Picked-up pieces while fondly remembering a year ago when we were readying for Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final against the Blues on Memorial Day …
▪ Please stop it, Tom Brady. We’ve been grudgingly OK with you being amazingly tone-deaf in the middle of this COVID-19 crisis, but your latest sales pitch borders on wartime profiteering.
Brady’s high-end “we are superior to you” TB12 company released a new "immunity supplement'' this past week. The new product is a lot like the supplement bundle TB12 promoted at the end of March. Company CEO John Burns shamelessly told Yahoo! Sports, "Now more than ever, it’s important to have daily support for a healthy immune response.''
Now more than ever.
Get it? Now. In the middle of a global pandemic. You need this stuff to fight off the coronavirus. A 30-day supply goes for $45.
The timing and wording of this offer is odious and repugnant. Brady should be better than this, especially after he dangerously endorsed “Neurosafe,” a concoction advertised as "a seat belt for your brain'' (later taken out of circulation at the urging of the Federal Trade Commission).
Why, Tom, why? Just stop with this nonsense. Here’s hoping the Bucs lose 'em all.
▪ Let’s not reinvent outgoing athletic director Martin Jarmond as someone who turned things around at Boston College. Jarmond left this past week to become athletic director at UCLA, which is more evidence of what a terrible college sports town Boston has become.
Jarmond came here from Ohio State and quickly learned the irrelevance of big-time college sports in our pro sports town. (Remember the autumn of 2007, when the football Eagles were ranked second in the country for two weeks and nobody noticed? It’s only gotten worse in the last 13 years.)
Football was 20-18 under Jarmond. Men’s basketball 46-52. Men’s hockey 58-44-8.
Before going out the door, Jarmond fired football coach Steve Addazio and hired Jeff Hafley. He stood by struggling men’s hoop coach Jim Christian. He oversaw successful programs in women’s hockey, basketball, and lacrosse. He was a good fund-raiser. But he gutted a nationally ranked women’s soccer program (1-8-1 in the ACC in 2019) when he pushed longtime coach Alison Foley out the door.
BC needs to find a young Jerry York for its next AD — somebody with local roots who will make a career and a life at Chestnut Hill. Enough with the carpetbaggers who use the place as a steppingstone.
▪ Breaks my heart to see Bowling Green kill its baseball program. There will be plenty more of this across America. Many “nonrevenue” college teams will pay the price of the coronavirus new normal. Orel Hershiser is one of many Bowling Green alums who made a big splash in the major leagues.
▪ Kudos to the Herald’s Mark Murphy for getting Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to comment on the Bucks losing to the Celtics in the 1974 NBA Finals.
"The real difference was the officiating,'' said Abdul-Jabbar. "When we played them in the Finals, every game that Richie Powers officiated, we lost. Powers wasn’t especially keen on calling fouls against Cowens.''
Dave Cowens was gobsmacked when he heard those remarks.
"I can’t believe he’s saying something like that,'' said Cowens. "He was a great player, but I never got any breaks from the officials.''
▪ In Willie Mays’s new book with John Shea, Mays talks about the Red Sox’ non-effort to sign him when he played with the Birmingham Black Barons in 1949.
"The Red Sox scouted me, too,'' writes Mays. "They didn’t like African-American guys back then so I didn’t get a chance to play there.''
This from co-author Shea: "Several teams had various levels of interest, but no team looked as ridiculous as the Red Sox … Of all the teams that whiffed on Mays, he mentions the Red Sox the most.''
Through Shea, Mays talked to the New York Times about the Red Sox and said, "Oh, they had me easy . . . When I went to the All Star Game over there [Fenway Park] — in 1961 — they wanted me to say that I wanted to be a Red Sock. I said, ‘No, I’ll go where they paid my family.' ’'
▪ QUIZ: Name seven basketball players who won NCAA and NBA championships, plus Olympic gold. (Answer below.)
▪ Ed Davis should be cracking the case in the Dominican Republic any day now.
▪ WWE Raw ring announcer JoJo is the daughter of former Red Sox infielder Jose Offerman.
▪ Veteran running back Frank Gore, who should know better, is the latest to get sucked into the false notion that the AFC is now up for grabs because Brady’s gone. "I think it’s wide open,'' said Gore, now a Jet. Every time I read these quotes, I hear Bill Belichick snickering and snorting.
▪ Bill Parcells on the 1996 signing of Adam Vinatieri by New England:
"My special teams coach was Mike Sweatman. I had a rule I used at the end of the year that I learned from Al Davis. I would say, ‘I don’t care who we have kicking or punting. I want to find out who the three best kickers in the country are and we will work them out.’
"So we did that. Sweatman came back and said, ‘This guy from South Dakota State — nobody’s even talking to him, but he’s a powerful guy and he’s got a really good leg.’ So we got him here and he was going to law school. We signed him for $500.''
▪ Reached out to Bill Walton for confirmation of a long-ago story about visiting Indiana in the 1980s for a tour of Hoosier hoop history.
"Larry [Bird], Quinn Buckner, and I were ‘escorted’ to Larry’s boyhood home in French Lick, where I did scoop up some dirt from his home court,'' Walton reported.
Walton put the dirt in a jar and sprinkled it on his driveway home court in San Diego.
On the same trip, Walton and Bird tried to get Buckner to lead them to Bobby Knight’s home in Bloomington for an early-morning call, but Buckner declined.
▪ Rick Pitino to the New York Post on Kyrie Irving: "I spoke to the Celtic equipment manager who I’m very close with, and he said Kyrie really didn’t deserve the criticism he got because he’s a good guy, very intelligent. Sometimes you gotta spend time with people before you pass judgment.''
Swell, Rick. And sometimes you can tell that a player is a selfish, pseudo-intellectual fraud.
▪ Curt Schilling’s family and friends should do him a favor: take away his laptop and cellphone and lock him away until the end of 2020 to make sure he does nothing to dent his candidacy for the Cooperstown class of 2021. Schill is a lock to gain election on the next ballot if he can steer clear of inane/dangerous commentary.
▪ Anybody remember NBA doubleheaders at the Old Garden? On Wednesday, Nov. 15, 1967, you could have seen the San Diego Rockets play the Knicks at 6:45 p.m., followed by the Celtics vs. the San Francisco Warriors at 9.
My favorites were the Sunday matinee twin bills. I can’t prove it, but I’m pretty sure I once saw Wilt Chamberlain in Game 1 and Bill Russell in Game 2 on a Sunday afternoon at the Garden.
▪ Shout out to Chad Johnson for leaving a $1,000 tip on a $37 check when a Cuban cuisine restaurant reopened in Cooper City, Fla., this past week. "Sorry about the pandemic, hope this helps,'' Ochocinco wrote on the receipt.
▪ More Jason Hehir folklore. A Newton native, now famous as director of "The Last Dance,'' Hehir interned for Mike Lynch at Channel 5 and, at the age of 11, interviewed Channel 4 legend Bob Lobel.
▪ Aren’t you glad we didn’t listen to J.T. Watkins when he implored us to bring the 2024 Olympics to Boston?
▪ Quiz answer: Bill Russell, Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, K.C. Jones, Jerry Lucas, Clyde Lovellette, Quinn Buckner.