Where do I start? I suppose with the following illustration that encompasses most of the bad stuff.
Yup. That about says it all (but I'm going to give you another 2000 words, so get comfortable.)
We'll go clockwise from the top right.
Aaron Hernandez, of the New England Patriots, was arrested and charged with murder.
This is, of course, the least trivial of the happenings. Murder is generally not a subject for humor, so I won't joke about it. A lot of folks are asking the question, "How can someone with so much money and prestige, so much to lose, even think about doing something so vile?" That's an interesting question, to be sure, but I believe the bottom line is this: anyone capable of murder will still be capable of murder no matter how much money and prestige he may have. The gain of fame and fortune does not have a good track record when it comes to bringing out a person's better qualities. If anything, an asshole usually becomes even more of an asshole once huge sums of money enter the picture.
I'm a big believer in innocent until proven guilty. I make no judgement concerning Hernandez's guilt or innocence. I'm just utterly depressed by the whole situation.
(In a totally hideous coincidence, a former softball teammate of mine was also arrested and charged with murder this week. I've never mentioned him here before, so you wouldn't know his name. I could tell you why it wasn't a complete shock to hear the news, but I won't. I'm just throwing it in here because it's another horrific thing that happened this week.)
OK, let's get to the stuff that's only depressing in a sports-related way (which is to say it sucks, but has relatively little misery compared to the above.)
The Bruins lost to Chicago in the Stanley Cup Final.
How they lost was the worst part of it. For those not privy to the facts (which probably means you don't give a damn, so there's probably no good reason for me to recount the details, but I will just in case you came out of a coma today) it was one of the best Stanley Cup series ever. I mean that. The team for which I was rooting lost, but that doesn't take away from the magnificence of the series itself. Three games went into overtime, one of those a triple overtime. Two other games were decided by one goal. The lone "blowout" saw the Bruins win, 2 - 0. It was tight, exciting, edge-of-your-seat hockey. With less than two minutes remaining in game six, the Bruins held a 2 - 1 lead. It looked as though they would force a game seven. Then Chicago scored two goals in the space of 17 seconds. And that was the kick in the teeth. Chicago won in a fashion that left Bruins fans with their mouths hanging open.
(MY WIFE heard me yell "FUCK!"at the top of my lungs twice within a minute. Sometimes she will say something to me if I get that upset about a sporting event, trying to calm me or to make me realize how ridiculous it is to be so emotional about a game. In this instance, she didn't say a word. It was another example of her intelligence, why I love her, and why I'm glad we're married.)
One good thing came out of the loss. I discovered that my nephew, My Godson, J. P. Sweeney, has balls made of titanium.
That's him, at the Chicago Blackhawks victory parade. Not only does he have stones the size of grapefruits, he also has a sense of humor.
(He goes to DePaul. That's why he's in Chicago.)
Next up, we have the Celtics being blown into tiny pieces by Danny Ainge.
Doc Rivers will be coaching the Los Angeles Clippers next year. He had been at the helm of the Celtics for a decade or so. Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce were traded to the Brooklyn Nets for a whole bunch of draft picks and expiring contracts.
I understand these moves in an economic sense. As a lifelong bleeder of green, though, I am thoroughly disgusted. Above all else, Paul Pierce should have never been allowed to wear anything aside from a Boston uniform. He is as much a part of Celtic Pride as Cousy, Heinsohn, Russell, Sam Jones, Cowens, Havlicek, Bird, McHale, or anyone else who retired after playing an entire career in green.
(OK, yes, Cowens and Cousy played a small handful of games for Milwaukee and Cincinnati, respectively, but it was their bad decisions to do so after coming out of retirement. Totally different animal.)
The photo is from the ceremony of raising the championship banner Pierce won with Garnett, Rivers, and the other 2008 Celtics. Yes, those are tears in his eyes. He loved being a Celtic. If it's any consolation, Paul, I am not entirely dry-eyed myself today.
Somewhat connected with the above, Ray Allen won a championship with the Miami Heat this past week. He was, of course, a member of the 2008 Celtics championship team. He decided to sign with Miami this year instead of returning to the Celtics. When he nailed what may have been the most important basket in their victory, it was just another straw toward breaking the camel's back.
But just when things were darkest, my week became a thing of rainbows and sunshine.
BOMBERS - 13 Moe Howard Club - 1
BOMBERS - 22 Moe Howard Club - 10
Yes, that's right. I'm the sort of selfish bastard who says, "As long as my team wins, the rest of it doesn't matter!"
I like playing the Moe Howard Club. Mark Dion is the manager and ace pitcher. He and I have always gotten along well. I was pleased to see his son Nick have a decent day. He took over on the mound for his dad in the final inning of game one, then also pitched game two. He was not treated well by his defense. He wasn't bad, and he struck out three Bombers. I've always liked Nick. Good kid, and I'm glad to see him perform well.
Oh, one more thing before I forget. Ron Johnson moved within one hit of becoming the second Bomber in team history to reach 300 hits. His next hit will be the one.
Thanks for sticking with me through this. No matter how bad any week is, you always make it better.
Soon, with more better stuff.