Patriots

Mayor defends New Orleans after blackout

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Mayor defends New Orleans after blackout

From Comcast SportsNetNEW ORLEANS (AP) -- New Orleans' mayor defended his city days after a power outage plunged the Super Bowl into 34 minutes of darkness, while authorities still baffled by the cause announced they were bringing in a consultant to help investigate.The outage that embarrassed New Orleans as it sought to showcase its rebound from the devastation of Hurricane Katrina happened despite hundreds of thousands of dollars of improvements to decaying utility lines, documents show.Mayor Mitch Landrieu sought to put an upbeat spin on the matter at a news conference Tuesday, saying the city's performance as host was near flawless despite the lights-out episode."The 34 minutes of darkness will never overshadow or outshine the city of New Orleans and how we performed this Super Bowl week," Landrieu said.He also said the outage won't pull the plug on city plans to bid for an 11th Super Bowl in 2018. It last hosted a Super Bowl in 2002, three years before Katrina swamped the city.Concerned the Superdome might not be able to handle the energy needed for its first Super Bowl since Katrina, officials spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on upgrades to decayed utility lines, according to the documents obtained by The Associated Press.The improvements apparently weren't enough, however, to prevent the glaring third quarter outage that was as much talked about as the Baltimore Ravens' 34-31 victory over the San Francisco 49ers.Still, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said the city did a terrific job hosting this time. "I fully expect that we will be back here for Super Bowls," he said.On Tuesday, Superdome officials and the power provider Entergy New Orleans said they had failed to find a cause for the outage. They added they would hire a consultant to analyze their data. It wasn't clear how long an investigation would take."We thought it was important to get another party looking at this to make sure we were looking at everything that we need to," Entergy spokesman Chanel Lagarde said.Tests on the electrical feeders that connect incoming power from utility lines to the stadium showed decay and "a chance of failure," state officials warned in a memo dated Oct. 15. The documents also show that Entergy expressed concern about the reliability of the service before the Super Bowl.The memo said Entergy and the Superdome's engineering staff "had concerns regarding the reliability of the Dome service from Entergy's connection point to the Dome."The memo was prepared for the Louisiana Stadium & Exposition District, the state body responsible for the Superdome.Authorities subsequently authorized spending nearly 1 million on Superdome improvements, including more than 600,000 for upgrading the dome's electrical feeder cable system, work that was done in December."As discussed in previous board meetings, this enhancement is necessary to maintain both the Superdome and the New Orleans Arena as top tier facilities, and to ensure that we do not experience any electrical issues during the Super Bowl," said an LSED document dated Dec. 19.Superdome commission records show a 513,250 contract to replace feeder cables was awarded to Louisiana-based Allstar Electric. Arthur Westbrook, Allstar's project manager for the job, referred all questions to the management company.A lawyer for the LSED, Larry Roedel, said a preliminary investigation found the replacement work in December did not appear to have caused Sunday's outage.And meters showed the 76,000-seat stadium was drawing no more electricity than it does during a typical New Orleans Saints game, according to Doug Thornton, vice president for the Superdome's management company, SMGHe also ruled out Beyonce's halftime performance. She brought her own generator.Officials with the utility and the Superdome were quick to note that an NFL game, the Sugar Bowl and the New Orleans Bowl also were played there in recent weeks.Both Entergy and SMG said Sunday that an "abnormality" occurred where stadium equipment intersects with an Entergy electric feed, causing a breaker to create the outage. It remained unclear what the abnormality was or why it occurred.

BEST OF BST PODCAST: Patriots advance to AFC title game vs. Jaguars

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BEST OF BST PODCAST: Patriots advance to AFC title game vs. Jaguars

0:41 - Tom Curran and Albert Breer discuss some of the big takeaways from the Patriots win over the Titans in the Divisional Round of the playoffs.

4:49 - Jalen Ramsey told the fans in Jacksonville that the Jaguars would be going to the Super Bowl. Michael Holley, Tom Giles, and Kayce Smith talk about if they have a problem with what Ramsey said and if the Patriots would be using his quote as bulletin board material.

9:25 - Curran, Breer, and Giles discuss Matt Patricia and Josh McDaniels likely not returning with the Patriots as Patricia seems to be headed towards the Lions while McDaniels goes to the Colts.

14:06 - Michael Hurley joins BST to preview the Jaguars/Patriots matchup and discuss the Patriots schedule and road to the Super Bowl. 

No hesitation from Chara in scoring after scary incident in Montreal

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No hesitation from Chara in scoring after scary incident in Montreal

BOSTON – Less than 48 hours after one of his legendarily hard slap shots put a Montreal Canadiens forward in the hospital after striking him in the head, Zdeno Chara didn’t hesitate when given the chance to wind up and blast away on Monday afternoon.

It was the 40-year-old Chara that rocketed a slapper past Kari Lehtonen at the end of the second period, and in doing so energized the Bruins while getting them on the scoreboard. The Chara goal helped earn the Black and Gold a point in overtime before eventually falling to the Dallas Stars by a 3-2 score at TD Garden on Monday afternoon.

The Bruins captain had been texting with the felled Montreal winger on Monday, and was fully aware that Phillip Danault was out of the hospital and doing well aside from understandable concussion symptoms after a puck to the head. Perhaps that eased Chara’s mind just a little when it came time to lean into another wind-up slapper on Monday, but it was also certainly aided by the lack of brave bodies willing to front one of his heavy, hard point blasts.

“I obviously spoke to Phillip a number of times. I talked to him right after the game and wanted to make sure he was okay, and he texted me back that he’s doing fine. He’s been released [from the hospital] and that’s very positive, good news,” said Chara. “It’s obviously very unfortunate that it’s something that happens quite often, but it’s something you never want to see with somebody getting hit and hurt. I’m very happy he’s going to recover fully and hopefully he’s back on the ice and playing hockey [soon] like we all do.”

Was there any hesitation to Chara winding up and stepping into a 100-mph slap shot so quickly after the ugly incident in Montreal?

“It’s something that doesn’t happen very often where you have that clean [shooting] path to the net where you can settle the puck, take a look and take a full slapper,” said Chara. “Usually teams play so well structurally that there’s already somebody fronting it, and you’ve got to get it through him with bodies in front. It does happen, but it’s nice that you have that time to put everything on it.”

That’s exactly what the 6-foot-9 defenseman did in sparking the Bruins to come back from a 2-0 deficit and push for the overtime point while extending their point streak to a season-best 13 games and counting.

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