Jerry Ballgame checks in on Austin Rivers, the Celtics, Tim Tebow and some omissions from his post on placekicking.
TALK ABOUT “SHOWBOATING”:
As you can well imagine, as soon as Austin Rivers declared for the draft, speculation went wild in Boston as to what it would be like to have the Duke star playing for his Dad, Celtic coach Glenn ‘Doc’ Rivers. Having, once upon a time coached my own kids, I’m here to suggest to Doc to not do it. You’re either going to be too easy or too hard on him, and dealing with the other parents can be a real headache…..
OK, seriously, I know that it’s very unlikely that Austin will end up in Boston, but not because of my concerns, it’s just not likely he’ll still be available when it’s the Celtics turn to draft. I have to believe that team president Danny Ainge tried to leverage aging shooting guard Ray Allen into a trading deadline deal that might have moved them up, but it did not happen. Reports were that Ainge was trying to get a player and a number one for Allen, a rather steep price. A shame; would have been interesting to see him wearing Green. I just hope young Mr. Rivers doesn’t surface in New York….
Speaking of Ray Allen, the C’s went on a nice little tear (10-1) while he was out with an ankle injury, thanks in large part to the outstanding defensive play of second year guard Avery Bradley. By now I’m sure you have seen his rejection of a D-Wade attempt at a stuff on all the highlight shows. (I wonder if Wade tried to get ESPN to edit it out?) Although most experts are assuming Bradley will return to the bench when Allen is healthy, I expect he has made himself an important part of any post season run that they may make. Combined with Kevin Garnett’s play at center, as well as Rondo’s tendency to show up for nationally televised games, the Celtics could be that team no one wants to play. I doubt they could beat either Chicago (assuming Rose’s healthy) or the Heat in along series, but they could make it tough.
Speaking of Coach Rivers, he is responsible for one of my favorite all time quotes. When asked by a reporter a very specific medical question about an injured player, Rivers just looked at the guy and said, “You do know that ‘Doc’ is just a nickname, right?” Classic.
GINO AND THE DROPKICK FLUTIE:
I wanted to make two additions to my recent article on placekicking in the modern world. Surprisingly enough, they both deal with the Patriots. The first one was an embarrassing omission from the player/kicker category in the person of Gino Cappelletti. Cappelletti was an original Patriot, kicking for the Boston franchise in the AFL from 1960 through 1970. He was also a dependable receiver, lining up as either a flanker or split end. He was most productive as a receiver in the middle four or five years of his career, with as many as nine TD receptions in a season.
The other omission should have been included in the great moments in kicking history, and of course is the January 1, 2006, successful dropkick by Doug Flutie. It was the first successful attempt of its kind since the 1941 championship game. I’m assuming all good football fans realize that when the NFL changed the shape of the ball so that it was easier to pass, drop kicking became less practical. So you needed someone to ….. hold the ball, in place so that it could be kicked. Thus the term, placekicking! (Quiz in the morning. Spelling counts.)
I can only assume that Tim Tebow is going to New York to star in an updated version of “West Side Story.” I can see it now, a gang of firemen, dressed in green and white with the number 15 on their jerseys, come out snapping their fingers and start singing; “When you’re a Jet you’re a Jet all the way, from your first losing bet, ’til you’re crushed by Green Bay….”.
My apologies to Leonard Berstein, but why else would the Jets bring him to NYC? Sanchez has got to be confused. You pretend that you’re interest in Peyton Manning, then throw lots a money at ‘Franchez’, then follow that up by bringing in someone with the intent of taking 20 or 25 snaps away from your starter. It just doesn’t add up! Especially when you give up draft picks that might have been used to help strengthen your defense, which is probably where your biggest problem is anyway. The icing on the cake is that the Jets want to be on HBO’s ‘Hard Knocks’ next Summer. Apparently Rex is a slower learner than I thought. One way or another, it should make for great theatre.
Featured image courtesy of: Duke Photography
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