NBC Sports Boston crew airs their sports grievances for Festivus
Who needs Christmas when there's Festivus?
We're taking a page right out of "Seinfeld", and as the calendar once again hits December 23, we're honoring Frank Costanza's favorite holiday and celebrating a Festivus for the rest of us. You won't see a metal pole or any distracting tinsel here, and while we won't be participating in any feats of strength, we're focusing on the airing of grievances.
Our NBC Sports Boston on-air talent has a bunch of things that bother them in the sports world, so it's time for them to say, "I got a lot of problems with you people ... and now you're gonna hear about it!"
I’m a proud student of Heinsohn University in this sense: I still don’t understand why the NBA hasn’t been more aggressive in fixing its officiating.
Not all of them are bad, of course. But for too long the league has lacked consistency in its calls and transparency in the process. It seems to me that there are too many officials stuck in a “This is the way it’s always been done” mentality (and that’s part of the reason we have the annoying “star” calls).
I’m looking for Adam Silver to lead a revolution here soon.
I've been a sports fan for as long as I remember. I like the passion and competitiveness shown by the players, coaches, and even the fans. But one thing I can do without is the constant moaning and whining about the officiating.
It seems like the first thing players, coaches and fans want to do when their team loses is blame the refs. I get it. The officials aren't perfect. And when there's an egregious call made, the referees should be held accountable. But not every loss is about the officiating. Sometimes the other team is better, or they make the plays when it matters most or they were just better on that day. Instead of blaming the refs all the time, we should take a look at what our team could have done better.
Or how about this novel idea; give the opponent some credit and admit they were a better team on this day.
Patriots pass on George Kittle: I know! I get it! Everyone hits and misses in the draft at about the same rate. It's a crap shoot. But George Kittle, the fifth-round pick who now has an argument as the league's best tight end, was right ... there ... for the Patriots in the 2017 draft. They passed on him. And passed on him. And passed on him again. The Patriots didn't pick until No. 83 overall that year, but they still had three opportunities to get The Next Big Thing at that position at the tail end of Rob Gronkowski's career. Would've helped. Part of the reason it makes this list is because Kittle looked like such an obvious fit.
From our Prototypical Patriots series that year: "I've mentioned Kittle on just about every platform we have: mock drafts, podcasts, Boston Sports Tonight. It's a healthy obsession. And there's a reason for it. At this position he's the clear-cut best fit for the Patriots in this class, in my opinion. Part of the reason for that is because he's expected to go in the middle rounds, and that's where the Patriots have picks. But it's mostly because of what he can do on the field. He's more than athletic enough -- 4.52-second 40, 35-inch vertical, 132-inch broad jump -- to create space in opposing secondaries. He was also an impactful run-blocker for the Hawkeyes under head coach Kirk Ferentz (a former assistant to Bill Belichick in Cleveland) and Ferentz's son Brian (who once served as the tight ends coach in New England). The Patriots will know that Kittle's been taught the fundamentals properly. And they'll know that if they get a good recommendation from the Ferentz family, they can count on it."
Three years later, the Patriots are still looking for their next tight end.
Patriots fans have seen nothing but winning, so they refuse to look at a given season as anything but the Pats steamrolling over everyone.
The run to Super Bowl LIII wasn't business as usual, and that's what made that season so fun. They weren't their usual dominant selves. They changed their identity on the fly and pulled a title out of their asses.
Acting like winning the Super Bowl is a predetermined fate waters down the actual accomplishment.
Oh, MLB, why oh why can’t you get out of your own way??? I have loved you for three decades; Now it takes three decades to play a single game.
Between the heavy sighs and long, romantic walks around the mound and the Rafael Nadal-like routines in the batter’s box, the game has gone from a nice leisurely pace to an ultramarathon. Your unwritten rules are draconian (Are we really letting the kids play??). Players Weekend is the worst marketing I’ve ever seen.
Please fix our national pastime before your time has passed.
The NBA was well-intentioned with the idea of adding coaches’ challenges. Only they rushed into it and, 30 games into the 2019-20 season, coaches are still figuring out what they can actually challenge (and whether it’s worth it). Worse yet, the challenges bring these games to a screeching halt and — all the reviews, challenge or otherwise — need to be tightened up as not to sap all the momentum on the court.
Let’s give a guy in the NBA’s Replay Center in Secaucus, N.J. with 94 HD monitors (no, really, there’s 94 monitors in that room) a limit of 30 seconds to make a call and radio it back to the on-court refs. Now the on-court ref doesn’t need a monitor set up for him, doesn’t have to worry about overturning his own call, and the games get moving again almost immediately with confidence the right call was made.
It's fresh in my mind, so I'll say this: I absolutely HATE that earlier this month (Pearl Harbor Day, to be exact) Steve Kerr tweeted a happy birthday video of Larry Bird highlights in order to remind everyone of No. 33's greatness.
It dovetails with a comment Kobe Bryant made back in 2013 that "people really forgot how great Larry Bird was." As a child of the '80s, it's sickening that we could live in a world that doesn't give the three-time MVP his due.
You people disgust me.
It's not the advent of technology into our games that annoys me; it's the way it's used.
All four sports should have one official assigned to each game that sits in front of screen. I don't care if this official is at the game, at league headquarters or sitting on a couch in their boxer shorts mowing on pork rinds. They can see what the officials there cannot. This official should simply push a button and say, "Hey, you losers. You got it wrong. Fix it."
No challenges, no replay, no stoppage in play for five minutes. Just somebody that sees the same thing you and I see at home. And pass the pork rinds.
A. SHERROD BLAKELY
Tony Allen signs with Memphis, 2010.
Not pursuing Tony Allen with more vigor from the start of his free agency in 2010 was a mistake by Danny Ainge that in hindsight, Ainge acknowledged. But things worked out for all involved.
The Celtics would later draft a pair of elite defenders (Avery Bradley and later, Marcus Smart) while Allen signed with Memphis and would go on to become a basketball icon in the city with his “Grit and Grind” brand of basketball.
TOM E. CURRAN
This is everything. That’s something I can do without. Those three vapid words. Usually, they’ll be burped up on Twitter, followed closely by an observation that whatever “this” happens to be, is also what the person “is here for.” That gives me none of “the feels.” It’s also not my “spirit animal.”
Want some more grievances for Festivus? That many Americans don’t know helmet-to-helmet contact on a runner is legal. That anyone putting their hand FULLY UNDER THE BALL and then rolling it back to continue dribbling, especially at the start of a drive, is getting away with a blatant carry. Anyone thinking James White is in the same stratosphere as Kevin Faulk. People mad at college kids for bailing on meaningless bowl games.
College basketball announcers crediting the coach for every damn thing that happens on the court. Cameramen under the basket. That pass interference replay didn’t work and will be repealed. Anyone thinking it’s Sony Michel’s fault. The Patriots drafting Lee Smith, A.J. Derby and Ryan Izzo and nobody else at the tight end position since 2011. Airing customer service complaints on social media. People replying to customer service complaints on social media with either their own complaints or mealy-mouthed “Sorry you are going through this … “ empathy.
There are other grievances buried deep in my heart. Many other grievances. But for today, this is everything.
This is a small ask, but can we please change the width of a basketball court from 50 feet to 52 feet?
How many times do we have to see a player line up to take a three from the corner and then watch the ref point at the sideline and whistle the guy for barely being out of bounds? It's perhaps the most annoying turnover in basketball. The three-point line has been moved back over time — the sidelines need to be as well.
Just a foot on each side. Please.
I hate video review in all pro sports.
Give me the days when human error became a part of the narrative for professional sports, and we weren’t breaking down milliseconds on the instant replay of a ball carrier crossing the goal line. Or micro-analyzing what is and isn’t goalie interference in hockey to the point where we don’t even know what is or isn’t legal anymore.
This doesn’t even mention the interminable delays to each of the sports that use instant replay and video review, and instead of watching action people get to watch a gaggle of officials huddled around an iPad or a video screen.
I’ve been on this train if you have been watching BST so I’ll carry it over as my grievance for 2019.... Kicking in the NFL has never been worse!
Can we start putting more emphasis on developing quality kickers moving forward? It’s the forgotten man, the butt of all jokes, but the laughing stops when your team needs that winning field goal with a second left on the clock! Kicking matters, yet teams treat these guys like they are easily replaceable and easily disposable, but quality kickers right now are hidden gems in the National Football League.
I would love to see more quality kickers developed through the college game and see more guys get it through the uprights on football's biggest stage come next season.