Ocho figures to be in element in Indy


Ocho figures to be in element in Indy

FOXBORO - Back in July, Chad Ochocinco ended his first press conference with the Patriots media by asking for a group hug. He promised he'd be engaging, entertaining. He'd whisper to each media member individually that, if we just give him some time to get the offense down, he'd "give you guys the best (stuff) you ever had."Sounded great. Unfortunately, football -- the reason most of the media was there in the first place -- got in the way. Almost immediately, it was obvious Ocho was having trouble doing something really important. Catching the football.
He slogged along through camp -- even catching a touchdown pass in the Patriots first preseason game. Hekept mostly quiet except to say he was dangerously close to breaking out. When he figured it out, he'd share his thoughts. When the regular season started and it was apparent he was an afterthought in the Patriots offense, Ochocinco began retreating further. He declined interview after interview. Then, in the third game of the season, Ocho dropped a certain fourth-quarter touchdown pass from Tom Brady. After the game, he declined to speak to the media as a whole but did speak individually to a few reporters. And that has basically been it. He decided the football media in New England was against him and went to radio silence. Given he was on his way to a 15-catch season, he was left to his own devices because -- really -- what else could one ask him except why he was such a disappointment for 6 million. But now, after being inactive for the AFC Championship game, Ochocinco is again holding court. Selectively. He spoke Thursday to the Associated Press, a Canadian TV station, and had pancakes with a NECN reporter. He was charming. Of course, the interviews were on his terms. With his football relevance now nil, it clears the way for the Chad Ochocinco Brand to be advanced. Football, it seems, has merely been a conduit for him to become a celebrity. That's his vocation. "This is the whole point of Twitter, which is good for me," Ocho told the AP. "The mainstream media, they had control of my image, telling people what I'm about. Twitter allows me to take back that control. It cuts out the middleman and lets me show who I really am."Having observed the guy for this season up close and followed his career, it's not hard to figure out who he really is. Intelligent. Funny. Conniving. Introspective. Isolationist. Needy. Generous. It's ironic, that football allowed Chad Johnson to turn himself from a player into Chad Ochocinco, entertainment entity. He's worked extremely hard at creating his brand. But in order to get to the most precious pulpit in sport -- a seat on a stage at the Super Bowl -- he had to shut up and go underground lest his overpaid, irrelevant behind get cut. But he's played it shrewdly. And now, the man who's played one snap in the playoffs, can don his sunglasses and hold court as a member of the New England Patriots, AFC Champions.

Bruins will play Blackhawks in 2019 NHL Winter Classic at Notre Dame


Bruins will play Blackhawks in 2019 NHL Winter Classic at Notre Dame

The Bruins will once again be taking things outdoors and participating in their third Winter Classic in franchise history, but for the first time they won’t be hosting the NHL’s centerpiece event. The B’s announced on Saturday afternoon that they’ll be facing off against the Chicago Blackhawks in the 2019 Winter Classic that will be played at iconic Notre Dame Stadium. Both the Bruins and Blackhawks aren’t exactly strangers to the outdoor showcase, and per usual the Black and Gold are happy to be part of a big deal event for the league.

“The Boston Bruins are excited to be playing in the 2019 Bridgestone Winter Classic against another storied Original Six franchise, the Chicago Blackhawks,” said Bruins President Cam Neely, in a press release. “The rich history of Notre Dame Stadium is well documented, and our team looks forward to playing at such an iconic venue. We hope that by participating in these large scale and unique NHL events we can bring Bruins fans new hockey experiences, and that we can use these opportunities to help grow our great game and attract new fans.”

There will be some natural storylines for the game including the rematch of the 2013 Stanley Cup Final participants, and a return to Notre Dame for Fighting Irish forward Anders Bjork after playing three seasons in South Bend. The Bruins/Blackhawks Winter Classic matchup was first reported by Barstool Sports almost two weeks ago, but it wasn’t until Saturday that any of the officials involved were ready to confirm the game.

The Bruins will be in their third Winter Classic after hosting the Jan. 1 outdoor game at Fenway Park in 2010 in an overtime win over the Philadelphia Flyers, and at Gillette Stadium in 2016 in a blowout loss to the Montreal Canadiens.  It is a league-most fourth Winter Classic appearance for the Blackhawks, who hosted the Detroit Red Wings at Wrigley Field in 2009, took on the Washington Capitals at Nationals Park in 2015, and most recently played the St. Louis Blues at Busch Stadium in 2017.

Stevens: Celtics haven't played well enough to make streak 'valid'


Stevens: Celtics haven't played well enough to make streak 'valid'

You know who else - besides Charles Barkley - isn't impressed by the Celtics' 14-game winning streak?

Their coach. 


At the shootaround in Atlanta before the Celtics attempt to make it 15 in a row tonight against the Hawks, Brad Stevens told reporters, including ESPN's Chris Forsberg, that his team hasn't played well enough to make the streak "valid." 

“We haven’t played well enough to consider this win streak to be valid in my opinion,” Stevens said."We’ve figured out ways to win games. We gotta play a lot better.”

The Celtics have come back from double-digit deficits a number of times in the streak. Stevens said they're fortunate those rallies have kept the streak going.  

"We've got to be better, and we know that," Stevens said. "We can't get so caught up in the results of all these games and ride that emotion. We've been fortunate to win a lot of the games in this streak, including Thursday night [92-88 over the defending champion Golden State Warriors]. If we dig ourselves a 17-point hole every other game, it's not going to be as much fun as we've had recently."