Meet Drew Bledsoe: Powder Skiing Extraordinaire

Looking for the perfect connecting thread between the upcoming NFL playoffs and the recent bounty of winter snowfall? How about this article from Backcountry Magazine: “Out of Pocket: How skiing kept NFL legend Drew Bledsoe grounded.” Wait. Drew Bledsoe is a powder hound? A lifelong backcountry skier? Yes indeed. Very much so. Who knew? “[Pats owner Robert] Kraft looked at me and nodded his head and didn’t say...

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In Defense of Tim Thomas

Unless you’ve managed to keep your Boston sports mania maintained solely on the Patriots’ place in the upcoming Super Bowl, you’ve probably heard about Bruins star goalie Tim Thomas electing not to join his team when they were honored for last season’s Stanley Cup Championship with a visit to the White House of President Barack Obama this past Monday. Because of his actions, or his inactions, Thomas has come...

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Register now for the Berkshire Highlands Pentathlon

Chalemont, Massachusetts has yet to be listed as one of the “Best Places to Live” by Outside Magazine, or some other well-known glossy publication. But this March 31st, Berkshire East and Zoar Outdoor are teaming up to organize an event that, in combing multiple outdoor elements, suggests this little Valley town stacks up quite well with the big boys. The first annual Berkshire Highlands Pentathlon combines the seemingly...

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Revolution at The Super Bowl

The Super Bowl is the biggest media event of the year. The NFL Player’s Association is the most visible union in the country. And some way or another, these two seemingly unrelated aspects of our sports society will meet in Indiana’s capital city this weekend for Super Bowl Sunday. “Four days before his state hosts Super Bowl XLVI,” reports Travis Waldron for Think Progress, “Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels...

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Losing Teams Win In Socialist NFL

Like some 100 million other folks, I watched the Patriots snatch defeat from the jaws of victory last night, literally dropping the ball on what could have been their fourth Super Bowl Championship. To paraphrase Jerry Seinfeld (who in turn was paraphrasing himself) in one of the more memorable of last night’s wallet-busting, tax-deductible, cinema-esque commercial advertisements, “Eli!” Losing in the championship...

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Believe in Magic (Mountain)

In the midst of the worst snow-winter in the history of my recollection, something remarkable has happened on the ski scene: Southern Vermont’s Magic Mountain has become a cooperatively owned mountain resort. “Do you believe in Magic?? 300 shares purchased says you do!!!” the resort’s Facebook page announced last week. “Magic’s next 50 years as a skier/rider-owned mountain officially begins! Thanks...

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Alongside the River and Throughout the Woods

Your cross-country skis, snowshoes, and winter running Yak Trax stabilizers may not serve much purpose on the trails this week, but that doesn’t mean the woods aren’t worth exploring. I recently ventured out on a trail run/hike/unintentional skate/nearly-accidental swim. And while conditions ranged from partially icy to partially muddy to partially frozen dirt, as is common during the shoulder seasons, I am pleased to...

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Knuckleballer Tim Wakefield Rides Off Into The Sunset

The Legend of Tim Wakefield. The Knuckleballer. The Knuckler. It almost sounds as if you’re referring to an outlaw. The Rifleman. The Gunslinger. A meatball-throwing pitcher sent in from baseball’s wild plains of unconventionality to tame the best hitters in the world. After an impressive 19-year career (the last 17 of which were with the Sox), Tim Wakefield has announced his retirement. Batters, catchers, managers and...

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BU Questions Hockey Culture After Players Charged with Rape and Sexual Assault

Boston University has 33,000 students. This year, half a dozen of them have been accused of sexual assault, two of whom are prominent members of the school’s nationally ranked men’s hockey team. Which has the university looking into the culture of their hockey program, and its relation to the rest of the campus. “After the recent arrests of two star BU hockey players on sexual assault charges, the school’s...

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Don't. Trade. Rondo.

I know. I know. He can’t hit a free throw. Or an open fifteen footer. His defense is worse than advertised. He has a bad attitude. He’s moody. He’s a menace to the clubhouse, and the overall chemistry of the team. He’s consistently inconsistent. (What’s not to like?) I still don’t want the Celtics to trade Rondo. No matter who they’d get in return. I’m not saying Rondo is the...

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Blinded By The Hardwood of Oregon's Matthew Knight Arena

Sometimes, as the Grateful Dead observed, “You get shown the light / in the strangest of places / if you look at it right.” But oftentimes, you don’t. I was flipping through the channels the other night, after thorougly enjoying seeing our local Minutemen defeat Mississippi State in an exciting double overtime first-round N.I.T. battle, when I inadvertenly came across an Oregon-LSU game televised from the Matthew...

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March Madness: The Good, The Bad, And The Very Ugly

March Madness undoubtedly offers some of the best sports competition of the calendar year (both the men and women’s NCAA Tournament, and the men’s NIT Tournament, too). The single elimination format (bye bye Missouri and Duke…), as well as the ability for any fan to “pick” the winners of their own bracket (when you have no idea about either team, I suggest choosing the place you’d rather live as a...

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Could This Happen in the U.S.?

Recently, at a hockey game in Canada, “a Toronto Maple Leafs fan named Alicia was escorted onto the ice wearing a blindfold,” reports the Huffington Post. “When the blindfold was removed, she looked up at the video scoreboard and read a message from her girlfriend, an Ottawa Senators fan named Christina.” The couple embraced, and then Christina proposed, getting down on one knee, on the ice, and putting a ring...

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Where Have All the Banners Gone?, or NCAA Tournament Demands Garden Without Championship Banners, or The Latest, Greatest Reason the NCAA is Unbelievably Lame

It was nice to see Syracuse, Ohio State, Wisconsin and Cincinati battle it out on the Garden’s parquet hardwood this past weekend. But insisting that the 23 championship banners (more than any other sports arena) and retired numbers (including Cam Neely’s #8, see below) be removed from the vaunted rafters was beyond ridonculous. Score another one for the incendiary insidiousy of the NCAA. “Their absence is the...

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More to the Miami Heat

As a diehard Boston fan, I thoroughly enjoyed seeing the Avery Bradley (not to mention Rajon Rondo) Celtics absolutely dismantle the usually championship-driven (but still (admittedly snobbishly in an old school northeast curmudgeony sort of way) expansion-feeling) Miami Heat of perennial MVP-contending Duane Wade/LeBron James fame, yesterday at the Garden. But as a concerned citizen, parent, and human being, I more than appreciated...

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Red Sox 2012: Brand vs. Baseball Team

When does brand massaging take too much precedence over team management? In the case of the current ownership group of Boston’s beloved Red Sox, I’d say sometime last summer. Welcome back worry. It’s been a while. But with the current state of Red Sox organization 2012, worry springs eternal once again. Sort of makes me long for the good ol’ days of Grady Little. To be fair, John Henry’s Fenway Sports...

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The First Rule About Castro Is: You Do Not Talk About Castro

In a recent interview with Time Magazine, Ozzie Guillen, the Venezuelan-born manager of the newly-christened Miami Marlins, who was hired in part (in addition to leading the 2005 Chicago White Sox to their first World Series championship since 1917) to help boost interest and ticket sales as the team moves into its brand new half-a-billion-dollar tax-funded Marlins Park stadium in the Little Havana section of Miami, said that he...

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Boston Marathon: 40 Years Co-Ed and Counting

Happy Marathon Monday! Patriot’s Day is always special in the Bay State. The running of the world’s oldest annual marathon. An early Sox game at Fenway. Early crowds at Boston’s many bars. The rememberance of “the shot heard round the world.” The first day of school vacation. But this year’s marathon is extra special, because it marks the 40-year anniversary of its first co-ed running, back in 1972,...

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Are You Read for El Clasico?

By all accounts, this weekend is jam-packed on the sports front. The Yankees are in town to help the Sox commemorate the 100th anniversary of Fenway Park. The Bruins host a pivotal game 5 against the playoff-upstart Capitals. The Celtics continue their intriguing playoff push. But you owe it to yourself to find the time, or the space on your DVR, for this weekend’s El Clasico between rival foes Real Madrid and FC Barcelona. For...

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Seventh Heaven! Seven Springs Ski Area Re-Opens!

If there were a magic portal from the Valley to southwestern Pennsylvania, I would be at Seven Springs today, as they re-open their ski area after getting a foot and a half of snow over the past few days. But there’s no magic portal that I know of. So instead, I’ll longingly watch this video they put together, showing their late April conditions that look better than our mid-February conditions did. Sigh. Oh well. Wait...

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Gone Hunting in Panem. Be Back Soon …

The real reason Matt Light is retiring?

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Long Distance Reading and Running in the Bold World of the James Joyce Ramble

As you cross into your ninth kilometer, exhaustedly trudging along the banks of the Charles River with thousands of other runners, you just might hear an actor reciting prose. The actor might be dressed in period garb common to the early twentieth century. And the prose being recited, from a work by James Joyce, could include the following observation: “Better to pass boldly into that other world, in the full glory of some...

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Which Is Worse: Gore-Tex Trail or Donald Trump State Park?

I recently came across a blog post about the Gore-Tex company sponsoring a long distance trail in Scotland. And how trail sponsorship is one way conservation groups and outdoor recreation organizations can raise the needed funds to protect and create access to the proverbially great outdoors. It is counterintuitive, perhaps, that leaving something alone, the intentional act of not acting, would cost so much money. That in our...

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KG Slams Wealthy Hawks Owner

Athletes far too rarely chuck the cliches and speak honestly from their unique individual perspective. But that’s exactly what Kevin Garnett did in last night’s post game press conference after he lead the “ancient” Celtics past the upstart Atlanta Hawks to win Game 6 of their first-round playoff series. Leading up to the game, Hawks owner Michael Gearson, Jr. called KG “the dirtiest guy in the...

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The Beastie Boys and the Birth of Snowboard Culture

Following the death of founding member Adam “MCA” Yauch, it’s been easy to reminisce about the Beastie Boys. Their music has been a constant for the soundtrack of youth culture and adolescent angst over the past few decades (strange to think they’ve been around for that long). But after (re-)watching many of their old videos, it struck me that “So Wat’Cha Want,” amazingly now twenty years old,...

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Back to the Eighties with the Celtics-Sixers Series

Put on your parachute pants, get out your boom box, and pop in your Thriller casette tape. The Boston Celtics and the Philadelphia 76ers, the two teams with the NBA’s best uniforms by far (if they had a throwback game, no one would notice – unless they cut the shorts like they did back then, in which case everyone would be appalled), are renewing their historic rivalry for only the second time in close to 30 years, and the...

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A Schilling For Your Hypocrisy

Nothing ruins one’s staunch criticism of the nanny state like suckling from its coffers. Former Sox pitcher Curt Schilling’s video game company, 38 Studios, was lured to Providence, Rhode Island from its offices in Maynard, Massachusetts by a $75 million state loan. But now that his company can’t pay the money back, and the Ocean State’s taxpayers could be left footing the bill, espoused fiscal conservative...

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Unpredictable Celtics Predictably Pacing Themselves

It’s difficult to get a good read on this year’s Celtics team. One quarter, they look like championship contenders. The next, they look like they’ll never score another basket. If the Celtics close out the Sixers tonight in Game 6 of their best of seven series, they’ll most likely have to play their best basketball for the duration of most of the game. Those are proving to be some big Ifs for this year’s...

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Paddle On! Green Connecticut River Gets Blueway Status

Looking for a good Free Sport way to ring in the Memorial Day Weekend (aside from watching Game 7 of the Celtics-Sixers series, of course)? Head on over to our country’s first National Blueway, the Connecticut River, right here in our very own Pioneer Valley. That’s right. The Connecticut River, which certainly does not enjoy the reputation of a pristine ecological waterway, just gained eminent Green status by being...

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If You Can Play, It Doesn't Matter If You're Gay

With the Bruins long gone, and the Celtics still stumbling forward, I won’t be watching much of this year’s Stanley Cup Finals. But when I do look in on the quest for Lord Stanley’s Cup, I’m hoping to see a nationally televised commercial/PSA from the You Can Play project. You Can Play is a series of video spots of various hockey players saying that if you can play, it doesn’t matter if you’re gay....

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Paddle Your Way to the 5th Annual Fort River Celebration Day

Backyard exploration is a hobby often overlooked, and easily underappreciated. A river runs freely here in the Valley, and conservationists and recreationists of all ages will be at its edge this weekend with paddles in hand for the 5th annual Fort River Celebration Day. The day’s events will feature several interactive learning experiences, as well as the ever-popular Rubber Ducky Race (“Ladies and gentlemen, start your...

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Tom Brady Is Wicked Funny

The folks over at Funny Or Die have hit another home run (or should that be last-minute touchdown drive?) with this wicked funny video featuring California native, Pats quarterback, and Under Armour celebrity athlete spokesperson Tom Brady, who clearly does not have a Boston accent, but does his best to make the good people of San Mateo, Massachusetts proud nonetheless. Tom Brady’s Wicked Accent from Tom...

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Anatomy of a Game-Clinching Shot

At its simplest, sports games are a series of moments. A fast ball to home plate. A face-off in the red zone. A 35-yard field goal attempt. Most times, the action of these moments are rendered insignificant by successive plays. But other times, these moments have a far-reaching effect on not only that game, but also a season, a career, a legacy. Sometimes, such a moment seems to transcend the oppressively restrictive time-space...

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King James vs. The Franchise Formerly Known as the Seattle Supersonics

As the dust settles on this past Celtics season, and likely on the era of the new-look Big 3, Bay State hoops fans seem likely to put their rooting muster behind the NBA’s newest franchise: the Oklahoma City Thunder. After all, OKC is centered by former Celtic Kendrick Perkins, and perennial league scoring leader and MVP candidate Kevin Durant is as under the radar a superstar as is possible in this age of 24-hour ESPN coverage,...

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Kermit the Frog, Forgetful Jones, and Eddie Vedder on the NBA Finals

It’s not often that one finds actual hoops commentary on Sesame Street. And less often, still, that such commentary is applicable to the NBA Finals. Nevertheless, in considering the current championship series between athletic-center-of-the-universe (be it his fault or that of our never-satiated 24-hour sports media, or, most likely, a bit of both) LeBron “The King” James’ Miami Heat (team), and the Oklahoma...

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