Picked-up pieces from Houston, Fort Myers, and everywhere in between . . .
■ Boston College is looking for an athletic director in the wake of the failed five-year regime of Brad Bates, who was never a good fit for the job. Despite BC’s historic levels of losing in revenue sports in the Atlantic Coast Conference, the AD job is a much-coveted position and the Eagles’ search committee will have no shortage of capable applicants. Virginia Commonwealth AD Ed McLaughlin (BC, ’95) is a logical fit and other names being kicked around include UCLA associate AD Chris Iacoi (BC ’01), Kennesaw State AD Vaughn Williams, Army AD Boo Corrigan, and Villanova AD Mark Jackson. There’s consideration for letting one of the veteran Eagle coaches/administrators (Barry Gallup, Jerry York, John Kane) hold down the fort for a few years. A guy the Eagles would do well to consider is former BC baseball coach Peter Hughes. Currently the baseball coach at Oklahoma, Hughes is from Brockton, went to BC High, and knows just about everybody in the BC athletic department from his nine years as the baseball boss. Hughes is 49 and would be able to shower some love on estranged alums who are angry about what has happened to football and basketball. There is no reason for BC to be this bad in the big-time sports. It’s a white-hot school in the eyes of high school kids around the country and the admissions department is not as Ivy League-strict as Eagles apologists would like you to believe. What’s sad is that BC football and basketball have become downright irrelevant in the last decade while the Patriots, Red Sox, Celtics, and Bruins are bigger than ever. We are always going to be a pro sports town, but Boston College can still get a small slice of the local sports pie if the Eagles can get football (11-29 in the ACC in the last five years) and basketball (17-72) back to the levels we witnessed during the Jack Bicknell, Tom Coughlin, Tom O’Brien, Jim O’Brien, and Al Skinner years.
■ Sorry to hear that the CITGO sign is endangered. This is simply wrong. For more than a half-century the sign has been the skyline backdrop of every great Fenway Park moment. It also has been the Hub’s late-night lighthouse, steering hundreds of thousands of woozy collegians back to their dorms and frat houses in the midnight hours. The Great Gatsby had the billboard eyes of Dr. Eckleburg. We have CITGO. The sign long ago transcended the practical purpose of advertising for a fuel corporation. Who thinks of their term-life policy when they see the Empire State Building? The CITGO sign is the soul of Boston. It must stay and remain lit. For more info, click here.
■ When did “stand pat,” “do nothing,” and “the best move is no move” become the optimal decision for every local franchise, and the recommendation of just about every person who covers every team? I must be getting too old and impatient for this, but I kind of like it when management shakes things up, fires the coach, trades a player, or takes a chance on a big-money free agent. Where’s the fun in patience?
■ Fanboy Richard Berman — the US District judge who ignored his charge and ruled in favor of Tom Brady in an early phase of the Deflategate mess, showed his colors again after the Patriots won the Super Bowl in Houston. His honor, who attended the same party attended by Bob Kraft after ruling on Deflategate, then bragged to his college paper about his celebrity status back in Boston, wrote a missive of congrats to the Patriots after their win over the Falcons.
■ Quiz: How many times did Bill Belichick say, “No days off!’’ at the Patriots’ victory rally? (answer below)
■ According to the Elias Sports Bureau, NFL teams with a lead of 25 or more points are 2,545-4-2 in regular-season games. In the playoffs, they were 102-2 before the Falcons choked.
■ Like Pete Carroll, Atlanta coach Dan Quinn stubbornly insists that he’d do everything the same if he had another chance to win the Super Bowl. “We’re an aggressive team and we’re going to take our shots,’’ Quinn said of the stupid calls he made when he had a chance to close out the Super Bowl. “The reason we were able to play in the Super Bowl was because we were aggressive.’’ Swell. Way to adjust, Coach. That’s why Belichick is worth 10 points per game against these scared, intransigent dopes.
■ Here’s Jackie Bradley Jr. on his connection to Michael Jordan: “His grandfather and my grandmother’s grandmother are brother and sister. I figured it out. I didn’t used to think that the ‘removed’ was an actual thing. I thought people just said it. But apparently it is a thing. My mom always told me. His grandfather came to our family reunion when I was 8 years old. My whole family is from North Carolina. Can I dunk? I guess we’ll have to find out. Me saying it is not seeing it. I’ve dunked before. I think I stick my tongue out sometimes, too.’’
■ I still say the Celtics should have emptied the vault for DeMarcus Cousins. At the time of the Cousins trade to the Pelicans, he was averaging 27.8 points, 10.7 rebounds, and 4.8 assists per game. According to Basketball-Reference.com, the only NBA players with similar numbers over a full season are Oscar Robertson, Larry Bird, Wilt Chamberlain, Elgin Baylor, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
■ Love this NBA TV quote from Kevin Garnett: “AAU has killed our league. Seriously, I hate to even say this, but it’s real. From the perspective that these kids are not being taught anything.’’ Amen.
■ The Red Wings say goodbye to Joe Louis Arena at the end of the season. The Joe is the second-oldest NHL rink (Madison Square Garden) and has been a playoff host 31 times, including each of the last 25 seasons. Alas, The Joe is likely to go dark early this spring.
■ We were all sad to hear of the passing of 36-year-old Neil Fingleton, the 7-foot-7-inch giant who played basketball at Holy Name High, North Carolina, and Holy Cross before he became more famous as Mag the Mighty on HBO’s “Game of Thrones.’’ Fingleton’s high school hoop coach was J.P. Ricciardi, who later became general manager of the Blue Jays.
■ The Big Ten does not have a top-10 men’s basketball team and may not have a team seeded higher than fifth in the NCAA tourney.
■ Bob Kraft and his BFF Elton John got into a bidding war over a Norman Seeff black-and-white print of Carly Simon at Sir Elton’s annual Academy Awards viewing party last weekend. Elton scored the print with a pledge of $70,000.
■ Ted Williams’s former home in the Florida Keys recently went on the market for $4.2 million.
■ Everybody’s familiar with Bill Walton’s famous son, Luke, but Nate Walton, another of Bill and Susan’s four boys, has made the big time in high finance. A former basketball captain at Princeton, Nate Walton recently orchestrated a shale deal that the Wall Street Journal said is expected to net more than $1 billion within a year. Big Bill told the Journal, “I’m a solar guy.’’
■ Yes, Yoenis Cespedes’s agents used his New York tabloid back-page appearances to help calculate the slugger’s value in contract talks after last season. Clearly, Oil Can Boyd was ahead of his time.
■ Bill Fitch deserves a longer look from the Basketball Hall of Fame.
■ If Georgetown dumps John Thompson III, why not hire Patrick Ewing to take over the Hoyas’ hoop program?
■ Quiz answer: nine.
■ Margot Robbie, a stunning beauty who starred in “The Wolf of Wall Street,” has been selected to play Tonya Harding in a biopic about the former Olympic skater. This would be like casting Brad Pitt to star in “The Dan Shaughnessy Story.’’