RB in Denver is going to score a llloootttttt of points so yes please I would take Ball in the middle of the 3rd. If Drew Brees had been available, I may have considered him, but he went the pick right before me.

Gronk is always an interesting fantasy player. When he plays, he dominates so hard he would warrant a first round selection. But he is ALWAYS hurt. And it’s not just that he gets hurt, it’s that you can’t draft him in August and expect him to be healthy and ready to perform for your team around Christmas time. High Risk/ High Reward type player. For me, I probably wouldn’t draft Gronk until at least the 4th round. IN this mock as you see, he was avail with my 4th round pick but because I went RB-RB-RB I thought it was important to go WR in the 4th.

I picked Cam Newton in the 5th round because he has a high ceiling. He isn’t as exciting as Brees or Manning, but he puts up fantasy points. It’s almost impossible for Cam to finish outside the top 5 QBs if he stays healthy- which he probably will. He’s a big dude- He’s not Mike Vick, who is small and fast and gets beat up easy. The one caveat to this pick is that I momentarily forgot the Panthers currently have 0 NFL caliber WRs on the roster. Steve Smith, Brandon LaFell, and Ted Ginn are all gone. It will be interesting to see how this plays out and effects Cam’s fantasy value.

I picked Justin Blackmon next, although now I realize there’s a chance he doesn’t play at all this year. WTF is wrong with this guy? All the talent in the world and he can’t keep his head on straight enough to play.  He is kinda like Josh Gordon- potentially a dominant guy, but his off field issues are troubling. Remember his stat line from Week  4 and 5 of last year?

Week 5- 5/136/1
Week 6- 14/190/0

So yea, major potential there.

Overall the team I drafted is OK. The strength is obv in RBs, my QB situation is fine and my WR situation is OK. I didn’t draft a TE either, this position I feel is very hard to project out in March.

If anyone wants to participate in the next Mock I do, let me know. I’ll might do one more before the NFL draft.

March 24, 2014

How pathetic are the Montreal Canadiens?

Iggy, #12, a large reason why the B's have won 12 in a row 
The Bruins are currently ripping apart the entire NHL. They are on a 12 game win streak, and face the Montreal Canadiens tonight in the Garden, going for win #13. Before we dive into tonight, let's take a quick minute to appreciate some of the amazing stats the Bruins have amassed through this streak:

-The Bruins have outscored their opponents 46-17

-7 of the 12 victories have come against playoff teams

-7 of the 12 games the Bruins have held their opponent to 0 or 1 goal

-Chad Johnson has 5 of the 12 victories (including a shutout) during the streak

-Jarome Iginla has 11 goals during this 12 game stretch 

-Matt Bartkowski and Kevin Miller are the only 2 Bruins who haven't scored during this streak

-The Bruins have only given up 3 PP goals in the 12 games

-This is the 3rd double digit win streak for the Bruins under Claude Julien. 

-The winning streak has stretched over 3 different time zones, against opponents from every division in the NHL

-The Bruins franchise winning streak record is 14. They play Montreal tonight for #13 and Chicago on Thursday night for #14. Victory #15 would be @ Washington on Saturday if it extends that far. 

Also during this stretch, the Bruins became the first team to clinch a playoff spot. They have separated themselves from the division opponents big time. Here's what the standings currently look like: 

There's no way the Bruins shouldn't be back in the Stanley Cup Finals. Unless they sustain crazy injuries, this season is a failure if we don't get back to the Finals. 

But before we get to the playoffs, we have the Montreal Canadiens on tap in the Garden tonight for #13 in a row. 

Of course, like any good team, the Bruins players aren't getting caught up in it. Today when asked about the streak Chris Kelly responded, " What streak?" with a stone cold face. 

The Canadiens, though? They are treating this like their Super Bowl. They have been in Boston since Saturday. The Bruins were playing a game in Arizona while the Canadiens were in Boston sleeping. 

One of the Montreal players, Dale Weis, had this to say: 

"We're glad they came back to beat Phoenix, because we want to be the ones who knock them off" 

If you are wondering where you have heard of Weis before, he was one of those 6 Vancouver Canucks players who were ganging up on Shawn Thornton a couple years ago in the Cup rematch game. Later in that game, Thornton found Weis and challenged him one on one and Weis backed down. This is what Thornton said about it:

“Hey, he was really tough when he was one of the seven guys punching me in the back of the head,” Thornton said at the time. “But when had had to answer me face-to-face, it wasn’t the same thing. My thing is, if I’m going to punch somebody in the back of the head in a pile of seven people, I know I am man enough to back it up.”

Anyway it seems like Weis is the perfect fit for the Canadiens. Traditionally, teams coming off a west coast trip usually have a tough time in their first home game back. The Bruins are definitely in a tough spot tonight, Joe Haggerty was on 98.5 The Sports Hub this morning and said he thinks Tuukka really needs to "steal the game" for the Bruins to win tonight. While I wish that wasn't true, it probably is. I'll be damn proud if the Bruins can dig deep and extend the streak to 13. 

March 20, 2014

A Gem from the Past


Championship Game Summary
Brew Crew defeats 30 Racks 2-0, 4-2

Eight teams vied for the ice hockey championship. Brew Crew entered the playoffs as the 5th seed and barely squeaked by Darren and the Rippers 6-5 in overtime. In a smartly played quarterfinal game, Brew Crew dispatched the #1 seed and defending champion Ram Rod 4-2. 30 Racks, seeded 2nd, marched through Hammerfaced 6-1 and District 5 3-0 to gain their second straight berth to the championship series. In game one, James Brown put Brew Crew up 1-0 at the 8:50 mark. It was the only goal that John Gentile let in, but it was enough. Mike Nashawaty shut out 30 Racks. Pat Galluzzo added an empty-net goal for Brew Crew’s 2-0 win.

In game two, 30 Racks peppered Nashawaty for most of the 1st period to no avail. Brew Crew’s Burke Dignam wrapped the puck around the net and through Gentile at the 9:46 mark. At the 13:12 mark, Alex Sage scored to tie the game. Later in the 2nd period, Brown scored and Brew Crew hung on to the slim 2-1 lead. In the 3rd period, Dignam’s second unassisted goal put Crew up 3-1. Brendon Ellis’s score at 5:30 gave 30 Racks new life. With one minute left in regulation, 30 Racks pulled their goalie. In a replay of game one, Galluzzo escaped with the puck and scored another empty netter, this time with 2 seconds left in the game. Brew Crew captured the championship with a game two 4-2 score over a gallant 30 Racks squad.

I ran across this on the internet this afternoon and it brought back some fun memories. Playing intramural hockey at UMass. This was my FRESHMAN year... 2005. Almost 9 years ago. I am especially proud of this because I performed so well for the team and we won the championship. In case you couldn't find me I'm wearing the orange jersey in the front row. The goalie- Mike Nashawaty- and I shared Co-MVP honors!!

PS- After this one season, Brew Crew was dissolved and I joined 30 Racks for the next 3 years. Basically the opposite career of my boy Marian Hossa.

2014 Bruins 7th Player of the Year award

Click Here for the 7th player award blog from 2013

Hamilton accepts the 2013 Award

This year, there are a handful of deserving candidates for the Bruins 7th player award. The past 2 seasons this award was basically a popularity contest- Seguin won in 2012 and Hamilton won last year- but this year it looks like we will get a deserving winner.

Let’s make the case for each guy I think has a shot.

Carl Soderberg played his first game as a Bruin on April 20th of last year.  Since then, he has steadily improved and adapted his game to the NHL style of play. Although Soderberg came to Boston with some fanfare- he led the Swedish Elite league in scoring last season- no one really expected him to be the force he currently is for the Bruins. His “wreckless” style of play has led to the creation of opportunities galore for his linemates. Game after game you see #34 taking the puck hard to the net, or fore-checking like a mad man.

6 games in October- 1 goal, 3 assists, Even
15 games November- 2 goals, 6 assists, -2
13 games December- 2 goals, 5 assists, -2
13 games in January- 2 goals, 5 assists, +2
5 games in February- 2 goals, 3 assists, +2
11 games in March- 3 goals, 6 assists, +7

As you can see Soderberg has really come on as of late. I also think Soderberg makes significant contributions that don’t show up on the scoresheet. Anyway, it’s doubtful that Soderberg takes home the hardware, but he’s outperformed my expectations and I look forward to seeing his game progress into the playoffs.

Torey Krug is one of those guys who made his debut in the Spring, but didn’t play enough games and still qualifies as a rookie the following season. So, technically, this is Krug’s rookie year. We all knew that Krug had scoring ability, but this year he has proved it is “real.” Krug currently has the franchise record for most goals by a rookie defenseman. He recently passed some guy named Ray Bourque. He leads all rookie D men in goals, assists, and points. His major contribution has been on the historically abysmal PowerPlay, which is huge news. His 18 Powerplay points is first on the team. By playing effectively on the point, Krug has allowed the coaching staff to explore the idea of using Chara in front of the net, which has produced big results. As far as going above and beyond expectations… well I don’t think anyone can honestly say they expected Krug to be so impactful right away, but at the same time when you score every game in the playoffs, people sort of expect you to be good. I don’t think Krug can win the 7th player of the year award, although because its more of a popularity award than anything else, he has a shot.

Chad Johnson. For the second year in a row I am making a case for our back-up goalie to win this award. I know it seems strange, but Chad Johnson has been unbelievable for the Bruins this year. Side by side look, this season:

Tuukka GAA: 2.07
Johnson GAA: 2.14

Tuukka SV %: .929
Johnson SV %: .921

Tuukka record: 31-14-4
Johnson Record: 15-3-1

Plain and simple Johnson has been almost as good as Rask, which is the best you can ask for from your back-up goalie. He’s won 15 out of 19 games he has started? That’s unreal. I know the team is good in front of him but still… he’s been a rock for this team and gone much further above and beyond what you expect from your back up goalie.

Reilly Smith- If the voting took place a month ago, Reilly Smith wins this award in a landslide. However, due to a long cold streak, Smith has left the door open for another teammate to steal the award. Ultimately, if I had to bet, I would still go with Smith as the winner in 2014. Acquired alongside Loui Eriksson in the Seguin trade, Reilly Smith surprised everyone right away in October. In 6 of his first 8 games he recorded a point, and when Eriksson went down with a head injury, Smith got the nod to fill in on the Bergeron-Marchand. Boy was that a GREAT call by Claude. Over a span of 40 games In November, December, and January- about half a season- Smith put up an impressive 17 goals, 17 assists, +7. He was the Bruins #1 scoring threat during these months and scored 5 of those goals on the PowerPlay. Then the calendar turned to February. With just 1 goal and 6 assists over his next17 games, Smith cooled down substantially. The good thing, though, is even with the scoring drought, Smith still played sound, smart hockey to a tune of +8. Playing with guys like Marchand and Bergeron allow a player to slump a bit as long as they remain responsible in the defensive zone. I didn’t hear any traction on rumors that Claude would demote Smith, even with a surging Soderberg in the bottom 6. When he was acquired, NO ONE expected Smith to be a significant contributor in the top 6. Here is exactly what I said about Smith when we traded for him in July:

"                                "

Nothing. Nothing at all. Here is the blog where I broke down the Seguin trade and I didn't even mention Smith. So that's how you win the 7th player award... you're literally expected to do nothing and you come out and score 20 goals. Anyway, Smith is the likely winner of this year’s 7th Man Award, and FINALLY this year it seems like we will have a deserving winner.

March 13, 2014

This blog still exists

Been a while since I posted. February Sucks and I've been busy working, getting engaged, and playing/reffing hockey.

Anyway today seems like a good day to get back at it.


Boom. This is actually pretty unbelievable. The Pats landing the best player at a position from Free Agency? Wild. Even crazier how quickly this happened. Talib signs a monster (read: stupid) contract with the Broncos and the Pats respond with signing Revis less than 24 hours later? Trump City. Belichick wins again.

1. Sucks to suck Jets fans. No doubt Revis wanted to come here and stick it to his old team. Haters fuel Revis.

2. Looking forward to seeing what BB can do now with the stability on the back end. Especially if the Pats can get someone like Browner too.

3. As long as Revis isn't a dink he's prob finna be here for 3-4 years I am guessing. Why not? If Revis is Revis Island, the Pats will pay and he will be happy.


I already knew Richard Sherman is unprofessional, but today I am guessing he made even more people hate him from this pathetic Twitter exchange:


See the rest here

Basically Richard Sherman felt the need to once again let everyone know he is the best corner in the league. This is totally how professional athletes with class and humility act, right?


The Bruins win their 6th straight game last night... beating the Habs 4-1 in Montreal. Tuukka was a beast in the 1st period... he stopped 3 breakways, and after that the team settled down and beat the shit out of the habs. Lucic was a force... hitting everything that went by him plus scoring a goal. The one goal Montreal DID score was bullshit anyway... huge mess in front of the net, Tuukka on his back, the ref actually pointed at the puck and was telling the players where it was and that it was free. Annoying.

Anyway, one other Bruins nugget I want to get on record is the stellar play from Carl Soderberg recently. Guys an animal. Love the "wrecklessness" in his game. He is always getting better, is starting to find his scoring touch, and at this pace he looks like a real asset to the Bruins for the upcoming playoff run.